DrumBeat: July 26, 2006

Does anyone know any good alternative energy blogs, the only ones I follow are http://www.GoG2G.com and http://www.bioconversion.blogspot.com...what blogs to you follow?
Here is a good list to help you out, I also follow http://www.GoG2G.com ... the guy posts here under KonradImielinski...
Financial Nirvana
Renewable Fuels Association
Seeking Alpha
BioConversion blog
Natural Resource Investment Site
Alternative Energy in the 21st Century
Alternative Energy Stocks
Betray the Age
Cut Oil Imports
Enery Crisis Now!
Ethanol 360
Ethanol Alley
Green Car Congress
The Energy Blog
Alternative Energy Blog
Clean Energy Future
Cleantech Blog
Cleantech Investing
Environmental Economics
I want Clean Air
The Energy Blog
World Changing Blog
Well they are not blogs, but Homepower and Otherpower are two good practical sites that show how to use alternate energy sources.


Be sure to check out the Hamster-Powered Night Light With Custom Low-RPM Alternator, it's a hoot!


A good one I can recommend is http://www.renew-enery-blog.org which is moderated by RENEW Wisconsin (www.renewwisconsin.org). Disclaimer of bias: I generate a lot of the content on that blog.
Hey, thanks for viewing my blog...here is A SCARY STATISTIC...

I don't necessarily trust this finding but until proven otherwise I'm sticking with it.

I am of course an ethanol skeptic, but I don't believe that number. I have seen actual energy usage numbers from an operating ethanol plant in Illinois. The energy balance wasn't great, but it was positive. It is just not positive enough to justify making ethanol from corn.



Global Warming anyone?  The food supply shall suffer...

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/D/DEAD_LIVESTOCK?SITE=7219&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAUL T&CTIME=2006-07-26-03-19-01

The declarations allow dead livestock to be dumped in landfills - something usually outlawed because of health risks.
Yuck.  Dead cows in landfills.

And let's say it here at TOD:
Global Warming has killed 56 people in California.
Happy motoring!

Did you see that side article (San Jose Merc) about how demand is going to outstrip electrical supply by 2008?
And they didn't think that could happen for like anothe 2-3 yrs right?  Why aren't people trying to change this, rather than bitch about it though?
Put more dead cows in the landfills and take the methane for use in generating electricity!
Where I live in western Colorado, dead cows are composted by the county and  used as soil fertilizer.

This is because the regional rendering plant went out of business a few years ago, and we were forced to do something environmentally creative for a change.

For at least part of it they have little choice. California had 29 million people in 1990 but 33 million in 2000 and is expected to hit 38 million in 2010. Even if per capita consumption remains the same that's a 31% growth in total consumption over 20 years, and California has not exactly been quick to add new generating capacity. In order to lower demand they would have to add constant conservation gains greater than the rate of growth, forever - an obviously impossible situation - or they have to stop population growth.
I came across something could possibly help, but -----

My hot water heater is getting older and I started to think about a replacement (rural Minnesota) and I got to thinking about our discussion of Heat Pumps and got to wondering if anyone had ever made a heat pump water heater? A quick "google" gave me the answer. Yes, but they were expensive. There was a gov effort to help develop one that would be affordable. Would use half or less of the electricity used by a standard electric water heater to heat the same amount of water. It would provide dehumidifing in the basement as a "free" side benefit.
With the high (and going higher) price of propane I sure would expend the extra bucks (up to double the price of a standard water heater) to go with a heat pump water heater. I am currently persuing info on availability, prices and COP.
More info here:

You may also be interested in using "EcoCute"

More details here

Since 1999, a heat pump based on CO2 technology has been providing a Norwegian company with many advantages:

    * 22 kW heating capacity
    * 5.5 measured co-efficiency of performance (COP)
    * 80-90 C water temperature
    * Economic payback of invested money in less than three years

Ever tried to have a shower with a tankless water heater?
Good luck!
You will find out...

(OK, I'll spare you the anguish: no way it can properly regulate the temp mitigation)

 I have one.
Keep wrenching up the price of elecricity for heavy users,like they are doing.  At some point, maybe people will move.  Also, require that all new homes have PV, passive solar, and solar thermal. We have a crisis that will only exacerbate a bigger crisis if we give into those who want to expand supply with fossil fuels.

Any centralized supply increases should be wind/hydro/maybe nuclear/solar based.  

Of course, I think that 2008 is when Richard Duncan predicted rolling blackouts.
I have a question for the solar power folks here:

I don't see much discussion about "mirror farm" type solar these days, compared to PV panel systems. (i.e. a series of heleostats that focus sunlight on to a central boiler tower)

While PV would seem to be the way to go for equipment installed on / at individual buildings the much lower cost (I would assume) and embedded energy of a mirror, as opposed to an active semiconductor device, would suggest that both in terms of $ cost and EROEI it could be being rolled out a lot more than it is.

What do folks know about the current state of mirror farm technology?

I don't have URLs handy but earlier this year a large plant using such technology was approved for building in California. After approval was received there, they applied for two more such plants, I believe in Arizona and Colorado, but I could be mistaken on that.

The technology is apparently in use and is likely to grow in usage from what I've seen. The interesting thing about the California plant that caught the eye of factory owners in the northeast was that the facility was willing to guarantee specific rates over much longer time periods than the fossil fuel fired generating plants were willing to do. Electricity price stability was cited as a key factor in determining where to build new factories and this stability suddenly made "green" power more attractive than traditional power.

A couple of days ago I read an article about the world's largest parabola mirror solar plant which will be now under construction in Andalucia, Spain. The in-feed-law in Spain meanwhile offers as well incentives to invest in this kind of technology. This will certainly sput invesntemnts in this technology, because spanish people are very enthusiastic about investing in renewable energy, first in wind, today in  pv.

This project's name in Andasol 1. Technolgy comes from a german company which will install the 60 MW project.
Two further solar plants are already planned (for the people who can read german look here

Especially in the european or north american sun belt this technology will be much more feasible. Modern plants use melted salt for transporting the heat to the turbine. By night, this melted salt is being stored in a tank which can propel the water vapor turbine via a heat exchanger. So even in the dark night there is electricity available.

It is said, this technology can become a major technology in the North African areas, supplying this region with really abundant energy which can be transmitted via high voltage lines into the european grid (they say it will be 5 or 6 € cents per kwH including transmission). As well for providing thermal energy for desalination near the coast.

I don't have a link now, but I think in Marocco the king or prince is very fond of this and together with a a german group of scientists and companies they want to bring on this project.

cheers, marotti in berlin

From this document (2001) it is stated that the cost of concentrated solar power (mirrors to focus sun's energy followed by a thermal -> electric conversion stage)is roughly 0.12 - 0.14 $/KWh (solar trough).  I have seen other sources suggest it is as low as $0.1/KWh.  

The cost of PV is about 0.4 - 0.5 $/KWh according to this reference, although it is dated.  No matter how one argues about the calculations for cost / KWh, PV has some way to go to catch solar thermal plants.  

As fossil fuel costs rise, the 10+ cents/kwh for solar thermal will start looking pretty good!  The deserts of the southwest could be turned into an energy goldmine.

Note: the efficiency of concentrated-solar power range from 20% for parabolic troughs to 30% for Sterling engine / parabolic dish setups!  

There is not much activity in the way of large arrays of steerable mirrors aimed at a fixed central tower as at the installation at Odeillo in the French Pyrenees but there is activity with steered arrays of mirrored dishes focused on a Stirling engine that moves with the dish made by Stirling Energy Systems. They have a contract to provide a 300 MW solar power plant consisting of 12,000 Stirling solar dishes on approximately three square miles in the Imperial Valley of Southern California and another  500 megawatts plant in the Mojave Desert near Victorville, California. These convert solar energy to electricity at about 40% efficiency which has been, until recently, far above what could be achieved by photovoltaic systems but recently there has been great progress in photovoltaic concentrator systems.

Boeing-Spectrolab, under contract to NREL and the Department of Energy, have achieved a record 39% efficiency at a concentration ratio of 236 using triple stacked heterojunction cells and hope to soon push this to 41%. Arrays of tiny 5mm cells on a heat spreader behind fresnel lenses in the Flatcon system developed by the Fraunhofer-Institute for Solar Energy Systems or the system developed by Pyron Solar by allow efficiencies close to the Sterling system with the solar cells occupying only a fraction of a percent of the collecting area. One report on such a system in Spain gave an energy payback time of 8-10 months.

All tracking systems require clear direct sunlight and give very poor performance in diffuse light limiting the areas in the world where they can be used to advantage.

Sounds like the law of diminishing returns in action!
http://www.redrok.com/main.htm a nice source for heliostat info.
I think pursuing all forms of "alternative energy" is great, and should be done post haste.  And I love the solar tower mirror stuff, I work in the optics industry and I'm a long-time amateur astronomer - I have a very nice 12" diameter parabolic mirror in my telescope!
But I think the collapse will render these large-scale projects impossible to carry off, and we'll be left with doing what we can on our own.  I plan to find someone with a big TV satellite dish, line it with aluminum foil (I have some nice thick foil for the task), and use it to cook a pot of rice or something.  Rig up a weight-driven equatorial mount to follow the sun.  Perhaps something can be cobbled together to use it to generate some electricity too.

On another note, I haven't noticed much mention about Al Gore's "Inconvenient" book.  Wow!  The photos are amazing, and having read a fair amount about GW lately, he really nails it.  I found the book to be even better than the "movie".  Check it out, even just from a cozy chair at Borders...

We have seen just the first winds of the coming storm of oil prices !

I used this line at the recent Gentilly neighborhood group.  I have been searching for good, effective cose words for Peak Oil.

About 70% approval of the 30 or so there; no strong opposition, juat uncertainity among the rest.  No real denial.

I was talking about my plans for Elysian Fields; three streetcar tracks with the middle track being an express (stops every 1/2 mile at bus xfer points) in the Peak Direction.  Bike paths on each side.  Quite nice cityscape.

Strong approval.  An apparent willingness to make this a priority for community block grants (leaving some streets in damaged shape or other post-storm damage unrepaired).

Could you give a first person perspective on what the local people are saying and feeling about the recent charges filed against the doctor and nurses (and the threat of more charges against other health care practioners)who stayed behind at the cut-off hospitals.
Also, any thoughts from TOD land on how this might affect choices made by health care proffesionals in the next local,regional or national emergency?
Quite frankly, not as big a deal locally as it appears to be nationally.  I have heard not one conversation on it.  Watch  and see what develops later, but really not a major story here.

I get more gasps from outsiders when I tell tham that I get mail two or three times a week (a triviality IMHO) than the more dire circumstance that an ambulance with a chainsaw accident victim aboard may take 15 minutes to unload at our makeshift "emergency room" or that fire protection is minimal.  Minimal mental health care is SLOWLY emerging and the police have publically appealed for more (any retired mental health workers out there ?).  We seem to have finally found all the dead bodies that we are likely to find (FEMA missed over 100 bodies in their "Search" and refused to pay for a second body search, so the the city has paid for it.  We ran out of money at Christmas and restarted with sales taxes from Mardi Gras).

Outsiders seem to have VERY different priorities (gasps that I don't get daily mail delivery) and focusing on this one case; instead of focusing the systemic failures of the federal gov't (US Army & FEMA) than we do.  Our priorities are on what is important more than what is sensational.

We do have the best local news I have EVER seen now.  They have REALLY stepped up to the plate !  Expanded coverage, factual, hard questions, no "if it bleeds, it leads" on TV.  Policy issues are almost always the lead, with gore #2 or #3 story.  And even on bloody stories, they try to bring policy into the reporter questions.  (Fire story ended with warning about storing paint thinner/stripper & other flammables used in restoration away from house.  Buy what you will use in a day or two; not all at once with a smoldering house as a backdrop). Good editorials.

We live with and know people who have devastating losses and traumatic experiences.  A relevant example, I know an orthopedic surgeon who stayed behind at Tulane Hospitak who evaced oin Wednesday (Charity Hospital, accross the street, evaced on Thursday).  She and the nurses gave themselves IVs to stay hydrated whilst saving the liquids (including soft drinks from machines that they crowbared open) for the patients.  Her comment was that IVs did nothing for thirst in 100+ F high humidity heat.

Most emergency workers will be heroes again, some will "bug out".

Good work Alan. It sounds like a nice effective line to me.
Yes, I posted it so that others might use it as they see fit.

I wanted a metaphor that was not too technical or threathening but was techically correct and could fit into a single sentence.  I thought about it a while and it seems to work well.

Exact knowledge of Russian exports, Ghawar, HL and all that IS NOT NEEDED TO TAKE EFFECTIVE ACTION !

IMO, better action with limited knowledge than exact knowledge and no action.  A problem here at TOD IMHO.

Yes, all the data is great for knowing the situation and feeling more comfortable with the conclusion, but at some point you have to break the analysis paralysis and take some actions to prepare.

This is a great thread, thanks Rebecca and Prof. Goose.

Here's some inspiration, AFBE:

MAX train going through Beaverton, OR, on its way to Gresham. Lovely!

I located myself just a few blocks from the nearest transit center. MAX is the best way into downtown Portland, as far as I am concerned.


So that is east of Gateway ?  Where the Red Line merges with the Blue ?  (And soon the Green as well)  I would have guessed west of Gateway, where it runs next to the Interstate Highway.

I will be staying at the Super 8 in Gresham, two blocks off of the Blue Line from July 29 to August 9th.  Attending a hydro conference at the Rose Center, plus a few days after that (meet some people and vacation a copuple of days sinc eI am there anyway.

Perhaps a meeting ?

Your deep station that goes up to the zoo & arborteum (a hike ot the rose gardens) is QUITE neat and it's always cooler up there.

I've done that Oregon Zoo trip three times in the past month, riding up the elevator several hundred feet (it has a digital display of your elevation).

The photo was taken way west of Gateway. It's near Hwy 217, say close to Walker St. in Beaverton. Between the Beaverton and Sunset stations. Man, you might know MAX lines better than me. I had to look this information up!

I'd definitely like to meet up. Start putting faces on the posters to TOD. You can e-mail me at: windrummer [at] aol [dot] com.


France Builds Urban Rail

It seems 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.

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

Future opening :      
Mulhouse : Dec 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

Compare these populations to that of US cities with Urban Rail and those US cities without.  A MAJOR difference in national priorities

Other examples of French planning to minimize oil exposure are that the French went VERY aggressively into nuke after the 1973 Oil Shock.  They and the Japanese were the pioneers in high speed (electric) rail.

A few days ago you talked about what a US national plan would look like and cost. What do we need in this country to make a substantial dent in auto usage? Do you have an old post?
I have been struggling with that issue. I can come up with some #s based upon $1.49 /gallon gasoline (with some handwaving).  But at $3 ?  $5 ? $X/gallon ?

What will be the effects of higher gas prices on structural changes (the "other TOD", Transit Orientated Development) in a city with and without an Urban Rail system (more than one line) in a high fuel environment ?

How do you quantify that ?  The effect is very clear in a low cost fuel environment (DC as Metro was being built; they keep setting ever higher ridership records as TOD expands and now as fuel costs increase).

$120 billion (2002 $) would just about pay for every good project that is still in contention for FTA funding.  But a lot of good projects died due to FTA birth control, as well as "pretty good" projects, "kind of" good projects and many projects where the locals felt "why bother".  All that fighting over less than $2 billion/year in federal matching $.

IMHO, the feds could put up $300 billion (with $33 billion in local 10% match) over a dozen years for good projects that will have an impact.  Some of that would expand capacity on existing Urban Rail lines (needed today).  And more after that.

A lower limit (hands waving) of 10% in US oil use and 15% of US transportation oil use from Urban Rail and another 8% (perhaps 10%) ot total US oil use in electric railroads (depending on amounts of freight shifted from trucks) in a high fuel cost environment.  Upper limit for Urban Rail might be twice that, and that would likely take 15+ years and more than $333 billion as the "Other TOD" takes hold.

Transportation bicycling has lots of potential as well.  Several % (2% ?) of US oil use ?

Such an investment would also give the US a "back bone" of non-oil transportation back-up when the Islamic Republic of Arabia kicks out the House of Saud.


Thanks for sharing your spreadsheet.

France tries indeed to shield itself from the oil economy. But in my belief that doesn't mean we won't be hit as hard as others by PO because this system is only a buffer for screening end-users from visible oil use.

Our best companies, and Europe has some big ones, make most of their money abroad. Nevertheless our growth won't exceed 2%, our trade balance is negative. Of course our oil imports are decreasing as shows the BP stastistical review. But the EIA figures also show that exports to the USA of finished products decrease in absolute values (as those of belgium increase). So decreasing imports of oil just mean redirection of those imports to the internal market where consumption stays even. As many efforts we deploy to make nuclear, hydro and other alternative electricity, the biggest company on the CAC40 (our stock indicator) is still Total. The recent biggest financial scandals revolved around energy, gas and oil mainly, in France and Germany (total, leuna).

Most of our urban transport system are impractical (I have really tried to use them in 1995 and 2003, but was forced to go back to my car because recurrent strikes are not compatible with running a research work in 1995 and then an office in 2003).

All of our goods are more or less dependant on oil either in their ingredients, fabrication, wrapping and transportation.

So while I believe that a global mitigation effort (ie in all developed countries), which include contruction of a real public transportation network based on electricity will help to mitigate the economic effects of PO, I also believe that if PO hits the economy, France will be hit as hard, or even harder.

I think there was a recent post saying that with the recent hot weather, France was forced to buy electrical power outside the country to cool its nuclear reactors. If this is the case, it sounds like France needs to keep up its electrical power in order to keep its nuclear power functioning.
Gail, I'm in Paris on vacation -  38 centrigade here - very hot - I do hope theyre keeping their neuks cool!
In France the nuclear plants have to shut down when their cooling water exceeds a certain temperature. When the temperature of the water in the rivers increases, then the output temperature of the water also increases. So when the weather becomes hot, most of the nuclear plants have to suspend operations.

This is why France had to import electricity (while most of the time it exports some). But now special permissions have been granted for these plants to reject water with higher temperature. This will lead as every year to damage to the ecosystem, kill most of the fish, induce proliferation of algae ...

Yes, there are regs on the books to protect fish from hot water. At present that one is out the window at some power plants because the fish are dead and the power is still off because there is insuffucient flow to get the cooling job done at all.
To keep up on this and as a source for many links try climateark.org. I'm surprised I've never seen it cited here.
Makes me wonder whether nuclear plants can set up open air pools for cooling water, where algae proliferation can become a profit more than a problem. Store the water long enough to let it cool down closer to ambient temperature, and grow algae...
Many of France's exports are luxury goods.  Oil exporters will still like those (other buyers may not "need" them as much).

The French aceptance of social disruption is not a good trait on good times, and worse in bad times.

Still, France has for 30 years built a non-oil alternative.  Nuclear and some hydroelectricity (a bit of coal as well).  TGV all over the nation is almost finished (and now with links to neighbors).  And a good Urban Rail building programme (never enough; but some is better than none and France's is quite good).

Hopefully, SCNF will become better run and much more freight will soon go by rail.  (I think France promised that 100% of SCNF will be electrified by 2020; only small local lines are not electrified today).

Only Marshall Chauvin thought that France was perfect.  But France has done more than half of what needs to be done post-Peak Oil.

Hate to be nitpicky, but it's SNCF.
I would venture a guess that the poster above has never been to the United States if he thinks France will do worse than the US when oil gets even more expensive. At least, not to one of our many large sprawling cities with little or no mass transit. I've only taken the Metro and RER in Paris, and the longer distance Eurostar and TGV, but in Paris at least, they don't have a lot to worry about transportation wise. It's very walkable and bikeable also.

When I was there last month though, it was seriously hot on the Metro....didn't help they are packed all the time.

Hi neon9

Just look at who keeps the cash flowing in France. And if you think EDF screens us from oil with uranium, look at the price of uranium and plot it against the price of oil. You must have noticed as I did that the price of the kWh (kilo watt hour) is up in France too ... . Speak to your local vegetable producer : he will tell you how his expenses skyrocket due to increased fuel. On our local market, food is up 100% in 3 years.

If you think that peak oil hits only because of transportation concerns, think again. Oleocene.org in french might be a good place to begin with.

The first Shinkansen (Bullet Train) in Japan was in 1963, if I remember correctly (quoted from memory, always a reliable source, LOL)

The drive in Japan towards rail started well before the oil shocks and it is more triggered by profit & regulation than oil usage (although an oilcrisis or two did not really slow it down ;-), apart from a realy ugly pollution problem in the '60 and '70.

Using public transport in Japan makes your eyes pop out. It is unbelievably amazing. The Yamanote circular line in central Tokyo (about 30 stops) transports about the same as the whole NYC subway. Strangest part: Public transport is faster than the car, and the japanese think nothing of it. "You have trains too back home, don't you?". Usually you end up in an isakaya after discussions like this ;-)

(isakaya = bar, japanese style. You have to sit on the floor and eat stuff they found in the sea and fried beyond recognition ;-)

Are PO deniers similar to a Cargo Cult?

For the younger members here who never heard of cargo cults, here's an example from WWII from Wiki:

The classic period of cargo cult activity, however, was in the years during and after World War II. The vast amounts of war matériel that were airdropped into these islands during the Pacific campaign against the Empire of Japan necessarily meant drastic changes to the lifestyle of the islanders. Manufactured clothing, canned food, tents, weapons and other useful goods arrived in vast quantities to equip soldiers--and also the islanders who were their guides and hosts. By the end of the war the airbases were abandoned, and "cargo" was no longer being dropped.

In attempts to get cargo to fall by parachute or land in planes or ships again, islanders imitated the same practices they had seen the soldiers, sailors and airmen use. They carved headphones from wood, and wore them while sitting in fabricated control towers. They waved the landing signals while standing on the runways. They lit signal fires and torches to light up runways and lighthouses. The cultists thought that the foreigners had some special connection to their own ancestors, who were the only beings powerful enough to produce such riches.

As I see it, the deniers appear to be following the same path with technofix beliefs, continuing to purchase energy pits like SUVs, etc.  If so, like other cargo cults, nothing will change their minds and the cult won't end until they die and their descendents see it didn't work.

I would generalize further and say that the American consumer economy as a whole functions like a vast cargo cult.
I've started reading a fascinating book on the subject of American consumerism and its neurobiological/genetic origins: American Mania: When More Is Not Enough by Peter C. Whybrow M.D., who is Director of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior (previously known as the Neuropsychiatric Institute) at the University of California in Los Angeles.  The book grabbed my interest early on by appraising the behavioral results of migrant self-selection so prevalent in first generation Americans - and passed on to their offspring.  His quotes from Alexis DeToqueville's book Democracy In America reveal just how startling these behaviors were (and are to this day) vis-a-vis other populations.
I cannot read that! I married into a family that actually has a family motto, and it is this "Some is good, more is better, too much is just right."

As a result, I "believe" the book before I've even read it (just from your summary).

Dr Whybrow is on my dissertation committee and Ive posted links to that excellent book here before. It was written a year before our president said Americans are addicted to oil. We, of course are not addicted to the oil itself, but to the feelings of comfort and novelty that it supplies.
At least some of them can be compared to the cargo cults. At least William Catton, author of "Overshoot" thinks so:

Cargoism: faith that technological progress will stave off major institutional change even in a post-exhuberant world; the equivalent among people of industrial nations to the cargo cults of the Melanesian Islanders.



You beat me to it, Darwinian. Catton's book was the first thought that popped into my mind as well. Wooden headphones--I love it!
Are you picking on me, just because I keep an altar in my backyard with matchbox cars and plastic filling stations? So what if I pray to the God of Big Oil for plentiful rain and oil? I think everyone should participate :-)
And there are silly people out there who think we have to grow our food somehow.  It's the modern age, food comes from the grocery store, of course!  See, no problem!
Let's pretend for a moment that the aftermath of the "powerdown" is the worst-case scenario:  massive poverty & starvation, skyrocketing crime and disease, etc.

Where is the best place to be?  Let's hear specifics...  A city center, like Manhattan?  Farmland?  Montana?

If you are a doomsday scenarioist, how do you plan on getting to where you want to be?

Well, I'm one of the people who is where they want to be, in the boondocks, and has worked toward self-sufficiency for a long time...although I realize how damn, damn hard it would be if we were totally cut off.

The thing is that survival is a package deal.  Even in my rural area, there a many people who have no possible chance for survival because they lack some necessity such as sufficient water to irrigate crops or have no current or planned alternative energy system.

In the case of energy, we have a large PV system and two back-up generators that would be converted to wood gas as would our truck.  These would be run as little as possible since engine oil would become a limiting factor in a worst case.

Lastly, getting ready for a worst case takes years.  I have harped about this on other forums but people who haven't done it cannot see this no matter what you say.  It also takes a change in mind-set and this is the hardest thing for people to do.

"Well, I'm one of the people who is where they want to be, in the boondocks, and has worked toward self-sufficiency for a long time...although I realize how damn, damn hard it would be if we were totally cut off."

Try impossible.  In the entire history of mankind there has never been an example of a culture that consists of a bunch of individuals and families living by themselves and taking no assistance from other people.  Trying to work towards self-sufficiency is a waste of time.  Even if your fondest wish was granted and the whole structure collapsed next week, it would be just like the twilight zone episode where the guy broke his glasses just as he realized he could spend the rest of his life reading.  You would walk out of your front door on the first day of the world of chaos and trip and shatter your ankle.

All you can do is try to prepare yourself mentally, physically and financially to adust as best as possible to whatever changes happen.  Going into end of the world preparations is nothing more than a hobby.  I hope you enjoy your hobby and I hope that the future doesnt unfold in a manner that makes your plans worthless.  It would be pretty embarising if the fortress is sold in a sheriff's sale because you couldn't pay property taxes.

I object to your ad hominem attack in asserting that his "fondest wish" is for total collapse. Just because someone thinks such is possible or even likely does not mean they want it to occur. By painting with such a biased brush you deliberately try to color your opponent as some sort of freak, seeking to disassociate that person from others around them. I understand why attorneys use such despicable practices in a court of law but you can leave your serpentine professional demeanor out of internet discussions. Or you can expect to have the same tactics (or worse) used on you. Your choice.

Thanks. It saved me from posting the same thing.  Not only isn't it my fondish wish, it isn't me wish at all.  Having livd in the country for a long time, I KNOW the hardships involved even with society functioning.

My big hope in the U.S. is that the government is refurbishing old military bases and building FEMA civilian inmate facilities so that when the current economy does crash, the suburbans who have no land and cannot grow their own food will have a place to go to feed their children.

These camps can be food-growing plantations, or perhaps they can replace the current cheap labor in China with even cheaper labor. Food for work, basically.

In other words, the current over-leveraged MacMansion owner with the big SUVs in the heated garage may someday find himself working as an agricultural serf.

Kind of a karma thing ...

I see this as a very primary idea within the US as I understand it (granted from a distance up here in Canada)

The idea that the answer to a bad social situation is to move out into the "wilderness" and "go it alone, just me, the wife, and my rifle".

It is I would imagine rooted in the creation story of the country, a small band of persecuted folks fleeing to the wilds of the new world, and so it goes from there. I'm thinking of a bunch of stuff, from the 50's western movies of the farmer who "just wants to be left alone", right up to the endless noise from Washington about "family values"... what about communities that really work?

"In the case of energy, we have a large PV system and two back-up generators that would be converted to wood gas as would our truck.  These would be run as little as possible since engine oil would become a limiting factor in a worst case." Ummm... if your planning for a situation so profound and long lasting that depleting a stockpile of 10W40 becomes a problem why not go right past CO power to horses?

Anyway it's all a bit baffeling to me

My choices are different, but I agree with you.

If self preservation were my highest goal (it is not), I would move to my chosen "bug out" location, get a job as a high school math & science teacher, REALLY care about the kids, buy a small "mini-farm" within bicycling distance of small town, plant a variety of fruit & nut trees and berry bushes.

Start planning on a ultra-insulated home with water well, PV and/or wind, etc.  Maybe marry a local woman >:-)

Later when I get old and/or sick; I would have the network of those I taught, be close enough to be helped, have some assets (fruit & nuts even if I cannot harvest them myself), etc.

I could help the local community in the transistion, etc. due to my experience and community standing.

I figure 5 years before TSHTF would be all that is needed to establish myself and prepare.

" Trying to work towards self-sufficiency is a waste of time. "

It's not a waste of time, it's essential.  

You seem to live in an All-or-None world of absolutes with no shades of grey.  If you live in or near a small community and supply most of your own needs for energy and food you will be less Dependent and less likely to suffer as much as your Totally-Utility-and-Supermarket Dependent neighbors, friends and relatives.

""Try impossible.  In the entire history of mankind there has never been an example of a culture that consists of a bunch of individuals and families living by themselves and taking no assistance from other people. ""

More silly nonsense from an All-Or-None thinker.  History is full of "individuals and families that lived by themselves."  

The AMOUNT of Interdependency may differ but there are many examples of small, isolated communities that get along with very little interaction with the global market system.

Some (Hutterites, Amish, etc) still exist today and as the Global Village fractures like Humpty Dumpty, the small, somewhat isolated and relatively independent communities will have a much better chance of surviving and prospering than larger communities that are Completely Dependent on, and at the Mercy of, imports for energy and food.

Do NOT act like a Titbaby - a blind, completely dependent newborn pup.  Grow up and try to be more Independent.  

"Grow up and try to be more Independent"

I said that everyone should prepare themselves mentally, physically and financially for whatever may come.  How you do that is entirely up to you.  Thinking that you can prepare yourself to live completely independent of other people and the modern world is seriously delusional.  The only person that I have heard of doing that is the Unibomber, not exactly my role model.

Face it, people who make end of the world preps want the end of the world to come.  People who plan for the future are smart.  Planning for one specific outcome, however, is not smart, since the chance of that outcome occuring are basically zero.

Travelling in Mexico, crossing the Sierra Madre's, I came across lots of corn patches way back in the hills. There are many people -- probably the majority of rural people on Earth -- who lead pretty self sufficient lives. Not out of choice, necessarily, but out of necessity.

It says a lot about our middle class way of thinking that we tend to view what is commonplace elsewhere as "impossible" here. That, in turn, makes us extremely vulnerable.  


"It says a lot about our middle class way of thinking that we tend to view what is commonplace elsewhere as "impossible" here."

Exactly right.  Most of us naturally draw on our own, very limited life experiences.  Even with a good education it is difficult to shake the amount of "weight" we give continue to give the anecdotal (damn evolution doesn't rewire our brains fast enough...).  

There are many examples of different ways to live both now and in the past. And the truth is, in many cases people may find they are much happier than they were in "this world" we currently are exiting.

It's that Transition Phase that gits ya - the Pain of Birth, Mother Nature style.

Stop making sense. Some here find it insulting. And be very careful with rhetoric, it sets them off more than what you mean to say.
I don't think anyone suggested becoming a hermit - the "boondocks" is still populated, just much less densely.  

I agree with you about the mental/physical/financial preparation and that each individual's situation is unique so there is no "one size fits all" remedy.  

I don't know if "end of world" types secretely wish it were true or not - and don't care.  

What we can be certain of is that Peak Oil IS ushering in "The end of the world as we know it"  - not "the End" but a Transition - but it is also setting the stage for the next civilization (however modest it's Beginnings may be - after we shed a couple billion peoplez ;).

Homo Saps have faced this situation hundreds of times in the last 100,000 years and recorded only a few of the Most Recent and Grander examples.  This time we record the fall of the First Truly Global Village.  

I bet our descendents get things "righter" next time.

We are going through a very Nature-al and typical Transition (HEALTHY even).  In most past episodes like this it was limited to some little city state or whatever but this is our first time doing it on a global scale with 24/7 Live Coverage via the internet unlike our ancestors who pretty much never knew what hit them (they thought it was their personal godz that were angry and decided to cuff them upside the head - kinda funny when you think about it).  

How effective would castor bean oil be for engine lubrication?

Either as a diluter/stretcher of existing supply, or by itself. It was used in WW1 aircraft engines, and a derivetive of the stuff was used in the A-7 turbofan engine if memory serve.

Could the stuff be extracted on a self-support or communal basis?

I've read a number of times, it will scorch and stick like glue to the engine. But it is a great oil, really clings like a synthetic.

Here is a Link
"Castor oil is superb in high temperature applications but has one nasty habit - its molecular structure changes after being heated and it congeals to an unpumpable, undrainable gell at cooldown. If it's allowed to cool to ambient temperature in the device, that device has to be disassembled and the goop literally dug out. Castor oil was used for WW-I aircraft engines as well as early race cars.

I have read that small amounts of castor oil added to diesel or biodiesel improves the engine life.  I assume this is due to improved lubrication.

I have also read, (in From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank), that castor bean plants provides more oil per acre than soy, canola, or sunflowers, so it might be a great diesel fuel by itself.  I haven't had much luck growing it here in the NorthEast, but it should do okay farther south.

worked toward self-sufficiency ... there a many people who have no possible chance for survival because they lack some necessity ...
I used to think that way (but never did anything about it): get ready for survival; pack up the essentials; have enough food & water; etc. However, it won't work for the very reason you mentioned - others have no chance of survival. If yours is the only house for miles that has lights on at night, warm water, a running air conditioner, food (garden), etc., then your starving, nearly-dead neighbors and the local police / fire department, along with the hospital will just storm your house and take everything you have. Either the mob will steal it or the government will invoke the Fifth amendment (or whatever law / regulation is on the books for "times of emergency") and just seize your assets.

The best way is to live in a secluded community where everyone is a survivalist and no one stands out. But then you'll have to worry about people and government officials from other towns coming in.

No, unless you have armed guards around your very large estate (think thousands of acres like Bush's Texas ranch), you won't survive any better than the average Joe who isn't prepared. Starving masses won't respect your "property rights" when their loved one are dying.
Starving masses won't respect your "property rights" when their loved one are dying.

Of course!
This is why " Trying to work towards self-sufficiency is a waste of time. "
It is the society as a whole which make any kind of living possible, even if seemingly "History is full of individuals and families that lived by themselves.".
They were ISOLATED microsocieties at best until they were run over by LARGER societies.
So the question is which kind of societies (note the 'S') could :

1) Make it thru the "transition".
2) Be reasonably sustainable against neighbouring OTHER societies.

Take your pick, some will win some will lose.
But focusing nearly exclusively on technological gimmicks be they high tech or low tech is a gross misallocation of brain power.

 I second that.
Todd's much more prepared than I am, but we are both heading in the same direction, as is our town, however slowly.
It is hard work to even come close. Learning new skills isn't easy. It takes a lot of time for a fruit tree to mature. And can those getting ready up here save those who Todd feels haven't a chance?  Maybe until we can't get any more penicillin and cardiac drugs, but I seriously doubt it beyond that.
As I study issues like peaking oil supply and the state of America's finances I get a bad feeling. I think it is because I am a "hope for the best and plan for the worst" kind of person. Not strictly the absolute worst case scenario though , I try to determine by looking at current trends and conditions what our future is most likely to hold. So for me, part of planning for the worst case is identifying what that worst case is most likely to be. If I can get an idea of what the most likely macro is going to be in 5 to 10 years, I can plan my micro to best adapt and take advantage of what the world will be offering.
I have been very interested in peak oil and possible future outcomes of Americas current fiscal condition because I believe these two macro events will have the largest impact on my future.
As I research, I get an increasingly uncomfortable feeling that I have seen the worst case future scenario first hand. My only comfort is that, as of now, I don't think there is a high percentage chance of the worst case scenario becoming reality,,in America  anyway. However, every now and then it seems the percentage meter in my mind clicks loudly indicating a move in the wrong direction.
I was in Liberia, Africa during that countries civil war in 1990. I was also in Yugoslavia during that countries civil war prior to it's eventual breakup. These two countries at the time I was there represent in my mind the worst case scenarios for America if peak oil and America's fiscal situation unfold in the worst possible manner. These two countries are seperated by large distances but they had one thing in common that deeply impacted their respective citizens every day of those individuals lives. That common theme was a breakdown in the rule of fair law.
There were laws on the books in each country but for the most part for a large percentage of their citizens the national law was not enforced. The only laws that were applicable and enforced were those laws that suited the purposes of the local warlords or militia leaders. As far as the general population was concerned, the enforcement of these laws was not fair and equitable as defined by most people.
 I believe the breakdown in fair and equitable law is one contributing factor that leads to starvation while food sits in warehouses, violence in formerly peaceful areas and the disruption of municipal functions deemed necessary for comfortable living. ie. water comes when you turn on the tap.
 Whatever you're planning for there is a good chance that the real worst case is worse than what you are envisioning.
Personally, I pray to God that the odds of a worst case scenario unfolding remain low.
"I was in Liberia, Africa during that countries civil war in 1990. I was also in Yugoslavia during that countries civil war prior to it's eventual breakup."

You also rode a tank in a General's Rank during a certain blitzkrieg?

p.s  stay the hell away from New Zealand ;-)

I have looked at this objectively and found an answer.  But I would prefer not to post it on a public forum, even though I am unlikely to "bug out".

My second choice is interior British Columbia. not too close to US border or Vancouver, close to small local hydroelectric plant with diverse farming.

Damn, I'm eyeing vancouver too.  I plan to go there next summer after I graduate.
I just wrote to Engineer-Poet a couple of days ago...

Kelowna is the place... good farming, lots of fruit, & great wine. We even have micro-hydro & landfill gas power generation these days...

However...even better... Australia or NZ would be my choice... really get away from all you gun-toting Yanks... Byron Bay here we come?

landfill gas power generation these days

Care to explain?

I was unaware of this until E-P asked me about a run-of the-river micro-hydro that BC is installing everywhere... and I had to google it...

Seems we have a landfill micro-turbine


It was news to me!!! And I only live 2 miles away... and regularly drop off my garden waste there ... (but then I don't read the local freebie rags...)

However...even better... Australia or NZ would be my choice... really get away from all you gun-toting Yanks

Plenty of gun-totin' Aussies too. It's also home to Mad Max / Road Warrior! :-)

I had a chance to live in Vancouver, BC, starting last year and decided not to. Oregon for me! There's still a lot of fertile farmland here west of the 'Cades. Love those urban growth boundaries. :o)

Besides, I think the worst-case scenario would be global thermonuclear war. If that happens, all bets are off. I dearly hope that such a "nuclear gift exchange" as one of you so eloquently put it, can be avoided. But, to me, the chances of such are increasing with each day, not decreasing.

So I suggest: pick a place that you like, and hope for the best...

I missed the "back to the land" movement of the 70s because i was in the military, and then studying on the GI BIll. (thin excuses, I know), but some guys get Harley's in their late 40s, my wife and I started a homestead, 3 years ago. A lot of work, but we enjoy it.

Peak Oil and Peak Debt are my big concerns (and help drive our work), but now that I'm ready, I don't necessarily recommend it to people unless homesteading is really what they would want to do, and would do even if they knew the economy would just kept on chugging along.

I've met a lot of people who have moved out here not for positive reasons (becaue they want to), but for negative reasons (they hate where they were from). These people rarely last for long, and even if they stick around, nobody wants to be around them. People bring their baggage, their reality along with them.  

I think if you are relatively happy where you are, you should stay. Location (where to be in bad times) is an impossible thing to logically predict. (my favorite is the Bahais in Northern Calif. who, in the mid 70s, scientifically winnowed out the Falklands Islands as the best place to ride out nuclear war; and ended up settling there just before the Argentinians invaded!)

The important thing is family, friends and community nearby, which are things which really take a very long time to create. They are like trees; you can build a house in a year, but for the trees to shade it, there is no substitute for time.

Being out of debt and having a viable vocation are right alongside. Moving is expensive, and one can successfully homestead and permaculture in a suburban home (hopefully paid for!).

Check out the book "Extreme Simplicity: Homesteading in the City" by Christopher and Dolores Lynn Nyerges. They are successfully homesteading in an ordinary neighborhood in L.A.

I have been a dedicated doomer since the Vietnam War, and I have predicted 23 out of the past 3 recessions :-) It is a bit sobering, and reminds me that the future really is unknown and unknowable.

I have predicted 23 out of the past 3 recessions

Now THAT is funny!  I fully recognize that this is a big possibility with the things I think are going to happen.  I agree with your assessment - I think there are many possible ways to live out what our future brings, and it makes sense to pick a strategy/lifestyle that builds on what you want to do.  It's a crapshoot where the best place to be is, but I can certainly see that strategies for urban and rural areas could both be viable - we can make some guesses though, like that Phoenix is probably not a good spot.  

And it seems like people assume that living in a rural area means not having any community - this is nonsense.  Nobody can get by all by themselves, and that's not how people in rural farming areas did it either.  Yes, they were self-reliant, but also they worked together and cooperated on all manner of things.

I will hazard a guess at how things will play out. Namely, that in the not too distant future peak oil will bust the debt bubble. (we presently have 3 - 4% growth, "financed" by 15% increases in indebtedness. Once growth ends, investors will stop lending, and the ediface will crash.)

Thus, we should forget "soylent green" or other hollywood fantasies, and instead think "1932."

In 1932 all commodities were dirt cheap, including food. But nobody had any money, so people werent' buying. People ate lower on the food chain, freeing up enormous surpluses.

Thus, the place to be is probably right where you are. Pay down your debts, increase your savings, and especially increase your community ties, and you'll probably be as well off as anywhere else.

If you move, the people around you may have community, but that won't necessarily include you.  

"Best place to be"...on the farm with my gun-toting cousins in South Carolina! -- they've been good shots since they were knee-high to a milking cow (one of them became a police officer). Oops, that plan only works for me.

To generalize, I'd recommend going to a rural place where you have family or know the people *really* well (and plan to work hard).

BTW, I am not a doomer. The preceeding information was an "intellectual" exercise only.

Thats great if you want to live the rest of your life on a block of land and never go anywhere. If you need to send your kids to a decent school or your wife to a specialist hospital or your parents to an old peoples homes or anything to do with anyone else on the planet you are stuffed.

My plan - Stay as close to the central areas as possible, try to get a stable job, use public transport and don't have too much debt. Grow some food in my garden and recycle. Maybe get some solar panels on the roof. Thats the way to survive, prosper AND have a life.

I don't intend to move too far.  If the decline stays slow I will sit tight and adjust in my small urban Ottawa bungalow with the nearby amenities.  If TSHTF I will eye my parents' farm in rural south-western Ontario.  It consists 40 arable acres with a 5 acrte woodlot, ten miles from a medium-sized city and two miles from a small village, with a pond, a good well, a very energy-efficient house designed by my incredibly forward-thinking mother in 1960, and lots of space for geothermal heating/cooling, some PV and a small wind farm.

Now if I only knew how to farm...

Almost nobody knows how to farm anymore except some 80-year-old geezers.

Most farmers today only know how to use expensive agricultural equipment and how to apply the correct regimens of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

The old wisdom is being lost ...

My father is 80 y/o, an academic most of his life (BS Agriculture, MS Farm management, 1st PhD Agricultural Economcis, 2nd ABD PhD Statistics) but he grew up farming and managed a farm for a few years and is now back to that.

I haved learned a lot and should learn more now, while I can.

I'm that rare 5th generation farmer from the old school. No chemicals, rotate crops, use cow manure for fertilizer.

I have learned a lot from permaculture books, as well as holistic resource management of pasture.

My grandfather knew a heck of a lot more than me, though ...

Excellent! There are so few of you left here in the west...
You want somewhere with plenty of fresh water.  Everyone will be short on energy, but you need not be somewhere that's short on water.  I agree that small towns are best. Areas with a history of agriculture will likely do well as people can more easily return to that former way of life.

I will also add here to this thread something I've been wanting to say for a while.  The doomers on this site foresee an apocalyptic future.  We'll have to work like dogs to eke out a miserable subsistence.  Bands of marauders and pirates will lurk around every corner.
We'll have to be willing to shoot someone who might not have prepared so well and comes to our compound to steal our PV cells or our produce or our water.

I am preparing for life to be very different after the peak by which I mean paying off all debt, supporting local agriculture, establishing a lower energy lifestyle.  But if the human experience really becomes as bad as the doomers predict, I shall prefer to die with the unprepared.

< But if the human experience really becomes as bad as the doomers predict, I shall prefer to die with the unprepared. >
Fight the fight Mate. There is nothing like battling through the apocolypse to keep the old adrenalin flowing. :)
All the darkness in the world can not extinguish the light of a single candle.
(not sure who first said that, some Catholic long ago)
The doomers on this site foresee an apocalyptic future.  We'll have to work like dogs to eke out a miserable subsistence.  Bands of marauders and pirates will lurk around every corner. We'll have to be willing to shoot someone who might not have prepared so well and comes to our compound to steal our PV cells or our produce or our water.

I'm one of the deepest doomers here and I've never said that, nor do I believe it and as far as I have read, no else has implied that either with the exception of city/suburban people who are now, presumably, scared shitless.

What I see is a transference of people's fears, indequacies and lack of skills to those of us who might make it because we have been doing it.

Now, would I be willing to kill an asshole who runs to the country because they were too stupid to do anything? ...

Ahhemmm, Todd, yeah I listened to Carter. It has been a wonderfull 25 years of self-reliance, "Freedom".

If you will pardon the pun.. and answer to your question,

Dead on.

So going with Jim Burke's quote "Thus, the place to be is probably right where you are" let's say I stick it out here in my McMansion (for 300 million of us are not going to be able to bug-out to the wilds). What can I do to use fewer non-renewable natural resources, and be a bastion of eco sanity to all those neighbors I'm going to get to know better?

Mainly I'm looking for books and internet resources that give some guidelines.

For example, I hear a lot about lawns that don't take any watering (yeah, water is renewable, but you know what I mean), but I don't really have an idea what to DO. What kind of plants are best? What can I grow that won't my lot look like a bowl full of sea-monkeys while everyone else has their little bermuda grass lots?

What is the best way to capture rain-water, and keep it from turning into a big tub'o fetid goo?

What plants are best to grow in a small garden? Sure, I know I won't be able to feed myself and my s/o, but everything I consume is one less thing that has to be trucked 2500 miles.

What good does composting really do, and what is the best small footprint method to use?


I could spend weeks scouring the internet, but it sure would be nice to hear about what references you guys are using.



The state of Texas encourages rainwater capture. Here's a nice pamphlet by Texas A&M University about capturing rainwater. Here is a list of Texas state resources on rainwater capture. Some cities in Texas provide tax breaks and/or rebates for installation of rainwater capture systems. Rainwater can be used for anything, from growing catfish in the cistern itself to drinking water.
On other items, for suburban usage, I recommend learning about vermiculture (composting with earthworms). There are many excellent sites on this topic and vermiculture can save you from buying compost, soil, and fertilizer (the stuff is very rich).

I don't have any particular favorites on gardening books yet but I believe someone else mentioned a few in yesterday's Drumbeat or today's. Scan both threads to find the references but particularly look for square foot gardening. There were a few books on that topic mentioned elsewhere and I plan to read up more on that myself as well.

Since you grow bermuda grass you're probably in the south.  Ideas instead of a lawn might be everlow ground spreading junipers (not sure if they do well where you live), sedums which need no water and spread, yet are not particularly invasive into your neighbors lawns, and thymes, which spread nicely and stay green but may be invasive.  If you have mostly shade, you need to pick plants that grow in the shade.  The above are for full sun.  For grass, buffalo grass stays low and needs little water.  To get ideas for gardening, please visit and support your local farmer's market.  All of us need to do this to encourage "eat locally grown food--challenge yourself to eat what is grown in your 100 mile radius".  That will help to promote the success of your local organic farmers who you will need to relie on WTSHTF.  Whenever there is a garden tour fundraiser in your area, go.  You can learn so much just by observing what neighboring gardeners are doing, especially I cannot advise you not knowing your climate and plant zone.  "A picture is worth a thousand words..."  When you dine out, support your restaurants which support your local food grower...use the power of your consumer dollar to facilitate change.  Don't use your garbage disposal--all food scraps should be composted for your garden.  Our city allows up to 19 back yard chickens, providing you do not have roosters.  Check your city ordinances--you'll be surprised.
If you have a wood/asphalt/fiberglass shingle roof, you might want to go with steel or aluminum instead.  Metal roofs are cleaner for collecting water and also help keep the attic cooler. They are more durable too, so the roof is one less thing to worry about for later.
Hi Bryan,

You might think about replacing the sod in the back yard (where nobody will notice) with a garden,  planting fruit trees 25 feet on center, and gardening all the areas in between. (In an REAL emergency, you could always expand into the front yard...)

I'm thinking there are two or three basic schools of thought in organic gardening; the "lasagna" or "no digging" gardening; the "bio intensive" double digging, or French digging method; and permaculture, (a form of no digging) which attempts to produce a balanced ecosystem in the garden, so that it maintains itself while feeding you and your family.

For the latter two, I'd recommend reading "weedless garding" by Lee Reich, and "Gaia's Garden: a guide to home scale permaculture" by Toby Hemenway.   One approach is to lay down multiple layers of compost and mulch to smother weeds and lay a fertile foundation for the garden. (in fact, Gaia's garden has a great piece on page 72 for how to sheet mulch right over the lawn, so you don't have to dig it up!).

Gaia's Garden is actually a readable book, rather than a mere compendium of information. It's more or less a guide for sustainable living, with rings of usage rippling out from your house, so that your landscape can feed you and your family, as well as sustaining the wildlife, conserving soil, and being really lovely to spend time in. I gotta say that it really changed my life - which is saying a LOT for a "book  about gardening".

For the double digging method, you might read John Jeavons' "The Sustainable Vegetable Garden", or his bigger book, "How to Grow more vegetables than you ever thought possible on less land than you can imagine." This intensive gardening technique is more work, but it is extremely prolific, and master gardeners have lived off 1000 square feet (25' x 40') per person. Basically, you could feed yourself and your family on your own yard, using probably the same amount of water as you presently do just watering grass.

You'll notice that these two approaches are opposite; so most gardeners pick and choose between the two.  Different strokes for different types of plants.

An excellent, all in one guide to organic gardening is the Rodale's "Encyclopedia of organic gardening," by Rodale Press. We got the 1959 version, which is 1100 pages, and cost maybe $20. We're tempted to get the newer version, but it's surprising how little has changed in 45 years.

For advice on how to live cheaply and independently, an inspirational guide is "Extreme Simplicity: homesteading in the city" by Mr. & Mrs. Nyerges, about homesteading in an ordinary neighborhood in L.A.

For composting, consider "The Humanure Handbook" by Joseph Jenkins. The chapter on how composting works is the best thing I've read on the subject, and it makes most other approaches obsolete.

You might consider subscribing to "Countryside Magazine," and "Mother Earth News," the former written by readers (mostly homesteaders), the latter good for ads and resources, including pages of books for sale.

Anyway, that's a start.

Good luck,



Thanks for the info.  Someone gave me a copy of The Vegetable Gardener's Bible, Edward C. Smith, ISBN-10: 1-58017-212-1.  For a complete non-green thumb (moi), it's been a good resource.

I've been ELP-ing as rapidly as possible, and home gardening seemed a great place to start Producing.  A friend has a 25' x 20' plot that he had to abandon after a recent move (headed your way AlanFTBE), and he's letting me have the remaining production.  It is amazing how much can come out of such a small plot.  And the taste of fresh tomatoes, eggplants, etc. is an experience not to miss.

So your recommendations are timely.  Thx.


I am leaving Saturday for two conventions (hydroelectric in Portland & Peak Oil in Houston) and then two months helping my father after a knee replacement surgery.

I eould be glad to meet him or her when I return in mid-October.

Thanks Jim, GZ, Everett and Kalpa for your responses. In looking at your suggested reading on Amazon Jim, I also ran across this guide which seems to be well regarded:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0028620054/ref=pd_cp_b_title/102-4721272-5727354?%5Fencoding=UTF8&a mp;v=glance&n=283155

I like "Extreme Simplicity: homesteading in the city", and the "Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening" as well. Think I'll pick these up. The past couple years I've had a small garden and I have learned quite a bit through trial and error, but it is comically small. As in folks come over and say "THAT's your garden!" - then laugh.

Thanks for the vermiculture reference GreyZone. I've been wanting to start such a system for a while - just didn't know where to begin. Found a pretty good looking reference on Amazon titled "Worms Eat My Garbage: How to Set Up & Maintain a Worm Composting System" Worm food!! I love it!

Kalpa, thanks for mentioning the local farmer's market. Duh! I had never thought to go there, and it's only a couple miles away. It definitely makes sense to eat food grown locally. I may hold off on the chickens for a while. As the S gets closer to the F, perhaps these things will be better accepted in the suburbs.


One question I have is which parts of the United States will be able to produce adequate food to feed their local populations on a consistent basis, if global warming continues and if one cannot plan on electricity or other power for irrigation.

I live in the Atlanta area, and it has been too dry this summer to grow anything (including grass) without watering it. I have noticed that in north Georgia, the fields I see are often irrigated. The great plains area has recently been very hot and dry. What parts of the United States are suitable for relocalization for say, the next 20 years?  

 The fact that those north Georgia fields are irrigated indicates the river water is still flowing. The pumps that irrigate those fields can be powered with solar panels.

Well, we all know that Jim Kunstler thinks Atlanta is NOT the place to be when PO really hits, but in spite of this summer's drought some crops are okay, at least in my yard.  I live probably less than 10 miles from you (if you really live pretty near KSU in Kennesaw), and I have watered my garden some, but not a whole lot (a. I am lazy, and b. I wanted to know what veggies would survive).

Based on what I've seen here, and on past gardening experience in Oklahoma and Virginia, lots of places will be able to grow food---many more people/yards will have to pitch in---but what is grown will need to change.  Very thirsty crops like corn just do not do well without plenty of water. Amaranth (grown for grain) seems to do just fine on limited water in my yard.  In Georgia, sweet potatoes, which are both filling and nutritious, are a great crop, even for small yards, and don't need much water until the "potatoes" really start to swell up in late summer/early fall, when the rainy-remnants of all those tropical storms and hurricanes come through.

If you think that you might stay in the Atlanta area, you might want to start experimenting with gardening soon, or subscribing to the Farmers and Consumers Market Bulletin from the county Extension Office, since it lists local sources of a variety of foods (hogs, honey, cows, eggs, pick-your-own-produce, etc.).


With global warming no one, no one, repeat no one knows where there will be rainfall.
Whatever objection you may have to the specific prediction, this weeks' story about Amazon drought forecast desertification in the southern United States. Maybe correct, maybe not. The situation is fragile.
Over the last few weeks it was with certain glee that i watched reports of awesome Real GDP growth come forth, thereby dashing the hopes of the nihilist camp at TOD that was awaiting their elusive Recession and TEOTWAWKI.

It is with similar satisfaction that i watch oil prices now tumble 5-10% albeit the coffee urns at ASPO-5 are still luke warm and warfare is in full dresss in Lebanon.  Why u might ask is not spot bumping the hundred buck threshold? three words: IEA.

It is with unbridled pleasure that i post a highlight from my July USA Energy Stocks & Global Extraction Report:

"Over the course of 2005, an avg of 0.8-mbd went to stock builds as speculators gave up their positions.  That speculation activity and consequent int'l  stock building has substantially subsided.  Global extraction of (all liquids) oil is growing on pace.  Final figures for 2003 have been revised up at 79.8-mbd;  2004 similarly revised up at 83.2-mbd;  and there is a major 2005 revision of supply at 84.4-mbd.  The quarterly production record  remains 2006Q1 with an upward revision to 85.1-mbd.  April 2006 gains renown for the all time global monthly production record:  85.2-mbd. (all supply figures from IEA)."

Rest of the TrendLines Report at http://TrendLines.ca/economic.htm#USAReserves

we hit 85.1 and no one noticed ?
i find it hard to trust the IEA
(1)  Andrew McKillop, with an impressive publication record, accurately predicted that we would see an economic expansion, and no reduction in oil demand, until oil prices went well over $100.   I repeat a question I asked before:  Freddy, have you had anything published on a website other than your own?

(2)  The Lower 48 and the North Sea peaked in the vicinity of 50% of Qt, based on the HL method.  Russia peaked at a plateau centered on 50% of Qt, in 1984.   Most recently, Mexico has started declining after crossing the 50% mark.  Deffeyes put the (crude + condensate) 50% of Qt mark for the world in late 2005, and according to the EIA, world crude + condensate production is down by 1% since then.   As Khebab and I predicted in an article published on the Energy Bulletin, Saudi oil production is down since December.  Petrologistics is suggesting that Saudi oil production will soon be below 9 mbpd.

(3)  M. King Hubbert's critics in the early Seventies cited record high Lower 48 oil production as evidence that Hubbert's Peak Oil theory was wrong.

(4)  However, the key point is that all of the four largest producing oil fields in the world are almost certainly declining.   We know that Cantarell is facing catastrophic declines.  I suspect that Ghawar may also be showing a very rapid decline.

Energy Bulletin articles by Andrew McKillop (16 articles):  http://www.energybulletin.net/news.php?author=andrew+mckillop&keywords=&cat=0&action=sea rch&pageID=1

Energy Bulletin articles by Brown and/or Khebab:  
http://www.energybulletin.net/news.php?author=jeffrey+brown&keywords=&cat=0&action=searc h

This is worth a look.

At seventy pages , it is  a good couple of hours , but the The graphs are fascinating esp Yiqbal, Gabon Brent and Forties (a picture is worth a thousand words)


''Uncertainty on Oil and Gas Data and Forecasts
Jean Laherrere, member of ASPO France and who worked with Total for 40 years, has released his latest report, Uncertainty on Data and Forecasts (PDF, 3.7 Mb), prepared for the ASPO-5 conference in Pisa, 2006. This is an outstanding report that is full of fascinating Peal Oil and Gas information (70 pages), and discusses some of the more optimistic scenarios suggested by the US Geological Survey (USGS), International Energy Agency (IEA), Energy Information Administration (EIA), Michael Lynch and others.
[Posted 13 July 2006]''

Let's not get cute.  These questions were asked and answered last week.
freddy, im not a doomer but im plenty scared. for you to use the language above - gleefully declaring the TOD crowd in error is similar to someone at 11:50 pm providing research and insight that the clock wont work anymore at midnight and you just announcing that it ticked 11:58 with no problems or slowages whatsoever!!

When peak oil is will be an interesting question - but the deeper questions are what to do about it, collectively and individually - I assure you, my children (if I have any and they still live) in 2050 will not look back and say - 'boy things sure would be different if Peak Oil was 2007 instead of 2012"...

thanks for your research in any case.

For those that "must" have oil based product, there will be lots for decades.  The rest will be lost to price-inspired demand destruction and alternatives' switching.  

Canada for example is a high oil consumer.  Not long ago about 80% of our homes and buildings were heated with oil.  That is changing to forced-air electricity, baseboard elec, nat'l gas, fuel cells and biofuels.  We have more methane reserves than any other country ... when the nat'l gas runs out.  The alarmists say there is insufficient time for the conversion in each country.  They are plainly wrong.

ASPO published three years ago that there is no relationship between a commodity's peak and price.  Price is established by annual supply and demand.  There are very few abastracts that illustrate otherwise.  Again, the alarmist like to present the argument that diminishing commodity supply is directly related to price.  There is no such relationship in empirical studies.

Jean Leherrere's recent work also shows real oil prices changed little over the generations when compared to one's wages.

I agree Freddy.

The decline is relatively smooth and slow compared to what it could be. We will subtitute and conserve. It will be economically tough going for a while, but hey it's only money. No-one here is going to die because of peak oil. We still have our families and friends.

Well, I guess it wouldn't take you any time to re-post the answers.

I am particularly interested in your explanation of how we are supposed to have rising production when the biggest oil fields are almost certainly all declining.

"i" don't have to explain anything.  The work on bottom-up flow rates as already been done by the Peakists.  We have discussed four of them all here at TOD (and other forums).  If at this juncture u now see significant errors in their work, i am sure that both this group and the modelers will appreciate your contributions.  Skrebowski updates Megaprojects often online; and the others can incorporate your corrections in their next annual outlooks.  Seems to me Rembrandt Koppelaar posts and lurks at TOD and your collaboration with him could come to frution before Labour Day.

For more of my recent "answers", just click on my name and then on "comments" or check the replies on "your comments" in your own profile...

Alright. Cool. In coming days, I'll attempt to moderate this debate. Everybody stand down for now.

Cease Fire!

All I see when I look at that chart is that crude supply has been pretty flat for about 2 years now.
Freddy, I for one appreciate getting different points of view.  A major question is when does falling net energy and rising prices cancel efficiency gains resulting in economic contraction?
I won't address failing net energy 'cuz most studies over the past two years illustrate this can't happen for at least five decades.  But rising prices is a concern and it was addressed by the Fed.  My work on their model showed last Summer that it would take two years of $70/barrel (contract prices ... not spot) to cause a Recession due to energy's present insignificance in the big picture as a component to pricing.
Freddy, I'm pretty new here - so am not up to speed with all your thinking.  The point you make about contract prices is undoubtedly valid - that's why higher energy prices have taken a while to work through the system.  Also, energy costs pretty small in the bigger picture.  But I imagine palnes not actually having fuel to fly.  Would also question net energy not falling for 50 years - as world population rising, oil probably about to start falling.
The point of our TrendLines Scenarios is to illustrate that even a hundred years from now, those users that cannot fuel switch will still have 20-mbd of flow to quench their needs.  The taps don't shut off for almost 150 years.  Your old mustang is safe if u can afford the price.

Worldwide, fuels are only 11% of total merchandies exports.  Energy is less than 4% of the CPI.

"if you can afford the price"
something that gets to me about this site
it appears everyone here is
more or less well off
I live in the sticks so don't get to visit some of this nation finer ghettos. but I have stumbled into them before. I'm not going to google up stats on how close most americans are to losing there shirts because all you people need to do is walk out into your fine inner cities and open your eyes. there is a serious working poor problem here and the amount folks living paycheck to paycheck is staggering. if I understand demand destruction ( and I may not) doesn't that just mean the folks who can't afford will go with out  (creating more poor) thus more for me.
not everyone is white male and making a decent living.
You definitely understand demand destruction.
there is a serious working poor problem here and the amount folks living paycheck to paycheck is staggering.

Good going, earldaily.

Now don't forget to tell them poor folk that raising their own food is "a waste of time."

Tell them you heard that on the Oil Drum.

They understand that RTA may not have the money for diesel to run buses.  They ask about the risks of electricity going up vs. diesel.  They are pleased that total energy is lower with electric rail; and that streetcars generate electricity when they brake.

They feel intimidated and a little scared by having to "learn planning" just to have a say about their neighborhoods; but they just don't want to take what these "out of towners" say is best.  They put in the hours and hours in meeting after meeting.  They read the handouts, look stuff up on the internet (or have a friend do it and print it).  I have answered several questions about concepts and "what they meant" after the meetings in the parking lot to the best of my ability.  They are NOT dumb, just uneducated, and that is changing.  And all this after a days work !

Just relying on demand destruction would be the typical approach that we favor in the good old U.S. of A.  It's kind of like the stock analysts rejoicing when unemployment increases or wages don't keep up with inflation.  Good for the well to do amongst us. In any event, destroying demand using the bottom up approach is a rather crude way of addressing the supply problem.

We will destroy demand which will lower prices which will increase demand which will raise prices and so on.  Doesn't get us to where we need to be very quickly which would be ok except Rome is burning.

  How does the government account for inflation when it determines Real GDP growth?
Gunga, just as there are about nine measures of the Unemployment Rate and several measures of Inflation, GDP is measured by differing methodologies.  Nominal GDP is the total dollars compared to previous revised reports of total dollars.  Real GDP is one of several methods of measuring after accounting for Inflation.  Can be in current dollars, old dollars and/or chained dollars ... but when u see "real" in the preamble in economic reports, inflation is discounted already.
I figured there was a mechanism to account for inflation in Real GDP but I was hoping you could tell me specifically how.
I worry that the government does not fully account for inflation effects in the published Real GDP numbers and I had hoped you could allay my concerns.
To know how inflation adjustments are actually done--oy, veh, it is a Black Art. I took a year of post-graduate classes (Ph.D. seminars) on this topic, and we barely scratched the surface.

The nasty truth known to economists in the field is that there are both theoretical and practical obstacles to doing inflation adjustment "correctly." Oddly enough, and completely contrary to intuition, the barriers in theory are far more intractable than the problems of getting the data right (although those are prodigeous).

In regard to price level indexes, a famous economist (who is largely credited with inventing the GDP concept, a man by the name of Kuznets) said:

"We're lucky if the first digit is correct."

Here is Sailorman's addendum: The last significant digit never is . . . [significant, correct, or meaninful].

Freddy wrote:
It is with similar satisfaction that i watch oil prices now tumble 5-10%

What world was this on? The highest close to date has been just over $77 for the near term contract, but that was only one day. Right at this moment oil is trading above their 20 day moving average. And if oil prices are "tumbling" as you say, that is news to the market. Now at this moment the price is $74.80. That is a pull back from the absolute high of 2.8%. And Freddy Hutter says that is a "tumble of 5-10%. Wow! Do you ever have a talent for hyperbole.

Oil prices are now trading at their highest average ever, yet you imply that a pullback from a quick spike can somehow be termed as "tumbling"! Hyperbole is not the correct word for such a claim, it deserves a much stronger word.

According to the EIA, all liquids are down half a million barrels per day, December to April. Crude + Condensate are down even further, 753 thousand barrels per day, a full one percent. Average for the first four months of 2006, all liquids is 84,551,000 barrels per day, Not 85.1 mb/d.

Not so my floridian friend.  Spot oil peaked at $78.40 in NYC.

5% off that is $74.48

If u look at TOD's graph to the right, it's been nudging $73.50 for two days.

In their ASPO-5 submissions, three of the four Peakist superstars (Laherrere/Campbell/Skrewbowski) raised their peak production forecasts.  Only Koppelaar did not and he will have his 2006 Outlook later in the summer.  I am confident he will revise up as well.  Additionally, he and ASPO will most certainly revise their URR upwards.

All the Emperor's of the Peakist camp have no clothes.  The forecasts of a Y2K peak were wrong.  2001 was wrong.  2002 was wrong.  2003 was wrong. 2004 was wrong.  2005 is showing to be wrong.

Although oil production fell year-over-year in 1999 & 2002, it bounced back with a vengeance.  In 2002, global extraction was 76.9-mbd.  In Q1 we were pumping at 85.11-mbd and Q2 is at 85.07-mbd.

The April monthly record of 85.21-mbd is not a preliminary figure.  It is not the first revision.  It is the second and final public revision.  And it's fricken beautiful.

Two years ago u told me we were post peak when each month i published the new IEA figures at EnergyResources.  IEA had just revised their June 2004 record to 83-mbd and u were furious.  You and others have mocked IEA for years and y'all are still making the same mistakes based on old EIA data.  Stuart has shown that there is no statistically significant difference between their figures other than a time lag and slight difference in definitions.  On a relative basis, they are equivalent.

Some things never change...

Freddy wrote:

Not so my floridian friend.  Spot oil peaked at $78.40 in NYC.

That was the September contract. The close in contract for that day was the August contract which reached an interday high of $78.05 but its closing high was $77.03.

But all that is beside the point. Sudden spikes happen all the time. When prices move back from a sudden interday spike, or even from a one day close, that is not considered a tumble. If you check the history, you will see prices have been spiking up and pulling back at least once a month for the last two and one half years. By your logic Freddy, prices have therefore been tumbling for two and a half years.

Yeah Right!

The IEA is the Emperor with no clothes. I use the EIA figures for both All Liquids as well as Crude + Condensate.
All Liquids
December 85.023 mb/d
April 84.526 mb/d

Crude + Condensate
December 74.347 mb/d
April 73.549 mb/d

Freddy, do stand by your belief in a peak near 2030? If so, on what basis.


Bruce, Peak Production is a function of URR. Most folks don't understand what URR is as opposed to total oils in the ground.  We have watched URR grow steadily since 1980.  And since that time there has virtually always been a 40-yr supply at then present consumption rates (BP et al).

With new technology and higher prices, there has been no slow down in the growth rate of URR.  And as URR grows, so also does the max production rate and the peak year keeps getting pushed back in time.

Since my comment five weeks ago, we have updated 8 of the 12 models.  Our avg URR is now 2992-Gb. The models closest to that are Laherrere and OPEC and their peak years are 2018 (92.6-mbd) and 2020 (106-mbd) respectively.  While my fav is IEA, i must concede that 2019 (99-mbd) is the favoured timeline with today's knowledge.

I dismiss the most conservative models as prospects of the future 'cuz they have been continually revised upwards since 1991 with no sign of abatement.  They are not flawed models, merely a different methodology that relies on prudence.  

Thanx for the answer!
freddy - remember that the numbers you are quoting include ethanol, biofuels, and coal-to-liquids. you could conceivably successfully argue with someone that we wont peak for some time now and they could mean light sweet and you could mean all liquids and youd both be right
That is the same trap Colin Campbell fell into in 2002.  He tried to be a purist.  An academic.  And perhaps underestimated All Liquids growth and importance in the marketplace.  But in reality, nobody gives a flying F*ck.  When your wife stops for a fillup, she doesn't care whether the gasoline originated in our Alberta fields, Nigeria, Venezeula, Kuwait, the North Sea or a corn field.

As a hobby we do follow the conventional oil peak.  Both its hubbert halfway peak and its production peak are discussed at our website.  Along with the same two peaks for All Liquids.  Present ASPO data indicates the Hubbert halfway peak was in mid 2005.  It was our work using ASPO data that ironically alerted ASPO that this Peak had unceremoniously passed w/o fanfare.  They later backdated the Peak.

Ron baby is that you??  I miss you man.  When you attacked me a few threads back for being a "nutter" I didn't realize it was you.  I would have been a lot nicer.  You can insult me anytime!!  I don't spend much time here and I didn't realize you were posting here.  I'll be keeping my eyes on you...

==AC AKA "Conspiracy Nutter"

Yeah, that's me Chimp. You don't have to be nice to me because I am never nice to conspiracy theory nuts.

So feel perfectly welcome to reply to me in kind.

Ron Patterson, the Darwinian

"Yeah, that's me Chimp. You don't have to be nice to me because I am never nice to conspiracy theory nuts."

I know Ron you do treat me like a discarded tampon, but I STILL love you.  I don't know why but I do.  Maybe because of our alleles?

A few threads back I just accepted you gave up when it came to Kissinger et al engineering the 70's "oil shock".  I took your silence as a defeat.  Bring it back baby!!

'I am 100 per cent sure that the Americans were behind the increase in the price of oil. The oil companies were in real trouble at that time, they had borrowed a lot of money and they needed a high oil price to save them.'
~Ahmed Zaki Yamani

'King Faisal sent me to the Shah of Iran, who said: "Why are you against the increase in the price of oil? That is what they want? Ask Henry Kissinger - he is the one who wants a higher price".'

We may all be chimps Ron but, believe it or not, some chimps are smarter than others.  The problem is certain chimps are convinced that all chimps are so dumb that they never could conspire against the other chimps because the hapless conspired against chimps are at least smart enough to know they are being duped.  Of coarse the chimps that know other chimps don't conspire are the smartest chimps of all.  Right Ron?

Don't forget what this is all about Ron:


As much as you may hate to confront it, some chimps are running the zoo...


"The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind."
~William Blake

ron - how do you reconcile freddys opinions of peak 2018 or beyond with your own opinion of near term (or at hand) peak.
I continue to be amazed that smart people can disagree so much.

For me, I have decided not to waste time predicting exactly when peak is, though its an interesting exercise, but focus on the mechanisms that will make things better, for everyone if theres no crash, and for the survivors if there is one. The leverage is using mechanisms adopted from the EEA and brought forward to present culture. (I can summarize the plan in two words - Sustainable Dopamine)

Sasquatch, there will be a crash whether or not there is a peak in oil production. Overshoot is overshoot and when you are already in overshoot there is no other way out except a crash in population. Peak oil will just hasten the matter. Otherwise the crash would have happened sometime before the half century mark. But peak oil will put the beginning of the crash in the next decade, a few years after peak oil.

I don't try to reconcile Freddys opinions any more than I try to reconcile Bjorn Lomborg's or Julian Simon's opinions. There is just no reconcilation with a flat earth cornucopian.

I follow the data very closely and I am convinced that 2006 will be the peak calandar year. I believe it is likely that December 2005 will be the peak month, but not as convinced as I am of 2006 as peak year. I follow the data from each country, who is peaked, who has plateaued and who has not peaked. Right now most have peaked, a few are plateaued, and only five to seven have not peaked. We are at peak oil right now though the monthly data will fluctuate.

i agree with much of what you say Ron - I guess I meant, how can Freddy be so far off then?

Shows you how wired we are to respond to confidence. I am more in your camp than Freddys yet dont follow it as closely as either of you. One thing I know he has wrong, is the net vs gross angle - if All liquids is what we are measuring, some of those liquids have to go back into the production of the other liquids, meaning the net left over to non-energy society is flat or lower.

Any opinions on natural gas (from an investment perspective)

I'll say hi to Jay for you - he's friggin serious - my friends ranch is off the grid and no TV so Jay overnighted a large flat screen and DVD player so we can watch neuroscience and historical war lectures, or some such.

Don't feed Freddy Fraud - he's just a bait-and-switch artist.
His bizarre Babelfish-type jargon is always good for a laugh, though.
"Jay overnighted a large flat screen and DVD player so we can watch neuroscience and historical war lectures, or some such."

Lifestyles of the doomers isn't what I thought.

Well said. Good catch.
Growth in "Real GDP" is not necessarily a good thing.  GDP treats depletion of natural capital (assets) as current income - an obvious violation of good accounting principles.  GDP does not account for pollution or environmental degradation.  Growth in spending for weapons, prisons, reactive health care, debt financing, are all not good things.  The income spread between rich everyone else in the U.S. has grown rapidly, another factor not represented by GDP.

One of the reasons we face the possibility of global collapse is the inane use of "measurements" such as GDP which have little relationship to reality.

No amount of dimensional analysis will reduce GNP or GDP to some combination of centimeters, grams, or seconds. The economic numbers we fetishize are merely figures of merit like the numbers that engineers use to rate refrigerators. When a figure of merit disagrees with your judgment of what's the best refrigerator, you junk the figure of merit, you don't change your opinion about the refrigerator. Which is not to say that GNP stats are meaningless or useless, just that we should always keep in mind that economics is sociology, not physics.
GDP is lovely if you ignore our debt:


Let's be more specific.  The USA is abusing its credit card.  "Ours" (national debt) is down 10% thanx to eight successive surplus budgets.

Freddy H> in Canada

Once again, Freddy runs onto TOD, posts numbers that support his position, then trots off to hide until he can do it again. Nevermind that the current average trading price is, as another poster noted, higher than ever before. Nevermind that Freddy is crying victory at roughly $75 per barrel.

Will you cry victory again next year at $85 per barrel, Freddy? And the revised IEA figures as used by Stuart disagree with your claims. Or are you using the UNrevised figures? The IEA did not list 85+ mbpd figures for 2006, either revised or unrevised. Or are you pulling yet another number (like your 10% price decline which is patently false) out of your rear again?

What are your sources, Freddy?

As many of us know, Freddy tried the same stuff on the Energy Resources forum.  He went away there and will likely do so here after a while.
I did not leave EnergyResources.  I was terminated 'cuz my views "did not match the theme of that desired by the moderator", Tom Robertson, a retired charter boat engine mechanic.

In three consecutive months i challenged the figures and graphs of the monthly ASPO newsletter.  I detailed explicitly the arithmetic mistakes.  Within hours of being banned, ASPO reissued its latest Newsletter with my requested changes.  A first.  And ASPO has since put our TrendLines website in a subsequent Newsletter and Campbell and i have kissed and made up.  Jean Laherrere included our graphs in his recent CERA presentation.  He is one of hundreds of scientists, journalists and academics that reference our on-site data in their own work.  As a visitor from France, it is one of 87 nations that frequented our site this Spring.

It is relatively easy for nihilists and Peakists to hijack forums.  By my private email, i am contiunuall encouraged to give context and reality checks to their cornucopia of alarmist and error-ridden statments.


As far as I know, Tom never cut you off.  Rather, you got your guts shot out by other posters and you stopped posting.

Don't be silly.  He sent me a luv letter Aug24th. Ask him for it if u wish. I was banned from the ASPO forum the same day. We put up our retalitory link: http://trendlines.ca/energyresourcesyahoo.htm

 And it was over...

Jean Laherrere patched things up betw Colin and me.  But Tom holds long grudges and has an agenda to protect.

More cute posts from dark side.  Please show me any previewed statistic that i have quoted in three years that has not been ultimately made public.  You are just a blowhard that can't handle the truth.  I use proprietary numbers that are shared within my fraternity and peers.  In 30-60 days you will see my figures in the mainstream media.  Don't be so juvenile, please.

With respect to prices, u are similarly misguided.  At our website we post the weekly average contract prices.  That is the true price.  It is $67.  For two years the spot price has been the domain of speculators and fantasy.  Please tell us, oh wise one, which american corp buys most of its oil at spot prices.

I disgree Freddy,

The spot oil price is not the domain of speculators and fantasy:

  1. Speculators have low tolerance for risk and typically don't hold positions for months nevermind years. The oil price has been in a solid uptrend for years.

  2. Work out how much real physical demand there is for oil at todays prices. It's 2 TRILLION USD per year. The amount of money speculators would need to push oil from 25USD to 50USD or 75USD is unimagineable and simply doesn't exist.

Speculators can add 5-10 USD in the short term around goepolitical events but they cant come close to causing the oil price to do what it has done over the last 3 years. It's just supply and demand.


Careful Hongkong Trader. If you disagree with the godly, omniscient, all powerful, never erroring Freddy Hutter (who can't spell or use his shift key, something that even children can do), he'll start calling you names too. Oh yeah... remember that your opinion doesn't count because Freddy has super-secret proprietary data that the rest of us are not allowed to see or discuss but which Freddy claims gives him "authority".
haha... thats funny. almost everyone here disagrees with everyone else about something. Anyway I think the point I made above really is just common sense.
Thank you Freddy Hutter for this post;   The mention of the "Coffee Urns"  reminded me that I hadn't had my afternoon cup of fresh coffee, ( shot of cafiene ).  UUUUMMMMMM!!!! it tastes so good.  -:)  -:)
Regarding unbridled pleasure: please remember that even after our 'tumble' from $78 to $74, light sweet and refined products are still at levels not seen in 99.9% of all trading days in their history. This cannot be said for very many, if any commodities or even stocks. We are in a secular bull market for oil and especially the refined stuff (heating oil, unleaded gasoline, etc). Even at the pace of recent IEA increases in production, prices will go significantly higher if the exporting nations consumption continues at the 5-11% range that Prof goose posted above.

Are you short oil Freddy? What is your target? What is your stop out? I am long dec 09 futures from $47 and will add to thhat when front month breaks $80. Stop out below $60 on dec 09 (I think they closed at $72.6 today.)

Gas forecast at $11/gallon in 2010?!?

According to this article about Hyundai's fuel cell car, "Forecasts put the cost of driving a conventional petrol powered vehicle in 2010 at US44c a mile, compared to US6c a mile for a fuel cell powered vehicle."

OK, a fuel cell powered vehicle certainly won't be cheaper. So what's responsible for the US38c per mile price difference? Could it be... fuel costs?

If we assume that a gas vehicle in 2010 will get 30 MPG, then that 38 cents represents 1/30 of a gallon. That implies a fuel cost of at least $11.40 per gallon, unless there's a less ominous way to read the per-mile figures.

Although this won't be a shock to TOD readers, it's a bit surprising to find that "forecasts" agree with us.


Ironically if you figure that mpg should increase by then by a mere 4-5 mpg and take it to 35 mpg, you'll quickly realize that the better the mileage the higher implied fuel cost, so if we assumed a better 35 mpg we're looking at costs of $13.30.  Someone's planning...
Organisers at the Lucerne Fuel Cell Conference have decided to discontinue their regular conference series on hydrogen-powered fuel cells on the grounds that hydrogen production for fuel cell use is unsustainable.  

The post-conference information release addressed production of hydrogen from electrolysis of water, saying that it is 3-4 times more efficient to distribute electricity to the consumer directly than to convert it to hydrogen, package and distribute it, and reconvert it to electricity in a fuel cell.  

Apologies if this has been discussed before, I'm from St. Louis, and my power's been out since Wed. Just came back late Monday evening.

One of the contributors to Whiskey and Gunpowder ( http://www.whiskeyandgunpowder.com/ ) has published 2 articles that suggest the best way to combat global warming is to INCREASE oil consumption in the U.S., preferrably to improve our manufacturing base, because the U.S. uses oil more efficiently:

The author, Jim Amrhein, conveniently summed up the thesis of his two articles:

...Over the course of both these essays, I've tried to present the five main pillars of my argument logically. To recap these, in simplest terms...

  1. Barring some miraculously cheap, safe, abundant, and simple development in energy technology, fossil fuel consumption will continue unchecked for the foreseeable future, until such time as it is depleted or too expensive to extract.

  2. Being that the global petroleum production chain is already at peak capacity and no longer meeting demand, nations must now (for the first time in history) directly compete with each other for their share of a finite flow of oil.

  3. Being it is unfeasible to prevent the total consumption of this flow of oil for the foreseeable future, it's the lesser of all evils from a green standpoint if the least possible GHG is produced during the consumption process.

  4. Being that developed democracies are the only governmental systems beholden to the sensitivities of environmentally conscious citizens AND economically robust enough to bear the cost of GHG emissions regulation, such nations are the ones best able to produce the most while polluting the least with whatever share of the world's annual oil flow they can command...

  5. And as the largest, most consumptive, and, by far, among the least polluting of these democracies (only Japan and Germany are in the same GHG/GDP class), it behooves the planet to have the U.S. burning as much of this flow of oil as possible -- given current supply conditions.

...what's best for the Earth in EVERY way is a powerful America that burns oil more cleanly than our competitors (we already do) and consumes enough petroleum to stay more industrially productive (we certainly don't) than nondemocracies that will put the environment last -- places like China, India, and Africa...

The Least Convenient Truth, Part I

The Least Convenient Truth, PArt II

He has some points.

Most people into peak oil WON'T acknowledge he has  some  points because doing so would violate their pre-existing tribal norms.

I meant also to say: we're totally screwed if we do what he suggests. But the alternative is something akin to an international powerdown. I don't see that happening.
IMO, feasible alternatives unlikely to emerge top-down, due to the accelerating entropy of our major social institutions.  Practical alternatives are arising bottom-up from the individual and tribe, resurrecting simpler sustainable techniques leavened with advanced technology where appropriate.
..., fossil fuel consumption will continue unchecked for the foreseeable future, until such time as it is depleted or too expensive to extract.

We have foreseen the future, and it is now.

Great plan. Re-industrialize the USA, de-industrialize China. Forget the fact that the horse is miles out of the barn- the persons that own and run the USA are definitely not on board with this plan, so implementation might be challenging.
that wont stop people from trying to bomb china and everyone else back to the stone age.
I was just thiking, well he's right we're gonna use every last drop that we can and it will come here to the US, because we will pay whatever the price for it.
Until such time that US Dollars won't buy more oil, then the Carter doctrine will be invoked.
For some reason (better understanding maybe) I think the financial calamity will precede any major PO announcement.  Not all out depression, but major structural changes such as massive lay offs and large real GDP contractions.  Historically speaking, there will be a speech by the prez at the time, that we are past peak oil and the new "new deal" will be born.  The end of oil will be bookended by this speech.
will be?
Yeah, have you heard a speech by our Prez, yet that says america wake up! I'm investing XX trillions of dollars over XX amount of time to fix our energy problem.  If you did, kindly forward it because I must have missed it somewhere.... :)  That's what I'm talking about anyway, not a bullshit remark like we're addicted to oil.  
Reread Carter's "Sweater" speech.
Damn age....
Hmmm, we've turned into a largely service economy, having outsourced much if not most of our manufacturing overseas. No wonder our GHG/GDP looks good. Another place we lead is in GHG/population, a factor of 8 larger than China, who have 4 times our population and half our GHG emissions. China's economy is of course growing much faster than ours so no doubt their GHG emissions will grow (which may be good news for the doomers, who can say "I told you so"), but at least at the national level they take it very seriously (in part, I suspect, to slow things down to something somewhat sustainable). Much more seriously than we do, we who cannot accept even the possibility of AGW, and whose ideas of clean energy include E85 and the hydrogen FreedomCar. Hate to say it, but I suspect that the cleanest, most efficient manufacturing will soon be found there rather than places like here. And given that we used to benefit from a massive global brain drain to the US, but are doing so less and less, technological innovation will increasingly occur overseas.
Are you saying that "innovation" will discontinue here due to a brain drain out of the US?  We've got a great history of innovating right here and sending the blueprints to someone else who can make it cheaper, then it gets economized down to the $20 DVD player.  There is no brain drain the other way AFAIK.  Now I do agree that more people are coming to get educated here, then leaving.  If you want to call that a brain drain, then I guess that would work.  In spite of this, there are plenty of arguments that provide facts to support an argument that the level of innovation has slowed considerably in the last three decades.  So where do all the brains go?
No, I'm saying that we used to (and to a lesser extent still do) benefit from a global brain drain to the US (i.e., we were the winners, everyone else the losers).  The brightest and most motivated would come here for a degree, often an advanced degree, and many would stay.  These days, more and more graduates are returning home (a few years ago it was incredibly hard to get Chinese students into the US -- for reasons clear to the administration and pretty much no one else, and even now if you're from, say, Iran, good luck), and universities overseas are getting better and better, with more and more world class research taking place. I was recently in China on a site visit, the energy and investment level (both monetary and intellectual) there is astounding. Overall, this is probably a good thing, but it does mean that this talent stream is drying up.  What is not a good thing is that fewer and fewer of our own are going into science and engineering.  High tech companies like IBM and GE are worried.
I thought I read about an initiative by GE to get this problem solved.  Something to do with sponsering schools.  Maybe you know what i'm talking about.  This is a problem, but who's fault is it really?  I mean when an executive realizes pure cost savings of eliminating domestic positions in favor of another country, it doesn't exactly inspire morale.  Not to mention that executive must not be talking to the HR dept.
I tried to buy a $20 region 2 DVD player last weekend. Best price: $120.
So much for globalization.
This is just more silliness from the lunatic fringe.  Please tell us which nations export more or manufacture more than the USA?
Germany exports more goods than the US, with 1/3rd the population.

The only nation that has a worse balance of payments (as % of GNP. it absolute $, we are KING OF THE HILL) is New Zealand.

In rough #s, we sell abroad $2 for every $3 we import; and that ratio will get worse as oil increases in price, US production of oil (and NG) declines, and we start importing tens of billions of $ of LNG.

Roughly, $800 billion deficit, $300 billion for oil & NG, $200 billion with China, $120 billion with EU and $180 billion with everyone else.

The US runs a trade surplus with NO ONE !!

Wow. Mea culpa.  What a difference a couple of years makes!  I concede that Germany has done well.  Aside from  this embarassment, my point is that manufacturing in the USA has continued to set export records each year despite that there are less folks working in the Mfg Sector.


At current trends, China will surpass the USA in total exports by 2008.
Try 2007.
Strip away the pretension and the name-calling in "The Least Convenient Truth," and the article says this:

"As energy becomes a zero-sum game, let America burn it all, for they do it so well."

HOUSTON, July 26, 2006 - ConocoPhillips [NYSE:COP] today reported second-quarter net income of $5,186 million, or $3.09 per share, compared to $3,138 million, or $2.21 per share, for the same quarter in 2005. Revenues were $47.1 billion, versus $41.8 billion a year ago. Year-to-date excluding the first-quarter acquisition of Burlington Resources, the company reinvested 97 percent of its net income into the growth and development of oil and gas resources and its global refining business.

For the first six months of 2006, net income was $8,477 million, or $5.49 per share, versus $6,050 million, or $4.26 per share, for the same period a year ago. Revenues were $94.1 billion, versus $79.4 billion a year ago.

Mr. Mulva concluded:

"We recently signed an agreement with the Saudi Arabian Oil Company to conduct a detailed evaluation for the proposed development of a 400,000 barrel-per-day, full-conversion refinery in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia. In addition, we recently signed an agreement with the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) to study the development of a 500,000 barrel-per-day refinery in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates. Both ventures fit well with the company's overall strategy to invest in projects that expand our global refining presence, and provide significant new supplies of refined products to help meet growing requirements around the world. A second agreement signed with IPIC allows us to work together in identifying new downstream, as well as upstream, opportunities for joint investment.

"ConocoPhillips is committed to working proactively with consumers and governments around the world to find solutions to both short-term and long-term energy challenges. During the past three years, we have invested more capital into energy development than we have earned in net income. Our 2006 $18 billion capital program represents a 50 percent increase from last year, and it is three times what we spent just three years ago. This level of capital investment will enable us to develop new oil and natural gas supplies, expand our refining capabilities, and bring to fruition such major new projects as Arctic gas pipelines and liquefied natural gas production and transportation - projects that will help address the world's future energy needs."

Looks like the firm did well with production, too:

ConocoPhillips Reports Second-Quarter Net Income of $5.2 Billion or $3.09 Per Diluted Share

Daily production from the E&P segment, including Canadian Syncrude and excluding the LUKOIL Investment segment, averaged 2.13 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day, improved from 1.61 million BOE per day in the previous quarter and 1.54 million BOE per day in the second quarter of 2005. The increase from the first quarter of 2006 primarily was due to the addition of the Burlington Resources assets and initial crude oil liftings from Libya, partially offset by lower volumes from the United Kingdom due to planned maintenance. The increase from the second quarter of 2005 primarily was due to the addition of the Burlington Resources assets, initial crude oil liftings from Libya and higher production from the Timor Sea, partially offset by lower production in Alaska due to unplanned downtime at Prudhoe Bay. Before-tax exploration expenses were $134 million in the second quarter of 2006, versus $112 million in the previous quarter and $121 million in the second quarter of 2005.

Are publicly traded oil firms required by the SEC to disclose production levels, or is this solely at the discretion of the firms?

I wonder if LouGrinzo would be interested in tabulating the earnings & production highlights on his web site after all the companies have reported.

Are publicly traded oil firms required by the SEC to disclose production levels, or is this solely at the discretion of the firms?

Only annually, in their 10-K reports.  Most put it into their annual reports as well.

This pretty much says it all:
"The increase from the first quarter of 2006 primarily was due to the addition of the Burlington Resources assets.
The increase from the second quarter of 2005 primarily was due to the addition of the Burlington Resources assets"
Yesterday Honda announced plans for a microjet:

From NYTimes:

Honda Adding a Jet, a Six-Passenger Model, to Its Lineup

Honda, known for its small cars, plans to offer what could become the Honda Civic of the skies.

The Japanese automobile manufacturer said yesterday that it would build a fuel-efficient jet, following in the footsteps of a long line of car companies that have tried their hand at aviation.

The twin-engine, 6-passenger HondaJet will go on sale by 2010. It will be built in the United States, at a yet-to-be-determined location. Honda, which announced the jet at an air show in Oshkosh, Wis., said it would begin taking orders this fall.

From Honda's web site:

Honda to Begin Sales of Very Light Jet - 'HondaJet'
Honda and Piper Aircraft to Form New Business Alliance

Good idea or bad idea?

"Good idea or bad idea?"

In my opionion, from a PO perspective: insignificant idea in terms of impact.

In a post peak crash world I would expect small gas turbine engines to become less common, not more...

Agree, this would have been a brilliant product to sell circa 1996-1999, but a sales disaster in the next decade.  Particularly since mothballed small commercial jets will be available at scrap aluminium prices.  Maybe the technogeniuses at Honda can design a time tunnel to deliver these minijets to the dotcom era?

Amusingly, the size and range would be appropriate for a domestic "Kiwi One" plane, although such extravagant imperial trappings would never be approved of in a functioning democracy.  The prime minister can bloody well charter a little propeller plane or fly commercial like anyone else.  Of note the range is not even adequate to cross the Tasman nonstop.  Aussie could only be reached by a refueling  stop at Norfolk island.

It's easy to lump the Japanese auto makers together, but Honda has been flat, slightly negative in terms of sales growth and market share.  They have hit the preverbial "rut."  Nissan is doing worse.  Only toyota just dominates.  This is not a long term investment because it won't work in a post peak world.  Yes they will probably trade on their name and make some cash, but again Long term, they will fold it or sell it.
didn't honda come from a former air plane manufacturer durring ww2?
no one did it yet.

here is an excerpt from the EIA weekly report.

Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending July 21, 2006

U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 15.8 million barrels per day during the
week ending July 21, down 89,000 barrels per day

U.S. crude oil imports averaged 10.5 million barrels per day last week, down
194,000 barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four week.

Total motor gasoline inventories
dropped by 3.2 million barrels

motor gasoline demand has averaged 9.6 million
barrels per day, or 1.8 percent above the same period last year.  

Let me add that the stock of finished gasoline is worth 12.4 days at the actual consumption rate.

Neuroil, All,
Anecdotaly we know that many people are reducing consumption,
ie public transport, biking walking I am not going to quote all the numbers one tiny example is Salt Lake city up 47% etc etc, My question is how can gas usage be UP 1.8%? Is this the war? Evaporation. Are people drinking the stuff? I am perplexed and what pray tell does this mean

Let me add that the stock of finished gasoline is worth 12.4 days at the actual consumption rate.
appreciate it. out

US population grows by a bit over 1% annually by itself. Thus, on population growth alone, total consumption should grow by that much as well. This means that consumption is only up a fraction of 1% actually when adjusted for population growth. In other words, consumption per capita is roughly flat while total consumption continues to grow simply because population grows. Adding 3.2 million new mouths per year is going to increase things no matter what.

What of conservation?
s/b What about conservation?
jevons paradox.
the more energy efficent you make somthing the more people will use it.
energy efficent lights? people will leave them on longer.
energy efficent computers? many people who did turn them off when not in use just leave them on now 24/7(dispite how windows seems to hate this :P ).
Let me further coment on this.

In 2000, the US counted 281 million persons in the country.

Just 6 years later in late 2006 we will pass the 300 million mark.

In 2010, we will reach an estimated 309 million.

In 2020, we will reach an estimated 336 million.

In 2030, we will reach an estimated 363 million.

In 2040, we will reach an estimated 392 million.

In 2050, we will reach an estimated 420 million.

And that is if we continue the relatively low 1% growth rate that we are seeing. So, by these numbers alone, even if we don't use more oil per capita, the US will use roughly 40% more oil in 2050 than in 2000 just to support the larger population. Or to put it another way, if we reduce our oil consumption by 30% per capita by 2050, the US will still consume roughly 21 million barrels per day and this is even after the wildly optimistic peak dates of CERA and IEA when total oil production will be falling!

Thus, if we fail to control population growth, nothing we do can save us from catastrophic collapse. We must control population growth in addition to changing the way we live, becoming more efficient, etc. Yet population growth continues unchecked. Even a 1% growth rate is an exponential curve. Any steady percentage growth rate is. And that is what we absolutely must stop doing - growing on an exponential curve.

Thank you for helping me wrap my mind around some of these facts.
if I may?
you said
"So, by these numbers alone, even if we don't use MORE(my emphasis) oil per capita, the US will use roughly 40% more oil in 2050 than in 2000 just to support the larger population."
What if we use less? Isn't that not exponential also?
its obvious i'm trying to hard. s/b Isn't that exponential?
This can get pretty complicated but we can simplify it for our purposes. If population is growing, total oil consumption will grow unless per capita consumption declines faster than population grows. Obviously this has practical limits. At 21 mbpd, the 300 million US people use about 0.07 barrels per capita daily right now. In 2050, if we used 0.07 barrels per capita daily, our total consumption would have to grow to 29.4 mbpd.

On the other hand, if we were able to reduce per capita consumption to 0.05 barrels per capita per day, then 420 million people would still consume a total of 21 mbpd. But how low can you drive that via conservation? 0.02? 0.01? And yet population continues to climb endlessly.

By the end of the century, as we approach 600 million in the US, if we still consumed just 21mbpd, we'd be down to 0.035 barrels per capita daily. And yet even CERA, Yergin, and the rest of the optimists don't believe the US alone can be consuming 21 mbpd in 2100. There won't be that much left around in total (more like 10mbpd or lower worldwide).

Oil consumption is just a symptom of a larger problem that we refuse to address - population growth. Unless we address that problem, halfway measures that deal just with oil won't help at all, and may make the final crash even worse in terms of human suffering.

Thank You. Very stark. This takes place over a period of years, how much demand destruction has the 70+ cent per gallon increase from 05 created? most conservatively at least 5% no? I just don't get the increase over 05 it sure makes it look hopeless. GZ there is nada we can do about birthrates ya know? That really requires as you say global action and at the minimum national leadership and nuff said. Demand reduction via price increase was a no brainer I thought. Thanks for helping me understand. If you don't mind while I gotcha here, re: this excerpt from neuroils post  "motor gasoline demand has averaged 9.6 million
barrels per day, or 1.8 percent above the same period last year. inventory was not quite a 13 day supply.
 This seems very significant, especially since this Hurricane season, based on gulf and eastern atlantic sea surface temperatures are higher then last year,  could see a simultaneous or near simultaneous gulf/east coast hurricane <. I have been thru 3 direct hits and a couple close calls. Gas availability is a must, especially with evacs. Any thoughts? I sure hope president shitferbrains does not pick the peak,peak hurricane season(or any season for that matter) to attack Iran. Could be the CCF(Cascading catostrophic failure) we've all been fearing.
ps (it ate my post again, but aha u evil computer I cut and saved it you little torture machine)
Think of it this way - despite 5 years of steady price increases, US per capita consumption continues to grow or at best remains flat. So far there are no decreases in there at all. What is it going to take to significantly dent our consumption? In my opinion, something harsh and a huge shock, such as a depression.

Ultimately, collapse will reduce consumption. All of us claim to not want that yet very few are willing to tackle the root cause and take another path, thus almost ensuring that we will instead have collapse.

 Agree.  But then we have all those embryos we need to harvest.
Jim Kunstler has graced us with his presence:

Jim Kunstler Post

Let's encourage him to hang around. This guy has done a lot for Peak Oil awareness. He has been one of my greatest inspirations.



Jim has done a real service to make people aware. Say what you want about him, his writing style is engaging and makes you want to learn more.  Sometimes it takes a bit of work to wake people up.  From his book, to Simmons to TOD, a very enlightening path.  For me, it was his article in Rolling Stone that made such a big impact.  Thanks Jim, if you are reading this, and good luck in the future.  We are all going to need it.
Yes. Thanks.  I appreciate the breadth of analysis available here.
Jim...welcome to the discussions here at TOD.  I've been reading Clusterf*ck Nation for years now.  Hope you will contribute your insight and humor often.

How long have you been lurking at TOD?

Dragonfly41 (formely known as Dragonfly38).

Anyone following ethanol/sugarcane production in Brazil?

Brazil has a major drought going for some time.  Will they have enough sugarcane to continue expanding their ethanol?

Also, anyone here thinks US is not following the Brazilian model?
I think US is.
Brazil's action to oil independance:

  1. Boost ethanol production.
  2. Boost offshore oil drilling.
The results that ethanol comprises a fraction of total gasoline fuel demand.  They are not importing oil due to increase oil production and not related to ethanol production.  The amount of ethanol production has more than double, yet plays a minor role of about 10-20% of gasoline demand.

US actions towards oil independance:

  1. Boost ethanol production and surpass Brazil's ethanol production.
  2. Wants to open up ANWR and offshore oil and gas fields.
Again, ethanol will only make up 7% and maybe up to 10% in ten years.  The rest will be made of increasing oil production.  Just like the Brazilian model.

Am I missing something?
I don't see how anyone should follow the Brazilian model.
Brazil is not running on ethanol.  Ethanol in Brazil cannot replace gasoline.  They don't seem to have any plans to even try to do so, either.  Matter of fact, they are busy trying to export ethanol despite the fact they can increase domestic ethanol demands.

You ask: "Am I missing something?" The answer is yes, quite a lot.

  1. "The results that ethanol comprises a fraction of total gasoline fuel demand." Yes, but 20-25% by volume is not negiligible - in fact it isd huge.

  2. "They are not importing oil due to increase oil production and not related to ethanol production." They are not importing oil for BOTH reasons. Other tropical countries that don't find oil will benefit much more from ethanol.

  3. "The amount of ethanol production has more than double, yet plays a minor role of about 10-20% of gasoline demand." As noted above, your numbers are on the low side. The facts are 20-25% by volume or 14-17.5 % by BTU. Again, this is huge. What other alternaive energy source in the world is offsetting gasoline use at levels like this?

  4. Brazil exporting and "Again, ethanol will only make up 7% and maybe up to 10% in ten years." . Yes, Brazil is exporting ethanol and will almost triple export volume in a few years. Other tropical countries are following. This is a big step toward producing 7-10% of all global vehicle fuel use by biofuel, which could happen in ten years or so, with current technology.

If gasoline from sugar cane can provide this level of liquid fuel, it is a giant step towards mitigating the damage of dimishish oil resources. The positive impact on the climate is massive.

Ethanol from sugar cane, based on current technology, is the most successful alternative fuel in the world. Combined with other technologies (plug in hybrids, lighter cars, less vehicle use) and possible improvements (integrated ethanol and biodiesel plants, cellulose conversion), it provides a path to a post fossil fuel future.


If you analyze Brazil's consumption, you will see that ethanol failed to reduce Brazil's fossil fuel consumption.  Brazil's fossil fuel demand has increased.  They stop importing crude oil because they produce more domestically and not because ethanol.

My point is that US is doing exactly the same.  

Do you think the world should follow Brazil's example?
If yes, that means you have to open up all your offshore area to oil exploration.
The Brazilian model is not one of ethanol, but one of exploration and production.

Hello The Interloafer,

Nothing more than the Plunge Protection Team at the Fed direction of Bernanke at work.  Currency printing presses going 24/7 preparing for future helicopter dispersement; 'Manna from Heaven'.  Gotta keep the sheeple outta 'da loop for as long as possible until the elite topdogs decide to pull the trigger to bring the whole shebang down overnight.

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

Actually they posted a N. American profit for the first time in 2 yrs, so even though on net they still lost, there is a glimmer of hope in W.S.  I wonder what CDS  bond coverage is going for these days?
Anyone have any insight on the situation with the recent breakin at Michael Ruppert's Ashland, Oregon, office?


He holds back from assuming it was other than some random, perhaps meth-related searching for cash.  But other things of value in the office were not taken.  Hmmm....

War with Iran Imminent?

This just in via a local listserve (I don't think this has yet been posted on TOD).  Note the peak oil discussion midway through:



In the last few days, I learned from a credible and informed source that a former senior Labour government Minister, who continues to be well-connected to British military and security officials, confirms that Britain and the United States.

"... will go to war with Iran before the end of the year."

By Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed

07/24/06 " -- As we now know from similar reporting prior to the invasion of Iraq, it's quite possible that the war planning may indeed change repeatedly, and the war may again be postponed. In any case, it's worth noting that the information from a former Labour Minister corroborates
expert analyses suggesting that Israel, with US and British support, is deliberately escalating the cycle of retaliation to legitimize the imminent targeting of Iran before year's end. Let us remind ourselves, for instance,
of US Vice President Cheney's assertions recorded on MSNBC over a year ago. He described Iran as being "right at the top of the list" of "rogue states". He continued: "One of the concerns people have is that Israel might do it without being asked... Given the fact that Iran has a stated policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel, the Israelis might well decide to act first, and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the
diplomatic mess afterwards."

But the emphasis on Israel's pre-eminent role in a prospective assault on Iran is not accurate. Israel would rather play the role of a regional proxy force in a US-led campaign. "Despite the deteriorating security situation in
Iraq, the Bush Administration has not reconsidered its basic long-range policy goal in the Middle East..." reports Seymour Hersh. He quotes a former high-level US intelligence official as follows:

"This is a war against terrorism, and Iraq is just one campaign. The Bush Administration is looking at this as a huge war zone. Next, we're going to have the Iranian campaign. We've declared war and the bad guys, wherever
they are, are the enemy. This is the last hurrah -- we've got four years, and want to come out of this saying we won the war on terrorism."

Are these just the fanatical pipedreams of the conservative faction currently occupying (literally) the White House?

Unfortunately, no. The Iraq War was one such fanatical pipedream in the late 1990s, one that Bush administration officials were eagerly ruminating over when they were actively and directly involved in the Project for a New
American Century. But that particular pipedream is now a terrible, grueling reality for the Iraqi people. Despite the glaring failures of US efforts in that country, there appears to be a serious inability to recognize the futility of attempting the same in Iran.

The Monterey Institute for International Studies already showed nearly two years ago in a detailed analysis that the likely consequences of a strike on Iran by the US, Israel, or both, would be a regional conflagration that
could quickly turn nuclear, and spiral out of control. US and Israeli planners are no doubt aware of what could happen. Such a catastrophe would have irreversible ramifications for the global political economy. Energy
security would be in tatters, precipitating the activation of long-standing contingency plans to invade and occupy all the major resource-rich areas of the Middle East and elsewhere (see my book published by Clairview, Behind the War on Terror for references and discussion).

Such action could itself trigger responses from other major powers with fundamental interests in maintaining their own access to regional energy supplies, such as Russia and particularly China, which has huge interests in
Iran. Simultaneously, the dollar-economy would be seriously undermined, most likely facing imminent collapse in the context of such crises.

Which raises pertinent questions about why Britain, the US and Israel are contemplating such a scenario as a viable way of securing their interests.

A glimpse of an answer lies in the fact that the post-9/11 military geostrategy of the "War on Terror" does not spring from a position of power, but rather from entirely the opposite. The global system has been crumbling under the weight of its own unsustainability for many years now, and we are fast approaching the convergence of multiple crises that are already interacting fatally as I write. The peak of world oil production, of which the Bush administration is well aware, either has already just happened, or is very close to happening. It is a pivotal event that signals the end of the Oil Age, for all intents and purposes, with escalating demand placing increasing pressure on dwindling supplies. Half the world's oil reserves are, more or less, depleted, which means that it will be technologically, geophysically, increasingly difficult to extract conventional oil. I had a chat last week with some scientists from the Omega Institute in Brighton, directed by my colleague and friend Graham Ennis, who told me eloquently and powerfully what I already knew, that while a number of climate "tipping-points" may or may not have yet been passed, we have about 10-15 years before the "tipping-point" is breached certainly and irreversibly. Breaching that point means plunging head-first into full-scale "climate catastrophe". Amidst this looming Armageddon of Nature, the dollar-denominated economy itself has been teetering on the edge of spiraling collapse for the last seven years or more.

This is not idle speculation. A financial analyst as senior as Paul Volcker, Alan Greenspan's immediate predecessor as chairman of the Federal Reserve, recently confessed "that he thought there was a 75% chance of a currency crisis in the United States within five years."

There appears to have been a cold calculation made at senior levels within the Anglo-American policymaking establishment: that the system is dying, but the last remaining viable means of sustaining it remains a fundamentally military solution designed to reconfigure and rehabilitate the system to continue to meet the requirements of the interlocking circuits of military-corporate power and profit.

The highly respected US whistleblower, former RAND strategic analyst Daniel Ellsberg, who was Special Assistant to Assistant Secretary of Defense during
the Vietnam conflict and became famous after leaking the Pentagon Papers, has already warned of his fears that in the event of "another 9/11 or a major war in the Middle-East involving a U.S. attack on Iran, I have no doubt that there will be, the day after or within days an equivalent of a Reichstag fire decree that will involve massive detentions in this country, detention camps for middle-easterners and their quote 'sympathizers', critics of the President's policy and essentially the wiping-out of the Bill of Rights."

So is that what all the "emergency preparedness" legislation, here in the UK as well as in the USA and in Europe, is all about? The US plans are bad enough, as Ellsberg notes, but the plans [on the] UK scene [are] hardly better, prompting The Guardian to describe the Civil Contingencies Bill (passed as an Act in 2004) as "the greatest threat to civil liberty that any
parliament is ever likely to consider."

As global crises converge over the next few years, we the people are faced with an unprecedented opportunity to use the growing awareness of the inherent inhumanity and comprehensive destructiveness of the global imperial
system to establish new, viable, sustainable and humane ways of living.

/Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed is the author of "The London Bombings: An Independent Inquiry" (London: Duckworth, 2006). He teaches courses in International Relations at the School of Social Sciences and Cultural Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, where he is doing his PhD studying imperialism and genocide. Since 9/11, he has authored three other books revealing the realpolitik behind the rhetoric of the "War on Terror", The War on Freedom, Behind the War on Terror and The War on Truth. In summer 2005, he testified as an expert witness [before the] US Congress about his research on international terrorism. Visit his website http://www.independentinquiry.co.uk


Hello LoveOregon,

Thxs for your post.  My reply will focus on your quote below:
Which raises pertinent questions about why Britain, the US and Israel are contemplating such a scenario as a viable way of securing their interests.

A glimpse of an answer lies in the fact that the post-9/11 military geostrategy of the "War on Terror" does not spring from a position of power, but rather from entirely the opposite. The global system has been crumbling under the weight of its own unsustainability for many years now, and we are fast approaching the convergence of multiple crises that are already interacting fatally as I write.

If you believe in Asimov's Foundation of predictive collapse and directed decline as a viable postPeak strategy[as I do], then much of what is happening in the ME can be entirely expected.  I think TODers vastly underrate the effects of potential ME water depletion, their huge reliance on food imports, and the coming collapse of world grain supplies.
Jordan is importing some 91 percent of its grain, Israel 87 percent, Libya 85 percent, Saudi Arabia 70 percent{corrected % by yours truly}, 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
It is only logical for Israel to strike out now to expand their access to water and farmland.  Driving the Lebanese over the mountains into Syria will allow Israel to create a more viable and larger biosolar habitat for postPeak times.  Control of the high ground will allow the creation and protection of the key drainage basins and facilitate the Earthmarine buffer zones to keep potential invaders out.  Also, the mountain ranges will be ideal for the installation of windmill generators, and the inclusion of the Lebanese coastline can expand Israeli fishing territory and offshore generation potential.

Even Hizbollah's leaders were surprised by the ferocity of the Israeli attack.  Perhaps Hizbollah is not aware of Foundation.

If America is heading into massive postPeak grain shortages due to our continued overdrafting of acquifers nationally, combined with GW climate change and a insane desire to convert edible biomass into SUV fuel: Israel realizes that relying upon America for future fuel and food will become a losing strategy.  Thus, they must seek to secure sufficient viable biosolar habitat now to ensure their population survival as best as possible.

I have no accurate idea just how close the US is to this key food inflection point, but Foundation supercomputer simulations and analysis could provide a reasonable window of predictive collapse.  The eventual shutoff of US foodstuffs for exports would quickly leave Israel prostrate, along with the other ME listed above.  If the other ME countries can be sufficiently weakened logistically, and Israel reinforced with adequate supplies of all kinds, then a wide open non-nuclear resource war can gradually start driving this region towards the Paradigm Shift.  Yes, it will be ugly...Hell, it already is, but this is the nature of full-on war for geo-strategic control of land to secure food and water.

North America will be convulsing from elite strategies derived from Foundation predictive collapse and directed decline: huge migrations to more suitable areas, the political formation of large biosolar habitats, and the massive labor shift of our postPeak economy to predominantly localized Permaculture living with HELP;  TODer Westexas's prediction of illegal migrants and college grads laboring side by side in the fields to help stave off starvation, and other necessary tactics in response to Peak Everything.  SUPERNAFTA will allow the streamlining of continental resource flows and ease milgov control over nearly all aspects of life as the path to minimize internal violence and coerce maximum population adjustment in the desired direction.

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

Goodness, couldn't you have put "and we'll all live happily ever after" at the end of that article?
or at least a happy spin on things?

I am reminded of Monty Pyton, The Meaning of Life, when Eric Idle and others are nailed to the cross and he starts singing and whistling..."always look on the bright side of life"


Hello GeeWhiz,

Thxs for responding.  I really wish I could put a happy spin on things, perhaps believing that Foundation offers a possible chance to optimize the Dieoff Bottleneck is looking on the bright side compared to the Thermo-Gene Alternative.

I believe humanity is entering uncharted waters postPeak and the human generated turbulence will leave most struggling to deal with the new facts of life.  My hope is that Foundation planning can help promote mitigative cooperation where possible, and those areas of predicted high conflict can be geographically constrained, and then induced to quickly hammer themselves down to a more sustainable level without too much blowback to those areas where shared carrying-capacity still exits.

The loss of energy will quickly reveal a habitat's vulnerability to Liebig's minimal constraints, just as a shrinking river uncovers the rocks underneath.  Instead of blindly trying to navigate the rapids, my hope is that Foundation can create navigational maps to increase the chance that some lifeboats will make it through.

Sandia Labs Surety Model may be the beginning of Foundation Planning.  They certainly have lots of smart scientists, programmers, and available supercomputers to generate all kinds of statistical simulations for predictive collapse and possible directed decline modeling.

There is no reason to think that the CIA/NSA/Pentagon or other think tanks are not trying to do the same.  Israel, always under the constant threat of annihilation by its neighbors, or an unforseen cutoff of American largesse, has probably discussed, planned, and constantly updated for their potential Liebig Constraints since 1948.  Afterall, Israel has very little shared carrying capacity trade with its neighbors.

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

This story was just archived on energybulletin. It might have been posted here before. I am sorry for the repetition but this is a classic.
This could be a mastercard advertisement.

Plane tickets to Rome $600
Filling up your gas tank $32
Strawberries from new Zealand $5
Heraing from the ex chief of Saudi Aramco that you are fu**ed...priceless

Hello FireAngel,

LOL! Well done--a good sign of the times!

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

Hello TODers,

Cuba, with Chinese help, is drilling for oil less than fifty miles from Florida.  This is making Florida nervous and prompting for political change in Washington.

I have no idea how credible this author's facts are, but it sure makes for interesting reading. Perhaps some of our greatly admired TOD data freaks will post an expose' on potential Cuban oil reserves.

If the United States decided to drill for oil 50 miles off the coast of China, we would be embroiled in WWIII overnight.

...CubaPetroleo--with money and expertise from China's national oil company, Sinopec--is now "exercising its option" in the Straits of Florida. China, according to reports, is slant drilling. Slant drilling is what oil companies do when the oil they are trying to tap is on someone else's property. China will try to tap into reserves on the "American-side" of the Florida Straits....

Surveys done by the Department of the Interior suggest the outer banks of the Straits contain more than 115 billion barrels of oil and 633 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The oil reserves in the Florida Straits would cover America's oil and gas needs for approximately 16 years.

Canadian oil driller Sheritt International and Pebercan, Inc. are pumping approximately 20 thousand barrels of crude from offshore oil fields in the Strait about 90 miles from Key West. Spain's Repsol Oil Company recently announced that they struck "quality oil" in the same region.
Fidel Castro is 80 years old.  I wonder what the US govt. plan is when Castro dies.  This highly detailed Powerpoint presentation says Cuba also has excellent onshore prospects too.  CUPET is the Cuban NOC.

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


HOLY CRAP! No really, somehow a book was uncovered in Ireland in a BOG and it was already turned to Psalm 83, about Isreal being attacked by it's neighboors!

I want to hear what the TOD community thinks!

A harbinger of either the Second coming of Christ or the Apocalypse.
For the USA's direction it seems to LOOK like this is the future...
Economy Caskets for All
sorry kids, unemployment does not go down in a Recession.  This is just more archie bunker economics...  
average wages do.
yes they do; and "the Labor Department showed U.S. labor costs rose 0.9 percent last quarter (2006Q2), more than expected and led by the biggest increase in wages in three years. The rise followed a 0.6 percent gain in the previous three months.

Monetary policy is at work, increased interest rates are attempting to dampen an overheated economy.  As always, many TOD'rs chase the wrong rabbit.

Mexico, social unrest reflects rising expectations

Could it possibly be they are starting to take notice and taking action?

If I remember my Crane Brinton properly, "Anatomy of a Revolution", rising expectations is one of the symptoms of a coming revolution. Poor Mexico, they have had too many, and the US not enough.
Hello GeeWhiz,

AMLO has just declared himself Presidente' by the will of the people:


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

Hello TODers,

Another Mexican professor with a Ph.D. has posted his Quant Analysis of Mexican election fraud [PDF Warning]:

http://www.stat.columbia.edu/~gelman/stuff_for_blog/Data%20Manipulation%20in%20Mexican%20Elections.p df

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


This story was just archived on energybulletin. It might have been posted here before. I am sorry for the repetition but this is a classic.
This could be a mastercard advertisement.

Plane tickets to Rome $600
Filling up your gas tank $32
Strawberries from new Zealand $5
Heraing from the ex chief of Saudi Aramco that you are fu**ed...priceless