TOD 2.0 goes over 1 million visitors

Since we moved from Blogger to around the end of August, we have accumulated 1 million unique visits and 2.5 million pageviews. (TOD 1.0 got about 200k visitors and 300k pageviews by the time it was decommissioned.)

This is simply an amazing development in my eyes. When Heading Out and I started this long ago, we never thought it would grow like this. HO's expertise and insights are so invaluable in my estimation. Super G and Yankee came along and contributed wonderfully in many areas of the site, both seen and unseen. Stuart has been simply amazing in his efforts as well, he has added insight in so many areas! Our new contributors, Dave, Bubba, [ED: and peakguy! The TOD-NYC blog is doing really well too.], have also added a lot to the site, both in their posts and in the comments. Thanks to all of you for being good people and helping this community grow.

But, truthfully, we wouldn't be able to do this without you, our readers. You make this work with your wisdom, insight, and healthy skepticism. Your participation in (and some days, the defense of) what we have here is wonderful...we handle some "big" polemic topics here in ways that just have not happened elsewhere, and it's wonderful.

Please know that we're going to do everything we can to maintain the product and dynamic that we have here at TOD. Ideas and suggestions are always welcome.

Update [2006-2-10 12:38:19 by Super G]: And of course, The Oil Drum wouldn't exist if it weren't for Prof. Goose's vision and initiative.

Update [2006-2-10 1:30 pm by Heading Out]: That's exactly right, Super G. This was the Prof's idea originally, and his was a lot of the hidden effort that got us up to where we are now. Though I echo him in pointing out that I have learned far more from those that contribute, and I thank them, not only for those contributions, but also for the civility and frankness with which they have helped us all learn - from both sides of the discussion - and for making us all conscious that we have to back up the statements that we make.

Update [2006-2-11 4:11:37 by Stuart Staniford]: Just to add my thanks to everyone who visits and especially our regular commenters. I deeply appreciate all the thoughtful, sceptical feedback I've received here. I don't think I've ever felt more productive or more like I was doing something meaningful and worthwhile than I have writing for this site. It's a pity it takes such a gloomy subject to do this, but there you go...

Update [2006-2-11 9:14:16 by Yankee]: I suppose I should add my 2 cents, though I really have nothing new to say that my fellow editors haven't already written. I salute them, and you, the readers for your contributions here, and for your efforts to get the word out. Let's hope that we aren't just sending our words into a big black vacuum out there.

To me TOD has become the news that counts. The expertise not only from contributors, but comments is invaluable in "these times". Thank you , thank you.
I couldn't agree more.
I love that TOD has remained one of the most civil discourses on important issues despite having people from all over the political, economic, geographic spectrum of modern American society.
...all over the political, economic, geographic spectrum of modern American society.

And even, occasionally, (geographically and otherwise) outside of modern American society :)

Err...yes. That should be "Modern Global Society".

</Amerio-centric assumptions>

For me TOD is invaluable site I am checking maybe a dozen times a day (doctor is there such a sickness TOD-omany? :)

I am particularly welcoming the growing expansion of the problem range from strictly oil & energy focused, to related problems in economics, enviroment, politics even psychology.

Keep up the good work!

I quite agree LevinK. The context is as important as the resource depletion problem itself. We need to take an interdisciplinary approach in order to be truly informed. Thanks to everyone here for making that possible!
TOD is my favorite website. i like it so much that i even occasionally click on the ads. keep up the awesome posts!


Congratulations!  TOD is a site that I look at several times a day.  It has influenced the life of my wife and I, especially with regard to our transportation expenditures.

After looking at many Hubbert Linearization plots here, I am finally getting the desire to plot one myself and wait nervously for each month's production data to come out.  Is the life-to-date world petroleum liquids production data available in one place?

-still sliding down the slope in Austin

I love debating to find new insights and polish my argumentation.  This forum is the best one I have found so far regarding peak oil. The only problem is that you are too kind to my arguments and comments.
OK fine.

Everything you say is crap!
You are wrong, it's that Sweden education that has failed so many people.

Feel better? :-)

And here I was, about to say how TOD has the best signal to noise ratio of any site, with no trolls.

Oh wait, just caught the smiley :-)

(finally stopped lurking - one of the most informative sites I have found. Thanks to all, and keep it up)

Yeah, really, Magnus, I try really hard to be friendly, usually fail, and this is the thanks I get? That's the way you want it - no breaks from now on, pal.
I blame my british reserve and politeness, Magnus, but will try harder to be more critical in future.

You do have that swedish trait of being so reasonable and well argued, though ;)

Thanks everyone for making this the best site. I'm thinking of learning html in order to participate at a higher level!
Thank you all for all your hours of work--it must take quite a while to write such detailed and well-researched pieces, as it takes me a very long time just to read it.
Congratulations, well deserved & ditto on the all the above.
TOD is one of the most civil and knowledgeable sites on the net.

The folk that participate in the comments sections are highly knowledgeable in all sorts of areas of speciality. I learn something new & interesting each time I visit: history, car mechanics, coal mine pillar construction, etc., etc.

Great job guys.

I think one of the biggest reasons the discussion here remains so civil is because the facts are presented so well, and so clearly. While we all can have our own interpretations... the bare facts defy spin and emotion.

Thank you for making this site one of the best resources for tracking "what's really going" in this incredibly complicated world.  The insight I gain here is incredible...

The best way I can describe it, is it's like reading a history book.. as it is being written.

which was. oddly enough, one of the reasons for starting this.
Common Dreams has a new PO posting here

The exact moment of peak oil's arrival is not as important as the fact that world oil output will almost certainly fall short of global demand, given the fossil-fuel voraciousness of the older industrialized nations, especially the United States, and soaring demand from China, India, and other rapidly growing countries. The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) projects global oil demand to grow by 35% between 2004 and 2025 -- from 82 million to 111 million barrels per day. The DoE predicts that daily oil output will rise by a conveniently similar amount -- from 83 million to 111 million barrels. Voilá! -- the problem of oil sufficiency disappears.
To add to the well-deserved success of TOD, I add more good news:

Sweden plans to be an oil-free economy by 2020, setting a fifteen year limit on switching to renewable sources of energy.,,1704954,00.html

UK is the country which in my rank-list tends to be the most obstinate regarding nuclear power. As a result I often read UK articles of the sort "Country X will abandon nuclear power and replace it with renewable energy" which are let's say slightly exaggerated. (BTW what does renewable mean? Does a wind turbine fix itself when it breaks?).

Actually as far as I remember from another source, Sweden did not decide to replace fossil with renewables. It just decided to become fossil-free, quitely leaving the nuclear option open. Of course they did not announce they will build nukes, because the public opinion is far from ready to accept it. But  I have that little feeling that they know they will have to do it in the near future - that is if they want to remain an industrilized country, which I'm certain they do.

The public opinion in Sweden is ready for more nuclear power.
     Abandon,  Keep until worn out,  Replace if needed,  Build more
2005     13%     34%     30%     19%
2004     16%     31%     31%     18%
2003     14%     32%     34%     16%    
2002     19%     35%     28%     15%
2001     20%     36%     27%     11%

But some politicians and partys are not ready for nuclear power.

The currently ruling Socialist party S needs the greens and the communists, sorry left party, to rule and they demand that they say that nuclear power should be abandoned and that no new reactors should be planned. S used to be pro nuclear and the industrial labour union who has been and still partly is a siamese twin to S do not like the anti nuclear and thus anti industry pose.

The opposition is an alliance of four parties, M (my party), Kd, Fp and C.
M is largest and has been strongly in favor of nuclear power but now we say little to please C.
Kd, switched sides to pro nuclear a few years ago.
Fp, is strongly pro nuclear, build two reactors ASAP, I like them. ;)
C, has for 25+ years been strongly anti nuclear but is trying to change, their core voters would benefit immensy on a larger biomass fuel industry.

The opposition to S use to be a mess but now it is better coordinated then any previous election. Nuclear power is one of the hard remaining issues in the alliance and one of the biggest political traumas in Sweden. I think it will work out ok. But I am a little worried about S making Peak Oil into an election issue in a way that hurts the good ideas when they loose the election.  

Finland is building a nuclear reactor as you know, the only one in never communist Europe.

Perhaps do what has been done elsewhere, build a joint nuclear complex with the Finns.  An ideal location might be on the northern Baltic, in Finland but near Sweden.  Or just next to their newest reactor, build a Swedish owned copy.

Although I also know that the Finns do not trust the Swedes (in their war with the Russians you sent them bad ammunition, etc.) but if they get most of the construction and operating jobs it could work.

Recently I had to revise my opinion for Switzerland and Swiss being a conservative nation, when I learnt they rejected several times referendums meant to reject nuclear power, and this in years when the anti-nuclear fashon was at its heights.

Seems like small nations are more aware of what the term energetic independance means, though maybe in part this is a matter of national pride. It used to look more like a harmless  play-around before, but with the advent of PO and Global Warming and countries starting to switch to coal, things started to get gravely serious.

There is a few errors in the article.

> Sweden, which was badly hit by the oil price rises in the 1970s, now gets almost all its electricity from nuclear and hydroelectric power, and relies on fossil fuels mainly for transport. Almost all its heating has been converted in the past decade to schemes which distribute steam or hot water generated by geothermal energy or waste heat. A 1980 referendum decided that nuclear power should be phased out, but this has still not been finalised.

Distributed steam and geothermal power is almost unheard of. They have mixed us up with Iceland.

The district heating systems use hot water (90-120 degress C) and the major heat sources is biomass, industrial waste heat, garbage incineration and soon natural gas fired combined heat and power. The peking district heating boilers for chilly days use oil but wood pellet will perhaps replace oil.

The nuclear phase out is thank a deity a charade. Two reactors are mothballed and could be restarted after serious upgrades. Upgrading would be needed since the security standards are a moving target and they are no longer up to code. The other ten reactors are all recieving  life lenght extensionings and upratings replacing the capacity lost by the closure and mothballing of the two Barsebäck reactors that irritated Danish greens. The investments into nuclear power are nearly as big as they were when the reactors were originally built.

Additional ramblings:
Its election year in Sweden, this initiative is also part of the election campaign. But the need for initative is large and we have good opportunities, its only to change government so the focus is better. Now I am going to write a letter to an editor in a local paper calling for a stop to the subsidizing of wood pellet burners and heat pumps. It is a waste of tax money since they are already well established on the market and the economy in using them is so good that people anyway switch. It would be better to use the subsidies to install public plug-in-hybrid charging outlets or help establish FT-diesel from black liquor plants or experimental ethanol from celulose pilot plants. Damn socialists trying to buy home owner votes by giving them $180 Million in unneded subsidies if they vote left. We are a people bought with our own tax money.

Magnus.  I am the guy who tried to talk you into buying a biomass- fired tractor with free racing stripes, so you don't need to listen to me.

But jokes aside, Kokums has done a lot of good work with stirling engines, and even put some in submarines!  You people should look seriously at stirling-biomass electricity generation, which can work well in relatively small sizes around 100kW, and even down to 1kW.  I am sure you know that using high temp combustion  for just space heating is a thermodynamic atrocity and should be avoided, and I have heard you say you are using a lot of biomass for energy.

By the way, I almost sold Volvo on a stirling truck auxiliary power unit many years ago, but they quit when they heard the Germans had a patent on that use--or that was their story.   Anyhow, I certainly enjoyed visiting Sweden!

Some 20 years ago someone in my home town Linköping had a company who developed a mass production ready small sterling powerplant intended to be a combined heat and power generator for US mobile homes. I have unfortunately not researched what happened to it.

A problem with small scale biomass fueled heating in Sweden is that most of those boilers are not run all of the time. You need a small district heating system to have meaningful use of the heat and you need the income from usefull heat since the electricity prices are too low to run a micro scale powerplant only for the electricity.  There is a limited number of users for small systems.

Yes, everybody says the same thing, but I wonder why, since combustion is going to be there to do the heating and could be also making electricity, even if not all the time, then why not?  Especially since the very same people will sometimes go out and buy PV which is also intermittant and at least 3 times more expensive per kW-hr?

I have not done this, but am tempted to try.  Figure all the available energy from all heating processes in Sweden, and the electricity that could be got from it, and then compare this to the output of those nuclear power plants that people are arguing about.  Might be an interesting exercise.  But others could do it much better than I.

But I forget myself.  Congratulations, TOD, for your initiative and service to the great cause!  Are you being paid enough?

The people running TOD are generating an immense ammount of social capital that probably will help them with finding work and if things go bad there are litterally thousands of people who know that they are trustworthy and know a lot of things.
wimbi asks:
Are you being paid enough?

Well, "there lies the rub," as Shakespeare might say about our capitlaist system. Aside from banner ads an the left side of TOD and possible book deals, where could payment come from and who would do the paying?

Hardly anyone knows that Peak Oil exists, let alone that TOD exists, save for the 1776 patriotic plus one worldwide who have signed on to TOD and the silent majority who watch from a distance.

(For you Brits out there, 1776 is some sort of magic date the Yanks celebrate in hopeless belief they had won freedom from King George. Alas, George the Foolish 43rd is still here, pillaging this continent for all she's got.)

Congratulations on a spectacular effort and for creating such a truly valuable resource.

The PO message is spreading around the world. Tomorrow I'll be attending the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont's Winter Conference in Randolph, Vermont. The keynote speaker? Howard Kunstler. The agenda includes:

  • A Community Response to Peak Oil: Problems, Solutions and Opportunities;
  • The End of Fossil Energy: Awareness and Solutions for Our Future;
  • Bio-Fuel Energy Systems.

Oh yes, and one or two things about organic farming. (:-)

"Feeding America in the Long Emergency."
We face epochal changes, particularly in farming and food production, as we enter the uncharted territory of a permanent global fossil fuel crisis. The depletion of nonrenewable fossil fuels is about to radically change life as we know it, and much sooner than we think. James Howard Kunstler, author of Geography of Nowhere and The Long Emergency, will illustrate how the U.S. is poorly prepared to transition from industrial, corporate agriculture to local, smaller-scale agriculture. Food production based on massive petroleum inputs, on intensive irrigation, on gigantic factory farms in just a few parts of the nation,
and dependent on cheap trucking will not continue. We will have to produce our food closer to home.

Those who can't attend can view the program here.

Way back when, I found this to be the best site on the web for hurricane katrina info and bonus! it had civil, intelligent discourse about the REAL I stuck around. Turns out it's the best site on the web - period.
Black fonts on Red Background is hard to read.
First there was a Will-ya-Join-Us? Chevron and we thought the world was coming around.
Then GE went wild with its Ecomagination.

Now GM brings us the true MellowYellow.

It's definitely "corny".
Will there be a song to go with this?

Ah feel good just dreamin 'bout that there ethanol.

Congratulations! This is the only website I visit every day, at least once, oftentimes more. There is always such a wealth of information here that teaches me many new things. However, what I like best about TOD is that it has been the catalyst for me to learn even more deeply things that I only barely paid attention to in school. At least once a month I read something here that makes me go buy a book to learn more - it could be on Peak Oil/Energy or History or Organic Gardening (which I will be starting for the first time this spring). It doesn't matter. It keeps my mind sharp, gives me so much to think about, and helps me to always remember the bigger picture in my everyday decisions.
Civil. Knowledgeable. Those are the two that do it for me.  Contributors do an outstanding job, proof of which is they sometimes scare me out of my shorts!
Congratulations indeed! This is the first site I turn to in the morning, and the last I look at before bed. I think I am showing signs of clinical addiction. ;-)
Though I am by no means an internet junkie, on any given day I probably spend more time on TOD than all the websites I regularly visit put together.

The vast majority of the posts are informed, well-written, and courteous.  Keep it up - you have a permanent fan!

This is simply an amazing development in my eyes.

Honorable Prof. Goose,

I do not understand how this could be amazing to you.  TOD is the best site on Peak Oil. Period.  End of statement.  No other site even comes close to the wealth of knowledge that is displayed here every day.  I first stumbled on to TOD right before Katrina.  This was the ONLY site talking about GOM production. And it has only gotten better.

The insight and knowledge presented by you, HO and others into the energy industry is unmatched on any site I found.  (Stuart's statistical manifestos give me math anxiety and I'm a damn engineer!)  You are right that it is the comments generated by the community here that make it the best though.  We each bring our own bit to the party and everyone is the better for it.

While I am certainly pleased TOD passed this important milestone, I am not surprised at the popularity.  I just wish the topic was not so crucial.

I only recently came on to TOD myself, after "Katrina Bush". I was just grepping away with Google when I found it. After reading some, I just HAD to log in and add some stuff to the open threads. It's a great website about the oil peak. Plenty of commentary from both experts and ordinary people who are aware of the problem. (I'm the latter) The name "Mad Maxout" comes from my old USENET days discussing it and Mad Max, the character in the post-peak flick "Road Warrior" and how I have an Aussie drinking accent. "Road Warrior" is my so far favourite post-peak flick.

I'm sure others can name other good post-peak movies to watch. In that one, Mel Gibson plays a crazy former-cop who helps out an oil refinery tribe suicidally so they can escape a desert (in the Aussie Outback) to a "promised land" where they can agrarianise again. Great car chase scenes and all that. This site should be required reading!

Congratulations! The word is slowly getting out. I bet that Jay Hanson of fame would be proud and, unless he is a cynical misanthrope, happy to see the word get out. (that with him being a cynical misanthrope is my bet) I'm glad to see the word get out as of course remediating this problem is an all-hands effort. (despite my "sin" of recently buying a car)

The more people to find out means that SOME people will tell others at work or maybe think as they drive their SUV around. We are up against quite a big problem, and all bets are off. In the Wednsday open thread I posted my whimsical (and cynical) "automotive ape theory" in connection with the infamous Olduvai Theory. Of course, I end up being yet another of the 6 billion automotive apes. Here we have a chance to try to disprove both "Olduvai" and "Automotive Ape" if we luck out. I WANT my pet theory disproved! Keep up the good work!

I enjoy this site and I have learned a great deal from it. I want to thank you guys and all of the contributors.

Unlike many here, I view the future as highly uncertain. I really don't know if we are going to see a disruptive Peak Oil scenario within the next few years. While there is some evidence pointing that way, there is also evidence in the other direction.

It makes me wonder what the future holds for this site. If nothing happens in terms of Peak Oil for the next year or two, will people lose interest? Will it be like the boy who cried wolf, where after a while people just stopped listening? (As the Hirsch report reminds us, eventually there really was a wolf!)

There is a general methodology for estimating how long something will last. We could apply it to this site. Some sites are long-lived while others exist for a little while and then are gone.

The general approach is to look at how long the thing has existed and then estimate, to an order of magnitude or so, that that is how much longer it will be around. TOD has been around since March, 2005, almost a year, so we would estimate that it will last about another year.

This is actually a bit of an optimistic estimate. For something that is growing in influence and popularity, one should lower the estimate. To measure this, we could use pageviews. So far there have been 0.3 million pageviews from March-August and 2.5 million since then, for 2.8 million. We would predict about another 2.8 million. At the rate you are going that is probably another 4-6 months.

That's the median estimate. Most phenomena that have had the kind of growth this site has had, in the kind of time frame that this has occured, will last about that much longer. But as I said it is a rough estimate, and it could be as much as a factor of 10 off one way or the other, although I think that would be unusual.

That would be 5 years for TOD, and indeed it is hard to see a scenario in which this site could exist for that long in much its present form. Either nothing will happen in which case people will lose interest, or we will be in an obvious post-peak situation, in which case it will be a mainstream issue and every site will talk about how to adapt. Or (more likely!) something else will happen, but regardless, things will be different enough from today that a site like TOD as it is today will not be what people are looking for five years from now.

I think the site could last five years.  ASPO predicts the peak for 2010, and if they are right, things could just be getting interesting in five years.
FWIW, started in Oct. 2003, so it's over two years old now.  One of the admins said that by the second week of January 2006, they had already gotten half as much traffic as in all of 2004.

That kind of growth is probably not sustainable, but the site is going strong and it will be around awhile.  Sure, people burn out, but there are always new ones coming in.  I suspect the same will happen here.    

I hate to be anti-democratic, but if the scope of the problem changes ($100 BBl+) TOD is going to get vast amounts of new traffic and possibly a worsening signal-to-noise ratio in the comments. (Think Slashdot at -1)

I would suggest developing some kind of moderation system before this becomes a problem, possibly a probation period for new users where comments are moderated before they are posted?

Just a thought.

OK. That's it.
Shifty gets 3 months on probation.
Just kidding.

Maybe it is time to follow the wise ways of Asimov and to establish new foundations in the three corners of the known petro universe?

The good thing is that crude is dropping in price.
That proves once again that Peak Freaks are always wrong.
The oil will never run out.  ;-)

Regarding things to do about Peak Oil I do not think we know the timing for sure. That means that what we do to handle PO both must both have quick effects and a long lasting value. Especially so if it is things done with tax money.
LOL, Halfin you are a true contrarian ;-)

But I think the conservative bet is still a slow squeeze on oil/gas supplies, and that will produce a steady supply of techical types looking for a technical explanation.  Whether the short-term driver is asian demand, industry underinvestment, or peak oil, is kind of moot from this standpoint.

Of course we all want to know if a game-changer is looming.  This is our genetic programming at work.  We must know the predictions ... and so we go to any blog or tv channel that will supply them.

(Thanks everybody, including you Halfin)

It's ironic that you call me a contrarian, because I actually do my best to follow the crowd! That's my philosophy of life, that the crowd is smarter than the individual. It's why I believe in markets as one of the best guides we have to what will happen. And that's the main reason I am still skeptical about Peak Oil.

So why am I here? Partly it is to study and learn from the dynamics of a community which sees itself as having crucial knowledge and insights which are available to but ignored by society at large. Partly it is to try to decide if, contrary to everything I know and believe about how the world works, this is the exceptional case where the few really do more than the many. And partly it is to try to gently remind people here about the need for modesty and acknowledgement of uncertainty when making bold predictions about the future, and perhaps to occasionally introduce my own ideas about the best methodologies for finding a way through uncertain times.

the crowd is smarter than the individual.

As a lemming and a follower of the crowd myself, I must agree with you.

Just because other stampeding herds went over the edge does not mean that our stampede will do so also.

(I "believe" that technology will save us even though I have no firm "evidence" of any technology that can. But then again, believing is seeing. ;-)

((p.s. Double meaning intended. Which herd am I talking about? the PO crowd or the MSM crowd?))

I shook my head and sold out of the dot-com bubble ... so I guess the baggage I carry is that the crowd can be mad, and that I can profit by recognizing that.  I call it "baggage" because there's no reason the next game will play like that one.

With respect to peak oil, you are following the larger crowd then?  Not the one here, but the one loading up the SUV right now at COSTCO?

I agree completely that they are the ones to watch, but I guess my "baggage" tells me that I might want zig while they all zag.

(It's possible that is why I already have my Prius)
I also find it ironic to see you called a contrarian, Halfin. You have made it very clear on many occasions that you are not. You and I would both see value in consensus, but for diametrically opposed reasons. For you, the consensus represents the wisdom of the many, and for me it is evidence of herding behaviour and therefore folly. Were I given to making wagers, I would regard evidence of consensus as an important component in my decision as to what to bet against. This would be especially true if that consensus were to extend to the population at large, which has no real access to information and therefore defines the limits of a given trend by acting as the Greatest Fools. Consensus leads me to ask almost reflexively 'What is wrong with this picture?'. I am genuinely interested in why you take the opposing view.
consensus represents the wisdom of the many, and for me it is evidence of herding behaviour and therefore folly. Were I given to making wagers, I would regard evidence of consensus as an important component in my decision as to what to bet against.

To me, as a lemming-brain, consensus among the many means very little one way or another. I know they have a tendency to herd and to stampede mindlessly in one direction or the other. By luck, it could be the right direction instead of the wrong one.

I think you are smart to ask for "reasons" and for "evidence" rather than to blindly follow the herd or to blindly go against the herd.

Yes, it is hard hard work to assemble the evidence for yourself in your own head and to painfully step through all the reasonings, but that's what makes you an independent decision maker rather than just a mindless follower of the crowd.

I hold in high esteem those people who come here who to question Peak Oil rather than to just join the crowd and praise it because that shows they have independent minds.

I myself am never 100% sure one way or another. There is always a 1% chance the other folks might be right --maybe we don't have all the information necessary to make a correct decision. In the real world, you never have "all" the info. But neither do "they".

I think I was the millionth page view! Prof Goose, please send me the The Oil Drum t shirt (XL) and the Kuwaiti vacation package.

(great job everyone-keep it up)

 I find myself coming around here daily to get the real facts from those that are in the know! (rather than media spin) plus all the fancy charts and graphs, that help so well in seeing the big picture.
The dialogue amongst all posted commenters is fantastic, and sometimes entertaining. The ability and pleasure to see honest, frank, and civil discussions about serious world problems is a breath of fresh air. There are so many diverse talented people that contribute here who have the skill at taking something complicated and breaking it down (without insulting someone's intelligence) to a laymans understanding is simply astounding.
I tip my hat to all of you!

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

I also came to this site back when it was tracking Katrina, after being referred to it via one of the runningonempty yahoogroups. The hurricane coverage was exceptional. The predictions re:damage to the oil infrastructure and production were right on. Very impressive work.

When I came here, with regards to peak oil, I believed we were at Defcon1; with the info I have learned, I have mellowed to somewhere near Defcon2. This is a good thing. I'm still a doomer, but at least I am not a panicked doomer.

I check this site several times a day. I am amazed by the quality of the indepth articles and I have learned a lot. Keep up the excellent work. This is the best news website around.

You perhaps have changed the lives of many more people than will ever post on this site.  Because of an ad here I decided to go to the Boulder (CO) Valley Relocalization conference last month.  I live in San Diego, all my family is in Colorado, so it was a chance to see them as well.  I dragged my mother to the conference.  Within  the first 15 minutes of Dr. Bartlett's presentation, she was a convert.  This gave me enough confidence to actually address Peak Oil with the rest of my family.  The amount of data that I as a layman was able to produce about specific depletion rates of various oil producing regions impressed the hell out of those who were willing to listen.  I have never before tried to "foist" my "beliefs" on the people I care most about.  Who knows?  I may even try my co-workers one day...    
Great job, folks. I read this a lot more than I post.  I agree with many that it is almost like an addiction.  People using this site are trying to seek/tell the truth about such a crucial issue, something our current band of brigands in DC are incapable of doing. Thanks for your many efforts.  It is timely and always interesting, even if some of the math is a bit abstract to some of us!
TOD is a disease. I'm infected.
You have to love any website where everybody knows who al-Naimi is.
congratulations. really great site.


Great site. Congratulations.
I would like to thanks everyone that made this site possible and put in all the effort. Keep up the good work..
Congratulations and keep up the good work.
Keep up the good work guys?

Can you tell us roughly how many registered users there are here?  Yeah, I know that a lot of people lurk and never register.  I am just curious.

Arg.  I really need to preview.  I didn't mean for there to be a question mark there - ought to have been a period.
Super G should have that number somewhere. I imagine it's at least a thousand.
As of right now, there are 1777 users.
This is both an excellent site, and also a learning site. In the California vernacular, "It is totally cool, man."
Kudo's TOD, congrats all. TOD is an example of the web running rings around/sewing together peer reviewed journals, professional journalism and institutionalised case-making, long may it prosper.
Maybe it was only a matter of time before open source knowledge development ate those dinosaurs, but if ever our species needed a new edge (of an integrative rather than combustive nature), it is now.
congratulations, this is what the internet does best
Congratulations to the Oil Drum team!
I used to think that internet forums were just white noise but not anymore.
keep up the good work!
TOD has become my favorite web site - it's my lifeline.  It helps keep me balanced and from going too far off the deep end.  The caliber of the posts and comments is generally very high, and I can't think of another place where I've run into so many well informed and interesting people.  Thanks for all your efforts everyone, and let's hope we'll see our way to surviving what the future brings us.
Some say this is the best site about peak oil, maybe, depends what you want, EnergyBulletin is good for a quick look at latest news and its links. There are some others which present the basics in a more accessible and clear way. But those are not the purpose of TOD, I'd say.

The level of debate and research at TOD is outstanding. I know of nowhere that comes close on any important topic, least of all what is probably the most important underlying topic facing humanity. Very well done you folks who have made TOD and made it what it is, and the contributors that keep the standard here so high.

IMO, TOD is the most important and significant site on the net. Best you get ready for the billionth visitor, they may not be too long in coming ;)

So here is a demonstration of my capability for paranoia:  

How many others are considering stopping all postings to blogs such as this (which could can, and often does, stray into political criticism)?  Since I personally expect a move towards fascism in this country, and I know what the data mining programs are capable of, it is a concern of mine.  While I know the volumes of data are enormous, and I've always considered that such programs will always be doomed to be inherently overwhelmed, I'm really not so sure about that.  There may come a day when posting such opinions on sites like this will be a very dangerous thing to do.  Anyone share this concern?  

Fear not, comrade, there will soon be too many on our side. It will be 'them' against the wall, not 'us'. Ours is the truth and once it is widely known they will be powerless.

Being more serious... I frequented the Zogby board in the year up to the presidential election and was extremely critical about Bush. I said some things that I would have thought twice about if I lived in the USA (I'm in UK). Talking about the things we do here is a very minimal risk, whatever future scenario plays out. There will be many other groups for the facists to attempt to 'neutralise' before they get anywhere near thinking of us (terrorists, muslims, local militia, pagans, gold and silver hoarders, real activists... ). After all, while we are civilly discussing stuff here we aren't out in the real world trying to subvert the country they have usurped.

Hmm - but think about adding a few more "lists" similar to the "no fly" list (which serves no security purpose).  There could be the no drive list, no credit list, no job list, etc.  And it is no big challenge to have your name pop onto such a list in an automated fashion, based upon meeting certain criteria mined from various sources, inculding perhaps internet data.  Been frequenting undesireable web sites?  Bought too many books from Amazon on the watched list?  Then bad things happen to those who don't get in line - too bad, huh?  Death from a thousand small cuts.

I know it's over the top at this moment in time, and the capability may not exist to handle that much data for a long time, but it appears to me to be the direction things are headed.  This kind of coersion has happened before, minus the technology of course.  

But I'm not ready to shut up yet!

You are not alone in your paranoia.

I think a lot about this also.
But if I stop commenting then Democracy and free speech will have lost out to the forces of fascism and terror.

We can do no greater thing than speak up when we see our government heading in the wrong direction. Ask yourself, what would Patrick Henry have done? What would John Adams have done?

The fascists fear the spotlight and with good reason.

It is only through our silence that they win.

At heart, they are intellectual cowards.
They cannot defend themselves or their position.
Which is why they seek to silence their critics.

I agree with your comments, Step Back.

Regarding Twilight's comment that "I know it's over the top at this moment in time, and the capability may not exist to handle that much data for a long time, but it appears to me to be the direction things are headed."

It is not over the top, the capability exists right now. Furthermore, some federal goverment agencies actually purchase personal background information from private firms like ChoicePoint (yes, the company that gave out data to identity thieves posing as employers) in order to get around laws preventing goverment agencies from requesting the data directly from individuals, or from using another goverment agency's data for other than the originally intended purpose.

If it's any consolation, I have skimmed enough political blogs of various stripes to observe that there are many angry, vociferous posters on said blogs who are advocating violent political change and who talk openly of settling scores when the dust settles. I think any goverment would worry more about these types of people rather than a bunch of energy wonks palavering about a liquid fuels crisis.

In other words, we are probably scaring ourselves more than we are frightening the PTB (Powers That Be).

Fascist regimes like Stalin's, rely on the people scaring themselves into submission.

The easiest way to control a herd is through the fear factory. It is far more costly and problematic to use actual force as opposed to psychological manipulation.

Karl Rove understands the fear factor and openly tells us that is what he is using to use to maintain his control.

It is amazing that the sheeple hear it and refuse to understand what it means, namely, that they are "sheeple" and Rove is the herder.

By all rights, Hurricane Katrina should have been the undoing of this administration. They breached their contract with the people. We pay taxes and they are supposed to provide "services". Where are the services? Isn't that the way "capitalism" works? No service, no customers? Isn't it time to switch to a new company--one that delivers on its promises? Don't we believe in free and open "competition"? Isn't it otherwise known as public criticism without fear of repurcussion?

The best way to stop fascism is to confront it head on in its infancy. Nip it in the bud. The worst way is to cave in to the fear factor.

Our American "Founding Fathers" did a lot more than "talk" about liberty, equality and faternity.

From that perspective, it is easy to understand why Charleton Heston (NRAA) is not about to let "them" take his guns away unless it is by "prying them from my cold dead hands".

As for me, they are going to have to pry my tongue out from my cold clenched mouth. I spit on them.


I prefer to be public and constructive and I have chosen to allways use my name for all my thoughtful comments or late night ramblings in hope of someday get some kind of reaction from some of it.  I try to be constructive in one or more ways, unfortunately I write a little more then I know for sure and can calculate . If some part of the world beats me up for it I will at least know a little more about how some part of the world works.  I would anyway stick out in a fachist society and be killed, I do not find any meaning in ruining my life by going around trying to hide and be insignificant.

But I do however make a bid for becoming a small part of my local state. I do some politics as a hobby on a municipial level and I ask constructive questions on manny levels, perhaps being a little of a pain in the ass and sometimes someone thank me for it. Thus I hope to be usefull for my neighbours and get a little extra meaning in my life. I anyway learn a lot about how my society and state works and that is allways intresting but there is far more to learn. And if things break down or a faschist state invades I have volunteered to help within our armed forces and if they would decide that they do not like me I will volunter for the civil defence since I do not want to be alone in trying to do something about a disaster.

I do not think it is destined that USA, GB or some other western country will turn fachistic. We toyed too much with socialistic ideas in Sweden  but the democratic institutions have held fairly well and its slowly turning around.
From my point of view the US president elections seems a little strange but you seem to in manny ways have stronger local traditions then we have over here. Your democratic institutions should be perfectly usable, go and do something constructive!