Weekend Open Thread...

what do you think of the new site?  (make sure you tell Super G thanks for working his ass off on this thing...)

don't forget to create an account, it's not that hard.

what else is going on?  news, views, and all sorts of stuff, now threaded for your pleasure!

Thanks Super G. The new site seems pretty cool.

My only issue with the current site is the same as the last one. The views on the main page are too long. Even for the longer articles, nearly 75% of the text gets into the main page, which makes one wonder why bother with having a collapsed and extended view.

I'd like it more if the main page consisted of 1-3 paragraphs about what the article is about, and the rest was actually on the perma-link of the article. And if we want people to read/contribute to the comments, which is only available on the perma-link, this would be a better way of getting people to click in.

I think part of the problem is that we just aren't used to breaking our text up that way...I think the scoop interface will actually make it easier to remember to do it that way.
For what it's worth, I liked it better when the whole entry was shown.  I mean, is it so hard to hit the page down key?
Thanks, SuperG.  The threaded comments will save a lot of browsing time.
Hello everyone!

I've been reading the oil drum for a goodly amount of time now and about PO for about three years. In fact, I recall reading about PO in Scientific American back in 1999. So I'm pretty grounded in the current information.

I want to discuss about a text I recall reading a few years back. I don't remember who wrote it or where I found it and I'm not even sure the author really is who he says he was.

Nevertheless, the text is a teaching from a father to his son. He is incredibly wealthy and talks about the need for people like them to hire the best minds and profit as much as possible from the common people, because, he says, the common people have no restriction on their impulses and live mostly on instinct. Thus he justifies his position to extract money from the weaker and the foolish.

I've also read about a great plan to destroy modern civilisation so that a handful of people could live on the acquired technologies. In this case, yet again, the source is unattributed.

Conversely, I'm quite aware of the arguments of Malthus and Diamond as to limits to and reversion to simple state of complexity due to environmental catastrophy. Indeed, the evidence is staring at us from North Africa and the Middle East.

So what is the view of the users here? Conspiracy or natural and inescapable foolishness, on all levels?

And to staff: I love the new interface for the site. Congratulations.

I think we've got every brand of thinker here...that's been one of the great parts of this: there's always someone with an idea, and there's always someone willing to debunk that idea with their idea.  

Imagine for a moment you were born in Russia, in the early 1970's. Being born there instead of eleswhere was just a matter of random chance.

One day (1989), the whole social order around you "collapses".

Just like that. Yesterday, Communism was going to spread around the globe and take over. You have accepted this concept unquestionably. Perhaps there was word on "the street" about something being terribly wrong with the system. But those were "street" hoodlums. The Politburo is the most trusted name in politics. Then one day, your model of how the world operates, collapses, falls down in a thudding crash.

How do you handle it mentally? Do you deny it? Do you accept it and move on? Do you grieve? All of the above?

Now imagine you were born in the USA or GB and the same thing happens. The whole model of how "normal people" (greed is good people) are supposed to operate collapses. How do you deal with it?

You heard word on "the street" about this thing called "Peak Oil". The Ministry of Truth on the Trusted Channel told you it was just a hiccup and everyhting is "normal". "The Economy" is humming along just fine. Go back to your job. Keep your nose to the grindstone. Do not ask questions. Do not demand to know what the "noble cause" is. We are ALL working for the "noble cause". All animals are equal. Some just happen to be more equal than others. There is no paradox. We repeat ... there is no paradox.

Hi everybody.

I'm from Argentina and probably you know about the economic breakdown in my country.

If Po is what I think is going to be then 24 people killed in the streets, 25% unemployment, 5 presidents in two weeks, and 50% percent of the population in poverty will be a joke.


Fernando, what will you do when the crisis begins this time?
That is the question, my friend.

At this point, I'm absorbing as much as information as I can.

I want to get a clearer picture than the one I have now.


As a greedy person who has money and likes the things that energy can do for me, I go and buy one of these and stop spending my money on electricity during most days.  It makes far more juice than the house needs on average, so I sell some, buy an air conditioner which uses some of the excess to make ice for hot days, charge my plug-in hybrid car, and generally live it up on the money that's not going for fossil fuels any more.

Self-interest also means saving money on some things so you have more for the other things you want.  Rich (you call them "greedy") people don't get that way by wasting money.

Bill Gross's Sunflower project has gotten a lot of publicity, http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.07/solar.html. It is supposed to be available next year, in the form of rooftop modules that generate 200 Watts each. The initial market is commercial buildings since they have flat roofs, but I suppose nothing would stop you from putting a few into your back yard.

See http://www.energyinnovations.com/ for current status.

BTW I went to school with the guy, he used to make stereo speakers that were very popular in the dorms. Even back then he was an entrepreneur.

Which Hovse were you from? I was a skurve myself.
Great site! It must have a lot of work making it feel just like the blogger software. Any specific reasons for choosing scoop?
The site looks great.  Thanks Super G!
Great!  And the URL is so easy to remember for those of us who could not remember the old URL when on a different computer!
From Saturday's Wash Post, in a Q&A on saving gasoline, Castelli dodges the question:

"Stratford, CT: What I do not understand about the gas prices rising is that the world's energy inefficiency is nothing new. What is that factor ultimately driving the price? Everyone says its complicated and it hinges on several things; however, if it were hinged on several things it could be de-hinged so to speak and I do not understand why it does not seem like any proactive motion is even taking place even on the drawing board."

"Brian T. Castelli: World and US energy demand continues to rise -- and the price goes up with demand. economics 101. however, as we develop and use more energy-efficient products and technologies, we use less than we otherwise would. In fact,energy efficiency has met 40% of US energy demand in the past 30 years or so. that means that w/o EE, the US would use 40% more energy today than it does."


Just wanted to remind people about the "poll" Dave started on the old board at http://www.haloscan.com/comments/peakoildrum/112344993190807611/. On August 8, he wrote:

"Near $64 at close of day. In an attempt to insert some fun into this, here's my poll for oil prices on Labor Day weekend.

A above $70
B $65 to $69.99
C $60 to $64.99
D $55 to $59.55
E below $55

Cast your vote today! Starting off, I vote for B, though I was tempted by A."

I voted for C.

Halfway along, 2 weeks until Labor Day weekend, oil is at $65.35, so Dave's prediction looks OK at this point. Any other guesses?

I have no idea of where oils gonna be on Labour Day. Id say 50 % increase a year would be great it would give time for world economy time to cope with peak oil/energy. If we gonna see sortfalls of oil chances of seeing unforeseen events in the world increase. For now it looks like US have plenty of crude , preparing for winter? I guess lot of the oildrum readers are from US, was wondering if we have same kinda data available for europe as from EIA weekly http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/oog/info/twip/twip.asp ?
I vote "B" on the Labor Day price poll, I see $62 to $72 a barrel as a good price range for the next several months.  As we come to the end of the summer driving season I think Oil prices will level out.

However, if the IEA is correct and the world experiences a 1 million barrel a day, short fall between supply and demand in the 4th quarter of 2005.  I think by the end of 2005, we will see Oil prices in excess of $75 to $85 a barrel.

In the short term, I do not believe that we will see any quick spikes to $200 or $300 Oil.  Rather, I believe that Oil prices will slowly rise $10 to $25 per barrel, each year, and every year, from now on.

I believe this steady rise in price, is what separates Peak Oil Theory, from the Oil shocks of 1973 and 1979.  The oil shocks of the 70's were created by single events and the price rose almost over night to all time highs.  In comparison, current oil prices have been on the rise for three years now.  Annually averaging $27 in 2003, $37 in 2004 and now averaging more than, $54 in 2005.  

Peak Oil Theory will not arrive with a BANG, but rather with a slow realization that the time of "cheap oil" has now come to a permanent end.


How do readers of the oil drum prepare for coming events?
Myself I have read a lot of peak oil and it seems obvious that we are
headed for big changes in our lifes. Any thoughts?

After I learned about Peak Oil Theory I decided to start an alternative energy company.  The mission of the company is to help people and organizations adjust to the end of "cheap oil".  The company is now planning to build a Biodiesel production facility in Maryland.  We are also planning to expand into ethanol and other alternative fuels.

For you the course of action might be completely different.  Maybe you could be an "Energy Consultant" and go to homes and businesses and show them how they could be more energy efficient and save money in the process.  Or, if you like to do research, maybe you could find a Hydrogen Fuel Cell company and join their research team.  However, you could do something as simple as plant a garden at home, in order to prepare for higher food prices.

Every body is different, and every body prepares in a different way. Weather you, start a company, join a company, or plant a garden, just do something.  The important thing in the end, is to understand that you do NOT want to get caught in a career or position, that has NO future in a post oil world.

Hi Anonymous,

For my case, I've started a vegetable garden so I can learn how to grow vegetables if (when) I need to. I'm also slowly stocking up on things I'll need to survive if worst comes to worst. Mostly tools and the like. I'll also store seeds and food.

I have a farm that my family and I can go to live if we need to, and enough fuel stored to get us there. Assuming that the roads are still passable, and safe.


As luck would have it, my peak oil revelation didn't change my plans much at all.  It just moved the time-table up a bit.  After working in the IT world and living in the burbs for a few years, I decided it wasn't for me.  We've been saving up for a small farm ever since.

I've been reading up on self-sufficiency issues, practising what I can at home.  This includes gardening, brewing, composting, livestock (ducks), working with draft horses, volunteering on organic farms for my vacation (to learn how its done), learning woodworking with hand tools, and generally getting ready in any way that I can think of.

I've got the basics covered.  All the essentials of life and a great deal of conveniences have low-energy plans in place.  The only thing that's elluding me is an easy way to do laundry.

This winter is when I start putting my money where my mouth is.

Not that I think that going this far is really warranted for everybody.  But for me, its been a labour of love.  Infact, I kind of begrudge the fact that peak oil has given it some justification.

Here's hoping that World War III doesn't throw a monkey-wrench into my plans.

I'm going to get myself a bike and my plan is to get rid of car completely. I live in Finland in centre of one of the cities and we have good routes for bikes and for walking also basically everywhere. At the moment I need car still for carrying some stuff occasionally for work and I plan to just rent it when I need it. We also have very good public transport via buses and trains so getting rid of car will wont be a problem. One friend I have is now 40 and dosent have a driving license , and works in town and has always managed very well without car...
Nice work, SuperG. This comment box I'm writing in (Firefox) is a little funky, otherwise, looks good. I created a login, no problem with that.
I really wish that I had the NY Times delivered because everyone who gets the paper delivered now has the magazine section that TOD reported on earlier this week and I have to wait for the full Sunday edition to see it. Everyone keeps writing me to congratulate me on getting the issue right way before it went main stream. I just wonder if this will start to really enter the public debate or just become one of those things that people say "yeah that's unfortunate" and move on to the next apocalyptic report about bird flu, Iraq, and not realize the immediate significance to their lives.
I missed this. What are you referring to, peakguy?
Just you wait Dave—tomorrow the cover article for the NYTimes magazine is by Peter Maass, called "The Beginning of the End of Oil?" (subtitle: "Saudi Arabia, soaring demand and the theory of peak oil") We'll have commentary and a thread for it tomorrow.

(The original TOD mention is here.)

A couple of good articles in the Wash Post on the effects upon businesses and individuals:



I just finished reading the NYT magazine article on Peak Oil.  It was ok but had some pretty significant mistakes.  It was too focused on Saudi Arabia when there is an awful lot of oil outside of S.A.  For example, if you count the Faja del Orinoco extra heavy crudes Venezuela has as much oil as S.A. does.  Wouldn't you think that would merit mention of when/if we are getting close to peak oil.  Then again, the doomsday scenario makes for more compelling reading.
"For example, if you count the Faja del Orinoco extra heavy crudes Venezuela has as much oil as S.A. does. Wouldn't you think that would merit mention of when/if we are getting close to peak oil." Exactly right. I didn't want to let your post go unnoticed. Look at what I said here.
Great new site.  I can't seem to find an RSS feed, though.  When do we get that?
The URL for the RSS feed is http://www.theoildrum.com/backend.rdf


Excellent site! I find the quality of the posts very high. I used to be a regular on PeakOil.com but there is now too much clutter and most of the posters are close-minded doomers.
(Reposting this now that I have found the weekend open thread.)

On the weekend, C-SPAN2 becomes Book TV.  At midnight EDT (Sunday/Monday Aug. 21/22), Kenneth Deffeyes will be on Book TV giving a talk titled "Beyond Oil: The view from Hubbert's Peak."

The Book TV schedule can be found here:


Congrats on new site! Looks good and better than old one, made me create an account. Only negative thing I find is animated gif advertisement. If you are using firefox, just press esc and they stop animating.
Been a reader here for the last few months, and enjoyed the old site.  This one will take some getting used to but then what new thing doesn't.  Comment to the reader who talked about all the sour crude in Venezuela.  Just remember it takes a lot more energy input per barrel to refine, verses usable products out. that reduces the reserve quite a bit.   To add to the Venezuela thing.  I saw a quick flash on gas prices on the T.V. the other night that stated that in Venezuela the price is $0.12 a gal. I don't know if that is accually true but if it is looks like Chavez is following the american model to the tee.
Keep up the good work folks, and don't worry about the comments.  Everyone has an opinion, and whether or not we agree is one of the benefits of living in this country.
suggestion: It could be quite useful to have the possibility to include images in the comments using html tag (ex: [img]..[/img]).
Sorry, I've missed the point of this thread!

I started to read The Oil Drum, about 1 month ago, so I can't make any valuable comparision. Anyway, let me say that TOD has become my prefered source of information about PO.

I just want to say thank you for all your efforts.


Much nicer comments this way. Really nice.
Just in case this hasn't been posted:


"Peak Oil Aware" shirts, coffee mugs, other trinkets.  Of course they are cheap because we have cheap labor and cheap oil to deliver them across the ocean...


Also, for new junkies like me, using Google Alerts is a great way to know when something new has been posted on a particular topic.

Can someone comment on how Iraq factors into peak oil since they have large reserves but are basically shut in?