DrumBeat: December 15, 2006

[Update by Leanan on 12/15/06 at 11:28 AM EDT]

Algeria oil minister pins any output hiccup on ballooning costs

ABUJA, Nigeria -- Algeria's Oil Minister Chakib Khelil Thursday pinned any potential hiccup in meeting the country's oil output goals on surging project costs, though he refused to validate comments by an executive from the state-run oil company that production targets had been cut by as much as a quarter.

On the sidelines of an Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting here in the Nigerian capital, Khelil said rocketing costs were spurring delays or even cancellations of hydrocarbon projects.

"An LNG (liquefied natural gas) project that cost $1 billion a few years would cost no less than $3.5 billion today and it's even worse for GTL (gas-to-liquids developments)" he said.

Energy from the motion of the ocean

The buoys get deployed a mile or so offshore, either individually or linked together in a field of a dozen or more covering 30 acres of the ocean's surface. They are also an environmentalist's dream - barely visible from the beach, drawing on an abundant, renewable energy resource, with little or no impact upon marine life and emitting no gases that contribute to global warming.

Maine Call Center Could Be Turned Into Research Institute

An ambitious project could be getting started in Rockland. The Free Press newspaper reports that investment banker Matthew Simmons is planning to buy the former MBNA call center building on the Rockland waterfront and turn it into a new international water energy research center.

..."What I've started is getting interested parties to get interested, hopefully, in Rockland, to create an institute in Rockland, an institute of water, and allowing 200 to 300 of the best scientists in the world, backed by maybe 20 universities, and 20 corporations and 20 think tanks, come here as a water fellow, and under one roof get all these people doing wave energy and tidal energy and desalination and so forth," said Simmons.

Weekly Offshore Rig Review: Floating Rigs Locked In, Too

Last week, we started a year-end analysis of the future prospects and rig contracting trends by looking at the jackup fleet's contract coverage for the next three years. This week, we will continue by examining the current level of future contracted time for the competitive drillship and semisubmersible fleet and then comparing those numbers across the leading offshore drilling contractors' fleets, as we did previously for jackups.

Canadian Oil Sands Could Fill Rising U.S. Demand for Energy

Between growing unrest in the Middle East and OPEC's determination to cut production rather than increase it, Canada's oil sands are becoming a more viable resource to the United States. Recently two energy companies announced strategic developments that could in the coming years help reduce America's dependence on OPEC.

Indonesia to Drill 200 Oil, Gas Wells by 2009, Regulator Says

Indonesia, the second-smallest member of OPEC, plans to drill 200 exploration wells by 2009 to find new oil and gas areas and replace aging fields, a government official said.

Truckers sue oil companies over `hot fuel'

Truck driver owner-operators file consumer fraud lawsuit against oil companies, claiming 'hot fuel' provides less energy.

(One part of) A Unified Climate/Energy Agenda

I asked him why green groups haven't been more effective on climate and energy issues. He said it's simple: when the business lobby goes after an issue, it speaks with a single voice. The chamber of commerce, the think tanks, and all the constituent industry groups agree on what they want. Then they lay it out to lawmakers.

80 Members of Congress Pen Letter to President Bush to Fund Renewable Energy

Eighty Members of the U.S. House of Representatives took time this week to send a letter to President Bush seeking substantially higher funding levels for renewable energy and energy efficiency in the White House's Fiscal Year 2008 (FY'08) budget request for the U.S. Department of Energy.

George Monbiot on The Current Monbiot talks about "ethical travel." Streaming audio.

The Great Green Leap Forward: Energy-Hungry China and India Leapfrog to the Front of the Global Green Building Movement

The Pernicious Price of Petroleum

Our love of driving is killing us. While we think of car crashes as causing fatalities, the production and transportation of fuel also significantly undermines public health.

In his book Lives Per Gallon: The True Cost of Our Oil Addiction, Terry Tamminen outlines the direct and indirect impact that petroleum consumption has on millions of Americans every year.

France agrees to cooperate with Gulf states to develop nuclear energy

France agreed in principle to work with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on the peaceful development of nuclear energy, said a spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry on Thursday.

The statement came after the six member states of the GCC -- Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman -- decided to launch a plan on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Germany Sees Big Potential in Green Biomass Fuel

HAMBURG - Large-scale production in Germany of green fuels using new generation biomass-to-liquid (BTL) technology is feasible and may fill around 20 percent of national fuel needs, the Agriculture Ministry said on Thursday.

Sakhalin gas: Shell loses, whales win

MOSCOW- There are three opponents of Russia's strategy to become a global liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter - the western gray whale, the US government and Gazprom.

Belarus criticizes Russian hike of oil export duties

MINSK, Belarus: Belarus' Foreign Ministry on Thursday slammed Russia's decision to hike customs duties on oil exports to Belarus, saying it violated bilateral agreements.

Iraqi oil law stalled by dispute over division of powers

Oceans may rise over 4 1/2 feet by 2100

OSLO (Reuters) - The world's oceans may rise up to 140 cms (4 ft 7 in) by 2100 due to global warming, a faster than expected increase that could threaten low-lying coasts from Florida to Bangladesh, a researcher said on Thursday.

Saudi Aramco revealed as biggest group

The world's biggest company is controlled by Saudi Arabia and is not listed on a stock exchange, according to new research by the Financial Times and the management consultancy McKinsey.

African oil ministers call for establishment of African oil fund: fund is "urgently needed to tackle the consequences of oil price hikes on the African economies."

Russia, Germany and European energy policy

The "special relationship" between Russia and Germany over energy supplies is both a challenge to European Union integration and an invitation to get serious about it.

Analyst: Russia to 'Hit' Chevron with CPC Bill

Russia is preparing a bill to define the role of private investors in gas and oil pipelines in Russia aimed at blocking Chevron Corp's Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) oil pipeline, which is to transport oil from Kazakhstan via Russian territory, according to Russian press reports.

3 hostages taken from Shell oil complex

YENAGOA, Nigeria - Armed men who seized control of a Royal Dutch Shell PLC oil complex overnight fled Friday, taking three Nigerian hostages, shooting a man and forcing the oil giant to halt production at the site.

5 oil and gas companies to pay royalties

WASHINGTON - Five oil and gas companies, including Shell, ConocoPhillips and BP, have agreed to pay royalties on future production under flawed drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico, the government said Thursday.

John Michael Greer: Nawida 2150

This is my third and (for now) last exploration of a deindustrial future using the tools of narrative fiction. Fifty more years have passed since "Solstice 2100." Massive climate change, including the melting of the Antarctic ice cap, and the final stages of catabolic collapse have transformed the setting almost beyond recognition. In the aftermath of these changes, new cultural forms are evolving to replace the last fragments of industrial civilization.

One Million Pixels for Social and Environmental Harmony

Our timing is not accidental. We are operating at a pivotal moment in terms of the future of our countries and of our planet. In the era of peak oil, of global warming, of the exponentially worsening situations created by the illegal invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, and of spectacular natural disasters such as the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, it is time for a profound paradigm shift in the way that we relate to one another and to our planet.

Fog halts Houston Ship Channel traffic

HOUSTON - Ships were halted from moving along the 53-mile (85.3 kilometer) Houston Ship Channel to the busiest U.S. petrochemical port on Thursday due to dense fog, said the U.S. Coast Guard.

...Tankers running through the channel supply crude oil to refineries in Houston and Texas City, which account for 11.8 percent of U.S. refining capacity.

U.S. Energy Sec Bodman disappointed by OPEC cut

"I am disappointed if in fact they end up cutting supply. I am gratified that they are putting it off here for another month or six weeks. Hopefully (it will) give them more time to evaluate," Bodman told reporters ahead of an U.S.-Asia energy summit.

Insurance by the Mile: A simple way to slow global warming.

Uzbekistan pushes up gas prices

Uzbekistan has doubled the price of natural gas its sells to neighbouring Kyrgyzstan, officials have said.

The former Soviet republic is to charge $100 (£51) per 1,000 cubic meters of gas, up from $55.

Chic energy goes green, keeps green in wallet: Geothermal to wind to solar, alternative sources gain glamour, efficiency

Here's an interesting article about energy efficient refrigeration using the magnetocaloric effect.


One material works nicely: the element gadolinium (Gd). It's a ...
I believe I have a large deposit of that in my back yard

Other links:
(Ames Lab)

You better sell it before they get the cheaper cobalt and manganese alloy working then....
A message for SAT

Hello SAT - after an absence lasting exactly 30 days I see you're back with a couple of cautious posts.

So lets cut straight to the quick.  What will the oil price be 1 year from now?

Every year at this time I have a bet with a friend about the oil price:

Last year I bet on $52.35
He bet on $60 - so it looks like I lost.

Does this make me an optimist or a pessimist?  I'm sure there may be a few folks round here who'd be interested to know your thoughts.


PS - if anyone else wants to give opinions then please fire away!

I'll venture that the Dec 07 contract will be $69 but I would not be surprised if it was $85
I have a standing bet on another board.  We bet a barrel of oil that the price would be either over or under $70 on Aug. 30, 2008.  I bet over, he bet under.  Loser sends the winner the WTI Cushing Spot price of a barrel.  I'm still comfortable with that bet.

In fact I think it will be back to $70 before the end of 2007.  I further think it will do that without any significant fear premium.  I'd tack on at least $10 if a FUD event breaks through the public consciousness.  That's not based on anything but my gut feel, though.  A year ago I was willing to predict $100 by then, so either I'm getting more realistic or less pessimistic as time goes by.

Can you believe the British?  I get kidnapped.  My family refuses to pay the ransom, "on principle," whatever that means.  I finally manage to escape -- thank you MacGyver -- and as soon as I get home this guy demands an oil price prediction.  I'm still wearing my hostage clothes.  I was about to climb into the hot tub.  Jeeze.  

Euan, oil prices cannot be predicted.  You are gambling.  I strongly recommend that you seek help, or at least find ways to profit from unpredictable price swings, whether they turn out to be up or down.  

All right, all right, all right.  If that's what it takes to get you to call off your dogs.  You want a prediction?  I'm going to come clean with you, Euan, my mom just brought down a fresh set of charts from the attick a few minutes ago (she's like you, no, "welcome back," no hug, just right down to business).  These charts don't go all the way out to Nov. 15th, 2007, so i'll have to extrapolate this line (as I'm sure you all know, extrapolation can be -- how should I put this? -- extremely inaccurate).  Hang on a second.  Where's my ruler?  OK.  Wait a minute, Nov. 15th is off the edge of this paper, so I'll have to put another sheet over here and then draw a line down to estimate...$82.

I think a strengthening dollar over the course of the next three or four months, along with continued pre-recession commodity declines, will keep oil in the $50-$70 range in the short term (that's funny, isn't it, $50-$70 range?) and then prices will start to move back up once the recession is underway.  Does that make sense?  I feel like i'm still a little bit out of it.  My God, what has been going on with Brittney Spears?

I recommend a long straddle strategy of investing in oil by purchasing both a call and put each with the same exercise price and date.  This strategy will capture a gain in rapid price movement either up or down.  If the experation date is passed without any movement up or down, the loss for the investor is the purchase price of the options.
I'm curious. Why do you suppose the dollar will be strenghtening?

The dollar tends to strengthen prior to a recession.  Technical factors and trader's commitments are both pointing to a stronger dollar.  The media is falling all over itself talking about a dollar collapse.  Finally, while the dollar has recently declined a bit based on growing recognition of a U.S. slowdown, other currencies (for example, the Euro)have yet to see this effect.  As soon as people realize that other countries economies will also slow as a result of the U.S. slowing, this situation will correct.  

The U.S. dollar index recently dipped below 82.50.  Today it closed at 84.06.  I think it will approach 90 in the coming half-year or so.


Euan, oil prices cannot be predicted.

find ways to profit from unpredictable price swings, whether they turn out to be up or down.

SAT - I'm glad you escaped.  $82 / 15 Nov 2007 - its in my diary.  And two of the most sensible quotes I have for this month if not for this year.

Monday morning I phone my lawyer to sell the house and sink the lot into Brent Britney futures (note - no other readers of this site should even consider this without first consulting a fully qualified financial advisor who wants to rob you of your money).

I think a strengthening dollar over the course of the next three or four months, along with continued pre-recession commodity declines, will keep oil in the $50-$70 range in the short term (that's funny, isn't it, $50-$70 range?) and then prices will start to move back up once the recession is underway.  Does that make sense?

Well yes - I guess the $ is down now and so may go back up again. And then no - why will oil prices rise when the recession gets underway?  More full explanation required if you have the time please.

Darndest thing - I was writing my post the same time that you posted.  So I have 2007 on a $72 average for Brent - was hoping that Khebab might have called by to put some flesh on the volatility aspect.

Markets are anticipatory.  Historically, commodities have fallen in anticipation of recessions and risen in anticipation of the end of recessions.  In other words, commodities have risen during recessions.  If this is a typical recession, I don't see why things should be any different this time.

Note: I have often commented about my fascination with Stoneleigh's theories over at TOD Canada.  This doesn't necessarily mean that I agree with him.  He lays out a very convincing case, though, and could very well be right at some point.  In the mean time, I continue to act based on the assumption that the coming recession will be more or less typical.

Yeh, Stoneleigh is very gloomy and I have tended to align myself with his gloooomy outlook.  So I note that you are much more "optimistic" in referring to the comming recession as typical and not the recession to end all recessions.  I have also noted that Stuart since his return is also less glooomy than most.  One comment of Stuart's I picked up on was substitution of oil by other sources in India - I'm not sure how much flesh there is on that claim. In this regard, I wonder if one of the more important stories on Drumbeat today is not the French move to aid Gulf States develop nuclear power.  I wonder how much oil and gas they burn in power generation?

I have no feel for how realistic a proposition this is. Could move on to Iran.. but probably best leave it there.

Some thoughts - 2003, 2004 and 2005, demand ran ahead of the long term trend.  2006 demand has tracked sideways and my suspicion is that 2007 will be similar, with demand running at around 85 mmbpd (all liquids) on average for 2007 - checked by continuing high price.  On this basis I'd estimate an average price for Brent (which is getting pretty scarce now) of $72 / bbl for 2007.

How to handle the volatility and above ground factors is a major problem.  Property implosion in US and UK may send markets into a tail spin.  Alternatively, loss of 3 to 5 mmbpd production from the ME owing to spread of conflict could send oil over $100 over night.

A message for SAT

Hello SAT - after an absence lasting exactly 30 days I see you're back with a couple of cautious posts.

You do realise that SAT, Oil CEO and Hugo Chavez are all the same person, don't you?

Bob - this notion of multiple cyber personalities is one that I find fascinating. As I spend most of my time doing primary research for TOD I find I don't have that much time to spend cross referencing posting habits.  I may agree with 67% of what you say - but never had much time for Hugo myself.

At the end of the day, the things that matter to me most here are original research, analysis and insight.

Perhaps WT and Hothgar are the same person. Wouldn't that be a kick?

"A schizophrenic, goes into a blog,..."

Oil CEO?  I wish.

On the other hand, if anyone's crazy enough to pull something like that off, it's him.

Unfortunately, for existential reasons, I can't join you in supporting this particular conspiracy theory.


A couple of stories from today's McPaper:

Americans will devote half their lives to forms of media next year

Americans love their media -- so much that next year they'll spend nearly half their lives watching TV, going online, listening to the radio (or music) and reading. That's what the U.S. Census Bureau is predicting in its "Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007," out Friday.

Luxuries of past become necessities


Do you really need it or just want it?

New research suggests we want lots of it and think we really need it.

The number of consumer products Americans say are necessities has multiplied in the past decade, suggesting that items such as microwaves or air conditioning -- once considered luxuries -- are things we can't live without anymore, according to a Pew Research Center survey released Thursday.

"The more of these goods you have and the more available they are, the more you feel you need," says Paul Taylor, executive vice president of the Pew Research Center.

Hedonism and the Mindless Herd - short story of a short-lived civilization.  Chapter one - the catatonic view/shopper...
The best example of this is the store that caught on fire about a week ago and the firefighters had to prevent people from entering the store to shop because despite the smoke, they had Stuff® to buy and nothing as silly as a fire was going to stand in their way.  If it turned out the store had a PlayStation 3, I bet even the firefighters couldn't have kept the customers out.
A small share of those media figures include all of us reading THE OIL DRUM.
Does anyone know the list of 14 items used int he "Luxuries" article?  I would love to see the list and tally of responses.
Item: 2006, 1996

Car:91, 93

Clothes washer:90, 86

Clothes dryer:83, 62

Home A/C:70, 51

Microwave:68, 32

TV set:64, 59

Car A/C:59, 41

Home computer:51, 26

Cellphone:49, (not asked in '96)

Dishwasher:35, 13

Cable or satellite TV:33, 17

High-speed Internet:29, (not asked in '96)

iPod:3, (not asked in '96)

From the Atlanta Constitution-Journal:


Percent of Pew survey respondents who rated item as a necessity. First figure is for 2006, second is for suveys in 1996.

Car: 91, 93

Clothes washer: 90, 86

Clothes dryer: 83, 62

Home A/C: 70, 51

Microwave: 68, 32

TV set: 64, 59

Car A/C: 59, 41

Home computer: 51, 26

Cellphone: 49, (not asked in '96)

Dishwasher: 35, 13

Cable or satellite TV: 33, 17

High-speed Internet: 29, (not asked in '96)

iPod: 3, (not asked in '96)

I suppose it's good news that fewer people see a car as a necessity.

Come on! this is absolute nonsense.. You don't need any of this shit. What you need are the 5 corners of life:

  1. Water
  2. Food
  3. Fire
  4. Shelter
  5. Medication

All the other "shit" only is a burdon on your life.

The US people have to wake up, a microwave oven is nothing!

You don't own stuff; the stuff owns you.

Roger From The Netherlands

a microwave oven is nothing!

I used to burn logs on the floor of the kitchen to cook and found the microwave to have a lower TCO (Total Cost Of Ownership) as well as using less energy and having less carbon emissions.
And I am not even in the US, silly me!

(THIS is why I am a "doomer"...)

Come on Roger your from the Nederland: a bicycle with two locks!
Some comments from the talking heads on CNBC

"OPEC is really showing discipline this time (in cutting production)"

"Yes, and it looks like they are showing more discipline in cutting production as time goes forward"

To which I would reply--just like the tremendous discipline that Texas has shown or the past 33 years, as we have "voluntarily" cut production by close to 75%.

Jeffrey, if you keep watching those morons you will rot your brain! If you'd just change the Export Land Model name to the Jon Benet Ramsey strategy you'd get a lot of publicity, but as things stand now is just a Valium for the truth of our energy situation.
Mass delusions continue as long as the masses share the same false assumptions.

And the celebrity-wanna-bees that masquerade as reporters will be the very last to question the herd's assumptions.    

celebrity-wanna-bees that masquerade as reporters.


... just like the tremendous discipline that Texas has shown or the past 33 years, as we have "voluntarily" cut production by close to 75%.

That is really not a fair comparison. OPEC countries are not subject to USA anti-trust laws. They "can" openly collude to fix prices. It may very well be true that they are "voluntarily" cutting production or that they are pretending to do so when in fact it is Mother Nature who is strangulating their oil sucking straws ... we can't be sure.

More intrestingly, I want to know where is that great stampeding sound from the market cavalry coming to our rescue with all those alternative energy sources (market substitutes)?


I doubt even the Lone Ranger will show up for this one.

Hi Ho Ag !

But Kimosabi ...
only he knows where on the map
we can find the
Temple of the Last Oils:

Deadly wind, rain slam Seattle area: Deluge in rush-hour commute transforms streets into rivers

Three dead, 1.5 million without power.  Bridges closed, cars floating down the streets.  

A 41-year-old woman died after becoming trapped in her basement.  How do you get trapped in a basement? Couldn't you climb up the stairs before the water reached the ceiling?

Maybe the stairway became a waterfall and the elderly women didn't have the strength to fight it?  
She's only 41 years old.  
Maybe the basement was finished and that's where her TV was ???
She probably tried to rescue her microwave oven...
Leanan: Urbansurvival covers this today. Supposedly 114 mph winds recorded in Oregon. By the way, Ure's site is quite interesting today. He comments on the fact that the Nov elections were a clear mandate for pulling out of Iraq, yet the troops are going nowhere. He also has a link to Shadow Stats which alleges that US GDP is -1.5% with inflation of 9%.
John Williams of ShadowStats did a radio interview yesterday.  You can download an MP3 here.

The interview starts at about 22:00. There's about ten minutes of talk about the interview, currency issues, etc., before that.

The climatic energy we DIDN'T get in the GOM this year is, perhaps, showing up in other spots around the globe (NW USA included).
As storms go here on the central Oregon coast, this wasn't much bigger than the others that came before it. What seems different is the large numbers of small storms embedded within one much larger cyclonic system. And if you look at the satellite for the whole northern Pacific ocean, you'll see what will be the next major system already brewing-up. Also, as usual, the Weather Channel focused on what it could find that's sensational, as corporate media always does. We had a party of hikers stranded and found by our local SAR teams, but who knew with all the focus on the Mt. Hood climbers.

Our Cascadia is considered a temperate rain forest. For the amounts of rain we get to feed the forest, it needs to storm quite a lot. Now what's impressive are the 40' seas and the surf its producing that I can see from my home-office window as I type this.

I have a brother in Seattle that I need to check up on...wondering if he has power.
From NW oregon -
Utility power out - main transmission line from Bonneville Power down - no estimate on when it will be repaired.  Probably out of power for 2-3 days.

Phone out - Battery backup fully discharged.

Operating on standby (diesel) power hence satalite internet working...woohoo! (lol).

Trapped in a basement?...?...

Power surge last night as large areas were knocked off line.  I bet those guys trying to regulate the grid had fun last night.  I hear they have a huge "heat sink" to dump extra power in situations like this to prevent grid damage.  They call it "the toaster"  huge(!) coils getting red hot - you get the picture.

Nice time to have a dependable chain saw...

The columbus day storm 1963 was much, much worse.

We are quick to pass judgement here aren't we?

A cubic metre of water weighs one 1 metric tonne. Many people underestimate the force of flood waters, to their cost.

Firefighters cut a hole in the floor to pull her out of the windowless basement after neighbors heard her screaming that she was trapped, but she was pronounced dead after being taken to Harborview Medical Center.

"Somehow, the door shut, and she couldn't open the door because of the water pressure," Fire Department spokeswoman Helen Fitzpatrick said.
Neighbor Eric Hinz told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News his roommate tried to save her.
Neighbors said it appeared the flash flood was caused by a hillside that gave way above the home.

Instead of assuming everyone else is stupid, perhaps it's worth finding out the facts; the same misfortune could happen to you.

Did I say she was stupid?  The reason I asked was because I wanted to know.  I assumed she wasn't stupid.
Many apologies, I read too much into your comment.
Well, thanks for the posting the explanation. I did Google around this morning, but couldn't find any details.  

I just figured the water would rise from the bottom up.  Now I know.  Stay out of the basement when there's a flood warning.

A note from George Ure on Urban Survival:

John Williams' site Shadow Government Statistics boils our current real economy down to this:

Broad money measures (M3 reconstructed, since it was hidden in March by the banksters) is running 10%, so banking on inflation makes sense (as evidenced by the Treasury having to outlaw melting of coins...)

Real GDP is probably running negative 1.5%

Real Consumer price increases are running closer to 9% than the reported annual rate of less than 2% promoted by government.

And the dollar continues losing its value.

Good god.  I guess you are really insulated from prices in this crazy place we call the real world, WT.  I have an idea.  Why don't you go outside of your office, and instead of taking your Limo or private-jet-to-Europe, ride a bike or walk to a grocery store or even Wal-Mart, and compare prices of some common goods that you purchased last year, or even 2 years ago.  Know what you will find?

I bet prices haven't changed that much, where as 10% inflation would require some pretty dramatic changes...

This is a new low - even for you. Go away.
It's the simple truth, and it hurts.  I for one am tired of the BS.

9% inflation?  BS.  Do any of you actually work in in the retail industry?  I bet not.  I've seen 9% inflation over about 5 years, but not annually.  The quality of life of the average American today is way better then it was even back in the early 90s.


You're absolutly correct that there has been tremendous price deflation in Asian goods.  LCD's and Plasma TV's are 50% of what they were two years ago.

Housing, travel, food, health care, and commodities (wood, steel, etc..) however are all way up.

The government is knowingly understating inflation so they can keep interest rates low, and keep inflation running.  Deflation would be a disaster here in the US.  


Unfortunately, LCD's and Plasma TVs are not 'common' goods that I was alluding too...

Travel costs aren't actually that expensive, if they were you wouldn't be seeing those 500 lb obese double-seater's on planes and Joe Dirt families at the grand canyon.  Food is one of the areas that has experienced the least growth in prices over the last couple of decades.

Health care costs have gone up because we are now providing fee medical assistance to millions of illegal immigrants, most of whom send over 2/3rds of their wages back to Mexico...

Travel isn't expensive?!?!  Have you priced a hotel room recently?  Serviced your car?  Rented a campground?  Rented a boat?

Everything I do is magnitudes more expensive then it was even just 5 years ago.  Basic cable TV is $50.  Paperback books are  now $9.99.

Taxes may not be up, but govt FEES are through the roof.

My commuter rail pass is going up 25% come January First.

Have you tried to hire a plumber recently?  

It's crazy.


Thats strange.  I traveled with my family a lot when I was a teenager.  We stayed at dozens of different types of hotels when on vacation or at soccer tournaments.  I became very familiar with hotel costs and quality.  Now I do travel less these days, but I haven't seen anything out of the ordinary.  I can still stay at a Holiday Inn Express for around $75, even 8 years after I stopped playing soccer.  :P
Yes, because one link on the internet PROVES your side of the argument.  If its written on the great net, it MUST be true, right Rethin?

Give me a break.  As long as there is inflation, prices will go up.  The question is how much they go up, not if they have gone up or will go up.

Nice straw-man though :P

I can count to three Hothgor, how about you?
Ultra mature response man.  Keep it up!
"Overall, prices for mid-range hotels are expected to rise between 3 percent and 6 percent next year, according to the annual American Express Business Travel Forecast. For higher-end properties, increases are expected to be between 4 percent and 8 percent."


3% increase possible next year!!


"3% increase possible next year!!" that makes it sound like the numbers are between 0% and 3%, is that deliberate Hothgor?

u mean 3% at least and up to 6% possible?
that still means u will pay double u pay now in 11 to 25 years.

how does that compare to a 2% official figure? well 35 years till we pay double.

yes we are doomed, and yes i do believe that not understanding the exponential function is going to cost humanity a lot.

i do believe that not understanding the exponential function is going to cost humanity a lot.

In this case it is not that Hothgor doesn't understand the exponential, it is that he his just an employee of the competing "flat function" company.  

There are several reports that state that the value of our dollar is something like 1-2% of its value in the early 1900s thanks to the Feds 'pro growth, low inflation' economic sheparding.  Please explain to me how this has had an adverse effect on the consumers of this country.

Playing with numbers and doubling rate means nothing if the consumers can afford to pay that much.  If wages are increasing at the same rate as inflation, the real cost neither increase or decreases.  Fortunately, real wage increases tend to trend above inflation over the LONG TERM.

BTW, I love how you try to make more out of this then it is.  I never said prices will never increase, I questioned how fast they have been increasing and how harmful it has been to the consumers.  People throwing out 10+% increases and stating that their figures can be applied to the entire economy is simply incredible.

"Health care costs have gone up because we are now providing fee medical assistance to millions of illegal immigrants, most of whom send over 2/3rds of their wages back to Mexico... "

Oh were to begin. How about insurance costs, how about law suit costs, how about all these bright shiny new hospitals, and how about those medical corporations trying to find ways to extract more profits from consumers.

Ya I am sure it is just because of immigrants.

How about almost all older Americans taking expensive cholesterol, blood pressure, etc medications. Getting new knees, hips, various heart surgeries, etc. Everyone demanding the highest tech scans possible to search out any ache or pain that bothers them. How about the explosion in obesity with diabetes, kidney failure, heart attacks, strokes, etc. How about life prolonged long after there is any quality?

I don't actually argue it's the wrong thing to be doing, but we should all acknowledge it is extremely expensive and not be blaming anything other than our own desires and expectations. My older parents have a great quality of life, but their health care costs probably add up to tens of thousands over the last few years and they aren't unusual - knee, hip, pacemaker, bypass, statins, excised skin cancers, heart sonograms, MRIs and more - and they hike and travel and bring us all joy.

I'm in health care and nothing is lower on my radar in terms of cost than illegals who if anything avoid getting health care even for serious conditions. The cost of their care isn't even on the map compared to anxious and overweight suburbanites.

Your ignorant comment is disgraceful and racist - unless you can come up with some serious, valid numbers to pursuade me.

you hit the nail on the head in both your assesment of where the cost is coming from and from discounting the minimal costs associated with treating illegal immigrants.  You're also right to feel conflicted.  Given the chance, who wouldn't choose a $20,000 joint replacement so they can continue to hike and travel for the last 5 or 10 years of life instead of having limited mobility?  Yet as a society, there may come a time when we are forced to weigh the costs and benefits to society of many of these interventions.  

Phineas Gage, MD

Thanks, a complicated issue.


Now let me get this straight.  First, I was a hick from Texas that beats his wife.  Then I was a gigolo, and now I'm a racist!!  I must be the worlds worst human being :P

Emergency Costs Skyrocket.  

I live in Texas.  It's amazing how true these stories actually are.  When my grandfather fell ill with pneumonia years ago, I distinctly remember seeing probably two dozen Hispanic families sitting outside in the parking lot doing just this kind of activity.  Does that mean all Hispanics are bad?  Of course not, some of my good friends are Hispanics.  But letting in millions of illegal immigrants and then proudly proclaiming that they are having no effect on our medical costs is, well, insane!

But I guess anyone who dares bring up the current ULTIMATE TABOO called immigration must be a racist, right?

But I'm not trying to blame just the Hispanics for rising medical costs, as others have pointed out, there are numerous causes.  Tort law needs to be worked over.  Its ridiculous that someone can sue a doctor for 250 million dollars because they supposedly missed a microscopic tumor, as if the Doctor went out of their way to screw you over.

Medical research costs have skyrocketed, and it now takes on average 20 years to get a new drug on the market due to litigation concerns.  Not only that, but companies are down right greedy in suppressing generic drugs in the US so they can pork off of the elderly for a few more years.

I was reacting to your wrongly scapegoating an entire class of people for what is a truly homegrown problem. That is why I used the word racist, although I really can't say that you personally are that way. The kind of totally off base statement you made fuels hatred, however, and that's why I took it seriously. There are many problematic issues with illegal immigration, including the fact that our economy relies on having a group of people it can exploit relentlessly in order for others to maintain their wealth. That is one reason why our many of our businesses have never really wanted a true clampdown. If you want to discuss the issues seriously and responsibly, fine.

In any case, blaming them for the healthcare crisis is horribly off base. And you are still avoiding the fact that it is largely our demands (yours and mine) that really raise healthcare costs. That said, the pharmaceutical companies have engaged in what I consider corrupt practices in cahoots with a number of doctors and companies which have resulted in major costs to the consumer.  Just having dozens of plans and benefits packages to keep track of within a clinic or plan costs a huge administrative overload that companies with nationalized programs don't have to pay.

"there are numerous causes"

Yes, medical inflation is multifactorial.  I recall that  the professor of the Medical Economics course I took a few years ago cited 3 major reasons for medical inflation: inflated wages (excessive compensation, esp. docs, based on education and training); escalating drug costs; and the high costs of treating the growing elderly population.

Two other major contributors to the high cost of medical care in the U.S. are administrative costs from private insurers (25% to 45% - compared to less than 3% for Medicare due to economies of scale) and also expensive (and often unnecessary) tests and procedures.

As for illegal immigrants, the instructor did say that, having worked for years a medical economist for the state Medicaid office prior to teaching at the med school, in his estimation the 10 to 20 million illegal immigrants in this country and their dependents represented a substantial portion of the 46 million uninsured in this country.  It would be factually correct to say that they strain the Medicaid safety net, but they are not the main drivers for medical inflation.  They contribute to the medical inflation factor only very indirectly by straining the staffs of emergency rooms and obstetrics wards, particularly in border states, thus driving up the demand for medical professionals.

Everyone demanding the highest tech scans possible to search out any ache or pain that bothers them.
And hospitals are expanding services for such patients, because they actually get paid for them.  Meanwhile, emergency rooms and entire central-city hospitals close because they cannot handle the burden of providing charity care.

Hospitals have a legal requirement to provide emergency care without regard to ability to pay, or citizenship.  That order came down from Washington.  People getting paid under the table aren't helping to finance the system they're using, and low-wage workers get subsidized by others.  Add lots of new low-wage workers (and depress the wages of the rest) and guess what happens to the system?

The whole health/hospital system is a rigged scam.
"Free market" does not work when you are "negotiating" about your life or well being, especially while in pain.

Hillary Clinton was right. We needed to switch to a nationalized health system 15 years ago  --and to let almost anyone who wanted to go to medical school to do so. What we have now is an unsustainable Ponzi scheme (aka private health insurance where later comers don't get coverage because --surprise surprise, your money was spent to pay the early subscribers).

The issue of lawsuits' contribution to health care costs is more of a red herring than anything else.  That is not to say that the system doesn't need to be reformed somewhat to minimize the number of frivolous lawsuits.  
Hothie...if this site causes you SO MUCH PAIN...why the hell do you stick around?

If you are so much smarter than us all...then you are wasting your time here.

What motivates you little man?

*pokes* I work in retail.  The actual inflation rate for Coke products this year is around 15% (e.g. 2-ltrs went from $1.69 to 1.99), cereals are around 10%...at least in the Bay Area.
Are you kidding me?  Cokes have been that price for years in Texas.  And I love your perfect 10% increase in cereal costs this year alone.  I've been buying my corn flakes for the same price during the last 2 years.
Hothboy...I do work in the retail industry.  The "quality" of life is not better for the lower middle class folks that are working longer hours and less benefits for the same salary they've had for the last three years.

Companies are cutting more and more costs and cutting more and more corners to try to not raise retail prices.  Unfortunately, there is a point of diminishing returns where you can't cut costs anymore without reducing quality or increasing prices.

We are at that point and it will be more apparent in 2007 based on the plans I have seen in my company.

So the quality of life is not as good because they are forced to work on average 20 minutes more a week this decade then many did last decade?  Give me a break.

In 1990, how many homes had a PC?  A big screen television?  Two cars?  Satellite TV?  The Internet?  All of these have become mainstream in the past 15 years, but boy, I guess people sure do miss playing with their Lincoln logs on their back porches of their non air conditioned homes!

And I see to remember people stating that 2006 would be THE BIG ONE as far as peak oil is concerned.  Then it became the 2nd half of the year, and finally right after elections things were supposed to hit the fan.  Now THE DOOM lurks in waiting for us in 2007.

If things don't go south then, will you be peddling 2008 as the end of days?

So what service industries have you worked in Hoth?

How much vacation time do you get a year?

Cheap technology does not mean "improved" quality of life!

I'm not peddling "end of days", I'm peddling "better get your ass prepared, just in case".  If it happens, then personal adjustment won't be as painful.  If it doesn't, then you've saved some money and learned to live a little wiser.

Weren't you ever a Boy Scout, Hoth?  Does it hurt to be prepared? Or would you rather everyone continue to spend all their money on crap they don't need, bleeding whatever savings or credit they had?  If there is a 10% chance that we are in for ever-increasing fuel prices in the next 5 years then it is worth it to change our behaviors now.

What do you have against this type of thinking Hoth?  I really want to know what motivates that newly-graduated, take-on-the world, bowl of grey matter in your head.

Or is it just a pop in and punch the latest victim thrill you have?

I have nothing against conservation and preparedness.  I do have something against crying wolf and blowing the situation as far as possible out of proportion and pretending that your vision of the future is the only one that is correct.

Take for instance that 3 part story I mentioned earlier here.  That one, and others like it, speak of the world dealing with peak oil.  In every case, the US gets into some kind of war for oil against China and the Middle East, ends up losing horribly, paying reparations and then fades into the night as a post industrial agrarian society.

Plots like those may be a good way of earning money at the expense of other poor and misinformed saps in our bizzare capitalistic society, or causing a spike in web hits on your latest 'our doom is greater then your doom' website, but they do nothing to prepare us for the future.  And why is that we always end up fighting a losing war?  Isn't it possible that we would win the war?

That there won't even BE a war?

In these stories, why does humanity have to regressing into an agrarian society?  Why must we give up our technology?  Is it ingrained in our minds that for every good thing, we must be punished for it at some point in the future?  Is it not possible to electrify the majority of our major industries, and use sustainable biofuels for those places where electricity is impractical?

What do you think?

Possible, yes.  

Probable ?  Certainly not with our current adminstration, MSM and electorate.

The Swiss and several other nations "have their sh!t together", plan for the future, invest in alternatives.

But not the US.

Luck, in the form of the rate of decline is the most important variable.  Much more important than "when". For the chances of the US doing anything to prepare before Peak are small.

If world oil production goes down slowly, a crash program can be effective.  But a fast drop ?

Best Hopes,


Isn't it possible that we would win the war ?

See Iraq.  A war of choice, our timing, 100% our choice as to means, methods, etc.  And all the Baker-Hamilton Commision wants to do is minimize and manage the loss.

Possible, yes.  Probable ?


I admire WT's forebearance.
There is more to retail than renting rooms by the hour, my dear Hothgor.
Man, this just keep getting better and better.  Last night, I was apparently a hick from Texas that beats his wife.  Today, I'm apparently a gigolo.  And then, after yesterdays conversation when we stated that TOD strives for scientific accuracy, someone then turns around and posts a work of science fiction on todays drumbeat titled Nawida 2150!

And no one else sees how ironic this is?

Ah, the cultists of 'doom'.  But you know they're right about beer.  It's up a dime a sleeve where I imbibe.
Hick? Gigolo?  No, I think blathering idiot is more fitting.
Hothgar, Don't go away mad, just go away.
Price out medical items...insurance, drugs, hospitals, etc.
Ah yes, here we go!  Lets invoke the medical and insurance industries as PROOF that the peak has arrived!  These costs have soared because we are now taking in over a million new immigrants a year without cause or reason.

But I guess its really just the 'shadow statistics' coming to light...

Nothing to do with Peak Oil, and I never said it did.

We were discussing inflation.


Those same immigrants do provide dirt cheap labor as well, so you hardly can blame any economic mayhem on them - after all, they are dropping their demands to the bottom, as the good little capitalists they hope to become would do.
Thats ridiculous at best.  In the 1940s and 50s, we allowed roughly 150-200k immigrants in every year.  This led to a massive middle class boom as employees were able to negotiate for higher wages and better benefits.  Then in the late 60s, congress decided we apparently needed to do more for Latin America and allow over a million immigrants to come into this country.  And now where are we?

Has anyone ever wondered if mass immigration was the cause of 'wage destruction', and not an alleviation to it?

In this global market it doesn't matter where that labor exists - labor costs will go down to the lowest bidder.
From the self declared center of Europe (Austria of course). I can only say that your last comments appear to be true esp. as easy international free trade was not a given at that time importing cheaper workers would be a reasonable business standpoint. In Europe true demand for workers in need to supply the Wirtschaftswunder in Germany and Austria after the war was the primary reason, later replaced by interest in a cheaper workforce. And of course the turks now here (2nd generation!) import a good number of their future wifes from turkey and bring their ancestors with them (up to 30% non "austrians" in the capital Vienna (acc to a public study now 40% schoolchildren up to 12 years old do not "fully" comprehend the local language. You don't need to be a xenophobe to consider this problematic once these people reach working age and will use social benefits but have little ability to contribute.

As regarding inflation calculations it's about average user baskets what else should one use, while it is very likely that inflation is higher then governments proclaim (on purpose mostly rather than because of the problem of what to put into the basket).

Regarding the timeing discussions of peak oil I really don't care much if it was 2005 or will be 2010 or 2015 as I am young enough (low thirties) to feel the probable outcome anyway.
This site (and others) had some impact on me. I reshuffled most of my investements to enery, food, and innovation in electricity/supply and will do so in the future. And my plans to retire in a nicely landscaped park are now amended with the need for a small stream and hydropower facility.

Parts of Europe have a reasonble base supply of hydro and increasing renewable energy sources that I don't fall for the true doom scenarios (allthough I am mentaly inclined;)
And the rest of the world? Probably a bit less pleasant than some parts of Europe.

  The growth in M3 is about 10%, this is a measure of the still growing liquidity in the banking system. The Fed would dearly love to tighten to squeeze out this excess, but their hands are tied: With underlying deflationary pressures, not to mention the housing sector in freefall, any tightening would result in a full blown depression. This is what you get when you finance economic expansion through debt creation....
I doubt that U.S. real GDP growth is negative now because unemployment has not increased. True, employment is a lagging indicator of GDP trends, but if real GDP growth were minus 1.5% there would likely be a decline in employment and increase in unemployment of at least one percentage point.

The reported statistics on employment and unemployment are (to put it mildly) imperfect, but they are good enough to reflect changes in GDP growth from say a positive 3% to a minus 1.5%.

One of the main justifications for GDP growth is that it is necessary to keep the rate of unemployment down. After peak oil forces us into a zero or negative rate of GDP growth we can expect to see large and long-lasting increases in unemployment--and in my opinion this will be one of the main sources of pain and suffering in a post-peak world. If anybody has plausible and constructive ideas on how to deal with mass unemployment (on the scale of the Great Depression) I'd be interested to see them.

"The Federal Reserve today added $8.25 billion to their REPO pool, bringing it to $143.88 billion. The REPO pool is used by the primary bankers (Goldman, MOrgan, et al) to intervene in the markets on behalf of the FED. This action brought the Dow to a new high. THere was also a simultaneous POMO operation of $1.329 billion bringing the 10 year note to 109.00 at the opening bell."

So - here is my question - how can we be talking about the significance of particular absolute GDP and other economic indicators when there is this much open intervention from the FEDs? Methinks that this is just a distraction.


I agree. I just got some info on net foreign inflows.  Over the past few years, central banks have reduced their exposure to T-Bills by buying into equities instead and it's to the tune of $500 Billion USD.  Essentially they are buying to be buying at any price since they own the means to create additional funds through printing presses.  How nice.  

In addition this money that is being "dumped" into major corporate equities (indices) is crowding out rational, private investment and forcing many prudent investors onto the sidelines.  In addition they are dumping dollars into high quality invesment grade corporate debt.  They are ignoring the T-bills as of late in favor of equities.  This begs the questions though...when private investment is stifled due to state intervention...what is that called?


And the Repo pool has proven out to be the perfect tool to bring down the price of Gold (great example today just look at the chart) silver, oil and NG thereby controlling the most visible inflation indicators.  No one is better in that game than Paulsen. He has a lot of experience from his years at GS. But this is all artificail and when the game is over watch out - we will see the thrue face of inflation come back to hunt the consumers, sorry I meant the citizens...
The problem with unemployment figures is that it hides the fact that we are just switching from long term stable jobs (like manufacturing) to less stable, low paying service jobs.  These service jobs are often temporary and seasonal.  There are jobs out there if you are willing to bend over and stick your pride up your a##.
 "There are jobs out there if . . ." That is one of my points.

When real GDP growth goes negative, for a number of people there are NO jobs available at any wage or in any working conditions. During the Great Depression, for millions of Americans no jobs were available at any wage or under any working conditions. Since the end of the Second World war the U.S. has used monetary and fiscal policy to keep economic downturns relatively short and mild. However, in a post-peak world it is hard to imagine a continuation of real GDP growth. As we go to a steady state or negative growth economy we are very likely to enter an era of persisting and generally worsening unemployment. Monetary and fiscal policy will have little beneficial impact in post-peak world when the end of cheap energy brings the end of economic growth.

Right, Don.  I agree with you.  I just don't like people looking at employment stat's and think all is peachy keen.  

Good jobs are harder to find...crappy ones are everywhere.

Post-peak there will be more than a few jobs available on farms. Pre-oil, 70% of the working population was engaged in agriculture, now it is something like 2%. Ultimately it must revert back to the long term mean in the region of 70%. I guess a more fundamental question is 70% of how many people.....
In a post-peak world I think it is likely that many (and perhaps most) of any additional U.S. jobs in agriculture will be filled by a big upsurge in the number of illegal Mexican (and other) immigrants.

We are about to move into uncharted territory with increasingly scarce oil causing negative economic growth, as opposed to a deficiency of aggregate demand causing the recessions and depressions of the past. With few exceptions, economists have not faced up to the problem of increasing unemployment caused by increasing cost and decreasing availability of oil. In the past economic growth has been the magic wand that would create jobs. The wand is about to lose its power--which was largely based on increasingly cheap and abundant energy.

The number of stoop labor jobs is just not that large. When small employers are all short of cash they do that kind of work themselves or get family to do it
Yes there are jobs undone because no one will do them cheap enough. In a crash that pent-up demand is satisfied very quickly.
I've read that much of American farmland is now unuseable for crops without the use of fertilizers.  If true, there's not likely to b as much faring as once upon a time.
In his still sorely undervalued writings on economics, as well as in testimony (or perhaps just a speech) to Congress, M. King Hubbert, yes him, pointed out that what happened in the Great Depression was exceptional in that here was a country with millions of people seeking work, and at the same time with ample natural resources, and with manufacturing infrastructure, but still nothing was being produced.

Hubbert blamed this on money availability and flow. For who has never read him other than his well-known peak resource theories, his economic "thoughts" come highly recommended. He was as sharp there as he was in oil.

And in all this lies a big difference between 1929 and 2007: the natural rreources are gone, and so is the manufacturing base. A modern New Deal would see pointless. What will the unemployed produce? More armament?

From what I've read it has been boiled down to the near instant reduction in credit.  The MS was reduced and caused all typed of deflationary forces, but it was also tied to gold when it happened.  That is no more and we've also blindly accepted Keynesian pump and dump policies that only lead to asset bubbles transitioning out of one asset and into another.  When I think of asset bubbles though I don't dream about the housing bubble, but the derivatives bubble to the tune of like 24) Trillion last time I checked.  Now that is insane.  
AFAICS the derivative bubble is a bunch of circular debts among the "playas", all added up (since economists have never learnt to subtract, see: GDP).  Thus the total is meaningless.  Which it has to be, as it totals to far more than the total real wealth on this planet, any way you measure it.  I won't cry for those SOBs when it goes poof.
Im confused...you seem to disregard derivatives entirely?  Becuase it's circular debt?  That IS the problem.  No one knows who really is on the hook for the debt ultimately.  Well we know who is on the hook ultimately - you and I, but the derivative notional value does matter.
Unemployment is "different", because people are divided into "employed" and "unemployed", with the former trying to hang on to their full status, while the latter get nothing at all.  The same total work to be done can be divided more evenly.  E.g., in France they forced that via their limit on hours in the work week.  Employers in the USA hate that, since it is more "efficient" to hire and train fewer employees and work them "overtime".  And the employees (most of them anyway) like it that way because they keep their full income, and some of the things (or services) they buy are cheap because high unemployment forces some to accept some really low-pay "jobs".  In other words, the average employment and income is a resources issue, but the disparities in employment and income are issues of policy and societal values.  Americans would become far happier (eventually) if they were forced  by law to work 48 weeks, 35 hours per week, despite the pay cut.
There is a discussion of inflation figures over at The Mess That Greenspan Made.
of course  gdp is negative   the government is adding almost 5 % to the gdp via debt  the measured gdp may be nominally positive  but when you subtract out the increase in debt, "real" gdp is negative
Excellent point, few people factor in the massive borrowing propping up the economy.

My husband and I avoid debt like the plague, but you gotta wonder if government borrowing will make people like us de facto debtors and therefore indentured servants just like the nuts in debt up to their eyeballs.

Those of us who don't have the liquidity to play the international-asset-shell-game will probably be taxed to death when TSHTF.

Exactly right. You get it because you're a blunt guy. Those who always try to put too fine a point on it always walk away from this fairly obvious apercu.
You're assuming that the official unemployment rate is reliable.  It's not; among other errors, it doesn't count people who are discouraged and no longer looking for work.  It also doesn't count the prison/jail population.

This article says we are at 724 inmates per 100,000 people in the US.  That would be a .7% unemployed if you assume none of these prisoners accomplishes anything.  

As far as people who are discouraged....screw them.  I have shoveled Sh@t, bartended, washed dishes, driven a forklift, cooked, EMT/Paramedic, and Soldiered in my life.  If somebody wants work the Army is always hiring.


'cept if you're over how old?  And can't pass a physical so you're going to do what?  I tired to enlist at 17 to my national guard.  They said no due to high blood pressure.  I laughed after I bitched about them not letting me in. We attacked Iraq two years later.  Lesson learned: Things happen for a reason even when you want it to work out a different way really, really bad.
Inflation anywhere is always a monetary phenomenon.  Freidman was absolutely spot on.  Prices cannot rise without increasing the money supply - end of story.  CPI doesn't matter as it's a Keynesian slight of hand.  Who the hell cares about Price inflation - inflation is inflation whether or not it can be measured in the price of any one good or a group of goods which do not county every single thing made or bought.  

The flippin CPI or any measure of inflation other than money supply is simply too NARROW. You can not add up all the items for sale and next month do it all over and expect to get an honest answer even adjusting for seasons and the dicontinuance of production.  The aggregate change is an increase in the supply of money available to spend.  Digital money is running at 10% so expect inflation to be closer to this.  


Your premise of prices in retail is incorrect.  You are focusing a narrow band of such a large economy that the data your present is wholy inaccurate.  No one said inflation in the retail industry is 10%.  What you fail to realize (and I can't believe I'm taking the time) is that services tend to rise faster than goods.  Home health care is rising at over 10%....higher ed is increasing at or over 10%.  

Other services that we increasingly demand as a need are being priced higher for that very reason - demand and the availability of money to back that demand up. I started at my college paying less than 6 grand a year.  I am now leaving three years leter and it is running more like $10K a year so that's more like a 2/3 increase, but the enrollment is record breaking nearly each year so these higher prices are not discouraging higher learning - yeat.

Since this economy is moving toward more services (thus higher variable labor costs) then so long as we all agree we, as a country, should be living in higher standards than the rest of the world - we will see the retarded increases in services.  And how are you going to relate a monetary phenomenon like inflation (qauntitave variable) to quality of life which is a qualitative variable?  I don't like to flame, but I've quietly read your ridiculous posts for a couple of months and you sir are either unintelligent or bored - I haven't made my mind up, but I do lean for the former.

hotgor should take a cold shower
Hotgor, you are in need of adjustment.
There are jobs with lower wages and fewer benifits.  Cheap Chinese imports mask the "effects" of the decline.

Inflation is there - it is a 'tax'.  The gov. prints money to support its operations, money becomes worth less per unit, so you end up eating the "decline in value" just as effectively as if they took it away from you in taxes, only you don't see it slip through your fingers.
Don't tell me they quit printing M3 because it is redundant, expensive and they care (suddenly) that they aren't spending your money wisely.  

Illegal immigrants- where to start...If you think for one second that the US gov. doesn't know and has known for a long time illegals are here you are 100% delusional.  You are wrong to think that they are paid under the table by bussinesses.  Christ! like an owner is going to claim all that income and pay taxes on thier combined income at the highest rate - no way! under the table - mostly BS pure and simple BS.  illegals aren't going to take a "taxes removed" "under the table wage" when they can easily get a regular job and  claim the max. dependants - so they can keep more of the $ themselves.  The exception being homeowners who hire them and pay cash.
Illegals play the game of claiming multiple exemptions and file no tax return. They contribute to SS and won't get that back.  They can and do recieve US GOV. subsidized housing( school lunches, etc.) with thier fake documents because that gives some SOB a job to give the money away.  That SOB knowns what is going on and is not going to blow the wistle and lose a gov. job with benefits in this market - no way! it is not going to happen. Get your head out of your ^$$ hotgor - the gov KNOWS these people are here and they are not going to do anything about it, except to pay lip service and blame bussiness owners(standard smoke and mirrors- nothing new here).
Try not allowing illegals to have phones (hear the cries for cingular), cars(hear the cries from the auto dealers association), US food stamps( hear the cries from public employees with out a job), US sub. housing(same again), health care(they are still making money in case you haven't noticed), etc. without verified ducuments.  Watch bleeding hearts fall all over themselves to stand up for the poor illegal who is just trying to make a better life for themselves - like our ancestors did 200+ years ago.  Unless your name is "Running Deer" WTF thinks you wants are above thiers.
The US could rid the itself of the illegal aliens employment oppertunities in 24 hrs if it wanted to.  Just "require" that owners verify SS# with names or they can't be hired period.  
Employers play the game as well in copying the documents to cover thier asses.  Fire someone whose name doesn't match the SS # and you can get sued (yes this is correct) because it could be a simple mistake.  Good fake ducuments (from dead people) are available as well, nothing like a hispanic with a document whos last name is "Ceckalov"(hmmm?)
You need to look alot deeper at the illegal issue, and start asking why, why, why?  because the easy answer is not the correct one.
Look at the sports stars and pampered beauty queens people raise thier kids into and ask why they aren't driving out in car loads to work in hot/cold dusty/muddy fields to do manual labor at a price that the farmer can sell you your frickin' tomato (or whatever) where he won't lose out to some third world country that pays a fraction of what employers are required to pay here. Get your head out of your ^$$, the illegal alien problem isn't simple!
I think illegals will become the "hated group" as things unwind here in the US - (the red X).  Like the Jews in WW ll Germany.  To be politically uncorrect illegals are mostly brown skinned people...easy to identify.
Hotgor, open your mind and close your mouth.
<rant over with>

Friedman was an idiot.  Inflation is caused by too nuch demand chasing too liitle supply - examples abounded last year.  Hell, the present situation with an excess of liquidity [cash] and low inflation shows that most goods and services are in oversupply, but where they're not, the prices are rising.
You're first sentence speaks volumes on your ability to rationally observe, at least, monetary phenomenon.  Since Friedman managed to do far more as an idiot in your vernacular - I laugh at what you must be considered.
You think the increase is bad now, wait a few years.  My tuition first year (1983) was $4500.  I just checked and the tuition at my college is now $32,620.  I calculate that as a 9.5% inflation rate over the last 23 years.
Yep....college tuition, medical costs, drug costs, daycare, heating bill, gasoline bill, property taxes, soft drinks, candy bars (went up $0.25 this year)...all went up this year.

TVs, computers, cars, CDs, toys, McDonald's hamburgers...pretty much stayed the same price wise this year.

Now...which one of those two categories took the biggest part of my monthly paycheck?

my money is on Mickey D's....
Speaking of Simmons: I began writing columns to the Portland Press Herald about peak oil in 2004. They have ignored everything, even though I sent links and invited them to DO SOMETHING about warning people. I even mentioned Simmons as a part-time Mainer.

The Maine media complex, especially the PPH, is about as useless a font of trivia as one can imagine.

The media is not here to inform and enlighten.  They are here to entertain and gossip.
They're in the business of Feelings Management.

More and more, I suspect WT may be right about the "Iron Triangle."

"More and more, I suspect WT may be right about the "Iron Triangle." "

I don't think there should be any doubt about the mutual back scratching that goes on, the point of contention is whether there's some conspiracy element behind it or it's just "the machine" going - something that unintentionally set itself up and proceeded to perpetuate itself without any conscious intent.

Substrate: The conscious intent is always the same. Money.
The conscious intent is to keep your job by helping your cohorts keep their jobs --one job scratches the next job's back.

A "job" is just another way for society to say that it "values" your labors and pays you for it. You could be some bureacrat who pumps out meaningless papers that do nothing for society. But if TPTB decide your existence is important to their maintaining of their Empire, you will be a "valued" team member and you will keep your job. If not, then oh well.

Any guess as to who's labors are not "valued" and thus their efforts are not labeled as a "job"?

Actually they exist to profit by selling advertising!
Hi Mike,

You may have better luck writing to one of the publications covered by KeepMEcurrent. I just submitted something to the Citizen which will be published within the next few weeks as a guest column. I expect it will also be online.

Mike, My email is out. When it is working again I'll sent you contact information for the Citizen. They have been running regular articles about energy. He may be able to get you in the local paper for your area, or if not run it in the Citizen. The Editor is very aware of Peak Oil and I believe will publish your articles. He was very excited about mine.

Also, I was interviewed last year by the local reporter for the PPH on another topic (illegal dumping). I would bet if we got enough people together in the area concerned about Peak Oil and willing to be interviewed we might get him to write an article.  

I guess I wasn't clear enough: they published my columns, but that was all. They haven't done diddly-squat about informing the public aside from what I have written.

that's pathetic! :)

LNG issue more than just tankers (pdf)

my first article

my radio talk

(first eight minutes = announcements)

From the EIA's latest short-term outlook.

Oil Supply 2005 - 2007 -- Click to enlarge
You will have to click on the image to
enlarge it again once you've got it displayed

As you can see, Angola leads the pack, mainly because Dalia has just come on-stream as of December 13th.

Discovered in 1997, Dalia lies in about 1,400 metres of water. It is expected to reach plateau production of 240,000 barrels of oil per day during the first half of 2007.

The field has been developed with 37 production wells, 31 water injectors and three gas injectors tied back to a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel.

This is similar to the solution adopted for the Girassol field, also in block 17. Both FPSOs are among the world's largest, with a storage capacity of roughly two million barrels.

Girassol came on stream in late 2001, and the Jasmim satellite was tied back to its FPSO two years later.

When Girassol goes off plateau next summer the Rosa field will be phased into the Girassol vessel. The Girassol FPSO will thereby maintain its plateau production of 250,000 barrels of oil. The Rosa field has substantial reserves.

"We''re only halfway in the development of block 17," notes Mr Riise. "In just a few years there could be four FPSOs in the block. "In addition to Girassol and Dalia, come the Pazflor field which is in the final bidding process before sanction, and CLOV, a fourth major production area, based on the Cravo, Lirio, Orquidea and Violeta discoveries currently being studied.

"And exploration in the block is still under way."

Despite all this, Angola will peak in 2011 at 2.6 mbd according to the World bank. This is said to be true "in the absence of new discoveries". As the quote above says, exploration in Angola's offshore Block 17 continues. However, Dalia was discovered in 1997, so it took 9 years to get it on-stream. Any new discoveries made now might require a shorter time to get on-stream if they are tied-back into existing production. Still, all that would take a while.

In the non-OPEC world, it has been Russia, the FSU (Azerbaijan) and deepwater that has kept the world supplied in recent years to this point. This is clear in the first graph above. Angola will be joining OPEC in March. It is unclear what the consequences of that move will be.

Total declined to comment on Angola''s pending entry into OPEC or on the potential impact on the company of Angola''s obligation as an OPEC member to limit oil production levels to those agreed by the organisation.
However, there is this to consider:
Angola, Africa's fastest-growing oil producer, expects oil companies such as Total SA, Exxon Mobil Corp., Eni SpA and Chevron Corp. to reduce output when needed under the nation's OPEC agreements.
The party is winding down in Russia (from the EIA again).

Russian year-on-year changes -- Click to enlarge
You will have to click on the image to
enlarge it again once you've got it displayed

The new stuff is mostly from Sakhalin-I as far as I can see. Note the EIA's last bullet point, which I repeat for emphasis.

2007 growth is smaller (1.2%) and may depend on when mature field declines begin.
Useful information Dave, we've all been expecting a peak in Russia by 2010, does this change that picture?

It is also interesting to see China given as peaking this year.

Useful information Dave, we've all been expecting a peak in Russia by 2010, does this change that picture?


At my request, Khebab generated a HL model for Russia, using only production through the 50% of Qt mark.  Through 2004, Russia's post-50% of Qt cumulative production was 95% of what the HL model predicted it would be.  I think that they are now at, or slightly above what the HL model predicted for post-50% cumulative production.  (The same exercise for the Lower  48 showed that actual production was 99% of what the HL model predicted).  

In any case, the HL model is the basis for my prediction that we will see confirmed production declines for both Russia and Saudi Arabia in 2007.  

Following is a note I posted yesterday:

http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=122485&version=1&templ ate_id=48&parent_id=28

Opec production cuts already tightening world market: IEA
Published: Thursday, 14 December, 2006, 11:00 AM Doha Ti

Non-Opec production will average 52.63mn bpd next year, 115,000 bpd less than expected, due to weaker supply expectations from regions including Russia.
Non-Opec production will average 52.63mn bpd next year, 115,000 bpd less than expected, due to weaker supply expectations from regions including Russia.

Unless it is expected that non-OPEC production will jump dramatically in 2007, these numbers do not jive with the EIA numbers for all liquids. According to the EIA's International Petroleum Monthly, spreadsheet 1.4, non-OPEC production, through the first 9 months of 2006, is averaging 50.439 mb/d. That is 2.2 mb/d less than the above number. Somehow I do not think that non-OPEC production will jump that much. But of course EIA numbers seldom jive with those from the IEA or BP.

(Non-OPEC numbers are derived by substracting OPEC numbers from World numbers.)

Ron Patterson

A while back, I wrote about Russia in Uncertainties About Russian Reserves and Future Production. I listed some production estimates there concerning the 2010 peak.

I have an update on Vankorskoye from Russia's East Siberia: from `Gulag' to oil frontier today.

Set in the frozen tundra, the Vankor field has recoverable reserves of 2.5bn barrels, enough to supply booming Asian markets for decades to come.

"The project stands out because of its gigantic reserves, the severe climate we are working in and the complex technology that we will use," said Yevgeny Popov, general director of state oil firm Rosneft's VankorNeft unit....

As the winter Arctic sun rises above the horizon for only a few hours a day, oil drillers are often working under artificial light.

They hope to pump the field's first oil in August 2008, with peak production of 660,000 bpd expected in 2014. That would be enough to meet one tenth of China's consumption last year, or more than 3% of US consumption.

"The first wells gave us very optimistic results, with the flow rate of one of the wells exceeding 7,300 bpd, compared to Russia's average rate of 305.7 bpd," Popov told reporters visiting the remote project site.

The flow rate was so great that the results almost tripled the field's estimated reserves to 2.5bn barrels from an initial 912.5mn barrels. Advanced drilling technology is expected to add another 474.5mn barrels.

To reduce the number of wells and increase efficiency, most of the 200 or more production wells will be drilled horizontally. Around 60% will be "smart wells" equipped with sensors to monitor oil flow.

As Vankor's production grows, Rosneft also plans to send some crude by rail to the Pacific coast for shipping to Japan, South Korea and other Asian markets.

But first Rosneft has to link up to the eastward pipeline, due to be completed in the end of 2008.

Skrebowski has Vankor coming on-stream in 2007 at 216 kbd but if the above is accurate, we are now looking at August, 2008 -- and there could easily be additional delays, given the mentioned production challenges. As it says, the peak production in this East Siberian field is expected to 660,000 bpd in 2014. So, that's on the new side of things. I don't have data on decline rates in the mature oil basins (West Siberia, Volga/Urals). It wouldn't surprise me at all if Russia production peaked (again!) by 2010.

Desperate times call for desperate meaures.

Rosneft employees work in temperatures
of around -104 Fahrenheit at the Vankor
oil field in...

Two points: While 2.5 billion barrels is a considerable amount of oil, it is less that one tenth of one year's world consumption of oil.

Point two:

The flow rate was so great that the results almost tripled the field's estimated reserves to 2.5bn barrels from an initial 912.5mn barrels.

Well blow me down! Does this mean that a field's flow rate, (production numbers), can be used to estimate the size of a reservoir? Of course even though the entire Hubbert Linearization method is based upon this supposition, I have heard, on this list, that such a supposition is rubbish. A few weeks ago I made the suggestion that Saudi Arabia's past production numbers suggested that their reserves were far less than the published numbers of 264 billion barrels. And I was promptly called an idiot for making such a suggestion.

Ron Patterson

Worldwide, we use one Gb of crude + condensate about every 14 days.  

We use, from fossil fuel + nuclear sources, the energy equivalent of one Gb of oil about every five days.

Look at Calculating Oil & Gas Reserves: An Art Form or a Science? from Simmons (pdf).

Also, look at Petroleum Reserves in Question (pdf) from Oxford Energy, which concludes --

Oil and gas reserves cannot be measured. Geological, engineering, and economic information, including predictions, must be combined to give estimates of how much oil and gas may be produced in the future. The recent UN Framework Classification builds on previous work by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and others to provide a flexible, consistent, and comprehensive system which makes the process of estimating transparent. Until such a system is widely adopted - especially in major oil and gas resource countries - great care needs to be exercised in interpreting numbers which purport to describe reserves of oil and gas.
As for using a Hubbert Linearization to estimate URR based on past cumulative production (or flows in the production curve), it is not a physical model. As Simmons says, each reservoir is different. Flows from test wells are used to estimate reserves early in the process, as in the Russian case cited. Later, historical production flows are part of the data used to refine recoverable reserves estimates. Reserves growth is based partially on that. But all this is also a function of economics and technology, which are subjective factors. The Hubbert model certainly has its uses. But I have no religious faith in its conclusions -- speaking for myself only. The Hubbert method forces one into a narrow view of a complex reality, and I don't consider this a good thing. In addition, I have found myself arguing with people about this at The Oil Drum. I think I will stop doing that. My real argument is with people like ExxonMobil who tell me there are 4 trillion recoverable barrels out there -- and then magically make the leap of faith that somehow all these hydrocarbons will translate into timely incremental production flows.

I have no argument with you, Ron. And if I told you that you were an idiot, I apologize for that.

I have no argument with you, Ron. And if I told you that you were an idiot, I apologize for that.

Apology accepted. And I stand by my argument made on TOD on November 7th. I believe that is the correct date.

Ron Patterson

The photo is from Reuters, and the reporter or whomever accepted that -104F temperature figure has obviously never worked outside in that kind of extreme cold or simply accepted the temperature figure without question.

According to NASA   as of 2000 the coldest temperature ever recorded outside of Antarctica was -96F, in Siberia. Wikipedia also gives -96F as the coldest non-Antarctic temp. Others list the lowest Siberian temperature ever recorded in the range of -90F to -93F.

The kind of clothing and the exposed face of the one worker are also clues. Skin will experience frostbite in two minutes or so at -90F (much less if the wind is above 10 MPH). Also, the cornea of the eye can freeze without protective goggles.

In my three seasons in Antarctica we routinely worked outdoors in temps colder than -50F, and sometimes even colder than -65. It is brutal and tiring and it is unforgiving of any little mistake such as exposed skin. My hat's off to the folks like those in this picture who work in that kind of cold for a living.

Yeah, it seemed a little low to me, too.  

No doubt, though, it is cold out there.

...it's those wool long johns...


...and Russian vodka.
If I live my whole life without my corneas freezing I'll be happy........
It's very comical to watch this graph from year to year.
Always more additions than subtractions coming in the next year, then a still bigger increase in the year after that.
But mysteriously the year just ended has never fulfilled these projections. Tomorrow never comes!
  No problem with net exports in Nigeria, Angola, esp Cabinda. Subsidizing what? The Baker committee and the FRC don't need to level their guns on them. Now that's more like it - at least someone still appreciates the greenback.
Bradshaw asked me to post this story:

Car-sharing picks up speed

Ever wish you could enjoy the benefits of having a car without the financial drain of gas, monthly car payments and maintenance? Car-sharing may be the answer for you, and several companies around the country are making it possible.

The problem I see with car-sharing is that, like mass transit, it requires a certain density. Heck, it probably requires good mass transit.  

I would have chosen car-sharing over car-owning if it was an option, but in my small town, it's not, and it won't be in the foreseeable future.

I'm a FlexCar member but in the three months I've been a member, I've only used it once.  I've pretty much switched my lifestyle over to pedestrian/transit so I just don't think about getting the FlexCar from down the street when I want to go somewhere.  But it is nice to have the option as a backup if I do have a sudden need to get somewhere not easily reachable on foot or by train/bus.  I look at it as more of an insurance policy required for those who choose to not have a car while living in an automobile dominated area.
I would expect to see more 'Family-shared' fleets, of a sort.  If you set it up to live intown near family like we did, for Four adults and a toddler, we have access to one Wagon (ours), one compact, and one Van.  Usually we use our own wheels, but there is increased flexibility to mix it up when hauling loads, or more passengers/kids are going to be needed, etc.. as well as combine errands.  Were it to get more unaffordable, we might figure out how to carpool more with the cheapest vehicles to run, and ultimately own fewer wheels, but between a bunch of us, to get the most from them.

As it is, we can all get a lot done on foot around Portland, too.  As Leanan has said, I expect more families to be pulling together as credit-lines, mortgages and loan payments come crushing down on people.

RE: Oceans may rise over 4 1/2 feet by 2100

Both BBC amd New Scientist report on new methodologies for predicting rising sea levels. The new forecast exceeds those from established methods by 59%.

The upcoming IPCC study (February) was due to provide numbers lower than these older methods, and will now probaly have to be revised. (there is something weird going on there, a few months ago participants said the new study would be much more severe than the last one, but last week it was reported that it would be more benign)

And it doesn't stop there. TOD Canada links to a site (unfortunately unfinished) that produces this quote:

The date for the destruction of the arctic ice cap continues to shorten. This time: 2040. It will shorten more. Dynamic systems don't rest in transitionary phases for very long. They typically snap to a new stable state (linear projections, which appear to be the basis for most of the current analysis, don't help much here). Further, the feedback loop that is pushing the change is accelerating:

Their forecast may, however, already be out of date and over-optimistic, said Professor Chris Rapley, head of the British Antarctic Survey. He said a recent study by the Global Carbon Project suggested that emissions were rising more than twice as fast as in 2000, which was likely to speed up ice-loss even further

The bottom line is that the vast majority of climate models grossly underestimates the effects of climate change. There are so many articles that cite the fact that changes happen faster than models, and scientists, indicate, that it's silly to think that these are mere accidents.

But count on the Arctic Ice to be gone, in summer, by 2030, and for sea levels to rise by those 41/2 feet by 2050. That'll be close to the truth than what we see publisehd now.

Nobody would want to suggest that Exxon has their financial finger in there as well, and what does it matter, but we can by now be fairly sure that anything we read about warming underestimates reality.

Well, maybe not this one:
"The number of people fleeing the spread of deserts or climate-change impacts such as drought and flooding is likely to hit 50 million within a decade."

Here is a new piece from the American antiwar Left (in this case, the World Socialist Web Site):


And here is a new piece from the American antiwar Right (in this case, Justin Raimondo of the libertarian antiwar.com):


Though their starting points differ, their conclusion is the same: There is no hope for an American withdrawal from Iraq, short of revolutionary developments in American political life that amount to a complete overthrow of the established order.  

Moreover, these two commentators arrive at this conclusion even in the absence of taking Peak Oil seriously - as has been made clear in other articles published on both websites.

But of course, Peak Oil IS real, and merely strengthens the conclusions they arrive at regarding the US presence in Iraq, based on other considerations, several-fold.

America will need some form of political stability in Iraq to achieve its objectives there - objectives that are increasingly recognized to be non-negotiable among all segments of the political spectrum, both conventional and unconventional (as the two afore-cited articles illustrate).  A detailed examination of the interests of the various players in the Middle East with whom the US must deal (something the two afore-mentioned articles make helpful contributions to) makes it clear that the goal of insituting a pliant puppet regime in Iraq is an impossible one.  

Thus, the only way this political stability can be achieved in the long run is through substantially depopulating Iraq - and eventually, perhaps, the entire Middle East as well.  Daily news reports make abundantly clear that this process is well underway, and has advanced beyond its initial stages.  In the coming years, Iraqi casualties resulting from the US occupation will catapult an order of magnitude - from hundreds of thousands into the millions.

I find all of this morally abhorrent, but nevertheless logically compelling.  Am I overlooking anything critical here?

No, you've got it right:

  1. See NSS Memo 200 (Kissinger to then President Ford on depopulation)
  2. I attended a futurology "Next 80 years" seminar at Caltech in 1977 where the need to depopulate the third world early in the 21st century to reduce competition for peak resources was openly discussed
  3. depleted uranium used everywhere since GW1
  4. new 160,000 sqft construction at Ft. Detrick "biodefense" center
  5. per Aaron Russo ~ 'We need to reduce the (world? USA?) population by 1/3rd to 1/2" - Nick Rockefeller, private conversation
  6. Executive order allows compulsory civilian vaccinations in US, no liability

Basically the elite are well aware of the Olduvai possibility.  To prevent that, they are willing to drastically cull the human herd to maintain a core of technological civilization for their descendants.  If a billion or two or three wretches have to die to keep the world going so Jenna Bush can be screaming around Paraguay in an electric sports car in 2050, so be it.
Not a thing!  Good analysis!

Remember S. Hussein's last words before the onset of blitzkrieg in January of 1991, "This will be the mother of all wars.".  IMO, this was an acknowledgement by the Arabs that they were going to have to fight for their lives against the axis of evil: Washington, Tel Aviv, London.

I remember an exchange with you some months ago where I brought up the possibility of genocide/depopulation as policy.
At the time I was just sorta indicating that this was something within the spectrum of what happens in war. Bad outcomes are very possible when someone throws a big bucket of shit at a fan.
It starts to look as if I was prescient. The Bush gang are becoming moral monsters on a grand scale, the American population in whos ename these crimes are committed phenoomenally empty-headed.
Dr. John Reid, on Australian Radio, (The Robyn Williams show), contemplated ways to reduce the world population. Some of his methods are pretty radical, like puting something in the water to make people sterile. Little does he realize that peak oil will likely do the trick in a few years.

Ron Patterson

Sorry Leanan, I did not realize you had already posted a link that has this story. However the above link has only the Robyn Williams Show with Dr. Williams. Your link appears to be much longer and you must listen to a lot of other crap before you get to the show.

Ron Patterson

Interesting, in my early teens I contemplated the benefits of adding something to the water to keep human population growth in check.

I know I hold a minority view that an important action to take in the era of peak oil is a vigorous worldwide campaign to limit population growth.  Of course, it might be a lot of "too little too late", but we should do all we can to ease the suffering and reduce the extremes of catabolic collapse.

I follow this issue closely and strongly believe that many women living in third world countries with high birth rates are very accepting of birth control measures.

An excerpt of an article I read this week supports this view:
Planning Families; U.S. Rules Affect Third World Health

In the mountains of northern Ethiopia, a man walks behind a plow, preparing his hillside land for planting. His tools and techniques are the same as those of his forefathers and mothers, stretching back to biblical times. Nearby, his children watch the family's goats.

As he works, his wife walks 10 kilometers to wait in line for her quarterly injection of Depo-Provera. She has taken her family's future - economic, educational, even environmental - into her own hands.  

Here are the facts: Ethiopia's population has quadrupled in the last 40 years, from under 20 million in 1966 to more than 80 million today. If present trends continue, it will reach 120 million by 2056. The increasingly depleted soil cannot provide enough food to feed its current population.

... use of modern birth control methods has tripled in the past 16 years. Coordinated education campaigns involving schools, non-governmental organizations, the Ethiopian government and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church are working to increase the acceptance of family planning techniques and to limit harmful traditional practices like child marriage and genital mutilation.

It is unfortunate there aren't more women actively participating in peak oil circles or posting on TOD, for that matter, because as a woman with like-minded female friends and associates I think the topic of managing population growth with family planning would resonate strongest with women.

I know Robert is travelling and probably won't reply, but anyone guess why crude is almost to $63 and unleaded gas $1.70 today?

Random daily fluctuations or did I miss something acute today?

Where are you where gas is $ 1.70?  

In Grand Rapids, Michigan gas is increasing to $ 2.34.


Where are you where gas is $ 1.70?  
In Grand Rapids, Michigan gas is increasing to $ 2.34.

He meant here, the NYMEX price for unleaded gas.

Ron Patterson

Yes...I was referring to cost, not retail...in Missouri...retail is usually about $0.50 above cost.
So interesting market moves today:

LIGHT CRUDE OIL  63.43  (been sneaking up)
UNLEADED GAS      1.6863 (same)
Dow Jones       +28.76  (keeps going up)
Euro/USD          1.308  (drifting down)

Price of crude goes up and the dollar falls...

SAT...analysis please!!!

Wasn't the bottom supposed to be dropping out from under the Dollar, Dragonfly41? :P
Well...we got to keep the shoppers happy don't we...at least for another week!!

Let's wait until 2007/1QTR to get glib...eh Hoth-boy?

We were supposed to have doom in Q3, then in Q4 after the elections, now its in 2007.  My the goal line just keeps on being extended out.

I guess if doom isn't at some point in the immediate future, people like you wouldn't have anything better to do and spend their lives being bored watching Oprah :P

You really piss me of smartass.
You want doom right now? Ok I'll give you a little piece of fucking doom right now.
I've got a nephew, kid in his twenties, cross country skier, competes at the absolute top of his sport. Has medical problems that should relegate him to the bush leagues if that, but so what he beats that one every day. Amazing sweet well-spoken bright young man doing rather a lot more than just being a jock, but it all bases out of his sport. Has his life  and the world waiting in front of him.
But there's no snow. The sport is closing down. No reason for a sponsor to field pros if you can't sell skis. No juniors coming in 'cause the last little bit of snow is just for pros who can travel to it. 26 years old and grew up on snow and has seen it end.
You hotshots who laugh 'where's the doom, when's the doom' and acuse us all of being Chicken Little are so hopelessly full of shit
Wow.  Just WOW!
Trollboy doesn't need snow in his mother's basement.
Nigerian Friday kidnaps + OPEC 500 kbpd cuts in February for light crude. Suspect Nigerian kidnaps main reason for rise today as it was falling. US weather too warm for the foreseeable future to increase prices. Also, I wonder when the oil markets will be making allowances of the US economy slowing down in 2007.
We've worried about hedge funds and their role in reinforcing economic disruptions in any oil crisis.  It was interesting therefore to see:

Should we be afraid of hedge funds?

Sebastian Mallaby says no; [...] hedge funds collectively do not so much create risk as absorb it.

Hedge funds to scare me, but maybe I'm afraid of the wrong things - as that Time story, and recent news, might reinforce.

My goodness, "About two-thirds of Americans are overweight, including one-third of whom are obese."

Do we worry about hedge funds (and peak oil) as we order dessert?

Let me tell a story that may or may not be true.  There was a hedge fund called Amaranth and it failed a month or so ago.  It failed for one simple reason, right?  A rogue trader by himself managed to leverage the companies posiition in the spread of futures in the nat gas mkt to the tune of $4.50 borrowed for every $1 of fund equity.

The bank who extended this prime loan?  None other than Morgan Stanley.  Who took over the portfolios after the collapse?  JPMorgan Chase and they enjoyed a rather tidy instant profit.  Does this not smell of collusion?  We've all seen how brutal the stock market is, so why would it be an abbertaion to believe that a couple big banks broke a hedge fund only to buy it out and reap the rewards?  This is America damn it and greed is good remember?

The story gets deeper as it's been reported that Steven Cohen over at SAC (a rather large company as well) was courting Brian Hunter the rogue trader.  It's been said he offered a Million cash to come to SAC and Amaranth wanted to keep him. The only way was to match the perks by letting him run the operation with little oversight and higher potential payouts.  That ultimately led to the demise of the company.

The story gets deeper as it's been reported that Steven Cohen over at SAC (a rather large company as well) was courting Brian Hunter the rogue trader.  It's been said he offered a Million cash to come to SAC and Amaranth wanted to keep him. The only way was to match the perks by letting him run the operation with little oversight and higher potential payouts.  That ultimately led to the demise of the company.

Now that sounds like a truly wicked and wickedly clever hedge fund strategy:  bid up the price of your competitor's talent, then let them keep it.

Question. Leanan?

The Kunstler interviews yesterday made me look for the 54 minute version of The End of Suburbia again. It was there not so long ago.

But I can't find it anymore, not on Google Video or YouTube.

Anybody has a link, or has it been deleted?

mille grazie

It's been made private.  Only friends of the person who put it up can see it now.  

that's a shame, it's a fine lesson 1

ABUJA, Nigeria -- Algeria's Oil Minister Chakib Khelil Thursday pinned any potential hiccup in meeting the country's oil output goals on surging project costs,

It sounds like Algeria's oil minister is taking a page out of the "Danny-boy 'Jerkin' Yergin Handbook for ProJecTIonz".

Rule #2: Make a lot wild-ass guesses based on childishly naive and horribly flawed assumptions and hope no one will notice.

(rule #1: collect fees in advance and get the hell out of dogde before they build the gallows!)

Could anyone point me to a source of historic data for Brent daily prices please?

I need it for a little graph I want to produce here.



Saturday Night on CSPAN's Book TV (7:00)
"Edwin Black, Internal Combustion: How Corporations and Governments Addicted the World to Oil and Derailed the Alternatives"