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Peak-oil, Fact or Fraud? Climbing Mt. Hubbert

Posted on November 10, 2006
Filed Under Uncategorized |

Einstein Peak-oil

"A world become one, of salads and sun…"

This post is written for those who hold the view, understandably, that peak-oil may be a hoax. I sometimes forget that skepticism of corporate power distorted by bubble-vision makes the study of peak-oil seem like the quest of a knave.

But if it’s not a ruse, the ramifications are vast. And it’s my contention that most people view technology, energy, and its related solutions with an irrational, often theocratic belief. I want to skip the numbers, if possible, and simply suggest that the issue called peak-oil deserves serious reflection.

Some things just stick in your mind… I remember finishing Matthew Simmons’ Twilight in the Desert before the book was actually released in Great Briton. Apparently, I considered it that important. It was the most difficult book I’d ever read. Well written for the subject matter, but it was a mountain of data and dry as hell. I’d already digested other peak-oil related books; Kunstler’s The Long Emergency was the most enjoyable. But I needed to scrutinize Simmons to eliminate possible misinterpretations. His extensive and conservative background, as a high powered energy investment banker, was essential for balance. I’ve also read a few books regarding economic collapse and, in my view, the two are hopelessly interconnected.

First, the definition. Peak refers to the top of a standard bell curve, of production, formed on a chart. It goes up, rolls over, and then goes down. Oil refers to crude, coming out of the ground. It does not represent coal, tar-sand, corn, or solar cells. Peak-oil refers to the irrefutable fact that oil-wells are discovered, tapped, drained, then abandoned. And if something like “abiotic” oil is mysteriously refilling them, it’s painfully slow. Once you acknowledge a limit, the question on peak-oil becomes when – not if.

US oil production peaked around 1970, and it did this because America was first to explore and exploit crude-oil in a big way. This massive historical trend is essentially unaffected by environmentalists and regulation. US/Peak-oil/Historical fact; short & simple, but also understand that peak-production follows peak-discovery.

There’s no getting around it, the same fate awaits the rest of the world; as the planet wide drop in discoveries and aging production begin to confirm. But it’s the resurgence of nuclear and coal, plus the recent assumed cost effectiveness tar-sand and other solutions that sound the alarm. Regardless, the fact remains; no alternative exists to replace any reasonable fraction of 80+ million barrels of crude oil per day, every day.

It’s a bit early to check the rear-view-mirror, but… "Energy Information Administration data showed world supply of crude oil has declined to 83.98 million barrels per day in the second quarter after hitting 84.35 million bpd in the fourth quarter of 2005." When the drop off occurs and continues, the affects cascade.

Obscuring this unfolding reality is a less-than-obvious industrial complex that renders copper, suburbia, wind turbines, and modern food production as products of a fossil fuel infrastructure. The list is long, the interconnections incomprehensible; because much of technology itself is a byproduct of energy derived from oil. Adding insult to injury, unrealistic expectations are propagated by failures to discern false alternatives. Case in point, tropical sugar cane biofuel for a country with a few cars vs. temperate corn biofuel for a country with a lot of cars.

Our civilization doesn’t just run on oil; it was built on, maintained with, and continues to function as a result of cheap-oil; and lots of it. Picking the low hanging fruit doesn’t mean you’re out, it means continued harvesting requires more work for the same yield. Regarding crude, once you’ve harvested half the deposit, energy input increases as petroleum output decreases. Energy Returned over Energy Invested.

We’ve been pulling oil from the earth for over a hundred years, and the current rate of over eighty million barrels per day is more than any period in history. Clearly the opposite of running out; but running-out isn’t the problem, at this time. It’s producing less that can be catastrophic. Remember, peak-oil refers to crude-oil max production; not tar-sands or coal. In some respects, it’s even a distraction to think of the down-slope as costing more money; as in money to produce oil-energy. More importantly, it costs more energy to produce energy. ERoEI

Notice also that the concepts of energy and technology are often used interchangeably. They go hand in hand, but they’re not synonymous. And how much clean natural gas are we willing to squander fabricating usable liquid fuels from tar sands? As I recently read, this may be akin to using "caviar to make fake crab-meat." The upside of Hubbert Peak grew human population to levels never-before possible. On the downside we deal with it; a commodities bullfight.

History provides myriad examples of market bubbles. At the end of 2006 we consider the housing bubble. A larger bubble yet is the bubble economy itself, and an argument could be made for the largest bubble of all time. Spending half the earth’s endowment of ancient sunlight, in synergistic combination with an international, century long expansion-of-credit, produced the jet-powered Keynesian misallocation of recourses - that is, the Bubble of Civilization.

"I heard it was you, talkin’ ’bout a world where oil is free; it just couldn’t be…"
- the stranger

…with apologies to Prof. Goose, Campbell, Deffeyes, Simmons, Klare, Faggan, et al
and thanks to Crosby for Stand And Be Counted


Comments are closed. Thank you.


169 Comments so far
  1. Makia November 10, 2006 9:35 pm

    Thanks Micheal. This is about as clear and concise as you can put the situation, in English. The only arguement can be is: are we really _at_ the peak?

    As far as I can tell, the energy in oil and the “ingeniuity” of greed has combined to create the “power” and consciousness needed to commodify every square acre of the planet. If the data of greed is correct, ENERGY is only going to get more expensive; weather you measure it in terms of energy, or money.

    Another interesting point that is related to the subject of peak oil is that Hubbert’s peak also applies to other non-renewables such as uranium, natural gas, copper, aluminum, and I would think, also gold. We can debate the effects of peak oil on these other peaks, but i defiately feel that man’s consciousness should come to terms with these things, so that civilization isn’t forced to.

    The ancients taught that we are _curator’s_ of this planet, not owners. American’s have consistently consumed 80% of the worlds oil, i.e. “free” energy. It has created an attitude of “as it is it always will be.” Well, if the oil peak is at hand, then it certainly will not always be as it is. If we cling to the idea that “if we don’t consume it, someone else will,” then we not only condemn ourselves to slaves of our own greed, we forsake out _true_ role as caretakers.

    Blessed be any People or Society that accepts its role as caretaker, and is not bothered if some other People is confined to the trappings of greed.

  2. Erich J. Knight November 11, 2006 8:05 pm

    Dear Folks:
    If this proves true, how do we convince the world not to burn it???!!!:

    How much oil is in Nevada?
    Dr. Alan Chamberlain, stated his estimates, that there is almost 1.9 TRILLION barrels of oil in the state. Mind you, since the 1850s, when the first oil was pumped in Pennsylvania, until now, total worldwide oil production is only 1 trillion barrels. Further, many experts (Deffeyes in Hubbert’s Peak, for instance) believe that 2 trillion barrels is the total original world supply, meaning we only have 1 trillion left in the whole world. Chamberlain is now on the record as stating that he thinks there is roughly as much oil in Nevada as the rest of the world put together ever had. Any thoughts on this? If Eden Energy finds a couple of billion barrels, investors are rich beyond their collective imaginations; but a couple of trillion barrels?? That number just seems impossibly big.

    Here is a video of Alan Chamberlain’s May 10 talk to Canada Oil Geologist, High lighting His 50 $million data set for the great basin:

    Elephant Hunting Heating Up in the Great Basin

    BUT, we must still deal with CO2!!

    I feel we should push for this Terra Preta Soils CO2 sequestration strategy as not only a global warming remedy for the first world, but to solve fertilization and transport issues for the third world. This information needs to be shared with all the state programs.

    The economics look good, and truly great if we had CO2 cap & trade in place:

    These are processes where you can have your Bio-fuel and fertility too.

    ‘Terra Preta’ soils I feel has great possibilities to revolutionize sustainable agriculture into a major CO2 sequestration strategy.
    I thought, I first read about these soils in ” Botany of Desire ” or “Guns,Germs,&Steel” but I could not find reference to them. I finely found the reference in “1491″, but I did not realize their potential .

    Nature article: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v442/n7103/full/442624a.html

    Here’s the Cornell page for an over view:

    This Earth Science Forum thread on these soil contains further links ( I post everything I find on Amazon Dark Soils, ADS here):

    The Georgia Inst. of Technology page:

    There is an ecology going on in these soils that is not completely understood, and if replicated and applied at scale would have multiple benefits for farmers and environmentalist.

    Terra Preta creates a terrestrial carbon reef at a microscopic level. These nanoscale structures provide safe haven to the microbes and fungus that facilitate fertile soil creation, while sequestering carbon for many hundred if not thousands of years. The combination of these two forms of sequestration would also increase the growth rate and natural sequestration effort of growing plants.

    Also, Terra Preta was on the Agenda at this years world Soil Science Conference !

    Here is a great article that high lights this pyrolysis process , ( http://www.eprida.com/hydro/ ) which could use existing infrastructure to provide Charcoal sustainable Agriculture , Syn-Fuels, and a variation of this process would also work as well for H2 , Charcoal-Fertilizer, while sequestering CO2 from Coal fired plants to build soils at large scales , be sure to read the “See an initial analysis NEW” link of this technology to clean up Coal fired power plants.

    Soil erosion, energy scarcity, excess greenhouse gas all answered through regenerative carbon management http://www.newfarm.org/columns/research_paul/2006/0106/charcoal.shtml

    If pre Columbian Indians could produce these soils up to 6 feet deep over 20% of the Amazon basin it seems that your energy and agricultural industries could also product them at scale.

    Harnessing the work of this vast number of microbes and fungi changes the whole equation of EROEI for food and Bio fuels. I see this as the only sustainable agricultural strategy if we no longer have cheap fossil fuels for fertilizer.

    We need this super community of wee beasties to work in concert with us by populating them into their proper Soil horizon Carbon Condos.

    I feel Terra Preta soil technology is the greatest of Ironies since Tobacco.
    That is: an invention of pre-Columbian American culture, destroyed by western disease, may well be the savior of industrial western society. As inversely Tobacco, over time has gotten back at same society by killing more than the entire pre-Columbian population.


    Erich J. Knight
    Shenandoah Gardens
    E-mail: shengar@aol.com
    (540) 289-9750

  3. the stranger November 12, 2006 5:49 pm

    Eric, some great links there. I’m about a quarter into Diamond’s Guns, Germs & Steel; haven’t yet opened The Botany of Desire - tramping similar ground it seems. Columbian Indians and Nevada shale/oil notwithstanding, scale and efficiency, respectively, plus urgency are at play for the most disturbing phases of peak-oil; not least of which are aspects of economics. Allow me to buttress the above article with excerpts from a recent article by Byron King.

    Modern economic theory severely discounts the inherent value of an energy-dense liquid like petroleum. Modern economics is leveraged upon the ability of societal units and individuals to extract and utilize what are, in historical context, "godlike" amounts of energy from humble, yet depleting, rock oil. That is, modern economic theory utterly disregards the material energy limits of the natural world…

    …Is the economic progress of the past two centuries or so entirely a function of mankind "discovering" the ideas of free market economics? Or did, perhaps, the availability of cheap and accessible energy supplies in the form of hydrocarbon fuels have something to do with it? If the latter, then what happens when the hydrocarbon fuels deplete?

    It’s these godlike amounts of energy unlocking all other resources, at the heart of the matter. Oil, in large quantities, is an energy source that’s difficult or impossible to replace.

  4. Erich J. Knight November 12, 2006 7:13 pm

    Just a note: Not oil shale, saudi like light sweet crude is what Chainberlin is talking about

  5. the stranger November 12, 2006 9:39 pm

    Eric, here’s a website that anawers your questions (No really, it’s your questions – literally you, from August 2005). Some of these answers look like they took days to compile, so hell; let’s recycle them.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for drilling for light, sweet crude in Nevada; the silver & gold will be a bonus – start drilling tonight.

  6. skeptical November 13, 2006 7:43 am

    Just call me skeptical but I believe we already have the technology to use water as energy. Do a google search on water car, water engine, etc and you may be surprised.

    I believe all this talk of peak oil was just the PTB way of running up the prices so they could “cash out” as they see the oncoming train (water energy) about to hit the markets and then they will no longer be able to run over the world with their endless resource wars stealing oil in exchange for worthless peices of paper.

    Just my opinion!

  7. ronandreas November 13, 2006 8:37 am

    Saudi Arabia Tests Its Potential For Unlocking Heavy-Oil Reserves

    By Bhushan Bahree in New York and Russell Gold in Bakersfield, Calif., The Wall Street Journal,
    Jul 10, 2006

    Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi said many heavy-oil fields in his country aren’t currently included in its official tally of 260 billion barrels of recoverable reserves, the world’s largest…

    For $2.95 you can buy the article or go to the library and read it free.
    Saudi heavy oil is expected to cost $10-$15/barrel to produce. That’s 10 times thier current cost for light. this is why they are only now proving thier deposits. In any event, it’s much cheaper than Canadian tar sands or U.S. shale.
    I read the “peak oil” theories when they first appeared back when $14/brl seemed high. It was all predicated on economic collapse if oil hit $25. Obviously that didn’t happen. Case closed.

  8. Turk November 13, 2006 8:45 am

    Peak oil is a fact in that the most easily exploited oil sources have peaked. Oil should be at least at the one hundred dollar per barrel price today so that conservation may be forced upon those who drive in this world. and–so the vehicle manufacturing sector will be motivated to work with the oil sector and government to bring more capital investment to designing, building and implementing a hydrogen based system for private transportation. Nuclear electric, passive solar dwelling design, domestic solar electric and hydrogen fueled private transportation are the only real answers to the energy problems we face. We must begin to conserve oil now because we need it for so many more applications beyond making fuel. We have shown ourselves that the only way we, the users of fuel, take conservation seriously is when it becomes priced high enough to make a serious dent in our wallets.

  9. zephyr November 13, 2006 8:52 am

    I know I may sound like a broken record on this topic, and it may be oversimplifying things but…..there is only so much of this stuff in the earth’s crust. There is a finite amount!!

    So, you can debate logistics, but nobody on this thread really has a clue as to how much oil is left, in what forms it is left and how easy or hard the rest will be to extract. Bottom line, at some still undefined point, this stuff will run out!!! And it’s use is killing Mother Earth!! Perhaps best to really wean ourselves off this to some other form of energy.

    Prediction: That will never happen. Armegedden will transpire first.

  10. Dan November 13, 2006 9:00 am

    There was a confeence of the ASPO (Assoc for Study of Peak Oil) in Boston a couple of weeks ago with a lot of heavy hitters including Matt Simmons. I was worried before attending the conference and scared s***less by the end.
    Simmons is saying that The Saudi fields are being depleted faster than anyone could imagine and that the big Cantarell field in Mexico (from which the US imports a whole lot) is showing signs of collapse. But we can’t really know the truth because the real geological reports are state secrets of the various countires. Simmons is a good Republican who believes that George Bush will now sponsor effective alternative energy inititatives.
    But then there was a day and a half spent looking at the reality of those alternatives, here are some clear points from the conference.
    1. It will take more energy to get light crude out of tar sands than the oil produced.
    Oil Shale may be close to break even but leaves an environmetal mess.
    2. Ethanol without a 32 cents per gallon government subsidy to Archer Daniels Midland makes no sense and you only get about 5% ;more energy out than you put in.
    3. There is about to be a bunch of snake oil like Nevada bonanzas and deep sea gushers in the Gulf which will lull folks into SUV supported Sprawl because nobody has a way of actually dealing with this issue.
    Well, actually they do. It is called “Demand Destruction” which basically means that people need to consume a whole lot less. Unfortunatel, Demand Destruction is another way of saying “DEPRESSION”, so we can all guess where that will lead.
    There is not going to be a crunchy granola way out of this mess with moralisms and low head hydro and softly spinning wind farms. Weaning 300 million Americans off their addiction to cheap oil is only going to make the coming debt bubble bust much more painful for all of us. A lot more painful.

  11. Sapiens November 13, 2006 9:27 am

    LOL, don’t be so bleak you all! Yes, many people will die, but humanity will somehow survive. The point is, are you one of those that will survive? Are you ready, are you prepared?

    Life runs in cycles as there are certain patterns of growth that Nature follows:

    Fractals, exponents, squares, they are all possible patterns of growth that are confined by the physical characteristics of the constituent elements. See the following article of biological energy consumption and growth:


    Bottom line, humanity will continue…under what conditions, Mmmmm, let’s ask the Amish ot Natives of the Jungle.


  12. Nish November 13, 2006 9:50 am

    There is no peak oil. Everything is market driven as long as there is no monopoly in the market. The issue is not peak oil, but monopolizing the martket. How can gas drop from 3.3 a gallon to 2.00 a galloon in 2 months before the election.

    Competition is good for the consumer but not for the producer, therefore it is natural for the producer of any comodity or production to try to monopolize as much as possible. Finally they are at a state of price setting, especially if the consumer becomes dependent on that goood. One cannot naturally set prices, otherwise there will be a back lash so a stories are made up of peak oil, and it will be PEAK WATER tomorrow. This is free market without regulation. Eventually there will be just one Company call, BANK OF ENGLAND.

    There is no Peak Oil. Oil only peaks in the viagra politics of today. Have faith in human kind to adjust to conditions in the market and the environment. We have been doing this for thousands of years.

  13. Erich J. Knight November 13, 2006 9:57 am

    Dear Folks:

    To really gain some perspective on the energy problem , and understand what a tough nut it is, read this reply by Uncle AL, from another Sci-forum:

    “Do you have any idea how much energy the US uses/year? It has held reasonably steady at 60 bbl oil equiv/capita. 1 boe = 1700 kWhr-thermal. There are 290 million US folk or

    1.74×10^10 boe/year, or
    2.96×10^13 kWhr-thermal/year, or
    1.065×10^20 joules/year, or…

    …or the equivalent of 1.2 metric tonnes of matter 100% converted into energy each year, E=mc^2. Are ya gonna alternatively burn algae, git, or catch wind

    The US consumes the equivalent of 1.2 metric tonnes of matter 100% converted into energy each year, E=mc^2.

    You are all clueless. Sparrow farts run through a gas turbine won’t get you 10^20 joules/year. Not now, not ever. Pulling 10^20 joules/year out of wind or waves would monstrously perturb the weather. Where do the energy and raw materials necessary to fabricate and install your New Age hind gut fermentations originate? Who pays for the environmental impact reports and litigations therefrom?

    What are the unknown hazards? Can you guarantee absolute safety for 10,000 years? Let’s have a uniform set of standards, eginineering and New Age bullshit both. Area necessary to generate 1 GW electrical, theoretical minimum

    Area, Modality
    1000 biomass
    300 wind
    60 solar
    0.3 nuclear

    3×10^7 GWhr-thermal/year would need 9 billion mi^2 of wind collection area. The total surface area of the Earth is 197 million mi^2. 24 hrs/day. Looks like yer gonna come up a little short if 100% of the Earth were wind generators powering only the US.

    Are ya gonna alternatively burn algae to generate 10^20 joules/year? Now you are a factor of 3 even worse - before processing and not counting inputs. THEY LIED TO YOU. They lied to you so poorly it can be dismissed with arithmetic. Where are your minds?

    Uncle Al
    (Toxic URL! Unsafe for children and most mammals)

    Now ya know how big the problem is!!
    My reply to UncleAl:

    “Dear Uncle Al,
    Your logic and math are impeccable, However you seem to ignore the macro energy equation.
    All fossil and nuke fuels ultimately add to the heat load of the biosphere while most of the solar / wind / thermal conversion technologies (except geothermal) recycle solar energy instead of releasing sequestered solar energy. This is the goal and definition of sustainability, not over loading the dynamic equilibrium of the biosphere.

    At least you seem not to take account of this, and I feel you dismiss the rising curve of increasing efficiency for PV, direct solar to hydrogen, wind and thermal conversion to electricity, not to mention P-B11 fusion.
    From what I understand of the direct solar to hydrogen fabrication technology it is a much greener process, and cheaper that silicon based PVs. ( Hydrogen Solar home http://www.hydrogensolar.com/index.html )

    And the nano-dot approach to PVs also promises full spectrum conversion efficiencies along with clean production processes. ( UB News Services-solar nano-dots http://www.buffalo.edu/news/fast-ex…rticle=75000009 )”

    Erich J. Knight

  14. ronandreas November 13, 2006 10:00 am

    I know that once you have accepted new information, it is hard to face the fact that you have been decieved. The excerpt below explains some of this dynamic:

    For a manipulation to be successful strategists follow a well-experimented intellectual ruse: lead (mislead) the reader via endless repetitions of commonplace indoctrinating concepts without providing any proof except pre-packaged opinions and unsubstantiated reports that most readers lack the necessary tools to investigate let alone verify.

    This is a cunning practice: it re-recycles previously circulated propaganda themes as verified, settled, and accepted “facts.” Example: once the Bush Administration spread the rumor that Iraq threatened the world with weapons of mass destruction, think tanks and media kept repeating that rumor as if it were a solid reality.

    Method: a manipulation expert (thinker) transforms those themes into false-facts by the application of what I call, the Principle of Past Thresholds (Colin Powell used this method in his U.N. deceptive presentation in February 2003.) Details: the manipulator applies two processes: mental and psychological, whereby an individual would be inclined to accept re-cycled propaganda themes as “facts” requiring no further verification. At the base of this presumed acceptance is the assumption that the public have already absorbed those themes and passed beyond the threshold of doubt when confronted with them again. Expectation: based on cognitive research, the manipulator knows that consequent to previously stratified inductions, a re-cycled theme would acquire its own “certainty” because of earlier indoctrinations that made their way into the collective consciousness through mechanical repetitions by legions of others.

    By following this intellectual premise, the manipulator of Iraqi and Arab issues expects two possible developments. One: that prior indoctrination would forestall the potential urge to investigate a given matter from a different angle. Two: that the new sequential indoctrination could sink even deeper in the mind of readers since they would probably depend on stored information (disinformation) to make an updated judgment.

    Consequent to these processes, a cycle of indoctrination on a subject makes a full circle: because, disinformation was at the root of the earlier judgment, the updated version would be only a matter of rationalized continuity.


    Of course, in a century or so we will exhaust heavy oil and the costlier shale will be developed. There is no ecological advantage in pretending that this is false. We need to confront environmental issues openly and honestly.

  15. turk November 13, 2006 10:11 am

    All is not lost, there are definitely many things that can be done to maintain the lifestyle we have become accustomed to and to increase the lifestyles of those on this planet who are living on the edge. Oil must be priced based on what the barrel will be used for. I.E.; Oil used for gasoline must be priced high enough to force the individual driver to take a hard look at how we waste oil based energy from wasteful driving. That has to be the starting point. Policies can be put in place to keep the price of diesel low for the trucking and rail industries who deliver our goods. Oil that is destined to be used for fiber, plastic and other long chain molecule uses can be priced lower. Even though it was said this past summer by many of the talking heads on cable, that the price of oil ultimately only contributes five percent to the price of goods in the market place, I have to believe it is much higher. The second thing that needs to happen is a change in building codes to mandate things like passive solar design, solar electric technology where feasable and many other building design changes that can cut fossil fuel energy needs. The next thing that needs to happen is a national strategy to build a hydrogen based transportation system, to come in various phases as the technology progresses. The technology currently exists to make it happen and new technologies for hydrogen can be implemented as they become feasable. There needs to be a starting poing for national strategy to mandate capital investment in this area. The oil companies can control the hydrogen market as long as they build it, who cares if they control it? They can price hydrogen for profit just as they now do oil. Now is the time regardless of peak oil realities or not. The profits currently exist in these big companies to make such an investment, instead of the profits being poured into dry or unfeasable oil holes around the world. (You can tell, I have been passionate about hydrogen for a long time). Ethanol is just the same old go- to flash in the pan when ever oil prices rise. It may work for a sugar cane country but it is by far not the solution to the big picture. Bio-diesel has been feasable for years and is in use. It can play a small part. Wind farms need large surface areas and already have wildlife watchers in a tizzy because of the birds that die when they fly into the blades. Hydrogen, generated from sea water, not fresh water, is the ultimate answer. Hydrogen generated from sea water and used as fuel in mid-continent will generate fresh water water as a by-product, The fresh water from burning hydrogen, which is generated from sea water will become part of the water cycle and much of the fresh water exhaust will be ultimately cycled into the fresh water cycle of the inner continent water sheds. whew… strange but true and feasable.

  16. ronandreas November 13, 2006 10:11 am

    If you have a trusted non-msm source that exposed you to peak oil, consider the following:

    David Montoute:

    If scrutiny of this netherworld is off limits to mainstream news, traditional ‘alternative’ media has been no less averse to dealing with it. To illustrate, an inestimable contribution to our early understanding of the events of 9/11/01 was made by Canadian economist Michel Chossudovsky in his exposés of CIA-ISI-Taliban collusion. M.I.T. professor Noam Chomsky had previously written a forward to one of Chossudovsky’s books and yet “America’s leading dissident” acted for months as if the findings of Chossudovsky and others simply didn’t exist. When finally asked point-blank about their implications, Chomsky deemed the idea of US complicity “hopelessly implausible” and not even worthy of discussion. Speaking of the US anti-war movement’s ongoing partisan support of the pro-war Democratic Party, activist Charles Shaw sees such positions as “part of a larger pattern of “regulated resistance”, a system by which dissent is carefully managed and constrained by self, overt, or covert censorship; denial-based-psychology; fear of personal or professional criticism and reprisal; and pressure from powers above including elected officials and those establishment foundations which flood millions into the not-for-profit activist sector.”

    Though Chomsky is famed for his Propaganda Model of the mass media, a demonstration of how corporate ownership dramatically influences content, he is also a resolute anti-conspiracist. In Chomsky’s world, Lee Oswald alone murdered President Kennedy, Saddam Hussein ‘misunderstood’ the US position on Kuwait in 1990 and Osama bin Laden broke ties with his patrons following the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan. Even as Hollywood stars speak openly on CNN about self-inflicted US terrorism, Chomsky and his colleagues have not deviated from their stance. For them, it is axiomatic of the current conflict that a) there is an entity known as ‘Al Qaeda’, international in scope and pursuing its own goals independent of US policy, b) said entity was responsible for the attacks of 9/11/01, and c) there exists a consequent ‘War on Terror’ which, whilst it may be exploited for ulterior motives, stems from legitimate security concerns. Exhaustive investigations, sometimes even by mainstream sources have shown the complete emptiness of these propositions.

    The Chomskyite Left’s connivance in the corporate media’s whitewash of problematic events, and worse, its unremitting hostility to alternative interpretations, led researcher Bob Feldman to investigate the sources of ‘alternative’ media’s funding. His discoveries revealed a complex financial trail originating with huge establishment foundations. The Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for Democracy and the Trilateral Commission, George Soros and many others, were found to be generously sustaining allegedly ‘alternative’ media in the US. When aspects of independent 9/11 research threatened to penetrate mainstream awareness in 2002, these media cliques signed on to a savage attack of key figures in the 9/11 Truth Movement. But this gatekeeper Left was not able to suffocate 9/11 questions except by amputating a part of their erstwhile collaborators and alienating much of its audience. Professor Chossudovsky’s work would simply be ignored. Further confirmation of the gatekeepers’ entrenched interests is the fact that increasing public awareness and acceptance of a 9/11 ‘inside job’ has not influenced the gatekeepers’ coverage in the slightest. From recent firings at (Rockefeller-funded) Pacifica Radio, to Counterpunch’s excommunication of ‘conspiracy nut’ Kurt Nimmo, the line has been clearly drawn: ‘responsible’ critique on one side, ‘conspiracy theory’ on the other.

    Slipping under the radar at Counterpunch, Anis Shivani ascribed a more benign motive to the Left’s rejection of ‘conspiracy’ findings, seeing it as an effort to preserve its rationalist credentials. But since this meant giving a pass for the enabling event of the current war, it was, Shivani observed, a losing move. The gatekeepers’ response to the Truth Movement’s has been to emphasize a flawed “structural analysis” of society, one that would diminish the importance of individual conspiracies. The value of structural analysis, as applied to the media, is that it allows us to identify news corporations as part of the overall edifice of power, rather than merely another social actor. Ironically, when structural analysis is applied to Establishment Left media, the latter are revealed to be scarcely less compromised than The New York Times or CNN. But ultimately, any analysis that ignores the truly determinative structures in today’s world, i.e. the powerful financial dynasties that unleash wars and destabilization, make or break governments at will, is of little use.

    It goes without saying that all of the limits to dialogue with the Left gatekeepers are multiplied many times over when dealing with the corporate media. Here self-interest is a bigger factor, since a career in mass media is at once more lucrative and provides a much higher personal profile in the world. The mass media is additionally insulated from ‘Deep Politics’ by decades of depoliticisation and marginalization of non-mainstream ideas. Ideas that are plausible to independent researchers frequently sound like delirious ravings to mainstream journalists.

    Robert Fisk is exemplary in this regard. The UK Independent’s fearless correspondent has justifiably earned a widespread respect and admiration for his on the spot, critical coverage of today’s most terrible conflicts. Fisk, however, has poured scorn on the ‘childish conspiracy theories’ of remote-controlled aircraft, endorsed by many Arabs. Of course, our correspondent doesn’t share his own theories, so we do not learn exactly how amateur pilots could steer planes wildly off-course and enter the world’s most exclusive no-fly zones without opposition and without incident. But since this is how an Administration of proven liars describes the events in question, what else remains but to believe it? And yet, it must be remembered that Fisk represents the outer limits of tolerable dissent in the corporate media.

    From the true origins of the Gulf War to the pre-planned dismemberment of Yugoslavia and Iraq, from Wall Street money laundering to the murder of David Kelly, from depleted uranium to ‘false flag’ terrorism, there is now an open-ended list of taboo subjects that the mainstream media and the foundation-funded ‘alternatives’ cannot address. The limits of Herman and Chomsky’s Propaganda Model are clear. The most serious distortions of today’s world lie not in the ’spin’ given to events, but in the very ‘reality’ of those events.

  17. FeelingWeird November 13, 2006 10:16 am

    IN response to all the skeptical and conspiracy minded regarding Peak Oil.

    I have spent almost 3 1/2 years researching all I can about peak oil. I started out like many, looking for a way to DIS-prove peak oil, and ended up basing my whole life around my new found belief in the concept.

    The concept at face value is easy. EVERY THING PEAKS.. Even if you believe in abiotic oil(belief that oil is somehow replenishing itself), the extraction rate at some point will outstrip it’s ability to replenish itself.

    But lets look at all the different “ALTERNATIVES” out there currently.


    Probably the best short term stop gap. Its already a known commodity, and is in use. Problem with Nuclear is peak uranium(same deal). Consider the fact that currently the U.S. gets something like 20% of it’s electrical gerneration from Nuclear from about 442 plants, of which the majority are 20 years or older. So if we were to just think about doubling the amount of Nuclear power from 20 to 40%, we would have to not only think about building another 442 plants, but replacing a large majority of the older plants in production currently. Think about the cement and copper and steel needed to accomplish this. Also think about where these things come from? When was the last time you saw an electric earth mover? When was the last time you saw an electric steel forging plant? These things run on Natural Gas and oil and gasoline.

    It’s like that essay “I Pencil”(link http://www.fee.org/pdf/books/I,%20Pencil%202006.pdf), but in reverse. Think about what it takes to BUILD all of this infrastructure. Plus think about the WHOLE WORLD attempting the same thing at the same time. China is currently building 100’s of Nuclear power plants..

    It’s just not feasible. Plus the fact that there are very few electric cars and trucks. Think about replacing that infrastructure.

    Oh and by the way, we’re doing this all at a time when energy is getting more(currency) expensive, and harder to find(thermodynamically expensive).

    LNG(Liqufied Natural Gas): This also has great stop gap potential. For the uninformed. LNG is the process of taking Natural Gas(a gaseous gas of course), freezing it(which makes it a liquid and much denser), putting it on ships and taking it to market(meaning the US and Europe). The United Ara Emerites and other OPEC nations are heavily investing in this area. Unfortunatly, WE AREN’T. The offloading facilites are expensive and dangerous. NO ONE WANTS THEM NEAR US. They are bypassing this by situating them in Mexico, and parts of South Eastern Canada. This has some great potential, but again, it’s a LOT of infrastructe to build. If we start moving now, It’s possible. There is a LOT of trapped Natural Gas in the world. If it’s possible to move that gas to a shipping lane, freeze it and ship it.

    Problems with LNG are enormous. First, it’s expensive, again both financialy, and thermodynamically. But its the thremodynamics that are the worst. It takes SO much energy to freeze transport, unfreeze and deliver the gas, that it takes a good chunk of the NET ENERGY away. It’s most definitly a possitive gain, but not nearly as good as just plain old NG.

    Plus the NIMBY issues(Not in My back Yard). No one wants to be around these things. An explosion of an LNG tanker would anihilate a 10 square block area(think Hiroshima).

    Coal or Coal to Liquids: Otherwise know as Fischer-Tropsch method. This was first attempted on a large scale by the Nazi’s in WWII. It is the method of taking hard burnable coal, and converting it into liquified use. Because we had cut off the oil supply to Nazi Germany, they were forced to come up with a different way to may aircraft fuel.

    To me this is just plain retarted. Why not just burn the freaking coal for electricity???? Use the electricity to make hydrogen for transportation fuel? But of course then we have to retool all of transportation for hydrogen use?

    Coal to liquids is the stupidist Idea of all. It creates a complete environmental disaster. Uses enourmous amounts of water and energy, and creates at best a 1 to 1 energy equation. You put 1 unit of energy in(all the power to get the coal, convert it, stamp it, cook it, transport it, etc), to get 1 unit of usable liquid fuel.. It makes no sense

    I’ll leave the list there for now..

    The only energy source that I’m aware of, that could competely replace our NG/Oil economy would be something that no one is even talking about, and that is Methane Hydrates… But that’s another post

    Robert NW Ohio

  18. Dan November 13, 2006 10:21 am

    Am I assuming from these posts that the consensus here points to Peak Oil as another corporate conspiracy aimed at holding up the price of oil?
    There were too many respectable geologists, academics and the like at the ASPO conference for me to jump onto this bandwagon. It is a dead end.
    This issue is real my two cents says that unless we begin redesigning our transport and heating infrastructure the next 10 years is gonna be real painful.
    Forget the wonders of technical fixes from hydrogen, water engines and the mumbo jumbo of earth energies.
    We are just going to have to use a whole lot less.

  19. Dan November 13, 2006 10:25 am

    To refrain Robert.
    The quote to use about the alchemic dreams of coal to gasoline or methane into hydrogen, they are the energy equivalents of turning gold into lead.

  20. turk November 13, 2006 10:49 am

    The hydrogen highway is progressing in California. It is working. Hydrogen can be had from using nuclear power to seperate it from oxyen in sea water. The world is 70 percent water. It is in front of our noses. Hydrogen can be farmed from many sources, sea water is the most abundent thing on this planet. The technology exists, the capital spending does not yet exist. BMW, Honda, Ford and others have working hydrogen vehicles, Honda has a hydrogen generator which farms hydrogen from nat gas. These things have been happening for a long time and many of them are ready to market. Hydrogen is not a flash in the pan fix, such as ethanol, it is a workable replacement for gasoling fuel for personal transportation vehicles, I.E. the family car. The most abundant element in the known universe can provide us with fuel if our political and business leaders will invest. You act as if it is a monumental task beyond anyones capability. It is not. We build and rebuild infrastructure everyday, all over the world. The only thing required is investment and vision.

  21. Sapiens November 13, 2006 10:54 am

    FeelingWeird Says:
    November 13th, 2006 at 10:16 am
    When was the last time you saw an electric earth mover? When was the last time you saw an electric steel forging plant?


  22. Sapiens November 13, 2006 10:57 am

    turk Says:
    November 13th, 2006 at 10:49 am
    The only thing required is investment and vision.

    Amen to that!


  23. Sapiens November 13, 2006 11:00 am

    Energy conversion in the cell



  24. Makia November 13, 2006 11:11 am

    I saw some crazt shit on, well it was crazyshit.com where a guy releases an incredible amount of energy, safely, with some electricity and water. The thing on crazyshit was like an evening news story, and it looked at least, legit. I’m not saying, i’m just saying.

    Skeptical, maybe you could find some good links to this stuff? In my mind, though, if that technology is legit, they’d probably pay the guy a billion dollars for it and destroy it.

    Not that it matters.

    I think, to answers someone’s question above, that they brought the price of oil down before the election by selling huge chunks of the national reserve, and the military reserve. We’re gonna see in the next month or so if that is correct. If it is, it’s gonna be a grey, grey, christmas. If not then i’m gonna reconfigure my perception of these things.

  25. the stranger November 13, 2006 11:20 am

    The Zen Commandments of No-Peak Theocracy

    Oil supply and demand always self regulate through free markets.

    Oil discovery is directly proportional to exploration investment.

    Oil scarcity is an amusing, but discredited conspiracy theory.

    Oil production may drop in the future, but not in the present.

    Oil is renewable from methane belts deep inside the planet.

    Oil energy can be replaced by emerging technology.

    Oil energy can be replaced by renewable energy.

    Oil energy can be replaced by human creativity.

    Oil abundance is self evident.

    Oil wealth is a human right.

  26. TIM November 13, 2006 11:32 am


  27. turk November 13, 2006 11:44 am

    There is no doubt that there is a lot of false information on the web in order to scam someone, so you have to really scrutinize and investigate when it comes to the hydrogen as fuel debate. I believe these guys to be legit because they never had any desire to go public. However, the government shut them down, go figure. These guys at united nuclear have a working system to convert a vehicle to run on hydrogen once it is started on gasoline. Their system is expensive but realize it was done on the smallest of scales which always adds cost. This helps prove the feasability of the concept. web sight:
    here is the link to the california hydrogen highway project: http://www.hydrogenhighway.ca.gov/
    In my opinion, the governators support for this is one reason why he got re-elected.

  28. Makia November 13, 2006 12:02 pm

    Alright, I admit I am baffled! How can one set of people maintain that the greatest oil reserves are on the butt end of light oil production (not saying “almost out” just “on the way down”) and another set set say that the figures are all wrong and “abundant oil is a human right?” Stranger, are you prostelytizing or mimicking?

    If the light oil has peaked, weather or not there is “abundant heavy”, it will still be much more expensive than current economies are built on, right?

    Lastly, a point to Tim, if oil gradually skyrockets, due to a combination of rising production cost, rising demand, and decraesing purchasing power of the currency, then prudent education, planning, and skill development are of vital importance. To be honest, i’m not “worried” at all, but if these peak oil estimates are accurate, it’s gonna be a lot harder to drive to work 20 mi. away everyday, go on vacation to the shore, or visit my mom on the other side of the state. A lot more expensive. Multiply that by 300 million.

    ??? I’m waiting. . .

  29. Makia November 13, 2006 12:03 pm

    - See post #21.

  30. Prof. Goose (TOD) November 13, 2006 12:17 pm

    No apologies necessary…at all. Nice work! (drop me an email, would you?)

  31. zephyr November 13, 2006 12:23 pm

    Dan seems to be making the most sense here by far. And he’s right, this is one area to lose the conspiracy theories. While due to some supply and demand control/meddling, there has been price manipulation, don’t lose sight of the forest because of the trees. In other words, a little fluctuation in price does not mean peak oil is a myth. Plus, Dan was actually at this conference I’ve read about, in amongst other places, the From the Wilderness website.

    The reason this is hush-hush is not about price control, although there might be some element of that in the mix, it is about people control. I believe the PTB don’t want a mass panic. Those are never helpful. Plus the secrecy buys them some time as they ponder their best moves. That not in my backyard thing has merit, too. I live in the Northeast and we’ve essentially killed a proposed liquid gas site in Long Island Sound. Brilliant! I’ve read that the Northeast is sort of a groundzero for an energy crisis in the future, seeing as we’re at the end of the supply line. But people are so damned shortsighted. Terrorist attacks are the main concern, but since I believe most of these terror warnings are bogus, just there to keep the masses frightened and reliant on the government to protect them. Seems like the big boys have had real success with their endless war on terror campaign, selling it through the pliable mass media as a generation long war. Maybe too much success, as it is killing sound ideas such as the one just mentioned.

    We are without question painted into a corner energy-wise.
    This is not even close to being an easy fix. A really good start with be dropping the secrecy and leveling with John & Jane Q. Public about what’s really going on. There would be an initial shock, but I do believe people in general would come to a realization and demand real change, not just lip service. And again, I’m apparently sleepwalking and dreaming. None of this will happen.

    Prepare for yourself as best you can, never be totally reliant on your crazy old Uncle Sam. Cuz that crazy ol’ bastard carries a backpack with him constantly. And you know what it’s full of…..date-rape drugs, rope and a giant jar of K-Y….cuz you know Sam’s always lookin’ to screw ya!!! And fighting back just turns him on! Or am I just being too cynical?

  32. muleskinner November 13, 2006 1:01 pm

    80 million barrels of oil consumed each day divided by six billion people equals 1.333333 x 10 -2 barrels per person per day.

    0.013 times 42 gallons per barrel equals .546 gallons of oil per person per day consumption.

    That’s too much. If the agricultural sector of the economy were prohibited from using oil, diesel fuel, fertilizers, and pesticides, a lot of oil would be consumed. Crop production could be contained to zero for a full year, millions would starve, but who cares? We’d be saving on oil consumption.

    Like that would work. It would be genocide, plain and simple.

    Is that the ethic of the globalist NWO elite?

  33. Dan November 13, 2006 1:03 pm

    Thanks for the vote of confidence zephyr

    For what it is worth, maybe folks should back off from the natural conspiracy theories these times demand and imagine a world that is as simply screwed up as it is because all of us are living in denial at one level or another. Now the big money folks can hire more creative types to manufacture fear and greed, so they tend to control the narrative. They figure they can always bail out to Costa Rica or Aspen or some place safer if things get too dicey (but that is a different story)
    The hard part for the rest of us is that we have to figure out how to pick up the pieces after they cash out. Global warming is real but so is this peak oil thing. The easiest but dirtiest answer for the greedheads is to build coal fired generating plants and pray for plug in hybrids. More CO2, crazier weather, they make a profit.
    Like I said earlier, the only answer is Demand Destruction and the only way that is going ot happen is for everyone to get a lot poorer.
    Frankly, I know there are a whole lot of venture folks who would pour big money into any of these alternate technologies which could actually show a reasonable payback.
    These are all nice “Green” venture folks who made a bunch of money in IT stuff, so they are not married to the old oil/ banking fortunes.
    But none of the stuff works at an economic level yet. It is going to take time, a lot of mistakes and a lot of refining. Magic hydrogen, break even solar panels and water engines are just fairy tales for those of us who are too scared of what is about to happen. It is time to demand a rebuild of the railroads, a massive carbon tax and commitment to making long term consumption changes a reality.

  34. ronandreas November 13, 2006 1:23 pm

    Well, let’s say peak oil is real. How do we explain the conspiracy between Hugo Chavez and the U.S. Dept ofEnergy?

    Motive? ( how do they gain?)
    Means? ( how did they fake the drill results?)

    “Mr Chavez told Newsnight that “Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world. In the future Venezuela won’t have any more oil - but that’s in the 22nd Century.”
    Venezuela has vast deposits of extra-heavy oil in the Orinoco. Traditionally these have not been counted because at $20 a barrel they were too expensive to exploit - but at $50 a barrel melting them into liquid petroleum becomes extremely profitable.

    The DoE estimates that the Venezuelan government controls 1.3 trillion barrels of oil - more than the entire declared oil reserves of the rest of the planet. The US agency also identifies Canada as another future oil superpower. Venezuela’s deposits alone could extend the oil age for another 100 years.


    Answers? Any theories?

  35. turk November 13, 2006 2:24 pm

    hydrogen isn’t magic, it is real and it is being done. attitudes that push technical breakthroughs on things like hydrogen technology to the back burner by calling it ‘magic’ or un realistic are pure B.S. and do nothing but keep us in the state we are now, way too dependent on oil and the people who control it. When-ever anyone starts to tear down the real prospect for hydrogen based transportation they show an ignorance based in their style of thinking which is based only on past results not current breakthroughs in technology or visions of what can be. Hydrogen is not some far away prospect, it is a real energy alternative with resources that dwarf all oil resources. Dan may have gone to a meeting, so what? I have attended a thousand meetings and conferences. A mere attendance at a meeting has nothing to do with the real subject and the real solutions that are being worked on and proven every day by people who are too busy to attend such meetings. Hydrogen is the only element that we know for certain exists in the required quantity that can get us out of the oil based transportation mode. It has worked, it is working and it can work on a large, infrastructure scale. It will never work with people in control who have the same perspective Dan has.

  36. Makia November 13, 2006 3:03 pm

    turk, what about the transition period? How do we get from where we are to hydrogen based economy? Also, what about the other Hubbert’s peaks?

  37. zephyr November 13, 2006 3:04 pm

    Wow, turk, a little angry, aren’t we. Forget to take your meds? I don’t know if I would say hydrogen is the impossible dream, but from what I read and understand (and I have investigated it) there are so many obstacles to making hydrogen work that for the forseeable future, it just ain’t happenin’. Should we give up on it? No. I just think, for now, we need to explore every viable option. Truthfully, I just don’t see the silver bullet anywhere. Hell, greasecars make more sense than hydrogen, at least that’s working. Trouble is, no real money to be made there, and that’s what kills these projects. In the meantime, chill a little. Railing on someone else who is actually making alot of sense isn’t going to help.

  38. John G November 13, 2006 3:35 pm

    One of the better Steely Dan songs, but many in this thread seem to be thinking more along the lines of “Don’t Take Me Alive”. Twenty seven years ago, I took a job with Schlumberger and the concensus back then was that we had about 40 years worth of oil to play with. Conservation and efficiency programs made that outlook a tad pessimistic, and now it looks like we probably have a couple of more decades to get our house in order and transition to a new fuel source.

    I have faith in human ingenuity, and alarmism won’t solve any problems. We need to set priorities and educate some kids so they can find the answers to these tough problems.

  39. muleskinner November 13, 2006 3:51 pm


    Sixteen eight-ounce cups in a gallon. If your car gets 24 miles per gallon, your car uses 1 cup of gas every 1.5 miles. It costs about fourteen cents worth of gas to go 1.5 miles in your car. (14 x 16 = 2.24 dollars per gallon)

    It’s a bargain. If you walked 1.5 miles, you would have to buy a liter of water which would cost you a dollar.

    Another dollar for a bag of chips and it costs even more.

    It costs more to walk than it does to drive or use some other form of transportation.

    Well, I’m trying to be a little humoroous out there in left field, but maybe I’m not too far from wrong.

    No matter how you slice it, somebody’s ox is getting gored.

  40. Dan November 13, 2006 3:54 pm

    I would like to believe you are right. HOwever you were starting when the Hubbert peak was hitting the US production.
    India and China were not factored in.
    The assumption now from other parties is that the 40 years was an optomistic number and that it assumes your efficiencies.
    Peak oil doesn’t mean that we reach the end, just that every new barrel costs more and is harder to extract. I agree on the need for adjustments. Its just that those adjustments need to happen a lot faster than most people can managed.
    Lets all see

  41. muleskinner November 13, 2006 4:03 pm

    “There are two things that are infinite: human stupidity and the universe, and I’m not sure about the latter.” A. Einstein

    Since you’ve got Einstein doing some ciphering up there, I thought I’d add something he said.

  42. Gemstocks November 13, 2006 5:42 pm

    We will never pump the last gallon of oil out of the ground. Long beforte that happens most of the people on Earth will starve to death. Before we run out of oil it will be so expensive NOBODY can afford to use it for fuel.

    What are the options? The only one that doesn’t take more energy than you can recover from it is nuclear, and it’s just another way to die.

    Everything else takes energy to make energy. It takes energy to grow food (or corn). It takes energy to turn natural gas into fertilizer. Then it takes more energy to move it from where you grow it to where you store it.

    Teach your grandchildren how to build a compost pile. Maybe then your genes will survive to see another century.


  43. Rich November 13, 2006 5:42 pm

    Hey ronandreas that David Montoute piece you pasted in to post #16 is right on the money, I subscribe to his views entirely.

    Have you looked in to the roots of modern PR? It’s fascinating, the art of deception is now a very exact science:


    Hitler was a genius when it came to manipulating the psyche of a large population. Our masters, the PTB, have been refining the process ever since.

    Perhaps Hubbert was a shill for the elite too? Could be.

    But it’s pretty intuitive that oil is a non-renewable (relatively speaking) resource that is absolutely critical to the functioning of modern society. There are NO alternatives that come close to providing the level of energy we are addicted to.

    Peak Oil in and of itself would be enough to cause commodity wars globally for the next 100 years - and should be enough to scare almost anyone in to wanting to change their lifestyle. But now we are learning (have been for the past 20 years but now it’s freaking obvious) that Planet Earth is not going to survive our continued onslaught even if the oil was self-renewing and FREE!

    Peak Humanity is upon us whether we like it or not. Humanity is facing its fast/destiny/longevity. In the next 5 to 10 years I believe we will live through some truly amazing events that will bring us to a new level of self-realization.

    We’ve ignored our spiritual nature long enough, we’re entrenched in consumerism/materialism - - even the “religious” adherents can’t extricate themselves for just how materialistic they really are. We consuming too fast, we’re growing too fast, we’re multiplying too fast and we’re polluting too fast. Sooner or later we will have to slow down, and the way humanity works I doubt it will be because we chose to. Circumstances will force the change and therefore, by definition, it won’t be pretty.

    One theory suggests that humanity has been through these energy crises before. For instance when ancient Europe was logged out, destroying the primary source of energy (wood), the region fell in to the Dark Ages where nearly all sophisticated culture was lost for hundreds of year.

    Peak Oil, I would guess, would produce a very differnt outcome, probably not so easy to recover from! Europe really stepped back in to gear with the discovery of coal that triggered the industrial revolution that led to the discovery of oil, etc. We’ve been on the fast track ever since, but all good things come to an end.

    There is one piece of ancient European forest left with some very surprising wildlife, check this out, it might blow you away:


    Cheers Rich

  44. the stranger November 13, 2006 9:26 pm

    6 skeptical - Just call me skeptical but I believe…
    - if you don’t mind, may I just call you, believer, because skeptical doesn’t seem fitting. It could be that peak-oil is a hoax designed to raise prices, sure – but if the evidence doesn’t point that direction, then what? Well, if you don’t look at the data you can maintain your belief. Me, I had to look. I didn’t like what I found.

    7 ronandreas - Saudi Arabia Tests Its Potential For Unlocking Heavy-Oil Reserves
    Tests Its Potential, interesting, I can’t wait to see the results. Ron, I think Rich already covered this; you’re proving peak-oil with anecdotal projections of resources that previously had no economic viability. Also, I see you’re using dollar signs in front of numbers again – going forward, we’ll have to date them for objectivity. Purchasing power for the dollar will resume its downward trend. This may not have been covered in mainstream media. The most instructive cost comparison is - how much energy it will cost?

    16 ronandreas –
    Ron, what are you saying here? Maybe you better re-read the example you give. Your assumption that I have been duped is not well backed. The line of reasoning in the example you site could as easily betray you.

    28 Makia - Stranger, are you proselytizing or mimicking?
    I’m mocking weak argumentation, and making a handy list; put another way, I think metaphysics is better suited to matters of spirituality, rather than science.

    31 zephyr – am I just being too cynical?
    I don’t think so, unfortunately.

    34 ronandreas - Well, let’s say peak oil is real.

    Say what you want; peak-oil is when we produce less, world wide than the year before; the transition brings with it consequences.

    35 Turk - hydrogen isn’t magic, it is real and it is being done.
    Hydrogen is energy. Hydrogen it is not an energy source. Let that sink in. The manufacture of hydrogen requires energy.

    36 makia - what about the other Hubbert’s peaks?
    We’re starring at a variety of peaks. Perhaps Liebig’s Law will be useful here. Although the concept was developed for agriculture, it makes a coherent visual. If growth is controlled by the scarcest resource, eliminating one shifts to another. Click on this image of Liebig’s Barrel and substitute “oil” for the lowest slat. If you raise the slat, what is next? Water, ocean fish, clean air, copper? Good point Makia.

    39 muleskinner - It costs more to walk than it does to drive…
    Your point is relevant, not only can you drive from LA to Tahoe on a couple tanks, it can be done barefooted; in a covered wagon, the journey changes.

    Byron King’s article (a short, must read) excerpted above, makes the point as distilled as I’ve seen it made. From the inside of this bubble looking out, few people alive today comprehend the full value of the net energy we receive from pumping crude.

    Whether you switch to heavy crude, tar-sand, wind-turbines, or solar, net energy drops. This is the significance of transitioning from the upside to the downside of the Hubbert Range. The decision to buy a home fifty miles  from work was based on an economic calculation. There are millions of economic relationships that can be rendered unworkable once the transition occurs; and in a relatively short amount of time.

  45. the stranger November 13, 2006 9:39 pm

    So who’s being duped here? I know Alberta has the Athabasca oil sands (formerly referred to as tar-sands before the euphemistic newspeak) but that wasn’t the issue. Those who invest first might reap great rewards, but there’s no net gain for society.

    I read yesterday that a hundred years ago, someone said we would run out of oil in ten years, but They Were Wrong! OK. So this is the level of rebuttal? Hydrogen infrastructure will replace the existing one, nation wide? The Jetsons - I like it. Call me when it’s ready.

    Anyone has the privilege to hold their own opinions, but expecting to be taken seriously? Well, that’s another matter. We all know that the physical world has limits.

    Eighty million barrels a day, every day – quite impressive actually.
    Say it can’t continue rising indefinitely, and some balk.
    State that at some point it will drop, some cringe.
    Admit there will be consequences, even more recoil.
    If you dare to examine the data, as so many rational professionals have, and come to the conclusion that a pragmatic evaluation points to an eminent peak – well, you know what’s next. It’s the ad hominem blue plate special; laugh track, conspiracy theorist, chicken little, cries wolf, gloom, doom, boom…

    Resources have limits and we are pressing against many of them. This is a rational observation. Don’t let anyone convince you it’s not.

  46. Rich November 13, 2006 10:03 pm

    As usual stranger you have a way with words, they always stir something inside!

    Anyone remember the old “Limits to Growth” from The Club of Rome, way back in the early 70’s. That was when the environmental movement really started.


  47. zephyr November 14, 2006 4:26 am

    stranger, all I can say first thing in the morning is, dead on correct. Have been trying but could not have said it any better.

  48. Sapiens November 14, 2006 4:50 am

    The fundamental issue is this: have we found any compound that has the same energy density that petroleum has?

    Petroleum or crude oil has a high energy density, which is claimed to be approximately 45 MJ/kg. http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2002/KarolShepelsky.shtml

    I believe as we go forward, we may become more adept and efficient at harnessing each and every Joule of energy contained in every liter of petroleum. But we are still constrained to the equation of ERoEI.

    The break through will be when we find a process that enables us to harness energy at a higher rate that combustion takes effect. As it stands, the most efficient engine would be 59% efficient. http://ecen.com/content/eee7/motoref.htm

    Put your thinking hats on and let’s see what we can come up with.


  49. Makia November 14, 2006 6:06 am

    All of the energy on the Earth that provides for “life as we know it” comes from the sun. Consciousness builds with the materials derived from the Earth. When speaking of oil or food, or even a human vessel, it is stored sun energy. That is what i will teach my children.

    The funniest thing i think about the Club of Rome is that according to more than a couple sources, “they” started programs to prevent the population from getting out of control, from depleted Earth’s resources. They projected their numbers and predicted that the human pop. would double by 1990. And despite ALL their efforts - contraception, war, disease - it STILL doubled. Funny.

    I saw another special on the Maya last night. An impressive city-state society which had a couple of collapses. Seems like they were due to resource depletion. They overfarmed their corn lands. Could’ve grown something else - almost anything else - but corn was too important (to the ego). Sound familiar? Difference is (in my amateur analysis), it’s easier to go plant a different crop in fertile soil than it is to replace every car and truck on the the modern road, even given decades.

    I also saw something on the History channel last night about “UFO”s, specifically many, many black box recordings of seasoned commercial airline pilots and their encounters. Without ever looking into it, i used to think that there _probably_ were “UFO”s but there was very little proof, just a lot of active imagination. In the last couple of months i’ve come to “realize” that not only is this incredibly real, but (people in) the gov’t absolutely know about it. And they know A LOT about it. Maybe the technology that people have seen came from “aliens”, or maybe developed by humans, but there is an INCREDIBLE amount of evidence that verifies the stuff is real as a coal fired power plant.

    So my question is; what the hell is going on?

    I just think this stuff related to peak oil because it seems that technology very well could exist that’s not oil dependent and viable, and its not in production stages. I don’t know, i really don’t. One could hypothesize a while about why this information/technology isn’t shared with us. But my best guess is that is has to do with the population control and resource depletion problems previously mentioned. . . Good guess if I do say so myself.

    . . . now back to your regularly scheduled program

  50. larry November 14, 2006 6:33 am

    Also…the mother of all peak concepts and finite capacity was Malthus….he wrote extensively about the earths limits…he has been refuted due to technological implements which will have actually served to intensify his predicted crushing changes related to resource limits…Also.Alvin Toffler wrote in the population bomb about peak carrying capacity of the finite earth…all this thinking was early and has been discounted…what remains irrefutable is that resources are finite do deplete and failure to find better or equivalent replacements will be more than mildly disruptive to lives and economies and all the happy warrior nations on this little ole globe of ours…read’the carbon wars’it bottom lines people and how the respond to depleting resources….

  51. Rich November 14, 2006 6:59 am

    Maybe oil is really Panspermia!!??


    Cheers Rich

  52. larry November 14, 2006 7:06 am

    Rich..very cool article….i’ll tell ya a little secret…i work with aliens on a regular basis…that’s right…don’t tell no one…. right nice folks though

  53. Makia November 14, 2006 7:16 am

    You work with the nice ones then. Good. . . good.


  54. Dan November 14, 2006 7:34 am

    So after a day of various ventilations, it seems that the arguemets have come down to a basic division.
    One side sees the peak oil fitting in with some vast conspiracy of the privileged to squeeze the little guy and exert their power through price rises, blocking the wonderful powers of nascent or alien technologies and all sorts of “us vs them” scenarios.

    The other group sees a rational but grim future in which the convergence of dwindling efficient energy supplies creates suffering for most of us and a worsening of the environmental crisis since there is still a lot of dirty coal to burn.

    Maybe there should be two discussions from here on. One side should figure out how to get rid of the masters of deciet who want to fleece us while they maintain power or maybe they can liberate the untapped technologies out in Area 41 and/ or mine the nuclear to hydrogen promise of unlimited power etc. etc.

    The other discussion would accept that limited resources and environmental collapse are viewable on our event horizon and start discussing what possible political, economic and technical opportunities exist NOW to help forestall a truely nightmare scenario

  55. Makia November 14, 2006 7:45 am

    One last thing about “aliens” to chew on for y’all. . . (Thanks for the perspermia article Rich.)

    Okay, it’s clear that the technology exists, and it flies all around the planet, particularly in the U.S., in the New Mexico desert.

    Lets say it’s not “aliens,” persay. Even seen The Abyss?

    . . .

    I don’t care about sounding crazy, i don’t have any inside knowledge or vested interest, ego or otherwise, in beleiving that there is advanced technology, and perhaps species, that parts of our gov’t know about and work with. I don’t have any vested interest, ego or otherwise, in beleiving that resource depletion is imminent. I just want to throw these things out there. Maybe someday things will make a lot more sense to people who’ve been exposed to these crazy ideas.

    I do think, though, that the ego tends to romanticize about the fantastic, i.e. apocolypse or upheaval or sudden revelation of “aliens.” But societies tend to die with a whimper, rather than a bang. Even if our lives change dramatically, it won’t matter to folks born into an agrarian, (or any other kind of) society 150 years from now. In the end, my thinking is for the long haul. That’s what i think of when i think of my kids. And is we don’t make it, or whatever,if i don’t “make it”, the only think i have to worry about is being dead. And when you’re dead you don’t have anything to worry about.

    - just trying to throw some things out there and put all this in perspective.

    I’ve thought to myself, “so what if we do pollute the atmosphere and kill off all the humans?” Life finds ways to adapt to anything. . . except maybe to whatever all those aliens are worried about kidnapping humans and mutilating cattle. Life is grand.

  56. muleskinner November 14, 2006 7:54 am
  57. Sapiens November 14, 2006 7:59 am


    Thanks for the article.

    He was able to see the recent work of Dr Louis which shows that the red rain can replicate at 300C, an essential attribute of a space micro-organism that might have to endure extreme temperatures.

    WOW!!! What would happen if all the greenhouse gasses were to raise the temperature of the Earth to such a level that some organism may reproduce in exponential form???

    Kinda like us on this planet?


  58. Sapiens November 14, 2006 8:04 am

    Unlike other solid-to-liquid-fuel processes such as cornstarch into ethanol, this one will accept almost any carbon-based feedstock. If a 175-pound man fell into one end , he would come out the other end as 38 pounds of oil, 7 pounds of gas, and 7 pounds of minerals, as well as 123 pounds of sterilized water. While no one plans to put people into a thermal depolymerization machine, an intimate human creation could become a prime feedstock

    I don’t know muleskinner, your linked article gave me the chills! Can you see the PTB passing laws to have people converted into fuel?


  59. zephyr November 14, 2006 8:06 am

    Ummm, Michael….maybe it’s time for a new topic. It’s seems as if everyone had magical mushrooms in their omelettes in this morning. Either that or it’s a full moon. X-Files anyone??

  60. Makia November 14, 2006 8:06 am


    As a rational person, i beleive in imminent resource depletion. I’ve spent years developing survival and gardening skills; forgoing modern “comforts” for “true” physical, mental, and internal development - coming to a greater understanding of the physical laws that govern our planet and the intuition and knowledge we as humans have developed to live prosperously within those laws.

    As a rational person, i have to admit that i really don’t know how much oil is left, or copper, or silver, or uranium, but i do beleive that these resources are finite and if we plot world production of said resources, we start to see bell-curve dynamics. Given said dynamics, its a rational to think that oil, at this very momment, cannot get any cheaper for the same amount of demand. It will become more and more expensive, excluding other demand variables, which are not fun to think about themselves.

    That does not spell tranquility for these “modern” societies that live on the stuff. . . not at all.

    But things are likely not going to change, as a society, overnight back to some agrarian society which doesn’t use oil. (And for those of you that think that other energy sources will suffice, you’ll still have to deal with the peaks of other hard resources).

    So our race is at the dawn of something very dfferent than what we were taught would await us for the last 50 years.

    I would choose the agrarian route, but it is not my choice.

    As a rational person, i’ll say again that there is some fantastic technology flying around out there and parts of our gov’t know exactly where it came from and what’s being planned for it. I have only conjecture in that department. But the thing is that that stuff might affect our reality and the choices we can make down the road. I guess, as a “rational person”, i just want to put this stuff out there so you can’t say, “Why didn’t they tell us?” They did tell us.

    If things go badly for the U.S., my advice is to stay out of it as much you can, plant good gardens, and raise good kids with the skills i mentioned in the first paragraph. If things go smoothly its because more people than not understood that advice.

    One last peice of advice: try not to get abducted, i hear its not fun at all.

  61. Makia November 14, 2006 8:23 am

    Muleskinner, that oil into anything is awesome! Life IS grand!

  62. turk November 14, 2006 8:59 am

    One or two people on this thread need to take a reading comprehension course so they can really think about what they just read before they respond to it. Hydrogen. Google it, research it. “Hydrogen is energy not a source.” That is the most non-sensical, argument twisting statement about hydrogen anyone has stated. Do some homework on hydrogen and the state of progress in the many technologies that are in play to make production, storage and use all work together so that we may have a viable alternative to gasoline powered vehicles that allows us to keep our personal transportation. It is the only energy with an easily exploitable source that can replace gasoline. Yes, it takes energy to make hydrogen from water, so what? How much energy does it take to fight wars over oil?

  63. Zeak November 14, 2006 9:21 am

    I personally don’t doubt peak oil or an elitist agenda to hide the fact from the public in order to consolidate power and later sell the world a solution (problem, reaction, solution is the method used). That being my 2 cents I would like to change the subject to Free Energy or an energy source that puts out more than is put in. In Ireland the company Steorn supposedly discovered a revolutionary form of energy and asked some 20 physicists to test it. However, there has been an almost complete black out on the subject…what happened? Why is this not a b.f.d.?




  64. Makia November 14, 2006 9:23 am

    It’s amazing that the “war for oil” hasn’t netted any oil. How much oil do they use over there every day, too. And we know they’re not getting much out.

    Even if we do secure another energy source, we still need to contend with other finite resources. I guess is just hard to imagine a de-industrialized society (duh). But for all these supposedly smart people, why is it so hard to want to live responsibly, and impart to furture generations that they do the same? Why do we insist that technology will “save” us or that everyone in the world can live just like the people in “the greatest nation on Earth.”

    “If i don’t get it, someone else will.” How immature. Live by greed, die by greed.

  65. Dan November 14, 2006 9:45 am


    basically I agree with most of your post, but there just ain’t enough there there for us all to return to the Jeffersonian ideal of the yoeman farmers, even in some kind of collectivizes spirit.
    It seems to take traumatized Romantics to want that life style, and even then, we would still want the internet, and wall plugs and lots and lots of pieces which require a centralized infrastructure and an investment in repairs, upgrades, new tech etc. So even the dream of Walden III requires a bunch of trade offs withour modern world.
    So we have to figure out a balance which will allow us to keep the net, and antibiotics and modern dentistry etc while learning to live with less.
    The interesting question is who decides?
    Is it the omniscient market place?
    Is it a democratic question?
    Is it rational at all?

  66. zephyr November 14, 2006 10:05 am

    Muleskinner, I retract my prior statement, #59, slightly. This is a brilliant article. My only trouble with it is, it seems to be at least 2 years old. Why haven’t we heard a thing about this anywhere?!? I mean, Buffett’s son is in on this and nary a word. That is beyond troubling and baffling. All this propaganda the Bushies are expounding about exploring alternative energy is….I don’t even know if there a word appropriate enough to describe their treachery.

    They would rather go to war and spill boatloads of blood to preserve anything related to oil profits. This is no democracy!! This regime ranks up there with any bloodthirsty dictator in history. The only difference is they are much more subtle as they slit your throat. They whisper sweet nothings in your ear as the blade makes its journey.

    You know, I was at work the other day and I was speaking to someone new to the area who really is a nice guy. Trouble is he believes all of Bush’s intentions are honorable. When I told him that Iraq smacks of genocide, the look on his face was incredulous. He said I don’t know what you’re reading but I see schools being built, etc, ad nauseam. He suggested my sources of information were severely biased and just plain old wrong. How Does one explain calculus to a rock? Beyond telling him he drank the koolaid, I suggested he read some blogs from Iraqi people who are living this nightmare.

  67. zephyr November 14, 2006 10:35 am

    turk, what’s your deal? I mean, did somebody piss in your cereal this morning. We are allowed to disagree on this thread. Disagreement leads to greater discussion where ideas of merit hopefully are the outcome. We’ve seen how bad the results can be when one is surrounded by a bunch of syncophants, ie the past 6 years in DC.

    Demeaning or belittling someone is childish, like you never got past your schoolyard days. Hell, I disagree with people here sometimes, as I’m sure people disagree with me. But we don’t resort to namecalling. It shows a certain immaturity, and perhaps you’re overcompensating for some of your own self-perceived inadequacies by displaying the need to bring someone else down.

    Cool it!! It’s not like your some combination of Einstein, Michelangelo and Gandhi!!

  68. muleskinner November 14, 2006 10:35 am

    The dastardly deeds that humans do to humans.

    There are 39,000 auto accident deaths in the US every year. We need to declare war on highways.

    There are some 15,000 murders each year in the US. We need to declare war on murder.

    The sanctions against Iraq from 1991 upto 2003 exacted a toll on the Iraqis.

    It is genocide, but it is taking place in Sudan too.

    It is cognitive dissonance at work.

    The US President Clinton also allowed for the sanctions against Iraq. He is also guilty of genocide.

    It may seem incredulous too, almost propaganda, but it’s true.

    Today, when it comes to politics, cognitive dissonance precedes, supercedes all; the irrational is justified.

    Peace is better.

  69. zephyr November 14, 2006 10:37 am

    Sorry I posted that 3 times, that shows my stupidity as I was hitting the submit key by accident as I was switching windows. Mea Culpa…..go ahead Turk, berate me…I’m an idiot.

  70. Dan November 14, 2006 10:38 am

    I guess there is a major downside and why we haven’t heard more of this.
    Maybe they could build one beside the White House where is already stinks of corruption

    Published on 7 Aug 2004 by Catharge Press. Archived on 7 Aug 2004.
    Thermal Depolymerization plant closed
    by Ron Graber

    Despite the nasty odor that drifted through much of downtown Carthage on Thursday, Renewable Environmental Solutions Plant Manager Don Sanders says his plant will be odor free.

    “Our goal is to operate at 100 percent with little to no odors,” said Sanders on Friday morning. “We will do that.”

    Carthage Fire Chief John Cooper said Thursday’s northeast wind brought numerous phone calls to his department regarding the smell which was determined to be coming from the RES plant just east of Butterball.

    “It’s kind of like singed hair,” said Cooper.

    He said the RES plant shut down production after complaints about the smell were raised. They later resumed production, then shut the plant down again after the smell resurfaced.

    Sanders said the plant was operating Friday morning until another problem surfaced.

    Sanders said odor complaints were first made back when the plant was operating at 20 percent of capacity. Modifications were then made to the process, and production was increased to 50 percent, then 75 percent, with modifications at each step.

    Lately, the RES plant has been operating at 100 percent of capacity, and once again, modifications are being made to the thermal depolymerization process that converts materials from the Butterball plant into oils, gases, carbons and materials that can be used as fertilizer.

    Plant officials have “bent over backwards” to eliminate the odor problem, said Cooper.

    “They are trying to alleviate the problem,” he said, also noting that he estimates that about half the time the Fire Department receives calls about RES odors, the smell is coming from elsewhere.

    Regardless, RES officials say that as the plant is fine-tuned, they will eliminate the odor problem.

    “We are optimistic,” said Sanders. “It’s just a matter of time.”

  71. Sapiens November 14, 2006 10:56 am

    Ok guys, here we go!

    Let’s see if it will be WWIII!



  72. Sapiens November 14, 2006 11:07 am

    Link to a copy of the a complaint to the ConAgra and RES plant:



  73. zephyr November 14, 2006 11:55 am

    Sapiens, here’s Bushy’s excuse to be hero/tyrant again. Will he act unilaterally again? Well, unilaterally, except for Israel nudging him (surprise, surprise). Did you know a worldwide survey had Bush considered as the second greatest threat to peace in the world behind Osama but ahead of the Iranian chap and the North Korean nutso? And that survey was from our allied nation’s peoples!!!

    Just biding our time ’til all hell breaks loose. Everybody take that vacation you’ve been thinking of….will be a little tough to travel when there’s so much radiation floating around.

  74. Makia November 14, 2006 12:19 pm

    Well, I’m planning on going to the shore; but i think i’m just going to stay here - it won’t be long ’til the shore comes to me.

  75. zephyr November 14, 2006 12:30 pm

    good one, Makia, good one……made me chuckle. I’m checkin’ in on things periodically as I take a break from painting my kitchen. You guys are a welcome diversion!! Oh Yeah, my paint is made from oil staying with today’s topic.

  76. Sapiens November 14, 2006 1:26 pm


    All life moves in cycles.

    If you know what to look for, you can make a nice living.

    Take for example the current business cycle, this is one of the first signs that all that cash that is being taken out of the economy, due to debt service of bubble mortgages, is going to hurt many people.



  77. Sapiens November 14, 2006 1:28 pm


    Hard to believe that the leader of the free world would be seen as public enemy #2! Reality is stranger than fiction.


  78. zephyr November 14, 2006 1:37 pm

    Sapiens, perception is reality….all depends who’s eyes you’re looking through. And while we’re far from some outright tyrannical regimes (some of which we support, by the way), I think our president can lose the title “leader of the FREE world”. Doesn’t really ring true anymore, does it?

  79. Makia November 14, 2006 1:43 pm

    The U.S. gov’t and others posing as “Americans,” have pissed in a lot of peoples’ pots in the last 50 years.

    There are a lot of arguements against the American politicos and people carrying out american based agendas; there is also systemic bias in people for the underdog, which in global politics is anyone _but_ the U.S. There’s also, as i think ronandreas pointed out, bias throughout the alternative media and international media, for any number of reasons.

    One might thing that the phrase “fog of war” is appropriate.

  80. Makia November 14, 2006 1:44 pm

    Me? I am a bug.

  81. kastor November 14, 2006 1:57 pm


    Link to a good analysis and forum of comments on the oil drum concerning peak oil realities and the B.S. report hyped by everyones favorite cable news channel today.

  82. Makia November 14, 2006 2:20 pm

    Great post kastor. IMHO, NotBull.

  83. Charles K. Ponzi November 14, 2006 3:43 pm

    Destiny finds those who listen,
    and fate finds the rest.

    So learn what you can learn,
    do what you can do,
    and never give up hope.

    -Marshall Masters

  84. Gemstocks November 14, 2006 3:44 pm

    Mother Nature is going to solve the problem for us.

    Click here: Men’s testosterone levels dropping, study says


  85. Rich November 14, 2006 4:05 pm

    Hubbert isn’t the only thing to have peaked (so to speak):




  86. larry November 14, 2006 5:43 pm

    FOLKS…buy buy buy….SUF and GSCT….transformational technologies involved in peal oil and climate change…hold em ,,,,,,infancy….cuddle them…be patient with them….they will grow up and love you….be good parents to these babies

  87. the stranger November 14, 2006 6:30 pm

    Yikes, I just got back – got to read through these. But first, if I blew a fuse in Turks circuit, I might have done the same to others.

    "62 Turk - the most non-sensical, argument twisting statement about hydrogen anyone has stated" (why thank you)
    - too short Turk? Fair enough. “How much energy does it take to fight wars over oil?” Good question, you’d think it would be at least enough to put a down payment on peace; but I digress. Regarding oil, Turk, it costs a whole lot less than we intend to get in return.

    We don’t make petroleum, we find it. If we could find hydrogen…

    Hydrogen is great (I know a little bit about it). Unlike a solar car, a hydrogen car will flat out fly. But a few details still need refinement to make it safe and practical; not to mention the infrastructure to run it.

    And concepts do exist; we could run a 1000MW Windplant in North Dakota, for example, where demand for the electricity is low, and use the electricity to make hydrogen. The problem of intermittent production (when the wind blows) and significant line loss due to interstate transmission could be completely avoided. Run the electricity into fuel cells and produce hydrogen. To some degree we could even ship it through an existing infrastructure, natural gas pipelines. Since hydrogen and natural gas are similar; the later a dirty type of the former (so I’m told, by some who did their homework).

    Ah, but then fuel cells are still not cost effective and they don’t last very long. On top of that, economy of scale for fuel-cells and turbines create problems too - platinum, palladium, silver – shit; I was just getting into this solution. I wish I could just find hydrogen, like oil, instead of having to actually make it.

    How bout this – a gas forklift is more economical to run than an electric fork lift; but I have a cold storage freezer to operate the fork lift in. So as not to kill anyone, I choose the electric. Pollution is created during the generation of the electricity that I use, but hey, it’s not in the freezer.

    Similarly, I could use electric, hydrogen, or biofuel cars in LA or Yosemite. No pollution, just as in the cold storage. Actually, this is a damn good idea. Just remember, it does nothing to lower overall pollution in the world. It simply keeps it out of the target area. But more importantly, this idea will not save energy, it will likely use more.

    But the real reason we worship hydrogen is for the myth already stated, and I quote
    “…so that we may have a viable alternative to gasoline powered vehicles that allows us to keep our personal transportation…” a winsome comment.

    It gets better, you see windmills are toys, and we need real power for this. Nuclear Power Plants – and lots of them. If I remember correctly, thousands of them, thousands. I’m not worried about the waste Turk, our leaders got us covered there. But that’s a lot of uraini- hang on, spilled my beer –um. How long will that last?

    Cost of the war, half a trillion, that will pay for the hydrogen project. Excellent! Oh, well, I mean the next half trillion. What the hell am I worried about, we can just print it and drop it from the hydrogen powered helicopters.

    You see, not only is Peak-oil a Non Issue – even if it was an issue, we have a variety of solutions…
    No Real Peak
    Millions of barrels of water, er hydrogen
    Oil Sand (rich, rich, rich – with oil)
    Abiotic Oil (lets buy all the dry wells guys, before everyone figures this out)
    Corn Oil (after the drought)
    Federal Reserve Notes (got money, no need to keep going)

    Weapons of Mass Distraction. Reminds me the Iraq War…

    This project was not to bring you up to speed on Peak-oil. No, Kastor’s pointing in the right direction for that. This was just to demonstrate that this is a real issue. I’m off the soap box. If you want the info it’s out there. I can only give what I have; and I’m outa blue pills. Off to kastor’s link

  88. muleskinner November 14, 2006 6:33 pm

    Is this stuff for real?

  89. Sapiens November 14, 2006 7:41 pm


    Iran cuts dollar-based transactions to “minimum”

    14 November 2006

    TEHERAN - Iran said on Tuesday it was reducing dollar-based transactions to a minimum in response to US curbs on Iranian banks amid rising tension over the Islamic republic’s nuclear programme

    Like I said, here we go!


  90. the stranger November 14, 2006 7:45 pm

    Muleskinner - Oylent Green, I love it – kind of creepy too. Oil is people!!!

    Rich, I didn’t even see your post last night – thanks

    Whoa Sapiens, not good. I got to check that out.

  91. the stranger November 14, 2006 7:47 pm

    Rich, you can’t sum up peak-oil, it’s not possible; what the hell was I thinking?

  92. Sapiens November 14, 2006 8:21 pm

    Official says U.S. may mull pre-emptive Iran strike
    Tue Nov 14, 2006 10:48 PM GMT


    Man! I think I will take that vacation after all.


  93. zephyr November 14, 2006 8:27 pm

    Muleskinner #88, I have officially seen it all and I hereby throw the towel in on humanity. Let’s bring back slavery, but it being modern times and all, we’ll market it, put a “positive” spin on it. There are people on earth that must have no souls…to anyone out there that hasn’t read this link that muleskinner found, please read it. If this is true, and it’s being advertised as a great idea, then there really is no hope anymore. I don’t know what else to say except I hope the end comes quickly.

  94. Rich November 15, 2006 6:57 am

    It turns out “stranger is stranger than fiction!” :)

    I’m off to speak on a panel today at an EPA conference in Seattle on pollution prevention - P2. I’m part of a group of business people who will be focusing on how to build community around caring about the environment and then putting that in to action with meaningful pollution prevention solutions. I’m in printing so it’s rather easy for me to be in a leadership role on this within our my industry!

    I have to give a 10 minute presentation on what we’ve done at my company to seriously reduce our environmental impact (5 mins) and then another 5 mins on what initiatives are viable, what actions are actionable, and what kinds of business people can be attracted to these initiatives, and why.

    The conference is called CARE, I can’t remember what that is an acronymn for, but you get the idea. I don’t think this is a forum to discuss Peak Oil or Panspermia, so I’ll be sticking to recycling, reducing hazard waste and seeking business partners of a similar mindset in order to virally grow the initiative.

    It is this kind of thing that gives me hope, although I admit it may be too little too late.

    Cheers Rich

  95. Makia November 15, 2006 6:57 am

    I’m trying to find a good article on 2012 that will be palatable to the general audience. Dealing with prophecy and/or astrology, or placing importance on astronomical events can be a stretch for some. On the other hand, i know that some of us place significance on the book of Revelations and see certain significance with today’s happenings.

    2012 is not something i’ve researched heavily, but it has been heavily researched. The number of astronomic alignments that occur 12/21/2012 is astounding, not to mention a peak in a sunspot cycle. When looking into it, we find a few doomsdayers and wanna be prophets (maybe some of them are i suppose), but with everything considered, i don’t think this information should be discounted. 12/21/2012 was anticipated with astonishinsh accuracy for at least the last 6,000 years by many star-observing cultures throughout history. Why should it be so important?


  96. the stranger November 15, 2006 7:06 am

    - good luck with the presentation Rich.

  97. Makia November 15, 2006 7:57 am

    Yes, good luck Rich. There’s no sense worrying, if there’s anything that’s going to make a better tomorrow, it’s each person who can doing ther best, not being defeatist.

    Speaking of which, has anybody picked up on the fact that Iraq is done? Finished? Put a fork in it? No debate no more about a positive resolution?

    I think somebody must’ve made some mistakes. . .

  98. Rich November 15, 2006 8:49 am

    Thanks Stranger and Makia.

    Makia on the Iraq thing, the most interesting issue right now is who is on that govt committee debating the future of Iraq policy.

    If anyone ever wanted to understand the elite and who is bought in to the globalist agenda then look at the members of the committee.

    I contend that nothing revolutionary will come out of this committee, more of the same, perhaps a escalation even.

    Cheers R

  99. Makia November 15, 2006 10:47 am

    But of course.

    I’ve had a few ultimatums to myself over the past few years. I don’t remember what all of them were even. . .

    The most recent one, a few months ago had to do with the Dems winning this past election.

    I know that the war was a mistake, but IMO, pulling out w/o doing a good job would invite a lot more terror on the American public. Well, a good job has not been done. I know that the Dems aren’t just going to pull out out of Iraq any easier than the R’s would’ve, but i do think that the american public underestimates the hatred and perserverence of the radical muslims.

    I see now, i think, that the coffin has already been built for U.S.A. and now the final stroke will be taken, one way or another. I hope it is quick but i fear that it won’t be. The most probable scenario for U.S. policy makers is to let the military go last - to “not go down w/o a fight.” As i’ve advocated in the past, don’t be vocal about war or peace, just get the heck out of the way for a little bit.

  100. Makia November 15, 2006 1:55 pm

    My ultimatums to myself have been - if this happens, it has gone past the point of no return. . .

    Wishful thinking i suppose.

    To quote a wise man quoting another wise man:

    “In the words of the Great Mutambo, ‘We’re all freaking doomed!’”


  101. khill November 15, 2006 5:53 pm

    I have come to the conclusion that there is no political means to deal with Peak Oil.The odds favor a die off and a stabilized population of 1-2 billion souls that will be able to achieve a sustainable economy with all the modern conveniences.After a parabolic rise there is a crash.The human population has experienced a parabolic rise in numbers thanks to cheap energy which has helped to supply cheap food and neutralize the effects of disease and extend life expectancy.It appears the PTB are slowing growth to hide the arrival of Peak Oil.The U.S. consumer will be the first causualty in a long list of victims of Peak Oil.The Last Great Depression is about to begin and it will be a horrible period.The fastest way to reach the new era of prosperity is a disease based die off that kills fast and effortlessly in a 1-2 year time frame.If 4-5 billion must die so be it and I hope it is as quick and painless as possible.I expect Bird Flu or something “new” will do the job in the not too distant future.I do not believe there is any way to transition from crude oil with the current population and the current energy alternatives.There are too many constraints and too little coopertion in the world today to achieve a non lethal transision.I will begin to change my outlook if China and the U.S. announce an oil rationing agreement and if the price of oil is regulated to stay above $100 a barrel.Then we might have a slim chance to manage Peak Oil.

  102. Agric November 15, 2006 7:01 pm

    Unless crude oil is being created in extractable form at a rate faster than we consume it then peak oil is inevitable someday. (if you feel you disagree with that statement you probably need to book into a treatment retreat ‘cos your mind must be malfunctioning.)

    The critical questions are:
    - when it will actually happen?
    - will it impact our lives?
    - will we humans adjust behavior in advance or painlessly when it does occur? (or, conversely, painfully)

    Taking these in turn…

    1. When
    Given current consumption and probable growth in consumption and production of oil, peak oil will probably happen between 2006 and 2015 (>90% probability). No person or institute has produced PUBLIC data and arguments that reasonably substantiate peak oil occuring after 2015, all recent well argued assessments that I know of give a date of 2015 or earlier. Yes, I know about CERA etc, they do not allow public scrutiny of their data and have been woefully inaccurate (and remain so) on several of their projections such as UK/Norway North Sea production.

    Apparently China are working on the basis of a 2012 peak year, and a 2005 report for the French government puts peak at 2013. The geologically biased peakist community seems to be clustered around 2010 to 2012. I happen to think that it will be around 2008, with about 20% probability each that it could be as early as 2006 or as late as 2010 to 2012.

    2. Impact
    Oil and energy prices (and just about all other prices, consequently) will increase. Economic activity will be adversely affected. Food production (heavily dependent on oil and fossil energy in developed countries) will become more expensive and probably decline. More people will starve, more wars will be fought, as a direct consequence. The vast proportion of humans will become significantly poorer, rather a lot may die. It is very plausible that, in future, if someones try to quantify the premature human death toll due to peak oil, the number will be in billions.

    3. Adjustment
    There are positive signs that the increased price of oil and its products and consequences are having a positive effect on: renewable energies, research, public awareness and even political rhetoric. This effect, however, is very mild and far too late. The Hirsch mitigation report, here as HTML:
    or here as PDF:
    concludes “The time required to mitigate world oil production peaking is measured on a decade time-scale” and that about 15 years of ‘Manhattan Project’ intensity effort would be required since “without timely mitigation, the economic, social, and political costs will be unprecedented.”. That is, at the serious end of the scale, the end of life as you know it, Jim, for nearly everyone economically and, for a fair few, existence-wise.

    We are, almost certainly (>95% probability), too late to achieve sufficient mitigation to avoid significant damaging impact from peak oil. The best hopes of a painless transition now, folks, are some unexpected major breakthroughs in energy production and storage (zero point energy, 10x more efficient solar panels at 1/100th current cost, viable and cheap fusion power within a decade, benevolent intervention by technologically advanced aliens, the sudden sinking of the USA beneath the waves, rapture day, etc). Of course, that will enable the human population to continue to grow (projected max af approx 9 billion in around 2050. No doubt we will run into some other resource constraints before then, soooner or later we’ll solve them by addressing the core cause, probably unpleasantly.

    If that sounds gloomy I have an unfortunately probable nightmare scenario for you. The US and hence global economy enter recession in early 2007 (that’s a near cert) which lasts for a couple of years during which peak oil passes by unnoticed due to depressed demand. As the economies begin to weakly struggle up out of recession they meet oil production on the way down. Then the real economic depression begins, along with a smorgasbord of resource related wars and jousting between USA, China and Russia as the US economic empire declines.

    A couple of final unpleasantries:
    Mitigation and the development of alternatives and substitutes require resources - if left too late we may have insufficient resources to humanely devote to these, would we choose to let more people die soon and devote resources to the future or would we try to keep as many alive in the now, knowing that more would probably die later?
    You are, no doubt, aware that global grain (rice, wheat etc) production has been lower than consumption for 7 of the last 8 years (including 2006) and that global grain stocks are at a 25 year low? Perhaps we are nearing our limits of feeding the global population without a radical change in consumption patterns. What do you think the [human] carrying capacity of this planet is without agriculture’s current excessive use of fossil hydrocarbons and their products: 3 billion, 2 billion? For reference the current global population is approx 6.45 billion.
    Industrial civilisation, as has been practised by humans on this planet, is a one shot chance. If we deplete most of the concentrated resources (fossil energy, minerals) on this planet and then collapse too far the society that comes after will not have the option of the mass industrialisation route to development.

    A context:

  103. Dr Jane Karlsson November 16, 2006 5:30 am

    Rich, how did your talk go?

    Agric, are you an agronomist? Tell us about rock dust. My understanding is that re-mineralization of the soil, green manure, terracing and organic methods have the potential to utterly transform modern agriculture to the point where it has no problem whatever in feeding the world.

    zephyr, I have a bit of news. Remember AIDS and manganese? If you looked up ‘manganese blocks HIV replication’, you will have seen that work was done in the US at Johns Hopkins. Well, a professor came to talk in the Pharmacology department here in Oxford about HIV(actually SIV, the monkey form), and I told him manganese blocks HIV replication, and his face lit up and he said ‘Oh my God, the Holy Grail!’ And guess what, he’s from Johns Hopkins! The work isn’t published, and he didn’t know.

    I told him most of the story, and the rest in an email later. He was so interested, and looked so happy, I felt wonderful. He actually said he’d thought micronutrients played a much bigger role in AIDS than people realised!

    I also told him about iron. He knew iron promotes HIV replication, but didn’t know iron causes manganese deficiency, so iron supplements promote HIV replication through two separate routes. There are people who think the widespread practice of giving pregnant women and children iron supplements in the Third World played a role in causing the AIDS epidemic there. I think that too.

    Now, iron is very interesting from another point of view. Unlike other metals, it doesn’t get excreted to any great extent, and it just accumulates. AND, it produces things called free radicals, which scientists nowadays believe are responsible for the damage in ALL disease. Iron overload has been found associated with pretty much every disease you can think of.

    Now, wouldn’t you have thought alarm bells would be ringing about iron supplements? I have written to the World Health Organization about this, and I got absolutely nowhere. The WHO is rumoured to be ‘owned’ by the PTB, which means … Kissinger. See what I’m getting at?

  104. bp November 16, 2006 5:34 am

    I think khill (#101) and Agric (#102) have done a fair and thoughtful job of summing up the situation, Thanks guys.

    I can only add that I keep my fingers crossed that this coming crisis stirs humanity to rise to the occassion and find better ways of dealing with its problems.

    question Agric - do you have any other useful sites you can recommend?

  105. bp November 16, 2006 5:44 am

    Agric/Dr Jane - Re: Agric, are you an agronomist? Tell us about rock dust. My understanding is that re-mineralization of the soil, green manure, terracing and organic methods have the potential to utterly transform modern agriculture to the point where it has no problem whatever in feeding the world.

    Agric - have you heard of Terra perma(sp) - seems the soil in an area of South America has a lot of charcoal in it and that makes the soil very fertile as well as provide a way to sequester carbon, do you have any thoughts on that?

  106. Dr Jane Karlsson November 16, 2006 6:31 am

    Forgot to say, all the info about oil, and especially from the stranger, very greatly appreciated.

    Also forgot to say, muleskinner #88, is that really for real?? I am freaking out.

  107. Makia November 16, 2006 6:49 am


    Here is a neat link I found over the past couple of days. I’ve never been a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings for some reason, but i certainly enjoyed the movies.

    J.R.R. was a linguist. I didn’t know that; and i didn’t know just how much went into the creation of the L.O.R. world by him. I do consider my self a huge fan of language, though, and am aware of the spilt between the theory that sounds have intrinsic meaning and the theory that words are abstract and their development a matter of convenience for humans. I definately fall into the camp of the former. Look for my book, in bookstores a long time from now, entitled “Definitions.”

    “Usefulness” is an important definition, and how we define it individually and as a society affects how we see oil itself, as well as how to deal with many issues. And we can study the Cherokee language and Sanskrit as a couple of indications that there is more to language than random sounds that we all agree on.

    I digress a bit. This link talks about how The Lord of the Rings world may be more real than it first appears. More importantly, the lessons that its characters show us are very important when it comes to the world we live in today; taking into consideration the [ahem] potential end of industrial society. It’s a lengthy read (8 pages), but i found it wonderful.


  108. Makia November 16, 2006 7:14 am

    Dr. Jane:

    “Agric, are you an agronomist? Tell us about rock dust. My understanding is that re-mineralization of the soil, green manure, terracing and organic methods have the potential to utterly transform modern agriculture to the point where it has no problem whatever in feeding the world.”

    I do beleive in this but i don’t know how to support the great number of people without “free energy” (oil) or with limited iron, copper, silver, etc. I think that the urbanization of the planet is the consequence of both “free energy” and technology. Without the energy or materials, why would we (or the earth) want 10 billion people? I could even see the energy thing being “solved”, but what about the ther hard materials?

    Just because the planet could grow enough food for 10 billion people or more (i have known this for a while) doesn’t mean the other variables will support that population. What do you think?

  109. Administrator November 16, 2006 8:19 am

    This showed up in my email box from the oildrum.com, thought I’d pass it along:

    Dear Friends of The Oil Drum,

    Today, The Oil Drum takes on the latest well-publicized–and empirically-lacking–obfuscation from Cambridge Energy Research Associates and Peter M. Jackson entitled “Why the ‘Peak Oil’ Theory Falls Down.”

    Dave Cohen gives a the first of a comprehensive and in-depth set of rebuttals to the CERA report from TOD. Dave’s piece builds a strong empirical, non-polemic, and point-by-point response to many of the theoretical and empirical questions raised by the CERA report about “peak oil;” a report which, as illustrated in Dave’s post, has been accepted as “fact” by an ill-informed mainstream media, almost without question.

    Here is the link to this post: http://www.theoildrum.com/story/2006/11/15/83857/186

    Here is a taste of the TOD response:

    “With the release of ‘Why the “Peak Oil” Theory Falls Down — Myths, Legends and the Future of Oil Resources’ by Peter M. Jackson, Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) attempts to cast doubt on the credibility of those with imminent, empirically-based concerns about our future oil supply.
    We shall even more to say about CERA’s forecast (other than what is in this post) later. For now, it is sufficient to note that CERA’s analysis is lacking. The world’s oil supply will not continue to grow to meet ever-rising global demand, and worse, the consequences could irrevocably damage global economies. Such an outcome would have harmful effects on people’s lives. So, this debate is not “academic” — much depends on a correct analysis of the future oil supply.”

    We hope that you a) spend some time talking about this subject on your websites/blogs in the near future; b) send this post to as many media outlets you think will publish this post or respond as possible; and c) send this post to your public and/or elected officials.

    Simply put, we must push for a better discourse about, and understanding of, our energy supply–the geopolitical, political, and social aspects of a plateauing supply with ever growing global demand could have an impact on the daily lives, especially of those who are less fortunate. The question of when the “peak” will be–a question that can be debated by rational people, provided they had the requisite information–needs to be debated more forthrightly and in much more detail and with much more transparency than is currently the case.

    We must have more urgent public discussions about energy–discussions that politicians do not seem to want to have. The CERA report, which makes it sound like “everything’s ok” makes it harder to have those essential discussions, especially when their report is taken as fact. We argue that it should not be taken as such.

    About The Oil Drum:
    The Oil Drum receives an average of 8500 unique visits and 22500 unique page views per day. ( Sitemeter link) TOD is a community constructed with the purpose of bringing together intelligent people to have intelligent empirically-based discussions of the future of our energy supply. Most of our roster of editors and contributors possess advanced degrees (MAs, MScs, and Ph.D.s) from many disciplines including engineering, physics, other hard sciences, the social sciences, as well as other relevant fields. Our goal is to influence the discourse on our energy supply by facilitating informed and empirically-based discussion about the future of our energy supply.

    The Editors of The Oil Drum

    If you would like to be taken off of this list of infrequent updates, just let us know.

    The Oil Drum

  110. Makia November 16, 2006 8:59 am

    Great stuff Michael. Thanks for the hub of information that you administer.

  111. zephyr November 16, 2006 9:39 am

    Dr Jane, they are subtly committing mass murder….or if you want to use the more appropriate term…genocide.. Why Africa though? Seems as if there are greater enemies than those on the African continent, unless you’re after their natural resources. Or maybe it’s just the mass population issue. As far as the enemy theory goes, I am hearing Russia has a rapidly growing problem with Aids. Since this project seems to be 30-40 years old, I guess one must have patience when trying a mass extermination without getting caught..

    I’m also curious, what has kept Aids at such a manageable level in the US? Certainly safe sex, while not going completely out the window, is not practiced religiously, especially amongst the young. Yet, you’re not really hearing much about it here. Is it diet? Do we get that many more nutrients from supplements? What role does Zinc play….I seem to remember you mentioning Zinc having a negative influence on some aspect of health.

    I don’t know what else to say. It saddens me that such an evil group of people seem to go virtually undetected in their acts. I don’t now if you’re religious at all but there is scripture that says Satan comes as an angel of light. Whether, you take it literally or figuratively, certainly the PTB certainly portray themselves as agents of good….just look at the slavery article Muleskinner sent. Chilling stuff. How you can put a positive spin on slavery would take one help of a marketing team.

    Also sort of makes what Bono is doing look almost pointless. While he has made a difference, he is “dealing with the devil himself” when he tries to get aid from Bush and company. If these people are the agents of the disaster, the mere pittance they provide for help is solely for appearances. Again, they glide under the radar undetected by most.

    Sad times we live in. I guess there has always been evil. I just would have liked to think we would have evolved past such barbaric thinking. Plus it seems the stakes are higher since the means to implement such damage have advanced with technology.

  112. Agric November 16, 2006 10:06 am

    Dr. Jane / Makia / bp: I’m not an agronomist nor have I any formal agricultural qualification, though I am about 90% self sufficient in non-grain vegetables all year round. My nick is the name of a character I played in roleplaying games 25 years ago and was originally a contraction of agaric, as in a type of mushroom.

    I’ve heard of terra preta and rock dust but not researched them much, here are a few links on them and soils:

    Though terra preta and rock dust may be helpful, plants need minerals, water, sunlight and appropriate weather / climate to be productive - any of these could be limiting factors. I doubt there is any way we can grow sufficient food on this planet to sustain 10 billion humans without significantly changing our rich country dietary habits. Some say that even the best small scale organic farming is only about half as productive as agriculture using all the advantages of energy and artificial chemicals derived from fossil hydrocarbons.

    Peak oil related links:

    Energy Bulletin for comprehensive up to date news and links relating to PO:
    The Oil Drum bulletin board for excellent detailed analysis and discussion:

    Good explanatory sites about PO:
    http://energybulletin.net/primer.php (Energy Bulletin PO primer)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubbert_peak (Wikipedia)
    http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/ (Matt Savinar)
    http://wolfatthedoor.org.uk/ (UK, has French and some Polish content versions)
    http://www.ccs.neu.edu/home/gene/peakoil/ (Detailed explanation and analysis by Gene Cooperman)

    Other good resources:
    http://www.globalpublicmedia.com/ (audio, video, written; interviews, presentations etc about PO etc)
    http://www.peakoil.net/ (ASPO: Association for the Study of Peak Oil)
    http://www.peakoil.ie/ (ASPO Ireland, mentioned because it’s a better source of the ASPO newsletter and home of Colin Campbell)
    http://www.odac-info.org/ (UK Oil Depletion Analysis Centre)
    http://www.postcarbon.org/ (USA Post Carbon Institute)
    http://www.powerswitch.org.uk/ (UK Powerswitch)
    http://www.drydipstick.com/ (link metadirectory)
    http://www.oilcrash.com/ (NZ, some Arabic, Chinese, Russian, French, Italien content)
    http://www.kunstler.com/ (James H. Kunstler main site…)
    http://jameshowardkunstler.typepad.com/clusterfuck_nation/ (…and blog)

  113. just an observer November 16, 2006 10:59 am

    Look at the links on the bottom of your browser from site referenced in post #88. Look at the URL on top now. Now click on the links on the left nav bar and go to the real site:

    http://www.gatt.org != http://www.wto.org, but it is quite convincing.

  114. Makia November 16, 2006 11:36 am

    Thanks observer. That’s some funny shit. Good observing!

  115. muleskinner November 16, 2006 1:36 pm

    I was skeptical, that is why I used a question mark.

    It is explained here.

  116. Makia November 16, 2006 2:03 pm

    Just teasing anyway, muleskinner. That shit looks real.

  117. Makia November 16, 2006 2:05 pm

    Just teasing anyway, muleskinner. That shit looks real.


    I tell you what though, it’s really not comforting to find out its fake anyway. Didn’t phase me one way or another, i must be a cynical freak!

  118. bp November 16, 2006 2:50 pm

    thanks Agric

  119. Rich November 16, 2006 4:07 pm

    Hey folks, if you are still lurking on this now defunct thread, yesterday at the EPA conference was informative.

    I was pretty much the only business person at what was an almost closed EPA conference. There were consultants and other institutional reprehsentatives from pollution prevention organizations, but I was shocked to discover I was the only business representative out of maybe 150 people.

    The topic was CARE, Community Action for a Renewed Environment, that is a program the EPA runs nationally through its 10 regions to help small businesses reduce their dependence on nasty chemicals, solvents, lubricants, etc.

    The goal is to basically have a grass roots approach to reducing harmful chemical use as well as emmissions. I was invited because I run a commercial printing company that has done all in its power to reduce hazard waste, etc. We are part of a local program that audits our performance regarding haz mat and we’re the only commercial printer in Seattle that has done this on the program and achieved a 5 star status. So we are like the poster child of doing it right.

    Anyway, what was fascinating was that the EPA Administrator attended the meeting, he is an appointee by the president and runs the agency which has 18,000 employees. I belief the 10 regional directors were there from across the US, so this was a pretty small meeting of the EPA high up’s to celebrate the success of the CARE program.

    There was also a group of Alaskan natives who were grantees and working on a project, various other group from around the country who had receieved grants to enable community-based, grass roots pollution prevention.

    One thing in the keynote by Administrator Stephen Johnson that you might find interesting was that he mentioned the goal over the next 6 years for the US to be manufacturing 7.5 billion barrels of biofuel a year. I don’t know the ramifications of this, but it sounded worthy!

    Otherwise it seemed to me that the EPA was funding, with government/tax money, grass roots initiatives to curb pollution - which is very worthy. However there was no debate about controlling the manufacture of the harmful chemicals or restricting their distribution - I guessed this was far too political an issue to even raise.

    Bottom line it was a fascinating insight in to the inner workings of a large government agency that is actually one of the only agencies worth looking in to! Based on the level of commitment of many of the folks there, and the quality of the discussions, I would say we should have more hope about the future than previously.

    Cheers Rich

  120. the stranger November 16, 2006 4:41 pm

    No time but a quick note from a different spot: computer in the shop after being hacked.
    …enjoyed reading the comments in this string – if I remember right, khill was the first one to pull me into this site and make write something. Agric, after reading a couple pages over at your site, I plan to get back and read the rest. At a glance, the PO links look like an excellent list; I’ll probably add it to my eyeballs…

  121. Eric Y. November 16, 2006 4:48 pm

    Dear Erich J. Knight: Response to hydrogen
    homes and/or vehicles “saving” the planet.—
    –Consider the following information, dude–
    Hydrogen accounts for 0.01 percent of the US energy supply. As a replacement for oil, it is unsuitable for the following reasons:
    1. Hydrogen must be made from coal, oil, natural gas, wood, biomass or water. In every instance, it takes more energy to create hydrogen than the hydrogen actually provides. It is therefore an energy “carrier,” not an energy source.
    2. Liquid hydrogen occupies four to eleven times the bulk of equivalent gasoline or diesel.
    3. Existing vehicles and aircraft and existing distribution systems are not suited to it.
    4. Hydrogen cannot be used to manufacture petrochemicals or plastics.
    5. The cost of fuel cells is absolutely astronomical and has shown no downtrend.
    6. A single hydrogen fuel cell requires 20 grams of platinum. If the cells are mass-produced, it may be possible to get the platinum requirement down to 10 grams per cell. The world has 7.7 billion grams of proven platinum reserves. There are approximately 700 million internal combustion engines on the road.
    10 grams of platinum per fuel cell x 700 million fuel cells = 7 billion grams of platinum, or practically every gram of platinum in the earth.

    Unfortunately, the average fuel cell lasts only 200 hours. Two hundred hours translates into just 12,000 miles, or about one year’s worth of driving at 60 miles per hour. This means all 700 million fuel cells (with 10 grams of platinum in each one) would have to be replaced every single year.
    Thus replacing the 700 million oil-powered vehicles on the road with fuel cell-powered vehicles, for only 1 year, would require us to mine every single ounce of platinum currently in the earth and divert all of it for fuel cell construction only.
    Doing so is absolutely impossible as platinum is astonishingly energy-intensive (expensive) to mine, is already in short supply, and is indispensable to thousands of crucial industrial processes.
    Even if this wasn’t the case, the fuel cell solution would last less than one year. As with oil, platinum production would peak long before the supply is exhausted.
    What will we do, when less than 6 months into the “Hydrogen Economy,” we hit “Peak Platinum?” Perhaps Michael Moore will produce a movie documenting the connection between the President’s family and foreign platinum companies? At the same time, presidential candidate will likely proclaim a plan to “reduce our dependence on foreign platinum,” while insisting he will “jawbone the foreign platinum bosses,” and “make sure American troops don’t have to die for foreign platinum.”
    If the hydrogen economy was anything other than a total red herring, such issues would eventually arise as 80 percent of the world’s proven platinum reserves are located in that bastion of geopolitical stability, South Africa.
    7. It’s possible to use solar-derived electricity to get hydrogen from water, but a renewable, hydrogen-based economy will require the installation of 40 trillion dollars worth of photovoltaic panels. That’s 400 percent of the US GDP
    This is on top of the cost of mining every single ounce of platinum in the earth, building the fuel cells, and constructing a hydrogen infrastructure. All of which would have to completed in the midst of massive oil shortages and economic dislocations.
    8. Because hydrogen is the simplest element, it will leak from any container, no mater how strong and no matter how well insulated. For this reason, hydrogen in storage tanks will always evaporate, at a rate of at least 1.7 percent per day.
    Hydrogen is such a poor replacement for oil that “Hydrogen Fuel Cells” should be called “Hydrogen Fool Cells.” This could explain why the “governator” of California has proposed a hydrogen-highway.

  122. Makia November 16, 2006 5:07 pm

    Well Eric, anything’s possible. . .

  123. Makia November 16, 2006 5:17 pm

    Rich, glad you had fun yesterday. Hope is not a bad thing. You and my mom share some common threads. She’s been a “practical” environmentalist for quite a while. Now she makes decent money managing a recycling plant that’s run by a paper manufacturer. They get non-profits to collect paper and give them some money for it. Its cheaper than buying the used paper in the market, and the money goes to non-profits. Of course profit companies can also use their bins, but the money has to go to a non-profit. The paper manufacturing industry is flagging because of less demand for paper (damn internet and sucky newspapers no-one wants to read) but her division is actually one of the most profitable in the company, in a flagship operation for the industry.

    Just thought i’d share.

  124. the stranger November 16, 2006 5:27 pm

    EricY; so true.
    And the point to take away is this -

    - believing in many of the oil-alternatives, in and of itself, demonstrates significant (often profound) ignorance of both the problem and the so-called solution; at least to those of us that have forced ourselves to take a deep, dark look. And wishful thinking cheats those who otherwise may have found a more accurate perspective.

  125. Agric November 16, 2006 5:35 pm

    Thanks, Stranger, I have been remiss in posting much at my blog lately - waiting for things to crystalize in the economic delusion, insufficient time and inclination to explain what is and will be happening for a tiny and probably mostly unwilling to perceive audience, and been away for a month helping to start “The Utopia Experiment”:

    Beware, I say things that can seriously upset one’s head at my blog, though mine still appears to be mostly intact and able to see reality as others’ seem to (when I try hard). Michael (admin here) has been frustrated by the apparent aberrance of markets to behave in accordance with reality; I share that but my hunch is significant moves in resolving it will happen within a day or so of the end of this month. Stocks are now in very rarified air, I think the top was probably today but otherwise will be in the next 10 days, my finger is getting very twitchy on the ’short them’ button, I might delay until just before Thanksgiving to hit it. Today’s move in oil looks a good buy opportunity since support at about $56 is near certain (>95%) to hold, there is plenty of upside still in wheat and similar commodities.

    I have bad news for you Rich: there is no way that the US can produce 7.5 billion barrels of biofuel a year. That would be about 25% of current global oil production and would take more land than the USA currently uses for agriculture, am I being presumptuous in thinking that americans wish to continue to eat? Perhaps 7.5 Million barrels of biofuel would be nice. Checkout Robert Rapier’s posts at The Oil Drum and find his website and other articles via there, he’s the TOD guru on biofuels. Big congratulations and thanks on your business’s excellence on the environmental front, and for participating in getting other businesses to participate, it really does make a difference. Monitoring the (possibly excessive) use of hazardous chemicals is surely not that political or a restriction on liberty - quite a number of them that might be used for improvised explosives are already overtly or covertly monitored, I confidently assure you.

  126. muleskinner November 16, 2006 7:16 pm

    Canola seed can be as much as 50 percent oil. A 2500 pound per acre crop would produce 1250 lbs of oil. At 6.2 pounds per gallon, you would get about 200 gallons of canola oil per acre, or approximately 5 barrels.

    You would have to have 1500 million acres of canola crop to produce 7.5 billion barrels of canola for biofuel.

    The US has 3 million square miles of land, excluding Alaska. 640 times 3 million equals 1920 million acres. You would have to use eighty percent of all of the land in the US just to produce that much oil for biofuel. That is impossible. Maybe if you double cropped it all, it might happen, but I seriously doubt it.

    You have to start smaller. Canada has plenty of land, so maybe they could put all of their land into oilseed production.

    Regular old Oklahoma crude is a bargain at this point in time.

  127. Dr Jane Karlsson November 17, 2006 8:05 am

    Makia, zephyr and Agric, many thanks. Also to Eric Y for the insights into hydrogen. And Rich for the news.

    Makia, I don’t know the answer to your question. I am not sure that the world’s population will reach 10 billion, or even continue increasing. The Hunza of northern India, the ones that had no degenerative disease, had a stable population until the Brits took over, and then it doubled quite fast, and they started getting sick.

    Why? I don’t really know, but it seems to be something to do with helplessness. The Brits’ attitude was that they were civilizing a bunch of savages, while actually, the Hunza knew infinitely more than the Brits about how to live and organise their lives and stay healthy.

    Likewise today, the PTB set themselves up as the intelligent ones who know how people should live, and we all feel helpless, because they’re morons, right?

    So something has to give here. Somehow, the PTB have to be shown up for all to see as the morons they are. I think it will happen. And that when it does, everybody will feel liberated, and will become like the Hunza were before the Brits came. What do you think?

  128. Makia November 17, 2006 8:49 am

    I agree with you with all my heart Dr. Jane.

  129. Makia November 17, 2006 8:56 am

    Healthy people won’t overpopulate.

    This is one of the “assumptions” that must be made, where skeptics say; “Oh, yeah? How do you know how healthy people behave?”

    Its such a stretch for some, but to me its common sense and study into just the type of culture you mention. The strangest conflict i’ve come across in my internal life is, “If these indigenous cultures were so healthy, how were they overcome?”

    The answer i’ve come up with reminds me of a recent comment made by a Chinese ambasador when asked what he thought of the results of the French Revolution. “Too soon to tell,” he replied.

  130. khill November 17, 2006 4:46 pm

    THE PHASES OF GRIEF(those who faced Peak Oil with an open mind have gone through this.I know I have)

    It may be helpful to be aware of the stages of grief and to know there is no right or wrong way to grieve. All feelings are normal.

    Shock is the first stage of disbelief and numbness.

    Denial follows quickly with “I don’t believe it!”, or “It can’t be!”

    Guilt is a hard stage and difficult to deal with alone. This is the “If only I had - if only I had not ….” This is a normal feeling that may ultimately be resolved by saying, “I am a human being and I gave the best and the worst of me to my friend, and what he or she does with that is his or her responsibility.”

    Anger is another big one which seems necessary in order to face the reality and get beyond it. We must all heal in our own way, and anger is a natural stage to go through. You may even feel guilty because you are angry at your friend or because your life is continuing and his or hers is not.

    Depression may also be a stage that comes and goes. Give yourself time to heal.

    Acceptance and Hope - You will never be the same, but your life can go on to find meaning and purpose. Perhaps the death of your friend can make us all more aware of the value of each other and life in a way we never had before.

  131. Rich November 17, 2006 6:12 pm


    Check this out, the very latest and greatest on Peak Oil:


    Cheers Rich

  132. Agric November 17, 2006 6:29 pm

    Those of us who have already gone through the mangle ( = archaic device comprising 2 rollers that squeeze the water out of washed clothes) of mentally confronting peak oil, too often forget that people encountering it and grappling with it for the first time are in for a serious system shock. Well reminded, Khill.

    I did a couple of posts on this a while back, they might help:

    For those reading this who think peak oil is some kinda joke / irrelevence / conspiracy / nonsense, please do me and yourself the courtesy of reading:

  133. Agric November 17, 2006 6:32 pm

    Rich, your #131 seems circuitous

  134. bp November 17, 2006 6:40 pm

    heh, yeah Rich - that’s cool - you must have copied the wrong URL

  135. the stranger November 17, 2006 7:12 pm

    rich, Rich, HEY RICH!!!
    He’s passed out guys. His heads on the keyboard, Cabernet Sauvignon tipped over on the tile. One of us should check on him (but, of course, we’re in different states)

  136. Makia November 18, 2006 4:58 am

    Actually, i think Rich meant what he said, errrrrr, typed. Think about it.

    With the talk about greif and denial, the previous thread went into that in quite detail and personal expression. Yes, it is the emotional side, the human side of all this “data.”


  137. Rich November 18, 2006 6:36 am


    Sorry folks, that was not good online citizenry! (But it is kinda funny! Some folks must have their head spinning!).

    Here’s the link:


    Puplava is one of the best, I don’t subscribe to some of his political views but his analysis is usually spot on when it comes to oil, gold, the economy, etc.

    Cheers Rich

    PS. And apologies for wasting anyone’s time, the most precious of commodities (hmm?! Is Time a commodity?). R

  138. Dr Jane Karlsson November 18, 2006 6:45 am

    Yes, I think Rich was giving you all a roundabout compliment. The best kind.

    Thanks, Makia. I remember the French Revolution quote. Reminds me of Ghandi, asked what he thought about Western civilization: ‘It would be a good idea.’

    Khill, Agric, I had no idea Peak Oil has that effect on people. Explains a lot.

    Agric, that article from FWT about agriculture and Peak Oil. To me, it’s not terrifying, it’s exactly the opposite: it means we really do have to completely reform agriculture, and find out for ourselves how infinitely better our food and lives will be when we do. Have you come across a book called We Want Real Food, by
    Graham Harvey? He’s an agronomist who has researched soil re-mineralization (rock dust), and tells some absolutely astonishing stories about crop yields. I’ve come across equally astonishing stories about green manure. I suspect Terra Preta was the result of ancient Americans knowing about these things.

    And organic farming: there are many recent accounts of organic methods producing higher, not lower, yields. I’ve also read about these methods meaning far lower water requirements. Together with terracing for preventing erosion and water loss.

    If we don’t need to use oil or natural gas for making fertilizers and pesticides, how much would that spare? If we grow all food locally, how much would THAT spare? And perhaps the biggest question of all for Americans, can you imagine your vegetables and bread tasting so wonderful, you no longer want to eat meat?

  139. Dr Jane Karlsson November 18, 2006 7:06 am

    Hi Rich, so you weren’t complimenting them? Blush.

  140. muleskinner November 18, 2006 9:38 am

    In the old days of harvesting, all that was on the field was hauled to the thresher. The pigeon grass didn’t fly out the back end of the combine and back onto the ground.

    One thing about farming, you better have that farm implement in the ground doing the work. Otherwise, forget about it.

    Also, during the eighteen hundreds, hemp was the number one cash crop in the United States. It also kept unwanted ‘weeds’ in check. Made for a good clean field for the next year’s crop. Check out Dr. Dave’s Hemp Archives.

    Organic farming is good. Higher yields? Maybe. Until the year comes when there is nothing left of the crop that has been eaten by grasshoppers. Potato bugs eat and eat and eat and are extremely difficult to control. You pick them off of the potato plants and drop them into a bucket of kerosene, a good pesticide. Pour a little gasoline on an unwanted ‘weed,’ and it will be dead. Also, vinegar will kill ragweed or Canadian thistle dead. An herbicide is just a ’super-fertilizer’ that grows the plant to death.

    It’s all good though. This year, my garden grew the best onions ever. I won’t be needing to buy any at the grocery store this winter. Homegrown tomatoes are still available at my house. Had a great tomato crop. No fertilizer used, no pesticides necessary, nor herbicides. Lots of work though, but all worth it.

    It’ll be difficult to farm without oil products to fuel the machinery. Draft horses would become a valuable asset.

    Homegrown Tomatoes by Guy Clark

    Ain’t nothin’ in the world that I like better
    Than bacon & lettuce & homegrown tomatoes
    Up in the mornin’ out in the garden

    Get you a ripe one don’t get a hard one
    Plant `em in the spring eat `em in the summer
    All winter with out `em’s a culinary bummer
    I forget all about the sweatin’ & diggin’
    Everytime I go out & pick me a big one

    Homegrown tomatoes homegrown tomatoes
    What’d life be without homegrown tomatoes
    Only two things that money can’t buy
    That’s true love & homegrown tomatoes

    You can go out to eat & that’s for sure
    But it’s nothin’ a homegrown tomato won’t cure
    Put `em in a salad, put `em in a stew
    You can make your very own tomato juice
    Eat `em with egss, eat `em with gravy
    Eat `em with beans, pinto or navy
    Put `em on the site put `em in the middle
    Put a homegrown tomato on a hotcake griddle

    If I’s to change this life I lead
    I’d be Johnny Tomato Seed
    `Cause I know what this country needs
    Homegrown tomatoes in every yard you see
    When I die don’t bury me
    In a box in a cemetary
    Out in the garden would be much better
    I could be pushin’ up homegrown tomatoes

    Homegrown Tomatoes

  141. Makia November 18, 2006 9:53 am

    I like your thinking Doc Jane.

  142. Makia November 18, 2006 10:53 am

    Well, not your thinking persay, just that someone out there’s doing their homework about agriculture. When it comes down to it, i think the crux of the growing dysfunction in out society (economically, morally, family) is related to an increasingly polluted and preserved food supply.

  143. the stranger November 18, 2006 11:11 am

    I was actually putting a little blurb on the Kubler-Ross, five stages of grief, when I log on and see khill already said it. Looking well into the future, beyond the excessive population and pollution produced by the power of petroleum, perhaps (P for Pendetta) a better world awaits. But the near term contains massive problems (or if you prefer a corpspeak euphemism; challenges). It would be a challenge dealing with millions of hungry people without Muleskinners Oylent Green Machines.

  144. Makia November 18, 2006 11:52 am

    Oylent green. . . IS PEOPLE!!!!!

  145. Agric November 18, 2006 1:31 pm

    Jane, green manure is just an organic way of adding nitrogen to the soil which can be done using oil and gas etc derived chemicals more efficiently. Most organic methods of improving soils can be achieved more cheaply using artificial chemicals. I’m not advocating using chemicals and I very, very rarely use them myself for growing vegetables, but mainstream agriculture heavily depends on them to produce the quantity of cheap food that it does. Typically judicious use of nitrogenous fertiliser approximately doubles productivity of many crops.

    We do have to reform agriculture but that will mean perhaps 20% or more of the population spending a good part of their time growing crops. Of course, food will become much more expensive and average wages will also have to reduce markedly. Cuba has done this to a significant extent over the 15 years since the USSR collapsed, but it has been at significant cost and by the dictat of a command economy.

    Agricultural chemicals do not consume much oil and gas (which is a main source for nitrogenous fertiliser), I think it is less than 10%, and that use should mostly continue as a priority in the event of oil and gas crises provided supply is not totally disrupted. The use of natural gas (which provides the hydrogen) by the Haber-Bosch process to produce ammonia and thence nitrogenous fertiliser has doubled the amount of nitrogen available for crops and some say is responsible for the existence of 40% of current global population. Without this additional nitrogen for crops (which definitely could not be substituted in full by organic methods) a not insignificant proportion of global population would probably starve. It is estimated that 1% of global energy production is used by the Haber-Bosch process!

    Unless we make the transition in advance of being forced to there will almost certainly be a period of time when there is insufficient food to feed a proportion of the population in many countries. I don’t mean they will get hungry and lose weight, I mean they will starve to death. That is the scary implication of the FTW article.

    I’d not heard of Graham Harvey but I’ll add him to my long list of things to check out, if you have any links I’d welcome them.

    This MP3 of a lecture (at FEASTA, Ireland, 2005) by Richard Heinberg is very good on the impact of peak oil on food production:

    This PDF article by Vaclav Smil discusses nitrogen in food production:

  146. Dr Jane Karlsson November 19, 2006 7:04 am

    Muleskinner, I would run a mile in tight shoes for home-grown tomatoes.

    Agric, green manure does more than just fix nitrogen. For instance, nitrogen fixation requires copper, and many green manure plants have long roots which bring up minerals such as copper to the surface. Many soils are copper-deficient, and studies which appear to show that biological nitrogen fixation is ‘inefficient’ need to be re-examined in light of this.

    Your article by Vaclav Smil nowhere mentions minerals, and it should, because what used to be thought of as protein malnutrition (deficiency of nitrogen) is now known to be caused by micronutrient deficiency.

    People will certainly starve when the oil runs out if they are still removing most of the micronutrients from their food. I read somewhere that Chinese peasants eat ten pounds of rice a day. This is because it’s white rice.

  147. muleskinner November 19, 2006 7:46 am

    Legumes such as clover (the roots are from six to eight feet), alphalpha (the roots travel into the soil as much as sixteen feet to eighteen feet), pinto beans, soybeans, etc. are nitrogen fixaters. They put nitrogen into the soil.

    Grow beans, then the next year you will have an ample supply of nitrogen in your soil for that year’s crop.

    Pintos one year, then the following year, your barley will run eighty bushel to the acre. Your combine hopper fills up fast.

    It’s free fertilizer. You won’t need no stinking natural gas to make your anhydrous ammonia.

    On a side note, I was visiting Moosejaw, Saskatchewan to enjoy the hot springs pool they have at a hotel in downtown Moosejaw.

    While being there, I visited with a truck driver from Alberta that hauled anhydrous during springs work. He informed me that a three thousand gallon anhydrous ammonia tank was stolen along with a tractor. It was probably used to make methamphetamines.

    An illicit use for an oil product.

    Salt dome, natural gas at the top of the oil deposit under the salt dome, then the oil.

  148. bp November 19, 2006 7:57 am

    Dr. Jane, it is hard to believe a Chinese peasant eats 10 pounds of white rice a day, no matter that it is low in nutrition. My guess is that they couldn’t grow enough to consume that much daily, considering they don’t own much land - maybe 6 acres per family. And again, i doubt they consume white rice - they would have to send off their crop to be milled….unless you are talking about low income Chinese in the cities - not sure they are considered peasants.

  149. khill November 19, 2006 2:43 pm

    How cheap is gasoline relative to it’s energy content?1 gal gas=124,000 Btu,1 gal whole milk=9,500 Btu(2,400 nutritional calories)…So gasoline has 13 times the energy content of milk which costs $4 gal.At $2.30 a gal I would say gasoline is a bargain.The supply of crude oil has held down the price becuase it was so easy to find and produce until now.Now we have created huge and growing demand for a substance that is getting harder to find.Production rates are falling in most oil producing countries.”Surplus world crude oil production capacity, all of which is located in Saudi Arabia…”?????Rumors that Saudi oil production has peaked are out there.Did the Saudi’s tell the U.S. and China?Is the U.S. trying to hide Peak Oil by forcing a recession?Is China trying to slow it’s growth because of Peak Oil?In October, Simmons told a forum that the world might have reached peak oil production in December 2005.Peak Oil is the biggest issue the world faces.An energy drought is developing IMO.”Corn(an energy source) was the best-performing commodity in the past three months. Its 44 per cent gain topped zinc and nickel, which rose to their highest ever.”…” Last week, the International Energy Agency (IEA) recommended governments build more nuclear plants to slow climate change and increase energy. According to the Financial Times, this is the first time the IEA in its 32-year history has recommended nuclear power as a solution.After releasing the IEA’s World Energy Outlook for 2006, the agency’s director told reporters, “On current trends we are on a course for an expensive and dirty energy system that will go from crisis to crisis which can cause more supply disruptions, meteorological disasters or both. That may mean skyrocketing prices and more frequent blackouts. This energy future is not only unsustainable, but it is doomed to failure.””…”RBC Dominion Securities Inc. boosted its uranium price forecast for 2007 to an average of $100 U.S. a pound from $55, saying a flood at Cameco Corp.’s Cigar Lake mine in Saskatchewan will delay production for two years.”It’s happening,it really is happening……….

  150. khill November 19, 2006 2:59 pm

    “Russia revealed plans to build two nuclear power plants every year until nuclear power accounted for 30 per cent of its energy production.”…”There are 25 nuclear plants forecast to be built in the next five years in China”…”The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Saudi Arabia are embarking on nuclear energy programmes.Tunisia and the UAE have also shown an interest.” Saudi Arabia?hmmmmmmmmm

  151. khill November 19, 2006 7:33 pm

    Zapata George:”I’ll make you a prediction, right now – for a full calendar year we will never have a year where each day in that year there were 86 million barrels of oil produced. That will never happen. You heard me say it today.” [42:27] I suspect that we will see when totals for this year are put in, they will of course have averaged less than 86, and we will never get to 86. So in essence, those of us who look just slightly ahead, we’ve already seen it.” [42:59]Transcript of October 21, 2006 http://www.financialsense.com/fsn/BP/2006/1021.html http://www.zapatageorge.com/index.html “I will list here some intermediate price goals for several commodities. You won’t remember those. All you will remember are the ultimate numbers, which I put on the far right. (And you won’t believe those numbers.) But keep the article, and when the numbers on the left are achieved, you may begin to believe what is said here. Because this is what is going to happen, and it has already begun.”

    Here the numbers:

    Intermediate Term
    (18 months)
    Long Term
    (this decade)
    Very Long Term
    (20-40 years)






    Remember, these numbers are from the guy who said;

    Buy Oil @ 12, 24, & 46
    Buy NG @ 2, 3, & 4
    Buy Gold @ 280, 350, & 450
    Buy Silver @ 4, 5, & 6
    Buy Copper @ .95, 1.35, 1.50, & 1.80

    Would rather believe somebody who has already been right or someone who failed to tell of the top in 1999-2000?? You choose.

    The rise in these prices will soon be joined by the soft commodities.

    The rise will be stunning!!


  152. Dr Jane Karlsson November 20, 2006 3:47 am

    bp #148, yes I know. Ten pounds sounds ridiculous. I remember being very shocked, that’s why it stuck in my mind. It must have been a normally trustworthy source, or I wouldn’t have bothered with it. I shall try to find out more.

    People used to pound rice by hand to get the bran off. Brown rice doesn’t keep well because the oil in the bran goes rancid. Then the Brits came along and said Oh my God, you’re doing it all wrong. It should be MUCH whiter. We have something back home called the Industrial Revolution, and we have this shiny new machine to sell you …

    People all over the rice-eating world fell for this shit, and quite a few of them died of B-vitamin deficiency disease as a result.

    As far as I know, people still use these machines. I know, country people tend to eat much more whole food than urban people. Again, I shall try to find out more. I did go into this in depth some years ago, but I can’t remember much except the conclusion, which was that everybody eats white rice.

  153. Dr Jane Karlsson November 20, 2006 4:08 am

    khill, Jesus Christ. It really is happening.

  154. bp November 20, 2006 5:28 am

    hm, khill, I don’t think they/we are gonna be able to build nuclear plants fast enough.

  155. Dr Jane Karlsson November 20, 2006 8:17 am

    Agric, I found a 6-page article in the Daily Telegraph by Graham Harvey. Could you please try Googling ‘graham harvey we want real food telegraph’ and let me know if you can’t get it? I can give the link, but it’s so long I will probably get it wrong.

  156. khill November 20, 2006 8:43 am

    http://www.seercentre.org.uk/research/proposedarticle.htm Proposed (unpublished) Article for The Daily Telegraph, by Cameron Thomson on Earth’s soil history and why we need remineralisation.

  157. Agric November 20, 2006 12:55 pm

    Jane, this one?

    I agree with just about everything he says. In the last week or so the only bought vegetables I’ve needed to eat were tomatoes and mushrooms, almost forgotten how bad mass produced vegetables are. Some trace elements are dependent on where food is grown, too - for example: wheat grown in the US and Canada tends to be higher in selenium than wheat grown in Europe. There is considerable evidence that insufficient omega-3 fats plus any trans fats (partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, which interfere with the uptake of ‘good’ fats) in many of our diets is a probable partial cause of some mental health problems.

  158. Dr Jane Karlsson November 21, 2006 6:38 am

    khill, thanks, how very interesting. Never thought about earth fertility cycles before.

    Agric, yes that’s the one. Glad you liked it. Much of my current work is about brain disease as it happens. Omega-3s act together with copper and manganese in the brain, and people know about the omega-3s but not the copper and manganese.

    Things are changing fast, though. Something quite extraordinary happened recently. A paper by a Chicago scientist called Martha Morris appears to show that copper acts in the brain to worsen trans fat toxicity. In other words, copper is bad for the brain, which a lot of people believe. But her data actually show exactly the opposite!

    The paper is entitled ‘Dietary copper and high saturated and trans fat intakes associated with cognitive decline’, M C Morris et al 2006, Archives of Neurology 63: 1085.

    If you can get this paper, look at Table 1. It shows that people with the highest copper intake had a ‘global cognitive score’ SIX TIMES HIGHER than people with the lowest intake. I have been discussing this with the head of OPTIMA (Oxford Project To Investigate Memory and Ageing), and we are agreed that the authors have made a mistake analysing their data. A mistake so inconceivable that they actually got the figures the wrong way round. They were expecting copper to be bad, so that’s what they found. Incredible, isn’t it?

  159. Dr Jane Karlsson November 21, 2006 7:08 am

    bp, you won’t believe this, but I’ve just come back from a seminar about a disease called Guillain-Barre Syndrome in RURAL CHINA! I suggested to the speaker that white rice might be part of the problem. He was very receptive, because the disease involves certain molecules whose synthesis depends on manganese, which gets removed in milling.

    I asked him if rural Chinese eat white rice, and he didn’t know, but another colleague thought they did. I’ve been trying to Google it, but no luck so far.

  160. bp November 21, 2006 10:32 am

    hehe, thanks Dr. Jane - I have no doubt that white rice could be a problem - darn and I like it, oh well. let me know if you ever see about the 10 pounds - that sounds like a lot - maybe they meant they “needed” to eat 10 pounds to get proper nutrition.

    here is an aritlce that is related to peak oil/economy stuff that i found interesting - http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/HK22Ag01.html

  161. bp November 21, 2006 12:28 pm

    oh, BTW, Dr. Jane you might be interested in this site - http://www.futurepundit.com/

  162. Agric November 21, 2006 5:40 pm

    bp - futurepundit looks a good site to check out weekly for interesting news that one may have missed.

    Jane - I know little about minerals in diet and brain chemistry / dysfunction beyond the fats issue, though I did a psychology degree decades back. I’ve always had the prejudice, however, that eating a balanced diet of fresh foods (rather than processed) and growing as much as one can, without chemicals, for food are good ideas. Seems that recent research is beginning to support my prejudices.

    Saw something via EnergyBulletin today that is interesting, apparently the vitamins and minerals in US vegetables may have decreased over the last 50 years:

    ‘For more than a century, the USDA has measured levels of vitamins and minerals in American food. Donald Davis, a researcher at the University of Texas, compared the USDA figures from 1950 and 1999, for 43 common fruits and vegetables.

    “Of the 13 nutrients that we were able to study, we found statistically reliable declines in six of the 13,” he says. Levels of other nutrients stayed roughly constant over the years.’

    I haven’t tried to dig out the original USDA data yet, but probably will in the next few days unless someone here beats me to it.

    What particular areas of brain disease are you most concerned with? I wander widely online and might already have bits of info, or stumble upon them in future, that may be of interest.

  163. Dr Jane Karlsson November 22, 2006 3:41 am

    bp, the Asia Times article looks very interesting, I’ve just glanced at it and will read it later. I’ve read some stuff about what the Russians are doing, looks like they’ve got a few more brain cells than our guys, doesn’t it.

    I’ve also glanced at the futurepundit site, and found ‘Alzheimer’s might be triggered by low brain oxygen’, which was just what I was looking for! There are various reasons why this had to be so. Brilliant.

    About the ten pounds: try this http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi/mar2001.html
    and scroll half-way down the page, and you will find that the Irish used to eat 8-14 pounds of potatoes a day. An average family ate up to a ton a month.

    Kind of destroys my argument, though, because potatoes are very nutritious, or at least they used to be, unlike white rice. Maybe Chinese peasants would eat ten pounds of brown rice too.

  164. Dr Jane Karlsson November 22, 2006 4:07 am

    Agric, yes I’ve seen things about the decline in micronutrient content, it’s been looked at here in the UK too. The most striking finding here is that vegetables have 75% less copper than they used to.

    I am an unofficial member of OPTIMA, which means I do a lot on Alzheimer’s, but I am interested in all brain disease, and indeed in all diseases. I have spent the past 25 years doing nothing but read the scientific literature and piece it together, to find out how it all works.

    I would indeed be very grateful for any snippets of information or insight you can give me. Interested to hear you have a psychology degree.

  165. Agric November 24, 2006 3:45 pm

    Jane, I’ve not researched Alzheimer’s but have noticed in passing that these are reported to have positive effect: good not bad fats (esp. EPA, fish oils), ginko biloba, caffeine, smoking (presumably nicotine)! I have looked into other mental problems esp. depression, bipolar, and I think that diet, EPA / fish oil supplement, a broad multivitamin / mineral supplement and minor behavioral changes are often a better bet than pharmacological drugs in non life threatening situations.

    I’ll get my email address to you soonish but I have lost my pass (and it seems I used a now defunct email addy so can’t retrieve it) for my blog, will let you know in this thread when I have found it or with another means of contact - I won’t leave any email address of mine visible online except briefly and delete-ably, lol.

    Hated walking? Now that is a sign of a warped human, glad you have recovered ;) In my days of walking most of Wales, bits of England, Scotland and the Alps there were times as I first put my 40+ lb pack onto my bruises in the morning that I winced, too, but I never hated walking.

  166. Dr Jane Karlsson November 25, 2006 6:39 am

    Agric, yes that’s right. I would never ever ever take pharmaceutical drugs. I’m pretty wary of supplements too actually, often they’re not that different.

    bp, your article on oil and the Russians was just as good as the Fischer one. Thanks.

    I’ve had some more thoughts about the ten pounds. I bought a 2-kg bag of potatoes yesterday and had a look at it and thought dear God, how could the Irish have eaten THREE TIMES this amount in a single day?

    And then I remembered the Potato Famine. It was blight, do you remember? And what do the organic farmers use to prevent blight? Copper. In other words, blight is a symptom of copper deficiency. The Irish must have been gradually depleting their soil of copper for many years, and it reached crisis point.

    So could this be the reason they were eating such vast quantities of potatoes? To get enough copper?

  167. Dr Jane Karlsson November 25, 2006 6:41 am

    Agric, forgot to say, it was you who gave us that article on Peak Wood, wasn’t it? Extremely interesting.

  168. marketoracle.co.uk November 26, 2006 8:05 pm

    Oil ?

    Have to listen to the market and its saying that oil prices are headed lower, okay they have already fallen !

    Could they go lower ?

    Personally, even if crude is under pressure during 2007, the dynamics of ever growing demand suggest it will eventually head higher, once the market participants get used to a price, then the next barrier $100 will be overcome, react from it and eventually get used to $100, pretty much where we are today with $60.

    2 years ago $60 woild have been seen as an unimaginable price level, now its increasingly seen as acceptable with recent declines to $55 as cheap oil ?? CHEAP OIL ? $55 !!!

    See where already used to it !

    Same will happen to $100 and $150 and $200, unless the move is in a super short space of time ! Then you may get panic, but so far, steady trends that span a year or more don’t seem to have done that much damage. And neither should even higher eventual crude prices.

    As for oil, it has to be a good long-term investment, and looking at oil majors on PE’s of 10 or less, they look mighty CHEAP !

  169. the stranger November 26, 2006 9:54 pm

    Well, it’s frustrating to write a topic, and then have computer problems and your day-job zap you’re ability to respond; but, that’s the way it goes. I’m glad for those that jumped in. I think once an individual contemplates the energy situation, at some point they question; is peak-oil possible? - is it likely? - when?

    That’s when you end up at the numbers. I said at the beginning I would skip the numbers, just to suggest the problem. But confirming peak-oil is all about the numbers. That’s where the reasoning is verified. There are several intelligent experts trying to get the word out. Some excellent books that attack the subject from different angles; several good web sites too.

    Thanks to Michael Nystrom for allowing me to post this topic. And thanks to the others for jumping in and expressing sometimes the same thought in a completely different voice.

    Understanding the problem just opens the door… If peak-oil is now or near, in-turn it begs the question; then what would our world look like? I propose (as Khill, Rich, Bp, Agric, Dan and others do) that it would look like the one we’re in - progressively unstable and increasingly surreal; essentially unsustainable.

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