DrumBeat: October 18, 2006

Major Problems Of Surviving Peak Oil

Rob Hopkins says in "Why the Survivalists Have Got It Wrong" that he has very little time for the survivalist response to peak oil, and refers to "Preparing for a Crash: Nuts and Bolts" by Zachary Nowak.

Rob may well be partially right but he, like Zachary Nowak and many other "community" minded people tend to miss or are just in denial with the true reality of what the effects of Peak Oil will really mean.

Has "Peak Oil" Peaked Too Soon?

Disaster struck “Peak Oil” cheerleaders this month as Chevron announced the discovery of massive new oil reserves in the deep water of the Gulf of Mexico. “Dang it!” one expert was overheard shouting while being shepherded from MSNBC’s greenroom. “We’ve been predicting the end of oil for a century now, and it finally looked like we were right. Why won’t people just give up looking for a better future so we can all feel prophetic and important for once?”

Okay, I made up that part about MSNBC. Peak oil naysayers would never admit they were wrong or admit that the Chevron discovery is a major blow to their theory. To an optimist, the glass is half full. To a pessimist, the glass is half empty. To a peak oil theorist, the glass is hidden in the next room, but he’s sure it’s damn near empty.

Peak Oil: The Clock Is Ticking

Perhaps the most common response to the peak-oil problem is: "The oil isn't going to disappear overnight. We have a century to prepare." Unfortunately, the fact that the decline in oil is a curve, not a vertical line, makes it difficult to comprehend. What matters is that the serious damage will be done long before we get to those tiny remaining drops a century or so from now. If we look at the forecasts of Petroconsultants Corp., which produces the "bible" of oil data, we can see that in the year 2000 there were five barrels of oil per person per year, but that by 2025 there will only be about two barrels, not five. That's not an "on/off" situation, but at that point the human race should probably wave goodbye to the Oil Economy. The year 2025 is far less than a century from now.

Richard Heinberg: (post-)Hydrocarbon Aesthetics

OPEC looks to clarify oil output cuts in Doha

LONDON - OPEC members have descend on Doha for an extraordinary meeting aimed at finalizing a cut in oil output, but they must overcome divisions that damage the cartel's credibility.

SlashDot discusses that Popular Mechanics article on hydrogen: Crunching the Numbers on a Hydrogen Economy

Let's act energetically

If we ignore these trends, an energy crisis could be on the horizon for Texas. In fact, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) estimates that the current energy supply could be compromised by 2008 as reserve margins dip below acceptable levels.

Curing the World's Oil Addiction

Developing alternative energy sources now is crucial as more budding economies secure oil supplies from unsavory regimes.

EU losing faith in Russia energy charter scheme

Mexico fuel tanker blast kills 6, more feared dead

MEXICO CITY - An explosion on a fuel tanker in Mexico's Pajaritos petrochemical port complex on Tuesday killed six workers and two others were missing, feared dead, state oil monopoly Pemex said.

Mexico won't increase spending to fight poverty

Mexico must increase investment in Petroleos Mexicanos, the country's state-owned oil monopoly, in order to make existing oil reserves last as long as possible, Carstens said.

Output from Mexico's largest field, Cantarell, is forecast to decline by 8 percent in 2006 to 1.86 million barrels per day from 2.03 million barrels per day in 2005, said Vinicio Suro, deputy director of planning and evaluation for Pemex's production and exploration unit, during an Aug. 2 conference call.

Japan's Kyoto gap widens as emissions rise

Statoil Increases Production from Norne

Statoil has installed a new subsea template that ensures improved recovery on the Norne field in the Norwegian Sea. A total increase of 10 million barrels of oil is expected.

..."Statoil's ambition is to maintain a production level of one million barrels of oil equivalent per day on the Norwegian continental shelf until 2015," says Terje Overvik, executive vice president for Exploration & Production Norway.

HECO blames 3rd turbine crash for O'ahu's blackout

Hawaiian Electric Co. had enough excess power to keep O'ahu lit after earthquakes caused two generators to fail Sunday morning, but when a third, much larger, turbine crashed minutes later, it took the entire island with it.

...HECO officials said the shutdown of the islandwide system was necessary once the third generator came down to avoid permanent damage to the operating generators. If one of the other generators had been damaged, it could have led to blackouts lasting days or weeks and not hours.

[Update by Leanan on 10/18/06 at 10:55 AM EDT]

Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending October 13, 2006 Oil prices rise after the weekly inventory report shows bulging crude supplies but smaller-than-expected supplies of gas and distillates.

I have a few questions about liquid fuels; if anyone can answer them, I would be grateful:

  1. Does "total liquids" in the EIA and IEA estimates include buiofuels (such as Brazilian ethanol), or just fossil fuel derived liquids?

  2. Are natural gas liquids and condensate usefu0000000000000000l in the production of transportation fuels?
[oops - I meant "useful," obviously]
In a word yes, NGLs are useful in the production of transportation fuels.  

There is some evidence that the EIA is including biofuels such as EtOH in their values.  

The EIA has two catagories, All Liquids and Crude + Condensate.  The IEA only gives figures for All Liquids. The definition for All Liquids is: Crude oil plus condensate, natural gas plant liquids, and other liquids, and refinery process gain (loss).  The Other Liquids portion is defined as: Ethanol, liquids produced from coal and oil shale, non-oil inputs to methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), Orimulsion, and other hydrocarbons.

So to answer your question, Yes, it includes Brazilian ethanol, all other ethanol, and just about any kind of liquid fuel you can dream up. It even includes a little water as Orimulsion is 30 percent water.

Ron Patterson

Here is an interview with John le Carre  on Neocons, Globalisation, Oil, resources and war.

A Dutch TV show, but the Carre' interview is in English.

To get this to play, check a player in the box to the right, then close the box and the screen will appear.


I also have a second question about how field size relates to the lifetime of the field.  Ghawar has a total lifetime of significant extraction spanning many decades, while fields in the North Sea have a lifetime of significant extraction that seems to be significantly shorter - maybe two decades, rather than 8.  And I get the impression that smaller fields often have a lifetime of significant extraction that is even less than a decade.

I guess my question is this:  Is there some kind of mathematical rule-of-thumb that relates OOIP to significant extraction lifetime, or that perhaps relates the physical dimensions of the field (in 3D, underground) to significant extraction lifetime?

well it appears no one is going to respond so i'll take a stab at it   the size of a field depends on the volume of rock   areal extent x net thickness   the porosity, water saturation and fluid skrinkage (from reservoir to stock tank)       the rate of production is a function of the well density    wellbore size and orientation (ie horizontal or vertical)  completion techniques   possibly artificial lift (type of pump if any) permeability of the rock (which is generally a function of porosity)  fluid viscosity and pressure  and reservoir drive mechanism  ( solution gas   water drive   gravity drainage) and possibly pressure maintainance techniques     some of these factors are interrellated   but i suppose to answer your question   every field is a different animal    the producer will generally try to operate the field in such a way as to maximize financial return (at least what they believe to be optimum)  
Thanks for your response.  But how flexible are all these variables?  Could Ghawar, for example, have been substantially exhausted within 10 years of the first well drilled if there had been 50 or 100 times as many wells drilled as there actually were?
In a nutshell - yes.

The more straws in the milkshake, the sooner you hear the slurping sounds.

But if some slurpers get head-freeze and their consumption drops there will be a delay until you hear the slurping sounds.  And if one person is a head-freeze recessive mutant and therefore can suck down the milkshake at a rate 10X that of everyone else...


well yes  in theory   but would the oil market absorb this level of production (supply)
I can't resist reporting what has been written in an article from « Le Canard Enchainé » here in France.

On the oil drum here it has already been reported that some of our ministers are trying to herald E85 as a clean, cheap and efficient solution to transition from oil to our bright future. I usually link these "out of the wild" ideas to our minister of the interior, Nicolas Sarkozy because he takes his orders directly from New York's neocons.  This month Paris held a car show in which some discussions arose about gasoline, oil and alternatives. Our minister of industry, Thierry Breton, came in and showed how he switched to E85. He was shown filling his tank from the first and sole E85 pump in Paris. His face was glowing with pride, and he seemed to be very enthusiastic to tell how this was a clean and cheap energy source, priced at 0.8 euros/litre (3.8 US$/US gal).

But last week the French customs came in and simply closed this pump because the origin of the ethanol wasn't clear, it's price wasn't fair and some other minor contraventions. This shows once again that the government controls everything but its right hand just isn't informed over what does its left hand, in a kind of diagonistic apraxia. This will certainly be highlighted over the next months and years to come.

Did anyone else see unleaded gas jump 0.16 this morning?
Price here in KC went from $1.93 to $2.09 at the same stations overnight.

That's a bit odd since I've been watching the wholesale price and it hasn't really breached $1.50 for a month or so now.  In Kansas City, MO, retail price is about 0.50 above wholesale.

I'm just curious if other cities saw this jump last night and if anyone could explain the jump.  Could it be the switchover to winter formulations?


Nope, unleaded gas opened this morning on the NYMEX up less than one cent from yesterday's close at 147.27. That will likely change in less than 30 minutes when this weeks inventory numbers come in.

Ron Patterson


I live on the other side of 70 (go cards!).  Gas was sitting at $1.98 and bumped to 2.18 yesterday afternoon.  I think anything within a $.25 change is pretty normal.  Now that's me, but it's still flat looking at the bigger picture.  It's going to gyrate around 2-2.25 in my area until Nov IMHO.

I fully expect to see $3 gas by the end of the year.  It's kind of like oil right now.  It's almost range bound.  It's just moving sideways and not really moving up or down week to week, like I believe, until Nov.  I'm not going to get into the manipulation camp, but only time will tell.

No, I know there's a lot of fluctuation normally.  It's just that here in KC, the prices had sat around $1.93 to 1.96 for several weeks...they were very stable.

And then this morning they shot up...just wierd.

"I live on the other side of 70"

Highway 70? Then likely you live in Florissant or nearby 'burbs'.  Maybe Hazelwood. Less likely Ferguson(where I went to grade school).

Still $2.04 here in Ky.

Close I'm near Westport.  About 2 mi S. of highway 70.
You're in KC or St. Louis?
Stl...we got one too. <Simpon Nelson Voice>Ha Ha</Simpson Nelson Voice>
I thought so...just wasn't sure because the KC - Westport is about 2 miles south of I-70 as well...freaky.
I think it's more to do with the same crappy transportation planning that is littered throughout the state.
Nope, it's still $2.12 here, or was when I filled up on the way in.
Here is a chart on gas price/crude oil for the past 3 years.

Just Gas -


I have noticed that the retail prices are fluctuating quite a bit.  This leads to disparity between two stations right near each other of 15-20c or more.  I guess it depends on when they made their order for resupply or something.
You can expect to see some local variability.  

Currently gasoline is very much undervalued (nationally) compared to it's historical relationship to oil prices.  While it might be difficult to manipulate the global oil market in just the right direction at the right time to, say, win an election, it's alot easier to manipulate domestic gasoline prices (at least for awhile).  

Prior to 2004, the price of gasoline was pretty closely linked to the price of oil (by that I mean the cost of WTI settlement price averaged over the week).  In the late 1990's for a brief time, gasoline's value was much higher relative to oil prices but that was relatively short-lived.  

In 2004 (specifically July 2004) gasoline prices and oil prices "de-coupled."  Oil prices began to increase at the beginning of July while gasoline prices declined throughout the summer and into the third week of September when they finally began to climb back to price levels seen around Memorial Day of 2004.  Oil prices, however, were at levels never seen before and 33% percent higher than they had been during the Memorial Day weekend.  

After the 2004 election, oil prices and gasoline prices both fell AND began to track one another again (though with an interesting offset or undervaluing of gasoline relative to historical oil/gasoline price trends).  

In this election cycle, beginning in early 2006, there seems to be a similar (but smaller) decoupling of gasoline prices compared to oil price.  My guess is that there is only so much cost shifting that can be done for other oil-derived products before you have to raise gasoline prices.  But if you can decrease gasoline prices in the short term (masked by decreased oil prices) then you might be able to influence another election cycle.  

Based upon historical data, the national weighted-average gasoline price for the week of October 2-6 should have been $2.49/gallon.  Based upon the relationship since 2002, it should have been $2.425/gallon.  It was $2.31/gallon.  When the numbers are released this afternoon, I will update me spreadsheet.  However, the oil prices have largely stabilized while the (national) gasoline prices continue to fall.  

My guess is that the oil companies don't want to be the source of voter revenge.  But watch out for gasoline prices after the election.  

nah .. yours just got too cheap ..
We're still paying $2.50 here in CT ..

Triff ..

Human species 'may split in two'

 A genetic upper class and a dim-witted underclass

Humanity may split into two sub-species in 100,000 years' time as predicted by HG Wells, an expert has said.

Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry of the London School of Economics expects a genetic upper class and a dim-witted underclass to emerge.
The human race would peak in the year 3000, he said - before a decline due to dependence on technology.

People would become choosier about their sexual partners, causing humanity to divide into sub-species, he added.
The descendants of the genetic upper class would be tall, slim, healthy, attractive, intelligent, and creative and a far cry from the "underclass" humans who would have evolved into dim-witted, ugly, squat goblin-like creatures.

But in the nearer future, humans will evolve in 1,000 years into giants between 6ft and 7ft tall, he predicts, while life-spans will have extended to 120 years, Dr Curry claims.

Physical appearance, driven by indicators of health, youth and fertility, will improve, he says, while men will exhibit symmetrical facial features, look athletic, and have squarer jaws, deeper voices and bigger penises.

Women, on the other hand, will develop lighter, smooth, hairless skin, large clear eyes, pert breasts, glossy hair, and even features, he adds. Racial differences will be ironed out by interbreeding, producing a uniform race of coffee-coloured people.

"While science and technology have the potential to create an ideal habitat for humanity over the next millennium, there is a possibility of a monumental genetic hangover over the subsequent millennia due to an over-reliance on technology reducing our natural capacity to resist disease, or our evolved ability to get along with each other, said Dr Curry.

What a proud advertisement for the London School of Economics (soon to be renamed the Josef Mengele Memorial Institute).

Do I really want to get involved in this thread? No, not really...

I should imaging the new song for the LSE goes something like this:

[FRAULEIN KOST (spoken)]
Herr Ludwig! You are not leaving so early?

I do not find this party amusing.

Ah- but it is just beginning. Come, we will make it
amusing- you and I- Ja?

Herr Ludwig- this is for you:

The sun on the meadow is summery warm.
The stag in the forest runs free.
But gather together to greet the storm.
Tomorrow belongs to me.

The branch of the linden is leafy and
The Rhine gives its gold to the sea.
But somewhere a glory awaits unseen.
Tomorrow belongs to me.

Herr Ludwig! Sing with me!

The babe in his cradle is closing his eyes
The blossom embraces the bee.
But soon, says a whisper;
"Arise, arise,
Tomorrow belongs to me"


[ALL (except FRAULEIN SCHNEIDER, SCHULTZ, CLIFF and SALLY, who stand watching)]
Oh Fatherland, Fatherland,
Show us the sign
Your children have waited to see.
The morning will come
When the world is mine.
Tomorrow belongs to me!

One academic does not an institution make.

MIT has Lindzen.

Actually, I dont much want to be either of these two cuties.

If this is it, then its time to call time.

This has to be one of the most ridiculous things I've read in a while.  If we haven't selected for bigger penises already, why would they suddenly be selected for now?  The whole idea of a schism between classes seems pretty absurd to me.  
We have selected for bigger penis size. Go to a zoo and look at the gorillas and other primates. We have bigger dicks in proportion to size than any other primate, by far.
It's sexual, not adaptive selection. We have bigger dicks because women want us to have bigger dicks, not because they help us dig clams or something.
Wk: We are also the only primate that is selected for wallet thickness.
Well, I don't know about dicks but that is certainly not true for testicle size.

Likewise, however variable testicle size is among men, there is no man living whose testicles (as a proportion of body weight) are as small as a gorilla's or as big as a chimpanzee's. As a proportion of body weight, men's testicles are nearly five times as large as gorillas' and one-third the size of chimpanzees'.
Matt Ridley, Nature via Nurture, page 20-21

So if dick size is relative to testicle size, (though I don't know if they are or not), then we have gorillas beat by a country mile but lag way behind chimps.

By the way, it all has to do with mating habits. It is all explained in Ridley's book but I won't go into it here.

Ron Patterson

We do not know why humans are "well hung", it may be a side effect of another adaptation, or relevant only to prehistoric lifestyles. Evidence of modern life is that women prefer loving partners who are willing to commit and able to contribute.
Well, yes we do Johnnybonk. True there are a lot of adaptations that we do not know "why" they exist. But then there are a lot of adaptations that we do know the "why". Genitalia size is one of the things we do know the why. Well, at least we know the why about testicular size. It all has to do with our mating habits, verses the mating habits of the Chimp and the Gorilla.

The competition between male chimps continues inside the female virgina in the form of sperm competition. Consequently, male chimpanzees have gigantic testicles and prodigious sexual stamina. As a proportion of body weight, chimpanzee testicles are 16 times greater than gorilla testicles. And a male chimp has sex approximately 100 times as often as a male gorilla.
Matt Ridley, Nature via Nurure, page 19

You would have to have read the two pages leading up to the above paragraph to fully understand the "why" of the whole matter. But basically male gorillas use the harem method of procreation. The females only mate with the one male who owns the harem, and they mate only when they are they are capable of conceiving. Chimps on the other hand, mate try to mate with every female in the tribe and the one with the most sperm and the most sexual stamina produce the most offspring. In physical body size, male gorillas are about twice the size of the female but the chimp is only slightly larger than the female.

Humans evolved from the same common ancestor as the chimp, about 5 million years ago. The gorilla linage split from our common ancestor many millions of years earlier. We are obviously much closer to chimps than to gorillas.

In our hunter-gatherer days, when our genitalia evolved, we behaved much more like chimps. But it was during this time that monogamy evolved as well. But then it was much like it is now. Men tried to keep one woman as his own, but mate with as many others as possible. Our genitalia is much larger, per body weight, than the gorilla but still smaller than the chimp. And the male human, like the chimp, is only slightly larger than the female.

Ron Patterson

Heh. That suggests that human females did not evolve to be monogamous.  At least, not completely.  

But I do think penis size is likely a result of female sexual selection.  The chimpanzee penis is twice the size of a gorilla's - not 16 times as large.  And the human penis is larger than any other primate's, both in absolute size and in proportion to body size.

Well, Ridley was talking about the testies, not the penus. That is, the chimps testies are, comparable to body weight, 16 times that of the gorilla. And he gave the reasons.

He didn't discuss human genetalia.

Ron Patterson

Humans and gorillas have in common that we are not chimpanzees. Human females tend not to invite sperm competition. Testes are not penises.

I have thought about this a bit more, and now I am not even sure that human male does have a large penis. Horses have big 'uns, as in "hung like a horse", dogs seem about proportionately hung wrt to humans, you can make a golf caddy from an elephants dick (i have heard).

Is it even true that humans have big dicks?

And on the subject of chimpanzees (actually possibly bonobos), I've seen them doing "it" on tv and they have willies like a little carrot - quite small.

Are we drifting off topic?

*Men tried to keep one woman as his own, but mate with as many others as possible* - indeed, and without much success, the world is truly full of blokes looking for casual sex and women who are not offering it. To father many children the best tactic is to be powerful (king is best), rather than have a big dick.

Humans actually do have fairly large penises relative to body size.  One idea about the value of increased penis size is related to sperm competition: a longer penis may act to effectively remove residual semen previously deposited by a competitor.  
Your absolutely correct. We need to get back on target. Peak oil. Now where are the scented rubbing oils?
Nonsense. This is just an old rehashing of the 'naturally superior' race arguement.
As opposed to now,wherein the upper class, at least those who run the country, are the dim-witted ones, and resemble monkeys, or at least Alfred E. Neuman.  

Who says we are going to be around in 100,000 years, much less in a state of what is called advanced evolution.

Personally, I think that we will evolve into a race of midgets as a response to the lack of resources available.  Big, tall people just take up too much damn space and resources.  Part of the reason for all those SUVs is a response to what is apparently evolved obesity.  Cut the weight and the size of vehicles will come down too.


Personally, I think that we will evolve into a race of midgets as a response to the lack of resources available.  Big, tall people just take up too much damn space and resources.

Hell this is already happening:

In 2005 the World Food Program reported that the average 7-year old boy in North Korea weighs 20 pounds less and is eight inches shorter than a boy the same age from South Korea.

This is of course, largely due to malnutrition. But the hand of natural selection can be felt here also. Those whose metabolism demands less food, because they are naturally smaller, have a much better chance of survival. After only a few generations the people will just naturally be smaller. And after only a hundred generations or so of such environmental pressure, people could easily average only four feet tall.

But this would cause other very undesirable side effects. As our cranium gets smaller, we will lose brainpower. That is, as our brains get smaller we will just get dumber. Now there is not a one to one ratio here, but almost so. The smaller the body the smaller the brain needs to be to manage things. But it does not take a lot of brain size to manage the body. Ever see a pig's brain?

Ron Patterson

I see no reason why we couldn't have a large cranium and a small body. Haven't you noticed that midgets' heads are out of proportion to their body?  

Where is the evidence that short people have smaller heads? I have not noticed a correlation, but that is anecdotal.  

We would still need the big heads to cope.   Also, we could have a scenario as in the Dune series where heads are basically maintained in a vessel with life supporing fluid. Or, perhaps, we could also have just heads attached to machines.

Come to think of it, if we are talking 100,000 years, it is more likely we will have mentats not  what we think of as human beings. The machines will likely have pretty much taken over the planet by then. Those human beings left will largely be genetically modified and cloned, with natural evolution having very little relevance. There will be a form of evolution, but it will be human or, perhaps, even computer directed.

I see no reason why we couldn't have a large cranium and a small body.

Because smaller women cannot give birth to babies with huge heads.

Haven't you noticed that midgets' heads are out of proportion to their body?  

And this is why many were born (if they were born naturally) to women of usual size, not midgets.

  Would it be conceivable that those with smaller brains might be somehow better suited to slip through a Taintorian Collapse! with their minimal adherence to our many complexities?

  There are certainly populations that are growing differently, more or less robust or 'busty', as the author seemed somehow concerned about.. due to countless social, political and economic disparities.  I think the crux is still that we are all essentially able to interbreed, so there is always the potential to remix the gene pool.  Indeed, as the Walrus told us.. "I am certain that it happens all the time."

  His comments about the 'beautiful people' led me to suspect that his research might be getting compromised by any number of social assumptions that don't necessarily tie directly to 'success' in a darwinian sense.


Jokuhl: Dr. Curry's main reference material for his fine study was the PENTHOUSE FORUM. I especially enjoyed his conclusion that women of the future will have such "pert" breasts.Someone should inform the mad scientist that many of these are purchased currently. This does not bode well for the environment of the future, as land will be cleared not only for biofuel plantations, but also rubber plantations.
Yes, I was surprised he managed to type all that with one hand.
'many of these are purchased currently..'

Hey.. maybe the Markets and Technology will solve nature's shortcomings!

Or as Phillip K Dick might have put it..
'Do electric babies dream of Silicon Implants?'

You don't read history. It's full of human populations who survived on scant diets, was 4foot6 or thereabouts, and when nutrion returned/became available, same populations, in a generation or two, are fullsize.
Kin you say China? Sure, I knew ya cud.
Darn. Did I get into it with Darwinian again? I should read closer and shudda let this one go.
But hell, his notion of the way evolution proceeds is telling, isn't it?
Oldhippie, exactly how does evolution proceed. You make snide remarks, but you post nothing that anyone can put their teeth into.

So post us your idea of how evolution works. And please post a reference because I know you are not a biologists or an academic who might know anything about evolution. So just post a URL or even a book with page number would do. If you do then I probably have the book in my library. If not I can find it.

I have read perhaps a hundred books on the subject and my ideas are absolutely mainstream. But if you wish to refute what virtually every neo-Darwinist says about evolution, then please tell them off. Because my ideas match theirs. I know because that is exactly where I got them, from the experts themselves.

But my idea (and therefore theirs also) of how evolution is telling. Well hell Oldhippie; by all means tell us how it really works.

Put up or shut up!

Ron Patterson

Shit, it happens in 2 or 3 generations and now my authority is you. You know the URL here?
You know Oldhippie, there is never any intelligence in any of your posts. All you ever try to is be funny and you fail miserably at that.

I'll bet it is due to nutrition as well as mal-nutrition and that the South Koreans now are much taller and heavier than those of a few generations back.

Ron, there is not a human gene pool anywhere that has not had a hundred generations of hard times, and had 'em recent too. Only pygmies are 4 feet tall. You can breed little dogs in a hundred generations or much less and watch then breed true, Humans are not like that. You say I'm the one who's off?
Now I will only laugh at you. You are what I thought you were.
"And after only a hundred geneerations or so of such environmental pressure. people could easily average only four feet tall."

Your words. The experiment you project has been done over and over. It's the history of man. It has been rare for anyone to enjoy the nutrition or the height we enjoy today. The experiment does not produce the result you predict.

You read a hundred books. So what. You can't guess what environmental pressure means. You ignore the obvious. You value your little canon more than common sense or apparent fact.

You done Ron?
A fine, predictable fantasy.

  There's a characteristic that gets called 'cussedness' in Maine, which makes 'good girls' go out with boys from the 'wrong side of the tracks' which could interfere with Horatio's Philosophy, here.  We both reflect and deflect the image our parents put out there for us, in varying degrees.

  And apologies to Jack in advance, but I have to really work to determine which group our venal (venerable..) Leader might belong, and how that plays into the hypothesis, too.


Jokuhl: I think that the mad scientist would say that the tall, beautiful, smart people behind the scenes selected him to be the front man because of his physical (simian) similarity to the teeming underclasses. Gotta go out and clear some brush off my Texas spread.
So depending on which tall beauties you are referring to, it could be either Unnatural Selection, or Supernatural Selection, (or Paranormal Election?).. but in any case, there are powerful forces at work undermining the creation of this 'Superman' class. There is work out there for the stumpy the slow, the Huddled Upperclasses, yearning to be (tax)free.

When I hear great sweeping successes of the 'beautiful people', I also wonder where their 'Dorian Gray' portraits are hanging.


'It is as if the Pharaohs have returned'
          Sallah, 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'

You've got a heart of glass or a heart of stone
Just you wait 'til I get you home
We've got no future, we've got no past
Here today, built to last
In every city, in every nation
From Lake Geneva to the Finland station
(How far have you been?)

In a West End town, a dead end world
The East End boys and West End girls

Pet Shop Boys, circa 1986

Bigger penises? There will always be an England.
I had a random thought the other day and I was wondering if I could get someone to run down some numbers on it.

There are some here that have expressed concern over the disposal issue of compact fluorescent light bulbs, specifically the mercury involved...but, how might that fluorescent bulb offset mercury emissions at the power plant which just releases it into the air to land anywhere (rather than going to a landfill)?

I don't have the reference but I read a reference to a study which clearly shows that the savings in mercury emissions from using a CFL far outweights the amount of mercury in the CFL.  
I have only some US numbers on this.

EPA estimates Hg emissions from power plants in 2004 at 48.5 tonnes, nearly all of which came from coal-fired plants.

Coal-fired power generation in 2004 was 1979 TWh (including CHP).

On average, then, assigning all power plant Hg emissions to coal fired plants, an average of 0.02 mg of Hg is emitted per kWh generated from coal.

If you have a 15W CFL replacing a 60W incandescent, then over the 8000 hr average life of a CFL, a total of 360 kWh is saved. That reduces related emissions by about 9 mg Hg.

In 1997, the average fluorescent lamp (including T8 and T12) had about 22 mg Hg. Current CFLs are available at 5-10 mg Hg (and the EU Code of Conduct-compliant CFLs are 5 mg max; Energy Star is considering the 5mg limit as well). However, only 0.2% of the Hg in a CFL is in the vapor phase at the time of disposal, so breakage would release only that into the atmosphere. EPA estimates an average of 19% of total fluorescent mercury goes back into the atmosphere because of combustion and other processes in landfills that release the non-vapor Hg. Not all CFL Hg is leachable, however.

In contrast, all power plant Hg is released into the atmosphere, and much falls as methyl mercury onto land and into the water. As a result, even though an absolute comparison between CFL Hg and power plant Hg shows only marginal potential savings, CFL disposal results in far less Hg into the atmosphere for dispersal compared to power plants. Nonetheless, all types of fluorescents should be taken for recycling, which is easier to do in some places than others.

The new EPA cap and trade rule for Hg is supposed to reduce US emissions from power plants from to 34.5 tonnes in 2010, and 13.6 tonnes in 2018.

Interestingly IGCC almost abolishes mercury emission.

One of its attractions.

TXU has rejected using IGCC technology, as 'too unproven': American Electric Power has a different view, that Carbon Sequestration is coming, and they had better be ready for it.

Texas will blast away building 10 more maximally CO2 emitting power plants.  Good thing there's no such thing as global warming.

That first link http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm?aid=250] posted above this morning is a real hoot. It compares the peak oil camp to an old movie where, when energy ran out, people just waited to die. No, no, no, says the author, such behavior is not in our nature. We, the piece implies, having the will to live, will simply find something else.  We will survive because that is what we do, that is how people behave. That is, when we run out of one fuel we will simply find another.

That is how it will likely be with crude oil. The supply will be extended as long as possible, and then gradually replaced by another fuel. Mankind did not get this far by sticking to nuts and berries, or grass, or wood, or coal, or any other single energy source - however vital it seemed in its peak age. Predictions of doom surrounding the eventual peak of oil ignore this history. The passive, withering world envisioned by some peak oil prophets simply doesn't exist.

They just wait to freeze to death when the fuel runs out.

.....People just don't act like that.

Chronic predictions of disaster surrounding declining energy supplies are the economic equivalent of "Quintet" - unrealistic fantasy, divorced from the dynamism of human nature.

Methinks the author has a lot to learn about human nature. True, we will not just sit around and wait to die. We will fight for the very last morsel of food or the last fire log. But that is not where he misses so bad. The author, having lived in a world where technology has produced miracles, or so it seems. Technology can produce miracles so we will simply come up with another miracle. We will simply find something else. Hell that's only human nature.

Yeah Right!

Ron Patterson


In what time frame do you expect real energy shortages to start?

I ask because I see these articles, and they always act like peak oil is the end of energy.  It's actually the exact opposite, it's the peak of energy!  I'm expecting a pretty good plateau (~10 years), and then a relatively slow decline in total energy (1-2%).  Coal, nuclear, solar, and advanced oil recovery techniques should keep us from plunging off a cliff.

If peak is in 2011, then say we start declining in 2021, what do we have 30 years from that point till things get really tight?  So 2050?

Certainly there are tremendous oppurtunities for conservation here in the US...

I think this is the biggest failing of these "doomsday" style articles.  They seem to envision the peak as being the end of oil period.  I don't know how well we will handle the transition.  Maybe there will be chaos as people are angry about the problems they are suffering?  But there's no reason that a stripped down version of modern society cannot exist on 10% of our current power usage.  

Peak oil or even the end of oil doesn't even mean the end of the industrial revolution.  100 years ago things ran on coal (steam engines, ocean liners like the Titanic, etc) and we still have plenty of coal available.  The worst case scenario looks a lot better than totally running out of all electricity.  

I believe a sort of bare bones muddle through is a more likely worst case scenario.  We'll have less, and we'll have problems, but we won't all be starving down to 1% of our current population and running around the woods in a loin cloth.  

we go back to coal, and then we drown in our own CO2... or rather, to be specific, the danger line where the environmental mechanisms release CO2, rather than absorb it, grows ever closer.  

When I first started reading about it, the 'guess' was that 550ppm would contain the damage of global warming to acceptable levels.  Scientists are now talking about 450ppm-- and we are at 380ppm now and rising by nearly 2 ppm each year.

Peak Oil will mean very high oil prices.  As production falls, the way demand will disappear is by being priced out of the market.  The economy will need to change its fixed capital (cars, and anything else dependent on oil) very quickly-- that is what produced stagflation in the mid to late 70s, as a lot of capital had to be scrapped and replaced with more energy efficient capital (something similar happened when the Soviet Union collapsed).

see www.econbrowser.com for some good articles about this: James Hamilton has done a lot of research on the effect of high oil prices on the US economy.

In some ways, Peak Gas is more terrifying:

  1. from Simmons' data, at least, gas fields tail off very quickly, much more quickly than oil fields.  So less warning.

  2. gas substitutes for oil in a number of applications: home heating and power generation but also you can create transportation fuel out of gas (GTL or straight gas-powered vehicles).

But there isn't really a substitute for natural gas other than coal.

On the CO2 output of coal, we will not be able to stabilise atmospheric CO2 at an acceptable level.

"But there isn't really a substitute for natural gas other than coal"

Me and my 4 cords of wood would disagree with you.

yea, I know 6.5 billion people can't use wood for heating.  But, it will save me a bunch of money until those billions get out in the woods chewing down trees with their teeth.

And you got a wooden power plant in your backyard to produce your electricity?
As long as no one official comes and confiscates your woodlot, for rationing purposes.

In Muskoka, Ontario, at least, the price of wood fluctuates with the price of propane for home heating.  If you don't have your own woodlot, you are going to pay a lot more.

There is a reason why so much of English Common Law is about grazing rights, and rights to pick wood from the forest.  See also Tokugawan Japan (Jared Diamond in Collapse has a very good bit on Japanese woodlot management).

In some ways, Peak Gas is more terrifying

Bingo! I can easily imagine a life with electric cars and biodiesel planes, but I can hardly imagine it with not enough fuel for heating, electricity or fertilizers. I think that for a certain period of time after peak, we will try to substitute oil with NG, which is relatively easy to do. But then what happens when NG itself starts disappearing quickly?

I'm telling you guys, better start building those nukes right now or else there will be a lot of suffering in the decades to come...

"I'm telling you guys, better start building those nukes right now or else there will be a lot of suffering in the decades to come..."

There will be lots of suffering in the decades ahead with or without nukes.  But of course it would be nice if "they" who look, sound, smell, feel and taste Different from "Us" do more of the suffering I suppose (I think Ma Nature said that herself - Wrote it DowN some 'weAr' even).

Coal, nuclear, solar, and advanced oil recovery techniques should keep us from plunging off a cliff.

There's more than one cliff. Depleting oil will worsen global warming, because the frantic scramble for energy sources will raise CO2 levels through the roof.

It's like Leanan's post below: France engineers a baby boom, because it fears the effects of a graying population. But that baby boom is not such a geat idea in view of energy, food, water depletion.

Blindly jumping from cliff to cliff. Thst is a scary picture.

GGG: Germany, France and the UK are all down about 25-30% from their peak oil consumption. We've got more than a few years before you will have to run down white tail deer and kill them with a kitchen knife.
But that was the easy bit: transport is now the majority of our oil consumption.

We got rid of industrial and residential heating and oil (almost-- there are a lot of places we (UK) could use ground source heat pumps if the government funded those conversions).

And oil is no longer used for electricity generation (except Npower restarted one of the UK oil fired plants last winter-- see TOD UK re coal).

Transport is much harder to squeeze down.  Aviation you have to fly less.  Motoring you can have marginally more efficient cars, but I don't see diesel hybrids or all electric cars out there en masse. Freight you can do almost not a jot (UK railways are already at capacity due to passenger demand).

We could go back to buses and bicycles, but any number of debates here will tell you why that is hard.

In what time frame do you expect real energy shortages to start?

Of course everything is just a guess but I expect major shortages within a year after the world realizes we are post peak. That is not a physical point but a psychological point. That point will come perhaps three or four years after the actual peak. National oil companies will start to husband their oil. The knowledge, by all oil companies, that oil can only go higher and get more scarce, will cause them to cut back and hold oil their oil for later. This will cause a cliff in oil production and shortages will appear immediately.

I ask because I see these articles, and they always act like peak oil is the end of energy. It's actually the exact opposite, it's the peak of energy! I'm expecting a pretty good plateau (~10 years), and then a relatively slow decline in total energy (1-2%). Coal, nuclear, solar, and advanced oil recovery techniques should keep us from plunging off a cliff.

I think you are dreaming. Oil production will decline much faster, I am guessing in excess of five percent per year. All those other things will take many years before they can even make a dent in liquid transportation fuel. They will not even be a factor. If you were starving today, what good would it do you if you knew you would have plenty of food in five years? Likewise, what good will coal to liquids do us if we have to wait 20 years for enough plants to be built to make a difference.

If peak is in 2011, then say we start declining in 2021, what do we have 30 years from that point till things get really tight? So 2050?

He, he, he, you are really funny. You are almost as optimistic as the author of the article is. The plateau will last only as long as it takes the world to realize we are truly post peak. At that moment, no more plateau. Do you think Mexico would still export oil if they realized that in five or ten years they would themselves have a crisis because they could not import oil, and realizing all the while that there would be no oil to import?

Certainly there are tremendous opportunities for conservation here in the US...

True but because of people like the author of this article, no one will believe there is even a need to conserve. Therefore no one will do one damn thing until it is way too late. Remember, the peak is not the important point. The important point in time will be when the world fully realizes that oil production is destined to decline.....forever!

Ron Patterson

The knowledge, by all oil companies, that oil can only go higher and get more scarce, will cause them to cut back and hold oil their oil for later. This will cause a cliff in oil production and shortages will appear immediately.

If Mexico stopped exporting oil, their whole governmental regime would collapse, as it couldn't pay the bills without oil income.  I don't think they'll stop.

Saudi Arabia?  Same deal - they're dependent on the oil $$$ to placate the masses, otherwise there will be a national revolution.

Private Oil Companies?  They need to make a profit today.  Is there any value in withholding your oil today and causing a world war, or riots in the streets, or getting nationalized?  Not to mention most of them have debts to service.  They'll keep pumping like crazy because they have too.

We all take Peak Oil as a geologic certainty.  So tell me, why has NO GOVERNMENT ON EARTH stopped their internal pumps and just started importing 100%?  Surely it would make sense to husband this resource now, and use it later to get ahead?

The bottom line is that the world is an uncertain place.  Peak Oil will only make it more uncertain.  You can't predict what the market will be 5 years from now - so you try and make a profit today.

Just my take.  I could be wrong.


Garth, by the time peak oil is realized by the world, Mexico may already have stopped exporting oil. True, their economy will collapse. It will be just like the economy of Guatamala and Honduras today.

But no exporter needs to stop exporting oil. They only need to cut back. And you know they will do that. After all, if they can get just as much money while exporting less, because prices will rise, then they will definitely do that. At least in my opinion they will do that.

No government has stopped exporting oil because no government on earth actually believes in peak oil! God man, have you never heard of Daniel Yergin and CERA? Their word is taken as the word of God.

But again, no one needs to stop exporting oil. If they all, or just most of them, cut back, that will be enough to cause us to head down the cliff.

Private companies only produce about 20 to 25 percent of the world's oil and that percentage is dropping every year. And private companies whose resources are in foreign companies will likely have those resources nationalized just as soon as it becomes obvious that we are post peak.

Yes, the world is an uncertain place. But most of the world is very overly optimistic as to the future. People see, in the future, what they desire to see, what they very much need to see. That is why no one questions CERA and everyone laughs at the peak oil crowd.

Ron Patterson

Think of your self as an oil producer.  Prices are falling so you want to sell less at this lower price.  You cut back just as you suggest.  Now lets say geological PO hits.  We know the reality is every day there is less in the ground and no more to be found.  Prices in this environment would be expected to increase in the medium/long term forever.  As a producer who is concerned about now, these new higher prices (due to scarcity) are attractive.  I can run my wells at full bore and make a killing.  The prices will continue to increase no matter what.  

I could see so many individual "Actors" doing what's best for them and pumping the hell of out the wells as hard as possible.  Collectively we're going to be screwed anyway, so shouldn't I make as much money now as possible and parlay that into something else?  These actors can not change the fact that it's running out, but greedy self interests trumps just about everything.

On the flip to this, I could see a few who also realize the prices will be redicaly higher in the future and cut back to insure their future financial position.  One word: Volatility.

Democracies have an incentive to cut back on production for future use. That's what ANWR is, after all. The word 'reserve' is in the title. Sort of like how Teapot Dome was the naval reserve until the Republicans leased it out to an oil company and the secretary of the interior went to jail.
One way to reserve oil supplies is to ask for a higher royalty rate, and then the oil companies won't bid on it till they think the price of oil will be high enough to make it worthwhile.
Actually I think democracies are about the worst.

Any electorate wants jam today.  Even in Norway, which has a $200bn investment fund for its oil revenues, the pressure for tax cuts is growing.

The sad thing about ANWR is that the industry, and the President, seem convinced that its exploitation will make a blind bit of difference to the US economy.

10 billion barrels: 3 years' consumption.

I think it would be better to wait for the day when the US is cut off, either economically or militarily, and that is the continent's last supply of liquid oil.

I will suggest an interesting link (probably posted elsewhere):


Printed...I'll read it when I get some time.  Thanks forthe link.


Obviously peak oil is an entirely new scenario, so this is all projection...

But I tend to lean towards the camp that people will pump as much as possible.

High prices lead to demand destruction.  That's a fact.    In terms of inflation adjusted dollars, we still haven't hit historically high prices.  People's habits will change, and new efficiencies will be found, driving the price down.

The bottom line is if you're Mexico, you can't afford to cut back at all.  You want/need every dollar to line your own pockets and placate the masses today.

In addition, high oil prices makes oil attractive to the small operation wildcatter.  They can make a go of small projects that the big oil companies just can't afford.

I honestly see a distributed energy future - where individuals make energy for themselves and pump excess back into the grid.  Sort of like what Ontario is doing.  Large scale power generation only makes sense when you have large scale sources of energy to be tapped.  Once the big pools have been drained we will have to move to smaller, decentralized production.

It depends on your efficiency.

The most efficient way to generate electric power is a 850MW combined cycle gas turbine unit.

Even with transmission loss, this has c. 50% efficiency when it reaches the home.

If you can do a district heating tie in, then a smaller CHP unit is higher efficiency.

Small generation units just don't have that thermal efficiency, so they waste fuel relative to centralised plant.


If oil were $150/bl, Saudi Arabia would only need to export half as much, to get the same revenue.

Almost all the world's oil producers have massive economic needs for cash: Saudi Arabia has a population 1/2 under 21, the fastest growing in the world, and a GDP/ head 1/3rd of what it was in the 70s.

Iran is in a very similar boat.  So is Nigeria, Venezuela.

Russia needs oil revenues to keep the government ticking over.  Russia is in the middle of a demographic disaster which will need huge government investment in social services to arrest-- Russian men live 10 years less than they did at the time of the collapse of the USSR.

The oil producing governments are in a bargain with Faust: they need revenues now.

Besides a prudent man would notice that low oil prices always follow high oil prices, therefore the most prudent thing is to pump like the blazes when prices are high.

'this time its different' is our argument, but why should anybody believe a bunch of cranks on the 'net?

Certainly there are tremendous oppurtunities for conservation here in the US...

Odograph made a similar observation a few days ago:

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

and wondered how many of those trips are really necessary?

I've been thinking about that for a while, and I recently found this working paper at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER):

Understanding the sensitivity of gasoline demand to changes in prices and income has important implications for policies related to climate change, optimal taxation and national security, to name only a few. While the short-run price and income elasticities of gasoline demand in the United States have been studied extensively, the vast majority of these studies focus on consumer behavior in the 1970s and 1980s. There are a number of reasons to believe that current demand elasticities differ from these previous periods, as transportation analysts have hypothesized that behavioral and structural factors over the past several decades have changed the responsiveness of U.S. consumers to changes in gasoline prices. In this paper, we compare the price and income elasticities of gasoline demand in two periods of similarly high prices from 1975 to 1980 and 2001 to 2006. The short-run price elasticities differ considerably: and range from -0.034 to -0.077 during 2001 to 2006, versus -0.21 to -0.34 for 1975 to 1980. The estimated short-run income elasticities range from 0.21 to 0.75 and when estimated with the same models are not significantly different between the two periods.

So yes, there is ample waste in the US transportation system, but Americans have become extremely resistant to changing that, as compared to the 70s/80s. To respond to Odograph's question, if you asked those people how many of their trips were unnecessary, I would expect them to answer that all of their trips were necessary, but a lot of the other people's trips weren't necessary. They will only decide that their own trip is unnecessary when they can no longer afford it, and the current gasoline price elasticity of demand suggests that it will take significant prices increases, much higher than we've had, for them to reduce their motoring in the short run.

The authors speculate that the resistance to reducing demand is due to sprawl development, cross-commuting, more fuel efficient vehicles, and reduced alternatives. Those are all factors that may take considerable time to change.

Clearly the save the automobile movement rules this place.

The talk centers around preserving the technology and not the human.

What I find particularly fascinating is insistence that we can just switch over to less driving, more mass transit, that we can be just like Europe and start walking.

Have you been to Europe? If yes, compare and contrast. Hmmm. US--Five miles to the nearest store. No local food production. No local clothing production. No local industry. Car culture rules. Economy based on import of energy, food, clothing, consumer goods of all stripes, decent fuel efficient cars. We export IOUs. Huge military.

Europe--Walkable cities. More local food but still imports much. Imports fuel in most of Europe. Some local industry, but mostly high tech and service. High concern about energy issues and the political will to get something done. NOT A CAR-CENTRIC CULTURE. Husbands old farming methods. Slow food movement. Small militaries.

I'd say we have about as much chance of becoming like Europe as pulling a cow through your nostril.

The energy cost of converting this vast suburban, car-loving nightmare into a walkable country with local economies will quickly subsume any savings that may be accomplished. The truth is plain. There will be privation. When the NatGas goes, there will be starvation. When the television watching rubes that make up this country see their widescreens go dark and the Mickey D's closing, they will riot. And not one of these fantasies espoused here regarding a transition to another form of energy intense society that just keeps on growing and consuming will ever happen. IT WILL NOT HAPPEN.

Now comes the point where everyone says, oh, pshaw, you doomer. How the heck could that happen? Look at us, we be so smart!!!

Well, if you are so smart, why do we continue to destroy the oceans, the arable land, our aquifers, the air, the climate? Why does our food have the nutritional quality of cardboard? Why do clothes last such a short time? Why can't we build a light bulb that lasts for 100 years? (HINT: we can and did in the fifties. My Uncle invented it for GE. They de-engineered it. "Can't make money with a device like that!") Why did we vote for a man who is clearly a retard, both morally and mentally?

Why? Because humans are incapable of thinking beyond their immediate needs.

My favorite statement today says we have "fifty years of oil left." SO, I GUESS WE ARE OKAY? Screw the future, as long as I gots mine.

Humans are vermin.

Step 1: Break your leg
Step 2: See how damned handy an automobile can be

I saved an excellent post by someone here that'll I'll have to wait until I'm at home to retrieve, but consider steps 1 and 2 above for now.

Step 1: Break your leg
Step 2: See how damned handy an automobile can be
Well, given the starting context, maybe this should be:

Step 1: Break your leg
Step 2: Read "Where There is No Doctor" to find out about splinting broken legs  :-/

Switzerland, when they cut oil consumption to 1/400th of current US per capita use, gave medical services all the fuel they needed. ZERO for six years for the general population.

So this is a false point that you are making.

I would dtrongly support corn ethanol production if that was the only source of fuel for ambulances making emergency runs.

Best Hopes,

Alan Drake

France in WWII at least ran cars on charcoal-- Gazogen, it was called.

Very unreliable, you don't want to think about global warming, but there you have it.

Not a false point at all.  I'm not even talking about the initial service at the time of the break, but what you do for the weeks or months afterward.  It doesn't matter if you have a nice, walkable city if you can't walk.  Even a small injury, foot, leg, back could take you out of action for weeks.  Without the automobile, you're pretty much stuck at home.  No one's going to put you in their bike trailer and haul your broken ass to work.
Heard of "transit"?  How about "taxis"?  Maybe "pedicab"?  Or maybe "ride from a friend"?  Still looks like a false point to me.
We built the first hundred year light bulb more than a hundred years ago. Just make the filament thicker and it will take longer to evaporate, and never turn it off so that it will not have fatigue from thermal shock. They use them for emergency exit markers in subways, or they did.
Or just run a regular bulb at a reduced voltage.  
Replaced with 50,000 hour red LEDs.
Where can I get one :P
My source for LEDs is:


A few for household use (yellow outdoor light, bathroom night light, refrigerator light, closet light, bedroom "first up" & TV watching light).  Mainly relamped my car.

However, they do not carry the speciality long thin Exit sign LEDs.

5 watt CFLs are about 4 times as bright as 3 watt LEDs.


I have yet to find these LED lights that put out anything close to even the brightest CFL.  Where are they?
"Humans are vermin"

"And not one of these fantasies espoused here regarding a transition to another form of energy intense society that just keeps on growing and consuming will ever happen. IT WILL NOT HAPPEN."

If your outlook is so poor why do you post, what is your goal? If no "fantasy" transition can possibly occur why waste your time on these words?

If we decide or must switch to European style living what is stopping us?  Is there some rule of physics preventing people from making a few lifestyle changes?  Remember though Europe is the way it is and not a Germanic Supernation because of a huge american military.

Many posters here especially alan have fairly plausable ideas for mass transit. You rant and rave but submit little evidence for your rhetoric.

''Remember though Europe is the way it is and not a Germanic Supernation because of a huge american military''

And perhaps a handfull of Hurricane and Spitfire Pilots?

And last but not least, a few million Russians?

Lets not forget them.

25 million Russians, to be precise.

A number the Soviets concealed, because it was so embarassing, and Western historians concealed because of a Western bias that our role had to be important.

To be fair, we could say WWII was won by Russian manpower and American production might.  And American oil (Yergin is quite good on this).

Without those 2 ingredients, the Nazis would probably not have been defeated.

PS my own nation's inestimable role in this was to be the 'unsinkable aircraft carrier' which served as a base for the convoys to Russia, the basis for the invasion of Europe and Spaatz's 8th Army Air Force's pounding of German production facilities.

So that we refused to surrender when we might of was decisive, even if the actual war was won by other people.

The tens of millions of Russian soldiers wouldn't have succeeded without the literal mountains of food, vehicles, tanks, planes, boots, etc etc that Americans transported to Mermansk. (Not that this was American benevelence; much better to fire up our factories and let the Russians do the dying. Remember, the Russians lost as many men taking Berlin as we did taking France. That's why the far right wingers who hollared that Yalta was a "giveaway" were bullshit artists. What American would have wanted to die to conquer Berlin, if some Russian was willing to do it for us?)
The tens of millions of Russian soldiers wouldn't have succeeded without the literal mountains of food, vehicles, tanks, planes, boots, etc etc that Americans transported to Mermansk.

I strongly doubt that. The US vehicles, tanks and munitions transported to Murmansk through the land-lease program accounted for about 4% of what was used up by the Soviet Union in the course of WW2 (that includes defeating the Japanese in China and Sakhalin in August-September of 1945). An important contribution, for sure, but by no means a decisive one.

Though timing counts - much of the American supplies were arriving at a time when the Soviets had lost much of their equipment (the scale of their losses was unbelievable, until the balance tipped, and the scale of the German losses started to reach the same scale), and before the Soviets could ramp up their own production - considering that they had lost much of their industrial base due to German advances by that time.

Timing is pretty important in warfare - just think if Hitler had actually kept to the schedules his various professionals wanted him to follow. One major reason for knocking off Czechoslovakia was to gain the various weapon factories there - German armament production was still too constricted.

Yep, France was conquered using a lot of Czech made panzers, not German ones. That whole Munich thing is a lot more complicated than most people think.

And this is obliquely one reason why the Bush League is so utterly incompetent (you want a Hitler comparison? - Hitler lots like a strategic genius compared to those running the Iraqi war). If America stays in Iraq, its military gets tied down and chewed up for little gain. If America leaves, the Iranians can finally take care of both their generation long  Iraqi problem and not worry about their own oil production peaking any time soon. Of course, handing a bunch of madcap mullahs a glorious opportunity to gain another what, 10%?, of the planet's oil is not exactly what most people who voted for Bush expected.

One of the most important things in war is realizing when it is to your disadvantage to engage in it. Blowing things up isn't war, it is destruction.

World's most idiotic superpower, that I won't argue at all. And as an aside - there seem to be some fascinating indications that the pre-invasion 'Iraqi opposition' was a tool being used by the Iranians - who do seem to be able to plan over the long term, and who will certainly rejoice whenever Saddam is executed - the butcher of Baghdad killed a lot more Iranians than anyone else.


'The Americans transferred to Mermansk'

You meant to write:

' the British and Canadians and Americans died transporting to Murmansk'.

It was perhaps the Royal Canadian Navy's finest hour.

Russian officers were VERY upset about the waste of life taking Berlin.  All that was needed would have been a short siege (with artillery fire) and taking deserters prisoner.

There was no military necessity to assault Berlin.  Just Stalin's ego.


Oilrig: Good thing that American military was around. If Adolf had won, his successors would be doing things like: getting rid of habeus corpus,preventing citizens from leaving the country,reserving the right to declare anyone an "enemy of the state" etc.etc.
BrianT (AKA enemy of the state),

Learn to spell habeas corpus, then you might convince someone you know something about it.  Also never in war has it been a right of POW's.    

Habeas Corpus used to be a right of US citizens.  Now though if the government doesn't like you, it can declare you a "terrorist" and haul you off.
Oilrig: Sorry about the spelling. I like your Orwellian reasoning that American citizens who hold any views that are not approved by TPTB are POWs.


Read the military commisions act 2006 and then come back to this conversation.  HC is provided for US citizens, only enemy combatants or unlawful alien combatants have the writ suspended.  Understand your argument instead of regurgitating rhetoric.


O yeah,  please report for re-education.

Better yet, see Jonathan Turley explain it:

The Day Habeas Corpus Died

"People have no idea how significant this is. Really a time of shame this is for the American system.--The strange thing is that we have become sort of constitutional couch potatoes.

The Congress just gave the President despotic powers and you could hear the yawn across the country as people turned to Dancing With the Stars. It's otherworldly..People clearly don't realize what a fundamental change it is about who we are as a country.

What happened today changed us. And I'm not too sure we're gonna change back anytime soon."

Yes, your article says the same thing I am saying thank you for backing me up.  HC is suspended on NON citizens.  I am OK with this.
Oilrig: Congrats. You started this thread by commenting that it was important that the American military defeated Hitler's Germany in WW2. Since your personal views are more in line with Adolf's, was it just a language thing?

Did you read the actual Act not the commentary on it?  This war is incredibly expensive and in a war you do not have time and $ to give every POW a trial.  Do the foreign nationals captured by terrorists get a military tribunal or do they get their heads cut off on video tape.  This law is not targetting migrant workers it is targetting terrorists.  Bush wants migrant workers here for the low wage jobs.  I don't think he is being hard enough on immigration.  

Compare and contrast my views with hitler please.

Also you said hitlers germany WW2 not me. We bailed out Europe twice.  

Habeas is not a human right it is a constitutional right passed down from English common law, and afforded to US citizens.  If we are in the business of ensuring human rights we would have to occupy much of the world.

When I am out of the US I know the rules....don't get caught I don't have the same rights as locals.  If foreigners come to the US illegally, they should expect the same.

Oilrig: The articles were stressing the risk to legal US residents, many of whom ( like your wonderful CA governor did) work and pay taxes for years before obtaining US citizenship. It is estimated that there are millions of legal US taxpayers who can now be picked up and put in a cage without any charges being laid and held indefinitely. I know you are in favor of this because it does not affect you personally. Re Hitler, he didn't transform the democratic country of Germany overnight. Along the way, he needed the support of many "good Germans" who felt that necessary restrictions on freedoms were useful and important as long as they personally suffered no immediate ill effects.    
My fiance is a Colombian, and I live in Brasil.  My future inlaws are only residents as is my bestbud. So this Act could involve my loved ones.

I am not concerned with their safety I am concerned with everyones.  To win this fight with terrorism we can't be bogged down legal loopholes.  Terrorist don't have rights under Geneva or the US constitution.  My opinion.
You are not going to change it.

The Act only involves illegals anyway see link above.

Actually terrorists do have rights under the Geneva Conventions. Until the status of any prisoner is determined they are, at minimum, to be treated as POWs. Since W never bothers to determine anyone's status by any means that anyone could consider but wishful thinking, we should be treating all our 'detainees' - read prisoners - as POWs.
"Illegal enemy combatants" is Rovian neologism. There is no such thing outside the mind of KoolAid drinkers.
Under the Act the President,The Secretary of Defense, or their designee can declare anyone, anyone at all, an illegal enemy combatant. A terrorist. This has already been done to Jose Padilla. Padilla was a citizen.
W will continue to do what W has already done.
No one should feel safe. Most who suffer will suffer due to errors. Anyone can discover they are a mistake.
I agree with you but fear that you are wasting your time trying to convince this flagwaver who has already said he cares not whether the means justify the ends and bush's labels are good enough for him.
Yep, that's his opinion and he is NOT going to change it no matter what argument is marshalled, no matter what the evidence--his opinion will never be changed. Very reasonable position.  Nothing like rank prejudice in a philosophical/political dispute.

Read Article I section 9 US Constitution:

"The privelege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of REBELLION or INVASION the public safety may require it.

Padilla definately commited treason and therefore qualifies as a rebel, foriegn nationals bent on harming americans on american soil ar invaders.

Also see Article III section 3 read the whole thing.

Also see Geneva Conventions III

4.1.2 Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, provided that they fulfill all of the following conditions:
that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance (there are limited exceptions to this among countries who observe the 1977 Protocol I);
that of carrying arms openly;
that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

Terrorist operate in cells and are often not responsible and act completly independent of commanders.
They do not wear uniforms.
They do not carry arms openly and intermingle with civilians to avoid detection.
They intentionally harm civilians and rescue personnel and violate numerous other laws and customs of war.

They break all the rules and are not entitled to protection of Geneva or the US Constitution.  I swore to uphold the first and protect the second.  I deserved fair treatment under Geneva if I were ever captured but every US Soldier knows they probably won't get it....in any war.

Call me a flagwaver or prejudiced if you want. But I stick to my opinion which I believe is well supported.



To enjoy Geneva status a combatant has to meet criteria.

Read the convention.

The Terrorist are not following any rules.  

However, the US Army tortured to death (9 broken ribs in autopsy) an Iraqi major general.  Earlier he had been held in a "stress position" (Sen. McCain knows about thatwhen he was a POW !) in front of other prisoners to intimidate him.

However, only low ranks are being court martailed.  They were supposed to break him, not kill him. The prison commander and those above him should have been court martialed for violating Geneva Conventions.

A captured general is a POW by ANY standard !  He has only to give name, rank and serial # and is not to be abused or degraded.

Ashamed to be an American,


Alan, I am not aware of the case but I agree when detaining a foreign SOLDIER he/she deserves geneva rights.  

Remember John bin walker?  He was fighting with the taliban against the Northern Alliance.  I think he deserves geneva.  He was fighting others with guns as a SOLDIER.

When war crimes are committed investigations and prosecutions need to be transparent for the world community.

I am also upset by things like Haditha, and disheartened at what minorities in our military do.

The discussion here though is the actions and policies from the top.  

I'll be in NO on tuesday before I fly out to Brasil, do you know of any good art stores where I can get my girl some oil paints and brushes?


the autopsy report, which lists seven broken ribs and at least forty-seven purple contusions on Mowhoush's head, torso, arms, and legs, some of them thirteen inches long


Read it and weep for what we have become.

I first read of it from a long report from the Washington Post.

I will find out a paint supply store for you.  We NEED the sales tax $$ and economic activity.


Funnily, many serious publications and commentators have claimed the Act would take away Habeas Corpus even from American citizens. Reading the text of the act, I find it explicitly limits its scope to "alien unlawful combatants", "alien" meaning "not being a US citizen".


Do the commentators mean that no one will ever find out if the accused ("disappeared") person is subject to the military courts if they can't challenge their imprisonment?

Oilrig Medic, assume for a moment that you are such a person, being picked up on false claims or because someone made a mistake with names or whatever. How would you make sure you can point out the mistake? Even if the capturers found out that you are innocent, would they maybe keep you stowed away, as the embarressment of releasing you would be too big?
See, they have not released dozens if not hundreds of people from Guantanamo even though they know these just had a serious case of bad luck.

Now to your point that terrorists don't follow rules: Did it occur to you that exactly because of this, the risk of mistakes and errors, of false accusations, manufactured evidence etc. gets amplified by orders of magnitude?

Because terrorists don't follow rules, we (as the western world, I am from Germany) must follow the rules even more so to
a) avoid mistakes,
b) don't become like them,
c) don't encourage their fellow countrymen or believers to become terrorists, too.

What do you think?



Good points and arguments.

My feelings are mistakes are inevitable, we should learn from them.  The goal should be keeping americans safe not imprisoning innocents. If someone is not a threat let them go.  
The Idea of becoming like them is a easy statement, but in abu grahb we put naked guys on a leash and forced them to watch two americans have sex? Married businessmen in the US pay extra for this treatment.  They capture aid workers who are helping their people and cut their heads off.
Action or innaction will encourage more terrorism.  Time will tell and hindsight is twenty-twenty.  We need to protect america.

"My feelings are mistakes are inevitable, we should learn from them."

Sigh This assumes a basic decency and a willingness to learn on the part of your administration (seen any signs of this, lately?).

It assumes the potential for abuse of the Military Commissions Act is not by design, but by accident.

Another point: Any loophole that can theoretically be used to gain power and/or money will be used sooner or later. With this reckless US government and an athmosphere of "anything goes as long as we claim it's part of the war on terror", I expect it to happen rather sooner than later, but this might be personal bias.

Some respectful questions, Oilrig Medic:

  • How far would you go with dismantling constitutional and basic human rights to "protect America"? What would be the point at which you would stand up against tyranny? Where is your "red line"? (For example, what evidence would you consider sufficient to prove that an election was rigged, taking away even your right to vote?)

  • Do you really think that warrantless wiretapping, effective termination of Habeas Corpus etc. really saves American lives above those that can be saved just using previous laws to its full extent? (And I say "previous laws" because I don't think you will get them back anytime soon...)

  • How many innocent "alien" or maybe even not-so-alien lives would you be willing to ruin to catch potential or real terrorists? (How do you even know someone's a terrorist if you don't give them a fair trial by an independent court?)




We are in a fight for the survival of our way of life.  I am not talking about car culture, or coca cola, I am talking about everything from athens to now.  It is extremely difficult to play a game with clear rules for one side and no rules for another.  Any law can be abused.  Gun violence could be curtailed in the US if existing laws were enforced correctly, but they are not.

I think Churchill said be careful in destroyin monsters lest you become one. I get the qoute and I see your point.  My feeling is a shift in policy now and controlled changes are much better than a series of dirty bombs going off in several US cities.  After that the public will would suppport a second holocaust and our world woud change more so than 9/11.  

The wiretapping is for calls to or from foreigners.  If you are not doing anything wrong what does it matter if your call is tapped. Untapped electronic communication is not a Constitutional right, the founding fathers probably never considered the concept.

My feeling is that we are going to become monsters of a sort.  I believe many of the young men and women fighting this war are destroyed by it and the children growing up in this umbra of fear are very different than the way we grew up.

The question of how far would I go?  Thats a baited question but I'll bite.  I think if I believed someone had info I could get and save American lives I would torture them.  I am a utilitarian.

Well, I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

The fact that "any law can be abused" is the sort of  dismissal of discussing limits and border cases by generalizing that just kills any discussion. Yes, all laws can be abused, but in most cases, someone just gets richer. In case of an abuse of the MCA, democracy in the US can effectively be suspended, possibly "forever" (like "forever" in the Third Reich).

It's like saying "it's not worth prosecuting murder because all people have to die some day anyway".

If you are not doing anything wrong what does it matter?"

Well as soon as wrongdoing includes formerly protected free speech or other basic rights no matter if constitutional or just federal law, or if wrongdoing is even potentially secretly defined by a dictatorial regime, that then secretly prosecutes people for this wrongdoing, it starts to matter very much, I would assume.

The question of how far would I go?  Thats a baited question but I'll bite.  I think if I believed someone had info I could get and save American lives I would torture them.  I am a utilitarian.

Well, it seems to have been proven that torture does not give you reliable information. So the "utility" of torturing someone would appear to be very low, particularly if compared to the massive human suffering it causes to both the individuals involved and the society that accepts or even promotes torture as a legitimate tool.

And again, even if you would allow torture, you would have to define how many people you would torture (or, as in Iraq, kill) to save a single American life. One? A dozen? A hundred? A whole country full of people? Enough to fill Lake Potomac with steaming blood?
You can dismiss this as another "baited question", but as long as you can't answer this type of question with clear conscience, I believe you did not think far enough.

In any case, look up the history of the rise of German faciscm in the 1930s and the parallels to current US developments. It tells you where such things end.

Well, they didn't have all the technology then that we have today, so they "only" managed to get about 50 million people killed before the allies managed to stop them. Almost 6 million people were killed in an industrial fashion because of their "race" and religion or because they opposed the nazi regime or for whatever other sick reason.

My father personally saw a concentration camp near his home town being "evacuated" of half- and three-quarters-dead human beings in 1945 when he was 12 years old. My grandfather, together with the rest of the local population, was subsequently forced by the allied troops who liberated the camp to go there and look at what they had allowed to happen: mountains of rotting dead people who had done nothing wrong except being defined as "the enemy" by the dictatorial state because it served ideology, power and monetary interests.

I really do not want this or a technology-amplified version of this to happen again and I see enough signs that the US is getting on that type of path to be extremely worried.


One addendum.

11 million people, not six, were killed in the German concentration camps plus millions more POWs.  6 million Jews and millions more Gypsies, Jehovah Witnesses, political prisoners, homosexuals and more.

"The Idea of becoming like them is a easy statement, but in abu grahb we put naked guys on a leash and forced them to watch two americans have sex? Married businessmen in the US pay extra for this treatment."

Wow. Now this is not funny but pretty revolting, really. Have you no sense of decency, Sir? Not only for Muslim people, but for those particularly, this sort of treatment amounts to a very serious violation of their personal dignity.

The German "Grundgesetz" (constitution) categorically states in its first paragraph "Human dignity must not be violated. To respect and protect it is the duty of all state institutions".

After Nazi fascism (which, by the way, started very much like the US is starting now), the mothers and fathers of the German Grundgesetz saw this first provision as the indispensible foundation for all the other provisions.

Actually, the highest German constitutional court recently ruled that shooting down a highjacked airliner to prevent it to be potentially crashed into a building is against the law as it reduces the human dignity of the passengers to "potential threatening objects", if I recall correctly. Sometimes even death is more acceptable than humiliation of your personal dignity.

(This doesn't change the tiniest scrap about the terrorist's acts being utterly inacceptable in whatever dimension you look at them, but rather supports this notion!)


Jeez. Your right!
No HC, no trials, unsubstantiated evidence, torture.

Thank God America still holds to the values of the great generation.

Actually, my heart bleeds for you guys. Of all the countries in all of history (in all the bars in all the world...)America had the best possible chance of makin' it.

It is not (yet) too late to change it back.

But with each day, it becomes more difficult.

You need less 'corporate managers'and professional politicos.

Churchill: Drank a lot, slept a lot.
WOMAN: '' Winston - you are DRUNK''
WC: '' Yes madam. And you are UGLY , but in the morning I will be sober''.
Representative of the Teetotal Society: ''Winston do you know that in your lifetime, you have consumed half the volume of this room in spirits?''
WC: '' I know, and I regret I have so little time left to consume the other half.''
Lloyd George: Slept (around) a lot, took bribes
Gladstone: Took a serious interest in the plight and welfare of fallen women. Slept through most parliamentary sessions. (Mostly because of his charitable and nocturnal interests).
In all of the above cases, the working day did not normally commence before 10 am.

Gifted amateurs always trump professionals...

Anyway. Good Luck with your professionals.

I like this. I saw this yesterday. I chuckled. Good stuff. I just don't agree with you. But we knew that. Maybe we can come together somewhere in the middle. There has to be a cease-fire. There has to be a middle-ground.
Actually Europe has a lot of heavy industry.  Particularly Switzerland, Germany and France.

Germany is the one country in the world that has increased its share of manufactured exports over the last 5 years (other than China).

2 quibbles Cherenkov:
"the rubes... they will riot" No they won't. Rioting is a form of collective action. This is the land of rugged individuals. Maybe they'll kill themselves, their families, the neighbors, maybe, but they don't know how to riot.
"Humans are vermin." Be more clever than that if you want to be read
This is the land of rugged individuals.

Hey...don't tell that to the latino Walmart employees down in Florida that walked out one morning to protest in the parking lot.

You said Latinos?
Fine, they didn't learn collective action here.
There's a reason SEIU is busy recruiting immigrants. And why the last strike of any significance was the UPS strike. When was that? Some time in the Clinton years.
I thought the vermin thing was pretty well-supported, actually.
At my office, they've hired a consultant to arrange carpools for employees.  They'll be here tomorrow.

I suspect there won't be much interest.  They probably planned this when gas prices were high.  But now prices are dropping, so people are going back to their gas-guzzling ways.

Don't phase it in until Jan 1 07.  By then the interest will be there.

Its the work of a lunch time.
I despair.

Tainterian complexity rears its ugly head.  ;-)

I guess they're supposed to know what works and what doesn't.  Also, we're a pretty big organization (hundreds of employees at this job site, and a lot more at others).  We don't know each other, let alone where each other lives.

They've already laid out some ground rules: you have to live at least ten miles away (so I'm out).

Whatever the CON(sultants) are charging you, I will do it for half.

Send me the company personnel address list. You will have the master plan by monday :-) ... My Wife n kids are away this weekend.The alternatives are fine whisky, foul curries, cigars and 1970's prog rock.

Clue: Its all about mapping Hexagons and personnel 'cells'.

But dont mention the word 'cells' in the same email as personnel address lists, or master plans... Otherwise your Heimat Sicherheit Dienst will get all sweaty...


Consultants  Sorry, can't resist that one.
Higher income as well.  Higher incomes mean we buy more of most things.

Since transport (going places, doing things, living in a bigger house further out) is a 'superior good' in the economic jargon (as incomes increase, our consumption of transportation rises disproportionately), you can see where the problem lies.

The income effect of gasoline is positive, the reverse of the price-substitution effect of higher prices.

Yes, and the authors point out that the income elasticity of demand for gasoline hasn't really changed since the 70s.  However, median family incomes haven't changed much since then, have they?    
No, and a quick google search will confirm this.
I was just looking for how to react on this article, you did it really good.

I just heard news on a french radio that a local funeral home has been plundered yesterdy for all the metal objects it contained. This is how people react to limited supply of things !

It all boils down to this question, doesn't it? People that are optimists about human nature are optimists about how we will handle this and vice versa.

But I suggest you are not that categorical yourself. If somebody asked me about it, my frank answer would be "I don't know". In addition I think it depends on the different types of societies - affluent and self-content Western nation are more likely to go down the "easy way" (war). Poorer nations are forced to be pragmatic by nature - and it is enough to take a look at the investment plans of China and the likes in nuclear and renewable energies to understand that. Clearly IMO some will make it, others will not - it all depends on the choices we make today. What was this called, evolution? :)

Well, you have that guy and then you have the one on the previous link (the one above the "fold") who believes that total collapse is imminent.  But even that article, although I don't necessarily agree with its predictions, points out the lie of being a survivalist.  Frankly I think the guy is still being too optimistic and he tip toes around admitting the reality: if a total societal collapse took place and we reverted back to a pre-industrial living standard 99% of us would die.  

It wouldn't even matter that much whether you prepared, yes you'd have a better chance, but the odds would still be that you wouldn't make it.  You can try "learning" survival skills all you want.  The reality is primitive peoples train in hunting and other skills for their entire lives.  They're learning nearly from birth.  There's no way any of us can replicate their proficiency, no matter how hard we try.  Living off the land is pretty much an optimistic fantasy.  

Owning land in the countryside is not going to save you.  You're just going to be overrun by rampaging hordes of hungry people.  If the system really totally collapses and we have so many millions going hungry, there's no hope of being able to stand against all of them, no matter how hard you try.  If you end up getting by it will just be by luck of the draw (you happened to be in a remote area where no one, or very few ended up coming).  

In any case, neither survivalist option seems very viable to me.  Both seem more or less futile.  The odds of survival in that scenario are so bad, that no matter how unlikely you think finding a technological solution is, it's still better than that.  That's not even going into whether it would even be worth living in that sort of world/lifestyle, and honestly I am not sure it would be.  Remember what we're talking about is a scenario much worse than if we were just transported back in time to a tribal village, we're talking about losing access to all modern technology and being left with both too many people to support on what is available, and left with people who no longer have any functional skills whatsoever.  

If it comes down to that, forget all the crap about survival skills and "bug out bags".  The best backup plan would be to just find the nearest tall building and put the theory of gravity to the test.  At least it would be relatively quick and painless.  

I agree - you can't prepare for societal collapse.

The few that did try to prepare would easily be over-run by the the unprepared, desparate, starving majority.

But collapse won't happen overnight - the squeeze from depleting oil, natural gas, uranium and coal will be slow but sure - 20 maybe 30 years - make your own guess.

You can at least try and prepare for the period of severe economic and social stress after the peak.

Improve your odds of surviving the squeeze for as long as possible and hope for a miracle.

All of the collapse scenarios seems to hinge on the remarkable theory that people will not adapt to, or cope for increased energy prices and instead will continue to use more just to defy the world. Need I remind you all that oil use declined even 7 years AFTER the Iranian revolution? And besides, 70% of every barrel of oil goes to just transportation fuels. Switching the entire transportation sector to run on electric rail or HEV's of some kind will dramatically reduce our consumption of oil. A much more massive scale up of wind, solar, geothermal, tidal and even nuclear will be possible with the 'excess' of oil based stored energy that we could find ourselves with. We DO have the technology to adapt to peak oil and still continue on! There was a post recently that showed that we could have built 76,000 wind turbines in the great plains with the money we spent in Iraq, and these wind turbines would have produced ammonia when there was excess power, letting us keep on fertalizing our fields and feed the nation. The Tesla team is going to deliver a 4 door sedan next year that will cost under $40,000, and can go as far as normal sedans do on one charging cycle. We already proved that the electric grid can handle the switch of all 210 million vehicles on the road right now. We just lack the pollitical will to do so at present :/ PS: I seriously think some of you guys get a hard on dreaming of fantastic collapses of modern society. Sick...
Repost: without the wall of text!  Didnt realize i was on HTML format :P

All of the collapse scenarios seems to hinge on the remarkable theory that people will not adapt to, or cope for increased energy prices and instead will continue to use more just to defy the world. Need I remind you all that oil use declined even 7 years AFTER the Iranian revolution? And besides, 70% of every barrel of oil goes to just transportation fuels.

Switching the entire transportation sector to run on electric rail or HEV's of some kind will dramatically reduce our consumption of oil. A much more massive scale up of wind, solar, geothermal, tidal and even nuclear will be possible with the 'excess' of oil based stored energy that we could find ourselves with.

We DO have the technology to adapt to peak oil and still continue on! There was a post recently that showed that we could have built 76,000 wind turbines in the great plains with the money we spent in Iraq, and these wind turbines would have produced ammonia when there was excess power, letting us keep on fertalizing our fields and feed the nation. The Tesla team is going to deliver a 4 door sedan next year that will cost under $40,000, and can go as far as normal sedans do on one charging cycle. We already proved that the electric grid can handle the switch of all 210 million vehicles on the road right now.

We just lack the pollitical will to do so at present :/

PS: I seriously think some of you guys get a hard on dreaming of fantastic collapses of modern society. Sick...

Where was it proven that the plug ins will work on the grid?  I'm curious b/c pluggin them in during non peak hours is viable, but then we're going to be constantly at/near peak in terms of energy demanded.  In addition the fuel for the energy would most likely originate from some FF, and NG will be running low in the next decade or so, or that may have been revised.

So we're looking at burning as much coal as possible to maintain these cars, which are still wasteful no matter how you cut it.  We need mass transportation to increase efficiency and reduce the waste.  How many cars do you think will lose their charge sitting in the traffic still congested with TOO MANY CARS?  I can see a guy go totally dead in the middle of the highway and cause even more problems.  The idea sounds like a drug addiction where you're replacing heroine for methadone.  Just curious, b/c I've started delving into this a little more.

Just a couple of comments - don't forget that if an EV or plug-in is not moving, it won't go dead because it is not using its power at that time - it isn't "idleing." Gauges will inform you of the charge the same way a gas guage does.
I share your concern about keeping the grid ramped up all the time - I'm not sure that is possible given coal, NG, hydro demands that might not be able to be met. I would be interested in seeing some analysis of how long the grid can perform at close to peak in terms of maintaining fuel supply, water behind the dams, etc. AFAIK, only nuclear operates best at maintaining a high power generation 24/7. Pump storage programs (at least in CA) were designed to make use of the fact that nuclear always runs and they wanted to be able to store some of the electricity to cover the peaks.
"How many cars do you think will lose their charge sitting in the traffic still congested with TOO MANY CARS?"

Unlike a petrol car, an electric doesn't idle...it should actually result in an energy savings over petrol cars.  Also between 0 and 35 miles per hour (i.e. rush hour crawl speed) is where an electric will be drastically more efficient over a petrol (check out this graph)

" I can see a guy go totally dead in the middle of the highway and cause even more problems."

There's a weird condition that occurs to cars now called "running out of gas."  Strangely enough, when it happens...the world doesn't end.

When someone forgets to plug it in last night, and they need to get to work, I suspect they will push it and try to get there.  I realize there are guages and the like, but our current expectations are high, and when you look at distances with EV it just seems laughable.  I know what it's like to run out of gas.  I managed to pull over though.  Fun high school story and ironic in the best way.
If an EV is dead, does it coast?
One supposes that an EV will in fact slow down rather than just stop, unlike an ICE vehicle. So, one will have lots of warning that one's EV is running out of juice. Your fears would perhaps be more appropriate if we were talking about changing from EV to ICE but we are talking about changing from ICE to EV.

In Britain, milk is delivered to the door by electric powered "milk floats" and has been for many years, of course they are slow and have limited range, but there have been working EVs in Britain delivering the nations daily milk for many years.

In fact, this service is dying out and has been for years, presumably due to cars,supermarkets and refrigerators.

ICE vehicles do not just stop when the gas runs out.  Like I said in my post above, in high school I ran out of gas on the highway and immediatly pulled on the shouler and managed to coast UP an off ramp.  This was with a 84 toyota tercel at that.
"electric doesn't idle"

Are you seriously trying to tell me that someone sitting for two hours in atlanta in august isn't going to be blasting the AC?  If they don't, they will be cooked by the time traffic moves.

Same scenario, except Buffalo in January.

Electric cars cannot replace IC cars in the US simply because of traffic and the absolute need for environmental controls (heat/AC).  Unless an EC can run heat and AC for 4 hours, plus go a 100+ miles on a single charge, it will not be possible to go to electric only vehicles.

Plug-in hybrids can (and will) replace IC only cars, but will not be sufficient to solve our problem.

Speaking as someone who does drive an electric car from time to time...heat/AC is brutal.  It will kill your range.  Heck, with an electric car, even having a passenger in the car makes a big difference.

Maybe there will be a technical solution of some sort.  If not, you will learn to leave the AC off if the alternative is calling a tow truck.

Look at all those people who drive golf carts.  They aren't even enclosed.

A very good point; one that I have not read on TOD.  But it certainly has occurred to me, being in Canada.  Starting an ICE car in Winnipeg in January was hard enough some mornings.  I'm sure a charged EV would "start" but unless the batteries used are not succeptible to cold, you'll have a hard time getting home, after burning the frost off the windshield (forget about warming the interior).
It has been mentioned before.  Electric cars are a better option in warmer climes.  
Depends upon the city.

pre-Katrina, there were a few GEMs running around my neighborhood.  Quite practical for 90% to 95% of my trips.  Heat & humidity acceptable when moving with air flow.


Of course, I live in a almost unique neighborhood; totally unlike typical American sprawl.  One that most would rather just kill off than learn from.

Best Hopes,

Alan Drake

The meter police actually use those here.  They leave the doors off on the good days.  Quiet too...sneak right up on you.  Plenty quick to keep up with city traffic.
"...and the absolute need for environmental controls"

The meaning of "absolute need" may have to change a little in the future...to not be so much of a "want."  I bet you can find cars in Atlanta that don't have AC and are not being piloted by corpses.  Now Beefalo in January without heat, there could be a problem there.  However, I'll bet you'll even find people there out on the street (not even protected by a car!) and still alive!

'All of the collapse scenarios seems to hinge on the remarkable theory that people will not adapt to, or cope for increased energy prices...'

No, there are collapse scenarios that hinge on war. For example, would the Chinese Communist party give up its power due to massive social/economic unrest (see a certain student protest, broadcast world wide live to get an answer) or would they try to ensure a flow of oil at all costs, even if it involved staring down another world power in a place like Iran? And that world power could be Russia, India, the U.S., or the EU - or any combination for or against the others, with the Russians, essentially having a border with Iran, being a given in such a situation. This is why the first Iraq war was such a geopolitical masterpiece at the end of the Cold War - the Russians actually allowed a massive military operation within striking distance of their borders.

There are a number of other scenarios - quite likely, both the Iranians and the U.S. having been working real hard on the details of what both sides seem to feel could become inevitable in another scenario, where one side tries to keep the oil flowing while the other tries to shut it down. Considering lessons from the 'tanker war' and America's current Iraqi experience, I think those trying to shut down  oil flows have the overwhelming advantage - welcome to the new version of our MAD world.

Quite honestly, it is possible to imagine a world with 50% less oil in about the time it takes the last still floating supertanker from the Persian Gulf to reach a port.

But in fairness, this not really directly a peak oil issue, it is merely one which has occupied a number of governments (and their seemingly ignorant taxpayers) for decades. It was about as likely to have happened in 1987 as it is to happen in 2007. Which means not very unlikely at all in terms of the resources devoted to preparing for it.

And you are not completely wrong about some doomers seeming to wish for collapse - what you may not know is how certain strains of the survivalist 'movement' are anything but extreme environmentalists, they are instead people who thought nuclear war (which I think we can agree would cause a social collapse or two) was inevitable, and they were taking matters into their own hands against the fate awaiting the ignorant and blind.

It's about speed of response.

With clear warning and political will, in 20 years, the US can do it.

Without that, it won't happen.

Where do you live? Fantasyland?
Care to explain why we cant convert our current oil based society into a renewable energy based society? :P
No, a realistic estimate.

I would say 12 to 15 years with a near crash program, but 20 years is within reason.

Day 1 of the 12 to 20 years will not happen as long as GW Bush is in office.

Best Hopes,

Alan Drake

Halving oil consumption in 20 years is minus 3.5% pa reduction in consumption.

Brutal, but not impossible.  Greyhound can be revived (quickest, cheapest quick win).  Amtrak can be improved.  Hybrid diesels can proliferate.  Air traffic could go back to its 1974 level.

No one will do it until the waves are sweeping over the White House lawn.  Actually the Congress will still be above the waterline at that point, so it won't happen then...

Ahh, capitol hill.  Note, though, that Congress's underground tunnels to their favorite K-street steakhouses will be flooded.
I've been in some of those tunnels, well one anyway back in the 90's when I visited as a eager to learn 12 yo.  I remember all of it and it was Dick Gephardt who took us into those tunnels.  Fascinating stuff.
Oh one point about oil consumption post 1979.

If you look at it, what happened was that oil consumption for non transport uses declined sharply: heating, electric power.  Oil for electricity generation was something like 10% of US consumption in the 1970s-- it's about 1-2% now.

Transport consumption flattened out for a while (more efficient cars and trucks) and then resumed climbing.

The result is that oil consumption now, where 2/3rds goes to transport, is likely to be much more price inelastic than it was then.

By allowing US passenger car fuel economy to stop rising, and indeed to fall, we have wasted precious time.

How much could you cut gasoline use just by putting four people in a commuting car? To say gasoline use is inelastic is economist masturbation, but that's most economics.
But most commutes are multi-point to multi-point.

I had a friend who was Christmas shopping in the Toronto exurbs.  He went to 4 stores, on 4 corners of a major intersection.

He had to drive between the stores, there really wasn't a way around that.  Total distance covered less than 2 miles: but when there aren't sidewalks, and you have 6 lane highways to cross...

that is the problem we are wrestling with.

Are you saying gas is elastic?  I'm curious where you derive your info.  Everything I've come across proved without a doubt that gas is HIGHLY inelastic.  Not completely inelastic, but the slope is STEEP.  Check out Leanans article on the drumbeat today, gas prices went down the last few months and now people are driving just like normal.
Americans could drive smaller cars and get good fuel savings. A big car is nice, but a Nissan Micra still delivers the absolute pay dirt, viz - getting you where you want to be.
Have you see those ads about "auto-claustrophobia"?  They show people being cruelly forced into (gasp!) small cars.  One woman is trying to push her large husband into a compact car while he fights and screams "NO!"  

It's an ad for some large car, but I can't remember which one.  

This one?

That's not a big car, its a hatchback.

There is an irony about this.

Some frightening fraction of Americans are 'seriously obese' in medical terminology.  Something like 10% (the UK is fast catching up, as is the world).  

Which means they don't fit in standard plane seats any more, and need bigger car seats.  You really don't want to have to sit next to them on public transport.

Don't forget the massive savings in oil that could occur if we embarked on a crash effort to restructure our cities. Pedestrianize everything possible. Provide bicyle lanes on all streets. Provide dedicated lanes so that citywide bicycle tranist is possible and safe.  Put in dedicated bus lanes. Dont try to fix congestion and traffic jams with more road building. Let the suffering be as great as possible from driving to encourage alternatives. Change zoning so that more necessities will be close to where people actually live. Build wider sidewalks and narrower streets. Instead of expanding into the suburbs, buy up open space and encourage greater density with defined city geographical parameters.

And, after the need to drive has been brought down to the absolute minimum through restructuring, necessary driving should be largely accomodated through the use of shared low speed electric vbehicles, whether they be scooters or autos. Provide that local delivery vehicles will be electric or, at worst, hybrid.

Ultimately, the goal should be the movement of people, when necessary, not the movement of energy consuming vehicles, especially large ones.

Ultimately, the goal should be the movement of people, when necessary, not the movement of energy consuming vehicles, especially large ones.


** Dont try to fix congestion and traffic jams with more road building ** .... hmmmm, on this black is the new white theme, here is a good way to have fun. Go find a brick wall, then bang your head against it until it really hurts, then stop doing it. You will feel really great when you stop.

The only transportation investment we need is in efficient mass transit and especially rail, along with infrastructure that makes walking and biking more convenient.

Bike parking ramps with secure parking, showers and a small repair shop and a lounge -- that sort of thing.  Focus urban development around transit corridors with plenty of neighborhood shops for people to walk to instead of drive.

We've overinvested in cars and roads for too long.

This will happen only in your dreams!
For once I agree with you.

We have the technology to cope with (but not enjoy) post-Peak Oil.  We lack the foresight or will do use what we know today.

The Swiss in 1998 ($12 oil) voted to spend 31 billion Swiss francs from 2000-2020 to improve their rail system and (among other goals) shift almost all freight from heavy trucks to (hydro) electric rail.  Adjust for currency & population and it would be like the US voting $1 trillion before there was a "clear & present danger".

The Swiss may have started too late, and doing too little, BUT it is easier to ramp up to 100% from 50% than it is start from -1% (current US policy).

Let us suppose that the US gets 1/4 as serious as the Swiss in 2008 about dealing with post-Peak Oil.  IMHO, too little, too late, but even that minimal effort at that late date may be enough to preserve our society if not our economy.

Best Hopes,

Alan Drake  

A "collapse" may be non-homogenous in time and place and population decline rates may vary accordingly.
More like the Fall of Rome.

Each year, things get a little tighter.  The barbarians sack a little closer in-- uncle Lepidus was killed at his country villa a couple of years back.  There is another change of government, and a new emperor, just like there was last year.

It gets a little harder to get that Syrian honey, Egyptian wheat, Chinese silk, Tunisian wine.  The pirates are more active.  The bridges aren't fixed.

There are periodic currency devaluations and runs on silver.

One day you wake up, and the barbarians are sacking Rome.

Slowly but surely society crumbles.  If you look back over 20 or 30 years you can see it, but at the time, you just get on with your daily life.

I try and point this out to those who I talk to about the GREAT AMERICA superpower.  I've always felt inside me that it's not going to last indefinatly.  I felt that way when I was in middle school learning about tall this.  In High school I ran across the Romans and BOOM, it all made sense.  Now I point out the Roman collapse over several years, not all at once and how it deteriorated from the inside.  

My fellow Missourian put it best, paraphrasing, - History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

or the fall of multiple Romes - either together or sequentially.

You are certainly welcome to believe what you wish but you, clearly, have no understanding of survival, either practically or psychologically.  I believe what you would find if you talked to those of us who are taking action is that:  First, we recognize that "buying time" is important.  In other words, I have no delusions that I can continue my current lifestyle in perpetuity.  However, I want to survive until things shake out whether it's one year or 20.  People make horrendously bad decisions when under stress.

Second, we have the psychological advantage of having gone through the various stages of grief.  Although I cannot know how things will play out, I can say I at least have a plan to survive that was not made when all hell broke loose.

Continuing this line of thought, in real survival situations the people who survive are the ones who have a will to live.  I'd suggest watching the movie The Bear to see this in action.

Third, you'd be surprised at how much people like me do know and practice in real life.  In other words, we have skill sets revolving around survival that are part of our daily lives.  Heck, I actually just got through making a batch of acorn meal...but seriously, the skills we have advance the odds of coming out OK in the end.

Lastly, "the hords" have been discussed to death and I don't want to revisit this topic.  

Here's an Army thought jogger:

S - size-up your situation (surroundings, physical condition, equipment)
U - use all your senses (haste makes waste)
R - remember where you are
V - vanquish fear and panic
I - improvise
V - value living
A - act like the natives
L - live by your wits, but for now, learn basic skills

While this is directed toward field survival, it is equally applicatble to survivaing societal devolution or collapse.

Todd; a Realist

Well, maybe I have no concept of survival, or maybe I just look at the whole picture.  After all that survivalist effort, you're going to end up eating acorn meal and living a very tough life.  The local native americans in Southern California lived off of acorns, and the environment was livable, but so difficult that they did not develop a very advanced cultural, unlike those in other more bountiful regions.  If we're talking about living off the land it's a pretty tough and bleak existence.  And it probably would be a short one too, without modern medicine to treat injuries or disease.  

We're talking about survival, but not much else.  Maybe that's good enough for you, but I am not sure I am happy with it.  Knowing we're each going to die someday anyway, I question whether it's worth toiling away for decades in destitute conditions if it comes to that.  

Also, I still am not sure anything you said really contradicts what I said, which was essentially that the vast majority of people would die.  Maybe 99% is too high, but it would be in that ball park.  And even if you prepared you'd have a better chance, but all things considered not the greatest one.  I guess if the end of civilization comes, I'll probably try to soldier on (though I probably won't succeed), but I will be pissed off about it.  

No the backup plan is to join the local paramilitary force: National Guard, state troopers, whatever.

Power will concentrate in the state capitols in a distress situation, and the Governor's main source of power is paramilitary.  Think the Reconstruction period-- the last time when civil chaos was widespread in the USA.

That's how North Korea avoided collapse.   During the famine, they fed the military first.
Zimbabwe is the same.
Yes, when the Texas State Capital had one governor on the ground floor and another on the upper floors.



Sounds like Louisiana during Katrina!

Some of the Southern states during the Civil Rights period seemed to be going that way, with the Governors point blank defying the Supreme Court.

I think the US Federal Government could/would shrink drastically, and the States take over the functions, each in their own peculiar way.

One thing that struck me touring New England was how individualistic, and ornery, each of these States is.  Maine is not New Hampshire, and neither is Massachussets.

As to human nature, there is some of both in each of us, the social cooperator and the individual competitor. Which version of human nature will win probably comes down to the rate of overall energy loss, and other regional factors. We've all used countless electrons, and others have cut down countless trees for paper, arguing over which will predominate.

As to technology saving us, part of the problem for me is that technology could save us. Technology could fix both the oil and climate change problems. It would take a tremendous amount of energy to do that, but we do know of a way to get that energy, we generally know how to harness that energy, but we haven't worked out enough details to actually do it. I'm talking about fusion, of course, both magnetic containment fusion and various forms of table-top fusion. It wouldn't surprise me in the least to find that 50 years from now we have palladium or sonoluminescent-based fusion working on a large scale or that some materials breakthrough allows the magnetic containment needed for a tokamak to work.

It also wouldn't surprise me in the least to find that 50 years from now we're fighting the third world oil war with a world population of 4 billion. It seems there is a wide range of possibilities. I can't get a fix on which is likely to happen. It makes sense to me to prepare for a wide range of outcomes at this point in history, and spend the most effort on the ones involving the most risk or reward. The only thing that seems definite is that oil will continue to generally be more expensive than in the past, and that change in itself will cause some economic and social mayhem.

My crystal ball says, "Cannot predict now."

Technology can save us without even going so far as needing nuclear fusion.  We can get by on current technologies if we roll them out.  On a large enough scale a combination of nuclear (fission), wind, solar, hydro and geothermal can support a modern society.  It may not be exactly the same society we have now, but it would still be modern.  

The thing that does worry me is it does seem like we did get something of a free ride from petroleum.  If modern society were to collapse, I wonder if we could ever come back from it?  What I mean is it's a lot easier to burn coal and even oil than it is to build solar panels (wind turbines might be a little easier, but still tough).  One is just straight combustion, while the other requires a complex trade network to get the necessary components and manufacture them.  You can't just farm and then head out and mine all the materials you need nearby and put them together in a workshop.  

So, if we somehow flub the transition, I'm afraid it won't be just a few decades before we make a comeback.  It would be more like a few centuries at least, if we ever managed.  

The reality is we'll build lots of coal fired power (electricity or home heating or coal-to-oil).  And global warming will get us.

The EROEI crowd will argue that once the oil is gone, the economy has to shrink due to the laws of thermodynamics.

I've never seen a good economic analysis of that argument.

I'm with you that there is a huge amount we can do with :

  • first and foremost conservation.  Cars can do over 40mpg, houses can be insulated so they need little or no heat

  • wind - here and now

  • solar water heating - here and now

  • solar PV - we are getting closer and closer to economic PV power

  • hydro - at least in Canada there is still room for more capacity

and of course nuclear fission although I don't think it can be as big as some seem to advocate.
The size of the global economy is directly proportional to the net amount of energy input, which is the production minus that wasted in the economy due to inefficient processes. If you get to the point where you have to burn a barrel of oil to produce 2 barrels of non-conventional oil, your net (into the economy) from that endeavor is only one barrel.

If the input goes down, and you haven't made up the shortfall with efficiency gains, the economy shrinks. Can we do it? I hope so. But unless the growth paradigm is changed, the long term problem remains.

Economic analysis? Economics has no laws--only ideas that classical economists floated as such because they felt left out when scientists came up with theirs.

As a econ student, I clearly recognize the short coming of it.  It's not a science.  Like it was said, there are no laws.  Just to talk about econ you have to develop static state models that aren't reality.  Reality is a dynamic system that econ does not address.
As to human nature, there is some of both in each of us, the social cooperator and the individual competitor. Which version of human nature will win probably comes down to the rate of overall energy loss, and other regional factors.

There's no either/or here. The social cooperator will form ties to enough people to facilitate the individual competitor. On your own, your chances of competing are non-existent, as the competitor knows well.

That's how you get gangs, roving bands, and who knows even a handful of 'peaceful' communities capable of defending themselves against those roving bands. But those communities will have to be armed to the teeth.

The human brain is not made to forge meaningful relationships with more than 100-150 people, won't be able to even remember their names. In times of strife, that leads to all groups splitting up and potentially turning against each other. Above a certain number, the lack of 'meaningful' leads to a lack of trust. And that leads to battle.

For 99 percent of our evolutionary past, we were hunter-gatherers. Evolution has molded us, well most of us anyway, to cooperate with our own tribal members and for our tribe to compete for territory and resources with other tirbes. (Except in times of plenty, then our ancestors would usually leave other tribes completely alone.)

Two Great books on the subject: Constant Battles and The Parable of the Tribes

Ron Patterson

* own tribal members and for our tribe to compete for territory and resources with other tirbes * probably true, but also probably a simplification ... we each have a hierachy of tribal loyalities, from the local through the national to the racial .. all confused by our ideological loyalities.

When I was a teenager, the football team I hate the most ended up representing the nation in the final of an international club competition - I was surprised to find that I supported them for that one occasion - there was no doubt where my heart lay on that night, and no doubt about a very different loyality in all other football contexts. I won't tell you who they were because I don't want to remind anybody that they won it, but I will happily reveal that it was an English team winning the European Cup.

Our tribal loyalities might just help us out, rather than hinder us in the event of genuine resource shortages.

My dad always told me that.  He said that once my team was out of it, I should transfer my loyalties to another team in the same division or league.  

I can't do it, though.  The rivalry is too intense.  If, say, the Cowboys are out of the playoff chase, the last thing I want to see is the Redskins winning the Super Bowl.  I just hate them too much.  :)  

If, say, the Cowboys are out of the playoff chase, the last thing I want to see is the Redskins winning the Super Bowl.  I just hate them too much.  :)  

You just won me over.

Hi Leanan,
Yes, doubtless, however if there existed in American football something equivalent to The European Cup, which to my knowledge there does not, you may find yourself in a position where a much detested local team represents your nation. You may (or not) surprise yourself at how your loyalties change (or don't). It happened to me (the point I was making), and took me completely by surprise.

I hate them, I loathe them, I detest them and the stinking ground they walk upon. Their mothers are cheap pox ridden whores who do it for bus fares and their fathers are pimps who beat women. They are cowards and lickspittles and twobit running dogs. Their stadium is a public toilet and they stink. However, when they represented my England in the final, my heart told me to hold my nose for a higher loyalty (much to my surprise).

Maybe there won't be enough 'energy'
to justify fighting resource wars ..

Triff ..

I think that's an eight-ball, which would be useless for predictions; perhaps a Ouija board would help?
No, no.  The Magic Eightball knows all.

Except when it doesn't...

My question, "Is Peak Oil now?"

8ball's answer, "Signs Point to Yes."

...honest...that's what it said.
That's it.  We're doomed after all.  I've been afraid to ask mine recently.
I got, "Yes, definitely."  
Same question?

For entertainment purposes only, and all that.  :)

The author is not completely off base, and at the same neither are you.

Human nature has almost nothing to do with it, because we have examples of both scenarios in our history.  There have been times where by civilization developed and adapted to a new technology to continue their existance.  And there are examples of civilizations that folded and essentially cannabalized themselves back to a primitive or even non-existant state.

At this juncture in time, neither one of you can say which will happen definitively.  And to be honest, both you and the author need to be more open to the possibilities that the other presents.

The author does characterize many of the doomers on this forum correctly.  Several on these forums have openly stated they are preparing places to retreat to, hold up in and wait for the worse to pass over(essentially saying collectively as a species we just need to wait around and let lots of us die).  Their time and effort and energy are being spent in preparation to hunker down, and not to solve the problem for everyone.  That is certainly their right, and their perogitive, but just as it is their right it is the right of the other side to keep looking for these technological miracles.

Which brings up another point, people on these forums keep saying "technological miracle" when trying to deride the more optimistic posters.  What people don't realize(or in my opinion refuse to accept) is that those "miracles" are occuring, and that the bigger hold up is not the technology, but rather the social will to implement it.  That will, will not occur until the current energy paradigm puts enough stress on people that a demand for something else becomes profitable.  That demand will happen... it has already begun happening in small ways (more people bought more fuel efficient cars due to the last few years of gas prices, and in Toronto I recently read about a program to promote more localized energy production via solar and wind and the financial incentives to do so).

The bigger question in terms of adapting to a post peak world is less about technology in my opinion and more about making sure the social will is there to adapt.  And generally speaking, when given the choices of cannabalizing themselves, or embracing a new way that shows viability and promise, humans have had a pretty decent record of embracing new ways.

I want to call people's attention to the ArchDruid's report that I have been perusing this morning. He is doing a nine part take on the long term effects of the coming energy descent, and I think his take is extremely reasonable.

a sample:

The collision between declining fossil fuel production and increasing demand, in fact, is far more likely to cause drastic swings in the price of energy than the sort of sustained rise imagined by some peak oil theorists. As energy prices rise, speculators dive into the market, driving up prices further than actual shortfalls in production capacity would justify. Many energy consumers respond by cutting back on their energy use by means of lifestyle changes and conservation technologies, while others are simply priced out of the market. The result is that demand drops, stockpiles rise, and prices start to slide. The speculators dive out of the market, driving down prices further than actual declines in demand would justify, and the cycle begins again. The resulting whipsaw movements in the price of energy can cause plenty of economic damage all by themselves, but there again it's possible to respond to volatility constructively - for example, by stockpiling fuel when it's cheap and drawing down those stockpiles when prices spike.

By looking at the crisis spreading over a century or so, one gets a better idea of the magnitude, as well as the whipsaw manner in which these changes will probably ensue.

Regardless, I get leery when people say "never" or "certainly" about these matters.

How things shake out depends largely on how we respond, as a society. (and things ain't looking so hot in that respect...)

The idiot author of "Has "Peak Oil" Peaked Too Soon?" isn't even a geologist. I googled him to see what his credntials are. It appears Mr. Mac Johnson
is "a writer and medical researcher in Cambridge."

The sad part is, most people who read that crap and were receptive to his propaganda didn't bother to check his credentials.

They were blinded by the Cambridge part and stopped there.
Bumper sticker I'd like to put on my car:

"DON'T VOTE - It just encourages them"

but I'd have to drive an armored Humvee...

My suggestion to US voters is to go vote for an anti-war candidate.
And who is that guy?
That would be nice.  They could follow ending this war with withdrawing troops from around the globe.  The world's only super power is barely the only one still.  Between China and Russia I think that part of the globe can take care of problems.  We can't keep pretending to be a baby sitter to the world when they don't want us.  It's pretty simple.

Yeah I know this is pie in the sky, but it would be nice.  We could spend the billions on transitioning.  

I don't think of US force projection as a charitable act, like baby sitting.  It is to impose their will on other nations.  Nevertheless, the ability of the US to impose their will is unravelling, and other regional powers are emerging (China, Russia, Iran).  North Korea's actions are clearly intended to expose the limits of US power and (to mix our metaphors) call out that the babysitter has no clothes.

If the US acted in the world's common interest, then maybe we should mourn the loss of US influence.  But as the US has focused on their narrowly defined self interest at the expense of others, their diminished influence should be welcomed.

The sad thing is that the forces that are filling the vacuum created by the waning US position are potentially totalitarian.  


I say baby sitter since we are basically NATO when TSHTF in war torn countries.

The babysitter has no clothes? What is the nasty babysitter up to?
You just explained US foreign policy.

I'd personally like to see a massive Turn out for Mickey Mouse.  What would happen to our constitutional system if the majority vote went to a fictional character.

No president for 4 years?  Hrm... that might actually be a good thing.

Didn't something of the sort actually happen in the UK a few years ago? Only it was Donald Duck instead of Mickey Mouse?
Just put "None of the above"
as a ballot choice for all
future elections ..

Triff ..

When my mother was an election judge she told me there was always a large write-in for Mickey Mouse.
In one of my favourite Mack Reynolds novels they make it a crime to do a write in for "Pogo".

Or as Walt Kelly memorably put it:

'we have met the enemy, and he is us"

A couple of stories to file under Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell...

Wal-Mart workers walk out

Why the ruckus?  Wal-Mart is trying to rid itself of full-time workers and any who are unhealthy, in order to cut costs.  So they are doing things like cutting hours, changing schedules, and trying to make the job physically difficult for the elderly and infirm.  (Forcing cashiers to collect carts in the parking lot, for example.)

Wal-Mart executives have recently told Wall Street analysts that the company wants to transform its workforce from 20 percent part-time to 40 percent. Recently, it was also reported that older employees in some stores who had back and leg problems were barred from using stools on which they had sat for years.

The moves come as the company is struggling to keep its profits growing at the rapid rate that they have in the past. As it squeezes its workforce expenses and trims costs in all corners, it is also expanding overseas. On Oct. 16, The Wall Street Journal reported that Wal-Mart has agreed to spend $1 billion to acquire Trust-Mart, a closely held Taiwanese company that owns one of the largest food and department store chains in China.

They've basically taken over the U.S., but Wall St. expects them to keep growing. Which means expanding overseas...and squeezing ever more productivity from their employees.

France devises a baby boom as Europe ages

Their secret?  Massive government benefits for families, and support for working mothers in the form of daycare, long maternity leaves, and job guarantees.  

But what got me is this bit:

In many European countries, park benches are filled with elderly residents. In France, parks overflow with boisterous children, making it an international model for countries struggling with the threat of zero population growth. In recent months, officials from Japan, Thailand and neighboring Germany have traveled to France to study its reproductive secrets.

"The threat of zero population growth"?  Zero population is the goal of sustainable societies, not a threat to them.

But as the article details, there's a whole lot of reasons why zero population is a "threat" to our societies.  

Good links, Leanan.

* Wal Mart:: the only possible outcome of a global economy is a Bangla Desh level pay-scale. The Daily Show last night had a (black) commentator who applied this to stars adopting 3rd world babies.

"American black orphans can't compete anymore in this market. You can feed an African child for 12 cents a day." The truth in absurd terms.

* France: the idea works for the people who propagate it. They fear a pension problem. And if that's the no.1 problem you see, the solution is obvious.

France is creating a baby boom to take care of the pensioners. But who will take care of the new baby boomers?  Isn't that what got America in trouble vis a vis social security in the first place?  France is trying to fix one problem by just creating another problem.  It would be better just to ride the wave out and consider the fact that in the future, things will even out. In any event, I think the world would be better of with negative population growth, not just zpg.

I think part of the explanation here is intense national pride with the idea that the French culture must be propogated; screw the rest of the world. Population control is only suitable for the non French.   Could it be that there is so much animosity between the French and the Americans because, in many  ways, they are so much alike?  

Don't get me wrong. There are many things I love about France, but this population policy is not one of them.

Well, to keep harping on that Germany theme - Walmart has closed up shop in Germany, in part because they discovered that considering yourself the world's most efficient retailer isn't the same as actually succeeding in a really brutal cost efficient market (one person noted that Germans actually look at how much they pay in terms of deciding who sells at the lowest price, and that quality is part of the price equation - can you imagine?), in part because German labor laws are still actually enforced, and in part, because they lost a court case where it was ruled utterly illegal for a company to tell its workers how they could live - in that particular case, which was a true PR disaster, Walmart attempted to forbid its German employees from having any romantic relationships with each other. Considering how proud the Germans are of having abandoned such practices roughly 60 years ago, you can imagine what that did for the value of the Walmart brand.

After losing money steadily, finding out that yes, German laws are actually enforced, and that unions do actually have support and political power here, Walmart packed up its bags fairly quietly - and then recently bought out a Taiwanese owned, mainland China chain. I would guess that China is likely to be a lot friendlier to Walmart. After all, the Chinese still shoot striking workers in the interest of ensuring labor peace for employers, if what gets out past the censorship is to be trusted.

Expat: Too bad for Walmart that Adolf lost the war.
An aside: WM also left South Korea recently.  
Yes, actually, for essentially the same reason according to the press, which I didn't go into. In both markets, growth in terms of Wall Street expectations had not been possible, and was not going to be possible.

In Germany, this was based on the labor laws, and the fact that native German discounters were much more efficient than Walmart - Aldi is a truly fascinating operation, and by Aldi standards, Walmart is a bloated, top heavy, inefficient retailer, with lower quality products and higher prices to boot. For a while, Walmart was headquartered near where I lived, and I knew people who had friends/family that worked at the former Wertkauf headquarters. That Walmart was pretty inept was the general opinion of these people.

In South Korea, Walmart had many of the same problems that it did in Germany - workers who stand up to management, and shoppers who were used to either lower prices or more suited products.

Walmart is a surprisingly ham fisted operation at times - for example, according to some of the articles I read, the large package sizes of Walmart's 'family sized' product packaging didn't fit into a typical Korean's life at all. In Germany, the Walmart ads a few years proclaiming 'Made in Germany' with the German colors of black, red, gold just pointed out that a lot of the products being sold at Walmart weren't made in Germany, while at the same time not having any patriotic appeal at all. To my eyes, they looked like absolutely standard American marketing, which of course didn't ensure any success in Germany - though everyone knows what 'Made in Germany' means, it is for export products. No one would write that here - much more likely would be the city/state/region ('Nürnberger Würstchen,' or 'badischer Wein'). Germany is still very much a regional place, not a mass market in American terms.

I also suspect, though there is no way to prove this, Walmart also ran into a troubling reality in both markets - that is, having seen Walmart in operation, a lot of local suppliers had no desire to do business with them at all, ever. It certainly struck me that a typical Walmart had less of a food product selection than a typical Real (owned by Metro, the company which bought Walmart out in the end), and that those gaps were the sort that a German food retailer would not want to have.

And finally, saying you are the world's biggest and best doesn't make it so - Walmart easily lost more than a billion dollars in Germany, and it was never the lowest cost retailer. You can't be a bully if nobody else is impressed by bluster, and instead of being frightened, they just dig in and compete.

Of course, one shouldn't place too much on the failure of Walmart in Germany - they originally started by picking up a fairly small chain of fairly well managed big box stores located off of highways as a way to dip their toes into the water, and instead of gaining experience, they got greedy, and picked up a larger, failing, and poorly managed chain of discounter stores, not all of them big box, fairly quickly. If Walmart had been patient and learned its market, it may have had more success. And to be honest, how America has been acting on the world stage under Bush didn't help Walmart at all, either in Germany or in South Korea.

Though there may be one other, unprovable Walmart delusion which met the ugly truth - they actually thought they would automatically become the biggest force in German retailing since they were biggest force world wide, according to all the press reports, but instead, they ran into a system which is much more used to playing monopoly and dealing unfairly than Walmart had ever imagined. It would not surprise me in the least if there wasn't a lot of (illegal) collusion in Germany against Walmart, since German companies were not just going to hand over their market to an outsider.

Especially one that quits so easily when the going gets tough. It takes more to compete in other people's markets than simply expecting profits because you are number 1 in your own eyes. German retailers have operated on razor thin margins for decades - why Walmart thought that meant it was a great opportunity for them to come in and make huge profits is beyond explanation, unless they thought they could treat their German workers like they treat their American ones - which would be simply proof of not doing any research before starting a new venture. After all, Walmart's competitors weren't about to help Walmart lower its labor costs by jumping on some sort of lower wage bandwagon - that would be political/economic suicide in a country where one of the deepest, darkest social fears is mass un-/underemployment. Everyone here knows how that ended up last time.

Wow Expat.  I really liked your posts and this one is excellent.  Thanks for the Expat insight!  I did a report on Aldi's and happened to live near Rammstein for four years back in my whipper snapper years.
Yes fine analysis.

I wonder why the French and German retail chains don't go and invade America? If the US market is as bloated and inefficient as all that...

Tesco is trying to enter in California.

The argument is (and it's not a bad one) that the local stores in California lack fresh food and high quality prepared meals, etc., that are standard stuff in a Tesco in the UK.  So they are competing not head to head with the supermarkets, but more in the convenience end.

Now the market is sceptical, the US is usually too competitive, any number of UK retailers have come a cropper there.  But who knows.

WalMart bought Asda, here and did well for a time in groceries, also introduced lines of non food items which were very successful.  However zoning laws prevent them expanding by building more superstores, and the British supermarket chains were not asleep at the switch-- they studied what WalMart had done with groceries in the US, and had adopted many of its methods.

Tesco is a bloody well run company, and Asda has not found it easygoing.

The other place WalMart has struggled is Brasil.  They bought a weak retailer there and haven't made it work.

China is such a brutally competitive place that they may have trouble.

By contrast they are doing really well in Mexico and Canada.

If you want a stealth global retailer: IKEA.  On something like 10 stores, they are 1/3rd UK of UK furniture spend.

Anywhere I have been (even China) where there is IKEA, the customers are busting down the doors, and they own their category (in fact, created it).

Call it 'the Stealth Swede' ;-).

China is now forcing Walmart to have unions. Government controlled unions, of course, but unions.
And the Chinese have a government controlled free press. But yes, even a government controlled union is a step forward in China.
expat -

I find it more than a  little disturbing to see China getting more progressive and the US getting more repressive. When Walmart gets too bad even for China, then you just know something's got to be wrong in the good 'ol US of A.

Politically, the two countries appear to be converging on some sort of  midground that might best be described as 'police state lite'. (That's if we're lucky.)

If I were about a hundred years younger and a lot richer, I think I'd be looking to become an expat myself.

As an icon of my generation once famously said, "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing!" And the winds around here are blowing in a very bad direction.

And Joule, do you imagine the healthcare situation getting better here in the US?  I don't, which is but one reason (there are others)why I'm looking, longterm, to migrate elsewhere.
I plan on jumping ship too.
Not really.  A union in China exists to make sure the workers are maximally productive, and as a means of political monitoring and control.

I don't think China has 'worker rights' in the sense that we mean them in the West.

But even the idea of workers having 'rights' is pretty much a step forward. And don't forget, one of the main things which brought down the Eastern European communists was the formation of a non-government controlled union. (Not that I would expect Walmart to support a non-government controlled union, to put it mildly.)

I don't honestly believe that it is a big step forward - but even with fairly boundless cynicism, it is hard to call it a step back for Chinese workers. After all, the odds that the union will gun them down is probably a bit less than for non-union workers - if the information getting past Chinese censorship is to be believed.

I never have understood all the fretting about zero population growth, or even population decline.  If population is declining, it's telling you something: that the cost of supporting the current population is prohibitive.  At some point I have no doubt a new balance would be found.  In any case, there's no fighting population decline, I don't think.  It's clearly happening in all first world countries, and it would happen in the U.S. except for immigration.  

I think the problem is there is a fundamental disconnect between economic theory (and economists) and real life.  Economists focus on things like the aggregate growth of an entire country (GDP), when the reality on the individual level is that none of that matters.  To an individual, it's irrelevant whether the wealth of the whole group is growing, it just maters how much wealth you have for yourself.  So, for example, individually we're all actually better off with a with half the population, because we'd all have twice as much.  

Economics is really quite flawed in a lot of ways and this is one of the main ones.  A more useful measure would be the average standard of living of a country, not its overall GDP.  

Nagorak: What you are missing is that if you are one of the "winners" in the society, i.e. TPTB, the ABSOLUTE GDP is of far more importance than GDP per capita. An analogy; would you make more money as the CEO of a tiny highly profitable enterprise, or a huge unprofitable one (e.g. GM). The whole growth paradigm (i.e. "Planet of Slums") is about raising global GDP. TPTB only care about the individual standard of living of (in order): 1. themselves 2. their family 3. their cronies 4.possibly their immediate physical neighbours.They worry about the "average American" just like this shmuck worries about the "average guy in Zimbabwe".    
It's a basic human aspiration to have children.

The first demographic transition, a sharp fall in birth rate, comes when parents are confident that their children will survive, and realise that having fewer children enables them to invest in giving them a better future. Emancipation and education of women means birth control and careers.

Then comes another transition : demographic attrition? where the constraints of modern life make it difficult and expensive to have children, and fecundity drops below replacement.

There is a third transition : demographic recovery? when people are able to reconcile their aspirations with modern life. They tend to have two or three kids.

As a French parent, having been around a bit, there are not many other places on earth where I would want to, or would be capable of, bringing up children. Parents need and deserve all the support society can give them for having children. I fully support and endorse French social engineering in this respect.

No sort of sustainability is possible with a precipitous population decline. France needs my grandchildren if it's going to be sustainable in 50 years' time. And if France is not sustainable, then I'll need grandchildren to sustain me.

Sustainability of what?  The greater the population, the less sustainable are the earth's resources.  Your priority, apparently, is sustainability of French culture.  But there are plenty of people in Europe and the rest of the world to take up the slack.  You want sustiainablity?  Look at the mormons who are rapidly screwing over the state of Utah with their immense families. What is so magic about the current population?  Wouldn't the overall quality of French life increase with half the population and twice the room?  

Where I live,  increased population has provided the following:
increased noise, increase traffic, crowded stores, more expensive housing, increased numbers of people on the trails, more crowded and inaccessible camping spots, more pollution, more competition for water, more crime, etc. etc.

I should find it amazing that anyone would want to "sustain" what is already an overcrowded and resource short planet.

I think the French and all other countries with this attitude are not looking at their global footprint. France's footprint goes way beyond France and is not sustainable even given the current population.


It's not particularly "French culture" I want to sustain. More like civilisation.

I see no reason why the current French population of about 60 million should not be sustainable. France exports food; even without oil, it will continue to at least feed itself, while remaining a high-tech economy.

I don't believe France is overcrowded. Too much urban sprawl in recent decades, but that is fixable. Cities mostly pretty liveable, can be improved, but viable without cars.

I can see plenty of parts of the world which have major sustainability problems. Planning for a lower population would be smart. I don't put France in that category. We are going through the baby-boom retirement phase, which is going to put a lot of strain on society's ability and willingness to support a higher proportion of inactive population on a shrinking base of producers. This is a sustainability problem, which I think is best fixed by stimulating demography.

The other alternative is to cherry-pick the world's productive forces through immigration. This is what the USA does, very successfully. I don't think it's a sustainable model, for one thing. For another, it's inequitable with respect to the countries of origin, which lose many of their best and brightest, after investing in their education.

Fertility is still below replacement level even in France. So it's not accurate to say that they tend to have two or three children.
Actually, fertility is higher in the USA. But too many of the babies have the wrong colour skin for most Americans. French people are more relaxed about that.
Fertility is higher in the U.S. because of immigration.  Without immigration, we would be like Europe - barely at replacement level, maybe even below.

Hispanic American women - Total Fertility Ratio (children per woman per lifetime) - 3.0

Black American women - 2.2

White American women - 1.9

2.1 is replacement TFR

The latter number for white Americans is high by European standards (Canada is 1.6, Quebec is 1.3 I think).  I don't have the data to prove it, but I think what is happening is more religious Americans (mormons, hassidim, evangelicals etc.) have more kids, and America is a much more religious country than other western countries.

Keep in mind that some of all of those groups are  immigrants, or descended from recent immigrants.  

Immigrants have larger families for three or four generations after they arrive.  

I think that that 'large family effect' fades faster than that-- as little as 2 generations.

Catholic Americans used to have large families: they don't now.

It could be, in some cases...but on average, it's 3-4 generations.  At least according to the stats I've seen.

My family is a classic example.  My great-grandparents had 13 kids.  That lived.  My grandparents had 5-6 kids.  My parents' generation had 1-3 kids.  My generation has 0-2 kids; most of my cousins have only one child, or none at all.

Is this the trend for developed, industrialized countries?
I don't think the French are relaxed about how many black and brown people they have.

Have you heard Sarkozy talk?  And he is a mainstream politician.  And half the bans-lieus (poor outer suburbs) of Paris were in flames last summer.

The Far Right (Le Pen) gets 15-20% of the vote and in the last Presidential election he nearly won the first round.  They are virulently anti-immigrant: send them home!

France imported millions of immigrants. They could have used the money they spent on the immigrants to encourage French people to have kids, but didn't. Now they whine about it. Such is life.
They feel (actually more like felt at this point) bad about all the raping and pillaging they did in their former colonies, esp. in Africa.
Well, Madonna has solved her future young labour problem.

She has gone and bought herself a new pet:


Its amazing what you can do with private lear jets and security guards in tow.

EIA inventories are just out.

Crude oil a build of 5.1 million barrels.

Gasoline a draw of 5.2 million barrels.

Distillates a draw of 4.5 million barrels.

This would normally be bearish for curde and bullish for Gas and Distillates. However since all three are ultimately tied together the market is seeing this as very bullish. All three jumped higher right after the data was released. The stock market dropped immediately on the news.

Ron Patterson

Those stats are odd to me, things going in different directions.  I wonder if the long-postponed refinery maintenance and switching to winter blends is the primary cause of the draw in refined product?
Perhaps this explains the jump in retail gas prices overnight at the Kansas City stations.  Someone knew about the gasoline draw that would come out today.  This would make sense if you are inside the oil business.
The "import leg" of the table just got jerked out from under the US petroleum market...
What does this mean?
I think that means Europe isn't sending us gas any more.  IIRC, this happened last year, too.  They don't export as much in the winter (because they need it themselves for heating).  
wild speculation and conspiracy theory ahead

::scary music:: Could this be the sign that the retail market is being artificially flooded at the expense of inventories to lower gasoline prices ahead of the election?!

Oil rises on shrinking U.S. fuel supply

Oil prices rose Wednesday after U.S. government data showed domestic inventories of gasoline and heating oil fell sharply.

The shrinking fuel supply came as refinery activity fell and a spell of colder weather pushed up demand for home-heating fuels.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is scheduled to meet in Qatar on Thursday to discuss production quotas and a possible cut of 1 million barrels. The cartel's intervention would follow a 25 percent decline in oil prices since mid-July.

Light sweet crude for November delivery rose 30 cents to $59.23 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, December Brent crude on the ICE Futures exchange fell 16 cents to $60.78 a barrel.

In its latest weekly report, the federal Energy Information Administration said gasoline supplies fell by 5.2 million barrels last week to 210.2 million barrels, or 6 percent above year ago levels. Supplies of distillate, which include heating oil and diesel, shrank by 4.5 million barrels to 145.4 million barrels, or 15 percent above year ago levels.

The agency said refinery activity also fell. Refiners ran their plants at an average of 86.3 percent of capacity, a decline of almost 3 percent from the week before.

Crude-oil supplies grew by 5.1 million barrels to 335.6 million barrels, or 7 percent above year ago levels.

I remember the sane people saying that there's no way that the fall in gasoline prices could have been engineereed as an electoral stunt.

But what about that decline in gasoline inventories? It coincided with the price decline. By what mechanism did the Invisible Hand suddenly flood the market? Who holds the inventories? Did they owe Dick Cheney any favours?

Only to then have a price plunge to 57.50 a barrel!!


Cheaper oil hasn't dimmed Canada's oil sand hopes

Surging capital costs and weaker oil prices may slow the pace of development in Canada's oil sands as the country aims to triple production over the next decade, industry players said.

However, lower crude prices alone have yet to frighten developers away from plans to feed growing demand for secure energy supplies in the United States and Asia.

More than $100 billion worth of oil sands mining and steam-driven bitumen projects are under way or proposed, stretching the market for skilled labor and inflating costs.

Total SA has said it revised its schedule for the $9-billion Joslyn project, but stressed it opted to also start pumping at 100,000 barrels a day, rather than half that.

Construction costs are generally believed to rise as the oil price falls, threatening projects, said FirstEnergy Capital Corp. analyst Mark Friesen. However, he believes the opposite will be the case.

"If oil prices were to drop, maybe then you will see some projects deferred," Friesen said. "You'd probably see that labor market ease a little bit. Over time you'd see some of the supply costs come down, so that would serve as a cooling factor on some of the cost escalation."

Industry projections peg production of oil derived from the oil sands to hit 3 million barrels a day by 2015, up from more than 1 million today. That compares with Saudi Arabia's current production of about 9 million bpd of conventional crude.

Analysts and executives have said it takes oil prices in the $40-$50 range to earn an acceptable return on developing Alberta's vast resources, depending on the quality of the crude and the technology used to extract it.

Perhaps even more important is the spread between prices for benchmark light oil and the lower-value heavy crude wrung from the oil sands, the so-called differential that widens and contracts based on demand and refining costs, said Greg Stringham, vice president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

 Recipes from the Edge.

This is an ongoing work of Non-fiction. I am still discovering new things in the food world that I have never grown or cooked or tasted or even known about.  A cookbook of a kind.  We are nearing an edge of the world as we know it, at times many of us actually know we are heading for this edge.  None of us know when we will get there though.  I have been hunting down foods that I can find in the wilds, hunting down recipes, trying these foods in my own recipes.  I thought I should share with you what I have been discovering on my journey.

A recent article I was reading mentioned.

 " After all, out of some 6,000 cultivated species of plants, only a small fraction--perhaps nine or ten, such as the most commonly grown species of the cereals rice, wheat, maize, and millet; beans, especially soybeans; and several tuber and root crops, including potatoes, sweet potatoes, manioc, and taro--constitute the backbone of our plant's agriculture."1.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1134/is_3_113/ai_n5990764  (1.)

This idea is scary.  We depend on these few plants and have forgotten for the most part what other riches the plant community has to offer.

The site listed above, was found while I was doing research for the Jicama.   A tuber vegetable, I have been eating off and on for several years raw for its crisp juicy slightly sweet flesh.  Up until two weeks ago I had never eaten it cooked.  What I found when I cooked it in a stir-fry of left over vegetables amazed me.  It was still crisp. In fact it was still crisp after heating the leftovers in the microwave.  Anyone that has reheated food in the microwave knows if it was crisp going in, it's not going to be crisp coming out again.  Surprise.  Jicama is crisp.  

The above site lists many uses for this vegetable, in several of its species.  What more can I find out when I can actually grow the Jicama myself?  As of this writing I am still, hunting down seeds, species names, sources of recipes, places in my yard I could grow it, where in the USA it can grow, and many other things.  I will post more as I get more information.  About this and other plants that we will all learn about when we hunt for Recipes from the Edge.

The article I found out after I wrote the above was from: Natural History. April 2004.Marten Sorensen.

It ties in to what we have been discussing about how the rest of us have to survive, but living off of the Mono-crops that we have been is not a viable option if we really want to live past the cliff edge.  We grow 6,000 plants for food, but how many plants are in the wild that we could grow that are better for us in the long run?  Don't know.  

The Idea of Recipes from the Edge came to me when I was homeless about 14 years ago. Okay not homeless I was living in my car, I had a home.   But when you talk to people about being homeless they look at you kinda funny, wonder what your addiction is that put you out here.  Shrugs, for me I had a place I could have gone it was 1,600 miles or so away, but for the then in my life I was lost.  A few other thoughts came to me during those days, and I have them waiting in the wings.  

The idea that we are going to need food and fuel, Eric pointed out yesterday was all he wanted.  Bob Shaw has his BioSolar.  WE all have silver BB's and sooner or later we are going to have to get them off the paper and into the ground to grow. Todd has, Others have their BB's in place.

If I can find Seeds I will have Jicama growing next spring.  I guess I will have to wait till I harvest and get to distilling to find out what Jicama go juice will look like.

There may be cookbooks you'd be interested in already out there.  I'd recommend collecting a few old cookbooks such as these by Univ. of Nebr. Press which includes: American Indian Cooking: Recipes from the southwest; A Taste of Heritage-Crow Indian Recipes and Herbal Medicines; and, Nebraska Pioneer Cookbook.

You can perhaps find more appropriate ones for the area in which you live.

Though to a cook there never is enough cookbooks.  The point of the project is in part to cook wild foods, but also to give information about why we might need this all and other interesting and useful tidbits.  I have already found so much misinformation online while Just looking for ONE plant and it's seeds by which I might grow it, that I doubt we can help a tenth of the people we hope to help.

Thanks for the heads up, I will add it to the list of places to search.  I'll be in Huntsville Al, this coming weekend till an unknown date.  Myrna Copeland who Owns "Pearly Gates" the region's biggest collection of Bulk herbs and spices, Over 700, Has been a great resource, Her cookbook collection was several thousand volumes, but about 5 years ago over half of it was lost to a fire.  

I live in Arkansas now, But know that this area crosses two growing areas, Long practice growing here will have to be adjusted, the plants are acting odd this year.

The Sugar Hackberry and several maples have gone through the new spring growth cycle after the hot hot dry summer and leaf die off, they think its spring. The sugar hackberry has flowered again this year.  I don't think I have ever seen that happen, knew it could happen, just never seen it happen.  STRANGE THINGS are going on.

One grain that anyone with the right climate should pursue is quinoa (pronounced keen-wa).  It likes a dry climate.  It has a complete protein unlike most other grains/legumes and is highly productive - one acre can feed a family of ten according to one site.  Further, four cups of seed will plant an acre.

Check it out:





I've eaten quinoa many times. It is different from the more common grains, in the way it's cooked and the way it tastes, but it is very good and very filling.
I tested three varieties this year.  It was highly productive and, most importantly for me, nothing touched it - not the wild pigs, not the bears, not the grouse, not the rabbits, not the deer, not the quail; nothing even nibbled at it.

I'm going to do a larger planting next year of the two best varieties next year.

Technically, quinoa is a seed not a grain.  Grains are the seeds of grasses; wheat, rye barley, corn. soughum etc.  Quinoa, amaranth and teff are seeds because they are from flowering dicots; though they function as bulk crops as do many true grains.
To all of the above.

Thanks for the comments. I tried to limit my posting today.

The article that I quoted above in my "Recipes from the Edge"  installment, is a fully researched paper on a project that the Author started in 1985. I will have to hunt down any other of his results that I can, it is rather interesting that his ideas tie really well into the Peak Oil Movement ( For lack of a better term for us, we are a gathering of people of all walks of life and religious backgrounds who choose to come together and tell others of an issue known as Peak Oil that we feel that Others in the world need to know about.)  Hey I am going to post on that thought, no one steal it just yet, thanks.

Anyway, the paper touches on the fact that the whole world is being feed with only a few species that are MASS produced and though they fit the bill, they might not really be the BEST fit for feeding everyone.  There are Many other plants out there that Ancient Peoples used to feed themselves with that we hardly know anything about ( the tropics don't preserve a lot of veggie matter over time, to moist, so we have to hunt for other ways to know what they lived on. ) The idea has been with me for decades, and I am sure other people have been worried about it too.  For the life of me I feel I have read his article before,  which I might have decades ago while reading in Libraries from dawn to dusk.  

We have to feed ourselves, and any plant that we find that we can grow at home, the others of us here and elsewhere need to know about.  If the plant can be used for Fuel and Food better still, let us all know.  

The whole concept of Recipes from the Edge is a cookbook of sorts,  cooking, fuel making, survival off the land, giving us just one more clue in how to keep from dropping off the EDGE down that Cliff Face that everyone else seems so Clueless about heading toward.

Please, if you have any ideas, any comments, critical thoughts, let me know.  My E.Mail address is under my profile but if not it is ceojr1963@yahoo.com, and you should know where the blog is located.  I think the best way to form this might be to make it not just my Recipes, But your recipes (  methods for which you are getting ready for the Edge of the Cliff ) Told in your own words, posted into a collection of ideas.  Help the people that would read it, Those of us that though we have our own recipe going strong are willing to add a few more good ideas to the mix.

TOD is great to discuss it all, but The Plant people out here can get lost in the mix.  Let me know, I am going to keep working on it, see where it will lead.

Quinoa, was something I picked up while in a Health Food Store about a year ago, something new to try.  Something old to the world new to me, WOW great stuff.  I Did not know you could grow it at home, Thanks Todd.  I love reading your posts.  Do you have latin names of the ones you have used?  

The Jicama is Pachyrhizus erosus, which is the one found in stores in the USA. There are at least 3 main species that have other uses, but the P. erosus is the one that has the shortest growing season and can be grown in the southern states of the US.  It is a native to South America, but early Europeans thinking it was from East Asia took it on boat rides and introduced it to the rest of the Tropics. Now people think it has always been grown in Thailand,  yet it like tomatoes was only introduced into the Food Culture after 1492.  

I bet you can grow it in a greenhouse in the colder climates.  Iceland has banana's grown in Greenhouses sold in their stores,  I know this for a fact having lived in Iceland for 2 years from 1975 to 1977.  I was in LOVE with that country.  So just because you can't plant it outside doesn't mean you can't plant it, if you grow tomatoes I bet you can grow Jicama P. erosus.

Cheers, and God Bless.
Charles E. Owens Jr.

If it was good enough for East Germany and still works for Fidel, then I guess it is good enough for the freedom-loving USA. Some details re the proposed plans to allow the Dept of Homeland Security to determine which American citizens will be allowed to travel outside of the country:http://hasbrouck.org/blog/archives/001156.html
I've been googling for a bit and can't find a comprehensive resource for a meeting tonight.
Is there a website that lists rough depletion rates for different areas, countries or, if nothing else oil fields?
Thanks so much.
Peak oil is here.
I had earlier noticed that th most traded of the long dated contracts i.e. dec 2010 was showing reslience wherease the near term contracts kep declining. This has reached  a new level as the dec 2010's are trading at a $9 premium to the near term contracts!!. A year ago this contract traded at more than  $10 discount. There only $4 off their highs whereas the near term if off $20. I guess when idiots keep saying crude is falling we should ask which contract.
Article in today's WP about the chance of an increased gas tax in the USA any time soon:


Detroit is turning into Comedy Central, good career move perhaps. After the GM people saying they have the best management team in the world, here's another gem:

....as demoralizing as a slide down may be, the ride up is infinitely more exhilarating
Wonder if he's got the same message for the people he's about to fire.

What about the Peak Oil crowd?! Infinite exhilaration awaits us all!!!

Ford CEO rallies troops for comeback

Ford Motor Co.'s new chief executive is urging workers at the ailing automaker to band together and insists the company will make a triumphant return from one of the most "gut-wrenching" periods in its history.

"I can tell you from experience that as demoralizing as a slide down may be, the ride up is infinitely more exhilarating," Alan Mulally wrote in his first company-wide e-mail message to employees.

"Everybody loves a comeback story. Let's work together to write the best one ever."

An Ethical Will To My Sons.  

All the years you have known me I have been consistent in my belief and pronouncements about the limits to growth and that the world population was in overshoot and must collapse to a sustainable level.

I am now convinced that a collapse will occur within the next 25 years.  Just as there has been an overshoot in population, there will be an overshoot in the die off.  I expect that at least 80% of the world population will die off in just a matter of a few years.  It is possible that it could happen largely through military conflicts, but economic collapse and anarchy will also occur.

The world is rapidly running out of oil.  By 2030 the world will have to get along with about the same amount it used in 1930.  No rational transition to a sustainable population more than it was in 1930 is possible.  Food production at a local level and security will be keys to survival for most that do survive.

I would advise the Boy Scout motto of Be Prepared.  There are many sites on the internet devoted to awareness and surviving the coming collapse.  Two good ones are: http://www.energybulletin.net/ and http://www.theoildrum.com/ .

Try also to follow the Boy Scout oath parts about keeping physically fit and mentally awake.

Sincerely wishing you the best,


Um, we haven't actually willed anything to our kids except for an absolutely F'ed up planet.

Statoil suspends production at second offshore platform,
loses 340,000 bpd

Norway's leading oil company Statoil has said it has halted operations at a second platform off the Norwegian coast due to adverse weather conditions in the region, resulting in a 140,000-barrel per day loss in production.

The suspension of operations at the Heidrun platform compounded Statoil's production problems. On Friday the company was forced to shutdown its Snorre A platform due to safety problems with its lifeboats.

The closure also halted production at the Vigdis field, from which oil transits through Snorre A.

The two shutdowns would result in a combined loss of 340,000 barrels per day (bpd), equating to around 15 percent of Norway's oil output.

I know some around here like to post songs lyrics centered around the consumer lifestyle.  I've been meaning to put this one up, but it's from Staind and it's called Paper Jesus.  A harder rock message if you will...

You take this all for granted
All the things they choose to feed you
By keeping you distracted
Just long enough to bleed you...dry

A reason for your anger
It's what I need
It's what I need
To recognize the truth
It's what I need
It's what I need
So burn your paper Jesus
It's what I need
It's what I need
And own the things you do
It's what I need
It's what I need

Question what they sell you
All the lies that they are teaching
And they've made a corporation
Out of desperate people's feelings...of fear

A reason for your anger
It's what I need
It's what I need
To recognize the truth
It's what I need
It's what I need
So burn your paper Jesus
It's what I need
It's what I need
And own the things you do
It's what I need
It's what I need

Somebody chose these words for you
Interpretations of the truth
Somewhere behind your fear they hide
To fill the holes inside

A reason for your anger
It's what I need
It's what I need
To recognize the truth
It's what I need

US citizens increasingly anxious about role in world affairs

Five years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon, the U.S. public has become increasingly anxious about world events and the role that their country is playing in them, according to the latest "Confidence in U.S. Foreign Policy" survey released here Wednesday by a non-partisan group, Public Agenda, and Foreign Affairs journal.

The survey, which was overseen by legendary pollster Daniel Yankelovich, found a substantial rise in concern about how the U.S. is perceived in the world and particularly in predominantly Muslim countries, compared to the last survey, which was conducted in January.

Nearly 90 percent of respondents said they considered it a threat to U.S. national security when "the rest of the world sees the United States" in a negative light.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents said the world currently feels either "somewhat" or "very" negatively toward the country, while nearly four in five said they believe the country is seen as "arrogant".

"It's not just a matter of (wanting to be) well-loved or nice," stressed Yankelovich in a conference call for journalists Tuesday. "People see it as threatening to our national security."

The survey queried 1,001 randomly chosen adults Sep. 5-18, the same period that President George W. Bush made of number of high-profile appearances to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and defend the continued U.S. presence in Iraq.

It also found that nearly 80 percent of respondents believe the world is becoming more dangerous for the U.S. and its citizens. A 43-percent plurality said it was becoming "much more dangerous".

The perception of greater danger was largely due to concerns about the Middle East, which was cited by 42 percent of respondents as the greatest foreign policy problem facing the country, far ahead of any other single concern and six points higher than the January survey.

Fears about terrorism and Islamic extremism have also increased markedly over the past year, according to the survey, while concern about Iraq, while relatively stable over the same period, remains sufficiently high to be considered at a "tipping point"; that is, an issue on which public opinion is so intense that politicians -- as many incumbent lawmakers are finding in the ongoing mid-term campaigns -- cannot afford to ignore it.

Indeed, according to virtually all political analysts here, public dissatisfaction with the Iraq war has become by far single biggest obstacle to Republican chances of retaining control of both houses of Congress in the Nov. 7 elections. Polls this month have consistently shown that nearly two-thirds of the public disapprove of the way Bush is handling the war.

CNN's Bill Schneider has a segment today about the economy and the middle class.  Schneider is not exactly a liberal.  In fact, he holds a position with the American Enterprise Institute.  Nevertheless, he basically said ordinary Americans are being screwed.  The economy is growing and doing well...but only the rich are benefitting.

He described it as "drowning in a stream that is on average only three feet deep."  The average - which is what most of the economic numbers tell us - can be misleading.  

Leanan: IMO, these "ordinary Americans" enjoy being screwed. They voted for BushCo TWICE. The rest of the world was in shock the second time. As a previous TOD poster noted, it was like the chicken voting for Colonel Sanders.
I think the results of the last election are questionable.  Even if you ignore the Diebold issue, a lot of shenanigans went on.  Letters sent out telling people their polling places had changed, when they hadn't.  Voter registration drives where anyone who didn't check "Republican" had their forms ripped up.  DOS attacks on the phone banks that arranged rides to the polls for people without cars.

And most of all, what we all saw on TV.  Long lines in left-leaning districts, and no lines at all in wealthy, white, conservative districts.  

They were aware of the problem, because of the primaries.  More people vote in the general election than the primaries, but rather than getting more machines for districts that had lines in the primaries, there were less.  So you had people standing in line for 14 hours to vote.  That's ridiculous.  Especially when there's no line at all the next district over.  

Gee, sounds like you've finally gone over to embracing one of them there 'conspiracy theories'.

While many people (including a number of respected physicists, structural engineers, and military experts) dispute the official Bush regime's version of  how and why the WTC towers came down, that of course to many is shear loony conspiracy fantasy.

But, according to you, an election stolen by hacking into computers and making it impossible  to vote is a perfectly logical and reasonable suspicion.

I suppose one always has the luxury of believing in whichever conspiracy suits one's fancy.

(Actually, I believe BOTH 'conspiracies theories' are quite valid.)

This is all somewhat tangential to Peak Oil, but nonetheless something that should be addressed, albeit briefly.  It seems that the operative rule is that the party that gets there first to define what happened has the privilege of  being granted the 'official version', whereas everything else that follows has the stigma of being a potential 'conspiracy theory'.

The only guiding principle that I can offer is this : If the US government says it is so, don't automatically believe it.

Gee, sounds like you've finally gone over to embracing one of them there 'conspiracy theories'.

Then you misunderstand me.  

I don't deny that there are sometimes conspiracies.  (See Watergate.  Or Iran-Contra.)  I simply see no evidence that 9/11 is one of them.  At least, not a government conspiracy.  

And no, I don't think there was a conspiracy to steal the election.  

While many people (including a number of respected physicists, structural engineers, and military experts) dispute the official Bush regime's version of  how and why the WTC towers came down

That is simply not true.  At least, I know of no respected physicists or structural engineers who dispute the report.  Certainly not "many."

But, according to you, an election stolen by hacking into computers and making it impossible to vote is a perfectly logical and reasonable suspicion.

The difference is that it doesn't require a conspiracy.  Just people acting on their own.

It's indisputable that people were prevented from voting, and that illicit things went on in Florida in Ohio.  They ended up in court about it.  (The purging of the voter roles in Florida, Coingate in Ohio.)

As for the rest...I don't think it was a conspiracy.  It was people acting on their own.    I blame Democrats as much as Republicans, because they let it happen.  They should have known, but they let it happen.  

And back when the Dems were in charge, they were just as crooked.  The union bosses would make sure you voted the "right" way...at least if you wanted to keep your job.

I think you are still very selectively choosing to believe what you want to believe.

I really don't want to get into 9/11 issues, but if you are the least bit curious as to what these doubts are all about, I humbly suggest you check out the articles presented in the following website:


By the way, it's not just physicists and engineers that have doubts, but also some commercial airline pilots who claim that 1) a novice could never have successfully flown and navigated those large planes, and 2) with all their flight experience they could not have duplicated the flight path of the plane that hit the Pentagon.

And no one has put forth a satisfactory explanation as to why WTC 7 collapsed within a second of how long it would have taken if it were in a  total free fall.

Also, that Popular Mechanics 'debunking' was a joke, as most of it addressed various straw men that are not even part of the contested issues. Incidently, one of Chertoff's relatives is on the PM staff.

I humbly suggest you check out the articles presented in the following website:

Been there.  Done that.  Thought it was silly.

And of course I'm selective about what to believe.  Everyone should be.  Like the saying goes...I try to keep an open mind, but not so open my brains fall out.  

Leanan: I think everyone can agree that 2 WTC towers were hit by airplanes. Did the collision by the airliners cause the collapse of the 2 buildings? Maybe. Maybe not. No one can know for sure (not even yourself). Having said this, causing 2 buildings to collapse perfectly into their own footprints in a controlled manner while striking them near the top is a one in a million probability occurrence. That doesn't mean it didn't happen. What you should understand is that what you have chosen to believe as a physical event is EXTREMELY unlikely. There is no point even discussing the unexplained collapse of the third building.
causing 2 buildings to collapse perfectly into their own footprints in a controlled manner while striking them near the top is a one in a million probability occurrence.

No, it isn't.  There's no other way a building can fall.  A skyscraper is mostly air.  When the support gives way, it will collapse down - pancake, as the saying goes.  It's not like a tree; it's not going to tip over.

Indeed, that is the mistake bin Laden made in his first attempt on the towers.  He thought if he planted a bomb at the base of one, he could topple it over into the other, causing both to collapse.

Doesn't work that way.  The base is the strongest part of the skyscraper, because it is supporting all the floors above it.  The weak point is the top.  The higher you go, the weaker the building.  The higher floors don't need to be as strong, because they are supporting less weight.  And you don't want to make them too strong, because that increases the weight (which must be supported by all the floors below).  

Al-Qaeda learned from their mistake, and were successful in their second try.

Leanan: Now I think you are just fooling around. If you want any structure to free fall in a controlled manner you have to take out the supports at the bottom.Al-Qaeda learned from their mistake? Now you are the one just being silly.I am sure you are aware that these 2 buildings did something (collapsing from a strike near the top) that no office building has done before or since (and IMO never will again).Having said this, I think we are going in circles on this one. Back to oil depletion.  
If you want any structure to free fall in a controlled manner you have to take out the supports at the bottom.

First of all, it was not free fall.

Taking out the supports at the bottom is simply too difficult.  The bottom of a skyscraper is immensely strong.  You'd be attacking it at the strongest point.

Al-Qaeda learned from their mistake?

Yes, I think they did.  I am a civil engineer, and after the first WTC attack, the civil engineering journals, mailing lists, Usenet, etc., were full of discussion by engineers on why the attack failed.  Basically, the same argument I just made.  If you want to collapse a skyscraper, you don't attack it at the bottom.  

I suspect al-Qaeda saw some of these discussions, and modified their attack plans accordingly.

I am sure you are aware that these 2 buildings did something (collapsing from a strike near the top) that no office building has done before or since (and IMO never will again)

No one's ever flown a commercial jet full of fuel into a skyscraper before, either.

I think it may happen again.  Perhaps not in the U.S. - we're warned, now - but elsewhere?  There may well be copycats.  

Leanan: I am not a civil engineer, so you have me beat on credentials. Since you are somewhat of an expert on the subject of demolition of buildings, could you explain to us how a large, tall building is normally brought down in a controlled demolition? From your post, it almost sounds like you would be placing strong charges near the top of a skyscraper, rather than at the base (where you fear it is too strong to demolish by explosives). Please clarify.
How Building Implosions Work

The Bigger They Come, the Harder They Fall

The basic idea of explosive demolition is quite simple: If you remove the support structure of a building at a certain point, the section of the building above that point will fall down on the part of the building below that point. If this upper section is heavy enough, it will collide with the lower part with sufficient force to cause significant damage. The explosives are just the trigger for the demolition. It's gravity that brings the building down.

Leanan: Okay. Following your logic: Both pilots of the two airliners managed to hit both buildings at the identical spot a controlled demolition expert would have planted charges.Persons have commented that just hitting the buildings alone was quite a feat of airmanship but you are alleging that both pilots actually zeroed in on the exact spot to hit (vertically) for maximum effect.I have actually not heard this alleged before. Congrats.  
Both pilots of the two airliners managed to hit both buildings at the identical spot a controlled demolition expert would have planted charges.

No.  They actually hit different spots on each building.  There's no need to be extremely accurate if all you're trying to do is bring down the building.  This isn't watchmatching.  

In a real controlled demolition, you wouldn't have pieces of the building taking down nearby buildings. The buildings did not fall exactly into their own footprints.  

IMO, people are fooled because they don't often seen buildings that tall collapse.  They expect them to fall like trees, or like the wooden block buildings they made as youngsters.  But the physics is completely different.  

Brian I'm no engineer, but consider this.  The charges detonated in controlled demo at the sweet spots are calculated and designed to work within seconds.  When they hit the structure it didn't just fall.  It burned and burned for less than a few hours.  

It's not about a sweet spot getting hit, since you've got so much energy(speed) combined with mostly full tanks exploding on contact.  That initial impact was not enough to bring them down, but as the floors burned the steel throughout the floors at the impact were continuosly being weakened due to intense heat for a prolonger period.  

That's my joe six pack analysis, like I said I'm not engineer and I subscribe to some of the 9/11 conspiracy (namely govt knowledge, but that's it), the controlled demo theory just doesnt hold water.  There was no reason to bring them down when the attack was the basis for war, not the results of it.

The towers did not collapse perfectly into their footprints. Debris went a long ways sideways.
I suggest you look at this site. Debunking 9/11 Conspiracy theories covers quite a bit of this stuff, including the false fact claims you're making.

  1. Actually, the navigation was easy. It's easy to home in on GPS coordinates if you aren't paying attention to directions from ground control.

  2. Experienced pilots could not replicate flight 77 into the Pentagon because 77's pilot sucked. Ground witnesses said the path was erratic and full of overcorrections. Takes a lot of work for a healthy man to learn how to fake Parkingson's Disease.

As for WTC, it did not collapse that close to free fall. There is not need to explain why it collapsed close to free fall -- because it didn't.

And as for the Chertoffs, no, there is no relation besides both being Jews.  Jewish surnames are never reliable for looking at family trees.

There is another side as well.  The networks called the Florida vote for Gore after the polls had closed in the Eastern Time Zone but while they were still open in the Central Time Zone.  There were reports of people leaving the lines and pulling out of parking spots when they heard.

The Central Time Zone area is basically Pensacola (think naval base) and surrounding rural farm areas & rich beach communities.  The strongest Republican area in all of Florida.

A clear manipulation by the MSM to tilt a close election for the Democrats.


I think that misunderstands the commercial pressure on these networks to 'call it' first.

The media is under huge pressure to be 'unbiased'.  And most media people are themselves liberal-leaning, so they feel the pressure even more heavily.  So a reader of American newspapers re Global Warming would conclude that the world's climatologists are divided about anthropogenically forced global warming, when in fact they are not-- there are a bunch of fringe people, mostly not climate scientists, who spread scepticism.

The joke goes the headline is: 'White House announces world is flat.  Opinions differ'.

Agreed.  It's still wrong as all hell, but that doesn't make intentional, or a conspiracy.  

For the example, the infamous "butterfly ballot" in the 2000 election.  That confusing design robbed Gore of votes that would have given him an easy victory in Florida.

Was it intentional?  A conspiracy?  I see no evidence of that.  Incompetent, perhaps, but not a conspiracy.  

But in the end, it doesn't matter.  The will of the voters was thwarted, and the reasons aren't as important as the fact that it happened.  

Bush's campaign manager and (I think) the RNC chairman requested that the networks wait as least 30 minutes after the polls closed (allowing almost all those in line to vote) before calling the election.

Florida was a known battleground state and "too close to call" with lots of electoral votes.

In every other state but Alaska they waited soem minutes after the polls closed before calling it (as if there was any doubt about DC, Texas or Utah) so as to not bias the election.

They waited till polls closed in El Paso (Mt Time Zone) before calling Texas (about 5 minutes from memory, not 30),  Also both time zone halves of Kentucky and Indiana before calling those states.  They did call Alaska before the last poll closed in the Aleutian Islands.

I think it was clearly deliberate to ignore the pleas of one side and tilt the election.  They did not think that they would be called on it (they weren't) so they did it.

BTW, a Democratic office holder approved the "butterfly" ballots in her county.


Jim Burke -- I think the ArchDruid has something there because it appears to already be happening. The sharks are out, and they're feeding. The hot money got out of energy in August and its now into the Stock Market here it will stay until it can,t go much higher (well after the election, no doubt) then probably back into oil. When? I don't know -- I'm not an insider. Then the cycle will repeat.

This can create a lot of  financial "collateral damage".  But, what will be the result on Peak Oil?  Negligible. Everyone seems fixated on oil prices, they go up and they go down, yet total consumption stays just about the same -- and that is exactly where the problem lies -- total world consuption. As Deffeyes put it, price matters of course, it just doesn't matter that much.

Jim, thanks for the post.

Well...I guess it's now official...yippeee!!!

OPEC to cut output by 1 mln barrels - Algeria

http://futures.fxstreet.com/Futures/news/afx/singleNew.asp?menu=economicnews&pv_noticia=11612156 14-a0a30f08-00780

More rhetoric for those interested:

Libya Oil Co. Head: OPEC Would Cut Again In Dec If Needed



They're trying to hold my $57 floor.  I've got these guys in my pocket.

It's always a pleasure to bring a smile to your face, Hothgor.

BTW, stay away from my mother post peak.

Is she cute?
She won't be if you eat her.
Price broke over $58 tonight, but if the latest trend holds true...it'll rise overnight to only be squashed back down during US daytime.

I expect this trend to continue until more bombs drop or the elections are over...whichever comes first.

I don't buy the peak oil argument anymore. There is just too much coal. We'll make syngas out of coal if we need to, not that that's such a great idea.