EIA C+C Data and Jean Laherrere on Reserves

The EIA just released their International Energy Statistics with world production numbers through October 2014. There were no big surprises in this report.


World C+C production was up 731,000 bpd to 78,967,000 bpd. This is a new high.


All the gain in the last few years has come from non-OPEC. Non-OPEC production was up 374 kbd in September and up another 370 kbd in October to 46,002,000 bpd.


OPEC C+C has been on a bumpy plateau for the last several years. Also most of the gain has come from increased production of condensate, especially from Qatar. OPEC C+C production was up 21 kbd to 32,965,000 bpd.


Canadian production was revised dramatically in this report. July was revised up by 120 kbd, August revised up by 250 kbd and September was revised down by 210 kbd. October production was 3,677,000 bpd, up 20,000 bpd.


Mexico, after holding a plateau for about 4 years has started to decline again.

World Less USA & Canada

The World less USA and Canada has been on a 10 year bumpy plateau. I am predicting they, the World less USA and Canada, will turn down around mid 2015. US and Canada will still be increasing but at a much slower rate than the past 4 years.

Charts of all non-OPEC nations can be found on my page Non-OPEC Charts, and the page World Crude Oil Production by Geographical Area has also been updated.

Jean Laherrere on oil reserves.

There was a news article posted February 17th on oil discoveries in  2014, Discoveries of new oil and gas reserves drop to 20-year low. This is a Financial Times article and you may be asked to register to receive three free articles per year. I have already used up all mine. Anyway the link was posted by both Jeffrey Brown and myself on this blog.

The article stated: New finds of oil and gas are likely to have been about 16bn barrels of oil equivalent in 2014. Barrels of oil equivalent includes natural gas. Counting both oil and natural gas the world uses over three times that amount each year. So the world found less than one third the oil the world used last year. And discoveries are falling while oil consumption is rising.

The article was picked up and re-posted over on PeakOil.com where Rockman made a long comment, part of which is quoted below, but first he quoted the article:

“…and there are large known reserves — both “unconventional”, including shale in North America and heavy oil in Canada and Venezuela, and “conventional” in countries including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates.”

I’m not sure when FT wrote this piece but I suspect recently. Apparently FT is aware of the definition of PROVED RESERVES. It isn’t the amount of oil in the ground. It’s the amount of oil that can be COMMERCIALLY produced. With the decline in oil prices (a key component in the determination of commerciality for reserves) the world has lost tens of billions of bbl of PROVED RESERVES from the ledger book. The cornucopians were justified in converting non-commercial shale reserves to a commercial status. But that ole double edged sword had rushed back and poked them in the ass.

This is all very nice but Jean thinks Rockman confuses 1P with 2P reserves.

Jean Laherrere:

In the FT article IHS (Pete Jackson) said that in 2014 only 16 Gboe were discovered and it is the worst since 1952. IHS reports 2P reserves which is far from 1P reserves as reported by EIA (from OGJ enquiries done before technical studies are carried out) and BP.
 My plot in 1998 (Scientific American article) was lower because many fields (in Russia) were missing from IHS data.
The plot of the 2P discovery (excluding extra-heavy) is as follows up to 2010.
Laherrere 3

The discovery peak is in 1971 with 300 Gboe with the discovery of North Dome (two thirds in Qatar = North Field and one third in Iran = South Pars). IHS to please Iran reports South Filed in 1991 but everyone knew that North Field discovered in 1971 extended into Iran)

Laherrere 2
My plot excludes extra-heavy when IHS reports in Venezuela 215 Gb from 1936 to 1939.
Laherrere 1
The main problem is that economists rely on the published political 1P oil reserves always on the rise and ignore the confidential technical reserves declining since 1980; since 1980 the oil production (light green) is over the the oil discovery (dark green): same for oil and gas (in blue) since 1990.
Economists argue that technology will save the world but ignore the technical data
Economists do not think wrong, they think on wrong data.
In Jean’s second plot if you extend the technical backdated 2P reserves from 2010 to the current date, you will see that Jean thinks there are just over 800 billion barrels of 2P reserves left. And in his last plow he states that ultimate production will be about 2,200 billion barrels. And you will notice that he has the peak… well… about right now. With all three assessments I whole heartily agree.
  • “1P reserves” = proven reserves (both proved developed reserves + proved undeveloped reserves).
  • “2P reserves” = 1P (proven reserves) + probable reserves, hence “proved AND probable.”
  • “3P reserves” = the sum of 2P (proven reserves + probable reserves) + possible reserves, all 3Ps “proven AND probable AND possible.

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515 Responses to EIA C+C Data and Jean Laherrere on Reserves

  1. Sam Taylor says:


    If you want to read more FT articles just type the article’s title into google, and then follow the link through from the google search page. For some reason this seems to get around the FT paywall.

    • coffeeguyzz says:

      Sam Taylor, I have found that to be an effective technique for many paywall-enabled sites.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Ron,

      Looking at the OGJ estimates for 1P reserves and deducting 300 Gb from inflated OPEC reserves and 400 Gb for extra heavy reserves, we get about 1000 Gb of 1P reserves in 2014. About 1200 Gb of cumulative C+C less extra heavy oil was produced through 2014 which would give a URR of 2200 Gb if there were no discoveries of C+C in the future and no reserve growth. This would also require probable reserves to be zero, if the URR for C+C less extra heavy(XH) oil is 2200 Gb.

      I have read that Euan Mearns estimates that 2P reserves tend to be about 33% higher than 1P reserves, so if we used his rule of thumb, 2P reserves would be roughly 1300 Gb and if we add that to cumulative production we would have 2500 Gb for the URR of C+C-XH. Again this is only if there are no future discoveries and no future reserve growth.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Not OGJ estimates, the WEO estimate for 1P reserves of 1699 Gb is what I was thinking of, subtract 50 Gb for OGJ estimates of 1P reserves.

  2. PeterEV says:

    Below is a screen capture from the 2015 Exxon Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040. I am assuming that this is an optimistic outlook and I uploaded it as a comparison to what Jean has submitted.

    Some obervations:
    1) Notice that the upper graph “confirms” a peak in conventional C+C production around 2005.
    If New conventional is half what is displayed there, then Exxon would be calling for Yergins “undulationg plateau” for the coming next 2 decades. That’s a lot of New Conventional to be found and developed. Is this likely to happen?
    2) Shale Oil from the western Colorado area is not shown unless it is covered by the “Other” category.
    3) The Deepwater, Oil Sands, and Tight Oil supply is about the same as the New Conventional in 2040. I assume that all this is going to be a lot more expensive. How much of this is likely to materialize?

    Thought it would be of interest.

    • Peter: I don’t have an answer for you question, but I want to point out the upper graph apparently shows all crude and condensate sources failing to reach 100 Mmbpd. Did I get it right?

      • PeterEV says:

        By 2040, that is “true” but the New Conventional, Deepwater, Oil Sands and Tight Oil are still rising in total production while Conventional is depleting. There is no indication if the total will ever reach 100 MBOD. To do so, Conventional depletion would have to slow (likely), New Conventional would still have to be on a rapid build up and the remaining 3 types would have to remain about the same.

        The wild card is the New Conventional. By 2040, the New conventional production is roughly 32 MBOD. That is over 3 Saudi ARAMCOs based on ARAMCOs current production rate of roughly 10 MBOD. The slide indicates that this is accomplished by using some “new advanced technology” without ever saying what that technology is.

        If that technology does **not** exist, Exxon is misleading shareholders big time and there are financial penalties for doing so. If it does exist, it is likely to be more expensive than Deepwater, Oil Sands, and Tight Oil. The question becomes: “What is it?” and nobody so far has provided a plausible answer.

        My speculation would be either a chemical that, when added to a well, liberates more oil or frac’ing is done to existing oil well to open paths for stranded oil. But I’m no petrogeologist nor petroleum engineer. Both would be expensive. Shell has not gotten the Oil Shale (kerogen) to work very well.

        If all this New Conventional production is a bunch of hooey and very little new conventional is added, the graph would indicate a peak in C+C in the early to mid 2020’s. Take out the condensate and crude could well peak in the late 2010’s or the early 2020’s.

        I would say that we are nearing the “moment of truth”.

        • My job has involved consulting in some of the new technologies. I don’t see anything that contributes much. We have things we could have used earlier, before a field watered out. But it’s mighty hard to get EOR to work after 30 years of pounding a field with water.

          Some of the technologies being peddled are just money makers for the service and deployment companies. I have been to SPE forums where they rolled out their concepts, and most of it was bs.

  3. Jef says:

    I read everywhere about the economics of oil and what is going on there and everyone seems to be completely focused on break-even price. It seems to me that break-even is only interesting to the Company operations. The economy requires 5 to 10 times break-even in order to function. Especially now when such a large part of the economy is based not on production but from extracting revenue from ongoing productive efforts, money making money. This means production needs to have enough surplus to support itself as well as the extractive process and for that to happen you need cheap almost free energy.

    It seems clear that neither $40 oil or $100 oil is providing the surpluses that the World economy requires to function. Isn’t that Peak Oil?

    • Watcher says:


    • Political Economist says:

      Energy break even is differnet from economic/financial break even

    • Jef says:

      Ok so I am using the wrong terminology here I guess.

      The Global economy requires energy to function, particularly now where the FIRE economy dominates.

      The FIRE economy requires that the real productive economy generates enough surplus profits for them to syphon off their cut.

      Break-even production of oil does not generate enough surplus profits for the syphoning sector.

      Low priced oil removes surplus profits from the FF and FF related industries.

      High priced oil removes surplus profits from the real productive economy.

      Neither high priced oil nor low priced oil are any longer beneficial to the Global economy.

      Peak Oil.

      • Jef says:

        Break-even is meaningless.

        Its like saying the heart is pumping just enough blood to keep the heart alive, ignoring the fact that the heart is meaningless without the rest of the body.

        • Watcher says:

          Your metaphors need some polish.

          • Futilitist says:

            But he is right.

            • Futilitist says:

              High oil price = Bad for consumers
              Low oil price = Bad for producers

              Thus —Peak Oil

              No metaphors or analogies necessary.

              • Futilitist says:

                Here is a metaphor:

                The economy is now energetically schizophrenic.

              • Ilambiquated says:

                Expensive chewing gum bad for consumers

                Cheap chewing gum bad for producers.

                Therefore peak chewing gum.

                • Futilitist says:


                  That is kind of irrelevant, don’t you think?

                  Chewing gum comprises just a tiny part of the overall economy.

                  Chewing gum is not the worlds primary energy source.

                  Fluctuations in the price of chewing gum cannot really effect the overall economy much.

                  Switching to not chewing gum has no chance of stopping collapse.

                  As far as being at peak chewing gum, that is very doubtful. But I think they are trying to get accurate numbers at peakgumpackage.com. You should check them out.

                  • Ilambiquated says:

                    Take coffee then. It’s an important commodity. It fuels the entire software industry. Caffeine is as vital to the internet as gasoline is to transportation.

                    I am sympathetic to the idea that a lack of oil underground does not directly influence the price, even though it “should” in some theoretical sense. But the price does affect the rate at which the oil is pumped out.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Let’s keep it real, guys.

                    The primary source of our energy is *not* oil. It’s solar: 95% of space heating, 75% of lighting, 100% of food, biomass, etc.

                  • Nick, get real. Everyone knows solar grows plants and lights the day. But oil is what moves planes, trains, ships, trucks and automobiles.

                    Solar has been around since the earth was formed. But it was fossil fuels that fueled the industrial revolution and in turn the population explosion. And when fossil fuels start to decline dramatically the population will do likewise.

                  • Nick G says:

                    it was fossil fuels that fueled the industrial revolution and in turn the population explosion.

                    They accelerated things, they didn’t start them. The Industrial Revolution was started with water power
                    “At the beginning of the Industrial revolution in Britain, water was the main source of power for new inventions such as Richard Arkwright’s water frame.[5] Although the use of water power gave way to steam power in many of the larger mills and factories, it was still used during the 18th and 19th centuries for many smaller operations, such as driving the bellows in small blast furnaces (e.g. the Dyfi Furnace)[6] and gristmills, such as those built at Saint Anthony Falls, which uses the 50-foot (15 m) drop in the Mississippi River.”


                    The point is that oil (and fossil fuels) aren’t special. They don’t have any special sauce that is required to fuel industrial civilization. They were easier to access than wind, solar and nuclear, so they were exploited faster and at larger scale. But…things have changed. Wind, solar and nuclear are here, and easy to use.

                    when fossil fuels start to decline dramatically the population will do likewise.

                    Seriously? Why? Rail can move freight, right? Rail uses 1/3 as much fuel, and can be electrified in a very straightforward way.

                    oil is what moves planes, trains, ships, trucks and automobiles.

                    Coal is what fueled trains until WWII. The industrial revolution wasn’t built on oil – why should it end with the decline of oil??

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  No! No! No!

                  Expensive chewing gum GOOD for consumers because chewing gum is actually bad for consumers and they will chew less.

                  Expensive chewing gum is still bad for producers.
                  because people will find alternative things to chew like Khat leaves…

                  Therefore peak chewing gum producers, a lot of them will just go out of business and that might be a good thing for most of us >;-)


                  • Doug Leighton says:

                    Well I don’t give a shit about chewing gum but any disruption in coffee supplies would be a goddamn disaster. And, caffeine is a lot more than about the internet, its on par with breathing, blood and single malt scotch and not something to joke about.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Single malt scotch might be overrated, but I might be willing to eat my words if it was added to my coffee. ^u^

                  • Fred Magyar says:


                    disruption in coffee supplies would be a goddamn disaster.

                    You will get no argument from me on that point!!

                    I have the contacts on the ground in Brazil, would you like to go half and half on a sailboat to transport it here?

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    “I have the contacts on the ground in Brazil, would you like to go half and half on a sailboat to transport it here?” ~ Fred Magyar

                    It’s in the manifesto. ‘u^
                    And when the internet goes down, we’ll need a network. A fleet of sailboats or a handful of good sized ones.
                    But Fred, we talked about this too over at TOD, yes? In any case, feel free to count me in in that regard. I am still in contact with Peru, and Atalaya, Peru is accessible/navigable via the Amazon River to the Atlantic, amazingly enough.

        • Futilitist says:

          Perfect. I thought it made sense the first time. Great insight.

  4. Huge jump in crude oil stocks reported today, up 7,716,000 barrels to 425,644,000 barrels. This is knocking oil prices lower this morning.

    Also, North Dakota rig count is at 127 right now.

    • Ovi says:

      The 7.7 Mbbls is a lot lower than the 14.3 Mbbl API number reported yesterday.

    • Futilitist says:

      Huge jump in crude oil stocks reported today, up 7,716,000 barrels to 425,644,000 barrels. This is knocking oil prices lower this morning.

      The more they produce, the less we want. Look out below.

  5. Old farmer mac says:

    ”It seems clear that neither $40 oil or $100 oil is providing the surpluses that the World economy requires to function. Isn’t that Peak Oil?”

    That is a good description of the EFFECT of peak oil but not the accepted definition— so far as there IS an accepted definition. The one used here is as follows : the date and amount when oil production peaks and then declines. Since the very definition of oil is in dispute so far as the public and economists and government agencies are concerned nobody will ever likely pinpoint a date and quantity that is not disputed to some extent.

    Even here in this forum there is no real consensus among the regular commenters on what is oil and what is condensate and how biofuels etc should be accounted for etc.

    Ron uses crude plus condensate which is about as good as can be managed.

    There seems to be some dispute about what condensate actually IS depending on who you are talking to. Apparently some folks would like to expand the definition quite a bit to allow them to sell stuff as oil that used to be called something else. This disputed definition is enough of an issue that it may affect the timing of the peak to some minor extent depending on whose figures you like best.

    There seems to be a lot of excellent evidence that peak oil is either here or will be here very soon in historical terms. The evidence for the peak being a couple of decades away in my layman’s opinion is mostly wishful thinking.

    Remember the disclaimer about stock prices. Past performance is no indication of future performance and the oil industry has struggled mightily just to hold production flat over the last decade or so.

    • Watcher says:

      Jeff has a chart he posts now and then showing constituent component %s as a function of API number of the liquid aka oil.

      Diesel falls off a cliff very rapidly as the API number nudges.

    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      My principal point is not so much that condensate is a lesser quality refinery input than actual crude oil (in terms of distillate yield). My principal point is that combining crude + condensate conflates actual crude oil production (generally defined as 45 and lower API gravity crude oil) with liquids derived from natural gas production–condensate and natural gas liquids (NGL).

      But as we have discussed, we have to make educated guesses at actual global condensate production, but in my opinion the only reasonable interpretation of the following chart–given that condensate is a byproduct of natural gas production–is that actual global crude oil production has been flat to down since 2005.

      In other words, actual global crude oil production (45 and lower API gravity crude oil) probably peaked in 2005, while global natural gas production and associated liquids, condensate and NGL’s, have so far continued to increase.

    • Nick G says:

      The puzzling question is why oil is thought to be magically necessary to the economy.

      Trains move things just as well as trucks. Electric trains work as well as diesel.

      EVs get commuters to work just as well as ICEs.

      If oil prices jump, that mostly rearranges who makes money off it. Oil importers send money to oil exporters, who recycle it by buying other stuff. Oil exports have more money and more consumption, oil importers have less money and less consumption.

      If the work required to find and pump oil goes up, more people work in that industry. If unemployment is high, that probably just reduces unemployment and doesn’t hurt the economy at all: just means some people who were unemployed have more income and consumption, and some consumers of oil have less.

      If the price of oil rises a lot, people will switch to better and cheaper alternatives, like EVs.

      We should switch now, of course, ASAP. That’s because the real price of oil is much higher than the market price, due to oil wars, security costs and pollution.

      • SRSrocco says:

        Nick G,

        You remind me of a Walt Disney Commercial. Nothing but smiles and sunshine. And, if there is a cloudy day… oh well, we just bring in the lights and parade and everything will be okay.

        EV’s are just another DELUSION in a long line of DELUSIONS, that Americans and other assorted “Growth Forever Wanna-Bes” tell themselves so they don’t have to face reality.

        The world is heading towards an Environmental, Climate and EROI Collapse. While mortals like to offer SILVER BULLET ideas of other ways to run Wal Mart, Walt Disney World and the Interstate Highway System (as Kunstler states), the reality is… WE HAVE RUN OUT THE CLOCK.

        Sure… we will continue BAU for a while, but collapse is coming none-the-less. So, lets pass around that CHERRY COKE and continue to delude ourselves that we can have unlimited growth on a finite planet.


        • Nick G says:

          I don’t consider oil wars and pollution to be “smiles and sunshine.”

          Oil (and other fossil fuels) are causing the environmental problems you mention. We should transition away from oil and FFs as quickly as possible.

        • Boomer II says:

          I don’t view the elimination of BAU as collapse. I see it more as a massive restructuring of the global economy in hopes of eventually getting to a more sustainable world, whatever that may be.

          In other words, BAU isn’t sustainable and appears to be deadly to a lot of the planet. So whatever replaces BAU, if it ultimately leads to a healthier planet, would be an improvement, even if in the process, it leads to lots of disruption for many human communities and populations.

          I don’t consider myself a “radical” environmentalist (i.e, one who advocates the elimination of homo sapiens to allow the rest of life on the planet to reassert itself), but downsizing and right sizing human activity to better fit the planet doesn’t strike me as a negative in the greater scheme of things.

        • Ilambiquated says:

          The American transportation system is completely screwed up. The best thing that can happen to it is expensive oil. It would be good for the country to live on half the oil it currently uses.

          The idea that transportation cannot be electric can’t be taken seriously by anyone outside the bubble of right wing American media.

          • clueless says:

            Why did Google spend over a billion $ to conclude that it cannot happen?

            • Ilambiquated says:

              Why did Google create Google Wave? Google Plus? Google Lively? Google Answers? Google Buzz? Google Notebook? Google Video? Google Glass?

              Google does a lot of things that fail. They figure they have money to risk on marginal bets. It is fashionable among venture capitalists to say that Silicon Valley business models are applicable to other industries including energy. Google tried.

              • Boomer II says:

                And it will take money to continue the experimentation.

                • Futilitist says:

                  And the money is running out.

                  • Boomer II says:

                    And the money is running out.

                    Well, I won’t disagree with you on that.

                    But I would rather Apple and Google and other billion dollar companies spend their money on renewable energy experimentation than to spend it on enriching the stock holders. Even if their renewable energy projects amount to nothing, I figure it isn’t causing environmental or economic harm.

            • Nick G says:

              They didn’t. They just decided that their program wouldn’t help enough to be worth it.

            • Stan says:

              You misunderstand what Google was trying to accomplish and what they concluded. Google was trying to prove that employing the cost effective tech already in hand was enough to stop climate change. They concluded instead that new techs were still needed. It still costs less economically to combat climate change sooner rather than later even if some of the technologies we will need are not yet fully developed.

              What Google was doing has nothing whatsoever to do with whether we can power transportation with other energy sources. Total collapse of oil supplies could mean the use of coal or other climate change unfriendly techs to solve short term transportation bottlenecks. That in itself is hardly an economic showstopper.

          • wimbi says:

            Uber is wildly successful because it does the obvious- takes advantage of the huge inefficiency represented by all those cars scooting around carrying just one person.

            I have been yelling about that opportunity for decades.

            Another one is the delivery on call system, instead of all those people crowding the markets in their one person SUV to get one sack of bananas.

            A big advantage of those living in a wasteful society- grab the opportunity represented by the waste. Even slightly less wasteful will get you a big reward.

            Next obvious one. Using less energy to do the job means less energy needed. Less enough needed to get it easily from the PV over the roofs over the lesser wasteful.

            Jeez! Isn’t ALL this obvious??

            • Boomer II says:

              A big advantage of those living in a wasteful society- grab the opportunity represented by the waste. Even slightly less wasteful will get you a big reward.

              Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are looking for opportunities to disrupt old businesses. One way to do that is to tackle problems considered “too small” for established businesses to bother with. Then, when the new business gets big enough, the old businesses are pushed out.

              Businesses based on “sharing” have become popular in Silicon Valley, and some of them also have the side effect of reducing energy use by using technology to better match devices to usage patterns.

            • Riban Conbajos says:

              Couldn’t agree more Wimbi.

              I recently ran across this very interesting graphic which shows estimated U.S. energy use in 2012, which was 95.1 quads.

              The interesting thing is that 58.1 quads, or 61%, is rejected energy. For petrol, only 5.6 of 26.7 quads used actually did useful work.

              My understanding is that the rejected energy is non-utilized heat generated by combustion. You can see that between transportation and electrical generation, 46.8 quads of energy was rejected by burning petrol in combustion engines and methane and coal in power plants.

              The interesting thing is that wind and solar doesn’t have this rejected energy component, neither do electric cars.

              So, broad brush, general terms, 50% to 60% of B.A.U. energy demand may be destroyed simply by not burning fossil fuels in cars and power plants if we can transition to other means.

              An associate of mine is an energy engineer. He does building energy efficiency consulting. He works with owners, architects and contractors to deliver net-positive dwellings. This is done by creating a tight and highly insulated thermal envelope, using heat recovery ventilation, and most typically radiant hydronic heating and cooling systems utilizing ground source heat pumps powered by roof top solar PV.

              This is in an alpine environment with both sub-zero F winter temps, and summer temps that can exceed 100 degrees F.

              It is worth mentioning that these are typically very large homes with lots of large windows. According to my friend, when the required upgrades and systems are amortized into the mortgage, the total monthly out of pocket cost for the owner is lower than it would otherwise be using standard construction practice and utility dependence. No sack cloth and ashes required.

              The solar systems are often sized to offset electric car charging as well.

              My perspective has really changed with the events of the past six years. I felt that peak oil meant certain doom, but now I kindle a small faint spark of hope, and it is due to the plummeting costs of wind and solar, their accelerating adoption, and the advancements being made with electric cars and LED lighting.

              I can see the potential for transition to a different global paradigm that may represent a much lower “standard of living” for many westerners in terms of gross consumption, but a much better one for many others, particularly Africans and Indians in remote or undeveloped areas.

              • wimbi says:

                That is an extremely important chart, and should be on everybody’s wall.

                Think of what solar could do to it. No big grey reject line coming out of the electricity box, and none coming out of the transport box, and no big green river of non-green fossil fuels going in to transport, nor any truly black river of coal going into electricity.

                A different world entirely!

                Impossible? Of course it is, just as impossible as all those other good dreams– except that the ruling rules, here, physics, say it is NOT impossible at all.

                And therefor- it IS possible.

                All we have to do is redirect assets we are wasting/spending right now

                • Thirunagar says:

                  You guys should post and repost these two comments again and again like how JB does for his ELM on all new blog posts.

                  • Stan says:

                    Agree with Thirunagar about reposting the above two comments.

                    The only question that matters with regard to peak oil from a global economic stability position, is how quickly. Oil is useful, but it is fully replaceable at costs the global economy can afford. In fact at least some of the replacements will lead to economic growth because they cost less. For instance, increased walking saves both health care costs and fuel costs in most advanced economies. The money saved is available for other uses.

                    However, most changes take time to implement. For instance, it takes time to build stores within walking distance of suburban households or to economically wear out existing housing and move people closer together. We generally want to wear out as much as possible and strand as few investments as possible since stranding investments can lead to economic contraction. (This is not a defense of maintaining the status quo particularly where the costs exceed the benefits.)

                    In economic terms, our dependency is short term inelastic but long term fully elastic. Thus, the more time we have the better. Doom and gloom about our economic prospects only makes sense if the change must happen quicker than we can react. That is not at all clear. In fact, it appears many of the needed changes are already in process.

              • wimbi says:

                Riban. The more I think about this chart the more I feel that it is a MUST for anyone here talking about fossil fuels vs solar to talk about.

                The essential point, and i am amazed that more people don’t even seem to understand it, is that coal/oil going thru a heat engine MUST, by the iron laws of thermodynamics, reject what the Carnot efficiency limit says they must, quite regardless of how clever the mechanism.

                And of course, real machines only get about half that at best, and less than 10% for those really lousy heat engines like lawn mowers.

                Then people will say-“Yeah, but we could use fuel cells” Right, and the same laws say they bump against a higher limit, Gibbs free energy, but it’s STILL a limit, and fuel cells have to reject heat too.

                Solar/ wind puts out electricity. Electricity is 100% useful energy, and real live electric motors can get within a few percent of that.

                Sure, the PV has an “efficiency” of maybe 15%. So what. That photon is fated to hit this planet, PV or no PV. If the photons hit the PV, then it gives a little help to the critters needing a bit of shade underneath. The PV actually reduces the heat on that piece of turf. Ditto with wind.

                That energy flow chart could look far more pleasant if the ff inputs were replaced with solar. Some big ugly lines entirely gone, the grey excrement gone, and everything thinner.

                So, all that you and I gotta do is take over the world, decree that each year we WILL reduce ff’s by 10%, and put those resources into the great energy transition to what we can live with.


                • I studied thermodynamics and heat transfer over 40 years ago. At the time I thought it was wonderful to find out how things worked. I also scratched my head and wondered where the initial low entropy state came from.

                  Would you please tell us again why this chart us so incredibly wonderful? I really don’t get why you brought it up.

                  • John B says:

                    I think the point is that you really don’t need to match the amount of energy from fossil fuels, if you can produce energy more efficiently.

                    E.g., electric motors are upwards of 95% efficient, compared to a 20% efficient ICE. So therefore, the battery doesn’t have to have as much power potential as a tank of gas.

                  • wimbi says:

                    Look at the box electricity generation. With solar, that box is gone, and so are all its inputs, coal, gas, nuclear. Instead, the solar input, now about 1/3 the size of all the previous inputs, goes DIRECTLY to the end uses, and the grey heat reject line is also gone.

                    Seems to me that’s a more attractive picture.

                    Ditto with transport.

                    Yes, I have heard over and over that ff’s are ESSENTIAL for transport.

                    That is not true, any thing rolling along on wheels can be driven by an electric motor.

                    That motor can be driven by solar electricity.

                    OF COURSE it isn’t done that way. “Isn’t” should not be equated to “can’t”.

                  • Ilambiquated says:

                    I also scratched my head and wondered where the initial low entropy state came from.

                    The beginning of the universe was the most unlikely thing ever.

                  • Old farmer mac says:

                    Engineers generally get nothing it the way of biology as part of their training which leaves them fundamentally ignorant of a branch of science as important as basic physics.

                  • Techsan says:

                    As an example, I find that our electric cars (Leaf and Volt) get over 4 miles per KWH — about 140 miles/gallon in energy equivalent, or about 7 times as efficient as gasoline cars at 20 mpg.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    “It is the technological systems of civilization (the cities, roads, factories, etc.) that consume most of the natural resources…

                    Also, we can’t have solar panels and wind turbines without the cities, roads, factories, and schools we have now, and we can’t build the cities, roads, factories and schools we need with wind turbines and solar PV. Thus, these ideas are a dead-end from the point of view of keeping society going. It is an open question as to how much they can do for individuals, on a local basis…

                    If we live in our houses, it will be without heat, cooling, and probably running water. If people happen to have a some solar panels, they can use them assuming they have them hooked up right–with an inverter and perhaps with back-up batteries. But banks won’t be operating, nor will the Internet, nor fuel stations. Replacing the batteries and the inverter for the solar panels is likely to be a problem, so over time the usefulness of solar panels will become more restricted. Shovels and seed would have been much better investments.

                    I am afraid in such circumstance, many people would decide that just can’t continue to live in their current homes, with or without solar panels. They will need a way of getting enough food and water, and will leave their homes to get that food and water.

                    The big question is how long our current system lasts. If our current system last a long time, then fixes to downsize could be helpful.

                    ” ~ Gail Tverberg

                  • I think the point is that renewables have to meet the energy and reliability delivered by fossil fuels and nuclear power. What happens upstream of the end user is not that relevant.

                    We could increase the thermodynamic efficiency of coal plants. But that’s a black box issue we engineers worry about. I don’t think the end user is that worried amout it. They focus on cost. If we add the emissions cost then high thermodynamic efficiency is desirable.

                    But that chart doesn’t say much to me. This is a peak oil debate society. The answer will always lie in the overall cost competitiveness of renewables. If wimbi’s dream state were to come true then Ron’s peak oil call is more likely.

                    I tend to think peak oil will be delayed because renewables aren’t ready for prime time. This implies we will “enjoy” very high prices and oil supplies will probably oscillate, prices will be erratic, and we are going to walk at the edge of a precipice.

                    So I’m not trying to put down the energy efficiency chart down. What I’m trying to point out is that, in the end price and security of supply are the key.

                  • Riban Conbajos says:

                    Fernando wrote:

                    I think the point is that renewables have to meet the energy and reliability delivered by fossil fuels and nuclear power. What happens upstream of the end user is not that relevant.”

                    As John B already pointed out, renewables do not have to match the energy delivered by fossil fuels.

                    I find it remarkable that you don’t see 60% waste as remarkable.

                    As for reliability, advocates argue that renewables are as reliable as fossil and nuclear sources (or more so). Sure, they are intermittent, but that is an attribute that can be engineered for and mitigated against.

                    “If wimbi’s dream state were to come true then Ron’s peak oil call is more likely.

                    Peak oil occurring from demand destruction rather than resource depletion is hardly a horror story, although, perhaps it is for an oil industry engineer.

                    Energy net positive buildings are a reality. We have the knowledge to build them. Unlike fusion reactors, they are affordable, and are being built now. It is my understanding that Germany is adopting Passiv Haus standards into their building code, and others will surely follow. They have lower total cost of ownership than business as usual. Price will win.

                    EV’s are a reality, as are solar PV panels that can power them. Both are already affordable in comparison to ICE’s and petrol, and the probability is very high that they will become more affordable in the near term. Most people who own them like them better than burners, and will not go back to an ICE. Price and convenience will win.

                    LED lighting is cheaper than incandescent or even CFL. Price will win.

                    Heat pumps are cheaper than furnaces in total cost of ownership. Price will win yet again.

                    Wimbi gets it. John B gets it. Amory Lovins gets it. Elon Musk gets it. Mark Z. Jacobson of Stanford gets it. Germany, seemingly, gets it. The transition is happening now.

                    I do not know if collapse can be avoided (or will be) avoided. Ron may very well be correct. We may be too far into population overshoot and ecocide to avoid a horrific outcome.

                    But like I said, six years ago I had no hope whatsoever, and now I kindle a feeble faint spark of hope. Not for a business as usual future (why would we even want that?), but for an incremental transition to a lower energy future that does not leave the majority of humanity starving and freezing to death in the dark.

                    That future may include far more of Fred’s electric velos than Elon Musk’s Teslas, but so what?

                    Regardless, what an interesting time to be alive!

        • John B says:

          Funny, I’m seeing more and more DELUSIONS on the roads these days.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Roads don’t just appear out of nowhere. They rely on the compound delusions of the tax-coerced public. Delusions upon delusions upon delusions…

        • Old farmer mac says:

          I believe Nick has mastered the first rule of political campaigning and advertising which is to STAY ON MESSAGE even if your pants are on fire. This indicates professional training in the field most likely, or maybe he has just figured it out.

          In any case he is REMARKABLY consistent in his message , and given that he seems to be pretty well informed, I can’t see any other explanation for his Disney Land optimism.

          There is not really anything WRONG with his message – except that getting from our collective ” here” to his envisioned ” there ” is going to take more time than we have left before fossil fuel depletion and pollution prevent us from collectively making it to Disneyland.

          But some of what he envisions is going to become widespread reality and all of it will happen at least to some extent in some places.

          If there were enough easily accessible (cheap ) fossil fuels to last just another half a century, with the prices of them rising GRADUALLY rather than quickly the Wonderful Wonderful Market and the Invincible Invisible Hand would deliver all his goodies to us on a silver platter just like it delivered grid juice automobiles computers and supermarkets.

          Unfortunately the Market and the Hand are lazy slow workers when the price whip is not keeping them on the job.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Old Farmer Mac,

            If prices rise quickly, the market will work pretty damn quickly. Do you remember how quickly things changed in the early 80s, all of a sudden people were buying cars with 30 MPG instead of gas guzzlers getting about 10 MPG (or less), then gas prices dropped for 20 years or so. When peak oil hits, there may be some temporary price drops for gasoline, but they won’t be for 20 years unless there is an economic collapse and Leviathan is not as powerful as you or I imagine.

            • Futilitist says:

              Hi Dennis.

              You say everything will work out fine—-

              “…unless there is an economic collapse and Leviathan is not as powerful as you or I imagine.”

              We are having an economic collapse, and you both vastly overestimate the power of Leviathan.


              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Futilist,

                No I say that things may work out better than you think.

                Your vision of the future may be possible, but it is unlikely for all the reasons that Old Farmer Mac has given.

                The economic collapse that you say is occurring, is not apparent. Things have not been very good in the OECD for 10 years or so, but there are parts of the World economy that have been growing, and the rate of population growth has been slowing down.

                • Futilitist says:

                  Hi Dennis.

                  In a post down the page to EyesWideOpen, I introduced a new term to the discussion:

                  Collapse Denier

                  I think you and Old farmer mac are both collapse deniers.

                  • toolpush says:


                    I think everyone here will agree, collapse is inevitable, as all systems eventually collapse. I believe the argument, a long with many subjects on here, isn’t about what is going to happen, but when?
                    Depending on your time frame, it is, or is not a problem?

                  • Futilitist says:

                    Hi toolpush.

                    I am suggesting that collapse has already begun. The collapse began around June/July of 2014.

                    I am suggesting that the great collective unconscious is living in the past, pretending the collapse hasn’t already begun.

                    Thus the term Collapse Denier

                    This collective denial might express itself as “hard” collapse denial, in which the sufferer denies even the possibility of collapse. We agree, that is obviously just silly.

                    But collapse denial can also express itself as “soft” collapse denial, in which the sufferer accepts the idea that collapse is possible or even inevitable, yet they can not bring themselves to admit that collapse has already begun. This more insidious form of collapse denial is often visible in the sufferer’s propensity to change the subject to more comfortable topics, like EV’s and climate change.

                    Ironically, no one has ever used the term collapse denier before because collapse denial is so pervasive and normal.

                  • Futilitist says:

                    Old farmer mac and Dennis Coyne suffer from a form of collapse denial that expresses itself as a propensity to imagine alternate futures (and pasts, by the way). They have a tendency to project best possible outcomes onto worst case situations.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    http://www.theoildrum.com/comments/2006/12/7/9403/41486/15“>”Been there buddy. In fact, someone has gone so far as to call me a ‘collapse denier’!!!</a?

                    ..Think about that. ‘Deniers’ are evil folks who refuse to accept historic events. We’ve got at least one person out there who is so certain of a collapse in our future, that questioning it is like questioning the Holocaust…”

                    (to the tone of game show announcer)
                    Thread complete with hotlinks, and featuring… Ronnn Pattersonnn! ^u^

                    As for me, maybe; whatever’s coming, everyone will have different responses, as per adaptation/survival/etc.. Some will make it, some won’t. Who will? Who might have the best adaptive strategy? The so-called ‘collapse deniers’; the so-called ‘hard-core collapsetarians’; or the ‘moderates’. Stay tuned!

                  • Futilitist says:

                    Hi Caelan.

                    Wow, good catch. I was hoping I had coined a new term. Oh well.

                    The Oil Drum archive is a gold mine.

                    I do think I may be extending the term considerably, though. Most people here don’t see themselves as collapse deniers. I think they are. I think true collapse acceptors (new term?) are very rare.

                  • Techsan says:

                    Seems to me that if somebody is actively denying that they are dead, they ain’t dead.

                    Or: if and when collapse actually happens, there will be no doubt. And no blogging about it, because power and internet won’t be available.

                  • Futilitist says:

                    Hi Techsan.

                    “if and when collapse actually happens, there will be no doubt”

                    Once there is no doubt, the collapse will already be well underway. People are very likely to miss the actual onset. I believe they have. The collapse began in June/July of 2014. When it picks up some speed soon, maybe people begin to notice.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Futilitist, where or how are you getting June/July of 2014?

                    I think collapse is fractal, as, if recalled, I may have suggested with Greer in our fun cat-poo-coverup thread-in-question over at TOD. He seems to prefer catabolic which I guess for someone who likes cats and collapse, it might sound better. But anyway, fractal or kittycat-abolic, if we see it that way, then collapse already has been underway for a lonnnnng time before June/July of 2014. Maybe more like the onset of the industrial revolution or maybe even the early Anthropocene or Holocene.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    … but then we might then have to get into the semantics of collapse, what it means for whom, etc., and then it might start to fuzz-up against concepts like ‘decline’ and whatnot.

                  • Futilitist says:

                    Hi Caelan.

                    “Futilitist, where or how are you getting June/July of 2014?”

                    Simple. The price of oil began to collapse in June/July of 2014. The economy will no longer be helped by either higher priced oil or lower priced oil. We cannot get out of this trap. That means that decline has ended and collapse has begun. A good definition of collpase should include it’s onset. Just because we haven’t noticed, it doesn’t mean we haven’t begun collapsing. Things will give way in sudden fits and starts and hence feel “fractal”. When the first really noticible disruption happens, it should be seen as evidence that the process of collapse, which is already underway, has started breaking stuff.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Fair enough and thanks for the explanation. But what if the price goes back up? You seem to think it won’t matter, yes? Well, maybe not, seeing as a high price is also a problem. Low price or high, like a rock and a hard place, what do you think?

                    What, BTW, do you think you might do as things unravel? What might be your game plan? I imagine your own personal unique circumstances will have a heavy influence?
                    Perhaps we would do well to be speaking more about this kind of thing.

                  • Futilitist says:

                    “Low price or high, like a rock and a hard place, what do you think?”

                    Yes. That is it exactly. Let the concept of no way out sink in. Our options have suddenly narrowed considerably. It seems to me it’s either collapse, or war and then collapse. And it really makes little difference which.

                    As to my own plans, I don’t think that is really relevant since I don’t see my personal circumstances as particularly unique (other than being less shocked than most). As things unravel, I will react with instinct, just like every other deer in the headlights will have to do. I wish I had a better answer.

      • Futilitist says:


        You say:
        “The puzzling question is why oil is thought to be magically necessary to the economy.”

        I think a more puzzling question is why you think oil is thought to be “magically” necessary to the economy. It isn’t. It is just plain necessary.

        Aside from some unrealistic physics, I think you are puzzled because you are not at all realistic about the timeframes inherent in your projections. I get that all that stuff you think “could” and “should” happen is perhaps “possible”, just not in anything like the timeframe required.

        All the incentives to switch to alternatives require a healthy economy in order to happen. The economy is not healthy. It is getting worse. It is not likely to recover. Ever. The whole alternative energy movement is just too little, too late. Sorry.

        • Nick G says:

          Well, personal transportation accounts for the majority of oil consumption.

          Personal transportation is easily done with EVs – a Chevy Volt costs less to own and operate than the average US passenger vehicle, and gets 200MPG. A Nissan Leaf is the lowest cost vehicle on the road.

          EVs can be ramped up pretty quickly – in 10 or 15 years they could account for 50% of vehicle miles driven.

          In the meantime, the US could reduce passenger fuel consumption by 50% essentially overnight by raising the average passengers per vehicle from 1.2 to 2.4.

          Carpooling – the horror.

          • Futilitist says:


            You say:
            “EVs can be ramped up pretty quickly – in 10 or 15 years they could account for 50% of vehicle miles driven.”

            That’s great! But 10 or 15 years to get to 50% is not anywhere near fast enough. And without high oil prices, it can’t ever happen. The economy gets weaker by the minute. You are ignoring the seriousness of our current situation.

            Can you envision a way to get us to 100% in less than a year? If not…

            Like I said, too little, too late.

            • John B says:

              It’s happening fast enough:


              And why in the world would you need 100% alt fuel in less than a year? That’s Jimmy Carter talk.


              • Futilitist says:

                Hey John,

                I know it sounds like Chicken Little to you, but the sky actually IS falling this time.

                The best irony here is that if we had actually listened to Jimmy Carter then, we might be in a lot better shape now.

                Oh well, no use crying over spilt milk.

                • John B says:

                  There has never been four words to be more skeptical of:

                  “IT’S DIFFERENT THIS TIME !”

                  • Futilitist says:

                    Go ahead and be skeptical if you want.

                    It really is different this time, whether you want to accept it or not.


                    “The human family, even if it were soon to stop growing, had committed itself to living beyond its means. Homo sapiens, as we saw in Chapter 9, was capable of transforming himself into new “quasi-species.” By the Industrial Revolution humans had turned themselves into “detritovores,” dependent on ravenous consumption of long-since accumulated organic remains, especially petroleum.

                    If we were to understand what was now happening to us and to our world, we had to learn to see recent history as a crescendo of human prodigality. When American birth rates declined as the 1960s gave way to the 1970s, this did not mean we were escaping the predicament of the algae any more than the ringing words of President Kennedy’s inaugural address had really meant that we could eat our cake and still have it. Rather, something had happened that was fundamental, and that could not be undone by brilliant rhetoric: there had been a marked acceleration in our previously begun shift from a self-perpetuating way of life that relied on the circularity of natural biogeochemical processes, to a way of life that was ultimately self-terminating because it relied on linear chemical transformations. They were linear (and one way) because man was using (with the aid of his prosthetic equipment) so many non-crop substances. Man was no longer engaged in a balanced system of symbiotic relations with other species. When man degraded the habitat, it tended to stay degraded; it was not being rehabilitated by other organisms with different biochemical needs.

                    Perils of Prodigality: The Coming Crash

                    Man does not live on detritus alone. Misled by our prodigal expenditures of savings, we allowed the human family to multiply so much that by the 1970s mankind had taken over for human use about one eighth of the annual total net production of organic matter by contemporary photosynthesis in all the vegetation on all the earth’s land. That much was being used by man and his domestic animals. [16] It would require taking over more than the other seven-eighths to provide from organic sources the vast quantities of energy we were deriving from fossil fuels to run our mechanized civilization, even if economic growth and human increase were halted by the year 2000. Thus, as we began to see in Chapter 3, we were already well beyond the size that would permit us to re-adapt (without severe depopulation) to a sustained yield way of life when our access to savings gave out. On the other hand, just three more doublings of population (scarcely more than Britain had already experienced in the short time since Malthus) would mean that all the net photosynthetic production on all the continents and all the islands on earth would have to be used for supporting the human community. Then our descendants would be condemned to living at an abjectly “underdeveloped” level, if no fossil acreage remained available to sustain modern industry.

                    Such total exploitation of an ecosystem by one dominant species has seldom happened, except among species which bloom and crash. Detritovores provide clear examples, but there are others, and we shall take a close look at some of them in the final chapter. For Homo sapiens, it was unlikely that we could even divert much more than the already unprecedented fraction of the total photosynthesis to our uses.”
                    ~William Catton.

                  • Futilitist says:

                    “It was thus becoming apparent that nature must, in the not far distant future, institute bankruptcy proceedings against industrial civilization, and perhaps against the standing crop of human flesh, just as nature had done many times to other detritus-consuming species following their exuberant expansion in response to the savings deposits their ecosystems had accumulated before they got the opportunity to begin the drawdown.”
                    ~William Catton.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Catton wrote his first book, and formed his views, at a time when wind and solar power clearly weren’t ready. They clearly are now.

                    The problem with Catton, Heinberg, Hanson, Kunstler, et al? They don’t understand the physics and engineering of wind and solar, and haven’t taken them seriously. They’ve just assumed that they aren’t adequate. Look through their writings and you don’t find an accurate, detailed analysis anywhere.

                    The facts: solar insolation drops about 100,000 Terawatts of power continuously on the earth. The stored fossil fuel burned in the last 100 years amounts to about 2 months of that. The “fabulous gift” of stored solar energy in fossil fuels is a tiny, incredibly inefficiently converted portion of that.

                    We don’t need to rely on fossil fuels, and we aren’t burning through an irreplaceable cache of wonderfully valuable energy. Instead fossil fuels are a dirty, expensive transitional fuel.

                  • sam Taylor says:


                    It’s different every time. This is true of everything everywhere. No two situations are exactly the same, and each should be assessed on individual merits.

                    This is, for example, why I find John Michael Greer so unconvincing. He assumes any future collapse will unfold slowly over a number of generations, like it may have done in the past, ignoring the fact that humanity’s situation today is unprecedented and that the past is an extremely poor guide to any likely future we might have.

                • clueless says:

                  Stop and think!! There is a reason for the Chicken Little story. And you think that for the first time in history you have deduced why it is not true.

                  • Futilitist says:

                    The reason for the Chicken Little story is to warn people not to suggest that we might ever fail. And to make fun of people who do.

                    It is just an aphorism like “speak no evil” or “don’t rock the boat” or “don’t be the bearer of bad news”.

                    It is hardly a scientific evidence to build your case on.

                    Stop trying to kill the messenger.

                  • Futilitist says:

                    By the way, the idea that “things can never be different this time” is a classic meme that is often raised by collapse deniers.

                    It really makes no sense at all.

                  • Futilitist says:

                    It is just a way to dismiss evidence without examining it.

                  • Nick G says:

                    , the idea that “things can never be different this time” is a classic meme that is often raised by collapse deniers

                    Are you referring to the book , “This Time Is Different – 8 centures of financial folly”?

                    Have you read it?

                  • Futilitist says:

                    No and no.

          • Watcher says:

            As has been pointed out, you don’t really care about any of these things — as evidenced by your failure to take up arms and mow down drivers of cars.

          • robert wilson says:

            Nick G; I have been driving cars since getting my Texas license at 14 in 1943, On one occasion during the summer of 1947 I did car pool to a construction site west of Amarillo while building part of Route 66. At no time since 1948 have I found it possible to routinely carpool. People were never going and returning when and from where I was to where my duties required. I do see minimal evidence of car pooling where people drive miles to a parking area near a Camarillo 101 on ramp and carpool the rest of the way to LA. They can often make better time as there is little traffic on the car pool lanes. I have rarely had one time car pools to social events or an airport.
            –After studying electric cars at this site I see a potential gas savings. People who own these vehicles would have limited mobility. My wife would be afraid to go to Santa Barbara or LA considering the potential traffic jams on the 101. There are a handful of electric golf carts in our retirement complex. They can be useful within the complex but are not allowed on the Camarillo roads.

            • John B says:

              On carpooling, there’s a whole new industry coming up:


            • Nick G says:

              People were never going and returning when and from where I was to where my duties required.

              Sure they were. You just didn’t have an efficient way to find them.

              Robert, meet smartphone. Smartphone, meet Robert.

              • robert wilson says:

                “People were never going and returning when and from where I was to where my duties required.”

                “Sure they were. You just didn’t have an efficient way to find them.”

                Nick that is absolutely untrue. You should refrain from making up data when you know nothing. Suppose I was a traveling salesman. I was not but for many years I was an intermittent circuit rider and subject to emergency calls at various locations. I would have had difficulty finding someone to car pool to the same emergency.

                • Nick G says:

                  The point: there are very, very few destinations in the US that no one else is going to. Look around: there are other people on the road, going in the same direction.

                  With an ad hoc smartphone based system, you could find someone going in your direction almost anywhere.

                  • Boomer II says:

                    The way the model would work these days is that if someone isn’t already going where you want to go, you find someone with a car who will take you where you want to go when you want to go for a price that is less than you would have to pay to do it yourself (factoring in all costs, including the car and the fuel), but enough that the person who has a car would be willing to do it.

                    I’ve thought about ditching my car, but it is paid for, insurance is low, I have a place to park it, and I don’t use it much. The convenience of having available it makes it worth keeping it. However, there is a Car Share car located about two blocks from my place, so if I did ditch my car, renting one would be very convenient for me.

            • Nick G says:

              And, of course, Uber is one example.

              About 10% of all commuting is done by carpool – more than is done by mass transit!

              Those people know something…

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                Our descendants– if we have them– are not going to, to paraphrase one of Ron’s phrases, give a flying quadruple-axle somersault fuck that some zombies like cubicle-drones and Bullshit-Job middle managers had access to something called ‘Uber’ (and the internet and its layers of tech infrastructure to support things like it), nor that utilities, to paraphrase one of your quotes, loved loved loved EVs. They are going to care, to paraphrase Derrick Jensen, that there are wild salmon in the rivers to eat and a viable ecosystem within which to live and thrive.

                There are a lot of apparent psychosociopaths with vested interests and short-term self-absorbed preoccupations in the status-quo who care little what happens after they’re gone. They won’t care that Uber disappears overnight, that roadways aren’t suddenly reliably, if at all, maintained, repaired and/or cleared of snow, etc., anymore because government has dissolved or run out of financing, that suburbanites need their cars to get anywhere due to car-based/pedestrian-hostile/alienating ‘development’ and, to paraphrase Kunstler, the world’s greatest misallocation of resources, or that people who would have normally been jobbing and getting pimped through taxation to governments that have been overthrown by angry masses, have all got their pink slips.
                Collapse/decline often, if not always, happens when you’re not looking where you’re going. And our civilization is currently running blind.

                • John B says:

                  Kunstler also said that Y2K would be the end of the world. What happened to that failed prediction?

                  The fact is, Cars and Governments go back a long way. Long before fossil fuels were used to any great extent.

                  You sound like you’ve been watching too many Zombie movies.

                  • Futilitist says:

                    “You sound like you’ve been watching too many Zombie movies.”

                    You sound like a zombie.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Carriages go back a long way, but they also don’t go as fast, nor do they require (or create, as the case may be) certain kinds of mining, scale, maintenance, industry, community/ecosystem-wrecking, land-use, sociopolitical hierarchy, undemocracy, or infrastructure, etc..
                    One could also suggest the wise elder is ‘government’ in a tribal context. Big differences too.
                    As for zombies and contextual differences, there’re the movies and then there are the things walking about every day in real-unreal life.
                    That writ, I would advise not to be a ‘zombie’, and to be sensitive and critical to these and other differences and contexts.
                    It is also important to point out that, like the products that go with them, much ‘lifestyle’, perhaps like what you think you subscribe to and need, is manufactured.
                    Lastly, JHKunstler is far far from the only one who gets car-oriented (un-)development, and doesn’t get invited to speaking arrangements for nothing. (The Y2K thing is moot/a distraction.)

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Just one other thing that I have also previously mentioned on TOD:

                    Back in the 70’s, there was a show about a man who had 2 artificial legs, one artificial arm and an eye, respectively. These limbs, etc., were technology! and ‘therefore’, ‘better, stronger and faster’ than his previous natural implementations. That’s what they said. The ‘suspension of disbelief’ you see…

                    But how sustainable would his 60 mile per hour runs be if his pelvis was also not artificial. Answer: He would likely almost immediately wipe out at 60 mph as he attempted a simple turn or his pelvis fractured and/or the joints popped or something like that.
                    As for lifting a car with his single artificial arm; if his back (etc.) was not also artificial– all the way down to the ground– he would likely damage it, almost immediately.

                    This illustrates the ‘plug-in-to-nature’ concerns I have with some forms of Technology! that many seem to ignore or overlook– sometimes willfully and arrogantly.

                    You don’t get to eat your car and have it too. You have to make concessions, and some of these you wouldn’t like if you knew about them and/or were willing to even take a look/think.

            • Ilambiquated says:

              That is because of the bad design of American cities. Most of the driving you do is past empty parking lots or derelict real estate. Eliminate those and carpooling would work. In other words, America sn drive so much because there are so many parking lots in the cities, and not vice versa.

              • Ilambiquated says:

                I’m dead serious about this BTW. Here’s a google satellite image of some of the most valuable land in Houston. It’s mostly parking lots and roads.

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  “They paved paradise, put up a parking lot.” ~ Joni Mitchel

                  Who needs paradise when we have parking lots; paved-overs; roadkill; gridlock; lock-ins of various sorts, like the wage-slave jobs and/for loan & tax- payments; outsourcing child-raising; and last but not least, EV’s.

                • Toolpush says:

                  Don’t tell the inner ring of Houston is still derelict. I was there in 2005, and saw all this cleared ground walking distance to the CBD. It looked planned to be redeveloped, though the only business we saw in the only building left on a block was a Bails Bounds business. Which tells the story of the neighborhood. A few years later at one edge, there were what appeared to be fairly high rent apartments going up several stories. I concluded the plan was coming together.
                  So either that is an old photo, or things fell apart?

                  PS A statement I will never forget. I was told quite seriously, that Houston’s traffic problems would be over once I10 was widened to 19 lanes
                  By now the I10, 19 lane expansion should be finished. I am sure Houston still has major traffic problems, but I could not believe that this guy could not see the absurdity of his 19 lane comment.

                  • Ilambiquated says:

                    I created the image by googling houston, going to maps, zooming in, turning on the “Earth” images and hitting the print screen button. You can try it yourself on any city you want.

                  • Toolpush says:


                    I had assumed that is what you did. Googled, Houston. But I know from my own street, the Google image is a few years old, so maybe this is to.
                    It was just I would have thought more progress would have been made than what this photo represents.

            • Old farmer mac says:

              I personally believe there are fifty million people at least in the USA alone who could get by just fine today with a Nissan Leaf without any trouble at all – assuming they kept the old ICE powered car they usually already have anyway for the occasional longer trip.

              Now here is an idea that should be implemented and could be implemented very cheaply that would be FAIR to people who cannot buy an electric cheap because they don’t make enough to collect the tax credits.

              It could be and should be mandated that a person who owns an electric car should get insurance at ordinary rates ON the electric car- no problem as that is the case already – WHILE getting a SUBSTANTIAL discount on property taxes and insurance on an older conventional car kept for the purpose of making the occasional longer trip – the proverbial trip to Grandma’s house or the weekend at the beach or ski slopes which requires a straight thru six or eight hours on the road each way.

              It has always pissed me off that the second or third vehicle discount is not nearly large enough to reflect the fact that the owner of two or three vehicles does not adequately reflect the fact that you can drive only one at a time.

              I know tons of people who drive a pickup truck much larger than they need except once a month maybe because they just can’t afford to pay the insurance on a second vehicle – which would be a compact or subcompact car. You generally can’t save enough on gasoline to make up the difference if you need the truck- or full sized car – once a month or oftener and would have to borrow or rent one.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Old farmer Mac,

                Whether you can save enough depends on the price of gasoline. At 6 or 8 dollars per gallon the economics are very different.

          • Ronald Walter says:

            The National Center for Atmospheric Research is located in Boulder, Colorado.

            It also has the highest number of SUVs on the road with one person in them and a rack with winter sports equipment on the top of those gas guzzling SUVs.

            The Boulderites were doing their best to reduce the consumption of oil the best way they know how, greedily and as fast as they possibly can. Just an observation, glaringly obvious to what was actually happening, unreal.

            It was obscene to see all of those vehicles with one driver in them and all the brainwashed fools driving them thought they deserved to have what they have because they have worked for it. Too funny, a bunch of freaking hypocrites, do as I say, not as I do clueless meandering nitwits lost in America. They are hooked on fossil fuels like no others.

            You shake your head.

            A travesty of a mockery of a sham, for sure, without a doubt.

            • Techsan says:

              Say what? I’ve visited Boulder quite a bit, and I have not seen what you describe.

              A “SUV” in Boulder is likely to be a Subaru Forester, whereas in Texas it’s likely a Suburban with half the mpg and just one person in it.

              It’s easy to insult Boulder, and some of those insults may be justified, but I don’t think what you say is true.

        • John B says:

          It already is happening. That’s why oil peaked 10 years ago, and no one noticed.

          • Futilitist says:

            Dude, people noticed. You know, that whole great recession thing? Wow.

            Seeing EV’s on the road today is no evidence of what to expect in the future.

            • Nick G says:

              Not so much. The general consensus is that it was primarily a credit crunch, due to a bad mortgage bubble.

              Even Professor/Economist James Hamilton, who is very PO aware, only argues that there was a temporary effect due to consumer uncertainty about car buying.

              • Futilitist says:

                The general consensus is just a product of collective wishful thinking.

                • Nick G says:

                  uhhmm…got any evidence for that?? Any research?

                  • Futilitist says:

                    Yes. The credit bubble was doing just fine, and had been for many years. It popped when oil prices rose to high too fast. Simple.

                    Is that a proof. No, but it makes so much sense that I really don’t see any need to research it any further. The timing sure seems to line up exactly. And subsequent evidence (world GDP decline, the current oil price collapse, etc.) also confirms it must be true.

                    Truth is not determined by a majority vote.

                    The optimism bias is so strong, it should not come as a big surprise that the general consensus doesn’t think that oil had anything to do with the Great Recession. If it did, the general consensus couldn’t help but come to the same conclusion that I have. Collapse. And that is just unthinkable. So…

                  • Nick G says:

                    Well, the sun comes up and curves around: clearly, the sun rotates around the earth. And, just look around: it’s really, really obvious that the earth is flat. Heck, the Catholic church killed people for saying otherwise!

                    Your intuition can fool you.

                    There’s really quite a lot of good evidence that a mortgage bubble caused the credit crunch. Have you looked at Econbrowser.com? They’re very helpful on this stuff.

                  • Futilitist says:

                    “There’s really quite a lot of good evidence that a mortgage bubble caused the credit crunch.”

                    Right. A mortgage bubble that popped when oil prices rose too high too fast!

                    The housing bubble was doing just fine until oil prices started going up after 2005. By 2006-2007, the housing bubble began popping. Oil continued to rise around 400% until August of 2008. That was too much for the economy to take, and things began crashing. By October, we had the stock market crash and credit freeze, and the Great Recession was underway.

                    So you’re saying that isn’t what obviously happened? That the oil price rise was just a coincidence?

                    If rapidly rising oil prices did not pop the housing bubble, what did?

                    “Have you looked at Econbrowser.com? They’re very helpful on this stuff.”

                    It’s a good thing there are so many smart and helpful economists to tell us what’s really going on so we don’t jump to such seemingly obvious, yet clearly ridiculous, conclusions. Thank you, Econbrowser.com.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Bubbles can’t grow forever. In the case of the real estate bubble, there were too many empty homes that couldn’t be sold (due to overbuilding) and too many new owners who couldn’t pay their mortgages!

                  • Futilitist says:

                    “Bubbles can’t grow forever. In the case of the real estate bubble, there were too many empty homes that couldn’t be sold (due to overbuilding) and too many new owners who couldn’t pay their mortgages!”

                    And all of that had nothing to do with the extreme spike in the price of oil? Really? I don’t see how that makes any sense at all.

                    I need a smart and helpful economist to explain it to me.

                    So, what caused the irrelevant oil spike?

                  • Stan says:

                    “Right. A mortgage bubble that popped when oil prices rose too high too fast!”

                    Actually, that is exactly what the evidence shows.

        • Ilambiquated says:

          This picture casts doubt on your claim that using less energy would damage the economy.

          • Boomer II says:

            Great graphic.

            I think people need to keep in mind that there are substitutions for oil that aren’t necessarily energy based.

            For example, because mobile phones allow people to stay in touch instantly, some of them don’t feel the need to get into a car and drive to see friends. And if they can get much of what they need in life by walking, package delivery, public transportation, and car sharing, they may feel they don’t need to own cars themselves.

            Substitution does not necessarily mean finding different ways to power transportation. It can also mean eliminating transportation.

            • Nick G says:

              Good point. The generation 16-30 years old is driving substantially less for those reasons.

              Some argue that this is due to youth unemployment, but employed young people are also driving and owning cars much less. Car makers are quite worried about it – that’s one of the reasons for so much emphasis on internet, music and entertainment in new cars.

            • Futilitist says:

              But in the end, it comes down to time. And money. We don’t have enough of either.

              • Boomer II says:

                Well, what will happen will happen. People will cut back or make changes by choice or necessity. The people who don’t have enough food to eat won’t make it. People who have access to resources will continue on.

                I think you eliminate a huge chunk of the world’s population and the affluent wouldn’t feel the impact that much. And no, I don’t think the world’s poor will overtake the wealthy because it isn’t happening right now. With all the disruptions around the world, the rich aren’t the ones being killed.

                • Futilitist says:

                  In the end, the rich rely on the same life support systems that everyone else does. They may fare better at first, but that does not mean they will continue to do so.

                  • Boomer II says:

                    In the end, the rich rely on the same life support systems that everyone else does.

                    Those who have access to farmable land and drinkable water should be able to survive. Why would the rich not have access to those?

                  • Futilitist says:

                    “Those who have access to farmable land and drinkable water should be able to survive. Why would the rich not have access to those?”

                    Maybe because the poor will also want access, and the rich will be vastly outnumbered and no longer rich anyway.

                  • Boomer II says:

                    Maybe because the poor will also want access, and the rich will be vastly outnumbered and no longer rich anyway.

                    There are countries right now with a high percentage of poor people. They haven’t toppled the rich. In the Middle East it appears it is unemployed middle class youth and military types who start revolutions, rather than the poor.

                    If a person has land and has a way to defend it, wouldn’t that count as rich?

                    I think we’ll continue to see what we see now. The rich will find ways to insulate themselves from the poor. There always seem to be a group of people willing to act as a buffer between the rich and the poor because they get more out of serving the rich than throwing their lot in with the poor.

                    The people who seem to be the most paranoid about the poor are the people who “think” they are rich. The “patriots” in the US who talk about defending themselves seem to think the poor are their enemies, not the rich. They think the have something worth taking and it will be the poor who will try to take it, not the rich.

                    It would seem to be cosmic justice for the rich to lose everything, but I don’t think that will happen.

                    What I expect to see, if the human population decreases dramatically, is the weak (e.g, the poor, the sick, the elderly) to take the most hits. And if you deplete the human population sufficiently, you may see what is left will keep the remaining folks alive. And I think those remaining folks will be those in the countries with the most natural resources and the best farmland and water.

                  • TechGuy says:

                    Boomer Wrote:
                    “Those who have access to farmable land and drinkable water should be able to survive. Why would the rich not have access to those?”

                    Because most of them couldn’t tell you the difference between a rake and a shovel. Most rich people are specialists (business, Financial, industrial, tech, etc). They rarely have any first hand knowledge with farm work. Farming is not something that can learn overnight or from a book, its even more difficult if you trying to grow a dozen or more crops since each crop has different requirements, different pests, etc. Man can’t survive on a mono-crop.

                    I think most rich people will buy a farm, stock up on supplies, and either will be routed by the locals (looting their resources), or simply use up all of their stockpiles quickly by trying to maintain their accustomed lifestyle, and fail to grow enough food to survive.

                    I also doubt many rich will resort to the Prepper lifestyle. Most will have a safe room and think they can come out in a week or two and everything will be A-OKAY. From what I read. the “prepping” rich are prepping in place by adding safe rooms, security systems, and a generator.

                    FWIW: Most of the rich tend to spend almost every nickel maintaining their lifestyles. (SUVs, expensive & frequent vacations, Multi-million dollar homes, expensive dinning, artwork, expensive cars, maybe some precious metals, etc).

                  • Boomer II says:

                    The rich don’t need to know how to run a farm if they have people to do it for them. That’s what feudalism was all about.

                  • Boomer II says:

                    Based on the expectations that everyone will be equally broke and all will die off at about the same rate, there isn’t much to be done, then, other than to wait. Right?

                    If the die is cast and the outcome is already known, what is there to discuss?

                  • Futilitist says:

                    “If the die is cast and the outcome is already known, what is there to discuss?”

                    So if it turns out we are in collapse, I guess the fun of discussing it would be over. You just don’t want the fun to end.

                    I don’t think that every detail of the outcome is know. But if I am basically right, our discussions really don’t matter very much. Except maybe to help people come to terms with the end of fun as we know it.

                  • Boomer II says:

                    But if I am basically right, our discussions really don’t matter very much. Except maybe to help people come to terms with the end of fun as we know it.

                    That’s what I think — that the discussions about collapse don’t matter much.

                    And I don’t think people need to come to terms with it any more than they need to come to terms with their own morality. We’re all going to die, but most of us don’t think about death until we get closer to it. We live our lives as best we can and then at some point we think more about death.

                  • Futilitist says:

                    “And I don’t think people need to come to terms with it any more than they need to come to terms with their own morality. We’re all going to die, but most of us don’t think about death until we get closer to it. We live our lives as best we can and then at some point we think more about death.”

                    Most people know that they are going to die someday and they eventually come to terms with that. But most people can’t even conceive of the idea that civilization is dying. Or that it’s dying is inevitable, just like ours. I think people should come to terms with that, but I don’t suffer from the illusion that they will, or that I will cause them to, or that it would do much practical good anyway.

                  • Boomer II says:

                    I think people should come to terms with that, but I don’t suffer from the illusion that they will, or that I will cause them to, or that it would do much practical good anyway.

                    I don’t really understand where you are coming from. I don’t feel the need to have anyone come to terms with anything.

                    But given that we have different thoughts on the matter, there’s probably no need to go round and round about on this.

                  • Futilitist says:

                    “But given that we have different thoughts on the matter, there’s probably no need to go round and round about on this.”

                    Sure. We can give it a rest for now. Just don’t say “Let’s agree to disagree”. I wouldn’t be good with that. Disagreeing is too much fun. Thanks.

                  • Boomer II says:

                    Sure. We can give it a rest for now. Just don’t say “Let’s agree to disagree”. I wouldn’t be good with that. Disagreeing is too much fun. Thanks.

                    Oh, you won me over with this discussion thing. I didn’t realize you enjoyed the exchange of ideas. So, sure, we can talk about differing philosophies.

                  • Futilitist says:

                    “Oh, you won me over with this discussion thing. I didn’t realize you enjoyed the exchange of ideas. So, sure, we can talk about differing philosophies.”


                    I call myself Futilitist because I have a philosophy that I call FUTILITISM.

                    The quest to find UTILITY
                    in the midst of FUTILITY
                    results in FUTILITISM

                    I don’t have time to go into much depth on this right now, but this is a very serious philosophy and I have given a lot of thought to it.

                  • Puffalar (Your Five-Alarm Puff) says:

                    “Oh, you won me over with this discussion thing.” ~ Boomer II

                    “Awesome!” ~ Futilitist

                    {{Futilitist-><-Boomer II}}

                    Hugs ^u^

              • Nick G says:

                How long does it take to download a Facebook app?

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  250 million years, when the internet is back up-and-running, there’s new fossil fuel in the ground, and the nuclear waste radiation has all but dissipated.
                  Eden once again… Eve II, meet apple II.

              • canabuck says:

                or, in the end it comes down to EROEI

              • wimbi says:

                USA spends most of its time doing worthless or even harmful stuff, and most of its money doing that and selling and buying that.

                If not that, we have LOTS of time and money.

                And solar to do it with.

                Example? Any old house/bldg- like heating and cooling a open barn. Relatively cheap to put an outside skin on it, holding a whopping amount of insulation up against those bricks. Presto! Heating bill 1/4 what it was.

                I know, I just did it to my old house. Now I’m doing it to what amounts to a real open old barn used for reuse of things we should be reusing.

          • Futilitist says:


            “This picture casts doubt on your claim that using less energy would damage the economy.”

            Nice picture but I never said that using less energy would damage the economy. I said that the economy is already damaged beyond repair. Oil prices might not ever rise enough to make your transition happen. And if oil prices do rise a lot, no one will be able to afford to switch to alternatives.

            Alternatives seemed (and still seem) to some to be a good idea. The alternatives crowd has always had it’s heart in the right place. They were just never very realistic. Things didn’t work out like they expected, and it will probably take a while for them realize it, and longer for them to come to terms with it.

            • Nick G says:

              Really? $60 oil is going to kill the economy??

              World GDP is still growing.

              If you think that the recent debt crisis was a sign of the End Of The World, you need to check out:

              “This Time Is Different – 8 centures of financial folly”. It’s a a great book.

              Among other things, you’ll find out that Greece has been defaulting on it’s debts every 25 years for the last 200.

              Nothing new under the sun…

              • Jef says:

                Do you have any idea how much of that “World GDP” is debt based, money making money? Is that really production or even slightly sustainable?

                • Nick G says:

                  how much of that “World GDP” is debt based, money making money?

                  None. People who count GDP count real goods and services. Cars, homes, legal services, etc. Of course, if you don’t believe services are “real” GDP, then that won’t convince you. Most people thing services are real.

                  • Futilitist says:

                    The entire world economy has become massively financialized (to compensate for declining ERoEI). All that financialization expects a return on investment. Civilization has to pay it’s debts as well as meet current needs in order to continue functioning. Energy growth is necessary to do this. The debt portion has grown to such a high level that energy growth can no longer possibly keep up. Pretty simple.

                  • Nick G says:

                    When you refer to “financialization” you seem to be referring to central banks buying assets, mostly bonds.

                    Actually, central banks don’t require a $-ROI. In fact, they’re doing it to *reduce* interest rates.

                  • Futilitist says:

                    I am talking about the financialization of everything. When was the last time you bought a new car for cash? How about a house? Think about credit cards. Credit everywhere. How much banks are willing to lend determines the price of a lot of goods in the economy. You can’t have a housing bubble without massive financialization. Oil production has also become over-financialized.

                    This process began to take off in the 1980’s, as a way to compensate for rising energy costs, and has recently accelerated beyond all reason due to rapidly declining ERoEI. That’s Energy Returned on Energy Invested.

                    Since 2008, we have had bailouts and endless QE. That is not the same as over-financialization. It is much worse, but it is caused by the same thing: Stagnation of economic growth due to the energy supply not growing (due to falling ERoEI).

                    Over-financialization is a chronic, long term condition. It is a sign of a civilization in decline. Endless QE, on the other hand, is an acute and very dangerous condition. It is a sign that the economy can no longer grow organically. It must instead be constantly stimulated or we are all in big trouble. That is a clear sign that we have already crossed the tipping point into irreversible collapse.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    “World GDP is still growing.” Nick G

                    “China will not agree that the Apple brand name means that the phones are not Chinese production. If the Obama regime succeeds with this fraud, the iPhones would be counted twice, once by China and once by the US, and the double-counting would exaggerate world GDP.” ~ Paul Craig Roberts: ‘The US Economy’s Phantom Jobs Gains Are A Fraud’; Zero Hedge

                    And so on…

                  • Stan says:

                    “Do you have any idea how much of that “World GDP” is debt based, money making money? Is that really production or even slightly sustainable?”

                    One person’s debt is another person’s income. It is 100 percent sustainable so long as they are both eating enough to survive.

              • Strummer says:

                @Nick G:”Among other things, you’ll find out that Greece has been defaulting on it’s debts every 25 years for the last 200.”

                You are completely missing the point of the current greek crisis. The problem is not Greece defaulting, the problem is Greece defaulting as a part of the Eurozone. All these previous times Greece had its own currency. Big difference there.

                • Nick G says:

                  I agree.

                  I’m addressing the argument that Greece’s debt problems are primarily PO related, and that they’re a sign of The End of The World As We Know It.

                  The point: Greece’s problems are nothing new, though they’re much worse because of the Euro.

                  • Futilitist says:

                    “The point: Greece’s problems are nothing new, though they’re much worse because of the Euro.”

                    Greece’s problems aren’t much worse because of the Euro. The EU’s problems are much worse because of Greece.

                    Greece’s problems are much worse because of peak oil.

                  • Stan says:

                    “Greece’s problems are much worse because of peak oil.”

                    There is really no evidence to support this contention while there are mounds to support the idea that deflating its currency would address most of Greece’s problems but they cannot since they are part of the Euro. PO raises costs so it does make many problems worse but you lay way too much at its feet.

            • Ilambiquated says:

              When I was growing up in East Tennessee, we unsuccessfully protested the destruction of a small forest to build a shopping mall — most of the land was actually used for parking.

              The mall is now going broke, thank to overbuilding, online shopping and other internet activities.

              My solution to the problem would be to sell the parking lot for development as high density living, probably a retirement home. Then the mall would become attractive because you could walk to it.

              Another idea would be to put solar panels on the roof.

              Both of these ideas would decrease the energy consumption of the property and increase its income.

              • Futilitist says:

                Both of these ideas cannot happen during a recession. Getting enough transitions like this to happen fast enough to avert the collapse that has already begun is impossible.

                • Boomer II says:

                  Projects like this are happening. I don’t think they are being done with any idea of preventing a collapse. They are being done because it is a good use of an available resource.

                  It’s like me deciding to plant a tree. Is that tree going to save the world? No. Is that reason not to plant it? No.

                  Life goes on. People can do projects which improve their lives whether or not the course of history is changed by them.

                • Futilitist says:

                  I know things like this are happening. I know these kinds of projects are happening because they are a good use of resources (at least they seem to be).

                  The point is that these efforts can not stop the collapse.

                  • Boomer II says:

                    “The point is that these efforts can not stop the collapse.”

                    My life can’t stop my death, but I continue to live it.

                  • Boomer II says:

                    Oops. Meant to put that in italics rather than quotes.

                    The point is that these efforts can not stop the collapse.

                    My life can’t stop my death, but I continue to live it.

                  • Futilitist says:

                    Right. But your life cannot stop civilization from dying. Come to terms with that.

                  • Boomer II says:

                    Right. But your life cannot stop civilization from dying. Come to terms with that.

                    Oh, I already recognize that my life isn’t going to change the course of the world. And therefore, I’m quite willing not to get worked up over this. I don’t need to contemplate collapse because it will happen or it won’t no matter what I do.

                    I can enjoy myself knowing I’m personally not ending the world. Now, I do try to limit my driving, and live a frugal lifestyle, because I enjoy it. It’s more satisfying to live simply. But my personal activities won’t change the world.

                  • Boomer II says:

                    This is what keeps things in perspective for me.

                    In terms of the universe, Earth and our part of it is nothing. It’s humbling.


                • Ilambiquated says:

                  A recession is when the economy contracts. The economy is not contracting. We are not in a recession.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    The numbers are not being fudged to make it look like we are not in a recession?

                  • Stan says:

                    “The numbers are not being fudged to make it look like we are not in a recession?”

                    How would an individual prove this either way? Likewise, there has been no fudging the fact that Fed has been pouring cash into the economy to increase liquidity. Why would they fudge the numbers just to show we weren’t in a recession if they are willing to show the extraordinary Fed intervention? From personal experience there aren’t billions of unemployed walking the streets homeless so there is a certain limit to any fudging that might possibly be occurring.

              • Fred Magyar says:

                My solution to the problem would be to sell the parking lot for development as high density living, probably a retirement home. Then the mall would become attractive because you could walk to it.

                How about transforming it into a large permaculture garden with fish ponds?

                Or something like RoomCycles… Thinking inside the box >;-)

                January, 2015:

                We are currently staying at the Carleton College in Minnesota, USA as part of a residency made possible by a the Ward Lucas Lectures Series and Ross Elfline. We are doing a workshop together with the students focusing on a proposal for a new Arboretum Centre in Northfield and the illusion of ownership of land. As part of this we have built a prototype of ROOMCYCLES:

                “The ROOMCYCLES is an Open Source, low cost modular system that can be used by persons to reclaim, use and inhabit areas like streets or parking lots normally reserved for cars.
                A basic ROOMCYCLES unit consist of a four wheel human powered mobile platform with a minimal room mounted on top. Each of the ROOMCYCLES can be customized to function for example as a single unit living space, an office, health clinic, workshop, small factory, shop, café or similar.
                ROOMCYCLES can also gather up and be combined to form larger temporary rooms and buildings. In this way a new layer of flexible, affordable, mobile and legal rooms and buildings can be added to an existing city layout and make room for new forms of social activities and ways of living.”

                The result of the process wil be shown at an exibition at the Braucher Gallery together with a retrospective representation of N55 works

                We are also preparing a comprehensive exhibition at Aarhus Kunsthal: Extreme Sharing, part of the Collective Making series, developed by Joasia Krysa. N55 will present a new XYZ OPEN CITY:

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  Fred, I have included N55– which if you will recall, you mentioned in a comment under an article when we were on TOD– links in my Permaea ‘manifesto’, which I am about to re-submit (after editing suggestions which have almost turned into a rewrite) for proposal for publication on the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia’s site.

                  One of the basic premises behind Permaea is as something that brings together ‘off-the-shelf parts’ and tries to get some kind of symbiosis happening with the idea that an ethical sociopoliticultural system already exists, just that each part is functioning relatively separately. IOW, Permaea wants N55 to be a part of it. Likewise with, say, Deep Green Resistance, Codepink, etc.. Here is a snip of the manifesto:

                  “So then it would appear that we need more of a mature, robust, self-supporting, alternatively-multintegral societal setup. Permaeans need to express their freedoms, such as the free movement about their planet, as opposed to the so-called-private planet of an elite few. Increasing and increasingly-networked ethically-occupied acreages (that would form Permaea’s land-nodes) need to multiply care-of-earth-and-people-access to increasing areas of other decentralized acreages around the world. Rather than trying to bake from scratch or, at the same time, kludge the necessary changes within the drag of an unworkable structure, (such as with forever using its money or fossil-fuels), we would seem to need to be less as a kind of, in a sense, self-referencing stand-alone concept, and more outward-reaching, adaptive, and one that makes meaningful, mutually-supportive/regenerative symbiotic relations– ‘fixes nitrogen’; ‘helps break certain nutrients down for uptake by others’, etc.– with other already-existing organizations, movements and individuals in its environment and on a similar wave, such as Deep Green Resistance, re-wilding, Wikileaks, Anonymous, Transition Towns, n55.dk, Green Wizards, FLOSS-related organizations, Democracy Now, Former Occupiers, Alpha Generation, Progressive Radio Network (PRN), ex-ecosociopolitical-prisoners, local/native groups, CrimethInc., 350.org, CodePink, Resilience.org, Sea Shepherd, and so forth. On a progressively-increasing self-perpetuating emergent momentum and dynamic, this could potentially be much easier and faster to develop than anyone might imagine and than anything else.

                  Think also of the analogy of building with off-the-shelf parts.

                  ‘The point here is that people… may form a politic into a singularity. This is where solidarity dies, a place where you don’t engage with people outside your ‘understanding of reality’, but rather expect ‘reality to conform to their subject understanding of it’.’ ~ Tanday Lupalupa; ‘Uncivilizing Permaculture’ ”

                  Permaea is yours, too, Fred. And everyone else’s. It is organic and symbiotic.

                  • Sounds like a groovy 21st century hippie comune. Are they supposed to be vegetarians?

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    It sounds like whatever you want it to sound like and to be, Fernando. Your input in it is also what counts and equally valid as long of course as it’s about care of earth and people. It has nothing to do with me. I am simply saying, “Hey you guys, let’s get together since we are talking about essentially the same thing. Getting out from under the current dystem’s crushing heel.”

                  • Caelan I got together with a bunch of other people, we live in a closed residential complex with 9 buildings, all 10 stories tall, with 260 apartments, a pool, football field, tennis courts, a bar, a bakery, a fruit market, and a pharmacy. We have a park around the pool, underground parking, and we are safely above sea level but very close to the beach. We also have a tram stop in front of the main entrance. The price we pay is to have small apartments, but they are very easy to keep warm in the winter using clean burning natural gas. And in the summer we seldom run the air conditioning because we use large awnings we can swing out to provide shade over the windows. I recommend it if you can stand the sea breeze.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Well that’s good to hear, and seems like part of the idea, and if you’re happy with it. Where is it, by the way? Do you want me to go over and see if I can stand the sea breeze?

                  • Try this. Best times to visit: June, September, July, August. I think August is too hot.


          • Watcher says:

            How’s that graph look for oil. Not anything but oil. Oil is all that matters.

            That graph and discussion of it might fit better on an electricity blog.

            • Nick G says:

              Okay, how about the fact that the US consumes less oil now than in 1979, but GDP is 2.5x higher?

              • clueless says:

                Is that really true? Cite Please.

                • marmico says:

                  Primary Consumption of Energy By Source (in quads).

                  Peak petroleum consumption per capita in the U.S. since 1979 is a fact.

                  • Futilitist says:

                    World peak energy per capita (except for the recent rise in the developing world) also happened in 1979. So?

                  • Nick G says:

                    So, it’s kind of baffling that we’re hearing arguments that lower energy consumption are bad for the economy.

                  • Futilitist says:

                    No one ever said that lower energy consumption was bad for the economy in the way you keep framing it.

                    First, you asked this question (in response to nothing, i.e. you brought this up):
                    “The puzzling question is why oil is thought to be magically necessary to the economy.

                    Then Ilambiquated chimes in:
                    “This picture casts doubt on your claim that using less energy would damage the economy.”

                    It is hard to tell who he is arguing with, but he is clearly supporting your position.

                    The original argument was that current low oil prices are bad for the economy because it hurts producers, not that lower energy consumption was bad for the economy. You have clearly jumped the shark here and created a straw man.

                    You are arguing with yourself.

              • robert wilson says:

                Nick; In 1979 I owned a used Cadillac (8 liter engine) and a large Ford Station Wagon. In a race I am uncertain which vehicle would have wen. Probably the Cad. Both were exceedingly fast with more acceleration than I ever desired. The Ford got slightly less than 10 mpg and the Cad slightly better. The oil crisis of the 70’s doomed these vehicles. I now drive a 5 year old Prius and a Honda Accord purchased in 2013. I buy gas occasionally.
                –The government managed some control over sedans but did less well with trucks. Dating back to the days that we drove a Terraplane, the manufactures have made astonishing improvements in engine efficiency, safety, comfort and tires.

                • Nick G says:

                  Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.

                  Cars are better, cheaper (comparing apples and apples) and they use much less fuel.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Maybe like the artificial Bionic man, Robocop, or Borg, cars will finally work properly when the entire planet/culture/community becomes artificial/manufactured.

                    When the cart is before the horse.

                    Then we won’t have to worry about nature not properly functioning with our technology.

                    We’re progressing…

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    “Carousels, amusement parks…
                    We’re dancing under plastic skies
                    We’re living in a fantasy
                    Avoiding reality
                    That kicks away my need to be
                    Anything at all…” ~ Stockfinster, ‘Daypusher’

                    Hermitage 3 (Music video of an abandoned amusement park. Hermitage 1, another video in the 3-part video series, still makes me misty-eyed a little when the protagonist scoops up some forest soil, drops it on his head and then comes up close to the camera to confront us…)

                    The depicted amusement park is an analogy for what I am fairly certain will happen to the current civilization… as the voices of the proponents for EVs, nuclear power, industrialism, and climate-change denial slowly fade over time along with it…

              • Political Economist says:

                The measurement of GDP is by no means uncontroversial. Some alternative measures such as “Genuine Progress Indicator” would show that qualtiy of life has declined since the 1970s.

                • Ilambiquated says:

                  GDP isn’t a good measure of quality of life because it tells you what mean incomes are, but not median incomes. a lot of the moaning you hear in America comes from the fact that growth is resulting s increased wealth at the top end.

                  But America is not the world. Europe, Asia outside the Mideast, and Latin America have seen widespread improvements in living standards since 1980.

                • Nick G says:

                  In other words, money can’t buy you love.

          • Political Economist says:

            So let’s reduce world energy consumption to the 1820 level and see how the global economy may not be damaged

            Being an economist, I know too well how GDP is measured and how “GDP deflator” may be manipulated to generate seemingly higher “real GDP”

            • Boomer II says:

              So let’s reduce world energy consumption to the 1820 level and see how the global economy may not be damaged

              But it may not be our choice as to what our energy consumption might be. If we don’t have current energy sources anymore, we’ve got to make do with what is available.

              Some people see that as a disaster. Others, not so much.

              If oil becomes more scarce, if coal is either running out or is too dirty, if nuclear isn’t developed (for whatever reason), if wind and solar can’t maintain business as usual, then declining energy consumption will be a reality. If our survival depends on getting by with less, I’m guessing we’ll do that.

              • marmico says:


                Peak petroleum per capita was marked on the highway in 1979 but the global distribution of petroleum shifted from the developed to the developing nations’ byways. For instance, per capita, the U.S. consumes less, China consumes more.

                Peak energy per capita has not been marked on the highway. Petroleum is not the end all and be all of the energy byway.

                • Nick G says:

                  Yes. Oil isn’t special, and neither are fossil fuels.

                  • Futilitist says:

                    Yes. Just keep repeating that silly mantra over and over. It obviously makes you feel better.

                    (It’s sounds like you aren’t just promoting EV’s here. You sound like you actually are EV, and you are jealous of oil.)

                  • Nick G says:

                    Well, sometimes repetition helps communicate an idea.

                    So, I’ll say it again:

                    Fossil fuels (and oil in particular) are dirty, risky and expensive.

                    Why would anyone want to suggest we keep using them?

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    So is nuclear power, and the highway infrastructure and industrial and mining processes for EV’s, etc..

                  • Futilitist says:

                    “Fossil fuels (and oil in particular) are dirty, risky and expensive.

                    Why would anyone want to suggest we keep using them?”

                    Who the hell is suggesting that? Straw man.

                    I was right. You are arguing with yourself.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Inaction is a choice.

                    If you say “nothing can be done, so we should do nothing”, then you are choosing the status quo. You are choosing Business As Usual.

                    So: do you agree that we should phase out fossil fuels ASAP??

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Maybe we should phase you out.
                    You seem to be advocating a lite version of the government-industry status-quo in nuclear power, jobs (taxes), the grid/grid-connected PV/Wind, utilities, EV’s, etc., irrespective of common sense or counter arguments, which seem to have little effect on your apparent position– and this apparently for a very long time– at least 7 or 8 years on The Oil Drum and roughly a couple on here. That’s about 10.
                    Unless others know better, I suspect that you are ‘astroturfing/shilling/subterfuging’ for government. Is that so? Do you work for them? Everything you apparently support seems to keep somehow leading, even perfectly, in that direction, in somehow upholding its BAU.
                    If so, do you think that is good or right?

                  • Futilitist says:

                    “So: do you agree that we should phase out fossil fuels ASAP??”

                    We don’t have to. It is already happening automatically because we are in collapse. We are beginning the process of phasing out just about everything.

                    You seem to think we have a choice.

                  • Futilitist says:

                    Hey Caelan,

                    You said to Nick:
                    “Unless others know better, I suspect that you are ‘astroturfing/shilling/subterfuging’ for government. Is that so? Do you work for them?”

                    Nick = spook?

                    I just assumed he was a really motivated true believer. If he is working for the government that might explain something about the soundness of his arguments.

                    Seriously, though, do you think the government plays a big roll in these sorts of internet discussions?

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Hi Futilitist,
                    Of course governpimp peeps are already quite online doing this and that. As for Nick G, well, if governpimps lie, etc.– which they do, and since the fundamental premise for their existence is unethical– I don’t expect Nick G to act against this if he’s ‘cozy’ with them.
                    Insofar as POB has (TOD had) industry peeps, so it will likely attract governpimp peeps/spooks. Industry and governpimp are often more or less one-and-the-same in various contexts anyway. What do you think?

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    One thing about TOD is that it’s still available in that you can still read it, the oil prices are still updated, and you can even log on if you had/have a subscription, which I do.
                    With that, you can log on and do a search for how many comments, say, Nick, did during his time there. Now, while I don’t yet know how his comment-number relates to others, he has 321 pages of 30 comments each for a total of about 9630 comments from Aug 19, 2005, to Sep 23, 2013– about 8 years and a month. That’s awhile to be on TOD.

                    What I find intriguing is the content of his first comment from 2005:

                    “…It would be nice to use a small portion of a new tax for beneficial purposes, like alternative energy research, or deficit reduction, but that would make it much harder to pass a gas tax. Anything other than a revenue neutral, non-regressive package would be impossible to pass.

                    Not that such a package would be easy. But no one has really tried – I think the american people could be educated on the value of such a thing.” ~ Nick

                    ‘I think the american people could be educated on the value of such a thing…’

                    “Although some states in their own self-interest may at some times protect some residents of their territories (other than the state’s own functionaries), such protection is at best highly unreliable and all too often nothing but a solemn farce. Moreover, it is invariably mixed with crimes against the very people the state purports to protect, because the state cannot even exist without committing the crimes of extortion and robbery, which states call taxation (Nock 1939), and as a rule, this existential state crime is but the merest beginning of its assaults on the lives, liberties, and property of its resident population.”
                    ~ Robert Higgs, ‘If Men Were Angels: The Basic Analytics of the State versus Self-government’

                  • Futilitist says:

                    Hi Caelan.

                    I’m really not sure what to think. Sometimes plain old human nature can look like a conspiracy.

                    I could see where it might be in the interest of industry and governpimp peeps/spooks to keep people generally confused, but I have a hard time believing they could do it in any kind of cost effective way.

                    No one would ever pay me to say the things I say, that is for sure.

                    But I was recruited by the CIA when I was in college. I turned them down (you’ll have to take my word for that).

                    I asked the head of my college department why the CIA kept persisting in trying to recruit from our department, year after year, despite the fact that they could never generate much interest. She told me that she asked them the same question, and, in response, they asked her how she knew for sure that they hadn’t ever succeeded. With spooks everything is on a strict “need to know” basis. Very creepy.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Fair enough, points taken and interesting personal anecdote to boot.
                    Creepy indeed, and, and/or but, the creepiness is also to be found in broad daylight right under our very noses in the coercive non-opt-outable nature of government. This is a ‘Lorenz seed’ that throws everything out of whack over time.

                  • Futilitist says:

                    I must admit that Nick does have some pretty impressive numbers. It doesn’t prove that he is a spook, but it sure does confirm that he is relentless.

                    I used to imagine that TOD was just a CIA sponsored energy disinformation site. 😉

                    (BTW, I am jealous that you can still go through the old TOD data base for research. I sure can’t.)

                  • robert wilson says:

                    This may or may not work? The final days http://www.theoildrum.com/user/robert%20wilson/comments

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Just let me know if you ever need anything at TOD and I’ll try to get it for you.
                    As for Nick, maybe not a spook or even working for the governpimp, and maybe just the opposite– that he has simply been industry/governborgged. The poor dear. ‘u^

                  • Futilitist says:

                    “Creepy indeed, and, and/or but, the creepiness is also to be found in broad daylight right under our very noses in the coercive non-opt-outable nature of government. This is a ‘Lorenz seed’ that throws everything out of whack over time.”

                    I totally agree.

                    The creepiness is all around us. Civilization itself has always been (for over 10,000 years) a corruption of our species and of the whole earth, which we were supposed to share with all the other species. We should be called Homo Ambitiosus (Latin: “selfish man”)

                    But we were all born into this mess. It has always seemed “normal”. We are so accustomed to the inherent creepiness that it is just about invisible to most. We are like fish that cannot see the water in which they swim.

                    But the veil is slowly lifting. Too bad it took an apocalypse.

                  • Futilitist says:

                    “Just let me know if you ever need anything at TOD and I’ll try to get it for you.
                    As for Nick, maybe not a spook or even working for the governpimp, and maybe just the opposite– that he has simply been industry/governborgged. The poor dear. ‘u^”

                    Yes, like so many others.

                    And thanks.

              • Political Economist says:

                Collapse of GDP is not necessarily disaster (it may be); but my point is that even fictitious GDP cannot go up indefinitely without rising energy consumption

                In fact, despite the so-called declining energy intensity, global energy consumption has gone up every year except 2009

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Political economist,

                  If we cannot measure GDP, then we do not have much to talk about. If we accept that the GDP estimates by the IMF or World Bank, are about as good as we are going to do (as other measures are not widely agreed on), then the conversation can move forward. There are no perfect estimates, only imperfect estimates.

                  At some point population will peak and decline, the growth in primary energy use has been slower than real GDP growth. So it is possible that at some point GDP per capita can continue to rise with no increase in energy use.

                  In addition as fossil fuels are replaced by wind and solar, less primary energy will be needed due to fewer thermal losses (roughly 2.5 times less energy will be needed). It will not happen overnight, higher natural gas and coal prices will make wind more competitive, as the price of PV solar decreases that will become more competitive as well.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    On PV costs, if the cost of PV panels falls in a similar fashion to the cost in computing power measured in MIPS (millions of instructions per second). For Personal computers, the Intel 8086 (first IBM PC) was 0.33 MIPS, (around 1985), current Intel processors (which are a similar price in real terms when in a working computer) such as the icore7 run at about 100,000 MIPS after about 30 years. So the cost of computing power has decreased by a factor of about 300,000.


                    As PV scales up, costs will drop.

                  • If solar power panels get cheaper the battery problem will remain. I suppose we can dream of cheap batteries.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Or, we can avoid doing silly stuff like analyzing a grid that’s 100% solar. That would be very sub-optimal, and no one is seriously contemplating it.

                  • wimbi says:

                    If the price of PV goes down, everything else in the system will also go down for a very simple reason- the tech effort automatically goes to the component adding the most cost to the system.

                    As for me, I would jump at the chance to get rid of the batteries and add enough PV to drive some other storage system, of which there are many. I like compressed air + turboexpander.

                  • Wimbi in that case you should use compressed air and a turbo expander.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Fernando,

                    A combination of wind and solar widely dispersed requires very little backup. Nuclear, natural gas, biofuels, batteries, pumped hydro, and fuel cells are all potential future energy sources for backup, we will just choose the cheapest option or combination of options. There is also vehicle to grid and emand management and energy efficiency which will reduce energy needs and the need for backup.

                    None of this is something that a good engineering team with some imagination cannot solve, a man with Wimbi’s skills would have no problem.

                  • Dennis, the truth is a bit more complicated. That system you describe requires a grid with enormous transmission capacity and geographic extent. It will also need the renewable energy sources to be overbuilt to so that nameplate capacity is about four times demand.

                    Don’t forget I have 40 years experience in engineering, and quite a bit was spent organizing and leading project planning efforts. A wild ass estimate is that, if you give me a $50 million budget, I can recruit and put to work a team to deliver a comprehensive report in five years. The report would be a feasibility and cost estimate for the type of system you envision, one for North America (Mexico-USA-Alaska) and one for Europe-North Africa-Turkey. If you want it for the world I need time to talk to the Chinese and Indians to see if they want to cooperate. Until I see such a study I will just drum my fingers. I got the impression you underestimate the difficulties.

                    Also, do you wonder why the USA government or the EU arent funding such studies? I think they fear people will see what it would take. They prefer to pretend we will keep on burning fossil fuels forever and meanwhile they can pay lip service to the global warming crowd.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Fernando,

                    For the most part in the developed world the grid is already in place, a new grid does not need to be built, some upgrading of links between systems with HVDC transmission would be helpful. I agree it will not be an easy task.

                    At some point fossil fuels will need to be gradually replaced as they deplete. Prices of oil, coal and natural gas will rise and wind and solar will be a relative bargain.

                    The entire World does not need to be interconnected, just large blocks of land. All of Europe, sections of Canada, US, Russia, China, south Asia, etc.

                  • Stan says:

                    “If solar power panels get cheaper the battery problem will remain. I suppose we can dream of cheap batteries.”

                    Hardly a dream. There are already public business plans with $billion investments with include $100 kWh lithium batteries as an expected outcome. The end user cost is what matters and 12 cent solar plus storage is certainly possible based on this info. Even close might be enough since that combo clearly holds more utility to a potential buyer than a grid connection (pun intended).

            • Longtimber says:

              Does US GDP numbers now include public sector (de)activity? Ever since Clinton redefined CPI to exclude food & energy, Gov Reporting all just seems like bologna. Shadowstats help?

              • Political Economist says:

                Yes, government spending on consumption and investment is a part of GDP

              • Nick G says:

                Ever since Clinton redefined CPI to exclude food & energy

                He didn’t.

                Now, the Federal Reserve has an alternate measure called “core CPI” which does exclude food & energy. That’s very likely what you have in mind. It’s purpose is to help the Fed not over-react to temporary spikes in food and energy prices.

            • DuaneX says:

              Not to mention changes to the way GDP is calculated. There’s not a lot of informed discussion of GDP, probably because it’s a black box. At least the exact methodology for, say, unemployment, is published, and it can be analyzed and discussed.
              One example of GDP changes I have read is to include creative works in the formula, when they are created. I guess it makes some sense for the creation of the next john grisham novel. Although I would have argued the existing mechanism for capturing the impact on GDP was sufficient. And, in the hypothetical that the book was never published and sat in a closet, there would indeed be no impact on GDP. But to somehow try to estimate, and capture the impact on GDP, of all the pages written by all the scribblers out there… how does that work?
              I’d suggest that writing an unpublished novel likely subtractsfrom GDP because of the opportunity cost of the time you’ve spent. Even if it was all leisure time, generating characters on the page does little to feed the beast.

          • Sam Taylor says:

            The only times that global energy use has markedly decreased year on year have been significant recessions. Despite the decreasing intensity (increasing financialisaton perhaps?), global energy use has yet to decrease while living standard increase, which is basically what you’re getting at. Since energy is a physically mesaurable quantity, and GDP is a largely fictitious human construct, I know which measure I think more useful.

        • Old farmer mac says:

          ”I get that all that stuff you think “could” and “should” happen is perhaps “possible”, just not in anything like the timeframe required.”

          I don’t think of myself as a technocopian by any means but I do have enormous respect for the Wonderful Wonderful Market and the Mighty Invisible Hand.

          Futilitist has nailed it in my estimation.Solutions are possible but we lack a sufficient time frame in which to adopt them.

          Markets work but only so fast. And in the case of natural resource depletion in general and oil depletion in particular the price signal is not there YET and I am afraid it will not arrive until WAY too late.

          The shit is going to hit the fan hard and fast and there IS going to be a collapse.

          The only question in my mind is when how fast and how deep.

          Business as usual is a dead man walking even in the best situated countries of the world. But I don’t foresee the Four Horsemen collecting more than a rather small percentage of the population of countries such as the US and Canada. I do foresee the possibility of a police state and the end of paying to warehouse old folks in hospitals to keep them alive a few more weeks and that sort of thing.

          • Ilambiquated says:

            I also think there could be some big problems. That is why I advocate extremely high energy taxes — it’s better to hit the brakes before you hit the wall.

            As to the US doing better than the rest of the world, it’s about 4% of the area and population of the world, so it’s about average.

            • Old farmer mac says:

              The USA might have about four percent of the area and the people .Sounds reasonable enough in rough terms.

              But these numbers mean only a little in most respects when the question is survival during tough times.

              Size does count. The US is large enough and populous enough to support itself and to defend itself.

              Resources and human capital are not equally distributed world wide. We have a hog’s share of the remaining one time gift of nature resources such as coal and gas and ENOUGH oil to make it as an industrial society until we can change our ways in terms of depending on oil.

              We have a hogs share of the best agricultural land in the world in relation to our population with a superb overall climate and water resources to match etc – on average nation wide.

              We are protected on our east and west by the two biggest oceans in the world and buffered by a very large and extremely well endowed huge powerful nation- a nation on excellent terms with us- to the north.

              When the shit hits the fan Fortress North America is going to become a reality. Nobody whatsoever is going to physically invade this Fortress for the foreseeable future.

              Somebody might nuke us but if they do then they will get the same in return and all arguments after that are academic.

              There are a few things we really need to import such as diamonds for industrial purposes and rare earth metals but we CAN get by without importing ANYTHING at all and still have a sound economy. Getting from our present day ” here ” to the possible future day ” there ” in terms of self sufficiency will be VERY tough but we aren’t North Korea. We have the wherewithal to actually do it.

              If it becomes NECESSARY we have the military muscle to invade Venezuela and make the invasion stick. We might even make friends of the local people by doing so if we managed it properly and put food and medicines back in the stores and lots of people back to work.

              The big dogs always eat while the little ones starve and we while we are no longer the very biggest dog in some respects we are the most capable one by far in terms of making war and projecting power.

              North America MIGHT collapse but there is nothing certain about it happening.

              I am not argueing that we will not suffer or that we will last a thousand years but there is no need to believe the USA and a few other countries are dead men walking. NOT YET.

              Of course something will get everybody- sooner or later. In the case of the US and Canada and a few other countries I am betting on LATER by a substantial margin.

              BAU is a dead man walking but BAU and collapse are not the same thing.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Old Farmer Mac,

                A realistic assessment in my view with which I agree fully.

                • Futilitist says:

                  Old farmer mac,

                  “Futilitist has nailed it in my estimation.”

                  Thank you so much for the ringing endorsement, but we have some areas of fundamental disagreement.

                  The other day I asked you a question. I will repeat it here:

                  You said:
                  “Greer may be right or wrong in terms of his prediction of a long slow collapse. I once believed collapse would be fast myself and fully recognize that it indeed may arrive suddenly and happen fast.

                  But nowadays I believe that collapse will more likely occur piecemeal fashion in time and place with collapse in the US and Canada playing out in a way not altogether different from what Greer envisions.”

                  What exactly changed your mind?

              • Futilitist says:

                Old farmer mac,

                “Futilitist has nailed it in my estimation.”

                Thank you so much for the ringing endorsement, but we have some areas of fundamental disagreement.

                The other day I asked you a question. I will repeat it here:

                You said:
                “Greer may be right or wrong in terms of his prediction of a long slow collapse. I once believed collapse would be fast myself and fully recognize that it indeed may arrive suddenly and happen fast.

                But nowadays I believe that collapse will more likely occur piecemeal fashion in time and place with collapse in the US and Canada playing out in a way not altogether different from what Greer envisions.”

                What exactly changed your mind?

      • Allan H says:

        Oil is not magically necessary for the economy, rather it has become depended upon for a lot of our transportation, chemicals, materials, etc. One of the rules of society, especially an industrial society is that transportation is key to functioning. No transport, no society. Even an agricultural society had to have transport to move food around.
        So now that we have chosen to make oil or oil type products as the major backbone of transport (and other things like circuit boards, plastics and adhesives that make transport work), we are stuck with making a massive change away from oil without having a lot of financial incentive to do so. In fact it’s going to cost a lot of money to make the change, even though it will save more in the long run. Up front costs are huge, so the change will be avoided until forced.

        • Nick G says:

          The real problem is that the costs are paid by a small minority (FF investors (think Kochs) and employees), while the benefits are diffused to everyone.

          • Allan H says:

            Nick, I do not understand your comment at all. Which costs? Please explain the real problem you mean and the costs.

            • Nick G says:

              The cost of transitioning away from oil isn’t that large, for the primary consumer of fuel: passenger transportation. Reduced fuel consumption, whether through more efficient ICE vehicles, or use of hybrids or EVs, pays for the additional capital cost of the vehicle reasonably quickly. This is true even if you don’t include the considerable, real costs that aren’t in the price at the pump: security, pollution, etc. If you include those external costs, reduced fuel consumption pays for itself *very* quickly.

              Resistance to change comes primarily from a small minority: people in the oil industry, especially investors, and especially the Koch brothers, who stand to lose many billions in investments and foregone profit.

            • Nick G says:

              This has been kept from people’s attention (though not hidden) by a network of think tanks and political organizations funded by the Kochs and other investors, who have disseminated vast amounts of misinformation and shifted the US political debate away from a realistic approach to fossil fuels, oil and Climate Change.

    • Futilitist says:


      “That is a good description of the EFFECT of peak oil but not the accepted definition.”

      To hell with the accepted definition! It is another confirmation of peak oil.


  6. The Texas RRC data is out this morning. Just glancing at it it seems Texas oil production will be up more than expected in December. I will have a post on it Sunday as it is my practice to leave all posts up at least three days.

    • Dean says:

      I confirm it, too, after correction ^_^. A good jump in both oil and gas .

      • Watcher says:

        There’s a problem with this.

        Growth in output requires new wells coming online. Period. If none new come online, there is no output growth.

        So what happened to the discretionary choice not to complete new wells which pay less for IP flow at the low prevailing price?

        • shallow sand says:

          Lag time?

          • Watcher says:

            Helms in NoDak said there was discretionary choke. He was reporting for the December numbers.

        • Futilitist says:

          Hi Watcher.

          “So what happened to the discretionary choice not to complete new wells which pay less for IP flow at the low prevailing price?”

          Capitulation. No oil producers have any discretionary choice left. They simply can’t wait for higher oil prices. If they don’t produce, they are bankrupt. The only choice is pump baby pump.

          There is no possible way out of this death spiral. It will only get worse. That is why I contend that we are already in collapse.

          The long awaited collapse of industrial civilization officially began around June/July 2014.

          • Old farmer mac says:

            The owners of vast wealth have generally not been able to hang onto it very long in historical terms. Governments fall ,countries lose wars, new technologies render old technologies obsolete, and kids that didn’t work for the family fortune are all to prone to piss it away.

            Economic conditions change as well as technologies. Things that were once valuable become worthless as new things take their place.

            At some point in time when the shit hits the fan the vast quantities of wealth that supposedly exist ( and do currently exist ) due to the power of brand names for certain classes of goods will cease to exist.I find it just about impossible to distinguish the taste of store brand soft drinks from Pepsi and Coke for instance and people will eventually quit paying double for such consumables when they no longer have the income to waste.

            Taken all around it is a relatively rare thing for a given family to hang onto wealth and power for more than a century or so in recent times. The people at the top a century ago may still have money but they are not generally at the top anymore having been displaced by new people.

            Debt is a form of wealth if you happen to be the creditor instead of the debtor. History indicates that creditors have lost their money on the grand scale quite often.

            As a matter of fact anybody who has money invested for the long term that is not earning over five percent after taxes compounded is in my estimation probably actually losing purchasing power on average. This is robbery by inflation on the one hand and by scarcity on the other.

            There will be super massive credit defaults in the not too distant future and they will result in some extreme economic pain for a fairly lengthy period of time.

            But they will not result in the end of the world.

            All that they will really mean is that huge amounts of wealth have in effect been taken from one set of property owners and in effect given to others.

            The SUPPOSED wealth represented by the trillions of dollars owed is in effect a CLAIM on future production once removed from the claim represented by actual cash money – the removal being due to the fact that the creditor must collect his money before he can spend it.

            My personal belief is that most of the debts will actually BE PAID – that the creditors will collect their money – in NOMINAL money which will be so badly inflated as to be nearly worthless by the time they put their hand on it.
            Some debts will not be paid because the entities that are the debtors will cease to exist.

            And a lot of the creditors are people like me- people owed a promised check in the mailbox every month until death do us part from the welfare state. I have reasonable hope of collecting but I wouldn’t give a plugged nickel for a teenagers chance of collecting on his FICA contributions.

            But the fact that a youngster pays in without collecting his promised bennies does not mean the world comes to an end. Consider that he is probably spending more on beer and entertainment than welfare state taxes if he is a low wage earner. He will survive and continue to work after some fashion or another.Money spent on the welfare state is not any greater sacrifice than money he wastes on tobacco and alcohol both of which are apt to kill him.

            • Futilitist says:

              Old farmer mac,

              Are you cheering for Leviathan because you can’t imagine not getting your check?

              Please see (and answer) my double posted question to you just up the page. Thanks.

  7. Longtimber says:


    GOD has a sense of humor, relocating all that Texas Oil way the hell up there.
    BP has the 1st Commercial License for (electric ? ) Drones to police pipeline easements.
    Drones for crude transport? , Unlikely, Fuel from an Aviation tanker can be as much as $100 per Litre.

  8. Doug Leighton says:


    This is excellent. I’ve one small comment. From above: “This is all very nice but Jean thinks Rockman confuses 1P with 2P reserves.”

    Well, almost everyone seems to confuse 1P with 2P which really pisses me off. Maybe that’s because the most embarrassing moment of my professional career occurred when a salty boss tossed a report in my face with the comment: Look up the definition of reserves sonny, we’ll talk again in the morning. That was forty odd years ago and it seems as clear as yesterday.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Doug,

      Jean Laherrere thinks that 2P reserves are more useful for an analysis of the future as these are the “best” estimates of reserves. I also think that Rockman knows full well the difference between 1P and 2P reserves and his comments apply to both 1P and 2P reserves, so I believe that Jean Laherrere was mistaken in his criticism of Rockman’s comment. (Or I misunderstand what Jean Laherrere was talking about.) As far as I know a drop in the oil price will reduce both 1P and 2P reserves.

  9. Ronald Walter says:

    Peak Oil right now is probably correct, the assessment does need further review. Always different than what you think it can be or should be, change is going to happen regarding reserves and oil production. However, the future does tell of a world with less oil, it can’t last forever, even if some think it should, it just isn’t going to be there until the end of time.

    That’s why there are people who work on the facts and figures regarding oil reserves to do the work necessary to find out if they are correct or not. The study of Peak Oil is just as important as the study of petroleum geology, or possibly even more. Can’t possibly know more than those who study it 24/7. May be some doubt the veracity of their findings, but that requires work, evidence, facts. You have to acquire facts and figures that refute what is happening and why it can’t. Doesn’t really look like oil is going to last for the next thousand years, probably not going to last for the next 100 years. Time will tell. Always will be oil in the ground, can’t get it out, no matter how hard someone tries, it won’t happen. Sobering as it is, that is how it is.

    By looking at the numbers, the amount of recoverable oil, reserves, the amount consumed in total since 1859 to date and the amount still possibly recoverable are more in line with reality than with ‘there will always be oil, it’s there’ argument.

    The uninformed opinion simply because somebody said so, it’s true because I said so I can’t possibly be wrong because I’m always right and I’m right, there is no end to the oil and anything said that says it is going to end some day is wrong, I know it’s wrong because I said so and, to reiterate, I’m always right.

    The know it all who knows it all will always win the argument, you can’t argue with a babbling idiot, so you just let them prattle on. You can see how it goes, it never ends, there will never be an end to oil. What part of infinite don’t you understand? Forgot about the 4p reserves, the infinite supply reserves. Anybody can see that the amount of oil will never end nor can it happen at any time in the future. It just can’t stop.


    Then there are those who study it all of the time and end up with a different conclusion, oil available for humans to consume and use will probably wane and will definitely one day be gone in the current numbers available.

    The next 35 years are going to tell the story one way or the other, but I’ll place my bets on oil going south of present levels of production before it becomes infinite in supply.


    • Allan H says:

      One of the ways you know that a stock investment will fall soon is that there is a lot of hype about it and everybody is jumping on it. Well there has been a lot of hype about oil production and how the US would become energy independent as well as huge expectations for the shale plays ( 2 million plus bpd from Bakken). Good indicator that the peak is here and the downside is near.

      The fact that the US is still mucking about the Sand Box is an indicator that nobody in power believes that the domestic plays will be enough to cover demand. Another indicator.

      Variability of the price is another indicator of peak oil.

      So let’s assume we are at peak and not worry about the confirming evidence. That will become painfully obvious in the near future as the roller coaster ride starts for many countries ( I guess it has for some already).
      I wonder when the US will “invade” Venezuela to get control of the heavy oil there.

      • The U.S. doesn’t need to invade Venezuela. The dictatorship has less than 20 % popular support. The regime is propped up by cuban secret service forces, approximately 5000 security agents, military advisors and spies. Cubans also control some ministry functions, and provide Maduro’s inner body guard ring

        Thus the better solution is to put a squeeze on the Cuban dictatorship. And this is what Obama is doing. He wants the cubans to become more dependent on the usa, so he can act swiftly and impose economic sanctions with real teeth. And if the cuban dictatorship collapses the venezuelan regime will follow within months.

        • Allan H says:

          I agree, economic persuasion is a big tool used by the US. That is why I put “invade” in quotes. There are many ways to insert control other than direct power. Paving the way for corporate takeover is another.

          • I see it as paving the way for a givernment which respects human rights. It has been a grim week in venezuela. People getting arrested without warrants, a reported insurrection in a military hail where they hold top political prisoners, and that animal Maduro sounds more and more like Caligula.

        • ezrydermike says:

          or TPTB could try to kill Maduro like they tried to kill Chavez

          • Those “they tried to kill Chavez” legends we’re pumped up by Chavez himself to justify arresting people. Maduro uses it all the time. Just last week he had a dozen arrested arguing the wanted to bomb the presidential palace using a Tucano. As it turns out the Venezuelan Air Force Tucanos are weapon less, and other than getting on national TV and lying through his teeth about it he never offered proof. Communists (so called progressives) elsewhere justify this criminal regime and defend it, the same way they defend the Castro dictatorship. As far as I can see, communism and communist lovers, right now, are like a nazi menace. Enemies of mankind who must be stopped.

      • Old farmer mac says:

        ”The fact that the US is still mucking about the Sand Box is an indicator that nobody in power believes that the domestic plays will be enough to cover demand. Another indicator.”

        Amen !!!

        When the chips are really all on the table and it is us as in USA versus them as in the rest of the world our ” only native criminal class ” aka Congress – hat tip to Twain- does not find it difficult to work across party lines.

        The democrat who (with some justification) bitches about the cost and dangers of the MIC is almost for sure going to vote to deploy it when the flow of black gold is threatened.A few of them will vote otherwise knowing the troops are going to ship out anyway thus keeping the oil flowing while currying favor with their hard core supporters. If the vote is close enough of them always switch from a nay to a yea to invade somebody. I am not TOO BIG a cynic but I have noticed that it is a rare thing for us to invade anybody without lots of oil. Grenada comes to mind.

        The republicans who aren’t isolationists – not many of that kind around anymore – are generally as dumb as a bunch of billy goats in breeding season and ready to pick a fight at the drop of a hat.

        • Allan H says:

          Old Farmer said” The republicans who aren’t isolationists – not many of that kind around anymore – are generally as dumb as a bunch of billy goats in breeding season and ready to pick a fight at the drop of a hat.”

          You have my vote for the best comment this year so far.

          • Ronald Walter says:

            “You can throw a rock anywhere in North Dakota and hit a Republican.” – James J. Hill, owner of the Great Northern Railroad, now the BNSF, plus the Northern Pacific, plus the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe.

            Those rock-ribbed, dyed-in-the-wool haughty good-for-nothing Republicans driving the business of government into the dirt are always to blame, culpable.

            There ought to be a law passed by the US Congress to forcefully disband those renegade crooks. Nixon was just the tip of the iceberg. Nattering nabobs of negativism and then some. Confine them to gulags along the Aleutian Chain, start the process now with the elected members of Congress that are Republican. Do anything and everything to extirpate them from their digs where they are firmly ensconced and scatter them everywhere along the Aluetians, by train, ship, airplane, dog sled, covered wagon, begone with their sorry arses.

            They’d print themselves 100 trillion dollars and be back in less than a week and everything would continue as such.

            Weekly carload report has petroleum at 10,832 cars and coal cars at 47,435.


            Where would America be without all of those fossil fuels?

            The fossil fuels that are heating homes in Cincinnati today because it is minus 11 degrees Fahrenheit.

            And it is 27 degrees in Mobile, Alabama.

            In Billings, Mt, it is 36 degrees.

            Looks like those fossil fuels can lift the barge and tote the bale both.

            Might want to thank all of those who can make it possible and be somewhat more grateful, don’t have to lift a finger.

            Most of all, thank Rudolf Diesel for the peanut oil fueled engine he invented. Probably numero uno on the list of greatest inventions, major accomplishments, etc.

            Didn’t need no stinkin’ oil, just peanuts.

            And stop picking on those clueless Republicans, they just need to be more informed and educated.

            I’d rather throw rocks at them. Better results, more fun. har

            • Allan H says:

              “Where would America be without all of those fossil fuels?”

              Not just America but the world, would
              1) not be overpopulated on the brink of multiple major predicaments that will wipe out most species and dramatically lower the population of others (such as people)
              2) The Euro population in America would have either learned to live more sustainably or the natives would be repopulating it by now.
              3) Threat from global warming/climate change would not exist
              4) Threat from thousands of active nuclear tipped missiles would not exist
              5) Two world wars and probably a lot of others would not have happened.
              6) The global invasion of funguses, insects and larger invasive species would be dramatically reduced, saving hundreds or thousands of species and trillions of trees and animals
              7) Pollution would mostly be wood smoke and since the population would be much lower, not much of a problem
              8) Instead of future generations looking forward to all their coastal cities being inundated by the ocean, the Canadians (or whoever lived there) would be preparing to slowly migrate south as the next glaciation got underway
              9) Hardware would be hammers and chisels and software would be lingerie.
              10) Children would be raised by parents, not TV, computers, phones and pods. Children would play outside, go swimming, fishing, sledding.
              11) Huge areas would not have come under the plow. Food would be organic and the food and landscape would not be inundated with manufactured toxins.
              12) Entertainment and music would be an occasional highly valued activity produced by live people, not the canned massive constant oversaturation of today.
              13) Sports would be a local thing and the soccer mom would not exist.
              That is where the world and America would be without fossil fuels. A world driven by wind, water, biology and the sun.

              • 14) World population would be a fraction of what it is today.
                15) None of us would have ever been born.

                • EyesWideOpen says:


                  Your two add-on points are valid and utterly congruent with the OP’s list.

                  If you mean to invoke sorrow or outrage, then I don’t accept your premise.

                  Most of us wouldn’t be born, and ergo we wouldn’t miss ourselves and neither would anyone else!

                  The Universe would not care a bit.

                  That would be the case for an ‘alternate Universe’ World without our World’s endowment of FFs.

                  Back to the real World of ours: What is done is done. I value all life; the most optimistic outcome would be the rest of the World emulating Japan’s current (and extrapolated future) peaceful, un-coerced human population decline back to sustainable levels some day.

                  How? Whoever figures that one out and you will be hailed as the ‘Messiah’!

                  • If you mean to invoke sorrow or outrage, then I don’t accept your premise.

                    Oh for goodness sake, I had no premise, just a statement of fact. If anything different had happened in the past, even the smallest of change, none of us would exist.

                    That is why time travel is absurd. If you could go back one thousand years in time and just change one thing, get the attention of just one person, you would change the course of the world and the current population of the world would be entirely different people.

                    You move a pebble on the beach, you set up a new pattern and you change the whole world.

                  • Old farmer mac says:

                    ”The Universe would not care a bit.”

                    This is where you and a bunch of others totally lose it. The universe is incapable of understanding or giving a damn.

                    The universe anthropomized as ”Mother Nature” is totally blind, totally indifferent, totally not sentinent , totally driven insofar as life is concerned by the blind random process of evolution.

                    The universe – were it capable of noticing- would not give a damn about what we have done or will do or might do to this one little ball of rock circling one little common place star in the back waters of just one of billions of galaxies.

                    WE ought to give a damn though considering we are stuck on this rock ball.

                    IF you understand the BIG PICTURE then you must understand that everything we do and have done or will ever do is as NATURAL as bugs and bacteria consuming a dead body.

                    At some point some other species would have, given time enough, evolved high intelligence and tool making and mastered fire.

                • Allan H says:

                  See point 1).

                  • Allan H says:

                    Ron’s point about time travel is very valid.
                    Also think how far the earth has traveled in a day, let alone a thousand years. So it would involve time travel, space travel and a heck of a lot of energy adjustment to match the current spin and motion vectors of the earth at that particular moment.
                    Way too complex and energetic for people still burning dead stuff from the past to keep warm and move around. Hopefully too complex for any life form. But how would we know?

  10. PNW David says:

    I really wanted to know what is boosting the world’s oil supply up to October 2014. It’s not OPEC. So it’s somewhere in the non-opec realm. Most countries are flat or in decline. So that leaves Brazil, America, Canada and Other as the growers based on your non-OPEC graphs. So with Brazil, the pre-salt oil fields are finally starting to show there capability. Canada and America have been talked to Ad-nauseum for a while here on this website. So that leaves the “Others”? Any particular country or region that is growing quickly? I can’t tell.


  11. Jeffrey J. Brown says:

    Worried depositors rush to pull cash out of Greek banks


    In the midst of the dramatic showdown in Brussels between the new Greek government and its European creditors, many Greek depositors—spooked by the prospect of a Greek default or, worse, an exit from the euro zone and a possible return to the drachma—have been pulling euros out of the nation’s banks in record amounts over the last few days. . . .

    On Thursday, Germany rejected Greece’s application to extend its loan agreement for four months and renegotiate the terms of its bailout, raising the threat of Athens’ running out of money in the coming weeks. Under the current program, the country has received 240 billion euros, or $272 billion, in exchange for pursuing various overhauls. . . . .

    In 2012, during the last crisis point, many Greeks sent cash to Cyprus, only to get burned. In March 2013 two banks failed—and depositors were covered for only 100,000 euros. In other words, a one-time bank levy on deposits essentially meant that everything over that amount was lost.

    European Union rules guarantee as much as 100,000 euros per depositor should an institution fail. That won’t help savers if the country where they hold an account exits the euro and wipes out their investments by devaluing a currency. That’s precisely what’s worrying so many Greeks. What if Greece goes back to the drachma? That possibility would leave even the cash in euros stashed at home or in safe deposit boxes worth a lot less.

    • Watcher says:

      You know, there’s rather a lot of talk of money leaving Greek banks. One does wonder about whose side Greek banks are on. Probably not Syriza’s. They, the Greek banks, do just fine with Greece enslaved to their Memorandum. They would not do so well with upheaval.

      So . . . maybe these stories are not accurate. The banks have no reason to tell the truth if there are no huge outflows. I have not seen any video of lines at Syntagma ATMs today.

      As for Cyprus bail-ins, yeah, $100K is the limit. There are not millions (of the 11 Greek million) with accounts above 100K. Anyone with such an account already fled.

      There is, as has been true everywhere since 2009, a lot of lying going on.

      • Watcher says:

        And again . . . the threat of Greece running out of money in a few weeks . . . doesn’t really hold water if they suspend loan servicing. After all, that’s what “primary surplus” is supposed to mean. You can get along as long as you don’t service loans.

        The Greece is running out meme is all about pressure on Syriza. Their finmin seems to know how to do arithmetic. He knows the real numbers.

        The only pressure really on Syriza is the populace wants to stay in the EU (and enjoy its cushy welfare specifications and cross border travel for jobs — same as Ukraine’s motivation). So Syriza got elected offering everything . . . no austerity and staying in the EU.

        They are not going to return to austerity, and they won’t leave the EU. The EU will have to invent some legislation to force that, and those might not be easy votes to get.

  12. ezrydermike says:

    still time to comment…

    “Development of the Programmatic Environmental
    Impact Statement for the 2017-2022 Oil and Gas Program

    The development of the 2017-2022 OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program triggers an environmental analysis pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. This Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) will include an analysis of the potential environmental impacts of the DPP. It will also analyze reasonable alternatives to the proposed lease sale schedule and mitigation measures that may reduce or eliminate any potential impacts.”

    • ezrydermike says:
    • Below is the change in production for all major producers from October 2013 to October 2014 in thousand barrels per day. Most of the “ups” will be down next year. The US and Canada will still be up but not nearly as much as the previous 12 months. Brazil was down in January but still have some upside potential. Libya , up 400 kbd will be down at least that amount by October. Iraq was at a near high in October 2013 but will be lower in October 2015. The UK and Norway will both be lower by then also.

  13. AlexS says:

    Wood Mackenzie expects a continued decline in U.S. rig count to 1,000 units by August (vs. 1,358 currently)
    Oil rig count should be around 750? (now 1,056)

    When will US land rig count rebound after collapse?


    The oil price collapse is hitting onshore activity and rig operators hard. In January alone, rig count declined by 200 – down from a peak of 1,859 in November 2014, to 1,616.
    We expect this downward trend to continue, levelling off by August at approximately 1,000 units – a forecast driven by an average WTI price of US$55/bbl for 2015.
    However, if prices remain between US$40 and US$50/bbl, then the impact on rig count will be even more severe, dropping to less than 900 by the summer. This would represent a 50% cut in the number of operational US land rigs from last year’s peak.
    We expect the oil price to stage a recovery during 2016 and 2017 at US$64 and US$70/bbl respectively. This will result in a slow but steady recovery within the rig market, averaging an additional 20 rigs per month through to the end of 2017.
    In the meantime, declining rig demand will lower day rates. In 2014 a high spec horizontal rig could demand a contract rate of US$27,000 per day. We expect this to drop by around 30% in 2015, hitting contractors’ profitability.
    Budget cuts will also lead to fewer wells being drilled and completed. However, with service and equipment costs falling, activity will be allowed to continue in areas which would otherwise be deemed sub-economic.

    • Watcher says:

      “We expect the oil price to stage a recovery during 2016 and 2017 at US$64 and US$70/bbl respectively. ”

      They don’t have any idea whatsoever what oil’s price is going to be in any time frame longer than 5 seconds. Inside 5 seconds their accuracy probability rises.

      • clueless says:

        Jim Cramer on Mad Money (CNBC) tonight totally agreed with you.

      • Old farmer mac says:


        If oil is not at seventy bucks WTI as quoted in the news ( not well head prices in ND etc ) by June 30 2017 for the past thirty day average I will not post a comment for a month. If it is you don’t.

        Walmart just announced a pay raise across the board for the folks at the bottom. They aren’t doing this out of the goodness of their heart but rather because they are unable to attract competent help other wise. The near term economy is looking up a bit according to my crystal ball.

  14. ezrydermike says:

    so what’s going on in Bangladesh? easier to implement a new renewable based economy than to redo an ff based economy? Standard of living and accustomed lifestyles are real different that what people in the US are used too, but that is part of the problem, no?


    • ezrydermike says:

      Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) was established on 14 May 1997 by the Government of Bangladesh. The Company was licensed by the Bangladesh Bank as a non-bank financial institution (NBFI) on 5 January 1998. Since its inception, IDCOL is playing a major role in bridging the financing gap for developing medium to large-scale infrastructure and renewable energy projects in Bangladesh. The company now stands as the market leader in private sector energy and infrastructure financing in Bangladesh.


    • Nick G says:

      Wow! 100% of homes electrified, and the solar systems are more reliable than the grid.

      “…15 million Bangladeshis whose homes are now powered by solar home systems, or SHS, under a government scheme to provide clean power to communities with no access to grid electricity. The Bangladeshi government aims to provide electricity to all of the country’s households by 2021.

      • sam Taylor says:

        Bear in mind that the Pakistani grid is quite spectacularly unreliable at the best of times. Still, good for them.

        • Nick G says:

          It hints at the fact that solar power is pretty reliable. It has high variance, of course, from day to night and summer to winter, but you can predict what you’ll get pretty well. (Utilities care much more about reliability than variance – they’ve been coping with variance forever).

          It also illustrates the fact that a lot of oil can be replaced by solar, in many, many places like China (think manufacturers using diesel in their plants, because the grid is inadequate), India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Chile, etc. Not to mention utilities in Japan, KSA, Hawaii, Jamaica, etc.

        • Ilambiquated says:

          This is Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) not Pakistan, but your point is still well taken.

    • John B says:

      And I thought I was being frugal @ 6kw/day!

      • ezrydermike says:

        well there’s frugal and there is Bangladesh frugal…still a few lights, some micro grids, irrigation systems…all seem to be big deals for them

        Design of Small Solar Home System (SSHS)


        • wimbi says:

          I spent a little time in a Bangladeshi village. They refused to accept a gift Honda scooter because they could not carry the fuel/maintenance cost. At night, it was dark.

          I was foolishly trying to sell them a solar/biomass water pump. They could not afford a shovel.

          Most of the world must think of the USA as absolutely insanely wasteful.

          But this also makes the point that there are many, some even here, who could get along with near nothing in the way of fossil fuels since that’s what they do now.

          My shop assistant, when he first started with me, had lived a decade in an old van in the woods on 1kW-hr per day. He now is wealthy- uses about 3 kWhd. He is a mechanic and has lots of power tools, welder, etc.

      • You too can can! Move into a three room shack with three energy saver lightbulbs, a radio, a cell phone charger and a wire running to a tiny pump you use to lift water to the plastic container on the roof.

        • Watcher says:

          You must be some kind of Nazi. Plastic is made of oil.

          • Futilitist says:

            The scavenging of the remains of modern industrial civilization has begun.

            • Boomer II says:

              The scavenging of the remains of modern industrial civilization has begun.

              And I think it is a great idea.

              • Futilitist says:

                It doesn’t matter whether you think it is a good idea or not.

                • Boomer II says:

                  Actually it does. I’ve promoted shipping containers as building materials.

                  The more people like me who like this idea, the more likely it will be done.

                  I know companies that have been using shipping containers as mobile disaster centers. They bring them into areas without a working grid and power them with solar.

                  • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    Hi Boomer II,
                    I started designing a shipping container residence in 3D CAD in 2004 until my laptop fell off the kitchen table and I lost the functionality of my hard drive… and then other priorities took over.

                    There are a number of concerns with shipping containers-as-residences but they still seem usable in some contexts. One context that may be questionable is the specific climatic region in which one might want it to go. IOW, it is possible that it might function more like an oven or sauna and thus be potentially inappropriate. One might also need to keep an eye open for issues of adequate ventilation, insulation, mold, humidity, acoustics, the general properties of the container’s materials and construction, as well as the potential toxins/spills/paints/etc. such that what might have been shipped within previously and what might have leaked.
                    Like anything– especially industrial-crony-capitalist-manufactured– shipping containers need to be regarded cautiously and rejected where appropriate, not forced into a context like a square peg into a round hole.

                    In a tropical place like Indonesia, the most appropriate design might be something light, affordable, easily maintained, well-ventilated and made with local materials maybe like bamboo.

                • Futilitist says:

                  Can you show any evidence that a single shipping container was turned into housing based on your recommendation?

                  Can you show any evidence that the widespread adoption of shipping containers as housing would actually keep the economy from crashing?

          • Toolpush says:

            I much more likely use of old shipping containers for housing
            Taken from my port bow 10 mins ago, in a first world country that like to use third world labour.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Standard of living and accustomed lifestyles are real different that what people in the US are used too, but that is part of the problem, no?

      I’ll say!
      From the article: A 100 watt panel costs around 50,000 Bangladeshi taka ($640).

      I can buy the same panel for under $100.00 down the street from me in South Florida but here in the Sunshine State that panel’s electricity production is sneered at by American energy snobs. With five of those panels I can charge my 12 volt storage batteries, charge and run laptops, cell phones, LED lights, a small freezer, water pumps, power tools, maybe my electric bicycle, etc, etc…

      If I had that much power in Bangladesh I’d be king of heap! But in general that just isn’t good enough in the land of 24/7 neon lights and F-150 pickups!

  15. ezrydermike says:

    Kjell Aleklett’s take on the IEA’s Oil Medium-Term Market Report 2015.

    “The year that we reach Peak Oil we will produce more oil than we have ever done previously. We may well feel that the market is oversupplied with oil in that year, just as we do now. The Peak Oil that we now discuss is the peak of unconventional oil production. Since production of this type of oil is very price sensitive the oil market will be a factor contributing to when we reach the global peak of all oil production. There are strong indications that 2015/2016 may see this global peak. In any case, we are certainly on a production plateau compared with the increase in oil production that we saw from the 1980s until 2006.”


  16. Watcher says:

    This is called, in sophisticated circles, flailing.


    to wit:

    Yesterday, Shinohara was quoted as saying there was no need for further BOJ QE.

    • TechGuy says:

      He is in state of quantum superposition: Both planning to do more QE and not planning to QE. We’ll know when someone tries to measure him. 🙂

      Of course if you were to flip Shinohara like a coin a thousand times, he would always land with the QE side face up. Japan can only survive with more QE, and in ever increasing amounts.

  17. canniBAU says:

    “I am predicting they, the World less USA and Canada, will turn down around mid 2015. US and Canada will still be increasing but at a much slower rate than the past 4 years.”

    Since you’ve also recently “predicted” the World peak by June 2015, of course the rest of the world’s decrease (which is not a given IMHO) would have to be greater than the US and Canada increase.

    Are you still standing by your call?

    • Frugal says:

      OK canniBAU, your turn — what’s your call?

      • canniBAU says:

        My call is that even if output does decrease somewhat in the second half of this year (which I’m not so certain of), a new high will still be reached in 2016 or beyond if prices bounce back up. I say if because a deflationary spiral is a possibility. Of course it will have to peak eventually whithin the next decade or so, and what really matters is net exports, which have already peaked anyway.

  18. aws. says:

    Sign in the produce department of a Canadian grocery store.

    To our valued customers

    Please be advised that due to adverse weather conditions in the Southern California and Arizona growing regions; certain salad and cooking vegetable items may not be available for purchase.

    Also as a result; some of the conditions in the produce department may not be up to our normal high standards. We are committed to doing everything we can to get these items back in your store as quickly as we can.

    Drought Monitor: U.S. West

    • canniBAU says:

      TEOTWAWKI? 🙂

    • Caelan MacIntyre says:

      I’ve noticed that the roofs of many grocery stores over here in Halifax, NS, are leaking quite a bit from the effects of this winter’s weather. I don’t every recall seeing so many leaky business roofs in general.

      Is this the initial stages of the relentless, remorseless erosive qualities of collapse/decline? Will technology save us? Will government step in and save the day?

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Sign in the produce department of a Canadian grocery store.

      We are committed to doing everything we can to get these items back in your store as quickly as we can.

      If that were true they would be shutting down all fossil fuel exploration and passing laws to seriously limit the burning of fossil fuels. Neither of those two ideas have a snowball’s chance in hell of being implemented any time soon because people rarely make fundamental changes to their lifestyles until forced to do so!

      Ironically it is the clinging to a dying paradigm that is at the root cause of of that produce not being in the store. Not to mention that it couldn’t have been there in the first place without cheap fossil fuels. Ah, what a tangled web we have woven and we are now caught in it ourselves.

  19. ezrydermike says:

    I recommend this PBS series….EARTH A New Wild

    “Travel deep into the wild to take a fresh look at humankind’s relationship to the big animals that live alongside us. From cuddling baby pandas to avoiding man-eating tigers, Dr. M. Sanjayan investigates our changing relationships with the wilderness. Sanjayan focuses on the powerful stories that prove animals and humans can thrive side by side. It’s a new kind of wild.”


  20. ezrydermike says:

    I disagree that one person can’t make a difference.

    check out India’s Forrest Man.

    so go Boomer II

  21. Boomer II says:

    In past comments I have said that Silicon Valley millionaires/billionaires aren’t interested in propping up fossil fuel industries. And at some point, the influence of their money is likely to reduce the influence of oil and coal money in DC.

    This article says that Apple is developing an electric car. Now I’m not going to debate the technical issues of EVs, solar, batteries, etc. (not my area of expertise). But I will say that these are not people likely concerned with accommodating the current grid. They like to topple existing industries and I expect they plan to take on oil, autos, and utilities.


    • TechGuy says:

      “This article says that Apple is developing an electric car. ”

      Probably not. More likely an entertainment/navigation system for vehicles.

      • John B says:

        Sounds like they might be. And I believe Apple is the biggest company in the world right now.


        • Toolpush says:

          Reuters later reported that Apple is, in fact, looking to develop a self-driving car that could rival Google’s

          Christ, if they use Apple maps, it will be a disaster!

        • Old farmer mac says:

          Except for the electronics and battery an electric car is very much a generic item in terms of building one. There are LOTS of companies that will supply Apple with motors wheels axles brakes lights glass carpet etc etc etc right off the shelf. Hardly anything needs to actually be DESIGNED in the true sense except the shape of the car. A car must look at least different enough from other makes to sell it without too much confusion and too many lawyers getting involved.

          All the other parts can be CUSTOMIZED to suit the overall design of the car.
          Putting the whole package together requires an assembly plant though.

          Tesla lucked out and bought a near state of the art assembly plant for peanuts.

          I wonder if Apple will be able to do the same in the event they actually go in for manufacturing a car. There are going to be some car plants sitting idle when gasoline prices spike and stay spiked a few years down the road.

  22. TechGuy says:

    Some interesting Tech Article from KSA:

    KSA going after Tight gas via Frack drilling:

    Sweeping up trapped oil in depleted areas (See Page 41):

    Multilateral drilling in tight boundary between water flood and gas cap in the Shaybah oil field:
    [This looks like all the work was done back in 2002 & 2003]

  23. These places have lost the most rigs since crude’s collapse

    Consultants at Wood Mackenzie said Thursday they expect another 15% drop in the rig count, which would level off at around 1,000 rigs by August.

    Drilling rigs “are currently being stacked at an alarming rate,” Scott Mitchell, a research director at Wood Mackenzie, said in a statement.

    The rig count is yet another clue as traders try to divine how far oil prices might fall, and when they might rebound. The steady decline in recent weeks has been one of the few bullish signs for oil prices—the number of active rigs in the U.S. and Canada hasn’t been this low in five years.

  24. Jeffrey J. Brown says:

    Interesting chart showing Haynesville Shale Gas Play Gas Production Versus Rig Count.

    I assume that production continued to increase, for a while, even as the rig count fell, primarily because of the backlog in the number of wells drilled and cased, but waiting to be completed. In addition, one would assume that operators first abandoned the less productive areas, focusing their drilling on the most productive areas.

    In any case, at least for the Haynesville, it would appear that the production peak approximately correlated to a 50% reduction in the rig count.

    Of course, regardless of rig count, it’s when, not if, that the production from new wells can no longer offset the declines from existing wells.

    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      Of course, the production decline really kicked in after the rig count bottomed out at about 50, versus about 240 in 2010. It looks like the annual decline rate in monthly gas production was about 22%/year in the two years after the rig count bottomed out.

      Production has recently stabilized, and it is up slightly to about 7 BCF/day.

    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      Here’s a total US land rig count chart, actual and projected, that AlexS linked up the thread:

  25. Frugal says:

    Cut costs or face ‘death spiral,’ CNRL warns oil sands

    The president of one of Canada’s biggest oil and gas producers delivered a stern warning to the oil sands industry, telling a room full of Fort McMurray business people that they need to start cutting costs or the industry will fall into a “death spiral.”

  26. Jean Laherrere on natural gas. Here is his latest graph on natural gas discoveries and production.

  27. Old farmer mac says:

    Totally off topic but related to collapse at the INDIVIDUAL level anyway.

    I have been following calorie restricted diets as an anti aging intervention for a long time.

    The evidence seems to be growing stronger all the time that living long and well involves eating less.


    • Fred Magyar says:

      That makes even more sense in the land of the morbidly obese…

    • clueless says:

      I cut out breakfast in 1954 and then cut out lunch in 1974. Since then, only one meal a day which is at night. Generally I eat meat and other proteins – see, e.g., the recent book “The Big Fat Surprise.” So far, so good.

  28. dmg555 says:

    Ron, I thought you might establish a separate section on your website that would list the most important peak oil facts. I would place Cantarells’s production curve, or Prudhoe Bays, in that section as incontrovertible facts. Many people on here would have others. It would be a section of facts, not opinions and you could suggest limiting any commentary to 180 words so that you didn’t get emotional or political diatribes. The suggestion is to establish as a section of core facts concerning the debate over peak oil. No opinions, no suggestions, no inferences, no what ifs, simply a set of facts. Certainly Jeff Brown would put up his Saudi Consumption Export graph. Just a suggestion. I for one would like to visit it. You could even have people vote on which facts are most important and rank them by vote.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      The suggestion is to establish as a section of core facts concerning the debate over peak oil. No opinions, no suggestions, no inferences, no what ifs, simply a set of facts. Certainly Jeff Brown would put up his Saudi Consumption Export graph.

      You can already go to Jonathan Callahan’s Energy Export Data Browser and look at the graphs for any region or country in the world to see plots of oil, gas, and coal consumption, production, net exports and net imports. It’s very hard to argue against peak oil once you have seen those graphs.
      Though most people that I send there still can’t see the writing on the wall. To be fair world oil production increased by 0.6% in 2013 so to the majority that sounds like good news. Perhaps someone should add a plot of increasing Capex over time so people might better understand that we really are in a Red Queen situation.


  29. aws. says:

    Climate change driving brutal winter?

    Kirk Moore, Rutgers Today 12:07 a.m. EST February 19, 2015

    Prolonged cold snaps on the East Coast, California drought and frozen mornings in the South all have something in common — the atmospheric jet stream that transports weather systems that’s taken to meandering all over North America.

    Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis and colleagues link that wavy jet stream to a warming Arctic, where climate changes near the top of the world are happening faster than in Earth’s middle latitudes.

    A new study from Francis and University of Wisconsin-Madison scientist Stephen Vavrus, published in IOPscience, backs up that theory, with evidence linking regional and seasonal conditions in the Arctic to deeper north-south jet stream waves that will lead to more extreme weather across the country.

    The real story is how persistent the pattern has been. It’s been this way nearly continually since December 2013…Warm in the west, cold in the east,” Francis said. “We think with the warming Arctic these types of very wavy patterns, although probably not in the same locations, will happen more often in the future.”

    • Allan H says:

      Yes, the east has been in a fixed shifted, slowed and truncated jet stream cycle, the northeast is definitely in the freezer. At least 20 degrees F below normal where I live and very windy. This has happened for two years now with cooler summers and colder winters. Winds that used to mostly come from the west and southwest are now coming from the north and northwest (Arctic blasts).
      Basically the Jetstream is bringing warm pacific air to the northwest coast into the arctic then it turns around and jets down into the east after chilling off. It also does not go very far south then, turning around in the mid-Atlantic states to head north again. It used to hit the Gulf of Mexico and come north bringing warmer air, now the northeast is the warmest it often sees.

      You can follow the Jetstream at http://squall.sfsu.edu/crws/jetstream.html

      Right now it is pretty broad, bringing cold air into the southeast and I am on the more northern edge which broke away and is just streaming very cold air from the sub arctic into the middle Atlantic are. Should be 4oF(high) to 24F (low), at 10F now with a morning start of minus 4. Supposed to hit a high of 14 according to NWS but they have been wrong lately, usually colder than predicted.

      • Lou Philpott says:

        I have been doing weather research for over 55 years, just by walking out the door every day. I have now lived in 5 different States, New York, Ohio, Georgia, South Carolina, California and I can tell you that the weather Changes often, almost every day. In my youth I walked to school through Blizzard conditions in upstate New York, where we had snow 3 -4 feet high and winddrifts 10 feet high. And I have pictures of that snow, wish I could post them here.and I have yet to see or hear about any of those big storms since 1969, but the local Media there makes a huge deal out of 3 inches of snow and so does the Politicians, who are just “snowing” the people into thinking their being cared for by the Politicians, a true Snow Job if I ever saw one. And this is what is going on Nationally and Worldwide, we are getting a big Snow Job by worldly Polticans. I also suffered through a drought in New York State in the 50’s-60’s. And you know, in every State I lived in I suffered through the same type of weather year after year. California and its much publicized drought, which was used by the Demoncrats to spend a lot of money on their cronies and to grab more Power over the Water. Back in 1978 California had a drought with the same Governor in charge who made the same Power Grab as he is doing now.. In 2002 California suffered the same Drought as they are now with the same Results, the Rain and Snow came late. I know since I was hiking the Pacific Crest Trail at the time and still need to finish up some 500 miles in order to complete the trail because there was just NO water..I climbed the big Glacier on Mt. Darwin, then a year later there was less Glacier and then another year of less Glacier and then the next year it gained back all it lost in three months.

        In College the Gruberment was pushing Oceanography and Climatetology and thousands of kids fell for it. So after they graduated and found no jobs what did they do and it appears to me these kids now Adults are the ones “pushing” this Climate Change baloney and probably for their own monetary benefits…I smartly called Woods Hole and Scripps and asked them about future hiring and they said, they had no idea where the Gruberment got the idea that Oceanography was going to be an exploding field cause they were actually letting people go.. So I went into a different field of work.. So like Oceanography you have thousands of unemployable students with Degrees in Climatology so what do we have now,,,all this concern about the ice caps and how we should spend more taxpayer money on somehow stopping the earth from warming….and just who do you think is behind these statements?? Other Climatologists who have the same similar groupthink pushing for more taxpayer grants and spending etc. etc….

        So to me the truth is “One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever”….Ecclesiastes 1:4

        Now if we were really interested in the Environment. We would stop places like New York City from dumping huge Barge loads of Garbage into the Ocean every week. We would cap off every City, Town, Village, Hamlet etc. etc. Sewer pipes from dumping in the Ocean, like San Diego, and recycle all that water and waste. There is no reason we should have all these huge Landfills either. Instead of wasting Billions of dollars of Foreign Aid supporting the Governments that want to Over throw us, divert that many into actually cleaning up the Country. Put all those unemployed receiving benefits to work cleaning up our Rivers, Streams and Kills, Demolish all those abandoned red brick buildings and turn them into new single family homes by recycleing the bricks and whatever else can be saved…Forget Natural Gas Plants and go to Nuclear Energy on a small scale, that is smaller plants that in an emergency can be controlled easier.

        And why doesn’t every Gruberment building in the Nation have their roofs filled up with Solar Panels..Is it Gruberment talking out of both sides of their mouths again?

        • ezrydermike says:

          Ron, I think you should save these for a future book.

          • No one would read such a stupid book. After all no one read that stupid post. Well, I know I didn’t anyway. After the first few lines it was obvious this guy was a science denier. I stopped reading there.

            • ezrydermike says:

              sorry about replying so you couldn’t delete. I won’t do that again.

            • Well, the guy makes some pretty good points. There IS climate change baloney. I decided to take advantage of the climate change culture when I wrote “Drowning Islands” and started creating my “Drowning Islands Relief Fund”. I put an add in my blog for the fund, and it was going to be a greenback printing machine until those turkeys at Scientific American published their “Fantasy Island” article and blew up my scam. However, when it comes to global warming I got tons of baloney to churn out. They ain’t going to stop me from making a quick buck.

            • Dave P says:

              This shows the denier movement employ programs or people who trawl the internet posting crap like the above. A well funded effort, I wonder who bankrolls it!?

              • I wonder if you could tell me whether or not it is your belief that we man-made global warming deniers don’t understand the effects of an atmosphere? No, we merely believe any increases and decreases in earth’s temperature are cyclical, natural, and unaffected (for the good or bad) by anything humanity does or could do. As long as you’re explaining to, please let us know why Mars’ polar ice caps are shrinking… certainly it can’t be because of irresponsible MARTIANS driving polluting SUV’s around?

                Its all just a bunch of high school physics. The quadrillions of tons of mass of the earth and its oceans are part of a system with warmth transferred by the Sun. It is impossible for CO2, an atom that makes up a mere three hundreds of a percent of our atmosphere, to influence the latent heat content of the earth’s sun system in any meaningful way. CO2 isn’t even hot to the touch the way the sun would be, if you could actually touch it!

                • Allan H says:

                  A Martian ice cap shrinks every Martian summer as the deposited CO2 (dry ice) sublimes back into the atmosphere.

                • Puffalar (Your Five-Alarm Puff) says:

                  Martians are hard at work melting their ice caps too, we just haven’t found them yet… Didn’t you learn anything from the canals?

        • Wikipuff says:

          Yup, when I was growing up we had a word for climate change. It’s a quaint word now but it summed the matter up quite well. We just called it “weather”. 🙂

    • wharf rat says:

      Big changes happening…

      Shock News – Massive Calving of Jakobshavn Isbræ

      February 20, 2015

      Newly developing rift in Larsen C Ice Shelf presents significant risk to stability

      On February 17th 2015 the IARC-JAXA Information System AMSR2 Arctic sea ice extent metric read 13,770,330 km² which is the lowest ever for the day of the year in a record going back to 2003.

      Australia is being battered by two serious cyclones: Lam and Marcia

      • FunnelFan says:

        Need to send some of that global warming blamed for the ice melts to the east coast. Did you see how cold it was this morning? Like -20 in Cincinnati, and northern Kentucky. Down to the lower 40s in Miami. Ouch! Sure wouldn’t want to be in the Boston area these days either, shoveling up all the global warming they’ve been having there.

        • Boomer II says:

          This is how it works:

          Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis and colleagues link that wavy jet stream to a warming Arctic, where climate changes near the top of the world are happening faster than in Earth’s middle latitudes.

        • EyesWideOpen says:

          Look at the graphic posted above, and read the text: Your East Coast of the U.S. is NOT representative of the entire World. Your snow and cold IS one of the many effects of Global Warming.

          • Allan H says:

            Extra energy in the system produces more variability. Some places get colder, some hotter, but the average is still moving upward in temperature. The bad part is how the jet stream seems stuck in place.

      • This is really good climate change baloney. But to profit you need to create something like a “Save the Glacier Calves Fund”. Do like Greenpeace with the polar bear add, I read they picked up a ton of money, used it to buy that boat with the twin 2000 hp diesels they used to take Emma Thompson to Svalsbard.

        • ezrydermike says:

          who profits? and from what baloney?

          “For years, politicians wanting to block legislation on climate change have bolstered their arguments by pointing to the work of a handful of scientists who claim that greenhouse gases pose little risk to humanity.

          One of the names they invoke most often is Wei-Hock Soon, known as Willie, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who claims that variations in the sun’s energy can largely explain recent global warming. He has often appeared on conservative news programs, testified before Congress and in state capitals, and starred at conferences of people who deny the risks of global warming.

          But newly released documents show the extent to which Dr. Soon’s work has been tied to funding he received from corporate interests.

          He has accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers. At least 11 papers he has published since 2008 omitted such a disclosure, and in at least eight of those cases, he appears to have violated ethical guidelines of the journals that published his work.

          The documents show that Dr. Soon, in correspondence with his corporate funders, described many of his scientific papers as “deliverables” that he completed in exchange for their money. He used the same term to describe testimony he prepared for Congress.”


          • The NY Times article is part of a character assassination campaign. This was triggered by a paper co authored by Dr Soon :


            After the paper was published there were attacks on Dr Soon, including a campaign to have him fired. I saw the emails exchanged between the NY Times employee who wrote this article and one of the paper’s authors, and it was clear the guy was mostly focused on the character assassination angle rather than the paper itself.

            This reaction is one reason why nowadays we don’t see young researchers discuss their findings, if they happen to run contrary to the desired product. And why we see so many of them running flawed models to make what amounts to bullshit science. We live in very interesting times.

            • Boomer II says:

              This reaction is one reason why nowadays we don’t see young researchers discuss their findings, if they happen to run contrary to the desired product.

              Researchers are expected to disclose where their funding comes from. It’s the same for anyone who is funded by a drug company, a food company, etc.

              They can do all the research they want, but they have to disclose who’s paying the bill. Evidently Soon did not.

      • Ovi says:

        I think the more critical statistic to check is the minimum amount of sea ice cover in the Arctic in mid-September. In mid September 2014, Arctic ice cover was 50% greater than the low of 2012. With most of the Arctic between Canada and Russia at below normal temps this year, it will be interesting to see what the minimum ice cover will be in mid September 2o15. I think we are a long way from Al Gore’s famous 2007 prediction of an ice free Arctic by 2014.

        Oh, by the way, in choosing your statistics, you forgot to mention that the minimum Antarctic ice cover this year is almost 2 std deviations greater than 1981 to 2010 average.

        I note that in the world of CC, a few years of data is not significant, however neither do I believe that outliers can be ignored since on occasion they indicate that change is occurring.

        • Allan H says:

          Sea ice extent is a lot like the lake near my house. It freezes most winters, sometimes partially, sometimes completely. When it gets really cold like this year the extent is the same as a warmer winter (100%) but the volume (thickness) gets much greater.
          Arctic sea ice extent is mostly brand new ice now, old ice is about gone. The total volume keeps descending, at a rate of 1000 cubic kilometers of ice every decade.
          A cold snap can freeze the surface, but it does not make much volume increase and is only temporary.

          • Ovi says:

            Ice area preceeds ice volume. With 50% more ice in Sept 2014, less energy went into the water and more was reflected back into space. This year the winter temperatures are lower than last year. As a result, last year’s ice that did not melt will increase in thickness this winter.

            We will need to wait till Sept 15 to see whether the extent of ice cover increased or decreased relative to 2014. That will indicate whether the ice is getting thicker or thinner.

            Note in the chart that you provided, the ice volume has been increasing since 2012. Only time will tell if this is a temporary trend or the beginning of a direction change.

            As I noted above, it will take more than a few years to sort this out.

            • When I worked in Russia we had a project to research oil and lng tanker movements in the Barents and Kara Sea. I can’t discuss what we did in detail, other than we saw very erratic ice cover, and a lot of it was wind rather than temperature driven. If the wind blows to put the ice on the Fram Strait exit alley then the Barents and the Kara get a lot less ice cover in the following couple of years.

              This topic was really debated. This is why we saw BP and Exxon sign deals with Rosneft, but other companies decided it was too risky. The same applies to the Chukchi. In that case Shell’s climatologists bet on much more ice cover decrease than other companies’ experts. Or maybe their management went crazy. I wouldn’t touch the Kara nor the Chukchi with a 2000 ft pole.

    • Ilambiquated says:

      Also warm in Northern Europe and Western Siberia. This winter is a repeat of last year and the year before.

    • EyesWideOpen says:

      “A new study from Francis and University of Wisconsin-Madison scientist Stephen Vavrus, published in IOPscience, backs up that theory, with evidence linking regional and seasonal conditions in the Arctic to deeper north-south jet stream waves that will lead to more extreme weather across the country.”

      Don’t worry, Governor Scott Walker will put paid to these pesky University climate researchers:

      “Scott Walker To Cut $300 Million From Universities, Spend $500 Million On A Pro Basketball Stadium”


      Koch Bros and fellow travelers FTW.

      University of Maine, you’re up next!

    • Riban Conbajos says:

      And for dessert, Baked Alaska.

    • Tom F. says:

      This pattern if it continues and intensifies, and there is no reason to think it won’t, will make the eastern half of North America uninhabitable after collapse. Dmitry Orlov, ever observant alluded to this in his latest post: http://www.cluborlov.com/

      • Boomer II says:

        Between the snow, the hurricanes, and the flooding, the East Coast is going to be spending more money cleaning up each season.

        I think the first thing the coastal areas should do is discourage people from rebuilding in natural disaster-prone areas. It’s one thing if they want to foot the insurance bills themselves, but if the rest of us have to pay to keep the rates down for them, then let’s make it harder for them to live there.

      • Wait unti the super hurricanes start sucking up sea water and launching it into the stratosphere. It’s going to be raining frozen whales.

        • Puffalar (Your Five-Alarm Puff) says:

          What would be cool is if Earth developed a permanent superstorm, like Jupiter’s Great Red spot, over a particular area, like Georgia’s east coast. Maybe the frozen whales would coincidentally land there.

    • kertzman says:

      Anyone here happen to see that people who deny man made global warming scored HIGHER on a science exam than the true believers of man made global warming? Read for yourself: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/021815-739842-skeptics-score-better-than-alarmists-on-climate-science.htm

      A paper that will appear in the journal Advances in Political Psychology says that, on average, skeptics got 4.5 questions right while the followers of the faith averaged four correct answers. This doesn’t mean skeptics are more informed; it just means they’re not poorly informed, which is what alarmists want us all to believe.

      • Watcher says:

        You know, the comment section on these oil posts would not be corrupted and smeared by global warming deniers [or global warming supporters] if people would just try the startling, vibrantly novel approach of posting global warming crap on global warming blogs and only global warming blogs.

        Or at the very least, go to those blogs and post analyses of proppant. Symmetry triumphs, you see.

        • Yeah well, try writing something about peak oil in a dogmatic climate hysteria churning blog and they erase you plus they send their zombie drones after you. I have to keep my drone defenses up ever since they started writing people like me should be jailed or executed. And if you don’t believe me check these documented cases:


        • Futilitist says:

          I agree that the global warming stuff, like the EV crap, really doesn’t belong here. The people who try to mix global warming with peak oil create some really twisted memes. Let’s see, oh yeah, let’s talk about how carbon credits can solve both global warming and peak oil at the same time. Ha ha. Snore.

          It’s funny that people who really understand peak oil can, and usually do, understand global warming pretty well. People who are really into global warming stuff can rarely ever understand peak oil at all.

          Peak oil has never been popular. It is just not as cool as global warming. Is that a pun?

          • EyesWideOpen says:

            ‘EV crap’

            I will go on reading information about EVs as it is posted.

            Same with information about the climate.

            If Ron doesn’t want this kind of information posted on his site, he will take action to make it so.

            • Futilitist says:


              Ron can do whatever he wants. I’m certainly not suggesting that he censor anything.

              I am just expressing my opinion that these long, detailed discussions about things like climate change and EV’s are pretty much irrelevant. This is because we are already in collapse.

              I think that continuing to focus so feverishly on climate change and EV’s is a form of denial.

              It is time to move on.

              So I want to introduce a new term to the debate. I think it is ironic that no one has introduced it before.

              Collapse Denier

              Are you sure you aren’t just a collapse denier?

              • TechGuy says:


                No point in worry about climate change when the economy starts falling again. Peak oil will pretty much put a limit on future carbon emissions. As the transportation costs rise, demand for goods and services will collapse.

                Even if Peak Oil was decades away, we still are facing a global debt bomb, as just about all of the major industrialized nations have mountains of debt. There are huge obligations that can never be made good, nor can the enormous debt ever be paid back. All the central banks in the world can’t put the humpy – “debt” economy back together. They just keep on digging a deeper hole.

                10 years from now, climate change will be the least of civilization problems and will become but some relic that no one concerns themselves anymore.

      • Skeptics don’t deny anthropogenic global warming. I know because I’m a skeptic. On the other side we just see too many badly informed people who don’t even know what the skepticism is about.

        • The word “skeptic” when used without explaining exactly what you are skeptic about, is rather meaningless.
          skeptic: noun
          1. a person who questions the validity or authenticity of something purporting to be factual.
          2. a person who maintains a doubting attitude, as toward values, plans, statements, or the character of others.
          3. a person who doubts the truth of a religion, especially Christianity, or of important elements of it.

          • Ovi says:

            If a person believes that the rate of temperature increase with increasing CO2 concentration is 1/4 of the rate currently baked into the current climate models, is he/she a skeptic or denier?

            • Ovi, excellent question. I’ve been insulted, treated as an ignoramus, called a “denier”, and of course edited out quite a few times. The hot button topics seem to be:

              1. Mention TCR range for a planning basis should be 1.3 to 1.6 degrees C
              2. Question the technical and Econ analysis work done to set the EU 2 degree C limit
              3. Explain how peak oil below 100 mmbopd renders the 175 mmbopd peak used by the IPCC business as usual case a bit of a joke.
              4. State that sea level rise is likely to be about 60 cm by 2100.
              5. Say anything about Michael Mann being a political scientist. There’s a Mann Cult out there, scary. They treat me as if I were Charlie Hebdo.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Fernando,

                The TCR is about 2 C, but the CO2 remains in the atmosphere a long time so the ECS (equilibrium climate sensitivity) is more important than the transient climate response (TCR). Once the ocean warms (over hundreds of years) the less of the extra heat is absorbed by the ocean and the atmosphere warms up further. The transient climate response ignores this.

                It is hard for you to imagine, but the biologists and ecologists know more than you about the likely effects of an increase in average surface temperatures of more than 2C, your lack of expertise in this area shows.

  30. The Baker Hughes Rig Count is in. Not as big a drop as last week. Oil rigs down 37, horizontal rigs down 46.

    • Allan H says:

      Both Texas and North Dakota down 30% in rigs from a year ago. Texas down almost 4 percent in a week and North Dakota down 3 percent. Colorado down 4 percent in a week and 21 percent in a year.
      Oklahoma down 9 percent in a week!

      I wonder how this compares to winter last year.

      I noticed the Marcellus did not lose one rig this week. I guess gas is still somewhat profitable.

      • coffeeguyzz says:

        Allan, there is still a lot of drilling occurring in the Marcellus as the operators need to protect their lease agreements.
        One of the best energy-related sites on the net – RBNenergy.com – had a brief, highly informative post two days ago concerning HBP (Held By Production). It explained the disconnect between sweet spots NOT being the sole target of early field development, WHY operators drill wells with known poor economics, and other related factors. The author used the Haynesville shale to demonstrate, and this ties in directly with several comments on recent threads regarding Haynesville activity.
        FWIW, early, frenzied leasing – possibly followed by a spate of HBP drilling – is underway right this moment in eastern Kentucky regarding the still obscure Rogersville shale.

        • toolpush says:


          I read that RBN report with interest. It seems like a case of those unintended consequences. By making the lease areas so small, one or two square miles, it creates a feeding frenzy of activity, firstly in signing up leases, then as a result, the frantic activity in drilling all of those leases on a very tight spacing in the allotted time, Independent of normal market signals. I am sure this works great for the small land holders to maximize their short term pay back, but when these things start unbalancing the whole market, then maybe something else needs to be done to keep things in balance? Larger lease areas would allow the oil companies to allow more project management, but may delay payments to the royalty recipients.

          Now to the BH rig count report. It was only a matter of a few weeks ago, the “experts” were say the rig count doesn’t matter as it is only the vertical figs that are cutting back. Well folks, even though this week the rig count drop was not as bad as previous weeks, 46 of the 48 drop in active rigs, were from horizontal rigs!! Even CNBC is using the rig count as a reason for the daily ups and downs of the oil price. So at the end of the day, strangely enough rig counts must matter.
          Maybe the cuts are finally starting to trim back to the bone?

          • Mike says:

            G’day, Push: I have said before, the shale oil and gas industry needs to be regulated. It bought into its own bullshit about the “revolution,” it created for itself and borrowed more money than it will ever be able to pay back. The out of control spending spree it has been on has helped drive the price of oil and natural gas down to levels that has hurt the entire rest of the worldwide hydrocarbon industry.

            Private mineral ownership in America is primarily made up of small farms and ranches and millions upon millions of mineral owners. “Leasing” cannot be controlled, per say, but well spacing (density) can, by state regulators. This use to be done, not long ago, in the name of conservation. I say its time to do that again, this time in the name of common sense and price stability.

            The good news is that regulation of the shale oil and shale gas industries may not be needed as we move forward; I think they have ripped their britches with the money folks. There will be a slower, more methodical approach to shale resource development that will ensure higher, more stable product prices because the boys with the money will control it. I hope.

            You and I both know that rig counts do matter in unconventional tight oil plays that decline at the rate of 70 plus percent per year. Of course they do. Another 50 rigs in the yard last week means another 12,000 good men and women went to the house, out of work. That is a tragedy of immense proportions.


            • shallow sand says:

              I have read recently that big shale guys like EOG are going to drill wells but will try to market time completions. How feasible is this? Am I missing something, or won’t that lead to a spike in the cost to frac? It seems to me that most of the frac crews will be laid off. Then, when the price rebounds, there will be another frenzy to frac, there will be a shortage of crews, and the cost will go up.

              I understand not wanting to pay rig cancellation penalties I suppose. Would be interested in comments on this strategy.

              • toolpush says:


                I read the EOG report, and that is their claim for sure. Drill but don’t complete. As I understand the ND rules, they have 12 months to complete a well after drilling, but I am not sure of the consequences if they don’t. I don’t believe the govt will make them fill in the hole, but maybe fined, lose the lease? Do you know?
                Also in the EOG report, they claim they are only going to drill 25 wells in 2015 in ND. Now they have 6 rigs on the ND govt site. 4 of these have a spud date of 2014, so we are not dealing with all the true current facts. So here are two possibilities.
                1/If they have 6 rigs currently drilling, but have just not informed the ND govt the well is finished. Maybe they only give updates when they move pads?? At 20 days per well, they must have finished 12 wells. So they will need to stack 4 1/2 rigs and continue with 1 1/2 for the rest of the year.
                2/ The 4 rigs with 2104 dates, are stacked and their status has not been made know to the govt. Leaving 2 rigs to drill their 25 wells.

                I believe you have access to drillco data base. Is it possible for you to look EOG and their current well status, compared to the ND govt site? I know EOG came out of Enron, and with all the funny numbers that surround them, I wonder if they didn’t inherit some of Enron’s accounting procedures?

                Either way they will only have 12 months to get fraccing on these wells. So it seems as though they are planning for a short down turn in the price of oil, with a recovery towards the end on the year. Of course if everyone does this, then there may well be another frenzy of activity as the 12 month grace period get squeezed by the oil price and the availability of frac spreads, with another gold rush mentality to frac before a given date and basic economics get thrown out the widow once again.

                As for cancellation penalties, one of the drilling company reports i was reading, mentioned they had 10 out of 28 rig contracts up for early retirement in the next couple of months. So it seems a few on the oil companies are willing to bite the bullet and cancel. What this says to me, is there are some companies planning on a longer drop in price, as why pay cancellation penalties now and rehire in 6 to 9 months?
                Confusion reins supreme, I say. lol

                • Watcher says:

                  And should reign thus.

                  Nobody has any idea what oil’s price will be the rest of the year. Or the rest of the fiscal quarter.

                  Planning on higher price is gambling. Planning on lower price is bankruptcy. I know which plan would be pitched to the board.

                  There are really no markets left. The central banks have replaced capitalism. We’ll see if they can print oil. The ECB is about to try.

            • toolpush says:

              G’day Mike,

              Good to see you are picking up some of the Aussie Lingo.
              To me it is the size of the lease that has created the problem. Having to drill a well every 1320 ac just to hold the lease seems counter productive. With the long laterals that are drilled these days, if the formation was any bit permeable, you wouldn’t need to drill too many more wells to fully exploit a field.
              So who makes the rules on lease acreage? I realize it is too late now, but with 20/20 hindsight, I would say they are the ones that have created this mess. In a lot of ways the shale drillers have just been, might we say, enthusiastic participants, playing the game to a poorly thought out set of rules?

              • Mike says:

                Push, been to OZ a number of times. Went to Barrow Island on a job once; lovely, hee hee. Many good friends in Perth; very good people, Aussies. My favorite Aussie saying: he spat the dummy.

                The shale oil industry, at some point in this 8 year feeding frenzy it has been on, should have stopped and thought about the ramifications that 3 1/2 million more barrels of oil production per day was going to have on worldwide oil markets. It should have been very clear that much excess oil was going to drive the price of oil way down, the same way the loss of 3 1/2 million barrels per day in the world would have driven the price way up. Shale oil dickheads had the shale gas collapse of just a few years ago to model from, to look to for historical perspective, as to what happens when unconventional resources are over drilled. They ignored that and stayed on their relentless manufacturing program thinking the price of oil would stay above 100 dollars a barrel forever and everything would stay peachy. Dumbasses.

                Again, sir; private mineral ownership in America and the mineral lease process is not the problem. It is the shale companies themselves, in their massive land grab, that drove the price of lease bonuses thru the roof. Most of the time the bonus these companies were paying mineral owners for leases exceeded the value of the land itself by 300-400%. If you are a land owner its hard to say no to that. To accommodate 6000 foot horizontal laterals drilling units must be formed that almost always include multiple tracts of land, having different mineral ownership, that are pooled, or combined together into a “unit.” A 1000 acre unit might have 14 different tracts in the pooled unit and over a hundred different mineral owners.

                It is actually the governing regulatory body in the state that dictates the size of the unit necessary for the horizontal lateral. The state also establishes standards for well densities, or the number of wells that can be drilled in that unit, and well spacing distances, or the distance between each lateral and between the lateral and the unit boundary. One well will typically, not always, but typically, hold that entire unit for as long as there is production in profitable quantities. But to stay on the drilling hamster wheel these shale guys can now drill 12-15 wells in a 1000 acre unit…essentially because the state says it can. And, as you say, if they can, they will. Money is cheap, wells decline 75% per year, they gotta to stay alive. Remember, these shale folks want to drill the snot out of everything, as fast as they can, and if there is no place left in America to store oil, or gas, they want to export it. That is what pisses me off because in 10 years or less we will have given America’s limited resources away, for little or nothing, to have to then buy those resources back from foreign countries who hate our guts, for 3 times more money.

                Shale folks can’t regulate themselves, apparently, so it is going to be up to the States to figure something out. I would say it would have to be in the form of proration, or regulating the size of producing units and well densities.
                That won’t happen, I don’t believe. Now, in it’s infinite wisdom, the shale industry has decided to keep drilling but defer frac’ing until prices recover. When that happens there will be a mad dash to frac everything that does not move, production will spike, and the price of oil will come down again.

                It is the financial markets, the folks with the bucks that are lending to shale oil, and shale gas industry, that will ultimately be the regulators, IMO.

                Stay safe, mate.


                • Doug Leighton says:

                  Highly informative, thanks Mike.

                • Boomer II says:

                  Shale folks can’t regulate themselves, apparently, so it is going to be up to the States to figure something out.

                  That’s what I am watching now, and why I am here. The oil industry spent big bucks where I am during the last election to persuade voters that their industry didn’t need more regulations. But enough voters have disagreed to keep the discussions going.

                  What I have been afraid of is a lot of drilling, followed by bankruptcies and pull outs, with the communities and the state left to clean up the mess.

                  There are parts of my state where subdivisions have collapsed into holes from old coal mines that never should have built upon. There are big areas of acreage that have been turned into open space (which is good) because the land got so contaminated from the industries that had been operating there that it isn’t safe to put anything on the land other than wildlife preserves.

                  So I don’t want those patterns repeated again. We’ve seen what can happen. We currently see what is happening in the Bakken. We don’t need more of it where I live.

                  • Mike says:

                    I am speaking only of regulation from the standpoint of conservation and a more methodical approach to the development of limited domestic resources. Mostly for the sake of price stability and a healthy industry that can help provide us the hydrocarbons we are going to desperately need in the future.

                    I think we would disagree with each greatly as to environmental regulations, etc. as I don’t see how the oil and gas industry could possibly be more regulated than it is now in that regard. Some of the stuff I have read here recently about frac’ing and injection of oil field wastes is untrue, based entirely on emotions and not facts, and almost ridiculous, IMO.


                  • Boomer II says:

                    Some of the stuff I have read here recently about frac’ing and injection of oil field wastes is untrue, based entirely on emotions and not facts, and almost ridiculous, IMO.

                    I think the best way for the industry to make its case for this is to test before, during, and after.

                    However, I am focusing more on provable issues: damage to roads; traffic; industrial activity too close to homes, schools, and parks; not enough money set aside to cover potential damage, particular of the company declares bankruptcy; water use and disposal.

                  • Mike says:

                    Boomer, I believe my industry has made its case regarding the lack of harm to the subsurface. Before, during and after. That is not to say that accidents do not happen occasionally, as they do in all aspects of life; its not reasonable to expect no accidents from any industry.

                    All those other problems you mentioned are legitimate ones and here in Texas we are addressing them with surcharges and additional taxes to repair roads, etc. additional regulations, bond requirements, incredibly tenuous provisions in mineral leases that protect the land and the subsurface and increased fees on all regulatory filings that has established an enormous slush fund to cover orphaned wells that occasionally still get left behind.

                    I think it is wonderful that wildlife might have any place, anywhere, for whatever the reason, to go and not be pushed around by human beings.


                  • Boomer II says:

                    All those other problems you mentioned are legitimate ones and here in Texas we are addressing them with surcharges and additional taxes to repair roads, etc. additional regulations, bond requirements, incredibly tenuous provisions in mineral leases that protect the land and the subsurface and increased fees on all regulatory filings that has established an enormous slush fund to cover orphaned wells that occasionally still get left behind.

                    That’s what is being discussed here, especially how close to homes, schools, and parks drilling can happen. Since the state won’t let individual communities decide how drilling can be done within their borders, the communities are now pressuring the state to come up with statewide rules that are acceptable to the communities. So, in a way, by not letting communities decide, the state needs to come up with rules that work in all conditions.

                    What is acceptable in farm areas is not necessarily acceptable in suburban areas. These issues wouldn’t have even come up if the drilling wasn’t happening so close to housing developments. And water is a concern. It is sometimes rationed, so people ask how the drillers will have water if farms and homeowners don’t have enough.

                • shallow sand says:

                  Mike. Maybe you can comment on the plan to drill wells but not complete them until prices recover. EOG, who I read has the best acreage, says they are doing this. I cannot imagine drilling a wells and letting them sit, hoping for a price recovery.

                  • shallow sand says:

                    Oops, I guess you already did. I think that plan is way off, but what these guys has never been similar to what I’m used to.

                  • Mike says:

                    Shallow, the humorous aspect about EOG’s decision to defer frac’ing is that some MSM outlets take that as being that the shale industry has now given in to OPEC and wants to “limit” production. Yeah, right.

                    I am told EOG is really strung out on long term rig contracts. So they can keep drilling those wells, setting pipe on them, and defer the other 65% of well costs until it makes sense to frac them. Actually, if one can afford to do that, it makes sense. I am concerned that when prices do recover the earth will tremble from all the frac’ing and here we go again with another price spike down.

                    By the way, word in the hood is that just about everybody still drilling in the EF is doing so because it went to suppliers and service companies and asked for, and received, essentially 30% cuts across the board on all costs. I am seeing significant cost reductions, everywhere, in my world also.


                  • shallow sand says:

                    We are seeing some reductions too but not enough to offset low price. Just got paid on 1/15 oil. Not pretty. 2/15 won’t be much better.

                    These shale guys disappointed in the 4th quarter, the first quarter will be awful. I mean even worse that what many are forecasting IMO. Like they will all lose money, some a tremendous amount.

                    If the price stays here 2 years, I do not see how they survive in present form.

                  • Watcher says:

                    “The shale oil industry, at some point in this 8 year feeding frenzy it has been on, should have stopped and thought about the ramifications that 3 1/2 million more barrels of oil production per day was going to have on worldwide oil markets.”

                    Over 8 years there should have been about that much consumption growth to go with population growth. So . . . maybe not.

                  • coffeeguyzz says:

                    shallow, push, Mike Couple brief observations …
                    EOG owns both its own in house frac operations as well as the sand mines for its proppant.While it may have some price/cost protection now and in the future, all these guys will be vulnerable to market conditions when strong demand resumes.
                    The Duvernay development in Canada is an example of how significant the leasing particulars can be in the development of new resources, especially time-consuming (several years), as well as expensive (+$20) million per well in the early going) as was the case here. The government regulated leases gave a very long lead time 8/10 years? to allow the E&P guys, big and small alike, reasonable time to realize successful development after their early efforts.
                    In Mississippi, in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale, the state allowed fairly large 3 sq mile DSUs so the operators would have more ‘protected’ acreage and thus be more inclined to drill with so much uncertainty as to the play’s viability.
                    While economics, as always, looms large in these matters, there are many players whose roles frequently come into conflict. The later signers of leases in seemingly successful plays may get significantly more money than their early-signer neighbors. In unsuccessful plays, the inverse is true.
                    Independent landmen (such as Chesapeake co-founders Aubrey McLendon and his partner Tom Ridge) may purchase yet-to-be-recognized-as-valuable mineral rights from farmers/ranchers and flip them to E&P guys for a profit and future development. Lottsa moving parts.

  31. I wonder how this compares to winter last year.

    The oil rig count in the US is not seasonal. In Canada however it is highly seasonal, peaking in February and bottoming out in April and May. I think this is because of road conditions. They have restricted travel during the Spring thaw.

    The Chart below is the Canadian rig count according to Baker Hughes. The peak in every year is February, except 2009, (arrow). That was the year of the big price crash, (2008-2009). The last point on the chart is January 2015. I doubt that the peak will be February this year.

    Edit:Looking at the data again, the Canadian rig count peak in 2009 was actually in February after all. Just a much lower February peak than in any other year.

  32. plaksivaya_tryapka says:

    US oil and gas EROI is rising due to “shale revolution”:
    Apocalypse is laid aside

    • Boomer II says:

      Why aren’t articles like this a wake-up call to everyone that oil fields run out (or at least reach a point where they aren’t worth maintaining anymore), which means that this will happen everywhere and we should plan accordingly?

      I shake my head in amazement that we could have had a plan developed in the Carter years to prepare for a time when oil would become scarce. Those decades would have given us such a cushion in terms of time and resources. But instead we found more oil, used it up like it would never end, and now we’re in worse shape than we were then because we don’t have more big fields to discover.

      Yes, I understand why some of you are so pessimistic because humans can be really poor at long-term thinking. The Garden of Eden probably is a good allegory for human behavior. You have everything and then you throw it away for temporary pleasures.

      • Caelan MacIntyre says:

        Hi Boomer II,

        Contextual and holistic thinking includes long-term thinking.

        Who here really believes that, when the fading out of the kinds of large-scale high-energy we are talking about that currently power this global-industrial economy, we will all still have jobs that help(ed) run this kind of economy to go to in our nice and sparkly new EV’s in a new economy (that, naturally, just happens for everyone in a smooth, hassle-free transition, right?) now powered by low-energy PV’s, etc.?

        …Oh wait, maybe I can guess who.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          It may be as simple as this:

          High-energy –> Do More –> More Jobs (–> more taxes, more government, more complexity)

          Low-energy –> Do less –> Less Jobs (–> less taxes, less government, less complexity)

          • Futilitist says:

            Hi Caelan.

            I love simple models that explain so much.

            How about this model illustrating how energy affects politics:

            High net energy -> Good economy -> Good politics -> PEACE
            Low net energy -> Bad economy -> Bad politics -> WAR

            But a lot of people seem to have this model in their heads instead:

            Good politics -> Good economic conditions (which just happens to cause high net energy because we need the extra energy to party like there is no tomorrow)
            Bad politics -> Bad economic conditions (which just happens to cause low net energy because who needs much energy in a recession, which happens for no apparent reason?)

            Accepting the first model creates some problems with determinism and free will that most people just cannot get past. The second one features the good guy, bad guy(or gal) narrative that everyone loves so much.

            Here is a really simple model illustrating how energy affects basic human behavior:

            High net energy -> Abundant resources -> SHARE
            Low net energy -> Scarce resources -> FIGHT

            Or this extension of the model, with both of the above seen as feedback loops:

            High net energy -> Cooperation to acquire more energy -> Higher net energy -> The party never stops
            Low net energy -> Fighting over diminishing resources -> Lower net energy -> COLLAPSE

            • Caelan MacIntyre says:

              I might be inclined to agree with you if you added ‘shift’ or ‘change’ between high to low energies, since, once at low, perhaps the fighting more or less ceases because everyone’s out of energy. ‘u^
              Maybe what I am trying to say is a bit like climate-extinction discussions where the key is not climate change per se, but, rather, its speed or rate. Does that make sense?

              • Futilitist says:


                I am not sure about adding ‘shift’ or ‘change’. I don’t think it would improve the model. I think it is a given that human relations should return to cooperation mode as soon as the energy imbalance is corrected, i.e. after the die-off is complete. If die-off is really fast, and climate change doesn’t turn out to be as bad as we think, then maybe our species barely avoids extinction. But I seriously doubt it.

  33. toolpush says:

    Things are cold in East?
    Apparently ice doesn’t cool the same way as water?

    US East Coast refineries seize up as deep freeze strikes
    Sub-zero winter temperatures disrupted more than two-thirds of the U.S. East Coast’s oil refining capacity on Friday, freezing rivers, upsetting cooling systems and hindering maintenance work.
    The facility’s cooling system normally draws water from the Delaware River, which is partly frozen, with the temperature in Trainer about 8 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 13 Celsius) on Friday morning. An unknown number of other units were also affected, the sources said.

    I hope you are all staying warm over there?
    And Nat gas still under $3. Amazing!

      • Longtimber says:

        Also Linked …. “ND latest fracking problem.” Kerogen Loving Lawyers.

        “Every day, drillers in the Bakken burn off about 350 million cubic feet of natural gas. That comes to more than $100 million worth of gas burned off each month—a figure that makes the state’s mineral rights holders’ unhappy. There are at least 12 class-action law suits filed against the drillers by mineral rights holders seeking lost revenue.”

        • Sounds to me they have a case. This depends on the contract terms. But if the gas is being flared then they have a decent chance to get their hypothetical royalty income. Does the gas forgo its tax share for the flared gas?

          • I meant does the state forgo it’s share?

            • toolpush says:

              Good to see people being held to account for flaring. Not only should they have to be paying in full, all of the royalties and taxes as if the gas was sold, there should be a super tax for added encouragement.
              I have seen first hand the response of an oil company in regards to flaring.
              The first year of production, there was no flare restrictions, so if something broke down which resulted in increased flaring, then the parts were ordered through normal procedures. The following year when then there was a limitation to quantity flared, with penalties for exceeding it , then all of a sudden it was urgent airfreight.
              Companies do respond to price signals, it is just a matter of sending the correct ones.

              • I can’t stand flaring. You won’t believe this, but I had to write orders to stop casing head gas venting in a field in Venezuela. They were opening the casing valve straight to the atmosphere in wells equipped with submersible pumps. We had the casing line hooked up to the flowline to gather that gas, but field personnel kept opening the damn relief valve to drop the casing pressure. It drove the PE Operations Team Leader nuts. So I had to set up a meeting with the Field Manager to get them to cut it out.

    • clueless says:

      I do not know anything about refineries, but maybe someone here does. In December of 1989, a massive cold front went all the way south to our Gulf Coast. It was reported that the refineries down there “flamed out.” What that means and why, I do not have a clue. But, heating oil futures (which are settled basis the NY harbor, which receives most from Gulf Coast pipelines) spiked like 50%. Prices plunged in January as there was a massive warm up just as ships loaded with heating oil were arriving from Europe.

      • Clueless, it’s possible the temperature dropped below the design basis, and the heaters couldn’t keep the distillation units warm enough to work.

        I’ve had to deal with cold climate problems, and we always scheduled extra downtime as well as shrinkage inside the pipeline system. When it’s cold things just don’t work the same.

  34. Old farmer mac says:

    In the meantime of the current glut and price collapse the people who conduct business long term are still steadily at work on getting new pipelines permitted and built.

    I assume they have hired competent engineers, mathematicians, geologists, statisticians , etc to look into the life expectancy of the tight oil fields and expect them to last long enough to justify building more pipelines.

    I would not be at all surprised to learn that such investigations include closely monitoring sites such as this one.


    • toolpush says:


      from your link
      The Upland Pipeline would cross the border near Northgate, Sask., and Lignite, N.D., and end near the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border in Canada. It would connect with other pipelines including the Energy East Pipeline in Saskatchewan.

      I wonder if this “Upland Pipeline” is dependent on the “East Energy Pipeline” being built. As I understand it the alternate language speaking Canadians are not too happy about the Energy East. I wonder if this Bakken crude pipeline is not meant as a lever, in these arguments, ie If you want to get rid of the very light oil trains that go boom, then have a pipeline, by the way it is the same pipe that will carry the tar sands oil, that you were so concerned about. No pipeline you keep the trains?
      It sounds a fair trade to me!

  35. Ronald Walter says:

    Try this experiment: Go without fossil fuels or anything derived from fossil fuels for seven days.

    Just for fun, leave all you have and fly to Kathmandu, when you leave the plane, walk off with no money, no supplies, nothing, just the clothes on your back. It would be like one of those dreams where nothing is right, everything is wrong, then you wake up and you’re glad it was just a dream.

    Imagine it’s not a dream, but reality.

    Then imagine you’re in Tibet with numerous donkeys and herds of yaks, not a dream, the reality. After tending the herds, collecting twigs to cook the evening supper, milking the cow yak for some yak’s milk, then use the rest of the time to gather what you can to fill your stomach; be all you can be.

    Make your cloth, hand sew your clothes, carry water from the stream, mound up some clay while you’re there and form some clay jugs to hold the water you’re going to be hauling. Before enlightenment, you haul wood and carry water, after enlightenment, you’ll haul wood and carry water.

    You’ll reach enlightenment, Nirvana, you’ll be in Shang ri-la.

    Go without oil and coal from the ground, those fossil fuels that should have never been there, God only knows why they’re there, humans happened to stumble upon the disgusting dirty filthy coal, then the equally dirty filthy oil and started burning them. There should be a law against burning coal and oil! It’s a crime and a crying shame humans stockpile coal and oil. Then soon after gathering it all, they burn it! It’s an outrage!

    Where’s the radical environmental group that vows to destroy all of the kerogen on the planet? They’ll need some digging equipment to get down there through the lithosphere, some horsepower, so they’ll need some diesel power or something. Some twenty-mule teams to carve a hole in the ground to crawl down to the kerogen to destroy it. Light it all afire right where it exists, get rid of it all, somehow, get it done.

    The Kerogen Killers can figure it out. The Bitumen Destroyers can join them. Get some heavy metal, D10 Caterpillars, push all the coal, oil, even the kerogen into one huge mountain and set it all ablaze. Be done with the oil and coal, all of the source rock, once and for all. Have the Tahr Fahr Brigade join in on the fun.

    Go without coal and oil, permanently, you’ll have plenty to do.

    Next, form the radical environmental group that wants to destroy any and all sources energy for heat, cow chips, buffalo chips, wood from forests, the forests, everything that can burn to provide heat for warmth and to cook your food, destroy it all, burn everything combustible that can be available as a source for energy. Cut those emissions to zero.

    Forget the wood, the coal, the oil, just burn it all for good, forever. Destroy all plants and grasses too. They can burn when they’re too dry and then there will be some carbon emissions polluting the atmosphere, plants and grasses must go too. A grass-roots radical movement to destroy all plant life is needed in the worst way.

    A world with zero emissions is needed badly. Peace and Harmony, beauty, happiness, fun, laughter, everyone holds hands and sings Kumbaya. Yeah, right.

    Just rely on the Sun and the Sun alone, nothing else.

    Imagine that dream. What a fright night that dream would be.

    Probably can do without the Sun too, it shines too much.

    Plunge the world into darkness and into the New Dark Ages. Curse the darkness, then declare a War on Darkness and kill the dark.

    Light a candle, buy a flashlight, anything, stop cursing the darkness.

    • Jef says:

      Love it RW!

      I have done most of those things. The thing that had the most profound effect on me and mine…try going a few days or a week without running water.

      • I have gone for months without running water. When Castro became dictator everything started getting poor maintenance. Our home was on a hill, we had no water. Eventually I left and learned to take showers instead of using a bucket and a ladle. I suppose it may get to be that way in some countries if we run out of fuel and can’t figure out how to make renewables work.

      • wimbi says:

        Pretty funny. I lived as a kid without running water for years. Fact was, I was the running water. I ran down the hill to the spring and back up with the bucket full. except maybe I didn’t run back up.

        Most places I visited in Africa and central america had no running water except of the little kid type.

        • Wimbi, we used to have water. When the commies took over things went to hell. So my dad bought me a cart. It had truck ball bearing assemblies for wheels, a really heavy duty chassis, and half of a drum tied to it. So I carried say 18 gallons per trip. The hill was really steep (I lived on the hill overlooking Havana zoo).

          I used to get out of school, haul water with a rope tied around my shoulder, then go to swim practice. The idea was to get in really good shape for my escape from Cuba.

          But as it turned out my dad manage to get $ to buy me a way out. In those days the commies sold people to freedom for cash. I was one of 8000 children sold and sent to UN camps in Spain. And we were never discussed. It was kept quiet.

          Hauling that water did get me in excellent shape. Later when I arrived in the USA I worked as a caddy and hauling furniture, and it seemed fairly easy.

    • clueless says:

      A 2nd Love It! But, make sure that all the work that you do is at night. Because God (if there is one) fixed it so that being out in the sun will kill you. And you have no sun screen lotion/oil – probably made wholly or partially from the dastardly fossil fuels. So, sleep during the day in a cave or tunnel. You can become one with nature.

      • clueless says:

        I wonder how far we have to go to destroy the earth. A good sized volcano eruption (Mt. St. Helens?) creates more force than all the bombs dropped in history.
        We tried to destroy the oceans with the Macondo well disaster. The ultimate (court) finding of almost 3.2 million barrels spilled. Each one containing 42 gallons. So 134.4 million gallons. At 7.48 gallons to a cubic foot, that is almost 18 million cubic feet. So a cube that is 262 feet on each side. If you were flying from Houston to Miami at 400 mph, it would take you almost 1/2 second to fly over that cube. And the ocean depth was 5000 ft. A two year old peeing in Lake Michigan would do proportionally more contamination. I am not against controlling pollution. I just want it to be reasonable and not attempt to scare everyone – which is what has happened in many cases. I believe that credible estimates of natural oil seeps from the ocean floors is more per day than the Macondo (but, obviously not as concentrated in one place).

        • Fred Magyar says:

          And the ocean depth was 5000 ft. A two year old peeing in Lake Michigan would do proportionally more contamination.

          Riiiiight! Unfortunately It is about concentration of lethal doses of chemicals. Did you know that Caffeine is lethal at a mere 200 mg/kg.

          The damage to deep sea corals and the marine ecosystem caused by the extreme concentration of oil and dispersants from the Macondo spill was not minor by any metric you might choose!


        • Old farmer mac says:

          I agree that news organizations in general and environmentalists in particular are guilty guilty guilty of using scare tactics.

          But so does just about everybody else, including the business as usual crowd.

          Honest and impartially presented data is hard to come by unless it is raw data and you are capable of interpreting it for yourself.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Try this experiment: Go without fossil fuels or anything derived from fossil fuels for seven days.

      Here’s just a few examples of some pretty sophisticated civilizations that existed without the use of fossil fuels for slightly more than seven days…

      The Olmec Civilization
      The Aztec Empire
      The Incan Empire
      The Persian Empire
      The Macedonian Empire
      The Roman Empire
      The Mongolian Empire
      The Egyptian Civilization
      The Harappa Civilization
      The Arawak People

      Now imagine our oil based civilization collapses and some pockets of humanity manage to preserve a good portion of our scientific knowledge and manage to build a completely new civilization with some sophisticated technology with the means to harness intermittent power sources such as solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, limited use of biofuels, etc… It’s not that hard to imagine. >;-)

      • EyesWideOpen says:


        thank you for a little dose of sanity and reason.

        I am a tad lost on where our resident court jester was going with his latest jape.

      • wimbi says:

        When I was a kid, I read a report by some mountain man who had wandered off to live with the Sioux. After some years, he came back to summarize it as something like- “Closest to paradise I will ever get.”

      • Futilitist says:

        Hi Fred.

        “Now imagine our oil based civilization collapses and some pockets of humanity manage to preserve a good portion of our scientific knowledge and manage to build a completely new civilization with some sophisticated technology with the means to harness intermittent power sources such as solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, limited use of biofuels, etc… It’s not that hard to imagine. >;-)”

        Putting aside for the moment considerations about the likelihood of any kind of cultural continuity (let alone scientific knowledge) surviving collapse, let’s run your thought experiment out. What would be the outcome?

        Let’s assume that a new civilization rises from the ashes of collapse. It uses technologies left over from the old civilization to overburden a massively degraded ecosystem. The new civilization rapidly fails. No new technological civilization ever rises again. The few remaining survivors are forced to live a much simpler existence until the effects of runaway climate change cause so much further environmental degradation that our species goes extinct. That’s not too hard to imagine either. 😉

        • What runaway climate change? Are you aware that a little over 100,000 years ago there were hippos swimming in the Thames River? It was a lot warmer than today.

      • clueless says:

        Since they did not have fossil fuels for energy, what did they use? That is a real puzzle! Is their any chance that they used slave labor? And generally tried to capture surrounding areas so that they could enslave more people? Maybe that never happened with any of these sophisticated civilizations.

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          Slave labour is alive and unwell today and never really went away. It just changed form. Alas, Futilitist’s scenario seems quite realistic. What too many people– including on POB– keep missing is that civilization, itself, is a/one of the problem/s. It is not necessarily something to aspire to, such as if we can’t get it right, and by right, I also mean ethical…

          Snip from Derrick Jensen’s book, ‘End Game’, Wikipedia entry:

          “Premise One: Civilization is not and can never be sustainable. This is especially true for industrial civilization.
          Premise Two: Traditional communities do not often voluntarily give up or sell the resources on which their communities are based until their communities have been destroyed…
          Premise Three: Our way of living—industrial civilization—is based on, requires, and would collapse very quickly without persistent and widespread violence.
          Premise Four: Civilization is based on a clearly defined and widely accepted yet often unarticulated hierarchy. Violence done by those higher on the hierarchy to those lower is nearly always… unnoticed. When it is noticed, it is fully rationalized. Violence done by those lower on the hierarchy to those higher is unthinkable, and when it does occur is regarded with shock, horror, and the fetishization of the victims…
          Premise Six: Civilization is not redeemable…
          Another way to put premise Eight: Any economic or social system that does not benefit the natural communities on which it is based is unsustainable, immoral, and stupid. Sustainability, morality, and intelligence (as well as justice) requires the dismantling of any such economic or social system, or at the very least disallowing it from damaging your landbase.
          Premise Ten: The culture as a whole and most of its members are insane. The culture is driven by a death urge, an urge to destroy life.
          Premise Thirteen: Those in power rule by force, and the sooner we break ourselves of illusions to the contrary, the sooner we can at least begin to make reasonable decisions about whether, when, and how we are going to resist…
          Premise Nineteen: The culture’s problem lies above all in the belief that controlling and abusing the natural world is justifiable…”

          • Futilitist says:

            “The culture as a whole and most of its members are insane.”


            Thanks for bringing up Derrick Jensen. I read End Game and I thought it was absolutely filled with simple, profound wisdom. I would recommend it to anyone who seeks to lift the veil.

  36. Jeffrey J. Brown says:

    Mayor’s Arrest on Sedition Charges Deepens Sense of Crisis in Venezuela


    CARACAS, Venezuela — The abrupt arrest of the mayor of Caracas on accusations that he had plotted an American-backed overthrow of the government threatened to plunge Venezuela into new political convulsions on Friday, as his supporters rallied in the capital and pockets of protest erupted elsewhere.

    The arrest of the mayor, Antonio Ledezma, on Thursday evening by intelligence agents who fired weapons in the air, was viewed by the opposition as the kidnapping of a political rival to President Nicolás Maduro.

    Mr. Ledezma’s backers called it another assault on democracy in Venezuela, the oil-endowed nation that has been reeling from a severe economic decline under the watch of an increasingly unpopular president.

    Many opposition figures said Mr. Maduro, desperate to divert attention from Venezuela’s internal ills and his own disapproval ratings, concocted Mr. Ledezma’s arrest.

    • This is a really hot button case. I saw the video of Ledezma’s arrest and it was clearly staged to intimidate and terrorize people. They sent him to Ramo Verde Military Prison, the same place where they keep most high profile political prisoners, including Leopoldo López, the former presidential candidate.

      Obama has a very good possible answer: he can authorize Keystone XL to increase Canadian heavy oil deliveries to the usa gulf coast and back out venezuelan heavy oil. The two crude blends are identical. He could argue this reduces tanker traffic near usa coastlines carrying the heavy crude blends.

    • ezrydermike says:

      “There are straightforward principles and dynamics at work here. Washington wants to get rid of the Venezuelan government because it is independent of US designs for the region and because Venezuela has the greatest proven oil reserves in the world and uses its oil revenue to improve the quality of ordinary lives. Venezuela remains a source of inspiration for social reform in a continent ravaged by an historically rapacious US.

      An Oxfam report once famously described the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua as “the threat of a good example.” That has been true in Venezuela since Hugo Chavez won his first election. The “threat” of Venezuela is greater, of course, because it is not tiny and weak; it is rich and influential and regarded as such by the likes of China. The remarkable change in fortunes for millions of people in Latin America is at the heart of US hostility.

      The US has been the undeclared enemy of social progress in Latin America for two centuries. It doesn’t matter who has been in the White House: Barack Obama or Teddy Roosevelt; the US will not tolerate countries with governments and cultures that put the needs of their own people first and refuse to promote or succumb to US demands and pressures. A reformist social democracy with a capitalist base – such as Venezuela – is not excused by the rulers of the world.”


  37. Doug Leighton says:

    Hi Mac,

    There is so much totally off-topic crap on Ron’s Blog right now, thought I’d slip this in since you had earlier shown an interest in a semi-analogous topic: “BLACK HOLE’S BLAST STUNTS BIRTH OF STARS”

    • Old farmer mac says:

      I consider myself very lucky that I still have a childish or juvenile level of enthusiasm for poking into such stuff as black holes and all the other things real as verified by astronomers or imagined as pictured by science fiction writers.

      Unfortunately my education in physics and math falls far short of what is needed to make any real sense of astrophysics. This doesn’t stop me from reading about the field and trying to come to some sort of understanding of it but the more I learn the more contradictions there are which cannot be resolved at my level of understanding.

      But at least I can take some comfort in the fact that NOBODY seems to really have an intuitive understanding of subjects such as quantum mechanics and astrophysics. I have it that this is so on no lesser an authority than Richard Feynman.

      I cannot locate a link to it but Twain wrote a parody about the scientists of his day wherein the bugs and small animals of a community of talking animals decided to mount a great expidition to explore the world beyond their corner of the swamp and meadow. It’s good for a lot of smiles and a belly laugh or two.

      Something tells me that if we ever do have a good understanding of the true nature of physical reality at a very deep level todays explanations are going to be about as funny as some of the bugs theories.

      I do not doubt that lots of amazing facts have been gathered. I do doubt seriously if the way the are stacked and erected into an edifice is going to stand if money remains available over the long term to pay for the uber expensive equipment needed to delve deeper. Satellite telescopes and particle accelerators of the most elaborate design are not cheap.

      Now as far as going off topic is concerned- It seems to me that a blog such as this one tend to attract more visitors and commenters if there ARE some off topic comments- so long as most of them relate to things that a peak oil audience is interested in. All matters having to do with overshoot and economic collapse are closely related to the peak oil question and anything related to climate is also tied to oil due to CO2 pollution.

      I don’t remember Ron saying exactly what his goals are in terms of this forum but I am pretty sure education is one of them and in order to educate you must have readers .Allowing some latitude in the discussion keeps the regulars coming back. If this forum allowed comments STRICTLY about peak oil I would personally probably only read it once a week and make maybe one or two comments.

      And the occasional comment that is way off topic such as ones about astrophysics or health issues are still in my opinion of substantial interest to most of the visitors here.Most of us seem to be old enough to worry about our bodies falling apart.

      Anybody who drops in on a regular basis will soon know which comments to skip over if he is interested solely in peak oil or fossil fuels.

    • EyesWideOpen says:

      I suspect that if this site had content consisting exclusively of C+C production graphs and rig counts it would be considerably less interesting to may readers.

  38. John S says:


    Mike, when you speak of regulating the shale industry, I think you are probably remembering the old days of “proration”. Up until the early 70’s the Texas Railroad Commission’s regulatory mission was:
    1) Protection of correlative rights;
    2) Conservation of physical and economic resources;
    3) The prevention of waste.

    No. 3 was really the protection of market share of each producer by establishing a proration or allowable rate of production for each well. I remember my Dad telling me how tough it was to sell a prospect when the RRC would only let you produce a well for 3 days a Monty

  39. John S says:

    excuse me… that should be 3 days a month.

  40. John S says:

    It is pretty apparent to me that that no state government (at least Texas and New Mexico) can afford the luxury of proration. Severance taxes would so far and so fast that Texas would starve.

    Next to fall would be junk bond financing of the shale companies and then the private equity funds and hedge funds for all the service companies would get wiped out.

    Finally, in the next state budget cycle, ad valoreum taxes wold take a hit as property values would have to be revalued.

    Maybe, I am too jaded, frustrated, or cynical, but I don’t think any state government can afford to regulate shale companies.

    • Watcher says:

      One of the powerful realities of which pretty much anyone uninformed has not assimilated is that THESE ARE HIGH YIELD AKA JUNK BONDS.

      No one has asked why is that? Why aren’t they getting JP Morgan loans at interest rates 0.25% over the 10 yr Treasury note?

      Well, there is a reason for that. Nobody seems to embrace it.

      Because it’s all crapola. Mike has had this right from day one. They can’t borrow and less than high yield rates because EVEN AT $100/barrel, it was crapola.

    • John, it depends in the amount of proration. I was in the industry when we had proration rules. It was fairly easy for the state to fix the volume a well could produce. It didn’t have to be a set fraction. The USGS also made us cut rates, but they would use a technical reduction in the well rate.

  41. John B says:

    “The Turning Point”


    • It will sell in Japan for $70000. Now they need a cheap hydrogen source. But it may be a much better deal than those battery vehicles. Methane is cheapest source for hydrogen, this should increase natural gas sales.

      • toolpush says:

        I am sure the people who are pushing fuel cells are not thinking of shale gas produced by fraccing as the fuel source, but it is hard to see another economically competitive source, apart from the water shift reaction and coal, and that certainly will not lie well.

        Sorry, I forgot about government money!

    • TechGuy says:

      Not to worry, If we are going the Cornucopia route: There are tens of millions of years of hydrocarbon fuels available from our neighboring gas giants. At a future technological progress it will all be accessible in just a few years! Who’s with me?

      • If we are discussing hydrogen for a fuel cell market I believe I can locate several trillion cubic feet of gas we can use. But it’s going to be really expensive gas. Say $15 per MMBTU.

  42. Old farmer mac says:

    Here is a link to an ebook free on the net produced as the result of a conference about climate change organized by a military think tank. I have not yet read very much of it.

    This link might be good to have handy when discussing the subject with right winger types who generally doubt forced climate change is real. That sort of person often has a great deal of confidence in any document produced by the Pentagon or organizations associated with the armed services.


    • I don’t consider a military think tank a reliable information and analysis source. These are the same people who cheered the Iraq invasion and sat on their hands watching all sorts of useless weapons being developed over the years.

  43. Old farmer mac says:

    A prominent climate change skeptic turns out to be on the Koch payroll.


    Not exactly of course but I doubt the Koch brothers will ever release a list of scientists they have funded doing so called honest research.

    The list itself would be a smoking gun.

  44. Caelan MacIntyre says:

    Anarchy in Rojava: A libertarian revolution in the Middle East

    From the online show, ‘It’s The End of The World and I Feel Fine’

    Dedicated to Fernando Leanme ‘u^

  45. Futilitist says:

    Here is something really interesting:

    War And Petroleum Reserves

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-02-2 … m-reserves

    “In the interest of analytical balance, we would do well to consider the possibility of war strategies when it comes to the global stockpiling of petroleum reserves. In the years leading up to the German invasion of Poland, the world witnessed dramatic decreases in the price of oil as well as massive increases in petroleum inventories, especially as the Texas fields began to produce.

    These shifts in the global oil markets ran parallel to the deflation which had begun in October, 1929, and as such, we can see the same pattern repeating today as oil prices collapse, inventories are growing, and world wide deflation is deepening.

    Whether by design or not, the lack of reduction in crude production around the world, and the growing stockpiles which isn’t slowing down, will only mean further decreases in the price of oil.

    The growing deflation will obviously drive down the demand for petroleum products even further, while at the same time decreasing oil prices will continue to feed the deflationary pressure from the opposite macro position.”

    It looks like Old farmer mac’s Leviathans are gearing up for war! The historical parallels are chilling. I love the part about US production leading the way into a glut back then too.

    Lots of automatic mechanisms are lining up to set the stage for WWIII:

    Exponential Growth -> Overproduction -> Crash ->
    Massive Productive Capacity Overhang Prevents Growth -> Deflation -> Oil Glut ->
    Lot’s of Excess Fuel for War -> War -> Productive Capacity Overhang Eliminated ->
    Exponential Growth Resumes

    It seems that WWII averted a collapse by eliminating the overhang in productive capacity, creating room for economic growth. Can WWIII do the same thing for us today? I think peak oil will mean that history only repeats itself up to a point. But who knows? I don’t think we will have to wait much longer to find out.

  46. Ronald Walter says:

    Peak Oil is here, look around you.

    Pure nicotine is deadly poison. One to two drops on the tongue will be fatal.

    Nicotine is also the most addictive substance known to man. Go to any convenience store and you can see the various tobacco products that are for sale. The numbers tell the story, they are the proof in the pudding.

    Tobacco also makes a great insecticide.

    Some hot water or coffee, some tobacco, soak overnight, voila, insecticide.

    More now on energy production:

    Place a galvanized nail on one side and a copper nail on the other side of the potato, lead the wires to a light socket, screw in a light bulb, instant light from a potato. Buy a hundred pound sack of potatoes, some light sockets, some wire, some small zinc coated nails, some copper nails, you can have your own ‘free’ energy. After the potato runs out of juices that stimulate the flow electrons from the zinc and to the copper, you can cook and eat it. Drive to town and buy the supplies needed to assemble the lamp. You could probably run a calculator too, providing you have the proper wiring scheme.

    If you want to go off grid, potatoes will be all you need. You should be able to trade potatoes for tobacco for your insecticide and the local hardware store in town will probably trade potatoes for wiring supplies.

    You’ll be able to grow potatoes, buy the potato seed that was trucked in from the potato plots in the Andes all the way to the local greenhouse or grocery store. As they are growing, you could run wires out to the potato patch to start producing electricity right away while the potatoes grow in the ground. Do it right.

    If you hold the two wires between your thumb and index finger, your own light will shine. It will be something to behold, a revelation, a new awakening.

    Go for it then. Start chanting ‘Ohm’, practice vipassana, ahimsa, yoga, hours of it.

    Didn’t Sitting Bull begin the yoga movement? har

    No planes, no cars, no trains, no ships, no bicycles, no oil, no coal, no electricity, no renewables, none of it. (Ever notice that the corrupt practices that follow the renewable industry, the money, in two words, make the word renewables become the most vile word man could ever invent?) Too much digression.

    The earth and the sun, well, the moon* too, all you will have and need, nothing else.

    Plus potatoes to get it all started. If you can’t light a candle, use a light bulb and a potato. Will you then be off grid or on grid?

    * The lunatics are in charge of the asylum.

    • In all my long life I have never seen a copper nail.

    • TechGuy says:

      Ron W Wrote:
      “Place a galvanized nail on one side and a copper nail on the other side of the potato, lead the wires to a light socket, screw in a light bulb, instant light from a potato. Buy a hundred pound sack of potatoes, some light sockets, some wire, some small zinc coated nails, some copper nails, you can have your own ‘free’ energy”

      The Energy is in the metal of the electrodes, not the potato. The Potato is just the electrolyte for ion transfer. To put is simply, the Zinc anode corrodes and gives off electrons in the process. When all of the Zinc is corroded its stops generating a current.

      “If you want to go off grid, potatoes will be all you need. You should be able to trade potatoes for tobacco for your insecticide and the local hardware store in town will probably trade potatoes for wiring supplies.”

      Not a good idea to use Potatoes as a primary food source. Potatoes are a starch which is converted into a sugar in your body. Eating a potato a nearly eating a bowl of pure sugar.

      “Nicotine is also the most addictive substance known to man. Go to any convenience store and you can see the various tobacco products that are for sale. The numbers tell the story, they are the proof in the pudding.”

      Oil is far more additicting than Nicotine. I met many people that quit Smoking. I’ve never met a person that quit consuming Oil.

  47. EyesWideOpen says:

    An easy example we U.S. Americans can follow as our energy supplies become tighter and more expensive…emulate other cultures and live more simply and at a slower pace, by necessity focusing on essentials rather than luxuries.


    Fred, is this the way of things for many people in Brazil? When I visited an upper middle class family in Ecuador about 0 miles outside of Quito several decades ago I found this to be the case.

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