DrumBeat: November 24, 2006

[Update by Leanan on 11/24/06 at 8:41 AM EDT]

The New World Oil Order, Part 2: Russia tips the balance

Russia has set the agenda for the global transition to an entirely new model of international energy security designed to address intensifying concerns, especially those of the rising East.

Russia, possessing unequaled energy-based leverage, has taken the leadership among the world's producers and the rising powerhouse economies of the East to promote a vast worldwide web of alliances and ties prominently featuring rigid bilateral, private long-term supply contracts.

Divided Venezuelans United on Costly Policy of Cheap Gas

CARACAS, Venezuela -- Jesús Vivas drives a 26-year-old clunker with rusted fenders, ripped upholstery and a tattered carpet. With a wheeze, a plume of smoke and a walruslike roar, the wreck he calls a taxi accelerates down congested streets. About the only thing that works well is a new radio, which blares accordion-laced folk music.

But he's not worried. Operating his four-door Malibu across Caracas, day and night, costs less than $4, thanks to gasoline that, at 17 cents a gallon, is considered the cheapest in the world.

2005 Another Record Year for Global Carbon Emissions

"In 2005, carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels climbed to a record high of 7.9 billion tons, an increase of some 3 percent from the previous year. Annual global emissions have been increasing since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the late eighteenth century, when humans first began burning fossil fuels on a large scale to produce energy. Since the early 1900s, emissions have been rising at an increasingly rapid pace. Annual emissions have grown by a factor of fifteen since 1900, advancing nearly 3 percent a year over that time," says Joseph Florence of the Earth Policy Institute.

Ask the experts: Averting climate change

An Interview with Michael Meacher MP on peak oil and relocalisation

Hong Kong 'climate change threat'

A leading Hong Kong think-tank has released the first study examining the likely impact of climate change on Hong Kong and the Pearl River delta.

The Civic Exchange study concludes that even small water-level rises combined with extreme weather could cause flooding across the low-lying delta.

Death toll from Indonesia blast climbs to 11

SIDOARJO, Indonesia - Three more bodies were found on Friday near the scene of a gas pipeline explosion in Indonesia's East Java province which was linked to a devastating mudflow, pushing the overall death toll to 11.

The blast late on Wednesday, which disrupted gas operations in the region covered by state oil company Pertamina's East Java Gas Pipeline, occurred in the area where hot mud has been gushing unchecked from near the Banjar Panji exploratory gas well since the end of May following a drilling accident.

Missing keys, holes in fence and a single padlock: welcome to Congo's nuclear plant

The IAEA is worried that lax security could lead to enriched uranium falling into the wrong hands

Give us non-polluting energy — starting now

November 2006 promises to be a momentous month in the history of human influence on the earth’s climate. First there was the Stern report, which presented the first fully coherent economic analysis of climate change, challenging the wilful misrepresentation of reality on both sides of this debate. Then came the US election, which inflicted a crushing defeat on the one important global leader who persisted in denying the importance of climate change. Then, last Tuesday came an even more significant, though far less publicised, event: the signature in Paris of a €10 billion international agreement to build the world’s first nuclear fusion reactor at Cadarache, in the South of France.

Pipelines key to preventing Las Vegas-area fuel crisis

New petroleum pipelines from California and Arizona could shore up southern Nevada's precarious fuel supply within a few years, if someone builds them, the head of a southern Nevada fuel supply task force said.

Battle of the blades

The view to Arran from the Ayrshire coast is one of the most cherished in Scotland. Yet turn your head and a new horizon opens up. Stark against the skyline are the turbines of a giant wind farm.

Graceful and mesmerising? A necessary investment for our future? Or just a blot on the landscape?

Shell Canada to spend $4-billion in 2007

Shell Canada Ltd. unveiled plans to hike its 2007 investments by 48 per cent to $4-billion, as it proceeds with the expansion of its vast oil sands project in Northern Alberta.

North Korea focusing on developing wind energy. Meanwhile, the sanctions may be pushing North Korea into famine again.

Sea reveals new source of energy

Scientists searching for exotic life forms living around seafloor methane seeps have also recovered chunks of frozen methane from along the edge of the continental shelf.

EU hedges its bets on energy saving

"Europe has a vast potential to stop wasting energy, but EU ministers constantly fail to agree concrete steps to tap into that potential. Europe's governments must swap their grand words with real action, based on binding targets and powerful legislation."

Russia to boost crude oil thru pipelines

MOSCOW, Nov. 23 - Russia has agreed to boost supplies of its crude via Ukrainian oil pipelines next year in a move that may further strengthen its position as the dominant energy supplier to European markets.

OPEC’s rivals set to pump more oil in 2007

LONDON - A rise in oil production from the Caspian, Africa and North America will ease OPEC’s burden in meeting world oil demand in 2007, but an anticipated supply surge may not materialise.

Producers outside OPEC may pump enough new oil next year to meet growth in world demand, unlike this year or in 2005, according to the International Energy Agency, as new fields come on stream.

This link was posted by Jack early this morning, on yesterday's Drumbeat. I found it so moving that I wanted more people to read it. Things like this is the reason I say that the only thing worse than peak oil is no peak oil.

Ron Patterson

The Rising Dragon's Environmental Disaster      
Jasper Becker    
22 November 2006  
This is a chapter reprinted by arrangement with the National Geographic Society from the book Dragon Rising: An Inside Look at China Today By Jasper Becker.

An excellent book with a global perspective on the same theme, the environmental impact of human development:

Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century World (2000, Global Century Series) (J R. McNeill, University Professor, Georgetown University)

Prologue excerpt.

Darwinian I agree, the only thing worse than Peak Oil is no Peak Oil.

Let's see..... scenes from Iraq are on the teevee every day, has anyone noticed that the place is a barren, dust-filled, wasteland? This is the effect of humans unless they are on a very short leash.


This article perfectly sums up the problem with trying to continue the technofest despite the overwhelming evidence that such boneheaded insistence on trying to save the techno-world is in effect committing species suicide, not to mention the fate of the rest of the world's fauna and flora.

Heartbreaking is the right word. The failure of the imagination among the technos is tragic.

A perfect example of this tunnel vision is the little snit going on between yourself and WestTexas about the particular year the US peaked. Does it really matter?

The people of the world will not rise up and make the changes necessary. You only need read about the many, many environmental disasters in China to see the people will simply die in droves as the corporations rape the environment. (I define the Chinese government as a corporation, much like I define the US as a fascist state, a melding of corporate and state power.)

I do not think that anything being discussed here, including my own rants, will ever have a significant effect on stopping the species dieoff; the average world citizen is actively encouraging, abetting, investing in, and cheering on.

Therefore, these conversations must devolve to mere entertainments. The people here join to make friends and to parade their knowledge, make contentious arguments, rushing home from work each day or sneaking peeks on the company internet to check the blogs with bated breath anxious to continue the hormone stimulating virtual duels. I am not saying you are evil, bad, or even mildly impish. I am only saying that our paleolithic limbic system will not let us make the hard and rational choices that would prevent a species blowout.

It is coming, sooner rather than later. It is unstoppable.

Good luck to everyone. May you all survive to rediscover your intimate connection to nature.

A perfect example of this tunnel vision is the little snit going on between yourself and WestTexas about the particular year the US peaked. Does it really matter?

Cherenkov, I think you have someone else in mind. There is absolutely no snit between WestTexas and I as to the particular year the US peaked. We both agree it was 1970 and we both agree that natural gas peaked in 1973.

Whatever could you have been thinking?

Ron Patterson

Therefore, these conversations must devolve to mere entertainments. The people here join to make friends and to parade their knowledge, make contentious arguments, rushing home from work each day or sneaking peeks on the company internet to check the blogs with bated breath anxious to continue the hormone stimulating virtual duels. I am not saying you are evil, bad, or even mildly impish. I am only saying that our paleolithic limbic system will not let us make the hard and rational choices that would prevent a species blowout.

Apparently you are under the mistaken impression that I would disagree with you on this. No, I have been preaching this very thing from day one. You obviously have not read many of my posts or you would know this. We are but observers in the grand scheme of things. Our efforts count for naught.

I do enjoy a good argument however and that is why I am here. Yes, it is the entertainment value alone.

People who really believe they, via their efforts, can change the world are both amusing and pitiful. They are one of six and one half billion people. And that is about how much they affect the world as a whole.

Ron Patterson

People who really believe they, via their efforts, can change the world are both amusing and pitiful. They are one of six and one half billion people. And that is about how much they affect the world as a whole.

I think that there is a low probability (originally 1%-3%, now my guess is 5% - 7%) that I can change the emphasis "later" towards electrified rail.

Not turn the world (or the US) on a dime, but alter the course once the first fragments of excrement hit the rotating blade.

Part of my strategy is to preposition a logical, medium term alternative that others can focus on when they start grasping at straws.

One of my first steps was to convince the community at TOD that this is a silver BB.  I have succeeded, thus my increased odds.

Best Hopes,


Alan, how's things going?  I been looking for ya' around here, I hope you read your responses....I want you to take a look at something...

This idea has at least a 10 year history, and instead of dying away, it seems to be gaining momentum...what do ya' think?
When I first saw it, I thought it was idiotic....but then starting visualizing it in areas around me, Hardin County KY, between Radcliff and Elizabethtown, with a cross that would extend backwards into Vine Grove and Meade County, and the other end mirroring I-65 north to Louisville, the airport and straight through to the river.....ahhh, this could possibly work....it was passing the "usability" test....I want what's his name, totenella, with the "spider" pipe rider idea to see it too, it's not so far off what he talks about....dreamin', ain't it fun...:-)
What was it someone just said, "People who really believe they, via their efforts, can change the world are both amusing and pitiful."
I'll take that, how many people do you know are truly amusing....:-)

Roger Conner  known to you as ThatsItImout

RUF is "gadgetbahn".

New tecnology simply takes time to work out the "bugs" in the details.  And only then can one make a valid comparision with the alternatives.

RUF does not strike me a very good idea at all from a technology/engineering POV.  I think the attraction for others is a "have your cake & eat it too appeal".  Your personal car in "electric train mode".

Another poster is very "up" on the concept of wind turbines floating and not anchored to the seabed offshore.  At first glance "nice" but I see a host of potential problems.

He proposes masses of these offshore Florida for example (good winds there) that can move aside for hurricanes.  I see side loadings and leverage issues that will be difficult to engineer around economically (they cartainly can be made stable but at what price ?)

So experiment, get a half dozen years experience, and I will consider that it MIGHT be practical.

In the case of RUF, I see it as a distraction from viable, workable solutions.

Few people realise how rich is the operating experience of 175+ years of railroad experience.  SO many problems have been resolved.  Thus my preference in the few years we have left prePO (if we are not post-PO today).

Best Hopes,


Thanks for the feedback..., I think you are exactly right on your remark,
 I think the attraction for others is a "have your cake & eat it too appeal".  Your personal car in "electric train mode".

I have to admit, that was the first and overwhelming appeal to me.  I absolutely love trains, electric ones all the better...and the older generation certainly proved "tried and true".  

My central problem is that when I look at my local area, it is so scattered out that trying to get rider density up would be almost impossible unless we tore down and restructed the communties almost completely.  Some fellow fanciers of the "efficient transportation" idea have drawn out map after map, but to no avail...the cities and towns would have to be "recentered" or the area would have to be literally buried in train track...either way, for central KY, the expense would be astronomical, or people would have to be expected to walk long distances...I still like the idea of the old fashioned train type system, ala east coast commuter, with electric station cars to the neighborhoods...:-)
It makes a fun hobby just trying to figure it out....:-)

Roger Conner  known to you as ThatsItImout

Alan, what happens when you get to the end of the electrical rail line?  is the rolling stock compatible with conventional tracks and locomotives?  I live in a relatively isolated area that is less likely to be electrified, but does have a small Amtrak station.  As long as the train could switch engines, this would be a manageable problem.  
The only difference is the locomotives.  Either change them or have diesel-electrics (today 99+% are diesel electrics) that can switch fromm on-board diesel generation to grid by raising a pantograph.

In other nations with mixed electric & FF rail lines (UK, Russia, India) changing locos is the normal practive.

Long distance trains through rural areas are good candidates for electrification.

Best Hopes,


Alan you are a saint.  Ghandi comes to mind.  You just might make a difference.  I wish you all the best.
Let me add, also, someone is making a difference, if only in the wrong direction. Alan will make a difference. Keep pushing, Alan, and keep us informed what you are doing on the political front and with respect direct communication between you those making decisions.

Yes, TOD has its entertainment value, but beyond that it is a testing ground for ideas, some of which may go somewhere. Testing it here first in this laboratory, one can take it elsewhere with a better reasoned argument that just might make a difference with one's legislatures.  



Best Hopes,


People who really believe they, via their efforts, can change the world are both amusing and pitiful. They are one of six and one half billion people. And that is about how much they affect the world as a whole.

I find this comment especially striking, because one solution to this problem is for us to consume less and slow reproduction.

However, the catch is that once an individual or small group implements this strategy, the niche they were "protecting" will simply be overridden by a another group with no such inhibitions.

You know, in A Thousand Barrels A Second, Tertzakain argues the opposite.  He suggests that in a future with higher energy costs people or groups who implement efficiency measures will win.  He predicts, in his words, a "race to efficiency."

That seems entirely reasonable to me.  The only way it wouldn't happen would be if we somehow had lower energy prices after the "peak" - and I don't think any of us here expect PO and then $20/bbl ten years later.

"suggests that in a future with higher energy costs people or groups who implement efficiency measures will win.  He predicts, in his words, a "race to efficiency."

That is already starting I think.  Europe seems to be holding up well, even given higher energy costs.  The test for them, though, as well as for the Japanese, will be natural gas.  Europe is facing a crucial issue on this.  If they can bring advanced technology, renewables and conservation on stream fast enough, they could be the bellweather.  The Japanese seem to be going with nuclear and renewable, with solar and hybrid and electric auto engineering more advanced there than anywhere in the world.

The test will be this:  When countries fuel consuption levels off, but there is no real economic dislocation in the country.  That will be the bellweather that we are leaving the fossil fuel age as the engine of prosperity, and entering a newer "non carbon" regime.  When it will happen, I don't know but it needs to happen soon, actually.

Roger Conner  known to you as ThatsItImout

Europe being overrun by Muslims for example. Or USA being overrun by Mexicans. America having been overrun by Europeans over the last 300 years, if you want to see a little further. The Tragedy Of The Commons is the fatal catch, and there is no way around it.
People who really believe they, via their efforts, can change the world are both amusing and pitiful. They are one of six and one half billion people. And that is about how much they affect the world as a whole.

Hmmm...so everyone should just give up trying to change things and join the cattle herd.  Man, someone should have told Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Grandma Moses, Einstein, Tesla, Cindy Sheehan, the one dude that faced off the tank at Tiananmen Square....they missed that little piece of advice.

You know, you may be correct, but I would rather have it written on my tombstone that I tried to do something, tried to change something...even if I'm one stinking, naive SOB...than never tried at all.

Listen Dragonfly, no one said you should not try to save your own ass. You are powerless to save the whole damn world! That is the point. And the efforts of Tesla, Sheehan and others had nothing with saving the world from massive overshoot.

When you are listing the efforts of people, and the success they had, it would be helpful if you listed the things they were trying to accomplish. NONE of the people you listed were trying to save the world from overshoot, overpopulation and energy depletion. they all had other goals in mine. And they were successful. They were successful because their efforts were directed at much lesser goals than saving the world from dramatic overshoot.

So Dragonfly, you can make preperations to save yourself and your family, or you can spend your precious time and energy trying to save the whole damn world. If you try the former you may be successful. If you instead, spend your time, resources and energy in trying to save the whole world, you stand no chance of being successful.

Ron Patterson

I didn't say I wanted to save the world...just try to change people's minds about sustained growth, peak oil, etc....little bit at a time.

If all our little efforts snowballed some day into a greater awareness...then perhaps it could save some parts of the world.

I read your comments as you not even wanting to try to change people's mindsets.

The problem is, while MLK and Cindy Sheehan and all of those people are great and noble, they really did not do anything about our overshoot situation.

The only religious or political movements I can think of that have done anything about that are the quakers (although they took it too far and died out!) and Planned Parenthood.

Someone somewhere on one of these forums said something like: Drive your SUV and live in a mcMansion and live on McDonald's burgers and if you only have ONE KID you'll have done your part.

One kid per family and "it takes a village to raise a child" social structure, instead of the alienating "nuclear" family, would solve both overpopulation and the "little prince/little princess" syndrome China's 1-child policy created.

OK what am I getting to? Humans in our Western/world culture have not, and will not, change their behavior voluntarily to consume less. Our culture, and it's the world culture now because anyone who tries to abstain from joining is just slaughtered now, is a horrible monster composed of billions of smaller horrible monsters - us. So when people here talk like they can't change people's thinking, it's because they've studied how people, even nice "Liberal" organic-food-eating people, act in the real world.

The break-even reproduction rate is 2.1 children per family. IMO 2 kids per family is a much better rule of thumb: both for the society - preventing a total population collapse with the retirement and healthcare problems coming from it; and for the kids themselves - a brother or sister always helps the child to socialize better, makes it easier to learn to take care and be responsibile to the others, etc.
I'm being picky, but the 2.1 'replacement' fertility rate is a general rule of thumb for first world countries. Obviously in countries with a high infant-to-teenage mortality rate, a family would have to have many more than 2.1 children to effectively replace themselves on the long term.

BTW the US TFR for 2006 is 2.09, slightly below this replacement level, not in positive territory as some on an earlier thread asserted.

The only religious or political movements I can think of that have done anything about that are the quakers (although they took it too far and died out!) and Planned Parenthood.

Marvin Harris argued that the only technological innovation that really helped mankind was birth control.

Darwinian said,
"People who really believe they, via their efforts, can change the world are both amusing and pitiful. They are one of six and one half billion people. And that is about how much they affect the world as a whole."

yeah, go to that to Felix Kramer...heh, heh, heh.

The truth is that "one person" may not get credit for his or her efforts, but that does not mean the efforts cannot have huge impact.  Aren't you folks fans of "Chaos" theory, or the "butterfly effect"?  I know from the "global warming" yick yack I hear here that at least some of you believe in feedback loops.

I was recently rereading some of my material by James Burke on "Connections", the award winning series on PBS and companion book.

He points out that repeatedly throughout history, seemingly unrelated events and discoveries have been incorporated with other seemingly unrelated events, sometimes across widely diverging industries and interests, to lead to a breakthrough that was totally unexpected and unprecedented.

Interestingly, this occurred in prior centuries, when communication of events and occurrences were far more difficult than today.  Radio and television and mass publication of scientific and technical journals speeded up the process.

But nothing has been as great an accelerator as the internet.  I now have access to technical papers, drawings, groups and associations that only a few years ago I had to dig through mountains of files at the library to have a hope of finding.  I am now able to find, incorporate or dismiss ideas and lines of inquiry and move rapidly forward to a new set of inquiry, in a fraction of the time needed before, and without burning a drop of gas to get to the libraries.

And I am still a clumsy amateur compared to the ones who are really "hooked up" and know how to use the system.

But all this requires one thing:  WILL.  I have to be willing to learn, to look, and to use what I have learned.  Sadly, this is what we are teaching our children "does not make a difference", and has no effect.  And of course, that's a self fulfilling prophecy, because if we do not use it, sure enough, it will have no effect.  It is, bluntly, defeatism, and has no basis in history or in fact.  But make no mistake:  Just because our culture refuses to make the efforts, do not assume that others will be so defeatist, nihilistic and lazy.

Our culture may indeed endure the great collapse, the big dieoff.  Others may not surrender to it so gladly.  If we do, it may very well be much more a matter of choice, than of inevitability.

There is one thing I know as fact:  If I let the people who tell me "it will make no difference" cause me to stop my efforts, then sure enough, they will have been right.  My efforts abandoned will make no difference.

(as a brief personal aside....you guys have reeeeally got to learn how to enjoy a holiday, cheer up a little....maybe I am just lucky, my sister cooks a mean Thanksgiving dinner...;-), ah well, "the doomed shall eat a hardy meal."

Roger Conner  known to you as ThatsItImout

Just curious Roger, if you could do something, what would you do? I do not mean what would you do if you had magical powers, or if you were god.

Knowing that we are deep into overshoot, what would you do to remedy that situation? What would you do to make the misery a little less for future generations?

Ron Patterson

Darwinian, you ask a tough question...
"Knowing that we are deep into overshoot, what would you do to remedy that situation? What would you do to make the misery a little less for future generations?"

Oh dear.  Well, I could avoid any possible controversy here, and just say something nice like "be a good little scout, conserve fuel, turn down the thermostat, etc, and baby out of it, or I could play it straight and give you an honest answer, even though if anyone is still reading this particular string, I may get chopped up a bit.  The good part, since posting here is a hobby and not a paying job, I can play it straight and give you my honest answer, with no real penelty, that's one of the reasons I like kickin' ideas around here, :-), so here goes:

First, to the sentance, "Knowing that we are deep into overshoot...", I have to ask, how can I possibly know that?  I want it noted that I am not saying it's not true.  But frankly, I could have no way to know.  We could be deep in overshoot, or very far from it.  What is the "carrying capacity of Earth, and is not structured by the way we live, the amount we consume and waste for now noticable gain except ritual, appearance and habit?
  My contention is that we are almost certainly deep in overshoot IF we intend to go on operating the way we do.  But I do not know that we (meaning the human race) will continue to engage in the incredibly wasteful, sloppy and over consumptive design and engineering we have in this century.  I like to think not, not becuase we want to be less "comfortable" (hard term to define there, too!),  but because much of the waste can be removed with not a decline in real living standard, but an increase in all around comfort, sustainability and security.  My contention is that we are not in this fix because our technology is "advanced" but because it is so very primitive.  That does not yet answer your question, but it structures what I am about to say to some extent.

Now, to your question:
If I could do anything first to "make the misery a little less for future generations?", what?

First, I would free the last slaves.  Worldwide, the last stats I looked at, that would mean freeing in a REAL way about half the world population.  The women.  In every culture that has truly allowed it's women to be free, to choose their own livestyle, to work and to be educated, birth rates have fallen like a stone.  Even if we ignored the atrocities committed against the women of the world (and how do the major faiths of the world do that, by the way?), and even if we forced ourselves not to think about the millions of potential scientists, engineers, designers, biologists, medical doctors, city planners, horticulturists...well, I could go on all day, even if we don't think about the horrible loss of talant the world endures by not even letting them into the game, the decline in birthrate, done not by force of "population control" but by alllowing freedom and dignity would make it worth it, plus, it would be the humane, moral thing to do.

Now, there we would be with a flattening population, and a new vast pool of talant (think about the situation now...what we have is billions of female mouths to feed, unless we want to let them starve, but no use of their talant, what a crappy break!), so what to do next.  

Decentralization.  Develop alternatives with that as the first goal.  Great misery is already here, whether peak is or not, whether overshoot is or not, due to concentration of power, knowledge, wealth, and yes, energy.  The middle east bloodbath is creating a crisis of conscious for the Americans, and a hell on earth for the people there, because of concentration.  Of knowledge.  Of wealth.  Of power.  Of energy.  Decentralized systems are redundent, democratic, and bring power and wealth.  With freedom of movement (which, as much as many hate to admit it, is one of the great reducers of misery worldwide) one can move freely from one system or culture to another if conditions become unbearable.  The only thing that will keep a system humane is if it is surrounded by competing humane systems. Technically, this is why, in the long run, it is perfectly fine to lose "perfect" maximization" of efficiency IF it reduces centralization.  If I can make energy locally, without shipping imputs and outputs all over the place, I gain.  I would gladly take a solar set making power and possibly hydrogen locally, without having to carry in daily raw materials, and then trying to carry out daily waste, even if it was not of the most maximum efficiency.  

Likewise knowledge.  The destruction of our education base has been horrendous over the last twenty years or so.  If we want to reduce the suffering of the human race, we must educate.  As Thomas Merton once said "If you teach a human being he is nothing but a gorilla with a gun, he will act exactly like a gorilla with a gun."  If you teach a child, however, that they are designers, artists, creators, involved very much in the creative process, you will get creators, not destroyers.  If we teach them that they are directly responsible for the way in which they use the knowledge they gain, and teach responsibility with learning, we can reduce the misdirected use of knowledge, science, and technology.  Can we do away with it completely?  Probably not, but you only asked to make "misery a little less", not to end completely.  As you said, we are trying to be magical, or God.

Lastly, but perhaps as importantly as all the others, I would not try to destroy HOPE.  I know, the last consolation in Pandora's box, for little kids, right?  But I have learned more each year that even grown ups need HOPE, need a reason to care, need a reason to believe that we are here to do more good than evil.  I saw a man on 60 Minutes the other night who was fighting to preserve tigers in India.  It is an uphill fight, and in the greater scheme of things, what did it matter?  The world can live, in the end, without tigers.  We live without Sabre tooth tigers, right?  When asked why he was doing this, he said simply "because if the tigers are gone, I do not want to be alive."  He had set his standard, and he placed hope in his ability to at least help, in some small way, to keep the world worth living in.  We know there are men and women who have died going into space.  They believed that by helping humans reach outward, they were making the world more worth living in.  Were they foolish, is the whole attempt to reach outward and upward pointless.  We each have to decide for ourselves how we feel about that.  But they had made their choice.  And in some cases they died.  But we all will die.  They had at least believed, held hope, and so they had lived before they died.
So if I cannot make things better, the least I can do is not destroy the hope of those who think they can.  "First, do no harm" says the oath.

On a more down to Earth note, I will have a reply to another post on here tonight, playing with the research I have done today on thin film solar.  I used to laugh at PV as "pie in the sky" even though I had a Bell Labs PV kit when I was a child, to build a little photo cell to prove it would work!  Now, it is coming back, but not the silicone ones, but the CIS thin film....this is going to be so much fun to watch develop and knock everyone's hat in the creek!
Have fun, that's one more thing that will reduce misery, and make friends and lovers, that's good too, and watch comedy....(as the alien told Woody Allen in one of his early films, "you want to make the world a better place, tell funnier jokes!")....you see, we know how to do this, as Grandma Moses, the old lady painter said when she was over 100 years old, "Life is what you make it...always has been, always will be."  Hey, if she could take it to 100, she must have known something! :-)

All kidding aside, thank you for the chance to work out some of my own demons and give myself a booster shoot, I needed it actually!  I may be taking a bit of a sabbatical from posting on TOD, so I might as well go off for a while on a high note....I think I need to get out in the field and do more and talk less...:-)  (was that what you were trying to hint in your question?  either way, don't agree too fast, o.k.!)

Roger Conner  known to you as ThatsItImout

opps, made several errors in my longish reply, but only one that changed the context of what I aimed to say...sentence should read,
"As you said, we are NOT trying to be magical, or God.

I left out the "not".  Sorry.  RC known to you as ThatsItImout

First, I would free the last slaves.  Worldwide, the last stats I looked at, that would mean freeing in a REAL way about half the world population.  The women.  

I am very afraid that the opposite will happen.  

Women tend to have a lot of rights and freedom in foraging societies, much less so in more complex societies...with the exception of our own, and then only very recently.  

Why is this?  I think it's because control of females is control of fertility.  The number of fertile females in a society determines the fertility rate.  Thinking of women as inferior makes practices like female infanticide more acceptable.  Subjugation of women = population control.

So the reason our birth rates have fallen is not just education and women's rights, but birth control.  It's not enough to educate women. And it's not enough to offer birth control.  You must do both.  You also have to provide health care, food, and political stability, so parents can be sure the children they do have will survive.

I fear that our progress on this front is far more likely to unwind in the face of peak oil than to continue or increase. I'm reminded of Yasser Arafat, who asked Palestinian women to have 12 children, 10 for themselves, and two for his army.

In the face of this exhortation, West Bank TFR has dropped from around 4.9 in 2001 to 4.3 in 2006. You will see a similar drop in virtually every country on the planet, even the poorest with the highest 'ambient' TFR are dropping. I don't think this can be attributed to education or birth-control availability or cultural norms.
There are several factors behind the so-called "population bust."  Empowerment of women and availability of birth control are among them.  So is health care/sanitation that decreases infant mortality, and urbanization.  (Children are necessary free labor on the farm, but just extra mouths to feed in a crowded city apartment.)

Unfortunately, I don't see any of these factors improving in the post-carbon age.  Quite the opposite, in fact.

None of these factors are evident completely across all cultural and socio-economic boundaries, especially empowerment of women and availability of birth conrol. These may be enabling factors, but I think the universal trand toward smaller families has more basic reasons behind it.

I also don't see the trend reversing in the post-carbon age. I see it accelerating as the world gets even more crowded and less wealthy. This is the trend now and has been roughly since the late 80's when we passed the peak of per-capita availability of energy (wealth).

None of these factors are evident completely across all cultural and socio-economic boundaries, especially empowerment of women and availability of birth conrol.

I think they're more universal than you think.  In particular, they are among the things family planning programs emphasize.  

My main disagreement is with the notion that education, say, is a causative factor in fertility rate decline rather than an 'enabling' one. Take the example of the Mexican immigrant TFR. (shooting from the hip here 'cause I don't have data at hand) I would assume the Mexican immigrant first generation TFR to be somewhat higher than Mexico's 2.4, since it skews US TFR fairly significantly. It would be reasonable to expect that the first generation Mexican immigrant has better educational and health-care opportunities than before immigration, yet TFR goes up (possibly sharply) from its baseline in Mexico. This conjecture, if true, would be a counter example.

Actually, my main disagreement is with classical 'Benign Demographic Transition' which I think gets far too many things wrong, and for which there are too many counter-examples. Seems to me that increased wealth, or perception of opportunity to increase wealth is going to lead to increased TFR. The definition of wealth broad enough to include access to territory (witness Rwanda's uptick in TFR after the 1990's genocide, lots of available land), as well as increased general economic opportunities.

I'm not sure about the numbers in the specific example you give, but in general, it's something that has long been noted by family planning groups.  There's a lag.  When you first give better economic opportunity, health care, etc., to people, the fertility rate goes up at first.  Eventually, it will go down, but not right away.

If you think about it, it makes sense.  People don't change their behavior/culture right away.  It takes awhile for them to realize that they don't need ten kids any more, because the ones they have will survive.

What makes sense to me are a couple of things:
  1. Comparing demographics within a culture along a timeline and correlating with economic and social changes, rather than comparing across cultures at the same point in time.
  2. In general, #1 leads to data that supports the notion that TFR correlates positively with especially economic factors, i.e. good times mean rising TFR, bad times means declining TFR. Various social changes play an important part as well e.g. the overthrow of Battista in Cuba correlated with a rise in TFR, same with Nassar kicking out the British in Egypt. Also, leveling off of median income around 1970 in the US correlated with a drop and leveling of TFR after the 'baby boom' of the optimistic growth years of post WWII.

'If you think about it, it makes sense.' .... that good times, including more wealth, leads to more children, bad times to fewer. A perhaps overly simplistic rendition of the Benign Demographic Transition theory would have families getting bigger in a given cultural context as median income declines and people get poorer. Lots of data does not support this scenario, neither IMO, does 'common sense.' This is why I think it unlikely that families will get bigger as the overall wealth availability declines. I think the decline in global TFR is already a clear sign of the opposite happening.
Don't forget Social Security.  As long as it lasts, it removes another rational economic incentive to have more children.  Presumably if the world's Social Security systems all go broke from demographics or corrupt privatization schemes, in a couple of generations lower income couples will start having more children again.
Yes, that is definitely another factor to consider.  
I know what you're talking about and it's true. Have you heard of the Gaia hypothesys?
People who really believe they, via their efforts, can change the world are both amusing and pitiful. They are one of six and one half billion people. And that is about how much they affect the world as a whole.

Many excellent responses to this already.  I'd also note one slight of hand "They are one of six and one half billion people."

How many movements in the world are truly one guy?  Or how many have a group, and a bit more leverage?

LOL.  If Alan were the only guy in the whole wide world who liked these things called "tains" he might have a hard time getting anyone to listen.  It's true.  OTOH, if he is joining a network ...

In light of today's falling dollar, the Economics section of today's Energy Bulletin is a enlightening read.  I highly recommend dropping over there for a few minutes and reviewing everything in this section.

Economics - Nov 24


I have added bold to the text below that is the nightmare of the FED...

Dollar Drops to 19-Month Low Against Euro, Breaches $1.30 Level


The extra yield investors earn on U.S. government bonds over those in Europe has shrunk to the lowest in 17 months, attracting investors to assets in the euro region and away from the dollar.

The narrowing yield premium on dollar-denominated debt may also encourage central banks to hold more of their foreign- exchange reserves in other currencies.

People's Bank of China Vice-Governor Wu Xiaoling said East Asia needs to reduce its reliance on dollar inflows because of the risk of a further slump in the currency. China's foreign- exchange reserves exceed $1 trillion, the world's largest.

Wu's comments were released today in an article circulated during a press conference in Beijing.

``China holds most of its reserves in the dollar and these comments may lead to speculation they will sell,'' said Tohru Sasaki, a strategist in Tokyo at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and a former chief currency trader at the Bank of Japan. ``Diversifying reserves always puts downward pressure on the dollar.''

The U.S. currency fell for three straight years through 2004 versus the euro and the yen as the country's trade deficit widened, reaching a record $1.3666 per euro on Dec. 30, 2004. It advanced against the euro and yen last year as the Fed pushed borrowing costs higher at every meeting.

I'm nervous. The dollar is depreciating at alarming rate and I don't even have a bomb shelter...
Ya...and this was to be a light day on the market.

"The dollar is depreciating at alarming rate and I don't even have a bomb shelter..."

yeah, especially one that will protect me from "euro" fallout....what kind of Geiger counter even measures that stuff....:-)

RC known to you as ThatsItImout

>I'm nervous. The dollar is depreciating at alarming rate and I don't even have a bomb shelter...

The Dollar is very stable with Asian currency where the majority of US imports originate from. FWIW: The rise of the EURO isn't all that significant, and the EURO started at about $1.20 to the dollar back in the 1990s.

Its unlikely that dollar will crash in the near term. Japan and China are still supporting the dollar, and the Chinese Yuan still has a dollar pegged:

  1. Chinese are buying the Japanese Yen in order to squeeze Japan manufacturing. A more expensive Yen makes Chinese goods more completive overseas.

  2. Chinese comments about disversification are directed at Washington in an attempted to prevent the new Democratic led Houses from enacting trade restrictions and tarriffs against Chinese imports (ie saber rattling). The Chinese currency has moved very little since the last revaluation which was requested by Bush. China has promised to periodically revalue its currency but has failed to do so.

  3. Countries that have moved in the direction of the Euro,  because the US either has trade santions or other restrictions that hinder or prevent foriegn commerce.

  4. Europe has a export lead economy in order to fund its entitlement programs. Any substantial increases would have a bad economyc impact on thier economies. As soon as the EU ecomony begins to to slow, the ECB will act to lower interest rates to stop or reverse the rise of the EURO.

The long term outlook is not promising. The system we have is certianly not sustainable but I would not count on any radical changes in the near term (6 to 12 months). I belive any major re evaluation of the USD would require a trigger. The likely triggers are:

  1. An energy crisis, in which a sudden unexcepted decline of oil exports occurs. This could created by an act of mothernation, production collapse of a major exporter, collaps of the gov't of a major exporter, etc

  2. Financial cris, trigger perhaps by a huge losses at hedge funds, a severe recession in the US, a major act of mother nature.
The Chinese yuan is now pegged to a basket of currencies, one of which is the euro.  So a higher euro & yen vs. dollar also means a higher (by less %) yuan.

The US dollar, the Japanese yen, the euro, and the South Korean won are the dominant currencies in the basket, news agencies quoted Mr Zhou as saying in Shanghai.

The basket also includes Singapore dollar, sterling pound, the Malaysian ringgit, the Russian rouble, the Australian dollar, the Thai baht and the Canadian dollar, the reports said.


And from Forbes

The US dollar accounts for 'much less than 50 pct' of the currency basket, Zhou Xiaochuan, central bank governor, was quoted by the China Daily as saying.

The exact % of the basket are kept secret (no doubt to allow them to fudge as needed).


>The Chinese yuan is now pegged to a basket of currencies, one of which is the euro.  So a higher euro & yen vs. dollar also means a higher (by less %) yuan.

True, but the Chinese are not going to permit their currency to rise to the point when it effects its export market. I can't say where the floor is, and the Chinese probably don't have a fixed target. I suspect they are closely monitoring thier exports to the US, looking for any signs of declines. After all what the hell is China going to do with a factory that manufactures crap that only Americans buy (ie Mickey mouse figurines, Bill Clinton & Ronald Reagan action figures, etc).

I suspect that China is purchasing the currencies of all its major competitors in order to force foriegn currencies higher so China can gobble up more of the global export market for itself.

I belive any major re evaluation of the USD would require a trigger.

I agree, but you are forgetting the triggers from psychological nature. It is easy to feel sometimes how the market is ruled by fear and it is just a question of a critical mass for this fear to turn to panic. In such situation the butterfly effect can come into play - even a small disruption can bring down the house of cards, but on the other hand even a small positive news can calm down the market.

"Its unlikely that dollar will crash in the near term"

is the perception that saves the day. nobody knows for how long it will be valid - could be for 20 years, could be for a month... but it is very unlikely to go on forever.

>I agree, but you are forgetting the triggers from psychological nature. It is easy to feel sometimes how the market is ruled by fear and it is just a question of a critical mass for this fear to turn to panic

Foreign Central banks will step in to prevent a dollar crisis. They simply can't afford to let the dollar drop as the majority of industrialized countries have export led economies. If the dollar falls, Americans will buy less of their crap, which would cause Japanese style deflation in thier home countries. Central banks will go on financing the dollar until one of the triggers I discussed happen. Foriegn central banks are more concerned maintaining growth and low employment than the value of their currencies. As long as americans are willing to keep on buying their crap, central banks will act to support the dollar.

>is the perception that saves the day. nobody knows for how long it will be valid - could be for 20 years

Well that was the point I was trying to make. I think people tend to follow short term trends and believe that these trends will continue in a straight line. For instance, lots of TOD predicted the the price of oil was heading straight up. It didn't.

My original comment was to inject some information before some one panicked and made some rash financial decisions based upon the thought that the dollar was going to crash next week or next month.

I would expect that if the current trend continues, either US interest rates will start to climb again or central banks will lower thier rates. In either case the dollar will stablize. US interest rates have been falling so its only natural the value of the dollar has declined to currencies with stable or rising interest rates. Back in 20032004 the ECB started dropping its rates in order to stall the EUROs ascent. If I recall correctly, the the EURO climbed to 1.32-1.35 when the Fed cut rates to about 1%, but the EURO fell back when the ECB cut its rates. Back then, I believe the rate on the US 10 yr bond was about 4%-4.25%. Today its 4.55%.

Of equal interest is the note that derivatives trading soared to $370 billion in the first HALF of 2006. To put that in perspective, the total "bets" at the worldwide house of gambling for just the first half of 2006 exceed the global GDP by a factor of 6!! (Global GDP is right around $60 trillion.) This is why, along with a weak dollar, financiers tremble in fright everytime one of these derivative trading houses sneezes.
uh... that's 370 trillion with a T

Amounts like this make most people's eyes glaze over.

Thanks for catching that error! Yes, it is $370 Trillion.
>Thanks for catching that error! Yes, it is $370 Trillion.

FWIW: this nominal value, which does reflect the actual amount of money at risk. The actual value is pretty big but its not $370 Trillion.

True, and according to the Bank of International Settlements, the gross value is over $10 trillion by itself. But derivatives are a highly leveraged game and just like any other highly leveraged situation, if things go south on someone, they can end up owing far, far more than what they actually put into the contract. That's part of the huge danger of these. Simply put, there are $10 trillion in bets on $370 trillion of possible payoffs.

In that number, for instance, there is $1.1 trillion betting on $38.1 trillion in foreign exchange contracts. There is $5.5 trillion betting on $262.2 trillion in interest rate contracts. Just the foreign exchange contracts could cause a gigantic ripple if, for instance, the dollar took a harder dive.

>There is $5.5 trillion betting on $262.2 trillion in interest rate contracts. Just the foreign exchange contracts could cause a gigantic ripple if, for instance, the dollar took a harder dive.

The biggest risk I see with derivative is the interest rate swaps (ie using short term bonds to finance long term loans). What are the odds that during the life of a 30 yr mortgage that the short term rate remain low enough to finance a %5 or 6% 30 yr mortgage, plus service overhead? In my opinion lenders have not done proper risk management on these loans. I suspect that the people managing this expect to be long gone before this becomes a crisis.

Before interest rate swaps becomes an issue, I think problems with the consumer will pop up, since default swaps is a problem probably 10 years into the future. With the excessive amounts of supply of new construction hiting the real estate market, its bound to cause a drop in housing prices. Homeowners that finance with ARMs could find themselves in a heap of trouble as the cost of the loan exceeds the value of the home. Lenders will be very unwilling to refinance on a upside down mortgage, especially if they can't make money on the deal.

I've been reading that there are significant causes in default swaps. Issuers of these securities have pretty stiff rules. For instance if a homeowner defaults, the lender must provide adquite documentation of the mortgage. We know that there are excessive loans to high risk borrowers with false and incomplete information on the loan application which means the default insurance is null and void. I am pretty sure that the terms on these securities protect them from a housing bubble fallout.

 On the other hand, lenders don't own the debt. They have bundled loans together and issued mortgage backed bond to the public. Currently its the bond holders that bare the risk and are posed to lose thier shirts. I suspect that when the fallout begins, the ones who will profit handsomely are the lawyers. Its obvious that the bond holders will go after the banks on in proper loan documentation.

Most people also don't recognize that derivatives are insurance. Your home owners insurance is a derivative. While there might be $5 to $10 trillion in derivatives tied to real estate, that propely will always contains some value. No one is going to simply give it way for free. So the risk is still lower than the value of the contracts.

Triva Question: Which bond holder holds more than 1/3 of all new US mortgages issued after 2003?

Answer: China. China's began to diversify its dollar holdings from US treasuries into US mortgage backed bonds when the fed started dropping rates and the housing boom took off. Had China not financed them, the rates on mortgages probably would have been substantially higher and perhaps the bubble would have never morphed into a monster it is today.

Scientists reconstruct Pilgrims' killer storm

The winds whipped up to 130 mph, snapping pine trees like pick-up sticks and blowing houses into oblivion. A surge of water, 21 feet high at its crest, engulfing victims as they desperately scurried for higher ground.

...This wasn't New Orleans in August 2005. This was New England in August 1635, battered by what was later dubbed "The Great Colonial Hurricane" -- the first major storm suffered by colonial North American settlers, just 14 years after the initial Thanksgiving celebration in Plymouth Colony.

The scary thing about hurricanes in the northeast is they move a lot faster and are a lot less predictable.  

In other news, Iraq is going to hell in a handbasket.  

While Americans camp out all night to get into stores early, while the $400 laptops are still in stock.

Over 6,000 parking spaces were filled by 7 a.m. at the Hamilton Place Mall in Chattanooga, Tenn.
RE Iraq (off-topic - apologies): "Legislator Qusai Abdul-Wahab, an al-Sadr follower, said in a statement that U.S. forces were to blame for Thursday's bombings in Sadr City that killed 215 people and wounded 257 because they failed to provide security. The attack was the deadliest of the war so far.

"We say occupation forces are fully responsible for these acts [through their failure to provide security], and we call for the withdrawal of occupation forces or setting a timetable for their withdrawal," Abdul-Wahab said."

How the f*** does that even approximate joined-up rational thought? And this guy is a legislator in the Iraqi government....

Presumably, he thinks "Sadr's Army" could do a better job, if they were permitted to take over.

I'm not sanguine myself, no matter who takes over.

Shiites burn six Sunni worshippers alive

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Shiite militiamen grabbed six Sunnis as they left Friday worship services, doused them with kerosene and burned them alive near Iraqi soldiers who did not intervene, police Capt. Jamil Hussein said.
I agree with you. My point was that if US/UK forces withdraw, as he demands, who will he blame for the next mass-muder atrocity when it comes, as it will?

Since US/UK forces are clearly not capable of stopping these atrocities (short of monitoring pretty much all of the people all of the time), I guess we will just leave (ie retire to watch from Qatar) and let them get on with it.

Maybe the Sunni and Shia Iraqis (on the whole) really were better off under Saddam.

Once agin, apologies for opening a political and off-topic can of worms, but the barbarity and stupidity of man makes my blood boil.... maybe not so off-topic after all??


   Cheer up!The holidays are here.
      Go shopping.

... not in the UK, whence I hail
Who should get the blame after we leave the burning house that we lit up?  Easy.
The argument that withdrawing U.S. troops would result in civil war appears to be getting weaker every day.  As if the bloodbath weren't already well underway and out of control.
Moqtada al-Sadr is now threatening al-Maliki. It's not an idle threat. Sadr has been the strongest party in Iraq since the day Bush invaded. And now he's making his move. I'd say 'May God help us' if I believed in God.
As others have often pointed out, it's in our genes. A charismatic leader with amazing oratorical skills blames some scapegoat for the ills of his people, the people unite behind him, he ascends to great power, and some scapegoat suffers. Once the US and UK leave Iraq, he will blame the Sunnis directly, who will be massacred until they submit or flee the country. (Side note: Current reports indicate Iraqis are fleeing Iraq at a rate approaching 100,000 per month.) At that point, he will once again begin to villify the US, regardless of who is president, even if the US were to completely withdraw from world affairs, because we are an easy target. Rational? It depends on your assumptions and I can assure you that al-Sadr's assumptions bear very little resemblance to our own, hence his drastically different conclusions.
A charismatic leader with amazing oratorical skills blames some scapegoat for the ills of his people, the people unite behind him, he ascends to great power, and some scapegoat suffers.

I thought you were referring to Bush. But then I reread and discovered the phrase 'amazing oratorical skills" and thought that counts him out.

But, on reflection, any Commander-in-Chief who states "the enemy intend great harm to the American people; and so do we." is quite really quite amazing. Or brutally honest.


because of trial lawyers  gynocologists are unable to practice their love with their patients
Hague Convention of 1903 makes an occupying army responsible for everything - everything - that happens. And it's based on very rational principles and a lot of knowledge of war. The Hague Convention is what Powell was pointing to with his 'Pottery Barn Principle'. He tried to dumb it down but unfortunately all sectors of the audience are seriously dumb and intransigently ignorant.
What's irrational is Fox News and the Bush camorra. Don't enable them.
Oldhippie, I find your posts here the most valuable of anyone's in terms of general knowledge and just plain humanity. You are well aware of subtleties and intricacies of history and 'human nature' that everyone else here seems largely to have never been aware of. In a world where even intelligent people believe a wide range of utter rubbish about the past, the present, themselves, and other peoples, this is something I am grateful for. Not everything is a soundbite. Not everything is forgotten. Thanks.
Thank you for mentioning this.  It must be mentioned again and again until it sinks in.  Our leaders knew the law.

As so many Americans seem to believe that their empire alone is above law (like their emperor), we should also point out that the stringent requirements of the Hague Convention were made more so in 1947 - when the writing of international law was dominated by the United States.  Just as it was an American judge at Nuremberg who offered the opinion that the planning of a war of aggression was the supreme form of war crime because it made possible all the other war crimes.  I believe it is not a coincidence that America ran its occupations of Germany and Japan at that time based on the highest standards ever seen.  I think that while America had neoimperial interests in the success of its corporations overseas, its leaders and citizens were united in the understanding that the profit must be taken out of invasions for the safety of all.  So they intentionally designed the Hague revisions and the German and Japanese occupations so that these could not be seen as for-profit endeavors.  Look at a photo of Tokyo in the 1920s and you will see more billboards for Western corporations than in a photo from the Occupation era.  Volkswagen was rebuilt as a state company with the help of the British occupation authorities - which certainly was not in Britain's economic interests later on.  We deliberately kept our corporations from overrunning these societies and corrupting their political systems.

That is why I am furious whenever anyone claims that the Iraq occupation was based on those earlier occupations.  It was always meant to begin the process of dragging the Arab world into the US-run global sweatshop, just as we had done (disastrously) to Latin America.  Check out Naomi Klein's article in Harper's on the Occupation as a form of capitalist "shock therapy" - a blatant violation of Hague - and how Iraqi workers fought back.  Its ultimate madness - the repellent order written into the new constitution ordering all farmers to buy seeds as "intellectual property" (to be auctioned off to such Iraqi firms as Monsanto and Dow) and forbidding them from planting any of the new seeds that they grew.  Jefferson would damned any regime trying that as the worst of tyrants.

Wait'll Congress tries to untangle the role of US corporations in the Occupation.  The dirt - and blood - will be everywhere.

Today's Buy Nothing Day remember......
There was some discussions yesterday around the WOCAP model shown on the last PO update. I finally received an answer from Dr. Bakhtiari this morning:
Thank you for your interest, excellent reviews and your kind words. I am personally very grateful to you and the Oil Drum. You are correct, my WOCAP figures basically reflect 'Crude oil + NGL' rather than 'All Liquids' as I am against 'refinery gains' (and against all other so-called 'gains') and don't include ethanol, biodiesel, GTL, CTL, orimulsion and such other 'liquids' which I believe should be booked separately.

Naturally, WOCAP is a very approximate model, and I far as I remember from 'Base Case' (there were dozens of simulations) the max was for 2006-2007 at around 81-82 mb/d (plus minus one mb/d) with a drop to 55 mb/d (plus minus three mb/d) by 2020. I really don't know what I did with actual detailed figures as I classified all that in mid-2005 when I realized that it was all basically correct. I now work with a totally different model of which I will soon publish procedure and basic results and inform you for possible reflection (if you see fit) on the Oil Drum.
Thank you again for your kind attention.
Best regards,
Samsam Bakhtiari.

So the WOCAP model is for Crude Oil + NGL, case closed.
Thanks khebab for your excellent analysis and relaying those comments.
Thanks. I, too, posted a response from Dr B on the thread you've linked above.
Horray! Bahktiari writting for TOD!
And please invite Mr. Bakhtiari to post his findings to the Oil Drum.


Another TOD general in the infamous "Petroleum Info-War" of 2006.  It will be a great story to tell my grandchildren.
This is utter bullshit.  His figures for 1995 to 2002 are taken right out of the IEA tables for "all liquids".  They differ by about 0.5-mbd today 'cuz IEA revises its annual and quarterly data each August.  He's changing his model and methodology 'cuz we outed him in December of 2005.  He is a fraud and we have posted his figures along side the IEA figures on many forums incl TOD.  His work is amatueurish and it is disingenuous to compare his writings with any of the real Modelers.
It is clear that Bakhtiari had modeled for "all liquids".  It can be seen that his 2003 forecast had a base line of 77-mbd in 2002 ... a rounded version of IEA's all liquids stat.  i cannot quickly find my IEA figure as they were in 2002, but here is the comparison of WOCAP with IEA/2005 actuals:

yr    bakhtiari    iea (2005)
y2k        75       76
2001       76       77.2
2002       77       76.7
2003       78       79.3
2004       79       81
2005       80       85
2006       81       85
2007       81       88
2008       80       90

Below are the EIA's estimates for CO+NGL and "All Liquids" along with the WOCAP model:

yr   CO+NGL  WOCAP    ALL    
2000 74.9768 74.7154 77.7932
2001 74.8785 75.6911 77.7174
2002 73.9966 76.6667 76.9567
2003 76.5600 77.9675 79.5655
2004 79.8547 78.9431 83.0049
2005 81.2266 80.2439 84.3381

The RMSE is 1.3926 mbpd for CO+NGL and 2.8716 mbpd for the "ALL Liquids". I don't see any evidence that the WOCAP model is closer to the "All Liquids" numbers. The only year where the WOCAP is closer to the All Liquid level is 2002.


Below is the corresponding chart:

There you go using FACTS and DATA again - it's really not fair you know.  It ruins the whole mood - and on Black Friday no less!  Next thing you know, people might stop shopping - nah, never mind.
At his website, Bakhtiaria says "The model was duly revised in 2002 to introduce politics in OPEC countries; and in 2003 an attempt was made to usher in geopolitics."

There are many here who do not understand the practice of backtesting and baselines.  If he revised in 2003, he would have used a 2002 baseline.  We can see from Khebab's table that Bakhtiari's 2002 figure and EIA's all liquids match almost perfectly ... as they should.  How likely is it that he was 2.667-mbd (CO + NGL) out for his 2002 baseline in June 2003.

The man is a fraud and everyone in the oil sector recognizes this fact.

And you, Freddy Hutter, speak for EVERYONE in the oil sector, eh? Pompous lying jackass is what you are, Hutter.
On April 4 2002, Colin Campbell published his first "all liquids table" for the Hubbert Centre Newsletter.  His figure incl processing gains was "75-mbd" for Y2K & his estimate for 2005 was 81-mbd.  His 2010 forecast was much better: 89-mbd.

His Y2K figure includes:
 64 conv oil
  4 non-conv hydrocarbons
  6 NGL
 75 (his rounded total)

Bakhtiari admits using ASPO database.  Any backtesting that he did in 2003 would  have used the IEA & ASPO figures for Y2K.  The man is a liar.

And you, Freddy Hutter, are a liar every time you say "we" and make it look like you are head of a think tank group.

I have not mentioned that you are a one man show before since I thought that your concepts and ideas should be evaluated on their merits or lack thereof.

But since you have crossed that line, so will I.

Best Hopes for civility,


Freddy, you are the last person on earth who should be throwing around words like fraud and liar.
Indeed. Now I know better.

Hutter finds incidental correlations and then spins, spins, spins.

Time to ignore Freddy Hutter. He's been exposed. He is nothing.

Ignoring someone means exactly that. It doesn't mean continually insulting them. You seem to have a talent for continually insulting people. That is the only thing that has been exposed here.

Freddy has been posting here since before you learned how to spell oil. Most people on this sight are either well aware of Freddy or are quite capable of forming their own opinions. They certainly don't need your help.

If you disagree with somebody and feel you need to point that out, than keep it to that. If you have nothing to add to the debate, no numbers, or argument and just feel you need to prove your worth by hitting a punching-bag, please refrain from commenting.

Sight is spelled site.


You may want to ignore OilCEO as well.  

I've found your posts interesting, with a good signal to noise ratio. Which is more than can be said for OilCEO's.  Do not let him drive you away.

Coming from you, a true compliment!
Thank you.

Sorry about the naughty language. I was raised by a factory worker and stay-at-home mom, managed to pay my way through college, and so I hate intellectual pretension.

You are out of line, Leanan. Nobody is trying to drive anyone away. Unless it is you trying to drive me away. You are an editor, you should probably try to conceal your obvious biases. You don't even have the ability to talk to me directly. Sad.
Leanan's point is valid though, Oil CEO. Sometimes you post interesting and useful stuff. Other times you are even less coherent than the bible thumpers arguing about how many angels fit on the head of a pin. Stick to the factual posts, the data backed posts. Throw a bit of your humor on those but don't go off the deep end with some of those oddball posts you occasionally do. You actually are one of the posters I look for here - in about a third of your posts.

By the way, I browsed your flickr images and there is a great deal of info there that I don't recall you having posted here. Much of it yes, but not all.

Leanan had no point. If she ignores me, how the hell could she  know what I post? The name-calling and thrashing of Freddy Hutter and Hothgor has gotten out of hand. And as editor, what does she use her moderator position to do: encourage someone to keep it up by commenting on my signal-to-noise ratio. She doesn't even have the decency to comment directly to me. I notice she didn't have a problem with Kevembuangga when he was relentlessly abusing odograph. Hmmm. I wonder why. She could give a shit about signal and noise. The only thing that matters is whether you agree with her or not. That pretty much determines your status under the "Law of Leanan." Fair and balanced.

It's all data-backed, GreyZone, you know that:) You are free to visit my flickr account anytime you like. I'll post more graphs when Goose starts paying me.

Very good. It is spelled 'site.' So does that mean we don't need to run anymore tests to determine your intelligence level? Don't you need to capitalize and hyphenate that last word? My thanks to you and Leanan for really raising the level of discussion here today. Oh, boy.

" I now work with a totally different model of which I will soon publish procedure..."

gee, why does that not inspire as much confidence as I had hoped for....?
RC known to you as ThatsItImout

Bakhtiari is an intense plagiarist of Campbell's work as anyone who has followed his writings knows.  He attempted to copy and take ownership of the ASPO "Depletion Model" being developed by Colin Campbell.

For anybody that has Colin's orginal work, his first publishings of the Depltion Model and Graph appear in his newsletter and other writings in the Autumn of 2001 to Spring of 2002.  His first attempts incl additioins of components of non-conventional oil.  His final versions included processing gains as a final line item.

And so in that period, the ASPO projections for 2005, 2010, 2020 & 2050 all incl proc/gains.

I have no doubt that Bakhtiari was watching this but failed to understand the most of the components, especially processing gains.  Unfortunately, when Campbell stopped using proc/gains as a line item w/o fanfare, it made it appear that his production peak was lower.  Bakhtiari never comprehended the reality behind the figures and got caught using all liquids figures incl proc/gains in his early work.  

One (Khebab) cannot use today's figures for y2k to 2003 to measure Bakhtiari's backtests and baselines.  ASPO, EIA & IEA have all revised upwards almost 2-mbd their earlier figures.  When one compares Bakhtiari's y2k, 2001 & 2002 baselines in his December 10th 2003 WOCAP release to the "then current and available" data, it is clear that he included IEA's and Campbell's "then current" practice of including processing gains as well as all components of non-conventional oils.

His Y2K & 2002 baselines matches perfectly with that gross data.  In Dec/2003, he predicted a peak of 81-mbd would occur in 2006-2007.  He did not mention if it included processing gains 'cuz he didn't know what they were at that time and he did not know that his database from IEA and Campbell included proc/gains.  Thus the present 2006 production of 85.3-mbd should have been his target.  He is out 4-mbd in a mere 30 months after his WOCAP release.

IEA, EIA & Michael Lynch are that good after ten to fifteen years.  See their 1991 & 1996 positions.  This why Bakhtiari is not included in the TrendLines Peak Oil Depletion Scenarios.  He is a rank amateur and doesn't understand the definitions, the data or the industry.  In his defence of his errors, he now shows himself to be a liar and a fraud as well.

In August 2006, Bakhtiari states in an article called Crude Oil - The Day After Tomorrow
"At present, worldwide consumption of all liquid hydrocarbons stands at around 81 million b/d (give or take one million b/d)."


"According to my 'World Oil Production Capacity' [WOCAP] model, today's global output of some 81 million b/d should steadily decline to reach some 55 mb/d by 2020"

So what is his "all liquid hydrocarbons" definition?  And if that is his current definition, what was that volume in Y2K & 2002??  And does it reconcile with his WOCAP Dec 2003 figures of 75mbd & 77mbd for those two years???  He can't have it both ways.

Samsam Bakhtiari falls on his own sword ... compliments of his own words at his own website.



If Dr Samsam Bakhtiari was such as plagiarist then why would he even be welcome in ASPO?

Why would ASPO even associate with him?

BTW who do you really think are the real modellers if DrB is not?

The 12 best models are in our Depletion Scenarios (always accessible by clicking on my profile).  If i added a 13th, it would be the Petroleum Institute of France (IFP).  Most have cutting edge research.  Bakhtiari otoh is a back-of-the-napkin blowhard.

He has stated openly in the last four weeks that his 81-mbd is accurate and peaking.  I challenge anyone at TOD to reconcile this current 81-mbd with a similar definition in Y2k that is 75-mbd or 77-mbd in 2002.  It cannot be done unless one drops NGL & proc/gains.  And that leaves his earlier baselines 7-mbd too high.

I have excel data, tables and graphs from many of the modelers.  Please ask the chick that did all Bakhtiari's work to send her data to you and tell me if you consider her studies "acceptable" and worthy of peer review.

For her (Fariba Shahbudaghlou) work to accurate by Bakhtiari's current definition of the 81-mbd, she must start with a Y2K baseline of 68-mbd ... not 75-mbd.  Colin Campbell is not a saint.  He has skeletons.  His work also has had errors of up to 6-mbd on occasion.  But Colin Campbell was man enuf to admit the errors that we exposed on the forums and maintain his integrity, and the integrity of his future data.

Bakhtiari otoh is back peddling, redefining; and just digging a deeper hole.  In the end, our exposure of his faults and lies will prove nothing except to expose the gullibility of many of his followers at TOD.  They will be shown as neophytes as were those who swore Campbell could not be wrong in 2004.  My database for the modelers and models starts from 1945.

As far as answering why ASPO would welcome him, one only needs to watch the videos and read the transcripts of their annual conventions.  Any wacko that espouses Peak Oil is welcome despite their crediblity and reputation or lack thereof.  Some of their events are akin to Trekkie conventions and i am certain that many of the good folk that appear have been totally embarrassed to be associated at some point.  The rhetoric tolerated at these events if out of line with reality and approaches the scare tactics of the Global Warming and Dieoff camps ... the lunatic fringe.

Leanan, Have you considered setting the links to open in new windows when clicked?  I think this code is still valid: <a rel="nofollow" href="URL" target="_blank">Link Description</a>.  
err, delete the rel="nofollow" from that.
No, because it's easy enough to right-click and open links in new windows or new tabs if you so desire.  The only time I use the the TARGET tag is when I want to force a new window (when the link is in a frame, say).
Yeah, its easy, but I get tired of doing it.  Ah well.
Yeah, its easy, but I get tired of doing it.  Ah well.
I agree with Leanan on this.  A link should behave consistently, not have invisible qualities.  I don't like it when it opens in another window unexpectedly.  I very often open a link in a new, background, window on purpose (shift-ctrl-click in the Opera browser, or click with the middle button=scroll wheel).  But that's the sort of thing that should be left to the reader to decide, not the page creator.  (And in my view, most other things should be left to the reader: fonts, colors...  and I hate frames!)
But that's the sort of thing that should be left to the reader to decide, not the page creator.

That's my thinking.  And most people who like to open links in new windows do it so regularly they don't even think about it any more.

I've also been online long enough to remember when a link that opened in a new window was shocking and upsetting for many.  They felt like a stranger had reached across the net and meddled with their computer.  (That was before popups, of course!)

I agree with both of you on link philosophy and my proposition was a little selfish.  TOD tends to be a site I stay at for extended periods and revisit often so I always end up opening any links from here in new windows (or tabs).  No bid deal.
That'd be "big" not "bid".  
You can also press SHIFT while clicking and it will do the same for you. Works both in IE and FirFox and saves some precious miliseconds :)
Learn something new every day.
.. control in Fire Fox to open a new tab .. cool.
Under options you can also configure firefox to open links that would generate a new window in a new tab instead. Then the only time you get a new window is when you choose one. Note that this can cause odd side effects like resizing the entire browser window if a popup of small size is instead sent to a new tab. If that happens for me, I just double click the title bar and it re-expands to full screen size.
Hey folks look at this graph:

The $ is falling big time, the € crossed 1.31 just a while ago. Check it at Freecharts.

Doom is cheap <g>. Less than 2 cents if I read that graph correctly.
It's China's fault:

The euro and the pound surged against the dollar after comments by the deputy governor of the People's Bank of China caused massive selling in the US currency.

The euro has pushed through two big options barriers at 1.30 usd and 1.3050 usd to reach a 19-month high of 1.3087 usd, while the pound surged to a 23-month high of 1.9336 usd.

In an academic paper Wu Xiaoling said east Asian foreign exchange reserves are at risk from the fall in the value of the dollar.

'The exchange rate of the US dollar, which is the major reserve currency, is going lower, increasing the depreciation risk for east Asian reserve assets,' Wu said.

4CAST analyst Chris Furness said the comments 'encouraged buying of alternate currencies', particularly the euro but also sterling, which he said has 'seen an amazing move' against the dollar.

I am sure you recall last year, Leanan, when that article appeared in the Chinese press where government officials were concerned about the state of the dollar and how they might want to get out of the dollar if the situation failed to improve. The Chinese were quite clear on that point nearly a year ago. What is amusing is that investors are being caught flat footed now as the dollar plunges and China begins to make good on its threats. Yes, the market is just full of "rational" and "fully informed" actors, isn't it? Yet this same "rational" and "fully informed" market is expected to magically, miraculously, some would say almost religiously, save out "non-negotiable" way of life.
If this keeps up, there will probably be an attempt to prop up the dollar.  Just like in the '70s.
What do you mean attempt?  Didn't you read the EB Economics section today?  I think it's been done for awhile now.
I meant public.  As in other countries pitching in to buy dollars.

And "attempt," because it didn't work then, and I suspect it won't work now.

The problem today is more accute than in the 70's. The world is loaded with cheap US$ and they all know that the party will be over anytime. Just like the 70's gold is probably going to pop big time in the next 12-24 months. For anybody interested on the subject JSMINESET.COM is a good source of free information and analysis on gold, the US$, oil, etc.
>I am sure you recall last year, Leanan, when that article appeared in the Chinese press where government officials were concerned about the state of the dollar and how they might want to get out of the dollar if the situation failed to improve. The Chinese were quite clear on that point nearly a year ago.

Look at actions of the Chinese Central bank over the last few years. The value of the Chinese Yuan is nearly flat. If they were truely serious about dump the dollar they would have move to a much more flexable revaluation.

China's goal is to squeeze out its compition, namely Japan by buying the Japanese yen in order, there for making Japanese exports more expensive.

The dollar fell to its lowest level in 19 months against the euro on speculation the Federal Reserve will lower interest rates early next year as central banks in Europe increase them.
The above article from Bloomberg also seems to downplay the statements from the Chinese as a cause.  Interesting.

And this from the bbc:
However, traders added that thin trade as a result of the US Thanksgiving holiday might have benefited the euro.

"For the time being, the news flow is favouring the euro. If we close above $1.30 today, the key will be if we reject all of this as a Thanksgiving phenomenon or not," said Ian Gunner, head of foreign exchange research at Mellon Bank.

The dollar dropped because americans were too busy eating turkey?  I don't believe it.
We all better go buy those xmas gifts now (in the US) before the ones made in China skyrocket in retail price!!!

"We all better go buy those xmas gifts now (in the US) before the ones made in China skyrocket in retail price!!!"

Damm, and I need new underwear....DOOOOM!!! :-O
RC known to you as ThatsItImout

I guess you could always just skin a rabbit....ha.
The dollar problem is a direct result of the pig-brained mentality of the average American. They need more stuff. They need to waste energy. The insect-brained bankers are only too willing to lend money to the pigs, so they can get rich by doing nothing. It's a recipe for disaster. The only reason I waste my time posting is because there is a small bit of humanity left in me. Maybe somebody reading this will get their shit together and save themselves. The greater masses are doomed. I can't help them. TPTB are vile criminals and always have been. TPTB will not save anybody.

There has always been a massive shortage of energy because the pigs can never get enough. The pigs will never have enough.

Venezuela disputes IEA oil production figures

The IEA, and the EIA, and MEES and Platts, all have Venezuela's crude oil production at about 800,000 barrels below what Venezuela says it is.

Now why would Venezuela dispute the figures from all these orginizations? Why would they say that they have the figures too low?

PDVSA also said that the IEA had an interest in deliberately underestimating Venezuelan oil production. The IEA is an energy-policy adviser for its 26 member countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia and 19 European countries including Germany and Britain.

That doesn't make sense. But if Venezuela wished to comply with OPEC's recent cuts, they could just say they are cutting production, without cutting at all.

But that doesn't explain why the IEA will not accept Venezuela's invitation to verify their production numbers.

Tis a puzzle. Anyone have an explination?

Ron Patterson

Re:  Venezuela

For whatever reason(s), Venezuelan oil exports to the US are down year over year by a double digit rate.

I'm kind of surprised there was no discussion of this article when I posted it a few days ago.  Didn't elicit much interest either here or at PO.com.

My guess is that Venezuela doesn't want anyone to think their production is dropping.  More production = more power, and they are using oil as a weapon.  

It's in the U.S. interest to claim Venezuela's production is lower than it is, because Chavez is an enemy of the current administration, and because our argument is always "allow IOCs in, and their efficiency and better technology will boost production."  That is what they are saying about Mexico now, and it goes double for Venezuela.

It is all just a touch too murky - from the failed coup to president for life, from white European privilege to social redistribution of oil wealth, from Citgo to oil for American poor, the continued strength of left/social movements in Latin America contrasted to vast disparities in wealth and power, the threat to destroy oil infrastructure contrasted to the seeming flight of the skilled workforce, the penalizing of oil companies since they don't seem to be actually living up to their contractual obligations (unlike the U.S., where the rules are just changed retroactively after oil companies simply don't pay the Treasury what was contractually due), or nationalizing of resources as in Bolivia.

Basically, there is a game afoot, but even the players seem to have little idea of the rules at this point.

Asking for numbers to be verified? I mean really, how strange, considering that most of the players prize secrecy as an asset. Being rejected because the people attempting to discover the truth aren't interested in looking at things first hand?

It is so much easier to invent conspiracies than actually trying to understand what is going on. But a good conspiracy requires at least a glancing knowledge of the matter at hand, and to be honest, the Western media is unlikely to delve too deeply into the issues of racism, social justice, wealth distribution, and power abuse, as it just might raise the wrong sort of questions - like why are Cuban doctors providing health care which actually helps the poor, in contrast to the American health system of casual neglect of the needy.

Well, I can see why they wouldn't be interested "verifying" Venezuela's numbers.  How would you actually do that?  Would it be any better than just taking Chavez's word for it?
As I recall, Oil CEO was surprised that a good one and a half million Russian barrels a day was missing from exports, but here, the publicly stated difference is roughly the same, except instead of being 1/9, it is 1/3 of a country's exports.

Essentially, most of the exports are tanker traffic, and I am very, very certain that the U.S. knows what is going on in terms of that tanker traffic, especially since most of that goes to the U.S. (or used to) - maybe more is going to China than anyone wishes to admit? (After all, China is not part of the industrial West's system to deal with oil supply disruptions, which is what the IEA is.) Or maybe the problems Chavez faces are completely self-caused due to his replacing skilled management/labor with reliable cronies, but instead of being noticed, the decline in production meshed well with an economic slowdown and a sustained 'low' price of $60? Or maybe the decline is a mixture of causes, and it is easier for everyone to pick their favorite one to explain everything?

There is absolutely no reason to trust Chavez, but this just raises the question about being able to trust anyone.

For example, whose numbers are used in which forecasts? After all, 1 mbpd is not a trivial sum. And if the forecasts include a rise in production, is it from the IEA's or Chavez's numbers? (For a $1000, you can see whether CERA used the higher or lower figures - after all, every mbpd counts.) The same applies to OPEC's numbers - after all, it is reasonable to assume that OPEC actually has some knowledge of what happens to the resource that they control - which is not the same as being able to control members' actions, of course (if everyone agrees to inflate their reserves 50-100%, this doesn't mean that OPEC doesn't actually still know the real numbers, even if they never state them in public). A million barrels a day is somethng which is pretty hard to hide or disappear, after all - unless you know just how the Soviet bloc used to run its economies, which doesn't likely apply to South America.

Again, this is very murky, since we all make a number of assumptions based on the data we can find.

This also ties to my feeling that the numbers are no longer as reliable or as obvious as in the past - at this point, there is a growing incentive among various players to mask what is going on.

What I find even more interesting is that Chavez's exports are very much tied to the American market - in theory, a number which should be easy to determine, along with seeing the trend over the last years - including the disruptions caused by those above ground factors - you know, coups, strikes, political unrest, etc. Chavez knows he can broaden his export base to others, such as China, only to the amount the U.S. will tolerate. (And we saw how far that tolerance went in terms of Unocal - the Chinese are welcome to take our dollars, they just can't spend them in the U.S. on whatever they wish without prior approval - after all, you can't just let Communists take advantage of a free market.) As for every jitter in American oil supply leading to jumps in price as in the last months - maybe the amount coming to America from Chavez's Bolivarian paradise really has declined, reducing one of America's last external oil buffers to nothing. Whether that reduction is due to production problems of any sort or shifting tanker destinations is a very intriguing question, if you care about oil and America. Luckily, America has experienced oil executives in charge of the executive branch, so I am sure they well be able to handle such challenges with vigor and elan.

Yes, it is possible that there is a Realpolitik struggle going on, and the U.S. is not winning because its opponents are the ones in a position of strength due to America's weaknesses. And as we have all seen too often over the Bush presidency, they would prefer to create their own world, since reality has no place in their visions.

As a sidenote - if the numbers are getting less clear or internal contradictions can no longer be explained through incompetence or differing analysis methods, it may be an entirely different confirmation that peak has arrived - an awful lot of people seem to be unable to accept the idea that at some point, oil production will be less than in the past. And these people (ExxonMobil is a shining example) seem absolutely incapable of accepting the facts until they are absolutely impossible to dismiss - though as pointed out, in Texas there are still public officials who seem to believe that it is just a matter of time and the right effort until Texas can start pumping oil like in 1989, or 1979, or maybe 1969. Any day now. Hope springs eternal, it seems, even if oil doesn't.

I don't think I have seen a HL plot for Venezuela, but the WSJ asserted earlier this year that production was falling.  In any case, it does not appear in dispute that exports to the US are falling.  In any case, the 17 cents per gallon for gasoline in Venezuela certainly isn't helping exports.

Our other major southern source, Mexico, is also showing  lower production and exports.  The key point to remember is that these suppliers are about five days way from the Gulf Coast, versus about 30 days from the Middle East.

Well, there is always Saudi Arabia, but wait, they are showing lower production and exports too.  

Makes one almost begin to think that we may be facing an oil export crisis doesn't it?

This article sort of points out the difficulty of measuring exports.  (Posted by Dante at PO.com - he notes it was conveniently released on a day no one would notice.)

Oil Movements originally said OPEC exports were increasing.  Oops, maybe not...

11/23/06 Oster Dow Jones 16:30:26
Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
November 23, 2006

LONDON, Nov 23, 2006 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) -- A leading tanker tracker group Thursday forecast that OPEC seaborne exports will rise 150,000 barrels a day in the four weeks to Dec. 9, but revised down its figures from last week's report and said shipments were actually flat, not up, as originally forecast.

Exports from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are expected to rise almost 1%, or 150,000 b/d to 24.58 million b/d in the four weeks to Dec. 9 from 24.43 million b/d in the four weeks to Nov. 11, according to U.K.-based Oil Movements.

Much of the rise, however, isn't from a material increase in OPEC shipments, but is driven more by a weaker set of data in early November that exaggerates the upside in this week's report, said Oil Movements' head Roy Mason.

"There's not a real increase in shipments. This is more from a low week in early November," Mason said.

On a short-time horizon basis, Mason said OPEC shipments this week compared with last week are expected to fall 50,000 b/d.

In its revision to last week's report, the tanker tracker consultant said OPEC exports were unchanged in the four weeks to Dec. 2 from the four weeks to Nov. 4, and didn't rise by an expected 210,000 b/d, as originally forecast.

"It was flat. We got more information" that showed shipments didn't rise, Mason said.

11-23-06 1130ET

We're saved!

Teen creates nuclear fusion in basement

In the basement of his parents' Oakland Township, Mich., home, tucked away in an area most aren't privy to see, Thiago is exhausting his love of physics on a project that has taken him more than two years and 1,000 hours to research and build -- a large, intricate machine that, on a small scale, creates nuclear fusion.

Nuclear fusion -- when atoms are combined to create energy -- is "kind of like the holy grail of physics," he said.

I don't like to talk in advance against something I don't know enough, but the way the MSM treats these kind of news is simply unbelievable.
The youth is a prodigy of sorts and he never once, to my knowledge, claims his device is a net energy producer. He built it so he could gain greater understanding of fusion physics, which is one of many things he apparently wants to pursue.

Of course you are correct in observing that the MSM will cluelessly draw other conclusions even if the person who is the subject of the article never said such a thing. After all, growth is GOoD and must continue at any cost, and anything that remotely appears capable of allowing growth to continue must be seized upon to urge the masses forward. I wonder if the MSM realizes they are part of a pseudo-mystical/religious priesthood perpetrating yet another massive falsehood upon humanity? Probably not since they willingly go on being members of WT's "Iron Triangle" of disinformation.

Seems there is almost a little cottage industry of this out there, per this New Scientist blog post (bunch of links):

Fusion at home

Oh my, that's outstanding. I'll change one of the links in my post today.

the article doesn't mention if the thing produces more electricty then the 40,000 volts he uses to make the thing work..
These things are known as Fusors and are not terribly hard to build, very difficult but that kids and garage experimenters are building them, means not that hard. They don't produce excess net energy, and they don't scale up. The whole worldwide fusion program is an effort to get from the garage-scientist fusor to something useable. So far, no luck.
thank you for that information.
unfortunately this article will just perpetuate the myth that 'insert big company here' is keeping these machines from the public.
In yesterday's Drumbeat, I compared energy use with living standards to answer the questions, "Is it possible to maintain a decent quality of life with low per capita energy consumption? Which nations are leading by that measure?"

Thanks to Alan Drake for suggesting a follow up question: Is it possible to maintain a decent quality of life with low per capita fossil fuel consumption? Which nations perfom the best on that score? One way to measure that is by CO2 emissions per capita.

This chart shows the comparison between CO2 emissions per capita and the Human Development Index. Uruguay and Costa Rica are the best performers. The other top performing countries can be approximately classified into tiers:

High (6-7 tons) emissions: Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Portugal.

Medium (2-4 tons) emissions: Argentina, Lithuania, Chile, Latvia, Cuba, Panama, Brazil.

Low (0-2 tons) emissions: Sri Lanka, Paraguay, Philippines, Peru, Armenia, Albania, Columbia.

All figures are for 2003, so this is a snapshot of a single year. A better chart would show averages of, say, a recent 5-year period.

The small island nations were left out for the sake of simplicity. The United States, of course, is at the extreme far end of the chart with 20 tons CO2 per person.

I am very surprised to see Norway, Swedenand Switzerland in the "high" category", given that they all have electricity provided pretty much 100% by hydro and nuclear (and most of their space heating is electrically-driven).
The data are from the World Resources Institute's Climate Analysis Indicators Tool. The sources and methodology are explained in this document
(may require free registration):

CAIT: Greenhouse Gas Sources & Methods

Texas vs Saudi production
OC...is this supposed to cheer us up today?  Go ahead...through fuel on the fire...wait...we may need it...save it for later.
I noticed there was some disagreement about this issue the other day. I have no comment. I just wanted to see for myself. Anybody know exactly when the Texas Railroad prorationing was effectively discontinued? I don't know if any conclusions can be drawn. But I think there are some valid points on both sides. OK, so I did comment. But just a little.
The single greatest year of U.S. oil production was 1970, not the 1976 peak of the smooth curve. Even those of us concerned with the problem did not notice right away; it was entirely possible that some later year might exceed the U.S. 1970 production. Confirmation came when the Texas Railroad Commission in 1972 ended production rationing in Texas. (Most oil was originally shipped on railroad tank cars; during the Great Depression, the Texas Railroad Commission acquired the task of supporting the national price of oil by limiting production in Texas.) The end of production rationing indicated that the United States was fresh out of unused production capacity.
Ken Deffeyes, Beyond Oil page 44

Ron Patterson

Well, it seems that Deffeyes has another story, from "Hubbert's Peak" published in 2001:

Hubbert's prediction was fully confirmed in the spring of 1971. The announcement was made publicly, but it was almost an encoded message. The San Francisco Chronicle contained this one-sentence item: "The Texas Railroad Commission announced a 100 percent allowable for next month." I went home and said, "Old Hubbert was right". It still strikes me as odd that understanding the newspaper item required knowing that the Texas Railroad Commission, many years earlier, had been assigned the task of matching oil production to demand. In essance, it was a government-sanctioned cartel.

Well, perhaps they allowed 100 percent production for one month and it was the next year before they discontinued all quotas.

Ron Patterson

Some time ago, I asked Deffeyes about the 1971 versus 1972 discrepancy.  The 1972 date appears to be correct (see below) and the 1971 date is a typo.    The link below has a pretty good history of the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC).  After lots of litigation, the RRC effectively controlled the world price of oil from about 1935 to 1972.  

With the exception of World War Two and some other isolated events like the 1967 Arab/Israeli War, Texas produced at less than its true capacity from 1935 up until 1972--thus my assertion that Texas, the prior swing producer, is the best model for the successor swing producer, Saudi Arabia (KSA).

Our good friend Hothgor, in another of a series of false and/or misleading statements, claimed that Texas could not be used as an analogue for KSA because he asserted Texas produced at its full capacity up until Texas peaked.  

In any case, based on the HL method, KSA last year was at about the same point--as a percentage of Qt--at which which Texas peaked, and as we warned in the article, KSA is showing lower production.  

The key difference is that KSA is far more exposed to a decline from its biggest field, Ghawar (around 50% (+) of total at the appparent peak), than Texas was to its biggest field, East Texas (about 7% of total at peak).


In March 1972 the Railroad Commission set allowables at 100 percent, but the East Texas field and the Kelly-Synder were restricted to 86 percent.

Texas and US Lower 48 oil production as a model for Saudi Arabia and the world
Jeffrey J. Brown & "Khebab", GraphOilogy

Based on the Hubbert Linearization (HL) method and based on our historical models, we believe that Saudi Arabia and the world are now on the verge of irreversible declines in conventional oil production.
first published May 25, 2006.

BTW, I assume that everyone does recall the Saudis' pledge last year to increase their production because of the hurricanes?

Instead of increasing their production, production fell and apparently the Saudis are going to end up 2006 at least 600,000 bpd below their fourth quarter 2005 production.  

IMO, the release of oil and products from emergency reserves serves as the new "swing producer."  The problem is replacing the petroleum in the reserves.  I don't think that the oil released from the SPR has been replaced.

The SPR peaked at 700.5 million barrles in early September 2005 and is now 688.6.  One billion barrels are authorized, but no speciifc building fund has been authorzied by Congress for a significant expansion of the SPR (although I presume it can hold a little more than 700 million barrels).

http://www.eia.doe.gov/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/weekly_petroleum_status_report/wpsr_histo rical.html

Per memory, it can hold 723 million barrels.

In last years, the feds have taken their offshore royalty payments in kind and stuck them in the SPR.  I am not sure if that requires an appropriation (feds just do not "sell" their oil income).

Best Hopes,


Alan is correct. The Feds can take any mineral royalty payments "in kind" at any point in time (only for royalty payments, of course). They can do this to build up the SPR, gold stocks, or whatever else the government deems critical. This requires no budget at all since it was going to be a payment to the government in the first place and is simply converted directly into the mineral type actually extracted.

The SPR has previously been filled in much this way in past years.

Another data point for the Export Land model:

"The combination of low cost and significant resources of natural gas in Qatar, coupled with Hydro's technology and operation experience, make it an ideal location for a new aluminum smelter," Pierre Duhaime, SNC executive vice-president, said in a release.

The story is behind a pay-wall so cannot post the URL.

So if you have a cheap source of domestic energy, do you export it or do you use it to support the next step in the value chain?

And if you use it to produce aluminum do you export that aluminum or do you use it to support the next step in the value chain? And what are the chances that your aluminum, based on cheap domestic energy sources, makes you the low cost world producer? I hear echoes of Mr Buchanan's large sucking sound but I don't think this particular noise is coming from south of the Rio Grande.


many may not realize it but new mexico also had production restrictions in place "allowables"   with special rules for waterflood projects which allowed injection wells to be counted and placed no restriction on which wells produced the allowable   in theory one well could produce the entire unit's allowable  these allowables were in effect until the mid '70s  but relatively  few of the wells were capable of "top allowable" production
Thanks for the info, guys. For some reeason I thought prorationing had ended by the mid sixties. I don't know if any of you have Tertzakian's "1000 Barrels a Second," but there is some good stuff on prorationing and Eisenhower's MOIP program on page 72. I don't have time to type it in right now. One of these days I've got to start using my scanner and OCR.

Apparently 40% of US production was shut-in by 1958 to "combat the price-eroding effect of cheap imports."

What was your data source for this, Oil CEO? I'd love to see US 1940-1973 and Saudi Arabia 1973-2006.
Let me see what I can do about that. I used EIA data for Saudi Arabia and this link for Texas that Hothgor provided.


Thanks. I'll go dig through the EIA site again. I couldn't find anything that early for Saudi Arabia but I may have just not looked for the right needle in that haystack.

And here's the point I wanted to make with a couple quick and dirty charts...

Texas Oil Production 1935-1975, using Hothgor's own data sources. Note the multiple peaks as the cartel (the RailRoad Commission) changed production quotas based on political winds.

Saudi Arabia's oil production from 1970 to 2005, using EIA data. Again, note the multiple peaks as the cartel (OPEC) changed production quotas based on political winds.

To Hothgor:

Did you even bother to LOOK at your data before making such a specious claim? This is why your posts are not taken seriously by many others. Now personally I don't think you are a paid troll but I do think you are techno-blind and believe that everything will be solved by some technical magic if we just wish it so, hence your frequent erroneous postings. It never occurs to you that the reality could be opposite what you believed. Might I suggest that you more carefully check your facts before jumping to conclusions? Unlike many here, I happen to think that there remains some possibility that you might add something constructive to the overall debate. As I recall from your description of yourself, you are young and enthusiastic. If that is so, apply those traits to getting at the truth.

To Oil CEO - thanks for pointing out his original data source. I missed that somewhere in this long conversation and thanks also for inspiring me to verify what I thought I remembered.

Airplanes of the future; Boeing's Dreamliner:

Aircraft Builders Try to Take Some of the Ordeal Out of Flying

It is noted that this new plane is marginally more energy efficient than current planes. No mention in the article of peak oil or the inevitability of dwindling jet fuel supplies over time. Also I have to wonder how much estimated and actual capital costs to build these new planes are going to escalate over the next few years. I suppose in a worst case (for Boeing) the Dreamliner could be the next Concorde.

My own guess is that some of these planes actually will be built, and flown, and personal air travel will continue for a long time (decades). But I think long distance air travel, especially for tourist purposes, will become the domain of a smaller and smaller elite over time who can afford higher and higher fares.

The 787 "Dreamliner" should be at least 20% more fuel efficient than the 767 is replaces.  Boeing has a reputation for beating design #s in the real world (The 777-300ER & 777-200LR came out +3% better than promised, to the pleasure of the airlines and benefit of later sales).

The much smaller 787 is dramatically beating the troubled A380 (similar design fuel burn/seat mile).

At $20/barrel, fuel was about 10% of airline costs, $220/barrel should VERY roughly double their costs and ticket prices, reducing demand by xx%.

If the world a/c fleet contracts due to extremely high fuel costs (see above), then there is a strong economic argument to junk an older A330 or 767 with a dozen years left for a more fuel efficient 787 based on fuel and operational savings alone.

If one is building planes, it is best to build the most fuel efficient air craft flying.

I am on record (circa 2000) as predicting that the 737 replacement would enter service in 2012, it would be a 787 done smaller and that Southwest Airlines would launch the program with an order for 400 a/c.

Today, the date looks good except for the issue of engines.  A new, more efficient engine will be required for fuel savings in the 20% to 25% range and the pressure is on.

Best Hopes,


Hello TODers,

Leanan's toplink on the continuing disaster from the Java mud volcano was commented by me late last night.  The conflict of interest is mind-boggling, IMO.

Your doing a heck of a job, Mud-brownie!

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

Hello TODers,

Leanan's topthread link on the need for more Vegas pipelines was commented by me months ago.  I even published here on TOD the email I sent to the President's email address stating that I felt this was a national security concern.

But just like the Indonesian Welfare minister/mud volcano driller-- it seems the warning has fallen on deaf ears.

Hope Cascadia is ready for a flood of Vegans if something unfortunately goes wrong.

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

I remember, great call.

It's almost funny that the article states:
"if someone builds them".

Yes, isn't that the problem?  Who wants to spend hundreds of millions or even billions for new gasoline pipelines?

Hello TODers,

Leanan's topthread link on potential mining of methane clathrates, besides having a questionable ERoEI, is the risk of setting off a huge underwater landslide/tsunami and/or gigantic methane burp.  Recall my earlier postings: where one posting hypothesized a methane burp equivalent to 1,000 LNG tankers dumping their loads into NYC harbor--got a spark of imagination?

Some scientists think the Scotch Cap lighthouse tsunami that also killed people in Hilo, Hawaii in 1946 was a underwater landslide/methane burp.

Okey-Dokey, gotta go.  Back later.

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

Think big...

Is sudden warming at the beginning of the Eocene an analog for current global warming?
Eugene S. Takle
© 2004
An episode at the beginning of the Eocene epoch about 55 million years ago caused an abrupt (on geological time scales) global warming of 5-10ºC. At the same time, an enormous amount of carbon dioxide, evidently due to oxidation of hydrocarbons, entered the atmosphere/ocean component of the carbon cycle (Dickens, 2004). This carbon dioxide, estimated to be 1,500 to 3,000 Gt carbon equivalent, was of organic origin and entered the carbon cycle over a period of less than 20,000 years. Svensen et al. (2004) have identified a region of the North Atlantic sea floor off the Norwegian coast that includes a complex of vents capable of releasing such enormous amounts of greenhouse gases. Estimates of anthropogenic carbon releases to the atmosphere in the coming centuries range from 3,000 to 4,000 Gt. A better understanding of the cause and consequences of this abrupt warming event likely will shed light on what can be expected in the current global warming.


Dickens, G.R., 2004: Hydrocarbon-driven warming. Nature, 429, 513-514.

Svensen, H., S. Planke, A. Malthe-Sorenssen, B. Jamtveit, R. Myklebust, T.R. Eidem,, and S.S. Rey, 2004: Release of methane from a volcanic basin as a mechanism for initial Eocene global warming. Nature, 429, 542-545.

But in 1995, Gerry Dickens, then a graduate student at the University of Michigan, instead argued that only methane gas had enough light carbon to produce the early Eocene plunge. He proposed that a belch of methane escaped from ice in seafloor sediments as the Earth warmed.

Zachos' studies over the past dozen years support the methane-belch theory. Based on his own and colleagues' recent work, Zachos calculated that up to 2 trillion tons of methane bubbled out of the oceans. Zachos and Dickens say that methane combined with oxygen in the air and water, forming carbon dioxide and essentially suffocating marine life. But whether volcanic activity or a methane belch was the culprit, the greenhouse gas locked in the sun's warmth, sending global temperatures soaring.

Hello Wharf Rat,

Thxs for responding.  Yep, a long, sustained 'belch' can be much worse than a polite and subdued little 'burp'.

But wouldn't it be better to mine it and convert it to the much-weaker GHG CO2, than to just wait for it to randomly bubble up and pollute the atmosphere?
The operative notion would be that attempts to mine clathrates would precipitate more rapid release while capturing relatively little useful product
Mostly lurker here, but I am reaching out to you guys for advice.  This site has some of the most intelligent people anywhere and I highly value your opinion.

I'm going through a bit of a life crisis as I'm sure many of you have gone through.  

I left my job two months ago when I came to fully accept that PO was real, and my career was a dead one.  

Since then I've been struggling with the help others and society/save you and your family's ass question.

I live in Portland and my sisters and I own 70 acres 30 minutes from downtown with it's own pure water source and decent wind.  We harvested some timber this summer and there is room to set up an ideal permaculture environment.

We live close to downtown and I have some decent sustainability based job prospects to interview for next week and my wife is up for a big promotion soon.

I'm only 28 and am luckily debt free (except about 60% on house) with enough savings to at least buy a trailer and get some crops going.

I can only go one direction or the other and have to make the decision very soon.  PLEAAAASE HELP I'm going crazy!

In the words of a wise woman I know: "Do what you want."

If you don't want to make the changes necessitated by peak oil, then don't do them. You'll never be motivated enough to make the necessary changes if you only feel you "should" do them.

The changes I've made over the last twenty years--dropping out, growing my own, etc.--are pleasant to me.

You live only once.

Do you have a source of income?

Good question, of course. I hold two part-time jobs, one as a teacher, the other as a volunteer FF/EMT. Most of my time is spent gardening and taking care of animals.

My stroke of good fortune: having found a "tenant farmer" situation on someone else's land.

Of course, give me a trailer and an acre and I'd still be growing my own food.

Great advice. This has always by moto too - if you don't know what to do, do what you have to, or else better do nothing.

Personally I expect PO to be way far from the doomsday images we often get painted. I am far more concerned about an Argentinian type of financial crisis than society descending into a semi-agrarian state.

IMO whatever I do now, that requires significant resources at present (leaving job, stocking up food, installing PVs etc.) is  a almost certain waste and may play quite bad on me. The best preparation one can have is the psychological preparation. I think obtaining gardening or survivalist skills  is a great idea, but one shouldn't focus on those. Getting off the grid... what a ridiculous idea. Does anyone believe that if the grid collapses electricity will be your greatest problem? Any idea for example how you'll get fresh water if the water pumps get no power? Basicaly preparing for such scenarious for me makes as much sense as to start preparing for "what if my plane crashed and I am the only survivor on an isolated island" (inhabited by amazons whose males got extinct, due to some mysterious sickness - that's from me :). Makes as much sense as paying a bunch of money for insurance against meteorite hit.

Personally what I intend to do is live as usual and keep my head cool (and my legs warm as my mother used to tell me). Whatever will be will be.

The best preparation one can have is the psychological preparation.

This, I think, is great advice.  We do not know what changes are coming and how fast.  Being open to change and being able to adapt to change, in all its manifestations, is great preparation for the future.

I assume that your choice is to work downtown or start trying to live on the land?

I would live as simply as possible while working at a job and look at putting your savings to work improving the land.  There are lots of ways to approach the issue.  Lease out most of the land to an organic farmer.  Do some kind of joint venture, etc.  

I do WANT to live off the land.  I think it would be rewarding in ways my current average american lifestyle can never be.  The problem now is convincing my sisters about the urgency of the issue.  They are still holding onto the belief that since they are doing well financially and putting money away for their kids college then there is no problem.  I also have NO experience farming.

I also don't think I can do both.  There is too much work needed to be done out there for me to keep living and working in the city.  The only compromise as you stated would be to lease out the land to an organic farmer.  Can you put something in the contract that would allow us to move onto the property with the farmers?  Can you lease just certain acerage?

Thanks for the replies.

Start an orchard now. And at least think about starting grapes and berries. They take time to mature.
Think about a mixture of hierloom varieties (Cox's Orange Pippen :-) and species (apples, pears, perhaps a couple of quinces, cherries, if they can grow in OR, apricots, plums) with a few commerical varieties for volume.

Look at keeping days for different apple varieties (it varies)

A few chestnuts (OR outside blight area) if soil is OK, walnuts, hazelnuts, and any others.

And OR is ideal for a mixture of blackberries, raspberries and hybrids between them (logan, boysen).

Check soil types for blueberries (get a soil analysis done thru county ag agent).

Look into ways to build up the soil (treated sewage is often good if low in heavy metals).

Get advice from several people on HOW to build earth shelter homes.  Consider aesthetics as well.  And how all of the elements will be like to live in.


Best Hopes,


Thanks Alan.  As long as the soil checks out, I should have a lot of options.  I really appreciate everybodies input, and hope someday I can add something meaningful to this great site.
Thanks Alan.  As long as the soil checks out, I should have a lot of options.  I really appreciate everybodies input, and hope someday I can add something meaningful to this great site.
Plant at least one Cox's Orange Pippen apple tree :-)

Low yield compared to commercial varieties but quality !!

Best Hopes for Good Eating,


I also have NO experience farming.

If I were you, I would stick with maintaining economic contact with the outside world and only slowly scaling up to becoming a hobbyist farmer. Cold turkey is not the way to go unless you absolutely had to, which you don't.

Not that it's directly on point, but there is an easy-to-read and short kids book called, The Hatchet. It's a good read for understanding how much each of us relies on the cornucopian bounty that is provided by our current civilization. (Short summary: A young boy with no survival training is stranded in the Canadian wilderness as a sole survivor of an airplane crash. He has only a tiny hatchet which his mother gave him as a gift just before the plane took off.)

Another item you may want to view is a PBS video on Homesteading farmers. I forgot the exact title. The bottom line there is that unless you pick the right crops and right farm animals (i.e. sheep versus cows), you are hosed. It is a life or death kind of decision.

LOL!  That was my favorite book as a kid.

I've started talking to a representative from Oregon State Extension service for small farms, they have a ton of knowledge, and am getting soil samples done on Monday so I'll have a better picture of what my options are.  I'm reading as much as I can get my hands on about permaculture and stuff.

I was thinking a good mix of fruit and nut trees now are imperative as they take so long to mature.

holy.. i read that book as a kid too.. loved it and wanted a tree house like his.
Frontier Life

The bulk of my heritage is the Homesteaders. That was a very, very tough life that only a minority survived to prosper. In light of a response to one of my recent comments, I was thinking of this very series and the lessons that it holds for people intending to go back to the land without having experienced it.  

Yup that was the series. Thanks for the reconnect back to it. The scary one was the farmer who kept losing weight because his metabolism outstripped his production of protein. (He wasn't "discovering" new protein as fast as he was consuming it. Sort of sounds like our Peak Oil dilemma, doesn't it?)
Short term, medium term, long term.

Short term - Take the money and run !  Peak oil may not be till 2012 (peak exports sooner) or today, you live in a community noted  for transit & sustainability.  You can make enough $ in the next few years to help get going.

Money and time to adjust to changing circumstances.

A trailer is NOT a good home for the next 40-50 years.

Also, think LDS (Mormon).  Store a year (or two) of essentials.  Stock up on sales, get a Costco membership.  Concentrate on non-local goods (a can of pineapples = how many local apples ?  A lb of rice will be worth more than a lb of flour in wheat country).

Consider a "weekend" garden to start getting experience (perhaps grow closer than on your land).  Plant a variety of fruit and nut trees (some will die in first years).

Medium Term - You own the land in common with your sisters.  Talk "what if" with them.  make building plans, get some idea if Solar PV can supplement wind.  Watch developments in wind turbines.  Find out how to build (I plan to do electrical & plumbing and hire out rest), consider techniques, spaces and all else.  But you are close to MAJOR hydroelectric facilities.  Grid power (perhaps off & on) is likely for a long time.

Learn about bicycles and start using one.  Also look at cargo trikes.

Perhaps even consider home near (within 3 blocks of a station) of the Green Line (buy before opening, sell serious post-PO might work out well).  Do some favors for people without expectation of reward.  (If TSHTF, buy two extra 50 lb bags of rice before and consider handing them out).

Long Term - "Evolve" into your land.  Have the resources to fix any oversights/problems.  Build community (recommend seperate homes from sisters BTW).  Consider medical access.

You may end up living and working in Portland till you are 70+ even post-PO (I would NOT say that about Phoenix or Las Vegas !)

The details of the future are unknowable.  The proper response (IMHO) is to stay flexiable and with resources to adapt.  A hard "back to the land" at this stage deprives you of both flexiability & resources.

Calm is FAR better than panic !  Watch, plan and work.

best Hopes for the future,


Long Term - Think through issues.

BTW, I am looking to build a garage apartment in the Lower Garden District circa 2009.  I have decided on German levels of insulation so I am likely to use 8" vertical steel studs (heavier gauge) with 4" horizontal studs (lighter gauge) and insulate 12" thick wall.  Strong, minimal thermal break, etc.


Thanks for the help.  The trailer would just be temporary as we would be building an earth shelter for a permanent residence.

Our house now is perfectly suited for rising oil prices.  I bought it for it's accessibility to downtown.  10 minute bike ride to the heart of PDX.  The greenline is much further out and suburbian soccer mom headquarters.  We also have good passive solar and I'm putting in raised beds in the backyard for veggies in the spring.

My problem is we never know when or how fast TScanHTF.  It takes a long time and lot's of resources to set up the agriculture neccessary and I'm worried if the need becomes apparent, it may be too late or too spendy to get it done.

I guess those articles about Russia from Asian Times got me a little paranoid.

Here is some others

Take a permaculture course and look to plant trees that provide shade in summer as well as fuel for winter.

Collect a good store of books on useful skills to have.

Learn to work with tools that don't need power.


Take a job.  Learn to grow food as a "hobby."  Listen to Alan.
I would sure be greatful you don't live in a place like Las Vegas. I think if you are reading TOD you are probably informed enough that you could do no wrong. Relax, you sound too stressed out! I would work the job if offered, It makes it easier to sit back and think when you are employed. I think it takes about a year after learning about PO to sort things out.
Good luck at your interviews.
I agree on the job thing.  I'm spending a good 5 hours a day reading and all it does is make me more worried.  I first learned about PO almost a year ago.  It wasn't until June that I decided I needed to start making changes.

And yes, Portland is about the best place to be in the US.  

Thanks for the well wishes on the job search.  Hopefully I'll be able to help the cause and get paid for it!


I would really suggest that you find a local mentor and not listen to us.  We can only conjecture as to what is appropriate for you.

I think I posted this link on TOD before but here is a thread I started on another forum that you might find interesting and germane to your quest.



I've been struggling with the help others and society/save you and your family's ass question.

How to invest resources to get a good return in the future, that's always a difficult decision! Disinformation piled on misinformation piled on good old lack of information. Must be like poker: 1/3 technical analysis, 1/3 psychology, 1/3 pure dumb luck.

The thing is, nobody survives. As far as I can tell, we are not headed into a storm that will last for a couple of years and then back to rosy sunshine on the other side. From where I sit, it looks like nastiness for centuries, and anybody's guess after that. It'll be a bumpy ride - occasional smooth gliding punctuated by nasty fast redirection.  

It's not just that the coming crisis will last longer than any individual's lifetime or their grandchildren's. There is just no way to build some fortress and stockpile it for a few centuries. Would your grandchildren all be intermarrying? There is just no way to avoid ongoing interactions with your neighbors, and a lot to be gained through such interation.

The real survivalism, the way to sustain life and to thrive, is to manage the interactions at different levels of the organismic hierarchy, i.e. yourself interacting with your sisters, your family interacting with your neighbors and friends, how these circles fit in with the greater Portland community, etc.

Taxes are an important issue for you, I should think. I don't understand all the details of Oregon land use laws... but isn't it the case that if you want to keep your taxes low, you can't build any new structures and you have to show some farm income? Anyway, the idea of renting your land to farmers seems really smart to me. The game would seem to be to use it as a learning opportunity. I can't imagine why you couldn't structure it so you could reserve half an acre or so for your own garden.

I don't think it's smart to get into too much of a panic and make dramatic changes, unless you're really forced to. There's real value in a diversified portfolio. If you can be developing your land, working with the farmers you rent to and working your little patch on weekends, while you are earning some cash and developing broader community connections with a job downtown, that sure seems smart.

Cultivate community, that's my advice. It's the best way to save your own ass!

Matt Simmons is on FSN again this weekend. The host mentions TOD and Dave, and Simmons comments on the CERA report.
This article is rather blunt:

The U.S. Dollar is the Week's Biggest Turkey


While Americans were busy digesting their Thanksgiving feasts, the rest of the world was barfing up dollars. As a result of our massive trade deficits, foreigners certainly have their bellies full of them. This week's action in the Forex markets indicates that they may have finally eaten their fill. Unfortunately, the bad taste will likely linger as the dollar's rout has only just begun.

As American consumers hit the stores this black Friday, few will have noticed that the most significant mark-down occurred in the value of their currency. If anything can be said to have been blackened this Friday it's the U.S. dollar. While the media remains focused on the dollars Americans are irresponsibly spending, the real story lies in the loss in value of those dollars that foreigners are foolishly saving. The losses are particularly more pronounced among foreign central banks, most notably China, whose foreign exchange reserves, the vast majority being U.S dollars, recently eclipsed 1 trillion. When foreigners finally decide that they have had enough, their reluctance to accumulate additional dollars will mean that America's perpetual shopping spree will finally come to a screeching halt.

Interesting, thanks.
Predicting when market psychology will change is always a mug's game. The last straw never looks different from all the others that didn't break the camel's back.
But if it's bad to be exposed to a big loss on a trillion dollars of reserves, it's worse to be in the same position with two trillion.
Hello TODers,

From this Houston Chronicle article:
An energy quagmire awaits president-elect

Pemex's needs are great, but public is wary of foreign interests

MEXICO CITY -- When Mexico's president-elect, Felipe Calderon, takes office Friday, he will inherit an energy-policy quandary.

Calderon, a conservative, needs to convince the Mexican public that the enormous profits reaped by Mexico's state-owned oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, trickle down to the public.

And he needs to find the billions required to reverse the sharp decline in Pemex's production. The chief executive of Pemex, Ramirez Corzo, said this week it needs to spend $18 billion a year to find oil at a time when production is dropping rapidly from its huge Cantarell field, the Associated Press reported.

"The Mexican public doesn't know where money generated by energy sector goes, but they believe it doesn't go to them," said Francisco García, emeritus professor of economics at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Studies, known as the ITESM. "We need to show the channels of money flowing to the people."
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az  Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?


The Nov 10 IEA Oil Market Report was made free today(PDF).

Aug and Sep KSA revised down.
Oct KSA down from Aug and Sep.
Aug and Sep total revised down.
Oct figure lower than pre revised Sep figure.

Where is the increased production?
Just think, Nov. will bring the OPEC cuts.