A Birthday Thought

 This evening I listened to the President of an Independent Oil Company give a presentation that most of you, I suspect, would have agreed with.  About half-way through I was tempted to ask if he followed the site, since his remarks (on Peak Oil) followed some of our recent discussions - including the NGL issue. (So if one of you did start a presentation at 4:30 pm at your alma mater, I was likely there).

Listening to him again made me appreciate a feature of  the community that has built up around this site. It is the depth of knowledge that comes out of the comments and discussions once a post appears.  Trying to index just the first six months of posts was frustrating because of the many  additional references and nuggets of information that were posted in the discussions, that could not be included. (Though they have helped contribute to a number of notebooks filled with down-loads). I can't help feeling that this presages some changes down the road in how we acquire knowledge, but for now I'll leave that to Tom Friedman to work out.

It underscores the great reward that you the community have provided this past year, since Prof G first invited me to join him.  The way the site has morphed from its original form, into the elegance that Super G has built, and the breadth of the posts from PG, Yankee and Stuart cover a waterfront much broader than I had thought we might achieve.  Thanks to them, Dave and all those in the industry who have sent us material for guest posts that have taken much effort to put together and provided an insight we would otherwise have missed. And to all of you for asking the questions, and also giving answers to a depth and from a perspective we could not provide.

On all our behalf, I would like to offer many thanks for all your kind wishes today. As the events of the next few years unfold, I look forward to sharing with you a discussion that seeks to understand and interpret them.

I wholeheartedly second your comments. The bredth and depth of comments and knowledge here is quite staggering. Even those who have a fairly well defined position on how they perceive things generally try to substantiate their points and rationally argue their case.

Yes, some of us (me included) do 'wing it' a bit at times, maybe that has got a bit more than optimal recently, but we are in strange territory and the balance still feels OK.

TOD is the cutting edge of rational discussion about PO reality, I've found noplace that comes close.

Many thanks to those here who take the time (I'm sure it can be many, many hours) to research and present detailed and technical posts about important topics. I hope you know that you are crucial disseminators of knowledge, perhaps gurus of the phase shift that most people are still unaware of.

Thank you for making this possible and making it reality. Let's hope some of it sinks in where needed before too late.


Right on!

Heading Out and Professor Goose,

Yes. Great lead. There is movement out there  -  shift in the "on-ground tactical mechanics" - and this site has helped make it happen, but we are also "just" a signal flag in a battle action.

That the National Geographic, an American Institution, comes out for Nuke power because of GHG (assuming no 3-mile island) (and inspite of the downside of Nuke Power) and the head of the American Petroleum Institute writes that hybrids are cool when Rush Limbaugh is reveling in his gas-guzzling "touring car" with a chauffeur within days, coupled with Bush's "America is Addicted to Oil", there is a sea change out there and THIS IS VERY GOOD.

It is good, and N. America and the EU seem to be picking up on it, but India and China are the key to save this mess from getting worse.

I would suggest that our challenge at this site is to see/reach the very intelligent trend setters in China and India and really, the 3rd world. The potential is there.

One of the starts is 1 child per family.
Another is reducing our individual green footprint.

It took me awhile but I finally figured out that Super G is likely an alpine skier.

I'm afraid its all downhill from here on out.

Or he just lived in Maryland for a while (read the fine print).
Hi HO it is time to celebrate indeed.

Hi just had this freaky idea that I'd like to share, even if it turns into nothing: what about a book on TOD? I can already picture it: "One year drumming" :-).

This is a crazy idea, but would sum up the amazing success TOD had in such a short time. In short the book would have three parts:

  1. What is Peak Oil;

  2. How TOD came to be and it's evolution from a blog to a highly visited website;

  3. A collection of landmarks posts, each with a sum up of pro and cons comments.

Tell me drummers, am I really crazy or is there a glimpse of sanity in this?
Do it!

Could be a best-seller if you put in the right mix of crazy/funny/despairing/hopeful/informative posts.

But--it is possible there are copyright issues. Do you have to get permission from everybody to use their stuff? Ugh. Best talk to a lawyer first. I've always looked at everything I post as being in the public domain--but the Devil only knows what He has cooked up in terms of "intellectual property" here.

Alternatively, you could do it in the form of a novel, with suspense being found as the identitities of various posters is revealed. For example, I want to deny right now the rumor that I am the bastard son of Indiana Jones and Professor Ravenwood's daughter.

Yes, we start with the Good book and then once we've got the holy text we can evolve into a religious/political movement. In all humility, I think I may have some of the artistic/rhetorical skills this project requires. But I do need a good editor! The above isn't meant to be taken too seriously by anyone. Though I do have a proven track record in the area of writing stuff - fiction and articles and the like. The novel, would, I think, have too be rather epic in scale, perhaps a bit like War and Peace. Maybe written in chunks by a small, insane and talented group. We could eventually share the profits with TOD and the writers. Is that fair. Think what TOD could do with a couple of million dollars - the mainstream here we come! We could perhaps call it War and Oil. Or War, Sex and Oil, then there would be something for everyone. If the rest of you have any good ideas for the title for a novel about Peak Oil get them out here!
I've done editing work for forty years. Be glad to offer my services. [for a share of royalties]

Do it.

Yes, Don, I was thinking about you only today. I thought you had obvious abilities too useful and too valuable not to call upon in ones hour of need. Only problem is, I'm into three other projects at the moment. Though you are at the very top of my list as a possible colaborator in crime. I'm sure we could agree terms without too much difficulty. I'm just not sure where I can pick up an extra lifetime on the cheep for all my projects. To be honest, I've been dozing for a couple of years, and now I'm fully awake once more, time is suddenly very scarce. My kids already think I spend too much time writing and babbling about storylines and characters. Now I only write things that amuse me personally, and stories that take-off and write themselves. I try not to get in the way too much. I let the Muses do the hard work.

I suppose one could just use War and Peace as a template and give the characters new names and spice it up a bit, and cut it down to size and exchange the French army for Marines and off we go! Cannibalize, edit and add some gratuitous sex and violence, ditch the Russian ruminations on love and life and... One could also choose the alternative route and do a Dune, but with even more oil/spice references, put the whole thing on a planet like Iraq. Given the extraordinary "characters" in the White House and Iraq, the thing vertually writes itself!

As a final thought I have been thinking about Dumas and his use of cardinal Richelieu pulling the strings behind a weak, lazy and gullible king. I could easily see Cheney morphing into Richelieu in a Peak Oil screenplay. I suppose one could change The Three Musketeers into three/four special forces and make one a woman like Lara Croft.

Actually I like the idea of me taking on the role of Dumas myself, all I need is a ficiton-factory of low-paid collaborators like he had and maybe I could churn out a novel every few months! I should add that I rather like colourful romance, grotesque drama and action. I'm not too good at plagerizing "art novels." I must have read too much Jane Austin! Do you remember what the "pitch" for Alien was, Jaws in Space!

How about a comic novel that is a spoof of the thriller genre? The premise would be that TOD is actually a plot to manipulate the oil market for the benefit of unspecified but possibly sinister forces--Russian mafia, Japanese yakuza, or the reborn gnomes of Zurich, all acting in collaboration.

I can be myself, just a shadowy figure who changes costumes and pisses most everybody off from time to time, and we can have a love/suspense angle, e.g. will Matt Savinar find his soul mate before TSHTF.

In the final chapter, perhaps it will be revealed that TOD is actually one person with sever MPD, typing sleeplessly from within an Institution for the Criminally Insane.

But then on the last page it will be revealed that that scenario was a nightmare, and the truth is that benevolent aliens from outer space (perhaps the Green Lanterns) will save us all at the last minute.

Anyway, keep it fast, keep it fun, and be sure to throw in plenty of gratuitous sex and threats of violence.

I also am swamped with a huge (five volume) science-fiction project and a nonfiction book that is sure to make me rich and infamous;-)

Actually I once encountered a site, claiming that PO is a world-wide conspiracy. By whom? By the Jews, of course! They seem to be the once that are responsible for all conspiracies ever by default. The story went on to state that the motive is to scare the world it's running out of oil so that we can accept things like Iraq and bring higher profits for the IOCs.

While the truth hidden by these evil b'stards is of course that oil is abiotic will never ever run out.

oops lapsus keyboardus... pls read:

They seem to be the ones that are responsible...

I like the story of the Russian Jew in the Siberian forest, living in a dilapidated wooden hut. He was reading a newspaper denouncing that Jews were all powerfull in Mother Russia. When asked by a villager why he was reading the newspaper, he replied "It is nice to see how powerful I am".
Thanks to the founders, and thanks to the community. TOD is a vital and necessary voice, and somehow it seems like it's always been here.

TOD is building a base of highly informed people who have considered this complex problem together, slowly and carefully, from many angles. That's a global asset, and it will have real benefits as the pressure grows. Keep up the good work, and stay ahead of the curve.

Very Nice Heading Out.  Thank you.
And Thank You All who write and discuss here at The Oil Drum.
When the late, Jerry Garcia and the Greatful Dead were at the height of their collective, musical and improvisational powers, the band often established something known as the "group-mind" when they were playing. The individual musicians blended into each other and formed a new whole, a whole that was greater than the sum of their parts. They went off on an musical journey without a map or a compass. On special occasions the audience followed the band out there.

The Dead and the Deadheads was a interesting social phenomenon. What did it mean? Was it just a band and fans, or was it a temporary utopia, or an alternative American Dream? It's a big area to get into, so I won't. I'll just say that strange things can happen, and small groups can grow and become an influence far beyond their numbers.

Could TOD grow like this in the future? Almost like a cult or even a religion? When I mentioned the idea of TOD as a kind of cyber monastery was I only joking? I wondered if TOD could develop into a refuge for knowledge after the deluge, but couldn't it function as something more? Something pro-active instead of reactive? One can go into a monastery, but one can also go out, and into the world, and change it.

At times TOD comes pretty close to creating this "group-mind" experience for me. Language and ideas can transcend the moment and become almost intoxicating. Great ideas have a life of their own and can even appear to be beautiful. There are a lot of interesting ideas and alternative perspectives on TOD. There are a lot of highly educated, articulate, intelligent, and creative people around. Venturing onto TOD can be intimidating for precisely these reasons.

TOD is a valuable resource with a lot of potential for growth and development in the future. Who knows where it might lead? Do we really think we can run things better than the people who are currently in charge of the world? Is that the logic of our collective discourse? That we can do things better? Are we possibly seeing the beginnings of a world wide political movement? Is this even desirable? Or are we content to watch from the sidelines as civilization falls apart? Are we more than a group of self-congratulatory intellectuals with a smashing hobby? Could, or should, or can, TOD become more "political?" Is that what the future for us? When do we get to the point when we cannot just carry on analysing and have to start organising? I think we have to conclude that, in essence, a lot of what we have discussed on TOD is very political and is likly to become increasingly so.

This is, of course, very speculative on my part and probably rather irritating, but I've been wondering about the real potential of TOD for a couple of days, so I just thought I'd share some of my ideas. Thanks for getting this far!