<i>We Were Warned</i>: The Spelling of the Word Has an Extra "u" That Many People Forget..

...and that word is pab·u·lum, a noun; here are some definitions:
  1. plant or animal food: a source of nourishment in an easily absorbable liquid, especially the nutrient intake of plants and lower animals
  2. unsatisfying intellectual material: material whose intellectual content is thin, trite, bland, or generally unsatisfying (literary)
That was the word that immediately came to mind after I watched "We Were Warned" this evening. Some other thoughts under the fold.
Pabulum, however, isn't always a bad thing.  I think we among the supposed PO cognoscenti have to remember that this program was not that threating of a thought experiment, easy to consume and, in this case, this "idea pabulum" exposes people to ideas that they maybe had not thought about before.

It wasn't aimed at us. It was aimed at people who haven't thought about this yet. It was gentle.

In fact, this kind of idea pabulum could be viewed as a (very) necessary step in the changes in awareness and consciousness-construction that could lead to actual incremental changes in actual behavior in a certain part of the American populace down the line.  

I am sitting in my conference hotel tonight, ill with some sort of stomach bug, I downloaded the .torrent of the program, and watched with some anticipation, even if I was horizontal the whole time.  I was hoping for a home run, a program that integrated the whole of the peak oil message and took it to the masses.  

What did I find?  Instead, I found the beginnings of a message, the beginnings of an emergence and integration of the ideas of the sacrifice and potential suffering this harbinger of the meme beheld, but constructed in a nice, safe sanitary package for easy consumption.

Then I thought about it a bit.  First, I was surprised that I allowed myself to think that the media would go too in depth on anything the least little bit controversial. Second, call me an intellectual snob, but after thinking about it (and I vacillate on this), I'm not sure the workaday Joe Schmo of the American populace--or the Joe Schmos of the rest of the 'first' world for that matter--who had never heard of these ideas before could handle the gravity of the responsibility that comes with the awareness that my "ideal" program would attempt to generate in one fell swoop.

So, after thinking about it that way, it seems to me that the key questions we have to ask after this program are:

Does this program reflect an improvement on prior coverage of the topic?  is it a step in the right direction?  Yes.  

Does it miss some (oh, ok, most...) of the important components of the argument?  Yes, absolutely.  (See the previous discussion thread for some of them here.)

Can we say that the media has done due diligence in its integration of the myriad ideas underlying this phenomenon?  No, not yet...not even close.

Can we say that the media can do such a thing in a two hour program without completely bringing entire economies and society to a halt, just as they hypothesized a hurricane and a terrorist attack would in this thought experiment (corollary: editors and network presidents losing their jobs, etc., etc., which is why such a program would never go on in the first place, etc., etc.)?  Hell no, not yet anyway.

So, in conclusion, it may seem like business as usual from the media for many of you.  However, I will still maintain that tonight's program is an important event in the growing meme that underlies this problem we face.  

Slow and steady wins the race, I guess?  (well, perhaps not this one.)

Hello Goose,

I think the hour could have been better spent just replaying the video of Pres. Carter's Sweater Speech-- it would have informed more, and prodded greater numbers of the unwashed masses to google Peak Oil.

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

Sorry folks, my brainfart-- here is a link to the Sweater Speech:


Please contrast this text vs. CNN's pabulum.  Carter WARNED us years ago!

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

could someone do a recap of the 30 or so years since the speach? why the world's reserve didn't run out by the end of 80s as warned? what made the difference?
Matthew Simmons has written about it:

Limits to Growth Revisited

There were several reasons the oil lasted longer than expected.  Conservation.  Recession.  But Simmons argues the biggest "mistake" made was that the analysts were assuming that the rest of the world would catch up to the U.S. standard of living.  (We were such idealists back then.)  

Instead, the gap between the haves and the have-nots widened into a chasm.  Rather than a car in every garage, we ended up with two SUVs, a boat, an ATV, and a riding mower in American garages, while most of the rest of the world is lucky to have a bike.

Between 1970 and 1980 the geophysicists realised that you could use the difference between "shake" and "pressure" waves to detect fluids. Shake waves only go through solids, but pressure waves go through fluids, too, like, say, oil or gas.
By 1980 even the oil company executives realised that oil prices would collapse during the 80s due to increased supplies, which is why they were all buying electronics and coal and mining companies.
But Carter didn't get the word, so no go on reelection.
Why are you here, Glener? Do you think oil has 50 or 100 years of producing as much as 'we' want? I don't remember Carter saying oil will run out by the end of the 80s. But he proposed a set of policies that would gradually eliminate US dependence on imported oil. Was that a wise or stupid strategy? What's yours? Are you wiser or more stupid than Carter? How about 25 years hence, would you be more prescient then than Carter was in 1979?

The costs of policy are wider than you perceive. If the US had eliminated dependence on foreign oil a decade or more ago... would 9/11 have happened? would the US have spent immense amounts of military money in Afghanistan and Iraq? would the price of oil have increased as much?

That torrent is really fast right now.  Everyone and their mother must be downloading it.  If you want it, now's the time to grab it.  (With a torrent, the more people downloading, the faster it goes.  Definitely pays to get it while it's hot.)

Agree about the documentary.  Though I think "Pablum" is the right word.  It's soft, bland food for babies.  When you're weaning a baby, you don't start out by serving him atomic Buffalo wings.  

I liked We Were Warned because it simplifies and softens the issues.  People who are not already peak oilers or leaning in that direction aren't likely to sit through two hours.  One hour is a good length for a peak oil introduction.  And the average American is not going to buy, say, Kunstler's warnings of pirates raiding Seattle and people who can't pay their credit card debt being forced into work camps.  And their eyes will glaze over if you show them Bartlett's charts and graphs.  

Kind of odd that they didn't mention "peak oil" though.  Obviously, it was cut out, since it was in the preview shown Wednesday.

I wonder if the version that airs at 4am ET will be any different?  It's the "classroom edition," without commercials.  Will there be added material?

And the average American is not going to buy, say, Kunstler's warnings of pirates raiding Seattle and people who can't pay their credit card debt being forced into work camps.

that doesn't make it any less possible.
debtors prisons have been, historically one of the better ways to have a return on the money the creditors lost on said people. the other way i can remember is selling the person into slavery for the rest of their life.
the piracy though, thats a little farther out there.
the piracy though, thats a little farther out there.

From Yahoo news this morning, 19 March 2006.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Two     U.S. Navy warships exchanged gunfire with suspected pirates Saturday off the coast of Somalia, and one suspect was killed and five others were wounded, the navy said.


Advice to any would-be pirates out there: Do NOT pick a fight with a US Navy warship, let alone two.  

-Consider this a free service to any pirate too stupid to figure this out on your own.-

Thanks for the post.  May have saved me a lotta grief.   I was just buckling my swash to go out and do some piracy to pay off my credit card.  But fortunately you stopped me in my tracks.  Plan B:  I'll register Republican and use the contacts to sell my ideas for some really cool torture devices.
Have you ever seen Terry Gilliam's 1985 movie Brazil?  Wasn't it the engineers that swooped down on the city like pirates?  Perhaps this will be our salvation Post Peak.  Bands of wayward engineers coming to the rescue.  Perhaps, it is time to watch this one again.
Dragnonfly41 -

Brazil was a great movie, one of the few that I don't mind seeing over and over.

It wasn't really about engineers but about totalitarianism and the incompetent bumbling of a centralized bureaucratic state. I think you're referring to the swat teams that cut a hole in the floor and swoop down to arrest the wrong person on Christmas Eve. All the trouble starts when a fly falls into this minor clerk's typewriter, jams the keys,  and changes the name on the arrest warrant he's typing from Tuttle to Buttle.

Or perhaps you're thinking of the repairmen from 'Central Services' that come to fix the incredibly complex pipes and wires in the walls.  I also loved the way Gilliam blends 1940s style with futuristic sci-fi style.

One of the other messages was how easy it is for people to live in a totally insane and evil society once they gradually get used to it.

I rate this one Five Stars.

Yes, it was the "Central Services" guys I was recalling.

The entire movie is a visually surreal.  I believe there were 2 endings created for the movie...one where it is all part of a induced psychotic dream and he is left there forever and another where he is rescued...it's been years since I've seen it so I may not be totally accurate here.

Your comment about "One of the other messages was how easy it is for people to live in a totally insane and evil society once they gradually get used to it" is quite applicable in this day and age of the Boiled Frog symdrome.  Little incremental changes that seem innocuous at the time but in retrospect over the large timeframe, are quite incredible.

It would be fun to list things that have changed since..say the 90's.

I saw the movie, thought it was great fun, and recommended it to friends.  Two came back to me and said "how could you recommend such a downer?"

I of course saw the version with the real rescue, and they saw the one with the psychotic dream.

Actually we only figured that out years later.  For a time they thought I had a funny idea of fun.

Yes...I think the "happy" ending was created for American audiences since they can't handle depressing issues very well.
Harry Tuttle. My hero.
There are two versions? How can you tell them apart(the hardward - without watching) - are they marked different in some way? You guys are great. Maybe that is my problem. If I had seen the real version...

I never remember feeling happy, though. I remember thinking at the time that it was one of the best films I had ever seen.

Gilliam made a movie about Don Quixote. Something happened where the financiers actually seized the movie. There was a disaster during filming that screwed with the money situation.  I'm pretty sure Gilliam thinks the movie is finished, though I am not sure. HBO(or some outfit, I can't remember) did a documentary on the making of the Film. Gilliam is a genius, absolutely brilliant.

Just to make sure that OilCEO reads my reply to his nut monkey comment on the Saturday open thread, I repost what I said there. As I read the comments on this thread, I see the theme of someone "coming to the rescue" playing out. The fantasy lives on. And thus, my repost is actually apropos to this thread.

So, for everyone's enjoyment --- the repost.

To the Oil CEO, which is akin, in my eyes, to calling oneself "Reichsfuhrer," is missing the point of not only the argument of the moment, but the basic underlying assumptions that undergird his techno-utopian vision. I am not saying that tomorrow we will all die, I'm not even saying that we will all die in the next twenty years. (Though obviously we all die.) I am saying that his vision of constant growth is a physically IMPOSSIBLE.


The true nut monkeys, or more accuarately the unwitting-dupe monkeys, are people like OilCEO who believe that we will continue to grow: that population will continue to swell, that some magical techno bullet will save all our butts from the reality of simple physics. His is the blarney we all hear from carnival barkers and patent-medicine salesman. He is the man who insists that the dot.com revolution will go on forever and the stock market will rise to ever greater heights, so buy some more dot.com stock. He is the stock brocker who famously, and fatuously, said on October 28th, 1929, the stock market will rise forever. If OilCEO had even a modicum of education he would see the irony in citing the "dark side" in his comment, but he doesn't. He is mired in profit-seeking, hip-deep in moral equivocation, up to his eyeballs in ignorance: a sad and ignorant man bereft of the knowledge that would would set him free and unable to assess that knowledge, should he deign to think critically about it.

He is a booster, he is George Babbit.

What he and his ilk say is a shuck and jive that is guaranteed to ensure the snuffing of all rational action regarding this revolutionary problem. His proffered hope that something/anything, some special technology, some special human quality, will step out of the shadows and fix everything is nonsense for one simple reason:


Even if we work out perfect, clean, unadulterated fusion, the planet will still be doomed because of population growth, the destruction of arable farmland, the loss of fresh water, the destruction of the oceans and global warming.

The problem is not oil. Oil is only the rickety wooden framework that is holding up our improbable rollercoaster of a species. The problem is ALL the resources. The problem is species footprint.

The problem is there is only so much cheap oil, expensive oil, coal, natural gas, and what ever else you may want to throw in the mix, left to help back us down from the precipice with a minimum of pain. The time to remove the horses from the barn is before the building is engulfed in flames.

Listen to whom you will, but mark this: Nature will go its own way no matter our actions, but it is entirely possible that she will not include us.

'If you want to hear the sound of Divine Laughter, tell God your predictions..'
Finally got your attention. It may be too late, however.
If only someone could invent a lead-acid battery, or a solar cell, or a windmill, or a way to burn coal, or fission uranium.
Who is living in a fantasy world?
BTW, my only reference to you (that I can find) in the Saturday Open thread was rather complimentary. It was because I have always respected you.

Maybe it was some other Saturday. Nut Monkey is one of my favorite terms. I'm sure I spout it in my sleep. Did I call you that? Where?

I've been mixing Ambien and quaaludes with TV lately, so I suppose anything is possible.

OK, I found it. You got the thread wrong and you mistook yourself for some other people. That's OK. Everybody is allowed to make mistakes. But your view of me is definitely on record...twice.
LOL, I enjoyed that post Cherenkov. I agree with your central argument: too many humans using too many resources that will too soon deplete.

True, oil is not the only problem but is likely the most immediate limit that will f*ck our delusionary systems. I also agree the sooner the better and the less painful.

Constant growth IS impossible without unlimited resources. We ARE beginning to hit the natural limits.

If current global population lived as US americans do we would need 6 'Earths' to provide for them, if as UK, 3 'Earths'. And global population is predicted to grow by 50% in the next 50 years. Your 'sphere' point is well taken.

The truth is hidden. Most developed nations have continued to consume more energy and food per capita, most undeveloped countries have consumed less per capita. Global per capita food and energy consumption peaked over 20 years ago. Us 'richies' just didn't notice.

But read what OilCEO says more closely, he is probably less far from your perspective than you think ;)

If it came to a battle between the engineers on one side, and the MBA's and politicians on the other, who do you think would win?
Who would win?

It depends on the circumstances and what they'd be fighting with. If it's the status quo, the MBAs and politicians.  But if it's a Mad Max type of scenario, the engineers would win hands down.

We we win, I wouldn't kill all the politicians right off. Åfter all we do need a protein source.

 I'd just love to design and build some Mad Max weaponry and combat vehicles!  

Whatever happened to Technocracy?
Whatever happened to Technocracy?


It exists, just few pay it any attention.

Having flashbacks to 'Stand by Me' here..

Vern 'If Superman fought Mighty Mouse, who would win?'

Gordy 'Vern! Superman's a real guy!'

- either that, or 'The Right Stuff'..

Kissinger(?);  "Nonsense.  OUR Chermans are better zan Sey're Chermans.."

  -in other words, do you think the MBA's would side with the Pols, and vice-versa, or would everybody be out at the black-market, buying up all the engineers they could?

A bit OT, but as an interesting fact, the United States does not have debtor's prisons (nor, I assume, do other Western countries). This means that you cannot go to prison for not paying a debt. And in particular, you cannot go to prison for not paying your taxes.

You can go to prison for not filing your taxes, or for filing false returns, but you can't go to prison for not paying your taxes. If you file an accurate return every year but never send a check, you won't go to prison. The IRS will garnish your wages, empty your bank account and seize all your assets, but they can't touch your body.

Oil becoming expensive will certainly not change this long-standing policy.

I need tax-debtors for my treadmill!
But Pirates are GOOD! Look how their decimation over the years has led to an increase in global warming:

We need MORE pirates, not fewer. Isn't everyone else here against global warming too? http://venganza.org/

Hello Leanan,

Your Quote: "I liked We Were Warned because it simplifies and softens the issues".

No doubt. But has the American psychological mindset and attention span so changed in thirty years that replaying Carter's speech would have no effect?  If CNN is a TOD reader--I dare you [CNN] to hire Carter or Roscoe Bartlett, then broadcast an updated, modern version of the Sweater Speech.

Maybe the best way to accelerate Peakoil-Outreach is to start a Draft Carter or Bartlett for Prez in '08.

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

No doubt. But has the American psychological mindset and attention span so changed in thirty years that replaying Carter's speech would have no effect?  

It would have an effect.  It would immediately convince half the audience that peak oil is a crazy leftwing plot to take away their SUVs.  

Just as only Nixon could go to China, I think rightwing politicians have more credibility on this issue than leftwingers.

i have seen peak oil called everything from cia black propaganda to oil company's creating it to increase their profits.
oil company's creating it to increase their profits.

To some extent, yes..    

Physical reality is a big help.

Hello Leanan,

Your Quote: "It would have an effect.  It would immediately convince half the audience that peak oil is a crazy leftwing plot to take away their SUVs".

Maybe, but the other half would immediately understand that it is a crazy Thermodynamic Law to take away their SUVS.  See my posting having Carter or Bartlett give an updated Sweater Speech on CNN in primetime.

Does anyone know if the Constitution prevents Carter from running again?  What about a write-in vote campaign: Prez Carter, Veep Bartlett in '08-- bridges both parties!

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

you mean besides the fact that carter is 81 and Bartlett is 79?
I think the only thing most people would remember is that Carter was wrong.  Oil prices went back down after the '70s oil crisis, they'll go back down again.  

Carter could run again, but I doubt he'd win.  He's remembered as being incompetent, especially when it comes to international affairs.  The guy who bungled the Iran hostages thing, to deal with Iran again?  Not likely.

Hello Leanan,

I cannot believe you said Carter was wrong!  Short term, yes--long term, he was right on the money!  Please reread his Sweater Speech thru the vast knowledge filter you have accumulated.  Consider the weak oil data that was available in the '70s vs. what we know know thanks to ASPO, et al.

People instinctly understand Thermodynamics-- we evolved because of it!-->Daddy's car is out of gas.  Mommy, I am hungry.  Ah, that sunshine sure feels good warming my body.

Would you buy a vehicle that comes without a fuel indicator?  ASPO and forums like this are the 'needle' screaming to the public that we are heading to the Big Empty.

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

I didn't say Carter was wrong.  I said the only thing people would remember was that Carter was wrong.  There's a difference.  Carter would be preaching to the choir.  Everyone else would tune out.

And IME, people do not have an instinctive understanding of thermodynamics. Quite the opposite.  They think they can cool down the kitchen by leaving the refrigerator door open.  They think if we really tried, we could make cars with perpetual motion machines for engines.  They think we can grow enough ethanol to continue the "happy motoring" lifestyle.  They think there is such a thing as a free lunch.

humans will think what they were taught when they were kids.
if they were taught that the human mind can do anything and there are no limits you get the people you are describing.
they just don't have the Neron's in their brains set up in a way to even consider that there are somethings that are not possible.
Hello Leanan,

Respectfully disagree.  I think you are one of the top posters on this forum--I always read as many of your messages as I can.  But consider that recent poll where most realize we headed to energy problems. Or your recent post about Phx drivers following tanker-trucks at 3am.  Or the sad fact of thousands of Indian farmers committing pesticide-suicide because they realize its pointless to struggle further: they came to realize on their own: 'Peak Everything' without ever learning any of the material on these forums.

All the world is lacking is an accurate detritus fuel gauge like what was repeatedly shown on the CNN show heading to the Big Empty.  Simmons has repeatedly asked for total oilfield transparency towards this end.

I think everyone is subconciously aware of the rising floodwaters, but are hoping for the others to drown first: but nobody will publicly admit to their secret desire of 'Nuke their Ass--I want Gas'.  This mindset pervades the entire worldwide 'humanimal ecosystem'-- the societal ERoVI scramble is on; everyone is playing as best they can their version of "King of the Detritus Mountain".  Recall the recent Matt Savinar-Stuart Staniford debate where neither was willing to voluntarily cut incomes and Powerdown in the mutual agreement of 'No Thanks--I like Empty Tanks".  IMO, next to Jay Hanson, these gentlemen are two of the clearest thinking Peakniks on the planet.  Even they did not discuss their Detritus Delusion.  Twin sons from different mothers refusing to cooperate!

Consider how the anti-war movement is lamenting how few are joining their crusade.  That is because more and more people are realizing that military-induced Dieoff overseas helps prevent Dieoff at home.  Until proven otherwise, I believe Americans do not have the moral backbone to stick their necks out and fully accept our rightful share of the Grim Reaper's Blade.

A truthful Powerdown means allowing the full force of Nature's feedback systems to tighten the systemic loops into a daily cycle, just as it is for every other lifeform on the planet.  The Flaming Excalibur is rapidly flickering out for the defense of the Humanimal Ecosystem.  We need to learn how to sing Nature's Song as we all shift to a Lifestyle laboring in the Sun.  Time will tell.

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

But consider that recent poll where most realize we headed to energy problems.

Consider the rest of the poll.  People know there are energy problems, but they don't blame depletion or their own unsustainable lifestyles.  They blame freedom-hating Arabs, evil oil corporations, treehugging environmentalists, greedy Chinese, or corrupt politicians.  It's not the laws of thermodynamics that are preventing them from driving their Hummers as much as they want.  It's someone else's misdeeds.

Hello Leanan,

Agreed.  Just more evidence that the detritus fueled humanimal ecosystem is achieving its inherent end of 'Nuke their Ass--I want Gas'.  Just like my earlier mentioned movie script:

"They won't want us to ask them. They will just want us to go get the energy."

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

"Does anyone know if the Constitution prevents Carter from running again?

Bob, this has probably already been answered -- [still trying to figure out TOD threads], but here goes. There no 22nd Amendment issue -- Carter was only elected president once.

Does the 22 Amendment limit Presidents to two terms or two successive terms?
Two terms.  They don't have to be consecutive.

Actually, 2-1/2 terms.  If you're Vice President and the president dies, you can serve up to two years before that is considered a "term."

Hence the rightwing conspiracy theories, that claim Hillary will run as the bottom half of the 2008 ticket, then kill off whoever is at the top at the two-year point.  So she can serve ten years, 2-1/2 terms.

Two full terms or ten years, whichever comes first.
Cleveland was the only president to serve two, non consecutive terms.
Carter had one term, so he could in theory run again. A possible loophole would be Carter as a Vice President on the ticket. How about Schweitzer from Montana with Carter as the running mate? Those two are the most qualified possible candidates in terms of the oil peak. Bush, an oilman (who HAS to know) turned out to be a total dud.
Not one person in the US is going to trade in their gigantic SUV or pickup because of the CNN special. Not one politician (who hasn't already) will stake his/her carrier on pushing for substantive conservation or practical alternative fuels (they'll stick to the "tried and true" ethanol or hydrogen). No fuel taxes will be raised, no goals will be set, and no rationing will be mandated.

Real action is going to take leadership, and that we ain't got in the political arena.

Thoughts about what the U.S. should do starting Monday March 20, 2006 to save what little future they have left.
Blue States can only book flights M-W-F, while Red States can only book flights T-Th-Sat. Everyone stays home on Sunday.
No Postal on Sat.
Odd-even numbered plates will apply to all commercial trucks being allowed on the road.
M-W-F only last even number allowed on our roads. T-Th-Sat. odd number allowed on our roads. No commercial trucks allowed on our roads Sundays.
Hey, at least what was just mentioned is something to consider. What was aired on CNN proposed what? ((Nothing)). I seams to me that it really doesn't matter what level of awareness you may or may not be about PO, but what is amazing is that no one is starting to tell people that action must be started by March 20, 2006 or you're screwed. Face it, three generations from now they already are screwed. It can be debated forever about what MAY happen in our lives when this or that blows up or over or sorry folks (All Sold Out) signs are posted everywhere. There is nothing stopping folks from at least going to Google and typing in PO and start learning for them selves what is going on. But guess what? It ain't gonna happen because people do not want to face reality or they are so entrenched in their belief of entitlements. I loved the fact that China was once again  labeled as the bad guy for causing the world ills for using so much oil. I never realized that they are now using over twenty million barrels of oil a day.  Grrrrrrrrrrr, when will humanity ever learn that they are not the ones in charge?  
You deserve attention. You have been with us since August. So what exactly are you trying to say? What should we do?

Who should we elect?

Who should we trust? You? ..Huh? ...You?!

This is just a rant. You know this. We can use you whenever you get sick of your fifteen-year-old-girlfriends. Join up when you get tired.

Oil CEO...I've been meaning to ask you this since I started reading TOD.  Are you really an Oil CEO?  If so, it would be interesting to ask you some questions.  If not, why would you pick this screen name?
Yes, I am Lee Raymond. Don't tell anyone. It might get me in trouble with the board of directors if they found out I was here. I'm supposed to be working on a price-fixing plan with Chevron. All the cool Saudi princes' names had already been taken. This was my last choice.
Fifteen year-old girl friends? You got to be kidding? ((Barf)). I'm not the other way either.  
The point of my post was not to start setting guide lines but simply demonstrate the fact that all the annalists and debating PO is an act of futility. I doubt that anyone can say for sure what or when something is going to happen regarding PO or supply.  Will something meaningful happen that will help humanity when we do run short of energy so our lifestyles will not diminish appreciably? Don't count on it, when in the past did humanity ever do anything what was right for the well being for all of human kind? (NOT)! If you think that humanity will ever change, you have to be delusional because that pink bunny with the top hat carrying a tea pot really doesn't exists. This also applies to what we believe in. Who are we? Why are we here? What is the meaning to our existence? 99.9999999999999 of the answers will be wrong because of how humanity as a whole has been conditioned in believing things like the pink bunny or something that will come in our worst hours to save us from our own (not being responsible for our own actions).
Since I feel that very few will ever read this post because there has been so many posted under this blog, (who in the hell ever came up with that name)?
Fact! Most of humanity has to die off. (Sorry).
As long as there are religions on this planet, there will never be any world peace.
What is left after the (BIG DIE OFF) humanity will have to ask where did it first get screwed up? You have to go into the past to find these answers. I did, and I found many answers to the three (W's) listed above. There, (hopefully) will be a novel self published over six hundred pages long that will describe what needs to be done so the few that are left will have some meaning to their existence. When you hear about a novel that is very hated by religion you will know that you found the right book. All I'll say about the novel at this time is that it has the word (Truth) at the end of its title. It is an adventure novel talking about treasures of all different types. I hope only a select few will ever read it. That is why I made it so long, people just don't like to read anymore.
So, Mr. OIL CEO do I ever what to join up with the (Group)? Don't bet on it because I do not see any future in doing such a stupid act.
Let's see, I'll end this post with the word (Yeast)! For some reason that words really fits well when your talking about humanity. It's like a fungus isn't it?
It ain't gonna happen because people do not want to face reality or they are so entrenched in their belief of entitlements.

How true.. I have 4 siblings, all with college degrees and every time I mention PO, they don't have the time for a discussion.. Either they are deeply afraid of what PO represents or they truely believe nothing will ever happen in their lifetime..  

I cannot wait to hit them up about the natural gas situation..

Alright, sign me up as your head screenwriter. What I have in mind is actually an 8-12 part series. We could break it up like this. Consumption, Production, Price, Geology, Countries, Companies, Players, Peak, and the Future. Remember when Carl Sagan did that series in the early eighties(I was just a kid and haven't seen reruns since)- Cosmos I think it was. But that would mean a narrator/star. I don't see Simmons or Kunstler being the guy. I'm thinking George Clooney to give it serious punch, but he probably doesn't have the time. We can talk about the other 3 segments. Give me a call.
Hello Oil CEO,

I am a 'dead ringer' body double for Osama Bin Laden: same height 6'5", age 51, skinny body build 185 lbs, and just as ugly. I can make my beard just as skraggly if I don't trim it too.  I will act in your TV series for the cost of beer and food, if Salma Hayek is cast as my wife.  :)

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

Bob. This is a reply to both this post and the one above. I actually have different emotions regarding the two, but this hybrid  will have to suffice.

I would cast you in anything. Some of your material is some of the funniest shit I have ever read. I mean that. You have talent.

Salma Hayek is not on the drawing board. She is smart, but I like brilliant. She will have to read up on Deffeyes and Tertzakian. Plus it is not her forte. She knows this. Plus she needs to start out with third-world children. Angelina did this. And has so far been extremely credible as mother to the dispossessed, more so than any Hollywood symbol to date - hard shoes to fill.

Does anyone know if the Constitution prevents Carter from running again?
This last statement proves my theory that you are an incurable psychopath.

P.S. You will need to prove that Soylent Green is on your top ten list to even audition. Wait, did you say Osama? How do you feel about camels?

Wait, doesn't OBL have a harem?  Add Angelina Jolie and any other starlet you wish-- I will bring my own beer & food.

Soylent Green?  Heston from Moses to a cannibal to being chased by evolved apes -->Easter Island film career par excellence!

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


Angelina's mine old man.



I know nothing about OBL. You brought him up. On my sets I've had nothing but cocaine and the finest weed since Hendrix toured Honolulu.

We don't do beer and food, you silly twit.  Try to remember where they are. <blanked out - all about being American - I love you all. Love CB> Try not to say that crap out loud.

Try to whisper that. whissper yeah..., that's it.

We'll talk about this is in the morning. Unless you've had experience on Mykonos then shut the fuck up. It's not that we don't appreciate your island skills, it's just that we have better people skills. Let us save you.
Blanked out! See, only the ones who show even mildly Republican tendencies get edited. If you want to go on all day about the most insane leftist ideas you are free.
Sorry, the person who is truly a dead ringer for Osama is actress Julia Roberts.  I saw photos on magazine covers side by side years ago: same tall face, tall nose, lips, head shape, shining eyes.  
c'mon, that's not fair.

They have had reruns of Cosmos on the Discovery Science channel.  Tuesday nights, I think.  The thing that strikes me as odd about the programs is Sagan's optimism for the future of mankind.
I'm as optimistic as Sagan, at least over the long term.  It's the middle part where the denial is in play and the entrenched interests fight to maintain their position as long as they can which worry me.
I'll post here what I put in Saturday's open thread, because it belongs here more:

I have mixed feelings over watching that piece on CNN (I even convinced a pal to watch it with me on a Saturday night - wow!)

Given the immediency of the problem, on one hand it's a positive thing that CNN is highlighting that a major crisis could happen without too much urging, given the inelasticity of supply. After all, the point is to work towards a new model of society that's less dependant on petroleum. So if it takes the boogeyman of terrorism to scare people towards that, then whatever - by hook or by crook.

But there were some big problems in my view with the approach they took.

  1. No mention of the catchphrase term "Peak Oil," though it was implied heavily by Simmons. This is important, if only from a branding point of view. The Roscoe Barlett interview earlier this week was actually more explicit here.

  2. Converse to how I started this post, the problem was couched in terms of terrorists attacks/natural disasters, repeated throughout the show. Obvious to anyone here, ultimately such a very plausible event is indicative of the problem, but not the real problem itself. Terrorist attacks are certainly a major X factor in the whole discussion we have here, but any TODer can spot that they put overemphasis on that problem. Which is a scary, scary way to approach it, because it just perpetuates a myopic, jingoistic "The Ay-rabs are stealin' my doggone oil!" view on the situation, and that's the LAST place the world needs to head.

  3. My biggest beef fundamentally though was to explain the problem in the first twenty minutes, and then spend the next forty addressing only the supply side of the issue! Never mind not considering the EROEI of the tar sands, ethanol, or hydrogen. I never in a million years expected them to explore that. It's just too dire for a MSM audience to absorb all in one go - let them chew over the terrorist/hurricane fear for a while.

But what if one part of the program went like this...

cue dramatic music...montage of panic

"The Terrorist scenario would be crippling...but there are people out there already preparing for an America running on less oil just in case the Peak Oil theorists are right..."

cue shot of organic garden/eco-village/local green lefty

...and then go into what THEY are doing, even if Red State America laughs (right now) at these bunch of hippies? One segment on THAT Frank!!! On the demand side!!!

Having worked in journalism before, I know in a microcosmic way what it's like to get a 100% honest story published when you're supported by advertisers who might not like what you are writing. So maybe this was the best story Sesno could get onto Saturday prime time CNN - a "if it bleeds it leads" razzle-dazzle storyline to narrate his documentary.

If so, he's done a...well service of a sort, but I think if he's reading this site and others (which I think he is) he knows full well it was woefully inadequate to addressing the real problem.

I'd like to add that even my superficially versed friend who watched it with me (I showed him E.O.S.) commented that "they aren't really talking about the problem, just a bunch of terrorist stuff." Which I found encouraging, in that even he could see the flaws in this program.

I thought that the approach of the film smacked of "external forces" being the excuse if "anything goes wrong" with our oil supply, and while certainly a possibility it isn't the most likely scenario to cause the disruption depicted in the report, as we already know.  Maybe it was step one in a longer-term approach that Sesno is taking on getting the message across, but I have my doubts.

The interviews with Simmons almost seemed non-sequiter, discussing supply shortfalls in present time in the middle of a docu-drama disaster set four years in the future, while the Lord of BP is simultaneously saying there is not an oil shortage to worry about.  It was almost sureal.

Maybe Sesno hasn't read the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers report on serious energy concerns yet [Mr. Sesno: see page 12 -- the section entitled "Energy Implications for Army Installations".]  On the other hand, Sesno may have a psych team advising him that the American public simply can't handle the whole truth.  I would buy that.

Hello Fuggybootnling,

Well said, especially the following Quote:

"The Ay-rabs are stealin' my doggone oil!" view on the situation, and that's the LAST place the world needs to head".

I profoundly agree with this sentiment.  It could be argued that CNN is promoting the 'Nuke their Ass--I want Gas' mindset among the public when crunch time arrives.

Your hypothetical demand-reduction scenes should have been included in this show to offer honest reporting balance-- to foster the 'No Thanks--I like Empty Tanks' mindset.  To not talk about the video shot of organic garden/eco-village/local green lefty only promotes a greater future chance of  ERoVI > ERoEI [Violence Invested > Cooperation].

Scene from "3 Days of the Condor":
Boy, what is it with you people? You think not getting caught in a lie is the same thing as telling the truth?

No. It's simple economics. Today it's oil, right? What do you think the people are going to want us to do then?

Ask them.

Now now.  Then.  Ask them when they're running out.  Ask them when there's no heat and they're cold.  Ask them when
their engines stop.  Ask them when people who have never
known hunger start going hungry.  Want to know something?
They won't want us to ask them.  They'll want us
to get it for them.
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az  Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Hello TODers,

Many do not realize how important this message is from "3 Days of the Condor".  If you have not viewed this movie, at least go on the web and see a video-trailer that shows this short scene.

It is the bogeyman under everyone's bed that most posters are not willing to talk about: "We see the rising floodwaters, secretly hoping the others drown".  Please read this important essay linked here that argues for ERoVI:


My question basically is: do we collectively have the mental willpower to overcome our innate desire for 'Nuke their Ass--I want Gas'.  Is it impossible to achieve a 'No Thanks--I like Empty Tanks' mindset for Powerdown?

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

Since the nuclear weapons-to-gasoline conversion process is far from proven, nuking one's own ass may work better. Demand destruction.
I think the program introduced the topic at about the right level.  A brain can only absorb so much content and so much shock.  There were some very clear warnings, short sentences, issued just before some of the commercial breaks.
Also, perhaps the best way to deal with this situation is to inform people in groups, smartest / most alert / most likely (and competent) to take corrective action first.  It may be callous, but maybe starting a stampede is something to avoid. And the "early adopters" can help find solutions that later arrivals can copy; by buying PV and other expensive and complex solutions, we start to enable business to get ramped up making solutions.  

Do I have a lack of urgency here though...?

by buying PV and other expensive and complex solutions,

Start writing your congress kritters and ask them to change the tax law.  Right now you can not write down PV panels in one year.

Ask for them to be written down in one year.

Maybe the other thing to start encouraging the Congress to work on, is to expedite the development of PV manufacturing.  Many Panel Producers are growing steadily, but demand is way out ahead, and prices (as can be expected by now) have stopped their historic decline as techn and economy of scale improved, and have now been growing since 2004. Between materials, transport costs and demand, I have to believe they will skyrocket, particularly if we hit the kind of scenarios imagined in this show.

As far as 'Complicated' is concerned.  Look at your desk calculator.  A few more PV cells, and that could be your PDA or Palmtop.  Then think about the grid, with Nukes, with Hydro, Coal, whatever.. and all the links between the source and your home that could be interrupted.. THAT's complicated.  Expensive.. that, too is only when seen in the very short term.(which I know, is how the American Consumer is inclined to look at it, so far)

Maybe instead they could broadcast this forthcoming EIA seminar in April :)
2006 Summer Fuels Outlook Conference

Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Sponsored by the USDOE Energy Information Administration and the National
Association of State Energy Officials

Oil, Gasoline, and Transportation Fuels Supplies and Prices:
What's Coming this Summer for Consumers and the U.S. Economy?

The U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA), and the
National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) invite you to participate
in the 2006 Summer Fuels Outlook Conference.  This supply and demand forecast
event will be on April 11, 2006, from 8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. at the Hotel
Washington, 515 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC.

Global oil supply uncertainty, high demand for transportation fuels, tightened
crude oil and gasoline inventory may increase the potential for
supply/distribution problems this summer. Minor perturbations in the distribution
system can cause price volatility with potential surges in prices in localized

To help inform the energy community about the current situation, this half-day
conference will include EIA's April 2006 Short-Term Energy Outlook along with
presentations by industry representatives, energy experts, and State officials
who will discuss the world oil outlook, gasoline supplies, as well as fuel and
refining issues.

Presentations include:

- Summer Transportation Fuels Outlook.  EIA Administrator, Guy Caruso, will
present EIA;s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook, which will focus o the supply,
demand and price outlook for transportation fuels in anticipation of the summer
driving season.    

- Global Markets Overview.   Edward L. Morse, Executive Advisor, Hess Energy
Trading, will review recent global oil supply/demand/inventory patterns and their
drivers with an eye to what lies ahead for consumers this summer and beyond.
Since recovery from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, oil markets have been pushed and
pulled by offsetting factors, resulting in mixed signals and outlooks.

- Transitioning to Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel. Our speaker will focus on the
implications of the EPA requirement that refiners produce highway diesel fuel
that reduces sulfur content to a maximum of 15 parts per million starting June 1,
2006. The impact on the diesel market of supplying fuel to meet the new
standards, as well as the affects on vehicle fuel efficiency, will be covered.

- Phasing out MTBE from the Gasoline Supply. Our speaker will review the market
implications resulting from the rapid change from MTBE- to ethanol-blended. Will
there be strains in ethanol supply and distribution, increasing the potential for
price volatility this summer?

- The Geopolitics of Energy. Stephen Gallogly, Director of the Office of
International Energy and Commodity Policy at the U.S. Department of State, will
address the key issues in selected countries of the world that may cause
challenges in the near future for oil markets.  Among the countries to be
highlighted:  Nigeria, Iran, Venezuela, and Iraq, and the underlying situation in
each as well as the implications for oil markets this summer.

Registration information and the agenda will be posted shortly at:

Or these comments from the UK Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Alan Johnson) :
"The analysts and experts misjudged the amount of gas that would come from the North sea."

Obviously his experts weren't reading ours about 3 years ago (eg Matt S) about North Sea heading for peak & decline!

Or the following on the belief in markets:
:The hon. Gentleman asks what Government are doing. The one thing that the Government should not do is interfere in the market. The days when our energy was provided by state monopolies were bad for the consumer, bad for the energy supply situation and bad for the country."

Easing people into a worldview of contraction, scarcity and limits is fine and dandy.  Making Peak oil understandable for the masses is super.  The problem is aren't we already late in the ball game for "gentle strategies".

If we are as close to the brink as Simmons, Deffeyes, Skrebowski and company think we are (and I havent seen convincing evidence to contradict this), gentle steps wont cut it in the end.

It's like playfully punching someone and then following it up with a sucker punch to the gut. The end result is the same, only you have fewer options (and less time) to respond to.

Regardless of the urgency of the situation, you can only educate a useful portion of the mainstream about concepts this alien and unsettling so fast.  If you exceed that limit you start to convince people you're a tinfoil hatter and that your cause is just the 4,873rd dut bunny from the schizosphere they've heard in the last few years about How The World Will End.

On the bright side, higher gasoline and home heating prices have already got the mainstream's attention, and they form a perfect on-ramp to the main discussion.  I've done this several times at gatherings.  Don't say a word about energy or finances or anything related, and wait until someone complains about the cost of gasoline.  (Usually takes about 15 minutes.)  When they bring it up, say, "And it's not going to get any cheaper."  That's when they start asking questions and you gracefully segue into talking about finite resources, rising demand from China and India, the environmental cost of using fossil fuels, etc.  Sure, you wind up doing an impromptu lecture at a casual gathering, and you risk looking like the King Dork of the Universe, but at least you got their attention.

I use a similar tactic to bring it up. A similar tactic is asking people how many gallons away they live. That works best when people start talking about their commuting mission but fail to bring up those gas prices.

Unless you make a LOT of money, gasoline will take up a substantial amount of your pay if you live 3 gallons away and the price continues its inexorable climb. As the summer driving season hits, wait as gas prices shoot way up again. We all will get plenty of opportunities to bring up peak oil.

I think you're correct that this is a small step in the right direction. Peak Oil is one of the most difficult communication challenges imaginable--far harder to get across than issues like climate change or flu pandemics

The concept of peak oil is:

  • Complex and technical

  • Threatening, leading to denial. We know that too much fear reduces communication effectiveness.

  • Invokes cognitive dissonance: the ready availability of oil products seemingly contradicts talk of shortage. You may say we're running out, but every station has every grade of gas, and I can buy all I want. Who should I believe-you, or my own experience?

  • Violates my world view: I am accustomed to plentiful energy, and nothing leads me to expect much will change.

  • Suffers from low source credibility: we don't yet have any big, mainstream spokespersons who are significant and believable voices on the PO issue. Our spokespeople are generally viewed as fringe, and the silence of others is taken as agreement that "they" haven't informed us of a problem.

  • Interference effects: cornucopian messages, or the promise of a hydrogen economy, can block PO messages.

  • Zero public policy support

Awareness of peak oil, at some simplistic level, is not bad. From http://edition.cnn.com/2006/US/03/16/oil.poll/

"The poll, which was released Wednesday afternoon, also indicates that roughly three out of four Americans -- 77 percent -- fear the supply of oil will not be able to keep up with global demand. Three in 10 said they believe the world will run short of oil within the next 25 years."

The challenge now is to explain Peak Oil is real, it's now, it's permanent--and here's what you need to do.

This sums up my thoughts in the matter.  It will take another crisis or two, or perhaps another big jump in fuel prices before people will be ready to hear more.

Just for grins, I went to Amazon to see the sales rank of Simmon's book.  Since it was mentioned and shown in the program, it seems like a reasonable metric.  Yesterday the book was 545 in books.  Today it is 308 in books.

Plus, when the page came up it also a two-fer with Deffeyes's book packaged together for 31$.  Deffeyes's book was 1567 yesterday, and is 1439 today.

There was also a sponsored link:


Any people who are sufficiently alarmed to start reading some more won't have to dig very hard to find the real meat.

All I got out of it is that we should attack rogue states that have oil.

My second thought was that northern Alberta would be a lot easier to occupy than those hornet nests in the Middle East ...

You got that right. AK-101.
Western Gulf of Mexico is even easier; Mexico hasn't got a navy worth talking about.
Yes, that is true.  Passing formation flights of pelicans are called the 'Mexican Air Force' by visiting Gringos too.

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

And I sometimes call squadrons of Canada geese the "Royal Canadian Air Force". Canada doesn't have much of an air force (unless you count the geese as disease carrying aircraft) to speak of either. Allow hunting geese to depletion would neutralise most of Canada's air force - and slow bird flu. Bird flu is the bigger threat from Canada than geese made of aluminium.
China has a population problem, so do we. We can mutually solve each other's problems by nuking each other back to the stone age, or...
We could just build wind, solar, nuclear, coal, and maybe wave power plants and make our own synfuels.
Now just tell me what we can sell to the Chinese to persuade them to sell us the steel for synfuel plants. We don't nearly make enough of our own.
Of course, we could take our excess baseload electricity and use it to electrolyse sulfides to iron sulfate, and then electrodeposit that for iron for electric furnaces? Lots of byproduct lead, zinc, nickel, copper, Pgm, etc.
And it avoids the whole iron ore mine, blast furnace, coke mine, coke oven, thing.
Electrolytic hydrogen to feed the synfuel plants could also work.
But Chinese steel is cheaper.
So let's not blow them up till we don't need to their steel? But if we do that, then we don't need to blow them up at all because we aren't competing with them for oil!
I can't tell if you are serious or a super asshole. I don't care either.Im gonna cover my nose and the concrete above, sweetie. You tell me after. Boom!!!! Sha-lock-lock-boom!!! BOOM!...
Now just tell me what we can sell to the Chinese to persuade them to sell us the steel for synfuel plants. We don't nearly make enough of our own.
We could just stop selling them scrap, and keep our ore for ourselves.  (I understand that the Michigan taconite mines which had been idled for years are now being worked again.)  We have plenty of mini-mills, and if we don't want to restart any major ones we could probably farm the work out to S. Korea.
Of course, we could take our excess baseload electricity and use it to electrolyse sulfides to iron sulfate, and then electrodeposit that for iron for electric furnaces?
I'm not sure it works that way; after a quick peek at my CRC, it looks more like the sulfates decompose to oxide.  Besides, you really don't want a roasting operation near you.

The idea of electrolytically reducing random pyrites (extracted from coal?) to metal is an interesting one, though.

Engineer Poet -

That scheme of electrolyzing iron sulfides to sulfates doesn't seem quite right from a simply chemistry standpoint. Going from sufide to sulfate is a simple oxidation process, so is this saying that one is going to go through the trouble to make oxygen by electrolysis and then immediately use it to oxidize the sulfide?  It would probably be much more easy and energy-efficient  just to roast the iron sulfide at the correcct temperature to produce ferric sulfate rather than ferric oxide. (Not sure on that point, though.)

Even if one were able to make ferric sulfate in the electrolysis process, producing metallic iron via electrodeposition seems an awfully difficult and energy-intensive way of going about it.  This sort of thing might be feasible for precious metals, but when you're talking about producing a high-volume, low-value commodity metal like iron, I am highly dubious about the whole thing.

However, I am open to being proved wrong.

You seem to be attributing wkwillis' concept to me.  Go back a couple and try again.
The deal with electrolytically converting iron and other sulfides to metal is to avoid the pollution and construction problems.
Okay, engineering is all about constraints. Our constraint is that we don't have the coke ovens and steel mills and giant forges to make the conventional techniques work in the short term, and that the price of offpeak and intermittant power is about to crash as we substiture wind, solar, and coal (and nuke?) power for gas for peaking power.
So H2SO4 and FeS and electricity becomes persulfuric acid, which with water becomes hydrogen peroxide (used to be how they made H2O2 before the guinine (quinilone?) process took over. H2O2 will oxidise things nicely. Then you electrodeposit the iron and then you can run it through one of the electric minimills we have that are presently short of scrap because scrap comes from manufacturing and we don't do that anymore.
Just for the record, electrolytic iron is useless because it doesn't have carbon to make steel, and it does have captured water and hydrogen in the crystal interstices.
All you need is cheap electricity and plastic tubs. And low grade copper, lead, zinc, nickel, cobalt, etc, sulfide ores for the iron and other metals.
Or we could buy the equipment from the Chinese. That does make more sense in an economic way. Assuming that we and the Chinese are still on speaking terms after we default on all the money we owe them.
Trade wars can really screw you up. Too bad we elected Junior. Assuming that we really did elect Junior.
I work in the Sahel and Peak Oil has already arrived in this part of Africa. CNN can harvest plenty of real and convincing footages of how post Peak Oil communities eke out their subsistence livelihoods here. Maybe we only need to change the cast from African natives to a Caucasian one to make the storyline more believable.  

Transcripts are available:


I have no clue what to do with a torrent.  I would have to go out on the web to find a tool/client/whatever to watch it with or something.

You need something like BitTorrent to download the file.  Once it's downloaded, you can use whatever you normally use to watch AVI files.  Windows Media Player will play it.
I am big fan of Azureus.  There's a whole wiki of info and directions, and it's just plain ol' easy to use.  
I couldn't get it working.  I've had no problem with every other torrent program known to man, but Azureus was a no-go.  I think plain ol' BitTorrent is easier for torrent virgins.  The default setup usually works out of the box, while Azureus requires some tweaking (ports, etc.).  
You can also use Shareza to download torrents.  If you have a teenager in the house, chances are they are using Shareza.  
I have found that with most people, you need to spoon feed this information to get anywhere.  When you try to unload the whole enchilada, people look at you as if you're describing an alien abduction.  In this sense, I think that CNN presented it at about the right level.

The problem I had with the program was the presentation of a hypothetical terrorist attack/cat 5 hurricane in the context of a documentary describing our energy conundrum.  Certainly, it added drama, but unfortunately, it muddied the message.  It would be a shame for the uninitiated to come away from this program thinking we'll be ok if we can just avoid another major hurricane or terrorist attack.

alien abduction

I've been searching for a way to decsribe how peak-oil "plays" as a theory. You finally answered this question. We have a long way to go.

I watched the show yesterday evening and have just read the above reactions.  I guess mine is similar.

I was initially put off by the traditional event-driven opening to the show (hurricanes, terrorists) rather than a depletion argument.

And then too, when the transition was made from the small Brazilian GM car running ethanol, to the large GM SUVs being pitched here, I thought the fuel economy issue was somewhat hidden.

But by the end of the show I had come around.  I think the show had a good pace and trajectory, and ended up with a good closing sentiment that ... hey, we should really do something.

On a personal note, I have been scoffing at GM in the blogs about their yellow gas cap campaign.  I've been suggesting that all they want to do is sell you an Avalanche, which will probably only get 10 mpg on E85 anyway.  I was therefore amused to see the E85 Avalanche introduction inserted into the show.  My scoffing apparently has not been that unfair ... they really do want that as their solution or contribution to the peak oil problem.  You may have also noticed the GM guy (CEO?) saying that his SUVs will matter more than a bunch of little hybrids ...

I would have liked something more explicit about the sustainability of large cars, but they did hit the points.  Maybe they even went too far, from the standpoint of their advertisers ;-)

This is pure speculation, but it may be that the only way Frank Sesno could get some kind of Peak Oil discussion on the air was to disguise it using the storm/terrorist plot line.  Look at the ads during the program, and look at the ads in all of the MSM.  The vast majority of the ads seem to consist of companies selling cars, homes or something related to cars and homes.  

We are asking the people in the MSM to tell the American people to stop buying the very things that indirectly pay the salaries in the MSM.  This is why efficiency and alternative fuels are such popular topics.  They allow the MSM to pretend to be taking a socially responsible stance, i.e., calling for greater mandated energy efficiency.  The implied message is that we can still drive our Urban Assault Vehicles (UAV's) to and from our $500,000 mortgages, but they will be hybrid UAV's going to and from more energy efficient mortgages.  

The only thing that will change American consumers' behavior is price.  We can act now with a carrot and stick approach--scrap the payroll tax and replace it with a fossil fuel tax--or market forces will do it for us before too much longer.

In regard to our friends in the MSM, they have a choice--they can continue trying to help sell a few more suburban mortgages and UAV's, or they can tell the truth to the American people about the finite nature of our energy resources.  To paraphrase Winston Churchill, they can now choose between the status quo and their integrity, but soon they will have neither the status quo nor their integrity.  

I agree with westexas on this one...I've been watching the ads that air on CNN/FAUX news at the gym, when I have nothing better to do while on the cycle and they break down roughly into the following:
  1. SUVs/Giant Trucks (I live in Texas, so there are a lot of references to vehicles being "tough")
  2. Chain restaurants selling fat and sugar-laden food.(Seems like there's a competition to hawk the most meat patties or strips of bacon in one sandwich)
  3. Home improvement/furnishings.
  4. Mortgages
  5. Oh, yeah, and cosmetic surgery.
Have you asked your gym to put in spin cycles that have a connector on the side so you can use that energy you are now wasting to charge up your laptop's battery?
If you don't pedal, you don't get sound...no laptop needed.
All the powered cycles and step-masters at my former work gym were powered by you doing the start of an exercise routine, no pedaling, or walking, no power.  The Treadmills were differant, but i was able to climb mountians on the treadmill, so I took that bit of electricity off the grid.
Mexico Oil Shock Model

Khebab and Mobjectivist



Mexico's Lopez, Fox Clash on Energy Policy Ahead of Elections

Ramirez Corzo, who has run Pemex since November 2004, has described Lopez Obrador's intention to halt deep water production as short-sighted, saying the production will take as much as a decade.

Lopez Obrador plans to forgo drilling for oil in deep waters and maintain current levels of crude production from land and shallow-water reserves, his economic adviser said on March 9.

Mexico's next president will face decreasing production of the Cantarell field, which has reserves of 17 billion barrels and has gushed oil since it was first producing in 1979. Cantarell, which makes up about 60 percent of Pemex's crude production, began declining this year and may lose more than 10 percent of output each year.

Now read this on UltraDeepwater Exporation, thinking Noxal.

Noxal will not happen.  Think CAT 5.

We're so late.  And CNN is so lame. Time's up.  

Very interesting article on Ultradeep E&P.  You are right of course about the Cat 5 problem.  Beyond that, what that article did confirm for me is the incredible growing gulf between the fortunes of the energy producers and the energy consumers. There will  be enormous amounts of money made producing energy on the downside of the curve, but of course there are going to be some problems.  

I've put it this way before:  are the angry soccer moms--probably with hungry kids in their rusting minivans--going to be rioting at the gates of the mansions of the energy producers?  

The Obrador position may be a part of the syndrome of protecting local oil reserves that I've been predicting for some time on TOD.  Assuming that someone is stupid or ignorant is usually the wrong assumption.  Better: assume he has a good reason for saying something that appears irrational.

So Obrador, knowing that oil is a diminishing vital asset, wants an "excuse" to minimize exports.   He, like some in Brazil recently, think that exporting oil is a form of treason.   That is a position that makes eminent sense, and I believe exporters will increasingly be taking that position.

Why do you suppose that Kuwait recently announced that (to its shock, shock) their oil reserves were only half of what they had thought?   A perfect excuse to start producing (and exporting) less oil.  

Unfortunately, IMO, the trend toward exporters husbanding their oil will move the supply/demand crisis forward in time significantly and increase the virulence of the problem, exacerbating the geological issue a hundred fold.

and has gushed oil since it was first producing in 1979

Mexico has historically produced oil with exceptionally high flow rates due to the geology of the rervoirs. I find it amazing how fast that they started pumping at essentially max rate so soon after the late 1970's discoveries.

I am sure with the deep water finds, that they will never duplicate this phenomenon. They will now be working hard for every last drop, from here on out.

The Enron model was predicated on deceiving the American people about the true state of the company.  

My premise is that the American "home selling/auto selling" model is similarly predicated on deceiving the American people about the true state of our energy supply.  And since the MSM is dependent on advertising used to sell homes and auto, and everything related thereto, they are complicit in the deceit.  

So, I asked a group of Dallas Morning News writers, columnists and editorial writers how they were different from Enron executives.  I got one response back, suggesting that while the stuff I sent them regarding energy was useful, I was going off the "paranoia and fear" deep end.

(Kind of reminds one of the old days in the Soviet Union--if you criticize the staus quo, you must be crazy.)

Speaking of the real world.  I went over to the "cheap" gas station to gas up the prius yesterday.  Cheap in Orange County California is 2.49/2.59/2.69 for the three grades.

I tried not to look too self-satisfied as I spent $20 for my 8 gallons ;-)

I think current prices have to be sinking in ... or to reapeat that bit from "Irrational Exuperance:"

"Understanding the factors that precipitate market moves is doubly difficult because the timing of the major market events tends not to be lined up well with the timing of precipitating factors. The precipitating factors often tend to be medium-term trends that catch the public's attention only after they have been in place for a long time."

I've just read the transcript of this CNN program and I disagree with folks here who say this is a good introduction to peak oil for the hoi polloi.

First, using the hurricane/terrorism scenario places the blame for oil shortages on the weather and oil shocks (in this case from Al-Qaeda). Hurricanes are considered acts of God and terrorism is the boogyman. Constantly provoking fear of terrorism is probably why George Bush is still president (outside of some vote fraud in Ohio). So, this scenario has nothing whatsoever to do with oil depletion, the discovery curve and the fact that the "low hanging fruit" has all been picked.

Other Excerpts

From Beynond Petroleum
BROWN: There is plenty of oil and plenty of gas in the world. There is no crisis. There is no impending doom.

JOHN FELLOMY, INDUSTRY ECONOMIST: The fact of the matter is we could drill our way into oil independence. There's over 100 billion barrels of oil that we believe have not been found in the United States. But we're not allowed to go for it.

SESNO (voice-over): There may be 100 years of oil here, but that big market just south of the border, the United States, may find that location isn't everything, that Canada has its own interests.

A proposed pipeline could take these resources to Canada's west coast for export elsewhere. Among the pipeline's backers, the People's Republic of China, anxious to get access to all the oil it can as fast as it can....

China and Iran announce a deal. Iranian oil in exchange for more Chinese nuclear technology. Both countries insist it's for peaceful purposes. The scenes for this, some years ago.

China, with its 1.3 billion people and east of an economy, is shopping the world for oil. It's now the world's second largest consumer of oil behind the U.S., and its aspirations are as big as its population.

And so forth. China is associated with Iran and they are a boogyman too. 100 billion barrels of untapped recoverable oil in the United States! There is no oil crisis! The CEO of Syncrude telling us how big their trucks are.

"We're dwarfed by these gigantic trucks, the biggest in the world. They haul 400 tons at a time. The tires alone cost $40,000 each."

Wow, I mean like, you know, that's really impressive, dude.

At least there's this

STREIF: Well, out here we're looking for what we would call big fields. And we would say a big field is 100 million barrels of oil.

SESNO: That may sound like a lot, but it's small compared to the world's really big fields which contain billions of barrels. That's billion with a "B." But we need every drop we can get. And at today's prices, there's money to be made.

But you'd have to be awfully smart to connect the dots here. Neither the world depletion nor the word decline appear in the transcript. And it has been pointed out that peak oil doesn't either. How many fields do we find that that are bigger than 1 Gb (that's Gb with a "B.")?

Now, I know Peak Oil is a complex subject having been studying it for some time now. But how hard is it really to explain that we use more than we discover, discoveries peaked in the 1960's, we depend on existing giant fields that now in decline, demand continues to rise, etc. These are simple things to explain.

PG, you say pabulum, "unsatisfying intellectual material: material whose intellectual content is thin, trite, bland, or generally unsatisfying". Words that come to mind for me are deceptive and prevaricate.

Right on, Dave.

If you research Woolsey, you'll find out he's a charter member of the PNAC, was a huge channel for the fake intelligence about Iraq and is now on a big crusade to attack Iran.

I wonder if this CNN special was actually his idea? They actually had the temerity to call Iran a "rogue" nation.

Prof. Goose takes issue with spellings but there is a word, pablum, and I believe that word tells the story here far better than pabulum does.
ah, but GreyZone (and I have to admit that I didn't know this), if you read down further, the definitions are actually the same!  Surprising...I always thought it was spelled incorrectly without the "u" but it turns out just to be an alternative spelling.  

You learn something new every day, I suppose.

My point was that pabulum has at least one somewhat redeeming meaning. Pablum does not, hence no confusion. ;)
All good points.  The 100 billion barrels of off-limits oil really stuck out to me.  Do you know of any other estimates of BOE within the US that are off limits?  Say, if we drilled in every national park, marine sanctuary, and other forbidden zones that had prospects?  This 100 billion figure is the only firm number that I've heard.

Maybe something has been posted here before but I've missed it.

I fully expect that the off-limits areas will eventually be drilled unless there's a societal collapse first (and maybe even then).

Firm number? Firm, as in "it's at least a number"? Because I don't think they can do any geologic assessment that will support the notion that there are 100 billion barrels of oil to be recovered in the continental United States today. Is the guy predicting a 30,000 Dow by 2008 making a "firm" prediction? Or is he pulling a fantastic number from thin air for other reasons? I see the 100 billion barrel comment as being just as irrational.
All right, perhaps I'm not being clear:

I don't believe the 100 billion barrel figure.  But 100 GB is the only number that I have ever heard, period.  Perhaps you have a number in your sleeve that you'd like to share?  Perhaps some evidence for it too?

Frankly (and unfortunately), the discussion (not the articles) here of late has become a bit less practical and objective than it once was.  I'm not interested so much in chatting and taking potshots; I don't have the time for that, really.  I'm interested in getting useful information that I don't already know, and in sharing useful information that I have that others might not know.

Personally, I like Stuart's estimate of 27 ± 8gb. He did a wonderful analysis of this back in January and I've not seen anyone else produce anything as well reasoned as that.
OK, so Stuart did a linearization and a Gaussian curve fitting, which is certainly useful, but chances are that those models would not apply if all areas formerly off limits were suddenly opened up.  Because the production that's been happening has never included those regions or taken them into account, predicting the future production based on the past is always going to underestimate if those regions will be opened.

What I am looking for is some sort of ground-survey estimate of what resources are available in the off-limits areas.  There are many areas within the U.S. mainland, Alaska, and offshore California, Florida, and Atlantic Coast that are off-limits and could have extraction potential.  I am interested not because I want this to happen, but because I believe ultimately it will, and we need to take it into account.  It is a major oversight to not pay attention to these areas.

Many excellent observations about the program.  Just a couple of other points:  

The ethanol plant in Brazil indicated that it could produce enough ethanol for 11,000 cars a day.  It showed fields of sugar cane around it as far as the horizon.  The suburban community/ school district that I live in has a population of over 35,000 and no doubt about that number of vehicles.  Just the visual effect makes it look like it would be impossible to produce enough ethanol from farmland around us for our needs.

The monster dump trucks used for the tar sands in Canada that run 24/7.  The tires were said to cost $40,000 each.  The thought struck me that replacement tires for oil at $60/b may be closer to 60K once all the energy costs get factored in.  Can one say that each tire represents an energy investment of about 60b of oil?

correction.  Each tire represent 1,000 b of oil?
Natural rubber is better for some purposes because it is stronger or sheds heat better, and silicone for cold weather use. I'm not sure those tires use significant amounts of oil. They could be synthetic neoprene instead of the natural stuff, though.
There was an article in Fortune magazine pointing out how much the world depended on natural rubber and that someone importing rubber blight or whatever to Indonesia and Malaysia and the Phillipines and Thailand and Burma and Vietnam could really screw us up.
And increase oil consumption for rubber, too, come to think of it.
There is a great shortage of these massive tires. Goodyear is quoting 2008 delivery for orders given now, I believe.

This is causing great problems in Australia's booming mining industry.

A very valid point that is normally overlooked.
As oil prices rise, the cost of tyres, fuel,
food.... everything needed to get oil out the
ground rises and adds to the cost of getting oil
out the ground. At the moment those inputs are
relaively cheap compared to the value of the
final oil. But the costs are rising at a
phenomenal rate  -especially if you consider
military conflict part of the cost. How much oil
was used in the recent air assualt in Iraq just
to demonstrate a show of strength (there can be
no delusions about beating insurgents, since US
tactics cause the number of disaffected people
around the world to grow almost exponenetially).
Escalating costs must inevitably result in
higher prices (though the actual price of oil
clearly does not reflect the true cost, which
gets shifted to taxes, government debts and
global warming which is currently being carried
by the insurance sector, but they are
increasingly baulking at the high payouts and
creating a new class, 'the uninsurable', those
who live in hurricane or flood prone districts

Then there is the matter of replacement/repair
cost to society, as the environment becomes
more hostile to just living, (hail stones the
size of cricket balls, tornadoes) let alone trying to
carry out technically advanced extraction in
difficult locations. We have a long way to go
before the return on investment becomes
negative, but it is neverheless dropping
incrementally every day that passes. We are
using more and more energy in futile attempts to
hold our current position. It really is

That isn't really connected to peak oil except incidentally. We have had a stock market boom, which is always accompanied by a collapse in industrial, infrastructure, and extractive industry. This is not the first cycle of that type. The mining magazines were whining about it for the last ten years.
Until the prices of everything exploded in the last three. Now it's "I told you so!". You think oil is bad? Look at tungsten Up ten times in three years!
Great comments from all. I'd like to add my thoughts. The oil sands and shale in Canada as shown in CNN's show are as bad as 60 Minutes program of several weeks ago. They don't mention the amounts of gas used to process this gunk and all the water used for the slurry and  where do they dump all this stuff. I read all the posts on PO as well as posts of doom and gloomer's too. Would a crash in society be good in the effect big govt would be little govt and be off our backs. I see on other sites that ammo is becoming scarce as well as MRE's. What's happening out there. I ask young, old, middle aged people if they've heard of PO, the Patriot Act, latest govt actions,etc. They know nothing or very little. I think PO will really bite us in the ass.

Most people refuse to talk or think about Peak Oil and its consequences, just as on the Titanic nobody (or almost nobody outside the radio shack) wanted to talk or think about the implications of floating ice.

When the future scenario is too horrible to contemplate, then people simply refuse to contemplate it.

Denial, as the saying goes, is not just a river in Egypt.

Were it possible to change people's perceptions drastically and quickly, were it possible to take a variety of vigorous and constructive actions simulataneously, then I think rich countries such as the U.S. could do fairly well--say nothing much worse than the Great Depression.

Conservation will result from much higher energy prices and from economic collapse--and from nothing else.

(Warning: bad english will follow)

I wouldn't be so sure about Joe Schmo.

I  tried to explain PO to dozens of well-educated people, and I only got discussions about how many angels dance over a pin. Then, I dropped some advices to a friend, typical Joe sixpack, a taxi driver who barely finished secondary school, and he grasped the whole topic with all the most subtle implications in fifteen minutes.
He understood what I didn't explain too, like population drop, city hordes, lack of food, everything. He's now buying a farm.

So, I think it's not a question of being Joe Schmo: if you are capable of lateral thinking, if you're not totally brainwashed, if you are open minded then you can fully take the responsability in your hands. But if you are educated, a full believer in science, in progressive newspapers ("they didn't mention it!") then you're fu**ed.

Just my 2 cents.

Smile, we welcome bad english spoken here.
The Brother that I talk about a lot, is of higher eductaional dregrees than I have. I read a lot and are a bit more down to earth than he is understanding the whole topic of high population and the outcomes of that.  My second wifes daughter, has been taught by him and his wife for 3 years now and her thinking has changed to reflect my brothers thinking and she can't see the doom riding the horse on the horizon.  Though we are all Christians and I know that its not my life here that matters. I do understand that most folks don't see the world through my eyes.  The folks without a college education are the ones that understand the world a bit better, live closer to the ground.  Though there are many one this site that have college educations and might even teach at them, but they have versed themselves in the issues.  Convincing the "science will save us" crowd is a hard sell.  My brother is one of them.   But even my nieghbors don't want to see that the world is headed for a bit of a bounce.

When you fall remember to tuck and roll.  

oh come on Barb, a couple of asterisks do not naughty speech make!  :)  you'll have to do better than that...
I think the realization that oil is becoming scarce relative to demand is catching on.  There is still alot of distrust of oil companies, with the average Joe I meet very willing to assume price fixing.  And it appears those who get their news from right-wing media are under the assumption that there are vast untapped reservoirs of oil in the U.S.  Nonetheless, over the past year as gasoline prices remain high, more and more are understanding, in a vague way, that there is a shortage of oil.  Even without going into causes, this is a necessary first step for public acceptance of peak oil.

The important next step will be harder for people to fully grasp--and that is understanding this shortage is dynamic and not static.  That is, once we are on the downslope of the peak, there will be an ever-dwindling amount of oil--so results from conservation and alteratives must be constantly increasing to make up for a constantly decreasing supply of petroleum.  This, I think, is just hard for people to conceptualize, but once they understand it, they understand it.

As a commenter above, though, said, the trouble is we don't have time to ease people into this.

I downloaded the torrent and watched the program. Not a whole lot to add to the things already said in this here thread. I guess what struck me as most weird was the constant blaming of outside sources. "Oh no, the Chinamen want to drive cars too, we can't allow that to happen, right?"
Yesterday I had dinner with my folks, and watched some television for once. I zapped into a CBS 60 minutes segment about a Montana governor with a constant, goofy smile advocating coal derived diesel surrogate. Leslie Stahl marvelled at the smell of said fuel, feigned a look cluelessness while avoiding asking the relevant questions. sigh... The state of main stream journalism is truly abysmal.
I find it amusing that anyone thought the right wing corporate owned media would do anything other than prevaricate, obfuscate, and down right lie.

The stock market, the ticker tape of our hallucinated economy, is too vulnerable to the truth for the corporate media to let out a bubble-popping phrase like "peak oil" or that our happy-go-lucky petroleum fired world is coming to an end.

I saw V is for Vendetta last night, and it is great fun. In it you see the media hacks mouthing the latest talking points handed down from the head of government and you can't help wondering when we here in the US will get fed up with right-wing lies passed through the right wing noise machine also known as the media. (It clearly has not been left-wing for over a decade, if ever.)

Most people hate to think that bad things can happen to their country and that a dictator might rise and take away their rights (at least not without a good reason --i.e. terrorism -- not that that is a valid justification). People who point out the increasingly fascist tendencies of the current administration are attacked as nuts or simply ignored -- pretty much the same thing that happened in the 1930s when a certain man fed upon the fears of the German populace.

No, the CNN broadcast should be examined for what it does do. And those in this forum who have indicated the insistent finger-pointing at China and the villification of weather, for God's sake, are probably dead on.

Do not look at the man behind the curtain. His name is Physics, and his word is law.

I make no defense of the mainstream media, most of which is a kind of pornography to entertain the masses while their lifestyle is about to end.

However, with all due respect, have you looked at the left-wing non-mainstream media? It is just as bad--pointing the finger at the usual scapegoats: Bush and Co. is evil, oil companies are evil, right-wing religious evangelists are evil, and the solution to all problems is to get rid of Bush and replace him with Hilary Clinton--and get a huge majority of Democrats in Congress.

I have seen little or no awareness of the realities of physics and engineering in the left-wing media. Mostly it is just the same old Bush bashing, the fruitless blaming of those of opposing beliefs, rather than a thoughtful examination of possibly constructive ideas and scenarios as to how to get from where we now are to a decent future. Even a good and intelligent left-wing economist, such as Paul Krugman, often falls into this fruitless line of Bush bashing.

There are a few exceptions, a few left-wing articles that show an understanding of Malthus, an understanding of thermodynamics, a big picture of environmental and energy and economic problems, but mostly it is the same old tired rhetoric.

"A stiff gasoline tax? Impossible!!! It would be regressive and hurt the poor." And so on.

Don't you think that Bush truly deserves to be bashed? Regardless of which quarter it is coming from?
As the Titanic approaches the ice at full speed, do you think it is appropriate to debate who is to blame: The captain, the Cunard line, the party in office in the U.K. or the lack [or existence] of labor unions in the Irish shipyard in which the ship was built???????

The problem is not who is to blame. The problem is to how to figure out how get the orders issued to spin the wheel hard to port while putting the engines into reverse.

The more discussion that goes into the blame game, the less time, energy, and intellectual resources are left to think and to act constructively.

Alright. So let's have some constructive thinking.  I have been taking a break from working on my really great automatic bike transmission, and so I come here for a little relief and what do I see but a bunch of recreational griping about all the stuff we all know about about a thousand times so far.  Enough!  Do some real thinking and make some WORKABLE suggestions on how to get out from under.   Here are some-- run a  big pump pullling cold sea water thru manhattan so as to cut the AC load in the summer. Dig a hell of a big hole under central park and fill it with icy slush during the winter for the same purpose.  Insulate the bldgs so they don't need formal heating systems in the winter.  Declare NYC a no-can-move-in zone.  Make all public transport cellphone callup operated.  And so on.

Won't work?  Spare me.  Say what will.

Here are some-- run a  big pump pullling cold sea water thru manhattan so as to cut the AC load in the summer.

Nature may take care of that one...

Interesting picture.  Now, what works?
Simplying works.  According to Tainter, it's the only thing that works in the long run.
OK, I agree with you.  Can I sell you a really simple, cheap and efficient automatic transmission bicycle? No chains, no sprockets, no gears, no batteries, not much of anything. But works great.   Made it because I can't shift a regular multi- sprocket + chain transmission, much less spell it.
Don Sailorman -

Speaking of the Titanic, I actually had the pleasure of meeting someone who had actually worked on the Titanic.

Circa 1982 I was in the process of trying to get some copper bowl spinnings made for a little side project of mine (too long to get into detail).

Well, I got in touch with this coppersmith in the Wilmington, DE  area, and he turned out to be an old, but extremely vigorous fellow. It was mid February and cold as hell. But there he was, pounding away at his anvils and running his ancient machines in a very cold shop. The guy was well into his nineties, but tough as nails. Apart from a hearing aid, he looked to be in far better shape than I was.

When we were done  with our business, I was sitting in his cramped and cluttered office when I noticed a large sepia-tone photo of the Titanic on the wall. I casually made a comment about it, and the old man replied, rather matter of factly, something to the effect, " Yeah, I worked on the sumabitch."

Whoa says I! You worked on the Titanic??!!

Well, it turns out that the old guy had been an apprentice pipe-fitter in Belfast where the Titanic was being built and that he had actually worked on the ship. That fact didn't seem to phase him in the least, but I was totally blown away.

So, I guess if one wants to play the 'six degrees of separation' game, I could have all sorts of indirect connections to the famous people who perished on the Titanic.

The old guy eventually died (probably close to 100) and the shop was sold, later to become a discount store. But at least I can say that I had once met someone who had been on the Titanic.

Well said Sailorman.  Everyone has taken more than their fair share from the Commons-- that is why it is a Tragedy:


excerpt from The Tragedy of the Commons-- Garrett Hardin (1968)
We may well call it "the tragedy of the commons," using the word "tragedy" as the philosopher Whitehead used it [7]: "The essence of dramatic tragedy is not unhappiness. It resides in the solemnity of the remorseless working of things." He then goes on to say, "This inevitableness of destiny can only be illustrated in terms of human life by incidents which in fact involve unhappiness. For it is only by them that the futility of escape can be made evident in the drama."

Let the world cry, than let's move on to workable, sustainable solutions for the Seventh Generation ahead.  Perhaps this link might help:


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

Getting back to the original point- I think that we SHOULD 'play the blame game', for the people who have caused this mess should not be allowed to get off scott free and then become well-paid lobbyists.  The US military has a fine tradition of holding the captain of a ship or the head of an army responsible for whatever failures occur.

No, let us NOT move on... let us punish those who have visited upon us untold misery and loss, both in blood and treasure. They must know that there is a price to be paid for their lies and deceipt. A biblical concept of retribution is called for here. Let us have the gallows, the gibbet, and let us break them upon the wheel.  We must get medieval about this. Nothing less will do. We must instill a visceral fear in our politicians that if they screw up, there is more than a lost election to be paid. Blood for blood.

If one looks at a listing of all the Roman emperors, one is astounded to learn that probably at least three quarters of them did not die a natual death. Many were done away by their own soldiers, were lynched, or were poisoned, or committed suicide.

Politicians have it all too easy today, as it has become such an easy racket.  So, let us NOT 'move on', but rather let us linger and fester upon the foul deeds of those that have betrayed the common trust. There must be accountability and retribution. Only when the price is paid can we 'move on'.

Don Sailorman;

"The Problem is not who is to blame" , "The Blame Game"

As much as you and the MSM like to call it that, it's not a game at all.  If your captain is still holding the wheel, going straight ahead, and is simultaneousely saying 'What Iceberg? Damn the torpedoes, y'all keep shopping!'  Then part of what needs to be done is to reclaim that wheel and admit that this leader is helping drive us into this.  We can leave the trial and the punishment for later, if you must, but don't tell me it's misspent energy to call this Administration on actions that are doing nothing to inform us of the situation we face, nothing to change course (save, of course for the Ample Solar Setups in Crawford and Kennebunkport)..

Bush's failure to lead and be honest with us is not the only thing that needs to be done by a long shot, but this is not just whining about some Blue Dress, here.  

Sir - I do beleive you are inciting a mutiny.  Yua are aware of the penalties for this?
Mutiny is a last resort.

I have considered that alternative. For now I reject it, and let me explain why. When I was learning to fly airplanes, somebody asked Louis Robinson (20,000 hours plus, outstanding pilot and flying instructor) who was teaching the ground-school class when (if ever) the co-pilot should take command away from the pilot.

Louis lit up his pipe and took a couple of puffs before he replied, because this is really a Big Question.

Finally, he said:

"If you are sure you will die if you do not take control--that is the only time you should take over."

At this point in time I am not sure that I and my family will die if the current regime stays in power.

Mutiny is not to be undertaken lightly, and the penalties for a failed mutiny [and almost all fail] is severe.

Another action not to be taken lightly is manning the life boats. You want to do everything possible to control damage, to man the pumps, to dump stuff overboard, diminish the flooding, maybe organize bucket brigades--whatever you can think--before you go to the boats.

You are much much better off on a half sunk hulk of a ship in a cold rough ocean than you are in a little boat.

But best would be to change course to diminish the damage to the S.S. Titanic--a slight change of course would have reduced the damage to the point where the pumps could have handled it--or diminishing speed by about six knots would probably have been enough to make the crucial difference.

Mutiny is not unthinkable, and at some point we may have to go to the boats--but in my opinion that point is not yet.

Criticizing the Board of Directors of the Cunard line is counterproductive when you are going full-speed ahead at night in diminished visibility with radio reports of floating ice.

On the other hand, an action such as the impeachment of the President followed by conviction of 'high crimes and misdemeanors'  is not at all analogous to mutiny on the high seas for the very reason that such action  is a perfectly legal remedy set forth in the Constitution.
Impeaching Clinton did no good and probably some harm. Note that during eight years the Clinton adminstration did squat (or less) to deal with problems associated with peak oil.

IMO there is not a dollar's worth (that is a dime, adjusted for inflation:-) of difference between Democrats and Republicans.

 I don't think your Metaphors are helping you, here.  If you're talking about The Titanic (or Peak Oil, perhaps), then the option of Staying on the 'Half-sunk Hulk in Stormy Seas' kind of changes ships, doesn't it?  It was only Half-sunk for about a Half-hour, as I recall, and that very calm sea was no solace to the 1000-1500(?) who went into it.  In that case and in this one, (and with the added value of hindsight) we can see the danger the icebergs pose, we see that the ship's size is not going to provide security, but just offers a bigger anchor to drag us down with, and we can see (to jump metaphors myself to your Co-pilot story) that there are any number of ways that this speed and course may well kill us, and we are discussing it all here (and hopefully acting elsewhere, as well) because somehow, that stick must get grabbed so we don't just slam into the mountain/(or should I stick to Iceberg?) at full force.

 And with the fluidity of metaphors, why NOT criticise the Cunard Line?  Who says we're reliving this story from only a few hundred yards from the 'Berg?  If we don't want to relive that night, what are the lessons that we could have learned from it?  One would be that if the Cunard Company wasn't so concerned with those 'Bulky, Frightening' Lifeboats piled up on A-deck (??), that a great many more people may have come home from that trip.  Just as we are now given excuse after excuse when we propose ways to gird ourselves against the strong likelihood of any number of Disasters that might befall our Ship..(or plane.. you pick. I know you like both)


I think the Titanic metaphor is apt.

If, as few as three minutes before the ship hit the ice either:
1. the wheel had been spun hard counterclockwise (to port)
2. the engines had been ordered to go full astern rather than full ahead,

in either case, the probability is that the Titanic would have hit the ice--but with diminished force. The ship had inadequate number of lifeboats but very powerful pumps. If the hole in the hull had been only half as long, then the odds are good that the ship could have been kept afloat, though just barely.

My point is that relatively small changes, relatively late in the game can make a HUGE difference.

If I did not believe this to be true, I'd be out drinking and making nice with the ladies instead of posting on TOD.

I'll drink to that.

My understanding was that when the iceberg was sighted, that two orders were given.  First turn the wheel hard one or another (don't remember which - probably port), and secondly to reverse the engines.

I saw some discussion that these two actions tended to counterbalance each other.  With the engines running in reverse, the flow of water over the rudder is reduced, thereby reducing the effectiveness of the rudder.  If they had simply brought the engines to a halt instead of going into full reverse, the turning radius would have been smaller, and they might have avoided the collision.

Well it seems that our Captain, First Mate and Weapons Officer have decided to maintain full speed, blast any icebergs they see and give full refunds to First Class passengers.  Those of us in steerage are supposed to sing Nearer My God to Thee really loud so no one can hear the ice scraping the hull.
I'm only proposing using our Legal Obligations as citizens, which include shedding light on the errors of our Representatives in Government.  We do it as loud and clear as we can, while the administration says we're 'helping the terrorists', 'playing politics', and 'not supporting the troops'  Is that the Pot calling the Kettle Black?  

If mutinies are brewing out there, did I incite them, or did he?

I missed the program. Is there a link available on the CNN website where I can access it online ? Willing to pay for the program. I just saw review on a investment group that they failed to mention "Peak Oil" in the program ???????

- Oil Shock

You can download the whole program with bittorrent.  Nose around here for details - someone had to explain it to me.
There's a very fast torrent out there.  You can access it here:


or here:


You will need a torrent program to download it.  BitTorrent, Shareza, or something of that ilk.

Once you download it, you can play it with Windows Media Player.

Just two comments:
From my wife, who has intellectually but not emotionally bought into peak oil:
  "Maybe when the ex-director of the CIA is putting solar pannels on his house we ought to do the same."

And from my 11 year old son as we watched the helicopter flight out to the deep sea oil drilling ship in the Gulf:
   "Don't you need a lot of oil to operate one of those rigs?"

RE:  Other groups who may have said it was Pabulum, too..

  The thought I woke up with regarding CNN's program (having only read the responses to it.. didn't see it yet), was that I have to wonder if the Climatology Community and the National Security junkies were also as concerned that this show put such a light emphasis on ~Their~ respective legs of the Impending-Disaster-Stool.

  It is pretty immense, the potential of any combination of these three standing threats;
  (Terrorism/Climate Events/Energy Falloff) to throw us into turmoil, let alone any single one of them doing more than enough damage on its own.

  I'm not even SURE that any or all of these will happen as devastatingly as is so often promised by some posters on this blog, but I'm here to keep my thoughts engaged on what preparations we can make at Local, National, and Global levels to try and weather some of these storms to what degree we can.  The thought that we can be at least taking some precautions to develop better emergency plans, local food, power and water options, and Civic designs to get people working as soon as something pops (Instead of waiting for Washington to eventually Award Halliburton the Contract to bring in underpaid foreign laborers, while just-unemployed locals get to sit around and watch..)


Someone requested an MP3 of this program, so they could listen to it in their car.  So I stripped the audio track out and turned it into an MP3:


This is a plain ol' download, not a torrent. It's about 40 Mb.