DrumBeat: October 14, 2006

[Update by Leanan on 10/14/06 at 10:04 AM EDT]

From the New York Times: The Deathwatch for Cheap Oil

THOSE falling prices at the gasoline pump may only be temporary. Indeed, they could signal the start of an era in which, forecasters say, “the death of cheap, abundant crude might unleash war and plunge the world into a second Great Depression.”

“Peak oil is a reality,” says Willem Kadijk, a hedge fund adviser quoted by Bloomberg Markets magazine. He is just one of many who believe that global oil production is now at or near its peak, and the only place to go is down.

OPEC to cut oil output, no quota talks

LAGOS (Reuters) - OPEC's planned oil output cut is a temporary response to a "catastrophic" fall in prices and not intended as a permanent re-alignment of production quotas, the group's president said on Saturday.

..."It's just the catastrophic drop. The time to do something is about now because we don't know where the floor of this drop will end. It would be foolish to wait till it gets to $10 before we do anything because that would really kill the capacity initiatives," Daukoru said.

Economists: Oil price slide should accelerate

The current slide in crude oil prices could accelerate into a plunge to as low at $35 per barrel next year, ConocoPhillips' chief economist, Marianne Kau, told a group of economists in Anchorage Oct. 11.

Oil Scene

Saudi Arabia, as per the survey, had to trim its output by 100,000 bpd. The Financial Times estimated the Saudi output cut to the order of 200,000 bpd over the last couple of months. A senior OPEC official however, was quoted as saying the Saudi contribution to the output cut would be around 300,000 barrels per day. Varying figures of Saudi contribution indeed!

In the meantime, news poured in that Saudi Arabia kept crude supplies steady to its customers in Asia for November. However, Saudi Aramco told some of its biggest customers last Monday it would lower November supplies by about 5 percent from this month.

Long live the Pentagon

The US military oil consumption is generally regarded to be a small amount compared to the country’s gigantic consumption. Since oil is and will remain a strategic vital commodity, the Pentagon does not have a luxury of turning its back to oil.

Energy crisis is main concern for Dominican industrialists

Afghanistan: Gas, oil reserves ten times more than predicted: Survey

KABUL: Mines and Mineral Minister Engineer Mohammad Ibrahim Adil said the recent surveys revealed oil and gas reserves in Afghanistan were ten times more than predicated.

India Idles $4.4 Billion of Power Capacity on High Gas Prices

India has idled $4.4 billion of power capacity because utilities can't pay international prices for natural gas to fire the turbines that were built to overcome blackouts, a government official said.

Russian energy: Europe's pride, US's envy

Buried beneath the heaps of hot words on North Korea's nuclear test, the announcement in Moscow on Monday about the Shtokman natural-gas deposit off Russia's Arctic coast almost escaped attention, despite its comparable lethal fallout in world politics.

Raymond J. Learsy: Energy Independence, Our Oil Shale Deposits, Making OPEC Obsolete

Study finds oilsands could mitigate climate change

"I think what's surprising about (the report) is the emphasis that carbon capture and storage has on the best scenario case and how Western Canada can actually help with climate change through carbon capture and storage," said Christine Schuh, Canadian climate change leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Top 3 Solar Trends

Former President Bill Clinton strongly supports California Proposition 87 - video.

Current President Bush Discusses Energy at Renewable Energy Conference. He thinks plug-in hybrids, cellulosic ethanol and hydrogen are the answers.

[Update by Leanan on 10/14/06 at 9:35 AM EDT]

Peak Oil Naysayers Partying On for Growth

The top dogs and their less successful defenders hide behind the religion of economic growth, puffing up their chests to speak so assuredly that there can be no long-term shortage of oil or energy. They adhere to neoclassical economics that claims resources are available according to price/supply/technological factors, not based on natural limits.

The rest of the religious litany for growth relies on the unproven carrot "a rising tide lifts all boats." However, trickle down was already discredited even before Reaganism. The wasted '80s should have taught us all we needed to know. But no. Despite the worsening of key indicators as real income, energy security and environmental quality, the same people and system remain on top, screaming for more growth. Thrift and conserving are discouraged, and record indebtedness encouraged, as economists cheer on consumer buying-power as the driver behind the global economy.

Just a test concept on a Saturday morning. Hit oilceo.blogspot.com for further explanation on method and any updates. I'll just call this Beta.

We'll start with some old concepts.

Crude Oil Production vs. Price

I notice this one is my most popular. It's like Stuart's best one. Mine's not as good. It's never developed the following. I miss Stuart. This one was based on his work.

It's not updated. It's too much work right now. But we can fill in the gaps from what I'm about to show you.

First we're going to move back to one that was my first and which I still follow, but have learned is not a popular format.

Let me warn you this one is crude. But look at it twice. The crudeness is in the presentation - not the data.


It's a good reminder why we need to update things.

Now for a Zoomed out View. This is how oil moves.


So here's the new stuff. I need to add events, but I also need to keep the font large enough so it works visually. Who's going to write history.

Price Zoom Out 2

Price Zoomout 2

Price Zoom In 1
Price ZoomIn 1

Oil CEO-  Just an observation on the first chart.  When the production wave crests(is it an average? I can't read the fine print but looks like EIA revised) the price tumbles disproportionately. If we are PO I would think that this historical trend would break eventually
Thanks for pointing that out. I've gotta change that. When I say EIA revised I mean the latest EIA numbers. But I've been doing this long enough to know that if you placed the new ones over the old ones - You can't tell the difference(on this chart, at least). That's why I'm so skeptical about any talk about revisions. It all evens out in the end.

The smooth lines are always averages. Click on the image itself if you want a bigger one.

In this case I used a 13-month centered moving average. Which was a new idea to me at the time. I prefer trailing moving averages(I refer to them as SMA or simply moving average in some of my charts). Somehow Stuart convinced me. I use a hybrid now, undectectable to the human eye.

The consistent problem with the first one, as with all graphs of its sort is that the relationship between the two scales is always a construct. It only exists in my head. This was how I decided to do it at the time. What makes reproducing it so difficult is that it replicates itself. Perhaps when I update it I'll always have to produce a new one and an unrevised(except for the data) version.


That's my last pure production. I can say that the updated version with two more months' data looks virtually the same.

The plateau continues. I'll say this only at this point. I've got another 18 months before I'll decide whether anything has been dropping. Or rising. Six months ago I would have told you the same thing. Maybe in another 6 months I'll make a decision.

Is that plateau for oil production or oil CONSUMPTION?  Clearly it is both, assuming no major increase in storage inventory.  But it matters which is the constraining factor.   If it's supply constrained that suggests a possible peak.   But it could be that the rapid price increase has virtually eliminated the global growth in demand.   I've been seeing references to poor countries being priced out of the oil market, for example.   That could apply also to the poor people in many not-poor countries.   If that is true, possibly the current price declines may reflect a (possibly temporary) peak in global oil demand occuring just as non-OPEC supplies are increasing, thus causing OPEC to decide that a supply cut on their part is now needed to avoid further price declines.   Sometimes what is said in public is actually what is happening.
Now listen. You're messing with me, who told you you could come in here and asking serious questions? Throw me an email at my address. This is gonna get ugly soon and I want to know where I can send a check. Don't worry about me I'm taken care of.
While you are messing with us today my son showed this to me.

This is LOL funny-- you gotta see it


Bush seemed so happy standing among the nukes, knowing he has more than anybody else.  And do the Chinese leaders really take baths in wood tubs (part of their energy saving strategy)?
That was great. I love those. I'm laughing so hard I'm crying. Or maybe it's the other way around.
We don't know. Nobody knows. Nobody. That's the key which these other ___ won't give you. Nobody knows. Not even the Saudis. That's why so many assholes make money on the deal. You're getting played. Nobody knows. And they will never leave character.

There are no answers to these questions.

The references you see are theories put forth by certain luminaries in the oil world.

Remember back when certain people told others they could

turn lead to gold

or that the earth was round

or that witches don't float

Which one of those three is right and how the fuck would you know?

See what I mean?

Back then turning lead to gold was where the focus was. I'm pretty sure it's the same today.

I'm pretty sure nobody has a really clear motive to prove that witches either sink or swim to save your life.

Why's that. Witches and You don't count. It's all about the...

Well, let's see -

  1. Lead into gold - a few billion well spent tax dollars shows that turning lead into gold is not a money making venture, and that it is surprisingly more esoteric than any alchemist ever imagined. And if it hadn't been for that alchemy fantasy, I doubt anyone would ever have bothered doing it.

  2. Earth is round - you just take a well in Alexandria and one in Cyrene, wait for noon, do some geometry. Of course, you do actually have to be mathematically literate.

  3. Everyone knows by the time you find a witch, it is time to have a bit of righteous public entertainment ending in the just punishment of the evildoers. Historically, this has been a very reliable form of entertainment among people - though it only had a minor run in North America (sort of like how Americans just don't get soccer).

What is interesting is just how often people who could do 1. or 2. were considered wizards/witches.

I do think that there is a level beyond money - for example, staying warm in the winter isn't really about money, it is about survival. It is just that many people in North America can't imagine what it is like to live without any fuel in the wintertime, regardless of how much money they have. Check out the mass migrations of Germans from East to West in the winter of 1944-45 to escape the Russians to get a feel for what I mean - even if you were rich/powerful enough to have a vehicle, and fuel, it just meant the strafing fighters found you worth their time. For most Europeans who were alive before 1940 or so, such a concern with heat and survival is not theoretical, along with the awareness of how unimportant money is compared to staying alive.

I think part of the general confusion here is the difference between money as a source/representation of human motivation/activity, and the fact that reality is not the same as human motivation/activity. Just like turning lead into gold, it is conceivable that the Texas oil fields could go back to producing what they did in the early 1970s. It is just up until now, no one has figured out a way to replace what has been burnt. This can be thought of as finite (really huge to beyond human comprehension) and conceivable not being equal to infinite (never ending). After all, a few billion atoms of gold from lead sounds huge - until you do the math.

Hello Expat,

Well said, Well said.  Sadly, come crunch time, I must agree with your statement that the ignorant will probably do in the witches/wizards that offer the best chance for them to be lead out of the darkness.  Such is life-- that is why Socrates gladly drank the hemlock.  Can we possibly be better philosophers when our time has come?

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

Not that I like to make predictions but - 'Environmentalists talked about climate change - they are a curse upon us all in these hard times' is so much easier to accept than how we all create huge amounts of CO2 by flipping on the light switch before taking a hot shower to go to work and then shopping at a store, unwrapping and cooking the purchased food grown in various parts of the planet, and then putting the remainder in the trash and/or fridge. (and for the 3 or 4 of you who aren't living like this - just mumble 'Lord Jevon' to yourself as you sleep the sleep of the just).
Okay. Fine. It's production. They are the numbers that absolutely everybody uses. We can argue about them. But that probably wouldn't do us any good. There's probably fifty people who would be qualified to discuss the numbers with me. Prof. Goose wouldn't be in that crew. I doubt Stuart could make the cut. Even Simmons. There's no reason not to trust Simmons. He just isn't honest. He never comes clean about anything. I doubt Yergin would make the cut. But he's probably got at least four people who could. Esser is strong.

Lynch is strong. Pickens is peak oils' worst enemy. He just doesn't understand. Everybody forgot about Economides. And he outflanked everybody.

The great thing about oil smacking low is that it is knocking over false prophets like ... like ... like Hewlett Packard CEO's.

To think I lamented this storm a month ago. We may need another job. Kid, we're lucky we're still alive. Okay. Okay? That's all you've got to say? Okay. Okay.

Is that plateau for oil production or oil CONSUMPTION?

Yes, that is the big question. Generally speaking, if prices are high we would say it is supply limited. If prices are low then that points to a failure of demand. Despite the recent fallback, prices even today can still be considered high. If we truly had an oil glut then producers would be competing with each other to cut prices, and we'd see historically low prices of $10-20 per barrel. Since we're not, that points to supply limitations.

Having said that, we should keep in mind that market participants look to the future as well as the present in making their decisions. Producers may choose to produce below the maximum if they believe that we will have shortages in the future and their oil will be worth even more then. A production cutback in the face of high prices is therefore not necessarily evidence that we are at peak now, but it suggests that producers see a peak as a realistic possibility within their planning horizon, and that is affecting their decisions today.

Thanks for taking my question seriously.  Another clue to whether it's supply or demand constrained may be the willingness of OPEC to attempt to reduce supply temporarily.   If they thought the peak was really demand driven, they would know that cutting down supply temporarily in order to lift prices back into the $70 range would be futile because it would continue to reduce demand and therefore make any price increase they could achieve only temporary, requiring more cutbacks later to maintain the higher price and therefore ceding more of the oil market to non-OPEC countries.  So their willingness to attempt a cutback to restore higher prices suggests that they think there has been either a TEMPORARY demand peak or a TEMPORARY supply spurt that can be corrected by their temporary cutback.  Since demand destruction would not be likely to be a temporary phonemenon (unless it is weather-related), this suggests they don't see supply continuing to increase steadily among the non-OPEC producers, since that phenomenon would make their current proposed cutback feckless.  Bottom line: it seems like OPEC believes that supplies are likely to be fairly well constrained going forward.
This site, posted at the bottom of the thread, has a graph and curve that agrees with your's.


Nice Job!
Thank you, that means a lot to me coming from you. But please take another look. I need criticism.

An addendum. On the one with the Lebanon conflict. The shooting started on July 12th. That is hugely important. It is a terrible omission. I was aware of the problem when I went to print. That's why I called it a Beta. There's one more Zoom out I have to do on this but I haven't decided on a time frame.

The article on solar trends describes inverters specifically 3 times, as devices for converting AC to DC. I thought it was the other way around...
I think you're on the wrong thread, buddy. Only thing I know about AC/DC is Back In Black ... oh, and this must be a setup ...

It's a long way to the top if you wanna Rock 'n' Roll.

Oh, wait - it was a thread on bisexuals. My bad.
Is that what that means? Maybe it's my bad. But I understand.
It's a long way to the top if you wanna Rock 'n' Roll.

Is it really you Jack Black? Loved your movie (School of Rock).

I had this girlfriend that confinced herself she had early-onset Alzheimers. She was no dummy - Harvard and MIT. I always told her she was full of shit. Problem is she made me paranoid. Maybe even convinced me.

I Love Jack Black. Funny as hell. But I can't tell any of his movies apart. Is that me? Or does this guy need to find a new routine if he wants to stay in Hollywood.

In an attempt to retain my sanity. It's all about Borat. Check my comments on TOD for a reference to Borat. If Leanan or Super-G hasn't deleted it I mentioned Borat before the movie existed. So that's either premonition or I'm delusional.

"There is no God. And we are all his prophets."

All I know is that we are on a highway to hell in terms of energy
I hope you forgive things I've said in the past. I won't pass them off on one of my 34. Sorry 35 personalities. I made my choice. Six Six Six.
Rare form today. Smart & funny while mad as hatter. Meds or just the nice part of a cycle?
I don't bike. I got too many bad mememories as a kid biking to either mass at 5:30 am, or to work, or whatever.Those frickin' thingsall killya. It's either cars or walking for me. I'm sorry, the best thing in life is walking. Sex is messy. (Don't tell them Hilton Girls that. They're pretty clean, believe me). I'm sorry the rest of you didn't have the chance to discover that(the walking). I'm also sorry you didn't get a chance to discover LSD and Henry Miller. But what can I do? I should be satisfied with you people at least figuring out football(Cheers!) and Seinfeld(Hurray! Do you finally understand they never made an episode that wasn't funny?) That might be a clue.

For anybody that wants to dis me. For anybody thinks I'm full of shit - I just saw an ad. They were trying to convince people that they didn't have to eat less to lose weight. You've seen it. Watch it again. Then Try to say I'm fucking with you. Yeah right fella.

I beg your pardon.  Was just at the Henry Miller library two weeks ago.  I kid you not.  Bought a Thoreau book, the one I made my quote from recently. Caretaker there (Swedish native) looked like he's all set up for PO with his bus and gardens in the back.  International ping pong tournament will be there next year, he told us, as we stood next to the outdoor ping pong table.  Wrote down a quote from an engraved rock there by Lucy Christopher, "I saw the window in the wall.  The wall was never there at all."  (Bet you like that one, too, Jack?) Lucy has passed away.
I get the "rare form" deal every other day. It only means something when you or SAT says it.

I'm trying to watch ABC Evening news. They got college football on. OK, tis the season. When I hear college Football the only thing I know is Nebraska. So I was brainwashed. Oh, scratch that...Thank God for NBC.

Every other day? OMFG. I had a girlfriend who did that. She died. For four and a half minutes. They got the paddles on her and brought her back. Luck.
Check the Cat Power regimen. She's got it going where she can be crazy and keep it under control. Sort of.
I didn't miss LSD. You're thinking of someone else.
2 more things. Try younger women. I don't believe the pedophile routine you did the other night. Young women (not girls) smell and feel clean, not messy. Though you may feel dirty. (You dirty old man.) I've encountered only one woman of a certain age who could be unmessy. (How bad is messy?)
And Seroquel. Know when.
Know when what? When to start or when to stop?
It's a long way to the top if you wanna Rock 'n' Roll.

Great video, down the boulevard in Melbourne.

That was good. I almost forgot that episode. Youtube is great, isn't it? I didn't realize Metallica uses the song to open their concerts.

I was actually one of the back-up bag-pipers on the flat-bed. A lot of people are unaware of that. Did you catch the black helicopter circling above right towards the end?

converting AC to DC. I thought it was the other way around...

You are correct. Those "reporter persons" got their wires inverted ... as usual.

Have you read any of Edward Tufte's books?

  • The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
  • Envisioning Information
  • Visual Explanations
  • Beautiful Evidence

They're all in print, available though your favorite online bookseller or from Tufte's own publishing company, Graphics Press http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/

Tufte has cornered the niche (?) of practical information design in the social and political sciences, and to a lesser extent the physical sciences. He used to be prof. of Social Science at Yale, but retired some years ago and now makes a living by publishing and consulting. You should try to catch his 1-day seminar if you live in the US and he comes to your city.

In recent years he has started to come across as being a bit intellectually arrogant. I think he is increasingly frustrated by the world's refusal to embrace his ideas, but his books are still worth reading. If you are going to buy just one, it should be "Visual Display", which is now in its second edition. His critiques of NASA's root-cause analyses of the two Shuttle accidents are available as pamphlets from Graphics Press (also in the books), and are a good introduction to his way of thinking.

Oil CEO - if you feel your graphs could be improved (and they're not perfect, though they could be a lot worse), read "Visual Display" for ideas. My own advice would be to lose the color-gradient background - what information does it convey? And find a way to make the dates on the axes a bit less random. I realize you're probably constrained by time, convenience and cost to use Excel, but even the bastard offspring of Micros~1 can produce good results with a bit of coaxing.

No I haven't. Roger that. Yes I will. Thank you.

Your last paragraph is the best because that is where you tear into me. I'm aware of these things. I wanted feedback. The color gradient thing is problematic for me. I need it to put the focus of my own eye on the graph. A white background distracts me. That's a personal problem. I realize that. The Dates are horrible. I've tried so many hacks around what I'm given, I can't tell you. Paris is gonna throw me some bucks for a new laptop soon. Maybe she'll send me Boone Pickens' rejects with the killer chart skills. God knows they did him right.

I tought myself C++. Why am I afraid of Excel? Yeah, you're coaxing me. Cuz I'm getting to old for this shit. But the truth always stays the same. If you wannit done right, you gotta do it yourself. Thanks again for slapping me in the head. The plucky underdog. rarely posts. always hits hard. always a friend.

is anyone in the peak oil realm doing dynamic plots, generated by the web server or scripting layers?
you're asking the wrong person. Let's see what other responses we get. I would if I could.
I've done dynamic plots on web pages in Perl using Image::Magick. Nothing fancy, but it sure beats re-doing it by hand each time you get another data point.
I've been linked at least once to an ajax web app that resembled an excel window with a graph on the side (data already there), but I can't for the life of me remember who it was or what the topic was.
I miss Stuart.

What happened to Stuart, anyway?  Is he just busy these days?

Peak Oil Burnout, would be my guess.  I miss him too, but taking a lengthy hiatus is probably a healthy response for him.
Since the question of Stuart's disappearance seems mostly unanswered, I will venture the following. Shortly before his last post sometime in Aug he made a reference to looking for income producing work. I am guessing that he extracted himself from the TOD world to generate hard income undistracted by the consuming activity of creating articles and replying to posts. I'm hoping that Stuart will reappear and again enlighten us with his extraordinary analysis and presentation of data relevant to our efforts to comprehend the TOD topics discussed.

In the meanwhile I would like to take a moment to thank all the current editors for their outstanding work to continue to make TOD the best energy discussion site on the web.

and westexas too!
OK, that's enough.

I am a Senior Contributor to The Oil Drum. I have been around here a long time and Stuart became an editor just about the time I started publishing here.

In my view, Stuart is a very smart guy and I miss his contributions, too.

But, for whatever reasons -- he has certainly not told me or anyone else to my knowledge -- he has decided to devote his time elsewhere -- I assume this is in his own best interest timewise and moneywise and therefore he has stopped giving us his detailed analysis of important issues relating to peak oil, the economy, etc.

That said, he has left us with a great body of work -- but not complete, by any means, because the situation is always in flux. Nonetheless, I hope people will look through it because it describes some peak oil fundamentals in a way that everybody should be familiar with. It is available to anyone who cares to look.

Therefore, Stuart has apparently opted-out. That's his choice. Why don't we deal with who is here now? OK? If Stuart wants to resume his work here, that would be welcome but don't count on it or wonder where he is. Everybody got it?

And by the way -- if you want to Stuart or me or anybody else to tell you "the truth", well, you can let us do that based on the fact that some of us actually do a lot of research on the many issues involved. However, I recommend that people work on their own to research the issues and come up with their own conclusions based on the evidence. OK?

I thought I saw Stuart and Elvis recently at the local Burger King...jk.

Dave, I think we appreciate all the contributors work here very much...thanks for sharing.

The most wicked aspect of life is that one cannot rely on that the skilled, self critical and socially healthy individuals promote themselves. Those who possess such qualities, are rarely those who raise their hands and go "me! me! me!".
Uh, sure.  No problem.  I appreciate Stuart's need to make a living (and I had been wondering how he had time to do so, with all his TOD work).  I mostly just wanted to make sure that he hadn't died, or had something similarly tragic happen to him.  Glad to hear that's not the case, at least.

I am trying to find the date of, and if possible, a link to the original Daniel Yergin - CERA report which states, something to the effect, that a field by field survey of new projects coming on line, means no peak oil for many years. I am more concerned with the date of the original report because I wish to do a timeline of events and what has happened to world oil production since that date.

Thanks a million to anyone that can help.

Ron Patterson

There is, of course, no doubt that we'll see many spins on CO2 emssions from industries. But this one, from PricewaterhouseCoopers' Calgary branch, takes the top prize so far. And it will be hard to beat in utter arrogance. No-one has yet dared suggest that the oilsands can actually "play a key role" in saving the planet. Well, here's a first.

Study finds oilsands could mitigate climate change

It has been blamed as one of the big villains causing global warming, but a new study by PricewaterhouseCoopers has concluded that Alberta's oilsands could play a key role in saving the planet from the devastating effects of climate change.

The consulting firm suggests Canada and other G-7 countries must take the lead to tackle global warming through various strategies to improve energy efficiency, increase use of renewable fuels and developing carbon capture and storage technology.

Under a "Green Growth Plus" plan, the firm estimates a 17 per cent reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions, thanks in part to geological formations in Western Canada that are suitable for storing carbon underground.

"I think what's surprising about (the report) is the emphasis that carbon capture and storage has on the best scenario case and how Western Canada can actually help with climate change through carbon capture and storage," said Christine Schuh, Canadian climate change leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

With no strategy in place, Schuh said greenhouse gas emissions would double around the world by 2050. However, the green growth plan would require the G-7 countries to reduce their overall emissions by 51 per cent between 2004 and 2050, while the emerging economies of China, India, Brazil, Russia, Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey could increase their emissions by 29 per cent. Schuh said it would still allow for modest economic growth of about three per cent in GDP.

The funniest cornucopian line (attributed to Palast in the article)is: there is plenty of oil, we are just running out of cheap oil. As price increases, supply will increase through the magic of the invisible hand. Assume for a moment that this logic is correct-it is like saying potentially, there will be no unemployment in North America. You simply have to get the average wage up to 1 mill a year. Yes, in this scenario unemployment would be extremely low. Who is going to pay this wage? In today's dollars, what is the worldwide demand for oil at $500 a barrel? Not very great.      
Not necessarily cornucopian -- it depends on what you mean by "plenty". If we are at or near peak for the conventional stuff, that means we have half left (the more expensive half). A true cornucopian would say "don't worry about price, technology will bring that down or come up with a replacement". Anyway, we'll all be making increasingly above average wages in the future.

As for me, I say we have plenty of oil left to complete the job of trashing the environment.

Gosh, a nearly blank canvas...

Some rubbish from the BBC. Does Norway produce 17.3 million
bbl/day? This says so twice!

'Oil price up on Statoil shutdown'

A nice example of the daft things you can do with very cheap inputs - Composting wool because it's too cheap to sell.

'Using the wool no-one wants'

and some more BBC rubbish - how does lower overheads mean people spend less??

'Lower petrol prices hit US retail'

cheers all

ASPO Newsletter 69 (September 2006) is now available. You can view it
online at:

Or you can download the PDF directly:

Articles in this newsletter:

  1. ASPO-USA Conference
  2. European Union addresses Peak Oil
  3. Regional Assessment - EUROPE
  4. Oil Depletion Protocol
  5. Oil Price
  6. Discovery so far in 2006
  7. Russia puts pressure on foreign companies
  8. Worries in the Tar-belt
  9. Mr Blair Speaks of an Energy Crisis
759. ASPO Canada
760. Life after Oil
Sorry, It's not the newsletter 69 but rather 70 (October)
For me, your link leads to the June newsletter.  I can't find anything more recent than July. Something's happened.  I know there used to be more recent stuff there.  
Okay, I see.  They've put them on a secure server, and Scoop doesn't recognize it as a link.  This should work:

ASPO October Newsletter (PDF)

You're right, the content of the automatic email I received was still for the September letter.
This seems to be what Robert and I were suggesting:

American Petroleum Institute Argues for More Pervasive Ethanol Use at Lower Blend Ratios Instead of E85

In a speech to the USDA/DOE Renewable Energy Conference, Red Cavaney, President and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute (API), argued for wider use of ethanol at lower blends of up to E10, rather than localized use of E85 in flex-fuel vehicles.


I actually saw a writeup yesterday on E85/gasoline blends, and how using less than something like 60% gasoline should be avoided because it makes you vulnerable to water contamination.

Exactly how hard is mixing gasoline and ethanol?   Can it be done using a simple mechanism at the pump, to varying amounts, from a gasoline tank and a seperate ethanol tank?

Being about to buy anything from E2 to E100 on the same mass-produced gas pumps seem like a good capability.

That 60% thing seems funny.  We are (most of us) using small percentages now, as a result of the MTBE phase-out.  As I understand it, the current percentages are within spitting distance of the 10% (E10) recommended by the article (and some of us here).

Is there already a law or something, to make 100% of the current auto fleet E10 ready?

The funny part was that they were talking about specific mixes of E85 and gasoline - rather than Ethanol and gasoline.  I assume this means use one hose for half the tank, and the other hose for the other half.
I guess it does make a little more sense than it appeared to, if ethanol is stored as E85 in order to prevent water mixing.
I guess it does make a little more sense than it appeared to, if ethanol is stored as E85 in order to prevent water mixing.

I simply don't understand how it can prevent water mixing. Water mixes readily with alcohol. When you get water in your gas tank, you can buy a little bottle of stuff at Auto Zone to get rid of the water. It is basically alcohol. The alcohol allows the water to mix with the gasoline and you just get rid of it by pushing it through your engine a tiny bit at a time.

Alcohol allows water mixing, it does not prevent it.

At low concentrations of ethanol in gas <15% the water will readily mix with the gasoline/ethanol mix up to a point.  With higher concentrations of ethanol in gas the water absorbed by the ethanol tends to make the ethanol/water mix separate from the gasoline.  At lower concentrations the ethanol only absorbs so much water then the balance of the water settles out.  This is dependent on temp and pressure also.
This information was told to me by a fuel retailer in the upper midwest that was also an ethanol distributor in several cities.  
So for E-85 it is important to not let too much water get in the fuel tank.
Was talking about adding gasoline to E100 (turning it into E85) to prevent mixing, not the other way around :)
Exactly how hard is mixing gasoline and ethanol?  

Its simple.   Assuming you have ethyl alchol without water.

The problem is Ethyl Alcohol likes water.  195 proof at the still head, and 190 proof is 'stable'...ok not sucking water out of the air.

To mix Alcohol and gas, the alcohol needs to be water free.

I'm not a physical chemist, but I believe the problem is the general stability of ethanol/gasoline/water tertiary mixtures.

  • Water and ethanol are miscible (pure ethanol is extremely hygroscopic, as EB points out)
  • Gasoline and water are miscible
  • Water and gasoline are immiscible

Hydrocarbon distribution and storage systems always have some water in them, but they are engineered to get all the water out before it gets into your gas tank. This is normally done by allowing the water to settle out in storage tanks and occasionally drainng the water layer off through an outlet at the bottom.

If you start blending in too much ethanol, the water can stay dissolved until it reaches your car and you will end up corroding the fuel pumps or injectors.

Oops. I meant...

  • Water and ethanol are fully miscible
  • Gasoline and ethanol are fully miscible
  • Water and gasoline are fully immiscible

"Fully miscible" means any mixture of the two will form a single phase. "Fully immiscible" means no mixture will form a single phase.
Someone e-mailed me this story today on E85 problems:

The advocacy group Public Citizen has filed a petition with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claiming that 228,000 2003-2005 model-year Ford Taurus and Mercury Sables should not be labeled and counted as flex-fuel E85 vehicles since "they are not capable of operating on a mixture of alternative fuel and gasoline."

Public Citizen claims that Ford Motor Co. has avoided as much as $135 million in fines by marketing vehicles that are supposed to run on the gas-ethanol mix E85 because the vehicles do not in fact operate on the blend. The group accused Ford of running misleading ads....

A corn farmer from Hastings, Neb., who purchased a Ford vehicle marketed as a flex-fuel vehicle ... has filed complaints with the FTC and the Nebraska Attorney General, and he has sent Ford a letter demanding a refund for his vehicle.

A corn farmer named Dave Buss ... bought a 2005 Taurus last September with the intention of burning E85 in it much of the time. Buss told his Ford dealer that the Taurus was hard to start and ran roughly on E85, occasionally stalling, and that Ford eventually told him to solve the
problem by using regular gasoline.

According to documents filed with Public Citizen's complaint, the dealership confirmed Buss' troubles, and when it asked Ford about the issue, it was told that the behavior was typical for E85-capable Tauruses. In a Nov. 9, 2005, bulletin to dealers, Ford said it was working on a solution to the problems, but that dealers should tell customers to use only regular gasoline until a fix was found.

It can be done and it works. Ages ago I had a friend w/ '65 GTO which had been re-engined with a 454 Chevy while retaining the original 389 Tri-Power heads. Insane but it worked. Pat tried running straight avgas to cope with the increased compression but found the beast ran better with a mix of normal premium gas and alcohol. Kept the alcohol in a 55gallon drum in the garage in humid Chicago. Was certainly aware of the problem of the alcohol sucking moisture but everything worked fine. In fact for a 700horsepower monster it was phenomenally smooth running.
Do not try this at home.
Considering that the head bolt patterns and block are diffferent, the water ports are different, the cylinder centerlines different, and the manifolds different, between a 454 rat motor and a large block pontiac- he did this how? As an old drag racer who hung in Chris Karamesines' garage occasionallly as a kid on the south side of Chicago, I'll be charitable and just express skepticism.
Grain prices skyrocketed this week, as expected plantings for next year were way down and wheat stocks were at 25 year low. Could this be the producers way of saying (like Chesapeake did with natural gas) that at these prices, we will reduce production.

corn chart
soybean chart
wheat chart (all time high for wheat)

and interestingly, soybean oil, which can be viewed as a composite of soybean and oil prices, in not going up much (due to swoon in gasoline and oil prices)


See also my post below on Australia's drought and failing harvests. The US government stats below for October are still "wildly optimistic".

Drought Slashes Australia's Exportable Supplies

Severe drought in Australia this year is decimating grain crops, curtailing exports and causing major price and trade impacts on global grain markets. For wheat, Australia is one of the world's largest suppliers but exports are now forecast to drop by a third.
[Note roel: might well be 2/3]

This will likely mean sharply reduced shipments to Mediterranean markets such as Egypt and a greater focus on traditional Asian destinations. A dearth of Australian supplies will exacerbate an already very tight global situation and result in even further drawdowns in exporters' stocks (which typically impact world prices). This has already caused prices to soar to the highest levels in a decade.

As the world's largest barley exporter for the past 3 years, sharply lower exportable supplies will support higher prices and cause demand to shift to European and Black Sea region suppliers. For rice, Australia had returned as a significant player in the medium-grain market. However, with production forecast to plunge nearly two-thirds, importers will have to source more medium-grain rice from the United States, Egypt, and China.

USDA Economic Research Service

NOTE: China is the word's largest wheat producer AND the largest importer.

Hello Roel,

Thxs for this info.  Consider this sad Aussie news:
Drought lifts suicide rates: Kennett
The chairman of anti-depression organisation Beyond Blue, Jeff Kennett, has confirmed the drought is increasing farmer suicide rates.

Mr Kennett says conditions for farmers have never been worse.

He has told Southern Cross Radio many of them are at their wits' end.

"One farmer in rural Australia takes his own life every four days now, one farmer every four days," he said.
[bolding by Bob Shaw for emphasis]

Tragic as this is, the loss of farming knowledge is even worse.  The Aussie Govt. should be pulling out all the stops to find funding for these farmers.  Maybe a huge program whereby: farmers on worthless farms are highly compensated to move to cities to teach permaculture.  IMO, I have no 'best' solution for Nature's incredible forces.

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

The evidence keeps rolling in that indicates there will be no government solution. TPTB are spending big time on propaganda  to convince everyone there isn't even a problem. If you aren't drinking the koolaid then you are ON YOUR OWN. The government is not going to save us. It's not is the plan.
Hello Oaksmoke,

Thxs for responding.  Yep, the topdogs are NOT interested in saving the peasants' asses.  It is not their plan--how true.

What I think is interesting is the protest differences between biosolar peasants and detritovore peasants.  Farmers, around the world, seem to commit suicide [taking their knowledge with them] when they can't take it anymore; they don't seem to strike out against the System.  Recall the 100,000 Indian farmers that removed themselves in a singular fashion by ingesting pesticide.

Detritovores, like the Bangladeshi urban dwellers when their electricity went out, instead protest by burning and looting the very System that they should be doing everything to conserve.  I am not sure why these protest differences are so clearly delineated.

I think the same phenomena will happen here in the US postPeak.  The farmers will off themselves, and the SUV owners will be fighting, robbing, and looting for the last drops of ancient sunshine.  Go figure.

I am not positive as to the statistics, but I think US farmer suicide rates and 'accidentally lethal' farming accidents already make this profession quite hazardous now.

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

Hello Bob,

You always have a view on such matters and thinking about how folks act when TSHTF I remember images of Katrina that show it very precisely.

They would go into a store. Break the windows, whatever and take what they wished to take.

Now they later said this"they had water, we needed water and we took it" and they thought this was not considered stealing and IMO its likely not.

They also took clothing and it appeared to be theft but they said to the camera later "our clothes were ruined by the water and muck , they had clothes so we took them"

I wondered at the time how jewelry stores fared but that was not reported.

In summary to me it showed exactly how the populace will react. They will simply take what they want. Justified or not they will take it.

Was their concern shown for their fellow humans during Katrina by those experiencing it? Perhaps but I did not see too much of this on the TV. I saw huge concern by the rescuers. What I saw the ones there doing was looking out for THEMSELVES.


Hello Airdale,

Thxs for responding.  The Bangladeshis, in their ignorance, cooperated in destruction vs getting together to help stretch the electricity supply.  They burned and looted the infrastructure vs forming a neighborhood committee to conserve energy.  For example, they could agree to watching just a couple of neighborhood tvs, unplugging the rest, to help keep the area refrigerators running.  They could form groups to help protect from copper wire thefts, and pool money to guarantee reliable electrical service to critical hospitals, refrigerated food warehousing, electrified trains, etc.  Most importantly, they should be writing their elected officials to stop subsidizing electricity--to charge people the true cost so that it helps promote the actions listed above.  Any of these steps is better than burning the offices, repair trucks, and substations of their electrical utility.

Destruction makes no sense to me-- it should also be obvious to a mob, but I guess a collective group loses it collective mind.  Until social cooperation becomes the norm, I remain a fast crash doomer.  Looking out for THEMSELVES by cooperation goes much further than looking out for themselves through competition.  My two cents.

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

interestingly Australia hasn't just started this drought.

In many parts of the country, it is in something like its 7th year.  I think in Western Australia, over 10 years.  Sydney is in about its 5th year of drought.

If you look back over thousands of years, Australia has cycled through much wetter and dryer periods than now.  It may be that Australia is going through one of those dry cycles, which may last hundreds or thousands of years.

That's a problem, but the fundamental problem is that much/most farming in Australia is environmentally unsustainable anyway (ie even at "normal" rainfall)

The drought has hastened the crunch.

Nate, the pipelines tell operators how much natural gas they will purchase, not the operator telling how much they will sell. Chesapeake was very likely putting a pretty face on the situation.
  Chesapeake has a lot of debt and their lenders are unlikely to cooperate in any cuts that result in a decrease to their revenue stream.
Things are not good for OJ either:

Orange Juice Squeeze: Florida Has Smallest Orange Crop in 17 Years

I have to get used to Commodity Speak, where the term "bullish" means lousy harvests and higher prices for consumers.

Hello JoulesBurn,

Yep, the free market is seriously out of whack when unharvested crops, due to labor shortages, are left rotting in the fields, causing huge financial losses to farmers.

We really need to get started on moving from 0.7% of the workforce doing agricultural work, to 60-75% of the workforce doing agricultural work, if we truly desire to shut the border and mitigate Peakoil.  Otherwise, we can expect huge levels of violence in our urban areas from food shortages.  It would be far better if the US had a stored 3 year supply of foodstuffs to help ease the transition to permaculture everywhere, instead of relying upon record wheat prices and other phenomena to induce this paradigm shift.  It will take years to develop the skills and resources required to make even a small contribution to localized foodstuffs: the sooner we get started, the better to reduce violence.

Here, in my small neighborhood of the Asphalt Wonderland, a lot of businesses are closing.  I really should get a digital camera and upload pictures of all the empty stores in my area stripmalls.  Then upload another picture of how crowded the parking lot of the local Goodwill store is with cars.  My favorite is the long fenced-off gas-station that is plastered with election posters promising better times ahead if you vote for any politician.

My emails to the city council asking for them not to build a huge senior community center on the last piece of local vacant land was ignored.  So, instead of a hoped-for neighborhood garden plot: a huge parking lot with a large building was built instead.  It is not a housing project, but a place where it is hoped seniors will gather to play cards and paint trinkets-- yeah, right!  What a waste of taxdollars that could have gone instead to mitigation.  Sadly, the grand opening is soon.

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

What's strange, that I never hear any of the people here talk about when talking about farming, is that all those fabulous breaks from education...were originally intentioned to let the children help the parents at home sow and harvest the crop.  That's where the shortage of labor has gone...to school.
I've talked about it.  The public school I attended had until relatively recently had its "summer break" in the fall (Sept.-Oct.-Nov.).  The local crops were harvested in the fall, and that was when the kids were needed on the farm.

This is why I think it may be difficult to maintain our technology in the poscarbon age.  People who pulled their kids out of school in the 4th or 8th or 10th grade weren't just anti-education idiots.  They needed the kids on the farm.

We really need to get started on moving from 0.7% of the workforce doing agricultural work, to 60-75% of the workforce doing agricultural work, if we truly desire to shut the border and mitigate Peakoil.

Bob, youre dead on with the number of people needed in food production, and yes, the loss of knowledge, as well as the time to re-learn, will be major roadblocks. Don't forget the fact that much of the land is as addicted to chemicals as the worst junkie, and there's long-lasting chemical pollution just about everywhere. Plant trees!

But that border closing thing won't pan out until the US is a s poor as Mexico, and the rest of Middle America. It works exactly the way air pressure does: from high to low, the zeroth law of thermodynamics, and there's nothing you can do to stop that.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of Africans have died this year so far trying to get into Europe. Desperate times are here.

"We really need to get started on moving from 0.7% of the workforce doing agricultural work, to 60-75% of the workforce doing agricultural work, if we truly desire to shut the border and mitigate Peakoil."

I make every possible effort to be open minded, but a person has to draw a line and make a stand somewhere, so personal offense to anyone, but:

The sentence quoted at the start of this post is sheer madness and so obviously disproven over time that it borders on outright evil.  If the idea of trying to willfully drive the people out into the fields were to begin to take hold, it should be fought with every tool and every organ of press and propaganda available to the American people as the Maoist slavery and deconstruction of culture that it is.

The "back to the land" noble savage nature fantasy is just that, a pure fantasy.  
It seems to now be believed by some that because small bands of yeomen farmers could feed themselves hundreds of years ago in this fashion, using the product of the labor of a large train of young children and healthy young adults born into the household, and an almost endless supply of virgin ground and clean fresh water, that it will work today.

One tries to picture going and dragging the prosperous silver haired fox off the golf course and sticking him out in the field hand pulling corn off the stalk (have you ever done it?  Because I have...), in late summer/early autumn some 8 hours a day....what is your guess as to how long this ole' fellow, needing a daily dose of medicine to cope with his recent 4 way bypass and high blood pressure (and I am not laughing, I take the factory made pharmacy  miracles every single day myself, and I am 47 years old) would survive?  Maybe a week?  And he sure can't, as the old Anglo Saxon or Frank overachiever could hope to do, count on the healthy young offspring to get out there and do it, since most of the boomers created barely enough offspring to act as replacement population for the old folks.

This is just one more of the elitist, fantastical, totally insane notions that complete destroys the credibility of those who are very serious in their deep concern about America's energy future if they associate themselves with it.

It is easily recognized as what Toffler described as the "Yearning For a New Dark Age", or neo-neo post fossil fuel Medievalism, by way of Rousseau through Ruskin and Morris, to Kunstler and Heinberg.

It is an aesthetic/philosophical position that has nothing to do with science, or for that matter, energy.

Roger Conner  known to you as ThatsItImout

Hello Roger,

Okay, I think I can understand how you oppose this idea with a short-term outlook.  But you don't offer a viable solution for the postPeak age.  When all of North America has only the equivalent of 1 million barrels/day from all fossil fuel sources--what is your solution?  Then 2 mil/day, then 4 mil/day, then 8 mil/day, then 16 mil/day?  If for some reason [like the US is losing allies?], 100% of our oil imports were suddenly cutoff [60% of our current daily usage]--what is your solution?

I think you will agree 60-75% of us working in permaculture is the only viable solution to mitigate the dieoff violence as much as possible.  No tech will ever replace good topsoil, clean water, and a vibrant ecosystem.

I have no clear ideas on how this could be easily done except to make everyone aware through massive PO & GW Outreach;  where society would yearn to turn away from detritus MPP and embrace biosolar MPP and sustainable efforts.  Easier said than done, of course, that is why I am a fast-crash Jay Hanson type doomer, but I am always trying to create workable mitigation; optimizing the squeeze through the bottleneck.

There are lots of Permaculture websites & Orgs--are you saying that they are wasting their time by this huge volunteerism effort?  I have never said we need to willfully drive people out from the cities, but we need to figure out how to incentivize them--Big difference.

Watch the 4 Youtube videos from the BBC called, "The Century of Self".  If they can convince us to happily buy useless crap, they can convince us to desire voluntary population control, bicycling, powerdown, and relocalized permaculture.  Common sense should be already be sufficient [if everyone practiced it], but who knows--maybe Madison Ave, once they figure out how to profit from the transition, will lead the charge to the lifeboats.

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

On solutions, user "Waldi" posted this a few days ago:

A short look at the earths energy budget should suffice to put the matter into some perspective:

  • solar radiation (99.978%, or nearly 174 petawatts; or about 340 W m-2)
  • geothermal energy (0.013%, or about 23 terawatts; or about 0.045 W m-2)
  • tidal energy (0.002%, or about 3 terawatts; or about 0.0059 W m-2
  • waste heat from fossil fuel consumption (about 0.007%, or about 13 terawatts; or about 0.025 W m-2


You'd have to be a bigger optimist than me to say that those will all work out, but you have to be a bigger pessimist than me to say that none of them will ... long term.

The key in my opinion is about time frames.  We have a certain amount of technology and solutions now, we might have more later.  Will we have enough when we need it?

That's the $64,000 question.

We can throw numbers around for how fast oil production will decline (as you do) but I think we should show restraint in that.  Do we know?  Or do we just trade "scary" scenarios?

(ie. if "100% of our oil imports were suddenly cutoff")

"The sentence quoted at the start of this post is sheer madness and so obviously disproven over time that it borders on outright evil.  If the idea of trying to willfully drive the people out into the fields were to begin to take hold, it should be fought with every tool and every organ of press and propaganda available to the American people as the Maoist slavery and deconstruction of culture that it is."

Bob's post borders on "outright evil"?

LMAO!!! This is definitely deserves the "over the top post of the year award." Roger, you post some pretty off-the-chain stuff but this one takes the cake. Thnks for the laughs!

Bob may be less over the top than you think. He's old enough to remember what happened the last time such a program was implemented. You may be too young. Creating an agricultural utopia by driving everyone out of the cities and into the fields was the program of Pol Pot's Khemer Rouge. The results truly were evil.
That should have been Roger, not Bob. I wonder if Bob has considered the similarity of the Khemer Rouge to his Earth Marines?

"the road to hell is paved with good intentions."

Is Bob the person evil?  I like to think not.  But is the "plan" to put 60% of the population back on the land sure to lead, if carried to it's conclusions, to repression, hunger, misery, and in the end a complete failure of culture far greater than "peak oil" could have ever created on it's own, evil in it's effects?

I think with absolute assurance that it is.  So, whether it be evil in intent is a moot point, it is evil in outcome.

I would not be prone to say something like this as pure hyperbole.  I base it on the assumption that anyone familiar with the history of this century knows where these type of utopian schemes always have led.  That may be an overestimation of our posters and readers knowledge of history, but I hope not.  And, we can always try to hope this time, for the first time, it will be different.  I tend to think not.

There are many, many options and plans that can be readily and easily discussed.  I may not agree with all of them on a technical basis.  But technology changes, or it is always possible that I misunderstood and or was fully read on the technology, or the plan under discussion.  I am fully willing to discuss plans that may or may not work, as long as they are not obvious in their destruction of humanity.

There are some plans however, that are so obvious in the absolute horrendous nature of their outcome that there really is one option, and only one available, and that is to resist them with all the tools at our command.

I am not opposed to the ideas of "permaculture", which to me are simply a return to sane and imaginative agriculture/horticulture.  Such things a contour planting, mixed multi level planting, retention of compost material, how can anyone argue with what have been known for as good practices for many years?  The only argument against permaculture is profit, in that margins can be cut on costs, and fast money can be made at the expense of the land, a scheme that borders on a kind of evil in it's own right.

I will deal with alternatives in other posts, as I always have,  but let me just say this:  If, as one poster said, fuel imports were cut off, and the U.S. had to survive on 60% or even less of our current energy budget, my view has always been and still is:  One can simply look around and see enough waste and bad design of our systems to be able to remove the missing 40% plus of the lost energy far, far before even considering the option of driving an aging baby boom nation out into the fields to die.

Roger Conner  known to you as ThatsItImout

One can simply look around and see enough waste and bad design of our systems to be able to remove the missing 40% plus of the lost energy far, far before even considering the option of driving an aging baby boom nation out into the fields to die.

I think it's going to happen.  Not because we plan it, but because we don't.

Maybe not with the Boomers, but eventually.


Has the AZ economy deteriorated markedly in the last year? I went to grad school in Tucson in the 80's and visited last October for the first time since '91. Things seemed robust then, or maybe it was just being floated by housing before the fall.

Up where I live now in Seattle, things are somewhat better. It seems as if every (service) business nearby is looking for employees. Of course, not all at that income level can afford to live nearby.


Hello JoulesBurn,

Thxs for responding.  I am no econ expert, just noticing what is going on in my local burb.  I know that there are parts of the Valley of the Sun that are booming, and other parts that are declining.   How much of this is due to normal economic & competitive processes vs Peakoil diminishing returns is hard to tell.

I see a lot of help-wanted signs too--elderly skewed demographics and the crackdown on illegals by our County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, accounts for most of this labor shortage, IMO.  I have noticed the bus stops having more riders since I became aware of Peakoil 3 years ago.  But auto traffic has also become more congested in that time too.

Phoenix has had tremendous growth over the past 3 years, so it is hard to tell if a significant percentage have started to commute in smaller circles locally, or a larger percentage, moving to the new outlying burbs, are commuting in far larger energy circles.  My guess would be the latter because they are building evermore car dealerships all over the Asphalt Wonderland, and the bicycle shop nearest me has closed its doors.

It is pretty obvious to me that environmentally: we are much worse off than when I first moved here in 1964.  My girlfriend's house is built on desert land that I used to ride my mini-bike on years ago.  Now the cities & burbs go for miles in all directions.

My hunch is that Phx, Vegas, etc will continue to grow like mad until the perfect storm of the combo of high A/C, water, and fuel costs kills the golden goose.  Then these areas will mostly empty out in record time as we all head North to Cascadia.

One wild-ass theory I have: to prevent this huge northward migration from swamping Cascadia-- the Feds will give most of Southern CA, AZ, NV, & New Mex back to Mexico.  Then, the military will forcefully shutdown any attempted mass-migration in response to southwestern droughts from Global Warming.  Time will tell.

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

So, instead of a hoped-for neighborhood garden plot: a huge parking lot with a large building was built instead.
Shame. Here is what they could have done instead. Amazing.
Hello JoulesBurn,

Exactly!!!!  But first I have to convince the ruling desert detritovores that biosolar is the way to go.  I think they would rather die trying to kill the peasants than to join with us and get their hands dirty working the soil.

When push come to shove, smart rich guys like Richard Rainwater will lay off their useless detritovore employees.  His professional horticulturist, that supervises his huge survival farm, will then be the highest compensated employee in his organization.

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


Why don't you save yourself and get out of that place. You know Arizona is an artificial environment totally dependent on cheap energy. You could never grow anything without pumped in irrigation. The summers will kill you without a/c. Why not find a place where you have a 10% chance of survival?


If I remember correctly, Bob's mom is ill. I think he detailed his reasons for staying put in a previous post. He made a great point which is that even if you aware of this stuff, relocating is not always pragmatic for reasons relating to financial or familial ties.

Thank you for this. I understand. His philosophy led me to believe he would if he could. I suppose the same is true for a lot of people. You sense the monster out there in the future but are incapable of acting on it for reasons you give. As I believe you have pointed out, it may make little difference in the end. Most of us will be incapable of rising to what is required and will be overwhelmed despite our strategies to cope.
Wheat and the Australian drought are lifting all. Republicans are making sure the gas commodity stays low a few weeks but the grains are responding to peak everything.
Most excellent, a little Saturday morning humor, even on-topic:


I've got a better idea: Shoot the economists (and the accountants while you're at it).

These are the people that say "we can't do that since the discounted cashflow projection suggest it is not economically viable in the short term". They are the reason why no significant steps are taken and no long term vision is employed.

Isn't it surprising that this economist's solution is to tax more...

Wow, free bikes in the UK (if you cycle to work)?


(pfft.  sorry, not free just "tax free" ... though they do some funny math to claim 50% total savings.)
It's the most underused of tax breaks.  There was another for PCs at home, and so many people were taking it up, the Chancellor killed it.

Given UK traffic patterns (roundabouts!) and the general incompatibility between wearing a suit at work (universal) and cycling to work, not many people cycle to work.

More in London than used to, I think, pre congestion charge.

Nah, the free bikes are in France. I use them once or twice a week. Best idea since the wheel!
With the world's grain stockpiles at their lowest in 25 years, things are about to get much worse.

Somewhat under our daily radar, Australia is slipping into disaster. Harvests are failing to such an extent that the world's no.3 grain exporter may have to halt exports altogether.

The country exports some 80% of its production. Well, it's about to lose those same 80%. Someone's going to pay and starve.

Moreover, sometime soon this will lead to serious questions about the production of crops for ethanol.

Australia faces the death of its greatest river system

Australia's greatest river system, and the people who depend on it, are on the verge of catastrophe. The Murray-Darling river system is in its sixth year of drought. Dam levels are lower at this time of year than ever before. Irrigators face the lowest-ever allocations, which will have dire consequences for the rice and dairy industries.

The mouth of the Murray has only been kept open for the past five years by constant dredging, and summer could bring destructively high levels of salinity to the lower lakes.

The consequences will reverberate throughout the country: the Murray-Darling basin is Australia's food bowl, with irrigated agriculture worth more than $5.5billion.

The forecast by the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics last month that drought will wipe $3.5billion off the grain crop are now appearing wildly optimistic.

Jared Diamond said they were the most vulnerable first world nation.  On the other hand watching a beloved ally die from environmental suicide, may finally wake other western countries up.
There have already been severe bush fires in Aussie as of last week - generally the bad summer bushfires don't start till mid-November/December.
The Australian climate is as I recall already in a long term drying phase - so additional perturbations caused by global warming are worsening the problems. Its more and more obvious that the long term carrying capacity of the south, south east and eastern coasts (where 80% of the population is)in terms of water is falling, as a result of agricultural/urban demand. The major acquifer systems inland have steadily been depleted (salinification is a major and increasing problem). Australia (or at least the bits 'useful' to humans) is drying out.
Australia's problems will be compounded by the mindset of the pro-Bush federal government. Surprisingly a conservative politician made the logical suggestion that much of the population relocate to the tropical north, expected to retain abundant water under climate change. But also storms and insects. Taking a lead from James Lovelock and the dinosaurs I moved to the most poleward (southerly) part of the country in 2004. From daily emails to relatives in the big cities I get a sense they are 'trapped' into water restrictions and high food prices because the jobs are still in the cities.    
And they are still filling their swimming pools. To hasten the demise.
Australia will not die from lack of water.  There are only 20 million people here and, in an emergency, we can migrate to the tropics where the water is still plentiful and will remain so.  What is at stake is:

(a) The environment; and

(b) The standard of living.

If global warming continues and the droughts get to be standard, we can pretty well wipe off Australian grain exports.  This will put a moderately serious hole in the economy, but people will still be able to afford to buy food.

Two thirds of water used in Australia are for agricultural purposes, but the bulk of that goes for low value-added activities.  A small but increasing amount is used for high value-added activities like fruit and vegetables.  Only about 10% of total water use is for drinking water.

A bit of perspective is called for, then.  The drought might bring on a recession, but it won't lead to "a nation dying".

The environmental problems, however, look quite serious.  A lot of the ecosystems in this country are pretty stressed already.  Having a long series of dry years topped off by the worst drought on record will probably be a disaster for many ecosystems and lead to serious degradation.  I'm not, however, up on the details.

Finally, Australian farmers are, in general, far closer to detritovores than biosolar peasants.  Energy consumption on Australian farms is pretty high, with tractors being just the beginning.  The average Australian grain farm uses a vast amount of agricultural machinery (often owned by the contractor who comes through to do the tilling or the harvesting).  On the vast cattle stations that sprawl across the north of the country, helicopters and motor bikes have replaced horses and dogs for mustering.  And as for cotton, the scale of the industrial inputs mean a cotton farm can best be understood as an outdoor factory.

Peak oil will mean a substantial cut in Australian agricultural production but not, however, a collapse.  The lower cost of land here has meant that production has not had to be industrialised to the extent it has been in the US or Europe and thus there is a lesser distance to fall.

And the reason some Australian farmers are committing suicide is quite different from events in India.  Farmers in this country have been conned into thinking that they are businessmen and that their interests lie on the political Right.  In the last 20 years or so, their political party, the National Party, has been taken over by economic rationalists (i.e. neo-liberals) who preach the gospel of rugged individualism and worship of the free market.  The change in the National Party is related to the fact that its policies are dictated more by the mining companies that fund it than the rural people who make up its membership.  While the farmers aren't happy with the results of their policies, they haven't yet given up on the ideology.

The victory of economic rationalism amongst farmers in Australia means that they are left helpless when the banks and the agribusiness corporations come to do them over, since resisting them would mean collective action and a return to State regulation.  Their ideology teaches them that their predicament is their own fault and offers no way out.  It's no wonder that some kill themselves.

Hello Ablokeimet,

Thxs for this great posting on AUS!  Please email it to the aussie farmer groups & orgs--you might save some farmer's life.  What do you think of my idea whereby farmers, on now non-productive land, are somehow compensated to become teachers of permaculture and animal husbandry in the suburbs?  I have never been to OZ, but it sure is pretty.

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

Jared Diamond has an excellent chapter on Australian agriculture in Collapse.

Tim Flannery talks about the drought in The Weather Makers.  Some quite powerful anecdotes.

Perhaps unsurprisingly for one of the world's largest fossil fuel exporters, the Howard government is explicitly staffed with global warming deniers



(scroll down the page)

along with the US government (and now the Canadian) these are the only major western governments that officially deny there is a problem with global warming.

A town north of Sydney is faced with getting its water from recycled sewage water.  Needless to say, there is a local uprising at this measure.  Other cities on the coast are looking into desalination.

The problem is the farmers are borrowed to the hilt, and the banks are foreclosing.

Agriculture is actually not a huge part of Australia's exports.  But it is rooted in the national culture and self image.

Re: the biofuels mania

Here are some of my conclusions at this time, given HO's excellent write-up of the St. Louis conference. I duplicate HO's chart from USDA economist Keith Collins for convenience.

  1. Conservation & efficiency is now, and always will be, rule #1. Jevon's paradox and the Tragedy of the Commons are problems, of course.

  2. Given the write-ups of Robert on the subject of corn-based ethanol, we know it is marginal as a liquids fuel source. Cellulosic ethanol is worse and is not economic in the foreseeable future. Biodiesel from soybeans is better than both.

  3. The current enthusiasm for the corn variety is a bandwagen that will pass as reality sets in. All and all, it is just one more form of denial.

  4. Biomass Gasification has promise but there are problems, especially for dispatch and fuel mixtures at large scales -- see the article.

    Generally speaking, using biomass to generate electricity is the way to go. The biomass + wind pathway should be combined with revamping the powergrid to include both sources. In turn, electricity should form the basis of future transporation systems. This also requires huge changes in the power delivery infrastructure. The sooner we own up to the problem, the more we mitigate the crash.

  5. Therefore, in the near to mid-term it is still essential to focus on new sources of oil & natural gas. Debunking biofuels is necessary but in my view, given the unrealistic expectations put on these technologies, this "alternative" will simply disappear on its own, given the economics, the failure to substitute for a significant percentage of liquids usage & food replacement problems.

  6. Realistic views of future production from the tar sands in Canada must be internalized psychologically now. Hyperbole about this resource -- which is still better than current biofuels schemes but more costly in other ways -- confuses the issues even further. This is why I criticize Cornucopians.

  7. Natural gas LNG supply for power plants should be encouraged. Unfortunately, in the US, this source creates additional import "taxes" and makes America even more vulnerable to supply disruptions. Nonetheless, Americans have little choice. It doesn't help that Russia has decided to use its considerable resources in a powerplay to readjust the global balance of power (see the recent move to pipe Shtokman gas to Europe rather than make it available for LNG exports to the US).

  8. Use of coal for power generation or CTL processes without carbon sequestration should be discouraged at almost any cost. Carbon costs -- which are a form of what economists call externalities -- must be assessed immediately.

  9. Use of algae bioreactors at power plants to capture CO2 to produce biofuels (via transesterification) is a good idea.

I could go on but perhaps you get the idea: the reason why I write on oil & natural gas issues is because additional supply is the only immediate help. The longer this ethanol craze goes on, the more time we are wasting. Some of you have been critical of Simmons for promoting development of ANWR. While I feel ambivalent about that -- and don't know if there are significant resources there or not -- it is an indication of how desperate the situation is becoming. In my stranded oil story, I went off to look for some fossil fuels. What I found was that we could get another 1.0/mbpd by 2015 using CO2 EOR. I'll take it, but that's not nearly enough. As we try to develop some new supply, realistic initiatives to turn things around (I mentioned a few above) plus conservation measures must be undertaken with all possible speed.

Debunking corn-based ethanol is fine in so far as it may help end the craze sooner. As I mentioned, what's really going to kill it off is its own non-viability. So, in the meantime, I'm still going to be off looking for that oil & natural gas.

-- Dave

That was a great thread yesterday, Dave! But it is sobering to realise that redeveloping old field will realisticially add only 10% of current US consumption to our supply.Bo Shaw is right on that conservation is the key to getting through the transition, and its something everyone that loves the US can do right now, plus the rest of us Anarchists who love the world too.
The ironic and tough part of conserving is when ever an American conserves, he helps putting someone out of a job.

Lets face it,  less energy = Less/No Growth = collapse of the current social and work paradigms.  

8% depletion per year for Canterell, What does that do to the Mexican economy, what will it do to US economy 2008+.

I think it will be a foot race between conservation and depletion.

What has 8% depletion per year for Canterell actually done so far?

Maybe hit has helped limit total growth to produce a plateau, or maybe we have some upward room.

But the main thing is you cannot take a field delcine, use it to imply the global delcine and then say "Lets face it [...]"

Face what, what will be the global decline post-peak, and how does that rate of decline change over time?

We are back to "nobody knows" but many seem willing to hang off that unknown specific predictions about "less energy = Less/No Growth = collapse of the current social and work paradigms."


When an American conserves, he or she spends the money somewhere else, creating a job somewhere else in the economy.

This is why all those arguments that we cannot have restrictions on carbon emissions are bollocks.

The money paid on carbon permits will go somewhere and be spent.  The economy will not magically shrink.

8.  [..] Carbon costs -- which are a form of what economists call externalities -- must be assessed immediately.

You are very right. But nobody does the assessment. The only true research I've seen, from Feb '06, goes to a long way towards explaining why.

Big Oil profits would disappear, and so would a huge chunk of UK tax revenues. Ironically, the report is based on numbers from that same UK government's Treasury department.

Brief: don't count on any such assessment anytime soon. Both governments and oil companies will try very hard to derail any serious effort.

NOTE: the UK Treasury "estimate" of $35 per ton of CO2 doesn't seem extremely high.

Climate 'makes oil profit vanish'

Reporting previously undisclosed figures, Nef's policy director Andrew Simms writes: "Our new calculations from research in progress with WWF, based on Treasury statistics, show that UK government income from the fossil fuel sector - conservatively estimated at £34.9bn ($61bn) - is greater than revenue from council tax, stamp duty, capital gains and inheritance tax combined.


A report prepared for Defra and the Treasury estimates that each tonne of carbon dioxide emitted costs about £20 ($35) in environmental damage.

"Combining the emissions that stem from BP's direct activities and the sale of its products leads to 1,458m tonnes of CO2-equivalent entering the atmosphere, with a damage bill of £29bn ($51bn)," writes Andrew Simms.

"Subtracting that from the £11bn ($19bn) annual profit it has just reported puts it £18bn ($31bn) in the red; effectively bankrupt.

"The same calculation puts Shell £4.5bn ($8bn) in the red, even as it reports an annual profit of £13bn ($23bn)."

Both Shell and BP contend they are investing in renewable energy schemes and other initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

I agree with your general assessment that Oil & Gas players will fight a carbon tax, but I would quibble with the idea that the tax would eliminate industry profits:  the taxes would be largely passed on to customers, and profits (and other tax revenues) would pretty much only drop as much as total sales fell.
The numbers seem too large to simply pass on.
"damage bill of $51bn, vs $19bn annual profit"

Robert Rapier indicates that profit margins on revenue are about 10%.  That suggest a total revenue of $190B.  So, $51B in CO2 taxes would be about 28% of revenue, or the equivalent of $.70 tax on $2.50 gasoline.

That's enough to make people take notice, but not overwhelming.  I can't see any reason why oil companies wouldn't just add it to their prices.

I'm told that oil has a long-run demand elasticity of about 30%, so in the long-run demand would be about 8% lower than it would have been otherwise.

Government will try to find new sources of income when oil production/consumption is declining. In the 17th century owners of windmill in Holland needed were taxed for using wind. CO2 can be the next big source of income.
It's a bogus calculation.

You can't deduct a tax per unit of output and equate it to profits.

What would happen is BP and Shell's output would fall, but they would still make money (or adjust their cost base to make money).

The development of environmentally sensitive areas like ANWR and others is not only inevitable now, it was foreseeably inevitable decades ago when the environmental movement first started making a big deal out of these things.  Of course society is going to extract every last drop of oil anywhere once the supply situation becomes sufficiently desperate!

As such, the environmental movement has in my view made a fundamental strategic blunder in trying for so long to prevent any development of such areas at all costs.  This will only make the inevitable development of these areas more environmentally harmful, not less, since society will be less inclined to take environmental factors into account the more desperate it is for the oil.

Actually, we might be at a "sweet spot" where if they do it now (with lots of scrutiny), it will be less harmful than if they did it in the past or in the future (with no restrictions).
Biodiesel from soybeans is better than both.


Better yet .. Just go to the neighborhood grocery
any buy any vegerable oil ( canola,sunflower or
peanut oil are best ) and dump it straight in the
tank of your diesel vehicle and go .. no mods
required at long as air temps are over 45F ..

Triff ..

In low percentages, perhaps.

Pure vegetable oil, though, is much too viscous (too 'thick') to run in a diesel engine.  Your injectors will clog, etc.  Diesels are modified to run on SVO (straight vegetable oil) by adding a heater before the engine to bring the temperature (and thus viscosity) up, and ensuring that fuel lines are thick enough for the flow.  It's not difficult, and poses no danger (as diesel's flashpoint is so high), go look up details on a site specializing in that kind of thing.

It depends.

The overbuilt fuel injecter pump on my 1982 Mercedes can "push
squashed bananas" according to one "greaser" (biodiesel).

I can pour, and know people that have, straight vegetable oil
into their tanks.  Good down to 40F or so when the oil (depending upon oil type) begins to solidify.  Mix some diesel in and keep going from there .

One person adds fractions of a gallon of gasoline to keep veggie oil liquid.

Best Hopes,


"One person adds fractions of a gallon of gasoline to keep veggie oil liquid."

1 gallon reglar unleaded to
5 gallons SVO ( straight veg oil )
is the formula most folks are using
with no engine mods at all ..

Alan .. do you frequent mercedesshop.com ??

Triff ..

I don't recall seeing a link to this article by a retired Col. Dan Smith, at Counterpunch entitled "Politics of the Pump: Oil, Atoms, and War."

Interesting because Col. smith gives some credence to the notion that oil prices are being manipulated for the benefit of the bush administration.  Interesting also as Smith links the impending war on Iran with Oil as well as concerns about Iran making an atomic bomb.


I am amazed at the number of folks I talk with from day-to-day who comment that gas prices will go up after the election.  IMO, the idea that prices are being manipulated for political reasons is still quite widespread.

The intertwining of oil and atoms in Iraq is a conundrum, but the desire on the part of the Bush administration to attack Iran seems to be a part of a grossly misguided plan to remake the Middle East into our own little "Syriana."  IMO that plan (New American Century, and all)was misguided and is going awry.

Bush's prosecution of the "Last Man standing" strategy is making things worse.

Paul Craig Roberts has written a couple of good articles lately as well, published online at Counterpunch and also by Information Clearing House.

"Bush's Willing Legislators" is one:


Another is "You're either With Us Or You're Dead: Can We Call It Genocide Now?"

Robert's theme seems to be thatthe USA under Bush follows fascistic and genocidal policies and that we are rather obviously engaged in "kill-off" or genocide in Iraq, if not elsewhere.

Our resource war is well under way, is it not?

Just saw a great new video on PO and its connectiions to 9-11.


About 50 minutes in duration with many of the PO heavyweights appearing.

I posted that as the top story last Saturday, but there was very little reaction to it.  I suspect a lot of people saw the 9/11 part, and figured it was just a conspiracy wack job.
I found it quite good. It's just that there's an overkill problem with 9/11 video's these days. It tends to get blurry. Also, the transition in Oil Smoke and Mirrors from Peak Oil to 9/11 is too abrupt to make much sense to me.

The last 15 minutes are quite good, with a bunch of different people shining their light on the issues. The Europeans, Michael Meacher and the German guy, what's his face, are surprisingly candid for people who have had top-level government positions. I can't see any of their American peers do the same.

that kind of tactic sadly works.
if you have a event that is highly contentious and you know your view of the matter will not stand up to a rational scientific discourse of the event wither your a government or arm chair debtor. the best way to cut the debate short and make yourself look like the winner is to repeatedly and loudly label the opposing view point as a conspiracy theory. this does two things that i can see. first totally shifts the burden of proof to the person labeled a conspiracy theorist to the point that they not only have to prove their position but also provide more evidence then normal that your theory is wrong.
second by doing so you can make the audience turn off their critical thinking parts of their brain by playing your view to the common held beliefs at the time, basically appealing to their emotions then rational thought.

This of course doesn't mean all conspiracy theory's are true. It does add another advantage to the person calling someone else a conspiracy theorist. That is when you lump them all together like that you can easily dismiss his case as false by just pointing to a obviously false theory like 'we never landed on the moon' etc.

"This of course doesn't mean all conspiracy theory's are true. It does add another advantage to the person calling someone else a conspiracy theorist. That is when you lump them all together like that you can easily dismiss his case as false by just pointing to a obviously false theory like 'we never landed on the moon' etc. "

This is just one tactic mentioned and explained below.

I feel it is always good to review these from time to time.

They help wading thru the ton of information and deliberate disinformation out there.  

Go to the link for good examples of each and how they are used by psyops and the pro's.  You see the tactics used by MSM everyday very effectively.

Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation

  1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil
  2. Become incredulous and indignant
  3. Create rumor mongers
  4. Use a straw man
  5. Sidetrack opponents w name calling, ridicule
  6. Hit and Run
  7. Question motives
  8. Invoke authority
  9. Play Dumb

  1. Associate opponent charges with old news
  2. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions
  3. Enigmas have no solution
  4. Alice in Wonderland Logic
  5. Demand complete solutions
  6. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions
  7. Vanish evidence and witnesses
  8. Change the subject
  9. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad  
  10. Ignore facts, demand impossible proofs
  11. False evidence
  12. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor
  13. Manufacture a new truth
  14. Create bigger distractions
  15. Silence critics
  16. Vanish

Goto or just google
25 rules for disinformation.


Sounds like you are talking about odograph

I posted that as the top story last Saturday, but there was very little reaction to it.  I suspect a lot of people saw the 9/11 part, and figured it was just a conspiracy wack job.

I didn't get around to watching it last weekend. Just finished watching now. Wow, those guys make a lot of sense. When I saw your post last weekend I thought it would just be Heinberg telling me stuff I've already heard him say.

Hmm, I seem to recall discussing this about a year ago, Leanan, and you were taking the side of the NIST report and "pancake theory" or something like it... so, you've come around? MIHOP now?

And finally, I have avoided responding to folks like Angry Chimp, BTW, since 1) the discussion seems to quickly dissolve into insults; 2) I don't really have any new hard evidence or analysis to bring to the discussion; and 3) as mentioned in "from the wilderness", a lot of the wilder speculations are probably part of a disinformation campaign. But the maker of this film seems to have rounded up some respectable folks, which gives just a glimmer of hope for some serious inquiry. Enough rambling already, back to lurking...

Wow, those guys make a lot of sense. When I saw your post last weekend I thought it would just be Heinberg telling me stuff I've already heard him say.

I was deeply disappointed that Heinberg has so little sense as to fall for this conspiracy theory bullshit. Every point he raised has been refuted time and time and time again. People who think the twin towers were brought down by explosives don't seem to be able to read or think stright. It would have taken an army of engineers weeks to plant enough explosives. They would have had to cut through walls and plant explosives on hundreds of steel beams. They would have had to know where the planes were going to hit because the buildings collapsed from the point of impact downward! Each floor pancaked downward onto the next floor exactly from the point of impact!

People who believe the buildings were brought down by explosives either cannot read, or cannot think, or have a damn screw loose.

It has all been explained many times over. Here is one of the best ones. But there are hundreds of others almost just as good.

It degrades the messages of peak oil if we all seem to be a bunch of conspiracy theory nitwits.
Ron Patterson

Darwinian,  Amen on that. I get sick of reading and seeing that crap. Where do you suppose all the people who work in those buildings were when all that work was being done? How come none of them have come forward to say OH yeh, I remember now, there was this guy cutting through the wall and planting explosives and running detonation wire for months before this. Come on!
Absolutely. I've seen no reasonable explanation for where all these explosive charges came from.
Also no reasonable explanation for how three tall buildings fall straight straight down all the way to the ground into their own footprint.
How anyone watches the several videos of WTC7 collapsing and has no suspicions is beyond me. Nearly all who say CONSPIRACY THEORY boogabooga!!!! have not bothered to watch.
And again it's just impossible in this universe to wire those buildings undetected and undisclosed.
I think all this idiotic conspiracism is because Amurrikans can't believe, just can't literally believe, that a bunch of brown people, from a country Amurrikans perceive as 3rd world, used on symbol of Amurrikan power, the jetliner, to attack other symbols of Amurrikan power, the skyscraper and the pentagon.

Anyone see the movie Shaka Zulu? The point of the movie was the much-vaunted British Empire got their asses handed to them by, as they thought of it, a bunch of wogs with spears. This was flat-out unthinkable to the British at that time.

I think the facts of 9-11, that a small, determined bunch of Arabs, using intelligence, coordination, determination, and simple hand-to-hand fighting skills, launched the most devastating attack on the US Empire, ever.

Accepting the facts, accepting them at a gut level, I think, is impossible for almost all Amurrikans. To accept the facts, you have to accept that the complexity of our massive Empire makes us more vulnerable. You have to accept that more technology, more complexity, more layers, are not Good. This is very hard, really impossble, for people who've been taught all their lives that More Is Good.

I find it interesting that the terrorists didn't attack the Lincoln Memorial. They didn't attack the Amish, they didn't attack Colonial Williamsburg, they didn't attack Ma and Pa Kettle shopping at the Great Mall of America or an Albers grain mill. They didn't attack the Mayo Clinic. They didn't attack the American people.

They attacked a center of international banksterism, a center of international Empirism, and tried their best to attack The House That The ADL Built, the modern White House. That last attack was stopped by a bunch of decent American people on that plane.

But, they did not attack the American people, they attacked the Beast. And they did it with coordination, a few flight lessons, and glorified X-acto knives.

Pretending The Powers That Be are in control and only nice WASP people could engineer attacks like this is extremely delusional.

Imperial arrogance isn't enough to get it out there, though.

What it took was being so goddamned conveniant, enabling TPTB to use 9/11 to pursue motives that are so antithetical to our vision of presidential responsibilities and rational national interest, that they must have some kind of sinister ulterior motive, if we are to believe that there is any kind of leadership there at all.

A capable Yale graduate serving a hooded circle that meets at midnight, and is trying to implement a slow coup and burn the constitution for the good of... someone; Is preferable in some of our minds to a smirking chimpanzee given nuclear launch codes who can't admit they're wrong and gets off on seeing Abu Ghraib pix.

Myself, I think it's an unholy mix of the above.

using intelligence, coordination, determination, and simple hand-to-hand fighting skills, launched the most devastating attack on ... The House That The ADL Built

gee now ... if only these nice folk were to use their "intelligence" to solve some of the minor problems in the world like Peak Oil and Global Warming instead of focusing all their energies and "determination" on fulfiling Hitler's "final solution" ... oh whata wonderful world it could be.

you used the ADL code word my hooded brother,
but oh brother how could you forget your PBA ?
and your DTAA ?

It appears that you believe no explosives were necessary. So instead of an Army of Engineers one man with firecracker  coud have started the entire collapse.
No Dumbass, ten men with two airplanes started the entire collapse.
No, it was because builders were already cutting corners in the 60s, and saved a lot of money by substituting structural steel with papier mache.
DIYer: Maybe. However, even if paper mache was used, the buildings would not collapse into their own footprints that quickly (each floor structure would impede the speed of the fall).
well surprisingly it doesn't cross anyones minds that the two buildings were basically empty in terms of how many people there compared to how many it can hold. ask anyone who was in there and they will say that it was routine to have completely empty floors. some even unfurnished. it was also routine to move company offices around the building because some work needed to be done.
Hello Darwinian,

I am no expert on 9/11, but I believe the Popular Mechanics article has been already been scientifically discounted as a fluff piece.  But I will wait till physicists have disproven this analysis:


See frame 53!!! I would like to see a nationally recognized physicist write a paper on just how a huge steel beam could have been torn so precisely by non-explosive phenomena.  Also notice all the steam and smoke coming up from all the molten metal in the WTC buildings' basements.

I have questions that I feel my government has not answered.  Why won't they release all the thousands of photos and video tapes under their control?

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

Bob, do you actually believe that this army of engineers cut into the walls around hundreds of steel beams and planted explosives? Think about that Bob, for God's sake think! The beams in the picture could easily have been broken in as 100 stories of debris came crashing down on top of it. Is that your case? Is that what you are basing your theory that an army of engineers spent weeks cutting into walls and planting explosives? Get real Bob, you can do better.

And I have yet to meet even one conspiracy theorists who wishes to try to explain why the buildings collapsed from the point of impact down! Everyone just ignores that little fact. The phenomenon is easily explained if you believed the intense weakened the beams and caused them to buckle under the enormous weight on them. All the upper stories came crashing down upon the floor directly below the point of impact. It crumbled, then the very next floor crumbled, then the next, then the next.

Look at the video Bob, that's exactly how it happened. That would have been impossible to do with explosives. How the army of engineers have known where the impact was going to be? But I know, all the conspiracy theorists will simply ignore the facts that prove their stupic theory impossible.

I repeat, anyone who is capable of logical thought can figure out what happened. There was no army of engineers. There was no grand conspiracy involving hundreds of people. It would have taken at least several hundred to pull off such a stunt. Not to mention the thousands of people, who worked daily in the towers and for some reason did not notice all those people cutting, stirring up dust and planting explosives.

Yeah Right!

Ron Patterson

You're not really asking a cospiracy loon to think, are you.

If he could think he wouldn't have become a loon in the first place.

Hello Ron,

Thxs for responding.  I prefer to keep it simple; I just want the apparent violations of physics answered.  I want to know what caused the tons and tons of molten steel that was still being found much later than 9/11.  Can you offer me a scientific answer?  I do not have the skill to scientifically disprove the info found in that earlier 75 frame PDF by physicist Jones--do you?

Ron, what made all that molten steel?  Please answer this single question to my satisfaction.  Please don't shift into other topics.

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

First Bob, there is no real evidence of any molten steel. And to say that there was tons of it is a stretch. And what has this to do with your conspiracy theory anyway? The argument, by conspiracy theorists, is that the fire was not hot enough to melt steel. So are you saying it was? If it was then there was no explosion was there? But there was no need to melt the steel, only to get it hot enough to bend easiely. At any rate:

13. Why did the NIST investigation not consider reports of molten steel in the wreckage from the WTC towers?

NIST investigators and experts from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEONY)--who inspected the WTC steel at the WTC site and the salvage yards--found no evidence that would support the melting of steel in a jet-fuel ignited fire in the towers prior to collapse. The condition of the steel in the wreckage of the WTC towers (i.e., whether it was in a molten state or not) was irrelevant to the investigation of the collapse since it does not provide any conclusive information on the condition of the steel when the WTC towers were standing.  

NIST considered the damage to the steel structure and its fireproofing caused by the aircraft impact and the subsequent fires when the buildings were still standing since that damage was responsible for initiating the collapse of the WTC towers.  

Under certain circumstances it is conceivable for some of the steel in the wreckage to have melted after the buildings collapsed. Any molten steel in the wreckage was more likely due to the high temperature resulting from long exposure to combustion within the pile than to short exposure to fires or explosions while the buildings were standing.

And Bob, since I have answered your question, how about my point that the buildings obviously collapsed from the point of impact downward? Why do conspiracy theorists alwayse ignore that point?  

Ron Patterson

how about my point that the buildings obviously collapsed from the point of impact downward?
OK, it was because the planes cut the cables to charges on the higher floors. Happy now? Without a serious investigation by serious people with subpoena power, all one can do is speculate.

But the NIST report was weak, to paraphrase: "We know the fire couldn't have been hot enough to melt steel. But it could have gotten almost hot enough to soften it maybe... " followed by catastrophic, synchronous, total, near-free-fall collapse. Why didn't the buildings bend?

The fact remains that these 3 buildings are the only ones in the history of steel-frame buildings to totally collapse because of a fire.

Hello Ron,

Thxs for responding again, I appreciate it.  But you haven't answered my questions to my satisfaction yet.  Perhaps you are not able to, and perhaps I cannot sufficiently answer your questions either.  But I will try my best with whatever resources I can muster.  Such is life--we all have to understand our limitations.  IMO, that is why I think re-opening 9/11 to an independent international investigation would be good for all concerned.

Thxs for the link to NIST, I hope to study it in more detail later.  I see they clearly state that they did not investigate for explosives-- that is clearly a stupid thing -- If I was Bush, I would order them to go back and check everything for explosives.  What better way to end the discussion once and for all?   Better yet, if I was Bush, I would give Alex Jones and the other prominent 9/11 scholars full supoena powers and access to all Federal agencies and courts to fully investigate this to their hearts content.  If our leaders have nothing to hide, they should welcome this investigation and fund it with $100 million.  Then the country could be united, instead of confused as to 9/11.

This is the section where they state that they did not look for explosives:
12. Did the NIST investigation look for evidence of the WTC towers being brought down by controlled demolition? Was the steel tested for explosives or thermite residues? The combination of thermite and sulfur (called thermate) "slices through steel like a hot knife through butter."

NIST did not test for the residue of these compounds in the steel.
C'mon Ron.  Dr Jones tested for these compounds--AND FOUND THESE RESIDUES--He invited NIST to go back and replicate his analysis, but they have not done so.  See Frame 28 of his PDF  This is an obvious oversight, possibly criminal, that needs a full investigation.  The scientific method is fair to all when dealing with chemical analysis--NIST has nothing to fear.

Yes, there was tons of molten steel.  Look at those pictures in the Jones PDF-- some were taken right after the collapse [the emergency vehicles' flashing lights were still flashing and steel bars were molten slag Frame 25.]  I also recall seeing an overhead infared temp. scan that showed elevated thermo-signatures of huge heat piles in the WTC 1, 2,& 7 basements [sorry, don't have the source link].  Also, there is the interview of first responders having the soles of their shoes melting, and the pictures of molten slag ends being lifted by cranes weeks later [frame 27].  See this youtube link please.  If you have more time watch this 4 part video linked here.

Now to the point of collapse question posed by you.  Please study frames 70,71--collapse without explosives REMOVES ENERGY, collapse with explosives ADDS ENERGY-- that is why some steel beams were hurled some astounding distances to be impaled in buildings.  Notice also the sideways rotation of that one WTC tower-- it should have continued toppling sideways into the street below-- but this was destroyed by explosives.  Again, I am not an expert, but if it is obvious to a layman, then NIST needs to go back and clear up these inconsistencies so that it will pass expert scientific scrutiny by an international panel of  recognized physicists and engineers.  I appreciate your collegiality, and your expertise on Peakoil too.

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

You know, to me it is irrelevant how the buildings came down. The fact that they did was a tragedy. What's relevant to me is that our government has used 9/11 as effectively as Hitler used the Reichstag Fire and it has used 9/11 to accomplish many of the same goals. This effective exploitation and propaganda makes it appear that they some in out government were involved. Hell, the need for such an event was spelled out in the PNAC documents.

Since 9/11, the Constitution of the Republic has been under attack and protections like habeus corpus and right to trial have been gutted. And now it's don't ask any questions, ignorance is bliss, war is peace, freedom's on the march, and fear is patriotic.  

I don't think we will never know the complete truth of what happened on 9/11. It would raise too many questions and implicate too many people, some still in government like Rummy, and some dead like Reagan. Besides, any investigations would undoubtedly interfere with whatever they've got planned to get us into a war with Iran.

I collected some dust from around Ground Zero in October of 2001 when I visited NYC.  Wonder if I should send it off to these guys to analyze.
It would probably be hard to tell anything from the dust; it would mostly consist of shattered concrete.
Hello Diyer,

Not true.  See what Dr Jones did with the dust sample from an apartment across from WTC.  As I recall, using advanced equipment [beyond my simple understanding], he was able to identify every chemical by mass-spectroscopy.  Sorry, I wish I could be more specific, but this is at my knowledge limits.

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

I am not really sure what to think. In many ways, I would like to stay as far away from conspiracy theories as possible, since peak oil (together with global warming) are enough issues to deal with. At the same time, I think the movie together with the presentation should have their own thread, so that the ideas get exposure to a wider audience. If people prefer to skip the thread, they are free to do so.
should have their own thread

I agree.
World Trade Center (including WTC7) is one of those things where the possibilities are boundless and all sorts of theories on all sides of the debate are plausible.

On the other hand, Peak Oil, Global Warming and Population Explosion are things that are much more clearly bounded and for which it can be mathematically shown that the cornucopians are wrong.

We are having hard enough of a time convincing the shepparded masses that PO is for real. What chance could we have with WTC7 conspiracies? And even if we succeeded, then what? What do we do about it?

Was there a conspiracy?
Of course there was.
Those 19 gentlemen  (assuming the number is correct) did not meet by sheer coincidence on the same day on the same planes and say, gee we got box cutters, what do we do now? The only question is how wide the conspiracy extends.

Was there sheer human stupidity?
Of course there was.
Security people were warning about unsecure control cabin doors for years. Our chimp-like brains cannot handle that kind of stuff, especially when it means reducing precious profits, our precious, our precious.

Gail: FYI, Peak Oil is considered to be a loony conspiracy theory by the MSM. You are already a "conspiracy theorist".
Toto: As Darwinian has explained, only dumbasses would question "official" guv theory. Can't you read? The 9/11 hearings were kept secret (unlike the Watergate hearings) for your own protection. The shepherds will take good care of the sheeple. By the way, Popular Mechanics is having a beautiful cover story next month on the absurd myth of oil depletion and the deluded dumbasses that accept it.  
I sit on the fence.  I think it very dificult to have a demo team in there without someone knowing.  As for the hot floors. How much fuel was in those planes.  Air was not be able to get to it all quickly so alot of it probably went down elevator shafts.  How connected were the shafts or some other vertical raceway?  Could the fuel reach the basement? Fuel in a vertical chinmey like that could be like a blast furnace.  Add to that the fuel from all the paper/carpet/carpet padding/plastic desktops/chairs/wiring/computers..etc...etc. and that is alot of fuel.
Professor Steven E. Jones also proved Jesus visited the Mayans! A real master of great analysis.


Well said Darwinian. Adherents of the 9/11 nonsense seem to be attempting to piggy back this moonshine onto PO. Doesn't help the cause of propogating PO to the general public one iota.
People who believe the buildings were brought down by explosives either cannot read, or cannot think, or have a damn screw loose.

Like I said, I don't participate in these threads because they degenerate so quickly. And it's just a bit off-topic for this forum. So here I am piping up one more time. But thermite is not actually an explosive as such... <sigh>

..And we don't know for sure what was loaded into the cargo bays of those planes.

Too many loose screws.


If you're pissed at Heinberg you're really gonna hate me. I propose that not only was Dick Cheney behind 9/11 he was also behind the death of NY Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle!


The picture of Cheney throwing out the ball is proof! (of what I'm not sure, but does that really matter?)

LOL, it was a deranged Cardinals fan who snuck into the bunker and got ahold of Cheney's little game system remote ...
Hmm, I seem to recall discussing this about a year ago, Leanan, and you were taking the side of the NIST report and "pancake theory" or something like it... so, you've come around?

Not at all.  Personally, I think Heinberg is a little nutty, and is not helping the cause with this 9/11 stuff.  

Just because I post a link, doesn't mean I agree with it. I've posted links to Jerome Corsi's abiotic oil fantasies, too.  It doesn't mean I believe them.

I watched it, then I watched 2 other videos that were in a way linked to it.

When I first posted on it, I was disgruntled about them linking 9/11 to peak oil,  I did though see the tie in to it after I thought about it more.

What got me thinking was the other video I watched.  That and being a Pyro myself I know a lot more about making things go BOOM! than most people do.

Three Towers reduced to dust and some larger pieces.  That and remembering hearing about the still burning heap.  Seeing It again some of it for the first time.  Remember I have not watched TV in over 5 years.  I heard most of the results on the radio.  Only what I saw on the TV set up at work, and a few other specials later when at the houses of friends, were seen at the time.  I used to watch and learn how to bring down buildings and how to make explosives, and things just started to click into place.

Yeah, all we have is some good free to veiw video footage and people talking about that day, and the health of people at ground zero being so messed up to look back on it all.   Who knew we will likely never know.  As I have mentioned recently I don't trust humans very much.  This is one of those reasons why.

Not that many people had to be in the loop.  A couple of dozen black ops guys, you know they are out there, you will never hear them talking, and a few people that had to know to get the funds ready for some things to happen.  The rest of the people involved can be lied too, because they want to believe.  Its simple really.  I have written stories about it.  I have thought out the reasons why something had to be done so I could make my readers almost think it was okay to have it happen this way.  What scares me is that it is really so simple to fool most people and lie to the rest and pay off a few.

As far as the Peak Oil part.  Most of the "in the know" people in the Gov't know we are at or real near the end of Oil as we know it.  The companies are in it for the bottom line, the politicians are in it for the power it gives them.  The rest of us better have our own plans moving right now, or be willing to take a few hard knocks in the years to come.

I am not going to change your mind, you have to change your own mind.  I just know I changed mine recently and I am still trying to figure out where I want to go from here.

Breaking News.


UN Draft Resolution. 1718

Let's get translation.

The current slide in crude oil prices could accelerate into a plunge to as low at $35 per barrel next year, ConocoPhillips' chief economist, Marianne Kau, told a group of economists in Anchorage Oct. 11.

Her last name is actually "Kah", and I have had some Peak Oil discussions with her. She is one of the people who convinced me that we are at least a few more years from peaking.

A few more years? How many is a few? What is your definition of a peak? The sad thing is CERA will turn out to be wrong by being too conservative. Yeah, you read that right.

For God's sake, Robert. Get thyself to a bookstore. Read "The Road."

When I say we are going to burn everything. I'm not fucking kidding.

And learn to swim.

A few more years? How many is a few? What is your definition of a peak?

We were discussing conventional oil only. When I first talked to her, I was of the belief that the peak was upon us. But among other things, she pointed me to a lot of different projects that convinced me that we have a few more years.

We've got a lot more years. Many more years. But we are all on the same team here. We all know the truth. There is no Magic Can Opener. Sooner or later the Piper is gonna demand his due. And I'm not gonna rot in hell because I denied that. We are killing this planet. I'll side with Jack any day. Let's do our best not to kill Mother Earth. Let's not celebrate the Doom. Unfortunately (at least at this web-site) you have to come over to the Dark-Side to even attempt to take that point of view. But we love you no matter what.
Oil Ceo. One word. BIPOLAR. Think about it.

Get help now.
This is serious.
Lay off the 'good stuff' for a bit.  
Don't watch so much porn.
Read some good self-help books instead.

If you think self-help books are an effective treatment for manic depression, you've never known any true bipolar people.
Maybe never any bipolar but several mad folks.

So did you think I was serious?  

On the serious side. I have been to several 'pyschatric' wards on numerous ocassions. The patients never had any trouble admitting to their conditions. In fact I assumed it was part of the treatment. I have had far greater involvement than the above.

Those who walk around in many roles of great responsibility tend to have mental problems they would never admit to.

Now are you going to chide me for non-political correctedness?

I don't know what's going on between you two. I'm not going to get into a discussion about vague psychiatric concepts.

I will say this, however. I get accused or labeled as having one of a basket of numerous mental conditions, substance-abuse problems, or some yet-to-be-named-generally-fucked-up political attitude on an almost daily basis. And it only happens here.

I'll stick with my history books, my laptop, and my HP 10B. You can keep the Prozac.

Which Oil CEO were you talking to?
Could you be more specific about what she said that convinced you?  Do you think she has an accurate handle on the decline rate to be expected in coming years from the existing base of production?
Yes, Robert, perhaps you could enlighten us as to what new supply Marianne is speaking of that we don't already know about. Reading her remarks, she did not sound like a happy camper, for example --
"Oil prices have flattened or come down, but [commodity] costs are still rising. Those factors, as well as higher taxes in many places, such as Alaska, mean that margins are shrinking in the industry," Kau said.

"There are challenges even in maintaining production from the North Sea and North Slope. Our board room is not a happy place these days."

Rising costs are also causing some companies to delay big development projects. Exxon Mobil's decision to defer development of Gorgon, a large natural gas project in Southeast Asia, is one example, she said.

Yes, Robert, perhaps you could enlighten us as to what new supply Marianne is speaking of that we don't already know about.

Actually, this has come up before, and I don't really know if I am at liberty to say much. She discussed in some detail specific internal projects that we are involved in around the world for several years going forward, and I saw some internal data on these fields. There were things that I was that persuaded me that 2005-2006 is not peak, but I also saw growth projections from India and China that will strain supply going forward. After several exchanges, I felt like peak could still occur by 2010, but we have a few years left.

Re: not at liberty to say much

It has been a recurring theme with Matt Simmons, which I heartily endorse, that there should be transparency in on-going and expected production numbers -- with conditions attached, of course, in both cases. In addition, the IOCs are responsible to their shareholders, so, at the very least, there should be transparency there. In the general case, the world's economies will depend on available supply -- this is the Peak Oil issue as we contemplate the production peak.

So, I am disappointed that you can not impart any new information to us based on proprietary data & expectations. On the other hand, the growing consensus regarding a peak around 2010 is not good news. Perhaps if there were more transparency, we could better convince the world of the urgency of the problem and take emergency steps to take actions to mitigate it.

Regarding data transparency, the NOCs are the worst offenders, not the IOCs. Saudi Aramco stands out but there are many others, especially among the OPEC nations. It is unlikely that many people will see this exchange of viewpoints between us -- but that does not minimize its importance.

-- Dave


Robert's got a job he doesn't want to lose. I don't blame him for not telling us what he knows.

Can you imagine the reaction from the wifey? "Honey I lost my job cause I blabbed on the net about the oil project in BFE"

Ah - vindication at last!!! I'll bet one of those areas is Angola right? It is looking like Africa may(?) become the next middle east. Also Libya and Algeria may be swing producres also?
Guess again.

So you were convinced by an economist, not by proprietary information? Excuse me, then, if I remain unconvinced.
So you were convinced by an economist, not by proprietary information?

Did I say that? No. I was convinced by an economist who provided proprietary information.

When I listen to and watch Bolton at the UN I cannot help but recall the words of the Beastie Boys -

"Don't touch the mic, baby, don't come near it!"

i like the un but it's too flawed in it's current form. too many permanent members in too many of the counsels..
werent you just trying to get me banned the other day? I like the un too especially since they finally got rid of kofi annan.  i also love the way you refuse to use capital letters. im trying to ditch apostrophes. the un is and always has been a buffer. the classic example is chinas role in the korean war and if you really want to look into something. what exactly is china and when did the mainland get the seat from taiwan and why. cheers brother.
You made me think of the classic and ultimate Peak Oil painting.

Praise da' Lord.
We have landed on shale oil rock!
The wreck of the Medusa? I think?
Gawd so we are all going to be cannibals then..........
There is an interesting thread over on "dugg" called "How Long Can the World Feed Itself?".

The interesting thing isn't necessarily the article. It's the comments, and which comments got voted up or down. (dugg lets all users vote on stories and the resulting comments).  Generally dugg users tend to have a liberal slant, but the overwhelming consensus on the article was very cornucopian.

The article itself missed a chance to point out how much food is dependent on crude oil, even so the vote and comments surprised me.  


So, they let Learsy out of Bedlam so he could write about oil shale? What's the problem? It's the oil companies owning the government. That is a problem, but it doesn't affect oil shales development. Here's the Gospel According to Learsy:
The problem [?????] is the government's insistence on using commercial leases - potentially a colossal handout to the oil industry. Thanks to their campaign contributions to Congress and the millions they spend on K Street lobbyists, the oilmen have made a sick joke of the leasing game. They get the contracts, on land owned by the nation, by promising royalty payments that are at best a pittance. Then, as in the deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico, Congress votes royalty relief, supposedly as an incentive for more exploration. In the next five years, the oilmen will be excused from paying an estimated $7 billion in royalties due from these wells. They take nations oil resources for little more than the expense of drilling and pumping it -- but we repay them even that through a combination of depletion credits and tax incentives.
If it weren't these damn lease giveaways, we'd be bathing in that cooked kerogen embedded in marl rock right now!

This guy is an embarrassment.

NBC new aybody see this.

On Cheating.

I just saw the face of Little Alex on a too-smart 16-year-old girl. She was advancing cheating like my parents' generation was pushing marijuana. I wanted to cry. I did cry.

For you who don't know Little Alex - Please rent A Clockwork Orange. Book works better for some people. It's a toss-up for me. "Enjoy the Bank of America 500!" Green Flag in 18 minutes. Jimmy Johnson vs. Jeff Gordon. Only NASCAR could pull off this bullshit. I'm more into Kubrick and Burgess.

The only thing in NASCAR I approve of is the call to sanity. 2 A-10's circled the stadium. We will win. You could see in a few of these guys' eyes that they understood they might die in the process. That's the only thing cheered me up. I wish I could remember them.

Formula 1 is just better.

Gentlemen. Start Your Engines.
Per Washington Monthly:

October 13, 2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 12 (AP) -- A man who could not find steady work came up with a plan to make it through the next few years until he could collect Social Security: He robbed a bank, handed the money to a guard and waited for the police.

On Wednesday, the man, Timothy J. Bowers, told a judge that a three-year prison sentence would suit him, and the judge obliged.

"At my age, the jobs available to me are minimum-wage jobs," Mr. Bowers, who will turn 63 in a few weeks, told the judge, Angela White. "There is age discrimination out there."

Judge White told him: "It's unfortunate you feel this is the only way to deal with the situation."

Mr. Bowers said he had been able to find only odd jobs after the drug wholesaler for which he made deliveries closed in 2003. He walked to a bank and handed a teller a note demanding cash in an envelope. The teller gave him four $20 bills and pushed a silent alarm.

Mr. Bowers handed the money to a security guard standing in the lobby and told him it was his day to be a hero.

He pleaded guilty to robbery, and a court-ordered psychological exam found him competent.

The Columbus Dispatch reported that before the robbery, Mr. Bowers had handed his landlady the keys to his apartment, his mailbox and the laundry room and told her he would probably not be back.

"It's a pretty sad story when someone feels that's their only alternative," said Jeremy W. Dodgion, a defense lawyer, who described Mr. Bowers as "a charming old man."

Prosecutors had considered arguing against putting Mr. Bowers in prison at taxpayer expense, but they worried he would do something more reckless to be put behind bars.

"It's not the financial plan I would choose, but it's a financial plan," the prosecutor, Dan Cable, said.

Funny response:

Are there not poorhouses and debtors prisons?
Posted by: Scrooge on October 13, 2006 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Interesting response:

When I was in graduate school about ten years ago we actually discussed this scenario pretty thoroughly in a criminology class. It actually makes a hell of a lot of sense for poor people economically, and I'm suprised more people do not try it.

Consider that someone who works eight hours a day, five days a week, fifty weeks a year (i.e. full-time) and earns $6/hour will earn a measly $12,000 per year. In many cities, that will barely cover rent and food, and in many cities will not even cover rent.

On the other hand, in a minimum-security prison, the person gets full room and board and a reasonable quality of life (i.e. access to books, a computer, TV, basic health care, etc.)completely free of charge. The only thing the person has to sacrifice is mobility, which in the case of someone earning only $12,000 a year is going to be very limited anyway and therefore will not constitute much of a sacrifice.

Therefore from an economic perspective, it is actually a highly logical decision.
Posted by: mfw13 on October 13, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

I surveyed Mecklenburg prison back in the 70s, and it didn't seem that bad, but later there were serious riots.  Having been to boarding school, though, I know that it only takes a few jerks to make that sort of life miserable.

Part of the problem is that we base a decent part of the deterrence aspect of our prison system on anal rape and institutional abuse.  Yes, it's much rarer than portrayed in popular culture, but where there's smoke...

What annoys me is that it's a major talking point in things like government 'scared straight' programs.  I've seen footage of a twelve year old that stole a gameboy being brought to an interview with an inmate that the sheriff says 'likes cute little things like him.'

US prisons can be horrific. I would have advised the man to rob a bank in Canada. Canadian prisons aren't half bad really.
I am 83 comments into this thread and minor comment about the significance of an article in the New York Times on peak oil. A year ago, I can guarantee you, this would have taken up the most space on the day's musings. We think we are making no progress because it seems painfully slow. We tend to be impatient that the masses don't yet get what, WE know, is the most important issue of the day. But looking back just one year we are making so much progress that this kind of article gets little notice. The denial from the other side has ratcheted up dramatically, such that the term peak oil is mentioned more by the CERA's of the world, than by us. Have heart 'Oh Ye of Little Faith" The message will eventually take hold.
Appreciate the hopeful thought, Treeman!

  Personally, I wanted to read that one, but am not a subscriber, and have some sort of a minor allergy to reading the NYT even beyond the paywall. Always gives me the willies!

Want to drop a chunk of it into a post?  Does it say anything surprising beyond the Headline?


I have to say, buying gas at 2.25 this afternoon gave me a very forboding feeling of 'the calm before the storm', or maybe that Tsunami effect, where the water drops way down by the shore, as the 'Wave' is coming in..

I see Sarah Connor, looking down a long stretch of desert Highway, saying that there's a storm coming...


From the Kindom of heaven, "You go to where they speak italian, then go on from there till they speak something else."

My you folks are prolific, do you sit and constantly refresh the page? I'm having trouble keeping up. I have a couple of hours a day when I can just browse as I see fit.
Maybe I need to get a job that gives me access to the internet. then I could not do my work and post more frequently, or at least read the answer and posts to yesterdays drumbeat.

Oil Ceo, I am a fan. Life is too damn short to always have your panties in a twist. Tip of the Jim Beam to you.

I don't actually work anymore, sold a bunch of businesses and now they send me checks each month. Some days the most important thing I do is pet the cat.

Disclaimer .... I am not sexist. But I do have a NYSW. Makes all the difference in the world! It validates AMPOD, if you are ready for PO and I mean ready, no mortgage, gardens,livestock <besides cats> backup power, and ways to generate new power. You get the girl.  BTW, NYSW < New Young Sexy Wife > is how my 16 year old son introduced his new stepmother to his friends. In the 10 years we have been together it is probably one of the best family jokes.

Ok, so I answered my own question, now I know why I don't have the time to follow every thread. <Grin>

Don in Maine

oilceo, i really enjoyed the charts, keep it up man! You da MAN! What a GURU you are!  
you seem to be on top it all. Quick question> are oil prices going to go up? or down?
 Same question for  Natuarl Gas, Up or down? I am led to believe Natural Gas will go up, i know winter is around the corner, and historically it goes up, but storage is at an all time high. recently i have seen it go up. I hope it goes up more closer to 10 or more the better.

What are the charts telling YOU?

Hello TODers,

Mexico update: One person killed, one wounded in shootout in Oaxaca, from the Washington Post.  My local newspaper is calling the US-Mex Border fence a symbol for failure.  An upcoming gubernatorial election in Tabasco state may be crucial to help determine the future course of Mexico.  From the LATimes:
Macias was in no mood to talk politics as he waited for his overheated car to cool down off a road just outside town. But he quickly rattled off a wish list for the next governor: better salaries, more jobs, safer streets, more hospitals, new roads.

"The minimum wage here is 44 pesos a day [about $4], and food is expensive, electricity is expensive, toll roads are expensive," he said. "We all want help, but now people are afraid of the 'hard left.' We're not sure anymore if we're talking about Allende in Chile or some kind of totalitarian state."

I feel sorry for this poor bastard--doesn't have a Peakoil clue: that all these dreams require a tremendous amounts of energy--and soon PEMEX and Cantarell will not be able to provide it.  Especially if the US appropriates this energy for the proposed SuperNafta Corridor and the fifteen favored states of the Hirsch update.

From this link,  SuperNafta was predicted long ago:
Many may now consider this as a moot point since Mexico has entered into a trade agreement, but a Mexican conquest does not have to be accomplished through conventional warfare. Three years before NAFTA took effect, José Luis Calva of the National University of Mexico, predicted:
"If the governments and legislatures of the three countries agree to liberalize trade in agricultural goods, U.S. citizens should be prepared to receive some 15 million Mexican migrants. The Border Patrol will be unable to detain them, and even a new iron curtain, rising on the border at a moment when the Cold War has given way to economic warfare among nations, will buckle under the weight of millions of Mexicans thrown off their lands by free trade."
The essence of the American empire is not territorial control but wresting of economic control from another country and dominating that nation economically. How long will this "peaceful conquest" of Mexico continue to go unnoticed?

On the Global Warming and Human Overpopulation front, jaguars from Mexico are trying to migrate North too:

Jaguars are the largest native American cat. They once roamed much of the Southwest, but when ranchers took cattle to the region in the last century, the jaguars were trapped and hunted to extinction in the U.S. The last known resident female was killed in 1963 near the Grand Canyon.

Using the same clandestine routes as drug smugglers, male jaguars are crossing into the United States from Mexico.

Four of the elusive cats have been photographed in the past decade -- one as recently as February -- in the formidable, rugged mountain ranges of southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico.

Impending Massacre in CHIAPAS Mexico?
Chol de Tumbala, Oct 11--Tension is mounting in this community under siege, harassed by the constant sight and sound of low flying government planes and helicopters, and news of troops and paramilitaries gathering at the outskirts of town. The word is that the Mexican Army will invade any day now to forcibly remove the entire community.

While much attention has been focused on the struggle between poor communities and the state authorities in Oaxaca, the Mexican government continues to wage a low-intensity war against indigenous communities in the very fertile and resource-rich state of Chiapas.

This particular battle is taking place in the village of Chol de Tumbala , an indigenous community in Northern Chiapas. The village is part of the network of autonomous Zapatista municipalities in the state, this one named El Trabajo. The Chols are about to face eviction, for the second time, from the ancestral lands they have struggled over the past decade to get a legal claim to. The lands, which once were covered with dense jungle, and inhabited by the Chols, have over the past decades been deforested by vast cattle ranches, and their valuable timber sold on world markets.

On August 3, 2006, life in Chol de Tumbala was violently disrupted. At 10.30 in the morning, villagers were presented with an eviction notice from the Federal Judge of Playas de Catanza, who told them they had 10 minutes to vacate the land. At 11.30, vans carrying more than 260 people- among them municipal police, public security forces and people dressed as civilians, invaded the village and set about destroying it. They burned and bulldozed the houses, and destroyed clothes, kitchen utensils, dishes and fruit trees, before taking all the villagers´ property, including the husked maize which is the staple of their diet. Three villagers were imprisoned, forced to sign documents saying they had left the land voluntarily, and then later released. At this stage the government produced a list of prior owners of the land.

Sounds very similar to Mugabe's "Taking out the Rubbish" projects in Zimbabwe.  Makes one wonder when 'imminent domain' will be applied the same way here in the US.

Finally, from Bloomberg:
Production from Petroleos Mexicanos, the state-owned oil monopoly, fell 4.6 percent in August from the same month in 2005, according to a report on the company's Web site. August was the third straight month in which output from Pemex has fallen below 3.3 million barrels a day.
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az  Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

thanks for keeping us informed about whats happing in our own back yards even though the 'fence' is too high for most of us to see with out own eyes.
the usgs has recently more or less out of the blue assigned about 15 billion barrels of "potential" oil "reserves" to afganistan     it is a stretch of the imagination to even mention "reserves" in the same sentence with usgs estimates  which are based on a calculation of the total volume of sedimentary rock and by the magic of statistics   dressed up with some monte carlo simulations and a vast array of assumptions to assign "reserves"