The EIA’s Petroleum Supply Monthly

The EIA has just published their Petroleum Supply Monthly with US production, and other data, for July 2014. US C+C production fell by 3,000 barrels per day in July.

US C+C

After a big leap in April things have slowed down considerably in the last three months. US production in July was 8,537,000 barrels per day

UA Big Picture

This is US production since 1920. We are just over 1.5 million barrels per day below the monthly high of 10,044,000 barrels per day of in November 1970.

Here are the largest gaines and declines:
The EIA is projecting the Gulf of Mexico to hit 2 million barrels per day in the next couple of years. I really don’t think they are going to make it. There are enough new projects coming on line to easily hit that figure but I think they had not counted on the very high decline rate of the deep water reservoirs. GOM Production

Up or Down Total Production
Total US -3,000 8,537,000
Texas 28,000 3,102,000
New Mexico 22,000 332,000
North Dakota 18,000 1,111,000
Oklahoma 10,000 353,000
Montana 5,000 332,000
California -4,000 442,000
West Virginia -7,000 17,000
Colorado -7,000 228,000
Gulf of Mexico -8,000 1,406,000
Alaska -63,000 422,000

GOM Production

The EIA expects the Gulf of Mexico to hit 2 million barrels per day i the next couple of years. I don’t think they are going to make it. There are enough new projects coming online to reach that point but I don’t think they counted on those deep water reservoirs declining so fast.

Alaska

Alaska was the big decliner in July. That was to be expected for July and August is when they do their maintenance, pig the pipeline and all that.

ND and Montana

This is the total Bakken plus some. North Dakota + Montana production stood at 1,204,000 bpd in July.

Texas C+C

Surprising that Texas was not the biggest gainer in July. The EIA has Texas up 47,000 kbd every previous month in 2014 but for some reason they felt they would only be up 28,000 bpd in July.

New Mexico

Part of the Permian Basin is in New Mexico. New Mexico production, for the last year, has been increasing at about 50,000 barrels per year.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma is not part of the Permian Basin but still their production, for the last year, has been increasing at about 34,000 barrels per year.

California

It looks like California is going somewhere but that is because the scale is so small. California is up 7,000 bpd over the last 12 months.

The Energy Intelligence Report is bullish on oil, that is the price of oil and bearish on the price of gas. I am not a trader but if I were… I wouldn’t know what the hell to do.

Shale Gas

Fred Magyar posted a really great video on the previous post. Here is the Youtube link: Tom Murphy: Growth has an Expiration Date. It is one of the best I have watched in many months. And he has a web site:Do The Math. That is where I found a very good article on population, my favorite subject after Peak OIl: The Real Population Problem. Here he states “surplus energy grows babies.” 

And if you want to see the graphs  population graphs Tom used in the video above, they are in this article.

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297 Responses to The EIA’s Petroleum Supply Monthly

  1. Watcher says:

    Alaska has 6 month dips.

    July last two years was weak for US output. Alaska could do that, though we do know the Bakken didn’t have a great July.

    • ezrydermike says:

      just saw this in the LA Times…

      “A tanker carrying oil from Alaska’s North Slope is heading to South Korea, the first such export in a decade, officials confirmed on Tuesday..

      The oil shipment, though considered relatively small, is significant because it focuses attention on the complicated issue of the 40-year-old U.S. ban on exporting crude oil that has been in effect for the Lower 48 states. Alaska was exempt from the ban in 1996.

      The tanker Polar Discovery owned by ConocoPhillips left Valdez in Alaska on Sept. 26 and is expected to arrive Oct. 10 at Yeosu, South Korea, according to the energy intelligence firm Genscape. The tanker can carry up to 784,000 barrels of crude.”

      http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-alaska-oil-export-south-korea-20140930-story.html

      • Longtimber says:

        America the Major Energy Exporter. It’s Now “US Export Energy Dominance”. Flood the world & Reset the world Stage. Putin Shaking in his boots. No recovery in US except in Oil. 10 states have increases. Green River Shale is 10 times the Bakken. Just crank open the spicket. So can the Republications drill more holes than under Obama 8 years?? Money from Nothing, Chicks for free.

        http://johnbatchelorshow.com/podcasts/2014/09/30/first-hour

  2. Watcher says:

    Factoid:

    Hong Kong burns 300K bpd of the good stuff.

    All of it is from the mainland, and ditto nat gas.

    Putting them back in line isn’t going to require any violence. Just close the spigot.

  3. Brian Rose says:

    Anyone have an idea of what price point oil shale becomes a profitable venture?

    I imagine what will happen when shale oil begins to decline and my best guess is it will result in an event eerily similar to 2007-2008.

    Price will slowly climb at first as elastic demand is destroyed, and once we get to core/inelastic oil demand the price will rocket. Soon after the “weakest link in the chain” of core oil demand will break – be it Japanese debt, Europe’s Financial Crisis, China, or the U.S. – something will break.

    Whatever economic structure breaks will be blamed as the root cause of the ensuing economic crisis just as the housing market was blamed in 2008. We of course know better though.

    Point being, if the financial system is stitched back together next time as well, and oil prices go from $30 barrel to $1xx per barrel will there be massive investment in oil shale that creates another 3-5 year breather. Not only would oil shale come online, but all aging fields would have marginal oil that suddenly becomes economical.

    If our current situation from 2007-2014 is repeated, but with “oil” that becomes economical at a higher price point, then we may very well limp through this transition without complete monetary and financial collapse.

    The Hirsch Report becomes more prescient by the day in this way. We may make an awkward, disjointed transition to electric vehicles, PV, and wind if given another 10 years.

    Every year brings us closer to parity between the cost of solar versus fossil fuels. Same can be said for EV versus ICE transportation. Especially once Tesla’s Model III is released in 2017.

    For those who will immediately scoff at this notion, and I certainly do enjoy a robust discussion, I in no way want to leave out the simple fact that for every solar panel installed and every EV on the road there is a person in China, India, or Brazil getting their first ICE vehicle. In this way there obviously is no transition occurring at all since my reduced consumption is eagerly and immediately taken up by the growing middle class in developing countries.

    Ultimately the only thing I really care about is whether the U.S. can make a transition, not the world as a whole. A combination of driverless vehicles, EV, and PV could radically reduce the U.S.’ oil demand, and would be a step forward, not back.

    I believe we will, on average, be poorer, far poorer, in the U.S. Can’t afford to own a vehicle due to economic crisis, lost employment, reduced pay and benefits, etc? Well, maybe no one will have to own a vehicle as driverless vehicles can be pre-arranged through your smartphone. Need to get to work in 3 days at a specific time? Just reserve one of the millions of driverless vehicles owned by COMPANY X that invented and profited off a revolutionary mode of transport.

    In that way we could all be poorer, but afford to keep a similar lifestyle. No need to own a vehicle, pay insurance, repair said vehicle, etc. COMPANY X won’t have to charge much because they’ll be electric, insurance will be dirt cheap since driverless vehicles would reduce traffic accidents by 99%.

    That being said, if Central Banks and bailouts can’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again next time around (2016-2018), then it’s game over.

    • Anon says:

      Oil shale was widely quoted in the $75-90/bbl range in early 2000s research. There are lower estimates but they are unbelievable; if cost of production looked like it could be anywhere near $40/bbl, why blow money on fracking?

      So adjusted for inflation and wanting to feel comfortable with it as an investor or lender…$110 in constant 2014 money??

    • Anyone have an idea of what price point oil shale becomes a profitable venture?

      When it is higher than anyone can afford. Think ‘game theory’ to find an (unpalatable) answer.

      I imagine what will happen when shale oil begins to decline and my best guess is it will result in an event eerily similar to 2007-2008.

      More likely it will be like what’s happening right now, with several wars in oil-extraction regions … and declining prices.

      Price will slowly climb at first as elastic demand is destroyed, and once we get to core/inelastic oil demand the price will rocket. Soon after the “weakest link in the chain” of core oil demand will break – be it Japanese debt, Europe’s Financial Crisis, China, or the U.S. – something will break.

      What matters is not the intrinsic nature of demand but how much customers can borrow. If they cannot there is nothing to support prices. Prices are low because customers are bankrupt!

      Whatever economic structure breaks will be blamed as the root cause of the ensuing economic crisis just as the housing market was blamed in 2008. We of course know better though.

      True enough. Nobody likes reality.

      Point being, if the financial system is stitched back together next time as well, and oil prices go from $30 barrel to $1xx per barrel will there be massive investment in oil shale that creates another 3-5 year breather. Not only would oil shale come online, but all aging fields would have marginal oil that suddenly becomes economical.

      There is no direct correlation between expenditures and return in oil fields. More funds are continually required to diminished amounts of lower-quality fuel.

      Both banks and drillers are reaching the point where debt-service costs cannot be met with more loans. If they are barely met now, they will not be met when loans are unavailable … nor will they be met with oil shortages.

      If our current situation from 2007-2014 is repeated, but with “oil” that becomes economical at a higher price point, then we may very well limp through this transition without complete monetary and financial collapse.

      ‘Money’ is a claim against purchasing power, not purchasing power itself. Adding more claims does not add PP, which declines along with that which is purchased which is capital. Real capital is non-renewable resources, every other form of financial capital is money in one form or other.

      The Hirsch Report becomes more prescient by the day in this way. We may make an awkward, disjointed transition to electric vehicles, PV, and wind if given another 10 years.

      There are a billion fossil fuel powered motor vehicles, they cannot be replaced with electric vehicles, only the tiniest fraction: the infrastructure to even build them does not exist, nor does the materials (capital).

      Every year brings us closer to parity between the cost of solar versus fossil fuels. Same can be said for EV versus ICE transportation. Especially once Tesla’s Model III is released in 2017.

      Events are moving faster than any transition to alternative fuels. More likely is collapse of auto industry in its entirety as lenders fail. For instance, a 10% reduction in real estate prices = TBTF banks are insolvent again.

      For those who will immediately scoff at this notion, and I certainly do enjoy a robust discussion, I in no way want to leave out the simple fact that for every solar panel installed and every EV on the road there is a person in China, India, or Brazil getting their first ICE vehicle. In this way there obviously is no transition occurring at all since my reduced consumption is eagerly and immediately taken up by the growing middle class in developing countries.

      Not really, customers in these countries are going broke, too.

      Ultimately the only thing I really care about is whether the U.S. can make a transition, not the world as a whole. A combination of driverless vehicles, EV, and PV could radically reduce the U.S.’ oil demand, and would be a step forward, not back.

      More likely, financial crisis will radically reduce US oil demand as customers fall bankrupt … then their lenders.

      I believe we will, on average, be poorer, far poorer, in the U.S. Can’t afford to own a vehicle due to economic crisis, lost employment, reduced pay and benefits, etc? Well, maybe no one will have to own a vehicle as driverless vehicles can be pre-arranged through your smartphone. Need to get to work in 3 days at a specific time? Just reserve one of the millions of driverless vehicles owned by COMPANY X that invented and profited off a revolutionary mode of transport.

      It is unlikely that he economy will work properly in the background bringing to maturity a gigantic manufacturing industry while everything relating to petroleum crashes. Manufacturing cannot be separated from the petroleum industry.

      In that way we could all be poorer, but afford to keep a similar lifestyle. No need to own a vehicle, pay insurance, repair said vehicle, etc. COMPANY X won’t have to charge much because they’ll be electric, insurance will be dirt cheap since driverless vehicles would reduce traffic accidents by 99%.

      Abandoned vehicles rusting along the sides of the road will indeed be driverless, there will also be no accidents as none of these vehicles will move … until they are salvaged for their metal content.

      That being said, if Central Banks and bailouts can’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again next time around (2016-2018), then it’s game over.

      Central banks are collateral constrained, they cannot ‘print money’ or put anything back together. Today is finance-oil industry’s moment in the Sun. If they cannot bail out each other now it will never happen.

      Keep in mind, when oil is unavailable due to cost, the resulting shortages are permanent as they do not make industrial economies richer, they = diminished purchasing power.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Steve,

        Real capital is both non-renewable resources as well as stuff that is built or manufactured with those resources, I suppose you could count them as the same thing, but usually this distinction is made.

        On EV’s, and that they cannot be built, the existing manufacturing facilities that will produce the new vehicles that will replace some portion of the older vehicle fleet can gradually change over to producing EVs, plug-in hybrids, and hybrid vehicles, along with producing higher efficiency ice vehicles.

        When someone claims this can be done, they do not expect it will happen in a couple of years, it will happen gradually of a couple of decades, and in addition fewer cars will be purchased, and more people will demand and use public transportation.

        A lot depends on higher oil prices and the realization by society in general that the supply of liquid fuels is not unlimited, that the days of peak affordable liquid fuels is either here or a few years down the road. Higher oil prices may speed this transition, but if they rise too fast (more than 5% per year for several years) the economy will crash which would slow the transition. It is pretty likely that the economy will cycle between recession due to high oil prices and slow economic recovery as the oil prices fall due to a fall in GDP and resulting reduced demand.

        If there is government policy to attempt to speed the transition away from fossil fuels through taxation or other means it might help, but such action in the US would only come if we get to a Great Depression level of crisis.

        • Hi Dennis …

          “Real capital is both non-renewable resources as well as stuff that is built or manufactured with those resources …

          That can’t be true, it violates entropy.

          ‘Stuff’ that destroys capital has negative value (even as it is collateral for loans).

          🙂

          • Old farmer mac says:

            I don’t think entropy applies in this sense. A steel beam is a thing manufactured out of coal, limestone, and iron ore for the most part , all of which are non renewable resources. The usefulness of a piece of steel is generally of a higher order than that of iron ore, coal, or limestone.

            I just can’t see any reason in principle to distinguish steel from coal in defining capital.

            AND while I wouldn’t want any body to take me for a commie, I believe Marx was right about HUMAN CAPITAL.

            My education as a professional farmer has resulted in my producing a lot more food and fiber from a given amount of land and materials and labor inputs than my grandparents ever did.

            • Nick G says:

              Mac,

              FWIW, a steel beam can be renewable.

              First, it can be recycled using renewable electricity.

              Second, it can be smelted from iron ore using renewable electricity to create hydrogen. It’s somewhat more expensive at the moment, but coal is not essential.

    • Ed Auden says:

      I recently talked to an owner of a firm providing testing services for US PV companies. He blamed the bankruptcy of US solar cell manufacturers on Chinese subsidies for their manufacturers. Now that there has been a shakeout in the Chinese industry we are seeing price rises. This brings up the question of how much of the price decline was technological innovation and how much was due government subsidies? Some suggest savings are slowing and the industry will struggle.

      http://www.rtcc.org/2014/06/02/why-are-solar-panel-prices-starting-to-rise/

    • Ilambiquated says:

      Most electrical transportation is electric trains and electric bikes. I doubt electric cars will make much of a dent in the next ten years.

      • Chris says:

        There is also the question of ressources needed to build the current batteries. Using the current technology, it is not possible to replace all ICE by EV. So we should decrease the number of cars to enable EV generalisation. And as you mention, electric trains (more than 60% over Europe, and increasing) and electric bikes/scooters are more probable, probably with shared electric cars.

        • Nick G says:

          There is also the question of ressources needed to build the current batteries. Using the current technology, it is not possible to replace all ICE by EV.

          What resource are you worried about? There’s plenty of lithium. Really, EVs can replace ICEs quite nicely.

          • thrig says:

            Beware these purported gifts of industry as usual (bad news from the biosphere, below) as the example set by the few thus gifted is to grow fat and sick behind a wheel. Perhaps they could walk? Alas, their suburbs linked by superhighways to strip-malls are hardly built for walking, nor their denizens very hardy, from all that lack of walking. Combine these insults to mobility (for indeed those car-sitters are quite immobile in their straps) with the gifts of industrial feedstock, and well! One might have rather less confidence in the business as usual that got us into this mess, and not blow that nostrum, sunshine.

            • Nick G says:

              Hey, I like walking and biking.

              The point: we have a choice. Walking won’t be forced on us by lack of energy.

              You also might want to ponder the fact that a lot of people have disabilities of one sort or another, even though they’re often invisible at a casual glance. Driving is very often not optional.

              • thrig says:

                Yes, I am aware that there are a large number of people with disabilities in America; two recently struck and left for dead a seven year old girl on Rainier Avenue in Seattle (“ran her down like a dog” according to a witness); alas, road safety improvements planned for there since, oh, 1976 or so have somehow never materialized (it is a poor neighborhood), and, you know, cars are king.

                As for your purported energy (which will require much Carbon burnt to mine, make, distribute, and dispose of all that junk—the biosphere be damned), it is now the 21st anniversary of the last change to the federal gas tax, and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is now for some reason much concerned about the ongoing non-maintenance of the roads. Look for roads reverting to gravel, and your disabled drivers sucking hard on new, higher costs thanks to that deficit. Or, more likely, magical tricks as the general fund is raided yet again to try to bail out the roads. But hey, y’all can drive on sunshine alone, right?

                • Nick G says:

                  Well, wind and solar can be built with renewable power, or fossil fuels. We can fund road improvements or cut taxes on the rich. These are choices.

                  Have you called elected representatives? Have you made campaign contributions, and then called your reps? Whatch doin?

                  • thrig says:

                    Very simple measures; eliminate vehicle trips, hence the $0 in transportation spending this year; keep my money local, which is made easier by nixing home Internet and definitely no smartphone, and mostly only spending at the local farmer’s market. I ignore politics; the lessons from Detroit and Bertha and elsewhere point to a highway lobby slumped out dead over the “build new” lever, much as particularily obese patient loosens their belt a notch to rake in more food, for the dubious benefit of yet more interstate lanes in the face of stagnant VMT numbers. What can a doctor do? One might instead try maintaining the existing infrastructure (the ever-popular diet and exercise plan!), but last I modeled that for non-arterial roads in Seattle, spending would have to go up, a lot, and oddly enough the roads are being left to rot. Which is fine; walking and bicycling require orders of magnitude less energy than what most Americans are presently porking down on, and I’m really not sure where you are getting your incredibly rosy numbers from. The Hirsch report shows the Germans get twice the mileage from the same fuel, and with every road diet and density increase being fought tooth and nail in Seattle, Americans sure don’t seem much in a hurry to even touch that efficiency. Perhaps they are being mislead by dreams of iPhone trees on the big federal reserve candy mountain?

            • Ilambiquated says:

              Spent the day in Nijmegen, Holland today. They solved the problem by shutting down car traffic downtown.

              http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/36213068.jpg

              There is still quite a bit of natural gas bus traffic though.

      • Old farmer mac says:

        I must agree even though I think electric cars are going to sell like ice water in hell the next time oil spikes and gasoline is rationed.

        But the manufacturing base is too small compared to the conventional automobile industry for electrics to capture a big market share in only a decade.

        The key to this question is battery supply.If it takes Elon Musk five years to build a battery factory nobody else is going to do it a whole lot faster and nobody much is even getting started very soon unless I missed the announcement.

        It will require a dozen battery megafactories to supply enough batteries to noticeably cut into oil consumption just in the US.

        But if my guesses about falling battery prices and rising oil prices and the economy doesn’t crash before it can happen THEN I expect to read about battery factories being built by the dozen STARTING in a decade or so.

        I hope somebody knows where to find the lithium and other materials in sufficient quantities!

    • canabuck says:

      Driverless buses, now that could have a big impact in cities.
      The cost of the driver is about $23/hr in Canada.
      Some routes are 18 hrs/day, but the average bus is driven perhaps 12-14 hours/day, 7 days/week.
      So, the driver cost is $100,000 to $117,000 per year.
      A new bus costs $471,000.
      With a replacement after 12 years, and 4% interest, then the costs break down like this:
      * 12%/year for replacement costs
      * fuel is 6-12% / year
      * <1% for maintenance.
      * 21 – 25% for a driver.
      reference

      So, the cost of the driver is about half of the total operating costs.

      • Brian Rose says:

        Cannabuck,

        That is really intriguing! Thanks for the well sourced info.

        That breakdown of costs reveals why it is that economic theory always assumes that labor is the only resource that matters. Since wages are always the largest cost component of goods and services that is all that is given attention.

        Central banks set interest rates based on employment and wage pressures because historically the primary cause of inflation or deflation was wage inflation rates. If the economy is growing too fast for the labor market to keep up the result was always wage inflation, which caused price inflation.

        That’s why the 1970s made no sense to economists whatsoever. Prices were rising (inflation) at the same time growth was stagnating.

        This was suppose to be impossible in their minds, and interest rate policy breaks down in a stagflation. Same happened in 2005-2007. Growth was slowing while inflation was rising. Bernanke’s solution was to fight the inflation portion of this by raising interest rates 16 times in less than 2 years.

        But raising interest rates to fight inflation when growth is slowing can lead to bad voodoo. The same time people were hit with higher gas prices, food prices, and worsening job prospects they were hit with rising interest rates… Especially people with Adjustable Rate Mortgages – cue housing crash shortly after.

        The economic theory that says inflation is caused by too much growth too fast is correct. If the economy is seen as a complex chemical reaction the inflation is caused by the rate limiting resource – be it wood, food, labor, oil, or whatever else.

        The problem is that economists assumed the only possible rate limiting resource is labor, so they ignore all other possible rate limiting (growth limiting/inflation causing) shortages.

        They seem to have no learned that during a stagflation you ignore inflation and work on jump starting growth (lower interest rates). However, this will only exacerbate a resource shortage because you’re trying to increase reaction rate (growth) while there is a limiting reagent. I really wish economists were forced to take classes in the sciences. It is pretty intuitively obvious that an economic system is merely a complex series of chemical and physical reactions that act to sustain itself. Basically, an organism with billions of units (cells/people) acting to sustain the organism (economy). Don’t feed it enough food (energy/oil), resources (minerals/essential fatty acids/essential amino acids), or labor (production of appropriate enzymes to maintain metabolism, prevent toxicity, maintain homeostasis) then the organism dies (financial collapse).

        If economists, politicians, and business leaders were taught the ties between an economy, biology, physics, and chemistry we would have a different economic paradigm to begin with, and would not be flying blind like we are now.

      • Paulo says:

        Cannabuck

        Drive in Vancouver and you will soon see there will never be driverless busses. Passenger security from thuggery comes to mind. Payment of fares. Let alone the sheer liability risk(s). Never happen.

        What, we put everyone out of work? You forgot to also price in the cost of looking after the unemployed driver and his family. $23/hr is $46,000 per year for full time work. Plus bennies. A family cannot get by on even this amount in places that require bus transit systems.

        Never happen, imho. Do we want to live in that kind of world? I don’t.

        Paulo

        • canabuck says:

          Vancouver bus drivers make $30.38/hr plus benefits.
          Security is a big issue, i agree. But it seems to be solved on driverless trains, so the same should work on buses.

      • Ilambiquated says:

        One way to cut the costs of a bus (per passenger) is to make it driverless. Another way is increase the number of passengers per bus. Haihh passenger counts are the natural state in high density neighborhoods. So cities wanting to make buses more affordable should promote efficient land use.

      • Nick G says:

        It would be nice to find a study more recent than 2007: this analysis assumes diesel at $2.30, and uses a mix of lead-acid and NIMH batteries.

    • Nick G says:

      Every year brings us closer to parity between the cost of solar versus fossil fuels.

      It’s here now, in many places like Australia, Hawaii, India, Chile, Southern California, etc.

      Same can be said for EV versus ICE transportation. Especially once Tesla’s Model III is released in 2017.

      That’s here now. The Nissan Leaf is the cheapest thing on the road, all costs included.

      • Ed Auden says:

        Nissan is reducing the cost advantage with a $4,000 price increase for extended range. It will still have a significant coast advantage over a Versa. With this kind of range electric cars could become much more popular.

        http://www.thestreet.com/story/12554189/1/nissan-to-extend-electric-car-leadership-with-135-mile-leaf.html

        Hawaii is having trouble with solar with solar PV.

        A case in point – albeit not a typical one – is the recent decision by the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) banning all new solar PV installations on its distribution network. The company’s official reason, as reported by Bloomberg’s Mark Chediak, Christopher Martin and Ken Wells (25 Dec 2013), is that “ … so many Hawaiians are stampeding to solar that (distribution) circuits may become over-saturated, causing voltage spikes, damaging appliances, electronics and even the utility’s equipment.”

        http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/dont-like-solar-pv-ban-new-installations-94385

        • Nick G says:

          It’ll be fun to see a longer range leaf.

          Re: Hawaii. It’s not the island state that’s having trouble, it’s the utility. It’s terrified by solar, which is far cheaper than the oil it’s addicted to using for generation. It’s customers are installing PV as fast as possible, and HECO is trying to delay it.

          The local Utility Commission recently told it in very strong terms to stop stalling.

          • Dave Ranning says:

            As someone who has lived 10 years on Maui (still have a house there), the only place where PV is practical is where the grid is absent.
            PV is a hobby project for most.
            Passive solar makes perfect sense.
            The return on energy invested is not there, especially with transportation and externalities.

            I have also lived in Micronesia, and a simple PV panel does come in handy, but only for minor power.
            Your main concern is collecting water off the roof.
            And making sure your Paluan Spear gun is in working order, and your human skull candle holders don’t freak anyone out.

            • Nick G says:

              Dave,

              I don’t know if your neighbors have been reading the research on energy return, or if they just like saving lots of money, but they’re installing PV like mad.

              Would you like links to the research?

              • Dave Ranning says:

                Sure–
                Just don’t mix economics and energy together.

                • Nick G says:

                  Here you go:

                  “Energy payback time (EPBT) is the time it takes for a photovoltaic (PV) system to produce all the energy used throughout its life cycle. A short EPBT corresponds to a high energy return on energy investment (EROI); these two indicators are metrics of sustainability often used in comparative evaluations of different power-generation technologies.

                  Early assessments in the 1970s and ’80s showed high EPBT (low EROI) values for prototype systems utilizing large amounts of steel and aluminum and thick silicon wafers produced in small, inefficient production lines. Now, current commercial PV technologies “pay back” the energy used in only six months to two years (depending on the location/solar irradiation and the technology).

                  With their expected life times of 30 years, their EROIs range from 15:1 to 60:1, signifying
                  that they return 15 to 60 times more energy than that used during their fabrication and lifetime.”

                  http://www.bnl.gov/pv/files/pdf/240_SolarToday%20June12_c.pdf

        • John B. says:

          If anything, the situation in Hawaii proves PV won’t cause the type of damages feared. Some circuits are now at 100% PV during peak sunlight hours.

          And the new utility rules will only further their demise, by pushing customers to PV with storage. Which is already cheaper than utility rates.

          Sunlight provides some 5,000 times as much energy as humans use. PV is the future. This is the 1 thing Hubbert got right.

  4. ManBearPig says:

    On the Permian Basin –
    The EIA does a decent job of describing the different pays currently being targeted:
    http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=17031

  5. Doug Leighton says:

    BBC WORLD News: World wildlife populations halved in 40 years

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29418983

    “The report suggests populations have halved in 40 years, as new methodology gives more alarming results than in a report two years ago. The report says populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish have declined by an average of 52%. Populations of freshwater species have suffered an even worse fall of 76%.”

    “The society’s report, in conjunction with the pressure group WWF, says humans are cutting down trees more quickly than they can re-grow, harvesting more fish than the oceans can re-stock, pumping water from rivers and aquifers faster than rainfall can replenish them, and emitting more carbon than oceans and forests can absorb.”

    • This is absolutely heartbreaking. The human population is not just in overshoot, but deep, deep overshoot. Our numbers are eight to ten times what the earth can, over the long term, sustain.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        I agree Ron, it actually makes me feel sick to my stomach.

        • Dave Ranning says:

          No primate has been alive to have a history of whats happening.
          It has been 65 million years, and there is no memory.

      • Brian Rose says:

        One good old fashioned pandemic will take care of that at some point. Quite incredible we haven’t had such an event since the Spanish Flu, but in terms of epidemiology our population density and ease of travel makes a pandemic the most likely means that our population will come down.

        If that doesn’t happen soon then it will be good old war. Although, it will likely be a combination of both.

        I’m only speaking of how population of developed countries will decline. Famine will almost certainly be the means by which undeveloped countries adjust their populations.

        • Anonymous says:

          It may already be spreading through Africa today.

          • Anon says:

            Ebola is frighteningly perfect for burning through grossly overpopulated regions. The only thing it’s not is airborne, but it seems more contagious than previously believed. Long incubation period, resembles endemic lesser illnesses in early stages, preys on high density, bad healthcare and bad education.

            It’s probably getting out of those countries. It may get off the continent.

            • Brian Rose says:

              It seems the major fear is that the longer it persists and the more people if infects the larger the chance that it acquires a series of mutations that allows for airborne transmission.

              It is improbable that will happen, but if it does, then the mutated airborne version will spread before we even know it exists.

              I’d imagine developed countries do have some extreme measures if this does happen though. A few weeks of curfews, martial law, no incoming international flights, and quarantine would stop it in its tracks since it is a virus and cannot survive in an outside environment like bacteria.

      • Nick G says:

        Ron,

        I share your concern about environmental damage, but I gotta say, it’s not a resource question, it’s a human behavior question.

        1 billion people would just take a little while longer to extinguish other species and use up other things (what was the population of the US when wolves, buffalo and the passenger pigeon were exterminated?). OTOH, 10B people could live on the earth just fine, if they were much more careful.

        I don’t know if that’s optimistic or not.

        • I share your concern about environmental damage, but I gotta say, it’s not a resource question, it’s a human behavior question.

          No, it’s an animal behavior problem. We are just animals behaving as all animals do, breeding to the very limit of our existence.

          1 billion people would just take a little while longer to extinguish other species and use up other things (what was the population of the US when wolves, buffalo and the passenger pigeon were exterminated?).

          While it is true that 1 billion people would kill off all or most of the megafauna if we were all hunter gatherers. And with 1 billion people we would still be in overshoot. About half a billion people, or perhaps a bit less, would be the ideal the earth could support, long term.

          But say half a billion people with half of them farmers, using animal power, could grow enough to feed themselves and the other half in a sustainable world. And we would likely not kill off any more megafauna, noting that many have already been driven into extinction. Half a billion humans should leave enough habitat for the few that are left.

          All energy we used would be renewable energy, like it was before the discovery of fossil fuel.

          But unfortunately our overshoot is so great it will likely result in undershoot after the collapse. But I am ever the wide eyed optimist myself. I believe there will be survivors.

          OTOH, 10B people could live on the earth just fine, if they were much more careful.

          And that statement is so god awful wrong it requires it’s own reply… below.

        • OTOH, 10B people could live on the earth just fine, if they were much more careful.

          No, no, I cannot. I cannot reply to such a statement because it betrays the author of such a statement of any true knowledge of what is actually happening to the world. But I will try with only a brief statement:

          There is a reason why the world only has half the wildlife it had only 40 years ago, and the author of that statement has no idea why. There is a reason rivers, lakes and inland seas are drying up. There is a reason the fish of the sea are only a tiny fraction of what they were half a century ago. There is a reason deserts are expanding. There is a reason forest are disappearing up. There is a reason water tables are dropping by meters per year in Asia. There is a reason half the topsoil of all arable land has disappeared in the last century. There is a reason all these things are happening and that reason is not because we are not careful. The reason is that there are just too goddamn many of us trying to live on too small a planet.

    • Ilambiquated says:

      Here’s an overview of bird populations in North America.

      http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/tr2011/trend2011_v1.html

      My father predicted that the nighthawks and the flycatchers would disappear back in the sixties.

    • Allan H says:

      It is now more important than ever to try and preserve species. Nature has a wonderful way of asserting itself after a disaster, but there has to be stock existing to start the process.

  6. SRSrocco says:

    Ron & Everyone,

    I think something BIG IS COMING. I am not going to get into the details because I don’t think Ron would allow the discussion of this on his site (I totally understand). However, I saw some new pictures that TOTALLY BLEW me away. I will leave it at that and just include a link for everyone who wants to check out these pictures and new DATA DUMP that the Russians are going to go public via Snowden.

    http://www.storyleak.com/911-truth-goes-nuclear-massive-download-in-progress/

    Ron… you really need to check out that link and look at those new pictures… totally shocked the hell out of me. And it takes a lot of shock me.

    steve

    • From the article: Huge caverns of “melted granite” were found below the foundations of the Twin Towers. Were they caused by thermo-nuclear explosions detonated to obliterate the steel reinforced, cast concrete, tubular core structure of WTC Buildings 1 & 2?

      A thermo-nuclear explosion took the towers down! Only a blooming idiot would believe that. The towers pancaked down, one story at a time, starting from the very point where the planes hit and going down, top to bottom. There was no thermo-nuclear explosion.

      This is the biggest load of shit I have read in years.

      • SRSrocco says:

        Ron,

        I kind of thought you would react that way. Anyhow, it takes 1215-1260 C to melt granite.

        steve

      • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

        So, the airplanes were flown into the towers to provide cover for the thermonuclear (not nuclear) explosions? Right. An H-bomb went off and no one noticed. But since the buildings fell separately, I guess it was two H-bombs.

        In any case, Ron is clearly part of the conspiracy, assisting in the massive coverup operation.

        • SRSrocco says:

          Jeff,

          Didn’t realize you had such a good sense of humor. Still doesn’t answer how granite melted that much below ground level.

          steve

        • Dave Ranning says:

          911 has helped in crippling the Left.
          It is time to move on.
          Who cares if a bunch of elite’s did this?
          Historically, it is rather common.
          And the evidence is quits creative.

          • Who cares if a bunch of elite’s did this?

            I care. I care that anyone would believe for one minute that the US government would conspire to kill over 3,000 of it’s own citizens. I care that we have certain segment of the populace that believes something so outlandishly stupid. I am a card carrying left wing liberal, but to believe that the Bush Administration conspired to do such a thing is just down in the dirt stupid. To believe that Cheney was at the controls guiding these planes is ignorance gone to seed!

            I was on the beach in Pensacola in the late summer of 2010. There was an old man fishing there and ranting that Obama was behind the Deepwater Horizon incident. Obama and his hinchmen planned and executed the entire blowout. I tell you it is absolutely amazint the very stupid things some people are capable of believing.

            • Dave Ranning says:

              I don’t believe anyone in the Bush Regime was competent enough to pull this off.

              I believe it was a bunch of pissed off young Arabs and and Persians.

              However, I don’t believe the moral compass of many elite’s in the US would prevent them from doing this for economic and political gain.

              As Abbey pointed out:
              “Society is like a stew, if not stirred frequently, the scum rises to the top.”

            • Anonymous says:

              I’m sure there has been a government cover up over 911. I am sure they worked like crazy to cover up hoiw incompetent they were not to see it coming.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Hey Ron, Conspiracy theorists aren’t necessarily stupid >;-)
              It has more to do with how people react when their world view is challenged by uncomfortable facts. Granted a few of us have gone to the trouble of actually learning how to think and are therefore somewhat more immune than others…

              http://goo.gl/6VwPC4

              What is at the root of denial? A Must Read from Chris Mooney in Mother Jones

              Scientific reasoning and pragmatism is fundamentally unnatural and extremely difficult. Even scientists, when engaged in a particular nasty internal ideological conflict, have been known to deny the science. This is because when one’s ideology is challenged by the facts you are in essence creating an existential crisis. The facts become an assault on the person themselves, their deepest beliefs, and how they perceive and understand the world. What is done in this situation? Does the typical individual suck it up, and change, fundamentally, who they are as a person? Of course not! They invent a conspiracy theory as to why the facts have to be wrong. They cherry pick the evidence that supports them, believe any fake expert that espouses the same nonsense and will always demand more and more evidence, never being satisfied that their core beliefs might be wrong. This is where “motivated reasoning” comes from. It’s a defense of self from the onslaught of uncomfortable facts. Think of the creationist confronted with a fossil record, molecular biology, geology, physics, and half a dozen other scientific fields, are they ever convinced? No, because it’s all an atheist conspiracy to make them lose their religion.

            • Paulo says:

              I was going to send today’s post link to some friends who are curious. Then, I got to Siroccos conspiracy crap. Now, I can’t. How could I send this on to any one I wish to wake up to PO and growth limits?

              Paulo

              • Doug Leighton says:

                Perhaps Ron’s Blog would benefit from off-topic-editing. There have certainly been times I’ve made inappropriate comments and later wondered why they weren’t deleted in their entirety.

                • SRSrocco says:

                  Doug,

                  Is your reference to my comment?

                  steve

                  • Doug Leighton says:

                    Steve,

                    No. I have often thought comments on Ron’s Blog wander too far from the core issue of PO (and perhaps AGW) and this, at least to my mind, detracts from his primary focus. And, I don’t claim to be innocent having wandered into bazaar territory myself. One area that especially bugs me is seemingly endless discussion of the definition of money, debt, etc. Perhaps this simply reflects my lack of interest in and ignorance of economics. Having said that, I don’t think your 7/11 diatribe contributes to the PO discussion.

                  • SRSrocco says:

                    Doug,

                    A very gentlemanly response. Duly noted.

                    steve

          • Stephen Hren says:

            I agree that chasing this 9/11 phantom is a waste of time. I used to believe fairly solidly in the conspiracy elements regarding this episode, now I am agnostic. Just like I’m agnostic regarding collapse. It certainly seemed inevitable a decade ago, but there’s been lots of amazing work that’s happening re: permaculture, renewable energy, women’s rights (and the concomitant slowing of population growth)…

            Peak oil still seems very likely in the next few years but I’ve given up being adamant about it, since I was for over a decade and it’s sorta happened but not really. Anthropogenic climate disruption is a no-brainer if you read any of the science, species loss is out of control, etc, but the world has never EVER experienced anything like what is happening with one species finally evolving the intelligence and dexterity to so vastly manipulate the natural world. This evolution was inevitable, if not by humans than some other species, as was the exploitation of fossil fuels. How will it end? I know now that it is utterly presumptuous to pretend to know.

            The same can be said for 9/11: to presume to know is utterly presumptuous. Flatly, we will never know what happened. But I do know that two planes bringing three buildings straight down (far and away the most difficult way for a building or anything to fall down) makes zero sense. Imagine trying to get a tree, or your kid’s tower of blocks, or anything at all to collapse straight down. It isn’t impossible, but it’s really, really difficult. Three times in a row? Fuggedaboutit.

            • Brian Rose says:

              Stephen Hren,

              “This evolution was inevitable, if not by humans than some other species, as was the exploitation of fossil fuels.”

              I’ve had a theory for years that relies on 3 things regarding the evolution of life on other planets.

              1. It’s quite obvious that life tends toward complexity (efficiency of energy and resource use) over time.

              2. Life starts with the process of storing low entropy transient energy in chemical bonds – be it photosynthesis or chemosynthesis – and in time other organisms evolve to feed off of the stored chemical bonds (sugar) these initial lifeforms store.

              3. Each level of organism must outwit the previous one (producer -> primary consumer (herbivore) -> secondary consumer (feeds on herbivore) -> tertiary consumer (feeds on carnivore) and therefore intelligence is a natural consequence of this arms race that tends to make the tertiary consumer “intelligent”

              4. Not all stored chemical energy is used or consumed, so over time large quantities are stored and turn into hydrocarbons.

              5. Eventually the increasing intelligence of organisms and the build up of stored hydrocarbons meets, and the result is what humans are doing.

              This is clearly the first time that Earth has experienced this, but I suspect it is a common theme as life develops on other planets, and it is most likely the means by which life becomes intentionally multiplanetary universally. Fighting gravity takes a lot of energy, and without the help of hydrocarbons I think it is unlikely any organism could INTENTIONALLY reach other planets.

              Reaching other solar systems is an entirely different story though. The chances of intelligent life visiting us, even if they know life exists here through analyzing our unusually oxidized atmosphere, is near zero. Just as we can now analyze the atmosphere’s of exoplanets, but can never really hope to travel to them. If anything were to visit us it would almost certainly be the alien equivalent of robots, machines, computers created by other intelligent life.

              It took almost 4 billion years for the arms race of predator/prey to create us, but our Sun is not a particularly long lived star. The most stable stars burn for over 100 billion years.

            • The same can be said for 9/11: to presume to know is utterly presumptuous. Flatly, we will never know what happened.

              Bullshit! We know exactly what happened. A group of 20 men, later 19, from Middle East nations, under the leadership of Osama Bin Laden, conspired to hijack four planes and crash them into the World Trade Center, The White House and the Pentagon. The White House plane crashed in Pennsylvania but the other three hit their target.

              Why is that so goddamn hard for some people to believe. Read Fred’s link above and learn why some people believe in stupid conspiracy theories. Here it is again:
              What is at the root of denial?

              • Stephen Hren says:

                Brian,

                Thank you for your excellent and cogent summary! I agree with your analysis completely – what you state seems to me the natural order of the universe. Life as the anti-entropy force, accumulating complexity against all odds. Perhaps life will progress into ever more far-reaching complexity until the next Big Bang occurs, created by living beings some ten or twenty billion years hence…

                Ron, you ask:

                Why is that so goddamn hard for some people to believe.

                I’ve had Christian, Muslim, and other friends ask me this question also. The answer is: I’m a skeptic. Prove it to me! The proof behind the official conspiracy theory (the one you refer to) is paltry and contradictory at best. I can’t imagine ever believing it at this point. But that’s okay, I’m fine with not believing stuff. I have this weird notion it keeps me on my toes.

                • Stephen, two men conspiring to rob a bank is a conspiracy, so let’s not get hung up on semantics.

                  Have you ever heard of Occam’s Razor? Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.

                  The proof that a group of men led by Osama Bin Laden carried off the events of 9/11 is absolutely overwhelming. There is a tape of Bin Laden, explaining that after the first tower was hit, people came to congratulate him. He said, “I said just wait, just wait”. He knew that the second tower was about to be hit.

                  As I unsuccessfully tried to explain to Steve, the towers started to collapse from the exact point where the planes hit, and they pancaked, one after the other, one at a time, right down to the ground. That should be obvious to anyone who watches the videos of both collapses. So it is very obvious what happened.

                  But my question to you is: What is so goddamn hard to believe about the obvious version? That is, these men from the Middle East hijacked the planes and flew them into the buildings. Why in God’s name do you, are anyone else, find that so hard to believe.

                  The flames from the jet fuel weakened the steel girders and they just folded. That could so easily happen as it really does not take a lot of heat to weaken steel. I know that because as a child in the 40s I watched the blacksmith bend steel so easily when it was heated.

                  So just tell me, why is that, the very obvious version, so damn hard for you to believe?

                  • ezrydermike says:

                    I believe the conspiracy is the linkage to the Saudi’s. The stuff about building collapses and drone aircraft etc certainly distracts from this.

                    http://www.alternet.org/how-bush-administration-covered-saudi-connection-911?page=0%2C0

                  • Cave Bio says:

                    “Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings.”

                    ― Victor J. Stenger

                  • Stephen Hren says:

                    Ron,

                    Truly, I think we’re both done with this, and neither will convince the other. But since you asked my why I don’t believe it, I’ll list the most obvious problems.

                    If you watch the video, the buildings (including WTC7) free fall. If the buildings pancaked, there would be a stutter effect, a pause as each floor was hit, and then collapsed. This cannot happen at the same time as free fall. In fact, it should take much longer. The two towers especially were built very near three of the busiest airports in the world. I guarantee you they were over-engineered to withstand a direct impact from a plane, and in fact engineers who worked on them have testified to this fact. If something gets hit on its side (like a tree, human, house, etc), it cannot pancake down in free fall. The rest of the structure holds it up, and it falls over to the side. This is why lumberjacks call out “Timber!”. That one building would collapse downwards like that, maybe. That a second would do so, highly improbable. That a third tower would do so when not even hit by a plane? My father is a metallurgist, and my three brothers are all engineers. When I discuss these things with them, they nod their heads in agreement, but like you, still can’t let go of their belief in the story.

                    There are plenty of other reasons not to believe, summarized in movies like “Zeitgeist.” I can’t ever “believe” the official story – once the bucket has too many holes in it, it don’t hold no water.

                  • Nick G says:

                    If the buildings pancaked, there would be a stutter effect, a pause as each floor was hit, and then collapsed.

                    Hmm. How do we know that’s the case? I would think that would only be the case if the impact was just barely enough to overwhelm the columns. If the impact was several times larger than that level I woudn’t expect a pause.

                    IOW, a pause would indicate the columns held for a moment. If they could hold for a moment, they would hold longer.

                    Kind’ve like the difference between static and dynamic friction: once something gets started, it doesn’t stop. Or, if it stops, it doesn’t start again.

                  • Verwimp says:

                    Hren, As an engineer I need to react. The pause would mean energy is dissipated in the breaking of things. Right. I agree. The misconception is the idea beams were breaking. That was not the case. Is was only bolts in the joints between the beams that were breaking. So the pause is a lot smaller -> immeasurable. The collapse video’s shows the ‘collapse front’ running down at free fall, but at the same time a lot of rubble kind of ‘staying behind’ for a little while. That’s the fraction of the building (and furniture, ….) that took up energy in a breaking or deformation process. So far WTC1 and 2. WTC7 is basically the same: bolts breaking, dissipating almost no energy.

                    I believe/I am sure some extremists ran planes into buildings. There is no doubt about that. But the us gvt might have known it was about to happen, and faild to react (or has chosen not to act). That is an unsure thing. Is there was a conspiracy, it was on that level. There is a documented prelude (the PNAC), There is a documented aftermath which accords with the prelude. So something on that level may be true. But I am not sure.

                  • El Zorro says:

                    Hi Ron. First I should congratulate you and the community for creating a great site with a forum as interesting and educational as TOD.

                    Second, I don’t understand why there is such a great fear of discussions about conspiracies and other polemics. I find these discussions interesting and helpful… even if no one ever changes sides, what is the harm in airing out the old arguments every so often? No need to be embarrassed that your civil discussion is getting “hijacked” by another discussion. So far the discussion here has almost always been fairly civil and educational, even when it leads to talk of climate change & 9/11.

                    Third, most posters who are hoping to quash any discussion of 9/11 fail to mention WTC7, the THIRD tall building to fall on 9/11. It’s very hard to avoid talk of alternative scenarios when you find out that two planes knocked down 3 skyscrapers, yet 99% of people in America don’t even know a 3rd building fell that day… Until most people come to understand even the simplest facts about 9/11, how can we say that we are done talking about it?

                    Keep up the great work!

                  • 7:AM Central Daylight Time, October 1st, 2014

                    No more 9/11 conspiracy theory bullshit! All 9/11 posts after this point will be deleted.
                    This is not a conspiracy theory blog. There are hundreds of them elsewhere. If you have conspiracy theory bullshit to dispense then go there.

                    Ron Patterson, blog owner

            • Ilambiquated says:

              Most important, 9/11 was that big a deal. A few thousand dead, several large building destroyed. Not nice, needs to be avoided in the future, but so what? CNN rebroadcast the images a millions times, but Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction was a thing too. Time to move on.

            • Old farmer mac says:

              I am only a backyard engineer and all around tradesman but I can tell you why the buildings fell straight down in plain language.

              They did not fall as the result of being struck by the aircraft. The planes if out of fuel would have knocked some big holes in the buildings but that is all.

              But they had a lot of fuel on board and when they hit the kinetic energy of the mass all that fuel was dissipated almost instantly in forcing it all thru the floor levels where the planes hit and the fuel was vaporized to a substantial extent.

              The awesomely hot fire that resulted melted the steel load bearing framework of the building more or less at the same rate all the way thru and across.

              Once the steel framework started to give up it was all over. Big buildings are brought down quite frequently with explosive charges to get rid of them and they almost always collapse straight down onto the lower floors.

              All that super hot fire was just as good as placed demolition charges in terms of taking out all the support at once. The force of the crash in each case sent the boiling and vaporized fuel all thru the building and the fire started everywhere at about the same instant.

              When steel starts getting really hot it loses it strength and just folds up when a load is put on it.Once this process is started the weight of all the floors above the fire come down like a giant hammer on the lower floors.The weight of each floor is added to the total weight acting as the hammer as the collapse proceeds.

              If the fire had been confined to one side of the the building it might have tilted over or it might have collapsed only on that one side with the other side remaining standing but this second scenario is unlikely imo.

              • Mac, no more. Please, no more 9/11. I know you are on my side but I just don’t want to discuss this any more. It has absolutely nothing to do with Peak Oil.

                Please folks, no more 9/11 stuff.

                Ron

        • Longtimber says:

          an engineering analysis showed it only required ~1000 Liters of jet fuel to help gravity bring such a tower down.. but just in case one needs a bigger hammer.
          http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/heres-how-you-make-an-enormous-nuke-just-in-case-you-w-1619500939
          and the solution to MENA issues, .. if you just can’t get along with the other tribes in the Hood.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgBjmhCijpk
          Available from Alibaba till sold out.

      • Jeju-islander says:

        At least it makes a change from the common denialist rubbish on this site. Truther rubbish I actually find more interesting to read. Here is some posted on Dimitry Orlov’s site. http://cluborlov.blogspot.kr/2014/09/911-after-13-years.html I like Dimitry Orlov but I have to say some times I don’t know when he is joking.

      • The rock under WTC = Manhattan Schist.

        There is a railroad station at bottom of WTC site:

  7. Jeju-islander says:

    I am not a trader but if I were… I wouldn’t know what the hell to do
    Me too. Perhaps Gail is right and the price is going to fall because of economic weakness see http://ourfiniteworld.com/2014/09/21/low-oil-prices-sign-of-a-debt-bubble-collapse-leading-to-the-end-of-oil-supply/
    The price did seem to be breaking down below the famous triangle line, but that doesn’t seem convincing proof of anything.

    • Watcher says:

      Low oil prices are a result of ISIS and the Kurds flowing maybe 100K bpd for $40/barrel. As they get bombed, the price will rise.

    • Chris says:

      I read many predictions about oil prices around and after peak oil. The summary is the following:
      1 – peak (local maximum) production arises before peak consumption
      2 – prices go up and then enter in a temporary bubble (like in 2008)
      3 – crash of the economy, crash of oil price
      4 – slow recovery until the next local peak, go to 1

      Now the maximum production that can be reached is decreasing with time (after peak oil). As a consequence, alternative energies (or more efficient usage of energy) are pushed up. The high price of oil enables exploitation of new/old resources that were not previously economical (this is integrated into the Hubbert curve).
      Price of oil always goes up on average as the society is less dependant on oil. Remember that economists said only 10-12 years ago that Economy cannot support oil prices higher than 30$/barrel on the long run (from 15-20$ historical).
      After several cycles, most of the transition is done. Earlier we prepare the transition smoother the transition.
      I don’t know what will happen in the future, but I guess we will cumulate oil and gas crisis and then gas/coal during the 20 years to come.
      So people chosing to replace oil by gas now are not taking the right decision.

      We should consume less energy, and considerably reduce fossil fuel consumption. In Brussels, Belgium, starting in 2015, new homes/buildings must be passive. This is also valid for huge renovations. Other cities in the world took already that decision.

  8. Jeju-islander says:

    I found the triangle of doom image here http://www.economic-undertow.com/2014/08/09/prediction-gap/

    • Brian Rose says:

      Affordability trend?

      There are so many things wrong with this chart I don’t even know where to start.

      Let’s start where the trend line starts. The “affordability” trend line starts at the peak price of $147? The price that nearly collapsed our global economic system? Really?

      An affordability trend line would be rising, not falling.

      I agree with the premise that there in an approaching inflection point where the cost of extracting the next marginal barrel will be higher than our current economic system can function on, but that only requires the slope of the cost curve to be higher than the slope of the affordability curve.

      This graph is probably just a tongue in cheek joke, or at least I sincerely hope it is. With legitimate data and trends you could reach the same conclusion – that extraction cost is rising faster than efficiency is rising. That’s what really irks me here I guess.

      This laughably uneducated graph and “trend line” with DOOM written on it is the exact crap pundits use to illigitimize peak oil. Just post a graph that shows oil is getting more “affordable” due top efficiency, but that extraction cost is rising faster. Same conclusion, and it doesn’t make everyone look like morons.

      • Watcher says:

        I keep telling you guys.

        If a decision is made that the oil must flow, and low price appears to be strangling the drillers, then the government will subsidize the drilling. Why would they not? Who will complain?

        There are zillions of ways this can happen. We saw it in the 2002 winter Olympics. The Salt Lake event was solidly profitable. Mostly because it occurred a few months after 9/11 and the Federal govt came in and subsidized/paid for security. A perfectly acceptable way for Federal money to get spent, but it made the difference between profit and loss, as it always will. This btw doesn’t belittle any Romney claims of excellence in management, since it was he that went out and took advantage of the situation and got the funding.

        Hell, I can see a Democrat administration deciding to make a jobs program out of the trucking requirements in the Bakken and funding all that via training costs. This would push the drillers into the black from red territory. Or maybe the Federal government comes in and drills all the disposal wells and handles all the disposal water trucking to them, for reasons of environmental safety, you understand, but the drillers would no longer have to pay for that, and presto, they are subsidized and survive low price.

        Just stop thinking money is all that important. It’s not.

        • First of all, the command economy can only command … money. What else can it command? Nothing. The system commands money because it is the only thing the command structure sanctions directly. Money is an idea, petroleum is a material thing that adheres to conditions; it cannot be commanded.

          The first, best drilling effort is to provide financial incentives for the industry to extract as much as possible at a profit. (It really doesn’t profit, it borrows instead. There is another gigantic industry/credit laundering process specifically for that) This incentive process is called, ‘capitalism’.

          Presume the financial incentive disappears. Then what?

          Is the government going to throw drillers into concentration camps and make them drill. “Drill Baby, Or Else!” The West has tried/is trying coercion in Libya, Iraq, South Sudan, Yemen, Syria, etc. How is that working? (A: total failure.)

          Even the command state Soviet Union liberalized its oil operations after command structures failed (Armand Hammer/Occidental Petroleum).

          How would a command economy deal with the resulting petroleum? Will the government force citizens to drive or will they throw them into concentration camps along with the drillers? … ooh, that’s sexy! Will the military commandeer all the fuel? In either scenario, rewards to the citizens cease to exist; the military would have to drill its own petroleum!

          The military does such a wonderful job right now, doesn’t it?

          Capitalism is the first, best effort. It offers a (relatively) free lunch with few if any constraints on ‘processes’. When the first, best effort fails how can the not-nearly-as-good effort that arrives too late hope to succeed in its place?

      • Affordability trend is the amount of purchasing power over a period of time.

        Claims increase while purchasing power is depleted along with resources.

        There are a lot of claims (‘money’) but rapidly declining purchasing power so the claims are worthless. The result is diminished credit = declining affordability.

        This is empirical: the world is indeed going broke, fast. Today, an oil price as low as $110/barrel looks to cause ‘problem’ as in 2008.

        For affordability to rise, purchasing power would have to increase, but it cannot. As capital (non-resources) is depleted, so is purchasing power. At some point there are no available capital and nothing to purchase = zero purchasing power.

        steve

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Steve,

          As resources become scarce, they will be used more efficiently and recycled more, eventually women worldwide will become more educated, access to birth control will become widespread, and women will have greater control over fertility decisions. Within 50 years total fertility ratios could fall below replacement levels and continue to fall from there so that World population will decline to sustainable levels. Energy can be provided by solar, wind, and nuclear, and constrained resources will raise prices of unnecessary items so that demand for “wasteful spending” will be reduced. Rather than produce cheap throwaway consumer goods, long lasting quality products will be produced instead. Note also that many things that are purchased are less capital intensive (the more service oriented sectors), though clearly real capital cannot fall to zero, the ratio of capital to labor can change as resource contraints cause the price of capital to rise relative to labor.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            sorry it should read constraints

          • Nick G says:

            eventually women worldwide will become more educated, access to birth control will become widespread, and women will have greater control over fertility decisions.

            Lord, I hope so. I’m starting to really worry about MENA and some other parts of Africa. Unlike the rest of the world, they really seem resistant to freeing women. I’m afraid they’re really headed for disaster.

          • Dennis, what you are saying:

            As resources become scarce, they will be used more efficiently and recycled more,

            is that they will be wasted at a slightly slower pace.

            How can this be so? A slower pace in one area results in a higher pace somewhere else! Efficiency at some point ceases to function as designed, it becomes ineffective (ineffective efficiency, I like it!)

            The real issue is affordability: access to purchasing power. When capital vanishes so does purchasing power. I probably should add that insolvency (excess claims against purchasing power) has a similar affect on purchasing power as exhaustion of capital. In this case there is capital but no purchasing power due to breakdown of claims-management (credit) system.

            Please bear with me, purchasing power is a work in progress …

            🙂

  9. The Wet One says:

    So we’re eating everything else out of house and home. Read the highlights here: http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/all_publications/living_planet_report/

    • Wet, thanks for the link. However the WWF, (the second W is for Wildlife, not Wrestling), guy seemed way too optimistic about what we are doing and what can be done. I am not so optimistic. We will do nothing. We humans are expanding our territory, grabbing all the natural resources while killing off all other species that depended on that territory and resources for survival.

      Sure some of us see the problem and try to do something about it. But a few people cannot change the course of humanity. We will simply keep on doing what we are doing. We will keep on cutting the trees down, over fishing the oceans, drawing down the water tables, burning the fossil fuels, dumping CO2 into the atmosphere, pumping the rivers dry, allowing the topsoil to wash and blow away and worst of all, allow most of the wild species of the world to go quietly into that good night of extinction.

      If I have learned anything during my 76 years of life on this earth it is that people cannot be warned of coming disaster and act. We will keep on doing what we have always done until that disaster is upon us, then react.

      We are all tiny bit players in this drama of humanity. All our cries are heard but by a tiny few. In the grand scheme of things, we are but observers.

      Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
      That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
      And then is heard no more. It is a tale
      Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
      Signifying nothing.

      • Tom Fugate says:

        See Dave Cohen’s insightful essay series Adventures in Flatland for an excellent overview of the situation:

        Part One: http://www.declineoftheempire.com/2014/08/adventures-in-flatland.html
        Part Two: http://www.declineoftheempire.com/2014/09/a-note-on-adventures-in-flatland-part-ii.html

        Part Three not yet published.

        Maybe using up all the resources and driving species to extinction is what we are designed to do. No sense beating ourselves up over it.

      • DaShui says:

        Chernobyl, Fukushima, Bikini Island, and those radioactive areas to come, where humans can’t live, and can’t stripmine the wildlife could be the seed of a future wildlife regeneration.

        • Two points:

          1. The areas are relatively small. The Chernobyl exclusion zone is about 1,000 square miles. Rhode Island is 1,214 square miles. That is hardly enough for any kind of animal population regeneration.

          2. Other animals are just as subjective to radiation sickness as the human animal.

      • Bruce Turton says:

        Agreed. The “sound and fury” of outright denialists, and ‘green’ liberals who ‘need’ to extend the present into the future with preposterous claims of resource abundance and technological magic become more difficult to hear. And any future can only get worse as the ‘land’ that is left for survivors of our consumptive follies is discovered to be substantially ‘dead’, unable to produce what we assume it can given the enormous quantities of FF fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides that kill the soil bacteria and fungi needed for plants to produce. The ‘effluence of our affluence’ will certainly be the disgraceful marker of the FF era of human endeavour.

  10. Rune Likvern says:

    Hello all,
    Not related to US crude oil, but the bigger picture.
    Some days ago I put up an update/status on Norwegian crude oil extraction.
    href=” http://fractionalflow.com/2014/09/26/ncs-crude-oil-extraction-fall-2014-status/“>Norwegian Crude Oil Extraction, Fall 2014 Status

    Rune

    • Watcher says:

      What does the Norwegian exploration program look like? Post 2002 discoveries have flattened their decline, but how much is left to find and where is it being looked for?

      • Rune Likvern says:

        Watcher,
        The oil companies have cancelled some drilling rigs offshore Norway and cut down on CAPEX and postponed developments. This is an issue with both organic net cash flows and expected returns.
        The Johan Sverdrup field EUR of around 2.4 Gb, was discovered in 2010 and in the post
        NORWEGIAN CRUDE OIL RESERVES AND PRODUCTION PER 2013 I presented a status on discoveries as of end 2013 for offshore Norway, refer also to figure 3 in the linked post which shows EUR and depletion by vintage for Norwegian discoveries.
        Rune

        • Watcher says:

          Per your mostly green graph, total discoveries plus sold and delivered, I see 5 GB remaining “sanctioned” and another 4 GB unsanctioned. Is the unsanctioned also undiscovered?

          Regardless, at 1.2 mbpd, these numbers are exhausted in about 18 yrs? Yes, flow rate will decline to extend the time frame, but at some time point we can start to call flow “insignificant”.

          • Rune Likvern says:

            Non sanctioned (unsanctioned, yellow part of the columns) is discovered and under evaluation for development. The Johan Sverdrup discovery is presently in this category.

            The non sanctioned portion is total (non sanctioned), thus it do not say anything about the EUR for the discoveries and the number in this category, which shows a wide spread and many of them are in areas and/or of such size that presents (low) oil prices do not make the economics works.
            The chart does not suggest anything about estimates for future discoveries.

            Norway presently consumes around 0.2 Mb/d, so at some point Norway cease to be a net exporter.

            • Watcher says:

              Okay, so 9 GB are known. More could be found, though not likely per your comment on reduced exploration Capex.

              I’ve taken a moment to examine the assay for your Oseberg and Ekofisk blend. Geographically distant from each other yet quite similar in numbers:

              Ekofisk:

              API: 38.4°
              S.G.: 0.8327
              Sulphur: 0.22 mass%
              Pour Point: -6 °C
              TAN: 0.07 mg KOH/g
              Nickel: 2.0 wppm
              Vanadium: 3.0 wppm
              Visc. (20°C): 6.5 cSt

              Oseberg:
              API: 38.5°
              S.G.: 0.8325
              Sulphur: 0.24 mass%
              Pour Point: -18 °C
              TAN: 0.26 mg KOH/g
              Nickel: 1.3 wppm
              Vanadium: 1.7 wppm
              Visc. (20°C): 4.9 cSt

              As usual it’s hard to find data for product content re paraffin and distillates. Digging. The above is from Statoil.

              • Watcher says:

                http://www.caplinepipeline.com/Reports1.aspx

                People, have a look at the Eagle Ford numbers.

                • Watcher says:

                  2011 vs now, like the recent airbrushing of Bakken vapor numbers, we can expect these to polish up.

              • Watcher says:

                Particularly informative tidbit:

                Those two Norwegian oil types have similar numbers of those top level assays, but there is this text from elsewhere:

                “Oseberg has a high yield of middle distillates, while Ekofisk yields high quality naphtha for petrochemical cracking. It is referred to as a dumbbell crude because it produces a high yield of gasoline and residue, while the middle distillate cut is relatively small.”

                Middle distillates are diesel and kerosene and naphtha is the area of temperature during refining that yields gasoline. And thus, from the text, we see that the two oil types are profoundly different, but look the same if all you quote is API and sulphur content.

  11. Nick G says:

    Ah, Tom Murphy’s argument that exponential growth will eventually consume the planet.

    Again, the possibility of infinite growth of hard goods (or of commodity resource consumption) is a “straw man” – an argument that no one is actually making.

    For instance, the US’ steel and car sectors stopped growing a long time ago as measured by unit growth. Instead, they’re adding features and quality – still growth, but not measured in the number of kilograms of product delivered.

    This is pretty basic stuff. Murphy appears to be a good physicist, but many of his posts show a great lack of knowledge of the economics and engineering issues of energy. As a result, he often analyzes strawmen. For instance, he spent quite a lot of time showing that chemical batteries are unsuited to seasonal storage for renewables – that’s something that no one would propose, and it tells us nothing about the feasibility of renewables, as there are plenty of other good solutions to seasonal variation of renewables. So, his post was misleading, as he seemed to be suggesting that plans for renewables had problems that they don’t.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      Tom Murphy’s lecture was not misleading at all. All of his comments/opinions were (properly) qualified. He was simply explaining the limits of growth to a mixed audience. Perhaps you have never tried to describe a wide range of scientific/economic issues to a group of people of highly diverse backgrounds. And, the strawman comment is pretty tired at least a far as I’m concerned.

      • Doug Leighton says:

        Nick,

        “Murphy appears to be a good physicist, but many of his posts show a great lack of knowledge of the economics and engineering issues of energy.”

        Please expand on criteria you’ve used to categorize Murphy’s qualifications as a physicist, economist and engineer. Are you a physicist yourself, for example, and if so what are your areas of specialization? The same for economics/engineering. I have degrees in Engineering Physics, Geology and Geophysics for example but don’t feel qualified to express an opinion on Murphy’s abilities in Engineering. You may be qualified to do so of course.

        • Nick G says:

          I’m not commenting on Tom Murphy, I’m commenting on his posts. They contain many unrealistic assumptions. I’ve gone back and forth with him about this, and I’d say that he’s essentially agreed.

          The funny thing is that he and I end up in pretty much the same place: fossil fuels can and should be replaced ASAP. For instance, look at his last post about renewables: he argues that the Kochs are wrong to try to sabotage solar power.

          • Doug Leighton says:

            “I’m not commenting on Tom Murphy, I’m commenting on his posts. They contain many unrealistic assumptions.”

            OK then let me give you a lesson on basic etiquette. Either you say: “They contain many unrealistic assumptions, in my opinion.” or, much better, you specify what you think the unrealistic assumptions are; then we can have a discussion or move on. Otherwise it’s exactly the same as me saying Nick G is full of shit PERIOD. And, I repeat, Tom Murphy’s lecture was not misleading at all, he was simply explaining the limits of growth concept to a mixed audience.

            • Nick G says:

              hhhmm. Well, I don’t want to be too hard on Tom, because I think he’s well intentioned.

              But, I did want to say that most of his posts are greatly misleading. This one is. He suggests that the fact that commodity resources can’t grow forever tells us something about our current situation. It doesn’t. It’s just misleading.

              Don’t mistake me: I think that we have a lot of problems: Climate Change, species extinction, etc. But limits on energy aren’t among them, and in fact misconceptions about that tend to make it harder to clarify important things, like that Climate Change has good solutions.

              Telling people that Peak Oil is The End Of The World As We Know It just contributes to the Koch campaign against the inevitable transition away from oil and other FFs.

              • He suggests that the fact that commodity resources can’t grow forever tells us something about our current situation. It doesn’t. It’s just misleading.

                Surely you don’t mean to imply that commodity resources can grow forever? If not then how can reminding people of that fact is misleading?

                Telling people that Peak Oil is The End Of The World As We Know It just contributes to the Koch campaign against the inevitable transition away from oil and other FFs.

                Oh baloney! How can trying to explain that life without fossil fuel must mean a dramatic reduction in population possibly contribute to such a Koch campaign? Fossil fuel will eventually play out, Koch campaign or no Koch campaign. After all, commodity resources can’t grow forever.

                Regardless, I am going to continue to explain the consequences of peak oil. Perhaps one of the Koch brothers will send me a check for helping them out. 😉

                • Nick G says:

                  First, overall growth isn’t the same as growth of energy (or other commodity) consumption. Cars can get better; medical care can cure more things; education can reach students better. These are all growth, but they don’t need more energy.

                  2nd, are you seriously suggesting that telling people that Peak Oil means a massive dieoff won’t hurt your credibility?? Even if it were true, you know people don’t want to hear that. You should seriously consider the possibility that it’s not true, because it would make it much easier to sell the idea of not destroying our environment.

                  Finally, there’s no question that the Kochs and their followers are using your blog, and others like it, to discredit environmentalists in general. It’s easy to see in their literature.

                  • ezrydermike says:

                    Nick,

                    What do you mean by this?

                  • Nick G says:

                    uhmm – which part?

                    If you mean the discrediting part: it’s easy to see how anti-environment writers use the “PO = collapse” meme: they argue that it proves that oil is good and necessary; that environmentalists are crazy; and that environmentalists hate progress, mom and apple pie.

                    You can also substitute Fossil Fuel for oil above.

                  • Nick, to tell the people that the earth can support 7 to 10 billion people without oil, or not have chaos as the oil supply declines from 76 million barrels per day down to 20 or so million barrels per day over the next 50 years is to assume they have all lost their ability to use common reason.

                    Well, many have but I think most of them have not.

                    But now I understand why you dislike Tom Murphy’s blog so much. He is telling you something that you so desperately do not want to believe.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Hey, I believe bad things – when they make sense. For instance, I think Climate Change is an enormous risk.

                    But I know that oil consumption be reduced very quickly. The average person can reduce it by 60% overnight by buying a Prius. 90%, with a Volt.

                    It might take 10 years to grow such vehicles to eliminate almost all new ICE sales. That’s not 50 years.

                  • Sam Taylor says:

                    Nick,

                    I’m afraid stating something does not make it true. Healthcare costs as a % of GDP are rising exponentially the world over, which to me implies that more energy is being expended in the world of healthcare. Indeed it should be obvious that improved medical care will require more energy, as new technologies will have to be researched and developed, and more complexity generated. MRI scanners and new antibiotics are not free.

                    Indeed, when one compares the growth in %GDP devoted to medical care with the concurrent increase in lifespan, it would appear that the gains being bought by the energy are declining.

                    Tainter deals with this subject in his excellent book ‘Drilling Down’, which largely focuses on the declining marginal returns on complexity and the energy-complexity spiral we presently find ourselves in. You might find it an enlightening read.

                  • Nick G says:

                    it should be obvious that improved medical care will require more energy

                    No, not really. Healthcare is mostly a service rather than a manufactured good: doctors and nurses don’t use much energy. They have to get to work, and the facilities they work in need to be lit and heated, but reading somebody’s chart takes little energy. It’s true that information technology takes energy, but I suspect overall such energy use is relatively small and not growing:
                    CRTs have been replaced with LCDs, desktops with tablets, etc. Databases grow in size, but servers get smaller, chips get more efficient, and the electricity to power it all is relatively small. Similiarly, drug manufacturing takes little energy. Medical devices such as imaging (MIR, PET, CT, etc) get smaller as they get better, and use less power. Radiology has moved from silver film to digital imaging, which consumes less energy (and a lot less labor!).

                    Research and development really don’t take a lot of extrasomatic energy: mainly highly professional labor and IT.

                    Sadly, I’m not aware of any research on the energy consumption of services, but we can have more discussions about the difference between goods and services – I think it will help clarify things for you.

                    Tainter deals with this subject in his excellent book ‘Drilling Down’, which largely focuses on the declining marginal returs on complexity.

                    He’s really talking about what happens when the energy you rely on becomes increasingly difficult to obtain and use. That’s an interesting topic – it says to me that we should transition away from oil and fossil fuels ASAP – but that’s the supply side. We’re talking about the demand side here, which is a different conversation.

                  • Sam Taylor says:

                    I can’t seem to reply to your last post so I’ll do so here.

                    1) Your suggestion that imagine is getting less energy intensive is frankly ridiculous. Early x-rays were carried out with a photographic plate and a radioactive source. MRI scanners need helium cooled superconducting magnets made from exotic materials, large impressive computers to run specialist software and huge amounts of power to both develop and run. The trend is, very clearly, towards increasing energy usage. Hell, digital imaging requires microchips whicha re among the most energy intensive things on the planet to manufacture.

                    Secondly, you’re misrepresenting tainter’s argument (have you read the book?). His argument is about the increasing energy cost of complexity delivering declining marginal returns. This is related to declining energy returns in a sense, but is broader than that.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Sam,

                    I’m making a primary argument (that there’s no particular reason to think that increasing quality of healthcare will require more energy inputs), with an illustrative secondary argument (many elements of healthcare have become much more energy efficient, including radiology).

                    CRTs have been replaced by LCDs; paper and film-based radiology is much more complex, expensive and energy consuming than digital radiology; “big-scale” imaging like MRI, PET, etc is gradually becoming more energy-efficient;.

                    Tainter argues that high-energy civilization enables complexity, and that declining energy availability causes futile and complex coping strategies. That second part, declining energy, is a supply side problem.

      • Nick G says:

        I don’t mean the strawman term to be judgmental – I don’t think Tom is being intentionally misleading. The term accurately captures the problem: that he’s “debunking” something that isn’t really a normal assumption/argument.

        Now, there is a hint that Tom thinks that his analysis applies to the whole economy, including services, quality improvements, etc. He makes a simplistic argument that energy is the base of everything, and that it can’t be “uncoupled”. Here he’s just wrong, and he provides no evidence at all. I suspect that this is an example of the hubris of physicists – they tend to think that physics is the “master” discipline, and that if you know physics you don’t have to bother to learn other things like engineering and economics. Shockley was a good example of that.

        • Kam says:

          Quote: “But I know that oil consumption be reduced very quickly”
          So why even in poorest countries people can drive whatever car they can afford? People will drive smaller cars only after other sectors of the economy are also reduced by high oil price, or lack of demand for their products.

          • Nick G says:

            I’m not quite sure what you’re asking.

            It’s true that EVs currently tend to be small. Most car makers are concentrating on the low end of the market, on the assumption that EV buyers are very price sensitive. It doesn’t have to be that way, as we see with Tesla, which is starting at the high end, and working down.

            • Kam says:

              I’m saying that people will buy smaller cars only after they are forced by economic factors. But these economic factors will also hurt GDP level. In some poor countries, where GDP per capita is couple times lower than in the US, some people are still driving big, innefficient cars.

              • Nick G says:

                Yeah, some people make dumb decisions.

                The average Prius driver is rather more affluent than average.

                Some people will take a while to wise up. But, they have options, if and when they choose to use them.

                Finally, remember that EVs don’t have to be small. Train locomotives and submarines are mostly driven by electric motors.

                • Old farmer mac says:

                  Stuck your chin out this time , Nick, when you are involved in a discussion of physics and economics. There is just about a zero SHORT TERM hope of any locomotive other than one restricted to use as a switch engine in a railyard being driven with a battery and the only reason subs can run on batteries is that military budgets accommodate such extraordinarily expensive machinery. The cargo capacity of a HUGE submarine consists of a couple of dozen rockets all of which would fit into one odd corner of an ordinary freighter.

                  While I generally disagree with you on your remarks about Murphy I do agree that ECONOMIC growth and energy are not NECESSARILY joined at the hips.

                  I agree too that IF people were better educated and generally capable of rational critical thinking we would all be driving Leaf’s and Volt’s and similar cars within a couple of decades but unfortunately …….

                  Most of us are as ignorant as fence posts and almost totally uninterested in learning anything new except if it is about other people or sex or entertaining in nature.

                  Evolution is a totally blind experiment and there is no reason to think our brains should work any better than they do.

                  There is a pretty good case to be made that they work altogether too well as it is.;–)

                  • Nick G says:

                    Mac,

                    I wasn’t suggesting that trains will run on large batteries. I was replying to a comment about small EVs. The point: electric motors can drive very, very large vehicles quite nicely.

                    I do expect trains will have small batteries, like a Prius-type hybrid. I expect trains to electrify. It will be much cheaper to do so if you don’t have to electrify every last mile of track, and if you have a relatively small battery on board you can skip over relatively short sections of unpowered track.

                • clifman says:

                  Talk about straw men – electric trains don’t carry their electricity, and subs have nukes. Nuke car, anyone?

                  • Nick G says:

                    This conversation was about the size of electric vehicles, not energy storage.

                    BTW, most submarines are diesel. That means they’re driven by electric motors and batteries, which in turn are charged by diesel engines.

                  • Nope, wrong again Nick. There are no diesel submarines anymore. They are all nukes.

                    USS Blueback (SS-581)

                    USS Blueback (SS-581) is a decommissioned Barbel-class submarine formerly in the United States Navy. She was the second Navy submarine to bear the name.

                    Blueback was laid down by Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation of Pascagoula, Mississippi on 15 April 1957. She was launched on 16 May 1959 sponsored by Mrs. Kenmore McManes, wife of Rear Admiral McManes,[clarification needed] and commissioned on 15 October 1959, Lieutenant Commander Robert H. Gautier in command. She was the last non-nuclear submarine to join the United States Navy and was the final conventionally powered combat capable submarine to be decommissioned, leaving the United States Navy with a fully nuclear submarine fleet except for the research submarine USS Dolphin (AGSS-555).

                    Well, non combat research vessels don’t count.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Ron,

                    The US isn’t the only country with subs. Many countries have them, and very few countries have nuclear subs. And even if they have been replaced by nuclear subs, it still wouldn’t make any difference to the point which is that electric motors can be very large and very efficient and are very well tested.

                    I know this is frustrating, but I’m not playing games – I take this as seriously as you do. We can get there, if we really listen to the substance of each other’s arguments…

                  • Nick I do listen to the argument. The US and Russia are the only countries that have built subs in decades and they were all nuclear subs.

                    The subject is electric transportation. Works great where you can have overhead lines for trains or carry your diesel motors with you to charge them. But trains could never do without both. They must have one or the other.

                    Long haul trucks could never be powered by battery because the battery would weigh as much as their load. Tractors that pull plows could never be powered by batteries. There is a limit to what battery power can do.

                    The point is Nick, an all electric world or an all renewable world, with the current population of the earth, is a dream world. It is impossible.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Well, no, diesel submarines are still being built. What, the US and Russia are the only countries with a military?
                    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gotland-class_submarine
                    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_212_submarine

                    And, they have big advantages because of the features of electric motors: they’re much quieter, and they don’t put out nearly as much waste heat. That means they’re much harder to detect than nuclear subs.

                    Yes, electric trains aren’t likely to rely primarily on batteries, but who cares? That works just fine.
                    Tractors can be electrified just fine for daily use (as opposed to seasonal use).
                    Trucks can rely on batteries for local work.

                    Now, long-haul trucks, seasonal tractors/combines and long-distance water shipping could use swappable batteries, though that might be a bit inconvenient. Commercial fleets like this could use them ok. OTOH, that kind of use is a small percentage of overall fuel consumption, and they might go for synthetic fuel. That would be more expensive (probably between $1 to $2.50 per litre), but it wouldn’t matter: they’d increase efficiency to reduce the impact, and keep on truckin’.

                    Aviation would increase efficiency sharply (another reduction of 70% of fuel consumption is possible), and use synthetic fuel.

              • Nick G says:

                And maybe we shouldn’t be judgemental – part of the problem is that car buyers have a lot of things they need to get in a car: they can’t optimize all of them.

                That points out the value of Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency regulations, which are raising MPG fairly sharply, though of course not as sharply as would be ideal.

              • Nick G says:

                And, of course, that reminds us that much of the cost of fossil fuels isn’t included in the price. Once we internalize the cost of pollution and security, consumers will have much better price signals when they buy.

    • Ah, Tom Murphy’s argument that exponential growth will eventually consume the planet.

      No, that is not what he is arguing at all. He is arguing that exponential growth cannot possibly consume the planet and therefore must hit a brick wall long before we get that point. Indeed that is the title of the video, “Growth has an expiration date.” That is growth must eventually stop! Do you really want to argue that it must not stop?

      • Nick G says:

        No, I used the wrong words – we’re talking about the same thing. How about:

        would eventually consume the planet”?

        He appears to be suggesting that conventional economics believes that infinite growth in hard goods production and resource consumption (including energy) is possible. In fact, mainstream economics does not make that assumption. So, Tom’s presentation is misleading.

        He has one post in which he ambushes some poor economist at a dinner party – the poor guy doesn’t have time to identify the wrong assumptions that Tom is proposing: they’re so unrealistic that a conventional economist doesn’t spend much time thinking about them…

        • He makes a simplistic argument that energy is the base of everything, and that it can’t be “uncoupled”. Here he’s just wrong, and he provides no evidence at all.

          Our economy is based, not just on energy but on cheap energy. The industrial revolution took off when coal became a cheap source of power. Then the second great leap came because of an even cheaper and more portable source of energy, oil.
          The economy has always been coupled to energy. Some claim the economy can be decoupled from energy. The burden of proof lies with those who believe in that decoupling is possible, not with those who say it is impossible.

          The chart below is a logarithmic chart. It looks spectacular even on a logarithmic scale. On a linear scale the last line would be straight up. Anyway it shows the first jump in population was enabled by energy from coal. The second leg up was enabled by energy from oil. And the last leg up was enabled by the green revolution, brought about by chemicals and energy from oil. It ad the whole article can be found at:
          The Real Population Problem – Tom Murphy

          • Nick G says:

            Our economy is based, not just on energy but on cheap energy

            Not really.

            First, both the US and other developed countries got that way with “moderately expensive” energy, not cheap energy. Oil and electricity have been cheap in the US in the post-WWII period, but energy was rather higher in years before that: coal and electricity cost much more, adjusted for inflation. The US, and other countries, succeeded quite well in growing strongly even when energy was much more expensive, whether it was coal or oil.

            Wind power is quite affordable (if perhaps not quite as dirt cheap as US post-WWII oil and electricity prices), scalable, high-E-ROI, etc, etc. So are nuclear, and solar even if they aren’t quite as cheap at the moment (coal is also plentiful and cheap, unfortunately), so I see no reason to expect energy to ever be more than “moderately expensive”.

            The fact that energy pre-WWII was a much higher portion of GDP means that it was a much heavier burden on the economy. Even if wind and solar were a little more expensive, that means that the wind/solar sector would have to be a little larger than otherwise to power the rest of the economy. This analysis suggests that this is not a big deal: that sector would still be a much smaller portion of the economy than pre-WWII.

            Second, fossil fuels aren’t nearly as cheap as they seem. Pollution is an unrecognized, external cost. So are the military costs we’re seeing currently of roughly $500B per year. Those pollution costs aren’t sustainable (especially CO2), but unfortunately the military costs probably are (in fact, many corporate interests are quite comfortable with them…). Moving away from oil and other fossil fuels will actually be much cheaper in the long-run than BAU.

            As far as coupling goes: there are some easy forms of evidence.

            First, look at US oil consumption: it’s lower now than it was in 1979, and yet GDP is 2.5x as large, and manufacturing is larger than it was. 2nd, look at US steel and car manufacturing: they’ve been on a plateau for 40 years.

            I’m puzzled by the population argument: in the majority of the world, fertility rates are below replacement.

            • Ed Auden says:

              If wind power is so affordable why won’t anyone build turbines without subsidies? In the US this is 2.3 cents per kWh plus other special tax credits adding up to $13 billion a year.

              http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2014/09/02/the-irs-is-giving-away-13-billion-a-year-in-wind-energy-subsidies-without-congressional-authorization/

              You also have negative externalities such as bird and bat kills estimated at 234,000 birds and 600,000 bats annually. The wind energy business gets a special exemption from the Endangered Species Act.

              http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320713003522
              http://www.aibs.org/bioscience-press-releases/resources/Hayes.pdf

              • Nick G says:

                1st, the 2.3 cents figure overstates the subsidy, because it’s only for the first 1/3 of the life of a windfarm.

                2nd, if you could delay your project by 6 months to get a significant subsidy, why wouldn’t you?

                3rd, natural gas is cheap right now – that’s obviously going to underct wind power. But, how many people on this blog are saying that cheap gas won’t last. And, even if it does, what about the cost of it’s GHG emissions (gas leaks & CO2 emissions)?

                Finally yes, wind turbines kill some birds and bats. But the numbers just don’t add up in the larger picture. One bit of evidence: the Audobon society is strongly in favor of wind power.

                • Ed Auden says:

                  And other environmental groups oppose it. Audubon is not as strong an advocate as you imply.
                  From Audubon Maine:
                  “We’re not advocating that wind turbines can be sited anywhere,” Smith said. “The goal of this report is to start a dialogue about where we can rightly site wind turbines in Maine that has the least impact on wildlife and its habitat.” Unfortunately the preferred place to cite these are on windy ridges, also preferred by birds as flyways.

                  http://www.pressherald.com/2013/12/12/friends_of_maine_s_mountains_challenges_maine_audubon_s_wind-energy_support_/

                  The larger picture is we have already killed off 1/2 of the wild animals in the last 40 years and we are continuing to kill off more – 240,000 birds and 400,000 bats at a time with wind turbines alone.

                  Without the subsidy there would be no wind farms, period. Investors will not build these to lose money.

                  Fossil fuel scarcity over the long run will raise the cost of building wind turbines and the associated electric grids, storage systems and management of increasingly complex systems which all depend on the energy of fossil fuels to begin with. If it was ever possible, it is now too little, too late and too expensive.

                  We can not consume our way out of the mess we are in by building an ever more complex energy system. We are in severe ecological overshoot which further consumption can not fix. “Our civilization has deep structural problems with no feasible solutions.” – William Ophuls

                  • Nick G says:

                    other environmental groups oppose it

                    Which do you have in mind? There are some groups that pretend to be pro-environment, but are really just ant-wind. I can’t think of any authentic mainstream groups that oppose wind power.

                    “Audubon strongly supports properly sited wind power as a renewable energy source that helps reduce the threat posed to birds and people by climate change….

                    “Why Does Audubon Support Properly Sited Wind Power?

                    Top scientific experts from around the world, including Audubon’s own scientists, agree that the effects of climate change are here now and will get worse.[1] Scientists have found that climate change has already affected half of the world’s species’ breeding, distribution, abundance, and survival rates.[2] The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that by mid-century, climate change may contribute to the extinction of 20-30 percent of all species on earth.

                    Scientists also agree that in order to help prevent species extinctions and other catastrophic effects of climate change, we must significantly reduce pollution from fossil fuels as quickly as possible. This will require rapidly expanding energy efficiency, renewable energy, and alternative fuels and making changes in land use, agriculture, and transportation.

                    Properly sited wind power is an important part of the strategy to combat climate change.

                    …How Should We Protect Birds and Other Wildlife?

                    Audubon strongly supports wind power and recognizes that it will not be without some impact; however, harmful effects to birds and other wildlife can be avoided or significantly reduced in the following ways:
                    •Proper siting and operation of wind farms and equipment…”

                    Fossil fuel scarcity over the long run will raise the cost of building wind turbines

                    Nah. Wind has an EROEI of about 50:1. Rising fossil fuel prices won’t make much difference.

                    We can not consume our way out of the mess we are in by building an ever more complex energy system.

                    Wind turbines are a lot simpler than coal plants. You put a generator in the way of the wind, and it produces power. Solar panels are rocks that produce power. Pretty simple.

                    Without the subsidy there would be no wind farms, period. Investors will not build these to lose money.

                    The subsidy helps, certainly.

                    Let me ask: do you agree that Climate Change is a big risk??

                  • Ed Auden says:

                    Nick, Your posts imply we can keep on consuming and have no negative impact on the planet when we are already in deep overshoot. I would buy a $33,000 Leaf if it suited my needs because it is less expensive. But having everyone go out and buy Leaf’s is only going to accelerate collapse. We can’t consume our way out of this by some marginal technological solution when consumption is what got us into trouble in the first place.

                    Wind with an EROI of 50:1. You certainly come out with the most optimist assumptions available. From what I have read it is more like 20:1. And this is with using fossil fuel to to smooth out the peaks and valleys. As wind and / or solar grow the difficulty of maintaining stability increases. Along with this the cost increases. German balancing market generators are now paid up to 400 times the wholesale price of electricity for maintaing grid stability. Your arguments of a “free lunch” do not fly.

                    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-24/german-utilities-bail-out-electric-grid-at-wind-s-mercy.html

                    Audubon being big does not make them right. I believe they recognize the harmful effects of emissions on the climate and are acting out of desperation. They are trying to come to an acceptable tradeoff between killing birds and climate change. Most people I know assume there is a technological answer which will allow them to continue business as usual. Audubon is not unique in this “grasping at straws.” Audubon like other big Environmental organizations now rely on corporate donors. As in politics the effects are insidious. First Wind is a donor to Maine Audubon. As for “properly cited wind.” I’d like to see where Audubon thinks these are.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Your posts imply we can keep on consuming and have no negative impact on the planet when we are already in deep overshoot.

                    Well, it depends on what we consume. If we continue consuming fossil fuels, we’re in big trouble. If we switch to wind and solar ASAP, not so much.

                    Wind with an EROI of 50:1. …From what I have read it is more like 20:1.

                    1st, 20:1 is enough. 2nd, I can send you the literature links, if you like.

                    German balancing market generators are now paid up to 400 times the wholesale price of electricity for maintaing grid stability

                    That’s not as large as it sounds: this is a relatively small number of kWhs.

                  • Ed Auden says:

                    German balancing market generators are now paid up to 400 times the wholesale price of electricity for maintaing grid stability

                    Nick “That’s not as large as it sounds: this is a relatively small number of kWhs.”

                    Really? I guess it depends on what you consider “not a lot.”
                    “Utilities that sign up to the 800 million-euro ($1.1 billion) balancing market can be paid as much as 400 times wholesale electricity prices, the data show. “

                  • Nick G says:

                    Yes.

                    The German electricity market is worth around $110B, so that’s less than 1%.

              • ezrydermike says:

                pretty sure 2 biggest killers of birds are cats and windows.

                • Ed Auden says:

                  I believe you are correct. Get enough wind turbines on ridges and they will be strong competition. It is a cumulative effect mankind is having.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Cats kill 100M birds per year in the UK alone. That’s two orders of magnitude larger.

                    Please note that there are very large differences between sites. Mountain passes tend to be more problematic than either other mountain sites or plains-type farming areas, because bird migratory paths can go through the mountain passes. This is a fairly narrow problem, which is why Audubon is talking about careful siting.

                  • Nick G says:

                    oops – 3 orders of magnitude.

              • sunnnv says:

                They used to build wind turbines (Jacobs, et. al., back in the early 1900s) with no subsidies – then the Rural Electrification Agency subsidized the extension of power lines to farmers.

                Oil gets 100 Billion $/yr subsidy just in the military presence in the Middle East.

                Coal gets to kill circa 10,000 Americans each year from technically preventable pollution. It would cost 10 B$/yr to prevent, but random people spend 100 B$/yr on health costs instead, a 90 B$/yr subsidy for fossil fuels.

                The latest on bird deaths, up to 340 million/yr in the US from vehicles.
                http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/05/29/bird-deaths-car-crashes/9623931/

                The transcontinental railroad was built with subsidies.
                Highways are subsidized to this day.

                Kerosene was subsidized over ethanol based lamp fluids by being free of a heavy tax after the US civil war.
                http://www.environmentalhistory.org/brilliant/bioenergy/the-whale-oil-myth/

                Now people whine about subsidies to the ethanol industry and wind industries…
                They don’t impress me.
                (complaining about low EROEI of ethanol as motor fuel is another matter).

                • ManBearPig says:

                  I don’t think you understand oil subsidies.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Well, I think his estimates are conservative. Military costs, for instance, are much higher than that. The US was spending about $300B per year on military before 9/11 – it jumped to around $800B. And of course, the Iraq war was all about oil.

            • First, both the US and other developed countries got that way with “moderately expensive” energy, not cheap energy.

              That makes no difference whatsoever, it is still fossil energy and if there were no fossil energy we would still be plowing with horses or oxen and the world population would be somewhere around 1 billion.

              Second, fossil fuels aren’t nearly as cheap as they seem. Pollution is an unrecognized, external cost. So are the military costs we’re seeing currently of roughly $500B per year.

              Again, that makes no difference. Whatever the cost we still would be only 1 billion or less without it.

              First, look at US oil consumption: it’s lower now than it was in 1979, and yet GDP is 2.5x as large, and manufacturing is larger than it was. 2nd, look at US steel and car manufacturing: they’ve been on a plateau for 40 years.

              No, consumption is slightly higher now. In 1979 we averaged using 18,526,540 barrels per day. The past 12 months we have averaged using 19,067,480 barrels per day. Monthly Energy Review And we are talking about energy here, not just oil. Coal and natural gas must be figured in. Also, very important, we are not discussing better efficiency, we are talking about “decoupling” from energy.

              Technology is all about better efficiency. Robots put people out of work. Technology works to allow less energy is used to produce more products, we all know that. That’s what the flying shuttle did and that really pissed the Luddites off. But it still took energy to run the loom, even with the flying shuttle.

              Technology does not decouple us from energy, it only makes energy more efficient. But there is still a limit as to how much energy technology can can save us. But we can never decouple.

              • Nick G says:

                That makes no difference whatsoever, it is still fossil energy

                Well, you said “cheap energy”. Wind and solar are *now* cheaper than the power the US was built on. So, why won’t it work just fine??

              • Nick G says:

                we are talking about “decoupling” from energy.

                Well, let’s be clear. When I use that phrase, I mean that we can have “growth” while keeping energy consumption flat. I’m not talking about eliminating energy. Does that help?

                • No that does not help at all because you said:

                  He makes a simplistic argument that energy is the base of everything, and that it can’t be “uncoupled”. Here he’s just wrong, and he provides no evidence at all.

                  Uncoupled – decoupled, same thing and it is absolutely impossible to uncoupled from energy from production. Tom’s argument is sound, it is not simplistic, not by a long shot.

                  And the evidence that says it can be “uncoupled” would need to be provided by the person who makes such a claim.

                  • Nick G says:

                    We seem to be having trouble communicating here.

                    Whether it’s “un” or “de” coupled, I believe Tom and I are talking about the same idea: that “growth” can continue, while energy consumption stays flat.

                    I put growth in quotes because it includes stuff like better services and higher quality manufacturing. You may not be thinking of that as growth, but it’s what I’m thinking of.

            • I’m puzzled by the population argument: in the majority of the world, fertility rates are below replacement.

              Yet the population is still growing at 1.2% per year. Now that is a poser ain’t it? But don’t let a little silly fact get in the way of your argument.

              It is not the majority of the world, (countries), it is a majority of the people that counts. And and among the majority of the people the fertility rate is above replacement… as evidenced by the population growing at 1.2% per year.

              • Nick G says:

                Ah, well, let me explain.

                This is the Demographic Transition. Death rates fell first, then fertility rates. There was a baby boom which had fewer children per couple, but that was still a higher birth rate than death rate.

                So, people are having far fewer children. In the US, people are having slightly fewer children than are needed to replace them, so each generation will be smaller. But, the population will still grow for a while.

                And, then, of course, there’s immigration. That’s not more people, it’s a transfer between countries.

                • Nick, the demographic transition applies only to first world nations. Nations where the per capita income is is high, and women are educated and empowered. There is no such thing as a demographic transition for the majority of the world’s population.

                  If all the world’s people had the same living standard as the average American or European, then there would be enough oil to last the first three months of every year.

                  • Nick G says:

                    It’s also happening in places like Mexico and S. America.

                    And, of course, China has managed roughly the same thing, albeit with somewhat different dynamics.

                    The majority of the world’s population has a Total Fertility Rate below replacement.

                  • Brian Rose says:

                    At the very least it is clear that the countries that use the most energy are not reproducing enough to increase their own populations by any significant amount.

                    The largest population growth tends to be in countries that use the least fossil fuels.

                    In other words, the growing world population has less of an effect on energy consumption than we’d suspect. What is really effecting consumption rates is growing wealth in nations like, say, China who is hardly increasing their population at all.

                • Doug Leighton says:

                  Or perhaps we should let the UN scientists explain:

                  “…However, because fertility decline has not occurred simultaneously in all countries, the pace of population growth still differs considerably among development groups. Thus, whereas the population of the more developed regions rose at an annual rate of 0.42 per cent during 2005-2010, that of the less developed regions increased more than three times faster, at 1.37 per cent annually, and the least developed countries as a group have experienced even more rapid population growth, at 2.28 per cent per year. Such differences are expected to persist in the future. According to the medium variant, the population of the more developed regions will be nearly stagnating by 2045-2050, whereas the population of the less developed regions will still be rising at an annual rate of 0.60 per cent per year. More importantly, the population of the least developed countries will likely be increasing at a robust annual rate of 1.54 per cent. By the end of the 21st century, the population of the less developed regions will reach a relatively low annual rate of population growth, similar to that of the more developed regions in earlier years. Yet, the population growth rate of the least developed countries, albeit declining, will still
                  amount to 0.55 per cent per year in 2095-2100.”

                  • Nick G says:

                    Yeah, there are large regional differences, and it kind’ve looks like MENA and parts of Africa will continue to grow without a clear end.

                    Sigh.

                    That can’t end well for Africa. And the Middle East….I wouldn’t want to live there.

              • robert wilson says:

                “below replacement rates” – Irrelevant if we are already beyond post petroleum carrying capacity.

                • Nick G says:

                  Fortunately, we don’t really need oil.

                  In small quantities, it’s quite useful. At its current scale, it’s quite harmful. And eventually, we won’t need it at all.

            • Old farmer mac says:

              Nick it may come as a surprise to you and most others here but if it weren’t for our species being mostly irrational as a species I would agree that your arguments would prevail.

              But allow me to try to explain in extremely simple terms why you are too optimistic.

              Suppose you are a teenager in a car full of other teenagers driven by a boy with raging hormones and everybody is having a few beers and he is” showing his ass” as old time hillbillies put it these days ( the vernacular changes, I never heard this expression until after ” streaking ” became briefly popular) by driving like a maniac.

              It is possible he will not wreck the car. Most of the time he doesn’t, on any given occasion.But if he continues to drive the same way one occasion after another he WILL wreck the car and maybe kill you and a few other people in the process.

              Humanity is at very high risk of having a very bad encounter with overshoot. My personal estimate is that the risk is in excess of ninety five percent and it may be as high as ninety nine point nine percent.

              I allow the last one in a thousand chance because predicting is hard, ‘ specially the future.

              If there is one thing to be said for humans it is that once in a long while they collectively do unexpected things.But it is nevertheless a lot smarter to bet on the rabbit than the tortoise.

              The human rabbits are asleep while overshoot is creeping up to the finish line.

              If my illustrations seem a tad on the simple side it is because I hope at least a few kids and other people new to this sort of discussion will see them.

              Jumping right into the facts and figures is so intimidating and takes so long that hardly anybody is going to bother.

              There are probably ten thousand (I pulled this scientific wild assed guess out of my rabbit hat ) times as many people blogging about symbolic war in the form of football at this instant as there are about energy and economy and overshoot.

              The previous sentence alone should get my point across.

              • The Wet One says:

                Somewhere I read yesterday that there are only 10 million people on this planet, out of 7 billion+ that are aware of our predicament.

                I thought to myself, it can’t possibly be that low can it?

                Then I considered the follow up to what was probably the most important news story this year (the decline of wildlife populations by 50% in my 40 year lifetime. I mean, if that isn’t a wake up call, what the hell is? Consider the likely reaction to a 50% decline in the population of humans in 4 decades? Of course, by the time that has happened, it’s already too late to have woken up!!! But I digress). It was minimal. So maybe the 10 million figure (mainly scientists, but also some well read types according to the article I was reading) wasn’t too far off the mark.

                See here: http://www.declineoftheempire.com/2014/08/adventures-in-flatland.html under Conspicuous by its Absence heading for the source of the 10 million figure. The source of the figure seems poor to me, but given how little is done in respect of this predicament, 10 million seems like as good a guess as any. Given the behaviour I see, the number could be way less in my view. I don’t know. I note that my own behaviour may well indicate that I’m not one of the 10 million who actually understands the jam we’re in.

                As well, someone here actually wrote this sentence:

                “OTOH, 10B people could live on the earth just fine, if they were much more careful.”

                And if people here can write something like that, well… Maybe that 10 million figure is waaaaay too high.

                In other words, there’s very few aware voices of reason in the car being driven by a teenage drunk. Very few. I think of the people I’ve met in my life and there’s only one I can really identify as being cognizant of the predicament. Then there’s the folks here (presumeably, but not necessarily of course, as I mentioned above). Other than that, not too many others.

                I guess in the long run, it’ll work itself out (the Earth and biosphere recovered from that event 65 million year ago after all), but the wallop of pain, well, here’s hoping I avoid that in my remaining days. I’ve become a bit wimpy with respect to pain these days. Getting soft in my dotage I suppose.

                • Nick G says:

                  Yeah, 10B could live on this planet if they dramatically reduced fossil fuel consumption, cow methane emissions, etc. That would solve both PO and Climate Change.

                  Now, as I’ve written elsewhere, PO is much easier to fix than CC. But fixing CC is possible, and I see no reason not to say that.

              • Nick G says:

                See my other comment about fixing problems.

                Overshoot is all about lag times. The lag time between an oil shortage and buying an EV is very short. The lag time to ramp up EVs isn’t that long. Heck, EVs of various sorts (including hybrid EVs) are at 4% of new car sales, and that could be doubled overnight with car maker unused capacity. After that, I’d estimate it could be doubled every 2 years, which would take about 7 years to get to 90%. At that point about about 27% of the cars on the road would be electric, and it would take another 3 years to get to 50%, which would probably account for 75% of total Vehicle Miles Traveled. Now, obviously that’s incredibly simplistic, but it gives you an idea of the timeline of an aggressive rollout.

                I’m much more worried about Climate Change where the lag time for GHGs in the atmosphere is decades and centuries.

                • Overshoot is all about lag times.

                  Of all my years of reading comments on TOD, here and on other blogs, I have never read a more incorrect statement. Overshoot is all about a population overshooting the long term carrying capacity of its niche. And in case of humans the niche is the planet earth. To truly understand what overshoot is all about you need to read the book:
                  Overshoot

                  • Nick G says:

                    Ron,

                    I’ve read pretty much everything you have, and much more. Overshoot is all about lag times. That’s what the LTG models were all about: once you see the problem you may not have time left to fix it.

                  • No Nick, you quite obviously have not read Overshoot. Else you would not make such a very silly statement as to say overshoot was about lag times.

                    Limits to Growth models were not about overshoot at all, they were about pollution, production and natural resource depletion. The book did deal with population but not overshoot in particular.

                    Nick, you obviously have not one clue as to what the hell overshoot is all about. Have you read my essay Of Fossil Fuels and Human Destiney? If you had you would know that the overshoot of reindeer on St Matthew Island had nothing to do with lag times. And you would have known that the overshoot of black rats in East India had nothing to do with lag times.

                    Again, you obviously have not a clue as to what the hell overshoot really is or you would not make such a very absurd claim as to say that overshoot is about lag times.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Ron,

                    If you look at your “Of Fossil Fuels…” post, you’ll seem my comment from a while back. The “lag time” for reindeer is the replacement rate of their food.

                    Now, of course, that’s stretching the meaning of “lag time” quite a lot. Still, the distinction is important, as we find out with humans.

                    Look again at the LTG models: there’s at least one which shows humanity at a steady state, assuming sufficiently early intervention. The LTG modelers didn’t agree with an estimate of 1B for the earth’s carrying capacity.

                    If you make the highly unrealistic assumption that humans can only use biomass or fossil fuels, then sure. But otherwise.

                    If you’d like to see a conversation between me and the author of a post about Catton on TOD back in 2009, go here: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/5954 . In fact, you and I talked elsewhere in the comments about Easter Island…

                  • Is this the same Nick that drove everyone crazy at TOD? He engaged in these endless arguments where he always had to get the last word in.

                  • Nick G says:

                    I try to take debates to completion: that means breaking things down and figuring out where the disagreement is happening so that we can resolve them. If people aren’t used to working hard at a debate it can be frustrating. If they have a hard time identifying their assumptions and communicating them, then it can take a long time.

                    OTOH, often we came to agreement at TOD. That was usually the case with you and me, Web.

                  • I usually agreed but there is the matter of closing the sale.

                • The “lag time” for reindeer is the replacement rate of their food.

                  That’s the funniest thing I have read since I read your last post. Now I know you do not understand a thing about overshoot.
                  1. A food store was built up long before the reindeer arrived on the island.
                  2. The reindeer arrived and multiplied over 200 fold on the stored food supply.
                  3. When they reached 6,000 in number they were deep in overshoot. Their numbers were far greater than the island could possibly support.

                  Nick, just please just use a little common sense. If reindeer depended on the natural growth rate of likens on the island, then the island could probably support around 100 to 200 reindeer, long term. But because before there were no reindeer on the island, then the lichens grew for decades until they had a mat 2 inches deep all over the island. That is the definition of overshoot.

                  But the Black Rats of East India were an even better example. The area could, long term, support about 100 rats. But every 48 years the bamboo blooms and then fruits. A huge rat food supply then appears. The rats multiply to many thousand. Then the bamboo fruit is all gone and the rats all die off, back to the true carrying supply of that small area of the bamboo forest, about 100.

                  That is the best definition of overshoot you will ever get.

                  . During the minute it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive; others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear; others are being slowly devoured from within by rasping parasites; thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst and disease. It must be so. If there is ever a time of plenty this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored.
                  Richard Dawkins: River Out of Eden, page131-132.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Yeah, I understood all that.

                    And, that quote at the end of your comment tells me that you haven’t absorbed a basic reality: most humans are not breeding out of control. They’re just not. Most humans, in fact, are living longer than ever, and and are more affluent than any generation before them, and yet they’re having fewer kids.

                    hhhmmm. We’re having a hard time making any progress.

                    Let’s start with something basic: can we agree that the Limits to Growth scenarios included one model which showed a sustainable economy?

                  • Nick G says:

                    To be fair, I should say that lag time is a key concept only for human populations, where planning and thoughtful reaction is possible, both for fertility and consumption. Animal populations behave differently: resource availability reduces death rates and increases population growth, and a sudden change in food availability can cause a crash.

                    Again, lag time is the key element of the LTG models. They found that early intervention made all the difference.

                    So: can we agree that the Limits to Growth scenarios included one model which showed a sustainable economy?

                  • And, that quote at the end of your comment tells me that you haven’t absorbed a basic reality: most humans are not breeding out of control.

                    No, humans have already bred out of control. Our overpopulation has either killed or caused the die-off of half the wild animals on earth in just the last 40 years. 10,000 years ago humans and their animals represented less than one tenth of one percent of the land and air vertebrate biomass of the earth. Now they are 97 percent. That means Nick, that we have already bred out of control. And our population is still growing by over 200,000 per day.

                    They’re just not. Most humans, in fact, are living longer than ever, and and are more affluent than any generation before them, and yet they’re having fewer kids.

                    The Limits to Growth has not a fucking thing to do with this debate. We are talking about overshoot. The book did not mention the word even once. We are talking about what has already happened to the animal population of the earth. We are talking about the fact that our numbers are about 10 times the long term sustainable carrying capacity of the planet.

                    Well let me correct myself. Yes the planet could probably support, long term, 4 to 5 billion if we agreed that no other animal, except our pets and livestock, need to live. But if we wanted to still have live wild animals on this planet then about .5 to 1 billion humans would be the maximum population the planet could, long term, support.

                    One more time, I am not debating the authors of Limits to Growth, I am talking about overshoot.

                  • So: can we agree that the Limits to Growth scenarios included one model which showed a sustainable economy?

                    Hey, I don’t give a shit what Limits to Growth showed, I am not debating limits to growth. Limits to growth did not discuss the animal population. And all their models ended in 2100.

                    I am talking about where we are now and how we got here and what is happening to the earth and its inhabitants.

                    We are currently destroying the earth. We are currently killing off all the wildlife on earth. We are currently increasing our population by over 200,000 per day.

                    We are in deep deep overshoot. There is absolutely no doubt about that. If we were not then all the crap happening to the earth and to the wildlife of the earth would not be happening.

                  • Nick G says:

                    I don’t see a necessary or a logical connection between species extinction, and overshoot.

                    Humans seem to like to mess around with their environment. They plant lawns and such. It eliminates the habitat of an awful lot of other creatures. But does it mean overshoot?

                    Heck, if the average American has .2 acres of lawn, then if the population was 10% as large, they might just have 2 acres of lawn per capita.

                    And, if the 300M Americans decided to, they could fit into a small fraction of the land, and leave all the rest of the land for natural habitat. Some cities in the US are limiting sprawl, and some aren’t. It’s a choice.

                  • Nick G says:

                    The same thing applies to hunting and fishing of wildlife. The human population has been too large for hunting and gathering for millennia. It wouldn’t be that hard to eliminate overfishing, if we really wanted to. We’ve pretty much done it for whaling, for instance.

                  • The same thing applies to hunting and fishing of wildlife. The human population has been too large for hunting and gathering for millennia. It wouldn’t be that hard to eliminate overfishing, if we really wanted to. We’ve pretty much done it for whaling, for instance.

                    Whalers killed whales for oil. That was stopped because of crude oil from the ground. Then some nations kept killing whales for meat. Japan still kills whales for meat.

                    Factory ships now catch every fish in the sea. Japan depends on seafood for a large portion of their diet.

                    Some animals, especially in Africa, are going extinct because they are food for the people, their only food. But most species are going extinct because we are destroying their habitat. That is we are cutting down their forest and plowing up their grasslands. Our overshoot is driving them into extinction.

                  • I don’t see a necessary or a logical connection between species extinction, and overshoot.

                    Good lord, are you serious. Look at the chart below. It is too many people that are driving all the other species into extinction.

                    Humans seem to like to mess around with their environment. They plant lawns and such. It eliminates the habitat of an awful lot of other creatures. But does it mean overshoot?

                    Are you for real? You are just fucking around with me aren’t you? You are just laughing at me for thinking you are really serious.

                    Heck, if the average American has .2 acres of lawn, then if the population was 10% as large, they might just have 2 acres of lawn per capita.

                    Such reasoning I have never before encountered. You cannot possibly be for real.

                    And, if the 300M Americans decided to, they could fit into a small fraction of the land, and leave all the rest of the land for natural habitat. Some cities in the US are limiting sprawl, and some aren’t. It’s a choice.

                    Yeah right. If only they decided to crowd themselves together like sardines. See if you can talk them into it. Then you must talk to the Chinese, then the Indians, then all the hoards of Africa who are already crowded together like sardines in the cities. See if you can keep them from killing all the wildlife in the jungle for bushmeat.

                    The wildlife of Africa is being killed off because of overshoot in Africa. The people have nothing to eat so they go kill a monkey, or a fruit bat, or a chimp, or… And soon there will be no wildlife left in Africa because of overshoot.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Ron,

                    Yes, hunter gathering isn’t sustainable for large populations. The rest of the world has learned this, and farmed instead.

                    Africa is just following the path of the rest of the world. England had wolves and bears centuries ago. So did New England. Humans killed them off, not because humans were running out of space (this all happened when population levels were much lower than today), but because humans saw them as dangerous to themselves and their livestock.

                    Asians arrived in the New World millennia ago, and promptly killed off the mammoths. Europeans arrived in the New World, and promptly starting depleting it of it’s remaining wildlife. Humans arrived in Australia millennia ago, and promptly killed the megafuana.

                    Now humans are starting to respect wildlife a little more – they’re protecting whales (which would have been all extinguished for their meat, otherwise), putting wolves back in Yellowstone, etc. It’s not nearly enough, but there’s a real change.

                  • Techsan says:

                    Uh, Ron, I wouldn’t be so harsh. Do you have an A+ in Control Theory on your transcript?

                    Oscillation and overshoot are well described by differential equations and control theory, and, yes, lag time matters.

                    May there be no poles in your left half-plane.

                  • Techsan, I will be harsh, we are not talking about Control Theory, we are not talking about mechanical overshoot. I once worked in computer control of moisture and weight in paper mills. I know very well what that kind of overshoot is. You compensate at the input but compensate too much and you get overshoot. And it starts to swing back and forth.

                    We are not talking about that kind of overshoot Techsan, we are talking about population overshoot! Population overshoot has not one fucking thing to do with lag times. I discussed overshoot of reindeer on St. Matthew Island and overshoot of Black Rats in my essay Of Fossil Fuels and Human Destiney. That Techsan is the kind of overshoot we are talking about.

                    And next time please learn the subject matter before trying to correct me.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Yeah, control theory is a helpful thing here.

                    In animal populations feedback comes roughly in the form of deathrates: greater food availability might increase fertility a little, but mostly it means that more young survive to breeding age. Then if food supplies decline again, death rates rise sharply, reducing population.

                    In human populations greater food availability (and other improvements like sanitation) reduced death rates, but then after a lag fertility also declined (helped along by better birth control methods). So, humans don’t behave the same way as animal populations. For the great majority of the world this has been the dynamic: lower death rates and lower fertility per woman.

                  • Human population has historically behaved exactly like other animal populations. When an over supply of food was available, rats overshot their habitat, reindeer overshot their habitat and humans, since the industrial revolution begun, have been overshooting their habitat.

                    Since the industrial revolution began there has never been a single year in which the human population of the world decreased. But it will. And when the decrease, (die-off), starts, it will be because we have vastly overshot our niche, (the world).

                    Hey, the world’s population is currently increasing at a rate of 1.14% per year. That comes to 82,000,000 more people every year. Though the rate is dropping slowly the actual number of the increase is climbing.

                    Do the math. The world population percent increase reached its highest point in 1967 at 2.11% per year. That year the world’s population increased by 73,153,000. Last year the rate had dropped to 1.14% and the population increased by 81,665.000.

                    So even though the rate is dropping the numbers are increasing.
                    Population of the entire world, yearly, 1950 – 2100

                    Though the above web site has the actual numbers beginning to taper off, beginning in 2012, they have the increase continuing right through 2100, reaching 10.85 billion. But it won’t of course, the die-off will begin ling before then.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Ron,

                    We’re agreed that different regions of the world are behaving differently? OECD countries like the US, Japan and Germany have fertility rates below replacement (some far, far below). China is well below replacement. Other areas like India and Mexico are getting close to replacement levels and are dropping fairly quickly. Then, other areas like large parts of Africa and the M.E. are showing higher fertility rates which are dropping much more slowly. Yes?

                    These areas will fare very differently in the years ahead. Medium and low fertility areas will grow faster and be better able to educate their children. High fertility areas will lag behind and be in real danger of chronic poverty, war and disease, as we’re seeing in Africa.

                    Make sense?

                  • Make sense?

                    Okay, let me put it this way. Say you are dying of heart failure and you say: “But my liver is just fine.” Make sense? Of course not.

                    The world is dying of overpopulation. Some countries are better off than others but when the collapse begins there will be no safe country on earth.

                    I have been preaching for over a decade as to the terrible shape the earth is in. I don’t have time to go over it again but a person who thinks, ecologically, that everything is just fine, is simply living in a dream world.

                    The world is sick and we are the ones killing it.

                  • Nick G says:

                    I agree that we’re causing great harm to our environment.

                    But, let’s be specific: what do you think will cause collapse? If you want to convince anyone, you need to be more specific. You can’t just say “PO, water problems, fishing & soil depletion, debt service, jeez, it’s all so overwhelming that it’s obviously going to cause collapse.”. No one is going to believe you, except the ones who really want to already.

                    Specifically, what’s the key thing? The bottleneck factor? The Liebig’s minimum component? All of the quantitative footprint and carrying capacity analyses I’ve seen focus on energy. So does your blog. So, is it energy, in your opinion?

                  • But, let’s be specific: what do you think will cause collapse? If you want to convince anyone, you need to be more specific.

                    Okay Nick, I will be specific about a couple of things. I am not remotely interested in convincing the world that they are destroying the world. Oh I would if I thought it were possible but I have preached for over a decade that we are but observers in this drama, we are powerless to change the course of the world.

                    Why do I do what I do? Because I enjoy the debate. That is why I created this blog, so like minded people could discuss peak oil and the consequences of peak oil. And as I have said before, when you are watching the end of civilization as you know it, it is just damn hard to take your eyes off it.

                    Now, you ask “What specifically is it that will destroy civilization as we know it?”

                    Easiest damn question I have answered in years. It is too many people on too small a planet. It is people that are cutting down all the trees, it is people that are drawing down the water tables, it is people that are crowding all the other animals off the face of the earth, it is people that are over fishing the seas, it is people that are causing deserts to expand, it is people that are causing the topsoil to be washed and blown away, it is people that are using up all the non-renewable resources. The problem is juts too many people. They are destroying everything, not just one piece of the environment but every piece of the environment.

                    And I really don’t give a shit whether anyone believes me or not. I am not a crusader, I just enjoy discussing these things on this blog… and on other blogs that I sometimes comment on.

                    I hope that clears it up for you.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Well, ok, you enjoy the debate. So, let’s debate it.

                    I agree we’re decimating wildlife, but I’ve seen no evidence that will cause collapse. Sure, you can imagine scenarios where things like bees disappear, but it’s pretty vague.

                    I agree that one can imagine Climate Change scenarios where most farming is impaired – I think it’s a good idea to reduce GHG emissions ASAP. But immediate collapse from topsoil depletion or desertification? Overall crop yields and total production levels continue to rise – how, why and when is that going to change?

                    Sure, fish are being depleted. But they can be farmed, or replaced with land-based farmed products. Only about 4% of the world’s calories come from fish, so…

                    So, what’s the key source of collapse?

                  • Hey, it all comes together as economic collapse. When half of Europe suffers the kind of economic collapse that Argentina had in 2001, and a lot of them are close right now, you will know total world collapse has started.

                    20 Signs That The Next Great Economic Depression Has Already Started In Europe

                    And that depression will just be the start of the great collapse. The whole thing may take 20 to 50 years to completely play out. But it’s on it’s way.

                    But as the article points out, it has already started.

                    Now you may not see the connection between peak oil and all the other things I named to economic collapse, but they are all contributors. Gail Tverberg on her blog Our Finite World has explained it many times.

                  • Techsan says:

                    This has been beaten to death, but let me just say that there is lots of work describing populations and overshoot in terms of differential equations, to which classical control theory applies. Here’s a start:

                    Lotka-Volterra equation

          • Doug Leighton says:

            Ron, I’m glad you’ve pulled Tom’s graph into this discussion: It’s about as powerful an illustration as I’ve ever seen on “the limits of growth”.

            • Nick G says:

              And, it’s an illustration of the odd flaws of Murphy’s kind of post.

              First, he looks at population growth without looking at fertility rates or immigration. He acknowledges that’s a mistake (“To do a thorough job I would have to disentangle immigration from domestic birthrates”), and then just plows forward anyways. Oddly, he never seems to notice at all that gross population growth rates aren’t the same as fertility rates. For instance, he doesn’t notice that both the US and China have fertility rates below replacement.

              Finally, his real argument is that wealthy countries like the US should reduce their intensity of resource consumption and environmental damage. Oddly enough, we can agree on that without all of the analysis above about population!

              • The Wet One says:

                People immigrate to planet earth?

                Who are these aliens of whom you speak?

                However, you are correct. Murphy did mention disentangling immigration and fertility effects. But the graph is still of WORLD population, not the population of one country, so my opening question still stands.

                • Nick G says:

                  The point about immigration applies to Tom’s later arguments, where he looks at correlations between energy consumption and population growth.

                  Both the US and China have fertility rates below replacement, even though crude population numbers are still rising. For the US, much of the population growth is due to immigration.

                  • The Wet One says:

                    But Tom is still talking about energy consumption and population growth on the Earth, not in any one country or another. As such, immigration becomes irrelevant because all humans (except the handful on the ISS) are on the Earth. Population growth patterns matter regionally, but globally, less so if the population of the planet is still growing.

                    When he talks about the demographic shift, he is talking about countries where immigration (if not population growth) applies.

                  • Nick G says:

                    hhhmm.

                    I guess the question is, what does the analysis tell us?

                    Overall, Tom concludes the post saying that we need to reduce our environmental footprint, especially in developed countries.

                    And, on that I think we can agree.

            • Nick G says:

              Here’s a comment on this post:

              “A physicist or engineer gets an idea that seems to explain much of the world. He barges into some other field, and with some graphs or math tells the field experts how his idea sheds unprecedented light on their subject. Sometimes this actually works; I’ve heard of physicists bringing insight to geology or molecular biology. Sometimes it’s just an act of crankitude, in ignorance of the actual key ideas and complexity of the subject.

              I’m not calling you a crank, but I think crankitude is within horizon range with this post. “Hey demographers! Energy explains population growth!” But there’s total fertility rate and replacement rate vs. the simple “population growth right now” numbers; there’s the multi-stage model of demographic transitions, where the early boom stages are driven not by energy but by childhood vaccines, antibiotics, and clean water; there’s migration and population change, as I mentioned, and the cultural nexus of eastern European modest-energy states; there’s most of the oil states having distinctive cultural factors other than energy, apart from Norway, which hey doesn’t look like them (though possibly low effort oil wealth has allowed the survival of such cultures.).”

              And Tom replied:

              “I hear you. I’m definitely not up to snuff as a demographer. I’m not trying to put them out of business or claiming I have some amazing insight that has slipped their attention. I got data and plotted it, and was surprised by what I saw. Worth sharing.”

              • The Wet One says:

                BTW Nick,

                I appreciate your presence here. It’s good to have an opposite viewpoint that tests and criticizes the ideas taken as gospel around here (and yes I belong to that religion). My skepticism of the position taken here is sometimes lacking in my own view. Due to my own personality and tendency towards negative thinking, I think I might well overlook the possibility of a rosier outcome. You seem to be able to see and argue for the possibility of a rosier outcome.

                This is a good thing.

                Thank you for that.

                • Nick G says:

                  My pleasure!

                  • Kam says:

                    Energy consumption in some countries can drop without GDP drop only because energy consumption rises in other countries. You can’t look at specific countries and say that energy consumption can harmlessly drop. Look at world as a whole, because there is the thing called international trade.

                  • Nick G says:

                    I assume you’re talking about the idea that energy-intensive production has been outsourced to other countries?

                    I haven’t seen any convincing evidence (research) for that – have you?

                    It’s true that some manufacturing has been outsourced, but that has reduced the growth of manufacturing output, not overall manufacturing levels. Absolute manufacturing levels haven’t fallen in countries like the US and Germany, which have been reducing oil consumption per GDP.

                    There are still lots of steel and cars manufactured in the US, for instance.

                  • Kam says:

                    “I assume you’re talking about the idea that energy-intensive production has been outsourced to other countries?”
                    That is only half of the story. Other half is increased imports by countries which grew their energy consumption. Germany and other european countries wouldn’t have money for renewables if not increased exports to China, and others.

                  • Nick G says:

                    It’ll help reduce confusion if we focus on the production side of things, rather than consumption. GDP is Gross Domestic Production, so the question is, can we increase Production without increasing energy consumption. We’re seeing that we can.

                    Of course, much of this discussion is pretty theoretical: it started with Tom Murphy extrapolating energy consumption many decades into the future. OECD countries have already plateaued in terms of the consumption of hard goods, and the rest of the world will follow. At that point, it will be a question of growth in services, and perhaps quality of manufactured goods – I think it’s not hard to see that can happen without additional energy consumption.

                  • Kam says:

                    ” so the question is, can we increase Production without increasing energy consumption. We’re seeing that we can.”
                    In 2013 world primary energy consumption was 56% (!) higher than in 1990. So your statement isn’t true. As I said before – don’t look at specific countries. They are not isolated islands. Some countiers grow their energy consumption, so other countries can sell them sophisticated products, and services. Let’s make copies of London financial industry in every country, so we will use 1/10 of current energy consumption, and have 5 times bigger world GDP than now. Why nobdy have thought about that earlier? 🙂

                  • Nick G says:

                    Again, this is conversation about Tom Murphy’s discussion of infinite growth into the future, right? So, we’re not talking about China’s industrial growth. We’re talking about the possibility of having growth in services and quality, after industrial growth is finished for the whole world, as it is for OECD countries.

                    Make sense?

                  • Old farmer mac says:

                    Yes!

                    As that old lecher I forget his name Huge Hefner put it, if he hadn’t had a daughter to run his business for him after he got old he would have done well to invent one.(I hope this is a true anecdote.)

                    If we didn’t have Nick the forum would be much less interesting and informative.

                    Somebody else would have to step up and take his place and that might be a long time in coming to pass.

                  • Nick G says:

                    Well, thanks.

                    If people want to make the argument that collective humanity will screw up and let the world go to hell in a handbasket, I understand.

                    But the fact is that PO and Climate Change would be pretty easy to fix on a technical and cost basis. The problem is ferocious resistance by the relatively narrow segment of the economy that would be hurt by the transition. There are $trillions to be made by the Koch brothers and their peers selling fossil fuels (and related things), and they’re literally willing to destroy the government and world to prevent change.

                    Let’s not help them by exaggerating the difficulty of the problem.

    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      A recent New York Times OpEd:

      What We’re Afraid to Say About Ebola

      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/12/opinion/what-were-afraid-to-say-about-ebola.html?emc=edit_tnt_20140911&nlid=745484&tntemail0=y&_r=1
      By MICHAEL T. OSTERHOLMSEPT. 11, 2014
      Michael T. Osterholm is the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

      Excerpt:

      The second possibility is one that virologists are loath to discuss openly but are definitely considering in private: that an Ebola virus could mutate to become transmissible through the air. You can now get Ebola only through direct contact with bodily fluids. But viruses like Ebola are notoriously sloppy in replicating, meaning the virus entering one person may be genetically different from the virus entering the next. The current Ebola virus’s hyper-evolution is unprecedented; there has been more human-to-human transmission in the past four months than most likely occurred in the last 500 to 1,000 years. Each new infection represents trillions of throws of the genetic dice.

      If certain mutations occurred, it would mean that just breathing would put one at risk of contracting Ebola. Infections could spread quickly to every part of the globe, as the H1N1 influenza virus did in 2009, after its birth in Mexico. Why are public officials afraid to discuss this? They don’t want to be accused of screaming “Fire!” in a crowded theater — as I’m sure some will accuse me of doing. But the risk is real, and until we consider it, the world will not be prepared to do what is necessary to end the epidemic.

      In 2012, a team of Canadian researchers proved that Ebola Zaire, the same virus that is causing the West Africa outbreak, could be transmitted by the respiratory route from pigs to monkeys, both of whose lungs are very similar to those of humans. Richard Preston’s 1994 best seller “The Hot Zone” chronicled a 1989 outbreak of a different strain, Ebola Reston virus, among monkeys at a quarantine station near Washington. The virus was transmitted through breathing, and the outbreak ended only when all the monkeys were euthanized. We must consider that such transmissions could happen between humans, if the virus mutates.

      • Dave Ranning says:

        Ebola Reston is the only Ebola with airborne transmission, and it has only happened between pigs and monkeys (the monkeys cannot transmit it between themselves).
        It does not infect humans.

        Ebola-Zaire (current outbreak)
        Ebola-Sudan
        Ebola-Ivory Coast
        Ebola-Bundibugyo

        Are not airborne.

        • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

          You might want to re-read the following paragraph, from the captioned article by the Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota:

          In 2012, a team of Canadian researchers proved that Ebola Zaire, the same virus that is causing the West Africa outbreak, could be transmitted by the respiratory route from pigs to monkeys, both of whose lungs are very similar to those of humans. Richard Preston’s 1994 best seller “The Hot Zone” chronicled a 1989 outbreak of a different strain, Ebola Reston virus, among monkeys at a quarantine station near Washington. The virus was transmitted through breathing, and the outbreak ended only when all the monkeys were euthanized. We must consider that such transmissions could happen between humans, if the virus mutates.

          • Dave Ranning says:

            Reality check from one of the Papers authors:
            http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2014/08/03/are-we-sure-ebola-isnt-airborne/

            But I agree, things are getting interesting.

            • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

              Dave,

              If I might offer some unsolicited advice, you might save all of us a lot of time if you read the articles more carefully. As best that I can tell, the item you linked was written about the original Nature article, it was not written by one of the authors. From your link:

              “Indeed I do–I wrote about that paper two years ago, and it in no way changes my assertion that Ebola doesn’t spread between people in an airborne manner.”

              By my count, you have made three material misstatements.

            • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

              As noted above, it’s not whether Ebola Zaire can be transmitted via water droplets in an airborne manner, it’s a question of under what conditions. What if there has been a very slight mutation that allows the virus to stay viable for a few seconds longer in smaller water droplets?

              Consider a hypothetical. You walk past a person in the early stages of becoming symptomatic who coughs and emits a cloud of water droplets that you walk through, but you have no direct contact.

              Following is an excerpt from Dr. Osterholm’s article:

              “The current Ebola virus’s hyper-evolution is unprecedented; there has been more human-to-human transmission in the past four months than most likely occurred in the last 500 to 1,000 years. Each new infection represents trillions of throws of the genetic dice.”

              • Doug Leighton says:

                “Each new infection represents trillions of throws of the genetic dice”

                This is precisely what my doctor told me recently when he explained that a new airborne pandemic is inevitable (if not derived from Ebola than something else down the road). He also mentioned that a recent study, using an innocuous radioactive tracer, demonstrated that an (deliberately) “infected” door handle in a large hospital spread to EVERY other door handle in the building within 24 hours. Not all that encouraging a result!

    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      CDC holding press conference. Dallas patient left Liberia on 9/19, arrived in Dallas on 9/20, and reportedly became symptomatic on 9/26. Admitted to hospital on 9/28.

      • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

        Small correction, he became symptomatic on 9/24, and was not put in isolation until 9/28. So, he was circulating in Dallas, Texas, while symptomatic, for four days.

        • Watcher says:

          Ya, if I flew in from Liberia and started bleeding from my eyeballs, I’d sure wait 4 days to hit the hospital.

      • Watcher says:

        48 hrs from symptoms to hospital.

        Great.

      • Dave Ranning says:

        A very interesting virus:

        Single strand RNA.
        “The capsid has a helical morphology and is encased inside a membrane envelope. Several viral proteins and glycoproteins stud the membrane. One surface protein is extensively glycosylated and this may inhibit the generation of antibodies against the protein. VP30 in the matrix of the virus seems to be important during budding of the virus from the membrane. The primary capsid protein is a nucleoprotein (NP) whose N terminal interacts with viral RNA and the rest contacts other viral proteins in the matrix or envelope. These latter contacts may be important in viral assembly. Associated with the viral RNA is the L protein that is responsible for replication of the virus upon infection.
        The nucleic acid of the virus consists of a single-stranded (-) RNA molecule, reminiscent of influenza virus. The genome codes for seven genes and seven separate transcriptional units are made into mRNA upon infection. Caps and polyadenylated tails are added during creation of the mRNA.”

      • RalphW says:

        The victim was wandering around sick for 4 days, visited one emergency room and was fobbed off, went home and was rushed to another ER 2 days later by ambulance. By that time he almost certainly infected members of his own family, and a good chance of infecting the ambulance crew, etc., or any subsequent occupants of the ambulance.

        If he had been spotted on his first ER visit, I would have said the chances of locking this down would have been good. However, I’m with Mary Odum on this one, there is a significant risk that Ebola is now out in the wild in downtown Dallas and with a very mobile population, quite likely half way round the world.

        I do not know what conditions are like in a Dallas community hospital, but a UK ER is a very good place to get sick, even the international standard research hospital down the road from me.

  12. Watcher says:

    Ron, do you remember this?

    http://www.platts.com/IM.Platts.Content/MethodologyReferences/MethodologySpecs/eaglefordmarker.pdf

    It’s from 2012 and it is a lot more clear now.

    They invented an Eagle Ford marker. They sampled oil from many different regions, noting wide variance in it depending on where along the condensate region it was drawn. Then they noted that a lot of blending was/is being done of the condensate with lower API regions in order to get “crude” south of API 50 (already a violation of Jeff’s 45). They even explicitly note that the result is much more naphthenic.

    “this has resulted in Eagle Ford crude becoming more naphthenic and also varying in product yields depending on the level of condensate blending. ”

    When we looked at this months ago we thought it was EF oil and had a diesel yield of 21% vs Louisiana Sweet’s 26%. There was no EF oil. It was an imaginary blend, and they started with API 40 liquids and mixed them with API 60.

    “The foundation of Eagle Ford Marker assessment is median product yield
    percentages extrapolated from a pool of Eagle Ford crude assays, gathered by
    Platts from a variety of sources.

    The assays sampled ranged from 40.1 degrees API to 62.3 degrees API.”

    If someone can find the distillate yield of that Norwegian oil above, it would be helpful.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      Watcher,

      You really do dig up some interesting, and, more important, applicable, stuff (once and awhile 😉 ). Perhaps you missed your calling, whatever your calling is. Although you are obviously also a pain in the ass on occasion, Ron’s Blog certainly benefits from your presence — I think.

      • Watcher says:

        It’s all part of my ambition.

        I am nobody here. My ambition is to stay that way.

        • Watcher says:

          More importantly, that marker claiming 21% diesel doesn’t really exist, and that’s 7% below the diesel weak LLS anyway.

          I want the diesel and kerosene fractions of the Norwegian oil to compare. That’s conventional oil. This LTO stuff has wriggled its way into the “oil” definition through the back door. Claims of US “oil” production gains can very easily be thus . . . bogus.

  13. robert wilson says:

    A previous post mentioned energy requirements of medical care and technical improvements such as the replacement of silver halide film with digital radiography. To evaluate such one must consider the entire spectrum of care. Currently it is estimated that medical care is over 17% of the GDP – and growing. Medical centers are often the largest local employers. Two examples – one large one small – Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and Ojai Community in Ojai, California. Hospitals and many extended care facilities must operate 24/7. Medical offices must have some heating and security 24/7. Few patients walk to a doctors office or a hospital. They go by private car, public transportation, taxi, ambulance or even helicopter. Employees generally commute. I witnessed one exception. The Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal was stranded by a snowstorm during the 50’s. Medical care was provided by the interns and residents living in the hospital. There are energy requirement for provision of medicines and medical supplies. In the past needles were sterilized and reused. They are now discarded. Digital imaging generally requires computers, detectors and multiple large high resolution screens. Huge volumes of helium are required for magnetic resonance imaging. As one who once published several articles on silver in x-ray film, I will admit that the digital revolution was on got the most unbelievable occurrences of my life. http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=656901

    • Nick G says:

      I agree – healthcare uses a significant amount of energy.

      Now, what we were discussing was growth: can medicine “grow” (i.e., improve it’s quality and health outcomes) while keeping energy consumption flat?

      Again, given that a doctor or nurse can do most things with their brain and a 3 watt tablet, I’d say so.

      • robert wilson says:

        As an 83 year old current consumer of modern medical care, I wonder if they can replace a knee, perform cataract surgery, ablate A-fib, manufacture Avodart or care for an Ebola patient with their brain and a 3 watt tablet? Tell me one thing that they can do without equipment or supplies.

        • Watcher says:

          The quality prepper sites address this (and there aren’t many of them).

          There is tetanus vaccine that does not require refrigeration.

          An oil derived collapse, of course, looks a great deal different than the popular “oh my God, how can I survive the 2 days for the power lines to be fixed!!” scenarios.

          Oil derived smash down is permanent. So the non fridge tetanus is a good thing, but when it’s gone, it’s permanently gone. What you do have is 21st century medical knowledge and 19th century tools, as soon as supplies are used up. Then the next generation of doctors will be trained with that knowledge of microscopic bacteria, but they will never see any because microscopes will degrade and there will never be new ones.

        • Nick G says:

          Ah, that’s not what I meant. I was trying to point out that medicine is primarily a service, driven by professionals, not a hard good manufactured on a line.

          As for one thing they can do: if they’re any good, there are many things they can diagnose with just a good history and physical exam. I know that’s a lost art for many health professionals. And, there are many things they can treat, for instance, with physical therapy (which typically uses pretty basic, non-powered equipment).

          But, that’s beside the point. Again, we’re talking about *growth*. Can surgery or drugs can be improved, while not needing an increase in energy input? Of course. Information technology will improve, but heck, think how much labor and energy paper charts required! All that transportation back and forth for doctor’s orders, finding charts, transcribing, retranscribing, transporting paper to ancillary departments, re-ordering labs because the specimen or requisition messengers misplaced them, or the lab was slow. Sheesh!

      • Nick G says:

        Another example of how Information Technology both improves quality and decreases energy and labor inputs:

        1) in the normal course of taking an x-ray, there are roughly 15-20% re-takes. These are mistakes, which waste film. Digital eliminates this waste.

        2) There’s no need for film copies for specialist consults, or referrals to other facilities: the image can be transmitted, or placed on a CD (these both are a lot cheaper, and use less in the way of resources).

        3) conventional film can be lost or damaged, and that requires a whole new procedure to replace it – this happens more often that you’d like to think.

        4) digital is more accurate, because the radiologist can manipulate the image – this reduces false positives, which greatly increase cost and energy consumption. 5) digital uses substantially less radiation. This reduces the power to the x-ray tube. Much more importantly, it also reduces the risk of cancer – for instance, conventional mammograms increase the lifetime likelihood of breast cancer by 1-2% for every mammogram! What’s the E-ROI of reducing cancer incidence?

        • robert wilson says:

          My retake rate was far lower than 15-20%. Few would otherwise disagree that those were astonishing improvements. But:
          — What is your hard evidence that “conventional mammograms increase the lifetime likelihood of breast cancer by 1-2% for every mammogram.”
          –Were some of the new cases post 1980 false positives or catch up diagnoses?http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/breast.html

          • Nick G says:

            That number was in some manufacturer’s literature in the 80’s. They were quite proud of it, too. Sadly, I didn’t save it.

            I suspect that the increased rate of diagnosis was due in part to catching much less aggressive “cancers” that didn’t need treatment.

    • Nick G says:

      You and I have talked about radiology in the past. Funny, isn’t it? Remember how hospitals dumped their old films in the early 80’s to take advantage of $50/oz silver?

      • robert wilson says:

        The earliest record that I found of a hospital “dumping” old films for money was in 1941. Unfortunately old films were often useful for diagnosis. Electrolytic and chemical recovery of silver from hypo was also developed during the 40’s. Fifty dollar silver caused some manufactures to make inferior film which among other problems required increased radiation exposure. It was a problem that a 14×17 inch double coated chest film at the height of the Bunker Hunt fiasco cost about $2 but required more than $2 worth of silver coating to maintain signal noise ratios and prevent high density failure.

        • Nick G says:

          Sadly, purging after 7 years seems to have caught on as a standard.

          I keep all my old films. With new digital studies, I export them to standard image formats and put them on my iPad.

  14. robert wilson says:

    Seven years was a legal requirement thus became a minimum.

  15. sunnnv says:

    Uh Ron,

    underneath the 2nd chart is:
    “… the monthly high of 1,044,000 barrels per day of in November 1970.”

    I know you meant “10,044,000 barrels per day …”, but someone else might not.

    http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=MCRFPUS2&f=M

  16. KC says:

    On my way to work this morning…

    • Old farmer mac says:

      Right up there with the guy named Crook who is an investment advisor and a local electrical contractor nearby home named Hazard Electric.

    • Old farmer mac says:

      This one is especially for Nick as it goes such a long way to explain why we are not going to solve our environmental problems and energy problems without experiencing die off.

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2014/09/29/closing-vermont-nuclear-bad-business-for-everyone/?ss=energy

      Now I will remind everybody that just because I do not believe die off is necessarily baked in for a few countries such as the US it IS NECESSARILY baked in for a huge part of the world.

      We can and might pull thru in Yankee land and a few other rich countries if we are lucky enough to avoid nuclear WWIII and a few other potentially civilization ending troubles.

      Birth rates are falling sure enough and people may eventually wise up to the implications of this fact. Young folks who are single kids of older parents often stand to inherit nice houses for instance and merely have to wait for them while living more modestly but actually better without making payments on a big house.

      With population falling eventually assuming the birth rate stay down lots of infrastructure will not need expansion except in particular instances. We will pass peak roads and peak autos very quickly once population hits it’s max in a country such as the US.

      But we probably won’t max out unless we close the borders.Being Scots Irish myself I am acutely aware of signs posted a century ago reading ” No Irish need apply ” but reality is a harsh master.

      We NEED to close our borders except for a few highly qualified professionals who will contribute mightily but consume lightly in comparison to their contribution.

      We are way the hell past the time we need more cheap labor.Wages for laborers and unskilled workers are in the pits for the very reason and ONLY the reason that we have too many laborers and unskilled workers as it is already.

      • Nick G says:

        Yeah, people can be dumb.

        Fortunately, dumb decisions like this can be fixed: New Englanders can choose to build windpower, solar and long-distance transmission lines (and even re-open nuclear plants) when power costs start to hurt too much. I was mighty amused when I looked at Joe Tainter’s comments on wind power: he said that we had to take into account the costs of aesthetic harm. And, indeed, that’s a big part of the problem: places like England and New England are willing to pay much higher power bills in order to not see wind turbines on the horizon! And, what the heck: if people want to make that choice more power to them, but I have a hard time seeing that as real “energy poverty”.

        I’m more worried about Climate Change, because it probably will be much harder to fix once it really gets going.

  17. Oil prices are down this morning. Brent, at this moment, is trading at $91.98 a barrel and WTI is $2.97 below that at $89.01 a barrel. And the OPEC basket price dropped $2.40 today to $92.31. I expect the OPEC basket price to drop further as it normally trades a couple of dollars lower than Brent.

    US stocks were down yesterday by 1.363 million barrels to 356,635,000 barrels. So it must be something else.

    Bloomberg Energy
    OPEC Basket Price

    • Doug Leighton says:

      Oil price hits two-year low after Saudi price cut

      http://www.bbc.com/news/business-29459149

      On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia announced it was reducing its selling price for oil in a move to protect its market share, analysts said.

      “This is a structural change in the oil market, with Saudi Arabia explicitly stating that they are willing to compete on price,” said Bjarne Schieldrop, a commodities analyst at SEB.

      • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

        But Saudi Arabia also reportedly cut production:

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-01/worst-seen-over-for-crude-prices-as-saudis-cut-production.html

        OPEC Policy

        Saudi Arabia told OPEC its production fell by 408,000 barrels a day — more than China’s demand is projected to expand this year — to 9.6 million a day in August. The kingdom plans to keep output close to that level for the rest of the year, while the Paris-based IEA forecasts an additional 600,000 barrels a day of demand on average through December, compared with last quarter.

        The fourth quarter was the strongest demand period in each of the past five years, data from the IEA show. This year will be no different as consumption rises to 93.9 million barrels a day in the three months ending Dec. 31, before sliding to 92.8 million in the first quarter of 2015, it forecasts.

        Winter Fuels

        “Globally, demand for crude is set to increase on a seasonal basis and as new refineries in the Middle East and China ramp up,” Gareth Lewis-Davies, a senior energy strategist at BNP Paribas SA, said by phone from London on Sept. 26.
        Demand for winter fuels such as heating oil is about to rise, according to the bank. The price recovery may be amplified by renewed interest from hedge funds and other investors, who have pulled out of the market, BNP said.

        Still, there are signs of a subdued demand rebound, so prices may struggle to rebound, Amrita Sen, the chief oil market analyst at Energy Aspects Ltd., a consultant in London, said in a report on Sept. 24. She forecasts that Brent will average $97 a barrel in the fourth quarter.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          Yes, it almost sounds like some desperation affecting Saudi Arabia: reduced production/reduced prices. Wonder what’s really going on?

          • Watcher says:

            ISIS is selling oil at $40/barrel.

            The Kurds are doing the same because it’s illegal for them to do so.

            The bombing is not hitting ISIS oil flow. Allegedly just refineries. Their truck train to Turkey hasn’t stopped.

            • Doug Leighton says:

              Yeah, you mentioned this before, but can this small volume of oil really make any difference?

              • Watcher says:

                If it was ISIS alone, no. But the Kurds are legally obligated to sell oil only if the proceeds are sent to Baghdad. Baghdad then distributes proceeds across the country according to budget allocations, which short change the Kurds.

                So now, with Baghdad so weakened, the Kurds can flow oil and pocket the money. But . . . it’s illegal and buyers have a problem with it, so lower price.

  18. Doug Leighton says:

    Could the US start sending its oil overseas?

    http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-29450562

    “Only 20% to 25% percent of global proven oil reserves can be consumed between now and 2050 if we are to have an 80% chance of avoiding devastating climatic changes that would destroy the global economy,” writes Oilchange International’s Lorne Stockman in an October 2013 report. “Therefore, allowing US crude oil exports specifically to enable exploitation of oil that is currently not included in those reserves is a recipe for disaster. We are in a hole, and we need to stop digging.”

    Unfortunately this will unleash some shit spam, sorry Guys.

  19. Marcus says:

    It’s funny how people stick to such a narrow focus when considering price moves in the market. Oil was not the only thing to fall in price recently in fact it has hit commodities across the board with only a few exceptions. I think Gail’s explanation of a bursting of the credit bubble makes a lot of sense as does a strengthening of the dollar. Me thinks something is about to break.

    • Watcher says:

      Nothing will be allowed to break. There are no free markets anymore.

      Dollar advance (aka collapse in other currencies) has indeed taken other commodities down and it a player in the oil fall, but the key here is shale. Response to price is so rapid with such frantic drilling that the industry could be destroyed by just a few months of low price — and so . . . that won’t be allowed either.

  20. Marcus says:

    Watcher sometimes you sound like King Canute ordering the tide to go back in. As Steve from Virginia pointed out earlier in the thread command & control governments are hardly omniscient otherwise there would have been no economic collapses by any sovereign government whereas even recent history is littered with them

    • Doug Leighton says:

      Actually I think Watcher is correct. However, since you haven’t defined “economic collapse” its not really possible to probably respond to your assertion. I know that the Great Depression in the US is often given as an example of an economic collapse: the market crash brought on a collapse that lasted for many years and caused much poverty. But, economist John Maynard Keynes claimed this was from the total lack of government involvement in the economy. Now we always seem to have government intervention which more-or-less proves Watcher’s point — much as I hate to stand up to Watcher’s sometimes wacky views. . 😉 Of course as I’ve said many times economics is a form of Black Magic, to me.

      • Anonymous says:

        “However, since you haven’t defined “economic collapse” its not really possible to probably respond to your assertion”

        OK not an exhaustive list but:

        1991 to 1995 Angola
        1975 to 1991 Argentina
        1914 to 1923 Austria
        1994 to 2002 Belarus
        1984 and 1986 Bolivia
        1993 Bosnia-Herzegovina
        1986 to 1994 Brazil
        1996 to 1997 Bulgaria
        1971 to 1973 Chile
        1948-49 China
        1922-1923 Danzig
        1993 to 1994 Georgia
        1922-1923 Germany
        1942-44 Greece
        1945-1946 Hungary
        1979-1985 Israel
        1948 to 1951 Japan
        1992-1993 Krajina
        2004-2005 Madagascar
        1976-2004 Mozambique
        1987 to 1990 Nicaragua
        1988 to 1990 Peru
        1944-1945 Philippines
        1989 and 1991 Poland
        1991-1993 Republika Srpska
        1990-2010 Romania
        1921 and 1922 Russian Federation
        1940-1949 Taiwan
        1990-2005 Turkey
        1993-1995 Ukraine
        1989 to 1994 Yugoslavia
        1989 and 1996 Zaire
        2000-2010 Zimbabwe

    • Watcher says:

      Well, somewhat true, but if it is, then the converse is also true.

      If QE has saved the day and Ben Bernanke should be given Nobel Prizes, then why haven’t Central Banks QE’ed since 1929? If it’s a successful solution, why did it take 90 years to use it? Why wasn’t it used to avoid every downturn you’ve mentioned in the 20th century?

      Come now. If the shale industry . . . almost entirely in red states . . . is about to collapse, do we really believe a GOP Congress will not find some socialism something to blame it on and decide they have to stop in to undo that something? And would not Obama sign legislation that boosts GDP going into a 2016 prez election to take such a thing off the debate table?

      Of course they would. They’d take over operation of disposal wells “because government can do a better job environmentally” and the companies will shrug and take that cost off their income statement and report profit — all while commissioning articles about how the increase in their efficiency has reduced costs and let them continue to operate in a low price environment.

  21. aws. says:

    Ristigouche fighting court battle with oil exploration company

    David’s full of piss and vinegar. At least that’s what François Boulay says about his Gaspé town of 168 people, which has decided to take on a Goliath of an oil and gas exploration company in order to protect its drinking water.

    “This is our water,” Boulay said in an interview from Ristigouche, 800 kilometres northeast of Montreal. “We use it and drink it every day.”

    On Tuesday, the town raised $5,000 of a total $225,000 it figures it needs to defend itself against Gastem, a Quebec-based company seeking $1.5-million in damages because of a municipal bylaw that threw a wrench into its drilling plans.

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