DrumBeat: July 25, 2006

Update [2006-7-25 11:43:28 by Stuart Staniford]:

Crown Prince Abdullah on the consequences of not having a ceasefire in Lebanon:

Saudi Arabia warns everybody that if the peace option fails because of Israeli arrogance, there will be no other option but war.
As I didn't have a chance to comment in the thread about Peak Oil and Feminism I'll put here:
I am completely for equality in every respect for men and women, as long as my wife stays OUT of MY kitchen!
I would like to add that at present the kitchen is supplied with our homegrown vegetables, potatoes and fruit, served with mackrel (home smoked) or seabass caught from the shore.

A woodstove will be installed shortly, which will for a large part will be filled by wreckage

Holiday to the sun cancelled, will instead be spend at the local beach.

Westexas, how does an independent energy consultant implement ELP?

"Westexas, how does an independent energy consultant implement ELP?"

As Maximus (in the movie "Gladiator"), said, "Imagine it and will be so."


(1)  Your income is down by at least 50%;

(2)  Energy (and food) prices are up by at least 100%

What actions would you then take regarding your lifestyle?

My recommendation is that you try to become, or work for, a provider of essential goods and services. It sounds to me like you doing quite well.


Very well put! I shall save that bit of advice, and use it on people who are just waking up.

Not yet!(but soon)
Work for an oil company.
...and raises the toilet seat when she's finished in the bathroom!!!
If your bathroom is a one-holer out back with a half moon on the door, this is a moot point......
It is a crescent moon ... and I do subscribe to the theory that women are inconsiderate for not lifting the seats.
My wife is a Sociology professor specializing in gender studies, so she would probably strangle me for even joking about the toilet seat, but I do like the outhouse idea.  

No seat to contend with at all.

A sustainable society to survive beyond PO....

The consensus at the Oil Drum is that we will rationally move to a sustainable society with help of our great scientific (and social?) knowledge. However, my opinion is that a change to a sustainable society can only be accomplished by completely abolishing our current money system. Either by a collapse of the system that was bound to happen anyway or because people choose (or are forced) to switch to local currencies, where money is a utility and is not used as a store of value. (there would actually be a discount on keeping money in your possession, so it makes more sense to invest it in something that would provide a future return).

Our current money system discounts future supplies and leads to ever increasing competition where the natural escalation is war.

For an excellent introduction see:


A change in the money system is not going to happen voluntarily. Anybody want to float ideas on how to make it happen?

I posted a link in a Drumbeat past to a St Louis Fed Report by Lawrence Kutlikoff you may be interested in.
I think the price of oil will be impacted by the supply/ demand components that are discussed at TOD and that declines in the value of the US$ will exacerbate those negative effects.
One mans opinion, I don't have any debate killing information or resources to prove my point.
I also don't feel that I can impact fiscal or monetary policy on a macro scale. However, I believe I can do things on a personal level to reduce the potential negative impacts of peak oil and current fiscal policy on my family though.
My micro focus will not help you make changes at the national policy level but I wish you the best of luck.
Human culture, so far as I can understand it, has never been "sustainable."  There has always been "someplace else" to exploit when the local resources have been depleted.  I believe this to be true of "paleolithic" hunter-gatherers who improved their efficiency of extraction of resources by developing "neolithic" agriculture -- but neither was sustainable.

Industrial society is neolithic on steroids, but not fundamentally different.

If humanity is to survive, we need a completely new paradigm.  There is a lot of speculation about that, but truly, it is hard to fathom what such a thing would really look like, given the apparent hard-wired human needs for novelty and acquisitiveness.

Pre-European aboriginal Australians lived on that continent for 50,000 years but only practiced very limited food production. They remained essentailly hunter-gatherers, with very low population growth. If left on their own, they may have developed food production.

As in North America, the arrival of humans in Australia was suspiciously coincidental to extintion of most large land mammals. So possibly they were not sustainable at first, but later arrived at an ecological equilibrium.

Another possible sustainable candidate is Japan, 1603-1867 (Edo Period).
The population remained almost steady at around 30 million for over 250 years.
Wet rice agriculture, soy beans and fishing were the staple means of survival. There was no immigration/emmigration, very little overseas trade, no wars and no epidemics. One could argue that with this population density, deforestation was bound to occur long term, a la Europe. But most of Japan is steep mountains, with much of the population residing in narrow flatish strips. Thus the forests survived in the mountains. Abundant rainfall and a temperate climate also meant the biomass could keep up to a greater extent.

Sustainability surely depends on whether the population can be supported long-term without depleting resources, and on how the society chooses to exploit or protect the resources available to it.

Famine is the arbitrator of sustainability. There were twenty great famines in Japan during the Edo period.
With the advent of birth control, famine is not, in principle, necessary. In developed countries, birth rates have plummeted. Birthrates in developing countries are falling but not nearly enough.
Famine (foodwise) would not be a problem if humans were willing to produce excessive food, and the foodstuffs reaching the end of their storage life turned into a storable energy But that would take peopel not working to maximize their own personal 'universe', but have a working for a common good. Alas, anytime there is a group of people, a few will work to screw the others over to benefit themselves, so I'm not hopful for a famine-free regulated envirnment.
What is regarded as essential depends on the culture. Americans may cancel holidays but I doubt if Eurpeans will especially the French. Here people work only 35 hours a week with a minimum of 6 weeks paid holiday per year, plus 14 public holidays which become 4 day week-ends whenever they land on Tuesday or Thursday. The society has chosen extra leisure instead of more stuff. Crap adverts on crap TVs doesn't affect people who just don't watch any television. We read books. A most important consideration to to minimise your own energy consumption. We have emigrated to live by the Med in a medieval village where the streets are mostly too narrow for horses never mind cars. In summer if it's unusaually hot we might put on a fan at night (60 watt) Summer rarely exceeds 30°C while winter is rarely below 16°C. Wood buners are very common. These houses were built 400 yaers ago before coal fires arrived. The Med is 25°C in peak summer and 17°C in winter and stabilises the narrow coastal strip south of the Alps.
France has lots of railways using all electric trains, 80% nuclear, 19% Hydro.
I really don' see a big problem with peak oil. Global warming is the bigger threat and we know who is mostly to blame.
Hello TheRedBaron,

I have never been to Europe, so I have a question.  I was reading this A/C article that states that American vehicles burn more energy for A/C alone than all of Indonesia [pop 240 million] uses in its energy entirety.  This 7 billion gallons of gas for A/C is probably due to the fact that it is nearly impossible to buy a vehicle without factory installed A/C.

Do most European cars come without factory A/C? Is it a European mandate by the Govts?  Or is it because European fuel costs are already so high that most consumers prefer a vehicle without A/C to self-limit total car usage?

It would seem obvious as gas prices rise to eliminate A/C in cars.  This reduces the car's intial cost and weight, and simplifies future maintenance, besides increasing the gas mileage.  But most importantly, if no A/C was installed-- people would not be so inclined to drive needlessly wasting fuel.  It would also encourage more people to use A/C mass-transit versus sweating in stalled traffic jams.

The Asphalt Wonderland, here in AZ, is the king of A/C and dark tinted windows--if A/C vehicles were abolished, I bet population would drop 15% in the first year alone.  If most Phoenicians had their windows down they would also be much more likely to see and hear motorcycles and scooters versus having the windows shut tight to ease their ability to ceaselessly yap on their cellphones.

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

It is no mandate, I have been to Europe 3 times and although I haven't been in many cars the ones I have been in at keast had A/C. Generally, it's not needed, although there are probably a lot more cars there that are simply not equipped with it. I saw a lot of people driving around Paris with their windows open. The big difference is simply their cars are all smaller. I saw many American and Japanese cars that you cannot buy here in the states. I assume that they think there is no market for them.
Air conditioning is usually only in more expensive cars which few people own. Standard cars come with fans and windows. Diesel cars have tax advatages as do cars that cost less than 9000 euros about 11 500 dollars
Hello Totoneilla,

In France it becomes now virtually impossible to buy a car without A/C. Even the cheapest new car has A/C at least as an option. And most models are delivered with standard A/C.

As for diesel cars, the cars are more expensive but it is the fuel that has less taxes than gasoline.

todays prices :

gasoline : 6.15 $/gal
diesel : 5.29 $/gal

with a dollar at 1.26 euros


I don't have a car, but from looking around I can not conclude A/C is standard here in Holland. Ofcourse new cars more and more have it, but it's most times offered as an option. At least half of the year our average temperature does not require A/C too.

General public fuel price discussions blame taxes and Shell. "They did it, and we cannot but pay".

The typical beach days we have so much now in july lead to huge traffic jams. On some of these 'sundays' people spend more time in their car then on the beach (voluntary traffic!) I can imagine the extra cost for A/C is easily paid for and we'll have a second ice cream too. Our road services report most of the car problems they have to fix relate to (engine)cooling. But see what fun we have!

All the hospitals specialized in burning wounds make overhours. We're about to close our first electricity plant because the cooling water gets to hot.
Last night on the news it was said electro-technical installers make record business installing home A/Cs in our current month with record temps. As does this entrepreneur importing thermo-cooling-blankets from the US to keep pets cool :)

We're just to confused by this unprecendented heat to worry about it's root causes. In general I think the dire consequences of increased A/C use are easily forgotten in the comfort of cool air...

Keep sweating!

This is perfect - from the Land of Nipple Seekers:

"Here people work only 35 hours a week with a minimum of 6 weeks paid holiday per year, plus 14 public holidays which become 4 day week-ends whenever they land on Tuesday or Thursday."

"I really don' see a big problem with peak oil. "

You probably do not see the problem because you are Naive.  And your Ignorance makes you complacent.  Like a two year-old child, you seem to believe your government will just keep supplying you with Nipplez and, if not, why all you have to do is "Protest!"

By the way, how goes it in your suburbs this year?  

I dont think the French are naive at all. I think they are quite canny. They put French interests first, they have rejected the anglo-american business model of 'work till you drop then get fired'. They protect farmers (this will be useful in localised agriculture). They are highly literate and still produce good engineers and scientists and protect core industries.

They have 80% nuke power, high potential for hydro / tidal and an independent nuclear deterrent.

Right now, if Britain wants to 'nuke up' we will need to import nuke technology, engineers and scientists. Preferably from France since I no longer trust America to act in our interests. Right now, you are busy arresting UK Business men for 'crimes' that are not even crimes in the UK. Your Congress has not even ratified the extradition treaty ('fraid of the Irish caucus when we want our Irish terrorists back for a 'quiet chat'). But poodle Blair wont lift a finger. Chirac would just tell you to sod off over any Frenchmen being extradited.

BTW: We have to get a replacement for our Trident Nukes...
...Not sure the good ole US of A can be trusted not to put in switch - off codes, should they ever need to fly...

Perhaps we should buy French next time. I understand they are slimmer, more stylish and pack an elegant level of va-va-voom.

The French have good food, good wine, a good climate, and they dont give a dingos kidneys about the US/Anglo model, WTO or anything that gets in the way of the way they want to live.

OMG...I am defending the French...

Perhaps what pi**es you off is that these 'cheese eating surrender monkeys' gave your boss-man the finger over Iraq.

Looks like they were right eh?

We will see, in the fullness of time, if their model is better post peak oil.

The only fly in the ointment is water resources on the Mediterranean littoral and in Deep France. That's probably because lots of English have decided to go and live there.

I wonder why...

Hello Mudlogger,

Water shortages are a big problem everywhere, and could possibly be behind the Israeli push to control the geography in the Litani river drainage basin in Lebanon.  If there is ever any justification to going to war, battling for water to survive would be a primary incentive.

Importing a ton of grain is equal to importing a 1,000 tons of water.  If world grains shortages are developing, it would be in a country's strategic interest to grab more water. Consider these links:


Jordan is importing some 91 percent of its grain, Israel 87 percent, Libya 85 percent, Saudi Arabia 50 percent, and Egypt 40 percent.

"As water shortages continue to mount, it is dangerous to presume, as many officials do, that there will be enough exportable grain to meet the import needs of all water-short countries at a price they can afford," said Postel
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az  Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

also the main reason france has 80% nuclear power is because no one else is using it to that degree(otherwise this site would be the oil & uranium drum ;) ). it's the same with public transit, the only reason it's cheap and esay to maintain is that the majority of people still perfer cars(i know somone will point out the soviets as a counter example but it isn't they subsidized it to the point it was basicly free to everyone who rode it. the government absorbed all the costs which of course was part of the reason they declined as we killed their only income source)
"it's the same with public transit, the only reason it's cheap and esay to maintain is that the majority of people still perfer cars"

This is totally untrue. Public transit (just like nuclear stations) has very high fixed costs because of the massive investments needed to be pyed for in advances and maintained after. COmpared to those the marginal costs per passenger are negligable. If a bus full or half-full the costs for the bus trip are the same - driver salary, diesel etc. As a result mass transit makes sense only when it is really "mass" - that is where people don't prefer cars - in densely populated cities, high gas prices etc. Actually almost the whole world outside US is like that.

ok lets take your bus anaolgy for a spin.
while each rider does increass revenue it also increases weight of the bus, fuel used to move the bus, strain on the bus's axels. while statisticly more fuel efficent when a bus is fully loaded(more people to devide the finite tank volume with)

so basicly the people who run the busses have two choices.

  1. increass fares to cover the new costs which result in less people riding and thus we are back square one.

  2. buy more busses which again results in higher costs because it allows more people to ride. this brings us to point one.

public transport will fail, it's only a matter of time. if we let the market handle it like so many people are fond of it will fall flat on it's face faster then if the government subsidizes it's entire cost.
It is questionable which is subsidized more - mass transit or cars. At least for the mass transit we have clear accounts, while for the cars most of the real huge costs (suburban sprawl, accidents, pollution, highway patrols etc.) are externalised.

FWIW most european capitals have  mass transits which have been operational for more than a century and none of them has collapsed by now. With gas prices going to the sky it will soon become obvious that this long-term investment has been worthed.

and during that century we had a couple of severe energy (oil) crisis.
In France public transport is heavily subsidised by Regional Governments and if you use public transport to commute your employer pays the fare. The maximum bus fare in the Alpes Maritimes is now 1.30 euros, about 1.60 dollars. The cities - Nice, Toulon, Marseilles- are all constructing electric tramways. The transport workers unions are quite militant.
BTW French nukes target the USA. A deal was reached some 10 years ago that the communist party, the last Stalinist party in Europe, would only join the Government if the Soviet Union was not the only target.
The suburbs are quiet right now. It's holiday time. Come autumn we expect the usual rituals of car burnings and attcks on the police. Just a normal part of the culture that causes little local excitement.
it's the same with public transit, the only reason it's cheap and esay to maintain is that the majority of people still perfer cars

Interesting thought. You should come to Japan, explain your idea to the people taking the commute in Shibuya. You can make a lot of money.

I would guess that if a lot of people use public transport, it would get cheaper. But I guess thats just an old hippie dream?

Israel imports 87% and Saudi only imports 50%?
How does Saudi do this with four times the population an
the great desert within which they live? I know
that they are much bigger but have no water?  Desalination?
Hello WhaleOil,

My guess is that the data is old.  From this IECA article: it says that Saudia Arabia imports over 70% of its grains. The CIA Factbook for SA says:
Environment - current issues:

desertification; depletion of underground water resources; the lack of perennial rivers or permanent water bodies has prompted the development of extensive seawater desalination facilities; coastal pollution from oil spills.
Hopes this helps clear up the issue for you.

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

Either desalinasation or pumping aquifers dry.. cheap oil, or what did you think? Africa (including North Africa) imports 50%, South America 30%, the Middle East 40% on average. The rest of Asia (excluding Russia)break even more or less. All others export.
There's a region of Saudi that gets pretty green in winter. Enough for one spring harvest.
I was saying the poster was naive, not "France" as a whole necessarily (at least not likely any more naive than any other First world Tribe).

I could not care less that the French Mooned Bush over Iraq  (I doubt many people noticed or cared what the French position was except their Islamic Population), or where they buy their subs, or who they will look to for protection in the next war, etc, etc...

The Socialist French have been conditioned to rely on Government to provide for everything including jobs with multiple weeks of paid holidays etc ... They have become a Nation of Nipple Seekers (a growing problem here in the United States as well - just read the whimpers of the bewildered 'victims' of the power outages in St. Louis and elsewhere.)  

They and the majority of other First Worlder's like them will be very surprised as the symptoms of Peak Oil overwhelm their pansy political and economic systems.

Of course at that TimezUP, the calm, complacent tone of the French poster child above will be long gone and replaced by the Angry, Protesting, Irrational and Very Skeered Nipple Seeker looking for a scapegoat to be punished... see the Recent History of the French Domestic Legion (a.k.a. Nipple-Seekers Brigade) in Action Protesting any change to their beloved Welfare State:


The current French governement is not socialist and most town councils in the south are right-wing by French standards. But the welfare system is broadly supported by all parties. In France, if you are hungry go to the local restuarants for the homeless. Eat well with free wine. If you want somewhere to live, ask the local council. If you want medical treatment, go to the hospital which is legally ablidged to treat you regardless of nationality or status. These standards are in France regarded as essential for human dignity. One of the Republican values is Fraternity. Liberty and equality are the other two. And these values are as respected as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Vive La France
Read your post here again and notice it supports what I said above:

"The Socialist French have been conditioned to rely on Government to provide for everything ..." - now including, according to you, free wine with meals for the homeless etc, etc

My whole point is people must stop depending on their government for everything.  If you depend on your government you will regret it because the governments will Not Solve this problem (they are stupid humans too).  

The LESS dependence on government the better =  become as energy (and food) self-sufficient as possible or SUFFER with the Mass Herd of Saps who sat around waiting for the Godz of Politics and Technology to show up.

Here, at this point in History we can AFFORD to be humane and generous.  This is PEAK Energy and Matter - this is the Time of Plenty.

But all those nice Luxuries like "Human Dignity" will be quickly tossed aside when the cities can't Afford To Pay for indigents let alone the actual working peoples.

This is not matter of Choice - we would all love to have a world of plenty forever.  But that will not be the case.

By the way, how goes the Tent Cities of Homeless springing up all over Paris - tolerance of the homeless depends on how visible they are, or how inconvenient they become  ... love those desperate poor moozlimz in the suburbs until they "protest" and start burning those suburbs...

Dream your dream as long as you want but when you wake up to the nightmare that is coming you will understand that all your morals and ethics were easy to adhere to During The Time of Plenty... too bad the Time of Plenty is rapidly drawing to a close.

Well, in France the government isn't entirely the corporations' bitch. The French have the odd notion that, being a democracy, it is their government and if it gets out of line, you protest. They also think they are human beings with rights, not throw-away cogs in the economy. If that is the "democracy" that the glorious US Army is purported to bring to the People of Iraq, I'm not surprised that they are reacting a tiny bit pissed. If your style of democracy is laughed at by an ex-KGB-man, you're doubleplusungoodly immersed in doublespeak.
Not just the English. The population of South-east France is increasing by about 40,000 people per year all through emigartion from the north. British, Scandinavians, and Irish are the most common with US citizens next. Canadians come on homiday but are not buying in yet.
Water is not a problem since rainfall is about 30 inches per year almost all in Spring and Autumn. The reservoirs are filled in spring when snow melts in the Alps where population density is nearly zero. Some small villages have restrictions on water use for swimming pools but this is generally due to municipal corruption rather than nature.
Someone accused me of being naive. I don't think so and I'm here enjoying a great civilisation that looks sustainable.

The whole of Europe migth turn out to be a good place to be: It has the least erosion problems of all continents. It's climate is (partly) controlled by the Gulf Stream, which might (again, partly) mitigate the worst effects of global warming. It's ethnical wars are mostly already fought.

I don't agree at all with this view. France is utterly depedant on foreign commerce. It's growth is tiny, about 2%, which means skyrocketing debt. Our economy is dependant as any on oil as people continue to use their cars (look at the A6 next WE), farmers continue to heavily fertilize the soils not to speak of pesticides, chemical industry continuing to prosper, transportation of goods relying mainly on trucks and being totally irrationnal in its planning. I could go on very long. Hydro is at a maximum, Uranium is up and probably past peak.

Our economy is already faltering, poverty increases (which I directly witness every day). People eating one meal or less per day become widespread. Access to social help becomes really difficult for a lot of people.

We will suffer as much as the rest of the world. Haven't you noticed how much stealing of raw materials and gasoline is up ?

I will point out that every French city of over 250,000 that "voted correctly" is getting a new tram line, and those over 500,000 are getting two.

The French are building at least as much Urban Rail as the US.  But French Unions at SCNF seem to be keeping freight on trucks instead of rail.

My old worksheet

City, Date Opened, Metro Population, City Populstion

Nantes (1985)      544,932     277,728
Grenoble (1987)     419,334     156,203

Upgraded established tramways (with original dates)       
Lille (1874)              1,000,900       191,164
Marseille (1876)         1,349,772       807,071
St. Etienne (1881)        291,960       183,552

The new tramways in France are :(from 1990):       
Near Paris        9,644,507  2,147,857 :
T1 (St Denis Bobigny) open : June 30, 1992   
T2 (Issy -La Défebse) open : july 1997.       

Strasbourg : first line open : november 26, 1994;    427,245     267,051
Rouen : first line open : december 17, 1994;    389,862     108,758
Montpellier : first line open : July 1st, 2000    287,981     229,055
Orléans : first line open : november 18, 2000    263,292     116,559
Lyon : first line open : december 8, 2000    1,262,223     453,187
Bordeaux : first line open : december 2003, 21    696,364     218,948

Future opening :       
Mulhouse : december 2005    234,445     112,002
Valenciennes : june 2006      357,395       40,275
Le Mans : 2006                        NA             150,605
Nice : 2006                      888,784          345,892
Marseille : 2007            1,230,936     807,071
Toulon : 2009                    519,640     166,442

Planned :       
Dijon                            236,953      153,813
Tours                               NA           137,046

The EEC wascreated to increase foreign trade in Europe which is why every member state depends upon trade. Not everything is perfect but France is better prepared than other countries. TOD users in other countries are pleading for light rail and tramways mostly in vain. France is getting them. And the TGV (High Speed Train) is superbe. The French elite talk sensibly about fossil fuel shortages abd Global Warming whereas US politicians try  to keep everybody ignorant and happy.
Economic policy is now governed by the wunch of bankers who govern the European Central Bank. Like most other EU governments the national government can only advocate not act. This too was an EEC objective - to undo democratic ideals descended from the French revolution.
a change to a sustainable society can only be accomplished by completely abolishing our current money system.

I don't know what your idea of a "sustainable society" is but I am afraid that "completely abolishing our current money system" is absolutely UNREACHABLE.
Because money is not your (or "our") convention, this is also the "other guy" idea about what value is.
By the "other guy" I mean any third party who is not bound by your/our rules, he can choose to hoard any "things" that are of value to YOU and you will be back to consensus rules about the terms of exchange.
Short of a worldwide totalitarian rule (who wants that? some...) neither you nor him are free to choose arbitrary rules no matter how "beneficial" they could be in the long run .
Money has already been invented and it cannot be "unlearned".

Do you get what I am saying?

Our fiat currency system will be abolished if the public loses confidence in it, due to, say, hyperinflation or economic collapse. (Think the Wiemar Republic of Germany after WWI.) What would replace it? A barter system, coins made of precious (or base) metals, currencies backed by physical goods (so they can't become worthless), etc. Hoarding will occur but how does that prevent a monetary collapse? If anything, it would hasten it.
"coins made of precious (or base) metals"

Our coins are made of base metals already. :-)

Yes, and they would be worth more than paper money in an economic collapse. As it is, you can't find pre-1982 pennies because most are 95% copper and the copper content is worth 2.2 cents per penny at today's price of about $3.50 per pound.
1982 pennies are worth saving as well.  1982 included a mix of 95% copper and 2.5% copper, 97.5% zinc pennies.  At a latter date, while you are unemployed, a small file nick can determine which are worth 2 cents and which are worth 7 cents.

Copper pennies are little thinner as well.

I plan to stockpile nickels later.  75% copper, 25% nickel.  Good intrinsic value.


Money in our current system has multiple purposes:

  1. It is used as a medium of exchange (instead of bartering). In that sense it is a utility
  2. It is used a store of value. In that sense it is a resource.

So, the question is do you want to use money or keep money? Keeping money is attractive, since you get interest, so the amount will increase. In resource terms this is ridiculous, since money itself is not productive. (Provide a reward for being lazy!). So it makes more sense to pump out as much oil as possible now, take the money and sit on it than investing in future resources.

This problem can be solved by not using money as a store of value. Get rid of interest, actually charge something for keeping your money current. Then ask the question again: do you want to use the money or keep it? It makes more sense now to invest it in something that will provide a future return, otherwise your money is rotting away.

This is what I mean wit a new money system. Design it such that investing in the future is rewarded. Our current system is the opposite of that. Is promotes short term profits and is designed such that only the rich (or banks) profit from it. They profit either through interest (if interest levels are high) and through rising asset prices (if interest rates are low and borrowing is cheap). You, the community and the future always lose in this system. So, if we want a sustainable society it has to go...

I think your definition of the other guy is probably outside the definition here, since a precondition for a money system is a government providing protection, irrespective of positive or negative interest rates.

I do not think a totalitarion rule is needed to create the change. Exactly the opposite I think. If we continue the current system we will end up with totalitarian rule and a single 'credit' system. We can start by using a local money system in our own communities.

The authors I link can explain it much better than I do and have multiple examples of sustainable money systems and local currencies.


Aaron Russo is taking a shot at it:


He's trying to raise enough consciousness leading to a call for national strikes and do away with fractional reserve banking.

(The first 20 minutes are skippable)

DoubleDutchDoom has me wondering if there is a consensus at ToD on the most likely future for humanity:

The consensus at the Oil Drum is that we will rationally move to a sustainable society with help of our great scientific (and social?) knowledge.

I'd love to see what the real consensus is at ToD.
Does TOD have a "poll" feature? Well here's a crack at a poll anyway:

In response to Peak Oil, population overshoot, climate change, and environmental degradation, do you believe that modern civilization will, in the next century,

  • a) irreversibly collapse and die-off to below pre-industrial population levels
  • b) transition to a sustainable and technologically advanced civilization of 6-8 billion humans
  • c) contract to a sustainable, less technological civiliation of under 2 billion humans

The poll is open for voting and editing. Choosing from the myriad of possible scenarios was very difficult, and well, multiple choice polls are inherently limiting. So, if you don't like my scenarios, add your own!
First of all, IMHO, Peak Oil will not cause die-off.  But peak fossil fuels will.  The total population of Earth will track the total energy available for human endeavors.  So die-off may be more like population contraction, and I don't have a strong opinion on whether or not the contraction pace will be fast and violent or slow and managable.

d) World population contracts to 2 Billion range, but level of technology is high.

I vacillate between a) and c) depending on my mood.  I think c) is the proper answer depending on the answers to these three questions:  how much less technological, how far under two billion people, and over what time scale?  Seen that way, a) is really just a more extreme case of c).

FWIW, I think "dieback" is a better term than dieoff. We will arrive at a sustainable level of population and technology, because systems tend towards equilibrium in the long fun.  The population will shrink for a variety of causes, but we are a tough species and it will take a lot to wipe us out.  How much technology will we save, and how small will our species get?  I have no clue. If I had to bet real money I'd say we will shrink to 1.5 billion, retain a level of technology equivalent to the European middle ages, and will arrive at our new equilibrium in about 100 years.  Come see me in 2100 to collect.

I agree with you that 'dieback' is a much batter term than 'dieoff'. 'Dieoff' seems too one-dimensional to me - like a cannon ball falling off a cliff with the final destination in sight far below and no prospect of intervening countertrend moves. The concept seems too simplistic to describe the inevitably complex interactions of energy, money and collective human responses to changes in the supply and distribution of both.

I would expect instead much greater temporal and spatial variability than 'dieoff' suggests. 'Dieback', to my mind at least, implies a trend toward lower population, but one with more scope for complex variation - perhaps like a cannon ball rolling down a bumpy incline with a variable slope. I do think one or more diebacks is/are inevitable, partly for reasons Jay Hanson and others have expressed.

Shortages of critical resources - or even merely the perception of shortages - result in conflicts in a world where different 'tribes' (for want of a better word) do not trust each other enough to engage in a mutual powerdown. As Roger Connor has pointed out, the risk of a huge over-reaction to peak oil and financial turbulence is substantial. The consequences which would flow from destabilizing human over-reactions (military adventures etc) would be far worse than what one would expect from production declines where the global socio-economic context remained unaffected. It is primarily the fallout from maladaptive (for the collective anyway) human respones to shortages which I would expect to be responsible for one or more diebacks.


My option would be c).

My consensus comment was a little sarcastical. I think the fundamental changes will not come through great new solar technology or biofuels or awareness through websites and forum discussions. It has to be more fundamental than that.

We have to start using a (money) system that inherently promotes investing in the future. Our current system has everybody fighting for the scarce virtual money resources through plundering scarce real resources for a short term profit. The system is fundamentally setup to do this and everybody thinks this is the correct way since we grew up with it. Please step back and think outside the box. Money should not represent a store of value, it is a utility, a store of value is in natural resources and the ability to perform valuable work. Using money as a store of value should be discouraged. This would mean negative interest rates in our current system, which shows the absurdity of the idea: you would be rewarded for taking a loan from the bank! But it shows the idea: you only use what you currently need and invest money in something that can provide a future value when it is needed. Only this way we build a system that stops our current practice of maximizing consumption at the expense of the future.  

Start a war in the Middle East that pulls in half of the globe and wrecks the world economy and destroys all fiat money.  
I generally consider Iran to be a hot headed country.  Probably my impression via the MSM.  Think of the stratigic way to start a war that screws the US royally?  Use hezbolla to piss off israel to the point of attacking Syria or Iran.  The oil price increase would screw the world economy, and the US too.  Cut off your nose to spite your face.  I know people like this.
probably not a likely senario, but hezbolla has some pretty good weapons(hmm were are these from?)
hezbolah is not iran's or syria's puppet.

Both Syrian and Iranian support for Hezbollah has declined significantly over the past dozen years, particularly since the withdrawal of Israeli occupation forces from southern Lebanon.

In reality, Hezbollah's strength derives primarily from popular support within the Shiite Muslim minority in Lebanon which has suffered from heightened poverty and displacement as a result of the U.S.-backed Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon between 1978 and 2000, the U.S.-backed Israeli bombardment of the Shiite-populated areas of the country from the 1970's through the 1990's, and the U.S.-backed neoliberal economic policies of the Lebanese government that have decimated the traditional economy. As a result of the violence and misguided economic policies, hundreds of thousands of Shiites were forced to leave their rural villages in the south to the vast shantytowns on the southern outskirts of Beirut where many found support through a broad network of Hezbollah-sponsored social services. As a result of gratitude for such assistance and anger at Israel and the United States for their situation, many became backers of Hezbollah's populist, albeit extremist, political organization. In the wake of the forced departure of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the destruction of the secular leftist Lebanese National Movement by successive interventions from Syria, Israel, and the United States during the 1980.s, the radical Islamist Hezbollah rose to fill the vacuum. In other words, "Hezbollah's strength" was very much an outgrowth of U.S. and Israeli policy. Indeed, the group did not even exist until a full four years after Israel began its occupation of southern Lebanon.


So why is Saudia Arabia stepping in with a comment that seems to support Hezbolah?  Are they supporting them?
They probably have to look like they are supporting Hezbolah to their own people.
Hello Delusional,

Your quote: "I generally consider Iran to be a hot headed country."

This got me thinking that the Iraqi climate is very similar to Arizona, maybe even hotter over a larger area.  I wonder how much of the violence that is blamed on Shiite-Sunni-Kurd religious differences is actually addicted detritovore violence over fossil fuels and electricity.

Imagine sleeping on your roof nightly for months on end because it is too damn hot inside your house, and electricity for your refrigerator is so intermittent that the food constantly spoils.  It might be very tempting for a small group of thugs to use their AK-47s to shoot someone for their pickup, then shoot some homeowners to steal their small generators, window air-conditioning units, and the 5-gal. jerry cans of gasoline to run it all.

How badly will postPeak Americans act when our energy situation gets this bad?  For example: what would you do to keep your family from freezing to death?  Criminals already carjack vehicles in broad daylight with full TV coverage from helicopters--I expect them to become much more brazen and brutal postPeak.

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

I remember listening to Coast to Coast AM where peak oil was the topic awhile back. The host asked callers the questions 'if peak oil turns out to be real would you steal to provide for your family?' Every single caller said yes.
Crime appears when wealth is unevenly distributed. When people perceive their country/area as rich, and themselves as poor, they are much more inclined to commit crime than in other cases. At first crime rates will rise, and then go down again when it becomes clear that everybody is fucked. There will also be less stuff to steal after a while.
Iran is very cool-headed. If they need some commotion, they casually say that Israël should disappear. If they need some time, they invite people for "negotiations".

Be assured, they know what they're doing in Teheran.

In Jerusalem too, however. They have purposely provoked Hezbollah, who either had to react and be drawn into hard confrontation, or decline and lose face. Expect Israëli troops in Lebanon. There were already UN troops there before the hostilities started. It didn't stop Israël or Hezbollah from using violence. They also killed UN personnel and attacked refugees, after those obeyed an Israeli command to leave their village.

The game goes on.

Anyone know any details and recycling sewage for drinking water?


Drought-stricken Australia considers drinking recycled sewage

Residents of a drought-stricken Australian town will vote this week on whether they're prepared to drink water recycled from sewage -- the first such scheme in the country and one of only a handful in the world.

The controversial proposal has divided the town of Toowoomba in the state of Queensland, which has faced water restrictions for a decade.

Is this really any different than a rain dance?


"Nobody is going to tell God what to do and what not to do, but we are in a serious drought in West Texas and since he is the man who controls the rain clouds, we're asking him for his mercy and his help," Mayor David Miller told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

Does anyone believe that Hillary is really going to help this country?

http://today.reuters.com/news/newsarticle.aspx?type=domesticNews&storyid=2006-07-24T202828Z_01_N 23267486_RTRUKOC_0_US-DEMOCRATS.xml&src=rss&rpc=22

"A lot of Americans can't work any harder, borrow any more or save any less," she said in unveiling the group's "American Dream Initiative," a package of proposals to make college and home ownership more affordable, help small businesses, improve retirement savings and expand health insurance coverage.

Clinton said President George W. Bush and Republicans had "made a mess out of the country's finances." Rewriting her husband's famous 1992 campaign slogan, "It's the economy, stupid," she declared: "It's the American dream, stupid."

The article sums up the facts of the issue in Toowoomba quite completely. My personal view (as an Australian) is that such schemes should be encouraged nationwide.

The issue was presented on a recent Four Corners (Investigative jounralism) program in Australia. The water itself is safe, the only thing holding it back is the so-called 'yuk' factor amongst the scientifically illiterate.

Wouldn't it make more sense to eliminate flush toilets and go to composting toilets so the water wasn't "flushed down the drain" in the first place?
I have been using a composting toilet for years without any problems. And I would a lot rather give up my flush toilet than have to drink treated sewage effluent <yuk - BG>
I would highly recommend Jenkin's book "the Humanure Handbook," voted the book "most likely to save the planet."

He makes a great point: in what way is it "civilized" to urinate and defecate in pure, fresh, drinking water?"

I know a farmer who thinks peeing and pooping into WATER is just insane.

"Waste is food," as they say, meaning: let it break down into soil.

I also recommend The Toilet Papers, a classic 1970s work on the subject.
Such a system would be even more disruptive and expensive for the average citizen. At least with the current situation, consumers can more or less carry on their current consumption habits, with technology taking care of any problems upstream/downstream.
My humanure set up cost about $50 initially (pallets for compost bins, plastic 5 gallon buckets, a toilet seat on a plywood frame...). No pipes, no sewer fees, no plumbing, nothing much to go wrong. And it helps make my garden bloom in the desert.

The adjoining town (pop. 6,000) just spent $30 million on a new sewer system ($5,000/person) , which will cost each household about $40/month forever. And, all the feeder lines going from the houses to the sewer main are still crumbling.  

tate423 -

Domestic sewage CAN be treted to make it fit for use as potable water.  However, the level of treatment has to be far more extensive than what the vast majority of sewage treatment plants are capable of.

The typical conventional sewage treatment consists of physical solids removal (primary treatment), followed by an number of variation of biological treatment (secondary treatment), followed by disinfection (usually via chlorine application).

If you wanted to make that effluent fit for use as potable water, you would probably have to add on to the above: nutrient removal, sand filtration, and activated carbon adsorption.  Then it might be sent to a large natural lagoon to 'age' or to be blended with a natural water supply. (There are also other treatment schemes.)  To do it right is not cheap.

While the sewage thus treated wouldn't make you sick outright, there would still be some long-term health concerns due to residual trace quantities of various organic chemicals. Keep in mind that most sewage treatment plants in urban areas don't just treat domestic sewage, but also receive various industrial effluents as well.

If the prospect of drinking treated sewage is repugnant, just remember that many potable water supplies (such as the Mississippi River south of Baton Rouge) contain large quantities of treated industrial wastewater effluents. So, for many people, the water they're drinking right now ain't so great to begin with.  

Indeed, I remember reading that the average glass of water poured from a tap in London (at the end of the Thames river), has been through the human body about 7 times.

And they wonder why bottled water is so popular!  ;-)

We had (mad) scientists working on a project to make biscuits out of human shit in the Second World War.

Puts a new spin on Chocolate Chip Cookies...

Hillary is running for re-election this year. She is smart enough to know that the Dems need to offer an alternative to GOP propaganda. One problem for this plan to help small business is how to keep big business from getting the overwhelming majority of benefits of such a plan. How do they keep their plan from becoming a incoherent shopping list of narrow interest politics? There are three issues where the GOP is weak; education policy, health care policy, and energy policy. Every other issue of benefit to working families is directly connected to these three. So far the Dems energy plan mostly consists of a windfall profits tax.
My wife has never registered to vote. Hillary is the only candidate she would bother to register and vote for. If this sentiment is widespread then the GOP is right to be frightened.
Democrats and Republicans are not different sides of anything, they are the same side.  To tie into other posts, believing anything out of Washington is like drinking sewage water - it's treated so there are two different flavors, but either way, you're still swilling shit.
I realize that the sentiment about all politics here is a bit, well foul.  So I'm asking for an honest opinion on what people are feeling out there.  Tom deplume is saying his wife is ready to vote for hillary and it will be her first time.  The first step to all of this will be a true nomination and that would be the beginning.  

If Hillary does run, what are her chances?  I know some others are going to say that we really don't vote yada yada.  Just curious what some here might think.

It's not politics, per se, that is the problem, it's how our gov't is implemented.  We've been hoodwinked into the notion that democracy = voting, which is ridiculous.  Democracy is a form of gov't, it's the way the gov't is run, 24/7.  And this gov't, not just the current administration, has become totalitarian.  Congress has no power, they gave it all to the executive branch.  Our Constitution states that only Congress has the power to declare war.  But, long ago, they gave the power to wage war to the executive branch.  This is clearly unconstitutional, illegal, can't happen.  And Congress is steadily stripping power away from the judicial branch.

Bush actually said, a few years ago, that a dictatorship is a fine form of gov't, as long as he is the dictator.  And the audience laughed - but that is how the gov't now operates.  Senators and Congressman don't even read the bills they vote on!  That's the truth.

Government is necessary for civilization.  But it must be run for the good of the people, not just to further line the pockets of the rich.  When it all hits the spinning blades I fully expect the federal gov't to disappear behind the barricades they've already set up in DC, where they'll sip cognac and munch on caviar while they watch us suffer on TV.  Interesting note - CNN has a nice breakdown on what each state uses to generate elecrticity.  DC is 100% oil.  Fascinating!  I'm thinking that, to strike sizable oil deposits, drill DC.  Of course, you'd have to penetrate the side of the tank...

Excellent summary. I agree in almost every respect, except for:

But it must be run for the good of the people, not just to further line the pockets of the rich.

I submit that this has never been the case, and that any government's primary purpose is to enrich those who control it - i.e. the rich. This has been true in virtually all governments through time. If there are any notable exceptions, I would love to know. The only thing that varies from country to country is how much of a "piece of the pie" that the commoners get.

The exploitation of cheap oil is the only reason that the standards of living for the common person has raised to such an obscene level in the west, along with a relatively high level of freedom of expression.

Now that the era of "easy motoring" is drawing to a close, it is pathetically obvious to see the very public rise of authoritarian governments all over the globe. It was always lurking in the background, but now that the going is going to get tough, quaint concepts like "government must be run for the good of the people" will fall quickly by the wayside.

Oh, I totally agree that the concept of "running the gov't for the good of the people" has never been attempted by the human race.  But that is part of the fundamental reason why gov'ts, in the end, never work.  The whole concept of sustainability doesn't enter into the way gov'ts do business.  It has simply never been an issue before, not to the extent that it is now.  Growth has been "good" for most of history.  Hence greed, in a way, was good - it propelled innovation.  Competition vs. cooperation.  But we are now at the point of "sustainability or bust", and without actually implementing the concept that we are all in this together, and we truly are all equal in terms of our rights as human beings, then we risk it all.
Anyway, Bush thinks god wants him to nuke the world to force the return of Jesus.  And he may only be president for two more years...remember, kids, get under your desks and cover your head - "Duck and Cover".

I hope I'm not sounding like a nit-picker, but I would posit that governments throughout history work or don't work according to how they provide for their people. Once enough of the commoners are really dissatisfied, down it goes. However some, like Ancient Egypt, last for a thousand years or more. So I guess you can't really say that all governments "don't work."

Also, the concept of sustainability has always been a very big part of government calculus. Its just that in different eras, the material needed for the sustainance is different, that's all.

In any case, it would be pretty boring for this to turn into some kind of historical examination of government. I agree that it will soon be "duck and cover" time, so I guess we should leave it at that.

Don't you think "governments going down" is a part of the natural cycle that we live with. That is, it has been happening forever and probably will always happen. That is the failure of government doesn't imply anything for sustainability. Renewal of government is a natural, even healthy, part of the way we live over the long term. It may even be neccessary for sustainability. Change is good, why resist it.

People here at TOD have pointed to the fall of the Roman empire as proof that civilisation is doomed. I don't buy this. The fact that the roman empire fell may have been healthy for humanity. If it hadn't perhaps we would still be stuck in the roman era and stagnant. The fall of the Roman empire, at least to me, doesn't imply that civilisation is unsustainable. To me, it was like evolution.

The way we live, the things we eat, the way we transport ourselves, the way we work, all of this has been in flux forever. This is neccessary for sustainability. If you accept that these things can and need to change then you don't need to fear that the way we do things currently are unsustainable. The way we have done things currently has always been unsustainable.


You are still in the "bargaining" phase of your psychological interface with the concepts of PO and Collapse. This will probably be followed by depression and then acceptance.

As for, Rome, not too many of them around. "We" are the Barbarians. "We" are next. Don't you see it yet?

I see clearly - I see a truck load of smelly BS.
But check which direction you are looking...

The BS is coming from EVERY direction here on TOD.
Thanks for the present

          HK Trader: Welcome to our cage

HK Trader,

One more thing:

Reality is a bitch slap:

That was great, thanks for the laugh.
HK: A sense of humor is necessary for making it through trying times.

Welcome to TOD and the "almost"-Peak Oil era.

(We have to say "almost" because today's report of global production numbers show a breech above the 85mbpd level, meaning that the cornucopians have the upper hand for the moment. They can say we told you so. I hope they are right.)

Hello Sunspot,

Speaking of spinning blades in D.C.-- how about $6.1 billion being spent on 23 new Presidential helicopters. This is a mind-boggling sum: imagine if this money had been pre-Katrina spent on reinforcing New Orleans' levees instead. Or spent on just one mass-transit system in a major city.

I don't even think that much money was spent on the President's 747 fleet of jet aircraft.  Something smells rotten here--is it really that expensive to equip a helicopter and why does the Prez need 23?

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

I think when they fly the shrub they use 3 or 4 identical choppers in a formation so the guy with the .50 cal does not know which one to shoot at, so make it 6 groups of choppers...

Then disperse them around the country to the airfields "Airforce 1" flies into and ther ya go.

Hey why does the Gov. of California own 10 Hummers? Now thats silly...

Wow, that helicopter news is creepy.  They do seem to be preparing for something.  I somehow don't think it'll be something I'll enjoy...
"preparing for something"

I hope the "something" doesn't happen until the year 2014 when the new helicopters are actually delivered.

I'm a life long liberal, and I've never missed an election.  I will not vote for Hillary, as I do not see her as an alternative to any of the major problems I see facing us.  

Essentially, I've become increasingly separated from my government, and at the same time the two parties have moved rapidly the other way (in unison).   Even 6 years ago I felt there were real substantive differences between the D's and R's - I still believe that had Gore taken the office he won we would be living in a quite different world.   But the pace of change has been breathtaking in the last few years, so much so that now the two parties are almost indistinguishable from over where I stand.

Some people seem to feel that the center always lies right between D and R, but that ignores the fact that both parties are running as fast as they can towards a militaristic, undemocratic government, and concentrating power in the hands of "unitary executive" who is above the law.  The differences between Hillary and the present Neocon jerks are hard to see, and mostly have to do with style of execution, not with the kind of whole new direction I believe is needed.

I find it a bit humorous (and disconcerting) to see that Ralph Nader had the right of it: The two parties are really one and the same, just different sides of the same coin.
I couldn't agree more.  The crux of the problem, as I see it, is that belief trumps evidence with most people.  A concept heavily promoted by the gov't=media=corporations.  Rational thought, based on evidence, aka Science, is discouraged.  In the past few years our entertainment media has become a celebration of stupidity - idiots are heroes, smart people are dismissed as "nerds".
I grew up in the 60s in Newton, Mass, then one of the best public school systems in the country.  I learned how to learn, and never forgot.  I've read that, beyond the age of about 25, most people lose the ability to learn any new concepts.  Harsh, but it seems to be true.

"Nuthin' left to do but Smile, Smile, Smile..."

I think a lot of people embrace science when they think it will make life easier.  If it appears to impinge on their lifestyle, then unfounded beliefs are more useful.
If elected, Hillary will accomplish nothing important. Electing Hillary will make some Democrats happy, switch the hate-mongering conspiracy bullcrap from left wing blogs back to right wing blogs, give some yuppy "greens" political orgasms, and further corporate subsidies for our non-negotiable way of life through idiocies like E85. Electing Hillary will also mobilize the religious right even as it pacifies the radical left (just as the election of Bush pacified the religious right and mobilized the radical left).

It's the other side of the same Washington, DC coin of corruption. By all means vote. By all means try to change the system. But if you win yet fail to change things, don't blame the other party. The problem is us, the system, both parties, and our refusal to face reality. Hillary is part of all that and won't really believe she (or the country) needs to change until it is already far too late.

Electing Hillary will also mobilize the religious right even as it pacifies the radical left

I saw a news clip a month ago or so of Hilary speaking at a church. She was apparently trying to show that she also "is a person of faith" but it was obviously feigned.  It was so disingenuous that it was painful to watch.  Who knows if Bill Clinton is really a person of faith or not, who knows if he really felt our pain or not.  He did attend church regularly and carried his own Bible.  In any case, the fact is, Americans, for the most part, believed him or at least enough so that he did not entirely alienate moderate christians. I don't think Hillary can do that.  I fear the democrats will feel obligated to back and nominate her, but they'll be better off if they don't.  

Furthermore, she does not represent an alternative to the status quo to me.  As others have said, 2 sides of the same coin.

Um, hate-mongering from left wing blogs? Evidence?  From any prominent blogger?

Like this or this for example.  

Also, who is this radical left, and since when do they support Hillary?  

I think you're trying to make a good point about the whole system being a problem, but most of the (not-radical) left agrees and does see Hillary as part of the centrist/status-quo/beltway/corporatist concensus.

Before we get into all the Demosnatch and Republicrat bashing we should remember we don't have a democarcy. In fact we've never had one. To repeat that we live in a democracy is a falacy. We live in a representative republic. When asked about the form of government the founding fathers decided upon Ben Franklin replied "Madam, you have a republic, if you can keep it."

There is some discussion that the republic has gradually evolved into a stealth plutocracy or kleptrocacy. Those discussions have occured in dieoff.com but I haven't seen them here.

Again, we don't have a deomocracy. Check Wikipedia for Representative Democracy to get a clearer view.



I'll clarify this a little further.

"Representative democracy is a form of democracy founded on the exercise of popular sovereignty by the people's elected representatives. It is a theory of civics in which voters choose (in free, secret, multi-party elections) representatives to act in their interests, but not as their proxies--i.e., not necessarily according to their voters' wishes, but with enough authority to exercise initiative in the face of changing circumstances."

We can say it's a democracy, but it's so far removed from what we envision as a pure democarcy that to claim one is the other is simply wrong.


When you say the word 'democracy' most people understand you are talking about representative democracy.
That's the problem. I don't think they do. They seem to think their vote weighs more. We vote for people who we trust to carry our interests forward. We don't get the opportunity to decide how those interests are pursed.
"how those interests are pursed [$$$]"?

Excellent Freudian slip!
  1.  The Australians have pioneered a technique called "permaculture" which among other things recycles sewage to usable drinking water.  Of course, it's not an Australian invention -- but they have always been on the edge of drought, and have the most direct experience of living with it.

  2.  How is modern culture different from neolithic paganism?  Only in the energy sources -- not the controlling ideas.  A rain dance is a rain dance -- whether Hopi or Redneck.

  3.  Hillary has always supported corporate interests over the interests of the people she pretends to serve -- her program is responsible for the incredible corporate-controlled mess of the American medical system, and don't forget she was on the board of Wal-Mart as Communist China became a Most Favored Nation and Wal-Mart prevailed in some important anti-trust litigation, allowing it to leverage the power of the Chinese Government to move our entire American industrial plant to China.
"Nobody is going to tell God what to do and what not to do, but we are in a serious drought in West Texas and since he is the man who controls the rain clouds, we're asking him for his mercy and his help," Mayor David Miller told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

I live in good old Lubbock, Texas, and yes our mayor did say the above and more.   He was joined by other local "leaders" who are now planning a "day of prayer" for rain here in West Texas.  I am truly embarrassed to admit that people here elected a person who could say this in public.  Simply unbelievable.    

MSM report of BP profit is out, up 30% for the year.  They also say Thunderhorse is not going to be up and running until 2007 now.

The company also said its Thunder Horse oil and gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico would begin production early next year, instead of the second half of this year. The platform, the largest in the Gulf, was left listing after Hurricane Dennis passed through in July 2004.

It seem to me that TOD posters stated flat out, after Dennis last year, that Thunder Horse was severely damaged and not going to be back into production in 6 months as the MSM was reporting.  Restart of Thunder Horse keeps getting moved further and further into the future.  Once again the knowledge at this site is more accurate than all other sources available to me.

At some point you have to stop believing most of what the MSM is saying and connect the dots on your own.  Carefully weighing all sources of information as you go.  

Clearly most people do not have the skills/time/access to information to do this so are easily manipulated.  History teaches us that this is a dangerous combination if left unchecked.

The New York Times attempts an examination of the influence of high oil prices on U.S. foreign policy.


It covers a lot of the bases:

*Putin's rise as a global energy broker
*Chinese and Indian demand
*Iran's evolving economic ties to China and Russia
*"the fear premium" on the price of oil
*The extent to which the administration would brave high oil prices to take military action against Iran


Cursory, not very insightful, but definitely a sign of the times.


I have this thought for you from another blog. It is so why this guy (Ahmadinejad) is so far off his rocker. We, in the USA, think Bush needed to travel more . . . and understand the world. I have only spent over a year overseas, while the Democratic Governor of Montana has spent several years overseas and can speak Arabic :

Iran's Ahmadinejad compares Israel to Hitler

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday compared the behaviour of Israel in launching an offensive against Lebanon to that of Nazi Germany.

Ahmadinejad has already received a stern rebuke from the U.N. Security Council for labelling the Holocaust, in which six million Jews died, a myth.

"Hitler sought pretexts to attack other nations," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by the ISNA students news agency at the inauguration of a Tehran road tunnel.

"The Zionist regime is seeking baseless pretexts to invade Islamic countries and right now it is justifying its attacks with groundless excuses," he added.

Israel's four-day assault on Lebanon has killed at least 103 people, all but four of them civilians (do you really believe that?, editor-me). It launched the offensive after Shi'ite Muslim Hizbollah guerrillas kidnapped two Israeli soldiers and killed eight.

Iran is a traditional supporter of Hizbollah. An Israeli military source said on Saturday an Iranian-made C802 radar-guided land-to-sea missile with a range of 60 miles (95 km) hit and badly damaged an Israeli ship.

Gas prices highest in 25 years

Much of the increase has been spurred by worries about war. But if every insurgency were calmed and every terrorist eliminated, there would still be anxiety about global capacity.

World demand is likely to climb 1.8 percent next year, according to the International Energy Agency. That comes from growth in the United States, but also in the booming Indian and Chinese economies.

Pessimists argue that the world is approaching the inevitable halfway point in oil exploitation -- the moment when production peaks, plateaus and tips slowly downward.

That argument remains a minority position, but its proponents are no longer considered a lunatic fringe. And traders are becoming more sensitized to evidence that the world is reaching a peak.

Glad to hear we're not a lunatic fringe any more!

Newmont sells Alberta oilsands stake to South Korea


Mon Jul 24, 5:50 PM ET

OTTAWA (AFP) - Newmont Mining Corp. sold its Alberta oilsands property to Korea National Oil Corp. for 310 million Canadian dollars (272 million US), a company spokeswoman told AFP.

The 9,600-acre (3,900-hectare) Black Gold property contains an estimated 250 million barrels of crude oil, said Maureen Upton, director of public affairs at Newmont.

"The stage of the project is exploration. For us, as a gold mining company, it didn't make sense to develop an oil project ourselves," she said.

Korea National Oil is owned by the South Korean government. According to reports, the property is expected to produce 35,000 barrels of crude oil per day beginning in 2010.

The sale is expected to close in August, Upton said.

This was a lease that Newmont purchased in 1999 for less than $1 million as a hedge against rising energy prices.  Given what is now occurring with oil sands development costs spiraling upwards, selling it for $310 million looks like a pretty good decision.  
pretty good roi.
This is an interesting post. I'd like editorial comment, however. Or is that what you wanted, as well? 35,000 bpd starting 4 years from now (and only projected, of course), is obviously nothing. I'll repeat - nothing. So why the story? What's the significance? Why didn't it make sense to develop? So what if they are a gold company? It would make all the sense in the world if you understood that oil is worth more than gold. That's why they call it Black Gold. Duh. Oh, this is funny, a gem, in fact. The property itself is named Black Gold. Something very fishy going on. Oh, I see it. Should be pretty obvious. Koreans have a thing for buying debt. It has worked well for them so far.
Not to mention from the mine's standpoint, there $1M "hedge" turned into a 3090% profit, so I think it's pretty easy to just walk away.
A comment. Beyond a few, where is the mass of young people in this? My impression from here and elsewhere is that most of the engaged people have seen a fair amount of water pass under a lot of bridges. Yet the young are the ones with the most flexibility, energy and passions, their careers and responsibilities being ahead of them, with the most opportunities for making choices about what to engage in, what to learn about and what paths to take. Where is the activism of the young? My graying generation when young had a sense of empowerment, marching down streets and interstates and embarrassing a major city at a political convention over a war and looking at the environment with new eyes. Yet now in the face of looming global threats, where are those young people and their passions? What is it? Is too much pessimism turning them off? Do they have no sense of opportunity to make a difference? Or is there a tipping point that must be reached but isn't yet? Or rather than taking the older generations long path from teenager to passionate political/environmental/whatever activist to dollar-oriented stockbroker, they are simply going straight to stockbroker? What must happen to engage those with the most flexibility, potential and opportunity to change the future?
Good question! My guess is they are too busy entertaining themselves with the latest games and gadgets.
The social catalyst in the 1960's was a service draft feeding  a decent sized war with a lot of killing. We would see the same thing within days of general conscription.

It was believed, wrongly so, that professionalizing the military in lieu of a citizen army would be a better solution to protecting our vital interests. That has not proved the case. We lost the natural checks and balances that go with mandatory national service and our military interests have become corrupted.

Pioneered by the Roman Republic.  With quite likely the same outcome.
Trying to scrape a living and pay off college debts.
Students dont question or rebel anymore. They are too shagged waiting tables, working nights and fearful or asub-perfect grade.

The fun has gone out of being a student. (Which is what the plutocracy wanted..)

Peak oil draws attention to a person's mortality.  As a lot of young people have not yet come to terms with the fact that one day they will die, telling young people that they are likely to slowly starve to death or die in violence is only met with blank stares of mental denial or cognitive dissonance.

Peak oil is not normative.  

There is nothing about peak oil that says that a person, young or old, should live a certain way.  Peak oil, instead, is often used to magnify pre-existing normative states.  So, for example, if a person believes that people should do no harm, then that person will seek to reduce their ecological footprint, perhaps by permaculture.  Peak oil merely gives them the rationalization to break away from the herd to do what they always felt was right.  If, instead, a person believes that people were put on the earth to subdue it and rule over it, then that person will speed up their efforts to find more ways to bring power to themselves, because time's a-wastin.  If a person believes that people were put on the earth to enjoy it, then that person will eat, drink, and be merry, because that person knows with even more certainty that it is only a short time before they shuffle off this mortal coil.  

Alpha Male is right.  People believe in peak oil if they already have an agenda, and a lot of young people have yet to really think about or decide exactly what their agenda is.  It's like trying to ask yourself what you want to do before you die without being able to admit to yourself that someday you will die.

We have our distractions.  As a college student, there are women, class, women, college sports, women, video games, women, parties, and did i mention women? to keep us quite distracted.
Young people are looking forward to their lives. Unfortunately about all they hear from the "peak oil" crowd is that they are going to have to give up all the things they like and be forced into an eco-village or eco-commune or live the life of a hunter/gatherer in the woods in a teepee.
The more of this type of thing that is shoved in the face of the young (and the majority of the citizenery) the more likely that they are going to gravitate to the "Nuke their ass and get the gas" crowd. They are not going to give up their good life without one heck of a fight!
That is probably going to be a highly unpopular statement to make on this forum, but I think it probably needs to be said so maybe someone can come up with plans that are going to be acceptable to the majority of the population or you will not be listened to by them.
I think we on TOD get a warped view of the PO message that's making it to the outside world.  As far as I can tell, very little of the "doomer" message is being heard outside the confines of our insular little world.  Most people are hearing "expensive gas prices due to political instability and corporate greed", with a bit of global warming thrown in.

The plans that are hitting the general consciousness are emphatically NOT coming from the PO crowd.  To the extent that people are becoming aware of energy issues it revolves around GHGs.  The plan being promoted on that front include a personal powerdown message that is pretty much the same one that we would promote if our concerns were being heard.

I think BP is having a huge impact here.

It is sad that we have to come up with a way to "sell" the idea of peak oil to those who are in a certain demographic as if peak oil were some sort of aftershave or new video game.

That speaks volumes about the likelihood that anything will be done from the grassroots up, at least not from the tender shoots.

The disdainful, ironic young will fall into the maw of physical reality soon enough, and, at that time, they will probably resort to the only role models they have -- first person shooters. Like the increasingly young bands of armed men in strife torn countries, our young will be roaming the streets taking what they want from the older generations who tried to build lifeboats.

I, for one, cannot wait to plink a few.

That's funny - "Like the increasingly young bands of armed men in strife torn countries, our young will be roaming the streets taking what they want ..."

This will certainly happen in many currently First World cities in spite of how "civilized" the Firsties like to Think they are...

Morals and Ethics are luxuries easily disposed of when the Pressure is On.  The stray dogs in the streets (gangs) as well as the Suits will act no different than the terroists they do not understand, or Hezbollah or Israel, etc - when they are forced by Nature to abandon their previously "nonnegotiable (TitBaby) lifestyle."

My willingness to agree with you on many points and to acknowledge your analysis on others is only matched by my disdain for your tactics, your defeatism, and ultimately - your lack of true revolutionary zeal. What price would I pay to have you on the team? You won't respond.
I drove a carful of 19 year olds on a three hour highway trip a few weeks ago.  For most of the trip the discussion was about what a crappy world they were going to inherit and how they had to be conscious every minute of doing the right things.  I didn't initiate it, and they didn't need my input to keep it going.  They were all active to the extent they could be given their life situations.

I know a 22 year old who drives a hybrid Civic and is active in the intentional community her parents helped start.  Another girl of about the same age makes her own biodiesel, and is very active in the green aspects of NDP politics.

My partner's 3 daughters are all very enviro-conscious, compost with a vengeance and would never dream of throwing out a usable plastic container or bag.

So all is not lost, you just have to paint with a finer brush than you've used so far.

Im right here.  There are a few, but most I meet are either to busy worrying about THEIR problems, too busy figuring out how to pay the bills while going to school, or there are a few that stare at me in amazement sometimes.  They move on rationalize it as doomsday stuff, even if I never brought that part up.

The thing is if you tell a young person that it's quite possible that your entire way of life will change, good or bad, they tend to turn you off.  We're used to having an off button on everything, so why should people be any different?  I'm thinking about pushing this on campus more and maybe I could get a debate scheduled.  Curious to see how many would show though.

I have a fair bit of interaction with teenagers and 20-somethings on a regular basis.
My take (generalizations):
They have been raised in an atomized, disfunctional, and often fractured family and/or social setting. They have very high expectations, and are often highly dissappointed. They're largely marginalized by the crap mainstream society as a whole tries to push down their throats ("That's not me!"), and feel misunderstood, used, and ignored. They are smarter than most give them credit for, and extremely self reliant, self centered (not the same as selfish), and fiercely independent (or so they think), but often fail to related to interelated dependencies and complexities, prefering instead to generalize and view things simplistically, and are distracted easily, having very short attention spans (no doubt related to our distraction and info-tainment driven society).  They know the world is going to sh*t, and they're along for the ride, express a willingness to do what they can but not holding out much hope for results. And they're very, very busy.
Listen to your elders....they say stuff like this.  I've got to say as a member, you've pretty much nailed it, but I find one thing funny.

prefering instead to generalize and view things simplistically

It's funny that it took the same generalizations to be able to discuss the similarities amongst my generation that you speak of.  It's like the argument for the Palestinians.  They grew up being told to hate Isreal, so naturally they follow it.  The few smart ones are probably thiking this is stupid and its gotten us exactly nowhere in 60 years so let's try something different.

Divorce rates started creaping up on late baby boomers families and consequently amplified once those baby boomers were having kids. So now we've got a group of millions of people who watched families being torn in half by divorce and most that I know all repeat, "its not going to happen to me."  They fulfill that by either being very selective or avoiding dating all together or they get a divorce WTSHTF.

I think the expectations are high mainly due to schooling.  We've been sending more and more to college every year in a desperate attempt at guaranteeing our kids a better life than their parents, which was getting better in the 80's.  The common belief is that school is the meal ticket.  Truth be told, 4 yr degrees level the playing field and the masters seperates the cream.  Where does this end?

That self reliant part is another issue without efforts at planning for collapse.  I know I am fiercly indepedent and I find many like me who are products of the broken houses that couldn't depend on.  Just know there are some who are listening, but most just keep listening to their iPod.  You've got the votes anyway....

Thanks, Tate. ^_^
No offense, but the self-righteousness of the Boomers is a little much to take at this point. The Civil Rights movement was the only successful challenge to this nation's political and economic establishment from that era, and as the Boomers have all moved into positions of power in the last two decades the results have been less than pathetic.

So please spare the romanticizing of a failed generation -- the richest in the history of the world by the way. As Dr. Thompson said, "history will look at the last half of 20th century America as a big party by a bunch of rich kids." Quite a legacy.

Totally agree.
I wish I knew how to throw a party that lasted 50 years.
As a baby boomer, I do take offense. I worked all my life since I was 15 years old. I paid for my entire college education myself (not my parents). Over the years, I volunteered many hours of my own time for non-profit organizations. I'm most certainly not rich by U.S. standards, but I try to effect people in a positive way. I've never spent much time partying as I prefer intellectual and spiritual pursuits. I know a lot of other people like myself. True, the baby boomers didn't have a great war to win as "greatest generation" did with WWII, but many in our generation made sacrifices in Viet Nam. The baby boomers furthered civil rights, equality for women, environmental awareness, etc. I suppose the self-righteous you mention are those who spoke out against injustice, intolerance, etc.? We are only failed in the sense that all generations fail: We did not cure world hunger, bring about global peace, or end injustice. Yes, there are many things we should have done, such as develop renewable energy sources, but too often we have been thwarted by our elected officials. To characterize the baby boomers as a bunch of spoiled brats is very narrow-minded.
I beg to disagree, there was a war to win, the energy war and for 3 decades nothing done, and to blame it the politicians, nice cop-out. What's SUV ownership rate amongst boomers? I'll bet it's highest. Spoiled yes, as we all are in America, self-absorbed like no generation has ever been.
"where is the mass of young people in this?"
"marching down streets and interstates"

It seems to depend on which country you live in... Here in France, they're pretty active :
(look this one from IMG_4598.jpg...)

And as I'm typing this, they're once again speaking of peak oil on TV :
This guy is Jean-Marc Jancovici, his website :
His book :

Good website. Brought me inside the wondrous world of peak oil.
I'm a GenX'er.  We should keep in mind that the younger adult generation was fully raised with a post-modern world-view.  They think entirely differently than those in the generation older than I, who mostly think in a modernist way. GenX'ers like me are torn between modernist and post-modern thinking.

Here's a list of the main features of post-modernism, and hence of how 20-somethings think, from wikipedia:

A continual skepticism towards the ideas and ideals of Realism and The Enlightenment, especially the ideas of progress, objectivity, reason, certainty & personal identity, and grand narrative in general.

The belief that all communication is shaped by cultural bias, myth, metaphor, and political content.

The assertion that meaning and experience can only be created by the individual, and cannot be made objective by an author or narrator.

Parody, satire, self-reference, and wit.

Acceptance of a mass media dominated society in which there is no originality, but only copies of what has been done before.

Globalization, a culturally pluralistic and profoundly interconnected global society lacking any single dominant center of political power, communication, or intellectual production. Instead, the world is moving towards decentralization in all types of global processes.

where is the mass of young people in this?

Where have all the young people gone,
Long time not seen?

The answer my Boomer-aged friend (*),
is a blowing in the MTV wind.

Where have all the young people gone,
Long time ago?

Gone into entertainment's chase,
To get to that "rich & famous" place.
Gone to a Wall Street Roost,
To get their financial freedom boost.

Oh when will they ever will learn?
Oh when will they ever will learn?

The answer my friend
Is not till they're old & burnt.
The answer my friend
Is not till they're old & burnt.

(But then, of course, it's too late.)

Young people are mainly treading water to stay afloat in the expectations of the labor market, doing what they can to get or keep a job - like everyone else, basically. To recover from these ordeals, they turn to the solution society offers on a golden plate: consumption. Which requires money, and so on..
Am I wrong:

Corn/Cellulosic has, at best, an EROEI of 2.
Sugar cane has at least an EROEI of, lets say, 6.

Can someone please explain why we can't grow sugar cane in the US?

Sugar cane needs a tropical/subtropical climate. It is in fact grown in the U.S. - in Hawaii.

What about the sugar beet? That's grown widely in the U.S. and Europe.

yeah, what about the sugar beet?...before sugar prices crashed in the eighties, sugar cane was grown in hawaii,and the far south, i believe,Louisiana, California,etc. but sugar beets were grown in more northerly areas. why isn't anyone talking up sugar beets for ethanol. at least that makes some sense on an EROEI basis, compared with corn.
So there are no strains of sugar cane that would happily grow in Florida, Texas, or other Coastal Southern states?
Some sugar cane is grown in Florida, Lousiana, Hawaii, and Texas. Sugar beets might be better suited to the U.S. climate.
Wait till global warming really starts to hit, then more of the U.S. will be suitable for growing sugar cane.
you can find the sugar cane growing areas here...the map shows a limited growing area, since sugar cane is tropical. sugar beets on the other hand, can grow with only a 100 day growing season, which would include all but the most extreme parts of the U.S. BP is doing sugar beets to bioethanol in britian:
..All this beet thought made my ears perk up when I heard about a new biobutanol plant in England. Biobutanol is an alcohol, like ethanol, that can be mixed with gasoline. But unlike ethanol, it has a higher energy density, and so, instead of decreasing fuel efficiency, it keeps it about the same. The plant is being developed by DuPont, in partnership with BP, and--you guessed it--the feedstock for the first factory will be beets. Michelle Reardon, a spokeswoman for DuPont, said, "Biobutanol is not a new product, it's just never been cost-efficient before." But when pressed, she admitted that the only reason they were using beets had to do with the fact the first plant was in Britain. "In Britain, they use sugar beets," she said, "In the United States we'll use corn." Those biobutanol plants may be online in the United States by 2010...

....hmmm...beets there but corn here?..certainly doesn't make sense from an EROEI standpoint..6 vs. 1.3 , right?..but earlier in the article was this:
...the sugar-beet farmers, as you can imagine, don't have the power of, say, the corn lobby, which is funded by companies like Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland. Although the USDA is investigating sugar-based ethanol production, there are skeptics. Keith Collins, the USDA's chief economist, was quoted as saying, "Technologically, it's possible. The question is: is it economically feasible?" Never mind that growing all that corn for ethanol production is only economically feasible because of governmental subsidies for growing corn and a fuel tax incentive of 51 cents per gallon for corn ethanol...
...so, what's the deal?...economic feasibility or politics?..i bet you know in an ADM minute.
of course the inevitable question actually is do we grow food or fuel?...this from the gulf on rising food costs as a result of the biofuel craze:
Goldman estimates that more than 60 per cent of arable land in the European Union would be needed to meet the demands of the biofuel industry if the region was to replace 20 per cent of the fossil fuels used in transport with biofuels.
It's my understanding that making ethanol from sugar in the US is not feasible because of price supports for sugar (it costs too much).
The iron triangle strikes again.

I began to come of age politically when I finally figured out why my corn-state representative would go on a junket funded by the US sugar industry. Oh, sugar quotas makes corn my profitable you say!.....

Also uses quite a bit of water, and must use a hell of a lot of fertilizer. That's why the everglades are all screwed up.
Do we know that the EROEI for sugar beets is 6?  I've seen the number references for sugar cane but do we know that beets would have the same return?
The EROIE numbers I have seen quoted frequently for sugar cane are about 8-10. Some of this comes from using fibrous cane waste to generate electricity, which can not be done with beets. So 6 sounds reasonable.
Not that people haven't thought of it--


It's a matter of scale, economics, soil suitability, sustainable methods of agriculture and moderation of demand.

Thanks for the links, NLNG. It led to me to this page whcih has some interesting stats on ethanol versus gasoline: jet size up 19% gave only 5% less mpg; also, mpg improved 16% under load!

This, and the evidence of Saab's BioPower car, lead me to believe that most US flex-fuel vehicles are NOT optimized for E85 but are relatively low compression engines designed for gasoline with minor changes to prevent rubber/steel corrosion by ethanol.

That's a nice top-level summary of most of the candidates. Add to your list of problems the details of processing for ethanol production. One of the advantages of corn is that the grain is extremely stable post-harvesting. Sweet sorghum, varieties of which can be grown most anywhere corn can, using less fertilizer and less water, has the potential to produce much more ethanol per acre than corn. Unfortunately, much of the initial processing has to begin very soon after harvest, probably on the farm itself. This aspect of the biomass to ethanol problem — what happens if you harvest in September but can't process until January — is not given enough attention.
Sugar beets? There isn't a powerful lobby in Washington to represent sugar beet farmers. Also, sunchokes are a great ethanol crop.
Two good geostrategy opinion pieces on Israel/US/UK v The Rest of the World:

From Asia Times Online:
The spirit of resistance
By Pepe Escobar
(this covers the resource-war aspect as well)


From Counterpunch:
Why Israel is Losing

Grain drain
Get ready for Peak Grain. Two months of global food reserves is all that's separating us from mass starvation.

Grain Drain

This is alarming, or is it sensationlism? I know record heat waves are being recorded but, best i can tell we are facing a real crisis in the very near future.

I have been following this problem for years.

You can review tables of world
grain production by country at this USDA website:


The page is updated monthly.

The real problem is not wheat, it's rice,
which is the main food staple for the majority
the Earth's population. Farms can't meet
demand and stocks are reaching critical levels.

China was once a grain exporter, but no
more. Once China uses up it's spare stocks of grain
and they start importing vast sums of food, we
can expect a major rise in food prices here in
the USA and elsewhere.

All those cheap exports we get from China are
at a price.  China paves over farmland to
build factories.  And water once used to grow
food is now used to make things.

What goes around comes around.


Hybrids of rice were the biggest gainers of the green revolution.
Saw this article today about OPEC production....

"Saudi Arabia is at 9 million bpd flat and possibly even less by the end of the month,"


Petrologistics were right when everyone else was wrong about this, so they have credibility.
"Everyone else?"

Published on 24 May 2006 by GraphOilogy
Texas and US Lower 48 oil production as a model for Saudi Arabia and the world

Brown & Khebab:

"In summary, based on the HL method and based on our historical models, we believe that Saudi Arabia and the world are now on the verge of irreversible declines in conventional oil production. While there will be massive efforts directed toward unconventional sources of oil, we predict that unconventional sources of oil will only serve to slow and not reverse the decline in total world oil production."

Sorry about that, I meant all the alphabet soup statistical agencies were wrong :-)
The world economy is hanging by a thread suspended by the Ghawar Field on one end, and the Cantarell Field on the other end.   I suspect that production in both of these fields is declining--probably very sharply in both cases.  

Note that the Saudis keep issuing contradictory statements.  They initially conceded that production was down--and then claimed that production was back up to 9.5 to 10 mbpd.  I have severe doubts about what both the Russian and Saudi governments say about their production.  The bottom line, IMO, is that net export capacity is falling.

Seems like someone else has previously made the same points that Mr. Kirk is making.  FYI--he's got some very good numbers in a table in the article.

Explosive Oil Consumption Growth in the Top Oil Exporting States
by Randy Kirk

Published on 25 Jul 2006 by Energy Bulletin


"At a time when questions exist concerning the ability of the top 14 states to increase production, dramatic increases in domestic consumption of oil in these states is ominous. Morgan Stanley Hong-Kong based analyst Andy Xie in 2005 wrote that the only reason the price of oil was going up was because of growth of Chinese demand. This view is ridiculously incomplete. Oil consumption growth in the major exporting states - OPEC and Russia - without corresponding increases in production, will lead to declines in the amount of exportable oil, leading to increased competition for the remaining exportable barrels of oil."

Your export-land model strikes again.
Here's another interesting quote from the article:

Iran, Opec's second-largest producer, is expected to pump 4 million bpd in July, about the same as in June, as it shifts unsold barrels of mainly heavy crude.

"Iran SEEMS TO BE GETTING RID OF ITS OIL IN STORAGE, so they are well up on previous months," Gerber said.

Is this saying that Iran's production is up but only because they are selling stored oil?  They didn't really pump 4 million barrels a day, they pumped 3.8 and sold another 0.2. Wonder why they'd do that?

Also I'm wondering if anyone knows if OPEC has ever been producing below their quota.  They've been doing so lately whereas, I think, they used always to produce over their quota.

BP is out with their latest earnings. further on in the article was this, by lord browne, the ceo:
Browne, who has said oil will fall to $40 a barrel, said in February he would return $65 billion to investors over three years should crude stay above $60 a barrel.

....those three years would be 2864,3016, and 8673.

Electricity is getting expensive

ELECTRICITY ($/megawatt hour)           PRICE*     TIME

Mid-Columbia, firm on-peak, spot    187.71    07/24
Palo Verde, firm on-peak, spot            277.5    07/24
Bloomberg, firm on-peak,
day ahead spot/West Coast            358.57  07/24


Yukos seems to be going south, with the Russian Govt set to grab its remaining assets. Story here:


Stuart, don't you mean King Abdullah?
"We will not hesitate to take severe measures against those who are aiming thousands of rockets and missiles against innocent civilians," said Olmert, Bloomberg reported.
What's he going do, shoot himself?


The irony is that Israel's offensive has been totally ineffective. The scary thing is that this might push Israel to  up the ante by striking Damascus.

You mean that hasn't been penciled in already?
i am wondering when/if they will start lobbing their nukes around. considering their tendancy to retaliate with many times more force then attacked personaly i think it will only take a multiple rocket hit on their capital telavive(spelling?)

We are not playing candyland, we are playing chess. And try spellcheck for a change.

spellcheck only works when your close to a word. on the other hand had no idea how to spell it.
also chess is for rational people, isrial has proved long ago they are not rational.
OK TKaiser,

You need to lay off the wine tonight...Israel and Tel Aviv.

If the misspellings were intentional, then I apologize for correcting you.

You only win at chess if you are not rational and do the unexpected...case in point...Bobby Fisher.

(since the "As Canterell goes" thread is essentially buried, I am reposting a late post I did there, regarding my response to the CBS story post I ran as the story was being aired yesterday.  This is for the prupose of clarifying where I stood, and why I considered, and still do consider, the story of considerable importance, given where it ran and what it said, and the lessons of our history)

Since I opened this can of worms by watching CBS News, and seeing the report (purely be accident, I was not searching for it or any other conspiracy theory), I will finish my part in the string, with a few quick observations....

  1.  To the theory, "Roger you've been had....", not so quick there, my fellow students of the oil biz....I do not and did not say that I agree with the report in question, but simply that it is now out there, so folks are going to use it and others like it as part of the world view, whether we insist they should or not.

  2.  If there is even a few percent chance that the production is being "handled", it does invalidate most of the stat stacking.  There simply is no way to really use the production stats for anything but a guess.

  3.  The part of the story that everyone here seems to find most hilarious is the one part that no one accused in the story denied.  That there were meetings on production by the parties mentioned, that agreements between OPEC and non OPEC occurred, and that at least some parties seemed to carry out thier part of the bargian was not disputed by Saudi Arabia or other parties, they simply argued that there was nothing wrong with it, it happens all the time, and does not constitute any type of "fixing" but instead, simply insures market "stability"

  4.  The story does not factually invalidate "peaking" worldwide" it simply indicates that any type of peaking would be completely impossible to prove, one way or the other.

  5.  Peaking by certain large producers (Canterell and North Sea) would make the ability and the desire of the other large players with oil production to spare to gain leverage and control pricing all the more pronounced.

Lastly, we cannot ignore the lessons of the past.  We have been led down this path before, with a massive drop in production that lasted a half decade, in the 1980's.  We were all but certain then that the peak had occurred.  Then, when the price collapsed, attempting to get anyone to believe that fossil fuel actually was in crisis over the longer haul became all but impossible, as it still is.  I cannot stress this last one enough:  If we have another similiar event, and prices do in fact collapse after the creating of hysteria again, then conservation, efficiciency, and alternative technology will be thrown in the garbage and it will be burn as you can afford.  Perhaps global warming would put some reason to slow off on consumption, but right now, it is not being taken seriously.  We simply must be VERY, VERY CAUTIOUS ABOUT CREATING ANOTHER FALSE ALARM.

It already makes many people who are deeply concerned about oil depletion very worried when we have to notice that most of the "Peak oil" movement is actually born....in the oil industry.  From Campbell to Deffeyes, to Boone Pickens to Matt Simmons, to Will You Join Us dot com, the core intellectual position of the movement that says the age of oil is over are people with a vested interest in the age of oil (!?).  Even for those of us who accept the major premises, this is discomforting.  

The fact is, we simply have almost no "FACTS" to go on.

If accepting that fact means I have been had, so be it.
Again, EXTREME CAUTION is the order of the day, we are running completely blind here.

Roger Conner  known to you as  ThatsItImout

Your point is well taken, but some of us don't think it matters a bit how "cautious" we are about sounding the alarm.

Nothing is going to get done anyway. That's how I feel today. I reserve the right to change my mind about it tomorrow, IF I see any evidence of Things Happening.

I don't want to pick on you, but one really should distinguish the present (2005-2006, the period about which those idiots made their ridiculous claims) from the past (1999-2001, the date of the documents they present). It's as if I launched into a rant about Bush, and you stopped me in my tracks, "But don't you know that Clinton's president?"

your point is taken.

Although one may give the possibility that the easier documents to get are the older ones, and the possibility that organizational improvement comes with time, meaning efforst could be even better and more devious now...

I am still trying to work out in my own mind the issue that seemingly everybody started peaking at once...

suddenly, all of Mexico's future reserves and possible drilling spots are gone...
suddenly Canada's future reserves and potential drilling spots are gone...
suddenly, West Africa and North Africa's future reserves adn possible drilling spots are gone...
suddenly, Russia, as vast as she is, is barren of potential exploration possibilities
suddenly, Norway's future has collapsed
suddenly, South America has nothing...even though Brazil seemed to get lucky one last time
suddenly, the Pacific and offshore Australia has lost it's once well considered potential
suddenly, the Indian Ocean has lost what once considered it's future potential
suddenly, offshore Persian Gulf has lost any future potential...
suddenly, even though BP makes big investments in the Gulf of Mexico, and there are still large tracts unasseyed because only a few years ago it was considered too deep, now, they have lost their future...

And nobody seemed to know this, through the 1980's and the 1990's, that they would all loss their reserves virtually without even being explored, much less produced?

The whole thing is very suspisious if one wants to look at it with a big of jaundiced eye....:-)

Frankly, I don't think anyone but a madman can make the assertion that consumption is anything but completely out of control, and even if the oil is there we are straining the industry off the edge of endurance to try to keep turning up the flow for what is waste, and absolutel idiotic uses of fuel (the Japanese are now showing off supercars to be introduced around 2010 that will be 550 horsepower, so the waste seems unlikely to stop.

But the sudden, all at once dissappearing of Recoverable Reserves worldwide is starting to strain credulity as well.  Again, it is becoming more and more obvious, that we just cannot know the scale of reserves out there.  We can known that it will be a logistical strain to drag them out as fast as humankind desires to waste them, and risk a petroleum delivery system that simply breaks down under the strain.  Again, I am back at my old point, logistical issues may be as dangerous as geological ones, but that creates an entirely different se of scenarios.

I just plain don't know.  And I don't like running blind.
I would rather fight a horrible crisis that be left out in the dark.  I think that's why this confusion and obsfication is so bothersome to me.  But, that's just me.

Roger Conner  known to you as ThatsItImout

And yet crude oil prices are down $1.50 today. Go figure.
So what .
It is a dog toothed curve, but with an inexorable upward trend. To make a real difference, you would need 'massive demand destruction' (aka global depression, hyper inflation and mass starvation), or the discovery of 5 new Ghawars.

The Cantarell story is of incredible, gob smacking significance. It will be lost on all but the people cursed/blessed with an understanding of PO. If now, soon , or by 2010 Ghawar starts to fail,it is basically 'game over'.

What I found revealing in the LA Times story was that the Cantarell field was named after a peasant who whent fishing and noticed oil bubbling up to the sea surcface...

Shit, if they are THAT BIG you do not need 3D Siesmic...

hey ho.

You're absolutely right. I just found it ironic that crude oil futures would sell off at the same time this Cantarell story came out. It suggests that either futures traders are not paying attention, or they think it is non-news. They're probably too busy studying bogus government economic reports.
"But the sudden, all at once disappearing of Recoverable Reserves worldwide is starting to strain credulity as well."

Reserves are not disappearing--there were just overstated.

Commercial oil fields are still being found in Texas--33 years after we peaked.  Have we have been able to reverse the decline?   No.  The biggest drilling boom in state history in the Seventies resulted in 14% more producing oil wells by 1982 (versus 1972), but production fell by about 30% from 1972 to 1982.  The problem?  The declines in the large, old fields like East Texas overwhelmed the smaller new field discoveries.

East Texas is to Texas as Ghawar is to Saudi Arabia as Cantarell is to Mexico as Burgan is to Kuwait as Daqing is to China.  

We know four of these fields are in terminal decline.  It's a very high probability that Ghawar is also in terminal decline.

The rise and fall of the big fields is the reason that we can use the HL technique to compare various regions to each other.


Your assumptions are untrue. Decline in discoveries was noted decades ago and has been discussed. IOCs have noted repeatedly over the years about the difficulty of replacing reserves. The fact that NOCs have not commented about it is due to them being secretive state-run organizations yet there is no reason to assume that they would be significantly different from the IOCs.

Further, places didn't "lose" reserves. They were marked to be explored. Exploration finally occurred and no discoveries were made. That's part of the crap shoot that is oil exploration.

You make this sound like a huge conspiracy but the peak of discoveries was back in 1963. Just what do you think is going to happen to production when discovery has fallen so badly for 43 years?

You're constructing strawmen to justify your newfound belief in mass conspiracy rather than straightforward geology driven by massive human overpopulation.

By the way, note that some areas still are increasing production, just not terribly fast because they were not terribly huge discoveries relative to the giants like Cantarell or Ghawar. Places like Nigeria, Angola, and Brazil have been increasing. The "-stan" nations of central Asia have also. The problem is that a single 10 billion barrel field in Khazakastan doesn't offset the end of a fifty-to-hundred plus billion barrel field elsewhere.


Again, your point is well taken, and I am still of the belief that we are in serious petroleum trouble, with or without production manipulation.  I think I pointing out, much more than my "newfound belief in mass conspiracy"  (not really my thing, I don't even go in for some of the iron triangle conspiracy theory that says the auto, petrel, and real estate industry are silencing all real discussion (which indicates by the way, that peak oil folks are not against conspiracy theories, if they blow the right direction!:-), but more my prior statement:


And right now, even more than before, that seems to be where we are at.

Roger Conner known to you as ThatsItImout

Dude, you need to read the "Tao of Pooh" or something else to chill out.


Over the centuries Taoism classic teachings were developed and divided into philosophical, monastic, and folk religious forms. All of these could be included under the general beading of Taoism. But the basic Taoism is simply a particular way of appreciating, learning from, and working with whatever happens in everyday life. From the Taoist point of view, the natural result of this harmonious way of living is happiness.

Re:  Oil Production & the "Iron Triangle"

The key point about prior attempts to curtail oil production is that they corresponded to periods of lower prices.  At current prices, everyone with oil production is trying to maximize production.  However, there have been some discussions about the wisdom of maximizing production (e.g., Kuwait).

As several people have noted, prior increases in oil prices have resulted in large production responses--especially in Saudi Arabia.  The response by Saudi Arabia to higher oil prices this time has been flat to declining oil production--just like Texas in the Seventies.  And based on the HL model, the Saudi oil production decline was expected, and predicted.

I don't think that we are flying blind at all.  The Lower 48 peaked at about 50% of Qt.  Russia plateaued at 50%.  The North Sea peaked at about 50%.  Mexico appears to have peaked at 50%.   Saudi Arabia appears to have peaked at about the same point as Texas.   And finally, the world is at about 50%, and world crude + condensate production is down by about 1% since December.  All of these regions--and the world--are basically following the HL model.

In regard to my "Iron Triangle" thesis, I don't view this as a true conspiracy, where the groups get together to try to figure out how to combat Peak Oil.  Instead, I think that most of the auto/housing/finance, media and major oil company/major oil exporters/energy analyst groups have a common perceived self-interest in arguing against Peak Oil.

Excellent post, Roger. Get rid of the caps, though, buddy. Move to italics, or underlining. I seriously think it will improve your style. Bold use must be extremely linited. But it will work. aLWAyz hAPPY To provide assistance. You are basically right about the things you say here. Your detractors are full of it. Stop treating them kindly.
Saudi Arabia warns everybody that if the peace option fails because of Israeli arrogance, there will be no other option but war," said King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Reuters reported.

The quote above should scare people more than anything Iran has dished out.  Saudi Arabia is basically saying, if Israel doesn't cool it's jets, they are ready to jump into the fray.

 I don't think the Saudi's have to do anything militarily. If they want to influence current events they just need to take down some oil production equipment for "maintenance".
Bush just announced that he is sending more troops to Iraq.

Not really, just redeploying them to Baghdad, in response to the new govt. It is like the stock market, it goes up and it goes down, but not a whole lot yet.


You need to retract this statement. Or modify it, or seriously contextualize it. It's not right. It is simply not right. It flies in the face of everything else you do and that you stand for. Please ammend it in some way.

somebody that agrees with you

Of course you are correct, I just caught part of the new conference.  
I guess we'll find out how many Saudi air force pilots are Philipino.
Only the best ones;-)

Saudi would love to attack Israel and then have the Israel launch air strikes against them and thereby provide the PERFECT excuse for rapidly declining output of usable crude in SA.

But the Israelis are not that dumb, no matter what the Saudis do.

The Israeli government appears dumb enough to launch a war into southern Lebanon that they cannot win and in the process are strengthening their enemies and alienating their allies.
Man...this rings a bell.  Who else has launched a war they can't win and strengthened their enemies?
'stands in front of a jepordy podium and presses the button'
What is, The united states of america?
Correct...and since you are our Grand Prize winner this evening, we are sending you on a one way trip to the place that started it all...full of blooming poppies and rattling sabers...that sunny hotspot...home of the recently-recharged Taliban...beautiful Afghanistan!!
I think it's just strange, not really scary.  Bizarro day for King Abdullah, 'cause SA won't be attacking anyone. No way.

He is planning lip service to his country's increasingly dissatisfied underemployed younger generation.  When you think about it in those terms, the King had better be looking around for a way to mime that he is acting on the behalf of the suffering Muslim brothers in Lebanon and Palestine--or he may not survive this crisis himself.  That possibility is really scary.

er, paying lip service...
Israel suggests NATO as peacekeeping force


How much of the impetus for the U.S. to broker a truce came from the fear that Saudia Arabia could use it's own "oil weapon"?

Well this could be a start to ending the short term thinking, but I fear too many people are too concerned with making the almighty dollar right now and don't care.


2 business groups call for halt in forecasts on quarterly earnings

Jul. 25, 2006 12:00 AM

Two influential groups are calling on companies to stop issuing quarterly-earnings forecasts as part of a series of reforms they say will help stifle the nation's "obsession" with short-term financial results.

The report was released Monday by a unit of the CFA Institute, an organization for investment professionals, together with a unit of the Business Roundtable, a group of 160 chief executives. It follows discussions about "short-termism" that included the participation of companies, asset managers, analysts, shareholders and regulators.

The report concludes that an emphasis on quarterly earnings creates a system in which companies sacrifice long-term growth for short-term gains. Meanwhile, executives are often provided financial incentives for meeting short-term numbers, and that further supports the system.

Tax short term capital gains at extreme rates and longer term (whatever you want to emphasize) at lower rates. That alone will change the outlook on Wall Street overnight. But just stopping reporting of quarterly earnings will do nothing to change the current casino mentality of Wall Street.
The other day, this story on desertification of the Amazon was published in the Independent

Because I was a little shocked by the implications of this article (desert in as few as 2 years as opposed to the 100 or so I had heard before, I talked with a colleague who researches this stuff. He basically said that the main problem is that the experiment was done in the eastern portion of the Amazon, close to its present geographic limits. Whether the results can be generalized to the western and central portions of the region, particularly as one approaches the Andean slopes, is questionable.

Global warming IS upon us. That the Amazon is turning into a desert is shocking.

The hell with oil. Man the lifeboats!

O.K. now lets say your in the lifeboat... where are you going, or who do you think will rescue you
Good question!

I'm in a small rural community. Live four miles from work and two miles from shopping. Large garden. Wood burning stove and a woodlot.
Solar battery charger .....
As BP says, 'It's a start>"

I'm still thinking.

Sounds like a good one, better situation than most have in the US and Canada for sure, but it sounds like it is in many ways probably still dependant on the larger society continuing on more or less stable in order to be a pleasant situation.

I don't mean this as a critique of what you have done, or to wish you ill in the future by any means.

The most obvious problem that I have seen in several people I know who are in a somewhat similar situation to your is that they don't own their place, the bank does, and they are 25 years away from having the debt cleard thus about 90 days away from having to move if their job goes and the markets tank.

I hope we have that long, but frankly I'm very sceptical...

i don't like bp's ads because they fostier the false belief that doing anything no matter how stupid it is or how tied it is to black gold. of course the actual solutions are do not try at all to keep the current way of life going, but that is doing nothing and as the ad says doing somthing is [sarcasm]always better[/sarcasm]

to put it another way.
it's like a person who smokes just says he/she will smoke one ciggerette less a day, when this person is told that this does nothing to help him quiet he repeatedly says 'it's a start' this person then continues to smoke till he/she is dead.

Whereas you continue to not smoke until you are dead. Sorry, just thought I'd throw that in there for a bit of balance. Hope you don't mind. Maybe butter would have been a better example.
If your lifeboat has:
-fresh water
-the ability to grow food  
-other lifeboats around to trade and socialize with
-a functioning power supply
Why do you have to go anywhere or be rescued?
You forgot about the small army will need to guard you from those that are left outside the lifeboat.
No I haven't, I just don't advertise  `s`
here's an update on the STL refinery issue....

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/business/stories.nsf/story/3481853182051435862571B6000C58A9?OpenDoc ument

The ConocoPhillips Wood River refinery, the largest in Illinois and the major gasoline supplier for the Metro East area, could be restarted sometime next week after the severe storm Wednesday damaged the plant and a power outage shut it down.

Unless the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency grants a waiver quickly on the kind of reformulated gasoline sold in Metro East, there could be shortages at the pump in St. Clair and Madison counties and parts of Jersey and Monroe counties, said David Sykuta, executive director of the Illinois/Missouri Petroleum Council, which represents major oil companies that operate in the state.

"We've not had a problem so far because many people haven't had power," Sykuta said. "Once everyone gets their electricity back on, more people will be moving around. That will create a demand for more gas."

On the Missouri side, shortages have not developed, Sykuta said, because gasoline made especially for that market comes through pipelines from Texas Gulf Coast refineries.

Robert Rapier I call BS!  I believe you said this gas was coming to the STL, but I thought i came from a pipeline out of TX.  According to the last paragraph, the latter seems to be the case. In all honesty it doesn't matter b/c in times of need, those IL drivers will come to my STL side to get their gas.

Robert Rapier I call BS!  I believe you said this gas was coming to the STL, but I thought i came from a pipeline out of TX.  According to the last paragraph, the latter seems to be the case.

Sorry, just now noticed this. I have some friends at Wood River. I will ask if they know how much product is supplied to STL. Some RFG components may be coming from Texas, but it would be much more cost effective to put product from the refinery right into STL. Shipping from Texas involves transportation costs and tarrifs. My guess is they make RFG right at the terminals, if STL requires it. But I will do some checking.



IM really curious as well.  I've talked to some people who I respect and they both were like it comes from TX.  I thought it made no sense, but accepted it.  A month or so back I posted a chart with transfers of oil between regions and it seemed that the lower PAAD in TX supplied most other PAADS.  So I accepted it as fact, but I'll wait to hear from you.
Just this second got off the phone with a buddy at Wood River. He said the refinery there supplies 40-50% of the gasoline requirements of STL, and supplies all of the jet fuel to the airport. He said that as a result of the outage, they brought up supply from Texas to fill the gap. That may be what people are getting confused about.



The above article specifically states that b/c gas comes from TX refiners via pipeline to STL, we wouldn't be affected.  I wouldn't doubt the need for jet fuel though.  We've got quite a few airports around here especially, smaller ones.  My prices didn't budge all week/end, so I don't get it.
The above article specifically states that b/c gas comes from TX refiners via pipeline to STL, we wouldn't be affected.

Well, that isn't correct. I told my buddy of that perception, and he said "Oh, no. We supply a major fraction of gas to STL."

My prices didn't budge all week/end, so I don't get it.

I will give you a good guess. They found they could get product up the pipe quickly enough from Texas to avoid running out, and they didn't want to jack up prices with earnings being released today. However, if they couldn't have moved product up in time to refill terminals, they would have had no choice but to raise prices. My guess is that they just barely made it. Must have been sitting on decent inventories to start with.



Up until now we did enjoy one of the lowest 5 prices in the country.  Now we're somehow above the national avg for the first time that I can remember.
One Man's Long Battle To Get U.S. to Kick Oil

An article about Amory Lovins in today's Washington Post.


Our energy future is choice, not fate," says one of his studies, "Winning the Oil Endgame," which has glowing introductions by the likes of former secretary of state George P. Shultz and former Royal Dutch/Shell Group chairman Mark Moody-Stuart. "Oil dependence is a problem we need no longer have -- and it's cheaper not to. U.S. oil dependence can be eliminated by proven and attractive technologies that create wealth, enhance choice, and strengthen common security."

Amory implicitly asks a good question: If we pursue efficiency relentlessly, how much energy do we need to support our standard of living? If we had started down Amory's path 20 years ago, I would feel more confident in our ability to actually make the transition. Because Amory's path requires a lot of capital spending, so that we have efficient cars, efficient buildings, wind turbines, etc. And there are a lot more people now, and a lot more capital that has been misallocated. So I wonder whether there is a stable path that gets us from here to there.
DoubleDutchDoom has me wondering if there is a consensus at ToD on the most likely future for humanity:

The consensus at the Oil Drum is that we will rationally move to a sustainable society with help of our great scientific (and social?) knowledge.

I'd love to see what the real consensus is at ToD.
Does TOD have a "poll" feature? Well here's a crack at a poll anyway:

In response to Peak Oil, population overshoot, climate change, and environmental degradation, do you believe that modern civilization will, in the next century,

  • a) irreversibly collapse and die-off to below pre-industrial population levels
  • b) transition to a sustainable and technologically advanced civilization of 6-8 billion humans
  • c) contract to a sustainable, less technological civiliation of under 2 billion humans

The poll is open for voting and editing. Choosing from the myriad of possible scenarios was very difficult, and well, multiple choice polls are inherently limiting. So, if you don't like my scenarios, add your own!
C is the most likely at this time.  However, during the transition, for the other 4 billion it will feel like A is taking place.  And "C" will be regional, with "A" in other regions of the world.  "B" right now appears very unlikely unless we really make some break throughs, and get our act together.  
And another thing:  Given the demographics and make up of the ME region, along with their own resource problems, I would say that area will be absolutely an "A" type area, which is very concerning because it means that whatever oil is in the region for production will be very difficult to extract and export in the future.  They have major food, water, and economic problems, which in that area are solved with killing, war, and terroism.  If they run into food, water, and economic problems, I do not see them just migrating to a nice orderly "C" world order.  I hope I am wrong, oh, do I hope and pray to be wrong.  
The Middle East has lots of problems - that is true. The biggest problem is instability due to the machinations of foreign powers. Previously, the UK and currently the USA. Just look at what is being done to Lebanon - historically the most democratic and advanced country in the region!
c.  I think the population curve will look similar to the peak oil curve.  
Just look at what is being done to Lebanon - historically the most democratic and advanced country in the region!

Stupid quote of the day which completely undermines any point author might have been trying to make and at same time ushers author into Club of People who have no idea what they are talking about but feel they have a contribution to make towards World Peace - so whatever they have to say, they're gonna say it.

Most democratic and advanced? How much time did you give to the notion that maybe Israel was the correct answer to your question? Let me guess. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Was I right?

Should I call you an asshole now, or should I wait for you to fumble around with some type of a response? I'll wait. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. And remember - the very best you can possibly do is working Lebanon to some level of parity, so I wouldn't bother with any other strategies(just want to same you some time and effort).

Given the fact that Israel has been occupying pieces of land that its inhabitants don't want to be occupied, for decades, I refuse to call Israel democratic any more than South Africa was democratic before 1990.
The U.S. has been occupying land that its inhabitants did not want them to occupy for more than three hundred and fifty years. Using your pellucid reasoning, therefore the U.S. is not a democracy because it did far, far worse things to Native Americans than Israel has ever done to any Arab population anywhere.
Exactly. The corollary is that there are barely any democracies in the world, but we already knew that.
Speaking on behalf of Alfred for one moment,why would any self respecting adult make any reply to the nasty swill you are dispensing here?
Oil CEO is taking much too much pleasure in spectating death.
The guy's playing with less than a full deck, never pretty to watch.
You were waiting for that opportunity, weren't you. Couldn't quite get the first word in, though. But you topped yourself. One sentence. I think you spelled everything right, too. But do you really know where you stand? How many cards do you have? I'm not even using close to a full deck. I'd say I have  about 6 left. Thank God I can figure percentages.

For the record, the only reason smekhovo has a problem with me is because I am the only one who will continually point out the fact that he is a Bosnian-Genocide denier and a racist and bigot in general, no matter what his intelligence, credentials, or present affiliations. I'd have a problem with that, too. Your only possible defense is calling me crazy. You have no other options. You certainly have proven yourself time and again to be incapable of debating anything with me on a factual level. Correct me if I am wrong. Look at the record. So I completely understand your animosity towards me. Get over it. I really have no need to pursue it. We can if you would like, though. It's up to you. I'll drop it, if you will. Sweet Dreams.

You are out of line. Back up your last sentence. Let Alfred speak for himself. If you want to explain yourself please use more than two sentences.
The biggest sustainability problem in the Middle East is overpopulation. They're in overshoot and they have serious water problems that are only going to get worse. Of course the Middle East is also badly infected with racism of all sorts which leads to political problems (which leads to wars and genocidal behavior). The combination of these two issues would be deadly if global systems that sustain the Middle East begin to crack and fail.
please do not post the same post several times in the same thread. it's the same as spam.
Just to get off the political bent for a moment could any of you more scientific types suggest an answer to the following. I promise it will be the last time I ask.
What percent of global warming can be attributed to the release of heat from the direct burning of fossil fuels?I figure the heat output at 5.9 times ten to the 18th btus since oil age began just in oil. Probably around 20 times 10 to the 18th for all fossil fuels although I'm probably  light on that. Presently we are releasing about 4.5 times 10 to the 14th BTU's per year. All or almost all has been released into the lower atmosphere and a reasonable amount into cooling water heading for the big sink. it just seems reasonable to me that we should know what component of global warming this represents as reducing the combustion, ALA peak, should have an immediate effect.
My error,  Should be 4.5 times 10 to the 17th not 14th, presently.
The heat generated by the burning of fossil fuels is negligable when compared to the heating of the earth by the Sun.  The heat flow onto the earth from the Sun and back out every day into space is huge.  The cause of global warming is that the Greenhouse gasses produced when we burn fossil fuels is reducing the amount of heat that gets radiated back out into space.  

Sorry, I don't have the numbers handy to back this up, but I am quite confident of its accuracy.

Testudo has it right. It has nothing to do with heat released by burning fuels. It has to do with the "greenhouse effect" - radiant energy (light) from the sun falls on the earth and is re-radiated by the earth as infrared radiation (heat). This infrared radiation is trapped by greenhouse gases (C02) in the atmosphere, so the earth warms up. Calculating this is very complicated because you have know (1) the intensity and spectral distribution of the sun's light falling on the earth; (2) the intensity and spectral distribution of the infrared (heat) energy radiated by the earth (which varies quite a bit across the earth's surface; (3) the amount of heat trapped by the atmosphere for a given C02 level (4) other factors such as cloud formation, polar ice melting that effects the heat radiation. It's not a simple calculation. That's partly why there has been so much controversy over this in the past.
If all that is happening is trapped heat that can't leave, why can't a satelite measure temps, or some other unit, that could have measured radiated heat on the edge of the atmosphere then and now?  Don't tell me it's that damn belt either.
"why can't a satelite measure temps, or some other unit"

Cuz they ain't as important as cuts in the estate tax.

NASA shelves climate satellites
Environmental science may suffer
By Beth Daley, Globe Staff  |  June 9, 2006

NASA is canceling or delaying a number of satellites designed to give scientists critical information on the earth's changing climate and environment.
The space agency has shelved a $200 million satellite mission headed by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor that was designed to measure soil moisture -- a key factor in helping scientists understand the impact of global warming and predict droughts and floods. The Deep Space Climate Observatory, intended to observe climate factors such as solar radiation, ozone, clouds, and water vapor more comprehensively than existing satellites, also has been canceled.


Using the total solar insolation of 174 Petawatts given at this site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth's_energy_budget
I get about 5.2 X 10^21 BTU/year for solar compared to your 4.5 X 10^17 BTU/year for fossile fuels.  This means, assuming our numbers are correct, that solar power to the Earth's surface is about 11,500 times greater than direct heating from fossil fuels.

Wiki puts the ratio at 7 X 10^-5, or about 14,000 times greater.

Mahalo  Gentlemen, Thats what i was looking for.
I came across this article
Water managers went so far as to shut down some of the electric-powered pumps that send water over the Tehachapis into Southern California.
Since we know power grids all over the world are failing or pushed to the limit. What are the positive feedback implications? As many plants are pushed to their maximum there is a greater chance of catastrophic failure at individual plants, what is the state of Turbine production?(ie: along the lines of the oil rig problem?)

ps I am kind of struggling with this format it ate my last post, bear wth me i am newbie

Personally, I don't think anyone really knows the implications because there has never been a perceived need to assess the impact of catastrophic cascading failures in key systems that sustain industrial civilization. Thus, there is little likelihood that anyone can give more than a SWAG about the probabilities. However, note that this plays right into the complexity problem discussed by Tainter and Diamond. Have the systems that sustain our civilization passed the point of sustainability due to their complexity (and the complexity of our civilization). I would answer yes to that and that it is only a matter of time before a set of failures occur together that begin a cascading effect on global civilization. This is, of course, just my opinion. If you find any informed studies on the matter with useful data behind them, be sure to bring them to light here. I, for one, would love to read them.
Hey GreyZone,
Thanks for the assignment and to your post who's key words led me to this
and this

You could interpret? This might be an interesting subject for it will play out exceedingly more frequently. Also the PCCIP is relatively old so I think at higher levels it isn't SWAG it should be FEAR
I am on it.

The first document simply attempts to categorize types of failures to distinguish between those that might cause cascading failures elsewhere and those that would not.

The second document is mainly a discussion of the internet alone and not really useful to a broader discussion of cascading system failures that could endanger industrial civilization.

What's interesting is that they are trying to define factors that might help define a computer program to be used to simulate these things. As I said before though, I am not aware of any such public studies. (I am aware of one classified study of possible cascading system failures but that study did not attempt to determine probabilities. Instead it assumed cascading failures would occur in that specific system and then looked at the aspects of military response to such a series of failures.)

I don't know if this addresses your question or not, but Consolidated Edison in New York had to take a difficult decision recently with regard to its electrical grid, and got it wrong (IMO):

Con Ed Faced Critical Choice on Shutdown

At a command center near Union Square in Manhattan, top managers at the utility had to choose: keep the power running and take the risk of causing more damage to the system, or shut down the network serving western and northern Queens, guaranteeing a wide blackout but one that could likely be resolved quickly.


So they kept the power on, the trouble spread, and eventually up to 100,000 residents of Queens were plunged into as long as eight days of sweltering darkness. Far more people, four to five times as many, would have lost power had the entire local network gone down, but the misery of the more limited blackout has lasted much longer than it probably would have in a controlled shutdown.

In the future I would expect to see more use of so-called interruptible-service contracts, where the customer agrees to have its power cut (with some advance notice) in return for lower rates. I don't know much about dynamic pricing, but my guess is we see more of that too. Rolling blackouts, as well, will probably be used more often. No one likes their power to go out, but an orderly or semi-orderly shutdown is far preferable to a catastrophic failure such as the August 14, 2003 blackout in the U.S. and Canada. I don't know if an orderly shutdown would have been possible in that case; here are a couple of references:


Now Israel is targeting UN observers, deliberately according to Kofi Annan.

No witnesses. They have gone insane. I have been silent up to today. No more. We are all in danger.

dave it gets worse. they are targeting the red cross too.
The rocket attack on the two vehicles wounded six ambulance workers and three civilians _ an 11-year-old boy, an elderly woman and a man, Deebe said.

"One of the rockets hit right in the middle of the big red cross that was painted on top of the ambulance," he said. "This is a clear violation of humanitarian law, of international law. We are neutral and we should not be targeted."

Sharon did the same thing for a Red Crescent helicopter, preannounced to international media, bringing in medical supplies during a ceasefire after the October War.

The Germans were pretty good about not shooting at hospital ships at sea, medics, ambulances during WW I & II.  Not so Likud (I cannot remember a comparable during a Labor Isreali gov't).

And Condi is right by his side !

I think we have our first Likud gov't in the US :-(

Torture (tortured an Iraqi 2 star general to death; a clear POW), ignore international conventions and law, ,,,,

right in the middle ...
For those able to get CBC television a show on how Cuba survived its enegy crisis will be televised this sunday.


And yet Cuba's population keeps going up (no die-off). Were demographics discussed?
The Cuban "miracle" did not take place in a vacuum. Cuba has had ongoing support from other nations, though not as extensive as while it was a Soviet client state. Cuba has done some remarkable things but they are not quite as remarkable as some want to believe.
That's the question...how remarkable? I don't know if the CBC piece is biased (look how superior the commies are than u.s.) or whether there is actual probity or insight.
Completely OT, but I thought it might be nice to share some positive writings about the state of the world today through the eyes of a Buddhist teacher.  It's a bit "New Age", but has some good points in it.

It was provided by a local Kansas City chap named John Fish Kurmann who has made it a crusade to educate people in this area about all things Peak.

The Great Turning as Compass and Lens by Joanna Macy


Hello everybody,

well,I read the old oil drum most days, don't post that often...

Lots going on out there...

I would like to offer a scincere thanks to everyone at the end of this long thread, as always lots of good and relevant info, plenty of fantastic ideas to grapple with.

I'm very glad as I read the news live and direct on the internet, to be floating in a little green lifeboat at the bottom of the pacific. Last week as I broad reached across to my favorite island, not the one I live on, I was thinking about old Don Sailorman and his mates, and what fun it would be to gather them togeather and see if we could find an excuse to open the Martell XO and solve the problems of the world...

Chins up everyone. Change is on his way and he's got a lot of mates. Best to be ready to embrace it whatever form it takes. Geological peak, Logistical peak, economic peak, even if it hasn't peaked, can I afford it anyway? Really after it's all said and done, I just want to sit around the fire with a full belly, cuddle my children, and tell stories into the night...

I work in 'the sustainable living centre' and articulate and explain many of the questions posed here every day. But the things that I think are most important. Know your enemy. Look to the horizon. Bend like a willow in the wind.

Thanks for helping me understand the issues everybody. Thanks to the crew that started this site and to those feed the fire of debate. Thanks to those who have yet to come, smell the coffee and get a kind of worried look on their face...

Is Tahiti your favorite island? So many old timers grumble about how it is no longer the way it was, but my impression is that this grumbling began around 1805.

My favorite island is Tortola--for its strategic location, its thousand ocean-going sailboats, its delightful people and its remarkable lack of criminal violence, compared to what goes on St. Thomas, just across the water. And Tortola rum, ahhhh, and all those women seeking sailing instruction, and the jerk chicken recipes that go back three hundred years in some cases, and how the airport never got an extended runway because somebody stole the funds, and the hot winds of paradise.

Jamaica is another island very close to my heart: I love the people, the music, the peaceful attitude of "Jamaica, no problem." True, Kingston is a pit, and I stay away from Montego Bay, but with those two exceptions, it is hard to beat Jamaica. And where "The Blue Lagoon was filmed," and much of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" was shot on or near Booby Cay, just an easy sail in a Sunfish from Negril beach.

Islands, so many anchorages, so little time . . . .

My parents kept a Hughes 40 moored at Spanish Town (Virgin Gorda) for a few years when I young. We used to go down in the summer to sail round the islands, including trips to Tortola. Road Town was nice, but I prefered The Baths at the far end of Virgin Gorda. Sandy Cay was another favourite. Sailing was great fun, except for the time when the bracket attaching the genoa to the bow broke and thrashed around in the wind ripping the genny to shreds before my parents could turn head to wind and catch it. I haven't been back since I was 16, but I have enduring memories of the place.
There are several exceptionally fine British Virgins. Islands, I mean, of course;-)

I've always liked Dead Man's Chest Island for its link to "Treasure Island" and that lovely lovely historical poem that begins:

"Fifteen men on the Dead Man's Chest,
Yo ho ho, and a bottle of rum.
Drink and the Devil had done for the rest . . . ."

Hey hey it's the old chap himself!!! Greetings fellow sailor...

Well, the island of choice is Great Barrier Island or Aotea, as in Aotearoa ( the land of the long white cloud).

Lovely little sail across from the mainland, about thirty miles all told. Funny you can be 50 miles sail away from a million people, holed up in a little bay eating fresh fish and drinking fine wine, and you can't see one of them... I guess they are battling the rush hour.

Oh yeh, to keep on topic, my sabb 18 horse 2 cylinder uses half a litre of diesel an hour. Good for six knots or so. I havn't used up my 25 litre tank on a trip yet...

This year there were a lot fewer big launches around, and strangely none of them were on the plane. Surely if you can stump up for a million dollar boat 400 liters of gas a hour shouldn't be a problem????

Wonder how it will be if diesel makes it to $2 a litre...