DrumBeat: November 25, 2006

[Update by Leanan on 11/25/06 at 11:18 AM EDT]

Iran Invites Sinopec Head to Sign $100 Billion Oil, Gas Deals

Iran has invited the managing director of China Petrochemical Corp. to Tehran to sign the development contract of Iran's Yadavaran oil field as well as oil and gas purchases worth as much as $100 billion.

U.S. must not forget need for alternative fuels

Remember a few months ago when gasoline was selling for $3 a gallon and everyone was talking about ethanol and biodiesel? It's funny, isn't it, that gasoline prices started coming down and the talk about alternative fuels went away. This week, gasoline has been selling for $2.20 to $2.30 a gallon in the Huntington area, and no one is talking about ethanol.

That's a mistake. Alternative fuels are still part of the nation's energy future. We can't go to sleep now just because gasoline prices are more tolerable.

Sustainable development: Big not boring

"If you want to keep your guns, your property, your children and your god, then sustainable development is your enemy!"

I just love that quote from the American Policy Centre.

IAEA blocks aid for Tehran reactor

Vienna - The United Nations nuclear watchdog's board of governors on Thursday indefinitely blocked Iran's bid for technical aid for a reactor project over concerns it could be secretly used to yield bomb-grade plutonium.

U.K.: North Sea 'absolutely critical' to UK energy security - Darling

U.K.: City leader's 'disaster' alert on road pricing

CONGESTION charging will be disastrous for Yorkshire unless the Government pays for alternatives to driving to work, a council leader warned yesterday.

Organizing for sustainability

"Sustainability" is the new green buzzword - the rallying cry of a groundswell of people across the globe concerned about the viability of our planet, both in the near future and for generations to come. In 1987 a report from the United Nations' World Commission on Environment and Development defined a sustainable society as one that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

Peak Oil Passnotes: Where Is the Money?

Some people are calling this the most boring crude oil market for ten years. Since the decline in August and September the market has remained fixed solid. Stuck between $55 and $61. It is easy to see why, as we have gone over these problems many times.

Despite many instances of scaremongering, and many genuine problems, nothing has convinced the herd to move off from its current watering hole. Each news event fails to stir the loins of the market makers. Sure this is a good thing for small businesses, consumers and those who wish to plan fuel consumption long term. But they are not important in the oil market. What’s important is profits.

Aramco eyes Karan development

Saudi Aramco is to develop the offshore Karan gas field with the hope of producing 1bn cubic feet per day of gas by 2011, reported Reuters. The Khursaniyah gas plant will double its capacity to 2bn cfd in order to process the Karan gas. The Karan field, which lies 160km north of Dhahran, was first discovered back in April.

Iran Finds New Oil, Gas Reserves in Ahvaz Field

Iran has discovered new onshore oil and natural gas reserves in the oil-rich southwestern province of Khuzestan with an estimated value of $7.3 billion, an Iranian oil official said Wednesday.

No ‘Miracles’ in the Desert: America’s Kingdom: Mythmaking on the Saudi Oil Frontier, by Robert Vitalis

...Vitalis argues that the American oilmen who built their empire early last century did so, in part, by instituting a “Jim Crow system” in the Dhahran oil camps. Further, he argues that social progress and change was enacted at the camps only because the oil powers’ hand was forced—and not because its leaders were progressive thinkers.

Solution to Guinea, Senegal, Gambia energy crisis in sight

Households and the business environment in Guinea, Senegal and The Gambia are increasingly plagued by frequent power outages, to such a degree that it has become a top political issue. Now, technicians from the Gambia River Basin Development Organisation, OMVG, promise that a "final solution" to the regional energy crisis is in sight.

Sky falling and fast, warn scientists - Pollution warms surface of Earth, but cools and shrinks upper atmosphere

Forget the fable of Chicken Little — the sky is indeed falling. The upper zone of Earth’s atmosphere is cooling and shrinking, an international team of scientists said today.

George Monbiot: Drastic Action on Climate Change is Needed Now - and Here's the Plan

It is a testament to the power of money that Nicholas Stern's report should have swung the argument for drastic action, even before anyone has finished reading it. He appears to have demonstrated what many of us suspected: that it would cost much less to prevent runaway climate change than to seek to live with it. Useful as this finding is, I hope it doesn't mean that the debate will now concentrate on money. The principal costs of climate change will be measured in lives, not pounds. As Stern reminded us yesterday, there would be a moral imperative to seek to prevent mass death even if the economic case did not stack up.

Chinese investment slump threatens oil prices

Chinese investment flows are slowing down which could spell the end of the current investment cycle, and signal a recession ahead. Given the importance of emerging markets like China in sustaining oil price growth in recent years this is unwelcome news on top of the continuing crisis in US housing.

Bigger Push for Charging Drivers Who Use the Busiest Streets

Congestion pricing, the idea of charging drivers for bringing vehicles into the busiest parts of Manhattan, has become a kind of holy grail for transportation advocates and urban planners in New York — a coveted prize that has remained out of reach.

Think-tank gives doomsday scenario for Hong Kong transportation

A local think-tank examining the possible effects of global warming painted a doomsday scenario Thursday for Hong Kong's MTR system with thousands of passengers left stranded for hours at a time.

In a 45-page report on climate change, Civic Exchange also warned sudden storm surges and rising sea levels could destroy roads and flood the runway at Hong Kong International Airport. Alexandra Tracy, lead author of the Civic Exchange report, said the subway system is vulnerable to flooding, while power outages will mean commuters will be trapped.

Now hot in Brazil: 'carbon credits' to fight global warming

SAO PAULO (AFP) - Programs aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions are blossoming in Brazil, with the "carbon credit" system winning interest from companies in industrialized countries.

Plastic paper to 'cut' emissions

Toshiba has developed a printer that uses plastic "paper" that can be re-used hundreds of times.

Natural building, the way of the future

The pressing question for anyone contemplating their fate in a post-heated, post-peak oil world is "How am I going to live?"

Brunei: Public Urged To Adopt Low Energy-Consuming Lifestyle

Bandar Seri Begawan - The government is calling on the public to adopt a "low energy consumption lifestyle" and on parents to instill it on their children early on. Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister's Office Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Awang Yahya Begawan Mudim yesterday said educating the public should not be limited to schools only but also in families.

"What better way to start than in the homes and with the parents? We must inculcate low energy-consuming lifestyle", Pehin Yahya urged in his remark at the opening of an exhibition on sustainable energy use, after noting "the complacency of those in Brunei regarding the use of hydrocarbon resources, even though such energy sources are in finite supply".

The handwriting on the greenhouse wall: Energy firms coming to accept regulation of warming gases as inevitable

While the political debate over global warming continues, top executives at many of the nation's largest energy companies have accepted the scientific consensus about climate change and see federal regulation to cut greenhouse gas emissions as inevitable.

The Democratic takeover of Congress makes it more likely that the federal government will attempt to regulate emissions. The companies have been hiring new lobbyists who they hope can help fashion a national approach that would avert a patchwork of state plans now in the works. They are also working to change some company practices in anticipation of the regulation.

There are some wonderful thoughts on what can be done 'at home' to boost your family's sustainability.  It does, however, remind me of the "Pioneer House" kind of shows, which pitted a few folks in separate homes against each other, to see 'who would make it, and who wouldn't'.

  I only skimmed the article, but I don't suspect that the author is not also aware that our ability to keep our lives going will have to work with neighbors combining their effort on many of these projects, and get the benefit of some economy-of-scale  (ie, 'barnraising') to make a self-sufficient approach somewhat managable.

  She mentions the 'salt' question, for example.  I can't look at our prospects, even if we have to reinvent great swaths of our suburban lives, without knowing that there will be people on the coast who will be producing salt, and it will be sold at markets, in towns, and where he'll buy some of her neighborhood's Maple Syrup or Honey.  Trading and some specialization are not a product of Crude Oil, and will not be peaking with it.

As I've suggested before, people who live in urban and suburban areas who are serious about this should find a copy of The Integral Urban House: Self-reliant Living in the City, ISBN 0-87156-213-8.  To get a flavor of what the book is about do a search for the "integral urban house" because The Mother Earth News has a couple of articles in its archive (I don't have the complete URLs handy) about it.

I have to say it really warms my heart when people make an attempt to become even partly self-sufficient.  There's just so much personal reward from it.

  What do we need with a devil and hell when we have the example of Guinea, Somalia, Bangladesh, the Sudan, Haiti and all the other victims of overpopulation and capitalist "free market" greed? I'm reminded of the words of William Blake;"Human pity would be no more if we did not make somebody poor" from his poem The Human Abstract. May God have mercy on our souls.
Oilmanbob, you speak as if we are to blame for the prediciment of those poor countries. Is that your true feeling. Are we guilty of behaving in very bad way? Do you really think that unless God takes mercy on our souls that he will punish us for our misbehavior, that we will get our just desserts?

Ron Patterson

Ron Patterson, we are at least partially to blame for the conditions in the developing world. If we had a sane foreign policy that focused on actually aiding other countries instead of selling them munitions and committing acts of war, that focused on population control and education, sustainable development and medical aid we just might have a green and pleasant world. I guess I'm just an old hippy, but I actually try to break out of my narrow self-centeredness enough to help others. I don't see money and possessions as the best goal for me personally or for the world as a whole. And yes, I go to church ( Episcopal ) and believe that as my catechism taught me, sin is doing my will instead of God's will. We are supposed to be "faithful stewards" of creation, and to love one another as we are ourselves loved. And because of the insular nature of our conciousness, we are all sinners and need mercy and grace, and also ned to show it to others in our actions.
Oilmanbob, thanks for the reply. You are not a sinner Bob. You, and I and everyone else, are only following our nature. The idea that we were born sinners in need of grace and forgiveness is the best idea orginized religion ever came up with, even though it is the most stupid idea that ever graced the pages of any so-called holy book.

I will not reply again to this thread. I tried, but failed in this instance, to follow my ideal of never argueing with religious people. They deserve to be ignored, not argued with.

Ron Patterson

I wish these darn threads would let a person reply to the reply they were actually addressing. Ron, I agree that disagreement on grounds of religeous or spiritual beliefs is pretty useless in a peak oil discussion. And I also belong to the Episcopal Church-we believe that wearing white shoes before Memorial Day or after Labor Day is prohibited in the Bible somewhere in Leviticus or Dueteronomy or another of those books of the Bible no one reads. We're weak on homosexual bishops and original sin, but the term White Anglo Saxon Protestants is a polite description of our church.
  So peace, man.
I am honestly curious - do you believe in evil? Not hell, not god/s, not reincarnation/afterlife/soul, or any spiritual aspect at all, but simply evil.

It may even be in our nature, but is there such a thing as evil?

And you are welcome to say you don't believe in an abstract, religiously grounded framework, but my question is not based on an abstract, religiously grounded framework either, not that my curiousity requires an answer.

And to be fair - I definitely believe there is such a thing as evil, regardless of any explanation of what it is or why it exists. I also believe that evil is not punished in any form in any supernatural sense, so believing in it doesn't make life more comforting.

And to be fair - I definitely believe there is such a thing as evil, regardless of any explanation of what it is or why it exists.

Hehehe, that's funny!

Ron Patterson

Well, here are a couple of more funny ones -

I believe in beauty, regardless of any explanation of what it is or why it exists.

I believe in self-awareness, regardless of any explanation of what it is or why it exists.

'The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.'

A lot of discussions bog down in details - I was merely trying to avoid those detours.

Worse, a lot of discussions bog down because the words are not what is discussed, they are the means.

But my question was merely idle curiousity, nothing more.

Well, a definition of any word is an absolute necessity before any resonable answer can be given as to whether I, or anyone else for that matter, believe in it or not.

For instance, the tsunami of December 2004 killed almost 300,000 people. Was evil involved? If one says it was an act of God, how then can evil be denied for this event? See what I mean? But then I do not believe in God. Well, not a personal god anyway. As to a higher intelligence, I am an agnostic. At any rate I do not believe any kind of God caused the tsunami therefore no evil was involved. But if you believe in God, then he caused it and therefore he is evil.

But to answer your original question, I am a determinist. Not a genetic determinist, nor an environmental determinist, just a determinist. If you know what that means then you have your answer. If you do not, then look it up.

Ron Patterson

  • For more than 50 years sane voices have called for an end to the debate. Nature versus nurture has been declared everything from dead and finished to futile and wrong--a false dichotomy,. Everybody with an ounce of common sense knows that human beings are a product of a transaction between the two.
  • Matt Ridley: Nature via Nurture
Fair enough - another thing I believe in is free will, even if it is just along for the ride.

Which is why I also believe in evil - though I see a mistake in my question. I should have said do you believe humans commit evil - it never even occurred to me to describe any event not done by thinking beings (just limiting things here, nothing else) to be evil. The world just is, and only those elements capable of self-awareness and thus volition or choice can make moral/ethical distinctions which are more than merely metaphysical discussions.

No need to answer - you are quite right, a deterministic view is an explanation, and a valid one in itself.

  Scott Peck, MD wrote an interesting book on the problem of evil. He's a fundementalist and I tend to discount his insights-but his definition was Narcicism(of evil). And he meant a clinical narcicism-being unable to distinguish the boundries between oneself and other people.
  A good example is the war in Iraq (my opinion) because we have killed nearly 700,000 humans over "Weapons of mass distruction", or "regime change", or bringing "democracy" to the people of Iraq, or whatever position the Kaliedescope of rationalisation has brought us to this week. What kind of narcicism makes us the rulers of the world and enforcers of morality? If that isn't evil, what is?
  And although I'm a Christian, I'm totaly sure that God is a lot happier with Australian Aborigines dancing at a fire in the bush and telling tales of the Dream Time than he is with any church or mosque praying for victory.
a deterministic view is an explanation, and a valid one in itself.

Well, in a philosophy of decision a deterministic approach may be rewarding, but I'd like to point out to you a general problem regarding determinism. What was the first cause?

This question is particularly dazzling if one is into ontological determinism, i.e. not just as one views among many.

Many here probably know this, but for those of you interested in issues like determinism I'd like to add that quantum mechanics is probabilistic. Doing an identical experiment several times, one may get a lot of different results. But the distribution of results always stays the same, given that the experiments are identical.

Correction: philosophy of decision making
Well, in a philosophy of decision a deterministic approach may be rewarding, but I'd like to point out to you a general problem regarding determinism. What was the first cause?

Determinism, in physics, deals with physical causes. And first cause is a problem. Determinism in philosophy deals entirely with acts of the human will! In acts of the human will first cause is not a problem. Think about it. You were determined to wish this or that because of some cause, and that cause had another cause, on back to infinity. (Before the human will existed.) Or, it need not go back near that far. The cause of your wish might originate entirely from the physical, like a storm or lightening bolt, and have no human cause. But your every desire must have cause. But since that first cause need not necessarily originate with the human will, yours or anyone else's, first cause is not a problem.

Just remember, when speaking of determinism in philosophy, determinism deals with acts of the human will and absolutely nothing else.

Ron Patterson

Strictly speaking topics like determinism isn't discussed within physics at all. Such questions sort under philosophy, and on that faculty they are certainly not limited to deal with acts of will when addressing determinism. I think most materialists only believe in bottom-up causality and therefore contend that questions regarding free will is properly addressed within the natural sciences.

(Many philosopher enjoy the Heisenberg uncertainly relation and the probabilistic quantum nature, and think the key to understanding free lie in those topics.)

But i understand what where you want. Free will in a materialistic reality is perhaps what most philosophers address. The context above was human behavior, and perhaps you're right, that first cause is not problem - i don't know. Either way, what's really being discussed here is the mind/body problem, a discussion that i'm not very qualified to discuss.

"Shut up and calculate!"

Paul Dirac when being asked philosophical questions about the interpretation of Schroedinger's equation. (from my memory)

Such questions sort under philosophy, and on that faculty they are certainly not limited to deal with acts of will when addressing determinism.

Dead Wrong! When you are discussing the determinism-free will debate, you are talking only about acts of the human will. Free will is acts of the human will by definition. You are talking about why you wish to this or that. Why you choose to do this or that. You are not talking about determinism in the physical world, you are only talking about acts of the human will. That is the very definition of free will!

Either way, what's really being discussed here is the mind/body problem, a discussion that i'm not very qualified to discuss.

Wow! You really are confused. The determinism-free will debate has absolutely nothing to do with the mind/body problem. How on earth did you make that connection? Whether the mind is seperate from the brain (body) has absolutely nothing to do with whether you have free will or not.

And you really do not need any qualifications to discuss the mind/body problem because if you believe they are two seperate things, then you are discussing faith, not science. Anyone can believe anything they wish where only faith is concerned. Science is an entirely different matter. There is absolutely no evidence that the mind is seperate from the body.

Ron Patterson

Please be a little bit more calm. I really enjoy your posts, which often is full of insight and overview, but sometimes it seems like you should learn to relax.

Dead Wrong! When you are discussing the determinism-free will debate, you are talking only about acts of the human will. Free will is acts of the human will by definition.

I referred to determinism in general, not suggesting that bricks and stones are subject to a free will debate. BTW the definition from Biology online does not explicitly tie free will to humans, and therefore seems to be more general than your approach in defining free will. (But for what it's worth, i tend to agree with you)

Wow! You really are confused.

I must admit often being confused, sometimes also on topics regarded as simple, yes.

How on earth did you make that connection? The determinism-free will debate has absolutely nothing to do with the mind/body problem.

You are somewhat correct, but stating that there is absolutely no connection is a bit strict. It's a very common connection to make and it felt natural for me to do. I did a google on "mind body problem", and observe for example that wikipedia also make such connection.

There are two subjects that, in connection with the philosophy of the mind, have aroused special attention: free will and the self....In the context of the philosophy of mind, the question about the freedom of the will takes on a renewed intensity. This is certainly the case, at least, for materialistic determinists.[1] According to this position, natural laws completely determine the course of the material world. Mental states, and therefore the will as well, would be material states bla bla bla

This is enough philosophy for me. If you insist, please correct me (preferably citing someone if possible) and I'll happily stand corrected.

Well, if every human action has a physical cause (as I understand the determinist position), isn't it somewhat silly of you to try to convince us of this? If the physical causes are sufficient, we will believe it in any case.

And even more to the point, as a determinist, why should you even care whether we share your point of view, since any consequences of our beliefs will will be irrelevant to any event that happens in the future.

Are you predetermined to care about inconsequential matters?

Tony Verbalis

Ron, you make good points and refer to some very good books -- I'll put them on my reading list!

I've read Susan Neiman's "Evil In Modern thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy" (Princeton, 2002).  It's a good one for all to read -- check it out!

Basic Outline:

1. "Fire From Heaven" -- Leibniz, Pope, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel and Marx.... Is the wish to be God the "Driving force behind much of metaphysics"? (p. 110) And is a need for certain Knowledge an attempt to be God?  Where does morality come from, if not from God?  Do we have values or "dignity"?  And so forth....Reason challenges religion....

2. "Condemning the Architect" Whoooo boy! Here we go...as a fundamentalist preacher's kid, this section was quite a ride of a read! -- Bayle, Voltaire, Hume, de Sade, Schopenhauer....interesting quote from Schopenhauer:

"Every fulfillment of our wishes won from the world today is only like the alms that keep the beggar alive today so that he may starve again tomorrow.  Resignation, on the other hand, is like the inherited estate; it frees its owner from all care and anxiety forever."

So we go from theodacy to a nihilism that expresses "the kind of decadence only rich men's sons enjoy." (p. 200 -- Note:  not "rich man's daughters"!)

3. "Ends of An Illusion" Nietzsche, Freud... the world is fukll of pain and of "obstacles that thwart our desires" and this is usually what we think of as "evil" or "bad."  We try to manage ourlives to get what we want in spite of this. Fulfillment of our desires is "good."

4.  "Homeless" -- Earthquake; mass murders; losses; intentions; terror (after September 11); Remains: Camus, Arendt, Critical Theory, Rawls; Origins: Sufficient Reason...

Neiman concludes that we do not find reason or meaning in the world, and we create it ourselves.

Most interesting is her treatment of the infamous "911" attacks (pp 281-288). Our shared morality tries to prevent death and fear.  Terrorism brutally violates that shared convention. Those who believe in God, Satan, and Demons felt their beleifs to be confirmed.  Some aboard flight 93 acted like heroes in light of our shared morality, and attempted to stop the spread of fear and death, even though they had little or no hope of saving themselves...?

My questions: Was this terrorism moral or natural evil?  Is there a difference? Why or why not?  Is "Shock and Awe" warfare good or evil?  Who can know beforehand whether an act of violence will do more to prevent death and fear than to incite further death and fear?

Are wars ultimately a matter of animals fighting over a carcass, with no moral element at all?

How does the problem of evil relate to peak oil?  Is peak oil good or bad, or simply the way it is?  Can human responses to Peak Oil be said to be good or bad, or are they simply whatever they are?

Whoa, have you guys goen philosophical today! Gotta' love it, folks actually thinking about goals, values and aesthetics, the driving engines  (or as the guy who walked the walk as well as talked the talk, Albert Schwietzer said,, "What the West faces is essentially an ethical crisis."

Sadly, even he seems to have someone overlooked that great driving engines of philosophy, aesthetics, politics, organized religious dogma, engineering and design, and most of all economics....THE SHEER POWER OF HUMAN STUPIDITY.  Great philosophical question:  How often has what was seen as evil been nothing more than just plain stupidity?

Could it be that Schwietzer would have been more accurate to say, ""What the West faces is essentially a stupidity crisis."
Gotta' love it, then we could take things a bit less seriously and just enjoy the "play" of learning!  That sounds childish.  Indeed, our nation is becoming a nation of the old.  Playing at learning and design and taking care of each other is becoming a lost art.  

I have trouble trusting even an "old" kid who refuses to at play a little.

Roger Conner  known to you as ThatsItImout

Hannah Arendt's banality of evil comes to mind.
RE: "The banality of evil."

If one accepts the premise that good and evil are real, then Arendt's observations seem spot on to me.

If one accepts that "good" is the reduction of death, suffering, and fear, then "evil" might be seen as the proliferation of death, suffering, and fear.  Our culture is good to the extent that we do the first, and evil inasmuch as we do the latter.

Jacques Ellul points out that the problem of evil in our complex culture is that evil is so diffuse throughout that we are unable to effectively identify or address evil.

That fits what I call "intentional ignorance" which is a reduction of one's field of focus to include only the bubble of personal peace and affluence of one's tiny life.  Without context of the larger habitat as a reference, one's tiny "normal" life may be wreaking enourmous evil, especially together with others doing the same.

So evil is diffuse and banal and any who dare to point that out are marginalised or excluded from discussion. sometimes quite violently.

  As far as punishment for sin, I believe that we punish ourselves, that's not the Higher Power's doing. Life in America can be pretty miserable too. Watch enough TV, work up enough paranoia to where you sit isolated in your home cleaning your guns and absorbed in hate and you live your own punishment. You have to live with a hangover with your own miserable thoughts for company.
I learned it differently..

"The world would not be in such a snarl, if Marx were born Groucho instead of Karl"

-- nothing personal to the 'fellow travelers' out there.  I don't think communism or democracy are failed ideas.  We should try them sometime. (Maybe together)

"Many governments dole out subsidies to cut the retail cost of fuel, especially when global prices take off. A World Bank study found that as world energy prices rose sharply from January 2004 through May 2006, 14 developing countries abandoned market-based pricing for at least one type of petroleum product. Those countries joined 12 others that already controlled prices.

That decision can be expensive. Fuel subsidies are expected to chew up about $7 billion of Egypt's annual budget this year, or 15% of total planned spending."

15%!!! I can't even imagine 15 percent of an entire country's budget being spent on fuel subsidies....

Try the USA (with "fuel subsidies" defined just a little bit wider).  And see the other TOD thread today...
Hello, it's my first post, excuse my poor english, i'm from switzerland.
From where i seat, we're hearing a lot of european news, and the latest in the energy field was the russian refusal to sign the european energy charter at the Helsinki summit.

IMO this is a sign that, although the european leaders may not understand the full scope of the incoming supply drop, they are starting to think about and to stress about!

Therefore, they're trying to get the russian tied to their internal energy free trade market, what, i'm convinced, the Russia will never do, they have too much to lose (or too much to win if they stay independant!)

Today, the North Sea supplies 60% of the NG in Europe and RUssia 23%(seen in Euronews) but tomorow, what will it be?

I think the idea Russia supplying 80% of the NG makes the european leaders pale....(except the ones of switzerland, they live in another planet it seems....).

see this

"Gazputin" is what many Georgians are calling the Russian President after energy giant Gazprom hiked its prices

And keep up the good work all and especially the regular contributors, u are indispensable!

Can you give an update on the TransAlp project (the shorter tunnel south of Bern will be completed next year ?).  Several options (extra access tunnels, "short" 10 km tunnels) were left for future decisions.  Have they made these solutions ?

Also, Swiss domestic heat.  How much geothermal heat pumps, how much oil, natural gas, gas fired central heat and power plants.

Best Hopes,


BTW, the safest post-Peak Oil investments may be a Swiss hydroelectric utility. Low return but safe.

Any thoughts ?

Switzerland has been quite warm in recent years. The permanent snowfields are mostly gone. Bare rock heats rapidly in the sun. The glaciers are in rapid retreat. Southern Europe generally is getting drier. Swiss hydro is not a safe investment at all.
No spot on the planet is immune to global warming. Switzerland already being hit.
But the rain still falls (sometimes instead of snow as in the past).  And hydropower may be shifted from spring to winter and fall.  But it does not disappear entirely.

Most theories of GW have changes in the distribution of rain, but total rainfall (world wide) is supposed to increase.

I understand the risks but there are no riskless investments.

Best Hopes,



i will try to give you the most precise information that i can get.

You're talking about the Lötschberg tunnel, due to be completed next year indeed.

The average height is 825 m, down from 1240 of the old line.
All the railtrack have been put, now it is the test phase (speed up to 280 km/h), whith radio-controlled switch (the european standart ETCS).

The only weak point is the tunnel has a one-way track for about half of the course.


(As you can see, the simplon tunnel, 1906, is still up and running and there's no plan to build a better tunnel, one can say they did a durable work at this time).

The second tunnel, the biggest, is the St-Gothard one. 57 km under the Alpes Mountains, the longest in the world. (35 for the latter). 66% already done but the completion should occur around 2017...;) not tomorrow so to say. The averagge heigts is 550 m, against 1150 m for the actual line.
The trip between Zurich and Milan will take 2 hours 40, one hour less than now.

The extra tunnels you've mentionned belong to the St-Gothard project (the Zimmerberg (20 kms) and the Ceneri (15 kms) tunnels).

The two will be build but the Ceneri starts now, completed around 2018. The Zimmerberg should starts in 2006 too but has been suspended because of a cost overrun in the entire Alptransit project (now estimated at 22 Bil. CHF, around 18 bil. US$).

After reexaminating the projet, the Federal Concil (the Gov.) will decide to modify or not the initial project.



Sry for the images, i don't know how to show them properly, i'm not such a HTLM expert!!!

From the old tunnel, it's so beautiful


Quote: `...Therefore, they're trying to get the russian tied to their internal energy free trade market, what, i'm convinced, the Russia will never do...'

I am sure Russia would open its internal energy market in exchange of something big, and I mean really BIG.
-dissolution of the NATO by the European states
-elimination of the boarders between Russia and Europe
-creation of united Russia-Europe economy and defense alliance

About Switzerland, I'm not posting the answer to Alan's question for now (it wasn't adressed to me anyway), but something more general:

Many statistics of `energy use' (of whatever type) are flat-earth statistics.  That is, they assume a stable world, things as they are, and measure what is used by various countries, groups, sub sections, day by day, in the world as it exists now.  E.g. Industry, so much, transport, so much, households, so much, or subdivided, heating, so much. Etc. Both the past and the future are treated in the same terms.

In Switzerland, about  60% of all energy is used to build, maintain, service, and render habitable, buildings.  That includes heating, hot water, light, cooling and repairs, things like elevators; NOT the human activity inside them (cooking, factories, etc.), nor the roads / transport to reach them. That rough % is well known; official documents often say `more than 50%', or `about 45%' (there, something is subtracted or left out..).

Here, many know that reducing energy use means, no more building, and ultimately `doubling up.' Each person will have less `built space' though good organisation will reduce the pain (redefining Gvmt. buildings, shopping malls, crappy peri-urban areas, etc.)  

Links are official sites and in French, just to show that such numbers are part of mainstream 'energy' culture.



one conference on this topic:


Actually, i read that the average Swiss people ecological footprint was 5 Earth, so ..

I got dragged to that meeting in McLean by my girlfriend who lives in Tysons corner - walking distance from one of the proposed stations.  To be honest I wasn't paying close attention to the thing until recently other than to watch for signs of actual progress.  The Tysons area is really an eyesore to me, and there is nothing other than my girlfriend there that I find interesting.

All the folks at the meeting had a vested interest in a tunnel, of course.  That shouldn't have been a surprise.

In the end, a tunnel seems like a better option for the area.  I would rather see something like Wilson Blvd in Arlington that is pedestrian friendly.  An overhead structure will be an eyesore and an earsore as the steel wheels screech when the trains go around corners.

The tunnel option would be nice, and probably worth the extra $ in better TOD near the stations, if money was not an issue.

Federal funding is TIGHT  and hard to get.

Reality check.  Elevated or NOTHING !!  (Until the US starts funding Urban Rail with decent $).

I have been on and around the elevated 20 mile Miami Metro.  No noise except a pleasant whoosh (use large radius curves and heavy concrete structures).  Visually OK (I suggest planting palm trees all around, works well in Miami :-)  but not great.

I would support elevated through Tyson's Corner.  Post_Peak Oil elavted will be better than nothing.

Best Hopes,


Any comment on cost-effectiveness of one big tunnel vs two small ones, footnoted in the article?
Venezula built one big tunnel. Everyone else two in recent decades AFAIK.

 More rock removed (by x2) for one big tunnel vs two smaller ones. TBMs drill circular cross sections. One can fit a squarish rectangle Metro into a circle with minimal losses.  To fit two rectangles in leaves LOTS of empty space.

Two tunnels are safer as well.  Provide cross-walks between tunnels every few hundred feet for safety egress in case of fire, etc.

Cheapest way is one small TBM, drill one tunnel, turn around and drill the other.  Takes FOREVER, but it is cheapest.

TBMs are a b!tch to get going, but once going good are cheap.  Buy & start-up one TBM and not two.

Best Hopes,


Here is the graph GreyZone requested.

Texas vs. Saudi (Ver.2)

This is a link to the original discussion Westexas started on the subject.

Here is a link to my original graph yesterday that includes only a smaller 16-year time-frame.

Lets bring in a few graphs to help people visualize how Texas production compares to KSA production.  For starters:

This graph uses the daily average production per year for Texas oil production.  It includes the 1 year daily average, and the 5 year daily average rate to smooth out dramatic fluctuation's that so many of you seem to fixate on.  As you can see, Texas production on averaged increased at a fairly consistent rate until its production peak in 1972.

And now for a similar KSA graph:

This graph uses data taken from the EIA for average daily oil production in the KSA.  In also includes two categories: 1 year daily average and 5 year daily average.  Notice how KSA followed an exponential curve for its oil industry.

Finally, I'll include a combined graph that most people look at when viewing production from multiple regions:

Now, as you can see, there are very few similarities between both production regions when spread out over a similar time frame, but I thought I would try to do my best to compare both regions as Westexas seems to love to do:

Thats fairly amazing I must say.  Not only do the two production models seem to follow each other with remarkable correlation, they both experience a similar dip in production due to outside influences.  Not only that, but this dip seemed to occur right after each cartel 'flexed' their muscles.  But westexas has stated time and again that KSA will follow Texas and the lower 48 in general production wise fairly well, so I decided to do a 'peak to peak' comparison:

As you can see, there is very little correlation between both regions.  Texas had a very steady increase in average production over 4+ decades, while the KSA had an exponential increase in the span of less then 20 years.  Texas peaked in production in 1972(74 5 year) while the KSA peaked in 1980(81 5 year).

For both regions to truly be comparable, the peaks of each would have to match up followed by a fairly steady production decline into the future.  This simply seems to not be the case in regards to the KSA, as production rapidly declined and then increased almost as rapidly back up to very near its historical average production rate.

So, for one comparison plot you use a 25 year time lag between the regions, and for the other a 7 year time lag.


This criticism is unfair. He provided several graphs, including one with no lag. He also described what he was doing, which was comparing dips and peaks in those two. If you need to, please read the orginal threads to see why we are discussing this in this manner here.
OK, I won't just pick on him.

All comparisons of production vs. time for different regions, with or without a time lag, are meaningless. Different geology, different exploitation drivers, different political undercurrents, different world market, etc.

In contrast, an HL plot (total production vs. yearly production), upon which WT bases his statement that KSA is where Texas was (50% of Qt), will not be influenced similarly by these external factors. It does depend on the logistical model being correct, and I'm not the one to defend that position. It is one data point that suggests that KSA has a problem, but there are others (Ghawar water cuts, offshore drilling, voluntary production cuts) that add validity to this claim.

I don't care how good the graphs look, don't set up false straw men to knock down just to attack his (WT's) position.

"All comparisons of production vs. time for different regions, with or without a time lag, are meaningless. Different geology, different exploitation drivers, different political undercurrents, different world market, etc."

Oh, I think I would agree with that assessment. In fact, I would probably say that it is one of the most important points that has been made so far on the subject.

I'm a little shaky on what you mean by "time lag", but I don't think it matters, I think we are all talking about the same thing. We're just comparing production profiles for two regions for a certain time-frame which ends with their peak.

I don't think I'm setting up any straw men. And I'm not attacking WT's position. I know some people would like to believe that. There was an argument here the other day which I did not take part in, but as usual found rather humorous since nobody was presenting any data and just calling each other a bunch of names. I'm sorry if spending a few hours putting Texas and Saudi together on a graph so y'll could have something to argue about offended anybody :) I've been very careful not to draw any conclusions. In fact I've barely commented.

God why do I reply to such stupid posts. However....

There was no seven day war disruption that caused Texas oil production to dip. That dip was caused by the Texas Railroad Commission cutting back on the oil that producers were allowed to produce. Likewise there was no 1980s demand destruction of Saudi production. That dip was caused primarily by the Iran-Iraqi War and the resulting Tanker Wars which severly restricted oil flow through the Straits of Hormuz.

And the Texas peak should be compared with the Saudi peak in 2005, not the 1980 peak. True, that was Saudi's highest production year. But it would not have been the peak had it not been for the Iran-Iraqi war. Saudi peaked at 9,600,000 barrels per day, crude + condensate, in 2005. The resulting decline, that started in late 2005, was the result of depletion, not any kind of war.

A 7 day war disruption! God, where on earth did you come up with that one? The Middle East Six Day War was in 1966, not in 1964 where your arrow is, and it did not disrupt Texas oil production one iota.

Ron Patterson

Somebody mistakely called it the 7-day War yesterday. While I agree with most of this, I think we need to take a second look at this statement.

Likewise there was no 1980s demand destruction of Saudi production. That dip was caused primarily by the Iran-Iraqi War and the resulting Tanker Wars which severly restricted oil flow through the Straits of Hormuz.

I'm not saying you are wrong. I just know the history of 1980's oil production and demand (and price) and the different effects various geopolitical events had on different countries are still a subject of debate. While we focus on Saudi Arabia and the Gulf here, Russian production has to be taken into account as well. It is a complicated issue that can't be summed up in two sentences.

From wiki: Lloyd's of London, a British insurance market, estimated that the Tanker War damaged 546 commercial vessels and killed about 430 civilian mariners. The largest of attacks were directed by Iran against Kuwaiti vessels, and on November 1, 1986, Kuwait formally petitioned foreign powers to protect its shipping. The Soviet Union agreed to charter tankers starting in 1987, and the United States offered to provide protection for tankers flying the U.S. flag on March 7, 1987 (Operation Earnest Will and Operation Prime Chance). Under international law, an attack on such ships would be treated as an attack on the U.S., allowing the U.S. to retaliate militarily. This support would protect ships headed to Iraqi ports, effectively guaranteeing Iraq's revenue stream for the duration of the war.

From Pollack's 'The Persian Puzzle' : Iran struck 20 oil tankers in the Gulf,  15 of which were Kuwaiti.

Gulf Production staggered

We can see from this graph that Gulf production, especially Saudi's hit their lows in 1985.

The tanker war seems to have started during the Battles of Al-Faw and Al-Basrah in 1986.

Same Graph, different form:
Gulf Production stacked

Here is a brief synopsis of combined Iraqi, Iranian, Kuwaiti, and Saudi production from 1973 to 1990. This is on a monthly basis.

Almost 20mbpd in 1973. High of 22mbpd in 1976. 17,18, or 19mbpd in 1977 and 1978. Only dips to 16mbpd for a few months in late 1978 early 1979 during Iranian Revolution. Drops to 12mbpd for 2 months at start of Iran-Iraq War in late 1980. Drops as low as 7.6mbpd in 1983.  7.1mbpd in 1985. Ranges between 8 and 10mbpd until 1986. Moves up from there.

The price of oil hit a high in Feb 1981 of $39 a barrel. In 1985 it was about $27. In 1986 it went as low as $10. In 1987 it rebounded to about $19. That there was demand destruction in the late 70's and early 80's was accepted as fact, I thought. Whether this was the reason for Saudi production reaching as low as 3.5mbpd in February 1983, and 2.3 mbpd in August 1985. I'm not aware of any reasons why the Iran-Iraq war would have effected Saudi production to the degree you are claiming. Maybe someone can shed some light on this. At the height of the tanker war, it is hard to see the effect on Kuwaiti production.

maybe we could call it the six-or-seven day war
The 1956 Suez War only took 100 hours. When the 1991 Gulf War(ground portion) was going to end in about the same amount of time, there was a small dispute in the White House. Wolfowitz, of all people was the one to point out the potential problem.

[...] The 100-hr war was synonymous in the Arab world with Western and Israeli aggression. Wolfowitz told Cheney that anything would be better than 100 hours.
  Cheney conferred with Scowcroft and came back with a quip. Would Wolfowitz be happier if the war was ended at 99 hours? The Bush administration had not been aware of the historical associations and did not think the American public would care either.

pg 99, "The General's War" by Michael R. Gordon and General Bernard E. Trainor (1995)

sorry, pg. 424.
well at least that bush administration had the good sense to not try and occupy iraq
The six-day-war was in 1967 and is not (directly) related to any of this...

But that is when Israel took over the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights, thus perpetuating that conflict and eventually leading to, e.g., the 1973 war.

Why does the first graph start out (on the left) at about 10 mbpd and the second one at 20 mbpd?
The one has the country series "stacked" so they add up to 20.

The other shows the series all sitting on the same base, one in front of the other. So it shows the actual values for each of the individual countries. 10 is the highest for Saudi in this case. Some bottom parts of the 3 countries in back are hidden by those in front of them.

I should have done that one in 3-D, but I think I got some error when I tried and didn't feel like spending the time. It just allows you to see how much one country's increases may have compensated for another's decreases in a different way.

Thanks.  Now I get it.  Instead of 3-D, how about simply making it a line graph, with each line a different color or something, but without the opaque panels between the lines and the X-axis?
Oh yeah, I could have. It's just that after you have the actual data together and make the graph you have to go through this whole process of turning it into an image and making sure all the fonts and everything are viewable and then hosting it before you can post it here. It takes some time and my actual Windows explorer has been crashing everytime I do this image thing for some reason. So it takes too long to redo the actual image. I usually settle on some color scheme and design pretty early and then get used to it. Everybody likes something different. I have to guess what the majority of people would prefer(which is usually wrong).

I play around a lot with the variations and country/product combinations on my own in excel. In the future I hope to host my actual raw excel data/chart files so people can play with the graphs themselves.

What I meant to say was -Whether this was the reason for Saudi production reaching as low as 3.5mbpd in February 1983, and 2.3 mbpd in August 1985, I don't know.

Simmons argues on pages 65-67 that these massive unilateral (within OPEC) cutbacks were the result of the Saudis deliberately resting their fields. He starts the section -

"As soon as tightness in global oil markets eased and the price of oil began to fall, Saudi Arabia started throttling back its high production rates as fast as possible...

...Outside observers assumed the cutbacks were simply a vain effort to prop up the price of oil..."

Either way, there seems, at least according to Simmons, to have been demand destruction.

Iraq/Iran war ... and us/britain
Visibility links

Eric Margolis [send him mail], contributing foreign editor for Sun National Media Canada has an idea about what to do about it.

In 1980, the US and Britain engineered Saddam Hussein's invasion of Iran in an attempt to crush its new revolutionary Islamic government. That war inflicted nearly one million casualties on Iran. President Ahmadinejad led volunteers in the war.

Saddam should face trial for his many crimes, but in a proper legal venue, under full western and international law. The trial should be moved at once to the UN tribunal at the Hague. A fair trial will establish an important international legal precedent.
Dead dictators tell no tales. If allowed to fully testify, Saddam would reveal the whole sordid story of America's long, intimate collaboration with his regime, and how the U.S. and British governments of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher encouraged, armed and financed Iraq to invade Iran.

After getting Saddam to invade Iran in 1980, and funding the ensuing eight-year Iran-Iraq war, the U.S. now watches helplessly as Iran slowly ingests large portions of Iraq.

For a start, consider Iran. The 1980-88 war with Iraq saw an astonishing sacrifice of life. Not the least astonishing was the Iranian technique for clearing mines: It has now become accepted folklore that Iranian military leaders marched children through the minefields, with everyone content in the knowledge that those who died would get a quick passage to heaven.

John Gray, Canadian journalist

1 http://www.prosefights.org/larryeverest/larryeverest.htm
2 http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=15&ItemID=2292
3 http://www.proseights.org/buehlerpayne/buehlerpayne.html
4 http://www.jya.com/nsasuit.txt,
http://cryptome.quintessenz.at/mirror/whp122397.htm [Austria] or http://www.prosefights.org/cibolafraud/nsasuit.txt
5 http://www.aci.net/kalliste/speccoll.htm
6 http://biphome.spray.se/laszlob/cryptoag/buehler-tape.htm
7 http://www.prosefights.org/baltimoresun/shanebowman.htm

As you can see, Texas production on averaged increased at a fairly consistent rate until its production peak in 1972.

Nope, can't see it.

I see a steady increase from 1 to 3 million b/day in the 21/22 years from 1935 to ~1956/57, then a modest dip to 2.5 million b/day and then another peak 15 years later in 1972 at 3.5 million b/day.  Two quite seperate trends, one about 22 years long, the other about 15 years.

KSA also shows two trends,  The steady increase trend to 10 million b/day from 1.25 million (comparable to the Texas climb from 1 to 3 million b/day), then a dip.

Shift your KSA chart on the last graph so that the KSA 10 million absolute peak lines up 4 years before the Texas 3 million sub-peak.  Then the KSA sub-peak of 9.x million will line up about 3 years after the Texas absolute peak of 3.5 million b/day.  Use 5 year averaging if you like (pretty good idea when seeking trends :-)

I appears to me that the "peak to peak" (undulating plateau to use CERA speak) for KSA is a half dozen years longer than Texas.

Texas had it's "undulating plateau" years from ~1956 to 1972.  KSA had it's undulating plateau years from ~1982 to 2005.  16 years peak to peak vs. 23 years peak to peak.  Russia's peak to peak may be a few years longer still.

Adding the 3rd "double peaker" of Russia and 4th of Mexico would add even more interest !

Interesting that all 4 will have their absolute & secondary peaks within 15%.

Thanks for the hard work !!

I really mean that,

Best Hopes for Reality,


I also want to say thanks for your hard work, and thank the both of you for restraining the ad hominem attacks.
Take a look at the 2nd to last graph.  I lined up the production in such a manner.
Look at the second to last graph yourself, that you produced!! Are you blind? Do you not see the multiple peaks in Texas production based on political factors? And look at the same data I made available in yesterday's drum beat here. My graph (not conveniently averaged to hide actual spikes as yours is) shows four actual peaks, one in 1948, one from 1951-1953, then another dip and another peak in 1956, and the final ultimate peak in 1972. Texas production yo-yo'ed all over the map for political reasons just as Saudi Arabia's did yet the HL prediction for the US, using only pre-peak data has accurately predicted US production to 99% accuracy. The same technique has accurately predicted Russian production using data up to the first Russian peak to 95% accuracy.

And that was the original point - that both producers fluctuated below max production based on political factors yet they STILL fit the HL predictions for future oil production!! And that point was WT's point - that the HL method still worked.

By using 5 year averages you deliberately obscure the direct impact of both cartels (Texas RRC and OPEC) in order to bolster your false point yet even then you still fail.


What in blazes are you talking about regarding the "Seven Day War" disruption?

As Darwinian noted, the Six Day War occurred later than you have it shown(actually in 1967, not 1966).  

The 1967 War was the second of two attempted Arab oil embargoes.  The first was in 1956.  The first two failed because Texas briefly flooded the markets with oil.  By the time the third Arab oil embargo rolled around, Texas was in decline, and could no longer affect markets by increasing produciton.

If you are going to label a graph as "Westexas' graph," you should have the intellectual honesty to line it up the same way we did in our paper--Texas in 1972 lined up with KSA in 2005.  Otherwise, label it as what it is, your graph.

I am especially pissed off at having my name attached to some historically bogus graph. Can we have some kind of editorial intervention here?

I just added labels to the graph to show what disruptive events were taking place.  I used generalized terms instead of trying to pinpoint the specifics.  You should also note that I included a quip about the TRRC 'flexing' its cartel muscles.  I guess people cant read and instead can only look at pretty pictures to critique them.

Now, as you can see, there are very few similarities between both production regions when spread out over a similar time frame, but I thought I would try to do my best to compare both regions as Westexas seems to love to do

My point was that KSA in 2005 was at about the stage of depletion that Texas was at in 1972.  This was not based on sliding production graphs around until they fit.  It was based on the fact that they are at about the same stage of depletion, based on HL modelling.  So again, when you are misrepresenting the work that Khebab and I did, why the hell does the graph have "Westexas" on it?

Aslo, precisely what effect was the Six Day War, which you misplaced by about several years, supposed to have on Texas production?

Thats just a label to help people identify events of the time, its not meant to say 'the 6 day war was the sole cause of production decline in Texas on this exact year'.

Saudi production has been all over the place over the past 20 years, and if you bother to look at the graph and numbers, you would see that they artificially held their production at virtually the same rate from about 1990 through 2002, or a decade or so.  Taking that into account, its very irresponsible of you to use a HL model to predict their URR, as the date set would be skewed by artificial limits on production.

Saudi production has been all over the place over the past 20 years, and if you bother to look at the graph and numbers, you would see that they artificially held their production at virtually the same rate from about 1990 through 2002, or a decade or so.  Taking that into account, its very irresponsible of you to use a HL model to predict their URR, as the date set would be skewed by artificial limits on production.


Unlike you, Oil CEO showed a graph which accurately represents the point that we made in the Texas/Lower 48 article.  Are you seriously going to tell me that you don't see a strong similarly between Saudi production from about 1991 to 2006 and Texas production from about 1958 to 1973?

The HL method estimates the URR for a region.  Texas was the swing producer prior to Saudi Arabia.  Saudi Arabia is declining at the same stage of depletion, based on HL, that Texas started declining.  This is not surprising given the fact that the Saudi's largest field, which at one time accounted for more than half of their production, is quickly watering out.

The only similarity I see is that you view each country to be a 'swing' producer in that time frame.  Saudi production has been artificially held FLAT since the early 90s, and at the similar time frame for Texas, production was steadily increasing towards their second peak.

Again, the HL line is skewed in light of the fact that Saudi production has been flat and has NOT been increasing until the last 2-3 years.  Because of this, its going to give you a lower URR no matter how you try to spin it, WT.

Neither one of you is going to convince the other. Or at least not tonight. And an online forum. Typing. Well, that's probably not the best way to do it. There's too much bad blood between you as well.

Hothgor, please, step back, take a deep breath, work on the numbers, the history, your argument. Give it a day or two. Tackle something else in the meantime. Some people here may agree with you, but right now the only thing you are really doing is pissing-off a bunch of the crowd. You are in too much of a rush.

That's ultimately not going to work well for you. Because having someone in the peanut gallery call you a troll every two seconds is seriously annoying. Trust me. Learn from my experience. You'll end up spending more time swatting at flies than making your case.

Oil CEO,

Why are you carrying water for this guy? You are trying very hard to be both his defender and his handler.

The only person to use the word troll in this drumbbeat has been you. Most everyone has been restricting themselves to calling Hothgar wrong (which he very clearly is).

You are right, Hothgar should call it a night. But not because he can't convince WT but because he's just plain wrong.

You should keep this distinction in mind as you defend Hothgar.

I'm not defending him. If I was defending him, he would have won any argument by now:) I'm just giving him a chance. I will keep the distinction in mind. I'm glad to see you've stopped calling people trolls. We are making progress. Spread the word.

I just call them as I see them.
He's stopped his trollish comments so I stopped calling him a troll.

Its not about giving him a chance. Its about being honest in your arguments.
He's claiming he can see no similarities between Texas and SA. But his very own graphs (after you clean them up and align them properly) show a very clear simularity. Exactly what WT said they did.

Why don't you let him stand on his own? If he posts crap then let him take his lumps like he deserves.

And you are right, we are making progress. He does seem to be learning. He just has a long long way to go.

I do let him stand on his own. I'm not even agreeing with him. I'm supporting his right not to be trashed by people on the sidelines. I did the graph for me and for those who were clamoring for them yesterday. Greyzone asked for an addition on one, so I did it. Neither Greyzone nor Hothgor liked them, so they did their own. Westexas liked mine, though. Now everybody's happy. What's the big deal.

OK. Now if you ask me this question - and I'll just state it here, so I'm clear as to the extent of what we are talking about - this is what I see.

Do you see similarities between the 30-year production profiles of TX and SA?

Yes, but I also see differences. The forces, factors, decisions, and events altering those profiles are completely different(as another TODer pointed out earlier). The number of rigs and wells, the technology involved, the experience and expertise of the workforce are different, the motives of the management - there are really some key differences. In the end, I can't necessarily see that either the similarities or the differences are going to lead you to any type of conclusion that will prove to be correct.

But the original argument was really more about whether the profiles(i.e. two lines on a graph) looked similar. I think. Is anybody sure? But as it occurred, nobody was looking at a graph(I could be wrong about that, Jeffrey mentioned an article he had written). So for me it was really about illustrating an argument for myself. And while Jeffrey may be right in many respects, It wouldn't have played out for me the way it did without Hothgor.

I would have never been curious about Texas' production yesterday, probably would have done something productive today instead of spend half of it in front of the computer with my stupid oil books spread out all over the floor.

We'll look back a few years from now and I'm pretty sure the situation will be one of only two possibilities: we(or our replacements) will either be having the exact same discussion, or it will have turned out the issue of Texan and Saudi production is completely irrelevant.

But we'll all be experts in the matter.

No Oil CEO. The original argument was made by Hothgor that Texas produced "all out" during its history while Saudi Arabia was influenced by political factors. WT stated that both were influenced by political factors yet Texas post-1972 was accurately predicted by the HL technique using data only up to 1972 (to within 99%). WT also pointed out that despite these cartel factors, the HL method was highly accurate in predicting future consumption for Texas and thus a good case could be made that it would be accurate about Saudi Arabia.

Hothgor has since done everything except piss in the wind in an attempt to distort the original discussion, claiming WT stated that the two "matched" when WT said no such thing, deliberately using 5 year averages to obscure the actual political peaks in the Texas historical data, and a variety of other silly tactics.

You are right - Hothgor should shut up and take a few days off to reconsider both his argument and his data because the data clearly shows he was wrong.


I'm no oil historian here (and obviously neither are you) but,

Looking at the graph you made, it looks like texas had a similiar flat spot where oil was held down politically arond 1964. The point you labled the 7 day war. Texas oil production then increased until its peak in '71.

SA is now steadily increasing from its political steady state to its peak right about now.

The HL wasn't skewed in Texas, why would it be in SA?
And the only person spinning here is you. You're argument would be a lot better if you weren't so intellectualy dishonest.

There isn't a 'flat spot' on the Texas graph.  It very clearly follows an increasing production rate, and has 2 separate peaks at two distinct times.  If you look at the KSA graph, you will notice that their production since the early 90s has remained roughly flat: it neither increases or decreases.

The way HL work is based on a simple relationship between X years production vs total cumulative production.  What happens when a country artificially limits their growth at the same rate for a long time frame, despite the fact that they could have produced more?  You create an artificial trend line.  This UNDERESTIMATES total URR for the region.  If the KSA was producing all out since the early 90s, this would not be the case, but its very important for global modelers to take into account.

If you like, I can create a HL for Texas production as it stood, and one for Texas production that was artificially limited at some rate below the actual peak.  Would that help to explain why this distinction is so important?

There isn't a 'flat spot' on the Texas graph.  It very clearly follows an increasing production rate, and has 2 separate peaks at two distinct times

Are you kidding me. Right there in the early sixties (where you marked the 7 day war) Texas oil production does not increase. It stays the same for several years. It then goes on to rise for a second peak.

You can't make this kind of crap up. Unbelieveable. Its your own friggin graph for crying out loud!

Rethin, you are apparently as stupid as you are blind:

Please, please, PLEASE note what a flat production rate looks like. On this graph, production from KSA remains flat over the span of ~15 years from the early 90s to the present.  See that average trend at the end?  See how its flat?  See how it doesn't increase or decrease by much until you get to the data from the last couple of years?

Now please compare it to my Texas production:

No tell me for the love of god WHERE Texas production remains artificially fixed at the same rate for ~15 years.  I seem to have missed it.  I'm sure your going to state that production in Texas was supposedly flat from 1955 to 1960, as the average shows you.  But look carefully: its increasing every year until its peak around 1970!  Not only that, but the curve is so great it goes up from 2.5 mbpd to almost 3.5 mbpd!!

A one million barrel per day down and upswing between 1955 and 1970 != a steady production rate.  A decade long production rate of 8 million barrels per day does.

Perhaps I simply have dirt in my eyes.  Perhaps I am going blind.  Or perhaps your full of crap and you know it.

Yes Hothgor, Texas oil production was flat for the early part of the '60's in your graph. Just like SA was flat in the 90's

I'm just reading your graph for this info. Its right there in front of you. I'm not going to get into an argument about the definition of flat, and if Texas's production is flat enough to be called flat.

I'm just pointing out that by looking at your graphs Texas and SA oil production is very very similiar.

Are you seriously going to tell me that you don't see a strong similarly between Saudi production from about 1991 to 2006 and Texas production from about 1958 to 1973?


The fact that you do not have the intellectual honesty to admit to the obvious similarities between Texas and KSA during the referenced time periods speaks volumes.  

In any case, I was not comparing Texas and KSA based on sliding production graphs around.  I was comparing them based on the HL technique and based on the fact that these two regions were the two swing producers.

I would remind everyone that Hothgor's initial objection to using Khebab's (BP) data base for a world HL plot was that he would get "the same results" as Khebab.  In other words, he preferred his fabricated estimate of earlier cumulative production, because it gave him the answer he wanted.

The only way to make a 'comparison' as you noted was the skew the time frame for each production region to attempt to match them up.  Multiple people commented about how I shouldn't have done so, and I myself used that as an argument tool simply to frame how you seem to be viewing the two regions from a production standpoint.  When I gave you the peak to peak comparison, you scoffed at it and stated I was simply wrong.  Until there is a second peak in KSA, it will be impossible to compare the two regions.
The second peak in KSA was in 2005.


Yes.  The last year we have a complete 1 year production history from.

Very clever.

Do you expect a gusher of oil from KSA in the next 5 weeks, enough oil to set a new all time monthly production record ?

If not, 2005 > 2006.  2005 is the secondary peak.

Yes, I am clever :-)


No, I don't.  But I also don't expect KSA to have reached their peak in 2005.  For Sundays drumbeat, I will prove it using an HL from another region of comparison and the 50% Qt threshold.

Stay tuned :)

very irresponsible of you to use a HL model to predict their URR, as the date set would be skewed by artificial limits on production


URR is ultimately recoverable reserves.

It is not a date.

WT is making the very valid point that the Peak Date is NOT at 50% of URR due to those skewed production data.  He suggests (from memory) that the skewed production date occurs around 57% of URR instead of 50% precisely due to the surpressed production earlier.

57% of URR as the peak is the number from memory, it may be a couple % off from that.

Gee, you agree with WT and did not even know it :-)


Thats just a label to help people identify events of the time, its not meant to say 'the 6 day war was the sole cause of production decline in Texas on this exact year'.

Your graph--with my name on it--said "Seven Day War Disruption,"  with an arrow pointing toward 1964.  It appears that you were referring to the Six Day War in 1967.

Question:  what was disrupted?  

Texas production?  

Is it your claim that the misplaced and misidentified Six Day War at least partially caused Texas oil production to decline?

Let me give you an alternative explanation.  During the early Sixites, most oil wells in Texas were limited to only producing 8 days out of 30.  

Thats just a label to help people identify events of the time, its not meant to say 'the 6 day war was the sole cause of production decline in Texas on this exact year'.

Now you are just making shit up to cover up for such a stupid mistake. You cuould gain far more respect by just being honest instead of lying.

We know you are just a kid trying to play in the big leagues. Just be honest and you will fare far better.

Ron Patterson

Yes, because I clearly thought that the 6 day war was actually a 15 year event, that everyone in the world simply mislabeled (laughs).  Honestly, your only making yourself look bad by trying to make a mountain out of what I added to the graph.

One again, those 2 labels are simply there to suggest SOME of the geopolitical events that were at play.  They are not the only reasons or the exact reasons, and to state that they are is foolish.  Go troll on another thread.

Kyle was the first to use the term 7-day war in Tuesday's discussion. Nobody seemed to mind then. Alan referenced a 1966 embargo, yesterday I believe. I don't know anything about that one. This could be the root of the confusion.
Typos and small memory slips are more or less accepted here, especially for posters in good standing.

Yes it was the 1967 Six Day War.  My error in saying 1966.  Hoyhgor's error in saying Seven Day War.  One SHOULD strive for accuracy on TOD.  I try to state (from memory) or similar when I have not double checked a fact (It is easy to do via Google).

Per my 14 year old memory, there was a reduction of oil shipments during the six days of war, but the much larger effect was the closure of the Suez Canal.  Europe experienced a shortfall of oil previously shipped via the canal.  Increased shipments from Venezula and increased Texas production helped stabilize the situation until the new longer supply lines (a shortage of tankers resulted as well) could stabilze.

Best Hopes,


No, definitely. And you are a member in good standing. I wasn't trying to nitpick anybody's errors. In fact, I wish we could all just get along. I'm trying to clear up all the confusion.

Prior to this whole discussion, starting a few weeks ago, I started looking very closely at the history of prices, production, and geopolitical events on a monthly basis. I'm making (among my other projects) an excel spreadsheet encompassing everything. Soon(and when I say soon I mean probably six months) I hope to be able to distribute these. Production, price, and events are often listed and chronicled in book indexes and obviously on the web. But rarely together. At least I've never seen it.

Cause and effect in this particular case stills seems to be a matter of debate. Authors are constantly debunking and reinterpreting conventional wisdom and history when it comes to oil. I don't doubt what people are saying here about the sixties, but I've got to see the details myself. Think I'll go see what 'Twilight' has to say (for the twentieth time).

Which reminds me. One of my biggest hangups with Simmons' book is its lack of footnotes and endnotes. What, he just knew that stuff? Compare it in this case with other books of the same genre or even most decent history books. Maybe I'm making too much of it.

Did you know they originally wanted to name Operation Iraqi Freedom - Operation Iraqi Liberation(OIL)? True fact. Talk about errors! Whoa. I wonder who caught that one.

wow..dem were the days..texas a swing producer..imagine that!
Oil CEO:  

This could be the root of the confusion.

No, the root of the confusion is how the hell the Six Day War, which he misplaced by several years, was supposed to have some kind of long term impact on Texas production.

The 1967 War was the second of two attempted Arab oil embargoes.  The first was in 1956.  The first two failed because Texas briefly flooded the markets with oil.  By the time the third Arab oil embargo rolled around, Texas was in decline, and could no longer affect markets by increasing production.

Can someone source the events in this paragraph. With wiki or Google or something. I'm just curious. I can't find anything on them and unfortunately I've leant out my copy of everybody's favorite book,'The Prize.'

By John D. Ciorciari

Meanwhile, the United States and its allies suffered little from the embargo, as at that time domestic production and imports from other regions could comfortably compensate for the loss of Arab oil. [33] As Saudi officials had warned since late June, the embargo was a relative failure in punishing the West. [34] On September 2, Saudi Arabia became the first Arab country to put a complete end to its embargo, and others soon followed. [35] Throughout the embargo, Saudi behavior conveyed the same essential message with respect to the United States. The kingdom would make a show of disapproval strong enough to satisfy local and Arab audiences, but not strong enough to jeopardize its long-term U.S. alignment.

Thank you.

Regarding the 1956 War (The Suez Crisis):

After Saudi Arabia started an oil embargo against Britain and France, the U.S. refused to fill the gap, until Britain and France agreed to a rapid withdrawal.

The point of this historical exercise was that Texas could and did briefly ramp up production during the 1956 and 1967 crises.  When the 1973 embargo rolled around, Texas had started its terminal decline.

By the same token, KSA ramped up production when circumstances warranted--until late 2005, when they could not ramp up production to make up for the hurricane damage to the Gulf production facilites.

Mathematically, as a percentage of depletion, KSA in 2006 is at about the same point that Texas started declining in 1973.

All of this started when Hothgor amazaingly--and falsely-- asserted that Texas had produced at full capacity up until it peaked.  At the time, this was his sole objection to using Texas as a model for KSA.  

Since Texas, like KSA, was producing for long periods of time at less than capacity, Hothgor had to come up with new objections to using Texas as a model for KSA--thus his graphs above, which have nothing whatsoever to do with any points that I have been making.  

All of this was compounded by his bizarre claim that the misidentifed and misplaced Six Day War had some kind of long term impact on Texas oil production.

Me, I'm still up in the air about Saudi. I'm not convinced they are finished. But we don't need to get into that.

Hothgor - There were some problems with his posts. This is true. He has been abrasive. OK. I'm not sure if his claims have been necessarily any more bizarre then others we have seen here. Graphs are good. Just needs to read some history. I can help with that. If he'd supply an email address I'll send him a comprehensive Middle-East bibliography tomorrow.

I'm willing to forgive. Nobody needs to forget. Let's all try to make an effort to get along. I'm not willing to attribute dishonest motives to his mistakes. Whether you and others do, is your decision.

Hopefully he is learning from his mistakes and/or working on a better argument.

As for you, Westexas, I hope you understand that being told you are wrong and maintaining your sanity while defending yourself is only good for you, it can only help. This won't be the last time. Next time you can ignore what is obviously nonsense and spend more time focused on the attack. Frustrating, I know, but you come out better. You can't tell me you didn't learn anything here. Ever think about writing a book?

You get too much praise here anyway :) You need to be challenged once in a while. Give it a few months, the two of you will probably end up friends. (Alright, maybe that was going too far).

Good Luck and thanks for the reading material. AngryChimp's conspiracy stuff is going to have to wait.

Jeffery,  Hubbert took a lot of crap from what I've read. I admire your courage.  IMHO TPTB do not want to deal with this nor do they want to have it dealt with - the stakes are very high.  
The "rear view mirror" vindicated Hubbert and Pres. Carter...I think this will always be the case.  
Some of the investment people you mentioned (I can't remember thier names) obviously realize something is up.
Look at Russian and Chinese political/energy moves - very strong indeed.  Someone knows the score.
There is no way to "win" with some people especially if this could be thier job. Realize also in later years there will be some people who will blame you for not doing more - you are damned if you do and damned if you don't.
The problems with energy will take center stage soon enough. There is far too much information out there now (ie. Hirsch, etc.)
You will have to wait a bit more for geology to catch up...just like Hubbert. This is "sound bite time" vrs "geological time" - very difererent scales.


Westexas is not saying KSA and Texan production mirrored each other, he said both operated under systems of external constraint that meant they were not always being produced at the maximum possible rate. This is an indisputable fact of history. He has suggested that the fact that HL held up in this periodically constrained scenario in the one case makes it likely to apply in the other, especially since HL seems rather robust when you also look at other areas. Your charts don't address this question and can neither support nor refute his position. Only time will tell for sure, but currently, in fact, the KSA production numbers are unquestionably supporting (but not yet proving) westexas' position. Whether this is due to peaking as he says or market constraints as RR would say will only be borne out through the test of time.
I would like to remind everyone that our good friend Hothgor's assertion was that Texas could not be used as a model for KSA because he claimed that Texas produced at capacity (at 100% of allowable) up until it peaked.

As Peakearl pointed out, this is simply not true.  This follows Hothgor's previous assertion that US natural gas production did not peak in 1973. (In Hothgor's world, gas that is not transported off a producing lease and not delivered to markets should be counted as "gas production.")  This followed his use of fabricated erroneous world oil production data to bolster his attacks on the HL method (when I suggested that he simply use the same data base as Khebab, he initially refused, using the novel excuse that he would come up with the same results as Khebab).

In any case, the Texas RRC, in effect, controlled the world oil price, within limits, from about 1935 to 1972, when it was succeeded by KSA as the new swing producer.  

In regard to the HL method, the primary purpose is to estimate the area under a production rate versus time graph, i.e., an estimate of Ultimate Recoverable Reserves.  

Based on the HL method, KSA, in 2005, was at about the same stage of depletion at which Texas peaked before it started permanently declining, which is why I think that it makes sense to line Texas, in 1972, up with KSA, in 2005.  As we warned in the following article, KSA, in 2006, is now showing lower production:  http://www.energybulletin.net/16459.html

As I noted yesterday, not only was KSA not able to show higher production after the hurricanes last year, KSA production actually started falling, thus the emergence of the new "swing producer," the release of oil and petroleum products from emergency reserves.

Again, let's review some facts

The Texas RRC went to a 100% allowable in 1972 (with the exception of a couple of fields).  The next year, Texas started a long term decline.

KSA, in 2005, was not able to ramp up production after the hurricanes, i.e., they went to a 100% allowble with no positive production response.  

Mathematicaly (based on the HL method), KSA in 2005 was about where Texas was at in 1972, in terms of depletion.

KSA, in 2006, is showing lower year over year production, just like Texas in 1973.  

As I noted before, Hothgor's comments are so patently filled with false and/or misleading information, that I have almost concluded that his purpose is to make the cornucopians look bad.  If I were in the cornucopian camp, my thought would literally be, "With friends like this, who needs enemies."

  WT, I think Hothgor is trying to act in a much more civilised manner. He's a bright kid and trying hard. I also know that he wrote a bunch of disparaging and unnecessary comments a couple of weeks ago.Don't rise to the bait!
He's a bright kid and trying hard.

When someone suggests that Texas produced at maximum capacity up until production peaked in 1972, I would not call them "bright and trying hard."  

  WT, he's 22 years old and lives in Longview. The RRC stoped regulating production in 1972, 12 years before he was born. His writing style is often abrasive, and I think he owes you an apology for his behaviour in the past and needs to stop focusing on your theories.
   But he's also quite bright. How many guys (or gals) his age do you know with an interest in the oil business, or mathematics, or economic theories, let alone some fairly credible comments ? He's a great researcher, although he needs to ask questions more often rather than making assertions hat are hard to prove. I think he could actually be of use to the peak oil position-the five years that you differ on the timing just isn't very much in the context of 150 years of oil production. I'm not telling you to adopt him, just ease up, because I see a change in his behaviour since Professorr Goose's post.
See my most recent post above.
You're right, but sometimes being right isn't worth the grief. Is he really worth raising your blood pressure and interfering with your digestion of all those great leftover turkey sandwiches?...I thought not.
  As an afterthought, I think the current behaviour of oil prices reenforces your theory that Saudi is past their peak. They announced big cuts and the market didn't respond, because investors are intuiting that they can't raise production to bring down prices.  
I remember being 22 in grad school aggravating the hell out of my professors doing detailed and somewhat manic research.
I'm still amazed that some profs had patience with me. Some kicked me right out the door. Both approaches had good effects.
Writers who are abrasive because they need attention are a cross to bear. Maybe. Writers who are abrasive because they're just assholes deserve whatever they get. Jury out on young Hothgor.

Hothgar-type posts have to be repsonded to otherwise inaccurate information becomes appended to TOD.  Posts such as his can be used to discredit the serious work done by other posters if cherry-picked.

Ya, many of us were once young but we didn't try to play in the big leagues.


  I agree, we all need to respond to inaccuracies. Its just I don't think vituperative responses have a place here.
Maybe I'm a hopeless romantic hippy liberal commie rat, but I believe responding to someone's positive comments in a gentlemanly (or ladylike) fashion and noting positive changes like I've been trying to do with our friend Hothgar will help change his behaviour. At any rate, I'm more comfotableith that attitude. Peace, friends!
I think we'd get along of we ever met.
Copy of a post yesterday by richlev:

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.

BTW, I haven't checked the Saudi stock market lately, but it was pretty interesting that it crashed at the same time that the real decline Saudi production kicked in.  At the time, the stock market crash was attributed to heavy selling by Saudi "insiders," i.e., predominantly members of the royal family I would expect.  

I think there were several people who pointed out that KSA production was already being cut in September.  It wasn't just going to decline automatically by 320,000 bpd on Nov 1.
Just curious - what do you think the situation in KSA is?
Theroritically, they can cut production overnight, it's just a question of floodgate..
Meanwhile, our favorite Veep is in KSA for a little visit. Now, what could they be talking about?
Nothing to do with oil, war, or geopolitics, JoulesBurn!
That would leave only "hunting".

What's the season om lawyers in Saudi? How do you clean 'em after you shoot them? There's dozens of Coonasses jusr waiting for a good recipe.
Thanks for the fine humour, guys!  It makes life better to laugh a little!
This can't be the Veep - look how high that gun is pointed...
I was an external consultant in the IT area to Aramco for a brief period in 1980. It was well-known at that time that the payroll system was entirely based on the national category of the employee. A colleague was working on that system.
If I remember rightly, Americans came at the very top, followed by Brits/Australians/Canadians followed by other West Europeans etc. At the bottom were Bangaladeshis and Africans. Please don't ask me for the exact sequence but I am sure there are some readers out there who know it.
An employee's salary and all other benefits (holidays, accommodation, healthcare etc.) depended on his (there were no hers) position on this list.
BTW, I was given 24 hours to leave the country and my contract was terminated "without prejudice". I think someone reported that I had a airstewardesses visiting me at the Dharan Marriott - where they also stayed. I knew these ladies as I had worked for a number of airlines previously as a consultant.
This link is for expat in regards to his comments yesterday concerning disagreement over Venezuelan oil production and the fact that most of Venezuela's oil and oil-products end up coming to the United States.

I believe you are correct. The data seems to be available, it just depends on taking the time to compile it and analyze it.

Check out this page that the EIA has. I finally spent some time trying to find it. It is somewhat buried in an "other" section. It list all US imports by tanker, product, company, and country of origin.

I think in the case of Venezuela, and probably just as likely with places like Iran and Nigeria, bogth sides are using the excuse of non-transparency to either drive up the price of oil, attack the other side politically, or both.

Company Level Imports

Let's say you are a company making ONE product only, one that everyone needs and everyone has to buy and use. Let's call it the Must-Buy Widget, for which demand is quite inelastic and alternatives few.

Furthermore, there aren't all that many other companies making this product in significant numbers, maybe another dozen.

You are the CEO of Widgets-R-Us, one of the aforementioned dozen:

  1. Would you want to supply the hapless buyers with detailed information concerning your production and pricing mechanisms?

  2. Would you want to collude with the other 11?

  3. Is your name:
a) Ahmed
b) Juan
c) Boris
d) All of the above?

There is as much chance of obtaining real, verifiable data on oil and gas production outside the US, Canada and the UK as there is from the Widget-R-Us company. Even for those three you have to carry a salt shaker.


I agree totally. But you also have to remember that there are import/export controls and taxes to be paid. So at some point product is going through at least one check-point where it is being counted, (at least one hopes, in the US at least). And that this counting is free from company manipulation.

I haven't written about it before, but I believe the Nigerians are usually full of it. No matter what they say "at the time," months later their official numbers always show their production to have been higher than what they claim. I think they thrive on making the world think that rebels are always disrupting their pruduction and that their production is soon to drop even more. This only helps them, as it simply drives up the price of their one product(which they continue to produce in fairly steady volumes). The best way to figure out how much oil Nigeria is actually producing is to audit the Western companies that are producing and exporting it all. Nigerians seem to have very little to do with their own oil. Aside from receiving bribes to turn the other way.

And, of course, Venezuela is a Democratic paradise.

Hmmmm let's see:

these are the world's major oil importers

I will grant you the first 4 on the list are law abiding, tax payers. The rest? Fuggedabouddit....

As for Nigeria - plundering comes to mind, with everyone involved doing their best to get the most before the hammer comes down. And yes, I do think that Nigeria is likely to suffer the sort of 'above ground' shocks which cause production difficulties - if only because an even more ruthless set of kleptocrats will decide to get their hooks into the business in a few years - China comes to mind, for example.

Just because the U.S. has bungled a few regime changes in oil producing countries in the last few years doesn't mean that others will (democracy is doing great in those countries America helped, with Chavez holding yet another democratic election, and Iraqi purple fingers laying wherever the car bombs leave them).

That is interesting - leaving aside various definition questions of what is produced/exported, according to the DOE figures, Venezuela was exporting 2.5 mbpd of crude/products in August, 2006 to the U.S. alone. Certainly, America was not the only country receiving imports, and equally certainly, the Venezuelans consume a (growing) portion of their own oil production - though a quick search did not lead to any hard numbers, Chavez being a believer in democracy, but not transparency it seems. (Based on the information at http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/nonopec.html, let's just guess 300 kbpd internal consumption - not exactly a figure from thin air, but a very, very rough estimate.)

As said, a game is afoot, but it is hard to grasp what the players themselves likely don't understand. And this also means that though there is no reason to believe Chavez and 3.3 mbpd, the publicly stated 2.5 mbpd day figure is obviously incorrect - unless the DOE is inflating America's Venezuelan imports, which I just can't find a reason to do, try as I might right this second.

The numbers are not only being crunched, they are being crumbled. Worrisome, at least in terms of having a public discussion based on facts, and not wild guesses. Though the wild guesses are the most fun.

The link you posted does not work because you put a commah at the end. Try this one:

Ron Patterson

I submit that the oil business is so shrouded in secrecy that making anything more than poorly educated guesses on the overall numbers is a waste of time. Official numbers are produced and supplied to fit the wishes and plans of the King, Czar, Mullah, El Presidente, Emir or Chief.  

Saudi #
Russia #
Iran #
Mexico #
Venezuela #
Kuwait #
Nigeria #
# Not eligible for membership in the Peoria Better Business Bureau.

C'mon...Does anyone REALLY think any of the # countries are supplying their real numbers, consistently?

If anyone does, I have this net energy fusion device that my 10 year-old just came up with and I am currently accepting private equity investors. Cheap. While it lasts.

P.S. I have only one little, but factual example. Shortly after the US invaded Iraq (ver. II) oil tankers were lining up at Basrah loading crude. No bills of lading, no papers, nothing. Destination? The OTHER Gulf. Enough said.

Not to mention that pipeline construction noticed by a retired Air Force Col. from Kuwait to Iraq - or at least, that was his considered opinion. Or the fact that likely, Kuwait is producing from fields on the Iraqi side of the border - Iraqs production may actually be down less than some people think, and Kuwait's down more - just not on paper.

But as various of the number gatherers remark, they try to match imports (fairly reliable at this point, at least for major OECD countries) with other information. Not to mention the whole tax thing - and while we may laugh at the Bush League caring about collecting revenue from their buddies, other oil importers and major tax leviers such as Germany certainly keep good track.

What I mean about the numbers crumbling is something else - that the numbers on their face can't be right, not that they are massaged or less than perfectly reliable or even hidden. For example, according to the DOE, Venezuela is currently shipping all the oil it produces to the U.S. - as the DOE say Venezuela is only producing 2.5 mbpd. This is way beyond secrecy or reliability - this is just absurd, though it makes some sense if games are being played among players who haven't yet agreed on the rules.

I can't say I expect righteous numbers from any of them, can you?  It's not about 'us' countries or 'them' countries.  It's more, far more, about those 'must-have widgits', and how that industry is likely to act as the pressure mounts (or drops, I suppose)
Venezuela is a whole lot closer to the Gulf Coast and New Jersey refineries than the Middle East, so shipping costs are less. The oil is purchased at sea and gets swapped a lot before its delivered to a refinery. And Venezuela owns PDVSA, which owns Citgo and a lot of refining capacity.
  All this posturing by right wing nuts isn't going to get in the way of making money.

I'm pretty sure someone's done this already but I can't find it and can't remember the result.  But on this graph here: http://www.theoildrum.com/uploads/28/LogisticAndTypeII.png  One notes that the beginning of the curve looks like a really smooth bell-shaped curve beginning to form.  Will you/have you extrapolated that curve (using the data before it goes kaflooey due to political events), and integrated the area under the curve to find the URR that would give?

The original post for the image you are giving is the following:

Why We (Really) May Have Entered an Oil Production Plateau

I'm not sure I understand completely your question but Stuart tried to apply the HL prior to the 70s for the middle east here:

Production versus year for Middle East, together with two Hubbert peaks. Blue is Alan's with K=4.8%, URR=828 Gb, and peak half way through 2017. Grey has K=12%, URR=500 Gb, and peak in 1988. Click for larger version. Source: American Petroleum Institute (courtesy J. Laharrere), and BP.

Thank you!  That's the one.  
The gray line is an eyeball fit to the front of the curve. It has K=12% and URR of 500 Gb. The idea is maybe if production had continued unconstrained by oil shocks and price increases, it would have followed that path (peaking in 1988 and we'd be well on the downside by now). Presumably if that is what would have happened in an alternative universe with enthusiastically free-market Middle Eastern governments, then in this world we'd get to go for a little longer based on not having used the area between the gray curve and the actual data. We'd have about 200 Gb of Middle Eastern oil left.

This is what I wanted to know.  To that...

  1. How does the current production to date fill in that grey curve?  That is to say, if you took actual production numbers and squished them into the gray curve, how much of that grey curve does it fill to? (i.e. what does it look like shaded in)

  2. Some speculation...assume that production is steady or slightly rising from current levels.  Increment each year of production and add it to the grey curve.  At what year does the Y-axis of the grey curve and of production equal?
  1. cumulative production for the Middle East is ~300 Gb, so 300/500= 60% of the gray curve would have been filled and this  number would have been reached in 1992.
  2. assuming a constant production level at 25 mbpd from 2005, the grey curve would have reach 25 mbpd in 2001.
It took me a nights' sleep to collect my thoughts.

"Just to see what happens" I'm running under the assumption that the gray curve is "it."  The theoretical maximum.  So with 60% gone, it's already on the downslope of the theoretical.

What I'm curious about is when the actual production and that of the gray curve meet at the Y-axis...at what year is it for the actual production.  Because...assuming the constant addition of 25 mbpd, the gray curve is going to move more slowly than actual production (i.e. The addition of 25 mbpd to actual production will advance it 1 year, but the same addition with advance the gray curve something like 0.7 years)

In other words, to move from the 60% point on the gray curve (37 mbpd?) to 25 mbpd... "X barrels" are produced in a span of time about 9 years.  How many years at constant 25 mbpd does it take to produce those same "X" barrels?

Why I believe it is important, is that running under the assumption that the gray curve is the maximum, at the time at which actual production fills the gray curve to the point where the two equal, that will be the point of turn down and from then on, actual production will mirror the theoretical. (Imagine two tails of a Hubbert-type curve connected by a plateau with the area under the plateau equal to the area between the two tails of the original Hubbert curve but at a much lower maximum)

Re: How many years at constant 25 mbpd does it take to produce those same "X" barrels?

About 6 more years (2011) to produce X=100 Gb.

"Toyota's view is that hybrid technology is an essential gateway that everyone will pass through to reach the carbon-free solution."

Toyota calls for carbon tax

While I don't have  a problem with a carbon tax, I wonder how about the efficacy of making this revenue neutral by providing income and employment tax reductions.  People will know that the higher gas taxes are being traded off with income related taxes.  Will they adjust to the higher gas taxes knowing that this will be fully or partly compensated later. I don't know but I still feel that the incredibly inelastic demand for fuel in this country will lead to failure. I think we would need to see at least $10 per gallon gas before we saw much of an impact.

I don't think taxes alone will get it, especially given the probability that under our political climate they will be largely symbolic.  Unless we're willing to put on a overall cap on fuel usage, we will not make much progress.  

Hello TODers,

Refinery explosion in Chavezland down south:
CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA on Saturday said an "operational event" had affected a unit of the 640,000 barrel per day (bpd) Amuay refinery.

A Venezuelan newspaper on Saturday reported there had been an explosion at the facility.The nationally circulating El Nacional newspaper on Saturday reported an explosion at Amuay and blackouts in the neighboring towns, citing witnesses in the area.

PDVSA officials did not answer repeated phone calls from Reuters requesting clarification.
Venezuela is increasingly becoming a 'black hole' for info.

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

This happened in connection with preignition operations, since some parts of the refinery have been under maintenence or repair since near the end of September - which is a long time for it to be out of service.

It could be an accident - and then again with this kind of silence - maybe not.  The later, perhaps, because of the upcoming election on December 3:

Venezuela to deploy armed forces to secure presidential elections

A total of 128,900 soldiers would be deployed to safeguard Venezuela's Dec. 3 presidential elections, Wilfredo Ramon Silva, commander of armed forces, said on Friday.

"On Dec. 3 there will be 1,900 new polling stations and troops will provide security both for materials and citizens if needed," he told the Venezuelan Television.

The National Electoral Council decided earlier to boost the number of polling stations, and also the troops that would be required to safeguard them, he said.

The forces would include 110,000 soldiers and 18,900 reservists, he added.

Silva said that the forces would maintain security for electoral material and polling stations in national and regional elections, and make sure that citizens are safe when they are casting their votes.

Source: Xinhua


Hello TODers,

I have been thinking more on my Spiderwebrider ideas.

The standard US railraod gauge is 4ft. 8 & 1/2 inches; 56.5 inches.  Ideally, using worst case postpeak planning, the webrider's vehicles should be adaptable to Alan's RRs & TOD during extended [never-ending?] blackouts.  

Two side-by-side 56.5 inch pipes can transport internally a considerable volume.  The addition of rails on top for light railbikes or relatively light PHEVs should not be a problem.  Obviously, an above ground spiderwebrider infrastructure will diminish in pipeline volume as it extends into the permaculture hinterlands, but if the gauge is kept standardized, there should be no decrease in transport utility.  For example, a railbike could be rolling on two rails above two 6-inch pipes with the 56.5 standardized width, but numerous other 6-inch pipes could be routed inside this dimension, if desired.

IMO, this is far better than trying to slog through mud or snow as steel wheel on steel rail should be the preferred alternative.  In the event of a temporary blackout, the railbikes can be cooperatively lifted around any stalled electrified RR & mass-trans, so that people can still continue their merry way.  Or if the blackout is forseen as becoming extended: it is relatively easy to quickly build a short set of lightweight pipelined rail around the stalled RRs & mass-trans.

As pipes branch off, or branch in: if proper design elements are achieved, then uniform switching is achievable.  Obviously, when Alan's RRs & mass-trans is the electrically functioning 'urban spine & limbs'-- prevention of railbikes and railPhevs mixing is required.  Further cost-savings are achieved having the same gauge as the spine because support structures for the pipelines would be the same: bridges, tunnels, ties, railbed & pipelinebed equipment, aerial supports and/or elevated grade where required, ...and so on.

In the worst case scenario: the 56.5 gauge is still adequate for a horse to pull a steel-wheeled cargo-cart behind it.

Yeaterday's Drumbeat had a Leanan Toplink on the need for more Las Vegas fuel pipelines.  Other postings in the past discussed the need for additional water pipelines for Vegas.  If engineering and production standards for Spiderwebrider Systems could be met: this could form an initial 'testbed' for my ideas and save alot of digging.  It also could be quite a very efficient energy tourist attraction:  Hertz could rent PHEVs for people to try out, and parallel pipelined railtracks could allow those so-inclined to pedal railbikes from Phx to Vegas, or California to Vegas.  I think it would be cool if it ran right down the Vegas Strip!

My idea of multi-use of a pipeline might make it easier to get the required financing to get this Vegas project done.  As mentioned earlier in another post:  Imagine these hundreds of miles of pipeline having overhead PV panels to help protect the webriders from the blazing desert sun too.

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

Hello TODers,

I was thinking about the amazing Blackhawk landslide in my earlier posting.  If millions of tons of dirt can become airborne at 270 mph by ground effects, can aeronautical engineers conceive of a design for very efficient fast human transport?

Consider this Wikipedia link:
Within one wingspan of the ground, the ground effect begins to change the behaviour of the airflow around the end of the wings, and at closer distances (around one-tenth of the wingspan) it begins to affect the turbulence generated off the back of the wing as well.

These planes are wasting a lot of energy by flying over a flat surface which adds to the turbulence behind the plane which, of course, increases drag.  My wild & crazy idea is to design an aeronautically optimized 'flight canal' and plane that minimizes wingtip vortex wasting effects.  Most of us have made the ring paper airplane, but here is a link to a Google image.

So if a ring airplane [or some other design] can be made to fly down a circular half-pipe or 2/3 enclosed canal does it theoretically maximize ground lifting effects and minimize drag as the Bernoulli Principle makes the air move the fastest through the middle?

Imagine a bunch of windmills compressing air for this halfpipe canal and computers and sensors could vent air just slightly ahead of the ring airplane giving it the air-hockey lifting effect.  The plane could have a very small motor for propulsion and as it picked up speed in the canal the ground effects over such a huge percentage of the ring planes wing surface would make it more efficient.

As mentioned before: I am not an engineer, but maybe the best energy savings to be gained in real high speed movement will come from aerodynamic canal flight paths.

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

What you are describing is aeronautical in nature, yet rail-based in form.  Think about it this way, though: the most efficient method of using air to generate lift is in a hovercraft.  A hovercraft certainly better resembles the aerodynamics of a landslide than a plane.

And the Aerotrain has already been invented.  It seems to be competitive with EMS maglev - but I heavily favor ECS maglev (permanent magnet or HTSC).

Honestly, I think the idea of using the pipes as rails is rubbish.  Anything ideally suited for liquid flow is not ideally suited for rail use, and vice versa.  Servicing takes both down.

I do think that compound right of way, with rail lines on top and modular multi-utility tunnels built on the same parcel (under or beside), is how things should be done.  Right of way is a precious commodity, and should be conserved, and modularity in utilities makes things a whole lot easier.  Those who are reading this off a fiber internet connection piped through city sewers understand that.

I think you would think the linked page interesting. Ground effect vehicles may have a future.
Hello Peakearl and Squalish,

Thxs for your replies and the links.  Hopefully my ideas will help stimulate further thinking and research in those more skilled.  I honestly think if further breakthroughs are to be achieved: it will come from 'outside the box' thoughts.

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

i doubt the ground plane vehicals will be used more then they are now..
the ussr sunk a boat load of money on them after recognizing the chink they exploit in at the time was a weakness in our navy.
as for the ground effect it's self, well the more intelligent among us will see that it disproves somthing else.
I've checked up on the Pelican every few months since it debuted in 2002 - no new developments that I can tell.  One of its major competitors for the Army's divisional-mobility program, the Walrus (a hybrid airship) has been rejected, but Phantom Works remains quiet on the Pelican.

It's certainly of interest for trans-oceanic travel, but ground effect overland is too dangerous, and I suspect that it goes through fuel like no tomorrow at altitude.


The Ekranoplane was a very different bird - an attempt to elevate the torpedo boat to carrier-group size, acting as a delivery vessel for antiship missiles which is too agile and fast to be hit by longrange ordnance or subs, and too low to be very radar-visible.  In another era...  perhaps it could have been useful, but the carrier-launched fighter-bomber and long-range guided missiles made it not much of a niche.

It was built more like a boat (or a very large hydrofoil) than a plane (meaning it took a huge beating from the waves), and they lacked corrosion-resistant composites as well as computer-controlled stabilization.

video here

 All you have to do is convince the population on the east Coast that the spiderweb pipeline is beautiful. You can probably just tell Californians it is an art installation  
   I was a little surprise to turn on CNN today and see a special called " WE WERE WARNED" about the coming energy crises. It had Matt Simmons, Lord Browne, Brasillian ethanol discussion, overall oil discussions, and featured James Woolsey (sp?) While still a soft piece it was better than most I have seen before and would leave the average viewer somewhat concerned and wondering. I was surprised I had not noticed a discussion of this coming on TOD.
I saw that this morning, too. I think it is about six months old. It got discussed a bunch when it first aired. It's the third time I've seen it. I'm glad they keep repeating it. It's the only thing on American TV on the subject. "CNN Presents" is actually pretty good. I wish they'd rerun the one on Saudi Arabia.
This was a replay. I saw it several months ago. And there was considerable discussion about it on TOD when it originally aired. It has aired several times since then.

Ron Patterson

International Forecaster November 2006 (#3) - Gold, Silver, Economy + More

By: Bob Chapman, The International Forecaster


This means global growth will not be 4.9% of GDP in 2007. We may well see 3-1/2%, but at this juncture it is hard to say how fast the US, Chinese and world economy will swoon. We also shouldn't forget the ten major nations of the world are increasing money and credit by some 15% plus. How long can that keep the party going without hyperinflation? The world central banks believe they can float the world economy on liquidity. That's all the financial centers of the world talk about. We see a disconnect in a year or so when the central banks give up the experiment that they know has failed so many times. When the money and credit spigots are turned off there will only be one refuge and that is gold. The world is about to witness the worst economy since the 1930s, and only the informed and agile will survive.

  Goldbugs amaze me. They've been predicting the collapse of "fiat money" since before my birth. Maybe I just need a new tinfoil hat so I can get the right signals...
  Being post peak on oil doesn't mean we are ost peak on paranoia or stupidity.
Since Federal Reserve notes became the official paper (and fiat)money of the US, prices have gone up about 20 times.  Or to put in another way, the dollar has lost 95% of its value.

I would say that qualifies as a collapse in value.  

Only for those who kept their money under the mattress (and in the "fiat currency").  (I thought FIAT was an auto maker? :-)  But anybody who invested in just about anything, even an interest-bearing bank account, did not lose the value of the savings, and even made some gains.  Thus, mild inflation can be just a numbers game.  Not a collapse of anything.

Alas this has already changed, with inflation under-reported, and most investments not keeping up with the real rate of inflation.  That's not because it's a "fiat currency", but IMO because the pyramid scheme known as "capitalism" is slowly grinding to a halt due to lack of cheap oil.

Yeah, those who invest in some specific things may do OK for a while, but in the long term, before we're all dead, you can't eat gold.

I didn't post the article above to be a cheerleader for gold.  I just thought the comments were interesting coming from a professional investor even if slanted to scare people into buying more gold.  I agree with much that the article said except that the investment "savior" will be gold.  Ultimately, owning precious metals is not going to help you buy the necessities of life (gardening supplies, tools, solar apparati, wind turbines, whatever).  Better to buy it soon, when USD still holds its value, than waste it all on gold.
Also, right-wingers refuse to accept that Capitalism needed inflationary money to head off a revolution.  They want to go back to Victorian economics, where a vicious boom & bust cycle left prices steady in the long term, but created terrible misery for debtors.  During a deflation, not only do the poor lose their jobs, but the real value of their debts increase.  That's why, depression after depression, more and more workers were waving the red flag over time.  They were dying from the economic cycle.

I guess the gold bugs figure that when they've imposed Victorian-style deflation on 5 billion poor people worldwide, they will send the Pentagon out with weapons considerably more advanced than Maxim guns to exterminate those of us striking and revolting.  But they won't tell you that.

So, OMB...you have complete confidence that the USD has no problems, that the US is not held over a barrel by Asian countries that hold our debt, and that those that  bought gold 2 or 3 years ago were wasting their money?

My international mutual funds have done about 26% growth this year vs. US funds which range from 5-10%.  I think, as a paranoid and stupid investor, I will follow the money and continue to invest out of USD assets in 2007.  You can then come and visit me in the poor house.

I agree that our country is in serious trouble wit massive debt and imports. Gold has very few real uses, most of oit is held in giant reserves and the price can be manipulated.
But, I'm an American and plan to live here for the rest of my life. I just think your money can be invested in a more positive fashion than a sock full of Krugerrands, like in energy production, or new technology stocks.
Really, I think the BEST investment you can make if you truly think the USD is going down the crapper is to buy material things now that will help you survive the future...invest in your house, solar panels, tools, etc...we've all discussed what to buy on a personal-level ad naseum.

If you are playing individual stocks, energy/new technology is probably a good bet, but I would go with companies based in countries on more solid financial footings than the US.

On public response to global climate change (global heating)...

I was more than a bit surprised today to go into a Blockbuster today and find that there were portions of two shelves taken up by An Inconvenient Truth - by my count either 32 or 48 copies of the DVD were originally available (depending on whether the DVDs were stacked 2 or 3 deep).  Only 8 copies remained on the shelf - at least 75% of them had been rented.  This in a small town in western New York - could it be that people are starting to see that something ain't right here...?

Just a bit of anecdotal evidence that might offer a glimmer of hope... (of course since I completely recognize Westexas' "Iron Triangle" the thought did cross my mind that maybe Blockbuster purposely pulled most copies of the movie off the shelves - always the cynic I guess)

Cool.  And if they wanted people not to see it, they'd buy fewer copies, no?  Finding 8 out of 23 left on the shelf, wouldn't the average Joe get curious to watch it?

Alas it's a long way from watching the movie to actually giving up on the high-energy lifestyle.

Depends. What else was there to rent? Most of what Hollywood produces these days is so bland there might not be much competition.


Checking the DVD release schedule shows there isn't much else. Who's even heard of that stuff? Although I do want to see "Wassup Rockers."

Another resource and radio interview to check out:


RFK, Jr and Mike Papantonio normally host the program.  Saturday, 11-25, they interviewed Terry Tamminen, author of:

"Lives Per Gallon:The True Cost of Our oil Addiction"

which sounds like a good read. the interview can be accessed through Ring of Rire or (I think) through Air America Radio.

Tamminen was in charge of the CA EPA and now is a Special Advisor to CA Gov. Schwarzeneggar.

He focuses on the human health impacts of petroleum consumption, but also talks about other environmental impacts and "national security" costs of our overconsumption of oil.

Sounds like worth checking out!

How does the problem of evil relate to peak oil?  Is peak oil good or bad, or simply the way it is?  Can human responses to Peak Oil be said to be good or bad, or are they simply whatever they are?

Hubbert was quoted as saying that peak oil was not so much a geologic problem as a "cultural" one.  I will go a step further and say it's a spiritual issue at it's base.  I said spiritual, not religious...religion usually goes into end times revelation , blame, guilt, punishment, and all sorts of bizarre things not appropriate to TOD.  Obviously peak oil is not good or bad in itself, but what about all the problems PO creates? ...global warming, environmental destruction, pollution, overpopulation, etc. etc.  Where do these problems begin? It's someone else, right? Not you or me.  ...And where does the solution start?
Soltchenitsyn said there is a line between good and evil    that cuts straight through the heart of every human being. And isn't that where these problems begin?  It was beggar (IIRC) that put his finger on it. It's what we make our god, whether its OIL, THE AUTOMOBILE, WASHERS & DRYERS, whatever...and believe me, in many, if not most of our churches, these are the things being preached from the pulpits.

Religious harangues may be more appropriate to other blogs, but I don't see it as helping clarify  PO issues on TOD.  

What if we define good as achieving a lifestyle by which we can meet our own needs while preserving or enhancing resources for at least one or two future generations to meet their needs? (From the UN definition of sustainability, I think.)

What if we define evil as behaving in ways that bring death and suffering and fear to our own generation and to those generations immediately following us?

Then I suppose we can argue that we have a choice between good and evil responses to Peak Oil.

The next question might involve the efficacy of individual or collective responses.  This is tricky, as it is "prophecy is a very difficult art, especially with regard  to the future." Or words to that effect.

What makes any action for sustainability seem futile? The confluence of various aspects of habitat destruction -- global warming, resource depletion --together with our special species focus on violence as the ultimate arbiter of all conflict.

However, as I noted, the future is hard to predict.  The seemingly weak (even amoung species) may outlive the seemingly strong.  We cannot predict every twist and twirl or outcomes of any sort, but we can work with our own responses.

By the way -- my definitions of good and evil above are like working suggestions; are there other or better definitions?

We might also say that all species have a funny way of going extinct eventually and leave it at that: not good, not evil, just the way it is.

So then we are freed from making any response to PO in the context of the "Great Bottleneck" of the next 20 or 30 years at all. For example one can simply do whatever seems comfortable -- pull up a chair and stock up on one's favorite beverages and watch the show from a comfortable perch as long as possible.

I tend to be a mystic about this, and tend to want to believe that there is a "good" or "right" way to respond to our peculiar alienation from our own habitat, but that could simply be the old fundamentalisms rumbling around in my synapses, eh?

  I learned a few years ago that if I wanted self respect I had to do things that I respect myself for doing. This led me to the question of what do I admire, what do I fell is my best way of acting in the world?
  Its not making a lot of money. I like material things, but truly I've got enough. Its not fame, or influence/power,.I guess its more of a Confucian ideal-how well do I do my duties to my family and society. And I fail pretty often. I value knowledge, particularly self knowledge.I value kindmess and love. I beleive most humans are trying to be good people most of the time, which is why the world is a lot better place than it was a couple of hundred years ago. Its a sum total of human good.
  So is studying peak oil and trying to explain it to other people worthwhile? I think so, but the jury is still out.

A lot of stuff about human existance is just plain unknowable. The truth is I'll be dead and forgotten by most  of the world in fifty years, as will most of us. Gabriels trumpet may blow and I'll discover I'm in hell because I'm not a Mormon, or Assembly of God or a Moslem. But it really doesn't matter very much, because I intend to kep doing the things that give me self respect and joy. And, I'm not unique. Most people are the same, just trying to do the best that they can.

Not bad....or go with Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance) and play to the "quality"...

That is, every creature, culture and individual seem to value a certain quality.  Humans do, in art, in morality, in aesthetics, in the activities of themselves and their culture, in their hopes for the "quality" of the culture they live in and leave behind.  Stay closest to the "quality" the culture you value, the activities you value, and the goals you value, and that's about all you can do.  If the "quality" of the goals you value are out of sync with the bigger picture (call it nature, call it God, call it "sustainable", whatever, the picture that was here before you got here, and will be here after your gone and is still changing), if you or your culture is out of sync with the "quality" of the universe, in other words, then the universe will let you or your culture know.  Good, in sync with existance.  Bad, out of sync.  You just have to make your best guess and live with it.  And play a little, for pete's sake!

Roger Conner  known to you as ThatsItImout

I truely do not understand some of the views here at TOD. So many people want to through out the idea of God and an absolute right or wrong. People want to be agnostic or atheist. Yet, people then want to turn around and try to start defining good and bad, right or wrong.

Ok fine, so lets say there is no God and no God to give a definition of good or evil. Let's make our own defintion. Why is your defintion of good being sustainable living any better than my defintion of good being whatever brings me pleasure?

What if good for me means driving my SUV, building McMansions, or waging war over oil, or being a CEO and stealing money from my shareholders?

If we can start defining what we think good is then what makes one persons defintion any BETTER or more RIGHT than others?

shawnott, there was quite a discussion of this up the thread quite a ways.  I referenced a really good book on the topic by Susan Neiman called "Evil In Modern Thought."

I did a brief summary of the book upthread as well.

Some of us were working with various ideas about how to repond to PO, and is there a moral way to do, and so forth.

Your questions are right along these lines.

What might matter is that the "whatever makes me fel good now" may amount to a kind of narrow intentional ignorance which amounts to a cover for "might makes right."  That's fine if folks want to state that as their own morality -- many people do indeed live that way now -- you are spot-on!

I'm not ready to concede that "might makes right" is the moral foundation for me, and not ready to concede that "whatever makes me feel good" is either.

My own life exp[erience so far demonstrates to me that sometimes what feels good to me rifght now is good but sometimes not.

Some of the comments you were responding to address this very well, I think.  There are rich sources of wisdom to tap into -- if you enjoy that sort of thing!  :)

I think that "be sure to play" or "don't forget about delight" are some of the wisest words I've heard thus far in life!

Does that answer your question a bit?

beggar, thank you for the response. In fair disclosure, if you hadn't guessed, I do come at this from a Christian perspective. I guess I hadn't gotten to the point yet of what is a moral response to peak oil. I guess I was still at the point of where morality comes from. I've taken a few philosophy classes, but I certainly won't be able to stand up in a philosophy debate, but I think it does come down to a basic choice; there is a God who gives definitions to good and evil, right and wrong  or  there is no God and as long as you have the power to achieve it, whatever makes you happy is good/moral (might makes right?)

Seriously, if we are only neurotransmitters jumping synapses then how can anyone say it is 'wrong' or 'evil' for me to drive an SUV and live in a big house even at the expense of others?

You have the same problem either way.  Even if God exists we do not know God and therefore do not know what God's definitions of good and evil are.
Just got done reading the article below at peakoil.com:

Will Global Warming Unleash More Seismic Activity?


The topic discussed reminded me of the discussion we had on 10/28/06 about the change in the thermohaline current going around the world.  I hypothesized this could cause an increase in seismic under the ocean due to differential pressures on the underylying plates.


Interesting article on global state of affairs:

Are Arab Oil kingdoms and China Attracted to Golds Glitter?



Saudi Princes Rattled by Democrats, Shifting into Gold

What's Behind the Plunge in Oil prices?

Beijing Disturbed by Democrats, Signals shift from US$

European Central Bankers to Resist Gold's Advance

 The Saud family demanded payment in gold when oil was first discovered. Maybe they want portable wealth now that their production is collapsing and don't want any more US dollars
Hello TODers,

Mexico Update

From this link with photos you can easily see that the Oaxacan Standoff is gradually getting worse.  Here is another link from Reuters   discussing what happened today.  El Presidente' Calderon' was sure handed a rotten mess from outgoing Pres. Fox.  This next link from the UK Observer discusses the coming transition.  Lastly, I relinked this article on Pemex's coming energy quagmire, but all TODers are already aware of Cantarell's crash decline.

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

Hello TODers,

The mud volcano in Indonesia update.

This link from Al-Jazeera has a cool picture of flames shooting 500 meters into the air and fascinating commentary.

I reproduced the entire text below, with some high-lighting by me, for those who are averse to actually linking to Al-Jazeera:
Mudflow destroys lives in Java  
By  Jonathan Gorvett in Sidoarjo, Indonesia

Smoke rises from mud gushing out of a gas exploration well in Sidoarjo

Flooding up from deep beneath the ground near the East Javan city of Sidoarjo, millions of gallons of hot volcanic mud have destroyed villages, poisoned fields and wrecked lives.

The region has been declared a national disaster zone.

At least 11 people have been killed after the mudflow burst a neighbouring gas pipeline on Wednesday night.

The resulting blast sent flames 500 metres into the air and hurled cars 100 metres off a nearby toll road.

Arguments are still raging over who should pay for the disaster, which has left 400 hectares flooded with toxic mud and forced 12,000 people out of their homes.

Many locals feel abandoned by the government - and by the gas exploration company whose drilling in the area is widely thought to have triggered the mud eruption.
At the same time, experts are divided over whether the mudflow can ever be stopped - and whether the estimated $180 million operation to plug the underground eruption is not just money poured into the ground.

"It was very frightening when the gas explosion happened," says 63-year old Sunarsih, a local resident. "The heat was incredible, even here hundreds of meters away from the site. People didn't know what to do. We thought it was the end of the world."

Sunarsih is one of 847 people evacuated from her original village, Besuki, when mudflows swept in back in May. The fiercely hot mud burst up onto the surface from underground reservoirs and buried many neighbouring settlements.

"We watched, my wife and I," says 46-year old businessman Anwar Hariyono, "as the mud filled up our house and our factory. Now all you can see is the roof. We both cried - the children had no idea what to make of it. We were all afraid."

Probable trigger

The upsurge is widely thought to have been triggered by exploratory gas well drilling by the company PT Lapindo Brantas, a subsidiary of PT Energi Mega Persada (EMP), Indonesia's second largest publicly listed energy company. EMP is controlled by the family of a senior cabinet minister, Aburizal Bakrie. He is minister of people's welfare.

"The drilling likely induced an underground blowout," says Jakarta-based independent geologist Andang Bachtiar. "This created a mud volcano, as tons of hot mud shot to the surface under great pressure."

Java, where Sidoarjo lies, is one of the world's most sensitive geological regions, with the island - home to 62% of Indonesia's 250 million strong population - punctuated by a string of massive, active volcanoes.

The island also lies next to a major fault line, which hit Central Java with a giant earthquake and tsunami back in June.

"The land is very unstable in this area," says H Rudi Novtianto, spokesman for the government's National Sidoarjo Mud Disaster Team.

Land subsidence

The land has also subsided some five metres since the eruption began - two metres in a matter of moments on Wednesday night, when the gas explosion happened.

Yet this might just be the beginning.

"My surveys suggest that the eventual amount of subsidence will be about 300 metres," says Bachtiar. "We will likely see the creation of a giant crater, much as you can already see in other parts of Java, though those were triggered by earthquakes rather than drilling.

"How long this will all take we don't know - it could be centuries - but the area should really just be written off."

However, the national team is determined to try and stem the mudflow and has constructed large pools and dykes to store and divert the flow away from further settlements, as well as nearby road and rail lines. Two relief wells have also been drilled to try and plug the upsurge.

"We believe that with these wells we can stop the mud," says Novtianto. "It is very difficult to do this, of course, and we are now trying to strengthen the dykes and build new run off pools before the start of the rainy season."

This is due to begin in just one or two week's time.

'Dykes will burst'

"We are terrified that the rain will just fill up the pools and the dykes will burst, flooding everything with mud," says local farmer Sunoko, whose land has already been turned into a lifeless wasteland by the mudflow.

"We can't sleep at night wondering what if tonight it will happen."

Like many of the 12,000 people evacuated from their original homes to other nearby locations, Sunoko is also angry at the company, Lapindo Brantas.

"They gave us five million Rupiah (about $550) so we could pay rent on a new home - but for how long?" he asks.

"They also pay us 300,000 Rupiah (about $32) a month for food. This is nowhere near enough. They brought a cistern of drinking water for us, but now that's empty and people have to use water polluted by the mud or buy it at 1000 Rupiah a litre.

"Many people have developed skin diseases and the children have respiratory problems. There's no doctor from the company provided either."

Others say they have not even received this much.

"All I've had from Lapindo is the 300,000 Rupiah a month," says Hariyono. "When you consider that I lost a factory and a home, it's nowhere near enough. We moved to another village nearby and have had to pay all the rent ourselves."

When contacted by Al Jazeera, Lapindo Brantas declined to comment.


Many of those displaced want the company to pay compensation for lost land and ruined homes, so they can move on to other places and start again.

Yet, "Lapindo have promised and promised to pay compensation but it's now six months since this all started and we've seen nothing", says cafe owner Suriyono, who also had to abandon his home.

While the villagers have been waiting, however, EMP has made two moves to try and sell off its stake in Lapindo Brantas.

The first attempt, to sell the company to Lythe, another Bakrie Group affiliate, was ruled out of order by the Indonesian capital markets supervisors.

EMP then tried again, recently selling Lapindo to a company called Freehold, registered in the British Virgin Islands.

This controversial sale is currently under investigation too by the capital markets authorities.

Meanwhile, the government has issued a decree saying that the costs of the disaster must be met by Lapindo Brantas. However, this was apparently contradicted by the governor of East Java, Imam Utomo, who told reporters Friday that the East Javan authorities might foot some of the bill.

Santos, an Australian company which has an 18% share in Lapindo Brantas, says that Lapindo had told Santos that the eventual cost of stopping and containing the mudflow would likely be around $180 million.

Why Aburizal Bakrie has not been kicked out of his govt. job and his vast wealth confiscated is beyond me.  You would think these people would be so mad that a hired hitman would have taken him out already.

Instead: "You are doing a heck of a job, Mud-Brownie!"

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

Hello TODers,

Thousands of Russians are now without power even though the weather is a normal -15 degrees:
Putin Shuns Hike in Gas Prices

MOSCOW -- President Vladimir Putin took his government to task Wednesday for its poor handling of power shortfalls. But he stopped short of acting on the advice of top officials to jack up the price of natural gas to avert a mounting energy crisis."If everything had been done as needed, there would be no breakdowns, and people would not suffer," Putin said at a long-anticipated strategy meeting in the Kremlin.

But, he added, "almost nothing has been done. Thousands of people are now without fuel or electricity."

Anatoly Chubais, head of electricity monopoly Unified Energy Systems, and Alexei Miller, head of natural gas monopoly Gazprom, planned to tell Putin that the main way to avert a crisis was a substantial and immediate hike in gas prices, now at $46 per 1,000 cubic meters.

"This price is wrong," Chubais told reporters before heading off to the meeting.

He warned of tough times this winter, noting that electricity usage reached record highs in Tyumen, western Siberia, on Tuesday even though the temperature had been a relatively normal minus 15 degrees Celsius. Last winter, Tyumen usage only reached similar levels during a January low of minus 55 degrees.

"Frankly speaking, we don't fully understand this phenomenon ourselves," Chubais said. "This is an entirely new situation, and it requires a new policy in the government."

On Wednesday, Russia informed Azerbaijan that it might cut electricity supplies by 80 percent next year due to domestic shortages.

This winter, 16 to 25 regions will face limitations on their power consumption, said Dmitry Akhanov, head of the UES strategy department. Last year, only Moscow, St. Petersburg and Tyumen were warned of possible limitations, and 406 organizations in Moscow were actually limited by about 5 percent.

But this year, Akhanov said, "the situation is almost horrible" in Tyumen and Moscow.
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az  Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?