Tuesday Open Thread

On a chilly morning, a place for warmth ?
The US Energy Department released a new projection yesterday (12/12/05), saying that "oil prices will remain well above $50 USD/bbl for years to come, resulting in  agreater shift to more fuel-efficient vehicles and alternative energy sources."


So much for pie in the sky $25/bbl or even $40/bbl.

I think this is great. In fact - we should get them to also forecast the price of gold - think how relaxed we can sleep knowing that oil will be < $50 for the next 5 years and gold will be < $500.00. No worries. In fact - while they are at it - can't they also forecast a victory in Iraq and and US president with IQ > 50?
Sorry - I meant oil < $60.00 per their forecast.
I can hardly believe this is coming from an international agency which should be the most competent on the energy situation.

They are making drastic changes from their last-years long-term forecast to reflect things that become obvious in 2005! If they admit that 2004's forecast (for 20 years ahead!) was crap, how do they expect to take 2005's forecast seriously?

On the energy bulletin today is an article here discussing the IEA energy forcast for 2005...

In this article it would appear that the IEA suggest that it is in the interests of oil producers like Saudi to invest in developing new supplies below:

The IEA gives much emphasis to the argument that increased production, involving huge investments, is in the interest of the oil producing countries in the Middle East and North Africa. It is argued that higher investments will result in higher overall income for these countries.

Somehow I can't see it. It looks obvious to me that money is not the base currency, energy or its basic materials are, by producing and selling the oil NOW they will be losing out on later value as money devalues against the base currency of energy.


Yet the tally just grows and grows...

Regardless of the silly previous thread that oil peaked in July, the IEA has announced this morn that the previous global extraction record of 84.7-mbd was surpassed in November: 85.0-mbd after the lapse to 83.8-mbd in Sept.

...or perhaps this is our "undulating plateau" to use CERA-suggested language.

When Dec. 05 and Jan 06 numbers come out will we say OPEC is holding back on the throttle or is it the throttle that is holding back on OPEC? Hmmm...

OMG!  If they turn out to be right, then Deffeyes could have hit the bullseye!
I really don't know what to make of IEA numbers. For example, just looking at Mexican numbers, IEA shows much higher production than PEMEX itself shows for recent months. PEMEX won't release its Nov figures till next Monday, so how does IEA get its numbers? I know this is a problem for Mex, and if they deal with other countries in the same way, I have zero confidence in their figures. Besides, we thought the peak was April or May, not July.
Wait a minute.  I haven't had time to read any of the full EIA report but the original post was about the US DoE EIA report (which just came out) and the energybulletin article (via peakoil Ireland) references an IEA report.  Did the folks at peakoil Ireland make a mistake?  Or am I missing something?

It seems the two organizations are being treated as the same thing in the comments here.

There was something that appeared last night which was really quite funny:

A combination of satire with some phenomenal photoshop work. Click on the image for the whole thing.

Only partly related to oil, I suppose. Peak oil is such a downer of a subject - every so often you just need a good laugh.
Thanks, Ericy, I really enjoyed that, doesn't Condi look better in green, lol. Worth checking out Dood's Dudehisatva site too for more in a similar vein, though nothing quite as epic:
A place for warmth - a corn stove:

Americans burning corn to cut heating costs

And why not.

Price of corn:

Price of natural gas:

There's a run on the stoves, however, because the cost savings over wood and gas are so great.

Sales of corn-burning stoves have tripled this year and distributors across the country have been sold out for weeks.

From this article:

"We are actually taking deposits for products for next fall - it's all you can do," said Ed Hiscox, owner of furnace retailer Hiscox Sales and Service in Valparaiso, Indiana, in the middle of the US corn belt.

"We have customers from very high-end homes to people who are not really in any financial condition at all. It doesn't seem to make a difference - everyone has problems with gas prices."

There needs to be a high-level top-down analysis on the trade-offs between food, energy, and the environment, including but not limited to EROI analysis.

Ill look into the numbers but if even 1/3 of the people switched from nat gas to corn we would run out of farmland. This is another example (ethanol, solar panels, being 2 others) that make sense at the margin for certain companies and certain individuals but not the planet as a whole.

We need to stop looking to corn/soy for biomass.  The only reason they are used is because they are heavily subsidized/lobbied for.  There are far better crops for biomass, and no reason that farmers who grow corn/soy now couldn't grow them (and still produce enough food for everyone).

I'm glad I am not the only one deeply concerned over the prospect of actually burning foodstocks for energy, except perhaps temporarily to take advantage of an economic abnormality.
Historically speaking (i.e 8000 b.c. to recently), food has been harder for man to obtain than energy sources.
Our stove dealer came to fix a stuck rod on the stove.  My wife told him that I wanted to mix in half corn with our wood pellets (due to the shortage of wood pellets).  He advised against it, saying we'd have more ash in the cleanout and mice eating the corn in the basement.

I wonder what he tells his corn stove customers?

We're up to Burn Level 2 of 5, burning about a 40lb bag a day, sometimes slightly more.  I'm glad we got the Prescott because it holds almost two bags of pellets in the hopper.  My wife wanted the cast-iron Hastings, which is attractive but terribly heavy and holds only one bag:

Nothing bad happens to the stove if the pellets run out, but you will wake up to a cold house.

40 pounds per day? I guess we'll cut down the last tree just like the Easter Islanders eventually too.

Abandoning all this "modern" housing and returning to heavily self-insulating structures like cordwood, strawbale, or earth sheltered is looking more and more sane by the day now.

Exactly what I was thinking. At that rate, you'll burn a ton of pelletized wood in under 2 months.
I do suppose it depends on where you live, though. If that is Minnesota, it is not too bad. If it is Virginia, there is a serious trouble.
We live in Central PA.  Based on last year's bills, I figure I'd be paying about $10 per day for NG right now, but I'm only paying $3 or $4 for pellets.  We had been getting two days out of a bag until a few weeks ago.  

We're heating a 950 SF one-story frame house.  I insulated most of it last year, but I still have to insulate the basement walls.  We have single pane wood windows and aluminum storm windows, which I'd also like to replace.

At the moment, pellets are made from sawdust found in woodworking shops, so they aren't increasing the use of trees.  We were thinking about putting up a straw bale/yert on some high ground near here, but it is hard to say if we'll get to it.
Straw-bales homes are wonderful. Defanatly worth doing. A friend that I grew up with has built at least six of them in Athens, Ohio.  I helped him build one of them.

They have an R factor between 35 and 50.  My favorite aspect of straw-bale construction are the deep window sills and the fact that you can sculpt the walls and stucco.  

The home that I helped build was a two story poplar stick frame with bale walls. The exterior was finished by spraying on portland stucco, and we did the interior by hand.   We also installed a radiant heat floor.  Very cozy house.

This was on Grand Designs a couple of years ago. Great program and I think a rather nice looking house. The guy lived under a tarp cover for many years before being given permission to build a straw house.


Why abondon the old houses when you can add insulation?
There is a hobbit like old Hippie town north of Denton TX
A step back in time.Called WhiteHawk.All residences are ferroCement dome like shells dug into slopes,and covered mostly by soil and yard grass for roofs.A Ghost of crises past !
These guys are interesting.  Apparently a government/private research project has helped build a stove more suitable to corn and coming soon ... switchgrass!


They claim higher efficiency as well.  Not sure how good everybody's numbers are on such things, and how apples to apples things can be.

When researching wood stoves, I found manufacturer's BTU ratings to be almost completely random numbers.  Most modern wood stoves use the same basic design.  So if you can put in the same amount of wood, it's hard to see how the output could be much different.  I don't know if ratings for pellet or corn stoves are any more standardized.
Some stoves use a catalyst or reburn chamber to achieve higher BTU output by reburning smoke and carbon...


Yes, this is the technique I was referring to - most use some method of adding superheated air over the combustion area to ignite a secondary combustion.
Whoa, the wife says we're on Burn Level 3, burning up to two bags a day.  So we're spending $7 to $8 a day.  I find these pellets a much more tangible measure of fuel for heating than the invisible oil, gas or electricity that I grew up with.  

My wife grew up with coal heat.  Her dad and most of her male relatives were often laid off from Conrail, so she's used to lean times.  She's been very receptive to Peak Oil, and very practical about getting prepared for even leaner times.

I'm no expert in stoves, but all the stoves I've seen suck in air from the room (rather than air from the outside) and send it out the flue. That results in a negative room pressure and causes outside (cold air) to enter the house through air gaps and other leaks. It always seems that the room with the stove is warm and the rest of the house never heats up.

Are there any stoves which use the outside air for combustion? Does anyone know if this makes a big difference or not?

With all models of my stove, there is an outside air port (3" diameter) on the back, but we haven't run the intake duct yet.  The stove backs up to a brick chimney, so there was just enough room for the exhaust to go straight through the wall.  Over Xmas break, I plan to run a duct into the wall, down through the plate and outside through the band board a good distance from the exhaust.

I think you're correct about the negative pressure; the rooms get warm, but the walls are cold.

Yes, most new stoves can be fitted with an outside air intake kit.  This is required for well sealed homes to prevent the flue from reversing direction when things like dryers kick on.  For my 175yr old house, this is not an issue.  On the other hand, the air intake of my wood stove when it is stopped down is maybe 2sq in (I'll have to measure it next time I clean it)   - it's not moving a lot of air.  

One other thing about really well sealed houses (which I suppose is not quite the same as well insulated) - I'm not very comfortable with being sealed in a house with all the chemicals released by modern building products, etc.  There are some rather nasty things in the air in a modern home.  A quandry!

The stove is vented thru the wall, but doesn't need a chimney:

This article describes the pros and cons.

Natural Gas futures are up $0.6 right now, at $15.4,  heading to a record high.
they hit record high in the night session = $15.65.
Perhaps Super G would put a link to symbol QG which basically trades 24 hours with a 45 minute break from 230-315 EST.
oh. QG is the same as NG but half the size. Natural gas futures.
The new EIA forecasts predicts $5 natural gas:

"The EIA report, however, projected that natural gas prices, which have soared to more than $14 per thousand cubic feet in recent weeks, would retreat and return to below $5 a thousand cubic feet in the years ahead. It projected a likely price of $4.46 per thousand cubic feet in 2016 as demand for the fuel eases and supplies increase."


Demand decreasing and supplies increasing? How much crack are they smoking??

Of course, those following IEA forecasts would be in the poorhouse by now historically - they were bearish on NG in 2000 (when Matt Simmons said we would have shortages).

I understand 5 years from now we might double or even triple our LNG capacity, but with 30%+ depletion rates on new wells, an increase in electric capacity using NG, higher demand for NG in the Alberta oil operations etc? What can that forecast be based on?

Turning cow manure into methane as supply substitute?

How much crack indeed.  I'm shocked to see the EIA revise up their oil price target for next year by so much.  I supposed a little reality seeps in through the cracks at times.

I thought one of the more interesting lines in the article was that the EIA is dropping it's projections for LNG import volumes because of higher than formerly anticipated global demand.

Between increased demand from the US and UK (declining production), and China (booming economy) the global demand for LNG is projected to double in the next five years.  The winter is young and we've already seen spikes above $15/MBtu here and $30/MBtu in the UK.  There is a lot of stranded NG around the world, but it will take time to bring the production on line.  I wouldn't rule out a drop to $5/MBtu in a lull some distant springtime, but I would bet on prices continuing to be volatile and substantially higher than that for at least the rest of this decade.

By the time the global LNG market develops to the point it produces enough surplus over current projected need to hit EIA's projected 2016 target, declining oil production may well be upon us.  Demand may never lighten up enough to allow prices to fall anywhere close to production costs.  If you know of a public company with rights to some of those big stranded NG pockets there would be few better long term investments.  Unfortunately the largest untapped reserves are in Russia and the Middle East.

Size of the world economy: ~ $56,000,000 milion  (source)

Oil production: 72 milion barrels/day

Cost of oil world wide: 72 x 60 (light sweet = highest) x 365 = $1,576,000 milion

According to this oil cost is about 2,8% of world spending.

Economic growth for the world is estimated at 4,5% (source)

A gold standard only works when everybody believes in the overall fiscal and monetary responsibility of the major world governments and the relative price of gold is fairly stable. And yet a lack of such faith was the precise reason the world returned to gold in the late 1920's and the reason many argue for a return to gold today. Saying you're on a gold standard does not suddenly make you credible. But it does set you up for some ferocious problems if people still doubt whether you've set your house in order.


One of the commenters suggests that the price of gold may drop because of all the precious metals we'll be mining from the moon. :-)

The more I hear people complaining about energy prices the more I'm glad I built my superinsulated passive solar house. My electric bill (elec. heat & hot water) was $60 for last month, $50 the month before. It was 13F this morning. Today the sun will warm it up to 75F and the furnance will stay off until the next day or if it is really cold it will come on after midnight. I have R70 ceiling with R50 walls. Should only take about 1/2 to 1 cord of wood to heat for the winter. So far, I only use the wood stove when the power goes off. If most homes were built this way we would not be in such a mess!

Nothing fancy but it works:


Gentlemen (and ladies?), I have a decent sized parcel of land here in central Georgia I'm paying on presently, and will be building a modest-sized home on within the next 24 months.  We plan to be in this house until doomsday. Needless to say, any advice concerning house construction features would be very useful to me in the near future.  

Greg, how did you get R50 insulation in the wall cavities?
I plan to use 2"x6" construction faced with brick veneer, but have been told the best I can do with the walls is R-21 (fiberglass batting).

I built 2 (2x4) walls  (R13+-) with a 2 layers of foam insulation baords (R14.4 each, 4x8' sheets) between. I used a vapour barrier on the inner wall in the outside. I have one photo of one wall on my web page. I have seen some walls built using those "I" beam plywood trusses with blown in insulation.

  In the ceilings I blew in about 3' of fiberglass. I have a 6" slab with R20 under it, this is for thermo storage. The floor in front of the windows gets really warm on a sunny day! I put in tubing for radiant heat, when I get around to it - I'll put in a solar hot water storage for cloudy days so the house will not use any fossil fuels for heat at all!

Many builders call those laminated wood I-beams "TJIs," after a leading mfr, TrusJoist.  

Your actual R-value will be a lot higher than R-50 because every layer, from the outside film of air to the inside film of air, contributes.  Did you calculate in which layer the dewpoint usually occurs?

Did you calculate in which layer the dewpoint usually occurs?

I did not calculate where the dewpoint would be. I placed the vapor barrier in the inside wall to prevent any moist air from getting into the wall. I have been told that should be fine. I wondered if it would be more of a problem in the summer since here in Maryland it can get pretty humid.

I use an air/heat exchanger to bring in fresh air since the house is so airtight. I find that I can keep the humidity up around 50% without too much problems with condensation on triple pane windows. It was a problem when the temp got down to 5F a couple of nights last year.

Your actual R-value will be a lot higher than R-50 because every layer...

What about the studs? They can bring down the R values.

Since your studs are separated by rigid insulation, there shouldn't be much heat transmitted through the wall due to the studs.

I'll tell you why I asked about dewpoint. I used to do townhomes all over the MD suburbs, and recall when the first energy shock led us to begin increasing insulation. We'd put in batt insulation as usual, maybe 6", but switched from composition sheathing (Abitibi) boards to foil-faced 1/2" RMax boards.

We didn't know it yet, but the foil trapped a lot more moisture inside the living space. IOW, they were vapor barriers. Well, lots of things in your home generate moisture, including you, and it "tries" to migrate out of the walls as water vapor. Water vapor stops at vapor barriers and condenses at the dewpoint.

Builders started getting complaints about moist insulation and wet sill plates.  Some put vapor barriers just under the gypsum board to protect the insulation.  They got calls about the paint peeling off the wall.  Water vapor got into the gypsum board and couldn't move through.  Nowadays we use vapor retarders, like Tyvek, instead of plastic vapor barriers.

So the moral is that you usually want to let water vapor through. Perhaps your exchanger takes care of that. You also want to plan your wall so the dewpoint does not condense water vapor in the middle of your insulation.

We didn't know it yet, but the foil trapped a lot more moisture inside the living space. IOW, they were vapor barriers. Well, lots of things in your home generate moisture, including you, and it "tries" to migrate out of the walls as water vapor. Water vapor stops at vapor barriers and condenses at the dewpoint.

I remember reading about that.  My dew point is probably in the foam boards so it should be fine. I have not had any trouble so far.

Someone told me about a bathroom that had some trouble with ice in the walls! Too much water vapor got thru and froze during a cold spell. Made a mess.

I did use Tyvek on the outside.

Thank you. Very interesting!
I'd like to use the pre-engineered styrofoam and concrete sandwich panels instead of traditional stick construction, but as none of the local construction outfits (all caught up in the surburban building boom of cheap, shoddily built stapled together chipboard and vinyl cookie cutter cul-de-sac homes) will touch anything remotely novel or out of their element.

One problem has been that all of the trades people have all of the work that they can handle.  I know a guy who is an electrician, and he told me about one time someone called him up and asked him to bid on something.  He looked at it, and decided that he wouldn't have time to take it on - instead of just saying no, he highballed the figure - thinking that the homeowner would just find someone else.  Well, that was a mistake - the person said "well when can you start".

Now that the housing bubble/boom is ending - it may take a little while before they start to get lean enough that they have the time to consider something out of the ordinary - if by next summer these guys only have enough work to go half-time, you will find them much more reasonable to work with.

we built our superinsulated house in 1993, using 6' stud walls, with polyurethane foamed in place. poly-u has an r value of 7-9/in. of insulation, which is the highest r value that i'm aware of . it can also be used as a foam sheet in various thickness. the advantage of foam in place ,is it is absolutely draft free and doesn't need a vapor barrier. like greg above, we use an air circulator, a van-EE, which does away with the too-tight house syndrome. we have a ground source heat pump,which you may not have to go to the trouble of installing, but in our northern climate is necessary. our heat pump is on a separate meter, and our year round heating and cooling costs are ~$270/yr. for the last 12 years. btw, we have r-35 in the walls(all polyurethane), r-55 in the ceiling, which has 1" of poly-u and 12" of blown in fiberglass.

Did you have to worry about the 3' of insulation getting packed down in the attic just from the weight of it all?

That is about twice what I have.  I have easy access to my attic (as long as climing a ladder still counts as easy), so I could easily lay down some bats on top of what I have.  I just wonder if I would need to lay some 1x2 strips across the tops of the joists to keep the stuff on the bottom from getting packed down too much.

Did you have to worry about the 3' of insulation getting packed down in the attic just from the weight of it all?

No. I used Johns Manville loose fill blow-in fiber glass insulation. They said it would settle alittle, but not bring the R values down much. I think it was more like 27-30" if I remember correctly. It is better than batts since it fills in everywhere, no gaps.

More info:

One disadvantage is getting into the attic, it can be hard. I do not have anything up there that needs service. If I do one can suck it back out and blow it back in! I did use a contractor since it takes a special machine to blow this stuff.

..but as none of the local construction outfits (all caught up in the surburban building boom of cheap, shoddily built stapled together chipboard and vinyl cookie cutter cul-de-sac homes) will touch anything remotely novel or out of their element.

That's one reason I did most of the house myself.

Here are two articles that came out today.  IEA is telling us oil demand is going to increase from 83.4mbd this year to 85.2mbd next year.  Who is going to produce the extra 1.8mbd?  Then we have OPEC saying they are potentially going to cut back production next year and pull back from their 28mbd production "ceiling".  Could it be that OPEC is going to hide decline rates behind "production cuts"??


World oil demand growth to pick up next year: IEA
"The IEA said that global demand for oil in 2005 would total 83.4 million barrels per day, rising to 85.2 million barrels per day in 2006 after 82.2 million barrels per day in 2004."

OPEC reassures over oil supply
"Statements by some ministers on Monday suggested a meaningful cut in production was just around the corner.

"We are paving the way for the meeting at the end of January. I think that meeting will be very important," Qatari Oil Minister Abdullah al-Attiyah said. Libyan Energy Minister Fathi Omar Bin Shatwan said OPEC was preparing for an expected drop in demand in the second and third quarters of next year, when temperatures and oil stocks rise."


The other day there was a reference here on the Oil Drum (which I no longer can locate) to the number of oil wells in the U.S, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.  The numbers were as I recall something like U.S. (500,000), Russia (170,000), and Saudi Arabia (5,000).  To a casual observer, it seems difficult to reconcile these numbers with the predicted imminent peaking of either Russian or especially Saudi oil production.  A few questions for the geologists out there:

1)    Are there geophysical reasons why Saudi Arabia should peak when relatively speaking so few oil wells have been drilled?

2)    What were the number of wells drilled in the U.S. lower 48 at the time of our peak production?

3)    Is there any evidence for a statistical relationship between the number of wells drilled per square mile in each of the world's oil producing countries, and the position of those countries along their individual Hubbert curves?

4)    Assuming such a statistical relationship fails to hold when all countries are compared, is it possible that geologically similar countries (perhaps geographical neighbors) will be similar in their date of peaking relative to number of wells drilled per unit area (accounting in some way for the different technology of newer horizontal wells)? Could this data be useful to help predict when individual countries and world oil production may peak?

I hope somebody more in the know answers your post Vortex as I would be very interested in the answers as well. I read that same number in Deffeye's new book Beyond Oil (not a bad book, but his writing style gives me fits).

From what I have read, the Saudi's have made extensive use of horizontal drilling with their wells. That is, fields like Gwahar are more like offshore fields in that one well will have an extensive horizontal extent in the producing regions of the reservoir. The down side of horizontal drilling is that production decline is steep and happens very quickly.

Therefore, considering how much drilling technology has changed since the US peak in the early 70s, there may not be a direct comparison.

The Saudi reservoirs are also very porous if I understand correctly. That is, they drain well and have quite a bit of pressure. Perhaps that allows for better production from a smaller number of wells? I think you would need to look at reservoirs of similar porosity to get an idea of what the max number of wells associated with depletion would be. For example, "tight rock" natural gas formations can have a very tight spacing of wells.

Vortex -

I can answer some of your questions.

Oil in Saudi is trapped in a very few, large reservoirs. Oil in the US is in much smaller fields, and distributed across a plethora of formations and traps and rock types.

You could think of Saudi oil as a spot where the Gods set down their leaky drums while sowing oil across the world. The oil just pooled up in Saudi, around the leaking drums, while the rest of the world was covered by splotches and patches randomly thrown about by the oil Gods.

One reason that looking at number of wells drilled is misleading pertains to average field size - small fields take more drilling. You might have to drill 500 US wells to equal a single Saudi well in volume. Our resources are more scattered, theirs are concentrated geographically and geologically.

There are a lot of reasons that comparing wells drilled isn't very accurate, but this is the main one.

As far as drilling in Texas around the Peak, it picked up tremendously right at the peak, but production continually dropped. The rapid drilling only served to slow the depletion rate short term. Since everybody also knew East Texas was drying up, they began looking like crazy for other plays as well, fueling a rise in # of wells drilled.

Glen Morton seems to be a good source of info on such subjects, here's his recent analysis of Ghawar:

You'll find similar about other fields from his homepage:

There is an explanation: all rational humans with above subnormal intelligence who have reviewed sufficient of the available data sufficiently thoroughly, come to the evident conclusion ;)

Unless, that is, they have an ulterior motive - usually involving very large $ amounts and / or a wish to gain selfish advantage at the expense of near everyone else.

Did you know that both GW Bush and Dick Cheney have state of the art self sufficient houses / ranches?

I note, however, that Richard Rainwater drives an SUV.

This lengthy feature on Richard Rainwater and his in depth research into Peak Oil is actually very significant, in my opinion, since it shows that elite capitalist publications like FORTUNE are starting to take Peak Oil seriously.  They even do not hesitate to give extreme pessimists in the Peak Oil camp such as dieoff.org and lifeaftertheoilcrash.net respectful attention - which is quite remarkable for such a bastion of establishmentarian complacency.  (Interestingly enough, though, there is no mention of Matthew Simmons anywhere in the article.)
My wife lives in Alstead, NH and we were there on October 8 and 9 while 12" of rain fell on our lake and its watershed and the water came over the dam, wrecked roads and homes for 2 more miles downstream until it reached an old gently sloping floodplain, maybe 50 or 60 acres in extent, blocked by a gravel embankment 25' high with a 10' diameter by 100 foot long culvert pipe at the bottom.  In discussions with Town officials years ago we saw that embankment and culvert as a helpful flood control structure, unless the culvert were to get blocked by a tree or other debris in which case the structure would be a mini-Johnstown flood instead of a help.  The latter was truly unexpected, in the sense of imaginable but "not really ever going to happen" - just like Katrina was well imaginable but not expected, and just like global warming and peak oil and its effects are well imagined but "not really".  But it did happen, and the gravel ambankment overtopped and blew out, and houses with people in them at 0630 morning twilight on Sunday fell backward into a wall of water and disintegrated, and bodies were found up to 3-4 weeks later many miles downstream (the emergency people having evacuated all willing people based on those conversations, bless them), and nothing can bring back the Alstead we once had.  All this gives my wife and I a sense of foreboding, in my wife's case a depression she "cannot shake", she says...

Initial recovery - clearing debris and temporarily rebuilding the road - was done quickly by oil-powered machines.  Without oil we would have had to simply walk away...

My daughter attends KSU, so I was also fairly panic-stricken when I heard about the flooding.  She was fine, but had classmates that got flooded out.
It was said years back, when people were first musing on the possibility of global warming, that the first signs would not be increased temperatures but increased extreme weather events. In Europe, at least, we have concluded - almost to every person - that we have seen ample abnormal weather to convince us.

Are we in Europe more gullible? or are Americans more stupid? or have you a better explanation for why the USA, almost alone of nations, is unable to see what is in front of its nose?

That's a sad story of yours, Retro, we've had some abnormal flash floods that sound similar here in UK these last handful of years :-((

Point well made about oil powered machines. It is relevant on a global stage too: how would we be able to provide assistance to large disasters like the recent tsunami and earthquakes? The answer is we wouldn't, so instead of killing, say, 100,000 they will kill 300,000.

From US News and World Report:


A winter fuel crisis of high prices and shortages could darken homes and factories

Who here has read Sonia Shah's 'Crude'?
Steve King (R-Iowa) is talking live on CSPAN now.
I can't believe the hypocrisy.

He cries big tears for the fertilizer-manufacturing companies in his area that are losing their jobs (closing down) because domestic NG prices are up and it is cheaper for foreign manufactureres in Russia, Venezula to manufacture fertilizer over there.

Hell, well isn't that the "free markets" weaving their magic solution?

Where are his tears for labor that lost jobs to lowered-priced foreign labor?

Now that beloved corporations are losing their jobs, whoa, that is different.

"nattering nay-bobs of negativity"? (quoting King re those who oppose his ideas)

So are we PO'ers just a bunch of NNBON's?
All we need to do is drill offshore & ANWR?
That? is the answer?

Ah, the invisible world of PERSUASION:

But what could it possibly have to do?
With persuading ordinary Americans that PO is about you?

Here are a few links for fellow information junkies

The UK News Now web site is an excellent resource that gathers news articles from all over the web on specific topics.

Here is the link for OIL

Natural Gas


Yahoo also has a page dedicated to Oil and gas news


Not only does the project dispose of the nasty CO2, the pressure from the gas helps to extract more oil. The field's oil-recovery rate has been doubled, and its life extended for another 20 years, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.


How does pumping a gas into the ground dispose of it?

Out of sight, out of mind, I guess.

At least until the reservoir springs a leak, and then all hell breaks loose.

How does pumping a gas into the ground dispose of it?

Duh. Most news reporters are ENGLISH majors! Theys never waz much good at that there science stuff. But poetry flowed eloquently from their gilden tipped quills.

If the words fit, then you can quit (thinking & asking questions). One need not worry one's pretty head about how real science works. Some company PR manger (also an English major) says the CO2 is disposerized of just like a diaper into landfill and that's that. Simple, no?

The problem is solved if the CO2 leaks out slowly enough.

Our problem is that we output CO2 in the atmosphere faster then it can be absorbed by natural processes. If we delay todays output spike enough we are ok as long as we do not produce as much for hundreds of years and the sum of new slow seepages from the ground storage/disposal/whatever catches up with us.

A massive ammount of ground storage of CO2 buys us time to either figure out how to produce energy withouth CO2 or how to control the greenhouse effect even if we release large ammounts of CO2.

Then imagine the climate control debate...
I even think it will include rude words. :-)

we are ok as long as

Nice words.
Sound logic.
Just an annoying tidbit of information in the back of my head that keeps seeping up into consciousness.
When CO2 is mixed with water, it has a tendency to form carbonic acid. That acid has a strange tendency to eat through limestone which is why we find these amazing large caverns underground where water streams once flowed.
Just because a geological cavern is oil tight doesn't mean it is a good seal for carbonic acid.
Goldman Sachs sticks by their prediction of $105/bbl plus oil, and that we're entering a 'super spike' phase that will last for years.

And in somewhat related news, the soaring price of NG has ConocoPhillips (#3 US energy company) and Burlington Resources (a leading NG supplier) in full on merger talks.

Surprise Surprise

While oil import prices declined in the month to an average $56.29 per barrel, the volume of crude imports surged 9.3 percent, driving the value to $17.1 billion, the second-highest on record. Imports of energy-related petroleum products, a wider category that includes propane and butane, hit a record $26.2 billion.

From CNN: Economists surprised


The Big Chill
A winter fuel crisis of high prices and shortages could darken homes and factories
By Marianne Lavelle
US News


Oliver Ryan, Fortune
Richard Rainwater made billions by knowing how to profit from a crisis. Now he foresees the biggest one yet.

The first link takes you to a story in US News discussing what may be a very bad winter, with commentary by Mike Ruppert (From The Wilderness).  Ruppert is on the outer edges of conspiracy land regarding 9/11, but he dead on right regarding Peak Oil.

The second link takes you to an article on the Energy Bulletin, from Fortune Magazine, which discusses Richard Rainwater's take on Peak Oil.  Rainwater is buying copies of Jim Kunstler's book in bulk and handing them out to friends.  Rainwater hopes that Jim is too pessimistic about Peak Oil, but Rainwater seems to be following Jim's recommendation to move to a small town (which by the way is precisely what Mike Ruppert is also doing).