DrumBeat: November 8, 2006

[Update by Leanan on 11/08/06 at 3:56 PM EDT]

Oil jumps on energy report: Inventory report shows surprise decline in gas stocks and distillates, used to make heating and diesel fuel; crude stocks up less than expected.

Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending November 3, 2006

U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged nearly 15.2 million barrels per day during the week ending November 3, down 124,000 barrels per day from the previous week's average. Refineries operated at 88.1 percent of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production decreased slightly last week compared to the previous week, averaging over 8.7 million barrels per day, while distillate fuel production also declined, averaging 4.0 million barrels per day.

U.S. crude oil imports averaged 9.8 million barrels per day last week, down 306,000 from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports have averaged nearly 10.0 million barrels per day. Total motor gasoline imports (including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components) last week averaged 1.0 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel imports averaged 224,000 barrels per day last week.

The Emerging Natural Gas Crisis

Gas production has already peaked in the US and it appears to have peaked in Canada too. Some experts claim that production in Alberta peaked in 2001 when it produced 5.1 Tcf; Alberta is the largest exporter of natural gas to the huge US market. To make maters worse as oil production is ramped up in the Tar sand regions of Canada larger amount of natural gas will be consumed locally. The extraction process consumes huge amounts of natural gas.

Jim Kunstler: Ass Kicking Republicans

I confess, what bugs me about my Democrats is that they seem to think we can just duck out of the contest for Middle East oil and keep enjoying the happy motoring fiesta -- which, by the way, is not just the way we live in this country but also the basis of our economy, when you sweep aside all the bullshit. Contrary to what a lot of utopian Democrats wish, it will never be prime-time for ethanol, bio-diesel, hydrogen, or twenty other nominees as replacements for gasoline -- at least not the way we run things now. Driving a Prius might induce raptures of eco-moral superiority, but changing the zoning laws would produce a better outcome -- and that's just too hard.

Australia's dry horrors 'worst for 1000 years': "a frightening glimpse of the future with global warming."

CANBERRA - Australia is facing its worst drought in 1000 years.

The prediction, made at an emergency summit on Australia's mounting water crisis, is 10 times worse than earlier forecasts and prompted urgent action to secure drinking water supplies for Adelaide and rural towns.

Commodity Strategists: Oil May Rise 10% This Year, Lehman Says

Oil prices may increase to as much as $66 a barrel in the fourth quarter from about $59 now, Morse, who joined Lehman from Hess Energy Trading Co., said in an interview in Seoul. Next year, crude may average as much as $8 a barrel more than in 2006. So far this year, prices have averaged $67.10. Lehman is the fourth-largest U.S. securities firm.

Analysis: Israel sees shale replacing oil

HAIFA, Israel, -- The Israeli process for producing energy from oil shale will cut its oil imports by one-third, and will serve as a guide for other countries with oil shale deposits, according to one company.

Oil majors lag on biofuels, may lead in future

LONDON (Reuters) - Major oil companies have been conspicuously absent from biofuels production so far, but they are set to play a bigger role with the advent of new technology that better fits oil industry skills.

Global biofuels output has soared in recent years amid Western governments' concerns about security of energy supply and global warming.

Upstream oil

Historically, upstream oil and gas – as opposed to downstream businesses such as refining and marketing – generated the sector's highest returns on capital. Investments made in the 1970s and 1980s provided accessible reserves for conversion into cash. Relatively light, fixed tax regimes meant leverage to the oil price.

As areas such as the North Sea enter decline, though, that is changing. Oil companies are struggling to replace reserves and expand production. The best resources are either off-limits or subject to punitive fiscal regimes.

Iran's Achilles heel: its dependence on oil revenues

As the world's fourth largest oil exporter, Iran has profited mightily from the tripling of global oil prices over the last four years. Its economic stability is dependent on oil revenues, so it is here that Iran's rulers are vulnerable.

World Must Spend Extra $3 Trillion on Energy by 2030, IEA Says

The cost of satisfying the world's thirst for energy through 2030 has swollen by $3 trillion in a year because of higher industry costs, especially in oil and gas, the International Energy Agency said.

Marathon Oil approves $3.2 billion expansion

Marathon Oil Corporation said today its board of directors has approved a $3.2 billion expansion of the company's refinery in Garyville, La,. in a move that will nearly double the plant's crude oil refining capacity by 2009.

Public warned over European energy crisis

The Irish public must take climate change seriously if the country is to survive a potential European energy crisis, a top diplomat warned today.

EU Ambassador to the US John Bruton told the Seanad Irish people need to urgently realise the scale of the environmental problem and make sacrifices.

Radical change needed to ensure North Sea oil's future

BRITAIN will remain a major petroleum economy for many years to come, said the head of the industry's biggest operators body yesterday - but raising the £300 billion of cash needed to produce its remaining reserves will depend on a radical overhaul of the industry, which needs an urgent shift in the regulatory and tax regime.

Malcolm Webb, the chief executive of the UK Offshore Operators' Association, told a conference in Aberdeen that, to ensure the North Sea's vital remaining reserves can be fully exploited, the money will have to come from private industry, but warned that attracting that "is not a given".

From the Wilderness is closing:

What is important to me is that we try to make our obligations good. Sadly, in my present condition and position I may not be able to have much impact on that. FTW is closing its doors with many angry people who have not received their orders and vendors who never got paid for what they shipped us. I did everything I could possibly think of to prevent that, including considering returning to the States with all the risks and personal anguish that would entail.

Byron King: Peak oil and global warming

The intellectual content of the Association For The Study Of Peak Oil And Gas (ASPO) conference was truly like taking a drink of water from a fire hydrant. I mean it. There was so much there that I was learning something new with almost every presentation.

Total makes double strike in North Sea

Total, the French oil and gas giant, yesterday said it had made two "significant" finds in the UK section of the North Sea.

The Paris-based company said one discovery at Jura West, some 160 kilometres east of Shetland, could begin production in 2008.

The discoveries will enable Total to keep its production platform in its Alwyn field going until "well after 2010", it added.

Prop 87 Goes Down: Big Oil trumps Clinton, Hollywood in California

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California voters rejected a ballot measure to tax state oil production and fund the development of alternative energy after one of the most expensive referendum campaigns in U.S. history, according to results early on Wednesday.

The statewide initiative, called Proposition 87, was defeated 55 percent to 45 percent with 90 percent of Tuesday's votes counted -- despite support from Bill Clinton, Al Gore and such Hollywood stars as Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt.

Fresh OPEC output cut possible in December: Qatar

ABU DHABI (AFP) - OPEC could cut oil output further next month if prices continue to fall, Qatari Energy Minister Abdallah al-Attiyah was quoted as saying.

"The oil market is not currently stable" despite the oil cartel's decision last month to reduce output, and "OPEC could decide on another production cut" at a mid-December meeting in Nigeria, Attiyah to the official WAM agency.

Total's Q3 net profit tops forecasts, ups dividend

Drilling Deep in the Gulf of Mexico

As oil consumption grows and access to most oil-rich regions becomes increasingly restricted, companies are venturing farther out to sea, drilling deeper than ever in their quest for energy. The next oil frontier — and the next great challenge for oil explorers — lies below 10,000 feet of water, through five miles of hard rock, thick salt and tightly packed sands.
I am just about to leave town for a few days, but I wrote up a few thoughts on the defeat of California's Prop 87:

Prop 87 Post Mortem

I had consistently predicted that it would pass. Ultimately, I think the uncertainty of a price hike caused voters to turn against it. But I also think that Vinod Khosla was a terrible choice for their spokesman. This was a guy with a vested financial interest, who was also guilty of incredible hubris and hypocrisy. I think he thought he could just make people so angry at the oil companies, they would vote against them. He should have spent more time arguing the case for Prop 87 instead of telling people that oil companies are baby killers. I was ambivalent about passage of the proposition right until the end, but I do have some satisfaction in seeing that Khosla's dirty politics were not rewarded.

I will be back next week, but first I have an appointment with a big buck on the Powder River. :-)

Cynic that I am, I suspect Prop 87 was done in at least partly by lower gas prices.  Gas is below $3!  Where's the problem?
Yeah, that's exactly when support started to slide. Fickle voters. I think if the price had stayed high, it would have been a much closer vote. But I still think fear of the unknown (how much will it affect gas prices?) ultimately caused people to vote no.
The ads on TV did a good job of portraying the backers as shady backroom profiteers.

I voted no too. Ethanol has enough money and support right now, it doesn't need anymore.


I have to disagree with your assessment.  As I noted a few days ago, I voted against it (absentee ballot) because it is/was a poorly written proposition that was a neubulous pit of verbiage.  I would have voted for it had it been directed toward conservation and buy-downs for AE systems.  I wouldn't have cared if the price of gas went up.


Khosla and his ethanol connections are the reason I voted against it. Normally this is the kind of measure I would be desperate to vote yes on. It was simply a poor proposition, and that is too bad, especially in light of the the road infrastructure measures that did pass. Ugh.
I ended up voting for 87, just so it wouldnt lose so bad. But you're right CA voted down a badly drawn proposition on alternative fuels for 4 billion and approved spending, after the costs of the bonds, another 60 billion for roads, an even bigger waste of money. Not a good day, but our politics isnt being honest, but its not honest about much these days.
deer or antelope ?
Hello TODers,

I recall reading somewhere that Matt Simmons's next book will be about how the FF's infrastructure is mostly old and corroded, along with the retirement of so many with technical knowledge.  Diminishing returns and/or positive feedbacks will contribute to the Hubbert Decline in ways that have not been fully disclosed by the IOCs & NOCs.

This Reuters link  maybe helpful towards Matt's next tome:
Russian technical standards agency Rostekhnadzor warned on Thursday that almost all the country's oil and gas pipelines were in a critical condition, a possible sign of more shutdowns after the closure of a link to Lithuania.

"Russia's pipeline transport is in an unsatisfactory state. Environmental damage caused by oil and gas pipelines is inexcusable," Rostekhnadzor chief Konstantin Pulikovsky said in a statement.

He said pipeline safety measures conducted by pipeline owners were insufficient and Rostekhnadzor planned to strengthen its control over the pipeline system.

Rostekhnadzor is an independent federal agency for ecological, technical and nuclear monitoring. It is in charge of industrial safety issues and reports directly to prime minister.

Russia's crude oil pipeline monopoly Transneft <TRNF_P.RTS>, the world's largest pipeline operator, controls the vast majority of oil pipelines, while gas monopoly Gazprom <GAZP.MM> owns all the gas routes.

Rostekhnadzor said most pipelines in Russia were built in the 1960s and 1970s and more than 40 percent of the trunk pipelines are over 30 years old, making them prone to corrosion.

More than 30 accidents have already happened this year, mainly due to exposure and corrosion, the statement said.

From Bloomberg, BP has now discovered pipelines 'anomalies' in its Black Sea pipelines:
Nov. 7 (Bloomberg) -- BP Plc, Europe's second-largest oil company, suspended crude exports from the Georgian port of Supsa on the Black Sea after discovering ``anomalies'' in a pipeline.

The pipeline transports about 150,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Azerbaijan. Shipments through the pipeline were halted for November and no resumption date has been set, Toby Odone, a London-based BP spokesman, said in a telephone interview today. The oil will be diverted to other ports, he said.
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az  Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?


Thanks. I mean that. Your posts are worth your own weight in gold.

thanks for the heads up.
it will be a interesting guessing game as to which they decide to repair, and which they decide to risk continue running as is.
i also wonder how much the 'repairs' will impact other projects as well as the finite resources they would have to fix up their old soviet infrastructure.

My contention is that the biggest initial effect of peak oil will be to exacerbate this infrastructure crisis. Both in the oil field and in general. We have in many ways lived the last twenty years of the investments in infrastructure made in the 60-80's a lot of our current housing stock for example was built during this period for example.  A good bit of it is getting to the age where major refurbishment is needed or it will decay into slums. I live in Irvine for example and a lot of the homes here need 30-50k worth of repairs for example. And this is generally a area where the homes are well cared for. Since we are probably facing a perpetual slowdown from now on out as peak oil causes the world economy to slowly shrink any housing stock that was not refurbished during the recent boom probably will not be refurbished unless its sold well below market value.

The same goes for roads and commercial properties and our electric network.

Next for example there is a good chance shipbuilding will slow to a crawl over the next few years leading to a aging shipping fleet within 10-20 years.

And of course the oil fields are in the same boat.

So basically we are facing the need for trillions in investment to maintain our current infrastructure much less fuel growth. Rising oil prices will basically destroy any chance we have of solving our infrastructure problems.

Not to mention of course causing the value of a lot of it to decrease as it becomes untenable to use in a high oil price world.

Next I think the impact of high cost fuel oil, bunker fuel and asphalt on our world economy is way underestimated.
The lowest grade products of a cheap oil world economy have been one of the core reasons for our current growth.

I just keep hoping that people will wake up and start addressing these problems so we can figure out how we are going to transition at the minimum to a world of expensive and rising oil prices. Much less develop a alternative fuel economy.

The problem is alternative energy sources can barely begin to replace the daily fuel usage much less support critical infrasture rebuilding needs that will arise over the next 20 years. So I really think we need to focus on first a clear accounting of the the state of the nations infrastructure from housing to oil fields then decide how we solve the problem. A obvious solution will be to refocus on denser communities and rail and basically give up on a lot of our road beds and far flung suburbs. The nice thing about this approach is the roads that are discounted will make a nice source of asphalt for maintaining roadways we decide to keep allowing us to invest in focused solutions.

This does not mean that we all move to big cities but a rebirth of the American small town is not a bad thing.

On the oil field front instead of spending billions getting the last drops of oil out of oil fields or deep sea project with marginal returns it makes far more sense to get the national oil companies and majors to work together on the most promising fields.

What do we have to do in return ? I think its simple help these countries develop diversified robust economies that can withstand the loss of oil. Nigeria is probably the poster child of a westward leaning nation that we simply won't help. It could and should be a fantastic country. If we would do the right things in Nigeria then I think it would open the door in other countries.

Right now the chances of this happening are slim to none. But I think that if we can determine the best solutions for all of our problems and present them we have a chance of finding compromises that works.

Another issue that can no longer be ignored for example is world population we have to start excepting responsibility as a world for our population.

As you can see we are finally reaching the point that issues which have been ignored for years have festered to the point we must solve them.

I'm not a doomer I just think that we are reaching the point that if we don't make responsible choices and hard decisions then our inaction will result in the worst possible outcomes for these problems.

The first step is getting a clear understanding of the problems we face and determine the best possible solution.

This means for example for cars forget about alternative fuels. We can build super fuel efficent small diesel/hybrids that would drastically slash our fuel usage overnight if we set up the right economic conditions. Sure we could use soybeans for the diesel that's fine in the long term. But short term we should heavily support development of 50mpg+ transportation. Along side this electric consumer and freight rail can easily be made very economical at the expense of long haul trucking. This is a example of where we have to pick a winner and loser. Long haul trucking needs to die. If we decide to do nothing then we will soon face the situation that long haul trucking is simply to expensive and we don't have any alternatives which means we will basically stop shipping a lot of goods in a reasonable time frame as they wait for available rail. This will lead quickly to shortages and wild economic swings as goods rise in price till trucking is affordable then quickly drop and pent up rail deliveries finally reach their destination.

Our new global just in time economy is very sensitive to transportation problems and trying to convert it back to one where large inventories are maintained will be painful and it will lead to local shortages and pricing problems. I actually think that the global just in time model is a good one it just needs to be converted to work on a sustainable transportation system. This may result of course in you having to wait a few months when purchasing a new car or tv before you take delivery but this inconvience is far better then uncertian delivery.

Enough rambling, but it is getting close to time to take a serious look at all the issues we are facing and start making the tough decisions to solve them.

I completely agree with your transportation stance.  We need to have government intervention to help prod GM, For and Chrysler into producing super efficient hybrid diesels, EVs and PHEVs and CATs.  Doing so, coupled with a dramatic rescale-up of our rail system and a scale down of our jet fuel use will go a LONG WAY to reducing our consumption of oil.

The average barrel of oil is utilized something like this:

19.6 gallons of gasoline
10 gallons of diesel
4 gallons of jet fuel
33.6 gallons out of 42 per barrel of oil

Thats 80% of our oil consumption in just 3 fields.  If we eliminated the need for this consumption, our 21 million bpd consumption would be cut down to 4.2 million bpd.  We'd be self sufficient!

Ah well, one can only dream ~_~

I've often wondered what would happen to the crappy houses built in the US recently.  There's a neighborhood near my in-laws built in the 80's.  Every house has sagging vinyl siding and a particle board garage door that is crumbling like sawdust.  These homes are not worth saving.  Do they get abandoned.  Do slum lords buy them and do just enough to keep them from falling over as the rent them out to the desperate?
Maybe we'll deport the illegal aliens (up to 30 million, according to some estimates) and just let the poorly-built construction go back to nature... if we don't recycle it for the wiring, plumbing, cellulose and petroleum products.

Imagine pulling up whole subdivisions of asphalt driveways and streets to repair major roads.

suburban wastelands   but look on the bright side   that vinyl siding can be recycled into crude oil with(with a huge expenditure of natural gas)  and save the us economy    i have said often that vinyl siding   is .......    no maintenance ......   but .......    yes replacement  (as soon as possible would be best)  it begins to look like shit after awhile        like a little later in the day it is installed

You are trying to hang onto a paradigm that isn't going to survive.  Most people reject this notion out of hand because it is frightening and there is no alternative on the horizon - more of the same isn't going to work.

I try to look at the future realistically.  And what I see, among other things, is a collpase of economies based on growth.  It doesn't matter how efficient transportation is if there is no reason to use it.

Todd; a Realist

Actually I agree 100% the underlying problem is growth based economies are over. At least on earth.  The point is with some thought we can wind down our economies with dignity.

Also to be honest what is yet one more house or suv or flat screen tv ? This is what our growth based economy has given us massive quantities of the same thing for everyone. One thing about living in both southern California and Florida is I notice there are no beautiful public gardens here. On of the few places on earth that could host the worlds most magnificent public gardens and nothing.

I suggest you see.

There is nothing equivalent in California.

This may sound like a completely different concept but its not. Its about growth via quality and arts and craftsmanship. The point is you can have a vibrant growing economy if its about producing long lasting quality goods and beauty. Not a McMansion but real mansions with real a real Picasso. The Japanese switched over to this sort of economy a long time ago.

The point is there is a light at the end of the tunnel even in a economy that does not grow like we are accustomed too. What does it grow it grows plenty of beautiful gardens homes and art. And it can continue to grow medical science.
Technology need not stop. Look at paintings immense wealth can be created with less than 100 dollars in materials.

What has to stop ?

One more SUV just like your neighbors and a crappy house super size it.

I can't agree.  Growth is the problem, not the kind of growth.  
I think that needs some qualification. A concrete example - the streetcars near where I live use both the national rail system and drive through the city center - the rail gauge is the same, but the electrical system different - some clever engineering handles the problem quite well.

The number of streetcars, and the amount of track they run on,  has been growing, concretely. The number of people who no longer use cars, but instead use a system which at least in part uses electricity from renewable (essentially hydro), has been growing.

The amount of renewable energy likely to feed the system in the future will need to include the growth of wind and PV systems - PV factories are a fairly common growth item these days, with a new announcement every few weeks, recently.

Is this growth (or more realistically, shuffling - melt down a few thousand cars people no longer need because the streetcar serves them well enough, especially when fuel is expensive, and you likely have enough metals like steel and copper for more streetcars and tracks) unsustainable?

The problem is what is meant by growth - and where growth ends. Nobody involved in industry in Germany that I know of realistically expects growth to go on forever - after a point, only replacement and repair of the streetcars and tracks will be required. Which is fine - since the point is to ride the train to get to where you are going, and not to get richer than anyone else.

The problem I see looming is the pyramid-like nature of our current economy.  A middle class American lives better than a king did in the old days. And this is possible, at least partly, because of the labor of a lot of poor people.  Often in foreign countries, where we don't have to see them.

This is okay in a growth economy, because "their day will come."  Eventually, it is assumed, those on the bottom - or their children - will rise up through the pyramid, and enjoy a middle class lifestyle, too - maybe even a high-class lifestyle.  And in turn be supported by even more poor people below them.  

You can see the problem with this scenario.  It requires constant growth.  

Sure, efficiency can help, but there's only so much we can cut back.  Someone has to grow food, haul waste, make clothing, etc.  Will we do it ourselves?  That will leave us a lot less time for nuclear engineering or solar technology.  Will we have a permanent underclass to do these things for us?  Probably.  I could see a future where downward mobility is the norm, as much as upward mobility was in the 20th century.  

This usually when someone suggests that the solution is a bunch of robots that will do all the dirty work, so we humans can spend our days selling each other insurance or designing Web pages. I wouldn't bet on that one - not in the light of peak oil.

I dont see why we would need to be supported by poor thirld world people. I can easily imagine average people around me buying 1/3 of the shoes, clothing, toys etc they do now while paying 3 times as much for higher quality and then having currently unemployed people and most people working some more hours producing the goods using non fossil non CO2 electricity sources.

It would be like living in the late 50:s but with much better electronics, hospitals, communications and transportation infrastructure. I would also find it reasonable that most people would be able to own or hire a car for weekend trips to the countryside, friends and family outside the railways, bicycle lane networks and electricity only reach of small cars.

We were already well into the Age of Oil by the '50s.  And the '50s, at least here in the U.S., may have been great for white, middle class males, but was not an easy life for others.
The 50:s and 60:s in Sweden had its economy powered by hydro power, oil and export for rebuilding europe after WW2. Old people remember it as a golden era, not for the absolute level of prosperity but by the constant progress and improvements for almost everybody.

Today it would be easier to have the same level of prosperity with far less oil mostly due to much better infrastructure. Now we have district heating, more efficient houses, more railways in the densely populated areas (A lot of the rest have been torn up), much better roads and more bicycle lanes in manny towns.

Travel and living patterns including shipping etc would have to changed but not drastically and it can mostly be accomondated within the present building stock. The lack of rail spur lines would probably be compensated by hybrid rail/road traffic. Most changes would be gradual.

The hardest part would probably be to get people to feel that all these changes are for the good and that we are living in prosperous times. I guess it is fairly likely this might be helped by some failures in adaption in some other area of the world showing us that we are lucky and need to keep working hard to stay lucky.

I understand what you mean, but America is not the whole world - and yes, I know that you know that, and that if you are living in one place, what goes on elsewhere is at best distantly relevant.

Worse, I realise that the 'American Dream' seems almost unstoppable, and growth is an integral part.

But at the same time, how people think is part of the problem - I keep reading numbers that make me think Americans have gone insane (I remember things like the articles of clothing or toys bought in a year - the average is way beyond one a week in either category).

There seems no cure for that insanity, but it still is insane. Though reality seems to have no relation to insanity, at some point, reality becomes inescapable regardless, even if the insanity was in reaction to reality.

Personally, much of this debate hangs on values which are impossible to quantify - what is the worth of a well fitting pair of shoes which lasts ten years of use, and can be resoled by a competent shoemaker? In today's America, the worth would seem to be about zero, while in many parts of Europe, the worth would seem to be self-obvious in terms of the number of places such shoes are sold and repaired. Affordable? Maybe, maybe not. But imaginable and desirable for enough people to keep a local shoe industry going? Definitely.

Will America ever see a growth in such a local shoe industry? Possibly - but will it then be seen as a sign of collapse since this means Nike Air is no longer available, even if the ads are still broadcast? (Collapse in the broad doomer sense, not anything specific.)

Sometimes, I wonder how Americans as a group can be so distant from the reality which still existed when I was a child.

Systems collapse for a number of reasons, and sometimes, I just wonder if America will be the first example of societal collapse brought on by sheer marketing mixed with greed.

In my eyes, possibly the most scary aspect of the 20th Century was how deeply we learned to manipulate ourselves through film, radio, TV, with ideology or profit as the motivation leading to ever more refined tools to manipulate ourselves without restraint.

The old tools were bad enough, but this last century may have seen something else. One perspective of mine about how to define a society is to define what it rejects - and at this point, marketing seems to make the definition, in an America where many things considered normal here are rejected out of hand by huge numbers of Americans. A tiny example - a German nursery school (Kindergarten) doesn't bother with a girl and a boy toilet - who cares? The 3 and 5 year olds certainly don't, and neither do the adults. And the toilets are not private in terms of doors either, as the bathroom has four or six or whatever number of them anyways - again, who cares?

Somehow, I doubt a number of German attitudes would be allowed to exist in today's America, since these attitudes seem to encompass what is rejected - quality as a desirable trait, for example.

I don't think most Americans know what real quality is anymore.  Everything the mass market produces is basically garbage, and most of us never even have contact with genuinely well-made products.  They're so expensive we can't afford them, and they're not marketed to us, so we never see that level.  Our culture has forgotten the meaning of quality.  There is a small percentage, the truly wealthy, who shop differently than the rest of us and they still know what craftsmanship is.  I see this every day in my work in extremely high-end homes.  There are still people, not many of them, doing incredibly beautiful construction work.  There are still fewer people who can afford it.
Well, one of the things is that quality tends to imply long lasting, and long lasting tends to imply lower profits - this is why America seems to feel importing cheap Chinese goods is the road to economic bliss, while the Germans seem to feel that becoming the world's largest exporter of high quality, high value goods is a way to survive in a brutal global market.
I sort of agree.  The total economy can't grow in the future.  But some parts must grow by definition.  We need many more wind and solar structures.  That is a growth industry, even if the rest of the economy has to shrink to provide the resources.  

The term growth is not good or bad only what it is refering to.  A climax forest has growth in it, just as it has decline.  The key is they are in balance.  The overall forest is not "growing" in size, but components of it are constantly growing and declining.  We need this kind of model for our overall economy.  Rather than saying the entire economy must expand (or show "growth") there must be recognition of what components should be growing and which components/sectors should be declining and recycled.

Exactly !

I'd add that this is a economy that is refining itself.

Each time it becomes more efficient or produces a good that lasts longer the excess can be used for some expansion in the traditional sense. For example you can always replace a one story house that can not be easily made efficient with say a four story building that uses less resources. This is real growth in the sense you have a more valuable asset but the energy costs of construction would be "paid down" over time via the increase in efficiency.

Think of it this way every object can use energy in two ways.
One in its construction and second in its use. A car uses far more energy in its use than in its construction. A water glass is of course the opposite.

In a society that does not grow energy wise your free to still create a bazillion plastic cups and throw them away.

But as you can see its far better to create a glass once and reuse it. The most compelling reason is that heating the water to wash the glass can come from say a solar heater or other renewable source. The same with the soap.

Also high energy tasks like glass making can be coupled to cheap energy sources such as hydro.

Basically over time the energy impact of a glass can be paid off while disposable plastic cups cannot.

And of course you can wash the plastic cup for the same effect this is not a plastic vs glass debate.

It just shows that in a constant energy society the focus would be on making washing reusable items efficient since the cost of manufacture can be "paid off" if the object lasts long enough.

Hello TODers,

According to this Newsday link:
Some analysts think prices will rise as driving increases for Thanksgiving visits and holiday-related shopping. "We can expect now for gasoline prices to slowly drift higher," said Stephen Schork, editor of the Schork Report, an industry newsletter published in Villanova, Pa.

Schork said that if government forecasts for a mild winter are correct, prices probably won't rise much further. "You tend to see your biggest spikes and price gains prior to the start of the season," he said.

However, a number of private weather forecasters are calling for a colder than normal winter for the Northeast, contradicting government forecasts and raising the possibility of higher heating fuel prices.

The gas-station nearest my house went up two cents/gallon since yesterday to $2.07/ gal.  So does a 'slow drift higher' mean $2.50/gal by January 1, 2007?  Will OPEC production cutbacks help these prices drift higher still?

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

Some points for Robert to ponder--the "2005 Group" versus the "2010 Group"
(An expanded version of a reply to Cry Wolf)

The previous (nominal) peak in oil prices was pretty close to Yergin's predicted long term index price of $38 per barrel.  As you know, Yergin's point was that rising production would force prices down.  

IMO, the opposite has happened, with falling oil production forcing oil prices up to ration remaining supplies via price, resulting in oil prices trading in record high (nominal) range this year--50% to 100% higher than Yergin's long term index price and 50% to 100% higher than the previous (nominal) peak.

Now, the 2005 Group, e.g., Darwinian and I, thinks that we are past the peak, at least the peak of conventional C+C production.  By and large, the 2010 Group, e.g. Robert and Cry Wolf, thinks that the most likely peak is after 2010.  We all agree that the economy as we know it is screwed, it's just a question of how soon it is screwed.

The 2010 Group advocates the position that the recent C+C production declines are voluntary, especially by KSA.  IMO, the cuts are voluntary in the same sense that Texas has cut its production by 75%, because we also couldn't find buyers for all of oil, but I digress.

IMO, the mathematical (HL) case is overwhelming that the world and KSA are now where the Lower 48 and Texas were when the started declining.  

As I have also outlined, Khebab's post-50% models for the Lower 48 and Russia were essentially 100% correct in predicting post-50% cumulative production (using only production data through 50% to generate the model).  And the North Sea, like the Lower 48, started declining when it crossed the 50% of Qt (C+C) mark.  Russia is a complex case, but it hit a plateau on either side of the 50% mark, followed by all of the Soviet/Post-Soviet complexities, but recent reports indicate that Russian production is again falling--as predicted by the HL model.

Assuming that Ghawar is declining (IMO, a highly reasonable assumption given the "best case" that the field is producing one-third water, after being redevloped with horizontal wells), the four current super giants and the North Sea, which together recently accounted for as much as 18% of world C+C production, are all either declining or crashing.  The North Sea, as an important petroleum province, is almost literally vanishing in front of our very eyes.

I think that we are starting a new round of bidding for declining oil supplies, especially for declining exports.

Some points for Robert to ponder--the "2005 Group" versus the "2010 Group"
(An expanded version of a reply to Cry Wolf)

No time to ponder right now. Walking out the door. You guys take care.

The most recent total import petoleum numbers confirm the trend that we have seen since 9/29,when the four week running average of total petroleum imports started falling below my "index" level of 12.9 mbpd, the 12/30/05 number.   I believe that the most recent number is 11.7 mbpd. Note that we are not only falling below my index number, we are now showing some pretty big year over year declines.

As everyone knows, Robert and I have had endless discussions on this issue, and I fully realize that there are seasonal patterns and refinery issues, but the fact remains that US refineries, week after week, require a lot of oil.

IMO, the total petroluem import number is a sensitive indicator of where oil markets are headed.  IMO, the crude oil inventory numbers are now less reliable as an indicator due to what I suspect is a (temporary) surplus of heavy, sour that has been obscuring flat to declining inventories of light, sweet.

In any case, if memory serves, this is a rare case of a situation where Robert and I agree on price trend based on inventory and import data.  I think that he predicted--based on inventory and import data--rising prices before he left.  

we are now showing some pretty big year over year declines

Really? Cumulative daily averages for first 306 days show a pretty small year-on-year reduction of 0.3% (12,407 mbpd versus 12,449 mbpd).

Four week running averages total US petroleum imports:
Week ending 11/04/05:  13.6 mbpd
Week ending 11/03/06:  11.7 mbpd

I posted my first missive on this topic in January, 2006.  You can find a link to the article in the following EB article:  http://www.energybulletin.net/19420.html

My specific warning was that we would see declining net oil exports this year.   So far this year, 30 out of the 44 weeks of total petroleum import data (four week running average), or 68% of the weekly numbers, have been below the 12/30/05 number.  

IMO, the Peak Oil/Peak Export crisis will not hit in 2010, or in 2015, or in some other multiple of five, 2025, 2050, etc.

I think that the Peak Oil/Peak Export crisis is upon us now.  Today.

I think that the Peak Oil/Peak Export crisis is upon us now.  Today.

This picture constitutes a Peak Export crisis? Maybe for other countries, but not for the USA...

Look back at history. Below is a graph of the 1969-1973 production. Note how hard it is to really see the peak of 1971.

Here's another view of the same data. If you (or others) expect the global peak to stand out like some sort of Mt. Everest in the statistical sea, then you're going to be disappointed.

Westexas is correct to point out the year-to-year declines in imports as that is an important signal. Yes, it is small so far. What would you expect?

Westexas is correct to point out the year-to-year declines in imports as that is an important signal.

A decline of 0.3% maybe a signal. Maybe not. Too soon to say.

When Westexas said: we are now showing some pretty big year over year declines, I imagined something like North Sea at 11% or Cantarell at 8% but not 0.3%.

Well hopefully this works. I thought I would try posting an image again. Can everyone see this chart?

Here is the import data since 2004. Sorry WT, but I don't see a decline here. Do you have a chart that does?

I don't doubt your data, but the EIA officially expects continuing inventory drawdowns and crude oil price firming in the fourth quarter:

This Week in Petroleum: Which Way to Vote - November 8, 2006

EIA and other analysts who expect oil prices to firm take a different view when looking at the global oil market situation. Due to project slippage, geopolitical uncertainty, and high rates of production decline in mature producing regions, EIA projects non-OPEC production growth to only partially meet anticipated oil demand growth, which pressures OPEC to increase production in 2007 or leads to declines in oil inventories to meet demand. While EIA does not expect OPEC to trim the full 1.2 million barrels per day in production that they announced on October 20, the cut should be sufficient to result in a higher-than-usual drawdown in crude oil inventories during the fourth quarter of 2006. Already, U.S. petroleum data released earlier today show that gasoline inventories, which had been well above the normal range just a few weeks ago, have dropped back into the normal range, thus reflecting that some of the inventory surplus is being worked off. Total U.S. petroleum inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) have dropped by 27 million barrels over the last four weeks, or nearly 1 million barrels per day, even before any OPEC cuts would have had any effect. If oil demand growth over the next several months continues in line with EIA's projection, oil inventories are likely to continue to drop more rapidly than their typical seasonal pattern.
The issue is exports to the entire world market and the world's capacity to supply export crude, which Westexas suggests is declining. US imports are only a small part of the global export picture, and don't tell the story. Countries like China, India, European nations and many smaller countries around the world rely on imports often even more than we do.

At issue is world competition for global exports. Westexas has said that he expects we have outcompeted many smaller, poorer nations for the export oil, and therefore been able to continue to get the supply we want. However, as increasingly less becomes available, it will become more difficult, even at higher prices, to get what we want. That will be the true dawning of the crisis for us.

We will see soon enough if he is correct.

(Hope I didn't misrepresent you Westexas - if so I would appreciate any correction)


You wrote a good summary.  Since world crude + condensate production is down, someone is conserving.

In regard to some of the above comments, only 14 of the 44 weeks of (four week running average) total petroleum (crude + product) imports have been above the late December, 2005 number, and the most recent four week running average number is about 1.9 mbpd (14%) below the import level during the same time period last year.

IMO, we have been bidding against regions like Africa.  Soon we will be bidding against regions like Europe and China.

Also--and this is the issue that Robert and I debated endlessly--oil prices traded in record higher territory, about 100% higher than the previous nominal high price, during the low import periods this year.  IMO, our imports trended up, and prices drifted lower, after we forced some demand destruction in poorer countries.

Just wait till we have to bid against China.

Note that after talking to Stuart, I have been using the total petroleum numbers, not the crude oil numbers that some posters have referred to above.  The most recent early November total petroleum import (four week running average) number was the lowest for early November since 2003, and again, this is a continuation of a trend that started in the week ending 9/29.

So, with a large producing province--the North Sea--in a terminal rapid decline and with the near certainty that all four of the super giants are crashing or declining, and with renewed signs of a Russian decline, why again is anyone expecting higher oil production?


Sorry, I looked at only the crude. I hope you didn't think I was trying to attack your position, I just wanted to try and create a graph so I could see it for myself and update it for myself each week. I'll update my numbers for crude + product. Thanks! :)
The irony is that I was attacked earlier in the year for initially just focusing on crude oil imports.
I feel compelled to point out the obvious fact that last years oil production disruption caused by both Katrina and Rita are undoubtedly skewing your statistics, as the US was forced to import a fairly larger amount of petroleum products to make up for the multi-month supply disruption.  Basing your own trends for this year in comparison to last years numbers is a very unexpected mistake from you, westexas.
Total petroleum imports are also about 500,000 bpd below the comparable 2004 period, while consumption is up.  

In any case, in January I predicted, based on Khebab's work, falling world net export capacity because the three biggest exporters, KSA, Russia and Norway, are all more depleted than the world is overall.  Also, I predicted that consumption in most exporting countries would grow quite rapidly because of the flood of cash coming in because of higher oil prices.  

As I predicted, KSA and now Russia have joined Norway in showing falling oil production.

In which case, that would be around 4%, and not 14% as you stated on multiple occasions.  The game cant keep changing.  You cant keep moving your goal post around in a vain attempt to mount a defense on an untenable position.

And the world was oversupplied with oil for much of this year,  allowing several SPR equivalents to be filled, and a lack of demand for heavy and super heavy crude oil.

If the KSA and Russia are in terminal decline, it sure is at such a pathetic rate that average mbpd is down by less then 0.5% this year.  But keep on preaching :)

see my comment on the Thursday thread

And I might add my pet canary in the coal mine bunker fuel is not responding to the recent weak oil prices.


Read them and weep.

West Texas is right its on its way up. Watching gasoline prices is a waste of time IMHO that's not where the peak oil action is.

Westexas, I would just like to point out that Saudi Arabia's four other super giants are also past their peak.

Safaniya 1,544,000 . 1981
Abqaiq ..1,094,061 . 1973
Berri ........807,557 . 1976
Zuluf ........658,000 . 1981

And of course all the smaller fields, with the exception of Shaybah, are post peak. Shaybah and Haradh, (the southern tip of Ghawar that produces very heavy, sour crude), are the fields that have masked Saudi's obvious decline. But now these fields cannot overcome Saudi's approximately 8% decline in all the other very old fields. That is why we are now seeing Saudi Arabia "voluntarily" cut production because they don't have enough buyers.

Ron Patterson


I continuously see these numbers (from Simmons?) that all of Saudi's giant fields peaked in the 70's and early 80's.  That was 25 years ago!  What sort of decline rates have these fields had since then?

Also, didn't Ghawar peak in 1981 too?

Were these geological peaks, or political peaks?



Garth, these peaks were reached at a time when Saudi Arabia was producing full tilt. Saudi produced 9.9 mb/d, C+C in 1980 and 9.815 mb/d in 1981. Then there was the Iran-Iraq war and the tanker wars.

Saudi began producing full tilt again in the about 1990, choked back a little in 1999, again in 2001 and 2002, then in 2003 they began to produce full tilt again. However they never reached their former high reached in 1980. They produced 9.550 mb/d, C+C in 2005. Through the first eight months of this year, Saudi produced an average of 9.311 mb/d. This is of course using the EIA numbers which they get directly from Saudi Arabia. They are probably lying however. The earlier numbers came from Aramco when the four American oil companies were still running things.

Yes, Ghawar peaked in 1981 at 5,694,000 bp/d. And these were geological peaks.

As for decline rates, even the Saudis themselves admit to a 5 percent to 12 percent decline rate.

One challenge for the Saudis in achieving this objective is that their existing fields sustain 5 percent-12 percent annual "decline rates," (according to Aramco Senior Vice President Abdullah Saif, as reported in Petroleum Intelligence Weekly and the International Oil Daily) meaning that the country needs around 500,000-1 million bbl/d in new capacity each year just to compensate.

Late data as to the production of these fields is hard to come by, owing to the secrecy of Aramco. But if Saudi is admitting a 5 to 12 percent decline in all their old giants, we can be assured that they are producing nowhere near their former glory. Also, whether anyone realizes this or not, this is an admission by Saudi Aramco that all their tired old giants are post peak.

And the world's oil markets did not even notice.

Ron Patterson

The markets do not want to notice, Ron. Just like those who live closest to a damn have no fear of it collapsing, we're seeing denial now because accepting the reality is far too hard.
Why would the KSA overestimate its reserves?  The explanation that it wants to continue to be the big boy on the block is unconvincing.  If it downgraded its reserve numbers, this would trigger an additional price rise and bring ARAMCO a lot more money.  

I don't have an answer, but if you're sitting on possibly the largest set of reserves int he world, the last thing you want to do is create a panic about future delivery.  This could stir up massive national programs to move away from oil and towards other alternatives.


That's why a US president with a sane energy policy would be doing exactly that.

Unfortunately, the Congress has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Big Oil for the last 12 years, and the White House for the last 6.  There will be no sanity, and the "addicted to oil" speech will never be repeated, let alone followed by anything that smacks of policy.

I think the Saudi Royal family feels extremely insecure.  On one side, there are their people, a rapidly growing population that is used to generous government handouts.

As one of CNN's talking heads put it, the rule in countries like Saudi Arabia is, "No taxation, so no representation."  The rulers don't ask anything of the people, so the people don't get any say in government.  This is why oil countries (and most countries with one rich natural resource) tend not to be democratic.  (The notable exception is Norway...because they had a long tradition of democracy before they discovered oil.)

The last thing the Saudis want their people to hear is "The oil is running out."

On the other side is the U.S.  The House of Saud owes its precarious hold on power in part to Western support.  They are afraid if the oil supply is threatened, they'll be "Iraq'd."  Or at least Venezuela'd.   They know the reason the U.S. supports them is to keep the oil flowing.  If they say production is crashing, they'll come under a lot of pressure to allow IOC's in.  They don't want that.  Not least because it will tick their people off.  

From 1985 to 1990 you saw OPEC countries make dramatic, unsubstantiated increases in their reserve numbers. Some have called these "political reserves." Why would they do this? Because at the time, the world (and especially the middle east) had lots of oil, OPEC producers needed to sell a lot for the income, and they were instituting the quota system to try to support prices. No country wanted to reduce its own output that much and reduce their revenue, but they also wanted to keep prices from crashing. Quotas were set for each country based on their declared reserves, and hence they started abruptly claiming huge increases in these reserves. Once these were declared, of course, there was no going back - "what a tangled web we weave" etc.    
Which lends credence to the stories about Reagan asking the King of SA to open the taps up full bore, but the only way to do that is increasing reserves under their quota system.  Bye Bye Soviet Union......Hello Russia...now will you play nice with us?  


Russia:  This depends...do you like to play chess?
More like Roulette
Just heard a brief comment on CNBC that the Kuwaitis are saying that the Saudis plan further production cutbacks in December.  

As I said before, KSA is following the same path as Texas, where too have voluntarily cut back our production (by 75% in our case) because of our inability to sell all of our oil.  

IMO, Peak Oil--and the confirmed declines in Saudi and Russian production--will finally become the story "That is too big to ignore" next year.

The Sweet/Sour thing you and WT mentioned got me thinking.

Has anyone done graphs of those two production numbers?

Has it been a sliding(Proportional...) up and down of each as time goes by?

Sour going up in percentage, and Sweet going down in percentages?

How much difference to the market would it be if it were all sour?

Saying production has declined by x% is sort of misleading if Sweet is declining by 2y, and sour is increasing by 2y.

If it were alcohol,  People would notice if there wasn't any Crown Royal or Glenfiddish but in it's place is a ton of cooking sherry.

What effects on the dynamics of the market is this having?
(ie Sweet going down and sour going up)?

John Carr

I recently did a joint presentaton with the head of research at Simmons & Company, and he had a very interesting chart showing the steady increase in the sulphur content and the steady decline in API gravity over the past few years, i.e., the world's crude supply is becoming steadily more sour and heavier.
Thank you WT

Along with your analysis of EXport quantities vs Production quanitities,   I think this issue is another that doesn't get enough play.

I think the analogy to Alcohol I posted above is how it's going.  

I think it has the potential to substantially lower the EROEI of Oil.    If the world has X refinining capacity,  What percentage of the refinining capacity can process heavy sour crude?

As you and Ron have said that we should talk about Crude Oil and not mix in Shale, CTL, Ethanol, etc to confuse the issues,   The decrease in the availability of sweet light crude vs heavy sour does similar things it seems.

If of 84mbd,  but 60mbd is heavy sour,  wouldn't that be important to know, vs 84mbd and 80 is light sweet.  

What percentage of the 84 IS heavy sour?

I have a question.  You can look at the Jobs data here:

http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servlet/SurveyOutputServlet?series_id=CES0000000001&data_tool=%22EaG%22& amp;output_view=net_1mth

Where is the loss of jobs due to Katrina?
Are we to believe that all of the people that left New Orleans magically found jobs elsewhere?


Nice find. However looking at the columns I see this:

CES0000000001    2005    Aug    2205
CES0000000001    2005    Sep    2076
CES0000000001    2005    Oct    1775

Compared to this:

CES0000000001    2006    Aug    1812
CES0000000001    2006    Sep    1912(p)
CES0000000001    2006    Oct    1967(p)

And this is with the housing situation combusting.

Certainly looks like a drop to me.

Yes, it's bizarre. In spite of their obvious absurdity these employment statistics continue to regularly move the fx markets.
Democrats to target oil majors in new Congress

"Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who is poised to be the next Speaker of the House when the new Congress convenes in January, says oil companies have unfairly earned record profits by gouging consumers at the gasoline pump.

Pelosi says taking away the financial relief given to Big Oil in last year's Republican-written energy law will be among the six major tasks Democrats plan to tackle in the first 100 hours after she slams the gavel to convene the new House.

She says Democrats will go after oil companies by enacting tough laws to stop gasoline price gouging, and some Democrats want to impose a windfall profits tax on Big Oil."

Now who didn't see this coming?

The problem of course is that the only thing keeping US gas stations supplied is our ability to outbid consumers in areas like Africa.  Soon, the US is going to be bidding directly against Europe and China instead of poor African countries.

Unless the Democrats want to pass an Energy Consumption Tax, offset by cuts to the Payroll Tax, in combination with a crash electrification of transportation program and a crash wind power program, the recent election was largely a case of replacing the captain of the Titanic, after the ship has hit the iceberg.  (For what it's worth, I voted straight Democratic for the first time in my life.)

Analogy correction:  it was a more a case of replacing the junior officers.  The election for the new captain of the Titanic will be in 2008.
I predict McCain.
Hello Sunspot,

Imagine Hillary vs Condi Rice vying for the top spot!  Now that would really cause a high voter turnout in 2008.

I'd be delighted to see either a woman or an African American as president, but I think there are far too many Americans who would never, ever vote for a woman or black president.  I think it'll be McCain vs. Hillary, although Barak throwing his hat into the ring makes it, at least, more interesting.
Anyway, the next president won't be chosen by "we, the people", the decision will be made at via conference call and the results will be manipulated accordingly.  Just like always, not just recently.  Clinton was chosen just as surely as Bush was.  Gov't=corporations=media.  Write those in a circle and spin...
I'd be delighted to see either a woman or an African American as president.

I'd be delighted to see a hermaphroditic midget Hare Krishna with Downs Syndrome  as president.  

I don't care what their "platform" - I just want to find a politically correct gender, ethinicity and intellect befitting the population that is voting.

quite funny.
Yeah but would Rosie Odonnell run?
depends on what's chasing her, I guess.
>I'd be delighted to see a hermaphroditic midget Hare Krishna with Downs Syndrome  as president.  

Your words are like music.

We could be so lucky, that would make all the NASCAR dads' brains run right out of their ears reducing the population back down to a more managible level.

Ahh but the size of the NASCAR penis is the issue. Not to mention the fact they tend to put cold beers between their legs preventing the death of unwanted sperm.
The size matters not so much when it can't be found, buried as it is within rolls of fat.
Are you guys saying that NASCAR sucks? Cuz you only picked up 4 seats in the Senate - out of a hundred. I'm not sure what the silence is for the last 24 hours regarding your obvious agreement. I'm not sure if it is confusion or the hesitation over how to end your lives. I'd be careful, though. 'specially in North Carolina. Fork them F-1 pretty-boys.
i made the mistake of predicting mccain in 2000  and thereafter he just rolled over sold his sole to the bushistas
You can attack me all you want on this one, but I think Pelosi/Obama ticket would be awesome.
Obama will not accept a VP slot, if he's smart. Being a VP for 4 or 8 years saddles you with whatever mistakes the prior administration made. And Pelosi would ensure the Democrats go down in defeat. Regardless of rightness or wrongness, she is seen as far too radical for much of the nation. Obama as president though could sell. He's charismatic, young, an excellent orator (remember how much such skills helped Reagan and Clinton both), and doesn't have a track record that screams radical. Yes, he is a "liberal" but it's going to be hard to make that stick against him, given his record to date, compared to Pelosi.

Pelosi is DOA as a presidential candidate. The Dems need someone as intelligent and charismatic as Bill Clinton, but who can either keep his pants on or not get caught. ;)

OK...then switch the two...Obama/Pelosi..that way Obama can rein her "radical" ideas a bit.

She has some good ideas, she can talk without an earpiece, and she is now the third most powerful politician in our country.  That carries some weight, with me at least.

pelosi could very well be our next president  remember the speaker of the house is third in line to be president      imagine    bush resigns or otherwise becomes incapacitated or decapitated    the flatuent one croaks    and viola'    nancy is your new president
could be just a bag of pretzel-chunks and a pacemaker battery away ...
John Edwards is as charismatic as bill clinton.  He also is for the workers and middle class unlike shrub and his gang of incompetent corpos.

Remember now shrub said he would run the US like a corporation.  What he didn't tell you was that corp was Enron.

Obama needs a VP with foreign policy experience to carry that load while he focuses on domestic issues.  Think Joe Biden or Bill Richardson.
Pelosi/Obama. You are seriously high. Obama on the best of days. Too young, no experience with anything. Marijuana, cocaine, and still-smokes - his selling points? Yeah, right. (Notice alcohol isn't even mentioned -chuckle,chuckle-wassup with that?)

Pelosi was the worst thing to hit the Democrats 5 years ago. Now she is Speaker. Oh Boy. Watch how this turns out. You are gonna need to give up the Iran stuff to deal with her. Watch. Oh, and, her smile is so real...

BTW, a cynic might suggest that Peolosi is sending a signal to "Big Oil" that they need to start sending more cash to the Democrats, if they want to avoid punitive legislation.  

I personally think that "Big Oil" should endorse a nationwide cap on gasoline prices of $2.00 per gallon, in order to see just how long that price controls work when a region is importing the majority of its petroluem.

Unless the Democrats want to pass an Energy Consumption Tax, offset by cuts to the Payroll Tax, in combination with a crash electrification of transportation program and a crash wind power program, the recent election was largely a case of replacing the captain of the Titanic, after the ship has hit the iceberg.

This is very good. It should be fitted onto a bumper sticker... and at the very least it constitutes the essential Elevator Speech. I'd like to add solar thermal to that crash wind power program, plus the grid interties necessary to carry the electrons.

At least one of my co-workers has already opined to me that it's time to tax the f@!k out of oil.  On the other hand, he's an engineer and even geekier than I am.  But the feeling seems widespread.

It's probably time to go beyond elevator speeches.  Pamphlets?  Maybe TOD would host some PDFs?

The Democrats could pass anything they want in the House, and perhaps in the Senate (depending on VA and MT outcomes) but it wouldn't really matter. Bush can veto whatever they pass and the veto would stand since the Dems don't have the numbers to override.

Passing such a measure (or measures) would serve as a symbolic gesture, at most, though such action might serve to get more of the public's attention.

It would also depend how the public got behind such measures, unless Bush just wants to alienate the entire country against the Republicans.
Virtual: IMO, that was an incredible PR victory for the American people yesterday (outside the USA).Maybe Expat can comment on how it is playing in the German press.
Well, I haven't been very plugged in today, but relief is certainly one thing which seems to come through the news, along with explanations that the election in terms of the Senate is still open.

Germany has a sort of very stable British system, balanced by a federal system based on the different Bundesländer, or federal states. They also have a two tiered federal election, so to speak - you vote both for a candidate for the office, and for a party. It is quite customary here to intentionally split a 'vote,' to be able to send a more refined political message - for example, you may vote for a conservative candidate, but then also vote for the Green party, to let the other parties know that the environment is very important to you. This is the main reason another party, the FDP, survives, at this point - they are seen as a brake to the two large parties.

Unfortunately, in the last few election cycles the far right/neo-nazis have been able to use this aspect of the German system to make some gains in East Germany - they ask for 'protest voters' to send a message by voting for them.

The other thing is that the German reports are realistic in terms of the Iraq War - they don't really believe anything much will change, but left pretty much unspoken is the hope that other things, like no longer using torture, or at least discussing climate change, will now become more possible to imagine.

To sum up - relief seems to be the overriding tone of the news, a feeling that in America, democracy still functions.

"relief seems to be the overriding tone of the news, a feeling that in America, democracy still functions. "

That would also be the feeling we have in America right now.

I think, in the end, folks in the US ultimately want "some" checks and balances, somewhere.  Things were getting too skewed one way for people's comfort level.  I think BushCo's biggest mistake was flaunting what they thought was an indelible power.  They probably could have kept what power they had until the end of Bush's term had they not been quite so arrogant about it.
I'm working on developing a 'peak political stupidity' plot. Based on the mid-term election, I predict that we have reached a Peak Political Stupidity (PPS) in Nov '06. My main opponent Robert Epee insists that the peak won't happen until Nov. '08 because the biggest source of stupidity is still active and producing at full capacity. He also argues that there are undeveloped provinces, particularly in the mid-western and western 'red' states that are capable of producing enough stupidity to put off the peak until possibly as late as 2010.

I argue, however, that the crash of the notorious Rumsfeld field and the demise of many smaller fields during the Nov '06 election assures that we are now on the downside of the peak since the production of stupidity of the single remaining 'elephant' field in the White House cannot make up for this cumulative decline. There are also rumors that the rate of stupidity of this major 'elephant' field is in decline because of the increased 'reality' cut in its apparent production.

Unfortunately the development of anti-stupidity (some have suggested the name should be something like 'intelligence' or merely 'good sense' but for now, anti-stupidity will have to do) has been lagging and some detractors insist that viable anti-stupidity will never be developed. After all the scientists have been saying for over 50 years that it's development is just a few years away. And who can forget the slogan 'anti-stupidity to cheap to meter.'

But hope springs eternal

I argue, however, that the crash of the notorious Rumsfeld field and the demise of many smaller fields during the Nov '06 election assures that we are now on the downside of the peak since the production of stupidity of the single remaining 'elephant' field in the White House cannot make up for this cumulative decline. There are also rumors that the rate of stupidity of this major 'elephant' field is in decline because of the increased 'reality' cut in its apparent production.

ROFL!  Classic, truly classic.  

"production of stupidity of the single remaining 'elephant' field in the White House cannot make up for this cumulative decline."

That elephant is an abiotic stupidity source and has near infinite production capacity.

"The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity." -- Harlan Ellison
Which book is that from?
I have no idea if it's even from a book; it may be from an essay or a talk.  It's one of his most widely-quoted sayings.
you're killing me!
Were you not concerned that the meager control that exists on the Southern border will now be removed leading to an eventual collapse of this Nation State.
The White House was no better, caving to the Chamber of Commerce (because the costs are borne mostly by individuals rather than business).  And voter anger over this issue ought to give the Democrats pause about pushing any amnesties, because the voters can throw out the new crop of bums just two years from now.
Now that Nancy is the third most powerful person in the US government, I would like her to actually spend her time on answering these questions first:

#1 - What was really in Cheney's Energy Plan?
#2 - Why did the price of gasoline go up a dime last night?
#3 - Why do we have 4 Strike Forces bobbing around in the seas close to the ME and when are they coming back?
#4 - Why are we really in Iraq and what do we do now with our troops in Iraq?
#5 - How can you, at a federal level, prevent the problems that occurred after the hurricanes hit New Orleans?
#6 - How can we promote conservation of energy use in this country without collapsing our economy?

Just answers those or work with some folks to get the answers...I'll think up some more by the time you are finished...

#2 - Why did the price of gasoline go up a dime last night?

Gasoline is up 1 penny today in the futures markets and oil up about 50 cents.

If you are talking about retail gasoline, there is a 10-14 day lag of what happens in the commodity markets. Whatever you are referring to do had absolutely nothing to do with the election.

Now, if gasoline futures climb precipitously from here over the next month, then I would add it to your list of questions.

#6 - How can we promote conservation of energy use in this country without collapsing our economy?

Answer - You can't conserve enough without collapsing our economy. We have to stop dancing around this issue - we must bring down the current global economic system if we are to have a future worth living. Growth economics is the problem.

(Hi all - been extremely busy and haven't had time to do much other than check the headlines here. Hope to have time to contibute more in the near future, though now until Thanksgiving is going to be tough)

David: Germany, France and the UK are all down about 25-30% from their peak consumption in the 70s.
That's great! Has it prevented the world from approaching peak oil? Will that lessen the pain we will experience when oil prices hit $200 a barrel?
David: IMO, the correlation between economic growth and oil usage is far from perfect. IMO, Dec 05 was the peak, however I do not agree that this means Mad Max is rolling down the highway.  
The correlation between economic growth and oil usage is not the point. Regardless of what tha correlation might be, we are tied to a growth ethic and it is that growth ethic that is the problem. Even if we could double our efficiency in oil to gdp conversion, if everyone wants to live at the american (or european) standard of consumption, there simply isn't going to  be enough to go around.

And, no, I don't see Mad Max coming around either. Typically, those who believe in that scenario are believers in growth as the only possibility. But there is simply no way around to obvious outcomes if we don't change our way of thinking - most everyone will be a lot poorer compared to our current standards and life expectancy is likely to decline dramatically.

It is more than an ethic, it is a design assumption of the financial system.  Lenders lend money because the world of tomorrow is inherently more valuable than the world of today, and by lending they can capture some of that growth.

As economic growth slows and turns into economic diminishment, then the world of tomorrow will be worth less than the world of today, and lending will no longer offer the same rewards.

This dependence on growth as a design constraint permeates the fantastically complex global economy in countless ways, it is going to need a major redesign.  It is not going to be pretty.

It is easy to find investments that will make a property more valuble then other properties in the post peak oil era.

That is of course not an argumnet for expanding the money supply but a good one for moving capital around.

If the prospects are manny and the investments productive it will lead to new overall growth, probably after a period of contraction. Such has happened before, it hurts but the economy is like biological systems, individuals die and the herd might contract but usually it is followed by a period of growth and new individuals that prosper. GM and other companies might die, even people might die but that is not the end of economical growth / capitalism / money.

David, I don't agree with either you or Stalky Little Boy. I do expect a Mad Max scenario in perhaps 20 years. And it will have nothing to with the growth ethic or the financial system. It will have everything to do with food.

We have a population of 6.5 billion people and are still growing. Per capita food production is dropping but nothing even close to how fast it will drop when the supply of oil and natural gas starts to drop. Yes we eat oil. Well, not actually oil but the products of oil. And without that oil the food supply will go back to what it was before the oil age. But that will take many years. However with only half the oil, we will produce only half the food. There will be worldwide starvation and resource wars in almost every country.

I know very few believe that scenario but I am only pointing it out because you guys are looking at the wrong causes. It will be the lack of food, not growth or the monetary system that will cause us grief in a couple of decades.....or sooner.

Ron Patterson

Why do you assume that no sensible prioritization via market mechanisms or government intervention will be done?
Why do you assume that no sensible prioritization via market mechanisms or government intervention will be done?

Hey, we are talking about the whole damn world here, not just the US of A or Jolly Old England. Also market mechanisms prioritize for maximum profit, not for maximum survival. And government intervention in the USA will do little for India or China where the per capita food supply is already falling.

But if you look back at Argentina in 2001 you will probably see what most of the world will be like around 2025. Did prioritization via market mechanisms do much for Argentina? And what did government intervention accomplish?

I rest my case.

Ron Patterson

The die off scenarios are based on the assumption that the US, Europe, China and India will all keep driving until the last drop of petrol has been extracted.  The thought that we might change our habits has yet to cross their minds...
Which die off scenario are you referring to?

Since, if we assume that with petroleum agriculture, we are at near max allowable food production with peak oil. Then if we are off 8% in oil (some arbitrary time down the road),  will we not be approx some 8% factor off in food production as well.    Which (unless some new food source comes online) means people will starve...ala die off.  

So,  unless you can replace oil completely,  die off is INEVITABLE.    (save acts of god).

Unpleasant - yes,  but true, like many concepts on this forum.

***Of course, if you believe we can conserve and renewable fuel our way out of this, then I see your point.

It's all about population!

Hi Ron,

Actually, I don't think we disagree at all on this. I, too, believe that food is going to be a big limiting factor and I expect to see the entire industrial food system collapse. The only thing I would then add to this is that we have gotten in to this situation precisely because food production became a part of the oil based industrial system - read growth capitalism. In essence, I suspect you are correctly identifying the presenting cause of collapse, just not necessarily the underlying reason.

I suspect you would agree that we are going to see some nasty recessions in the next few decades. Those recessions are going to be the trigger for some of our largest food companies to go bankrupt. This in and of itself will cause immense suffering in the developed world as the distribution systems collapse. Food production in the less developed world will also suffer, probably relative to the degree to which the local agriculture system has been tied into the global economy (read industrial food system, read growth capitalism).

I'm also with you on the likihood of resource wars. The reason that I don't buy into the mad max scenario is primarily because I don't buy the instantaneous collapse that it seems to require. I suspect for people and communities to make adjustments as we move through this thing. Some are likely to turn to violence, but violence is often self defeating. I expect to see many other adjustments arising as well. One adjustment I don't think can come too soon is the abandonment of the nation-state as a political organizing institution. Complete explanation would take more room and time than I have right now, but suffice it to say that the nation-state system is the primary tool through which the current economic system is "enforced."

No way, I would risk my life to keep my current nation state.

Swedens state is not optimal and needs to shed a lot of its activities to normal business and get rid of bureaucracy but it a working tool for providing long term planning, investments and security. Other nation states might suck but that is your problem and your obligation to fix.

If anything our state is to small. I would very much like extremely close cooperation with our closest neighbours Norway, Finland and Denmark. If the EU can hold togeather that is good but I would not count on it for the worst post peak oil scenarios.

Magnus, I can't disagree with any of what you say and you obviously have a special circumstance in the scandanavian countries. Well, okay, there is one thing I have to disagree with. You said -

"Other nation states might suck but that is your problem and your obligation to fix."

Actually, that other nation states "suck" is your problem, especially when it comes to the really big ones like the U.S., China, Russia, India. Whether you like it or not, much of the future of Scandanavia will be decided by these behemoths.

There is a slim but reasonable chance that I can affect my local governments decisions in a positive way. I dont imagine I can influence any of the giants.

You are correct that what the giants decide deeply affect the small countries. I cant do anything about that but you who live in them have the obligation to do it. We mostly have to live with what you decide.

Localy I would for instance regard it to be wise to plan for global warming as a fact of life and resize the infrastructure for it. We cant stop U.S., China, Russia and India from burning coal etc. Perhaps it will have some PR effect on those countries if we rebuild for a sea level rise and add giant emergency rainfall outlets to our major lakes to prevent flooding as suggested in a recent report. But affecting the large countries in a positive way is icing on the cake.

If we mostly can do without imported oil it might inspire some savings.

But I think the most important part of a small countries foreign policy during bad times is to be much more usefull to the major powers intact then gutted. From Sweden we export minerals, paper and other wood products, misc industry products and lots of machine industry products where the large wehicle exports might be questionable but the arms export will probably be quite popular if times turn bad...

A reasonable worst case post peak oil scenario reminds me of a second world war withouth the crazy dictators. It will only be a complete disaster if we get such a scenario with crazy dictators.

One nice food system idea that is being suggested in a minor farming region in Sweden is to build a regional (plastic) tube network for raw unrefined biogas and another for purified  wehicle gas and then use fairly larg central gas purification plants. About 150-200 farms are supposed to use 230 000 ton of manure and field crops from 8000 hectares to produce 21 million m3 of gas wich is equal to 21 000 m3 of gas or diesel.  This would easily cover all the need for powering tractors while providing a good post peak oil income for the farmers.

If it goes well they hope to have a pilot plant with 10 farms connected within two years. If I have understood it right there is no new technology exept piping raw biogas significant distances and the economy probably hinges on the cost for laying the plastic pipes. I guess this can be a good market for the back hoes operators when cablification of the rural electrical distribution grid is completed. It ought to make long term sense since about a year of gas production is equivalent to the oil used in plastic tube manufacturing and then it lasts for long time.

An old calculation suggest a biogas potential of 15 TWh in Sweden and the total wehicle fuel use is 90 TWh. 15 TWh is more then enough for all farming and food distribution needs.

I dont expect a collapse of the farming industry but the size increase of new herds might level off around 500-750 cows due to diminishing returs on transportation efficiency.

Thanks to offshoring the dirty, energy-heavy manufacturing, where it's not counted in their numbers, even though they're using the end products...
I thought these numbers were interesting.  Europe and the USA aren't as different as you might think.  per capita in both areas has dropped, but total consumption is flat (europe) are increased somewhat (USA).

Also, despite their reputation as the proper approach to PO, Europe still uses a bunch of oil

OECD Europe 1973 15878.6 thousand barrels/day
OECD Europe 2005 15479.479 thousand barrels/day

2.5 % reduction

USA 1973 17307.679
USA 2005 20802.162

20 % increase


1973 OECD Europe Pop. 212.364 million
2005 OECD Europe 295.864 million

1973 USA 211 939
2005 USA 296 677


OECD Europes per capita consumption has dropped by 30%, while the USA has dropped by 14%.

Haaa...I didn't say it would be easy to answer that question.

I should have qualified #6 with "without collapsing the economy too fast...".

Nice to have your "realist" viewpoints back on the board.
Tom A-B
Those who invest wisely in energy efficiency and non oil energy sources will grow, the rest will probably suffer. Let the good things grow where investors, customers and government rules provides fertile ground.

I realy hope my home town and country will be one of the best places for this growth since I realy like living in a rich society and its very good that it also can be enviromentally benign.

I'd say the odds are pretty good in your case...
They are amoung the better, especially since Sweden have well run scandinavian neighbours and a fair ammount of the work needed is well on its way with establised industries.

But we got to keep good work up. In my home town Linköping is probably the most significant short term goal to double the production of biogas and the long term one to plan for more rail carried transportation with in the short term provisions for a future trolley line with a new dense city area along side it and the building of a new train station with tracks laid in anticipation of a rough doubling of the passanger traffic and provisions for a small multi-modal node for rail/truck transportation. Meanwhile we are de bottlenecking the road network and completing the bicycle lane network. New mall shopping areas are planned within easy bicycling distance from existing living areas. But it will take a decade to complete this.

Now if only I cound figure out how to be part of post peak oil investments but I am a technology networking guy, not a human relations networking guy and business is mostly about human relations.

#4 - Why are we really in Iraq and what do we do now with our troops in Iraq?

Buried in an ancient tomb somewhere in the desert is the holy arc of the covennant which is actually a cold fusion device capable of solving America's (and any one prepared to pay) energy crisis.


There may be some oil buried in those same sands:-)capable of solving America's (and any one prepared to pay) energy crisis. I didn't see the whole of the US army rush into Africa (with genocide occuring in at least 3 countries there) installing democracies like there are no democracies tomorrow and overthrowing/removing dictatorships. People will of course jump to attention and scream 'vast oversimplification' and i'd agree but have neither the space or time to regurgitate 247 quotes from over 13 books on the subject.


Yes I know, 'How come then they are pumping les than before'. Well it's not exactly all going to plan there is it!

On reflection however maybe they are pumping more than before. Think about that one!

I was explaining to my boss today that the only reason we're in Iraq is for their oil. I told him about Cheney's speech in '99 to the oilmen in which he said "The prize is in Iraq" and that "Regardless of Saddam being friend, foe, or neither, we need to control Iraq".

He (my boss) thinks going in to Iraq was all a case of testosterone (and perhaps it is partially a case of the the US as an Empire), but none the less there is definitely the factor of oil involved in our military being there. People I talk to seem uneasy when I tell them the US is in Iraq because it's one of the last places with a lot of oil up for grabs.

Tom A-B

There are many reasons to have placed the world in the situation it is now in.

The Iraq invasion can be looked at through many lenses.

War profiteering
Control of oil
Denial of oil to others   (both of these could be tied to the old 'Mr. 5% plan)
Control of water in the desert
Some form of 'zionist protection plan'  (or the nation state of isreal - take you pick or choose both)
The need for the US to stop oil being sold in non-US Dollars
The need to slap down sadam for
  atttcking someones daddy
  not towing the US party line
Spending the US government into oblivion for
  transfer of private funds to corportations
  The bank of england to re-establish control
  The rothchilds plan
  destroying the middle class
  proving government is not compentent thus drowning it in a bathtub.
A way to destroy/poision the poor who are the backbone of the military (Depleted uranium)
A way to keep a president in power longer than he'd otherwise be
lizard alien plans
without the US spending money into the economy, there would have been a nasty recession.  (who cares about future debt, you won't be in power)

I'm sure I have overlooked somne of the more popular reasons.   Many of the reasons have to do with the transfer of wealth from the people who actually convert one raw material into another (sunlight to food, ore to metal do-dads et la) to a class of people who do nothing more than move money from one place to another or owe their existance to 'managing' (lawmakers and their ilk)  So many reasons for any one group to 'sign on' - it will be hard to say "this is the reason" absent some docemnts that say 'this is the reason'.  Other than breaking things down to small units that can't proved large cashflows to support large systems, I have no good ideas to  prevent such abuses in the future.  

Oversight doesn't seem to help.

#1 - What was really in Cheney's Energy Plan?

To secure future (hydrocarbon) energy resource and follow through with related US contracts. No mystery here.  

The Speaker of the House is third in line of succession. The vice president is second. Though this VP seems to have had great influence, many VP's have NO power. Succession is not power.
I guess it is what you make of it....
More "leadership" from the Parade of Retarded Clowns.

Godz this planet is a fucking joke.

The Emerging Natural Gas Crisis?? Not again.. Didn't we have this discussion last spring only to see NG prices crash like a rock?? What do you believe it will take before John Q Public takes notice of this future crisis??  
IMHO, Prices to STAY high!  

Everytime they go down (like oil/crude now),  John Q gets amnesia and the good life returns.

When prices step up and stay up (at least average up),  the noise level will get higher.

Just like how we all 'forgot' about the last oil crisis so convienently.

It's all about population.
Peak water, peak food, peak oil/energy = peak people.

Does anybody know what % of current North American natural gas supply is being used in
1) tar sands fields?
2)corn ethanol and biodiesel factories?
(Both cases of using gold to make lead.)

Every once in a while I try to find those numbers, but don't think it's easy. Maybe I should not do 20 things at the same time.

I would add the amount/percentage used for fertilizers and pesticides to the list of questions.

A useful report on nat gas markets, though not providing all information is this one from the EIA: The Natural Gas Industry and Markets in 2003-PDF

It's always gratifying to read about the steep increases in US natural gas exports to Mexico and Canada. And under NAFTA, they might well be obliged to keep on delivering.

Because of the use of 'stranded' gas in tar sands processing, I doubt you could obtain accurate figures on this. I suspect this gas is not counted in industry natural gas production figures. About all you could do is extrapolate from various sources that quote the energy used in tar sands production and try to find what percentage of this is natural gas.
According to the National Energy Board (Canada) for their base case projection of 3 million bpd of upgraded and non-upgraded bitumen in 2015, 2.1 billion cf/d of natural gas will be required.

Sixty-five percent (1.9 MMbpd) of tar pits production will be upgraded (synthetic crude oil) and the balance non-upgraded.  The non-upgraded requires condensate or SCO to liquify it sufficiently for transport.  Presumably more NG may be used at the end of the pipeline/tanker trip (Chicago, China?) to process the non-upgraded bitumen.

There are some experiments currently underway aimed at reducing natural gas requirements and the push is on for a nuclear reactor to provision heat.  But none of these measures will have a discernible effect for years.

You can find the NEB analysis here: http://www.neb.gc.ca/energy/EnergyReports/EMAOilSandsOpportunitiesChallenges2015_2006/EMAOilSandsOpp ortunities2015Canada2006_e.pdf

And even if they use nukes for heat, the process still requires a source of H to 'lighten' the extracted crude.
Thats actually a real minor obstacle, as hydrogen is pretty easy to get. Natural gas is the easiest, followed by steam/bitumen cracking (partial burning) or water shift reactors with bitumen or coal as the feedstock. Finally, if you have enough process heat you can do high temperature steam electrolysis for about 2-3 times the cost of natural gas reformation or direct thermochemical methods if you have a reactor that can go hot enough.

Hold on there I thought that material were a major issue with very high temperature steam. I'd like to see number showing its economical. My understanding is its murder on basically any material makes HF look nice.
These are sort of two seperate questions, one on engineering another on economics. On the engineering side, steam is pretty easy to work with but gets more and more corrosive the higher you run the temperature. You can run steam at modest temperatures with relatively conventional materials without much corrosion, but above 400C you have to be clever about your materials; It doesnt matter that much however, because electrolysis in steam at any temperature is endothermic whereas in water its exothermic. The higher you run the temperature of the steam the less energy you have to supply as electricity, but even just after vaporization its far more efficient that water electrolysis.

As for the economics, its estimated that the price per cubic foot of H is 2-3 times that of natural gas reformation... but with the price of natural gas rising that can change.


hydrogen easy to get ?     as easy as oil from shale  ????
Far far easier. If you have the bitumen you can reform it to hydrogen. Getting it is the tough part.
If the output, remains at 5.1 Tcf/yr from Alberta (which it can't),  the usage of 766Bcf/yr would be better than 25% of total available.  

Or if we allow for a production decrease of 5% per year for 9 years...
But wait,  the anticipated reserve life is less than 8 years of the reserve...

Ok then.   They need a nuke plant before 2014 (if they take it to the limit.  But on average it takes 10 or more years to build a nuclear plant...and its 2006 nearly 2007.

Hmmm...what do you think is going to happen?  

It's all about population!

Oops - That should read - 15%.  My typo.

It's all about population!

Nuclear plant construction time during the heyday of regulatory injunction activism took 66 months, not 120.

Modern nuclear power plants take maybe 40 months to build, and they could be put up much faster with boilerplate design standardization.

Well,  I just played poker with a friend from OPG (Ontario Power Generation),  and they are getting ready to announce Darlington 2 (a new plant in Ontario).  

The environmental impact assessement alone will take 2 years.   They anticipate 10 years.  

They haven't even begun discussing anything for Fort McMurray yet, so add that time to the total.

I won't disagree that if a crash-no-holds-barred program could throw one up like the 70s.   But, the current environment is more complex,  but that may change if we see panic in their eyes.  :-)

It's all about population!

"I won't disagree that if a crash-no-holds-barred program could throw one up like the 70s.   But, the current environment is more complex,  but that may change if we see panic in their eyes.  :-)"

And isn't this the real danger with nuclear power? Irregardless of how safe the technology itself might be, human decision making is not always what it could.

Which nuclear plant do you want to live down wind of; the one that took two years to get an impact statement approved, was planned uniquely for its site and was built with top grade materials by top grade personnel; or the one that got fast tracked and thrown up as quickly as possible based on a template and whatever resources and personnel could be dug up as quickly as possible?

Now the tough question. Which one of these types is going to get built as the reality of peak oil sets in?

The most likely nuclear powerplants are standardised ones with series produced parts shipped to the building sites. This makes for lower building cost and easier quality control.
Which nuclear plant do you want to live down wind of; the one that took two years to get an impact statement approved, was planned uniquely for its site and was built with top grade materials by top grade personnel; or the one that got fast tracked and thrown up as quickly as possible based on a template and whatever resources and personnel could be dug up as quickly as possible?

Just about any western reactor is fine with me, but I'd rather have the template reactor that was fast tracked honestly. There you have common modes of failure that can be addressed over a family of reactors, higher reliability and better value. A two year environmental assessment for a reactor smacks of political cronyism at best, given the only real impact they have is about 3 GW of waste heat. Do coal plants suffer this, with their mountains of fuel, fly ash and the infrastructure to keep it flowing, to say nothing of the stack emissions and the waste heat on top of it all?

ATTN: Westexas and Darwinian,

I assume you read Leanan's top link on the difficulty of raising cash to further build out our last grasp for ancient sunshine.  Please read this posting of mine on PEMEX running into the same problem--A $2 billion shortfall.

If you guys, working with Khebab, could somehow statistically build a case of how diminishing returns are kicking in: It could greatly help validate the 'Peak is about Now' theory.  I think this is what Simmons is shooting for in his next book.

My feeble ideas--feel free to use:

  1. Thousands and thousands of miles of pipelines rusting away worldwide.  Considering the age of some of the world's great fields:  Is 5-10% yearly replacement factor unreasonable?  How would this reduce the build rate of new pipelines?

  2.  Rusting rigs, platforms, drillships, FSPOs, refineries, and VLCCs--Again, is 5-10% replacement factor unreasonable?  There is already a big shortage of these types of equipment--can we even replace what is rusting now, much less build additional new to try and offset worldwide depletion?

  3. Retirement and training new workers: can this keep pace with the required ramp to drill ever more wells in evermore farflung and hostile places just to try and keep production plateaued?  Can we afford to keep retraining them on all the new, advanced extraction techniques that the Cornucopians are always promising?

  4. Energy driven inflation causing rising worker militancy: more labor organizing, more strikes, more pay demands setting off a vicious pricing cycle faster than FF's pricing volativity cycle can effectively respond to mitigate?

  5. Investment shifts from FFs to alternatives and real assets, ala Richard Rainwater's mindset.  Even a small shift of just a few more billionaires could turn into a stampede, depriving lots of funds for the IOCs.

  6.  Global Warming effects forcing Ins. Cos to drastically raise rates.

  7. NOCs, like Pemex, being sucked dry of cash by their govt for social programs, instead of oilfield enhancement?

  8.  The hardest to quantify: ME war, bird-flu outbreak, etc.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az  Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?
Bob, thanks for your great post on PEMEX.

What you suggest sounds like a noble endeavor but I must beg off. I just do not feel up to it. I made my case for "peak oil is now" yesterday. But I just do not have the will to research your "diminishing returns" theory. However it is my opinion that it is correct.

Again, thanks for the suggestion.

Ron Patterson

Hello Darwinian,

Thxs for responding.  Yep, doing all the required research would be a rough road for any one person.  Matt Simmons, in concert with his publisher, can probably afford a research staff to pull this all together under his direction.  I think it would be real cool if he hired some of the highly respected TOD data freaks like SS & Khebab to assist in the statistical analysis.

I was very early on the waiting list for the initial release of "Twilight in the Desert" and foaming at the mouth till I got my copy.  I expect I will be in much worse shape in anticipation of his next book.

I think it is important for all TODers to remember that Yergin & Lynch probably carry a 10,000-to-one media advantage over us TODers, and probably a 2,000-to-one media advantage of Colin Campbell, Simmons, and Skrebowski.  But hopefully these ratios are changing fast.

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

Thought I might post my election nightmare from yesterday.  Let me say I've voted all my previous elections (only 23) in the richest county in the state.  Now I'm in one the the more densely populated country surrounding the city of STL.  I've heard of crazy stuff hapenning, but this was wild.

I get to my place and it's a church, a small one, and we're voting in the basement.  A small basement no larger than the size of a McMansion basement is the room we had to work with.  On top of that they only used half of the room and it was the first half of the room closestm to the door.  They had voting machines on the wall with the entrance and that was it.  There was all this room and they crammed everyone in the first 200 Sq ft.  The room got all jammed b/c there were FOUR LINES!  Once you walked in you had to get a voter card signed by this lady and  that's all she did.  So she's yelling NEXT and there's NO MORE ROOM!  Finally the lady in front of me speaks up and tells the lady there's no freaking room!

The election official shoots back that they are closing the doors at 7 and whoever doesn't make it inside won't vote.  At that point I spoke up and explained that so long as people are in a line that stretches down the block, the doors will stay open.  Another lady next to me said, it's not even 5 o clock anyway, so what are you worried about.  At this point I started piling on in absolute frustration, explaining that in made no logical sense whatsoever to only be using the first half of this entire room.  You know what the official said?  "Well my supervisor organized this and we're just told what to do."  I grow more cynical by the day....

All told I got there at 4:15 and left at 5:20 after voting on the new touch screens.  I didnt see what the fuss was about in this state, since it was mandated (i think) that they have the paper backup.  As soon as I voted, a paper printout in a CLEAR pane next to the screen, showed your vote and provided a necessary paper backup.  Talked to my mom where she voted the same place as I used to(my old high school) and she said it took her a whole 5 minutes.  Go figure.  I made it to classes late trying to perform my civic duty.

I felt bad the officials because all they really needed was one more person, younger, to realize the seriousness of the situation and MOVE people through.  I think I might volunteer in the future to help out a bit.  I've always been interested in local politics.  I think I voted with the majority in all issues in the state.  It feels good for a little bit of change.  

Next you've got TWO people signing people in by alphebet and one person is handling 2/3 of the beginning alphabet and there's TWO Lines!  To make matter worse she's got the worst case of ADD I've seen in my life!  

To top all of it off as I went to school I noticed gas had shot up nearly 20 cents to now at 217/gal from 197 on Monday.  I knew it.

I think I might volunteer in the future to help out a bit.

Please do.  I think the average election worker is something like 106 years old.  No one has time to volunteer any more.  

And even if you cannot work the polls, bring by some donuts, coffee, and such for those that do.
I don't know.  I like seeing the little old ladies that run the polling places.  Of course we don't have electric voting machines here so they don't have to do much except look my name up in the book and hand me the ballott.
Unfortunately, the little old ladies aren't going to live forever.
Vote by mail. Get it out of the way. Then go party.


"Nuthin' left to do but Smile, Smile, Smile..."
I just voted, it was by electonic machine, I don't trust the electronic machines. I prefer paper ballots, which leaves a paper trail.  I was told by someone that voting Absentee Ballot is a gauranteed way of voting. Thus leaving a paper trail! Not a bad idea!
This piece by Greg Palast argues that millions of voters, mostly in population coherts sympathetic to the Democrats, are victims of systematic efforts to deny them the franchise.  http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article15532.htm

"And shoot me for saying this, but it won't be stolen by jerking with the touch-screen machines (though they'll do their nasty part). While progressives panic over the viral spread of suspect computer black boxes, the Karl Rove-bots have been tunneling into the vote vaults through entirely different means.

For six years now, our investigations team, at first on assignment for BBC TV and the Guardian, has been digging into the nitty-gritty of the gaming of US elections. We've found that November 7, 2006 is a day that will live in infamy. Four and a half million votes have been shoplifted. Here's how they'll do it, in three easy steps:..."

Well, in Davidson County Tennessee (Nashville) the polls closed at 7 pm. Whoever was in line at 7 was still allowed to vote, but the last vote was not recorded until 12:27 am just under 5-1/2 HOURS after the polls closed. This scenario was repeated around the city.

Why? The polling stations in Nashville were under-supplied with voting machines, with some precincts only being supplied two machines, where others had 10. It just so happens that Davidson county happens to be a democrat stronghold, and ultimately went %61/39% Dem. But when the poll workers start quiping about needing to hand out "I tried to Vote" stickers because of the number of people that were unable to stand in line four hours at a time, there is a problem.

It makes me wonder how close the TN Senate race would have been if there had been enough machines to keep the lines down to a reasonable wait. Luckily, it looks like the Dems will still take control.

For proof, I offer the following links:


I'm going to volunteer in '08. Here in CA they got a lot of high school kids to volunteer which was great to see. The girl that checked me off the voter registration list was probably 14 years old.
US petroleum inventories are in for the week ending last Friday.

Crude oil a build of .4 million barrels

Gasoline a draw of .6 million barrels

Distillates a draw of 2.7 million barrels

This is rather bullish but crude did not show much movement after the announcement. It is up about 40 cents as of 10:40 Eastern Time.

Ron Patterson

I have some comments up the thread.  Note that we are now seeing some pretty big year over year declines in total petroluem imports.  If US consumers want to keep consumimg petroleum products at the current rate, they are going to have to bid the price up.  The problem is that a lot of other consumers around the world have the same plan.
How much of the year on year decline is attributable to the fact that in fall '05 we were importing to make up for Katrita losses?
Daddy always warned me that farming was a tough life...

Nutnappers hit California farmers

At first, Larry Ladd just let it go. But after the farmer caught six thieves plundering his walnut orchard in less than a day, he knew he had a problem.

He's not the only one. As prices for almonds and walnuts rise with demand, a growing black market has emboldened nutnappers to cut holes in fences, sneak into distribution centers and drive off with truckloads of nuts.

And yet, there's still plenty of food available at the grocery stores.  If that changes, we'll all have to watch out for someone stealing our nuts!

"Nutnappers" is my favorite new word for today!  Tnx.

We hang them nutnappers whar Ah live!
I'm surprised anyone would try to steal black walnuts.  I have one tree and I have picked a few untended trees in the neighborhood.  I'm probably making less than $2.00/hr for my labor after husking and shelling them.  
And the black walnut, in its husk, has got to be just about the nastiest, most foul-smelling, and horrible to be anywhere near, object in Nature too. UGH!!
In fact, if they catch the nutnappers, their punishment should be to shuck black walnuts for a few years ...

The Secret of Great Bread: Let Time Do the Work

The dough is so sticky that you couldn't knead it if you wanted to. It is mixed in less than a minute, then sits in a covered bowl, undisturbed, for about 18 hours. It is then turned out onto a board for 15 minutes, quickly shaped (I mean in 30 seconds), and allowed to rise again, for a couple of hours. Then it's baked. That's it.

I asked Harold McGee, who is an amateur breadmaker and best known as the author of "On Food and Cooking" (Scribner, 2004), what he thought of this method. His response: "It makes sense. The long, slow rise does over hours what intensive kneading does in minutes.

EROEI of bread.

Saving the work, saving energy by substituting time. So many processes use much more energy than "necessary" because we trade off energy for time: this bread, my compost heap, a nuclear bomb. Productivity isn't just doing more with less, but it's typically assumed to mean working faster too.

Substituting time for energy, that's one for the cornucopian economists.

cfm in Gray, ME


I'll tell ya, I've made bread for over 20 years both by hand and by bread machine.  I'll take the machine; dump the stuff in, make the settings and come back in 3 hours and 37 minutes to take out a loaf.  I make sprouted whole wheat*, rolled oat and ground flax seed bread.  I'm going to try to start adding some quinoa that I grew this summer to boost the protein.

* For those who care, I sprout the wheat, dry it, then grind it for flour.

Todd; not only a Realist but a baker too.

Hmmm.  This may save human energy, but I'm not sure it saves any fossil fuels.  According to the recipe, you have heat a dutch oven or some such pot for half an hour at 450F before even starting the baking.  I suspect it takes less energy to use a bread machine.  Though the bread machine also takes energy to manufacture...likely more than a dutch oven.

Still, I'd like to try this.  Except I don't have a dutch oven large enough, and would have to buy one.  I suppose it might be a good investment for the future.  That list of "valuable things in short supply" from Sarajevo included cast iron cookware, as I recall.  

It is mixed in less than a minute, then sits in a covered bowl, undisturbed, for about 18 hours.

It's called the 'sponge' method and work well because it develops the gluten overnight, rather than in the few minutes usually devoted to kneading. We make bread once a week and usually do other baking as well, so I don't think it's much if any less efficient than a bread machine. I'm a luddite when it comes to things like bread machines (it has that nasty word 'machine' in it ;->). I regard the efficiency issue there as roughly equivalent to putting a brick in the toilet tank... totally insignificant.

I worked in a factory making bread as a junior manager many years ago. The reason for the dough to be so sticky is that there is too much water added to the mix so that the much more expensive flour is not used so much, thereby increasing profits for the factory. The mix would be about 2/3 water to 1/3 flour by weight. As by UK law, the finished article has to weigh an average of 800 grams over a period of an hour, the mix is increased or decreased in weight (but not the ratio of water to flour) so that the water evaporated in baking means that the loaf weighs 801 grams on average.

A human cannot handle that mixture without leaving a sticky mess anywhere in the kitchen. Because of that and the cancer causing oil (the "fat" part of the ingredients) that was mixed in with the dough, I started to make my own bread, by hand and have done for the past 20 years. My mixture is 2/3s flour to 1/3 water.

I have been told that is how bread used to be made before WWII. It really does fill me up, something ordinary bread cannot do. I always joke that when I leave bits of my bread out for the birds, they need a runway to get off the ground afterwards.

Iran's Achilles heel: its dependence on oil revenues

The author of this article posted by our wonderful leanan above, makes a good point.  But then he drops the ball by assuming the US or anyone else (Saudi's seem to be his go-to guy) can control the price of oil.

We are now in Bakhtiari's T1 - the old rules no longer apply but that will not stop the Retarded Gutless/Ignorant Politicianz from clinging to them.

If Iran turns into Iraq it's oil stays in the ground.

Time to take the toys away from The Witches of Persia.

"Time to take the toys away from The Witches of Persia."

Is it impossible for you to get through a day without promoting war?

Alan...I just had to call this out to you today:


Kansas City - Question 2: Shall the city extend a 3/8 cent sales tax to build a light rail system? (Simple majority needed.)

Total Votes
Yes 72,222 *
No  64,907

This is amazing because the measure was expected to have not gone through yesterday.  Kansas City is a car-driving city with sprawling suburbs.  If we can pass it, anyone can.

MO or KS?
Jackson County, Missouri...that's the county for KC, MO.
By the way...I think this is something that will really give KC a much needed boost in becoming somewhat modern and hip...more like St. Louis.
From what I understand it is KC that is the more promising city for the state of MO.  They are completely redoing the clusterfuck of highways that take you nowhere and the downtown area of KC is thriving, not the same thing here.  The people of the county aren't moving into the city any time soon.
Congratulations to Kansas City on their success.  Kansas City had an excellent streetcar system until the road warriors junked it in the 1950's.

KC has a lot of catching up to do, though.  St. Louis just opened their new southwest light rail line to Clayton and Shrewsbury.  Commuting in St. Louis and southwestern Illinois just got easier.  St. Louis is now up to 45 miles of light rail, which has 80,000 weekday boardings.  If you would have told me this in 1966 when they scrapped their last streetcar line, the 15 Hodiamont, I wouldn't have believed you.

Forest Park Parkway across from Washington University, October 20, 2006:

For more St. Louis light rail, go to: My Website

Oh...no doubt...St. Louis has a superb rail system...it should be a model for KC...we'll see...things change slowly in ole KC.
Its not near enough though here in STL, although it always seems like it never is.  Some of the biggest reasons for metrolink failures to increase track mileage is due to the locations that would serve a large audience.  

NWPETA mentioned the picture above just opened and it "ends" in Clayton and there's a reason it's not going any further than that, at least not soon - RICH people.  Clayton is one of the wealthiest townships.  It's where all the old, old money resides.  They want no part of a metrolink inside clayton and to push metrolink THROUGH clayton, they are demanding it be entirely underground which only serves to increase costs and ultimately kill the idea.  Same thing for St Charles county which had a chance to get the rail extended from the airport (where it ends now) and carried into st charles county where the sprawl is the WORST.

The folks felt the need to vote it down and it was widely attributed to racism.  Having lived there for many years, I whole heartedly agree that St Charles as a whole is very racist.  Now the new people moving in aren't so much and that attitude is slowly changing, kind of like the glaciers melting.

Sorry, dragonfly, but we can't here in San Antonio...whoops, I mean we won't. The last time it came up, it lost so bad they haven't had the heart to bring it up again. We LOVE our big trucks, SUVs and ugly sprawl here.
Canada's top environmental scientist and activist David Suzuki, who's written countless books and produced and presented TV shows on the environment for decades, is semi-retiring at age 70. In large part due to his integrity, The David Suzuki Foundation carries more cloud over here than all the Greenpeaces of the world combined.

Sad thing is, in what many will see as an eerily glowing sign on the wall, Suzuki has all but given up on what he once felt could be achieved.

I feel like we are in a giant car heading for a brick wall at 100 miles an hour and everyone in the car is arguing where they want to sit.

See TOD:Canada's Round-Up for more.

For everyone talking about tree-planting and hydro projects in developing nations, California and Canada now join the bandwagon, maybe the voices of the people affected will be a wake-up call.

These programs are nothing but a new way of stealing from the poor, financed by ignorant well-intentioned do-gooders to the tune of $100 billion with exponential growth, and markets expected to effect trillions in trades.

A good example is India, where hydro projects are built that nobody wants, just to create more offsets for the rich.

We have invented Carbon Imperialism. Feel better now?

Emissions trading schemes disaster for indigenous peoples

Indigenous peoples from the Amazon to Asia said on Wednesday that U.N.-backed clean energy projects meant to combat global warming were aggravating threats to their livelihoods.

They said hydropower projects or plantations of fast-growing trees, prompted by a billion-dollar scheme under the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol for limiting the planet's dependence on fossil fuels, were damaging nature.

"We are not only victims of climate change, we are now victims of the carbon market," Jocelyn Therese, a spokesman for indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin, told a news conference on the fringes of U.N. talks on global warming.

"Efforts that are supposed to...retard climate change are having an equally disastrous effect," said Ana Pinto, representing indigenous peoples in India.

She said that 162 small hydro dams were planned in northern India alone, flooding lands, under a Kyoto project allowing rich countries to invest in Third World clean energy schemes and claim credits back home for shifting from coal, oil and gas.

I found the Kunstler story (above) very interesting.  As he could see that the Dems would be in greater control post-election, he starts fearing a US withdrawal from Iraq.

Let's say the democrats win control of at least one house of congress and possibly two.  Are they going to shut down the project in Iraq?  I doubt it.  Badly as it has worked out, the alternative of withdrawing the US military presence there may be worse.  Anyway, we'd be sticking around the Middle East--in Qatar and Kuwait and a few other places--and we'd have to stand on the sidelines and watch Iran gobble up the substantial oil resources around the Tigris/Euphrates delta region.  What would be the remedy for that?  Invade Iraq all over again?

Since the Iraq war was one of the two most important issues to the American public in post-voting polls, what stance will the democrats next take on this war?
Perhaps this is the reason Bush announced that we are in Iraq for oil, just recently, for the first time, to the American public. Because if he didn't do it, the Dems would soon do it, to explain why we need to remain there.

Kalpa: Just heard that Rummy is gone (unsubstantiated).
Holy crap!  It's twue!  It's twue!

GOP officials: Rumsfeld stepping down

Now...if Bush/Cheney resign...oh wait a minute...I mean impeached...we would have Prez Pelosi...hmmmmm
Buh is speaking right now, and he has just said Rumsfeld is resigning. That's a start, for sure!
And in other news...Montana has gone to the Democrats.  Virginia is left, and the Democrat there is leading (though a recount is expected).  If the Dems take Virginia, too, they'll have control of the Senate.
Which doesn't mean much since they won't be able to override the veto.  
More like "it doesn't mean much because their policies aren't much different from the GOP's."  At least when it comes to energy.

I expect there will be a lot more obstructionism, on both sides.  But I think that's a good thing.  

Bush won't be able to stock the courts with wingnuts any more.  He doesn't have the votes.  I also expect a lot more investigation of GOP corruption.  Maybe even some pushback on the our loss of civil rights.

And I think we can forget about the War on Iran.  Rummy's resignation is an admission that Iraq was a failure.  No one's going to be keen in invading Iran now.    

The powers of Congress were pretty severely gutted though, it's more a ceremonial body these days.

I like the hope and optimism on your side of the border, but I'd be curious to know what people envision exactly as changes for the better that will come out of this election.

At least for the next two years, all real decisions are in the hands of the White House. We can all name a handful of ways that the US can run into trouble in that period. And when there is a crisis, let's say in financial markets or on the energy front (both highly likely before 2009), the new legal situation says Congress is a lame duck.

They've had twelve years to do this thing, and I wouldn't be surprised if they don't really care about losing Congress or Senate anymore. The job is done.

I think I'm happiest about two things:

  1.  The American people are not brain-dead after all.  After the last election, I was honestly beginning to wonder.

  2.  The GOP is crooked as a dog's hind leg, but they were not able to steal this election.  Though they certainly tried.

Oh, one more thing...

3.  The local 6-term GOP incumbent, who never got less than 65% of the vote before, and who annoyed the bejeezus out of me with illegal robocalls pretending to be from the Democratic challenger, went down in flames.  Hallelujah!


Exactly. Nothing will change. Congress has as much say as the judges for Dancing with the Stars, and less affinity with the public. We're so elated that the cute couple won that we forget it's theater. And that's the idea.

But I still don't find it funny. Much as I dislike these kinds of comparisons, I'll agree with Jonathan Turley and Carla Binion:

On October 17, George W. Bush signed into law the Military Commissions Act of 2006. This new law gives Bush power similar to that possessed by Stalin or Hitler, and grants agencies within the Executive Branch powers similar to those of the KGB or Gestapo.

Bob Gates takes over from Rumsfeld, more CIA, fine tradition. Should be smooth talking with Putin.

As for Iran: I'd say there is at least as much chance that this will hasten the attack as there is of putting it off. Either way, there's nothing nobody can do, certainly not Congress.

I think Bob Gates is more reality-based than Rumsfeld (although that, as such, doesn't mean very much). After all, he is one of the authors of this CFR study, which calls for a new approach to dealing with Iran:

"Rejecting the conventional wisdom that Iran is on the verge of another revolution, the report calls for the United States to reassess its long-standing policy of non-engagement with the current Iranian government. The product of an independent Task Force chaired by Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's national security adviser, and Robert M. Gates, director of central intelligence during the George H.W. Bush administration, the report highlights several areas in which U.S. interests would be better served by selective engagement with Tehran, and breaks with current U.S. policy by encouraging a new strategy."

The question is, how will the Israeli minions react to a closing window of opportunity?
Yes, that's an important question. I suppose it ultimately depends on how severe their pre-traumatic stress disorder really is in the end. If it's really so bad that they will never accept that Iran may not be about to nuke them to oblivion, they must hurry and start killing some more Muslims very soon. It seems there is at least one TOD'er who would undoubtedly agree with a blitzkrieg against those "Persian witches". I suppose that's what happens when you read the fair and balanced Jerusalem Post too much.
Even from afar, the departure of the loathsome Rick Santorum brings a smile.

However, the changes are largely cosmetic.  My predictions:

HR5122 will not be repealed
HR6166 will not be repealed
The Patriot Act will not be repealed
The DHS rule requiring prior approval for international travel after 14Jan07 will remain
The Real ID Act will not be repealed

Governments never give up powers unless forced to by an aroused populace.  Tuesday was a good beginning, but the US people have a long way to go if the Bill of Rights and posse comitatus are to be restored.  And for people who value the second amendment, things just got a lot worse.  For same sex couples, things got a lot worse in 7 states.

Likewise, the democratic leadership is even more beholden to Israel than the GOP (if that is possible).  If the Israel vs Iran war ever gets going, the dems will be just as eager to get involved as Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld were.  Finally, according to a (D-Oklahoma,defeated) candidate for the house, the dems are firmly  committed to blocking any further investigation of 9/11 for at least another forty years.

Here's to the new boss, (pretty much) same as the old boss.  Stupidity might have peaked, but the vast tyranny reserves have barely been tapped.

Let's hope we "Don't Get Fooled Again"....btw...Who are you...who, who...who, who...
I agree, but events can gain momentum that the powers that be are unable to control. Afterall the Watergate break-in was just a two bit burglerie.
Congress could pass a law forbidding use of any and all military forces in Iran.  Yes the president could veto it.  If the president went ahead then impeachment hearings could begin.  A simple majority can bring an impeachment. A conviction requires 2/3 majority.  At least that's what i remember from the Nixon impeachment.
"And I think we can forget about the War on Iran. "

What assumptions are is this based on?

Iran will still find a way to war - even if it requires them to use robophone calls to annoy and to dupe the self-absorbed and politically correct (or just plain ignorant).

The Radical Islamic Army of Iranistan plays the gullible, fat and happy like a cheap fiddle... meanwhile, the complacent narcissists are overjoyed that their LeAderz are going after the Evil Oil Companies...


Gaza Militants Outraged IDF
killed Civilians They were Hiding Behind

BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip - Hamas' exiled leader on Wednesday called off a cease-fire with Israel and militants threatened to attack Americans after 18 members of a family, including eight children, were killed in an Israeli artillery barrage on a densely populated Gaza neighborhood...

Israeli troops had pulled out of the town just 24 hours earlier, and the rocket attacks resumed almost immediately...

In Damascus, Syria, Khaled Mashaal, the exiled leader of Hamas, said the group would no longer honor a February 2005 truce and called for renewed attacks on Israel. He urged other militant groups to join the struggle.

"The armed struggle is free to resume, and the resistance is dictated by local circumstances," he told a news conference. "There must be a roaring reaction so that we avenge all those victims." Other major militant groups pledged to follow suit.

The declarations raised the prospect of a new wave of suicide bombings and large-scale fighting with Israel...


People forget the Persian Witches require Chaos to summon their beloved 12th Fantasm. They will get their chaos one way or another.

Ah, I love this insane fear-mongering about Iran.

It's an entirely manageable situation, given strategically and diplomatically competent political action by US leadership.

Hopefully with Daddy Bush's boys taking control of the ship, this will be in the offing. Baker and Gates are of an entirely different order than Perle, Ledeen and the rest of that crowd that traffics in this nonsense about Iran that you're repeating. Nothing has changed in Iran -- their president still has no real power and mullahs that run the joint are just as fat, happy, prudent and unsuicidal as they have been for the past 27 years.

We may not like them, but it's useful to remember that the fundamentalist leadership is the direct and undeniable result of the '53 CIA-led coup that removed a stable and progressive democratic leadership with a vicious, corrupt and incompetent dictator.

Anyone who suggests that Iran wants war has been listening to too much propaganda. Sorry -- that's a fact. There is a rational and stable group of elites running the country. It's a precise parallel of the distortions offered about Iraq being a terrible threat to us -- now broadly understood to be bunk -- but some people never learn.

Oh, shut up, idiot.
Look at that, "Sendy." Your defense of Jews angered Smekhovo. What will you do? Ignore him. Don't actually stand up for something you believe. That would be waaaay too political.
Want to bet?

If one of our carriers gets hit by an Iranian missile (or if we are told this, regardless of what really happened), all bets are off. I can think of several other scenarios that would prompt US action against Iran too, most of which could be either true or manufactured.

Sure, it could be manufactured...but I think Rummy's resignation makes it clear that there's no desire to manufacture a casus belli.  Why start a war we can't win?  Iraq was supposed to be a cakewalk compared to Iran.  That's why we attacked them first.  But it didn't work out, and we don't have the manpower to open up another front.

Remember in the early days of the war, when Wolfie was practically publishing a list of who we'd invade next?  Syria, then Iran.  We don't hear much about that any more.  

And it seems some Republicans interpret it the way I do.  One of them was just on CNN, and he fired a warning shot across the White House bow.  He said that if the new Sec. of Defense nominee is willing to "negotiate with terrorists," he won't vote to confirm him.  
At least that fucker Pombo lost.
Good news on the energy front, anyway, since McNerney is a wind engineer who was heavily supported by the Sierra Club and other environmental groups.

Challenger defeats Pombo in a stunner

Democratic challenger Jerry McNerney, a relative newcomer to politics, unseated seven-term GOP Congressman Richard Pombo of Tracy Tuesday in a stunning demonstration of voter disenchantment with the Republican Party nationally.

McNerney, a wind energy consultant from Pleasanton, took Northern California's 11th Congressional District with 53 percent of the vote. Pombo, who held a leadership position in the Republican-held House, received 47 percent. More than 9,000 votes divided the two candidates this morning.

Normally when I see this kind of language I want to get out the mouth soap, but in this case...  Well said!  

Nice to see a wind guy in and a sprawl merchant out.

Does Virginia maintain a paper trail? In the entire state? How does one "recount" a number on a computer??
Just run the voting machine memory cards through the tally computer and give 'em another random spin of the bits :)
A new Bushism:

"This enemy is not going to go away after my presidency, and I look forward to working with them." :-D

I was just listening to Bush.  He basically said he lied to reporters last week when he told them Rumsfeld and Cheney would be staying through the end of his term.
Wow, Bush is really losin' it!  I'll bet this is his last press conference for a long while.
One of the tagged stories is the dire water problems of my home town of Adelaide in Australia. This is a classic case of denial. The exotic stream from which the city draws much of its water is drying up due to upstream rainfall decline. On top of that the natural gas basin (Cooper-Eromanga) that supplies the main generator is in steep decline with perhaps 5 years left. On the other hand reserves have been upgraded at the Olympic Dam uranium mine and I see that Wikipedia now claims it has 70% of world reserves. The mine wants a desalination plant for its own needs but so does the whole of the State. Not only does the Premier (governor) oppose nuclear but he wants immigrants to boost State population. I wonder if politicians are so terrified of alienating their support base they have to maintain an obviously unworkable position.
DME to launch Oman crude futures contract in Q1 2007

8 November 2006

ABU DHABI - The new Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME) is set to launch its Oman crude oil futures contract in the first quarter of 2007, Omani Oil Minister Mohammad bin Hamad al-Rumhy said on Wednesday.

Trading of Oman crude futures had been expected to start in the fourth quarter of this year.

"I hope that the DME will start operations and launch their contracts in the first quarter of 2007," Rumhy said. "It is on schedule."

The investment arm of the Omani government is negotiating a stake in the new exchange, Rumhy said. He gave no further details.

Independent producer Oman backs the crude contract and says it is ready to abandon its retroactive oil export price mechanism and use the new DME futures instead.

By switching to the DME, Oman would provide an incentive for trading on the exchange to the traders, refiners and producers who buy the more than 700,000 barrels per day of Omani crude based on the MOG (ministry of oil and gas) price.

Oman is one half of the benchmark for Middle East exports to Asia.

The DME, a joint venture of Dubai and the New York Mercantile Exchange, will be a fully electronic exchange that also offers trading hubs and stations on an exchange floor in Dubai.

what currency do they plan on trading in?
What currency does Ebay use?

An exchange doesn't actually use a currency they serve as a market that establishes prices between buyer and seller. Actual transactions are done through brokers. What means the buyer and seller use to settle with their individual brokers can be negotiated.

Most likely, the exchange will state a price in dollars. But it wouldn't matter much. They could equally state the price in Euros but the only result would be that their customers need to use their calculators one extra time.

Odd news from an evening newspaper in Sweden.

Our king in Sweden replaces 245 m3 of heating oil per year with wood pellets at his home the Drotningholm castle. A new 900 kW pellet burner will provide 92% of the heating for eight houses that formerly got 67% from oil and 33% from a lake water heat pump. This obviously also leaves some electricity for export to our coal burning neighbours.


Disappointed not to see him cutting the timber himself. But maybe he's just modest.

245 cubic meters?

The question that comes to my mind: is that ALL the oil, or only what he replaced with pellets?

I seem to recall a gallon of oil is something like what's left of 100 acres of wheat compressed over a geological epoch or so. The king is a little off the chart on the sustainability index, no? Leaving out epochs, the acres would be a significant chunk of Swedish agricultural land.

cfm in Gray, ME

The wood pellets replace all the oil at that site and most, perhaps all, of the heat pumping if this information is correct.

The royal family is way of the sustainability index with its about a dozen historical castles and constant travel around the country and abroad in cars and aeroplanes. It would save maintainance resources to let the historical heritage rot away but we are quite nostalgic about it. And the royal family is quite effective counted in PR per SEK.

I have some resent Swedish heating statistics from
All figures are in TWh and include hot water but district heating is not broken down in in to biomass, waste incineration, heat pumps, peak power oil etc.

                      Small houses, single family  
                      2003  2004  2005  
Heating oil            8.1   7.8   5.4  (TWh)  
District heating       3.6   3.7   3.7
Electrical heating
direct and heat pump  15.8  16.3  15.3
Natural gas            0.2   0.2   0.4
Firewood, wood chips,
wood pellets          10.7  10.0  11.2

Adds up to            38.4  37.9  36.0

                      Flats, multi familly  
                      2003  2004  2005  
Heating oil            2.4   1.9   1.3  
District heating      23.2  22.8  23.1
Electrical heating
direct and heat pump   2.1   2.1   1.7
Natural gas            0.4   0.4   0.4
Firewood, wood chips,
wood pellets           0.3   0.2   0.3

Adds up to            28.5  27.5  26.8

                      Other buildings  
                      2003  2004  2005  
Heating oil            3.2   2.9   1.9  
District heating      15.3  15.5  15.5
Electrical heating
direct and heat pump   3.9   4.2   3.6
Natural gas            0.5   0.3   0.6
Firewood, wood chips,
Wood pellets           0.4   0.6   0.4
Heat reuse                              0.4

Adds up to            23.2  23.5  22.1

Biomass grows fast, wood pellets for small houses and wood chips and other for district heating, heat pumping grows fast and heating oil use is going extinct.

245 cubic meters of oil is 245,000 litres.

As a rough average you need 5kg of wood to replace 1 litre of heating oil.

So the King will need approx 1,225 tonnes of wood pellets a year.  

Hypothetically, is the wood pellets were made directly from trees, 1 sq kilometre of renewable forest will contain approx 10,000 trees with an average dried weight of 1/2 tonne.  So 1 sqkm of woodland can provide about 4 years worth of heating fuel if clear felled and replanted.  Assuming it takes 25 years to grow a mature tree the King will only need 6.25sqkm of sustainably managed forest to heat his estate.

Now I imagine that the King of Sweden will hold at least that much estate, and great percentage of it will be woodland.

Of course, in reality, the pellets are made from compressed sawdust and other forestry industry waste output.  And as such, is even more sustainable.


Actually its 5 pounds of wood pellets per liter. by weight the ratio is about 2.5 to 1.

  • Oil 37000 Btu's/liter
  • Wood 10% moisture 8000 btu's/pound
OK, Everyone...I ran through the entire Drumbeat today and did not see a post by Hothgor.  Is this any indication that he has given up?  Hothgor, I'm just trying to confirm something.  If you were a serious "poster" here at TOD, please reply.  If you were a independent or paid Troll, don't bother replying.  We shall know our answer in a day or so.

It is a little coincidental that he is not posting today.

Ah, c'mon. Westexas ran off to Italy for a couple of weeks. Cut him some slack.
I got a GREAT laugh out of todays drumbeat when several people completely destroyed Westexas statement that our year over year oil imports were dramatically down.  Peak oil indeed.

The most recent (four week running average) of total petroleum (crude + product) imports are down about 14% from the same time period last year.  This is a continuation of a trend that started in the week ending 9/29.

Note that some people up the thread were referring to crude oil.  After a discussion with Stuart earlier this year, I have been focusing on total petroleum imports, which is what I stated in my post.

You may recall a similar discussion that we had regarding natural gas production.

And yet, our yearly imports are exactly the same as last years.  Bet that keeps you up at night :)
This was discussed at length elsewhere in this drumbeat.

Hothgot know this. He has nothing positive to add to the discussion. He already knows the response to his comment because he read it above.

The only purpose of this post is to bait Westexas into replying (again).

Note the use of inflammatory language (again).

You do nothing except accuse Hotgor of being a troll. It is an ugly little obsession of your and one I suggest you drop. Westtexas is not above question and is perfectly capable of defending himself.

We are learning a lot more from the discussion between Hothor and Westtexas than from your petty and insulting stalking of Hothgor.  


Hothgor adds nothing positive to the discussion.

He knows the answers to the questions he asking westexas. They are a couple of post away right next to where he got the questions.

What is the purpose of reposting these questions other than to  troll.

What are you possibly learning that you didn't learn from the first time westexas answered these questions.

I have refrained from calling him a troll until very recently (please browse my post history). I originally just thought him a little misguided and young. I offered him positive criticism and advice on how to improve his arguments. But it has become increasingly apperant in the last couple of days he has no motive other than to troll.

Hothgor does nothing but add noise to this board and distract from real discussions.
I want it to stop.
I believe by pointing out his trollish behaviour hopefully people will stop taking his bait.

And I've done more than just accuse him of being a troll. I have pointed out exactly what behaviours of his that are trollish.
Can you address these points?

And apparently this 'troll' has his own personal gnat swarm that follows him where ever he goes "rolls eyes"

Honestly Rethin, how can you criticize me when you don't even meet your own standards?  If all I ever do is post useless nonsense, and all you ever do is comment about how I am posting useless nonsense, how worthwhile does that make your contributions?

I am going to do to you what you should have done to Hothgor. Ignore you. I am not a stalker or an obsessive. I have made my point clear. You are more of a nuisance that he is. Drop it.

As I said, at Stuart's suggestion, I have been focusing on total petroleum which are down year over on a cumulative basis. More importantly the recent weekly total petroleum import number is down 14% year over year.  All of this is against a background of rising consumption.

The key point of all of this is that we measure from the peak.  For example, Texas peaked in 1972, but production did not fall below the 1971 level until 1976--four years later.


Hothgor know this. You already said it. He already read it.

He's just baiting you.

Please spend your energies elsewhere. I don't want you family doing another intervention because you spend so much time taking Hothgor's bait :-)

Which clearly explains why the crude, gasoline and distillate inventories are 5-15% higher then they were last year.  All in light of decreasing imports and increasing consumption.

Something doesn't smell right :)

Crude oil inventories don't differentiate on the basis of quality--light, sweet versus heavy, sour.  

And a SPR "loan" has not been replaced.  As the EIA noted, product inventories are now falling.  

As I noted up the thread, Robert and I, somewhat unusually, agree that higher oil prices are ahead, because of declining inventories and imports.  I would hasten to add that I suspect that Robert views this as just a cyclical situation, while I think we are facing a permanent decline in production.

And as you should have noted all along, product inventories ALWAYS decline in the winter months.  This is nothing new at all.  Stop trying to suggest that this year is so magically different from any other year that its unheard of for oil inventories to decline.  Its not.

YoY oil inventories are up despite the 14% decline your stating we are experiencing, and the 4% decline I correctly calculated for you.  To anyone with a 3rd grade grasp of mathematics, this would not make sense.  After all, how can our inventories be UP this year when our imports are declining?  Are we increasing production at home despite the terminal decline?  Is the invisible hand pumping more oil into the USA?  Of course not.  The picture right now is not as gloomy as you are trying to paint it.

Your arguments this evening are not based on facts.  Only opinions.

For the record, I wasn't taught Long Division until fourth grade. I don't think third grade mathematics would be sufficent for your analysis.
Picky for a reason :P
And you know damn well the SPR wasn't refilled because of the political considerations.  The republicans wanted lower gas prices for the election in the hopes that it might save them from being swept out of power 'which it didn't.'

And you can be damn sure that Bush will see too it that the SPR is refilled next year, AND additional oil pumped into it bringing its reserves up to the 1 billion barrels its currently designed to hold.  All the while oil prices will rise next year and the voter scorn will be aimed at the Democrats this time around.

Don't confuse political spin with scientific facts.


He's just baiting you.

Look at his post. He mischaracterizes what you said and how TOD responded. He uses inflammatory language "completely destroyed" and "peak oil indeed".

He has nothing positive to add to the discussion. He knows less about US oil imports than he does HL.

I don't think he's a paid troll. But he does troll and troll very well. I figure he's just doing it for kicks.

I think that everything that we need to know about Hothgor's motivation was containted in his initial response to my suggestion that he simply prepare a HL plot using the same data base that Khebab used--British Petroleum's--instead of his own "guesstimated" data base.  

He initially refused with the remarkable statement that if he used the same data base as Khebab, he would get the same result as Khebab.  (He subsequently did use Khebab's data base, and got substantially the same result as Khebab.)  In other words, his initial impulse was to refuse to use an objective data base, because of the risk that it would undermine his case that are not close to Peak Oil.

I think its worse than that.

Your example shows he has come to a conclusion and is searching for data to back it up.

But I contend he's much worse than that.
He's actively trolling. He's very good at it. And he's found a great target (you).

If his problem was limited to what you illustrated then yes, I understand working with him.

However he's just baiting you. He wants you to reply to him. He doesn't care what you say. He already knew what your reply was. He already read it.

he did not run off. he was dragged by his faimly :P
Hmmmm.  I thought he was just a kid with too much time on his hands, but the timing is interesting.  Maybe he's busy cleaning out his desk today, making room for the new incumbents.  ;-)
I know, and I'm so sad.  But I will get the last laugh...

...today, I removed all the D keys from my troll offices keyboards.

Still here.  A man has gotta work you know :)
OK...I consent...if you were trying to be subversive for political reasons...you would have just given up on TOD today.

I will now actually read your posts...welcome to the community...but please show some respect and I (perhaps others) will then return the favor.

Ill do my best to not disappoint :)
Good. A deal. I suggest that Hothgor stick with the facts and be less insulting to Westtexas. And that everyone else just responds to Hothgor with factual rebuttals not insults (and that Rethin stops doing a Keverabuanga imitation)
Ya...don't know about everyone else...but I feel drained.  Last few months were stressful...nothing's resolved or really changed in the world...but what the hell...smokem' if you got'em. Time to take a breather and get our bearings again.
nothing's resolved or really changed in the world

Democrats in control of House and Senate. Cheney's veto gone. Rumfeld resigns.

And that was just yesterday!

Hmmm....where's Rove been hiding?
logical thinking. he has either.
  1. lost his touch(very possible)
  2. has been working on something that would make dem control of house and senate along with a different head of the dod irrelevant.(less possible but still a good chance)
Who cares. His power is gone. The Bush administration is dying on the vine.

I don't this it is worthwhile to underestimate how significant the Democratic sweep is. Sure Bush can veto some legistlation, but he is not going to get away with being a full time obstruction.

First, the message sent by the American voers is extremely powerful. The results were bigger than almost anyone predicted. Second, the Democrats can now set the agenda in the House, run the subcommittees (remember how much gain the Republican control provided). Rumsfeld is already gone. And finally, this ought to silence some of the voices who say that the US election process is completed corrupted by an all powerful Bush administration who has the whole thing rigged.

Bush is not a omnipotent manipulator of all that matters. He is a failed President who will pitifully limp through his final term to the bemusement of all observers. Let's move on to something more constructive than obsessing about Bush, Rove, etc.

Ah c'mon Jack...it's been 12 long years...just a couple more days to enjoy this?
You may get 12 more years to enjoy this. Certainly two. I am not going to get in the way of any celebrations of the end of Republican dominance. I am pleased with every aspect of the election result and am planning to start enjoying myself.

However, people have to move beyond the Bush obsession. Someday he will be gone. Then what are you going to talk about. Start planning.

Perhaps he went on the hunting trip with Cheney...if so, he'd better stay behind him a few yards.
And tomorrow, the majority has to come up with A PROGRAM.

This requires actually agreeing on something, which isn't always easy.

The presentations from the ASPO-USA conference in Boston have been posted as PDF files:


Couple things:

1 - If any cares, this just came out..."Associated Press projects Jim Webb the winner in Virginia Senate race."

2 - I'd like to honor the demise of From the Wilderness.  Despite what anyone thinks of Michael Ruppert and some of his theories, I would like to give him credit for opening up some "tough to swallow" topics to the internet community.  Whatever comes of the Peak Oil debate in the future, he was there talking about it early on and may have made it easier for others to talk about related topics since then.  He took a lot of risks, some hit on target, some missed, and in hindsight, perhaps not worth taking in the first place.  We all choose a road and follow it until the next fork.  When the next fork presents itself to Michael...he will definitely take the one less traveled.  Good luck in the South.

Christ...it's true...talking about a mandate and political capital earned...

Democrats win control of Senate


I second that. Between Mike and Savinar, they scared the sh*t out of me - enough to make me change my life.

All the best, Mike.


Hopefully you put the shit that was scared out of you to good use:


Haaa...well hello Matt...nice to see you visit.

What's your take on recent events?  Any comments about Ruppert and FTW?

Not sure about Michael's condition, but seems he's considering them life threatening.

I view them both as the first step in a "transition"...to what?   Who the hell knows...but they rattled some cages for sure.
i don't know about that.
i think we should be a bit more cautious in this.
as for this halting bush and chenny i don't think it will. any bill the dems can put on his desk now will either be veto'd or he will ramp up his use of 'signing statements' to 'redefine' the law to his liking as he has done in the past.
or the reason this happened is that they plan on something that will make the dems play along.

as for rumsfeild and the observation these people do not give up power willingly he will most likely be shuffled into another position in this administration. the others i don't think would stand for a dem house and senate to stand in their way so my bet is on they will do something to make them tow the line.

re: discretionary fuel usage

For the record, I am a nobody in the energy world, I subscribe to the peak now(Dec. 2005 C + C) theory based on simply what seems more believable after reading TOD for about a year, Simmons presentations, C + C world production data, HL plots done with pre peak data(by others), etc., and probably most of all that is what I WANT to believe - because I HATE our (American) wasteful way of life. I think we DESERVE doom.

I would like some opinions here. What percentage of fuel used is discretionary??

Some examples:

My retired parents (both sets) drive all over the country just because they are bored and they can EASYLY afford it (yes, I'm disgusted!). I'm sure they would stop simply if the gas price went up (shortage or tax).

In my past, I drove all over the place, just because I could afford it(I have changed!).

All the long commuters do it because they can easily afford it.(they could move closer to work).

The Las Vegas lights burn all night, because they can afford it.

Pleasure boats, vacation's on jetliners, etc.  -- I think you get the point.

It seems to me that if energy was just was more expensive, because of shortage, or better yet tax, the consumption would go down ALOT. It actually seems like we (the US) could EASYLY survive on the +-5 mbd that we produce by ourselves. The necessary uses of energy(food production, heat, necessary transportation, etc.) would simply cost more to price the waste out. Yes many people would be miserable because of the lifestyle change and many would go broke paying for necessities but would the neighbors(local) let them starve??  Don't we just waste because it's cheap??

Please don't think I'm  a hothgor :) , maybe I'm just thinking like this because I know I'm one of the poor ones and I will need the food handouts(I'm an auto mechanic!), but what am I missing here? Why are we doomed?


Don't we just waste because it's cheap??

That's what I think. I would like to think that we will cut back on waste because it is the right thing to do, but don't see it as possible. However, when prices go up, waste will go down.

I'm not convinced it means the end of the world. I do think we could live on current US production levels, although it would mean a lot of change.

good questions, points + disclosures- at peak now for ex.
As Leannan says there is a lot of slack in the system- here.
 Doomwise; at what point does the us/global economic system fail & to what extent; & will our responses worldwide be more reasource wars/possible nuclear war. The nexus of pop. + oil/soil/h2o/fishes/etc. + global warming add up to doom in the longer time frames,say 20 yrs. A significant ME war that involves the interests of china ,us,etc. could make that doom tomorrow; not likely so soon but the depletions will intensify everything conflict-wise.
I think what you are missing is that the success of Capitalism is predicated on growth.

Imagine the ripple effect on the economy from scarce and/or expensive fuel.

Automakers cannot sell cars, Boeing can't sell planes, Bayliner will not sell boats. What happens to all of the workers involved in these industries, and obviously, this is just scratching the surface.

I used to think like you until I read Life After the Oil Crash. I never considered the economic effect, and Matt does point out that economic callapse will be one of the harsher realities of peak oil.

This is based on a theory that economic growth depends on energy growth, which I don't believe is accurate.

If oil vanished overnight, what you are saying is true. If the trend is more gradual and alternatives are found, another theory is that we will adapt.

Neither theory has been rigorously analysed and in any case the future can not be seen in advance.

I am also not sure that capitalism requires growth, but I haven't given it adequate thought. Can you explain why?

The Daily Kos link just restates the theory. There is some good discussion in the comments after the Mike Hearn piece. None of this shows that economic growth and energy growth are inextractably linked, or proves that capitalism requires growth. It is all just speculation, the main foundation for which seems to be that people want it to be that way.
Wow.  It seems obvious to me that capitalism requires growth.  Mike's piece spells it out pretty well, IMO.
I'll comment back in a day or so. A lot of things seem obvious, but aren't true. Ask your average voodoo practitioner.

I did print the 40 pages of Mike's articles and comments after you linked to them last night. I read the article and first twenty comments or so, but it was after 9pm when I got it.

I have some serious issues with Mike's article, which I think was a great way to start an important discussion, but was far from authoritative. The leather circles analogy seems deeply flawed. Cathedrals and other massive projects of man seem to have little to do with long term investment and much to do with ego and the ability to force people to work.

Many of the comments were insightful, but I haven't digested them yet. Again, more in a few days.  

Certainly one can imagine forms of capitalism that don't require growth. But the capitalist economic system we have is based on growth - no question about it. Its even built into our expectations - a company whose profits are flat from year to year is considered to be failing, doesn't matter what the absolute numbers are.
a company whose profits are flat from year to year is considered to be failing

But that is the stock market, not the capitalist system. And one reason it is considered to be failing is that there are other companies that are growing.

If the economy could exist in a steady state, all companies would be worinmg from the same foundation.

Even if the overall economy were static, presumably some companies would still grow and others shrink.

Returns on investments, stocks, bonds, etc. are essential a stack of compesation categories. The first is the real interest rate, then comes a whole series of compensations for risk. The first category can expend and contract without impacting the others.

Economic growth is only one reason for the expectation of return above initial investment levels.

Care to translate? I've read this three times and can't make head nor tails out of this. Just what are you trying to say?

I got the part about the stock market not equalling capitalism . Nobodies going to argue with you on that, though it's pretty hard to see how that says anything about expectations for growth. The rest, maybe its me, but I just can't figure it out.

Does economic collapse mean starvation? Death? I can see job loss, housing loss(poor people in big camps w/ soup lines), tent cities, mass evacuations from sw desert(I left Vegas last month!!) :) :) :), but it seems that if someone wants to find FOOD, SHELTER, WATER there is enough to go around(some migration required) and some humans will share.

Of course I have read LATOC, that is where I woke up(thx Matt), I'm just trying to figure out if I'm going to have to watch my family starve like Africans.

the timing of the rummy resignation smells bad   i wonder if it was done in haste to prevent an investigation     the loss of us$billions in the "transition" to an iraqi "government" is coming into question   and the companies involved ..........   bechtel and halliburton    the former principals  ..............    rumsfeld and cheney ,respectively    but not respectfully
The resignation can't do much to stop an investigation. I guess Rumsfeld resigned because the Democrats can now convene hearings and ask him whatever they want. As far as I know, neither Cheney nor Rumsfeld were principals in either of the companies you mention. Cheney was the head of Halliburton and owned shares. Bechtel is owned by the Bechtel family.

I may be misinterpretting what you said. It must be tough to type these comments into a mobile phone, which is what I assume you are doing. At least some of what you have to say does come through.

It doesn't matter anyway, the expert on matters of Halliburton, Bechtel, and the Carlyle Group is one of our friends and a frequent favorite on TOD - our very own - tonight appearing with the greatest Rock'n'Roll band in the world, Liverpool's The Rolling Stones - Our Very Own - Matt Savinar - AMPOD! (Screaming girls in their twenties are ripping off their bras and ripping off my flesh in a wild attempt to get any where near Matt)

(in more hushed tones) "So, Mr. Savinar, do you think that now that Rumsfeld is gone, that Cheney is long for this world?...