DrumBeat: October 12, 2006

[Update by Leanan on 10/12/06 at 9:23 AM EDT]

China's Nine-Month Oil Imports Rise as Demand Climbs

China imported 16 percent more crude oil in the first nine months of 2006 than a year earlier to meet rising energy demand in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

Some of it went into their SPR: China reportedly puts 3 mln barrels of Russian crude in reserve

China has put 3 million barrels of Russian crude into its strategic oil reserve since August, the Shanghai Securities News reported Wednesday citing unnamed sources at China Petrochemical Corp., better known as Sinopec Group.

The amount of Russian crude used so far in the reserve at Zhenhai in the eastern province of Zhejiang is equivalent to almost 10% of its total capacity, the report said.

It added that the type of Russian crude imported for the reserve was Urals, which is a medium sour blend.

Oil executive: As China raises its standard of living, its thirst for oil will strain world's oil production abilities

Professor Albert Kwong, an executive, professor and lecturer in the Chinese oil industry, has put certain numbers together. "China has five times the population of the United States. The United States uses five times the amount of oil, per capital, as the Chinese."

Here is the challenging part: "The Chinese want to be just like the Americans."

Oil prices slip further below $58/barrel

Oil prices slipped Thursday after settling at their lowest level this year in the previous session as markets awaited the release of a weekly U.S. petroleum supply snapshot.

Hard Math in Oil Cuts Splits OPEC: Once again, OPEC is finding that it is much easier to agree when prices rise than when they fall.

James Howard Kunstler: Peak oil and tradable paper currencies

Where finance is concerned, the basic implication of peak oil is pretty stark: an end to industrial expansion (i.e. "growth"). All the alternatives to oil will not keep the industrial economies expanding - they can only slow down a contraction, and only marginally so. The trouble with this picture is that finance is a system that uses paper markers to represent the hope and expectation for the expansion of wealth. These markers are currencies, stocks, bonds, option contracts, derivatives plays, and other certificates that are traded in open markets. If there is no longer any hope of increased wealth in the world, then all those tradable paper markers become losers. Their value unwinds and imagined piles of wealth evaporate into thin air.

Pipeline trouble continues to rattle BP

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - America’s largest oil field will produce very few barrels over the next several days as operator BP scrambles to fix an electrical problem.

Energy expert David Hughes talks about peak oil, natural gas, Canada's role in the production of hydrocarbons, and the ASPO-USA 2006 Boston World Oil Conference, "Time for Action: A Midnight Ride for Peak Oil," scheduled for October 26-27, 2006, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Tom Whipple on The Peak Oil Crisis: Turning Points

High oil prices clip travellers' wings

High oil prices have forced Australians to change their transport plans in the air as well as on the ground. They are taking fewer plane trips because of fuel surcharges imposed by airlines.

France Ends Nuclear Energy Reports; traders, environmentalists see "step backward."

Pakistan: Power cut mars Eid shopping

KARACHI: Power outage occurred in many shopping areas and bazaars causing huge losses of small traders during the peak season of Eid Shopping.

...President of the Zanaib Market Association Abdul Samad Khan said the prolonged outage of electricity forced traders to stage violent protest yesterday. He added that the concerned authority should correct this problem before Ramadan.

Australia considers nuclear fusion as energy solution

We need the energy to break out of our fossilised ways

The other day I found myself on the M25. In, of course, a traffic jam. There was a traffic queue on the other side of the motorway too, pointing in the other direction and not really going anywhere either. I had a sudden insight at that moment: in 50 years' time, this scene - of fossil fuel-driven cars and trucks stuck stationary on this motorway - won't happen. There won't be that many vehicles with that fuel.

Russians may stop paying debts if oil bonanza ends

Russian banks could be saddled with millions of dollars in bad loans if a drop in oil prices hits the incomes of middle class Russians who have been gorging on a glut of consumer credit.

U.K.: Levy on new houses could revive 1960s railway links

Rail lines that closed 40 years ago could be reopened under plans by which developers pay for new tracks in return for planning permission to build thousands of homes.

British Rail shut a third of the network in the 1960s, claiming that it could not compete with the growth in car ownership. But road congestion has become so severe that local authorities are seeking to restore dozens of lines that last carried trains in the age of steam.

All kidnapped workers released in Nigeria

Pumpkin Power Dawns for African Cell Phone Networks

Palm and pumpkin seed oil could soon be generating electricity to help power cell phone networks across Africa under a plan to replace fossil fuels with sustainable biofuels made from crops grown by local farmers.

...Supported by the GSM Association's development fund, they will start with a project in Nigeria to use biofuels for power generators supplying mobile base stations located beyond the reach of the electricity grid.

[Update by Leanan on 10/12/06 at 10:31 AM EDT]

Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending October 6, 2006: U.S. crude stocks soar 2.4 million barrels, beat expectations. Distillates down 1.6 million, gasoline rises below forecasts.

Like I was telling Leanan yesterday...I'm curious to see how the news of China filling its strategic oil reserves affects today's Weekly Petroleum report.  Interesting also, that so far, it is all Russian crude sloshing around in China's tanks.
I don't think it will have any effect.  The news broke last week, so if it was going to have an effect on trading, it would have happened then.

As for the Weekly Inventory...China's been filling their SPR since August, so I don't think we'll see any big change in the numbers for last week.

Mexico's Cantarell field: how long will it last?
by Tom Standing

Commentary: Massive Development Pushes Mexico's Cantarell to Record Production - But How Long Will it Last? (Part 1 Of 4)


I don't want to rehash what we discussed yesterday, but I think it is interesting that Kunstler repeats the phrase "industrial society" and ties that to "growth."

Yesterday we spent too much time on the degree to which soicety is now, and in future needs be, "industrial."

Today I'll only note the passing irony that wordsmiths like Kunstler are not "industrial" and don't count, by his own measure, toward "growth."

(I don't actually know if programmers like me are "industrial" by modern measure, or if our bit patterns are "industrial output."  I'd guess we are service, like the graphic artist who sits next to me.)

Best Wishes.

Call it the "Virtual Industry".  
We live in a world where people can sell their virtual world (game) stuff, and buy food, or ...

Teen pays siblings' college fees by selling virtual weapons

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro ...

Yep...the 21st century sweat shop...
Hardly a sweatshop.  I believe he stated that he plays (note not works) an average of 3 hours a day.  He's made 36K for a 3 hour a day "job" which he happens to enjoy.

Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me.

Are you trolling me?

The activity never determined whether there was a sweatshop.  It was the oversight and the framework.  Sewing is the classic example: sometimes hobby, sometimes career, sometimes example of sweatshop victimization.

Pushing bits is similar ... as seen when people here push bits onto TOD comment threads.  Maybe there is a sweatshop somewhere were kids are made to pump up comment volume (or tediously create hand-made spam).

There are places which hire people for dirt cheap (India, china, etc) to play videogames and build character levels to sell them.  They play the characters 24 hours a day, handing them off between shifts before selling them.   Do a search on Ebay for World of Warcraft "WoW" and you'll find players there for sale as well as items and such.  It's weird shite.
Like the ad-based businesses: this is just a spreading-around of "discretionary" income that originates from other sources.  When the real economy crashes, there will not be many people paying for "virtual" stuff.
What kind of clue should it be to us when you simply state "when the real economy crashes?"
One of the consequences of PO will be that people in the formerly affluent societies will be forced to re-learn the difference between "needs" and "wants".  Real wealth grows in Kansas, not Wall Street.
Gotta run, but before I do I'll say how it strike me ... not so much that it is out of the question, but simply that it plays in certain forums better than others.

TOD is a place where commens like that are not uncommon ... noble forum or buglight, only our grandchildren will know for sure.

There's also ports for sale for HSX.  I played this for months. I was hooked hardcore and the only thing that broke it was PO.  They sell Hollywood Stock Exchange portfolios and they've got for as much as a hundred bucks for fake money to play with in a fake stock market game.  The fund is how fast you can grow it and once you're doubling your port within a month, it gets zany.  Lot of fun to waste some time.
I have a bit of experience with the actual commercial operations, rather than the college kids paying tuition.  That's where the real story, the bulk of virtual currency transfer is.

Lineage II was a Korean MMORPG that had a decently sized US market.  They already had segregated Korean servers {which blanket-blocked Chinese IPs).  Over the first year, the adena farmers (common label: $currency farmers) went from highly visible annoyance to a powerful force on the server, with probably around 20-30% of of player hours.  Getting money in the game was an unusually tedious exercise, so there was a major market.

It destroyed the game for a lot of people - I've always wondered what it would have been like without them.  They generally didn't speak english, didn't participate in the social aspects of the game (in a game about blood oaths, not good), and stayed at a low level to farm easy spawns, killing anyone that got in their way.  Then, when the game mechanics changed and higher level players became more valued, the 24-7 farmer contingent became the vast majority of the high level players overnight.  When inflation(always present in fake game economies) killed some of their income, they became contract mercenaries, a major token in the political struggles ingame.

It's not really a sweatshop.  South Korean or Hong Kong pit bosses market and sell the work of numerous Chinese people working out of internet cafes.  I've met people working 3 ppl to an 8 hour shift and 2 ppl to 12 hour shifts, for around $5/day.  In games that are well-suited to scripting, they'll likely hire locally and equip them with the gear, botting programs, etc, but for most games, it's a completely virtual relationship that's performance based (I'll order 100k adena from you a day for $7).  The pit bosses handle the web orders, the delivery, the ads (of which gaming sites that use google ads are frustrated at), and the  pay.  I knew one pit boss that was pulling in $20k/month, I knew farmers who had to camp that spawn in order to feed their family, I knew teen farmers that basically lived in internet cafes, living comfortably, playing socially as well as professionally, and not taking significant income out (one aspect of sweatshop / company town work).

But physically, most of the workers were never under any more compulsion than you can be sitting in an internet cafe, working on a cash-up-front basis for someone in another country to export to still another country.

Watch the video and see the future.

The guy that represents WindArt the people that made Entorpia Universe, are making a virtual world that can be related to the real one with money.   Seems they can buy in game things with real world funds, and then grow the money and push it back out into the real world.   I'll have to look it up later, but seems to me the "World Tax Police" are going to be hunting some heads soon.  The kid made 36k  and spent 12k to send his siblings off to school.  The IRS will be thinking about how they can get ahold of the taxes off that money I am sure.

I have played several Online Games that if you had Characters that you wanted to sell for real world doallars you could.  Though the one I play the most now,  Runescape, Has put it into their rules that you CAN NOT sell items or characters for real world cash, if you are caught they can wipe your account.  But I do know of people that trade in game gold for out of game cash, its a bit out of the way, and not on e.bay because of the data miners getting ahold of the information and Jagex the owner of Runescape deleting you.  

 Seems that WindArt is fostering real world cash for in game items and economies.  They have taken the gaming world one step further.  They hope to get bigger and bigger.  

In the Peak Oil future, I could see people using this as a method of not having to leave their homes.  Virtual world commerse on a real world scale.

I don't want to rehash what we discussed yesterday, but I think it is interesting that Kunstler repeats the phrase "industrial society" and ties that to "growth."

By the way, just in case some of you didn't notice, Jim Kunstler did drop by and leave a comment in the Brazilian ethanol thread yesterday. He posts here every great once in a while.

Regarding the news above that China wants to be like the U.S., I think the comments Jim made about China in The Long Emergency are spot on. China will never rise to our standard of energy consumption, because the energy just isn't there.

That is what led Matthew Simmons to peak oil.  He started wondering if there was enough oil to allow China to achieve a U.S. lifestyle.

The prime conclusion I reached after doing this China research which entailed an extensive analysis of what happens to energy use when a poor country begins to prosper, is that energy growth always goes hand in hand with countries switching from being poor to becoming even slightly affluent.

As I finished this China study, it left me wondering whether the world really had the sufficient resource base to allow China to achieve its dream of economic success. From the work I did on per capita energy use, if China ever becomes the equivalent of Japan in 1960, let alone finally convert its vast body of people to the prosperity of the United States today, this transition would consume so much energy that it raises the question of whether such added energy really exists. At the least, it would strain the world's energy resources to its limits.

If trade barriers remain low, I think the natural outcome is going to be a world-wide leveling of wages within each specialty.

That's sad from our (rich nation) perspective, but it leads to hard questions.  We may like to pay our mailmen good money, and good retirement, to walk with a sack over their shoulder ... but what is really fair when there are 5 billion people who would risk their lives to reach that job, and do it for half the price?

I think it's apparent that past legal/trade frameworks essentially enforced a labor shortage in the US.  When you remove the barrier, a US worker becomes a world worker.

I don't think trade barriers will remain low.  Politics and economics are going to kill globalization.
I don't think Americans are really ready for a world-wide leveling of wages ... so I think you might be right.

I've sort of felt that certain if/when conditions might hold.  If the lax energy response becomes painful, the US population will demand greater national action.  If the continued decline in realy wages become sufficiently painful ...

It is kind of amazing though that the "lower taxes" meme has worked the way it has, for the rich.  I think we agree (IIRC) that the middle classes see themselves as rich and don't fight these things.  So far the slow squeeze in middle class income hasn't changed that outlook.  Or housing prices provided an offset, or whatever ...

The middle classes (and even the lower classes) don't see themselves as rich.  They seem themselves as the "future rich."  Potentially rich.  We're all just one lottery ticket away from being millionaires.  

If that ever changes, the spit is really going to  hit the fan.      

I recall an episode of the Simpsons where a new employee tells Homer he'd starve to death in any other country. I try to keep loose track of people who have been laid off from their once comfortable working environment; the peacetime military for example. Some cope, some vegetate and some die young.
While I think this is absolutely true as a theoretical exercise, an incidental thing to bear in mind is that we can't talk about some unitary 'China' working its merry way to a US standard of living. That is not what is happening, and not even what is intended. The idea is for those Chinese with the right connections to make fortunes out of foreign exploitation of cheap Chinese labour. Then, one scale down, for those that have the necessary skills, they can take a compartively well-off position (i.e. relative to workers and peasants) as e.g. accountant, engineer, etc. Everybody else supplies the cheap labour. That is why (in rough terms) China's 'success story' is about one-third of the population being better off, and the other two-thirds being even worse off than before.

Still, another four hundred million relatively affluent people will really make an impact on energy use.

And how would they make the other 2/3 worse off?  I'm curious.
Thats the basic function of capitalism.
If JHK reads this, he may set me straight but here is what I think.  

When JHK talks about the 'industrial city' with 'industrial processes' that people fled from, I think he refers to the large, manufacturing and processing plants that sprung up in the late 19th century as part of the industrial revolution.  However, I think his message goes deeper when he talks about 'industrial society'.  I have always interpreted this to mean the general trend toward mega-sizing, consolidation, and de-localization (if you will).

Being industrious is generally a good thing, meaning you get a lot done, you keep busy.  This became more exclusively associated with making a lot of things.  Same way being productive went from doing useful things to almost exclusively making a lot of things efficiently (with he least amount of labor generally since this has been the most expensive input).  But it is really the super-sizing and single minded purposefulness (production uber alles) of the institutions that have evolved that are the problem.  

When you are local, and do and produce things for your local community, you inevitably care more about how you do things, how you treat your customers (now we have consumers),  and also generally what your relationships are with your fellow doers and producers.   When I hear JHK talk about the destruction of these local interrelationships, I also think of the many other systems he talks about.  So in addition to the mega-sizing of manufacturing, we have the mega-sizing of agriculture, retailing, entertainment, all the way down to the physical realization of communities and mega-sizing of blocks, and buildings.  

I'm not sure where software development and the movement of bits around the internet fits into this exactly.  But as far as information, such as news, I would say it applies as well.  Industrial news is mass-produced, non-local, and is made with a single-minded purpose etc.  

odo wrote:
   "The passing irony that wordsmiths like
  This is the pot calling the kettle black.
 See Wikipedia-Disinformation
I've never pretended to be anything but a bit-pusher.  Or maybe I'm missing the point ...
interesting that Kunstler repeats the phrase "industrial society" and ties that to "growth."

- he didn't say that.  He said "industrial expansion".   That's "growth" by definition.  And I think he really "gets" the link between the endless paper deals and the expectation of growth in real industry.  Once this expectation fades, all hell breaks loose.  When the "playas" take their toys and go home, as they did in 1929, we'll find out again that the economic system we've set up is not working in "our" (the average person's) favor.

actually yesterday's discussion (which dragged on this morning, to virtual markets etc.), was equally about whether "industrial expansion" constitutes all "growth."

To say "industrial expansion" is growth "by definition" goes at odds with some of that.

Shorter: I hope you never bought an iTune.
Let's see if another shortage of oil from the North Slope results in a price spike in gasoline. If not, why not?

The lost production numbers are essentially the same as this past summer, after all.

Yes, yes, market psychology - after all, the 'market' wants certain outcomes in the American elections, doesn't it? And these expectations are normally found in prices - Dow up/down based on election winners/losers is boilerplate reporting, after all.

As I wrote a few days ago, it is fascinating to watch what used to be absolutely standard 'market' behavior be turned on its head. Gasoline prices used to jump on bad news/increases in the price of crude, and slowly settle afterwards - a rock bottom feature of the market everywhere has noted.

Now, the price of gasoline continues to slide, regardless. Hmmm. I am sure it is all very explainable - assuming any explanation is required.

And yes, it is quite possible that gasoline was over-priced over the last period of time, and the current price reflects something resembling a 'real' price, based on market factors.

Which again, just happen to be all so often psychological - the same as Saudi Arabia not cutting oil shipments is a reason to think that a declining OPEC might just be bluffing. But in the past, the Saudi method of indicating its market position was raising output, thus hurting anyone who cut production by taking their market share also.

But these days, the market feels that Saudi Arabia merely meeting its contracts for next month is a reason to push prices down further. http://biz.yahoo.com/rb/061006/markets_oil.html?.v=3

Psychology seems to be everything, somehow.

Except that the North Slope will be delivering ca 300,000 barrels a day less for the next several days. That seems to be reality - assuming they don't have any unanticipated problems - like shaking, which was in an article I can no longer find a link to - it seems as if as the pipeline 'empties' down slopes, it creates shaking in the structure - and this could be something to watch for as a problem in the future, much like the bacterial corrosion, since the pipeline was not designed with such lowered volumes in mind.

Depletion has a lot of unintended effects. Lucky that according to the experts, depletion is a local problem.

Gas prices are falling because the amature speculators are leaving the market in mass.  By some estimates, there was a 'fear premium' added onto oil of anywhere between $15 to $35: everyone expected the worst this year.  When the worst didnt materialize, those that hedged their bets jumped out in mass, and the price of oil is falling dramatically.

Notice this doomers!!  Non OPEC oil is expected to grow by about 1.7 million bpd next year.  Growth is happening from some surprising areas around the world.  Perhaps this is why OPEC is cutting production: the market doesnt want their sour heavy crude.  Someone better tell the masses what westexas knows...

And as was reported in a previous article, Q3 2006 production was up to 85.4 million bpd globally, the DIP IS OVER!!!  I guess peak oil wont be occurring for some time yet.

Isnt this what's expected as prices remained higher in 3rd wtr6 than 1st.  At higher prices prodcuers produce as much as possible.  The fact that it's barely 400,000 more a year later in another argument, but it's clearly diminishing returns in action.  Who cares if it's one more year away when the short term hasn't changed, it's most likely here now~2010 and we all know this.
Hey Tate,

Don't know if you noticed, but HGor just gave us, inadvertently I'm sure, confirmation of the fact that that the Saudi claim earlier this year, that the non-OPEC oil bonanza would force Saudi oil off the market, is just not true.

Remember, OPEC will go from 29.86mbd  to 26.97mbd, right? 2.89mbd less in 2007.

Yes there's the Iraq confusion. But still, 1.4 mbd ain't nearly enough to make up for the difference. OPEC said this week the 1mbd cut would be the first of a series.

I know they invented calculus, and they're trying to confuse me, and I'm easily confused, but they'll have to try harder.

And as per non-OPEC, we're counting down the days till Angola slips into Nigeria MEND like trouble. If anything, the Angolans see even less profits from their oil than Nigerians do.

Keep on top of this.  I'm not buying the kool aid either.  All we can do is wait.  It sucks, but alternatives don't exist at the moment.
Damn...thanks Hothgor...I will sleep so much better tonight.
I guess peak oil wont be occurring for some time yet.

Like how you expect people to 'enjoy' a blank web site?

When you can show how there won't be effects of more expensive oil, feel free to show it.

At least the non-cornicopions explain why they think its downhill.  

Actually, according to one of the better informed TOD senior contributors, prices are going down not because of anticpated future growth (refineries definitely work on what comes out of the pipeline, not what is planned to come out) but because of seasonal factors (very well established) and the fact that the refiners are still making enough money at the price they are selling gasoline for, thus ensuring a market where scarcity is not driving the price up.

What is intriguing is the seemingly no longer functional connection between supply shocks (300,000 barrels a day missing from Alaska for the next couple of days is still ca. 8% of America's oil production, and just trust us about that repair estimate, by the way), threatened price hikes due to production cutbacks by OPEC, more instability impacting oil production in Nigeria (maybe that is becoming boring), and still increasing Chinese consumption.

These sorts of reasons were valid in the years past, but for the last 2 or 3 months, they no longer apply.

Of course, the role of the American economy cannot be ignored - if oil demand in terms of price being paid is a true measure of American economic conditions, then it just may be that the American economy is about to fall off a cliff, and by extension, a significant portion of the world economy with it. For example, it is hard to imagine growing Chinese demand if America cuts back on Chinese goods by 2/3 in the next six months.

Honestly, I favor this explanation more than any conspiracy directing prices to get Republicans re-elected as the real background reason for the fall in crude prices.

Unfortunately, peak oil plays the joker role here - price and production just may change from a supply/demand at x price equation to a simpler to grasp condition - less supply, regardless of price.

Seeing how people think gasoline prices are manipulated by a small cabal for cheap political points, or the dismissive attitude of those who think such a conspiracy impossible, I can hardly wait for the rational discourse in 5 or 10 years about declining oil production.

In the United States (and now the North Sea), the local decline has been documented very well through most of my life - as has the rise in imports from other sources. At some point, the local becomes global.

But to be optimistic - I have read that Titan is a promising source of hydrocarbons - just a couple of technical problems to be solved first, but it shouldn't be impossible for a nation that put a man on the moon more than 30 years ago - I mean, look at how those lunar colonies worked out - I seem to recall they were on a few drawing boards too. Drawing boards - remember when the future was planned on drawing boards? Well, we still live pretty much in the present of those who worked on drawing boards a generation or two ago. Except our now is not what they expected of their future. Well, back to the drawing board - I'm sure you can still find one on E-Bay.

"What is intriguing is the seemingly no longer functional connection between supply shocks (300,000 barrels a day missing from Alaska for the next couple of days is still ca. 8% of America's oil production, and just trust us about that repair estimate, by the way), threatened price hikes due to production cutbacks by OPEC, more instability impacting oil production in Nigeria (maybe that is becoming boring), and still increasing Chinese consumption."

Actually, ExPat, I think you may be on to something here. The spot markets (not just oil) move based on what gareners the attention of traders and investors. For the last couple of years the oil spot markets have been paying attention to many of the same things that peak aware folks have been paying attention to. Perhaps it is just that the traders and investors have moved on to other things to pay attention to. I think it is risky to assume that these markets are rational.

Bullcrap. The number you are quoting is theoretical possible "supply". Let's look at actual demand, shall we?

From the IEA Oil Market Report, we find that the actual demand for 3rd quarter 2006 was 84.4 mbd. And that is from the most recently publicly released Oil Market Report (12 Sept 2006).

What Hothgor is doing is claiming there is some theoretical supply up to 85.4 mbpd globally. But the actual supply (which met actual demand) was 84.4 mbpd hovering in that same 84-85mbpd where we've been for 27 months.

In fact, let's compare IEA and EIA demand reports:

The table above summarizes quarterly data from the IEA and the EIA about global oil demand. Numbers in red are IEA projections and subject to the constant downward revisionism that the IEA has suffered for the last 2.5 years. Real demand is what is actually pumped. The current situation mirrors past price peaks except for the inability of producers to flood the market with oil to exploit a "temporary" price spike. The market is still not "flooded" with oil nor is there any sign that OPEC members will do what they always have done in the past - violate quotas to exploit the price. Why? Either they have all, collectively, suddenly developed a remarkable ability to restrain their own greed or they simply cannot pump more oil.

So Hothgor, IEA says world oil demand was more than 1mbpd than what you are claiming. Or, if you are claiming some fantasy "potential" production number, then let's make sure everyone understands that you are peddling the same sort of theoretical nonsense as Lynch, who has not been right either for 3 years. Or, if you have a source other than these two, lay it on the table. And no, "secret" sources like Freddy used to pull out of his arse do not count.

Hothgor, we are waiting for your documentation.
And still waiting......
And still waiting...  but let's face it, Hothgor is 50 monkeys punching a keyboard and coming up slightly short of coherence.

The simple fact that our reserves have been increasing at a dramatic clip while consumption has leveled off proves my point.  We only 'need' 84.4 million bpd, but we are using 85.4 million bpd.  The 1 million bpd difference is going into strategic reserves.  Opec knows this, most analyst agree with this, and in a few months when the EIA figures are released for August and September, TOD will know this.

But tell you what, if production hasnt gone up in the 3rd quarter as your suggesting, and the slump really is continuing, then I'll eat crow and give you a pat on the back.  I however suspect there is going to be some TOD plateau shattering news in a couple of weeks/months.

The Plateau Has Ended

Guess my crow eating session will have to wait until sometime later!!  You can find the website this graphic is from here

That's theoretical supply, as I stated before. Yet we have China's demand up by 16% or so from a year ago for the entire first 9 months of 2006. We have India's demand up. US demand is flat (not declining). Europe's demand is UP. OPEC demand is UP across almost all OPEC member nations (resulting in fewer exports). Russia's production is DOWN while Russian demand is UP.

So with all these demand numbers going UP why is the buffer in "theoretical supply" not being used? You are just blowing smoke. Let's watch what demand (which == supply) does over the next 12 months. You sound exactly like Freddy, the last obnoxious troll to hits TOD and go crawling away when his predictions of massive increases in June and July also failed to materialize.

Let's watch the powers that be declare we have 100 mpbd "supply" and try to calm the sheeple. Then watch as every time demand tries to go over 85mbpd we see prices spike. In fact, if consumption patterns for past years are any guide to the 4th quarter of 2006, I think we're going to see some interesting prices shortly... and I don't mean lower ones either.

P.S. Hope for a warm winter, Hothgor, or T. Boone Pickens, who has turned a couple hundred million bucks into over $13 billion on peak oil related issues alone over the last several years is going to get even richer.

You do realize the link I posted showed the graph with CURRENT oil production at 85.4 million bpd.  Thats not a theoretical number.  Thats the CURRENT DATE used for 3rd quarter production numbers.  Thats straight from the mouth of the same people Stuart used for 6 months in his silly plateau rants.  I posted the second linke to the website so no one would say its fake.  Your entire arguement is null and void: notice how no one chimed in to back you up?

The fact is: last quarters average production: 85.4 million bpd.

Eat crow~

Easy. Greyzone's been around for awhile. I'll back him up. This is just a simple misunderstanding. Let's let calm prevail. People associate with different data sets. I'll go back and find what this is about.
Yeah like this isn't obvious. You both started off on the wrong foot. He's going from theoretical demand. You're going from expected supply. It's not a war between these absurd constructs. It's a three-sided equation. You guys need to break this off until you get on the same page.
> shaking, which was in an article I can no longer find a link > to

mean this?

Thanks - I thought I had read it at the Houston Chronicle, but checking their site didn't help.
Actually, this article had some more detail, interesting in the extreme - did you realize that as the price of gasoline dropped, America's total oil production seems to have declined somewhere around 2%?

Interesting numbers to chew on, truly interesting. Nobody cares about a 2% drop in production for weeks on end? And work out the dollar amount - that is not really trivial, even by oil company standards.

Fascinating - these aren't secret numbers, exactly, but where was the reporting on them when talking about a market flooded with crude - seeing as how at least for the American West Coast, the market couldn't not have been 'flooded' - there was instead an unplanned drop in supply, which normally would lead to higher prices, at least regionally.

The shaking pipelines story was so new for me so I forgot to read the numbers ..
not only US-Production dropped, also norwegian
Just a quick request before a full day of "sustainable handyperson" work.

A local chapter of the Izaac Walton League has invited me to show my work trike, and to talk about why I ride work trikes, and also about my vision for introducing more sustainable, active transportation into our lives.

I will emphasize the need to respond immediately to the twin threats of global climate change and peak oil, and will take note of the population and consumption overshoot ideas.

This will be a group of folks already attuned to protecting the environment, but I do not know how aware of peak oil various people will be.

My work trike and choice to ride is what got the group interested in having me come by to talk, so there's the real "hook" for the evening.

Any thoughts this stimulates in fellow TODers -- suggestions, resources to list, books, websites, or particularly engagin articles or stories that might give these folks more info and encouragement to make the needed changes -- would be greatly appreciated by me!

I'm pedaling off to work two jobs at two different homes today, but sure will check back this evening.

-- Thank you in advance!

Perhaps your presentation could use the approach that your work trike usage is your way of being an "early adopter" of less energy intensive, more sustainable ways of living.

This gives you an opportunity to then mention WHY you feel it is important to start living with, experimenting with, and exampling such changes. (your chance to giving them some leads on where to get more info on resource depletion and climate change)

In my experience with doing similiar presentations to small groups they tend to be most receptive when I explain my changes as experiments (Americans seem to be much more accepting of experimenters than of eccentrics - we like the Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison, those types). It also helps to admit that I don't have all the answers, and that it is OK to figure things out as you go.

The best thing about doing a presentation as an "early adopter" is that it leaves the door open to your audience to someday follow your lead or to adopt their own change that also leads towards a more sustainable lifestyle - either as another early adopter, as a timely adopter, or as a late adopter (favored by the crowd followers, but better late than never)

Good Luck!

Greg in MO
<user of an Xtracyle for pedal-powered cargo and kid hauling>

Great job, beggar! I really think the key is for all of us to take personal responsibility.
  Down here in Galveston several guys have fixed up trikes to fish from the jettys and piers. They work great!
thanks to greg in MO and to Oilmanbob!

The Xtracycle is a terrific innovation.  I would like to see images of the trikes rigged up for fishing.

I want to get computer savvy enough to put up a little website and do a Powerpoint presentaion which includes a great variety of HPVs (Human Powered Vehicles).  I'd like to include both the higher-end velomobiles and the "one-offs" and personally-modified bikes, trikes, and quads so many people use.

My thought is to stimulate imaginations to break out of the narrow trench we've been taught to run in by lifestimes of assuming cars and passive transportation must dominate even neighborhoods.

I will take the advice to go gently.  and yes, I see myself as both an experimenter and an early adapter.  I've often explained my transportation mode by saying something like:

"I figure that with global climate change, geopolitical tensions over oil, and all the other impacts of car over-use, some of us have got to explore other alternatives."

One of the points I want to make gently is that we really do have a serious need to make very real changes and to see ourselves in a new way.

I work for some elderly folks who really are not able to do what I do, but they support me for my effort, and they make the changes they are able to make.  I am amazed at the number of younger people who are perfectly capable of bike-commuting or work-biking who do not even consider it as an option worth consideration.  Meanwhile, some of my elderly friends -- and children -- "get it" right away.  Little or no explanation needed.

By the way, I've done presentations for 12 and 13 year-olds in school, and they struggle with some ideas of sustainability, but for the most part are able to "get it" about the positive aspects of biking and saving energy  -- much moreso than most of their parents, who are too busy just earning a living, I guess.

Change is not so easy.  I hope we make the "culture changes" we need to make, for the sake of the kids we just tucked into bed and their peers, if not also for ourselves.

After linking it the other night, still wondering what anyone thinks about the Great Long Suck essay.
Makes me think we took a couple wrong turns along the way.
Mashed up one of the graphs within with oil use:

squalish, your picture runs all out of the frame, and is useless like this
make sure to put width="100%" in your tag, so it will resize itself according to the space available

How's this?
Don't use the width=100% tag.  It can stretch the image to the point that text is unreadable.  

Best to use thumbnails - actual thumbnails, not HTML-resized ones.

well said/well done.
LOL!  You didn't have to do that, after posting the graph both ways already.  :-)

But thanks, it looks great, for people with large screens and small now.

note: the 1978 peak in oil consumption was not breached until 20 years later.
It always works for me. I don't know how others do their images, I must admit.

And there's different platfoems and browsers of course.

I just write the code. Given that Squalish' pict worked out better with my suggestion (above) than yours (below), I'm open for why 100% would not work, but.....

Far as I see, it simply uses available space (in the table), and resizes height automatically. Which text could it interfere with?

Far as I see, it simply uses available space (in the table), and resizes height automatically. Which text could it interfere with?

I suspect you have a relatively small screen.  For people with larger screens/higher resolution, using the 100% tag stretches the image, so it's much larger than actual size.  This distorts the image and makes it really ugly and hard to read.

Here's an extreme example.

The text is actually easier to read when the image is smaller, because you're not stretching it larger than it was meant to be displayed:

Given that Squalish' pict worked out better with my suggestion (above) than yours (below)

That's only on your computer.  On my screen, his first image looks great.  Exactly right, with a large amount of blank space to the right of the chart.  It looks ugly, pixelated, and distorted your way.

Wow!  At 1600x1200 on my monitor, the second version still looks fine.  The third is about the size of a postage stamp.  What resolution are you running?! It must be tremendous.
I'm only 1280x960.  But the text on the second graph looks quite pixelated to me.
I'm at 1600x1200.  And you're reading cached images, I renamed the old one so it would only show up once (workaround to lack of edit post button).
I get your point, Leanan, but your example seems a bit extreme. If an image has a width of 500 pixels, it should be alright in the table frame of the site no matter what, with a "100%" tag, the stretching should not distort too much.
Unless you work for Adobe, and want everyone to purchase Photoshop. Squalish' first attempt is unreadable for me, I have a 1024/768 laptop screen. You have to tag the size somehow, find a best common denominator. The best is to go for absolute size, as in width="750">, and  scale the image itself with graphics software and upload it to a server, but that is not realistic.

NOTE: I just posted some of Energyman's graphs here, and had to rework the first one, since it was too small, tagged it at 70%. There is no perfect solution, but I'm open for making it all better.

You could give the middle portion of TOD, the part we're all reading, an absolute size., instead of having it be scalable on various screens. That would work.

It's not just the size, I think.  It's the proportion you are scaling up (or down).  For example, an image that is 200x200 will look better displayed at an even multiple (400x400, say) than it would at a random size.  That may be why it looks worse my screen than it does on kj's.

Unless you work for Adobe, and want everyone to purchase Photoshop.

No need to do that.  There's lots of free software that will do it.  Or you could use ImageShack.us, which will automatically resize your image for you, and host it for you as well.  (And yes, they allow remote linking.)

I just posted some of Energyman's graphs here

They are so huge and pixelated on my screen I find them unreadable.  And I've Ad-Blocked them, just so I don't have to look at them.

Speaking of which...Firefox maybe the easy answer.  You can right-click and view images that have been truncated very easily with Firefox.  And block out any that are too big.  ;-)

"It's not just the size, I think.  It's the proportion you are scaling up (or down)."

It's not just the size but the motion of the scaling - wait a second...? ;)

"They are so huge and pixelated on my screen I find them unreadable."

Get your nose off of the screen.  When you've got your 54" plasma TV attached to your computer at 1280X960 you can expect a little pixelation.

I don't have a plasma TV, 54" or otherwise.  I've got a fairly ordinary LCD screen.  I can't set it to any lower resolution that it's already set; I use software that requires a minimum display size.
That should have had a " :) " at the end of it 'cause I'm not serious.

I'm always amazed that any of this crap actually works.  I use firefox most of the time because it's more secure, but I run across some websites every now and then and I'm like "What twelve year old put this together?" so I open it in IE and it looks great.  If you're having a really "out there" day and start to really think about what a computer is...you find yourself wondering how a collection of dirt (called "chips") and some wires can produce funny signals that more dirt interprets and makes into intelligible characters on your monitor.  Somehow little bits of dirt make images that mean something to you.

Add another level to that... consider also that your eyeballs are just more of that dirt, that uses more dirt to tranmit signals (nerves) to a big pile of grey dirt(brain) that makes meaning of it all.

The universe is a pretty amazing place...  and its all more or less built out of dirt.

If that's what comprises your "self" - there are other philosophies/ways of thinking that don't see the self as the product of the chemo-electrical impulses in the brain.

Not saying that's what I believe, but just throwing in a reminder that there are other ways of thinking about this.

more or less built out of dirt.
If you call the Periodic Table "dirt", well then OK.

BTW, did you see recent stories about our "uni-" being just one of many side-by-side "multi-verses"?

Dirt is afterall just a collection of molecules built up from elements.

As for the multi-verse, yes I did see that article.  Pretty interesting stuff.

Course I can't help but think of thos Sci-Fi stories, that have us humans doing activities that affect other dimensions/multi-verses and we end up attracting the attention of something that otherwise would've left us alone.

you find yourself wondering how a collection of dirt (called "chips") and some wires can produce funny signals that more dirt interprets and makes into intelligible characters on your monitor.

There are some of us out here who know how all that comes to be. At the end of the day, the computer does not "know" it is forming "intelligible" characters on the screen. As far as the computer is concerned, it is putting out yet another weird and meaningless stream of 1's and zeroes. Somewhere in the whole design and manufacture process, a bunch of human beings (electrical engineers) organized things so that the ones and 0's look like "intelligible" characters to you.

(If you have Firefox, right click & view image to see PROM schematic. Otherwise, hyperlink will take you to source page for basic diagrams.)

After thinking about it, 1024x768 is the minimum size  expected for anyone to support websites nowadays.  Firefox shows the fullsize graph(the first one) just fine for me at 1024x768.  The picture runs out of the frame by just a few pixels, but so what?  The entirety of the picture is still visible.

Not much point to using the scaling - I don't see much point  in correcting any more graphs in order to accomodate those trying to read through cellphones.  Even laptop screens go up to 1920x1200 nowadays.

Sometimes messages that are meant to be reassuring have the opposite effect...

GM management team is the best there is

If billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian attempts a proxy battle to gain control of General Motors Corp. he will fail because the management team running the giant automaker is the best there is, the vice-chairman warned yesterday.
Wall Street analysts and industry watchers have been speculating GM could face a lengthy fight for control after Jerry York, an advisor to Mr. Kerkorian, quit the GM board last week after talks on a three-way alliance with Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co. broke down.

"It may be naive, but my personal belief is I don't think a proxy battle is going to be successful," Bob Lutz said in a face-to-face interview in which he blasted GM's critics for claiming they know better than GM's current leadership what is best to cure the ailing automaker.

"You know, we're not dumb. We know what needs to be done. [It] does not take a rocket scientist to figure out what to do."

GM's engineering and design teams and its executives, such as chief executive Rick Wagoner and chief financial officer Fritz Henderson, are as good as any in the business, said Mr. Lutz, who is also global product chief.

GM's answer .......

Sell more HumVees


You know, we're not dumb. We know what needs to be done. [It] does not take a rocket scientist to figure out what to do.

What if it actually does?

A bit on the economy:
WASHINGTON -- The USA's trade deficit hit an all-time high in August as record imports of oil swamped a solid gain in U.S. exports.

The deficit rose to $69.9 billion in August, up 2.7% from July's $68 billion deficit, which also was a record. The sharp deterioration in the deficit in recent months has occurred because soaring global oil prices have pushed the USA's foreign oil bill to historic highs.

To complement yesterday's piece on Nigerian offshore, here's some on Angola:
"Within a few years, analysts reckon Nigeria (Africa's biggest oil producer) will be playing catch-up with Angola" in deep-water production, Petroleum Economist magazine says in its latest edition.

Angola's oil output is projected to surpass 2 million barrels a day next year and increase by 90 percent from 2005 levels by 2010, according to conservative estimates of the International Monetary Fund. It says that would double Angolan government revenues, even allowing for a price drop. Chevron produces just over 500,000 barrels a day and plans to double production in the next five years.

The DOE released their Winter Fuels Outlook two days ago.

Mexico enters the LNG market.

Gas giants prefer longer, less liquid contracts for LNG

China's SPR is sucking down oil - imports are up 24%, or around 630kbpd, this September over last September - how much this is growth and how much it's diversion to storage, doesn't say.

China's being eyed by Russia for gas exports and Japan for cooperation in oil exploration - Japan's given up on developing oil themselves, and are going to seek partnerships with the majors and other importing countries.  Can anyone link me to background on them dropping their stake in Iranian giant field Azadegan?  Hoping it's not a case of the animals going crazy before a natural disaster (war with the US).

But hey, don't worry.  

Dow hits new record, eyes 12,000

I wonder if early November would be a good time to cash out of my 401K?
Yeh...I was thinking the same thing...
Let's just say...nothing going on with the market right now "smells" natural or normal right now.  I'm thinking there's a skunk in our midst.
A skunk that smells like sulfur?
Props to Hugo on that one.
Oil numbers out at 10:30 - crude up another 2.4M (along with gasoline). How many straight weeks of build now - 16-20?
World is so awash in oil we can keep building and the Chinese can also add millions to their SPR as well.
Looking for oil at $48 by election day?
Where is Stuart!  I need my doomer peak in Q4 2005 fix!!

What about westexas?  I need him to continually uses the 'KSA is where Texas was in 1971' arguement to convince me that all is not well in the world.

Oh god!  The lights are staying on...everything is quiet over here atm.


I think I told him last year to go write a book and cash in.

"when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro ..."

It is possible to debate these issues without being overly antagonistic. If you are looking for actual dialogue, you will have more success by contrasting your arguments with those of Stuart or westexas, instead of attempting to belittle them.
I don't think Hothgar or BeechDriver are here for dialogue. They appear to simply be interested in baiting people. Who knows what they get out of it. I suppose it doesn't really matter. But if ignored I suspect they will go away.
I would add Oil CEO to that list.
I love Oil CEO. But if you must, add Jack Daniels at the same time.
I think Jack Daniels might be the reason why Oil CEO winds up on so many people's "desired banning" list.  He comes up with some fantastic graphs and data one moment and the next he actively tries to tick people off.  Ol' Jack could explain the split personality.
At least OC is amusing - sometimes
Just FYI...this is formerly Dragonfly41...I changed to Virtual Ipecac today since today's conversations left me with this feeling.
RR - I think the debate is done.
It looks like the Oil Drum has been played like a drum by TPTB in the markets. You guys just helped them to drive up markets by adding the PO fear factor to drive up prices so they could make tons of money.
Now they are all rich and oil shortages sure look like a sham. Oil- oil everywhere!.
Troll confirmed.  Eradicate asap.  he he
Its not really possible to debate anything when someone mysteriously disappears just when production kicks back up again, and the rest rush to his defense claiming he cant even post on the internet as he's SOOOO busy 'preparing' for the ASPO meeting in a few weeks :P

RR, perhaps you can tell me why Stuart only ever posted graphs showing production in a small 2 year clip, and ignored the fact that we had several such 'dips' since oil demand recovered in the mid 80s/early 90s.  

What happens here is that everyone posts some new information that supports the 'projections' and claims of other people pretending to be credible insiders on PO world wide.  I make no such pretense; I simply look at the facts and problems, and try to see how we are reacting as global community to solve them.  Yet, when I point out the obvious that once again people were crying wolf and being overly pessimistic, I get attacked for 'antagonizing' others.  The irony isn't lost to me.

By most POers' standards, we should have 'declined' production wise at this point to about 82.5 million bpd.  If you read LATOC, a 5% 'we are supposed to be at 2% now' reduction will cause prices to rise 3-4 fold.  Yet for some reason prices seem to currently be declining.  There is so much extra oil production coming online next year that OPEC is having to cut their oil production in a vain attempt to rein in the price DECLINE.  

And so far, no CREDIBLE evidence has surfaced showing a KSA potential production decline: there is just as much 'evidence' showing their production ceiling is actually INCREASEING.

According to several studies, OECD consumption has declined by 100,000 bpd, while China has apparently increased consumption/storage by over 600,000 from last year.  OECD + OPEC production and consumption makes up the vast majority of oil production and consumption.  So where is the supposed shortfall happening?  I don't know about you, but I haven't heard about poor countries living in perpetual blackouts and descending into chaos as should be happening, have you?

The whole point of my 'antagonizing' is to show you that what you expect to happen doesn't always happen.  Posting the same thing over and over like westexas looks more and more like trying to convince yourselves of what you're saying then convince others.  Optimism here is attacked without abandon, while pessimist are praised for the 'insight' followed by the congratulatory back slapping and boasting about how your preparing yourself while the rest of the world is doomed.  If it wasn't so disgusting at points it would be funny.

Perhaps you can tell me RR, why is it that the economy has to collapse when utilizing an energy resource that has an EROEI of less then 40 to 1: is it really impossible to have a growing economy on something with a 10:1 ratio?  Why does there have to be a massive die off when Americans consume and waste enough food for a billion people?  Do we all really need to give up our cars, or can we transform our transportation means to a pure electric one?

It seems to me that there is actually a lot of wishy washy dreams of a perfect agricultural world where everyone is happy toiling in the sun all day and we sing and dance with mother earth.  That dream is clashing with reality and the fact that we all must face: industrial society progresses forward.  We can never go back to a rural society no matter how many books Collin Campbell sells.

RR, perhaps you can tell me why Stuart only ever posted graphs showing production in a small 2 year clip, and ignored the fact that we had several such 'dips' since oil demand recovered in the mid 80s/early 90s.

Several people raised this concern with Stuart. He responded with his Plateau Background post in mid-June of this year, which included this graph:

Thank you.  Everytime I hear the 'plateau speak' I will point this out.  The world can not possibly have peaked yet, there are too many people to have 'missed' this fact so far :P
Just out of curiosity, what is it you're trying to debunk? If you don't believe peak oil is happening right now (which alot of people here don't), do you also not believe that it will ever happen?  Or that a new energy source will take its place (if so, what?), or a neat powerdown will happen without any effort?  None of the above?  I'm trying to figure out what it is you are trying to convince us all of.
I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything except to keep an open mind.  Do I believe peak oil will happen?  Of course I do, it's only a question of when.  Do I think it is happening right now?  No I do not, but the majority here does, and they have only circumstatial evidence to back this up.

I do however believe that a basket of energy alternatives will replace crude oil: Solar, Wind, Hydro, Tidal, Geothermal, Nuclear, Biofuels and yes, even CTL and Oil Shale.  I dont believe a 'neat' powerdown will happen.  I do believe that we will continue to use our resources much more efficiently as time goes by.  Look at what a difference it has made since the 1970's!

What do I suspect the future will look like?  In some ways the same as it looks today: people will still drive cars.  Our transportation will be electrified on a country wide scale utilizing various EV and PHVs.  Air travel will be slower and more efficient.  More freight will be moved via trains instead of via trucks. Plastics will still be made, but via new and innovated means.

Houses will become vastly more efficient, as I expect California will probably be the first state to require the houses of the future to be built based on 'zero energy home' standards.  New homes will be built with new Silicon and CIGS solar panels on the roof to provide localized electricity to perhaps power the EV/PHVs.  Hopefully, more corporations will adopt a community village work place where its employees live, work and play in the same location, further minimizing the demands on transportation.

I do think the spread of suburbia will eventually grind to a halt: there comes a point where there are no net savings, and in many places this has already occured.  And population control?  I think at some point or another the government will intervene and not only seal off our borders but limit the number of offspring a person can have.  Any free market specialist ever think of a market where couples are only allowed to have .75 children each '1.5 per couple' and the rights to a second child are sold to others?  I think that is much more likely to occure then a massive die off and Olduvai Plunge...

Will there be problems?  Of course there will be.  Will we see an economic contraction?  Absolutely, if only on a limited means.  Throughout history, human beings have found innovated ways to go around the 'limits to growth' that nature has placed on us: the evidence of this is the fact that there are now 6.5 billion of us and counting.  I think we will meet peak oil and solve it problem by problem.  And who knows, maybe we will eventually get off this rock and find someplace new...

The Long Emergency as a certain sense of poetic irony when looked at in that perspective :P

Okay I see some of where you are coming from and some of what others are talking about you being like "freddy et al.".

You hope that we will have a smooth stroll down the otherside of the peak in oil production, which you hope is going to be be in the 2010 to 2020 region of time.

You have faith that humans can work out all the kinks in the Social order of things and that the USA and other big rich countries will be the leaders in getting us safely down the backside of the Oil curve.

I don't trust humans.  We can be helpful. We can be good, and wholesome.  We can also kill and maim and harm everyone we see for who knows what reasons.  We can be very very violent and not even care what happens to ones left behind.  

Thinking about that last paragraph almost left a bad taste in my mouth.  I say almost cause I know me, I know that at times I have helped people and at times I have been angry enough to hurt someone else.  So I am not free and clear of the humans I don't trust part.

Not trusting humans to do the right thing, leads us to debate what will happen when the world starts to go through the collapse.  Oh I know you don't think we will have collapse but think about it this way.  If you plant a seed, It has to rot first in order to grow.   If we are to get to a next great step for mankind we have to do a bit of rotting first.  Rome fell, and rotted and grew into the Europe of later years.  But Rome is always such a bad example it had its own collapse and regrowth periods, and we are still using some of its infrastructure.

You see us getting over the "Limits of Growth" Well this is the newest and biggest Limit of Growth.  We have been using stored Sunlight for a while now.  Back in the 1600's we were mostly using the stored Sunlight of the past 100 to 200 years via trees.  Then we started using stored Sunlight in the form of Coal, then Oil, and now also Natural Gas and a few other Hydrocarbons.  At what point well we have to stop using Stored Sunlight?  Who knows for sure?  But there will be a time not so far away where we will have used up a large chunk of it and have to depend on the Current Sunlight to live off of.

Can we?  

I Don't know and that Might be the Question we all have to answer and maybe sooner than you might think.

What do you think?


At a big picture level, I can't poke any holes in either your or Hothgar's points.  Either one could happen. I see the two extremes as the tails of the probability distribution.

I don't think is is impossible that we just skate through this whole thing untouched, but I think is is highly unlikely because I do think that growth and energy resources are conflicting in any that can not be easily resolved.

I also don't think it is impossib;e that life as we know it can not be sustained and the the shock of the transition leads to a complete collapse. My grandfather apparantly used to say "Trust no human" and I do think brutality could become the norm.

However I see these two as being 2 1/2% probabilities. The other 95% lies somewhere in between.

History provides a lot of lesons for us. Mankind has faced dire situations and adapted when it looked like all was lost. But civilizations have also crashed and people's good lives were ruined when they least expected it.

The future is completely uncertain and we don't have anywhere near the tools available to us to make reasonable guesses as to which path it nmay take. I think that those who are sure it will follow one of the two "tail" scenarios are flying on faith.

Decent points, at least in terms of being worthy of debate.

'It seems to me that there is actually a lot of wishy washy dreams of a perfect agricultural world where everyone is happy toiling in the sun all day and we sing and dance with mother earth.  That dream is clashing with reality and the fact that we all must face: industrial society progresses forward.  We can never go back to a rural society....' This is the reason I suggested you become familiar with other societies, if only because it helps you see your own with new eyes.

Germany is considerably more industrialized than the today's America, but this doesn't mean that solutions aren't required for a number of clearly foreseeable challenges - you don't need to believe in peak oil to believe in higher energy prices as a wider number of people compete in a market for a non-infinite resource (wishing for 120 million barrels a day is not the same as pumping it), for example, or to believe in a direct connection to human activities to see that rising CO2 levels will cause climatic changes.

This is where something like the sky sail concept comes into play - is this a step forward, a step backwards, an example of progress or one of returning to a more primitive past which industrial society has made irrelevant?

One of my pet themes is infrastructure - I see the Raps/rapeseed/canola growing in a number of fields around here, which will be harvested before winter. The seeds are pressed for oil - there are presses in the area - and the oil is stored. Cut off all oil imports to Germany, and I can still imagine enough fuel, locally grown and locally produced, burnt in diesel tractors, producing next year's harvest. And yes, the farmers here do practice crop rotation, and don't rely excessively on chemical inputs for their yields.

But is this industrial society? I mean, it would certainly mean survival, and it most certainly is not a dream of living in rural peace.

More, this is actually something which is considered a goal - that is, to use locally grown fuel to produce locally grown crops to be consumed locally.

So, are the highly industrial Germans progressing or moving backwards? For example, there is a process which comes from Karlsuhe which uses electricity to cut the energy required to liquify things like grapes or sugar beets by 50% - and sure, the electricity could come from renewable sources, which Germans are currently the world leaders in producing (I am not kidding about being industrialized, after all.) Or maybe, just maybe, forward and backward are false metaphors?

But to illustrate something equally important - when the Greens first became organized, in fairly small numbers obviously, they seemed to have also advocated for a return to horse based agriculture. After a while, such stupidly romantic notions were put to their deserved rest by people who couldn't be dismissed, such as organic farmers, and who couldn't imagine such idiocy. Speaking broadly, the people who write here are not dumb enough to believe in the stereotypes which seem to threaten serious discussions resting on an appreciation for data and facts to support opinion.

Whether we peaked in Dec 2005 or will in July 2011 is really a very trivial point (sort of like who pays for the next round in the Last Man Standing Saloon). The important point is what is being done to deal with something which has been happening in the U.S. for a generation - declining production of liquid fossil fuels, which are still essential for the current transportation/agricultural system of a society which seems to think that 3 years is a long time in the future.

It might help to start looking at project lead times for offshore projects, for example, to get some idea of what short term planning/implementation means in the oil industry - look at the history of Thunderhorse, since that was one of the critical projects planned to increase American oil production by a significant percent - as a hint, Thunderhorse has still produced 0 barrels. And who knows, if everything goes as planned this time, it will start producing in 2008 or so - it just has to get through the next two hurricane seasons.

RR, perhaps you can tell me why Stuart only ever posted graphs showing production in a small 2 year clip, and ignored the fact that we had several such 'dips' since oil demand recovered in the mid 80s/early 90s.

You may know that I have raised this issue with Stuart. I have debated these issues with him, as well as westexas. I don't agree with their positions, but it is possible to debate those issues without attempting to belittle them. Contrast your points with theirs. Make your argument. You will get a better response from people if dialogue is what you are after.

A lot of people here do agree with Stuart and westexas. But because I have contrasted my position with theirs, explaining clearly why I disagree and doing so without belittling their ideas, people don't take me for a troll. I am sure you don't want to waste your time. I am sure you don't want people to discard  your arguments without thinking them through. By making some small changes in your posting style, more people will take you seriously.

RE: France Ends Nuclear Energy Reports

This article gives no information on anything other than the ongoing EU quest for open markets, which are subsequently and seamlessly always frustrated by the individual members who the day before voted for openness.

France recently gave the best example when Gaz de France was supposed to be for sale, and Gazprom the highest bidder. They contrived a quick merger with Suez, and the door was shut. Not such a dumb move to keep your own hand on the button of your own energy supple, probably, but clearly not according to Brussels policies.

No, I was hoping to find out what the Frogs are doing with the huge amounts of nuclear waste they are producing. But then, that has always been a mystery, hasn't it?

Now, I'm no expert by any stretch. But from what I understand, they reuse fuel so there is less waste. 2nd, they realized a long time ago that no one wants a permanent nuclear storage dump next to them...it's not like they have a desolate an area as Nevada, and it's not even working there. So from what I heard, they have several 'research' stations that 'research' the waste, and every few years the waste is moved from one center to the next. I may be way off, but that is what I heard.
A 'research center' sounds SO much better than a 'nuclear waste dump', you must admit.
Apologies if this has been posted before, I can't keep up!

Nice article re: T. Boone Pickens.  He's predicting $70 by the end of the year and $100 by next July.  He puts down many millions of dollars on these "bets".  And he usually wins big...



Important bloomberg piece informing the dear reader that the European Economy is following behind the US example.  The bond yield curve is inverted as of two weeks ago.  Which segues us into....


An FT article providing some details on the equity flight to emerging markets through mutual funds and other institutions.  Lots of money is moving outside this country like never before.  Now I know we've never been as globally intergrated an all, but one must look at all the motivations and conclude there must be a reason for record monies moving outside this country.


I like the Houston Chronicle.  They always seem to have some pertinent stories.  The one above is about a 15 yo oil rig, Zeus, that's leaking oil.

Lastly something that I haven't seen....


Steam-driven plant being built
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

BP on Wednesday began building a steam-driven electricity generation plant at its Texas City refinery that the company said will help reduce emissions.

The $100 million project, expected to be operational by mid-2008, will boost the plant's electricity-making capacity to support refining. Any surplus power will be sold in the region on the open market, BP said.

The project is the work of BP Alternative Energy, a new division overseeing the company's wind energy, natural gas-fired power generation and hydrogen power projects.

Imports Down....

http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/weekly_petroleum_status_report/curren t/txt/wpsr.txt

                                     09/15/06 09/22/06 09/29/06 10/06/06

Total Crude Oil Incl SPR  10,592   11,083   10,513   10,364

Distillate fuel inventories dropped up by 1.6 million
barrels, but remain well above the upper end of the average range for this time of year.  Ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel inventories inched lower by 0.2 million barrels, the first time they have declined since the week ending July 14.  
High-sulfur distillate fuel (heating oil) inventories fell by 1.8 million barrels, the largest such decline since the week ending March 24.


The blog (link below)


recently posted an update with illustrative diagrams of the development in Norwegian (regular) oil production based on historical data as of August 2006 from NPD (Norwegian Petroleum Directorate).

Norway is presently the world's third largest net exporter of oil.

In the post it is documented that for the Norwegian fields starting to flow prior to 2001/2002 the collective year over year relative decline rate has been running between 13 and 15 % for more than a year!

These fields have in 3 years lost a total of about 1 Mb/d in capacity due to depletion.

The year over year relative decline rate has been accelerating with time (as illustrated in a diagram further down in the post), and has so far not shown any signs of slowing down and/or stabilizing.

Fields starting to flow as of 2002 (as illustrated in the post) have only partially offset the decline from the more mature fields on NCS, and some of these "new" fields have started to decline, like the Fram field, that started to flow late 2003, has presently a documented decline of 25 % for the first 8 months of 2006 relative the same period of 2005.

Should perhaps give an idea of the challenges facing the oil companies to "replace" lost capacities.

Or illustrates it the downside effects from aggressive application of "New Technologies"?


Hey...didn't you read Hothgar's posts today....Peak Oil theory has been debunked.  There is no problem...go back to sleep...drink some Kool-Aid...stop trying to find negative information that only supports your PO bias.
BTW...Hothgor...we has crude price increased after the report release?  I'm confused.  Please educate me...or grand master of all knowledge.
Why has crude price increased after the report release?  It's at $58.10 at the moment.  I thought the report was all GOOD news.
The Norwegian authorities earlier to day shut down two of the major Norwegian oil fields, Draugen and Snorre, due to safety considerations.

Combined flow of 250 kb/d good quality oil.

Apart from that the market has recently been heavily infiltrated by invisible gnomes doing whatever they are best at for screwing up peoples logic. ;-)


Hothgor...time to call Rove on his hotline and line up some more hedge fund dumps on futures...it doesn't seem to be working for ya.
Its been fluctuating around $60 USD for weeks now.  OH NOES a 80 cent increase!!
The daytraders just figured out
that Winter's coming ..

Triff ..

I wanted to draw attention to a chart posted on that site several days ago.

It shows that as the price of oil has risen over the last several years, the share of global oil imports has moved toward rich countries.

This is nothing unexpected, but the chart shows the magnitude of the response. It is interesting particularly in the context of the "Future of oil exports" post from a few days ago.

But, look at how little is the change in 04... poor countries cut consumption maybe .5mb/d to allow oecd that much more as price more than doubled.

And, the price increase was tough for oedc ex US too, as overall oecd stocks dropped 100k/d over the past year.

Energyman, I hope you don't mind me `stealing' your graphs. It's just that I like them enough to feel they should be here, not just on your site, embedded in a  language that nobody here understands. A compliment, in other words.

Thank you Roel!

I need to improve my HTML.

Appreciate your comments.


Many charts have been seen at tod, but some new ones for me. Worth a look.
Tch... not meeting projections of 1/1/06... how soon they change their minds.
I love TOD - but is it just me or are there a disproportionate number of posts by people who are anit-PO or PO-soft and who add NOTHING to the discussion?  I've gotten to where I just skip over everything by those posters (which has the added benefit of cutting my reading time in half).  I recommend everyone else do the same.  Makes me wonder why these people sit ALL DAY LONG on a PO-awareness site, though.

To all of the REAL people (RR, WTX, Cohen, etc..) out there, thanks for sheding a little light for me and pointing me in all of the right directions.


" I recommend everyone else do the same. "

I agree,  and don't respond to stupid taunts and add to it.

Would you argue with a 5 year old for a half hour?

"I recommend everyone else do the same.  Makes me wonder why these people sit ALL DAY LONG on a PO-awareness site, though."

Maybe some get paid to do it. ?

Would you argue with a 5 year old for a half hour?

I have a six yr old daughter who doesn't like to clean her room.  Either you don't know anything about arguing with little kids to clean their rooms, or you have the most perfect angels for kids.

And since my daughter is the most perfect angel it can't be the latter option.  :-p


You hit it spot on.

There is a lot of serious contributers/readers to TOD who deserves the respect.

Also those arguing with supportive documentation that PO is still some decades away.


This morning, I promised a pretty picture to show the US energy usage (the EIA site was down at the time.) This is from the 2005 EIA Annual Energy Review:

US consumption, by energy source, 1635-2005

The recent portion of that graph, with the EIA wishful thinking:

US consumption, by energy source, 1949-2030

One more:

Transportation energy consumption

We've seen these before. My point with these is that more than 40% of our total BTUs (according to the accompanying tables) are from petroleum at this point. I'm not of the faith (at least not yet), that a reduction in the amount of oil available automatically implies that all other sources of energy will become less available as well. However, it looks to me as though while reduced petroleum availability is clearly a transportation problem, a slow loss of 40% of our total energy is a bit more than just a transportation problem. It does seem to be something of an overall energy problem (especially if you heat with oil as this first blast of winter hits early.)

On my walk to the market yesterday I looked at all the thousands of cars that zoomed past me (including the proverbial hummer driven by the proverbial overweight person who then pulled into the proverbial gas station to buy more ...)

and wondered how many of those trips are really necessary?

For those who don't know the WWII reference, and only know those words as bugs bunny punchlines:


Making sure I'm reading these graphs right.

Of the approximately 53 Quaddrillion BTUs of Petroleum usage, approximately 30 Quadrillion BTUs are used in transportation?

53 is off to the right, in lalaland.

Of approximately 38 quads of current petroleum usage, approximately 27 quads is used in transportation.

Ah thank you... I knew something didn't seem right.  Teach me to pay closer attention to the years.
EIA says 2005 US petroleum consumption was 40.4 quads. Transportation is 28 of that. Here's the current (2005) petroleum energy flow diagram:

Oops, should have noted that this is in million barrels per day.
Isn't gasoline and other product imports missing?
It seems like that would fall under "Refined Product Imports" on the top of the picture, 2.37 mbpd.
Please note the narrow wedge between the red & blue lines from 1948 to ~1954.  Now a razor thin white line.

This is US non-oil transportation, electrified transportation !

What was shall be again.

Best Hopes,


Even as late as the mid 1970's some rail freight lines were electrified, namely the Washington, D.C. to New Haven line (now electrified all the way to Boston for Amtrak but most freight uses alternate diesel powered route) and the Milwaukee Roads' Chicago to Seattle route across the Rocky and Cascade mountains.  
Strange how no major rail freight main lines are electrified in the US, especially over the mountain ranges where a train going downgrade can regenerate about 75% of the energy used going up grade.
Most modern light rail & trolley propulsion systems use regenerative braking to achieve the same effect during stopping.
Hey, where's my nuclear car?

Follies of Science: 20th Century Visions of Our Fantastic Future

Electric atoms? Nothing in the entire 20th century exceeded the hyperbolic hopes for the "friendly atom."  One glossy ad shows a tiny chunk of fuel lighting up Chicago's entire skyline.  Atomic cars were a foregone conclusion: shortly after World War II Popular Mechanics magazine predicted cars that "could be driven 5,000,000 miles without refueling."  And as late as 1958 Ford unveiled a model of the Ford Nucleon, which carried a miniature nuclear reactor in the trunk; with at least one nod to reality the engineers positioned both axles toward the rear because of the likely immense weight of the reactor.

Another hope that has been lost to history was "atomic farming," in which radioactive cobalt irradiating plants in the field might lead to larger crop yields. And of course, there was the atomic airplane -- an airborne nuclear reactor with a cruising speed of 10,000 miles an hour -- that would get you to Los Angeles several hours earlier than when you left New York. No word, though on what might happen to Los Angeles in case the landing fails.  

I wouldn't quite yet give up on atomic powered vehicles, though cars might be stretching it. And no, I am not talking either about fission or fusion power. Specifically, I am referring to induced gamma emission in what has occasionally been called a "quantum nucleonic reactor" for powering aircraft and possibly ships at sea as well. It's a fascinating topic and one laced with all sorts of political "fallout" because IGE devices could theoretically allow for building fusion weapons without using a fission trigger. And IGE devices are far easier (and smaller and lighter) to construct than a fission reactor is.

Quantum nucleonic reactors, fusion power, and a few other topics are part of the race that Tainter described - a civilization seeking a new level of complexity as a way out of the failings of the previous level of complexity. As Tainter notes, when a civilization achieves this, it bypasses collapse, at least until the next level of complexity results in insurmountable issues of its own. When it fails to achieve this, it collapses. That's the gamble we are making by betting on technology. It  can save us, but will it? In other words, are we bright enough to understand, grasp, and exploit the next level of technological complexity or is this set of monkeys at the end of their vine?

We'll continue to own the seas maybe since we've got all those nuclear subs patrolling the waters.
Is this the metastable-Hf idea?

Chain reaction induced gamma rays are very bad for conversion for transportation work.   Gammas have a poor cross section

On the other hand, they are quite good for a sterilization bomb, and just the thing for a thermonuclear weapon.

I believe a recent scientific panel thought the possibility of the thing working is very low and was highly skeptical of the results so far.

"It's a fascinating topic and one laced with all sorts of political "fallout" because IGE devices could theoretically allow for building fusion weapons without using a fission trigger."

I hope the laws of physics do not permit this.

Many scientists between 1945 and 1951 or so were hoping that thermonuclear fusion weapons were also impossible.  Unfortunately not.

The prognostications that were made during the early 1950s by such publications as Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, and Popular Science seem unbelievably quaint and naive today. It shows the level of technological optimism that abounded in those days.

And let us not leave out those schemes to excavate a sea-level Panama canal using a series several dozen nuclear explosions.  it's a shame those dreamy prediction of life in the 21st Century didn't pan out, as I'd love to commute to work (only 20 hours a week) in my personal atomic-powered aircraft and then come home to a dinner already prepared for me by my household robot.

But on a darker note, those same publications were also quite fond of touting up the latest US military hardware and to reassure us that we had the upper hand in our struggle with those Rooskie commies.

Unfortunately, those publications were far more accurate in their military predictions than in their predictions of what everyday life would be like circa 2006.

I have a large stash of such magazines, and for me they are a source of rich cultural history, as well as continual amazement.   After perusing a stack of these magazines, I always come away with the feeling that the USA circa 1953 might as well have been a different planet compared to the USA circa 2006.  

Well said.  The only given is that the future will not be what we think it might.  The technology that ends up emerging will surprise us.
A cheaper house may cost you

Longer commutes outweigh savings of living in outer suburbs, study shows

One of the lures of the outer suburbs is more house -- maybe even one with a big yard -- for less money. But a new study shows that the savings are illusory: The costs of longer commutes are so high that they can outweigh the cheaper mortgage payments.

A study of Washington and 27 other metropolitan areas by the Center for Housing Policy found that the costs of one-way commutes of as little as 12 to 15 miles -- roughly the distance between Gaithersburg and Bethesda -- cancel any savings on lower-priced outer-suburban homes.

It's pretty easy to understand once you give up the car centric lifestyle.  The reason most people can't understand anything but suburbia is b/c of the shear dependence on a car.  

That car and the taxes/gas/insurance that goes with it needs to directly added to your mortgage bill.  This will give you the real cost of your situation.  Two cars?  Add em BOTH!  If I could move somewhere with light rail throughout, I wouldn't need a car.  Once you realize the cost of increasing gas prices, it gets scarier.  Much easier to lock in a 30 yr mortgage and laugh in 15 when it seems trivial to even pay.

I wish more businesses would invest in working communites, where you live, work and play int he same area :/

Fire damages oil refinery in Lithuania

VILNIUS, Lithuania - Fire broke out at Lithuania's only oil refinery Thursday, causing millions of dollars in damage and forcing the evacuation of all its workers, officials said. No injuries were reported.

Thick, black smoked billowed from the Mazeikiu Nafta refinery, near the Latvian border, and authorities urged residents of the nearby city of Mazeikiu to avoid going outside and to keep windows closed until the fire could be fully extinguished, expected early Friday.

Lithuania is next to Latvia...where Edward Leadskalin (im sure I misspelled that) of Coral Castle, FL fame!  Anyone ever go there?  I studied it in high school - best history teacher I ever had back then.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, google Coral Castle.
Hey..we need a report from BalticMan...he's in Lithuania isn't he?
China imported 16 percent more crude oil in the first nine months of 2006 than a year earlier to meet rising energy demand in the world's fastest-growing major economy. - Bloomberg China's Nine-Month Oil Imports Rise as Demand Climbs

Doesn't quite jibe with what Leonardo Maugeri said in Newsweek, does it:

In fact, the current oil crisis has nothing to do with a catastrophic shrinking of global oil resources, while the specter of rising Asian demand is largely a myth.
If you read the entire article you see that product imports are up 26% and crude exports are down.  Factoring in these effects, the overall petroleum import increase is around 21.5%, a rate that would double imports in under 4 years... and, the rate is increasing based on august data.
Grain stockpiles at lowest for 25 years - FT

The world's stockpiles of wheat are at their lowest level in more than a quarter century, according to the US Department of Agriculture, which on Thursday slashed its forecasts for global wheat and corn production.

The lower forecasts were largely attributable to the severe drought in Australia, where the forecast for this year's wheat crop was cut by 8.5m tons to 11m. That is less than half of the 24m produced last year, of which about 17m went to exports.

James Barnett, grains analyst for Man Global Research, part of the Man Group, said there is more concern in the global corn market after the USDA cut crop estimates in the US by 209m bushels to 10.9bn after it said that 800,000 fewer acres were growing corn than had previously been expected. The US is the world's largest corn grower.

"We are looking at a structural change in the corn market, because demand is going to increase next year from the ethanol industry, and we might not be planting corn in enough acres to satisfy that demand," said Mr Barnett.

Corn futures on the CBOT rose 20 cents to $3.04 a bushel, its highest level since June 2004 and up more than 35 per cent in the past month.

Analysts estimate ethanol to consume between 20 and 25 per cent of the US corn crop next year, which is estimated at about 11.1bn bushels, and forecast to account for about 35 per cent of the following year's crop.

Driving home today, listening to NPR, the wheat/Australian drought story was magically transformed into happy news: prices up for American farmers.
Always look for the silver lining.
Hello TODers,

I think Zimbabwe is an excellent 'canary in the coal mine' for what lies ahead for every country postPeak.  This latest article from Reuters proposes that "ZIMBABWE: The lights are going out".

What I would like the Cornucopians on this forum to do is please detail how they would turn around Zimbabwe without external imports of US dollars, food aid, technical help, or energy inputs.  A good answer here for Zimbabwe might be indicative of a Cornucopian answer for North America's Overshoot and postPeak decline.

A Key consideration is that Zim is already at 60% of the labor force actively engaged in agriculture and failing badly.  America is 0.7% of our labor force: I would like the Corns to expressly detail the shift to permaculture and relocalization.

I predict their proposals will fail miserably because of lack of accounting for diminishing returns and Overshoot.  Zimbabwe's decline will be horrific to watch, but I think it will pale when compared to declines to occur elsewhere.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az  Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

The Zimbabwe problem is waaaaaay more complicated then a 'peak oil' crisis.  Very hard to compare a mismanaged economic system with an unstable government to any 1st or 2nd world country...
I agree that mismanagement is the major problem for sub-saharan africa and parts of asia/s. america.

Of course, sharply higher oil prices are not helping the suffering, mismanaged africans.  The extra oil going to china is coming from somewhere, and both world production and oecd consumption are flat. So, the poor, declining third world is stepping aside so more can go to the richer, rising third world. We might will get used to seeing a lot of starvation in africa while more and more aid agencies give up in despair.

I hate to play devils avocate here and sound so cold, but isnt that what many people here and in the PO community want 'not like' to see happen?  The overshoot dieoff has to start somewhere...

On a personal note, to those that do want to see such a die off: ..!.. 0_o ..!..

Hello JKissing,

Your quote: "We might get used to seeing a lot of starvation in Africa while more and more aid agencies give up in despair."

Precisely!  Don't forget we will also see untold thousands drowning on the high seas similar to the Haitians trying to get to Florida.  Dieoff will not be a pretty sight on the nightly news.  Recall my much earlier posting where boat smugglers would force people overboard miles from shore vs  running the risk of being caught with refugees onboard.  Here in AZ, the 'coyotes' just abandon them to the merciless desert sunshine.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az  Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Hello Hothgor,

So you are trying to tell me that the US is well-managed?  I think the US is poorly managed: consider how much of our wealth goes to the military vs transforming to relocalization and permaculture.  How much is spent on vehicular infrastructure vs rebuilding RRs & Mass-transit?  What is being done to reduce population to a truly sustainable footprint of roughly 50 million in North America?  How much are our leaders driving Peakoil & Global Warming Awareness to the general population through Peakoil Outreach and educational reform?  What percentage of corporate profits goes to further embed us in the infinite growth detritus paradigm vs a huge wholesale shift to non-fossil fuel alternatives?  Do you see local leaders promoting humanure recycling even as they discuss their local droughts?  I could go on for hours, but I think the Hirsch Report pleading for mitigation twenty years ahead of Peakoil should be more than sufficient.

Nope, I have been discussing through my postings for some time that most likely we will continue on our present course until it all starts crashing down around our heads.  Therefore the best we can hope to do is to somehow plan the best way to optimize the coming squeeze through the Dieoff Bottleneck.

I think the '3 Days of the Condor' scenario will be the last, futile gasp of American energy thrashing.  I suggest it would be far better to build large, contiguous biosolar habitats to pull as many other lifeforms through the bottleneck with us.  See my many postings in the archives on how I think it might be accomplished.  'Nuke their Ass--I want Gas' will be tragic, not only for the World's lifeforms, but also for your typical North American.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az  Are Humans Smarter than YEast?

There we go ~_~

If I buy you an amazon gift certificate will you buy another movie?

Many people in africa have HORRIBLE diseases that prevent them from working/producing.  Their working lifespan is much shorter and things we take for granted like clean water and large predators not eating our livestock are a real problem.  The Dark continent is a different world.

If TSHTF our main problem will be each other not TB, HIV, Malaria, drought, lions tigers bears oh my.

North America is way more hospitable for humanlife and agriculture.


Hello Oilrig Medic,

Thxs for responding.  Ok, how about the near meltdown of UK society in 2000 in the article, "Remember, Remember the 5th of September, 2000"
by Kathy McMahon?  Only this time the shortages only get worse and worse every day in this First World country.

I think it is highly plausible that Japan, Taiwan, and the UK, will be among the first examples of a First World country rapidly devolving to Third World status.  Their being at the ends of a very long energy supply chain is not an enviable position.  It will be interesting to see if they can adapt to the techniques prevalent of the 250 years of the Edo Period.

Of course each geographic area will go down in a variety of ways at different times--it is very hard to generalize from anecdotal details.  The Liebig's Law of minimal constraints will differ widely.  But if we could somehow constantly rivet the world's attention to how shortages will disrupt everything; so that they are incessantly confronted with the horror of the approaching wave, then just maybe we can shock them out of their deadly complacency.

I think most Americans have already forgotten about Nawlins, and the other areas along the ravaged Gulf Coast, otherwise we would be seeing a huge concerted effort across all segments of govt and society to optimally rebuild these areas in a manner best suited for the coming postPeak era.  Instead, we just continue to spend inordinate sums of young lives and treasure in pursuit of military hegemony overseas, vastly increasing global detritus entropy.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az  Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Bob Shaw

I like most of your stuff. But please, Zimbabwe is indicative of nothing. Understand Zimbabwe by reading just a little African history.
The two most basic works might be Walter Rodney's How Europe Underdeveloped Africa and Conrad's Heart of Darkness.
Cecil Rhodes is more responsible for the current state of affairs in Zimbabwe than is anyone presently living or any current social forces.
Zimbabwe never had a chance.
Africa has been depopulated several times since the Europeans imposed themselves.

Still, though, aren't the early and mild effects of Peak Oil the most pronounced in precisely those places that were especially vulnerable to begin with for other reasons?  And doesn't that make Zimbabwe something of a canary in a coalmine with regard to the eventual fate of other, less vulnerable places once we get into subsequent and increasingly severe effects of Peak Oil?
I suspect there are a lot of us out here, who are fascinated
watching entropy in action. I think it's (pardon the pun) dead on topic.  The specific cause matters less than the reaction. Coriolis force and toilets comes to mind.

Don in Maine

Canaries dies for reasons other than coal mines. Zimbabwe could be an indicator of pending collapse in the most vulnerable places. But just because it is collapsing doesn't, of itself, prove the link.

I don't think that anyone would argue that in a world of abundance there would be no countries that are collapsing. I think greater effort needs to bve made to establish the connection.

Jack, I think you missed the point. I know the new idiot Hothgor did. We have a large amount of anecdotal evidence about how tightly knit societies fall apart. I love the Taitner link that states many people fled the roman empire and set up self-suffcient homesteads farther out, where Rome could not touch them.

We are watching a state fall apart, for whatever reason.
The reason does not matter, the decline is very much of interest. I expect the US to do the same thing for many different reasons. Watching what goes first and understanding the reasons for that are a real life example. It give me an edge in my preperations.

BTW, Zim has internet back. The problem was what currency they paid the bill in. I find that interesting.

Don in Maine

No amount of 'prepardness' can actually prepare you for this kind of collapse.  Mad Max to the max~
Ok Hothgor, I'll engage you. It's late there will be another drumbeat in the morning. Why can't I prepare for a crisis? We have horrible snowstorms, ice storms that shut us down for weeks on end. Climate. I can prepare for that.
I can power our sat feed for months if needed. I don't do gold, I do gas, propane, ivory soap, and blades for everything.  We have 5 crossbows, and 3 (getting harder to pull) compound bows.  

All these fat people will never make the 300 mile trip to get where I am. They can't walk 5 miles.

And I'm not a luddite, I do tech, the last three businesses I have owned are all high tech. I can do that even better from this position. We can do perl regular expressiond with the best, and I;ll meet your php dude anytime.

The acreage I own will be shore front in not too many years.

Peak oil, climate change, idiots in office, climb on to some self-reliance and they all mean less than nothing.

I listened to Carter.. and you know what, it gave me a freedom to do just what I wanted. When you walk lightly on the land, you do not have to answer to the PTB. When you can take care of yourself, there is a certain freedom that kicks in. You are not obliged to deal with idiots.

I have stars, all of them at night, I have the wind in the trees.

Don in Maine

You honestly think you can find a nice quiet place to hold up at?  At some point even your own quality of life will decline and you will be forced to exploit resources in another manner.  If your hypothetical lifestyle is so amazing, why arent you there right now safely tucked away while the rest of the world goes to hell?  And if the seas do rise and your suddenly beach front property, do you really think the starving, shocked masses wont find a way to reach your doorstep?

Only a moron would believe he can hold himself up in his log cabin with a shotgun and a giant bunker full of ammunition and canned food goods.

To bad this has been going on for at least the last century...
If you recall that country was formerly known as Rhodesia and run by a capable but racsist man, Ian Smith.  Under his leadership the country did quite well, as I never heard of many stories of people starving in Zimbabwe.  In fact the country had a stable economy with the minerals production and agricultural production providing jobs for nearly all that wanted to work.  Unfortunately their was a vast divide between the wealthy white managers and the relatively poor black laborers.  Land allocation was also very much in favor of the whites.  

After the ousting of Smith about twenty years ago many whites left or were forced to leave.  And with them went wealth and knowledge to run the industries, mechanized farms and support businesses.  

The collapse of the country's economy has less to do with the price of oil and more to do with political infighting and corruption by its current leaders.

Mussolini made the trains run on time.
America is still full of those who revere Jefferson Davis and Stonewall Jackson.
I've heard the Horst Wessel song sung at many backyard parties here in Chicago.
Perpetuating this crap is not thought, it is not analysis. It's just another way to kill those you perceive as different.
Hello OldHippie,

Thxs for responding.  No disagreement from me on how colonial and corporate powers have taken sad advantage of Africa.  But, the past history of any particular country does not matter, by and large, because ALL have tried to maximize their MPP and expand shared carrying-capacity as much as possible.  What is key is now how they aggregately decide to manage their decline.  It is just a matter of scale: Bangladesh @ 2cups/day/person, the US @ 7 gals/day/person.

Does Zimbabweans stealing copper electrical wire help maintain their grid infrastructure?  Copper thefts are already a problem here in North America.  Does Bangladeshis burning their utility company assets help repower their houses?  I shudder to think of how most Americans will react postPeak unless our Govt and MSM go whole-hog on Peakoil Outreach.

Us forum members, precisely because we are quite well-informed, remain calm and seek Powerdown as best we can.  Contrast that with the violent behaviors of many Americans during the OPEC Energy Crunch of the early '70s, then multiply by millions.  Instead, I would argue that a successful Peakoil Outreach program would induce an orderly withdrawal to the lifeboats vs a last second dash & clash.  IMO, legislative Secession in areas like Cascadia will be the most likely way we try to split the difference.

Would it be easier to manage the Paradigm Shift if social norms were driving the US to gradually less population, or do you think 400 million people by 2046 is the better goal?  If we could get even half the homeowners to put in personal vegetable gardens, it would due much to alleviate the 1500 mile lettuce, carrot, tomato, etc.  Don't forget the earlier posting upthread warning that world grain supplies are at a 25 year low.  Consider that 25 years ago, world pop. was approx. 4 billion vs 6.5 billion now.

I think 99% of TV is a waste of time.  Will Americans be willing to conserve postPeak by having a solar-powered community TV center where 5 or 6 boobtubes will be view-shared by 1,000 people?  Or will the rich say, "I got mine", and the rest of us will just stare at a blank wall in the dark?  These are the kinds of questions that need answering by getting all Americans involved as citizens, not just consumers.  IMO, it is the best way to vastly reduce postPeak violence.  Time will tell.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az  Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

When it says on the title page the play is a tragedy and you read the first act and it sure seems like a setup for a tragedy you don't have to read all the way to Act Five to know  someone's gonna die.
The die was cast in Zimbabwe a long long time ago.
Someone else upthread was doing apologetics for Ian Smith. Might as well do a panegyric for Hitler.
I get dizzy with the absence of history in American thought and life.
A former slave of Jefferson Davis offered him a loan of several thousand dollars upon his release from prison. General Robert E Lee freed the slaves he inherited thru his wife, while General US Grant kept his wifes' slaves until the 13th Amendment forced him to free them.  

Robert E. Lee opposed slavery because it was degrading.  He said that "As degrading as the institution of chattel slavery is to the slave, it is even more degrading for the master".

Jefferson Davis was the only 19th Century American President to have a Jew in his cabinet (Presidents of US, Texas, Mexico & CSA included), Judah Benjamin.  Judah held the pivotal positions of Secretary of War and Secretary of State.  His former home on Rue Bourbon is now a strip club (two blocks from the current home of Lindsey Boggs).

All is not as stereotypes paint.

Best Hopes,


Oh, what a Lovely War!
Hello TODers,

So far, I have had no success in getting Google to put a I'm feeling unlucky button on their homepage that would automatically take the searcher to Dieoff.com every time.

Does anyone have any other ideas that would help grow the PO & GW Outreach?  I do a lot of googling researching PO topics-- could this be a 'marketing hook' that could prove profitable for Google?

Say, for example, if we could gather up some donated funds, and Google agreed to match it.  Then, a skywriting plane would fly over a major metro area spraying out smoke that just said, "Google TheOilDrum", or a similar short message like "Google ASPO".  If it generated enough public interest, media coverage, and other such activism, then Google could see a big spike in search volume.  Then Google would be incentivized to do this even more over other cities.

The hundreds of websites, blogs, Peakoil authors, and PO orgs could all get together to raise funds for this jumpstart process.  By prior agreement: the skywriting message could just take the websearcher to a single massive list of the aforementioned groups.  Maybe "Google Gamma" might be easy to remember.  Then all Google has to do is have a 'GAMMA' button on their homepage that would take users to all these links and search suggestions.  If this viral marketing really takes off: Google profits, and Peakoil Outreach expands much faster.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Do you really want to be in the market of selling the failures of the world as we know it?

Think about it for a few seconds.

" Hi there my name is S'Math I am your Robot for today.  We at Robo-Failure would like to invite you to sit back and watch as your world goes through the "END OF TIMES".  I am prepared to answer all your questions once you have viewed the short film that Robo-Failure has made for your InfoTainment.  Just sit back and relax, If you have to get up to be sick, or get a cold shock from the water fountain please use the side glideways and try not to block anyone else's view of the screen. "

CEOJR author at large.
See my story Curiousity pays.

Hello Dan Ur,

I disagree.  Once Peakoil becomes obvious, as it surely will, then I think websites will start a desperate battle of 'last website standing'.  Websites, like AMPOD's LATOC, selling solar ovens, survival handbooks, heirloom seeds, bicycles, and so on-- will do a booming business.  Other websites will rapidly fall by the wayside if they don't supply products that answer people's minimal needs [not frivolous desires].

For another example: most of the crap on Ebay will be rendered worthless, but sales of essential tools and items will go through the roof.  Recall my earlier posting on how bicycle sales in Zimbabwe was the leading inflationary item.  A foot-powered sewing machine, solar water heaters, BBQs, candles, soap, etc, will dominate their business until people gradually go offline when they cannot afford web-access anymore.  People will always choose electricity for heat or powering their refrigerator over websurfing at financial crunchtime.  

But before this crunchtime hits most of us, a lot of people will be searching for answers on why their society is declining, especially if the grocery stores have ever less items on the shelves, all kinds of businesses are laying people off, and long gas lines with high prices become normal.  When people are starting to riot in the streets due to ever more frequent blackouts-- it will then be very easy to sell Peakoil Outreach to the remaining websurfers.

The competition among the various search engines is already quite elevated.  The first postPeak search engine that provides easy, logically arranged, user-friendly access to the key Peakoil info websites with hotlinks to survival suppliers, eco-communes, gun & ammo, and so on, will dominate the Hubbert Downslope, IMO.

Think of it as an electronic path illuminating the easiest, most cost-effective way to the lifeboats.  Those that never find out about Peakoil, and thus never have a chance to prepare [even mentally!], will be hopelessly flailing about in the dark without any pre-planned strategy wasting even more time and energy.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az  Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

If you were to change all* of the "wills" in your post to "mights" not only would it be more accurate, but it would better reflect how people are likely to, and should, read your message.

I don't know why you continue to be shocked that people don't believe that you have uniquely been granted a certain picture of the future.

*Actually I agree that the first is a will although the timeframe is unclear.

Hello TODers,

Check out this link!  The head of the British Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, is calling for the withdrawal of British troops from the Iraq!  Finally, maybe the topdogs are wising up to the fact that the '3 Days of the Condor' scenario is counterproductive in the long run.  This could really jumpstart the Paradigm Shift in the UK--better late than never!  I hope to see them shift 90% of their military funding to UK relocalization and permaculture.  Time will tell.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az  Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

And Boone Pickens is still predicting $100/bbl oil next summer.
And Ken Deffeyes still says we havent produced more oil then we did on December 16th, yet we clearly have due to todays numbers :P