DrumBeat: June 21, 2006

Peak Oil = Urban Ruin?

George Orwel, an oil analyst and writer for both the Oil Daily and Petroleum Intelligence Weekly, has written a book about peak oil called Black Gold. You can read an excerpt at Energy Bulletin.

I have often been reminded of a Chinese saying that basically translates into something like this: Long is not forever. In other words, everything comes to an end; it doesn't matter how long it takes. I've been covering the oil industry for a long time and I often talk with many economists about the status of the market. They are a very optimistic lot. That's good because they deal with issues of wealth creation, except that when they let unreasonable optimism color their thinking in such a sway that their only concern is the short-term financial benefit, they run the risk of losing their credibility.
Update [2006-6-21 9:53:27 by Leanan]: The NY Times reviews a book called Big Coal, by Jeff Goodell.
"We may not like to admit it," Mr. Goodell writes, "but our shiny white iPod economy is propped up by dirty black rocks."
The Times also notes that the Scent of Ballots Is in Air, and Energy Bills Are Blooming. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) are pushing the Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy Act, which will raise the CAFE standards from 25 mpg to 35 mpg by 2017. And Congress wants the oil industry to pay royalties that error let it avoid.


China cuts Saudi oil imports. Their refineries are having trouble with the new high-sulfur crude. This may explain the second quarter drop in Saudi production.

In Zimbabwe, Fuel Prices Skyrocket As Supplies Dwindle. Despite the high prices, lines are long and many gas stations have run dry.

And the invisible hand, at work in the U.S.:

As gas costs rise, so does use of public transit. Ridership is surging, with low-income people most likely to give up their cars.

DuPont and BP partnering to produce biofuels. Their first product will be biobutanol, a gasoline component made out of sugar beets.

The world's largest factory for making solar power cells will be built in the Bay Area. Seed money was provided by the founders of Google.

And Bob will be happy to know that poop is a hot new trend. Yes, including "humanure."

Check out this link....Ford already knows they're screwed all the way till at least 2008.  How sad is it when they know they know they won't make money for two more years at least.  Sad.


Ford Motor Co. may fail to meet its goal of returning to profit in North America by 2008 because of declining sales of sport-utility vehicles, according to officials at the world's third-largest automaker.
And Ford's rival..

GM Debt Slips Further Into Junk Status

Credit rating agencies are upset with General Motors again after it unveiled changes to a 5.6 billion-dollar loan package. They say the changes put bondholders at a disadvantage.

Both Standard and Poor's and Moody's Investors Service lowered the automaker's debt deeper into junk territory. Wall Street rating agencies kicked GM and Ford's credit out of investment grade last year on worries about labor costs and slumping car sales.

The credit agencies acted after GM announced that it would offer lenders collateral, better pricing and other perks in exchange for extending the maturity of the loans.

I came across this sobering point...

More major American auto plants are closing and set to close over 2006-08, than in the previous three decades.

Well, they have painted themselves into the corner "so to speak"  

Very sobering indeed.


What the market giveth, the market taketh away.

I feel sorry for the workers. Once again management screws up and it's the worker who pays the price.

So it was management who demanded to get paid while not working in what is known as the job banks?  I think not. I can't say I've heard Toyota paying their workers when they don't work.  Seems obvious and counterintuitive to running a businees, but alas what do I know.
Management made the decisions to offer crappy products no one wants to buy. Perhaps that's what GM and Ford should have done, instead of blaming their woes on union pension plans they should have fully funded anyway.
You didn't answer my question.  I agree that management screwed up, they did.  So again, tell me why unions should not be blamed when 10000 parasites suck the money out of the company without performing thir job?  It's called laziness.  

People should be responsible for their own retirement.  However if pensions were promised they should be honored.  But let's stop promising them and take some personal responsibility for a flippin change.  I know it's hard when people want everyone else to give them the silver platter they never had.

You didn't answer my question.  I agree that management screwed up, they did.  So again, tell me why unions should not be blamed when 10000 parasites suck the money out of the company without performing thir job?  It'It's called laziness.  s called laziness.


This is what is known as a 'straw-man' argument. Unions are simply doing what capital is doing in trying to secure the best possible deal for itself. For every 'lazy union worker' story you can trot out I can trot out 'worthless exectuive' stories. Words like 'results' and 'efficiency' doesn't seem to get talked about much when executive pay packages get discussed. Look at the correlation between executive pay and company performance. Oh, wait, there is none.

The management, however, is ultimately responsible to the shareholders who actually own the company. Workers don't make decisions on cars to produce or how marketing will work. Indeed, only the threat of a strike compells management to take worker concerns seriously.

People should be responsible for their own retirement.  However if pensions were promised they should be honored.  But let's stop promising them and take some personal responsibility for a flippin change.  

While you may wish this to be so, reality points out that most individuals know far too little about investing to make the amount of money they need in their investment portfolios to get them through retirement. This is a well known fact. This, however, isn't what we're discussing.

I know it's hard when people want everyone else to give them the silver platter they never had.

Laughable. So, when workers make a good deal for themselves its called 'laziness' but when corporate exectuives get
golden parachutes and immense pay packages unrelated to performance that's called 'the market'. How very Orwellian.

The management, however, is ultimately responsible to the shareholders who actually own the company. Workers don't make decisions on cars to produce or how marketing will work.

I don't see any straws.  I am not defending management.  If you would actually look at the first parts of almost all these posts I admit they screwed up!  You're not listening.  Just as complicit as mangement has been, so is the union.  It's a bed that both made and will now wallow in.  Stop focusing on management for one whole second, well maybe a few more.  For a human being to believe they are entitled to receive compensation for not working is backwards and scores at the basic misunderstanding of how business works.  Management accepting these demands are even dumber.  I don't dodge that, but seriously as a person you can't expect something for nothing.  That's all I'm trying to say.

While you may wish this to be so, reality points out that most individuals know far too little about investing to make the amount of money they need in their investment portfolios to get them through retirement. This is a well known fact. This, however, isn't what we're discussing.

So what.  Why don't people take the time to give a shit about how they're going to live 50 years from now and stop bitching that they don't get it.  It's not that hard.  if people put their flippin machine down and step away from the box, they might have the time to care about their future.  The US doesn't save any money anyway, so what money are they going to fund ANY retirement with anyway?  Oh yeah that refi money will work.

Laughable. So, when workers make a good deal for themselves its called 'laziness' but when corporate exectuives get golden parachutes and immense pay packages unrelated to performance that's called 'the market'. How very Orwellian.

I never said a word about executive pay or "the market". If I did, please point it out since I'm not in that camp. Since you brought it up though, I'll speak on it.  For one I don't disagree with you here.  I'm a reasonable person and I enjoy playing moderator.  I negotiate for a living.  I'm not on the executive side per se, but I tend to look for discrepancies or anything that doesn't fit in an argument.  

Strictly speaking from an ECON POV....there is an upside to this fat pay packages and that is it increases competition beneath them for the job.  Corporate boards are the only ones who will change that and since they are populated by former execs, current ones, and generally those in power - the small shareholders have little say.  I suppose the gov't could step in, but check out this article from Tim Harford as to WHY they make so much more than you and I.


I think that both sides failed to understand the long term.
I think there is plenty of blame to go around at GM, Ford, etc. Americans had a lot of disposable income to spend on cars, so management, union leadership and workers were all happy to feed at the trough. While I think workers need some sort of collective bargaining power, it is disheartening to see how quickly powerful unions can become as bad as management.
I still blame management more than the unions. My father-in-law retired as a VP of CONOCO many years ago and we've discussed this several times. He worked in the coal side and came up with Consol (Consolidated Coal, which got bought out back then by CONOCO which then got bought out by Dupont - all of which is now ancient history from the early 1980s). Anyway, he pointed out that the coal companies bargained hard but he felt fairly with coal unions and the unions got good contracts but reasonable ones as well. In his opinion, the automotive companies just rolled over and gave the unions whatever they demanded and never said no. So I laugh when I see people trying to play the pity card for GM and Ford management. It doesn't wash. They could have stood fast against unreasonable demands but instead they gave into them so they wouldn't have to confront the unions and force the unions to really think about what was good for themselves and the company for whom they worked. And the net result is the pension/medical care mess we see today that is eating away at GM and Ford. GM's management took the easy way out in the 1960s and 1970s and figured someone else could deal with the subsequent problems. Well, those birds have come home to roost. And they are still management's birds.
You're right.  Management did roll.  I acknowledged their complicitness.  But for PEOPLE, forget that it's a union, to think they should get paid to not work is  not logical.  Why?  Why should I pay you because you aren't working?  When it comes to Auto, I do blame both sides but you can't logically argue that because I'm on the payroll I should get paid NO MATTER WHAT.  Do people think out the long term impact of that?  Take some personal responsibility or accoutability or whatever you want to call it.  As an able adult you should take care of your own problems rather than making someone else resposible for it.  I just laugh at it.  Matter of fact, I try and just laugh at the irony of everything happening around me.  
to think they should get paid to not work is  not logical.  Why?  Why should I pay you because you aren't working?

Because that was the deal that was made. If you pay me to do nothing and you agree to it, who is the bigger fool, you or me?  

Let's turn this argument around. I am an executive. I get paid an immense amount. Company performance in fact diminishes. I demand and receive a substantial bonus. The company's future gets even dimmer. I demand, and receive once again, a golden parachute. The company folds. I go on to a similar job but before I do so I was able to pocket millions in stock options before the company tanked.

Tell me what the moral difference is between this and the above.

See above comments.  I don't agree with either demand and never claimed to so you are preaching to the choir.  Oh and I agreed that when promises are made, they should be kept, please see above posts.  However both income arrangements need to stop.
My understanding is that CEO's to Toyota and other Japanese companies make in the hundred thousands, not millions.  And when salary cuts occur, it's the CEO who gets a pay cut first as punishment.   Team is everything and the management style is more like a union really, rather than a manic seperation as it is here in North America.
You are absolutely right.  I've taken Japanese management in college and it's phenomenal.  Out in Indian or Ohio, I never remember where, the Honda plants have been courted by the UAW and sent home packing on many occasions and the employees were voting like 90% to say no.  Honda takes care of the team and makes sure everyone is appreciated.
This guy only posts infrequently, but I like his stuff:


Re: Biobutanol

This morning's Wilmington (Delaware) News Journal reported that the DuPont Co. and BP have formed a partnership to develop, produce, and market biobutanol for gasoline blending.

The first step will be to convert an existing ethanol plant in Wissington, England to enable the production of biobutanol from sugar beets. The plant is expected to become operational in 2007 and will produce some 30,000 tons per year of biobutanol.

The article indicated that biobutanol has several advantages over ethanol, namely i) higher energy content, and therefore little or no reduction in gas mileage, and ii) does not absorb water and therefore can be blended right at the refinery and transported via pipeline.

DuPont also indicated that biobutanol can be made not only from sugar beets, but also from corn, wheat, or even straw and corn stalks.

I believe it was Robert Rapier who indicated a while back that biobutanol requires far less energy to produce because  it does not require energy-intensive distillation to separate the butanol from the fermentation broth.

I think this is a very interesting development which, hopefully, might force some rethinking about the attractiveness of ethanol-from-corn and maybe slow down the ethanol-from-corn bandwagon, as least a little.  (Though of course it must be recognized that the energy inputs for the growing of the crop feedstock upstream of the biobutanol process will not change one iota.)

I wrote an essay on biobutanol a while back:


It is potentially a much better option than ethanol, but still won't make a large dent in our oil consumption. There is just now way we can make enough of it. And, the ethanol lobby is firmly entrenched. Even if butanol is a better option, it is going to have a tough fight to displace ethanol.


Is there really any liquid alternative  out there that will meet our "needs" and not destroy us with global warming?  We are desperately trying to find a way to fit a status quo transportation paradigm into an alternative fuel box that can only get us the volume we claim we need through a policy that is already leading us down the road to a scorched earth.

What use to be called cool, colorful Colorado, is currently being transformed into a desert.  I fear the weather patterns and the climate have already been permanently transformed. This June was another radical departure from past temperature patterns.  It used to be that several days of 90 plus weather in July was considered hot. Now June makes the old July seem cool.  Combine this with a drowth of epic proportions and we may be saying bye to agriculture.  I know. One region doesn't necesssarily describe the world. But the patterns here are so radically different that history, I can't help but think it means something very, very bad for the future of the planet.

Sorry to be a bit parochial here, but perhaps someone out there can feel my pain.  Clinton?

The U.S. has something like 135 new coal plants in the planning stages.  Bush acts like being addicted to oil is the only problem.  How about being addicted to coal?   Stop the insanity.  

Turn off your electricity service - then we won't need as many power plants.
Or reduce your demand by half.  Quite doable in most cases.

Your cut in demand will merely be consumed by others not willing to do so. This is a classic market failure in action -- all the more so because there are significant distribution issues involved.

Why should the poor cut their consumption when the rich do not?

...race to the bottom....
Hell yeah! Consume More!!!
It's not just individual consumers. Think about this: the copper industry is largely going with solvent extraction/electrowinning, which means pulverizing huge masses of ore bearing rock, leaching it with sulphuric acid, then using massive amounts of electricity to cause the copper to electroplate the cathode (or is it the anode?). As long as coal is cheap, why smelt?

Aluminum is very similiar. Even the servers that service this web site use amazing amounts of juice.

My wife and I live off grid on one solar panel and use less than a kilowatt hour per day; but we have no illusions that we're going to offset the industrial uses I just described.

not to mention that copper thefts have increased.
the most recent one happened here and to a daycare center, they took the copper tubing from the air conditioner as well as some electrical wiring.
A single kWh per day sounds incredible, almost absurd. Care to describe your setup? Or do you perhaps have a website about it? I'd love to know.
It's not pointless. Remember the sum total of good in this world is the result of many persons trying to be good over the whole course of human history. And, the best way to beat high energy prices on a personal level is to conserve. And finally, people will follow a good example but totally ignore anyone who says "Do what I say, not what I do."
  So don't lose hope or faith that things will turn out o.k. for humanity, Try to conserve. My electric bill has averaged about $35.00 a month for the last year and I use Green Mountain.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for personal conservation; but my point is that unless there are credible ways to get everyone to conserve there are very, very serious fairness issues that come into play. Unless they are resolved conflict will be the result. That's just the way people are.

Suppose, for instance, we rely only on the price system with no major changes in policy. Who is going to get screwed here? Of course, those least able to pay. This will provoke resentment. In many places that resentment already promotes violence. Americans accept economic inequality only because of the notion that they've got a 'shot at making it big.' Peak Oil holds the potential to  hurt everyone, but, more than that, change psychology such that people believe things will get worse, not better. Under such conditions will the 'poor' simply sit by, see all they've worked for slip away, while the rich are seen to be consuming as much as before?

In experiments chimpanzees who were trained to trade two tokens for a cup of fruit juice become enraged and turned violent when they saw a chimpanzee trade in two tokens and receive more than one cup of fruit juice. If a newly impoverished John Q sees Thomas Fatcat motoring around merrily in a world of increasingly scarce fuel...

Maybe this is a US problem. We are a divided nation with a lot of people looking out for #1.
Many nations have good plans addressing energy consumption, conservation and  even global warming.

Japan is a conservation-driven nation (for good reason -- no FF) http://energytrends.pnl.gov/japan/ja004.htm

Poland has a plan http://www.kape.gov.pl/EN/About/

Sweeden -- cevre.cu.edu.tr/annex14/sweeden.PDF

Germans -- cevre.cu.edu.tr/annex14/sweeden.PDF and they lead the world in solar cell production

French, even with all their nuke power have a plan --http://www.pinr.com/report.php?ac=view_report&report_id=353

The Dutch have wind power and the Finns are going at the problem full blast. Norway is confronting the drastic decline of domestic production.

Are we Americans a strange lot? Would things be different if John McCain had beaten Bush in the 2000 primaries? Are we the only major industrial power not doing something about the combined oil/GW/national security/current-account deficit problem?
Stuart is betting the plateau will give us time? We may need it if Colorado is turning into a non-productive desert.  

Yes there is a method! It will work with any thing that you can deliver by meter! The wealthy stand against it even here. The reject it like a plague since there goal is to have the poor suffer for them. The method is RATIONING!!! Your service will be interrupted if you exceed y(amt) per  t(time. You are only allowed to purchase X number of gallons each month. If that were enforced the price would even be able to fall. Wealthy will attempt owning 7 different cars (one per day) to get around it. Then the gallons would be tracked through licenses. Rationing would be ethical, fair and encourage energy efficiency.
Actually what you are arguing against is "unilateral" conservation.  If you work any kind of multilateral change, driven by prices or mandate, then you don't get that rebound effect.

The "multi" in "multilateral" scales nicely.  I pay less energy bills if everyone in my house conserves.  I get lower utility rates if everyone in my region conserves.  I get a better economy and national security if everyone in my nation conserves ... and of course I get a better environment if everyone on the planet conserves.

I'm starting now, with individual conservation, but I don't think it's wrong for folks to push for international agreements, etc., that will broaden the multilateral effort.

(BTW, I might spring for a high efficiency washer (after talking about it for a while and hearing my old washer get louder and louder as it ages) ... isn't it neat that something as meaningless as style and conspicuous consumption has created this big selection of front-loaders?  They're even coming down in price a bit.)

I'm not arguing against 'unilateral' conservation at all. I'm just pointing out that in the end it may well be pointless unless action is taken collectively. There may have been a few people on Easter Island reducing consumption ahead of the last tree being felled, but they were reduced to cannibalism just the same.

We're part of larger collectives. If those collectives fail then we do too.

Those front loaders will pay for themselves in under 3 yrs.  My mom bought one when the first became available.  She used 1/4 the detergent.  It uses 1/10 the water per wash, and it washes like 14 jeans with no problems.  And they come out DRYER, so if you still use a dryer it takes less time to dry.  They will get even cheaper when the mandate takes a firm hold.  I don't know if you knew, but starting at the end of this or next year in the US you will not be able to manufacturer top load washers.  They will be available for a short time, but like I said when the mandate takes hold the competition will increase and prices will fall.
Your cut in demand will merely be consumed by others not willing to do so. This is a classic market failure in action...

Jevons' Paradox assumes that your cut in demand will be sufficient to lower the price, leading to increased consumption by others.  Real electricity prices, however, have been on a steady upwards climb, driven most recently by increases in natural gas prices.  Given that there are additional factors that seem likely to cause continued problems on the supply side -- for example, all existing nuke licenses, accounting for 20% of current generation, are scheduled to expire between about 2010 and 2035 -- it seems likely that the trend of increasing retail electricity prices will continue.  Unless your cut in demand is sufficient to reverse this trend, Jevons' Paradox shouldn't come into play.

This isn't Jervon's paradox. This is simply the dynamics of market failure akin to Hardin's 'Tragedy of the Commons'.
Elsewhere in this thread we read about Ford/GM suffering on a SUV downturn.  We hear about high efficiency appliance (washers) mandates.  We hear about subsidies and bounties offered by electric companies.

We know that Energy Star programs are supported in:

    * Australia
    * Canada
    * European Union
    * Japan
    * New Zealand
    * Taiwan
    * USA

We know that fuel economy mandates exist throughout much of the world.

What are you saying, that there's nothing going on?  We see that's not true.  If you are just suggesting there is not enough going on ... that's your value jugdement.  You know, your first word above was "pointless."

"Pointless" to me would mean that we didn't have any of those things.

Look up 'Tragedy of the Commons' on Google and you'll hopefully understand the point I'm making.
I understand the tragedy of the commons, but all those thing above mitigate against it in the real world.

Maybe that's what I'm asking you, why do you ignore the real world plans and programs addressing the "tragedy?"

Look up "What Prodigal Son thinks" in Google.
Fair point!
Because, regardless of real-world plans, we've got three basic facts:

  1. Petroleum underlies our current world civilization.

  2. Multiple consuming nations compete to own, purchase, and consume that petroleum.

  3. Supply is diminishing, not increasing.

If we use the analogy of the commons then the mitigation projects everyone mentions here in essence make the sheep eat less grass without hurting the shepard's ability to sell them at market. So, what's the logic? You get more sheep. Or, if you don't, your neighbor does. Likely you both increase the number of sheep you have because you are in competition with each other and he who has the most sheep wins. But the size of the commons is never getting bigger, It is, instead, getting smaller every day. Unless we find a way to use something other than the commons' grass our mitigation efforts will simply mean that in the end more sheep will starve than would have otherwise been the case.

That's the logic I see. Maybe these mitigation projects really will lead to using some other 'grass'. I really hope so. I don't, however, see current projects either seriously increaseing or stabilizing the size of the commons' resource. Projects discussed here are basically all about making the sheep metabolize the grass more efficiently.  

Japan has reduced their net oil consumption by these methods.  They used "more efficient sheep" to import "less grass" overall.

That seems to me to be the path to follow, the model.

Your argument against it is that somebody, somewhere, will use more grass.  That's the theory, and in an unregulated environment it is the tendency.  Fortunately many countries already see it in their own self-interest to conserve, hence all their efficiency rules and mandates.

The way to extend that, obviously, is to extend the conservation effort.  This will happen naturally with price increases.  It will happen naturally as more energy consuming countries persue their self-interest.  It can also come through international agreement.  Carbon taxes and limits are great in this regard because they combat not only world-wide energy use, but also world-wide climate change.

I agree. Maybe I'm just being overly pessimistic.

It can also come through international agreement.

This is probably the one thing I'm most skeptical of. Oil is an incredibly strategic asset. In addition to making the economy go it fuels all those tanks and aircraft that world power is based upon. So, having secure and steady access to oil isn't just for economic purposes, bur for self-protection too. Oil represets power, both in BTUs and military might.  

And I might be too optimistic ;-0, but we have things to watch.  Someone just posted this link in the new drumbeat:


I'm kind of amazed that the International Energy Agency is talking about cutting energy use by half.  That's certainly better than them being the cornucopians and saying we should double ...

The tragedy of the commons may be of limited applicability here. Not only is there the commons (Persian Gulf oil, say) but each shepard has their own limited private grazing (domestic oil and near substitutes, say). Even if the combined flock is larger than the carrying capacity of the whole system, there will be some benefit to me making my sheep more efficient. I may not realize the full benefit of the improvement because it's shared across all the neighbors too (just as the whole tragedy evolved because the person who adds sheep past the carrying capacity does not bear the full cost of doing so). If I make my sheep efficient enough that I can support them on my non-common resources, I should start realizing all of the benefits of further improvements.

Of course, you are right in the long run at least as far as the grass goes because the sheep here are eating what is a large but finite stock of grass, and the long-term carrying capacity is zero. So what I really need is something that's like a sheep but that can live on wind, sun, coal (while that stock lasts), the uranium/thorium in the back yard, etc. Some people think that's easily doable (Amory Lovins). Some people think that's impossible to do (dieoff.org). Me, I'm in the optimistic part of the middle and think it's doable but difficult.

If I were to turn it off, would voluntary efforts of a similar nature occur and solve the problem? Of course not.  We should all do our bit and I pay extra so that an equivalent amount of electricity is fed to the grid from wind.

It seems, obvious, however, that my individual action may be laudable but will have little to no impact on the overall problem.  Kind of like Bush's policy to get corporations to voluntary cut their emissions. That's not the way the world works.  Even if we are so inclined, we will not maximize our positive actions unless everyone else is required to do so. This is especially true of business which needs to operate on an equal playing field.

What are waiting for?  For everyone to spontaneously cut their energy use?  That's what it seems like. When you combine that with a government that seems to think that voluntary actions will solve our problems, things are pretty hopeless.  

Here in the range of Southern California Edison there are quite a range of active programs to reduce "all out" usage.  They give bounties on old refrigerators, subsidize compact flourescents (bought a pack of 4 for $1 at a local store), etc., etc.

Why do people think we are waiting?  I've heard that California started early on all this, but aren't your power companies doing similar programs?

For what it's worth:

We have reached one of those rare moments of broad societal accord. We all agree the U.S. has become overly dependent on fossil fuels, particularly foreign oil. We all want to do something substantive to eliminate the dependency. The consensus transcends party affiliation, occupation, income level, or age.


I meant to type "all our" not "all out" but I guess either works.
That reminds me of something Wade Davis said in
his book, "One River". In 1880 Cocaine was used
in many home remedies,tonics and cures. In
several medical journals it was even recommended
as a cure for opium addiction. This seems to be
the kind of thinking going on today.
If you think that's crazy, you should read the history of how cannabis got criminalized in the US.  
Is there really any liquid alternative  out there that will meet our "needs" and not destroy us with global warming?

Actually there is.  This particular liquid has been around for hundreds of years:

Simple Borsch
+ (if there's any left in the future) 400g beef or meat, then 2 average red beets 200g cabbage 4 little potatoes 1 carrot 2 tomatoes 1 tsp. vinegar salt and pepper, to taste parsley dill spring onions.


way cool recumbent bicycle


human powered transportation

future side effects include, losing weight, going as fast as you want on the car-free highways and roads, feeling good, and some occasional global methane release.

develop, produce, and market biobutanol for gasoline blending.

One link I read mentioned it would produce Acetone and Ethyl Alcohol also.

That is the abe process
yawn   Nothing new here.   The buytonal.com people have the 'new' something.

The discoverer has an interesting place in history

NIGERIA: Attackers abduct more oil workers in volatile delta

 PORT HARCOURT, 21 June (IRIN) - Gunmen in a speed boat seized two Filipino oil workers in the latest in a spate of attacks targeting oil installations and workers in Nigeria's oil rich but impoverished Niger delta.

Norway-based oil services company Petroleum Geo-Sciences said the two contract workers hired by the firm were abducted around noon on Tuesday while in a small boat near a jetty used by the company.

"They drove (them) off in a boat and we've had no contact with them,"...

OT (?) to Peak Oil but not Global Warming

Yesterday, over 1,000 Red Maple (Acer rubrum) seeds from Newfoundland were shipped to Iceland for trials by the "Tree Growing Club" (I am the only non-Icelandic member) and the Icelandic Forest Service.  Icelandic collection teams visited Newfoundland several times from the 1950s to 1970s but missed this species because it drops seeds in late spring, not the fall.

Newfoundland has a climate somewhat similar to Iceland and other Newfoundland species have made the transistion.  Red Maple is a beautiful tree in the fall and has some lumber potential.  Reasons for humans to plant them in great number.  But first, multi-decade trials are needed before widespread planting (Iceland plants almost 6 million trees/year).

Tests in greenhouses show that the dominant native tree in Iceland (the Icelandic birch, 98% of the trees when the Vikings landed) will do poorly when CO2 levels rise (it gets confused about when to winter harden & it evolved for the colder climate).  Icelandic birch has minimal commerical value and is not an impressive tree. 5 of the 6 million trees planted are imported species (Siberian larch, Sitka spruce, lodgepole pine, Swiss stone pine, etc.) and there is a need for more fall color.

The Vikings cut down 97% of the primeval foreat and released 6 billion metric tonnes of carbon.  Annual fossil fuel use world-wide releases less than 7 billion tonnes of carbon,

Reforesting Iceland with larger trees will reverse Global Warming by a year or, potentially more.  Humans just need to be induced to do that.  Today, Iceland plants 17 trees per capita per year, but they are decades awey from 4% forest (30+% forest cover at Settlement). In 1900, there was only 1% forest cover.

So I am trying to give us humans more & better reasons to plant trees by expanding the choices of trees to plant.  My contribution to reducing Global Warming (and helping Iceland).  Finding interesting species and then finding someone willing to collect seeds locally is an interesting multi-year challenge (3 years in this case).

Does anyone know someone in Nepal ?

Great post Alan.  How great do you think the benefits of a massive global tree-planting effort would be?  How about the logistics?  It is refreshing to think of a positive action that can address what is the #1 challenge to humanity - the collapse/changing of the earth's ecosystems.  I believe we are just begining the downslope of the curve.  I love the idea of addressing damaged ecosystems directly, though obviously we need to address the causes as well by implementing your rail plans, maturing the current paradigm from disposable to renewable, growing crops biointensively, eating lower on the food chain, etc.  

Anyone see this:

The winning vehicle gets over 3000 miles per gallon.

A global tree-planting effort ?

It could have a significant impact, IMHO.  If lumber trees are planted, about half of the carbon captured is sequestered in housing & furniture.  Capturing half of the CO2 is an attainable but very aggressive goal IMHO.

I am supporting (along with two Nobel Peace Prize laureates) the American Chestnut Foundation efforts to breed a disease resistant American chestnut.  Quick growing, furniture grade lumber, bountiful nuts that are low in fat (rare in nuts). 40+ years and a decade away from the first of many releases.


I encourage your support.

A mature chestnut forest can rival a wheat field in productivity, and is MUCH more sustainable.  Many of the sustainability issues shrink when orchard farming is considered.  Orchard farming suburbia is a real possibility.

I look for "leverage points" where one person's efforts can make a difference in a larger global effort.  

More desireable tree species in Iceland encourages humans to plant more trees which has some effect on Global Warming.

I see TOD as a leverage point that will grow in influence as more bits and pieces hit the fan.  I chose TOD out of all the Peak Oil sites for that reason.

I make my arguments for an overlooked policy option, trying to convince others (and learning myself as well).  Those that I convince, spread the message (in modified form) to others.  Eventually, when panic begins to force action, my policy options are one of those straws grabbed because of my earlier efforts to "pre-position" them.

I am quite deliberately using TOD as part of my outreach /lobbying efforts.

A long shot, yes, but the stakes are so large that it is worth the effort.  

If everyone would get rid of their goddammed lawns and plant trees and/or gardens it would do wonders for making the air cleaner and cooler, lowering water pollution due to fertilizer runoff, and look much nicer than the green moonscapes that are the American suburbs.
"Und wenn ich wüsste, dass morgen die Welt in tausend Stücke zerbräche, ich würde heute noch einen Baum pflanzen."

When I would know, that tomorow the world will break up in thousand pieces, I would plant a tree today.

(Martin Luther)

I think that is where the spiritual response to Peak Oil (sine qua non) begins.

In my neck of the woods, many people live out in the country on several acres.  Those who don't live on acreage wish they could.  Many people have bought a few acres and if they ever get enough money, they plan to build a house out on their land.  I gues this is the "American Dream". But what I've never understood why they insist on maintaining so much of their land as lawn.  They purchase large riding lawn mowers and spend 4 hours every weekend cutting it.  They don't run a little league baseball club in their yard, they don't use it to raise hay, they don't even spend any time in their yard except to mow it.  If I lived out in the middle of nowhere, I'd want to live in the woods.

Another point about trees, they are an excellent defense against flooding and erosion, problems that will likely worsen in the future.

I never got the lawn thing either. It's obviously a status symbol inherited from the European landed elite that makes no sense today. Every king in his castle and every lawn a Versailles I guess.
Very true, and kind of ironic. Those clipped lawns of olde were created by sheep grazing in England, etc., which was an economic good. Now they dump fertilizer on it (instead of sheep manure) and send the cut grass to the land fill!
For me a lawn is a way to make an area around houses look cultivated with a minimum of work.
According to Charles Mann in "1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus," the chestnut was widely planted by Indians as a form of permaculture. Apparently a fourth of all eastern forests were chestnut.

Something similar happened in the Amazon, with large tracts growing fruit and nut trees prized by humans.

Bringing back the American Chestnut is a highly laudable goal. Thanks!

A forest is a combination of many types of trees and plants. You mention several deciduous (leaf bearing) trees to be considered. The most popular tree now would be a coniferous tree called a Douglass Fur. All US building starts with Douglass Fur. Deciduous trees have longer growth cycles and require more water. Forest restoration is only possible if you were able to reconstruct a given canopy. This also means restoring several species of wild life that have gone extinct as well. Regardless it will require thousands of years to restore the carbon sinks.

Why would you want to grow birch when apple, pear, plumb, etc. offer vitamin rich edible fruit? Fruit trees have faster growth rates and depending on the area will offer quick cover and free fruit. Why not pass a law requiring vegetables, fruits and fast growing trees in all places that now contain perennial grasses? Grass offers nothing but the loss of topsoil.

Over time as the oil depletes people will continue to use wood for more then building. Like in England who had the worlds first peak wood effect they burned all wood in site to stay warm in a few years time. Good for them coal was discovered. You could plant a tree on your head and someone will fall it to stay warm or be able to cook.

Several partially wrong statements.

Some forests are near monoculture,  Iceland before Settlement, Eastern mountain ridges were nearly 100% American chestnut, redwood groves as three examples.  

All West Coast building may start with Douglas fir, we use pine down here.  Siberian larch is a great outdoor wood (barns, outdoor furniture) and useable for framing.

Growth cycles vary considerably from species to species and are not easily grouped.

Most fruit trees are short and require direct sun in order to bear.  That is, no forest canopy.  No fruit tree will grow in Iceland and only citrus & pecan (if irrigated) in Phoenix AFAIK.

Different trees for different goals.  Most fast growing trees are low value trees.

Wheat, corn and rice are grasses.

Iceland had only one mammal when settled, the artic fox.  Still there.

There is no right or wrong here only resource depletion. Oil has or is close to peak. With that peak are diminishing returns. At some point burning wood as fuel for heat, steam and cooking will result and that is about as far back as you can go energy wise. I like when you or folks like you switch the topic when someone mentions Home Depot. The quality of HDs lumber requires these people to suggest that, "For the best cherry go to So$So Lumber!" They have no idea what they are doing or saying and fail to see how peak oil is actually peak everything! Sure planting trees would be great but on this side of peak trees compete for water and land. Carrying capacity is fundamental since along with PO comes PC or peak competition for remaining resources....WAR
It all depends on the "grass" you are talking about.  Lawn grasses are usually kept from maturing by cutting them.  I have let some nice Lawn Grass mature and go to seed and I got free seeds.  The Owner of the house told me he had never seen that species of Lawn Grass grow seeds so he did not think it possible.  That was because he mowed it all the time.  I am a "Don't Mow the Lawn" Advocate.  If we can eliminate the need for Lawn Grass we can increase the Native plants in any area, reduce the water usage, and grow a lot more foods on our hunks of land.  But cities require me to spend money on gas to cut my lawn so as not to let my lawn look unsightly.  

If you let the native Grasses of the Plains regrow on those Lawns that dug them out decades ago you could change a lot of the erosion we see.  

Trees work where trees are native, but grasses work where grasses are native.  Any ecosystem takes 100's of years to stablize.  

It is Noble for Icelanders to want to get back the forests of old.  

Take the Big desert cities and grow shrub and catii. Not lawns and swimming pools

17 trees per capita per year? I think in the US it's more like cutting down 17 per capita per year.
Alan fm B.E.;

about the only tree seeds around here are from Meaquite, and I doubt they would thrive there. -:)

Bless you, Alan.  Are there increasing numbers of people in your city that have made the connection between the future of N.O. and global warming.  So much of what is happening to N.O. is due to shortsighted development and wetlands policies which pretend we don't have to play by mother nature's rules. What happened to Katrina was a culmination and a harbinger, not a one off freak of nature or freak of incompetent government , for that matter.

They say that war gives man meaning.  I know we have become somewhat jaded about all the wars we have fought, war on drugs, war on terror, war on bla bla bla.  But the war of global warming is one worth fighting and one we have not yet begun.


Excellent post and so to the following thread.

As a historian I have a fondness for Malta. Been there twice. Of course before it was inhabited it too, like ancient Greece, was forested. Malta today is a barren rock and the topsoil for the most part has ended up in the bottom of the Mediterranean. Great place to start is each of our yards.

I agree about the lawn stuff. The only benefit my landlord gets from mine is the birds get bugs. I've added disease resistant pines and local native oaks.

Today, Iceland has the lowest % of forest cover of any European nation, but they have realistic hopes of passing Malta within a decade or so.

Planting 17 trees per Icelander each year is a major effort, but there are not many Icelanders and lots of Iceland.

That Orwel article was a good one, and for what it's worth I think this paragraph represents the moderate projection for peak oil:

Let's get back to the debate about peak oil and just assume that world oil production peaks in about 15 years. What will that mean to us, in concrete terms? It won't mean we'll run out of oil right away. It only means that net oil availability will decline at an annual rate of about 2 percent thereafter, and we should expect that supply will be down by 20 percent by about 2035, when world population will be doubled, along with fuel consumption. This is still speculative and things might turn out differently, including development of new technologies that would make life a little easier, but it's going to [be] a huge problem. It's safe to say that the general progression of events points to a scary future.

I think we can do "down by 20 percent by about 2035" but the sooner we start, the less painful it will be.

If by moderate you mean unrealistic, then I agree ;).  It's pretty clear that we are at peak to me, and stunningly obvious that even with a few miracles sprinkled in, the peak will be here within a few years anyway.  And good thing too - we are depleting aquifiers at an amazing rate, the earth is literally melting, including the permafrost - which contains additional CO2 in huge quantities - we have left the tracks and the sooner we begin to powerdown the less overall suffering their will be.  If peak is 15 years away, then I think civilization is screwed.  If it's now, maybe we've got a fighting chance...
Are any of the oil industry or geology folks saying much steeper than 2%?  Or is it "cross-over" pessimists? ;-)
The head of Schlumberger said average depletion is 8%, if I remember correctly.
I'd be interested in reading that .. if average equals aggregate that would be a dire predicion indeed.

Secondly, the industry is dealing with a phenomenon that is exaggerated by the lack of investment over the past 18 years. This phenomenon is the decline rate for the older reservoirs that form the backbone of the world's oil production, both in and out of OPEC. An accurate average decline rate is hard to estimate, but an overall figure of 8% is not an unreasonable assumption. The maintenance required to slow the rate of decline, and increase the overall recovery, is a key element of the supply picture going forward.

The paragraph talks about "the decline rate for the older reservoirs that form the backbone of the world's oil production", yes?

That is how I understand what was said, yes.
Unfortunately, Peak Oil is only encouraging the world to rush towards coal.  China will attempt to solve its oil problem with coal to liquids.  Same thing in the U.S. if the Governor of Montana gets its way.  
My current mood is that a lot of these things are going to be self-limiting.  They just aren't going to be as easy as oil on  its current colossal scale.

Coal may grow with electrical demand (worse case, baring carbon taxes), but we've seen with the South African examples that it's hard to build significant "barrels per day" output.

There are a bunch of optimistic assumptions there, such as peak being 15 years away, annual decline of just 2%, etc. I wonder how he would feel if peak were 5 years away and annual decline was 8% (as suggested by Schlumberger)?
I can't see the peak being 15 years away.  I'm not 100% convinced the peak is now, but if it's not, within five years seems far more likely to me than 2020.
I think the moderate view (if I may be so bold as to claim it a second time) is that peak in light sweet crude is now, and that peak in heavy sour conventional crude might be close.
I'd agree with that.  

And I don't think 2020 counts as "close."

I'm less concerned with the date than how long the "bumpy plateau" lasts, or what world-wide depletion(*) looks like.

I should really keep a link to Stuart Staniford old article about slow decline and adaptation.  You don't happen to have it handy do you?

* - as opposed to specific fields or regions

No, but IIRC, it was called "The Slow Squeeze."  

FWIW, I disagree with Stuart on that point.  I don't think it's going to be a slow squeeze.  I think Hirsch is right: the peak is sharp and sudden, and you don't see it coming.

I see it coming...do you?
I'm not sure, to tell you the truth.  Maybe peak oil is now.  Maybe not until next year, or 2008, or 2010.  Maybe even 2015.  2020 seems unlikely, though.

If I had to bet, I'd say Deffeyes was right, if only because he knows a lot more about it than I do.  But I don't think we can call it yet.  I wouldn't be too surprised if next year, there was a big jump, then a collapse.  

I meant more a long the lines that we KNOW it's coming, most don't.
Okay, in that sense, I know it's coming.

But I was talking about in the Hirsch sense.  The oil industry certainly knows the end is coming.  No well lasts forever.  What they don't see is when it's coming.  In particular, he found that at peak, there was wild optimism about how much production could be increased and how much longer it could be maintained.  So much so that when the next year showed a decline, it was assumed to be a temporary problem, and not recognized for what it was: the beginning of the end.

Have we defined mathematically what a cliff would be considered?  I mean if production declined 10%, to me that's a substantial cliff that we fell off.  That's 8.5 million barels per day reduced.  The initial drop would wake many people up, and the resulting slide would be smaller due to a decrease in demand.  So we would experience a large drop initially, the US would decrease use pretty quick, and the resulting years would consume less and less at the same time less and less is available.  It's all speculation, but it's hard using qaulitative measurements and not concrete numbers.
Hirsch says less than 2% is gradual, more than 2% is steep.  He thinks the decline could be anywhere between 3% and 13%.  
Really?  Seems paltry to me.  I mean 2% is bad don't get me wrong, but that seems like plenty of time for things.  Then again, maybe this is bad due to everyone just getting "used" to it.  IMHO we need a cliff to simply wake the rest of us up a bit.
I think the problem is that demand will be growing even as production declines.  Not only is the population growing, but we expect the existing population's standard of living to increase.  All those Chinese and Indians who want to own cars. All those Americans who want to trade in their Corollas for Durangos or Odysseys.  

I'm really not sure how this will play out. Will we outbid everyone else and be relatively unaffected, at least for a few years?  (A plateau for us, a cliff for everyone else?)  Or will we find out that the global economy is a two-edged sword?

I disagree about the rest of the world.  Granted I don't live in India or China, but if we peak within 5 years which I truly believe is the case, I think the rest of the World is far better prepared to adapt.  

China is a centrally planned country and this is good for a few reasons.  For one the reason we don't get anything accomplished here is the disagreement.  Literally you have to convince 535 (im sure this may be off a bit) to do something.  On top of that there are 330 million people geographically dispresed across 3.5 million sq miles.  We are all over the place and cars have gotten us to that point.  I would venture to say we may have the largest all year round land in the world, with less than 7% of the world population. We needed someway to quickly get across all this land and the cars & trucks worked.  As Americans we are individualistic in nature.  It may not always have been that way, but we seek self gratification first and sharing it with someone on a train doesn't sound as good as driving your own car around.

As long as the leadership in China is sound, they can do what is best for China.  It isn't cars, and they know it.  They will not build the highway system we have, they will build mass transit.  Cars will stay a luxury.  There won't be room for the demand growth except for the upper classes.

Now India, I'm not sure about.  I have a pretty fractured view.  From one standpoint they crank out engineers, doctors, & computer programmers at obscene rates.  They do it faster, arguably better and at a cost savings that is unreal.  Then I read how 80% of the population is very, very poor.  What's the disconnect?  I talk to Indians all the time and they are almost religous in their quest for knowledge and understanding of anything!  They learn two languages from birth.  What is holding them back?  Again, I don't see a massive interstate system being built and cars taking to the road.  It will not be economical at all.

There are additions to demand as more and more people do drive.  But the bigger point is that there will be a price point at which cars are seen for the money pits they are.  In this country people will do whatever it takes to keep the house and then the car.  Food is important, but you don't get money from your food, at least not here.  People see a car as their access to money which is their access to everything else.  

I'm a slave to my car, but if I had access to public transit, I would use it.  Unfortunatly I was born in suburbia and raised in suburbia and I've never ever rode a public bus.  I've taken local light rail to downtown ball games though.  I would use it more if it were more widespread.  Not to mention I don't gotta worry bout drinking and driving. I think as more and more people pay each week, some will start to put the bigger picture together and add up a monthly gas bill.  When the see they spend more for the gas than they do for the monthly payment, this will wake many up.  

There is a subtle difference between the past declines of nations and regions, and the aggregate world production rate (including both declining fields and newly openned ones):

To understand the possible character of the peaking of world conventional oil production, oil peaking in a number of relatively unencumbered regions and countries was considered. All had significant production, and all were certainly or almost certainly past their peak. The data shows that the onset of peaking can occur quite suddenly, peaks can be very sharp, and post-peak production declines can be comparatively steep (3 - 13%). Thus, if historical patterns are appropriate indicators, the task of planning for and managing world conventional oil peaking will indeed be very challenging.

Now, new sources and discoveries are not likely to drive the "easy motoring" cornucopian future ... but we need to add them (whatever they are) to go from 3-13% to the aggregate curve.

Who was it here that said when Saudi Peaks, so does the world...

That's looking like a 2 year plateau to me... and they're going to get that up to 12 MB/Day?


I am always interested when we see price/supply anomalies.  It would be interesting to superimpose an oil price chart with the Saudi production.  It would show that the Saudis repsonded to higher oil prices with flat to declining oil production.  Note that the Saudis are literally trying to grab every rig that they can get.  

We saw a similar pattern in Texas in the Seventies--rising oil prices, increased drilling, and falling production.

As I have previously noted, falling petroleum imports into the US this spring combined with rising oil prices also seemed anomalous to me.

It would also be interesting to chart North Sea production against oil prices.  Since 1996 or so, it would show rising oil production, with falling oil prices, and then falling oil production with rising oil prices, starting in 1999.  

It would be interesting to superimpose an oil price chart with the Saudi production.  It would show that the Saudis responded to higher oil prices with flat to declining oil production.

Ask and you shall receive.

oil price per barrel super imposed on Saudi oil production :)

the transparent layer is the oil price.  I didn't put dollars since you were really interested in seeing how the Saudis react to price.


Wow.  Talk about a picture being worth a thousand words...
The graphic isn't working for me, although the others do.

try the link directly maybe Click Me

I see no graphic and the link doesn't work either.
Apologies, please try this directly...(you may have to download the image since it's not linking properly...)


I can't see it either.  Browser says it can't find phvrf.yahoo.com
I've put it up on another Quick Sharing server... it should be visible below...

Here's the link as well Link to Image

Peakearl, if you didn't see below...



Thanks, I got it - it is starting to look interesting --
Alas your picture does not appear for me. I opened up the page as HTML source and found the URL and tried to access that directly and I get told that the referenced server does not exist at Yahoo. I'll assume it's my firewall or other configuration issues here but I'd still love to see that graph.
Let's try again...

Can everyone see this?


Ok, it's not playing nice...last try on the image.

Where? I see no picture or link.
Ok, maybe this will work

This is the same kind of price/production divergence we saw in Texas.  Almost everyone--except for M. King Hubbert--was shocked when Texas production started falling the year after we went to a 100% allowable
Interesting.  This might be worth expanding on, for a standalone article.
Thanks, I needed better search words:

Hubbert Theory says Peak is Slow Squeeze.

... I'll re-read it later today, and see if it still matches my sentiment.

BTW, the classic Hirsch graph shows a depletion roughly equal to past growth:

Hirsch Peak Oil Graph (mitigation commenced at peak)

By the way, I think that Econbrowswer article broadly paints the same moderate view.
Yeah I would have to agree.  After reading the article and looking at the graphs and data, it's clear that the low sulfur, high gravity oil is gone, especially in the last 5 years.  

Based on numbers pulled from the graph, specific gravity is decreasing at roughly 1% yoy for a total of a 5% drop over the last 5 years.  The interesting numbers come out of sulfur content.  The graph starts at roughly .90 (hard to tell, but it's not .88) and ends @ 1.04.  Now the 5 year increase in sulfur content has been 3% yoy for a total of 15% increase in Non Opec crude quality.

This is the world avg in spite of SA, so I would think it is only getting worse at an increasing rate.

If we use that gravity graph between 2003 and 2004 gravity down from 32 to 31.5), and estimate that 8% of the oil produced in 2004 was substituted by new production we could calculate that the average gravity of the "new" oil was about 26. The sulphur content of the "new" oil can be estimated as 1.5%. These are rough estimates, but it gives some picture about what is going on. The share of heavy and sour crude is increasing rapidly. No wonder there are "refinery problems".
Econbrowser returns to the oil subject, and references TOD:


More pressure on net oil exports


Another long term bullish story came out yesterday when it was reported that China and Saudi Arabia agreed to cooperate and build a crude oil strategic crude oil reserve in China. The plan is for a 10 million ton (73 million barrel) oil storage facility located in China. The project is probably the first of many. We cannot of course forget of course that China's Finance Minister once said that China was interested in building a strategic petroleum reserve that was bigger that the United States. And they could pay for it with cold hard cash. Make no doubt about it China's desire to build this reserve and also acquire new sources of energy around the globe will keep a floor under prices perhaps for years to come.

There's a little more detail here.
This conflicts a bit with the news that China is reducing Saudi imports by 50,000b/day. Will they be filling their reserve with high sulphur crude? It seems nothing else is available?
There were a couple of hard-hitting articles on ethanol that came out in the past few days. The one in Car & Driver was as brutal an assessment of ethanol as any I have ever written. I hit the highlights here:

More Ethanol Critics Emerge


I haven't dug into all the details of renewable energy, but I do know around here Nuclear isn't seen as "clean" as some would have you to believe.  Having said that I came across an article by La Rouche.  I know many do not like him, but he made a comment I can't agree with.

What's coming out as opposition to nuclear power is pure fraud. They talk about nuclear waste, as if it can not be solved. Bunk! It's a lie! There's no truth to it. With a complete reprocessing cycle, there is no nuclear waste problem. Anyone who says so and says they're an expert, is either a mental case or a liar, and possibly also a degenerate, and that's not combustible.

Does anyone know what a reprocessing plant is?  Why don't we use them now if it is so simple to do to thousands of reactors he wants to build all over the country decades from now?  I dont get it.  If we could avoid the waste issue, wouldn't we have done that for all the nuclear reactors now?  If anyone has any articles I can read, point me in the right direction.


The French are operating a small one today (AFAIK).  The US operated a MASSIVE fuel reprocessing operation in the 1950s & 1960s to extract plutonium for bombs.  That was all they wanted and put the rest into Hanford, where it is an ongoing problem.

The Bush Administration has proposed research into fuel reprocessing that extracts all of the transuranics, plutonium, neptunium, americium, etc. as a whole for further us ein special reactors.  (Some reactors can only run on enriched uranium, others on any of a variety of fuels.  Candu can run on almost anything).

Reprocessing costs more than newly mined uranium.  And there are three types of products produced; transuranics, slightly enriched uranium & fission products (split uranium and you get two more or less random atoms).

Fission products, once one waits a few centuries, will be a rich source of platinum group metals with some gold.

Ok, so bottom line is we CAN reprocess, but at a greater cost?  So there would be minimal waste and no need for massive toxic lakes?  The only downside I see to nuclear is the off chance of an explosion which is a big side affect or these toxic lakes being the size of Lake Michigan.  I've taken a few probability courses and it seems to me that putting in thousands of new reactors also increases the marginal risk that any ONE reactor will blow.  We've already had one blow(3 mile) out of a total of how many?  So if you put up thousands, how many have a 5% chance of failing, or 50%?  If the toxic soup can be answered and made into something else, that's great!
Just to explain the nuke process, I've created a little doodle with MS-Paint:
Fission Process

This is an extremely general diagram, so it isn't tied to any one type of reactor. On the left we have the starting materials of fission, and on the right are the products. At the lower right, we have fission products, which will always be produced by any process that also yields energy. The fission products consist of a mishmash of random isotopes of random elements, in random states of nuclear excitement. As they settle back to their stable ground states, they emit all kinds of radiation. Some have half-lives measured in milliseconds while others last thousands of years.

The neutrons from fission events are not all captured to trigger additional fission events, so they go flying everywhere from the reactor core. They tend to be absorbed by atoms in due time, transforming an element into the next-heavier isotope of the same element and typically emitting some gamma rays. Interestingly, lightweight elements absorb neutrons more strongly than heavy elements; a neutron can fly right through quite a bit of lead. Some of them are absorbed by non-fissionable heavy nuclei transforming them into fissionables. This is "breeding".

There is an inverse relationship between the half-life of a particular isotope and the intensity of radiation it emits, so the really short-lived fission products just contribute to the heat of the fission reactor while the longer-lived ones can become disposal problems. There are really only a handful of isotopes which cause serious environmental problems: ones which have a half life in the decades to centuries range and which are actively accumulated by living things, for example Cs137 and Sr90.

Reprocessing consists of dissolving all that crud in something really strong, like nitric acid, then taking it through a series of chemical steps to separate the heavy fissionables and nonfissionables from the fission products. So the reprocessing plant ends up with this witches' brew of extremely radioactive nitrate-rich liquid/slurry that needs to be disposed of. Unfortunately, the current "free enterprise" system does not deal in a sufficiently long time horizon to accomplish this task.

If I ran the circus, these unwanted products would be sequestered, first by drying the solvent, then in a low melting glass, then the glass in concrete, and the concrete dropped into oceanic trench subduction zones. After the useful heavy elements (and any handy lighter isotopes) have been separated, of course.

Seriously thanks for explaining it like that and the diagram made it clear.  Again, so in the end we still have a toxic soup that has to be put somewhere?  There is no way to make use of any of this for anything?
The fission products have many uses. One proposal I've seen is to take a source of beta-radiation and sandwich it with layers of silicon semiconductor material to convert the beta rays (electrons really) directly to electicity, analogous to photovoltaic solar panels -- these 'betavoltaic' cells would make a constant low level current for things like spacecraft or low-powered remote monitoring equipment. ( Note that the waste products only contain a tiny fraction of the power of the reactor. ) It's just that a utility reactor will produce more of the stuff than can be put to good use -- kind of like CO2 sequestration -- you get 1000 tons of it when you only have a use for 10.

The proponents of pebble bed reactors claim that it solves some of the disposal problem, as the fissionable fuel is contained in these tennis-ball sized packages throughout their lifetime. If true, of course they still need to be disposed of at the end of their life. Here is a NIMBY site just to be "fair and balanced", heh. And this outfit seems to be doing some serious research on the topic. There are links to descriptions of the different reactor designs on that particular page. Pebble bed would be a derivative of the GFR design.

And yes, we should be working on fission energy.

The only downside I see to nuclear is the off chance of an explosion

Errr, how are you getting an explosion?

This above threads were almost a stream of consiousness.  I didn't have any info and throughout all day yesterday and this morning I've since parked myself back on the fence.

Oh and about the xplosion.  If we're trucking this crap around or even rail.  Rail would be probable and rail I know, I work there.  There are derailments all the time, if you have this junk on it you don't see a potential for explosion?

this junk on it you don't see a potential for explosion?

I see a potentional for spill or for it to be spread about as a 'terror' event.

But not an explosion.

Is it not combustible at all?  If a train derails metal on metal is the result.  Static electricity is everywhere, albeit in abundance in lower humidity.  You don't see the possibility that a spark from a collision could ignite this?
Not exactly

Containers can withstand 1500 degree heat for 30 minutes. I don't know if this is what you guys are talking about.

I'm not sure about this, but won't some of the generation IV nuclear rectors eliminate the need for reprocessing?

From the article:

Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactor (SFR)
The goals are to increase the efficiency of uranium usage by breeding plutonium and eliminating the need for transuranic isotopes ever to leave the site. The reactor design uses an unmoderated core running on fast neutrons, designed to allow any transuranic isotope to be consumed (and in some cases used as fuel). In addition to the benefits of removing the long half-life transuranics from the waste cycle, the SFR fuel expands when the reactor overheats, and the chain reaction automatically slows down. In this manner, it is passively safe.
We don't reprocess nuclear waste because of Carter administration policies that were intended to reduce nuclear proliferation, since much of the same actions done in reprocessing are those done in enriching nuclear fuel.

Read more from someone (Joseph Sornsel, nuclear engineer) familiar with the issue here:


How about this...


Here is the details in the plan.  For those who are in the know (the select few), I'm looking for the problems with this solution.  There is a real good point about the BS proliferation and if someone wanted to steal the material, there's plenty of tanks with the junk sitting in it.  How does reprocessing this increase proliferation?  They appear to be doing it overseas just fine, not to mention right north of us in Canada.

Our country is like a drug addict.  No one gives a shit about anyone but themselves.  There hasn't been long term planning for a half century.  Well I take that back, the long term plans used have not been in favor of the 95% of the rest of us.

Hey Tate 423, I'd sure be careful about using Lyndon Larouche for a source. He's been a perenial presidental candidate and he and his followers have tried to hijack the Democratic party for years. As a consequence any reference to him gets discredited almost immediately. His followers are almost a cult.
  And,buy the way, the problem I forsee with nuclear waste reprocessing is the same as with the Yucca Flat storage facility. No one wants poison being trucked through their state.Logic and facts don't enter in to the politics of nuclear waste.
I prefaced my first comment about using him as a source, but I just want hard data.  I don't care about his or anyone's bias.  He's noting sources and I've looked into two and they check out. His white paper on nuclear fuel is no more radical than the other link I was provided by GreyZone.  Both proposals are littered with the same supporting arguments.  

Having read both, there is no mention of trucking any waste anywhere.  The reprocessing facility would be onsite and there would be no need for trucking anything between sites.  Oilmanbob...please read both articles or even just the shorter one by greyzone.  I lived near the Savannah River site described in the larouche article.  He isn't lying, I've been there.  I didn't know the extent of what goes on, still don't, but I know that spent nuclear material CAN be reprocessed and hauling it around isn't the issue.  So aside from politics, what limits this as a viable alternative RENEWABLE fuel?

Reprocessing on-site will NOT work.  Economies of scale suggest a half-dozen world-wide (or less).  All on military bases (like Ft. Knox).

They will produce tons of bomb-grade plutonium, (Mixing in other trans-uranics in reprocessing makes fabrication into a bomb more difficult, it will be quite "hot" in radioactive & temperature sense with neptuniun etc. added).

You're talking a half dozen to service how many? After thinking a little more it doesn't make sense to put a repro facility with every reactor due to the fact that the uranium needed to be reprocessed is years apart for each reactor.  

Now that we do not to cart all this crap around, it doesn't seem as viable.  I mean if you built even 1000 nuclear reactors you would have TONS of materials floating aroudn the country on trains at any given time.  Scary thought, but couldn't we plan these routes to at least minimize potential losses?

Yes, transportation of spent fuel is an issue.  I would keep it on-site for at least 20 years (let most intensely radioactive elements decay)  Perhaps save up 40 years worth and transport it by speciality river/ocean transport.

Speciality "survival" casks have been designed.

Do you really think highly radioactive material won't eat through the best we've got in 100 years?  You can google it and find articles about seeping tanks.  Companies involved in this are profit driven.  They will cut corners and save costs where they can.  I don't care if it's healthcare we are talking about, it happens all over the place.  This is no different.
Radioactivity doesn't "eat" through tanks. It's the acid or alkaline nature of the dissolved material that does that, which is one reason why keeping it in liquid form is utterly crazy. Would you expect to keep a cask of sulphuric acid intact for a century? Reprocessing reduces it to a fraction of the previous size, stores it as a solid instead of a liquid and gets more use out of the radioactive portions of the fuel anyway.
My choice of words may have been off, but the effect is the same.  These liquid casks are leaking all over the world.  It doesn't work, period.  At a minimum reprocessing is the safest, albeit more costly solution.  Here's the problem with saying it isn't cost effective.  We don't know what the cost would be to the human pop if there would be a spill or explosion.  So to say it isn't cost effective is to tell all American's their life isn't worth the money to worry about the problem.

I keep thinking about Europe though.  Don't they reprocess?  Is any of the material you get recyclable?  

I said to myself before this reply, "AO what's the point of talking to Alan? He is always in opposition and can solve all the problems while living in a flood plain!" Then I realized something, "Alan as long as transportation is the only real issue do us all a favor and keep all the nuke waste in your back yard, THANKS! (Said as smugly as possible)"
i suggest that everyone here that thinks the following.
1.radiation is safe.
2.nuke waste problem is over blown.
leave their address or if you live in a apartment leave the address of a relative that owns a house so we can transfer nuclear waste to your location for storage. you will be responsible for the materials in regards of containment and maintenance.
Economies of scale are a very bad idea when you are talking about supercritical quantities of fissile materials.

A small lab-scale operation in each reactor cluster is not such a bad idea. They need the remote control robot arms and such for normal re-fueling and maintenance operations anyway. Now just add some chemical seperation facilities - bench-top-scale stuff - and reprocess a few kilos per day when not doing other maintenance work with the robot arms.

And don't leave all the Pu in one big big drum ;)

The safety and security issues & procedures make large-scale mandatory.

Yes, do not keep all the Pu in one space >:-)

I would encourage you to read more LaRouche as he is very amusing.As you are amused you will discover before too long that he does qualify as outdoor insane
Don't take my word for it. Keep reading.
If Lyndon LaRouche told me the sun came up this morning I would check it.
He used to have a booth at the airport with a big poster saying "more nukes, less kooks!"

What more can be said?

What is outdoor insane? I've heard of "scab crazy" but not "outdoor insane" ...
If Lyndon LaRouche told me the sun came up this morning I would check it.

Ok, what do you think of "This refers to the famous photograph of New York Stock Exchange President Richard Grasso embracing Raúl Reyes, the head of FARC finances, in the cocaine-producing DMZ of Colombia."


I do believe that mantra follow the money.  Look at the Fed.  Who benefits no matter what?  The "Stockholders" just like in the NYSE.  Who are the stockholders?  Follow the money....
Your gut feeling is the truth. Provided you like reading about nuke stuff here is a depressing link about what we have been doing with waste. For a while we made it into a paste and injected it into cracks in the Earth. Over time it entered the water supply. This caused the Army Corp of Engineers to build an earth dam...LOL There not really sure how much Pu is in the muck. Enjoy the reading...



I just wanted to say that this has been a great week of content on TOD.  Thanks for all the effort guys.
Weekly EIA report is out:

Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending June 16, 2006

Imports are up, inventories are up (especially crude oil, which is at the highest level since 1998), and refinery utilization is up. Gasoline inventory only went up by 300,000 bbls, which was a bit surprising to me.


Total Net Imports  13,526(2006)  12,430(2005)

So imports are up more than 1,0 mbpd. Since production is almost flat, someone must be using less.

US production is down 7% year-to-year. UK production is down 7% year-to-year. Seems to me a bidding war will soon start for the light sweet stuff.

What do you call the rise from $30 per barrel to $70 per barrel - a bidding peace? ;)
API directly contradicts the Govt.
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- The American Petroleum Institute said motor gasoline supplies fell 1.9 million barrels for the week ended June 16, contrary to the Energy Department's reported increase of 300,000 barrels. Crude inventories were down 3.7 million barrels. The government report had showed an increase of 1.4 million. Distillate stocks rose 1.9 million barrels, the API said, nearly matching the Energy Department's 1.9 million-barrel increase.

Who you gonna believe - the same people who bring the CPI stats?

You occasionally see a disconnect like this between API and EIA numbers, but not normally this big. Based on what I have heard through the grapevine, I fully expected gasoline inventories to increase. I don't believe they declined by 1.9 million barrels, unless demand is much higher in other parts of the country than they are where I live.


The difference in crude inventories is more than 3% of US consumption per day!

The blog


recently had a post with a diagram (in English) showing the developments in oil production (believed to be all liquid energy), oil consumption and net oil exports from the Middle East.

The diagram speaks by itself, but as of 2005 net oil exports from The Middle East has not reached the levels of the 70's.
Based on EIA International Petroleum for June 2006, the growth in oil production in the Middle East has seen little growth (less than 50 kb/d) for the months January to March this year compared to the same period last year.

(And then there is various messages about reduced production from SA in April and May this year.)

Some factoids from today's EIA Petroleum Report

  • Total Net Imports are UP 3.6%
  • Domestic Production is DOWN -7.1%
  • Total Prod Supplied is UP 0.2% at 20.887 Mbpd

All numbers are YTD (166 days) 2006 v 2005.
That import news supports what I have been saying all along. Oil imports have been lower since the fall because refinery capacity was knocked offline due to the hurricane. It was not because the countries we are importing from have peaked, as has been argued by some here. As refinery capacity came back online, imports have picked back up. From the report:

U.S. crude oil imports averaged 11.0 million barrels per day last week, up 447,000 barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports have averaged over 10.8 million barrels per day, an increase of 370,000 barrels per day from the comparable four weeks last year.

I wouldn't be suprised to see imports flatten out again pretty soon due to the building oil inventories. We do have a finite amount of storage capacity.


"Oil imports have been lower since the fall because refinery capacity was knocked offline due to the hurricane. It was not because the countries we are importing from have peaked, as has been argued by some here."

Case #1:   Oil imports were lower since the fall because refinery capacity was knocked offlne.  Presumably oil prices spiked 15% to 25% because of geopolitical considerations.  All importing markets--rich and poor--are well supplied.

Case #2:  Oil imports were lower because of less oil being exported.  Prices spiked in order to equalize supply and demand.  Oil exports to the high bidders picked back up, and the low bidders, in poorer countries, reduced their consumption.

Fact:  The EIA reports that world crude oil + condensate production is down by about 1% since December.

Fact:  We have seen persistent reports of civil unrest in developing countries because of high energy prices and energy shortages.

Fact:  The Saudis have admitted to a 5% decline in production.  Why is another matter.  

Robert, my question for you is how can you be certain, given the information we have, that Case #1 is correct, and not Case #2--especially since world oil production has been trending down of late?

What if this is true...?

Oil imports were lower since the fall because refinery capacity was knocked offlne. In addition, there was less oil being exported due to lower production.  I mean gas shot up 50% in under a month.  It can't be ONE or the OTHER.  It rarely ever is, but a patchwork of different variables that are constantly changing seems more likely.  On paper even if refining capacity stayed secure, when production drops you would get a price spike due to lower supplies. Now if there were lower crude supplies coupled with a slower ability to refine this would SEVERLY disrupt the entire supply chain.

Oil imports were lower because of less oil being exported.

I think that's self-evident for either case. Imports were lower because less oil was being exported. This means that probably less oil was being produced, unless someone is storing it. But the question we need to answer is "Why?"

Fact:  The EIA reports that world crude oil + condensate production is down by about 1% since December.

And refining utilization at that time was running at 85% or so. It has just crept up to 93% as of this week. When utilization was lower, it is a fact that they didn't need as much oil. That means they weren't buying as much oil. That means the producers didn't need to produce as much oil, and less oil needed to be imported.

Fact:  We have seen persistent reports of civil unrest in developing countries because of high energy prices and energy shortages.

No doubt. But it is mostly because of high prices, which are due largely to geopolitical factors. But part of it is also due to the tightening of supply and demand. Several years ago, there was a multi-million barrel per day cushion. Now, there is a small cushion. It makes the markets nervous, hence, a premium on oil.

Fact:  The Saudis have admitted to a 5% decline in production.  Why is another matter.

Well, they did say it's because they weren't finding buyers for all of their crude. This would be quite easy to verify by merely calling Saudi Aramco and asking if they can fill some contracts. Phrasing it as you have is prejudicial. According to the Saudis, the decline was voluntary. Maybe, maybe not. But it is hard for me to believe that they are claiming to have excess oil for sale, if they really don't. It's just too easy to verify that.

Robert, my question for you is how can you be certain, given the information we have, that Case #1 is correct, and not Case #2--especially since world oil production has been trending down of late?

I don't believe it has been "trending down". I believe that it has been somewhat erratic since last fall, but the latest estimates indicate that production is coming back up. We also know that oil imports have increased as refining capacity has come back online, supporting my version of events. But inventories are still very full, so it would not surprise me to see imports start to decrease again - especially after the summer driving season.

Let me ask you this: What would it take to convince you that my version of events is correct?


So what's stopping you from calling?  If it's that easy, why hasn't someone done it yet?
So what's stopping you from calling?

I don't have any contacts in Saudi. But all major oil companies do. All major oil companies have traders of Saudi crude who could confirm or deny what the Saudis claimed.

If it's that easy, why hasn't someone done it yet?

You can be assured that they have. Anyone needing crude called them up when they announced they had extra crude for sale. That's how I know they were telling the truth. You just can't deceive everyone about having product for sale in an open market if you don't. Imagine you trying to pull this off. You tell everyone you have something for sale that's in demand. But, you really don't have it. How long is that charade going to last? Oh, until someone calls you up to verify your product, or wants to come over and take a look at it.


So if I called today, how quickly would I get it?  In finance we talk a lot about the different types of floats.  There's all kinds of them too (processing float, mail float, etc).  What kind of float is there between my call and my receipt?  I only ask because I can do all kinds of things for MONTHS using floats, especially with long term contracts.  I can build a ponzi scheme with oil delivery until one day, don't know when, it collapses and the truth is revealed. I never under estimate the lengths people will go to make money.

I think we can agree that we really don't know and the wait and see attitude is best especially as we may be at the precipous of a permanent decline either way.

"Let me ask you this: What would it take to convince you that my version of events is correct?"

Several months of rising oil production would be a start.  The problem is that since December, we have seen several months of falling oil production, which fits the HL method--which has a proven track record, with the North Sea being the most recent example.

Where you and I disagree is that I just can't see how we can increase production when the four largest oil fields in the world are almost certainly declining.  One of them--Cantarell--may, and probably will, show catastrophic declines.  Given analogue case histories, Ghawar is also a candidate for catastrophic decline rates.

In any case, you agree with me that less oil was exported over the past few months, but you assert that it was not because of peaking production.  

I am presenting an argument based on mathematical modeling of historical analogues, and the most recent production data fit the mathematical model.

My question remains:  why are you so certain that exports were not declining because of peak production?    

Also, just because imports have rebounded here, it does not follow that imports have rebounded everywhere, and anecdotal evidence suggests that imports have not rebounded everywhere.

The drop in US production (7.1%) seems rather severe. Was this expected?
Brian, I would guess a lot of it is Katrina-related. Also, remember, this is not a weekly or 4-weekly dip; it's 166 days in 2006 v 166 days in 2005.
In any case, you agree with me that less oil was exported over the past few months, but you assert that it was not because of peaking production.

Look at refinery utilization over that time, and you will see exports falling as refineries were taken offline for spring maintenance. As refineries came back online, imports came back up.

I presume you would agree that if refineries are running at 85% as opposed to 93%, they aren't going to be buying as much oil? That is a difference of around 1.5 million barrels a day, and we didn't see that kind of sustained inventory build. Hence, imports had to fall.  

My question remains:  why are you so certain that exports were not declining because of peak production?

Because declining exports so perfectly tracked the refinery utilization numbers, and I know that there was plenty of oil available throughout this period.

You realize that exports are running some 2 million barrels a day higher than when you started making this argument, and that they are now at their highest levels ever? Doesn't that make you wonder whether your hypothesis is sound?


"You realize that exports are running some 2 million barrels a day higher than when you started making this argument, and that they are now at their highest levels ever? Doesn't that make you wonder whether your hypothesis is sound?"

Through the week ending 5/19, all of the 2006 weekly (four week running average) net petroleum imports into the US were below the four week running average ending 12/30/05.  During this time period of reduced imports, oil prices went up by 15% to 25%, to the highest nominal oil price ever recorded.  Beginning with the week ending 5/26, total US petroleum imports have been higher than the four week running average ending 12/30.   However, the US is not the world.  My basic thesis is that the richer markets are outbidding the poorer markets.  

Again, I don't see how you can so confidently assert that world oil production will increase when the four largest oil fields in the world are almost certainly declining--and since December, world oil production has been falling.

IMO, we can simply reduce this debate down to Ghawar.  As goes Ghawar, so goes Saudi Arabia.  As goes Saudi Arabia, so goes the world economy.   The world is incredibly dependent on an oil field, Ghawar, that is 68 years old.  The Yibal Field, redeveloped using the same redevelopment program as Ghawar, showed about an 80% drop in production over a five year period--much to the surprise of Shell Oil.

Some 2004 comments by our friend AM Samsam Bakhtiari:

Published on 2 May 2004 by Oil & Gas Journal. Archived on 2 May 2004.
World oil production capacity model suggests output peak by 2006-07
by AM Samsam Bakhtiari


Simmons even questioned the potential of the world's largest oil field and the Saudis' major producer, the awesome Ghawar: "Aramco [the original Arabian American Oil Co.] estimated Ghawar's reserves to be 60 billion bbl in 1975 on the basis of 400 wells and a very clear mapping of the oil-water contact...and with 55 billion bbl now produced, Ghawar is about to become another Brent, Prudhoe Bay, Samotlor, or Yibal.

Now, the terminal decline of Ghawar would signal the beginning of the end for Saudi Arabia's oil. This should trigger alarm bells all over the petroleum industry and even in the general public (who should realize that global oil supplies are not "forever," not even in Saudi Arabia).

It is worth mentioning that Wocap model predictions for Saudi Arabia (up to 2020) are in full consonance with the potential consequences of Simmons's highly rational thesis.

Through the week ending 5/19, all of the 2006 weekly (four week running average) net petroleum imports into the US were below the four week running average ending 12/30/05.

That's because you are looking right into the heart of spring turnaround season, which was busier than normal this year. The 4-week running average that ended last week showed 14.7 million barrels per day of imports, which is a million barrels a day higher than the December level, and 2 million bpd above the April level. During this time of rising imports, mid-April to mid-June, oil prices have fallen. Total average world oil price was $62.66 for the week ending 6/16 and $66 in April. So, prices have fallen as imports have increased by 2 million bpd. That doesn't sound like we are bidding anything up.

Again, I ask if you think it was a complete coincidence that imports fell as refinery utilization fell, and that imports are increasing as refineries come back online?

IMO, we can simply reduce this debate down to Ghawar.

Not really because that's a different debate. That's about increasing future production. The debate at hand right now is whether your hypothesis about oil imports is starting to spring leaks.


"Again, I ask if you think it was a complete coincidence that imports fell as refinery utilization fell, and that imports are increasing as refineries come back online?"

If it were not for the price increase, I would probably agree with you. What did not make sense to me were record high nominal oil prices when we were importing less petroleum.  

I first raised the question of net export capacity with a post back in January.  I pointed out the top three exporters, based on the HL method, were more depleted than the world is overall.  I predicted that we were facing a potentially catastrophic decline in net export capacity in 2006, as production from the top exporting countries fell, at the same time that their domestic consumption is growing (except for Norway) quite rapidly--my "Export Land Model."

My observations about the price/import anomaly this spring were based on that prediction--that we would face a net export crisis before we faced a significant decline in world oil production.

The EIA is reporting that oil production in Saudi Arabia, Russia and Norway are all down so far this year.  Consumption is up in Saudi Arabia and Russia.  What effect do you think that has on net oil exports?

I am not building my case on weekly import numbers.  I am building my case on the HL method, which has a proven track record.  And in my opinion, the price/import anomaly we saw this spring is pretty strong evidence that we are in the early stages of a bidding war for declining net oil export capacity.  

Let's assume a decline in net export capacity.  We would expect to see a decline in US imports. We did.  We would expect to see a price increase, even as imports fell.  We did. We would expect to see the imports go to the highest bidder.  We know that our imports are back up.  We also have persistent reports of civil unrest over high prices and energy shortages in developing countries.

Finally, the question of the largest oil field in the largest exporting country is central to the net export question.

Again, why do you predict rising world oil production when the four largest oil fields in the world are almost certainly declining?

Zimbabwe: Fuel Prices Skyrocket As Supplies Dwindle

Despite the increase in the price, the commodity was in short supply at most service stations with some fuel attendants professing ignorance on when they will receive their next deliveries.

There were long winding queues of cars at the few filling stations that had fuel, such as Ford Garage along Chiremba Road in Chadcombe

An exploration geologist can't be afraid of making predictions based on very limited data.  Following is an excerpt from my 1/27/06 post.  We can argue why, but the Saudis are now admitting--as I predicted--to a pretty significant decline in production since late last year (5%).

Hubbert Linearization Analysis of the Top Three Net Oil Exporters

Posted by Prof. Goose on Friday January 27, 2006 at 2:47

[ED: This is a guest post by westexas...]


As predicted by Hubbert Linearization, two of the three top net oil exporters are producing below their peak production level.   The third country, Saudi Arabia, is probably on the verge of a permanent and irreversible decline.   Both Russia and Saudi Arabia are probably going to show significant increases in consumption going forward.  It would seem from this case that these factors could interact this year produce to an unprecedented--and probably permanent--net oil export crisis.

Let's assume a decline in net export capacity.  We would expect to see a decline in US imports. We did.  We would expect to see a price increase, even as imports fell.  We did.

I am not going to keep debating this, as we shall soon see who is right. But I would ask you to consider what you wrote above. You use it as support for your argument. Yet in the past 2 months, the exact opposite has happened. Imports increased and prices fell. Yet you don't see this as evidence against your argument. Don't you see the problem here?


"Imports increased and prices fell. Yet you don't see this as evidence against your argument. Don't you see the problem here?"

The most recent total US petroleum imports are up 600,000 bpd (four week running average)over the week ending 12/30/06.  However, oil prices are still about 15% higher than the week ending 12/30/06, at the same time that we see persistent and continuing reports of problems with petroleum supplies in deveoping countries.  Again, US petroleum statistics do not reflect the totality of the world petroleum supply.   A driver in Los Angeles may complain about the price of gas, but in many cases a driver in Zimbabwe can't find gas.  

But again, I am arguing that the US price/import anomaly is simply a sign of a developing bidding war for available net export capacity.   Virtually all of the large oil fields in the top exporting countries are old and many of them are declining.  What baffles me is that you continue to predict increasing production when the four largest producing oil fields in the world are almost certainly declining.

The most recent total US petroleum imports are up 600,000 bpd (four week running average)over the week ending 12/30/05.  However, oil prices are still about 15% higher than the week ending 12/30/05, at the same time that we see persistent and continuing reports of problems with petroleum supplies in deveoping countries.
The most recent total US petroleum imports are up 600,000 bpd (four week running average)over the week ending 12/30/06.  However, oil prices are still about 15% higher than the week ending 12/30/06, at the same time that we see persistent and continuing reports of problems with petroleum supplies in deveoping countries.

However, imports are up sharply since mid-April, while at the same time prices fell. If you are using price as an indicator, then I know this great ethanol stock called Pacific Ethanol. The price recently ran up to $40. It is about $20 now. In reality, it is maybe an $8 stock. But people have overpriced it, just as they have done oil.

You will see soon enough. Just remember this conversation, and determine for yourself what it's going to take to convince you. Given your reluctance to address falling prices and rising imports since mid-April - about the time refineries were coming out of turnarounds - I think you have set yourself up an unfalsifiable position.


What baffles me is that you continue to predict increasing production when the four largest producing oil fields in the world are almost certainly declining.

Incidentally, I see this question as mostly a red herring with respect to the current debate. What I am arguing right now is that your hypothesis about oil imports and peak oil is wrong. Increasing production is a different argument, which I have laid out before. I believe we may see a peak in 3 years, but no more than a logistical bottleneck is what we have seen recently.

To summarize, you have argued that falling imports, along with rising prices, is evidence that your hypothesis is correct. World markets have bid up prices in a bidding war in order to secure oil. The rich markets have outbid the poor. This is your hypothesis.

However, in the past 2 months we have seen substantially higher imports, but the price is falling. Since you are using price as an indicator, why would the price fall if we are outbidding other countries for the oil? You have to admit that these recent trends do not support your hypothesis.


Actually, the current price is within 7% of the all-time high. Prices for commodities cannot continually go up in a straight line. IMO, to state current crude prices are at an all-time nominal high would be a reasonably accurate assertion.
Incidentally, I hope you don't take any of this personally. I go after my best friends with the same vigor. They jokingly refer to me as a "tenacious bulldog" sometimes. So, don't take it personally. I am just challenging your argument.


this has been the only productive debate on this site since the drum beat started,{Imo} I truely value both of your input on this discusion and strongly urge you two to hash this out. I'm confident this can happen with no smashed egos or hurt feelings.
thanks again for both your perspectives
"Incidentally, I hope you don't take any of this personally."

No.  I just think you are mistaken about rising production.  I don't think you are the Antichrist.

I don't think you are the Antichrist.

Some do. I think it's those 6's on my forehead. :)

Prediction: You will see production rising from April through June or so. I think demand is tapering off, and that is the wildcard. But imports are up, and prices are down. I predict that when final production numbers are released, we will see rising production, and most likely a new production record.


Just curious, but the statements you keep making are prices are down.  What prices?  Are you talking at the pump or per barrel.  We've been stuck between 68-72 for 4-5 months now.  Economists call this price elasticity.  I think you're mistaken about prices falling.  Prices are fluctuating at best, but they appear to be sticky.  

As I look right this sec, the spot price is 71 a barrel.  Prices are down from the 75 high 8 months ago, I concede that.  But this "band" of $4 is like 5%-10% depending if you're going up or down. So prices haven't fallen.

If you're talking at the pump, I call BS even more.  My gas was cheaper 5 months ago, then it is now.  I paid $2.50/gal and now it's $2.80.gal.  12% increase in less than 6 months.

Just curious, but the statements you keep making are prices are down.  What prices?  Are you talking at the pump or per barrel.  We've been stuck between 68-72 for 4-5 months now.  Economists call this price elasticity.  I think you're mistaken about prices falling.  Prices are fluctuating at best, but they appear to be sticky.

This is in response to Westexas' hypothesis about falling imports and rising prices. Over the first quarter, oil prices rose and imports were falling. My hypothesis is that oil imports were down because spring turnarounds were going on, and prices were/are high because of geopolitical events. His hypothesis is that imports are down because oil has peaked, and prices are up because we are in a bidding war.

However, I note that since mid-April, imports are sharply up, even as average world oil prices have fallen by $4 a barrel (from the official EIA numbers). This is in direct contradiction to his hypothesis. You may say that $4 isn't much, but why should prices be falling at all, if his hypothesis is correct? After all, this $4 fall came at a time when the U.S. sharply increased the oil that we are importing (to record levels). Based on his hypothesis, imports increased because we are outbidding the competition. Since when does a bidding war result in lower prices? My point is that this is evidence directly against his hypothesis.


And of course, oil prices are still up by more than 15% since December.
That tiny spike up near $75 didn't matter. What mattered was the general trend rose to the $70 range which pushed several poorer players out of the market. The price spiked to $75 on speculation but as the speculators saw poorer nations bow out, the price came back to its current typical level around $70 per barrel. You are basing your entire argument on that brief spike to $75? This pig doesn't fly, Robert. If I were you, I'd leave the price argument out of this entirely and focus on refinery utilization if that is the core of your argument, because the price doesn't really support you and it does tend to support westexas.
I fall somewhere between your two positions.

As someone with a background in statistical analysis (my father taught it & I learned ay the kitchen table), I am MUCH more cautious than Westexas about extrapolating from limited data.  And I COULD see, since peaks can be flat (Texas 1972-74). that SA could peak a year or two after Ghawar and the world a year or two after SA. (48% of Qt still gives us, maybe, 3 years even according to HL till 52% Qt).

And unconvential oil could well shove the peak back a year.

So I am agnostic (some days I believe 2006, some days 2008, and some days I think 2010).  And I am used to looking at data  over time and seperating "signal from noise".

However, I think there is much validity to the :export land" model.  The Russian Minister of Economics projects Russian oil production to grow by 2.7% in 2007, "at least" 1% in 2008 & 2009 AND a significant drop in oil exports due to rising internal demand.

Which is more important to oil consumers outside Russia ?  Their total oil production or their exports ?

I say their exports.  And I am convinced that we will see "Peak Exports" before Peak Oil, most likely a year or two ahead.

I am fairly convinced (90%) that 1Q07 world exports will be less than 1Q06 exports.

Pretty much my position, thanks for stating it clearer than I might have.

Trying to be too specific right now is impossible given unknown (and some unknowable) but critical variables. We are close enough to the peak in my opinion that I think we will see fluctuations within relatively narrow limits rather than any clear trends (until decline asserts itself finally).

Prices are down? Do pray tell where if it's more than a dollar or two? And if it's not, is that more likely noise than signal? Also, if supply is about to increase to levels as high as last year (or higher) shouldn't prices drop to levels as low as last year (or lower)?

I see very steady $70 per barrel prices right now and not much slacking off from that. Yes that is down from the absolute peak price but where were we last year at this time?

Based on this...$11 cheaper @ $59 a barrel.


I was intending my comment to Robert. I just don't see the price "drops" lately as being of major import. A price drop that brings bidders back into the market would be down to $65 or eve $60 (or $59 as you noted). At the $70 range, an entire segment of buyers is out of the market.
I'm with you....significant price drops aren't coming.  Since Katrina and discovering PO, I've told everyone I know you will never see gas below $2.50 a gal in my area.  The lowest since touched $2.58 and that was about 2 months ago.  It's back at $2.90 and it's summer.  $3 a gal isn't that bad if you ask me, but what do I know.
I just don't see the price "drops" lately as being of major import.

I had lost interest and didn't realize this conversation was still going on. The thing about the price drops, is that it happened as imports sharply increased. If Westexas' theory was correct, we should have seen the price increase. We certainly shouldn't have seen a price drop during this time.

Overlay the imports over the refining utilization, and I think the picture will become crystal clear. Throw in the price if you want, and you will see a disconnect from April through today.


You are correct. It has been two months since price peaked at about $75. Although it is only short-term, that is the timeframe of this argument, and within that timeframe price can't be seen as anything but flat or down.
They claim to be able to produce solar cells with the same efficiency at 1/5 the cost of the current silicon based manufacturing process.  If true, that is revolutionary.  I don't know how that would translate to the cost per kwh, but, according to Solarbuzz, the current price per kwh is 21.66 cent. Even if the final installed price was about half that, we would be into competitive territory with conventional fuels in many areas of the country.

There is so much bad news that I will admit that I am somewhat vulnerable to what looks like good news.  This company has heavy backing with heavy hitters.  They just might pull it off.

Combine this kind of thing will some breakthroughs in the battery world, and we could be talking about transitioning to an electricity based transporation system vs. a liquid based systems.  Yes, there are all sorts of pitfalls, caveats, and technical barriers, but I fear that when we hear so much talk about solving our liquids problems with coal conversion , tar sands, oil shale, and the like, that we need to keep our eye on electricity vs liquid fuels as a more environmentally sound path to the future.

Yes, we would probably have to radically change our driving patterns, living patterns, and type of transit, but wouldn't it be worth some "sacrifices" in order to provide relatively clean energy for the future.  Right now our energy future seems to be mainly based around coal in all its forms, and the fantasy of biofuels and hydrogen to supposedly save the day.  I think this path, especially coal, is unacceptable and suicidal.  

It is an interesting report but they say the active material is Copper-Indium-Gallium-Diselenide. Assuming the total thickness of that stuff is on the order of a few microns, the effective thickness of the gallium component might be 1/2 to 1 micron, or 1/2 to 1 cubic meter of gallium per square kilometer of finished solar cell material. At 10% efficiency that would be 100 megawatts (peak, of course), so they will presumably be making 4.5 square kilometers per year. They will be needing between two and four cubic meters of gallium, or 12 and 24 tonnes, per year, just for that one 450 megawatt/year fab.

Meanwhile, current total worldwide primary gallium production is apparently about 69 tonnes per year.

It seems like they could have a substantial niche play, but they will never have a noticeable effect on overall world energy production until they either find a substitute for the gallium, or else find an awesomely large and rich (relatively speaking since the quantities are so incredibly small) gallium mine.

What a bunch of idiots.  The first paragraph of this article is exactly what is WRONG with finance.

http://today.reuters.com/investing/financeArticle.aspx?type=hotStocksNews&storyID=2006-06-21T151 909Z_01_N21207410_RTRUKOC_0_US-MARKETS-STOCKS.xml

- U.S. stocks shot higher on Wednesday as strong earnings from investment bank Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and package delivery company FedEx Corp. (FDX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) reassured investors that corporate profits could grow despite rising interest rates.

So let me get this straight.  TWO companies made money so everyone will make money.  That's the logic behind this.  Gee Stanley made money b/c they ALWAYS make money moving money around.  This is like a no brainer, but then we get package champ Fedex.  Well, since they have instituted a surcharge that changes monthly (sometimes bi monthly) on gas charges; I'm sure they are enjoying it when prices retreat, but their surcharge is unchanged.  We are getting used to fuel surcharges.  I work in transportation and I see it.  I talk to these guys and it's going to get brutal in the coming years.  So all of us are paying more to ship crap, the street didn't know that already.  Overnighting a piece of paper costs $20 or more.

Both these companies are like pieces of our infrastructure and should make money.  MS makes money on moving money.  The more there is (hello INFLATION) the more money they make.  I wonder what the correlation to increases to the MS and increases in investment banking earnings would be?  Fedex is one of the co's that move all the crap around the globe.  Gee no wonder they made money.  The red will return tomorrow.  Both these companies are integral and needed.  Those types of businesses always make money, even the mob knows this.

I've been listening to Al Gore being interviewed by Charlie Rose on Google.  I linked to it through EnergyBulletin.

For about 20 minutes, a good brief review of the movie "An Inconvenient Truth."

The last 40 minutes gets into the current US energy policy, the Iraq War, and a very clear critique of the dysfunctionality of the pattern of getting energy in the way we do.  Also, Gore is asked to reflect on the role of our appetite for imported petroleum on the Iraq War policy.

I recommend it!

Charlie Rose asks excellent questions, and Al Gore gives straight, clear answers.

Gore gives 4 reasons for the Iraq War: 1)Saddam Hussein was a thorn in the side of the USA (not a good reason to invade/ invasion was a foolish way to solve the problem); 2) Desire to sit on andcontrol Iraq's huge petroleum resources, plus establish a crucial political base in the Middle East.; 3) Karl Rove's use of war as a domestic political tool to manipulate US voters to support Republicans in mid-term elections (being repeated now);

Gore's solutions:

1)renewables -- cellulosic ethanol (not from corn!) Gore emphasises the need for better processes; Rose really questions this as to efficiency and cost/benefit. (Imagine such questions put in the MSM to a person of Gore's stature seriously exploring these issues!)  Gore believes that the petroleum industry does not want the competition from any biofuels at this point....hmmmmm...

2) reduce payroll taxes and tax CO2...."price environmental consequences into the market"...

Rose would we "be better off with gas at 4.99 per gallon?"  Gore: only if the effect on the poor and working people could be mitigated.

Gore again: "We are at or near peak oil."

Summary of Gore: we got maybe 10 years, the political system in this country is not even ready to deal with this.

Gore's reason for hope?  A political tipping point can be reached for a kind of "sudden political climate change" which can cause the fast and furious positive change.

Another crucial point: mother Nature's voice is the most powerful of all.....!
Well -- it is worth a listen, if you haven't heard the interview already!

Gore believes that the petroleum industry does not want the competition from any biofuels at this point....hmmmmm...

All due respect to Gore, that assertion is ludicrous. What would prevent the petroleum companies from producing biofuels, if the fundamentals are good? After all, petroleum companies are flush with cash. What would prevent them from building biodiesel or ethanol plants? Nothing. They have the infrastructure in place. They have the market contacts. It's just a silly assertion, and another attempt to smear oil companies.


First off, everyone should watch this interview.

RR, the answer to your question "What would prevent the petroleum companies from producing biofuels..." is that they have never been in the biofuels business. I think it's just that simple. Insiders like Bubba and others before and after him have said the same thing. This is just human nature at work here. Nothing mysterious about it. It's hard for people to change. I know it's been hard for me.

By the way, Gore's website is climatecrisis.net.

We aren't talking about a company moving from making potato chips to computer chips. Biofuel manufacture shares many of the same processing steps as convention fuel manufacture, and the customers are the same. It would be a very simple matter for oil companies to start producing biofuels and selling biofuels. In fact, some are already doing so. This whole "they don't want the competition" shtick is ridiculous.

Consider BP. No oil company had been in the solar business before. But, they saw an opportunity, and got into the business. By comparison, a move into biofuels would be a piece of cake.


fad marketing.
make yourself apear bio freindly now and you get more customers to buy your gas.
once it suits them to drop support they will.
Ok it could be this way, but what does Shell sell when they have little oil?  I doubt they will go out of business will all the oil money they did earn.
I'm with RR .on this one. Don't bash all oil companies. Shell hires some of the best and brightest engineers and finance people in the world, and no large , worldwide organisation let alone an entire industry is monolithic. They all contain people of all stripes, and sometimes they can do contradictory things. Look at BP, who in Galveston County, Texas has the US's most polluting and dangerous refinery yet also has a 20% stake in Green Mountain Energy, the largest marketer of wind plus a substantial biofuels effort.
   Some oil company policies are terrible, some are very progressive. But, if you stereotype them you will lose any chance of influencing them in a positive manner. The only reason your attitude doesn't piss me off is I am insensitive. Ask any of my ex-wives.
RR -- I think I heard Gore correctly on this, and I do think that the assertion that petroleum industry is opposed to biofuels as we know them is subject to debate. Reasonable people can disagree.

A parallel phenomenon, it seems to me, is this:  The electric utilities here (Minneapolis, MN) seem to drag their feet on every renewable option while embracing every possible way of using more coal or hydro from the massive Manitoba Hydro projects in Canada.  I find it odd that they do not embrace renewables more readily, given that many people want to shift to renewables.  There are "public relations" programs to give some appearance of chage, but we still get less than 1% of our electric power from the wind in a state which is one of those "Saudi Arabia of Wind Power states.

My point is that sometimes people in industry make decisions that appear to be short-sighted and even self-defeating -- from my viewpoint.

Another, complicated but odd parallel to illustrtae what i mean has to do with the auto industry.  Honda and Toyota are doing well while GM and Ford flounder,  Honda and Toyota embraced what seemed to me the obvious need to begin moving toward offering high-mileage, low-emission options while GM and Ford seemed rather stupidly short-sighted.

So why can't petroleum companies have similiar bouts of shooting themselves in the foot? (Said with a bit of tongue-in-cheek.)

At any rate, Al Gore makes a number of other comments in this interview which are worth contemplation and perhaps further discussion.

Thanks to Dave for the mentioning the link to climatecrisis.

There are any number of complex issues to wrestle with, and I tend to think that the petroleum industry is capable of great blunders as well as of great profit-making ventures.

The real issue is, of course, whether the oil industry is, on the whole, addressing peak oil and global climate change in good faith.  So far the industry has a pretty bad track record in my book.

In "An Inconvenient Truth" Al Gore speaks about the way in which his family quit farming tobacco.  That story says it all about why we -- and the oil industry as a whole -- fights for intentional ignorance even if it kills us all.

RR -- I think I heard Gore correctly on this, and I do think that the assertion that petroleum industry is opposed to biofuels as we know them is subject to debate.

Well, I work in the petroleum industry, and I can tell you that I have never run across anyone opposed to biofuels on principle. What you will find is opposition to mandates, which distorts market signals. If you subsidize ethanol, and the price gets too high, people don't have to buy it. If you mandate it, you have now said that no matter how high the price goes, and no matter that a better alternative might come along (butanol, perhaps) you are still going to have to use ethanol.


But as I think you implied, ethanol is actually driving up the price of fuel when it is mandated as a mix with gasoline. Unfortunately, this implicit "tax" just keeps a market going for ethanol which is heavily subsidized already.  We are forced to use an alternative which may end up being an alternative which actually uses more energy in fossil fuels that it produces.

Heavily tax all carbon inputs while at the same time eliminating subsidies for alternative liquid fuels like ethanol. The market price will then tend to more realistically reflect the relative carbon intensities of the various fuels. Let the cheapest fuel win.  This way ethanol boosters can't hide the true energy and financial costs of their fuel. Also, they won't be able to push their product largely through smoke screens intended to debunk their critics like Patzek and Pimental.

Getting a carbon tax,  of course, requires the acknowledgement that carbon is a problem. Just saying we're addicted to oil doesn't get it. We're addicted to carbon and we need to get off it.

While I'm pointing out the obvious, at least to you, there remains the question of what one does with solar and wind, for example. Assuming the implementation of a carbon tax, do we just let the market decide or do we continue to gives tax credits for solar and wind on top of the relative advantage they would get from a carbon tax.  I would tend to favor continuation of the credits for now to get the industry up to speed.  However, if I were a power player in a position to bargain, it might be worth giving up those credits for a significant and universally applied carbon tax.  If the energy return for these techologies is as claimed, they will hold their own against the alternatives.

But is solar an alternative to ethanol?  Eventually, I think it is. Our desire to continue a liquid or gas fueled transportation system seems doomed if we want to do something about global warming.

Heavily tax all carbon inputs while at the same time eliminating subsidies for alternative liquid fuels like ethanol.

This is an approach I strongly advocate. It will reward good EROI options, and punish poor EROI options.

But is solar an alternative to ethanol?  Eventually, I think it is.

Agree. I think solar combined with PHEVs are actually a pretty attractive option.


I would like to discuss the consequences of the changes in crude qualities as PO approaches.

It has been said that we will run out of light sweet before anything else since this is what is easier to get.

I'm guessing that this trend will force refiners to change/upgrade their installations to handle a wider crude quality range.   Do we see this phenomenon happen right now?

Also, crude oil is refined to a lot of different end products, will the changes in crude quality means that some of the end products will become much more difficult to produce than some others.  Ie. jet fuel vs. diesel.


Look a few posts up.  China is having a problem refining the sour oil from SA, so they have cut back imports by 50K barrels a day.  Their refiners are having a harder time refining this sour oil.  So refiners have to spend more time refining what we have left.
From the NY Times Deal by BP Venture Tightens Russia's Grip on Oil Industry
A joint venture of [TNK-]BP in Russia announced on Tuesday that it would sell several oil fields to Sinopec of China, the first direct sale of Russian oil assets to a Chinese company.

Within hours of the announcement, Rosneft, the Russian state-controlled energy company, said it would exercise an option to buy 51 percent of Sinopec's newly acquired assets, leaving the Chinese with a minority stake.

So, TNK-BP is being shut out via a transfer to the Chinese and then a subsequent buy back. And later...
"The Chinese and Rosneft are on very good terms," said Eric Kraus, portfolio manager of the Nikitsky Russia Fund. He questioned the commercial rationale for Rosneft, already highly leveraged after buying the effectively nationalized assets of Yukos in 2004, taking out additional debt. "This was clearly a political deal."

The potential for energy cooperation between China and Russia is clear -- and a worry for the United States, which would like to see more Russian oil pumped to Western Europe or North America. China ranks second in oil consumption, behind the United States. Russia is the second-largest producing nation, after Saudi Arabia.

So, there it is.
U.S. EU Summit Joint Declaratoin

The U.S.-EU Summit between Bush, Wolfgang Schuessel et al ended today with a joint declaration that tellingly has an extensive section on energy policy.

One thing I found interesting was the way the joint declaration echoes Matt Simmons' call for data transparency:

"Supporting effective implementation of transparency and data sharing initiatives, such as the Joint Oil Data Initiative (JODI), including on the evaluation of oil reserves, and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) will improve transparency and predictability of the market for all stakeholders."

So the G8 says we should use JODI data? Hard to agree with them after looking at the product. JODI statistics showed  an <increase> in Saudi production this year.
FWIW Syriana came out on DVD yesterday.  Main theme AFAICT, "there's no good guys."
Hello TODers,

On the 18th's Drum Beat I posted a topic about what we Earthers need to do now. The premise is that all of the observations are true and we are headed to possible extinction. That post received quite a few replies. Some did offer suggestions yet most asked a burning question.

What good would a plan to save us from ruin be if most people are in denial of the true issue? A few posters came out and asked me how that little biscuit could be dunked. Let me walk you through my thoughts on this.

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.
Donald Rumsfeld

This is the one Rumsfeld quote that I choose to review every so often. It in fact is testable and true. The best part is that those of you that had no idea that there were known knowns were brought up to speed by the ruling class. Yes, hearing about unknown unknowns from the well paid few allows the rest to see clearly that we no longer have a point in life. The ruling class talks down to us and the media as though we were small children. In that statement lay our purpose in life.

We must remain the unknown unknowns for once we become known then we are processed like cheese at a wine party. We that realize the trip down will be faster should we not change our lives today can do a lot. For instance in my life my GF at first refused to listen to any of this. She in fact accused me of being insane. Today I can say that she put together a survival kit and has been storing rations for many months now. I never gave up and now there are two of us.

The biggest obstacle that we face is government authority. They know what is happening and have been doing their best to ensure their survival at our expense. They have determined that since 6.6 billion humans can't truly live then around 4 billion of the poorest ones will need to go away.

Alpha's Plan for Low Energy Living(Consider this a rough draft):

1)    Read the Declaration of Independence and determine if our position is the same or similar to that of the Founding Fathers in 1776 then proceed to this part...

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

2)    We should figure out what would make us safe & happy. I for one realize that eliminating or editing my 1st through 5th amendments does not make me safer nor am I one bit happier! To me happiness would be to catch a brook trout, to go on a long hike and not get hit by a car. Happiness for me would be knowing that we eliminated nuclear weapons and nuclear waste so that our children are not burdened by it. Safety would be that the constitution is restored to its former glory allowing us all to share the same protections. Happiness for me would come from fair laws that would implement efficiency in an honest fashion that all citizens would be accountable for.
3)    Since you have done all of this you must remember that several laws now in place prevent me from being anything less then a patriot. You should know in your heart who a true patriot is. To me Washington was in fact a true patriot he sacrificed his life, property and wealth so that you and I might have a chance at being unencumbered by silly laws and destructive taxes. After the Revolutionary War, Washington was in fact asked by the roaming mobs of Americans if he would be their King. He was flattered but declined and soon the Constitution was born. So since current laws hold entities like corporations above individual rights by in fact making persons of corporations there are two possible paths individuals can take. One possibility would be forming the largest corporation of all time named along the lines of "Citizens of the United States of America for Constitutional Restoration Inc." The other option would be to heed Thomas Jefferson's advice when he said, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
4)    Passing step three gives us all the responsibilities laid out in the original Constitution. This time around we do things differently. Using the Eminent Domain laws would give every single citizen and American family a home by declaring that all land in the USA would be property of "We the People."  Corporations would be returned to pre 1800's laws in order that "We the People" may once again give or revoke corporate charters. Corporations would no longer be able to legally lobby the governing body as a result. With the use of Eminent Domain we could grant all citizens a home that will be (over time) energy efficient and best of all free. All dwellings shall be rent, mortgage and duty free and shall be property of the actual dweller(s) in name till the dweller(s) move or pass away. No dweller may occupy more then one dwelling unit; this is to say that you may only dwell in one home at a time; the exception would be those who are in service of the People. If you are elected as a State or Federal Official you are not expected to give up your home. Other service workers may also fall into this category though this would be on a local basis.
5)    Through declaration a basic standard of living for all citizens must be implemented. This is to say that situations like chronic homelessness will not be acceptable, though in the event of flood, fire, war, etc a citizen(s) may become homeless and require shelter. A basic living standard will require that over time energy efficiency will be established and when possible increased. Over time it may become necessary for a resident to move from an inefficient home to an efficient home this is to say that as new homes are built that have better R values residents living in inefficient homes will be compelled by law to move to new dwellings so that the older homes may be dismantled, recycled, etc.
6)    Through declaration the Federal Reserve will be eliminated and the US Government shall print US Barter Credit notes so that people can trade for goods but no taxes can be levied on the transactions nor could any interest be earned. A credits scale will be established setting the minimum allowable of credits to be paid to a given type of worker group. This system shall be fair in that an individual could earn more credits by doing more work and that the work an individual performs from picking fruit to providing solar cells is the valued element.
7)    I'll stop at seven except to say that we would establish an efficient free society based on a town surrounded by efficiency based homes surrounded by farmland. Towns will be connected through bio-powered rail. Food transport will be the priority. All towns will be built in accordance to geography and food production. This will mean that the elected officials will have to understand the areas that they live in. Land permitting crop diversity shall be stressed so that transport of specific crops like oranges can be addressed. We could once again develop sources of entertainment and socialization starting with the town. By clustering the homes around the town we reduce the need for travel. We conserve just about everything this way!   

Naturally nothing is without issues. If you follow the logic I used here you would see that this is democratic rather than socialistic. The government has elections, terms, etc. yet since the society is made of people (corporations are eliminated from being anything other than businesses) that have different goals then corporations and businesses do it would be logical for socialistic behaviors and laws to emerge.  

Corporations that we have now have a different goal then individuals. As you know the main goal of a corporation is to turn a profit at all costs. People as per the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution have a completely different goal. We people seek happiness and security. As people our goal is to do the correct thing to attempt to guarantee our survival. Corporations attempt to profit first and often can run opposed to the needs of a society as a whole.

I decided here that all men were created equal. I would eliminate poverty by setting living standards. Ideas like elected officials do not get paid they serve and receive compensation in the form of perks and wages similar to that of a juror should be discussed. If I could I would compel citizens to serve the local government at a minimum. I would eliminate career politicians so that way more people get turns and the friendship link to lobbyists would be severed.

No matter what your age, health, sex, etc. you would never have to fear the wrath of a society hell bent on materialism, capitalism and money. You could be happy no matter what!

With the use of Eminent Domain we could grant all citizens a home that will be (over time) energy efficient and best of all free. All dwellings shall be rent, mortgage and duty free and shall be property of the actual dweller(s) in name till the dweller(s) move or pass away.

You lose big points here.  I'm not going to argue over race, but class.  Look at section 8 housing and tell me free houses are a great idea.  They aren't taken care of b/c there is no, "I paid for this through my blood, sweat, tears etc."  As an economist there is no such thing as a free [house].  The problem is the creation of money through debt.  Eliminate that, and your housing issues will fall in line.  I know it's simplistic, but you pay for free housing in so many other ways.

This is simple..

Review the DrumBeat thread from the 18th. Read all of the posts. The one thing most agree on is that once the decline starts going there will be poverty that you can not even comprehend. As the economy folds up more and more will fall into the ranks of the poor or homeless. Eventually if you had the resources you would have to pay for protection. Regardless siege would be laid and you would perish and your wealth would be redistributed in that fashion.

In the end most would perish regardless of class. The reason that class is an issue is that you fear the loss of status since you are upper class. The fact is that when push comes to shove the poor already outnumber the richest. Let's face some more facts...

  1. Wealthy people often live in homes larger then 3000 ft. and this is much more space then is needed by a family of 4. As a matter of fact a 3000 ft home could support 12 people with room to spare.
  2. Wealthy people often invest in real estate. Those that know how to play that game wind up as owners of vast tracts of land. Since the inheritance taxes have been eliminated for the near term this land would never make it back to the public domain.
  3. I see it as fair that housing, food and energy for all would be free. Those that are determined to do as little as possible will not earn any credits. They will have the basics and not be lying in the streets. Over time this sort of lifestyle would be purged. The social issue of the day is that the middle class are disproportionately burdened by taxes and consumer prices.
  4. Wealth in the form of orderly and efficient lifestyles will have to replace materialism and consumerism.

I will not say that the plan I posted is the best plan for you. I would say that it would be the best possible chance for Americans of all classes to avoid massive anarchy followed by a feudal lord system only to face global extinction. I'm not going to state that everyone will like every portion. The bottom line is that you should do is spend the time and thought and write your own extinction escape plan for the masses. See all BS for what it is and isn't. Show us what you could do for all people if you had the power to do so. I would follow you if you had a fair plan that excluded no citizens! Show me the plan or show me how to improve mine.
I see it as fair that housing, food and energy for all would be free.

Free energy (and free food !)

You have no understanding of human behavior.

And with free housing, I have several places within two blocks that I would like to move into >:-)

I read some replies in several other threads to your posts. In general several members here including myself feel that you do not see the bigger picture. Here you claim that I have no understanding of human behavior! That is an opinion on your part. I know that when laws are passed people obey them or don't. You offer no alternate hope for the USA or humanity in general in all of your postings.

Normally I don't allow a poster to invade my space as you do but I must say that now you're picking fights and not offering to me or this site. I wish you would grow up. A. You do not see the writing on the wall. B. You have no alternative to offer. If the citizens elected me I would end money. Money is over anyway look at the debt your portion of it is around $100,000.00. I would declare the nation bankrupt as a matter of fact. The current method is more war and more debt. Land is all that is left so it has to be fairly distributed.

If I were elected (even though I think you are pretty much a shill) you would not be cast from your home nor would you be subjected to rent. There would be no Iron Triangle or Big Oil if I were elected since all corporations would for a period be taken over by the people. You think this is a joke but you have no comparison and laugh since your in denial of the gravity of our current dilemma.

If we were to move to a free culture based on towns surrounded by efficient homes surrounded by farms connected by rail it would be hard work that you would not be forced to participate in. You would not do much more then exist at that level of input yet I would fight for your right to life.

Since you pretend to know so much why don't you share your complete (as possible) plan?

What would this government be called?  I said before if you look at Russia compared to the US, Russia is moving more towards democracy and the US moves more and more away.  Now you say nationalize private enterprise.  Your plan is communism until it suits "the people."  Who speaks for these people?  Some ONE person will, and ultimately they are owners of all assets granted by "the people."  And what stops this person from acting any different than current politicians?  How do we define "a period of time."  As a dictator my period of time is my lifetime, but I didn't decide that until after I made my promises.

I'm starting to like the Danish model more and more, too bad it doesn't work here.

The United States of America and the elected officials are not allowed to be career politicians. Local government is the most important, the land is owned by the town that the land is in if you want to be technical. No citizen can be evicted nor starved. Prisoners get more then that today. The elected and appointed (who are not paid) will make decisions at town meetings. I'm sure it will be as exciting as today's town meetings. No this plan is not communism at all. Those items like land, homes, food and energy (what there is of it) are needed by the entire population. There are few of you here that could live in the street. Communism is a group or corporation posing as a group (the current US govt) that has dictatorial powers. Who is it that thinks we have a dictatorship now? So, Tate what is your plan for the US should you get the helm?
Your fantasyland would be crushed into dust by the resulting power struggle.  The Chinese would come to Canada's assistance to prevent a deluge of refugees, and there would be a massive migration south into Mexico, resulting in massive poverty and starvation.  Attempts by insurgent regimes to stake out safe-haven territories based on racial/social/financial designation would eventually succeed, resulting in feudal agrarian states resembling areas of Europe in the 7th-11th centuries.  The eventual semi-stability that settled over your war-torn land would spell a dark, brutal existance for all but those in the top tier of power.
Odds are that Canadians and Mexicans would rejoice. Apparently you missed that whole cold war thing. Mutual destruction appears to work. I would eliminate all US nuclear weapons though. I can think of nothing darker then the pressure and lies of the current system gone wild. I don't know if you realize that the US is the shoot first ask questions later and take what it wants country?
from what i have seen and read his plan consists of electrifying railways and using electric troly cars with little regard on how we are going to get the electricity.
I thought I mentioned bio-diesel for rail and we still have hydro, solar, wind, geothermal, the remaining nuke reactors, methane from bio reactors, wave, and alcohol. Local transport would be on your foot cars, bicycle, tricycle, electric trains/trolleys. For construction, fire etc. there would be bio diesel. Long distance trips would be by foot or train or on a horse if you can get one! You could ride a mule I'm sure! Since the land (this would take time) would be reconfigured our available crops would flourish.
your ignoring the inputs needed to run the what you want to use to make electricity to run your idea. this is either on purpose or by accident. either way these inputs are going to sink your idea in the long run. you just seem to see that the decline of oil is a transport fuel problem and not what it really is which is a raw materials problem.
at best it might buy a decade of continuing how we live.

as a example look at this post in this very drumbeat thread.

post by PaulS:
It is an interesting report but they say the active material is Copper-Indium-Gallium-Diselenide. Assuming the total thickness of that stuff is on the order of a few microns, the effective thickness of the gallium component might be 1/2 to 1 micron, or 1/2 to 1 cubic meter of gallium per square kilometer of finished solar cell material. At 10% efficiency that would be 100 megawatts (peak, of course), so they will presumably be making 4.5 square kilometers per year. They will be needing between two and four cubic meters of gallium, or 12 and 24 tonnes, per year, just for that one 450 megawatt/year fab.

Meanwhile, current total worldwide primary gallium production is apparently about 69 tonnes per year.

It seems like they could have a substantial niche play, but they will never have a noticeable effect on overall world energy production until they either find a substitute for the gallium, or else find an awesomely large and rich (relatively speaking since the quantities are so incredibly small) gallium mine.

There is another problem in that my step 3 requires operational control. This will come at a high cost in life though the losses through camps, starvation and exterminations would no doubt be higher.

Inputs are a problem: but an even bigger problem then raw materials for production is oil depletion that makes obtaining the raw materials impossible.

We need to use the diesel locomotives that we have and fuel them with bio-diesel. Copper is recyclable and for a great deal less then mining it. We simply will not need 200W electric services in our homes. Each town could generate methane for cooking and heating from human and animal waste.

If you don't have a plan when the lights go out, I do and to me there is hope. I can sleep at night and do not fear the dark. Life would be much different then what you're used to but blowing your brains out over it would spoil the challenge. You do have to know that cave people survived much harsher conditions then what we will face.

Once you remove the cars, SUVs, aircraft and military the demand drops substantially. Once you eliminate waste and create homes that remain warm in the cold from waste heat calories from your own body you increase your ttl. The USA @ 350 million has something all the other nations of the world want...FOOD. Permaculture is about the only hope. Once you grow food locally you can feast on it raw. It is good that methane is a natural product of shit and burning it allows you to generate BTUs.

You would have the methane or the carbon yet the main reduction would be from living in town/homes/farms rather then the silly way it is done at this very moment. Methane from decomposition is a natural force.

Frankly the Earth is due for a magnetic reversal. There are 2 schools on what that implies. S1 says it's no big deal your compass goes nuts. S2 says the Earth changes its spin and at that moment all life ends. Ironically we are having global issues now and at the same time the poles are in a high state of movement. If that isn't enough we have global warming and the Mayan calendar runs out in 2012. I wouldn't be surprised if Damien Thorn or who ever is the Antichrist is here. With all that against us it would be better to do the best we can. Don't you agree? I mean maybe the world will not end? Aliens may come and save us?

About that Mayan calendar.  I had a professor who read a book all about calendars.  What i do remember is something a long the lines that in the dark ages, we quit being accurate.  Too much of the problems were due to short term thinking due to the plague and various other problems with living your life.  So our calendar is off.  Would this affect our translation of this Mayan calendar?
Hi Tate,

They say the Mayans were brilliant and that along with the calendar ending is all I know. I brought all that up to lighten things up on the thread! This end of the world possibility from a magnetic reversal is better then Scientology.

Who could have thought this stuff up? The Earth will stop spinning for a moment and then start spinning in the opposite direction. The tectonic plates will move in real time then.

We must not forget that 4 angels will come to destroy the earth and a 5th will stop them so that the 144,000 servants of God can be saved and the rest perish.

In the mean time we have used everything up and will die from starvation, exposure, war, floods, fire...

The shocker of shockers is that Bill Gates is retiring and it appears that he may be one of the 144,000

So not to worry if PO is wrong all the rest of this will get us for sure.


After reading your entire series of pseudo-mystical nonsense rants, I am not sure if you are serious or not. If not, this is highly funny stuff. Consider getting a blog and advertising your services to Hollywood. They need good comedy writers. And if you are serious, well, that's a perfect example of why nature is going to cull homo sapiens soon - childish focus on fantasy instead of reality.
I can tell by your name that you are cerebral. You read all of my posts? Could you not have stepped into the conversation sooner? If you noticed this site uses blog software and it is not suited well to involved conversations. It is difficult at best to reply and respond since the thread becomes fragmented.

Your comments are cleaver and I'll bet you have to work hard at being that cleaver? You commented that my plan is nonsense. Then you commented that I went off topic. Then you said that if I'm serious about my nonsense then nature's cull of Homo sapiens is an example of why humans will be culled. Mr. Grey Zone, I hope that you are able to locate help for your issues prior to the cull.

I can go off topic or choose to discuss topics that go in a lighter direction. Some may laugh and others may be too cerebral or clever. As it happens I had been talking with another member for some time and I decided to break the cold w/ warmth and a smile.

I don't know if you envy me or maybe you have a lot of pride but it has been a while since I have been called a useless parasite. Possibly that was a threat based on the words you elected to use. You believe that I would purge you or something like that.

You could point out to me the place I used the word 'purged' and then query me as to what I was talking about. Here is your comment, "If you come to "purge" me, be forewarned that I plan to purge useless parasites like you first."

  1. "If you come" -this opens a conditional statement used to catch my attention since you are about to follow up with some dick waving.

  2. "to "purge" me" -here you twist words that were never directed to you and conclude that when I say, "Purge" I am threatening you with death or punishment.

  3. "be forewarned that I plan" -now you threaten me with a warning and state that you have a plan.

  4. "to purge" -using this does two things. #1 It verifies that you feel that purge means murder, harm, kill and #2 it defines your plan.

  5. "useless parasites like you" -in this you claim that my penis is smaller then yours in an attempt to induce me to take the bait.

  6. "first" -(this is the best part) here you claim that after you kill me or dispense with me there are more people on your list to "purge" this shows that you are not stable at best and possibly a killer.

You have issues good luck with them!
The USA @ 350 million has something all the other nations of the world want...FOOD.

Then why has the US of A been a net importer of food?

Frankly the Earth is due for a magnetic reversal. There are 2 schools on what that implies. S1 says it's no big deal your compass goes nuts. S2 says the Earth changes its spin

What about the collape of the van allen radiation belt?


What about the chem trails or Rainbows of Fire as seen in the image below?

What about the collape of the van allen radiation belt?

We die slowly

If we are lucky and build a LOT of Urban Rail we will double the 0.19% of US electricity used for trnasportation.  So an extra 0.19% for that.

Electricity for our freight railroads if they carried what they do today PLUS half of teh heavy truck traffic, would be a bit over 1% of total US electricity use.  Say 1.2%.

So, US electricity demand would grow by ~1.4% over 10 years in order to electrify transportation.  That is one year's "normal" growth.  A bit of conservation could save more than that.  New wind turbines will be much more than that in the next decade.

Quite frankly, the growth is so diffuse and small, that one does not need to worry about where it will come from.  But it will reduce US oil use by 10% or more.

Oil -10+% (say -10% to -15%)
Electricity +1.4%

The reason is the large gains in efficiency that result from this shift.

"Not understanding human behavior"

Example: Free energy

A well documented behavior is utility consumption in apartments with "utilities included", i.e. no marginal cost for extra utility useage.  Old studies that I have seen show that "utilities included" apartments used about 1/3 less electricity (forgot gas #s) when they converted to individual meters.  A result that only surprised me because I expected a larger drop once electricity was no longer "free".

Can you imagine how much gasoline use would increase if all that one had to do was drive to the nearest gas station and "fill up" with free gas ?

IMHO, easily a 15% increase in demand immediately, and Hummer sales would pick up again for the people that :needed: one. In a decade, an easy 50% increase.

So free energy is the WORST thing you could possibly do !

Cost reduces demand, and the higher the cost, the hreater the reduction.

"Politics is the Art of the Possible".

With that constraint, I see the maximum possible (and that is VERY debateable) is:

  1. A gas tax phased in that brings US fuel taxes to EU & Japanese levels.

  2. A low carbon tax

  3. Incentives to railroads to electrify (no property taces, low interest capital, etc.)

  4. Increase federal matching for Urban Rail to 1950s Interstate levels, i.e. 90% with a secondary path (no federal process, but 75% FTA matching).

  5. Some small misc. actions.

Not enough I know, but the maximum possible.

My hope is that the next couple of decades will be like Great Britain after WW II.  A decline in living standards, influence, military power, the dollar/pound no longer a reserve currency, etc. but the institutions stayed intact.

Your idea is to hope for the best. You mention GB after WW2. Did you mention that GB is still paying its WW2 debt? Did you mention the agreement between Ike and Churchill regarding the solution to the GB war debt?

I submit to you once again that you do not see the handwriting. You can't hope for the best when the current system is dividing up all the land for the day when it is done with the likes of me or even you!

You mentioned the bad word "Politics" or party division. You assume that it will be "Politics as Usual" and I no longer see that. Politicians get you to pay for their stuff and trick you into running a wheel. Elected officials in the future will have other talents and will serve the people out of civic duty and responsibility (like going to jury duty) not for love of money and thrill of power.

Any parent knows that you conserve more when you start paying the bills.
Price communicates value.  Without it people have nothing to gauge worth.
That is one of the most cynical things I have ever heard. And it is untrue. People have numerous other ways to gauge worth.

Pronunciation: (sin'ik), [key]
1. a person who believes that only selfishness motivates human actions and who disbelieves in or minimizes selfless acts or disinterested points of view.

Based on my money comment I don't think I'm a cynic, but to each his own.  I'm merely pointing out we all think in dollar terms.  Everything has a price.  I don't care if you think I can't quantify your life because we all pay insurance agencies to do it all the time, it's actuarial science.  What's bread worth to you without money?  What unit of measurement are we going to use then?  I was simply agreeing that once you pay the price, you conserve.  

Price communicates the value of the good.  When kids receive something they value it based on what?  Grandma doesn't tell them how much it costs.  So they can't value it the same as grandma who shelled out the cash.  She understands the value of that good based on it's price.  When that kid grows up and decides what to buy, price communicates the worth of that relative to everything else priced in the same unit.

I didn't call you a cynic. I called your comment cynical.

Main Entry: cyn·i·cal
Pronunciation: 'si-ni-k&l
Function: adjective
2 : having or showing the attitude or temper of a cynic : as a : contemptuously distrustful of human nature and motives<those cynical men who say that democracy cannot be honest and efficient -- F. D. Roosevelt>

I meant it in the sense of 2:a:, which I have italicized.

What's bread worth to me without money? It is worth the enjoyment of eating it and the sustenance I gain from it. Those are much better indicators for what it is worth because the price can change, or the loaf might not have a price-tag on it, but I can clearly see from the bread itself how it should taste.

When kids receive something they value it based on what? Exactly. It is probably different for all of them. But the fact that they value it based on something proves you wrong. You will probably now argue that they don't value it at all. That would be cynical as well.

The only thing money does in this case and in many others is  provide a temporary standard for an exchange. It communicates very little. A million dollars means very little to a rich person and quite a lot to one poorer.

You're not getting my point.  What are you willing to give up to get a loaf of bread when it is not denominated by a price?

To say that a million dollars mean little to a rich person in no way addresses the value of a million dollars.  It's still a million bucks.  I didn't say money communicates anything.  I said price.  As an Economist I am very specific in what I am talking about.  I'm not talking about money.  I'm talking about price.  I'd be happy to explain the difference so you can understand my point.  

In the absense of price how do we allocate anything?

You rather limited yourself by your original comment.

Price communicates value.  Without it people have nothing to gauge worth.

My original response still stands.

In regards to your subsequent points. I understand them. All too well in fact. I would agree with most of them. That's not the issue.

Now let me try.

"Price communicates value. Many things communicate value. Without price, people have many other ways to gauge worth."

"Price communicates value. Many things communicate value. Without price, people have many other ways to gauge worth."

Let me add a bit...

Price communicates value. Many things communicate value. Without price, people have many other ways to gauge worth however none of which are quantitative.

Alright, agreed. Let's let this one go. I'm sure we've bored the crap out of everyone else :)
Price communicates value.  Without it people have nothing to gauge worth.

No it doesn't. The only thing you have of any value is your life. There is nothing that you take with you at the end of this life. Tate even you need a home and food as do we all. Tate if I were a pioneer in the US and I staked a claim shot my meal and screwed my wife in the middle of the US how would I learn value. Values are passed down through family. Money has no value since it is a Ponzi scheme. The value of food is that if you stop eating you will be in pain. Food is mandatory! Homes will have value again when we no longer have to work 80 hours a week to keep a home we are seldom in!
Please see my comment above.  I am not talking money I am talking price.  If you've read any of my other posts I agree that the current monetary system is a ponzi scheme ready to melt.  Also values are different from the value of some thing.

From Wiki:

Value can refer to:

the evaluation of a variable or function in mathematics.
Value (personal and cultural) -- the principles, standards, or quality which guides human actions
Value (economics) -- the worth of commodities
Value theory -- ethics
Value (marketing) -- the value of commodities from a marketing standpoint
Value (computer science)
Value (law)
Value (semiotics)

We're talking econ, not culture.

What price is the whore my brother?
She costs 4 Quid!
That's to much money my brother. I wonder if she will give me head for some of this whine!

Dude all the Wiki talks about is Economics. And all of that was made up to validate the Ponzi scheme. I value HONESTY and the love of a woman. People who barter will agree on a value.

You state that everything has its price and so does everyone. A few years ago for 50p I could get a loaf of bread, today that loaf runs 1.75p, it's that same loaf of bread. So in your system it is about profit or always remaining ahead. See the trick is that you can't live on bread alone. You created a Ponzi scheme.

I don't see the value as fair for all players in your version. You have robbed the good word value and attached it to money. You can't imagine anything else since you were raised in a Ponzi scheme mixed with oil. Oil creates motion that plows fields, picks cotton, mixes cement, etc. Oil becomes work and oil moved the slaves from the fields to the sides of the machines that do the work.

Deplete the oil and we wind up as slaves in chains bringing in the fields.

My farm culture knows the value of food and work since they will need to bring in the crops. Where are the $300,000.00 combines going to come from in the future. If they can pick it they can eat it. There is no waste in the future. Every hand would be important. So rather than be slaves to the land owner we are the land owners and need to eat. See that is true value. How could you give a price to life itself?

You're starting to make sport of this even though you don't have time so you say. I like debate but you can't see past oil you can't see a day that survival will depend on strong groups known as towns.

...fair for all players...

Life ain't fair...big whoop.  

Now that you've told me how I see life (failing miserably) and explained the world to me I'll just nod and say ok.  Oh and I didn't create any ponzi scheme.

Hi Tate,
No, you didn't create a scheme and life is as fair as we make it. The truth is I was talking about starting over for us all. Since we can do anything we can think (to a degree) I thought we could attempt to share the land and develop relationships with little energy. For years there was the American Dream; home, fence, 2.6 kids. Every idea comes from a thought or a need or a feeling.

The cash used today came from gold. Gold had value and still does. Gold enabled you to trade and it was a value since you could be adorned with it and it was all shinny and cool. When gold was originally discovered it was found to be a malleable substance. Early man didn't pay for it since it was found here and there. People existed in tribes! Bla bla...

Should we need to go in reverse for a while you need to know that if you stopped at a town that would be similar to a tribe. If we kept things simple and worked together in an Amish sort of way we may be able to survive and avoid extinction.

I learned that you help friends and you loose friends by screwing them over. I was hoping guys like you would choose to start typing things we could do or could try and live in a new way!

I want this too, down to the amish fun in it.  No really I want a slower lifestyle.  I'm so young at 23 and I already say it's too fast.  I all for slowing down and P.O. will help, so it's not all bad.  I tend to find silver linings in the clouds.
We're talking econ, not culture.

We are talking about both. And, in fact, it is rather hard to talk about one without the other.

Price communicates value.  Without it people have nothing to gauge worth.

The "people" in your second sentence communicates this rather well. What were those people if not culture. Just some random variable you chose to fill in the equation? No, you chose it for a reason. If you had chosen something else, like rabbits, for instance, then it would have been so absurd that even you would have noticed it. The culture of rabbits hasn't "progressed" to the stage where it even recognizes price.

We are talking about both. And, in fact, it is rather hard to talk about one without the other.

I know you want to argue, but really this is a stretch.  You may be talking about culture, however when I tell you I'm not talking about culture, I'm not.  We as in the AlphaOmega and yourself, ok, but I'm not talking about anyone's culture.  I didn't need to talk about a culture to talk about the economic definition of value which is what I AM talking about. If you're so well read on it I would think you already understood that.  I am clarifying my position and supporting how I derived my statement.  If you don't get that one word can have several meanings that are mutually exclusive we can't communicate.

Nope, I don't want to argue. Yesterday maybe, but not today. See response above and below.

P.S. - The rabbit thing is a stretch. I went even further, but decided to try to keep it simple. You would have liked the extra two paragraphs I wrote yesterday, but decided to delete. Now I can't remember what they are.

I'm glad you are enjoying this, at least. We'll argue again sometime. I'm getting ready to wrap it up for the day.

Alright, don't respond. Leave it. I settled with you up above :) Hope I caught this one in time.
The reason that class is an issue is that you fear the loss of status since you are upper class.

You've sterotyped me based on words.  Ouch.  For starts I am in no way upper class.  I'm barely middle class at best.  My parents did not go to college, I will be the first to graduate.  How many upper class families talk like that?  I live in 1000sq ft apartment with me, my fiance, and her son.  Didn't think so.  I could go on, but it's not going to add to the discussion.

Those that are determined to do as little as possible will not earn any credits.

Credits?  This is still a monetary unit, it's just not called money.  So again, it's not free.  Thanks for proving my point.

I don't disagree with the entire plan, just adding comment from an Econ POV about the Econ part of it.  Failing to read the ENTIRE days post contributed to me understanding your position incorrectly.  I wasn't under the assumption that we already degenerated because your first sentence said "save us from ruin."  I didn't know we are talking about the bottom of downward spiral; I thought we were still sitting pretty on top.  Free houses would still not work, but I'll think about this more and offer a suggestion.  

How do you address corporate buildings?  Corporations are defined by law as a legal entity.  So they are people too defined by current law.  How many buildings do they get?  How do you get out of your house?  If it's free and you can't sell it, then it's not an asset.  What would I work for other than feeding my family?  There is absolutely no value without information to convey value, namely price.  So my 100 Sq ft apt is valued EXACTLY the same as that 30K sq ft mansion, right?  You still need prices.

Hello Tate,
I was more interested in hearing others plans. I will do my best to address your query.

As I stated corporations will be forced back to pre 1800's laws. Lincoln was the Eminent Domain president. He was a corporate attorney before he was the President. His main employers were the railroads.

As I stated the goals of people are not the same as corporations. Here I believe (during the 1800s) was the time frame that corporations became powerful and lobbyists the scourge that they clearly are today!

Competition is permitted but only between small corporations and sole proprietorships. The buildings and land needed for corporations is in many cases excessive. The town that allows the corporation to hold a charter will establish the terms of operation of said corporation.

Home sizes will be based on family size and the basic minimum standard of living. Homes will need to be built to last and should not be excessive. The area, climate, population density and town government shall establish all of the specific codes.

Most of the following questions concern money. Barter credits are not the same as money. Bartering would be trading. So like money the government would issue trade credits. So with what I envision all current dollars can be traded till removed from circulation. The new "money" would not be petrol-dollars nor would it be backed in precious metals. The best example I could use here is this: Joe works for Dave and Joe receives X credits per day. Joe can now trade credits for goods or services that he wants. Amy sells pants and Dave sells shirts. They decide that it would be to their advantage to share inventory so Amy can now sell pants and shirts just like Dave.

Barter credits are internal money or script that allows life to continue. Here those that work the hardest, smartest, etc will have more barter ability. If I didn't want to live near Alan I could get myself put on a list or find someone who is willing to trade homes with. You will not be forced to stay in a home though moving to a different home might take time. If you could not find a willing trade partner or if a specific list was long.

Part of the problem of today is that the stuff we call dollars is backed up by energy that we have the greatest demand of yet import 62% of. The dollar will fail and you can figure the rest WAR. Barter or Trade credits can be exchanged in the place of goods or people could simply trade. The Rothschild's would wish me dead for ending banking as we know it.

Now if I stereotyped you on words pay heed to this concept. I am divorced once, carry debt, have children and live a lifestyle that has me one little mess-up away from homeless. If I hit the streets and no life rope comes for me then I will soon not care how or where I obtain shelter and food for myself and my family (provided I don't eat them first yummy yummy. It will come down to animal instincts and I will take your life should you stand between me and what I need to survive. You may possibly be food for me and my family should I defeat you.

I was thinking that if we go down we go down as civil rather then wild killers starving in the dark streets. It isn't money that keeps you from being a wild animal it is law and responsibility!

Read a small history of money in the first chapter on any econ book.  Bartering with these credits is still money.  You just comveniently dismiss is as any but.  Money is a store of value.  What the hell would a barter be?  Gee, it's a store a value.  Who sets barter prices?  

Listen I applaud you for your effort.  I'm not going to come up with one.  I've got better things to do with my time.  Your time might be valued working on this, but unfortunatly I know I won't be elected.  I don't know how it will shake out, but I know communistic redistribution of wealth aint gonna happen.  Your logic lacks a firm comprehension of competition or capitalism, and I don't mean how its degenerated in this country.  You keep talking pie in the sky ideas, so I guess I should stand on the soapbox pie in the sky capitalism.

Hi Tate,
Even though you will not admit it my idea interests you to know end.

Look at it from a different space. You and your family live on an island. There is enough food and shelter. Would you charge your wife for a meal or attention or her bed?

Several times you have brought up communism, so if it does not pain you too much why don't you explain exactly what communism is and list who has practiced true communism?

The redistribution of wealth will happen and continues to happen every day my friend. Someone gets to a point and passes away. Their former shit is battled for with or without a will. As it happens some wealth is redistributed before death. Some wealth is redistributed by theft... it seems that when you have something someone wants bad enough they may kill you to get it.

The natural man practicing old school "kill or be killed" will be the climax. If food tanks then wealth takes a back seat to the hunger pains. If this happens people become food and they get distributed as food along with their former wealth.

Ummmmm, you can't take it with you Tate!

Now let's talk bartering. Trade is barter and barter is trade. This is a direct trade of goods or trading labor for labor or labor for goods. You and I could trade keyboards provided we were both willing and that the trade was fair to both of us. I could trade my grapes for Joan's melons too. These trades are not taxable. Your ability to trade or get a good deal is the key. Those that choose to trade set the terms of the trade.

Cash, bucks, etc as is in the US today is not what it was when it started. The creators of cash were European bankers and they made money at every turn with no actual gold holdings. See back in the day gold was money. It was difficult to carry and often stolen. Some fine fellow decided to issue notes so that travelers would not have to be burdened by moving piles of gold around. This fine fellow became the bank. Over time he got better at making money by charging fees etc.

Our current cash is not based gold or silver it is based on energy that is depleting. Cash is based on the oldest Ponzi scheme and still going. The rich get rich and the poor get poor.

Now I combined bartering with credits or a plastic card that allows me to trade for items that I want with someone that wants nothing that I have. The difference is that there is no bank that holds my gold. These are not credits in the sense that I use a credit card to get goods with the banks money and then pay the bank back. It would be closer to a debit card. There are no fees or interest charged. There is no credit and in fact credit goes against the good book.

Even though the numbers we use today are out of control we exchange paper for oil or paper for shoes. You know "supply...demand" the Ponzi scheme. There are other kinds of dollars out there. It happens to take 1.2644 U.S. dollars to get 1 Euro today. So the king of the Ponzi scheme is the Euro at the moment.

Since you're an economist I don't need to talk about the GDP or the trade deficit or the national debt since you already know that congress has passed several bills to keep the actual government in business. You also know that congress passed another $3500.00 pay raise the other day even though we are at war and unemployment is starting to ratchet up.

So that is petrodollars hard at work and you can see the writing on the wall.

Does not a $3500.00 raise piss you off just a little? What if you just got pink slipped? How can you get to job interviews with no gas?

It is here that my idea comes in and eliminates the Ponzi scheme that tells you that capitalism is good when in fact it is strictly greed!

Last thing Tate, I would vote for you as a representative since I believe you do listen to me though you believe I'm a loon. We have both been wrong but it does not matter you are trustworthy (as long as there is a camera around...LOL)!

At first you pissed me off.  Now I like you.

Even though you will not admit it my idea interests you to know end.

We've got a pyschologist on this board somewhere.  I was telling him I am an ESTJ (myers Briggs).  One of the cornerstones of these types is pragmatism.  I'm guilty as charged.  I'm an answers person.  I don't have all the answers, but I get em.  I like that you took all this time to logically think it out.  I just find holes in the reality of what would happen.  Much of what I think will happen could never materialize and the same for you.  We both just want this addressed in the end.
On to pissing you off now....

I know communism in it's pure form has never been practiced AFAIK.  Neither has capitalism.  However in the grand scheme of things communism or facism (on the scale needed in this country) has only "worked" in one country, China.  Now they have an "open" economy, but not really.  Most companies are state owned etc, etc.  A few days ago I applauded China because strong leaders can help those people rather than 585 people arguing here in Congress.  

Communism in my mind is simply taking control of the corporations and controlling all aspects of any production in a society, ie Central Planning.  When I say Redistribution of wealth I'm not talking Joe sick pack dying.  I'm talking as I am living, freeezing all the monies in a bank and literally redistributing that wealth across society.

I could trade my grapes for Joan's melons too. These trades are not taxable. Your ability to trade or get a good deal is the key. Those that choose to trade set the terms of the trade.

This is terribly inefficient.  You want me to trade for everything I use.  

A disadvantage of using bilateral barter is that it can depend upon a mutual coincidence of wants. Before any transaction can be undertaken, each party must be able to supply something the other party demands. To overcome this mutual coincidence problem, some communities have developed a system of intermediaries who can store, trade, and warehouse commodities. However, the intermediaries often suffer from financial risk.

I can't say it better than that.

See back in the day gold was money. It was difficult to carry and often stolen. Some fine fellow decided to issue notes so that travelers would not have to be burdened by moving piles of gold around. This fine fellow became the bank. Over time he got better at making money by charging fees etc.

I know this.  What you are talking about is no different. You want to use "credits."  We're arguing over semantics.  You call it a XXX credits when I perform 1 hour of work on a farm.  I call it XXX dollars when I perform 1 hour of work on a farm.  It's still a monetary system using units called credits instead of dollars.  Now I know you won't be charging all the banks fees, but it's still a form of money on piece of plastic.

You know "supply...demand" the Ponzi scheme.
S&D isn't a PONZI scheme, the monetary system is a ponzi scheme.  Let's keep them seperate because they are TOTALLY different.

Yeh I am pissed that CONgress got a pay raise.  I'm planning on voting every incumbant out that I can.  That's about all I can do.  

Lastly I don't think you're a loon.  You have different ideas and I respect that.  I enjoy a good "discussion."

I know this.  What you are talking about is no different. You want to use "credits."  We're arguing over semantics.  You call it a XXX credits when I perform 1 hour of work on a farm.  I call it XXX dollars when I perform 1 hour of work on a farm.  It's still a monetary system using units called credits instead of dollars.  Now I know you won't be charging all the banks fees, but it's still a form of money on piece of plastic.

This seems to be the point we depart on. Rather then rehash what money is about and isn't I will say that money today enables all sorts to profit or loose by a transaction between you and me. The credits I speak of make up for the traditional issues faced with bartering. I want what you have and you don't want what I have. These notes or script are for US transactions only. If you feel better about it then call it money but there need be no interest charged. We sort of do this now but the issue is that taxation 6-8% sales followed by personal income taxes and property taxes mean that Sonny Corleone bangs you on one corner, Vito nails you on the next then the Tatalia family gets you in the store.

A millionaire named Bart buys a car in NJ that will move to a 7% sales tax. He wants a efficient car so he gets a Honda. He pays for it so possibly gets a break but to simplify this, the car cost him $20,000.00 + tax = $21,400.00. Jane is clerical worker. She earns $35,000.00 gross. She needs a new car and wants efficiency too. She decides that she will not finance a similar Honda since she saved the cash over 5 years. So Jane pays the identical amount of $21,400.00.

Jane paid a disproportionate amount of tax since she feels the $1400.00 more then Bill. Her issues are not over. She files short form and pays around 23% tax on her income. Bill with a million dollars uses an accountant and long form. He protects some of his money as an investment and winds up writing off the car as a business expense even though Jane mainly goes to work in her new Honda. He winds up paying 21% and can depreciate the car.

This is just tax stuff but poor slobs wind up with cheap products and lousy diets. Once credit is used or needed the next stop is homelessness. Good news though since Bush looks out for Corporations you can declare bankruptcy but you must pay off all of your debts.

The government has become the muscle for the corporations and in the end the Rothschild's get their tithe back in Europe!
Should I go on Tate?

Sure...it's much easier reading you're thoughts than writing mine.  In all seriousness I don't disagree with anything here. Can you give me a breakdown of how your "Credit" transaction would work?  
Hey Tate,
I don't have to break it down to you. Those that think that my thoughts are a fantasy world of mine that will never work will have to live in a progressively harsher world.

The idea is that rules are made that children follow. I'm in my 40ies and yet I can still laugh and imagine. So laws and rules need to be fair and just. Laws cease to be fair if tax burdens are unfair. If we are all working to pay taxes then when will I be a Senator or the President? They pass laws to keep you working to pay their bills. Remove the taxes and the politicians get angry.

I wonder can you vote yourself a raise at work Tate? I doubt you can. Why can't retired persons manage the nation for no pay? They tell us we are all in the same boat yet they are turning the tiller.

Tate you are smart. Jump in any time and be an idea guy here. I don't want to make the whole plan. I rather build energy efficient homes and lead a simple life. I hope some guys and gals in their 50ies & 60ies pick up on these ideas and develop them. Tate if there were no taxes then all there would be is barter credits. If you wanted to build a town it would take all sorts to do that but those that build are better to build the town then those that make shoes, the minimal and most necessary thing would be farm work. Everyone would have something to do! If you, refused to help how would, you get new duds?

Any way Tate, please start a new thread in today's section and we can keep going. Following everything around in this format is too tough. I can't even remember what the post you replied to was about LOL

What you have offered here are great points, and of the right kind.  President Roosevelt, in his State of the Union Address on January 11, 1944, proposed "a second Bill of Rights...The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, but whether we provide enough for those who have too little"In the proposal he listed the following:

  "The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shaps or farms or mines of the nation.
  "The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation.
  "The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living.
  "The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home and abroad.
  "The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health.
  "The right of every family to a decent home.
  "The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident and unemployment.
  "The right to a good education.

This was the "New Deal" wishbook, most of which came to pass, and some of which has passed away, for good or ill.  It was not taken then in the way of "ask and you shall be given," nor should it be taken that way now. I think that from a practical standpoint, the phrase "the right of/to" might be seen as standing for "the opportunity must not be denied..."

We seem to have slipped into a national mindset that anything that is good for the people is "socialism" and therefore bad.  The "New Deal" was operative throught the mid-20th century period, and it was good.  We threw most of it away.  AlphaOmwga's vision, or any other downsized system must include elements similar to FDR's points (above), or it will fail.


Hi Mort,
I posted this rough draft a while back on some long lost thread. I decided to try again since I had been questioning the group here for a number of days. It seems like Alan is not my biggest fan though this isn't about impressing Alan.

Imagine the John Lennon song then implement it. It's easy if you try. I can't imagine that people would be fooled by our Dynamic Duo of doing the right thing for America. A President who says, "The Constitution is just a fuckin piece of paper!" A Vice-President who is still walking around with 3 DUIs when if that was you or me we would be serving 10 years in the slam. Oh and who can forget not getting tested for alcohol or drugs after blasting your friend in the face with a shotgun. I already quoted the Secretary of Defense so there really are known knowns.

We are living in a nation that has been taken over by the military and uses double-speak as the normal version of reality. You decide what you believe but don't say it on a cell phone. There is more to it but the basic choice we face is of truth vs. denial and group-think. You have the choice to express wrath or love.

AlphaOmega -

I admire your passion and agree that we are essentially ruled by swine. Clearly, something must be done, but I don' know what or how.

However, history is replete with examples of idealistic revolutionaries overthrowing a brutal dictatorship, only to eventually become just as bad, or worse, once they obtain power and become desparate to hold onto it. Shakespeare really had this one down pat, and understood that, given power, human nature can uncork all sorts of unspeakable evils.

From your previous posts, you evidently have a grand schema for 'making things right'.

So, tell me, AlphaOmega, when you become Ruler of the World, what will you do with those unenlightened people who refuse to get with the program and cause trouble that impedes the fulfillment of your Grand Vision? What will you do with the guy who insists on buying a big powerful speedboat or the family that wants to have six kids?

Someone said that the benevolent shepard requires of his subjects the obedience of sheep.

A society is only as good as the way it treats its malcontents and misfits.

Some unsolicited advice: Just lighten up a little and accept the fact that you may NOT have THE answer.

Hello Joule,
What I have done is to list in a general way steps to take so that freedom can live again. There can be no freedom w/ out law. I am not an anarchist nor do I want to be a slave.

I intend to survive step 3. This will be the hardest step to take since it must be taken in the millions. Here we are not talking about overt force of violence. We can oly hope that our voice is honest and clear. Should this fail then the choice must be made.

I know that this country has become too complex and I live in the final gasps of the oil age. In other posts here today we argue over what to do with nuclear waste and yet intend to add to that. This is so serious that our leaders don't realize the truth. On a daily basis we spin our wheels on the road of denial.

I know that over time things will deteriorate in such a way that some will come to view the overall situation as the fools leading the blind. A rift will grow in the population. One group will arm itself with blind faith and the other will arm itself with anger. The rest that manage to survive will have to call to power since they have true faith and love life enough to let go of the things that offer no true security or happiness.

It would be better to resolve this all sooner rather then later. I fear the later time frame since as the stress increases odds of nuclear conflicts rise too. This would be the one thing that civilization could not endure. To believe any other result from modern hydrogen bombs is sheer folly. Some of the current leaders continue to threaten power with power. He who throws away his weapons of doom has a better chance of survival since he would desire peace over war and death.

Life is a temporary situation that can be drastically shortened by war, famine, plague, etc. I promised my kids that I would be around to see them married. I want you all to help me by holding me to my promise to them. You may be forced to choose between known knowns or unknown unknowns. If people trusted me to lead them to the light how could I refuse? I know a few people that expect me to lead them to the light so 300+ million more will cause me a sore throat.

There need to be many leaders for 300 million and that is how a government is formed. Towns unite and states are formed. States unite and a common defense is formed. The goal is peace and honesty. Together we can accomplish more then apart.

If you consider your family important are they important enough that you would die for them? Would you rob food so they may eat? Basic human survival would be better if the common issue was depletion. Depletion is not the problem however it is only one of the symptoms. The problems are the 7 deadly sins; you have heard of them they start with pride, greed, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony and sloth. I have wrecked the 7 cardinal virtues many times. This does not mean that I am religious. It means that I have all of the same problems that we all have. Reading The Divine Comedy my not help you? Think about all the times you flipped the bird when you were driving.

As a free people we must have fair laws and be able to vote on paper. One of the choices in voting (you lost it with electronic voting) must be yourself if you so choose. Important decisions should not be left to the government like nuclear waste solutions need to be derivative of local governments and voting.

As a President I must set a clear goal and tempo for the nation. If the majority wants nuclear waste dumped in the ocean and they no the risks as I do then the majority has spoken. If part of that majority was a group of nuclear waste corporations who were able to influence the vote how would you feel then? They could threaten your job if you worked for them yet did not agree that waste should be put in the ocean at this time.

I have nothing against business I do see the founding father's position against large corporations and over time that was addressed by several federal courts and the corporate takeover began. They were able to have corporations considered as "persons" through Constitutional Amendment to inflict the final insult.

A society is only as good as the way it treats its malcontents and misfits is a different way of saying what I have expressed here on this board many times so far. If there was to be a death penalty it would require a vote. I dislike the death penalty and would vote against it.

Same sex marrage is not something I would do but I have nothing against it. I am against divorce though I have an X. If the majority was against or for divorce these matters would be quickly addressed in a fair way. This would eliminate the Supreme Court as the final say for the people. I feel like I'm running for office here LOL.

We all need shelter, food and to be part of a true society. Those that agree we all need to live somewhere should be fine with that. I would expect that supplying energy efficient homes to the masses is not the same as supplying fire trap death boxes to them. Issues of maintenance could be addressed by the building department as is the case today.

We all need food and starvation is a thing that we can not afford in the US. It shows the level of greed and gluttony at hand. I don't mind sharing food since in the end the person who eats it likely picks it and the society benefits from methane and fertilizer made by the waste.

People who can't manage on their own will not be included in this notion. Those that simply refuse to act like valued citizens should not be given up on. People can catch more flies with honey then battery acid.

I commented on energy. Oil is the past and the source of great pain. By moving society back to town/homes/farms we eliminate a great deal of waste since rail would be the key. Bio diesel seems to offer the most BTUs at the least cost of food calories. I think electric trains offer the most for local transport. There would be no difficulty with energy waste at the home since its availability would be managed by the town. All energy would be rationed. People would play an active roll in the energy they use.  

There is much much much more but I must rest!

What do you do with all the handicap and those or are unable to care for themselves?  Are we going to mass house them?  Or do they get a house to, even thought they can't take care of it.  Would someone get credits for helping them?
Since you would be part of the society at large I suppose we who have good health should respond to the needs of the disenfranchised, old, sick, lonely, abused, etc. Family values and morality would give you the answer.

I would hope that as a society we would simply care about each other and treat others as we would want to be treated you silly Billy! We would be part of the government Tate not on the outside looking in. We would apply common sense to obstacles. Homes would be free so I might be able to take care of an older parent rather then spin the wheel from paycheck to paycheck and neglect a parent. We would be families, friends, people, individuals, groups but beyond all we would be civilized

Im all for common sense.  You out to see the crazy rules I come across in the RR industry!  I merely asking because we don't take care of our elderly we stuff in homes or hope they make it on their own.  I would love to see a renaissance in social interaction.
I am NOT going to agree to your nonsense.

I am NOT going to submit to your nonsense.

If you come to "purge" me, be forewarned that I plan to purge useless parasites like you first.

I laughed when I saw you using the word "purge" and trying to take the noble highroad at the same time. You are no different than Stalin.

I say purge and you think Stalin? Explain!
New hydraulic hybrid trucks roll off

WASHINGTON - Recognize that familiar United Parcel Service truck with the trademark brown paint job? Look twice. The government unveiled its model Wednesday, replete with a new hybrid hydraulic system.

The new system replaces a truck's transmission with hydraulics and that, combined with a low-emission diesel engine, yields a 60 to 70 percent saving on fuel use. It was built for the EPA by Cleveland-based Eaton Corp.

When it comes to regenerative braking hydraulic beats electric by a long shot.
tom deplume -

I'm sorry, but it is not abundantly obvious to me why a hydraulic regenerative braking system should be more efficient than an electrical one.

While an electrical system has resistance and hysterisis losses, a hydraulic system has major frictional and related heat losses.

One thing, though is certain, an electrical system is much faster in responding to changes in load conditions.

Crude Oil: Gasoline Demand This Summer

While most people in the United States consider that summer begins on Memorial Day, the season officially begins with the summer solstice, which occurred earlier this morning. And for oil markets, it is hard to think about summer without thinking about gasoline demand. Gasoline demand peaks during the summer, as many travelers take to the roads for vacations and weekend jaunts to the beach, lake, or mountains. But many analysts are wondering if high gasoline prices are having a significant effect on driving, and pondering what that might mean for gasoline demand this summer. Depending on which data series they are looking at, they might come to different conclusions!

it appears that gasoline demand might be growing at around 0.5 percent to 1.0 percent currently, relative to the more typical historical growth rate of 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent. This is consistent with the comparison between the weekly data and last year's monthly data.

Fun with numbers.


Goldman is now world's largest hedge fund manager

Institutional interest in hedge funds is favoring the largest firms and making them an even bigger part of the industry. The top 100 hedge fund firms now handle almost two-thirds of the industry's assets -- up from just over half at the end of 2003, Alpha reported.

The wealth is concentrating even more than I thought.  I know this isn't good.  This is going to hurt.

http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?guid=%7BE72DC62B%2DE5C7%2D4C92%2D91C6%2D1400725AC83 5%7D&source=blq%2Fyhoo&dist=yhoo&siteid=yhoo

You need to read "Pioneering Portfolio Management" by David Swensen.
I don't know if this was posted before, but Deffeyes updated his site last week.  He goes into detail about how he arrived at his January 7 peak date.  
I'd love to hear what the resident Hubbert modelers think of what he wrote.  A taste:

I obtained the 2.013 trillion barrel estimate by making the least-squares fit of a bell-shaped logistic curve to the exploration history. The logistic equation

Annual hits = Q / (1 + exp(a (t - year)))

The actual computation was done by brute force: looping through the possible values of Q, a, and t, adding up the squared errors between the observed and computed discoveries for each year, and selecting the Q, a, and t that together gave the lowest result.

The answer is: from November 12, 2005 to January 7, 2006.

Well, that's not really a lot of uncertainty, as this sort of thing goes.  According to his calculations, peak oil is in the rear view mirror, whether a year back or only a few months.

The question I have is how a worldwide peak could inhabit such a small space when the duration of many individual field peaks tend to be more like ten years. It would seem to me that if you added all the little curves up, you'd get a big curve with a peak a little bigger than 2 months.
What field peaks have been ten years? Lower 48 US? No. Prudhoe? No. North Sea? No.

So, to what ten year peaks are you referring?

Prudhoe sure as hell looks like ten years to me. It was doing 1.5 mmbpd in 1979 and it was doing 1.5 mmbpd in 1989.

...and I believe Daiqing, but don't quote me on that one.

And these are only giants and super-giants.

Source: Simmons, 'Twilight,' page 288

Switzerland  will have a CO2 tax!  (sorry, the page is in French, couldn't find the news in English)

Basically, the tax will be 12 chf (swiss francs) (9.7$) per CO2 ton, from January 2008, if emissions in 2006 are over 94% of the 1990 level. Then it will be 24 chf (19.5$) per CO2 ton in 2009, if 2007 emissions are over 90% of the 1990 level. Finally, in 2010, the tax will become 36 chf (29.2$) per CO2 ton, if 86.5% of the 1990 level is passed in 2008 or 85.75% for any of the following years.

Greenpeace and the WWF are not very happy, considering that this is an insufficient compromise. Indeed, 2008 does seem a bit far.

So, what do you all think? Is it a step in the right direction?

Absolutely !

The delay in the tax starting and then phased in is to allow Swiss time to make "structural adjustments".  If they burn oil or gas for heat, time to get a more efficient furnance and add insulation.  Time for industry to start to change processes.  Auto owners will consider this when buying their next car.

It will give Swiss utilities incentive to rebuild their hydropower plants and get another 4% more renewable power out of them.

And so forth.

Finding a better way to make biodiesel

From the great state of Iowa, comes a new way to make

It is working in the lab and are now moving to their first pilot plant.

Stopped by a scooter store today. Most of them were Chinese, but she, the saleslady, said the good ones were from Taiwan. Still two-stroke, but they mix the fuel themselves. No electrics yet. Here in MD, no moto license, tags, insurance or helmets required. Bizarre.



Small things from what I read in the Japan Times newspaper (a look-alike of USA-today in Japan, one of the few english newspapers here)

The Japanese Government has introduced the 'Cool Biz' program for the summer in 2005. Basically encouraging businesses to put the airco at 28 C (82.4 F). To do so, Japanese 'Salary Men' are pushed to take off the neck tie and the jacket and to put on some easy shirts. There was an international fashion show in Tokyo the other day, organised by the Government. Because they are serious about it, 10 Japanese cabinet ministers showed up. Although the Japanese and the Chinese do not agree on many things, the Chinese ambassidor was also present and very positive about it. That's the way things are done here.

The Japanese want to start growing sugercane in Okinawa, to get some ethanol. Okinawa is one of the southmost islands of Japan, tropical, but very small. There is currently a very large US army base there. It is perhaps best known for historical reasons.