DrumBeat: July 30, 2006

[Update by Leanan on 07/30/06 at 9:36 AM EDT]

The Chicago Tribune special report on peak oil appeared as a pull-out supplement in today's paper. It's reportedly huge, with tons of graphics. Really an unusual amount of ink to devote to a single subject. And right behind the front page, too.

Is the world running out of oil?

The prospect seems unthinkable--mostly because the consequences, if true, would be unimaginable. Permanent fuel shortages would tip the world into a generations-long economic depression. Millions would lose their jobs as industry implodes. Farm tractors would be idled for lack of fuel, triggering massive famines. Energy wars would flare. And car-less suburbanites would trudge to their nearest big-box stores--not to buy Chinese-made clothing transported cheaply across the globe, but to scavenge glass and copper wire from abandoned buildings.


[editor's note, by Prof. Goose] Heatwave shuts down nuclear power plants.

[editor's note, by Prof. Goose] NIMBYism alive and well regarding wind farms, and not just with Robert Kennedy!

Oil boom puts stress on water supply

Water is a major concern throughout Alberta. Three years of drought, along with a population boom that is stretching water supplies to the limit, prompted the provincial government to unveil a water strategy in 2003. It considers the growing demand for water by industry and people, and factors such as water pollution and drought.

Scientists David Schindler and Bill Donahue's recent research shows the amount of water flowing through the Athabasca River has declined 33 per cent since 1970, due to a combination of human and industrial activity and climate change. Other Prairie rivers have suffered similar, and sometimes much more dramatic, declines.

...This increased scrutiny of the oilpatch's water use has made the industry nervous. Boutilier says the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers recently asked him, "Why are you picking on us? What about agriculture?"

High energy prices compelling Americans to care about climate

Matthew Simmons is still predicting $200 oil:

"And we shouldn't give the companies any credit for their performance," he said. "It doesn't have anything to do with them."

Moreover, he said the industry's profits could reach a whole other order of magnitude within the next few years. "I wouldn't be surprised if oil reached $200 a barrel by 2010," Simmons said.

Where will big oil's big profits go?

Democrats propose major energy independence bill

High gas prices not entirely due to oil prices

The portion of gas prices tied to refining has ballooned on its own, apart from oil.

The suspicion of frustrated drivers is correct: After upward spikes, the price of gasoline drops back more slowly than the price of oil — and someone pockets the difference.

Another excerpt from the Tribune special report:

Vargo drives to work in a car she can't afford. It is a white Chevrolet Suburban that churns out a ruinous 10 miles to a gallon and rides so high off the street she has to boost herself into the driver's seat as if jumping into a saddle. Her two-hour daily commute, about 40 miles each way from Lockport, roughly double the national average. Still, there are times when the extravagant vehicle seems the only reliable part of her unsettled life.

"I don't feel safe in small cars," Vargo said defensively, refueling one day at the pump.

She seemed worn and jittery. It was the end of an 11-hour shift. She was headed home to a house shared with two teen daughters and a 4-foot iguana--a place she would soon vacate because she couldn't make the rent.

She can't pay her rent, but she still drives a Suburban that gets 10 mpg.  

Later in the piece,she traded her 'burban for a Mustang.  A little bit of progress, but why not go further down the path to, say, a used Honda Civic.  This woman is living on the edge of poverty and, yet, she still needs those hot wheels.  Says it all about the American dream/nightmare.  

Btw, this was a great article and punched a hole in the oil companies contention that you can't trace the ultimate source of fungible oil from the gas station all the way back to Nigeria, Texas, Saudi Arabia, whatever.

But what I really liked were the personal stories, about how people all over the globe are impacted by this magic elixir we call oil.  Cause of so much convenience, sustenance, and pleasure, but all the center of so much pain, corruption, war, and death.  A Faustian bargain, for sure.

And, oh yeh, loved the one about the wealthy suburbanite, real estate lady who had to have that Hummer to impress her clients. Around here, our real estate lady drives a Prius. Now that is impressive!

Leanan--Wow!  I'd say today is the turning point in MSM.  What day should we call it?
We should not call it anything, because it has never happened. The MSM are always right, or they wouldn't be the MSM. Soon, there will be no people left who didn't "knew it all along". In fact, it went perfectly as planned. Trust Big Brother.

"Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct; nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary."
   - G. Orwell, 1984

So true. But we can still call it something. When 2.8 million people (or some subset) are reading it on the back of the front page on a hot summer morning, simultaneously ...
We can call it the start of the decline rate of the production of blissful ignorance. ;)
Maybe we can call the day before the publishing Peak Ignorance. I read the article too. Plus, you can see more on the Tribune web site at www.chicagotribune.com/oil and you get  some videos too. I have seen occasional PO stuff in the media, like the National Geographic explaining the shrinking (and now gone) swing producer wiggle room.

It's about time. Oh, the heatwave caused a NG spike. $8.10/million BTUs.

A used Honda Civic is still a fool's choice. Americans cannot continue 80 mile daily solo commutes in gas powered vehicles. Her cost would drop from 40c per mile to 30c per mile.

Would you spend 1/4 of your salary to get to work?

In a commute of a thousand miles, you have to start with one step. Changing that commute itself will be happening more as well, of course.

I wonder how much people's variable sense of 'security' (ie, the security of a Suburban) is going to be compatible with one of the next steps, carpooling.  I see the 'big car, big house, big yards, gated community' movement as part of a mentality in the US that sees  Success and Security in Isolation.  I don't think we're homogeneously antisocial by any means, but many people have grown very accustomed to the 'freedom' of not having to coordinate our efforts, deal with quirky neighbors, adjust our needs within a group for the sake of economizing..  Rusty old tools to start to sharpen up again.

My family built a passive solar house out in the Maine woods in 1980 with a lot of images of independence and being less dependent on many things 'mainstream', but it quickly became clear that the facet that was left incomplete was the lack of friendly neighbors and the amount of 'energy' available when multiple families are available to each other to do big lifts, watch kids, etc.

Bob Fiske

As I've said, the great American sense of self-reliance is turning into an allergy to sharing...

This woman is living on the edge of poverty and, yet, she still needs those hot wheels.  Says it all about the American dream/nightmare.

The car port is in better shape than the house!
The car is in better shape than the house!
The car is longer than the house!

Makes the statues on Easter Island look sensible

   My mom 5' 0", tells me she needs a Cadillac for the room.
That's almost certainly a business vehicle.
Yeah , I know, but its irresistable.

What kind of business?

Mobile Whorehouse?

Weddings, prom night, graduations.
Yep the guy's using the weinerdogmobile to make his living, and probably doing that because it's the only way he can make more than min. wage.

Still a scary picture.

I've only read part one and really enjoyed it.

I was thinking about her defensive comment about her Chevy Suburban, something like "small cars scare me" and her decision to replace it with a Mustang.  Seems to me that conservatives who oppose increasing fuel efficiency in automobiles have used the 'smaller car = deathtrap' argument again and again.  Perhaps this has influenced her thinking (and others) and has actually made many people afraid of smaller cars.  Just a thought.

The "small cars are deathtraps" meme actually goes back to the original backlash against the VW Beetle! It really got strong as a tool against the Japanese cars when those started being imported.

It hasn't been without a grain of truth. Small cars designed for putting around on 20-30 MPH streets didn't do so sell when put on 60MPH American streets, or against American land yachts piloted by ppl used to casually ricocheting off of each other's tanks at times. The makers of imports at first didn't have any idea of how many sheer hours Americans spend in their cars, the speeds they drive them, and in what kinds of weather. Now, the import makers all have test facilities out in places like the Mohave desert, far North, and have more of their people over here living the American life and driving the American way.

That the American makers' tries at small cars were horrible (like the Pinto) didn't help either.

The "small cars are deathtraps" meme is very strong in the US, remember it was being used to sell SUVs up until very recently.

Do you have any facts to substantiate this or are these just your opinions?

  The makers of imports at first didn't have any idea of how many sheer hours Americans spend in their cars, the speeds they drive them, and in what kinds of weather.

*    I think we established yesterday that Americans don't drive substantially more miles per year total than Europeans or Australians (maybe on 1 road trip per year) [Isn't the whole premise of the PHEV that most Americans only drive an average of 30 miles per day????]

*    Germans drive way faster than Americans... for many years your legal limits were quite prohibitive in most states...

*    What... you have some kind of unique weather in USA that they don't have in Northern or Southern Europe??

Small cars designed for putting around on 20-30 MPH streets didn't do so well when put on 60 MPH American streets

Where exactly are these 20-30 mph streets... and where are the American 60mph STREETS?? Urban speed limits are similar everywhere... as are highway limits

This idea of unique car markets really cracks me up every time I read such car industry nonsense... I remember in Australia... a certain model wasn't allowed to be imported until it had been modified for our "type of roads"... as if they have different kinds of corners/bends... or different kinds of potholes?? Or is it because the cars drive upside down??

canbrit I actually took a lot of this from when I was into motorcycles, personal observations of cars, personal observations of ppl's comments about cars, and what I've read, and seen the short visits I've been there, about Europe.

Maybe you can show me where Europeans are spending 4 hours a day commuting back and forth as most of the population of Southern California does. Maybe you can show me where Europeans are commuting for hours (at a very slow speed) in 110F or higher temperatures as they do in Phoenix and a fair amount of other Sunbelt cities in the US. Maybe you can show me where Europeans are all getting out onto the roads when they're iced-over and in snowstorms, instead of just staying home, or taking the train. The "winter madness" is pretty common in snowy areas in the US, and smart (although not smart enough to stay out of it!) Americans in these areas keep some survival gear and food/water in their cars in case they have to spend the night in a snowdrift. By God they're gonna drive! Whether hot, cold, rainy, etc., no matter how huge the traffic jam, driving is taken to be an unquestioned, holy duty in this country.

I guess if you can prove it's the same in Europe, my doomerosity has to get adjusted upward at least a couple of points.

I spent my teen years in Japan and speed limits on major arterials tend to be about 50 km/hr (30 mph) at the most. I remember one straigtaway where I could open it up whiz along at an astounding 40 km/hr (24 mph)!

When I landed in San Francisco and drove over the Bay Bridge the first time I was scared out of my mind going 55 mph with all the other traffic.

There was a story on NPR a few weeks ago about the drawbacks of Volkswagens sold in the U.S. In spite of feedback from U.S. sales executives, German engineers refused to design in common American things like cupholders. They cited the German lack of understanding of how much time we spend in our cars in the U.S.

Found the article about Volkswagen. It was in the Wall Street Journal, and it was last March instead of a few weeks ago.

Is there a way to ammend/edit my comments?

cycle you probably saw it on NPR too, remember there are about 6 "old white men" who determine just about all we see, hear, and read in the US, the same stories, once vetted, go around and around and around......
Every time I see the name VW Beetle I'm reminded of the following (paraphrased from memory):
"The Beetle was the Nazi "folks"-wagon, sold by Jewish marketing firms, to the public as the "peace and love" vehicle!

-- a marketing professional's comment (that I'll never forget)

That's why trucks should be on rails and then we could all feel safe driving small, even tiny cars!  Too bad that's not how our infrastructure developed, mainly due to roads tax subsidies (and not rail).  Trucks could never have competed with rail, had it not been for their "free ride".
Rail could never have reached all farms, building sites and lumber piles. Rail and truck freight complement each other but more of the long haul should go via rail, a switch that should follow from market forces as oil gets more expensive, especially if the railways are well run and electrified.
From the story above:  http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0728/p01s03-usec.html

"A nationwide Quinnipiac University survey in May found that 63 percent of registered voters blamed oil companies for high gasoline prices, while 43 percent blamed oil-producing countries, 35 percent blamed President Bush, and 30 percent blamed normal supply and demand pressures. Many fewer, 19 percent, laid responsibility on "Americans who drive vehicles that use a lot of gasoline.""

It is so much easier to know you are getting screwed than to know who is screwing you.  Or whether the victim is in fact to blame.

Doh! You beat me to it. That is the same paragraph that caught my eye.

It's what we sapiens do.
Love to toss that poo.
That poll must have been Republicans, as many of them voted twice - (the total votes appear to be 190%)..;)
1600 miles / month * 0.40 /mile = $640 /month. If her salary is $2000, then she is spending 1/3 of her income just to get to work. I don't think the mustang changes the picture significantly.  

Aren't there any jobs at gas stations in Lockport or apartments near her job?

Later in the story she was given a new job that was half as far to work.  So, that'll help.  
The presumption seems to be that if we all somehow move closer to our jobs, or get jobs closer to home, then we will be all right.

This same argument is evidenced in the, "look at what that poor person bought instead of food" argument.

The blame always goes to the individual rather than the society and its defective insane system of living.

Try a thought experiment: Imagine that everyone in the United States all tried to move to within one mile of work.

There -- didn't that hurt your brain a little bit? Especially since the entire American way of life has been tailored to fit the automobile and its needs and not the needs of the people.

Telling the homeless to get a job in this hateful country is like telling a paraplegic to just get up and walk.

If you ain't got enough legs or jobs, neither is going to happen.

We are so going down.

1 mile, probably not. Within walking, biking or commuting distance? Not so hard to imagine.
[By commuting, I suspect you mean transit ;-)]

Yeah, and what's the timeframe?  Everyone move in the next year?  Not going to happen.  Everyone move in the next 20 years?  Hard, but could be done.  Everyone move within the next 40 years?  It won't be pleasant, but it will happen.  60 years?  Not really a problem at all.

It all goes back to how fast production falls off, how resistant people will be to change (I suspect we're going to be hit by many life-changing problems at once, which may "encourage" them to change their lifestyle), and how badly people in other parts of the world want the goodies too.

I actually mostly agree with Cherenkov's gloomy assessment, but not because we couldn't move everyone close enough quickly enough, but rather because people will go broke defending their current lifestyle before they are willing to consider drastic changes.

Once people start moving closer to work , you will see a big change in real estate values. I wouldn't want to own a house in a bedroom community miles from anything except WalMart,  your local nail salon and McDonalds.

I wonder how many families a walmart can support?

We are probably going to see lots of deserted home similar to the desolated Detroit suburbs during the GM layoffs.

How will real estate agents deal with this problem? More signs!

I agree - and soon they aren't going to be able to sell the homes they have, since their homes will be worth much less than they owe on them.
There is one dimensional thinking here again. Modern technology allows us to work from home. You don't all have to be within 5 minutes from the office. If you can't drag a horse to water....
If you can't drag a horse to water...

Then you move the water to India.  

Anyone whose job can be done 'from home' are having his/her job done from India and other remote centers.  

Be careful what you wish for.  Telecommuting works real well from places where people are hungry and paid a whole lot less than us locals.  At the speed of light, India ain't so far away...

Well outsourcing is a different issue isn't it. I think we have to get used to competing with Asians for our jobs. Asian salaries have to catch up with the developed world. People have to go back to school, get an education and compete for the job. It's old fashioned and boring I know.
And your job is outsourced before the toner sets on your diploma and you have a home loan's worth of debt. It's to a point that college is rapidly not being worth it - unless you get a degree in subsistence farming. And your parents had better pay for it.

Indian programmers can afford to work cheaper becuse their college is cheaper or they come from the small minority of well-off parents. An American kid can't compete with that becuse college simply costs too much. If I had a kid and was paying for his college I'd give him a graduation preasant of a passport and one-way ticket to Bangalore. If you're going to work for a Wal-Mart wage anyways, you may as well live in a cheap-living-cost country like India.

As I said - we have to compete. Your job will only be outsourced if you demand too much money for your skill set. We are in a global market. Costs have to equalise eventually. I didn't say it would be a painless transition. I didn't say that we have to like it. But it is the way it is. It is still a different issue to the discussion above.

Just like Japan twenty plus years ago, college costs in India/China will go up as salaries go up. This equalisation can't be avoided. A plunge in the dollar could close a big chunk of the gap though, but that has it's own problems - namely the costs of everything you import will go up.

Just like Japan twenty plus years ago, college costs in India/China WILL go up as salaries go up.

Will... WHEN?

Any idea what to do in the meantime?
Did you notice what Mad Maxout said :

"If you're going to work for a Wal-Mart wage anyways, you may as well live in a cheap-living-cost country like India."

Or do you suffer from an eyesight impairement, or is it a brain impairement?
Also, we are NOT "twenty plus years ago", you did not noticed that either, did you?

we have to compete.
Your job will only be outsourced if you demand too much money for your skill set.
We are in a global market.
Costs have to equalise eventually
I didn't say it would be a painless transition.
I didn't say that we have to like it.

Yes "philosopher", YOU are not going to "like it" :

traders in Mumbai making $10-$17 a day

FIRST YOUR QUESTIONS: 1) It will take many years for it to equalise. Maybe 10 or more. 2) I agree, you can go and live in another country. I did. What is wrong with that? 3) What can we do? Work hard, pay down debt, try to get/keep educated. Do the right thing, you'll be fine. Move overseas for a few years. SECOND YOUR INSULT: I don't have eyesight or brain impairment. I can see the problems for you (and others) with outsourcing, but I actualy don't have a problem with it. I got myself an education and a marketable skillset. I work hard. I am confident in my ability to compete in the global market. You don't have some sort of god given right to special treatment because you are American or British. Everyone has to work for it. It will be painful for most people in the US and the UK (and most western countries), but you should be aware that you are coming off the back of the longest economic boom in history. Frankly, you have been spoiled. I don't mean to generalise and I don't want to upset anyone. However, I get the impression the average American drops out of school with little or no education and expects to rock up and get a well paid job over some one else. Why should they? Why would I hire a lazy uneducated American who expects to get paid three times more than a hardworking educated Indian? A couple generations ago you could look at the Americans with respect as they out competed Europeans. They worked hard and were well educated. They invested in the future. They were the biggest creditors in the world. Can you say ANY of those things about the current generation. No. The economy moves in cycles. You need good times and you need bad times. It will be a difficult time for quite a few years, but you will come out the end with hopefully less debt, a working ethos, a better education system. It will force the nation to focus again on competing. Many Europeans once chose to move to the states for economic opportunity. Maybe Shanghai is an opportunity, not a threat, if you are willing.
What can we do? Work hard, pay down debt,

I understand that this is REALLY GOOD for the creditors too, isnt't it?

I don't have eyesight or brain impairment.

Then it is much worse, it is a deliberate attempt to support embezzlement of the vast majority of people.

I am confident in my ability to compete in the global market.

Are you willing to "compete" with the Mumbai traders?

You don't have some sort of god given right to special treatment because you are American or British.

I am "lazy" but neither American nor British and not of the "current generation" either.

You need good times and you need bad times.

Balderdash, NOBODY "needs" bad times, it just happens.

It will force the nation to focus again on competing.

I don't see any lack of competition, on the contrary, I see TOO MUCH competition everywhere, some fueled by greed some fueled by plain survival out of mindless growth.

Neither policy stands any chance in a bounded world of ressources, and bounded it is!

Had I won a gargantuan lotto prize equal to a million and half barrels of crude in value, I'd have no problem with outsourcing either. But beware. Your skillset could become obsolete at any time. If you are a day trader, would you still be able to day trade if the grid goes down on a chronic basis?

If you are in Hong Kong, are you willing to evacuate to the rest of China? A skill that'll become useful is subsistence (at least partially so) gardening. Are you able to do that in a crowded Hong Kong? The oil peak's effects on any person are unpredictable. But day trading will be like the skill of operating an airliner. A good job now, but without the cheap fuel, that skill goes out the window. Same with truckers. A futures market jackpot will be as much a fond memory to you as taking off in that 747 cockpit will be to the unemployable pilot.

My point is that smugness is a bad idea with severe change just around the corner like the oil peak represents.

I realise that I might have been a bit insensitive, but you and I have to face it. You and I have 2 choices:

  1. Cry and whinge and go down.

  2. Adapt, make sacrifices and survive and prosper.

The trader in mumbai has absolutly nothing to do with me. I can guarantee 100% my job won't be taken by him. Anyway, even if it was, I am a realist and if I REALLY HAD TO I would take a 50% pay cut to keep working. If TSHTF I would be willing to move to Shanghai or somewhere else for 10 years if needed. In fact I have already completely changed my work situation in ordewr to adapt to the realities. If the model doesn't work you have to change. It is an opportunity if embraced. All I am trying to say is that you need to face reality.

By the way, I would argue that bad times (ie economic recessions) are crucial to squeeze out the excess that builds up through expansion. In other words at some stage people need to stop spending, work hard, pay down debt, invest etc. It is good for the LONG TERM health of the economy.

Modern technology allows us to work from home.

There is more than one dimesnion to this concept. Humans don't work so well when isolated into little at-home bat caves. They need to thrive in cubicles and be humiliated by Dilbert's boss in order to maintain productivity. :-)

"Vargo drives to work in a car she can't afford" & the McMansion Meltdown

On the other end of the income spectrum, ABC had a segment yesterday on the ongoing McMansion meltdown.  They proflied a family that is trying to downsize from a $2.5 million home.   They bought a smaller home, assuming that their McMansion would sell.  It hasn't.  They are stuck with two mortage payments, with no offers on the white elephant, despite some price cuts.

Apparently large 5,000 square foot range McMansions are becoming radioactive.  

I predicted some time ago that "Cheap would become chic."   Increasingly, conspicous consumption, IMO, is going to be seen as stupid.

Sounds like insurance fraud is becoming very, very attractive.  How long before whole subdivisions of them start burning down?
Yes, already happening with SUV owners. Torch my ride
Yeah, "Greek Lightning" can strike SUVs, as well as homes. But would a duped insurance company pay out the complete value, or the new lower value? But they won't be duped for long! (like the "torch my ride" cases)

A homeowner could luck out and get a GW-induced natural disaster to bail them out like Katrina Bush and New Orleans. But don't bet on it, given that debacle. But the housing prices have to come back to Earth, and the re-entry is going to be a rough ride.

Why can I see Leanan's smiley face but everyone elses shows up like (; or .(:?

What do I need to download?

I'd like to think it's because Leanan is terribly special.
You need to select "HTML Formatted" in the
"Set your default comment formatting settings" window.


You need to learn to use HTML for image insertion, for instance in Leanan's comment here the smiley text is this :

<img src="http://boards.yesnetwork.com/forums/html/emoticons/blink.gif"> which gives


You need some place on the web to HOST the image, because if you just hijack the image from some location the owner will probably not be too happy to have his bandwidth eaten up by the hits coming from TOD viewers! :-(

You seem to be answering my question in relation to me posting a comment. I am just a lurker, I don't post messages. I just want to see others smileys. I can see Leanan's and Dave's but everyone else's come up like (;; or '); or whatever.
I only "borrow" bandwidth from sites that can afford it.  YESNetwork is the New York Yankees cable channel.  TOD is a molecule in the bucket compared to their usual traffic.  

There are also sites that offer emoticons for hotlinking.  And graphics sites that welcome it, the better to showcase their products.

From the CSM story on Big Oil profits:

A nationwide Quinnipiac University survey in May found that 63 percent of registered voters blamed oil companies for high gasoline prices, while 43 percent blamed oil-producing countries, 35 percent blamed President Bush, and 30 percent blamed normal supply and demand pressures. Many fewer, 19 percent, laid responsibility on "Americans who drive vehicles that use a lot of gasoline."

I have said before that we don't seem to understand market forces in this country. I have to take that back. It looks like 19% understand market forces. But of course it is not just those who drive vehicles that use a lot of gasoline. Its that we use a lot of gasoline per capita.

From the Simmons article:

With many analysts saying that rising demand and limited supply basically leave oil prices nowhere to go but up, is this the new status quo for the oil industry -- a gusher of record profits quarter after quarter as consumers keep getting pummeled at the pump?

"Yes," answered Matthew Simmons, chairman of Houston's Simmons & Co. International, the world's largest investment bank focusing on the energy business.

Moreover, he said the industry's profits could reach a whole other order of magnitude within the next few years. "I wouldn't be surprised if oil reached $200 a barrel by 2010," Simmons said.

I have been saying this for a while. This is the new reality. It looks to me like the cyclical days for oil are over - since it will be very difficult to overbuild capacity (especially if PO hits us very soon). I just wish I could predict the government's response.

Finally, my article on yesterday's conversation with Vinod Khosla is finished. It should be out today or tomorrow, depending on how many articles are ahead of it in the queue.

Finally, my article on yesterday's conversation with Vinod Khosla is finished. It should be out today or tomorrow, ...

I'm looking forward to it. :)

"I just wish I could predict the government's response."

 Did you look at the Democrat's Bill?  I noticed many references to advancing Biofuel technology, but the older 'usual suspects' (solar wind) were to me, conspicuously absent.

 While they mentioned redeveloping Rail Freight (and pass. rail) a number of times, the bulletpoints revealed that this was mainly seen as a means of 'getting the new Biofuels to the new cars'.  E85 was specifically mentioned, but not Solar..  

 I think our Reps are a little 'one-tracked' on liquid solutions, and if these members are in any of your districts, I hope some of you out there are thinking about letters to congratulate the effort, but help rebalance the emphasis beyond 'Topsoil-based' solutions.

Bob Fiske

"Rick, why did you come to Casablanca?"

"I came for the waters.."

"But surely, Casablanca is in the Desert"

"I was misinformed."

"I have said before that we don't seem to understand market forces in this country."

The media genius did the same thing in the other article posted above ("High gas prices not entirely due to oil prices ").  

They at least Mention one of the market forces - refining bottlenecks - but they don't explore it, they just jump to the conclusion of "price gouging" and quote angry ants shuffling around in the smoke.  

No wonder we get Hitlers and Messiahs at timezUp like these.


High gas prices not entirely due to oil prices

The portion of gas prices tied to refining has ballooned on its own, apart from oil.  

The suspicion of frustrated drivers is correct: After upward spikes, the price of gasoline drops back more slowly than the price of oil -- and someone pockets the difference.

No wonder we get Hitlers and Messiahs at timezUp like these.

they rise up because they provide a tangible party to blame that makes it look like the people they are persuading are the victims. they also just don't say it once they drill the message home, a lie told often enough starts to look like the truth.
they don't rise to their positions because they are idiots, they are smart at what they do.
It should be noted how Simmons ended the article
As such, he said oil companies should be dedicating their "mountains of excess cash" to seeking new energy sources before rising fossil fuel prices break the backs of world economies.

"These companies have an enormous responsibility to address the severity of our problems," Simmons said. "We need an honest dialogue about this.

 I can imagine the scene of the peasants coming with torches at the end of Frankenstein, being repeated at Oil Co.'s at $200 a barrel.  These people may be indeed wrong, but being wrong has never held back a mob mentality before.  I think that Oil Co.'s are aware that some days you are the hammer, some days the nail.  And being the nail is not fun.
Rioting peasants? That's what Swiss Banks and paid mercenaries are for.
I hope that I see it in time to fact-check and update the open letter I'm writing to him.
We all need to send the Chicago Tribune our thanks for its incredible piece. It's not only one of the biggest efforts by a national paper to date no the subject of peak oil, but it is a wonderful piece of journalism.

We're used to seeing the wrote articles on peak oil that all tend to look the same. But "A Gallon of Gas, A World of Trouble" is a work of startling creativity and really brings a fresh perspective to the issue. The originality of the piece, and the trouble its author went to pull it together (months at a gas station, months on the road traveling to various oil-producing regions around the world) deserve special attention.

I just read the print edition of the Tribune's piece on oil. The article is at best just a start of making Joe Blow peak oil aware. One problem I have with the print edition is that in the margins they use the USGS projections graph that indicates the earliest possible peak at 2037. A casual glance at this by the average person leads to the thought that we have thirty years to prepare so why worry, and why read the article in depth. I also have a problem with using Professor Deffeyes as an example of the peak oil pessimist crowd. While he may turn out to be right in hindsight, the average person looks at 2005 prediction and could easily conclude this is nonsense given that gas prices are high, but not catastrophic yet.

bruce from chicago

For the full impact of this piece, you should also go online and look at the Flash video/interactive presentation that goes along with it. It took me an hour to go through it all, and it has a number of video segments from Matthew Simmons, audio from Kunstler, and video from around the world. Paul Salopek's article mentions all the peak oil dates, from 2006 through 2040. The video documentary segments are extensive.

It's not going to be anything new for those of us who have followed this for decades, with the exception of the article's creative literary conceit of following the distribution of oil from an Elgin gas station back to its sources.

"I also have a problem with using Professor Deffeyes as an example of the peak oil pessimist crowd."

I disagree.  I spent a couple hours on the phone with Paul several months ago giving him background information on Peak Oil, and I have been sending him e-mails on Hubbert Linearization (HL) since then.  Because of my (very minor) contributions, and his own considerable research, Paul was very familiar with the nuances of the Peak Oil debate.

Deffeyes has--in my opinion--been unfairly characterized as making erroneous predictions regarding Peak Oil.  

His predictions have been consistent--2004 to 2008 in his first book and late 2005 in his second book (using HL).  He made an observation between his two books that he may have been wrong, and that we peaked in 2000, because of the production declines in 2001 and 2002, but this was not a prediction.  

The available data--production declines and record high nominal oil prices--suggest that both of Deffeyes' predictions were correct.

I agree that Deffeyes is highly credible, but I'm a member of the choir. I have read both his books and visit his web site regularly to see if anything new is posted. I recommend his first book to anyone needing a basic primer on oil geology. But it is all about perception when it comes to the mainstream media.  Deffeyes is a perfect target for cornucopians to post rebuttals against because he has a paper trail that can be distorted. And the rebuttals don't have to prove anything; they just have sow doubt and muddy the water - just like the right wing accomplished on global warming and environmental issues.
Maybe before we ask the nazi pope to bestow sainthood on mr deffeyes we should take two minutes for a reality check:

i applaud those that are willing to go out on a limb and make predictions. They face the wrath when wrong but strive for that "big one".

In the Peak Oil Debunked article, the author (I assume "JD") implies that Deffeyes predicted a peak in 2000.   The New Scientist article that JD referenced was published in August, 2003.  

As I pointed out above, this was not a prediction.   Deffeyes was making an observation that the world may have peaked earlier than he estimated.  His two estimates, as I outlined above, were for 2004-2008 and for late 2005.  The second estimate--which fell within the first estimate--was made using HL.  Since late 2005, world crude + condensate production is down 1%.  

BTW, Freddy, I am still waiting for a list of any articles that you have had published on anything besides your own website.

You will wait a long time.  BTW, u are at the wrong thread.  the pissing contest is over at Batman http://www.theoildrum.com/story/2006/7/19/22337/0343
"You will wait a long time"

I assume the answer is "none."  I just wanted to clarify the point that it appears that your work has not been posted or published anywhere but your own website.  

Had one too many slips on the skree?  Our website graphs and other content is referenced at hundreds of other sites and in some journal work.  Are u as bad with search engines as you seem to be with comprehension?  If i ever turn into a grumpy old man i hope somebody shoots me.
My point was that you have been extremely critical of many people, including Andrew McKillop, that have a very impressive track record of published articles at websites, where one has to meet some minimum standards, e.g., the Energy Bulletin.  

I can't seem to find any articles that you have had published on websites like the Energy Bulletin.  

Andrew McKillop:  http://www.energybulletin.net/news.php?author=andrew+mckillop&keywords=&cat=0&action=sea rch

My aren't you smug about your energy bulletin article.
Freddy claims this was a prediction. Interestingly, Freddy can't even seem to find Deffeyes own quote so let me fill in Freddy's knowledge gap.

"So when does world oil production peak and start downward? That's the big enchilada. You can use the spacing between the recent production dots and see that two or three more dots will carry us to the plus sign that marks the midpoint. Once we draw that straight line through the year 2002 dot, the logistic curve is fully defined. The mathematical peak falls at the year 2004.7; call it 2005. However, I'm not betting the farm that the actual year is 2005 and not 2003 or 2006. The top of the mathematical distribution is smoothly curved, and there is a fair amount of jitter in the year-to-year production. Remember, the center of the best-fit U.S. curve was 1975 and the actual single peak was 1970. Similarly, the year 2000 may be the year of maximum world production, and the mathematical midpoint will be in 2004 or 2005. There is nothing plausible that could postpone the peak until 2009. Get used to it." -- Kenneth S. Deffeyes, at the end of Chapter 8 in Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage.

There. That is what Professor Deffeyes actually wrote as opposed to the character assassination attempts by JD and Freddy Hutter.

For those watching, notice how Freddy tosses about ad hominems like "nazi pope", etc. His inability to stick to the topic without resorting to personal attacks should tell any observer to beware any claims by such a troll.

It's hard not to notice his troll like content.  Such behavior makes anything else he says suspect.

To bad.  His attempt to collect and plot different peak oil projections seems like a useful project.  But if he uses phrases like "Nazi pope",  how can I trust he's hasn't distorted the results?

Apparently u and greyzone know about as much about the pope's pre-omipotent days as y'all do about deffeyes seven predictions and all his backpeddalling.  They guy is on the book ciruit and looks only for notoriety. Simmons $200 public bet for $5k is of the same ilk.  Sleazebags both.  And we see the have any easy time attracting koolaid drinkers here at TOD.
I would call the attention of the editors here at TOD to the juvenile writings of Freddy Hutter. He can't bother to spell properly, has trouble finding his shift key, calls people nazis, sleazebags, and posters here "koolaid drinkers".

Freddy, I provided the exact quote where you claimed Deffeyes said 2000 was peak. I proved you a LIAR. I proved you WRONG. Your response to me was to attack me and others here personally. Is this the standard you use for your infamous website's data? By the way, if you were making so much money, it would be a trivial thing to hire a professional to redo that page so that it presented your data in a more readable and professional looking manner. The fact that you do not do this speaks volumes about you.

Remember, Freddy, I provided the exact quote that proved your LIE wrong. Your response was to attack. This tells any reasonable observer all that is needed about your so-called website and the rantings of someone like yourself.

Nice try.  The art of deflection is another of your attributes.  I did not attack Deffeyes.  I provided a link that discusses his seven predictions and and counter arguments.  It shows he is desperate to save face ... and losing. Your "quote" was already included in john denver's arguments.  You added nothing.  And if u are sensitive about the pope, u shouldn't venture in dark places.  Stay at Church on Sundays.  
Can you even read, Freddy? The quote that I provided was not in JD's article - another false statement from you. Was this one on purpose (another lie?) or accidental this time due to sloppy scholarship on your part? In either case, anyone paying for your services would probably start wondering if you are this sloppy or distorting of data you are selling. I know that after watching your public postings here that I would be very inclined not to pay someone who lies so often or makes so many mistakes, who attacks other people wantonly, and who refuses to debate just the data.

As for JD, what JD did was reference other quotes and built up a carefully crafted impression that Deffeyes said peak was in 2000 without ever pulling up the specific quote. JD used other quoted and indirection to achieve this. I gave you the exact quote from the book, something JD failed to do, apparently for deliberate reasons.

JD's article tried to make Deffeyes appear wrong when Deffeyes never made the predictions JD implies. Deffeyes has always stuck to a 2004-2008 peak window and the quote from the book shows this (published in 2001, and written in 2000).

And now, in addition to nazi comments, you make generally derogatory comments about religious people: "And if u are sensitive about the pope, u shouldn't venture in dark places.  Stay at Church on Sundays."

You are a real piece of work, Hutter. I hope everyone here is getting a good clear picture of how pathetic you actually are.

i know its' rough when u'r having a bad hair day, grey, but nobody has a clue what u are talking about.  U are indeed rambling like someone that is certifiable.

What is the LIE that your pants are in a know about?  Please tell us.  I posted a link.  that's all.  how does that make anyone a liar?

and why do u dwell on the one quote?  That was just his first try.  He made six more predicitons after that one.  We all saw them.  Thanksgiving Day.  Boxing Day.  Valentines Day.  St Patrick's Day.  April Fools Day methinx was the last one.  Quite appropriate, eh?!!

Why don't u spend some time defending those dates long gone by.  Let's face it.  His dates are a moving target to suit the media attention and book sales.  Nothing more.  nothing less.  In six months he's gone from scientist to boob ... all by his own making.

So just what did JD claim Deffeyes said were peak predictions?

Nov. 24 2005
Dec. 16 2006
And now Nov. 2005-April 2006.

Ok, let's look at that list. The 2000 prediction was not a prediction at all, as westexas and I have demonstrated. Lie #1, agreeing with JD who claims that Deffeyes predicted peak in 2000 when he did no such thing.

Next let's look at the 2003 prediction that JD claims came from Deffeyes book. Lie #2, again agreeing with JD, when I quoted the book directly and showed exactly what Deffeyes said.

2004-2008 is quite reasonable if you look at the US peak in the early 1970s. It was quite noisy and hard to verify til after the fact. And we're talking about making a prediction about huge oil reserves over a century and a half. You want to quibble when he clearly frames it as a range of years?

The Nov. 24, 2005 date was his prediction. The Dec. 16, 2005 (NOT 2006 as JD says) was his admission that he appears to have missed the date by a few weeks. Gee, if Michael Lynch missed the date by a few weeks people like you would be kissing his ass as if he were a god.

And again the last position is a movement of a few months on a curve that is literally going to be a couple centuries long.

You are pathetic, Freddy. And this conversation demonstrates just how pathetic you are.

All your screaming and hand waving won't change the facts.  I did not comment on a single prediction.  I posted the link.  John Denver made the analysis. And u have as much as admitted in your horse's ass way that he keeps revising up and out the timeline.  Nobody sees where i "lied".  Nobody sees where i "quibbled". Everybody sees that u can't even remember from one thread to another who u are debating with and about what.  When u are less confused, let's continue.  But with your present state of mind ... i'm oudda here.  
You are pathetic, Freddy. And this conversation demonstrates just how pathetic you are.

May be not...

May be Freddy knows quite well what he is doing, so don't feed him.

The Chicago Trib stuff is great, and should help a lot.  But the most important concept is still missing.  They mention that this could lead to war.  IT HAS!!  That is what Iraq is all about.  Israel. Lebanon.  These ARE the energy wars that Jimmy Carter warned about in 1979.  The ME is all about the oil, and it has been for 100 years!!  Carving up the map after WW1 was all about the oil.  Keeping the Arabs off-balance is the whole purpose of Israel - it's always been known that if the Arab world united they could rule the world with their energy resources.  Until the American people truly understand this there will be no sea-change in the world, we'll just continue to worry about our own asses.
Anyone catch Freidman on Russert today?  Wow!  Calling for a holy war against Muslims he was, Luke!  A favorite line, something like this: People in other countries don't understand our optimism and naivete, but what we really need to do is get them to embrace our optimism and naivete.  Yeah, that's just what is needed in the world, export American stupidity and ignorance.  Well, I guess Hollywood is doing its part.  And funny how Friedman, Mr. Green Energy expert, doesn't even mention energy when discussing the ME.  Just another Zionist shill.  Sad.
..forgot to mention that 911 was also, yes, all about the oil.  I don't expect that concept to catch on much in the MSM, even the Trib.
We have never clearly established what sunk the USS Maine and there are competing theories to this day, backed by respectable persons on both sides. We have only recently begun to really uncover the apparent machinations of FDR to drag the US into war against Japan, so that he could then declare war on Japan's ally - Germany. Since his assassination, JFK's story has bred alternative explanations to that day's official version of events.

I don't think we'll ever see an end to the suggestions that the US government was involved in 9/11, and like the Maine, FDR's actions, and JFK's assassination, much will remain lost to future readers of history giving them no choice but to wonder at the truth. I'm not suggesting that the US government was involved in 9//11 or was not involved, only that like those other events, there will always be alternative theories that leave us wondering.

The problem with comparing 9/11 to FDR's action and JFK's assassination is that in those days a viable alternative news source didn't exist. Most people believed any 'fact' that was reported on tv, the radio, and in the newspapers. The advent of the Internet has changed all of that.

While every aspect of 9/11 hasn't yet been uncovered, a good deal of what happened on that day is in the public domain on any number of 9/11 Web sites. Also, Michael Ruppert's Crossing the Rubicon does an admirable job of answering the question of why the available air defenses did not function properly to stop the "hijacked" planes.

In short: it isn't a "suggestion" that the US gov't was involved in 9/11 -- its a proven fact. There will always be alternative theories about any big event, but much, much more is known now about 9/11 than the other two historical evens that you referenced.

911 has nothing to do with "theories", the code for, of course, "conspiracy theories".  911 is about the objective evaluation of the evidence, which is another term for using the scientific method.  It is impossible to look objectively at the clear evidence from that day and come to the conclusion that the gov't "theory" holds a drop of H2O.
Now, the widely-held concept that the high price of gasoline is due to the oil companies "screwing us", that's a conspiracy theory.  Obviously!  But just try pointing that out to the "believers" in this theory - you get a blank stare ("eyes glazing over like a donut", who said that? I like it!), and they say, "I haven't heard that..."
The National Science Foundation estimates that 87% of the American Public is "scientifically illiterate".  Sometimes I think they're being too kind...
The whole concept of the "whacko conspiracy theorist" has been heavily promoted by the media=gov't=corporations since Kennedy was whacked by the CIA to discredit anyone who disagrees with the official gov'tetc.etc. position.  Propaganda is nothing new...

I absolutely agree with most of your post. 9/11 should be all about an objective evaluation of the evidence, but for many people it simply isn't. Americans aren't only scientifically illiterate, they seem to lack basic common sense as well.

I disagree with you on one point - when you said:

Now, the widely-held concept that the high price of gasoline is due to the oil companies "screwing us", that's a conspiracy theory.

I'm a complete believer in Peak Oil, but there's no doubt in my mind that there is some element of excessive profit in the prices that the oil companies are charging. Its simply the nature of the beast. They would never offer the average consumer the best possible price. We can certainly debate how much of the current high prices are due to scarcity and how much is due to price gouging, but both elements play some part in my opinion.

In short: it isn't a "suggestion" that the US gov't was involved in 9/11 -- its a proven fact. There will always be alternative theories about any big event, but much, much more is known now about 9/11 than the other two historical evens that you referenced.

Well hell, it had to happen. The Oil Drum has become a posting place for 9/11 conspiracy throry nutters.

The same thing happened over on the Energy Resources list and the list lost most of its credability. When nutters show up serious posters and readers begin to leave in droves.

Oh, it's all related.  Sorry you don't see it.  (I'll try not to bring it up again around here, hate to disturb the flag-wavers).

If you don't agree with a post, then present a reasoned argument to refute it. If you don't want to do that, then just move on to the next post.

Incidentally, you would have more "credability" if you learned how to spell.

If you want to debate conspiracy theories go to Above Top Secret. It's just off-topic here.
I had been with Energy Resources since its inception and I left there for that very reason.  
Just because something is a fact does not mean that we should take up bandwidth on TOD trying to sell it to people who can't accept it for hard wired reasons.

Evolution is a fact.  Yet half of Americans believe that humans were created in their present form within the last 10,000 years.  Another third accept that the Earth is old, but believe that billons of years of evolution were micromanaged by a alien from outer space with superpowers.  Decades of scientific documentaries on TV haven't changed opinions one bit.

Let it rest.

Who's trying to sell anything? This is an open forum where energy-related topics are discussed. 9/11 is certainly within that realm, so I'm not doing anything that other posters aren't. I don't feel the need to let a particular topic "rest." If its pertinent, then it should be debated.


I don't disagree with you about discussing these topics.  I read Crossing the Rubicon and it scared the hell out of me.  But, the reality is that these subjects "disturb" the basic thrust of forums that are not devoted to them.  I lurk at forums like ER and I have seen how these topics pull away from the focus of the forum.

One forum I visit every day is downstream ventures and petroleum markets and they have gone to a split forum with one section for energy and one for other stuff.

Maybe, PG, et. al. could start a thread devoted to what some people consider to be whooo-whoo topics and get it over with.



It wasn't my intention at all to detract from the focus of this forum. I simply responded to a topic that was already extant. I also feel, like Sunspot, that 9/11 discussions are highly relevant to any debate on Peak Oil, but won't go out of my way to raise the issue in the future.

Hey, you're far from the only one. The students of the University of Delft in the Netherlands are having a two-week project in september to investigate 9-11. The questioning is more than the latest fad in tinfoil hats and conspiracy goggles.


Hmmm... So we should avoid facts around here??  Facts need to be "sold"??

Like I said, I'll "let it be".  Won't change those nasty "facts", though...

Learning can be a difficult process.  Sometimes I learn that I was wrong.  I accept it and move on.  That's science.

There is a limit to what people are willing to hear.  It is immensely painful to accept that one's entire world view is flawed, some people would literally rather die.   I have personal knowledge of CD (not from any website, video, or book) but can't even get past the denial of my own brother.  Carolyn Baker and Morgan Reynolds have described the psychological problems quite well.  Pretty much at this point everyone who can handle the truth already has.  The others will gladly cling to their comforting illusions for the rest of their days.  In terms of their social herd fitness, they may benefit by doing so.  Becoming an outcast by knowing something in opposition to what one's neighbours believe does not enhance one's survival.  Most Americans need to heed their local tribal taboos.
I have personal knowledge of CD (not from any website, video, or book)

I have to ask--what is CD?  It's such a common acronym that I cannot google it successfully.

I agree with what you say, by the way.

controlled demolition
Do you mind sharing your knowledge with us?
Since we needed an excuse to invade and occupy Iraq, I wouldn't be surprised if in the end it's found out that the BCR regime ordered 9/11 like a pizza! After all, Osama bin Laden was on the CIA payroll like Saddam. Once 9/11 went down (pun on purpose) we suddenly had the excuse to go to war, first to Afghanistan which made sense for terrorism purposes, but Iraq only makes sense once you know about PO and Iraq being the last largely untapped oil province.

You would think that a kidney machine powered by a Briggs and Stratten generator would be easy to find in a place with virtually no electricity or motor vehicles. A genset runs at 3600 or 1800 RPM and the sparkplug will make its pulses at 60 or 30 HZ exactly and unwavering unlike car engines. Even if hidden in a cave, the car exhaust would leave a heat signature. Surely a $25M prize would get someone to crack. Who could pass up a chance to live in America like a shikh instead of in the mountains - and if they feel like it, start their own terror cell.

Note, a Euro genset sparkplug will pulse at 50 or 25 HZ - but still be easy to spot.

Sunspot - you are wrong on both counts.  
   1.  the ME isn't only about oil.  Israel has no oil.  Arabs have been trying to destroy Israel since it was founded, long before oil was a major supply problem for the world economy.
   2.  Friedman's point about American optimism:  he said part of global hatred for Bush is because Bush's fear-mongering negativism has destroyed the sense of can-do optimism of America that people respect and love.  Plus he never called for a "holy war against Muslims" - quite the opposite.  He called for respectful dialogue with the Syrians.   You must have been on some sort of acid when you saw Friedman on Russert.
I am working my way through the Tribune story. First:

Peak oil theory is controversial.

I don't understand what people mean when they say this. Why is it controversial? Do people think there is an infinite supply of oil? I think they should clarify that the controversy is over the timing, not the theory.


Conventional wisdom holds that America's colossal oil flows get mixed together, swapped among companies and rebranded too many times to pinpoint the actual source of your $40 purchase of unleaded. The industry has encouraged this belief for years, partly to avoid boycotts.

I was not aware that the industry encouraged this belief. It is not difficult to track back and tell you just where the gasoline originated. We get oil in batches from specific sellers, and the gasoline gets shipped in batches. There is some mixing depending on what was already in tanks when the shipments were received, but the Tribune is playing it up like they were the first to solve a famous paradox.

As a top tier peak oil blogger, your perspective may be a bit skewed. "Peak oil is controversial" is a tagline that goes into nearly every mainstream article for the uninitiated, an entry point for people who've never heard of it at all.

Once "peak oil" has the recognition level of "global warming," people will understand the code in the same way most people now understand what is meant by "global warming is controversial."

Actually, anyone reading the posts on this and similar sites has a skewed perspective compared to the Fox News watching American couch potato suburbanite suv driving mass consumer who believes there is still no scientific consensus on global warming.
"Peak oil is controversial"

Fair and balanced.
Fair and balanced, my friend.

"Peak oil theory is controversial."

Uh, I thought that sort of went without saying.

I have read everybody who was anybody I could find who wrote on the subject going back to a period around 2002 (this time), and went through the first absolute assured catastrophic peak and meltdown in the late 1970's, and even inside the oil industry and insider the "peak aware" community, I have seen (a) no consensus on anything, and little real evidence of much.  I will allow those who have read my other posts extolling the one great thing I have learned, that being the ABSOLUTE BLINDNESS we are all running in.  (NO ONE, not even apparently in the Peak aware community ever really wants to try to tackle that one head on, it seems, because lack of real numbers, usable stats, and outside confirmed evidence makes all parties on all sides experts.

Again, refer my earlier posts, I have lobbied for consideration of ceasing the use of the term "Peak Oil", which I often put in quotation marks like that to indicate the very lack of ability to define and use the term for any real purpose (sometimes I forget to, though :-).

As the warden in "Cool Hand Luke" said, "What we he're here is failure to commun'cate..."

Peak Oil?  Immediate, already behind us?  5 years away, 10 years away, 30 years?  We just don't know.  
Peak Oil?  Peak light sweet....peak heavier grades, peak all grades including extra heavy?  Peak all liquids?  Peak including all liquids bio fuel and synfuel (CTL and GTL)?  Peak oil and gas?
And Peak, exactly what is that?  It is of course termed in at least four major ways I can think of fast.....the point at which world production hits the geological halfway point (virtually impossible to know), the point at which consumption exceeds demand (a different thing entirely), logistical peak (of the type the exploration head of French Total made a major scene a few months ago, and of course, the MSM term, used yet again in the Chicago Tribune article, "running out of oil"  (a completely misleading and useless term, but they never seem to get it, do they?)

On and on it goes....how much oil is left?  No one, NO ONE really knows.  We speak of half Qt, as if we had any idea what Qt is.....Saudi Arabia either is peaked (If you read Simmons or the Iranian Dr Bakhtiari), or in great shape for 50 more years if you listen to the Saudi's.....Mexico is either peaked....or wasting and corrupting away the money that should have gone to deeper and more EP onshore and offshore.....the OCS either has a lot or a pizz pot, Brazil offshore and South America in general seems to find oil, but then claims are made that there is virtually no real oil there, Australia, touted for 40 years as a place of future development, is either an oil boom waiting to happen, or a complete bust, soon to face not even enough oil for it's own and New Zealand  (of course, that massive population of Aussie and the Kiwi's is what got them!  :-)...we have not even tried to touch the real controversial stuff, oil and gas in the Arctic (or not?) it was thought to be there once, oil and gas off the coast of Africa (or not?) It was thought to be there once.  Oil and gas in and off North Africa (it was thought to be there once).....is gas to liquid doable (depend on who you ask), coal to liquid (depends on who you ask)  waste recovery and bio mass waste (depends on who you ask, and do you count that as part of all liquids?

When figuring half of Qt, what you do is just assume a Total Q of somewhere between the volume of a Pepsi can and a tanker truck, and start calculating.  Beginning with totally garbage numbers assures the old programming problem, GIGO  (Garbage in, Garbage out)

Does this mean that I do not accept the Peak crisis?  OF COURSE I ACCEPT IT, OR I WOULDN'T BE HERE.  Evidence tells me it is real, it is major (but I can't tell how major) it is a threat (I think a very big one, but I can't tell how big) it is coming possibly soon (but I can't tell how soon, it may have already occurred, the U.S. Government agencies did not admit to the U.S. peak for 9 years after it occurred!), and it will be very expensive and difficult to mitigate (but I can't tell how difficult or how expensive)

I once read a business author who's source I cannot now find, but he said something that stuck in my mind that went roughly like this:

"When you get such a varied group of people that have been in an industry like oil all their life, and have a respected reputation for knowing and studying the industry, and they come to such completely opposite conclusions about everything, you can be sure of this....some of them are either lieing through their teeth, or some of them cannot possibly have ANY IDEA WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT.  "With something as critical as energy, neither thought should be any comfort."

Couldn't have said it better myself.  Is "Peak Oil" whatever it is, controversial?


Roger Conner  known to you as ThatsItImout

When peak oil will happen, and it will happen, may be controversial. But the fact that peak oil will happen is not controversial.

Well, that is unless one is totally ignorant of geology.

Peak oil means crude oil. It does not mean ethanol or biodiesel. It does not mean propane or butane. It means crude oil, no matter what the source of that crude oil.

And while it is true that we do not know when it will happen or how much oil is left, we are not totally ignorant on that subject.  We have what is known in science as a "preponderance of evidence". And the preponderance of evidence tells us that we have recovered about half of all recoverable crude oil. The preponderance of evidence also tells us that the peak of crude oil will happen sometime between late 2005 and 2010, probably much closer to the former.

The preponderance is something that is not controversial.

Evidence is neither controversial or not controversial, evidence just is.  In all cases.  Controversy is a human emotional response, not a sound basis for a scientific judgement.
It appears that "Evidence" is not THE SAME for everyone.
Could it be that it is tainted by "human emotional response" ?
Then, even "Evidence" IS controversial.

There is really NO such thing as a "sound basis for a scientific judgement", however so many claim that THEIR views are "scientific judgement" or "facts".

Read Feyerabend.

It was Luke who says "What we have here is a failure to communicate," and not the warden.
"What we've got here is... failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it... well, he gets it. I don't like it any more than you men." Captain, Road Prison 36 (Strother Martin)

I think Luke repeated it later as a wry joke.

Yeah, remember, Luke said it again at the end of the film, as a way of making fun of the phrase, but the warden had already set up a......ahhhh, don't want to do that, and spoil the finish, for those who haven't been down to the theatre to see it yet! ;-)

Back to our other discussion, what we have here then is a theory about which every one of the details are in controversy, but the theory itself is not in controversy....that could maybe be so.....but I am not sure that the Chicago Trib, who refers to the whole thing simply as "running out of oil" is going to make such a fine distinction (likewise the Harpers Article which says simply, "Liberals nightmare, a world without oil" as though such a thing is possible...

we are now past the point of terminology anyway and should be pressing for action.....you guys here will soon be seeing what I am working on, and if it goes right, it will be interesting!  Stay tuned!

Roger Conner  known to you as ThatsItImout



I very much enjoyed Mr Connor's post above - it's a problem I've faced when trying to present this to my friends in the world of comedy.  Actually the main problem is that I suffer from the liberal's dilemma - too broadminded to take my own side in an arguement - and end up presenting to them a mass of confusion.  I can't give a simple theory without presenting two others based on different assumptions, making my case sound less than compelling.

And along comes someone who states with certainty that it's scaremongering/price gouging/foreigners/a conspiracy between the Queen, the Pope and the Illuminati who somehow seems to have authority.  Confidence and a plan...

The use of "controversial", the inclusion of the USGS's overly optimistic calculation, and the quote by the RE/MAX entrepenuer of expectations for the market to pull an energy rabbit out of its hat, taken together appeared to be an attempt by the writer or editor to keep the article from being too 'alarmist'.

I am always flabbergasted by those who think that using the term "controversial" to describe quibbling over a few years or decades for the onset of peak oil should be the basis for discounting the entire paradigm and the disasterous consequences it portends for civilization as we know it.  Splitting hairs to the extreme.

Not to take anything away from your comment, southpaw, but while the USGS URR may have been considered "overly optimistic" upon its release, it is no longer outstanding in its claim.  The original y2k claim was a URR of 3.012-Tb.  By 2002, that was upwardly revised to 3.896-Tb and in 2005 it had settled back to 3.797-Tb.

For comparision, Jean Laherrere adopted 3-Tb & 4-Tb (all liquids) ultimate URR's in his presentations in 2004.  Similarly, ExxonMobil adopted a 4-Tb URR in its 2004 Outlook and just in February revised it down to 3.8-Tb.  In some of its publications, the EIA uses says we have a future component of 2.962-Tb, indicating a URR of 4.035-Tb.  In its High Estimate Scenario, IHS has a URR of 3.905-Tb.

At the other end of the scale is OPEC's 2.187-Tb URR.

"I can tell you that nothing has really taken me aback more as secretary of state than the way that the politics of energy is--I will use the word `warping' diplomacy around the world," Rice told Congress in April. "It has given extraordinary power to some states that are using that power in not very good ways for the international system, states that would otherwise have very little power."

This is perhaps the most maddening quote in that entire Chicago Tribune story. She is the secretary of state of what is, arguably, the most powerful state in world. She sat on the board of Chevron. She has a goddamn OIL TANKER named after her. She was a professor of international relations at Stanford. Why is this a surprise to her? She can't really be this stupid, can she?  

"I can tell you that nothing has really taken me aback more as secretary of state than the way that the politics of energy is--I will use the word `warping' diplomacy around the world," Rice told Congress in April. "It has given extraordinary power to some states that are using that power in not very good ways for the international system, states that would otherwise have very little power."

The Rice quote sickend me, It as if she is saying "just because you have oil that shouldn't make you a powerful nation. Only missles should make you a powerful nation.

"power in not very good ways for the international system"
international system = bullshit!

"power in not very good ways for the international system"


"any other power than ours is not permitted within our [inter]national system"

Exactly. I think that is what she is really saying.
Could Rice's observation be applied to the U.S. in the first hald of the 20th Century? During this period, we were the world's leading oil producer, and seemed to enjoy disproportionate power and influence in global interactions for our own (corporate) benefit.
The power they have is the power of the heroin pusher.  Yeh, they have power but only because we have had such little foresight, starting at least 30 years ago, that we let them get this power.  Now that they have the power that was perfectly predictable and predicted, we are complaining about how unfair it is that these little pipsqueaks like Venezuela dare to flex their muscle.

It is now perfectly clear that our response to this power, taking over a country like Iraq, has consequences that do not change the equation.  "They" still have the power and we've pissed away our power and prestiage in a futile attempt to change the basic balance. Pick almost any oil rich country. They now get it and understand that they now have the power to make life very uncomfortable for us.

How long will it be before Venezuela doesn't need us anymore, what with all that demand coming from places like China?  Will we then occupy Venezuela?  And will that also be about freedom.  Can we just occupy everybody?

Our problems may be much more serious than peak oil.  Condi Rice, et al better figure out a better strategy that running around the world threatening everyone.  

Yeh, they have power but only because we have had such little foresight, starting at least 30 years ago, that we let them get this power.
I strongly disagree with your politics, but your history is dead-on.
It is not meant to express surprise. I see it mostly as the next verbal attack towards energy producers (probably mostly Russia and Iran are implied). The message is "you little jerks, don't mess with the big boys, or else..."

But the way it is said and the fact that it said in front of the Congress gives me another thought - that this is also meant as an excuse for what is already becoming obvious anywhere around the world - that the Empire is losing grounds to the competitors and it's days are counted. Is Condi envisioning a day when congressional commettees (or war tribunals??) will start investigating her and the rest of the neocon squad? Who knows...

"I can tell you that nothing has really taken me aback more as secretary of state than the way that the politics of energy is--I will use the word `warping' diplomacy around the world," Rice told Congress in April. "It has given extraordinary power to some states that are using that power in not very good ways for the international system, states that would otherwise have very little power."
"She can't really be this stupid, can she?"

I don't know what her whole background is but I feel sure there was very little or no training or experience in the hard sciences and as I remember she had a sheltered young life as a black person in an upper middle class family (understandable). This to me is the major problem with most of the people in power. If she ever had a physic or advance math course it is soon forgotten in the press of business. Bartlett is one of the few politicitions that really gets it . Look at his background. Farmer, engineer, inventor. No offence to AMPOD but training for the law or business is not training for the real world. No she is not dumb, just not aware of the world as it is.

I disagree. I have no training in the hard sciences or math, yet I understand perfectly well peak oil and the geopolitical consequences of peak oil. This isn't rocket science.
I didn't say people with no training in the hard sciences can't get peak oil, obviously many do. I should have said it is easier to "get it" with some experience in the hard sciences. I maintain that there would be more of an effort in Congress towards solving the problem if there were more members who were engineers and less who were lawyers and people with no technical background. That is not to say they would solve the problem. Politics would still reign and I `m not sure it can be solved anyway.
life in the real world is "nasty, brutish and short" and is often filled with bloodthirsty bandits. the legal profession is thus perfect training for the real world.
Matt. "Real world was probably bad choice of words I was trying to think of another way to say what I meant but couldn't come up with anything better at the time.

I have met some naive attorneys though who did not seem to get  "real world training" in law school. A year ago an attorney I was doing business with ask my advice on buying an expensive ocean resort property with several other attorneys to flip in a year. I just told him to be very careful, as I didn't want to tell him I thought he was nuts. They bought it anyway. The area has been since listed as one of the most overpriced resorts in the country and the prices have dumped like crazy. He may be divorced by now as his wife was against the deal from the beginning. Perhaps this one was in the bottom half of his class but I was happy with his work.


Perhaps. I wouldn't know as I graduated in the top half of my class.*

But I was sort of joking. I know exactly what you mean. It is true for most of the academy. law, business, etc. its all designed to make you a well functioning cog of the bigger machine. It is not designed to make you understand how the machine works.

Example: I majored in political science at U.C. Davis. My 2 closest friends from school majored in economics and international relations. We were talking recently about our college days and both of us now stand in amazement that in a total of 14 years of schooling between the 3 of us in political science, international relations and economics neither of us had any inkling about the role of oil in politics, international relations and economics! Amazing.

As far as condos: I still occassionally get calls/emails from law school friends (graduated 2003) who say something along the lines "hey I just bought a condo in los angeles!!!" I'm like "that's great!"  Of course, I know their financially shooting themselves in the foot. they know what I do for a living (professional prophet of doom) and have all been sent a link to my site s I don't bother saying, "are you sure this is a good idea?" Would do no good.

*top half of bottom half that is.

Just got some feedback from a bunch of college aged "young adults".

Can't stop shaking my head.

The question was Peak Oil and how our society will respond to it.

Their answer: No worries. Midnight Cram.

You know. It's no different from when you have this long paper due for a course and it's too unpleasant to face up to early on. So you delay and delay.

Finally the deadline comes.
The pressure is so intense that you stay up all night and do this really great job because of the intensity of the pressure.

It's gonna be the same with oil. Yes, we as a society are not facing up to it, but one day the deadline will come. Then all the science geeks are going to cram --kind of like the Manhatten Project. Worked before. It'll work again. No worries.

Can't stop shaking my head.

Haha good one! The Manhattan Project as the Mother Of All Midnight Crams.

BTW Richard Rhodes' books are good ones on the project, they did a lot of stuff in parallel, two different bomb designs, two major different ways of enriching the stuff, two different elements (U and Pu) and so on. I've also seen the quote "the Manhattan Project was bigger than the auto industry at the time" although I don't think that's from Rhodes.

The upshot is they threw IMMENSE amounts of money, materiel, and personnel at the problem. And in the end, they didn't need to drop the darned things.

it's the plot of most major movies today, isn't it?  I mean, we spot an asteroid, let's scramble our best idea TODAY and go destroy it, because we just don't have time to use all of the plans we've drawn up for the past forty years.

Usually we have to go find a hero who always saves the day, just as the knife is falling, she catches it.

It is the nature of a placated, fat beast to not worry until it is too late...usually with a docile shoulder shrug and a bearing of the carotid to make it easy for the hunter.

I would rather be a Thompson's gazelle and at least be nimble.

Still, I'll likely be someone else's dinner either way.

No worries.


There is a little bit of a difference between any Midnight Cram, the Manhattan Project or whatever previous examples of "heroic effort" which saved the day and PEAK OIL:

In none of those cases did the urgency simultaneously swept away the ressources needed to solve the problem.

In a midnight cram you STILL have all your books, paper and pencils ready they don't CRUMBLE TO PIECES!!!

"It is true for most of the academy. law, business, etc. its all designed to make you a well functioning cog of the bigger machine. It is not designed to make you understand how the machine works."


Example #2:  Seventeen consecutive years of formal education for my chosen profession (undergrad, grad school, med school, residency, MPH) and it wasn't until year 16 that I clearly understood our dysfunctional 'medical industrial complex' - marked by a lack of transparency and subsidies supporting chronic inefficiency.  

Academia is great at producing professionals who can't see the forest for the trees.

... the legal profession is thus perfect training for the real world.

In the wake of the Challenger disaster, physicist Richard Feynman was on the committee appointed to investigate the cause. I recall reading his account of that investigation — in it, he compared the early (as portrayed in The Right Stuff) space program to the shuttle program. It seems that over time, the folks who actually understood how stuff works, the pocket-protector crowd if you will, were incrementally replaced by people who advanced their careers primarily by influencing other people. By the mid 1980s, safety was just an afterthought. Politics had eclipsed it within the ranks of NASA. Therefore the O-ring problem was minimized and neglected by TPTB at Kennedy Space Center; it was not even a minor star in the constellation of prelaunch considerations.

My point being that you may know a bit of human nature and be able to predict the chaos which will ensue from the PO meme, but all your lawyering will not repeal any of the laws of physics or chemistry.

Richard Feynman is my hero.  Has been since the age of 14 for me.  Awesome, amazing man.

btw, if there's anyone here who subscribes to the Chicago Trib or knows how to find email addresses of reporters, see the bottom of this thread.  I wanna get Salopek's email address.

Richard Feynman is my hero.  Has been since the age of 14 for me.  Awesome, amazing man.

Ditto for me. I have read several books about his life. He certainly lived a full life.

Plus, he played the bongos!!!
And could nit one drum 13 times while hitting the other drum 15 times. He was amazing.
Agreed.  Feynman was a man with extreme brilliance and extreme integrity.  

Sad to say that in my experience modern day scientific advancement is less predicated on brilliance and integrity than ever before.  In several scientific fields managing expectations seems to be more important than laying down foundations of substance.  

I regret being too young to have known Feynman in his 1950s heyday.

He was quite the character on campus in the 1970s, but mainly played the role of a 'Coyote' type trickster god.  (Selling his charcoals of female nudes at the faculty art show, camping it up in cross-dressing roles in the student play, playing bongo drums, teaching a wide open bull session type course called 'Physics X', encouraging the rumors of his peyote use at LANL etc...)  His lectures were entertaining, but not very helpful in teaching the required course material.

We used the MIT physics books (not Feynman's) to actually learn physics.  The astrophysicist Gerald 'Gerry' Neugebauer was a far better instructor and I thank him for actually teaching me physics.  Also Murray Gell-Mann and Kip Thorne were doing more interesting physics work during my days in Pasadena.

But none of these physicists were my heroes.  My #1 hero was the biologist James Bonner who taught me all about peak oil and the dieoff 30 years ago.  (Even though the North Sea production and the collapse of the USSR allowed cheap oil to  last a full decade longer than Jim expected - in the long run he is proved right.)  Also ranking very high are Max Delbruck, Ed Lewis, and Roger Sperry, all nice guys with well earned Nobels in biology.

PS: The battle cry of the anti-cornucopians at Caltech in the 1970s was, "We will need bicycle mechanics more than quantum mechanics!"  Pretty much all of the physicists were cornucopians and all the biologists were doomers.  The physicists expected to have the first commercial fusion power plant running by 1990.  The biologists thought that even if cheap and plentiful commercial fusion happened, that overpopulation and environmental degradation would lead to overshoot and dieoff anyway.

Of course, the irony is that being stuck in a think tank with futurologists is that one gets blindsided in the short term.  I can't recall anyone at Caltech in the 1970s anticipating the long 'Indian Summer' cheap oil fiesta of the 1980s and 1990s.  If you are always using binoculars to look at the far horizon, you are likely to stumble over the curb.  Thus it is a waste of time for people living today to argue about whether the people of 2206 will have enough energy and knowledge to rework scrap iron.

binoculars, Yeah! Dangerous!

I agree on Feyman, but he's everyone hero. I would put Dirac up there too. He did his famous work for his PhD. in his early twenties... that's an amazing feat and he rarely gets the recognition. In my opinion, Newton, Einstein, Faraday etc came onto the scene when science was still an "amateur sport", Feynman and Dirac were amongst career professionals.
My sister had Paul Dirac as a professor when she was in physics grad school at FSU in the early 1980s.  So Dirac was rewarded in his old age by getting a cushy job in a warm climate.
Same with Heisenberg and Pauli. But Dirac I think had a stronger feeling for mathematical beauty than almost anyone.
Feyman had no problem with bombing Japanese children. Neither did my grandfather. My own personal opionion, without meeting either one, is they were utter bastards.
War is hell and makes you a bastard.

In sociology, the jargon term for this phenomenon is "situational determinants of behavior," which goes a long way toward the explication of why good people do bad things in certain types of situations.

(BTW, it also works the other way: In certain situations, bad people habitually do good things--but it is much harder to set up these than the typically found situation in which being a beaurocrat causes you to behave like one or being a prison guard brings out certain behaviors in many people, or working on an assembly line brings out other types of behaviors. In any case, the concept is a powerful one.)

My favorite theory following such thoughts is that a free market economy with a good law book and functioning legal and police authority is good for making bastards choose professions that add vaule to society and fellow men instead of becoming nomenklature leeches.

I find this to be an intresting difference between all the faild communist states and well run western democracies. I also think it says something about how a democracy should be run.

My favorite quote from Richard Feynmann came from his analysis of the Challenger disaster:
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, because nature cannot be fooled.
If you think that they isolated the problem to the O-ring, well, that just turned out to be the scapegoat. I remember reading many of the aerospace magazines back then, and the big issue turned out to be asymmetric torques and the exploding bolts on the launch pad. But since this was a very sophisticated argument while the O-rings as a cause was simpler to explain, they decided to annoint that as the whipping boy and be done with it.

In the end, it didn't matter because the engineers fixed what they had to and got more successful launches until other problems occurred.

BTW, I also admired Feynman and read his Lectures on Physics for entertainment.  I always thought that was the most prilliant way to write a textbook: get some students to transcribe your lectures almost verbatim and publish.  I would suggest that Feynman's Lectures series was the ultimate forerunner to the Wiki.

I agree; she has never shown any intelligence about anything, which makes me wonder how she arrived at her past and present positions.
Yes, she could be that stupid. Has she ever done anything that made you think she was smart? A strange black woman from the Deep South, child of the 60's who does not self-identify as black, female or Southern, a Republican, a musician who knows not one Beatles tune, who worships a boss who's a certifiable  idiot. Where did the story Condi is smart get started?
She's from a family of professional Uncles Tom, an intellectual nonentity who rose in academia through politics, not scholarship.
Whoah. Dude, you just libelled her father, who spent a good portion of the early sixties guarding a black church with a shotgun.
That's the lie she came up with later, once opposition to Dr. King and his movement, which was their public position, had become inavowable.
With the bombings came marauding groups of armed white vigilantes called "nightriders" who drove through black neighbourhoods shooting and starting fires. John Rice and his neighbours guarded the streets at night with shotguns.

The memory of her father out on patrol lies behind Rice's opposition to gun control today. Had those guns been registered, she argues, Bull Connor would have had a legal right to take them away, thereby removing one of the black community's only means of defence. "I have a sort of pure second amendment view of the right to bear arms," she said in 2001.

This from the London Times, hardly a neocon stronghold.

You kidding me? It's a Murdoch paper. She can lie all she wants there.
This is perhaps the most maddening quote in that entire Chicago Tribune story.

Here was the most maddening quote to me so far:

"Are there problems coming? Maybe. But I prefer to think the glass is half full," said Tim, 37, arriving home from his office one afternoon after a commute of 19 miles each way. "When shortages jack up oil prices permanently, someone will have the incentive to invent another fuel. That's how the market works."

When will people realize that you can't just "invent another fuel" that is equivalent to millions of years of biomass cooked in the earth?

When Vinod Khosla gets on Larry King live and advocates Powerdown, saying there is no other way. Or, alternatively, when monkeys fly.
When will people realize that you can't just "invent another fuel" that is equivalent to millions of years of biomass cooked in the earth?

In a previous open thread that same quote was pointed out as nonsense and I felt the need to bring out the magic can opener. Here it is again:

"She can't really be this stupid, can she"

Why not? Stupidity and ignorance would appear to be no bar to reaching high office in the USA - either in politics or academe. Seems to be more a matter of knowing the right people, being able to make the right funny handshake, and making the right noises with your mouth. Then so long as you dont molest small children on live TV you are an 'insider' and can get away with just about anything.

I think its also to do with the bubble that the rich and privileged grow up in . When did Condi or Dubya ever have contact with reality? Work in a carwash? Go hungry because the choice was between eating or paying the rent? How often does  Condi fill up with gas or buy a bag of groceries or worry about being about to feed the kids till next payday? Never. Thats why it surprises her when poor people/states see a chance to get some and take it.

"It has given extraordinary power to some states that are using that power in not very good ways for the international system, states that would otherwise have very little power."

What she means is that ordinary Venezualans are benefitting from oil taxation instead of all the money going to Chevron shareholders. Condi likes it when the USA is all powerfull. Doesnt like it when the boot is on the other foot.

The old style covert control mechanisms of the American Empire have gone dysfunctional. The Peasants are revolting. Hence the overt use of military force. The trouble is, Pax Americana is turning out to be more expensive than anticipated.

It's not stupidity.  It's propaganda.

As has been alluded to above, her statement is Orwellian.  It is spin.

Most political statements are, as are most corporate statements, whether advertising or reports to shareholders or whatever.  Sure, the amount of spin, style of spin, and particular focus of the spin changes.

 The important thing is to be mindful that our cluture lacks the intellectual integrity to talk about the truth.

In fact, the more one is paid or the more status one has in our culture, the more likely it is attributable to the ability to avoid and obscure truth.

Disinfotainment rules.  All bits of date are recontextualised constantly for more convenient integration into the intentional ignorance of the day.


Smart doesn't imply honest.
Thank you PS for this observation. It is stunning.

Rice is either lying, misinformed, or stupid. Attention given these failed desert fiefdoms far exceeds any recent technologic or cultural successes and she should have always known this.

If a lie, this statement is diabolically manipulative, as it suggests nuances of doubt and revelation that only a great actress could pull off. The other explanations are more reasonable and equally scary. A system that promotes such ignorance is fatally constructed. All I can do is shake my head in disbelief. in my bunker.

On the other hand, maybe in her own heart Rice truely believes she is not paid enough money for her work. That would explain the cognitive dissonance, the self-deluded justification.

Politicians are actors. This is is what they are trained for and the way they get their jobs. In order to get that high as Condi, you must be a very good actor... and she's not foolish mind you. Just acting like that - this naivety (sp?) also appeals very much to the plebs. They don't talk bulshit like that in their meetings.

Power has always been about access to resources. If we imagine for a moment that our leaders in charge didn't know that (?), then for example why are we in Iraq for? Oh, yes, for the freedoms. Then what are our interests in Middle East, Venezuela, ex-USSR, Afganistan etc.etc. for? Charity? Universal freedom and democracy?

Please ignore the following rant:

At her core Rice is just a federal bureaucrat.  This is a creature I've had some experience with.  Unless you've ever been in a conversation with one of them, you will never understand how truly bizarre their world is.

First off, forget about ethics, truth, science and history.  They don't figure into the picture.  What's important is accumulating wealth and power.  Words are just a way to get more wealth and power.

Second, the farther you go up in the bureaucracy the lower the level of understanding.  Partly because everyone between  her and the reality on the ground is out to improve their career prospects.  So they will distort or omit facts to help themselves.  

Lastly when you speak to power you must realize that they don't want to hear anything upsetting. You certainly don't tell them their last decision was a disaster.   That would amount to challenging their authority, and it's a great way to end your career.  An individual does not get to this level of power by being a good reasonable person.  They get there by being a self serving egomaniac.

It has been renamed and is now the "Altair Voyager".

"We made the change to eliminate the unnecessary attention caused by the vessel's original name," said Chevron spokesman Fred Gorell.

The double-hulled, Bahamian-registered oil tanker carrying the moniker of Bush's national security adviser was renamed the Altair Voyager, after a star, Gorell said.

In the novel Sunstorm, a gas giant fifteen times the mass of Jupiter was launched by the Firstborn alien race from the Altair star system on a collision course with Earth's Sun in order to trigger a devastating solar flare that would completely sterilize the Earth.
She's working on it.

Great info, Dave. If Condi had the power to destroy life on Earth, no doubt that it would be done. That is one evil-looking semi-human.

More evidence (from the Chicago Tribune):
Ramon Barroso believes the Americans are going to invade Venezuela from outer space. He heard this on the radio.

"The Yanquis will attack from the cosmos, because our borders are well-defended by patriots," Barroso said earnestly. "This will be the beginning of World War III."

I have to say, that statement might sound ridiculous but there's no reason to believe that it doesn't hold a big kernel of truth.

Chavez has been threatening for months to stop all oil shipments to the US. Bushco can't allow that to happen, so either they have to overthrow Chavez (already tried, and failed) or militarily subdue Venezuela. Currently, there aren't nearly enough troops to invade and occupy the country, so why not an attack from space?

It hasn't received the nearly the attention that it should, but its a long-term Pentagon strategy to militarize space. I'm sure that the Russians and Chinese are quietly beefing up their "space-based" weapons systems of the future as well, so as not to give the US a huge strategic advantage. The space arms race could be the most under-reported story of the decade.

Silly? Yes!
Kernel of truth? No!
Space is being militarized, but the point is to attack satellites and stop ICBM's.  

Unless your referring to our space based death rays, reverse engineered from alien technology and powered by cool fusion?  {sarcasm}

If you google Rods from God you can find a number of reports of development underway of kinetic energy weapons.
I familiar with the concept.  It's a complete boondoggle.

You can keep your "sarcasm." I don't find your "wit" very clever or incisive.

Space is being militarized, but the point is to attack satellites and stop ICBM's.

How do you know that? Do you have some insight into the military-industrial complex's thought process? I've got news for you; once space is weaponized, anything goes. It most certainly will not be restricted to "attacking satellites or ICBMs." Sorry to burst your bubble.

"How do you know that? Do you have some insight into the military-industrial complex's thought process? "

I've worked for the DOD for 20 years as a Physicist and have attended training session with members of DARPA.  So yes, I do have some insight.

Ok, but that still doesn't change my view of what will most likely happen once space is weaponized. I may not have access to the inside info that you do, but the actions of Rumsfelt, et al., up to this point have convinced me that they aren't to be trusted, no matter what is said.

I can't find a link, but within the last two years there were several very interesting articles published regarding space-based weapons, and none of it sounded very encouraging. Specifically, one article addressed things like the expanded target area that such a weapon could affect, as opposed to a land-, or airplane-based weapon.

Time will tell, but I'll go with my gut which tells me that such a development has been in the works for quite some time, and that it will be far more extensive in scope than initially revealed.

"the actions of Rumsfelt, et al., up to this point have convinced me that they aren't to be trusted "

On that point we agree.

The thing you have to realize, is that the DOD is about money,  Lots of stuff is proposed, lots of money is spent, but hardly anything is deployed.  And what is deployed usually doesn't work.  It's all about making money at the expense of the American people.  

Boy could I tell some stories..............
But I'm really attached to my pension, so I won't.

It would be great to hear some of your DOD stories. I love hearing insider info such as that. In any case, I hope you're right and that whatever is planned either won't be deployed, or won't work.

Thanks for the insight.

Even if we could tell our stories, the most interesting ones show such extreme stupidity by people in high places that they are simply not believable. Literally "incredible" stories that I cannot use even in science fiction, because there is no way that readers can imagine horribly humongous grotesque and extreme inadequacies can persist year after year, decade after decade.

I am writing down some stories for posthumous publication, however, perhaps around the year 2045;-)

If you are so knowledgable about "space being weaponised"... perhaps you could also share with us... how these weapons are to be powered???

Because we sure as hell could do with some of that magic energy supply down on the surface of the planet pretty soon...

Space.com has some good links. It appears that such weapons are far from being deployed, but I'm sure that the work is proceeding as I type this. The articles don't say much on how such weapons are to be powered, but I would guess that solar energy would play a big part in that.

Space Weapons For Earth Wars

Weapons In Space: Dawn of a New Era

Scientists Warn Against Weaponizing Space

U.S. Air Force Plans for Future War in Space

Ok, but that still doesn't change my view of what will most likely happen once space is weaponized. I may not have access to the inside info that you do, but the actions of Rumsfeld, et al., up to this point have convinced me that they aren't to be trusted, no matter what is said.

I can't find a link, but within the last two years there were several very interesting articles published regarding space-based weapons, and none of it sounded very encouraging. Specifically, one article addressed things like the expanded target area that such a weapon could affect, as opposed to a land-, or airplane-based weapon.

Time will tell, but I'll go with my gut which tells me that such a development has been in the works for quite some time, and that it will be far more extensive in scope than initially revealed.

Wow...that's pretty cool that you are here sharing with us...I am being serious.
The US Marines are considering use of a variant of the reusable launch vehicles prototyped for NASA for inserting small teams rapidly into hotspots anywhere in the world. The concept is called SUSTAIN (Small Unit Space Transportation And InsertioN).

While I agree that the current focus in space is satellites and ICBMs, I think that the Pentagon is already looking beyond that.

Yeah, Rice's quote has been out there a while and it hasn't improved with age!

It was bad enough at the front end of the quote, and then got worse on the phrase ""It has given extraordinary power to some states that are using that power in not very good ways for the international system, states that would otherwise have very little power."  NO, Madame Rice, that is what you never seem to understand...IT has not given them anything.  WE HAVE.

We have, by our cowardice to change, by unwillingness to build in efficiency, by refusing in committing even the smallest effort and resource at training our children in applied science, engineering, efficient design and modern mthods.

In my area, next to the local Judge and Sheriff, the most powerful people are the tavarn and liquor store owners.  Do you think it is the booze that gives them the power, or the people who gulp it down without thought?

Roger Conner  known to you as ThatsItImout

This tendency by many here to denigrate US energy use as profligate and as somehow immoral is dumb.  We are a market based and affluent economy with wide spaces between population centers (except in the NE).  Naturally we have reacted to cheap energy by using as much as we need and/or want.  But we reacted to the '70's oil crisis by becoming about 100% more fuel efficient.  We will adjust the same way to current and future high energy prices.  It would be better, IMHO if we had more incentives to do so sooner via and energy tax, and maybe we will be smart enough to do that some day.

But please, folks, get off your high horse and stop preaching.  People do what the can and must.  Look at the Chinese who are now crapping up their whole environment with coal fired plants and other ecological horrors.  Contrast that with the relatively high sensitivity Americans have for clean air and water.  Perfect? No - but let's have a little reality based perspective on this otherwise very useful web site.

oilaholic, you say,

"This tendency by many here to denigrate US energy use as profligate and as somehow immoral is dumb."

And yet we must.  While it is true that when oil is cheap and the economy is speeding along at record pace (ala the 1990's) it is easy to get sloppy on fuel wastage, we ar now apparently getting in a situation entirely different that that period was

It is becoming obvious now that raising taxation is not politiically acceptable, the advanced technology we need will come I believe, but not as soon as we would prefer, thus the drop in consumption you describe may be a bit slower than the emergency could sneak up on us.  What tool does that give us?

Public pressure.  While it may seem unfair to criticize what is already behind us (as my post seems to do and in some ways does)  it is the way to lay the groundwork for the years out in front of us.  We have to make every drop of waste sound like a barrel of waste, and make the public think about efficiency purely by accident every time they make buying decisions!

It's not so much "preachy" as national survival...(just like the fireman who gets on TV and reminds you again and again, NEVER, NEVER run back into a burning house!!  That used to annoy me to no end, how stupid did he think we were, and how many times did we have to hear that same dumb message!

Then I would see it in the paper....some poor soul got killed running back into a burning home..:-(

you say, "People do what the can and must."  Now on that, I want to make a distinction, and that is that we are also trying to sway the automakers and other designer/technician planners.  Frankly I do not think when we turn to design and efficiency, we (meaning the providers of cars and homes) have done what we can and must.

Quick example, but there are thousands.... we have done nothing to improve the efficiency of auto aerodynamics in 30 years.  That must be because they are about as good as they can get, right, or because the doors and room cannot be arranged?

Take a look at the Citroen SM.


One of the most aerodynamic cars ever built, smooth, quiet and efficient....small compact V6, with electronic fuel injection, great road holding from front wheel drive, hydraulic suspension to control ride and handlling, sold as a luxury car and commanded a high price....efficiency from a great beautiful design.  Should we not be scolding and preaching to our industry and designers because we do not have something closer to this in our market now.....because he're the punch line, this car was in 1971!  Imagine that package with one of the modern plug hybrid drivetrains today!  It could be a 100 mile plus ultra modern transprt carraige right out of science fiction, fast, comfortable and efficient, and altering the economics of the transportation industry.  We must stay on the message, and make everyone sensitive to the sight and construction of any efficiencies we can find, great and small.
I ask, are we really doing all we can, and MUST?  I have greve doubts, praise be given if we only would!

Roger Conner  known to you as ThatsItImout

The renamed the oil tanker "Altair Voyager". I guess they realised that the name of "Condi Rice" was equivalent to a large target bull's eye.

Slightly offtopic but related. I know a lot of people have said that peak oil would result in a move to more localized economies. And I've watched the saga of the WTO unfold and it looks like all the work of the past to promote globalization is starting to unfold.

The model is that in a resource constrained world you would wan't to import raw materials and maximise local production to grow your own economy exports become items that for various basic natural reasons your country can produce better then others. Take 17th century trade as and example generally trade consisted of luxury goods and items like tea coffea etc that were prized not large amounts of basic articles as today.

Are we heading back in that direction ? I think our world leaders are far more Peak Oil aware then the MSM.

But its not clear how they will respond to a shrinking resource base is the unraveling of WTO a sign of things to come ?

I think you get the general idea except you might Seriously want to consider changing "countRy" to "County."

Sailors should be happy - Jimmy Buffett will be estatic, he can become a pirate afterall! ;)

Well, at least the Tribune helped introduce the concept of Peak Energy and Peak Matter to the Sap on the Street...

Let the Angry Spittle Dance Begin...

Watch the little rumplestilskinz poke eachother in the eyes trying to figure this one out (this is the funniest part, blow smoke on an ant hill and you will see manz-kinds immediate future).


Regarding the link: "Democrats propose major energy independence bill"...

There are some good ideas in there, such as "Promoting Transit Use & Developing a Rail Infrastructure Program." Unfortunately, the whole thing seems heavily weighted towards the development of biofuels. The bill is probably better than nothing, and certainly better than the disastrous Republican-sponsored "energy bill" (read "oil company subsidies") of last year. However, it's sad that the whole peak oil issue isn't better understood by our legislators.

Still, I'll give the Democrats one gold star for trying. I wonder how much chance there is that the bill will actually pass?

Hello TODers,

I have been posting lately on the Mexican oil depletion of their largest field, Cantarell in Campeche Bay, and also the Presidente' election standoff between Calderon and Obrador [AMLO].

Hopefully, it all can be solved peacefully and PEMEX can internally generate sufficient funds to explore and ramp up whatever oil resources remain in Mexico.  Then Mexico's economy will boom, reversing the present northern flow of immigrants, and bootstrap remarkable growth and sprawl that will leverage the average Mexican into the typical American consumptive lifestyle of a large home and two cars in each garage.

Okay, that is the optimistic cornucopian viewpoint.  Bill O'Reilly of FOX News says that this is the best way for Presidente' Fox, and whomever becomes his successor, to stem their immigration flood into the US.   Perhaps, a more realistic counterpoint is more appropriate.

Wild Speculation ahead! Is this the more realistic scenario?

I believe there are two possibilities that could plunge Mexico into revolution and/or civil war.  The first scenario is if the election standoff polarizes the society, the second is if the Mex. govt. drastically cuts back on public aid programs and instead lets PEMEX retain its earnings to finance further oilfield exploration and energy infrastructure enhancement.  I think the most probable outcome is a combination of these two forces.

Ever since the nationalization of Mexican oil by Lazaro Cardenas in the last century [which created PEMEX], the typical Mexican, in every economic strata of society, strongly believes in PEMEX's financial independence from US corporate-gringo interference.  Even though PEMEX is essentially bankrupt today, due to the govt. siphoning off earnings for years for corruption and mis-spent programs, it will be very difficult to change this mindset.

AMLO's political power base is in Mexico City and in the poor southern states, which ironically [or is this always the case worldwide?], is where most of the oilfields are located, both onshore and offshore.  He could very easily get his supporters to blockade or disrupt oil production in support of his political agenda.

The AMLO phenomenon is not startling because he represents an ideological challenge to liberal economics or institutional democracy. As a matter of fact, it is fair to say that López Obrador was absolutely justified in his indictment of the existing power structure in Mexico for failing to address the basic needs of the country's poor majority. Inequality in Mexico is pronounced: in terms of wealth, the top 10 percent of Mexicans claim 43.1 percent of total national income, while the bottom 20 percent claim only 3.1 percent. What is worse, the gap has grown wider since 1980, as wealthy Mexicans have reaped the benefits of growth while the poor have fallen further behind.2

The bad news is that Mexico's economy is not growing fast enough to create jobs to keep up with its burgeoning population. Despite being an energy-rich country, it is still importing electricity and gasoline. Inextricably linked to Mexico's fiscal health is the state of its public energy sector.  Half of Mexico's 100 million citizens live in poverty. In addition, Mexico's second largest source of capital is people who have had to leave their country to find work. So, complacency is a recipe for disaster for Mexico.

The fact that 10 percent of Mexico's labor force has been forced to abandon their nation to survive demonstrates the staggering human toll of ineffective and indifferent leadership. Some cynics have even speculated that the ability to "export" 10 million Mexicans who do not draw on basic public services but instead remit $30 billion back to their families props up the status quo and is a boon to a complacent, privileged class of Mexicans that, not surprisingly, fails to see the upside of radical change.

So IMO, what we will probably see is the simultaneous synchronizing of the Mexican 'geologic' peak with the 'logistical' political peak maximizing deleterious feedbacks.

AMLO is proceeding with another huge protest march today.

IF all hell breaks loose--what could hypothetically happen?  Will the Mexican police and army start beating or shooting the poor protestors?  Sadly, Mexico has made this a tradition in the historical past as they generally followed the orders from the corrupt Mexican elite.

Will Calderon's insistence that the partial privatization of PEMEX to secure US financing and continued oil exports to America cause riots by itself as Cantarell collapses at a breathtaking pace?  If AMLO proves election fraud, and the IFE election board annoints him maximum leader status through a valid recount: will AMLO continue or expand the governmental largesse to the poor even as PEMEX crumbles?

Numerous possibilities for upheaval exist when this duopoly of geologic and political decline intertwine and multiply their feedbacks.  If a civil war breaks out: will the elite preemptively confiscate the money sent south from the Mexican immigrants working in the US to their poor families?  What better way to deprive the poor and at the same time raise billions to pay the Mex Army than to intercept these funds, either by postal openings, or legislative fiat of electronic banking interference.

Would the millions of Mexicans [legal & illegal] working in the US then stop sending money south, and instead buy guns and ammo, then invade Mexico to help protect their poor families from the Mexican Army and police?  Could we see the Mexican Army machine-gunning their returning citizens as they tried to climb down the US-MEX border walls?

If ten million Mexicans suddenly quit their US jobs, then went south to battle in a Mexican Civil War: could the US rapidly shift enough high school and college students to pick the fruits and vegetables from the fields?  How much would US gas prices rise if Mex oil imports were suddenly cutoff?  

Which side should America choose if a Mexican Revolution and/or Civil War breaks out?

Is Mexican oil exports our only vital interest?  Should the US Military send Special OPS forces to secure Mexican oil infrastructure if the Mexican Army cannot adequately repel an internal insurgency?  Or alternatively, should US forces attack the Mexican Army to help the Mexicans going south to overthrow the ruling elite?

Instead, would it be better to first militarily train and equip the Northern Mexicans in exchange for exclusive access to the Mexican oil?  If SUPERNAFTA is to move forward, as some news posting suggest, we need a large spanish-speaking military, that is beholden to the US, to guard the Mex-Guatemalan border.

SUPERNAFTA may be the only way to headoff a Mexican Civil War because it would allow millions and millions of Mexicans to follow their exported oil and head north.  It would allow maximum American investment to develop the last Mexican oilfields.

THE BIG QUESTION: Does the average American want SUPERNAFTA, even less future buying power, but more Mexican oil..OR.. Do we want another Iraq-like situation right on our border and missing the 1.8 million barrels/day of Mexican oil to boot?

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

No matter what happens in Mexico, the end result will be less (or substantially less) Mexican oil coming into the US in the very near future. Viewed in that context, the rush to invade Iraq and seize its oilfields reveals the true motive for doing so.

Any plan that entails allowing in millions more Mexicans would start a real civil war in this country. I've heard about those "SuperNAFTA" deal but I don't see it actually happening unless there is a substantial change in circumstances in the US.

In answer to your 'big question,' Americans would be vehemently opposed to both options.


There were 2.4 MILLION people protesting today in Mexico City.

Wow. That's a big number. Something is definitely brewing in Mexico. I don't think the cooked election is going to stand.

Hello Don in Colorado,

Thxs for responding.  Yep, it is hard to tell what will happen down South because our MSM does a poor job reporting this, and I don't know enough Spanish to catch all the crucial details reading the mexican google results.  I sure hope there was no unwarranted gringo influence like fraudulent covert hacks into the voting software, but I am no expert:


AMLO's latest plan is to shut down the main drag in Mexico City causing huge traffic jams--this could easily spiral out of control from 'road-rage' and IEDs [Intermittent Explosive Disorder].
Thousands of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's supporters seized control of the imposing Zocalo square in Mexico City on Sunday night as well as a long stretch of the elegant Reforma boulevard which runs through the center of the capital.

As police looked on, the protesters set up tents and tarpaulin covers in the middle of the wide boulevard and said they would block it to all traffic on Monday.

That could cut off Mexico's stock market, luxury hotels, government offices, the U.S. Embassy and the headquarters of major corporations.

I hope Vinod Khosla takes my advice to build a tamperproof voting system.  Unfortunately, there will probably come a American postPeak time that exercising one's voting right will be a blood-sport again.

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

I hope Vinod Khosla takes my advice to build a tamperproof voting system.

Huh what? What's wrong with the old lever/optical system? If you suspect tampering, check the machines then check the ballot slips. Anybody can recount.

As a software developer there's no way I'd trust electronic voting systems currently. In any form.

My travels took to me to rural Iowa last week and the subject of high gas prices came up with the person I was moving.. While this person did not believe the middle east or Iraq had anything to do with high gas prices, she wasn't sure what was when I inquired further.. Then I suggested that perhaps supply and demand had something to do with higher gas prices she stated that perhaps that was the cause..

then she added a comment that blew me away when she claim that gas prices weren't HIGH ENOUGH yet to cause her to drive any less..  SO much for demand destruction..

People seem to know that the river is running faster, but they can't necessarily conclude whether this is heading us over some rapids, or over a waterfall.  Either way, most people are too busy keeping their boat bailed out to notice the river at all.

Bob Fiske

An apt comparison. It should also be noted that the vast majority of Americans have no real idea about why the river is running faster, or why its getting harder and harder to keep their own boat bailed out. By the time the true reasons are revealed to all, it will be too late for the occupants of most boats - who will either drown in the river or perish after going over the waterfall.

All this to a deafening background chorus from the older generations that, "The river ain't running any faster than it did when I was a kid! You're just LAZY! Paddle harder!!"
To further the allegory: all the more reason to get out of the mainstream. If you can stand being laughed at by those who are floating faster than you, right in the middle of the river..
We in the U.K. always bang on about this and I'll post again. We pay $7.50 per gallon, and absorb this price no problem. Average U.K. driver 12000 miles/year.
Yeh, but those are British miles, right? :<)  That's pretty weird since I believe that is the same figure in the U.S.  And G.B. is so small.  Guess you must be doing a lot of driving on the continent.  

You're info, if correct, is not terribly encouraging since I've gotta believe people live closer to work in England than in the U.S. Plus you have a much better public transit system, don't you?  

I guess we share the same stupid, selfish, shortsighted genes.

I posted on this yesterday... to repeat...

Astonishing.  $6.60/gallon would (will) reak havok in the US.

There's nothing astonishing about it... as has been said many times on TOD... for taxation reasons... European gas prices have always been 2-3x high than US.

Does it change driving habits?... NO. I would venture to suggest that the annual mileage for Europeans is little different to the majority of Americans... (how many hours a day CAN you spend in your car?) (BTW:  I have owned vehicles in UK, Europe, Middle East, Canada, Aus & NZ)

I might concede the need for some minor lowering of prices in large countries... USA, Canada, Australia

So as for causing havoc... briefly, if it happened overnight, probably not at all if it happened incrementally... Why should US be different from anywhere else?

PS: Yeh, but those are British miles, right? :<)

This is a joke, yes? or are you confusing British and American GALLONS...

Do anyone have average milage figures per car per year for USA or other countries? When this were originally posted I commented with some from Sweden.
Of course it's a joke. Why duya think I put in the smiley face?
Here ya go:

I think, however, that perhaps a reason that might partly explain how the U.K. and other countries have been able to handle high fuel prices relatively well is because oil has been cheap elsewhere, which has meant cheap imports of various goods. What happens when the rest of the world catches up to $7.50/gal or higher? When everything else becomes ever more expensive? The equation, in essence, is changing. Even price-hardened Brits might have to begin curtailing their driving...

And what of the average fuel economy of British vehicles, vs. American ones?

Hmmm... There are many variables to consider, I suspect.


average MPG of UK vehicles is about 10-15mpg higher
sorry no link :p
dukey, that was kind of my point. If average fuel economy in the UK is higher than in the US, then it offsets some of the higher fuel cost in the UK. Though, I suppose the % difference in fuel cost does not match the magnitude of difference in the cost of petrol between the two countries.

Oops... in my original post I see I used "oil" when I meant petrol or gasoline... The stuff that goes in cars, anyway...


I remember 5-8 years ago the vehicle avg. lease included 12k miles per year in the US...now it's 15k. So it's probably safe to assume that it's at LEAST 15k per year....
How much does your healthcare insurance cost?
Out of your 12,000 miles, how much in highway tolls do you spend?
Except for one new privately-financed motorway link around Birmingham... there are no road tolls in UK...

However, they do pay a fixed annual "vehicle road tax" on top of insurance... which is $250 and up, depending on size... have to display a sticker in the car window... much like an insurance sticker...

Also company cars... cars used for business (but often availible for private use too as a perk)... are now liable to a tax based on their carbon emissions...

OK we in the US have a "registration" which must be paid every year or two years, it's wound up with smog testing in most places and newer cars only have to be "smogged" every other year. But this amounts to something like a road tax, it's based on the value of the vehicle though, so a newish Porsche will have a much heftier registration fee than an old, smoky, Ford F-100 pickup.
It would be nice to have more complete statistics. Is this really per driver, or per vehicle? What's the ratio of drivers to vehicles? And most importantly, how do the overall fleet mileage figures compare? Dollars per mile for the "average" vehicle is probably a better measure. It is at least my perception that, faced with high gas prices, owners in the UK have a much greater ability to choose between higher mileage or fewer miles than owners in the US have.
reno, remember that it's a worldwide market.  The "average American" is still rich compared to most of the rest of the world.  We are seeing some effects from demand destruction in other countries: countries that subsidize oil so their people can afford a little are getting whacked, and are being forced to raise prices.  So more of their people can't afford it at all, leaving more for us!  Which is actually keeping prices somewhat in check for the moment.
And there is demand destruction in this country, but it's so far in the form of people buying a Prius instead of a Hummer, or deciding not to buy that motorhome after all, or staying close to home on vacation instead of driving to the Grand Canyon.  I only drive for commuting, and I figure the gas price won't start to seriously hurt me until it goes over $5.  I won't be able to drive any less, so I'll have to look for someplace else to cut my budget.
Same here Sunspot, even at $6 or $7 a gallon it will be business as usual for me, I might cook at home a little more but I'm starting to lean that way anyway for the convenience and quality of food.
Not to sound too cheery, US prices probably have a way to go before there is a big impact.  You can compare the price you pay with other prices around the world Here.  In my corner of the continent (Vancouver Island) gas prices have just recently returned to $CAD1.20/liter.  Translated for y'all, that's $US4.10/gal.  Our laws and choices of vehicles are the same as anywhere in the US, so maybe current trends here will be yours in a few months.  The hottest selling cars in town are small Toyotas, followed by Volkswagon TDIs (60 mpg hwy) and a few GM/Ford small cars.  In the cities, the SMART cars are selling so fast there is a waiting list at the dealership.  Big cars and SUVs are being driven mostly by retirees, and I suspect they don't put much mileage on them.  Loggers and contractors still drive big crewcabs, but I doubt that will change for a while.  An F350 costs $135 to fill, about the cost of a new bicycle. I don't think people are driving any less, but are buying smaller cars when they trade.  Apart from that I have seen hardly any cannibalism, setting old people adrift on ice floes etc.. and everyone seems to be adjusting ;)
  An F350 costs $135 to fill, about the cost of a new bicycle.

Great line... I love the comparison!!

Yer pays yer money, yer takes yer choice...

I was in Vancouver this past week, saw a lot of those smart cars.  Not anywhere close to the number of huge pickups, SUVs, etc. as we have back home in Texas.  Vancouver, to some extent, appears to be rather "walkable" as a city.  But  I also read some disturbing articles about freeway and suburban expansion...

I posted on this a few days ago...

Vancouver,to some extent, appears to be rather "walkable" as a city.

"to some extent"... "Appears"... "rather"... Hardly unqualified praise then!!

Can we please stop perpetuating this urban myth about Vancouver... (pun intended)

Yes, it has a walkable downtown... don't most cities?.. it has mass transit... don't most cities?... but for the most part Vancouver is just as sprawling, car-addicted, and traffic-light-ridden as every other modern city... in fact in many ways it is worse because it has so few freeways... that you mostly find yourself driving through urban shopping areas with traffic lights every 50 yards.

Try getting from Highway 1 to the Airport!! (Allow at least an hour...)

Well, as you say, there are many aspects of the city one cannot get from a brief visit. Hence, my qualifiers.  Having used the public transit a couple of years ago, I'd say it seemed adequate (we traveled from downtown to the airport with no worries), and there are many more options for getting around, again, as you say, limited mostly to the downtown area.  However, for a better perspective, you perhaps should visit a Sunbelt city like mine, and check out how limited the options are here.
There is a new MSM article today in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Link: A thirsty world is running dry

Hello TODers,

This just in on Yahoo News: "Iran forces urged to prepare to hit Israel".


Is this just bluster or do they really intend to raise the stakes for Dubya Dubya Three [WWIII]?

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

Tom Friedman, on "Meet the Press" this morning, expanded on his recent column where he said that Bush is the most hated American president (around the world) of Friedman's lifetime.

Friedman said that part of it was that as much as people criticized the US, on some level most of them (once upon a time) admired the US for its optimism and idealism.   He said that one of the reasons that so many people around the world hate Bush is that he has destroyed this image of optimism and idealism.

Yeah, he says he doesn't like Bush.  But he blames all the problems in the ME on the Arabs.  He said that they spend all their time and effort hating Israel instead of doing positive things, like building infrastructure.  But they do build infrastructure, and Israel blows everything up!  Which may be why they spend so much time "hating Israel".  He contributes to the message that the Muslims are simply hopeless and the only way to deal with them is to kill them.
and the only way to deal with them is to kill them.

Hey there SunBlotter.

Guess what? Other people watch Meet the Press. It is not channeled only into your z-channel TV. Friedman never said such a thing. How about a tiny bit of truthfulness?

I did not say that he said any such thing.  What he said was that the Muslims are solely bent on the destruction of Israel, and strongly implied that the whole Muslim world is a hopeless basket case because of these beliefs.  The nature of propaganda is to not say things outright, it's about planting seeds that will grow properly.  Blaming all the "problems" in the ME on the Muslims is clearly total bullshit!
From the transcript:

MR. FRIEDMAN: You know, these are people who, who hate others more than they love their own kids, more than they love their own future. And that's crazy, and that's part of the pathology of that part of the world.

Most of the people in that part of the world just want food, water, elecrticity, and the opportunity to love their children, just like the rest of us.  What Mr. Friedman said is racism, pure and simple.

Bologna Sausage.
Israel imposes 'racist' marriage law
Independent, 1 August 2003

Israel's Parliament has passed a law preventing Palestinians who marry Israelis from living in Israel. The move was denounced by human rights organisations as racist, undemocratic and discriminatory.

Under the new law, rushed through yesterday, Palestinians alone will be excluded from obtaining citizenship or residency. Anyone else who marries an Israeli will be entitled to Israeli citizenship.

All Israeli citizens, including Palestinians, have the right to vote in elections for members of the Knesset (parliament) and for the prime minister. But not all rights are citizenship rights. Other rights are defined as nationality rights, and are reserved for Jews only. If you are a Jew, you have exclusive use of land, privileged access to private and public employment, special educational loans, home mortgages, preferences for admission to universities, and many other things. Many other special privileges are reserved for those who have served in the Israeli military. And military service is compulsory for all Jews (male and female), except for the ultra-Orthodox who get the same privileges as other Jews, but excludes Palestinians, who do not.

Over 80 percent of the land within Israel that was once owned by Palestinians has been confiscated. All told, 93 percent of Israel's land can only be leased or owned by Jews or Jewish agencies. Moreover, despite Israel's booming economy, Palestinian unemployment is skyrocketing--Adalah says it is about 40 percent. In 1996 twice as many Arab citizens (28.3 percent) as Jewish citizens (14.4 percent) lived below the poverty line. Less than five percent of government employees are Arab. And eighty percent of all student drop-outs are Arab.

There are also vast disparities between Arab towns and Jewish towns in government spending on schools, medical systems, roads and electricity, clean water, and social services.

Unlike any other country in the world, Israel does not define itself as a state of its residents, or even a state of its citizens, but as a state of all the Jews in the world. Jews from anywhere in the world, like me, can travel to Israel, declare citizenship, and be granted all the privileges of being Jewish that are denied to Palestinians who have lived in the area for hundreds of years.

Right on.

All you have to do is quote Israel's race/marriage laws, land owership laws, prostitution laws, or simply mention their coded license plate system, and arguement ended.

I can't believe almost all US'ians have no idea of how Israel does things. They make the Nazis look like the amateurs they were.

But lets take this in the context of South Africa or the American South which had similar policies until very recently and still to this day even without codification there is a wide gap between black and white American in the south.

I don't want to go to deep there but I want to say that in both cases relatively non-violent struggles resulted in the betterment of the societies.  Armed struggle has never succeeded ever not once in equalizing social differences. Not in our own much ballyhooed American Revolution it was many many years after that before any semblance of equality happened in America. Social revolutions succeed because the goal is to live equally together not kill each other. Until the people in the Middle East accept living with Jews in Israel first then work on living equal you will never have peace.

Its really easy to blame the Israel for the situation in the middle east but there is a whole not of problems on the the other side of the fence. Look at Lebanon everyone but Hezbollah laid down arms. If they had focused on the issues of the Shiite community and worked via the UN for the release of a few prisoners we would not have the current situation. And to be honest how the hell would a American or European country respond in a similar circumstance I suspect the other country would be wiped of the face of the earth.

I'm not saying that Israel has not made a lot of mistakes and needs to seriously work on living together with its neighbors but on the same hand I've seen almost no attempt on the side of the Arab community to even begin to work out a peaceful way to live equally and together.

Sorry for the rant but having grown up white in the South I know what its like to be a member of the bad group even if m y own personal views differ. It was only because the southern black community forgave and forgot that we were able to overcome so many years of racism the white community did little except remove legal barriers. My point is that in the real world its up to the Arab community to make peace not Israel I know from personal experience.

And this does not mean that many black Americans still don't live under conditions that are worse then those experienced by Arab Israelis and Palestinians they do and the treatment of migrant workers in the US would make you cringe. How many of these are basically in prison without only mock trials ?
I added this last part just to point out that injustice is still a huge problem long after peace is made but again you have to make the peace.

Something like 10,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israel, being starved, tortured, held without any trial. So, Hezballah takes a couple of Israeli soldiers who were in Lebanon to use to exchange. What prompted this now? Maybe a smuggled letter out from a female Palestinian prisoner, who's been raped for the 1000th time, maybe one from a child in there, not sure if his/her snapped arm and leg joints will allow them to live much longer..... the thing is, it happened.

Hezballah is not the Devil, it's the voice/arm of a people who are increasingly sure they're going to be wiped out anyway. Hezballah is you or I under the same circumstances. Hezballah is the Rebel Allience in Star Wars, the "ragtag fleet" in every underdog space opera we all grew up with. They're the Fremen of Dune. They are you and I, under the same circumstances, who just want to live Little House On The Prairie. Men and women and children, that's who's being bombed, disproportionately women, children, and the old.

I'm seeing it more on the other major Peak Oil discussion site than on here, but this identifying with the equivalent of Darth Vader is really beginning to disgust me.

Raped for the thousandth time? A bit hyperbolic today, aren't you? URL, please. Such a fantastic accusation needs to be validated somehow. Surely you have evidence for such a wild accusation or you would not have made it so I trust that you will provide me with the appropriate references.

Thank you in advance. I eagerly look forward to reading these sources so I can validate for myself the validity of such fantastic claims.

What he said was that the Muslims are solely bent on the destruction of Israel

He didn't say that either.

I just saw that too. What are their options?
Best option is to cut off oil supply. This requires no bluster, no rhetoric, no crowds.
Otherwise they can lob over a few longrange missiles, doing little damage and inviting massive retaliation.
Or they can fire up the masses and join in the conflict in Iraq. God knows how that would play out but it could conceivably happen.
Not much chance long columns of Revolutionary Guards will march overland to Lebanon.
There are a few more possibilities but it gets very scary and weird. One has to wonder if provoking this response has been the whole object of the Lebanese campaign.
One has to wonder if provoking this response has been the whole object of the Lebanese campaign.

Bingo! You win the prize. Provocation, followed by massive escalation is exactly what the plan calls for.

Or they can fire up the masses and join in the conflict in Iraq. God knows how that would play out but it could conceivably happen.

The Iranians could easily slaughter the 150,000 US troops being used as pawns in Iraq. In fact, I've seen reports that this would be among their first reponses if attacked by either the US or Israel. I'll lay odds that this is exactly what Bushco wants. How hard would it be to institute a draft in the aftermath of the country-wide outrage at the massacre? Not very.

I've suspected this too -- it would definitely give the Iranians the chance stir up real trouble in Iraq.
Unlike the USA of course, which has never stirred up trouble in  Iraq...Or Iran...Or anywhere else...

Dont forget, the USA backed Saddam in Iraq against Iran in a war that cost over a million lives.

Saddam blew it when he invaded Kuwait. Had he not done that, Condi, Donald and Dick would have been at dinner by the banks of the Euphrates tonight.

Saddam didn't "blow it" -- he was tricked into invading Kuwait by Bush I.

Argh, not more conspiracy theories! That page boils down to "somebody said the White House said something vague" and it's been spun so fast it became "Bush tricked Saddam".


Excuse me, but the noted page isn't the sole source postulating that Saddam was encouraged to attack Kuwait. There continues to be a great deal of speculation surrounding this incident, and rightly so.

Just because an event isn't spelled out in black and white on the front page of tne NY Times doesn't mean that it should automatically be relegated to being labeled a "conspiracy theory."

Any prosecutor realizes that a case built upon circumstantial evidence requires great care and more than normal evidence to prove the case. I've seen the claims you made and what you attribute to malice is more readily explained by simple human stupidity, coupled with cultural disparities that made communication harder than one might expect.

If you have further circumstantial evidence to support your claim, I encourage you to post the links.

After reviewing more material focusing on the meeting between Saddam and the former Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, I conclude that my claim that Saddam was "tricked" is something that cannot be proven, given the available evidence. One can certainly infer such a conclusion, given the fact that the transcripts of the meeting indicate that Glaspie apparently never explicitly warned that military action could result from an invasion of Kuwait. Glaspie's subsequent reassignments and almost complete silence on what happened during the meeting are certainly mysterious, and feed into speculation that all has not been said in regard to the entire affair.

In the end, it may be as you indicated - human error, coupled with cultural disparities, leading to a big misunderstanding.

There is absolutely no need to look for evil conspiracies behind every spoken word or every overturned rock. Even the Iraqis who have had access to the transcripts of that meeting have all said that Saddam knew he was not being given a green light or encouraged in any way. Rather, Saddam was guessing that the US would not respond with anything more than verbal condemnation.

"You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity." Robert Heinlein.

The above is true far more often than we may wish to admit, simply because we human beings are such fallible and shortsighted creatures. Yes, there may be conspiracies in the world but not everything is part of such. If the US was hellbent on invading Iraq, they would have found an excuse, and as others noted, just by leaving Saddam in power at the end of Gulf War I, we practically ensured that a second war would have to be fought. The events that brought us the First Gulf War appear to have been accidental. That these events were subsequently used for his own ends by Bush Jr. does not appear to be accidental at all, but rather, a deliberate exploitation of an opportunity.

"The Iranians could easily slaughter the 150,000 US troops being used as pawns in Iraq. In fact, I've seen reports that this would be among their first reponses if attacked by either the US or Israel. I'll lay odds that this is exactly what Bushco wants. How hard would it be to institute a draft in the aftermath of the country-wide outrage at the massacre? Not very."

As an ex-marine helicopter pilot and one who keeps up with the capabilities of the US military this previous quote is the biggest pile of horseshit i have seen on the Oil Drum. We have a lot of problems in the old USofA but an effective military is not one of them, unless, as has been the recent history, they are politically restrained, which would not be the case if Iran were to try something as foolish as you have posited. Get real.

Capabilities don't matter in this case; its purely a numbers game. No matter how well trained 150,000 soliders are, they will not prevail against more than a million potential opponents who are fighting on their own home turf.

Let's not forget that if Iran is attacked, it will likely give cause for the Shia in Iraq to actively join the campaign against the US troops in great numbers - something that they have not done up until now. Add that to the number of standing troops that the Iranians can supply, and you're looking at a huge mismatch that the US troops cannot possibly win.

The US troops can still win if they have very large stocks of munitions and are free to fire with no precautions what so ever against civilians. They have the technological ability to kill everything that gets close to their positions but they do not have the ability to sort between enemy and collateral damage targets.

And Iranian victory depends on removing this capacity from the US ground troops. Wich should be doable with ballistic missile strikes large enough to overwhelm the US air defences and saturate the US bases with bomblets, mines and persistant chemical weapons.

In extreme circumstances such as those the US could use series of tactical nuclear strikes to remove parts of the battlefield. This would of course mean a war of extermination agains everything that is not on your directly controlled battlefield area.

Why do thinking about this logically make me ill in my stomache? I guess it isent healthy to try to use pure cynism.

Thinking about the deployment of nuclear weapons makes me ill as well. Let's all hope it never comes to that.

If bio or chemical weapons were used against US troops in Iraq, there would be an extremely high probability that this administration would see that as being only possible if Iran were involved. If they came to this conclusion, I am almost certain that they would sell every bit of US soldiers dying to WMDs to the American public and get a green light to nuke Iran (and Syria). And I fully would expect this administration to do that.
Don't discount home field advantage. The insurgents have home field advantage but not much for weapons except for our table scraps of the unexploded ordinance that become the IEDs. A million Iranians invading Iraq to "get" 150,000 US troops would have home field advantage all right. It's taking only a few Sooners to pin down our troops.

But rile up Iraq's Shiites and add in Iranians, and we lose the football game. And we lose the prize of the oil province. We should have gotten buddy-buddy with Saddam instead. (I hate playing Monday morning QB)

former CH-46 pilot here, HMM-261, 1986-1994, Semper Fidelis
I don't think  Hezbollah needs the Revolutionary guard.  They have a good strategy that seems to be working fine.


"Hezbollah's strategy appears to be threefold. First, force Israel into costly attacks against prepared fortifications. Second, draw Israeli troops as deeply into Lebanon as possible, forcing them to fight on extended supply lines. Third, move into an Iraqi-style insurgency from which Israel -- out of fear of a resumption of rocket attacks -- cannot withdraw, but which the Israelis also cannot endure because of extended long-term casualties. This appears to have been a carefully planned strategy, built around a threat to Israeli cities that Israel can't afford. The war has begun at Hezbollah's time and choosing..."

Also check out his link: http://www.defensetech.org/archives/002618.html

Hezbollah, Deadly Hybrid
"The terror group, "with the sophistication of a national army... and the lethal invisibility of a guerrilla army" is a new breed of military animal. "

It's as if all my childhood TV villains have come to life.

al-qudia has more in common with cobra then you think. just think about how the bush admin has been talking about them and it sounds almost exactly like cobra from g.i. joe
What would make the supply lines long enough to become a problem for the IDF?
Oil Supply

Without it, the Isreali blitzkrieg comes to an end.

IDF has extensive reserves.

Lebanon is not blitz warfare.  It is slow.  

Anytime you have to resupply your troops in hostile territory your supply lines are in danger.  Once the IDF moves into Lebanon it's vulnerable.   IED's  (improvised explosive devices) have proven effective against convoys.  Some of the more sophisticated ones are supposedly manufactured in Iran.  It takes an enormous amount of supplies to keep troops in the field.  Most people think of wars as men with guns, but for each guy with a gun there is an army of people supplying him with everything he needs (toilet paper, water, food, medicine, ammo, fuel, spare parts.......).  Logistics has always been a major part of warfare.

The war fighter is considered the teeth of the dragon, while everyone is referred to as the tail.  For modern warfare the dragon has a really big tail.

That is the preferred strategy of the underdog, and one that is consistently used against the US-Israel axis in the Middle East, luring them ever further in imperial overstretching. Occupying unruly areas is a constant drain on manpower, a constant trickle of filled body bags. Invading Iran would mean provoking even more resistance in the already occupied areas. I doubt it is possible to conquer Iran, given its resources, topography and preparedness. Even if it would succeed the mountains would swarm with guerrillas.
Yikes... Glenn Beck, the new whacko on CNN: "Are we on the verge of WW3? I think so, and I'll tell you why on my show tonight."  If the MSM is making the call, for once I find it hard to disagree with them.  We're being prepared...
If Iraq is the model, contracting out truck drivers at over $100,000 a pop, and all the money we pay to Halliburton et al, this is going to be an awfully expensive WWIII.  We can't even afford Iraq, how the hell are we going to fight a WWIII. Or will this we short and sweet, with nukes all around.  Probably will make it kind of difficult to do much oil pumping if M.E. is turned into a nuclear desert.  Oh well, I guess we'll just charge it.

The other thing is do we have the industrial might anymore to sustain such a war. Or are counting on China to tide us over?  

Because I listened to him, I wound up being one of those unhappy people who ran out and bought duct tape and plastic sheeting a few years ago. How stupid. Never listened to him again.
   Just saw this in TECHOLOGY REVIEW.

A new airborne technology for mapping oil fields could locate new oil reserves by drastically cutting survey costs, and help companies identify untapped oil within new reserves.

Las Vegas, NV-based startup eField Exploration recently completed a survey of existing oil fields in Texas in which it revealed extensions of these fields into areas that traditional methods did not spot, according to company president Ed Johnson. Drilling to confirm the findings will likely begin soon, he says.

   here's the link http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?id=17207&ch=infotech&sc=&pg=1

  Know about this WESTEXAS?

"Know about this WESTEXAS?"

I have been working with direct surface detection techniques for about 25 years.  I worked with a company from 1986 to 1993 that provided worldwide airborne and ground based direct detection services.   Most of these techniques are based on the direct detection of microseepage of underlying oil and gas reservoirs.  

The referenced article is based on "Earth" currents, AKA Telluric currents.  There have been a lot of companies provided some variation of Magnetotelluric (or MT work).  Typically, they claim to be able to distinguish oil and gas from wet zones in thin beds at depth.  

MT is a useful tool for estimating sediment thickness, and in some cases for getting an idea of structure and approximate resistivities at depth.  The problem of trying to resolve the composition of thin beds is one of resolution.   It's fundamentally a question of frequency.  For telluric currents to penetrate thousands of feet of rock, the wavelengths have to be huge--and thus very low frequency.   You can't differentiate thin beds with low frequencies.  

There have been hundreds, and probably thousands, of announcements much like the one you referenced--that someone has a new black box that will virtually eliminate dry holes.  It the technique is so good, why are they publicizing it?  Why aren't they just going out and leasing and drilling the oil fields themselves?  Why are they selling their services?

From Wikipedia:

Magnetotellurics (MT) is a natural-source, electromagnetic geophysical method of imaging structures below the earth's surface. Natural variations in the earth's magnetic field induce electric currents (or telluric currents) under the earth's surface. Concurrent measurements of orthogonal components of the electric and magnetic fields allow for the calculation of the impedance tensor, which is complex and frequency-dependent. Using this tensor, it is possible to gain insight into the resistivity structure of the surrounding material.

 Electrical conductivity is an important physical parameter of the Earth's rocks and sediments. Rocks and sediments display a wide range of electrical conductivities, thus making it an attractive parameter to distinguish different rock types. Imaging of the Earth's subsurface conductivity is an important step in identifying rock types, and understanding tectonic processes and geologic structures. In recent years magnetotellurics has also become increasingly popular in oil and mineral exploration. Another application lies in environmental geophyics, where MT is used for groundwater exploration and monitoring.

 In magnetotellurics, the Earth's naturally varying electric and magnetic fields are measured over a wide range of frequencies (1/10,000 to 10,000 Hz). These fields are due to electric currents (telluric currents) that flow in the Earth and the magnetic fields that induce these currents. The magnetic fields are produced mainly by the interaction between the solar wind and the ionosphere. In addition, worldwide thunderstorm activity causes magnetic fields at frequencies above 1 Hz. These natural phenomena create strong MT source signals over the entire frequency spectrum.

 The ratio of the electric field to magnetic field can give simple information about the subsurface conductivity. Because of the skin effect phenomenon that affects electromagnetic fields, the ratio at higher frequency ranges gives information on the shallow Earth, whereas deeper information is provided by the low-frequency range. The ratio is usually represented as MT-apparent resistivity and phase as a function of frequency. The technique was introduced by the French geophysicist Louis Cagniard and Russian geophysicist Tikhonov in the early 1950s. With advances in instrumentation, processing and modeling, MT is now considered one of the most important tools in deep Earth research.

westexas, not only this is very unkind to you to try to discourage one of our few singularitarian posters, but this is also a bit of a waste...

More resilient than die hard doomers, nothing will discourage them. :-D

I fail to see how West Texas was discouraging anyone.

Providing the truth is hardly discouraging.

I have singularitarian sympathies, but sometimes...
GM cotton crop develops new pests (Financial Times)

Most of the benefits of growing genetically modified cotton, the only commercial GM crop in China, have disappeared after seven years. The problem is that new pests have appeared to replace the bollworms eliminated by the genetic modification....

...after seven years they had to spray just as much chemicals as their non-GM counterparts...

The problem with singularitarians is that they are techno-drunks in the very same way as mainstream scientists, corporations and marketroids just a bit more over the top.
You dont need "high-tech" to get results you need to be smart, this is different from techno-drunkness.

If there is no god nor a heaven you can still hope that man can do great things and build a much better world. But dont bet on it being easy to accomplish.

I have much higher respect for people why try to do what they can with what they have while they live rather then promising a god given land beyond death.

I think the insights of Plato and also of anthropologists are useful when it comes to a discussion of "God."

God is ideal.

The question of whether God literally exists is approximately irrelevant.

Humans make gods in their own images. The best people (such as Plato) make the best gods. Christianity hijacked the Platonic Idea of God and made it into a literal reality.

Note that the Jewish God is filled with human shortcomings: He is jealous, irate, indecisive (when it comes to arguing with Abraham about the destruction of Sodom), vindictive and sometimes forgetful or inconsistent. Thus the Jewish God is all too human, all too believable.

Fifty years ago an Egyptian friend of mine argued that the concept of God in Islam included all the good things in Jewish and Christian God. I have never been able to refute his reasoning.

Were I to be strictly rational and were I to desire a deeper understanding of God, first I'd become more fluent in Arabic, then I'd study the Koran.

There is nothing to learn about God but there is lots to learn about how the human psyche often crave and handle the concept of a God or Gods. You can probably spend lifetimes finding peoples gods and their use and misuse.

Mohammed were clearly a genius and the koran editors may have done a better work then the bible editors. Then have lots of sects honed the use of holy texts to perfection.

I am not sure if this god fashination and craving is a bug or a feature in us humans. It probably depends on the circumstances. I am absolutely sure that religion is dynamite, usefull for doing lots of good work and usefull for blowing people into small pieces.

Religion can definately be used to great effect in a crisis such as peak oil. Here I reserv respect for those who use their religion in a kind way and dont use heretics as punching bags for creation of easy group feeling or use their believers as cannon fodder.

If someone finds a physically excisting god that ads a new dimension to the natural forces I will reevalute this after reading about the experiments. Feeling that a god excist do not count as proof.

I do not assert that God exists.

However, after considerable reflection, I have concluded that

  1. God should exist and
  2. She has a lot to answer for.
One more piece of bad news Don:
3. her name is liz.
I am not sure if this god fashination and craving is a bug or a feature in us humans.

I would say a BUG, see In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion.
Because Societies worse off 'when they have God on their side'.
But alas it is unlikely that we can get rid of this scourge.

As for the koran and the "genius" of Mohammed views differ about the editors.
For a better assessment of Islam, why not asking those who have tried it about "[using] religion in a kind way"?

Religion can definately be used to great effect in a crisis such as peak oil.

Certainly, culling the infidels will solve a great deal of the overpopulation problem, and Islam is NOT THE ONLY religion to suggest this.

Thanks for the explanation.

I have a question: to see a
signal at 1/10000 Hz, we need
to observe for several signal
periods, in this case, many
days. But solar storm or
thunderstorm activity changes
faster than that. How is the
signal disentangled from the
faster variation in the MT
forcing by solar and storm
action ?


I'm afraid I'm not a MT expert.
Hello TOD readers:

I've been reading for a while, but this is my first post.  I have a few concepts I've been thinking about and I'd like to hear some ideas.  Particularly, I would like to see if some of the number crunchers around here like Westtexas, Khebab, Stuart, et al. might want to help.  This is going to be kinda a long post so I apologize ahead of time.


1.  URR v. Price

One of the arguments by the cornucopians, as I understand it, is that as price increases more projects become economically feasible and therefore reserves will grow.  So, basically, as long as you show up with a big bag of money there will be plenty of oil.  I think a graph that compares the rate of growth of URR and the rate of growth of price would be very helpful.  It seems to me that the closer one is to peak the rate of growth of price would continue to outpace the growth of URR.  

2. LIEs

Over the past few years, supply has been increasing (although slowly) and the price has been increasing greatly.  This seems to be another argument that it isn't all that supply based but mostly geopolitical fears, speculations, etc.  I think the thing that is missing is what I like to call the LIE factor.

LIE stands for liquid inflationary erosion.  LIE is similar to the difference between gross GDP and real GDP.  As all the smarties here I'm sure know, Gross GDP is simply the total GDP a country produced.  Real GDP is that GDP adjusted for inflation.  Basically, if a country had a gross GDP of 2% but had inflation of 3% then real GDP was actually -1% and the economy actually shrank--all that really happened is that the thing you already had become more expensive.  

I think the same thing is going on the world of oil right now and the IEA and the EIA statistics do not take this into account.  Instead of the EROEI concept I prefer the LBLG concept--Liquids Burnt for Liquids Gained.  The reason I don't like EROEI is that all energy isn't equal.  For instance, we all know deepwater's EROEI is less than conventional but how much of that energy is from buiding the steel on the rig which presumably comes from burning coal.  I think taking other energies besides liquids warps the calculations and should be excluded.  Now, of course, LBLG for deepwater has to be less than for conventional but it would be really cool if somebody could come up with some decent factors.  

How this works with LIE is as follows:
Suppose you have Country A that is producing 100,000 barrels of liquids and 60,000 is conventional oil and 40,000 is deepwater.  Assume the LBLG for conventional is 20 and deepwater is 10.  So, in reality, the amount you have for net consumption is:
60,000 - (60,000 * 0.05) = 57,000 net from conventional
40,000 - (40,000 * 0.1)  = 36,000 net from deepwater

So, after adjusting for LIE, the total available oil produced for consumer consumption is only 93,000 barrels.  So, this shows that total supply isn't the figure to watch but actually the net available for consumption after production.  

This is especially important in my opinion.  Our own optimist, Freddy Hutter, admits that conventional oil peaked in 2004 but that is no big deal since who cares if the oil came from deepwater, sands, heavy, NGL, ethanol or whatever.  First off, the huge gain in price since 2004 to me seems like a big deal.  Second, it does matter greatly because of LIE.  As more and more future production depends on sands, heavy, deepwater, artic, etc. the greater the Liquid Inflationary Erosion will erode the net production available for consumers.  Plus, as conventional continues to decline down the back side of its peak it will be like a millstone around the neck--the loss of the low LIE oil impacts the bottom line of available for consumer consumption so much more.  

3.  LIEs and Export Capacity

Now this is where it really gets a little unnerving to me.  IMHO, there are 4 categories of oil producers around the globe:

A. Importers with Contracting Capacity (ICC)
B. Importers with Expanding Capacity (IEC)
C. Exporters with Expanding Capacity (EEC) and
D. Exporters with Contracting Capacity (ECC)

Lets take a look at each:

Importer with Contracting Capacity: USA

I took these numbers from here:
http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/pet_crd_crpdn_adc_mbblpd_a.htm  I don't know if these are right, I'll leave that up to the experts here.  

On a brief view this EIA site has U.S. Production in 2005 at 5.12 million barrles a day in 2005.  They have offshore production at about 1.32 million barrels a day.  Assume projected demand growth at 1% (of course if price goes up this changes and I discuss this later)

So, I would see one line in a table look like this:
A. Importer that is Contracting
Conventional: 3.8 million  Offshore: 1.32
Decline Rate: 2%                     1%
Expected 2006 Gross: 3.724           1.31
LIE factor: 0.05                     0.06
Net for Consumption: 3.538           1.30
Total Net for Consumption 2006: 4.838
Total Net for Consumption 2005: 4.85
Demand Growth 2006 1%: 21 + (21 million  * 0.1) = 23.1 million
Total Increase Needed in Imports: 2.1 million + .12 drop in net 2.22 million more in imports

You get the idea.  The calculations for the others would go:
B. Importer Exapanding Production
Conventional: X    Deepwater: X   Sands: X  etc.
Increase: X%                  X%         X%
Gross Production 2006: X      X          X
LIE factor:            0.05   0.1        0.25
Net for Consumption 2006:   X      X     X
Net for Consumption 2005:   X      X     X
Decrease/Increase in Domestically available oil for consumer consumption: Difference btwn. Net '06 & Net '05
Current Consumption: X      
Demand growth/decline: X
Expected Consumption: X
Net Increase in imports/possibly exports?:

C.  Exporter Expanding Production
You get the picture.

D.  Exporter Contracting Production (Mexico)
I want to talk about this because these are the really scary ones.  Norway falls into this category, maybe Saudi, Kuwait, etc.  
These figures are taken from LA times article for (2006-2007) and the 2% demand growth was taken from the recent energybulletin article about demand growth in exporting countries:

Total Oil Production: 3.3 million
Conventional: 1.5 million
Decline Rate: 0
LIE: 5%
Offshore: (not deepwater) 1.8 million (Cantarell) Cantarell OPTIMISTIC projected decline rate: 0.25 million or 14%
LIE: 6%
Current Consumption: 1.5 million
Expect Demand Increase: 2.2%
Total Exports: 1.8 million

Next Year:
Conventional: 1.5 million
Net Conventional: 1.425 million
Offshore: 1.55 million
Net Offshore: 1.46 million
Net Production: 2.885 million
Domestic Consumption: 1.5 million + (1.5 * 0.02)
1.53 million Total Exports: 2.885-1.53 = 1.355

% Decline in Exports: ((1.8-1.355)/1.8) * 100 = 24.7% decrease in exports!  And this is under the most optimistic scenerio!  

Accordingly, I think a much better graph would be one with three layers.  First, one that tracks total gross liquid supply growth which Stuart already does.  Second, layer it with a graph that adjusts for LIE factors.  Third, a graph that tracks net export capacity.  

As you can see, in accordance with Westtexas' theory, total supply can actually increse, even net available for consumption increae, while net export capacity shrinks.  

And those of us who live in an importing country isn't that all we care about?  If export capacity drops then price goes up.  Please consider also that while importing countries demand will probably lessen as price goes up exporting will likely grow as wealth is transferred from importers to exporters.  That energy bulletin article summed it up pretty well.  Thus, the modulus of elasticity for demand for exporters is almost zero.  

We can use the LIE concept and export capacity in conjunction with Chris Skebrowski's megaprojects to determine the expected future net available for consumption and exporting capacity.  The real challenge is getting accurage LBLG figures for the different types of production such as deepwater, sands, heavy, artic, NGL, etc.

What do you guys think?  Does this make sense or am I off my rocker?  Anybody willing to help?

A few brief comments (I need to get back to work--as usual I am spending way too much time on TOD).

(1)  URR versus Oil Price

IMO, the impact of higher prices on URR of conventional reserves will be very subtle--basically lost in the noise.  Higher prices will of course provide a massive stimulus for unconventional production.  IMO, the whole question is the rate of decline of conventional production versus the rate of growth of unconventional.

(2)  Re:  LIE's

You might study Canada as an interesting case history.  The EIA predicted that Canadian oil production would increase by 700,000 bpd from 2003 to 2005.  Total liquids production actually fell slightly.  But it's worse than that, because they are replacing conventional oil, with a high return on energy invested, with tar sands production, with a low return on energy invested.

In regard to the net export question, it's amazing to me that the predicted problem with net export capacity was even controversial.   Based on the HL method, the top exporters are more depleted than the world is overall, and we are seeing a positive feedback as rising torrents of cash flow juice the economies of the exporting countries.  

Good work!

My January, 2006 post on net export capacity:

Thanks.  Standing on the shoulders of those who came before me.  
 "Standing on the shoulders of those who came before me."

Me too.  

Small nitpick:

Demand Growth 2006 1%: 21 + (21 million  * 0.1) = 23.1 million

I think you have slipped a decimal on that calculation. A 1% increase in demand would be:
21 + (21 * 0.01) = 21.21

not 23.1 million.

Otherwise I applaud your effort to think about this in new ways. Not saying I understand LIE yet, but keep trying.

Thanks for the nitpick.  Not 10% growth 1%--duh.

LIE just takes the concept of EROEI and changes it to see the liquid impact on production statistics to adjust to really see how much oil is actually out there for the end consumer.  It basically is a way to get a better understanding of net liquids production vs. gross liquids productions.  

For example, assume in producing for every ten barrels of oil that comes out of a well in deepwater one is burnt in a manner related to the production of that oil.  For example, if we have to fly a guy out to a deepwater platform by helicopter (as opposed to somebody in Texas driving five miles to a land based oil pump) then we had to burn much more oil to get that deepwater oil than we did to get the conventional oil.  

This oil will always be burnt because it is necessary to increase oil production.  So price has no impact on this demand.  

So, we when hear we have 500,000 barrels of day of new deepwater production coming on line we have to discount that number because more oil is needed to produce that oil.  I assume that 500,000 number is simply the amount of fluid that comes up from underwater and is poured into a tanker and some machine calculates the volumetric flow rate and transform that into a barrel number.  So 500,000 came out of the ground but since we have to burn a lot more oil to get it that number needs to be discounted since the net amount the end consumer will get is less since priority will go to oil production needs.

So, if right now we are at about 85 million barrels a day total and 80% is conventional and 20% unconventional we have to adjust those total production number to account for the oil burnt in obtaining that oil.  Assume a 5% LIE rate for conventional and 10% collective rate for unconventional and you see the net oil available for domestic consumption is 85 * .8 = 68 million - (68 * 0.05 LIE)= 64.6 net and 85 * .2 = 17 million - (17 * 0.1 LIE) = 15.3 net
So total net is 79.9 million available for consumers or the adjusted or "real" liquid production.  

Then suppose in 2010 we have 90 million as Chris Skebrowski predicts but now the mix is 70% conventional (since we are past the conventional peak) and 30% nonconventional.  The same calculations give us: 90 *.7 = 63 - (63 * 0.05 LIE)= 59.85 net and 90 * 0.3 = 27 - (27 * 0.1 LIE)= 24.3 net.  Then you are left with 59.85 net + 24.3 net or 84.15 net.  So, even though you increased gross production by 5 million barrels from 2006 to 2010 by 5 million barrels your net increase in production was only 4.25 million barrels.  

Note that export capacity will shrink even faster as the shift from low LIE oil to high LIE oil occurs in the face of increasing export country demand.  Take this example of a country whose conventional oil is declining but deepwater is increasing enough to have a total production increase:

Exporting Country A:

Gross Oil production: 80,000 conventional 20,000 deepwater
Net (assuming 5% and 10% LIE: 76,000 conventional 18,000 deepwater--total 94,000 net
Domestic Demand: 90,000
Oil Available for Export: 4,000 barrels

2007: Gross Oil Production: 75,000 conventional 30,000 deepwater
Net: 71,250 conventional 27,000 deepwater= Total 98,250
Domestic Demand Increase 5%: 4500 + 90,000= 94,500
Oil Available for Export: 98,250--94,500= 3,750

So, from one year to the next you have:
5% Gross Oil Production Growth
50% Deepwater Production Growth
ONLY 6.25% Conventional Oil Production Decline
BUT still a 6.25% export capacity decline.  And that's with increasing gross 5% and deepwater 50%!

It would be great to get some graphs that track this phenomenon.  Basically, like I showed if Mexican demand numbers are correct Mexican Export Capacity should shrink 50% (about 900,000 barrels) in the next two years if the OPTIMISTS are right about the decline rates at Cantarell.  

You need to take into account the lower yields of gasoline from heavy crudes up to 25% lower by some counts. Certainly at the minimum 10-15% this will be a huge factor as light sweet production drops of the next few years. And my opinion the real peak also losses and costs from sour processing. I think the focus on overall production with out recognizing that the rather large move to sour heavy crudes has resulted in a several % decrease in oil available for gasoline production is a mistake we need to know the production profiles for light sweet that is the most important short term number.
Patently oil -

Very impressive first post!

Your LIE concept is an interesting way to frame the well-recognized problem of having to spend more and more money and more and more energy to extract new oil. I believe others here have discussed the problem of trying to determine how much of the gross oil taken out of the ground actually makes it to the consumer and how much of it is expended in getting the oil in the first place.  There have been various estimates for various situations, but it is still a rather fuzzy number.  I fully agree that it is extremely import to know how much good we are actually doing by going after those more difficult marginal barrels of oil.

As I'm sure you know, there has been endless discussion at TOD on EROEI, mostly as it applies to ethanol from corn and other biofuels.  EROEI is a useful concept, but one has to be careful how it is used. In my view it should be confined to analyses of primary energy sources, not downstream secondary energy uses. For examplein my opinion one can legitimately talk about the EROEI of extracting and delivering crude oil to a refinery, but once the oil is at the refinery, then  one should stop using the term EROEI and speak in terms of process conversion effeciencies.

Actually, I don't particularly care for the term, EROEI, as I feel it  is too suggestive of financial investing. One isn't really 'investing' energy in the same sense that one invests a dollar. After the dollar is invested, someone someplace still has it and it can be recycled through the economy again.  However, after the energy is 'invested' it disappears forever (at least in a thermodynamically useful form).  I personally prefer a term like 'net energy gain' or 'net energy produced'.  This may seem like semantical nit picking but I have seen more people get into trouble by using EROEI where it should not be used.

Your LBLG concept is useful if what all you are trying to do is to maximize liquids production.  However, it does lead to some distortions. For example, an alternative fuels process that had a truly horrible EROEI but which ran solely on coal and/or natural gas would have almost a zero LBLG ratio. However, it would represent a big net energy drain. On the other hand a very efficient process that had a very good EROEI but used more liquid fuel input would have a worse LBLG.  Which is better for the overall national energy situation? Depends on if all you care about is making liquid fuels. Many at TOD feel it is a big mistake in the long run to put so much emphasis on liquid fuels.

And no, you are hardly off you rocker!  I wish more posts here were as clearly thought out as yours.  


I'm right on page for you in the practical aspect.  How much energy you burn is really important.  I was just hoping to try to create graphs to show other newbies like me what is really going on.

On Stuart's last IEA post with his curve it showed all liquids going up.  This is the type of stuff the optimists like Freddy Hutter like to shove in people's face and the media as "Look, we got nothin' to worry about"

I would like a graph that we could take the MSM or the government and show how those supply figures are skewed.  I think most people understand gross GDP vs. real GDP and we need a graph that shows gross oil production vs. net oil production.  It's my hunch that we have already peaked on net oil production or, at least, the far off projected peak dates like 2019, 2015 or even 2010 might be true with gross oil production but net oil will be much sooner.

Furthermore, net export capacity I think has to be past peak.  It's the best explanation for the sustained price increase even though oil production has increased.  Plus, it would be very useful in predicting year-on-year potential price increases which can be very helpful for investors on TOD to gain funds to help them prepare for the paradigm shift.  

But in the long run, like you said, net energy is the most important thing.

Export article from a few weeks ago:


Kuwaiti experts predict steady rise in oil prices


The total value of the crude oil exports in the oil producing Arab states and members of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (Oapec) reached $327.4 billion in 2005, which is a $99 billion increase compared to 2004.

Regarding the oil and energy consumption in the Arab states, Oapec said that the consumption increased by 5.6 per cent reaching 8.1 million bpd in 2005 compared to 7.6 million bpd in 2004.

According to the report, the energy consumption in the Arab states is
influenced by several factors, namely the tangible increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which rose by 15.8 per cent reaching $870 billion in 2004 and played an important role in the energy consumption in 2005.

It added that this major leap in the GDP is mainly due to the increase in the oil national production, which also resulted in the increase of the oil revenues that have a major impact on the economic development especially in the oil producing Arab states.

The demographic factor also has an influence on energy production in the Arab states, where the population increased by 2.1 per cent in 2005 to reach about 312 million people, out of which 200 million (64.1 per cent) live in the Oapec member states.

Wow, scary--higher than I imagined  
Makes me think of the Johnny Cash song:

Oil is a burning thing
and it makes a firery ring
bound by wild consumptive desire
We all fall into a ring of fire

We fall into a burning ring of fire
export capacity goes down, down, down
even though production goes higher
and it burns, burns, burns
the ring of fire
the ring of fire

"Many at TOD feel it is a big mistake in the long run to put so much emphasis on liquid fuels."

   I certainly do.  With peak gas not too far off and the GW problems with coal plus rising EROEI on both, calculations based on EROEI seem best.

Hello Patently Oil,

Well done! I appreciate the work you put into this article, especially the part on future Mexican export depletion:

% Decline in Exports: ((1.8-1.355)/1.8) X 100 = 24.7% decrease in exports!  And this is under the most optimistic scenerio!

I feel that many TODers are not sufficiently alarmed at what could happen down South very soon, with tremendous blowback implications in the US, which is why I continue to post on it [see my earlier post in today's thread].  The lack of discussion by the MSM is, of course, magnitudes less than even here on TOD.

If Kuwait, a very wealthy/capita exporter, decides to limit their exports to extend their supplies--Mexico, a very poor/capita exporter may decide to do the same as Cantarell collapses, or shutoff exports to the US entirely if they can build more in-country downstream processing infrastructure.

Mexican leftist urges blockades in capital at huge rally. I have no idea if a civil war would send a flood of refugees north, like the Lebanese trying to escape the Israeli bombings by immigrating into Jordan and Syria, OR if a civil war would actually make millions of Mexican-US working men head South to try and protect their poor families.

It appears to be a footrace between SUPERNAFTA and Mexican oil depletion to determine the political outcome.  Will the American & Mexican elite be able to ramrod further shared carrying-capacity, globalization, and profitable wealth consolidation at this late date in the Hubbert Curve, or will the peasants in both countries prefer the opposite and work for mitigation? MPP suggests the elites will continue to make the future worse for all concerned.

As TODer Cherenkov earlier stated, we got an awful lot of work to do if everyone wants to postPeak live within a mile of their work and food sources [my paraphrasing].  Yikes!

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

Maybe even annexation of Mexico?
Hello GeeWiz,

I don't know what will happen, but Ohio Ninth District Congresswoman MARCY KAPTUR is sounding the alarm with this recent speech in Congress:

Today, I want to talk a little bit about super NAFTA and what the Bush administration is planning to lock NAFTA in even tighter in this country and across the continent.

There is something called the Agreement on Security and Prosperity that is being negotiated by the Bush administration very quietly. No hearings are being held in this Congress. Most Americans have never even heard the term, but it really is the successor to NAFTA.

In addition to what it anticipates in terms of a new transportation corridor that will come up through Mexico and the American highway into the United States, it also includes the incentives to major corporations, such as Ford Corporation of our country that is laying off people in our country, now an additional 30,000 jobs to be lost here in the United States, and Ford is planning to employ over 150,000 more workers in Mexico, announcing it will be investing over $9.2 billion in Mexico.

It is hard to explain to the American people how big that investment really is, but truly it will employ 15 percent or 1 of 7 of all unemployed people in Mexico, so many of them having been uprooted from their farmsteads, because NAFTA included no transition provisions to allow people to have a life and to survive inside of Mexico's rural areas, and over 2 million families have been uprooted from Mexico's farm communities and are doing what, they are moving north to eat.

At the heart of our illegal immigration problem is NAFTA's disruption of the Mexican countryside.

But in any case, this Security and Prosperity Agreement, as it is being called, has no democratic underpinning to it. It is being negotiated by the very same elites that negotiated NAFTA.

The people of the United States had better wake up. We'd better ask ourselves why are Americans having to work so hard for less? Why is it more expensive for them to send their children to college, and then those kids graduate with huge debts? Why isn't your pension plan secure? Why are you having to pay so much more for health care? Why is not your retirement benefit there forever?

Because these kinds of interests don't want you to have it because they are so filthy rich off the investments they are making globally. They don't care about you, they don't care about this country, they don't care about where you come from, and, my friends, they don't care about democracy.

Yikes!  I hope everyone is ready to become a migrant fieldhand postPeak, but that is still better than dying in battle on some foreign land for oil.

Simple solution to the 'Nuke their Ass--I want Gas' mindset is to make the topdogs be the first to charge into battle:  "Ah, Mr. President!  I just want you to know that I will be behind you every step of the way."

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

annex mexico has a website

Just found this while surfing. I have heard a congressman mention, a few months back, that annexation will be brought up for discussion within 5 years in the house and senate.

I am not so sure it's a good idea. But have never really considered the ramifications. It would certainly cost a gazillion dollars plus some to revitalize the infrastructure.

Just to follow up:

Demand figures also have to be adjusted correctly.  An oil exporter or importer that is increasing capacity has a demand figure that presumably includes the increase in oil needed to increase that production capacity.  So, the demand listed for an EEC would be true demand.

However, demand figures for a contracting exporter or importer I would deem organic demand growth.  In that case, since oil production is actually decreasing the amount of barrels being burnt to produce oil is less.  So, for those countries, all of the demand is coming solely from domestic consumption and therefore is organic demand growth and all that much more devastating to export capacity.

Just my thoughts. Basically I really can't see how price can go down all that much.  Seems like it really is out of producers hands---consumer demand is in control.

Heatwave shuts down nuclear reactors:
The weather, blamed for deaths and disruption across much of the continent, has caused dramatic rises in the temperature of rivers used to cool the reactors, raising fears of mass deaths for fish and other wildlife.

What really is the weakest link....?

thelastsasquatch -

It sounds like the impetus for the shutdown of these reactor cooling water systems was very likely discharge permit limitations on maximum discharge temperature and/or maximum temperature rise over intake temperature.

While these huge hyperbolic natural-draft cooling towers do a good job, they too are at the mercy of temperature and (sometimes more important) humidity.

Large nukes located on relatively small inland waterways are probably most vulnerable to this sort of thing. I predict that we are going to see these max temperature limitations waived more and more as the situation becomes more desperate.  Of course, the incidence of fish kills will increase accordingly.  But most of these are 'junk fish' anyway, so few people will really care. "F@ck the fish; I wanna stay cool!"

 I fear this is a perfect example of the tradeoffs between energy and environmental protection that we are going to be seeing more and more of.

Well, how ironic. Part of the solution to global warming is being done in by global warming. Kind of unfair, doncha think?  Of course, Bush's solution to global warming was air conditioning.  I don't have the reference but this gem actually came out of the administration a few years ago when they were in their most deep denial phase. Reminds me of the the solution to the vanishing ozone layer. Sunglasses and sunscreen on animals.

Part of the solution is sacrifice here and there.  But sacrifice is so much more fun when almost everyone else joins in. Kind of like the second world war.  It sucked, but at least just about everyone was part of the war effort. Now, we just pay people to die and fuggedaboutit.

I have done a lot to cut my energy consumption but I'm sure I could do even better if I thought this was going to be a group effort. Guess not.

Party on.

The solution is technical efficienty, and "sacrifices" like not opening the windows with the air conditioner on. Use CF bulbs, high efficiency appliances, and insulate your home. You don't have to live in a cave.
The turbines are. Using the el-cheapo turbines that require really cold water results in running them at lower capacity when the water isn't cold enough. Doesn't seem like rocket science. If they used higher quality turbines, they wouldn't have this issue.

This has nothing to do with nuclear power, a coal power plant would have exactly the same problem, as would a solar-thermal plant, or geothermal, or any sort of thermal plant at all.

The solution.

  1. Better cooling systems, don't assume the water will be super cold.
  2. Put the plant by the ocean, you probably shouldn't be using river water for this anyway, especially in  place like france or England that has so much coastline.
In reference to using sea
water for nuclear plant
cooling: this may be
challenged by sea level rise

please see


A story for ya to lighten things up a bit, from local Boston TV: Gas stations have fire suppression systems that will dump fire retardent over the pumps.  Activated by a switch inside or an automatic temp sensor.  Yesterday, somewhere in Mass, one of these gizmos decided that there was a fire and dumped the load all over people pumping gas, and their cars, and everything.  The aftermath looked like a blizzard had hit, white powder all over.  It was windy, and rte 128 nearby had to be closed.  People interviewed looked like they had flour dumped on them, and the insides of their cars were coated, too.  They said that at the pumps it was a complete whiteout, they didn't know what the hell was going on!
And, to top it off, it happened again, just a few hours later, at the same gas station!  If there are pics on the web it's worth a look.
Hahahah yeah what is that stuff? It's a white powder, puts out gas fires, and makes the air taste tangy.
I did some searching, but I am not able to find the author's/researcher's email contact info (is it subscriber only?).


Can anyone find it?  I'd like to get in touch with Paul and Brenda to thank them, but also to get them to talk to us re: the media and peak oil.

send all findings to the eds box or post here.  thanks...

Apparently, Paul is out of the country right now.
Follow up articles to be suggested:

Is Ethanol a solution?

The promise of Solar?

Building light rail?

And so on.

How about "Restructuring Agriculture in the USA"
The Attack On Qana -- Israeli Attack Kills Dozens as Rice Postpones Lebanon Trip.
According to hospital and morgue officials in Qana, there were 28 confirmed dead, 20 of them children. Some officials put the death toll higher, with the Lebanese prime minister, Fouad Siniora, saying there were more than 50 people killed and news agencies saying the toll was at least 57.

Residents said as many as 60 people were inside the building, most of them unaccounted for.

Is this related to energy? Yes. It affects political stability in the entire Middle East, galvanizes jihadist ideologies and increases the possibility of terrorist acts. The various terrorist parties are well aware that oil is the lifeblood of western economies.

It is likely already too late in the game to do anything about these problems. Early on, Israel had my sympathy but as the days went on, the viciousness of the attack mounted and the civilian death count rose and rose. Today's attack was the worst so far.

Mr. Olmert said today that Israel regretted the death of civilians in Qana, where he said Hezbollah had fired rockets at Kiryat Shmona and Afula.

Israel said residents in Qana and the region had been warned several days in advance to leave the village.

As for the residents, my question is "Go where?" Is this like blaming the people who couldn't leave New Orleans?

Regarding rockets coming from Qana, if Hezbollah came Pittsburgh and fired a rocket from my front lawn, would Israel destroy me and my house? The attacks should stop now before any more damage is done and anymore civilians are killed.

The civil authorities on all sides are outlaws.

The killers in high places pray very loud lies.

Weapons dealers make money hand over fist supplying governments and various other folks with the tools of the killing trade.

Petroleum companies will work furiously to find ways to maximise profits no matter how the battles go.

Who benefits?  Who is harmed?  Who wins?  Who loses?

Qana redux: Ten years ago Israel killed 106 civilians and UN workers at Qana as part of "Operation Grapes of Wrath" - a 16-day bombardment of southern Lebanon with 600 air raids employing fixed wing and Apached attack helicopters and the unleashing of 25,000 artillery rounds that flattened 17 villages. The Qana UN compound was established in 1978 and had been identified on every Israeli military map, and Israel's artillery was also controlled by pioletless drones delivering TV images to the 155mm gunners. After bracketing Qana with conventional high explosive rounds the Israelis switched to M-732 anti-personnel rounds, shredding the camp's inhabitants. The stream through the camp litterally ran red with blood. Our "strategic ally" - according to what treaty and against whom?
chainsaw4wood -

Your American tax dollars at work!

Arabs have killed or enslaved or systematically raped some millions of Dinka tribespeople in Darfur. They are commiting genocide.

Have you noticed?

Or do you have certain difficulties in maintaining a sense of proportion??????

And your point is? Are you saying that because one group of "Arabs" is engaged in a nefarious enterprise, its ok to bomb another group of "Arabs"?

What exactly do the civilians who are dying in Lebanon have to do with the autocratic rulers in the Sudan?

I'm not going to call you a racist, but you seem to be generalizing the term "Arabs" way too much, as well as jusifying a horrific crime against one group of people based on the actions of another group that the former group has nothing to do with. This plays in to the propaganda that "all Arabs are terrorists" -- something only believed by the ignorant and the uninformed.

I accuse:

Who do I accuse?

Those who fail to condemn genocide, no matter by whom, no matter against whom.

Those who wail about a few hundred Arab casualties and ignore the plight of two million Dinka--well, IMO, their Swastika armbands are showing.

What do you think in regard to the fallacy of the lack of proportion?

The status quo in Darfur/Sudan goes on and on because TPTB are quite pleased with the status quo. In this case that would include USA, under any administration, and of course EU. Arabs are better at being evil villains and objects of racial hatred but really no one cares and Sailorman's sally is just the usual canard.
This is especially horrible logic and, unfortunately, it is used far too often by racists and fascists to justify genocide.

It is wrong no matter who does it.

I cannot stand the creeps who use this sort of brain-damaged logic to justify a war crime.

Thank you.

I agree that genocide is morally wrong.

Now, what SPECIFICALLY do you have to say about the Arab horsemen who slaughter, rape and enslave some millions of Dinka in Darfur?

Thank you for your thoughtful response.

Don Sailorman -

My 'thoughtful response' is that American Jews, such as yourself, are  total hypocrites.

By trying to deflect the outrage of what the Israelis are doing in Lebanon to Darfur is both sneaky and despicable. Let's keep to the subject at hand, oh great philosphy teacher and keeper of the canons of truth and logic!  

You appear to be  a most charming yet extremely devious person. I do not  trust you.

The Holocaust model won't work anymore .... you and others have already exhausted that one.  You can only get so much mileage out of it.

What we are talking about here is the willful and wholesale slaughter of women and children by the  Israeli military, with the blessing of the Bush regime. It really makes me proud to be an American, it does.

There is no way around that simple fact! You cannot deny it.

The Romans used to puzzle about why the early Christians were so willing to die. Well, I think the West is now also puzzling abou why all these Muslims are willing to die. They have a faith. We do not.

It is a battle of wills.

But please, do not try to take the moral high ground, because you no longer have any high ground to take.

This will very likely all turn out very badly; but let us hope that people of good will (whom I do believe you are one) will come to their senses and put an end to this madness. Let's just stop!

No one's hands are clean. We are all badly stained.

God (if there is one) help us all!

Yep. Oh, those ay-rabs are killing ppl down in Africa (which I'd like to see massive demonstrations against in the US and something done about) so it's OK to wipe out these ay-rabs over here........
Not to mention the fact that what actually happens in Darfur is completely different.
You are correct.

What Arabs do to Dinka in Darfur is 100 to 1,000 times worse than the atrocities committed by Israelis against Arabs.

Why be so confident in exposing your ignorance, time and again?
Because I have the facts on my side.

On your side you have warped perceptions and the fallacy of the lack of proportion and the fallacy of the double standard.

The reasons that people are so much more pissed with the Israeli atrocities than with other ones:
  • Israel claims to be a civilized, democratic nation
  • Israel claims to be a victim of Arab antisemitism and in danger of being destroyed
  • Israel ignores criticism, claiming it to be Western antisemitism

This is all in contradiction with reality, where Israel attacks civilians and discriminates Arabs and non-jews, destroying and actively expanding in the territory of its neighbours.
Maps don't do much good when your 2nd Lieutenants are relaying GPS coordinates. (Hezbullah sends a rocket. Unit #1 notices, triangulates, calls in a strike on a GPS location. The command chain fails to match GPS location with map location. Unit #2 conducts artillery barrage, neither unit checking with a map.)

That's what happens when your gunners talk numbers at each other. Happened a lot in Operation Anaconda too. And now in Qana.

It's been almost 30 years since I was inside a Fire Direction Center, They used to be M577 armored vehicles in the US Army back then and I don't know what they use today. But when we triangulated a position, the FDC also verified it via map and read back to the FOs who would confirm via their maps. As an 82C (field artillery surveyor) way back then, I did both some FDC work and FO work, depending on the needs of the unit. It would genuinely be interesting to see how much it has changed since the days when we used log books, pencils, and did all such calculations by hand (though rapidly because we used pre-printed forms that took us through all the steps). We also always did at least 2 independent calculations of the data and then confirmed them against each other.

If some recent FA jockey with FDC experience cares to comment on current practices in an FDC center, I'd love to hear about it, either here or elsewhere.

(Disclaimer: lifelong civilian, paraphrasing a glance I had at Not a Good Day to Die)

When you did the two independent calculations, did you then check against a map to see if it was near civilian locations? (And if you did that in combat and it was near a civilian location, then what? DId the decision go higher up the chain?)

Such things were always plotted against the map and if a civilian location had been involved it would have been the local commander's call, based on the threat of the enemy unit. Civilian locations were bombed and shelled repeatedly in Vietnam when enemy forces hid there. Civilian locations were hit during the First Gulf War when Saddam tried to use them as shields. Civilian locations were hit in WWII for the same reasons.

Someone else already posted Geneva Convention, Protocol I, Article 51.7, but I will do so again:

The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede military operations. The Parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations.

In other words, the presence of civilians does not make it a "war crime" if you hit that location, as so many ignorant persons here erroneously seem to think. In fact, if you read the convention fully, the military force hiding behind the civilians is the one guilty of war crimes if civilians are killed or injured during such a process - i.e. Hezbollah. The fact that so many politicians make public noises otherwise is either pure demagoguery or gross ignorance.

Robert Fisk had a good article on the same subject in the London Independent.  

In it, he reminds readers that for many years IRA used towns in the Republic of Ireland for staging attacks on British troops in Northern Ireland (including killing and kidnapping them).  Of course, U.K. never considered the illegal act of launching air strikes on Republic of Ireland to "root out" IRA, or have NATO forces deploy to a buffer zone between Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.  

So why is Israel put to a different standard?  

Fire Temple -

Because they largely control the US Congress and the US mainstream media, silly!

Joule you mean, mean, person. You forgot to mention they also control US banking.
Israel (up until now) has always been a special case:

  • Guilt over the Holocaust.
  • Israel is a ''democracy''.
  • US Jews turn out to vote

But the BIG reason was the cold war. The Soviet Union supported Syria and Egypt. The US supported Israel.
All in the region were involved in hot wars by proxy.

Right now, the case for Israel is as a launching point in the ME, a handy little airstrip (airstrip 2 , the UK is airstrip 1).

Now when comparing the UK-IRA situation, we did not do what Israel is currently doing because both sides were in fact pretty well controlled, and both sides understood the level of threat. Also, the IRA were, by current standards, pretty well in control of themselves. Notwithstanding the number of killings  on both sides, the punishment beatings and sectarian murders, the UK-IRA situation never got to the point where either side embarked on a war of extermination. Compared with the situation in the Lebanon, the UK-IRA situation looks quite gentlemanly. I remember a cartoon in ''Private Eye'' which had a photo of Jerry Adams, the SF leader:

''Do you remember the good old days when you were only afraid of ME?''...

In short, the two situations should not ever be compared.

No one in UKGov, Eire, or the IRA suggested driving a race into the sea.

But,IMO: what Israel is doing in the Lebanon is unforgivable. My opinion doesnt matter much here. The opinion of a Lebanese boy who has lost his mother and sister and then opts for training with Hezbullah and picks up an AK47 counts for a lot, lot more.

Lets face it. You would do it.


"Illegal." There goes Fisk using that word again. I do not think it means what he thinks it means.

Just because Fisk calls it "illegal" doesn't mean it would have been illegal for Britain to do exactly what you mention: invade Eire and occupy the place in response to IRA attacks.

Imprudent, yes.
Inexpedient, yes.
Ineffective, yes.

But not illegal.

A hell of a lot more than you and your house would be destroyed, and your guv would sanction it.
There is a poll associated with the article, and the results are interesting.

Do you think we are nearing the end of the age of oil?

Yes (181 responses)

No (27 responses)

208 total responses
(Poll results not scientific)

Do you think the government is doing enough to find viable alternatives?

Yes (9 responses)

No (198 responses)

207 total responses
(Poll results not scientific)

Do you think more drilling in the U.S. (in places such as ANWR) is the answer?

Yes (25 responses)

No (182 responses)

207 total responses
(Poll results not scientific)

Do you think the car-dependent lifestyle of America's suburbs is sustainable?

Yes (24 responses)

No (182 responses)

206 total responses
(Poll results not scientific)

What would the price of gas have to be before it impacts your driving habits?

$4 (88 responses)

$5 (41 responses)

$6 (24 responses)

$7 (4 responses)

$8 or more (45 responses)

202 total responses
(Poll results not scientific)

This is, of course, a self selected group of people who are probably primarily interested in the issue in the first place.  The guys driving the Hummers are probably out driving their Hummers.  How many of the readers came from sites like this?  It's an online poll, which probably makes it even more suspect.  The results would be interesting and wonderful if they had  any significance or relevance to the general population.
I read the Chicago Trib article last night, it's EXCELLENT.
great Chicago Tribune article. Thanks for the link ^^;
111 degrees F in Pierre, South Dakota right now, and a bunch of ppl without power in Wisconsin and Michigan right now, just heard this stuff on the radio.


Now, a rundown of the housing collapse - buncha condo projects stopped in mid-build.

Now a rundown of people eating according to "unit bias" which is the visual concept of a serving. To background music of the theme from the movie "Supersize Me". Why is this in the MSM? It's been known about for years and never bothered the MSM before, especially since the fast food places are often advertisers on the radio. Maybe there will be a trend now for "health-sized" servings, at the same price as the old supersized ones of course...... after all what they're not talking about is crop production way down.

Chapel Hill, NC "pedicabs" service started...

Very cool.

I can't tell for sure, but the pedicab looks like one made by Main Street Pedicabs based in Denver, Colorado.

I prefer the Organicengines SUV, but am glad that there are a variety of vehicles out there for a variety of people and applications.  In this case, more variety is better.

Sooner or later, we will come crawling back to the realisation that better technology is not necesarily the most energy-intensive and materials intensive to create and use and also the most destructive to try to dispose of.

Walking and biking and localisation of food growing -- these are in the future.  How we get there is another matter.

Main Street Pedicabs does have a nice website, as does organic engines.



I encourage folks to check them out!