More on the Military concerns

The supply of fuel is critical to effective operations of any military unit.  This has been true both for combat situations and for the effective use of the military bases that most countries operate.  It is a topic that Yankee has previously covered, but that, in light of a couple of recent articles, is worth a revisit.  To answer one of her questions back then, as to exactly how much fuel the armed forces uses, comes a Reuters Article
The U.S. military consumed 144.8 million barrels of fuel in 2004, spending $6.7 billion, according to the Defense Energy Support Center (DESC). Last year, it consumed only 128.3 million barrels, but spent $8.8 billion, as the average price per barrel rose by almost 50 percent to more than $68. For 2006, DESC estimates the military will need 130.6 million barrels and pay more than $10 billion for it, at a price of more than $77 per barrel.
Fuel supply, and the timely delivery of fuel is critical, though as the Defense Science Board noted the delivery may be very expensive in some circumstances. Fuel efficiency in the past has not been a major consideration in the development of new technology,  
"Although significant warfighting, logistics and cost benefits occur when weapons systems are made more fuel-efficient, these benefits are not valued or emphasized" in any of the services, the Defense Science Board, the Pentagon's most prestigious technical advisory panel,concluded in 2001.
However, because of Iraq the Army and Marines are now using more than a third more fuel than they did in 2004, and this has put up the bill to the point that it is getting attention. As Reuters pointed out,
Two months later, the Pentagon also ordered all defense facilities to cut their energy consumption each year by 2 percent and to increase their use of renewable energy to 7.5 percent of total demand by 2013 and 25 percent by 2025.
Even as the White House repeatedly said the jury was still out on whether industrial emissions caused global warming, the Pentagon ordered facilities to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from 1990 levels by 2010.
The Air Force claims the lead in this with some 11% of its base energy coming from renewable sources such as biomass and wind.  That recognition is perhaps, in part, why there is the sudden interest in investing in these technologies.

While the rising costs of fuel were not initially recognized as being due to the developing peaking of oil production, in either review, it has been the subject of an Army study, that has been addressed already somewhat in the comments but which deserves a thread of its own. It originally came from Jeff Vail thank'ee, kind sir.  It can also be found here. The Corps of Engineers, through work at CERL in Illinois, looked at the trend in energy supply and how it will influence the operation of existing installations.  

As demand for natural gas and petroleum exceeds supply on a national or worldwide basis, prices rise. As the Earth's population swells and as standards of living are improved for the developing world, competition for finite resources will increase. The Army's energy demand at CONUS installations will grow as a major Base Realignment and Closure actions restation 70,000 troops from Europe and Asia to the United States
In regard to specific fuels, the report suggests that natural gas supplies will equilibrate to demand in about 10 years, with peaking in the 2030 to 2035 time frame.  And as for oil
Oil production is approaching its peak; low growth in availability can be expected for the next 5 to 10 years. As worldwide petroleum production peaks, geopolitics and market economics will cause even more significant price increases and security risks. One can only speculate at the outcome from this scenario as world petroleum production declines.
The disruption of world oil markets may also affect world natural gas markets since most of the natural gas reserves are collocated with the oil reserves.
Perhaps the most optimistic part of the report is in regard to renewable energy
Renewable energy technologies will certainly be a growing part of the energy mix and will penetrate faster and further than conventional energy advocates think. Early adoption to promote this market and these technologies is inherently in the Army's interest. From an economic perspective, the cost of renewable technologies continues to fall while the cost of conventional energy sources continues to rise.
Put all together as a summary
The days of inexpensive, convenient, abundant energy sources are quickly drawing to a close. Domestic natural gas production peaked in 1973. The proved domestic reserve lifetime for natural gas at current consumption rates is about 8.4 yrs. The proved world reserve lifetime for natural gas is about 40 years, but will follow a traditional rise to a peak and then a rapid decline. Domestic oil production peaked in 1970 and continues to decline. Proved domestic reserve lifetime for oil is about 3.4 yrs. World oil production is at or near its peak and current world demand exceeds the supply. Saudi Arabia is considered the bellwether nation for oil production and has not increased production since April 2003. After peak production, supply no longer meets demand, prices and competition increase. World proved reserve lifetime for oil is about 41 years, most of this at a declining availability. Our current throw-away nuclear cycle will consume the world reserve of low-cost uranium in about 20 years. Unless we dramatically change our consumption practices, the Earth's finite resources of petroleum and natural gas will become depleted in this century. Coal supplies may last into the next century depending on technology and consumption trends as it starts to replace oil and natural gas.
The Army is already addressing some of these issues and there is a Strategy.

And for a fellow agency it was not a strong endorsement for the USGS projections

A 2000 U.S. Geological Survey report estimates a much higher availability for the future of petroleum based on three things--reserves growth, higher recoverable fractions, and greater amounts new discoveries (Ahlbrandt, Pierce et al. 2000). The USGS report presents an optimistic picture for the next 20 years or so. Even if there predictions are true, the overwhelming majority of this oil is projected to be in the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, and in North Africa.
But that theme deserves its own thread.

I could go on pulling quotes from the document all day, but will close with one relevant to recent posts on natural gas

In 1997, 600 rigs kept production flat. In 2001, more than 1,000 gas rigs were needed to keep production steady and in 2002, 725 rigs are deployed but U.S. natural gas production fell by 6 percent. There are only 1,200 to 1,300 gas rigs in existence making it difficult for U.S. producers to reverse these trends.

Since the document is free I strongly recommend you download and read it for yourself. (It is 86 pages long).
P.S. It is not impressed with the prospects for a hydrogen economy.

And just to add a small comment on the UK gas situation, I note that the long range storage situation does not look so exciting today, so hopefully the warm weather will help build those stocks back up.

Might I add that this may be another reason, aside from possible oil shocks, that the US is building up and maintaining the SPR?
When they say "barrels of fuel," is this the equivlent number of barrels of oil to create the gasoline/diesel that they use?
HO very good post and deserves attention. Off course the military has been aware for a while, but this is broad, and public.
May we ask the question: to what possible beneficial purpose is this military fuel used?
Keeping the world safe for oil production......

 And this is how the world is made safe:

US troops investigated over Iraqi massacres
By Patrick Cockburn in Arbil
Published: 22 March 2006
The Independent

The US military is investigating two incidents in which American soldiers killed at least 26 Iraqi civilians and then claimed that they were either guerrillas or had died in cross fire.

The growing evidence of retaliatory killings of unarmed Iraqi families, often including children, by US soldiers seemingly bent on punishing Iraqis after an attack, will spark comparisons with the massacre of Vietnamese villagers at My Lai in 1968.

US troops have been notorious among Iraqis for their willingness to shoot any Iraqi they see in the aftermath of an insurgent attack. But it is only now that convincing and detailed information is becoming available about the killings.

In the most recent incident, in the town of Ishaqi north of Baghdad last week, Iraqi police said that US troops had shot 11 people, including five children, in their home. The local police chief, Colonel Farouq Hussein, said that all the dead had been shot in the head, according to autopsies. "It's a clear and perfect crime," he said. In an incident in the town of Haditha in western Iraq on 19 November last year, US soldiers went on a rampage in a village after a bomb attack and killed at least 15 civilians, according to witnesses and local officials cited by Time magazine in an investigation.

The US military first claimed a roadside bomb had killed a US Marine, Miguel Tarrazas, along with 15 Iraqi civilians caught in the blast. Later, a military statement said "gunmen attacked the convoy with small-arms fire" and in returning fire the Marines killed eight insurgents.

But after Time presented the US military with what Iraqis said had happened, an official investigation found that 15 of the civilians had been deliberately killed by US soldiers.

The bomb attack on the US Humvee took place at 7.15am. Eman Waleed, a nine-year-old child, lived in a house 150 yards from the explosion. "We heard a big noise that woke us all up," she recalled later. "Then we did what we always do when there's an explosion: my father goes in to his room with the Koran and prays the family will be spared harm."

The Marines claim they heard shots coming from the direction of Waleed's house. They burst in to the house and Eman heard shots from her father's room. They then entered the living room, where the rest of the family was gathered. She said: "I couldn't see their faces very well - only their guns sticking in to the doorway. I watched them shoot my grandfather, first in the chest and then in the head. Then they killed my granny."

The US soldiers started shooting in to the corner of the room where Eman and her eight-year-old brother, Abdul Rahman, were cowering. The other adults in the room tried to protect the two children with their bodies and were all shot dead. Eman and her brother were both wounded.

"We were lying there, bleeding and it hurt so much. Afterwards some Iraqi soldiers came. They carried us in their arms. I was crying, shouting, 'why did you do this to our family?' And one Iraqi soldier tells me, 'we didn't do it. The Americans did it'."...

Yes, I know - along with the recent murder of a family or two in the village of Isahaqi.  In case you're not sure, my comment that you responded to was a tad sarcastic.
   Only the dead have seen the end of the war. Plato.

   I think the day a US soldier compromises his/her honor and MURDERS an innocent is a very sad day indeed.  But look at the broader picture...if you take a group any group. Accountants, Irish, African americans, single divorcees you will find that one of them is capable of murder.  This enemy we are fighting...the "Evil Doers" they are the flip side of our military industrial complex.  A close friend of mine was killed by a woman pretending to be pregnant who was actually strapped with explosives.
SSG Nino Livaudais
  Unfortunately young boys of all nations fight wars while old men talk about them.  Boys that are not men yet and scared.  Things like what happened to Nino happen every day in Iraq.  It changes soldiers.  
   I think Friedrich Nietzsche said "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster"  These "Evil Doers" are not all evil. They are scared young men raised in poverty and ignorance following the guidance of old men who talk to much. I walked away from the Army a changed person and a good one I believe, but there is no penance for the things I've done and no forgetting the things I've seen.
   So go then and slay a few dragons and then tell me if you sleep better.  Or will you wake up crying.  And before we convict a soldier in the trial of media, pause for a moment and think "Who cuts heads off of bound prisoners?".

There is nothing good in war.

"This enemy we are fighting" - is one we sought out and choose to fight.  

A war of choice, a war for profit.  WE are the aggressors, we did not have to do this, which only compounds any crimes committed by individual soldiers.  In any violent crime, be it in times of war or in civilian life, when one looks at the circumstances it is often true that the perpetrator is also a victim.  It's a sad state of affairs when we put young people in such situations for which they are not prepared, where they are in the wrong, and their responses are often predictably bad.  But that does not excuse the crime, it only makes those who sent them at least equally guilty.    

Yes, there is nothing good in war.

We agree then there is nothing good in war.

Yet some wars must be fought, when diplomacy fails.  I am speaking of the War on Terror, and there is no diplomacy with these people.  They are murderers and readily admit to their willingness to kill innocents.  We did not choose this war just as 99% of muslims did not.  An extreme faction of that religion attacked us on our own soil.  We must act in response.  I would prefer covert operations and CIA involvement.  Westerners on arab soil bolster our enemy and gain support for the terrorist. But make no mistake we need to seek this enemy and fight them.  
Iraq was an opportunity to gain a foothold in the mideast and stabilize the region. Colonialism has had a very unsuccesful past and I don't think democracy building works.  You must have an educated public for democracy and that prerequisite is not met.  

I'm sorry, but this is delusional.  Iraq had nothing to do with ANY attack on US soil.  The people WE attacked with the full force of the US military were innocent, which we knew.  Is that not murder?    

We did everything in our power to sabatoge the diplomatic efforts in the run up to the Irag war, because war was the goal.  And now much of the rest of the world looks at the US and thinks "there is no diplomacy with these people" - unless you have nukes.  

We absolutely do not need to seek this enemy and fight them - and doing so is morally unsupportable.  The oil does not belong to us, and we have no right to take it by force. We used our up, now we are free to BUY what we can of other's.   Beyond that the effort is doomed to failure.

Terror is a tactic - and if the people who planned the 9/11 attack were indeed Bin Laden and his crew, then you must keep in mind that he was our boy, just as was Saddam.  WE made them both what they became, because at one time we thought they would be useful tools in our effort to control ME oil.  

Indeed, you must have an educated public for democracy, and that prerequisite is not met as long as people believe complete falsehoods like the ones you have stated above.  

Twilight - Thanks for your post. I was saddened when I posted the column from the Independent. I have spent some time trying to identify the source of that sadness.

I am not an American. To many of us who are not Americans, the United States has been seen as a shining city of light, a beacon, a living monument to the highest ideals of humankind.

I do not wish to sound too gushy but I grew up when a pair of kids of my age were dismantling an American presidency and using nothing more than the truth as their weapon of choice. And I later met a women confined for life to a wheelchair due to the military violence at Kent State; I have had nothing but respect for the past ability of America to confront evil and seek a return to core values respected by all persons who respect honest debate and work to preserve freedom.

My sense is that America is now a rogue state, one which no longer respects the ideals of her founders, or the freedoms they sought to protect. I fail to understand why her people are so silent.

I don't believe I am alone in this negative view of America. This growing negative perception does not auger well for Americas future place in the commonwealth of nations. When we write the story of peak oil, I believe we will also be writing the decline of the American state and the American empire.

With regard to Iraq I would send them an endless supply of New Hampshire license plates. I disagree with their notion of freedom but I can see no way to counter their desire to achieve what America seeks to forfeit.

Saddam used chemical weapons on the Kurds he admitted to this.  The Israelis had to take out his Nuclear production in the 80's.  Saddam repeatedly stated he wanted WMD's. Nevertheless read my post above...I am against occupation/invasion of Iraq I believe it seeds new terrorism.
  The "Enemy" I speak of is the extreme faction of Islam which publically endorses harming innocent nonmuslims. We must support moderate nations like Saudi, Jordan and Egypt, while surgically taking out the bad guys. One Air Force sorte costs more than 12 commandos behind enemy lines.
  Guerrilla warfare is a tactic, terrorism is murder and morally wrong, and violates the rules of war, and the Koran.
  If you think I have posted something false, debunk it.  Calling me delusional is simply a fallacious cop-out.
  How can you not morally support hunting down and killing the murderers of 9/11, the same killers pressure young men and women to strap bombs to themselves with lies of martyrdom.  These suicide bombers kill as many innocent muslims as Israelis or Americans.

  Twilight your statements are inconsistent, and your moral compass is spinning.  It saddens me that you can have such a narrow minded view of your country.  If these isolated cases of soldiers ALLEGEDLY murdering civilians are wrong what is your standpoint on a suicide bomber willing to kill his own countrymen in a cowardly attack on civilians?

I think I already did itemize several of the factual errors in your post:  

We are also murderers and willing to kill innocents.  We absolutely DID choose this war - if you dispute this, please provide one reason for attacking Iraq not based on things that were obvious lies beforehand.  Diplomacy did not fail, we killed it.  

You oppose the Iraq war because "Westerners on Arab soil bolster our enemy and gain support for the terrorist.",  i.e. because it is ineffective.  I oppose it because it is utterly, totally morally bankrupt to attack a country that has not done anything to you.  Also, perhaps you can state who "this enemy" is that you refer to?  Is it Arabs?  Persians?  Muslims?  The Saudis who made up most of the 9/11 attackers?  Anyone who disagrees with us?  Maybe just those who have something we want?  

At the time the chemical attacks on the Kurds occurred, the US analysis was that it was Iranian chemicals that had killed them, and that the town had been caught in a crossfire between the two sides.  I'm sure you must be aware that the US and Europe supplied much of the chemical weapon technology that Iraq was using during the Iran/Iraq war - this was done because Iraq was getting it's butt kicked, and we were worried that Iran would win.  

Modern weapons of war are far more effective at killing large numbers of civilians than are suicide bombers.  We have killed, and are killing civilians in large numbers - but does it matter which method is more effective?  Just what is it that would make someone willing to strap on a bomb and obliterate themselves just to strike at their enemy?  

You say that "terrorism is murder and morally wrong, and violates the rules of war", but what the US is doing in Iraq (an unprovoked war of aggression) is also morally wrong, and in fact is about the highest war crime known.  Our continued support of what Israel is doing to the Palestinians is also morally wrong.  They do not hate us because we are free; they hate us because of our actions.  

If we had used the billions we have spent on war to make the lives of people in the ME tangibly better, had dealt with them in good faith - in short if we had behaved the way our national myths of self image tell us we should, then there would be no support for the madmen in the ME.  And we would be far safer than we are now.  

I see little difference between a soldier killing a civilian in support of a nation trying to steal the oil resources of another vs. a terrorist killing civilians in an attempt to strike back.  Is the bomb dropped from an F16, or the sniper's bullet, more moral than the home-made bomb?

Valid Reasons for Military Action in Iraq
  1. Saddam stated his goal was to erradicate Israel/US
  2. Saddam like Hitler/Stalin and countless other dictators in history ran a murderous regime (minority driven by the way) with gross human rights violations.
  3. Stabilize the region/ build democracy.  I disagree with this one but many analysts liberal and consevative thought it a good idea pre-shockandawe.
  4. Oil....not to steal it but to secure it.  Stealing would be going into a stable country IE Kuwait for the sole purpose of killing and controlling the locals and taking the oil.  We pay the Iraqis for all the oil we get from them. We also pay them higher than market value for a host of services.  We also train their military and police and equip them.
  5.  Saddam paid bounties to families of suicide bombers in palestine.  On sept 12 Bush said terrorists anywhere and those who support them will be hunted and killed/captured.  
  6.  Saddam said he wanted WMD's and there was legitimate fear he would cooperate with a terrorist faction.

When a bomb dropped from the sky on a legitimate target kills innocents it is called "collateral damage"  Saddam used his women and children as shields to make the us look bad. Intentionally in Desert storm and the recent conflict he did this.  If you can't recognize the moral difference between intentionally targeting civilians and legitimate military targets then you are obviously "morally bankrupt" yourself.  Snipers are highly trained in target recognition.  Their role on the modern battlefield saves lives on both sides by taking out highlevel threats without full on engagements or large amounts of ordinance.

There is a difference between killing a soldier and murdering a civilian. It is a soldiers job to put his life at risk.  He is a fair target.
Show me any violations the US has allegedly made and I'll show you 100 the Enemy has.

The "Enemy" as I already put it is a tiny fraction of Muslims the footsoldiers of which are often uneducated young men being led by power hungry often highly educated leaders.  They are being recruited from all the disenchanted youth across the Islamic nations.  The religous rhetoric combined with poverty and squalor makes for a powerful recruiting tool.  

Twilight every time you post it seems like you have not read my post.  I am all about protecting human life.  The murders we are fighting are an enemy to the US, Israel, and Islam.  When the World Trade Center was attacked the planners knew there would be an american response.  Just as every american knew we must respond.  You repeatedly confuse my statements against terrorism for a pro Iraq war argument.  

I should have quit this one long ago - clearly we live in different worlds, and are failing to communicate.

And this is not the right forum for this discussion, so I appologize to the TOD community for increasing the noise.

I have to jump in here, increasing the noise level only because I think most people will have left this thread by now, but that I can't see this comment left alone. Also, forgive my laziness in not using quote formatting.

1. Saddam stated his goal was to erradicate Israel/US

Israel has stated its goal is to erradicate Palestine, Iraq and Iran. US has stated its goal to erradicate (sorry, spread democracy) to Afganistan, Iraq, Korea, Vietnam, Haiti, Cuba..... Ok, to be fair, they never have stated that as their goal, but I would like to see quotes from Saddam saying he wanted to erradicate Israel/US. Would that have been after the famed meeting with Rumsfield, after the years of CIA support? I find it so hard to believe that a country the size of California, half the world away, was considered a serious threat. You were worried they would invade you?

2. Saddam like Hitler/Stalin and countless other dictators in history ran a murderous regime (minority driven by the way) with gross human rights violations.

Ignoring the H word, it is also true that the US is running a murderous regime with gross human rights violations. Have you not heard about the latest UN and Amnesty reports? Covert operations are terrorism from the other side. Gulags anyone?

3. Stabilize the region/ build democracy.  I disagree with this one but many analysts liberal and consevative thought it a good idea pre-shockandawe.

Yes, bomb them into stabilization. Bomb them until they vote. (bombing was carried out from Gulf war I)

4. Oil....not to steal it but to secure it.  Stealing would be going into a stable country IE Kuwait for the sole purpose of killing and controlling the locals and taking the oil.  We pay the Iraqis for all the oil we get from them. We also pay them higher than market value for a host of services.  We also train their military and police and equip them.

I'm not sure there is a difference. I believe that when the war started, it was stated that it would be paid by Iraqi oil, and that reconstruction would be paid by Iraqi oil. Bomb them and make them pay. Higher pay as a rational for war? Disband an army then claim credit for trying to start a new one?

5.  Saddam paid bounties to families of suicide bombers in palestine.  On sept 12 Bush said terrorists anywhere and those who support them will be hunted and killed/captured.  

Israel should abide by all UN resolutions against it. How about the right of return for 4 million refugees. How can you justify supporting an apartheid nation? Why didn't Bush say he would seek justice on only those who pepetrated 9/11? Why is that an excuse to attack anyone now labelled by Bush as a terrorist? Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

6.  Saddam said he wanted WMD's and there was legitimate fear he would cooperate with a terrorist faction.

Now the whole world wants WMD's, as it has been proven if you don't have them, you will be attacked by the US. Is the US now the world's thought police, attacking states because they might cooperate with someone that the US doesn't agree with, because they might want something?

Really what I find amazing is that some Americans (there are so many representations of smart and well informed ones here on this site) cannot see the other side. Up until the start of the Iraq war I also believed most American propaganda about how the US is good for the world. Its only because it has been so badly bunged up by Bush that I started researching other sources and other points of view. The more I read the more shocked I am. As been repeatedly stated here, Bush has worn through all the goodwill the US had. More and more people I talk to are coming around to understand the role the US has had in trying to dominate the world through force. While I know I will not change your opinions, you must realize that you are becoming part of a smaller and smaller section of Americans (latest polls say only 1 in three supporting Bush).

Saddam formally assumed the Iraqi presidency in 1979. He maintained power through the devastating Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) and the first Gulf War (1991), which both corresponded with a sharp decline in living standards and the human rights situation. While hailed among some sectors of the Arab world for standing up to the West and his unflinching support for the Palestinians, the United States continued to view Saddam with harsh scorn following Iraqi defeat in the 1991 Gulf War. He was deposed by the U.S. and its allies during the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and was captured by U.S. forces on December 13, 2003.

Right and wrong are not a matter of the whims of the mob.  I do not care what opinions are held.  In the entire post above I have stated I do not support an occupation or democracy building. In the current trial procedings saddam said it was a duty of muslims to destroy Israel. I am in support of hunting down this perverted faction of Islam and killing them any means neccesary. Very few countries have WMD's and we have not invaded th others.  Are we in Venezuela?

"While I know I will not change your opinions, you must realize that you are becoming part of a smaller and smaller section of Americans (latest polls say only 1 in three supporting Bush)."

Public opinion should not sway a presidents will.  His conscience should.  For whatever successes and failures he has I truly believe GW believes he is acting in good faith.  I disagree  with his tactics but not his principles.  You will not change my opinion unless you can yank back some ficticous green curtain and show me the true OZ.  

The bombings continued through clintons era because Saddam was a threat. Left alone he would eventual have made something nasty.  Saddam SAID he wanted to.

Once again I hate war.  Many of my buddies are dead in the past five years.  I hope you understand a large percentage of moderate democrats are fed up with the lunacy of that party.  This election will be up in the air and I think dems could win but they will probably run a far lefter and alienate the country.  4 more years republican. :)

I guess for a military that pays $600 for a toilet seat and $400 for a hammer, $77 for a barrel of oil isn't that bad.
Aside from the fact that the toilet seat story is overblown, some toilet seats are worth $600
the background:
"In the particular case of the "$600 toilet seat", the item was actually a molded fiberglass cover for the sanitary tank on IIRC, a P-3. The "toilet seat" was a 3 foot by 2 foot complex molding that had a toilet seat molded into it. $600 is entirely reasonable for something with about the complexity of a fender panel for a Corvette."
Cost is no object, don't you know there's a WAR ON?

(and entirely optional war, I might add, but still...)

What is the link to the 86 page report you suggest downloading?
Sorry it was referenced via Jeff Vail and the here that followed that.  But to make it easier it is here
That's a four page report, not an 86 page report.
Sorry again, I just looked at the front page, there are actually two reports cited on that page,  The page says

"On-Line Publication:
Click here for the full text of this report.
Related Media:
The top citation (the colored "here") takes you to the abstracted Technical Note.  The Related Media citation is the one for the full report.

In is not only the US military that is at last waking up to peak oil. The British Ambassador, Sir David Manning gave a speech at Stanford University at which he recognised peak oil.

"the supplies of oil on which we depend are finite. Global oil production is apparently nearing its peak. Although there is intense debate about exactly when this will happen - something Daniel Yergin discusses in the Foreign Affairs article I referred to earlier - current estimates seem to be converging on some point between 2010 and 2020."  

This would I suspect be judged over optimistic  by most in this forum and nor would Daniel Yergin be the authortity of choice by most but it is the first British government official that I know of who has acknowledged peak oil.


PO might be a first timer for a top British official to mention it but there is a lot of movement out there. The April National Geographic that just came out has a pro-nuke article in it. Because of GHG.

The EXPLORATION + PROCESSING Spring 2006 issue has an article by Red Cavaney who is president of the American Petroleum Institute - (should get you his thoughts) that basically cops to use hybrids, alternative fuels, etc. This is good, but Big Oil (who pays Red) will need to use new and various technologies to stay up/keep up with demand in the era of sliding-easy-to-find-oil.

Bush's "Addiction to Oil" comment in the State of the Union message has been carefully orchestrated and reflects a sea change in my opinion.

I'm reposting from a prior thread -- this is the proper place for it:

Here's a an Aljazeera article on coal and the military:

The Germans fell back on coal to liquids when they lost access to sufficient supplies of oil. So, see, our leaders aren't so dumb after all.

It's actually an AP article.  Just in case anyone doesn't believe Al-Jazeera is a reliable source.  
Oh, I don't question Al Jazeera. But if I had realized it was AP, I would preceded it with a disclainer. Do I put a smiley here or not?
What is interesting is that this story has gotten so little exposure, except at Al-Jazeera.  I saw it the day it went over the wires.  I think at the Web site of a small Pennsylvania paper. (Coal town, I assume.)  But it's since been taken down, and I haven't seen it anywhere else.  Rather odd, really.

I think more accurately it is: "Al-Jazeera is often a reliable source, but has a point of view that sometimes colors it's stories." The "massacre" at Jenin springs to mind.

This coal to oil story for the military is one to watch unfold over the next few years.

Yes, that's how I'd put it.  Al-Jazeera has a point of view.  But what media source doesn't?  CNN, Fox News, CBS, etc.  It's just not as visible to us, since it's a view we tend to share.  
Well put. But Al Jazeera is a mere shadow of its former self. They managed to neuter it somehow.
I am reading one of Jerry Mander's books (mentioned here, of course). He's the author of "Four Arguments for the Elimination of Televison. He relates some information he derived from the periodical Advertising Age:

75% of commercial network television time is purchased by the top 100 corporations in the U.S.  

To more fully understand the relevance of the statistic Mander adds: there are about 450,000 corporations in the country.

Mander's conclusion is that 100 corporations decide what appears on television and what does not.

Point us toward some conclusions.
Mander has quite a few thoughts on TV/MSM, and he is of the MSM as well, having run his own ad agency some years ago.

The most important conclusion is that producers must ultimately sell their programs to sponsors, that this is an explicit understanding which guides all program content and how the message is presented.

That Public Broadcasting is more that 50% funded by these same corporations which leads to the same programming constraints.

That the cost of an ad or ad campaign is so high that only these mega-corporations can pay and play. So they dominate the airwaves. It is essentially private ownership of the news.

That the public doesn't realize that free speech is not a right we enjoy equally since the most pervasive and powerful communications medium is controlled by so very few.

Mander gives a lot of statistics for viewers and hours viewed (5 hours per day is average!) but I posted not to go off on a rant about TV or the MSM but to help us understand that what we regard as the "news" is highly filtered to reflect the view of these very few, very large corporations.
In this regard we are not unlike Al Jazeera. And... we think of Al Jazeera as presenting highly selected and inflammatory news. I guess they have different sponsors <g>.

Understanding this sponsorship ratio is important. Quite literally, TSWHTF before PO gets honest representation at 6 P.M. And even then it will be filtered. So it truly is up to places like TOD to educate the public. As in New Orleans, help isn't on the way.    

A slight quibble: the media companies sell their audiences not their airtime/pages to the advertisers.
OK... they sell the audience.

Mander expressed himself differently but I am not sure it changes things. 100 corporations effectively control the message.

What struck me was this... several threads back Goose opened with a discourse on Pab-u-lum. This concerned the TV docu-drama about oil/you were warned. A number of posters here indicated that:

A) it was "step" in the right direction.
B) the media was cautious about public perception.
C) the public wasn't ready (too dumb) to understand.
D) the coverage missed making the simple point about        depletion in order to focus on various supply chain threats.

In other words, a selective, but benign, interpretation of the facts. But, and this is the issue... Suppose the TV folks weren't shoveling pab-u-lum, protecting us from self-panic? Did they not consider the Army Corps report that's making the rounds in blog-world, and issued in September 2005, not worth air-time?or not credible? Is the DOE's Hirsh report of Feb. 2005 not newsworthy... for a broadcast about oil scarcity?

Mander's point is that the MSM is must place the interests of its financial backers first.

My point is: peak oil'ers are wrong to believe the MSM is waiting for proof. Because if the Army knows the truth you can bet CNN does too. They have decided not to cover it.

That is a really big problem.


Hmm.. We're as smart as the Nazis so we're not so dumb?

The scale of our needs is an order of magnitude higher(or maybe two) from the Third Reich's, our willingness to tolerate environmental degradation is an order of magnitude lower, and our alternatives (investment in efficiency and renewable energy) are much better than those Hitler faced.

Here in Montana, our Governor has made a lot of noise about how we have 120 billion tons of coal, and how that could supply the country for decades. We have 48 billion, not 120 billion, tons of strippable, economically recoverable coal, according to USGS. That would (at current usage) fill all your Humvees and Escorts and every other transportation need for 11+ years, not "decades." No one has a decent idea what it would cost to build the plants needed to convert the coal to fuel, but a relatively low guess is $75,000 per daily barrel of capacity, and that works out to 1 trillion dollars. Trillion with a T. And you thought the hydrogen economy was going to be a problem.

We're not done though. Plants of that size would use so much water we'd drain Fort Peck Resorvoir -- that's on the Missouri River, now -- in six years. The Corps of Engineers catches grief as it is with the fights between the downstream and upstream states. And that's our biggest resorvoir.

It would require stripmining 1,000 square miles of Montana, and a 100-fold increase in Montana coal production. Oh and the population of Eastern Montana would have to go from about 300,000 now, to about 1.5-2 million people. If we can find the water for them.

For those of you interested in greenhouse gases, even if you capture C02 emissions at a coal-to-diesel plant, over the life-cycle, diesel from coal emits 10% MORE CO2 than diesel from petroleum, today. Unless we start "sequestering" CO2 coming out of the tailpipe of every U.S. vehicle.

Montana, our Governor says, has 1/3 of the U.S. reserves of coal. So if as much of U.S. coal is really mineable as our coal is here in Montana, we'd get 33 years of liquid fuels out of all of it. And an INCREASE in greenhouse gases. And stripmining 3,000 square miles. And the price tag just went up to 3 trillion. To BUILD the plants.

There is a reason Western Civilization shifted from coal to oil. Coal is dirty, and not liquid, and not gaseous. If we're going to spend a trillion dollars, shouldn't it be on something that isn't going to accelerate the rate at which we are cooking the planet?

We are running out of oil, but coal is not the answer.

Nothing like a military following in the footsteps of the people who designed our new helmets -- the Nazis.

Ah, the deep delight of an unspeakable irony played out to the cheers of America's consumerist mobs.

The irony is there, all right. Part of the irony is that some of the diesel made from the coal will end up helping the Israelis - the ones the Nazis wanted to get rid of. Quick! There is a chance to harness the rotational energy by hooking generators to the spinning bodies in the graves of dead Nazis. Their very technology they used to try to wipe out Jews being used to SAVE Jews instead. The irony should generate a few gigawatts at least. Ahhhh, free energy from Irony power. Might be good for use in ion rocket engines....
Hello TODers,

May I suggest that nobody overlook this key essay on Matt Savinar's LATOC news & updates section:

I think it is highly appropriate to this military thread.
I wrote a similar essay a long time ago called "The Porridge Principle of Metered Decline in Iraq", but it is too long to post here.

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

Important question. Are these barrels of fuel or oil? Fuel could be considered gasoline(which the military uses (relatively) little of), diesel, or jet(JP-8, kerosene).

The US consumes 9-9.7 million barrels-per-day of gasoline. So If you add the diesel and jet into that mix. You are talking - in 2004 10 days of consumption, so 10-over-365 equals 1/36th or less than 3%. Big Deal..

Every US military operation has fuel efficiency in mind.For one simple reason. The second word of HO's post. Supply. No military outfit in the world wants to carry fuel anywhere. Because it gets in the way of water, food, ammunition, and beer. Do you know where the word "hooker" comes from. In the Civil War there was a General Hooker. The women-folk used to follow the soldiers wherever they went. His camp got so big they got got a name, Hookers troops.

The last thing we want to be hauling around is fuel. The body-armor is enough. The less fuel our troops use, the less convoy-defense duty they have to pull. It is only practical. No soldier wants his Bradley to go one less mile as long as it goes faster. They want more ammo and armor. That means better fuel efficiency.

The classic story in warfare is Churchill pushing the British Navy from coal to oil. It is the same today. Because at the critical point in the battle you don't want to be worrying about the fact that your Hummer only gets 2.5 miles to the gallon, do you. At that rate, when you are 90 miles West of Fallujah, you don't want to be worrying about whether your gauge is working.

Actually the one I had in mind was
"By August 16, much of the Third Army was making its historic dash through France. They raced through country that was thick with Nazi troops that were too demoralized to stop them. It was the epitome of the tactics Patton had long planned, his racing columns followed the roads used by Caesar's legions. "If Caesar chose those routes, they must be good. And the roads he built are still there." The army spearheads were often fifty miles or more ahead of the main body...depending on surprise, they cut right through the enemy held territory. Patton's tankers boasted, "We hold the roads, they hold the shoulders." The tactics were similar to those used by J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry. But, Stuart didn't have the 19th Tactical Air Command, a squadron of fighter-bombers attached to Third Army, that gave air reconnisiance, strafed, and bombed the enemy. When their bullets and bombs were gone, they dropped their belly tanks on German convoys. The entire countryside from Brittany to Paris was marked by thick black columns of smoke from burning armor and transports. Sometimes the roads were so choked by ruined German vehicles that bulldozers had to be sent ahead to clear the way. On August 25, almost incidentally to the tremendous victories of the Third Army, Paris was liberated. By this time, the Third Army had long outrun the supply lines of ordinance, supplies, and gasoline coming from the coast. Patton had run out of gas.

Patton was frantic. The German army was now defeated, and he wasn't able to follow through with the victory. The available gasoline was given to Montgomery, for his push to Antwerp, to open another port to receive supplies. Patton believed until his death that politics played a part in his failure to be able to follow through his victory.
(from this site)

I am reading this story at this moment. Bizarre. Carlo D'Este, "Decision in Normandy." World War II relates so closely to so many topics we discuss here. Summer/Fall in France 1944 started it all in many ways.
In short, the military measures fuel efficiency in terms of "violence per gallon", kind of like our acronym ERoVI. By improving vpg, you improve ERoEI of a war. If you double vpg but have to commit double the violence, ERoEI remains constant as ERoVI is doubled.

As violence ramps up as a cost of getting oil, it behooves the offending army (the USA's) to get better vpg, by using more efficient vehicles carrying more ammo. Less fuel carried means more ammo can be carried more miles. The evolution of war aircraft shows this nicely. An F-22 can carry the load of a B-17 but faster and farther. Warbirds have better vpg than earlier versions. Which would you rather drive? An F-22 or a Messerschmitt 262? All manner of war craft follows this pattern, on all sides, like Tim McVeigh's cube truck getting half the mpg of a car bomb but packs 4 times the punch - doubling vpg.

Switching from coal to oil did the same with warships, with the ultimate expression being nuke-fuelled carriers and boomer subs. The carrier needs only carry petroleum for planes, and the subs, none at all, getting infinite vpg! (not including energy of manufacture)

Hello Mad Maxout,

Excellent analysis!  The US military has a long way to go to maximize VPG.  Recall that Genghis Khan, long before we discovered fossils fuels, became such an effective and ruthless field commander that eventually villages surrendered without opposition, and even sent its young soldiers to join his advancing hordes.  INFINITE VPG.

Nowadays, the use of economic sanctions, and PSYOPS tactics of leaflets and radio broadcasts can vastly 'grease' the way for military ops by demoralizing an enemy; reducing his will to fight back.

I believe optimizing 'Peace per Gallon' is the most efficient of all-- but this is only possible if the whole world can agree on Powerdown without violence--A BIG IF.  So far, I see no evidence of the world leaders discussing ASPO's Energy Depletion Protocols, and military budgets are increasing too.

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

More fun links posted in a random and somewhat off-topic manner (I apologize)...

China is slapping major taxes on all oil products and usages of oil products, with large vehicles taking a 20% hit

More global warming complications

This fellow thinks that global warming has nothing to do with CO2, just the damage of high-altitude clouds

Clean your coal with Hydrofluoric acid?  Just don't make me clean out the process equipment:

Indium gallium nitride sticks its head up again in this pert near "perfect" solar cell from Berkley And what about cost? "If it works, the cost should be on the same order of magnitude as traffic lights," Walukiewicz says. "Maybe less."

After waking up from a nasty Evacuation Day celebration, these guys from MIT explored Tree Power!!! ee/

All you need is methane and a bunch of power for your microwave emitter and you can get Hydrogen, woooo....  On the other hand, you may want to just pass it up and read how the Russians have estimated that to transfer motor transport to hydrogen, it will be needed to increase global power generation by 3 times

Looking for some energy investment advice?  Try something foolish -

How about an efficient six-stroke engine for your hybrid?

It looks like the Scots are setting up the first "commercial" wave powered system in Portugal

If the US military was really serious about saving energy, the first place to start is by not wasting it. I'm talking about such things as an Air Force general using a giant transport as his personal taxi service.

 One can take such an example and multiply it several thousand-fold.  I can just imagine all the unnecessary air traffic going from US bases to Iraq and back.

Fundamental problem is that it is always easy to spend money when someone else is picking up the tab.

HO, please be careful because with a single misquotation you totally change the meaning of the sentence:

The Air Force claims the lead in this with some 11% of its base energy coming from renewable sources

Compare that to the linked article:

The Air Force says 11% of the electricity at its bases comes from biomass, geothermal, solar or wind power

The difference, especially for the air force would be impressive. I don't know what is the fuel consumption of a F-16 for example, but I can make the WAG that a single test flight of one plane consumes more energy in the form of fuel than a whole base does for a week in the form of electricity.

With all due respect, let's be careful. Let's calculate this out. Let's compare numbers to numbers. We want to calculate it  so that we can draw legitimate debate. I'll go with you every step of the way, but you have to lay down the first track. This get's extremely tricky because we are comparing energy forms.
Yes, it is interesting to do that - for the WAG I made some quick approximate calculations based on blurred figures I took.

First methodology - to make them comparable I multiply the jet fuel energy to 0.4 to compare it with electricity, because 0.4 is the typical efficiency of electricity generation from fossil fuels.

I used 5 tons of jet fuels for a test flight, which turns out to be about right. F-16 specifications:

A single-seat F-16 has 12 000 lbs. of fuel capacity of which 2 000 are for take-off and landing. I assume they use their full tank for the test flight.

12 000 lbs. translates to 5 448 kgs. of fuel. According to here:

aviation gasoline contains 49.6 GJ/tonne, so the total energy used by F-16 would be:
49.6 * 5.448 = 270.2 GJ

which is the equivelent of (1 kwth = 0.0036 GJ):
270.2 * 0.4 / 0.0036 = 30,024 kwth

The question is whether an air base uses more or less than 30,024 kwth per week. It translates to 178 KW on average, or the power used by 150 US households (average US household uses 205 kwth per week). I think it is safe to assume that they don't use that much or at least it is not far.

I saw this when I came online. I will let this stand peer review for at least a day or two. You will be glad to know that I still haven't figured you out. Love, CEO.
Trust me, I have not figured you out either.
CEO, this comment is not to you but I felt you are a good post to follow.

Ladies and Gentleman TRILLIONS of dollars turn the wheels of our military industrial complex.  Whether we loot oil, buy oil or convert coal to diesel (and virtually any other hydrocarbon we want) I'll warrant the US Military will be the last entity in the world to have a needle on "E".
 Regardless oil does NOT win wars. Ask Ho Chi Min, and Al Zarqawi.  Even our founding fathers fought effective wars without it.  Determination wins wars. Boots touching the ground win wars.  Our petroleum powered jets can drop huge amounts of ordinance, and I promise it is extremely accurate.  Two points.
1. Body Count- everyone we kill is martyred whether they were a cab driver or a terrorist.  Every dead father has a son determined to grow up and avenge his father.
2  Hearts and Minds-We are the devil they were warned about there to rape their women and kill their children.

We can win this war two ways. Kill every man woman and child...anyone who can ever strap a bomb to their chest.  Obviously this is unnacceptable.  Or we can pull out and make them inconsequential.  Zero foreign aid or commerce with every terrorist nation and a comprehensive plan for independence from mideast oil.  This would take sacrifice and determination.  I am not sure our generation compares to that of WWII Americans.

No jet plane that I know of runs on gasoline; they all run on jet fuel, which is kerosine.

Many test flights are brief.

In any case, good piloting requires you to come to a full-stop landing with a 45 minute reserve of fuel.

To run out of fuel at 15,000 feet is extremely embarrassing.

No jet plane that I know of runs on gasoline; they all run on jet fuel, which is kerosine.

This source:

gives an energy content of 43.5 GJ/tonne for both gasoline and kerosine based jet fuel. Personally I did not know there are 2 types of jet fuel, but since the energy content is the same this does not affect the calculations.

I admit that the "full tank" assumption was bogus. The F-16 specification claims the aircraft needs 2000lbs/ just for take off and landing. A typical military jet engine efficiency is 0.8lbs/lbt/hr, meaning that a one hour flight with 25 000 lbs take-off weight will take anoher 2000lbs. of fuel. On total a 2 tonnes fuel consumption is probably more realistic for a non-combat flight I think.

On the upside of the calculations I think the 0.4 coefficient for comparing electricity vs. jet fuel is too low. If we needed to synthesize the jet fuel from other fossil fuels (or from electricity in case of renewables) there would be significant losses that would drive it up - 70% for Fischer-Tropps would make it 0.57, but the output diesel fuel will have to be additionally H2 enriched.

Overal in my opinion my estimation was roughly right (give or take).

I agree that your estimate was in the ballpark.

What bothers me is that the underlying implication of military spending and use of fuel is a "waste."

One of the most notable events of the past fifty years is that World War III did not happen.

That nonevent is a Good Thing.

May I suggest that the strength of the U.S. armed forces may have had a great deal to do with the nonhappening of World War III?

Believe it or not, there are much worse possibilities than Peak Oil.

My opinion is that WWIII dod not happen mostly because of the presence of nuclear weapons.

Quite a lot of conventional wars happened though in the periphery and they were not pretty.

About the strength of US military - I would not mind it, if there was a true stated (non-imperial) reason for us to be so heavily armed. It is hardly convincing that a couple of thousand terorists worldwide justify 600bln.military budget and stealth bombers.

Believe it or not, there are much worse possibilities than Peak Oil.

I couldn't agree more. And what I fear is actually about PO is that I find it possible to grow from a complex but quite solvable technical issue to a fully-blown cut throat war. But in the light of what I said about our military might I guess I have other fears about where the danger may come from.

 I am not an expert on aviation fuels but there are more then 2 types and the type of fuel used will depend on the aircraft engine type and the service environment.

 I once had the opportunity to fight a fire fed by high performance cold weather jet fighter fuel. Train the nozzle left and the right side of your face began to burn. This stuff made burning gasoline look cold. Ended up with no eyebrows and the best hydrocarbon sunburn you ever saw.

You are correct about there being more than one grade of aviation jet fuel. But none of them (to the best of my knowledge) is gasoline. I believe all of them are various grades of kerosine--of which there are several. BTW, I wish somebody would figure out an inexpensive way to make kerosine from biomass or sunflower seeds or something, because not only is it needed for jet fuel, it is much more urgently needed for cooking fuel in the poorest nations on earth.

The alternative to cheap kerosine is accelerated deforestation--at least until somebody can figure out how very poor people can use solar cookers or some other very inexpensive and easty-to-adopt alternative.

Maybe the propeller planes run on gasoline? AFAIK they use conventional ICE for thrust. There are number of military, transport and even passenger airplanes running on them.

BTW it would be interesting to know what is the fuel efficiency of propeller plane vs a jet plane (per kg. of load)? Maybe with more expensive fuel, propeller planes will return for passenger flights (would not mind it if they provide sleeping places for transcontinental flights).

It has happened.

Air Canada.. one of the first flights of their new 767s.. ran out of fuel over the Prairies and had to glided to a safe landing in Gimli Manitoba.

Forever known as the Gimli Glider

Cool story.

Reason:  Someone converted to lbs instead of kg... so they only made it half way across the country. (doh!)

at least it did not end up like mars climate orbiter.