Bakken and OPEC Production Data

The Bakken and North Dakota production data for October is out. The Numbers a little surprising.

Bakken & North Dakota

Bakken production was up 7,520 barrels per day to 1,113,930 bpd while all North Dakota was up 6,787 bpd to 1,168,950 bpd.

ND BPD Change

The month to month change in North Dakota oil production is really all over the map. The 12 month trailing average gives a better indication of what is happening. It went slightly negative last month and is still negative after October numbers were added.

From the Director’s Cut.

September Producing Wells = 13,036
October Producing Wells = 13,174 (preliminary)
10,567 wells or 80% are now unconventional Bakken Three forks wells
2,607 wells or 20% produce from legacy conventional pools
September Sweet Crude Price = $31.17/barrel
October Sweet Crude Price = $34.37/barrel
November Sweet Crude Price = $32.16/barrel
Today’s Sweet Crude Price = $27.00/barrel
(low point since Bakken play began was
$22.00 in Dec 2008)(all time high was $136.29 7/3/2008)
September rig count 71
October rig count 65
November rig count 64
Today’s rig count is 65
(in November 2009 it was 63)(all time high was 218 on 5/29/2012)
The drilling rig count decreased 6 from September to October, decreased 1 from October to November, and increased 1 so far this month. Operators are now committed to running fewer rigs, but drill times and efficiencies continue to improve while oil prices continue to fall. The number of well completions fell sharply from 123(final) in September to 43(preliminary) in October. Oil price weakness is now anticipated to last through next year and is the main reason for the continued slow down. There were no
significant precipitation events, 8 days with wind speeds in excess of 35 mph (too high for completion work), and no days with temperatures below 10F.
At the end of October there were an estimated 975 wells waiting on completion services 105 less than at the end of September.
The OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report is out with OPEC’s November production numbers.
There was an increase of 230,100 barrels per day.
All of that increase, and then some, came from Iraq. Iraq was up 247,500 barrels per day.
Saudi Arabia
There has been no big changes in Saudi Arabia’s production numbers for the last 9 months.
Saudi + Iraq
However all the increase in the last nine months comes from Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
OPEC less Saudi & Iraq
In fact OPEC, without Saudi and Iraq would be in decline.
Of all other OPEC producers only the UAE has shown any significant increase in production.
Kuwait started a massive infill drilling program a few years ago but their production seems to have peaked in and rolled ver in 2013.
OPEC Production Change
This chart shows the change in the average production from 2014 to 2015. Of course we are only averaging the first 11 months of 2015 versus all 12 months of 2014. The data is in thousand barrels per day.
Secondary Sources
This month there has been a large diversion in what those “secondary sources” say and what the countries themselves say they are producing. Iraq says their production only increased 88 thousand barrels per day while secondary sources say they increased 247.5 bpd. Nigeria says their production fell by 205.2 thousand bpd while secondary sources says they fell by only 24.7 thousand bpd.
OPEC difference
Here is the difference between “secondary sources” and “direct communication” OPEC production for November crude only production.
The Page OPEC Charts has been updated with the November Data. Charts of all 12 OPEC nations can be found there.
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959 Responses to Bakken and OPEC Production Data

  1. AlexS says:

    Another victim of low oil prices:

    “Oil below $40 forces Texas driller into bankruptcy

    December 8, 2015

    A Fort Worth oil company became the 18th driller in Texas to succumb to the oil slump.
    Energy & Exploration Partners announced that it filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in order to deleverage its balance sheet and achieve a viable capital structure for building long-term value.
    The company said capital markets have closed to producers in the wake of $40 oil, leaving it unable to raise funds that could have prevented bankruptcy.”

  2. Jef says:

    May I respectful request that Javier be banned from posting his AGW denial crap?

    AGW is settled science. The effects, climate change is well understood and has been studied for some 200 years. It can be replicated in a lab. The effects are dynamic and will need to be studied forever and predictions/forecasts will never be 100% accurate but that is no reason to dismiss them.

    There are hundreds of institutions around the world both public and private with thousands of PHDs many with absolutely no affiliation with each other practicing the science. Tens of thousands of other researchers working on this many completely independent.

    Javier, nor anyone for that matter is allowed to have an OPINION about the reality of AGW. Again if this is allowed we might as well allow the whack jobs who know for sure that abiotic oil is real, all the oil fields of the world are refilling as we speak, and peak oil, along with climate change is a big conspiracy to control the masses.

    AGW and Peak FFs are directly linked and discussion of them together is reasonable but denial of either is Bullshit!

    • Heinrich Leopold says:


      By the way you have written your post, you have disqualified yourself. You are not doing any favor to your cause. Javier has very valuable arguments. In your comment I could not find any argument. Bullshit is never an argument.

      • Jef says:

        Explain. That is not opinion and it is not my cause any more than Al Gores or any other individual for that matter.

    • Javier says:

      Totalitarianism never rests and wants to silence anybody who disagrees.

      The large part of the population that believes AGW is not dangerous and the majority of the population that does not consider global warming a very serious problem should be left without any voice to speak for them.

      Scientists disagree in the most crucial points of AGW. Nobody can tell how much of the warming is due to AGW, and nobody can tell what is the sensitivity of the climate to CO2. After 30 years of alarmism and intense research we do not know how dangerous is the CO2 increase and we have not seen any ill effects.

      Since alarmism cannot win the debate without evidence, it is trying to silence the opposition.

      I have never tried to silence a dissenting voice, and those who try should be ashamed of themselves.

      Figure from IPCC.

      • pwowk says:


        “Nobody can tell how much of the warming is due to AGW”

        The denialists strike again! With the lies! What are you going to say next. Up is down, 1+1=15?

        Are you mad because your coal job is screwed? Or is it because your paycheck requires AGW to not be true?

        I’d trust a scientist, who had to get a PHD, who cares about the environment than some guy on the internet who uses words like “Totalitarianism.”

        I got a word for you, denialastuipdism.

        • Clueless says:

          Termites create more CO2 and methane than humans.

          • We have had this very stupid termite debate before. Let’s not go down that rabbit hole again.

            • HVACman says:

              Ron, Right sentiment – wrong metaphor. The termite debate would be going down a bore-hole:)

              • BC says:

                I “wood” propose that we not chew any further on this debate; it tends to bug me and make my skin crawl. 😀

            • wharf rat says:

              Termites live in termite holes, not rabbit ones.

              Found this on Scribbler’s climate blog. Does anybody have an info?

              “Record storage in Cushing Oklahoma due to low prices has pretty much all of the tanks full. They are built to a standard which does not expect this may quakes of these sizes. There is concern about the tank integrity, and potential damage / release.””

        • Javier says:

          I am a scientist. I’ve got a PhD. And I care about the environment. I am a biologist.

          I have got another word for you. Ignorant.

          • Jimmy says:

            And with respect to your ‘wait for the global cooling to kick in’ comment that you made a few days ago on Ron’s last post I suggest you add ‘Troll’ to your list of credentials. Please post a copy of your Ph.D. I don’t believe it for a second. Frankly I find you pedantic, borish and rambling.

            • Javier says:

              Why, do you think a global cooling period is impossible? It has happened between 1950 and 1975. So something that has happened before cannot be impossible.

              And I really don’t care much about your opinion of me.
              “If you can’t answer a man’s arguments, all is not lost; you can still call him vile names.”
              Elbert Hubbard

              • Jimmy says:

                We don’t go to your AGW denier blog and go on and on about peak oil. Stick to your own side of the street you troll.

                • Javier says:

                  You might as well, as my blog is also about Peak Oil and I always welcome more visits.

                  However. I do not come here to post about climate change. I have never posted anything about climate change in Ron’s blog that was not an answer to somebody else posting about climate change.

                  You cannot accuse me of invading Ron’s blog. I would come here happily to discuss oil related issues and never mention a thing about climate change if it not was for all the people posting false things about climate change here.

                  So it is not my fault.

                  • Jimmy says:

                    troll: a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement.

                    I’d say that well describes your presence on this fine blog.

                  • Javier says:

                    Find a thread that I started about climate change and was not an answer to somebody else talking about climate change or shut up.

                    A lot of people seem to appreciate a fine discussion about the scientific basis of climate change knowledge.

                    Of course there are also some religious-like intolerant zealots that shiver when they have to accidentally read something that contradicts their creed.

                  • oldfarmermac says:

                    Javier, what is the address of your blog?

                    Given my own admitted lack of expertise, I cannot say you are wrong about forced warming, or more specifically about the extent of it, and how harmful it might be, other than by arguing from authority.

                    But you, and the guys you are debating, are both adding to my own knowledge.


                    Here is a link that everybody ought to read.


                    It is all about consilience, a concept seldom metioned in this forum.

                    E O Wilson wrote a book by the same title, which is one of the best science oriented books I have EVER read.

                    And while I am not a real scientist in the sense of practicing science, I know quite a bit of science, and read a hell of a lot of books.

                    When I reccomend a book, you can take it to the bank that it is a really important book, well written, by a ROCK SOLID scientist rather than a “rock star”.


                    Wilson is not only one of the best biologists of our time, he is in my own ( well qualified by reading TONS of books ) one of the best science writers ever .

                    Reading him is like drinking a very fine wine.

                    Incidentally since a lot of the regulars here are engineering and geological types etc, and maybe not all that well informed about who is who in biology, here is the wiki link for Wilson- just in case anybody thinks he is a quack or a rock star or whatever.


                    When I argue from authority, I like to use real heavyweight champs. 😉

                  • Javier says:


                    My blog is in Spanish at:

                    I am writing a very long piece on natural abrupt climate changes for the past 125,000 years, good for about 5 posts and I am writing it in both English and Spanish. I’ll let you know when I get the English version published somewhere. It is amazing how little most people know about natural climate changes given the importance that is given to climate change.

                  • Scientific American is owned by Nature publications, the editor is a left wing nutter who has been packing what used to be a science publication with articles by ultra radical assholes like Oreskes and “Hockeystick” Mann. Nothing in nature about just about anything can be trusted.

                    The warming over the last century is caused 50 % by you, 50 % by natural climate variability. I’m very confident of the fact that we ain’t causing all of it.

                    This year we are seeing a strong El Niño, but it has peaked. Temperature anomalies will drop slowly for at least 9 months.

                    Climate change thus far is positive, Syria is a civil war, and Obama knows as much about the climate as he knows how to deal with Castro, ISIS, and Netanyahu: very little.

                  • Inglorious says:

                    Fernando – here’s a negative impact of climate change.

                    2010 Russian Wildfires

                    ‘The wildfires destroyed one-third of Russia’s wheat harvest. The Russian government refused to export the rest of its harvest and set a grain export ban to fight inflation. This led to extremely high food prices, which led to panicking on the global markets. Many experts including from the International Food Policy Research Institute say that the Russian wildfires in summer 2010 played a leading role in triggering the Arab Spring starting in 2010, especially in Egypt’s case. Higher food prices helped to make oppression, poverty, and corruption under autocratic leaders even more aching for the local population.’

                    I understand that the heatwave that resulted in the Russian wildfires would be considered a weather event rather than climate change however extreme weather events are more likely as climate change takes effect. I also understand that the resulting high wheat prices were exascerbated by Russia’s export policy.

                    Taking all of that in to account I can see a clear connection between climate change, the Arab Spring and the resulting fallout. I would consider those to be negative consequences.

                  • Inglorious, that’s typical propaganda we see. Articles quoting pseudo experts and made up data. 2010 was an El Niño year, it was the year when the world economy was rebounding from the 2009 crisis. Food prices go up because the world economy grows, and Chinese eat more meat, etc.

                    By the way, I served as advisor for a thesis on food security and prices presented in 2008. My role was to mentor the student on how to prepare a dynamic model of the world food and biofuel cycle. So I happen to a. Know a bit and b. Have a very smart friend with a graduate degree I can refer to on a dime, who into this topic much deeper than most people.

          • pwowk says:

            Javeir: So if you are a scientist, this puts you into one of either two groups…

            a. You William Harper or his competition, selling yourself to write anti-climate change papers.
            b. A terrible scientist.

            Question. If we didn’t cause AGW, what has? Temperatures have gone up. Can you give us another hypothesis that will cause this? And can you point me to the evidence?

            AGW is the only thing that fits all of the pieces. Nothing else does.

            The burden of proof is on you. Otherwise, your just another crackpot climate denier. You’ll only get attention from people dumber than you.

            • Javier says:

              You got science backwards pwowk,

              Any hypothesis that pretends to explain a phenomenon has to beat the null hypothesis. I don’t have to say anything. If you say that global warming is going to be dangerous, prove it.

              And of course we caused every little bit of AGW, since the A is for anthropogenic. The question is that nobody has come with a way of distinguishing between AGW and NGW (N for natural). The bigger the NGW the smaller the climate sensitivity and the lesser the danger. Of course you are welcome to believe that 100% of GW is AGW, but you are not capable of proving it, so it is just a belief.

              When asked about this particular, only 66% of climate scientists believe that AGW>50% (Verheggen et al. 2014). So far from settled science, just popular delusion.

              • BW Hill says:

                Javier said:
                Any hypothesis that pretends to explain a phenomenon has to beat the null hypothesis.”

                Statistics 101

                Hi Javier, I’m BW Hill of the Hills Group,, stop by and visit sometime. The question that I have for you is: (although I don’t follow the climate change debate to any great extent, it is, however, dame near impossible to avoid totally) it has been stated several places that the IIPC model has an error margin of 20%. In the physical sciences that would be a sufficient enough margin of error to disqualify almost any hypothesis. It is the margin of error one would expect at a dart game, in a gin mill, at 3:00 AM. If that statement is true, what margin of error would be needed to have a confirming hypothesis for anthropogenic induced climate change.


                • Nick G says:

                  What’s the error margin for an actuarial model for fire casualty for a single house? As opposed to a large, statistically robust population? In other words, I don’t think the approach you suggested is statistically valid. I’d note that Warren Buffet, speaking on behalf of his insurance industry investments, has voiced very loud concerns about the risks of climate change.

                  We only have one planet. What risks are we willing to take with it, given that we can only run our experiment once??

            • This is getting funny. 🐸

        • Russell says:

          Why yes. I am concerned about the jobs in the coal fields and the jobs in the oilfields. Energy producers are made out to be the devils in the global warming religion, but without them, a rather large percentage of the world’s population would simply die.
          Then again, killing off 2/3 of the Earth’s human population is something many environmentalists would cheer.
          Maybe energy producers the world over should go on strike for a year. The first to die off would be those in large urban areas due to the inability to ship in food or pump water. There would be fewer PHDs to bite the hand that literally feeds them, and since environmentalists mostly hail from high population centers, they would be the first to go, fulfilling their wish for a smaller world population and not being hypocrites!
          Farmers could be convinced to practice soil-building. If an inch of topsoil was added to even a small percentage of the world’s arable land, not only would their soil be far better quality, they would be sequestering untold billions of tons of CO2. US Farmers in the 1930s ended the Dust Bowl; a continental ecological disaster, in just a few seasons. This would also work.
          Why haven’t Global Warming PHDs thought of this?
          They live in cities. They are detached from the people who they demand make the sacrifices so that they can feel like saviors of the Earth.
          There really are more than two sides to this story, and more than one solution.
          The problem with those pushing for action against Global Warming isn’t necessarily that they are wrong, but that they demand people other than themselves to sacrifice their livelihoods and justify it by forgetting all the GOOD that energy producers do.
          Coal does not kill. It warms, it lights, it cools, it energizes and it provides life. It also pollutes, but even this can be dramatically reduced.
          Environmentalists prefer to be the heroes and scream slogans and demonize the enemy. They say they are on the side of science, but science always has room for alternate theories and dissent or it becomes dogma. Using words like “deniers” proves you are a dogmatist.
          I don’t deny global warming. I don’t deny fossil fuels have contributed; after all, 3% of global CO2 production is man-made. I do deny that those who scream the loudest should be put in charge to fix it.

          • wharf rat says:

            “Farmers could be convinced to practice soil-building. …Why haven’t Global Warming PHDs thought of this?”

            Why do you think you are smarter than climate pHDs and Rat’s governor?

            Recently, the Brown administration recognized the important of soil health in the Governor’s 2015-16 proposed budget; “as the leading agricultural state in the nation, it is important for California’s soils to be sustainable and resilient to climate change. Increased carbon in soils is responsible for numerous benefits including increased water holding capacity, increased crop yields and decreased sediment erosion. In the upcoming year, the Administration will work on several new initiatives to increase carbon in soil and establish long term goals for carbon levels in all California’s agricultural soils. CDFA will coordinate this initiative under its existing authority provided by the Environmental Farming Act”. Consistent with this initiative, several actions have been identified to:
            Protect and restore soil organic matter (soil carbon) in soils to ensure climate change mitigation and food and economic security
            Identify sustainable and integrated financing opportunities, including market development, to facilitate increased soil organic matter
            Provide for research, education and technical support to facilitate healthy soils
            Increase governmental efficiencies to enhance soil health on public and private lands
            Ensure interagency coordination and collaboration

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Javier,

        The general decrease in global temperatures from about 5000 BP to 100 BP was approximately 0.7 C, probably due Milankovitch cycles. The major ice ages happened on roughly 100,000 year cycles over the past 800,000 years, there are undoubtedly other natural cycles possibly driven by solar and lunar cycles and their effects on ocean an atmospheric circulation. In addition some of the past global temperature swings were due in part to volcanic eruptions.

        The last glacial maximum was about 3 to 4C colder than the interglacial, so taking 50,000 years for the time from interglacial to glacial maximum and 3 C as the temperature change we have 0.006 C per 100 years, a pretty small average change in temperature. Not much to worry about.

        Perhaps you think the change from 5000 BP to 100 BP is more relevant , this would be 0.014 C per 100 years, but note that over 50,000 years (half a glacial cycle), this would imply a change in temperature of 7C rather than 3 C.

        It is not clear why we would expect the rate of “cooling” to accelerate, there has been very minor cooling over the 1875 to 1915 period (using Best data and 20 year average) of 0.024C/decade and a smaller level of cooling from 1950 to 1970 of 0.016C/decade, each of these has been followed by significant warming of 0.144C/decade from 1915 to 1940 and 0.134 C/decade from 1970 to 2005. A new ice age may arrive in 40,000 to 50,000 years, but should not really be a concern. As the warming over land has been higher since 1850 than the global land ocean temperatures, the TCR over land may be close to 3C for a doubling of CO2. This may be cause for concern as humans mostly live on land. Chart below is incorrect after 2005 (it shows 5 year average temperature from 2005 to 2012.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Corrected Best land ocean chart

          • Javier says:

            Dennis your graph illustrates perfectly one of the main problems with dangerous AGW hypothesis.

            Let’s put those two warming periods side by side (HadCRUT 4):

            The one on the left is almost 100% NGW since the significant increase in GHGs in the atmosphere took place after 1950. The one on the right, despite its similarity it is claimed to be 100% AGW by IPCC. I don’t believe that for a moment.

            But there is a problem. Unless saturated, CO2 causes a direct logarithmic-dependent increase in warming. The more CO2 the more warming. This is a physical effect. There is no way around it. Each additional molecule must cause an increase in warming all the way until saturation. Since CO2 has increased tremendously between 1975 and 2015, the amount of warming produced should have necessarily increased and the rate of warming should have necessarily increased, yet we see a straight line.

            Do you have an explanation for this Dennis? It is physically impossible to add so much CO2 without increasing the rate of warming. That is why all the models show an increasing rate of warming. If the rate of increase in warming does not change there is only two possible explanations:
            – CO2 is already saturated and any additional molecule does not increase warming. We don’t believe that to be the case.
            – The increase in CO2 induced (AGW) rate of warming is compensated by a decrease in NGW rate of warming. This explanation is incompatible with recent GW being 100% AGW, and pretty much puts NCC (natural climate change) in control of the situation.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Javier,

              There is natural variability, which I have never disputed. Most of the warming is explained by increased CO2, the natural variability, is not as well understood.

              Chart below with BEST land ocean temperature anomoly (vertical axis in degrees Celsius from 1951-1980 mean temperature) vs natural logarithm of atmospheric CO2 in parts per million(horizontal axis). The change in the natural log of carbon dioxide explains about 74% of the change in temperature.

              • Javier says:


                You are misusing the word “explains”. The proper word is correlates. As everybody knows correlation does not imply causation.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  HI Javier

                  There is well understood physics to explain the causality


                  • Javier says:

                    Hi Dennis,

                    Explaining falls very short of demonstrating.

                    Your graph doesn’t show that during the last decade and a half we have put 25% of all anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere yet we have gotten very little warming in exchange.

                    This is contrary to the theory that says that the more CO2 the more warming.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    There is natural variability to explain the 26% not explained by the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

                    You say there is little connection that is not what the data shows.

              • Dennis, did you ever wonder why that graph data isn’t in a very straight line? It does have slight kinks. Notice how it starts bending down at the end? Also, would you extrapolate that to 650 ppm and post it again? Pretty please.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Fernando.

                  Doubtful that we would get to 650 ppm. There is natural variability as everybody is well aware. So the variation in temperature is due to natural variation in ocean currents, atmospheric circulation, solar output, and volcanic eruptions. The natural cycles might be influences by lunar, and solar cycles (beyond the well known longer term Milankovitch cycles.)

                  The model gives the transient climate response, as the ocean warms less of the energy imbalance will flow to the ocean and the atmosphere will warm further. A better estimate of the equilibrium climate sensitivity would focus on land data rather than land ocean data. Atmospheric CO2 at 650 ppm would lead to 2.4 C above the 1951 to 1980 mean temperature for the transient climate response or about 2 C above the Holocene climate optimum, before the planet warms further as the ocean warms.

                  Using Best land temperature data and a similar model, with my medium estimates for oil, natural gas and coal and reasonable estimates for cement production, land use change and natural gas flaring (1200 Gt total carbon emissions). Under that scenario atmospheric CO2 rises to about 515 ppm in 2110. Chart below with temperature change over land from carbon emissions only (model). Temperature rises by 2.3C above 1961-1990 mean temperature or 2.1 C above 11,000 BP to 200 BP average temperature.

                  • When I use what I think is a better TCR (from Lewis and Curry 2014) I get less than 2 degrees C. This means all this effort being sold by Obama is fairly meaningless.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Fernando,

                    Using land ocean data it would be lower and would reflect the TCR. The chart above shows what we might get (it could be higher or lower than this) with an ECS of about 3 C. The land only temperatures may give a rough estimate of the ECS and that is the best data shown in the chart above.

                    Note that it is possible that my “medium” fossil fuel URR estimate may be too low. It is based mostly on an average of the HL estimate and the USGS estimate for oil and natural gas and Steve Mohr’s case 2 (is best guess in 2010) estimate for coal. Note that an estimate by McBride also has three cases and his low estimate is similar to Mohr’s high estimate(case 3), so perhaps Mohr’s case 3 would be a better estimate in which case temperatures would be higher than I have estimated above.

                  • Dennis, I understand your argument. I need a fairly solid reference line to serve as a foundation for what I support (or oppose). Muy research shows the Lewis and Curry 2014 TCR matches data much better. I also agree with the ultímate figures you use as a “base case”. This in turn means global warming is a secundary issue. It’s blown out of proportion, but it’s used by commies for their “climate justice” movement, to create centralized control, increase government power, and fight against the American way of life.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Again, eliminating fossil fuels could be done pretty easily, and within a free market approach: just raise fuel and utility taxes sharply, calculate those taxes based on carbon emissions, and rebate the revenues back to the people.

                    But, the FF industry won’t let that happen (“No New Taxes!!), because…they know it would be effective.

                    So, it’s the reverse of the Fox News “AGW is communism” meme: the urgency surrounding denying climate change is a raw political grab for power/cash.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Fernando,

                    I have not read the Lewis paper, the Hadley data is not as good as the BEST data, in my opinion and a slightly different result would be obtained depending upon the data set used. In any case one can choose to believe a single paper as being “best”, but clearly opinions vary, and every estimate is uncertain.

                    One thing that is not appreciated is the very slow change in carbon dioxide levels over time (especially how slowly these levels decrease).

                    Looking back at ice core data for CO2 over the last 800,000 years, CO2 tends to decrease on average at about 1.1% per 1000 years. If CO2 rises to 520 ppm and falls at an exponential rate of 1.1% per 1000 years, it will take 50,000 years to reach 297 ppm.
                    Over the long term we need to be concerned about the ECS, the TCR is really a short term concern, for 100 years into the future. Once the ocean turns over in 400 years we will have reached the “equilibrium” state. Based on land data an ECS of at least 3 C looks reasonable. If the average Holocene average temperature was x, and the average Holocene CO2 was about 270 ppm (before 1750), an ECS of 3 C
                    gets us to ln(520/270)*3=1.97 C above the Holocene average temperature. I suggest this average temperature (x) is about 0.2 C above the 1961-1990 mean based on Marcott et al 2013, others think it is higher.

                    Whatever x is, the equilibrium temperature is likely to be x+1.97C.

                    If I have underestimated fossil fuel URR and the USGS and Steve Mohr’s case 3 are correct, and we stop burning all fossil fuel after 2112 so that net carbon emissions are zero after 2112. Then CO2 peaks at 578 ppm in 2112 and equilibrium temperature is ln(578/270)*3=2.28C+x or 2.48 C above the Holocene average temperature prior to 1750, if that average temperature is 0.2C.

        • Javier says:

          Hi Dennis,

          The general decrease in global temperatures from about 5000 BP to 100 BP was approximately 0.7 C

          According to best estimates you might have a 100% error in there. This is a review on the issue:

          Ljungqvist, F.C. (2011): The Spatio-Temporal Pattern of the Mid-Holocene Thermal Maximum. Geografie, 116, No. 2, pp. 91–110.
          “It is very likely that the earth experienced multi-centennial periods during the Holocene with global mean temperatures at least 1°C above the pre-industrial temperatures and possibly even more.” See their figure 3.

          And where do you think the 2°C limit comes from?

          The late Quaternary period has shaped our present-day environment, with the lowest temperatures occurring in the last ice age (mean minimum around 10.4°C) and the highest temperatures during the last interglacial period (mean maximum around 16.1°C). If this temperature range is exceeded in either direction, dramatic changes in the composition and function of today’s ecosystems can be expected. The tolerable temperature window is therefore 10.4˚C to 16.1˚C. If we extend the tolerance range by a further 0.5°C at either end, then the tolerable temperature window extends from 9.9°C to 16.6°C. Today’s global mean temperature is around 15.3°C, which means that the temperature span to the tolerable maximum is currently only 1.3°C (~2˚C above the pre-industrial global mean).

          German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU)

          So your alarmist colleagues also think that Holocene climate Optimum was somewhere around +1.5°C above preindustrial, but they generously give us half a degree more.

          More to be followed about your graph in a later post.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Javier,

            We disagree on what the best estimates are, I believe the best estimates are the work by Marcott et al (2013)
            and Shakun et al (2012)

            The change in global temperature from the last glacial maximum to the Holocene climactic optimum was about 3.7 C, based on the Shakun et al analysis. The temperature during the Holocene is best represented by the Marcott et al analysis. See also




            • Javier says:


              You are free to pick any estimate that you want as long as you don’t go to the travesty of saying that they represent best knowledge, or current view. Those works are partisan and represent the lowest estimates.

              Regarding glacial-interglacial transition, any value between 3-9°C can be supported on the literature, but scientific works centering on 5°C (4-6) are more common.

              Regarding Holocene temperatures between 1-2°C from Holocene Climatic Optimum to LIA are commonly supported.

              In this figure you have records from all over the world (a, NH; b, SH), with the number of records showing more than 1 or 2°C in different shades. It is from the Lunjqvist article referenced above. This is difficult to reconcile with the 0.7°C of Marcott et al. that you defend.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                HI Javier

                There are different estimates.

                I guess you think the system is less stable. That would imply we should be more worried about rising co2. I am suggesting 4 C, you are suggesting 5 C, I think the Marcott analysis and Shakun analysis are robust.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                HI Javier

                It is easy to imagine that global temp could be different than hemispherical temperature.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Javier,

                  It would also depend on what they mean by pre-industrial temperature. A better reference is to the 1951 to 1980 mean or the 1961-1990 mean global temperature. The pre-industrial temperature is what they are trying to measure, so using it as a reference temperature seems unusual.

                  • Javier says:


                    Read the goddamn article. Pre-industrial temperature is defined as that at ~1750 AD, and it is determined because he only uses proxy records that extend at least up to ~1750 AD.

                    I cannot think of a better way of getting internal consistence, because every proxy is showing its temperature variation respect itself. No chance for errors by badly matching different records as Michael Mann did.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Couldn’t edit my comment, but I did read the paper. As you said one can choose many different papers. The Marcott analysis (based on the data) is consistent with the paper you prefer which chooses 43 of 60 proxies from 30N to 90N, which makes it mostly a Northern hemisphere analysis, also about half of the proxies are from high Northern latitudes (60N to 90 N) where we would expect polar amplification.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Checked the paper. Pre-industrial for that paper is considered (~1750 AD), essentially the paper you cited, cautiously suggests at least 1 C above 1750 temperatures, based mostly on records from high Northern latitudes where there would be polar amplification. Marcott et al consider more datasets to estimate global temperatures and get about a 0.7 C difference between the HCE and 1750 for global temperatures. If we focus on the latitudes from 30N to 90N (where most of the Ljundqvist proxies are located) in the Marcott analysis the temperature change was about 1.6C, in line with “at least 1C above pre-industrial”. The analysis you cite has 43 out of 60 proxies from 30N to 90N, not really a global analysis.

                  • Javier says:

                    Yet it is consistent with models showing >1°C difference over most of lands between pre-industrial and Holocene Optimum (see figure. Orange between 1-2°C)

                    It is also consistent with LIA reconstructions that show that LIA was a drop of about 0.5°C. You cannot fit 4500 years of cooling (from mid holocene transition to LIA) in just 0.2°C.

                    All this is very difficult to reconcile with only 0.7°C as Marcott et al., propose.

                    Northern Hemisphere is contributing more to present Global Warming, because it has a lot more land, and land is warming more than sea surface. As it should be.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Javier,

                    Marcott estimate 0.7 C
                    Ljundqvist estimate 1 C or higher
                    difference 0.3 C

                    Proxies in Ljundqvist paper are mostly (over 2/3 of them) from 30N to 90N, Marcott’s analysis agrees that for those latitudes cooling from the HCE to 1750 AD was about 1.5C. For the globe however the cooling was not as great, about half of the 30N to 90N cooling.

                    Not sure where you get 0.2 C, that is the Holocene average from 11000 BP to 200 BP(1750 AD) relative to the 1961 to 1990 mean global temperature. In 1750 it was about 0.5C cooler than this average and during the HCE it was about 0.2 higher than this average.


                  • Javier says:


                    Look at your Marcott graph. The last 1000 years represent the descent into the LIA. Marcott says it is only -0.25°C.

                    Now look at this reconstruction from Wenner et al., 2008 from the studies from Crowley, 2000; Bertrand et al., 2002; González-Rouco et al., 2003; Gerber et al., 2003; Bauer et al., 2003; von Storch et al., 2004; Goosse et al., 2004, 2005b; Zorita et al., 2004; Tett et al., 2007; Ammann et al., 2007.

                    Now you can see that all of them defend that the descent into the LIA was -0.5°C, double of what Marcott alone defends.

                    For Marcott to represent current knowledge you have to scale its temperatures by a factor of 2.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Javier,

                    You simply choose the research that fits your agenda. When recent research agrees with your position, it is best, when it disagrees it is “alarmist or politically motivated”.

                    I note that the chart you posted is for the Northern Hemisphere. I have already pointed out that for the Northern hemisphere the cooling was more pronounced. As we are trying to assess global temperatures. The studies you reference don’t fit the bill. Below I will show Marcott’s estimate for the Northern hemisphere.

                    For the Northern Hemisphere for latitude 30 to 90 N, Marcott has a cooling of 1 C rather than the 0.5 C that you cite for the Northern hemisphere, however I would not make the egregious error of suggesting the estimate should be scaled down by a factor of 2.

                    I don’t go in for hyperbole as some people do.
                    Chart at link below:


                  • Javier says:

                    You are fighting a lost cause, Dennis, holding to a single article against the entire Holocene bibliography.

                    Little Ice Age has been recognized as a global phenomenon. Graph at the end is the regional changes (only Africa is missing) from “Continental-scale temperature variability during the past two millennia.” PAGES 2k Consortium. Nature Geoscience 6, 339–346 (2013).

                    I have already shown that for NH the drop in temperatures was about -0.5°C for a lot of reconstructions.

                    I am also showing here that the Southern Hemisphere also displayed general cooling during LIA.

                    To know what happened at oceans we have Rosenthal et al., Pacific Ocean Heat Content During the Past 10,000 Years. 2013 Science 342, 617-621.

                    “We show that water masses linked to North Pacific and Antarctic intermediate waters were warmer by 2.1 ± 0.4°C and 1.5 ± 0.4°C, respectively, during the middle Holocene Thermal Maximum than over the past century. Both water masses were ~0.9°C warmer during the Medieval Warm period than during the Little Ice Age and ~0.65° warmer than in recent decades. IPWP SSTs [Indo-Pacific Warm Pool Sea Surface Temperatures] are colder by 0.75 ± 0.35°C between 1550 and
                    1850 CE during the Little Ice Age (LIA). Within age-model errors, the cooling trend from the MWP to LIA is of the same magnitude as, but possibly lags, the cooling of the overlying surface water and the NH.”

                    So let’s see:

                    Northern Hemisphere about -0.5°C
                    Oceans SST about -0.75°C
                    Southern Hemisphere also cooling, so at least -0.1°C but probably more.

                    Marcott et al. Global -0.25°C

                    Whatever way you put it, Marcott et al. are seriously underestimating temperature changes in their reconstruction.

                    Common sense should also tell you the same. Since 1975 we have warmed like 0.7°C. Do you seriously think that the LIA which represented massive glacier growth all over the world and a significant drop of temperatures wherever we have looked can be accounted by only 0.25°C change? Almost a third of the warming since 1975?

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    As I said before, the Marcott reconstruction is excellent.

                    I am confident that the group that wrote that paper and the reviewers are aware of all the papers you bring up. There can be many local effects which can confound the analysis.
                    The difference you are concerned about amounts to 0.25 C, these reconstructions are not that precise and indeed the recorded temperature record for the globe (actual thermometer measurements rather than proxy reconstructions) are highly uncertain from 1753 to 1850 (getting gradually better over time).

                    I think the main effect is regional differences, the Marcott analysis attempts to look at global temperatures.

                    I think we will not resolve this, we disagree on the best temperature reconstruction, there are none that are perfect, Marcott has the best global coverage. Chart with temperature reconstuctions by Marcott for 30-90N, 30S-30N, and 30-90S. Horizontal axis is years BP (1950) and vertical axis is temperature relative to 1961-1990 mean in degrees C (or K).

                    Note that the PAGES 2K reconstruction does not include any data from Africa (2nd largest continent) and only South American data from the far southern tip of the continent. There is not a lot of data from 30S to 30N.

                  • Javier says:


                    As I said before, the Marcott reconstruction is excellent.

                    Based on what?

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Javier,

            Let’s say we agreed the temperatures during the Hoclocene climactic optimum had an average of x. What do rational scientists think is a “safe temperature”, let’s call it y? And more importantly what is the temperature difference y-x? It seems you think 0.5 C is too low, though possibly I have misunderstood you.

            • Javier says:


              Your question has little sense to me. Safe, to whom? 100% of the population? Temperature is only a factor, precipitations are generally more important to people, and the response of precipitations to temperature changes are regional. Some parts of the world win and others lose whatever the change. And then the latitudinal difference in temperature. During the Holocene we have not only had a general cooling, we have also had a huge change in latitudinal distribution of temperatures due to changes in insolation, while part of the present warming is general because it is due to an increase in well mixed CO2. So we are not going the Holocene in reverse as some people believe.

              There is general agreement that a modest further increase in temperatures will probably be beneficial to us. Nobody really knows when the negatives will start to outweigh the positives or when it will become “unsafe”.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Javier,

                What does “modest” mean and how does that relate to the Holocene Climactic Optimum(HCE)? Let’s say we could agree the HCE was x above Holocene average from 11,000 BP to 200 BP. Let us also say y is a “modest amount” above x that is not detrimental to more than 80% of global human population, what would your estimate be for y in degrees Celsius?

                As an “expert” in biology your guess is likely to be better than mine.

                • Javier says:

                  My personal opinion is of no consequence in this matter, since I am not an expert. However I don’t think anybody can defend based on evidence that one extra degree from where we are now is going to be dangerous. Since 1950 the planet has warmed 0.6°C so on average 0.1°/decade. Over the next 100 years we are likely to effectively run out of fossil fuels. Moreover, since the effect of CO2 is logarithmic, the warming is front loaded. A constant rate of increase in CO2 would have a decreasing rate of warming. This is a non issue.

                  • Yes, this is why I begged Dennis to extend the BEST anomaly vs the log of co2 graph to 650 ppm. I believe Denis agrees we are peaking below 650. Thus we can use a very simple plot to see what is coming down (feedbacks excluded, of course).

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Fernando,

                    If my medium scenario is correct we will peak at about 516 ppm CO2, at 650 ppm (I haven’t created such a scenario) the warming would be about 2.7 C above 1882 temperatures and about 2.35C above 1969 temperatures before feedbacks are included (as the ocean warms global temperatures would continue to rise to 3 C above 1969 temperatures).

                • I think we will be fine at 1.2 degrees above today’s temperature. A lot of the damage attributed to global warming comes from expansion of the tropical disease range. But medical science should offset that problem. When it’s accounted for, the “damage function” shifts by 0.5 degrees C.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    I think we will be fine at 1.2 degrees above today’s temperature.

                    Fernando, not all opinions are equally valid. When you express an opinion about something related to Petroleum Engineering,
                    I accept it as an expert opinion and I give a high value!

                    When you say you THINK we will be just fine at 1.2 above current temps, I just roll my eyes and
                    shake my head and think Dunning-Kruger!

                    There is no reason whatsoever to think you are close to being correct. If anything the evidence from multiple fields of inquiry by experts much more qualified than yourself disagree strongly!

                    I’m sorry Fernando, but I don’t care how good an engineer you are. But there are many things where your opinion doesn’t count for much, this is definitely one of them!

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Fernando,

                    The temperature might be 2 C above today’s level based on Steve Mohr’s high case (case 3), which is similar (for oil) to McBride’s low case. If we use ln(CO2) and BEST land data from 1785 to 2014 and shock models corresponding to 1500 Gt of carbon emissions from 1750 to 2112 (includes land use change, natural gas flaring, cement production, and fossil fuel use estimates), we get the following scenario for land temperatures (3 C above the 1951-1980 mean temperature by 2112).

                  • Glenn Stehle says:


                    Do you ever make arguments which do not entail rhetological fallacies?

                  • Glenn Stehle says:

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    “But medical science should offset that problem.” ~ Fernando Leanme

                    “Using evidence from epidemiology, anthropology, and archaeology, Cohen provides fascinating evidence about the actual effects of civilization on health, suggesting that some aspects of civilization create as many health problems as they prevent or cure.” ~ book description for ‘Health and the Rise of Civilization’, by Mark Nathan Cohen

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    Glen, your posts are mildly amusing. Sort of the equivalent of a frustrated little school boy sticking his tongue out and going nana nana nah!
                    You are an obfuscator with nothing substantive to offer. Recess is over, the bell just rang better get back to Glen, becsuse you still have so much to learn.

    • Glenn Stehle says:

      Since Team Green is losing so badly in the courtroom of public opinion, time has come to call out the thought police.

      “Long live Leviathan!” the cry grows louder and louder from the advocates of environmentalism.

      …to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency, is a dangerous fallacy.., because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment, and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own….

      …truth is great and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human intervention disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.


      • John S says:

        The Brown Shirts are here! First they come for the AGW deniers. Watch what you say.

        • Glenn Stehle says:

          Well I’m not an “AGW denier.” I’m agnostic, skeptical, which I suppose for Team Green is even worse than being an avowed AGW denier from Team Carbon. No room for any shades of grey here. “You’re either with us or against us!”

          What really rubs me the wrong way about most of the environmentalism advocates, however, is their hypocrisy.

          If they envision a hyper-conservative, Platonic-Hobbesian world with its eltist, top-down rule, then why in the hell don’t they just come out of the closet and say so? But no, they prentend to be liberal democrats.

          The only environmentalists I know of who have been honest in this regard, and suggested that it might be best to ditch liberal democracy in favor of a politics of authoritarian, top-down rule, are Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway.

          Here’s how Oreskes put it in a recent interview:

          But we also wanted to bring out this ironic point that if things really start to go bad, it’s going to be the authoritarian countries that are more in a position to take control of the economy and relocate people, deal with food shortages and food riots….

          China has actually made massive investments in solar energy, in fourth-generation nuclear power. There’s a lot of talk in China about a carbon tax, so China’s this complicated country where both good and bad things are happening at the same time. So in the optimistic scenario, the good side of what’s happening in China, the carbon tax, the mass investment in solar power—those would be the places that prevail… We simply speculate that the authoritarian aspects of Chinese culture become resurgent again and those aspects then come to the fore as China remobilizes and moves hundreds of millions of people to higher, safer ground.

          • Stephen Hren says:

            The issue of whether climate science is completely settled or not is a red herring. 97% of scientists agree that anthropogenic climate disruption is occurring. Does that make it settled? I guess not… Javier’s graph above is, I believe, air temperature and does not include ocean warming. Water has much more thermal mass than air. The oceans have also been absorbing tremendous amounts of CO2, leading to acidification.

            When do you act? Do you have to be a hundred percent certain before you do something? What if you were crossing the street, holding your child’s hand, and what appears to be a speeding dump truck is hurling towards you with no intention of stopping. Do you wait until you’re 100% certain it won’t stop before you pick up your child and run out of the way? Or do you continue to saunter along, looking, thinking, pondering, ruminating, cogitating, debating…hmm, is it REALLY going to plow into us and obliterate us? I’m only 97% sure…I think I’ll wait a bit! At least until I’m 99% sure. Then I’ll get out of the way.

            From NASA on the 97% number:

            • Javier says:

              Well Stephen,

              You can count me in that 97% that agrees that anthropogenic climate disruption is occurring, I also think so. I just believe that nature is doing most of the heavy lifting and that global warming is not dangerous. So there goes an artificial consensus that you get when you don’t ask the right questions.

              That figure compares global mean surface air temperature (GMST) at 2 m. It is the model equivalent to surface temperatures, and it is compared to the mean of 4 surface temperature datasets, HadCRUT4, ERA-Interim, GISTEMP, and NOAA.
              Fig. 11.25 pg. 1011

              The truck example is silly. On one hand we have ample evidence that global warming has been on average very beneficial to humankind for the past 300 years, and that despite CO2 near exponential increase, the rate of warming is not increasing, and on the other hand we have a series of measures that are going to be imposed on an unwilling population that will increase the cost of energy and pose a serious real risk to the poor of the world, without much chance of making a dent in global warming. The truck is coming your direction, mate.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Javier,

                Setting aside climate change for the moment. Doesn’t it seem that we need to do something about energy, even if climate change is not an issue as some people believe.

                Energy is going to become more expensive and we will need to find something as an alternative, wouldn’t it make sense at least for more developed nations to begin this transition and find ways to reduce costs as these alternatives ramp up and solve any grid stability problems?

                After that, less developed nations get on board when the costs are similar to fossil fuels (which at some point will be rising as they become more difficult to produce).

                If you think that climate change is no problem, but that peak fossil fuels is a problem, it doesn’t change the policy that much in my view.

                An interesting topic might be how things change when you do or do not think climate change may be a future problem.

                I think we would agree that reducing population growth would be a positive change. I imagine we might agree that energy efficiency would be something worth addressing. Aside from that rapid implementation of whatever is the lowest cost (including externalities) non-fossil fuel energy sources seems prudent.

                Your thoughts?

                • Javier says:


                  We may agree on many policies regarding energy to face the impending crisis, even though I think it is not going to make much difference. Whether we want it or not fossil fuels are going to be phased out. And soon.

                  We are not going to agree in deceiving and scaring the world population only because we think that we know better than them and we fool ourselves into thinking that it is for their own good when it is not.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    HI Javier

                    As to who is deceiving depends on who is correct.

                    I agree some projections are bad such as the rcp8.5 scenario.

                    I doubt co2 will rise above 520 ppm. The uncertainty is reason for concern.

              • Nick G says:

                we have a series of measures that are going to be imposed on an unwilling population that will increase the cost of energy and pose a serious real risk to the poor of the world

                That’s not correct.

                Fossil fuel is more expensive, riskier, and more polluting than the alternatives. That’s without taking climate change into account. Climate change just makes the case even stronger.

                • Javier says:

                  Maybe fossil fuels are more expensive, but you clearly are not up to date with their pricing. They are quite affordable right now.

                  In stark contrast the investment in renewables by European countries is proportional to the increase in electricity prices they have produced. And don’t get me wrong. I am all in favor of renewable energy.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Javier,

                    If we ignore external costs, fossil fuels are definitely less expensive (and these costs are not well agreed on). Let’s say external costs of fossil fuels are zero (I don’t believe this).

                    I agree that at present under the assumption above, that fossil fuels are relatively cheap at present. Do you believe that this will remain the case over the next 20-30 years? I think that proposition is unlikely, at some point (unsure when but probably by 2025) fossil fuel prices will rise as fossil fuel resources deplete.

                    Does that seem unreasonable?

                  • Javier says:

                    It sounds reasonable, Dennis.

                    Whether it comes to happen or not, who knows. You have simplified the problem so only changes in supply affect the outcome. You are failing to take into account the known unknowns and the unknowns.

                    One of the thinks that are likely to change as oil depletion settles in is that the oil market will have to be changed or substituted. There might not even be a global price for oil by 2025.

                  • Nick G says:

                    not up to date with their pricing. They are quite affordable right now.

                    I’m mostly thinking about coal: I have the impression that coal is still not cheap in Europe. And, of course, what’s the cost of dependence on Russian gas imports?

                    Chinese and Indian coal plants are pretty cheap if they have no pollution controls (for sulfur, particulates, mercury, NOC, etc, ) but they get much more expensive with the proper scrubbers: more expensive than wind power.

                    In stark contrast the investment in renewables by European countries is proportional to the increase in electricity prices they have produced.

                    Have you subtracted taxes, and the legacy costs of the one-time investment in ramping up wind and solar?

                    And don’t get me wrong. I am all in favor of renewable energy.

                    That’s great. ummm…why are we arguing, then? If we all agree that it makes sense to transition away from FF with all due speed, then we’ve pretty much agreed with the policies being advocated to deal with Climate Change. Yes?

                  • Javier says:

                    Nick G,

                    I have already said that I do not agree on deceiving and scaring the world population to have them accept measures that they would reject otherwise.

                    Is that the type of government you want?

                    I wonder why so many people have a problem with moral integrity and ethical principles that they are willing to sell them in the name of a chimera named Climate Control.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    HI Javier

                    The point is that energy will be needed and there will be less fossil fuel available.

                    Perhaps on that point you might agree?

                  • Javier says:

                    “The point is that energy will be needed and there will be less fossil fuel available.”

                    Yes Dennis, we agree on that.

                  • Nick G says:

                    I do not agree on deceiving and scaring the world population to have them accept measures that they would reject otherwise.

                    We don’t agree quite yet on whether scare tactics are being used.

                    And, we don’t agree that the world population wouldn’t accept a transition away from FF, even if they were fully informed.

                    After all, you feel that you’re fully informed, and you support a transition away from FF.


                  • Javier says:

                    I understand the need to sacrifice because I am fully aware of what awaits us. Most people are unable to accept something bad that contradicts their daily experience.

                    Readers at my blog say they go to a gas station and prices are lower than in a very long time and there is plenty of gas for anybody that shows up. They don’t perceive any problem. They read what I say and contrast it with their daily experience and end up concluding that I make for an interesting read but I am probably wrong. After all you cannot read about this in the newspapers and it is not mentioned on TV, and politicians don’t dedicate a second to it. So it must be a non issue unlike climate change. They get two of two wrong, as usual.

                  • Nick G says:

                    I understand the need to sacrifice because I am fully aware of what awaits us.

                    You should be very careful to be sure about this “sacrifice” meme, because it’s such a hard sell.

                    In fact, sacrifice is not necessary, at least for most folks (outside the FF industries). Much tighter efficiency standards for vehicles would save drivers money, in the long run. Cleaner energy would save many lives from asthma, COPD, cancer, etc. Domestic EVs and renewable energy would save the lives, limbs and psyches of many soldiers.

                    Most people are unable to accept something bad that contradicts their daily experience.

                    People understand pollution. They understand oil wars. I’ll grant you that it’s very hard to convince someone who’s been listening to Rupert Murdoch…

              • Stephen Hren says:

                Javier, apparently you and I live on different planets. Here on earth a twenty meter sea level rise will wipe out the dwellings of 1/3rd of the human population (to say nothing of the effect on the non-human population). Stopping this from occurring is what I mean by the runaway dump truck analogy. If you see this as a good thing, then I guess that’s your own prerogative.

                Peak oil, global climate disruption, and energy dependence on terrorist states like Saudi Arabia all work in concert for the move to a sustainable energy revolution. It’s sweet of you that you’re worried about the poor, but if I had to guess you’re a lot more worried about the profits of the fossil fuel industry. This is a democracy, and if we decide these are good enough reasons to move away from fossil fuels, then you will just have to suck it.

                • Javier says:

                  Stephen you are right,

                  You live in planet fantasy. In my planet sea level rise is 1.5-3 mm/year as it has been since before we started putting so much CO2 in the atmosphere. So to stop any chance of sea level rising by 20 meters in the foreseeable future all we have to do is to sit down and enjoy a beer.

                  I don’t give a shit about the profits of the fossil fuel industry. There’s no even fossil fuel industry in my country. One of the countries with less fossil fuel reserves and more renewable energy in the world.

                  I have no economic interest at all in the fossil fuel industry, and I believe that we have to build a future with very little fossil fuels. But that has nothing to do with Climate Change scaremongering being baseless.

                • TechGuy says:

                  Stephen Hren Wrote:

                  “Here on earth a twenty meter sea level rise will wipe out the dwellings of 1/3rd of the human population (to say nothing of the effect on the non-human population). Stopping this from occurring is what I mean by the runaway dump truck analogy.”

                  1. Unlikely to happen in a the short term, but very likely to happen in the long term (thousands of years). Had civilization never existed the Earth would have warmed anyway. PS. I always thought its crazy to build a beach house, live in a hurricane zone, or on a major fault line. Will people lost properly and their lives: Yup. That is for certain.

                  2. Well before 1/3 of the population is evicted from coastal regions from rising seas, there will almost certainly be another World War, likely culling 90% of the global population. You’re worrying about an event that is in the distant future and ignoring a global war is likely in the next ten to twenty years. It use to be that it would take a few years to months before the Middle east took a turn for the worst. Now there isn’t a week that goes by without an “event” in the Middle East. It may not be too long before ME finally goes full berserk. Once this proxy war in Syria fails, its going to expand into a major war, when one side loses a war that cannot be lost.

                  3. This year Oil production will reach its permanent peak. Conventional Oil peaked in 2005, and debt and unconvential oil enabled the party to continue about another decade. As Energy become expensive and credit vanishes, Humans will be forced to burn far less fossil fuels. PO will curb emission far more greater than any gov’t regulations & treaties will ever do.

                  First to go will be the Credit market (Already in progress) , and borrowers will have a very difficult time continue to party. This is making commodities and energy become too expensive. We will see mines, factories and businesses close. People will loose their jobs further causing demand for commodities to fall. Perhaps the Worlds Central banks will manage to pull the rabbit out of the hat one last time, but sooner or later they’ll run out of tricks.

                  If you want to worry about something, I recommend you worry about job, or if your retired, then worry about your pension and entitlements. If you have kids/grandkids worry about the surviving the next global war. If you own a beach house, well that’s a plain dumb decision.

              • superkaos says:

                What about energy going to phase transitions, like melting ice? that would not show up as an increase of temperature, right? At least my iced drink stays at 0 C until all ice is gone. Cheers!

                • Javier says:

                  That is counted in the energy budget, as well as the energy going into water evaporation at surface that gets released at high altitude through cloud condensation. The second one is much bigger than the first.

                  The ice melting energy decrease as ice amount reduces is also counted towards temperature predictions, and that introduces another fudge factor that is probably wrong, as the greenhouse effect works in reverse in Antarctica and it is gaining ice.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Chart for Marcott et al 2013, Northern Hemisphere 30N to 90N, last data point is 1850 AD (100 BP), temperature falls by about 1 C from 700 BP to 100 BP, agreeing with many earlier studies focusing on the Northern hemisphere.

                • Javier says:


                  According to Marcott et al., LIA drop between 800 and 100 BP is -1.25°C for 30N to 90N

                  What do you think have to be the drop for 30S to 30N and for 30S to 90S to give an average of -0.25°C for global drop?

                  It is completely inconsistent even internally. What a lousy work with temperatures.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Javier,

                    I have posted a chart up thread showing how the other areas evolved, basically 30S to 30N was relatively flat, and 30S to 90 S rose towards the end. I will post it gain here.

                  • Javier says:

                    OK, Dennis

                    So now explain to me how come at 350 BP, -0.2, -0.4, and -0.4 give an average of -0.25?

                    At equal weight it comes at -0.33 to me, a 25% deviation. And I don’t know how you can justify giving a 90% weight to 30-90S.

                    As I said, it lacks internal consistency. Very bad symptom.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Javier,

                    The estimate for 350 BP for the globe is -0.29C, for 30-90N -0.35C, for 30S-30N -0.31C and for 30-90S -0.23C, the average of the 30-90N and 30-90S is -0.29C. Not sure of the differences in area and there may be some rounding error, not worth quibbling over 0.01 C in my view.

              • I don’t think it’s silly at all. It’s a great analogy, actually. There are many more. How about medical science. I doubt very much that you would take this approach if your life depended on getting the right treatment. Of course, you would choose the treatment developed and approved by a clear majority of researchers and doctors, not a small minority. Next time you, or someone you know has fallen ill, your logic would suggest that they deny all treatment unless it is 100% proven and certified.

                Our natural world, a living breathing planet, is the patient. Climate scientists are the doctors. I’m going with the majority in the field, thank you.

          • Nick G says:

            ” I’m agnostic, skeptical, which I suppose for Team Green is even worse than being an avowed AGW denier from Team Carbon.

            It’s not worse, it’s just a little annoying. It’s very similar to the Creationist tactic of “teach the controversy”.

            There really is no controversy about evolution in the scientific world. Do you agree??

          • Nick G says:

            If they envision a hyper-conservative, Platonic-Hobbesian world with its eltist, top-down rule, then why in the hell don’t they just come out of the closet and say so?

            Because, most don’t. It’s as simple as that.

            The idea that environmentalists are authoritarian communists is simply misinformation from the Koch playbook.

          • Glenn, what’s really funky is to see “Scientific” American publishing Oreskes et al at least once per issue. I kept my subscription to that thing just to track enemy moves.

            • Glenn Stehle says:


              I’m not necessarily opposed to conservatism.

              It has its beauty marks, as well as its warts.

              But the hypocrisy that emanantes from the environmentalists often becomes overwhelming.

              • Nick G says:

                the environmentalists

                If you think in those terms, you’ll think that it’s one big group, all working from the same playbook. That’s “us vs them” thinking, and it will lead you astray.

                If you realize that you can’t lump people together that way, then you’ll realize it makes no sense to say ” X’s actions don’t agree with Y’s statements, and that’s hypocrisy”. They’re different people…

      • Nick G says:



        If you look at the polls, you see several things.

        First, most people do indeed agree that Climate Change is happening, and that it’s at least somewhat important.

        2nd, those who disagree are also those who belong to “team republican”, and who are likely to be listening to misinformation on Fox News and talk radio.

        3rd, they mostly live in the US. Around the world, there’s a pretty clear consensus about climate change. To suggest otherwise is pretty US-centric.

      • wharf rat says:

        Team Green just put the starters back in; Curry assist to Draymond Green for a buzzer-beater. The win streak survives.

        COP21 update – highlights of the final draft agreement

        In case you missed the live streaming of the final draft COP21 agreement, here are some of the key points. These are taken from the stirring speeches from the COP21 President H.E. Mr. Laurent Fabius, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and the President of France François Hollande.

        Some highlights from the final draft agreement
        Some of the main elements of the final draft agreement are:
        Keep well below 2C, and aim for no more than 1.5C
        Legally binding – a universal legal agreement
        Differentiated, depending on the circumstances and capacity of each nation
        Updated / stocktake every five years
        Includes an increased role for adaptation to climate change
        Cooperation on loss and damage – $1 billion a year at the base level to be be reviewed by 2025 (I think)
        Caters for: island states re sea level, Africa re development, South America re forest protection
        Also addressing food security, public health, poverty and peace.

        What was said
        To give a flavour of how the three speakers urged the world to come to an agreement (not word for word precisely – some via translation and hindered by my note-taking)

        COP21 President H.E. Mr. Laurent Fabius
        Although not everyone will have got everything they wanted, we need to show the world that the whole is worth more than the sum of individual contributions.
        The best possible balance
        Powerful yet delicate
        (If we do not come to agreement) our children would not understand or forgive us.
        Leave no doubt on the sincerity of our commitment.
        Quoting Nelson Mandela “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” and “Success is built collectively.”
        The world is holding its breath – it counts on all of us.

        UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

        Promises to set the world on a new path to climate resilience
        The end is in sight
        Nature is sending urgent signals
        We must protect the planet that sustains us
        This is an immense opportunity of a clean energy, climate-resistant future
        Rise as one to the climate challenge
        Ours for the grasping.

        President of France François Hollande
        We have to take that last step [on reaching this agreement]
        [This agreement is] ambitious but also realistic.
        A choice for your country, your continent, but also for the world.
        What brings everyone together is the planet itself
        Unprecedented in climate negotiations

        What next?
        The plan is for the meeting to reconvene at around 3:45 pm Paris time, after delegates have looked at the final draft, which is currently being translated.

    • Peter says:


      Back in 2009 most commentators on the Oildrum were absolutely sure peak oil had happened in 2008. Anyone who tried to demonstrate that this was unlikely were treated with the sort of contempt you are now demonstrating. Has it not occurred to you, that most scientists agree with global warming because if they don’t they receive the sort of treatment that you obviously wish here.

      Hardly any wonder, scientists all agree.

      People like you destroy reasoned debate and you think you are an academic, someone who parades themselves as intellectual but destroys anyone who disagrees with them. The worst sort of fascist.

      • Jef says:

        Peter – Reasoned debate? So you accept that abiotic oil replenishing oil fields as reasonable debate and should be encouraged so as not be perceived as fascist.

        How about Chemtrails, Flat earth, man never went to the moon, illuminati, etc?

        Which ones are ok to destroy and which should we encourage? AGW deniers are in the very same category as the above. There are no two sides to the debate. We can argue when and how much just as we do peak oil but not whether or not it exist.

        By the way peak was in 2008. Thats when it all blew up, Farm inputs went up 10 fold, diesel, the real life blood of consumer capitalism, went up 5 times, even bunker fuel went up, and now everyone is arguing about the technicals of the thing or choosing to only focus on the biggest symptom of peak, finance/banking as if thats where it all blew up.

        • Peter says:


          Have you any idea how childish your response is? You just demonstrate your lack of ability to argue on any level that dignifies the human intellect.
          Your contempt for other people’s views and ideas are no different to the communists in Russia. Those who had different view points lost their jobs and could not feed their families.

          2008 C&C 74 million barrels per day, 2015 C&C now it’s 80 million barrels per day.
          Perhaps you have a problem admitting you were wrong?

          • Jef says:

            So rather than answer me you defend all of the stupid viewpoints I listed by saying”Your contempt for other people’s views and ideas are no different to the communists in Russia.” Talk about childish.

            Perhaps you have a problem admitting what peak oil is?

            2008 the global economy collapsed. Banking/finance has been throwing money at it ever since but the economy will never thrive again. The biggest clue that you and others can’t seem to get through their heads is the fact that half the economist are saying cheap oil is what the economy needs to rebuild, transition, grow, etc. The other half is saying once the price of oil goes back up then everything will start getting better, and many are saying both depending on the time of day.
            No there is not a Goldilocks ideal that will support the worlds economies juuuust right.

            I have read the reports of what it would take to build out “renewables” and unless all Countries cut FF consumption radically and use them on the “transition” specifically it is not doable, and even if we try it would generate huge demand growth forcing oil back well over $100 and collapse will happen all over.

            Of course many on this forum will simply wave their hand dismissively and make all these obstacles go away just like denying AGW makes it go away.

            • Nick G says:


              Jef, you’re not helping your argument. There’s a pretty strong consensus in the scientific community about Climate Change. On the other hand…mainstream economists don’t agree with what you’ve written above about PO.

            • Peter says:

              Can someone explain to Jef exactly what Peak Oil is.
              He obviously thinks it happened in 2008 when oil Crude and condensate production were 5,000,000 barrels per day LESS than they are today.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Peter,

                I thought we would remain on a plateau at 2008 levels and then decline (back in 2008), I was definitely wrong.

                Do you believe that the output of crude plus condensate will rise forever? If not then you agree there will be a peak, the only question is when it may be and how fast output will decline after it occurs (or if you think there will be a plateau, how long that lasts and what decline looks like after that.)

                If you believe there will never be a peak, there is no point in continuing the conversation. I don’t believe in magic.

                • Peter says:

                  Hi Dennis

                  I already told you my estimate on a peak oil date

                  Which I believe you said was a reasonable estimate.
                  In case I was not clear, I have held the position that it will be between 2016 and 2022. Depending very much on political and economic events.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Sorry Peter I forgot I agree that estimate is reasonable.

                    Other fossil fuels will also peak by 2030 so even if climate change is not a problem the solution to peak fossil fuels and ACC is similar.

                  • Peter, you wrote back there:

                    Peak Oil 2015?

                    If 2015 is the peak Oil year, then it is the $45 per barrel peak.
                    This should give people pause for thought. How on earth can we really be at peak oil, with prices this low. We cannot.

                    Peter, the oil that produced the peak was $100 plus oil. $100 oil produced all the leasing and the drilling and the borrowing and everything that caused oil production to spike. The $45 oil, below $36 today, was the result of the spike that $100 oil brought.

                    You are right, $45 oil cannot produce the peak. But $100 oil sure as hell can, and very likely did!

                  • Javier says:

                    It stands to reason that Peak Oil is more likely to take place with low oil prices or flat prices, as high oil prices or increasing oil prices stimulate oil production.

              • Jef says:

                Nick said; “mainstream economists don’t agree with what you’ve written above about PO.” Oh and they should know right? It seems pretty clear by now that they don’t know squat.

                Peter – Peak oil is when the stuff no longer fuels the growth that the Global Economy needs to keep it from collapsing. That is the only definition that matters on this planet. That was the issue being discussed since the very begining of the peak oil debate. Collapse! and collapse is happening just about everywhere one looks. Only by throwing trillions at the world economy is it being held at bay.

                Since then the definition seems to be up for grabs, it has become a pissing contest to see who can figure out how much more can be produced regardless of the consequences to the economy.

                • Nick G says:

                  It seems pretty clear by now that they don’t know squat.

                  If you disagree with the general consensus of the professionals in the field, you have a much higher burden of proof. “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof”.

                  Peak oil is when the stuff no longer fuels the growth that the Global Economy needs to keep it from collapsing.

                  Oil doesn’t fuel growth. It fuels vehicles. Vehicles can run on other things, especially electricity.

                  Think about it: you can get to work just as well with a Prius as an Explorer. A Volt gets you to work even better than a Tahoe.

                  Freight moves as well on a train as it does on a truck.

                  And, Spain would be more affluent, healthier and safer if it dramatically reduced it’s oil imports by moving to rail freight, higher efficiency vehicles and EVs.

                  • Spain has lots of mountains. It makes EVs a bit hard to justify.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Mountains might work best with an extended range EV (e.g., Opel Ampera).

                  • Techsan says:

                    Our Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt work great in the mountains. We have a cabin in Colorado at 8,500 feet (2600 meters), and have driven on electric power in the mountains a lot. We live on top of steep hills in Texas.

                    A Nissan Leaf (stock except for the tires) was entered in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb race in Colorado. Not only did it win its class, it beat some of the gasoline cars.

                  • Most people around here just drive around, they don’t do competitive hill climbing. The EV technology just isn’t competitive, and the vehicles don’t sell. I looked into it, because I’m retired and I have the extra time, but concluded one has to be crazy to buy one.

                  • Bob Nickson says:

                    EV technology ‘just isn’t competitive‘ by what metric of performance?

                    How well does a combustion car compete on the ‘fueled by owner generated power’ front?

                    How about on zero operating emissions?

                    Maintenance requirements?

                    Total cost of ownership?



                    If the range is sufficient for the need, where’s the insanity exactly?

                    People like Wimbi are now driving cars powered by sunlight that they harvest from their own roof tops.

                    Who is ‘crazy’?

                  • Techsan says:

           says the Nissan Leaf has the lowest total cost of ownership of any car. How is that not competitive.

                    EVs drive like a sports car: low center of gravity, good handling, great acceleration. After owning two of them for more than 4 years, I still think they are great cars. Crazy? I would call it smart.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Techsan, you and some others seem to be looking myopically at EV’s and for example throwing out self-referencing statistics or whatever about how good the EV’s are compared with ICE’s.
                    These kinds of stats do little to address broader issues like the effects of cars and their requisite infrastructures on the planet and human communities.

                  • EVs aren’t competitive where I live. Let’s put it this way to see if you get it: they cost too much, they suck, nobody buys them.

                  • Bob Nickson says:

                    Nobody but a million people so far.

                    Not a lot in the big picture of a billion cars, but the growth curve is impressive.

                    image sourced from:

                • Peter says:

                  NO the definition is not up for grabs.


                  You have simply made up your own one.

                  Peak oil is what it says in the tin. A peak in production and a decline afterwards.

                  • Jef says:

                    Nick says oil doesn’t fuel growth. What planet do you live on. This comment of yours says more than anything else about the absolutely oblivious perspective you post from.

                    Peter lays out the definition of peak oil from the perspective of Banking/finance who as we all know are the ultimate source of reality on the ground.

                    Bet cha my definition fits better with facts on the ground.

                  • Nick G says:

                    This comment of yours says more than anything else about the absolutely oblivious perspective you post from.

                    You might want to be more specific. The idea that oil in some supernatural way “powers” the economy is…puzzling.

                    Oil powers vehicles. Vehicles carry people and things. But there are many ways to transport people and things that require much less, or no, oil. You can even decide to move people less, like young people connecting with Facebook instead of cruising in cars.

                    Coal “powered” the economy in the 19th century. Wind, solar, and nuclear will replace it in the 21st.

                  • Inglorious says:

                    Oil could be seen as a bellwether of the global economy. As a resource which is currently used by most (all?) industries across the world.

                    Peak oil is often associated with a following collapse – hence if the crash has occurred ergo peak oil has occurred.

                    Obviously collapse and peak oil are two seperate events with the potential for cross over. Peak oil will and always will be the point at which oil production peaks – how society manages it is just a side debate.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Someone getting fired from their job doesn’t necessarily mean they got fired for a particular belief they might have had and expressed on the job. IOW, correlation is not necessarily causation.

      • Peter, the headline of your first article:
        Back To The Dark Ages: Update: Top French Meteorologist Who Questioned ‘Global Warming’ Fired”

        Of course that is a denier web site so there is reason to doubt the accuracy of that statement. However… I have heard of college science professors getting fired because they denied evolution. That is, they were creationists. I would argue that their firing was justified. Denying something so obvious, with mountains of evidence against them, has its consequences. One could make the same argument here.

        • Clueless says:

          WOW! Ron would fire anyone who disagrees with HIM.

          • Nick G says:

            Well, Ron implied he might think about it. In other words, he suggested that there might be situations in which it would be appropriate to fire a professional who disagreed with the scientific consensus. Which is certainly true.

            Would you fire a public health inspector who didn’t believe in the germ theory?

          • Clueless, what a damn ignorant thing to say. I implied no such thing. Is it your reading comprehension that is screwed up or do you simply have trouble with the thought process?

            • Peter says:

              You just said firing them was justified. In other words destroying someone’s livelihood because they do not agree with the majority is a good thing.
              That is pure evil.
              Science is about debate, proposals of different theories regarding causes.

              Most people are utterly ignorant about historical CO2 levels.
              Current levels are very low in historical terms, when CO2 levels were increasing during the Jurassic period temperatures actually fell. When CO2 levels fell dramatically during the start of the cretaceous period temperatures increased for several million years.
              Can you explain that in scientific terms adding data, or will you just palm us off with some conjecture?

              • oldfarmermac says:


                You are missing the point, entirely. Sometimes it is perfectly obvious that a given person is utterly incompetent to fill a given position.

                Would you want a flat earther teaching science to your children ?

                On the other hand, a flat earther might be an excellent reading teacher, or basketball coach.

              • You just said firing them was justified. In other words destroying someone’s livelihood because they do not agree with the majority is a good thing.
                That is pure evil.

                Peter, get real for a change. Firing a science teacher because he/she does not believe in science is justified. Just a few years ago a lot of high school science teachers, and I mean biology teachers, did not believe in evolution. And because the majority of the population were young earth creationists, we allowed that to continue. But today that sort of thing only happens in rural backwoods schools and in private religious schools all over the country.

                Question: Do you think getting rid of those creationists as biology teachers in schools and universities was pure evil?

                Science is science Peter. And if your job deals in science but your ideology does not allow you to believe in science then your ass should be fired.

                • Peter says:

                  Are you going to give a reasoned argument to why CO2 levels fell which led to an increase in temperature.
                  The exact opposite of what you believe.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Peter,

                The CO2 levels from millions of years ago are highly uncertain, the positions of the continents was very different and the solar output was 10% lower, during much of the early history of the earth most life was not on land. No doubt humans would not have fared well.

                Best to stick with understanding what has happened for the last 800,000 years where we have better data.



                • Peter says:

                  Hi Dennis

                  If they are highly uncertain how do you know that an increase will lead to warming?

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Only uncertain millions of years ago

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Peter,

                    There is also physics that explains why higher CO2 tends to result in warming. The atmospheric CO2 for the past 800,000 years is well estimated and the changes in global temperatures cannot be explained without the effect of warming and cooling due to changes in carbon dioxide levels. The Milankovitch theory by itself does not explain the extent of changes in temperature, the changes in Northern hemispheric insolation initiate small changes in temperature which lead to more carbon dioxide emissions from the ocean as it warms and sets up a positive feedback which leads to larger changes in temperature. I will say it again no climate scientist thinks there is not natural variation, changes in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are part of these natural changes which have been between 180 ppm and 280 ppm for most of the last 800,000 years. Prior to 800,000 years ago the estimates of carbon dioxide levels in the earth’s atmosphere are much less certain.

            • Clueless says:

              Ron said: “I have heard of college science professors getting fired because they denied evolution.” “I would argue that their firing was justified. ”
              This followed by: “I implied no such thing ” with regard to my statement that Ron would fire someone for disagreeing with him.

              My reading comprehension may be screwed up, but I think that you denying that you ever “implied” that you would fire someone for disagreeing with you is a stretch, much like a politician would claim.
              For example: If I said: “The jury gave the Boston Bomber the death penalty. And I would argue that death penalty was justified.” Then, I believe that I would be “implying” that if I were on the jury, I would have also voted for the death penalty.

              • but I think that you denying that you ever “implied” that you would fire someone for disagreeing with you is a stretch,

                Goddammit Clueless, you truly amaze me. A college firing a biology teacher because he was teaching creationism and not science is not the same thing as me firing someone because they disagreed with me?

                Are you serious when serious when you imply they are the same thing? Good God Clueless, you have a very serious problem.

                • TechGuy says:

                  Ron Wrote:
                  ” A college firing a biology teacher because he was teaching creationism and not science”

                  Teaching biology and believing in creationism is not necessary a cause to be fired. As long teacher is teaching the science of biology and doing it well, their personal beliefs should not matter. Point: I had a biology teacher in high school that was devoted Catholic, but his religious views did not interfere with the material: Cellular biology, organs, etc. None of it had anything to do with creationism. Same applies Math, Physics and so on. I suspect that at least half of all scientists follow a religion to some degree. Probably the most important scientist of all time (In my opinion) was deeply religious: Isaac Newton.

                  FWIW: I am an atheist, but given the choice of a very skilled surgeon that is deeply religious and a not so skilled atheist surgeon, I would go with the more skilled surgeon regardless of their beliefs. Common sense and logic always come first over ideology.

                  Becoming too devoted to any idea, whether its politics, economics, or even scientific theories can become its own form of religion.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    I like your comments, TechGuy. May I give you a hug? Just a virtual one. Here:

                    {TechGuy} ^u^

                  • TechGuy did you even bother to think about your argument? Did you really think about it for up to two seconds? And if you did but still did not see the fallacy in your argument, then you have a really serious problem.

                    I Wrote:
                    “A college firing a biology teacher because he was teaching creationism and not science”…

                    And you replied:

                    Teaching biology and believing in creationism is not necessary a cause to be fired. As long teacher is teaching the science of biology and doing it well, their personal beliefs should not matter.

                    TechGuy, my argument was firing for teaching creationism. The argument you refuted was teaching science while believing in creationism.

                    Straw Man
                    A straw man is a common form of argument and is an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent’s argument, while actually refuting an argument which was not advanced by that opponent.

                  • Javier says:

                    Ron, I agree with you that any science teacher teaching anti-science should be given the chance to correct and if ignored, should be fired.

                    But it is not the case for doubting the “dangerous anthropogenic global warming” hypothesis. Despite bogus 97% consensus propaganda, there are lots and lots of scientists that are not convinced by evidence and are publishing first rate science that contradicts the hypothesis (I have brought up dozens of references to your blog). This is a case of a dominant hypothesis getting out of hand due to political divisiveness and getting institutional support to silence the opposition. We already saw that with Galileo.

                    Lennart Bengtsson, former director of the Max Planck Institute of Meteorology, winner of the Descartes Prize and a WMO prize for groundbreaking research put it succinctly after agreeing to participate in a group headed by Nigel Lawson, member of the House of Lords and former Chancellor of the Exchequer:

                    “I have been put under such an enormous group pressure in recent days from all over the world that has become virtually unbearable to me. If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety. I see therefore no other way out therefore than resigning from GWPF [The Global Warming Policy Foundation]. I had not expecting such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life. Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc. I see no limit and end to what will happen. It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy. I would never have expecting anything similar in such
                    an original peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been transformed in recent years.”


                    Anybody that thinks that scientific research is conducted in a normal manner on climate science is sorely wrong.

                  • TechGuy says:

                    Hi Ron,

                    My earlier post was not argument! It was intended clarify a position that people should not be fired or ignored, simply based upon their ideology, which I suspected you would agree with. Please don’t assume my comments on your statements is intended to be combative, abrasive, or as an argument. I was not expecting you to assume a defensive stance. Perhaps I will add /non-argument tag for future posts.

                    I suspect your grouping me in with some of your other posters that puts you on the need to be defensive, when I comment on something you write.

                    Hopefully nothing above comes across in this post, that makes you feel the need to go on defensive. I have zero intention of trying to be combative with you. If I ever posting something that comes across as combative, assume that I miserably failed to present my thoughts on the topic. FWIW: if I disagree with a statement, I will likely start with “I disagree, or Nope” or something that makes it abundantly clear.


                  • TechGuy, what you intended and what you presented, in this case then, was two different things. It looked for all the world that you quoted my point then quoted your counterpoint.

                    You could have said something to the effect: “Of course this is true however….” But you did not do that. Your post was in the format of “Point – Counterpoint”. And I was not being defensive, I was only responding to what, quite obviously, looked like your counterpoint.

                    And no one had ever questioned one’s right to believe whatever they desire so….

                  • Synapsid says:

                    Wikipedia has an article on the Global Warming Policy Foundation that Javier mentions below.

              • Jimmy says:

                Clueless: troll alert

        • Javier says:


          That French meteorologist questioned the hype and alarmism that has invaded the media regarding climate change. He wrote his book “climate investigation” outside his job, after “June 2014 when Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, summoned the country’s main weather presenters and urged them to mention “climate chaos” in their forecasts.”

          As an employee of a National TV broadcast channel he cannot be fired for writing a book outside his job, so the courts will have to decide how much tax payer money he is entitled to get as compensation. Obviously the government doesn’t care as it is not their money.

          This all boils down to the discomfort that many meteorologists feel when weather phenomena that is clearly within what can be statistically expected, is used as undeniable (as in if you deny it you get fired) proof of AGW and impending doom to scare the population.

          It is reasonable for them to oppose that hype, because it is a travesty of their profession.

          So we have a situation in which if you distort the truth and exaggerate and promote alarmism through hype you are rewarded, and if you don’t you damage your career. Hardly anything in common with the silly evolution debate in some parts of the US. It is more akin to 1984 and its ministry of information.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            I suspect that most if not all on here get that there will be uncertainties with many things, not the least of which will include anthropogenic climate change (ACC).
            So I guess you’re making your cases for uncertainty and/or devil’s advocating in certain regards, yes? Including with regard to ACC? Good for you. Have a lollipop.

            A potential problem with science in and of itself and coupled with this dystopic system, is that it can be corrupted/distorted and slow to respond, relative to some effect.
            So if we may need to respond quickly, but science can’t respond fast enough to answer some questions in that regard, then it would appear we need to rely on other things, like maybe our intuition and original, or native, understandings about reality and survival, things that have largely been lost. Lost to this dystopia that supports this thing we call science.

            By the way, if you have a Phd, shouldn’t you be in a class, lab or field somewhere, teaching and/or doing research? Are you retired?

            “Science is a systematic enterprise that creates, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.” ~ Wikipedia

            Today we have more soil scientists than at any other time in history

            “If you plot the rise of soil scientists against the loss of soil, you see that the more of them you have, the more soil you lose.

            I remember seeing soldiers returning from the War in 1947. They had these little steel canisters with a snap-off top. When they snapped the tops off, they sprayed DDT all over the room so you never saw any more flies or mosquitoes — or cats. [Laughs] After the war, they started to use those chemicals in agriculture. The gases used by the Nazis were now developed for agriculture. Tanks were made into plows. Part of the reason for the huge surge in artificial fertilizer was that the industry was geared up to produce nitrates for explosives. Then they suddenly discovered you could put it on your crops and get great results.

            London: So the green revolution was a kind of war against the land, in a manner of speaking.

            Mollison: That’s right. Governments still support this kind of agriculture to the tune of about $40 billion each year. None of that goes to supporting alternative systems like organic or soil-creating agriculture. Even China is adopting modern chemical agriculture now.

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              • Javier says:

                For an anarchist, it is curios to see a Machiavellian argument that rests on “the end justifies the means”.

                Are we not capable of building a better world without deceiving and scaring everybody shitless?

                • islandboy says:

                  You know what’s funny? Ever since I became aware of Peak Oil, I have been almost obsessive about the need to get off fossil fuels as a personal, national and global issue. I understand how utterly dependent our civilization is on oil, even in terms of it being an enabling resource, that is, facilitating the extraction and transport of other energy resources, including renewables.

                  I find it disturbing that a sudden change in the trajectory of oil production from growth to decline could lead to very unpleasant consequences but, it seems that the idea of Peak Oil is even harder to sell than global warming. I don’t see anybody advocating a transition to renewables as a strategy to reduce our dependence on oil, out of concern for the security of future supplies. The closest I have heard to anybody saying that is Fatih Birol from the IEA saying “We have to leave oil before oil leaves us” (see this trailer for the Peak Oil documentary, PetroApocalypse Now).

                  I would much rather see the transition to renewables being driven by an awareness of the folly of exponential growth in the consumption of finite (energy) resources but, it seems that that would be such a tough sell for the mathematically challenged masses that, people have made the decision to try and base the transition on a need to mitigate climate change. In the end, I think th reason for the transition is less important than the transition itself and quibbling about global warming is just an unfortunate sideshow.

                  • Nick G says:

                    I agree.

                    I don’t smoke because it creates risks of cancer, heart disease, and it makes your skin and teeth look terrible.

                    Any one of those three would be enough – if you’re sure about one or two of them, why quibble about the 3rd?

                  • Raymond Sloop says:

                    This is a very insightful comment, thanks for sharing, islandboy. I agree with you that climate change is a hoax, but peak oil is not. Despite the recent-over supply of oil, there is every reason to believe that major changes will have to take place within the next 10-20 years or so regarding the way in which humanity consumes oil. Simply put, by that point in time, oil will become too precious to burn for fuel in cars and trucks. This, I believe, is the real reason behind much of the climate change discussion and meetings like the one going on in Paris, and why governments, politicians, and scientists won’t let go of the issue.

                  • I agree with you that climate change is a hoax, but peak oil is not.

                    Raymond, your reply was to Islandboy’s post. Nowhere in his post did he say that climate change is a hoax. Now that may or may not be his opinion, but you should quote the passage where he makes that claim before making such a statement.

                    That being said, climate change is definitely happening. The debate, as I see it, is not whether it is happening or not but whether it is caused by human activity.

                    Okay, okay, lets get down to the nitty gritty. There can be no doubt that the ice caps are melting, or at least the Northern Ice Cap. There can be no doubt that the methane levels of the northern hemisphere is increasing. There can be no doubt that the temperature of the North Polar area is definitely increasing. There can be no doubt that the climate is getting more erratic and unpredictable.

                    Again: The debate, Raymond, is not whether climate change is happening or not but whether or not it is caused by human activity.

                    That being said, it is my firm opinion that anyone who believes climate change is a hoax is just down in the dirt dumb.

                  • islandboy says:

                    Thank you Ron, for pointing out that, “Nowhere in his post did he say that climate change is a hoax.”

                    I was making the point that, while IMO, Peak Oil is a better justification for transitioning away from FF, I don’t hear anybody making the case that peak anything is the reason we should be making the transition. I am just wondering why it is thought that global warming is a more compelling justification? I am convinced of the need to transition ASAP on the basis of Peak Oil alone.

                    Now, to set the record straight, I do believe those who say the planet is warming and I do believe those who claim that greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human activity are the main drivers. I also believe that as a risk management strategy, it would be better to stop testing the theory, just in case the global warming deniers are wrong. That being said, even if the global warming deniers are right, Peak Oil by itself presents a very compelling case for an urgent transition away from FF, to a renewable powered civilization.

                  • Glenn Stehle says:

                    So then global warming is kind of like Santa Clause. The dire consequences may not exist, but if children believe in them, and that they can be avoided by being nice, then that makes the children be nice:

                  • Glenn Stehle says:


                  • Nick G says:


                    No. No one’s saying that.

                    They are asking: “if there are other good reasons to transition away from FF, why are people spending so much energy trying to “debunk” climate change? If they agree with the policies anyway, why argue so much?

                  • Arceus says:

                    Yes, you make an interesting point. I had always assumed the urgency surrounding climate change was a raw political grab for power/cash, but I think you may be on to something. I felt there was always an element to the climate change initiative that sounded false. Now you say you don’t consider it a hoax (and I believe you), but I see it as an obfuscation. Meaning that while there is some gradual warming to the earth, it will take so long to have any impact that it hardly bears the level of concern it is getting now. So what is it? What is the main objective? Perhaps the elites understand that a major societal collapse is likely in the coming years (could be a number of reasons, peak oil just one of them) and the elites in business/politics/military understand they needed an onsite renewable modular energy supply (solar) to replace transmission from the grid.

                  • Nick G says:

                    the elites in business/politics/military understand they needed an onsite renewable modular energy supply (solar) to replace transmission from the grid.

                    That’s it exactly. Except, of course, that this applies to the whole grid, not just small islands of affluence.

                    the urgency surrounding climate change was a raw political grab for power/cash

                    Eliminating fossil fuels could be done pretty easily, and within a free market approach: just raise fuel and utility taxes sharply, calculate those taxes based on carbon emissions, and rebate the revenues back to the people.

                    But, the FF industry won’t let that happen (“No New Taxes!!), because…they know it would be effective.

                    So, it’s the reverse: the urgency surrounding denying climate change is a raw political grab for power/cash.

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  Yes I imagine it might be deer-in-the-headlights terrifying and/or disappointing for some– maybe even you– to realize that your ‘enterprise of science’ may not be able to provide appropriate or adequate responses, such as for when time might be of the essence.

                  Your ‘FUD’ seems to make my point for me.

                  Even so, you’ve already written that you’re a biologist. If that’s true, then how about getting out of the way and letting the climate scientists do their work and speak for their own field of specialization themselves, or at least take yourself through the normal scientific methodological processes/channels and get your own, apparently contrary, contentions properly published and vetted? I mean, if you think they will take you seriously.

                  If you want to speak about scaring people, incidentally, you may risk scaring or at least confusing them hereon in a forum that is not an academic/research institution one, and therefore may contain those not of an academic or research institution and therefore may not be privy to the terms/concepts/etc. you use.

                  As for anarchy, most of us might realize that we are (plural) anarchists if we really think about and look into it. The rest? Well I guess they are of the non-plural-anarchist pseudogovernment (PG) set or, otherwise, perhaps content to be animals in their PG cages/zoos. In Plato’s cave. Parental Guidance advised.

            • Javier says:

              No Caelan,

              I make my case in a crucial weakness in AGW theory. The warming produced by CO2 and the warming observed and measured can be quite different because the second depends on the climate response to the first. Since the warming calculated and the warming observed agree, it has been assumed that all the warming observed is due to CO2 warming. This is just a coincidence. During the 1950-1975 period the connection was not made because the hypothesis (already fully developed) and the observation did not coincide.

              If in the near future the observation continues differing from the predictions, the hypothesis will have to be rejected.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                See my response here.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Javier,

                No there was less evidence about what carbon dioxide levels were in the past, during the 1950-1975 period. In fact without the forcing from green house gases it is difficult to explain the magnitude of temperature changes during recent glacial cycles for the last 800,000 years. The equilibrium climate sensitivity is at least 2 C, possibly as high as 4 with a likely value of 3C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2

        • I hear the guy got hired by the Russians.

    • islandboy says:

      I know this is anecdotal but here we go. In my neck of the woods roaches have a way of coming out from wherever they’ve been hiding and flying around and through open windows but, it seems that there is a fairly narrow temperature range in which they do it. So every year twice a year we have to be on the look out for flying roaches and from memory the time has been late spring, early fall but never as late as now. Well guess what? The roaches were flying last week and they haven’t been flying all summer. Is that a result of weather or climate?

    • Nick G says:


      I understand how you feel. But…

      The best way to respond to misinformation and disinformation is with careful and clear explanations of the reality of the situation. Sometimes you’ll make headway, if you’re clear and patient, and don’t get sidetracked on minor details. You’re not very likely to convince the most committed trolls, but that’s not important.

      The important thing: you’ll educate all of the lurkers who are confused. They’re far more important than the silly person who started in with misinformation.

      Plus, you deny them the chance to make silly arguments about how environmentalists are trying to bring communism and silence their enemies…

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Uh, troll? Silly person? Easy on those snarl words, Nick, Sweets. There may be someone reading.
        Remember our Human Communication, Social Psychology, Conflict Management and Group Dynamics, etc., courses.

        “They’re far more important than the silly person who started in with misinformation.” ~ Nick G

        “…Actuaries don’t study economics.” ~ Nick G

        “Yes, I said that wrong. A little review, and I see that actuaries do take some econ courses.” ~ Nick G

        …But you’re doing ok, such as with your ‘I understand how you feel’, which suggests empathy and sympathy. ^u^

    • ezrydermike says:

      I hear what you are saying Jef and share some of these sentiments. I think Javier is well practiced in climate denialism and his choice of reputable scientists as he himself has posted is just laughable. That being said, I do not think he should be banned. At the very least, he provides examples of the arguments and information that the denialist camp is using.

      “However, there is some utility in debunking them, of course. There are lots of people listening who may not be convinced, so showing how the Bunkum Promoters are peddling what comes out of the south end of a north-facing bull might sway the fence-sitters.”

      • Javier seems to have his head screwed on tight. On the other hand the arguments about what he points out tend to rattle around like loose bolts in the tin man’s head. Some of what he writes can be countered, Denis does a good job. The other stuff is baloney. Bullshit about deniers and calls for censure. blah blah blah.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Thanks Fernando

          On many points Javier and I agree.

          We agree there is natural variability. We also agree that there is ACC. The disagreement is the relative amountso of each. You suggested 50/50, I think that’s a little low, 75 ACC/25 natural seems a better guess for 1880 to 2013.

          • I’m waiting for a lower bid. Anybody willing to bid 2/3 anthropogenic?

            • Javier says:

              Careful Fernando,

              We are playing with the dates here. 75 ACC/25 natural 1880 to 2013 actually means >100% ACC after 1950.

              This is IPCC hard line and outside scientific consensus.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Nope just 74 % of the change in land ocean temp correlates with natural log of co2 from 1880 to 2013. The physics suggests the causality, data confirms with r square of 0.74.

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  Can’t be Dennis, someone somewhere just has to have fudged the data… there must be a bunch of emails somewhere that proves it, I just know it!

                • Try it from 1750 and extrapolate to 600 ppm 👹

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Fernando.

                    We don’t have very good temperature data from 1750, certainly not global data, the decent global data sets go back to 1850.

                    Feel free to grab the data and do the correlation yourself.

                    Remember that volcanic eruptions can have a large effect on Temperature. Tambora in 1815 was particularly large and there is ice core evidence of another large eruption in 1808 or 1809 (possibly in Columbia).

                    For Best land data vs natural log of CO2 from 1880 to 2013 the temperature changes by 3.3 C for a doubling of CO2.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Fernando,

              When I regress the log of mean annual CO2 vs mean annual temperatures (using BEST land-ocean data 1850-2014) the r squared is 83.9%, so my earlier 74% estimate was too low due to seasons. I have done a simple scenario where the CO2 increases exponentially at the 2000-2014 rate of increase until reaching 600 ppm. The TCR is about 2.25 (1901 to 2090). In 1901 T=-0.29C and in 2090 T=1.96C, based on the BEST data.

    • Coolreit says:

      Maybe you should also ban free speech?

      • Anonymous says:

        You could just ignore him. I tried reading one of his longer comments and only made it half way, and since then I always skip over when I see his name. However I must say the the quality of comments seems to go down on all subjects whenever he takes over and I find myself visiting here less and less as a consequence, and am probably missing some interesting oil (and maybe climate) related stuff as a result.

  3. Dennis Coyne says:

    Hi all,

    Using Rune Likvern’s Red Queen analysis, which I first read at the Oil Drum and data provided by Enno Peters to develop well profiles for the average Bakken well, I create simple scenarios to estimate future Bakken production.

    A big shortcoming is that I do not know the future number of wells that will be drilled, nor what the future well profiles of recently drilled or future wells will be. I have assumed that recently drilled wells (from 2013 to 2015) will behave similarly to the wells drilled from 2008 to 2012, and that future wells will eventually decrease in EUR as the sweet spots become saturated with wells. All of these assumptions may prove incorrect.

    In the scenario below I assume that 80 new wells per month are completed from November 2015 to Jan 2017, any mistakes in this analysis are mine. Output falls in the model from 1060 kb/d in Oct 2015 to 910 kb/d in Dec 2016, a fall of 150 kb/d. Currently(Oct 2015) the model underestimates output by about 54 kb/d. Chart below.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Some may consider 80 new wells per month too optimistic. Below I present another scenario, with the only change that EUR does not decrease before Jan 2017, (a small EUR decrease was assumed previously starting in June 2016) and the new wells added each month from Nov 2015 to Jan 2017 are reduced to 50 new wells per month. Model output falls by 250 kb/d from Oct 2015 to Dec 2016 in this more pessimistic scenario to 800 kb/d in Dec 2016 for the North Dakota Bakken/Three Forks.

      • Dennis, when I’ve done this type of work in the past I tested the incremental well batches to see if they are economic. This requires a full cycle economics run for well programs as well as running the whole population to see if cash flow was adequate. You also have to build in logic to optimize delays in completing the wells. And all of it has to be run with a logic tying prices to performance. In other words it’s an impossible job.

        • Dennis Coyne says:


          Beyond my knowledge and data availability.

          • Mine too. You know what we did? Sign up to a service that gathered oil price forecasts. They delivered a spreadsheet once a month without specifying the source. Maybe they were CIA. Or KGB freelancers.

    • gwalke says:

      Dennis, this is similar to how our model currently sees things playing out. Once year end results hit along with estimates of next year’s capex, we’ll have a go at formulating an overall North Dakota well number for 2016 and maybe get a better idea.

      Just for reference, 2014 was around 2200 wells, 2015 looks like it will be around 1600. Currently our model suggests 600 or so for 2016, based on seasonality and the WTI futures strip, but I certainly wouldn’t stake the farm on that part of our model.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Gwalke,

        I don’t think my analysis is as sophisticated as yours. If I used the futures strip for prices, my model would have no new wells being drilled as there are no profits to be had at these oil prices (or based on the futures strip). So you are figuring 50 new wells per month, with oil prices at $37 to $45/b? My model shows profitability at about $75/b, so I have chosen to ignore the oil price because the behavior of these companies is not following the usual rational behavioral assumptions of standard economic theory.

        Currently no new wells should be completed as the more wells they complete, the more money they lose. I don’t know how to model that. Scenario below with no new wells completed from Nov 2015 to Jan 2017 based on the futures strip and rational behavior by oil companies (will pretend they are using their own money).

        • gwalke says:

          Hi Dennis, We are sure they are losing money too, and we know that price does a bad job of predicting ND production – mainly due to the ‘debt ponzi’ nature of some of the companies. But to try and get some handle on 12 months ahead, we use a combination of seasonal adjustment, the difference between each month’s futures contract, and what we know about current completions. Like I say, I wouldn’t stake my life on its accuracy, but it did a surprisingly decent job of forecasting well completions for this year eight months out – it’ll probably be within 50-100 of the final number of completions, which isn’t bad.

          That’s why I’m going to try using company capex figures when they’re available, and see how close the two ways of looking at it are.

          • JN2 says:

            DC, gwalke, do your models include the hedging that companies may have undertaken?

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              For me no. Too much work to dig up the details.

              Check out Rune Likvern’s work, much more detail on the financial end.


              • gwalke says:

                I’d second this: Rune is the benchmark for this kind of analysis, as far as I’m concerned.

            • gwalke says:

              Again, for us, no. We do have that data, so we know the prices and the amount of production. But for companies controlling the bulk of production, selling oil profitably has not really been a major goal. They have been cashflow negative quarter after quarter, and simply borrowed the difference.

              An estimate based on capex budgets will actually include hedging implicitly, though.

              • Ves says:

                “But for companies controlling the bulk of production, selling oil profitably has not really been a major goal. They have been cashflow negative quarter after quarter, and simply borrowed the difference.”

                The market (if ever existed) is broken for all of us to see. Building empty condos in China, or Tesla’s that no one can afford is exactly the same as producing oil with disregard for profit and it is a sign of failed economic model. It is just funny that people are still latching on econ books and all the crap that they learned when they just have to look with open mind what is happening in the real world. Well we know that shale and oil sands are just scrapping the bottom of the barrel in North America and if the bankers want to piss that remaining resource for $30 a barrel in order to get their last Gulfstream jet as escape vehicle to Barbados nobody can stop them.

                • shallow sand says:

                  Good comment Ves.

                  • ChiefEngineer says:

                    Shallow, I’m disappointed you buy into this ignorance.

                    Ves may well have said, The earth(if round) is flat for all to see.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    A ‘flat Earth’ can still be round such as if one looks at it from above. ‘u^

                • Ves says:

                  The only difference between broke person in the West and broke person in third world country is the level of propagandization. Guy in Africa knows very well the he is broke. But broke person in the West cannot even do a house grocery budget in an excel spreadsheet to even see how broke he is. I am sorry to tell you but unless you are from Hamptons average citizen in the west is broke. And if you look the industry unless you are in very narrow segment of FIRE economy you are broke as well.
                  I am sorry to break the news for you Chief but if energy industry (oil/gas/solar/) cannot make a profit than your Silicon valley bozos making facebook likes and tweets cannot mathematically make a profit either with their time- wasting products. You can’t make a sandwich with slice of “likes” or “tweets” and farmer doesn’t pour “likes” or “tweets” into the tractor. Kapish?

                  • Glenn Stehle says:


                    Yep. We’re sandwiched between the Green Utopians on the one side and the Carbon Utopians on the other, and neither one has enough horse sense to come in out of the rain.

                  • ChiefEngineer says:

                    If you want an incredible life and you have a bad attitude — you can just forget about it. If you are cynical, pessimistic, judgmental, shallow and petty you don’t deserve success. Success is powerful, and petty people should never be given power. You have to earn the right to an incredible life by being an incredible person.

                  • Ves says:


                    I know. It is unbearable. I am afraid to even open the fridge because I am scared the “climate change”, “putin”, “isis” or whatever designated fear of the day will jump out 🙂
                    When the volume of designated fear increases my antennas just start beeping “Okey, What they want me to think now?” or “Hmm, what they want me NOT think about, like quality of jobs, health care, education?”

                  • shallow sand says:

                    Chief, I am not saying everything is broken, doom, gloom, et al.

                    However, there are a lot of hyped businesses these days that never seem to produce positive cash flow. Yet they go on and on, and get banks (and governments) to throw money at them.

                    I am too old school to “get” how that is a good thing.

                    I also find Mr. Musk annoying, much like a lot of other celebrities.

                    Deep down, I still believe those who just borrow and borrow, and never make money, go down the tubes eventually. I was s backer of the Concord Coalition in the 1990s. I eventually gave up.

                    I am going to live my life, have family, friends, health, food and shelter, and I am very grateful for all of it.

                    However, there seems to be a growing amount of kicking the can down the road, hype over substance and talk over action in the good old USA.

                  • ChiefEngineer says:


                    In 2008, oil production growth peaked and leveled off at $140 oil. US production was dropping and importing almost 10 million barrels a day. Today it’s $35 and only importing 6 million.

                    The EV inventors and shale oil producers are hero’s. They looked OPEC in the eye and kicked them in the balls. Sometimes you have to look at the big picture.

                    You sound like a Trump supporter

                  • Glenn Stehle says:

                    ChiefEngineer says:

                    If you want an incredible life and you have a bad attitude — you can just forget about it. If you are cynical, pessimistic, judgmental, shallow and petty you don’t deserve success. Success is powerful, and petty people should never be given power. You have to earn the right to an incredible life by being an incredible person.

                    Eric Hoffer, who spent his life studying why people are attracted to utopianism, holy causes and mass movements, came to the exact opposite conclusion you did.

                    Hoffer concluded that it is not the successful that are attracted to utopiansm, but the unsuccessful.

                    The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready is he to claim all excellence for…his holy cause….

                    There is in us a tendency to locate the shaping forces of our existence outside ourselves. Success and failure are unavoidably related in our minds with the state of things around us. Hence it is that people with a sense of fulfillment think it a good world and would like to conserve it as it is, while the frustrated favor radical change… “If anything ail a man,” says Thoreau, “so that he does not perform his functions, if he have a pain in his bowels even … he forthwith sets about reforming—the world.”…

                    For men to plunge headlong into an undertaking of vast change, they must be intensely discontented yet not destitute, and they must have the feeling that by the possession of some potent doctrine, infallible leader or some new technique they have access to a source of irresistible power. They must also have an extravagant conception of the prospects and the potentialities of the future. Finally, they must be wholly ignorant of the difficulties involved in their vast undertaking. Experience is a handicap….

                    There is no hope for the frustrated in the actual and the possible. Salvation can come to them only from the miraculous, which seeps through a crack in the iron wall of inexorable reality. They ask to be deceived. What Stresemann said of the Germans is true of the frustrated in general: “They pray not only for their daily bread, but also for their daily illusion.”….

                    Those who would transform a nation or the world…must know how to kindle and fan an extravagant hope….

                    The sick in soul insist that it is humanity that is sick, and they are the surgeons to operate on it. They want to turn the world into a sickroom. And once they get humanity strapped to the operating table, they operate on it with an ax.

                  • shallow sand says:

                    Chief. I am not a Trump supporter. I am not sure where you get that idea.

                    I am not anti EV. Probably a good option for city driving right now. I’m just not a Musk fan. Laughing about burning tons of cash, some of which is government subsidies and pension money, rubbed me wrong.

                    I am not anti shale, I am against the irresponsible development of it. Again, I am sure a lot of pension money got tied up in it too.

                  • Ves says:

                    “The EV inventors and shale oil producers are hero’s. They looked OPEC in the eye and kicked them in the balls. Sometimes you have to look at the big picture.”

                    You got that big picture all wrong.
                    EV and shale took the cash from American Granma & Grandpa and spent it. What is there to show? Few thousand sold Volts & Leafs, maybe. Shale just drilled that cash into ground so they actually have even less to show. OPEC said “okey, somebody else will buy that oil that you don’t want”, so OPEC produced the same or even more while shale was trying to invent the “hot water” so to speak. You watch too much of TV to see the big picture.

                    “Today it’s $35 and only importing 6 million”
                    Yes importing 6 million but the difference from 10 mil is financed by the debt that will never retire. So what is good for?

                  • Glenn Stehle says:


                    Here’s another quote from Eric Hoffer that is germane to your last comment:

                    “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”
                    ― ERIC HOFFER, The Temper of Our Time

                  • Ves says:

                    great quote.

                  • shallow sand says:

                    I think imports are much higher than 6 million bopd for USA.

                    Keep in mind the angle I’m coming from, had a great ten year run, only interrupted by 10/08 to 3/09. That run has come to a crashing halt, so keep that in mind with all comments I make.

                    Chief, I presume if you went from netting $60 to losing $10 on every unit you sold, largely due to competition that was cash flow negative even when you were making $60 on each unit, you might have a different perspective.

                    I fully accept $60 per unit is too much, and it offsets losing $10 per unit for quite awhile. However, this is shaping up to be a really bad one.

                    But, it is what it is.

                  • ChiefEngineer says:


                    “irresponsible development” is your petty opinion. If grandma & grandpa or pension money invested in high yield shale, they have only themselves to blame. They got paid for their risk.

                    Shale development has been so successful. That it has turned the oil markets upside down. It will balance it’s self out in due time.

                    Do the math on how much the country is saving on imports today compared to 2008. Your petty complaint is only a drop in the bucket compared to the savings.

                    That 4 million barrels a day that shale produces is a lot of good American jobs. Do you want to export them too?

                    Ves, I would address your post if there were some facts in it and not a bunch of opinionated nonsense.

                    Glen, Malignant Narcissists get high on fighting & dominating others. Some are thin-skinned & get upset over petty things that others would ignore. They keep people off balance as it helps them get what they want. Their self-esteem increases when pulling something over on someone, their brain gets a boost in dopamine. Their being hooked on getting what they want activates the same chemicals in the brain that alcohol and drugs do.

                  • Ves says:

                    What facts do you want? Tell me and I will be very specific. But you don’t understand very basic concepts. Business decisions in life are not zero sum game. You mixed that up with stock market. Just because you “looked OPEC in the eye and kicked them in the balls” as you say it, the blowbacks are huge for the one doing the kicking. Do you understand that basic concept?

                    Let me ask you Chief are you supporting nationalization of the US oil industry in order to keep producing the rest of the shale at loss? Well if that is the case just say it.

                  • ChiefEngineer says:

                    Shallow says: “I think imports are much higher than 6 million bopd for USA.”

                    Actually USA imports YTD is 5.11 million.


                    Ves says- “Do you understand that basic concept?”

                    The problem is you don’t understand how the market works. In due time the excesses in the market will disappear and the price of oil will become profitable for competitive producers. The poor managed producers will be eliminated from the market by going BK. It’s called a free market capitalist system.

                  • Ves says:

                    ” In due time the excesses in the market will disappear and the price of oil will become profitable for competitive producers. It’s called a free market capitalist system.”

                    In due time in about 10 months you are going to get a new “austerity” president (regardless of which team is in the oval office) and then I will ask you how that free market works for 90%. Writing is on the wall.

                  • shallow sand says:

                    Chief. I was referring to the most recent weekly imports, which per your link were 8 million. Maybe we are talking about different things.

                    Maybe the US should subsidize and otherwise do everything in its power to drive the oil price to as close to zero as possible?

                    Also, when I refer to pension money, please note most of that is not in IRA’s where individual stocks/bonds are purchased.

                    Most all 401k money is in mutual funds. Likewise those state employees and few private employees that are enrolled in defined benefit plans can’t opt out of pension manager investments.

                  • ChiefEngineer says:

                    Shallow- Your cherry picking your numbers

                    First of all, weekly numbers don’t tell you much of anything because they fluctuate. You need to look at the YTD. (7.3 not 8.0)

                    Second, the US is exporting almost 2 million barrels a day of refined product than it is importing(lines 22 & 23).

                    Third, YTD the US total inventory has increased by 176 million barrels. That’s another half million per day not consumed. Which means the US is only consuming about 4 1/2 million barrels of imports per day.

                    Fourth, Net Imports of Crude and Petroleum Products YTD (line 33) is
                    5.11 million barrels per day. Down over 7% from 2014 YTD.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi gwalke,

            I doubt it will be no wells completed, I just am left scratching my head, probably somewhere from 30 to 80 new wells per month, 50 is as good a guess as any, the fact that our guesses were the same either means we are both right or both wrong, probably the latter.

            • gwalke says:

              Agreed. These things always have a lot of moving parts, a lot of ins, a lot of outs, a lot of what-have-yous (as the Dude would say). Probably wrong, but at least making a reasonable case – that’s forecasting 🙂

  4. Paulo says:

    I find ignoring similar posts works best, Jef. I am not talking about trolls, but sometimes a silent room makes a bigger point than promoting an argument. I do feel your irritation, though, and share it.

    Lately, my hand has been hurting from scrolling through all the personal attacks I have read on this site and others, especially

    Thanks for the data and your work, Ron. I was surprised to see the slight up-tick in ND and wonder why?


    • JN2 says:

      Re I read Rockman’s comments, that’s about it. I agree, skip trolls and personal attacks 🙂

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Paulo,

      Some of the explanation may be that although there were only 72 new wells completed in Oct 2015, the number of producing wells increased by 174 from Sept to Oct. This means that about 102 wells were brought online that were down the previous month for maintenance or other reasons, in North Dakota the average well produces about 91 b/d according to the NDIC database, so if the 102 wells were average wells that would add about 9 kb/d to output.

      Based on the Bakken model (first developed by Rune Likvern), I would have expected a 25 kb/d drop in output and there was instead a 7 kb/d increase in Bakken output, so we have a 32 kb/d discrepancy and 9 kb/d only explains a third of this.

      Other possible explanations are that many of the 102 wells were better than average, or that last month the new wells produced for fewer days compared to October. Enno Peters had a few ideas he presented in the previous post with very nice charts.

      I never worry about it too much as there is statistical variation from month to month, in the “average well”, changes in the average day of the month that the new wells start on, and lots of stuff I haven’t thought of (change in the choke size, etc).

      • William Sadler says:

        So looks like 27Kb/d difference between what was expected and what was published.

        So there has been a steep decline in completed wells in the last 3 months. I was wondering if they took the completion crews and had them the do refracs. Don’t know if 102 wells could be done in a month versus the 60 or so completions. If that is the case, 265 bbls/day from the 102 wells explains the 27Kb/d difference.

        What is the economics of refracting 102 wells versus 60 completions. Maybe a smart move.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi William,

          Based on Rune Likvern’s analysis the re-fracks will not be profitable. The more likely explanation is just normal statistical variation in my view, though there may have been a few re-fracks, I have not looked at the data closely enough to determine.

      • These wells can have a nice production increase after being shut in for a while. It’s Mother Nature working in a multiple porosity reservoir. 👍🏽

    • Mike says:

      Yes. Ignore the nonsense, and dont get dragged into an infantile game of Yah Boo Sucks.

  5. ChiefEngineer says:

    CA Gov. Jerry Brown on the Paris climate talks

    The governor tells Chris Hayes what he expects from the international community at the climate talks. Duration: 4:33

    • ChiefEngineer says:

      For you Nick,

      This Sustainable City Could End Our Fossil Fuel Dependency

      You should enjoy the Gov. Browns interview also

    • Javier says:

      £2.3 Trillion: Rich Countries’ Bill For Climate Deal
      Ben Webster, The Times

      Britain and other rich countries face demands for $3.5 trillion (£2.3 trillion) in payments to developing nations to secure a deal in Paris to curb global warming.

      Developing countries have added a clause to the latest draft of the text under which they would be paid the “full costs” of meeting plans to cut emissions.

      An analysis of plans published by 73 developing countries shows that they want $3.5 trillion by 2030. India alone is seeking $2.5 trillion, according to the website Carbon Brief. The amount paid by rich countries is a key unresolved issue at the climate conference in Paris, which is supposed to end tomorrow. The latest version of the text has more than 360 points of disagreement.

      Developed countries have pledged to “mobilise” $100 billion a year by 2020 in public and private finance. This would have to treble to meet the latest demands from developing countries.

      Prakash Javadekar, India’s environment minister, told The Times that Britain and other developed countries would have to “scale up” the $100 billion figure after 2020. He said that the sums paid so far were “not significant”, even though Britain alone has contributed more than £3 billion since 2011.

    • wharf rat says:

      The Republic of California has been bi-partisan on clean energy and AGW since Raygun gave us the Cal Energy Comm. and better clean air laws than the EPA. I’d suggest the US follow our lead, but it’s something only great nations can do.

      Arnold Schwarzenegger’s shockingly reasonable climate-change plea
      “There are two doors. Behind Door Number One is a completely sealed room, with a regular, gasoline-fueled car. Behind Door Number Two is an identical, completely sealed room, with an electric car. Both engines are running full blast.

      I want you to pick a door to open, and enter the room and shut the door behind you. You have to stay in the room you choose for one hour. You cannot turn off the engine. You do not get a gas mask.

      I’m guessing you chose the Door Number Two, with the electric car, right? Door number one is a fatal choice – who would ever want to breathe those fumes?”

  6. Boomer II says:

    I haven’t been reading any posts or comments in this forum for several weeks. I just looked at this one and see that most of the comments are about climate.

    I must have missed something. What do those comments have to do with Bakken and OPEC production?

  7. R Walter says:

    I think we should keelhaul Javier, then over to the Iron Maiden for a few hours, onto the Rack, then to the dunking pole, then hang him high, over to the stake, stack the wood, burn him, then a lethal injection into his charred remains. Crucify him too. Then next to the guillotine. har

    An unrepentant spawn of Satan deserves nothing less. Another heretic amongst the saintly, motley crew.

    The death sentence is not a severe enough penalty.

    Really is no other way. lol

  8. andy hamilton says:

    Ron – I thought you had decided a couple of months back to kick all the climate change deniers off your site?

    • No, I never indicated any such thing. I said if you had a scientific argument against global warming or climate change, we welcomed your argument. But if you had a political argument against global warming or climate change then take it somewhere else.

      The debate is about science, not politics.

      • andy hamilton says:

        As there aren’t any valid scientific arguments against AGW then all you are getting is politically motivated pseudoscience clogging up your site. Shame, they are in the process of rendering your site unreadable and much less relevant.

        • oldfarmermac says:

          Whether Javier is politically motivated is a matter of opinion.

          Being a conservative at heart, a real one, rather than a fucking republican, I have always tried to remember that when a person agrees with you eighty or ninety percent of the time, he is your friend rather than your enemy.Ronnie Raygun is maybe the most famous person to have pointed out this little piece of political wisdom in recent times.

          Javier disputes not the reality of forced warming, but the extent and danger of it, and he obviously knows quite a bit about the subject.

          I disagree with his conclusion in respect to the scope of the danger, but even if I agreed with him, I would still be in favor of working to get away from fossil fuels as soon as possible, for many other reasons.

          And because I believe in the precautionary principle, I would also be in favor of cutting back on coal etc because of the risk being so large in relation to the cost of mitigation.

          Fossil fuels are going to get to be damned scarce and expensive one of these days, and once that happens, it will be WAY TOO LATE to attempt to build out the renewable energy industries from scratch.

          In the meantime, as Nick often points out, renewables are now competitive or even more than competitive, under favorable circumstances, so long as you take into account externalized costs.

          So it’s time to put the pedal to the metal on the renewables front.

          These costs are VERY real, ask any doctor. Ask anybody who has seen strip mining as practiced in West Virginia, within an easy drive of my home.

          I remember reading about a woman who was a medical doctor and a supervising doctor training interns fifty years or so ago, who tried to convince her colleagues that antibiotics can cure stomach ulcers.

          Every body laughed at her. She was right.

          The establishment was wrong.

  9. Keith says:


    Please accept a supporting voice. This blog is not a place where I would have thought that people want to silence you just because you have a different view.

    Further to comments above about glacial and interglacial periods (which have occurred at least 4 times in the last million years), oxygen isotope data suggest the swing in temperature from glacial to interglacial is 10 deg C. In the US and more continental areas of Europe there is evidence to suggest a temperature swing of 15 deg C. Meanwhile, the temperature increase since 1850 is under 1 deg C. So CAGW theory wishes to ascribe an anthropogenic cause to a change which is an order of magnitude less than measured natural variability from glacial to interglacial.

    CAGW has so many predictions that are wrong:

    The IPCC said Antarctic sea ice and continental ice would decrease. Both are increasing.

    The disparity between model projections of surface temperature increases and reality increases.

    Data shows no increase in extreme weather events (class 3 hurricane landfalls in the US are down, tornado frequency is down, the anticyclone energy measure is down).

    Northern hemisphere winter and fall snow cover is increasing.

    Lets talk about data rather than opinions, when criticising people who express different views.

    • Clueless says:


    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Keith,

      On snow cover, it increases when there is more moisture in the atmosphere which tends to be the case with warmer temperatures. So milder winters often will have more rather than less snow in the far north.

      during Holocene optimum CO2 was 265 ppm and during last glacial maximum CO2 was about 180 ppm, ln(265/180)=0.387, ln(2)=0.693 (for doubling of CO2. let x= ess, then x=3.25*0.693/.387=5.8C is the earth system sensitivity, the equilibrium climate sensitivity is about half this level (does not include long term albedo changes from ice sheet melt and forest growth) or roughly 2.9 C.

      Also remember that a lot of heat is being absorbed by the ocean so looking at land temperatures rather than global temperatures gives a better estimate of the ECS.

      The global temperature change from last glacial maximum to the Holocene climactic optimum between 9800 BP and 5000 BP was about 3 to 3.5 C based on the latest research. You may be going by temperature changes in Greenland or Antarctica, which do not reflect global average temperature changes. It takes time for the global system to adjust to changes, note that the glacial cycles are on the order of 100,000 years. The change in temperature was very slow (if we assume it took half the cycle for temperatures to reach their low point then we have 3/50000=0.00006 or 0.006 C per 100 years.

      I will take your 0.9 C per 165 years, that is 0.545 C per 100 years or 90 times faster. Also keep in mind that this rise since 1850 AD reversed a long term cooling trend from 5000 BP to 100 BP.

      There is of course natural variability, which will continue, the effect of CO2 is superimposed on this natural variability. Interestingly the average Holocene temperature from 11,300 BP to 200 BP (1750 AD) was about 0.16 C above the 1961 to 1990 mean global temperature, based on Marcott et al 2013.
      So 2 C above pre-industrial is about 2.16 C above the 1960-1990 global mean temperature, it is unclear if the 2 C limit was meant in this way (I have not read the most recent IPPC report).

      Chart with Marcott et al 2013 RegEM temperature reconstruction using multiple wordwide proxies.

      • Javier says:


        during Holocene optimum CO2 was 265 ppm and during last glacial maximum CO2 was about 180 ppm, ln(265/180)=0.387, ln(2)=0.693 (for doubling of CO2. let x= ess, then x=3.25*0.693/.387=5.8C is the earth system sensitivity, the equilibrium climate sensitivity is about half this level (does not include long term albedo changes from ice sheet melt and forest growth) or roughly 2.9 C.

        This contains such an egregious mistake that is improper of you. You are attributing the entire glacial-interglacial transition to only CO2 forcing while everybody knows that glacial-interglacial transition is due to changes in insolation, with CO2 having only a minor contribution.

        The change in temperature was very slow (if we assume it took half the cycle for temperatures to reach their low point then we have 3/50000=0.00006 or 0.006 C per 100 years. I will take your 0.9 C per 165 years, that is 0.545 C per 100 years or 90 times faster.

        This contains such an egregious mistake that is improper of you. You cannot compare changes in different time scales to get an average.

        A simple example so you get it: The change in temperatures from day to night at mid latitudes can be of the order of 10°C. Compared to that the change of 0.8°C since preindustrial times is insignificant.

        Obviously when you change time scales you average the noise. As you go to annual changes you average seasonal changes. As you go to centennial changes you average decadal changes. Your point of comparing changes that took place over 50,000 years with changes that have taken place in 165 years saying that the latter ones are much faster is moot.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Javier,

          The change in the temperature is in part due to changes in northern hemisphere insolation which causes toe ice sheets to melt and leads to changes in the Earth’s albedo, that is responsible for about half the change in temperature, the other half is from changes in CO2, which agree well with the GCMs which have and average ECS about 3 C. In fact the climate models fit the last 800,000 years fairly well and are based on physics which is well understood. The only areas that need further work is clouds and aerosols, the models are not perfect and the natural variability due to changing atmospheric and ocean circulation over short time scales (20 years or less) is not understood precisely. There has indeed been a long term cooling trend over much of the last 5000 years, no doubt there have been ups and downs, possibly you are contending that there are many ups and downs in global temperatures on centennial time scales equal to the change over 4900 years. If so, that is speculation.

          All of the variation is not natural variation, since 1880 most of the temperature variation is well explained by changes in CO2 (about 74%).

          • I think some of it may be caused by isostasis. Years ago I was supervising a small group trying to model heavy oil reservoirs. We had a shitload of budget, so I suggested our brightest young engineer dig deep into coupled geomechanics models. He’s still working on it, but that’s not important to this discussion. What is important is that I sat through endless sessions reviewing results. And this includes movies as well as hours of discussions with consultants (we used Canadians to help us out).

            So, one thing that got drilled into me was that rock flows. Slowly. And so a couple of years ago I set up a simple model to see how Labrador reacted to an ice mass sitting on it. Then played with asumptions about sea level changes, snow fall, ice mass build up, etc. conclusion: the ice makes the land drop (duh). This puts the top at a lower level. When it gets cold sea level drops, this protects the ice sheet at the ice shelf toe, the cold climate dries up the air, increases sea ice. And the lower sea level can cause changes in mid ocean ridge volcanic activity. It also releases methane bombs. Funky. I couldn’t hang the whole thing together, but I think it has to be accounted for. It’s more than just the orbital thingy. Things have to line up. Having the continent sunk just so seems to help.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Fernando,

              Yes the isostasis is thought to be an explantion for the 100,000 year cycles, which don’t make sense based only on the Milankovitch cycles which are actually stronger at 19,000, 23,000, and 41,000 years. I am a little unclear on the entire story of how this all hangs together (isostasis and glacial cycles).

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Paper below describes the process and Javier is partially correct that CO2 is a minor player in the process, but incorrect that it is only due to insolation changes. It is the interaction of orbital cycles, CO2, ice sheet albedo, isostatic movement due to the weight of the ice sheets and ice sheet desertification, with the ice sheet changes being the major factor driven by small changes in insolation and CO2.


                Abstract. The ice sheet-climate interaction as well as the climatic response to orbital parameters and atmospheric CO2 concentration are examined in order to drive an ice sheet model throughout an ice age cycle. Feedback processes between ice sheet and atmosphere are analyzed by numerical experiments using a high resolution General Circulation Model (GCM) under different conditions at the Last Glacial Maximum. Among the proposed processes, the ice albedo feedback, the elevation-mass balance feedback and the desertification effect over the ice sheet were found to be the dominant processes for the ice-sheet mass balance.

                • Javier says:


                  Javier is partially correct … but incorrect that it is only due to insolation changes.

                  Since I never said such thing (prove otherwise), I am correct and you were incorrect.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Javier,

                    I may have remembered incorrectly, let’s see, you said:

                    This contains such an egregious mistake that is improper of you. You are attributing the entire glacial-interglacial transition to only CO2 forcing while everybody knows that glacial-interglacial transition is due to changes in insolation, with CO2 having only a minor contribution.

                    You are correct that the CO2 effect is minor, everybody knows there is much more to it than changes in insolation, you said nothing in the comment above about any other effects, only CO2 and changes in insolation. Are you going to claim that I should have read your mind? In the past you have been very annoyed by that, were you implying that the major effect is albedo changes, isostatic earth movement, and ice sheet desertification, I didn’t really get that from your quote above.

                    If you would like to claim its correct, that is fine with me, I would say it is incomplete at best.

    • Javier says:


      Thanks for your support. Oxygene isotope data from ice cores from polar regions reflect temperatures at the poles, that are known to oscillate more than global temperatures.

      The accepted range of global average temperature for the glacial-interglacial transition is of 3-9°C with the most accepted change around 5°C. While we are below Holocene Climatic Optimum temperatures, to me it is very clear that we are above what could be considered normal temperatures for this time of the Holocene. To me anthropogenic global warming has come at a time of natural global warming after the Little Ice Age, and thus it has been overestimated. If this is true, and there is evidence that climate scientists are running too hot, it means that we are not in danger from global warming, and instead should be grateful for it, because the Holocene was getting a little bit too cold for our taste.

      • Clueless says:

        Javier – Even though I am clueless, I can easily tell that you are well educated and no doubt have the Phd. that you told us about. I enjoy your posts.

  10. dclonghorn says:

    The North Dakota info makes no sense to me. IE:

    Bopd Increased 6787 Bopd
    The number of producing wells increased 138
    There were only 43 completions in October
    The number of wells waiting on completion decreased by 105 in October

    So, if there were say 90 wells drilled in October, and a 105 well decrease in net uncompleted wells then you would infer there had been 195 wells completed in October.
    The only way this data works is to take your 43 completions less the 105 well drop in wells waiting on completion and the result is 62 wells which were UNDRILLED in October.

    My guess is that their data on wells completed, waiting on completion, etc. has some problems. But, if I am looking at this wrong, point it out.

    Also, Rystead Energy has a recent release projecting higher shale production (or less decline) because their data shows completions have been rising since May, and the inventory of DUC’s has decreased to levels not seen since 2010.

    • shallow sand says:

      dclonghorn. I have absolutely way of knowing how many “DUC” LTO wells are out there in the Bakken or elsewhere. However, I absolutely cannot fathom, at the price of oil since July, 2015, how anyone could financially justify drilling mult-million dollar wells, that will not be completed for at least six months, or even more than a year. There is absolutely no income being produced, yet a major expense to drill same was incurred, and furthermore, I assume there is some small ongoing cost to monitor these wells awaiting completion. Yes, I understand holding off, but why in the heck drill these in the first place? I understand things do not stop on a dime, but we really have not had a suitable price for onshore oil and/or gas well drilling since the fall of 2014.

      The oil price and gas price collapse is simply incredible to me. Almost all well head barrels are in the low 30s or below, today, and it looks very real that the 20s are near. Gas almost everywhere is below $1.75 at the well.

      An LTO company with a 60% oil and 40% gas mix is realizing somewhere between $15 and $21 per BOE.

      A Bakken LTO company with 75% oil and 25% gas mix is realizing $21-23.

      So in the Bakken, lets assume $22 per BOE.

      Subtract $2.20 per BOE for severance and extraction taxes, subtract $6-9 per BOE for operating and subtract $2-4 for G & A. Clearing $6.80 to $11.80 per BOE. Most companies have at least $5 per BOE in interest obligations. So that takes us to $1.80 to $6.80 per BOE.

      If we go to $25 WTI, say $18 Bakken. So around $14 per BOE. Guess what, we are losing money on an operating basis and I will bet there will still be wells drilling and being completed in all shale basins.

      • Nick G says:

        Most companies have at least $5 per BOE in interest obligations. So that takes us to $1.80 to $6.80 per BOE.

        Don’t they have to pay those interest obligations either way? In other words, aren’t they a sunk cost?

        • shallow sand says:

          Yes. I suppose the more they produce the less per BOE they are paying. But to produce more they have to borrow more or use the cash from existing production to pay for the new wells which will increase production.

          But apparently some are spending money to drill, but not complete the wells, which adds to interest expense and cash burn, without producing any cash flow.

          But all e & p share prices went up today. Go figure.

      • dclonghorn says:

        Shallow, I agree it makes no sense for drilling to continue, other than to hold leases or live up to prior contracts.

        • oldfarmermac says:

          IF you are willing to bet the survival of your company on the price of oil going up fairly soon, then it makes great sense to drill wells NOW, and leave them uncompleted, so long as you can manage the loan payments, which are apparently mostly at low interest rates.

          The cost of everything that goes into a well has crashed along with the price of oil, according to what I read. If you can drill your well for seventy cents on the dollar, compared to the cost a year ago, and the cost a couple of years down the road, if you win your bet, you will make out like a bandit. Say an extra half million in interest ( an out of the air number ) over the next three years versus a million and a half saved on the cost of drilling the same well three years from today.

          On the other hand, if the price does not go up, hmmm and harrumph , the way bankruptcy works is that you don’t go any broker than broke.

          It seems unlikely that many people in the oil business have signed notes holding them personally liable for corporate debt.

      • Petro' says:

        “The oil price and gas price collapse is simply incredible to me………..”

        Be well,


        • shallow sand says:

          Ahh. Sheldon. Love that show.

          • Petro' says:

            …and you (and I ) ain’t seen nothing yet……
            …the oil price I mean, not the show.

            But it is when the price “spikes” up that you (and I) should be afraid of, dear Shallow – not when it goes down.
            For, as I have told you with “such a vehemence and frequency” ( as Sheldon would say), our beloved “supply-demand” principle will have little to do with it this time around.
            This time shall be indeed different!

            Be well,


    • Watcher says:

      My suggestion from last Ronpost is that this time frame was Sept/Oct and opening chokes on already producing wells might pretty up the numbers for the bank’s evaluation of the collateral quality. This was the time frame banks were doing that.

  11. dclonghorn says:

    Oop, their estimate of DUC’s is the least since summer 2013, not 2010.

  12. wimbi says:

    I just skip all this boring chat about micromanipulations of this and that re climate. I am satisfied with a super simple observation- shine a heat light on a balloon of nitrogen, increase the carbon dioxide percent, and the balloon gets hotter.

    Good enough, and the worst case is real bad. Sure, uncertain, but bad. So, do something that might reduce the chance. What?

    Quit putting more carbon into the balloon, for starters. How? lots and lots of ways, some of which I am having fun doing, since that’s what I do for fun.

    Today I made a bunch of biochar and simultaneously overheated my shop with my biochar generator. Anybody could do it. And do it better. The gas from the generator can run a honda genset , which is my intend when the sun quits for the year. As it has.

    Of course I hear the shouts of scorn from the unwashed, dancing on the beach and brandishing their drilling rigs ” Yeah, but who in his right mind could think of running our society on biochar gas”, while simultaneously, in my mental image of the scene, baring their axx toward me as did the Maori to Captain Cook.
    To which I assume the stony visage of the admired Cook, and respond “and who in his right mind would want to?”

    • Dave P says:

      Wimbi, I really wish you had a website so we could further tap into and visualize your wealth of knowledge. It would be great to see some of these contraptions and (if possible) get tips for how we could construct similar devices.

      • wimbi says:

        Dave. Thanks for that.

        These good people have agreed to print some of my op-eds, as well as those widgets, when I get around to it. I have a huge pile of them and all it takes to push them out the door is somebody who has more energy than I do and the kind of natural moves I was born without. Like, I mean, hitting the right buttons on this infernal machine I have before me.

        When this thing poops on my efforts, I have the childish response of taking it as a personal affront from what should know it is but a mere serf.

        Goddam it anyhow, slide rules knew their place, and they got us to the moon, didn’t they?

        • Dave P says:

          Thank you for the link. I eagerly look forward to reading about your work.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          wimbi, this looks interesting but how does one participate? It looks like a gated community.

          • wimbi says:

            Work in process. The nice lady in charge tells me they will be making it an open comment thing . Just started.

            First I gotta jump thru some hoops. Sigh.

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              Ok, well thanks for the heads up. Again, I might like to participate too and collaborate with you, time permitting. Should I also let them know?

    • The net energy imbalance appears to be about 0.5-0.7 watts per square meter. Most of that is put into sea water. The so called “Business as usual” case used to scare the hell out of people is called RCP8.5 in its latest incarnation. The 8.5 stands for 8.5 watts per squared meter. That’s the forcing they decided they wanted to have in 2100. It wasn’t calculated, they decided it in a committee.

      Denis and I have discussed the fact that the amount of fossil fuels burned in RCP8.5 is way too high. Thus we have the world being driven into hysteria by a committee which decided to set the 8.5, ignored that we live on a planet with limited resources, mislabeled the extreme case as “business as usual”, added a bit of Oreskes and panhandling by poor nations, and so now we see the Paris Circus debating over how many trillion $ we will use to pay for a problem that exists in Michael Mann’s empty head.

      • Glenn Stehle says:

        Fernando said:

        …a problem that exists in Michael Mann’s empty head.

        The problem lies not in an empty head, but somewhere else:

        An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head.

        –ERIC HOFFER

        • Nick G says:

          There’s no evidence that Hoffer had any higher education.

          Is there any evidence that he did any original research? Or even that he relied on real, quantitative, sociological research?

          • Nick, Hoffer was a philosopher. A longshoreman philosopher. What kind of research would you expect a philosopher do?

            I have a collection of from 800 to 900 quotes, which I collected during my “Freethought Years”, when I led a Freedom From Religion group in Huntsville Alabama during the 70s. Of those 850 or so quotes, Hoffer had 22 of them. Below are my Hoffer quotes. All of them are from “The True Believer” except the last one which was a quote from the New York Times. My favorite is in bold.

            A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people’s business.

            We can be absolutely certain only about things we do not understand. A doctrine that is understood is shorn of its strength.

            Christianity is one of several Jewish heresies.

            Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a god, but never without belief in a devil.

            To the true believer) Every difficulty and failure within the movement is the work of the devil, and every success is a triumph over his evil plotting.

            This enemy–the indispensable devil of every mass movement–is omnipresent. He plots both outside and inside the ranks of the faithful.

            It is the true believer’s ability to “shut his eyes and stop his ears” to the facts that do not deserve to be either seen or heard which is the source of his unequaled fortitude and constancy. He cannot be frightened by danger nor disheartened by obstacle nor baffled by contradictions because he denies their existence.

            The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready is he to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause.

            They want freedom from “the fearful burden of free choice,” freedom from the arduous responsibility of realizing their ineffectual selves and shouldering the blame for the blemished product. They do not want freedom of conscience, but faith–blind, authoritarian faith.

            The inability or unwillingness to see things as they are promote both gullibility and charlatanism.

            A sublime religion inevitably generates a strong feeling of guilt. There is an unavoidable contrast between loftiness of profession and imperfection of practice. And, as one would expect, the feeling of guilt promotes hate and brazenness. Thus it seems that the more sublime the faith the more virulent the hatred it breeds

            Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life.

            When we lose our individual independence in the corporateness of a mass movement, we find a new freedom-freedom to hate, bully, lie, torture, murder and betray without shame and remorse. Herein undoubtedly lies part of the attractiveness of a mass movement.

            The devout are always urged to seek the absolute truth with their hearts and not their minds.

            The quality of ideas seems to play a minor role in mass movement leadership. What counts is the arrogant gesture, the complete disregard of the opinion of others, the single-handed defiance of the world.

            The truth is that the surrendering and humbling of the self breed pride and arrogance. The true believer is apt to see himself as one of the chosen, the salt of the earth, the light of the world, a prince disguised in meekness, who is destined to inherit this earth and the kingdom of heaven, too. He who is not of his faith is evil; he who will not listen shall perish.

            The missionary zeal seems rather an expression of some deep misgiving, some pressing feeling of insufficiency at the center. Proselytizing is more a passionate search for something not yet found than a desire to bestow upon the world something we already have. It is a search for a final and irrefutable demonstration that our absolute truth is indeed the one and only truth. The proselytizing fanatic strengthens his own faith by converting others.

            Obedience is not only the first law of God, but also the first tenet of a revolutionary party and of fervent nationalism. “Not to reason why” is considered by all mass movements the mark of a strong and generous spirit.

            The burning conviction that we have a holy duty toward others is often a way of attaching our drowning selves to a passing raft. What looks like giving a hand is often a holding on for dear life. Take away our holy duties and you leave our lives puny and meaningless. There is no doubt that in exchanging a self-centered for a selfless life we gain enormously in self-esteem. The vanity of the selfless, even those who practice utmost humility, is boundless.

            (For the true believer) To rely on the evidence of the senses and of reason is heresy and treason. It is startling to realize how much unbelief is necessary to make belief possible. What we know as blind faith is sustained by innumerable unbeliefs.

            Thus blind faith is to a considerable extent a substitute for the lost faith in ourselves; insatiable desire a substitute for hope; accumulation a substitute for growth; fervent hustling a substitute for purposeful action, and pride a substitute for unattainable self-respect.

          • There’s no evidence that Hoffer had any higher education.

            He became an adjunct professor at U.C. Berkeley Of course that does not mean he had any kind of a degree, because I don’t think he did. However Berkley recognized his great wisdom, to their credit.

            Many of the world’s greatest philosophers never had a college degree.

            Nick, what is your motive in trying to discredit Hoffer. His works speaks for itself. If you have a beef with Hoffer you should quote his work and tell us where you disagree, not try to disparage him by suggesting he was uneducated.

            You might have guessed, Hoffer is one of my philosopher heroes. I never tire of his work.

            • Nick G says:

              Hoffer looks like a lot of fun. He has good quotes, good aphorisms.

              But…he doesn’t appear to be an authority about social movements. He seems to be a special hero to conservatives, who use him to articulate their feelings about people in general, and progressives (and progressive social movements) in particular.

              When Glenn uses him as an authority to put down climate change activists…well, it’s just an empty thing. Hoffer’s not an authority on social movements. He may have really great quotes, but…he’s not an authority. That’s not discrediting him, it’s simply clarifying things.

              BTW, adjunct professors are very, very low on the university totem pole. They’re part timers, who often lead a single seminar or two and then put it on their resume. Being an adjunct professor, AFAIK, really means absolutely nothing at all in terms of research credibility.

              • But…he doesn’t appear to be an authority about social movements. He seems to be a special hero to conservatives,

                Conservatives???? Good God man, he is a special hero to liberals like me, conservatives hate him. They hate him because he exposes their dogmas and bigotry for what it is.

                Hoffer’s not an authority on social movements.

                Social movements? No, mass movements, and he was an authority.

                The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements

                There is just no question about that. One Ivy League university, I think it was Princeton, offered him a full professorship. But he did not want to leave the West Coast.

                Nick, I think you don’t know squat about Hoffer. Thinking he was a hero to conservatives. Jeeze, that one takes the cake. You should limit your criticisms to someone you know something about, not someone whom you first heard of an hour or so ago.

                • Nick G says:


                  What’s your definition of a conservative, vs a liberal??

                  My definition of a conservative is someone who opposes changes, who likes the status quo. That’s Hoffer in spades: he condemns activists for change as losers, failures in life. That’s a classic conservative put down of those who work for change.

                  Hoffer rejected the civil rights movement. He told blacks to stop complaining about injustice, and just go out and make money: personal success would prove racists wrong. That’s a classic conservative prescription.

                  Hoffer would have rejected the gay rights movement.

                  The right has embraced Hoffer, and the left rejects him:

                  “…by the 1960s-especially after his Berkeley experiences-he became what we would call a neoconservative.”


                  “The Right’s Working-Class Philosopher
                  Eric Hoffer was a conservative who only had the time to write because he was represented by a powerful leftist union.

                  From the 1950s to the 1970s, the cold warrior’s essays regularly appeared in newspapers and magazines. President Eisenhower called Hoffer his favorite author. During the Free Speech Movement, the University of California, Berkeley appointed him an adjunct professor.

                  He was a frequent guest on network television, often praising conservative politicians like then-California Governor Ronald Reagan. In his first and most influential book, The True Believer, Hoffer criticized mass movements of all stripes, especially communism, and lauded the government’s containment policy.

                  Yet Hoffer was a walking contradiction. Despite his rightist politics, Hoffer belonged not just to the country’s most powerful leftist union, the International Longshoremen’s & Warehousemen’s Union (ILWU), but its most militant local, the San Francisco Bay Area’s Local 10.”


                  • Glenn Stehle says:

                    Nick G,

                    I don’t know that I would place much credence in either one of the articles on Eric Hoffer you linked.

                    The one from Jacobin is written by a Trotskyist who rakes Hoffer over the coals because he didn’t march in lockstep with his Communist credo. But if you will do some fact checking, you will find that the article makes a number of factual claims that are patently untrue.

                    The other is written by a neo-con who wants to claim Hoffer as one of his own. He claims that Hoffer “became what we would call a neoconservative.”

                    That is a highly exaggerated claim. What is it based on, other than a letter that Hoffer wrote to the LA Times in 1968 in support of Israel, a single meeting Hoffer had with Reagan when Reagan was governor of California, and the fact that Reagan awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom?

                    Where are Hoffer’s writings or statements that place him in the neocon camp? The author doesn’t cite any.

                    Hoffer withdrew from public life in 1970. This was well before neoconservatism’s triumph over US foreign policy, which didn’t occur until after 1989.

                    Hoffer wanted no truck with utopian dreamers like the communists, and I’m pretty sure he would have felt the same about the neoconservatives, who, like the communists, also believe they can transform the world to make it fit their particular recipe for utopia.

                  • Glenn, thanks for this reply.

                    There is a lot we don’t agree on but we certainly can agree that Hoffer was a great philosopher and saw mass movements for what they were. Also his wisdom concerning human nature was just uncanny. Often when I read his works I say: “Of course, goddammit why did I not see that a long time ago. Now that he has explained it it just becomes so goddamn obvious.”

                    And I thank you again for this reply because I really don’t have time to reply to such bullshit comments myself.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Glenn said: if you will do some fact checking, you will find that the article makes a number of factual claims that are patently untrue.

                    What, specifically?

                    Hoffer rejects the civil rights movement:

                    “The simple fact is that the people I have lived and worked with all my life, and who make up about 60 per cent of the population outside the South, have not the least feeling of guilt toward the Negro. The majority of us started to work for a living in our teens, and we have been poor all our lives. Most of us had only a rudimentary education. Our white skin brought us no privileges and no favors. For more than twenty years I worked in the fields of California with Negroes, and now and then for Negro contractors. On the San Francisco waterfront, where I spent the next twenty years, there are as many black longshoremen as white. My kind of people does not feel that the world owes us anything, or that we owe anybody—white, black, or yellow—a damn thing. We believe that the Negro should have every right we have: the right to vote, the right to join any union open to us, the right to live, work, study, and play anywhere he pleases. But he can have no special claims on us, and no valid grievances against us. He has certainly not done our work for us.”


                    “Hoffer was convinced that the black leadership was taking the wrong approach, if they wanted to advance the people in whose name they spoke. Only achievement would win the respect of the larger society and — more important — their own self-respect. And no one else can give you achievement.”

                    In other words, blacks should stop complaining about historical injustice, and get a job.

                    Hoffer was also unsympathetic to the environmental movement:

                    “One of the many conceits of contemporary intellectuals that Hoffer deflated was their nature cult. “Almost all the books I read spoke worshipfully of nature,” he said, recalling his own personal experience as a migrant farm worker that was full of painful encounters with nature, which urban intellectuals worshipped from afar. Hoffer saw in this exaltation of nature another aspect of intellectuals’ elitist “distaste for man.”


                    “Hoffer was also something of a hawk on foreign policy, supporting the Vietnam War and expressing disgust with the anti-war movement. He later toned this down in the late 70’s, possibly because of the results of Vietnam. He also opposed the civil rights movement and denounced its leaders.”


              • robert wilson says:

                I too was quite taken with Eric Hoffer during the 50’s. As I recall The True Believer garnered much excitement and discussion. There had been nothing quite like it.

                • Robert, thanks for the link. I loved as far as it got. But it did not get very far. I ran into this little obstacle:

                  This article is available to subscribers only.

                  Well fuck, don’t guess I will be able to read it.

                  • robert wilson says:

                    Hoffer worked in various odd jobs and drifted throughout the country (including Los Angeles’ famous Skid Row), until becoming a longshoreman in 1943, a job he kept until his mandatory retirement at the age of 65. Completely selftaught, after he became a noted author he would fit his lectures and writing into his work schedule. When asked once “Are you an intellectual?”, Hoffer proudly responded, “No, I’m a longshoreman.” But his works ably demonstrated that the two are not mutually exclusive.

                    Hoffer was to write several books throughout his career, but it was first book, The True Believer which, published in 1951, made his name and fame. Aphoristic in style (his later books would be even more in this vein, some having only a single sentence on a page), it was based upon years of reflection, and his own observations of the rise of fascism, Nazism and communism as reactions to the Great Depression. The main point Hoffer stresses in his book is that, for the ‘true believer’ (someone so committed to a cause that he or she is willing to unthinkingly die for it) ideologies are interchangeable. It is the frustrations of life which lead the believers to join a cause that gives meaning to their own existences, and the more frustrated they feel, the more attracted they are to extreme revolutionary solutions to their problems. Such frustrations can be the basis for positive social change, but usually mass movements have less beneficial effects. The message that self-sacrifice is needed for the good of a cause can often justify the most heinous of endeavors, and followers are treated as interchangeable cogs in a machine rather than as flesh-and-blood humans. Abstractions and atrocities often go hand-in-hand.

                    Hoffer is very perceptive in his criticisms, and much of what he has to say is relevant to the present situation. For instance, he points out that we often imitate what we hate. “Every mass movement”, he writes, “shapes itself after its own specific demon.” And it can then become the very demon it denounces. Christianity in the Middle Ages became so obsessed with devils and witchcraft that it justified mass slaughter and the very sorts of atrocities one would normally attribute to satanic forces. The Jacobins who overthrew the French Monarchy because of its tyranny ended up becoming far greater tyrants themselves, and unleashed The Great Terror upon the populace. The Bolsheviks in Russia denounced capitalism yet amassed a monopoly, and Lenin took over the Czar’s secret police apparatus without a moment’s hesitation.

                    This reminds me of the paradoxical reality that contemporary religious fundamentalist movements, while claiming to be bringing back an idyllic past, nonetheless utilize the most up-to-date technologies to spread their messages. The Ayatollah Khomeini, for example, used tape recordings of his sermons to keep his Iranian followers informed of his views during his long exile in France. And the September 11th terrorists not only learned to fly sophisticated aircrafts, they no doubt used the internet, cell phones and other modern means of communication to plan their deeds and keep their conspiracy a secret.

                    Hoffer also offers some insight into why the September 11th terrorists committed such horrific acts. “All the true believers of our time”, he wrote in 1951, “communist, nazi, fascist … declaim volubly about the decadence of the West.” The weakness of the West, and its moral decay, were frequent themes of Osama Bin Laden’s recent video sermons. Ironically, views not dissimilar were expressed by the Reverends Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson just days after the bombings, when the former stated that secularism, homosexuality, abortion and feminism had weakened the moral fiber of the nation and made it vulnerable to attack, as well as to God’s wrath. As Hoffer so well understood, True Believers think alike, regardless of the content of their thoughts.

                    True Believers of all kinds share certain characteristics, including contempt for those who don’t have a holy cause themselves, and respect for fellow fanatics. Hitler and Stalin, for instance, each admired the techniques the other had used to gain and maintain absolute power, and both expressed contempt for the democratic leaders Churchill and Roosevelt. Most of all, Hoffer writes, “A rising mass movement attracts and holds a following not by its doctrines and promises but by the refuge it offers from the anxieties, barrenness and meaninglessness of an individual existence.” The less control people feel they have over their lives, the more attractive the message of mass movements will be.

                    How then does one combat True Believers? Can one make a love of democracy and the advocacy of individualism a holy cause itself? “Though hatred is a convenient instrument for mobilizing a community for defense,” Hoffer warns, “it does not, in the long run, come cheap. We pay for it by losing all or many of the values we have set out to defend.” The best way to fight is to encourage individualism, contrary thinking and a disinclination to follow blindly the teachings of any leaders, no matter how seemingly benign.

                    What motivated Hoffer to write The True Believer? In later interviews, he confessed that he saw himself as a potential mass leader – he had charisma, a way with words, and a cold heart towards his fellow human beings, all essential elements for leading large numbers of people and not caring what ultimately happens to them.

                    Hoffer withdrew from the limelight in the early 1970s, after the bad experiences he had on the UC-Berkeley campus where, as a visiting scholar, he felt the student movement’s growing advocacy of violence only verified the claims he had made about the dangers of True Believers. He faded from the limelight, saying “Any man can ride a train. Only a wise man knows when to get off.”

                    As we near the 100th anniversary of Hoffer’s birth, it is good to reflect upon his unique work – a modern-day Socratic figure, a working-class hero and longshoreman/intellectual, Hoffer’s writings still have much to teach us in the uncertain times ahead.

                    © Dr Timothy J. Madigan 2001

                    Tim Madigan is Editorial Director of the University of Rochester Press and Vice President of the Bertrand Russell Society.

                  • Thanks Robert, a very good read. The depths of such a great mind is indeed hard to fathom. Just when you think you have it figured out, it throws you for a loop. And this article definitely threw me for a loop.

                    Thanks again.

          • oldfarmermac says:

            How much so called higher education did Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, etc possess?

            Hoffer is or was a genius.

            But nobody should confuse his personal politics with his overall insights into the workings of the mind of naked apes and the behavior of them in crowds.

            I read Ayn Rand BEFORE I ever got into politics, before I gave a damn about politics, before I KNEW anything about politics.

            MY takeaway from her books was that one, women are as smart and tough as men, that the system treats them like dirt, etc, that she was the earliest of the heavy duty feminists of my acquaintance, that a woman can sleep with who she pleases, etc with no more stigma ( none basically ) attached than a man sleeping around.

            But these were the minor points she made. The REAL points were that the shit really hits the fan when big business and government get into bed together, and stay there. ATLAS SHRUGGED is the BEST book I have ever read when it comes to picturing what fascism really is.

            The big businessmen were the fucking villians in this book, plain and simple, right across the board, with the exception of two or three who were her protagonists. This bears repeating. Read Rand with an open mind, and you will see that big business in combination with big government IS THE ENEMY.

            Ninety nine percent of the people who think of Rand as a right wing patsy tend to agree or be sympathetic to the view that big business plus big government in bed are the REAL enemy.

            I cannot remember a line in her work that can reasonably be construed as opposing reasonable and prudent regulation of industry-as opposed to regulation tailored to the DESIRES of industry.

            The book is nothing but a novel for Sky Daddy’s sake.

            Jesus Christ was a pacifist and a socialist, first class, all the way.

            But look what has been done in his name, all thru history!

            A serious book is a tool of sorts, that can be put to either good or bad use, depending on the reader. The author of it has damned little control over what his or her work eventually comes to represent in the mind of the public.

            It has been my privilege to know some extremely intelligent people. One of the most perceptive of the entire lot, when it comes to simply intuitively understanding the nature of men, their behavior individually and in crowds, was illiterate. Perhaps this was made possible because he spent his days in the fields, plowing and hoeing for his daily bread, with his mind thus free, doing that simple work.

            A formal education is not NECESSARILY the key to intellectual accomplishment.

            But WHO gets called a fascist? Ayn Rand of course.

            • Mac, I have often wondered how such a smart man as you seem to be could possibly buy into that conservative bullshit. Now I know. You were brainwashed at an early age by reading Ayn Rand.

              One should never read deep seated ideology, like the Bible, the Koran or Atlas Shrugged, at an early age. It will fuck you up forever. 😉

              • oldfarmermac says:

                Hi Ron,

                Let me try again.

                You are smart enough to get it, if you try. Jesus Christ was a socialist. What he stood for is not what is done in his name today.

                If you actually read Rand’s novels, you will discover that the supposed conservative bullshit IS NOT IN THE NOVELS.

                The public perception of what she wrote, in those novels and what is actually IN THEM, is almost totally erroneous.

                Both the right and the left wing are as wrong as wrong can get about the novels themselves, the right interpreting them as the work of an angel, the left as the work of a devil.

                Consider the discussion of Hoffer up thread.

                I have never met a person who has ACTUALLY READ her novels who disagrees with me, as to the actual contents thereof.

                At some point, she sold out, or bought in, however you want to express it, and became an anti government icon.

                There is not a single line I can remember arguing against honest regulation of industry etc.

                The books are all about the way corrupt business men can and do get into bed with corrupt government, to the detriment of their competitors, and the public.

                Obviously you have not read them.

                Now it IS perfectly true that the hard core right REVERES Rand, and that the left generally has nothing but contempt for her. This is because she later inspired the conservative clique headed up by Greenspan and that sort.

                If not for that, her books would have an entirely different reputation, and they would be read by aspiring feminists as the story of the first woman of her time to utterly smash the glass ceiling, and take control of her own life, and boss the biggest and most important company in existence at that time, not to mention taking control of her sex life, sleeping with whom she pleased, when she pleased etc, without shame, just as men do, if they can.

                People who either hate or love Hoffer, a minor writer by comparison, generally have not read him either. He represents something in their minds that he was NOT, a black or white character.

                Sometimes the consensus is simply WRONG.

                I type using the Dvorak keyboard. It is OBVIOUSLY as far ahead of qwerty as a new car is a Model T, but I have never met anybody else personally who uses it.

                I happened on it by accident, and taught myself to use it in a matter of about sixty hours after being unable to master qwerty on my own after years of trying.

                When competitions are held, the Dvorak people mop the floor with the qwerty competition. But the public never gets it, and probably never will.

                Sometimes the consensus is simply wrong.

                • Mac, I am not going to argue with you on this point because I have never read Atlas Shrugged and never intend to. But I have read the Bible and I will argue with you on your point here:

                  Jesus Christ was a pacifist and a socialist, first class, all the way.

                  No he was not. Jesus Christ, like John Galt, was a fictional character. Now a fictional character can be portrayed as being a socialist or whatever but basically they are the creation of their creator. In the case of John Galt, the creator was Ayn Rand, in the case of Jesus it was mythological legend that was finally recorded by several authors.

                  But that is another subject for another day. I really don’t know why your politics got so screwed up, I was just surmising that it might have been Ayn Rand. Perhaps it was some other really screwed up philosopher that you read years earlier. 😉

                  But to be sure it wasn’t John Stuart Mill.

                  Edit: Though I have not read any of Ayn Rand’s books, (were there more than two), I did see the movie “The Fountainhead”. It was the biggest pile of shit I ever tried to watch in my life.

                  • oldfarmermac says:

                    Now I have made a fool of myself, by forgetting that Jesus is a mythical character. I personally think he probably did actually exist, as a man, not a god of course, who was used as a role model in creating the God.

                    BUT ignoring that minor point,in an of itself, you MAKE my point by pointing out my error.

                    Who ever Jesus WAS, in case he DID exist, he was NOT GOD. His morphing into God was the result of later people making him into something he was not.

                    Ditto Rand’s novels.

                    Everybody on the left trashes the novels, for partisan purposes, making them into something they are not. Hard core right wingers use them as a starting point, PLUS Rand’s articulated anti government philosophy, as the foundation of their anti regulation creed.

                    It is worth mentioning that big biz is not anti government. Big biz LOVES government, the bigger the better, so long as government allows big biz to do as it pleases.

  13. Bifrost says:

    October has one more day than September. Production per day is down for both Bakken and ND.

    • Bifrost, the data in my charts is in barrels per day, no barrels per month. Don’t you think we have sense enough to know the difference. We all have been doing this for many years now. Give us a little credit will you?

      • dclonghorn says:

        Ron, can you tell me how the number of wells waiting on completion can fall 105 during the month while total completions are 43. I think their data is messed up, and their wells awaiting completion is probably overstated. Have you seen the Rystead press release about fracking going up and DUC’s down.

        • AlexS says:


          We have already discussed this before and came to conclusion that NDIC’s well completion numbers are not reliable

        • Plugged and abandoned? Maybe some companies held marginal wells to be completed when prices got higher. But prices went lower. So they decided to plug.

  14. AlexS says:

    OPEC estimates of U.S. liquids production by source
    (Source: OPEC MOMR Dec. 2015)

  15. AlexS says:

    U.S. oil production estimates: Rystad Energy vs. EIA STEO

  16. AlexS says:

    Interesting trend: the EIA has been increasing its estimates of U.S. C+C production for 2015 – early 2016, but decreasing estimates for the second half of next year.

    • AlexS says:

      The biggest revision (of 280 kb/d) was for the GoM oil production in September 2015.
      Apparently the EIA expected a sharp drop due to the hurricane season.
      Total U.S. C+C output estimate for September was increased by 420 kb/d in the December STEO compared to the October STEO

      C+C production in the Gulf of Mexico

      • AlexS says:

        EIA’s estimates for the Lower 48 states ex-GoM were revised up for 2005-early 2016
        (by more than 100 kb/d for October and November). However the outlook for the second half of next year has been significantly reduced (by more than 300 kb/d for December 2016).

    • shallow sand says:

      AlexS. You should read COP’s CAPEX guidance. They are quickly transforming from an international producer to a US LTO and Canadian oil sands producer exclusively.

      Apparently many other parts in the world look less economic for them.

      I get the same feeling from Marathon Oil.

      I do not think $25 WTI will cause much further of a US rig reduction.

      • coffeeguyzz says:

        There have been a few vague rumors floating around that Shell is ready to pounce/purchase in the Bakken in a big way.

        For all the talk these past few years about Shell ‘bailing out’ of LTO and losing billions (all true), they have been quietly, successfully drilling numerous (~12) wells in north central Pennsylvania targeting the deep Utica.
        With this somewhat modest, positive operational track record, it may behoove them to ‘toss’ a couple billion towards, say, Whiting, and thus procure enormous reserves on the relative cheap.
        2016 may be very ugly for most in the oil patch, but the deep pockets stand to gain.

        • shallow sand says:

          Coffee. It is interesting there has not been a big takeover of an LTO or shale gas focused company.

          Must still be wide disparity between buyers and sellers on price.

          It sure seems like natural gas will never recover. Have to think US conventional is on life support, just like much of US conventional oil.

          • AlexS says:

            It seems that potential buyers would prefer acquiring assets than companies

            • shallow sand says:

              Yes, too much debt associated with the companies.

              • coffeeguyzz says:

                RBN has an interesting piece today on the IRR of selected basins for both oil and gas at different ( but LOW) pricing.

                It is incredible to me that they use $2+ HH and find it economically feasible.

                Unlike Mr. Leopold, there is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that the capacity, ie., the actual amount of produced gas in the Appalachian Basin will be prodigious far, far off into the future … but, still, 2 bucks?
                As an aside, Gulfport had about 15 wells cumulatively produce 18Bcf this past quarter in the dry Utica (Ohio stats).
                Rice had about a dozen produce between between 1 and 1.5 Bcf each this past 90 days.
                There are several more that produced just under 1 Bcf in the 3rd Qtr.
                Concrete plans are afoot to build numerous huge gas generated power plants.
                The northeast has the potential to regain world class status as a manufacturing hub.

                • Steve says:

                  “It is incredible to me that they use $2+ HH and find it economically feasible.”

                  They also mention that the figures are based on half-cycle costs.

                  …plus ~40% discounts from service providers
                  …plus zeroing in on sweet spots these last years, then high grading from there as they pull resources

                  Check out these numbers from a recent EIA study. Look at the costs from Dec. 2012 to Aug. 2014. Where are all the cost savings??


                  Check out Dr. Foss’s (BEG/Univ of Tx) natgas cost data – whether you agree with the absolute (HIGH) values or not – costs did not change much thru 2014 – see slide 5:


                  The CEO of Peyto said last year the new technology had not lowered his company’s cost – just enabled then to apply capital to shale. . “Our total costs are not lower today, or over the last several years, than they were before we started to use the ‘new technology.’ … We are making the same amount of return, just on a larger amount of capital.”


                  Anyway – lots of, what are perhaps temporary, cost savings after the crash in oil prices. I just read they are no longer serving free soda in the CHK break room. 😉

              • oldfarmermac says:

                As local folks put it, when it comes to company assets and company debts, ” It all comes out in the wash” meaning that if you buy the company and the assets, you get the assets much cheaper – hopefully cheap enough to pay off the debts with a few bucks left over.

                This assumes the company has assets worth more than the debts of course, and that you are sure you know about all the debts etc.

                This strategy enables you as the buyer to get control of the assets sooner, and with less competition from other potential buyers, plus saving the lender the time and expense associated with foreclosure and piecemeal liquidation of the assets etc. So the lender is willing to cut a deal.

                I don’t know doo doo from apple butter when it comes to hands on oil, but this is the way it works in other industries.

            • Sometimes getting the assets requires buying the company. I’ve been involved in some of these deals (as a grunt, of course). The corporate structure in large companies takes a company purchase through a different route, it’s sloppier, more freelancing, the valuation is done a bit different. This is why we see so many companies execute lousy purchases.

              Buying a property is handled with more impact from geoscience and engineering, and it tends to yield a lower value. Hence there’s no purchase. Also the seller doesn’t want to deal with layoffs etc.

              This applies to large companies only. Little guys live in a wilder world.

  17. R Walter says:

    Bakken wells in December of 2014, 9,051.

    Bakken wells in October of 2015, 10,298.

    1247 more wells, 679 fewer barrels per well per month..

    1.5 million barrels short of December of 2014 monthly total.

    Decline and depletion, right there.

    • AlexS says:

      R Walter

      There were more new wells with higher daily production in Dec 2014 compared to Oct 2015

  18. AlexS says:

    shallow sand,

    This trend was apparent since the beginning of the shale boom. U.S. oil companies were reallocating capital from overseas projects and domestic conventional operations towards shale gas and LTO. Interestingly, the divested assets were generating free cashflow, while shale operations were cash-negative. And nothing really changed with the sharp drop in oil prices.
    I am not sure that oil and gas production in other parts of the world is now less economic compared to the shale. Probably international projects are perceived as more politically risky

    • shallow sand says:

      AlexS. That is likely true regarding political risk. I also think the move by COP out of deep water surely has to do with environmental risk.

      I read the CAPEX conference call transcript. CEO of COP says they need $60 Brent to be cash flow neutral and maintain the dividend. Further they are divesting $2.3 billion of assets, including both producing properties and pipelines. I am not sure what gas price is used in conjunction with $60 Brent, as COP has a large percentage of gas.

    • AlexS says:

      As for the forecast for the next year, I have serious doubts that we will see a significant drop in LTO output and, generally, in U.S. C+C production next year.

      Here is an article confirming this view:

      As Oil Keeps Falling, Nobody Is Blinking

      The standoff between major global energy producers that has created an oil glut is set to continue next year in full force, as much because of the U.S. as of OPEC.
      American shale drillers have only trimmed their pumping a little, and rising oil flows from the Gulf of Mexico are propping up U.S. production. The overall output of U.S. crude fell just 0.2% in September, the most recent monthly federal data available, and is down less than 3%, to 9.3 million barrels a day, from the peak in April.
      Some analysts see the potential for U.S. oil output to rise next year.

      The situation has surprised even seasoned oil traders. “It was anticipated that U.S. shale producers, the source of the explosive growth in supply in recent years, would be the first to fold,” Andrew Hall, chief executive of the commodities hedge fund Astenbeck Capital Management LLC, wrote in a letter to investors. “But this hasn’t happened, at least not at the rate initially expected.”

      For the past year, U.S. oil companies have been kept afloat by hedges–financial contracts that locked in higher prices for their crude–as well as an infusion of capital from Wall Street in the first half of the year that helped them keep pumping even as oil prices continued to fall. The companies also slashed costs and developed better techniques to produce more crude and natural gas per well.
      The opportunity for further productivity gains is waning, experts say, capital markets are closing and hedging contracts for most producers expire this year. These factors have led some analysts to predict that 2016 production could decline as much as 10%.
      But others predict rising oil output, in part because crude production is growing in the Gulf, where companies spent billions of dollars developing megaprojects that are now starting to produce oil. … companies are on track to pump about 10% more crude than they did in 2014. In September, they produced almost 1.7 million barrels a day, according to the latest federal data.
      Since most of the money to tap this oil and gas was spent before crude prices cratered, and since pipelines and other infrastructure to bring it to market are already in place, it makes economic sense for the companies to go ahead with the projects despite the glut, they say.
      Anadarko Petroleum says it expects its operations to expand in the Gulf, where it currently holds 2 million net acres. The company plans to bring a production platform online in the first half of 2016, which will be capable of producing as much as 80,000 barrels a day.
      “It’s either free or very little marginal cost,” said Anadarko CEO Al Walker. “For some of us, the Gulf of Mexico is still a very viable place for us to make investments.”
      Like Anadarko, Shell has decided to continue investing in deep water despite low oil prices. Overall, its production in the region is up about 10% for the year, to 250,000 barrels a day–a “big jump for us,” said Wael Sawan, an executive vice president.
      Also likely to slow the decline of U.S. oil production: more than 1,200 wells that companies drilled but left untapped in the hopes of higher prices.
      Small or financially strapped producers, which must keep drilling to get the cash to pay interest on billions of dollars of debt, will probably begin tapping those wells soon, according to Rystad Energy, the Norwegian energy consultancy. It forecasts that these wells could help push up U.S. production in 2016 by about 200,000 barrels a day from the 2015 average.
      These wells “will be one of the main drivers for 2016 shale production,” said Bielenis Villanueva-Triana, a senior analyst at Rystad.
      Some producers with low debt will opt to wait to produce more oil, but others won’t have that option. “In the U.S., they have a desperate need for cash flow,” said Gary Ross, head of global oil at consulting firm PIRA Energy Group. “It looks like this could carry on until at least the first quarter.”

      • shallow sand says:

        Maybe the only hope is explosive demand.

        Gasoline here is $1.67 and I have heard as low as $1.39 in a low tax state. The US is, or will soon be below $2.00. It will take awhile, but maybe 2016 will have greater production growth than forecast if gasoline price remain this low.

  19. Don Wharton says:

    I recently posted some summary stats on natural gas production from the EIA DPR. Heinrich responded with a comment asserting, “shale displaced non-shale natural gas production to the tune of 4 to 5 bcf/d per year” and “there is a supply/demand gap of around 10 bcf/d”. Huckleberry Finn weighed in with, “My thoughts exactly. NG should be over $5 by December 2017.”

    I am used to Heinrich making statements that are as absurd as Fernando or Javier on global warming. However, his comment made it clear to me that I did not have a clue about what might be happening to nat gas conventional production. Moreover, I had great difficulty finding any good evaluation on it elsewhere. Our attention here and elsewhere is much more focused on shale production and more focused on oil than nat gas. That yields a relative information vacuum re conventional nat gas. The best that I could do is estimate that current conventional US nat gas production is likely to be very modestly over 30 bcf/d. From a Scientific American article I got an estimate that the decline in conventional production is running about 5% a year. That would suggest a decline of about 1.5 bcf/d for 2016. This would be massively less than Heinrich’s prediction.

    From what I can tell producers in the Marcellus are getting prices that are very slightly over $1. There is now massively greater takeaway capacity for the US northeast. $5 at Henry Hub would yield about $4 for producers in the northeast. This would be obscenely profitable for producers and there is from what I can tell at least 20 bcd/d additional production capacity that is possible from proven reserves. From this I would suggest that there seems to be a near zero chance of $5 gas by the end of 2017. Prices at that level would create a tsunami of supply.

    More to the point about this market. Does anyone have more reliable knowledge about nat gas conventional production going forward? Obviously my guesstimate is worth little more than the non existent toilet paper that it is not written on.

    • Heinrich Leopold says:


      It is now official: US dry natgas production declined year over year by -.47%. This is the first decline since a very long time. At least the announced flood of natgas production due to new pipelines did not materialize. There are enormous forces behind the scenes, which make it very difficult for producers to increase production. The high decline rates of shale production have reduced the value of shale debt basically to zero as the underlying assets (wells producing cash from oil sales) do not exist anymore to a high degree. Shale has to replace 4 mill b/d out of 4.8 mill b/d every year. The same situation prevails for natgas as the gas industry has to drill for 18 bcf/d (or 3 mill boe/d) every year simply to replace existing production.
      The bond market can smell the rat and revolts already against E&P companies. It is impossible for E&P companies to fund new production from the bond and equity market. To fund new production from banks overdraft facilities is just possible to a minor degree. As the bond market really tanked this month , the consequences will be felt in this and the next few months’ production numbers. Well completion and well permits are soon below plugs (see chart below). This chart looks like a ‘Seneca’ curve to me. Most comments rely to September and October production numbers and are clearly behind the curve. In order to make good decisions, it is important to go beyond common belief. The majority is always wrong – otherwise the majority would be rich. Believing the shale hype was for sure a ticket to the poor house so far. I have argued the whole year against a fast rise of oil prices as this will not happen until US production is coming down. And this was exactly what happened the whole year: oil prices were lower and lower despite experts announcements of a fast rising oil price at the end of spring, fall and the year…..So, I feel 100% vindicated. If people want higher oil prices, US production has to come down. Time will tell also about my prediction about natgas, yet the fundamental forces are going into the right direction. The future natgas market went into backwardation for the first time in a decade. For the first time since a decade it is better to sell into the spot market, rather than into the futures market – despite all the surplus of inventories. So, financing from the futures market has also dried up for companies. This is a major sign of a turnaround in the market.

      • AlexS says:


        Lower nat. gas production is due to low prices and lack of demand. It has nothing to do with high decline rates of the shale gas wells.

        “Shale has to replace 4 mill b/d out of 4.8 mill b/d every year”

        Excuse me, but this is pure fantasy. Look at Enno Peters’ charts for the Bakken. They show that, with no new wells drilled and completed, legacy production would decline by ~30% within 12 months. So they have to replace ~1.6 mb/d every year.

        • Heinrich Leopold says:


          Natgas demand is at record high. Bakken has a legacy rate of -78 kb/d and month. Annualized this is 1 mill b/d. So, without new wells, Bakken is in theory at zero by the end of next year. However, legacy decline will be weaker over time. Yet, if companies want to keep production flat they have to drill 1 mill b/d every year as with constant production, legacy decline will not be weaker and rather go higher. These are enormous dimensions. There are actually rumors that Bakken made substantial cuts in December. We will soon find out. The bond market is really badly tanking today. This will change everything. Many people in the shale patch are realizing that they will never see their money again. The emperor has no clothes. Without companies, there will be also no production.

          • HL,
            Did you notice the last two draw downs in NG inventory.
            All analysts were wrong and it was much higher in spite of “balmy” temperatures. I suspect more demand has switched to NG for heating from either Heating oil or electricity (more coal based) than market is pricing.

    • Don,
      You are completely incorrect about the Tsunami of supply.
      The only reason NG “grew” at $5 was because oil was at $100. The NGL and Oil from those wells made it profitable.
      All in costs are around $6 for most wells over the life cycle so no they wont be growing 20 BCF at those prices.
      Also most companies will use excess cash flow to pay down debt over the next 2-3 years. As usual they will fight the last battle.

      • Steve says:

        Nice to see some discussion of natgas on this board – from BOTH the bullish and bearish perspective. Most discussions on natgas pricing focus on the best well and the best play and infer it will set the price at HH – as if all other producers will need to match the Marcellus/Utica blue light special. Associated Gas and billions of wasted capital have subsidized US natgas production. We will produce less Associated (now about 50% of all shale gas), and the excess capital is being depleted with each MCF sold at less than full costs. Going to need 90+ BCF/day to fill up the tub by 2020. 20 BCF/day per year will need to be replaced due to shale and conventional natgas depletion. Full cycle marginal cost is a forgotten term in this recent market – but the price will swing by it every now and then – and that marginal MCF is not going to be from two counties in the Marcellus play.

        By the way, 2019-natgas disassociated from the carnage three weeks ago – AND a very large buyer showed up on Friday:

        Friday’s volume data still here, but likely gone by Sunday afternoon:

        50+ contracts in every month of 2019 and 2020
        (most large trxns for LT natgas are OTC – not on the CME)

    • Don Wharton says:

      Huckleberry and Heinrich,

      I regard both of you as making claims that border on the completely delusional. I had hoped to have a serious discussion here. This is an important topic. Have either of you even asked the question, “what evidence would convince me that I am wrong?” And Heinrich, haven’t I and others told you multiple times that the Texas data is profoundly incomplete and unreliable.

      Back to Huckleberry, I have read about numerous companies that assert that they can make very good money in the northeast if they can get as little as $2 for their product. If the market at HH was $5 and they got $4 at the well they would be able to make back the entirety of their costs in less than one year. The present value of the subsequent cash flow would justify a massive movement in of rigs and teams of workers from other parts of the country.

      The two of you seem to have visions of greed dancing in your heads to the point that evidence just does not matter. Heinrich is right that at some point this market will turn. He is also right that it will be when everyone is bearish. However, it is not helpful to misinterpret data to point of hallucinating nonsense in finding the actual time for this to happen. We are still producing far too much natural gas. I am now thinking that we will need to see a wave of bankruptcies to put an end to the over production. Neither of you two have noted the massive investment in LNG exports that will be put in place over the next five years. Nor have you noted the massive expansion in the exports to Mexico that will happen. Again it will take five years to see this impact.

      My thanks to Alex for his modest note of skepticism. Obviously by itself it is not enough to develop a credible view of the future on this. Heinrich just doubled down without even evaluating what Alex said. We need others to weigh in.

      • coffeeguyzz says:

        Mr. Wharton

        To verify somewhat, the huge output of natgas from the Marcellus, I quickly scanned some of the highest producing wells/pads (data complied by Marcellus … TFlower 2 – 15Bcf; ten well pad in Susquehanna county – 47 Bcf.
        This is cherry picking the best, certainly, but it is indicative of the vast amount of natgas there.

        And naturally, the Utica may prove to be larger.

        • Glenn Stehle says:


          This is in response to this comment and your comment above:

          I don’t like to pick on you too much, because on this blog you’re like the Lone Ranger. You’re the one lonely Carbon Utopian who ever dares show his face. It’s like a black man showing up at a gathering of the KKK.

          But nevertheless, I must question your unbridled optimism.

          Maybe the sublime world of the Carbon Utopians does lie somewhere in the glorious future, but signs of that glory are difficult to find in a past that is far less glorious.

          I took a look at Range Resources’ “December Investor Presentation,” and it too waxes optimistic about “the vast amount of natgas there.” It pegs EURs of its newly completed non-conventional horizontal gas wells at between 13 and 18 BCF of gas equivalent.

          But if we take a look at Range’s past, proven performance, we get an entirely different picture.

          The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection publishes well inventories as well as current and cumulative production for each oil and gas operator in its state.

          And if we take a gander at Range Resources, what we find is that it currently operates 1,146 active horizontal non-conventional wells in Pennsylvania.

          These 1,146 wells have produced a cumulative of 1,509,046,632 MCFG and 12,155,915 barrels of condensate through September, 2015. That’s an average of 1.32 BCFG and 10,600 barrels of condensate per well.

          These 1,146 wells in September, 2015 produced a total of 36,535,452 MCFG and 305,835 barrels of condentsate. That’s an average of 1.06 MMCFGPD and 9 barrels of condensate per day.

          Range claims its drilling and completion cost have declined significantly, to $6 million for a well with a 6,000′ lateral.

          But at $2 per MCF for gas, do you know how long it would take Range’s average well to pay out? If Range nets $1.20 per MCF after operating expenses, royalties, G&A, taxes and all the other expenses are totaled up, we’re talking about needing 5 BCF to achieve payout.

          A well that has to date produced only 1.4 BCF of natural gas equivalent would need another 3.6 BCF to pay out. At a producing rate of 1.1 MMCFGPD, have you calculated the remaining time necessary to achieve payout? We’re talking another 9 years. And that’s assuming no decline in future production rates whatsoever.

          And at a 1.1 MMCFGPD production rate, we’re talking another 34 years to achieve an EUR of 15 BCF.

          • coffeeguyzz says:

            Mr. Stehle

            Your post contains some great info that I would like to address later when I have more time.

            But twu things should be clear …
            In my earlier comment re RBN using $2 mmbtu for IRR calculations for economic feasibility, I used the phrase ‘ incredible to me’. It most certainly is to think ANY outfit can long endure selling the energy equivalent of 1,000 cubic feet of methane cheaper than canned farts. Jes ain’t gonna happen.

            Second point may be more ‘meaty’ in calling into question the production data from Range.
            Long ago, on this site, I discussed how the 2010-2013 drilling in the Bakken was NOT draining the sweet spots first for various reasons. (The current drilling in the core of the core shows this).
            Two aspects of Range’s well data should be recognized … much of the drilling was frantic HBP driven, and the lateral were short.
            A further note should be made that their technical expertise continues to improve.

            At the end of the day, using $2 mmbtu is sure to bring into question the viability of the whole thing.

            However … bump the two bucks to four, then, mebbe six.
            Perspectives obviously can change dramatically.

            • Glenn Stehle says:

              coffeeguyz said:

              However … bump the two bucks to four, then, mebbe six.

              Perspectives obviously can change dramatically.


              But again this is speculation based on a vision of a glorious future, and does not deal with the dismal present.

              Totalitarian propaganda raised ideological scientificality and its technique of making statements in the form of predictions to a height of efficiency of method and absurdity of content because, demagogically speaking, there is hardly a better way to avoid discussion than by releasing an argument from the control of the present and by saying that only the future can reveal its merits.

              –HANNAH ARENDT, The Origins of Totalitarianism

              • coffeeguyzz says:

                Mr. Stehle

                Gotta thank you right off the bat for prompting me to do a little digging and a lot of learning this past half hour.
                Some facts and data:
                In Pennsylvania, active wells, and developed wells, are not necessarily producers.
                The 36Bcf for September that you accurately cited came from 884 producers … thus averaging 1.377 MMcfd (let’s say 1.4 MM between cyber buddies).

                Digging further down, back to December 2012, Range had a monthly average output of 18,454,891 MMcf with 533 wells … giving a per well daily average output of 1.135 MMcf. (Back then reporting was done in six month increments).

                Soooo … wese gots an additional 350 producers and STILL the daily average goes up a bunch with the older, more numerous wells dragging down this current 1.4 MMcfd figure.

                I’m sure the math wizards on this site could crunch all the output curves these numbers represent, but to an ol’ country boy like me, it sure seems like a heap o’ gas.

                • Glenn Stehle says:


                  I certainly would like to believe that the shale guys have so significantly improved their game.

                  But how long have they been feeding us these inflated reserve figures?

                  It’s not like they didn’t do the same thing with the Barnett Shale.

            • Steve says:

              “RBN using $2 mmbtu for IRR calculations for economic feasibility,”

              in same article, RBN states these are half cycle costs

              my editorial comment: with LOTS of discounts from service providers

              (by the way, why does RBN not state the half-cycle issue in bold letters at the start of the article? lots of people skim, look at the diagrams, etc….seems a bit biased to bury that major fact somewhere in the middle of a paragraph on page 2….might be another pub biased toward the low cost/long time story)

              • AlexS says:

                According to RBN calculations, with half-cycle costs (which excludes lease and some other costs) and assuming 40% cost reduction vs. 2014 levels, IRR for Marcellus and Utica wet and dry gas zones are between 4% and 11%.
                Note that:
                1) From what I know from various sources, cost reduction over the past year was closer to 30%, most of which is due to lower rates for drilling, fracking and lower prices for materials and equipment.
                2) Positive IRR does not mean that operations are economically viable. Minimal IRR for the oil and gas industry should be no less than 10-12%.
                3) Even when oil price was at $100, US nat gas at $3-5, and stated IRRs were at 40-70%, most shale companies were burning cash and increasing debt levels. That means that calculated IRR for individual wells does not properly reflect economics of the shale companies’ business model.

                All that does not deny the fact, that Marcellus and Utica have huge resource base and are the lowest cost US shale plays.

                • Nick G says:

                  most shale companies were burning cash and increasing debt levels. That means that calculated IRR for individual wells does not properly reflect economics

                  Are we sure? An investment can be very profitable on an accrual basis, but a company can still plow all of it’s cash back into more investment, and borrow more to boot.

                  • AlexS says:

                    “An investment can be very profitable on an accrual basis, but a company can still plow all of it’s cash back into more investment, and borrow more to boot.”

                    That can work only with constant high growth rates of output and constantly high prices. In that case there is a hope that at some point in the distant future shale companies will become cash-positive.

                    As we see now, growth rates and oil and gas prices cannot be constantly high.

                  • AlexS says:

                    Besides, per well IRR calculations usually do not include certain categories of costs, such as G&A, interest, investments in infrastructure, etc.

                  • Nick G says:

                    That can work only with constant high growth rates of output

                    The paradox (of negative cash flow and positive accrual-based returns) certainly requires high growth rates. But high growth rates aren’t needed for each well investment to be profitable in the long run: you’d expect cash flow to become strongly positive for each well in the succeeding years, after the first year when almost all of the capex happens.

                    Now, high prices are certainly needed. If you hedge your output properly, you can guarantee those high prices. Shale producers often didn’t do that, but that was a business management mistake, not an inherent flaw in the profitability of the wells.

                  • Steve says:

                    Here’s another study – this one on Haynesville. Seems like Haynes might be of particular interest to those betting on natgas future pricing since it might be supplying the marginal MCF. (Bernstein’s model predicts 15 bcfd INCREMENTAL supply growth over the next five years from Marcellus/Utica and 5 bcfd INCREMENTAL growth from East Texas/Louisiana.)

                    Kaiser and Yu out of LSU have done extensive work on Haynesville EURs and economics – their 3rd and 4th (last) installments were published Feb and March/2014 – the 3rd one is on economics. At $4 per MCF, the cumulative value of Haynesville wells have an NPV of NEGATIVE $2.2 Billion.


                    of course, the natgas bears will point to the new technology and techniques since the data was collected…and the bulls will point to the movement from core to periph needed to maintain Haynes current + the new 5 bcf/day

          • John Keller says:

            If the average well is only producing 1MMCF/Day, then there are tons of wells producing much less than that. Those wells should be shut down at today’s prices, shouldn’t they?

            • coffeeguyzz says:

              Mr. Keller
              I do not know what issues, both operationally and legally may arise if these low producers are shut in.
              A news report two weeks ago stated that hundreds of wells have been greatly choked back with Inflection Energy saying they would curtail up to 70% of their production.

              For a comparison re these sub 1 MMcfd wells … Gulfport has 7 wells on 2 pads, the Ripley and Miller pads in the Utica (Ohio), with a cumulative output of about 90 MMcfd. This is at steady flow with restricted choke. Rice Energy has over a dozen wells flowing about 15/17MMcfd on restricted choke without a single one showing ANY decline yet whatsoever. (The oldest, Bigfoot, has just surpassed the one year point of production.).

              Just outstanding rock in these formations.

      • Don,
        Look at the presentation slides of every company. There is a liquids component that is presented for every well.
        It is this component that made it profitable.
        Can people make money at $5/$4 actual without liquids in the triple digit range?
        Yes, the super top quartile. Tourmaline oil. Encana, Peyto and maybe a handful of others.
        90% cannot.

        You also need to understand that the banks and auditors will use the price on Dec 31st 2015 to decide how much to lend them.
        That means all their credit lines, even the best of them will be cut.
        You are ignoring the big stuff.
        And yes the LNG and Mexico exports will kick in down the line but not by 2017, so I did not mention it.

        • Don Wharton says:


          You keep proving that you don’t have a clue by any standard relevant to me. Please check out this article and let me know if you still want to have the views that you now assert:

          • Dude,
            You are an idiot.
            Seriously. I just told you that there are a few NG producers that can produce at those prices. That is like saying it costs Saudi Arabia $15 for a barrel of oil, so the long run price should be around that.
            Price is set at the cost of highest producer not lowest.
            Beyond that the UTICA region has a lot of “ifs”. How many sweet spots are there?
            Will 2X the cost of each well versus Marcellus be justified?
            Do you know how many wells your company plans to drill?
            In this freaking prolific region?
            Wanna guess?
            about 5. Compared to 72 for Marcellus.
            And look at their slide 15 to see they are probably the lowest cost producer but there many with full cycle costs of around $4. Those numbers to are wrong as they assumed $100 oil. Most of the other full cycle costs are closer to $8.
            And it might not be the best idea to quote a producer that produces less than 3% of US gas as an example.

            • ChiefEngineer says:

              Hi Huck,

              Dennis ask you the below question a couple of days ago on the “EIA Says Shale Continues to Decline” post , could you answer it. Thanks

              When Huck says:
              We will be at $90 in 18 months.

              Would you interpret that as $90/barrel exactly some time during June 2017?

              • Ok. I did not realize people were equating this with a Nostradamus type of thing. With an exact price and an exact point. So since we are at $35, here is the prediction. In the next 18 months, at some point we will hit $90. Between 18-36 months from now, we will average at least $80.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Huckleberry Finn,

                  Thanks. I interpreted you along those lines, thinking you meant we would be higher than $89/b sometime between now and 18 months from now.

                  There were some who thought you meant $90/b in June 2017, they interpreted your words quite literally.

            • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

              On the other hand, perhaps this time operators have found a play where the wells don’t decline.

              In any case, an article about the Haynesville Shale Gas Play from early 2011 follows. At the 2009 to 2011 rate of increase in Louisiana’s shale gas production, Louisiana Shale Gas production would have exceeded total current global gas production five years later, in 2016.

              Obviously, the sharp decline in Louisiana’s gas production was primarily due to the decline in drilling activity in the Haynesville Play, but in the real world, it’s when, not if, that the production from new wells can no longer offset the declines from existing wells. And the observed 2012 to 2014 20%/year exponential net (net after new wells were added) rate of decline in Louisiana’s marketed gas production provides strong support for the Citi Research estimate that the underlying gross rate of decline in existing US gas production is on the order of 24%/year, which implies that in order to maintain existing US natural gas production for about four years, we have to put on line the productive equivalent of 100% of current US natural gas production over the next four years*.

              March, 2011: Haynesville Shale Surpasses Barnett Shale Natural Gas Production


              BATON ROUGE – The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported today that natural gas production from Louisiana’s Haynesville Shale surpassed production from Texas’ Barnett Shale in February, making the Haynesville the top-producing U.S. natural gas play. Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary Scott Angelle said that the EIA’s announcement serves to underscore the critical role Louisiana continues to play in the energy security and economic health of the nation.
              “Louisiana has a long and distinguished history of fueling America. The Haynesville Shale is just the latest chapter in our efforts to build a stronger economy for our nation,” Angelle said. “In Louisiana, we understand that cheap and available energy is absolutely critical to a robust economy.”
               According to the EIA report, reported pipeline flows show that the Haynesville Shale is currently producing about 5.5 billion cubic feet a day of natural gas, while the Barnett Shale is producing about 5.25 billion cubic feet.
              The Louisiana Office of Conservation has permitted nearly 2,000 Haynesville natural gas wells, of which more than 1,000 have gone into production since the play became commonly known in mid-2008. Of the permitted wells not yet producing, more than 500 have been drilled and are awaiting completion and another 121 are currently being drilled.
              Louisiana’s natural gas production surpassed 2 trillion cubic feet in 2010 for the first time since 1982, and represents a 36 percent increase over 2007 – the year before Haynesville production began on a large scale.
              The EIA reports that while the Barnett Shale did not reach 5 bcf daily until nearly its 10th year of production – the Haynesville surpassed that mark in less than three years. The EIA notes that improved technology has allowed Haynesville exploration companies to get the same production with fewer wells drilled.

              *Obviously we are looking at hyperbolic decline curves, but a very high percentage of current production comes from wells completed in the previous 24 months, and I am stipulating a “What If,” steady state, production level, i.e., declining against a constant production level.

        • Steve says:


          You are saying exactly what the Chief Econ at BEG is saying – and NO ONE has done a larger independent study of the US shale than the BEG at the University of Texas.

          Slide 5 for natty:

          • Glenn Stehle says:


            The following figures from the report you linked seem reasonable to me:

            With the alternative criteria imposed, the average full cycle cost for 2014 was about $80 per BOE. We believe this suggests an oil price signal of at least $80 is needed to sustain activity for our sample and the industry….

            With a 10 percent return assumed, the minimum back to producers and their investors, the implied natural gas price is close to $8 per million Btu (MMBtu). However this only returns a portion of capex. To return 2014 capex producers would have needed an implied price of more than $13, on average.

          • Thanks!!!
            Appreciate u sharing that.

  20. ezrydermike says:

    some more on the Chinese billionaire backed electric car company Faraday Future…

    Gardena electric car start-up Faraday Future announced Thursday that it will build a $1-billion production plant in Nevada, a major move for an upstart rival to Tesla Motors.

    The expansion comes on the heels of one from Tesla, which last year announced plans to build a $5-billion battery factory outside Reno. The state offered one of the largest incentive packages ever given by a state — $1.3 billion in tax abatements and other perks — to lure the Palo Alto electric car maker.

    Faraday Future, which is backed in part by a Chinese media billionaire but has yet to build a car, was considering four states, including California, for the production facility. The final selection was influenced in part by a $335-million package of tax incentives and infrastructure investments offered by Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, company representatives said.

    Dag Reckhorn, Faraday Future’s vice president of global manufacturing, said the incentives from Nevada were an “important piece” of the decision but not the only factor. He said Nevada was also appealing because of the ample land needed to accommodate the plant, and it was close enough to Southern California seaports.
    The company will break ground on the Nevada factory within the first three months of 2016, Reckhorn said. He declined to say when the company expects to launch its first vehicles.

    • oldfarmermac says:

      I wonder how much room there is for new startup car companies, regardless of the business model, given the obvious fact that most of the big boys are already into well into the pure electric and plug in hybrid design and manufacturing process.

      I think Tesla has a good shot at making it as an auto manufacturer, but Tesla is already established and selling a thousand cars a week, with a couple more models about ready .Furthermore , Tesla is already a status symbol, the car people bought by people who want to be at the cutting edge.

      Is there ANY hope of this Faraday outfit having cars on the road in less than two to three years ?

      Almost all the old line big boys will have electrics, pure and plug in, in their dealerships within three years.

      • Brian Rose says:

        Faradays primary model is around an autonomous vehicle service.

        In a recent interview they explicitly stated their vehicles will likely not be available for purchase, but for service.

        My guess, it will, at first, be an Uber competitor with humans driving company EVs with numerous tech perks involving “knowing the passenger”. Eventually, it will be an autonomous taxi service.

        Still seems far fetched to me considering the competition running for the same market with more funds and experience (Apple, Google, Tesla, Uber).

        To me it sounds identical, and I mean IDENTICAL to Apple’s Project Titan. Current research says there’s no connection, but I feel Apple would be smart enough to obscure any relationship until an official event and announcement.

        Faraday Future js, otherwise, too late to market, with zero current product, and is starting from scratch… Technically even VW is ahead of them. Producing a vehicle is not easy or cheap.

        Let’s just say that I’m skeptical. I predict failure, or a future reveal that it is the material production part of Apple’s autonomous EV project.

        • oldfarmermac says:

          Ford has announced a fourpointfive billion dollar investment in electric vehicles over the next three or four years. Considering Ford has everything in house, apparently, except the battery factory…………..

          If APPLE succeeds in bringing a car to market,and makes money doing so, it will in my opinion not be because the car is a noticeably better car, but rather because APPLE is the religion of the APPLE nation.

          Sure the company is first out with a lot of nifty stuff, but it is not really all that much better stuff than anybody else makes.

          I spent three times as much on a Mac Mini as I would have on a similarly powerful pc…… and it doesn’t wash the dishes or walk the dog or magically make my life better.

          OTOH , somebody might succeed in tying the autonomous car industry up like a trussed turkey via software patents…and APPLE might just be the company to do it.

          • Brian Rose says:


            As is often the case I emphatically agree with everything you just said.

            Here’s the Faraday Future video that just came out:

            This video made me realize the scope of the changes technology is bringing to product design.

            Very interesting changes on the horizon using tech to radically shorten the time and cost it takes to bring a material product to market (whether it is a car, guitar, fan, or trash can).

      • islandboy says:

        I wonder how much room there is for new startup car companies, regardless of the business model, given the obvious fact that most of the big boys are already into well into the pure electric and plug in hybrid design and manufacturing process.

        OFM, the big boys as you call them, all have a big disadvantage compared to startups like Tesla and that is, their legacy infernal combustion engine business. They all have huge sunk investments in plant and relationships with suppliers and well established supply chains for their legacy business. They also have an established customer base for their legacy products that expects them to keep delivering more of the same. Even the Renault Nissan alliance, which has made the largest commitment to EVs, having sold over 280,000 compact battery electric vehicles since their introduction in about 2011, had about that much being sold in the month of October (2015) by Nissan alone in the US Europe and China combined, according to their production, sales and export results for October 2015. So just looking at Nissan, about 200,000 Leafs between Dec 2010 and Dec 2015 (5 years) vs. global production of 481,369 units, being an all-time record for the month of October and that is the “big boy” that has shown the most commitment to EVs up to now!

        For the big boys, EVs are an unwelcome distraction, something that takes attention away from their core business of manufacturing and selling vehicles. As for the sales channels, my favorite EV news site has comments from EV enthusiasts, who went into dealerships intending to purchase an EV, only to have a salesman try every trick in the book to persuade them to buy a conventional vehicle. This situation has all the makings of a disruption and IMO, the incumbents are not likely to disrupt their own bread and butter until an outsider threatens. by which time it may be too late. Three years after it’s introduction, the Tesla Model S has exactly zero competition in it’s price class from any EVs and is is eating into the sales of the big boys for sedans of any stripe in it’s price class.

        Looking at Fords upcoming 2017 Focus Electric doesn’t inspire any confidence in me that Ford is serious about EVs. By the time it goes on sale, it is going to have to compete with an offering from GM that, is going to have twice the range at a similar price point and not too long after that, an offering from Tesla.

        Kodak was once synonymous with photography. Where is Kodak now?

        • Glenn Stehle says:

          So according to your analogy, EVs are to ICE like film cameras are to digital cameras?

          That’s a great example of false equivalency.

          Digital photography triumphed over film photography because it offered far more convenience (e.g., ability to share images instantly over the internet, ability to print photos instantly, ability to instantly import images into applications like Publisher, etc.) and at a price that, with time, became competitive with film photography.

          So in the digital photography vs. film photography competition the digital cameras offer more bang for the buck. It’s like having your cake and eating it too.

          In the EV vs. ICE competition, however, the very opposite is true: EVs offer less bang for the buck, at least in the absence of government subsidies and other government inducements.

          EVs are more expensive and lack the features and conveniences that customers want.

          Instead, people are asked to sacrifice in order to serve a supposed “great good,” and this goal washes away the sacrifices incurred by the pursuit of the supposed great good.

          That’s quite a different sell than selling something that fulfills people’s immediate desires.

          • islandboy says:

            Since you appear to like to read, might I suggest you get a copy of Tony Seba’s book, Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation: How Silicon Valley Will Make Oil, Nuclear, Natural Gas, Coal, Electric Utilities and Conventional Cars Obsolete by 2030 and read it. Unless you refuse to read anything that directly confronts your world view?

            As I mentioned in my comment, the Tesla Model S has no EV competitors in it’s price class. IMO and that of the thousands of people who have bought one, it offers way more bang for the buck than any of the conventional, four door sedans in it’s price class. Here are a few things the ICEs cannot offer.

            Convenient home refueling, while you sleep.
            Unlimited mileage, eight year warranty on the drive train.
            Fuel for long distance driving included in the cost of the car.
            Zero Maintenance motors.
            Zero to sixty times of under 3 seconds in a large, four door sedan.

            Incidentally, if all subsidies and incentives for the Tesla were removed, it would still represent extraordinary bang for the buck. Also worthy of note is that, Nissan has an expanding “No charge to charge” program, where they offer free charging for EVs. When are ICE manufacturers going to start offering free fuel, other than maybe a couple tanks full as a special promotional offer?

            Digital cameras were initially way more expensive than film cameras especially for really high quality work. In the future it will be said that EVs “were initially way more expensive than” conventional cars especially those with adequate range.

            Camera manufacturers have been disrupted because the technology of digital photography has allowed a camera to be included with every cell phone, making low end cameras redundant. The ability to process and print digital photos at home has disrupted the film processing business, just as the ability to recharge at home or at work will disrupt the fuel retail business. Digital photography drastically reduced (eliminated?) the use of film, just as EVs have the potential to drastically reduce (eliminate?) the use of liquid motor fuels. Note that the processing aspect of digital photography did not disrupt camera manufacturers.

            My comparison of the automobile business to the photography business is most certainly not a “false equivalency” if you are open minded enough and take time to try and understand how business disruption works. (Tony Seba lectures on business disruption at Stanford University)

            I still maintain that, you sir, are a FF industry shill and I have my suspicions that you might actually be receiving compensation for the work you are doing here, based on the tone and content of your posts.

            Disclaimer: I own no stock in Nissan or Tesla Motors and receive no compensation for posting favorable comments about their products. I am just a guy looking forward to owning an EV ASAP and wishing that the automobile industry would just get a move on already.

            • Glenn Stehle says:

              islandboy said:

              Incidentally, if all subsidies and incentives for the Tesla were removed, it would still represent extraordinary bang for the buck.

              I’d like to see that boast put to the acid test.

              Just for fun, let’s take a quick look at the economics.

              1) To date, Telsa has received almost $5 billion in government subsidies. I wasn’t able to find the total number of cars that Telsa has built since its debut in 2009, but it looks like it’s on target to sell about 50,000 cars this year. So 50,000 x 6 years (the marketing life of the company) yields 300,000 total vehicles. That’s almost $17,000 per car so far in subsidies from the government.

              “Elon Musk’s growing empire is fueled by $4.9 billion in government subsidies”

              2) In addition, Telsa is losing another $15,000 per vehicle of its investors’ money.

              “Tesla Is Hemorrhaging Money Despite Billions In Gov’t Subsidies”

              3) Then there’s the millions of dollars Telsa makes as a “compliance company,” selling emissions credits to other car makers under California’s zero-emissions-vehicle mandate and federal greenhouse rules.

              “Tesla Is a Compliance Company”

              4) Then there’s the $7,500 buyer’s tax credit from the federal government, plus up to an additional $4,000 from the government of California.


              As the Wall Street Journal concludes, “it’s easy to extrapolate that Tesla’s entire market capitalization of $34 billion is nothing but the discounted present value of its expected future subsidies.”

              And talking about false equivalence, in the early days of digital cameras, did their manufacturers and buyers have all these billions of dollars of government subsidies lavished on them?

              • islandboy says:

                You couldn’t do a better job of representing the interests of the FF industry if you were being paid and I am not inclined to waste time trying to debunk your Fox news like anti Tesla propoganda. I regret breaking my promise to myself, to never respond to any of your posts again!

                • Glenn Stehle says:


                  It has nothing to do with me.

                  The facts speak for themselves.

                  What you want to do is shoot the messenger.

                  • islandboy says:

                    What you want to do is shoot the messenger. because, I think the messenger has ulterior motives, as can be seen from where he chooses to get his facts, like the time he drew from the Charles G. Koch funded, Institute for Energy Research. You sir, have zero credibility with me, having shown an inclination to use “facts” from extremely biased sources, with well established pro FF agendas, to bolster your own biased viewpoints.

          • Bob Nickson says:

            What part about never having to go to a gas station is inconvenient?

            I’ve had my car for twenty five years now. It’s been a great car. In 200,000 miles I’ve changed the oil 40 times, the coolant 10 times. I’ve replaced the radiator and brake pads twice and the timing belt, clutch, cap, rotor, plugs, wires once each. I’m overdue for another timing belt.

            I’ve gone to the gas station to refuel more than 800 times.

            None of that was convenient.

            • Glenn Stehle says:

              Shouldn’t it be up to buyers to decide what’s convenient for them?

              Or should they be pressured, or required, to attend chapel and told what’s proper to think, to feel, and to believe?

              • Nick G says:


                As long as they pay their share of the cost of pollution, domestic security, military security, etc., etc. You’d agree those are real costs, right?

                No free-riding allowed.

          • wimbi says:

            We paid the same for our Leaf as an ordinary car -camry or accord, and in return we got all we need for our use, AND, since we already had the PV, nothing at all more for fuel.

            There’s nothing bang about a Leaf, but as for service we want, way better at way lower cost than that camry, which, if we need one for a longer trip, we can get from my daughter or friend a mere phone call away, who are always quite happy to swap.

            This little bit of news will become more known, and then, IC cars had better watch out, since an electric motor is SO superior to a banger.

            • Glenn Stehle says:


              If people voluntarily decide to do as you have, then more power to them, and more power to the EV industry.

              The problem is, however, that not too many people have decided that your way is their way, and this despite all the massive subsidies being lavished on EV manufacturers and EV buyers. After increasing briskly from 2012 to 2014, EV sales in 2015 have declined.

              Total small vehicle sales in the United States in November, 2015 were 1,319,913.

              Total EV sales in the United States in November, 2015 were 10,568.

              So EV sales were only 0.8% of total vehicle sales in November, 2015.

            • Glenn Stehle says:

              And it’s not as if the decline in EV sales is taking place in a soft market, because the sale of ICE vehicles, and especially small trucks and SUVs, is booming.


          • Nick G says:

            No, not at all.

            EVs are very similar to digital photography: they’re more convenient (a few seconds to plug in at night, for the majority of Americans who have garages); they’re cheaper (if you look at comparable performance, and look at the total cost of ownership); they’re better (faster, quieter, smoother); and they’re getting better fast, while ICEs are improving far more slowly.

            “The Volt’s smooth, always available torque, and competent handling has spoiled his family for regular gas vehicles, Belmer said. ”


        • oldfarmermac says:

          Hi Island Boy,

          You make a good case for dealers not wanting to sell electrics. I won’t argue it,I agree.

          FOR NOW.

          But then down thread, you make my case for me, for the big boys jumping into the electric kiddie pool, hard , with both feet, sometime not very far down the road, when battery costs come down.

          They are going to land on top of the kiddie sized players in the electric car kiddie pool when they jump in, and most or all of the kiddie sized players are a going to go bankrupt. If they have some good patented tech, they will be bought up or merge with a bigger player.

          This comment is not intended to apply to self driving cars. That is a separate technology, and there is no REAL reason a self driving car cannot be powered with a conventional ice engine.

          The ONLY thing that makes an electric cost so much is the battery, and it is now obvious to me that virtually all the major manufacturers have concluded that battery costs ARE going to come down to the point that electrics are competitive.

          They are already fully equipped and organized to manufacture and sell electric cars, the only additional large expensive part needed is that battery. The computer system needed to manage the battery and motor will likely be less rather than more complicated than the one needed to manage a state of the art ice engine and transmission.

          The electric motor with no moving parts except maybe a switch or two and the armature, costs peanuts compared to an ice engine of similar power, and the transmission, well, there ain’t no stinking transmission, just that reverse switch on the motor.

          So – when the time comes, Ford is going to be ready to compete, on the grand scale, with GM, etc.

          The question in my mind is not if but when. I do after all believe in peak oil, and I believe that barring the world economy going downhill from here on out, the price of oil will go up,sharply, even as the RELATIVE price of electricity for charging goes down.

  21. shallow sand says:

    Is there an oil price/duration that will force OPEC’s hand with a cut? How about Russia?

    I think we will see sub $30 WTI now, with sub $20 not out of the question.

    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      I guess the last two guys employed in the Lower 48 Oil Patch can split a bottle of single malt Scotch, turn out the lights and go home.

      Incidentally, the WSJ has an article on Chesapeake and other indebted shale players in today’s paper. They noted that Chesapeake bonds that were trading at 80¢ on the dollar three months ago are now trading at 30¢ to 40¢ on the dollar.

  22. jjhman says:


    Thanks to you for what, in my opinion, is now the best site on line for solid analysis of the oil industry supported by credible data. Bravo!

    However I get really tired having to skip through the bickering about AGW. It really isn’t the subject of this theatre and it seems neither side of the debate can control their emotions. It’s an out of context distraction I would rather do without.

    Best regards,


  23. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    One problem (or more) with Musk (et al.)…


    In 1995, Musk and his brother, Kimbal, started Zip2, a web software company, with US$28,000 of their father’s (Errol Musk) money. The company developed and marketed an Internet ‘city guide’ for the newspaper publishing industry. Musk obtained contracts with The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune and persuaded the board of directors to abandon plans for a merger with a company called CitySearch. While at Zip2, Musk wanted to become CEO; however, none of the board members would allow it. Compaq acquired Zip2 for US$307 million in cash and US$34 million in stock options in 1999. Musk received 7% or US$22 million from the sale. ~ Wikipedia

    Compaq Computer Corporation was a company …produced some of the first IBM PC compatible computers, being the first company to legally reverse engineer the IBM Personal Computer.
    It rose to become the largest supplier of PC systems during the 1990s… The Compaq brand remained in use by HP for lower-end systems until 2013 when, without warning, the Compaq name was quietly discontinued.” ~ Wikipedia

    I seem to recall reading up on how the Facebook guy started and it seems kind of similar: An idea, some money, a bit of luck and then after a short time, much more money…
    Ostensibly, 4 years later, from an initial investment of Dad’s dough– a paltry 28 grand– he cashed out– personally– at $22 mill. That’s 786 times the initial investment in a mere 4 years.

    The problem is that ‘luck’ (for whom really if we all occupy the same planet?), and of that kind, only goes so far, and especially in a crony-capitalist plutarchy uneconomy, post peak oil, which may turn– and maybe is slowly turning– into a very different kind of animal as we write…

    If oil remains cheap like this (and maybe even if it doesn’t) and yet still kind of unaffordable in this uneconomic climate– weak and recessed– then EV’s and maybe other sorts of related ‘transitioning’ things like PV’s may never quite catch on, at least at a critical enough mass to make any difference.

    It will be a time-based ‘red queen’, running ever faster and more desperately, toward a yet more quickly-increasingly-receding horizon of opportunity. Like an eerie cinematic zoom-out moving toward a desolate landscape.

    …And Tesla’s Gigafactory, poetically-appropriately in the middle of the driest State of what is currently known as The USA, will become a modern relic and ruin along with those decaying monumental ruins of the past, even present…

    ‘Analysts at Goldman Sachs are even more pessimistic than that.’

    Goldman is probably pessimistic because money is moving in the wrong direction as far as they are concerned. The recent price plunge has some interesting ramifications that unless they were looking at an energy model of petroleum production they completely missed. Even though the consumer section of the economy is getting less energy from petroleum than it ever has, per BTU it is now paying less for what it is getting than it has since 1973. That effect is moving money from the the production side of the economy to the consumer side.

    This is strictly an artifact of the monetary system, and can not be fixed without replacing the system. It has been that system that has made the likes of Goldman Sachs fabulously rich. Beginning in 2012 when petroleum passed through the energy half way point the rules of applied economics got turned around. Instead of money moving up the economic ladder, it started moving down. Even though everyone is getting poorer, the production side is getting poorer faster than the consumer side. That probably does not sit well with investment banks.

    We would like to inform you that this trend will continue; and there is not one single thing you can do about it!” ~ shortonoil

    China’s brand-new abandoned cities could be dystopian movie sets

    “Nevada is the driest state in the United States.” ~ Wikipedia

    …’without warning’…

  24. oldfarmermac says:

    Another comment similar to this one disappeared into the ether or spam filter or someplace.
    Here goes again.

    This link is about climate science and consilience, a topic seldom if ever mentioned in this forum, and one apparently not well known to people outside biological circles. It is the best short piece I have seen explaining how the scientific community reaches a consensus.

    I strongly recommend it.

    And for those of us who have the time and inclination to read a truly superb science book , I strongly recommend E O Wilson’s book with that word in the title.

    Those who have not read him are in for an extraordinarily pleasant and enlightening experience. He is not only a ROCK SOLID scientist, but also a SUPERB writer as such, with a prose style that far surpasses that of any other science writer I have had the pleasure to encounter- and I read a lot of science oriented books, as well as classic novels etc.

    I will even go so far as to say damned few novelists are in his league when it comes to elegance and simplicity of prose. Reading Wilson is like drinking fine wine, as much as you like, but without the hangover. 😉

    Immediately after posting this, I am going to post the wikipedia link for Wilson.

    A lot of the regulars here mostly into engineering and physics, geology, etc and perhaps not well acquainted with who is who in the biological field.

    Hopefully nobody will mistake him for a “rock star” lol.

    Wilson is a scientist’s scientist, a scientist who will be quoted in text books and history books for as long as such books are printed.

    • Javier says:

      We used to call consilience simply confirmation from different disciplines. It is one of the most powerful arguments that the phenomenon that one is studying is real and not something spurious coming from a specific technique being used. But one has to be aware that consilience does not say anything about a hypothesis trying to explain a phenomenon, just about the phenomenon being real.

      Thus consilience does say that evolution exists and is taking place, or that glacials and interglacials alternate, but it does not say if evolution is taking place according to gradualism or punctuated equilibrium, or if Kimura’s neutral theory is correct. Nor does it say if the pace of glaciations is set by eccentricity or by obliquity.

      Thus consilience of science is saying that global warming is real and that anthropogenic global warming is very likely to be playing a role, but it does not say if the hypothesis that predicts how much warming we should expect for the amount of CO2 we produce is correct or not.

      The debate has become so polarized that a lot of people are taking extreme views like saying that global warming has not been taking place, or that the CO2 increase is natural, or that there is no evidence that CO2 produces warming. Science is very clear that global warming is taking place, that we have put essentially all extra CO2 in the atmosphere and that the CO2 necessarily has to produce warming. But science has been choking on the attribution problem for 30 years. As we do not distinguish between natural and anthropogenic warming we don’t know how much each has contributed. And science cannot tells us how future climate is going to be. That should be clear to all after the failed predictions of the 90’s. We have an insufficient knowledge of climate.

      Consilience cannot help us with that because is a theory problem. It can be solved by more research but current hypothesis has become so dominant and militant, that very little research is being done that could contradict it. We will have to wait until nature decides to contradict it and the evidence becomes incontrovertible. But that will give wings to the anti-science people, so we all lose. It is a mess.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        The debate has become so polarized that a lot of people are taking extreme views like saying that global warming has not been taking place, or that the CO2 increase is natural, or that there is no evidence that CO2 produces warming. Science is very clear that global warming is taking place, that we have put essentially all extra CO2 in the atmosphere and that the CO2 necessarily has to produce warming. But science has been choking on the attribution problem for 30 years. As we do not distinguish between natural and anthropogenic warming we don’t know how much each has contributed.

        I’m really curious, Javier, as a biologist have you been out in the field lately, have you visited different biomes, have you been out to the Artic or out on the coral reefs, have you looked at things like plants flowering sooner every year or mosquitos that carry dengue virus appearing in places where they couldn’t survive before because the climate was much cooler? There are plenty of scientific papers documenting these things and that is just in the multiple fields of the biological sciences. Now add to that the CONSENSUS from multiple other scientific fields as described in the SciAm article linked by OFM. And you start to get a much bigger picture which makes quibbling about things like supposed issues with specific satellite data seem to miss the point. So I’d like to hear from you what your competing all encompassing theory of climate change might be, other than the accepted general consensus which is that it is mostly anthropogenic and is caused by burning fossil fuels and releasing vast amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere?

        Consensus science is a phrase often heard today in conjunction with anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Is there a consensus on AGW? There is. The tens of thousands of scientists who belong to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, the American Geophysical Union, the American Medical Association, the American Meteorological Society, the American Physical Society, the Geological Society of America, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and, most notably, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change all concur that AGW is in fact real…

        …AGW doubters point to the occasional anomaly in a particular data set, as if one incongruity gainsays all the other lines of evidence. But that is not how consilience science works. For AGW skeptics to overturn the consensus, they would need to find flaws with all the lines of supportive evidence and show a consistent convergence of evidence toward a different theory that explains the data.

        So again, I’d love to hear your competing theory that covers all the above mentioned angles. Do you actually have one that makes sense?

        • Glenn Stehle says:

          Fred Magyar said:

          And you start to get a much bigger picture which makes quibbling about things like supposed issues with specific satellite data seem to miss the point.

          It is only natural for human beings to want to exclude evidence which does not conform to their beloved theories, doctrines and dogmas. Nevertheless, “the devil is in the details,” as the old saw goes.

          The road to the present was hard and long because the old systems were good. They had consistency and completeness; only at a few points did contrary facts or gaps in explanaiton threaten their validty. One such fact was the odd behavior of the planets, especially Mars, which at times went backward instead of forward….

          The larger picture was this: in the heavens, with Earth at the center, were several huge spheres, one within the next, each made of finer and finer stuff, and all revolving and emitting the “music of the spheres.” The planets, then the stars, studded the two nearest spheres, the rest being the swelling place of angels and other spirits in the service of God the Creator, the Unmoved Mover at the farthest boundary. Sphere and circle, the two perfect figures, were essential to this perfect movement; it was unconceivable on the part of Mars that it should retrogress. Other irregularities were taken care of by old Ptolemy’s epicycles, circular paths around the point where the errant body should be.

          It made a very complex structure, and at last the mind rebelled at more and more contortions. William of Occam’s principle of economy, that the best explanation is the one that calls for the least number of assumptions, was an argument against Ptolemy, in addition to the awkward facts.

          –JACQUES BARZUN, From Dawn to Decadence

          • Fred Magyar says:

            It is only natural for human beings to want to exclude evidence which does not conform to their beloved theories, doctrines and dogmas. Nevertheless, “the devil is in the details,” as the old saw goes.

            Fer criminies sake! Glen, while I may disagree with Javier, at least his ideas are his own. Do you have anything to say that is an original idea?!
            Quite frankly your posts are mostly philosophical BS, I don’t find any serious scientific arguments in anything you post…

            Disclaimer: I’m drinking caipirinhas and listening to really good Samba with friends in Brazil as I’m getting ready to pack for my flight to Miami, looking forward to seeing my son and my girlfriend so I’m feeling a bit looser and carefree than I might otherwise… I just wonder if I’m the only one on this site who finds your posts just a bunch of convoluted negativity!

            • Synapsid says:

              Fred M,

              No, you aren’t.

              Capirinhas, huh? Hmm…

            • Glenn Stehle says:


              So according to you, just-so stories are just fine, and it’s OK to ignore or suppress evidence that doesn’t conform to your version of truth?

              And furthermore, anyone who challenges your just-so stories is deemed to lack “original ideas” and is merely touting “philosophical BS,” and not offering any “serious scientific arguments”?

              And to top it off, those who question your just-so stories are charged with disseminating a “bunch of convoluted negativity” because they, undoubtedly, quell the sense of urgency and emergency you seek to instill? This, unquestionably, is deemed unacceptable because it gets in the way of the attempt to stampede people into doing something that, upon more careful consideration, might not be in their best interest.

              No wonder a majority of people in the United States have rejected the “mental makeup,” as Mill and Proust called it, that the environmental crusaders are attempting to peddle.

              • Fred Magyar says:

                Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.
                John Stuart Mill

                Well, who knows, maybe he was right.

                Puleeze! Give me an F’n break…

                And that topped off with: ‘Environmental Crusaders’ trying to peddle the ‘Mental Makeup. Really now?!

                You know what, bringing up climate change on this site at least has some connection to oil… Proust, on the other hand has no relevance whatsoever! And while there maybe some hard nosed realists here I’ve yet to read anyone’s comments that could be construed as coming from an environmental crusader. Not only that the few true environmental crusaders that I know, tend to work behind the scenes anonymously they don’t waste their time posting on blogs…

                • Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.
                  John Stuart Mill

                  Oh I gotta save that one.

                  Actual Quote from Wikipedia:

                  I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it.

                  In a Parliamentary debate with the Conservative MP, John Pakington (May 31, 1866).

                  • oldfarmermac says:

                    The words liberal and conservative have been abused and dragged thru the mud and cow pies, and held captive, by various partisans, to such an extent that it is hard to say exactly what is meant when one uses them in a derogatory fashion, except that the speaker doesn’t like the other camp.

                    Now if we take one common definition, the one that defines conservatives as people opposed to change, then it is perfectly natural that evolution would predispose stupid people to being conservatives. The reason is simple, out of all the COUNTLESS changes that are POSSIBLE, very few indeed would actually improve the situation of a typical person.

                    A person smart enough to realize this does not have to be very smart. You need to be much smarter to understand how a particular change might help you.

                    So -IF you are unable to understand a proposed change, not only the change itself, but the OTHER CHANGES that will be inevitably coming with it, then the safest route is simply to oppose that change and change in general.

                    Take socialized medicine for instance. The typical poor working conservative guy WHO IS NOT SICK is likely to conclude that if it is implemented, he will be taxed at such a level to pay for it that supporting it is a BAD DEAL for HIM. So he rejects this change.

                  • Well I think John Stuart Mill, were he to come back and look at politics in America today, he would know who the conservatives are. Most would call themselves evangelicals. And they would be Trump supporters or perhaps Cruz supporters or supporters of some other clown. They would would love God, Guns and the NRA and they would hate gays. The vast majority of them would be white.

                    No, Mill would have no trouble figuring out who the conservatives were, were he to come back today.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    They would would love God, Guns and the NRA and they would hate gays.

                    Oops, I guess them conservatives wouldn’t like Proust much then either, given that he certainly had few a gay lovers here and there…

                • Glenn Stehle says:


                  So no objections to my charge that you believe it is OK to ignore or suppress evidence that doesn’t conform to your version of truth?

                • Glenn Stehle says:


                  And by the way, Proust very much did have something to say about the misuse and abuse of science, and how the “scientific consensus” was used to demonize homosexuals in his day and time.

                  Proust lived through the Wilde, MacDonald, Krupp, Moltke, and Eulenburg affairs where these men were put on trial for their homosexuality.

                  A French newspaper in 1910 blared: “If there is a vice or a malady which repulses the mentality of France, the morality of France, the health of France it is, to call a spade a spade, homosexuality.”

                  Wilde was accused of “gross indecency” and imprisoned in 1895 without bail because of his affair with Lord Alfred Douglas. Immediately after the trial, Marc-Andre Raffalovich’s published Uranisme et unisexualite, which contains an account of the trial against Wilde and a review of the current scientific thinking on homosexuality that the prosecution used against him. Georges Saint-Paul, alias “Dr. Laupts,” published another study of homosexuality at about the same time with the ominous title Tares et poisons. Like Raffalovich, Saint-Paul discussed the Wilde affair and summarized contemporary medical theory.

                  And on and on it went over the next 15 years as more and more prominent homosexuals faced criminal charges, the “scientific consensus” being wielded like a weapon to condemn them.

                  Fred, what in the hell do you believe Proust’s character Charlus in A la rechere is all about?

                  In the United States, homosexuality would not be removed from the sociopathic category in the DSM until 1968, at which time it was downgraded to a “mental disorder.” Homosexuality would not be dropped as a diagnostic category altogether from the DSM until 1987.

                • islandboy says:

                  Fred, have you noticed that, the person you are responding to seems to be unable to let anything that supports a change in the status quo to go unchallenged?

                  Renewables, check!
                  EVs, check!
                  Global Warming, check!

                  If he were on the payroll of the Koch brothers he could not do a better job. Have you noticed how many of his posts consist of lengthly quotes from people he has read that, are most often, not directly related to energy in any way? It’s almost as if he wants to disrupt certain types of discourse on this blog.

                  Ron has stated that he does not agree with people like myself and Nick when it comes to EVs and solar etc. and I am fine with that but, Ron’s disagreements are different than those of certain participants of this blog and he certainly does not discourage the discussions. Some people seem to want to make any discussion of alternatives to FF or anything that questions the dominance of the FF industry, an exercise in futility. Why?

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    Yes, islandboy, check on all of the above!

                  • Islandboy, I agree with you and Nick that solar is really great. It should be promoted and installed in every area possible in order to lower CO2 emissions.

                    Where I disagree with you and Nick is that I do not believe solar will save the world. The very best it can do is prolong the agony while we finish destroying it.

                  • islandboy says:

                    Ron, you and I might actually be in agreement more than you realize. What haunts me is the specter of modern civilization having the rug pulled out from under it so to speak and having absolutely nothing to fall back on. When I first became aware of Peak Oil, back in late, 2007, the world wide installed capacity for solar electricity was just about 9.3 GW and Now it is projected to be 233 GW by the end of this year.

                    In 2007, I was terrified by thoughts of what people will do when TSHTF and while my apprehension has eased slightly, my fears have now shifted. I am now concerned that, if I am the only one in my neighborhood that has tried to prepare for a future with a lot less oil, I might become a target of those with a propensity to use violence to achieve their ends.

                    So that leads me to where I am now, spreading the gospel of renewables and EVs so to speak, in the hope that when TSHTF, I do not end up a victim of the envy of those that gave no thought to a future without oil.

                    Call me selfish but, I would rather see TEOLAWKI progress slowly and die of natural causes (old age) than die of starvation or a victim of the marauding hordes. When TSHTF, the less (energy) options there are, the faster our species will probably destroy the earth (by burning or killing and eating everything in sight).

                  • Nick G says:

                    I do not believe solar will save the world. The very best it can do is prolong the agony

                    Well, I never said solar (and wind, and EVs, etc., etc) would save the world. But, they can certainly deal with Peak Oil, Peak Fossil Fuels, and the CO2 emissions part of Climate Change.

                    And, they can supply all the energy and fertilizer needed for farming.

            • oldfarmermac says:

              I am with you one hundred percent of the way when it comes to Glenn and his comments, Fred.

              He is always and forever pointing out any and every possible fault with what anybody and everybody else has to say.

              But when it comes to saying something positive, about anything at all, from any pov, next to nothing.

              I am about to conclude that Island Boy is right, and that he is a no more and no less than a skillful fossil fuel troll.

              There is at least one person in every large crowd who nominates himself the ultimate cynic for reasons of his own.

              This allows the cynic to pleasurably think of himself as morally and ethically superior to everybody else.

              • Glenn Stehle says:

                What, OFM, just because I don’t buy into your Alice-in-Wonderland world I’m a “nattering nabob of negativism,” as Spiro Agnew used to call his media critics?

                Guess what, OFM? I plead guilty.

                One cannot help but be stunned by your remoteness from reality.

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  One cannot help but be stunned by your remoteness from reality.

                  Glen, have you ever studied science or worked on a farm? Those two things alone are sufficient reason to conclude that OFM has a very firm grounding in reality. You, on the other hand, I’m not so sure… Reading Proust, doesn’t qualify!

                  • Glenn Stehle says:


                    You’re another one who lives in a completely defactualized world.

                    You often gush of how you and your fellow travelers are “transforming” the world.

                    But if we take a look around us, there is scant evidence that your much heralded “transformation” is happening.

                    Your transformation, like Erewhon, is nowhere.

                  • Nick G says:

                    , there is scant evidence that your much heralded “transformation” is happening.

                    First, that’s not really true. US CAFE and CARB regs have transformed the car industry, and look set to do it again.

                    2nd, that’s besides the point of whether that transformation is a good idea. You agree that we need to transition away from FF, right??

                • oldfarmermac says:

                  Oh MY MY,

                  I post regularly that we are headed for a very hard crash, due to overshoot, that most of humanity will die hard within a century, that hot war over resources is baked in, that government is corrupt, we are pumping the water table down below the reach of well drillers and big diesel powered irrigation pumps, that peak oil is real and here if not today very soon. …………….

                  And I am divorced from reality. I live in Alice’s Wonderland.

                  You post something along this line:

                  “But the hypocrisy that emanantes from the environmentalists often becomes overwhelming.”

                  Your “reality” STINKS.

                  It smells unmistakably and strongly of Koch brothers propaganda.

                  When did you ever post ANYTHING positive ?

                  When did you ever post an original thought?

                  Unless I have overlooked it, you have not yet posted anything indicating you have a sound grasp of anything to do with the physical and life sciences.

                  Now as it happens, I have been observing reality for most of a century, and have been WRONG many times about doom and gloom in the short term, because technology saved the day. I had a PERSONAL hand in the Green Revolution for instance, which saved the world from famine which I thought would have overtaken us long ago, on the grand scale.

                  So experience has led me to be cautiously hopeful that some things may turn out ok. You don’t even say who you think is right, but since you constantly harp about environmentalists being wrong, then I must conclude you would rather NOT point out whose corner you are in.

        • Javier says:


          I am a lab rat, but I enjoy the outdoors as much as anybody else, and I am also into organic farming. Of course I have noticed the global warming myself. Noticed a huge difference from the 70’s to the 80’s. The 70’s were colder and dryer in Spain. We used to get 3-5 dry years in a row and some bishops went out in procession to ask God for more rain. The 90’s I spent a big part in California so I couldn’t tell, but I got to UK in time for the 98-99 huge el Niño-la Niña and everybody was complaining about the weather there and how different it was from before. An old bloke talked about frozen rivers as if he had been through the LIA. Back to Spain it was clear that the weather had warmed even more. Very noticeable in the winters, mild with very cold polar spells and lots of snow. Skiing is much better than in the 80’s. But frankly for the last decade I haven’t personally noticed any difference. We got a terrible heat wave in 2003 and we are having a very warm autumn-winter this year, but other than that pretty much the same. I get tired of saying that I acknowledge the warming. Stop telling me that it is real. I know that.

          Competing all encompassing theory, Fred? You are knocking at the wrong door. You don’t go to a different field to teach them their stuff. But if they produce a hypothesis that does not fit the evidence, or if the evidence can support an alternative explanation, or if the null hypothesis has not been rejected, that can be easily seen by anybody with enough knowledge that takes the time to read the articles. Or do you think you have to be an evolutionary biologist to check evolutionary hypothesis?

          Given that, it is pretty obvious that CO2 forcing has been overstated and solar forcing understated. The evidence is all over the place. For example:

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Or do you think you have to be an evolutionary biologist to check evolutionary hypothesis?

            Of course not but if you claim the evolutionary hypothesis doesn’t jive with the reams of data and evidence from multiple converging fields of research than it is on you to propose a coherent theory that does.

            Furthermore you don’t discard the entire theory of evolution because you think some particular piece of information doesn’t quite fit. What you do is consider that data suspect, do more research and 9 times out of ten you will find out that the theory still holds up and at most you discard the outliers in your data, it is exceedingly rare that you overthrow the standing consensus and win yourself a Nobel prize by doing so.

            Yet that is what the so called anthropogenic climate change skeptics who are not even climate scientists seem to think they have sufficient evidence to do. Frankly I don’t think they have a leg to stand on.

            As an example, in a similar vein Frank Wilczek 2004 Nobel prize winner in physics is in the process of putting the final touches on a grand unified theory of physics. If some so called skeptic comes along and says that theory is inconsistent with reality, then they had better come up with some pretty serious evidence to the contrary and a competing theory, otherwise they are just blowing hot air.

            • Javier says:

              Perhaps I should make myself more clear. I am talking in my example of evolutionary hypothesis, not the theory of evolution. There is a very clear distinction between conjecture, hypothesis, theory and law, however very often the wrong term is used.

              The theory of evolution is very well established by consilience from different disciplines and has not been seriously challenged in almost a century. Nobody with an inch of knowledge questions it.

              But there are lots of evolutionary hypotheses. For example Richard Dawkins’ selfish gene hypothesis (not theory).

              That hypothesis does not hold water. You don’t have to be an evolutionary biologists to see that evolutionary forces are incapable of seeing individual genes and thus unless highly deleterious, evolution simply doesn’t see genes but whole genomes. Gene level selection is only negative. The selfish gene is bullshit and one can confidently side with Ernst Mayr, Stephen Jay Gould, and David Sloan Wilson in rejecting it.

              AGW as formulated by IPCC is not a theory but a hypothesis. It is based in some well established facts, some assumptions and one conjecture, that all observed warming is of human origin. It is supported by some evidence and contradicted by some evidence. All its main predictions have failed so far, but as there is currently no competing hypothesis, scientists are not going to abandon it to go nowhere.

              Quite a lot of research is being published that contradicts many aspects of AGW hypothesis, so one can comfortably side with the scientists doing that research, as long as the evidence they publish holds true.

              And no, I do not have to come up with a better hypothesis. It is not my job. Climate scientists are paid to do that, but the climate science is too hostile to anybody breaking ranks to research alternative hypothesis.

              • oldfarmermac says:

                Hi Javier,

                I am not expert enough to argue the broader merits of the selfish gene hypothesis, as you prefer to call it, but there are most definitely occasions when a single or a few genes are selected FOR , rather than against.

                For instance, the genes that enable various insects to produce enzymes that enable them to survive being exposed to chemical poisons. In other cases fitness and success depends on growing a heavier coat, or larger horns, or a longer tail, etc.

                PARTICULAR genes, much more so than the entire genome, would appear to be primarily responsible for such changes, especially changes that come about very quickly.

                In the LONG term, as in biologically LONG, geologically long, I do not question the whole genome interpretation of the observed data.

                My knowledge of genetics is slim but to say advantageous evolution depends wholly on the whole genome, all the time, is going too far, painting too fast with too broad a brush, except for weeding out disadvantageous genes, at least in my opinion.

                Having said this much, I have not read up in this area to any real extent within the last few years, and you might be right.

                Maybe there is a recently arrived at consensus such as you indicate. But even such prominent biologists as Gould ( one of my favorites by the way ) may be wrong or at least “not precisely right” in this case-again, to the best of my knowledge.

                I get farther behind every year. 🙁

                • Javier says:

                  Hi Oldfarmermac,

                  The genome of a complex organism like us or a fly contains about 20-40,000 genes (half of them coding for proteins and the rest transcribed but not translated). Most of them have different varieties (alleles) that are the basis for selection and evolution.

                  Natural selection only acts on the organism carrying the genome. It cannot weed through those 40,000 genes to individually select any variety of them.

                  Those genes are inherited in large chunks of hundreds to thousands due to chromosomal linkage and recombination. There is no individual inheritance of genes.

                  It is clear and evident that if genes are not inherited individually and selection acts over the whole organism, selection cannot act on the gene level unless a very special condition is met:

                  For selection to act on the gene level the overall effect of a variety of a single gene has to significantly affect the fitness of the entire organism above the effect of all the other genes in that organism. The effect of that single variety has to be bigger than the effect of all the rest of the genome, to be visible to selection generation after generation. It also means that usually it has to have a dominant or semi-dominant effect (we have two copies).

                  You can find a few examples, usually dominant alleles that severely reduce the fitness (like dominant genetic diseases), and some alleles that greatly increase the fitness or reproductive success (resistance to insecticides).

                  For over 95% of genes there is no selection at the gene level, and therefore the selfish gene hypothesis is an exception, not a rule.

                  • oldfarmermac says:

                    Perhaps you oversimplify. True genes are linked and are inherited this way, but if a particular gene turns out to be very advantageous , it can drag along all the ones it is linked to .

                    When I quit keeping up not that long ago this was a hotly debated question.

                    As I said before, you may be right. My knowledge extends to and past what you have just said.

                  • Javier says:


                    but if a particular gene turns out to be very advantageous , it can drag along all the ones it is linked to.

                    Yes that’s what I said. For a very small number of gene alleles, those with a huge disadvantage and some dominant effect, or those with a huge advantage, selection at the gene level takes place, because those alleles become visible to selective forces.

                    For the great majority of alleles that is not the case. Richard Dawkins did not make the trivial point that evolution by selection at the gene level takes place sometimes, he made an hypothesis that evolution acts primarily through selection at the gene level.

                    Richard Dawkins is a great writer and public figure. I find his books very entertaining, but he is often wrong on the important issues. He tends to generalize from a few examples that often turn out to be exceptions.

                    That we are robot carriers for our genes selfish fight for procreation is pure BS.

                    Evolution acts primarily at the species level through selection at the individual level. This is the rule. There are enough exceptions to fill out many books, but there is no other rule, because the exceptions are… exceptions.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                AGW does not claim all warming is human caused.

                • Javier says:

                  Yes it does.
                  In fact AGW says that anthropogenic effect is more than 100% of the observed warming. You seem to not know very well your hypothesis.

                  Compare green bar to black bar.

                  • Javier, You don’t seem to understand that a phenomenon such as ENSO can cause global warming, albeit temporarily.

                    And too bad that you can’t seem to grasp how to characterize ENSO to this extent:

                  • Javier says:


                    “Javier, You don’t seem to understand that a phenomenon such as ENSO can cause global warming, albeit temporarily.”

                    Of course I do, and I already said so in this blog:


                    “And too bad that you can’t seem to grasp how to characterize ENSO to this extent:”

                    You seem to come only to promote your work on ENSO. While I am not capable of judging its merits, I already told you that if you ignore the paleorecords of ENSO activity, you are very likely to get its cause wrong. Your hypothesis should be able to explain why ENSO frequency peaks right before Bond events and why there was almost no ENSO during Holocene Climatic Optimum.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Javier,

                    As I have pointed out repeatedly the observed warming will be a combination of natural and anthrogopenic forcings. We could claim that anthropogenic forcings are natural (as humans are a part of nature) and then all warming would be due to natural causes.

                    Why would we compare the green to the black bar? The orange bar should be compared to the black bar and is within the error bars, the difference in the mean expected value is simply because natural forcing over the period 1951-2010 was a net negative forcing. The estimate of zero in the diagram is possibly true on longer time scales, the uncertainty during that specific period is +/- 0.2 C for combined natural forcings and natural variability.

                    I believe I have also mentioned there is uncertainty about the exact magnitude of the various forcing agents.

                    Also note that the diagram refers to 1951-2010, I was referring to a longer time frame say 1880 to 2010

                  • Javier says:

                    You seem to have a problem reading a simple graphic from IPCC.

                    Anthropogenic forcing 0.7° ± 0.1°
                    Natural forcing 0.0° ± 0.1°

                    Anthropogenic forcing 100% ± 14%
                    Natural forcing 0% ± 14%

                    IPCC dangerous AGW hypothesis proposes that all warming is of anthropogenic origin, in fact it proposes that anthropogenic GHGs are responsible for 135% of the observed warming.

                    I understand that you find that hard to believe. Most people do.

                  • Javier, You seem to be an expert at everything. I am concentrating on ENSO because that is what I am concentrating on.
                    And I can tell that you have limited understanding on the phenomenon if you bring up paleoclimate.

                    “You seem to come only to promote your work on ENSO.”

                    You don’t seem to understand how scientific analysis works. It’s a tough slog and this is the way to raise interest. Be curious, like Dennis, and maybe you can add some value. DC certainly has.

                  • Javier,
                    Here’s another thing that we’ve been working on — understanding LOD changes and how those correlate with global temperature.

                    Nice potential break-through.

                    This article describes a recent breakthrough on Length-Of-Day (LOD) understanding.

                    “Because glaciers are at high latitudes, when they melt they redistribute water from these high latitudes towards lower latitudes, and like a figure skater who moves his or her arms away from their body, this acts to slow the rotation rate of the Earth,” Harvard University geophysicist Jerry Mitrovica said.

                    They stole the figure skater analogy from me 🙂 here:

                    Seriously, look at that article and it may explain how temperature tracks to LOD, as used in CSALT. The fact that heat is absorbed in the melting of ice, and this is a latent form of temperature change, it may explain why there is a delay from when changes in LOD are measured until when the global temperature changes.

                  • Javier says:

                    Uhuhh, they stole the figure skater analogy from you.
                    My old physics book had the skater analogy (with a nice figure) when explaining changes in angular speed due to conservation of angular moment, and this was decades ago. Perhaps they studied on a similar book.

                    There is not much new to me in what you just said about changes in LOD and in temperature. Climate4you already has a couple of graphs on that


                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Javier,

                    Where is the graphic from and what is the context? My guess is you have taken something out of context. No climate scientist thinks that there is only anthropogenic forcing affecting the climate.

                    I would need a quote and reference for that claim to be believable. An out of context graphic proves nothing.

                  • Javier, You are making the case for our POV. LOD is zero-sum. Keep on talking.
                    That’s what happens — the correct science always emerges.

                  • Javier says:


                    Climate Change 2014
                    Synthesis Report
                    Summary for Policymakers
                    Figure SPM3. page 6.

                    The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period.

                    Know the creed that you defend.
                    Thou shalt not allow for any natural warming.

                    Suddenly you find out yourself an heretic.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Javier,

                    The key phrase that you omit is that over the period specified all warming could be explained by anthropogenic forcing, though there is uncertainty of 14%, over that period the best estimate for natural forcing was zero.

                    Does the report say that has always been the case during periods outside the period covered by the graphic?

                    No it does not. Does any body believe that to be true? Mostly those that like to create a straw man to argue against.

                  • Javier says:

                    4 billion years to 1951 all natural forcing.
                    1951 to present all anthropogenic forcing.

                    And we are expected to believe it.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Javier,

                    Man has probably been influencing climate to a small degree since we started farming.

                    You have claimed that you think carbon dioxide may have some effect, I have never, nor has any climate scientist claimed that there is no natural forcing, it is simply that carbon dioxide does in fact affect climate and the glacial interglacials cannot be modelled successfully without including this effect. What do you believe the equilibrium climate sensitivity to be for a doubling of atmospheric CO2?

                    It is not hard to believe that anthropogenic forcing from 4 billion to 50,000 BP was zero, at least not for me. From 50,000 BP to 11,500 BP anthropogenic influence on the climate was probably zero. From 11500 BP to 300 BP anthropogenic influence gradually increased, most of the influence over this period was land use change (clearing forests for agriculture, building, and fuel). The increased use of fossil fuels had some influence on climate, wouldn’t you agree?

                  • Javier says:


                    I have never, nor has any climate scientist claimed that there is no natural forcing

                    Then you and all climate scientists disagree with IPCC that clearly says that the best estimate for natural forcing between 1951 and 2010 is zero.

                    You seem to have trouble assimilating this. Must be like when the Pope says to a catholic that he should not use condoms.

                    But you see that part is there because it is very important to the creed. If with full anthropogenic forcing ahead we are only making it at 1°C per century (or less), if we subtract natural forcings we are left with a residual warming that is a) too small to matter and b) not amenable to reduction by measures.

                    That is the reason that natural forcings are zero, and if nature still refuses to collaborate, natural forcings are very likely to become negative on next IPCC account book chapter.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Javier,

                    1951 to 2010 is a 60 year period. Lets say there was approximately a 60 year cycle in the natural forcing and it was roughly sinusoidal (undoubtedly it is more complex than this), if there were no volcanoes over that 60 year period (not the case for 1951-2010) all of the positive natural forcing could be balanced by an equal amount of negative forcing over the period in question so that the net forcing over the entire period was zero.

                    So climate scientists would not expect this to always be the case and there is always natural variability.

                    In any case you can choose to interpret that graphic in any way you choose.

                    Your claims are specious.

  25. adamc18 says:

    I’ve just been following the exciting diversion on this thread into climate science/denial.
    Surely there are two main points;

    First is the precautionary principal. It seems a bit pointless to have so much health and safety legislation, warnings about smoking, drugs, driving laws etc etc if there is even a 5% chance that our CO2 emissions threaten the lives of our children and grandchildren. Until the tables are turned and the deniers are challenged to scientifically prove that the risk from CO2 emissions in the face of all the conflicting scientific evidence, we must assume that they are wrong and that many of them are in the pay of a grossly irresponsible fossil fuel industry.

    Second is the fact that, bearing in mind the purpose of this excellent site, we must prepare as soon as possible for a life with declining use of fossil fuels. This is all part of the fact that humanity, through excessive population growth and consumption levels, is very obviously destroying the only planet which we and our successors have. Whether you look at fresh water supplies, disappearing topsoil, overfishing, depletion of oil and many other resources, CO2 pollution of the atmosphere is only part – but a massive part – of our destruction of our world. And for what? So that we can buy and consume more and more ‘stuff’ to try to fill sad and empty lives. I have no idea what the answer is, but it is certainly not GDP and yet more consumerism.

    • The precautionary principle is what drives me to oppose you. 🤓

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Fernando,

        There is uncertainty about how much fossil fuel will be extracted in the future and how sensitive the climate is to changes in forcing. Let’s say the ECS is only 2C (I doubt this, but I think you would agree that most estimates are at least this high). If you look back at over the last 800,000 years you will see that carbon dioxide persists in the atmosphere for long periods, typically it took about 70,000 years for the level to decrease from around 275 ppm to around 180 ppm, ln(275/180)=0.42, lets say we get to 520 ppm, 1.53=520/x or x=520/1.53=339 ppm, so after 70,000 years atmospheric CO2 falls back to 340 ppm.

        If we are going to argue that ECS is lower, then natural variability must be higher.

        Over the Holocene global temperatures have varied (ignoring 1800 to the present) by 0.7 C, with 5000 years of the Holocene being about 0.3 to 0.4 above the 1961-1990 mean temperature, much of that warm period had CO2 at 260 ppm so with the variability plus greenhouse gas warming we might have temperatures almost 2 C above the Holocene climactic optimum.

        I suppose you can claim that warm weather is nice, but the precautionary principle suggests we should be careful what we wish for. 🙂

        • Javier says:

          Those numbers for Holocene temperatures are wrong.

          You cannot get to the right answers with the wrong numbers.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            no Javier the Marcott estimate agrees with the northern hemisphere estimates you prefer. As we are talking about the globe, we want global temperatures. If you would like the variability to be higher as you seem to believe, then the problem would be worse. Are you trying to argue that there is no greenhouse effect, or perhaps only an effect from carbon dioxide but no water vapor feedback. It is pretty well agreed that the equilibrium climate sensitivity is at least 2 C (best estimate). I believe you have suggested a middle estimate for glacial to interglacial swings of 5C with a range of 3 to 9C. You also seem to favor larger instability of the natural system, maybe with natural climate swings of 2 C (note I mean 20 year averages as opposed to cyclical weather patterns). The CO2 level was indeed 262 ppm from 10,000 to 6000 BP, so if one is going to argue that temperatures during this period were 2 C above 1750 levels (or 1 to 1.5C above the 1951-1980 mean temperature), the natural variability becomes a problem (if the CO2 results in 2C of warming and we add another 2 C of natural variability we get 4C above 1750 temperatures).

            We do not know how much fossil fuel will be extracted, if less is extracted it will be better for the climate, but if we see 1500 Gt of carbon emissions (1750 to 2100) then atmospheric CO2 goes to 575 ppm, and we are likely to see more than 2 C of warming.

            • Javier says:

              What kind of argument is that, Dennis? Do you think Holocene temperatures should be chosen to fit a favored theory? I am sure Michael Mann would agree with you, but I only care to know what temperatures are supported by evidence.

              Marcott et al., proposed temperatures are contrary not only to evidence, but also to common sense as I have already said in a comment awaiting moderation.

              If we have warmed 0.7°C since 1975, and the LIA was characterized by a global cooling that caused massive glacier expansion worldwide and had a huge impact on human populations and plant communities, how could it have been slightly more of one third, only -0.25°C? It not only defies evidence, it also defies common sense.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Javier,

                There can be cooling in some places while it warms in others (as is happening now with warming in the Arctic and cooling in the Antarctic). The little ice ace was primarily a Northern hemisphere phenomenon. The coverage for the Marcott analysis is better than most previous analyses, even the PAGES 2K analysis had large swaths of the planet that were not covered, particularly the tropical coverage was not very good.

                • Javier says:

                  Hi Dennis,

                  The little ice ace was primarily a Northern hemisphere phenomenon.

                  That belief has already been superseded and debunked. Over the last years it has been demonstrated and well reflected in the literature that the LIA was a global phenomenon. You are not up to date on this issue.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Javier,

                    The effect was much more pronounced in the Northern hemisphere see my Marcott charts above. The PAGES 2K study does not agree with you see chart below.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  The chart below makes this a little clearer. The PAGES 2K study only has 5 proxies after 850 BP from N America, Europe, Arctic, and Antarctica.

                  Not really representative of the globe. The timing of the “little ice age” is not synchronous for the proxies we do have from 1000 BP to the present. The more I look at this the more I realize you are blowing smoke.

  26. R Walter says:

    Proved oil reserves at 1700.1 billion barrels, 52.5 years of supply.


    At 50 USD per barrel, the value is 50×1,700,100,000,000=85,005,000,000,000 usd

    Not enough, 100 USD per barrel will be better.

    85 trillion dollars to spend so 1700.1 billion barrels of oil can be extracted and burned in 52.5 years. An absolute bargain.

    Current consumption at 32.85 billion per year, 365×90,000,000, 1700.1/32.85=51.75 years.

    Might want to maybe cutback some on consumption.

    When you buy a John Deere tractor, it is never from the factory, the salesman at the dealership will always tell you the tractor came from God. A strong selling point, the buyer is sold on the idea that the tractor did come from God. Done deal. It does work. That is what I heard, anyway, and I was right there when the salesman spoke the words, so I know it is true. Makes a world of difference in the mind of the buyer. 😁

    Oil doesn’t come from God, but if you tell people that it does, it might help some in conservation efforts.

    Where’d you get that oil? From God? Yeah, I did. har

    • oldfarmermac says:

      Ronald if you ever pass thru my neck of the woods, REAL artisanal whiskey is on me, and I am talking about stuff so exclusive it cannot be bought at any price.It can only be had as a GIFT from God, and the fellow who makes maybe fifty gallons a year, total, for his friends exclusive use.

      You have earned it by providing me with many chuckle and quite a few belly laughs.

      Now people outside the farming biz may not believe it , but by SKY DADDY, so help me, there IS a Church of John Deere. I know a couple of members of it, and they would be as likely to buy another make of machinery as traditional Jews would to serve bacon at a wedding.

      Now speaking of cutting back………..

      The article fails to note that the gasoline engine has one hundred thousand LESS miles on it than it would otherwise.

      A well maintained Volt is most likely going to give good reliable service right on past the three hundred thousand mile mark,and maybe a lot farther than that.

      Electric mode eliminates most of the cold start short trip driving that wears out engines before their time. I will not be surprised to hear about Volts with four hundred thousand miles on the odometer, still running the original battery and engine with no major repairs.

      Of course the electric range will fall off towards the end…. but even twenty miles on battery is a hell of a lot, and enough to enable tens of millions of drivers to go weeks at a stretch without burning any gasoline at all.

      My old Daddy could have commuted the entire fifty two years he held his part time forty hour job in town without ever burning a drop of gasoline getting to work if he could have driven a Volt.

      • R Walter says:

        29,500¥ for a metric ton of oil in Japan today, 32.93 usd per barrel. It’s going from worse to worst. Never underestimate the will to survive.

        What does this mean? You can drink the finest whiskey on earth and eat rice and beans! Which would be the normal process under all circumstances. har

        Actually, I might just take you up on drinking some of God’s whiskey, to see God, first and foremost. However, I could and would help with a day’s set of chores and do some work, just for the hell of it. Don’t want to be paid, just the experience. But don’t hold out the whiskey to keep me working, although, more work would mean more whiskey, but not too much. A little hard work never killed anybody. The work comes first though, the whiskey drinking can wait. lol

        I have relatives and family back east, it would be a pilgrimage, not a visit or a trip.

        Oh, the buzzards in the sky get so dizzy they can’t fly just from sniffin’ that good old mountain dew.

        Them that refuse it are few. I’ll shut up my mug if you give me a jug of that good old mountain dew.*

        The water up on Bear Creek tastes like cherry wine. – AP Carter, Bear Creek Blues

        * I won’t tell anybody where the still is hid out in the woods up in the hills, the revenuers won’t hear a word.

      • Nick G says:

        The Volt’s smooth, always available torque, and competent handling has spoiled his family for regular gas vehicles, Belmer said.

        EVs are better than ICE’s…

    • OPEC says just under 1,500 billion barrels of proven reserves. Truth is only about one third of OPEC claimed reserves are actually there. BP just takes OPEC’s word for their reserves, no actual survey has ever been done. Well none that they will allow us to see anyway.

       photo OPEC Reserves_zpswsncupd7.jpg

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Ron,

        I trust the estimates of Jean Laherrere on OPEC reserves (actually he may have underestimated a bit). Lets ignore the 220 Gb of Orinoco reserves, that would reduce OPEC C+C less extra heavy reserves to 986 Gb, then following Laherrere we deduct 300 Gb of possible reserves that are included in OPEC proved reserves, that reduces the total to 686 Gb of proved plus probable (2P) reserves. If we further assumed that 2P reserves are 1.7 times proved reserves, then the proved reserves would be only 400 Gb, which gets us to your 1 out of 3 barrels.

        I agree with Jean Laherrere that proved plus probable reserves is a better metric as this is the best guess for reserves at present prices (50/50 chance that production will be higher or lower than this with current technology and prices).

        So for OPEC C+C less extra heavy 1P=400 Gb, 2P=700 b, 3P=1000 Gb, based on Jean Laherrere’s work.

        • Nick G says:

          this is the best guess for reserves at present prices

          It would be interesting to try to build a supply vs price curve.

        • 1P reserves… okay however those 2P reserves, proven plus probable are way too high. Those Middle East reserves are known far better than anywhere else in the world. There is little doubt about what they have. 300 to 400 GB and that’s it. End of story.

          But all this is but noise. The big story is the peak, the 2015 peak. I don’t care what reserves you believe OPEC has, 2015 is the peak.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Ron,

            In 2013 Jean Laherrere estimated OPEC C+C less extra heavy oil (Orinoco belt) at about 500 2P reserves as of 2010, about 50 Gb have been produced since then, if the reserve estimates have increased at 2% per year as new reserves have been developed (as happens in the US as well) and production has been around 11 Gb/year, OPEC would be at 495 Gb in 2015 with no new discoveries (only reserve growth).

            So if we ignore the Orinoco belt reserves there are about one out of two missing barrels. It is also possible that Laherrere has underestimated OPEC 2P reserves as his estimates tend to be very conservative.

    • I have always maintained that the more oil a country has to produce the more oil they will produce. If one country produces the same amount of oil as another country but says they have four times as much oil to produce then something is wrong with their claim.

      Of course when you count bitumen and oil sands as proven reserves that changes the dynamic somewhat as these are very slow producers.

       photo World Proven Reserves_zps4lm5utfm.jpg

      The above chart is from Ronald’s BP link. It is interactive at the site but not here. Here is the interactive link to the chart.

      Anyway notice the more than doubling of North American proven reserves in 1999. That was the year Canada declared their oil sands as official proven reserves. The same thing happened to South and Central American reserves from 2007 t0 2010 when Venezuela declared the Oronoco bitumen as proven reserves.

      However you will see that the Middle East has a reserves to production ratio of almost 78 years. That is down from 117 years in 1988. Their reserves have not shrunk since then, they have actually grown a lot according to those Middle East nations. What has changed is they are producing a lot more oil than they did in 1988.

      The point is, the world does not have 52.5 years of proven reserves unless you count all that tar and tar sands and take those Middle East nations at their word. I don’t.

      • Watcher says:

        Russian shale doesn’t appear to be in there.

        • Watcher, proven reserves is totally different from resources. Proven reserves is what is economically recoverable. Of course if you think Russian shale is economically recoverable then you should make that case. But Russia don’t seem to think so. That is they are making no attempt to recover any of it.

          • Watcher says:

            They didn’t face the desperate downslope of output that the US did so the shale imperatives are muted for them vs US.

            Venezuela’s big oil numbers isn’t coming out either but they aren’t shy about declaring reserves.

            • The BP and OPEC reserve numbers are 2014 numbers, calculated before the price collapse. The Russian shale was, apparently, not viable at $100+ oil.

              But you hit on one important point. Those big numbers, not just for Venezuela but for the rest of OPEC, are what they declare not what economically recverable reserves they really have.

      • robert wilson says:

        The BP hoax was described by L. F Buz Ivanhoe in 1996 (and earlier) Amazing that it persists.

        • R Walter says:

          Didn’t see anything about the BP hoax and Buz Ivanhoe.

          • robert wilson says:

            See page 3 and reference #6. The Economist, the Oil and Gas J, and the USGS are also discussed.

            “…Unfortunately, their opinions are often based on research quoting questionable data. For example, the much-quoted annual ‘BP Statistical Review of World Energy’s’tables and graphs on ‘Distribution of oil reserves in 1994’contains a fine-print footnote…”

    • Those BP figures don’t merit the designation as “proved”. I’m very familiar with about 15 % of that volume, and that fraction is definitely not proved.

  27. Enno Peters says:

    The following stacked graph shows the (very close approximate of) new wells flowing in the Bakken in North Dakota per month.
    It shows that since the end of last year until October, the number of new wells flowing has dropped quite significantly. It will be interesting to see whether the low in October (72) was an aberration, as the number of wells spud was higher. Also interesting to see here is that since June the ratio of Middle Bakken / Three Forks wells rose a bit. Still, given the low oil price, I would have expected a much larger drop in Three Forks wells.

    • coffeeguyzz says:


      Thanks for the info you regularly post on this site.

      As for the Three Forks, there are actually some great TF wells in northeast McKenzue county, both the first and – increasingly – the second bench.
      I’ve not been closely tracking them, but I believe the deeper TF wells have a significantly higher gas content than the MB. This may be reflected in the higher gas ratios of these wells.

      On a separate note, BTU analytics (a really informative outfit) just released a short, info-packed piece on the Denver Julesberg basin. It concisely covered a lot of items that came up between us in discussing the Niobrara the other day.
      While I was reading about the Niobrara, I encountered a new – to me – term, ‘monobore well’. From what I understand of it, in shallower, lower pressure areas, and with the geology permitting, operators can save significant time, material, and expense using this process , as they are continuing to do in the Niobrara.
      From the little I know of the geology in the other shale formations, thus monobore well construction may be selectively implemented and drive down costs further.

  28. Longtimber says:

    “Accordingly, even when its stock price was riding high north of $40 per share, the yield was 5%. So over the last 27 quarters KMI paid out $17.3 billion in dividends from cash it didn’t have.
    It borrowed the difference, of course, swelling its net debt load from $14 billion at the end of 2009 to $44 billion at present. And that’s exactly the modus operandi of our entire present regime of Bubble Finance.”

    compare to ENRON?

  29. The page Non-OPEC Charts has been updated with data through June 2015.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Thanks Ron,

      The trailing 12 month average of World C+C continues to rise through June 2015. Currently it is 79,166 kb/d.

      • I understand that Dennis, and it will likely continue to rise through the end of the year. The non-OPEC 12 month trailing average turns negative in October. The total world 12 month trailing average turns negative sometime in early 2016. But that does not change the fact that the highest yearly average for world C+C production will be 2015.

        The annual average will be what we will be counting Dennis, not the 12 month trailing average. They are not the same thing. But surely you knew that.

        But you could use the 12 month trailing average to get that figure. That is the 12 month trailing average in December 2015 versus the 12 month trailing average in December 2016. If the 12 month trailing average in December 2016 is the highest, then I will be proven wrong. But I would bet my next Social Security check that I will not be wrong. And I would give two to one odds.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Ron,

          Your original prediction was that it would be between Oct 2014 and Sept 2015, and I thought I had discussed with you that the 12 month moving average would be a way to look at it. I guess you have changed your prediction to the calendar year, 2015 will probably be higher than 2016, especially if prices remain low, but I think an undulating plateau will be likely, with 2015 possibly being surpassed (by a small margin like 1 or 2 Mb/d) sometime between 2017 and 2022. I would be more convinced of a peak if output continues to decline at a high oil price level, that in my opinion will signal the peak is behind us, only high oil prices will prove it.

          • Dennis, I was estimating that the 12 month high would be October 2014 to September 2015. I may be a month or two off Dennis. No I have not changed my prediction, I have said, in early 2014, that 2015 would be the peak. I did not say anything about which month until late 2014.

            Are you going to quibble because I did not pick the exact month of peak oil?

            No, I do not believe there will be an undulating plateau near the peak. There may be an undulating plateau but that plateau will be well below the peak.

            I would be more convinced of a peak if output continues to decline at a high oil price level,…

            Well I would have been more convinced as well if that had happened. But it didn’t. But if you will remember I picked 2015 as the peak well before prices collapsed. The price collapse has not caused me to revise, in any way, my prediction.

            • Nick G says:

              I have said, in early 2014, that 2015 would be the peak.

              I forgot that. When was it?

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Ron,

              I was trying to explain why I bothered with the 12 month trailing average chart, I forgot about your early 2014 prediction.

              You did great with your prediction, but the timing of the fall in prices was fortuitous, if that had not happened, your prediction would have been too early. I think when prices go back up a new peak may arrive, we will see in a few years, probably by 2018 we will know, if the 2015 peak has not been surpassed by Dec 2018 you are likely to be correct.

  30. shallow sand says:

    Thought it might be of interest to share some stuff I looked at last night regarding Continental Resources and Whiting Petroleum.

    Per Whiting’s 2015 3rd quarter 10Q, through 9 months they produced an average of 165,873 BOEPD. 80.2% was oil, 8.6% NGLs and 11.2% natural gas.

    Amounts that have been spent by Whiting Petroleum the first nine months of 2015 per BOE are:

    LOE (OPEX) $9.61
    Prod. tax 3.21
    G & A 2.95
    Interest 5.48
    CAPEX 43.94

    Total $65.19 per BOE

    Through the first nine months of 2015, Whiting has realized $36.98 per BOE before hedges, and on oil has realized another $4.06 per BOE on hedges. They have about 54,000 BOPD hedged in 2016, but most are three way collars, with a put of $43.75, which has now been breached.

    Assuming the same product mix, based upon today’s quoted prices, and assuming the same well head differentials reported through Q3, 2015, today pre hedge, Whiting is realizing around $23.33 per BOE today. They forecast production in Q4 will be below the nine month 2015 average. They reported as of the end of Q3 $5,254,646,000 of long term debt, as of 2014 PDP PV10 was $9,680,699,000. Assuming PDP PV10 falls 60%, 2015 PDP PV10 will be about $3,870,000,000.

    Continental reported 220,630 BOEPD for the first nine months of 2015, 65% oil, 35% natural gas and NGLs. Amounts spent by Continental per BOE for the first nine months are:

    LOE (OPEX) $4.45
    Prod tax 2.59
    G & A 2.38
    Interest 3.87
    CAPEX 35.73

    Total $49.02

    For the first nine months of 2015, Continental realized $33.18 per BOE. They had no significant oil hedges for 2015.

    I estimate, using the same factors as I did for Whiting, pre hedged, Continental is realizing $18.88 per BOE today. They do have gas hedges, I should have wrote those down. Likely why they are focused on OK, which is much more gassy. They also forecast Q4 production below the nine month average, reported long term debt of $7,110,829,000 and had PDP PV10 in 2014 of just about $12,000,000,000. Assuming PDP PV10 falls by 60%, 2015 PDP PV10 will be $4,800,000,000.

    I estimate that Whiting needs about $75 per BOE to hold production flat and be cash flow neutral, and that Continental needs about $58 per BOE to hold production flat and be cash flow neutral. Continental has a much higher gas ratio, and it appears their costs are quite a bit lower, which leaves me scratching my head. I cannot figure out why Continental is in such better shape when they have a high percentage of wells in Bakken, as does Whiting.

    The above does not include hedges, but neither can be considered well hedged. Whiting’s oil collars have an upper price of either $63 or $74. Continental has primarily gas hedges sub $4.

    I would really be interested in reading why Continental’s costs are so much lower than Whiting’s. Is it due to a combination of Whiting having North Ward Estes CO2 flood in the Permian basin, plus CLR being more gas weighted in OK? From what I read, the OK wells are more expensive than the Bakken wells, and are mostly gas, which is selling for about $1.60 right now.

  31. ezrydermike says:

    Racing Extinction…now showing on Discovery channel….

    We need to make some serious changes or they will be made for us. While somewhat hopeful, I think we are running out of time.

    The changes need to be very disruptive and they need to happen now., so I applaud groups like Greenpeace when they try to force public confrontations of issues. I would argue they don’t go far enough. Some are calling this alarmism, but I think we are way past that.

    PS> I am rapidly leaving the techno-fix group that says we can “science” our way out of this.

  32. shallow sand says:

    We discuss here quite a bit about OPEX and CAPEX in the Middle East.

    I suggest those interested take a look at the financials for Genel Energy, plc.

    They own and operate interests in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. They own a 44% working interest in the Taq Taq field and a 25% working interest in the Tawke field.

    From what I can tell, looks like OPEX is $1.47 per BO and G & A is $1.10 per BO in the 1H of 2015. Genel’s barrels in 1H 2015 were 88,800 per day. They spent $331.2 million of CAPEX in 2014 and $91.8 million of CAPEX in 1H of 2015. D, D & A for 1H 2015 was $90.4 million or $5.62 per BO produced in 1H. All of these figures appear to be strictly for the Kurdistan fields described above.

    The problem for Genel Energy is that they are not being paid for the majority of their oil sales. Looks like maybe only 1/4 to 1/5 for 1H 2015, they were just paid $199.3 million for over 16 million barrels.

    Also, this statement might be of interest: “While ISIS remains a destabilizing influence, controlling a large swath of territory across west and north-west Iraq, enhanced security measures implemented by the KRG help ensure that Genel’s operations in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq remain safe and secure. Since the precautionary withdrawal of non-essential personnel from non-producing assets in the region in 8/14, and the subsequent return to normal staffing levels in September, 2014, the Company has experienced no disruption to its business activities. Normal operations are in effect.

    The KRG, through its Peshmerga forces and Oil Protection Force, provides effective security oversight over key upstream infrastructure, including major oil fields and pipelines. To date, upstream infrastructure in the KRI has suffered no incidents related to the ISIS presence in northern Iraq.

    Given the recent heightening of geo-political risk on the borders of the KRI, the company is closely monitoring security developments and will adjust its security measures should the conditions so require.”

    KRI = Kurdistan Region of Iraq
    KRG= Kurdistan Region Government

    Of further note, the 88,800 bopd was an increase of 41% from 1H 2014 production. Also, mention is made that the KRG has made a public commitment to pay international oil companies on a sustainable basis from 9/15. Wonder if that has occurred?

  33. Lucks says:

    Can someone explain to me why the authors of this blog got the oil price so wrong? I mean, oil price should have recovered by now according to them. What in God’s name happened?

    • Lucky, this blog does not have “authors”. It has one author, me. I never got the oil price so wrong because I never predict oil prices. I do sometimes make wild ass guesses. But when I do I explain that it is just a wild ass guess. But even there I have never even guessed that oil prices would have recovered by now.

      You are just full of shit, that’s all.

      • shallow sand says:

        Ron, you are spot on, of course, given this is your blog and I do not remember in the 15+ months I’ve been reading that you have ever predicted future oil prices.

        In any event, why pick on this one site, when I think almost no one predicted what has occurred?

        Ed Morse was one of the biggest bears, he predicted in early 2014 WTI would touch lows in the 60s in Q2 2015, and then would rebound back to the 70s once US shale and Canadian tar sands production turned.

        I’m sure there is someone maybe who predicted this, yet of all the big names, Morse was closest and yet he is now off by around $40 from where he thought 2015 would end, per his early 2014 prediction.

        Goldman Sachs sure as heck wasn’t calling for 20s back then. Nor were any governments calling for prices below the 80s.

        I came here due to the constant mainstream BS, pick on them, not this place. Although there can be a lot of off topic stuff, there is some of the best oil info here, compared to anywhere else on the net.

        Hell, if I knew this was coming I would have sold out for $100K+ a barrel myself. So call me stupid, I guess.

        I do know one thing, unless there is a huge breakthrough which renders oil obsolete, or unless the doom people are correct, there will be another 2008 esque super spike. I think Ron’s posts which show how many oil producing countries did not increase production despite $100+ for 2011-2014 argues that. Again, assuming the world isn’t going down the tunes anytime soon.

        • oldfarmermac says:

          Oil will rule for ten to twenty years no matter what, from a tech pov.

          Even if there were a miracle breakthrough in tech,today, it would take that long to scale it up and wear out the existing fleet of cars and trucks and build enough new ones to replace the legacy fleet.

          Maybe I am too pessimistic, but as I see it, we will be very lucky indeed if electrified cars and light trucks can be built cheap enough and fast enough to keep oil from becoming prohibitively expensive within the next few years.

          Mark these words

          A few years down the road, we will all understand that the reason oil is so cheap today, with so many producers under water on their total costs of production, is that the market simply has not yet had time to do the dirty work of eliminating money losing production.

          The overall world wide oil industry very simply moves slower than molasses in January.

          The evidence seems to show that tight oil producers simply could not reverse course in less than a years time. They have now reversed course. It remains to be seen how long it will take them to reverse course again, when oil goes up again.

          It takes three years to get a small basket of peaches from a newly planted tree,four or five to get a good crop.

          A glut in peaches next year is not going to convince peach growers to abandon their orchards, or even to cut back much on planting new trees. A glut two years in a row will result in reduced new planting but trees started last year and the year before are still coming on. Production maxes out about the fifth year.

          A glut three years in a row will convince some growers to cut get out of peaches and into something else.

          Field crop farmers live a year at a time, with the time frame for major decisions being two years or so. The decision making time frame in the orchard business is at least three or four years, minimum. For apples five to ten years.

          The hands on oil guys tell us the same thing, up to ten years from decision to production, in a conventional oil play.

          Between depletion, growing population, and currently reduced investment in future production, it is reasonable to expect oil to go thru the roof a few years down the road- assuming the economy can handle thru the roof prices.

          • shallow sand says:

            OFM. You do always make good points about the time it takes to react to commodity prices. It seems like in today’s electronic age it should happen fast, but it doesn’t.

            In particular, with oil production, it sounds like it should be easy to just shut down wells, but it is not.

            As we have discussed, practical problems include:

            Lease obligations, which cause the possibility of lease forfeiture in the event of failure to produce oil from the lease in, “paying quantities.”

            State regulations, which require idle wells to be plugged, although there are also rules which do allow for temporary abandonment.

            Concern that shutting down wells for a period of time will cause loss of production.

            Deterioration of idle equipment, which does occur if leases are shut down for a long period of time. Like depletion, rust and corrosion never sleeps.

            Loss of employees, who must necessarily be terminated if operations cease. In our and many cases, this is a huge reason to keep going. In particular, we have an average of over 25 years of experience in the field per employee. That can never be replaced.

            There are expenses, even if leases are shut down. Annual well fees, ad valorem taxes, insurance, minimum electricity bills each month, etc. So as OFM has pointed out, cheaper to lose a little money each month than to shut down everything.

            Stopping drilling can be a long process too. Rig contracts for shale apparently were very long term in some cases. Many shale leases apparently have continuous drilling clauses. In house company employees have to be terminated if drilling ceases.

            Commodity price swings sure play havoc with the best laid plans. It is not for everyone, and in these times I wonder if it is for me anymore. I’d say a lot of people will be leaving this industry for good if they can find something else to do. Ramping production back up to 1 million bopd annual growth will not be cheap, IMO.

            It took us a few years after 1998-1999 to decide to drill wells again. After that drop, which was also followed a somewhat nasty plunge after 9/11/01, it was nice to have some cash flow. Drilling zaps a lot of cash flow.

            Maybe this crash needs to be deep to knock out a large percentage of the shale companies who have ignored the value of positive cash flow. The best stuff will be picked up by the big boys, who I presume care at least somewhat about cash flow. The lesser stuff will be picked up by private companies who also care about cash flow.

            In the 1990s up to about 2005, it was pretty tough to borrow money to buy oil production, and almost impossible to borrow money to drill wells. Had to have other collateral if you wanted to do either.

            Looks like we need to have some BK where the lenders lose their behinds.

            • oldfarmermac says:

              Thank you Shallow Sand,

              If it were not for people like you I would know almost nothing about the hands on end of the oil industry.

              If the opportunity were to ever present itself, I would love to spend a few evenings swapping stories about the hands on aspects of our industries.

            • Jonathan Madden says:

              Thank for this note, Shallow Sand. Most informative.

        • Synapsid says:

          shallow sand,

          Yes, there is some of the best oil info here compared to elsewhere on the net.

          Thanks to you, in large part.

          Thanks, I bet, from us all.

          • shallow sand says:

            Syn. Thanks. Many others here who know much more than me and are happy to share info. AlexS in particular seems to always have the information on hand.

            I think the oil/post and non-oil/post format was a good idea. I read both. Makes things stay on track a little better.

            • Synapsid says:

              shallow sand,

              I couldn’t agree more with you about the desirability of the oil post/non-oil post format. I’ve said that a couple of times but no result.

              At least the indent layout makes it easy to skim past long sets of posts on topics that don’t interest me, or at least not to the extent that they’re present.

  34. Big shocker from the Baker Hughes Rig Coun this week. Total US rig count dropped 28 rigs. Oil rigs down 21, gas rigs down 7. North America rigs down 31. Canada oil rigs down 4, gas rigs up 1.

    Permian rigs down 13.

     photo Baker Hughes_zpssehcpqo8.jpg

    • ChiefEngineer says:

      Looks like the drillers got the same message the stock market got from OPEC last week

      • Toolpush says:


        The drop in the rig count this week, has nothing to do with this weeks drop in the oil price. This drop was already baked in the cake so to speak. Drilling rig contract, are either time base, 6 month/ 2 months etc, or a number of wells with possible options.
        On a time base contract, they either finish on time, or if cancelled early, usually a 30 day period is required, with a penalty fee to be paid.
        On a number of wells + options, there is also a notice period required. Though this can be shorter than 30 days, but it will still have to line up with the end of well.
        As it still takes weeks, 2 to 4, to drill a well it will be the next few weeks before we see the reaction to the current oil price.
        Canada should be interesting. Last year we discussed how all the crews seemed to go home for Christmas. It will be interesting this year if they get an invite back in the New year!

        • shallow sand says:

          Toolpush. I made what is probably a dumb comment that US rigs would not fall much further, despite this most recent oil price drop.

          Do you know if there is a common way LTO rig contracts are structured? Possible that many were annual, ending 12/31/15?

          • Toolpush says:


            As you know I am base offshore international, so I am not directly involved to US land rigs, but I did pick up on Mike’s comments, that a lot of the shale drillers had annual and some even had multi year contracts.
            So any rig that was on a 12 month contract will have, or be very close to expiring. The drillers were on a mad expansion phase, when OPEC made them choke on their turkey at Thanksgiving last year, so possible their is a significant end of contract rig.
            I note on the ND rig page, one rig for XTO is for stack. I have not seen that for many months.

        • ChiefEngineer says:

          No sense of humor Push

          • Toolpush says:

            Sorry CE,

            I didn’t see the sarc tag. The trouble is a lot of people will believe that the rig count is a reaction to this weeks oil price. Good to hear you are a better than that.

        • coffeeguyzz says:


          An interesting development has started in New York State with regards to natgas pipeline restrictions … ‘virtual’ pipelines.
          A second company has opened a hub in upstate NYS to truck in CNG to a distribution hub, from whence it can be piped to local customers. Already a multi hundred housing complex is to be built and fueled with this gas. The local leaders expect a rejuvenation of industry with lower heating prices now possible. There is a wood processing plant there that now expects to expand.

          A few months back, a big pulp mill near Ticonderoga started to truck in natgas to fuel their plant and enable the business to remain open.
          Ingenuity meeting a market need.

          • oldfarmermac says:

            The insanity of it all just blows me away.

            We haul gas to wood processor, because wood is to expensive to burn it, and then we turn around and haul wood a hundred miles or more and put it on a ship and send it across the sea to be hauled again to a power plant to burn it. 🙂

            This is not going to end well. 🙁

          • Toolpush says:


            There have been a couple of companies pushing Nat gas by road for awhile. The CNG tank manufacturers have been working on different designs. All are light weight designs. Some of the potential market is for small towns, and industrial plant that is too far from the main pipelines to be connected, but there are also the ones that can’t get approval to build their pipeline connection, and therefore have to resort to the road version.

      • Ovi says:

        Why does this report show 58 rigs operating in ND while the site states the number of active drilling rigs to be 65?

    • AlexS says:

      This week’s decline in oil rig count was almost equally split between horizontal (-11) and vertical (-10) rigs.
      Total number of oil rigs is now down 67.4% from the peak of 1609 (October 10, 2014) to 524.
      The number of horizontal rigs drilling for oil is down 62.8% from the peak of 1115 (November 26, 2014) to 415 units.

      U.S. horizontal oil rigs

      • AlexS says:

        Wood Mackenzie expects the decline in horizontal oil rigs to continue through June 2016.
        They expect Lower 48 states ex-GoM C+C production to decline until the end of next year, with a moderate rebound in 2017.
        Expected decline in 2016 is not as steep as projected by the EIA (more than 1 mb/d from March 2015 to September 2016).

      • Enno Peters says:

        Thanks Alex,

        I find the rig count a useful indicator for the drilling activity. However, as we have seen in the Bakken, the number of wells drilled per rig is up by about 20-40% since the mid of last year. This is of course due to the fact that better rigs & crews are being kept, better practices, and other factors. Therefore, in order to better relate the rig count to the capacity to drill wells, a correction factor should be applied. This causes the rig count drop to be somewhat less severe, and is in my mind a better indication of what is going to happen near term.

        Helms mentioned in the webcast that, based on operator input, he expected the rig count in ND to drop from 65 to about 55 in the coming 6 months, as rig contracts expire. A drop of this order of magnitude (15%) may be seen elsewhere as well.

        To put the fraclog in perspective: if we estimate that the fraclog is about 540 wells in ND, and that rigs drill nowadays about 1.4 wells/month/rig in ND, the fraclog is equal to about 32 rig-years of capacity (32 rigs would drill the fraclog in 1 year).

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Interesting that the rigs in the Eagle Ford increased by 3. I would think they are being hammered by these oil prices (and natural gas prices aren’t great either). Permian is way down at -13.

  35. Greenbub says:

    So, the cure for low prices is low prices. But, the cause of even lower prices is also low prices? How do you win this game?

    • ChiefEngineer says:

      Buy something

      • Sheikhshipshape says:

        Get a job, work hard, climb the corporate ladder, buy stuff, get a house, a car, a wife and 2.5 kids, 2 weeks paid vacation, a dog, a cat, pay your taxes, retire, collect pension, die…

        Right, Chief? Wallahi.

        (…Ameriwestern dream… so dreamy…)

        • ChiefEngineer says:

          You missed the first step of getting an education

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Might have been on purpose, given the nightmare’s results.

            • hightrekker says:

              “It’s called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it. ”

              • oldfarmermac says:

                It cannot last forever, and is fading even as we talk, but the American Dream has been a reality for hundreds of millions of Americans over the last century or two.

                I was the first person in my personally known extended family to get a degree.One of my illiterate great great grandfathers arrived in this neighborhood so poor all he had to do to break camp was to piss on his fire and call his dog. The dog fed him a lot more than he fed it.

                He died old owning a nice little farm. All his kids owned nice little farms, free and clear, and some Model A’s as well, before he passed away.

                Now we have doctors, lawyers, engineers, plant managers, etc in good proportion to our family size, even a couple of professors and high ranking civil servants.

                Just about everybody in the family who has “played by the rules ” lives in a nice house, drives a nice car, can go to the doctor as needed, eats too much rich food especially red meat, etc etc.

                It is no wonder the DREAM has such a hold on us, dreams that have demonstrably come true so often are easy to believe in .

        • R Walter says:

          Life’s a beach and then you die. Been like that for a long time.

    • Deepgreenbubblewrap says:

      It seems an unwinnable game as-played… like looking in a mirror at a barbershop with a mirror behind:

      Using increasing amounts of decreasing energy to get decreasing amounts of decreasing energy to use in increasing amounts to get decreasing amounts of decreasing energy to use in increasing amounts to get decreasing amounts of decreasing energy to use in…

      Is this an exponential? Because if it is, it’s going to unwind increasingly faster against itself.

      Before we figure out what’s going on, the lake will be completely covered with water-lilies.

  36. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Seepage: Climate change denial and its effect on the scientific community (edited: see link for full article)

    Stephan Lewandowskya, Naomi Oreskesc, James S. Risbeyd, Ben R. Newelle, Michael Smithson


    • Appeals to scientific uncertainty are often used to forestall action on climate change.
    • We examine the seepage of this contrarian discourse into the scientific community.
    • We highlight psychological reasons for scientists’ susceptibility to seepage.
    • We use the global warming ‘hiatus’ as an example of the consequences of seepage.
    • We offer ways in which the scientific community can detect and avoid such seepage.


    Vested interests and political agents have long opposed political or regulatory action in response to climate change by appealing to scientific uncertainty. Here we examine the effect of such contrarian talking points on the scientific community itself. We show that although scientists are trained in dealing with uncertainty, there are several psychological reasons why scientists may nevertheless be susceptible to uncertainty-based argumentation, even when scientists recognize those arguments as false and are actively rebutting them. Specifically, we show that prolonged stereotype threat, pluralistic ignorance, and a form of projection (the third-person effect) may cause scientists to take positions that they would be less likely to take in the absence of outspoken public opposition. We illustrate the consequences of seepage from public debate into the scientific process with a case study involving the interpretation of temperature trends from the last 15 years. We offer ways in which the scientific community can detect and avoid such inadvertent seepage.

    1. Introduction

    …In this article, we argue that the appeal to uncertainty in public discourse, together with other contrarian talking points, has ‘seeped’ back into the relevant scientific community. We suggest that in response to constant, and sometimes toxic, public challenges, scientists have over-emphasized scientific uncertainty, and have inadvertently allowed contrarian claims to affect how they themselves speak, and perhaps even think, about their own research. We show that even when scientists are rebutting contrarian talking points, they often do so within a framing and within a linguistic landscape created by denial, and often in a manner that reinforces the contrarian claim. This ‘seepage’ has
    arguably contributed to a widespread tendency to understate the severity of the climate problem

    Seepage can only occur when there is perceived uncertainty. If the public is certain that the earth is round, the flat-earth society can say whatever they like without making any impact on public opinion. In the case of climate change, however, the public continues to find it difficult to resist the allure of uncertainty, and political arguments continue to rely on Scientific Certainty Argumentation Methods (SCAMs).

    …The tacit logic underlying SCAMs is that scientific uncertainty about climate science implies uncertainty about whether something should be done in response to it…

    This actual implication of scientific uncertainty—namely, that greater scientific uncertainty implies greater certainty about the need for a policy response—is counterintuitive but undermines the reasoning of SCAMs. We therefore suggest that scientific uncertainty presents an opportunity for scientists to reframe SCAMs in a scientifically more appropriate manner. As noted by Jasanoff (2007), ‘the great mystery of modernity is that we think of certainty as an attainable state’ (p. 33). Certainty may not be attainable, but uncertainty provides a certain impetus for action, and that recognition may be an important element in imbuing the scientific community with resilience to SCAMs and, by implication, seepage

    8. Conclusion

    …In climate science, we see a similar phenomenon of non-experts challenging an established body of evidence that has converged on the conclusion that global warming is unequivocal and in all likelihood due to human industrial and agricultural activity. But in this case we see scientists not only responding to these contrarian claims, but publishing a significant number of papers in peer-reviewed journals to try to explain them. In effect, scientists came to doubt their own conclusions, and felt compelled to do more work to further strengthen them, even if this meant discarding previously accepted standards of statistical practice. This, we suggest, is evidence of seepage: that non-epistemological considerations have seeped into– and thereby altered– scientific research and debate. Confidence, like prematurity and credibility, are value judgments, but it seems reasonable to conclude that the pressures of climate contrarians has contributed, at least to some degree, to undermining the confidence of the scientific community in their own theory, data, and models, all of which permit– and indeed expect– changes in the rate of warming over any arbitrarily chosen period…”

    “To illustrate, we used the definitions of the pause found in our corpus of articles (mean duration 13.5 years), and asked how often the null hypothesis of no warming would fail to be rejected during the last 30 years. It turns out that during those 3 decades, the 14-year trend escaped significance 10 times and the 13-year trend 13 times, suggesting either that global surface warming “paused” between 30% and 43% of a time period during which the Earth warmed 0.6K overall, or that global surface warming never paused and what we have been observing are routine fluctuations superimposed on a warming trend.

    Taken together, the statistical and behavioral evidence demonstrate that the notion of a pause or hiatus—as commonly understood—is incorrect. The evidence from the blind expert test suggests that it is also misleading.” ~ Stephan Lewandowsky, James Risbey and Naomi Oreskes

    • Here’s Dr Curry’s written statement to the USA Senate Committee headed by Senator Cruz:

      Those of you who are interested in the subject should keep it in your library. It’s pretty good.

      • wharf rat says:

        You deniers need to get out and demonstrate in favor of dirty air, like this, only the opposite. 400K walking in NYC for more smog should get the attention of pols.

        COP21: Chorus of popular dissent rises on streets of Paris
        ‘We have the last word, these thousands of us in the streets – we’ll continue to fight for climate justice’

        ‘We have the last word, these thousands of us in the streets – we’ll continue to fight for dirty air’ should play well in Peoria.

        • Jef says:

          Warf rat – Its not clear that that smog is human induced ;-}

          • hightrekker says:

            Smog is a liberal plot to destroy Capitalism and create a One World Government.
            It obviously doesn’t exist, and if it did, humans have nothing to do with it.

            Don’t you know the truth?

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Lewis and Curry (2014) estimated that equilibrium climate sensitivity was 1.64 °C, based on the 1750-2011 time series and ‘the uncertainty ranges for forcing components’ in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report…

            A literature review by Knutti and Hegerl (2008) concluded that various observations favour a climate sensitivity value of about 3 °C, with a likely range of about 2-4.5 °C. However, the physics of the response and uncertainties in forcing lead to difficulties in ruling out higher values.” ~ Wikipedia

            And then there’s the concept of erring on the side of caution: Time to wrap this dystopian uneconomy up before mother nature does it for us.

            • Javier says:

              This is what CO2 sensitivity has been doing in the scientific literature (see graph).

              As time goes by science believes CO2 is less and less dangerous. This is a [scientific] fact.

              You can see Knutti up there promoting one of the most outlandish values for climate sensitivity.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                The sensitivity is still high, at least according to this graph, wherever you found it and whoever did it. Your Curry is apparently at the lower end of it.

                There also seems to be more recent sampling and (thus?) with less variation– a narrowing of the range.

                And then there are the real-world measurements and findings that look even worse for humanity.

                Lastly, and according to one of my recent comments, ‘denial sociopolitics‘ may be influencing (the bias of) the data and/or toward more conservative reporting, for examples.

                There’s also the apparent contradiction where you seem to agree that our fossil-fueled lifestyle is no good anyway and yet you vigorously pursue this avenue.

                If the industry-cum-government is playing dirty tricks and science can’t do that, then you could at least keep quiet. Your previous mention along the lines that you don’t want people to panic rings rather hollow. I think people need to know the truth, and they need to know the truth beyond just devil’s advocating and cherry picks.

                I don’t know if you’re a real scientist and if you’re currently working; what kind of research and/or publications you’ve done; what your full name is; and am not really sure what your personal agenda is with regard to this. Assuming you are a biologist, biologists are not climatologists for one and for another, we are apparently in or flirting with a mass extinction event. If I was a biologist or whatever, I’d keep my mouth shut, but that’s just me.

                • Javier says:

                  Doesn’t seem to me that you can keep your mouth shut even when you are proven wrong.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Nope when a paper is published has nothing to do with if it is correct.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Methinks thou doth project.

                  • It’s like religion, dude. These guys are like the Taliban, I bet they go to bed wearing black robes and fake beards.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    What do you think of my recent comments from today, Fernando?
                    Lowball climate change sensitivity so as to ramp up renewables, thus FF burning; and keep oil $ down so as to keep the economy sufficiently viable for the above?
                    Given that, I am betting that oil is not going to go too low… Maybe just low enough to knock out some players, maybe those that feed certain economies.
                    Nevertheless, the recent climate talks may have dealt even with that angle, since many seem to be on board. Perhaps because USA may have just deliberately knocked out its shale plays, thus answering a climate commitment that other countries expected before they would follow suit.

                    Note to self: Curry’s the real lowballer. Find out what her story is. See if there’s any indication she’s being leaned on.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      As a geophysicist and geologist I have frequently encountered people who insist they have the ability to divine water, oil, or even gold using a metal rod or a tree branch. In the beginning I’d refer them to scientific studies that failed to support these claims (I know of none that support them). Eventually I decided to ignore these people even when they wasted money drilling expensive holes; though far too often it was other people’s money being used.

      Almost all climate change deniers fit into the same category as water diviners: ignore them. If you want to know about climate change you listen to climate scientists, period. Geologists may disagree about the odds of discovering potable water in a given location but his/her opinion is more creditable than a brain surgeon in exactly the same way that a brain surgeon is a hell of a lot more likely to know what’s happening in your head than any geologist. You can always disregard Armchair Experts.

      • Javier says:

        I agree.

        Ignore those that deny climate change and rely only on published peer-reviewed scientific literature. That’s also my recipe.

        But careful, if you read too much climate scientific literature you might come to the conclusion that science is far from settled, that we ignore a lot more than we know, and that many claims are not based on evidence.

        • Peer review is overrated. I’m a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, which publishes the Journal of Petroleum Engineering. Over the last few years I’ve seen really pathetic papers being published.

        • And I seem to remember one of the Nature publications published Cook et als climate porno paper with the silly 97%.

          • not clever says:

            Seriously, Ron, you think comments like this are worthy of genuine discussion? Fernando and Javier have hijacked your blog to promote AGW FUD IMHO…

            • If I say Cook et al is low quality trash it will make you feel better?

              • not clever says:

                You are a propaganda genius. Congratulations on developing your talent to the utmost in this life.

            • Javier says:

              Pardon me not clever,

              The F in FUD is for fear. The only fear is promoted by those that have hijacked the MSM to promote that the world is going to end if we don’t do exactly as told. To promote that the climate is going to become unstable and provoke untold mayhem that is not supported by evidence.

              You are so brainwashed that you accuse of spreading fear to those that are telling you that there is nothing to fear. Talk about Stockholm syndrome.

              • not clever says:

                You try to promote a great deal of fear that the development of renewable energy will be TEOTWAWKI.

                • Javier says:

                  Not clever,

                  I am totally in favor of developing renewable energy sources. We are running out of fossil fuels, remember? Do you think I want to go back to rubbing sticks to make fire?

                  I am just realistic about the chances of pulling out a successful transition that would support BAU. And I greet with derision ridicule claims by techno-optimists. But we do have to try by all means to get our renewables as high as possible before it’s too late.

                  Now that you have demonstrated that your humble opinion is not worth two cents, perhaps you’ll let us go back to our interesting and informative discussions.

                  • Nick G says:

                    I am just realistic about the chances of pulling out a successful transition that would support BAU.

                    Well, BAU is doomed, but by BAU I mean fossil fuels.

                    And, of course, eliminating oil doesn’t require renewable energy: EVs can run on coal, gas, nuclear, etc.

            • Glenn Stehle says:

              not clever,


              Ron should banish all dissidents so the true believers can hold chapel and recite from their catechism without interruption.

              • not clever says:

                I’m asking for the writers to display a modicum of respect for their audience.

      • Stilgar Wilcox says:

        “Almost all climate change deniers fit into the same category as water diviners: ignore them. If you want to know about climate change you listen to climate scientists, period.”

        Exactly DL. Just like people without experience and knowledge of electrical should not be guessing with electrical wiring, leave questions about climate to the accredited one’s in the field of climate science. How regular people without any education in that field think they know better is truly a mystery. The world needs to ignore the climate change deniers and do what is needed to avert climate chaos.

        • ChiefEngineer says:

          Hi Stilgar,

          I saw you were out a little late the other night with Fast Eddy over at Tverberg’s.

          Not enough nonsense here for you ? Did you need a double late night fix to get to sleep?

      • oldfarmermac says:

        The beliefs of people when it comes to “divining” water are interesting as a study in the nature of sense and common sense.

        I have a very good friend who is a graduate of a major university, and well educated other than in the sciences, who believes he can divine water, and people pay him to do it..

        I never discuss the subject with him of course. NEVER. But one of my neighbors had three wells bored on his farm- three dry holes.( Anybody who buys a farm ought to buy one with a stream on it or at least bordering it. )

        That was pretty close to a local record for bad luck, because according to the local health department , over ninety five percent of wells bored in this county produce enough water for a residence.

        It is interesting to note that my friend the water witch brags about having a ninety five percent success rate.


        Roughly three quarters of the wells are drilled where the Health Department technician says to drill.

        The last quarter are located ( within areas delineated as permissible by the technician or a hired environmental engineer, there are setback rules etc ) according to the wishes of the property owner- who uses the services of a diviner if he so pleases.

        I personally hire an environmental engineer, a guy with a license to draw plans and inspect the work of well drillers and septic system contractors etc.This costs me a few hundred bucks more than using the state employees, but the advantage to me is that I get things located to suit ME rather than the health department employee, who is legendary for being an officious asshole.

        If he discovers you want to eventually build a garage in a given spot, or a road, etc he is noted for putting the septic system in that EXACT spot. Nobody from the health department even sets foot on my property when it comes to permits and construction.

        Now the human nature thing comes into play in that everybody remembers the occasional dry hole bored in a spot designated by the engineer or health department, but forgets the occasional dry hole located according to my friend the diviner.

        So – Here is the “rest of the story”.

        The neighbor called my friend the diviner for the fourth try and got water, and plenty of it.

        So now just about everybody around the neighborhood believes in the water witch as sure as they believe in the sun coming up tomorrow.

        I refrain from discussing this affair in public since most of my neighbors already think of me as an overeducated fool for various reasons.

        • Mac, anecdotal evidence is worth about as much as a bucket of warm spit. To your credit, you are just not buying it. This speaks well of you.

          I am very familiar with water diviners, that is how everyone picked their well site in my rural niche of North Alabama where I was born and raised. However they are all, or more correctly were all, suffering under a false assumption. They all thought water was located in underground streams. They had to hire a water diviner in order to hit the stream. But that’s not how it works.

          There is a water table that is located a given number of feet below any area that gets adequate rainfall. Drill, or dig, down to that table level and you will find water. You don’t need a deviner to find the water table. All you have to do is drill deep enough.

          • oldfarmermac says:

            Hi Ron,

            I agree about the nature of water tables, in general terms, but in places such as the mountainous area I live with the granite bones of the ever so ancient Blue Ridge Mountains underlying the local land, there IS NO WATER , any where close to the surface, at SOME SPOTS due to the underlying rock being perfectly solid.

            There are five wells on our home place, one sixty feet, hand dug, that served us perfectly for fifty years, then went dry.It is producing again now, plenty of water in it. The next one, the replacement, machine drilled, fifty yards away was bone dry for six hundred feet.It is cased sixty feet, then solid granite all the way to the bottom.We took it to seven hundred fifty feet hoping for more water. Nothing but powdered granite came up as it was drilled. I have a dry well five hundred fifty feet,well number three, on some nearby land I own. Number four, located only a hundred yards away, is four hundred feet deep. That well was talcum powder dry granite dust from twenty feet where it hit rock down to two hundred and eighty feet, where it started producing two gallons a minute. Another fifteen hundred bucks spent taking it down another hundred twenty feet didn’t get me another extra drop.

            Number five is only two hundred feet deep, on land a quarter of a mile from the ” home place”. I got plenty of water at a hundred feet there, but the contract specified a minimum charge to go to two hundred feet, so I insisted on the other hundred feet and got even more flow.I cannot pump that one dry even after a week with a ten gallon per minute residential sized pump.

            There are some dry wells twelve hundred feet deep, within a few miles, located on small scenic lots sold up on the ridge tops. The local drillers don’t have rigs capable of drilling any deeper. So those scenic view acre lots adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway National Park , that sold for fifty grand each and up, are basically worthless as building lots. Damned rich newcomers who won’t lower themselves to say hello to a local person bought them, serves them right, lol.Their equally obnoxious neighbors who had better luck will not share their water, hoping to get the dry lots for peanuts of course.

            I suppose if you drill deep enough you are apt to hit some water almost anywhere.

            From Richmond east all the way to the coast, hundreds of thousands of wells were hand dug over the last couple of centuries, with nearly every last one of them hitting water at seventy five feet or less.

            Water is however deep you find it.

            Anybody contemplating buying rural land ought to spend a couple of days investigating the local water situation.

            • Toolpush says:


              I do realize that your part of the world freezes from time to time, but I do not understand why roof water collected in tanks is not used in the US. Aussies have been living on it for years. Underground tanks should get around your freezing problems.

              • oldfarmermac says:

                Some rural people in the very dry Southwestern USA do collect rain water in cisterns, and a very few do so in other parts of the country. I know of one or two houses in southwestern Virginia that have rainwater collection systems because the existing wells on the property are poor producers, and the rain water helps out.

                But mostly we have so much land, and so much water on most of it, here in the USA , that nobody much needs or wants to live in places so dry that cisterns are necessary. We have the luxury of choosing to live elsewhere. 😉

                In the southeastern USA , there is PLENTY of water within a mile almost any given spot, free running on the surface, year around. But most of it is not potable due to pollution, and thus we must either hook onto water lines and buy treated water, or drill wells so as to have potable water. I have plenty of stream water to use for irrigation and to water livestock,in the event of drought, but we have wells on our place so as to have potable water on every separate tract of land.

                I also know of a few people who buy the water they drink and cook with but use questionable stream or well water for every thing else.

                In some parts of the USA, farmers are pumping the hell out of potable ground water to irrigate their crops. They are eventually going to have to quit doing so. If the law doesn’t stop them sooner , nature will, when the water table drops far enough they can’t afford to drill the wells and pay for the pumping.

                • Toolpush says:


                  I find water to be a very interesting subject,and what people do for their drinking water. As you pointed out,some people buy their drinking water. I think we can blame the destruction of European cities during the WWII for that one, and the water marketing companies that sprung up to take advantage of the poor water available after the war did a very good job of selling their product.
                  While we are the subject, I have to relay a conversation I had while I was in the states. A friend was telling me how they had to drill a new water well for some type of failure I can’t remember. Shortly afterwards, the area was hooked to a sewage system. Shortly after that, her well went dry, and she had to drill a new one. It was rather humerus to me anyway, she didn’t seem to appreciate it, but I explained when every one was on septic, the overflow was returned to the water table. Now the sewer was connected, all this water was now taken out of the system, causing the water table to fall. She definitely was not impressed to hear she had been drinking everybody’s toilet water, even if it had been duly processed by natures best treatment systems.
                  Some people are just better off not knowing what goes on in nature. smiles!

                  • hightrekker says:

                    My well hung in there with the 4 years of CA drought.
                    Never has failed, but many more straws around me now, mainly vineyards.
                    I store 17,000 gallons, but leave a hose on and see what happens with that—–

              • wimbi says:

                We rely on cistern water for everything but drinking, where we use a 110 yr old hand dug shallow well sitting on top of a big narrow slab of rock sticking out all sides of our ridge.

                Well probably ok for drink and cooking, since we have been here about 50 yrs and ain’t quite dead just yet.

                We put the cistern on a pole platform right up under the barn gutter. This gives us a little pressure for ordinary use, and we have a pump for any other needs.

                Never problem freezing even in pretty cold weather (-20 C about as low as ever gets). Big blanket around all sides except for a bit of the side due south for sun to get in if there happens to be any around.

    • Javier says:

      Lewandosky, Oreskes et al. are climate activists. Their products are propaganda of the worst quality.

      Lewandosky got totally debunked and discredited with his article linking climate skepticism to Moon landing hoax belief. Another of his articles was retracted by the journal. The guy is so laughable that your arguments really suffer from using his trash.

      • Did you read Oreskes’ garbage in the latest sciam?

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        It appears that much of this has devolved/is devolving into a dirty little convoluted game– a fight– to the exclusion of what really matters; a planet we and our descendants can live and love on in relative peace and comfort.

        Time to get it together and smarten up.

        • Im already smarter, and I think I have a better way to put things together. 🐸

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            🐸 Well I am kind of saying it in general and maybe you’re joking half the time… 🐸 What’s at the end of your comment by the way? 🐸 Is that a frog? 🐸 Looks cute. 🐸 Amphibians, incidentally, seem to be suffering more than the rest of the animal world in general. 🐸 They are maybe the canaries in the coal mine of the health of the planet. 🐸

            • Javier says:

              Amphibians, incidentally, see to be suffering more than the rest of the animal world in general. They are maybe the canaries in the coal mine of the health of the planet.

              I 100% agree, however amphibians would do much better in a warmer, wetter world with more CO2. What is killing them is contamination, and since AGW scare started nobody talks anymore about contamination. It is all temperature and we are putting all our effort and money on temperature and GHGs, a so far imaginary problem, abandoning all the real problems that are out of fashion.

              • Synapsid says:


                The focus I’ve seen in the literature is on a chytrid fungus that is killing amphibians.

                What sort of contamination are you referring to?

                • Javier says:


                  You are probably right that disease is their number one killer, but we are not responsible for that except through the depression of their immune system due to contamination.

                  Amphibians are the most sensitive to pollution of all vertebrates, and the most sensitive of all animals to phenol contaminants. It is obvious that water pollution is the main concern, but atmospheric pollution always ends as water pollution also.

                  This and habitat destruction are our major contributions to the severe decline of amphibians.


              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Then maybe you could be talking about contamination? Or land-use/abuse, like the drainage of marshes and therefore reduction of habitat for amphibians? Stuff like that? What’s your biological specialization?

              • not clever says:

                No species except possibly humans and their domesticated animals will be doing better in the future.

  37. Techsan says:

    Interesting comment in today’s NY Times:

    America represents wilderness and freedom, and also a big house.

    — Qin You, who owns a 6-bedroom home in Jackson Hole, China, a resort community built to resemble an American frontier town, on the outskirts of Beijing.

    So apparently lots of people would act like Americans if they could.

    • Sheikhshipshape says:

      Wallahi, see my above.

    • Arceus says:

      Techsan, it means nothing. I am surprised how many otherwise intelligent, thoughtful people ALWAYS make this assumption. Trust me, it means nothing like what you think it means.

  38. R Walter says:

    Off topic:

    Keep you eyes peeled up in the sky to see if you can spot a bright light at about 75,000 to 80,000 feet, especially during the daytime hours. It was about at one o’clock, at around 10:30 AM. The light is a reflection of sunlight beaming from a flying object.

    If you see it, it is a new high tech spacecraft. The craft does exist. It is there.

    It is large, much more than an airplane, has a rectangular shape in two parts with a hardware section connecting the two rectangular shapes.

    It is no hoax, it can remain stationary in flight and when it moves, it gains speed quickly.

    I have seen it twice in the sky, but have only seen it move one time.

    It ain’t no movie. Just so you know.

    • it can remain stationary in flight and when it moves, it gains speed quickly.

      Bullshit! Nothing can remain stationary at 80,000 feet, except perhaps a weather balloon, and they don’t take off fast. You just have a wild imagination Ronald. I’ll bet you believe in alien driven UFOs as well.

      Anyway this is an oil and energy blog. Please don’t post your silly UFO theories here.

    • Brian Rose says:

      Being that amateur astronomers can take high quality pictures of Jupiter with easily affordable equipment… Well, I’d recommend doing exactly that.

      A DSLR on a tripod could easily capture a quality photo of this magical sky buggy.

      • oldfarmermac says:

        I have seen a beautiful , well formed halo around the moon many times, and a faint one around the sun a few times, but only once in my life have I seen what looked like a second sun off to one side. I was astonished to say the least, because I had never heard of this optical illusion created by icy clouds located in exactly the right spot between me and the sun.

        It took me a couple of hours poking around on the net to find a picture pretty much identical to what I observed. The illusion is referred to as a sun dog and common in some parts of the world but very rare in the southeastern US.

        There are probably some other natural atmospheric illusions that are little known, at least to the general public, which might be mistaken for “unusual” flying objects .

        • R Walter says:

          When I attended college, I enrolled in a comparative anatomy class. In the lab, I dissected a cat, it was fixed in formaldehyde, the muscle system was well preserved. The course consisted of dissecting a necturus, then a dogfish shark, then the cat.

          I was tested on the muscular system of the cat. Come test time, I was prepared. I answered all of the questions, where each muscle was located. I thought I had answered every test question correctly, but I did get two wrong. Actually, I confused two muscles next to each other, the answers were correct, just the wrong muscle. The professor said to me, ” Nobody does that well.”

          I make accurate observations, I don’t make false claims, the words have veracity.

          Anyhow, the energy source used is probably a cesium isotope using an ion engine, the craft is man made.

          In my Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, cesium is described as being an efficient fuel for space travel and can fuel a space vehicle to travel 100× further than conventional rockets.

          I know it is bizarre as can be and it seems to be the product of an overactive imagination, but every word of it is true. I know what I saw. No mistake whatsoever.

          I know what sun dogs are.

          I will never bring up the subject again at this site.

          • Javier says:


            Before you had that experience, what was your opinion on the hundreds, perhaps thousands that reported a similar experience in the past?

            I supposed that you would not think that because this time it was you, people were likely to react any differently. Those that know you and trust you have no reason to doubt what you say, yet from a scientific point of view that says nothing about the reported phenomenon.

            Since hundreds to thousands of sightings have not advanced our knowledge at all, if I were you I would ignore it. It makes no sense to change in any way due to that.

          • Glenn Stehle says:

            R Walter,

            What you have to say is germane to the debate over global warming, because many of the global warming crusaders believe that reason should trump cognition.

            Kant drew a bold line between reason and cognition.

            However, those who came after Kant — Fitche, Schelling, Hegel — ignored Kant and instead took their cue from Descartes, went hunting for certainty and timeless, unshakable truths, and once again blurred the distinguishing line between thought and knowledge. They believed in all earnest that the results of their speculations possessed the same kind of validity as the results of cognitive processes.

            As Hannah Arendt explains in The Life of the Mind, what Kant postulated was that,

            In other words, the intellect (Verstand) desires to grasp what is given to the senses, but reason (Vernunft) wishes to understand its meaning. Cognition, whose highest criterion is truth, derives that criterion from the world of appearances in which we take our bearings through sense perceptions, whose testimony is self-evident, that is, unshakable by argument and replaceable only by other evidence….

            What science and the quest for knowledge are after is irrefutable truth, that is, propositions human beings are not free to reject — they are compelling. They are of two kinds, as we have known since Leibeniz: truths of reasoning and truths of fact. The main distinction between them lies in the degree of their force of compulsion: the truths of “Reasoning are necessary and their opposite is impossible” while “those of Fact are contingent and their opposite is possible.” (Kant, Confessions) The distinction is very important although perhaps not in the sense Leibniz himself meant. Truths of fact, their contingency notwithstanding, are as compelling for anybody witnessing them with his own eyes as the proposition that two and two makes four is for anybody in his right mind. The point is only that a fact, an event, can never be witnessed by everyone who may want to know about it, whereas rational or mathematical truth presents itself as self-evident to everyone endowed with the same brain power; its compelling nature is universal, while the compelling force of factual truth is limited; it does not reach those who, not having been witnesses, have to rely on testimony of others, whom one may or may not believe. The true opposite of factual, as distinguised from rational, truth is not error or illusion but the deliberate lie.

          • oldfarmermac says:

            Hi Ronald,

            I did not intend to insult your judgement or observational skills, sorry about that.

            It could be that what you saw is something known to atmospheric scientists, but unknown to you, just as the sun dog illusion was unknown to me.

            What you saw could be some sort of visual chaff, released by a fighter aircraft to small for you to see it, or from a rocket fired from an aircraft some miles away. Stealth tech undergoing tests.

            I seldom mention it, but I have seen unexplained lights in the sky myself a couple of times.I most certainly do not believe in little green men or any other color, amusing themselves buzzing lonely farmers with their flying saucers .

            (I do however believe in lonely farmers getting a buzz on. Some of the locals grow pot that will put you in orbit with just one toke, and hundred fifty proof moonshine is to be had if you want it.. LOL )

            Now here is a riddle for everybody, let’s see who knows the answer.

            Literally tens of thousands of people, maybe a million people, have seen a circle of bright lights in the sky, going around merry go fashion, at odd intervals ranging from minutes to months, and maybe even changing colors, near Richmond Virginia, within sight of I 95. I am not sure when this first started , or if it is still going on, having not been down that way in recent times.

            The first time I saw it , I stood there slack jawed for a minute until the nice old lady pumping gas next to me laughed and told me “It’s just …..”.

            What is the explanation?

  39. SW says:

    At this stage of the game I was wondering if anyone has any input as to whether or not shale oil on this scale was ever economically feasible even with oil at $100/barrel or if perhaps it wasn’t a phenomena generated by an audacious group of oilmen who understood the technology and the extent of the resource in conjunction with the same financial wizards who brought us the housing bubble. Something of a Ponzi scheme that backfired when SA refused to cede market share? We kept hearing all these crazy low ‘breakeven’ numbers that were bandied about for sales pitches. Does anyone believe that they were anywhere near the mark?

    • Glenn Stehle says:


      That’s an accurate description of the hallowed “Shale Revolution.”

      However, it’s incomplete.

      What’s missing is the fact that a very similar phenomenon occurred with renewables.

      For not only did the Saudi royal family take a wrecking ball to the hallowed Shale Revolution, but also to the hallowed Renewables Revolution.

      • Nick G says:

        There’s no doubt the Saudi’s are as terrified of EVs as they are of LTO.

        And with good reason. Low oil prices have slowed down EVs, but they haven’t stopped them.

    • I think the Bakken and ef are decent plays at $100. But I retired from a company which had very strong financial position, and the economics were run with a low discount rate.

  40. shallow sand says:

    Something interesting to note.

    Per EIA, world wide oil demand increases during the last oil price crash driven primarily by over supply:


    Apparently this time will be different?

    Anecdotal. Live near a few auto parts manufacturing plants. They have been running full bore and hiring anyone, multiple felony convictions no longer an issue. Working 5-6 12 hour shifts per week, making $13-17 per hour. Not Bakken wages, but not bad for someone without a GED who may have had some scrapes with the law.

    • ChiefEngineer says:

      US products supplied up 3% YTD for 2015 over 2014

      Gasoline up 3.7%
      Jet fuel up 5.4%
      Distillate up 1.9%

      Apparently you didn’t do your homework

    • Start says:

      December 2014:
      The producer group expects global demand to rise by 1.15m b/d next year, or 30,000 b/d more than previously thought, reaching reaching 92.3m b/d as result of upward revisions to data for the US and Asia.
      December 2015:
      World oil demand is anticipated to increase by 1.53 mb/d in 2015, averaging around 92.88 mb/d.

      Projections is off nearly 50%.

      • shallow sand says:

        Assuming 92.88.

        To get to 100 million bopd demand by 2018 would require annualized of 2.5% per year, similar to what occurred as a result of the 1986 crash.

        BTW I am not predicting this, just pointing it out.

        • I am not predicting it either. In fact I am predicting that it is flat not going to happen.

        • China’s demand growth in in 2015+ India’s demand growth in 2015+ Saudi Demand growth every year for the last 5 would total 1.5 Million barrels per day. I think demand growth is far higher than EIA and IEA are saying. And will be another 2 million next year.

          • Demand growth is just another word for consumption, or growth in consumption. One cannot consume more than one has to consume. In other words consumption increase cannot be greater than production increase.

            So the question is, will production increase by 2 million barrels per day next year? Good grief, are you joking? Are you guys really disconnected that far from reality?

            • Greenbub says:

              Pardon my density, but could not consumption outpace production by using up what’s in storage?

            • AlexS says:

              consumption increase can be greater than production increase if inventories are drawn down, and vice versa.

            • Ron. The current market perception is of an oversupply of 2 Million barrels.And there is inventory drawdown.
              But until price rises to prevent it, demand “could” grow by even 3 Million barrels per day.
              BTW, since following this on the oildrum from 2004, it has been 11 years continuous that I have seen disbelief that supply could increase the next year. And they have all been wrong for 11.
              I am hardly a cornucopian, and I think supply will be lucky to be down only 1 Million barrels next December, but at the right price we have 5-7 Million barrels per day more.

              • Greenhub, Alex, Huck, yes there could be a drawdown in inventories. But a certain level of inventories is expected. Once drawdown exceeds production you could expect a certain amount of awareness of what is happening.

                • True. But inventories are so above normal that we “could” draw down 1 Million barrels a day in excess of supply quite easily for one year, and if current supply exceeds demand by 1 million, a 2 million increase is highly probable at these prices.

                  • shallow sand says:

                    We are at 2004 prices.

                    Look at demand growth in 2004-2005.

                    Prices plunged to around this level late 2008, early 2009.

                    Look at the demand response that resulted.

                    Per EIA.

                    World wide Demand growth 2004 3.75%
                    2005. 1.79%

                    2010. 3.40%

                    Again, just looking at what happened previously.

                  • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

                    But what percentage of the increase in US and global C+C inventories consists of condensate?

                    Looking at early December data, US C+C inventories were up by 105 million barrels, year over year, while four week running average data showed the US net crude oil imports were flat year over year, at 7.1 million bpd. Why would refiners continue to import large volumes of actual crude oil, if they didn’t have to?

                    I frequently cite the Reuters article earlier this year that discussed case histories of refiners increasingly rejecting blends of heavy crude and condensate that technically meet the upper limit for WTI crude (42 API gravity), but that are deficient in distillates. Of course, what the refiners are rejecting is the condensate component, i.e., they are in effect saying that “We don’t want any more stinkin’ condensate.”

                    My premise is that US (and probably global) refiners hit the upper limit last year of the volume of condensate that they could process, if they wanted to maintain their distillate and heavier output–resulting in a build in condensate inventories, reflected as a build in C+C inventories.

                  • AlexS says:


                    EIA statistics show that despite a significant increase in absolute volumes, the share of condensate in total U.S. C+C production increased only marginally since 2000. In 2014 this share was 10.3% vs. 10.2% in 2001
                    Do you have any data confirming the increasing share of condensate outside the U.S.?

                    U.S. lease condensate production (kb/d) and condensate share in C+C output

                  • AlexS says:

                    In Russia, condensate production in 1Q15 was 637 kb/d, or 6% of total C+C production.

                  • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

                    Of course, what counts is the volumetric increase in US condensate production, which has been huge (I believe up to around two million bpd in 2015, which would be a Condensate* to C+C Ratio of about 22%), combined with documented case histories of US refiners rejecting additional volumes of condensate.

                    Reportedly, the bulk of Iranian offshore storage consists of condensate.

                    But in any case, thanks for the continuing pattern of irrelevant comments.

                    *45+ API

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi AlexS,

                    I very much appreciate your comments which seem highly relevant, perhaps Jeffrey does not believe the EIA data. Do you have a link to that condensate data?

                  • AlexS says:

                    here is the link:

                    The EIA numbers are for lease condensate, which is included in C+C numbers. Other condensates are classified by the EIA as NGLs.

                    Jeffrey apparently looks at all condensates and light oil with API above 45 degrees. In fact, according to the EIA, total C+C with API at 45-50 degrees accounts for 11% of total C+C production and above 50 degrees – another 11%. (see the supplemental tables to the STEO)

                    To note, according to Schlumberger definition, “The API gravity of condensate is typically 50 degrees to 120 degrees.”

                    I actually don’t dispute the fact that there is a glut of condensate and ultralight oil in the U.S. market, forcing refineries to import medium and heavy crudes. This issue can be largely resolved by removing the export ban, which will allow exports of lighter crudes and non-processed condensates in exchange for larger quantities of medium and heavy crudes.

                    Jeffrey also says that there is a similar excess of light crudes and condensates worldwide, but he did not provide any confirmation. This is where I do not agree with him.

                  • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

                    As usual, you guys make false claims about what I said. I’m just going with what the EIA defines as “Crude oil.” You guys are the ones trying to ignore the EIA’s own definition of “Crude oil.”

                    For the first nine months of 2015, the EIA estimates that the ratio of US Lower 48 condensate* to US Lower 48 “Crude oil” Production, i.e., C+C, was 22%, or 2 million bpd of Lower 48 condensate production:


                    *Condensate with API gravity of 45 degrees or more

  41. Ezrydermike says:

    the draft agreement from Paris

    Conference of the Parties
    Twenty-first session
    Paris, 30 November to 11 December 2015
    Agenda item 4(b)
    Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (decision 1/CP.17)
    Adoption of a protocol, another legal instrument, or an
    agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention
    applicable to all Parties
    Proposal by the President
    Draft decision -/CP.21

    • wimbi says:

      So. A whole day gone by since this posting and not a peep from all you oil guys – the ones counting every tiny up and down in price of ff’s, complete with heavy breathing and cuss words, when the Paris people say:

      “Fossil fuels are bad and we gotta start some serious effort to quit our addiction to them.”

      Achtung! Doesn’t that say something about possible future prices???

      and small voice down here—not to mention, ahem, uh, ethics?

      • shallow sand says:

        wimbi. What will the result of the meetings in Paris be?

        • Javier says:

          Climate change has been solved. Now the planet will never get 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

          It is such a complete victory for those worried about the climate that probably temperatures will start to descend in 2017.

          It’s going to cost some serious dough for US and EU, but it is totally worth it, because it is the price to save the planet.

        • wimbi says:

          Ok, shallow, for starters, a lot more friendly responses to my op-eds, and the similar comments of lots of other local off-ff types.

          And, some locals taking money off wall. st and putting it into local low carbon businesses, and the local bank giving zero interest loans for EV purchases.

          And the bunch putting up the PV field just outside town for people to buy non-coal grid juice from for their EVs.

          Sure, just local stuff, but sum over all local stuff adds to all there is.

          I think you people are gonna be shocked to see how fast people can move off ff’s when they see ways to do it.

          Paris will help set the mood for people to see those ways. They are there waiting to be seen.

          • shallow sand says:

            wimbi. Do you think the US will make all Federal Lands off limits to FF production soon?

            Is there a chance the Federal Government would “buy out” land owners and lease operators to stop them from exploring for and producing FF? The Federal Government has used that approach to take wetlands and highly erodible land out of farm production.

            Now would be a tremendous time to start buyouts. Many willing sellers, prices at very low levels.

            I am not advocating any of the above, just asking if any of the above are on the table. Or will all the Federal $$ be going overseas to compensate developing countries?

            • wimbi says:

              Shallow. That’s a good thought, but my modus operandi is to think small, consistent with my hands on experiences. So I stay away from any sort of big thinking.

              I myself have very little trust in the government to do anything sane, very sorry to say.

              Start here and now, where i can see what happens, and, if its good, hope it’s contagious. Pretty feeble, sure, but within my means.

              • wimbi says:

                On a little more thinking, I see your suggestion as maybe workable, and not to be dismissed in a knee jerk.

                Here on the local level, lots of people moaning about the threat of fracking and the reality of injection wells chewing up the roads.

                Anything any group could do to just buy out those guys might be far more effective than all that mere groaning.

                I will pass this idea along to the good people I know who have the stamina to talk to governments. I sure don’t.

                But my instinct is that the best approach by far is to show by example that it’s not hard to live very well indeed with a very small fraction of the ff’s of the average citizen of USA.

                um, not hard if you happen to have been born with no urge to jump into a jet on a whim and, with your nice little folding bike, zip out to Portland OR to join a bike ride promoting alternatives to private cars. Like all my good Quaker friends have just done.

                • shallow sand says:

                  wimbi. That suggestion of mine is nothing I have studied, just something I have observed in practice locally.

                  Farmers used to farm creek and river bottoms here. Not the best land to farm, especially if not levied. Several years ago the Federal government offered $ in exchange for what is commonly called a “permanent easement”. The land owner still owns the land, but the easement restricts the use of the land to recreational purposes. No farming permitted, no mineral extraction permitted, etc.

                  It has been 10-15 years since this occurred, these lands are rapidly going back to timberlands, kind of a hunters/fishers paradise.

                  I agree it is very expensive for the taxpayers, but $$ talks. Plus, it is not an unconstitutional taking of land.

                  The problem, I suppose, is if other counties do not cooperate and begin this process, maybe this idea wont do any good. I doubt most OPEC countries or Russia would go along, just a guess.

                  Again, not sure I advocate this, just pointing out something I have observed.

                  • wimbi says:

                    Very interesting line of thought, might actually sell. Obviously, I have not educated myself about this, but I did write an op-ed about turning our local river flood plain into a wildlife- lake- pumped hydro storage (lotsa good hills both sides of it, I live on one), and got the usual hoots of derision from the many business folk who have built malls on it, mostly empty and subject to floods, ha ha.


      • R Walter says:

        Well, Governor Brown of California was there and I’m sure he used jet travel to get there, so the addiction for him is incurable. The jet no doubt used a good twenty thousand gallons of jet fuel to get there and the same amount used for the return trip. An absolute insatiable thirst for fossil fuels, but that’s ok for Gov Brown.

        Leave it to a Californian to fly half way around the world consuming copious amounts of fossil fuels, puts the Coneheads to shame, and then piously lectures The Great Unwashed on how the earth is doomed because mankind is using too many fossil fuels and somehow The Great Unwashed are going to pay through the nose for it all too, he being a culprit himself, but that somehow doesn’t count.

        Gov. Brown also has an oil fortune, so I suppose he stands to prosper no matter what happens.

        Tar and feathers, that’s what Californians need to do to his bald head.

        Fossil fuels are good enough for Governor Brown, he has as much as he wants, more than you’ll ever see or need, but everyone else must sacrifice. It’s bad if you use them; however, Jerry Brown can burn fuel like there is no tomorrow. Another hypocrite, the pot calling the kettle black, do as I say, not as I do, just like all the rest of humanity, always complaining about what is wrong and nothing is ever right. har

        After everything gets said and done, everything gets said and nothing gets done.

        I am glad Governor Brown made it back home safe and sound.

        Climate Schmimate, follow the money, that’s where you look, once more, it’s bad and you pay.

        Just my two cents worth.

        • Bullshit, absolute unadulterated bullshit. We were born into this world of fossil fuels. To say that we are hypocrites for living in this world where we must drive cars and fly in planes is just goddamn stupid bullshit.

          You fucking assholes who call everyone else in the world hypocrites for living in the world they were born into should just get a fucking life.

          I am sorry for the course language but I am serious here. Because we see the problem does not mean we should build a grass hut and live like Neanderthals for the rest of our lives.

          Goddamn you, I am about ready to give up this fucking blog because of assholes like you.

          • oldfarmermac says:

            Hang in there and take deep breath Ron.

            I suppose your eight o six is directed at Ronald Walter’s six fifty one.

            He IS the forum jester,and I never take him literally, or at least not more than once in a couple of months.

            I read almost everything he says as sarcasm, or humor, sometimes very well done, sometimes awful.

            His six fifty one is one of the awful ones.

            It IS hard to read it as anything except pure and exceptionally nasty cynicism. It would be funny in a smoke filled republican gathering of fat cats, but not any place else.

            I would hate to see him gone, because I get a lot of chuckles and some belly laughs out of his comments, but you can ban him if you want, it’s YOUR blog.

          • ChiefEngineer says:

            Thank you Ron, the old Patterson bullshit needed to pulled out of the closet for this one. Good call.

          • R Walter says:

            “Well I think John Stuart Mill, were he to come back and look at politics in America today, he would know who the conservatives are. Most would call themselves evangelicals. And they would be Trump supporters or perhaps Cruz supporters or supporters of some other clown. They would would love God, Guns and the NRA and they would hate gays. The vast majority of them would be white.

            No, Mill would have no trouble figuring out who the conservatives were, were he to come back today.” – Ron Patterson

            Looks like stereotyping to me. John Stuart Mill was stereotyping too.

            It is difficult to raise your tolerances when it comes to politics, everybody loses. Someone is always offended, resentful. Happens every time.

            Politics is not what counts in this world. Everybody bashes politicians, liberals bash conservatives. Conservatives bash liberals.

            Since the conservatives are being bashed relentlessly, it is only fair to bash liberals too. Have to have a equal balance of bashing, it can’t be one-sided.

            Jerry Brown is an easy target.

            It is ‘coarse’ language, of which you have a firm command.

            I’ll leave it all rest for a while.

            • Ronald, every public official must carry out the duties of the office he was elected to. That may call for him to fly or drive to different places, using fossil fuel of course. He also must heat or cool his office and home as we all do… using fossil fuel of course. To call a man a hypocrite for doing his job instead of living like a cave man is at best an ad hominem and stupidly silly at worst.

              I apologize for my language. But last evening I had just had my toddy. I have a strong one, about 5 ounces once every day at about 4PM. I cannot eat or drink alcohol after 6PM because of my hiatal hernia. I would have heartburn all night if I did.

              So I was feeling pretty good when I again read a denier calling another a hypocrite for simply carrying out the duties of their office instead of holing up in a cave somewhere. It just really pissed me off at the moment.

              So I am sorry for my language. But if the only argument a denier can make is to call someone a hypocrite for simply living in the world they were born into then I think my language was appropriate.

              • woodsy_gardener says:

                I love it when you get mad. Don’t apologize and don’t stop.

                And while I’m posting let me just thank you for this incredible site.

                Thank You!

  42. Greenbub says:

    I do not think much of this opinion:

    “once these countries develop their own shale resource, it’s going to have a dramatic effect on the oil market, and will further change the industry, which has been dominated and controlled by Saudi Arabia for so long.”

  43. Anonymous says:

    Might be a coincidence but KSA production is starting to look a lot like exponential decay with about a 6% per year decline rate (i.e. implying all chokes open, nothing new coming on line, maintenance periods being balanced out). Different sources have given 4 to 8% for the natural decline rates for their fields so 6% would agree. If water starts hitting the horizontal infill wells in their major fields this could rise though.

  44. Glenn Stehle says:

    What about these high-watt lithium batteries that are catching fire?

    • islandboy says:

      Troll Alert!

      • Islandboy, I don’t understand why pointing out that high-watt lithium batteries very often catch fire would be considered trolling. What is your objection to someone pointing that out?

        • islandboy says:

          I find some (many?) of Glenn’s posts intent on spreading FUD and obfuscation rather than information. A far more informative article is:

          Why Hoverboards Keep Exploding

          Those self-balancing scooters that everyone’s calling “hoverboards” don’t actually hover. But that’s not the strangest thing about them—that would be the fact that this year’s most popular holiday gift keeps catching on fire.

          An exploding two-wheeler burned down a house in Louisiana a few weeks ago; another scooter combusted in the same state in the past week. A gyroboard caused significant damage to a home in New York a few days ago. At a mall in Washington this week, a scooterboard caught fire and shoppers were forced to evacuate. The perceived danger is significant enough that major airlines have banned the little vehicles altogether.

          But what is actually causing all these fires? In the New York and Louisiana incidents, the board was plugged in and recharging. In the mall incident, the board wasn’t plugged in at all; there have also been reports of scooters bursting into flames while people were riding them. Plugged in or not, the big problem has to do with the quality of the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries inside these things. They’re almost always tucked in one of the foot rests, and they work the same way as the lithium-ion batteries in our smartphones, tablets, and laptops. They’re just a lot more prone to defects.

          Jay Whitacre, Professor of Materials Science & Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, says that the problem doesn’t have to do with these self-balancing scooters themselves, but with the quality of the batteries being used. They’re cheap, and it makes sense: This is a hot (pun not intended) holiday product, the reputable models are pretty expensive, and more-affordable brands are using cheaper components to lure in shoppers that don’t want to spend a grand or more on a hands-free Segway. Predictably, a slew of cut-rate brands are flooding the market with shoddy scooters made from cheapo components.

          So an issue with lithium ion batteries in cheap holiday toys is being brought up on a Peak Oil blog for what? The batteries often discussed on this blog, the ones used in EVs and for stationary power, are built to entirely different standards and are not cheap. He might as well have said, “Hey folks, some large amounts of unbelievably shoddy crap are being manufactured in China and in some cases, it could burn your house down” but, that wouldn’t really be news, interesting or particularly sensational.

          I think that what the Chinese are doing in the field of manufacturing is unconscionable in terms of the quality of what is being manufactured. I know of one local shoe retailer who went out of business partly because people kept bringing back the good looking but, crappy, cheap, Chinese manufactured shoes he was selling. I have bought European manufactured electronics that come with a three year warranty and my US built, German solar PV inverter came with a ten year warranty. Even if some of these Chinese products had a decent warranty, getting redress under the warranty would prove a logistics nightmare and I think the unethical Chinese manufacturers are well aware of that!

          But, I digress. My objection is that the information as presented, presents a promising, emerging technology that, poses a threat to the FF industry, in an unfavorable light without any attempt to explain the context.

      • Ves says:

        The debate between EV and ICE is false debate. It is totally irrelevant debate because it is very narrow debate. The real debate is should be private transportation versus public transportation. There are two things that are very very different in this debate.

        1) Does EV can compete with ICE in terms of ego appeal, savings, and performance? The sales numbers will decide that. Your opinion or my opinion is totally irrelevant. We can just debate opinions.

        2) Second debate is what is the most efficient way of moving the masses (not the 1%) in short term let’s say next 20 years. Is it public or private transportation?

        If you start debating that a person who lives in the 80% of cities in NA without any decent public transportation and does not buy EV is “NOT good enough” you are playing some old and scratched CD. It resonates very disturbingly.

        • Jef says:

          Great comment! Way to keep it real.

        • Glenn Stehle says:


          The private autombile, if collapse doesn’t get us first, is destined to become obsolete.

          Of all the relics of Modernism, it stands out as being the most outmoded. In a post-peak oil world, there will be no place for private automobiles.

          Nonetheless, there’s going to be lots of weeping and gnashing of teeth when lightening finally strikes.

          • Ves says:

            I believe so as well. Full cost of ownership of private vehicle is just too high. Realistically average citizen cannot even afford brand new 15k ICE like KIA as of now without huge subsidies like 0%, 0 down and 84 months term. Affordability is the main problem and marketing gimmicks like ludicrous mode or charging while you sleep can’t solve that.
            But it is attachments to things that people have that cause fighting and suffering. Right thing to do is to Let Go to an attachment like private automobile.

            • Glenn Stehle says:


              The problem is that, where I live, I don’t see that the public is buying what you and I are peddling any more than what the EV guys are peddling.

              I don’t know a single young person here in Mexico who doesn’t aspire to own his or her own car. A car and the latest smart phone are by far and away the #1 consumer objects of desire.

              And if we look at some actual empirical evidence, it seems to bear out my anecdotal observations:

              GUADALAJARA, JALISCO (22 / Sep / 2013) .- In the last decade public transport lost about half of its passengers who chose instead the private auto for their transportation needs.

              The number of vehicles used in public transport in the metropolis increased by only one fifth over the past 11 years.

              In contrast, the number of private cars increased from 720,713 units in 2001 to 1,782,030 cars in 2012.


              • Ves says:

                That is everywhere not just in NA. The advertising industry is designed to make us feel inadequate so that we want what they are selling in order to gain their perceived happiness. We literally cannot move, do anything or go anywhere without bombarded by messages aimed at making us feel lacking or deficient in some way. Our mind is suffocated by a constant barrage of “you need this to be better, happier and more comfortable”.

                The trance we are placed in by submitting to our egoic thought habit is enticing, hypnotic, subduing and ultimately unsatisfactory, a combination that leaves you in a permanent state of wanting and with egoic mind perpetually active.
                The technique of inducing egoic trance is systematic and employed everywhere from companies selling soft drinks to governments selling what they want you to believe is right and wrong.

                So long as the focus is on external things to make us happy there will always be something else, some other thing that will come along. The thing that we wanted, managed to obtain and that made us superficially happy for a while will eventually no longer be enough.

                Happiness can only be found within and is unconditional. Happiness can only be fleeting if it is conditional to something external: Smartphone, car, leggy blond :)…..

        • RDG says:

          They’ll all buy trucks, vans, rv’s to get the hell out of those dying corruption riddled cities irregardless of peak oil. The private vehicle will be stronger than ever — because thats the new living quarters being towed behind it or the vehicle itself.

          The EV’s are for crooks only.

          • oldfarmermac says:

            All you guys who knock ev’s may turn out to be right, nobody has an infallible crystal ball.

            But you may also turn out to be very very wrong, at least for the easily foreseeable future.

            For whatever reasons, sustainable or not, autos are quite affordable , as indicated by then numbers sold. People who can’t afford new ones can mostly afford an old one that still gets the job done.

            AND when times and circumstances change, then the nature of the automobile can change too. When today’s high speed long range luxurious cars are no longer affordable, stripped down, stripped out, short range electric and long range conventional cars WILL STILL BE AFFORDABLE , for some period of time, maybe decades, maybe even indefinitely, if we are lucky in transitioning to a renewables economy.

            Take out the extras, power everything, air conditioning, flashy paint, suspension and brakes suitable for high speed driving, engine big enough to go fast, more room than needed ninety five percent of the time, music, air bags, auto transmission, etc etc, and a stripped down mini car would cost peanuts compared to a new car today- but it would STILL get you to work and the supermarket and to Grandma’s house – even running on lead acid batteries, if Grandma lives within ten or fifteen miles.

            We scrap cars that are ten to twenty years old in favor of new ones, or newer ones, but there is no reason at all that a car cannot be made more like a commercial truck, meaning designed to be easily, quickly, and cheaply repaired, with almost all of the component parts interchangeable even with different MAKES.

            Being a sometime gearhead, I can say with authority that it is easier and faster to change out the engine in an over the road eighteen wheeler than it is to change out the engine in most of the cars on the road today.

            And you can put back almost any make of engine, in almost any truck, without the necessity of buying more than a handful of new small parts needed to connect the exhaust pipe etc.

            Cars can last just about forever, fifty years or more , if we so choose. And while it may be INCONVENIENT in terms of today’s life style, an electric car that will go only fifteen or twenty miles at fifteen or twenty mph, read golf cart , is still FAR superior to the horse it displaced. Still far superior to non existent buses, or to buses that will EVENTUALLY get you where you want to go- if you want to go someplace the bus EVENTUALLY goes, by switching buses.

            The death of the automobile has been greatly exaggerated, imo.

            Cars are apt to be with us for quite a long time yet.

  45. R Walter says:

    In the beginning, oil was refined for the kerosene, whalers were out of business, another by-product, gasoline, was as useless as a teat on a boar.

    “We used to burn it for fuel in distilling the oil,” said Rockefeller, “and thousands and hundreds of thousands of barrels of it floated down the creeks and rivers, and the ground was saturated with it, in the constant effort to get rid of it.”

    Along came Henry Ford and everything changed. Rockefeller was as happy as a clam, Jed Clampett syndrome, John D. was jumping for joy. So long Studebaker electric car, you’re history.

    Edison invented the light bulb, kerosene lost its market share and whalers became electricians.

    Everything changed again. You got your mechanized agricultural system, a mechanized military, an airplane industry that just won’t quit and millions of just enough cars with ices to burn all of that useless gasoline.

    A post-modern era, a new epoch, the Anthropocene, and super modern military installations, 21st Century high technology fortresses with nuclear capabilities, that’s where it’s at these days.

    We’re not in Kansas anymore. Good bye Holocene, it was fun, but everything changes. The Anthropocene is avant garde, the zeitgeist, a lot more fun.

    Sorry renewables, but oil is still the focus of attention, that’s just the way it is.

    That won’t change much for far into the distant future.

  46. Hickory says:

    A bill to allow export of USA petrol products is moving through congress-

    I’m thinking it would be better to keep what we’ve got for later, especially since we love to burn it so frivolously. I suppose policy is more about economic growth today (election cycle), rather than in 1-2 decades down the road.

    • Toolpush says:


      The export ban is on crude oil, not processed products. In fact simple stabilization of condensate seems to enough to allow exports, if the official is caught in the right mood!
      All processed oil can be exported right now.

  47. rdberg1957 says:

    The evidence for anthropogenic climate change is many times stronger than the evidence for peak oil. Thousands of climate scientists across the globe are contributing data and analysis which support the hypotheses of climate change. The contrary evidence is weak. Claiming that climate science is a hoax is not credible. Claiming that climate scientists are wrong because they are missing major evidence which would change their conclusions is quite possible, but improbable. I have very little tolerance for those who claim that climate science, which has been accumulating evidence for fifty years, is a hoax. To claim that scientists worldwide are manipulating data or are corrupted by money is to make claims worthy of derision.

    We know that many who oppose climate change are strongly politically and ideologically motivated and have no science backgrounds at all. We know that much funding to create doubt about climate science comes from fossil fuel companies whose products are implicated in creating harmful climate change. Others who oppose climate science are sincere and within climate science there are multiple views about the mechanisms and effects of climate change.

    The evidence for near term peak oil is present, but much weaker. It is much more difficult to confirm or deny. We have limited data from which to draw conclusions. Most of the those who are peak oil adherents are amateurs, with some geologists and economists weighing in. Peak oil is not a theory in and of itself. It is an extrapolation of observations of the life of individual oil wells and regions of oil production. Making predictions about worldwide production based on Hubbert linearization and other methods has proved to be at the least very approximate and not very useful. I have no doubt that oil production will peak and decline at some point. I have some confidence that it will be within the next 20 years and that we are currently experiencing a peak oil dynamic. We will know that peak oil has occurred only in retrospect.

    • islandboy says:

      The evidence for anthropogenic climate change is many times stronger than the evidence for peak oil.

      I can think of at least one very prominent participant here who probably disagrees very strongly with that statement. 😉

    • Peter says:

      Hi rdberg1957

      Thank you very much for your diatribe. One question people like you are never able to answer.
      What caused the last ice age? I do not mean Co2 rose or fell but the initial cause of the event.

      Look forward to your answer

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Peter,

        Increases in northern hemisphere insolation start a deglaciation and these changes are due to Milanlovitch cycles, to get the ice sheet models to work properly, you need some forcing due to changes in CO2, the changes in insolation, albedo, elevation due to isostatis, and ice sheet desertification are not enough to model the glacial cycles. For a long time scientists wondered what was causing an amplification of this process. The ice core data showed that the changes in the ice sheets matched very well with changes in carbon dioxide levels, so the greenhouse theory was investigated more closely.

        We could imagine that there is some unexplained “natural” force besides CO2 which explains the warming and cooling (along with insolation, albedo, isostasis, and desertification). Occam’s razor suggests the carbon dioxide explanation works pretty well, though there are probably some lunar and solar gravitational influences on ocean and atmospheric circulation that may be needed as well.

  48. Oscar DiSilvo says:

    A recent article on the Interwebs proffering the latest majick prescription for replacing fossil fuels:

    Get ’em in the stores by next Xmas!

  49. Watcher says:

    Some consumption tidbits:

    Saudi Arabia population 27 million (18.5 m nationals 8.5m non nationals)

    KSA consumption about 3 mbpd. 0.111 per capita

    Germany population 81 million

    Germany consumption 2.4 mbpd 0.03 per capita

    France population 66 million

    France consumption 1.7 mbpd 0.026 per capita

    US pop 320 million

    US consumption 20 mbpd 0.063 per capita

    China pop 1.38 billion

    China consumption 10.48 mbpd 0.007 per capita

    India pop 1.25 billion

    India consumption 3.7 mbpd 0.003 per capita

    consumption numbers from nifty map here, just mouseover

    Oh and btw China wiki says pop growth rate = 0.47%
    India 1.25%

    Since back in the news:

    Indonesia pop 255 million growth rate 1.5%

    Indonesia consumption 1.72 mbpd 0.006 per capita

    These countries MUST get their per capita consumption up if they are to spare their populace an eternity of inferiority to those consuming more. If there isn’t enough to go around, then competing consumption must be destroyed.

  50. Jeffrey J. Brown says:

    Interesting WSJ article (do a Google Search for the title, for access). Last week, the Journal noted that Chesapeake bonds that traded at 80¢ on the dollar a few months ago were currently trading at 30¢ to 40¢ on the dollar. I suspect that there are some huge losses on the books of a lot of pension funds.

    WSJ: The Liquidity Trap That’s Spooking Bond Funds
    The specter of a destabilizing run on debt is haunting markets

    The debt world is haunted by a specter—of a destabilizing run on markets.

    Last week, this took on more form even if there weren’t concrete signs of panic. Only one mutual fund manager, Third Avenue Management, has said it would halt redemptions to forestall having to dispose of assets in a fire sale. The rest of the industry has been quick to say that while redemptions are elevated, particularly in high-yield bond funds, there doesn’t seem to be a rush to for the exits.

    Still, growing angst comes as the oil-price rout continues and the U.S. Federal Reserve appears ready to raise rates. This has investors worried—and starting to ask the fearful question: “Who’s next?”

    Goldman Sachs, for one, put out a note Friday warning Franklin Resources “is most at risk” given the large high-yield holdings of its funds, poor performance and large outflows. On Friday, its shares fell sharply. Meanwhile, there were unusually large declines Friday in the value of exchange-traded funds that track high-yield debt.

    The idea of a “run” on mutual funds might sound strange. Typically, runs are associated with highly leveraged banks engaged in maturity transformation, funding long-term loans with short-term debt. Nearly all the programs designed to avoid destabilizing runs—from deposit insurance to the Fed’s discount window to liquidity requirements—are built for banks.

    But unleveraged investors, including mutual funds, can also give rise to runs. That is because there is a liquidity mismatch in mutual funds that hold relatively illiquid assets funded by investors entitled to daily redemptions.

  51. RDG says:

    I laugh at all the bullshit I read on this site. Here is my prediction: Every last one of you will be living in a tent within 10 years. Its obvious the mass breeders are going to extort every single penny out of your account while you debate your way to extinction. Here is why:

    When it comes to global population I often like to play a little thought experiment: Given our current rate of population growth, how many mega-cities worth of people are we adding every year? Every month? Every week?

    Starting with the factoid in the above OP, let’s be conservative (and make the math easier) and roughly estimate one million people net added to the population every 5 days.

    A few seconds effort poking around on the interwebs gives us figures for the worlds largest cities by population:

    I’m not going to be picky about what they mean by “urban area”.

    Now, let’s do the math:

    We are adding another Tokyo, Japan (picture roughly 37 million people in about 8,500 sq km) about every six months
    We are adding another Jakarta, Indonesia (picture roughly 30 million people packed into about 3,000 sq km) about every five months
    We are adding another Shanghi or Beijing, China (picture between 20 – 25 million people jostling in less than 4,000 sq km) about every three or four months
    We are adding another New York City, USA (picture roughly 20 million people roaming in over 10,000 sq km) about every three months
    We are adding another Los Angeles, USA (picture roughly 15 million people in about 6,000 sq km) about every 10 weeks
    We are adding another Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (picture roughly 12 million people in about 2,000 sq km) about every two months

    Two Tokyos every year! Four Beijings or New Yorks! Six L.A.’s or Rio’s! Every year!

    In ten years we will have added well over twenty Jakarta sized mega-cities worth or sixty L.A. sized mega-cities worth of people to the global population.

    That doesn’t sound like a recipe for “sustainable” to me…

    • Glenn Stehle says:

      Adam Curtis, in his latest film, All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, traces the origins of the concept of “sustainability,” and concludes it is a myth. Here’s how Widipedia explains it:

      This episode investigates how machine ideas such as cybernetics and systems theory were applied to natural ecosystems, and how this relates to the false idea that there is a balance of nature. Cybernetics has been applied to human beings in an attempt to build societies…based on a fantasy view of nature….

      The ecology movement also adopted this idea and viewed the natural world as systems, as it explained how the natural system could stabilise the natural world, via natural feedback loops….

      By the 1970s, new problems such as overpopulation, limited natural resources and pollution that couldn’t be solved by normal hierarchical systems had arrived. Jay Forrester stated that he knew how to solve this problem. He applied systems theory to the problem and drew a cybernetic system diagram for the world. This was turned into a computer model, which predicted population collapse. This became the basis of the model that was used by the Club of Rome, and the findings from this were published in The Limits to Growth. Forrester then argued for zero growth in order to maintain a steady equilibrium within the capacity of the Earth….

      At the time, there was a general belief in the stability of natural systems. However, cracks started to appear when a study was made of the predator-prey relationship of wolf and elks. It was found that wild population swings had occurred over centuries. Other studies then found huge variations, and a significant lack of homeostasis in natural systems. George Van Dyne then tried to build a computer model to try to simulate a complete ecosystem based on extensive real-world data, to show how the stability of natural systems actually worked. To his surprise, the computer model did not stabilize like the Odums’ electrical model had. The reason for this lack of stabilization was that he had used extensive data which more accurately reflected reality, whereas the Odums and other ecologists had “ruthlessly simplified nature.” The scientific idea had thus been shown to fail, but the popular idea remained in currency, and even grew as it apparently offered the possibility of a new egalitarian world order.

      The full documentary can be seen on the internet here:

      • oldfarmermac says:


        I will give you this. You are very good at coming up with bullshit arguments and presenting long quotes from people who either don’t know shit from apple butter or else have reasons to sow fear, obfuscation, and doubt right and left.

        You are either a troll, or else………… you don’t know very much yourself, when it comes to biological systems, etc.

        If you knew anything , you would know better than to quote somebody who doesn’t.

        “At the time, there was a general belief in the stability of natural systems. However, cracks started to appear when a study was made of the predator-prey relationship of wolf and elks. It was found that wild population swings had occurred over centuries.”

        Such oscillations in the relative numbers of predators and prey populations extends back at least to the days of the fur trade, and I don’t mean farm raised. I mean the days of the long runners in the Canadian wilderness.

        Your documentary is a propaganda piece.

        I learned about this back in the dark ages as a freshman biology student ( ag students took the same courses at my university as freshmen, as biology students, in the same classrooms at the same hours. )

        From wikipedia

        “In northern Canada, the abundance of lynx can be estimated from the records kept of the number caught each year for their fur. Records have been kept by the Hudson’s Bay Company and Canadian government since the 1730s.[23] A cycle of its abundance is characterised by huge rises and falls, with the peaks occurring at a level typically ten times higher than the troughs and following about five years after them; the cycle then reverses. The exceptionally long data set from historical records of fur purchases from trappers is a common case study, appearing in many secondary school and university textbooks worldwide.[24][25]

        This lynx is a specialist predator, eating snowshoe hare almost exclusively when they are available. The population variation of the lynx and the hare is an example of a predator-prey cycle. Environmental factors such as weather and forest plant growth that may affect this population variation have been studied.”

        The lynx and hare population charts are in a lot of vintage textbooks.

        Any student who has taken the FIRST basic course in biology, the real mc coy course , in a real university, has almost for dead sure read about and listened to a lecture or two involving this historical data.

        OF COURSE there is a “significant lack of homeostasis” in ecological systems. Any body who understands such systems even at the abc level understands this. There are many reasons for the various populations of species involved to wax and wane over short time frames, in particular, and over longer time frames as well.

        But so long as something fundamental does not change, such systems are remarkably STABLE over long periods.

        Fundamental change means something such as new species arriving, or the climate changing, or habitat destruction, with most of these changes in the recent short term being the result of human activities.

        • oldfarmermac says:

          Adding on to a comment seems to get it trapped in the spam filter sometimes so I will add this as a reply to myself.




          (Science: Biology)

          (1) The tendency of an organism or a cell to regulate its internal conditions, usually by a system of feedback controls, so as to stabilize health and functioning, regardless of the outside changing conditions

          (2) The ability of the body or a cell to seek and maintain a condition of equilibrium or stability within its internal environment when dealing with external changes

          (3) homeostasis is the maintanance of the constant internal environment which include the function of kidney,liver,skin… Supplement

          In humans, homeostasis happens when the body regulates body temperature in an effort to maintain an internal temperature around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. For example, we sweat to cool off during the hot summer days, and we shiver to produce heat during the cold winter season.

          Word origin: from the Greek: homeo, meaning unchanging + stasis, meaning standing. ”

          This word is seldom if ever used in describing ecological systems. I don’t remember ever encountering it in a text book used except in the way it is defined as I just quoted.

          It is a fundamental concept, however , in the study of physiology, and one that kept me at the books for more than a few long evenings coming to understand some of the more subtle aspects of it.

          Ag students at my university in my time finished half at least and often more of a biology major.

          I am not a biologist as such, but I know a FEW things about biology.

        • Glenn Stehle says:


          I’m not nearly so confident in my ability to predict the future as what you are.

          But if we look at the long sweep of history, no civilization has achieved sustainablity. They have all come and gone.

          If our civilization achieves sustainability, it will be the first to do so.

          You and I have been fortunate to live our lifetimes during a very stable and secure time. And I suppose our life experiences shape our concept of reality in important ways. But these stable and secure times may not be as rocklike and unshakable as you believe.

          Western Civilization rose from the ashes of Classical Civilization between the 6th and 9th centuries A.D. And since then there has been a good bit of turbulence, such as when we transitioned from feudalism to Modernity in the 16th and 17th centuries, or the period from 1910 to 1945 when Modernity was in acute crisis. These are what Peter Turchin calls “cycles within cycles.”

          But these pale in comparison to the larger cycles when civilizations end.

          For instance, speaking of population, Bryan Ward-Perkins has this to say about how the demise of the Roman Empire affected population:

          A Vanishing Population

          Almost without exception, archaeological surveys in the West have found far fewer rural sites of the fifth, sixth, and seventh centuries AD than of the early empire. In many cases, the apparent decline is startling, from a Roman landscape that was densely settled and cultivated, to a post-Roman world that appears only very sparsely inhabited (Fig 7.1a & 7.1b). Almost all the dots that represent Roman-period settlements disappear, leaving only large empty spaces. At roughly the same time, evidence for occupation in towns also decreases dramatically — the fall in number of rural settlements was certainly not produced by a flight from the countryside into the cities.

          –BRYAN WARD-PERKINS, The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization

          7.1 Disappearing people. Rural settlements north of the city of Rome, in Roman and post-Roman times, as revealed by field study.

          (a) Sites occupied in the period around AD 100.

          • oldfarmermac says:

            Misdirection and straw men are your specialty.

            I have never said to the best of my recollection , at least not in any context relevant to this discussion, that HUMAN economic systems are remarkably resilient and stable. Sometimes they are, for a few centuries,and once in a while , longer. Some societies, only a few, have lasted into the thousands of years with very little change, but they are the exception rather than the rule.

            What I said is that NATURAL ( meaning in this instance undisturbed by man ) ecosystems are remarkably stable, LONG TERM, so long as nothing fundamental changes.

            The history of Roman civilization has NOTHING to do with the stability of undisturbed ecosystems, but disturbed ecosystems, and shortages of non renewable or only slowly renewable resources , on the other hand, had PLENTY to do with the history of Roman decline, in combination with numerous other factors of course.

            But you would necessarily have to be a systems thinker in order to appreciate any discussion of the interactions of these other factors.

            The size of your posts does not impress me. I have seen a little rooster swell himself up to three times his real size many times.

            But they may impress SOME people- people who don’t know bluster and wind from relevant facts.

            I never describe our current civilization or social order as “rocklike and unshakeable”.

            I have commented in this blog that we may be living in an authoritarian police state in the USA within the foreseeable future.

            I do not predict the future, except in very general terms, and even then I use a lot of weasel words, qualifying my comments.

            I do occasionally forget the weasel words, such as” barring the economy going from bad to worse” etc.

            I have for instance in this context pointed out that the personal car can evolve into something far different than it is today and that it might be around for a long time yet. I did not say forever.

            I say there is a significant chance some portions of industrial civilization might survive the baked in collapse headed our way. I never say such pockets WILL SURVIVE , without qualification, unless I forget the qualifier.

        • Glenn Stehle says:

          Sites revealed by pottery of the fifth to eighth centuries AD.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Adam Curtis, in his latest film, All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, traces the origins of the concept of “sustainability,” and concludes it is a myth.

        Let me guess, Adam Curtis, isn’t a systems thinker… but then again systems thinkers are few and far between. Most people are strictly linear thinkers and and the vast majority couldn’t think their way out of a wet paper bag if their lives depended on it.

        Edge of Chaos

        • Glenn Stehle says:



          Only you and your fellow systems thinkers know how to save humanity.

          You are the light and the way.

          The only thing required of us mere mortals in order to achieve salvation and absolution is to believe.

          • oldfarmermac says:

            If any major problem can ever be solved without the solution creating a couple of BIGGER problems, the solution will involve systems thinking.

            The REAL world consists of countless interlocking SYSTEMS, none of which stand alone, separate and isolated.Linear thinkers have about the same chance of understanding the real world as a snowball has on a hot stove.

            Anybody who makes a remark implying otherwise is either, ahem, less than well informed, or just shooting off his mouth.

            ” Only you and your systems thinkers ” oh my, oh my !

            Systems thinkers may not save the world, but at least they have a significant chance of doing so.

            Linear thinkers have for all practical purposes a zero chance.

            • Glenn Stehle says:

              oldfarmermac said:

              Systems thinkers may not save the world, but at least they have a significant chance of doing so.

              Orthodox thinkers with their Gaussian math believe they’ve got it all figured out, but mark me up with folks like Benoit Mandelbrot and the other chaos theorists:

              Tools have been developed which assume that changes are always very small. If one of them comes, nothing bad happens. If several of them come together, very bad things can happen, and the theory does not take account of that. And the theory doesn’t take account of very large and sudden changes in anything. The theory thinks that things move slowly, gradually, and can be corrected as they change, when in fact they may change extremely brutally.


              • Nick G says:

                Uhhhmmm…isn’t that one of the basic arguments for reducing the risks of Climate Change?

              • oldfarmermac says:

                You make my case FOR me, again.

                Systems thinkers are prepared to take into account changes of every sort, knowing everything is linked.

                They are not so foolish as to think they have answers for every possible problem.

                The people you quote this time are people who are quoted as authorities in systems thinking circles.

                Chaos theory is systems thinking taken out towards the limits, when particular events disrupt systems.

                As Nick points out just below, disrupting the climate by burning so much carbon might result in our throwing a monkey wrench into a relatively stable climate system, thus tipping it into an unstable state for some unpredictable period of time, after which, everything else being held constant, it will settle down, with the variables assuming new parameters.

                • Glenn Stehle says:

                  oldfarmermac says:

                  You make my case FOR me…

                  OFM, what is your case, other than blackwhite and doublethink?

                  • oldfarmermac says:

                    My case, painting fast with a broad brush, is that you are a shill for the fossil fuels industries, for reasons that are probably obvious enough. You are invested in it.

                    Another reason might be that you seem to get your cookies going around trying to prove you are smarter than everybody else. A few people in this forum are may be buying your ego trip, but not very many.

                    I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer, by any means, but I AM confident I am better informed, or at least more intellectually honest, than you.

                    “The underlying philosophy which informs the ecological movement is not so much progressivism as it is nihilism.

                    They are not out so much to build something new as they are to destroy something which already exists, the fossil fuel industry. ”

                    Now you have stuck your foot in your mouth again, and said something else that reveals your actual position and case. You are a fossil fuels partisan.

                    Incidentally you made another mistake a few days back by remarking that I don’t understand lawyers and courtrooms.

                    But you keep on saying things as a I cross examine you that point out your true colors and true motivations. My good fishing buddy and attorney would be proud of me, if he were to read this discussion.

                    Now about that direct quote immediately above, your own words.


                    Serious environmentalists understand that we are eventually going to run very short of fossil fuels, like it or not, that is physical reality.

                    That day grows nearer with every days consumption of the finite endowment.

                    We also KNOW that the off the books cost, in terms of environmental destruction, and public health, of using fossil fuels is many many times the cost of any subsidies we promote for the renewables industries.

                    Those of us who are SERIOUS students of the environment, human nature, business, engineering, etc, understand that scaling up renewables is going to take a LONG time, and that fossil fuels are EXTREMELY LIKELY going to be VERY scarce and VERY expensive long before renewables are ready to shoulder the load.

                    So it is fair to say we want to push fossil fuels into retirement, because depletion guarantees that end result eventually anyway.

                    Sure there are some shallow thinkers who advocate shutting down coal fired power plants IMMEDIATELY, etc, but no serious environmentalist advocates leaving the public without electricity. We want to shut down coal in an orderly fashion, as alternatives become available.

                    We want to move away from oil, as alternatives become available, and even the oil optimists acknowledge that time is going to come within the working lives of today’s young adults.

                    Scaling up renewables NOW will enable us to stretch out the use of our remaining oil endowment,and that remaining oil will still be a cornerstone of the economy for several decades yet, maybe for a century or more, because as it gets to be REALLY expensive, it will be used for ever fewer, but ever more critical purposes, such as feed stock for lubricants.

                    I could go on all day, but there is no need.

                    You don’t have a case.

                    Environmentalists are out to preserve as much of the world as we can, and build it back, if possible, the extent we can, to its former better health.

                    Fossil fuel advocates of your stripe are out to get what they can, while they can, without giving much if any thought to the future, without even thinking about what they are doing does to their own health.

                    I USED to know a couple of tobacco farmers who died of lung cancer, almost dead sure as the result of using the tobacco that made them a few dollars.

                    You might think about this, in case you or somebody close to you suffers from any of the diseases associated with air pollution.

                    These diseases are VERY common, you ( ought to ) know, although you may blind yourself to some of the more important origins of them.

                    You brought up cognitive dissonance.

                    I am pointing out you are one of three, one, ignorant, two, a cynical liar, or three, a victim of cognitive dissonance.
                    Now I do not have any children ( that I know of, but there might be a couple of middle aged people out there someplace who don’t know their daddy is ) but I do have a BUNCH of relatives who are from a few days age on up.

                    I would never engage in such a discussion as this one on the street, or in most forums, but the audience here is almost entirely well informed, and thus able to distinguish which of us is the fool.

                    I am currently stuck in the house, looking after an invalid, and bored.

                    Post some more, you amuse me.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      “We are adding another Tokyo, Japan (picture roughly 37 million people in about 8,500 sq km) about every six months.”

      Actually, we’re not all Pollyannas. And, modern Tokyo is a poor example. (current city population 13.35 million; metro about 38 million). Tokyo is probably the richest and most technologically advanced large city on earth. If we were adding a Tokyo to the planet every six months this would be truly impressive. Better example: Jakarta. Say eight of these per year (each with about 10 M people). More realistic.

    • oldfarmermac says:


      Birth rates are falling in just about every western country, and some other countries as well. I think the population here in the USA will peak sooner than expected, because we will slam the door on large scale immigration rather than open it wider.

      People by the tens of millions, and hundreds of millions, are going to live and die, horribly, sooner or later.

      When? Within the century in my opinion , but with luck not for the next couple of decades.

      That’s what overshoot is all about.


      They are almost all of them going to die where they live today.

      Anybody who thinks nations with major population and resource problems will let desperate immigrants in by the millions and tens of millions is utterly naive.

      Germany for instance, is economically and politically able , at this time, to allow in a couple of million, tops, which is about the economic and political limit.

      Ten million? Out of the question, politically, and also economically, as the German economy is not able to absorb that many new workers. Most of them would be utterly lost in a German work place, unable even to speak the language, never mind able to do the sort of highly skilled work that keeps Germany prosperous.

      The nationalists would mop the floors with their opponents at election time.

      The citizens of rich western countries will welcome a relative handful of immigrants. A handful makes people feel good about themselves.

      Millions are out of the question, politically and also economically in most cases.

      Take me for instance. I describe myself as a conservative, but most folks think I am a liberal. I am not at all interested in seeing the already strained finances of my country strained even further. I want every dime of federal discretionary spending spent on ME.

      Now that I am old, and living in large part on GOVERNMENT money, I am quite happy to see Social Security and Medicare coverage etc expanded.

      It wouldn’t hurt my feelings at all if Uncle Sam would start a make work program and send me a household servant. Seriously.

      I have kin who are laborers. They do not want any more competition for their jobs than exists already.

      The people who are going to die are going to die in place, because the oceans are wide, and borders are going to be protected with barbed wire and machine guns, once the shit is well and truly in the fan.

      Anybody that believes otherwise is utterly naive when it comes to hard core politics.

      Now in the case of Japan, this is an Eastern country that is headed for a major population crash without overshoot playing any role at all. The birth rate there has been well below replacement for a long time already.

  52. Javier says:

    Oil post

    They say an image is worth a thousand words.

    A quick look at EIA track record of predictions shows that all those models and studies about reserves and production to predict future oil production are absolutely worthless. We have listened to a lot of bullshit since the price crisis of 2014 started. In the end Ron, and I, and others that predicted that oil price situation was conductive to produce Peak Oil in about a year are going to be right. EIA will no doubt predict that it is a temporary peak. You can choose to believe them if you want. Transition out of oil starts this year without any need for any treaty.

  53. Oscar DiSilvo says:

    I weep for humanity…starting with our home-spun geniuses in the U.S.A:

    US town fears solar farms would ‘suck up all the energy from the sun’

    “…One local man, Bobby Mann said that businesses would stop going to Woodland, the community would suffer as a result and the farms would suck up all the energy from the sun, according to the Roanoke-Chowan News Herald.

    “You’re killing your town,” he said. “All the young people are going to move out.”

    A retired science teacher, Jane Mann, expressed concerns that plants in the vicinity of the panels would not photosynthesize which would prevent the plants from growing.

    She also questioned the high number of cancer deaths in the area, saying no one could tell her that solar panels didn’t cause cancer…”

    “The council gave the people what the wanted and voted 3-1 against rezoning the land and later voted for a moratorium on future solar farms.”

    Next up: Stories about how EVs cause male pattern baldness and impotence…

    • Arceus says:

      Sometimes, actually quite often, correct decisions are made but for the wrong reasons.

      I am not opposed to solar in any way, but feel current technology is not yet ready to be commercially deployed except by early adopters. Solar will inevitably follow the path of technology in general (Moore’s Law) and waiting a few years will result in doubling, quadrupling efficiency while paying just a fraction of the costs today.

      In order to maximize eco-friendliness it makes sense to postpone any solar purchase, particularly with natural gas and coal as cheap as they are. In 15 years, there will be a tremendous improvement in solar (or perhaps some other newer and better) technology.

      • RDG says:

        “In 15 years, there will be a tremendous improvement in solar (or perhaps some other newer and better) technology.”

        What he means is that there will be more subsidies.

        Except for the fact the already bankrupt megacorruptocities can’t survive without new revenue from fracking.

        Which means demand needs to go way up for natural gas.

        Which means all that bullshit about electrification is a wet dream.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          If you had written that 15 years ago you might have been closer to the truth… Solar is cost effective right now.

          Sorry, that was meant to be a reply to Arceus.

          • Glenn Stehle says:

            More blue sky stuff from Team Green.

            When the renewables promoters have weaned themselves off their massive direct government subsidies, and their reliance upon and cross-subsidies from the grid, then we can talk.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Don’t you have a bridge to hide under?

            • oldfarmermac says:

              When the people who fill the air with pollutants that cause lung diseases, heart attacks, and strokes, and kill fish, and force us to wear gas masks, in some places, then we can talk.

              If I choose to post them, I can post links to REAL authorities.

              You can start here, if you are interested in a close encounter with some REAL science.


              Oh, I forgot, you don’t trust the government to get ANYTHING right, do you?

              • Glenn Stehle says:

                oldfarmermac said:

                Oh, I forgot, you don’t trust the government to get ANYTHING right, do you?

                Lordy, Lordy, OFM!

                This from someone who just a few hours ago, on this very same thread, had this to say:

                ATLAS SHRUGGED is the BEST book I have ever read when it comes to picturing what fascism really is….

                Read [Ayn] Rand with an open mind, and you will see that big business in combination with big government IS THE ENEMY.

                Ninety nine percent of the people who think of Rand as a right wing patsy tend to agree or be sympathetic to the view that big business plus big government in bed are the REAL enemy.


                Mac, is there no limit to your hypocrisy?

                First you’re gushing over Ayn Rand, the most extreme anti-government crusader to ever hit the big time, and then you accuse me of being anti-government?

                But trust me, I do get where you’re coming from with all your blackwhite and doublethink.

                WAR IS PEACE

                FREEDOM IS SLAVERY


                Combine your cognitive dissonance with Fred Magyar’s ad hominems, and you two make quite the team.

                • oldfarmermac says:

                  I doubt you have ever read Rand. I have. All of her novels.

                  And what I am telling you, and the world, is that what people THINK she put in her books , and what is actually IN THOSE BOOKS , is two different things altogether.

                  I suppose you as usual deliberately missed the part about what Jesus Christ ( real or imagined ) stood for, and what has been done in his name,as exemplified for example the Crusades and the Borgias, etc. Ditto Rand’s books. What she actually believed and what is actually in those books is also two different things.

                  If we are talking cognitive dissonance and ignorance, then lets talk you NEVER having any thing to say negative about the fossil fuel industries, which has lead some of us who are not for fossil fuels, or hypocrites, or just plain IGNORANT, to conclude you are a shill.

                  Now when I said ninety nine percent of the people who think of Rand as a right wing patsy , that was hyperbole, I should have said a hell of a lot.

                  Any body who believes that big business, big banking and big government IN COLLUSION are part and parcel of what is WRONG with our country and the world, WOULD, if they were to read Rand with an open mind, would conclude without any question whatsoever , that in her novels, the root of all the problems she wrote about boiled down to BIG GOVERNMENT IN BED WITH BIG BUSINESS.

                  IF you had actually read for instance Atlas Shrugged, you would know that in this novel (and it is ONLY a novel ) the way the bad guys got control of their industries was thru lobbying and cheating and rigging regulatory affairs- the intent being of course to destroy their competition, and use the government as a patsy for their ends.

                  I pointed out that what she wrote, and what Jesus real or imaginary had to say, in both cases, has been used for partisan ends.

                  My general position, as is understood by anybody who reads with comprehension, is that I am in favor of small government to the extent that small government gets the essential job done.

                  Now those of us who have spent our lives studying history, biology, chemistry, geology, and human nature, as opposed to doing whatever it is that you do, have pretty much all concluded that the only real hope of dealing with the existential threats we are facing today is for the government to take the lead.

                  You yak yak about subsidies for renewables as if they were the ultimate sins, but ask you about public health and the OFF THE BOOKS SUBSIDY your fossil fuel masters get, and what do you do?

                  You change the subject. You ALWAYS change the subject. The non answer is your specialty.

                  You quote propaganda artists one after another as if they were authorities, fo people who can’t even get even basic scientific history right, and misuse basic definitions, indicating they either don’t know any better, or cynically expect their audience will not know any better.

                  Apparently you don’t know any better yourself, or else you think your audience won’t know any better.

                  Homeostasis in ecosystems my backside !

                  I point out that a novel , and a religion, can be and have been twisted into something not in the original composition.

                  O K , I will ask you again.

                  Do you think the entire medical profession, as represented by the CDC has its head up its ass , when it comes to air pollution and public health issues?

                  You see, or rather you don’t see, that I understand government is both the problem and the solution, depending on the question.

                  I understand complexity and nuance.

                  You do not understand Rand, but you one of the sort that THINKS they understand Rand, one of the sort captured in mind and imagination by what her novels have come to represent , in the minds of the public,either wing, right or left.

                  The right wing worships total freedom, but there is NOTHING ACTUALLY in any of her novels supporting a lack of government or government regulation of business. They were written to illustrate the evils of government in collusion with business, instead of government reasonably regulating business.

                  Neither the left to whom she is a witch or the right to whom she is a saint actually ever actually reads and understands her novels. They just use them for jumping off points.

                  Her novels are not actually antigovernment, they are anti CORRUPT government. BIG difference. Her personal philosophy was however very anti government, true enough. And she unfortunately was later used by big biz types to get their way – with her approval.

                  The novels themselves ought to be judged standing alone.

                  • Glenn Stehle says:


                    Well I can certainly understand why you believe Ayn Rand hung the moon. She is, after all, one of the seminal prophets of the California Ideology which you and Fred are so taken with. According this ideology, which is nothing short of a quasi-religion, the machines are the new Messiah which will save us from ourselves.

                    In the film I linked above, All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grance, Rand’s seminal role in the formulation of the California Ideology is explained. Here’s Wikipedia again:

                    In the first episode, Curtis traces the effects of Ayn Rand’s ideas on American financial markets, particularly via the influence on Alan Greenspan.

                    Ayn Rand was born in Russia and moved to America in 1928. She worked for Cecil B. DeMille, receiving inspiration for what would later become The Fountainhead. Later, she moved to New York and set up a reading group called The Collective where they considered her work. On advice from a friend, Greenspan (then a logical positivist) joined The Collective.

                    When published, although critically savaged, Rand’s Objectivist ideas were popular, and influenced people working in the technology sector of California. The Californian Ideology, a techno-utopian belief that computer networks could measure, control and help to stabilise societies, without hierarchical political control, and that people could become ‘Randian heroes’, only working for their own happiness, became widespread in Silicon Valley.

                    The full documentary can be seen on the internet here:


                    In his book Evolution for Everyone, David Sloan Wilson has a whole chapter on Rand titled “Ayn Rand: Religous Zealot.”

                    According to Sloan Wilson, both Rand and Christianity (along with all traditional religious belief systems) are in the business of peddling fictions. But he considers Rand’s religion to be much more dangerous than traditional religion:

                    If anything, nonreligous belief systems are a greater cause for concern because they do a better job of masquerading as factual reality. Call them stealth religions.

                    “It would be hard to find a clearer example of science being used as a substitute for God,” Sloan Wilson concludes of Rand’s ideology.

                • robert wilson says:

                  Ayn Rand understood what is now called peak oil. That is why she had John Galt develop a new source of energy. Pointedly, she did not have it developed by a Department of Energy.

                  • Robert, the Department of Energy is a reporting agency. They do not develop anything and have never developed anything… other than reports. So it is not surprising that they would not develop a new source of energy.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Yes, this is an ironic place to discuss Rand’s fiction, given that Galt’s energy source was a mythical static electricity generator, kind’ve like a perpetual energy machine. A fantasy solution.

                    I read Atlas Shrugged a long time ago, so it’s a little hazy. If memory serves, she thought that all value was created by a very small elite, and that what we would generally call middle and working classes were parasites, dependent on this elite and lost without it.

                    Thus, the title: Atlas Shrugged. Galt shrugged off the burden of carrying the unproductive lower classes, and went off to the mountains where he would produce energy with his magical power source.

                  • robert wilson says:

                    I specified “a Department of Energy”, not “the Department of Energy”. That was Rand’s point of view, not necessarily mine. Conceivably Alvin Weinberg and Oak Ridge could have had more success with peaceful development of nuclear power.

                  • Glenn Stehle says:

                    Nick G says:

                    Yes, this is an ironic place to discuss Rand’s fiction, given that Galt’s energy source was a mythical static electricity generator, kind’ve like a perpetual energy machine. A fantasy solution.

                    Yep, not unlike the machines the Green Utopians believe will save us.

                    No wonder Eric Hoffer raised the hair on the back of your neck, given that he called out all brands of messianism, including the secular type.

                  • SW says:

                    Pointedly, he is a fictional character worshiped by 14 year olds.

                  • oldfarmermac says:

                    Rand was a novelist and hack philosopher, a disaster as a philosopher, but a success as a novelist.

                    She most assuredly was not a scientist.

                    From Wikibooks:

                    Fictional technology

                    Fictional inventions mentioned in the book include refractor rays (Gulch mirage), Rearden Metal, a sonic death ray (“Project X”), voice activated door locks (Gulch power station), motors powered by static electricity, palm-activated door locks (Galt’s NY lab), shale-oil drilling, and a nerve-induction torture machine.

                    The refractor ray exists today. Holograms can be projected into thin air. The sonic ray exists, it is an experimental weapon, and may even be in the hands of some troops.

                    Palm activated door locks – that sort of thing is common place now in secure areas.

                    Shale oil drilling- well, the oil guy got oil out of rocks where it supposedly could not be done.

                    Nerve induction torture machine— I have no doubt this is currently possible but maybe not ever built.

                    Rearden metal – modern stainless steels are a good match, except they are not lighter than other steels.

                    That’s not a bad record for a novelist, when it comes to inventing stuff in a novel.

                    The electrostatic motor will never pan out, but we do extract energy from the air these days, it is not at all impossible. Most of us know what a heat pump is, I own three myself. Will be installing the fourth one soon.

                    Her track record as a tech forecaster is excellent.

                    I would have put this comment down thread under Nicks ten o four pm, but it won’t fit there.

                    Now as far as her attitude went in respect to working people, she portrayed them in a highly sympathetic fashion, in almost every instance, as individuals. Her opinion of the mob of course was or is far different.

                    As far as humanity moving ahead, economically and technologically as a whole, damned right the elite is responsible. This does not mean an occasional working class man cannot become a MEMBER of the elite of course.

                    But major discoveries and inventions by her time were mostly the work of the elite. Working class people just don’t have the time, resources, and background needed these days, or in her days, to invent much in the way of new technology.

                    A few “commoners” may have brought the computer out of the lab and into homes and offices, but the transistor and integrated chip were not backyard garage inventions. And even those guys were arguably part of the elite, considering they were all of them at one time students at universities.

                    Henry Ford was a working class sort of guy in the beginning.

                    So was Cyrus Mc Cormick.

                    And lots of others.

                  • Nick G says:


                    Whether technical elites are the primary source of technical innovation isn’t the question. I suspect that framing it that way is a bit misleading, given that innovation can and does come from a lot of places, and that technically smart people can come from working class backgrounds, given the right educational opportunities. But…that’s not the question. It’s not what Rand was saying.

                    Rand, IIRC, was saying that society would collapse if a few key members of the elite “shrugged”. She was saying that this elite created all of the value, and that other classes were parasites, extracting value from this elite. This is…highly disrespectful towards those other classes.

                    Modern society requires specialization. Heck, anything more complex than hunting & gathering requires specialization. That specialization includes intellectual work, and the leisure and time needed to do that work. That means that others have to do the tedious work for of daily production and maintenance for them, including farming, manufacturing assembly, cooking, cleaning, teaching, often child rearing.

                    An outgrowth of that role includes special power, which often means real exploitation: excessive wealth, excessive detachment from the work of daily life (wet nurses, boarding schools) and widespread mistreatment (casual violence, deprivation of education, sexual abuse, etc.). Those elites will often fight back to maintain those excesses, with violence towards working classes which ask for more of the pie, etc. And, they will promote those who defend them with ideas, including people like Rand who portray working classes as sympathetic morons, who are lost without their betters to do everything for them.

                    It looks to me like Atlas Shrugged reversed the reality of elite exploitation. It supported political reaction against the progress in wealth & income-sharing that should come with economic growth.

                  • Nick G says:


                    I’m bothered by Hoffer’s reaction against “abrupt change”, which is a classic argument against all change.

                    And, I find annoying that he blames the victim: social activists are, in his world, losers who should quit their complaining and go get an honest job.

                • oldfarmermac says:

                  I have read Rand, but hardly anybody I ever met has read her, with the exception of a few English majors.

                  I had a lot to say about her, and Jesus, elsewhere, up thread,for Ron P, about how books and philosophies get twisted into something unrecognizable to those acquainted only with the original works.

                  Any body actually interested in what she WROTE can read her books and see whether I am telling it like it is or otherwise.

                  “When the renewables promoters have weaned themselves off their massive direct government subsidies, and their reliance upon and cross-subsidies from the grid, then we can talk.”

                  That sort of remark puts YOU slam dead center of the right wing camp that WORSHIPS Rand. How ’bout them little green apples?

                  I am open minded, and knowledgeable enough, to know that government is both our friend and our enemy, the creator of problems ,the solver of problems, and sometimes the only possible solver of problems.

                  I notice you again did not answer a direct question.

                  Do you think the entire health care profession has its head up its ass, or is air pollution a major public health issue, and a thus a defacto subsidy to your fossil fuel friends, worth many times what renewables have gotten or ever will get?


                  Here is one little example out of the literature, I can post hundreds if any body thinks this one is cherry picked.Thousands, if I wanted to spend the time on it.

                  I doubt if even half a dozen can be found that say air pollution is not a major public health issue.


                  “Impact of Air Quality on Hospital Spending”
                  Romley, John A.; Hackbarth, Andrew; Goldman, Dana P. Rand Corporation, 2010.

                  Findings: Between 2005 and 2007, nearly 30,000 hospital admissions and emergency-room visits could have been avoided throughout California if federal clean-air standards had been met. These cases led to higher hospital care cost of approximately $193 million. Medicare and Medicaid spent about $132 million on such hospital care while the rest was incurred by private third-party purchasers. Five case studies of individual hospitals in Riverside, Fresno, Lynwood, Stanford and Sacramento show that the costs incurred by the different types of payers vary by region.
                  – See more at:

                  You either don’t have a clue, or else you must ignore the question