DrumBeat: June 3, 2006

Now for some wise words from the readers of The Oil Drum...
I thought I might repost a comment I left at the end of the last post about MoveOn's prioritization of Energy Independence:

I respect all the diversity of opinion on the website and I'm glad we have a place for everyone to voice their point of view on politics, but let's be honest, much of this is just talk, not action. I think there will be a lot of talk at the national level and not a lot of action. The action will be at the local level. What's interesting to me about MoveOn's approach is that they had people meet with other local concerned citizens in their area to discuss these issues.
As Speaker Tip O'Neil famously said, "all politics is local". People in my neighborhood don't talk about global warming or resource depletion at community board meetings (sigh...) - they talk about illegal biking on the sidewalk, bad or overly expensive grocery stores and asthma rates. I see my job as building the connection between those issues in solutions like bike lanes and greenmarkets. And after 6 months of effort, we are starting to move the ball forward. Next week I expect them to add another greenmarket much because of the efforts of a few local citizens and the local newspaper just wrote an editorial (after we supplied the right information). And thanks to local TOD:NYC reader Damek, we are building a snazzy new website...TBD...to help activate the local area to take action to environmental, resource depletion and community building.

How did I get to this place? Well, I completely disengaged from national politics after the last two elections. Gore, Kerry would have been much better, than Bush, IMO but Congress would have likely been extremely antagonistic on any domestic program to mitigate PO or GW.

Peak Oil is not going to be solved at the national level at this point, maybe if we had done something in the 1990s we would have built a different infrastruture and curbed the exurban / SUV boom. But now it's all going to be about local adaptation to new situations. The Feds can help or hinder, but I don't think they will be decisive.

I urge everyone to engage with your local elected officials, local newspapers, business leaders, join a few clubs (political or not), meet your neighbors, ask them what their concerns are and try to find connections between them and PO or GW. Be patient. Don't just yell at people. Don't talk down to people. Be humble. Listen to people. Be forthright about your concerns. Make your points matter of factly. Be persistent. Good Luck.

Amen Brother.  That is the reality in the US today.  The Federal Government is not going to save our asses (case in point...New Orleans).  It is now up to local efforts to deal with Peak Oil and there will be many different local solutions...not one solution for the entire nation.

I hope this doesn't come off as an adversarial question. If I could ask it in person, I could use tone/facial expression to more elegantly ask it. But here goes: do you feel like you're getting a good return on investment (ROI) on you peak oil activism?  

I ask because I am fascinated by the psychological aspects of these issues. If I've only got a certain amount of time in each week, I think investing it in one of the following to have a better ROI than activism in terms of the age of energy descent.

  1. Family (have your back when the shit hits the fan)
  2. Religious sect (same reason)
  3. Making money (makes it easier to prepare)
  4. Learning skills (makes you more valuable)

Personally, I've found activism on this issue to have a negative ROI.  I'm not the only "prophet of doom" to feel this. Jay Hanson, the OriginalProphetOfDoom (The "OPD") was quite the activist before reaching similar conclusions.
He ran for office on a sustainability platform but got beat by a convicted child molester. Jay's a pretty articulate guy and apparently not at all like his internet persona so that says more about how much people DON'T want to consider these issues than his inadequacies as a candidate.

Of course, there could a variety of reasons why my activism doesn't seem to have a positive ROI. When people would express doubt about the veracity of my claimas I would just start to yell things like "oh yeah, well you can't handle the truth!!!" before kicking dirt and yelling obsecenties. Not sure if that was the best approach.

For the purpose of this question I want to distinguish "activism" from "personal preparation." Lobbying the city council for more bike lanes would be an example of activism while learning to repair bikes would be an example of personal preparation.



Forgot to add this:

The greenmarket might be an exampel of a "return" but given the size of NYC, I have to wonder how much of a difference is it going to make ineven if the success was multiplied 10 or 100 times over.

Would the activists who lobbied for it have been personally better off investing their time and energy in the 4 investments I mention up top?



Here is the point you are missing (and if I was with you face to face, i would present it in a bantering, have-you-ever? sort of way).

Most of the things we do diverge in expected vs actual outcome, and the brain chemical cocktail we immediately generate upon the action is the only part that is constant - we dont purposefully do things that 'feel bad'. Using Peakguy as the first example, when he is active in an altruistic sense regarding spreading the word on peak oil, he 'feels good'. This is because we have active reciprocal altruism algorithms that evolved to cement bonds within a tribal setting and kept our kin and friends tightly knit in times of strife. What Peakguy cognitively believes his actions are doing is somewhat irrelevant: he does them because they feel good - the proximate goal is helping society - the ultimate goal is the neural mix he recieves.

Another example is a slot machine or roulette player - they cognitively know what they are doing is a long term bad idea (as is smoking, TV, junk food,etc) yet at the moment it 'feels good' (specifically the dopamine in these cases) so they do it. Another example of limbic system trumping intellect.

These activities that generate chemical cocktails that in the past led to more babies and more resources for the babies are maladaptive in a society with so much excess and opportunity for distraction. Our reward system has been hijacked by phantom pursuits on a full planet. Not that we are not doing good: many of us are - us that our end results are often different than our wiring 'intended'. In the end, each of us walks through life executing the computer program housed in our stone age noggin - the hardware is the genes we are born with - the software is the cultural signals we receive from friends, family media, etc.

The green market lobbysists do so because they feel like part of the 'right tribe' and it makes them happy, not because theyve done a discounted cash flow on how their green activities will be as a personal time invesment.

Ive said stuff like this before - I am unclear if its too esoteric and people dont get it, they do get it and dont respond or if they think the idea is whacked. I, (obviously) believe it to the core.

Clearly, you understand your relative fitness algorithmic drives, but execute them different than others due to your experience, skillset, worldview and options available to you  But the part that is missing is that you do things that make you feel good. Working 60 hours per week on getting LATOC established and eschewing other options is because you get a 'buzz' from the accomplishment. Not because youve optimized the present value of the future correctly.

We are not robots per se, because once you put two or more of us together there are myriad things that can happen, but our general hardware is pretty dang similar, which makes us robots of a sort.

You nailed it.  

Actually it makes sense, although I've read a lot about this stuff and am fascinated by it. It would be over my head if I was new to this stuff.

My feeling is that the best ROI will be with your family, which is the closest to your genetics. Of course that feeling, as you point out, is probably little more than the product of genetic alogrithms doing what they do. It has a lot to do with my personal situation and the options available to me. If different data (say on the immediate enviornment) were fed into my genetic alogrithims, then the resulting feelings would be different.

I.E., if you put Peak Guy in my shoes or vice versa, the feelings about the ROI of peak oil activism would go through a behaviorial switch.



Is that an offer for a Peak Oil Activism exchange program?
LOL!  Reciprocal tribal altruism in motion.....
"Our reward system has been hijacked by phantom pursuits on a full planet. "

We're smarter than that.  We have evolved forebrains which have given us much more flexibility than that.  

The problem is that when we are under stress (either current or the chronic traces of early life) the fight or flight response turns off our forebrain (it evolved later, and the body sees it as unnecessary in an emergency).  We go to much simpler responses.

People who compulsively gamble, or eat, or any of the other things people do in an addictive fashion, are doing it to feel better, driven by their lizard brains.  Recovery and healing of their emotional trauma frees up their intelligence.

Intuitively we know that it's possible to be intelligent and in charge, and recoil from pessimistic assessments of our ability to handle life.  The above is why: we know at some level that something better is possible, though sometimes we get discouraged.

Activism is like anything else - people can do it compulsively, or for good reasons.  We each have to figure out what's going on for us individually, and if we're doing something for a bad reason, make adjustments.

Don't give up: we can be intelligent.

for every one person i see who says we are smarter then that, i have seen at least 10 prove otherwise.
we are of course 'smarter than that'. But that is besides the point. My former boss and partner was one of the most brilliant men Id ever met and could do mathematical calculus derivations of immense complexity in his head. But we bought him a bird feeder for christmas and he hung it in his office.

Possessing intelligence does not mean we can overcome a) ignorance or b) our limbic impulses. If we are hungry, horny, tired or enraged, you might as well throw the intelligence out the window.  We will act, then our 'large forebrain' will rationalize the best it can to come up with some BS that sounds reasonable to fit the circumstances ( "I'm sorry, I didnt realize that was the last chicken leg", "Oh, I havent slept much this week, forgive me for staring at your breasts- how rude of me")

People who compulsively gamble, or eat, or any of the other things people do in an addictive fashion, are doing it to feel better, driven by their lizard brains.

Actually, we all have the capacity and drive to seek novelty and create dopamine. Behavioral scientists have suggested that those with 'suites of genes' that enhance self-control use these drives towards success and those who cannot control these impulses, especially men, have problems with addicition to various substances (internet, gambling, porn, drugs, etc).  I recommend "American Mania"by Peter Whybrow who runs UCLAs neuroscience Semel Institute (and is on my dissertation committee). It lays out the case that Americans are particularly susceptible to this behavior due to self-selecting genetic bottlenecks that occurred in the time of our immigration to Americas shores.  Bill McKibben, in his new book "Whats Next" also delves into our culture of 'individuality' which has diverged from the slower, more social settings of our forebears just a few hundred years ago.

One of the explanatory variables, (and the jury is still out due to the newness and complexity of the scientific testing), is something called the DRD4 dopamine receptor. People that have the gene for this repeat polymorhism tend to be impulsive, seek out novelty, excitement, thrills etc. When  none exist, they create them. This trait and other personality traits, are between 40 and 60% heritable, according to personality tests using Cloningers Tridimensional Personality Quotient. (the rest being environmental).

Again, critics of this line of thinking say it smacks of biological determinism, to which I disagree. Recall one of the revolving quotes in the upper right corner of TOD from George Monbiot:

If kindness and comfort are, as I suspect, the results of an energy surplus, then, as the supply contracts, we could be expected to start fighting once again like cats in a sack. In the presence of entropy, virtue might be impossible.

We are animals but live in a culture that can change quickly if given the right signals. Which of our natures can cause the required nurture?  Think of all the pieces of the puzzle that readers of theoildrum have pieced together in the past few years. Think of 99%+ of humans that have lived and died before us, unaware of the profound broader context existing on the planet when they were born. Interesting times to be alive, and have a forebrain.  Lets continue aggressively using it before Mr Hyde reasserts control


Since you seem to have some knowledge in the this area, here's a question for ya -- given humans propensity for self-reinforcing behaviour, and that this tendency appears to exist in intellectual realms as well (not just physically "addictive" areas), what techniques, if any, have been discovered to convince people to expose themselves to opposing ideas? Or to approach without bias any evidence that does not reinforce their already held beliefs? Or simply to not rationalize away data or events that are inconvenient to their current thinking?

I'm just a dabbler, but it strikes me that a brain evolved to ignore reality would not have survived.  Our biases must at least leverage off the real world.  There must be some limits, some checks.  Maybe that's why we operate one until we get "a wakeup call" leading us in another direction.
Our biases are towards a "group think" mentality, which I agree has "real world" self-reinforcing traits -- you might get kicked out of the clan for "out of the box" thinking (especially if results are bad).

I'm interested in how to get around this cloistered behaviour -- how to get people to think independently.

I've always thought that some people (especially the John Wayne American icon image) think of themselves as individualists, without seeing the socal context that individualism is rooted in.

That said, I bet there is some variation between us all, just because a 'mix' is better for the survival of the rest of our genes.  There is no advantage in the children on one set of parents being uniform in this, or any other heritable trait.

Ah, the old "tableau rossa."  Blank slate.

It would appear (setting the nature debate aside) that you start out without any pre-concieved notions on the world when you're born.  But as you grow, develop, and experience things...burning your hand in a fire, stepping in dog crap...you start to form a filter through which you view life.  Fire is hot and burns, dog crap stinks.  Thus we learn to avoid getting burned, and avoid stepping in poo.  Extrapolate that out a bit and what you have are a number of experiences throughout your life that you base everything against.  And unfortunately, that lifetime of filter development must be gotten through before one can accept the peak oil reality.

I think you mean, tabula rasa: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabula_rasa
You make good points, but you left out self-discipline (doing what you do not want to do) and responsibility. It cannot be underestimated.It is a choice, not genetically pre-determined.  
The weighting (strength) of the two might have a genetic element - tendency rather than pre-determination.
"we are of course 'smarter than that'. But that is besides the point. My former boss and partner was one of the most brilliant men Id ever met and could do mathematical calculus derivations of immense complexity in his head. But we bought him a bird feeder for christmas and he hung it in his office."

... now I want a bird feeder in my office.

Who are you calling an an-ee-mal ?
How dare you.
No. We are remade in our Lord creator's image.

If the Lord did not want us burn in oil, he wouldn't have hid it deep underseas for us to find so easily. He would've put it on Mars.

Uranium was placed here on Earth just for us so we can make intelligent use of it. Hydrocarbons were placed here on Earth just for us so we can intelligently use them too. Money was invented so we can spend it like there's no tomorrow. It is all part of the creator's grand scheme, his intelligent design. Every faith-based American knows that. To believe otherwise is to be unpatriotic. Sir have you no shame?

Yep, stone age mind, information age (and oil age) context.  What fun!
Humans have not gone any fundamental evolutionary chage in the last (X) years such as doubling our brain mass.  We are taller of course- maybe because we have a better food supply thanks to cheap oil.
Americans haven't got any taller since the generation that was born around 1945.
Our McButts are pulling us earthward
I was just reading yesterday about 10,000 year old footprints that show the guy was 6 feet tall.

The modern conception is that we compare ourselves to those hunter-gatherers who are pushed to fringe environments, while we civilized farmers take up the good land.  A stone age man in a good environment (from bone dimension and mass) resembled our elite athletes, our Olympians.

We are the weak cousins here.

My local efforts have borne some fruit (specifically building the first half of the Desire Streetcar Line as a city street project is still supported by Mayor Nagin & RTA).

I also have some local recognition as well, although I eschew an "up front" role.

I appreciate your context Matt and wish we could discuss over a beer or dinner sometime.

I guess I find these activities to be both pleasing in the way that thelastsasquatsh outlines above, but also because I feel it enhances my standing in my family and religious community (I'm a Unitarian - I get a lot of respect from everyone for my efforts). I am building social capital with local community leaders - talking to people on the community board, local elected officials, meeting volunteers interested in helping out, food bank organizers. I'm tackling something that many, many people care deeply about - protecting the environment. I throw in peak oil as the "other" reason to do everything.

In terms of personal preparation, I think increasing my savings rate and managing my investments wisely are the best time to money ROI. I feel good about my financial investments (but am strongly considering a PO investment club with some peers), I earn a good salary and live well within my means (save a lot). I also work in an industry (healthcare) that will probably be less prone to an economic downturn because it is "need based" rather than other sectors more based on discretionary income. So I feel good about weathering the first phase. I have not found many activities (starting a business, writing a book, etc) that would increase my net income sufficiently to devote any time to them.

Long term I do plan to buy some land that has potential for farming and timber collection.

But mostly I think accepting lowered expectations for material comfort in the future is one of the best personal preparations one can do.

And I do plan on learning bike repair at some point!

Peak Guy,

I should be clear when I use the word "ROI" as I mean it in all sense of the word, not just financial. A boost in social captial for instance would be an exampel of a positive roi.

This makes perfect sense to me given our tribal backgrounds: "feel it enhances my standing in my family and religious community (I'm a Unitarian - I get a lot of respect from everyone for my efforts)."

I think people who "burnout" do so because at some point the subconscious realizes they are not getting these things in return for the efforts. GThe solitary blogger, as an example, almost always burns out.

Of course what you get out of something has a lot to due with your personal skill set. My guess is that in regards to activsim, you have tact that I lack. I'm more of the "here are the facts bitches, if you can't deal with it that's your problem not mine" type of activist.

So my personal ROI in the activism realm is pretty low.

Also, just to be clear, I didn't intend for this to be a "whose done what to prepare" which is really "whose got the biggest cock" type of thing. Aside from being physically healthy and debt-free, I'm no more prepared than most.

Not to get off topic, but I think health care is a good industry to be in. After all, when any of us goes through our budget and starts cutting things out, we usually leave healthcare as the last thing to cut. For instance, I think being a urologist is as crash proof as it gets. After all, if you're a guy and you have a problem down there you are going to find the money to get it checked out come hell or high water.



Yes, exactly - I feel I am getting a higher "universal" ROI on my time in local activism than in learning permaculture technique right now. I don't judge other people who are learning permaculture now - I may join them at some point in the future when I determine a higher ROI. They are just doing what's right for them...

And yeah, I see a demand for healthcare continuing in some form for a very, very long time.

Also, just to be clear, I didn't intend for this to be a "whose done what to prepare" which is really "whose got the biggest cock" type of thing. Aside from being physically healthy and debt-free, I'm no more prepared than most.

Yeah, it's totally not a contest. To each their own.

and this is reflective of values that it takes people quite a while to come to...each in their own time.  that's where persuasion fails and experience and ideas tend to win the day...  :)
And I think showing people that you are willing to put time into something (rather than just talk about it) gives you much more credibility than just talking...anyway off to dinner with friends...
Cheer up, people!  You never never know who is listening and how close their wave length may be to yours.  I am amazed how many times in some distant place some guy comes up to me and says "hey, arent you the prof who gave those gawdawful friday  thermo pop quizzes that none of us could get past without actually knowing the subject?".  And that was in the 60's when most of them were mainly hiding from Vietnam.  And I was hardly winnng any prizes myself.  But, good was done, willynilly.  You never know.

I am guessing that good is being done here too.  I gotta admit that I sometimes engage in a little fantasy of  scribbling off a check for a ticket around the world for prophetofdoom to give a personal report on how many  good, smart, funny, emphatic, wise, beautiful, gifted andso-on people there are, in all colors, places, shapes, sexes and sects. And some of them  happy and simultaneously almost possession-free.

He already knows this. I thought I already knew this when I started my travels, after all, hadn't I already read hundreds of national geographic mags? Then, surprise, surprise.

(analogy)...You are tring to cross a street..You see the bus coming but can't judge it's speed- Knowing the whole time it is going to run your ass over so you just avoid dealing with it and stay on the side walk until you are pushed
This is not a comment, it is a question.

Is it possible for Mr. Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela, to decide to stop exporting oil to the United States and sell the oil to other countries?

Does Mr. Chavez have that option available to him?

If he does, what impact will that have on the United States?  Higher prices?  Shortages?

Thanks in advance for any comments,


Hugo Chavez could embargo the U.S effectively by asking for payment in Euros instead of dollars and selling bulk crude over the Iranian Bourse.
   Pedovesa, the Venezuelan nationa oil company (hope I'm spelling it right) bought Cities Service a few years ago for their U.S. distribution. They have a lot of gas stations in the US plus sell a lot of unbranded products to independent distributors from their US refineries. Venezuela is a huge exporter of oil to the US and many US companies produce down there. I doubt that he would risk his country's economy and his own life by doing this,
  Remember, the CIA had him deposed in a coup once and has fomented a huge internal Venezuelan conflict with the workers  at Pedovesa. If this egregious, outrageous behavior by the US didn't cause him to nationalise the US interests and boycot the US oil sales I think that nothing will except a US invasion.

Oilmanbob, this is simply not correct. Chavez could very well sell oil in Euros but this would not affect the US or the price of oil one whit. It takes only a fraction of a second to exchange dollars to euros, or vise versa, on the FOREX so selling oil in euros would handicap no one.

There is no Iranian oil bourse. And if they ever do open one it will not sell bulk crude. An oil bourse, like the NYMEX, IPE or TOCOM (which trades oil in yen) deal in oil futures not bulk oil. One futures contract is for the future delivery of 1000 barrels of oil. Only a very tiny amount of futures traded ever results in any kind of delivery. The vast majority of contracts are settled in cash. The TOCOM settles all contracts in cash (yen) and it is expected that the NYMEX and the IPE will adopt this strategy because clearing contracts that require delivery is a real pain for the exchanges.

But to answer RickD's question. Chevez could of course sell oil to anyone he wishes. But oil is a fungible commodity. If Chavez decided to sell oil only to China, this would simply free up more oil on the world market, the oil that China did not buy from someone else. It would cause Venezuelan oil to be more expensive for China however, because Chavez would have to ship it half-way around the world instead of just across the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. And since China would be unlikely to foot this extra expense, if they could get closer oil cheaper, then Cazvez would have to mark down his oil accordingly.

Remember oil is a fungible commodity. It doesn't matter where you get it or whom you sell it to. Look at the world oil market as one big barrel where the producing nations pour oil into that barrel and the importing nations such oil out of that barrel. Oil is oil is oil. I don't mean to imply that there are not different grades of oil, because there are. But each nation either buys or sells that grade of oil according to the world price of that particular grade.

Damn! Someone else got in first. Interesting points about the Iranian Oil non-Bourse, too.

One last point. I would LOVE to know where the oil that Venezuela is selling to China, is actually ending up. Once it's on the high seas, how would you know? The Chinese aren't stupid or sentimental, and the market for that grade is mainly in the United States. I wonder...? Alternatively, the most sophisticated and flexible refineries in SE Asia are all in Singapore. Mostly owned by... American oil companies. Tee Hee.

What is fercertainsure is that Chavez is not a "rational actor" in the economic sense, and is clearly destroying value. Of course the oil game is just part of the larger geopolitical board game, but it's hard to see what he's gaining there that he couldn't get cheaper in other ways.

the Iranians announced a couple of months ago that they were starting an exchange denominated in Euros, and the Russians want Roubles for theirs. Both are probably efforts to undermine the petrodollar. A good part of their reasoning is probably the dollar's fast slide against other currencies,plus the US insane and aggresive foreign policy. I don't know what the current status of the Iranian Bourse is at present, but I'm pretty sure they haven't abandoned the idea-perhaps some of our economist contributors know? I figure that this is the real reason for the Neocons beating the war drums for an attack on the Iranians, nuclear weapons is just new clothes on the WMD lie. After all, we were stupid enough to buy that lie once.
>> ....nuclear weapons is just new clothes on the WMD lie. After all, we were stupid enough to buy that lie once. <<

What was it Scotty said?:"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."


It was Chekov.

No, it was Scotty in Journey to Babel, when the Capt was in bed and so was Spock.  Sorry could not let that pass uncorrected,.

Where is our Di-lithium when we need the unlimited power.

The so-called Iranian oil bourse has been on the drawing boards for well over a year now but it will never happen. Remember an oil bourse is for hedgers and speculators, not for the bulk trading of oil. A bourse must have a clearinghouse where trades are settled at the end of each day's trading. If you own one long contract and oil went up one dollar, or Euro or whatever, then one thousand dollars would be credited to your account and to every long contract and simultaneously one thousand dollars would be deducted from every short contract.

This means you would have to put up margin money in case your account must be debited. Suppose you were a speculator who wished to trade the Iranian bourse. Would you send five thousand Euros, Dollars or whatever to Iran, or Russia, as margin money? Why would anyone do that when they can trade the NYMEX, the IPE or the TOCOM without having to worry about the security of their margin account?

The Iranians, I think, now realize that such a bourse would never get off the ground because they would have no customers, no speculators or hedgers to trade the futures contracts. So all ideas of opening an Iranian oil bourse are fading into the background, soon to disappear altogether. And of course the same goes for the proposed Russian bourse as well. Unless you think there might be enough Russians to trade the contracts amongst themselves.

There is an interesting albeit somewhat technical article here about the IPE and NYMEX Brent markets. http://www.nymex.com/speech_articl.aspx?id=ans20010202. It looks as if one of the main applications of these instruments is to reduce risk when trading physical cargoes of Brent and related blends. I'm still trying to see how an IOB would attract business by solving any problems that aren't solved already. I suspect it's just a cheap form of saber-rattling, rapidly losing its effectiveness due to over-use. Hell, maybe I'll start my OWN oil exchange (hate "bourse"). Just send me your margin money in plain brown envelopes. Anyone...?

I seem to remember reading an article in Energy Economist several years ago that tracked a single Brent cargo through over thirty changes of ownership while the tankship was en route from Sullom Voe to Rotterdam. In some cases a single company owned the cargo and sold it on multiple times. Obviously a highly liquid futures market is what makes this possible.

And what are all those overworked, overpaid twentysomething traders going to do at the end of a long hard day in the pits in Tehran? What do Tehranis do for fun, exactly?

Are you forgetting all of Europe?  There's a whole lot more people who need oil than just us.  I think the plethora of countries already on the other side of the pond would love to trade oil in anything but dollars.  

I guarantee you that a Russian bourse will open.  They have the people in place.


Iran I'm not so sure about. Once Russia established themselves, they may honor a Euro exchange, but that would defeat the macro intentions of creating demand for Rubles.

Iraq & Saudi Arabia will never go to Euro's.  They will not be allowed.  The rest of OPEC might though.  To think that countries just marvel at our dollar is crazy.  We created the petrodollar status and the rest of the world has figured out our game.  They are now trying to find out how to disengage the least painfully.  It's about small steps and I will acknowledge that these won't have a giant impact, but it's about small steps that build up.

For Russia the proposed oil bourse is just a pretext to switch oil contracts to the ruble. I said a few days ago that the financial ministry demands that all the new contracts for oil delivery must be denominated in the ruble. Of course officially I am not obligated to follow the order but do you think I have a choice? All the oil and NG companies in Russia are effectively controlled by the government. So starting July 1 Russia begins switching her oil and NG trade to the ruble.
I did not know that. If westexas and khebab are correct about FSU being largely depleted then Im not sure this will hold long term, though Russia bourse would certainly attract more counterparty settlement than Iran. I think the baby step argument is probably correct. And the baby steps have begun
We are only a few days away from the formal launching of the Russian oil bourse, yet some are still in denial that the oil trade is gradually, but consistently, being switched from dollar trading in US markets to Ruble/Euro trading in non-US markets.

This trend follows along with the long term collapse of the US dollar, under the heavy pressure of a $1 trillion yearly current account deficit. Almost no one from the US Treasury to the OECD to the IMF thinks that the US dollar can maintain it's value.  The best hope for the dollar is some type of controlled descent.  There will be new trading currencies, bourses, and a shift to non-dollar foreign exchange reserves (i.e. Euros, gold).  This is a process that can not be stopped by the US short of war. Indeed as the dollar loses its value, or acceptance, the US may resort to war or threats so that conquered/vanquished countries must accept dollars.

In regards to Venezuela, there $10 billion investment in the US will be undercut if they embargo oil/gasoline.  So it's unlikely but not impossible they will start an embargo.

The issue of fungibility has gone around a few times. Crude, IMO, may be characterized as being 'sort of' fungible. There are very real issues with type of crude at the producer end and consumer end. If a refiner needs light-sweet it likely cannot buy it from Venezuela and if its major supplier of light-sweet (say Nigeria) decides to cut a long-range contract with China, this refiner may be paying somewhat more to get what it needs from elsewhere. I think the non-fungible issues will be more prominent at we go down the decline curve and more 'non-conventional' sources of crude oil and quasi-crude oil are exploited and refiner and refiner builders struggle to keep up with creating a market that can handle the stuff. Chavez' threats IOW will carry more weight as time goes on and the US is more desperate for crude of any type.
The oil market is not really one big barrel. A sizable part of the world oil goes trough the oil exchanges, but there are a lot of long-term supply agreements, too. The price may vary with the market price but the physical supply us not freely transferable. The are bilateral agreements between states and state oil companies (eg. Russia-China), as between refieneries and private oil companies. And the internal oil markets of oil producing countries are not at all "fungible". A lot of oil is outside the world markets.

There are also different pricing systems and payment arrangements (barter trade also), so the oil prices don't always follow directly the NYMEX. And as noted here, the refinieries in oil importing countries are usually geared to certain grades. In smaller countries there are not many refinery units, which restricts the choice and variety of supply.  

Well no, a sizeable amount of oil traded does NOT go through the exchanges. Less than two percent of oil traded on the NYMEX is settled in any kind of delivery. And NO oil contracts traded on the TOCOM are settled in delivery. The TOCOM is a cash settlement bourse only, no contracts are settled with the delivery of any oil. I don't know what percentage of oil traded on the IPE is settled in delivery but I would guess it is far less than one percent.

And since there are no other oil bourses in the world, that means that only a tiny fraction of all oil traded is the result of a futures contracts that were not settled in cash before the contract expired.

And many contracts still open at expiration are not settled in delivery. They are settled through the clearinghouse for cash at the request of both parties. Imagine accidently letting a long contract expire accidently then having 1,000 gallons of oil delivered to your front door.

Thanks for the info. So oil is really not very fungible after all.
Yep. If Westexas is correct, it will get less so each year.
As defined in the futures contract oil is totally fungible, but the thousand bbl deliverable contract lot is of a clearly defined grade in terms of light / heavy and sweet / sour and has a specified point for valid delivery. It is that way with all exchange traded commodities. For example you might think that ten one hundred ounce Englehard silver bars [easily measurable weight and unquestioned and acceptable level of purity] would be "good" for delivery on a silver contract. If so you would be wrong. It must be a single one thousand ounce "good delivery" bar to meet the terms of the contract.

Also the relatively small amount of physical changing hands in the oil future market is not unique. It is that way with almost all [to the best of my knowledge all] exchange traded futures contracts. Liquidity is provided by speculators -- they don't want to sell or buy physical -- they are looking for the opportunity to profit from changes in price. Hedgers and other commercial don't necessarily need to acquire or dispose of their physical they just want to limit risk by fixing the price.

Where the fungibility of oil breaks down is the variable characteristics and the issues presented in transporting and refining different crudes. Robert Rapier has posted several times about the transportation bottlenecks in MT, ND and Alberta. WestTexas has posted at length about the increasingly heavy and sulfur laden nature of future crude production.

>Chevez could of course sell oil to anyone he wishes. But oil is a fungible commodity. If Chavez decided to sell oil only to China, this would simply free up more oil on the world market, the oil that China did not buy from someone else

Unless China decided to consume what it currently does and used extra supply from Chevez to fill up their SPR. China already has demand higher then its imports.

The Venezuelan government, or Chavez (assuming you recognize the distinction), could certainly make a point of not selling directly to US interests. Presumably Venezuela is selling to the US at the moment because that is where they get the best price, so they would have to accept a slightly lower price elsewhere. Econ 101.

Discounted oil imports from Venezuela, in turn, would displace existing oil from Venezuela's new customers. This oil would go where the demand was highest, probably the United States. Everything would balance out. The (marginal) losers in this zero-sum game would be Venezuela and the US, the short-term gainers would be shipowners and the new favored buyers, and the long-term gainers would be shipbuilders.

This is a difficult trick for Venezuela to play because their miserable crude works best in refineries with deep upgrading capability. Most such refineries are in the United States. If you put Cabimas blend through a regular low-tech refinery, a lot of it will end up in power station boilers or road asphalt. This will reduce the price still further. Of course if you're producing 3.0 MMstb/d of oil at $60 you can afford to throw a little money down the drain to poke Uncle Sam in the eye.

One of the Katrina flooded refineries in Chalmette (downriver from New Orleans) is a "Venezula only" refinery.  Built close to the mouth of the Mississippi (minimum shipping from V, good distribution for products), designed for specific grades of V oil.

It could be used for other low grade oils from elsewhere (as a nearby Valero refinery is), but at some loss of efficiency.

There is a glut of poor quality oil ATM, and V oil would have to compete with some low quality Saudi stuff for a market.  Saudi might be able to undersell them (to do the US a favor as well as more $ and put off recognizing depletion for another year).

I posted the following near the bottom of yesterday's open thread. Looks like consumers are starting to change their buying habits due to high gas prices:

High fuel prices hit US automakers in May

Some excerpts:

DETROIT, United States (AFP) - The Big Three US automakers' reliance on trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) to drive profits hit another pothole in May as consumers switched to more fuel-efficient passenger cars and cross-utility vehicles.

"We have seen the mid-size sport utility market collapse and I don't think that is going to change," Healy told AFP. "This is liable to have a big impact on profits because... the margins on the car side are much smaller."

Healy said he expects demand for full-size pickups to remain relatively healthy, since few alternatives offer their flexibility.

Ford Motor Co. took the offensive Thursday by offering vehicle buyers a 1,000-dollar gift card for gasoline (petrol) for a year along with zero percent financing.

Ford's incentive follows a gasoline "price-cap" deal rival General Motors Corp. offered some customers in Florida and California that gave new car buyers pre-paid gasoline cards that compensate them when pump prices exceeded 1.99 dollars per gallon.

That deal did little to boost GM sales, however.

GM posted Thursday a 16 percent decline in demand in May from a year ago, ending at 345,157 units. Passenger car demand was lower by 19 percent at 129,905 units, while truck sales were off by 13 percent to 215,252 units.

"This was a challenging month for us," Paul Ballew, GM's director of global market and industry analysis, told reporters on a conference call.

He said demand for some traditional truck-based SUVs, particularly the Chevrolet Trailblazer and GMC Envoy, were running at nearly half the pace of a year ago.

The story was similar at Ford, where sales were off 1.9 percent from May 2005 at 278,546, after strong car sales were unable to offset a steep drop in demand for trucks and SUVs.


Apparently, consumer demand wasnt enough to restrain unleaded gasoline futures from hitting new yearly high prices yesterday
I hope my check is in the mail. ;)


This trend has been going on for some time.  I track car sales in an Excel DB that's on my site's downloads page (http://www.grinzo.com/energy/downloads.html), and the dropoff in sales of light trucks (pickups, SUV's, minivans) has been apparent for a while.

Even more striking is the very strong sales of small cars in the US.  The Yaris, Corolla, Civic, Fit, xA, xB, and Caliber are selling as fast as they can be screwed together.  And the Nissan Versa will be in the mix in a month or so.

This is why I'm so pessimistic about GM's chances: The light truck segment is fragmenting, with pickups and SUV's becoming commercial vehicles, and minivans becoming less popular but still being largely a consumer item.  GM is operating under the willful delusion that the right combination of new grills and comfort features plus the right incentives will preserve the old market paradigm; they're trying to do the marketing equivalent of making water flow up-hill.  I've heard of nothing coming from them in the US market that can hope to compete with the cars mentioned above.  The closest thing they have is the Aveo, which routinely sells for under $10K, yet even in this market saw a 12% decline in sales.

Yes, this is one of the core principles of my Bronze Rectangle theory, which is my answer to the Iron Triangle. :)

One reason I am not a "doomer", is that I foresee a long period of higher gas prices ahead. Provided prices remain high, I think consumers will begin to shift their behaviors toward conservation measures like this, which will give us a better chance of undergoing a slow transition. I agree that an imminent peak, followed by a fast decline would be disastrous. But while I think the peak is fairly close, I don't believe it is not imminent, and I think high gas prices will slow the decline from the peak. This was a topic I wrote about a couple of months ago:

Peak Oil: End of the World?


how much do you consider net energy when considering 'peak' in your terms? of the 1 trillion barrels left (that debatable but within an order or magnitude), how many NET barrels is that after more refining, more dry hole drilling, deeper, worse API, more military needed to defend, etc.? Maybe 650 billion?
It is hard to say for certain, but it is definitely a lot lower than the overall reserves due to (among others) the factors you mentioned. I have often commented on that with respect to the tar sands debate. When someone says "Oh, but here are X bbl of oil in the tar sands in Canada", I say "Yeah, but we are going to consume half a barrel to get each barrel out". The net is certainly far less than the reserves.


Ive posted a simiar graph before but I now look at it differently:
Net energy

This theoretical graph tells me two things:

  1. The total area of the curve is the Gross Resource, and the blue area is the Net Resource, or whats left over to non-energy society after using energy needed in the production process. So the area indicates Net Energy

  2. The area under the graph is an absolute amount of energy, but as we move in time from left to right, the ratio of the pink to blue increases. At each snapshot interval of time on the X-axis, there is a discrete ERoEI (Energy Return on Energy Invested). In the case of crude oil, the left side of the graph would represent the beverly hillbilly days of Spindletop when the EROI of crude oil in US was 100:1 (we used 1 barrel of oil worth of energy to extract and distribute 100). Near the middle of the distribution is where we are now: the EROI is closer to 10:1 (estimates vary and exact numbers are difficult). Charlie Hall, with the data of John S Herold, has used embodied energy costs to estimate a declining trend(slide 26). The total area is the net energy and the ratio at each time interval is the ERoEI.  At point Z the EROI=1 and it makes no more sense to extract/refine/distribute this resource.

How much DO we really have left?
Given the non-energy value of oil (lubricant base stock, petrochemicals and even drugs) we will still be producing oil past EROEI 1:1

Perhaps at a much lower rate though.

I am reminded of a cartoon of a young girl next to her mother at the campfire with the caption "You used to BURN it !?"

Given the non-energy value of oil (lubricant base stock, petrochemicals and even drugs) we will still be producing oil past EROEI 1:1

Alan, I agree with you, with the possible exception as I don't see a society wide 10-20:1 EROI technology that is scalable and liquid on the horizon. All the things you discuss are EROI of consumption and are critically important. But where is our high energy density energy production EROI going to come from?  And I am assuming we scale large wind as much as we can and conserve as much as we can....

But I agree we can and will get oil even at a sub-unity EROI for its other uses.

What to do, say, thirty to forty years past peak ?


Use solar pre-heating and then hydroelectric heating for steam to produce 500,000 to 750,000 b/day of very heavy oil in Venezula.  Sustainable for a LONG time.  Other oil is declining every year.

Electricity - my "renewable grid".

Heating mainly from heat pumps (geothermal or air source "depending") with wood #2 and gasified coal #3 (those damn carbon taxes !)

Transportation ?

First a lot less of it.  Some telecommuting, 4 day. 11 hour day standard with staggered days off (Sat, Sun & Tuesday).

Company towns/housing in larger Metro areas become more common.  Walk/bicycle to work for many.

Cities with good Urban rail grow, and much of the growth is next to Urban Rail stations (early apartments/condos next to Portland Light Rail stations were 2 & 3 stories tall.  Newer ones today are 4 & 5 stories tall.  More expensive/ sq ft at 4 & 5 stories, but demand makes it worthwhile.  Miami was building 7 to 20 story towers next to Metro stations in 2004).

Las Vegas dies a slow death.

Electric assisted trikes for us old boomers & then Gen X become a standing joke.

GEM type EV cars are seen as a status symbol.

Electric Trolley buses are slowly replaced by streetcars, with major fights over who gets converted first.  Streetcars use less copper and more steel.

Freeway lanes are converted to Light Rail lines with tolls keeping many non-essential users off.

Boeing is building the Econocruiser 848, different models  seat 110, 135 & 160, flies at 300 mph, climbs quickly to thin air @ 43,000', all composite & titanium construction and gets 215 pax-mpg off of coal to kerosene or modified rapeseed oil.  Due to carbon taxes, tickets are still expensive and Boeing builds about 120/year for the world.

Small towns with electric railroad lines thrive, those without dry up.  Compressed bio & natural gas used for many necessary vehicle jobs.

Off of the top of my head.

Alan, I find this all quite plausible.  Except for the continuance of a commercial airline industry.  I think that in 40 years, if you want to fly, you'll need to join the Air Force or be uber-wealthy enough to have your own private plane.  And in 40 years a private plane won't be a Lear Jet, it'll be at best a Piper Cub or Cessna, more likely it will be a self-built job like the flying machines the Early Birds flew in back in the 1910s and '20s.  For that matter, the planes the Air Force will be flying in 40 year's time will likely be a lot more like the stuff they were flying in World War II.

Antoinetta III

i suspect the Pentagon would rather renew the atomic plane project rather then resort to that. it's completely doable if you forgo most the shielding a normal reactor has.
The atomic steam plane? Save oil - go nuclear - go boom!
for the pentagon they wouldn't mind sacrificing the pilot's lives as long as they still have their military dominance.
i looked into it and the only thing that stopped them from being made was the weight of the shielding would of been too much for the plane to handle.
The shielding mass were ok if you only hade shielding between the crew and the nuclear reactor and no shielding above, below, behind and on the sides. Such a test areoplane, a rebuilt B36, were flown in the 50:s to test if it was possible to run a 1 MW reactor in an aeroplane. I have no idea on how they made the maintainance. The reactor were started in flight but the aeroplane were never propelled by it.

What killed the program were probably the rapid advances in turbine efficiency and aerial refueling. You got the KC-135 tanker and B-52 bomber instead of nuclear bombers patroling for days in the air waiting for WW 3.

The same thing happened with the bat ass crazy Pluto nuclear cruise missile, it was outcompeted by the ICBM. It would have been driven by a 500 MW nuclear reactor ramjet flying low level in mach 3 while tossing out hydrogen bombs over its targets. It had to be huge for the valve based electronics. After running out of bombs it would have flown in a grid pattern over the sovjet union knocking things over with the chockwave and irradiating the landscape with the slowly falling apart reactor untill crasching. They didnt figure out how to test run it. They most have been nuts in those days.

Over the next few decades general aviation will be converting to diesel engines. Small aircraft are surprisingly fuel efficient getting around 30 mpg at double freeway speeds. Last year a twin diesel powered plane crossed the Atlantic with two on board consuming fuel at an average of over 30 mpg at an average speed of over 180 mph.
Also battery powered and hydrogen powered planes maybe on the cards.

I think nuclear energy has a bright future, and you will be able to use generation IV high temperature gas cooled reactors to produce hydrogen as a byproduct...

Besides which airlines with several hundred passengers per plane can afford to pay more for old-fashioned fossil fuel than individual consumers - and they can also afford to pay more for maintenance so they can run more high tech machinery (say a hydrogen powered plane).

I think the airline industry has a brighter future in many ways than the automobile industry - because hydrogen will still be too dangerous for "mom & pop" to handle on their own for the foreseeable future.

Note in Halls presentation the EROEI difference between imported and domestic US oil: imported oil has a better EROEI.   And the energy used in producing the imported oil is mostly used int the country of origin (slide 6). Every "energy-independence" scheme other than conservation (and possibly wind) would lower the overall EROEI of energy in the US. Think twice before you complain about importing energy.

And think once more how much energy is embedded in those gadgets the Americans import from China. The trade deficit means energy import. How much energy would be needed to produce all those net imported manufactured goods in the US? My guess is about 10% of the present US energy consumption. How much investments would it take to increase the production capacity to make that production possible? How much energy would those investments require?

Talking about energy independence is irresponsible (and mixing energy independence with zero oil imports is stupidity). Real energy independence would mean huge cuts in consumption. Are those who talk about it ready to that? No way. So this is weird. I have told here earlier how the German Nazis had also an "oil independence" program before the WWII (the official trade policy was autarchy). The also considered oil imports as a security risk  and talked in their propaganda about "financing the international.." - that time it was "Jewish conspiracy". The "oil-independence" plan was officially based mainly on CTL. But the facts show that this plan was absolutely unattainable, so the real "oil-independence" idea was to take Romanian, North Caucasus, Baku, and Iran/Iraq oil in German possession and make it "domestic". That would have worked, but...

Should we count the Iraqi oil as de facto domestic US oil now? That would make the attainment of oil idependence much more easier - especially if Iran...

I understand that many here see these kind of fears as completely nuts. "Energy independence" is a good goal, isn't it? Those who promote it are definitely not Nazis. No, of course not. But the problem is that the goal is unattainable, and if you talk long enough about the security risks connected with the oil imports, "financing international..." and so on, the same plan B as the Nazis had comes easily to mind. In fact it seems already be in action.  

TI - you bring up a good point, and not one I had thought of before. Our direct energy consumption that we import is one thing, but effectively, if we turn everything into its energy input, almost our entire balance of payment deficit could be construed as an energy import. If we truly want to become energy independent, it, by definition, must come from these three areas:

  1. dramatically less consumption per capita
  2. dramatically less capita
  3. dramatic increase in local high density, high quality energy

barring those three things, we will never be energy independent, and will continue to use military, diplomatic and other human means of persuasion to consume others energy. Damned if we do and damned if we dont.
As Robert has suggested, the key question regarding PO is how long we have to adjust.  Robert thinks we have years; I think we have months.

The mathematical HL model indicates that Saudi Arabia (SA) is now at about the same point at which the prior swing producer, Texas, entered a permanent and irreversible decline in production.  

Credible news reports are indicating that SA oil production is now down about 5% year over year (which is actually quite close to the long term decline rate that Texas has shown).  The news releases coming out of SA suggest that they are cutting production becuase the market is "oversupplied."  This may actually be partially true.  I suspect that the heavy oil market is oversupplied, but I also suspect that this is temporary, given what is probably a very high decline rate in the Cantarell Field, the second largest producing field in the world.  

In any case, anyone else find it odd that the largest oil producer in the world is delivering less oil to the market when oil prices are trading in a record high (nominal) price range?  

I am always interested when price and production/import patterns don't seem to make sense.

And, as you know Hirsch/Bezdek inform us that Roberts prediction of 'years' isnt even enough. Decades are required. And, as HO as humorously reminded us, desiring a baby in one month cant happen by getting 9 women pregnant.
Yes I do find that odd.  Also the "we would pump more but you can't refine more" story isn't holding water now that more U.S. refineries are coming online, where's the extra oil from SA?  
I think it's still too early to call those reports credible. As far as I'm aware, no official Saudi sources have owned up to such a decrease.
Am I wrong?
"As far as I'm aware, no official Saudi sources have owned up to such a decrease."

Waiting for the Saudis to admit that they have peaked is analogous to waiting for a Texas oilman in the Seventies to admit that Texas had peaked.  

The chain of events appears to be that Petrologistics estimated that April/May Saudi production was in the 9.1 mbpd range.   This estimate was quickly followed by an official statement from SA that the market is "oversupplied."  So if the market is oversupplied, I guess it makes sense to cut back on production.  Of course, I suspect that SA is not voluntarily reducing their production.  

Mathematical comparison of SA to Texas:  http://energybulletin.net/16459.html

Mathematically, Texas is to 1972 as SA is to 2005.

Anyone else find the statement from the CEO of Aramco to be very interesting?



Saudi output since April stood at 9.1 million barrels per day (bpd), Petrologistics said. That was down from around 9.42 million bpd in March.

 The head of Saudi Aramco said on May 1 that the country was producing between 9 million and 9.5 million bpd.

 'We are satisfying all the demands from our customers,' said Abdallah Jumah, Aramco's president and chief executive.

An old friend I went to school with is from Saudi--his father works for Saudi Aramco... I recently talked to him after years of no contact, and asked him if his dad ever talks about the integrity of the oil fields, and he told me his dad is constantly talking about how SA is overproducing their fields, and that this is not good. Who knows, maybe he's just another crackpot like Simmons, et al? Alas, these guys are sincere and telling the truth, sort of the opposite of our present executive branch who, I believe, are some of the most cynical sorry sad-sack pessimistic fuckers that have ever had the privilege of gallivanting around the world.

I personally still believe things in this country won't substantially change unless oil approaches an adjusted for inflation price, as I stated yesterday, $95. The inertia of this consumer culture is substantial, and people won't understand "the game" has changed until prices get to the point where one must accept depletion problems. Who knows when that will be, accept when you can, as Simmons says, "look in the rear view mirror". It seems like it is beginning to happening right now, unless the "commodities bubble" take is correct, which I am very incredulous of. I tend to trust that real market forces are at work that is driving the crude price higher. James Newsome says so, and so do the commodity regulators. Present commodity prices, imho, are not remotely similiar to the tech bubble (it has recently become a fad to compare commodity prices too the tech bubble...) This view even holds some sway in the WSJ.

I guess the heart of the matter is this:

When the finance community in New York, and around the world, believes that the situation is dire enough (hint: they don't yet) then you will see true attempts to create policy w/r/t to energy. They certainly think PO is a theory concocted by, as Matt put it yesterday, "TinFoil Hatus Americanus".

Aren't things bound to soon resemble the WWII era of energy conservation efforts? Seems like eventually something will have to be collectively done on a massive scale to convince people that stable energy supply is a massively important thing for modern civilizations to function properly. I'm still a strong believer that declining energy supply is something people still don't fundementally understand. People have a very nebulous understanding of energy. What percentage of Americans can recite an rendition of the Second Law of Thermodynamics? I am assuming a very, very small percentage... Or, how about what percentage of Evangelicals can? Does Dubya know of the Second Law? Hrmmm...

mr f - i totally agree with you - but I fear that the moment that wall street 'gets it' will be at 11:58 or 11:59 pm. we will bounce around from $55-$80 per barrel for quite some time and then in span of 2 months go to $150-$200 or higher.  The foundations of the entire neo-classical model on which wall st is built then have major tremors and maybe a tsunami or two.
". . . he told me his dad is constantly talking about how SA is overproducing their fields"

At 9.1 mbpd, SA is producing about 3.3 Gb per year (crude + condensate).  If you believe the HL plot, they've got 78 Gb left, which gives them a reserve to production ratio of about 24 years, at the current rate of production.

In 1972, Texas--right before the start of the permanent decline--had a reserve to production ratio of about 21 years.  

(All based on Khebab's HL plots.)

But don't worry, Daniel Yergin says Peak Oil is decades away.  

Please, I hate to be rude, but I prefer "Terdgin"--it lowers the level of discourse slightly.


In all honesty though, I have yet to see any real data come from IHS (or CERA) that explains to me why we have another 20 years before we start seeing global decline rates... Yet, here you are (along with a whole bunch of others) who can mathematically show that peak is near--yet you are called Chicken Little just because others have predicted it before.

That might be one of the most asinine arugments for why present PO predictions are wrong... "Hey! Everyone's been saying that since oil started getting pumped in PE." Even worse is when people pull the ultimately stupid move of saying "look we went from wood and mills, to coal, then to crude oil--and now something will easily replace crude oil!" Little does our ignoramus know that the replacements have lots of problems, environmental, capital-costs and not even to mention the problems of scale and timeframe issues....

My question to you, dear sir, is how do I get a hand on Yergin's analysis? I see him freakin' everywhere toting the "undulating", "we'll be happy-go-lucky" "free-markets always know best and cure cancer" line whenever I turn left or right to read about PO issues. I'd love to not just call Yergin a lily-white honky that's whoring it with the big boys since he one the Pulitzer... But after forming a subjective opinion on him when I watched the documentary version of "Commanding Heights" it become apparent what a little weasel Yergin is--his cavalier, snooty diatribes on economics are really heinous, and he is perhaps the most boring, unenthusiastic atrocious speaker he can be.

Maybe he is a good writer, given the right moment in time, but he strikes me as insanely dull not to mention wrong.

I have been patiently waiting for the spot price of crude oil to close at or above $76 ($38 times two), so that we can declare it "Daniel Yergin Day."  In a Forbes column dated 11/1/04, Yergin asserted that oil prices on 11/1/05 would be at or below $38 per barrel.  
They always claim that the market is oversupplied. I meant that they haven't admitted to a <voluntary> reduction in their own production. You're right, they may be tantalisingly close to such a statement, though.
IMO, you are an extremely credible source on the subject of oil depletion. Obviously, if SA could increase production, they would.  
Why? And you must explain this. Why? Why would they if they could? Try to use at least 100 words. The reason I ask is because to some of us, this is not obvious. And we spend quite  a lot of time thinking about the issue. And we are quite aware of the numbers.
Why 100?
I agree with Oil CEO on this.  If I were the Saudi Royals, I would calculate my country's annual budget, then figure out how many barrels of oil I needed to sell to reach that amount.  I would add five percent to this for a margin of error, then produce NO MORE OIL over each year than this amount.  Oil unpumped now will always be worth more later, if we leave it in the ground for now, it won't be going anywhere until we are ready to drill for it.  Not only will this reduce out depletion rates, but it will tend to increase depletion in the rest of the world, leaving Saudi Arabia with a commanding position of influence regarding energy matters for a longer period of time.

Antoinetta III

What is SA's budget this year? How does it compare to oil revenues? What are the numbers? Why are you confident they have the ability to quickly increase production from the current levels?
Mathematical comparison of SA to Texas:


As I wrote on another thread [paraphrase] the decline may be a sign of a peak or it may be that Saudi Arabia is just getting back into the swing producer role.

Both of their statements about wanting a lower oil price, and the supposedly voluntary nature of the cut back in production cannot be truthful. These positions cannot be reconciled.

It appears that Saudi Arabia is actively engaged in disinformation. The questions that come to mind are:
(i)To what end are they making these statements? and;
(ii)Who are they trying to fool?

Right R W, but if the Saudis are overproducing they might want to cut voluntarily some production - and wish for lower price. You can always wish...
They're maximizing their return on assets; the longer they can keep the world from switching away from oil, the more they will be able to sell and the higher the price will be.  The world will not begin to switch as long as people believe that it isn't neccessary or that the oil producers will be able to lower prices and bankrupt the investors who bet on those alternatives.

Two things can change this:

  1. World recognition that oil production has peaked, and conversion is physically necessary.
  2. World recognition that oil dependence is a devasating weakness, and conversion is politically and militarily necessary.
Either will do.
west texas-  Huberts curve- Does it take into account higher extraction rates from improved technology?  Wouldn't this make the down slope steeper?  If you add to that the increase in (energy)expense to get to smaller fields then doesn't that lop even more off of "avaialability"?  
It's interesting that SA is almost exactly at the same point at which Texas took a nose dive (based on HL).  IMO, the longer that they keep producing 9 mbpd plus--via horizontal driling--the steepr the decline rate will be, e.g., Cantarell with up to a 40% annual decline rate.
"oversupplied"  When I hear something that stupid!  WTF is going on?  I wouldn't waste the air to ask them.  They have told you everthing that you don't want to know <which is why the say stupid shit like that-IMO>  And when I say "you" I don't mean you personally but rather the market or the MSM.
Re: "not a doomer..."

Robert, I read your cited article and found this interesting statement, which you agreed with.

As one very knowledgeable insider recently told me "I believe that the peak oil theorists have been mistaking resource access and geopolitical issues for peak oil".
Let's talk about this "confusion". Conventional LSC is certainly at or near 50% Qt globally and may have peaked in 2004. So, now we're into the heavy oils, tar sands, other oil that is harder and more expensive to extract, etc. Now, when the insider refers to resource access, does he mean these kind of new supply sources? Also, in an imperfect world there are always geopolitical issues causing disruptions in the supply chain.

There is the "pure" peak oil theory, based on Hubbert and more recently put forward by Simmons, Campbell, Deffeyes and others. But another view regards what has been referred to here on TOD as the "logistical" peak which considers the flow of oil available to the market on a daily basis. In this regard, there may be some confusion among some who talk about peak oil. But there is no doubt that the peak is either upon us or very close in the future--within a decade, to be conservative, in my view. Resource access and geopolitical problems simply exacerbate the problem and I don't think any of the people I mentioned are mistaking these problems with the peak itself.

Let's talk about this "confusion". Conventional LSC is certainly at or near 50% Qt globally and may have peaked in 2004. So, now we're into the heavy oils, tar sands, other oil that is harder and more expensive to extract, etc. Now, when the insider refers to resource access, does he mean these kind of new supply sources?


I didn't get into those specifics with her, but based on the areas of the world she was talking about, I would say heavy oils were definitely part of the equation. She mentioned some areas of the world that I am pretty familiar with, and the reasons for production limitations there. I know she was correct about those particular locations, but then she went on to discuss some areas with which I am not so familiar (like the FSU).

But another view regards what has been referred to here on TOD as the "logistical" peak which considers the flow of oil available to the market on a daily basis.

One thing about logistical peaks, though, is that they can come and go. We have been at a logistical peak for a while, but I think it will ease a bit in the next 1-2 years. I believe high oil prices will stem demand somewhat, and our current logistical peak will turn out to be just one of several ahead.


Of course it's true that as long as prices remain high that we will see a trend to more fuel efficient cars.  But if we get a lot more fuel efficient cars, won't that cause prices to go down. And if they do, then we're back in the same cycle.  Of course it's also true that China and others may take up the slack.

In any event, we need a gas tax starting at about two dollars and moving up each month unitl it is about five dollars. Announce it. Make it permanent.

>Provided prices remain high, I think consumers will begin to shift their behaviors toward conservation measures like this, which will give us a better chance of undergoing a slow transition. I agree that an imminent peak, followed by a fast decline would be disastrous. But while I think the peak is fairly close, I don't believe it is not imminent, and I think high gas prices will slow the decline from the peak.

Its highly likely to be pretty step. Of the dozen or so largest fields, all of them peaked over a decade and all use water injection to maintain output. When these are watered out, production will drop like a rock. Unlike in the past before water injection was the norm, production rates would declined gradually. If we examine fields that use water injection and have become watered out, production declines very rapidly. You should be able to find many articles discussing production declines when water injection is used.

Second it probably won't make much of difference if US consumers begin to conserve. Oil prices in much of Asia (including China and India) are subsidized, which of course permits them to continue to consume even as prices rise. Its also likely that any oil demand declines caused reduction in US consumption will be quickly absorbed by Asia. Since most Asian nations have trade surpluses, they probably could used them to purchase oil (as long as oil is priced in Dollars). For instance China is sitting on about $1 Trillion USD which can buy an awful lot of oil. If for some reason Oil can no longer be obtained in US Dollars, then the US will face a crisis anyway.


In my opinion, I have no sympathy for GM, especially since they were integral in the downfall of the US trolley and train system in this country.  The deserve what they are getting right now.  They decided to take this country down the road built on cheap energy long ago for short term profit gain in lieu of long term energy security.  Now, the game has changed, cheap energy is a thing of the past, and they are floundering.  They can no longer dictate the game and need to adapt to a changing environment.

It's time for GM to evolve or become extinct.

I don't have any business training, but I'm guessing that if you have to pay your customers to buy and drive your products, this is not an effective business model.
It can be effective for upper management. This scheme has been used by quite a few companies (especially in the last 20 years) as upper management has become more ambitious (i.e. screw the shareholders) to overstate revenue and thus profits in the short term leading to share price increases which will eventually be reversed, at which time upper management has moved on with a fat wallet. Capitalism can be fun.  
I saw a Yaris yesterady (the squarebacked one), and man is it small!  LOL, it really is a reprise of the 70's.
Robert, I noticed that the parking lot at Ron Carter Hummer dealership on I-45 at El Dorado was really crowded with new H2's yesterday about 7 PM-at least 100- and there was a lot of customer parking by the dealership door.
  For the furriners-this is a suburban/exurban area about 25 miles south of downtown Houston on the way to Galveston.
  I'm fairly certain that Ford and GM are planning bankruptcy so that they can dump their pension liabilities on the US pension guarantee fund. An interesting note about the Houston far suburbs-acording to the Houston Chronicle house prices are dropping in those suburbs and the foreclosure rate is rising. People who need two full time jobs to support a McMansion and two car payments are extremely vulnerable to rising fuel prices. One person laid off or a divorce is a recipe for financial disaster. All the home equity loans to pay off credit cards only postpones the sad consequences of being a fool. Pray for them, the banks and Gasoline companies are preying on them.
Even before real estate went into bubble mode, I read a good quote somewhere: "High house payments are even better for docile workers than putting Valium in the water cooler" - in other words, keep your workers eyebrow-deep in debt and they won't ask questions, they'll just work, work, work.
I have frequently recommended that Peak Oil aware people adjust their lives so that they can live on half of their current income.  I suggested that you assume that gasoline is at or above $6 per gallon and that you just got a 50% pay cut.  What actions would you then take?

Auto journalist Ed Wallace has been talking about a Michigan area Cadillac dealer that instituted a 50% pay cut for the sales staff.  The staff responded by joining a union and picketing the dealership, but my point is that this is a real life example of what I have been talking about.  

BTW, a lot of us in the oil patch have seen more than 50% drops in income in 1986 and 1998-1999.  

Case in point below:

Judge OKs Delta pilots' pay cut:  Bankruptcy court judge approves deal after pilots at nation's No. 2 airline agree to 14% reduction; company reports losses of $27 million.


Here is a news article that was the inspiration for my next essay for TOD:

Another fuel to power your car arrives in R.I.

I think Rhode Island made the right choice with CNG, as I will discuss in the essay.



Dallas area auto journalist Ed Wallace is an ardent PO opponent (he says oil production won't peak for decades), but he has done some good work on ethanol.

This morning he was talking about an API warning about stratification of ethanol in storage tanks, resulting in "bursts" of high concentrations of ethanol, that will damage non-E85 rated engines--and that won't be covered under the warranty.

He also talked about warnings about older fiberglass tanks that can leak because of ethanol blends (the apparent dispute revolves around what concentration of ethanol can cause the leaks).  

Anything you know (and can talk about) on these subjects?

I hadn't heard about this, and I get some API news updates. Stratification is a constant problem with even conventional gasoline, so this is not entirely surprising. I suspect we are in for a number of suprises in this area. I remember last year, the surprise when sulfuric acid residues in ethanol were implicated in ruining a bunch of fuel injectors:

Ethanol suspect in fouled injectors

A big problem is that there is a rush to build ethanol plants by people who really have no competence in important core areas. I was actually offered a job (unsolicited) once by someone building an ethanol plant, and I could not believe how unprepared they were for what they were getting into.


Looking forward to it. Specifically I hope you will touch on how to link renewable sources of methane to CNG.
Specifically I hope you will touch on how to link renewable sources of methane to CNG.

Yeah, I was planning on getting into that. It is a whole lot less energy intensive to separate methane from water than it is to separate ethanol from water.


This Drumbeat idea was a bad one, the quality of the posts has dropped substantially. I will raise it again with this post.

Oil and natural gas are peaking? Good.

Oil and natural gas are fundamental to our lives because they were always cheap and easy to use. As these resources become more expensive due to scarcity, we have an opportunity to use replacements. These replacements vary from country to country but here are the ones in the country I know best, the USA:

Biomass-based Plastics and Fibers
Natureworks LLC is already producing 126,000 tons of 100% corn-based plastic in Blair, Nebraska. Production started in 1997, before the price of oil started to spike and now it is even more profitable. The plastic can be molded into cups, plates, forks etc. and has the added benefit of degrading completely in compost in 45 days. Another division of the company turns the plastic into clothes, pillows, mattresses etc. ADM has partnered with Metabolix to develop PHA Natural Plastics and Dupont brought their Sorona product line to market.  

Vehicle Fuel
Ethanol works as a fuel mixed with gas in all car engines at a level of 10-20% and for some engines at a level of 85%. The only added equipment for the 85%-capable engine is a fuel sensor and different fuel lines and gaskets. These costs less than $200. Ethanol already displaces ~3% of gas in the US (4.4 billion gallons of ethanol/146 billion gallons per year of gasoline) but this can easily double every few years. In the US, we don't have to displace 100% of our gas right away anyway. We are still one of the world's largest oil producers, we just need to match production declines. You say it is heavily subsidized? So are oil and gas, the difference is ethanol is getting cheaper to make and oil and gas are getting more expensive. You say that oil is necessary to make the corn to make the ethanol? Well why not use grass or willow that don't need fertilizer. Or make the fertilizer from coal.
Speaking of coal, in North America there is an estimated 300 years worth of coal to make diesel using the Fischer-Tropsch process. Obviously, if we depended solely on coal, it would get used up in less than 300 years, but we only need to mitigate decreasing oil production. Even without investing the huge amounts of R+D resources that the petroleum industry has done since 1859, 1 ton of coal can produce 1.5 barrels of diesel at a cost of less than $1/gallon.

Even better, the carbon dioxide byproduct can be sequestered like at the Great Plains Synfuels Plant in North Dakota

Electricity and Heat
Coal and nuclear already produce most electricity in the US so this is not a problem. Even so, it is interesting to see that solar is booming and wind produces electricity at less than 4 cents a kilowatt hour. If they receive the same R+D that coal and nuclear have received these may be significant sources of energy in the future.

Many Other Technologies and Ideas Ready for Implementation
Don't forget about using abandoned oil wells for geothermal energy.
We will also save electricity using solid state lighting systems that Cree and Color Kinetics already produce. Biodiesel is another commercially available automobile fuel gaining acceptance. Working from home, city living, mass transit, bicycles, mopeds, ethanol-fueled hybrid cars, rail transport and many other technologies and ideas that already exist will become more prevalent.

The Peaking of Oil and Natural Gas Product are Opportunities
In the days of steamships, sailboats and the horse and buggy, oil and the engines that burned them were considered alternative. Now these are dominant, but we are already transitioning to the technologies I described above. Mitigating oil and gas depletion will usher in a new era of investment, low unemployment, innovation, environmental stewardship and energy security.

I will let someone else handle this. Today is my wedding anniversary, and as soon as the wife gets up I am done posting for the day.


I am moving today so cant answer all points, but wanted to reply to the first comment.

This Drumbeat idea was a bad one, the quality of the posts has dropped substantially.

I disagree. I think the caliber of posts has remained very high, and I learn something everyday from the threads, often things I never knew about and now know a little as well as things I know alot about but discover some new nugget.  I think the Drumbeat establishes a routine, and the main posters have been busy with end of semester and summer vacation. I think the format of TOD has never been better and expect, with some guest post help, that this will continue to be the place to go to discuss peak oil and its myriad aspects. Greshams law of the bad driving out the good has not yet occurred on theoildrum - there are alot of very knowledgeable, reasonable, and thoughtful people on here.

Keithster100, do you still like your investment,  in shares of ethanol distributor PEIX?

Thanks for the reminder.  I always update my list of stocks to short based on what Keithster100 recommends.  
Keithster needs to go sell his shuck-and-jive con elsewhere.
Yeah I bought it at 6-even before Bill Gates did. It is the third best stock I ever owned.
PEIX has taken a major body blow from its high. And they still do not have any actual production.
You make an argument and then counter it in the same post. Yes, their stock has taken a hit because they aren't done building their ethanol plants yet. This is obvious.

The stock has gone up more than 400% in a year, which bodes well for the price when the plants are finished.



Stocks are not my long suit or I would be driving a BMW instead of a Subaru. But I did buy low and sell high. This is good.

But ther is a great dealof hype for the next 1-3 years here.

Good luck!

Sounds like somebody is in the bargaining stage.



   Of all the threads you've posted, how many have you given "free" stock advice?  It is hard to take someones opinions serious if their opinions are of the product they sell.

Me to waitress "What is good here?"

Waitress "Everything is wonderful!"


The companies and their technologies are the point, not their stock prices. Read my post again and post a relevant response.
I agree with you 100% regarding alternative energy investments. But I feel that corn based ethanol distribution, after the mandate and subsidies disappear will disappear as well. PEIX' only hope is that some of the more optimistic cellulosic claims turn out to be true as well as scalable, otherwise once the Robert Rapiers of the world get the facts out into the mainstream (and this is starting to happen) the corn-ethanol bandwagon will reverse. I am still shor the jun 40 calls and long the jun 40 puts - will just let expire and take the short position (I was unable to short this name because I couldnt borrow the stock).
Glad to hear you are investing in alternative energy. With regards to ethanol, the subsidies that you say are propping up the industry will never go away. Even if they did, they accomplished the goal of starting an industry. Now competition is kicking-in among the various players to get the production and distribution process to be more efficient so the players make more money. Even the harshest of critics will concede that the ethanol plants of today are more efficient than the ones built even just a few years ago.
So you have:
-A political climate that will subsidize ethanol and farming forever.
-Intense R&D that is dropping the costs of ethanol production, increasing the number of co-products and making production more financially rewarding.
-A competitive fuel, gasoline from oil, that is a dead-end for all of the reasons described on this website.
-An automobile industry that supports ethanol.

What is not to love? With respect to PEIX, their stock will likely drift with the news until they produce their own ethanol. The news though tends to favor alt energy (hurricanes, terrorism etc..)

I tend to be a student of how all the little things add up. So many of these little things have taken on the status of givens. Take lawns, for instance.

This time of year, about every 6 days I have the opportunity to kick myself over having an acre of grass to mow on a property that I purchased long before I became aware of energy depletion issues. Those hours in the seat of the trusty Craftsman riding mower are usually spent pondering the insanity of this (mowing is required in my township, as in many others), and wondering what the energy numbers look like for the sum total of all turf in the U.S.

I was given a partial data hook recently by reading a review of "AMERICAN GREEN: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn" By Ted Steinberg


Apparently, this "pseudo nature" covers 40 million acres in the U.S. I couldn't resist some back-of-the-envelope calculations. I burn at least 1 gallon of gasoline per acre, moving as quickly as possible. The average lawn is cut perhaps 20 times per year (fewer in the north, more in the south). The result is 800 million gallons per year, and we haven't begun to add the energy tied up in pesticides, fertilizer, and the manufacture of equipment. Add to this the exhaust emissions that, by at least one estimate, are 79 times greater (per gallon of fuel burned) from a mower than from the average automobile.

It's just one more seemingly insignificant part of the suburban American lifestyle that many people would loath to give up. I plan to try to convert at least 2/3rds of my lawn into an unmowed area of prairie-type plants. Who wants to guess how long it will be before I get a letter from the township supervisors........

This time of year, about every 6 days I have the opportunity to kick myself over having an acre of grass to mow

Make it a garden.   Most places don't stop people from growing food.

Or, how about this:

Make it a mint plantation.  Geese would eat the weeds in the mint.   You can harvet the mint and make mint oil.

Most places DO stop people from growing food. I don't know which country you're in Mr Blair but it's sure not the US.
Most places DO stop people from growing food.

I find it hard to believe, what with the tradition of the Victory Garden in the US past.

I'd be interested in seeing actual data backing up the position that most places in the US DO stop the grouwing of food.

I don't know about food, but there are many (probably most) planned communities with CCRs prohibiting hanging clothes to dry.  It leaves me speechless sometimes.
Salem OR started requiring a permit to grow a garden.  Enforcement was met with extreem hostility.  Gov't guys were looking over fences and catching people.  I think it was stopped or reversed after a year or two.
Plant lots of trees and have a wooded lot. No grass to mow then!
Lawns are a display of wealth.  Usually one displays wealth by showing that has more than one needs, enough to waste on unnecessary things.  At one time a big lawn required a lot of manual labor, so having one meant you had to be wealthy enough to hire a lot of laborers (or own a lot of slaves). Cheap energy in the form of oil and technology allowed the common people to display this same appearance.  It's part of our national culture to demonstrate our wealth as obviously as possible - lawns are just an old form of bling.

So in a way, wasting oil outside of our needs is a way of demonstrating our cultural fitness.  

Twilight -

Not only is the typical well-manicured suburban lawn a waste of resources, but it is also an ecological disaster.

What is a lawn? It is a intense mono-crop maintained through the use of huge amounts of fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides.  This 'crop'  is 'harvested' every week or so during the growing season, but the crop is put to no good use. The herbicides for weed control and the pesticides for grub control not only kill weeds and grubs but also myiad other organisms that live in the soil. Then of course, we also have issues concerning contaminated runoff and groundwater contamination.

Good comments on lawns, and all true. And, in almost all places in the US they are mandated by law. You can't let your lawn go to hell (or forget to paint your house, and in the right color, for long either) without getting hefty fines and worse punishment if you ignore the fines. You can't put in a rock garden. You sure as hell can't put in a "Victory garden". Geese could literally get you thrown in jail.

Assuming, let's just assume, you can get away with planting edible stuffs and even have some domestic fowl. Neighborhood kids, and other semi-feral types, would raid it, poison it, or even burn it with chemicals. Your fowl would quietly disappear, either due to loose cats and dogs, or due to things like raccoons and coyotes which roam a surprising number of places at night.

You could possibly, there's a very slim chance, you could get away with having a garden etc if you put it behind a very high, very private, and very strong, fence or wall. But that chance is very small.

Dieoff, bring it on!

Why do you accept such poor ownership? Is it realy standard in the land of the free?

We have some of the same over zealous city planning in Sweden but it varies a lot between municipialities and within municipialities depending on when a plan were made since changing an old plan is hard.

But if you cant plant any trees you want or build a rock garden or have a meadow you move once a year with a schyte you dont realy own your own land. Its bad enough to not be able to build more then one 10m2 shed/guesthouse/whatever withouth asking for permission!

The legal limit is that your neighbours can cut of branches going over their plot or take down a tree if there is immediate danger and I think there are some legal room to complain about a lost view if some one plant some kind of spruce and leave them growing for 40 years. But such changes are slow and usually accepted even if there is a social preassure to keep everything tidy.  

Hard rules such as having a specific kind of lawn remind me of living arrangments such cottage areas or "bostadsrättsföreningar" where you buy a share in a kind of corporation that equals the m2 you control and get one vote in the organization. But that is incorporated living and only an illusion of having your own house. I live in such an apartment myself. We have 372 flats and what I own is the right to use what is behind my door as I see fit as long as I dont destroy the floor, walls and so on and about 0,3% of the whole real estate but I can only sell the right to use what is behind "my" door.

I guess that's what all those bumper stickers mean that say "freedom isn't free." Seriously, thanks for the perspective.
My fav was always LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT. Translated as: keep your mouth shut and do what you are told.
Magnus old boy, you just have no idea. Euros in general seem to have no idea about the realities of life in the US.

On the other hand, we can say on a hot day, "It's as hot as Auschwitz in here" and no go to jail...... yet.

Why do you accept such poor ownership? Is it realy standard in the land of the free?

I don't believe so.   Fleam is claiming 'almost all places', but one can point to the thousands of acres of farmland and know that, by land mass-area such is not the case.

http://epa.gov/greenacres/weedlaws/JMLR.html  makes it sound like fleam's claim of "almost all" isn't right.

Here is a money-quote from the link:

In a poetic turn of fortune, in the village that once sent a mower to level Mrs. Otto's wildflowers, there are now sold-out bus tours of a dozen naturally landscaped homes including her now famous yard.

A favorite story:
http://www.brazenhussies.net/murphy/Flamingos.html   Too bad it's just a story.   "Please come close to the gnome. No alarm will sound. The gnome is not alarmed. I don't mind if you approach the gnome."

Where I live no one would notice if I cut my "lawn" or not.  My "lawn" consists things that can survive being cut fairly often.  Grass is not a high priority (it's boring - doesn't get those pretty flowers like dandelions!).  No poisons (we'd be worried about the chickens eating it).  As time goes on more and more of it will become garden I suspect, but right now I have too many other projects going on.  If it weren't for the ticks and the aggressive wild roses we would not cut it nearly so often.
Multiflora rose = evil.  Ditto with honeysuckle and poison ivy.  All invasive exotics.  Have you been invaded by bittersweet yet?
I just looked up the bittersweet - I don't recognize it around here, but I'll keep my eyes open for it now!  Got any Japanese Knotweed?  

However, poison ivy is native plant in at least some areas of North America (Pennsylvania being one of them).  Fortunately, I'm not very sensitive to it.  For those that are, it's fortunate that jewelweed usually grows nearby.

No Japanese Knotweed around here.

Ahh...you've got to be kidding me... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewelweed  This stuff grows all over the place here!  Didn't realize it helped with poison ivy.  I love those weird flowers though.  Poison Ivy strikes me with a fury and it grows like wildfire around here in some places.  Definitely not native to WNC.

Oriental bittersweet seems to be reaching a critical mass here.  It was apparently brought here because it was pretty and made nice Christmas reefs.  It has a vibrant fruit which birds are all to happy to eat and then fly around to spread.  Over the past couple of years I've noticed it pop up everywhere.  It's worse than kudzu.  Not only does it have a beastly-tough woody vine, but it grows as fast as kudzu, can put roots down anywhere it touches the ground, and can grow in dark places.  Which basically means it can be bird spread into the middle of the woods and start growing without anyone knowing.  Something that kudzu isn't likely to do.  Its use as an ornament has recently been outlawed, but the genie is out of the bottle.  It's just mean stuff.

Can you tell I don't like invasive exotics?  Oh, and that multiflora?...I've fought back bushes that were 10 feet tall and 12 feet in diameter with some of the inner most trunks 4-6" in diameter.

My solution would be to plant a mixture of fruit and nut trees (fewer monoculture issues, although several fruits are 'cousins") in a "hex" pattern (hex is more space efficient and looks less like rows).

Different species require differnt spacine and hex gives one more flexability.  Consider some exotics (paws paws)  and some berries as well.  And a large garden.

Thsi would require more limited mowing for several years until the trees begin to shade the grass (use grass cutting for compost/mulch and use them to kill grass around each tree, reducing mowing requirements.

I have an interest in this.

Where do you live ?  (Southern Ohio, middle of Georgia)

Paw paws look exotic but are indigenous to North America, so at least in the North East they aren't exotic?  I have a couple seedlings growing in the shady part of my yard.
I have buffalo grass in the front part of the yard.  I generally mow about once a year, after I get a letter from the Nazi Homeowners Association. (They apparently believe that all lawns should look like golf courses).  Rarely do I water, and never fertilize.
It's too bad a legal case couldn't be brought to stop local government and "homeowners associations" from imposing energy demanding rules such as the requirement to mow lawns, trim trees, etc.  It would seem that "A man's home is his castle" could be framed as a legal principal that the current Supreme Court would be sympathetic to.  Furthermore, most homeowner associations have the power to extract mandatory fees from the homeowners in the area; membership is NOT voluntary.  If the courts could be persuaded to strike down rules that micro-manage how you keep your house, as well as the ability of homeowner associations to collect fees, probably a significant amount of energy could be saved.

Antoinetta III

I think a most tasteful decor for one's front yard area is a nice fruit or nut tree, graced with the body of a homeowner's assoc. Nazi, hanging by a length of their own guts.

But that's just me......

There was a lot of joking among my neighbors when I lived in an area of 20,000 square foot lots about ditching the lawn mower and buying a couple of sheep. An idea whose time has really come? [only kinda / sorta kidding] :-)
RW reactionary, I like your username, bet I'm more right wing and reactionary though (wanna see that statist carpetbagger bush replaced by a reincarnated Charles Lindburgh hehe) but yes, I agree. Sheep/goats are a splendid idea.

I think it will take the actual onset of the next great depression before the homeowner's association tyes are shot or run out of town, then ppl will be able to learn to grow at least some their own food again.

I was riding my mower with the same thought.  How many hours a week and how much $3.00 gas before it starts looking really practical.  Buy a spring lamb.  Let it eat grass all summer and butcher in the fall.  Neighbor who raised sheep for years says this type of schedule would work out great.  Kids have names- herbert and shiela--I prefer lamb chop....:)
I completely agree about the wastefulness of lawns.

But I'd like to mention something that I believe is far, far more wasteful and worthless. I'm talking about GOLF COURSES! They are everywhere! I hate every last one of them!

In my opinion they are by far the biggest waste of land and water in modern society. Imagine all the golf courses in the Southwest (Palm Springs, Vegas, Arizona, etc.) Growing Kentucky bluegrass requires about 30-40 inches/yr of water I believe. Thus, you have these golf courses in places that average about 4-7 inches of rain/yr. If any of you have visited Las Vegas in the summer you would know that lawns and golf courses make about as much sense as cacti in seattle. It just doesn't make sense.

Then there is the issue of land use. I think if the land of every golf course in the U.S. was sold it should amount to over $1 trillion. They obviously also contribute to the incredible sprawl in suburban communities.

I would argue that every golf course in the U.S. should be either converted to public parks, developed into sustainable communities, or BURNED BECAUSE I HATE THEM! Of course, this would mean that the game of golf would have to be abandoned. I guess a few hundred golf courses could be maintained in areas where they would not have to be watered constantly due to there being enough natural precip.

I do not play golf myself but I like the sport. Thousands of people regularly having a few h of walking around with their clubs and concentration on hitting a small ball while chatting with friends and having a beer or a meal afterwards. Exelent gentle exercise, golf carts are reserved for handicapped people who can not walk.

Golf restaurants are known for often having a good value for the money since most golf clubs have a restaurant they rent to someone that makes food the golf playing golf club board likes. They are almost allways open for non club members since that gives some extra income.

It keeps more of our landscape open since unused areas sooner or later are planted with trees and we get parklike areas close to where people live that even can be regarded as spare farmland. Some golf clubs also tend parklike areas around the golf course proper to make it more scenic and it is often ok for non members to visit there if they dont get in the way for the players. Fencing in the areas with low electrical fences is more common now since some idiots reestablished wild boars and they can quicly turn large lawns upside down looking for earth worms.

They leak nutrients and it common to catch and delay the runoff water in a small dam when building new golf courses. Water is a non issue in 99% of the places.

I would welcome more golf courses around here but playing golf seems to have plataued and the golf course building boom is petering out. Its a lovely sport even if I dont play  it.

Are you allowed to shoot the wild boars under any circumstances(wink)?
I dislike golf myself, but I still remember Jesper Parnevik's golf pants. They took you at once into another and a better world.
Almost, piglets first if you want to shoot a sow.
golf courses...waste of land and water
A number of municipalities have found that golf courses can use so-called "grey line" water. This is partially treated waste water that would be cumbersome or expensive to fully treat for disposal or for re-use as drinking water.
In addition to the obvious laws against this, depending on what areas you burned, you may be in violation of environmental protection laws. A number of the more recent golf course developments have voluntarily set aside developable land in exchange for conservation tax credits. This preserves land and habitat that is compatible with migrating birds and other species. The set aside land is periodically audited by environmental compliance groups to verify that the conserved areas are preserved as designated, and are maintained (in perpetuity) for conservation purposes.
I was wondering if there was going to be a sweepstake for the date of the first hurricane (Category one and above) of the season. Since hurricanes are going to be dominating the news for the next 3 months or so (trying to push Iran out of the news), I was wondering what other TODers thought. Is the first hurricane going to be earlier or later than last years one (Hurricane Dennis July 4th to 12th)?
My WAG is June 25th; the date winds get to reach a Category one strength hurricane (as the tropical storm usually develops several days before hand).
well...it's only a WAG..but i'd say later..july 15..according to jeff masters at weather underground, the conditions early on are less favorable than last year..lower SST and higher wind shear in the GOMEX..hurricane season doesn't really spool up until the middle of august usually:
Ooh, pretty - looks like FIRE!

I recently visited Sacramento, California's capitol city in fact, and I was very pleasantly surprised to find that the local public TV station (there's often a more national public TV station and then a more local one, often run by a local college or jr. college) had all this info playing about the town. Maybe it's a state capitol of a huge state thing. Lots of ppl making the pilgrimage to see their capitol?

There was the basic history of the town, which was, that the area was a huge estuary, only useful to Indians and waterfowl I guess, and something had to be done about that. So, they started building levees. They started out with Chinese labor and whatever junk wood etc was around, and the present levees are merely dirt with a core of that old rotting wood etc from 100 years ago. The natural state, it turns out, of Sacramento, is 15 feet under water.

Ive been getting emails from friends about Rangels bill for a new draft.
Some excerpts are:
Obligation for Service- It is the obligation of every citizen of the United States, and every other person residing in the United States, who is between the ages of 18 and 42 to perform a period of national service as prescribed in this Act unless exempted under the provisions of this Act.


To provide for the common defense by requiring all persons in
the United States, including women, between the ages of 18 and
42 to perform a period of military service or a period of civilian
service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland
security, and for other purposes.

My friends and others who have become aware of this Bill (and I believe Rangel has proffered similar legislation in the past) are outraged. They, for the most part are unaware of peak oil and are just pissed that we are in Iraq.  But really, when we think about resource acquisition and energy available per capita, isnt a Bill like this just a peripheral validation of Peak Oil?

Side note: Ive reread this piece on evolutionary origins of behavioral switching to war by Keith Henson and internalized it enough to believe in it.

That bill goes beyond a draft (as in a lottery) and calls for "Universal National Service"

... and I think Rangel is offerring it for opposite reasons than you suspect.  Either a draft or a national service bill puts the question to the US people - are you so enamored of American militarism that you are willing to step up and share the burden?  Because if not, maybe American militarism should be stepped down.

Remember, Iraq is "enabled" by an unintended consequence of the "professional" army.  They feel constrained not to judge policy in quite the same way a "drafted" army would do.

Odo is right. Here is what Rangel said when he introduced his first draft bill in 2003. (The Republlicans quickly killed it)

"I truly believe that those who make the decision and those who support the United States going into war would feel more readily the pain that's involved, the sacrifice that's involved, if they thought that the fighting force would include the affluent and those who historically have avoided this great responsibility," Rangel said.

"Those who love this country have a patriotic obligation to defend this country," Rangel said. "For those who say the poor fight better, I say give the rich a chance."

What is this draft trip? There wouldn't be a problem filling out the US military is the guys on the ground weren't paid like dogs. The USA is supposedly to be a capitalistic country, a country that believes in free markets. Being a soldier is a career. Nobody gets drafted to be an FBI agent. Why should they be drafted to be a soldier? This evades the issue of the financial exploitation of the American soldier.
What I heard, was that when you add benefits, soldiers are very expensive.  That is the reason, so the story goes, that there are no soldier-cooks anymore.  There are now civilian contractors providing services, like "food services" in the field.

Many roles that were traditionally filled by draftees are now filled by contractors - obviously extending to armed security contractors.

More ...

The Army has ordered nearly $5 billion in work from Halliburton Co. to provide logistics support to U.S. troops in Iraq over the next year, $1 billion above what the Army paid for similar services the previous year.

The new order, which comes despite lingering questions about the company's past billing, replaces an earlier agreement that expired last June but had been extended through this spring to ensure a continuous supply of food, sanitation, laundry and other logistical services for the troops, according to Linda K. Theis, an Army spokeswoman.


"food, sanitation, laundry" ... used to be draftees.

The guys on the ground are actually paid very well - something like $33k a year for say an E-2 who's been in say 2 years. I was looking at the charts. Add in free housing, medical, dental, etc and it's quite a package. And don't forget those sign-up bonuses. They used  to make something like $500 a month, and that was a big raise from what they made up to the 80s.

The only reason you hear about soldiers in our Army having financial problems is there are cases where they're supporting a lot of other people, either a wife and too many kids, parents, various relatives, and have poor money management skills. Traditionally, in the Army, people didn't get married until they made Sergeant at least. If you were an officer you waited until you made Captain.

This new high pay would almost certainly not change if there was a draft, since the problem is not enough people signing up for various reasons, including the perception that they'd make about what Daddy made while fighting in Vietnam.

I found Rangel's Feb 2006 press release on this bill. It explains exactly what he's after. By the way, he is a decorated Korean war veteran: Purple Heart/Bronze Star.


Great link. I think it deserves a read by all. If you are on the optimist side of the peak oil debate, I am hereby calling you out to refute that article.



Rangels draft link or Hensons evolution link?



The evolution article.
How could it be otherwise?....;)
Well, it didn't impress me, especially the part where he tries to apply his theory to the modern world.
I don't think he could produce a single example of a country which started a war when its income per capita was going down.
And yet he claims that is the <only> mechanism involved in starting wars!
Hard to be more wrong than that.
I gotta say, I wasn't convinced either.  It's an interesting idea, but even if it is somewhat true, it smacks of oversimplification.  And the article seems like overcomplication of a simple idea.  I think it would need a lot of testing.

You can take a picture and reduce it's resolution down to just a few pixels - now it is simple, and it can still be claimed to be an accurate picture, but it's become pretty worthless in terms of helping to understand the subject.

Yerg. This is why I was doing pushups last night and gotta go out and run my mile or two today before taking off to do stuff for the day.

I think this will eventually, eventually but surely, wind its way through the legal system and through public opinion, and come together where people are all for it.

Hopefully, this hasn't been posted before. It's a 45 minute long video by a British comedian titled The History of Oil. He deals directly with Peak Oil towards the end. It's very funny and educational as well. http://karavans.typepad.com/karavans/2006/06/history_minus_t.html
I just ran across this interesting (and short) article on increasing solar efficiency. Has to do with nano-tech but no rare elements!


I am having problems understanding what means here "delayed oil". The graphic is from the Hirsch report, any idea?

IMHO, having written an addendum to the Hirsch Report (on a point that they overlooked) they are talking about late developed oil sources; i.e post-Peak Oil production.

Thunderhorse in the GOM would be a good example,as well as the last barrels produced from the Yates field.

Those wedge graphs are tough, but I think I get it.  If you look up from "0" years, there is a shallow decline out to that "delayed oil" wedge.  I take that to mean that the early mitigation (alternative energy sources) were satisfying some demand, in place of conventional oil.  The delivery of conventional oil was delayed, in a shallower decline than would have occurred, without mitigation.

I'm still not sure I get the wedges, but I think that makes sense, if mitigation is satisfying demand, conventional oil is used less quickly.

The "wedge" is really odd. Hirsch Report makes us believe that "mitigation" would bring so much "oil-equivalent" barrels as to increase the production to 120 MM bpd. It suggests that the oil (or liquids) consumption could increase substantially even after the Peak (even if there is also conservation "negabarrels" added to this - which is of course wrong here). The approach here is simply wrong.
I'm not exactly sure how to approach this post that I am making at this time. I realize the significance of P.O. yet I feel that there is a more important topic to discuss. I'm sure crude prices will rise and supplies will fall regardless of what subjects we discuss here.

I want to talk about the wars and 'police actions' that are going on presently. I am interested in your opinions on a few things that I have been reading and seeing. For starters photos of Ishaqi, Iraq (see them here),
have made it to the web. The other day the military completed its investigation and found there was no malice or cover-up.

Since I have been reading this material I have noticed that Americans who comment on these matters all seem to express shame and discontentment. Those that hail from other lands at the moment only seem to detest the U.S. leadership. I do realize that war is hell, yet I will not allow myself to overlook what has become obvious.

The stated goal of the invasion of Iraq was to prevent a mushroom cloud in the U.S. This has been revised to the lesser, "Removing the evil dictator, Saddam!" I wonder if the U.S. has not simply taken over for Saddam. I wonder what sort of democracy you have when it is thrust upon you at gunpoint. I wonder when the world viewpoint of the U.S. will shift from resenting U.S. leaders to resenting anything U.S.?

Here you may want to bring up 9-11 as a tool to justify events and behaviors of the U.S. soldiers and government? Don't do it! Iraq was not involved with 9-11 so says everyone. In my opinion once you cross the line there is no going back.

For several years now large sums of money have been sent in good faith to train Iraq police and soldiers. Reports by U.S. officials all tend to downplay the success of this training. One article I read pointed out that a vast infantry is being trained by the US. The author claimed that they will be used for the invasion of Iran. While I can't verify that as a fact, I can make a conclusion drawn upon history. Conscripts and mercenaries have been used in most wars. If I were planning an invasion or war I would use local resources on the ground and base my attack from the air.

The last thing I want to discuss is Iran. I posted in another thread about Ahmadinejad's letter to the President. Most of the replies tended to support the U.S. claim that Ahmadinejad = Hitler. Try to follow my logic on this...

  1. September 11, 2001, the U.S. was reportedly attacked by Osama Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda fighters. This may be true or un-true yet Iraq had nothing to do with it.

  2. Since then we have learned through leaks, reports, statements, recordings and the like that the reasons for the invasion of Iraq ultimately comes down to four possible reasons; Oil, the Euro, Iran invasion base of operation and the rapture of all things.

  3. To quell a potential popular uprising in the U.S. all communication in the U.S. is for lack of a better word, BUGGED. Anti-War protests have been ended in police actions and violence. Free-speech zones are in use and moved far away. Since the 1800's corporations have gained immense control and in a way have taken over the U.S. Government by being considered "persons" with the protections of the "We the People" part of the Constitution.

  4. Leading economic indicators in the U.S. are all a work of fiction. A great example of this is unemployment. In my state if you fail to obtain a job while collecting unemployment shortly after obtaining your last check you receive a card in the mail asking you (by multiple choice), "Let us know how you found your new job!" One of the choices is not, "My benefits ran out and I still have not found work!" Apparently, when your benefits run out you are simply considered "EMPLOYED".

  5. Ahmadinejad is now the threat rather than Osama Bin Laden. Ahmadinejad has stated that like most other countries he wants nuclear power and most nations feel that he also wants weapons. The only nation to ever use nuclear weapons is the U.S. and we have no intentions of discarding them nor ever did. Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, France and others all have nuclear weapons and do not seem inclined to set an example by discarding these weapons. How can we expect compliance from a country like Iran in the face of the hypocrisy of the nuclear armed countries?

  6. It would seem that Ahmadinejad is determined to go the way of the Euro like Saddam wanted. Since the choice to do so is Ahmadinejad's and Iran's alone (moving to different currency) it would create economic misery in the U.S. yet the blame would rest on the U.S. leadership since Iran can trade as it sees fit. Since stealing oil would be hard to hide playing the nuclear card becomes the solution to cover the truth. I can't say that Iran possessing nuclear weapons would cause me to sleep easy at night. I can say that expanding the war causes me nothing but stress. I can say that all nuclear weapons need to be eliminated especially the ones possessed by the U.S. since the U.S. has actually used them. When asked about the mid-east many Americans said, "We should turn that place into a sheet of glass!"

Since people like Ray McGovern are pinning the Iran invasion to a time-frame of June to July 06' and by all appearances it looks inevitable that it will happen given that more battle groups have been sent to that area; Don't some of you think that this can't end well? Don't some of you think that or leaders are full of it? Don't some of you realize that if the Government was wrong about Iraq it could be wrong about Iran too? Yes the oil-age will pass and Iraq's oil is in decline. Apparently, Iran's oil is in decline or will be in decline too. I wonder if you agree that, "A war will not make that any less true!"

I personally think that we need all of our people, home so that they can be involved in helping the U.S. to return to agriculture and fast. There are many that believe that the President is a 'Rapturist". Those that believe that they are members of the 144,000 chosen few that will go to Eden while the rest struggle through the carnage that will take over are "Down With The Rapture. In the event that the Rapture is bogus maybe we should have a different leader? If the Rapture is true then maybe we should get a different leader anyway since doing so will not stop the Rapture in any way?

By the way I am not a Rapturist, though if it happens I hope I'm one of the chosen ones. If our leaders believe that going out in a blaze of glory develops character then so be it. If we invade Iran what do you suppose China or for that matter all of the other Muslim countries will do? In the face of that we seem to be on trajectory for WW3.

To rap this post up here are a few facts that may or may not lighten your day...

  1. I was reading an article that talked about the Bush/Rice tryst. She apparently used the phrase at a party, "As I was telling my husb..." and then stopping herself abruptly, before saying, "As I was telling President Bush."

  2. Last evening I read,
    June 1, 2006 -- UPDATED -- Rocky shoals for Bush marriage? Informed sources Inside the Beltway report that First Lady Laura Bush has established temporary residence in the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC as a result of a tiff with President Bush over an extramarital relationship involving her husband. Mr. Bush's tryst is said to involve Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. It is not known how long Mrs. Bush plans to remain at the Mayflower, however, her security detail has been present at the hotel during hours when the First Lady would normally be residing in the White House. While she was National Security Adviser, Rice, who has never been married, referred to George W. Bush as "my husband" before she corrected herself and said, "President. Bush" Rice was speaking at a dinner hosted by New York Times bureau chief Philip Taubman when she made her "husband" remarks.
    If I remember correctly there was a Democrat who didn't believe that oral sex and sex were one in the same and yet went down the impeachment path. If this turns out to be true folks (I hope that it is!), I think we have the iron clad reason to impeach if there ever was one. I wonder where Kenneth Starr is when you need him?
I haven't seen much about the recently concluded OPEC meeting.  But I thought people might be interested to know that according to an article in the Wall Street Journal while OPEC left its production quotas officially unchanged some members have quietly cut back on production to try to reduce inventories and avoid prices possibly going down:


So not everything is not necessarily what it appears to be on the surface

What about real production problems? Look the discussion above. It is one thing to hint that the production is temporarlily lower for prcing reasond, and another that you have "geological difficulties".
Re Iraq, etc. did you just figure this out yesterday? Re Condasleeza, I wasn't aware that adultery was against the law in the USA. The parallels between Iran and 2006 USA are becoming downright spooky.
Thanks for your reply! In response...
  1. No
  2. The President & Secretary of State in a relationship during a war does not help me to feel secure. Clinton was bound to be impeached for cheating and using Monica as a cigar holder. Since he is not divorced today the moral is that Hillary chooses what to do. Using Republican logic here cheating on your wife if your a Democrat gets you impeached (I do realize that Clinton's main problem is that he perjured himself by his denial of the affair). Since mass surveillance and wars based on lies don't seem to be enough to invoke impeachment my bet is that SEX will get ya' there! Lets face it cheating on your wife with a person you appointed to office is a serious issue. It isn't the cheating but instead it is the fact that this appointed party might not have been appointed if there was no sex or relationship. Hence if you plow the prez he gives you a great job that you earned for making him cum rather than your abilities to do the job. There might be fraternization laws as well? This all goes to the once a liar always a liar concept not to mention the fact that a president who purports to be part of the moral majority if this is true, committed a crime against God through an immoral act of adultery. By the way he is the guy who claims that God told him to go to Iraq yet how could that be, since I doubt he lives according to the 10 Commandments!
  3. Yes
I really wonder about this. why would Condi, who is incredibly fit and intelligent, want a dopy old white guy? I mean, she could do so much better.

This might be a fun thing to talk about, but like a serious Irani oil bourse, the closer you look the less probable it seems.

He has a prestigious job. Chicks dig that shit.
I guess I assumed that if they are involved, the involvement was recent.It never occurred to me that he would have put her in the job because of extracurricular activity.Okay, go ahead and impeach him. Maybe if the Democrats have success in Nov.  
I must admit, I get alot of dopamine from this site...;) (I will explore the reasons for that and post them when I arrive in Wisconsin)

note: I will be theonlysasquatch in wisconsin.

I don't care what party you all are part of. But just look at the way Rice's eyes are closed and try to imagine what BS he is telling her has while she is smelling his manliness...

What's next, a scandalous breakup?

(left click on image to see tabloid story
In GWB's defense, Condasleeza seems like more fun. She might be really wild.
1st off it is only a rumor.

another good rumor+

If anyone finds this out for me I will give them payment for the information. Everyone loves how Condi smells and we do anything we can to sniff her while she isn't looking. If I knew what perfume she wears, I would simply soak a sock in it and writhe in orgasmic excstacy without having to stalk her everywhere she goes. After she shook hands with Putin, he sniffed his hand again and again. Her aroma is heavenly and legendary throughout the world.

Wayne Madison is dish'n the dirt on this one:


On the non-rumor department:
"Nothing is known of Rice's romantic life since then, except that she has never been married. At a dinner party while Rice was National Security Advisor, she referred to President George W. Bush as "my husband" before abruptly correcting herself."

Could it be Liz taylors "Passion"  OMG when my wife wears that stuff I go crazy.  Very interesting note - It does not smell the same on other women.  I don't know why.
Could it be Liz taylors "Passion"  

Rumor wise - the 'smelling of hands' would have to be true.  Then from there you can branch into a KGB or CIA designed perfume.

If the perfume is so wonderful, I doubt it's "passion".

Also, Condee has a high level Edge-U-kayshun which let's her know with 101% certainity that invading Balkanized states and grabbing their oil (your 'raq is my 'raq) is a sure path to glory, world peace, and freedom going on a hike.

Laura the Librarian just likes to sit home and re-read that literary classic, Billy the Goat, over and over again. One day, she thinks, he will understand. How boring. Don't hold ya breath Laura. Maybe Brad Pitt will be on the market soon. Every woman got's to own a powerful man --one with high social ratings.

Since we already established that fellatio is not sex, all we have left to do is decide the same question for analingus.
That sir, is a time honored tradition. Practiced the world round.

It's too bad Bush and Condi turned to the dark side. Had Bush simply become baseball commissioner in 1994, he could have played sheriff like he likes to by cleaning up the steroid mess. Or if he couldn't help but be corrupt in some way, he could simply have looked the other way while Halliburton got no-bid contracts to build stadiums.  Whatever. Anything ould have been then the mess we have now.And Condi had all sorts of potential.

Had they turned to the light, I would have welcomed them (and the twins) into my apocalyptic relgious cult . . . I mean multiculutral ecocommune.



She does look good...yum....
If true - very positive.  The more time they spend screwing each other the less time they spend screwing the world.
Clinton's impeachable offense was lying under oath in a federal civil rights trail, NOT the myth that he was impeached for adultery.

Lying under oath in a civil rights trial.  Would any R have EVER been forgiven by liberals/progressives for such an offense ?

As opposed to lying to start a fucking war.
It's only lying to those who believe in a "reality" based world.
"Reality" has a well-known liberal bias.
Call me deranged, but I think "reality" is highly conservative when it comes to mass and energy.
Are you being sarcastic? Your current bunch is the most ambitious (has the least respect for the laws of the land) of any leaders you have ever had. Do you dispute this?
I guarantee you that if Bush lies about a blow job or other sexual offense, I will look the other way -- as long as the fesses up to all the other lies he has told while in office.
LBJ is a hard act to beat (Gulf of Tonkin "incident", using "targeted" IRS audits on opponents, working with J Edgar Hoover, death bed confessions of stuffed ballot boxes for LBJ) so I am just not sure.

Was it faulty intelligence ?  Time will tell on that.  My guess is "pushed" intell, so there is a cover for later.

But certainly BCR are in our bottom half dozen.

Maybe LBJ. You left out probable ties to the JFK hit.
Except .... innocent until proven guilty. Haditha could be:
(1) Our troops pulled a My Lai
(2) Our troops fought some baddies, what was left lying on the ground looks like a My Lai
(3) Iraq's new government people, such as they are, are being told by the religious types, "Get the US out of here and we don't care how, or you're dead" and something was set up, sacrafice some of their own civilians.

Bad stuff happens, any of it is too much, but the perfect soldiar has not been perfected by anyone's army so far. Put the French or the Swiss over there and you'd have the same thing. This is why the whole thing's so dumb, we had a working relationship with Saddam and got plenty of oil and no one in the US cared how Saddam treated his own people before. And meanwhile we need our troops on our borders. And how much less of a mess would Katrina have been if we'd been able to fully mobilize the Army with their trucks and food and choppers and medical personnel etc to help out down there?

Think of a big chessboard. By moving your castle you can defend your king and bring the castle to the center of the table. Now think of the mid-east as the chessboard and you build a castle in Iraq thus giving you the ability to defend your king (back in the US). This may cost a pawn or two but it always important to "Castel". Now we play the game some more and strike out at other pieces of value. I don't know if Iran is weighted more than a knight or bishop but it is and has been part of the chessboard. Basically Bush 1 kicked Saddam's ass so there was little resistance. What we see as the current resistance is the hinge on us pulling out of the game. It looks like the game is still going on since the US is fortifying its position and more resources (soldiers, ships, aircraft and bombs) are being sent to the center of the board!
> There are many that believe that the President is a 'Rapturist".

That idea seems completely insane, I cant believe it to be true. That would even be crazier the the North Korean necrocracy with a formal dead head of state.

> By the way I am not a Rapturist, though if it happens I hope I'm one of the chosen ones.

If there is a cristian God I realy hope to be let into heaven to try to give her a telling-off about her ant-farm down here.

Is it insane as this??

Or is it insane as this??

Think about this long and hard Prescott was Hitler's banker and was fined $10,000.00 dollars after the US was deep in WW2...

Hitler was to many the antichrist. However he was not since WW2 was not the war to end all wars. Essentially Hitler was created. Think about this. Hitler was a failed wallpaper hanger. How does a wallpaper hanger get to be a dictator? Ah, money must be the root of all evil and that money came from Brown & Herriman of NY, NY courtesy of Prescott Bush.

On the rapture you should read all about it. If you're a Christian then dig out your Bible and head to Revelations. Then realize that to be a Christian is to believe in the Second Coming and like it or not the Apocalypse and all that that contains. The horsemen and earthquakes in divers places... yada, yada. If one wanted to and had the resources he could use the Bible as a sort of script to actually attempt to hasten the Second Coming.

If Nero could burn Rome...
If Hitler could burn the Reichstag...
If (BLANK) could burn the towers...

Most Christians I know about are kind people. But a lot of religion is quite private where I live, most dont talk much about it. I have zero experience with "the world is ending" nuts while living in one of the most secular societies in the world. Its not quite on my mental map to combine a modern western state with religious extremism.
Alpha thinks that the more one talks about their religion, the less they believe in it. I agree with that.
Brian you have a better idea of what I believe then I do. I actually posted so that I could hear what others here think about Iraq/Iran. My concern is that as far as the BS spins some is landing on me. I seem to remember watching the TV a few years ago as Collin Powell was explaining how some truck was a mobile biological weapon plant and how we needed to strike quickly and decisively! Then there was the invasion footage 24/7 and the 'Saddam Statue Thing' then the army trucks full of cash... I did watch all of this stuff. Than there were the Rumsfeld reports on the precise locations of the WMD that in the end were not found and the...
Remember all those fools dumping French wine in the gutter and the whole Freedom Fry thing? I do...

Here we are today talking about what it is we are going to do regarding energy on TOD yet my basic fear is that we may never find out if we can survive with less energy or adapt. I like planning ahead yet the war is cramping my style.

If you're saying that my faith in Bush's ability to communicate with God in two directions and receive battle plans from her is weak; then you are correct. I'm scanning through my pocket bible now and can't find Bush listed as a prophet nor is there a way for him to be the Messiah. A Messiah would not be paranoid of revolts nor would he need surveillance mode since he would know all things at all times. Is his (Bush) religion like a Pat Robertson or Jerry Farwell? Honestly I don't know but look at the provided link and possible salvation is at hand!  (Scroll down a bit...looking for photos)

Bush ain't the Antichrist. Arnold is. Read Revelation 9:11 (yes, 9:11)

"And they had a king over them, [which is] the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue [is] Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath [his] name Apollyon."

Abaddon means "destroyer"

Arnold's name is best known as "terminator" and "Conan the destroyer"

Apollyon is the king of Mount Olympus. Arnold was seven time "Mr. Olympia", the kind of bodybuilding.

"Angel of the bottomless pit" = maybe something to do with oil?

I don't believe any of this stuff, I just like telling people Arnold is the Antichrist.



Ah c'mon AMPOD...you know you love this AntiChrist stuff.  I was always interested in what Nostradamus had to say about all this (Is Bush Mabus?)

And since we are going out on a hugely unscientific limb here...anyone notice that this upcoming Tuesday is June 6, 2006 (6/6/6) which will be marked by the opening of the remake of The Omen.

I meant the Alpha Doom posted below. There are too many Alphas on this site.
The comment that the level of discourse has fallen on these daily threads certainly apply to insight on current politics today. As if we do not know who blew up the towers and hit the Pentagon on September 11. I pray that level of thinking is not running State, Defense, and the White House in 2008.

I still do learn on these threads on a daily basis too - certainly technical stuff, but I also learn that there are a few "three-book willys" in their research.

Next I suspect I will be reading about the Illuminati, Masons and maybe the Protocols of Zion all over again.

As if we do not know who blew up the towers and hit the Pentagon on September 11. I pray that level of thinking is not running State, Defense, and the White House in 2008
I'm still at a loss as to that answer, so please feel free to fill in the blank. I didn't know the WTC was blown up. I was under the impression that they collapsed? I do have a question for you since you mentioned the whole Alex Jones/ Illuminati, Masons and maybe the Protocols of Zion thing. My question has to do with Hitler. How did Hitler get the millions (lot of cash back then) needed to build a war machine?
Who blew up the towers? I think Jack Greene knows a little bit more than he lets on.

The planes piloted by stupid religious fanatics flew into the towers and later they collapsed. Is that more correct?

Not everything is in a straight line. During WWII the Brits. used to make sure that the British licensed equipment on German fighters/bombers was covered up during photo propaganda sessions in the 1940-43 period. My Dad's company he was with, F. W. Woolworth, had issues because they had 8-odd stores in Germany during the pre-war and war. If they were bombed who paid the damages?

Is Marxism still so strong? NOT everything is derived from economics! Hitler got elected because he represented the largest minority in Germany, a very splintered nation, in 1933. Hitler represented small business owners, nationalists, ex-soldiers, anti-Semitic folk (still around too), environmentalists, and war industry plutocrats (some who were even in France and were French!!), etc.

P. S. Why do you not reveal more about who you are on your biography?
I tell you my background, you say nothing, unless I do not know how to access . . . . (which is possible as my gal knows about computers better than I do.)

P. S. Why do you not reveal more about who you are on your biography?
I tell you my background, you say nothing, unless I do not know how to access . . . . (which is possible as my gal knows about computers better than I do.)

I have no problem with that except I have no idea what your talking about.. What biography?? I mean I suppose I have a summery I could type up in mind but then evertime someone asks for the same info I would have to post that again? In internet speak I'm a shackedup-w-m-40 living near several reactors. I allways wanted to sleep with Pammela Anderson till I found out she had VD.
I thought the biography "Jack Greene: Living in Denial" was a great read. Hell of a main character.

I just started a discussion over who is more likely to be the Antichrist as revealed by the Bible: Bush or Arnold? I don't see how you feel the board has gone downhill.



Bush is a Rapturist who wants to be one of the 144,000 who go to Eden. Arnold used too many steroids and screwed up his heart so he can kick at any time now. My money as to the identity of the Antichrist goes to Taylor Hicks from American Idol. My reasoning is like this; He has a devilish grin and comes from the south. He casts a spell when you hear him sing Elvis songs. More people voted for him then the president. When he dances he reminds me of how the priest died in the original Omen. Soon he will release an album and some have noted that it will be full of satanic messages when played in any direction. If it's not him then the real Antichrist would be Hillary Clinton!

144,00 is a very very special number. Those who shot Bob Marley in Kingston felt he dissed them because in their cult Reggae sect, only 144,00 would go to heaven.

Please send me some of your drugs!

Rev. 7:1:  "And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
  1. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
  2. Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel."
Here we see that these angels are about to clean up the world. This other boss angel rolls up and tells the other four to chill out till 144,000 Israelites can be put on ice because they are Gods servants. To be sure the 144,000 are given cool headbands to put on. When this is done the four angles destroy everyone else who was not part of the 144,000.

This reminds me of that movie The Matrix except instead of the Architect telling Neo that 36 from Zion will be saved. Instead there are 144,000 to start over. I suppose that is why the Mayan calendar runs out in 2012.

Jack please put down your pipe. That stuff is taking you off topic.


It is self evident.

How many years have there been antichrists announced? Every year? Certainly in 1000 AD.

I remember when I had to take my final in History at college and the book I read for it talked about the Millerite movement (USA Christian hardcore movement) of the 1840's-1850's and the end of the world. Apparently up to 1,000,000 Americans thought on such a date in the 1840's (?) the world would end. Lots sold their homes/farms. It helped get everyone ready for the Civil War.

Guess what. It did not end.

Now maybe with GHGs we will end human life on any large scale - Dr. Strangelove had the answer, but think a little more.

Not all Christians believe that Revelation takes place in the future.  In fact, such a "futurist" interpretation is in the minority in global Christendom and in Christianity's history.  Catholics and many many strands of amillennial Protestants don't believe much before Revelation 19 is left to take place.  And it's a valid position, far more believable than dispensational premillennialism (what you are calling Rapturism).  Indeed, the rapture idea came from Darby in the late 1800's -- pretty new stuff! (which doesn't necessarily discredit it...)

Just pointing out that "Rapturism" isn't a matter-of-fact thing among Christians. :)

User: baker

Is a bot posting ads...delete

I am seeing that about half of the MP3s (i.e. only from the 1st day) from the BeyondPeak conference in Washington DC have appeared here:


I have listened to some of them.  The sound quality varies - some are very good, some are OK.  The one with James Hansen started out pretty awful, actually, but it improved to the point that it was intelligible after about a minute.

ericy - we have them from different sources. Julian Darley is to have them up on Global Public media once we get them from the one person who videod the entire conference. Sorry for the delay.

Ahh, good.  This afternoon I checked the GPM site, and saw nothing, but I really had no way of knowing what the holdup was.

Light a fire under this person for us :-).

Is that going to be downloadable audio, video, or will it be a DVD that we can order?

USA is a grand teacher

In 1945, America showed the world why the possession of the nuclear bomb was the tool necessary to establish a political and military superiority by dropping two nuclear bombs in Japan. America brought Japan to her knees. Like the economic concept of diminishing returns, people imitated the inventors. The Soviet Union produced their own bombs later, followed by China, India, Pakistan, and now Iran.

America was also the first to use the oil as a weapon to pursue its political objectives. In early 1940s, America threatened Japan that Japan's oil supplies would be cut off if Japan would not withdraw its troops from China. At that time, seven sisters (oil majors) controlled 80% of the world oil production and distribution. Everyone knew what happened from that threat.

In late 1970s, OPEC embargoed the sales of the oil to the West. Now, Venezuela and Iran studied hard to master that game. In American business schools, the students are taught to a variety of knowledge. However, there is one business principle that a professor would not dare to forget to teach which is "build and deliver on time." In CNBC news, whenever the commentators talk about the oil price, they often discuss why the inventory is so high while the oil price doesn't drop.

Do not worry. Saudi Arabia is learning. The oil demand from the West is predictable. Even if the oil price stays at $40 a barrel next year, American gasoline consumption would not grow exceeding by 2%. But it is a different story in developing countries. In 2007, the oil demand from China and India may grow by 7% or shrink by 2%. The east Asia crisis in 1998-2000 already proved that the world demand on oil is unpredictable.

So, without the demand firmly in hand, do you believe Saudi Arabia will invest 100 billion dollars on oil spare capacity?

The big problem is: there are only two countries that have ever possessed both nuclear bombs and the oil, America and the Soviet Union. Can the world afford Iran as a superpower? Welcome to the learned soceity.

Not in order...
England, United States, India, China, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, France, Israel and Chechnya (according to Boris Berezovsky) all have the bomb.

Algeria, Antarctica, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran(maybe), Iraq (destroyed by Israel), Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco (soon), Netherlands, North Korea, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, Venezuela, Vietnam all have reactors except for Iraq & Iran. So read the 2 lists and decide if you feel safer now?

And yes the US is the only country to nuke the civilian population of Japan. 8 of the countries in the have bomb list have tested below ground and 6 have tested above ground.

Most accidents award goes to the US. Most severe accidents goes to Russia. Most lost nuclear weapons (bent arrows, fallen out of aircraft, etc.) award goes to the US. Most nuclear waste of any country and most active plumes goes to the US.
Do you feel any safer and how is your thyroid?

From a BBC artile about the impact of Chernobyl
Nuclear guardian

But she too argues that the benefits to wildlife of removing people from the zone, have far outweighed any harm from radiation.

In her book she quotes the British scientist and environmentalist James Lovelock, who wrote approvingly in the Daily Telegraph in 2001 of the "unscheduled appearance" of wildlife at Chernobyl.

He went on: "I have wondered if the small volumes of nuclear waste from power production should be stored in tropical forests and other habitats in need of a reliable guardian against their destruction by greedy developers".


Fun times for the family and kids in Chernobyl

Plume who?

Whoops I hooked the water fountain to the waste! My bad.

What if ANTARCTICA makes a move to nuke us?
I believe Al Gore has this scenerio all plotted out in power point.



Here is a map of all reactor locations known.  Strange a good lot of your list is missing did you pull them out of a clandestine report or your ass?

I'm not sure you want to go near my ass though it may excite you at least as a constant methane source! In fact the list I used is here:
My list includes research reactors since they are reactors. Plume info comes from Radnet. Some reactors are under construction some may have been dismantled. Apparently there are nearly 100 pebble bed reactors that are being contemplated. Any way there are lots of countries and lots of them have reactors. When they consulted me about reactor construction I told them, "NO!"  Apparently they decided not to listen to me. How is your thyroid gland by the way?

Walking your dog is dangerous....

Riding in a prius is dangerous when joe sixpack has a sixpack and goes driving....

Jumping out of an airplane is dangerous....

For every danger in the world there are prophets who warn us of the forseeble doom.

Who cares visit disneyland ride the rollercoasters and live life.  If you get preoccupied with how death will find you you'll never live.  Coal power is much dirtier than nuke.  If someone else wants to debate that point with you let'em.  I think we should put pebble reactors all over the place and phase out coal except for chem feedstock.  


Umm..post of day. (I was going to nominate my own, but that doesnt generate reciprocal altruism feelings in others. Actually makes them pissed)

But part of thinking about doom is preparing. And in the preparing we feel that we are better fit, and that feels good. So its Disneyland in the morning and pushups in the pm...;)

I agree but besides preparing for doom I want to prepare for what kind of father I'll be and what kind of world I'll leave my grandkids.
best also to teach your kids where food and energy comes from and go lite on the spongebob squarepants. somehow I think you'll do that.

It will be an interesting evolutionary experiment on a grand scale. Those that understand and are thoughtful group selectionists, will have fewer children and teach them the right things. Those that dont understand thermodynamics, natural selection, carrying capacity, overshoot, etc will actually have MORE kids (and therefore more demands).

The rub will be that the kids of the former will be better prepared and.... good luck. I probably wont have kids, at least none that I acknowledge...;)

  I don't have a dog.
I don't have a Prius so drinking is not a problem.
Jumping out of aircraft for me is safe since I don't fly.
My understanding of prophets is that they foretell the future mostly related to major events. There is yin and yang and there are statistics.

The more reactors the more chances to screw up. If a coal powered generator blows it would be hard for it to spread iodine, cesium, plutonium, uranium and many other nasty things all over the world. You then must be talking about the pollution it emits. What you're suggesting is that I choose between two nasty things? Do I choose nuclear that requires oil input (mining, transport and processing), creates massive amounts of waste that will require continued maintenance for generations to come and through error or malice can have meltdowns, releases, exposures and adds to the global warming by discharging heat and through all of the mining/processing/transport? Or do I choose coal that is mined as well, transported and burned that releases poisons (minimal radioactive discharge too from included heavy metals), coats everything with a nice layer of soot, causes acid rain and increases carbon monoxide/dioxide around the globe adding to global warming?

I'm thinking that this is a trick question. It seems that both are rotten to the core. By the way the choice is both in your thinking since both tend to extend the silly lifestyles we have come to love. I would opt for agriculture, solar, wind, hydro-electric, bio-reactors, wave generation, geo-thermal, candles, lots of manual labor, farming and massive reorganization of our towns, cities, counties, states and the whole country.

All land and homes could be the property of the people and a basic lowest standard of living would be set. Since no one would have to pay for their homes, food or transportation money based on oil would be history and we could usher in an age of barter based credits that are not taxable. The government could be free and people could serve terms if they wanted but not as a job but instead as a duty. Those that contribute the most will prosper and those that do the least will not fall below the minimum standard of living. When you pass away your home will revert to your next of kin unless they already have a home and in that case the home will go to the next available family.

Homes could be constructed based on efficiency, geography and sized for single citizens, couples/retired citizens or different sized families. Over time as things progress older homes or crazy large homes will be replaced or those areas reutilized. So we could eliminate a substantial amount of energy use by keeping everything in a fair walking distance. Commerce for crop diversity could be by rail and here might be a fair use of bio-diesel.

Waste (human and animal) can be fermented and the outputs could be methane (burns fairly clean) and most importantly fertilizer so we can eat well. Over generations people will forget about things like the stench of the NJTPK and major car accidents and plane crashes and homelessness and greed.

There that is how prophetic I am. Are you sure your thyroid is OK?

Actually, you don't get to choose.  Neither do I.  My point is that we'd be better off figuing out how we're going to deal with the things that are going to happen regardless of what we want.  In this case, you'll probably be happy to be right - IMO we're gonna do conventional coal "like there's no tomorrow", and I suspect a lot less nuclear power than many of us would like.

How's your mecury level?

I was looking forward to hearing Oilrig medic on nuke power. See he was going on about Pebble Reactors and wants them put all over the place. At some point the topic of waste comes up and where do we put the pebbles? As long as Oilrig medic wants the reactors I think he can have the spent pebbles to keep in his yard. They will soon form a rather large mountain and I'm sure we can trust him to watch over them for 24,000 years.

Did you guys know that back in the day they made a paste out of the waste and injected it into cracks in the earth? A while later someone realized that the waste was getting into the water so the Army Corp of Engineers had to build a separator dam and can't come up with a way to get the waste back up from all of the cracks and such.

The other good one that I read in several places was the plumber story. It seems that a water fountain in a reactor plant was spitting out hot water (not hot like heat but hot like radioactive). It seems that the local plumber thought that the 3000 gallon nuclear waste tank was the cold water supply. A little screw up here a little cover up there and every time something goes wrong we draw another line and step over it.

I should go to Disneyland but I have a reactor aversion and odds are that Disney will add there own Pebble Bed Reactor that uses Goofy shaped pebbles. Mini Mouse will control the whole operation and I'm sure Dumbo will run the reactor. My actual aversion comes from working in that industry.

If I could do the picking I would do everything possible in hopes we could put our yard in order and hope that we could lead simple lives having a basic standard of living that applies to us all. I can't help you if you want to drag this mess onward. We (the people) are not going to do anything the way things are going. War, disease, starvation, riots and things like this will be the order of the day in all probability. Most here agree that Iraq is a bunch of BS to be used as a staging place for bigger fish. We can't get the Army to disengage and bring them back so how do you suppose that we will be able to change how we do anything here or anyplace?

Show me how all of us smart people put our throbbing minds around creating peace and cooperation. Show me how we can get the soldiers out of these entanglements now. I'm sure if that could be done then we can truly face the energy issues.  

Cast the wast in glass blocks drop them in a subversion trench.

Recycle the waste with multi step fission.

Drop the waste vitrified into salt mines.

Smear the waste on blankets and have the Red Cross distribute them.

Nuclear waste is a problem with solutions.  It is easier to segregate than CO2.

Good point.  Yes, nuclear waste is a problem.  But it will take a hundred years just for the current quantity of co2 to get out of the atmosphere.  There is nothing even approaching the problem of co2 because it is everywhere. Coal has killed, is killing, and will kill. It will kill everything except for a few cockroaches, not just a few thousand or even million people that happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time when the reactor blows.  

People die someday regardless, but killing off thousands of species and much of the vegetation is another story.  But maybe it will be argued that the earth burns regardless if you wait long enough.

I used to be actively opposed to nuclear power, but that was before I became intensely aware of a worse menace, co2 gases.

We're in Iraq (and soon Iran IMO) precisely because we cannot face the energy issues (or maybe because that's the only way we can think of to face them).

It's not that my desire is to "drag this mess onward"- I would love for us all to live a simpler life (that means different things to different people of course).  However, I have a problem when people fail to recognize that there are presently 6.5M humans on the planet - and that as energy availability declines and cost rises, it will get difficult to feed them.  We got that many people thanks to cheap and abundant energy, and we're going to need at least abundant energy for a while if we are to avoid catastrophe.  Pick your poison - I prefer the problems of nuclear power to the problems of coal (climate changing greenhouse gasses being a big one).   So some incompetent fools hooked up "hot" water to a fountain - did you know they blow off the tops of mountains to get coal - ON PURPOSE!  But to suggest "let's not do either" is a cop out, and it means more bad things happen to more people.   Transition must happen slowly.  Fast = bad.  Slow = maybe manageable.

I do agree with your general point about war making all these arguments about what paths we should be pursuing moot.  The present war in Iraq is unpopular in the US now mostly because we aren't "winning", which is distinct from it being wrong.  I am not at all convinced that the people will not support wars for energy, or that they have any way to express what they support anyway.  But you see how quickly that conversation heads into politics, and IMO that isn't the focus of this site - and that's coming from someone who pushes over that line here probably more often than most would like!  I don't think it's the TOD mission to figure out how to get the troops home.  The dialog would break down fast.

Yes, if we had world peace, it would be easier to deal with the decline of the energy that holds up our society - but since we were never able to achieve that when energy was cheap and plentiful, is it realistic to think that's good place to start in preparing now?

But as I said before, we do not get to choose anyway.  I'll admit that I read TOD mostly in a reactionary mode - I'm trying to understand to the best that I can what will happen, so that I can be best prepared.  Beyond understanding, the best that I can do is to help to educate those around me.  And collectively, I still hope this site and the discussions that happen here will end up being a positive influence down the road.

But hey, I'm only 42, what the hell do I know?

Now THAT was a good post...
Mr. Marx,

  You are right lets plan the revolution....

O wait russia already tried that and it did not work.

I will not debate communism with you. I think/feel it is a failed experiment and you are entitled to think otherwise.  Lesser of two evils? Every decision is so.  Nobody asks do you want icecream or shit...We can't cold turkey turn off coal or nuke.  Storage of the waste has many solutions.  They have been posted on TOD many times.

My thyroid is fine.  

In your perfect world what happens when people want product X from far away.  The jones next door work extra hard to trade for it and since they have a government contact they get the fuel to transport product X.  You can't legislate utopia.  You can direct the economy through education and taxation but what you describe is not in the foreseable future.

Buy a dog, drink a beer, be happy.

 Marxism, Fascism, Feudalism, Communism are none of the choices. Here I'm talking about the US not any other place.
The Construction makes it clear that the government is to be based on a representative body based on the citizenry. The flaw happened in the 1800s when Lincoln (a corporate attorney) helped the railroads to expand by granting corporations the ability to expand. To further the corporate agenda several Supreme Court judges ruled that corporations were to be given the status of a person. Corporations were from the 1800s on allowed to lobby, expand, conglomerate, etc. The fact is that we can survive w/ out corporations.

The goals of a corporation are to profit. The goals of people are to have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These 2 goals are in opposition to each other. The corporation attains more money and obtains more lobby power. Over time larger corporations employ lawyers who become politicians. These politicians address the needs of the corporations and cease to hear the private citizens. So you end up with what we have now a whole bunch of private citizens who become slaves.

The law makers change the laws to benefit the corporations and make it harder or impossible for the people to lead their lives with liberty in the pursuit of happiness. My idea eliminates problems like greed, foul play, class warfare, racism and the rest by actually upholding the constitution for once. For instance if 6 companies control the energy when 350 million need it the government has the obligation to step in and ration it at a lower price so that way the poorest can still get to work and the richest can not waste more simply because he is richer. The government by the way in my example is 'We the People' and that includes everyone.

Representatives need to be people not corporations. Term limits must be set so more citizens are able to get a chance and to break ties by stopping career politics. You said I was suggesting communism or something like that. If you view property not as a personal possession but as a rite of attaining happiness and make it past that we would then have a civil civilization.

You didn't want to debate and then ask me about for instance you're "Product X". Utopia has nothing to do with it by the way though quality of life does. Towns become the center that they were when the pioneers built them. Here the citizens are able to do anything you can do today except drive. Trolleys, rickshaws, bicycles, horses, maybe scooters, walking and things of this nature can be for local transport. For longer distance there will be rail as there already is. If we were to use aircraft it would be for emergencies, fire, defense or medical. Naturally oranges would be shipped around the US on trains. Floridians would need Jersey tomatoes and are agriculture would be able to balance area specific food or goods as done now but only by train. If I wanted imported goods then we would have to decide how to trade for them. There would still be freighters but over time freighters could be built that consume much less energy by the inclusion of modern sail, solar, wind and bio-fuels.
If product X can be produced locally and there is a true need and demand for it and it does not require a disproportionate amount of energy to obtain or make then sole proprietors or small corporations (set by the original corporate laws and charter restrictions) will be able to trade product X. If product X is cocaine and that substance is still against the law to posses in the future then like today you will be punished. Here everyone is encouraged to participate in their local communities. Areas that are not able to support their populations will be carried by the other communities, states or if all else fails be reabsorbed by other areas that are doing better. Here I'm talking about moving dense areas apart and reining back in those in areas that have poor living conditions.
Product X can not cost us topsoil in a trade unless we get topsoil back. I'm sure that if you require Nike sneakers you will have to figure out how to trade for them w/ out loosing topsoil. I'm sure you realize that food is all we have and if we want thinks like shoes we will have to make them ourselves. The bottom line is these towns will be surrounded by homes that are surrounded by farms that are surrounded by other towns, woodlands, etc.
Everything would have to be managed by the people that are best at each discipline. Farmers would determine how to manage croplands and leadership roles could be through a vote between the farmers. Essentially the majority of the food will be locally grown and excesses will be shared. It is not that far from now except in how the population and communities are placed.
In my mind the only people that would dislike this idea are the wealthy. Just so you know the alternative to my idea is anarchy and in that scenario the wealthy ore outnumbered and in anarchy all wealth is redistributed. In my alternative (It's not mine I saw some sketches about something similar) people like doctors and emergency workers will have some perks otherwise they my just want to work on a farm. Construction will be smaller scale for the most part and these guys will be expected to consume liquid fuel.
Consider what the true unblemished constitution grants us all and then consider energy, land, health and homes property of the people. All of your personal property is yours. We still need cops, firemen, teachers, doctors, construction and they are all here now. The challenge is convincing them that when you die you can't take anything with you. So your family gets your stuff and your home becomes the next person's home. Fair and efficient use of land and resources eliminates waste and forces the families to adapt to lower energy living.
Also consider this. When the US economy collapses (it will as nothing lasts forever) all of the poor folk will be wandering around many will be starving. They (I will be one of them) will be hunted down for a while and caged. At some point there will be Marshall Law to protect the very wealthy. They will not want to loose their land to bums and hobos. These wealthy people will be looking for the feudal lord solution. The surfs will revolt and blammo the meek will inherit the earth.
In the event you choose to go with this approach "New America" or whatever nothing I said here is written in stone. I'm happy with a basic standard of life that can actually be pretty high. I would be happy to be in a world that you and I could have a beer and talk, argue, cuss and in the end agree that we want to live!

Find a publisher who will pay by the word you'll be a rich man.

Perfect, you solved all the problems.  Except how do we get all the lawyers in the trains and headed to the reeducation camps.  I think we have a better chance of turning the hindu kush into conneticut than turning america into your above post.  

Of course I want to live, but I like hands off government and there is a lot of government control neccesary to create the above.  Also I want to be at least semi wealthy and your system holds me back.

If I meet you in a bar I'll buy you a beer. I'll go for a micro brew with lo topsoil depleting hops.

I've logged almost 300 skydives. Statistically it is safer than riding a motorcycle.
But would a motorcyclist want to stop riding or would you rather have never jumped?  Risk is part of life and he has not made the case that nuke is to high a risk compared to coal or candle communism.  Being afraid of getting shocked to the point you can't plug in your hairdryer will make you late for work.
Oilrig: Eventually it had to happen. We agree.
I feel dirty...I am going to go lie in the shower and cry....LOL
Those are power reactors. There are also lots of reactors for other uses such as research or for creating medically useful isotopes.

Check out: The radioactive boy scout : the frightening true story of a whiz kid and his homemade nuclear reactor by Ken Silverstein - or


and it can start to seem like reactors might be just about anywhere.

And here is a good link so you can have a look at pictures of all the various power generating resources worldwide.


The adjustment of international borders.

One interesting component of the peak oil debate is there seems to be zero acceptent of the concept of changing international borders post peak oil we are happy to talk about the U.S. economy and therefore the world economy destroying itself with absolutely no recognition to the fact the the realignment of borders could potentially redefine a countries resources in the presents of peak oil. In particular the U.S. can covet the oil resources of both neighbors Canada and Mexico. Surprisingly on deeper thought the none confrontational approach to combining the U.S Mexico and Canada into a closed energy source state is remarkably easy it consists of two basic steps.

1.) Dramatically increasing the price of gasoline
2.) Open border with Mexico.

These two step alone are all that required to convert the north America into a mega state.

The main issue is the absorption of Mexico into the US economy

So where looking at adding 100 million to the tax roles.

The main number is the 40% below poverty number which represtns about 40 million people.

Of these 40 million we assume 30 million are willing to migrate the extra 10 million are suddenly above the poverty line or have other personal reasons to not move.

So what happens when we absorb 30 million cheap laborers to counteract peak oil who gets screwed.

the US has a population close to 300,000 million with 12% below poverty lets give this number some doubt and say 20% poor. which give 60,000 poor simple addition gives about 100 million new in poverty to some extent this influx of labor will raise the living standards of a significant number of Spanish speaking poverty stricken US citizens i.e. the new straw bosses the point is the influx of this much labor will raise the standards of living of say 10-20% of the current poor with a huge preference for spanish speakers.

So whats the result for the US its the formation of a permanent poverty class numbering up to 30% of the population and what do we get in return ?

We or at least the ones that escape the great split can continue to drive our SUV's and live in our MacMansions.

interesting reasoning. I think if we go that route you will also see pressure on the energy producing states to exert political will. Vermont (which has no indigenous fossil fuel reserves) has alot of biomass per capita and an active secession movement.

There may be international border changes and intranational ones as well.

Militarly no one state or group of state is capable of splitting off but I could see a consolidation of states either politically or with real border changes I think at the state level political alliances make more sense in this case it would ge the GOM oil bearing states probably alinged with the new mexican states that contain oil bearing obviously a lot of political clout. The new migrant would prob be focused into the heartland for growing fuel producing crops and in the new factories for deglobalization. In that case maybe far less actually move north instead the factories open in the new mexican states. Other contries such as cuba if they prove to have offshore oil reservers and venzula would also probably be forced into close alignment.

Destroying Oil production faclilites is trivial for the US and such countries as mexico and venzula really have no choice in the matter either there oil producing capabilites are destroyed and they sink into anarchy or they sell to the US.

In any case if you consider forced geographical alliances plus the creation of a true underclass the US is actually in pretty good shape for many years to come. Extra oil from places like Iraq and Iran ( using or new 30 million "citizens"  and neuvo poor as cannon fodder) are just icing on the cake.
Coupled with  our coal reserves and access to a much larger land base for renwables we should be in pretty good shape.

Europe despite all there work on convervation are faced taking out Russia to form such a union.
China is a bit better since they can go after western russia. The EU  can use some tiff over gas supply as a pretext. And china can come in second as self defense.

The big loser here seems to be India unless they get deeply embroiled in the Middle East.

In a wierd way these scenarios leave any tinder box nation in the Middle east with its oil production destroyed. A bit of destroying the village in order to save it scenario.
Its a bit strange that in the post peak oil world either the Middle East is controlled by outside powers or there not shipping oil but that seem to be the way the game fold out.
Agian the only real wild card here is India.

Basically the most important think post Peak/Cheap Oil is Secure Oil.

Regarding the food vs. fuel debate, I suggest reading this:  http://www.energybulletin.net/16544.html  Read anything else by Tom Whipple, for that matter... all the families of the power elite in Falls Church, VA do!