DrumBeat: August 5, 2006

An Interview with Bill Powers

Bill Powers, an energy analyst and energy-focused investment manager, talks about issues relating to peak oil, natural gas, alternative energy and more.

Stunning news: OPEC is beginning to fear biofuels. An industry publication claims OPEC thinks by 2050, the value of a barrel of oil will be zero, with oil completely replaced by biofuels. (Is really fear of biofuels, though - or acknowledgement of peak oil?)

Airlines may be nearing ceiling on fares: Industry faces issue of whether consumers will pay to cover fuel costs.

Simplicity and resourcefulness pick up the slack in our lower energy future

Afghan Capital Faces Energy Crunch

Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, faces a crippling energy shortage with basic electricity only available six hours a day. Officials say demand is soaring, but international support for the city's energy needs is being cut and widespread power outages are expected throughout the coming winter.

Antarctica Under Siege: Icy Continent Faces Threats From Countries Vying For Oil And Other Minerals.

Some here have wondered where to find or post peak oil-related art, fiction, poetry, etc. This could be the answer: Where are the poets? A peak oil rallying cry to artists.

...at So Long, Hydrocarbon Man, we will now take submissions of poems, short films, short stories and images that speak to the realities of peak oil, climate change and life at the end of the era of Hydrocarbon Man. Visit the site and read our submission guidelines. Spread the word to artists: a challenge has been issued to create stories that tell the truth about where we are and ones that imagine the possibilities of where we can go from here.
Crude oil is crude oil.....except when it's condensate.

I wrote on Thursday: "All crude oil is crude oil and everything else is something else."

Oil CEO replied:

Hahaha, that's what I though, too. What's condensate, then? Of course, I know now. As Axl Rose once said, "Welcome to the jungle."

Well, I still stand by my statement. I am forced to mix condensate with my crude because the EIA does. All their data for individual nations is "crude + condensate". I simply have no choice in the matter.

But the question remains; why does the EIA mix crude oil and concentrate together. Well, I must confess I really do not know but I believe it is because that is really what happens. That is, condensate is just dumped in with the crude and the two are refined together, producing whatever motor fuels, and other petrol products that comes out.

But just because I am forced to mix my crude and concentrate when I am trying to glean the peak form all the data available, such as it is, that still doesn't mean that I must mix products from the corn field or cane field with it.  And I am not going to mix palm oil or canola oil with it either. And I sure as hell am not going to mix pressurized bottled gas with my crude oil.

Peak oil will peak when crude oil peaks, not when palm oil or butane peaks. And when crude oil peaks it will mean the peak of all crude oil, whether it comes from the Alberta Tar Sands, the Orinoco Bitumen, the Arctic or the deep-water continental shelf. All crude oil is crude oil and it doesn't matter where it comes form.

Thank goodness the EIA does mix all crude oil together when figuring crude + condensate. As far as the EIA is concerned, there is no such thing as "unconventional crude". So all we really have to do is use those numbers. Not that they are accurate because they are not. The EIA constantly over reports, but not nearly as much as the IEA. The EIA is reporting Nigeria down by 325,000 bp/d from their high last December. But Nigeria itself is reporting numbers twice that amount.

But that is the best data we have. And mixing alcohol, vegetable oil and bottled gas with our data just does not make any sense. It only adds an unnecessary confusion factor to the mix.

I know I have thrashed this same straw for weeks now so I will let up for awhile, unless of course someone else brings it up.

THANKS to this site; organizers,posters & commenters ;as an ardent reader I feel the need to say how helpful this  community/info/work/dialogue is. Thanks again!
you're welcome.  :)  we do what we can.
When the oil peak goes down (if it hasn't gone down yet) the "condensates" will max out too. At at least one gas station, the premium is already a penny short of the buck-a-litre mark.

It's to a point that a "football pool" could be made where you get to guess in months until gas is $5/gallon. By then, a small amount of the demand destruction will go down, as I mentioned coworkers and myself.

If you're one of those lucky six-digit earners, ask your secretary about the gas prices! An office loaded with six-digit earners will not be anywhere near as inconvienced by high gas prices as are we working stiffs who'll never earn a six-digit income in Y2K6 dollars. A four gallon commuting mission is a bigger bite if you earn "only" $50,000/year vs. $150,000/year.

"If you're one of those lucky six-digit earners, ask your secretary about the gas prices! An office loaded with six-digit earners will not be anywhere near as inconvienced by high gas prices as are we working stiffs who'll never earn a six-digit income in Y2K6 dollars."

Ummm... The coner office folks might be a little put out when they come to work and find that the proles upon whome they depend to actually, GET SOMETHING DONE aren't there 'cause the gas price made it more reasonable to stay home with the kids, or tend the veggie garden etc.

Or when it'll "pay" to work at a McDonald's within walking or bicycle distance.
Rent a room from someone and walk to work, yeah, minimum wage works almost everywhere in the US.

I know some people who bought their house a long time ago and can make the payments on min. wage just fine - trouble is, they're often earning less - they're not always working fulltime. But they squeak through, and they live in Huntington Beach! But, no car payments, no cable, no bigscreen, they live a lot like people did in the 1950s or so.

Remember what happened to all the 6-digit Income Yuppie Engineers who were employed by the Telecom industry until the year 2000 when the Bubble Burst? (many showed up at Salvation Army shelters).

There will be a lot of Former 6-Digit Earners in bread lines in the future.  

Many are extremely complacent and up to their eye-balls in debt... so do NOT walk under open windows of Banks and other former bastions of the parasitic 6 digit earners.

I'd say that many more 5 digit earners are complacent and up to their eyeballs in debt.  There is nothing to gain in blasting "6 digit" earners.  And if there are bread lines in the future, it will include mostly the 4 and 5 digit earners as well as many 6 digit earners. The ones who will make it through this relatively unscathed are the non-earners, the independently wealthy who have assets in the 7 and 8 digit range.
and the waltens(owners of wall-mart) will be hunkered down in their military like bunker siping champagne
And how fun would that be for them?
(Ok, bunkers are fun and great to have when there is war but they are not a place to live in. )
i said military like :P
from what little i have heard they have all the protection that a normal military bunker has but also they have some trappings of the rich. hence the champagne :)
An industry publication claims OPEC thinks by 2050, the value of a barrel of oil will be zero, with oil completely replaced by biofuels. (Is really fear of biofuels, though - or acknowledgement of peak oil?)

No, those guys really do fear alternative fuels. They bought into that silly idea right from the start. Kuwaiti officials have made statements in the past that they need to produce all the oil they can now before it is replaced with something else. Also that is the reason Saudi (up to recently) has tried to keep prices low. They were afraid something cheaper might replace oil and they would be left with all that worthless black goo.

You guys must understand that even the average US public has bought into this idea for years. "The stone age did not end because they run out of stones." Remember that one? And the OPEC countries bought the entire concept hook, line and sinker.  

Regarding Kuwait, there was a post on Kuwait linking their production to their true reserves. The post said this was "tabled". "Tabled" means "postponed". I suspect when push comes to shove Kuwait will produce at maximum.
Darwinian,  This is the "Yamani" mentality i spoke about yesterday. The Harvard educated Sheik led the KSA for decades in determining energy policy and has always worked on the premise that prices need to stay low enough to prevent the development of alternatives. The lack of production to lower world prices, by KSA is the biggest signal to me that they are having production problems. That and the consistent change in stories over the last two years as ablely documented by RWMCalister Aug 3rd., together with the obvious declining production,  lead me to believe that Simmons predictions are upon us.
Yes and in hindsight this is the worst thing that they could possibly have done. By keeping prices low they encouraged consumption. Low prices kept gas hogs on the market. Low prices encouraged urban sprawl. Low prices kept public transportation from being developed. Low prices meant we put vast sums of money in the interstate highway system. And worst of all, low prices meant that their oil would be depleted much sooner and they would get a lot less for it.
Scientific issues associated with carbob-neutral energy sources such as cellulosic ethanol - Addressed by Prof. Chris Somerville


US Sales of Hybrids Top 25,000 Units in July for a New High

... one of those things that might be worse than we hoped, but better than we feared.

There are two reasons to get a hybrid. The obvious reason here is to use less of the precious gas. The second reason is longer range on a load of said gas. God forbid that a soccer mom must stop as a gas station to put a load of gas onboard the car! On that note, I think it would be cool to have a hybrid car but with auxilliary fuel tanks to compensate for the coming shortages, enough that the car has transcontinental range. De3signed right, you get to annoy the occasional siphoner!
It would be nice to have a diesel hybrid.  Then you could save that nice safe diesel outside the car, and of course switch to high EROEI biodiesel when possible.
I would prefer diesel for a hybrid too. The ultimate way to teach a siphoner a lesson would be to modify the engine to burn a half and half mix of gas and diesel, what military people call "JP-4". The siphoner puts THAT fuel in his car, and it dies every time. And it'll die whether it's gas or diesel, becuse half is the wrong fuel.
I thought JP-4 was jet fuel/kerosene. Now you can approximate JP-4 with your dangerous mixture of gasoline and diesel, but DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.

Gasoline fumes go boom.


Indeed, Don, JP-4 is half kero and half gasoline. The idea of JP-4 is to avoid the fuel freezing during a high altitude flight, like a U2 spy plane. It turns out that kero can be used in diesel engines, hence my intentional use of "diesel" and "jet fuel" as synonyms. Steve Fossett used JP-4 during his round the world "drive".

When in the US Navy, they used JP-5 and F-76 fuels for diesel-engine devices. The ship's boilers could burn F-76 or the JP-5. The JP-5 is better for washing out paint brushes. Sometimes, you could get some good JP-5 that was white like water. Great for washing out a paint brush, but the same fuel (if not tainted) can be used in diesel liberty boats or the Tomcats.

It's great to watch a Tomcat getting slingshotted off. At night, you get to see those blowtorches, and listen to a good roar. Getting fuel next to a carrier is one great military expierence. Too damn bad the USS Belknap could only do 30 knots on a good day. And that's with all 4 boilers going. :(

I'll stick to the V-8 Interceptor I have in my garage collecting dust, the one I have decked out with large fuel tanks in the trunk. Need that raw power and spped for the eventual road battles that may break out post-Peak. ;o)
The hybrid fantasy is another example of our inability to give up on our previous, dying investment - in this case in the automobile and individual, autonomous transportation.  

The hybrid will lead to Fuel Twitching.  Any substantial shift in Transportation from gasoline to electricity will cause electric rates to sky rocket.

Same story as last year's comedy starring the corn or wood pellet stoves - the Herd stampedes blindly into the Newest, Bestest Fad and causing shortages adn a very rapid increase in the price of the latest, greatest fossil fuel "alternative."

Actually when I said "better than feared" I was thinking of those shallow "hybrid hype" articles.

The fact is, you can't get from here (mass hydrocarbon consumption) to there (a sustainable energy future) without passing through various stages of improvement.  Hybrids represent an improvement ... not the end of the transition.

not really.
i can easily see 9 out of 10 people easily driving more often if they have a hybrid then if they had a normal car or suv. not to mention building a hybrid is harder then building a normal car mainly because of how complex a hybrid is compared to a normal car and the extra costs of the battery's. the costs of upgrading the electrical infrastructure for plug-ins(if our grid is strained just from seasonal ac/heating usage a massive number of people switching to plug in hybrids will send it over the edge).
Also one has to figure in the costs of making the disposal facility's for the hybrid battery's once they bite the dust as well as the facility's for building and recycling(note you cannot recycle for ever you will always have a percentage that cannot be recycled) them. Then we have to go about re-training the mechanics to be certified to work on them, since car company's are very paranoid about joe blow working on their cars(to the point they have to buy multi-thousand dollar machinery to just decode the error messages the on-board computer spits out) not all of them will be able to complete it. Add to this the cost of continuing the up-keep of the present system for the percentage that will not be able to afford the hybrids and for the hybrids themselves which still use gas/diesel.
End result is a system more complex then the previous needing more energy to keep the whole thing going, more points of failure, and more environmental destruction as people rush around looking for the materials needed to keep it going.
oil, coal, bio-diesel, etc for the liquid fuel parts of it including their own costs.
Copper, platinum, lithium, etc for the raw materials.

It looks like to me both Jevon's paradox and Jason seem to win out here. jevon's paradox because the more efficient technology will just have the effect of people using it more as well as the increased energy usage elsewhere either by the system or by the people who save money on the new technology spending it for other more energy intensive things.
Jason because he points out that civilization solves it's problems by moving from a less complex system to a more complex system and because of this they require more energy to run it.

Feel free to provide solid data, but I dislike it when a theory (Jevon's paradox) is put forward as a fact.

FWIW, I switched from a 22 mpg car, and drive less miles in my 50 mpg car.  So I've cut my fuel by more than half.

(People stuck in traffic all day simply don't have time to put on 2x the miles, which is what it take to make up for 100% greater MPG)


And what do you do with money you save?

And what happens to the price?

And what does that allow other, less fuel- conscious, people to do?

Q: And what do you do with money you save?  A: I suppose it stays in the bank.

Q: And what happens to the price?  Of gas?   A: It follows a broad curve based on aggregate demand.  I personally have affected that demand in a vanishingly small way.

Q: And what does that allow other, less fuel- conscious, people to do?  A: they will respond to prices, which I understand I have affected in a vanishingly small way.

... I think the expectation of all our national plans for increased efficinecy, be that with washing machines, light bulbs, or cars, depends on achieving a change in aggregate demand.  We certainly have not done that with fleet mpg.

your the exception claiming to be the rule.
the majority will either drive further or use the savings from using less fuel in the car to finally take that over-seas vacation.

as for sources, if your not too lazy you can look them up yourself. i rather not be bothered and expend extra effort to point to something people like you would not read anyway.

When I say "FWIW" I mean "for what it's worth" and I am not claiming to be the rule.

The operative phrase, from my point of view, was "Feel free to provide solid data [...]"

Sure, "for what it's worth", but in your case it doesn't worth much!

John, be serious, having taught political science at Orange Coast College, being a member of Phi Rho Pi and Republicans for Environmental Protection does not give you ANY plausible credentials to discuss technology, complexity or economics (Jevon's paradox).

OK, you're not (entirely...) a troll, an asshole, a lobbyist, a psychotic or a PR guy, but CERTAINLY a badly deluded Republican, did you REALLY sign this hallucinating piece of a petition to George BUSH ???

Dear President Bush and House and Senate leaders:

The Republican Party has a proud and distinguished tradition of conservation and environmental protection. Keeping with this tradition, and drawing upon its proven wisdom, we have joined hands as Republicans for a Responsible Energy Plan. We urge you and members of Congress to build for America an energy policy that emphasizes efficiency, conservation, and development of clean energy sources. A truly conservative energy policy can secure a bright and prosperous future for America, and protect our environment and national treasures, such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. We are confident that America's energy needs can be met without sacrificing our irreplaceable natural heritage, weakening clean air protections, or ignoring the very real threat of global climate change, while also enhancing the competitiveness of American industry.

To meet our energy and environmental challenges, we need an energy plan which will:

  • Raise fuel economy standards for cars and SUV's to 40 miles per gallon over the next decade - thereby saving more than 15 times the estimated yield of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, saving fuel America must now import and saving drivers billions of dollars at the pump;

  • Achieve energy efficiency for our homes, offices and factories, through investment in readily available technologies, stimulated by tax credits and national standards, including upgraded appliance efficiency standards;

  • Realize the enormous potential for clean, renewable energy such as solar, wind and fuel cell power, and encourage a boom in its production through tax incentives paid for by redirecting fossil fuel subsidies. (The Department of Energy's 2000 study, "Scenarios for a Clean Energy Future," states that energy efficiency and renewable power can spare us the need to build over 60 percent of the 1300 new power plants that the Administration claims are needed over the next 20 years);

  • Take global climate change seriously by capping carbon dioxide emissions (as pledged in the presidential campaign) and increase the use of natural gas as the "bridge" to a clean energy future; and

  • Increase the availability of natural gas (including a new pipeline from Prudhoe Bay, built along existing corridors), with increased exploration and development on lands already open to these activities, extracting more oil and gas from existing fields using available new technology and giving priority to the least environmentally-sensitive areas.

In sum, a plan to meet America's energy needs should emphasize improving energy efficiency, increasing fuel economy, investing in renewable energy, and using natural gas as a bridge to a clean energy future - at the same time as we work for a stable climate and clean air and protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and America's other wild places.

That's what Republicans for a Responsible Energy Plan stands for. With your help, our nation and its leaders can take action that is responsive to our energy challenges, our environmental responsibilities, and the clear preferences of the American people.

Sincerely yours,


Remember: "On the Internet, Nobody Knows You're a Dog" :

Click on image to see the REALITY CHECK.

So, you are worried about the environment in Newport Beach?

Does anyone wants John's phone number to help him cope with the problem or just have a chat?

So you've descended into the true ad hominem  attack eh?

Not only against my pseudonym, but seeking to call out my real name and location?

FWIW, you got some of that right, but there is a certain anonymity in having a common name.  Some of that is not about me at all.

I hope you'll drop this though, and simple discuss the issues without attacking the person.  That's what I've been trying to do.  I certainly never dreamed of piercing anyone's pseudonym here in this group.

See my reply here

   How does posting odo's name further any of your arguments? It is a little creepy actually.


(BTW, on "figuring" costs and complexity .. you haven't actually done that.  You've simply made an emotional appeal that they must be "too much.")
I have a cousin who has a Jeep Grand Cherokee who informed my brother the other idea that hybrids are "not worth it", whatever that means. This, no doubt, was based on his extensive reading of misleading articles in the MSM. Or maybe he overheard it.  In his view, they don't get very good gas mileage.  Amazing. He never bothered to talk to me who owns a Prius.  I assure you the gas mileage is way, way better than a Grand Cherokee.  Ok, if it's not worth it, what is?  Just about anything would be an improvement.

This must be some sort of paradox.  When confronted with a problem, do nothing, and then tell everyone that none of the alternatives are an improvement that is "worth it".


This must be some sort of paradox.  When confronted with a problem, do nothing, and then tell everyone that none of the alternatives are an improvement that is "worth it".

There is no paradox. It is just a different modeling of the world.

When you are a Smithian, you believe yourself to be making these brutally honest and "rational" calculations about what is the most "worthy" (meaning, least costly or most profitable) option. Given that externalities such as polluting the atmosphere and encouraging continuation of the non-negotiable auto way of life do not enter into the brutally honest calculations; then the $3,000 extra you pay for a hybrid does not pay itself back in sufficient time.
Therfore, "it's not worth it."


It depends. For me, a hybrid would definitely "not be worth it." Right now I work from home and either walk or take the bus everywhere. I don't own a vehicle. If I do decide to buy one it will likely but whatever is:

A) safe and reliable

B) cheap

Gas mileage, even at $4 or $6 a gallon won't matter much because I will be doing so little driving. I'd rather spend $5,000 for a used truck that gets 15 mpg than $25,000 for a hybrid that gets 55 mpg. At the low rate of driving I'd be doing it would take an incredibly long time for the hybrid to pay for itself. Meanwhile $20,000 saved is a big, big amount to me at this point.

"the other idea that hybrids are "not worth it", whatever that means"

I am sure that what he means is the for most hybrids which have a non-hybrid model (like an Accord vs Accord hybrid), you are paying substantially more more for only a small increase in gas milage.  Your savings in gas would never make up for the increased upfront costs.

The cousin is right.

As I said, my cousin drives a Grand Cherokee and has no intention of buying any sort of high mileage car, much less a hybrid.  Yes, I agree, it's not worth it to him, but then he thinks killing Kyoto was Bush's greatest accomplishment.  Nothing would be worth it for him to get out of his little cocoon.  If he were to buy a Honda Civic and then tell me he didn't feel it was worth it to buy a Prius, I could see some reasonableness to his position.

And also, he just recently bought a new Mercedes. Now, that was worth it.

"Solid data" for you odograph about costs and complexity, dont get too emotional.
We can help you but you have to READ!

China Makes Huge Breakthrough in Wind Power Technology
Zijun Li - July 4, 2006 - 5:53am

Chinese developers unveiled the world's first full-permanent magnetic levitation (Maglev) wind power generator at the Wind Power Asia Exhibition 2006 held June 28 in Beijing, according to Xinhua News. Regarded as a key breakthrough in the evolution of global wind power technology--and a notable advance in independent intellectual property rights in China--the generator was jointly developed by Guangzhou Energy Research Institute under China's Academy of Sciences and by Guangzhou Zhongke Hengyuan Energy Science & Technology Co., Ltd.

The Maglev generator is expected to boost wind energy generating capacity by as much as 20 percent over traditional wind turbines. This would effectively cut the operational expenses of wind farms by up to half, keeping the overall cost of wind power under 0.4 yuan ($US 5 cents), according to Guokun Li, the chief scientific developer of the new technology. Further, the Maglev is able to utilize winds with starting speeds as low as 1.5 meters per second (m/s), and cut-in speeds of 3 m/s, the chief of Zhongke Energy was quoted as saying at the exhibition. When compared with the operational hours of existing wind turbines, the new technology will add an additional 1,000 hours of operation annually to wind power plants in areas with an average wind speed of 3 m/s.

INTERVIEW - India hopes to double wind power generation by 2007

Help is on the way. Or so I hope.  The Chinese are all over the map; I guess the promise of all those millions of engineers are starting to bear fruit.  Too bad they are also building a coal fired plant every 10 days and seem enamored with coal to liquids and the automobile. You'd think that a dictatorship could do a better job of heading in one direction.  Or maybe they don't care what energy sources they tap as long as they get more energy out of it. Kind of like the U.S., I guess.
Greetings, all. Haven't been reading here much since before the World Cup.

Something strange going on here in Lithuania -- the local refinery, Mazheikiu Nafta, has been having problems getting oil from Russia through the Druzhba pipeline, since about July 24. The route is Samara - Bryansk - Polotsk - Mazheikiai. I understand that on or around July 29 there was supposedly an accident near Bryansk that severely reduced the throughput of crude, but that doesn't explain the interruption in deliveries about five days prior.

The Mazheikiu Nafta refinery (last I heard, anyway) is working at its lowest possible operating range, about 14,000 tons per day, using crude delivered by tanker to the offshore terminal at Butinge.

Okay, since I haven't been reading TOD for some time, here's my idea / question: is this a data point that supports westexas / Khebab's contention that Russian exports are beginning to decline? I can think of other places the Russian crude might be going (Ventspil in Latvia? increased domestic consumption? and others), but if anyone can offer some insight, I'd appreciate it.

Russia had an "accident" involving natural gas being sent to Georgia last winter. What has Lithuania done recently that Russia might be annoyed about?
Lithuania's crime has been and will always be its independence from the Soviet Union (in Putin's eyes).  Lithuania has buddied up to the West for many, many years.

So how are people doing in Lietuva?  I have several friends there and have not heard if this "accident" is causing hardships there?

No hardships, as of yet -- the Butinge facility allows crude to be shipped in by tanker. But, as the CEO of the refinery pointed out in an interview a day or two ago, bringing crude in by tanker instead of pipeline shaves the refinery's margin by a few dollars a barrel. Not only is the refinery forced to operate at a lower volume of production, but it is less profitable. If the refinery had had to operate last year without bringing in crude through the pipeline from Russia, it would have earned a much smaller profit -- maybe as much as 50% less.

If I recall correctly, the refinery is the largest single corporate taxpayer in Lithuania. So no problems yet -- but if the "pipeline accident" turns out to be something else, well, that would not be a good thing, to put it mildly.

In other news... just spent a week at the beach, on the Baltic Sea. Big change from 1999 -- I saw no automobiles older than 2002 or so, lots of SUVs, even saw a Prius. People plunk down a cool euro or a bit more per liter, but it's not stopping them from driving. My family rather enjoyed the train and bus we took to get there, though -- none of this driving nonsense. I should have asked the Prius driver to give us a spin around town, would have been fun...

Did you go to Klaipeda, Palanga, or out of the country?

I recall some white sand dunes that were beautiful.  With its size Lithuania is pretty easy to get around by train or bus.  

When I was staying in Kaunas, my friends and I even took some canoes by train down south of Alytus and floated on the Merkys and then into the Nemunas.

We were in Nida, on the Curonian Spit. (What is it with people in this part of the world -- why can't they think up more attractive names??) We rented a canoe and paddled from Nida down to the Russian border, helpfully marked with yellow buoys. Canoeing and kayaking have definitely caught on, if you did the Merkys trip again, you'd quite possibly run into "traffic jams".

It was discouraging, though, to see so many super-sized vehicles in Nida. My wife remembers Nida from the Soviet period, and she swears that not just anybody could drive in. Even a decade ago, I can remember that the standard way to get there was by bus or by boat, not automobile. Sigh. Well, our kids liked the train-bus-ferry combination, at least. :)

You know balticman they really didn't help things by putting nafta in the name, that's extremely bad luck!
The pipelines were bombed and every media outlet in Russia and outside it reported this.   Also, for the tin foil hat brigade  of which you are member, why would Russia bomb the pipelines after it had signed the contracts with Georgia setting the gas price at $110 per tcm.  It is still $110 per tcm.
Dissident, you're right. The Georgia bombing case is very different from the Bryansk pipeline break. I saw a Russian environmental official quoted as saying that the pipeline repair might take even some months to complete, because a preliminary inspection showed literally hundreds of defects and problems in that stretch of pipeline. Belarus is reportedly still getting some oil, so it's not like the pipeline was ruined.

Still, it is curious that the flow to Lithuania would be shut off several days prior to the accident, and then the accident is used as an explanation for the shutoff. Curious.

"but if anyone can offer some insight, I'd appreciate it."

I have no direct knowledge, but my guess is that the oil is being partially diverted to higher bidders.

On of the very few joys I get from this crisis (amidst all the heartache) is seeing all those damn dumb cornucopians being proved wrong. I just read a few pages from Bjorn Lomborg's "The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World", English edition published in 2001:

The oil price hike from 1973 to the mid-80s was caused by an artificial scarcity, as OPEC achieved a consistent restraint to production. Likewise, the present high oil price is caused by sustained adherence to OPEC agreed production cutbacks in the late 1990s. Thus, it is also expected that the oil price will once again decline from $27 to the low $20s until 2020. This prediction lies well in the middle of the $17-$30 stemming from eight other recent international forecasts.

The reason why it is unlikely that the long term trend will deviate much from this price is that high real prices deter consumption and encourage the development of other sources of oil and non-oil energy supplies. Likewise, persistently low prices will have the opposite effects.
Page 122

At $40 a barrel (less than one-third above the current world price), shale oil can supply oil for the next 250 years at current consumption. And all in all there is oil enough to cover our total energy consumption for the next 5000 years.
Page 135

Perhaps the OPEC members have been reading Lomborg also and that is why they fear their oil will soon be obsolete.

Lomborg supports his thesis with about ten graphs. He was mentioned in a recent WSJ op-ed or editorial, so I flipped thru this book at Borders especially with regard to oil. After finishing laughing I put the book back.
I made the mistake of buying the book. He might have relevant things to say on different environmental issues, but I started on the oil chapters, and after reading that nonsense about shale oil I gave the book away (should  probably have thrown it away; some bargain hunter will get terrible misinformation.)
Powers Interview:

To think that because the US is having an economic slowdown that oil prices will come down is, I think, incorrect.

I wouldn't bet on that, in fact I'd bet just the opposite. The US is such a lynch pin in the global economy, as it is currently structured, a recession here would definitely have an impact on demand across the planet. It might not collapse prices as it did in the mid-80s, but it would certainly bring them down significantly for the short-term.

I think you are correct Brutus.  Sometime this year the lighbulb will go on for the Herd and they will Panic Buy into energy investments at exactly the WRONG time... and those of us who have been invested the past few years will Sell this coming short-term Top and wait out the Inevitable Bear Market Correction.

The Vinod Khosla thread is kind of old, so I hope it's OK to post this here. For those who wondered about Mr. Khosla's motives, Daniel Weintraub from The Sacramento Bee explains:

Direct democracy in California is becoming the latest hot investment for venture capitalists looking to merge their societal goals with a good return on their money.
By backing ballot measures tailored to promote their personal and financial interests, investors can quickly change public policy and make a buck at the same time.
With Proposition 87, the link between public policy and potential profit is much clearer, especially when it comes to Khosla.

Khosla defends himself:

"Just because I could benefit from it, doesn't make it wrong," he said. "This is the right thing to do, for a lot of reasons."
I've been throwing out "fooled by randomness" a lot lately.  If you are interested, you don't really need to get the book to get the broad overview.  There's a nice MP3 on-line.  I've pointed to it here in the past ... but I still like it as a source:


The book is good though, if you want to follow up on that talk.

"Airlines may be nearing ceiling on fares"

How about an IPO for "Profoundly Local Airlines" using Solar Powered (thin flexible panels) Helium Dirigibles.  

IMHO, The Rat Race will be won by the Turtle after all.

"only a rat can win a rat race" M. Franti Spearhead
Sometimes us Cockroaches win the Rat Race (thanks mick for reminding me of the cockroach ;).
Thank you for sharing that :>)


What is the outlook for helium supplies?  I seem to remember that virtually all of it comes from a few natural gas wells somewhere in the southern US.
Don't worry, we can always use hydrogen in our dirigibles!
There was a PBS show years ago that seemed to "prove" that the Hindenburg caught fire and burned because of the paint, rather than the hydrogen. The paint was considered much more flammable and according to some "experts", was the reason it went down in flames.

Ultimately, it was probably insufficient little spikies all over to diffuse static.

Actually, that's pretty much true.  Had the envelope of the Hindenburg not been made of what amounted to a giant thermite "bomb" it may have been a non-event.  Hydrogen is so buoyant that it should have just burned up and away from the passengers below.  Considering that the whole thing was a giant spiky because of the metallic paint, a few more spikeys would not have made a difference.
Taiwan Breaks Relations With Chad

Published: August 5, 2006
Filed at 2:40 p.m. ET

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) -- The Taiwanese government said early Sunday that it was breaking off diplomatic relations with Chad just hours before a planned trip by Taiwan's premier to the central African country.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Michel Lu said Chad was under pressure from China to end its relations with Taiwan, so the island's leaders made the break before Chad could move on its own.

He charged that China had been using its status as a member of the U.N. Security Council and its ability to influence events in the neighboring African nation of Sudan to persuade Chad to cut ties.

He did not offer details. Taiwanese Premier Su Tseng-chang was scheduled to leave for Chad on Sunday but the trip was canceled, Lu said.

In Chad, government spokesman Hourmadji Moussa Doumgor said he had no immediate comment.

Taiwan split from China during civil war in 1949 but China considers the island a part of its territory.

In recent decades Taiwan has been fighting an effort by Beijing to reduce the breakaway republic's number of diplomatic allies.

China now is focusing its pressure on Africa, using its economic power to offer lucrative aid, trade and investment deals in exchange for oil, raw materials and diplomatic support. Chad began pumping oil in 2003 and exported about 133 million barrels in its first two years.

Only 24 nations now have full diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Most are small and impoverished countries in Africa, the Pacific and Latin America.

Taiwan has been one of Chad's major foreign allies, helping to develop its infrastructure and offering to assist in expanding its oil industry. Taiwanese Foreign Minister James Huang met with Chad's leaders in N'Djamena last month to try to cement relations.

Hello TODers,

Partial repost of article linked below:
Screaming "Traitors!", dozens of leftist protesters blocked the entrance of the electoral court after its judges announced their decision on Saturday.

"If there is no solution, there'll be revolution," they shouted.

The Mexican election commisssion has ordered only a partial recount of ballots.

In a Solomonic decision, the seven justices of Mexico's Supreme Electoral Tribunal (known as the Trife) cut the baby of democracy in half. In doing so, they added more uncertainty and drama to an already tense crisis.

The messiest scenario will come if this sample of 11,000 precincts shows a shift averaging more than two or three votes per precinct toward López Obrador. If so, the national clamor for a full recount will boil over into a national rebellion. The court will have to either reconsider the matter of a full or larger recount or the post-electoral conflict will move from the courts to the streets and highways of Mexico.

López Obrador, whose supporters have camped out blockading Paseo de la Reforma and other important streets in the center of Mexico City for the past week, has called his people to the Zocalo - the gigantic "town square" of the nation - at 7 p.m. tonight to offer his response to the tribunal's decision. There, history may find the baby of democracy is not willing to be cut in half and is ready to fight like never before to survive.

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico ramped up security at its international airport, power plants and oil refineries on Friday, as leftists challenging a tight presidential election result threatened to intensify crippling protests.

Let's not forget the megalopolis of Mexico city takes enormous amounts of energy because of the requirement of transporting goods, water, etc UPHILL.

From Wikipedia:
It is located in the Valley of Mexico (Valle de México), a large valley in the high plateaus (altiplano) at the center of Mexico, about 2,240 meters (7,349 feet) above sea-level, surrounded on most sides by volcanoes towering at 4,000 to 5,500 meters (13,000 to 18,000 feet) above sea-level.

I sure hope with Cantarell depleting, PEMEX needing bigtime funds to explore, combined with the Mexican standoff that a peaceful solution for all can be found.

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

totoniela -

Yes, Mexico City is way uphill, but by the same token it must have minimal air conditioning demand. So it probably balances out.

As best I can tell by the world weather report in my local paper, the max daytime temperature in Mexico City hasn't gone about 80 degrees F more than a handfull of times all summer, and in fact it is often less than 70 degrees. The only other major city that comes close in the western hemisphere is San Francisco, where it is fairly cool most of the time. They probably have the lowest heating/cooling cost of any city in the US.

If it weren't for its multitude of obvious social pathologies,  Mexico City might be a nice place to live. But then again, practically any place in the world can be a nice place to live if you have  enough money.

Pick any crappy medium-size rust-belt city in the US, and you will find among all the run-down housing and decaying factories and infrastructure a small yet very well kept area of elegant large old homes that are inhabited by either the descendents of the mill owners of old, or by oday's yuppies on the go.

Money talks.

So, should we find ourselves in a post-peak oil world, it is well to remember that not everyone will be hurting uniformly. In fact, the polarization between the have and have-nots will become even more extreme.

Picture chauffer-driven top-of-the-line Hummers optioned out with a .50 machine gun mounted on the roof that is manned by a well-paid 'security  professional'. Thus equipped,  one can foray into the bowels of center city to see the opera without having to worry about being molested by the angry ugly hungry rabble.

Life CAN be good!

"Picture chauffer-driven top-of-the-line Hummers optioned out with a .50 machine gun mounted on the roof that is manned by a well-paid 'security  professional'. Thus equipped,  one can foray into the bowels of center city to see the opera without having to worry about being molested by the angry ugly hungry rabble."

Watch as this decked-out Hummer, which due to its obtrusive nature simply screams "Target Me!", is demolished by one or more IEDs.

In a future world with many, many unhappy people, a certain percentage of which are very angry while also having lost all hope, will be a very uncertain one. Even the well-off will suffer (deep anxiety, if anything).

Woilf -

Indeed, it is both scary and hopeful at the same time that any security system devised by man can also be circumvented by man.

In the long run, there is no place to hide, though the rich and privileged may delude themselves into thinking so during the short term.

Anyway, I really do think that the gap between the have and have-nots is going to continue to widen till things reach a critical mass. I also believe that is why the US is slowly but surely puting into place a police state apparatus, so as to preserve as much of the satus quo for the 'managerial class' as is possible to  preserve.

You can be sure that those detention facilities to be built by Haliburton's KBR division ain't just for illegal

Hello TODers,

It is fascinating to consider the possible effect upon the Mexican election outcome if the illegals in the US and those with dual MEX-US citizenship had voted.  I believe that most would have voted for AMLO: The illegals in the US must miss their families terribly--they would have voted for hoped-for future economic conditions that would have re-united them in a vibrant Mexican economy.

Eighty-seven percent of all votes from abroad arrived from the United States _ 28,335 votes out of 35,763 ballots. Those voters in the United States who requested absentee ballots posted an impressive 79 percent turnout. But even so, they were not enough to make a difference in the outcome, as some commentators had feared. Others believe the foreign vote was intentionally restricted to keep voters living abroad from being a deciding factor.

Still, it's disturbing that the Mexican vote from abroad didn't pack a bigger wallop.  It is even more worrisome in light of the fact the that 11 million Mexican nationals in the United States need representation somewhere since they can't vote for representatives where they live.

Although 33,111 absentee ballots were cast, the official count was 32,632, due to electoral officials annulling 479 ballots for irregularities. Of ballots cast, 28,335 came from the United States - home to some 9 million Mexican expatriates.

"Most of the people we're talking about are illegal immigrants," Palacios said. "It's not a priority. Even being legal, I wouldn't go back to Mexico just to get the card either."

Tucsonan Florencio Zaragoza, a 57-year-old magazine publisher, said others were put off by the $9 fee to send their ballot by registered mail. The fee effectively acted as a poll tax, Zaragoza said.

"It's free to vote in Mexico," he said. "Why should we have to pay to vote here?"

Calderon won the absentee vote, receiving 58 percent of the ballots that arrived from other countries. Lopez Obrador captured 34 percent of the absentee ballots.

My guess is that most of these valid absentee ballots were from wealthy Mex expats who have a vested interest in voting for Calderon-- by excluding most illegals from voting with a pre-designed program of silence and omission --it indirectly skews the results to Calderon's advantage.

Unfortunately, most US illegals are too busy struggling just to get by to stay informed on what is happening down south, much less having spare time and money to register, vote, and pay the 'poll tax'.  As mentioned before, remittances sent South is a tremendous boon to the Mex. elite to retain the status quo.

Sadly, it seems to be a system optimally designed to oppress the poor until the stress builds where all hell breaks loose.

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

Well, perhaps thats why those awfully nice men from Halliburton-KBR are going to build those concentration camps for you.
Hello Mudlogger,

Thxs for replying.  That is why I wish I could get everyone to push for Foundation as modeled by Asimov.  It seems suboptimal to respond ad hoc as crises arise, I would prefer a precomputed, directed postPeak path to minimize conflict as much as possible, although I have no idea of everything that would entail.  It just seems that this would be the best and most valued use of electricity while we still have it.

When an emergency arises in an aircraft the pilot does his best to seek a safe landing zone-- Foundation would seek to do the same for the World.  It would incorporate all the best ideas presented here on TOD and elsewhere.  I cannot think of a better mitigation process--can you?  I would be interested in reading alternative proposals.

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


You've used the "Foundations" for a long time as a lynchpin to your ideas.  I checked them out on the web but I'm not really interested in Asimov's books.  Why don't you ask the TOD PTB to do a thread on them where you could lay out whay you feel they have relevance.


a little psychohistory never hurt anyone, damn it.
Unfortunately, we don't have a science of psychohistory. Instead we get sociology, psychology, and psychiatry, which, while I admire the intent of professionals in those fields, is really nothing more than the social sciences equivalent to alchemy 500 years ago.

Turkey intends to build a dam on the Tigris:


Right on the border with Iraq...

Hello TODers,

Nature does not build spiderwebs of supply chains like us detritovores-- it favors extremely tight feedback loops to maintain relative ecosystem equilibrium.  If an animal cannot swim, fly, crawl, slither, slime to its energy sources in time, it quickly dies.

After the first discoveries of oil, it was much easier to move the people nearer these energy sources-- recall all the emigration to the US since the first oil well in Pennsylvania in 1850s-- the detritus fiesta was just getting started.

Then technology advanced whereby it was more desirable to ship the energy long distances; build a spiderweb instead of concentrating people near the energy sources they deem of most value.  Now we have supply chains that are global in scope, and national electrical grids.

Imagine instead if detritovores had resisted building supply chains and followed the energy sources: Ghawar would be surrounded by the largest cities on the planet and so on downward in decreasing oilfield size.  Most of the rest of the world would already be composed of numerous biosolar habitats with corresponding natural feedback loops to restrain their numbers; they would have valued Mongo Nuts over using the Black Swamp.

Instead, our global reliance upon the distributive spiderwebs help insure that we will all go down together in full Tainterian collapse.  Recall my recent posting on Brazil's desire to build 84 dams: no concern for the last of the 'Mongo Nut' biosolar cultures in the Amazon and their ecosystem.  Sadly, this has happened to countless cultures worldwide-- their survival knowledge is mostly lost to antiquity.

When the inevitable postPeak detritus inflection point arrives to the various habitats around the globe their ability to shift to a lower gain lifestyle will be severely hampered by this prior spiderweb investment.  Proper Foundation planning can offer knowledge and assert leveraged forces of predictive collapse and directed decline to help smooth this transition and minimize violence.  Basically, imagine the HELP advice of fellow TODer Westexas implemented on a global scale.

For example: supercomputer analysis of Cascadia can provide a roadmap to minimize Overshoot effects and provide the immigration cutoff point whereby Earthmarines need to preclude further invasion by establishing defensive buffer zones.  Then the US Southwest can rapidly decline to sustainability at the even lower gain lifestyle.  I would expect towns directly along the Colorado River to be the most postPeak viable as the spiderwebs collapse.  Consider that the Havasupai have lived for generations along the Colorado.

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


If you don't mind me asking, what are your plans for riding this out, if any? Obviously your knowledge of this stuff is quite voluminous and I'm sure you realize your area is on the top-10 list of "areas most likely to fucked off the richter scale by Peak Oil."

If you don't have any plans that is perfectly fine too as given the volatility and discontinutiey introduced by these issues having "no plan" might be just as good as having a plan.

Hey AlphaMaleProphetOfDoom,

Can anyone really plan for the post peak oil era?? Where did I read recently that considering it will take decades for the world and advanced societies to collapse as a result of peak oil, no amount of planning is really going to do anyone any good in the short term.

Yep Catabolic Collapse is in our future, I'm working on having less because the weakening economy and widening of the gap between rich/poor in the US is far outpacing my attempts to bridge it. I've become used to the idea that I will never own a house, will never own much, and my best plan of action is to get good at living at the "cockroach" level.

Why is it, that back when I made $5 an hour, I saved a huge proportion of my income compared to the 0% - less than 0% I've saved when I made much more? The whole thing is a disgusting illusion.

So I am working on having LESS and needing LESS.

I also live in a top 10 area, Las Vegas. On Sep 29 we are moving to the Springfield, Mo area. We have friends there. I am in a daily battle of weather to stay longer in Vegas where my wife and I have decent jobs and can save money(whoops, I mean pay off debt!!) or move sooner and get involved in community and get jobs in essential goods and services, knowing the economy NOW is better in Vegas. I have basically picked to move sooner rather than later. After becoming po aware(LATOC) in Jan and also reading The Long Emergency, I will never see Las Vegas the same way again.
I'd stick with the decent jobs you and your lady have in Vegas for now (and actually save!)

Main reason:  if the peak is imminent or past, its reality and implications will dawn gradually on a world scale.  i.e. over a period of years.  On the small scale of your little life, you will have time to maneuver especially if you have some money saved.  Massive entities like nations have to think years ahead.  You are less constrained.  And, if your net worth is not totally tied up in realestate, you can be quite nimble as you watch the chips fall.

Any sort of major life change based on what you would read on TOD or in the Kunstler book is not a smart idea.  Reality is a very complicated thing! Even the best commentators here grasp only a tiny fraction of it.  Stay liquid, flexible and alert.

This whole reply makes perfect sense, however...

And, if your net worth is not totally tied up in realestate, you can be quite nimble as you watch the chips fall.

How do you STORE your "net worth" such as to keep it liquid, flexible and alert in troubled times?
Gold coins? cisterns of gas? canned/dry food? survival paraphernalia to be traded?
Not an easy choice!

How do you STORE your "net worth" such as to keep it liquid, flexible and alert in troubled times?

The trouble is that storing one's net worth in anticipation of troubled times is itself a risky move.  i.e. if those times don't come, you will sustain losses.  Depending on how one attempts to store one's wealth, those losses could be severe.

So instead, it makes more sense to hedge.  i.e. you assign a portion of your assets to a variety of personal strategies designed to mitigate particular possible catastrophes.  But mostly it's business as usual.  For instance: 10% of net worth in gold coins as a hedge against massive loss of confidence in global finance.  (The size of your hedge will, of course, reflect your view of the risk).

The important points are:

(1) Think in terms of hedging.  Do not attempt to come through completely unscathed.  Preparations of that kind are risky and costly and can result in disasterous losses.

(2) Think in terms of specific threats and how they might affect you.  There is no such thing as general disaster protection.

(3) Force yourself to think in terms of probabilities and percentages.  In key ways, the future is unknowable.  Especially on a personal scale.  But our flight-or-fight brains are not designed to think this way.

(4) After occasional intervals of hardheadedly and objectively designing and updating your hedging strategies, and after hardheadedly and objectively assessing your extremely limited perception of the world and your vulnerable place in it, go back to having a rosy outlook of your personal future and to knowing without a shadow of a doubt that you are the cat's ass.  It's the only way to live.  :-)

All of us have gone through what you are describing. 8 years ago i was so depressed that I was certain there was no reason to hope. But people make lemonade from lemons. While no one can tell you what the result of peak oil will be worldwide, country wide, regionally, or locally, ( none of us are mind readers) there are some reasonable deductions you can make. One, unless there is a monetary meltdown, a distinct possibility, but not a certainty, the result of peak oil will be relatively slow to materialize. It most likely is already showing signs with a 35% increase in crude prices per year for the last seven years( average) but nothing has yet melted down. Peak is the top of the heap, and the decline will probably be initially slow. It will undoubtably affect different local regions in different ways and at different speeds. ( I would not want to be in the LA basin) But there will likely be enough time for a PO aware individual to react to the ever more compelling signs. I agree with Asebius, Keep your job and get better off financially or buy things you think you will need and be able to take with you. Don't let the initial depression force your thought process. Good luck.
unless there is a monetary meltdown,

Even without a meltdown money value can swing wildly in both directions, deflation or inflation, more likely inflation in the long run.

If your debt is LV real estate(a home) I'd question staying with the $. The fast crash is probably  war/economy led. Who knows. I wouldn't want to be relocating during a national crisis. I do suscribe to the story of the pre Civil War  move made by a family in Virginia to escape war; he moved to a quiet town in Pa.:Gettysburg.

Yes, this is a dillemma faced by all of us to one degree or another. I often ask myself, "should I continue to ply my trade as professional prophet of doom in hopes of acquring enough money to purchase prime arable land or should I simply accept my future serfdom and hire myself out to a landowner now?"

Hello AMPOD,

The following reply is based on the assumption that the world will blunder ahead with NO MITIGATION.

I choose not to leave Phx as long as my frail mother is alive [my father died in 2005].  I have informed her of Peakoil, but she says the stress of moving would kill her.  So, unless things start falling apart overnight and she suddenly realizes that hitting the road to somewhere is better than staying here--here I stay.

Next, my girlfriend of twenty-one years together is in total denial--I am forbidden to even bring the subject up in her presence--it breaks my heart.  Hopefully, at some future postPeak time she will come in and tell me she is ready to skedaddle out of the Asphalt Wonderland, but I am unsure if this will actually extend our lifespans because we might be getting a late start.

I strongly doubt if Cascadia and other biosolar habitats will gladly welcome 250 million detritovores into their lifeboats once it becomes obvious that a paradigm shift is underway.  I think plans are afoot where most will die relatively close to their homes-- unless some TODer has read of future plans to bring 150 million postPeak Bangladeshis to America to generously shield them from the worst of PO & GW.  Just as those trapped in post-Katrina New Orleans were not allowed over the I-10 overpass into Gretna by shotgun-toting sheriffs, I think we can expect much the same postPeak treatment.  Bush & Cheney have no incentive to take boarders into their advanced eco-tech ranchettes--Did you get a formal postPeak invitation? I am still waiting for mine!  My guess is that their postPeak security detail will have some of the best in the business.

So I have come to an uneasy mental truce of dying in place-- hopefully dying naturally of old age, but fully cognizant of the unpleasant alternatives--dehydration, starvation, dying of some treatable illness because I cannot afford the medical bill, gunshot death by some punk stealing my little scooter or bicycle at a stoplight, attacked by neighbors for my last can of beans, badly maimed for begging for a mere crust of bread, elite-BioWMD release, or worked to death in some KBR work-camp.

The future always belongs to the young:  I think it unrealistic to fool myself into delusional thinking that I will see the other side of Overshoot.  I am 51, my father lived to 96: I will probably see even the most optimistic projection for Peak Everything {2030?}, but will be too old to last long in the conflict ahead;  the elderly will be the easiest victims for young punks to thrash if the crash is a fast and hard mad-max style, and Nature usually drastically ups the elderly mortality rates too.  Such is life.

My dream exit for me would be the worst for the our little blue marble:  I am enjoying a cold, frosty 'Nectar of the Gods' at a precise Ground Zero as the full-on nuclear gift exchange gets underway, but I would rather prefer one of the alternatives listed above to give our planet a chance.

If the postPeak US youngsters could be convinced to remove 95% of those over 55, the 'demand destruction' could add years [decades?] to the Powerdown plan, but this seem unlikely.  Instead, the elders have long perfected the system of getting the youngsters to kill and maim each other first, with residual collateral damage.  I think the re-installation of the Draft is only a matter of time along with the '3 Days of the Condor' scenario, but I sincerely hope the populace will not fall for this ancient ploy.  Time will tell.

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


Just want to say thanks for sharing. Seriously. A problem many of us have is that even though we aware of the situation financial or familiar considerataions (such as you describe) keep us stuck in place.

I sincerely hope the populace will not fall for this ancient ploy.

That is very generous to you to prefer the culling of the above 55.

Instead, the elders have long perfected the system of getting the youngsters to kill and maim each other first, with residual collateral damage.

I don't think this had to be "perfected by the elders", it's another inbred characteristic of the human specie which was actually VERY GOOD evolutionary speaking for overthrowing the "other tribe".

Young males have always been expendable cannon fodder and they have to be spent...
This is called the Mesquida Ratio : Populations with rations of young males exceeding 60 per 100 males 30+ are predicted to move toward a state of internal or external conflict

Conversely some hope that aging populations will bring some relief.

Code Pink finds a new way to protest the war:

"Stop Fueling the War Machine: Gas Station Takeovers!"

The operation: Bike up to pumps, wrap a pink trash bag around the handle and prevent customers from filling up -- for a minute or two. Sarah Finken would lead chants with her megaphone while others would wave banners. Tiffany Coleman laid out the ground rules. "Be nice to people. Block the pump with your bike but do not get confrontational. If they [customers] get anything more than verbal with you, leave."

The reaction should come as no surprise.

Hello Alan,

Thxs for posting this link--very interesting.  During the '70s gascrunch, shouting matches and/or fistfights would break out in the lines of cars waiting to fuel up if someone tried to take 'cuts' or some other trick to move ahead of others.

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

Era of low petrol prices gone: Howard

Mr Howard says rising petrol costs are fundamentally caused by the price of crude oil and an individual country can only have a small influence.

He says there is limited scope for bio-fuels to have an impact and has played down the potential for relief targeting regional areas or excise changes.

Mr Howard says he hopes petrol prices could fall to about $1.15 a litre, but he has warned the era of very low petrol prices is over.


I think the choice of words is interesting. Without directly using the words "peak oil", my impression on hearing this on the radio was that the government is well aware of the situation.

Perhaps it's just that they dare not speak it's name.

It'll be interesting to hear the result of the Australian Senate inquiry in September.

Peak Mayhem? We may be a whole lot closer than anyone thinks.

A deadly combination of heat and drought is slowly wreaking a trail of devastation across much of the globe, and the full extend of this scourge will only be felt as winter nears.......

Imagine a world when peak oil meets peak grain and peak water at a confluence called peak mayhem?