DrumBeat: September 8, 2006

[Update by Leanan on 09/08/06 at 10:17 AM EDT]

Total chief says world will find oil target tough

THE world will struggle to raise oil output to levels much greater than 100 million barrels per day, Thierry Desmarest, chief executive of Total, has given warning.

The head of the French energy multinational is sceptical that the global oil industry can raise output from current levels of 85 million bpd to meet demand forecasts by the International Energy Agency of 120 million bpd by 2030.

Total is expecting a return to oil production growth after a setback in this year’s second quarter, when civil disturbance in Nigeria and unplanned maintenance shutdowns caused an 8.6 per cent fall in output.

[Update by Leanan on 09/08/06 at 10:44 AM EDT]

How low can gasoline prices go?

MENAFN says Aramco will save us...

"If we look at the overall Ghawar field, water cuts showed a moderate increase until 1999, approaching 36.5 percent. But our three-pronged efforts have since lowered the (water cut) level to below 35 percent, something that is not commonly seen in the industry," the spokesperson emphasized.

Predictions vary, but one day the oil will run out

Peak oil or has oil peaked? It’s the theory stupid!

Anyway, the point is that Peak Oil is still a theory. Feel free to cling to it as tightly as you wish. But, keep in mind that global growth seems to be cooling. It may be as simple as supply and demand. And by the way, did anyone notice Chevron found a bit of oil recently?

Oil is over: What happens when petroleum peaks?

New oil find tests drilling's watery limits

But amid the exuberant claims of a new era for domestic oil drilling, some energy industry insiders could be forgiven for their subdued responses. The sheer depth of Chevron's discovery reinforces a well-known truth: the world's much-needed petroleum reserves are harder and more expensive to find than ever.

Desperately seeking silicon

In a world of silicon scarcity, many solar energy companies are trying to find ways to stretch, cut back on, or even cut out the traditional photovoltaic panel's main ingredient.

Former BP executive pleads the Fifth

Developing economies, peak oil, and the future: U.K. parliament is not that worried about peak oil.

Nigeria May Face Gas Scarcity From 2009

The Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), which made the statement in Lagos yesterday, said with the estimate of Nigeria's gas reserves standing at about 173 trillion cubic feet of gas and the short, medium and long term demand for gas standing at about 160 trillion cubic feet a deficit seriously threatens.

Engr. Austin Avuru, President of NAPE who presented the associations statement said the age long myth of Nigeria having so much gas and not knowing what to do with it has been voided by this reality.

Australia: Blackout threat to millions over shortage

SYDNEY'S power supply is at risk of network failure within two years with a new report showing the city's demand for electricity almost outstripping supply.

Oil 'threat' to SEQ

BRISBANE suburbs and nearby centres have been classified on an "oil vulnerability" map as a Senate report finds the explosive Peak Oil theory could strike Australia within two decades.

Tightly Rigged for the Future

...one of the most interesting features of the NCS is that the Norwegian government has been somewhat dismayed by the fact that production has hit a plateau for the last three years. They see the entry of a new generation of players as key to pushing up production and they have revamped the approval procedure for new entrants to make things easier.

Briefing for the Descent

As evidence piles up for the reality of peak oil, and more and more people start to grapple with an issue that challenges almost every assumption our society makes about the future, the issue of what to do about it becomes harder to avoid.

Power to spare: By slightly altering their behavior, consumers can drive down gasoline prices.

Redesigning Crops to Harvest Fuel

Richard Heinberg: About the Oil Depletion Protocol

I-937: Take a Lesson from History

Wal-Mart aims for even lower prices

Wal-Mart is preparing to go deeper with discounts in a bid to boost customer traffic and offset lost sales as higher gas prices force its core low-income shoppers to cut back, Wal-Mart CEO Eduardo Castro-Wright told an industry gathering Thursday.
Mensa type question here.

How many ('average') barrels of oil would it take to increase atmospheric CO2 by 1PPM?

Bearing in mind the % that doesn't get burned (plastic, chemicals, fertilizer etc..)


Just on a mass basis, I come up with 40 billion barrels.

The mass of the atmosphere is 5x10^18 kg. 1 ppm would be
5x10^12 kg. Dividing that by 120 kg/barrel gives 4x10^10 barrels.

Aside from the fraction of oil not burned, there is the fraction of the CO2 absorbed by the oceans and a small amount of additional plant growth.

Each 1m2 (square meter) of atmosphere above the earth contains 3kg of CO2. Buring 1 kg of oil generates almost 3kg of CO2. So for each 12 km you drive you put as much CO2 into the atmosphere as there is in 1m2 above the earths surface.

On average we drive 10.000km per year. So we put the same amount of CO2 into the atmosphere each year as there is in 1000m2 above the earth!

I'm just certain you mean m^3, cubic meters.
Not sure if this is a repeat, but I just tripped over this other electric car yesterday:


Odograph - I don't think we have seen graphs from you or Stuart Staniford in a while.

I long for graphs of undulating plateaus. We seem to have more recent IEA and EIA data without any pretty pictures.

Too many words and too few graphs!

I'm afraid I'm a graphics (and data analysis) consumer.  I appreciate all presented here at TOD but rarely have anything to add to the math/modeling discussions.
Gack! $69,995.00 for the Spyder.  I'm hoping to be able to afford something like this.  

This is what I use ...


Another avenue is these ...


They are proliferating like wildfire here.

They are made in Bangalore (although apparently a different model to the one there).  Cost about £7,950.

Major pluses for a London driver:

  • avoid the congestion charge (£10/day or USD $18) levied from 7am to 7pm to cross into Central London (roughly Zone 1 on the Tube map)

  • 4 hours free parking in Westminster (West End) but try convincing the rapacious meter readers of that!

Major structural problem:

  • Londonders don't have garages, and if they do, there are no engine block heater points (vs. say Alberta or Minnesota)

  • running an extension cord out of your house to repower you car would be illegal

BTW sorry you closed your blog down.
Here's another one annouced for the end of the year.


It's an NEV, regulated to only 25 mph, but 42 horsepower is not insubstantial.  The last I heard the street price will be $6900.  Tomberlin seems to have its products made in China, based on the website.  I might go for this one if there was a big enough tax credit.

I saw something on the highway today that looked like this or the Nissan Hypermini.  It was headed the other way, so I didn't get a chance to check it out, but it looked to be traveling at a suitable speed. Didn't even get a chance to count the number of wheels. Could have been ZAP.
 But, small?  Don't even think about surviving an accident. Up here, you wouldn't even want to use it at night, cuz hitting a deer would kill ya.



I like three-wheelers. One of my neighbors has a Corbin with noisy bearings. Safer than a motorcycle. They're classified by the NHTSA as a motorcycle, so they aren't subject to the American byzantine automobile safety laws.

The rear wheel can be the drive wheel and powered by chain, like a motorcycle. I've daydreamed about taking a VW beetle front end, a Harley rear-end, an electric motor and a 12hp Yanmmar diesel to drive the charging system for a plug-in hybrid.

Ever seen a three-wheel Morgan from the 1930s?

A Letter to My Brother
*  --  DRAFT  --  *

My brother asked "What should we do ?"

I have been pushing a partial solution, but never consolidated a comprehensive "solution"

Below is what I typed up but have not sent yet.

Comments appreciated.

As I said, it is difficult to forecast the future of oil supplies, but below are two data points to consider.

20 Percentile Scenario - World Conventional Oil & Liquids Production Peaks in 2011 at just above 90 million barrels/day, and declines by -1% or less till 2015.  After that, conventional depletion increases to -3% to -4% each year.

Unconventional Oil increases from 1.4 million b/day in 2006 to 4 million in 2015 and surges after that to 8 million in 2020.

90 Percentile Scenario - World Conventional Oil & Liquids Production Peaks in 2006 at 84 million barrels/day, and declines by -3% or less till 2010.  After that, conventional depletion increases to -6% to -8% each year.

Unconventional Oil increases from 1.4 million b/day in 2006 to 3.5 million in 2017 (project delays) and surges after that to 6 million in 2025.

Price elasticity of supply has an 7 to 10 year time lag due to capital project schedules.  Effectively no notable response (> 1/2 million b/day) before 2012/14.  200 Euro/barrel vs. 60 Euro/barrel should add 2 to 3 million b/day of conventional oil by 2020.  Most price sensitive projects are small and remote.  There are no half million barrel/day prospects waiting for higher oil prices, but a series of much smaller prospects.  In the last five years, 9 barrels were consumed for every one found.

OTOH, "stranded" Natural Gas to gasoline projects will compete with Liquified Natural Gas, mainly in Iran, Qatar and Russia and Coal to Liquids projects will become financially viable.  Five to ten years from decision to production with "bottlenecks" that limit quantity in short time frames.  Canadian tar sands production increases are fixed at 1.75 million b/day till 2015/17.  Venezuela has significant asphalt reserves that could be exploited, and the Chinese may finance that.

World Oil Exports will decline faster than World Oil Production.  The US and the "Fourth World" will be (IMHO) at a disadvantage to the EU, Japan, China, India and other 3rd World exporters because we do not export enough to pay for what we want to import.  So decline in World Oil Production < decline in World Oil Exports < decline in US Oil Imports.  Our 25% of world oil consumption will decline, perhaps to 22% or 20% ?

The default means of reducing oil consumption is recession (and depression).  Demand destruction.  Other means are MUCH better.

The US price elasticity of demand for oil is quite low, but elasticity for natural gas demand is fairly high.

This lack of elasticity means that structural changes and gov't incentives and taxes are needed to limit the free market solution of prolonged economic decline.  The appropriate specific strategies vary by scenario (see above).

One proposal is over $5 trillion (+$3 trillion operating) invested in coal to liquids, oil shale, enhanced oil recovery and improved vehicle efficiency to replace 2/3 of US oil demand over 20 years.  IMO, the projections overstate the possible in just two decades except for vehicle efficiency.  And they would more than double US transportation carbon emissions.

My alternative is more multi-faceted, and gives more protection against a sudden oil supply interruption.

Goals  (Methods to reach goals can be discussed later)
Make it both patriotic and "cool" to save energy.

Dramatic increases in new vehicle fuel mileage and speeded up replacement of poor mileage vehicles

Shifting natural gas, electricity and butane/propane to speciality transportation from home heating via widespread solar water heating and limited solar space heating if any excess over declining supplies can be generated.

Greater home insulation to shift natural gas, electricity and butane/propane to speciality transportation if any excess over declining supplies can be generated.

Displace natural gas from electricity generation by increased conservation, wind and nuclear production and limited coal fired production.  A nation wide HV DC grid to shift non-carbon electricity into natural gas generation areas.

Replace most oil fired space heating with ground loop heat pumps.  Wood and other bio-fueled district heating and cooling may work in some areas.

Investigate displacing industrial oil use with bio-sources for specific monomers.

More research into cellulose source ethanol and butanol.  Corn source ethanol is not to be encouraged.

Use more concrete and less asphalt for road repairs.

Reduced transportation miles (higher mpg x fewer miles = less oil)

Generate carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery nearby with either advanced coal gasification fired electricity or coal-to-liquids plants.  Use coal-to-liquids only if the process CO2 is sequestered.

Electrify almost all US rail lines and encourage capacity expansion (double tracking).  If completely new rail lines are needed, change laws to make it easier.

Discourage long and medium distance inter-city trucking (Interstate Highway tolls ?).

Consider semi-high speed passenger and freight service.  Basically expansion of the North East Corridor down the East Coast and to Great Lakes and California.  Perhaps Texas.

Build Urban Rail at a rate comparable to 1897 to 1916 when a much smaller and very much poorer US built 500 streetcar systems in less than two decades; including much of the NYC, Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston subways.  The worse things get, the more effective and desirable will be non-oil transportation.

Build electric trolley buses on any heavy bus route not suitable for streetcars.

Make transportation bicycling easier, including inter-modal with mass transit.

Do nothing to preserve or artificially support energy inefficient urban forms, including building or expanding highways.   Do support energy efficient, walkable, dense neighborhoods and mass transit accessible offices and other employment centers.  Use the carrot more than the stick to change living patterns.

Add a fourth leg, energy, to the three legs of major gov't taxation, income, sales and property.  In particular, shift the burden off payroll taxes and sales taxes and onto energy taxes.  "If you want less of something, tax it", is a fundamental conservative precept.  Gov't needs funding and the source should be things that public policy wants to discourage.

I like it Alan - I think the preamble is long before you get to "Goals" and could be reduced to something like: Imagine net oil export capacity declines by 5-10% annually for a decade or more.

One big area that often gets overlooked and needs more attention is local land use regulation. Communities across the country should put up very high barriers to greenfield development. They should concentrate more on transit oriented development, brownfield remediation and restoring old underutilized buildings near transit hubs. There should be major incentives for green building design being a necessary step in any new development.

Local zoning laws limiting development should be relaxed to allow greater density in some areas near transit. At the same time less dense suburban areas not near major transit corridors or hubs should encourage more mixed use zoning to create more small commercial zones near residential blocks.

And much of the free parking should have a fee attached to it to encourage people to walk, ride a bike or take mass transit.

Looks good, and I look forward to seeing the methods for some of these.  And this one:

"Do nothing to preserve or artificially support energy inefficient urban forms, including building or expanding highways.   Do support energy efficient, walkable, dense neighborhoods and mass transit accessible offices and other employment centers.  Use the carrot more than the stick to change living patterns."

is so very important and often overlooked.  Also, it is often overlooked in how effective carrots can be.  Doesn't even need to cost anything, often the carrots are regulatory (more advantageous zoning, faster/lower risk permitting etc).

This is a nice list, comprehensive, reasonable...

...and totally out of the average person's power.

I try to keep it simple:

"Imagine that gasoline is 5, 7, 10 dollars a gallon...
imagine that everything is expensive...
imagine that gasoline isn't always available, even, same with fuel oil, heating oil...

what would YOU do?

If you're rich, no problem.

You figure it out."


Here are some other ideas, some of which may overlap somewhat with what you have put forth.

Provide tax incentives for employers to provide opportunities for employees to telecommute.

Provide that all new shopping centers include multifamily housing within the perimeter of said shopping centers.

Discourage the construction of all so called regional (read auto dependent) mega shopping centers.

Provide tax incentives for people to live closer to work, to include income deductions or credits  for moving expenses.  

Prohibit any new shopping centers of big box stores that are not closely integrated with residential areas.

Enforce urban growth boundaries and encourage "mother in law" structures adjacent to existing houses.

Prohibit subdivisions that are not adjacent to and closely inegrated with existing infrastructure and full service shopping.

Maximize transit oriented development.

Provide free or very inexpensive passes to access all elements of metro transportation.

If roads are expanded, do this only for the purpose of adding lanes restricted to buses and carpools, including perhaps high mpg vehicles (not just hybrids).

Tax gasoline to include the full external costs of producing that gasoline, including military expenditures.

Provide incentives to get automakers to provide PHEVs or EVs now, not in ten years.  

Provide incentives to establish a network of neighborhood electric vehicles to fill gaps not satisfied by public transportation.

Establish a long term goal of car free cities.  Instead of randomly proliferating auto dependent subdivisions, establish highly integrated small towns adjacent to or within existing urban centers which are largely car free.  

Prohibit the construction of any new fossil fueled plants that do not fully sequester or otherwise offset their carbon production.

Encourage the construction of small (1,000 square feet or less) houses and discourage the construction of large houses by taxing btu usage above a certain amount.

On a related note, my brother is running for the Washington state house and has a strong background as a city councilman in Seattle who focused heavily on transportation issues. If elected, he will replace the current chairman of the Washington state transportation committee. He is seriously committed to transportation solutions which deemphasize automobile use.  I am sure he would be very interested in your work in this area.  

Tax gasoline to include the full external costs of producing that gasoline, including military expenditures.

Milton Copulos did the math, and testified in the Senate that it would come to $11 per gallon, $480 a barrel.

Are we ready?

What? What?
Are you saying "The Market" does not provide us with an honest Price "signal"? That it lies to us? That we cannot rely on the Price "signal" to make rational comparisons and to determine which lifestyle is the most "cost" effective?

I am shocked, shocked that there is deception going on in our most esteemed institutions.

Is that from Paths of Glory?
we could do all that or we could just go to war to get oil. I wonder when we'll know which decision we've made, at least in the aggregate that is?
If the whole country were saying "bring it on" right now, maybe.  I think we've had a painful experiment though, and found ourselves without the (callous) nature for true empire.
Just wait until the economic and social effects of Peak Oil become considerably worse, though.  Things might change.
Provide that all new shopping centers include multifamily housing within the perimeter of said shopping centers.

Consumerism is what got us into the situation we have now. Just how much more growth do you believe we can have a finite resources??  Its this kind of thinking that will not aloow people to change. Without change we are all on train headed for the cliff..

Change the way you think about the future with less oil!!

This is intended to cut down on automobile use and the necessity for parking, for that matter. People will shop, regardless. As long as they are shopping, anyway, it makes sense to be close to the shopping.  I don't think this is going to increase consumerism.  Consumerism is in the head. That's what needs to change.  I am thinking about less oil.  Almost  everything I suggested cuts down on auto use.  The best solution is that which cuts down the need to use the auto in the first place, not the technology that drives the auto.  
Several of you items are more "Means" rather than goals.  But I will think them over.

I have been busy today helping my father with his recovery, so limited time for TOD.

If you or your father would like to contact me, please do so.  My eMail is in my profile.

Best Hopes,


tstreet said:
Tax gasoline to include the full external costs of producing that gasoline, including military expenditures.

I just had an idea:

From now on the US military will be funded exclusively by a special gasoline tax called "the Patriot Tax".

Btw. I've been thinking for years about how to sell gasoline taxes to the public, think this will work?

"Use more concrete and less asphalt for road repairs."

I dunno about that one...
The cement industry contributes about 5% to global anthropogenic CO2 emissions, making the cement industry an important sector for CO2-emission mitigation strategies


Why cement-making
produces carbon dioxide

Cement manufacturing is the third largest cause of man-made carbon dioxide emissions. While fossil fuel combustion and deforestation each produce significantly more carbon dioxide (CO2), cement-making is responsible for approximately 2.5% of total worldwide emissions from industrial sources (energy plus manufacturing sectors).

 Also asphalt is basicially uncracked tar, so appling it directly would save energy over burning lime for cement. Even better than that would be not repairing the chug-holes, which would slow traffic very considerably saving gasoine and save states and municipalities tax money and energy. Louisianna is very familiar with that solution.
But it kills the efficiency of the vehicles.  Penny-wise, pound-foolish.
  Alan, I also like your letter to your brother. I agree with Peakguy that the intro is too long to hold most people's interest. Of course, you know your audience and we don't, but, possibly this could be handled very well by refferal to the great Energy Bulletin article that Leanne linked above, or reference to the Peak Oil primers.
  As far as suggested actions, they're great. I  personally advocate free public transportation funded by increased gasoline and diesel taxes and increased license plate fees on inefficent vehicles. This would help poor people and commuters at the expense of the energy hogs.
"A nation wide HV DC grid to shift non-carbon electricity into natural gas generation areas."

Tesla's AC won out over Edison's DC because of the ease of stepping up (for transmission) or down (for residential use) the voltage. Wall warts everywhere, but hey. What advantage is there in a DC grid?

Transmission losses are lower with high voltage DC. Take a look at these articles:
North America has several "out-of-sync" 60 Hz grids.  West Coast, West Coast, Texas (ERCOT), most of Mexico and 50 Hz Mexico City.  The only way to transmit power between them is via DC.

Once AC is "pushed too far" (say 500 miles) the sine wave gets distorted by capacitance, etc. and power is lost.  HV DC  has a limited but useful niche.

What sort of voltage are we talking here ?

How do you step it up and down ?

HV can mean 400kV. I think the stepping up or stepping down is done as a pulsed signal which is rectified or chopped as needed. I can't seem to find a figure for energy losses or heat generated. See for example
http://www.siemens.com/index.jsp?sdc_p=fmls2u12o1378279ni1213837pPRcz3&sdc_bcpath=1240032.s_2,&a mp;sdc_sid=23784190784&
Here's something I found about a Brazilian HVDC line running at +/- 600 KV.  Wikipedia notes a second one at the same site.
I can see the advantage here.

If you want to join two or more power stations together you need to get 3 things exactly right :-

  1. Voltage
  2. Frequency
  3. Phase incidence
With DC you only need to worry about step 1.

No, you could transmit power between them.  It would take some fancy transformer switching (umpty-ump taps on a set of delta windings) and it might be too expensive to be worth it, but it's possible.  Just about anything along that line is possible, if it's important enough.

Same thing with ultra-long transmission lines.  Sine waves don't distort on wires (they pick up harmonics in transformers due to non-linearities of hysteresis) but you do get reactance (inductance).  Series inductance causes the phase to shift (lag) and the voltage to fall over distance.  You can pump in capacitive VARs to boost the voltage again, but this increases the phase shift.

The phase shift of a transmission line doesn't matter. You're thinking of power factor of a load, which is different.

Most loss is from resistance in the cable. To overcome this, the voltage is increased for transmission (which decreases the current and hence resistive loss). However, if the voltage is raised too high, the air begins to break down and losses from corona discharge increase.
AC power has been used since Tesla because, with AC, a simple transformer can be used to step the voltage up and down. In modern times, DC-DC converters are available to step DC up and down. The advantages of HV DC for power transmission are
(1) Phase synchronization is not required, so all the disparate grids can be intertied.
(2) The capacity of an existing transmission line can be increased. AC is carried in the outer layers of a cable, whereas DC fills the entire cross-section. So for identical lines operated in AC and DC, the DC line will have lower resistance and lower losses. Peak voltage is less too, which decreases corona discharge.

The phase shift of a transmission line doesn't matter. You're thinking of power factor of a load, which is different.
You, sir, are wrong.  AC transmission systems transmit power via phase differences; the leading phase transmits power to the lagging phase.  You can generate VARs at either the generator or the consumer (VARs control the system voltage) but the phase shift across the line is roughly proportional to the power transmitted - has to be, because the line is an inductor.

You are, of course, correct about skin effect and corona.


Could you please provide a source for your statement that AC transmission systems transmit power via phase differences; the leading phase transmits power to the lagging phase. Does this apply only to transmission line-based AC systems, or all AC systems that deliver power to a load, e.g. an audio amplifier driving a loudspeaker?

Also, could you please define a VAR, that is, what does the acronym stand for?

You also stated that series inductance causes the phase to shift (lag) and the voltage to fall over distance.  I recall learning that it is the I^2 R losses that cause voltage drops and that that is why the voltage is raised to very high levels for long distance transmission: raise the voltage, lower the current, and minimize the I^2 R losses.  Do you agree on that point, or do you still maintain that series inductance causes the voltage to fall?

Does this apply only to transmission line-based AC systems, or all AC systems that deliver power to a load, e.g. an audio amplifier driving a loudspeaker?
It applies to everything.  You could even consider it applicable to DC systems (zero-frequency, where the higher-voltage end has the more advanced phase).  Of course, as the frequency goes to zero the inductive reactance (jωL) also goes to zero.  (In this context, j is the square root of -1 and ω (omega) is 2πF.)
could you please define a VAR, that is, what does the acronym stand for?
VAR is Volt-Ampere Reactive, the 90°-out-of-phase equivalent of a watt (VARs transmit instantaneous power in both directions but average to zero over the full cycle).  VARs heat wires and load transformers, so they have to be considered in network designs.

The counter-intuitive thing about VARs is that a device which consumes power can either consume or generate VARs.  The same is true of alternators; induction alternators generate watts but consume VARs, while synchronous alternators are almost always set up to generate VARs.

I recall learning that it is the I^2 R losses that cause voltage drops and that that is why the voltage is raised to very high levels for long distance transmission: raise the voltage, lower the current, and minimize the I^2 R losses.  Do you agree on that point, or do you still maintain that series inductance causes the voltage to fall?
They're both true, but inductance is a bigger factor on most long lines - you can reduce the resistance by making the conductors fatter and/or changing their geometry to reduce skin effect, but two wires at a given separation are going to have roughly the same inductance regardless.

Let me elaborate on this.

DC systems have IR voltage drop.  If you push a current I through a circuit with a resistance R, the drop across it will be IR.  The power dissipated is I^2R.

AC systems have both resistive and reactive drops:  V = I(R+jωL).  You might have a long-distance line which, at its rated current, drops 0.04 of its voltage through IR losses and 0.25 of its voltage through inductive reactance.  The voltage at the far end will be 0.927 of the input and lagging by 29.2 degrees.

Now, why power flows from leading phase to lagging:

Consider an inductive line of inductance L.  You have an AC voltage at frequency F and amplitude V at one end (v = V sin ωt), and the same frequency F and amplitude 0.9 V and the same phase at the other end(v = 0.9 V sin ωt).  The difference in voltage is 0.1 V sin ωt, so the current (being driven through an inductor, and thus lagging by 90°) is 0.1 V/(jωL) sin (ωt + &pi/4).  The current lags the voltage by 90° at both ends of the line, and the total energy transmitted over a cycle is zero.

This is really knotty unless you display it graphically.  Power engineers use "phasor diagrams" as visualization and teaching tools to make this stuff simpler to grasp.


Thank you for your response. If you can provide some references, preferably online, on this subject, then thank you in advance. I studied this stuff 20+ years ago but never used it; it's still there but extremely rusty.

Pardon my error above, the 90° phase shift is implicit in the 1/j term.
Damn it's been a long time since I did Laplace transforms.

How do you get HTML to post those Greek letters, omega and pi and all that?

Yeah, really. Engy's new fighting technique is unstoppable. We must capture the formula.
You do ω with &omega;, π with &pi; etc cetera.  Capitalize to get caps.

Δv = at

Christ, you're like head vampire now. Give us the link... Please we beg you... Where is the full list?... Must..have...blood...
More like the Hulk; it was the γ rays which started it all.

I'll have to answer you like rabbi Hillel:  learn the Greek alphabet and you've got it.  Did you fall off that foot?

Alright, you got me. I know the Greek alphabet like the back of my hand. I also need blood. I need it badly. Alpha Beta Gamma Delta Epsilon Zeta Eta Theta Iota ... Fall off a foot? I fell off a buncha shit...Hillel better have some answers...
Well, you know at least one ι more than I do (and if you can't manage by now, I say "φ for shame!").

And now I've got to go.  I only η small sandwich for lunch, and now I'm starving.

I thought you were referring either to the phase shift caused by propagation velocity and distance or the phase angle of the load.
The line is dominantly inductive, as you say.
>The capacity of an existing transmission line can be increased. AC is carried in the outer layers of a cable, whereas DC fills the entire cross-section.

This doesn't apply to low frequency AC. For any measurable losses caused by the skin affect, the frequency would need to be in the neighborhood of 20 Khz or faster.

>Peak voltage is less too, which decreases corona discharge.

Not really because the DC voltage will need to be at 1.414 (RMS) times the AC voltage. For instance to convert a DC source into 120VAC rms, the DC input voltage must be approximate 170VDC.

>In modern times, DC-DC converters are available to step DC up and down.

DC-DC convertors used High frequency AC (25 Khz to 75 Khz) to transform DC voltages. Using a Switch mode Power supply is more efficient than using shunt regulators. Its very rare that a DC-DC convertor are used to switch HV because of the limitations of semiconductors. It can be done but its very expensive.

"This doesn't apply to low frequency AC."
Yes it does. Skin depth at 60 Hz is 8.5 mm. Those cables are 3 inches in diameter.

"DC voltage will need to be at 1.414 (RMS) times the AC voltage"
You have it exactly backwards. AC peak is 1.41x equivalent DC value.

"It can be done but its very expensive."
Yes it is. But still cheaper than putting in another line.

"This doesn't apply to low frequency AC."
Yes it does. Skin depth at 60 Hz is 8.5 mm. Those cables are 3 inches in diameter.

Thanks, I had thought 60 hz was 8.5 cm  

>You have it exactly backwards. AC peak is 1.41x equivalent DC value.

You mis-read what I wrote. 12O AC is 340 Pk-to-Pk (half wave is 170V). To produce 120 AC from a DC source the voltage needs to be 170VDC (120 AC * 1.414 is 170V)

There wasn't the technology available to make high voltage DC then.

Now, there is.

The advantage is that you use "all" of the possible current carrying capacity at maximum voltage because it's DC, with AC you only get it part of the cycle.

>The advantage is that you use "all" of the possible current carrying capacity at maximum voltage because it's DC, with AC you only get it part of the cycle.

But this does not consider the thermal load on the cable. Given the same current and voltage, DC will generate much more heat in the conductor. Using DC instead of AC does not increase the total amount of power that can be transmitted because it does not address the thermal load of the cable.

>There wasn't the technology available to make high voltage DC then.

This is incorrect, HVDC was no problem back then. The reason why AC was choosen was because transformers can be used to inexpensively step up an step down voltages without any additional switching hardware. HVDC transmission lines require the current to be converted back into AC (more money, more complexity).

Alan, just a few thoughts:

    1/ Be concise. You can probably cut 50% of your words and say the same

    2/ When proposing "goals", do the cost analysis. Example: you want "most" space heating done with geothermal? Indicate: how many homes, cost per home, total US cost. Do this for every proposed solution, solar, wind etc.
    You are bound to find restrictions set by costs as well as limited availability of raw materials

    3/ Same as 2, but wider: if you want to do CTL, calculate the total scope for building plants, mining and transporting coal, but also CO2 emissions. Appying cost per ton might be useful, even oil CEO's call it inevitable in the US. the UK Treasury currently sets $35 per ton emitted, which would bankrupt Big Oil this very second.

    4/ CTL only when CO2 is sequestered means one of two things: either very little CTL, or huge transport costs to get fuel from the few spots where sequestering can be done, to market, and/or to get CO2 to sequestration spots

    5/ I realize that we'll try oil shale no matter what, but it remains insane. A society that runs low on energy can't afford to look only at the dollar cost per BTU. Canada's oil sands use really good energy, natural gas, to produce energy, oil, in an ineffective and destructive process. That is only accepted when energy is abundant, not when it's scarce. Then BTU's will have a BTU cost.

    6/ Large scale urban rail means large scale destruction of roads. Either there is no other space at all, or you would have to use what little is left of "free" space. There is a lot less room to move than 100 years ago. I may think road destruction is a good idea, but many do not. Proponents of urban rail should realize they have to defend this position.

  Roads are the biggest subsidy to the automobile and gasoline industries. About 1/3rd of our urban land is dedicated to this comcrete and asphalt wasteland.
  The biggest cost in light rail is ROW acquisition, and rail uses a whole lot less land. Wouldn't it make sense to convert many of our roads to rail?

  I bet that gets everyone going! Now everyone will think I'm a troll, but I am serious. Cars are destroying the US.

Ive been saying that since Alan introduced me to his light rail handout.  I say tear up the centers of the highway system for long distance travels or even regional transportation and introduce trolleys back into downtown regions.  I would use something like London on our city taxing scheme to keep vehicles out and encourage light rail trolley use.  

When I talk to people I talk about their waste sitting in traffic.  I say how long do you sit in traffic?  It's anywhere from 30 mins to over an hour.  So you're spending an extra couple hours sitting in traffic wasting your money and you're getting what out of it?  Listening to music?  You can take light rail and read a paper, magazine, sleep or listen to an ipod for your musical pleasure.  Would that interest you?  Most won't argue that they would live a more relaxed comfortable life.

Today was the day I did the 100-mile commute. 50 miles each way. Hate it. Customer has been lectured. No local service providers so I do it.
First 48 miles coming home - 50 minutes. Last 2 miles - 50 minutes. Why? Sacred Heart schools are back in session and the carpooling not yet organized. God forbid a child should ever walk.
Carpooling only gets organized when Mom has it shoved in her face that yet again sparing Junior a 2-mile walk takes 2 hours out of her day.
Yeah, same here!  If everybody else would get off the damn road, my commute would be a lot easier.

That's the way it goes.  You play, you pay.

I agree. Get rid of most of the roads, and build public transportation.
Excellent Idea.  In all sub/exurban areas there are huge swaths of ROW that resulted from the incremental and constant widening of arterial roadways in the hierarchical road network that typifies the suburban street topography.  No only could you convert some of this to rail, but also allow medium to high density mixed use at nodes along this would enable the transit to be effective.  The mostly SFH dwellings behind this could remain in their cul-de-sacness or be retrofitted with a grid.  The problem with all this is political/NIMBY reaction against, often because the big picture is not appreciated.  People see that their 8 lane arterial is already congested (as it always has been and always will be regardless of how many lanes it ever was) and you want to take away two lanes AND add more density?!  But it will work to their livability benefit and proving that is what is needed.  

In many ways this is what is being done on Columbia Pike in Arlington, Va.  Overview of this can be found on the Dover Kohl site (primary design consultants for the planning)


Another thing about Columbia Pike and Arlington's TOD success in general is that it took a looong time.  Partly due to funding and such, but mostly because of bringing community consensus to the point of execution.  See some of the paper trail


There are many other places in the US going through this, but I am most familiar with Arlington, so don't take it that I am saying that Arlington has all the answers.  But, I am saying that if transitions need to be made quickly (and I think they will need to be at some point), getting to consensus will need to be done quickly and showing examples and learning from others mistakes and successes is going to be critical.  

Bankrupt Big Oil?  Are you kidding?

25° API oil has a gravity of about 0.90.  This comes to about 143 kilograms/bbl of oil, of which roughly 12/14 is carbon.  Call it 123 kg of carbon, or 270 pounds.  It would burn to make 44/12 that much CO2, or 991 pounds of CO2.

At $30/ton of carbon, a carbon tax would only cost Big Oil about $4.73/barrel.  At $30/ton of CO2, that goes up to a bit over $17.  The difference would come to about 41¢/gallon at the higher rate, much less for the lower.  Big Oil would have no troubles passing this along; American consumers are grumbling but not doing much.

I like this list. My favorite one is the most general: "Make it both patriotic and "cool" to save energy." People will solve the peak oil problem in the small, everyday choices they make. Positive reinforcement of this behavior is the key. People who know about Peak Oil are sometimes rude, condescending or contemptuous to others and this is counter-productive.
dude that is just letting the terrorists win. And it shows no faith in Gawd either.
From wiki

The generally accepted deadly sins are superbia(hubris/pride), avaritia (avarice/greed), luxuria (extravagance, later lust), invidia (envy), gula (gluttony), ira (wrath), and acedia (sloth).

Now why would gawd mind?

Luxuria, interesting. Wonder if that meant a craving for manmade and thus more energy-intensive, luxuries, as opposed to those Nature serves up for free? Man I've had some great treats in my life, ocean and sand and one wonderful hot soupy mud puddle great to sit in and paint oneself and soak, and the one day a funny storm glanced by and made the waves come in different, it planed down the whole beach and you could bodysurf and get thes super-long rides, right up to the trees, it was great. I'm also thinking of a great thunder and lightning storm with pink and orange clouds, in a place that normally never gets lightning at all, on the 4th of July! Man was  show, we all agreed the city's fireworks later would be lame. How about fresh fruit off a tree, or a nice patch of grass sprinkled with flowers, to lie on? When humans were in balance (much less population) these things were not uncommon - now to bathe in mud or spend time in a field with flowers or have fresh "exotic" fruit, some poor poor slobs have to work their asses off and do without.
Excellent list.

I would add that remove all hidden and not so hidden subsidies that encourage low density housing/ car culture.

Remove Mortgage tax relief

Remove all free parking on city streets.  If there isn't a meter there is no parking.

Remove all requirements in city regulations for shops to provide parking spots for customers.  In fact structure the regulations to actively discourage shops and employers from providing free parking.  There are a number of ways you could do this.  For example if the provider of the parking spot was responsible for damages to cars in their parking lots the cost of the insurance would be a large disinsentive to providing free parking.  

Explicitly remove government implied backing for Fanny Mae/Freddie Mac.

Remove business tax writeoff for buying very large SUVs.

Institute a policy where the government bills the vehicle owner for the police and emergency services involved in handling accidents.

Change regulations so that cars must provide air bag protection for pedestrians hit by vehicles.  

Lower speed limit on city streets to that of a bicycle.


I have problems with several of your suggestions. Specifically:

Remove Mortgage tax relief

This is the only means by which many people are able to own their own homes, and despite the problems with our current sturcture, owning your own place is far surperior to having a landlord any day of the week. I would actually propose increasing mortgage tax relief -for thos who locate in high density areas.

Remove all free parking on city streets.  If there isn't a meter there is no parking.

Remove all requirements in city regulations for shops to provide parking spots for customers.  In fact structure the regulations to actively discourage shops and employers from providing free parking.  There are a number of ways you could do this.  For example if the provider of the parking spot was responsible for damages to cars in their parking lots the cost of the insurance would be a large disinsentive to providing free parking.  

These would only work in the presence of reliable and affordable public transportation. That's key. In many places it doesn't yet exist. So, the proper way to go about it is to install the public transportation first and then remove free parking.

Institute a policy where the government bills the vehicle owner for the police and emergency services involved in handling accidents.

Aside from the moral problems, which are numerous and severe, this would be impractical. Why? First, often no one or one party is not at fault, and it is not right to bill them for something that was someone else's fault. Secondly, these services are horribly expensive. A basic ambulance ride to the hospital costs $10,000. The cost of an accident would bankrupt a family. That is not what we want, especially given that the economy is tanking all ready. Currently the bill for accidents is mostly picked up by the at fault party's insurance. What's left is paid for by taxpayers.

Change regulations so that cars must provide air bag protection for pedestrians hit by vehicles.  

I don't think this one is technically feasible, and if it is, it would still take 10-15 years to transition the car fleet.

Finally, a couple of ideas that I thought were really good: removing the tax write offs and subsidies for SUVs. I would go even further and implement a 'luxury' carbon tax on owners of big trucks and SUVs. Enough to cause a real pain, and the amount of the tax would be inversely proportional to the MPG of the vehicle in question. Said taxes could then be used to help partially fund public transportation networks.

I don't think we should remove parking so much as remove FREE parking.  It's the free parking more than anything that makes cars so darn seductive IMO.  I almost never take the car downtown because I hate to pay for parking, but out here in the suburbs I sometimes take the car for short hops to the corner store (yes I feel guilty when I do.)  

When I suggest that the car owner pays for the extra community services he uses, I am really saying his insurance should cover the  cost.  It is a bit harsh to give an accident victim a bill (they get hospital bills don't they?) so maybe it should be simply rolled into a more expensive car license.  

how are you going to enforce the no-free parking other then a massive build-up of meter maids, minor court judges, and everything else needed?
For example if the provider of the parking spot was responsible for damages to cars in their parking lots the cost of the insurance would be a large disinsentive to providing free parking.

This is already the case.  I took a Biz law class a few years back and my prof was the former prosecuting attn for the county I lived in. Real straight shooter and he told us that when you PAY for parking you transfer liability from you to the vendor.  

Now the vendor has signs all over the place saying they are not responsible but that is to discourage claims and many people don't know the laws so they assume the vendor is telling the truth when in fact they have every reason to lie to you.

He said if it ever happened to you to threaten them with a lawsuit and most will cave.  Worst case you take em to small claims court and you will win.  It's a case of ignorance and blind faith in their signs.

Explicitly remove government implied backing for Fanny Mae/Freddie Mac.

While I agree with you here, if this were to happen we will tank the entire US economy.  To understand how quickly this can happen you have to understand the largest assets held is housing.  If you intend to let both these biz's fail (Which they will catastrophically) and not bail them out as in the past, we will need to hit a restart button on housing on a scale no one has seen.

Institute a policy where the government bills the vehicle owner for the police and emergency services involved in handling accidents.

Again I don't know you area but last year I had to pay the police dept's fees for responding to my accident.  Came to near $200 for an hour's worth of work I do believe.

This is already the case. I took a Biz law class a few years back and my prof was the former prosecuting attn for the county I lived in. Real straight shooter and he told us that when you PAY for parking you transfer liability from you to the vendor.
But as I understand it, if the cost of the parking is hidden in the cost of your purchase at a store, the store is not held responsible for your parked car. But why shouldn't they be held responsible? they are providing the service (the parking spot) in anticipation of being compensated by your business (at their store). Usually there is a signing making the implied contract explicit: "Customer Parking Only".
Good point.  This only applied AFAIK when you specifically pay to park your car only.  Although I'm sure a great lawyer could convince a judge that you paid for your parking with your purchase in the same manner.  
That restart button I speak of is bankruptcy for this country.  Kotlikoff I believe is the gentlemen who wrote the paper on the US being bankrupt.  It's avaialable at the FED Reserve website.
Remove all free parking on city streets.  If there isn't a meter there is no parking.

Remove all requirements in city regulations for shops to provide parking spots for customers.  In fact structure the regulations to actively discourage shops and employers from providing free parking.

That doesn't work at all.  Really, I've been many places where parking is scarce; the shortage has already been engineered or accidental.  What happens is that you have large traffic jams with people circling around looking for the remaining spaces.  You have more cars driving for longer, and idling for longer, and using up MORE fuel. The parking circlers then create bigger traffic jams for those who are just passing through as a knock-on effect.  Bad for efficiency and pollution, once again.

And people are irritated and time wasted needlessly.

The central problem is zoning regulations, and building, but changing that takes literally many decades for things to turnover. Punishing people now who need transportation to go where they need to go is not going to work as public policy.

The question is whether some utopians hate cars more than oil consumption.

Suppose they were driving a 120 mpg pluggable hybrid prius?  Can they get parking?

Storage cost should be what the market will bear.  The fact is that cars take up a lot of space, so yes if it were up to me you would pay a lot less to store a tiny little prius than you would to store a huge SUV.  You are asking for more of something very valuable so why shouldn't you pay more like for everything else?  Putting everything close to everything else is what designing for the human scale is all about and providing large amounts of storage free of charge in a place designed for humans is difficult.  Cars need to be accomodated for the forseeable future in most places (in order to help the economic viability of the place) but it will be a tradeoff with how good the place is for humans.  

"What happens is that you have large traffic jams with people circling around looking for the remaining spaces."

This sounds like a very socialistic situation where people have to line up for a service because it isn't being rationed by the pricing mechanism.  I would argue that we have to start rationing parking on the basis of price not on the basis of time spent circling,  which I agree is a very inefficient way to ration parking spots.

"Punishing people now who need transportation to go where they need to go is not going to work as public policy."

I don't believe they should be punished but neither should they be subsidized.   The policy should be to remove the implicit subsidy involved in FREE parking.  If they want to park somewhere they should have to pay the rent (ie. the meter).  

"Suppose they were driving a 120 mpg pluggable hybrid prius?  Can they get parking? "  Sure as long as they are willing to pay the market price.

Screw that, I like my Prius but I may take a trip up to the City for fun this weekend, and I'll take the train and bus thanks. The last thing you want with you up there is your car. And it's sure a feeling of freedom, to not worry about parking, dings, the slight possibility of break-ins, etc. etc. etc.
That doesn't work at all.  Really, I've been many places where parking is scarce; the shortage has already been engineered or accidental.  What happens is that you have large traffic jams with people circling around looking for the remaining spaces.

I've been assuming that lack of parking would be a far greater incentive not to drive than expensive gas.  But then that conclusion was based on what I saw in college, where parking was scarce, but we also had a good bus system, human scale business districts, and everyone was young and able bodied, and most importantly, if we were going anywhere it was usually to drink, so it was best to leave the car at home.  

I visited my alma mater this spring and one thing I noticed is how much I miss the human scale of the college campus.  It was so much more attractive than the cookie cutter suburbs everyone seems to flock to.  (OK, I noticed all the college girls too)  What was I thinking going and graduating?

Words, words, words...
Just reporting Jay Hansons' opinion (on some other board) about the usefulness of language to convey "new world views"

> This is indeed a tough task.

It's because vision, sound, and smell -- not "language" -- is, by a great margin (95%?), the main way that humans evolved to learn about their environment (including learning about other humans via body language). Even today, language is still -- again by a great margin (90%?) -- used for tribal bonding (by observing body language while discussing tribal "beliefs"):

"Boy, weren't those Mets great?"

It's equivalent to a chimp picking a tick off another, or cow mooing in a pasture somewhere.

IMHO, a cartoon the only practical way to teach people a completely new concept. A great example of what I mean can be seen in the Woody Woodpecker cartoon in DESTINATION MOON.

Darwin was obviously the greatest observer of all time.
However, many of us can become good observers too if we practice. Stand back from your social interactions and ask what's really happening?
Why am I acting as I am?

For years I have advised people to run for political office. Not because they can make a difference -- that's impossible -- but so they can observe themselves changing through the process.

Next time you chit-chat with a friend, pay attention to how little useful information is actually conveyed -- how many key terms remain undefined. It's almost always occurs thusly: you "moo" (affirm a belief of some sort), then he or she "moos". Everyone gets to take a turn. If you don't allow someone their turn to "moo" they become angry. Do it too often and they will kick you out of their personal tribe (try it and see what happens).

That's why it's almost impossible to convey new world views via language. It was made for mooing.


This is a quotation of Jay Hanson, not my text.

I report it because it explains nicely why the "idiots'" arguments are well received and mine are not, I am not "mooing".
Still, I do not intend to make any effort to bend to the "marketers' way" because it means the most cunning wins IRRESPECTIVE of the value of the argument.
This is the VERY reason of the mess we are in, especially because we rely on politics to make LIFE and DEATH decisions while we know it can never possibly works.

This is the very first thing we have to fix , if we KNOW we have a broken decision process as groups HOW CAN WE EXPECT TO REACH SENSIBLE DECISIONS by still using it?

Moo, moo moo moo  moo moo, cock-a doodle-doo !!!

A lot of time words are in fact some kind of recognition signal, or some type of signal that we belong to a group. But occasionally they do transmit a little information

So I guess my real question is why are you writing on a blog if you feel that it is futile and pointless? Hold up a mirror and tell all of us !

why are you writing on a blog if you feel that it is futile and pointless?

A little misunderstanding here, read Jays' text more closely.
I do feel that it is futile and pointless to expect to convert the cornucopians and the so-called "moderates" but I still have some hope to connect with a few like minded people once in a while, just what you say:

But occasionally they do transmit a little information

Images can be used to transmit the shocking truth to the masses. :-)
"This is the very first thing we have to fix , if we KNOW we have a broken decision process as groups HOW CAN WE EXPECT TO REACH SENSIBLE DECISIONS by still using it?"

And this will not be done without mooing....

We can all hope for a better/different system, but the one we have is the one we have and if you don't intend to make any effort to bend, you might as well take your marbles and go home.

It is like that old song "Wishing and Hoping"  -- It won't get you into her heart.

Either you missed part of the argument or you are suggesting a "circular" solution to the chicken and egg question.
Mooing IS the source of the problem because it precludes rationality (the kind of rationality nature works with).

That explains to me why the graphs are so popular.

So, what would make the best communication medium? A series of slides? (like The Inconvenient Truth?) or a comic book? or a movie?

This is the very first thing we have to fix , if we KNOW we have a broken decision process as groups HOW CAN WE EXPECT TO REACH SENSIBLE DECISIONS by still using it?

As Lenin puts it, "What is to be done"?? I have often wondered just where all these arguements and posting are really headed if we do not get the attention of those that can lead us out of this mess??  

In our advanced society ... there are no LEADERS.

Just a bunch of mis-followers.

(Bigger view here)

if we do not get the attention of those that can lead us out of this mess??

That sounds really weird to me.
Do you means that there are potential "saviors" out there whom we should beg for help?
Are these supposed to be "wise men", deities, aliens?
Are these the masses to be "enlightened"?
The "people" that will bring a revolution?

I think most of the ideas in your letter are great. And lots of folks have added other great ideas.

Seems to me, though, that you missed one step. It's kind of a big one and probably belongs at the beginning. It would be something along the lines of; Step One - gain control of all government institutions in North America.

Alan -

It depends who the list of ways to deal with the peak oil / declining energy issue. For individual families, some ideas (besides ones already listed) include:

  1. Have smaller families. Consider stopping with one child.

  2. Combine into larger households. Consider having your parents or children move in with you. If you are single, share your home with one or more roommates.

  3. Replace your incandescent light bulbs with florescent light bulbs.

  4. Paint your rooms a lighter color. (I understand this can reduce needed lighting by 50%.)

  5. Find ways to use less air conditioning. Add a screened in porch to your current home, or when you are moving, look for a home with a screened-in porch.

One could probably think up a number of other ideas along this line.
On the other hand Gail,  if you're holed up in the homestead, certain comfort could be derived from having six, six foot sons around!
From the Total article:

The problem has been exacerbated, he said, because the need to repair and replace old infrastructure is occurring when oil service companies are working flat out to develop new oilfields.

Although the recent GOM find might not influence the timing of peak production, non-geological issues might make this happen sooner (OK--if it hasn't already). Deepwater challenges vs. BP pipeline maintenance.

Total US petroleum supplies currently are above the five-year historical range. Crude oil prices are falling. Time to breathe a sigh of relief?

Not so fast, says the investment firm Raymond James in their weekly energy "Stat of the Week" (warning, PDF file).

Raymond James points out:

  • Total petroleum supplies are still below 10-year highs
  • When looking at days of supply (i.e. considering growing total petroleum supplies with respect to growing petroleum demand), the US is in the lower half of the 10-year range
  • The US appears to be unique in its recent petroleum builds. OECD countries have only posted a small increase in total petroleum supplies.
  • Total petroleum days of supply for OECD countries is near a 10-year low.

Raymond James concludes that the oil market "will remain tight over the next several years and beyond".

(Note that I have no affiliation with Raymond James whatsoever. I just find their weekly Energy newsletters to be an interesting perspective)

These are the data I think about when people state the world is amply- or over-supplied with oil at present, and therefore there is no market for Saudi or other oil. I especially find this a goofy explanation for Saudi's drop, given that as Iraq, Russia or African nations build capacity they have no problem producing and selling their oil. US is only at 5 yr highs because we had the warmest NA winter on record. Since Jan, US oil supplies have not had a further build, but just paralleled the average (while we avoid refilling the SPR). The US is the single largest oil importer, but we seem to forget we still import a minority of the oil which is exported. And China is just starting to build a reserve.
You've mentioned that the USA is not refilling the SPR (Strategic Petroleum Reserve). I'm actually kind of wondering if the USA is not currently dipping into the SPR in order to drive oil prices down before the November elections. I don't have any inside information about this, I'm just speculating. Just seems to me like it's the sort of thing that could happen. Does anybody know?
Data on the SPR is provided by the EIA weekly. It essentially has been unchanged since a drop of about 16 million barrels after the hurricanes. They suspended plans to refill it to avoid further increases in oil & gas prices. This was in the news a few mos ago, but I don't have the link just now. More importantly, they had actually planned to grow the reserve to 1 billion barrels but appear to have completely abandoned this idea. Clearly, the natl security arguments in favor of the larger reserve have been thrown to the wayside due to fear of increasing oil prices because of an increased demand for imports.

It is perhaps telling that they feel things are so delicate they don't even want to add 1-2 million barrels a week to the SPR the way they used to.

Apparently not.  I was wondering about the SPR recently, and Oilmanbob kindly sent me this link:


It even looks like they just replaced what they withdrew in June.  After the BP Prudhoe Bay snafu, our Fearless Leader, GWB, talked down the price of oil by promising to release from the SPR, but nothing was actually done.

I don't understand the oil price movements since that deep sea GOM announcement.  Yeah, there is seasonal decrease in demand, the 3rd world is getting priced out, India and Europe are conserving a little I hear.

I get the feeling that some Hidden Powers out there are able to at least stampede prices for a while, and at crucial times, accompanied by re-enforcing MSM hype.

Let's not forget the annual demand cycle.  The hurricanes and subsequent actions messed things up last year, but normally after Labor Day demand slackens.  Summer and winter are still worse than spring and autumn.  If people can't recall back a year and panic every June and December and celebrate in the streets every September and March, there's no hope for long-term planning.
Re:  The MENAFN Article

Note that while they said that they could keep Ghawar production at its "current" level, they did not say what that current level is.  Also, the best way to cut back on water and gas breakthroughs (which tends to bypass oil) is to reduce the oil production rate.  

It's quite possible (or probable given the Heinberg report and the Saudi's admitted production decline) that Saudi Aramco has been forced cut back on Ghawar's production rate because of rapidly rising water cuts.

Re:  Pricing Oil in "Yergins"

In an infamous 11/1/04 Forbes Magazine column, Daniel Yergin predicted a long term oil price of $38 per barrel (commencing around 11/1/05).  I have therefore previously suggested that we price oil in "Yergins" with One Yergin = $38 per barrel.

Yergin's assertion was that rising oil production would bring the price of oil down.    In fact, the opposite has happened.  Oil prices have gone up to equalize supply and demand, because of falling oil production worldwide, led by an estimated current annual decline rate in net exports from the top 10 net oil exporters of about 9% per year (12/05 to 6/06, EIA--crude + condensate).

Since December, 2005, oil prices have traded in a range about 50% to 100% higher than Yergin's long term index price.  Currently, light, sweet oil is trading about 75% higher than Yergin's long term index price.  

I suggest that, when discussing oil prices, we try to always remind our readers how the price relates to Daniel Yergin's predicted long term index price.

We've been down below 2 Yergins for a while now. How long before we hit 2 Yergins again?
OR, maybe I should phrase it this way:
Who wants to give me the over/under odds on oil prices surpassing 2 Yergins before Nov. 7?
  If oil prices are truly under the control of the powers that be in the Corporatocracy, oil prices won't go up before the election, then will rise to about $85.00-$90.00 a bbl. But, things are so dicey and out of their control that the least little event could send prices soaring before the election.And, I truly think that events are out of control.

Westexas - I've been saying this for a while now, but when you look at a chart of world oil production what in fact you are looking at is world oil demand.  This century, as demand has grown so the oil price has gone up - and that's where Yergin has got his price prediction so wrong.

Great idea! I'm going to promote this on LATOC. It's almost as good as referring to homosexual sex as "Santorum." As in, "Big Al is heading down to a br in the castro district to get some Santorum"
Matt, "Santorum" is actually much, much nastier than just "homosexual sex."  I'm abashed to even mention it.

Google it (seriously).

Yep.  Props to Dan Savage for that one.  Not many of us can say we`ve personally introduced a new usage into the language.
First, Saudi Arabia imported fuel oil.  Are they going to be importing LNG next?


Shell Says Cost, Lack of (Natural) Gas Are Slowing Saudi Plans

By Oliver Klaus


 Sept. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc said a lack of natural gas and rising construction costs are slowing down the planned expansion of a chemicals plant in Saudi Arabia that it owns with Saudi Basic Industries Corp.

The plans call for expanding the Saudi Arabia Petrochemical Co., or Sadaf, petrochemicals complex in Jubail by adding a second plant for the production of ethylene, a gas derivative commonly used to make chemicals. The project is suffering from a shortage of natural gas in the country, said Robert Weener, the chairman of Shell Companies in Saudi Arabia, yesterday at a London conference.

 Saudi Arabia, which holds a quarter of the world's known oil reserves, excludes foreign companies from extracting them. Overseas companies like Shell are investing in the kingdom's petrochemicals and refining industries in the hope they will be asked to develop the nation's remaining oil resources.

 Saudi Arabia's gas consumption is rising as the country develops new industries that use gas to make chemicals and plastics. Cheap gas has made Saudi Arabia an attractive destination for international companies seeking to invest in petrochemicals. Gas production hasn't kept up with
demand, though.

 ``At this moment, Saudi Arabia is short of feedstock,'' Weener said. ``All that they have has already been spoken for.''

The immediate cause of the shortfall in natural gas supply is probably a decline in associated gas production, since their oil production is down by about 6% since December--combined with rapidly increasing domestic consumption.
Perhaps the NG shortage is the real reason why they are buying low sulfer fuel oil. They are using the fuel oil to replace NG in electrical production and using the NG as feedstock for the chemical plants.
>The immediate cause of the shortfall in natural gas supply is probably a decline in associated gas production, since their oil production is down by about 6% since December--combined with rapidly increasing domestic consumption.

It is my understanding that KSA used a lot of its natural gas reserves to distill sea water for drinking water.

Peak Oil + Radical Islam = No More MAD


"Let Them Have It

What's the best way to stop Iran raining destruction on the Middle East with nuclear weapons? To let them have nuclear weapons, argues Haaretz's defence correspondent Reuven Pedatzur.

Pedatzur's argument may seem counter-intuitive, but it is essentially the same old mutually assured destruction (MAD) that prevented conflict during three decades of the cold war."



MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) Depends on Geopolitical Stability, and geopolitics is becoming more Unstable every day. So the Era of MAD is nearing it's END and the Witches of Persia are certainly looking forward to it (along with the return of the 12th Imam).

Remember Dr Bakhtiari's WARNING in his predictions for "The four Transition periods (T1, T2, T3, and T4)... "The problem is that we now are in 'Post-Peak' mode, and that none of [the] above applies anymore... ...even during that rather benign T1, the unexpected might become the rule and the orderly 'Pre-Peak' rapidly give way to some chaotic 'Post-Peak.'

"The fact of being in 'Post-Peak' will bring about explosive disruptions we know little about, and which are extremely difficult to foresee... And the shock waves from these explosions rippling throughout the financial and industrial infrastructure could have myriad unintended consequences for which we have no precedent and little experience. "

The above sounds like a good Recipe for Radical Islam's Goofy Prophecies of End of TimezUp Chaos... Sure, just Let the Persian Witches have Nukes...  They are very worried about MAD (not!):

"If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the... application of an atomic bomb, it would not leave anything in Israel, but the same thing would just produce damage in the Muslim world."

Former Iranian president, the "moderate" Rafsanjani, 2001


And remember, Last Week Osama and the Al-Qaeda's had an "american" moozlim witch issue a Warning to the West (US in particular) to join the Forces of Allah before it is Too Late!...

The letters from the Iranian pResident Chimp to the US and Germany last winter basically said the same thing.

And now the Iranian pResident ChimpWitch is again warning us to "Join Godz Side" before it is too frookin' late:

Iran president urges West to follow God's path http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060906/wl_n...

I think Osama and Iran are "trying to tell us something"... and only the Homer Simpsons and culturally immune (and childishly liberal) are not hearing it.

The Witches of Persia?
Yes.  Witches, Warlocks, whatever.  The radical Islamic Fascist Priests who currently run Iran.  But I think their spells and incantations are slightly more technologically advanced than in the middle ages.
next time don't resort to racist comments, makes your post allot better to read.
What racist comments?
Behold a new American generation.

Greatest Generation: won the war.
Baby Boomer Generation: consume, and consume more.
Generation X: surprisingly resourceful slackers.
Generation Y: narrow-minded yet driven technophobes.

And now we have Generation Z: Intentionally misspells words due to the false illusion that this will emphasize a point, with special emphasis on the random infusion of the letter Z.

The extremists (proxies really) have already demonstrated their ability to find, equip and use human cruise missiles.

I don't think they will have to temp those poor souls with still even more virgins in heaven. The bigger the bang, the more infidels killed the bigger the draw for the suicidal bomber. There will be hundreds ready to deliver the big one.

To my knowledge MAD is sorta' still around. We have published our intent to respond to any NBC event in a mode of our choice including a nuclear response. So MAD is still with us.

I can't imagine anyone in IRAN thinking that they wouldn't be retaliated against if there were a NBC event here in the US. Syria might vaporize too. I get the feeling that all the current saber rattling is part of the workings of MAD. We know you (Axis of Evil) are ultimately responsible, so you're going to pay the ultimate price when something really big happens.

Technically the cold war is not over....we still have our missiles pointed at them and Russia is set up to return in kind.  We just stopped worrying so much about it.  The Korean war is stilling raging on too on paper anyway.

Soreee! Got that old  'Saddam and Osama were in bed together' all wrong.

Iraq war a mistake. Sooo Soreee....


So, there you go then. Saddam, a Baathist secular tyrant was not in bed with a Wahabist fundamentalist after all. Who would have thought that?

If the US can be sent to war on this false premise, what do you think of the 'Iran is going to get nukes and we will all die'' premise currently being peddled?

  1. Iran will need nuclear power to keep the lights on.
  2. Iranians are not daft. They know any discharge of nukes will bring down the total nuclear devastation of Iran within the hour.

Is lying to the American people no longer an offence?

No doubt they will blame it on bad intel.

Of course they'll blame it on bad intel. How else will they justify it?

No Iran is not stupid. They are acting completely rationally. And they do know better than to send a nuke our way even if they ever do get them. The Cold War never went hot mostly due to MAD (you destroy us, we destroy you). With the elimination of Russia as a superpower, we shifted to YAD (Your Assured Destruction). One bomb launched at us would result in Iran being turned into a radioactive cinder within an hour. As you point out. Its not even in question; the response is in the automatic military protocol.

One bomb launched at us would result in Iran being turned into a radioactive cinder within an hour.

<sarcasm>Don't you mean a radioactive piece of glass?  Won't we be able to see and thus get to all the oil easier then?</sarcasm>

"They are acting completely rationally."

Yes, in parallel universe maybe.

They threaten to eliminate Iran every other month and they warn The West to join the Allah Brigade "or else" both in "private" letters to Bush and in their speeches to their followers.  Very rational bunch.

Again, it appears cultural bigotry prevails here and prevents people from seeing these fruitcakes for who/what they are.  

Iranians are not daft. They know any discharge of nukes will bring down the total nuclear devastation of Iran within the hour.

Even some Israelis understand that : Let them have nukes
So for whom does the Chimp in Chief plays his games?
Does EnglishBosch know more than he told us about the Bush Pilot?

The Bush pilot was very good . Thanks.

Re Mad: And the objections to Iran getting nukes:-


"There is a radical difference between the Islamic Republic of Iran and other governments with nuclear weapons," wrote Lewis in The Wall Street Journal on August 8. "This difference is expressed in what can only be described as the apocalyptic worldview of Iran's present rulers. This worldview and expectation, vividly expressed in speeches, articles and even schoolbooks, clearly shape the perception and therefore the policies of Ahmadinejad and his disciples ... School textbooks tell young Iranians to be ready for a final global struggle against an evil enemy, named as the U.S., and to prepare themselves for the privileges of martyrdom."

Just change out Iran with the USA, Ahmadinejad with Bush
and you get a pretty good thumbnail sketch of the current US regime :)

Just change out Iran with the USA, Ahmadinejad with Bush and you get a pretty good thumbnail sketch of the current US regime :)

Unfortunately you get ZERO information out of the crazy threats from both sides, because looking crazier that you are is part of the game of MAD.

Though in this specific case one may wonder if either side is faking crazyness.

Think what you will of the current US regime but I do not ever recall any school-based indoctrination into Hating "Infidels" or "Wiping from the face of the Earth" the heathens or anything about martyrdom.

It seems some people here are so angry with Chimp and so ignorant of Islam and Iran that they will ignore reality or mold it to their liking ("US/BUSH Evil - All Others Saints or at least okay").

MAD is Not a Deterent for Iran.  And just because most christians pay little or no attention to their bible doesn't mean the Radical Islamic Republics do not hang on every word of their Koran (ESPECIALLY the prophecies with the Chaos parts... which Mother Nature just happens to be supplying for them Now, at a time when Iran just happens to be an Energy Power - at least until their ability to export runs out.... tick, tick, tick).

I think you have to differentiate between Ahmadinejad and the average Iranian. I general, Iranians are better educated and more liberal than muslims in neighboring countries. The majority of Iranians would love to see the mullahs kicked out of power, and I wouldn't be surprised if another Iranian revolution came along within the next few years. On the other hand, if the US or Israel attacks, they will rally behind Ahmadinejad, even if they don't like his policies. I think the best approach to Iran's nuclear program is to do nothing. Let the Iranians handle this themselselves, just like the South Africans did.
I think the best approach to Iran's nuclear program is to do nothing.

You may be right. But as I told my brother-in-law's uncle who informed me he was buying a dog because he knew it would piss off his wife - "That should work out well." There were four of us in the room. Everybody laughed.

"I think the best approach to Iran's nuclear program is to do nothing.  Let the Iranians handle this themselselves, just like the South Africans did.  "

Were the South Africans leading a world Jihad against Infidels, threatening to wipe another regional country "off the map" and exporting war with both random (missiles) and pin-point (suicide bombers) bombings of civilian targets throughout the world?  Did they see an Apocalypse on the horizon and have a rare resource that gave them the power to usher in chaos?

I think Bush et. al. hoped the more moderate elements in Iran would remove the mullahs but time for this "Hope and a prayer" are running out quickly.  

Iran has only a few years of exporting capacity left and after that their power drops as fast as their oil production (and that is when their population really would rise up against them - a fact not lost on the Mullahs etc).  The Window of Opportunity for the reappearance of the 12th Imam and the Apocalypse is slim.

Iran has No Fear of MAD - because their leaderz ARE mad.


Their leaders may be mad, but this would beg the question "what does mad mean?" Or conversely - If their leaders are mad - what does that make ours?

You think I'm mad. You've said it before. I think it is highly probable you're a complete nutbag.

So stop, already. Stop with this. Let's leave the debate to confirmed sane people. Let's me and you just chill. We'll go grab a beer an a hotdog and talk about Paris Hilton. C'mon, there's more experienced people to take care of these problems - like Patrick Fitzgerald and Richard Armitage.

Does EnglishBosch know more than he told us about the Bush Pilot?

Yes, but I am not articulate enough to add much value to the normally excellent debate here, and I would rather not clog up the boards with too much of my inane witterings.

In a similar vein to Bush Pilot I presume everyone's seen the Stephen Colbert White House correspondent's dinner speech:


Ermm anything else I could add?

Well if your Canadian and fancy a E&P stock I hear Falcon Petroleum is good for a high risk flutter.

For me Soco Intl has been good so far and is probably still good for a bit more.

But as always do your own research.

I am in contact with my local (Conservative) member of Parliament regarding the Peak Oil issue and I will report back on any progress on this.

"Even some Israelis understand that : Let them have nukes"

Yes, that is the grossly naive article that generated my original post - and the point still stands:  The geopolitical and economic changes occuring now with Peak Oil coupled with the fanaticism of the current Iranian Leaderz renders MAD obsolete.


I'm not exactly a fan of Bush myself right now, but sorry you have been subject to the Democratic propaganda campaign.  At no point, that I can recall, has the Bush administration stated that Saddam was linked to 9/11(the event).

In fact the opposite is actually true:

Bush stated on September of 2003 after the Iraq war begun:

"We have no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the 11 September attacks."

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3118262.stm

The closest thing you will find Bush or his administration saying about a link between 9/11 and Saddam was stated by Condi Rice and deliberately misquoted by Michael Moore in Farenheit 911 in which he truncated Condi's statement down to:

"There is a tie between Iraq and what happened on 9/11"

but when read in full context was:

"Oh, indeed there is a tie between Iraq and what happened on 9/11. It's not that Saddam Hussein was somehow himself and his regime involved in 9/11, but, if you think about what caused 9/11, it is the rise of ideologies of hatred that lead people to drive airplanes into buildings in New York."

Furthermore, Bush did believe there was a link between Saddam and Al'Qaeda, of which there was evidence of meetings occuring throughout the 90s, though no proof of an official link has been found.

However a link between Saddam and Al'Qaeda is irrelevant as the War on Terror was a war on all internationally reaching terrorist organizations, and the nations which provide safe harbor or support to those organizations.  Iraq did provide training grounds for terrorists, and monetary incentives to the Palestinian suicide bombers both of which would meet the criteria specified under the War on Terror.

Second myth, Bush lied about WMDs.  Again this objective has been twisted and fitted to fit the Democrat objectives of retaking power.  Bush along with many other politicians both Republican and Democrat believed that intelligence gathered indicated Saddam was ramping up Biological Chemical, and possibly nuclear weapons production.  Sen. Hillary Clinton even said on Oct 8, 2002:

In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security

Statements to this effect were also touted by Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, John Edwards, Tom Daschle, and Nancy Pelosi along with many other Democrats and Republicans.

So either the entire oligarchy in Washington was lying to the American people, or else the entire oligarchy made a mistake in their assessment of the intelligence.  Depending on whether you believe in conspiacy theories, or human fallibility, I'll leave it up to you to decide which is more likely.

But further, the actual declaration related to WMDs was not that Saddam did or did not possess them, but rather that he must comply with UN resolutions to permit unrestricted inspections of his country.  In otherwords, it was not an indictment of Saddam owning WMDs, it was an indictment of Saddam not allowing UN inspectors to confirm he had no WMDs.

The being said, WMDs and their delivery systems(another part of those UN resolution on permitted weaponry) were found inside of Iraq.  True the amount of chemical weapons found was small, and in many cases dated, but they were violations as the Resolutions read.  Furthermore the rockets and artillery casings capable of carrying NCB warheads were also found, and these were found much more readily and in numbers.

Like I said, I'm not a fan of Bush right now.  His execution of this war has been lackluster at best.  But the reasons for going to war are in my opinion valid and just. The reasons publicly stated by the White House, and Congress were mirror images of the Resolutions put forth by the UN in the preceeding years, and received repeated support in the UN councils.  Furthermore, I believe there were at least 35 countries involved in the war on Iraq, providing everything from Troops to Logistics.  There was certainly wide spread support for the war when it began.

The lack of support now, has little to do with the original reasons, and more to do with the fact that Western Civilization doesn't have the same stomach as Terrorists for bloodshed and war.  Eventually that may be the winning factor for them.

And IF oil was a secret motive behind the war, I'm not sure I can disagree completely with that reason either.  Saddam in my opinion forfeited his "legitimate" rule when he attempted to take the Sovreignty of Kuwait a decade and half back.  The fact it took so long to deal with him is a testament not to his legitamacy, but to the UN's lack of will and teeth to deal with beligerant tyrants.

Trust me, the Democrats are no better than the Republicans, and should they win the house and/or senate, I don't expect a lick of difference when it comes to Iraq.  The Democrats and Republicans both know, that we need that region under our grip.  Both parties HATE being out of power, and without oil to fuel the American Economy and War Machine, BOTH parties WILL be out of power globally.

Yes, technically the current rulers of the mighty empire didn't say that Sadam = 9/11. But whay they did was spent years of opening every sentence with 9/11 and closing it with Sadam Hussein. Therefore at one point a vast majority of merikans believed he was responsible, and at last check I believe the number was somewhere in the 40% range. Play semantics all you want, there was a deliberate movement to subtley pass on a lie to the public without actually saying the lie outright.
I'm not arguing that there was a game of semantics being played.  What I'm arguing is that both Democrats, and Republicans are playing the same game.  Both sides misrepresent the truth through word games.

I see a lot of people hailing how when Bush and the Republicans leave office it will be so much better.  But the truth is the Democrats are merely the opposite side of the same coin, who will continue the same vein that Republicans are following when it comes to our global policy.  

Sure they might give it a diplomatic facelift, but ultimately neither the Democrats, nor the Republicans will take the steps needed to encourage America to truly move away from oil dependence or risk giving up the strategic position that America now has in the Middle East.  

Furthermore, if the Democrats pull the plug on Iraq and Afganistan(which is essentially their platform) too early and leave those places in a wreck, it will encourage the destabilization of that region and potentially cause the loss of that availability of oil, which in turn will lead a steeper decline rate and the economic nightmare scenarios that some point out here.

Keep in mind the projections of oil production here are based on HL which from what I've seen doesn't account for interuptions during the extraction of oil because HL is all about mapping the geological effects of oil production.  Russia's wierd graphs for example shows what happens when human events cause a disruption in the oil extraction.

So if we interject a human caused event, it is going to throw the predictive capability of those curves into disarray (probably on the side of steeper decline via artificial reasons).  And given that we are now on the look out for global decline, the disruption of such a large amount of production in the Middle East, could artifically increase the rate of decline for oil globally.

Anyhow, as for the political parties...

They are both too afraid of their corporate backers (BOTH parties), and they are too afraid to be the harbinger of a message to the American people that we need to change.

The only difference between them is whether you care if we live in an oil Empire with/without, guns, abortion, embryonic stem cell research, welfare, etc etc etc.  The differences are essentially "moral issues", which while important, are going to come in a distant second if we can't get a grip on our energy problem, which unfortunately at this point probably includes holding the Middle East at gun point for the time it takes to transition to something else.

Yeah, sure, they play the same game. So let's leave Bush in power. Good idea
Take your pick, a Democratic or a Republican Empire.  Either way you are getting an Empire, at least if the present course in world politics continues.  Also keep in mind that Democracies are an anomaly in history in general, and that strong authoritarian governments are the norm.  

Your most successful governments have been largely composed of strong central rule, with relaxed attitude toward economic freedom.  The Romans, Greeks, Persians, British, Spanish, and French Empires along with various Chinese dynasties make fine examples of this model.  In fact the current "communist" Chinese model plays into this as they maintain strong central control and can when needed force people to do things, but they have gained ground economically and in the contentedness of their population by allowing more economic freedom (still not as much as here, but more than in previous decades).

The more and more I see the powerplays around the world, the more and more convinced I'm becoming that we will see the rise of an American, Russian, European(perhaps a Russo-European), Chinese and possibly Indian regional Imperial blocs.

I fully expect as resource crunches occur, that depending on the reach of said regional blocs, you will see smaller, resource rich nations gobbled up.  I also stress that regional power is eventually going to play a more prominent scope than global due to the higher and higher resource costs of waging war over long distances.  Given the breakdown of those blocs, Eurasia is going to prove to be a messy place, while the Americas are going to be a playground for the one Imperial Power on this side of the pond.

And if you doubt what I mean by powerplays, just look at the mobilization of the Chinese economy along with its concurrent build up militarily, the efforts of Europe to unite and form a super European state tied together economically and militarily, or Russia which under Putin has become more autocratic at the government level, but allowed the economic arena to be fairly open in an effort to fund a re-construction of the Russian military, or the US Canada and Mexico who is working on not only solidifying NAFTA as a trade arrangement but also a Super NAFTA for a defensible(or offensively advantageous) position of having all of North America under one defense initiative and pretty much putting South America on notice.

Empire is in our future.  We might be lucky if we can choose which flavor.

I think it's called fatalism. With manic window dressing.
First Seroquel, then lithium. Would you object if it were prescribed by a strong central government? The very best Emperor?
With all the people who talk about collapse after PO, you call me the fatalist?

Empire doesn't always mean absolute oppression.  Greek, Roman and British citizens lived very well, and relatively "free" lives.  Their tributaries didn't fare so well though.

Am I happy about the current trend toward Empire?  Mixed feelings really.  One of the complaints on these forums is that the Government won't step in and force people to ween off the oil addiction.  Empire if it sees its own self interest would force people and arguably wouldn't that be a good thing?  If Empire ended up causing the transition to powerdown in a "humane" way would you still consider it evil?

The concept of Empire like any form of government isn't evil in and of itself.  Its the execution of a particular form of Empire which determines its moral fiber.

In many respects, the Greek Empire did quite a bit to raise up the level of the Greek citizen.  The Roman Empire did much the same.  Considering the alternatives at the time Charlemagne's Empire was considered a step up for most of Europe and was considered a golden age.  In fact it was the influence of Charlemagne that lead to many of the great documents that Britain and later the US would be founded on.

I don't look at the move to Empire as being automatically bad nor good.  I am of course cautious, but who knows perhaps Empire will do what we free citizens seem unwilling to.

The whole idea of empire is that you invade other countries and take their resources.  If there's no oil, then you take slaves.

I'm against it for humanitarian reasons.

I'm against it for humanitarian reasons.

However if you were an empire citizen that would be good for you, may be...
It looks like what Telumehtar is suggesting is powerdown the OTHER people then powerdown the "free citizens".  

Then maybe if it just comes down to creating empires and attacking other nations to grab either resources or slaves then the citizens of the US should not get too upset if the rest of the world attacks and invades the US for exactly the same reasons? If that is the logic of power, then dont feel too much self pity if you fail and go down.

Californian barbie dolls as sex-slaves for oriental potentates? - now there is a thought...

New York Lawyers with bent backs working in someone elses fields?

The unwaged poor (formerly realtors, PR people, car salesmen) living in shanty towns next to somebody elses gated community?

After all, Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
And all empires fail and die.

Just do us all a favour. Stop calling it the 'war' on a noun.

Stop calling it 'bringing democracy to the middle east'.

That statement is probably the most dumb and crass statement in the last millenia.

And will you please tell your morons-in-charge that it has now gone from fear to laughter and contempt.

You have gone from the generation that brought you the Normandy Landings, the Marshall Plan, Manhattan and Apollo to a nation of infantilised, whinging, telly-tubbies who can even invade a knackered, destitute desert country and get it right.

And now your Monkey - President wants to have a crack at another country?

Short on ideas or what?

Why not sell him the nuke power plants?

You missed a sales opportunity there!

At no point, that I can recall, has the Bush administration stated that Saddam was linked to 9/11(the event).

"Oh, indeed there is a tie between Iraq and what happened on 9/11. It's not that Saddam Hussein was somehow himself and his regime involved in 9/11, but, if you think about what caused 9/11, it is the rise of ideologies of hatred that lead people to drive airplanes into buildings in New York."

Two statements in direct contradiction to each other.

No need to read further.

Well said.

I personally hate Bush & Co. but Dems are no different.  The only way this election would really change things up is if all incumbents were voted out.  Everyone knows we need oil--we import 2/3rds of it for goodness sake--got to make sure it keeps flowing as we need it in the future.

The only way this election would really change things up is if all incumbents were voted out.

This is what I suggest to people all the time regardless of pary affiliation.  Get someone new.

Get someone new.

This is ridiculous because whatever the "new" people are (or their ideas) they will quickly morph into the same kind of abusers than the "old" representatives.
It is the STRUCTURE of institutions and incentives which shapes up the people within, not the other way around.


I'm in total agreement with you on this one!!!

All the people who enter government as politicians or beaureacrats do so by climbing up the ladders of our instututionalized "education" systems and by "promotions" from from within.

They all "go along to get along".

People who "think outside the box" are kept out from participating in the playground sand box.

Moreover, the voting public is not going to go for someone who is out of step with mainstream thinking.

Depends on what your definition of "is" is. Or sex or whatever.

Obviously Bush et al associated Iraq/Saddam to 9/11 constantly and on every possible occasion. Try to find me a speech about the need for "regime change" that didn't refer directly to 9/11. As a result, the majority believed (and many still do) that Saddam was involved in the 9/11 attacks. The administration, knowing that people were interpreting their comments in this way, certainly did not make any attempt to clarify, and they still don't. I believe it is obvious looking at their statements that they intended people to connect the two directly, without using the exact words. They intentionally mislead the public by implication and inuuendo to generate support for the war.

Have you heard them explicitly say and repeat that there was no Iraq - 9/11 link? I think they know that if they had done so in the begining they would not have got the suppport they needed to start the war in Iraq.

I also believe it is clear by now that at the very least the Bush administration was guilty of the same kind of group think process that led Kennedy to invade Cuba. Opinions and views contradictory to the adminstration's position were not welcome or valued. They only wanted to see intelligence that strengthened their position. The same process led to flaws in execution. They didn't want to hear those who stated troop levels were too few to control the country, or that divisions within the country would arise, or that US troops would not be hailed a liberators. They started with a given mindset and sought only to strengthen, not challenge their prior beliefs. That is what makes this administration so dangerous in my view. Not that they made their mistakes, but that they don't seem to learn from them.

See above for my response to the word games Bush is playing.  I'm not denying he drew a really thin line, but he technically didn't cross it, the way Democrats (who are also playing word games) say he did.  Dishonest... you betcha, on BOTH sides.

As for:

Opinions and views contradictory to the adminstration's position were not welcome or valued. They only wanted to see intelligence that strengthened their position. The same process led to flaws in execution.

Which is precisely why I'm rather hacked at Bush.  Probably lose some popularity points here, but I still don't think going into Iraq was a mistake.  The mistake was the How we've handled Iraq since.  And a lot of that mishandling is the direct result of Bush pursuing what is my opinion a half ass methodology to war, probably because his real aim is take down Iran also.

Honestly, if we really wanted to, and we wanted to accept the human cost involved, putting down those rebels would be short work.  I often wonder if the unrest in Iraq isn't a feignt designed to get Iran over confident in their position.  Draw Iran into some sort of provocation, perhaps by "proving" they are interfering with the birth of a new democracy, in conjunction with the nuclear pursuit and BAM, you got a reason for war.

My contention is that Islamofascism is just a side goal on a bigger path to getting China by the nuts.  Occupy(Liberate) Iran and have China flanked on the West by US land forces, and East by US naval forces, and all of a sudden China has two barrels pointing at it, and as a bonus we'd have the scissors hanging over the natural gas and oil lifelines that China is counting on coming from the west.  I mean really, I'm sure the thought of a nuclear Iran doesn't appeal to the Chinese, but they and Russia keep backing Iran because Iran is more containable than America.  The Chinese and the Russians both have gotten very itching about the fact that American forces keep whittling away their buffer zones.

I share your disillusionment with both parties, especially regarding the oil/energy issue. Too much pandering, blaming oil cos, etc. However, I think Bush/Cheney and others have taken power and arrogance to a completely new level. I'll hold my nose and vote democratic.
I'll probably throw my vote away and vote libertarian in protest, or heck, I'll write in Mickey Mouse.  Sometimes wonder if a cartoon couldn't do a better job anyhow.
That's very true, Peakearl, but that is a far cry from some vast right wing conspiracy that the DailyKOS folks try to shove down everyone's throat constantly.

Personally I see the Bush administration as a perfect example of the problems that Bahktiari referred to when he talked about this being entirely new territory post-peak. The Bush administration is trying to use old ideas in new territory and it's not working. This is not conspiracy. This is classic Tainter/Diamond stuff about a civilization making choices and using mechanisms of complexity that used to solve certain problems but not solving new ones. No need for vast chilling conspiracies there. The Repubs are just incompetent... about exactly as incompetent as the Dems.


Dick Cheney began plotting the 2nd war on Iraq before he was even out of the Pentagon.  His plans then were later the basis for the Project for a New American Century, which called for an eternal American empire that destroyed any country, regardless of form of government, that challenged our rule, no matter how corrupt or unjust it became.  He spent his whole 12 years out of power networking with neoconservatives and right-wing think tanks to encourage Iraqi exiles to lie about Saddam Hussein in any way he could use towards PNAC's ends.  The WMD lie was the cornerstone of the PNAC Mein Kampf.  The reason everyone believed the evidence is that the PNAC and its powerful allies in and out of the US and Israeli governments cobbled it together to create a mythology.  With so many Democrats under the spell of Israel, who was going to challenge it?

This "mistake" about WMD was challenged by Ambassador Wilson, whom the administration tried to destroy, and by many other isolated individuals in the NSA and CIA, who have systematically been passed over for promotion or hounded out of their jobs while those who embraced and encouraged the "mistake" were promoted and given medals after it was proven to be a mistake.  That's not a mistake.

If Bush did not believe there was a tie between 9/11 and Iraq, then it was a God Damn war crime (and impeachable offense) for him to attack Iraq when the resources were needed in Afghanistan to prevent the current meltdown there.  Bush did not give a damn about Afghanistan because he always wanted to deal with his father's unfinished legacy - he admitted he thought Senior made such a mistake in an interview before 2000.  Cheney was already in the invade-Iraq business.  He became chairman of the company that aggressively moved to take over the provision of all services to the Army.

If all the Republicans and Democrats were wrong, then it was the people on the radical anti-war left who were proven correct.  Just as I am being proven correct in my prediction on Sept 12, 2001 that America would attempt to create a colonial rule in Islamic countries that would ruin us in the same way that the British reaction to the Indian mutiny of 1857 put it on the road to ruin - but much faster.

Empire creates tyranny.  If you want to preserve what Cheney called our "non-negotiable" way of waste and the very first things you sacrifice is any regard for truth in government or restraint in the unleashing of war, then you, sir, are the opposite of the Americans of World War 2, who first accepted a draft and severe rationing while continuing to utter every slander against FDR without fear that they would be processed as "enemy combatants" and sent to Guantanamo (which Gonzalez' new proposal would enable).  Imperialists want power and comfort and immediately sacrifice liberty to hold onto it.  

Stop talking about Moslem nukes as if Israel doesn't have hundreds of them, produced in defiance of the US.  How about Pakistan's Moslem nukes, whose development the US tolerated?

And stop using "Terrorist" as a simple replacement for "Moslems who fight against the New World Order".  Israel was founded by anti-British terrorists, and so were Ireland and, by English definitions, the United States of America.  The Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka made car bombs their big weapon long ago.  Do you want to stop pro-American terrorist organizations like the death squads we have supported in Guatemala, El Salvador and now in Colombia, or the Kosovo Liberation Army, or the thugs who overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran in 1953?  I already know what you will call the sides of the poor and the rich in Mexico when the civil war begins there.

"Liebensraum" means "living space".  How many millions of non-white people are you willing to kill to preserve, not our free speech, but living space for America's SUVs, McMansions, and grow-or-die multinational corporations?  The Nuremburg trials, sponsored by FDR's extinct America, declared that no country has this right.

Well said again.

Good comments today.  This is the reason I hate Bush & Co.--they skew the truth to get what we want.  The Dems, in my opinion, would do no different.  

The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq in 2002 was passed 296 to 133 in the House and 77 to 23 in the Senate.  A good chunk of those votes were Dems.  Actually 40% of the Dems in the House voted for the resolution and about 60% of the Dems in the Senate voted for the resolution.  

Dems are simply changing their tune now because they know the war is politically unpopular now and they see an opportunity to gain some seats.  Again, not that it changes much besides which companies government funds are shuttled to.  Leaving the Middle East would result in America losing control over the direction that oil flows and therefore a great loss in power.  I don't see the TPTB in the government letting that go whether Rep or Dem.  Even if Peak Oil isn't on the horizon we can easily be cut out.  

Middle East needed us before since we were their best customer even though they hated us.  Kinda like a rude smelly rich guy that always leaves a big tip that you put up with since you need the money.  Global balance of power is changing.  

China and India are developing infrastructure and means to purchase all the oil the ME and Russia can supply.  Eventually China will be built enough it can sell stuff to itself and India won't need to export tons of goods to keep economy running.  Now the ME is having lots of rich customers at the restaurant and they are not sure if they want to keep serving us.  Well we want to be served because we are fat and hungry and we plan on being served by pointing a gun to the waiter's head.

I can't see the Dems actually telling the people well we either need to keep messing with the Middle East or prepare to live a lot more poorly--please choose.  So they will keep spinning the truth without making outright lies.

Democratic propaganda??  Apparently Telumehtar's been living under a rock for the last 5 years...

"Saddam Hussein and people like him were very much involved in 9/11," Rep. Robin Hayes said.

"Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al Qaeda. Secretly, and without fingerprints, he could provide one of his hidden weapons to terrorists, or help them develop their own.  Before September the 11th, many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained."  State of the Union 2003.

Memo sent by President Bush on March 18, 2003 notifying Congress that he was launching the war against Iraq declaring he was acting,

"to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001."

RUSSERT: Do you still believe there is no evidence that Iraq was involved in September 11?
CHENEY: "Well, what we now have that's developed since you and I last talked, Tim, of course, was that report that--it's been pretty well confirmed that [9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta] did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in Czechoslovakia last April, several months before the attack." [NBC, Meet The Press, 12/9/01]

CHENEY: If we're successful in Iraq, ... we will have struck a major blow right at the heart of the base, if you will, the geographic base of the terrorists who have had us under assault now for many years, but most especially on 9/11." [NBC, Meet The Press, 9/14/03

The first quote is by a Senator not the President.

The State of the Union interwove 9/11 and Saddam, but didn't directly tie them together.  It was very dubious language don't get me wrong, but technically not a declaration of a link.

The memo was an announcement that he would attack all countries (not just Iraq) related to International Terrorism, including those involved in 9/11.  Again not a direct link between Iraq and 9/11.

Cheney's comment was proven true, Atta did meet with an Intelligence Officer of Iraq before 9/11, and its certainly very coincidental.  But again, Cheney simply offered up evidence, he indirectly deflected the question of Russert who was asking if he thought there was a link.

Cheney's second quote is also true.  If you look at that date, it was confirmed that American forces would be up against Al'Qaeda militants in Iraq.  The killing of those militants can be viewed as a blow against Al'Qaeda.  But again, not a statement saying there was a link.

The point I'm making is not that I think Bush's language in presenting all his reasons is straightforward, but the very opposite, that Bush and the Democrats are both playing word games to screw with the American voter.  They are both equally guilty.

My encouragement to people is to go look up the quotes yourself when someone whether Democrat, or Republican claims that PersonX said Y.  More often than not I find the media paraphrasing things and twisting them (whether intentionally or not is irrellevant) and preventing the true words of these political whackjobs for speaking for themselves, which in my opinion would be more damming to both parties.

Sure, Paul Wellstone is as guilty As George W. Bush. Brilliant astonishing analysis.
Telumehtar says: "True the amount of chemical weapons found was small, and in many cases dated, but they were violations as the Resolutions read.  Furthermore the rockets and artillery casings capable of carrying NCB warheads were also found, and these were found much more readily and in numbers"

Are you seriously referencing the laughable and debunked Santorum/Hoekstra charade as 'the' WMD justification for the Iraq war?  

Nope... don't even need to point to the Santorum speil.


In that document the CIA points out among other things

  1. --Reference strains of biological organisms concealed in a scientist's home, one of which can be used to produce biological weapons.

  2. --New research on BW-applicable agents, Brucella and Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), and continuing work on ricin and aflatoxin were not declared to the UN

  3. --A line of UAVs not fully declared at an undeclared production facility and an admission that they had tested one of their declared UAVs out to a range of  500 km, 350 km beyond the permissible limit

  4. --Clandestine attempts between late-1999 and 2002 to obtain from North Korea technology related to 1,300 km range ballistic missiles --probably the No Dong -- 300 km range anti-ship cruise missiles, and other prohibited military equipment.

More stuff in there that supported the WMD argument, its just nothing was ever found on the scale people thought should be there.  In otherwords, there were no super secret warehouses with a gagillion nukes in them.

Remember the UN banned not only the warheads of a NCB nature, they also banned Saddam from developing delivery capability including shells designed for BIO/Chem delivery and rockets/UAVs that travel beyond a specified range.  And there have been plenty of examples of rockets, UAVs, and Artillery shells recovered that violated those resolutions.

The No Dong missile. As launched by trolls.

The Bush followers' tendency towards authoritarian-follower status - listening to what they're told by their leaders and ignoring all else, makes it difficult to communicate in words sometimes.

That's the reason the Daily Show and blogs like Crooks and Liars are so popular - you can lie all you want about history, but when we confront you with video evidence that you're lying simply by playing back Bush's words, another level of cognitive dissonance is shovelled on and there's not much you can say.

You can assume the Iranian Threat is a "false premise" for war if that makes you feel better.

"'Iran is going to get nukes and we will all die'' "

Actually, I never heard that one.  Sounds like this one falls under the "Homer Simpson" catagory of responses to the Iranian threats.

As for your other assumptions, again, MAD is not a deterent in this case.  Any use of nukes may Not necessarily be tracable back to Iran.  Also, they have already stated that wiping Israel off the face of the earth would be worth the muslim casualties.

I think many here are culturally immune - ignorant of other cultures and not themselves under immediate threat of those cultures (as well as so self-absorbed in their own culture and history they assume others think like them).


Israel, not the US necessarily, is the Target for a nuke(s) (conventional or 'dirty'), although the US may be a target too someway, someday.   The US and West will then crumble due to the ensueing Chaos complete with Oil Embargos (who knows their exact recipe'? - other than Allah of course).

As for MAD and retaliation - like the previous Iranian president said, nukes would wipe out Israel and only cause some damage to Islam/Mooslimz (more martyrs to add to their list).  

And it is not likely the Iranians would broadcast their responsibility - they like Chaos and have many means of hiding their role.  So MAD is not assured in the Cloud of Smoke and chaos Afterwards.

As for Sabre Rattling, as far as I know only the Iranians are welding the Sabre of Apocalypse with their threats to "wipe Israel off the map."

If Israel is wiped out by a nuke, you can bet the Israeli bombers that are in the air, or the Israeli nuclear submarines will play out the Samson option.  Every major Muslim city will glow, and depending on how motivated the Israelis are, quite a few European cities will glow too since the Israelis have threatened the Europeans should they go under.  Pretty much, a "we take as many down with us as we can" mentality.  Not to mention the US would throw in also.  Muslims would certainly be hurting I think.

It would certainly be MAD to pop Israel one.  Iranian's Ahmadenijad(sp?) might be crazy enough to pull the trigger, but I'm not so sure about the mullahs who prop him up.  I get the feeling they like their little feifdom and I'm not sure they are willing to go all the way.

You Might be right about Israel's response to a nuclear attack of any kind regardless of whether the true culprits could be determined.  But you also may not be wrong - either way the Iranians believe Allah will protect them and they can absorb any retalitory blows.  

And you might be right that some of the more moderate elements in the Iranian gubermint would rather Not usher in Armageddon. But again, you may be incorrect, or in spite of the protests of the more sane Iranians, the more radical may win out.

We are at Peak Oil.  The Iranians have a limited number of years to act before their Energy Wealth is depleted and they Lose ALL leverage (since they have nothing other than oil to prop up their dead economy).  The Iranian Witches have been running the country for over 20 years and have indoctrinated their brand of Fascist Islam into their peoples (well, at least the poor and miserable among them, which is the majority).

We in the West are Naive and Complacent.  Our people are too ignorant of Islam and Iran to realize that they may not necessarily hold the same "civilized" view of the world INSPITE of the overwhelming evidence of their fanaticism.

Emotionally Distraught and Ignorant Titbabies Shoot Self in Foot - newz @11 =  Anger at Bush over the Iraq Fiasco and cultural myopia overwhelm normally rational and objective people- resulting in Death by Chaos?  

And now to put down the racist lie that brown-skinned Muslim blowhards are undeterrable.

Josef Stalin, he of the 50 million murders, was deterred by an American nuclear advantage of only 4 years.

Adolf Hitler, he of the 11 million murders and one world war, was deterred by the threat of nerve gas.  The British expected and planned for a German chemical weapons attack against London, and ended up with far more hospital room than they needed.  Hitler didn't use it because he knew British chemicals would be used against Berlin.

What exactly has Ahmadinejad done other than express the views against us held by millions of people in the 3rd World?  Right now, he has no executive power.  He has no control over foreign policy.  Right-wingers can't denounce Iran for having real power in the hands of clerics, then claim that layman Ahmadinejad has the power of the Fuehrer or Stalin to declare war.

But generation after generation of Americans have been taught that "Orientals" have "no regard for human life", that Mao wouldn't be deterred by a thousand Minutemen ICBMs, that Ho had no genuine concern about the survival of his country.  Luckily Americans came to their senses, until the Arabs were selected as the new designated devils.

This racist madness is exactly what we would predict in the runup to a world war for resources run by rich cynics.  Time for a witch hunt.

"And now to put down the racist lie that brown-skinned Muslim blowhards are undeterrable."

Whose racist lie is this???  I think anyone living in desperate conditions and indoctrinated into any Faith of Hate can become blowhards and undeterrable - not just "Brown-skinned" arabs or persians or muslims (anyone under those conditions can become desperate enough to join the blowhards and undeterrables).  

But in this case The "Racism" is practiced openly by the Fascist Iranians who support deliberately attacking heathen civilians.  They are the ones who want to see the Infidel Jews and West destroyed.  It is NOT racist to see these Threats issued weekly from Iran. It is not racist to see their "silent army" carry out suicide missions aimed at civilians.  It IS difficult to twist reality to the point of seeing Iran as an "innocent scapegoate."  Unless you are Culturally Insolated and naive, or deliberately selective for whatever reasons.

As for MAD seeming to work for Hitler or Stalin - they did not believe they were ushering in The Apocalypse under Divine Protection and they were not facing World Peak Production of Oil which would usher in said Apocalypse.  

"This racist madness is exactly what we would predict in the runup to a world war for resources run by rich cynics.  Time for a witch hunt.

I agree with this to some extent.  This is a "witch hunt" to the extent that in this case the "witches" are real.  BUT, it is by sane, rational and objective observaters, not by "rich cynics".  

I agree that declining resources causes "civilizations" to fracture into smaller units based on discrimination of some kind, and for their to be demonization of competitors and much more conflict than during times of plenty.

I agree that declining resources causes "civilizations" to fracture into smaller units based on discrimination of some kind,

This is the very reason why collapse is likely to hit VERY HARD this time, because the current level of economic performance depends on the existing globalization.
Like the Greenland ice sheet under positive melting feedback, once the world will start to fragment each fragment will see a SEVERE drop in ressources which will cause more fragmentation.
As a dark humorous example of globalization, don't all heroin junkies of the world depend on Afghanistans' poppy crop?

As for discrimination of some kind the "kind" is pretty well guaranteed to be along ethnic, religious and tribalist lines.
In a still ressourcefull world this was the right policy selected by evolution because enough "fragments" would have sufficient ressources to take over and LOOT neighbouring less gifted groups in order to restart afresh.
In a much more depleted ressources environment even the "winners" may fall short of opportunities to rebuild a sustainable way of life.

I agree - "profoundly local" (kunstler) resources will be guarded closely and the more you look, smell, sound, feel and taste like everyone else in your profound locale, the better.  

I am a Transition Doomer in so far as I believe civilization will go through hades w/o sunscreen, but I also believe we will reach a new stasis at much lower population levels.  

I don't think we will follow the Easter Islanders into oblivion.  I do think our Soon To Commence Collapse will cut drastically the use of our remaining resources and that After The Transition, the Next Golden Age will have plenty left to pick up the pieces and get it Righter Next Time.

Hopefully we can leave the godz and other stupid metaphysical shit behind at the end of this current parasitic global village era (maybe then our descendents would have only two main divisions left for future Fractured Fairy Tales).

>Israel, not the US necessarily, is the Target for a nuke(s) (conventional or 'dirty'), although the US may be a target too someway, someday.   The US and West will then crumble due to the ensueing Chaos complete with Oil Embargos (who knows their exact recipe'? - other than Allah of course).

There is a good chance that Iran would act on the US first order to create chaos back in the states. For instance if they covertly slip in a a few nukes into major US cities, the US would be preoccupied with the chaos. Various speeches provided by the Iranian gov't spoke of removing the US from the equation since Israel is dependant on the US for military aid.

I believe the current Iranian objective is to remove the US military presence from the middle east by getting the US public to turn on the US gov't and demand a full withdraw. The Iranians have stated on multiple occasions that US public has no stomach for war and believe they can use US public sentiment to force withdrawl US presence in the middle east.

 sendoilplease, have you had your medication monitored lately? I think you need a test to see if your lithium is right.
I don't think lithium is useful to treat paranoid schizophrenia.
The first three paragraphs of the John Greer article, Briefing for Descent, noted above, really ticked me off.  "Survivalists" are not proposing a one-size-fits-all approach.  

But, what really got to me was his prognostication:

We're facing decline, not apocalypse, and in the face of a gradual decline unfolding over a century or more...
(emphasis added).  It would have been nice if Mr. Greer had told us all exactly how he arrived at this unsupported statement.  This sort of statement is a disservice because it lends support to the what-me-worry school of the future.  Hurumph!

Todd;  a Realist

This sort of statement is a disservice because it lends support to the what-me-worry school of the future.

I dunno.  The article is actually rather doomerish.  He is predicting unrest, war, and dieoff.

What political scientists call "liberal democracy" is a system in which competing elite groups buy the loyalty of sectors of the electorate by handing out economic largesse. That system depends on abundant fossil fuels and the industrial economy they make possible. Many of today's political institutions will not survive the end of cheap energy, and the changeover to new political arrangements will likely involve violence.
That takes us right back to yesterday's discussion on democracy.

I agree with Greer that political institutions are unlikely to survive energy crunch, just like everything else that depends on centralized structures (the grid etc.). They is the complexities that eat up soon-to-be-non-abundant resources.

And how that could be "resolved" without battle, I fail to see. Existing power will go to great lengths to hold on, even as its vulnerabilities become evident. And many of us will be caught somewhere in the ugly middle.

Yup.  This is the Greer of "catabolic collapse" fame.  He thinks we're headed for collapse, he just doesn't think it's going to happen quickly.  

I don't think he'd consider Todd a "survivalist."  From what I can tell, a "survivalist" to him is someone who expects to hide out briefly while civilization collapses, living off a cache of freeze-dried food.

Naturally, this seems silly to him, because he thinks the unrest and Mad-Maxing may last a hundred  years.  You can't store enough food for that.  

But someone who is actually producing their own food is a different story.    

Well, "survivalists" come in all shapes and sizes and it's a term I truly hate.  I think it has more to do with the philosophy as to why someone is doing what they are doing.

In my case, I grew up in the country and moved back to the country 30 years ago after my stint in the chemical industry.  I like the country.  But, probably by his definition, I'm a "survialist."  I have alternative energy systems, grow a lot of our food, don't trust TPTB and, gasp, have guns.  I do grant that I feel more secure here then I did doing the corporate trip.

However, few survivalist actually choose to live as I do.  And, you are right Leanan, they plan to "bug out" temporairly when TSHTF and then return.  In fact, they'll have to because they have neither the skills nor country oriented equipment and supplies needed to really survive.

I recall Charles Manson's plan was for his followers to hide while the blacks somehow defeated the whites in Helter Skelter, only to find themselves too stupid to rule themselves.  Then Manson's family would be invited by the blacks to be their masters.

Well, that's massively idiotic in several ways, but I think Mr. Manson of Tennessee was articulating a certain redneck mentality that fed into the subsequent survivalist and militia movements - that "I" the Good Anglo-Saxon Protestant am still part of a supreme race, but "they" the Liberal Urban Gay-Tolerant Whites have betrayed their covenant with God and will be destroyed.  Manson may or may not have believed it - but he was a hell of a salesman and proved that many children of Great Society-era middle class white America would eat it right up.  I hope he and McVeigh are pen-pals.

I hope he and McVeigh are pen-pals.

That'd certainly be impressive.  Just imagine the postage alone. :)

Quick correction:

I meant to say "contributed towards the subsequent survivalist and militia movements", more than "led to".  I know a non-racist survivalist/gun nut (he's also Catholic and from New Jersey).  I think what Manson had was that certain Southern swagger in the presence of guns which you see in the photographs of Confederate soldiers, and which is very seductive to alienated whites around the country.  There's a reason the neo-Nazis flew Confederate flags in Idaho.  And I think those kinds of whites have every intention to wait out the meltdown, march into the cities and ransack the homes of dead white liberals of all the goodies they will never be able to reproduce with their own hands, loudly proclaiming their entitlement by God.

He's a damned lying hypocrite is what he is. He first blasts doomers then repeats what doomers say as if to differentiate himself from them when he is just delivering more of the same message. Consider me highly intolerant of such pedagoguery.
You got it GZ.  First he blasts the "Survivalists"  then he goes on for two pages justifing their fears.

To make it swallowable,  he says it will take 100 years to play out.  


Globalism doesn't work well in reverse.  

Growth on ALL fronts is what kept the game going.  Companies are NOT geared towards planning Negative Growth.  Like a shark, that stops swimming, it will sink.

Complex Systems breakdown chaotically.   Throw a ball bearing into a complex machine and I doubt you would be able to predict how it would break down.  (watch that US TV commercial about a Ball Bearing Factory that has a "Problem" on the factory floor,  Stuff flying everywhere).

Especially when you have all the complex driving forces interwoven.

Financial(debt of every description), Political(all countries), Resources(Metal, Oil, Water, Food), Climate, etc.  You name it and they all have an effect on each other.  

With Cool heads like the Pres of Iran, Israel, and our own Cheney(et al) I don't see how anyone is optimistic about a "Gentle"  settling into a lower, poorer energy/money future.


If he hadn't blasted the religion of survivalism, his article would have been heralded.

Finally, get used to the inevitability of death. you probably won't live as long as you used to expect...

Damn, this guy is borderline cornucopian.
War for resources is one scenario.

However, the Cold War ended in a race to see whose economy would crash and burn first by overspending on the military. Outside of military conflict, who would crash and burn first in a contest to see who could pay the most for oil? With the loser's economy in tatters, the winners would benefit from the  drop in demand for oil (for awhile), and this scenario could be repeated.

Also, the SE Asia economic funk of the late 90's was a definite contributer to lower oil prices during that time.

I dunno. Just be sure to place your bets at the window before Post Time.

You know in the 80's Reagan convinced the Saudis to flood the market with oil.  Since the Russians depended on oil money they simply didnt have enough to spend on their military.  I think military spending is a symptom of the cause which is more to do with how they earned their income.  Without the income to support a country, let alone a military, it didn't matter what they spent their money on; they were bankrupt anyway.
I've heard that. But what did they need the foreign currency for? Given that they had oil and mineral resources, and the US wasn't selling them military hardware. Food?
They were buying wheat.  But back in 1971 Zbigniew Brzezinski predicted that the USSR would be doomed by a growing gap in computer technology versus the US.  We know the KGB carried out a lot of industrial espionage to narrow that gap, and dollars will buy a lot of treason from technology developers, even today.  The $ could also have been needed to bribe elites with hard cash to be used to buy coveted foreign luxury items.
In reference to "a gradual decline", Todd wrote:

(emphasis added).  It would have been nice if Mr. Greer had told us all exactly how he arrived at this unsupported statement.  This sort of statement is a disservice because it lends support to the what-me-worry school of the future.  Hurumph!

As far as I know, no one has made a convincing argument for a specific rate of decline.  That's why I think the rational plan is to be open to possibilities (of low or high rates of decline).


Yes.  But the lack of specificity is frustrating.  Can't be helped as far as I can tell.  This seems to be what Kunstler is calling for as well, a hundred years or so of off and on depression.

That leaves a wide range of possibilities for problems or opportunities at any given time.  The only things that seem to cover all the options are

  1. ELP,
  2. reduce your energy use,
  3. take care of your health,
  4. improve your security situation,
  5. build community,
  6. stay flexible,
  7. learn valuable skills.

There are opportunity costs to all of these.  If nothing else, most of them involve lots of time.  It would be much easier to prepare if someone would just tell us precisely what to prepare for when!
Greer explains how he came to the conclusion that collapse will be slow in his paper, How Civilizations Fall: A Theory of Catabolic Collapse.

Well I must say from my perspective this is less worrying than a geologist's models.

If we've got the right paper, he is using simple equations to represent aggreagate resource consumption and depletion for the planet, and does not mention "oil" or "petroleum" in the body of the text at all.  (in the footnotes, yes)

Such broad arguments may be interesting, but not truly frightening.

(to be honest the beard puts me off as well)

Greer's work is based on Tainter's.  He's not really concerned with peak oil in particular, so much as with collapse in general.  
How low will gasoline prices go ? Good question. Today it seems that we are bound again for a drop in crude price. This is explained by most financial articles as a result of raising gasoline stocks. But when examining the data from EIA, is the situation really so cheerful ? The data can be broken down into finished gasoline and blending components. It is very clear that the finished gasoline stocks are declining and the stocks of blending components are increasing. I've plotted the amount of stock for every beginning of September from 1990 to 2006. This makes things very clear : Clearly blending components are important but I doubt you can make your car run on them. So what is important for us are the finished gasoline stocks. At 114 mb there are only 11.9 days left with a consumption rate of 9600 mb/d, 12.6 days at 9000 mb/d. Just let hope that gasoline consumption is inelastic.
I wonder whether this is more of a one-time adjustment due to the switch from MTBE to ethanol. I'm speculating, but isn't the 10% ethanol added to gasoline added much later in the production/distribution process than was the case for MTBE? The reason for this is because E10 (finished gasoline with 10% ethanol) cannot be shipped through pipelines.
I'm not sure about this. If you are right, then I wonder where I should find the ethanol stocks in the EIA data, because the production data looks mainly at what happens at the refineries.
Wow.  That's some graph.  Is that increase all ethanol?
Indeed, the majority of increase comes from the increase of stocks of components for oxygenated blending with alcohol, which has more than doubled since 2004. It seems however that the quantity of blending components added into refineries didn't increase much since 2004 (and even decreased despite the increase of gasoline production ???).
I must add that I didn't find the stock of ethanol as such in the breakdown of EIA's data of blending components. As Calorie stated, ethanol is probably added much later in the production process. EIA data looks mainly at the blending components used at the refinery level (if I understand it well).
Blending Components include ethanol, the EIA calls it RBOB for Blending with Alcohol.
The April 26, 2006 version of This Week in Petroleum explains this all pretty well.
Gas price reflects coming election.
These are the times that try mens (Peak Oil) souls. In paraphrase the recent MSM assault on the (unbounded) limitations of Oil supply have unleashed a whole new barrage of rationalizations on the Peak Oil movement.  I have heard all kinds of twisting going on from some Peter Gesault (??) predicting the return of $.99/gallon gas on CNBC. To another analyst concluding the reason OPEC exports were down 3% YTD was that OPEC had already been trying to manage the price by cutting production.  Now we have Aramco claiming to reduce the water cut at Ghwar to less than 35% and claiming they are on track to increase production to 12 MBD.
I have to admit a bit of head scratching on the supply side and the implied tightness of the market.  I will agree with the anectdodal evidence that price induced rationing appears to be affecting 3rd world demand and thus limiting overall demand growth.  I also found the Raymond James article on OECD inventories helpful. So it also appears that world wide demand  is still growing.   So Where is the disconnect ?  Especially with all the offline production in the GOM, ALaska, Nigeria, and Iraq?  My own unqualified deduction is that the shut in production greatly exceeds 1MBD and that there is more Supply/Demand slack than that assumed by to date by the market.  How much credence can we give the S.A claim that the reduction in production is market driven and not a supply limitation?  The implication here is that the Peak has not been reached due to the self imposed reductions of OPEC and the force majure implications of the GOM, Alaska, Iraq, and Nigeria.  As someone that believes unequivocably in Peak Oil even I find the wheels in my brain turning.  Therefore I have no doubt that the rest of the Happy Motoring public is back to debunking the Peak Oil story just in time to help Detroit clear out those colossal inventories of SUV's and Trucks, and keep the Dems from taking control and punishing Big Oil. I appreciated an earlier comment first they Ignore, then they laugh and finally they fight.  The gloves are off.
the rest of the Happy Motoring public

  Where did you find my picture?
My fellow countrymen...

US drivers hop on scooters to dodge rising gas prices

With rising gas prices an increasing number of US drivers have hopped on scooters, long a favorite in parts of the world familiar with pricey gasoline.
If anyone is interesting in some strict econ POV's on the current down turn in oil prices over at financialsense.com they've got a pretty decent article on why there may have been un "unwinding" of the Iran fear premium.

Article: http://www.financialsense.com/fsu/editorials/dorsch/2006/0908.html

For the past two years, crude oil prices have doubled, while US crude oil inventories increased by roughly 22% during the same time period. Spot oil prices climbed the slippery slope to as high as $78.40 /barrel, supported by fears of supply disruption due to Iran's nuclear program, attacks on Nigeria and Iraq's oil pipelines, and political mischief by Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. On the demand side, a robust world economy, growing at a 5% annualized clip, led by China and India has underpinned oil demand, enabling prices to defy the laws of gravity.
Thanks for the link, it's really a good article.
This is a great article.  The chart of US stocks correlated with price is particularly significant.  In the past, high stocks were perceived as a sign of glut.  Now they are a sign of shortage (small spare capacity).  Stock building at time of shortage is essentially hoarding behaviour.  However, the squirrel now thinks its going to be a mild hurricane season.

Also note that Chinese imports have fallen sharply since beginning of 06 and I think this may go some way to explaining why demand has been flat this year (Stuart's plateau) - even though the article says imports are up year on year - the trend for this year is down.

Anybody know what causes such large swings in Chinese monthly oil imports and where to find this data? TOD should perhaps follow this as keenly as US inventories.

TOD should perhaps follow this as keenly as US inventories.

You are TOD, my friend. What you see is what you get. It takes more than just a good mood. Throw me an email once in a while.


Chris, I enjoy fishing.
I do, too. I just hate the actual fish part. Poor things. Gonna get eaten. I mostly like the boats and ships part. I'm fascinated by the huge engines and man's ability to transport himself across the sea. As sick as that seems. I like staring at the ocean.
Anybody know what causes such large swings in Chinese monthly oil imports and where to find this data? TOD should perhaps follow this as keenly as US inventories.

I've wondered the same thing and all I can think of is that as the spot prices rise, even though they may have long term contracts, they still need to buy any shortfalls and when the spot gets higher they may demand less.  Just a thought.

 I believe the decline in oil prices may be related to demand destruction and the sunsetting of the wealth effect from the housing bubble. Americans are likely being forced to cut consumption as they can no longer finance the higher energy prices. I suspect that a great number of americans used credit card debt to bridge the gap for higher fuel costs but they now are probably reaching their limit. Mortgage payments are rising as the rates on ARM loans are resetting. I believe the number of ARMS resetting will reach an historic high this month. Local Taxes have also been on rise too.

Inventories of oil and gas are on the rise in the US which accounts for the recent decline in oil prices. However, I believe that over the near term, Oil prices will remain above 60 as the lower costs permits India and China to import more. What ever oil that the US does import will be available to them. I don't think that the China or India will take any action to cool off their economic growth. If Chinese and India imports continue to grow it will likely remove any slack in the market and prevent prices from slipping significantly.

During the soviet era there was a joke about how the communists took over Saudi Arabia. Everything went well for the first three years, and then there was a sand shortage.

That was a joke. But now I'm hearing that there is a shortage of silicon. How do you have a silicon shortage? Isn't the earth's crust loaded with silicon? What's next, a gaseous nitrogen shortage? Peak matter?  

How do you have a silicon shortage?

Same like dying of thirst in the middle of the ocean.
The "raw" material is there but not in a form that is usable and for some reason you cannot process it or at least not fast enough to match your needs.
Silicon is everywhere but as silicates or silice (oxydized).

An interesting point isn't it?

Just the same than those wondrous tar sands, oil shales and "low grade" uranium ore.

Dow Corning sez help is on the way

Dow Corning Solar Solutions Introduces Breakthrough Solar Material
PR Newswire - September 04, 2006 2:01 AM ET

 Dow Corning Corp. today announced that it has achieved a milestone in solar energy technology: a solar-grade (SoG) silicon derived from metallurgical silicon that exhibits good solar cell performance characteristics when blended with traditional polysilicon feedstock. This new silicon feedstock material, Dow Corning(R) PV 1101 SoG Silicon, is the first commercially available feedstock produced from such technology using large scale manufacturing processes.

For several years, the primary obstacle to the growth of solar energy has been the constrained availability of silicon, the key raw material used in the production of solar cells. Until now, the solar industry has relied on the supply of polycrystalline silicon, a high-grade purity product, originally developed for the semiconductor industry. This has meant that the solar industry has in turn been subject to resource restraint. The launch of PV 1101, produced from a very different route, will alleviate that restraint and offer a new source of supply as well as new technical and business options for the solar industry.

"PV 1101 is certainly one of the most innovative technologies to come along in the solar energy industry since the manufacture of the first silicon solar cells," said Gaetan Borgers, director of Dow Corning Solar Solutions. "For years now, the solar industry has hoped to be supplied by new sources of silicon designed and dedicated to them. PV 1101 is a major step in that direction. It is a step that will provide a means of growth for the solar industry."

"Dow Corning's PV 1101 SoG Silicon is offering new choices and new perspectives for the photovoltaic (PV) industry," said Rudy Miller, market manager of Dow Corning Solar Solutions. "We can now offer the burgeoning solar market two attractive supply options. Hemlock Semiconductor Corp., the world's largest supplier of polycrystalline silicon, of which Dow Corning is the majority shareholder, is continuing to aggressively expand production capacities for polysilicon. And now, our new breakthrough material is presenting customers with a different technology choice to meet their material needs.

"This is the latest demonstration of how Dow Corning is solving both technological and supply issues in solar energy. In the short term, PV 1101 SoG Silicon meets the specifications of a growing customer base and helps to ease the current imbalance between supply and demand. In the mid and long term, it offers new options to the PV industry."

The PV 1101 blend material has already been tested in independent institutes and at several Dow Corning Solar Solutions' customer production sites worldwide. The testing showed that the blended feedstock material exhibits performance characteristics similar to polysilicon in terms of solar cell manufacturing and efficiency.

"Dow Corning has worked closely with several customers to test and qualify our material," Miller continued. "The results are very positive and we have recorded a high interest for our product. Orders have already been placed."

Dow Corning began bulk production of PV 1101 earlier this summer, and bulk customer shipments began in August. Progressive ramping up of the PV 1101 SoG Silicon production facility to full speed is currently in progress.

"While PV 1101 is certainly a breakthrough for the entire solar energy industry, Dow Corning doesn't plan to stop there," added Borgers. "We are continuing to develop next-generation materials and therefore more options for our customers."

PV 1101 SoG Silicon is a new milestone for the Solar Solutions Group at Dow Corning. It is the first product manufactured at Dow Corning Solar Solutions Group's new production facility in Santos Dumont, Brazil.

While Dow Corning has been providing materials to the photovoltaic industry throughout the company's history, it created the Solar Solutions Group in 2001 to focus on development and commercialization of material solutions that will improve cost effectiveness, material availability, durability and performance of photovoltaic devices.

Not a shortage, just a gap between demand growth and supply growth for purified silicon.  Solar PV demand has been roughly doubling every year for the last couple of years, while silicon supplies have rising only roughly 10% per year.

Up till now, silicon was used mostly for computer chips.  When chip demand fell several years ago demand fell for silicon and prices crashed, so silicon suppliers stopped building the billion dollar manufacturing facilities that are needed.  

Now the surge in demand for PV has caught them flatfooted, and it will take a couple of years for production to catch up, if then.

In the meantime silicon PV is reducing the thickness of the wafers to reduce the silicon used (and incidentally reducing the energy input and raising the E-ROI), and thinfilm PV (which doesn't use silicon) is exploding.

>That was a joke. But now I'm hearing that there is a shortage of silicon. How do you have a silicon shortage? Isn't the earth's crust loaded with silicon? What's next, a gaseous nitrogen shortage? Peak matter?  

Solar panels are made from the waste silicon made from semiconductor manufacturing. Sand may be very abundant, but ultra pure silicon isn't. It takes a lot of energy and industrial chemicals to product semiconductor grade silicon.

Life in a home without electricity and without running water

Lyrics to "Coal Miner's Daughter" by Loretta Lynn

Well, I was born a coal miner's daughter
In a cabin on a hill in Butcher Holler
We were poor but we had love
That's the one thing my Daddy made sure of
He shoveled coal to make a poor man's dollar

My daddy worked all night in the Van Lear coal mine
All day long in the field hoeing corn
Mama rocked the baby at night
Read the Bible by a coal oil light
And everything would start all over come break of morn

Daddy loved and raised eight kids on a coal miner's pay
Mama scrubbed our clothes on a washboard every day
I've seen her fingers bleed
To complain there was no need
She'd smile in Mama's understanding way

In the summertime we didn't have shoes to wear
But in the wintertime we'd all get a brand new pair
From a mail-order catalogue, money made by selling a hog
Daddy always seemed to get the money somewhere

I'm proud to be a coal miner's daughter
I remember well, the well where I drew water
The work we done was hard
At night we'd sleep, cause we were tired
I never thought I'd ever leave Butcher Holler

Well a lot of things have changed, since way back when
And it's so good to be back home again
Not much left but the floor
Nothing lives here anymore
Just a memory of a coal miner's daughter

I saw a TV show about Loretta Lynn's vintage mansion.  She doesn't live in it any more; she's built a new, contemporary-style home near by, and the old mansion is open to fans as a tourist attraction.  

The mansion was the first house in the county to have electric lights.  It's built along a stream that has a dam and a mill.  The mill provided the electricity for the lights.

I don't remember fingers bleeding from using a washboard, you gotta watch those things, they'll take stains out but the buttons off too lol. And going barefoot in the summer just flat-out rules, shoes are a curse in the warm weather. We read about these poor people living up in the holler and all that, but their lives sure sound much better than those of the battery-hen people we've done our best to cover the Earth with now.
Love the Easy Motoring Pic

Hey Texas is that the basis for the American Version of the Saudi Camel to Car to Jet Plane to Camel ?

sorta goes

My Father lived in a Holler, I live in the Easy Motoring Suburbs, My son lives in a High Tech High Rise, His son will live in the Holler.

Westexas, do you have a link to the latest country by country exports? I remember reading that oil exports have fallen by about 4% since the beginning of the year but that was not referenced.
Thanks in advance.
I took the EIA 2004 list of top exporters(based on total liquids), which gives you their production, consumption and net exports.   I then compared their 12/5 crude + condensate production to their 6/06 crude + condensate (all EIA).  For consumption, I just assumed that their total liquids consumption in 2004 was probably pretty close to their 2006 crude + condensate consumption (Arab producing countries showed a 5% increase in oil consumption from 2004 to 2005).  That process showed an estimated 9.2% decline in net exports by the top 10 (all EIA crude + condensate).
Westexas ,OilCEO, Thanks for taking the time to reply. So you did not use BP's 2005 consumption/production stats as the starting point?It has prod/comsumption for all exporters save nigeria. My own rough estimates show (based on those stats)that the exporters will have 525,000 BPD increased intrinsic demand in 2006.  
I don't use BP because they are so...I can't find the word...they are so incomplete, I guess. They only list certain countries. This is useless if you want to make a detailed analysis. You can't even do a top ten with their numbers. Even their regional numbers are all messed up when you compare them to what you know from other series, like EIA's.

And I am by no means heralding EIA's numbers.

When you say 525,000 bpd - I kind of have to chuckle. Half a million barrels per day is nothing after you've studied these numbers. I've come to the conclusion that you need to work in 2 million barrels per day as a margin of error. 1 million in either direction. Let me clarify that. 1 million in either direction off some center point. If you have a number of 85 million, you have to figure it might be way high, and that it could be 83 million, on the other side of your center-line of 84 million. Catch what I'm saying? You can't trust anything.

The EIA has excellent numbers in regards to certain specifics. So do certain companies. In fact, much of this is publicly available. The problem is timeframe and an integrated database.

I could easily do this with a staff of about ten people. Nobody has any interest. The interest is in keeping the data incomprehensible.

It's a mess. That's why I have such a problem with people saying this or that country did this or that. Nobody knows. Nobody has any idea. Not Dave, not Matt Simmons, not Naimi. Naimi may know about Saudi, but he has no idea about Iraq or Nigeria.

Read through every report from Bloomberg or any other service from the last week, month, year - doesn't matter. It's clear. Nobody has a clue. There isn't a single trader or analyst or guru who can tell you shit about anything.

That's why I'd make the best CIA Director. Because I would use my NSA and my NRO to know this shit instead of trying to find where Osama is. Duh.

Good points. I am relatively new at this and I can see why you get frustrated. There is no consistency even with whether they use crude oil or crude + condensates in their reports (IEA). They shift back and forth when talking about different countries and it gets to be a pain.
Whats your opinion on SA? Holding back or tapped out?
What is opnion of year over year decline in production in
You want my honest opinion?

I've read 'Twilight in the Desert' cover-to-cover twice. Underlined, highlighted, noted. One of the best books I've ever read. Not well written, necessarily, but the subject matter is just too important. OK, I take that back. It is well written. It just won't appeal to a mind unlike mine in the technical sense. My father had to tell me that. I gave him the book, of course.

I grew up in Saudi Arabia and I continue to study the country to this day. I know alot about the country above the ground.

I am well aware of Westexas and Darwinian and several others and their opinions on Saudi production.

I want to disagree with them. I want to disagree with Simmons. I can't, though. I can't really disagree with these theories.

There's nothing I can provide that would be evidence that Saudi can move to 12 million or 14 million barrels per day. Saudi can't provide any evidence.

OPEC is now talking about keeping production steady to keep prices above $65. What the fuck is that? Well...it might be a sign.

I think we are going to have a dip in the global economy and prices may come down a bunch, but when they go back up and cross say $90 and Saudi can't pull 12 mbpd out of the ground to alleviate that problem - we might know what's up at that point.

I don't know. I don't know how the future plays out. I don't think King Abdullah knows either.

Mexico, Norway, UK? Doesn't matter. You can track them in the papers. All three have shown surprising upside, but it is almost common knowledge that they are all doomed. Timeframe? Again, don't know. I'll bet it will be much longer than the doomers have in mind.

I have a theory about peak that I'll save for another time. It's largely based on the ideas of Halfin and Lou Grinzo, so you can go there for a "peek."

I'm satisfied to be the ultimate moderate. I'll sit on the fence all day long. Cornucopians seem to be clueless. Doomers just seem to be consistently wrong. So I try to have a clue and be right.

I follow the rig market closely and I think rigs and personal will limit production in 2007 and 2008.I think we could get a million increase in 2006 but most would be eaten up domestically by exporters. I think Deffeyes was off by a year. Even he has to admit that if not for nigerian shortages production in 2006 would have exceeded in dec 2005.
I think you know about as much as I do. Probably more. I hope you'll keep posting. I hope you also keep reading and keep studying. Never believe anyone you hear and never take anything for granted. Check everything out with at least 6 other independent sources. I'm totally serious. My two cents. Hope to see you around.

"Deffeyes was off by a year?" Really? - In which direction?

For me it is 2006 december. We would have clearly exceeded production for dec 2005 if not for the troubles in nigeria.
On the price front we could be approaching a bottom. The commercials who have been right way more often than speculators have stepped up buying while the speculators have been liquidating. Next week COT will probably be more revealing.
CEO - its 11.40 here in Aberdeen - weve had friedns and students round tonight and I'm kind of - how do you put it - pissed.  But I have a burning question - which no doubt has been discussed on TOD at great length before. It is this:

Why does the DOE publish oil price data that is 4 years and 1 day wrong?

Huh? I'm not sure I'm catching the question. This must be a joke. Or a riddle.

Their price data is usually not more than three days old.

But go ahead...

I hope that's 11:40 PM ;)

Here's the link:


Follow download series history and you get an xl file with historic prices for Brent and WTI.  The most recent entry is for Sept 7 2010.  Having to date correct this data has been driving me nuts for years.

No hangover today - which is good.

Hey, listen man, I'm trying to work with you here. No hangover is bad. It means you either didn't drink enough or you are not being punished enough. Action - Reaction.

I can't speak for Brent, but it is pretty much the same as WTI. WTI is basically Nymex. Nymex is tracked daily by EIA. It only takes like 3 days for them to enter prices.

I hit the link you posted. It's just one of their "Navigator" variations which they started throwin up about a year ago.

I'm have gotten especially sick of doing this. I'm doing this for the last time because I like you.

Go to eia.doe.gov

Hit the "International" link on the top of the middle column.

Now hit fourth link down on left column under "Petroleum(oil)"

Should be named "Prices"

Now...at the top of the page you should be reading a section  with the label NYMEX somewhere in parentheses.

There are four listings. You want the 2nd one.

"Jan 2, 1997 to present day"

XLS or HTML - you're pick.

If you want my list of prices, you should have just asked. I've got everything.

Wow - but now I need to find something new to drive me nuts.


OK.Here's some stuff.

Exports 2004

The numbers are cool. But they are obviously 2004. I'm still working on some highly updated stuff that I need to discuss with Westexas and Jerome before I move forward.

Tell me what you have problems with and how you would rather the data be displayed. Or what other data you would like.

The NYT piece on genetic engineering for biofuels is interesting. It is baffling how all the established enviro groups have jumped on Prop 87 even though its main promoters talk about genetically engineering mono-culture plants across large swathes of the country -- sounds to me like nothing more than genetic polluting.

I'm not in anyway morally or ethically against genetic engineering, however our experiences of the last century with technology should be flashing giant yellow lights as we try to manipulate life at its most fundamental level. This is not a solution and to do so in the name of saving American car culture is both morally and esthetically reprehensible. This is environmentalism?

The transition from rapeseed to canola was via selective breeding for oil content
Now it's a roadside weed. Maybe one day we'll have 'organic fuels, GM free'.
Hello TODers,

Glad to see Leanan's topthread link to the Northwest Progressive Institute and the I-937 article.

I think most Americans vastly underestimate how quickly political constructs will flip once the Peakoil & Global Warming tipping point is reached.  Self-organizing groups pushing for radical change can rapidly arise in the course of a very few years.  Please read this Wiki link on Cascadia, and how Secession has been politically discussed throughout their history, but tamped down by nationalization and globalization forces.

I would not be surprised if WA, OR, and Northern CA already has the highest level of public Peakoil Outreach compared to the other States.  Especially imagine the rapid rate of change possible if the two Microsoft founders [Bill Gates, Paul Allen] can be induced to bring their billion$$$ to bootstrap Cascadian postPeak reform.

New England is also a future potential hotbed of legislative Secession to gain greater postPeak control for biosolar sustainability and relocalization.  Here is a Wiki link. Recall the recent posting saying how the rural people are upset that rural windmill's power goes to downstate megalopolises instead of benefiting them.

Recall my earlier postings on Secession as the best method to build large, contiguous biosolar habitats, which offers vast advantages of Earthmarine protection for all species vs small, isolated survivalist outposts or villages.  The previous TODer postings warning of quickly shrinking world grain supplies, combined with topsoil and acquifer depletion is a very worrisome sign.  Do we have the collective wisdom to relocalize to permaculture within bicycle distance?

Recall [Nate Hagens] TheLastSasquatch's recent keythread that mentioned the startling statistic that one barrel of oil = 25,000 intense physical man-hours of labor.  As we decend the Hubbert Downslope-- this will be the primary reason for my speculation of a huge labor shift from our current 0.7% food supply labor force [source:CIA Factbook] to 60-75% of our labor force.

It is far better we keep our youngsters home for this field labor than shipping them overseas to be killed or maimed in battle in the '3 Days of the Condor' scenario.  Family inclusive fitness actions, which will predominate postPeak, are severely weakened if the youngest members are killed or maimed to the extent that they will not be able to labor at the energetic level to create a food caloric surplus for the older members of the family tribe.

This should be the primary 'protest point' if the topdogs decide that re-instituting the Draft is required for implementation of the 'Nuke their Ass--I want Gas' military mindset.  Remaining physically whole and healthy, and near your family, should also be paramount in any youngster contemplating volunteering for the Armed Services.  Remember, remember the September 5th, 2000 article whereby in just a few days: the UK society nearly suffered a total collapse.  Nawlins is another example--recall how many older people where helped by the efforts of the young.

It is not unforeseen within the US of a nationwide trucker's strike to protest the currently high diesel prices: this would quickly deplete all stores' inventories and cause widespread panic.  You may have only one fossil-fueled chance to rescue your elderly parents, children, or other relatives in a last gasp effort at family inclusive fitness.  Consider the implications.

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

You said a mouthful there, totoneila.  I enjoy your posts-- very thought-provoking.
How do you post pictures on this thing? I have one I want to post but it won't let me. Thanks.
Don't know about the rest of you, but my energy-based portfolio is flooding red ink.

Hurricane anyone?

Re:  How low can gasoline prices go?

I was just watching the video download of the interview with Peter Beutel of Cameron Hanover in MSNBC.  He is saying gas will drop to below $1.35 within the next 4-5 years.  This, as far as I know, is more optimistic than even our friend Mr. Yeargin's current thinking.  Who is Mr. Beutel and what is all this based on?

I have changed up all my investments on the assumption of near term peak oil.  Do I now need to sell my oil field service stocks and invest in vacation homes?

We look close to bottom. Those crack spreads cannot last. They are crazy if they think they are gonna get gasoline at $3.00 crack spreads when tanker rates are $4.00 a barrel. $1.35? They are coming out of the woodwork. Bulls getting hammered. Bears are everywhere!!. Sounds like last year when we bottomed at $55. Only this is $11 higher.
The bulls alive boys and it is gonna kick some serious ass soon but first it wants to knock everyone but the best of its back.
You're fine 2nd week of November.
Just another buying opportunity...there will be more in the future as oil prices gyrate wildly.
Dollar cost averaging is your best friend.  If you're not on margin consider it.  You can leverage highly fantastic gains with little margin.  Always keep macro trends in mind.  You must go way up and then come down in kind.  We are in between the HOT & COLD seasons so the demand is lower in the short term.  There are always dips (gold is getting HAMMERED today, 9/11) and dollar cost average your way into a lower position ready to capitalize on the next bull run.
Listening to PRI's "The World" as I work, I heard some fellow on the Business Report crowing about the Jack discovery, saying something like, "Who says we don't have plenty of oil?"

Then "Alternative Radio" had a good Heinberg presentation from back in January.

We were watching Hem'n-Hawing play Yank-o-Twitch and Share-the-Lova play Machismo at the US Open today.  At some point CBS cut away to the grounds to show nice pedicabs transporting attendees.  Even my wife liked them.

I haven't run across these pedicabs before.  Most seat the pedaler upright, but these were recumbent delta trikes with a plastic bubble shell that shaded and enclosed the two passengers in the back, and provided a bit of a roof for the pedaler up front.  The handlebars were the low rider type.

Perhaps some of you have wondered where the TOD response is to the "Jack-2" test well in the Lower Tertiary of the Gulf of Mexico.

There have been a lot of lies and there has been a lot of misleading information put out about this discovery.

Monday is the day.

-- Dave Cohen

Damn, David, why did you have to say that? The weekend just started and now I can't wait until Monday.

Your superb posts keep me awake at night. I can't get enough.

happy weekend,

Hello TODers,

Here is the another Bloomberg update on Mexico's rapidly declining oil output.  8% decline this year, 10% decline in Cantarell for 2007.  That's pretty ugly in what it means for the Mexican economy overall, and the political crisis has not gotten any better yet either.

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

I picked the following up off a fairly decent and well used AG site visited by many farmers. It may have already been reported.

To me it just vindicates what I have expressed on this website before concerning farming and energy. That being that we are going to heavily utitlize our cropland for the purposes of appearing to be overcoming the energy crisis and wasting it thereby(the land).

Washington, D.C. -- Farmers must grow more corn in coming years to keep up with the demand for fuel ethanol, the government's top agricultural economist says.

Farmers would need to plant 90 million acres of corn by 2010 -- 10 million more than they did this year -- to fill projected ethanol demand and maintain existing levels of exports and livestock-feed usage, said Keith Collins, the U.S. Agriculture Department's chief economist.

The increase almost equals the total corn acreage in Iowa, where farmers planted 12.7 million acres of corn this year.

The growth in ethanol production could have several ramifications, Collins and others said. It could push corn prices to record levels in coming years, reducing government subsidies but potentially raising food prices. The expansion of corn acreage could reduce soybean supplies and eat up land now set aside for conservation.

"There will be some costs (to rising ethanol production), there is no question about that. But it can be manageable given the objective of reducing foreign oil imports," Collins told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Wednesday.

The committee's chairman, Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., expressed concern that the use of corn for ethanol could wind up raising food prices significantly.

"Several politicians, including the president, and other interest groups have stressed the security implications of importing oil from unstable parts of the world. Yet, corn cannot be the answer," Inhofe said.

The record average annual price of corn was set in 1995 at $3.24 a bushel. This year, the USDA expects corn prices to average between $2.15 and $2.55 a bushel.

The surge in ethanol production has raised concerns among livestock producers about the cost and availability of animal feed.

Hog and poultry producers are affected most directly by increased corn prices, since a byproduct of ethanol production, known as distiller's grains, readily substitutes for corn in cattle feed.

There are 101 ethanol plants now in operation that can produce 4.8 billion gallons of ethanol a year. Plants now being expanded or constructed will increase annual production by 3 billion gallons.

"The U.S. investment in biofuel production in response to runaway oil prices is spiraling out of control, threatening to draw grain away from the production of beef, pork, poultry, milk and eggs," according to writer Lester Brown, whose recent warnings about biofuels have attracted attention in Washington.

Collins said increases in corn yields will help meet demand for ethanol.

He also estimated that up to 7 million acres of land now idled under the Conservation Reserve Program could be planted to corn and soybeans. Most of that land is in Iowa and other Midwestern states.

About 36 million acres of former cropland, including nearly 2 million in Iowa, is now enrolled in the program.

"Some of that land can be farmed economically and sustainably," Collins said.

The program is widely popular because the acreage provides habitat for birds and other wildlife while helping to curb runoff that pollutes streams and rivers. It's fine to remove land from the program as long as it is replaced with more environmentally sensitive acreage, said David Nomsen, vice president of governmental affairs for Pheasants Forever.

Economists at the University of Missouri's Food and Agricultural Policy Institute recently estimated that CRP acreage would shrink by a million acres by 2010.

The economists, who analyze agricultural policy for Congress and federal agencies, estimate farmers will plant 87 million acres of corn by 2010, a 9.6 percent increase over this year.

Inhofe made clear that any legislation increasing the amount of ethanol that the nation is required to consume would have to pass through his committee.

An energy bill passed last year will require that motorists use 7.5 billion gallons of ethanol by 2012. That target is likely to be reached long before then, and farm-state legislators have proposed to increase the mandate.