Drumbeat: February 19, 2011

OPEC December Oil Exports Fall 2% as Saudi Shipments Decline

OPEC’s oil exports fell 2 percent in December from a month earlier as Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest exporter, reported a decrease of 4.9 percent.

Total exports by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, excluding Algeria and the United Arab Emirates, fell by 387,000 barrels a day to 19.4 million barrels a day, the Joint Data Initiative website, which compiles data supplied by governments in an attempt to improve transparency, showed today.

Stuart Staniford: Brent-WTI spread

As you can see, the amount of spread is unprecedented. It's also very recent - the spread was $2.20 as recently as the first week of January, this year. That makes me a bit wary of explanations based on long-term factors like the growth in Bakken oil, tar-sands production, or lack of pipelines out of Cushing - why would the market have been suddenly surprised in the last few weeks?

Southwest blames fuel for latest fare increase

DALLAS — Southwest Airlines Co. is raising fares by $10 for a round trip, saying it needs the money to offset higher fuel costs.

The Oil Market New World Order: 3 Ways to Profit

The Gulf of Mexico’s reign as "King of the Oilfields" will soon be over.

Instead, it’s time to switch your attention to the tens of billions of barrels of light, sweet crude waiting to be discovered offshore in both South America and West Africa.

South Sudan Rules Out Sharing Oil Revenue with North

The new state of South Sudan that is expected to officially become the world's newest state in July, has no intention of continuing to split the proceeds from oil revenue, said an official in the South's ruling party.

Army seizes Citibank, 3 others in Ivory Coast

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast — Ivory Coast's leader, who is clinging to power, seized four major international banks Friday that had closed their operations earlier this week, in an effort to pay civil servants during a deepening liquidity crisis.

30 wounded in Kuwait protests on Friday - sources

KUWAIT — Thirty people were wounded in Friday's clashes in Kuwait between security forces and stateless Arabs demanding citizenship, security sources said on Saturday. The protest in Jahra, northwest of Kuwait City, was the first in the oil-producing Gulf Arab state since a wave of unrest began sweeping across the Middle East in December.

Fifty people were arrested after the demonstration, the security sources said. A similar protest in the village of Salibiya also drew 80 protesters on Friday, they said.

Protesters return to square in Bahrain capital

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Thousands of singing and dancing protesters streamed back into Manama's central Pearl Square Saturday after Bahrain's leaders withdrew tanks and riot police following two straight days of a bloody crackdown by security forces in the tiny monarchy.

The royal family, which was quick to use force earlier this week against demonstrators in the landmark square that has been the heart of the anti-government demonstrations, appeared to bck away from further confrontation following international pressure from the West.

Libya: Snipers shoot mourners, killing at least 1

CAIRO – Moammar Gadhafi's forces fired on mourners in the eastern city of Benghazi, wiped out a protest encampment and clamped down on Internet service throughout Libya Saturday as the regime tried to squelch calls for an end to the ruler's 42-year grip on power.

BP set for petrochemicals expansion

BP will proceed with a major petrochemicals expansion project in China and is considering building another large plant in Asia's most populous country.

The decision, announced on Thursday, is the latest indication that the UK oil group, which has shed billions of dollars of assets in recent months to help pay costs related to the Macondo oil spill last year, retains the financial capacity to invest heavily in strategic projects.

Mimicking photosynthesis path to solar-derived hydrogen fuel

Inexpensive hydrogen for automotive or jet fuel may be possible by mimicking photosynthesis, according to a Penn State materials chemist, but a number of problems need to be solved first.

"We are focused on the hardest way to make fuel," said Thomas Mallouk, Evan Pugh Professor of Materials Chemistry and Physics. "We are creating an artificial system that mimics photosynthesis, but it will be practical only when it is as cheap as gasoline or jet fuel."

Smart lights, bright savings

Lighting represents 22% of electricity usage in the Middle East – a much higher statistic than anywhere else in the world. If GCC consumers switch the lights in their homes to more efficient solutions, this will save up to $400million and 5.1 megatonnes in carbon dioxide emissions annually.

“Localization is the Economics of Happiness”

Our global economy is effective at many things—moving huge quantities of goods across great distances, for example, or turning mortgages into profits. What it's not so good at is determining whether these activities are worthwhile when it comes to improving the lives of the people who live and work within the economy (not to mention preserving the natural systems on which the whole shebang depends). In many cases, economic policies that increase trade or production actually decrease well-being for millions, even billions, of people.

Local, Organic Milk: Nice Idea, but Try Making a Profit

MOO Milk’s journey is a cautionary tale: true grit, a laudable philosophy and a hot trend aren’t enough to create a viable business.

“There are folks who support what we do, but there’s not enough of them up here,” said David Bright, a former newspaper reporter and the organization’s treasurer. “So far, I haven’t been able to find 6,000 people who will buy a gallon of our milk each week.”

Green Roof Collapses in Illinois

Green roofs have become increasingly popular in the United States as a way to beautify and insulate buildings and reduce heat pollution in urban areas, but last week one drew attention for a far different reason: it collapsed.

A 700-by-50 foot section of a roof over a parking area buckled on Feb. 13 at a garden pond construction and supply company in St. Charles, Ill., west of Chicago. No one was injured in the collapse, which occurred on a Sunday afternoon when few people were working at the company, Aquascape Inc.

The gender divide reaches climate change

New research indicates that the gender divide has spilled over into the climate change debate, with a French report suggesting that men are bigger eco-offenders than women.

Two independent studies carried out by separate teams of European scientists looked at data on the consumption and daily lifestyles of men and women in industrialised countries. One found that a typical French man causes emissions of 39.3 kilograms (kg) of carbon dioxide (CO2), whereas a woman causes 32.3kg.

U.S. charges global warming company was a fraud

(Reuters) - CO2 Tech Ltd, a publicly traded company that lured investors with claims about products and services to fight global warming, was full of nothing but hot air, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Friday.

It said the U.S. Justice Department had filed criminal fraud charges against six men, including stock promoters and traders, involved in a so-called "pump-and-dump scheme" built around shares of the company, which was purportedly based in London but had no significant assets or operations.

Global warming 'may increase water-borne diseases'

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Climate change could increase exposure to water-borne diseases originating in oceans, lakes and coastal ecosystems, and the impact could be felt within 10 years, US scientists told a conference in Washington on Saturday.

Curbing soot could slow climate change: U.N.

OSLO (Reuters) - Strict curbs on soot and ozone air pollution would limit global warming by 0.5 degree Celsius (0.9 F) in a step toward achieving tough world climate goals, a U.N.-backed study showed on Friday.

Stricter limits on "black carbon" soot and tropospheric ozone -- a greenhouse gas that is a big component of smog -- would also clear the air and so reduce human deaths and improve crop yields, especially in Asia, it said.

Judge Tells Government to Resume Permits for Drilling

WASHINGTON — A federal judge in New Orleans on Thursday ordered the Obama administration to move quickly on permits for new deepwater oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico, saying that the government could no longer justify long delays in allowing new projects to go forward.

Judge Martin Feldman, of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, said that the Interior Department was required to act on drilling applications “within a reasonable time.”

“Not acting at all is not a lawful option,” Judge Feldman wrote, adding that the delays are “increasingly inexcusable” and were causing drilling companies to relocate their rigs to foreign waters.

Saudi Shi'ites hold small eastern province protest

(Reuters) - Saudi Shi'ites have held a small protest in the kingdom's oil-producing eastern province, close to Gulf Arab neighbour Bahrain where unrest has cost six lives, local Shi'ite sources said on Saturday.

Bahrain king offers dialogue to resolve crisis

(Reuters) - Bahrain's king has offered a national dialogue "with all parties" in a conciliatory move to resolve a crisis that has killed four people and wounded hundreds, rocking the key regional ally of the United States.

Alarmed by Bahrain violence, U.S. appeals to govt

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama called on Bahrain on Friday to exercise restraint after the kingdom's security forces ignored Washington's earlier call for calm and opened fire on protesters demanding reforms.

Amid unrest across much of the Middle East, U.S. officials have voiced concern about violence on the island nation in talks with the government of Bahrain, which hosts a big U.S. military base and borders Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter.

Crackdown on arms exports to Bahrain

The government bowed to intense pressure last night and revoked a host of licences for arms exports to Bahrain and Libya, after Foreign Secretary William Hague said there was "no evidence" that security forces in the Gulf state had used British tear gas to suppress pro-democracy demonstrators. The French government has banned all arms exports to Bahrain and Libya.

Amid a Sea of Upheaval, Algeria Is Still

ALGIERS — Even as North African neighbors have smoldered, the oil-producing giant Algeria has kept a sullen calm in the wake of a stifled protest march here last week, with the regional upheaval, for now, not catching on.

Oil Falls as U.S. Monitors Iran Plan to Send Warships to Suez

Oil fell for the first time in three days as the White House said it was “monitoring” Iran’s plan to send warships through the Suez Canal, calming concern that the move would ratchet up tensions in the Middle East.

China hikes gasoline, diesel prices

BEIJING (Xinhua) -- China will raise both gasoline and diesel prices by 350 yuan (about 53.2 U.S. dollars) per tonne, beginning Sunday, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced Saturday evening.

N.Y., Gulf Jet Fuel at 19-Month High Levels Amid Refinery Work

Spot jet fuel spreads in New York and on the Gulf Coast reached their highest levels in 19 months as Hovensa LLC reduced rates at its St. Croix refinery in the U.S. Virgin Islands and airlines flew more.

The rates were lowered while a unit is started to replace a distillate desulfurization unit damaged in a Feb. 11 fire, Alex Moorhead, a Hovensa spokesman, said in an e-mail yesterday.

Official: Venezuela oil company profits down

Venezuela's energy minister says profits from the South American country's state-run oil company fell last year.

Rafael Ramirez says profits at Petroleos de Venezuela SA fell 28.8 percent in 2010 compared to 2009, despite an increase in international oil prices.

Brazil's Petrobras to double oil production by 2020, says CEO

Brazil's oil and gas production will double by 2020, chief executive of state-run energy giant Petrobras told Xinhua on Friday.

Chevron asks court to block $9.5B Ecuadorean award

Lawyers for Ecuadoreans who won a $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron Corp. over a polluted rainforest have told a New York judge they won't attempt to collect for months.

Chevron says it won't apologize

NEW YORK — A Chevron Corp. lawyer said Friday that the company will not apologize for damage that an oil company it purchased is accused of causing to Ecuador's rain forest even though the refusal means a $9.5 billion judgment against it will nearly double within days.

Shell to sell Africa downstream stake for $1 billion

(Reuters) - Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell has agreed to divest the majority of its stake in most of its downstream businesses in Africa to two firms for $1 billion, the company said on Saturday.

Prairie fire

Were this no more than the result of an internal coup, few Canadians would sit up. But the Conservatives face unaccustomed opposition to both right and left. Ordinary Albertans care about strains in their health service and the budget deficit. And the provincial government’s mismanagement of the tar sands has damaged Alberta’s international reputation and left oil bosses privately calling for stricter regulation.

Russia may tweak Arctic park border for oil firms: WWF

Russia's Natural Resources Ministry wants to set an Arctic nature reserve's borders in a way that environmentalists say will subvert existing boundaries to accommodate the oil drilling plans of BP and Rosneft.

Gazprom chief steps up attacks on shale gas

Alexander Medvedev, deputy CEO of Gazprom, has been laying out his thoughts on the US shale boom, which threatens to knock his company off its pedestal as the dominant player in the natural gas market.

He likened the shale boom to the internet bubble, “which first blew up enormously and then flattened itself out to some rational and logical size”.

Inter RAO Looks to Jordan Oil Shale for Mideast Growth

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Inter RAO is considering possible involvement in the construction of a $250 million complex for processing oil shale in Jordan, the company's chief executive Boris Kovalchuk said at the opening ceremony of a Middle East representative office Monday.

IEC scouring the world for LNG tanker operators

Plans to import liquefied natural gas to Israel entered a new phase yesterday with the Israel Electric Corporation's publication of an international request for information on the possible importation of natural gas by tanker ships. The tankers would have the capacity to use a floating buoy to pipe the gas onshore.

Ukrainian deputy premier urges gas talks with Russia, EU

Kiev should step up dialogue with Russia and the EU on modernizing the Ukrainian gas transportation system to secure its competitiveness, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Tihipko said on Saturday.

Tihipko has expressed concerns over Russia's plans to build three underground gas storage facilities in Slovakia saying this could pose a threat to the gas transit potential of the former Soviet state.

Solar has more potential than Big Oil claims

Is it any wonder that the public has stopped believing in Big Oil? According to two polls last month, 80 percent of the public supports more government spending on the rapid adoption of solar energy. With this level of public support, Obama should be criticized for following instead of leading.

Despite solar prices dropping year after year, oil prices continue to rise.

U.N. nuclear body may highlight Iran military concerns

(Reuters) - The U.N. atomic watchdog may soon spell out in more detail its concerns about possible military aspects to Iran's disputed nuclear program, Western diplomatic sources say.

California urged to make disaster plans for climate change

A bill was introduced on Thursday, urging California to make disaster plans in case global warming causes the sea level.

"Our seas are rising from climate change, which poses unprecedented risks for homes, businesses and commerce," said Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, who introduced the bill.

"California must immediately begin planning for this intrusion of water, particularly for the way it may damage valuable infrastructure such as ports," Brownley said.

$20 million funds study to ensure NW wheat survives climate change

SPOKANE — The federal government has awarded a $20 million grant to universities in Washington, Oregon and Idaho that is designed to ensure that wheat farming in the Pacific Northwest will survive climate change.

The five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will study the relationship between climate change and cereal crops, primarily winter wheat. Wheat is the No. 1 export through the Port of Portland, the largest wheat-export harbor in the U.S.

Shareholders Offer a Spate of Climate and Environmental Resolutions

After a year marked by Congressional paralysis on issues like global warming and renewable energy, and after a parade of energy-related disasters — including the huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico — social investment groups are signaling their displeasure with a suite of shareholder resolutions.

Not to be outdone, climate skeptics and opponents of government mandates supporting clean energy are sending up resolutions of their own.

Does anyone know when the EIA plan to release international data for November? Normally International Petroleum Monthly would have been out by now with November data but the "replacement" browser interface still only has data for October.

Also in the IPM changes since the last edition were highlighted so you could easily spot revisions to prior data. Short of downloading the historical data every month and searching for differences, I don't see how you can easily follow back dated revisions. Have I missed something?

Here is a moneyquote from the Bloombergstory:

Total world output fell 14 percent in December from a month earlier to 55.5 million barrels a day, the lowest since 2002, mainly due to a in non-OPEC production, particularly in Latin America.

It must be the evil speculator that is driving up the oil price(or the latest bogeyman: the Middle East unrest)!

Remember how everyone and his uncle blamed the Israel-Iran tension in 2008 for the oil prices?

It's the fundamentals, folks, (as if we didn't know).

I'm still surprised that the decline is happening so fast now.
It's the ELM at play.



On a sidenote, since the Peak is more or less already here(and has been for some years now, although the Great Recession lulled us into a false comfort for a very short few years), I might add that I'm still slightly amazed by the fact that such a hugely important issue has been virtually undebated in much of the world or the political arena.

No mainstream politician even talks of Peak Oil. Okay, a case can be made that it's too late now and is more harmful than not, but what about before?

Sometimes I wish it was all just a conspiracy because at least it implies a degree of intelligence of the people who run this world, but why would they conspire to kill themselves in the process?

The most pathetic fact is the banality and stupidity of our fate.

That is an unbelievable decline for one month. There must be some error there. At any rate we can believe that production took an enormous hit in December.

But this is production not exports. The decline in exports, as a percentage, would likely be a a bit higher because producing nations would likely keep consumption pretty close to what it was in November.

The report of OPEC exports taking such a hit in December is particularly strange since OPEC's own Oil Market Report says OPEC crude production increased by 171,000 barrels per day in December.

I have got a feeling that the EIA will not be reporting such a drop as Bloomberg is reporting in this article.

Ron P.

Ron/anybody - can you explain what that 55.5mbd refers to? That's clearly not Total Liquids, which would be 85+, nor is it C&C, which would be around 73. And in looking at the article, it is purporting to be 'output', not exports. I can't put that number into any context that makes sense, nor does the article, really...

It sounds like they are talking about total exports only [see the ~8th graph down ("Trade Movements: Oil Exports by Region" - 2007 BP data) here].

I wish them luck at the Extraordinary Ministerial Meeting next week.

The historic Extraordinary IEF Ministerial Meeting on 22 February 2011 in Riyadh, under the patronage of the Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, will mark a new era of international energy cooperation built on greater mutual understanding and trust as attending countries sign the IEF Charter, demonstrating a significantly reinforced political commitment to an informal and open global energy dialogue in the framework of the IEF among energy producing and energy consuming countries, including transit States.

This Extraordinary IEF Ministerial Meeting is the final stage of a process that started with the landmark Cancun Ministerial Declaration approved by 66 countries at the 12th IEF Ministerial Meeting in March 2010. The Cancun Ministerial declaration addresses two main points: an enhanced IEF framework to strengthen the producer-consumer dialogue and ways to reduce energy market volatility.

Thx, snarlin. Boy, in that case Bloomberg really blew it, as far as appropriate context. 'Total world output' does not equal oil 'trade movements' per region. Big surprise eh, lack of context from the MSM...

... I wish it was all just a conspiracy because at least it implies a degree of intelligence ...

It also implies a degree of control that we all desperately wish someone had over our predicament.

Unfortunately, no one is in control.

off/tangent - no way you are "20 years old." If you really are, then I do hope you are still breathing when you hit 40. Hopefully you are among the meek that eek through the bottleneck and inherit whatever lies on the other side.

Hmm, is it so skewed towards the older generation here? I'm in my mid-twenties and until you mentioned it had just assumed the adult demographic here was similar to normal society.

I'm 48 and I just assume the majority here are 30+. Also, it is very rare that I hear people your age speak with any real degree of understanding about our situation. Maybe I live in the wrong neighborhood ;)

Ha, maybe so.. or maybe we're all just spread a little thinly. I don't know anyone else IRL that pays it much attention, young or old. I've had to cut back on my lyrical waxing to my friends as I think I'm having the opposite effect to the one intended and putting them off the subject before they even really scratch the surface for themselves..

Surprised that someone under 40 has got grammar as well.

Ha! I think they at least still teach that in schools these days.. ;-)

I think they at least still teach that in schools these days.. ;-)

Maybe a few schools. You must have been lucky.

It is truly one of the universal traditions of humanity for the older generation to complain about the upcoming generation.

LOL - what do you expect. You youngin's still got your health and good looks to burn through ;)

Don't forget liver damage from the snarkonal mixed with ethyl alcohol from corn.

I don't know anyone else IRL [(in real life?)] that pays it much attention, young or old.

I've had to cut back on my [PO rants cause it's having] opposite effect to the one intended and putting them [20 yr olds?] off the subject before they even really scratch the surface for themselves..


Maybe this is an opportunity to have a cross generational conversation.

I had assumed that the most concentrated demographic here at TOD was 50+ yrs old, probably because the younger ones are busy living life in the fast lane and haven't had time to pause and reflect.

I suspect that the 20-30 yr old demographic at TOD is indeed extremely thin although not zero.

But if you are 30 or less, you never even lived through the 1973 oil shock. You didn't see it live, in person and for yourself how people start acting once the signs at the gas station no longer say "arm & a leg" but rather "sorry, no gas at any price"

Then again, if you are 30 or less, you probably can't recall a time when there were no computers, no internet, and students had to do arithmetic in their heads instead of with a calculator.

So the perspectives and the expectations are much different.

Yeah, I can picture you at a 20-something party trying to talk about PO or like stuff and your friends saying "Chill out man, "they" will come up with something; Steve Jobs always does. Relax and have some more Brawndo --it's got electrolytes." :-)

probably because the younger ones are busy living life in the fast lane and haven't had time to pause and reflect.

Ah. This may be so. Although having said that I think things have dropped down from the fast lane to the hard shoulder for quite a few young people right now. At least compared to 10 years ago. Here in the UK first degrees are two-a-penny and many graduates cannot find work. (See: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4bf40396-39b5-11e0-8dba-00144feabdc0.html#axzz...). I'd say the 30-40 year old group are doing pretty darn well for themselves but those younger are seriously struggling to find their feet. Twiddling thumbs and contemplating that perhaps life isn't going to be quite as comfortable as they'd been brought up to believe, they may well find that crucial time to pause and reflect. In my personal case ill health has prevented me from working for the last couple of years and so I've had ample opportunity to read and absorb!

you never even lived through the 1973 oil shock.

You're right, I didn't see that. But I like to think I can appreciate the seriousness of it. One of my biggest fears has always been large crowds and crowd mentality. I studied tipping points for my degree and am aware how suddenly things can change. In fact, I think perhaps it's only due to chance that I became hooked on this topic - because of my background in things such as entropy, thermodynamics I could understand the significance of a possible peak in society's access to energy. Without that basic understanding, why worry?

On the other hand I have great difficulty trying to convey these fears to my contemporaries - the typical response is the one you gave: technology will come up with a solution. But, again, their background is different to mine, so I don't blame them. It's trying to work out how to pull the wool from their eyes. I think I'm slowly succeeding. There are one or two who do understand - but they studied the same course as me at uni :-)

you probably can't recall a time when there were no computers, no internet

I can still recall the first time Dad started up the internet at home and can just about remember our PS/1! (he used to work for a large computer corporation so we were pretty up to date technology-wise). But imagining life without the internet does seem very strange now. So much so that I often wonder how those just a little younger than me would cope if the plug was suddenly pulled - it would be a whole new world for them!

My granddad had the first motorcar in Okeene, Oklahoma -- he was a physician. I remember coming home from school to listen to Little Orphan Annie on the radio. I also followed The Lone Ranger, broadcast from WXYZ, Detroit, and One Man's Family by Carleton E. Morse from San Francisco.

I remember gathering around television sets in Lawton, Oklahoma, to watch snow from the first television transmissions in 1949 from Oklahoma City, 100 miles north. People were enthralled when they could discern a picture in the static. I worked at the third television station to go on the air in Oklahoma in 1953. We had no cable hookup -- we got programs from the Dumont Network on 16mm film. No tape or color -- it was all live in black and white. I did a kids' program every weekday afternoon and was famous for 35 miles in all directions. Our radio affiliate stayed on the air all night to broadcast the local Wichita Mountains Sunrise Easter Pageant -- we would get mail from all over the hemisphere from people who'd heard our little 250 watt nighttime signal -- most of the competition went off the air at midnight. Reminiscing enough for you?

Oddly enough, I don't remember much about computers coming into service. We got an Amstrad in 1986 because it was cheap (now the discs are unplayable). We upgraded to a 486 Gateway later. And my publishing company gave us all home PCs in 2000 so we'd be up-to-date on the developing technology. The modern age dawned when we abandoned dial-up for cable internet connection.

Now we look at videos from all over the world, and can talk by telephone to friends in England and France for the cost of a local call. Much different world, information-wise. Wonder how long it will last.

I would expect datacoms infrastructure to remain working for an extremly long time, it will probably continue functioning even when fuel for private cars etc is subject to extreme rationing.
It should be easy to power the internet infrastructure entirely on renewable energy as the equipment doesn't consume huge amounts of power. The number of servers providing web pages etc may drop and the computers that the end users use may also be much simpler and consume considerably less power.

I see an eventual transition from "fastest & high featured" to simple, economic and long lasting computer hardware as the energy crunch starts to bite.

I can still recall the first time Dad started up the internet at home and can just about remember our PS/1!

Ahhhh...... the memories.

I remember the first ps1 I had... also the very first MAC (in the first month of availability. They gave a free 1yr subscription to MAC magazine.) And, the NBI-2000, a z-80 based word processor. With a printer we had to keep in a special sound proofed box 'cause it was so noisy. We had the most up to date law office in town!

Before that, the first IBM correcting selectric typewriter, that was top of the line and cost $1,400 in 1972! In 1972 dollars!!!!

That was about the time of the very first gas shock... the first OPEC embargo.

I would go back farther, but some of those memories are more depressing.


Im 22 years old and from Norway.
I know of 2-3 friends that are atleast slightly peak oil aware. One is in denial and tends to get angry if i show him to many peak oil and enviroment articles. One time i sent him a youtube link with Catton.
http://youtu.be/7bXXQ1vVdsI He actully watched it and the next day on a concert i asked what he thought of it. Its a good things looks cant kill or i would have been dead or seriously injured. ;-) And he said that Catton is probably getting old and is therefore crazy.
My other friend is not in denial but is doing very few preparations.
I mosly stopped trying to talk about this with other people. Just to much denial.
Trying to discuss these things on mainstream internet forums just gets me sad. Alot of people are in for a crude awakening.

I do have a feeling that its plenty of people that know deep inside that BAU is not going to last. But they dont talk about it of fear of being labeled crazy, and they are not quite sure what is going to brake the camels back. That was my position before becoming peak oil aware.
Or they think that someone else is going to fix it or we will be dead before it gets to bad. But its even more that think that BAU will go on forever, no need to change direction. Full speed ahead!
Recently i saw a commentary in Aftenposten (National Norwegian Newspaper) from a 14 year old kid. That basicly said, why care about the enviroment. Since we will be dead before it gets so bad that it will start to affect us. And later generations will surely have some technology to fix the problem. So sad.

And puplicly our goverment here Norway seems completly unaware of the incoming Cluster****. We are still building airports, highways and we are barely doing anything with our railsystem. The last time we did any major upgrade to it was in the 1960's

About 1 year before i became peak oil aware i started in my first real jobb after the millitary. Its a greenhouse with 24 000 square meters under glass where we produce use and throw ornemental flowers. Recently i was in coworker conversation with my boss and he asked where i thought i would be in 5 years. That was a very hard question to answer without mentioning peak oil. Only thing i could say was that i might have moved somewhere else. Strange to work in a place you know is going to be dead meat, probably within this decade.

One thing is that alot of major heavy metall bands are atleast making songs about this. I like that.
Here are a few samples
Iron Maiden
The Legacy
Face in the sand

Another way to die

The almighty dollar

BikeNerd, thanks a million for the Catton link. I had not seen this one before. I have read "Overshoot" twice. It is one of my two or three favorite books. This interview with him is really good. The old man is getting old, as we all do.

Thanks again, Ron P.

My UserName comes from a rather late-in-live discovery of Metal. So sorry if I'm being a bit off topic, but it occured to me looking at your list BikeNerd, none of the great Scandinavian bands are there (for those not closely involved in the heavy metal scene, there would be an argument to say most of the best metal music now comes out of Scandinavia and northern Europe). Another list of political metal: http://www.thegauntlet.com/article/1225/13637/Top-10-Political-Metal-Ban...

I can't think of any really policital songs by bands like In Flames, Nightwish (my favorite), Sonata Artica, Dimmu Borgir (Norway) or even Dark Tranquility or Areyon. Maybe some the really black bands have stuff.. not my thing. So hats off to the US bands, look like they are leading the way here.

I am 24 and live in the Appalachian Mountains. I got wise to peak oil in late 2007 (when I was 21) and have been reading TOD since. I studied religion (or as I like to think of it, mythological systems & magickal thinking) in school, so I didn't go through some kind of crisis-of-expectations in regards to not finding work after school. But I've led a privileged middle class -- read, aristocratic/bourgeois -- life so I've had many less cares than others my age. A number of my friends are aware of the crisis that is Ind-Civ, and we're all doing our best to "get ready." Most of my family and friends from back home are basically clueless. I think entitlement-kultur will probably be the largest obstacle to overcome. That and facing a death that might seem to come "too soon."

Off-piste: I've always wanted to walk the Appalachian Trail. One day! :-)

But if you are 30 or less, you never even lived through the 1973 oil shock.

But you'd have to have been of legal age to drive (or close) to "remember" them. The under 45 won't remember 'em all that well.

I'm 26 years old, originally from Michigan, currently in Northern California. My experience in the US of A is very similar to iagreewithnick and BikeNerd.

Although having said that I think things have dropped down from the fast lane to the hard shoulder for quite a few young people right now. At least compared to 10 years ago. Here in the UK first degrees are two-a-penny and many graduates cannot find work.

I have two friends with Bachelor's Degrees in Business from Michigan State, a respected university. The only jobs they could find were at car dealerships, selling cars. One recently joined the Navy. I hoping that when I graduate I'll have a little bit more success. I'm majoring in Engineering (thanks TOD). My friends who didn't go to college are having an even worse time. They simply can't find a steady job. They get seasonal work here and there, but it's not enough money to support themselves. I've explained peak oil to them, but really; what is there to do about it? If you don't have any money, it's pretty hard to make preparations of any kind.

One of my biggest fears has always been large crowds and crowd mentality. I studied tipping points for my degree and am aware how suddenly things can change. In fact, I think perhaps it's only due to chance that I became hooked on this topic - because of my background in things such as entropy, thermodynamics I could understand the significance of a possible peak in society's access to energy.

That is also one of my biggest fears. I worry about all the displaced anger when peak oil REALLY starts to bite. I know plenty of folks who are more than happy to place all the problems of the world on a particular "type" of person. That "type" can be political, cultural, or racial. I'm afraid a lot of anger caused by symptoms of peak oil will be directed based on these "types".

I mosly stopped trying to talk about this with other people. Just to much denial.
Trying to discuss these things on mainstream internet forums just gets me sad. Alot of people are in for a crude awakening.

This. I don't really try to engage my peers in discussion about peak oil. I have in the past, and it just seems to go over their heads. It's too easy to believe that we can build a few more windmills and use more bio fuels and we'll be okay. No one wants to look at the numbers. Besides if there really was a problem, the government would be doing something about it, right?

Interesting. I have a BSc from Mich State (73) and am currently in Northern Califonia as well. I am uncertain of what it is like for recent graduates. On the one hand, it is claimed that the overall unemployment rate for college grads is low, so you'd think recent grads would be OK. OTOH, I've seen a statistic for recent grads that say a lot haven't found jobs. And that says nothing about the quality of work available. This will matter in a few years, as I currently have three boys in college.

If you don't have any money, it's pretty hard to make preparations of any kind.

I resonate strongly with this. I don't think the older baby-boomer generation (at least in the West et al) realise how little options are available to the younger generation. In the UK the feeling of despondency is spreading throughout the young unemployed. They feel there is nothing they can do and not a lot to look forward to. If you can't even find the money to get a one-bed studio apartment, contemplating long-term lifestyle alterations tends to become less of a priority..

the older baby-boomer generation [doesn't] realise how [few] options are available to the younger generation.

Actually we do.

For many of us life was a matter of random luck.

We didn't have any money either.

If your lottery ticket came up short (low number) and you got sent to Vietnam for participating in a war you had no say in to begin with (for USA baby boomers), that was too bad. And if you got physically or mentally damaged in the war, that too was just bad luck. If you didn't make it, well you don't exist.

A small number were extremely lucky.

By hook or crook, they ended up getting a University education or just the right job.
By chance spin of the roulette wheel, they wound up in the right place and the right moment and with the right people and because of all that it seemed like we had had all these amazing "opportunities" to be there on the ground floor when something "big" was starting up, even if you didn't have money --except we didn't know it was something big and we didn't know where the world was heading.

It's only in hindsight that we can turn around today and say, look at that fellow, he made all the right moves. And look at the other one over there. Too bad. One wrong choice ruined the rest of his life.

The world today is way more crowded, way more competitive and stressful than the world we grew up in. If you want to get a sense of what "waking up to reality" was like back at the turn (1950's) of the last century, rent a copy of the movie DVD, "Pleasantville".

Because life today is still a matter of luck, first and foremost, the one thing you can do from among your limited options is to become mentally prepared for a possible opportunity in the future. It may never come. But one thing is for sure, if you do not have the educated background for recognizing it and grabbing that tiger by the tail as it races by, it will swiftly pass and leave you in the dust.

The mere fact that you have TOD as a resource is a big plus.

Here you can pick the brains of some pretty insightful people (not only of over the hill boomers, but also of gen X's, Y's and Z's)

It's your choice.
And it may be a right move or a wrong move.
That we can't tell you.
None of us knows the future for sure.
We never did.

Ah, I didn't mean to come across as such a complainer! Growing up in the UK I'm sure the baby-boomers here have had a different experience to those in the US and I'm eternally grateful for not having to be drafted up for war against my will. I suppose my preconceptions are due to being told that life has never been so good and to stop whining by the gas-guzzling masses who have no real concept of energy/societal dynamics.

I wonder if it's more to do with the fact that people are living in good health for longer / staying in powerful positions in work longer and that's bound to have an effect on the interim, 'transitional', not to mention larger, generation for whom many opportunities have not yet been 'freed' up?

But you're right, it is, and always has been, about luck. Having spent time in Sub-Saharan Africa I often count my lucky stars that I was born in the UK with access to the NHS. Despite all the wonderful techno-gizmos we still live in a Darwinian world - it's just nowadays you're encouraged to think that the important things in life are Lady Gaga and iPhones whilst turning a blind eye to the starvation and misery of your fellow brothers abroad.

I will heed your advice about taking opportunities, so many thanks. I do tend to take them when I can, although perhaps not always in terms of careers/materialism - I think I'm beginning to realise life really is so very short!

I wonder if it's more to do with the fact that people are living in good health for longer / staying in powerful positions in work longer and that's bound to have an effect on the interim, 'transitional', not to mention larger, generation for whom many opportunities have not yet been 'freed' up?

I think this is very much the case. Even jobs that you would expect to find mostly young people: fast food, retail, landscaping, ect. are being filled by the older generation. When the economy was expanding, it was able to absorb the new workers. Since the Great Recession the economy hasn't been able to absorb any new workers. It seems that in the past experience meant a higher starting salary, and now experience means maybe being able to get a job. If you have no experience, you have no way to get it.
This is even more compounded by the need to have a reliable auto here in the U.S. If you don't have your own car in good working order, employers wont even consider you. If you're out of the game to long, you can't afford to pay car payments, insurance, and gas. Then you're screwed.

For many of us life was a matter of random luck.

So it is and so it shall be. I think the difference is that the odds are slowly shifting towards the house. Fewer and fewer winners. I look directly at my 10+ aunts and uncles. When they graduated high school college was an option, or they could take a job somewhere, the mill, the factory, the power plant and make a living. Now when my cousins and I graduate high school we can live with your parents or go to college and probably live with our parents when we're done.
It's not that the game has changed, but it's definitely getting harder. Population growth + Peak oil are having an impact.

It's a bit frustrating, knowing that things aren't going to turn around. At best things will stay the same. Most likely the combo of Population growth + Peak oil are going to keep making the situation worse. I try to talk to the kids I go to community college with, but it doesn't seem to do much good. We want to believe the myth we were told in grade school; a college degree pretty much guarantee's employment.

Because life today is still a matter of luck, first and foremost, the one thing you can do from among your limited options is to become mentally prepared for a possible opportunity in the future. It may never come. But one thing is for sure, if you do not have the educated background for recognizing it and grabbing that tiger by the tail as it races by, it will swiftly pass and leave you in the dust.

Sage advice. I have already grabbed that tiger by the tale a couple times. Moving out of Michigan, like a rat off sinking ship. And investing in my home business. I tried to get my roommate to invest with me, but he spent his money on video games and a new TV instead. The tiger passed him by.

A sincere thanks to all those who make TOD happen. It's an invaluable resource to me, and a bubble of sanity in an insane world.

Thisone, thanks for your story.

I worry very much about the displaced anger and the fracturing of our local society into "types" (scapegoats) as you say.

With the protests here in wisconsin that sort of thing has picked up speed. Already this past week I have relatives that will no longer speak to each other because of party lines. I can't imagine what the divisions will be when the austerity measures really start to bite.

It's always a pleasure to contribute. I don't have near the experience of most of the posters here, so I mostly lurk and soak up as much wisdom as I can.

I don't have near the experience of most of the posters here

You have different experiences. A different viewpoint. Quantity is not everything. The young will take over from the old. For the old need to learn from the young to prepare the ground for them as much as the young need to learn from the old so experience is not forgotten. We all have our part to play.


Hi Thisone,

I'm glad to read about your experience.

I wish it - (and my own, for that matter) - was a little different.

I'd like to offer some ideas, suggestions (which are not meant to in any minimize the difficulties) and also...if you'd like to be in touch for further discussion/action, please contact me.

re: "Besides if there really was a problem, the government would be doing something about it, right?"

The following strategy is not my original idea, but I wholeheartedly support it because: it can work.

According to public statements by two well-respected scientists, Robert Hirsch and David Fridley (interviews available via www.energybulletin.net), previous and current administrations made a conscious decision to avoid "peak oil" as a topic.

Now, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) was established approx. 150 years ago to provide objective scientific assessments - *exactly* for the purpose of allowing the government and public to make good decisions. http://www.nationalacademies.org/

Our petition here (www.oildepletion.wordpress.com) is a template for a way to REQUEST and/or DEMAND that your State government and/or Congress and/or the President direct the NAS to do an immediate scientific investigation. Any State government can make this request. It is not necessary to get Congressional approval.

Scientists can and should take the lead. Citizens can and should make this happen. It's just not that difficult. It's completely doable.

The government is not capable of doing so, without an objective assessment.Even municipalities need something to point to for planning. WE CAN demand that the NAS take this lead.

re: "I've explained peak oil to them, but really; what is there to do about it? If you don't have any money, it's pretty hard to make preparations of any kind."

Young (read "strong, energetic, educated") people can get together and think: what can we do?

Example: form a working group, find some farm land for sale, and figure out what it would take to convert it to sustainable/organic ag, apply for funds/help to do this - get into a version of the farming business, in other words. Some states have grants and loans for young farmers. Negotiate on a rent price that reflects the market reality.

When one is young, it's easy to not understand the tremendous value of having all that energy and good health.

Besides, the older folks have already made all the mistakes. And what's the point of making them, if the experience can't help others?

Lots of people here have made offers to share their experiences and expertise - and ideas. See Todd's posts.

Getting together and talking in an organized way: A "visioning" meeting - can have some great results. Maybe. Worth a try.


Da Internet is a big place. Lottsa people and they self sort to places where they feel some form of simpatico.

So yes, there will be 20-somethings who see "da doom" of the end of cheap oil.

I would not be shocked if you could find a 15-18 year old who has TOD "sensibilities". There was 5-8 years ago some 14-15 year old posting spot on legal advice in legal forums.

HA!!! Guess that would count me as in that group :)

Welcome young'un! Not often I get to say that round these interweb parts ;-)

some 14-15 year old posting spot on legal advice

Is that you Mattie? From True Grit?
And did you get your "writ replevin" filled in with all the t's crossed and i's dotted?

Thanks for the kind words, snarlin.

I appreciate it.

You are very welcome Leiten. I just wish my 17 yr-old son knew some local young people like yourself.

Hi Leiten,

re: "I might add that I'm still slightly amazed by the fact that such a hugely important issue has been virtually undebated in much of the world or the political arena."

I'll reference myself here to respond to your comment.


The "undebate" you speak about is partly the result of a deliberate and conscious (we can add "unethical", "abhorrent") stance.

I personally believe this can still change.

And, yes, that there is a point to doing so.

re: "Okay, a case can be made that it's too late now and is more harmful than not,"

It's the wrong case. :)

Hi Aniya,

I suspect there are many "undebates" or things "not said in polite company" about many subjects, not just about Peak Oil.

Maybe it's done for the sake of the children? You know. Like don't tell them Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy aren't real. Let them enjoy the illusion for just one more year? Let even us, the adults, enjoy the illusion (re PO, population bomb, etc.) for just one more year?

It's hard to tear away at the facades and unearth the deeper truths.

No one likes to be stripped naked of their Emperor's clothes while in public.

I am still having a hard time finding international data, except from links I had previously.

Where have you found reasonable links?


It is 'Speed Week' in Daytona; the 500 and all that. Ten years after the demise of Dale Earnhardt (in a final lap at Daytona), memorials are popping up everywhere. I have experienced the consumptionfest that is speed week; hundreds of thousands of glassy-eyed fans crowding in, like pilgrims to Mecca.

Timing is everything, so it's no mystery why, during attempts to cut the federal budget, The House has voted to let the Pentagon continue using taxpayer dollars to sponsor NASCAR race teams:

By a 281-148 vote, lawmakers rejected an effort by Minnesota Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum that would have ended the practice. McCollum aides said the Army is spending $7 million on a sponsorship this year, and the Air Force and National Guard are spending additional money.

We'll keep the party going, until we can't. Go Army!


BTW, I can't believe this lady is actually dumb enough to try and cut 'tax subsidies' to NASCAR during speed week.

BTW, I can't believe this lady is actually dumb enough to try and cut 'tax subsidies' to NASCAR during speed week.

Is it dumb or is it strategic? McCollum, more than any other progressive politician in Minnesota, gets deep under the skin of the right-wingers in the area. She knows how to push their buttons.

She received some threats the other day:

Yeah, Web. She's not as dumb as her opposition. Threat fax here.

If those idiots from Redneckistan had any brains, they would stop buying all that stuff made by the "commies" in China that WalMart pushes out the door. They apparently don't understand that buying from Chindia means they are destroying their own jobs...

E. Swanson

These rubes probably think this country is declining from illegal immigration from Mexico.

That's what's funny about America these days. Rednecks vs. Mexicans, Wall Street corks the bottles.

Nothing much to see here, net export decline will take care of NASCAR really quickly.

Just how many of you guys waxing righteous about Nascar are pro football and baseball fans, which draw bigger aggregate crowds that travel just as far or farther?

The amount of gasoline that goes thru the race cars probably wouldn't suffice to get the crowds out of the stadium parking lots and onto the highway.

I just feel like jerking some chains tonight. ;)

Not too much of a sports fan; never been to a football game, probably never will.

Baseball, I've been to one game, a pretty fair number around here (Boston) take mass transit to get to the ballpark.

Otherwise, it's soccer on Univision (GOOOOOOOOOAL!!!!!) and bike races on Youtube.

Someone did an analysis a few years back. It found that baseball is the worst offender. NASCAR may burn a lot of fuel, and football wastes a lot of energy with their plasma jumbotrons, but it's baseball that generates the most greenhouse gases. They play every day during baseball season, drawing crowds who drive to the game. Unlike once a week football.

Of course, teams like the Sox and the Yanks that play in large cities where people can take the train might be greener. A lot of people still drive, though, even there.

It was some years back on TOD someone said that driving around a race track at 200mph was a far better use of oil than sitting idle in a traffic jam commuting to work. I tend to agree. Make hay while the sun shines...

Fellow TODers:

Without NASCAR how can x (the poster, not the variable) practice getting his corn ethyl alcohol to market?

mac - I'm sure you understand the source of many such comments: Some guys are intimidated by men with bigger "engines".

Hows that for a major league chain jerk? BTW this from a guy that didn't get his first driver's license until he was 24.

Some guys are intimidated by men with bigger "engines".

Yeah, and the bad boys always leave their rubber on the road... and then check to see whose was longer! This is usually accompanied by loud squealing. They engage in lots of clutching and hard stick shifting. The worst part is when they start comparing lubricants and checking out each other's rear ends.

Me, I'm more into bikes >;^)

To me its hardly worth even thinking about other than relating it to other aspects of our cultural decline.

If that's sissy or elitist so be it.

Take your pink beetle with a flower (if you are a sissy) or your M5 with 7speed box (if you are elitist) :-)
rev the engine to 4000 rpm and drop the clutch. Then you will have a vague idea know what kind of NASCAR things we are talking about. Works way better with a tuned small block chevy, though; and I have nothing against cultural decline in some areas of life.

Take your pink beetle with a flower (if you are a sissy) or your M5 with 7speed box (if you are elitist) :-) rev the engine to 4000 rpm and drop the clutch.

I used to work with a young lady whose first car had been an old air-cooled Beetle (probably pink with flowers.) However, both she and her husband moved rapidly up the corporate ladder into executive positions, and her husband bought a new Porsche.

Her husband had never owned a car with a manual transmission before, and had problems getting the thing to go. So, when he let her drive the Porsche for the first time, he said, "Be sure to rev the engine up REALLY high before you let the clutch out, so you don't stall it."

Since stalling had always been an issue with her old Beetle, she did what she always did with the Beetle. She pushed the throttle to the floor, waited until the engine made a lot of noise, and then dropped the clutch.

Well, with both turbochargers on full boost by that time, and only the rev limiter keeping the engine from self-destructing, the Porsche laid a streak of rubber for half a block before she could get her foot off the accelerator. She was extremely angry with her husband, and told him, "Don't tell me how to drive it, I'll figure it out for myself!"

OS - OK..so be it...you're a sissy. But I guess I am too since I never had a love affair with a car. Maybe because I was 24 before I got my first license and 25 before I bought my first car. To me cars are still disposable item: I buy cheap and drive them till the wheels are about to fall off.


I never understood the obsession with them as well. I did have one a little earlier (21), but it was a means for getting somewhere, not a status-symbol and thrill generator. And unfortunatly as well, the greatest single source of premature mortality in the modern world. In my case I wanted an interplanetary flying saucer. Since I couldn't have that, an car is so many steps down that it didn't matter how fancy it was.

I grew up in Southern California in the '50s and to me cars meant freedom and girls. When I got my license at 15-1/2 I also found the thrill of speed. I loved cars my whole life but also realized at least some of the damage they caused to society and the environment. It was my love of cars that made the issue of oil depletion so obvious to me in the 1970s. I specialized in thermodynamics in engineering school (BSME 1971) and spent a large part of my career in energy related fields,so the combination of the two have been a theme, a contradictory theme, my whole adult life.

Today, in my late 60s, I recognize that society made a really serious wrong turn is handing over so much of our culture to the automobile. But its very hard to regret having enjoyed so much the freedom, the speed, the fascination of all those cars.

So today, at 67, I drive the most economical fun type car on the market, a Mini Cooper.

in my late 60s, I recognize that society made a really serious wrong turn in handing over so much of our culture to the automobile

Hindsight is always 20/20

Except that in your 60's it's more like 40/40

Amen to that, Rockman. I do the same. Except once, back when I was driving 65 or 70 K miles per year, I bought a '78 MBZ 300D. Drove it 650,000, and the wheels were very literally falling off when I traded off. Paid $16,500 and got $6,500 in trade, so not too bad overall.

To me a car is just a way to get from here to there. I want it to be at the lowest net cost! Never much liked that danged things, but they were a necessary evil. Still are, for that matter. Only place I can afford to keep 11 people in one house is in the way out 'burbs where the closest Kroger is 1.5 Miles. I walk it when the weather is okay. Have a bunged up leg that slows me down, but I still prefer shank's mares to auto transport if possible.

Just wish the buses ran closer than 2.5 miles, though. It makes mass transit a real hassle.


There are some die-in-the-wool NASCAR fans in my family. I don't like the sport (and I can't believe they really call anything to do with high powered machines a sport) not b/c it wastes fuel but b/c it's a waste of time. IMHO, it's excruciatingly boring to watch.

My soft spot (all pun intended) is typical of other Canucks: it is the bloodsport of hockey. And while I'm not one to normally wish harm on others, I do like a rough and tumble game. Nothing like blades and boards and fists - yes blood on the ice and ducking pucks in the bleachers - to get the old adrenaline pumping.

For a culture noted for saying "thank you" to ABMs this is our tribute to the aggressive urges of testosterone laden lads everywhere.

Warming cars in frigid parking lots, providing heating in open spaced arenas, driving kids to early morning practices, hot beverages in the stands, central refrigeration units for ice making, not to mention fueling a big clunky Zamboni between periods, fossil fuel consumption is part and parcel of the ritual.

I suspect this is one answer to the great providential mystery as to why the oil sands are in the Great White North.

Now that's something to chew on - that is once you spit out the perfunctory mouth guard.

I don't think the issue was whether or not NASCAR is a good thing but the priorities of subsidizing same when so much else of value is being cut. Having said, that, sure, all these sports are a monumental waste of energy. Maybe they should have virtual fans and just have access by TV.

Both football and NASCAR cause brain damage with football probably causing more. The whole pro sports thing is absurd with fans insanely routing for people they don't know, will never know, and will probably change teams in a couple of year. It is all just a massive game of pretend.

waxing righteous about [x] while supporting/doing [y] and [z]

Darn straight. +5 oil drums.

The thing I find curious about Nascar is the way that fans will drive a camper or an RV for hundreds (some more than a thousand) miles to get to a track for a race. Think how much it would cost to drive an RV that far and back again...

For me, we can get on a subway to see baseball or hockey if we wanted to. Which isn't often, but we could do it. Our football stadium was intentionally built way out in the middle of nowhere because the owner wanted the parking revenue, and didn't want people arriving by subway (where he couldn't charge them for anything).

But to me all of pro sports have become economic leeches on society, and it wouldn't bother me very much if they either scaled way back or went away completely. Even college sports have become corrupted by all of the money that is out there.

Hi Mac.
The problem with NASCAR is not the fuel used by the racers or the gas used by fans going to the tracks.

It is the fact that they use the publicity from the races to sell 4 or 500,000 of the models they are based on, which are still massively overpowered in stock trim, for people to commute to work in at about 20 MPH.

This is the crime of NASCAR. It gives credence to the idea that one's manhood is dependent on the number of horsepower you have, that it's embarrassing to "drive like an old lady", and that every car should be a race car.

There was an article in the paper today about how hard it is to sell environmentally friendly cars. NASCAR and the idea that we all need massive power is the reason why.

Just a reformed gearhead's opinion...I was helping my son take apart an old moped engine today(the motor and a socket set were part of his Christmas present.) The future we're heading for, 49cc seems like a good place to start. Whether it's a vaccine for NASCAR, only time will tell.


They may claim that the fax is an agent provocateur kind of trick. It almost looks like a parody. No one can really be sure how many levels of game theory trickery we have going on here.

No one can ever quite figure out what is going on in politics. That's why I stick to oil depletion forensics, as its much more clear-cut ;)

And it may be - that is why police/the secret service exist, to investigate.

Look at the 'Laura got raped' story - turns out that CBS later retracted...seems it really didn't happen. Yet over here: http://michellemalkin.com/2011/02/19/photo-gallery-what-big-labor-protes...

Commenter Aloha Guy: “A gang bang? I guess it is like Cairo.”

Yet, the initial claim is what will be remembered.

Hearts and minds, bread and circuses, one of the legs of the Iron Triangle.....

WHT wrote: "McCollum, more than any other progressive politician in Minnesota, gets deep under the skin of the right-wingers in the area."

Our Muslim Representative, Keith Elison, gets death threats on a regular basis. Is very existence gets under the skins of right-wingers. Taking the oath of office with his hand on a Koran (even though it was Thomas Jefferson's Koran) drove them even more insane than they were already.

The only excitement for Daytona will be waiting to see how many engines are blown for lack of cooling in the two-car bump drafts. That, and waiting for the "big one".

The Bahrain Grand Prix may be scrapped, due to the unrest in the country.

Good to see we have our priorities straight. Zero to control greenhouse emissions. Millions for Nascar. Plenty of energy here as my blood is boiling.

Appropriate that the Army and Air Force, renown fuel-hogs, sponsor the fuel-wasting NASCAR-gasm.

To be honest, getting their name plastered on the sides of those cars is probably recuitment promotion dollars well spent. A lot of their recruits come from redneckistan. And the sort of person who throws caution to the wind for a high powered thrill, should make good army material.

God, Country, NASCAR.....Sign me up!

God, Country, NASCAR.....Sign beam me up!

There, fixed that for ya, captain >;^)

Recruiting dollars that are well spent if the Army is interested in enlisting old white guys.

Track owner says NASCAR fans are "aging out''

Last year, Fox's ratings for Cup races dropped 29 percent among men age 18-34. TNT's ratings fell 21 percent for the same group. ESPN saw the decline a year earlier, with its ratings dropping 12 percent for that group from 2008 to 2009. Eric Shanks, Fox Sports President, told me last season that his network had not seen the same type of rating (29 percent) declines from men 18-34 for its broadcast of NFL and Major League Baseball games.

According to The ESPN Sports Poll, the average age of a NASCAR fan in 2009 was 42.4 years old _ older than the average age of fans of the NFL, NBA, NHL, college football and college basketball.

Most likely the Army is interested in maintaining their base of core supporters down at the Legion and the VFW.

Maybe NASCAR set up the 20 yr old to win today.

Remember that for 'round $9000 in LP gas the Feds paid 'round $26 million to obtain/deliver that to the troops defending free-dom in eye-rack!

Just calm down, no need for boil'n blood.

The EIA's International Crude Oil and Liquid Fuels Supply, Consumption, and Inventories predicts world liquids production to continue to increase through 2012 with increases in both OPEC and Non-OPEC. This conflicts with other predictions of tightening during this period. Wonder who's going to be right in the end.

The price of gasoline at the neighborhood Chevron station in Vancouver this morning is 1.255 C$/liter x 3.785412 liter/gallon x 1.01348 US$/C$ = US$4.81/gallon. This is starting to remind of the summer of 2008. What's going on, 100 dollar/barrel Brent?

What's going on, 100 dollar/barrel Brent?

Yup. The TransMountain pipeline from Alberta to Vancouver is out of capacity and badly over-committed, so Vancouver is now exposed to international oil prices. International prices are over $100/bbl (unlike the el-cheapo $85 mid-continent prices or $58 Alberta prices).

Welcome to reality in the Rest of the World. Everything from Alberta to Oklahoma exempt.

Oil pipelines to ration space next month

Space on Canadian oil pipelines will remain tight through at least the end of February, as Enbridge Inc and Kinder Morgan Energy Partners both said Monday their lines can’t ship as much crude next month as customers have requested.


Kinder Morgan is again rationing capacity on its Trans Mountain pipeline system, which takes Alberta crude to southern British Columbia and Washington’s Puget Sound, as shippers wanted to put more oil on the line than it could carry.

Kinder Morgan said Monday that it cut back shipper nominations for space on the system next month by 33%, meaning the system’s customers will get to ship only 67% of the volumes requested.

The company said nominations on just the Trans Mountain pipeline, the major part of the Trans Mountain system, were cut by 51% in February.

Kinder Morgan said the accepted volumes on the system next month are 276,402 barrels per day for the Trans Mountain line, 153,275 bp for Puget Sound and 44,988 bpd for the Westridge Dock.

That was last month's news. You probably missed it. Next month's news could be worse.

In Europe, petrol prices are already above the 2008 benchmark.
In the UK, if they add the planned petrol tax in April, it will soar even higher.

I normally don't give links to other PO websites but this is from energybullentin(in turn owned/managed by Post Carbon Institute):


The interesting point is that at this juncture in 2008, oil prices were actually lower.

They crept up in the early months of 2008 the same way oil prices have done in the last 6 months up until now: steadily, but incrementally, upwards.

Then, at around May, it just shot through the roof.

If there's serious issues in Algeria or Libya(I consider Saudi Arabia off the pale) there might be a price surge. If there's a successful revolution we can count on very high prices during a short, brief time. Enough to send the economy down, again.

Regardless, I think most agree that oil prices are not going down. The question is if 2011 is indeed another 2008 or if it's just the first half of it, and then the second half continuing into 2012.

Either way, one is inclined to agree with ODAC when they claim that "predicting the exact year of the Peak is now becomming more and more irrelevant as it's close and it's too late to do anything significant to mitigate it. Preparation should now take priority to manage the coming [long] crisis."


I find myself viewing Peak Oil sites less and less. I'm doing more and more research into agriculture, social theory, group behaviour, self-defence as well as physical fitness along with basic survival skills.

The good part is that I'm doing it in tandem with a guy I know from university.
Both of us never saw ourselves as 'that kind' of people, but necessity is the mother of invention. And apparently also capable of transforming people.

In the end, however, I've just accepted that the odds of me surviving until I'm forty(I'm 20 now) are not great, along with most other people who are not super-rich Western(and increasingly non-Western) bluebloods and oligarchs.

But I'm not going to become apathetic to the point of defeatist.
If it happens, death, so be it. But I still have a precious few years of time before the you-know-what really hits the fan and I'll use those to help myself and my chances. The rest is just blind luck really, and that's out of my control so no point worrying over it.

The good part is that I'm doing it in tandem with a guy I know from university.

Better make sure you train harder than him then..

In all seriousness there's a world of difference between apathy and compassion.

If TSHTF we'll all be in it together, for better or for worse.

Edit: Actually that story links to an interesting leaflet from Shell of all people (http://www-static.shell.com/static/aboutshell/downloads/aboutshell/signa...)

Non-OPEC conventional crude supply has been falling over the past five years and
this is likely to continue. But the fall could be slowed by new discoveries like that in
deep water off Brazil and reserves in existing fields being upwardly revised with
the application of new technologies, viable in higher oil price environments. This
decline could also be mitigated by supplementary sources like unconventional oil
and biofuels, as well as strong growth in OPEC Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs).
Meeting the expected growth in global demand will rely heavily upon alternative
sources of energy supply, which are, in general, more costly than conventional
sources. This will put upward pressure on oil prices in the longer term. However,
the pace of new investments and of learning curves could lower the cost of
alternative energy sources.
Iraq is a key uncertainty in the oil supply picture. If reasonable stability and security
can be achieved, production will increase quickly under the new partnerships
between national and international oil and gas companies. The deals could double
Iraq’s output to 5-6 mln b/d over the next decade. The Iraqi government is even
more ambitious putting the country’s future output at as much as 10-12 mln b/d.
This would mean annual growth rates of 10-15% would have to be sustained for at
least 10 years – a feat unseen in recent history.

That seems to be quite a contrast to their publications as recent as 12 months ago..

Meeting the expected growth in global demand will rely heavily upon alternative
sources of energy supply, which are, in general, more costly than conventional
sources. This will put upward pressure on oil prices in the longer term. However,
the pace of new investments and of learning curves could lower the cost of
alternative energy sources

Yup. those alternative sources will look better and better as oil prices rise. Problem, as I see it, is that the supply sources are questionable at best. Once oil and alternate prices meet, they will go up in tandem, maybe one leading today, the other tomorrow. And, once it becomes clear that alternate + oil supplies are not sufficient to power the industrial society, all hell breaks loose.


Very well done, Jeff.

Very small (250 square feet or so), highly energy efficient, perhaps prefabricated housing makes a lot of sense, and this may become a growth sector.

I say, "Let's use cardboard." That seems to be what most other 3rd world countries are using.


Like this?


Durable $5000 Home Made From Recycled Paper, Cardboard
By Chris V. Thangham.
A Swiss company has created a low-cost durable prefabricated house from recycled paper and cardboard. A home for two can be built for less than $5,000 and last for years.
The Wall AG from Switzerland has created a unique and innovative cellulose-based material called Swisscell, which is lightweight, low-cost, insulated and high strength. It is made of recycled paper and cardboard.
The material was invented by Gerd Niemöller, a Swiss citizen. Swisscell has a honeycomb-like structure and makes it stronger and durable.

The only thing I don't like is the orthogonal architectural style, if it were me I'd like to see more of geodesic tensegrity kind of structure or things like octect trusses. I'd like to see a little more out of the 'BOX' thinking....

In the UK, if they add the planned petrol tax in April, it will soar even higher.

The planned increase in excise duty in April is 1p per litre. With gas/petrol at c. 130p per litre, this is less than 1% per litre, even with VAT. Not welcome (by me anyway) but not exactly 'soaring even higher' either.


PS: current price of diesel at my local (UK) station is $8.36 per US gallon.

It's more than a 1p increase.


Labour chancellor Alistair Darling announced a further 1p a-litre rise for this April in last year's Budget. This comes on top of an inflation-adjusted increase, meaning motorists are expected to pay at least an extra 3p a litre from this date.

Good luck on your projects. I think you've got the right idea. I manage a couple of small sustainable farms(probably 50,000 lbs gross) on the Big Island of Hawaii(profitable ones, even!?!) plus my own Silviculture project(http://kilaueasilviculture.blogspot.com/) and can tell you your finger is on the up and coming trend. One word of caution, however, once people figure out that sustainable living is going to be the only game in town--and that day is sooner all the time--there will be a land rush to the few viable areas left. Be proactive. Recently I've starting doing internships with younger folks to teach them the basic skills of the "ag" lifestyle, most are pretty green but some have talent--and talent is what I'm looking for. Really, one should be optimistic if one has aptitude as I work with a group of investors who would love to fund viable sustainable projects if they could find one. Opportunities exist for hard working early adopters. I've come to be a bit of a talent scout for those sorts. . .

Amen. I'd love to have some of our TOD folks in on the conversation about redesigning Detroit.


The interesting point is that at this juncture in 2008, oil prices were actually lower.

That is why in Europe they try to figure out why gasoline prices are so high.

If there's serious issues in Algeria or Libya(I consider Saudi Arabia off the pale) there might be a price surge.

'World news' is already blaming unrest in those countries for rising oilprices. They are blaming speculators for rising food prices. Not getting the real reasons and Peak oil will forever be unknown or incomprehensible for most people.

200 reported deaths now and being described as 'a massacre':


Just in via live link on Al Jazeera - unconfirmed reports that portions of the Libyan Army refused to open fire on civilians. Those who refused to fire were shot themselves.

With the reports being 'sniper fire' - errr.....who's the snipers?

Gadaffi's mercenaries apparently, not the army - reportedly drafted in from Sub-Saharan countries.

Am following live webcam at the moment. Several rumours that Gadaffi has left Tripoli. Can't confirm either way yet.

I'll stick my neck out. I think Gadaffi is a goner; it's too far gone and I can't see a way back. Too many deaths.

I think Gadaffi is a goner

I hope your right. Especially after this weeks demonstration that he is unreformed. I doubt we have much pull with the gov/army over there. They used to be arch enemies, but Gadaffi (didn't it used to start with a K?) was willing to trade off WMDs for grudging acceptance by the US and its allies.

Don't know how telling this piece from the rumour mill is:

12.25pm – Libya: There were rumours overnight that Muammar Gaddafi had fled Tripoli. The BBC is now reporting this, saying it has independently confirmed from "sources" that he has left the Libyan capital. We have not been able to confirm this independently.


Seems far too easy considering how long Mubarak clung on for?

Mubarak didn't have 300 shot dead. That kind of action builds resentment. The writing is on the wall for him, and I don't think it will be just "Col Gaddafi was 'ere".

His safest option now would be to pack up and get out.

Gaddafi is old - so long as he and his can leave with their external bank accounts safe and a safe[1] place to go, he'll go.

[1] Safe is relative. One report I saw claimed Mubarak had a stroke a couple of days after his departure and was 'not in good condition'.

I see Russia have offered Gadaffi asylum:

Meanwhile, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the firebrand nationalist who is the deputy head of the Duma, said Gaddafi would be accepted in Russia if he were forced to flee.

"I suggest you move to Moscow for permanent residency – I invite you sincerely, as a dear guest," he said.


As for Mubarak, yes it does look like he could very well be in a bad way:


Do not be sure until he is gone.

A realy important reaction is to find and cut all Ghadaffis economcial lifelines in at least the west and null every business deal with Libya as long as he and his croonis are in power.

This has also the huge political benefit of teaching every dictator that they can not trust the western democracies when they massacre their people.

I find myself viewing Peak Oil sites less and less. I'm doing more and more research into agriculture, social theory, group behaviour, self-defence as well as physical fitness along with basic survival skills.

Leiten- Contact me

Jeez, can things really be this bad?

Firefighter refused call to Giffords shooting

TUCSON (AP) — A veteran firefighter refused to respond to last month's deadly shooting spree that left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords wounded because he had different political views than his colleagues and "did not want to be part of it," according to internal city memos.

According to the article, when they told him he couldn't refuse for that reason, he claimed he was sick and went home. Then retired before they could discipline him.

If that is really true, then retiring shouldn't get him out of discipline. Legal action should be taken against him. What he did should be a crime, presuming it isn't already classified as such.

I just read a comment about this on another site claiming this story is false. I'm trying to track it down.

However, assuming it is true, according to the story on that other site the Firefighter claimed that when he got the call and found out what had transpired he became so enraged that he felt that his emotional state would impede his ability to effectively carry out his duties. I myself have been involved in rescue operations as a rescue diver, if at anytime I had felt that something would diminish my capability to properly render help then I think I would be obliged at that point to recuse myself from participating, lest I cause more harm than good and put other people or rescuers at increased risk.

So at least for the moment I'm withholding judgement as to appropriateness of this veteran firefighters decision.

It would seem his present status - 'retired' or still employed - would indicate which explanation was truthful.

If there was any justice, his retirement and any medical/insurance benefits would be forfeit, a fine equal to his lat year's pay, and he would spend one year in prison doing hard labor.

Instead, he'll likely be sponsored by Fox News as the next 'Joe the Plumber' blogger/pundit.

I wouldn't go that far.

I don't agree with this guy of course but he's just a firefighter who refused to do his job. He should have been fired. But he quit before that, so problem solved.

I don't buy into the melodrama of the left, nor do I buy into the stupidity of the right.

It's all noise.

""he claimed he was sick and went home. Then retired before they could discipline him.""

Sounds like Bush2, after he killed a million in Iraq. Not to mention a few thousand Americans. He is twiddling his diddly in Texas now. Is it a crime to refuse to help someone? I think not. There is only one criminal in that issue, the guy who pulled the trigger. Why not arrest the Sheriff who knew the kid was nutso, or the officers who took the previous complaints. The Firefighter had every right to refuse to work. Sorry, he is not a Slave to be ordered about. It is just a job after all. If he did not perform his requirements of employment, then he should be terminated. Nothing more. Public employees are not the "Chosen Ones". Although they sometimes like to think so.

Your criminal fedgov refuses to help people every day, and they die. By directive of the Pres, orders are placed every day, for people to be killed. Every hear of a Predator Drone strike? Happens all the time.

There is no good, or bad, just opinion. And Hypocrisy.

Choose wisely.
The Martian.

"Is it a crime to refuse to help someone? I think not."

Maybe not on Mars, but most States in the US (incl. AZ) have 'Failure to Render Aid or Assistance' laws. In the case of Military, Firefighters and Police, many jurisdictions have violation of oath laws. So, yes it is a crime to refuse to help someone under certain circumstances.

And it damn well should be a crime. Failure to respond to a mass shooting by a person who draws a salary to do exactly that should go to jail if he fails to do so.

Ron P.

I'll agree with Darwinian - and suggest that once one finds out if the law was violated people who are local to Rep. Gifford take that info the the Grand Jury so the GJ can examine into true billing 'em.

OK, given that the story may be false, or wrong, according to FM.

However, to address the either actual or hypothetical situation described:

In Martian's world, it seems that it is A-OK for public servants who took an oath of public trust and service to refuse to render services based on prejudice:

- I won't respond to that burning house becuase I don't agree with that person's politics...

- I will not respond to that person's burglary because I don't like that person's religion...

- I will not resuscitate that person because they are Hispanic and possibly an illegal alien...

- I will 'forget' about restoring power to this neighborhood because the folks are poor black welfare cheats...

and on ...

What a wonderful world that would be.

We are better than that, Peak oil or no Peak oil.

Saying 'The U.S. is toast, go read many books and Wikipedia to your heart's content' (paraphrase from an earlier poster), is mentally dropping back 5 yards, punting, and then going to live in a cave.

PO is here, surrender all hope and dismantle all of society I guess...what a cop-out.

I served 20 years and one month in the military...I guess I am different from you in that I took my obligations and duty to my oath, my integrity, my sense of human decency, and my country much more seriously than you think is necessary.

And Oil Man Sachs, in the military it is quite common for penalties given for 'failure to go' and 'failure to obey a lawful order' and such to include reduction in rank, forfeiture of pay for x number of months, and confinement (the brig'.

Serious cases will land you in Ft Leavenworth, Kansas, (or Portsmouth Naval Prison)where everyone is stripped of rank and life is indeed tough.

I would hold Police officer and fire fighters, etc to the same standards...if you are directly responsible for saving lives and purposely refuse your duty, then penalties should be swift and severe.

Martian, it is not 'just a job'...these types of jobs are in a special category of critical services/public trust. Your comments are all over the map...exactly how did you come to conflate a local firefighter with the Federal government, GWB, and predator drone attacks?

Holey non-sequiturs, Batman.

So far everything I've read seems to indicate that the original story is true.

Though it seems to have occurred after the victims had already been removed from the scene and the firefighters were supposed to be setting up some tents. So it is unclear to me what the implications are for refusing to do his job in routine non life threatening circumstance due to conflicts with his co-workers. He was the only Gifford's supporter in the crew.

I do live in the real world. The modern Military, is after all, just a job. Oh, I forgot, "It's not just a job. It's an adventure"!!! or some such BS advertisement by the Army. Regardless of the brainwashing the fedgov does to new recruits, those who chose that path in life, choose the consequences that go with it. As it appears you did. And like any other, if one cannot fulfill the requirements of the position, one should quit or be fired. All of the things you mention, the "I won't" issues, happen every day in the U.S., in every corner of society. Only a government employee would think differently.

As far as "critical services/public trust", that's an even bigger joke. Follow Congress much? The Pres?
Even the local political scene here in south Florida? The local Sheriff's department is untouchable. They are in the news daily. Did you get a Bailout? The list is endless......

These are choices people make for employment. To earn an income. My point, is that your gov violates that public trust daily, and thru non-action, or direct action, people die. No, it is not OK, for a government employee to violate the requirements of their job and not be held accountable. Bush2 was not held accountable, your criminal fedgov is not held accountable and so many others who commit clear and blatant crimes go unpunished on a daily basis, so why pick on a simple Fireman? He didn't want to do his job, so what. Fire the guy and move on. The real criminals are laughing all the way to the Bank with your tax dollars.

The Martian.

Agree with you 100%.

There are some people in this country who will defend corrupt institutions to the death, while vilifying individuals who, for whatever reason, choose not to play the game.

Do your best not to give in to them, and good luck.

You can huff and puff all you want about duty and obligation, but reading between the lines, you have nothing but irrational hatred for a fireman who may have been a conservative and who didn't do his job when he was called upon to protect the innocent lamb liberal.

Nothing will make me believe that narrative.

No, the guy broke the code.

When the brigade leaves for a call everybody goes. This is about relationship between him and colleagues. Forget Republican or Democrat, short or tall. When he turned on them, they would not trust him that he would be there for them when they need him. I am pretty sure that he retired by mail/e-mail/phone message and before this situation, the relations were already strained. They call themselves brothers for a reason.


The guy quit! End of story. He took it upon himself to leave.

He accepted the consequences of his actions. Good enough for me.

Everybody around him (in his FD) was glad, I am sure.

You can huff and puff all you want about duty and obligation, but reading between the lines, you have nothing but irrational hatred for a fireman who may have been a conservative and who didn't do his job when he was called upon to protect the innocent lamb liberal.

OS, You've got it backasswards. The guy was the only Gifford's supporter on a team of guys who had made derogatory remarks about her. The incident occurred after the victims had already been removed from the scene and they were supposed to be putting up some tents.

Oh, yeah, and I guess the noble conservative would of course have been perfectly within his rights to be derelict in his duty and refuse protection if the victims happened to be innocent lamb liberals whom they consider to be beneath themselves and unworthy of protection.

But I guess you don't see a problem with your own irrational hatred...

As I posted earlier, I completely agree that this guy should have been fired. But he quit anyway.

That should be good enough. That should be the end of the story. But it's not. Everybody has to pick away at the wound endlessly.

Who cares if this guy was a Giffords supporter or not? I certainly don't, although many on this supposedly enlightened site feel the need to speculate on it.

Everybody's private views open to scrutiny, everybody's private decisions open to all. Then the blame begins, and the pitchforks come out. Torture him! Put him in Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib! From so called liberals, at that.

Sad and disgusting, and typical of America these days.

you have nothing but irrational hatred for a fireman who may have been a conservative and who didn't do his job when he was called upon to protect the innocent lamb liberal.

Of all the sick posts I have ever seen on any internet list this one takes the cake. Six people died in that shooting, one of them a nine year old girl. Was she an innocent lamb liberal? Was that a good enough excuse not to try save her?

Ron P.

fireman ..... 9 year old saved from gunshot wound

Would a good excuse being Fireman != doctor? Or how about Fireman != Jesus and therefore not able to lay on hands and say "Be Healed"?

My understanding is the 9 year old was dead at the scene....not much can be done, save derails of conversations on Internet boards for years to come.

Fireman, policemen,med techs, and doctors have a sacred duty to save everyone regardless of political persuasion. Anything short of that is the beginning of the end for civil society. Thanks for making it clear where you are coming from. If you require the services of any of the foregoing, pray that they believe in their sacred duty, and if liberal, won't take your conservative positions seriously.

What makes you think I'm conservative?

I don't assume anything about this fireman's beliefs, don't assume anything about mine.

My take on this is that he was probably the only firefighter on that crew who supported Giffords, and was so broken up over her being shot that the idea of the other guys making sick comments about her was too much. I'd feel the same way.

Information on the Tucson Az. firefighter that refused to respond;;;;


That could well be. People seem to be assuming this guy is a rightwing nut, but we don't know that. It could be that colleagues were right-leaning, and he's not.

Draw your own conclusions...


Capt. Ben Williams wrote in a report that when Ekstrum first said he would not go on the call, "he mentioned something about `political bantering' and he did not want to be part of it."...

...Ekstrum's crew had been dispatched at 12:03 p.m., seven minutes after the last patient arrived at the hospital, said Joe Gulotta, an assistant fire chief. The team was responding as a support crew with a large delivery truck with tents, medical supplies, water and cots used to assist those who were not seriously injured...

...But the Star said Ekstrum gave a statement Wednesday to the Fire Department saying he was distraught over the shootings and was "distracted to the point of not being able to perform my routine station duties to such an extent that I seriously doubted my ability to focus on an emergency call."

Ekstrum also said in the statement that he had no problem with Giffords and even voted for her in the last election.

That was all included in the link I posted.

I don't think it's possible to come to any conclusions from the information we have so far.

Ekstrum might well have backpedaled once the story hit the news. If it was just that he was too distraught to work, I don't think they'd have told him he had to go.

Ekstrum might well have backpedaled once the story hit the news. If it was just that he was too distraught to work, I don't think they'd have told him he had to go.

That sure sounds like a conclusion to me. Have you never been ostracized or expelled from a group that had a majority view contrary to your own? Happens all the time, it's what humans do to members who don't fit in with the tribe. The process can be subtle or quite blatant. But you are right in that none of us have access to all the facts in this case and probably never will. The story itself is less interesting to me than the reactions to it (including my own) right here in this thread.

That sure sounds like a conclusion to me.

I'm not saying that is what happened. Just that it's a possibility. We simply don't know yet. It's as wrong to assume he's a liberal ostracized by his colleagues as to assume he's a conservative who hated Giffords.

What I find interesting is not whether the firefighter was conservative or liberal, but the national schism it indicates.

Wow; quite the thread. This is how politics (and religion and race and extreme nationalism and tribalism) divide us, how we begin to dehumanize each other. This is how it starts.....





This is what's going on in the background

HBGary China Cyber Espionage (.zip)

Analysis of cyber-attacks throughout the energy sector has revealed a structured ongoing campaign of cyber espionage that directly benefits the state and commercial interests of China. A wide range of data is being targeted, including bid data, details about oil discoveries, project definition documents, and even the industrial control settings of SCADA managed facilities. These targeted attacks originate from China, and the stolen data is being shipped back to China.

This data could easily be used to learn inside information that would give an unfair advantage in highly competitive bidding wars, including knowledge of which lease blocks are oil bearing. In the case of SCADA, the information amounts to the “recipe”; pressures, timing, and temperatures required to operate a successful manufacturing process.

Just last year China's oil companies did 24 billion dollars in deals. Elsewhere in the world, competing energy firms are losing significant deals to China. In the background, these same companies are also suffering numerous and ongoing computer intrusions that appear to target critical operational and functional data - including data that relates to energy deals.

...A majority of Chinese cyber-attacks are funded by the Super 863 program. The program directs participants at specific targets for technology acquisition. These targets cover a broad spectrum of technologies across six high-tech priority fields:

•information technology
•bio-technology and advanced agricultural technology
•advanced materials technology
•advanced manufacturing and automation technology
energy technology
resource and environment technology

Related from Forbes and McAfee

Night Dragon Attacks Target Technology in Energy Industry

Hackers have traditionally targeted government and military computers, but in recent years have expanded their efforts into the commercial sector. Night Dragon is one of the first attacks focused specifically on the energy sector. Rather than leveraging comprised machines within the organization generically, Night Dragon is designed to extract specific pieces of information and intellectual property.

In a white paper released last week, McAfee makes the following observations about Night Dragon attacks: ...

McAfee Report: http://www.mcafee.com/us/resources/white-papers/wp-global-energy-cyberat...

Seraph, thanks for bringing this.

ROCKMAN - we spoke about chinese intentions a couple of days ago. Here we go...I am positive it is about painting the world red (chinese version). Not really in hiding, hacking offices of MPs with large Chinese constituencies, Ministries dealing with Economy and Finance. The IP packets were traced to Chinese Embassy.

Canuck – I can’t say I have a lot of firsthand experience with the Chinese but my contacts convinced me they are the most pragmatic folks on the planet. Just because some authority across the ocean says it’s illegal to do X is no reason for the Chinese not to do X if it’s beneficial to them. In fact, the attitude I saw was that if one didn’t take advantage of X you were a fool and should be fired. It isn’t immoral to do X…it is good business…in fact immoral to not do X for the benefit of your people.

...in fact immoral to not do X for the benefit of your people.

I understand and agree. Here is the question, why, and where is the limit. I am (remember where I am coming from..) a quite skeptical person, with a dose of cynicism and would like to be wrong here, that it is for benefit for individuals, mostly. But over China's history common good had preference over individual, and to a great extent it remains so.

Ah, It is difficult to express and argue for own intuitions and feelings.

In any case, Chinese Embassy, diplomatic post, comprehensively spying on Canadian Government. It's more than business.

That sounds like our government too. The Monroe and The Carter doctrines, and Cheney's "non-negotiable" way of life.

Sounds like our bankers, multinationals and unions too.

Yes, and no. If one takes such a take on US government, it is much closer to Mubarak's $70B or so. Chinese guys care of China.

As we all know by now, the Tea Party clowns in Congress have passed a budget which cuts deeply into many so-called "liberal" areas of the US Government. Actually, what's happened is that the energy companies are collecting the fruits of their financial support for the latest crop of KnowNothings. Today's WaPo has a listing of the 65 bills which were passed as part of the budget package. Several would be of interest to TODers, such as the one from Ted Poe and Joe Barton (R, TX), which, according to the WaPo, "Defines specifically what greenhouse gases are and prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency from imposing regulations on those gasses emitted by stationary sources". The bill wasn't introduced until early Friday morning and the text isn't available as yet, so it will be interesting reading next week. It's likely that they introduced H.R. 153 as an amendment. From the Bill Status on THOMAS:

2/18/2011 1:08am:
POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS - At the conclusion of debate on the Poe amendment, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote, announced that the ayes had prevailed. Mr. Poe demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the question of adoption of the amendment until a time to be announced.

One wonders how many congress critters actually voted at 1 AM...

E. Swanson

I was going to say we live in the age of stupid but stupid isn't a strong enough word.

but stupid isn't a strong enough word.

The word being used in the more academic circles is "agnatology", culturally induced ignorance. We also have Shibboleth, which originally was a password used to distinquish friend from foe (the foes couldn't make the "sh" sound).

Yet another more pejorative usage involves underlining the fact that the original meaning of a symbol has in effect been lost and that the symbol now serves merely to identify allegiance, being described as nothing more than a "shibboleth."

Claiming to believe in wild conspiracies, such as "climate scientists are card carrying members of a new-world-order" conspiracy", is an example. Spouting it identifies you as a member of a political culture, and in many cases neither the speaker, nor the listener believes in the veracity of the claim, but its useful to identify ingroup members.

If Taibbi is right - and there's not one shred of a reason to think otherwise - wee-hour votes are absolutely normal. Essentially nothing of importance happens during the day any more, and the unimportant things that do happen are mainly a (rather poor) show meant to bamboozle the tourists. In this respect, Congresscritters could easily be mistaken for cockroaches...

Maybe our Congresscritters will do something really crazy, like the proposal in Iowa to make it legal to kill another person "in defense" of an unborn fetus. The law might be used to justify the murder of an abortion provider who might "threaten" the unborn. Such a law might give one with a slightly twisted sense of reality an excuse to use an anti-AGW legislator for target practice. This would be a logical conclusion, since there are always thousands of those unborn fetuses whose future survival might be put at risk if AGW is allowed to get worse. There's soon to be an election, beginning with primaries in Iowa where all the Big Names will be pressing the flesh. Looks like we are living in interesting times...

E. Swanson

Actually South Dakota, so I don't know what important primary they might be posturing for...

Yeah, it was South Dakota, my goof. And the bill appears to have been tabled for now, according to a later report...

E. Swanson

It is quite peculiar how legislative crap such as this always works in one direction. I mean have you ever heard of AGW legislation being introduced this way? Or health care reform and other progressive legislation.

The Poe amendment which passed was printed in the Congressional Record of 15 Feb:

H.R. 1 Offered By: Mr. Poe of Texas

AMENDMENT NO. 466 : At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following:

Sec. __. (a) None of the funds made available by this Act may be used by the Environmental Protection Agency to implement, administer, or enforce any statutory or regulatory requirement pertaining to emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons, or perfluorocarbons from stationary sources that is issued or becomes applicable or effective after January 1, 2011.

(b) In this section, the term ``stationary source'' has the meaning given such term in section 111(a)(3) of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7411(a)(3)).
H.R. 1

Here we are one sentence away from planetary environmental destruction...

E. Swanson



The use of the term is most common in the skeptical and science-based communities on Web 2.0. Many blogs, forums and wikis will often refer to the law when dealing with cranks of any stripe.

I call 'POE' on Poe's amendment...

That's a good one. I've avoided usenet these past few years, since the conversations often fell to the level of dittoheads. It's obvious to many folks with some education that Fundamentalism isn't rational. Try arguing with a Fundi about the age of the Earth, based on rather obvious geological facts. Too bad the Fundis can't see that their world view is based on smoke and mirrors...

E. Swanson

I surrendered any real hope for action on GHGs the night of the midterm elections in the US. Climate change is as baked into the social/economic/political cake as it is into the biosphere. All one can do at this point is to continue to take action on an individual/local level, resist the culture of consumption, and hope for the best.

As I've said; humans will keep burning stuff until they can't. As usual, it's the messengers that get shot first.

I really cannot say that it surprises me in the least however.

Consider overfishing of oceans. People have talked about it for years. Governments acknowledge the problem. And yet when the time comes to set fishing quotas, they inevitably ignore whatever the scientists tell them is the sustainable catch rate and they instead set the levels far higher so that they don't have to put lots of fishermen out of work.

The only time when people will voluntarily give something up is when there is a replacement available at a cost that is roughly the same. Recall the talk of the hole in the ozone layer - they didn't have to ban the use of refrigerators - they switched to a different refrigerant and life went on as usual.

What worries more is developing countries will use this as an argument to cut down more trees and carry on the BAU of emulating the USA. If scientists try and persuade them otherwise they will just point to this and tell them they are lying.


I have lived and worked in developing countries for most of my adult life. I don't think anyone is emulating the U.S. Humans are acting like humans - in the U.S. and in developing countries.

The idea that the U.S. created some model that the rest of the world is following is nonsense.

The idea that the U.S. created some model that the rest of the world is following is nonsense.


From a biological point of view, "success" is mating, having many, many children and leaving them in a state where they too can be "successful".

7 Billion and counting upward.
That is the one true global metric.

Everything else is background noise.

I don't know that it's nonsense. It may not play a big role in people cutting down trees; that is often basic subsistence. Slash and burn agriculture or simply poor people who need fuel.

But I've spent time overseas, too, and it's hard not to see the US influence. Coke, Pepsi, McDonald's. KFCs everywhere in China.

It may not have been a very hard sell, but I think exporting that sort of capitalism is very much part of US policy. Both because it expands the market for US corporations, and because there's a genuine belief that free market capitalism is good for US interests. Make retail sales, not war.

(FWIW, Barber's conclusion was that neither "Jihad" nor "McWorld" was compatible with democracy.)

Nonsense was a bit strong, but I think my point stands. Aquisitiveness is human characteristic, not a U.S. export. I live near about a billion and a half Chinese. They make Americans look like non-materialists.

The U.S. has certainly influence the type of consumption, but did not create the desire for it.

I'm not sure I buy that. I don't think acquisitiveness is a natural human trait. Curiosity is. Interest in novelty is. But wanting to own a lot of items...that is not innate. It's not a characteristic of every human society. For most of our history we were nomadic, and simply could not acquire too much, because we could only keep what we could carry. Even in more settled times, you might be interested in new items, but not want to own them. (This was a cause of much friction in Hawaii. They couldn't get "lazy" Hawaiians to work as hard as westerners expected. They would work only as much as necessary. The idea of working more to earn more money and own more stuff was just foreign to their culture. They'd rather go fishing.)

As recently as a hundred years ago, industrialists worried about insufficient consumption.

They feared that the frugal habits maintained by most American families would be difficult to break. Perhaps even more threatening was the fact that the industrial capacity for turning out goods seemed to be increasing at a pace greater than people’s sense that they needed them.

It was this latter concern that led Charles Kettering, director of General Motors Research, to write a 1929 magazine article called “Keep the Consumer Dissatisfied.” He wasn’t suggesting that manufacturers produce shoddy products. Along with many of his corporate cohorts, he was defining a strategic shift for American industry—from fulfilling basic human needs to creating new ones.

I think the argument can be made that Americans get the credit for that kind of consumption.

Why don't they just ban science while they are at it?

Just be patient and give them a little time, they're working on it, after all it's not that easy to undo 200 years of enlightenment overnight...

Why don't they ban science

Ask and you shall receive

Legislating Away Climate Change

Montana State Representative Joe Read doesn’t deny global warming is real. He just thinks it is we’re not causing it—and that it’s a good thing anyway. That’s why the Republican legislator has proposed a bill saying that the state legislature finds that “global warming is beneficial to the welfare and business climate of Montana.”

This is the legislative equivalent of sticking fingers in your ears and yelling, “I can’t hear you.”

Of course, Read is also sponsoring another bill denying the authority of the federal government—in spite of extensive legal precedent to the contrary—to regulate greenhouse gases under the Commerce Clause. After all, if you are going to legislate away reality, why stop at just one bill?


That's the way I see it too,
We are at a historical turning point.
We are heading back towards Medieval dark times.

The evidence is all around us.
Fanatical belief in religions is spreading.
Study of science, logic and rational choice of course is fading.

There is a "Singularity" up ahead on our journey into history all right.
Except that it is the event horizon of a black hole, not the entry way into a new era of greater enlightenment.

They are working on it piecemeal. First they went after the biologists (eviution), now they are going after the climate scientists (new world order conspiracy). Of course social science has always been fait game. I think notice has been given that if you want to be a scientist, don't publish/support views that the oligarchy doesn't approve of, else you will be the subject of a witchhunt. And of course the funding is under attack.

And then they will ban thermometers. That which cannot be measured cannot be managed.

.A horse-drawn trek toward a 'do-over' in life

It would be a trip by horse and wagon, at 3 miles an hour, with no certain destination. He'd later say it was to "rebuild my life." Family members didn't second-guess him, remembering how as a teenager he saved his money and took off one day for Alaska, where he knew no one, and stayed for months...

"I'm not supporting any cause, trying to achieve a goal, nor am I sponsored by anyone," he explained. "The reason I'm traveling in this fashion is because it combines all the things I like best and eliminates those I like least. Also, I can't think of a cooler thing to do."

If it's good enough for Mexico, it's good enough for North Dakota

North Dakota taxes oil at confiscatory levels

... North Dakota is spending too much of its windfall from oil paying for the state’s day-to-day spending. We soon will be back to having 35 percent of our General Fund budget coming from oil revenue. We were there once before, and when the oil market collapsed — which all commodity markets do on a cyclical basis — so did the North Dakota state budget.

I am surprised that anyone older than 40 doesn’t remember. I am disappointed that anyone younger than 40 hasn’t studied their North Dakota history. I’m also disappointed that no newspaper has run a series on that history.

From IEF: One Stop Shopping for Global Oil Projections to 2030-2050

IEA, OPEC, EIA, EU, BP, ExxonMobil, Shell, CNPC

Very handy. Cheers.

I don't understand why the fixation with just the WTI/Brent pair. The fact is, that with the exception of Alaskan North Slope, ALL of the other marker crudes other than WTI are trading at or over $100:


Take you pick - Tapis (Far East), Bonny (Nigeria), Oman (Middle East) etc etc.

So the arguement re: Brent is high because of high European demand/N.Sea production declines needs to be broadened to actually encompass the fact that all these other markers are confirming that it is WTI that is totally non-representative on a global basis.

Here in N.Zealand we price off Tapis. WTI is effectively an irrelevancy - other than the fact that our idiot news media insist on quoting it.

andy - The fixation on WTI is very easy to explain: its futures are traded. I'm not certain but I've never heard of anyone trading Tapis futures...at least not one Wall Street. Evey month billions of paper WTI barrels are traded. The very great majority of folks who are fixated with movements of certain benchmrks neither buy or sell crude oil. They are gamblers...pure and simple. And the movement of benchmark prices determine who wins and loses the many billions of $'s bet every month. Yes...thre is a very good reason for some folks to be fixated. Unfortunately the MSM doen't tend to make a distinction between the actual prices crude sells for and what the gamblers are betting it will sell for.

People have been wondering why ConocoPhillips won't reverse the Seaway pipeline, which could carry 350,000 bpd from Cushing to the Coast: As WTI Stockpiles And Spreads Hit Record, ConocoPhillips Obstinately Refuses To Reverse Seaway Pipeline

Well, after looking at ConocoPhillips refineries, I think I may see a reason why they aren't interested.

ConocoPhillips has five big refineries in the US which already have pipeline access to cheap Canadian oil, two of which are joint ventures with the giant Canadian oil sands company Cenovus. ConocoPhillips may prefer not to let its competition on the Gulf Coast get access to equally cheap Canadian oil.

Have you ever played "Monopoly"? Have you ever owned "Boardwalk"? I think ConocoPhillips owns Boardwalk in this game.

You here no complaints around here about the situation. It's a windfall for all local refineries while it lasts. Gas is at about $2.80 -- still up a dime or two in recent weeks.

Apparently a commodity isn't always fungible after all.

Paleo -I think folks forget what fungible really means: one bbl can replace another bbl...as long as you're willing to pay the transport cost.

I don't understand why the fixation with just the WTI/Brent pair. The fact is, that with the exception of Alaskan North Slope, ALL of the other marker crudes other than WTI are trading at or over $100:

The media are having trouble keeping up with changing global realities. WTI, which was once the most important crude oil product in the world is becoming irrelevant to the modern global oil market. A lot of people, particularly in the media and the US government, are having trouble adapting to this sea change.

To summarize, at the moment the price of WTI is being depressed by the growing volumes of Canadian oil flooding into the trading hub at Cushing, Oklahoma, which is the location WTI is priced at. Most of it is from the vast Canadian oil sands, which are bigger than England, so it is more or less unlimited in supply. There is much more Canadian oil being produced than Texas oil these days, but 99% of it goes to the US, so all of this oil has no effect on the rest of the world.

The spread between WTI and Brent will probably persist until someone builds a pipeline to get it from Cushing to the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, where half of US refining capacity is located.

RMG - Over at his blog, Early Warning, Stuart Staniford questions how the tar sands (or Bakken) could be the cause of the WTI/Brent spread. He asks "...the spread was $2.20 as recently as the first week of January... why would the market have been suddenly surprised in the last few weeks?

So I ask you - is there something new in this dynamic that explains the recent upswing in the spread?

Well, the fundamental issue is that things are going very bad in the international market. All the major producers are shipping less oil - Mexico is down, Venezuela is down, the North Sea is down, and Saudi Arabian exports are down.

The latter sets off alarm bells - if the international oil price is over $100/bbl, why are Saudi exports going down? Is it possible that they don't really have the productive capacity they claim to have?

At the same time, Chinese consumption is up quite a bit over last year. So, in the global market, exports are down and imports are up, which translates into higher prices - i.e. over $100/bbl and rising.

In North America, Canadian pipelines added about 885,000 bpd of capacity to the US last year, and they're adding over 800,000 bpd this year. This is crazy, because there is not enough Canadian oil to fill those pipelines. However, Canadian production is up substantially over last year, probably about 500,000 bpd, which is drastically different from other global producers, most of whom are declining.

As of recently, producers in Canada have excess pipeline capacity to deliver oil to Cushing, Oklahoma, which happens to be the trading hub for West Texas Intermediate. In addition, producers in North Dakota have new oil which they are trucking north to Canada, and putting it into the new Canadian export pipelines leading to Cushing.

Conditions in the rest of the world are deteriorating rapidly, but the tanks at Cushing are full to overflowing with Canadian and North Dakota oil. And that's why the price of WTI at Cushing is depressed compared to global prices. If there was some way to get the surplus oil to the Gulf Coast, the price differential would disappear, but at this point in time there is no pipeline capacity to do that.

You should save a file with this explanation and cut and paste in random intervals, like three times a day to clarify...before people ask. This must be twentieth if not more post explaining that Canadian oil piling in Cushing.....

Well, I could cut and paste the explanation every day because it is rather straightforward. However, I am reviewing the situation every day to make sure I understand all the implications. I don't want to have my retirement money invested in some company that is going to become roadkill as a result of what is going on, and some certainly are going to become roadkill.

OTOH, most Americans don't realize it, but the "global economic crisis" that happened last time oil prices went up was more of a speedbump for Canada, which was insulated by its increasing oil production. I'm expecting that the mid-continent US will suffer less damage the next time around because of the large amounts of Canadian oil flooding in, but coastal America and Europe are apt to take a major hit. Again.

I'm mainly concerned about the decline in Saudi Arabian exports. They are supposed to be acting as "swing" producer and increasing exports to counteract increasing demand. Instead, their exports are going down. That implies they can't really produce the oil they claim they can. The price of WTI is irrelevant in this context, except that it may lull some people (e.g. in the US government) into a misplaced sense that the oil supply situation is not deteriorating as badly as it is.

At the moment the US government is acting like an armadillo in the middle of the highway. It's looking more and more like a roadkill situation.

What states get serviced by WTI oil?

What states get serviced by WTI oil?

The ones in the mid-continental area.

The Permian Basin of West Texas was one of the most productive oil producing areas in North America, and once accounted for a lot of the oil produced in the US. However, it has been producing oil for about 3/4 of a century, and its best days are long behind it.

Historically WTI was the main oil supply to the big Mid-Western oil refineries. However, since supplies of WTI are steadily diminishing, and Western Canadian oil production is increasing, there is considerably more Canadian oil in the mid-continental market than WTI.

For the record, CC, I am well aware of RMGs repeated explanation of this phenomenon. In fact, I referenced such over at Early Warning, in an attempt to bring two conversations together. Stuart's question, which I 'messengered' over here, is 'what is new about this in the last six weeks?' Still not sure on that count. Is it that this situation has been building for months, but 'the market' has only recently come to recognize it? I presume those 500,000 bpd of additional Canadian oil didn't appear in just the last six weeks. And when did that 885,000 bpd of pipeline capacity open. The timing of this is the question at hand.

I presume those 500,000 bpd of additional Canadian oil didn't appear in just the last six weeks.

Well, actually, it did: TransCanada ramps up oil supply in new Cushing line

Monday, Feb. 07, 2011 - TransCanada Corp. has opened the spigots on a new pipe carrying Canadian oil to a major U.S. hub that’s already awash with supply.

The company has begun pouring oil into its Cushing Extension pipeline, a 591,000 barrel-per-day pipe that connects Steele City, Neb., with Cushing, Okla.

And there you go. In the last couple of weeks, another 591,000 bpd of new oil has started coming into a market that is already flooded with oil. You have to pay attention because it's hard to keep up.

And when did that 885,000 bpd of pipeline capacity open. The timing of this is the question at hand.

Over the last 12 months. There are another 850,000 bpd of export pipeline capacity due to come on line in the next 12 months. It's way more capacity than anybody can use.

Thanks, RMG. So this does seem to explain the timing. There are significant - dramatic even - recent increases in the flow of oil into Cushing.

c-man - Ihere was a similar event in the U.S. NG market a few years ago. The Independence Deep Water Hub came online overnight and pushed about 1 bcf of new NG into the distribution system. Not as dramatic as the Canadian p/l on a percntage basis but combined with the ramp up in SG drilling we have what we see today: NG selling for around $4/mcf compared to the short peak of $13/mcf just before the IDWH cranked open.

The rule of supply/demand is pretty dang hard to avoid.

You should save a file with this explanation and cut and paste in random intervals, like three times a day to clarify...before people ask. This must be twentieth if not more post explaining that Canadian oil piling in Cushing.....

Yep, and you could do the same with Rockman's explanation above

Unfortunately the MSM doen't tend to make a distinction between the actual prices crude sells for and what the gamblers are betting it will sell for.

of how speculators betting on futures contracts (which have nothing to do with physical oil) affects the price of the contracts which will actually deliver oil at the agreed price (hedging).

I agree with Denninger: Time to Boycott These Banks

...including JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup...

And s***w these debit-card merchants of doom and extortionate threats. Use a CHECK or CASH.

Stick to smaller local banks and use cash-only transactions if possible.

The government won't regulate or prosecute, so we the little peoples should Starve the TBTF.


If you starve the TBTF banks, the Fed prints more money for them.

Any questions?

They give it to the banksters, then the banksters loan it back to the government.
No customers needed.

The Power is back...

We had a snow storm last week that knocked out the power in my area. We got it back after 1 1/2 days. No big deal; we ran the generators when necessary (but not the PV system since there was snow not sun.

What I actually like about this kind of thing in the boondocks is the closeness with which repair personnel and the locals work. I got a call last night from the repairman (one I didn't know before) wondering if I knew what was wrong. I didn't but I told him to start at a substation about 5 miles away. And to not try some roads without chains.

Anyway, he showed up at our rental this morning to check some lines. He didn't see anything. Then I brought him up to our home in my 4x4w/chains where he could see more lines since there was no way his truck could climb our hill. He did finally see a small tree leaning on the wires about 1/4 mile down the hill from our house. I hauled him back to his truck and then I showed him where to get to the line about 3/4 of a mile down the main road*. I offered my chainsaw but he had one. That turned out to be the problem and we (along with everyone else) had power back in a little over an hour.

And, being in personal contact with him allowed me to thank him for all he was doing. And, I meant it sincerely.

We have the same kind of relationship with the phone guys; even have their business cell numbers and the unlisted office number.

I've never seen these kinds of relationships in built up areas.

*About 7-8 years ago we had a power outage and the repairman insisted he wanted to drive down this Jeep trail on the lower part of our property to see some lines. I said it was a really bad idea - I was riding shotgun in his truck to show him where to go. Well, he got stuck in the snow next to a 60' drop-off and the rear end of his truck wanted to slide off. He and I then spent 1 1/2 hours winching his 1 ton 4x4 bucket truck in a 180 degree turn so he'd be heading back out. Just life in the country.


Brent heading for a repeat of 2008 or is this different?

(Graph Images Copyright FT)

The markets and financiers argue that the 2008 peak in this graph was purely financial and caused mainly by escalation in unsubstantiated CDOs:

I wonder what the financial explanation is this time?

The heavy emphasis on the unrest in the Middle East (aka Egypt) certainly does not explain the slope clearly in place before that even hit the news.

The volume trading (grey lines at bottom) seems entirely calm indicating the growing volume of normal trading - there is no panic here (and no massive speculators).

I know you can argue that I am cherry picking the data but even the most inane can argue that this is no longer an abstract issue of China buying more oil. Whatever the cause it must be getting more and more difficult to brush this under the carpet. The MSM is going to have to produce an endless stream of distractions to cover this as it progresses.

I think the origins of this spike are in the North Sea. Production appears to be in exponential decline across the region. Net exports of refined products from the area are approaching zero.

UK Fuel prices

If you compare this graph to the Brent price, I consider it strange how the Brent crude prices have not been reflected in much higher UK pump prices.

Nearly all the increments in the ex-VAT (value added tax) prices so far have been other tax changes by the UK government.

Europe has been keeping pump prices in the stratosphere for years. This has allowed them to export most of their gasoline to the U.S. to bring in hard currency.

What a bunch of crap, prime reason for high fuel taxes in europe is to decrease countries oil bills and push for efficiency, something the US should have done for a long time if they weren't such a bunch of airheads.
Then the diesel vs gas thing is just an epi phenomenon

It is simply due to the fact that the bulk of the fuel taxes in Europe are volume based and not price based so that barel price does not influence that part

Brent heading for a repeat of 2008 or is this different?

IMO when you see prices of any commodity move like this (the blue line)it is a sure sign of speculation (the yellow line, which is the money being speculated then withdrawn) ...


the price is the first derivative of the speculation. The price for oil eventually finished up higher than at the start because post peak net exports there isn't enough oil to supply the import market at the original price.

I expect the price of oil (and any other commodity that is speculated on) to show this kind of unstable price behaviour caused by human 'herding' instincts.

This might be interesting information, it shows the actual price paid in different locations and not just the "index":


For All: Kinda quiet this afternoon so I’ll expand on a point RKG made earlier about not getting hung up on geowizard terminology such as shale gas, tite sands, unconventional, etc. reservoirs. Allow a generalization: there are two types of reservoirs – fractured reservoirs (FR) and high porosity reservoirs (HPR). Any type of rock can be a fractured reservoir: shale, sandstone, limestone and, although rather rare, even granite. They can contain a small amount of hydrocarbons per unit volume or a huge amount. This is the source of some of the astronomical RESOURCE volumes some folks throw out. I make the distinction between resource (a commodity existing in the earth) and reserve (a commodity that can be produced under very specific economic conditions). HPR’s are what most folks call “conventional”. Again they can be any rock type.

What really distinguishes FR’s and HPR’s are their flow characteristics and the amount of hydrocarbon they contain. The greatest amount of hydrocarbon RESOURCES remaining in the U.S. are in the FR’s. Of the HPR’s the DW GOM may represent the second largest fraction. The remaining HPR’s lay in the onshore trends. The most important distinction is the production profiles of these two types of reservoirs. Thanks to horizontal drilling and frac’ing the FR’s are viable if the economics are right. The high initial flow rates, so hyped by the MSM, are from the extreme permeabilities (flow rate) of fractures. But this is also the source of the rapid decline rates seen in FR wells: the fractures allow such rapid drainage that the generally low rock permeability can’t recharge the fractures quick enough. Also, whether the fractures are natural or man-made, they drain a rather limited portion of the rock. Thus many more wells are needed to develop FR’s than HPR’s. A FR with a URR of 5 to 10 bcf is considered great. During the height of HPR exploitation a per well URR of 20+ bcf was not uncommon.

It’s this radical difference in flow character that makes NG pricing such a key factor in future supplies. At prices below $6.50/mcf not nearly as many potential FR wells will be drilled. OTOH HPR’s, like my company drills, can produce handsome profits at $4/mcf. In fact, that's why we aren't in the reource plays: the profit isn't good enough. We're not a public company so the hype doen't make us any money. This does require using expensive 3d seismic to keep the success rate up…but it works. Unfortunately a large HPR discovery today may cover only 300 acres. A new FR play may cover two million acres. But the HPR might produce at a fairly uniform rate for 5+ years while a FR wells could deplete as much as 80% in just 12 months. Every FR well that adds to a supply it has to be replaced in just 2 or 3 years to just keep cumulative production rates fairly flat. There is one remaining source of significant HPR’s: the DW GOM. But thanks to BP’s carelessness these are off the table for the time being. And even when DW drilling begins anew there will be a 5+ year lag before new fields will come on line.

There are hundreds of thousands of potential FR wells that will be drilled IF the price support is there. But the price support has to be sustained or the plays will wither as they did in late 2008. Maybe only a few thousand significant HPR wells may be left in the short term. Whatever the future of the hydrocarbon production profile in the U.S. (and probably the rest of the world) may be is beyond my ability to predict with any accuracy. But one thing is certain IMHO: it will not look at all like the last 60 years.

BTW I didn’t include the tar sands. There really aren’t reservoirs per se. They are more analogous to an ore deposit that has to be mined. They are obviously a major hydrocarbon RESOURCE. Ultimate recovery will depend on price support and the level of environmental damage deemed acceptable.

Rockman, You Rock, Man!

I'll second that. A clear and concise explanation of a topic that appears to have more gotchas than rules.

Cheers Rockman, hugely informative!

Really helpful post, thanks very much.

Just out of curiosity (I know practically nothing about geology), is a Fractured Reservoir literally just that - a crack in a solid bed of rock which oil has flowed into?

Likewise is a High Porosity Reservoir rock that has many pores and which is saturated in oil throughout?

(I did say I know nothing about geology!)

i - You got it right. Theoretically a fracture would have almost infinite permeability. A rock fracture is just as you describe: a plane extending some distance thru the rock. Fractures tend to be more vertical. Drill a straight hole and you might cut one or two fractures…or none. That was the prime reason they developed horizontal drilling. A 5,000’ horizontal hole might cut 30 or more fractures. And if there are few natural fractures they can pump multiple stage fracs (induce a frac every 200’ along the lateral). The pump pressure fractures the rock and sand grains are pushed into the fracture to keep it from closing back up.

The easiest way to envision a common HPR is to imagine holding a hand full of beach sand. The spaces between the sand grains are the pore spaces and in an oil reservoir the pores might contain 30% water and 70% oil. Limestone reservoirs, as found in many of the ME oil fields can even have bigger pore spaces and produce at rates even greater than the best FR fields.

Thanks for clearing that up - always handy to be able to somewhat visualise things when I see these terms banded about!

Four questions --

One, it seems like market timing is much more interesting with the FRs, with that short high-production lifetime. If you can ride the price spike, you don't care about the recession that follows, because the well was going to crap out anyway (?).

Two, after the initial surge, do they supply nothing, or do they much more slowly pull out a reasonable fraction of the "resources"?

Three, once you drill a well in a FR, is it cost-effective to do more work from that same well, or do you start from scratch somewhere else in the reservoir?

And four, this seems like something that might be susceptible to new technology or new skills -- that is, it might be possible to "fracture smarter". Does this sound likely?

Just trying to figure out the shape of the future.

Dr – For sure timing is critical. I may take only 3 months to drill a well in a FR field. But it can take a couple of years to develop the play and take the leases. And then several years to just drill up a portion of your leases. It can look like a good plan as you see NG prices inching up as you go. And when NG got to $13/mcf many companies hit it even harder. But less than 12 months later NG prices fall below the breakeven level. There’s an old oil patch promoter's saying about boom plays: you want to roll into town with the first wagon load of whores and roll out before the first load of production equipment arrives. Some of the folks who made the most profitable SG investments were the ones who bought leases for $75/acre and then sold the same leases for $10,000+/acre AND NEVER DRILLED A SINGLE SG WELL.

Second: oddly enough SG wells are complete opposites on either end of their production profiles: high rates that quickly decline to very low rates that have very little decline. There are wells in KY that are still producing after 40 years. That’s why we didn’t go off a cliff after the SG boom ended: there are thousands of SG wells still producing but at only 5-10% of their initial flow rate and are declining at less than 5%/year.

Third - Yes indeed. Refrac’ing an existing well can be very profitable investment. Additionally in some trends there are more than one FR targets. A well can abandon a depleted lateral and then “side track” (drill a second hz hole) in another formation. You already own the lease and have production equipment/pipelines in place.

Forth – There a constant effort to improve the efficiency of fracs but with the exception of utilizing hz well bores the frac technology hasn’t changed a great deal in 30+ years. And I don’t see any sort of a step change in the future.

Thank you kindly, that was very informative.

What I was imagining as new tech (question four) was that maybe our modeling would get better. Interesting thing here, is whether all the detailed data from past frakking has made it into some central Google-like database, or if it is lodged in the heads of the people doing the work. Friend of mine in town used to do gas drilling, talking about the Macondo blowout and the casing/cementing/centralizers, it sounded like (at least some years back) a lot of it was in people's heads.

The other thing I'm trying to figure out, is how the individual incentives work out. One way of looking at a gas well (it sounds) is that if you get you investment back in the first year, then you've got a low but steady income stream. And maybe you could get motivated to goose it with additional investment, but maybe not.

But this quick payoff might also lead to internet-bubble-like behavior, sort of like all those companies shipping pet food below cost, to get market share and make it up on volume.

Dr – The geologic modeling is always being improved. Within each play there are subtends that demand a somewhat different approach. But these are incremental gains….no big leap forward. The biggest advancement has probably being able to do more fracs in one horizontal hole. Some wells are being frac’d in as many as 20 spots. This is much more complicated than folks would imagine: remember you might be working in an 8” wide hole section that might be several miles away. The negative side of this development is that the fracs are becoming more expensive than drilling the hole. But your instinct is correct: it’s all about increasing the flow rate…especially that first 24 months. Oil patch economic analysis tends to be dominated by NPV (net present value). The value of a dollar of production 10 years down the road might only contribute $0.15 to NPV. Depends on the discount rate (like reverse interest rate). Given the long life of some SG wells it might produce half its net revenue many years down the road. But the NPV of that second half may be less than 15% of the NPV of the first half. Thus production from the first few years heavily dominates the economic incentive to drill.

Many of the SG wells are still producing commercially (the value of the production exceeds the production costs). But that doesn’t mean they are moving towards a positive rate of return. If a well doesn’t yield a positive return on the investment in the first couple of years it probably never will: the much lower flow rates combined with much lower NG prices than folks had projected has destroyed much of the profit potential. They keep producing wells at the max not for sake of market share but for cash flow. Would be nice to hold back production and wait for prices to rise. But the great majority of companies survive on cash flow…not profit margin.

If my numbers are correct (average gas well production rate of about 180 MCF per day) for Texas, in cash flow terms the average gas well in Texas produces the cash flow equivalent of about 8 bpd of oil.

wt - They gotta admit it: we are good - squeeze a nickle of profit out of a dime's worth of production. Just amazing what you can do when you don't know how to do nuthin' else, eh?

BTW I didn’t include the tar sands. There really aren’t reservoirs per se. They are more analogous to an ore deposit that has to be mined. They are obviously a major hydrocarbon RESOURCE. Ultimate recovery will depend on price support and the level of environmental damage deemed acceptable.

I don't like the term "tar sands" because it is misleading. They don't actually contain tar, they contain oil, albeit low quality oil, and any company that wants to spend the money can modify a conventional oil refinery to process them.

The most important characteristic is that the resources are vast in scale - the Canadian oil sands are bigger than England, or about the same size as Florida. The amount of oil in place is roughly the same as the entire world's conventional oil reserves. The OIP in the Canadian deposits is somewhere between 1.7 and 2.5 trillion barrels. The Venezuelan deposits are similar in size.

The amount that can be recovered depends on the price, and at current oil prices companies can recover quite a lot of it. Current official estimates for Canadian reserves assume they can recover about 10% of the lower estimate of OIP, which would be 170 billion barrels - but that is extremely conservative. More realistic estimates would be around 20% of OIP, which would be between 340 billion barrels and 500 billion barrels. That's only for Canada - Venezuelan recoverable reserves would be about the same size.

However, the production rates would be nowhere as rapid as conventional reserves. Companies simply cannot produce the oil very fast. I doubt that either Canada or Venezuela will ever produce at the same rate as Saudi Arabia, Russia, or the US. On the other hand, their reserves will continue to produce for centuries, whereas Saudi Arabian and Russian production is due to go into rapid decline in the not-to-distant future, and American production went into rapid decline 40 years ago.

And, while Canadian production is increasing, albeit slowly, Venezuelan production is declining. Oil sands are technically and economically difficult to produce, and if a government makes a mess of the economy, as Venezuela's has, production will decline rather than increase regardless of theoretical reserves.

Tar is bitumen and so they should be called bitumen sands. Oil sands is a marketing phrase. Perhaps they could be sold as synthetic oil sands since the bitumen has to be upgraded to heavy oil. Actual oil field developments do not result in some of the world's largest toxic tailings ponds. Under 15% of the reserves in these deposits is heavy crude with a 10-20 API. So to call them oil sands is misleading.

The Canadian tar sands production is limited by the available water. There is not enough water in the Athabasca river to maintain 5 million barrels per day of production. The Orinoco river and its basin have a water supply that vastly greater than for the Canadian tar sands deposits.

The Venezuelan tar sands basin has less geological variation compared to that in Alberta and there is less asphaltene content making extraction easier. The larger range of sedimentary structure in the Canadian deposits means that the pay zone thickness is typically less than for the Venezuelan deposit.

Talking about Venezuelan production decline is also misleading since it produces more oil than Canada and it is its conventional production that is past its peak for a long time. It would be more meaningful to say that the Venezuelan tar sands production is not as developed and ramping up more slowly compared to Canada. This says little about the eventual production capacity.

In spite of the 2.5 trillion barrels of oil in place claimed for the two tar sands deposits they will be irrelevant on the background of world production decline. We are losing more production each year from natural decline in conventional oil field production than is produced from all the tar sands and this gap will keep on growing even if the rosy production projections for tar sands come true.

Tar is bitumen and so they should be called bitumen sands. Oil sands is a marketing phrase.

It's true that "oil sands" is a marketing phrase, and "bituminous sands" is more accurate, but most people don't understand what that means. Tar is a man-made substance manufactured by destructive distillation of organic material, while crude bitumen is a naturally occurring semi-sold form of crude oil, so "oil sands" is more accurate than "tar sands".

The phrase "tar sands" is often deliberately used to downplay the importance of bituminous sands in the world oil market. It's highly misleading, because the sand really does contain oil, albeit very heavy, low quality oil. The important point is that you can feed it into an oil refinery designed to process Venezuelan extra-heavy, Mexican heavy, or California Kern River heavy oil without much change to the refinery processes. Venezuelan extra-heavy, Mexican heavy, and California Kern River heavy oil production are all declining, while Canadian bitumen production is increasing.

The Canadian tar sands production is limited by the available water. There is not enough water in the Athabasca river to maintain 5 million barrels per day of production.

Have you ever seen the Athabasca River? It's bigger than the Colorado River, which supplies Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and other major US cities with water. There are only a few hundred people on the Athabasca downstream of the oil sands. The oil sands plants currently take less than 2% of the flow of the Athabasca, expansion to 5 million barrels per day would take about 5% of the flow. By contrast, the Colorado is over 100% committed, and the river doesn't reach the ocean at all in dry years.

Talking about Venezuelan production decline is also misleading since it produces more oil than Canada and it is its conventional production that is past its peak for a long time.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, in 2009 Canada produced 3.29 million barrels of oil per day, while Venezuela produced 2.47 million barrels of oil per day. I believe that in 2010, Canadian production increased while Venezuelan production declined, and the trend is continuing.

There are a lot of myths being promoted by people who don't really understand what is going on the world oil industry, and that could be disastrous for people who don't realize that bad decision-making may result in them not having any oil to supply their needs in the not-too-distant future.

Tar is a man-made substance manufactured by destructive distillation of organic material,...

Well not to nitpick but the tar in the La Brea Tar Pits would appear to be tar in every sense of the word. Though it would probably be more correct to call it "pitch" one would have a hard time telling the difference between pitch and coal tar.

But perhaps we should start calling them the La Brea Pitch Pits. But that is just too hard to say. People would think you were saying the La Brea Peach Pits. ;-)

Tar pits form when crude oil seeps to the surface through fissures in the Earth's crust; the light fraction of the oil evaporates, leaving behind the heavy tar, or asphalt, in sticky pools. Tar from the La Brea tar pits was used for thousands of years by local native Americans, as a glue and as waterproof caulking for baskets and canoes.

Ron P.

Well not to nitpick but the tar in the La Brea Tar Pits would appear to be tar in every sense of the word.

It's a misnomer. The La Brea Tar Pits should actually be called the La Brea Asphalt Pits. But try telling that to the residents of Los Angeles.


The word "tar" is often used to describe several distinct substances which are not actually tar. Naturally occurring "tar pits" (e.g. the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles) actually contain asphalt rather than tar. Tar sand deposits contain various mixtures of sand (or rock) with bitumen or heavy crude oil and not tar...

According to the US Energy Information Administration, in 2009 Canada produced 3.29 million barrels of oil per day, while Venezuela produced 2.47 million barrels of oil per day. I believe that in 2010, Canadian production increased while Venezuelan production declined, and the trend is continuing.

Even EIA has the numbers wrong. Canada exports and imports a lot of oil and refined products and these numbers get added and subtracted almost at will. The amount of oil actually produced in 2009 was 2.722 Mbpd http://www.capp.ca/getdoc.aspx?DocId=173003

Canadian exports to USA: http://www.eia.doe.gov/countries/country-data.cfm?fips=CA#data This links shows exports to USA of 2.479, while a few web pages later they will say 1.928: http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/company_l.... The difference is the oil that was simply pumped via USA from Alberta to Ontario south of Great Lakes.

At the end of the day totals are: Canada exports 1.9 Mbpd (virtually all of it to USA), consumes domestically around 2.1 Mbpd for a total flow of 4.0 Mbpd. Production is 2.722 and imports are 1.2 Mbpd for a total of 3.9. Things sort of add up. The number 2.722 includes "pentanes and condensate" but who knows about composition of these other numbers. So, net, Canada exports 0.7-0.8 Mbpd of crude oil plus some natural gas liquids.

But exports go at depressed prices in the West while Eastern Canada pays premium prices for its imports. So Alberta, Saskatchewan and to an extent BC and Newfoundland have petrodollars, while the rest gets walloped by high oil prices.

I think I am moving further west.

Why don't pols talk about peak oil? Because the number of votes they would loose is greater than the number of votes they would gain. So they do the smart thing for themselves and keep their mouths shut.

If politicians talked about peak oil, they would have to do something about it. Further, I think that the conservative side of the spectrum believes that peak oil is a communist/enviromentalist conspiracy. If that damned socialist Obama would just open up everything everywhere, the problem would be solved in a jiffy. Conservative politicians don't even believe that oil peaked in the United States much less the world. There is no science. There is only ideology. And then there are all the politicians that are totally in the pockets of the major oil corporations.

Maybe I have a bad memory but I think this country has reached a low point in my life time, an inability to do anything rational about anything. Just cut the crap out of the budget and it will be all good.

Well this interesting. Where I agree is that this country is at a low point (although it's going to go lower). Where I disagree is the part about cutting the budget.

No federal politician is even remotely considering cutting the budget to any meaningful degree. They have infinite money from the Fed. You don't even need to have a tax policy anymore.

The budget should be cut, but it's not going to be.

Election day has nothing to do with rational thought.

It's all about making the public fear/distrust the other guy more.

Read my lips, no new taxes.

Sarah Palin, she is just one heart beat away.
Obama, he's a Kenyan Manchurian anti-Christ candidate.

, I think that the conservative side of the spectrum believes that peak oil is a communist/enviromentalist conspiracy.

You have Agenda 21, Mr. 5% of Iraq, Sustainable communities (per UN), (on and on) and plenty of fraud/conspiracy in the past.

About the only way to effectively argue against theories about conspiracy is to have a open society so that the sunlight can drive out the rot.

The problem is that the conservatives in the country have their own media outlets that tell them all of this stuff. They pretend to offer "News", but in reality they mainly offer partisan politics. I don't know how more openness would change anything if people aren't willing to listen to anything except their own echo chamber.

conservatives in the country have their own media outlets

1) When compared to other nations - Both Republicrats and Demopublicans are "conservative". Compare the actions of Nixon - would they be called liberal tree hugging today? (see, nice 1970's gas rationing reference) Both sides of the same coin - and if you have some different change you want to show others to have them believe in it, just try getting facetime on the national networks.

2) The fascists are just running the Willie Muzteburg trust playbook. Wille ran that play book for the communists in Germany, and Goebbels cited Willie as inspiration.

Thusly - at a certain point the religion of profit causes people to stray from the Holy words of Smith and onto the path of destruction.

True that if the people don't want to listen to anything nothing can push them (especially in an open society), however, seems to me one thing is missing in this "peak oil affair" in the US, and it is the historical aspect of it (compared to the more technical aspects of it).
Typically, the common understanding in the US for "non peak oil aware" people seems to be :

1) there was no 1970 peak production in the US, the fact that the current production is lower than in 1970 is simply due to a) tree huggers and gaia worshippers b) why not just buy the stuff abroad instead of tapping in our own (huge) ressources

2) The first oil shock is mostly due to OPEC (fucking arabs) deciding to raise the price and even putting an Embargo on US

When the truth is that :

1) the Embargo was never effective towards the US (saudi oil going to Vietnam through Barhain, James Akins very clear on that)

2) more importantly, the gas rationing started --from the US PEAK--, before OPEC price rise

3) OPEC price rise was a lot the result of US diplomacy and Majors ASKING for it, indeed the need for higher price was there for the majors starting GOM, North Sea, Alaska oil (again James Akins very clear on that, as well as ex Saudi oil minister)

For sure if this was put straight, as well as basic technical facts regarding the US peak, that is pushing the message that Indeed the US went through its peak in 1970, that would help the general message.

Really a great documentary about this story below :
(unfortunately in French with dubbed interviews), note : reopen911 logo has nothing to do with the doc (aaded by the poster on dailymotion)

but interviews with plenty of key people :
James Akins : the guy that was named by Nixon after 1970 US peak to analyze US production capacity, and also key diplomatic role towards OPEC afterwards
Ex saudi oil minister (forgot his name)
Some Berkeley academic guy
Colin Campbell, Matt Simons
Gorbatchov, some other guys

It is truly AMAZING that for most Americans, not only is the oil production peak for the world a Myth, but also the US 1970 one !!

There should clearly be a message there, and as much historically oriented, than technicaly oriented

In the 1970 the US were the first oil producer worldwide, the history surounding its peak should be known a bit more ! (and even on TOD ..)


I'll make an educated guess that you are not American (and instead live in a French speaking country/ province).

As an American I must confess that I am sort of like a fish swimming in the ocean of American culture and thus I can barely see the nature of the waters I swim in.

From my vantage point, American culture changed dramatically and fundamentally with the introduction of broadcast television (TV) and its funding by means of corporate advertisements.

The corporate advertisers quickly realized (perhaps as early as 1960) that they can manipulate the minds of Americans across the whole country with a few simple slogans and catchy musical tunes.

An example of this phenomenon might be that of convincing American women to take up the habit of cigarette smoking under the claim that it is liberating. The tobacco industry appealed to womens' feminist ambitions by saying, "You've come a long way baby, (smoke them Virginia Slims and you'll be part of the now vogue, feminist movement).

Today, in the year 2011, and it is sad to say, the American mindset is totally controlled by corporate media. We no longer even have an independent news reporting industry. It has become corporate infotainment. What that means is that even broadcasts that proclaim to be news are nothing more than embedded advertisements provide between the more obvious and blatant advertisements. A very sickening situation.

And of course, the very last thing that corporate controlled media would ever want the American public to catch onto is the seriousness of the problems with rampant capitalism such as unchecked resource depletion (i.e. Peak Oil).

Every once in a while they do let a story about Peak Oil leak through in the media, but always in the form of a circus so that the American public will conclude that Peak Oil alarmists are a bunch of crazy people and they shouldn't be listened to.

I hope that provides some insights into current American culture and why the right wing half of this country knows no song but "drill baby drill" (You've come a long way baby).

1) there was no 1970 peak production in the US, the fact that the current production is lower than in 1970 is simply due to a) tree huggers and gaia worshippers b) why not just buy the stuff abroad instead of tapping in our own (huge) ressources

Others have made such claims and they get repeated. Like the abiotic oil position.

The only way to combat such is to have the 'sunlight of truth' to drive away the ignorance. Because there are laws on the books which attempt to preserve some of the oil and history is littered with oil companies lying.

Rather than advocate such, far more run about yelling 'conspiracy theory' because that has loaded negative emotion and is simpler to do.

The corporate advertisers quickly realized (perhaps as early as 1960) that they can manipulate the minds of Americans across the whole country with a few simple slogans and catchy musical tunes.

Goes back to WWII when it was called propaganda. Got relabeled as propaganda is a rather emotionally loaded term.

The only way ... is to have the 'sunlight of truth'

Have you tested this scientific hypothesis on friends & family?
Did you tell them about the truth of PO?
How did this bit of sunshine work out
for you on the 'rational' species
mates that surround you?

Goes back to WWII when it was called propaganda.

Propaganda probably goes further back than that.
However, earlier practitioners in the dark art
did not have the Orwellian black box (TV)
in their arsenal.

I'm not merely claiming that corporate propaganda flourished in the age of TV. Rather it established a positive feedback loop that fed both the MSM industry and the consumerism industry. They grew into giant cocaine cartels whose shared goal was to continue to addict the average GI Joe or Jane on consumerism of stuff and more stuff.

"From my vantage point, American culture changed dramatically and fundamentally with the introduction of broadcast television (TV) and its funding by means of corporate advertisements."

It's clear that TV is, or was, an amazing thing, people use the word "virtual" a lot with respect to internet and "modern technology", but TV was much more impressive, in the sense that the same message was being delivered real time to everybody (mainly due to technical constraints in fact, few emitters possible for a huge number of receivers), in that sense internet is more "back to normal", more than anything else.

But in any case, more than talking about this media thing, the story about the peak of the world top producer in the 70s should be told.


It has nothing to do with a "telling" of the story of US domestic PO.
It's been told.

It's been told on the floor of the US Congress.
By a Republican Congressman named Roscoe Bartlett.
Many times.
And his speeches were broadcast on US TV.
Many times.

But no one listens.

Their eyes glaze over when you try to tell them.

Link: http://transitionvoice.com/2011/01/interview-rep-roscoe-bartlett/

Why don't pols talk about peak oil? Because they're usually outstanding in their field.
rim shot

They do not talk about it for several reasons:
1) As you point out, there is nothing to be gained by talking about it. You just are viewed as the Debbie-downer. People want optimism.
2) It is bad to talk about peak oil as is, but what if you are wrong. What if some Ghawar scale discovery is found somewhere next week?
3) It is a problem with no good/easy solutions. All the best policy prescriptions involve sacrifice for the electorate.
4) It will be portrayed as a 'liberal hoax' just like evolution, climate change, limits to growth, etc.

The USA prefers to avoid problems until it can't anymore. We had to have Pearl Harbor attacked before we took WW2 seriously. We had to have 9/11 before we took AQ seriously (and then we over-reacted).

We need $5 or maybe $7/gallon gasoline before we take PO seriously. We need a foot or two of sea level rise before we take climate change seriously.

Actually, "we" did take al-Quaeda seriously, especially after the bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania on 7 August 1998. On 20 August 1998, President Clinton ordered an attack on an AQ base near Khost, Afghanistan, in which 75 cruise missiles were launched. Each missile cost $750,000.

That said, I tend to agree that little can be expected from Washington on Climate Change until the damage is done...

E. Swanson

We need $5 or $7 oil, for people to be concerned about oil, but that is not what we are likely to get. The problem is that people are expecting the wrong symptoms, so they won't recognize the real symptoms. We are really facing interconnected problems, all related to limits to growth, that don't behave the way people expect.

For example, instead of very high gasoline prices, we are likely to get riots that at least partly relate to the high price of food. The high price of food indirectly reflects the high price of oil, but people don't make the connection. These riots could spread and disrupt oil production, but even then I doubt that we would see $5 or $7 oil. TPTB would find a way to cap prices, to prevent this.

Long before we get to $5 oil, we are likely to get to recession and a glut of oil no one will buy (because the oil is more expensive than people can afford). Lack of affordability is also a symptom of peak oil, but people don't realize that is what it is.

Rephrase of article title above:

Shell sells Africa down the river

On another note, climateprogress featured an article on the consequences of tundra thawing that some might find interesting:


"The thaw and release of carbon currently frozen in permafrost will increase atmospheric CO2 concentrations and amplify surface warming to initiate a positive permafrost carbon feedback (PCF) on climate…. [Our] estimate may be low because it does not account for amplified surface warming due to the PCF itself…. We predict that the PCF will change the arctic from a carbon sink to a source after the mid-2020s and is strong enough to cancel 42–88% of the total global land sink. The thaw and decay of permafrost carbon is irreversible and accounting for the PCF will require larger reductions in fossil fuel emissions to reach a target atmospheric CO2 concentration."

I am heart-broken and feel numb. Please oh please let them be wrong.

Comment #132 from that link:

"Actually the situation with seabed methane is even more dire than the permafrost situation described above. According to those most directly engaged in the research, such as N. Shakhova, some 3.5 gigatons of methane may be venting into the atmosphere from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf right now..."

We basically knew this back in 2007 when they reported on the thermokarst lakes. I have tried to tell people for years how dire the situation is, and few listen. Even those who think they are talking about being green don't get it for the most part. They don't get the time line, they don't get the thermodynamics.

But there are solutions. They are simple. They are not easy.

Don't worry...Be Happy...There's a list of 100 people (compiled by the CATO Institute for Political Disinformation) who say there's not a problem:


Looks like the "usual suspects"...

E. Swanson

"such as N. Shakhova, some 3.5 gigatons of methane may be venting into the atmosphere from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf right now..."

This is hysterical nonsense of some people who have never touched a chemistry climate model and simply have no clue what they are blabbing on about. They think that a routine CH4 spike from one of the ground stations in the Arctic of about 0.6 ppmv somehow is evidence of six times the global CH4 production rate packed into 1.5 million square kilometers of the ESAS. The venting of 3.5 Gt/year of CH4 from the ESAS would translate into over 60 times (if you assume CH4 vents from only 10% of the land surface and only over land; if you assume it is over a larger area than the 60 times becomes several hundred or over 1000 times) more CH4 production in the Artic polar night when loss via OH photochemistry is absent.

Those of us who run chemistry climate models and regional air quality models with a host of surface emissions of various chemical species would know that you would see over 100 ppmv anomalies (and possibly much higher) in CH4 measured at Arctic ground stations and this would be a long term signal not some annual spike like many before it. This 100 ppmv figure is based on the fact that nadir satellite instruments and ground stations do not measure CH4 emissions higher than 2 ppmv (when distributed over a 1x1 degree pixel, local emission spikes can be much higher).

There are AGW deniers and then there are AGW hysterics. They exhibit the same sort of thinking patterns: cherry picking and selectively believing only what they want to believe to confirm their preconceptions.

Thanks for setting the record straight.

It's certainly difficult to understand the details of the science. For example, the out gassing from the OCS off Siberia may be an on going process resulting from the rise of sea-level by some 125 meters after the last Glacial Maximum. That transgression flooded permafrost that had been exposed to much colder temperatures while the sea-level was lower. The resulting warming will require centuries to penetrate deep within the sediments. Then too, there is the seasonal temperature swing, which warms the surface layers of the ocean then cools the waters to produce surface freezing in winter. Only data collected over longer time periods can provide the answers...

E. Swanson

The CH4 emissions from the land and sea shelf permafrost will keep increasing. The ESAS outgassing will likely be abrupt considering that it is free methane under a disintegrating ice layer. But the current observations indicate that no such event is in progress.

It does not help the cause of AGW understanding when some of its proponents cry wolf or scream the sky is falling.

So dis are you calling Shakhova an AGW hysteric? Do you think she knows nothing of climate modeling? That she has no clue? Perhaps you should call her up and inform her of this opinion of her and her work.

I don't believe and have not been shown any actual evidence that Sakhova actually claimed that 3.5 Gt/year are current emissions. Some anonymous posters on the net who claimed they contacted her and that is what she said are not evidence. Since she is a scientist who is working this field she would know what surface emissions would occur at the surface over the ESAS considering the fact that the average water depth is about 50 meters and not sufficient to have CH4 break down before it reaches the surface.

Keep believing what you want to believe. Who needs conservation of mass when magical thinking will do.

Here's the abstract from Shakhova et al., published last year in SCIENCE:

Remobilization to the atmosphere of only a small fraction of the methane held in East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) sediments could trigger abrupt climate warming, yet it is believed that sub-sea permafrost acts as a lid to keep this shallow methane reservoir in place. Here, we show that more than 5000 at-sea observations of dissolved methane demonstrates that greater than 80% of ESAS bottom waters and greater than 50% of surface waters are supersaturated with methane regarding to the atmosphere. The current atmospheric venting flux, which is composed of a diffusive component and a gradual ebullition component, is on par with previous estimates of methane venting from the entire World Ocean. Leakage of methane through shallow ESAS waters needs to be considered in interactions between the biogeosphere and a warming Arctic climate.

They conclude with this:

The annual outgassing from the shallow ESAS of Formula 7.98 (9.73-6.31) Tg C-CH4 is of the same magnitude as existing estimates of total CH4 emissions from the entire world ocean.

Science 5 March 2010:
Vol. 327 no. 5970 pp. 1246-1250
DOI: 10.1126/science.1182221

E. Swanson

We posted at the same time. Anyway, (16/12)*7.98 Tg/year = 10.64 Tg/year = 10.64 Mt/year is 1/329 or 0.3% of what is being spread as a rumour on the web.

Actually, from her webpage (http://www.iarc.uaf.edu/people/nshakhov) it looks like she has not done any regional or global atmospheric modeling. She works with permafrost models and measurement of local emissions. So large scale atmospheric chemical transport is not her specialty.

According to her latest paper (Science, issue 327, 1246-1250) "Extensive methane venting to the atmosphere from sediments of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf" the total CH4 release from the ESAS is 7.98 Tg/year which is 7.98 Mt/year and very far from 3.5 Gt/year.

There are AGW deniers and then there are AGW hysterics.

I think the later are simply responding to feedback loops, without understanding that smallish feedbacks aren't catastrophic. They think warming means more CO2, means more warming means... And not putting numbers on things and looking at convergence it is easy to be lead astray. They also don't think about time delays. On current models you can probably say, all these hydrates will probably be released, as well as almost all of the Greenland ice sheep (and maybe half of west Antarctic will melt). But they end up ignoring the time spans of such global adjustments and think head for the hills. I think this is what happens when people try to reason rhetorically, rather than analytically.

"...all these hydrates will probably be released, as well as almost all of the Greenland ice sheep..."

How many ice sheep are in Greenland? Should I be worried about this release of Greenland ice sheep? And just how big are these ice sheep? ;o)


The oil industry announced Thursday that its new system for responding quickly to a deepwater well blowout is ready to go.

An emergency capping stack is stationed at a Houston fabrication plant. A fleet of oil collection tankers, miles of tubing for sucking pollutants to the surface, and devices for shooting chemical dispersants into a subsea leak are positioned at Port Fourchon and other locations along the Louisiana and Texas coasts.


Considering how discussion there was in TOD about the BP oil spill it is surprising there hasn't been a TOD article about this new system being developed.

pt - Easy to explain: when was the last time you saw a MSM story about a house not on fire or a ship not sinking. Well known model: "if it bleeds it leads." To a degree the same phenominon of TOD. Not unreasonable IMHO: lots of topics are demanding more immediate attention.

A fleet of oil collection tankers, miles of tubing for sucking pollutants to the surface, and devices for shooting chemical dispersants into a subsea leak are positioned at Port Fourchon and other locations along the Louisiana and Texas coasts.

Sounds like they are going to be a lot better prepared and quicker on the draw when it comes to hiding the damage they cause. The plan seems to be more about obfuscation. The quicker the stuff is out of sight the quicker it will be out of mind and forgotten. However those subsea chemical dispersants really worked well for that!

Scientist finds Gulf bottom still oily, dead
Friday, Feb. 18, 2011. The symposium centered itself on the oil spill crisis and its legal effects. Feinberg was the keynote afternoon speaker. This Dec. 1, 2010 photo provided by the University of Georgia, made from the submarine Alvin, shows dead brittle stars on a still-damaged sea floor about 10 miles north of the BP oil rig accident. Brittle stars are normally bright orange and tightly wrapped around corals, but these were white and loose. “We consistently saw dead fauna (animals) at all these sites,” said Marine biologist Samantha Joye of the University of Georgia. “It’s likely there’s a fairly large area impacted,” she said. (AP Photo/University of Georgia, Samantha Joye) This Dec. 1, 2010 photo provided by the University of Georgia, made from the submarine Alvin, shows a dead crab with oil residue near it on a still-damaged sea floor about 10 miles north of the BP oil rig accident. Marine biologist Samantha Joye of the University of Georgia said, “We consistently saw dead fauna (animals) at all these sites. It’s likely there’s a fairly large area impacted,” she said. (AP Photo/ University of Georgia, Samantha Joye)

* http://www.marsci.uga.edu/directory/mjoye.htm
* http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/

Could someone stop the earth please? I think I'd like to get off now.

This doesn't bode well for BAU.

"Unrest Encircles Saudis, Stoking Sense of Unease"

"King Abdullah had at least two phone conversations with President Obama to convey his concerns in the weeks before Mr. Mubarak’s ouster, and the last conversation ended in sharp disagreement, according to officials familiar with the calls."

Don in Maine

How long before the US military gets involved in one of these little ME uprisings? With KSA hearing the drumbeats not far away, perhaps in the near future.

Makes you wonder whose side the US would be on.

Don in Maine

How long before the US military gets involved in one of these little ME uprisings?

I believe that the US military is already involved in a couple of uprisings in the area. The real question is how many more ME disputes will the US get involved in before the politicians realize that it a fools game?

The easy answer to the above question....the US will stop getting involved in those disputes when it is no longer profitable or no longer serves some strategic interests of the US gov.

Or that things are so bad in the US of A distractions elsewhere won't drive the USA badness off of the local USA newspaper front page[1].

[1] off of the front page is an old expression, back before newspapers stopped being relevant.

A recent WSJ column on Saudi Arabia had some flaws, but it made some good points, chief among them being that the Saudis are facing a real problem with succession, as the current generation of ruling princes pass from the scene. Also, there is a steady and ongoing expansion of the number of princelings who want to live like kings, creating massive resentment against the ruling elite.

Re: Smart lights, bright savings

Prince points out that the operational life of white LED lamps is 50,000 hours. This is more than ten years’ continuous operation. “The long operational life of an LED lamp is in stark contrast to the average life of an incandescent bulb, which is about 5,000 hours.”

Last time I checked there are 8,760 hours in year (leap years being the exception) and a standard household incandescent has a service life of 750 to 1,000 hours, not 5,000.

Can't we get even the simple things right or am I expecting too much?


Can't we get even the simple things right or am I expecting too much?

Try walking up to someone on the street and asking them what an incandescent is, or if they know what the acronym CFL or LED stands for. Expecting them to be able to do simple arithmetic is, (dare I even use such terms) orders of magnitude, more difficult. >;^)

Very true, Fred. Occasionally, I'll mention "compact fluorescent" or "CFL" to a client and get a "What's that?" response. The first time that happened I thought they were joking because they've been around since God drove a Valiant, but it appears some folks haven't been paying attention. Most eventually catch on and say "oh, you means one of those twisty-twirly things" and I'll smile and nod my head in agreement.

I don't expect the general public to know anything more about lighting than I do rebuilding a Torqueflite 727, which is to say, not much, but I do hold journalists and their editors to a higher standard. If you're going to write about something, at least get the basic facts right and double check your maths. This sort of thing is inexcusable. [Sorry, Mr. Crankypants is having an off day.]


"Mr. Crankypants is having an off day", eh?

Hang in there.

My momma told me there would be days like these.

It's been a bumpy month for me health-wise, Tom. There's a history of diabetes in my family and so I've always had my blood sugars tested twice a year. My last test in August came back at 5.6 which is well within the norm. Not long ago I started to feel lethargic and experienced headaches, dizziness and mild nausea. That was soon followed by an unquenchable thirst, frequent urination, dry mouth, blurred vision, muscle cramps and ketosis. At that point, my blood sugars were so high they were literally off the scale (more than 40 mmol/L) and I was rushed to Cobequid. I'm on a strict calorie reduced diet and I'm taking metforman, but my blood sugars are still three to four times higher than they should be and my vision, albeit better, is still not great.

My doctor has no idea why things charged so rapidly -- it was like stepping off the curb and getting smacked by a bus. I have two weeks to get this under control through diet and exercise and this oral medication; otherwise, I start on insulin. Without being too melodramatic, my mother went blind due to diabetes, her left leg was amputated and it eventually destroyed her internal organs and so that's been nagging away at the back of my mind.


Paul, all the best with regulating your sugars. Get well soon!

I hear coffee breaks are good for the health. Our secretaries will talk.


Thanks, Tom. Looking forward to joining you whenever you're next in town. I haven't had a cup of coffee in almost a month and have no cravings for one whatsoever, which is shocking to me considering I use to consume vast quantities of the stuff and couldn't imagine a day without the magic bean. When I was "binge drinking" all I wanted was Diet Pepsi; that's when I knew this body was going to hell in a hand basket.


A Diet Pepsi instead of a double-double -- that's doable . Meanwhile, take care.

Best of luck Halifax

My spouse managed to beat type II with diet (only unrefined carbs, no sweets or processed foods) and lots of exercise (long walks). Are you able to manage long walks? How are your feet doing?

Thanks, Paleo, and thanks too for sharing the good news about your spouse; I couldn't be more pleased.

I walked the dogs earlier today and I'll be heading out with them again shortly but, no question, I should be walking more and there's no reason why I cannot. I need to work on this.

I experience a sort of pins and needles sensation in my toes from time to time but nothing too worrisome; I'll keep a close eye on this and make sure it doesn't become a problem.

Our diet has undergone a radical overhaul - I love breads and pastas and they're now pretty much off the table. My partner has been extremely supportive for which I'm truly thankful as he does all the grocery shopping and food preparation. No packaged or processed foods, no deserts or sweets of any kind, brown rice versus white, lots of raw vegetables, fish, salads, etc. We'll hopefully expand our food choices as conditions permit, but for now I need to get back under 7 and that's proving more difficult than thought.


Take care. Get well.

Paul in Ontario

Thanks, Paul; much appreciated.


My wife has so far been able to manage hers with minor diet changes, plus a pill (i.e. not needing insulin yet). We always knew she had risk factors (had gestational diebebes while pregnent). For some people losing weight plus more excercise is sufficient.

That's great news, EoS. I hope she continues to keep this under control.


I would second one of Leanan's recommendations, Gary Taubes' books:


Thanks, westexas. I'll see if I can obtain a copy. We're using the Canadian Diabetic Food Guide for meal planning and making a conscientious effort to limit calories. The first week was a bit rough but it's getting better.


Mr Crankypants? You are one of the most positive (and polite) denizens of the drumbeat. I always enjoy reading your comments as they encourage.

I too wish you all the best in getting your sugars under control. It is very difficult to change one's lifestyle/health habits long term, but completely possible. I hope that when you hit the inevitable stumbling bock along the path to health you take it as a temporary setback and get up the next day and keep on going.

Just a word of encouragement to HereinHalfiax - my good friend was diagnosed with Type I diabetes about 3 years ago. He leads a very active existence now and hasn't noticed any deterioration in quality of life. In fact he says that things have improved as it forced him to finally give up smoking and to eat healthier.

Good luck!

Thanks to you both for your kind words of encouragement; much appreciated.

Grumbling aside, I view this as a positive development as it's forcing me to take responsibility for my health. All too easy to ignore the things we should do, but now I'm fully committed to making things better and, with luck, I'll get this under control through diet and exercise.


40 mmol...holy...

Hopefully you will see this http://www.bayer.com/en/from-the-dead-sea-to-mount-everest.aspx as motivation. Although healthy and very fit mortals can become depressed looking at this guy.

Thanks for the link, CC; quite a remarkable story.

I'm not sure how high things went... the glucose monitor at the hospital topped out at 40 and I was somewhere above that. They drew blood and did a "venus gas test" (I think that's what they called it) and simply said I was critical. With 2,000 mg of Metformin, a calorie reduced diet (and no cheating) and a moderate amount of exercise, I'm now down in the range of 16.0 to 18.0 mmol. So good progress, but still a ways to go.


Venous blood gas test. They measured many things but mostly wanted to see how bad was your blood's pH and ketoacidosis. There is an excellent resource at http://www.mendosa.com/. You will have one more thing to read and apparently this is a good one.

Thanks again, CC. I've bookmarked this page and will be taking a closer look at it tomorrow.


Can't we get even the simple things right or am I expecting too much?

It is journalism after all! And given the market pressure the profession is under, fact checking is a jetisonable expense. So apparently is hiring journalists who know something about the subjects they cover.

"Total world output fell 14 percent in December from a month earlier to 55.5 million barrels a day, the lowest since 2002, mainly due to a in non-OPEC production, particularly in Latin America."

Hang on guys this is important and warrants more discussion. Is this true? I saw the comments on how is is exports and not global output, but did we really get a 7 million bl/d drop into the seasonal brunt of North American winter heating season? Is this correct? Where? How? If so its important to point out that depletion already hit us hard b4 the real Mideast unrest unfolded.

Total world output fell 14 percent in December from a month earlier to 55.5 million barrels a day ...

There must be something wrong with this number -- daily world production of crude oil is around 73 million barrels a day. Are they talking about world exports?

No they are not talking about exports. Gross exports would be in the 40 million barrel per day range and net exports would be a few million barrels below that. This is obviously an error.

I am not sure but I would guess that someone got hold of a database that had only partially been updated for December. This often happens with the JODI numbers but their database is only updated thru November right now. I am guessing that somehow JODI released a partial update to their paying customers and someone did not check it close enough to know what was going on. Anyway it is all a big mistake so no one should get excited over it.

However there is other data in the report that is very interesting.

Saudi Arabia’s exports fell to 6.05 million barrels a day in December from 6.36 million in November even as Saudi production rose to a two-year high of 8.37 million barrels a day, JODI said...

“It’s not clear if Saudi Arabia consumed the full 2.32 million barrels locally during that month, but what’s clear is that rise in local consumption is becoming eminent,” he said.

I would say "eminent" is too mild a word for it. A very serious problem would be a better definition.

Ron P.

The news article way up to about a 2% decline in OPEC exports appears to me to be right on the mark, but perhaps the decline is slightly overstated. It has been my contention that KSA pulled exports back a bit in December after accomadating an increase in exports to China in November (to help them eliminate a diesel shortage in China that started about the beginning of November). It is possible that KSA partially used the downturn in exports to rebuild storage - which I believe was run down some in November.

In January OPEC exports picked up a little, but they are clearly down again in February. No one is admitting to reducing exports but there is no doubt about it. Perhaps more problematic for the "West" is that exports to the "East" have held up - making the entire export decline fall upon the "West". This could be due to worries about the Suez Canal and also pirates - who are now holding a supertanker off Somalia.

If anything, I am surprised the price of Brent is not higher - since Western demand is up and supply is down. Apparently the OECD is letting supplies run down for now in hopes that tanks can be refilled cheaper later - which now looks to be an optimistic assumption made before rebellions started from Africa to the Mideast.

I would guess that someone got hold of a database that had only partially been updated for December.

That is easy to confirm. Just download it yourself and have a look.

wget http://www.jodidata.org/Downloads/worldcsv.zip

The internal timestamp in the zip says 2011-02-19 12:39 UTC.

Helps to also fetch


grep -c CRUDEOIL,TOTEXPSB,KBD,NOV2010,, World.csv

grep -c CRUDEOIL,TOTEXPSB,KBD,DEC2010,, World.csv

The "33" is "unreported crude oil exports in Kilo Barrels per day for Nov 2010".

The "41" is "unreported crude oil exports in Kilo Barrels per day for Dec 2010".

So eight more countries are not being counted in Dec than in Nov.

grep CRUDEOIL,TOTEXPSB,KBD,NOV2010,, World.csv | sed 's/NOV2010//' > nov

grep CRUDEOIL,TOTEXPSB,KBD,DEC2010,, World.csv | sed 's/DEC2010//' > dec

diff nov dec

Those are the eight countries that were counted in Nov but not Dec.


That's their Nov data and to total it:

grep CRUDEOIL,TOTEXPSB,KBD,NOV2010 World.csv | egrep 'ALGERIA|ARGENTIN|BRAZIL|CHINA|EGYPT|PERUAPEC|RUSSIA|TUNISIA' | awk -F, '{sum += $6} END { printf "%f\n", sum }'

So 6520.407300 KB/D that is in data collected for Nov 2010 has not yet been for Dec.

Flipping it around so those eight countries are not counted for Nov and Dec shows:

grep CRUDEOIL,TOTEXPSB,KBD,NOV2010 World.csv | egrep -v 'ALGERIA|ARGENTIN|BRAZIL|CHINA|EGYPT|PERUAPEC|RUSSIA|TUNISIA' | awk -F, '{sum += $6} END { printf "%f\n", sum }'

grep CRUDEOIL,TOTEXPSB,KBD,DEC2010 World.csv | egrep -v 'ALGERIA|ARGENTIN|BRAZIL|CHINA|EGYPT|PERUAPEC|RUSSIA|TUNISIA' | awk -F, '{sum += $6} END { printf "%f\n", sum }'

135615.844900 - 112531.275600 = 23084.569300

Hmm, there are totals in the country fields:

They are easy enough to deal with:



28052.658900 - 27276.647400 = 776.011500

Per the link that snarlin aardvark posted in our exchange above, this appears to refer to 'oil trade movements', imports/exports per region (see graphs 8 & 9, just past the '3-D presentation'). Presumably that would include all cross-border movements of crude (& products?), like Canada, which imports in the east, and exports in the west. So it doesn't so much directly indicate a decline in oil supply, certainly not of 14%. It is the only way that I can see that a figure of 55 mbd makes any sense, as it is not total liquids (~87), crude (~73), or exports (~40), as you, Ron, myself and others have pointed out. It's just another example of bad reporting - taking a # out of context, and not knowing what it means nor how to explain it. As to what a 14% drop in 'oil movements' does actually mean, I shall have to defer to the more knowledgeable here, and I agree that it's worth some more consideration.

Edit - Here's my query to the author of the Bloomberg piece:

Hi. When you say "Total world output fell 14 percent in December from a month earlier to 55.5 million barrels a day, the lowest since 2002, mainly due to a in non-OPEC production, particularly in Latin America," in this story, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-19/opec-s-december-oil-exports-fal... , what do you mean by 'output'? Also, what word is missing in that sentence? 'Drop' presumably. And what is your source? Total world output of 'all liquids' is about 87 mbd, and of crude oil is about 73 mbd. So this 55.5 mbd figure is confusing at best. And total world exports are more like 40 mbd. So, some clarification on what you mean by 'total world output' would be helpful.

And the author's response:

Hi, The number of world oil output depends on your sources. All what is out there are based on secondary sources. Jodi data depends on government figures. This is the output based on all government data available without secondary sources. That is why you might see variations between Jodi, IEA, and OPEC data.

This response did not inspire me with any confidence that I would get better information with further questioning, so I am dropping it. It does make me appreciate the depth and breadth of knowledge available here at TOD on energy matters. As for the MSM, not so much...

And Bloomberg is supposed to be one of the most authorative news channels?? I think the problem is that most reporters don't have the expertise needed to understand what they're writing about.

I think the problem is that most reporters don't have the expertise needed to understand what they're writing about.

Yeah, but this answer is quite the cop out...

Hi, The number of world oil output depends on your sources. All what is out there are based on secondary sources. Jodi data depends on government figures. This is the output based on all government data available without secondary sources. That is why you might see variations between Jodi, IEA, and OPEC data.

If nothing else I thought the number one job of any decent reporter is to verify the quality of information of their sources, no?

As an example, I may not have the expertise to understand the intricacies of quantum electrodynamics but I can sure as hell figure out that Frank Wilczek's word on anything related to that topic is highly reliable information and that Deepak Chopra's Quantum Biology is BS! And it doesn't take a genius to get that kind of information and put two and two together. Especially if you are being paid to do exactly that. Bah!

Recent news articles by "Wael Mahdi"

I have followed the site for many years. Yesterday's Bloomberg story which had a 16% December drop for world output tucked inside it, caught my attention as most problematic. Ron P. and clifman's follow-up helped clarify and support my skepticism. Thanks to Leanan and many Oildrum contributors for their great work.

Planet could be 'unrecognizable' by 2050, experts say

AFP - A growing, more affluent population competing for ever scarcer resources could make for an "unrecognizable" world by 2050, researchers warned at a major US science conference Sunday.

The United Nations has predicted the global population will reach seven billion this year, and climb to nine billion by 2050, "with almost all of the growth occurring in poor countries, particularly Africa and South Asia," said John Bongaarts of the non-profit Population Council.

To feed all those mouths, "we will need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have in the last 8,000," said Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

By 2050 the world's agriculture will most likely be in dire straits from climate change. Population pressure on arable land (as is the case in China today) and over-exploitation will just contribute to the cataclysm.

Nabucco pipeline still in limbo

AFP - With construction of the EU's ambitious Nabucco gas pipeline slated to begin in less than a year, huge question marks remain over its financing and the actual supplies of gas it is supposed to transport.

The aim of Nabucco is to bring gas from central Asia to Europe, bypassing Russia and Ukraine where repeated squabbles over prices have in the past left the 27-nation European Union without vital supplies of gas, sometimes in mid-winter.

Nevertheless, the consortium that will build and operate the major new energy corridor has yet to sign a single contract with any of a number of potential supplier countries.

Of the central Asian 'stans the only serious would be Turkmenistan. But Turkmenistan is over-committed and its claimed reserve potential is overstated. The only long term supplier of any weight aside from Russia is Iran. I guess Nabucco is going to have to wait for a regime change.

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's son, Saif al Islam Gaddafi (a 38 year old "western friendly face" trained at the London School of Economics) gave a rambling off-the-cuff speech on Libyan television to say that his country faces civil war and that the forces loyal to his father will fight "to the last minute and the last bullet."

Benghazi is under protesters' control.

There are reports of a huge massacre at Green Square in Tripoli.

Change is in the air. A son of an unpopular dictator spouting words of denial and threats and conspiracy has only exposed the weakness of the regime.

Unfortunately, the EU is coming under heavy criticism and scrutiny. As the chief purchaser of Libyan oil (79% of that country's exports) and with Libya as Europe's third largest supplier (after Norway and Russia), Europeans have wined and dined and courted the dictator since 2004. Oil, its seems, has had a mitigating influence on international concerns over human rights.

Washington's response has sparked disappointment, too. Silence on Libya while being vocal against Iran is leaving the perception that the Obama administration is waiting on events before acting. Europe and the U.S. are perceived to be maneuvering to land on the right side of history.

Such prevarication does not bode well for the West's influence on further developments.

My gut is telling me the Colonel is on his way out (today, tomorrow, next week, pick a day) - albeit Libya will throw off its government with a bigger bang than Tunisia and Egypt. Chances are that if and when this domino goes down, the pace for reform across northern Africa and the Middle East will only quicken. No regimes then, even ones prepared to brutally repress their own people, will be immune from revolutionary forces unleashed.

2011 is proving to be more reminiscent of 1848 than any parallel year in the 20th century.

A key difference this time is that geo-political events are threatening to send oil prices (the life blood of the modern world) into the stratosphere. Stay tuned.

Perhaps the Mayans were on to something about 2012 being a transition to something....new!!

Perhaps this could all lead to a very serious shock, something to get the U.S. out of its complacency. Right now we are just drifting along, hoping or thinking something will turn up. On the other hand, I was at a community dinner tonight and the guy next to me said we have plenty of oil in the U.S. except it is being held back by environmentalists. I was aware that this point of view was common but it was still shocking to hear somebody say this first hand. Just goes to show what different planets we are all on.

While there might be some benefit for prices to go through the stratosphere, I fear that people might learn the wrong lesson. Instead of recognizing peak oil for what it is and our vulnerability, the backlash could be that environmentalists are hanged in the public square.

Further, we learned little or nothing from the gulf oil spill. Obama refused to use this as a teachable moment. The lesson seems to have been that we just need to be a little better prepared. Well, good luck with that.

Right now, things seem to be spiraling out of control. We may get an opportunity to see in action what we have spent hundreds of billions on over the years. Instead of getting off middle east oil, we have chosen to spend billions defending its flow. Well, is that really what we are going to do when push comes to shove? The powers that be are finding it quite a challenge to be on the right side of history. Maybe that worked it Egypt, but things get dicier as we the revolution moves to some of the other countries.

Instead of getting off middle east oil, we have chosen to spend billions defending its flow. Well, is that really what we are going to do when push comes to shove?

Essentially what you are asking in your post is the US willing, ready and able to make serious changes in relationship to peak oil? NO.

Why? Because this country of ours is mired in a failed political system. Somehow the checks and balances of a two party system ended up being a stalemate, in which nothing substantial gets done. Oh, sure small incremental adjustments sprout up from long, determined arguments, but nothing to get really excited about.

The US couldn't even make the switch to metric, and that's been talked about for 40 years. We can't even stop using the penny and round off to the nearest worthless nickel, when in fact to be more efficient we should be rounding off at least to the nearest quarter. The IRS has us round off to the nearest dollar so how much is even a quarter worth? But as one party pushes for something the other fights it tooth and nail until its a stalemate.

We are living in the worst of times. Debt over 14 trillion and they couldn't even let the Bush jr. tax cuts expire, so now they fight over smaller amounts they propose to cut, and again it will be a stalemate. Oil peaked and has been on a plateau since May 05, but the only thing done so far is the increased production of ethanol, even though it produces no energy gain and increases the cost of food using corn. High speed rail is still being fought over. So as we head towards economic ruin, as oil continues to plateau in production and go up in price, nothing changes. Not one ioda.

That groove many view as BAU, is turning into a deep, muddy rut from which only massive upheavel can change at this point. Get ready for what will be one of the rockiest, downward, history making rides ever.

The Chinese are having emergency meetings to plot strategy for resisting their own Jasmine revolution. I don't think this Tunis-wind will stay confined to Arab, and Islamic countries. Its a real "revolution, yes we can" message that oppressed people everywhere are taking notice of.

The Chinese leadership could suprise the world with democratic reforms.

Btw, are these revolutions being broadcasted into north korea?

Is anything from outside North Korea being broadcast in North Korea??

Having all the dictatorship dominoes dropping is well worth the risk of a recession.

I have a friend currently posted in Cameroon. She says that the students there are watching and one said to her "Egpyt and Tunisia are not so different to us. The winds of change are blowing over Africa."

President Biya's been in office for 28 years..

Plan C: Community Survival Strategies for Peak Oil and Climate Change
By Pat Murphy

Plan C calls for a sharp reduction in fossil fuel consumption and a resurgence of small local communities. The concomitant reduction in our standard of living is to be accepted as “part of being a global citizen.” The three mainstays of Plan C are curtailment (mere conservation isn’t enough), community and cooperation.

Plan C has three counterpoints: Plans A, B and D. Plan A represents our current course, in which we do nothing but blindly trust the free market to solve peak oil, climate change and inequity. A great deal more laudable, but still inadequate, is Plan B, in which we maintain the status quo while merely replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources. Lastly, there’s Plan D, in which we accept that it’s already too late to take constructive action at the societal level, and focus solely on preparing ourselves and our families for a drastic die-off of our species. Mercifully, Murphy doesn’t consider himself to be a Plan D proponent, though he nonetheless insists that its tenets deserve to be taken seriously.


AJE is reporting that a tribal leader in Libya is threatening to shutdown oil exports from Libya if Gaddafi doesn't heed the protests there.

This could be the first real test on oil prices since these rolling revolutions started....

Plus rumours the army is starting to side with the protesters. Already reports of soldiers being shot for insubordination when refusing to fire on civilians. And now:

Members of an army unit known as the "Thunderbolt" squad had brought wounded comrades to the hospital, he said.

The soldiers said they had defected to the cause of the protesters and had fought and defeated Gaddafi's elite guards.

"They are now saying that they have overpowered the Praetorian Guard and that they have joined the people's revolt," another man at the hospital, lawyer Mohamed al-Mana, told the Reuters news agency by telephone.


BP has started to withdraw non-essential staff from Libya:


1.19pm - Libya The Libyan Quryna newspaper is reporting that anti-government protests have broken out in the northern city of Ras Lanuf, site of a major oil refinery.

Quryna said special committees of workers have been set up at the facility to try and prevent it being damaged. The Ras Lanuf refinery has a capacity of 220,000 barrels of oil a day, according to Downstream Today, news website for the oil and gas industry.


1328: Italian energy giant ENI, the biggest foreign oil producer in Libya, has announced it is evacuating all non-essential staff from the country, AFP reports.


Who is rioting there? It doesn't look like there is anything but the refinery and a pipeline pumping station for miles and miles.

Anyone interested in understanding current events in the Middle East should read Juan Cole's Informed Comment blog. I've been reading him since 2002 and he's the best.

Excellent summary of the Libya situation. Cheers for the link.

Yes, thanks Kingfish for the link.

Seems to be a balanced and informed source of reporting and commentary.