DrumBeat: November 13, 2006

[Update by Leanan on 11/13/06 at 12:50 PM EDT]

Oilsands threatening water reserves

A study on global warming released Monday warns that the expansion of Alberta's booming oilsands industry is threatening Canadian freshwater reserves.

"The case studies that we looked at, showed that in the tar sands, for instance ... this is supposed to be a big economic boom area, they're already pressing the limits of sustainability in water use," Langer said of Alberta's Athabasca River area, which is used extensively by oil sands plants.

..."They use a huge amount, they use two to four and a half barrels of water for every barrel of oil that comes out of there and they're expecting to use more but they're literally contributing to the global warming problem and boiling off their own water," Langer said.

The report predicts there isn't enough water in the Alberta river to balance the mounting demand from the petroleum industry with the need to preserve the Athabasca's resources.

Tight oil will shake up lifestyles, expert warns

North America's dependence on oil will force higher prices and lifestyle changes in years to come, a leading Canadian energy analyst warned a Denver audience in a recent speech.

"Ultimately we will get to the point where (oil) supply is unable to meet demand in an economically feasible way. That's the break point - something has to give," said Peter Tertzakian, chief energy economist for Calgary-based ARC Financial Corp.

What will give, he said, is consumer behavior that until now has been motivated by cheap and plentiful energy. Out of necessity caused by tight supplies and high prices for oil, consumers will gravitate to fuel-efficient vehicles and increasingly embrace working at home in lieu of commuting.

Chinese now visiting peak oil sites?

Aaron of peakoil.com has posted a map, apparently showing the location of visitors to peakoil.com. One surprise in Aaron's map is the number of visitors from China.

Peak oil on the agenda: Notes from the Australian Institute of Energy annual forum

James' report below contains some minor bombshells, for instance Lloyd Taylor, former Chairman of Shell NZ, claiming that even based on the USGS data, there is a 60% of peak oil by 2015.

Jackup Change Up

Over the course of the next several years, the offshore jackup fleet will be changing significantly as 63 new jackups join the fleet by the end of 2009. That represents a 16% increase in the overall jackup fleet size. Of those 63 new jackups, only one rig is rated for less than 300' water depths (It is rated for 295' feet). As such, the higher specification, deeper water jackup fleet will be the main area of the fleet experiencing growth. It will be growing from its current size of 199 rigs to 261 rigs, which is a 31% increase in size over three years.

Attitude adjustment: Facing our ecological predicament

After a talk I gave last year on food and energy, one audience member remarked that it seemed to him that we face challenges so daunting that little can be done to stop a worldwide collapse of civilization. "What is the point in trying?" he seemed to be asking. As I prepare for guest lectures on peak oil and the consequences of overshoot at a local college this week, I'm asking myself: Is that person's attitude really all that unreasonable?

Greenpeace co-founder warms to nuclear energy

Patrick Moore, who left Greenpeace 20 years ago, said he wants to build grassroots support among mayors and state lawmakers, union members and chamber of commerce leaders.

...His message is this: "Nuclear energy is safe, reliable, cost-effective, and reduces air pollution and greenhouse gas emission."

Oil fuels national ambitions

LONDON - Iran maintains a costly nuclear program while spending billions to subsidize everything from apartments to gasoline. Russia defies international demands to give up a monopoly on oil pipelines to Europe. Venezuela sends aid to countries around the globe in an effort to expand its influence.

What all three have in common are treasuries swollen by the high price of oil.

US ethanol boom changes landscape for corn producers

NEW YORK - A boom in ethanol use in gasoline in the United States has led to a surge in corn prices and changed the landscape for farmers now producing for both food and energy markets.

Canada faces U.N. grilling over Kyoto abandonment

OTTAWA - This is likely to be another rough week for embattled Canadian Environment Minister Rona Ambrose, who must explain to a summit on global warming why Ottawa has effectively abandoned the Kyoto protocol on climate change.

Are We Ready for Change?

John Hofmeister, President of Shell Oil Company, kicked off the first half of the conference speaking about an indefinite supply of energy available in affordable ways, but not without challenges. ....Challenging part of this argument, Matthew Simmons, Chairman of Simmons & Company International, led the second half, highlighting that much of the world's usable energy resources are too mature and are now in production decline.

Corruption, insecurity threaten Sudan peace deal

Corruption, insecurity and bad faith on the part of the Khartoum government in sharing oil profits is slowing Southern Sudan's recovery from years of civil war.

Poland threatens to veto EU-Russia pact

Pipeline politics once again dominate EU-Russia relations as Poland threatens to veto the renewal of a 1997 agreement with Russia.

Ex-energy secretary sees further rise in oil prices

The long-term trend as far as oil prices are concerned is that they will rule at the present levels or may possibly go higher.

Former US energy secretary Spencer Abraham told The Peninsula yesterday that he doubted prices would fall given the current levels of demand which was also growing at a rapid pace.

Families feel the squeeze: Higher fuel, health costs hit home

Tanzania: Port congestion may push up fuel prices

RECENT congestion by seven tankers carrying over 210,000 tonnes of petroleum at the Dar es Salaam Port threatens to push up fuel prices by an average of 20/- per litre, due to accumulated demurrage charges.

China tax breaks in works for heavy oil

China, the world's biggest energy user after the United States, is drafting policies such as tax incentives and discounts to boost exploration for heavy oil resources such as oil sands and oil shale to meet demand.

Not the Revolution, But an Opening

King Coal and Big Oil continue to use their power and vast wealth to keep us locked into a reliance on earth-heating fossil fuels that, if not quickly reversed, will lead to a steady escalation of catastrophic climate events and a breakdown of an already-stressed ecosystem.

Venezuelans Square Off Over Race, Oil and a Populist Political Slogan

CARACAS, Venezuela — “Mi negra” is an almost untranslatable term of endearment used in rich and poor households in this racially mixed country, with a definition somewhere between “My dark-skinned woman” and “My dear.”

Now, it also has another meaning. In a reference to the color of oil, President Hugo Chávez’s main electoral challenger chose Mi Negra as the name of a banking card he proposes that would transfer oil revenues directly to the poor.

GOP pressed on offshore drilling limits

WASHINGTON - The Democrats' return to power is increasing pressure on House Republican leaders to accept a limited expansion of offshore oil and gas drilling.

Supporters of such exploration say the next Congress, with Democrats in control come January, probably will not tamper with the long-standing drilling bans that have protected most coastal waters for a quarter-century.

Russia rejects expansion of Chevron oil link

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Energy Ministry has rejected a plan to expand the capacity of a Chevron-led oil pipeline from Kazakhstan to the Black Sea, Kommersant business daily said on Monday.

...The consortium wants to almost double capacity from 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.3 million bpd, but has faced opposition from Russia, which fears the pipeline -- the only private crude oil link on its territory -- could increase tanker traffic at the already congested Bosphorus straits in Turkey.

Anadarko selling Gulf of Mexico oilfield

HOUSTON - Anadarko Petroleum Corp., one of the nation's largest independent energy exploration and production companies, is selling its Genghis Khan discovery in the Gulf of Mexico for $1.35 billion to owners of the adjacent Shenzi field.
The WSJ has a peak oil article called Dead Dinosaurs, but it's behind the paywall.  This is the bit that's free:

Ever since oil prices started falling from their peak levels this summer, investor interest in the idea of peak oil has declined as well.

But peak oil isn't about the economics of oil but the geology of it. "Price is a very murky window with which to figure out what's happening with oil supply," says Ken Deffeyes, a retired Princeton geology professor and leading peak-oil proponent.

Hopefully it will appear later today on a free site.  The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette might have it.

I wouldn't get my hopes up. The term 'Dead Dinosaurs' is usually used by abiotic oil loons to describe the idea that oil has a biotic origen.
The WSJ has actually been pretty good about its peak oil reporting.  
I've read it - it's just a piece on how the majors are dead money right now, and how the hot funds are all going to the small oil service companies. On the other hand, there is a column on the front page of the Money and Investing section describing peak oil. Other than getting US oil production wrong in their figure (did you know the US produced 20 billion barrels last year, down from 40 billion in the 1970's!!!), the column was fairly balanced - Deffeyes versus the new Jack play in the Gulf of Mexico.
Other than getting US oil production wrong in their figure (did you know the US produced 20 billion barrels last year, down from 40 billion in the 1970's!!!),

Yes that is hilarious. Doing quick check, the us produced last year, crude + condensate, 1.89 billion barrels of oil. In our peak year, 1970, we produced 3.52 billion barrels of crude + condensate. That was 5.178 mb/d and 9.637 mb/d respectfully.

Ron Patterson


There is no link with the "King Coal and Big Oil ..." quote block.

Thanks!  I think it's fixed now.
"King Coal" and "Big Oil" seem to be accepted nicknames for the companies that dominate those industries, so I want to nominate a nickname for the industry that generates electricity from wind: "Mighty Wind."

Do we have any nicknames for solar and nuclear?

nicknames for solar

Ruddy Kilowatt? Sun Juice?

and nuclear?

Night Light? Mc-squared?

But you can name the top 10 oil companies operating in the US, or the world's top 10 coal companies (Peabody, Kennicott etc.).

You can even name the 'Big Solar', the world's top 10 solar cell producers (BP, Shell, a couple of Japanese firms).

It's hard to talk about a  'wind top 10'.

Do we mean turbine companies?  That's GE and Vesta and a Spanish co (whose name escapes me).

Do we mean wind operators?  Then that is the Danish utility, probably the German ones (E.On, RWE?), the Spanish one (Iberdrola).  In the US I think it is mostly independent operations (to capture the tax reliefs).

The reality is wind is just an enabling technology.

The 'Big Coal' and 'Big Oil' represent companies with locks on significant deposits of energy.  No wind company would have that lock-- wind is free and omnipresent.

The article is today's "Ahead of the Tape" column on page C1. It's very short but does discuss Hubbert and also includes a chart:

Also on page C1, in another article, Soft Energy Prices May Be Costly Later, is a quote from T. Boone Pickens:

T. Boone Pickens, the energy-investment titan whose investment fund BP Capital Management bets big on higher energy prices, is adamant that oil prices remain on an upward trajectory and probably have bottomed for now. "I think you'll see $70 oil before $50," Mr. Pickens says in an interview. "We're depleting this natural resource. It's unavoidable."

Finally, a free article from today's WSJ:

Renewable Fuels May Provide 25% of U.S. Energy by 2025

WASHINGTON -- A new Rand Corp. study showing the falling costs of ethanol, wind power and other forms of renewable energy predicts such sources could furnish as much as 25% of the U.S.'s conventional energy by 2025 at little or no additional expense.

A second renewable-energy report soon to be released by the National Academy of Sciences suggests wood chips may become a plentiful source of ethanol and electricity for industrial nations because their forested areas are expanding, led by the U.S. and China.

The chart above is grossely wrong. And it gives, as its source, the EIA. I think what they meant to show, with this chart, is millions of barrels per day. That would put it about right.

Ron Patterson


The chart would be about right, in millions of barrels per day, if you took the zero off numbers to the left of the chart.

Ron Patterson

I think they forgot to add the . between the 3 and 0.  THAT puts it exactly right :)
Yes, that is correct. I had it wrong also. It would not be correct if it were millions of barrels per day, it would be correct if it were billions of barrels per year divided by 10.

Ron Patterson

The WSJ published a correction today (Tuesday, November 14, 2006), on Page A2:

Corrections & Amplifications

U.S. ANNUAL CRUDE OIL production in 2005 totaled 1.89 billion barrels. The scale of a chart of U.S. crude oil production accompanying yesterday's Ahead of the Tape column incorrectly overstated all of the output figures by a factor of 10.
Leannan- The New York Times has an interesting article on the sale of deepwater production and development prospects by Anadarko from part of their Kerr-Magee aquisition. They're selling to BHP-Billiton.
I was just reading the "Declaration of Independence" post by Hans yesterday. It is especially meaningful after having spent the weekend in exurbia outside Chicago. We spent the weekend with friends who moved from Madison, Wisc. down to Plainfield, Ill. They live in the Wesmere development, which is accessible by driving for miles and miles past strip malls, condo developments, and big box stores. The homes are large (2k - 4k sq ft) but cheap (3" soffits) and crammed in close to one another. From what I saw, it looked like the "pride in ownership" emotions expired after about three years of ownership, though there were some immaculately groomed lawns.

I watched The End of Suburbia a year ago and never understood the magnitude of these developments. Madison, Wisc has some home development going on, but not to the extent of the exurbs in Illinois. I believe low income neighborhoods will last longer than these cookie-cutter neighborhoods on the downward slope of the curve because at least low income neighborhoods have walkable streets and neighbors who know each other.

I took my dog for a walk while in the exurb and after fifteen minutes I was getting nervous about being able to relocate my friend's house. The development consists of contrived "communities" that are made up of 5-10 blocks worth of houses, with each grouping ("community") given a name like "Arbor" or "Lake Pointe" (should be called "Stormwater Runoff Holding Pond Pointe"). So little did I know I wandered out of the "Arbor" community and into the "Lake Pointe" community. All of the streets were named "Lake Pointe Circle", "Lake Pointe Drive", "Lake Pointe Court", "Lake Pointe Way", etc. And the only directional indicator I had was the humming high voltage power line running over the development toward Chicago. Luckily I encountered a person outside (the only one I saw outside of a car or a house over the course of an hour) and asked her for directions back to my friend's house on "Arbor-something". She said "Oh, you need to get back to the Arbor community which is over that way. I set my internal compass using the power line as a reference and I was on my way.

Upon leaving the development yesterday to get back to Madison I saw an intersection with 40+ signs touting the even newer developments chewing into what used to be farmland. One sign offered a waterpark in the development, but my favorite was the sign that said "Basement Included". Wow, what a deal!

Tom A-B

The front page of the McPaper has this article:

Las Vegas closing in on full house

LAS VEGAS -- Flying into this desert metropolis is as deceiving as a mirage. From 10,000 feet you see empty land in all directions and swear the pace of suburban sprawl could go on unchecked.

You'd swear no end's in sight to subdivisions stretching for miles beyond the Strip, enclaves of single-family houses that draw thousands of Californians and other migrants a year.

Look again. The valley that Las Vegas and 1.8 million residents call home is nearly built out. Mountains, national parks, military bases, an Indian community and a critter called the desert tortoise have Sin City hemmed in. At the current building pace in the USA's fastest-growing major metro area, available acreage will be gone in less than a decade, developers and real estate analysts say.

"available acreage will be gone in less than a decade"

Or water...or oil...or AC...

Cost of ownership in those houses is high.

The materials tend to need a retread every 25-30 years, roofs etc.  That's when you find out if the builders cut corners (the blogs are full of people talking about how their <insert name of major American or British housebuilder> new home turned out to be full of defects.

Insulation is often lacking, and there is a dearth of energy savings design features such as heat pumps, etc.

(here in the UK we build modern houses with smaller windows than previous generations, despite the introduction of the steel joist, insulative glass etc. which makes big windows practicable.  The result is you need artificial light even in broad daylight and you lose the solar insolation value in winter).

Of course there are the transport issues: 1 car per adult in household.  And you can't even buy a quart of milk without driving for it (walk? what me walk?).

There is an absence of trees, often, and not even a plan to grow them.  Trees are a big factor in reducing air conditioning bills.

Someone has to plough the snow, and pickup the garbage: the costs of that are proportional to lot frontage (inversely proportional to density).

Big square footage means big repair bills, and usually lots of waste space.  It's not like most of us have families with 5 kids, and our grandparents, any more.

I have a feeling we are going to come to regret this sprawl.  Just as the old fashioned post war suburb or pre WWII suburb is coming into recognition, (there are usually amenities fairly close), the exurbs are going to turn into a liability.

I just spent a week in the old narrow streeted medieval part of Barcelona which is almost completely pediastrianized for miles.  There were probably 50 cafes within a mile of my apartment. There was no parking with an only an occasional taxi or motor scooter straying into the area. The people completely owned the narrow streets and going anywhere in that area by car was unthinkable.

When I ventured out of the pediastrianized area (by mass transit, of course) , most of the cars I saw made my Prius seem bloated.  I only saw two SUVs the whole week, which, obviously, looked totally weird and out of place.

The week was an incredibly pleasnt experience in a big,crowded city. If only American cities could be half that civilized.  

Perhaps Spain has exurbia, too, but it was nice to spend a week in fantasy land, a world that in America we can only dream about.

I have seen the past and we must learn to recreate it.

This past week, I attended a meeting in our local community on Boulder county (Colorado) relocalization. The speaker pointed out that all the land currently under agriculture in Boulder County could only provide enough food for 20,000 residents. Obviously, further suburbanization or exurbanization is not going to increase that number.  

P.S. Yes, I feel a certain degree of guilt for making the airplane trip but feel that the trip was mandatory since I was attending my daughter's wedding.  Now as to why my daughter felt the need to have her wedding overseas, that is another story.


Regrettably, Spain does have its exurban developments: All along the coastal strips, burgeoning with new holiday villa and apartments. This will become a tragedy. All depend upon cheap air fares. Water, not plentiful in Spain at the best of times, will be an acute problem and very soon. Spain and Portugal are in drought and access to water will be an increasingly difficult problem to resolve.

It will be just as bad as Las Vegas.

One effect of these 'cookie cutter' developments that is not often noted is how they screw up traffic in a city. Almost all of these types of developments are built with 'picturesque' curvy roads and as many cul-de-sacs as possible. They don't have through streets because this is what sells. The effect is that all this traffic is routed onto a few main throughfares in the city causing havoc at every rush hour. I lived and biked (!!) in Charlotte,NC for a couple of years and it was a classic in this regard. Every main intersection had a scattering of crash debris because it accumulated faster than it could be cleaned up. Another example of abuse of the commons where the commons in this case is the infrastructure of general purpose roadways in the city.
  A lawyer I know in a Houston suburb had to quit drinking a quart of scotch a day so he could find his way home in all the cul de sacs. Poor bastard.
/ each grouping ("community") given a name like "Arbor" or "Lake Pointe"/

I've always found it ironic that surburban developments are named for the more natural use of the land that is destroyed by the deveopment.

Trees were undoubtedly destroyed to make way for the "Arbor" community.

Toxic run-off from asphalt and lawn chemicals is slowly destroying the Lake of "Lake Pointe".

"Deer Run" is a neighborhood were deers used to run.

"Hoffman Farm" was destroyed in order to build another exurban neighborhood.

Stands of Oak trees were destroyed to make way for "Oak Grove"

Etc., etc.

I wonder if any other readers of TOD discovered PO as I did- as a result of an earlier distaste for the suburbs. I grew up a "prisoner" of a typical suburban cul-de-sac outside of Columbus, Ohio.  We were so bored growing up there that my friends and I resorted to petty vandalism for entertainment.  I read Kunstler's early books, "Crabgrass Frontier" and other anti-surburban stuff years before I became aware of Peak Oil and discovered it as the anti-suburban movement became more and more aware of PO.

here in the midwest of a timberline (drive,place,court) or even subdivision is a favorite there is not a real timberline (above 10,000' ) for at least 700 miles  another one is (whatever) ridge  it's about all glacial till   no real ridges either
Yeah, my in-laws used to live on hickory hill drive- the street was completely flat and there wasn't a single hickory tree anywhere!  How can people fail the absurdity?
Global growth in carbon emissions is 'out of control'


The growth in global emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels over the past five years was four times greater than for the preceding 10 years, according to a study that exposes critical flaws in the attempts to avert damaging climate change.

What, me worry?

[rant warning]

How predictable. Obviously that's what we will be doing about the problem: watching and ranting how things were "out of control". If we really wanted to tackle the problem we would be having prohibitive carbon taxes and wide-scale international program for nuclear power expansion by now. Instead we are having that ridiculous Kyoto, which everyone knew was dead born and wide-scale stupidity expansion.

"Instead we are having that ridiculous Kyoto, which everyone knew was dead born and wide-scale stupidity expansion"

I agree.

Kyoto focuses on Global Flatulence at a time when the Refrigerator and Cupboards (fossile fuels) are now emptying faster than they can be replaced.  

As the Empty Belly Trend (declining available energy sources) gets worse, what will the desperate do - worry about their economic flatulence (emissions) or worry about starving and freezing?

Koyoto is busy work for politicians and green peace-religious crusaders.  It makes people feel they are doing something constructive but in reality they are distracting the world from the more pressing and immediate problem of Peak Energy.  

Germany is today discussing how to reduce German consumption of coal, oil and natural gas by an additional 20% by 2020.  Kyoto and "Kyoto II" are the noted motivations, but I could not think of a better goal (except -25% by 2018) with respect to Peak Oil Exports.

Wind turbines, our best hope as post-Peak NG bites, were helped along by Kyoto.

Kyoto may fail in it's stated goals BUT the effect has still been strongly positive for those nations that signed.  The US will suffer for not having signed.

Best Hopes,


Alan, I don't think the Kyoto protocol is a complete waste of time for the very good point you make - that one positive of Kyoto are efforts to curb emissions from fossil fuel use, which includes less use of fossil fuels (as well as less polluting forms of use).

But I wonder what a difference it would have made if the Kyoto participants were as forceful and energized, but focused on the much more immediate danger Peak Energy.  

The truth is we know far too little about our atmosphere and the various cycles regulating it to make accurate predictions and sound decisions about the future of Global Warming/Cooling.  

We know far more about our lack of Energy sources and the effects of declining energy.  What we can do about either is another question, but focusing on flatulence is not the answer IMHO.


The ONE positive thing the Bush Administration has done about GW is to massively research "Climate Change".  You statement about our inability to make sound decisions is no longer valid.

We are at the "preponderance of the evidence" (standard of proof for civil cases) that human carbon dioxide and other GHG emissions will cause more economic (not to mention ecological, social, humanitarian) harm than the economic costs to slow down and limit the looming disaster.

Of course, too many "conservatives" demand the standard of proof that applies to criminal cases, "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt".

I choke when I use "conservatives" in that context.


A Republican from age 19 to age 52.

For the sake of the argument I will give you Global Warming is a reality.

I still say we know too little about our atmosphere and the various cycles to act intelligently and effectively.

To act to curb emissions is fine, but I think Mother Nature (Peak Energy) is going to more effective than any efforts by the critter we call Homo Sap.  

We can't manage a deer herd or predict the weather with great accuracy beyond 24 hours.  I have no confidence our politicians and special interest groups will do a better job with the climate.

Iceland effectively & sustainably manages their cod and other fisheries as Canada has completely depleted theirs and the UK and others are well on their way.

Homo saps CAN do it, we just screw up far too often.

40% of MWh from new USA generation installed in 2006 (this year) will come from wind turbines and another 4% from other renewables. (Quote that I checked out from other TODer)

Not "perfect" but not bad either.

I have my path that is good for both PO & GW.


Best Hopes,


We'll have to agree to disagree for now I guess.

Being able to managing one local fishery by one locale - at a time when then world is at Peak Energy and Peak Matter - is very different than managing the world's climate or other "commons" by a Desperate Post Peak world community.  

I have hope but it is not in the management skills of homo sap or his economists or his godz of science and technology.  

I have hope that our descendants will better manage their particular locales after Mother Nature makes thinks managable with Her own "kyoto protocol" (which likely requires The Culling the Saps and does not give the Saps or any of their special interest groups a vote).

I struggle to SLIGHTLY improve the chances of a "better than the worst" outcome.  Perhaps I cnan improve the odds of a slightly less bad outcome by 0.2%.  If so, well worth the effort !

Best Hopes,


I commend you for your particular struggle (one I think is worth struggling for) and wish you well at your locale.  

After the dust settles we'll see how many of our various TOD locales came up a Successful "Plan B" - and then maybe they can all work together on a Plan C (or plan z-squared).

I would like to understand better what point you are making, sendoilplease.

It might be that you are A) just predicting the future, or B) it might be that you are recommending a course of action.

A.1) If you are just predicting the future, it sounds like you are saying that your prediction is pretty much independent of any course of action anybody might embark upon. Maybe the future does depend on our action, but not in any predictable way. Maybe you are saying that our action is like tossing a coin. The best prediction possible is statistical, viz. 50/50 heads/tails. Any recommended action like wishing for a result or saying prayers, there is no way to know or predict if this will make any difference to the coin toss result.

A.2) Or perhaps you are not recommending any course of action, because even though there might be some positive result, maybe you are saying that folks shouldn't alter their actions to produce benefit for others. There does seem to be a branch of the Adam Smith school that holds altrustic action to be morally negative.

B) Or maybe you are recommending some course of action. It sounds like you are not recommending making efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. Maybe there are two forks to that path of non-reduction:

B.1) Attempts to reduce CO2 emissions won't make have any predictable effect on global warming, but they will have significant costs. So the net effect is negative, because all that wasted investment could have been applied to something with predictably positive return.

B.2) Attempts to reduce CO2 emissions will have a predictable negative effect on global warming along with the other costs. I.e. any such attempts will most likely backfire.

So here I have listed four reasons one might advise against efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. I wonder if any of these are at all close to your thinking?


"I would like to understand better what point you are making..."

In that particular post I'm saying we are a part of nature and we are not in control because we are not yet competent enough to take on Peak Energy let alone Global Climate Change.

I'm saying Mother Nature will have her way with our cute little species (again!!) and that I think there will be survivors and that  they will cobble together something civilized after The Transition.

As far as a best course of action, I think Nature will dictate that in different ways in different places at different times throughout this Transition and how you respond will depend on your Locale and your genes (Kunstler has it very right when he says "profoundly local").

Engineers, physicists, poets and politicians need to bone-up on their history and biology.

Once again, you betray either your ignorance.  The weather is unpredictable because it's short term, localized phenomena, whose parameters fit well under the 'chaos tehory' paradigm, and is therefore only moderately predictable in the short term.  
The climate being a long term mass phenomenon can therefore can be predicted relatively accurately, barring random events.
Good luck.
Germany is today discussing how to reduce German consumption of coal, oil and natural gas by an additional 20% by 2020

What is left out unspoken is how exactly Germany managed to achieve that 20% reduction of CO2 emissions. The simple truth is that most of it (some 3/4 if memory serves well) was due to the collapse of the economy of ex-socialist Eastern Germany and the closure of its highly energy ineffective pruduction facilities in the first half . Unfortunately I can not find the link for the report I read but the numbers were compelling.

So if Germany wants to cut its emissions by 20% and still close its nuclear plants producing ~20% of its electricity (wind is producing ~6%) I would suggest them to find another East Germany or best of all merge with China.

More French nuclear plants, wind turbines, solar and HARD CORE conservation.

Minimum wall insulation for new construction is R-39 (my conversion of German standards, subject to error).  Replace or upgrade more existing construction with higher efficiency, reduce auto use and increase electrified transportation.  Get rid of most heavy trucks (a major weakness of German energy use), more freight rail & barge.  Less air travel.

It can be done, the pieces are there IMHO.  -1.5% per year.

Best Hopes,


Deminishing marginal returns.

Since the "low-hanging fruit" picked up during the years 2000-2005 brought home only 0.7% reduction, how are they going to perform in future? IMHO Germany emissions will stall at best and after they start closing their nukes they will shoot up to the sky (or maybe will their neighbours will shoot up if they decide to import. France alone can not power the whole Western Europe you must agree).

I think EDF is interested is supplying, say, 10% of UK demand, 1/3rd of Benelux, 1/4th of German & Spanish demands and most of the power for Northern Italy.  Swiss & Austrian hydro for peak, EDF nuke for base load with "gap fillers" locally.

Yes, at 3 AM on a fine spring night, EDF would like to power most of Western Europe.

I have only talked with EDF execs a couple of times, but they seem very French, with large goals.

They are building a 1.600 MW nuke they do not need just accross from England (and not far from Belgium) for export.  They want to do more than that.

Best Hopes for French energy dominance ???


You could be already guessing that I consider EDF a very smart company - actually the credit should go for the French govt, for letting them do what other utilities would be doing if they had government greenlight, if not support.

Of course, if Germany, UK or Spain are OK with becoming energy dependant with them I'm also OK. But besides losing economic and political positions, the same thing as Russia will apply to France - security of supply (if not for political for purely technical reasons). Basically if I were them I would not want to rely on it, even though they are all part of the EU. OK, it's their problem after all, but UK's position looks like the worst one.

One article pointing that fact (not the one I read BTW):


Germany reduced its CO2 emissions between 2000 and 2004 by a modest 0.7 percent. As a result of the collapse of industry in the former communist east, levels fell by 17.2 percent between 1990 and 2004. Sergej Kononow of the UN climate change secretariat says that's "pretty close to the targets of the Kyoto Protocol."

And another curious fact:

Turkey, Spain and Portugal take the prize for blasting ever more CO2 into the atmosphere. Between 1990 and 2004, the three countries increased their greenhouse gas emissions by 72.6 percent, 49 percent and 41 percent, respectively.

Correct me if I'm wrong but Spain is the second or the third country ranking in the installed wind capacity worldwide. So much for the wind "being our best hope", Alan.

Erm... so?  How does Spain's ability to pollute speak badly of a technology that they use for a small percentage of their energy?
It does not necessarily speak "badly", it just shows that this technology is just what it is - a very marginal one. It obviously does not correspond well with the government policies which are practically pushing it as a "baseload" tool against GW (and maybe peak energy unofficially).

Thus to a large extent wind starts to look like ethanol - you invest a lot of resources to get a modest result. Part of the problem obviously comes from the fact that wind requores backup generation - causing the coal and NG plants to work more uneffectively and emit more CO2. How does this speak for "our best hope to fight global warming"?

IMO, Wind is not like ethanol.  

The price of wind generated electricity is largely "up front" capital expenses plus some O&M afterwards.  LNG is the major cost for CCNG plants (which are cheap to build).  Yet wind turbines are cost competitive with LNG fired CCGT.

I do not know Spanish grid operations, but little or no FF fired units need to be kept as spinning reserve if there is SOME spare hydro in, say, the Pyrennes.  Building some hydro pumped storage would almost certainly be a "good thing".

Spain has seen an explosion of economic growth and some relatively small part of that growth was filled by wind generated power.

Spain will have to (and is taking the first steps towards) change their direction of development.  They appear to have been following the "American path" and they need to switch to the "German path".

Wind is not yet mature.  We are basically doing large scale tests and proofs of concept.  Working out the kinks, improving the designs, getting long term operating data, building support infrastructure and doing all else needed for large scale implementation.

Hothgar looks at an isolated lab report and announces "problem solved !"  I see the complexities, issues and large amounts of time, capital and talent required to develop a mature technology.

I have followed wind developments for decades and they are still NOT mature and ready to take on a major role in US or world electrical production.  However, in recent years, I can see that the gap in technology, experience and infrastructure is small enough, and the momentum large enough, that one can "count on" wind going forward to maturity and a major role in electrical generation.

Unfortunately, "step 3" of widespread wind generation requires long lead time implementation.  Grid improvements and more pumped storage.  The lack of these improvements may stall wind generation at some future (and perhaps critical) time.

Best Hopes,


Your "step 3" is where the whole problem lies into.

People are attracted by the idea of wind energy, because it looks simple, clean and free. While the facts are that to make it work you must add a lot of complexity to the system - some kind of storage, additional infrastructure to maintain it or bring it from remote places etc. Besides capitally intensive (and energy intensive!) all of this is making the system more complex and is lowering its overall efficiency. It is deminishing marginal returns again - and kicking in at even relatively low levels of grid penetration. What you are suggesting is basically "maturing" a fundamentaly limited technology by applying more and more complex and expensive patches to its defficiencies. To put it another way: wind is not scalable and the additional complexity it will require will be drawing us back in post-carbon world, not forward.

This is absolutely the same isssue as with ethanol. I don't really mind converting the US surplus of corn into ethanol, even at some modest energy profit (btw I'm sure it's more than 30%). But investing billions (icluding public resources) for scaling it up is a sure recepe for disaster. Wind of course is better than ethanol, but not that better that you think.

I think we would need to see the breakdown of where the Spanish emissions are coming from. For example, there housing stock has apparently grown by 25% in the last decade. Unfortunately, they did not use this opportunity to make the new stock super efficient. And, how significant was increased use of the auto in their emissions increases? Industrial production?  

I note they are at least now mandating solar thermal in all new housing and solar pv in commercial applications.

But yeh, these increases are a bit depressing, regardless of the cause.  Emissions need to be capped and then countries need to learn to live within that cap.  Despite Al Gore, I don't think we can necessarily bet on the presumption that all these can be done without cutting into economic growth. As long as economic growth trumps all considerations, I don't think we have much hope unless we take seriously the Stern report which states that global warming will end up significantly eroding GDP.

Also need a paradigm shift in way we perceive quality of life.  Decreased income doesn't necessarily result in decreased satisfaction, health, or overall happiness.  I would even go so far as to say that if you work less you will often gain health in the process. I know this is true in my case.

Despite all these increases, though, these countries still emit way less per capita than the U.S.

At first I was pretty much confident that in its current version Kyoto will be eventually realised as a mistake which is normal for a new problem that needs new solutions. But with time I became convinced, that especially with the trading schemes, Kyoto turned into a very effective way for the rich countries to buy indulgencies (for internal consumption) to continue business as usual. It also appears to be a good reason for the rich countries to try to suppress the development of the poor ones. Of course in the end everyone blames everyone else and nothing gets done...
Hi there TOD,
I have been recently Ill again. Same problem as last time, Just a day early and and minute or two late.
I had to call 911 and give myself up to some EMT's The took me to see the Angel's of Mercy at the Hospital you see.

While there, I me a Doc who is a great doc, just like my last doc.

We had a paradocs in a box in my head trying to get back together again, well together again I am, and you are too, just make sure the lords of earth wind and fire. keep you safe at night and not the old man coal that fire and brimstone guy,  you know there will be hell to pay.

That is the rythm for now.
it seems too two many days late.

thrice as nice.

And you thought it was bad for farmers in India...

Pakistan 'kidney bazaar' thrives

JANDALA, Pakistan -- Nassem Kausar has done it. So, she says, have her sister, six brothers, five sisters-in-law and two nephews.

Each has sold a kidney to a trade that has led Pakistan's media to dub the country a "kidney bazaar."

"We do this because of our poverty," said Kausar, who is in her 30s and lives with her family in Sultanpur Mor, a village in eastern Pakistan.

A kidney nets the donor $2,500, sometimes less than half that amount, while recipients -- some 2,000 a year -- pay $6,000 to $12,000, compared with $70,000 in neighboring China.

Critics blame an economic system that enmeshes farmers in chronic debt, forcing them to sell their kidneys, and say the trade should be banned. The government says it is taking action.

This is why the US and the EU must prevent total die-off in the Third World: we need those spare body parts!
New article on renewable energy mandates at state level:

Energy plan high on Dem agenda

Dozens of CO legislators have endorsed a plan intended to make the state a leader in renewable energy.  The proposal:

Renewable goals by 2015
*Renewable sources should account for 20 percent of CO's power
*Energy use should be cut by 10 percent providing incentives to weatherize homes
*Ethanol should account for 10 percent of transportation fuel used in CO.

Ethanol mandates may give some venture capitalists an extra boost.  Coincidental timing of this NY Times article?

Investors Back Experimental Ethanol Plant

The Mascoma Corporation, which is trying to produce ethanol from nontraditional sources, plans to announce today that it has received $30 million in financing from a group of prominent venture capital investors.

Venture capitalists invested more than $635 million in clean energy technologies through the third quarter of this year, far surpassing the $195 million they invested in all of 2005, according to the National Venture Capital Association.

From the article: "Two years ago, Colorado voters approved Amendment 37, which requires utility providers in the state to obtain 10 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2015. Baker said the state would likely meet that goal by early 2008, largely because of the success of wind power production on the eastern Plains."

Excel fought this tooth and nail but has apprently been incredibly responsible in implementing the law.

I will forward this article to my new legislator and ask her if she is supporting it.

I definitely support wind-based power in CO.  However, I am still dubious about ethanol.  Coloradoans need a truth in advertising campaign about ethanol to point out any drawbacks such as low ERoEI, pipe and engine corrosion, using up valuable farmland, and requiring excessively high levels of govt subsidy which may mask any gross inefficiencies.
Yes, actually, I think the new law should require a reduction of 20% in fossil fuel use as opposed to 20% renewable energy. Unfortunately, most people, and probably most legislators confuse the two.  If a significant part of that 20% so called renewable mix is ethanol,then obviously fossil fuels will not be reduced by 20%.

Also, as I pointed out to my representative in Boulder County, 20% renewable doesn't mean very much if we increase our overall use significantly by 2015.  That increase in use could more than wipe out the 20% requirement. I also pointed out to her that we need to specify additional improvements beyond 2015 and move toward a 60 to 90% reduction in fossil fuel use.

No doubt my new representative thinks I'm one of those people who is never satisfied. Which is true. 10 or 20% is a start and way better than most states are doing but as most people on this site know, it just isn't good enough.

As I said earlier, however, we all need to put pressure on our representatives now, especially those who are part of a continuing or new Democratic majority.  In Colorado, we wouldn't even be talking about this without a Democratic legislature and a new Democratic governor who is replacing the current regressive Republican governor.  He famously vetoed everything that would require anything from businessl, a classic corporate Republican.

You are forgeting that politicians are already feled by ethanol, thats why they like it so much as an energy source!
Sorry, I mistyped my punch line. Its "fueled by alcohol"
More interesting demographics from PeakOil.com:

Our lurker population is often 10 to 20 times as large as our member community. What's interesting is the type of traffic each group is composed of.

What's obvious is that our member community, especially our active member community is decidedly left in political attitude. What's not so obvious is the fundamentally conservative nature of our vast sea of lurkers. Because I get to see specific web traffic information, I can deduce this conservative stance from the preponderance of traffic from domains which are host to conservative organizations.

It struck me as kinda funny, (in a dead-serious way), that the political right seems to be paying close attention to the ministrations of the left.

As humans we are pack animals, & natural voyeurs of course. But it is somewhat unusual to see such conservative attention lavished upon such a liberal (seeming) website.

This suggests to me that we are seeing an evolution of the way people arrive at their affiliations. The Internet & globalism are slowly dissolving the geographic stranglehold on attitudes worldwide. After only a decade of meaningful web discourse, a strange sort of blending is taking place never before seen in human civilization. The fundamental aspects of human life as described by Diamond & others are changing. Cut lose from their foundations, ideas themselves are growing and changing... transforming the cultures they infect in insidious & fundamental ways.

Either that, or they're just spying on us, like J. Edgar Hoover with his "subversives."  

Hmmm.  I posted the "Chinese now visiting peak oil sites?" article as a
news story at PeakOil.com as well, and a Chinese user posted a comment to it. I'm not entirely sure what he meant (there's something of a language barrier), but it sounds like he translated "Twilight In the Desert" from English into Chinese. I don't think it's been published yet, though. He says there will be a "Chinese version release ceremony" in January 2007.
Definitely interesting stuff.  I can't remember when I asked everyone if they'd noticed any Chinese folk on here, but now I know they're out there.  That thing about the "poof" is rather telling.  I do imagine they were being filtered.  Not sure how that works though, TOD may still be restricted to them.
I guess he is the official translator:

A Chinese translation team under my supervision has finalised its translation of respected investment banker Mr. Matt Simmons' book Twilight in the Desert from English into China. The Twilight Chinese version, coming out in the December 2006, could a starting point to warn Chinese once again and then kick off Chinese review of this wake-up call seriously. As chief translator, I will hold Twilight Chinese version release ceremony in January 2007 in Beijing.

Xiaojie Xu

I guess he is the official translator:

    A Chinese translation team under my supervision has finalised its translation of respected investment banker Mr. Matt Simmons' book Twilight in the Desert from English into China. The Twilight Chinese version, coming out in the December 2006, could a starting point to warn Chinese once again and then kick off Chinese review of this wake-up call seriously. As chief translator, I will hold Twilight Chinese version release ceremony in January 2007 in Beijing.

    Xiaojie Xu

Just for your interest, "he" must be a "she." "Xiaojie" is Chinese for "Miss".

The censorship in the chinese part of internet is too exaggerated in the west. Yes, it exists, but mainly regards the hot political issues such as secession of autonomies and calls for overthrowing the government. Other topics are discussed pretty freely.
A few months ago I had an on-line discuss with a colleague in Shanhai and she was very open in her critique of ineffectiveness of local governments in social issues and other problems of modern China. (But, must to say, she was very nationalistic when she spoke about the western attitude toward China.)

The main barrier is indeed the language.  And of course such issues as the future of oil supply and demand are not banned.

What peakoil.com doesn't realize is that all those visitors are really me masking my ISP in multiple ways!!


If you don't know I'm kidding...

I don't see why Peak Oil would necessarily be considered a "liberal" issue.  It effects everyone regardless of political persuasion.

As for suggesting that a conservative would not be interested in conservation is highly ironic, esp. given the origin of the term.  I've met several conservatives who belong to The Sierra Club and who advocate small growth in the interest of sustainability.  They see it as a matter of our responsibility to future generations of Americans.

In my experience, there is a vast difference between conservatives and RINOs.  The latter control the Republican party, are devout acolytes of the religion of infinite growth, and prefer to see America in the role of empire rather than function in her original design as a republic.

We definitely need more viable parties and a massive surge in grassroots activism so that policies are pursued based on their merit and not on special interest control of the two party system.

I don't see why Peak Oil would necessarily be considered a "liberal" issue.

I don't either...but why don't they post?  Why should those who actually register and participate be mostly liberal, while those who don't are overwhelmingly conservative?  It just seems a little odd.  

I am "generally" more right leaning.  I don't post because my knowledge of geology and oil extraction is quite limited, and therefore don't want to waste everyone's time posting on a subject I do not know enough about.
My perspective (as a conservative) has been in this environment similar to many discussion forums only the really abrasive conservatives (like myself) speak up.  Many probably think their opinions will be unpopular or politically incorrect.  Plus IMHO my liberal friends versus my conservative ones...the liberals talk more at parties in restaurants whatever they are more outgoing and free with their opinions.


"I don't either...but why don't they post?"

It's difficult to speculate if we don't have more info on what type of "conservative" groups are lurking.

Obviously, spies won't post except possibly to harrass.

Curious conservative lurkers may be hesitant to post because they feel out of their realm.  Also, if they follow their stereotype they will read, analyze, repeat, almost ad infinitum before they feel emboldened enough to make a conclusion or join the fray.

Because it becomes tiresome fighting asshats who try to paint GW Bush and company as the second coming of Adolf Hitler. You know, if he was as powerful, sinister, and evil as they say, the Democrats would not have won this election. Yet left leaning lemmings now suddenly proclaim that the election was perfectly ok (no fraud here!!!) because their candidates won and the republic is instantly saved! Hallelujah!

It's attitudes like that, which I've seen at Peakoil.com (and other websites) that become boorishly tiresome and utterly stupid. I tend to be more libertarian than anything else but because I do hold some views that are considered "conservative", I see this asshattery running rampant and it's just as silly as some of the crap I see crawl out of a large section of the religious right. Over at peakoil.com there is one poster who takes Simmons (and others) to task over their numbers but he's never willing to share his full data on why he believes what he believes because it's related to his job. So how can you argue with that sort of position? Answer: You can't, which is why this argument by authority meme gets used in the first place.

I suspect that most conservatives just want the raw data and don't want to bother arguing with leftists who wouldn't change their minds even if you did a frontal lobotomy. (Of course, neither would the right wingers and that's part of the problem - neither side really wants to listen and learn; both sides just want to win the argument and neither side realizes that the argument is simply the first step in managing the risk associated with peak oil.)

If they wanted data, they'd be hanging out here, not at PeakOil.com.  

There's currently a thread over there claiming that the Republicans intentionally lost the election.  Because it's all going down the tubes soon, and they don't want to be blamed when TSHTF.

i.e. Republicans were damned if they did and damned if they didn't.  The Republicans are the sooper sekret evil masterminds of the universe and even when they lose its all part of their sooper sekret plan!
Actually, if you're a Doomer, both parties are damned either way.
Yeah but they may not know that when they are looking for data, at least early on. And there still is some data that pops up over there once you get out of the general forum.

As for Bush and friends, they're just incompetent. In fact, they are a great example of Tainter's discussion of society trying to force fit old solutions onto new and novel problems. They don't understand what has happened to warfare, to civilization as a whole, or to the biosphere either. They probably nod their heads and even agree with certain statements but I really don't get the impression that they understand with any depth, or rather the depth of their understanding is conventional but that is no longer true. So Bush and friends just keep trying to apply more of what won the war for daddy, not realizing that daddy's war was of a completely different structure in a completely different environment than today.

maybe. though you would be a little naive to think that these people would not also try to do damage control of these events in such a way so they will still end up on top, rich and powerfull.
That'd be a good example of why I left PO.com...too much sinister spin, not enough data.  

Peak oil, overshoot, GW, exponential growth, overpopulation, are beyond politics.  Neither party will effectively address these issues.

That did occur to me. :)
Because it becomes tiresome fighting asshats who try to paint GW Bush and company as the second coming of Adolf Hitler.

Webster Tarpley's pointing out the ties of the Bush family to Hitler arn't mentioned around here.
You sure you arn't confusing this place with others?

Yet left leaning lemmings now suddenly proclaim that the election was perfectly ok (no fraud here!!!) because their candidates won and the republic is instantly saved! Hallelujah!

Nope.  Still fraud going on.   In fact, around here this isn't mentioned much.  Because voting ofr a Democrat or a Republican will get ya about the same things.

"conservative", I see this asshattery running rampant

Like this link claims?

Considering the 'conservatives' of today are more about borrowing from the future for spending today, and TOD is about trying to figure out how not to use up all the past stored sunlight for pleasure today...perhaps the audience difference is too much.   Why not ask the people at  
http://www.freerepublic.com/home.htm    and
http://www.rbnlive.com/  to hear what they think about peak oil?

Leanan's discussion was about peakoil.com NOT about theoildrum.com, in case you missed that glaringly obvious point.
Leanan's discussion was about peakoil.com NOT about theoildrum.com, in case you missed that glaringly obvious point.

Please show where the below is about posing on peakoil.com.

   I don't see why Peak Oil would necessarily be considered a "liberal" issue.

I don't either...but why don't they post?  Why should those who actually register and participate be mostly liberal, while those who don't are overwhelmingly conservative?  It just seems a little odd.  

And your reply:

More interesting demographics from PeakOil.com:

Our lurker population is often 10 to 20 times as large as our member community. What's interesting is the type of traffic each group is composed of.

Ummm that would be at the VERY top of this threaded argument.  Thank you for playing, enjoy the consolation prizes :p

And the threads and ideas NEVER drift around here.
I was replying to Leanan as I stated and was on topic. If this thread is drifting, it is once again due to YOU, not me.
First of all, Grey Zone, nobody asked you to insult people.  Secondly, because you can't see the truth about GWB, aka George III, doesn't mean the critics are wrong.  Thirdly, I agree with you that the Dems may not save your country from the vast ight- wing conspiracy - in fact they seem to be part of it.  After all, "It's God bless America", which sounds these days pretty much like, "Screw everybody else".
I never invoked your name but if the shoe fits, wear it.

And there you go again, assuming that George Bush is part of some vast (and inherently evil) right wing conspiracy. Sheesh! This is the stuff of grade B movies. Give it a break, please.

I am conservative in most ways, and I believe there are a number of reasons why few conservatives will post.
  1. The problem of peak oil will require and/or will produce radical change, and conservatives by nature are not comfortable with radical change.
  2. Forums like this one are uniformly hostile to conservative public figures. For example, I can't recall ever reading a kind word about Bush, Cheney, or Rumsfeld on TOD. When a New York Yankee pitcher flew a plane into a public building a few weeks back, someone on TOD blamed Bush almost immediately.
  3. The conspiracy theories (9/11, October surprises, etc.) don't help.
  4. It's seems to be almost gospel on TOD that the Iraq war was launched because of oil. Conservatives (even peak-oiler conservatives) don't believe that and don't think that way. Conservatives are indisputably responsible for initiating the Iraq war, but nobody likes to have wrong motives attributed to them by others.

Item #1 on the list above reflects a problem conservatives will naturally have with the concept of peak oil. Items #2-4  are issues with the TOD forum that make participation unpleasant at times for conservatives.

Overall, I think TOD is a great site. What I've learned is invaluable, even if it is uncomfortable at times. For other conservatives who may be lurking, I'd encourage them to stick with it. It's possible to learn a lot even from people with whom you profoundly disagree, and TOD provides great insight into energy issues.

  1.  Thanks, hadn't thought of that.

  2.  That was Matt Savinar, and he was clearly joking.  Besides, we all know it was actually A-Rod's fault. ;-) (Though, come to think of it, he's a Republican, too.)

  3.  Most liberals and moderates aren't too happy about those, either.

  4.  Another interesting point I hadn't thought of.

Items #2-4  are issues with the TOD forum that make participation unpleasant at times for conservatives.

I was actually talking about PeakOil.com, not TOD.  I have no idea what the demographics of TOD are.

"A-Rod's fault."  That's funny.
"Conservatives (even peak-oiler conservatives) don't believe that [the Iraq war was launched because of oil] and don't think that way."

I haven't found that to be the case with my conservative friends and colleagues - most are physicians.  Maybe biologists in general tend to have a more cynical world view of human nature than NASA engineers do.

Besides, anyone who has had to study the mitochondria in excruciating detail has a good sense of why, on several levels, energy is a life and death issue.

Being a conservative, I never once believed we were there for just benevolent reasons.  I fully was aware that the oil was a reason.  But that reason alone wasn't sufficient for military action.  What was, was the intelligence indicating the WMD program.  The flagrant disregard that Saddam had for the cease fire resolutions, the sponsorship and harboring of terrorists(not just AlQaeda), and the fact that we could not maintain a no fly zone indefinitely.

But most assuredly I knew it was also about the oil.  Militaries don't just go liberate people for altruistic reasons.... they expect to be paid, and Iraq can pay in oil.  This is largely why nobody would bother help Rwanda in my opinion... there was no money in it.  Cold, callous and perhaps mean, but its the way the world has worked for a very long time.

let put the record straight.
saddam would never tolerate the semi fictional 'al-qaeda' group(semi fictional because the name was made up during a rico trial in the 90's after the wtc bombing, before that no terrorist used such a name. after this any terrorist group or radical group that opposed out views have been branded this, some willingly use it because they want to play on the same fear that the government has made.).
why? saddam was the incarnate representation of the influences the views they opposed.
we actually did them a favor by getting rid of them and when his show trial ends we will do them another favor by killing him.
What do you know of Saddam? The man was such a shitty leader his own generals lied to him constantly.  His oppresive nature lead them to falsly report success in the WMD department which threw off EVERY INTELLIGENCE AGENCY.

Saddam was an incarnate rep of what they opposed? And who are the installed leaders now?  This war has escalated not de-escalated.  

Semi-fictional?  Where were you on 9/11?

Criticism of bush is acceptable. But what you are writing is totally fictional. Your post is pure garbage. Read up on foreign policy for 80 more years or until I am dead then come back to this conversation.  Until then you are not qualified.


I do not dispute that Saddam is evil. But he had nothing to do with 911 according to the CIA. And, by the way, where's Osama? My best guess is Saudi, where his family and financial supporters live.
I am not saying saddam had anything todo with 911, however he did send reward checks to homicide bombers families in palestine.  He is not a fundamentalist this was only to up his street cred in the muslim world.

Osama is sick, on dialysis and living in a hole.  Probably in pakistan.  His family has shunned him and his financial supporters are worldwide.

we actually did them a favor by getting rid of them and when his show trial ends we will do them another favor by killing him

Ever occurred to you that this may be one of the intended reasons for going in there? Was for example the total disbanding Iraq's army out of pure stupidity?

I can not possibly have proofs for that but the siple fact is that inducing instability in the region is in the Washington's most vital interest. They have been doing that since the beginning of the previous century, I don't see why people think it is so different now. Argh, maybe because there are Americans dying there now... well do you think that the corporations that ordered the war and their representatives in the White House really care about the lives lost? Or maybe you'll say it could be the cost of the operation that is high - the very same thing applies. In the end it is the taxpayer, but mostly the Chinese paying the bill.

For the naive "liberals" here - no, the Dems will do nothing about it. If you want to do something about it you need to elect a party that is not controlled by the military or oil corporations. And to preempt the objection - everything in this country is dependant on oil or the military and so are the corporations controlling the Democratic Party. What you think is democracy is a TV show, nothing more.

A couple of hopefully quick notes about points 2 and 4 -

  1. Actually, I believe Rep, Bartlett is quite a bit more conservative than Bush, but nobody seems to heap constant abuse on him, regardless of his socially conservative perspective.

  2. As for abusing Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld - let us just say that some people think they deserve all the public abuse citizens can bestow upon them for their failures in serving America - this includes military people I know, and any moral human being who finds torture by any name evil, and not a tool to be used at a president's whim.

  3. As for Iraq and oil, well, this is a peak oil site, and while we would love to look at the energy policy hammered out using our tax money by the vice president before our attention was riveted by a massive terrorist strike, it seems that the vice president has no interest at all in sharing that information, having argued the case all the way to the Supreme Court in a case brought by a conservative interest group seeking access to what we taxpayers had paid for and which was collected by our public servants. Publicly repeated lies about Iraqi WMDs and terrorism links, however, is something the vice president seems to want to share as widely as possible in the past.

However, after having written what I believe is factually true, though not respectfully polite to current and former office holders, there is a complaint of mine to make - this doesn't make me anti-Bush or pro someone else, it just makes me a citizen with my own view of America and its current president. The idea that anyone opposed to the evil of torture needs to defend themselves against any charge of being anti-Bush is wrong. I fully expect the new Democratic Congress to remain passive in undoing shameful laws which greatly reduce America's stature in the world and betrays its own historical values, and this would seem to make me as anti-Democrat as anti-Bush.

It is possible to be appalled by what has happened to America in the last years without belonging to any identifiable political grouping, which often seems hard for people to understand.

Forums like this one are uniformly hostile to conservative public figures. For example, I can't recall ever reading a kind word about Bush, Cheney, or Rumsfeld on TOD.

Do their actions deserve kind words?
HAve they taken action to address peak oil?  (And one can point to the 1HP/20mph electric bike law as a positive action)
Have they shown themselves to be competent administartors?

The conspiracy theories (9/11, October surprises, etc.) don't help.

And what have the people in charge done to deny the 'conspiracy theories' fuel for their fires?   Do we now have a more open government, as an example.

It's seems to be almost gospel on TOD that the Iraq war was launched because of oil.

Ok.  Why was it launched?  

Items #2-4  are issues with the TOD forum that make participation unpleasant at times for conservatives.

Asking for 'whys' make them uncomfortable?   Asking for data demonstrating the position they hold makes it 'unplesant'?

De-Nile is not just a river in Eygpt it seems.

To address just one of these points - oil was a fungible commodity before the war and still is. It may not always be that way, but it is now. We are not "taking" oil from Iraq now, we are buying it on the market for higher prices than before the war. Furthermore, very little of the oil the United States buys is from Iraq. Iraqi oil is being sold globally, and some of it is going to countries not especially friendly to the U.S. So the idea that we went to conquer Iraq to take their oil never really made much sense to me. It should be remembered that in the same time frame that the Iraq operation was planned, the United States withdraw its military from Saudi Arabia, a much larger oil producer. They didn't want us there, and we left. I expect Iraq won't want us there for long, and we will leave there too (probably in a few years). We won't take any oil with us when we go.
So the idea that we went to conquer Iraq to take their oil never really made much sense to me

So?   How do many of the actions of the elected leadership make sense if framed by the idea of acting in the public good?

If one tries to reframe the actions about 'the end point was what they wanted' then the reasons become many and if one tris hard enough I bet you can make it fit the plan of the lizard aliens.  Whatever thoes plans are.

Wasn't Iraq setting up an oil bourse to trade oil in euro's?? Would it be fair to say the US would see that as a major threat to the Dollar??

Oil may have been a commodity then but if the Bush administration was aware of peak oil don't you think that having a controlling interest in the region would benefit America substantially economically and strategically??

It was Iran.
We hear this oil bourse story over and over again. I would like to see an FAQ so we don't have to spend so much time dubunking it. But, if you want to try to convince us that an Iran or Iraq oil bourse could be a threat to the US and the dollar go ahead.

You link, stating that Iran has voluntarily announced an oil price in dollars does do much to support your point, does it?

I am no economist but can you explain this to me....

Suppose I have a billion barrels a day in oil and I decide to "bourse" and sell my oil for pancakes. If pancakes are exchanged for dollars what is the difference?

I thought the value of the dollar was based on:

World trust in its value...

And the gross exports of the US vs imports.

Am I lost is there more to it?


Yes, this is right. It is the long-term holding of assets, not the currency of trade that supports the value of the dollar.

If China were to start to price everything in Euros, but maintain their ratio of 70% of reserves in dollars, the dollar would maintain its exchange rate.

If China were to maintain a dollar price on things they sell, but diversified to 50% dollar assets, the dollar would take a big hit.

At the end of the day there are three things going on:

  1. Price: This is just a benchmark to compare what something costs against something else. You can only quote in one currency, or else there is an opportunity to arbitrage if exchange. A dollar price does not mean the transaction is in dollars. If I offer to sell an item on Ebay for $1 and you offer pancakes, I can still take pancakes.

  2. Currency of transaction: Even if oil is priced in dollars there is no reason payment can't be made in Euros. Or even if the exchage is made in dollars, it can mean nothing if I convert into dollars minutes before a tranaction with you and then you convert to another currency right after. Major currencies can be exchanged with tiny transaction costs and currency risk can be managed in ways other than sitting on currencies.

  3. Long-term holdings of assets: Aas you noted, this is what influences currency values and underpins the strength of the dollar.

At the end of the day, the dollar price of oil is just a measuring stick.
Well, just one extra point - if the Saudis accept dollars from the U.S. for a tanker load of crude sent to the U.S., the U.S. can deliver dollars without participating in any further exchange. And if the Saudis value something which is difficult to measure in dollars (security? prestige?), or they can convert the dollars into goods which they value (as an example, what is oil under the sand for a Saudi compared to air conditioning?) at a rate which keeps them satisified (whether the Chinese make an extra 30% is meaningless to the Saudi who acquires the air conditioner in exchange for something he has no use for), then America is able, in a short term sense to get something for less (not free).

I do agree that a lot of the euro for oil means dollar collapse speculation is silly (though the reserve currency aspect is still real) - but as seen by Russia and the EU, if a major producer of an essential product starts to demand more than simple monetary compensation (Gazprom wants pipeline networks and euros for Russian NG, not merely euros alone), then the buyer faces some hard choices which are not quite monetary in nature - though selling your soul may cover that case in economic terms.

I'm not sure I entirely understand this part:

Well, just one extra point - if the Saudis accept dollars from the U.S. for a tanker load of crude sent to the U.S., the U.S. can deliver dollars without participating in any further exchange. And if the Saudis value something which is difficult to measure in dollars (security? prestige?), or they can convert the dollars into goods which they value (as an example, what is oil under the sand for a Saudi compared to air conditioning?) at a rate which keeps them satisified (whether the Chinese make an extra 30% is meaningless to the Saudi who acquires the air conditioner in exchange for something he has no use for), then America is able, in a short term sense to get something for less (not free).

But I think we are on the same page.

Well, simply if the Saudis decide to accept dollars for oil delivered to America, the U.S. can print as many dollars as it wishes, which the Saudis then accept (very simplified, and obviously not a long term game). Everyone else has to earn dollars, so to speak, but America can just create them legally (as compared to North Korea and its 100 dollar bills).

Over the long term, this system would break down if only because the more dollars available, the less they buy in the market (again, very simplified), but when dealing with an autocratic state, it is possible to deal with the autocrats alone, and what they value may have nothing to do with economics in the sense that the West uses the term. To use a silly example from the Soviet times - as long as Brezhnev could increase his car collection, the Soviet Union's economy was running along just fine in his eyes.

I'll admit that using Saudi Arabia was a form of cheating - obviously, the Norwegians follow normal economic concepts for oil exports. But Saudi behavior is somewhat difficult to explain - they do seem very anxious to maintain ties to the U.S. for whatever reason, and those reasons may trump purely economic considerations.

Thanks. I missed your point that the US has the ability to print more dollars, unlike any other country. Basically, i tghink this is correct, although complex. The US could probably do it on a large scale only once, and as you noted over time inflated dollars will uy less.

Actually, I think the ability of the US to print dollars is more relevant in the discussion of the balance of pwer between the US and China that is created by the massive US dollar holding of the Chinese gov.

Many commenters love to post something along the lines of "If China dumps the dollar, the US is screwed". In fact, it is harder to dump the dollar than it sounds, and at the end of the day, the US can just print dollars and give the still warm greenbacks to the Chinese.

The long-term impact of this would be to ruin the world economy and the role of the dollar. It would be bad for the US. However, it does make some sense to look at the US-China currency situation as mutually assured destruction.

None of this is to say the US is in good shape, which it isn't.

I wasn't trying to convince anyone. If you look at my original post I was asking if it would be a problem to the US from a economic and strategic standpoint. No one answered my question.

To be honest I have no idea so I am interested to know the data and the specifics.

Can you elaborate as to why this would not be an issue?

If you read the article in full it states Iraq did start trading oil in euro's in 2000.

Sorry if I over-reacted. It's just that this issue comes up quite a lot and usually it is someone just asserting that the US invaded Iraq because of the Euro price or saying that the whole reason the US is angry at Iran is that the proposed Iran Oil Bourse threatens dollar hegemony.

As I discussed in my reply to Oil Rig Medic above, even if Iran prices oil in dollars they can still accept payment in Euros. Even if they accept payment in dollars, they can very easily convert them to Euros. Transaction costs are very low.

Countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, China, Japan and others do maintain huge stores of US dollars and dollar assets. This supports the dollar and is a huge benefit to the US. But the reason they do this has nothing to do with the fact that some internationally traded items are priced in dollars. They hold these assets because they have made risk return calculations and they want to manage their exchange rates.  

None of this is to say that dollar hegemony is inviolable or permanent. China diversifying their currency holdings is a far greater threat to the role and value of the dollar than how Iran decides to communicate their measurement of the value of their oil. However, that is also a very complex issue and it is much harder for China to diversify than many people think.

At the present time, you are correct, sir.  But the ghost
of future oil problems looms just ahead, and the think
tanks aren't bureaucrats - they are quite capable of
projecting forward and making long-term plans. [Besides,
why so many Americans pick on their bureucrats puzzles me.  They are probably no less competent than their private
sector compatriots; it's the politcal appointees, the
leaders, that I would consider to be generally incompetent.}  IMO, the US military has simplify moved from a post peak oil reserve country, where they weren't welcome, to a non-post peak oil reserve country.  Besides, AIPAC and the Jewish members of the neo-con cabal were quite verbose on the need to attack Iraq [think Wolfowitz].
the list of reasons we went into iraq grows shorter every day
Your perspective is reasonable enough within its own terms that quite honestly, further discussion would wander far afield.

However, as a thought, the control of the flow of oil may be more important than who buys and sells it in barrels. That is, the final decision of whether a tanker load from the Persian Gulf reaches its contracted harbor is made by the U.S. Navy, which has a long term and very massive presence at that strategic chokepoint - and the fact that strategic chokepoint is not an economic term should point out that there is more to oil than economics. It was Carter who first formulated America's 'right' to Middle Eastern oil - this is not a conservative/liberal issue at all.

And quite honestly, as the Cold War fears of Russian control of European energy supplies resurfaces (reasonably, by most measures - the Russians remain entranced by imperial ambitions), it would be good to look at the very unspoken fears of numerous American 'allied nations' who know just how dependent they are on the good graces of a couple of countries which feel they have higher goals which justify any number of actions. The first, of course, is the Islamic Republic, and the other is the world's greatest military power (how ashamed the Founders must be that their posterity brag about what they tried to prevent in the Constitution - Washington was a great figure because of his restraint in both military and political spheres, not because of his ambition to dominate and rule).

There are 'conservatives' and 'conservatives'. Many intelligent and accomplished conservatives absolutely despise the Bush regime and say so publicly. If you want to see a conservative put the boot into Bush and Co., read anything by Paul Craig Roberts, ex of the Reagan administration (much of his stuff is over on Counterpunch). The themes of war crimes, destruction of US civil liberties, and destruction of the US economy, show up frequently.

There is conservatism, and then there is the form or appearance of conservatism. In other words, there are conservatives, and then there are blindly reflexive flag-waving right wingers who will help dismantle their own traditions if only the process is sold to them in the right way.

Remember that 'conservatives' are supposed to conserve particular social, cultural, economic and political traditions, not trash them unilaterally.

Paul Craig Roberts and Catherine Austin Fitts are examples of conservatives I have tremendous respect for. Unfortunately, their value systems are utterly rejected by the RNC.

"There are 'conservatives' and 'conservatives'"

I think there should be truth in advertising and the likes of Bush et al should never be called conservatives.  More accurately, they are global fascists in conservative clothing.

Lets try this for nice to Cheney "although he wahunting out of season, at least he shot a lawyer and Republican Contributor."

For nice to Bush " wasn't it compassionate of Bush to buy a 95,000 acre farm in Paraguay so the Mengele children wouldn't feel so socially isolated."

its hard to get very complementary of two people who have killed 660,000 Iraquis and 2800 americans with a war started with lies. And destroyed our Bill of Rights and compromised our electorial process.                        

I don't see why Peak Oil would necessarily be considered a "liberal" issue.  It effects everyone regardless of political persuasion.

It is not a liberal issue at all. It is just that liberals are far more receptive to the idea than conservatives. Of course you can always point to a few conservatives, as you do, who buy into whole environmental, peak oil, scenario. And likewise you can always find a few liberals who do not.

However liberals are far more unlikely to buy into the whole technofix scenario. Liberals are far more likely to be greens than are conservatives. I have never met a green conservative, though I am sure there are a few out there.

And the most important factor of all is the fact that conservatives are far more likely to believe that market forces will fix everything. I listen to CNBC regurally and Larry Kudlow is about the most anti peak oil, free market capitalism will fix everything, person on earth. And I am not surprised, that is just how the died in the wool conservative mind thinks.

But you are right, peak oil will affect everyone regardless of their politics. That, right now, has does not affect whether they believe in it or not.

Ron Patterson

And the most important factor of all is the fact that conservatives are far more likely to believe that market forces will fix everything.

And somehow, these market forces are not at all influenced by the government and the rules created by government?

But you are right, peak oil will affect everyone regardless of their politics.

Effects for the people at the bottom is different than the effect for the people at the top.   The politics of the people at the top are tilted to keeping them their, and the politics of the people at the bottom is interested in having them move towards the top.   So while everyone will be affected, some are more equal than others.

how 'bout a "compassionate" conservative   are they interested in conserving compassion or what ?
By the way, it would be interesting to learn what type of "conservative" groups are checking out peak oil websites.  Are they associated with Libertarians, religious environmental-minded groups, or assorted think tanks?  I suppose it is possible that many evangelicals consider peak oil as a confirmation in their belief of an end-of-times scenario.
Or more likely, for the first time in history, we have a truly decentralized source of information and people are using that to add into the mix of their ideals.

I personally am conservative(note not Replublican)/libertarian on a number of issues.  It is only relatively recently that on environmental topics I've "swung to the left".  I don't share the morals of the Democratic Left and I don't share the socialist leanings of the Democratic Left.  I also am a Hawk in my stand on the use of military force.  But by the same token, I don't want to live in a ecological disaster, with a complete dissolving of our civilization being one of the possible outcomes nor do I want many of the things the Republican party is promoting such as free trade, and ever increasing levels of international interference.

So since the Republicans(unfortunately the only defacto party of the conservative movement) seems unwilling to address or even take seriously the impacts of PO, GW, and Overshoot, I've been left with the choice to look at bastions of traditionally opposing points of view on other topics to see what they have to offer in the way of other ideas regarding environmental issues (In this case the environmentalist Left).

This also happens to reenforce my major problem with a two party system.  Truly neither of the current parties represent me and my views.  And my views are not so far out of tune with a significant sub-section of America.

Anyhow as far as people viewing other points of view...  I don't think its spying at all, and if that is the kind of distrust people are going to have in regards to our system, then we are screwed as a nation.

In debate it is important to know the opposition's view so as to better be able to formulate and sharpen your own positions, and to be prepared to deflect attacks(and I mean attacks in a civil discourse way).  Further, in some cases, by having your views available for all to see, you might win over people to your ideas.  Afterall I can honestly say that it was through personal, and online discussion, and online research that I've come to the conclusion that our current civilization needs to change away from Fossil Fuels where as previously I wouldn't have thought twice about it.

The neat thing about the Internet is it truly is a self-serve source of information.  You can get as detailed on a topic as you want.  You don't have some anchorman filtering the data and news for you.  You don't have some network picking and choosing which "experts" they will let you listen to.  The internet is wide open for all the experts to be made available based upon the USER'S choice.

Also the Internet due to its "passive" nature is not an in your face type of media like the TV/radio/paper news which must rivet your attention to do the bidding of advertisers.  The web is simple enough and cheap enough to be accessible to a large swath of people to post their views.

I know you were probably having some fun with the spying comment as evident by the smiley, but I've seen an increase paranoia emerging in regards to what the TPTB are doing.  The debate about the sincerity of Hothgar is a perfect example.  Yes I find him a bit on the rude side which does more to hurt him than it does to hurt anyone else, but what he is doing is an important step in the scientific study of arguments.  Its not just enough that Khebab or WestTexas comes up with the numbers.  For something to pan out, it needs to be reproducible by multiple sources.  And further those sources need to be scrutinized and compared to other sources of data collection.  And no I'm not defending Hothgar here either, as his sources need to be equally verified and scrutinized.

But all too often on this site, I see a way too eager(almost zealous) defense of certain core PO beliefs that all sources of dissent is automatically thrown down on and often via ad hominum attacks.  Why does it surprise anyone when the attacks come flying back, or you end up driving off someone with a potentially differing view point from whom you can A) possibly learn something from(i.e. new data or models), and B) could most certainly learn something from(in terms of learning to refine your arguments and to practice defending your own arguments against critiques and debating attacks which is what eventually will have to happen in public discourse to eventually change the course of this nation and world).

Its not like one day the world is going to wake up and say "hey, Those OilDrummers are right!".  Its going to have to be a slow process that eventually shifts into snowball mode as the momentum gets rolling.  Kinda like driving a hybrid car, you can't floor the sucker and expect to get great milage.  So my suggestion to everyone here is pace yourself, and sharpen your arguments against the grindstone of dissent.  And also go view those sites with opposing view points yourself.  Its not a bad idea to look up every once in awhile to see where the other runners in the marathon are at.

I answer a Zogby poll about once weekly and this week it asked me if I am a fiscal conservative with liberal social attitudes?  Where do I sign up?!
I find the deficit spending of the BC(R) gov repugnant - does that make me a liberal or a conservative?  :-)

Albert Bartlett once gave testimony before a Congressional Subcommittee in which he said there are two approaches to using our nonrenewable resources, the liberal way (burn them fast), and the conservative way (husband the resource)...

Regarding the "spying" idea, I don't think it's crazy to suspect so, in this day and age of warrantless domestic eavesdropping, indefinite detention without trial, etc etc. - plus the pervasive domestic spying that was done here in the USA in the 1960's and 70's.  The ideas expressed here are definitely of "interest" to TPTB, given their dependence on maintaning the status quo.

"conservative way (husband the resource)..."

Get rid of "the commons" by local husbandry of resources - start by jettisoning the Federal Parasites.

Regarding the "spying" idea, I don't think it's crazy to suspect so, in this day and age of warrantless domestic eavesdropping,

Why would there be a need for MANY spies?

Actually, I've been hearing about 3 commercials a day on radio for the CIA...  Spies seem to be in demand.
Thanks for the Bartlett link.  A beacon of light, as usual.
Tele: You guys crack me up. "I am a libertarian hawk". "Taxes are bad, war is good". "Socialism bad, somebody else will pay 400 billion for my war". LOL.
"somebody else will pay 400 billion for my war "

Warfare might become more "efficient" as desperate nations realize they get "more bang for the buck" in nuclear weapons.

Send:The problem with "efficient" warfare is that a lot less falls off the back of the truck for your cronies.
That may be the thinking of some in our Western Military/Industrial complex... but it may not be the thinking of some of our Up and Coming Energy Superpowers who do not like their neighbors.
I didn't say I was libertarian hawk... I said I was a conservative/libertarian in my views... given the numerous topics out there in the political world its not as hard as it sounds.

I am not a economic libertarian, I believe in protectionist trade, where as libertarians are Free trade in extreme i.e. NO government intervention of corporations and how the do business inside and outside of the country.  Pure disaster in my opinion because libertarians like communists don't seem to anticipate the lack of moral compass humans are capable of.

I'm not a military libertarian, mainly because that philosophy is suicide in a world where certain conflicts must be handled militarily, and even diplomatic solutions often require the presence of a military threat to back them.  Libertarian philosophy is a defense of self only strategy.  What they fail to realize is that with that type of thinking a threat like the Nazis would've been so powerful by the time we reacted to an offensive strike from them that it would've been too late.  (We might have dealt with the Japanese as they assaulted us, but we would've let Britain fall under libertarian doctrine.)

I'm not an international libertarian which largely promote isolationism in a world where isolationism cannot be sustained.  Given the global problems that exist such as PO and GW, its going to take international effort.

I AM a social libertarian on several issues.  For instance drug usage.  I could care less if the guy down the street wants to fry his brains out, so long as he does not impede on anyone elses freedoms in the process, that's his business.  I'm not against gay unions, (have a problem with the term marriage but that's mainly a language issue).  I could care less about who watches porn, violence on TV, plays violent video games, gambles away their life savings, drinks alcohol til their liver gives out, so long as it does not impede on anyone elses rights.  I don't care which establishments allow their patrons to smoke or not.  

Basically the Democrats and the Republicans alike are guilty of pushing social values as laws from a Federal level downward.  What I'd rather see is a return to the States the power to govern their own issues in these areas.  Voter resolutions for and against various subjects get upended by court dictators.  If California wants gay marriage and Texas doesn't then let each do it their own way and let the federal government butt out.  That is where I tend to be libertarian in my view.  The social level.  Other areas of government require a more hands on approach than the libertarians espouse.

Tele: I might have come on a little strong, it is just that in 2006 the US military machine is so expensive/inefficient that a "hawk" stance is no longer compatible with a low taxation, libertarian stance. The machine has a relentless "growth" mindset and I just find it amusing when persons cannot accept that supporting this machine is a socialist/high taxation stance (the argument is usually that someone else should be paying the bill).
Being Hawkish or dovish has nothing to do with expense....  but

You won't get an argument from me that it is expensive.  the innefficiency however if not caused by the expense but rather the half-wits who won't let the military give them the best bang for their buck (pun intended).  And of course this inneffiency drives the price of our military up even more.

The problem with today's politicians is they are more akin to viewing the military as body builders as opposed to power lifters.  Sure the body builders are strong, but they develop themselves to look good when flexxing, but in reality you want your military to be like powerlifters, who don't exactly look great, but man can they project sheer power when they lift those weights.

Anyhow, its like I said... my libertarian leanings are primarily social.  Other areas I'm mainly conservative.

So soon, everybody in the entire world will have the same eltenschaung [hope the spelling is correct].  Oh, well, there goes the planet!  Without the alternative viewpoints generated by some amount of isolation, there will be no contradcitory opinions, and the sun will revert to orbiting the flattened earth. LOL
  I am personally totally disgusted with both major parties in the USA. The whole idea of deviding the people and stirring up hatred with "liberal" and "conservative" mis-labels while looting the public treasury and soliciting bribes from the lobbyists of the corporatocracy is repellant and unamerican.
  My grandfather was a conservative. He saved his money,paid his debts, a WWI hero, never used a vulgar phrase and was rememberd after his death for his gracious manners. My father is a liberal. He had many flaws, but he was generous,did a lot of pro bono work for minorities, open-minded, participated in politics, paid his debts, served his country in WWII and Korea,served on a draft board in Viet Nam.
  And, they were both atheists. They didn't tell you about thier principles-they lived them.

The current administration is hateful, hypocritical, exploits every one that it can. Torturing people in my name and lying about wars is war criminal behavior-we hung Germans and Japanese for that stuff. Tripling the national debt while lining your pockets is irresponsible, evil behaviour. Dividing Americans for your political manipulation is evil.

So why can't we remember what we have in common? We all love our countries, love the earth, love our freedoms in the Bill of Rights. The people who read this blog are curious and participate in civic affairs. And hang the war criminals!

Hello TODers,

I really liked Leanan's EnergyBulletin toplink:Attitude Adjustment: Facing our Ecological Predicament

After a talk I gave last year on food and energy, one audience member remarked that it seemed to him that we face challenges so daunting that little can be done to stop a worldwide collapse of civilization. "What is the point in trying?" he seemed to be asking.

Based on my personal experience: this is what happens to 90% of the people I have convinced of the combo of Peakoil & GW.  They instantly go from info unawareness to the farthest opposite end of the spectrum: "Then I am going to Party like Hell while I can."

I try to point out that there are hundreds of ways to save & conserve, but then they look at me as if I was nuts.  I point out the potential energy savings of a swamp cooler in our Asphalt Wonderland-- they cry out, "No way in Hell".

Most even refuse to inform their kids and/or grandkids, and forbid me bringing the subject up at their house because they want their children to be: "Happy and Optimistic"--code words for mindlessly reproducing ignorant detritus-consumers.  Sheesh!  That will only make things worse.

Again, from the EB article: "So, why does this approach which some are calling Plan C get the cold shoulder? I think in part this is because it requires people to hold in their minds two simultaneously troubling ideas: 1) the terrible ecological dangers that we face and 2) the difficult truth that we can only surmount them through efforts that have grown deeply unfamiliar to many of us. It puts the burden for reaching sustainability squarely on the shoulders of every community member."

Instead, my neighbor down the street had his XMAS lights proudly burning as if this early display could actually repel natural darkness.

Is it the experience of most TODers that those you have informed of PO & GW swing from Denial to Irrational Exuberance?

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


Hello Totoneila:

Interesting that you mention;

Most even refuse to inform their kids and/or grandkids, and forbid me bringing the subject up at their house because they want their children to be: "Happy and Optimistic"--code words for mindlessly reproducing ignorant detritus-consumers.  Sheesh!  That will only make things worse.

My neighbor said almost the exact same thing a couple of weeks ago when we were discussing P.O.  another interesting thing about this same neighbor is, he lives about 400 ft from a mail box that we jointly use, and drives out to it to get his mail.  Unbelieveable.

People simply do not want to hear about this!  I recall some members of TOD who are forbidden to discuss this  with their SOs, or are limited to a few minutes a day. 90% of the reaction I get is "it's too depressing, I don't want to think about it."  AMPOD is right, anyway: mass awareness would bring mass hysteria.  Mass denial is ever so much more comfortable. Make your plans hidden from the view of the sheep...
No, in my experience, the vast majority of those I inform about PO are so woefully uneducated and ignorant of the concepts of energy and thermodynamics that exist in their everyday lives that it is, IMO, almost impossible to even relate the problem without a four hour tutorial on energy basics.

Of the very few who I am actually able to educate without pushing them past the "this guy is freaking wacko" borderline, the majority take no discernable actions.  I would consider this to mean most remain in denial, because the issues haven't affected their everyday life as of yet.

When I attepted to talk to my roommate about PO, I received the response, "I try not to think about it". Ignorance is bliss I guess...
Good insights. Most people I've told have simply done nothing. Life just goes on.

After interviewing a former professor of mine, who authored one of the earliest papers on peak oil, I simply continue to quietly downscale my life and keep my mouth shut.


Because his message to me was a simple "It's too late."

A modest man, he is, retired and secure in the knowledge that he sincerely tried to warn people.

Since he wrote that in 1997, it seems that his message was wrong. It is now almost ten years later and the world hasn't ended. It's hard to see how it was too late way back then. So, maybe it's not too late now.
Um, where does he say that the world would end in ten years?
He said "It's too late," NOT in the article, but last August, WHEN I INTERVIEWED HIM.
I also think that a geology PhD. probably has a lot to say about oil depletion that is worth listening to, but what makes him an expert on how we will cope in the future?
Spain requires new buildings use solar power
Homes must use it for hot water, commercial sites for electricity


I think this is a reasonably big deal.  I'm not too well-versed in this area, but I'm unaware of a comparable zoning 'stick' project, as compared to the numerous subsidy 'carrots' - anyone aware of another?
This absolutely makes sense, at least as far as solar thermal for water. There might be some exceptions for unusually bad siting situations. But then, builders should be required to avoid those.  Given our apparent aversion to significant taxes on fuel or carbon, we need to start mandating things that, in any event, would probably be of benefit to the consumer. Solar water heating seems to fall into that category. With subsidies,solar electric might fall into this category assuming it is grid tied. We also need to mandate heavy duty insulation standards, glazing standards, south facing standards, etc.

On the other hand, my local state legislator, who considers herself an environmentalist, is probably not ready to propose anything that would actually make a signficant difference. But I will keep working on her.

WASHINGTON -- A new Rand Corp. study showing the falling costs of ethanol, wind power and other forms of renewable energy predicts such sources could furnish as much as 25% of the U.S.'s conventional energy by 2025 at little or no additional expense.

It doesn't look like the current costs for ethanol are falling.

  • CBOT Dec corn $3.47/bu.

  • CBOT Dec ethanol $2.12/gal.

This means the cost of corn is $1.39/gal.  Will the $.71 plus the 51 cent subsidy cover the cost of transportation, labor, capitol facility cost, and distillation energy costs, and leave a profit for the investors?
It seems that ethanol production Y over Y will increase about 900 million gallons 05 to 06. That requires an additional 350 million bushels of corn. If ethanol production increases the same amount next year, then corn production will have to rise by an additional 350 million bu. to maintain the current corn price. If Next years crop would decrease what then?
Ethanol production has taken a considerable cost hit lately due to corn prices. What does the future hold.
"the falling costs of ethanol, wind power and other forms of renewable energy "

I wonder how they conclude "Falling costs" ?  

How will costs of these alternatives decline If demand increases dramatically at the same time that the required Energy (oil and N gas) and the availability and cost of the required natural resources (metals, silicon etc) are also declining?

Not to mention the fact that the world's Ponzi Economy based on debt-financed consumption and "growth" is crashing, making it more difficult for individuals and communities to afford to switch to the "Alternatives" infrastructure.

Wind turbines are on a long term price decline (in fixed value money) as the technology matures.

Will this increase in efficiency be larger or smaller than inflation and resource constraints ?

Hard to say.  It depends.

Will new home (and suburb) construction and new highway construction bust and "free up" steel, copper and concrete, driving their nominal prices down ?

Best Hopes,


"Wind turbines are on a long term price decline (in fixed value money) as the technology matures."

And this has happened while our world was at Peak Wealth - on our way to peak energy and matter.  

What happens to the this trend now as we enter Post Peak Energy and Matter?  Now when the long term price trends for both the the energy and for the matter necessary to build turbines is skyrocketing?  

And this at a time when the demand from the Sleepy Herd suddenly skyrockets due to desperation?

"Hard to say.  It depends."

I agree that "projecting" costs depends  - on many variables.  

But we already are seeing shortages of silicon and the solar PV market is barely getting off the ground.  What happens to pricing when back-orders are the norm?

And considering the increasing trends in the Metals Black Market (theft of copper etc), and the increasing cost of mining, it's likely we will see shortages and rising costs.

One good thing about the collapse of the housing and auto industries is a decline in demand for the materials they currently are consuming.

Demand Destruction in the Economy of Waste might help mitigate Demand Explosion in the Economy of Necessities.

But I doubt it (sorry, no numbers to back this up - all conjecture for now).

Declining wind turbine "real" costs are driven by two factors.  Operating experience with the latest generation of wind turbines and engineering talent.

NO ONE is projecting a stop to new WT developments and installations.  Engineering talent will focus on the active parts of the market, and WTs will stay active.

Given that engineers will continue to engineer (we have a hard time NOT doing it :-) and wind turbines will continue to be designed, built and installed, (probably in ever larger #s for a few decades), ever more efficient wind turbines will be buil and their fixed cost in steel, copper, concrete and fiberglass will decline as time goes on.

From vague memory (unreliable) each year WTs get +4% more cost effective if inflation is adjusted for.  A good trend that gives cause for hope long term.

Best Hopes,


Again, for now we might have to agree to disagree.

I think the "givens" you count on will not be given in the Post Peak World.  

I think we have entered Bakhtiari's Phase I and that "the unexpected might become the rule" applies to both economics and geopolitics.

Also, I know Wind People who migh not share your vision of a continuing and indefinite "cost effectiveness curve" for wind turbines.

Desperation and diminishing returns might throw a monkey wrench into the best laid plans of menz.

That's one of the problems we, the human race, face - engineers continue to engineer.  Even to the point of idiocy, the Alberta tar sands being a good example.  To an ecologist they're a disaster!
Some tidbits from Planning in New Orleans.

Dropping/eliminating elevated I-10 from Canal Street to Elysian Fields and replacing it with 4 lane at grade street with traffic lights is gaining traction.  I am sympathetic, know the leaders in this but I am bot active with this group.

Seemed such a long shot that I worked elsewhere.

Everyone wants streetcars.  I have been asked to develop budgetary #s for the Desire and Elysian Fields Streetcar Lines by the District planning leaders.

Best Hopes,


Some tidbits from Planning in New Orleans.

Dropping/eliminating elevated I-10 from Canal Street to Elysian Fields and replacing it with 4 lane at grade street with traffic lights is gaining traction.  I am sympathetic, know the leaders in this but I am not active with this group.

Seemed such a long shot that I worked elsewhere.

Everyone wants streetcars.  I have been asked to develop budgetary #s for the Desire and Elysian Fields Streetcar Lines by the District planning leaders.

Best Hopes,


Entropic degradation?


Italian rail travellers have faced unexpected delays in recent weeks because of an increase in the theft of copper wire along train tracks.

Hundreds of trains in Rome and Turin have been delayed for at least 30 minutes as signalling equipment and safety devices have become disabled.

Not good at all.

Biggest oil/gas exploration in New Zealand in recent times:


This is taking place off the West coast, and is largely targetted at replacing depleting gas from the Maui field which has kept NZ going for the past 20 odd years. On present trends there are about 10-15 years worth of gas already 'in the bag'

However the really interesting area for exploration seems to be the Great Southern Basin (off the south tip of the S. Isand). Pretty hard conditions but apparently very prospective . apparently though it has proved difficult to get rig time.

under the heading of High Efficiency Warfare ...

Israel doomed "to destruction": Ahmadinejad

13 November 2006

TEHERAN - Iranian President Mamhoud Ahmadinejad said that Israel was doomed "to destruction" and would soon disappear, in his latest verbal attack on the Jewish state, local news agencies reported...

"As this regime goes against the path of life, we will soon see its disappearance and its destruction," Ahmadinejad.

His comments coincide with a visit to Washington by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert who was to hold White House talks with President George W. Bush expected to focus on Iran's controversial nuclear programme.

...His message is this: "Nuclear energy is safe, reliable, cost-effective, and reduces air pollution and greenhouse gas emission."

I note how his message doesn't address the cost of failure modes.

A shame.

Also, given how hyped
was, why is it such a flop WRT public comment?

Was it the point: Because the Department of Defense is the largest domestic buyer of petroleum-based fuel,

A study on global warming released Monday warns that the expansion of Alberta's booming oilsands industry is threatening Canadian freshwater reserves.

Statements of this nature that are clearly hyperbole don't serve the environmental sector will. Canada's a big country with a lot of freshwater.

The total water licences issued to the oil and gas sector in Alberta constitute just 7.1% of the total water licenced in the province. The oil sands industry indeed withdraws a significant portion of the flow in the Athabasca River but, as Leanan's quotation hints, the issue is whether the remaining flow will be adequate to provide a fully functioning fish habitat in the winter. I don't want to minimise the importance of this issue, but I think the critical amount of fisheries flow has yet to be defined.  

First, of all if you're not a Canadian, butt out!  Secondly, there are no immediate alternatives for water to the Athabaska river, which is currently under stress at only 1M barrels perday.
Sceptical, the detailed technical report of the 2005 Regional Aquatic Monitoring Program, which you can find here, says that that the impact of oilsands activities on water quantity in 2005 in the Athabasca mainstem was evaluated as 'low'. In fact, mean flows in 2005 below the oilsands development area were higher than they were below Ft. McMurray, upstream of most of the development. RAMP is a large, multistakeholder program involving industry, government, First Nations and others.

And yes, I'm proud to be Canadian but it shouldn't matter here.  

"Statements of this nature that are clearly hyperbole don't serve the environmental sector will. Canada's a big country with a lot of freshwater. "

Unfortunately (or fortunately IMO) almost all of that fresh water is unavailable to tar extraction efforts.
The Athabaska is part of Canada's longest river system flowing north and into the Arctic Ocean.
Flow issues concerning habitat in the Athabaska itself may be of more immediate concern but there is the real worry of a toxic waste disaster that could destroy the whole system below the tar sands.

If you follow the first link above and check out the Atabaska Glacier, the main source for the river you will see that the glacier, and indeed the whole Columbia Ice Field, is in serious decline on par with most other global alpine glaciers.  If (when) the ice field disappears the Athabaska will become a spring flood river only, similar to the rivers here in the Great Lakes basin.  There will be no sustained year round flow and low flow will change from winter to summer.  With GW accelerating the glacial melts this will cut into tar extraction in the medium term (my grand children's lifetimes).  It is likely this will fix the end date to any significant production if an ecological disaster or lack of natural gas doesn't stop it sooner.

check this excellent coverage of the tar sands
You raise a good point about the effect of glacial melt. I was at the Columbia Icefields observation point last month and the difference over the last two years was visible even to me. The loss of mass in glaciers from the Coast range through the Rockies, averaged over 50 to 51 degrees North latitude, is about 5.2% for the period 1951 to 2001. I've heard discussion of a tipping point for glacial melt, at which the effect of reducing glacial mass more than compensates for the effect of rising temperatures on the annual meltwater volume. As you say, the meltwater vloume then declines. I can't say whether we're there yet for the Columbia Icefields.

However, the Columbia icefields have historically contributed a minor, though significant component of the Athabasca River flow in the oil sands area. The average peak of glacial melt occurs in July. For this month, the flow in the Athabasca near Jasper, which captures the flow from the Columbia Icefields is 18% of the flow at Fort McMurray (data from Environment Canada).  

Global warming isolates Canadians in far north

TORONTO, Ontario -- Aboriginal communities in Ontario's far north are becoming increasingly isolated as rising temperatures melt their winter route to the outside world and impede their access to supplies.

...During the coldest months between January and March, "winter roads" are cleared on the frozen network of rivers and lakes to let trucks deliver bulk supplies like fuel and building materials.

But average temperatures have risen during the past decade, weakening the ice and shrinking the bulk-shipping season by several weeks, aboriginals say.

...About 20,000 people live in the remote reservations and rely on winter shipments of heating oil, gasoline, and diesel fuel to power generating stations. The fragile ice has forced them to hire more trucks to carry lighter loads.

They are a prime example of overshoot.  Their population is such that they rely on imports to continue their way of life, and now that something has disrupted their ability to attain these imports, they are likely going to have to move, or die.

This one being caused by GW probably, but I expect similar results to equally inhosptiable places around the world to occur once the decline from PO hits.

I propose that their problem [no blame] is that they have half-adopted the 'white man's way', and cannot now go back, because they have forgotten both the technology and the toughness.  I feel really sad about them.
Of course they have adopted the "white man's way" - that's how they got into overshoot! The point though is that the local population there is higher than the local environment will sustain. When resupplying them becomes prohibitively expensive, they will start to die off. The real solution, regardless of the way they chose to live would have been to contain their numbers in balance with the local ecology. They failed to do that and now they (or their descendants) will pay the price.

Of course they have adopted the "white man's way" - that's how they got into overshoot! The point though is that the local population there is higher than the local environment will sustain.

And you "know" this how?

Do you have any idea how much wilderness those 20,000 people are scattered across?  Even including the nearly 3/4 million people in "northern Ontario" who are not in the "far North", the population density of northern Ontario is a whopping 0.9 people per square kilometre.  Leave out the people living in the cities and the density is best measured in square kilometres (or square miles) per person!  This is not all desolate land, either, there are plenty of lakes and forests and wildlife.  There are over 100,000 lakes just in the "sunset country" part of northern Ontario, according to

Northern Ontario has a larger area than Texas.  Ontario has an area larger than Texas and New Mexico combined.  It is, how shall I say, BIG.


I will agree that "adopting the white man's way" led to a dependence on imports, but it certainly did not lead to a population overshoot.

square miles is not a measure of overshoot.
the area they are in is poor in natural resources even at that size to support their current population.
Global warming is making it hard to continue the traditional lifestyle, even without overshoot. The ice is breaking up underneath them at a time when it's supposed to be solid. They had to rescue a lot of native fishermen last year, who found themselves unexpectedly floating out to sea on the dissolving ice.
I think you are confusing northern Ontario with the Arctic.  Get yourself an atlas or a globe.
umm  read the article... it says that the ice they travel on is no longer solid enough to transport the commodities they have in the past.

Not sure what you are out to prove, but you seem to be disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing.  If you doubt the voracity of the claim, then take issue with the article, not Leanan.

square miles is not a measure of overshoot.
the area they are in is poor in natural resources even at that size to support their current population.

Yet another blind assertion.  Poor in what natural resources?  For crying out loud, there are people living in the REAL far north in tundra conditions - you know, polar bears, no trees, permafrost - this is NOT the far north.  Don't you think an area the size of Texas filled with fish and moose and trees can support a population of 20,000 living in a "traditional" hunting society?  What evidence do you have that this population has even increased since adopting "the white man's ways"?

Wow, the arrogance on display here is truly astounding.  Facts be damned, it's overshoot because it's a classic case of overshoot, because it's a classic case of overshoot, because we say so, because we say so.  The 20,000 people living in the wilderness in northern Ontario is not overshoot, the overshoot (if there is any) is the 10 million people living in southern Ontario.

Overshoot is not just caused by a population out growing the physical limitations of its environment.  In a situation where the environment is changing it is possible for the environment to become the factor in making what was once a sustainable population into an unsustainable one.

In this case I think its a combination of both.  the lifestyle enjoyed by the northern folks will not be sustainable unless they can find a way around the changing environment.  Worse because the environment is changing a return to their old ways may also be a futile effort as the land that existed under the old ways will not be what land is becoming in the future.

In a situation where the environment is changing it is possible for the environment to become the factor in making what was once a sustainable population into an unsustainable one.

True, but I don't think that applies in this case.  We're not talking about a place where vital species have been hunted to near-extinction.


"The Ministry of Natural Resources manages the moose population in Ontario under a selective harvest system which ensures the population is sustainable. Moose hunting is very popular in Ontario and hunter numbers have increased from about 80,000 in the late 1970s to more than 100,000 now. Despite that increase, this system has been successful in increasing the moose population over the past two decades from approximately 80,000 moose in the late 1980s to about 114,000 moose now. This has resulted in increased moose hunting opportunities."

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, a moose is a huge (>1000 pound) herbivore that can swim, basically a big deer with antlers (on the male).


I'll leave investigating other issues (health of forests and lakes, abundance of fish and other animals) to all of you who make the claim that the population of northern Ontario is in overshoot.  Again, you are making claims without any evidence: show me the evidence.

I think you are focusing too specifically on one aspect.  Foodstuffs for a population are not the only limitation to a populations well being.  Especially in the case of humans which unlike many other animals require additional things to survive, especially in this hostile climate.

Heat/Warmth is one example.  Certainly there is a fair amount of lumber up there, but how will the Warming trend affect those trees?  Will they die in a changing climate?

Or what about water sources?  Right now the ice is not freezing enough for transportation.  With that kind of change and further changes to come, how will this impact the water available to these people?

And looping back to foodstuffs, these people consist on a diet primarily of fish and hunted game.  If the environment is changing will this force game to migrate or dieoff, and will the changes to water patterns affect fish populations?

Certainly there are many such variables to address, and to be honest the complexity of the problem is probably a bit much to be making too many predictions now, but things like this I think are the tip of the GW Iceberg.  We are seeing affects both on animal, plant and human populations already, and I wonder how much worse is it going to get.

Right now its the "inconvenience" of not getting modern supplies and heating oils.  Later what if we see major flooding or significant fauna and flora changes?  All these factors coupled with building a lifestyle that uses the "white man's" ways is going to lead them to be vulnerable when the "white man's" stuff isn't coming up the ice roads anymore.

I agree with all your comments regarding the environment being vulnerable.  As for heat, yes, basically you burn trees.  There is not just a "fair" amount of lumber up there, there is a hell of a lot of it. :-)

Let's be clear: I agree that there are many places in the world with unsustainable human populations and that environmental change will likely have a huge impact just about everywhere.  That doesn't change the fact that your original statement was just plain wrong.  You said "They are a prime example of overshoot."  No, they are not.  Just because such problems exist in epic proportions somewhere else does not make it so everywhere.

Having said all that, it is interesting to speculate on whether those whose more recent ancestors knew a sustainable way of life are more easily able to return to it than those who have essentially no connection with the past.  As you say, natives who have built a lifestyle that uses the "white man's ways" may be vulnerable, but wouldn't the mainstream society that has absolutely no clue how to live off the land be even more vulnerable?

Hello TODers,

I know myself, Darwinian, and Nate Hagens have posted on decreasing world grain supplies.  IMO, this is something we need to increasingly monitor and discuss in the Drumbeats because food incorporates PO + GW so tightly.  This latest article from CNN on Zimbabwe points to the overall looming tragedy throughout Africa.  As grain aid donations falloff--these people will be HAMMERED:

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- The United Nations food agency said Monday it has scaled down food distribution in Zimbabwe, where more than 1 million people are in critical need, because of a shortage of donor funds. It said further reductions might be necessary across southern Africa.

The World Food Program said the poor donor response followed repeated assurances by the government that the nation would be able to feed itself ahead of the next harvests in March. The agency estimated 1.4 million Zimbabweans are in critical need of food aid now and predicts the number will rise to nearly 2 million in coming weeks because of soaring inflation and shortages of food on the local market.
Zimbabwe's population is approx. [12 million https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/zi.html] or one out of every six potentially starving.

It will be interesting to see if the US ethanol corporations, Cargill, and ADM will be donating a percentage of their profits to the World Food Program as a way to deflect public criticism of their operations.

Imagine one out of six North Americans starving!  I suggest we think harder on moving more quickly to relocalized permaculture.  I think food & water problems will shortly eclipse PO + GW.

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

I know myself, Darwinian, and Nate Hagens have posted on decreasing world grain supplies.  IMO, this is something we need to increasingly monitor and discuss in the Drumbeats because food incorporates PO + GW so tightly.

Keeping track of the freash water supply I'd say is even MORE important, but much harder becuase you really can't track water prices, what with water not priced like oil or grain.

Perhaps its time for 'thewaterskin.com' and 'thegrainbushel.com'?

Take a look at yesterdays Energy Bulletin concerning Australia and use your fertile imagination.
Hello Old Hippie,

Yep, I read that.  Pretty scary if they don't get a steady rain soon.  

My Iran updates for the night:

The battle against Iran begins


Iran TV airs video of U.S. aircraft carrier cruising in Gulf


The first article is interesting.  I wonder if there are any geopoliticians who could comment on the significance (if any) of the bank's actions?

Along the same lines, The Iranian Foreign Legions (Hezbollah and Hamas) are also likely re-stocked by now...

From leanan's link above

"Oil fuels national ambitions
Iran, Russia and Venezuela have swollen treasuries

(many countries have their own Grand Designs... Bush is not in Control)

And from the other Far-Side of the same coin:

Al Qaeda seeking nuclear kit for attacks: UK official By Sophie Walker

LONDON (Reuters) - Al Qaeda is trying to acquire the technology that would enable it to use a nuclear device to attack Western targets including Britain, a senior British official said on Monday ...

(I'm sure The House of Saud is feeling very secure too...)

Ya, I saw that article as well.  I believe Al Qaeda has been trying to do that for awhile now.
Gazprom dont have the gaz (if you'll pardon the pun)


Hello TODers,

Mexico update

Excerpts from a newsarticle from Canada's Globe and Mail:
Will Mexico be ready when oil runs dry?
Falling production, politics take toll

From a 2004 peak output of more than 2.1 million barrels of oil a day, Cantarell is down to 1.8 million b/d today, and will continue to diminish in the coming years. And its waning only seems to underscore the challenges facing the country's monopolistic state-run oil giant, Petroleos Mexicanos.

The world's third-largest oil producer, Pemex "has no real prospects to substitute for Cantarell," oil analyst David Shields says. In spite of booming oil prices and record sales worth $86-billion (U.S.), it ended last year $7.1-billion in the red and has debt of $54-billion.

The undersecretary for hydrocarbons at the Ministry of Energy, Hector Moreira, has been sounding the alarm bells recently, warning Pemex could go bankrupt within the next six years because of its debt.

Meanwhile, in regards to Oaxaca's ongoing Mexican Standoff: this Miami Herald article:
Upheaval predicted in Mexico

A leftist leader of the riots in Oaxaca said the unrest is the beginning of a 'historic transformation' that will grow into a national rebellion.

From Mexidata:
Impunity Has Become a Major Malady in Mexico

Social and political observers have long cited corruption as Mexico's foremost malignancy.

In the days of Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) rule the very existence of corruption was staunchly disregarded. It was so obvious that political boss Carlos Hank Gonzalez openly quipped that, "a politician who is poor is a poor politician."  These peculiar situations led many Mexicans to skepticism regarding any information provided by sitting governments, and consequently to sarcastically question any actions supposedly taken to fight dishonesty.

These mock trials and accusations had the reverse effect on the population -- where corruption was an impression, impunity proved to be a conviction. Citizen hope lapsed into distrust, as impunity quickly replaced corruption as the nation's major political and social cancer.

Consequently many Mexicans lost their ability to make judgments on the basis of merit or evidence. Most refuse to accept that anybody found not guilty of wrongdoing is truly innocent. Impunity has fashioned a country of skeptics and abolished the belief that democracy alone can bring about the nation's change and trust in its institutions.

With half of Mexico living in poverty, and their Pres. candidate AMLO losing a possibly corrupt election in their eyes--this doesn't look good going forward.

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

It looks like food prices are about to start reflecting the increasing demand from ethanol plants.

Today's Nashville Tennessean is running an AP article on Tyson  Foods, the world's largest chicken producer and also the world's largest meat processing company, in which they are warning that increasing competition for corn is causing them to raise prices on their products.

Rising corn prices may mean costlier meat, Tyson says - Demand for grain for ethanol plants is cited as a factor