DrumBeat: August 18, 2006

[Update by Leanan on 08/18/06 at 9:12 AM EDT]

Shanghai Petroleum Exchange Reopened

The Shanghai Petroleum Exchange resumed business on Friday after a 12-year hiatus, a step toward the eventual lifting of domestic controls on gas and oil prices.

Ethanol is changing the way farmers farm

Farmers weaned on the virtues of crop rotation -- planting corn one year and soybeans the next to stem the build-up of disease and insect damage in their fields -- are considering planting programs that include two or more years of continuous corn.

Ukraine fears energy crisis as gas prices bite

Higher taxes on flights and cars in Tory plan

Big rises in car taxes and petrol duty are being considered by the Tories in a review of transport policy that threatens the party's reputation as the "motorist's friend". The Conservatives are also considering an increased levy on short-haul flights to curb stag weekend travel to Europe, as they move to establish the "polluter pays" principle over the environmental cost of transport.

Nicaragua Muses on Energy Crisis. The energy crisis is causing water shortages and street protests.

Necessity mother of invention in gas-fuelled Armenia

Stop one of the creaking, Russian-made taxis plying their trade in Armenia's capital, Yerevan, and odds are it will have a gas canister strapped into the trunk. Battered buses have rows of red canisters fastened onto their roof-racks.

Prices prompt oil, gas investment scams

Clock company helps workers save time, money: Atlanta employer offers flex time, van pool to ease pain at the pump.

Oil prices 'may retreat to $58 in 2008'

Bye Bye Petroleum

With demand for oil soaring yet supply stable at best, the idea that oil stocks have 'peaked' is increasingly influential. So what are the latest theories around peak oil?
After one month, deafening silence concerning Kuwait's oil reserves.

In a statement published on the Kuwait Oil Ministry's Web site, Sheikh Ali said he had "undertaken to clarify the truth and volume of Kuwaiti oil reserves" for lawmakers and ministers over the next few days. Kuwait publicly boasts 100 billion barrels of oil reserves but a report some months ago by Petroleum Intelligence Weekly said internal Kuwaiti records suggested the volume was only 48 billion barrels.

In a news release on July 18th, Kuwait's Oil Minister promised to clarify Kuwait's oil reserves within days. Well, days have turned into weeks, and now it has been one full month since that statement was released. What has caused this delay? I really do not know but I suspect it is because the news is not good and the release of that data might have serious consequences.

After all, if Kuwait really had 100 billion barrels of reserves, there would be no delay, only jubilation in the announcement. In several earlier releases, the newly elected opposition party, announced that, in order to preserve the oil for future generations, oil production should be limited to 1% of reserves.  Well, current yearly production from Kuwait is, today, just under 1% of 100 billion barrels at .922 billion barrels per year. But if it were determined that Kuwait has only 50 billion barrels, then to stay at 1% per year of reserves, production would have to be cut by about 1.16 million barrels per day, almost in half. That would be devastating, if not to Kuwait's economy, it would be to the political future of the opposition party. It would mean that all the free dole and other goodies, handed out to the public, would be cut at least in half. Say goodbye to any politician that tried that trick.

But the controversy still rages. The latest news, just out today, can be found here:

I'm not so sure it would be devistating.  If Kuwait cut their oil reserves in half and then their production, I think you could see the price of oil double or at least come close.  Then they'd be right back to where they were before.
But perhaps they believe like everybody else that SA and others can pick up the slack, thus keeping prices down.
If Kuwait had 100 Gb left, their remaining reserves would be roughly equal to what the Saudis have produced so far, but look at the difference in the current production rates between the two countries, 9.2 mbpd for SA and 2.5 mbpd for Kuwait (last EIA crude + condensate numbers).

Also, the lower number for Kuwait is supported by Stuart's HL analysis.

Darwinian says Kuwait produces just under 1mbpd, you say 2.5m.  Which is it?  Makes all the difference to Darwinian's point.
OOOPS..never mind.   My bad.  Mistook Darwinian's barrels/year for bpd. Sorry.
Even members of Kuwait's parliament complain that they do not know the true level of the country's reserves.  Yet still no word from the energy minister.

AME Info - Energy Oil and Gas
August 13, 2006

Kuwait's reserves queried again

Kuwait's parliament has again called for the government to reveal how much oil the country has in its reserves, reported the Kuwait Times. Speculation has continued for months that the country has 48bn barrels of oil in reserve, about half of the official figure of 99bn. Kuwait's new Energy Minister, Sheikh Ali Al Jarrah Al Sabah, who was appointed in July, has said that he will clarify the situation shortly.

My Wife and I saw "The Ditty Bops" last night at the Ark in Ann Arbor.  They (and their opening group, the Ginn Sisters) were really wonderful.  Why is that even vaguely relevant?

Well, Amanda and Abby have biked across the US on their latest tour:  http://www.thedittybops.com/shows.htm

They've cycled over 3000 miles so far!

Makes me feel quite guilty about not cycling to the grocery store, a mere 1/1500th of their journey ;-)

(oh, and I also highly recommend both the Ginn Sisters americana, and the Ditties' eclectic melodies)

Can anyone comment on this?

Oil and water can for the first time be mixed and separated on demand thanks to a new, reversible surfactant.

The liquid molecule could prove invaluable in mitigating the environmental damage caused by oil spills, such as the one currently spreading along the coasts of Lebanon and Syria.

Such a chemical could also simplify commercial oil extraction from currently inaccessible deposits, its designers say.


A modern "philosopher's stone" to turn base metals into gold!

"Living better through chemistry"

Well, we can all hope so.  It's a better bet than ethanol

Questions I would ask include:

To what extent are surfactants already used to help with oil extraction?

Is its use expensive?

Is it difficult to recover the oil from the water emulsion with current surfactants?

For what it's worth, the Dutch for a few years now have had oil paints with no solvents other than water and a little propylene glycol. Factory makes trad oil paint, removes and reuses solvent, adds water. I'm told surfactants are part of what makes it work. Works great. Pricey.
Water-based oil paints are as close as your local art store. I've not tried them, but they've been on the market for years. And they're pricey because all oil paints are pricey. My suggestion - paint like Whistler, lots of thin washes.
Foreclosures soar in North Texas

More losing houses because of poor planning, rising expenses

12:11 AM CDT on Friday, August 18, 2006

By STEVE BROWN / The Dallas Morning News

"There are a lot of people out there who live on the edge," Mr. Roddy said. "If our economy had stayed about the same as when they bought the property, things would probably be going OK for them.

"But add the tremendous increases in the cost of living, driving, cooling and credit cards, and it all turns bad," he said. "And of course, there have been bumps in interest rates which have dramatically impacted payments on adjustable-rate loans."

But most of the foreclosure distress comes from a familiar problem - not enough money at the end of the month.

"Wages are stagnant," said Gail Cunningham, with Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Dallas. "And energy costs and other expenses are going through the roof.

"One hiccup can put someone over the edge," Ms. Cunningham said. "We are seeing people with electric bills that are higher than their mortgage."

"One hiccup can put someone over the edge," Ms. Cunningham said. "We are seeing people with electric bills that are higher than their mortgage."

That virus that makes people fat must make them stupid as well.

Hey it ain't Newport Beach, their mortgage may be only a few hundred a month if they've been there a while.
I guess I had this mental image of someone on the financial edge, blindly running the whole-house air conditioning up to hundreds of dollars a month, and then wondering what happened to all the money.  The article hit the words "poor planning" a few times, which reinforced that.

My small condo's electricity runs about $18/mo, with the computer on too much.  That might be the other source of my boggle.

My e-mail to the Dallas Morning News regarding this story:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Following is a copy of a e-mail to the group of people that helped organize the Simmons/Kunstler Symposium last year on "The unfolding energy crisis and its impact on development patterns."  We brought two nationally known figures on energy and New Urbanism to Dallas.   Among those attending were Boone Pickens and Herbert Hunt.  

In case you have forgotten, the sole DFW media coverage of the Simmons/Kunstler event was by the SMU student newspaper.  I would suggest that you keep that little factoid in mind when you are writing your energy related editorials.  If you are looking for people to blame, I suggest that you start by looking in the mirror.

Copy of e-mail (regarding foreclosures):

 Well, we at least tried to warn them last year, via the Simmons/Kunstler event.   BTW, consulting engineer Alan Drake has some fascinating case histories.  One of them is Switzerland, in the Second World War, when they responded to an almost total disruption of their oil supplies by electrifying their transportation system.  

One of Alan's articles:  http://www.energybulletin.net/14492.html

Swiss citizens, in the Second World War, used about 0.15% of per capita US oil consumption today.  Switzerland is now embarked on a plan to virtually eliminate truck transportation, via continued electrification of transportation.   FYI--a trolley car on rails, even one powered by diesel, is five to eight times more efficient than a bus on wheels.  Electrification provides about another two to three fold increase in efficiency.  

The irony is that we had marvelous electric trolley car systems almost everywhere, including Dallas, up until the post-war period.  Insofar as transportation is concerned, the future is the past.  IMO, soon the only real development game in town will be Transit Oriented Development.  

How about a conference featuring Kunstler and Alan Drake?  Something like New Urbanism and Electrification of Transportation as a Response to the Energy Crisis.  

BTW, I finally obtained a CD of the Simmons/Kunstler interview on KERA.  I'm having it transcribed right now.  I'll send it over to you when it is done.

Jeffrey Brown

That is a great letter Jeffrey. Keep the pressure on.
That is a great letter.  Thanks.
"only real development game in town will be Transit Oriented Development."

TOD.  A little nod to The Oil Drum huh?

The "Other TOD", Transit Orientated Development :-)

Like the "Other White Meat" (but kosher)

"Swiss citizens, in the Second World War, used about 0.15% of per capita US oil consumption today."

Somewhat playing devil's advocate -
If that's the case then how critical is oil?  Apparently they didn't need very much.

Switzerland made the strategic decision in the 1920s to electrify their freight railroads.  It paid off during WW II.

In 1998, Switzerland voted (national referundum) to spend 31 billion Swiss francs to drastically improve their already good rail system.  #1 goal (of several) was to get freight off of heavy trucks and onto their (hydro) electric rail.  #2 goal was semi-high speed pax rail from Zurich & Bern to various points.  1 billion CH franc to make rail cars quieter, etc.

Adjusted for population & currency, this is equal to a US vote to spend US$1 trillion on our rail system.

I suspect that this 1998 strategic decision will pay off post-Peak Oil.

Switzerland prepares BEFORE it "has to".

"We are seeing people with electric bills that are higher than their mortgage."

I guess turning off the air conditioning to fix that problem isn't a viable option to those people.

When the temperature is 100 degrees. That doesn't seem like a good idea.

If the grid starts falling during the summers we are going to loose baby boomer in droves.  On the other hand, some mid summer grid failures may just fix the whole Social security problem.

The WSJ has a front page story on the status of the electric infrastructure in the US.  There is some electric cable still in use that dates to about 1900.  BTW, peak electricity demand in Texas set a new record yesterday, up about 4.6% over last year.
I owned a business that was burned down by the electric company when a splice in a alumnium cable failed. It was wrapped with tape and corrision had it down to next to nothing and a surge killed it. The interesting thing is that is not started the fire. It was started when a poorly trained tech in a hurry was measuring in the basement to find were the fault was and neglected to re tape the splice there. The cable in the street was from the late 50s. If you are going to have a building burn down have the Electric co. start the fire. It cost them a lot of money and I got a new building. I don't think aluminum underground wiring is a good way to go. The fire would not have gotten out of control if they had still been using two man crews but of course that cost money.  I have since been told  they figure it is cheaper to pay for a new building then pay for two man crews.
Oil prices 'may retreat to $58 in 2008'

This guy has not talked to SelfAggravatedTrader. ;-) He says oil prices will be $57 by November.

Seriously though, at least this article concentrates on the fundamentals, which are probably wrong, but he has a far better chance of being correct than if he was looking at the charts. SelfAggridisedTrader says the charts are never wrong.

I just love that ad on CNBC for Jim Cramer's afternoon show "Stop Trading" or something like that. Jim, in the ad, screams; "If I had listened to the charts I would have looked like......pause......a total moron."

Seriously again, there are times when the charts do help. And there are other times when following the charts are lead to financial suicide. The times when following the charts lead to financial suicide are the times when the fundamentals are so overwhelmingly important that they outweigh any "overbought" or "oversold" technical data. And those times are right now in the oil patch. We are looking at a depleting finite resource with little or no spare capacity.

From this day forward, well actually, from over two years ago forward, the fundamentals will rule the oil price. Looking only at the technical data, charts, swings and such, will only lead you to the poorhouse if you are an oil trader. And it is likely to lead the rest of us to the poorhouse as well.


I suspect this week's slide is just the big boys readying a platform for a big run up using the looming Iranian crisis as a justification.  The market movers make money up and down regardless of the underlying trend.  They can sell in such quantity that the price drops.  The momentum of that move continues the drop past the point where they have completed their selling especially when there is a prominent cover story to seemingly justify it.  They then buy at the bottom and are back where they started plus a nice profit on the difference between the sell and buy price.  The process works just as well the other way.  The loser is generally the speculator who cannot know when and where the movers intend to strike, who is highly leveraged and can thus be forced to surrender an ultimately profitable position, and who has to pay a fee for every trade. A scheduled market moving event, like the Iranian deadline or a FED data release draws the speculators.  If they enter before the big boys, the big boys pinch them out.  If they enter after the big boys, they miss the boat.  I think the big boys are dropping the price to keep the speculators out using the cover story that oil traditionally drops towards Labor day.  Be ready for sharp rise when they strike.
That seems to imply collusion. Or is it just a happy accident that all the big boys act together?


How about the Bilderberg Group?


They are all pals.

of course, the "big boys" need to let the "speculaters" win once in a while to keep them in the game.  

Gambling -- even against rigged odds-- is part of human behavior.  It's probably what has made homo sapiens the dominant species on the planet.  

Never take investment advice from a stockbroker (or commodies trader)that is still working for a living.  If they knew what they were talking about, they would have retired long ago.
If you believe in peak oil, buy on the dips. Buy oil companies with the longest term reserves and the best potential for increasing reserves. Stay away from serial acquirers. They are going to dilute your price per reserves every chance they get. Buy for the long term. Prepare to hold thru an economic downturn. You could have some intermediate pain. Oil company stocks almost always over react to moves in the commodity. Traders are short term motivated. Their time frame is their end of the year bonus.

Can't recommended individual stocks. Gave up all my licenses. Retired a long time ago.

Good advice...hold for long term.  Anyone here believe the price of oil over the next ten years won't keep with or surpass the inflation rate? Thought not. Best investment going right now, IMHO.
"Keep up with", dammit. Where's that blasted edit button?
not there to prevent people from retro-activly editing their posts.
I knew that...just adding a bit of sarcasm to the mix.
Recommend looking at mcdep. He is a veteran and consistent in his methadology. Although I disagree on taking geopolitical risk.
I have noticed lately that WTI has been less than Brent by a buck or more.  IIRC WTI used to be less than Brent by about the same amount.  Any comments as to why?
Geographic distribution?  My guess is that while oil is fungible, there might be a small price difference between regional markets.
Correction, IIRC it used to be more than Brent.
I think the reason is the disruption of the Russian Drushba pipeline, that usually ships 1 million bd to Europe. Russia says they have re-routed the oil, but how reliable is such a statement from them? A refinery in Lithuania is not geeting any oil from Russia any more, they have to rely on deliveries by ships and trains now.
I was wondering if it could represent a relative change in supply and demand between US and Europe.  Is this a start of the US and Europe bidding against each other for a limited supply, as Westexas has suggested will happen?
I don't have any hard evidence. However, during summers, European media have already blamed the US for high gasoline prices for years. They say that during the driving season, the US by gasoline from Rotterdam because refineries in the US can't cope with demand. In that sense, the US and Europe have bidded against each other for years now.

The US so far get most of their crude oil from Mexico, Venezuela and themselves, we in Europe get it mainly from Norway, Russia and North-Africa. That will certainly change, we will both import more oil from the ME soon.

End user prices, of courses, are much higher here anyway, so we already are more fuel-efficient. We also have a very positive trading balance, but you have the dollar.

It's hard to tell what is going to happen, except for one thing: I can't see Europe waging wars for oil, instead we will try to conserve and invest in alternatives. The EU has already passed directives on that. Directives are EU "laws" that member countries have to implement into their own legal frameworks. The EU parliament is planning that until 2020, 20% of the fuel used has to come from renewable energy. Similar targets exist for electricity and heating. The countries are free to choose the means to fulfill those targets, but if they don't get there, they will have to pay.

Re:  Nicaragua Muses on Energy Crisis. The energy crisis is causing water shortages and street protests.

Leanan continues to provide evidence of the effects--on primarily poorer countries for now--of the bidding war for declining net oil exports.

We--the US, China and Europe--are now primarily bidding against poorer regions, but soon the US, China and Europe will be bidding against each other.  

It's hard to believe, but I suspect that in the months ahead, the US will become even more hated, because of our high per capita oil consumption.

BTW, Mike Ruppert has fled the country; he is now in Venezuela.  Two possible reasons, among many others:  (1)  Chavez may have offered him a good job and (2)  we are going to see a migration from net energy consuming areas to net energy producing areas, which is precisely what Ruppert has done.  

"Cut thy spending and get thee to the non-discretionray side of the economy"  

Try to read Mike Ruppert's "Free Story" on his website and not feel that the man is completely insane. Someone broke into his office and he compares it to Kristalnacht? In the same piece he has to tell us that he is obsessed with the show Deadwood. Huh? Now Rafael and I have to deal with him. Oh, joy!
Have you read his background?  The guy isn't crazy, he's been one of the first guys screaming about drug laundering in LA when he was a cop.  I used to read his stuff all the time until it went behind a paywall.

He brought up an intersting point though.  With all the talk of "demand destruction" I started thinking about the hassles of travel.  The airline industry is a heavy consumer of fuel.  If you methodically make it more cumbursome to travel via plane, the total quantity of fuel will be reduced due to people avoiding this.  So they either travel by car, train, or don't.  For those long trips I'm sure many people will just decide to stay home if possible.  Prices would in theory, fall as fuel demand would whane.  

Actually, as compared with other modes of transportation, Air travel uses very little oil.  Approx. 15 billion gallons in '04 for all air travel versus over 75 billion for passenger cars alone.  Plus an additional 30+ billion for trucks.  Air travel is vulnerable not due to the volume of oil used and the potential that rising fuel costs make uneconomic, but due to the fact that a large percentage of air travel is discretionary in nature.  Most people simply don't have to fly.  Along the same lines, that is why airlines are affected so severely by a recession and why fear of air travel is so easily drummed up, even though more people are killed on the road in a given year than in the entire history of air travel, including from terrorism. (a slight hyperbole, but the numbers are very close)    
I'm not sure this is correct.

I believe that air travel, per passenger mile, uses more gas than even private cars.

Of course, there are many assumptions one has to make in arriving at a bottom line, so I suppose it is possible to prove anything here.

Does anyone know of a good resource for calculating energy costs of various forms of transportation?  Of course, to some extent it would have to be corrected for the time spent in travel

You are correct in that per available seat mile, the airline industry uses more fuel than an average passenger car. My point simply was as a whole, the airline industry uses far less fuel than other forms of transportation.  I don't fly to work every day, nor do I have to...well, I do, but most people don't.  Also, air travel is healthy, despite what the media tells you.  The industry is still sorting its self out from deregulation, and current fuel costs are hurting because of historically low ticket prices and the unwillingness of competing companies to raise fares.

 Now one thing you need to remember when calculating energy costs and comparing different forms of transportation is travel time. Including all incidental delays, travel from Boston to New York via car, rail, and air, takes approximately the same amount of time.  But rail is obviously more efficient, thus we should probably uses rail more.  Travel time from Boston to LA is a far different story, with 48, 36, and 6hrs respectively.  Now rail is still more efficient, but which is "better".  That depends on costs, and post peak, we don't know what the costs will be. But my point is by volume severely reducing or eliminating air travel will not save you all that much fuel in the long run.

Is airtravel really more energy intensive than car travel?

Aircraft only need about 4 mi of paved road between LA and NYC. The terminals at each end are optional, look at the way boarding was done before the jetbridges came into being. There is less support needed in between A and B.

What would the effective range be if car travel had to be supplied from the end points only? I think the equation is ignoring all those folks working at the MIckeyD's in the middle of the heartland.

How much energy is used to keep the driver going between LA and NYC?

Well lets just see: NY to San Fran 3500 miles 20 miles to the gallon is 175 gallons.  400 people times 175 is 70,000 gallons. 6 lbs per gallon is 420,000 lbs. That is about the full load takeoff weight of a 747. If 1/4th of takeoff weight is fuel you could carry 4 passengers at 20 miles to the gallon for the same fuel/passenger mile as a 747. New aircraft are even more fuel efficient. 4 days at 900 miles/day who's butt gets tired first. The extra 100 miles is for missing a few exits on the trip and finding a motel.  (17,500/3,500)*4=20, or 17,500/3500=5 gallons per mile, 5/400=.0125, 1/.0125= 80 miles per passenger per gallon. Of course if you drove alone it would be 4 times more efficient to fly.
This was a WAG, after I looked up the tech on a 747-400 the numbers are 57,000 gal, 8,300 mile range, and 500 passengers. That turns out to be 70 to 75 miles per passenger per gallon.
I am pretty certain the "drive path" on the road is a lot more than 100 miles further than the flight path (as the crow flies roughly) in the air. For example, flight miles LA to NY are 400 less than driving miles.
Used to fly a Piper Tomahawk... I could cruise at about 100mph, burning about 4 gal / hr... about 25 mpg

What happens to the network of airline routes as traffic falls? As traffic drops, when do the leaf nodes get shut down and as routes become less and less frequent, presumably that would make the option of flying less and less attractive. Then the airlines themselves have to make the bottom line against less gross income, so prices have to go up. Prices have to go up because the planes need to be replaced with more efficient and smaller models. Smaller models will carry less traffic per unit of energy. It snowballs. The taxpayers will get called to bail out the industry until they have no more buckets with which to bail, but even that point will come, depending on how many other industries they are bailing out and wars they are fighting.

My understanding from clients is that FedEx has stopped doing overnight to much of Alaska where it previously provided service. It's not only people that go on the planes, but a lot of urgent freight - like expensive overnight shipments of seafood.

cfm in Gray, ME

You are correct, as traffic falls airlines get hurt.  In the future, as rising oil costs permeate our economy people will have less discretionary income, thus they will fly less. Thus some, maybe many airlines will fail.  But, some people will always want, need to fly...maybe to escape marauding soccer moms looking for gas for their suvs...  So long as there is some fuel available, and it takes 6 hrs v. 36hrs to go from boston to LA.  People will fly.  BTW, Fedex and UPS are experiencing record profits right now.  Not at all hurt by rising fuel costs.  Why...because there are relatively few cargo only carriers and they can raise rates much easier.  Since deregulation, there has been an explosion of passenger carriers, each trying to under cut the other.  Some airlines are hurting, and some will fail, but for now, its not because of high fuel prices.
Another aspect of air vs. road is infrastructure.  Air travel has only the airports plus ATC sites as infrastructure - no building or maintenence is needed on the fresh air between say NYC and LA!  If driving, you have the cost (in labour and fossil fuel) of maintaining the thousands of miles of tarmac, plus road signs, lighting, policing, etc.  On the other hand, there is the embodied energy of manufacturing and maintaining the aircraft vs. the same for cars.
I'm not convinced people will fly less post-peak oil. I think people will drive less, but still fly.

I suspect airplanes can be made to be more efficient, and people will still want to travel longer distances.

Travel by car can be substituted by bicycles etc. - a quick overnight trip to NYC still requires a jet plane.

I can live happily without a car, however my use of air plane travel is unlikely to drop even if relative prices double.

in fact most airliners use MIL-L-23699 oil and it's synthetic.
I read the part where he (Mr. Ruppert) calculates that it took a few hours to remove the screws and video/network/printer connections on his 7 computer boxes.

I was like .. Huh! .. I could do that with a power screwdriver in under 15 minutes.

why does it have to be the US government that is out to destroy him ? Maybe it was just the 2 people he fired getting back at him.

he sounds totally paranoid in his message, of course if he fled the country and left most of his stuff behind .. perhaps he is off the deep end.

Buy a copy of "Crossing the Rubicon"  and then read about 25-30 of his previous articles and you might start to get a feeling why it may be the Gov.

FTW  was the site that I first found out about PO some 5 years ago.  His interview with Matt Simmons (Behind the Blackout) was one of Matt's firsts I believe and one of the most prophetic.

You can't just read his last thing and have any understanding of what contributions he has made in the last 5-10 years.

Walk a mile....

I recently bought Michael Rupert's Peak Oil and Denial Starts Now DVDs.    Very compelling stuff in each DVD.   The peak oil DVD is nothing new to TOD bloggers, but was great to put a face on and hear some of the leading names in PO media.   9/11 Denial DVD,  I don't know,  I can't cross that line yet.   FTW is another voice of the coming changes to our world.
I have to agreee.  FTW was one of my first sites after MATT SIMMONS website directed me there.  Since we trust Matt & all, I'll extend that trust to Rupert.  

I enjoyed his recollection of cocaine use by his fiance BEFORE cocaine was introduced to this country.  CIA manuals (available on the web by the way) had directions for cocaine use to stave off pain, hunger & to help you escape.  It's logical to assume it would help at least those first two problems.

Before cocaine was introduced to this country??? When was that? Maybe some time in the mid-nineteenth century?
That's what I'm talkin' about. Sounds like the oldhipster knows a little sumpfin sumpfin bouts the ole yabbadabbadooski. You wuz around back then. Wassup, dawg!
Yabbadabbadooski? I like it, but who is this schizophrenic Oil CEO. Tried the nasty stuff maybe 3 times in the 70's, when it was mercifully expensive (or I could have had a problem). Didn't like the paranoid edge at all. Or the people who played with it.
Remember Coca-Cola? When was it they included the real buzz in the bottle?
Dawg? Really now.
Do I remember Coca-Cola? How could one forget! I believe it was previous to 1920 or thereabouts that Coca-Cola was the "real" thing. 3 times in the 70's. I always knew you might be George Jr. :)
It was "From The Wilderness" that put me on the road to The Oil Drum, so it was very important for me.  However, Ruppert began cutting down on his news coverage at the same time that many other radical sites began reporting some amazing stories.  It was Ruppert's arguments about peak oil that finally made me think that there was something big enough that Cheney could have known by 2000 that would make him gamble on turning America into a dictatorship by using terrorism.  Now we are much closer to that dictatorship.

I think he's wrong to move to Venezuela.  Chavez is another Huey Long, and Venezuela is another Louisiana.  He's not original enough to develop a real revolutionary change in society, and Venezuela is too dependent on oil to prepare for life without it.  Ruppert should have gone to Mexico.  The near-simultaneous election crisis and Pemex's admission to the government that Cantarell is in trouble is a sign of a revolutionary change much closer to America.

The amazing thing going on in Mexico is that poor people are giving up on the political system as hopelessly corrupted by capitalists, and trying to organize to govern themselves.  You heard that right, govern themselves.  Subcomandante Marcos won't even praise Chavez and Bolivia's Evo Morales because he doesn't trust any bureaucratic government to ultimately stand for the people.  His message is spreading out across Mexico: organize yourself, and ignore the government.

This is the only message that will prepare people in the 3rd World for the miserable fate that Cheney knew was coming for them.  The endless American trickle-down promises obviously will never come true for them now that energy is expensive.  The propertied classes of their countries are not just their enemy, but they are useless and soon will be powerless.  So they all might as well kiss it all goodbye and start over again.

If Ruppert brings the evidence of peak oil to the campesinos, they will know that they have nothing to lose, and that the state will soon be too bankrupt to attack them.

Mike did say in the article Venezuela is just where he is for now.

I've read a rumor - and just that A RUMOR - and even worse, I read it on the internet(s) and not just any internet(s) but a tinfoil hat conspiracy forum that Chavez is considering holding an international 9/11 skeptics meeting type event.  If that is true, Mike may be in the right place.

(BTW, this was all news to me too. I exchange email with Mike about once a month so I'm not really in the loop on a day to day basis)

As far as your statement, "Venezuela is too dependent on oil to prepare for life without it" boy are you ever correct on that. I think it is something the Citgo-buying self-styled American "Chavistas" conveniently ignore. Mainly:

1. Chavez's social programs are only viable so long as the price of oil is high. Why is the price of oil so high right now? For several reasons:

A. Us dumbass Americans consuming gasoline like the fat hogs at a trough, thereby spewing CO2 into the environment and destroying the planet.

B. Chinese and Indians trying to guzzle gasooline like us fat hog Americans,

C. The terror premium, part of which is due to the massive instability BCR has aggravated/heightened in the Mid East

(I know there are other reasons but you get my drift)

So ironically it is only the incredibly destructive habits of Americans and the horrific policies of Bush that giving Chavez the money necessary to fund those programs.

I get a chuckle when I think about such things.

2. The day the oil runs out is the day Venezuela goes from being a place of social solutions to a place where the population is as factionalized and ready to kick each others asses as we are in the states.

How do I know that? Well human beings are wired the same way all the world over. and when things go from "we're poor but things are looking up" to "we're doing well but things are looking down" then the nasty comes out.

Nice set of points, brother. Our appetite for cheap energy has enabled a truly fine cast of characters over the years--the Saudi royals are the best example, but Saddam was good for awhile in the 80s and really, there's been very  few repressive regimes we haven't loved on at one time or another.

Venezuela isn't going to run out of oil. Period. Not in any of our lifetimes. So those "when" scenarios can go out the window. You've researched this stuff -- you know that Venezuela is sitting on deposits of heavy oil that stretch for dozens and dozens of miles. Say what you want about the utility of that oil, but PVSDA will always be able to produce enough to keep the country solvent.

(I don't like this "running out of oil" stuff -- that doesn't really capture the nature of the problem. It's the "we'll have no plastics" syndrome. We'll always have enough oil for plastics. It's the lower margin applications, like gasoline for SUVs that could be problematic.)

It's much more likely that oil will go to $150 a barrel and Venezuela will just get richer selling conventional oil and, as much as the market will bear, heavy oil.

And then we will start bombing the f**kers on some trumped up charge like this


because we'll be so miserable and humiliated at the fact that we've squandered out national treasure on stupidity and corruption, and have a military that will not be left idle by any political leader who wants to stay in power.

I've posted it before, but video games like this are very effective ways to get a seed notion out. The software company that designed the game, Pandemic, gets funding from the--yes--DoD:

News story

Yep. McDonalds knows that the brainwashed kids become the brainwashed adults. You are also correct in stating that Venezeula will have oil deposits for hundreds of years (assuming current trends continue). What is interesting is that by sharing oil money with the poor, Chavez is "spoiling" them and making it more difficult for future right-wing authoritarian dictators.
A little paranoid sure. You would be too. Dispute him on anything, please, but he's not insane. Anyone who's been out on the edge so long and still functions has a solid core.

Yes, the gummint breaks into your house. Read a newspaper lately? We don't need no stinkin warrants!!! Having provoked the gummint far far less than Ruppert they used to visit me on a schedule. We don't torture we're a civilized nation

Which newspaper were you referring to? Granted, I don't read them all. See what the judge said yesterday?
Saw what the judge said. Saw that W intends to ignore it. Saw that the NYT sat on the original story over a year and thru an election cycle.
From personal experience, warrantless searches, no-knock, and preventive detention have been SOP{ in USA for decades.
I've read that too and wonder if he just had a case of crackheads taking out the RAM to sell.

In SoCal there have been times in the past then tech crime was not all that uncommon, these "ninja gangs' no kidding, would do a shop-invasion type crime, tie up/tape up the night watchman and any late workers, and take the stocks of valuable chips - and some were very valuable there for a while. We're talking over $10 an IC and this in the 1980s. I know office supply stores have a continuing problem with people actually getting into computer towers and taking the RAM.

If Ruppert was in a "hinky" area he'd see things all the time that are crazy and wierd. And people looking at him like he's crazy and weird and suspicious because everyone is, in these places.

I wish him well wherever he is, though.

"I know office supply stores have a continuing problem with people actually getting into computer towers and taking the RAM."

At this point we can only guess why you would know that.


"non-disretionary side of the economy"

Growing food seems like an obvious non-discretionary part of the economy. So does producing energy.

What other services or production of products seem the best to you?

I am a handyperson (used to be called "handyman") and jacj-of-all trades who rides pedicabs and cargo trikes.  I can haul up to 800 pounds or more up to 5 miles at need, but usually haul only 100-300 pounds of tools and supplies -- pedaling, with some significant hills in my area.

I am looking to build and install rainbarrels, and wonder if I can help folks with insulation projects and building coldframes and small greenhouses.

Any other ideas?

Thanks!  I'm off to do some work for some folks, and will check back later.

"Any other ideas?"

One of the ideas I'm pushing is that small groups of people band together to buy small organic farms.  If nothing else, you could lease it out to an organic farmer.  Your return on investment will be poor, but the main point is to secure access to a reliable food supply.  My number one requirement for retirement (not that most of us will be able to retire anyway) is food.

Alternatively, if you have some suitable lawn area, I suggest that you propose a sharecropping idea to a teenager (if you can find one that is aware of the problems ahead) interested in agriculture.  You could provide the land, water, seeds, and other stuff if the teenage contributes the work, and then split the produce, presumably 50%/50%.

You might be able to combine these two ideas, and perhaps get some funding from some Peak Oil aware charities, for after school agricultural programs.  The kids could set up their own produce stand at school and sell organic produce to parents.

Overall, I think that you have a good game plan.  "Cheap is the new chic"

Food supply?  What production decreases do you see that would put a crimp in the distribution of staple foods?

(It's a whole other question whether England will continue to buy fresh Kenyan produce)

''Cheap is the new chic''...

Never underestimate the power of fashion or peer pressure:

From the Times online.

Regarding a drop in SUV sales:

...''As Ken Hurst, of The Manufacturer magazine, who monitors the figures, puts it: "Possibly children who once saw the vehicles as status symbols, now feel ashamed when they are dropped off at the school gates."

You would have thought that driving down the Kings Road in a vehicle meant for negotiating rutted tracks would be embarrassing enough. But that's not the issue. It's the petrol they consume and the pollution they emit that have become socially unacceptable''....


However the Author Mary Anne is a bit of a dolly day-dream.

She says:

''.. I bet, for instance, that excessive packaging will have disappeared from supermarket shelves within a decade or so. And food miles will have shrunk dramatically.''

(Oh yes Mary Anne, but not for the reasons you think...)

Still. fashionistas are powerful agents of change

Thanks, Westexas.

I have kids still at home, and a bit of yard space.  

Also, we have a "Youth Farm and Market" program here in Minneapolis, already working to teach children about how to grow organic produce and flowers in an urban context.  They also teach entrepreneurship, as the kids figure out the cost of seeds and other "inputs" and then do the work and sell the produce and fresh cut flowers at neighborhood farmers'markets.  (The children and youth working get paid by the hour.  The project is subsidized by dollar and in-kind donations, but the produce and flowers do bring in significant income.) The Youth Farm to Market idea is one of the best I've seen in a long time.

I have been asked to be on the board of the Minneapolis "Midtown Greenway Coalition, which has transformed miles of old urban/suburban rail right-of-way into bike paths, and now contemplates adding streetcars in at least some areas.

The Youth Farm and Market folks garden along side the Greenway in various neighborhoods, and may very well develop spaces along the Greenway path itself to do more gardening.

I like the idea of the continuously productive urban landscape or "Edible Estates."

The Midtown Greenway here is beginning to integrate sustainable transportation with growing food, it seems to me.

We have a big population -- Mpls is 300,000 or so, I think, but the metro area is over 3 million people, IIRC. If things get too bad too fast it could be tough to protect the gardens, but then everyone would have a big stake in establishing and expanding gardens.

We might just develop more community as we struggle to grow food and provide other needs more sustainably as well.

That all sounds wonderful to me.  It makes the world a better place even if collapse never comes.
I can think of hundreds
the most attractive would be blacksmithing. alot of creative freedom. very lucrative.
the least attractive. a cloth diaper washing service focusing on the old not infants.
sounds like a horrible job to me but I think someone will take it and run.
How many decades out?

I hope you recognize that being right at the wrong time is as bad as being wrong at the right time.  (In the beginning of the last centure there were right, and wrong, decades to invest in buggy whips.)

you're right. especally regarding a diaper service. but blacksmithing is a very lucrative way to go.
the thing that got me thinking about the diaper sevice. I was standing in line at a local store, in front of me was a little old lady buying "depends". two boxes. $75, if memory serves. throw in her meds, utilities, cat food,  pat robertson's price of admission into heaven...well I could go on and on.
my point is it would work. it's local,it's enviromentally correct, and it show a healthy respect for our elders. just not a lot of fun.
let's say (obviously hypothetically speaking) you could make 6 figures running such a business.

me personally, I'd be glad to do it. And I'd be laughing all the way to the bank right past my now-unemployed law school classmates yelling, "I'm rich bitch!!!" kind of like Dave Chappelle excpet I'm white.

And he's actually funny.
Until grid failures render A/C worthless - it could be called 'involuntary euthanasia'.
If this was something we saw coming, then we should work toward single-room air conditioning for all those with medical problems.

Right now the "problem" a young family of 3 has cooling a 2500 sq ft house is confused with the "problem" of the elderly who may not have AC in the first place.

Like Earl, I can think of many too.  Assuming that people actually produce more of their food, two that come to mind are custom canning/dehydrating/smoking and custom slaughter/butchering.  Even in the rural area where I live, few know squat about canning, etc.  And, almost no one likes to kill animals, gut them, clean them and they have no idea about cutting them up (even most hunters have someone else do the butchering).

One far out one would be wood gas/biogas conversions of cars/pickup trucks/generators.  I mention generators because there are hundreds in my area (I have two - an 8kW gas and a 23kW diesel - even though I have a large PV system).

taking the risk that everybody howls:


specializing in Energy Star, Zero-Energy, and other houses of this kind. Can open side business as gun shop if doomer.

gunsmiths are raking in the dough in Iraq. (I'm serious here) Its' one of the few jobs I think you can bet will be around for some time.
As the local fixit man (more-or-less self- appointed)  I find that a lot of people do not know anything about hardware, and will throw out good stuff at almost any small problem, like a busted plug on a power tool.  And, a lot of them will let a  small problem go because they don't want to pay the huge fee for a professional house visit-eg- leaky faucet.

So, my suggestion (and  might be way behind you on this) just go along the road and leave handbills with a list of what you can do and what the payback for them would be  ( hand tool power cord replace x$, saves you xxxx$ etc.)

lawn mower tune ups might be especially lucrative, I would guess- dirty spark plug, filter full of leaves, wheel off, etc etc.

Every fan in my house came from a dumpster, and took maybe 5 minutes to fix- and my highly observant wife never noticed.

Lots of good ideas, here.

I "dumpster-dive" for scrap lumber, sheetrock, and whatever looks useful.

I also collect old hardware from folks who are ready to just throw it out.  Lots of screws, brackets, and the like.

I figure that some of this stuff will be valuable as metal or simply as re-used parts.

I am trying to focus as much as possible on the sustainable stuff that requires little direct fossil-fuel input. Growing and processing food, energy-saving shelter, water collection  -- these seem to me to hold great promise.  Also teaching skills in these areas, I suppose.

Still dreaming while doing to make the dreams come true....

Did anyone drop this link at TOD?

From Garbage to Gold

As a frugal person it always shocks me what these recycled things cost (classic messenger bag $148), but from the producer side that's a good thing.

BTW, Mike Ruppert has fled the country; he is now in Venezuela.  Two possible reasons, among many others:  (1)  Chavez may have offered him a good job and (2)  we are going to see a migration from net energy consuming areas to net energy producing areas, which is precisely what Ruppert has done.

(3) He is a CIA operative under deep cover as an anti-American exile.  His rants about Cheney orchestrating 9/11 were conceived by the Administration as tests of Americans' imaginations, and have proven what Cheney had hoped: we have none.

Just watching price of oil this week, it appears that $70 is our new floor or at least a very stubborn barrier.

Just observation, but every time we get a little "spike" in prices and then the prices retreat somewhat, there appears to be a new floor price from which to spring.

I call this the "two steps forward, one step back" cycle of prices.

That pattern has fit pretty well in the last 3 years even when exogenous events (hurricanes, wars, etc.) have come and gone.  

Looks like it's just gone below $70.

What's changed to cause this sudden reversal of direction?


are traders really thinking that peace has broken out in the middle east?
I like Remig's explanation above.
The amazing thing is that if you had mentioned $58/barrel oil 2 years ago, people would have gone ballistic.  Now they think it means that life is wonderful again and that peak oil theorists were clearly wrong.
I definitely don't want to perpetuate the car-based lifestyle but Tesla have pre-sold their first 100 roadsters.
Way back when, I used to sing this song to my little daughter. Much to her grandparents surprise, she recited it when they were complaining about being stuck in traffic:

Traffic Jam - James Taylor

Damn this traffic jam,
how I hate to be late,
it hurts my motor to go so slow.
Damn this traffic jam,
time I get home my supper'll be cold,
damn this traffic jam.

Well I left my job about 5 o'clock,
it took fifteen minutes go three blocks,
Just in time to stand in line with a freeway
looking like a parking lot.

Damn this traffic jam,
how I hate to be late,
it hurts my motor to go so slow.
Damn this traffic jam,
time I get home my supper'll be cold,
damn this traffic jam.

Now I almost had a heart attack,
looking in my rear view mirror,
I saw myself the next car back,
looking in the rear view mirror,
about to have a heart attack,

I said,
damn this traffic jam,
how I hate to be late,
it hurts my motor to go so slow.
Damn this traffic jam,
time I get home my supper'll be cold,
damn this traffic jam.

Now when I die I don't want no coffin,
I thought about it all too often.
Just strap me in behind the wheel
and bury me with my automobile.

Damn this traffic jam,
how I hate to be late,
it hurts my motor to go so slow.
Damn this traffic jam,
time I get home my supper'll be cold,
damn this traffic jam.

Now I used to think that I was cool
running around on fossil fuel,
Until I saw what I was doing
was driving down the road to ruin.

It's a good song to sing as you bike past the stopped cars.

Thanks for sharing. I've been wanting to post those lyrics on a site related to peak oil somewhere, but you beat me to it. Now the Copyright Police will come and take you away.
I think this will be the theme song to many many people.
Look at the last line....

Talking Heads - (nothing But) Flowers Lyrics

 Here we stand
Like an Adam and an Eve
The Garden of Eden
Two fools in love
So beautiful and strong
The birds in the trees
Are smiling upon them
From the age of the dinosaurs
Cars have run on gasoline
Where, where have they gone?
Now, it's nothing but flowers

There was a factory
Now there are mountains and rivers
you got it, you got it

We caught a rattlesnake
Now we got something for dinner
we got it, we got it

There was a shopping mall
Now it's all covered with flowers
you've got it, you've got it

If this is paradise
I wish I had a lawnmower
you've got it, you've got it

Years ago
I was an angry young man
I'd pretend
That I was a billboard
Standing tall
By the side of the road
I fell in love
With a beautiful highway
This used to be real estate
Now it's only fields and trees
Where, where is the town
Now, it's nothing but flowers
The highways and cars
Were sacrificed for agriculture
I thought that we'd start over
But I guess I was wrong

Once there were parking lots
Now it's a peaceful oasis
you got it, you got it

This was a Pizza Hut
Now it's all covered with daisies
you got it, you got it

I miss the honky tonks,
Dairy Queens, and 7-Elevens
you got it, you got it

And as things fell apart
Nobody paid much attention
you got it, you got it

I dream of cherry pies,
Candy bars, and chocolate chip cookies
you got it, you got it

We used to microwave
Now we just eat nuts and berries
you got it, you got it

This was a discount store,
Now it's turned into a cornfield
you got it, you got it

Don't leave me stranded here
I can't get used to this lifestyle


Has anybody seen/heard of the Tower of Power?

It basically uses the power of heated air rising in the column to propel turbines.  Seemed pretty basic, and should be a lot cheaper then a similar sized solar farm.

I read warnings somewhere that this was a scam. The company spent years raising funds without anything to show for it. Your link, however, suggests things are finally moving. I wish I knew enough knowledge of aerodynamics to calculate the performance of the concept. It is definitely plausible - not sure about economic viability, though.
I read recently that it was still out there as a plan, scaled down over time.  It has been a long time aborning, that's for sure.
Discussed in an earlier DrumBeat.  IIRC, someone ran the numbers and found it was way less efficient than ordinary solar panels.
Efficient per unit area?  Sure, but it's being done in Nowheresville Australia and land is cheap.

What matters is efficiency per capital input, and that could be much cheaper than the equivalent capacity in high-tech photovoltaics.

It's efficiency - in energy terms - that matters, not cost in money terms.  And the difference was immense.  Something in the order of 10 times less efficient.  

Energy counts, not money, because prices will change - probably drastically - when TSHTF.  

You can see the previous discussion here.

Since people are posting song lyrics, and you then bring up Tower of Power...here's Tower of Power's "There's Only So Much Oil In The Ground."

There's only so much oil on the ground
Sooner or later there won't be much around
Tell that to your kids while you driving downtown
That there's only so much oil on the ground

Can't cut loose without that juice
Can't cut loose without that juice
If we keep on like we doing things for sure
Will not be cool - It's a fact
We just ai't got suffiecient fuel

There's only so much oil in the ground
Sooner or later there won't be none around
Alternate sources of power must be found
Cause there's only so much oil in the ground

There's only so much oil in the earth
It's a fact of life - for what it's worth
Something every little boy and girl should know since birth
That there's only so much oil in the ground

There's no excuse for our abuse
No excuse for our abuse
We just assume that we will not
Exceed the oil supply
But soon enough the world will watch the wells run dry.

PEMEX production slipping further

If this keeps up, the world may take notice.

Double check the link... it's coming up as "not found"


Remove the dot at the very end of the link.
Thanks, I was just trying to figure it out and your suggestion does it. The only reason 1st 7 mos is the same as last yr is last year's hurricane shutdown in July.
Your link has a period on the end.

Here's the good link:


Amazing! The monthly data listed here:


under "Total Crude", is the exact same numbers found in the EIA's "International Petroleum Monthly", crude + condensate. Except the EIA is two months behind this data. Now we can accurately know Mexico's production two months before the EIA data comes out.


So far, the avg monthly production in 2006, 3322, is exactly the same as for 2005. No crash in sight.
I don't know about a crash because we need a longer period to see past month-to-month noise. However, I am impressed by the decline since the start of the year and particularly since April. Last year production was continuing very strong over this period except for the hurricane shutdowns in July and then later again in October that significantly depressed production those months (that's why it looks the same year to year). If the decline since April continues at the current rate, it will be over a 12-15% annual decline (would this be considered a crash?).  I am not claiming this now - too much noise - but the point is that this is how it will look when the production does start a dramatic drop.
"No crash in sight"

Texas peaked in 1972, but production didn't fall below the 1971 level until 1976, which doesn't mean that we weren't past the peak from 1973 on.

Cantarell is dying.  A decline, or more likely a crash, in Mexican oil production is a mathematical certainty.   Note that oil exports are being squeezed from two directions.  From our perspective, it will look like a crash in oil exports to the US.

I asked a friend of mine teaching science in Mexico City if he had heard of Cantarell and its declining production.  He is very well read, but had not read anything in the MSM in Mexico.  Interesting...  Does this mean the Iron Triangle will need a new vertex?
Nice data set.  
By the end of the year somebody in Mexico is going to have a lot of explaining to do.  Mexico was a boiling already.  It should be ablaze by christmas.
Hello BitterOldCoot,

The Mexican election standoff may bring things to a head sooner than Xmas--hard for me to tell as the US MSM is mostly ignoring Mexico in their coverage.  This is a worrisome sign in itself, as far as I am concerned.  Consider how the MSM flooded the airwaves over the Ukrainian Orange Revolution vs mexican election coverage.

My prior posts illustrate this confusion: some claim widespread and explicitly detailed election fraud, others claim it was a clean election with no elucidation of their statistical facts to make this claim.  It all boils down to Mexican election commission [TRIFE] legal rulings of Sept 6.  Before then, Presidente' Fox's State of the Union address on Sept 1 maybe indicative of how the commission will rule.  A steel wall and Federales will surround the Mexican Capital building to keep protestors out.

I have to believe all concerned parties have to know already how the 9% recount proceeded, as all had representatives involved in this recount process-- the losing party should be backing off in the MexMSM, and seeking to maximize political gains within the existing institutions before the TRIFE rulings.

The next two paragraphs are based on the assumption that TRIFE is a just and fair institution impervious to corruption.

If TRIFE rules for AMLO and the PRD [widespread fraud did occur], then AMLO should be proactive in telling his supporters to go home early before Fox's SOTU speech.  No need to have anybody hurt, and restoring business confidence will help polish his image.  Calderon should be seeking a graceful exit, and promising his full support into investigating corruption.  The steel wall may be required to keep out the enraged elite attempting a pre-emptive coup before their criminal arraignments come down.

If TRIFE rules for Calderon and the PAN [it was a clean and fair election], then AMLO should gracefully concede early and send his supporters home early too, but seek to maximixize the PRD's Mex. Govt. influence to assert their policies for the Mex. poor.  Nothing to be gained by goading his protestors into a riot, or something worse with the Federales.  Calderon has already conceded that something needs to be done for the Mexican poor.

If AMLO is truly a madman: more concerned with a tenuous grab for personal power than what is actually best for Mexico-- I really hope his supporters cannot be goaded into creating widespread civil strife-- it would be very difficult to keep this from spiraling out of control as the society is already quite polarized.

Of course, the worst situation would be if the election was indeed a fraud, and TRIFE is corrupt too--Mexico does not need this situation as dealing with PEMEX's Cantarell collapse alone will be difficult in of and by itself.  IMO, understanding Mexican Peakoil's ramifications should be enough to make either candidate not want the job.

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

May be the US coverage of the Mexican election is lacking but the BBC has "only" 494 articles in August mentioning Lopez Obrador.
There is of course a bit of difference with CNN coverage (97 articles).
Therefore Mark Almond allegations :

Back in 2004, CNN and the BBC were perfectly able to cover both the battle for Fallujah and the orange revolution. Today, however, not even a news junkie like me can remember a mainstream BBC bulletin live from among the massive crowds in Mexico City.

Should be taken with a grain of salt, not that I disagree with this line but this is still political spin.

P.S. By the time I viewed the Taipei Times page it was not that popular (yet?) :
This story has been viewed 118 times.

At the recent taping of a Peak Oil debate on PBS (not shown yet), I could not even get the ExxonMobil guy to admit that Cantarell was declining, or on the verge of a decline. (This discussion was not recorded.)
A few days ago when the news of the oil leak in Alaska was first published the govt talked about releasing some oil from the SPR.  Does anyone know if they if fact released any oil from the reserves>

Anyone else notice this advertisement on the left side of theoildrum.com today? Considering that America has 5% the world's population and consumes 25% of "the pie," how much more pie do America's children deserve?

Actually, it's a campaign about the federal budget and that more money should be spent on things like education instead of "defense."

Considering in the three decades since the American political class found out oil was a limited resource, we've spent over 10 trillion dollars on the military and not much more than 100 billion on developing non-nuclear(nukes are the energy solution of the military-industrial complex) non-fossil energy sources. If  you added in the spending on public transit, efficiency, etc it would all be completely dwarfed by military spending.

Iraq represents the culmination and failure of a three decades militarized energy policy, maybe we can start doing something else?

My bad then.

If we judge Iraq by what our leaders tell us, and if we believe that The West is basically just and fair, then yes Iraq is a horrible failure.

But the right wing does wink at the truth from time to time. They've been saying lately that, if we do not fight Iraq today, The West will be overrun by Islamic Fascists! Crazy as that may seem, there is some truth to it.

U.S. support for Saudi Arabia and Israel, and its meddling with Iran and Iraq, exists for the sole purpose of preventing democracy and stability in the Middle East.

This is because, as fuel supplies dwindle, a stable, democratic Middle East would naturally leverage its fuel surplus into global power, to protect the interests of its citizens. How could they not?

With no fuel, military and economy would halt in the West. The Middle East would then take over The West's job of exploiting the world's remaining natural resources, because they would have the only fuel surplus capable of maintaining "full spectrum dominance."

This would of course take decades to play out.

Again, even the right wing only hints at this awful truth from time to time. But at least they hint at it. The left projects a wraparound fantasy of eternal worldwide fairness, peace and justice that never existed and likely never will.

Well this militarized energy policy has always been bi-partisan, goes back a long way, but if you want to take one important point, read Jimmy Carter's 1980 State of the Union:

Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.

Of course he was only being half-honest(but that's better than most presidents), two-months after the Iranian revolution, he meant "outside" or "inside" forces. Anyway, not really a change of American policy, but certainly the most naked public statement of what it was and would be.

FWIW, I think it is wrong to erase the distinction between internal and external forces retroactively.  We held off invading for "internal" reasons for a long time.  Gulf War One obviously contributed to the slide, but it was a half step, backed by a broad coalition.

Gulf War Two stands apart, and I think it is improtant to remember that it was this President and his advisers who had the foolish idea that they could profit by a near-unilateral invasion for "regime change."

I'm not sure where you are coming from, but I think that some backers of Gulf War Two do try to lay it at the feet of Jimmy Carter for purely political reasons (to escape their guilt).

Do you understand what it means when the leader of any nations publicly declares something as a "vital interest"? That's a key phrase in the ever running dance between nations. One of the issues leading to WWII was that Japan did NOT declare certain vital interests yet reacted militarily when those interests were challenged (something akin to a "low blow"). In that speech Carter told the rest of the world that the US can and will fight for that oil by using that phrase - "vital interest". It was a very militaristic statement to make and the rest of the world knew it.
Sure I understand the statement.  I also understand the huge shift that was made from those statements to preemptive ware for regime change.  I mean really, was the latter really the pre-GWB status quo?

Wasn't laying it at Carter's feet, just trying to show it's been bi-partisan policy. But, I do take exception to the idea of Gulf War I and II. It's been one 15 years and counting war, certainly history will look at it as such. The Clintons ran it for 8 years, bombing Iraq regularly and in '98 doing a real number on Baghdad.

It was the Clintons who despite Saddam meeting the UN resolutions on getting rid of WMD, kept Iraq a basket case and in '98 signed the bill co-sponsored by Lieberman and Bob Kerry to make it official US(never UN) policy that Saddam had to go. Not trying in anyway to dismiss Bushes and Reps culpability, but this whole thing has been a bi-partisan affair from the beginning.

Well I did say the slide started with Gulf War One.  Clinton was handed a containment to manage - and I'd say that most of the time his attention was elsewhere.  That led to action in fits and starts ... poor containment management.

I still think proper containment management was the best path forward, but people usually come out of the woodwork when I say that, forcefully saying that in their alternate histories proper containment was impossible.  Of course they usually use poor containment as their example.

Hello Brutus,

Hopefully, this open letter by 21 retired generals and diplomats will help avert the 'Nuke their Ass--I want Gas' mindset and the '3 Days of the Condor' scenario.

Retired US generals, diplomats criticize Bush Middle East policy
by Jerome Bernard
Fri Aug 18, 4:21 AM ET

A group of former diplomats and retired generals called on President George W. Bush to open negotiations with Iran, warning that the use of military force would have catastrophic consequences for the region.

The open letter signed by 21 former senior officials comes amid growing criticism of US refusal to deal directly with Iran and Syria despite crises in Iraq and Lebanon.
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

I first heard the Domino Theory (more of a hypothesis than a theory) back in the 1960s. The evidence of the past 40 years showed how wrong it was.
Islamic militants have been trying to rule the world since the 7th century with little success. Their incursions into Europe were driven back over 500 years ago. The bigger threat to our freedoms are domestic as cited by a judge in Detroit yesterday. It is not much of a leap from unwarranted surveilance of citizens talking with foreigners to unwarranted surveilance of domestic political opponents.
A brief update on the interruption of oil delivery via the Druzhba-1 pipeline to the Mazheikiu Nafta refinery in Lithuania.

According to yesterday's issue of Lietuvos Rytas (the largest daily here) ( http://www.lrytas.lt , subscription required), Transneft's president, Semion Vainshtok, is quoted as saying that oil delivery by pipeline to Mazheikiu Nafta may be interrupted for many years, because the pipeline has been in use for 42 years and the pipes are worn out, because they were made with metal that is no longer used in the oil industry. A day or two later, he restated, saying that oil delivery via pipeline will not be interrupted for many years, but that 140 kilometers of pipeline have to be replaced first.

The curious thing about this statement is, the entire branch of pipeline, from Unechka in Russia through Polotsk in Belarus through Ilukste in Latvia to Mazheikiu Nafta in Lithuania, is made of the same exact pipe. According to  Mazheikiu Nafta spokesman Giedrius Karsokas, the Lithuanian stretch of pipeline continues to meet standards and is in excellent condition. I have no reason to think that the Belarus and Latvian sections are in any worse shape, either.

So it's more than a little curious, as to why the Russian stretch should apparently be in miserable condition, and the Lithuanian stretch should be in excellent condition. Go figure.

Sigh. Russian officials used to be so much better at lying, back in the good old days (pre-1991).

Mr. Vainshtok, call your office. You need to come up with a better cover story for the cutoff of oil delivery to Lithuania via pipeline.

Perhaps they hired some BP workers to lay down the pipe way back when.
Hello Dragonfly41,

According to this newsarticle: the Russians wish to control the Lithuanian refinery and economy.


By Vladimir Socor
Friday, August 18, 2006

Ignored by Western believers in Russia's reliability as an energy supplier, the Russian government is attempting to either bankrupt or capture the oil concern Mazeikiai in Lithuania. The holding's centerpiece, the Mazeikiai refinery, is the only refinery in the three Baltic states and largest economic entity there. It is also Lithuania's top taxpayer.

In the Game of Monopoly: owning Park Place makes it easy to crush the owner of lowly Baltic Ave.  

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

Do a google on Lithuania and Pres. Bush.  He was there a few months ago and said some things that Pis$ed off Putin.   Pay back is a .... female dog.

Like Ukraine last Jan,  Lithuania is feeling the jerk on the chain.  

It's just the begining.  

I thought it was Cheney, not Bush, that visited Lithuania in May.



On another list (restricted) I asked about how many streetcar lines there had been.

Most US cities of 25,000 and above population had at least one apparently.

I got the following repsonse from John Schumann of LTK consultants of Portland OR.

Peak Streetcar - How many US cities ?

The index of the McGraw Electric Railway Directory for 1924 runs to 23 pages, with about 80-85 listings per page; so say about 1,900 Electric Railway Companies as of that year, which was just a few years past the all-time peak of 1917 (in terms of street railway miles of line in service).  However, note there were quite a few instances of more than one company per metro area, e.g., 11 just for Buffalo, NY.

By 1975, the US was down to "survivor" systems or single lines in just 7 cities: Boston, Newark, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, New Orleans, and San Francisco; plus the 1-mile Tandy line in Ft. Worth and the large "survivor" streetcar system in Toronto, Canada.
Please note that US area was the same, but US population was little more than 100 million back then.  And the majority lived in rural areas.

Alan on short internet session.  eMail me directly with any questions or comments.  Alan_Drake at juno [dot] c o m (written to confuse bots).  

Excerpt from Leroy Demery (foremost US authority on Japanese rail).

"Quick and dirty" count, by state, of U.S. electric streetcar systems ("not" companies, "not" municipalities served by streetcar, exclusive of interurbans and rural trolley lines).

All-time, Operating after 1930 (1931-), Operating after 1945 (1946-)

ALABAMA: 11, 7, 1
ALASKA: 0, 0, 0
ARIZONA: 5, 1, 1
ARKANSAS: 8, 6, 1

CALIFORNIA: 34, 23, 9
COLORADO: 10, 5, 3
CONNECTICUT: 22, 16, 1

DELAWARE: 2, 1, 0
DC: 1, 1, 1

FLORIDA: 12, 7, 2

GEORGIA: 13, 6, 2

HAWAII: 1, 1, 0

IDAHO: 4, 0, 0
ILLINOIS: 51, 26, 4
INDIANA: 35, 24, 6
IOWA: 26, 10, 5

KANSAS: 20, 8, 3
KENTUCKY: 14, 12, 2

LOUSIANA: 7, 5, 1

MAINE: 12, 9, 1
MARYLAND: 6, 4, 1
MICHIGAN: 27, 13, 1
MINNESOA: 12, 7, 2
MISSOURI: 16, 10, 2
MONTANA: 5, 4, 1

NEBRASKA: 6, 2, 1
NEVADA: 1, 0, 0
NEW JERSEY: 29, 14, 6
NEW MEXICO: 2, 0, 0
NEW YORK: 68, 30, 10

OHIO: 50, 28, 6
OKLAHOMA: 14, 6, 2
OREGON: 6, 1, 1

PENNSYLVANIA: 75, 45, 19



TENNESSEE: 8, 6, 3
TEXAS: 32, 18, 2

UTAH: 5, 2, 1

VERMONT: 8, 1, 1
VIRGINIA: 12, 9, 4

WASHINGTON: 13, 7, 1
WISCONSIN: 27, 13, 1
WYOMING: 2, 0, 0

TOTAL: 810, 448, 117

. . . which "should" be rounded off as follows:

--Approximately 800 U.S. electric streetcar systems were built and
operated (prior to 1980).

--Of these, about 450 remained in operation after 1930.

--Of these, about 120 remained in operation after 1945.

Mexican oil production in July fell again, from 3.287 mbpd in June to 3.232 in July, see for example

It seems, then, that Cantarell production fell again - I suppose the latest estimate for Cantarell production will be released in the next few days.

Production in July was however higher than during the same month last year because of Hurricane Emily last year.

Ford Is Slashing Production 20% for 4th Quarter

On Friday, Ford officials contended that no one in the industry could have anticipated that gasoline prices would remain so high, even though gas prices have been climbing since 2003 and spiked last year after Hurricane Katrina.

Come on no one predicted...

Actually gas is coming down in price here in the upper midwest - $3.09/gal and I don't here much complaining any more.  I'm afraid we'll have to wait until after the elections to see $4.00/gal gas - then we might get a meaningful transformation of our transportation sector.



In the other thread people are talking about CERA and "validation."

This is the danger of the echo chamber right here.  Someone told Ford (and GM) the gas prices they wanted to hear, the believed them, and now say "no one expected."

FWIW, I grabbed this old quote.  The original article is gone, but sometime around July 28th, 2005:

[...] Sherrie Childers Arb, director of environment and energy communications for GM, said it's wrong to assume higher oil prices.

"Our indicators show that oil will go down, not up," she said, pointing to information she gets from the federal Energy Information Agency, which is part of the Department of Energy.

By 2010, the agency expects a barrel of oil to fall to $26, she said.

Funny how you don't hear Toyota spouting this garbage.
The Japanese have a huge advantage, being in Japan, and immersed in an enterely different cultural (and energy) environment.
The price she's quoting would be approx. $8 a barrel circa 1980 (in real dollars). Cheap oil will never end.
My dad  worked for a ford dealership for 50 years and was the manager for 30 of those years. (Still does some odd jobs there for health insurance)

What you have to realize is that Ford and GM management aren't faking ignorance about peak oil. They really are completely clueless.  They are arrogant, self absorbed and convinced about their own superiority.  These would be bad traits in any management team, but couple that and an obsession with vehicle power and speed and you have a company incapable of dealing with modern life.  These people live in world were Texas is still the swing producer and the year is 1950.  Add in union contracts that cripple the companies nimbleness and you have guarantied bankruptcy.  

It's really quite sad for me.  It's like watching an old friend with Alzheimers slowly die.