DrumBeat: November 3, 2006

[Update by Leanan on 11/03/06 at 9:49 AM EDT]

Documentary Film Turns Black Gold Into Black Death: a review of A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash

Dr. David Goodstein, a physics professor at the California Institute of Technology, says: "A graduate student asked me 'will my children ever ride in an airplane?' It was a gripping question. The answer could well be no." Matthew David Savinar, of www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net, says that only the mega-rich 0.1% might be able to travel by cars and planes.

Dr. Goodstein says that it would take 10,000 new nuclear power stations to replace the energy created by oil but even then "the world's uranium would be gone in one or two decades".

VerSun to unveil renewable energy technology

U.S. company VeraSun Energy on Friday will announce a new technology that yields both ethanol and biodiesel from corn, the Financial Times said.

IEA: Nuclear power is 'essential tool'

The International Energy Agency will urge countries around the world to accelerate construction of nuclear power plants next week, the IEA's chief economist told the Financial Times in an interview.

Rhetorial Overheating

Two contradictory dogmas of the anti-auto cult are that consumption of fossil fuels will continue to increase just as rapidly as it has in the past and that fossil fuels will become increasingly expensive because we have passed the peak of peak oil.

This article is interesting because it's running in the rightwing media: The Next Added 100 Million Americans, Part 6

We can deny, bury our heads or pretend it’s not coming, but the end of this Age of Oil threatens our civilization. It’s coming as surely as the tsunami that hit Sri Lanka; it’s as certain as Katrina hitting New Orleans.

Shell to pump $12.8b into oilsands

Exxon gives $1.3 million to carbon dioxide project: Donation signals effort to bolster its image on greenhouse gases

A healthy scepticism can save the world

Fast-tracking new technologies and a truly global carbon trading system are the best responses to the Stern report

Russia Reacts Angrily to U.S. Warnings over Baltic Sea Gas Pipeline

It's not dead yet

...the oil industry has come out swinging against Peak Oil theorists, those individuals who think the world is about to hit a peak in terms of fossil fuel production. Apparently all the talk was getting a bit out of hand, so the industry has decided to talk back. Abdallah Jum'aah, the CEO of the big Saudi state-owned firm Aramco, recently stated publicly that the world has 4.5 trillion barrels of fossil fuel reserves, enough to power the globe at current levels of consumption for another 140 years. The CEO of Exxon Mobil Australia told an industry conference in Adelaide that "the end of oil is nowhere in sight," while here in Canada Clive Mather, CEO of Shell Canada, has pointed out that methane hydrates are so abundant on earth as to make the question of fossil fuel depletion moot.

China Forecasts 18 Million Tonnes Biofuel Use by 2010

Israel pushes to reduce oil dependency

India: No more cheap gas

‘No more cheap gas,’ says the Oil Ministry. That’s not very good news for power companies.

Bulgaria warns of major electricity export cuts

Bulgaria plans to slash its electricity exports next year due to the EU-required closure of two nuclear units, which could threaten energy stability in the Balkans, officials said Thursday.

Australia: Power, fuel bills to jump in greenhouse remedies

Consumers need to brace themselves for increases of 30 to 40 per cent in their electricity bills and higher petrol prices if they want governments to solve climate change and business to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

China aims to increase its clout in Africa Unsaid goal: Redraw world's strategic map

U.K.: Average gas bill 'up by a third'

U.K.: BBC's Panorama is covering the natural gas crisis:

Sunday 5 November, 10:15 pm - 10:55 pm

Soaring gas bills are pushing up the cost of heating our homes - and forcing up electricity bills too. For decades Britain's relied on its own gas supplies, but now they're running out fast. Steve Bradshaw investigates why prices are rising - and takes a four thousand mile journey down the pipeline from Britain to Asia to discover if we can avoid a cold, dark and expensive future.

Venezuela to sell D.C. oil at discount

Venezuela will provide heavily discounted heating oil to about 37,000 low-income families in Maryland, Virginia and the District this winter, Caracas' envoy to the United States said yesterday.

Saudis, U.S. Oil Execs May Jack Prices Up After Election

Warning from Ex-White House & Hill Spokesman Bob Weiner

WASHINGTON - Gas prices that have plummeted 80 cents in the past three months are helping the economy, but the cost could shoot right back up when the Saudis lower production after the election, warns Robert Weiner, a former senior public affairs director in the Clinton White House, former spokesman for the U.S. House Government Operations Committee, and now president of a Washington issue strategies group.

Weiner along with Richard Bangs, a Senior Policy Analyst at Robert Weiner Associates, point out that Bob Woodward has reported that Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, told President Bush two years ago, "The Saudis would cut oil prices to ensure a strong economy for election day." Weiner and Bangs believe, "this prediction has come to fruition."

China needs 70 very large crude ships

SHENZHEN: China needs at least 70 very large crude carriers (VLCCs) to be self-sufficient in transporting its own crude oil, far more than it now controls, the head of the country's top shipping group said yesterday.
In yesterdays drumbeat there was a little string on the Smart car.
Fuel efficiency: The diesel version gets around 80 miles to the gallon.
Safety standards: equal to Mercedes E-type; you're actually sitting in a superstrong carbon fiber egg, sort of formula-1 monococ. It is not as vulnerable as it looks.
They are also launching an EV version
http://www.smart.com/-snm-0157694444-1157920986-0000029233-0000015043-1162561619-enm-is-bin/INTERSHO P.enfinity/WFS/mpc-uk-content-Site/en_UK/-/GBP/SVCPresentationPipeline-Start?Page=issite%3a%2f%2fmpc -uk-Site%2fmpc-uk%2ecom%2fRootFolder%2fsmart%2fsmart_news%2fsmart_news_2006%2fsmartEV_news%2epage

Westexas, what do you think of http://www.theoildrum.com/story/2006/10/25/13020/044#more
The issue this raises with me is if we are at peak right now, is it a possibility that the world will be able to stretch the so-called "bumpy plateau" until, let's say, 2012?

BTW, for all non-PO-doomers, the Stern report as well as this should turn every single one of you into a doomer http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/science/11/02/seafood.crisis.ap/index.html
Maybe PO will prevent commercial fisheries to accomplish this.

And last but not least, my wife finally got it yesterday: "O MY GOD, WE HAVE TO MOVE!" (We live in Holland)

Apologies for the long links

The issue this raises with me is if we are at peak right now, is it a possibility that the world will be able to stretch the so-called "bumpy plateau" until, let's say, 2012?

I was enjoying the good life in Venice when this story was posted, and I think I made one short comment when I signed on briefly in Venice, while my my wife was checking her e-mails at an Internet site.

IMO, insufficient attention was given to the decline of the super giants, which is also my beef with the Mega Projects analysis.

Again, let's consider Texas.  The East Texas Field, which was found around 1930, was showing rising production in the 10 years prior to the Texas peak in 1972.  How would a "Mega Projects" analysis of Texas in the early Seventies treated the East Texas Field?  

In fact, Hubbert, as we know, correctly predicted the time frame for the overall Lower 48 peak.  As I noted on the Simmons thread, Deffeyes has considerably better data to work with than Hubbert had in 1956.  IMO, the HL model, combined the near certain simultaneous decline of all four current super giants, is an overwhelming case for "Yes, we have peaked."

Thanks. Damn it.
Recall our discussions of oil exporters moving away from the dollar?

CNBC said that the UAE has announced that they are diversifying their assets out of dollars, and especially into gold.

Hmmmm....so that makes Russia (they have changed their US$/Euro ration in favor of the Euro), Syria, UAE....who else?
Just a quick hint, Paulusp, if you use "auto format" It is quite easy to make your links shorter, here are the instructions.
Thanks richlev. 1 more hour work to do in the office but I promise you to dig into it tonight.
it allows you to quote text.
by making these fancy grey boxes !
You are bored, my friend. You need a good book.
Indeed you have to move!!

The Future Oceans - Warming Up, Rising High, Turning Sour

Here are some shocking figures from this report.

In the first figure almost a straight line can be drawn through the blue dots. The big question is how fast will the sea level rise to the new equilibrium? One meter until 2100 sounds too optimistic for me, when the rise in the recent years was higher than the models predicted.

I'm a believer in Global Warming, but the first chart seems to be suggesting is that the oceans are going to rise ~50 meters in the next 100 years.

You're talking ~50cm changes every year between now and then!

Meanwhile actual Satellite measurements show a rise of ~4cm over the past 12 years (1993-2005).  ~.3cm/year

I DO understand about positive feedback systems, but what kind of acceleration do you see???



The real question is what will it take to overcome inertia and start the big meltdown. That is probably not something that can be known before it happens. If you're feeling pessimistic you can look at that accelerating curve and think that inertia is breaking now. Or you can feel more phlegmatic if you want.
In the last big interglacial meltdown it went 5m/century, 5cm/year. Should that get underway there will be panicked migration from coasts.
Hi Garth,
take a look on page 33/34 of the referred document. It says:

The end of the last ice age provides information about the possible rate of sea-level rise. At that time the global average temperature rose by around 4-7 °C, an amount that is also reached in pessimistic scenarios for the future. But the warming at that time took around 5000 years, which is much slower than the present trend. From 15,000 to 10,000 years ago sea level rose by around 80m, an average of 1.6m per century (Fairbanks, 1989). During some intervals rates of up to 5m per century were reached (Clark et al., 2004).

These values cannot simply be applied to today's situation. The ice sheets at that time were considerably larger, which means the melting regions on the margins were greater, allowing a greater flow of meltwater. In addition, due to Earth's orbital cycles around the sun (Milankovich cycles; Ruddiman, 2000), the incoming solar radiation at high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere was considerably stronger, a situation that cannot be directly compared with the global increase in greenhouse gas concentrations. These two factors suggest higher melting rates at the end of the ice age than during the present warming. The much slower warming at that time, by contrast, would suggest lower melting rates. In fact, the disappearance of ice sheets at that time for the most part kept pace with the gradual climate warming, so the assumption that ice masses would have melted significantly more rapidly with faster warming
is quite plausible.

Two conclusions can be drawn from this discussion. Firstly, rates for sea-level rise of up to 5m per century are documented, and these probably do not represent an upper limit. Thus climate history shows that a much more rapid rise than that expected by the IPCC for the 21st century is possible. Secondly, such rates of sea-level rise suggest dynamic melting processes of the ice sheets, also taking account of the conditions at the end of the last ice age. This means there can be not only a simple melting through contact with warmer air, but also an accelerated flow of
the ice into the sea.

= ----------------------------------------------- =
In daily live we are familiar with the last type of melting, when we clean up ice from our freezer. I'm aware that the boundaries of the cases are different, but it explains well why we can expect higher melting levels. Already are some glaciers increasing their flow speed.


All I know is if the oceans start rising 50cm/year, I expect all hell to break loose.  Even 5cm/year would be extremely drastic.

Interesting times.


Mercedes-Benz Boxfish
At a constant speed of 90 km/h the direct-injection diesel unit consumes only 2.8 litres per 100 kilometres- corresponding to a range of 84 miles per gallon in the US test cycle.

Twice the fuel economy of the Smart(the version to actually be imported), and twice the passenger capacity too!  The Smart just perpetuates the belief that you have to sacrifice functionality for fuel economy.

I, for one, do not find the article on "Saudis, U.S. Oil Execs May Jack Prices Up After Election" hard to believe at all and have been saying this for quite some time.  

There is, of course, no evidence of this (as Robert would insist) except the coincidences, but how would anyone gain evidence of this short of a confession from the Saudis, an Oil CEO, or someone in BushCo.  Those seeking evidence are at a disadvantage.

The only proof I will require is what happens to prices in the later part of the 4th QTR no matter what the "cover story" will be to explain the increase.

Follow the money....
     Hello all, long time lurker here. I have been trying for the last year to find something positive for myself in relation to peak oil. Last night I during Matt's presentation (WOW!) I was floored by the part about the average age of an oil service worker being 45 - 49 w/ average retirement age of 55. That to me sounds MAJOR.

I am a 36 year old auto mechanic (doomer) living in central MO with a family and I can earn about $30,000 a year(now). I know nothing about the oil service industry (I just study production data and TOD) But I was wondering If I'm missing this boat(no pun).

My other option, in light of ELP, is to work in a local cheese factory on their machines. This to me seems quite sustainable because there will always be local dairy production.

Any thoughts?? Thanks to everyone for making TOD a great place to spend every evening.

"My other option, in light of ELP, is to work in a local cheese factory on their machines. This to me seems quite sustainable because there will always be local dairy production"

I would do both.  Work in the oil patch and do free lance work on the side for the cheese factory, while living on half or less of your income.  

In regard to the Oil Patch, we are trying to do more with a combination of old people and old equipment.  IMO, the future is pretty bright for almost any aspect of energy production/conservation.  The same can't be said for the net energy consumers.

I second WestTexas here and recommend you pay attention to how the cheese makers do their job... (blessed are the cheesemakers, for they shall inherit the earth ).  

It doesn't hurt to aquire another skill that might come in handy later when the giant cheese factories go belly up and the country side is again dotted with small cheese factories serving Profoundly Local constituents.

And, in the not-too-distant future You might be able to buy the 'Big Cheese' Factories' equipment dirt cheap at auction.  The big bonus being you will already know how to maintain it.

Where is China going to get 70 VLCCs?  Oh right, they can just out bid a few of the ones transporting oil right now.  But how many do they now control, and how many do they need to build to get it up to 70, the article did not make that clear to me.

What ever happened to the single hulls that had to be turned into double hulls?

Anyone know what the going rate per day one of those VLCC are rented out at?

An old Philosophy Professor of mine, said he made money in buying Cargo containers like those you see on ships and on the backs of trucks, he made money renting or leasing them out.  He told us he was going to retire on the income, I never did find out if he succeeded.

Where can I invest my new to nothing income on VLCCs?

Hothgor has had a continuing series of questions about gross gas production versus net dry gas production.  The only number that counts is net dry gas delivered to consumers, and this peaked in 1973 in the US, three years after the oil peak.

A lot of gas in the gross number is counted several times as gas is cycled through gas caps in oil reservoirs.  The associated gas is extracted from the downdip oil wells, and is sometimes run through a gas plant to extract the NGL's and is then injected back into the gas cap.  The largest example of this is the Prudhoe Bay Field.  

I can't speak for Hothgor, but he seems to be expressing the Michael Lynch/Peter Huber point of view that there will always be some sort of new source of energy that will allow us to continue to build suburban developments, new highways and new Walmarts.  (I noted with interest yesterday the announcement of a new exurban development one hour away from downtown Dallas where they are taking 2,100 acres of agricultural land and coverting it into a new suburban development.)

In any case, given the choice between the Lynch/Huber point of view and the Richard Rainwater point of view, I would lean toward Richard Rainwater, who is integrating himself into small town life and expanding his ablity to grow his own food.

Better yet, just cash out some more equity.
Nearly nine out of 10 homeowners who refinanced their mortgages in the third quarter took equity out of their homes for cash, the highest rate in 16 years, according to a report from Freddie Mac.
Brick wall ahead. Accelerate.
Not for me.

Brick wall ahead. Abandon ship!


Brick Wall Ahead. Grab a cold one and a chair and sit back and watch.

Pfft, brakes? We don't need brakes, just give activate the Oscillation Overthruster!


Keep spinning it again, Westexas!  Its true, NG to the average consumer declined since 1973, but total NG used by the industry + consumers didnt start declinging until ~2000!  

But I'm not all about NG, I'm about a smart future!!  And a smart future has smart transportation.  I keep hearing people saying the best way to reduce our dependence on oil is to increase the MPG rating of our auto fleet.  If these people would exercise even an ounce of common sense, they would realize that the best way to reduce our dependence on oil is to stop heating and cooling their entire homes, and start demanding our auto companies build super efficient EV's/PEHV's/CATs.

I would rather see us eliminated ~9-10 million bpd of hydrocarbon usage then reduce that by a 3rd because we drive around in 40 mpg toyota prius.

And talk about hypocrisies.  In a world where people obviously know the dangers of over consumption of FF's 'depletes what precious amount we have left AND causes GW' some of you guys are wasting VAST AMOUNTS of it just to indulge yourself.  Westexas, I can hardly believe you thought it was prudent to fly halfway around the world to go on vacation for two weeks over seas.  And for TOD in general, how short sighted can you get by flying/driving into a conference in Boston when a video-conference broadcast live over the internet would have been so much better.

I guess being an ILL Doomer prevents such rational conservation practices!

Common sense says just stop driving the damn cars!! Not build more!!!
No.  Energy production is not the problem.  Peak oil doesn't scare me, peak energy does.  But there are literally dozens of viable, scalable, and renewable methods of generating energy.  Utilizing this energy allows us to work within the system, becoming vastly more efficient then we currently are.  Electric rail, mass transportation, and dynamically efficient EVs/PEHVs/CATs allow us to maintain our mobility, live a modern lifestyle, and in a sustainable and renewable manner.

We don't need to stop driving when the energy that already goes to waste now can be utilized into a transportation source.  What we need to stop doing is heating/cooling our entire homes and stop flying/driving ICEs :)

Stop cheer leading the ILL Doomer and start practicing what you preach :P

I still think Hothgor is a paid troll.
Agreed...I will go even further and say he might be paid with taxpayers money.
Dick Cheney???
Perhaps, not "Big Dick" himself, but a flunkie.
His comments do have a certain GOP/Swift Boat tone to them, but I always try to be extra nice to posters that I consider to be jerks.  No response yet to the Energy Tax/Payroll Tax question that I posed.

BTW, Rod Dreher, a conservative editorial columnist for the Dallas Morning News and published author, who used to work for the National Review, just announced that he voting straight Democratic next week.  He said we desperately need some accountability.  

Did anyone see the HBO program on electronic voting machines last night?  I think that Diebold tried to stop HBO from running the program.  The enduring question is why ATM's generate a paper trail, but electronic touch screens don't.

Ya...the election tone right now is very odd...I've seen things like the conservative base is dropping their support for Bush and the GOP...kind of giving up on this round of elections and try to regroup for 2008.

I'm not too concerned about the voting machines this time around and I'll tell you why.  If there was any hacking/manipulation last time around, it could only be done in very close races.  This time around, I think there will be some large differences that can't be made up with a few thousand changed votes here and there.  Any large-scale manipulation would be too blatant to be believable.

And another point I would like to point out here about the upcoming elections...even though the Democrats may win both the House and Senate, I'm not sure they have what it will take to deal with what needs to be dealt with in the time frame necessary to alleviate massive suffering.

At the very least, I think they will be less dishonest and give the US a better chance at engaging the world on some solutions than the GOP.  We've tried their way...global grab of resources...and it ain't working so hot.  Time to let someone else give it a go.

I am a progressive (= liberal), and I hope for Democratic control of the House and Senate because it might provide some scrutiny and resistance to some truly horrifying developments that we've witnessed in the last two years.

I don't have any hope at this time for wise policies on oil or climate change from either party, however. Most politicians are oblivious, and when a problem is recognized, the first recourse it to blame it on conspiracy of the other guys.

Who is running in the "doomer" party?
The Grim Reaper...ha...jk!!
i think he is a deciple of ted haggard    and btw  ted haggard said he did buy meth from a male prostitute and engage in oral sex      but he claims he didnt inhale
Thats a good one!!

Retarded posts like the one above only reinforces the validity of what I've been saying :)

yes and speaking of retarded.............abiotic oil...........oil shale "reserves"...............90 billion co2  eor reserves ...

I have never mentioned oil reserves as a peak oil defense: Its all about the production!

And I have never mentioned abiotic oil as any kind of defense either.  Your the first to bring that up :P

you sure the hell have          did you graduate from the george bush dick cheney univerisity of lying     magna  cum  laude ?
Yes, I saw the program...nice to see a real life demonstration of what I'd read about (starting with the RFK article in Rolling Stone).  For those who haven't been aware of the issue, I'd imagine it would be quite shocking. IMO, one of the characteristics of a banana republic is lack of honest elections.
"...but I always try to be extra nice to posters that I consider to be jerks."

I can attest to this. I'm one of the biggest jerks here, and Westexas has (as far as I remember) always treated me this way. It definitely works better than anything else. It is difficult but I try to practice this method on a daily basis. Like I say, it is extremely hard. Initial failure should be expected. The results, however, are amazing. I would say that Odograph is the master.

Belligerence will only get you killed.

You rang?

You know, from where I sit today I can't even know what that line means.

I think I got to where I am by asking, repeatedly, for a rational case to support doom, collapse, die off.

I don't think I ever got one.  In the closing rounds I was told that it was my problem for "not getting my head around it" or that it "went over my head at mach 10."  I consider those ad hominem at a minimum, and certainly they should give pause to the people suggesting them.

Of course labeling me, in violation of simple truth, as a cornucopain (and worse) was just more irrational abuse.

I tried to step back and look at it, as it should be, as an energy question in this long post.

You may notice that I used some harsh words there ("pseudo-science babble"), but that's really what I feel.  I think it is a tactical and intellectual mistake for 'peak oil' to keep that kind of unfounded 'doom' as part of itself.

The truth is that I could have come out with both guns blazing and said that here, but I didn't have it in me.

Why?  It felt like cruelty ... even if I see it is the truth.

But at some point I suppose we have to say the truth.  The truth is that all of us, on all points of the oil-expectation curve, suffer from a "bounded rationality" that is very human.  It is something we all have to watch for.  It should reinforce our humility.

We don't want to be "half smart and wholly convinced," as I believe rigid people, cornupoians and doomers alike, allow themselves to be.  That's human, but not in the good way.

Perhaps this is as good a place as any to talk about the Roman empire, which I've been studying recently -- which experienced overreach, collapse and die off.

The city of Rome, according to Peter Heather in "fall of the roman empire" (Oxford U Press), hit a maximum of 1 million people during the empire. Since food was hard to transport overland, it mostly came by ship (the rule of thumb is that for every 100 miles grain and other food is carried overland, half of it was consumed).

So Rome shipped in its grain mostly from Tunisia, formerly Carthage. It was loaded onto ships and taken to Rome's huge port.

During the barbarian invassions, a group called the Vandals holed up in Spain, but the Romans would pay off one group of barbarians to attack another, and the Vandals were roughed up pretty badly. So what to do?

They got the brilliant idea of crossing the straights of Gibralter, marched across North Africa, and took Tunisia. The slave driven farms there were liberated, and no more grain came to Rome.

Over the next century or two the city of Rome's population declined to perhaps 15,000 people -- a decline of approximately 98.5%. It's possible that some of those displaced people found niche spaces on farms (which gradually switched from slave to serf over the next 600 years). Or some of them might have found niche spaces in smaller cities (which would have been difficult, as those small cities were also in decline).

My guess is that most of those urbanites perished, though I don't know of any evidence pro or con.

This is perhaps the best example I know of from antiquity that deals with an urban population which was so far removed from the means of production of its own food, and then lost its supply.

My answer would be the correlations can be seductive, but one of the rules we humans repeat to ourselves, as we strive for rationality, is that correlation is not causation.

The tricky think about selecting past historic examples is to consider whether the correspond, specifically in a 1:1 fashion with our present, or near future.

Rome fell.  Is the US (or more generally the modern industrial world) mapping more tightly to Rome now, than it has ever done in the past?  Is the correlation truly there?

I think that would be a hard case to make in more than a subjective fashion.

But even if one passed that bar, one would have to make the case for causation, and that there is no way we could "whistle past this graveyard."

FWIW, I think we do have a lot major and concurrent problems right now.  My personal interests are energy depletion, ocean depredation, and global warming.  I'd love to see all those attacked more seriously (and do what I can).

I just think we are better served by making the future we want ...

Yes, it isn't an easy case to make, but there is some evidence that a "peak wood" episode was a contributing factor to the fall of the Western Empire.  As the Romans' only non-food energy source, one of their principal building materials, and very importantly, their only material for shipbuilding, the Romans were as addicted to high quality wood sources as we are to oil today.

Their first problem was that it was about 50 times as expensive to transport goods by land as by sea.  Since large timbers were so important for ship-building, old-growth forests, close to good ports and protected by either the legions or peoples willing to allow their forests to be cut down for trade, were vital to the Romans. Old growth forests are renewable, of course, but on the time frames of the Roman Empire, they may well have hit diminishing returns on large trees due to the increasing need to transport the logs overland part of the journey.

Their second problem is that different species of tree grow at different rates and have different energy densities.  Oak is a great wood for burning, since it makes a clean hot fire without a great deal of ash, etc.  However, it's a lousy wood for construction, since it's fairly hard to get straight timbers and it takes so long to grow, so it's extremely expensive.  We have charts online today that compare the various tree species for their engineering strength characteristics, burn rates, and other characteristics, but even now we do a so-so job of managing forests for diversity and to ensure that important species do well.  

There is some evidence that the Romans hitting a form of peak wood happened, though as far as I've been able to find out, the Romans never considered the possibility and seem to have written "forest" regardless of the age, quality, or ease of transportation of the trees in question.  The records are so poor, and there are so many other possibilities that are more obvious on their face, that most historians seem not to have considered it.  If you look at the concept from Tainter's perspective, however, you realize that it doesn't take complete deforestation to bring down Rome, it only takes a peak in a vital resource and the insidious diminishing returns that stem from that peak.  All the rest can be explained by the increasing costs of that key resource.

I agree with you, Odo, that doomers are making a jump from diminishing oil returns to die off.  However, I can't write that off yet.  I think it's more likely that we'll end up with a century of decline if we don't find a replacement for all of those oil BTUs.  Note that while perpetual inflation weakened Rome, it was a few episodes of the plague that decimated the population enough to bring them down. But part of the problem with the plague is that many people had moved off of their formerly farmed land because taxes had gone up so much that it wasn't worth farming any more.  If you walk that chain backward, it isn't unreasonable to read that slowly increasing wood prices increased the cost of key raw materials, so that the administration had to raise taxes to cover those costs, crushing small farmers who moved to the cities, and setting up the high-density and poor sanitation conditions that contributed to the plague.  

Except for the first part, the rest of that chain is documented.  In a sense, that looks like peak key resource leads to die-off.  The connection isn't direct, but it does work out that way in the end.  If you look at the end result of the Western Roman Empire collapse, the middle ages, it really does look like what many of the milder doomers are talking about.  If you factor in climate change making crop conditions difficult and an overdue flu pandemic, we could get to some pretty nasty conditions pretty quickly.  It doesn't mean we will, but I can't write off the possibility.  I don't understand how you can.

We have a lot of problems (energy and environmental) that we could probably agree on, that a majority of us could subscribe to, here at TOD.  IMO, it would be great if we applied our energy to combating those problems directly.

I've also worried about our north american forests, as oil declines, biomass plants build, and the unfortunate phrase "forest waste" gains currency.

And certainly peak oil is a pretty significant event in the course of human/industrial history.  I can't exclude that doom will come out of it, but I have spent a lot of time and energy arguing against this idea that doom can be "determined" at this point.

Except for the first part, the rest of that chain is documented.  In a sense, that looks like peak key resource leads to die-off.  The connection isn't direct, but it does work out that way in the end.  If you look at the end result of the Western Roman Empire collapse, the middle ages, it really does look like what many of the milder doomers are talking about.  If you factor in climate change making crop conditions difficult and an overdue flu pandemic, we could get to some pretty nasty conditions pretty quickly.  It doesn't mean we will, but I can't write off the possibility.  I don't understand how you can.

Do you know that old joke, "if I'd known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself"?

I'm afraid I see this question of doom like that ... "if I'd known society was going to last this long, I would have done more to take care of it" ... or even "my position within it."

Put another way, if I say:

Another obvious truth is that we can work hard at creating a future we like, and that's what I recommend. We can live our lives as we think they should be lived, and that's what I try to do.

Where is our disagreement?

Why is a case for doom so important?  I think it's because this is a tussle for the direction of "peak oil" ... are we about making a wider world we like, or we about retreating to those lifeboats which so shock readers from outside the "community"?

Unfortunately that tussle has become trench warfare at TOD, with fixed positions, unmoving sides.  <chuckle>  I can be part of that or bow out.  I mean, I've seen situations in "computer mediated communications" (a lot of good literature on that phrase) where people play the same part, year in and year out, for 5 or 10 years!  I'm not in the mood for that, not bored enough for that to be an attractive avocation.

I think I'll try to find some peers .. people who are grouchy and cynical maybe, but still spend their energy on "better health today" rather than obsessing on what's going to get them 30, 50, or 100 years from now.

Actually, I would hate to see you go.  We really do agree on most points, and I agree with your statement "Another obvious truth is that we can work hard at creating a future we like, and that's what I recommend. We can live our lives as we think they should be lived, and that's what I try to do."  I'm doing this too, and if we could convince everyone in the US to live like you and I are willing to, we wouldn't have a problem.

For me, I have to keep wrestling with the possibility of doom because I have two young children.  I committed before they were born to do everything I can to ensure that they have a good life.  I have to both look at the present and obsess some about the future.  40 years is within my lifetime, 70 years is within their lifetimes.   The worst possibilities look a lot like collapse with lots of violence.  If things go well, we'll all be riding bikes and electric trains and living much closer together or growing food organically in the countryside.  I look at the suburbs and have to wonder if there is a good route from here to there.  If there's no good path, then the path to problems becomes more likely.

If you do decide to take off for good, please post a link to a new community you like on your blog.  I promise to check every now and then to watch for it.  In ancient Rome's crisis, there were people who got through fairly well.  If there is such a community out there, I think you have a good chance of finding it.  I'd just as soon join that winning team too.

Yes, I rang. I called to tell you that you should always remember how much luckier you are than other people.

You need to change your attitude. That's what's bothering you. When certain people label you as things, it doesn't mean they are right. It only means that they have labeled you. You have to have faith that others understand the truth.

Well thank you.

I'm not sure this is the place for me though.

You know what's funny?  Worldchanging looks like a contender, but I can't take their lack of cynicism!  What funny critters we are.

So do what you gotta do. You are always welcome here. You are a favorite. Just make sure you keep posting. Or we will have to come looking for you.
You are both favorites : "Dumb and Dumber"

Except that when the stake is the difference between a "few" billion deaths and nearly (?) total extinction of mankind and the complete loss of civilisation to primitive conditions it's NOT FUNNY anymore...

hmm he is either appointed by karl rove to do this or he is just some low level guy in the pentagon doing this.
My thought would be Cheney's lackie because of all the inside knowledge and connections Cheney has in the oil industry.
His comments were very reasonable. The goal should be to move to renewables. There is really no need to raise CAFE any more. Next time we see $3/gallon SUV and traditional guzzler sales will be down sharply. All auto-manufacturers are boosting production of so called fuel efficient automobiles.

Basically we are going to continue using FF until leaching/extraction rates become low.

Alternatives will come when FF prices go up.

Oil exporting countries will make a lot of money.

Oil producers/exporters may be able to kill renewables one or two more times depending upon the way peak plays out and associated volatility.

Thank you :)

Perhaps in a few months, people will finally realize that that was all I was/am trying to get us to do.

You two oughta get married.
No, they realize now. You just told them.

"Trust me." "No, trust me."

The real question is whether they give a shit. And do you?

I believe many are employed.  

Make sure to read "The 25 Rules of Disinformation"

Especially the:

"Eight Traits of The Disinformationalist"


You will see them used many places.  
In Mainstream Media for certain, but other places too.

Like Influencial Internet Sites.

Maybe Like This One?

Make sure to goto the link and read the examples, and

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

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

Eight Traits of The Disinformationalist
 1. Avoidance
 2. Selectivity
 3. Coincidental
 4. Teamwork
 5. Anti-conspiratorial
 6. Artificial Emotions
 7. Inconsistent
 8. Newly Discovered: Time Constant

Review them periodically.

  1.  Call anyone who doesn't share your world-view a troll.

  2.  Claim said troll is employed by the evil republican in power!
4. Teamwork
That was some slick teamwork with chemE above.
The troll I'm scared of is the mild sensible one who comes up with some good points and succeeds in getting responses/moving the discussion.
A really good troll could work a long time, discredit a lot of  posters as paranoid.
If the troll makes no blatant misstep how would you ever know?
I'm not trying to discredit anyone.  I only want us to dance to a new beat of solving our problems, not promoting them~
Blast, Foiled again.


CypherPunks of the Old school used to talk about this sort of thing.  When the net really got out of the DOD and Nuke labs, and started branching out to the College campus next door.  How a person could create an alter ego, and no one could really be sure if they were real or not, at least in the days of Text Based everything.  Even now that can happen, Photos being one more layer in the Con game of being a well hidden Troll, ( I have forgotten what term the CypherPunks called them ).

I am real honest, Here is my real address, 101 mockingbird lane, RealsVille ,YourState , US of Anywhere.

No teamwork here. I just happened to chance by. You surely cannot believe that.

As an aside:

About 1-2 weeks ago there was some discussion on the load on the power grid from charging of cars. I did think about it and I must now say that I was wrong and I believe that Hotghor was wrong too. And Gliderguider was wrong too.

Usage of both the 12-18% efficiency of ICEs and the factor of 4 efficiency of Electric over ICE at the SAME time was wrong. Either one or the other must be used - in this case it is that 12-18% efficiency (I will use 15% - the mid-point in the explanation below)

Gasoline+Air_(O2) = Thermal Energy BTU: X BTU/Gallon
0.15X = Energy used to propel the vehicle / gallon of gasoline usage.

Electric: BTU (or KWH or Joules) used to charge the battery
Assume 5% loss in battery charging and an additional 5% in discharging. Therefore 90% of Electric BTU is used to propel the car

Therefore to replace 1 Gallon of gasoline you need
0.15X/0.9 BTU of Electrical Energy.

Note for the non-technical: All energy is equal as per the First Law of thermodynamics. However, all energy is not equal as per the Second law of Thermodynamics. Energy discharged as waste-heat to the environment is of much less use than the High Temp high pressure steam that comes from a Boiler, which can be used to drive a turbine before being "partially" discharged to the environment. What is used to drive the turbine becomes mostly electrical energy (except for turbine & generator mechanical losses which are ultimately dissipated as heat.

Electrical energy is very high quality energy and can be converted at >90% efficiency into work or motion or ...

Or so the professor taught us in ESC221 at IIT Kanpur 2.5  decades ago.

"You surely cannot believe that"

In this case I have no firm beliefs. To do so would be unwarranted.

I take note. Maybe decide later, maybe never know.

I'm tired.  Want to convert that figure into kWh?
I'll second hothgar; how about KWh?

Also, and perhaps this was addressed in a previous discussion, but one must look at all the energy losses from the mountain top removal, to shipping the coal, running the boilers, line losses to the tranformer, losses in converting to battery power, and losses converting out of battery.

But the bottom line is that, unless one makes a conscious effort to run you car off renewables, one is merely shifting transportation from imported oil to strip mined coal.

10a)   "you are really splitting hairs there"  (recently used by tony snow)
Very likely.
His "honesty" sound supiciously similar to odograph's "honesty".
If this is not an "overtime work" of odograph he is from the same PR agency.

A better idea than just EVs with the same energy consuming patterns.


Best Hopes,


GEM EVs (on market today by Daimler-Chrysler) can get Urban citizens to the mass transit stops if they don't walk or bicycle (less GHG and energy doing either, and healthier, than driving an EV).

I attended a presentation yesterday by a consultant for Hampton Roads Transit which is planning to build an on-grade light rail system. It is only a single line running the width of Norfolk, but it is a step in the right direction.
I asked and the system is powered by 5 1MW substations/transformers, one of which is for redundancy. The project is due to start construction next year, assuming of course that final approval is given. I think it is supposed to cost ~250 million.
I'm in favor of electrified light rail as a mass transportation sollution.  The problem is that you cant expect people to radically change their lifestyles overnight.

The first step to rehabilitating the population would be to replace their grossly inefficient ICE with a vastly more efficient 'and safer' EV.  The second would be to help them realize the usefulness of 'work rooms' in their homes that are the only places to be heated/cooled the majority of time.  The third would be to reduce our air travel binge.  The fourth would be a migration of travelers to mass transportation in a hopefully better planned city.

Pulling the rug out from someones feet tends to make them really angry :P

The PHRV/EV only solution will likely last a generation (remember the auxiliary services require more energy to service them, personal auto use is less than 1/2 US oil us) before a second collapse hits due to lack of energy in toto.  That oil production curve keeps going down.

The best strategy is to build electric mass transit ASAP and let that be the carrot to the Peak Oil hammer (not a stick).  The drive will be to abandon suburbia (as we abandoned every downtown and much of the pre-WW II housing stock from 1950 to 1970).

Just do the same in reverse this time (the suburbs are low quality housing that will fall apart anyway) and enforce high energy conservation housing standards on new housing.  Almost assuredly, people will move from 3,200 sq ft homes to 870 sq ft condos within walking distance of a rail stop (or 1,100 sq ft within bicycling range).#

I am not concerned about exurbanite/suburbanite "anger".  Their economic failure will be due to Peak Oil, NOT building mass transit !

To the extent that the market supplies PHEVs & EVs, fine.  But no tax breaks or incentives.

Best Hopes,


# This scenario will be better than the likely alternative.

"The drive will be to abandon suburbia (as we abandoned every downtown and much of the pre-WW II housing stock from 1950 to 1970)."

And what will come next? As in, where will people go? Back to the central cities? That might seem a good idea, and will probably happen to a large degree, but I noticed that the three most crime ridden cities are St. Louis, Flint and Detroit, which is where PO has already hit hard.

Also, PO probably means an economic crash, and capital to invest in new infrastructure will be hard to come by.

I think people in suburbs will have to make do with what they have, where they have it, i.e. retrofitting to make use of passive solar, water collection, and ripping up lawns for permaculture gardening.

All this is 180 out from where people are heading now, so it will be interesting to see how (or if) society manages the transition.


Re:  Natural Gas
Again, a lot of the gross natural gas number is meaningless because they are counting the same gas over and over again.  Texas, which only counts natural gas that is transported off of a producing lease, shows that Texas natural gas production is down by about 45% or so since 1972 (oil and natural gas production peaked at the same time).  

To remind everyone, you were stating that the US example of natural production suggested that world natural gas production would not peak for 30 years or so after oil production peaked.  I have pointed out now several times that your reasoning is flawed in this regard.  I also pointed out that a LNG article a couple of days ago suggested that world gas production may peak very shortly after world oil production, and the author specifically questioned the "LNG will save us" assertion.

Re:  Energy Conservation
IMO, individual  energy conservation solely for the common good probably does not make economic sense, given the voracious demand in China and elsewhere.  I do think that arranging your life so that you cut your energy consumption makes long term economic sense.

In regard to flying, I recommend that anyone who wants to go to Europe or elsewhere go now, because it will be a lot more expensive in the future.  I also recommend the company we used, www.untours.com.  They have set up a program that allows you to live as a European.   They provide airfare, an apartment and a mass transit/rail pass.  Since you have a kitchen, you can cook a lot of our own meals.

For a couple of weeks, we lived the European "Old Urbanism" lifestyle.  We walked or took mass transit almost everywhere we went.  Like our neighbors in Rome, we hung our laundry out on the balcony around a common courtyard, since neither apartment in Italy had a clothes dryer (I was surprised to read that up to 10% of home electrical usage is accounted for by clothes dryers).  

It would be an interesting question to calculate our total energy consumption in Europe for two weeks, including jet fuel, versus two weeks back home.  Since we didn't drive a car in Italy, our actual net energy consumption may have only modestly increased.

In any case, I would strongly recommend that anyone who wants to go, go now, and I think that it is very useful to see how the Europeans use about half of the total per capita energy that Americans use.

I have supported proposals that we abolish the Payroll Tax and replace it with an energy consumption tax.   I have several references to this in various articles on the Energy Bulletin.  You can find them by searching authors for Jeffrey Brown.  I may be a coincidence, but Boone Pickens started supporting a higher gasoline tax, offset by cuts to the payroll tax, after I wrote him and asked him to support the energy tax/cut the payroll tax idea.   BTW, do you support Boone Pickens' proposal?

It would be an interesting question to calculate our total energy consumption in Europe for two weeks, including jet fuel, versus two weeks back home.  Since we didn't drive a car in Italy, our actual net energy consumption may have only modestly increased.
You can calculate roughly how much fuel is consumed and CO2 produced per person by flying here:


From Texas to Italy (6000 miles, one way) I come up with about 700 kg per person, or about 250 gallons. That's a lot of BTUs. From an energy standpoint, forget CF lights or hanging clothes out to dry or buying a Prius--just take one less trip a year.

I don't think personal attacks are warranted, but this is not a trivial issue. We all make decisions everyday which are somewhat at odds with a realization of Peak Oil.

I'll ask this question again: given PO, what do you/will you do differently? Go on a flying vacation now because you won't be able to later? Buy the big SUV? Spend $24M to be flown to the ISS?

If the public at large has the same response to PO (use it now before the price goes up), then things will be very interesting and I am more pessimistic about prospects for the climate and for society.

I appreciate the information you provide to this community, but I don't think the "P" in ELP should stand for "Party". It's sort of like insider trading--get yours before the word gets out. Personal conservation might not make economic sense, but then economics are largely responsible for this mess.

Hold on here, if I can pay 24 million to fly to the ISS, AND they would let me.  Away I am going.

Sorry I might also be a DOOMER.  I do think the price has gone down a bit to only 20 million Dollars.  

Doesn't he get some slack, His WIFE and FAMILY dragged him kicking and screaming away from TOD for 2 weeks and you guys are harping on him for spending some fossil fuels and wasting the little bit of savings he got by living like a European for those weeks.

Here he is trying to get back in the swing of things and Now he'll have to take another vacation for all the harping he is getting.  

Be DOOMERS,, but be nice gentle doomers.

As opposed to spending that $24M on windmills, or solar panels, or whatever?

I'm not beating him up about going--I'd go if my family dragged me there (and it does sound like a great experience). Let's just not kid ourselves about saving the planet by vacationing.

My wife and I have gone through this line of reasoning. I was of the mind that if we're going to travel, we should go now; since the fuel is just going to be burned anyway. My wife (who doesnt' really like to travel) doesn't want to burn the fuel, both for PO and GW reasons.

So we stay at home on the homestead and tend our permaculture garden and finish the paper adobe greenhouse, so when people in our little town wake up we can help them design their gardens and give them plant starts.

I do think there is a big difference between one off uses of energy and endemic sorts. For instance, a one time trip to Italy -- or investing a lot of concrete in a footer for a root celler -- I would put in a different category than commuting two hours a day just to keep the money flowing to creditors.

The education of living a satisfying, lower energy lifestyle is worth something (quite a bit).  Westtexas is TRYING to educate and promote awareness of the problem AND solutions.

Investing a few hundred gallons of avfuel in broadening his perspective is energy wisely invested IMHO !

Best Hopes,


This article discusses fuel use for various modes of transportation:

A lot depends on whether the plane (or car) is full or not.  A full 767 uses as little as 0.01 gallons per person per mile, or 120 gallons roundtrip to Italy (12,000 miles).  

Each American uses the energy equivalent of about 7.5 gallons of oil equivalent per day (from all energy sources), or about 2,700 gallons of oil equivalent per person per year.  Europeans use about half that amount per person.

So, given that we are, IMO, in the twilight of the oil age, my advice stays the same.  Adjust your lifestyle so that you cut your spending and energy consumption as much as possible--and if you are so inclined, go to Europe now, because most people won't be able to go later, although it would be interesting to see if ships (sailing?)  make a comeback as a way of traveling to Europe.

Just curious, did you offset your CO2 for your European trip using TerraPass, Trees for the Future or similar?
Yes,  Untours has a program where you can buy offsets for the CO2. Technically, my wife bought them.  I thought that it was purely symbolic, but what the heck.  
I know there is a big debate about the validity of CO2 offsets. I personally use Trees for the Future in my attempts to be carbon-neutral, nuclear-free.
at least planting trees takes carbon out of the air.
What a minute...didn't Reagan teach us that trees actually cause pollution???
The whole issue of how much FF's he burned is a mute point.  I'm seeing some retarded comments of how he probably saved oil by doing this.  If this were somehow true, then I guess the ultra conservation method would be for every American to pack their bags and start traveling.  After all, were saving energy by doing it!


The Ill Doomer defense at its best :P

I doubt that there would be political will in the US to abolish the Payroll Tax and replace it with an energy consumption tax; but we might be able to get there, or at least close, in another way:  Abolish the Payroll Tax and convert it to a consumption tax (i.e.  A national sales tax).  Since all consumption needs energy; you have at least moved in the right direction.  Also, any used items are already taxed, so this would encourage reuse and conservation.  Fair Tax also includes a rebate on all taxes paid up to the federal poverty level; so poor people pay no taxes.  (In the case of peak oil, the federal povertly level may have to be adjusted downward over time.)  This also makes taxes explicit and everyone knows how much they are paying -- this should force more involvement and federal reductions of spending as we "feel the pain" of taxes that are mostly hidden today.
See www.fairtax.org for more information.
I think an energy consumption tax would be a wonderful tool to helping us trim down our energy usage.  I myself have been in favor of a VAT 'tax on goods consumption' over the income tax.

And there you go, I KNEW you would be the one to evoke Jevon's Paradox!  'Why NOT travel to Europe and waste energy.  If I don't do it, then someone in China/India will!

It makes more long term economic sense for EVERYONE to conserve 'as you pointed out'.  But in order to do so, they need to be shown how its done and how it doesn't necessarily mean a massive reduction in their standard of living.

Try this in the Smart future.  Reduce the Human Population.

We have 20 years to do it in. Birth control can not be the only answer.  

Granted you have an aging USA and Europe.  You have AIDS, Birb Flu, You name it bad bug, to help with the downsizing.  

While you are looking at that one, look at this one too.
 How long to build the best and Highest Miles per Energy Unit vehicles?  How many do we need?  

Its the same for the Pro-Nuke crowd.  How many can we build, and How fast can we build them?   Everything that you make today, takes the energy sources of today to build.

If you have 10% inputs from renewables, then only 10% of your new products will be built with NON-FF. While that is good. How long before you reach the end of the cycle and you are replacing old parts with reused parts, or new parts built on the backs of the Renewables Only?

I admit, I do not see a bright shiny future for mankind.  Not as others might see it.  I do not know when and what will happen.  But my gut feeling is very soon, sooner than most of us think.  

Keep on being a rosy future person, maybe I'll have to serve you Tea and Pound cake one day.

Chinese illegal immigrants arriving in shipping crates are given refugee status because they say they are trying to escape China's one-child policy.  Talk about shooting ourselves in the foot. . . .
Population growth is in the third world, but resource useage is in the first world. Especially the US. So one less American would really make a difference.

We need Americans to step up and do their bit for the world, by "shuffling off this mortal coil".

Any volunteers? Since you brought it up, perhaps you should lead the way?  

"Granted you have an aging USA and Europe."

I would recommend you read Philip Longman's piece at the following url, from which I have posted below some paragraphs.  Longman, who appears unaware of the problem of declining low entropy inputs into the economic process, is mostly concerned that the 'global baby bust' is going to devastate economies worldwide as the elderly impose an increasing burden on the young.


 "Yet because Mexican fertility rates have dropped so dramatically, the country is now aging five times faster than is the United States. It took 50 years for the American median age to rise just five years, from 30 to 35. By contrast, between 2000 and 2050, Mexico's median age, according to UN projections, will increase by 20 years, leaving half the population over 42. Meanwhile, the median American age in 2050 is expected to be 39.7.

"Those televised images of desperate, unemployed youth broadcast from the Middle East create a similarly misleading impression. Fertility rates are falling faster in the Middle East than anywhere else on earth, and as a result, the region's population is aging at an unprecedented rate. For example, by mid-century, Algeria will see its median age increase from 21.7 to 40, according to UN projections. Postrevolutionary Iran has seen its fertility rate plummet by nearly two-thirds and will accordingly have more seniors than children by 2030.

"Countries such as France and Japan at least got a chance to grow rich before they grew old. Today, most developing countries are growing old before they get rich. China's low fertility means that its labor force will start shrinking by 2020, and 30 percent of China's population could be over 60 by mid-century. More worrisome, China's social security system, which covers only a fraction of the population, already has debts exceeding 145 percent of its GDP. Making demographics there even worse, the spreading use of ultrasound and other techniques for determining the sex of fetuses is, as in India and many other parts of the world, leading to much higher abortion rates for females than for males. In China, the ratio of male to female births is now 117 to 100 -- which implies that roughly one out of six males in today's new generation will not succeed in reproducing.

"All told, some 59 countries, comprising roughly 44 percent of the world's total population, are currently not producing enough children to avoid population decline, and the phenomenon continues to spread. By 2045, according to the latest UN projections, the world's fertility rate as a whole will have fallen below replacement levels."

FYI: I'm in favor of a one child policy in the USA and the world at large.  We do need to reduce our population.  I know this may sound weird, but how...ironic...would it be for the US to implement a .75 child per person law, and set up a trade which allows couples to sell their unrealized .5 child rights to others :P
"Westexas, I can hardly believe you thought it was prudent to fly halfway around the world to go on vacation for two weeks over seas"

At this point, Him not flying would have about as much effect as "Flyshit on a Cannonball"  to use a rural raying.

The plane was flying anyway.

Really, Chiding the trivial...

In my opinion, you better go see the world before you no longer can...
The Untours program is really pretty cool.  We have been on two--one in Switzerland and most recently in Italy.  In both cases, we had minimal contact with other Americans. It was very much a cultural immersion program.  And the cost can be very reasonable, especially since you can cook a lot of your own meals.  

I had an invaluable resource when we did go out, the Cheap Eats/Great Eats books.  They recommend small, family owned restaurants off the beaten path.  We found a small, seven table, restaurant in the Spanish Steps area of Rome that had been owned by the same family for 120 years.  

In any case, at least once, you really should see St. Peter's, the Pantheon, the Colosseum, Florence, etc.  

And the "Untours Diet" (eat all you want and walk at least 10 miles per day) really does wonders to your waistline.  One begins to understand why obesity rates and miles driven go up together (here in America, we are the world champs in both categories).

Sounds cool...any link to information on Untours would be appreciated.

My most recent trips to far away places have become more poignant with the knowledge that in 10-20 years, such trips may not be possible.

From the website (FYI, they donate 100% of their profits to charity):


Tired of the same old vacation packages? You can create your own vacation fun with an Untours vacation package.

 What is an Untour?
    *     Two weeks in an apartment, farmhouse, villa or cottage.
    *     Air/Ground transportation.
    *     Support services, including escort from the airport.
    *     Live IN a country, instead of just travelling through it!

"One of the world's ten best travel bargains!" (Arthur Frommer,premier travel writer)

Sweet...thanks much!!
WT, ain't Italy great! I was there in 1996 with my wife, her sister and mother. My Mom-in-law is a retired geologist who has worked the Mediterranean for the last 25 years and we took a geological tour of Italy for 10 days. There is a Norman castle at Catania on the East coast of Sicily sitting on a huge lava flow. I wanted to go look at the castle and she was saying 'castle, schmastle! Look at these lava flows! What it's like to tour with a geologist.
Great food, friendly people. I'd go back in a minute if lots of other things didn't intrude.

Thanks for all the informative stuff you've posted.

"The plane was flying anyway."

How 'bout another rural raying: "the car was going to the supermall anyway, so I just decided to sit in the driver's seat."

Getting past that gem, of course the actions of one person are trivial (unless you're Paul Allen). But everybody in China now wants to  fly too.

I love it.  Mind if I use it on a later date? :P
We all make many decisions with environmental consequences, and most of us make some that are less frugal than they might be, so I don't support chiding anyone personally for making one energy costly choice.

But, the consequences are not trivial, and to dismiss them with "The plane is flying anyway" reinforces the tragedy of the commons. Same with buying SUV's. ("They'll sell them to somone?") If even a small percentage of people make more environmentally sensitive decisions, it will slow the deterioration, giving us a little more time to make plans and adjustments, and it may awaken others to the seriousness of our current death march.

I'm not trying to chide westexas personally, I only want to point out that if he wants the rest of the world to live responsibly, then he needs to start doing so himself.

So his family dragged him away from his computer kidding and screaming.  Big deal.  I can imagine he was being kindof obsessed, especially in the way that he seems determined to respond to virtually everyone of my posts 'I'm flattered btw'. Why not drive to a near by campsite and camp out for a few days to brush up on those survival skills.  Or take your family to a nearby amusement/local park.  Or better yet, why not simply unplug the computer, and enjoy a few evenings playing scrabble, monopoly or go fish with your wife and kids.

The point is, he could have chosen any number of other viable alternatives that didn't include flying halfway across the world, and living a life in luxury while tramping around in Italy, using yet more FFs :P  I thought we were all supposed to localize, economize, conservate and reintegrate with our natural surroundings :P

PS:  I find it hilarious how so many people state that it was right for him to take this trip.  'Do it while you still can!!'.  See my ILL Doomer post for some readjustment please.

"I'm not trying to chide westexas personally, I only want to point out that if he wants the rest of the world to live responsibly, then he needs to start doing so himself."

Good idea. I'm gonna power down my entire house, set up a fund to have somebody come in once every three months and wipe off the solar panels, and then I'll kill mice elf; no more contributions to global warming, no more stealing oil  from my grandduaghter. If I'm not part of the problem, I'll be a major part of the solution.

Life was good.


For what it's worth, I agree with you, and I think it was useful that you brought it up. The "Party while you still can" attitude is a real doomer vision, giving up hope for meaningful change.

That money and energy can be invested personally in preparation for a more sustainable life--gardens, wind turbines, PV cells, insulation, learning to raise chickens...

"That money and energy can be invested personally in preparation for a more sustainable life--gardens, wind turbines, PV cells, insulation,..."
Got them, don't want a turbine

 "learning to raise chickens... "
Done that, started a  sustainability discussion group, gave out copies of End of Suburbia...

Let's party.

In a set of news headlines about the future of Seafood, the authors mention that "We will of course do something to stop this from happening"(parapharsed).  When have we seen this line before and then after the fact realised nothing was done?

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&a mp;cid=1162507817078&call_pageid=968332188774&col=968350116467

They put the end at about 20 years from now.

Other articles recently mentioned here and elsewhere talk about the fishing of Jellyfish because they are what is out there and "Look Ma I like jellyFish Really!" is the new slogan at the fish market.  The bigger more common food fish are not there to eat the JellyFish and have let them become the Locust swarms of the sea.

Oh joy just another Peak to look out for.  One side effect might be, we will all love to eat corn again,  oh wait a minute, that is ear marked (pun intended) for my car.

Hey Dan

The earlier mention of jellyfish being the seafood of the future comes from the LA Times series Altered Oceans.

The general idea is that as complex lifeforms disappear, primitive life takes over, a journey back in time to algae bacteria jellyfish.

If it happens in the oceans, chances are it will on land.

I actually read an interesting article a few months back about Jellyfish, and their history.  Seems that the general thought is that jellyfish have been around several hundred million years, and have survived every major extinction event through that period.

Something has to be said for simplicity in the grand scheme of survival.

We just have to develop the peanut-butter fish to go with it....

sorry, I couldn't help myself :-?

Oh, tartar sauce!
Soylent Green?
Hey SAT,

You have had a number of posts here saying how independent the Iraq government is.  Isn't it the wildest coincidence that the Saddam verdict will happen two days before the midterm?  Ha!

If THIS is the October Surprise...it's a pretty lame surprise.
Couldn't agree with you more, that is why I see it as so pointless.  The Iraq government is going to lose out on the long term because they will be doing the occupiers bidding.  Wait three days and they would be standing on their own, better for them, better for us.  But here near DC I can hear the spin machines warming up for it.  I will check back on Sunday, and if the verdict is not the lead story on cnn.com, I will give a mea cupla.
At this point, it actually seems the less Iraq in the news the better for the Repubs - not as they might have planned.  
Well...I was hoping perhaps they would unfreeze OBL's body and plant it somewhere in a cave only to be "captured" by our forces.
The main story out of Iraq in the run-up to the elections has been Al Maliki's defiance of the U.S. in insisting Sadr City blockades be taken down.  He's made it very clear here that his allegiance is where it should be, with the majority of Iraqis, rather than with the U.S..  As for the Sadam Husein trial, I think you're right.  I think it will be a major boost for the Republicans.  These elections don't do anything for me anyway.  I'm not sure I wouldn't prefer it if the Republicans retain control of Congress.  They've made their bed, now let them lie in it.
By the way, that comment I posted above isn't Soylent Green.  It's SpongeBob SquarePants.  I've never even seen Soylent Green.  I don't know what a detrivore is.  I'm clueless on Tainter.  Never heard the word, "meme" until I came on this website.  Have only a very vague idea about permaculture.  Thought Gaia was a singer until a few weeks ago.  Carry a cell phone and a Blackberry.  On the plus side, I ride the subway to work, have a good-sized stash of tuna and gold in my pantry (yes, I keep gold in my pantry), and spend a lot of time in my jacuzzi reading Simmons and Kafka.

A couple of random questions/comments:

I have cable internet.  But when I try to watch one of these YouTube videos, they periodically reset on me.  The latest one I was trying to watch, posted by Leanan a few days ago, The End of Suburbia, kept resetting on me around minute 10.  I could never get past that point.  The others, 9-11 Mysteries etc., jumped backwards from time to time, but I was able to slide the slider and keep watching.  Does anyone have any ideas about what is going on here?

Leanan, yes, Leanan, posted an interesting article a couple of days ago about October seeing an all-time record in refi activity.  According to the article, people were cashing out money from their homes to pay off other, higher interest-rate loans.  Today, a stronger-than-expected ISM services report was released.  For anyone who isn't aware of it, the service sector is 80% of the economy.  These two pieces of information don't tell me that there isn't going to be a recession next year, but it looks like Americans are going to go down borrowing.


YouTube... yes some videos do seem to "stick"... whatever your connection speed...

Solution: Install a Firefox extension that saves the video to your HDD... and play from there... this avoids "hiccups"...  

I use "Ook! video"... and view later with "FLV Player" (both free downloads). End of Suburbia was 121 MB...

Alternatively in IE.. some FLV format videos are cached in your "temp internet files" folder"... (I keep a shortcut on my desktop)Copy file to My Docs... then use FLV Player, as above...

Thank you Canbrit.

I appreciate the info.

You've never seen Soylent Green? Uuuuh, we have a problem here. Houston?...yeah, Central Control,... yeah... Zulu... One... Niner... Roger that... stand by... does this douchebag even have a DVD?... standby ... Roger that ... transmission send ... Copy that... this has to clear higher levels... standby ... '3 Days'? ... '1984'? ... There was some screw-up on the initial training ... He stayed at a Holiday-Inn Express that night ... send him back to Bob Shaw.
OK, I'll give it a shot.  But I have to tell you, I read, "The Road" on your advice, and I didn't find it all that spectacular.  I'm so picky, though.  I read the same handful of authors over and over again.  I don't know what's wrong with me.  '1984' is one of the best, of course.


Wow. I can't believe anybody took my advice. You're the second of two that have reported back to me about the book personally. The other was one of my sisters. She loved it. So it's 50-50.

We all went to see Borat last night, but it seems the rest of the country had the same idea. Totally sold out. So we went to Blockbuster and got MI:3. I gotta say, I kinda like it. Especially that little Asian jewel-smuggler they've got on the team.

I'm clueless

ramp up if you want to be alive VS the 'dollasrs to energy are fungle' tribr.

goiod luck (wsucker)

The only reason Maliki did anything is because he was afraid Moqtada al-Sadr would come for his ass.  The problem with the verdict is it make the murderous bastard a symbol for the Sunni resistance since the government will be seen by them as an American puppet for it.  A lot of Marines still die fighting the Sunni resistance.
When al-Sadr is named PM in a few years, people will stop claiming Iraq is a US puppet.
As for the Sadam Husein trial, I think you're right.  I think it will be a major boost for the Republicans.

I believe quite the contrary.  I think the whole Saddam trial is viewed by the general public as the freakshow circus it really is.  Any attempt to portray it like a real "trial" is laughable.

I don't know why anyone would want to win these elections.  But anyone who hates America should hope the Democrats win.  If they do, we'll see the American political system at its worst.  The Republicans will have an easy scapegoat.  They won't have to accept responsibility for the recession.  When the stock market falls apart, they can blame it on, "fear of a Democratic Congress."  When Bush pulls troops out of Iraq, he can claim that the cowardly Democrats, "forced his hand."  I think it would be more helpful to have eight years of total Republican control, with the effects of this made plain for all to see.  
Besides, these have been the greatest six years ever for a lot of my favorite countries (Iran, Venezuela, Russia, UAE, SA, etc.).  
Not sure I would call them "favorites", but they have all played the game well...the Big Chess Game.  The question is what will these guys do once BushCo is gone?  That...is a HUGE unknown, at least to me.

Will they see this as victory and just get more hungry and blackmail the world by playing more and more energy cards (ok...we've switched games here) or will something else happen?

No I agree...cleaning up the mess that BushCo has caused is not an enviable job.  And the Republicans will try to pin a lot on the Democrats.  I just don't know if this country and the rest of the world can stand another 2 years of BushCo adventures.

I am a realist and understand that the Democrats will not have all the solutions that will help the energy situation in the world, but at least some make the attempt to work with other countries and diverse communities within this country.  If there is any hope to come out of the next couple of decades with any sense of calm and order, the power players on this Earth are going to have to have a common goal.  This, perhaps, is naive, but the alternative gets big time nasty, very quickly.


I've read your posts on this thread and on the other predicting that the Saddam verdict will backfire on the Republicans.  It's an interesting idea.  We'll see what happens.

I've talked to plenty of military people, because I like to strike up conversations with people, and I've never met one who was as stupid or simplistic as Bush.  On the contrary, it's like talking to someone from TOD, very well informed, lots of shades of grey, etc.  Give Bush two more years and even the military will turn against him. Or maybe they already have by shooting down his Iran ideas.  What a moron.


Yes..timing is everything. The demoplutocrats must go on the offensive and stay there.  They must show the incompetence of the current politcos and map a future.  I am afraid they are not up to the task.
The main pre-election story out of Iraq is the total destruction of Forward Base Falcon, October 11 and 12. Two days  'cause the ammo dump kept blowing for 13 hours. That was our primary ammo dump in Iraq. If we can't hold on to our ammo we can't fight. No reason to think that any review of procedures or 'heightened security' will allow us to re-establish another ammo dump.
If you don't think I know what I'm talking about may I suggest you research this yourself? I first saw the dump blowing live on BBC-TV. Waited a couple days, saw the merest squib in NYT and then started to look. Google has been bombed so that old trivial stories come up the first few pages of Forward Base Falcon or Forward Operating Base Falcon. Keep looking and there are at least 50 MSM stories on this.
Falcon was 7 miles from Green Zone. Some of the explosions so big there was speculation a tactical nuke had gone off. The ground shook all night in Green Zone and no one slept. Everyone knows the game is over.
If you can't hold on to your ammunition you can't fight a war.

Interesting information.  I'll check into that.

I guess the main point that I disagree on with people is that an American defeat in Iraq will be something negative.  When the British were defeated in America everyone thought it would be negative for global stability too, and that the U.S. would descend into chaos.  They were right for awhile, but in the end, having an independent government turned out to be good for the U.S..  I think the same will be true in Iraq.  Sure, there will be some rough moments, but eventually the Iraqi majority will assert their control over the country, just like the American majority did here.  The minorities in Iraq will probably face some difficult times, but I don't here any Iraqis talking about slavery or reservations, so I think they're ahead of where we were at a similar point.

When America must face defeat - I think that is immediately after the election - I expect to see the Bush administration and Americans generally behaving like wounded elephants. Lots of very large wounded elephants.
Other than that I feel a sense of universal compassion and human solidarity and such feelgood things, mostly I'm not worried about Iraq. They''ll take care of themselves somehow. America is becoming a frightening place.
Do check the story. Thanks.

On October 10, 2006, at approximately 10:40 p.m., a 82mm mortar round, fired by militia forces from a residential area in Abu T-Shir, caused a fire at an Ammunition Supply Point (ASP) at FOB Falcon. The ASP, containing tank and artillery rounds, in addition to smaller caliber ammunition, set off a series of large explosions. About 100 troops from the 4th Infantry Division were reported to be stationed at the base at the time, but no injuries were reported.
Pish and tosh. This was big, not 'a fire'. The many firsthand reports on this make it very large. Observers who are inured to the daily carbombs of Baghdad, and who know very well what our 500 and 2000 pound aerial bombs sound and feel like are not goiing to be impressed by a few shipping containers of small arms rounds popping off on the edgw of town. The many videos you can watch make it big too.
Mortar fire is omnipresent in Iraq. And continual. The notion that the US Army leaves ammo stored where it is vulnerable to 82mm mortar attack is comical.
That official spokesmen keep saying daily operations are not affected is a guarantee that daily operations have been affected.
It's been contained very well.  Until you mentioned it I hadn't heard anything about it, and that little blurb there is about the only direct thing I find when searching for it.
Google still gives me pages of hits. Lots of commentary and secondary discussion to wade through, much of it ridiculous (I'm not believing 300 American soldiers dead and covered up) but the primary sources and videos are still all there.
Saw newsfeed from central Bagdead at night...huge explosions, raging fire/millions of dollars of supplies burnt up.  a propaganda victory, everybody in the general area would have been informed of this "fire"
Then there is this link.


 Notice at the bottom where it states that Low Oxygen Count in the water can produce fish kills.  That seems to be a big thing world wide, especially where Red Tides or other big Algae blooms are found.

 Nice links by the way, thanks.

Huamnns tend to repeat things that worked for them in the past.

I consider it instructive when I can look at past actions of the leadership/leadership class and ask 'how will this time be different?'

The present leadership got to where it is by 'strip mining' the earth.  When the resources could become gone via continued stripping....what will have them pick a new course of action?

Looks like credit cards are a problem for Saudis as well as Americans...

Eid and School Expenses Leave Many Broke

In an effort to better the living conditions of Saudi citizens, one of the first royal decrees issued by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah was to arrange for the Kingdom's economic surplus of SR98 billion to be used to increase salaries paid to government employees, military personnel, and pensioners by 15 percent.

Another endeavor the king made to help the citizens was to reduce gasoline prices.

According to statistics provided by Euromonitor International, the world-renowned market research company, credit card sales were up in the Kingdom with approximately 11 million credit cards in circulation. The financial card market is also expected to grow to an estimated SR323 billion in 2009 -- an increase of 41 percent -- with the number of cards in circulation increasing to 20 million in the same year.

That's odd, given the fact that according to Islamic rule interest is not be paid.
They find ways to wiggle around that.

The ban on usury made sense in a steady-state economy.  It doesn't make sense in growing economy, and cultures have adapted.

In a shrinking economy, will the credit card pay me interest on the money I borrow?

(sorry couldn't help meself)

Sure.  In fact, they do it now if you pay off you balances each month - that's what the point programs are all about.
dont kid yourself  those rewards programs are for one thing and one thing only   to increase credit card companies profits   the only way to "take advantage" of a rewards programs is to buy (and consume) something   while it may be possible to use a reward program  to  advantage   about 99.9% of card users dont   imo
Of course.  You have to buy something to use the bank's money, and people tend to spend more when they use credit cards, instead of cash.  No question it's a trap.

But, it's still a way to get paid for borrowing money.

buy  consume   marry and reproduce     do not question authority      move to the burbs   drive an suv   live in a house with vinyl siding     consume    c  o  n  s   u       m       e    you are getting very sleepy          c     o       n           s           u             m          e
Or could it be that growth is fueled by the interest? Along with cheap energy.

Obviously, the steady-state economies of the past knew about interest.  People were doing it, or why pass laws against it, preach about how evil it was, etc.?  

It wasn't that the poor backward folk never thought of charging interest.  It was that the economy was different back then.

Isn't it interesting how all these religions have these rules and ways of 'wiggling' around them. Know what an 'eruv' is?


Sometimes they are created by simply stretching a string around an area making it magically exempt from the rules of the sabbath.

Hmmmm, maybe we could invent some kind of Peak-Oil-Exemption system that would exempt us from the effects of PO.

Yup.  I am firmly convinced that society shapes religion, not the other way around.  Here in the good ol' USA, Leviticus is used to explain why gays are all going to hell.  We ignore a lot of the rest of Leviticus, though.  Like the part that forbids clothing woven of more than one kind of fiber.  

In India, Jains are supposed to avoid eating eggs, for moral reasons.  But it's okay to eat cracked eggs, since they won't turn into chicks.  So the wealthy will order their servants to crack the eggs.  They didn't crack the eggs themselves, so their hands are clean.  And the servants don't feel guilty, either, since they were ordered to do it.

There's a great bit in Deuteronomy where it says 'if two mean are fighting, and the wife of the man being attacked strikes her husband's assailant in the groin, cut off her hand. Show her no pity.'

I mean, it's just hilarious. God apparently cares about women smacking guys in the cods.

Now the real point is that this is sitting in the middle of some apparently rational stuff about 'leaving part of the harvest for widows and orphans'. So modern Christians see all that modern rational social justice stuff, but skip straight over the embarrassing 'God hates female ball-punchers' bits.

It's a complete joke. You're a hundred percent right about the society shaping the religion. If we lived in a society of stingy, weak males that needed to be defended by their wives delivering smacks to the nads, those parts of the Bible would get quoted and the 'widows and orphans' stuff forgotten about.

Deuteronomy 25:11 KJV

 When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets:

Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her.

Hey, if your brother dies it's your obligation to take his wife..

 If the man doesn't want to take his brother's wife, then his brother's wife shall go up to the gate to the elders, and say, "My husband's brother refuses to raise up to his brother a name in Israel; he will not perform the duty of a husband's brother to me."

Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak to him: and if he stand, and say, "I don't want to take her;"

then his brother's wife shall come to him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face; and she shall answer and say, "So shall it be done to the man who does not build up his brother's house."

Freeway Destroying Mayor Speaks in New Orleans

Upon my return from Boston (stayed over to sight see and meet transit advocates, including past Chair of APTA Streetcar Committee), I took a taxi directly to this speech.  Rolled in with my luggage as the intro started :-)

John Norquist was 16 year Mayor of Milwaukee.  A major claim to fame was the destruction of part of a freeway near downtown.  New Orleans is considering destroying I-10 from Canal Street to Elysian Fields.

He opened with the first two verses of Lamentations from the Bible.

Despite fears, traffic got no worse in Milwaukee after the freeway was taken to landfill.  True also when earthquakes dropped spans in SF.  Helped revive the city (he spoke at length about some of the New Urbanism dogma).  Also pointed out that the last surviving bit of East German technology is our freeway soundwalls (did side by side shots of Berlin Wall & US cities).

Basically, people do not like to be near auto sewers.

Catch him if you ever get the chance.

Best Hopes,


Thanks for the info. Seattle is agonizing over two mega highway projects: 1) a new floating bridge across Lake Washington, and 2) replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct (a two-level elevated freeway near the Puget Sound seawall) with Big Dig II featuring the added excitement of earthquake risk.

While something probably should be done about the former (since it could sink, like its I-90 sister to the south did in 1990), just tearing down the viaduct, with no rebuild, makes the most sense for an oil-depleted future. John Norquist and the Center for New Urbanism has weighed in on this option.

And I would be happy to have some more "freeways" in Swedens capital Stockholm and my own home town Linköping. It would be nice to complete the 3/4 built road systems, they will be usefull for 100+ years.
 The Current Paradigm

Robert stated yesterday that "the current paradigm" was that we had not yet reached peak, and that the peak according to that paradigm, was several years in the future. And that it would take extraordinary evidence to overturn that paradigm. Well, I started preparing a post giving my opinion on that paradigm and, with significant evidence, explain why I think it is wrong. However that turned into a much larger project than I expected. It involved much more research than I expected it would.

Nevertheless I will complete that project and post it sometime next week. The reason it will take so long as I want to cover all bases.

However I am convinced that we are post peak. I could be wrong of course, but I think there is absolutely no doubt that we are at the plateau. Any month might spike up and surpass the current peak we hit in December 05, (crude + condensate). But even if that happens I think there is no doubt that we are currently at peak or past it.

Ron Patterson

I don't understand. You're going to do research to come up with evidence to prove an opinion that you've already formed. I think you're supposed to look at the data first, before you come up with the theory. That was Tuesday's lesson, wasn't it?

If December doesn't matter, why mention it in the first place?

The ILL Doomer does not understand this, Oil CEO :P
Okay I'll bite.  What does "ILL Doomer" mean?
IrrationaL-Logical Doomer.  They use circular statements to prop up their arguements, yet continue to consume in an irrational manner.

Examples:  Westexas, a known peak oil NOW proponent, flying halfway across the world to go on vacation, blowing fast amounts of FFs and engaging in indulgence he then criticizes the rest of the world for doing.

The average ASPO-USA Boston attendee.  These doomers will likewise travel across the world to attend this conference, and blow vast quanitites of FFs to do so.  I will ask this again: WHY DO THIS WHEN YOU CAN HOLD THE SAME CONFERENCE AND REACH A MUCH LARGER AUDIENCE VIA VIDEO CONFERENCING!!!

The Jevron's paradox proponent, which I'm sure is about to be evoked!  Why not use the FF's if they're available.  If I didnt use them, someone else would do it!

To sum it up:

The ILL Doomer realizes that production will peak -> Calls for more drilling to expand production -> Uses the increased drilling to support his assertion that oil production has peaked -> Calls for conservation to Shepard remaining oil supplies -> Indulges in waste of oil to go on extravagant vacations/attend conferences -> Systematically avoids all conservation methods -> Invokes Jevron's Paradox to explain behavior -> Continues to warn that a production peak is imminent. -> Repeats cycle.

In most of my posts, I can be looked at as a Doomer.  Yes I have made trips this year, for Wine Woman and Song, Ok just the Woman part.  I use 1/2 to 1/3 of the energy I used 2 years ago.  I preach what I have always thought, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  My views have not changed much in the past 25 to 30 years when I started figuring out something was fishy with all the numbers I was reading about.  

So do you consider me an ILL-Doomer?

No.  You are apparently at least trying.  Thats way more then some of the rest of us apparently seem to be doing.
Videoconferencing does not allow for the most valuable part of a conference; personal conversations and idea exchange.

The ratio of oil used vs. potential savings via policy exchanges are millions/billions to one. Example: Bezdek mentioned "other options" to his/Hirsch's report (only CTL, oil shale, enhanced oil recovery and improved vehicle fuel economy in report) such as a massive mass transit investment.  This was after a face to face conversation that I had with him and earlier eMails.  Also talked about Scottish renewable grid and more.

I took Southwest to PVD (56.7 pax miles/gallon for first 9 months 2006) plus commuter train north to Boston.  Given that I use ~6 gallons/month, I fell no guilt.

Your point has very limited validity.

Best Hopes,


BTW, WestTexas discovers FAR more oil than he consumes.

Good points...up to a point...but I'm still left with an S.I. Hayakawa conjugation of an irregular phrasal verb - I/we use for vital purposes; you consume questionably; he/she/they waste utterly.

Face-to-face serendipity is nice, but it is, after all, a luxury. And if a policy option is really millions/billions-to-one, it will inevitablly emerge - there are enough people thinking much the same things all across the world, and they all have telephones and Internet hookups. And if it is really millions/billions to one, then its possessor should be shouting it to the (media) rooftops immediately, not sitting around waiting for some "conference" to roll around. All the more so for those possessors who allege that we must make radical reductions very quickly. Those radical scenarios not only leave zero room for mass tourism as we now know it, but they make it absolutel vital to get information out instantly.

"Conventions" and "conferences" tend to be mostly about ego, advertising, and chitchatting - not about sharing information. It has always been that way, but a valid excuse in the old days was that we had no quick, efficient way to exchange and discuss (or even copy) drawings and images. Those old days are long gone - even without a videoconference room, we can now email drawings and computer programs in a second, and begin discussing them seconds later. We no longer need to schlep protoplasm for that.

So if the info is urgent and vital and million/billion-to-one, then get it out right now, not tomorrow. If not, then maybe a more useful and effective communication would be to set an example by sharing it over a link instead of sharing it by expending huge resources to schlep protoplasm. After all, the trips that are not made at all are the ones that consume the least; hardly any trip leads to any outcome that would not have happened anyway; and, most important, the tendency to sit around waiting for months or even years for the "right" conference to roll around - the one that makes the biggest splash for the ego - actually postpones any possible serendipitous outcome.

And if it is really millions/billions to one, then its possessor should be shouting it to the (media) rooftops immediately, not sitting around waiting for some "conference" to roll around

That is what I have done !

I have sent links and attached MS Word files to a couple of hundred people who have published on energy (including Bezdek & Hirsch).


I reviewed all of the Peak Oil websites and decided to devote myself to TOD and spent some time getting my thoughts in as part of the accepted dogma.

Bezdek never opened my eMail (true of most others I eMailed).  However, as we were both speakers I responded to him on the mass mailing/communication to speakers and he read it with some questions.

However, face to face interaction was the only way to really effect any change in his thoughts.

He is co-author of the ONLY US Gov't studies dealing with Peak Oil and is well known for that.  If I can get him to adopt some or all of my ideas, then they will "sprout legs" and be more likely to be adopted as policy.


AFAIK, I am the only one to seriously promote these ideas in the Peak Oil community.  Others have accepted them and are helping the ideas "sprout legs", but no one else is doing basic analysis in this area.

Best Hopes,


You know, you can talk with anyone about anything using a VOIP service, or utilize ventrilo or skype for direct communication between yourself and any number of others.  You want to see how easy it is?

I run a ventrilo server for a game I play, you guys are more then welcome to log on and doom yourselves into oblivion, and it will be free for you to boot, and it beats the hell out of flying/driving halfway across the world to shake hands :P

port 3500

Hothgor, people are funny old critters.  When face-to-face they have a tendency to listen and respond, but when a strager shoves a flyer thru their mail slot, or sends an email to their inbox, they are more likely to ignore it.  I know that I'm that way and strongly suspect that I'm not at all unique.
Have you even used modern video-conferencing equipment?  It can be very personal, or very impersonal.  It all depends on the setup.  But the fact remains, it drives me crazy to see so many intelligent people clamoring to use up as much FF's as possible to attend a face to face conference with each other.  

Why do human beings do this?  Is it because we crave human interaction?  Is it because we cherish the back slapping so much we cant live without it?  Was the urge to hold up a glass and toast with your after conference party group so great that you were suddenly unable to think logically?

I don't understand these people.  Any sane person knows that a finite resource's production and exploitation must peak at some point in the future.  There is no debate about that.  While I understand that there is a debate on WHEN it will happen, that shouldn't be our primary goal.  Most POs get burned out on the subject because they only look at two sides of the issue: production and crash-scenarios.  Why not look at the viability of alternatives and help society and world plan for a life without oil?

And no, this does not have to mean permaculture.  No, this does not mean advocating a massive return to the farms so that our society can regress back to a feudal serfdom system.  This does not mean cheering on the die-off scenarios and hoping we all decide were better off in a world with 200 million people.  This means taking a look at the problem, and finding innovated and exciting ways to mitigate/circumvent/solve the problem.

Who says the world cant support 6 billion human beings all living in a sustainable/renewable fashion?  What study out there suggests this is impossible?  Our current system is very wasteful, just take a look at our use of ICEs which utilize only 12% of the energy content of gasoline!

I refuse to believe that with all our knowledge, all our innovation and determination that we can not meet this problem head on and work our way through it.  Will you be the one harping doom?  Or will you be the one working FOR a future, and not a return to the past.

Who says the world cant support 6 billion human beings all living in a sustainable/renewable fashion?

In the real world wishing upon a star will not make things happen, praying will not make god refill empty oil reservoirs, and science will never allow us to do things the laws of thermodynamics says can't be done.

We can in fact not even support 6 billion people today at the time we have the most energy awailable we're ever going to have. Cutting down forests, draining water resovoirs, emptying the sea of fish and poisoning rivers is not living sustainable.

A massive dieoff is inevitable, and refusing to work towards an impossible goal is not harping doom, it's called being realistic.

We cant support 6 billion people today because we grossly waste our resources on extravagant trips to Italy and back slapping in Boston.  Take out the waste and you have a much different picture.
What's the VOIP ID? I'm not familiar with that system. I have to go to that site first? Yeah, I love testing the voice stuff. I love the constant connectivity to unlimited sources. The computer as your personal secretary. Push of the button tells everyone what you want them to hear. My deal has always been manageability. When I can copyright it, I'll be Bill Gates' friend.
Oil CEO,

Just go here.

Once you get the program, make your avatar and use the following information:

port 3500

There is a channel specifically set up for POers, called Doomers and Boomers.  I will warn you though, running off to another channel to 'inform' the rest of the server will probably result in your banning, and while I can undo this, I don't want to many questions asked :P

BLOCKQUOTE Will you be the one harping doom? BLOCKQUOTE

Yes, yes I will.


Who says the world cant support 6 billion human beings all living in a sustainable/renewable fashion?  What study out there suggests this is impossible?


Ever hear of "the war in Iraq"?

To be honest, I think flying uses less fuel per person-mile than driving, provided it's a large jet. You'd have to do the math, but I'm sure you could drive to Italy and back in two weeks if the Atlantic Ocean were paved. Which means that he saved fuel by taking the vacation. And if his wife normally drives, then they saved twice as much fuel.

When I go to ASPO-Nigeria in December, George Bush said he would give me a lift in his A-6 Intruder.


It's not as efficient as a 777, but it sure is fun taking off from flight decks and landing in the jungle.

Going to be tough for even George II to do that as the last of the A-6's left service in 1997. Maybe he actually meant to offer a lift in an S-3B like the one he rode to his Iraq War II "Mission Accomplished" victory party on the USS Lincoln.

Vikings have longer unrefueled range (but would still need to refuel to get you there) and more room inside, but always liked the Intruder better. More intimate two-person cockpit and you don't get that "hoover" sound when traping.

Yeah, that was the one I was thinking of. They look vaguely similar. I gave up after 5 minutes searching for the name on Google. The stories never focused on the type of plane he landed on the carrier with. I always remember I had a former East-German professor who taught Defense Journalism who thought it was a shame the Navy was phasing out the A-6 because of its range and bombload.
but it sure is fun taking off from flight decks and landing in the jungle.

You might want a Harrier if you are going to land in the jungle - especially if it is dense ;-)

Depends on the jet and how many seats are full, of course, but, you're right, the numbers per person mile are comparable, AND, "driving" six thousand miles in a day uses a lot of fossil fuel.
Yeah, it does. I was hoping nobody would notice that. I tried substituting the time notion of two weeks as a decoy, but you caught it. I was trying to stick up for Westexas, show my support for the military, and make a crack at my buddy George, all at once. See what I gotta do after Hothgar goes on a rampage? I hope he appreciates it.
That made me laugh, Oil :P
Good. Because you were the intended audience.
See my note above
Hothgor - are you a bicycing, bus riding vegetarian then?

I agree with all the points you make - I do no consider myself to be a doomer - mainly because  I think the doomers are far too optimistic.

I am considering a post called the Carniverous Petrolhead, to address these issues. See here:



Actually, I bought a house that was near a public bus stop AND within bicycling distance of my work place, supermarkets and other locations.  Plus my area has a ton of farmland and an abundant water supply for if/when TSHTF and the worst doomer scenario is realized!! 'this was a joke :P'

But using the bus....THE HORROR THE HORROR!!!

But using the bus....THE HORROR THE HORROR!!!

Yes, I know.  I HATE the St. Charles bus, which has replaced our 1923/24 St. Charles streetcars (no a/c, noisy, rattly).  The Magazine bus is equidistance from my front door, but I never rode it before Katrina even if I had to walk further.

Buses never generate TOD, urban Rail is MUCH better :-))

Best Hopes,


Oily, December was The Peak So Far.  Until it is surpassed you have nothing but "proJeCtions" to deny it.  

What might account for the lack of The Symptom expected by R2 (i.e.  decline in availability of crudes at The Market) is an interesting but separate and distinct question.

I think Matt Simmons speaks of the "Current Paradigm" (slide 2)

"The Danger of relying on conventional energy wisdom"

I look forward to reading Darwinian's POV after he finishes taking all the time necessary to assemble it into a coherent form (very nice of him!).

However I am convinced that we are post peak. I could be wrong of course, but I think there is absolutely no doubt that we are at the plateau. Any month might spike up and surpass the current peak we hit in December 05, (crude + condensate). But even if that happens I think there is no doubt that we are currently at peak or past it.

Yeah, coherent. I think Ron's a little confused. Listen to what he is saying.

...I am convinced...but could be wrong...absolutely no doubt...plateau...spike...peak. Yeah makes a lot of sense. With logic like that how could you ever be wrong?

I think you should tell your buddy not to bother. People have been debating "peak-oil now" for over a year here. Don't tell Ron, but most people here, including myself, have actually concluded that there's a good chance that might be correct). There's nobody here vehemently denying it. At worst there are a few people thinking there might be a few more years left. Any skepticism is really about the effects and how society will react and transition.

The hardest thing to do is to look outside at that world - and those other 6,500,000,000 people minus the 300 that are on this website and get any notion that anything is different from December 2005. If you can convince yourself that there is something different, that that last barrel we just burned made all the difference - then you are probably insane.

But he's going to lock himself in his secret underground laboratory for a week and present us with the definitive proof when he's done. Uh-huh.

I think the problem here is with the inability for anyone to settle on a definition of what a peak actually is. Is it a month, is it a year, is it a plateau, is it a period of time of a certain length in which a decline occurs, where there is no logical explanation for a decline? Does it matter what price is doing?

But Ron is good at coming up with definitions for things and making sure the rest of us use them, so I have no doubt he will succeed.

Obviously if Ron is going to prove that December was the peak even if a month post-December shows higher production, then the time period encompassing a peak can't be a single month. Start there. I'd give you more help, but I'm having to much fun watching you people stumble over yourselves trying to prove December was it. Like it matters. Who cares!? It doesn't. It's stupid.

In the end Ron is going to prove to himself whatever he wants to prove and you and he are going to believe whatever you want to.

We have Peak Production at Dec. 05 ... so far.

Until it is surpassed you have only projections to deny it.

"The hardest thing to do is to look outside at that world - and those other 6,500,000,000 people minus the 300 that are on this website and get any notion that anything is different from December 2005. "

Okay... so R2 is waiting patiently for The Signal at The Market end of the beast and you are waiting for concensus of the 6.5 Billion Herd.

Oil CEO --- you are extremely wise  -- well said...
Oil CEO --- you are extremely wise  -- well put...
Hey: I love your way with words, but I think fly shit on a connon-ball has a better ring to it.
It does. I just designed my Christmas Cards. Who said the cannonball thing?
I don't understand. You're going to do research to come up with evidence to prove an opinion that you've already formed. I think you're supposed to look at the data first, before you come up with the theory. That was Tuesday's lesson, wasn't it?

Oil CEO, use your head for something besides a hat-rack and stop being such a dumbass. Every post should be researched to make sure you get your facts straight. People who shoot from the hip, like yourself, are prone to really dumb mistakes.  

I keep data on every nation, their production figures past and present. I have read virtually every book on the subject and follow all new developments on the net. I have, in my opinion, accumulated more data on the subject than perhaps anyone on this list.

However all this data must be explained in such a way that even almost anyone can understand it. This is indeed a tough task but I hope to succeed.

But I don't expect anything logical from you. You never produce any data whatsoever, you only take wild ass jabs at people who do. Why don't you try doing a little research, collecting a little data yourself instead of just making cynical remarks at people who do?

Ron Patterson

Ron I can tell you if any of the top 75 oil producing nations in the world is pre- or post-peak or if it is unclear. I can give you a graph showing their consumption and production for the last 40 years.

If they are post peak, I can give you their average decline rate.

I can tell you the percentage of consumption over production for the top 160 countries in the world with populations over a million.

I can rank these countries any way you want.

And I can do it right now. If I wanted to, I could give you a website where you could look at all this work, and you could download it and do want you want with it. But I'm thinking I might want to use it in a book.

I'd be careful next time you make comments about people who "never produce any data whatsoever." And I'd be careful about who you tell to do research and collect data. They might have already done it.

What data did you want Ron? Maybe if I help you, you can tell me where Simmons hides all the field data he collects.

I'd like to see your data, so go on, don't be a spoilsport. Tell us where your website is.
My regular site is in my profile. The site I'm talking about here is something I'm working on and have decided that for the time being I'm going to keep it private. Plus, you won't need it anyway, you'll have all Ron's brilliant information within the week. He is, after all, the source who knows more about oil than anyone else and has studied the numbers more than anyone(and read all the books). I wouldn't want to get in the way of that :)
Oh, I see. You have the data but you choose to keep it private.

Yeah Right!

Ron Patterson

It's not my data it's my research. And you are correct, I'll choose to do anything I want with it. You are the second person I've offered it to. But I fear we won't have an opportunity to discuss it soon, for you shall be busy for the next week. But if you run into any roadblocks, be sure and give me a holler. I'll give it my best to set you in the right direction. Provided it's about oil :)
You sound like an addict in this post:

And I can do it right now. If I wanted to...

"I could quit right now. If I wanted to"

There is no point in discussing ones ability to back oneself up.  If one was able to, one would just do it.

My comments were only intended for Ron. His statements are obviously bullshit. Anybody reviewing my posts the last two days alone can see he either hasn't read them or is lying. Where does he think those graphs came from? That I used crayons and my imagination?

"There is no point in discussing ones ability to back oneself up.  If one was able to, one would just do it."

First, you are absolutely wrong about that. There are multiple reasons why one would want to play it this way.

Second. If you want a taste. Check out the final post on the Drumbeat for Oct. 25th. I posted that yesterday at 2 o'clock as a test post to see how the image worked. It's blurry, but you get the idea. So, I guess I did just do it :)

I disagree - but look forward to your post.
Cry Wolf, thanks for the very locical and kind reply. It is nice to hear something that is not just a cynical jab.

By the way my reply will include a quote from you:

I think Simmons may underestimate the Saudi Arabian reserves located in a few hundred fields which I often refer to as "all the rest".

I cover this subject very throughly in my reply, but basically it says there are no "few hundred fields" which to consider. There are far less than one hundred very tiny fields. And second I ask: "Well why should Simmons consider a resource that the Saudis themselves do not even consider?"

The entire Saudi upgrade, with which they hope to reach 12 million bp/d is upgrading four very old, very tired fields, and one slightly newer field.

Saudi Aramco has restated its determination to increase oil output to twelve million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of 2009. Abdallah S. Al-Saif, senior VP of exploration and production, said last month that the Khursaniyah, Shaybah, Nuayyim, Khurais and Manifah fields would be the source of the additional output.

Shaybah is the newer field, on line since 1999. They hope to increase its production by 300,000 bp/d by 2008.

ARAMCO has no plans to tap or upgrade any of the very tiny fields, whether they are currently being tapped or not.

Ron Patterson


I would also use Simmons' quote that the conventional wisdom is almost always wrong.  I find it interesting that a very, very tiny number of people are currently asserting at we are at or past peak world oil production.

I do think that Robert's assertion that we should, in effect, trust the major oil companies and Saudi Arabia is a really weak argument, and I would almost use as a counterintuitive proof of Peak Oil, i.e.,  if the majors and the Saudis are screaming loudly that we haven't peaked, we have probably peaked.  

It's kind of like when the first time that you meet someone, they tell you how honest they are.  Every time that happens, I always reach for my wallet to make sure that I still have it.

I do think that Robert's assertion that we should, in effect, trust the major oil companies and Saudi Arabia is a really weak argument...

Straw man alert! That is not my argument. My argument is that given that your paradigm is a minority opinion, and the oil majors and Saudis are pretty well united in their belief that peak is still at least a few years out, if you want to do a good job of convincing people, you have to tighten up your case.

I give you an example. The reigning paradigm forever was that ulcers were caused by stress, lifestyle, etc. A pair of Australian doctors, Robin Warren and Barry Marshall, challenged this paradigm. They thought it was caused by bacteria. Lined up against them was the conventional wisdom, and all the drug companies selling ulcer medications.

Yet their views ultimately won the day, and they were later awarded the Nobel Prize. Why? Because they didn't throw out a hypothesis and say "prove us wrong." You can't do that if you want to overthrow a paradigm. You must make your case very solid, and it must be able to explain the data. It must be able to deal with apparent contradictory data. It must not rely heavily on speculation and circumstantial evidence.

Or you could just use Ron's method: call everybody that disagrees with you a dumbass and never read their posts and then claim that they "never present any data whatsoever," while pronouncing yourself the foremost authority on whatever it is ;)
They proved it by a drinking a dish of H. pylori and getting gastritis.  That might be a bit much...
My argument is that given that your paradigm is a minority opinion, and the oil majors and Saudis are pretty well united in their belief that peak is still at least a few years out, if you want to do a good job of convincing people, you have to tighten up your case.

As I pointed out elsewhere, Deffeyes actually has vastly better data than Hubbert had when he gave his speech in San Antonio 50 years ago, while Hubbert's Shell Oil Company supervisor was trying to stop him up until the time that Hubbert stepped up the podium.

Mathematically, if we were debating the Lower 48 peak, time wise the debate would be occurring in 1971, the first year of the Lower 48 decline, while Hubbert gave his speech in 1956.

I guess it comes down to whether or not you believe that the HL method works.   In any case, the mathematical model, and the historical models, suggest that we should be seeing lower production, and we are seeing lower production.

Of course, the moral of your story regarding ulcers is that the tiny minority view turned out to be correct. . .

In any case, the mathematical model, and the historical models, suggest that we should be seeing lower production, and we are seeing lower production.

The entire problem for me is that I think we are seeing lower production because demand is lower. When demand is low and refineries reduce rates, prices must go down or producers must cut back. We are seeing prices down and production down.

Let me ask for a firm prediction. Is it your contention that we will never break the record set last December, and that the current production rates are due to geological factors, as opposed to reduced demand?

Of course, the moral of your story regarding ulcers is that the tiny minority view turned out to be correct. . .

Of course paradigms have been overturned throughout history. Creationism was overturned. Helocentrism was overturned. The ether proved to be nonexistant. One thing that all of these have in common, though, is that they were overturned with very airtight cases. Darwin built an incredibly sound case, which, if understood, became quite difficult to deny. Lamarckism did not explain all the data, and was ultimately just an interesting footnote.

In your case, the lower demand theory is a competing hypothesis, and lower prices seem to support this. I think you tend to ignore or handwave away certain contradictory evidence (e.g. refinery maintenance in the spring being responsible for lower imports; remember that one?). You have to tackle that head on, and you have to be your own devil's advocate.

Let me ask for a firm prediction. Is it your contention that we will never break the record set last December, and that the current production rates are due to geological factors, as opposed to reduced demand?

Yes, in my opinion, we are on the downslope of Hubbert's world peak--at least for conventional crude + condensate.  The total liquids peak may be a little later.  What is your most pessimistic pick and most optimistic pick for the world peak?  

In regard to the export/import question, if it weren't for the rising oil prices, I would agree with you.  To me, rising oil prices suggest that refiners were being forced to bid the price up to keep the imports coming.  If refiners didn't have to pay more for oil, why did they?  As part of that process, I think that we have killed off some "easy" to kill demand in poorer countries (of course, from the point of view of poorer countries, I don't think that they are happy about the forced conservation).

IMO, increasingly we are going to see Europe, the US and China bidding against each other for declining oil exports, instead of against regions like Africa.  As I documented earlier, and as I predicted, net oil exports are falling faster than overall world oil production is falling.

In regard to the export/import question, if it weren't for the rising oil prices, I would agree with you.  To me, rising oil prices suggest that refiners were being forced to bid the price up to keep the imports coming.

Yet the trend following spring maintenance was the opposite. We have seen rising imports and falling prices. I looked at this a while back, and it was the exact opposite of the data you used to support your hypothesis back in February and March. Hence, my argument that your hypothesis is ignoring this sort of contradictory data.

In Boston, Stuart presented his production graph showing a most recent data point of oil production well in excess of 12/05.    I previously speculated that this shows the Saudis going all out to help Bush and possibly straining Ghawar in the process, which in part accounts for their current cutbacks.   But in any case, it seems that 12/05 was not a peak in production.   In addition, certain exporters, such as Nigeria and Iraq are underproducing their geologic capacity due to wars, as we all know.
It depends on how it was measured.  If you're measuring only crude and condensate, as Deffeyes does, the 12/05 peak still stands.  
But Robert...I still don't have an answer as to why oil prices have gone up so significantly in the last 3-4 years.  If we are awash in so much available crude, then why haven't we gone down to $40 or below?

I asked this yesterday and never got an answer...perhaps it was just an inflation adjustment or something, but this simple question has not been answered.

But Robert...I still don't have an answer as to why oil prices have gone up so significantly in the last 3-4 years.  If we are awash in so much available crude, then why haven't we gone down to $40 or below?

Let me ask you this question. What should the price of oil be, and why?

The reason oil has gone up is that excess supply has diminished. The comfy cushion that once was there is no longer there. All it takes for that to happen is demand over time to grow faster than supply.

"The reason oil has gone up is that excess supply has diminished. The comfy cushion that once was there is no longer there. All it takes for that to happen is demand over time to grow faster than supply. "

This sounds much more dire than what I have heard you say, or admit to, in the past.  What I have heard are things like, "when my company has needed to buy, there was oil to buy."  

This sounds much more dire than what I have heard you say, or admit to, in the past.  What I have heard are things like, "when my company has needed to buy, there was oil to buy."

I have talked numerous times about a supply/demand imbalance, and about the potential that oil production could continue to increase, yet prices sky-rocket if demand outpaces the production increase. That is my "Peak Lite" scenario.  

OK, true...I do recall your "Peak Lite" classification.

So let me try to get clarification from you...you think right now that supply has not peaked, but demand has increased faster than the increase in supply, thereby thinning the buffer in the spare capacity?

Is this an accurate picture of your thinking?

That's correct. There is definitely some spare capacity. I don't think anyone can deny that. The question is just "how much?" Clearly not as much as a few years ago.

I have also argued that a better case can be made for a continued supply/demand imbalance going forward, but making just modest assumptions about growth in China and India. For all practical purposes, that will have the symptoms of a true production peak.

The entire problem for me is that I think we are seeing lower production because demand is lower. When demand is low and refineries reduce rates, prices must go down or producers must cut back. We are seeing prices down and production down.

Good theory, but in this case it just does not make any sense. Prices, at $60 a barrel are near all time highs. Companies and producing nations are making huge profits at today's prices. They were all producing flat out until the OPEC cutback. The OPEC cuts will have no affect in the US until mid December, or says the talking heads on CNBC.

Demand only indirectly affects production. Price is the go-between. If demand is low then prices drop to a point where producers are unwilling to produce at that price. Then and only then does production drop. We have not seen prices drop far enough that producers cut back.  It simply has not happened, until this cutback by OPEC on November 1st. Prices are still astronomical when compared to prices three years ago. And the OPEC November numbers will not be relfected in the EIA data for another three months.

Ron Patterson

Demand only indirectly affects production. Price is the go-between. If demand is low then prices drop to a point where producers are unwilling to produce at that price. Then and only then does production drop. We have not seen prices drop far enough that producers cut back.

Sorry, Ron, but the data indicate otherwise. Check out the refinery utilization trend. Know why utilization has been down? Because margins have been down, and maintenance that has been delayed can now be done. Refineries that are down for maintenance simply don't need as much oil.

As far as prices go, if the supply cushion shrinks, prices are going to become more volatile, and prices will go up. But I just wish anyone who talks about how high prices are would just tell me how high they should be. I can use the same argument: If we have peaked, why isn't oil at $150 a barrel as many have predicted?

Robert, refinery utilization has nothing to do with whether Russia, or whomever, produces flat out or not. As long as they can sell their oil for $60 a barrel they will continue to produce flat out.

But I just wish anyone who talks about how high prices are would just tell me how high they should be. I can use the same argument: If we have peaked, why isn't oil at $150 a barrel as many have predicted?

Hey, I listen to CNBC all day long, every day. And I can tell you that virtually no one believes that we are anywhere near peak. They all believe that the world is awash in oil and it is going to get much, much worse. They are expecting supply to go through the roof.

Expections drive the futures market. Expectations are that Daniel Yergin and CERA are exactly right. They all believe them. Of course they do.

Oil should be at $150 to $200 a barrel. But as long as the world believes that the world will be awash in oil in 15 years, it is not ever going to get close to that price.

Ron Patterson

Well turn off the !@#$% TV. CNBC will rot your cortex. Good to take a dose of that shit now and then to remember what the brainwashed think. Not every day.
I'd be one angry testy SOB if I watched TV even weekly.
Right on oldhippie. I tune in CNBC for a few minutes every day to marvel at how insular they are and wonder how anyone could trust their money to these people.  They only listen to each other and are so out of touch with reality that it boggles the mind. OTOH, maybe they know and this is just a charade to keep the party going and keep the chumps clueless as long as possible while they get theirs safely squirreled away.
Actually, the minority view (Hubbert's) never was an airtight case. His conclusion was never accepted by the majority on the basis of his analysis. He was shown correct not by his data or theory, but by the solid subsequent numbers of history. And so it will be this time. The numbers are too secret, unknown or unknowable for anything other than educated guesses right now, depending on a person's background, gut feelings, preferences and experiences. As has been said before, the correct position will only be proven in the rear view mirror. You set an impossible standard of proof in advance.
Actually, the minority view (Hubbert's) never was an airtight case.

And it doesn't have to be in order to be correct. That isn't the point. The point is that unless a pretty airtight case is presented, then you won't make any progress convincing the public. That's the purpose of this dialogue. I believe Jeffrey has used certain data to support his argument, but at other times that data flatly contradict his argument. If you are trying to convince a skeptical public, they will be all over that. It certainly would not pass scientific peer review. I guess that's more or less what I am after. An argument that could pass peer-review.

"An argument that could pass peer-review."

Probably the one thing I would be most confident in right now is that such an argument will not be able to be made before the peak actually takes place.

In the meantime, I believe it is fully appropriate for concerned individuals to present their thoughts and conclusions, whether it's peak last year or peak 2040. I learn from the different takes on the situation and the varied sources and perspectives on the information. I don't think westexas has a greater need to prove his point than someone projecting later. I just want people's honest opinons and enough of their reasoning and data for me to make my own assessment.  I guarantee no one will make an airtight case, but that shouldn't inhibit discussion.

I don't think westexas has a greater need to prove his point than someone projecting later.

That all depends if he is interested in arguing his point convincingly before a wider audience. Right now, in a debate, I would poke all kinds of holes in the hypothesis. And I am on his side!

Right now, in a debate, I would poke all kinds of holes in the hypothesis. And I am on his side!

Which brings me back to an earlier point.  

I have all my "Yes we have peaked" stuff posted on the EB.  

Why don't you do a "No, we haven't peaked" article for TOD?

I am especially interested in your arguments in favor of rising production when it is a near certainty that all four of the current super giants are all declining or crashing.  (Not trying to be snide here.  I am interested in hearing your arguments.)

Why don't you do a "No, we haven't peaked" article for TOD?

Because I don't believe a convincing case can be made either way. I can tell you why I don't think we have peaked, and I have done this. There is absolutely no question that we could produce more oil today than what we are producing. How much more is the key question, but we don't know the answer. But then I am not saying again and again "We have not peaked." I am saying that based on things I can see, I don't think we have. There are other explanations for what we have seen. If there weren't, I would be much more open to the peak is now argument.

I think I understand Robert a bit more now.  What we are seeing in the world right now cannot be distinguished from a true "peak" or just a thinning of the spare capacity buffer caused by the supply/demand imbalance.

Both situations can produce similar patterns in the market place (increasing and volatile prices), but only "peak" would result in a decreased net amount of oil in the system.  You can have increasing production and exports in the second scenario, but if demand outruns that, the buffer shrinks and prices go up.

So, Robert, your solution is to spend years building an airtight case that will convince the public.  Hey but in the meantime, any slack time has been lost.  Personally, I think that the cornucopians must be prevented from speaking.  If they are wrong, it's a total disaster; if they are right, we jumped too early and have added some extra time.

This argument isn't acadmic.  It's a matter of life and death, and the cornucopian viewpoint must be destroyed.  So stop nitpicking!  Be afraid, BE VERY Afraid!

Hey but in the meantime, any slack time has been lost.

You completely miss the point. What good is slack time if you can't make a case to convince people to act? That is the whole freaking point.

Robert rites: "The entire problem for me is that I think we are seeing lower production because demand is lower. When demand is low and refineries reduce rates, prices must go down or producers must cut back. We are seeing prices down and production down."

Now, why is demand lower?  I think it is reasonable to postulate that lower demand is a consequence of peak oil, especially that attribute of peak oil which relates to declining resource quality. In other words, to the (major) extent that peaking oil is affecting the margin between low entropy inputs and the personal life enjoyment/waste endpoint of the economic process, it can affect the demand for those inputs as the economy adjusts to the change in resource quality by seeking a new equilibrium.

It may in theory be possible to, temporarily, order the economy in such a way as to allow for an increase in total daily production of c & c, despite the price (demand) signal.  Such an effort would be costly and disruptive.  It could not be maintained, not the least because it necessarily would involve a massive, centrally-planned re-allocation of social and economic resources.  Moreover, with each passing day the likelihood of success decreases with ongoing depletion.  The number of days to prepare for such an effort would in practice be many.

Under no circumstances is it conceivable that such an effort to overcome the underlying shift to a new economic equilibrium by way of an uneconomic increase in C & C extraction would overcome the physical limits on the rate of extraction more than momentarily.

If this explanation of falling demand for C & C is correct, then peak oil is a done deal.  The only way to overcome the peak requires a sufficiently large infusion of new high quality (low entropy) resource inputs, or a sufficiently significant improvement in the way in which we convert inputs into personal life enjoyment/waste, or a combination of the two.  Sufficiency of these new inputs and changes would be indicated if one or the other or both can overcome the decline in quality of the current resource base and the inertia that dogs the economic process.  

Probability?  Very, very small.

Now, why is demand lower?

Because prices are higher? I have seen some very nice correlations between demand and price. High prices will reduce demand. We have seen demand start to pick back up lately as prices have fallen.

Now, why is demand lower?
Because prices are higher? I have seen some very nice correlations between demand and price. High prices will reduce demand. We have seen demand start to pick back up lately as prices have fallen.

Of course! Of course! High prices reduce demand so demand falls to meet supply. Demand has fallen because of high prices. Prices are high because supply has fallen.

Damn! Ain't that so simple?

The point is suppliers have not cut back because of low prices. Suppliers are producing flat out and high prices have cut demand to meet supply.

Ron Patterson

The point is suppliers have not cut back because of low prices. Suppliers are producing flat out and high prices have cut demand to meet supply.

That's not true. I know plenty of Canadian producers who aren't producing flat out. If refinery utilization goes down, that reduces the demand. If demand goes down, production must go down or inventories start to fill up. It doesn't matter what the price is, if they have no place to put it, they have to cut back.

If demand goes down, production must go down or inventories start to fill up. It doesn't matter what the price is, if they have no place to put it, they have to cut back.

Well, that would be true if prices were fixed. They are not. That is why no one believes Saudi Arabia when they say they have no buyers for their heavy oil.

To empty your inventory bin, all you must do is lower your price.

Ron Patterson

To empty your inventory bin, all you must do is lower your price

And if you can't produce any more oil, why reduce the price?

Remember, the Saudis claimed--even as US oil prices climbed over $70 per barrel--that they couldn't find enough buyers, "even for their light, sweet oil."

Odd that no one else had problems finding buyers for their light, sweet oil. . .  

Remember, the Saudis claimed--even as US oil prices climbed over $70 per barrel--that they couldn't find enough buyers, "even for their light, sweet oil."

Which is of course verifiable by any crude trader dealing with Saudi Arabia. Do you think some didn't pick up the phone and call when they heard that? Do you think the Saudis didn't think people would call and ask for details?

Odd that no one else had problems finding buyers for their light, sweet oil. . .

I can name several light, sweet producers who haven't produced full out in the past 2 years. There are lots of them in Canada. One example is Rangeland Sweet.  


If the Saudis were telling the truth, all they had to do would be to offer a small price discount, and I am sure that buyers would have appeared.

In regard to Canada, I assume that the problem was local pipeline/refinery constraints.  What oil company was not maximizing their production at record high nominal oil prices this year?

If the Saudis were telling the truth, all they had to do would be to offer a small price discount, and I am sure that buyers would have appeared.

At the very real risk of having everyone else match the price cut. That is the danger with making price cuts - your competitors react.

The situation in Canada is a function of those constraints. Production in the Williston Basin is constrained primarily by pipeline. But the point is, they are not producing full out.

And for what its worth, there is a very significant price cut for buying OPEC crude versus WTI or Lond Brent Crude.

Its about $5.00!!

Your examples of producers holding back might have some relevance to the argument if you could show that they pulled production off the market after December '05.

I think Ron makes a very good point when he exposes the circularity of the supply-demand-price logic.  Postulating price as an explanation for demand reduction and demand reduction as an explanation for production decline, as you do, begs an explanation for price.  Insufficient supply.  And around and around you go.

But I agree that Ron could be wrong to assert that production capacity is tapped out today.  And obviously if you can demonstrate that Rangeland was producing under its capacity in December 2005, then it can be argued that the December 2005 peak was less than what it might have been.

This does not mean Dec.05 was not the month of peak daily production for all time.

I return to my explanation for declining production, which is that declining resource quality (on average), an attribute of peaking oil, forces the economy to find a new, general equilibrium, an adjustment process which limits demand and constrains price for oil. The capacity of the economy to generate the effort needed to increase oil production is limited by the diminishing average quality of the economy's material resource inputs.  This quality has many yardsticks, including in the case of oil such things as reservoir pressure, hydrogen content, and so on.  

It is commonly contended that technological advances will overcome the poorer quality of material inputs.  This is evidently not the case.  Decline in quality is too steep and the inertia in commerce and industry too potent.

In Boston, Matt Simmons pointed out that UAE has underproduced for years - says they could double production if the wanted to do so.
To empty your inventory bin, all you must do is lower your price.

Not if everyone is already stuffed full, and producers are worried about driving prices down. Nobody wants to get into a price war when they are making good money. Neither do they want to oversupply the market.

High prices will reduce demand. We have seen demand start to pick back up lately as prices have fallen.


That is what I think happened after we outbid other importers in the spring.  We killed off some "easy" competition in poorer countries.  With production down, someone has to be conserving, and as I noted up the thread, as I predicted oil exports are falling faster than overall production is falling.

IMO, we are going to see cyles of bidding wars for declining oil exports.

I think that this article is talking about total liquids production, but I'm not sure.  In any case, production and exports are down.


Nov. 03, 2006

 Oilmen Fail to Keep Achieved

It appears the stable growth in hydrocarbon output has ended in Russia. Production suffered minor decline in September and October, and the annual growth is estimated at around 2 percent by results of this year.

Russia produced 399.091 million tons of crude and gas condensate in the first ten months of this year, Industry and Energy Ministry reported Thursday. Similar to September, the aggregate production lowered a bit past month. The daily output slid to 9.71 million bbl in October vs. 9.75 million bbl a month earlier.

If the current trend is maintained, Russia will post just 2-percent annual increase at close of this year. And it is yet unclear how the energy crisis that is forecasted to hit Western Siberia this winter will affect production of crude oil.

The crude exports went down as well. Transneft attributes October decline of 2.2 percent to increased efficiency of domestic deliveries. For the crude oil product, the domestic demand goes up on expected surge in demand for black oil in winter of 2006/2007 generated by the housing and communal services, by divisions of RAO UES of Russia and by the energy crisis forecasted for this winter.

It is worth mentioning that the greatest reduction in shipment was registered in the exports to far abroad countries, while deliveries to the CIS shed by no more than 0.2 percent. As to the forecasts, a new cycle of stable growth in output won't begin in Russia till 2014, IEA predicted.

As to the forecasts, a new cycle of stable growth in output won't begin in Russia till 2014, IEA predicted.

The HL model is predicting significant production declines from existing production.

I started this export/import debate with my January/2006 post on TOD predicting, based on an analysis of Khebab's graphs, that we would see continued production declines in Norway, and that Saudi Arabia and Russia would decline this year.

Norway has continued declining.

Saudi Arabia is declining (they say it is "voluntary.")

According to the EIA, five of the eight months of Russian production this year are below December.  IMO, Russia is showing production fluctuations right before the terminal decline in existing production.

As to the forecasts, a new cycle of stable growth in output won't begin in Russia till 2014, IEA predicted.

Uh Oh, I expected this but not nearley this soon. I thought Russian production would continue to increase for another year or two. Russia is now the world's larges producer. Now the world's two largest oil producers have gone into decline. This is big, very big.

Ron Patterson

Of the 4 Saudi fields, how many are all or part off-shore ?

I ask because KSA has leased half the drilling rigs in the GoM and shipped them to the Persian Gulf.


Of the 4 Saudi fields, how many are all or part off-shore?

Only one, Manifah. But for some reason Abdallah S. Al-Saif, the senior Aramco VP did not mention Marjan in that article and I completely overlooked it when I posted the piece. Marjan is offshore and is another very old field that Aramco is trying to rejuvenate. That would bring to five the number of very old fields that Aramco is trying to rejuvenate.

I was listening to C-Span last week and there was a Saudi official on the panel there as they were talking about Saudi oil. Marjan was a field that he mentioned several times as one that would help boost Saudi production.

Marjan peaked at just over 100,000 bp/d in the late 1970s and has been in gradual decline ever since. I can't find much on Manifah except that it was permanently mothballed in the 60's because of poor quality oil.

Anyway, those two fields are where most of the offshore rigs are going.

Ron Patterson

I can't find much on Manifah except that it was permanently mothballed in the 60's because of poor quality oil.

Apparently, it's contaminated by vanadium:

After Oil, by David Fleming

Beneath the seabed off the coast of Saudi Arabia is an oil field called Manifa. It is giant, and its riches are almost untapped. There is, however, a snag. Its oil is heavy with vanadium and hydrogen sulphide, making it virtually unusable. One day the technology may be in place to remove these contaminants, but it will not be for a long time, and when, or if, it becomes possible, it will do no more than slightly reduce the rate at which the world's oil supplies slip away towards depletion. Even this field has one advantage over the massive reserves of oil which middle east suppliers are said to hold, ready to secure the future of industrial civilisation. Unlike those fantasy fields, Manifa does actually exist.

I suspect this is the oil the Saudis are building their own refineries for.

Below the link shows that Vanadium occurs in Oil on a Natural basis, so them having oil with Vanadium in it, is nothing new.
 So likewise for hydrogen sulphide, all that means is the Oil in that field is HEAVY crude, Very Sour. But once they process out the Vanadium they can make back a lot of their money by selling it if they can refine it.

 Sounds like they have more heavy sour that they can't find buyers for.  They might just have 12 million bpd of production,  Road Tar anyone?


Vanadium is never found unbound in nature but it does occur in about 65 different minerals among which are patronite VS4, vanadinite Pb5(VO4)3Cl, and carnotite K2(UO2)2(VO4)2.3H2O. Vanadium is also present in bauxite, and in carbon containing deposits such as crude oil, coal, oil shale and tar sands. Vanadium has also been detected spectroscopically in light from the Sun and some other stars.

Much of the vanadium metal being produced is now made by calcium reduction of V2O5 in a pressure vessel. Vanadium is usually recovered as a by-product or co-product, and so world resources of the element are not really indicative of available supply.

Sounds like they have more heavy sour that they can't find buyers for.

Uhhh Dan, Manifa was discovered in 1956 and shut down just a couple of years later. Think there have been no buyers for almost half a century?

Ron Patterson

They might not have.  Why buy much more expensive oil that is difficult to refine and process into end-consumer goods when the rest of the world was awash in light sweet crude that had vastly higher profit margins?  If it were just about the volume of oil potential, we would have exploited the tar sands, oil shale and other super unconventional hydrocarbons first.
BP is still trying to determine a method of profitable [both financially and by EROEI] how to extract hydrocarbons from oil shale -- thiry years later.  I wouldn't hold my breath!
Right.  I dont disagree with you.  I was just pointing out that vast potential available oil in a location doesn't mean it will be exploited first, and I was using the tar sands and oil shale as proof of this.
Parsing out the first sentence without the second sentence gives you that idea. Its a paragraph, short but its a paragraph, one sentence then another.

The first as you quoted, then another that you did not quote.


 "Sounds like they have more heavy sour that they can't find buyers for.  They might just have 12 million bpd of production,  Road Tar anyone?"

Its a joke!! A funny aside to the learned audience! READ it as two sentences in a paragraph it makes sense in a corny way.  

 The explaination is,  they have been saying they have heavy sour crude surplus, they just can't find buyers,  They say they can get 12 million barrels of production, again no buyers.   I in the last 3 words give my punch,, Road Tar Anyone?   Simple.  An inside joke, All they have left is ROAD TAR no one wants ROAD TAR.  Can we say the end of light sweet crude oil here?

Of course they can't find anyone,, no one wanted it then and no one wants it now.
I give up.

Where is the Neon Sign, " This is humor " Dull boring sniffly nosed humor,  I hate head colds.

I love comedy.  It's hillarious.
Manifah has very high levels of vanadium, which poisons expensive platinum group catalysts.

KSA is building a speciality refinery just to refine this oil.  From a vague memory, a half million b/day refinery (anyone have better #s ?).

This is legitimate new capacity from an almost "virgin" reservior.

Oil is also low API and high sulfur from memory.

Best Hopes,


Ron - the starting point has to be a study of how much oil the source rocks in Saudi Arabia have produced, how much has been trapped, how much has leaked to surface, how much has been discovered - leaving finally the amount yet to find.

Are you aware that the Alberta and Orinoco tar sands are an expression of oil that has leaked to surface.  As it gets close to surface, bacteria start to eat the short chains (producing H) leaving only the long chains, asphaltenes and  some aromatics - collectively called tar.

Curious think about the Middle East is that, as far as I am aware, there are no tar sand (or tar limestone) belts - suggesting that much of the oil  ever produced (by the source rocks) has been trapped.

You and the CEO should go looking for papers on ME basin modelling, source rocks and volumes of oil produced.

One thing I might work on (with Khebab) is looking at the field size distribution and the parabolic fractal law (?).  One possibility is that a huge amount of the oil ever produced (by the source rocks) is actually in Ghawar.  Ghawar will have started out as several dissconnected giants, but as this massive structure filled these have merged to become a single super-giant - which would essentially distrort any log normal distribution (?) of field size.

Hi Robert Rapier,

Here are two of my graphs showing why I could be concerned about the gasoline stock. At first I was very worried because I thought that most of the blending components were not so easily transformed into finished gasoline. But then you told us that ethanol is one of the only compounds among the blending components not so easily transformed into gasoline.

Here is the graph for total gasoline, finished gasoline and blending components from 2003 to October 2006 (Source : EIA). Finished gasoline is declining and in fact has never been such low since 1982. I don't know why this is so, perhaps a simple displacement of the storage capacity from gasoline to ethanol ?


Now here is the graph of the ethanol stock and the rest of the gasoline i.e. the total gasoline stock minus the ethanol stock. The ethanol stock is accounted for at EIA only since May 2004 (sorry for some French words comming through in these graphs : "linéaire" means linear interpolation of the data).

So the gasoline stock (total minus ethanol) is declining and the last value at 162.254mb being at its lowest ever? This is just like the finished gasoline stock at 112.124mb in the last EIA statistics being the lowest value since weekly stocks are accounted for in 1982.

Now what can be the reasons for letting the finished gasoline stock (last buffer before commercialisation of gasoline) decrease in this manner (11.8 days in finished gasoline, 17.08 days in total gas-ethanol) ?

It would be inteesting to chart US gasoline prices for the second half of the year in odd numbered versus even numbered years.

I tend not to be conspiracy theorist; however, it would be an interesting graph.  

I agree with Robert that the industry is headed for another PR problem.

Should be fun and I should be able to do that. It will take some time, and I won't be able to post something before nov, 14. I will let you know by then !
Do you not work in a company?  Do you not keep secrets?  Then you are unlike most of the workers in the G7 countries.  Secret keeping is conspiracy.  Price fixing is conspiracy.  If everybody had total correct information at all times, the profits for the best positioned would be far less, so there's always conspiracy!
I am at work with no real time to comment. It will have to be later in the day, or possibly this evening.

Those graphs are chopped off when I view them. Does anyone else have this problem? In that first graph, I presume the x-axis is January and July and then the year?

They look fine to me, but I gather I have more real estate on my screen than most.  

If you're using Firefox, it's really easy to right-click and "view image."

If you're using IE, you can right-click, go to Properties, then copy the URL of the image and paste into your browser.

Firefox also lets you easily Copy Image Location:



Thanks for committing some of your time on this, it can wait.

Sorry for the graphs beeing chopped off on the x-axis. I will have to learn how to use thumbnails in my posts for better viewing.

Indeed "j" and "j" stands for successive january and july followed by the year number in the first graph, in the second the letters are for =may, a=august, n=november, f=february respectively, followed by the year.

The graphs have been made in Excel, pasted to powerpoint then uploaded. I am always surprised by the final size of the picture which is always different from the initial one.

I almost forgot about this.

I guess I don't see the concern. In the first graph, the total gasoline has been consistent, even though there has been a shift in the proportion of finished versus blend stocks. Don't have a good explanation for that, but as I said that doesn't concern me.

On the second one, it would seem to me that the gasoline stock minus ethanol is declining precisely because of the ethanol mandates. Lots of subgrades are being produced now and then blended with ethanol at the terminals. In that case, we have less gasoline on hand. Without the ethanol, it would take 50,000 barrels to fill a 50,000 barrel order. With ethanol, we only need to make up 45,000 barrles of gasoline, ship it to the terminal, and let them blend in the ethanol.

thanks for your reply.

I will think more about this. I still think that the fact that the ultimate buffer before commercialisation is shrinking could become a matter of concern. I recall that gasoline blended with ethanol is already part of the finished gasoline stock (the one which has decreased most).

News on the environmental front as it relates to 'peak fish' from a report in today's issue of the journal Science.

"Grim seafood surprise: Fish soon may die out"

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Clambakes, crabcakes, swordfish steaks and even humble fish sticks could be little more than a fond memory in a few decades. If current trends of overfishing and pollution continue, the populations of just about all seafood face collapse by 2048, a team of ecologists and economists warns in a report in Friday's issue of the journal Science.

"At this point 29 percent of fish and seafood species have collapsed - that is, their catch has declined by 90 percent. It is a very clear trend, and it is accelerating," Worm said. "If the long-term trend continues, all fish and seafood species are projected to collapse within my lifetime - by 2048."

Peak Fish
Looks familiar, doesn't it?

Study Sees "Global Collapse" of Fish Species (NY Times)

If fishing around the world continues at its present pace, more and more species will vanish, marine ecosystems will unravel and there will be "global collapse" of all species currently fished, possibly as soon as midcentury, fisheries experts and ecologists are predicting....
As I linked in to it above, I'll just respond here to both threads.

Though Jellyfish might be the Old Standbys of the Seas, Do we want to test the waters on us also taking them out of the loop?   Just wait and see the guys over at http://www.changingworldtech.com might see JellyFish as a cure all to OIl from the Sea.

Peak Oil, by mid-century will do one thing to limit our use of big huge Trawler Fleets, down to small Sailing Fleets.  

When we pile all the Doomer information Coming out in Nature, and Science, and Other big Peer Reviewed publications.  We have to ask what Roger Conner asked in another thread,  Have we spoke of to many Crisis's for the world to really listen to one more?

I admit, I love "End of the World" type movies and books, Have written a few short and long bits of fiction along those lines.  The Public Likes them, but they also LOVE happy endings.  TOD does not talk about a happy ending.

Peak Potato Chips, does not sit well with the Party Like it's 1999 crowd.  Look out Mr. Cornucopian your party is about to hit some rough times.

Dave, remember the one word post?  What would it be?
Well, at least the last fish available will already be freshly cooked for us by global warming!
Man I am so glad I read this just now.

"Abdallah Jum'aah, the CEO of the big Saudi state-owned firm Aramco, recently stated publicly that the world has 4.5 trillion barrels of fossil fuel reserves, enough to power the globe at current levels of consumption for another 140 years."

I was so worried before.

I can go to sleep peacefully tonight never fretting about the future Oil supply.

(I could be serious, I might be serious, I could be dreaming too.)

Yeah Dan, not to worry. After all, FF are not only Oil & Gas, Coal and Peat also qualify as FF. W'll be frying our brains out, but we do have enough FF for the next 140 years.
In regards to the article It's Not Dead Yet in which oil execs claim that we have plenty of fossil fuels left to burn, what is their view of the consequences of burning those fossil fuels? Do they care that they're helping civilization destroy the Earth? Are they blinded by $$$$?

Lately, with the publication of the Stern Report and warnings from climatologists and theorists on the impending climate disaster caused by GHGs, how much longer can these energy industry heads tout the massive stockpiles of fossil fuels that remain without inviting the scorn of the human race?

These guys are like pushers telling junkies they have more than enough dope. The junkies want it, but they hate the pusher all the same. Will society's view of oil execs take on this attitude?

Tom A-B

Regarding the Stern Report or Global Warming, OPEC doesn't buy it
The leader of Opec which controls two-thirds of the world's oil reserves, today claimed its findings had "no foundations in either science or economics"."
And who does George Bush appoint to come up with the answers ?    Lee Raymond

Just a couple of comments:

  1.  We do have lots of oil left to burn.  We're only approaching 50% Qt for the World.  Perhaps we just passed it, or maybe we're a few years away, either way, we're only near the halfway point.  That leads us too:

  2.  The problem isn't reserves (there's a lot left), it's production rate.  Once you reach ~50% of Qt, production rates begin to decline.  With declining output in terms of Oil, I actually think Oil is going to slowly dwindle in it's effect on Global Warming.

So then the big question becomes how do we continue to sustain and advance as a society with the amount of our primary energy source declining?

We have 7(?) options:  
  1. Conservation/Energy Efficiency
  2. Coal
  3. Nuclear
  4. Solar
  5. Wind
  6. Hydro
  7. Ethanol

In the 1st world countries, Energy Conservation has massive potential.  The very fact that we use a lot of cheap energy means that more expensive energy should encourage conservation.

Coal is the scalable short term fix with horrible Global Warming Consequences, if we can't conserve fast enough.  This is probably the easiest solution, with the worst side effects.  Carbon sequestration looms as a potential technical solution, though the jury is still out as to the viability.

Nuclear is relatively clean, but with longer lead times, and a waste disposal issue.

Sugarcane ethanol looks to be viable, except perhaps in terms of soil depletion.  Certainly it will never be a direct replacement for today's petroleum use, but as a niche player, it can probably play a role.

Which leaves us with:

Solar, Wind, and Hydro are the real long term sustainable solutions.  These have lower EROEI, but are clean and sustainable.

That's how I see it anyway.  I don't see Doom, but I think there will be some hard times (as well as signifcant societal changes) that go along with the transition.


Okay long post to parse through.

"I actually think Oil is going to slowly dwindle in it's effect on Global Warming"

 Not if you add back to the mix of energy use, Coal, Wood, Ethanol, or anything that is HydroCarbon based.
Check the link below for the Combustion of Ethanol, water and CO2, back to the Carbon Cycle we go.


Carbon is in the World's life cycle, check out the Articles on the "Carbon Cycle" I first read about it in a set of books I got as a kid from National Geographic.  Where I read this I can not remember and I have been hunting for a refernce for ages, ( One CO2 molecule takes 30 years to cycle out of the atmosphere).  But even if that is not true, the amounts of CO2 that we would need to put back into a holding pattern boggle the mind.  Just like the amounts of FF we have used in the past 200 years.

 You don't see doom, just a bit of gloom.  I see doom, with lots of gloom.  And here I am trying to point you on the path toward more doom, Yay for me.  

ARGH!  Now is the time I need to go find some nice flavored Ethanol and sit in a corner and write a few sad poems.

As I told Mr. H, above, keep the rosy eyeglasses on.


"You can't bargain with the planet because it doesn't care whether or not targets are "politically acceptable". So unless we secure a deal determining how much carbon each nation and each person can emit, we simply will not survive"

"carbon rationing represents a total break with business as usual that it is the only climate-change policy that will work. "

I thought ethanol was net zero on Carbon?

How much carbon does burning a cord of wood produce?  How many gallons of gas is the equivalent?

But I just think it's much easier to see doom then it is to see oppurtunity.  

How many people in the 60's thought Volkswagon would never be able to sell the Beetle?

How many beetle's are there going to be in the new energy paradigm?

From here.


Combustion of ethanol forms carbon dioxide and water:

C2H5OH + 3 O2 ¨ 2 CO2 +3 H2O

You get water and CO2, the equation balances out.  As to the Carbon being a zero sum gain, I am not sure.

Prehaps they say the corn takes it from the air, and you put it back into the air by burning it.  Hence the Zero Carbon wasted.  But that being said, then Oil is also a Zero sum gain, it was once in the air and now is back in the air, We just were not around the last time it was in the air.

I know somewhere they say that Back 100,000 years ago there was not this much CO2 in the air as there is today.  But was there when the Fossil Fuel was bing formed?  We do live on a closed Planet.  Did we get some Carbon from outerspace in the last 150 million years, no one knows about?

I see Doom only because I have been around long enough to notice it a lot.  If I were to step back into time.  I'd see it as much now as I would then.  The context would be different.  Maybe it is me?  Maybe it is not me?  

But any place in the past, you don't have 6.5 billion people!  You don't have 200 years of Fossil Fuel use on the Scale of the last 200 years!  You don't have fishing Fleets sucking the oceans dry of Fish. ( we were Harvesting Whales to extinction within the 200 years ).  We have had things go wrong in the past before the previous 200 years of F.F. but not on the SCALE of this 200 year span.  Step back a bit.

And ask yourself, why would someone think the world is going to go crashing sometime in the future?

You surmised correctly:

The difference between Corn and Petroleum is that as the corn grows, it pulls the Carbon out of the air (or ground?) on a yearly basis.

Petroleum is obviously the releasing of CO2 that has been buried for millions of years.


"Solar, Wind, and Hydro are the real long term sustainable solutions.  These have lower EROEI, but are clean and sustainable."

I thought we had established these had very high EROEI, especially wind and hydro.  What are you using as figures for these?

I only meant that they have lower EROEI compared to petroleum based fuels.  Maybe I'm mistaken on that front...  I don't have specific figures, I'm just quoting from various things I've read (mostly hear at TOD).
"I only meant that they have lower EROEI compared to petroleum based fuels.  Maybe I'm mistaken on that front... "

Yes, I believe there is a consensus that wind and solar have a higher EROEI than new oil production, and are sufficiently high (over 20:1) that they are "good enough".  The remaining questions about wind center around intermittency, and for solar they center around financial cost ROI, mostly because of labor costs.

There was a guest post by a Professor Cleveland about wind (and solar) EROEI: http://www.theoildrum.com/story/2006/10/17/18478/085
and one about solar recently: http://nyc.theoildrum.com/story/2006/10/22/144644/27

The title of that article is from a song from Monty Python's Spamalot.  The rest of the song may be apropos:

Oh we're not yet dead
To Camelot we go
To enlist instead
To try and earn some dough
And so although
We should have stayed in bed
We're going off to war
Because we're not yet dead
Perhaps we (the world in denial) are the Black Night from "The Holy Grail" who has just suffered the limb-severing blows from King Arthur, only to respond, "It's just a fleshwound..."
I think Black Knight then said, "Come back and fight, you coward - I'll bite your kneecaps off!"
Haaa...I love that scene...

 For you D&D crowd, that like Humor in real time, with lots of fun poking at the real world.

 The Black Knight of Monty Python is remembered in Nodwick, he is always being healed with an almost endless supply of Duct Tape.

 No Oil, No Duct Tape, No Duct Tape, We are all doomed.

Yes...duct tape is necessity of life...at least according to Red Green.

You might already know about this, but I just ran across it over at Forbes, so I knows it old.


It talked about Cold trains that are running direct from west to east coast in under 5 days to have fresh produce available on the East within 24 hrs notice using cold warehouses.  Thoughts?

GeopoliTical Clouds may obscure the view of Peak Oil.

Here the media sniffs out today's culprit (angry swamp-trolls):

Oil Prices Rise on Nigeria Worries

LONDON - Oil prices rose Friday, recouping some of their recent declines, on worries that militants in Nigeria are preparing to launch simultaneous attacks in the country's oil-rich delta region.

U.S. diplomats warned Friday that militants in Nigeria are planning a major new wave of attacks and kidnappings in the next few days that could include up to 20 simultaneous bombings across the country's oil-rich delta region...



The `Fish Peak' is well past.  Renewal is possible but moot.
-- a lovely little book, instructive and amusing, an easy read.

It is also quite profound, gives new view points on history.
It is about just the one fish:

Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World


Here's a very important item by Scott Ritter about Iran I hope everyone takes time to read, http://www.commondreams.org/views06/1103-25.htm

Energy prices: Promises, promises

Politicians talked a lot about getting a handle on costs. Here's what they've actually done.
Re: Bulgaria

It is very ironical that the EU countries that isisted most on closing down units 3 and 4 of Kozlodui NP - Greece and Romania (hoping to take over the market niche), are likely to be the first to suffer the consequences. If I was a fatalist I would say that there is some kind of destiny making sure everyone gets what he deserves.

The other (pretty much related) news from the region is that winter is coming - there is a very early snowfall in Bulgaria and in huge parts of Europe. Now with winter promising to be harsh, and the troubles of our coal power plants I can not restrain to say it: happy freezing neighbors! you earned it and once again showed the world what Balkan country politics is all about.

The Wind-Powered Hydrogen Prius

All those Prius owners on my Berkeley block got nothing on this baby: A hydrogen hybrid Prius whose fuel is produced by a wind turbine.
Sorry to spoil the party, but this thing caught my eye:

Of course, mass production would bring those costs down.

Mass production of what? The cost of 5-10$/gallon comes largely from the cost of the input wind energy discounted with the efficiency of electrolysis (~60-70%). Now that wind energy is pretty much a mature technology and nobody knows more efficient electrolisys process yet, how exactly will costs come down by any significant number?

Sorry for nitpicking, but such claims show why people don't know why there are so many things wrong with the so-called hydrogen economy.

High temperature steam electrolysis is the best way to go if you want to use electrolysis; Of course then you need a heat source for it.

And if you can get your temperatures high enough, direct thermochemical methods are good also, such as the Sulfer-Iodine process. Costs for steam electrolysis and Sulfer-Iodine are estimated to be about twice that of gas reformation.

But the real problem with the hydrogen economy is its an awful fuel. But thats fine, because when you mix it with CO2 over cobalt catalysts it turns into diesel fuel. And CO2 is allways produced in quantity from lime burning, cement production, aluminum refining, and steel refining.

And with cement production and lime burning, it is carbon neutral. Cement and quicklime suck CO2 out of the atmosphere as they cure.

The final piece in this are high temperature reactors; Fluid fuel thorium reactors being ideal.

Cement and quicklime suck CO2 out of the atmosphere as they cure.

Actually I also thought so, but I was shown to be wrong.

It depends on the cement. Magnesium based cements do absorb CO2 as they cure, as does ordinary lime mortar. True portland cement doesnt absorb CO2 as fast, but it still does over time.


Interesting article. It looks like the percentage of CO2 absorbed depends on the surface the cement particles have with air, which on its turn depends mostly on the amount of the binding compontent. I guess if we went this way we should implement new practices for cement curing. Even if we are not recycling CO2 through a liquid fuel, this would be a good thing for reduction of net CO2 emissions from construction anyway.
I would rather optimise for maximum life lenght for the concrete structures.
OK...had to put in my one Iran/military buildup article before the weekend...

Analysis: Cakewalks and walks in the park?


The neo-conservatives -- or neocons -- who gave us the "cakewalk" prediction for Iraq before the war are now plugging "a walk in the park" in Iran -- i.e., a U.S. bombing campaign to consign the mullahs' nuclear ambitions to oblivion, or at least to retard the advent of an Iranian bomb for a few years, hoping that in the interim good democrats would rise up and send the clerics and their Revolutionary Guards packing.

Two Washington-based representatives of a global Fortune 100 company told their visiting senior executive this week a bombing campaign of Iran's nuclear facilities "is inevitable before President Bush leaves the White House." The incredulous executive thought his Washington eyes and ears were overstating the case. They assured him they were deadly serious.

That "analysis" by Arnaud de Borchgrave. Who is maddening because you can never tell if he's giving you straight inside scoop or if he's hallucinating.
I share your concern and wish I had an analysis.
Well...one more...

Iran: US should stop Gulf maneuvers

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?c=JPArticle&cid=1162378318256&pagename=JPost%2FJPArti cle%2FShowFull

"Our enemies should keep their hostility out of the Persian Gulf," said Adm. Sardar Fadavi, the deputy chief of the Revolutionary Guards navy.

"They should not initiate any move that would make the region tense," Fadavi said in a clear reference to the United States. The admiral was speaking to state radio about the US-led maneuvers, that finished Monday and which Teheran branded "adventurist."

Sorry...promise...last ones...looks like ME countries starting to look for backup support:

Israel Calls on Germany to Keep Nukes Out of Iranian Hands


Crossfire War - Iran Test Fires Three New Missiles - Meets Oman DM


My first post here but wondering what everyone thinks of this.


I thought it was interesting from a standpoint of Saudia Arabia exploring other forms of energy. That may be old news but I am fairly new to the peak oil movement.
Very interesting, thanks for posting.
Fantastic.  I'm all for alternatives to oil.

But I want to point out something:  The ME is the PERFECT place to test the new thorium fuel cycle nuclear power plants.  Not only are they must safer, but they produce almost no material that can then be further refined into an atomic bomb.  Better yet, why hasn't the UN offered to work with Iran on a similar power plant?  If all they want is civilian nuclear power, a thorium plant seems infinitely better then a uranium one!  And how could they refuse such an offer?  If we are to believe what they have said, there is no way they can :P

I guess captain obvious hasn't paid them a visit yet :P

From a more knowledgable source:


"(b) Thorium
The other way of breeding fuel is to use thorium. Thorium is a metal found in most rocks and soils, and there are some rich ores bearing as much as 10 percent thorium oxide. The relevant isotope is the slightly radioactive thorium-232. It has a half-life three times that of the earth, so that makes it useless as a direct source of energy, but it can be used as the starting-point from which to breed an efficient nuclear fuel. Here's how:

Start by irradiating the thorium-232, using a start-up fuel - plutonium-239 will do. Thorium-232 is slightly fertile, and absorbs a neutron to become thorium 233.
The thorium-233, with a half-life of 22.2 minutes, decays to protactinium-233.
The protactinium-233, with a half-life of 27 days, decays into uranium-233.
The uranium-233 is highly fissile, and can be used not just as nuclear fuel, but as the start-up source of irradiation for a blanket of thorium-232, to keep the whole cycle going indefinitely.24
But, as is so often the case with nuclear power, it is not as good as it looks. The two-step sequence of plutonium breeding is, as we have seen, hard enough. The four-step sequence of thorium-breeding is worse. The uranium-233 which you get at the end of the process is contaminated with uranium-232 and with highlyradioactive thorium-228, both of which are neutron-emitters, reducing its effectiveness as a fuel; it also has the disadvantage that it can be used in nuclear weapons. The comparatively long half-life of protactinium-233 (27 days) makes for problems in the reactor, since substantial quantities linger on for up to a year. Some reactors - including Kakrapar-1 and -2 in India - have both achieved full power using some thorium in their operation, and it may well be that, if there is to be a very long-term future for nuclear fission, it will be thorium that drives it along. However, the full thorium breeding cycle, working on a scale which is large enough and reliable-enough to be commercial, is a long way away.25"

Take a look at these:

First article.

I noticed that there is a large lead time, perhaps up to 15 years, but this is only about 50% longer then current nuclear power plant construction, and its based on a conservative estimate, not an optimistic.  Currently, thorium is mixed in with uranium in classical nuclear reactors to help cut down on the amount of plutonium that is produced.  

Second article.

Some quotes of interest:

"In an accelerator-driven nuclear reactor based on thorium, the fuel in itself is not fissile.  The thorium would have to be bombarded by a proton beam in order to produce a nuclear reaction. The thorium nuclei which are hit, are converted into uranium-233. The energy which is produced when this uranium is split is enough to drive the particle accelerator and at the same time create a solid energy surplus which can be converted into power. If the proton beam is stopped, the nuclear reaction immediately stops. The reaction cannot therefore spin out of control as in an ordinary nuclear power plant."

"The thorium reactor is also unsuitable for the production of material for nuclear weapons, in contrast to conventional nuclear power plants, mainly because it can only produce small amounts of uranium-232. Uranium-232 is highly radioactive and very difficult to handle. This is not a problem in connection with the small amounts produced in the reactor, but the use of this technology to produce uranium for the production of weapons would not be practicable."

Also, the thorium reactor can not create the plutonium isotope used in nuclear weapons.  That means that it would be virtually impossible for someone to gain the materials form a thorium power plant to produce a bomb at any point.

And you want to know whats REALLY interesting?  We can use a thorium reactor to CLEAN UP nuclear waste!

"The thorium reactor could also provide a solution here, because the proton beam that drives the reaction can be used to transmute plutonium nuclei: when they are bombarded with protons, they transmute into heavier atomic nuclei, which have different properties. This is exactly how uranium-233 is formed when thorium is hit by proton beams in the proposed thorium reactor. It has therefore also been proposed to build new thorium reactors next to the old, more dangerous uranium reactors, so that the plutonium waste can be got rid of simultaneously."

Depleted Uranium itself isn't a very toxic hazard.  I know this can be argued but it should be kept in mind that the earths oceans have billions of tons of uranium floating in them already.  And uranium can be used in fast burners eliminating the vast majority of hazardous materials.

Of course, you are probably asking yourself "If this setup is so good, why hasn't it been used by now?"  The answer is two fold:  

First, the technology for a thorium reactor was limited by a commercial grade particle accelerator.  A recent technological breakthrough enables us to build the right kind of proton accelerator, which in turns allows us to now build an all thorium reactor.

Second, thorium reactors will be direct competitors with classical uranium reactors.  The Nuclear industry DOESN'T want competition.  Competition leads to lower profit margins as both technologies fight each other for dominance.  Its good for the consumers but bad for them :P

One more thing before I end this post:  Thorium is vastly more abundant then Uranium is currently.  There is roughly 4x as much thorium thats commercially available NOW then our uranium reserves.  Of course, if people start LOOKING for thorium 'it currently has almost no commercial application outside of a small % used in nuclear reactors' we could potentially discover vast additional quantities of it.  When you combine both stockpiles, we have enough fissile material to last us for at least 100 years if we produced 100% of our power needs from them!

And of course, I have to be the thorn in the side of so many doomers by pointing out that this is a NEW power source with a vast EROEI potential.  So much for there being nothing left for us to discover! :P

Proton accelerators use large magnetic fields to propel the protons.  What is the energy balance ?  (I would ne surprised if it was very positive, quite possibly negative).

This is still a pipe dream.  And you want us to plan our future on technology that may NEVER work ?  At best 25 years till widespread use ?

Let a team of scientists and engineers review and see if it worth some R&D $. (I am not against R&D on promising technologies, or even not so promising).

OTOH, using thorium as filler for U fuel is generally a good thing.

The technology fairy does not work in a "just-in-time" factory.

Best Hopes for existing technology, all that we can count on,



How does it go: Did you even bother to READ the article AfBE!!!!!

They specifically point out that the thorium fuel cycle produces enough power to power the accelerator AND produce a significant surplus for commercial/residential use!

I question, quite seriously, their #s.  Just paper airplanes ATM.

Nuclear reactions have to go FAST to produce high pressure steam to make electricity.  Nukes are quite thermodynamically inefficient, ~25% on a good day for heat BTUs/joules > electricity BTUs/joules/kWh.

A proton beam or beams required to get enough heat CONSTANTLY is likely not doable.  A lower flux rate results in lower efficiency and lower EROEI.

One has to do three things to the Thorium.  Bombard it with protons (which only react with the surface and near surface being bombarded, protons do not go far in metal) AND configure the fissile material (on the surface) for a controlable chain reaction AND extract heat at a fast rate.  Any material used to extract heat will block protons if it gets in the way.  Then extract the heat, make electricity and power the proton accelerators.

Sure, spend some R&D on the concept (I like Th as "Hamburger Helper" for U in convential reactors).



Best Hopes for Reality based planning,


BTW, Scientists are not engineers.

Once again, they ALREADY ADDRESSED that issue!!  The reaction produces enough surplus power to power the accelerator and provide commercial/residential power.

Trust me.  You can't wish away this by trying to confuse the issue with jargon.  This is a peer reviewed setup and it will WORK.  This isn't a pipe dream.

"Peer reviewed article" ??

All you linked to were two news clippings about some Norwegian Physics professor with a dream and Stage I conceptual research that did not get Stage II funding (due to evil French).

The French, the Japanese and many others (India, Korea) would like to have two fuel sources to chose from instead of just U for their nukes.

He did not get funding for Stage II research.  A good idea would have gotten funding from someone.

You seem to take every press release at face value.  I don't.

I propose plans on functioning reality.

Best Hopes for reality based planning,


Hothgor didn't we already go over the validity of sources with you?

From one article

This is the opinion of Physics Professor Egil Lillestøl

From the other article

This is the opinion of Mr. Egil Lillestol,

This is about as far from "peer reviewed" as you can possibly get.

Hothgor your MO is plain for all to see here. You have come to your conclusion and then scour the web for any possible support you can find.
The fact that the only support you seem to be able to find are rumors (Tesla sedan), snippets from pop mech (high temp superconductors), opinion pieces (this thread) etc etc. only goes to show that maybe your conclusions have very little hard evidence to back them. And that just possibly you have arrived at the wrong conclusions. (either that or you are the worlds worst researcher, but I discounted that cause I can't find any evidence to back up your conclusions either)

Why don't you take a step back, learn something, then start to make conclusions.
It would also be really helpful in you reconsidered these conclusions in light of new evidence that is continously presented here.


Didn't we already go over all of this on several occasions?  I already posted an article SHOWING how the high temperature superconductors were currently being USED in a real world setting.  It wasn't a pipe dream.  And if you even bothered to read both articles, you would have realized that one professor did the initial research and ran into funding road blocks, and it was picked up by the second professor.  You should also note that both professors work or have worked at CERN.  Are you really trying to suggest that some of the worlds primer minds are in fact, bogus wishful thinkers?

And here is some more EV news for you. Take a look at www.zapworld.com and find the Obvio! 012E.  It includes pricing and features and a suggested release date in the FAQ.  But I guess a car company thats sold 1,000s of cars in Europe is also dancing around in la la land. "Rolls his eyes"

Why don't YOU take a step back, remove those doomer specs and actually look at the bigger picture I'm trying to paint for you :P

The technology fairy..LOL
Excellent metaphor. People really are counting on the technology fairy to save them. The day when they discover that she does not exist is not going to be a good day.
Thanks for the laugh.
More bad news for BushCo...

Military publications: `Rumsfeld must go'
Editorial comes days after Bush affirms defense secretary's job security


...I'm almost starting to feel sorry for the slow meltdown of BushCO.....Naaaaaa

This article kinda scares the holy cr*p outta me....

The Dollar's Full-System Meltdown


Exxon sees plenty of oil supplies to meet demand

The world's largest oil company believes that total global hydrocarbon deposits once stood at three trillion barrels of oil equivalent and that so far only a trillion of those barrels have been consumed. The total amount available rises to 4 trillion once non-conventional supplies, such as oil shale, are taken into account.
Proponents of peak oil argue that the world has already tapped most of the easy-to-find deposits and that the drop in supplies combined with ever-growing demand point toward inevitably higher prices that will eventually hamper global economic growth.

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/story.aspx?siteid=mktw&guid=%7BAA7BD294-6BE7-4F4B-9B89-CC6 4EB552FEA%7D

Note the barrels of oil EQUILAVENT

Natural gas is included with that #.  Stranded gas losses are 35% of it's energy (roughly) in transportation via LNG.  Most gas left is "stranded".  And NG is good, but it is not a liquid transportation fuel and it is hard to make it one.

Some fields, such as Prudhoe Bay, have had their oil, condensate and NG liquids extracted but the NG has been reinjected.  So (guess) 89% of the oil has been extracted (production at 20% of Peak) but only 58% of oil equilavent from Prudhoe Bay.

So, plenty left according to ExxonMobil !


As it should.  My personal thought is that the coming economic meltdown will completely overwhelm any issues associated with peak oil.

150 million unemployed people in the united states will put a real dent in petroleum usage and nobody will care whether or not oil production capacity is shrinking.

Alan, will hobos be allowed to hop on your new nationwide grid of electric trains?

Traditionally, railroads have patrolled their property with their own police forces (jargon was "bulls" I think).

Unless society makes provisions for low/no cost travel, I expect the same next time.

Unemployed people vote less and, once destitute, drop out of society.  So they will have no voice.

Society will not want homeless wandering around (see camps) and is very unlikely to subsidize "hobos" traveling into their towns.

I expect less, not more, compassion this time around.  Your neighbor losses his job, then repossessed his house & car, are you going to take in him, his wife & child ?

We are doing that in New Orleans (I know of many cases, including a professor sleeping on air mattress in the hallway, another couple has the living room).  But the rest of the US (with some few exceptions) is not like New Orleans.

BTW, my mother's church took in a hobo in the 1930's who broke his leg and rotated him between farming families until his leg healed.  Starvation was the alternative.

Best Hopes for good neighbors and strong social ties,


Nobody seemed to pick up on this:
"here in Canada Clive Mather, CEO of Shell Canada, has pointed out that methane hydrates are so abundant on earth as to make the question of fossil fuel depletion moot."

I recently read that the Japanese are working hard on methane hydrates, having discovered a lot of them nearby and being very anxious to extract themselves from oil dependency.   The Chinese are also working on it.

Apparently there are some technical hurdles to scale before these deposits can be economically turned into useful energy.   Does anyone here have any insights?

They've been discussed around here and maybe peakoil.

I believe one problem with methane hydrates is that they are very difficult to get at. They exist on or under the seabed, and they are situated in such a way that extraction can make the sediment unstable (leading to seabed collapses).

Another problem is that they have a high carbon content, and could prove to be very unfriendly ecologically, even more so than your typical crude oil.

These are my impressions from reading the comments around here.

Unfortunately I don't have links, but it I can find them I'll post them.

 Are methane hydrates are so abundant on earth as to make the question of life  moot?

The other is represented by the possibility of a runaway greenhouse effect, as at earlier times in the Earth's history, such as at the Palaeocene / Eocene boundary 55 million years ago. Recent studies of ocean sediments have shown that 55 million years ago the Arctic sea had an average temperature of 20ºC. There was massive die back of marine creatures as carbon dioxide levels soared to between 2,000 and 3,000 parts per million. In each case vast releases of METHANE, from melting tundra and the release of methyl HYDRATES from the ocean floor, may have been the cause.

Ya...I've thought about this connection as well.  It relates to some previous discussions we've had about disturbing ocean beds and releasing highly anoxic materials or greenhouse gases.  This may have been the cause of MAJOR extinction events in the past.  Of course in the past the gas was probably released by volcanic activity, plate tectonics or ??.
   I am giveing grim, serious thought to various "end-game"
reactions that may occur when the current administration
is retired by the voters in about a week.
  1.800 special justice dept. personel are going to
be dispatched to un-named polling stations and areas
the election may already be "fixed"
2.Should the USA attack Iran unprovoked,or by use of a black flag operation,the immediate ,prompt effect will destroy the
economies of every nation on earth.Nukes will be  
3.No one can know how the rest of the world will react to Bushes actions.I fear for my country.We have a heck of a payback due for this mans actions.All americans will pay a blood price for what has been done to Iraq .650K dead ..I do not think these pirates will go gently into political oblivian.They will do everything they can with the power they have to stay in control.
OK..that is one possible scenario.

I have some hope especially with the military journals publishing articles to ouster Rumsfeld.  I believe the tide has turned on this administration and there are powerful people that are trying to prevent this very thing from occurring.

Chin up...we may all be OK come Wednesday.