209 Responses to Open Thread

  1. http://www.gurufocus.com/news/377300/how-general-motors-and-fords-november-sales-stack-up-in-china

    “November marked General Motors’ second straight month of sales gain after experiencing plunging sales for most parts of the year. The company sold 346,671 vehicles during the month in the mainland. SUVs and crossovers constituted 19% of the company’s total sales volume. The combined sales of SUVs and crossovers spiked 231% year over year powered by Buick Envision and Baojun 560 compact crossovers.”

    That is quite a jump in SUV sales.

    • jjhman says:

      Watching sales of large vehicles go up and down out of sync with gas prices makes me wonder what is the actual attention span of the average American.

      • That’s in China. But your quote for US is accurate.

        • ChiefEngineer says:

          “crossovers spiked 231% year over year powered by Buick Envision”

          The new model Envision had only been on the market for a few months a year ago. Comparing year over year is not relevant. It’s also a 2 liter engine and only one or two MPG less than a Accord or Camery.

          “Watching sales of large vehicles”

          The Baojun 560 and Envision are not large vehicles.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            Money (Debt/Growth) and The Car is part of their religion. Acquisition.

            Apparently, the large stone statues of Easter Island’s former civilization used felled trees to roll them into place. As things got worse, there was a greater impetus to appease the god or gods by creating more statues and felling more trees.

            Fast forward to today, and they have The Economy.
            They have ‘Debt‘, EV’s, PV’s, and Bullshit Jobs, (so they pray, as do their Righteous Leaders), to replace the statues and continue the religion of their crony-capitalist plutarchy.

            Praise thee, oh highest BAU… Oh highest Bank Account… Oh highest Gigafactory… Oh highest Tesla…

            Dragnet Drag

      • Stavros H says:

        The attention span of people all over the world is virtually non-existent. It’s not an American thing, it’s a human thing.

        Yes, the low oil price definitely encourages an increase in consumption.

  2. Greenbub says:


    Yep, only a buck a barrel. How come it costs you fancypants oil producers so much more?

    • Arceus says:

      So Iran was making more money before sanctions were lifted?

      But $1 a barrel sounds way too cheap unless they have slave labor, almost zero transportation costs and little to no drilling costs.

      It almost sounds like these guys are coached what to say by a money center bank or hedge fund – timing is always impeccable.

    • AlexS says:

      Even if we take only lifting costs, and exclude all other costs, I doubt that they are below $4-5 per barrel.

      • Stavros H says:

        Noway their cost is at $1 per barrel, but it’s definitely way lower than most other producing regions on the planet.

        Iran has mythical reserves of both oil & gas, which have remained largely untapped for decades now.

        • wimbi says:

          Largely untapped, and

          If Paris Accord means anything,

          will have to remain so.

          Or does any of that mean anything to you guys?

          • Stavros H says:

            Paris Accord!

            It’s just propaganda. Fossil fuels are here to stay. That’s why we have a slow-motion WW3 in the Middle East right now.

            If any major power on the planet believed that there was any alternative to fossil fuels, then there would be no wars in the Middle East.

            • Glenn Stehle says:

              Paris Accord = cheap signaling

              Talk is cheap, but actually cutting carbon emissions is an enormously costly undertaking.

              • wimbi says:

                Aha! As I thought. With those attitudes, ff’s are doomed, and the sooner the better.

                Now, back to fun with pyrolyzer. Solves the gloom month gap of PV.

                • Glenn Stehle says:

                  • Nick G says:

                    It’s not hard to find Hoffer quotes, in which he puts people down. He was a misanthrope, who didn’t like the natural environment either:

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


                  • Glenn Stehle says:

                    Nick G,

                    Why are you citing quotes to make my argument for me?

                    Hoffer was a realist, with his feet firmly on the ground, not some flower child tilting at windmills.

                    He saw very early on what was going to become a leading secular stealth religion in our post-prosperity world.

                  • Nick G says:

                    “Hoffer deflated was their nature cult.” Why are you citing quotes to make my argument for me? Hoffer was a realist

                    Wow. So you’re firmly against environmental protections.

                    Wow. Really?? That’s what you mean to say? I guess that would explain much of what you’ve said.

              • Nick G says:

                actually cutting carbon emissions is an enormously costly undertaking.

                The alternatives to oil/FF are cheaper, even without counting pollution and military/security costs. When you do count those, you see that not cutting FF is far more expensive.

                You were, after all, responding to someone who said: “Fossil fuels are…why we have a slow-motion WW3 in the Middle East right now.”

              • wimbi says:

                Actually NOT cutting carbon emissions is a TRULY enormously costly undertaking.

                Like wasting the biosphere .

                AND most of the people in it.

                But not all of ’em. Can’t get rid of them vermin. Always a few left to start over.

                • Glenn Stehle says:



                  And the environmentalist messiahs offer salvation and absolution.

                  So where have we heard this before?

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    So pray tell us Oh Grand Poohba, what exactly is it that you offer, other than ‘No can do anything’! Long live the Fossil Fuel Industry! And Infinite Growth…
                    Maybe you can come up with a few more useless quotes. Truth is you are irrelevant to the changes happening all over the world and making up BS about non existant ‘Team Green’ and flower children doesn’t cut it. There are plenty of smart companies corporations and govrnments that no longer buy into your pathetic rhetoric and sad attempts at prentending that change ain’t happening. Go back under your rock and collect your Koch check while you still can…

                  • Glenn Stehle says:


                    Well at least traditional religions do have a way of fleecing their own flock, as well as attempting to get the long arm of the law to reach out and shake down the non-believers too.

                    What the environmental movement lacks is a core group of persons willing to sacrifice for the cause. Its adherents want the non-believers to do all the sacrificing, while they continue to live it up.

                    Pope Leo X would be jealous. His flock had to pay for their indulgences out of their own pockets.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    You still haven’t said what YOU stand for! Lot’s of blah, blah, blah but nothing substantive!

                    And BTW, in case you are wondering, I’m not part of any movement as most of the people who are actually engaged in change aren’t either.

                    Seriously Glen, what if anything are you really engaged in. Give us at least one positive thing that you have actually done.

                    It doesn’t even have to be something that someone like myself agrees with or even likes, just something that you truly believe is a positive thing? Come on there has to be something you believe in that truly defines who the real Glen is.

                  • Glenn Stehle says:


                    Mark me up in the realist camp.

                    I’m not a true believer out to save the world, and make a few bucks along the way. So I don’t need anything to “stand for,” other than to try to figure out what’s going on.

                    And speaking of those much maligned Koch brothers, who you claim I collect a check from, even though you have not the foggiest notion where my money comes from,

                  • SW says:

                    Trying to find ways to power the planet is serious business and a very difficult problem. I respect men and women of good will who are actively engaged in solving this problem. I have no real use for arm-chair fanboys on either side of the argument. We are going to be burning fossil fuels for a long time. Hopefully we will be burning less of them and doing so in a cleaner manner. We will be adding newer cleaner sources to the mix. What kind of a dumb-ass would throw bombs at that? Oh wait, you are about to tell me aren’t you. Do me a favor. Don’t bother.

      • They have a really small barrel :).

    • Arceus says:

      At $1 per barrel, that must be the cheapest barrel of liquid on the planet. If I could order a million barrels of salt water, doubtful I could get anyone to produce it for a dollar a barrel.

      It’s been interesting how Iran has constantly talked down the price of oil…

      • I think it improves the negotiating ability.
        Even though TOTAL says the first additional supply will not come till well into 2016 after the sanctions are lifted, claiming all of this nonsense can allow them to tell rest of OPEC. “Fine, we will delay our $1 barrels till end of 2016 if you cut production and shore up prices now”

  3. oldfarmermac says:

    Does anybody here know anything about this whiz kid?

    Is he for real?

    You will have to go to this link and then scroll down to the video about the kid who built his own self driving car. He is obviously enough an extremely capable guy but that capable ?


    • oldfarmermac says:

      I forgot to mention that the home of the self driving car is going to insist that self driving cars have a human with a license at the steering wheel and pedals- meaning the wheel and pedals cannot be eliminated.

      Eventually this new law will be repealed, I suppose, but I have remarked before that the various industries with skin in the game will fight tooth and claw for the status quo.

      It may sound sort of STUPID, but does any one think the law enforcement/ judicial / legal / prison industry is REALLY more interested in solving the drug problem than it is in growth and revenue? The drug industry is a primary FEEDING GROUND enabling these industries to grow.

      A hell of a lot of ambulance chasing lawyers have seats in legislatures, and if they don’t, then they have frat brothers who do

      Insurance companies may not be so fast to support autonomous cars as we think they will. It is true they will eventually reduce the accident rate, but they will also reduce revenues and employment in the industry, and any increase in profits will be ephemeral , because as the accident rate falls, competition will reduce the rates they can charge just as well.

      My personal opinion is that as the result of the various factions fighting to preserve turf, the wide spread adoption of self driving cars will be delayed for a few years, maybe as much as five to ten years in the worst case.

      We hear all about the problems with people buying electric cars due to range anxiety.

      How about the anxiety that would come about if you could not cross the nearest state line with your self driving car? How far would THAT cut into sales? Or maybe cross a nearby city or county line?

      • Lloyd says:

        I read the proposed California law. I view it as a stopgap until the various technologies get shaken out; it makes sense on the surface to have a human at the wheel to manage unexpected results in the current environment.

        I think those test drivers will have an impossible job. They are supposed to be prepared to take action if anything goes wrong: this is a change in activity, from monitoring the car to driving it. This type of change results in a performance penalty, called a “switch cost”; it usually means slower performance and decreased accuracy. In a case like this, my guess is that there may be 2 to 5 seconds where the “driver” does nothing because he is orienting himself to the task.

        It is important to remember that distracted driving is against the law. I believe that the person prepared to take over in the case of a problem cannot be the person monitoring the car.

        To do what this law intends would require two technicians: one to drive as if he had control of the car, and one to monitor the car and computer and decide if it is malfunctioning. The technician monitoring the car would be the one who would pass control to the human driver if he detected a flaw. He would probably have to pass control to the human driver occassionally so the driver was used to the transfer.

        And even with two techs, I think they’d be hard pressed to respond to a failure.

        The California lawmakers are not cognitive psychologists or computer scientists, and are probably unaware of these concepts; I suspect they didn’t consult fully with the industry or ignored their recommendations if they did.

        I believe this law, if implemented, will be changed before consumer self-driving cars (SDC) are launched. I suspect that any consumer-ready SDC will be a better driver than the people it carries: it will be safer from an actuarial standpoint to have no human-operated controls other than destination inputs.


  4. Jef says:

    Great short video documenting the scientist over at Exxons climate change research. Their conclusions were in accord with mainstream scientific groups in academia, NASA, NOAA, and the Department of Energy.

    But then I guess they are in cahoots with the climate change conspiracy group trying to end FF use. Oh ….wait a minute…they are the FF industry.


    • Arceus says:

      Our education system does not produce enough adults that can understand a scientific paper – or even give them sufficient interest in attempting to read it. This is even true for a scientific paper geared for a general audience. With almost no one to challenge them or hold them accountable, climate change journalists and scare mongers can create YouTube videos and articles that cherry-pick a few words or sentences that support their narrative. It’s incredibly easy. I am fairly certain the global warming movement will “win.”

      They will win, not on merit, but because the few who might oppose them will get shouted down. Soon enough, we will all have shiny black boxes on our roofs, new shiny electric cars, state-of-the-art windmills – all mandated by the government something along the lines of Obamacare but for the earth. No, it won’t be free (far from it) and when all is said and done it will likely be quite a bit more expensive for the common man and it will generate lots more consumer tech that can be sold in endless upgrade cycles – but hey, it’s for mother earth – and if you’re not paying through the nose, you’re really not trying…

      • Jimmy says:

        It seems to me there are plenty of people, well funded people, to challenge them.

        But with regards to your statement why should it be that people with such a lack of scientific understanding buy into climate change. Couldn’t they just as easily refute it if they were presented with cherry picked information arguing the opposite point of view. Why would such uneducated people who can’t understand science lean towards accepting climate change and not rejecting it. Is it a cognitive bias? A better PR campaign? Stupidity? It seems to me fossil fuel can afford a good PR campaign. Why is it that people have chosen to accept as the truth that which you consider to be a lie? Was it a coin toss? Please expand on your thesis.

        It’s been my observation that the less educated a person is the more likely they are to vote Republican and deny climate change. The most utterly stupid people I know are Trump supporters. Conversely the more educated a person is the more they seem to understand climate change and recognize the threat it posses. Granted it’s nota study. Just my observation of the people I know.

        • Arceus says:

          No more room for diesel fuel in Europe?

          LONDON, Dec 15 (Reuters) – Tankers laden with diesel heading from the U.S. Gulf Coast to Europe are turning around in mid-ocean as European storage is nearly filled to the brim.

          At least three 37,000 tonne tankers – Vendome Street, Atlantic Star and Atlantic Titan – have made U-turns in the Atlantic ocean in recent days and are now heading back west, according to Reuters ship tracking.

          It is unclear if the tankers will discharge their diesel cargoes in the Gulf Coast or will await new orders, according to traders and shipping brokers.

          “European prices are so soft,” one trader said. “Sellers must see better numbers.”




        • Glenn Stehle says:

          Jimmy said:

          Why is it that people have chosen to accept as the truth that which you consider to be a lie?

          Jimmy, you’re in serious need of a reality check.

          The public began tuning you and your fellow travelers out at about the turn of the century.


          • Nick G says:

            Well, first, the poll is odd: “environmental protection” is mighty broad.

            2nd, If we’re talking about reducing CO2 emissions, then the premise of the poll is false.

            3rd, the chart does suggest some decline in support for environmental protection vs economic growth, but overall a majority still prioritizes environmental protection.

          • Jimmy says:

            My fellow travellers? I simply asked a question. One that appears to remain unanswered.

            • Glenn Stehle says:


              Inherent in your quesiton is the assumption that “people have chosen to accept as the truth that which you consider to be a lie.”

              The reality is that a majority of people have not “chosen to accept as the truth” that which you are peddling.

            • oldfarmermac says:

              Glen Stehle never answers a question , he just preaches that good ole fossil fuel religion.

              He says to Fred that Fred has no idea where his money comes from, but unless I am mistaken, from reading his comments, he is in the oil business as an owner of one sort or another. I could go back and check , but I won’t bother unless he denies it.

              Waste of time otherwise.

        • Glenn Stehle says:

        • Glenn Stehle says:

          Polls show most Americans believe in climate change, but give it low priority

          [W]hen asked last November about long-range foreign policy goals, 37% named global climate change as a top long-range goal; by comparison, 83% cited guarding against terrorist attacks and 81% named protecting American jobs as top goals.

          • Nick G says:

            Once again, we see a title that doesn’t reflect the story. If 37% of Americans consider global climate change as a top long-range goal, then it’s false to say that Americans give climate change as a low priority. They just don’t put it at the top.

            And, of course, when only 45 people have been killed in the US by “terrorism” in the last 14 years, and 200,000 have been killed by other kinds of murder….it’s clear that people have had their priorities skewed by very bad misinformation in the media and elsewhere.

        • Glenn Stehle says:

          Jimmy said:

          It’s been my observation that the less educated a person is the more likely they are to vote Republican and deny climate change.

          Well again, you’re in serious need of a reality check.

          You make empircal claims which have no basis in factual reality.


          • Glenn, are you trying to snooker us or what? That paper you linked to confirms exactly what Jimmy has said.

             photo Warming Position_zpsukqbqffw.jpg
            Figure 5. Polarization on facts of global warming. N = 1,769. Subjects classified in relation to “Left_Right,” a continuous political outlook scale formed by aggregating responses to 7-point party-identification item and 5-point “liberal-conservative” ideology item (x = 0.78). “Positions” reflect aggregated responses to two questions: first, whether subjects agreed or disagreed that “there [is] solid evidence that the average temperature on earth has been getting warmer over the past few decades”; and if so, second, whether they believed that “the earth is getting warmer mostly because of human activity such as burning fossil fuels” or instead “mostly because of natural patterns in the earth’s environment.” CIs reflect 0.95 level of confidence for estimated population mean.

             photo Warming Belief_zpswbrm8ncb.jpg
            Figure 6. Differential item function: belief in climate change. Using item-response theory 2PL model, figures plot the predicted probability of correctly responding to the item conditional on score on OSI scale. Predicted probabilities for “Liberal Democrat” and “Conservative Republican” determined by setting predictor on Left_Right scale at -1 and +1 SD, respectively. Colored bars reflect 0.95 confidence intervals.

            That was the case in the sample to which I administered the OSI assessment instrument. The global-warming “belief” item was bifurcated, and subjects were treated as having responded correctly if they indicated both that “there [is] solid evidence that the average temperature on earth has been getting warmer over the past few decades” and that “the earth is getting warmer mostly because of human activity such as burning fossil fuels” as opposed to “mostly because of natural patterns in the earth’s environment.” As was so for the NSF Indicator version of Evolution, the probability of a correct response was largely unresponsive to differences in the disposition measured by OSI. In addition, the probability of a correct response varied dramatically in relation to political outlooks. At the OSI mean, an individual who identified as “Liberal” and “Democrat” had close to an 80% likelihood of answering the question correctly, whereas one who identified as “Conservative” and “Republican” had under a 20% likelihood of doing so. Indeed, the likelihood of a correct response sloped downward for individuals who were conservative Republicans: at a +1 SD OSI score, the predicted probability of a correct answer was only 13% (+ or – 3%, LC 5 0.95) for such individuals—as opposed to 90% (+ or – 3%) for liberal Democrats.

            Attention: Go to Glenn’s link above, then click on “Download PDF” and you will get confirmation of what John Stuart Mill observed: Conservatives are not necessarily stupid but most stupid people are conservatives.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Ron,

              In the case of this forum it seems the conservatives are pretty smart, there are a few drive by dumb things mentioned by both liberals and conservatives.

              In addition a broad range of views is what makes your blog enjoyable.

              We have optimists, pessimists, liberals, conservatives, etc a pretty nice mix in my opinion.

              I think we can respectfully disagree on matters, and occasionally can call people names when they say something particularly unintelligent.

              You do a great job, please keep up the great work!

              • Dennis, that’s all well and good but I was referring to the paper Glenn linked to, the Yale University study.

                My opinions are beside the point, the Yale Study is the point. Do you have any comments on that?

                I know I am getting more and more outspoken as time goes on. But that’s just who I am and that is what I desire to write. Dennis I really don’t give a shit anymore. I am getting tired of this crap and the denseness of some people. If people don’t like it they can just leave. In fact I am seriously considering doing that myself.

                • Dennis Coyne says:

                  Hi Ron,

                  No I didn’t read the piece Glenn posted, I was just responding to what you said.

                  As I said, I think your blog is great.

                  The way I look at it, the intelligent comments are going to be interspersed with less intelligent stuff.

                  I just ignore some stuff. The comment was not intended to be offensive, I apologize if it came across as such.

            • Glenn Stehle says:


              The horizontal axis on the graph I posted is what the authors call “ordinary climate science intelligence,” or OCSI.

              If the criterion for OCSI is whether or not one believes in AGW, such that those who believe in AGW are intelligent and those who do not believe in AGW are stupid, then, by definition, those who do not believe in AGW are stupid, and those who do believe in AGW are intelligent.

              Likewise, if the criterion for OCSI is whether one is liberal or not, such that those who are liberal are intelligent and those who are conservative are stupid, then, by definition, those who are liberal are intelligent and those who are conservative are stupid.

              However, the authors did not use either of those two criteria as a measure of OCSI. Instead, here are the criteria the authors used to measure OCSI:

              What the OCSI should adequately measure—at least this would be the aspiration of it—is a form of competence in grasping and making use of climate science….

              To be valid, the items that the assessment comprises must be constructed to measure what people know about climate science and not who they are….

              [V]alidly assessing climate-science comprehension in any setting will require disentangling knowledge and identity. The construction of the OCSI instrument was thus in the nature of an experiment—the construction of a model of a real-world assessment instrument—aimed at testing whether it is possible to measure what people know about climate change without exciting the cultural meanings that force them to pick sides in a cultural status conflict.

              As with the OSI, the OCSI was scored using item-response theory.

              Participants were thererfore subjected to a battery of questions to measure their knowledge specifically about global warming. This knowledge, and not whether one believes in AGW or not, or whether one is liberal or not, is what determined one’s OCSI.

              The authors concluded:

              What is the relationship between OCSI and belief in human-caused climate change? The answer is that there isn’t any.

              • Glenn, you are reading into that report what you desire to read into it.

                Attentive students, then, ought to answer the question correctly. But unless they have been similarly tutored, ordinary citizens, hearing regularly in the media about the effect of “melting glaciers, ice caps, and ice sheets” on sea level, could be expected to find the wrong answer more compelling. Consistent with principles of test theory, the response pro- file of the item suggests it can be viewed as a useful one for distinguishing highly informed from only moderately informed test takers.

                As indicated, peoples’ answers to whether one “believes in” human-caused global warming doesn’t measure what they know; it expresses who they are. The “believe in” global-warming question was not prefaced by an “according to scientists” or like clause. Indeed, the lack of any meaningful relationship between OCSI scores and responses to the “belief in” human-caused global-warming item helps to corroborate that the OCSI scale does indeed succeed in measuring a form of comprehension independent of test-takers’ cultural identities. So too does the relationship between OCSI and the respondents’ general science comprehension. Climate-science comprehension and general science comprehension are not the same; but presumably those who possess the latter will be more likely than those who don’t to acquire the former. OCSI and OSI were indeed positively correlated (r = 0.30, p < 0.01).

                The article very clearly shows that those with the highest Ordinary Science Intelligence are far more likely to accept global warming as valid and man made. Also those with the highest Ordinary Science Intelligence are far more likely to be liberal or a democrat than conservative or a republican.

                That fact about the article simply cannot be denied.

                • Glenn Stehle says:

                  Ron Patterson said:

                  Also those with the highest Ordinary Science Intelligence are far more likely to be liberal or a democrat than conservative or a republican.

                  That fact about the article simply cannot be denied.

                  Oh come on Ron, surely you can do better than that. The study says no such thing, and furthermore the study doesn’t even address that issue.

                  The author, however, in a separate study does address the subject of whether liberals have more science comprehension abilities than conservatives. And guess what, he finds that there is only “a small correlation (r = -0.05, p = 0.03) between the science comprehension measure and a left-right political outlook measure,” a difference which he calls “trivially small.”


                  This graph is from his study, and as one can clearly see, the distribution of science comprehension skills for conservatives (red) is almost a perfect overlay for that of liberals (blue).

                • Glenn Stehle says:

                  The author also includes this graph in the study. It compares the science comprehension abilities of college graduates (green) to that of non-college graduates (brown).

                  As one would expect, the distribution of college graduates does not overlay that of non-college graduates, but shifts dramatically to the right, signifying greater science comprehension skills amongst college graduates than non-college graduates.

          • Jimmy says:

            I never made any empirical claims. I said ‘my observation’. Very casual observation I might ad, like listening to what people are chirping about at the watercooler and forming a rough opinion of those thoughts that the people around me are expressing. I would suggest that would best be interpreted as anecdotal. Perhaps you need a dictionary. I shan’t take much of what you have to say very seriously I’m afraid. You come across as a bit of a fanatic. By reading your comments below I think perhaps you might too have trouble reading a scientific paper. Or at least correctly interpreting what it’s means.



          • Jimmy says:

            I find it interesting that counties with a high population of food stamp recipients tend to vote Republican.


            Now it could be that people on food stamps vote Republican because they don’t like being on food stamps and they feel that voting Republican might turn the economy around and they can get on to jobs and off of food stamps, but I doubt it. To me it seems most likely that they are just uneducated and unemployable.

            • Glenn Stehle says:


              And with so much Republican bashing and conservative bashing coming from Team Green, we wonder why global warming has become such a polarizing issue?

              • Jimmy says:

                I’m not bashing Republicans. Simply passing on an observation made by Time Magazine and adding some of my own editorial. If you feel that’s grounds to dispute climate change I suggest you perhaps need to examine your beliefs and motives.

        • Same way they bought the “Iraq wmd”, “Israel deserves unconditional US support” and “Walter Reed discovered the yellow fever vector”.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Arceus,

        Do you believe that fossil fuels will peak?

        Let’s assume the answer is yes.

        What will happen to fossil fuel prices when that occurs?

        Let’s assume they will increase.

        Where is your inexpensive energy in that scenario?

        Now the fossil fuel industry will claim they receive no subsidies, but the cost of roads and parking lots are not covered by fuel taxes, and there are a number of tax incentives for oil and natural gas exploration which are also subsidies, the coal industry emits a lot of pollution which should either be taxed or regulated to low levels.

        I think the free market is a great idea as long as the free rider problem and externalities are addressed. Taxation is a better solution than subsidies and regulations from an economic efficiency point of view, many businesses think that they should not be taxed or regulated and that their external costs should be shifted to others (that’s what an expensive legal team is for).

        • Caelan MacIntyre says:

          Wow, Dennis, you are still stuck on that tack? Prices rising? The free-rider problem?
          The free-rider problem is already with us in the parasitic so-called elite or 1%. The slavemasters. You know what I mean?
          So when do you get off that tack? Out of the doldrums and into the roaring 40’s?
          There’s now a coalition of ‘billionaires’ (whatever these things really are) who are going to try, along with their symbionts– ‘government’– to create a life for the rest of us with their vision, not ours, and continue on with their religion, despite the wastewater around us. Despite the mercury and the dead fish.

          In any case, you don’t solve a problem by only saying you have to solve a problem first. Like here. That’s a start. But you solve a problem by actually solving it. By actually taking your hands out of your pockets and/or steps forward. You don’t solve it by leaning against the current problem which we already know is a problem, and rationalizing that they are the best we can do because you can’t imagine anything else.

          Can anyone tell me what a free market actually is please? Is it like when someone asks me what I want and makes a note of it so that when they return, I actually get what I want? Is that what a free market is? Because if it is not, and I still get someone who simply goes out, gets something, and returns and hopes I like and take it, then that’s not going to work. Why? Because it’s going to rot because I am not going to want it.

          The point is we need to take people and planet into consideration. This is an ethical consideration and a paramount one. Once we do that, then things naturally flow from there. Like taxation. Taxation doesn’t come from the top down at the point of a gun. Doesn’t work.

          If we can’t get this simple ethical/moral stuff right, then we belong in little bands and tribes as per how we evolved and that’s where we are going to end up. Richard Branson, or Mark Zukerberg won’t save us unless they ask us what we want and get them to the letter.
          But, ya, I realize that if we survive and remain as our craniums are, then we will do this all over and crash it again.

        • Peter says:

          Hi Dennis

          Have you not been paying attention? Oil peaked this year, that is why prices are going…….err down.

          The logic of some people here, it’s like being at the mad hatters tea party.


          • Jef says:

            The disconnect is in your limited linear thinking. You mindlessly believe that when peak happens all oil will be increasingly more expensive from there on out.

            Back on planet earth peak means no more growth therefor constant decreasing legitimate lending options. Deflationary depression. Deal with it or it will deal with you.

            Unless of course you believe that throwing money at something solves the problem. The fracking debacle has shown the world that that is simply not going to work.

            But not to worry som disruptive tech will come along and save us all.

            • Nick G says:

              peak means no more growth

              Why? If oil is cheap, why should it limit growth??

              People are driving, trucks are moving…there’s no barrier to economic growth from oil, at least at the moment.

            • Peter says:

              OK Jef

              You think global oil production has peaked?

              Would you like to put your money where your mouth is?

              or are you just full of petty insults and not much else?

              You should jump at the chance of some free risk money.

              • oldfarmermac says:

                Per capita consumption definitely peaked some years ago, and growth has continued.

                Growth CAN continue even with the supply of oil declining, so long as it does not decline TOO FAST.

                This is so for two reasons that are easily comprehended by anyone willing to think a minute.

                First off, it is possible to increase the efficiency of use of oil faster than the production decline. If my share of the oil pie decreases two percent next year, I can very easily cut my frivolous use of oil by a couple of percent, personally , and or I can buy a vehicle that gets anywhere from twenty percent to a hundred percent better mileage.

                The new tech needed to displace oil is now proven and ready and waiting for you at your local Chevy and Nissan dealer, at an affordable cost.

                If oil spikes hard within the next few years, as a I believe it will, a well kept Volt or Leaf or other electric car, pure or hybrid, three years old, with forty thousand miles on the odometer, will probably sell for as much as a new one, and if you opt for a new one, you will find for some mysterious reason the only one you can actually buy is fully loaded, with every possible add on the dealer CAN add on, and that you will not get a DIME off the MSRP.

                And you will probably find yourself at the end of a long line of people awaiting delivery as well.

                Society can and does reorganize itself as well. I am just about the last person burning any oil in my house in my neighborhood, and I use only fifty to seventy five gallons a year for back up heat. When the little high efficiency furnace finally dies, in will go a new high efficiency heat pump.Just about every body else already has heat pump.

                I am putting off getting the heat pump because the performance per dollar cost of them improves a little every year, and with a ten year warranty on a new one, it will likely outlast me if I delay getting it a few more years.

                The opportunity value of the price of the eventual new heat pump greatly exceeds my annual heating oil bill.

                Secondly, the fact that oil production will eventually start declining DOES NOT NECESSARILY mean that the richer people of the world will have to use less, per capita. The poorer people will, but they can stay poor, or get even poorer, as the richer folks get even richer, with overall growth still taking place.

          • Caelan MacIntyre says:

            I wish it was only a mad little tea party in some obscure corner of the world somewhere. It might even be fun as a night out. Unfortunately it seems to have encompassed the entirety of the planet…

            In another time and place, didn’t The Church pretty much rule, or at least sort of help rule things with The Royalty?
            And wasn’t the Earth the center of the universe then, and where all kinds of contorted mathematics were used to explain it, and where loud enough attempts at arguing anything else might have been met with threats of blasphemy?

            Glenn, can we have something on this please? ‘u^

            While most accept that Earth is not the center of the universe, or at least that it is not flat, but spherical, we are still stuck with those that, in another time and place, might calmly and rationally argue otherwise and direct us to the proper readings/teachings, such as if we were (still) not sure.

            And so it is that, ostensibly, the same kinds of people argue calmly and rationally for, perhaps like the Martian canals, The Economy and The Government. This is, in part, perhaps because it’s what they know/believe, what they worship, and/or because they can’t imagine anything else.

            • Javier says:

              While most accept that Earth is not the center of the universe, or at least that it is not flat, but spherical, we are still stuck with those that, in another time and place, might calmly and rationally argue otherwise and direct us to the proper readings/teachings, such as if we were (still) not sure.

              You are suffering from the Myth of Flat Earth.

              Most people are practical and their lives were not affected whether they considered the Earth flat or spherical. In the same way our lives are not affected by the constant release of ever higher temperature records by temperature dataset curators. That’s why for most of the world climate change rates as the problem of least concern from the list in the UN poll.

              Scholars can busy themselves with such complicated questions as how many angels can stand on the tip of a needle.

              • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                I am just out the door, so little time here, but I think that was beside my point, Javier– a bit like your choice previously to niggle with me over the term collapse vis-a-vis Rome.
                Before telling me something to the effect that your first language is not English. (Although maybe collapse is the same word in Spanish? Or whatever language you most understand?)
                I mean, we could quibble with angels dancing on the head of a pin, rather than what you wrote, or whether ostriches in general really do bury their heads in the sand.

              • Glenn Stehle says:


                But the “Big” or cosmopolitical ideas do have a way of floating back down to earth and having great consequences for the rest of us.

                I think Caelan is referring more to what Robert H. Nelson concludes in Economics as Religion:

                Since the eighteenth century, however, the authority of God as a source of absolute truths of the world — the essence of the historic claim to authority of Jewish and Christian religion — has been superceded in many areas of society by the rise of science.

                Unfortunately, science doesn’t appear to have any fail-proof immunities to being corrupted, misused and abused by us mere mortals.

        • Glenn Stehle says:

          Dennis Coyne said:

          …the cost of roads and parking lots are not covered by fuel taxes…

          That’s partially true. Here are the stats:

          Nationwide in 2011, highway user fees and user taxes made up just 50.4 percent of state and local expenses on roads. State and local governments spent $153.0 billion on highway, road, and street expenses but raised only $77.1 billion in user fees and user taxes ($12.7 billion in tolls and user fees, $41.2 billion in fuel taxes, and $23.2 billion in vehicle license taxes).[3] The rest was funded by $30 billion in general state and local revenues and $46 billion in federal aid (approximately $28 billion derived from the federal gasoline tax and $18 billion from general federal revenues or deficit financed).

          So in total 69% of the cost to build and maintain roads and highways comes from highway taxes (state and federal) and other user fees.

          Here’s how that compares to other forms of transportation the states spend money on:

          • Nick G says:

            It’s good to keep in mind that parking includes more than “parking facilities”. There’s an enormous amount of free or under-priced on-street parking.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Glenn,

            Has it occurred to you that the spending on “free parking” is not included in those parking estimates, also the public transportation reduces road congestion and saves the drivers time and money not spent in traffic jams, so it is a public benefit to both drivers and non-drivers, along with reducing pollution (for electric light rail or buses on overhead wires, though it would depend on the power for that light rail).

            What would be more interesting than the percentage would be the dollar amounts of public money spent on roads vs public transit.

            Note that the oil companies do not benefit directly from mass transit, the mass transit benefits both the users of mass transit and the drivers on the roads in areas near mass transit, the mass transit is a red herring, the parking lots at malls in small down towns and so forth may are not paid with public money, they are covered through rents (at the mall) and in big public parking garages by user fees. The Roads are not covered by fuel taxes as they should be, that is a subsidy to the oil industry.

            • Nick G says:

              public transportation reduces road congestion and saves the drivers time and money not spent in traffic jams, so it is a public benefit to both drivers and non-drivers

              Realistically, many large cities simply couldn’t exist in their present form without rail mass transit.

            • Glenn Stehle says:


              Sure “free parking” is included in the figures. And these are not “estimates.” They are actual numbers from balance sheets: income from parking facilities vs. expenditures on parking facilities. If a local or state government offers “free parking,” then this is income from parking facilities that is not received, and the income figure merely goes down. But overall state and local governments make far more income from parking facilities than they spend. Parking facilities are a profit center for local and state governments, in the aggregate.

              Transitioning from ICE vehicles to EVs does nothing to ameliorate conjestion and trafic jams, nor does it reduce the cost of building and maintaining roads. Fuel taxes currently pay 45% of the cost of constructing and maintaining roads. If EVs replace ICE vehicles, who is going to pay that 45% then?

              Public transportation would eliminate the need for roads, plus ameliorate conjestion and trafic jams. I’ve not looked into it, but wouldn’t public transportation also be far more energy efficient than private automobiles? So mark me up as a fan of public transportation, but not EVs.

              In 2013, state and local governments spent $158.7 billion on roads and highways, of which $88.1 billion was on construction and $70.6 billion on maintenance.

              Also in 2013, state and local governments spent $65.6 billion on public transit.

              You say: “The Roads are not covered by fuel taxes as they should be, that is a subsidy to the oil industry.”

              I agree, with the exception that I would say it’s a subsidy to the oil industry and the automobile industry. Would you also agree with the following (in the event that EVs replace ICE vehicles and sufficient taxes are not levied on these to pay for road construction and maintenance): “The Roads are not covered by taxes on EVs as they should be, that is a subsidy to the EV industry”?

              And currently EVs do not pay any of the fuel taxes that go to construct and maintain the roads. This means ICE vehicles must pick up the entire tab. Shouldn’t EV drivers have to pay their proportionate share of building and maintaining the roads they use, just like everybody else? As it stands now, the road subsidy for EVs is almost 2-1/2 times what it is for ICE vehicles.

              • Nick G says:

                . If a local or state government offers “free parking,” then this is income from parking facilities that is not received, and the income figure merely goes down.

                Again, you’re forgetting about on-street parking. It’s mostly free, and where there are parking meters, they mostly charge too little (which is why you can never find parking…). But, the cost for on-street parking isn’t included in the tables you provided.

                It’s true that EV’s don’t pay fuel taxes. I agree – the costs we’re talking about here are subsidies for the car industry (or it’s consumers), rather than the oil industry. But, the oil industry (or oil consumers) does benefit.

                wouldn’t public transportation also be far more energy efficient than private automobiles

                Actually, no. Trains use more power per passenger-mile than EVs, and buses use far more.

                Shouldn’t EV drivers have to pay their proportionate share of building and maintaining the roads they use, just like everybody else?

                That would make perfect sense, in a perfect world where road fuel was properly taxed – perhaps around $4 per gallon, or about 5x as much as current Motor Fuel Tax levels.

                MFT is currently about 3 cents per mile, and road Construction & Maintenance costs are very roughly 5 cents per mile. So, if ICEs were paying 20 cents per mile for their pollution, security and C&M costs, and EVs were paying 5 cents per mile for C&M, that might be about right.

                Until then, ICEs are the freeloaders.

                • Caelan MacIntyre says:

                  Everyone on Earth is a ‘freeloader’, just that the ‘parasite-class-elite’ freeloaders, among other, lesser parasites, have figured out how to charge costs for it, and to their benefits to boot. (All the while making many believe that they’re not parasites for doing so.)
                  That seems like at least double freeloading, but, to be less than charitable with these things, and what with properties (rentals, flipping, grabbing, squatting, etc.); sweatshops; general wage-slavery and debt-peonage, we’re probably talking more like quintuple+ freeloading.

                  Perhaps it’s no wonder why, apparently, less rich are getting richer; the so-called middle-class is being gutted toward poverty; and more are becoming poor and poorer. Musical chairs, played with funhouse mirrors.

                  That said, might (pseudo)government tax(extort) the same thing more than once, like, for example; for roadways; then for the parking-lots (lines painted on their shoulders); then for the parking meters up along the curbs every few car-lengths?

                  I seem to recall John M.Greer writing something about how money creates the means whereby ‘middle’men’ can then insert themselves along various points in between people’s economic interactions/transactions and make off with some looting.

                  • Glenn Stehle says:

                    Caelan MacIntyre says:

                    …the ‘parasite-class-elite’ freeloaders…making many believe that they’re not parasites…

                    Enter Ayan Rand. That’s why the technoutopians love her so much.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Glenn,

                As you like to point out, EVs are a very small part of the vehicles on the road, but in the future that problem would easily be addressed by a fee when the car is registered, each year the driver will bring a photo on their smart phone of the odometer reading in their car when they register the car, one would pay based on the weight of the car and the miles driven.

                Most maintenance of roads is needed due to heavier vehicles (18 wheelers) and they should pay the bulk of road maintenance costs, not sure how new roads should be figured maybe based on vehicle foot print rather than weight.

                I agree the automobile industry is also subsidized by free roads, a tax on vehicles sold for road use might help correct this.

              • Songster says:

                “And currently EVs do not pay any of the fuel taxes that go to construct and maintain the roads.”

                There is a tax in Colorado to cover EV’s not using much or no gasoline. I am paying $108 annually at this time. I am not sure about other states.

        • Glenn Stehle says:

          Dennis Coyne said:

          ….there are a number of tax incentives for oil and natural gas exploration which are also subsidies….

          Can you point to any of these?

          When Team Green bemoans the “subsidies” which the oil and gas industry receives, what it really means is that the oil and gas industry is not singled out for special punitive treatment by the tax code. It’s a great example of what George Orwell called “poltical language.”

          The ongoing debate in Washington over the possible repeal of what news media outlets commonly refer to as “subsidies” to the oil and gas industry has been an ongoing source of amusement and consternation to those who work in the industry for four years now….

          The truth is that the oil and gas industry receives the same kinds of tax treatments that every other manufacturing or extractive industry receives in the federal tax code. There is nothing uncommon or out of the mainstream of tax treatments about any of the provisions that have been repeatedly proposed for repeal.


          • Nick G says:

            How are depletion allowances calculated? Is it depreciation of the purchase price of land, or mineral rights?

            If not, how do you depreciate something you didn’t pay for?

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Glenn,



            “After looking through years of corporate tax filings, the report concludes that in between 2008-2012, the three largest U.S. based oil and gas companies only paid, on average, a 20 percent tax to the U.S. Treasury, 15 percent lower than the statutory corporate rate of 35 percent.”

            However you may be correct that this low a rate is common for all corporations. The road subsidy still stands however. The fuel tax should cover all road maintenance and capital costs for road building.

            A carbon tax for all fossil fuels starting at about $20/ metric ton (about 5 cents per gallon for gasoline) and rising to $200/metric tonne over 20 years would allow a faster transition to alternatives, not gonna happen though. Peak fossil fuels will help by raising prices, the carbon tax would have made the transition easier if implemented.

            • Nick G says:

              The fuel tax should cover all road maintenance and capital costs for road building.

              Actually, it should be much higher than that. What other industry gets to have all of the taxes it pays funneled back to it, just to maintain it’s infrastructure? What about all of the overhead costs of government, that everyone else has to pay taxes to support?

              • Glenn Stehle says:

                EVs do not pay any of the fuel taxes that go to construct and maintain the roads. This means ICE vehicles must pick up the entire tab. Shouldn’t EV drivers have to pay their proportionate share of building and maintaining the roads they use, just like everybody else? As it stands now, the road construction and maintenance subsidy for EVs is almost 2-1/2 times what it is for ICE vehicles.

            • Glenn Stehle says:

              Tax law is very complicated stuff.

              Overall, however, I believe corporate income taxes have been reduced to such a small percentage of total Federal Revenues that we’re probably talking about a contest between peanuts.

        • Do you believe that fossil fuels will peak?

          Let’s assume the answer is yes.

          What will happen to fossil fuel prices when that occurs?

          Let’s assume they will increase.

          You are assuming that more oil will bring about a price increase.

          The idea that peak oil, the point where more oil is being produced than ever before in the history of the world, will bring about a price increase, is strange… strange… very strange.

          $100 oil brought about the peak. $100 oil brought about a glut. The peak, the glut, brought about a price collapse. Would anyone expect prices to go even higher at the peak? Apparently some would. By what logic they arrived at such a conclusion escapes me.

          • Nick G says:

            Well, let me try to untangle this.

            Dennis is assuming that flat or declining production will cause higher prices.

            The peak, the glut, brought about a price collapse.

            Not the peak. It wasn’t a peak that caused a glut, it was growing production that caused a glut. The glut, in turn, is likely to cause production to stop growing, which would in turn mean that a peak had happened.

            Would anyone expect prices to go even higher at the peak?

            Because a peak implies falling production. And falling production combined with growing demand makes prices rise.

            • Because a peak implies falling production.

              No, no, no, it does not. Where did you ever get such a silly idea? The peak implies maximum production. Maximum production implies falling prices. Falling prices implies production cuts… but months later. That is not just how, but why, we have falling prices at the peak and then production declines much later.

              That’s just how it works Nick. We may or may not be at peak oil. My point is falling prices does not mean we are not at peak oil.

              • Nick G says:

                The peak implies maximum production.

                A maximum is only a maximum if the next number is lower. If the next number is higher….then it’s not a maximum. Or a peak. It’s just another point on an ascending line.

                So, the only way to have a peak is if you have maximum production, and then declining production.

                Maximum production implies falling prices.

                Why? If production and consumption were roughly equal and growing at the same speed, and then production stopped growing….then prices would start rising. That’s what happened in 2005: production didn’t peak, but it hit “peak-lite” it stopped growing as fast as consumption. So, prices rose.

                falling prices does not mean we are not at peak oil.

                Well, in the current situation, you’re right: it’s certainly possible that 2015 was the peak, and that higher prices later on will not be able to incentivize enough production to rise above the 2015 peak.

                But, then we’d see Dennis’ scenario: a second, lower peak and much, much higher prices.

                It’s only when you see the high prices, and production failing to grow above the previous peak that you can be sure that it was indeed the real peak.

                Peak Oil requires high prices, sooner or later.

                • A maximum is only a maximum if the next number is lower. If the next number is higher….then it’s not a maximum. Or a peak. It’s just another point on an ascending line.

                  Oh good grief, are you serious? The year of peak oil will have months that are higher than others. Exactly which month is not important. So far, 2015 is the year of maximum production. That year of maximum production was brought about by $100+ oil. That point is without question.

                  Dammit, I am not talking about when we know we have the real peak. That is for you and Dennis to discuss. I am talking about my opinion of when peak oil happened.

                  You and Dennis can discuss “proof of peak oil” until the cows come home. I really don’t give a damn. My point is $100+ oil brought about the 2015 peak. $100+ oil brought a lot of very expensive oil on line.

                  Oil was so damn high every producer was producing every barrel possible in order to take advantage. Some of that production was very expensive production but still profitable because of those very high prices. That was what brought about the peak.

                  Prices were above $100 a barrel in 2010 when we were producing 6 million barrels of C+C per day less than we are producing today. Prices stayed on that plateau for five years. Production increased by 6 million barrels per day during that period. Then production, due to 5 years of very prices, reached about 80 million barrels per day. To expect prices to continue to rise after we reached such lofty production levels is just insane. Yet, I maintain, that this very expensive oil brought us to a peak that will never reached again.

                  • Nick G says:

                    All of that makes sense. But…

                    To expect prices to continue to rise after we reached such lofty production levels is just insane.

                    Well, that’s because consumers responded to high prices, and growth in consumption slowed down.

                    High prices brought higher production, and lower consumption, causing a glut. It’s a classic commodity boom and bust cycle. It’s the same thing we’re seeing in copper, and iron ore, and a whole bunch of other commodities.

                    Will oil be different, and it’s production will peak this time and never come back, even when prices rise to even higher levels? Maybe.

                    Seems like a risky prediction to me.

                  • Seems like a risky prediction to me.

                    Yes, you are correct. I could lose a lot of paying clients if I am wrong. Good thing I don’t have any. 😉

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Ron,

                You are incorrect about maximum production implying falling prices. That only happens if maximum production is more than consumer demand at the prevailing price, if they are equal (and inventories are roughly constant), then until either demand or supply changes, the price will remain stable. If it is truly the peak and demand increases (which it tends to do as the economy grows) then we would see rising prices without any increase in supply, prices would have to rise high enough so that demand is equal to supply, a fall in supply due to depletion would also tend to increase prices.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Ron,

            I will only believe there is a peak when it coincides with high prices, if high prices can no longer increase output, almost everyone will realize that the peak is real, a peak caused by oil being so plentiful that oil companies discontinue operations so that the excess can be used up and prices can return to profitable levels doesn’t really seem like a peak to me.
            If oil had remained at $110-120/b and output had decreased because no more oil could be profitably extracted, though to be honest I had expected in early 2014 that oil prices would continue to rise if output could increase no further.

            So yes once the market clears the current glut of oil and supply cannot keep up with demand at $40/b, I expect that oil prices will rise and output will gradually increase probably at least as high as 2015 levels and possibly higher, 2017 or 2018 seem a good guess for when the 2015 level of C+C output will be matched or surpassed, 2016 will probably be a little lower than 2015, but probably not by more than 2 Mb/d.

          • Javier says:

            Actually Ron,

            Logic dictates that the peak should come at a time of moderate to low prices. Otherwise high prices would command more oil.

            • Javier, hey… that makes a lot of sense.

              • Jimmy says:

                With regards to Ron’s comment above.

                “Yes, you are correct. I could lose a lot of paying clients if I am wrong. Good thing I don’t have any. 😉”

                Whilst I do appreciate your predictions it is the data and charts that I enjoy about your website the most. I also like reading the comments by what I consider some of the better informed members of the comments list. Mr J.J. Brown is my favourite commenter. If he needs money for beans and rice I’d pay to read most anything he has to say. If you did decide to charge a fee for your PeakOilBarrel website I wouldn’t bat an eye. Sold. Sign me up. A fee might also reduce the amount of commentary made on the more ‘dumber-ass’ end of the spectrum too. That alone would be worth it. As time goes on I find myself having to scroll through more and more miles of dumb-ass in the commentary section. The curse of a successful blog I suppose. Merry Christmas Ron. Thanks for continuing to produce my favourite website in the world.

  5. oldfarmermac says:


    You just might want to give this matter some hard thought.

    From a recent WHO ( World Health Organization ) fact sheet:

    Air pollution is a major environmental risk to health. By reducing air pollution levels, countries can reduce the burden of disease from stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and both chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma.
    The lower the levels of air pollution, the better the cardiovascular and respiratory health of the population will be, both long- and short-term.
    The “WHO Air quality guidelines” provide an assessment of health effects of air pollution and thresholds for health-harmful pollution levels.
    Ambient (outdoor air pollution) in both cities and rural areas was estimated to cause 3.7 million premature deaths worldwide in 2012.

    Now I don’t intend to voluntarily give up my wood stove , or my oil burning furnace, or my diesel tractors, or my truck and car, or my chainsaw, or my refrigerator or air conditioning or internet or ANYTHING at all, just on the off chance I might live a few days longer by doing without all this stuff.

    We naked apes aren’t in the habit of giving up stuff even if it IS for our own good.

    I will give up some of my stuff when Big Brother takes it away from me. Otherwise I have my lawyer working on a scheme to take it all with me. LOL

    So call me a hypocrite, it does not bother me, so long as I am so called within an honest context. I am also grievous sinner according to many churches, including the Church of Political Correctness, The Church of Non Judgementalism, and the Baptist Church where I will be buried next to my parents, most likely. 😉

    Hell fire, I am even a terrorist by some folks standards.

    I once attacked the local sheriff with a gun, but otoh, I was only about six or so at the time, and my gun only fired dimesized cork bullets about ten feet or so.

    Got him right in the ass. He threw both hands up instantly and begged me not to let him have it with the other barrel. Taught him not to mess with ME, no SIREE! just because my grandfather was gone to take a leak and I was selling veggies in front of the courthouse without being old enough to have a truck and a load of produce of my very own. . He had the temerity to tell me he was going to have to impound our old truck and lock me up for not having a drivers license. .

    I could prove it except for the unfortunate fact that all the witnesses, and the sheriff himself, are long gone.

    Having reached the age where the most numerous significant personal events in the lives of people I know are funerals, I am reasonably sure that I USED TO have at least a half a dozen acquaintances who are no longer with me , dead years before their time, due to air pollution.

    If YOU know of a hundred people who have died in recent years, you too probably USED TO KNOW half a dozen who would still be with us except for air pollution.

    Putting names and faces to statistics drives the reality of them home, for sure.

    Now that I am old myself, I understand why kids had to be perfectly quiet while the “XXXXX’S Funeral Home Obituary Column of the Air played on the local small town radio station at seven am every morning, back when I was a kid.

    The old folks hardly ever had a month go by that they did not hear of the passing of an acquaintance,or the parent or sibling or child of an acquaintance. Two or three in one week was not at all unusual.

    How many people do you know who have cancer, or have had heart attacks or strokes, or suffer from emphysema?

    I will bet you know into the dozens, if you really think about it, and make any effort to keep up with family, friends, coworkers, old classmates, old soldier buddies, etc etc.

    The evidence grows ever more impressive every year. Pollution kills. Air pollution kills by the millions.

    Now whether we choose to do something about it is up to us.

    Your life is in your own hands.

    If you are scientifically literate, you know I am telling it like it is.

    IF you are not, then you are taking the word of somebody, perhaps the Koch brothers, that air pollution is ok, that it is not endangering YOU personally.

    I respectfully suggest you think <really hard about whose word you accept in such grave matters, no pun intended .

    An appointment given to a discussion of pollution and public health with your personal physician would be a most excellent starting point.

    • Synapsid says:

      (Off topic)


      I left a response to your mention of coal in the last Ronpost.

      • oldfarmermac says:

        Back atcha , Synapsid

        For context, my remark was mostly about our hands on forum members not having to worry about electric vehicles causing them any real problems, because in my opinion at least, depletion will drive oil prices up faster than electric vehicles can drive oil prices down- at least for the next couple of decades, so their jobs and businesses are safe, for the remainder of their working lives.

        I said the coal guys have more to worry about but there aren’t any posting in this forum.

        You said:


        Coal is often presented as facing a hard future but I’m not so sure. The attention seems to me to be on China (declining demand!) but China says that her coal consumption will peak in 2030; if that’s correct then consumption will grow until then, I’d expect at declining rates.

        However, China is building coal plants in other countries (27 of them), with 92 projects under construction or planned, and that will mean a lot of coal consumed, and I wouldn’t expect those plants to have the best emission controls. If memory serves, 14 of those plants will be in Vietnam, which used to be a coal exporter but is no longer.

        Indonesia has big plans for coal as does India (the future elephant in the room, I expect), as do the Philippines and SE Asia overall. India and Indonesia both have a long way to grow and they hold one and a half billion human souls. Coal has a future, that’s my bet.

        Coal consumption has been dropping in the economically developed world, true, the US is an example (except for Texas?), but that doesn’t stop the stuff being dug up–for use. The US exports coal, mostly to Europe and not to China as we keep hearing (more US coal went to Europe last year than to the whole of Asia, China included, according to the EIA; we sent more to Morocco than to China), and I see no reason for that to stop anytime soon.

        If and when NG prices go up we might see an increase in coal use in the Midwest, where the power plants are mostly, and increasingly, equipped with the scrubbers needed to allow coal to be burned. There are lots of coal-fired power plants in the Midwest, and lots of coal (high in sulfur but that’s what the scrubbers are for) in the Illinois Basin. That’s something to watch.

        I agree.

        My comment was intended to apply to the jobs and businesses of coal guys, in the short to medium term, here in the USA, mainly. I didn’t made that clear, but even on a world wide basis, the coal industry is in the doldrums for now and probably for the next few years.

        Maybe we are too cynical, but my opinion matches yours. Huge amounts of coal will continue to be burnt, long term, so called binding agreements or no. Gas will deplete, and although it is cheap domestically, it won’t always be cheap.

        Even here in the USA, home of the gas glut, I expect we will eventually go back to using more coal as a matter of necessity.

        • oldfarmermac says:

          Something else from yesterday, at the very tail end, is worth repeating.

          We now get about five percent of our electricity, here in the USA, from wind and solar power, which is by my own rough estimate saving us about four percent of what we would otherwise be spending DIRECTLY to purchase coal and gas to generate electricity. (Hard figures in respect to the amount of coal and gas that are necessarily burnt to maintain ADDITIONAL hot spinning reserve to back up wind and solar production are VERY HARD to find. )

          This savings will continue for as long as our existing fleet of wind farms and solar farms lasts, which is going to be just about forever, because they can be refurbished and modernized piecemeal, one panel or one turbine at a time.

          I don’t know how long the towers the turbines sit on will last, but my guess is that any which show signs of trouble can be kept in service almost indefinitely simply by mounting a smaller turbine. They are not going to rust away like a bridge, nobody puts salt on them and they are not flat so as to puddle water.

          But the direct purchase cost of coal and gas for generation is not the ONLY savings associated with wind and solar power.

          When the consumption of a commodity decreases, the price falls as well. I cannot say how much wind and solar power are depressing the prices of coal and gas, but the effect is surely significant, and sure to grow as wind and solar power production grows.

          This means everything else from a to z that requires the use of coal and or gas in its manufacture will be a little cheaper for everybody.

          Everybody wins except the owners and workers in the coal and gas industries.

          And so far as gas is concerned, I am confident that depletion and growth in other uses, such as feed stock for nitrate fertilizer, and home heating, will push up the price of gas faster than renewables can push it down.

          So the gas industry will not suffer from wind and solar power roll out, at least not for many years.

          Coal will probably come back too,as a matter of NECESSITY, but it will take lot longer for coal prices to go up again, imo.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Old Farmer Mac,

            The thing about Wind and Solar is the more we use it the cheaper it becomes due to both technological innovation and economies of scale, so for developed countries there will be less and less use of coal. Currently a new coal fired power plant is similar in electricity cost to new wind power (on shore). Solar costs have been decreasing rapidly and will eventually fall to the level of Wind power (probably in 10 to 20 years).

            As far as World wide coal use, eventually coal production will peak (possibly by 2030 for a medium URR coal estimate, about 950 billion metric tonnes of coal output), when the peak arrives coal prices will increase and even developing countries will begin to switch to wind and solar power, and possibly natural gas, if the developed World has moved to mostly wind and solar (possibly by 2060) so that natural gas might be cheap due to lower demand in the OECD.

            The price of fossil fuels will be the key to transitioning away from them, the higher the price (as long as it is not so high as to cause a recession), the quicker the transition.

    • Arceus says:

      Mac, I am likely from a different generation than you. When someone dies, it’s almost always drugs or car accident. A self-driving vehicle would save more lives and more importantly prevent the many tragic deaths of the very young than the two months that slightly better air could deliver. Now if you or anyone wants to live longer you don’t have to wait 100 years for slightly cleaner air – there are many ways to achieve this and you don’t have to wait for the Chinese or Indians to do their part. Start by walking or swimming a mile or two every day. Eat healthy. Stay active. Find a purpose. No red meat. Eat fish. Cut out the alcohol. Point is, there are many, many things that people can do if they want to live longer. I would wager that the air in most areas in the U.S. hasn’t been this clean in 50 years or longer. Heating is cleaner, car emissions are fewer, and all our manufacturing is now done overseas. Before long, many will be driving electric cars. Heck, millenials don’t even feel the need to buy a car unless they have to. Coal is on its way out. Natural gas will be out the door soon after that.

      Instead of obsessing so much on getting a few more weeks or months to live, you may want to consider what type of world you may unintentionally be creating for those left behind. The final objective of the globalized environmental movement may not be to serve human needs (as many are led to believe) but to depopulate. Despite some advances, the culture of death is never very far from us and can hide behind many guises. Be wary of apocalyptic predictions of the future as they may serve to prevent you from seeing the present as it truly is through clever obfuscations of the past.

    • Arceus says:

      Now you touched on quite a few areas, but I do agree with much of what you said. Many countries are not as fortunate as the U.S. with regard to air and water quality. But they are poor and there isn’t much that will change that except lots of money.

      In the U.S. I have not seen a lot of the elderly with serious respiratory conditions though I am sure there must be many heavy smokers who later in life paid the price for that addiction (isn’t Obama a smoker, not that it matters). Just about all types of factory workers, miners, drillers, painters can be exposed to some type of air pollution. Office workers can be exposed to fumes from the printer and other office equipment. Cell phones may cause brain cancer. Sitting too many hours at a time can shorten your life. Wifi emits radiation so they say. Many things made in China have a high lead content. Cosmetics and toiletries, I’m sure are poison. Chemicals in the home or the garden – all must be bad.

      Ultimately, you will worry about all the potential dangers life presents to you on a daily basis or you will not.

      If you choose to worry, perhaps you will receive some measure of comfort in knowing you have the luxury of worrying about things that the rest of world will always be too poor to ever worry about.

      • Glenn Stehle says:


        Amitai Etzioni noted that many, if not most, Americans live in what he called “the post affluent society.” And in this society many have opted for “voluntary simplicity.”

        “The Post Affluent Society”

        There’s not a great deal of difference between this and the ascetic saints of the late and post-Roman worlds. The tendency for some to opt for voluntary simplicity runs through Christianity like a thread, from Cuthbert of Lindisfarne to the Franciscans, Cathari, Waldensians, Fraticelli, and Humiliati, right on down to the contemporary primitivist movement.

        But as you note, most people in the world do not live in a post affluent society, and thus have very different priorities.

      • oldfarmermac says:

        Arceus ,

        I am a practical guy, as well as old.

        At one time, I defended my own use of some very nasty chemicals on the farm just the way you are defending the fossil fuel industry now. My argument was simple, the risk is small, the benefit enormous, do you want big shiny crunchy tasty apples or little wormy blemished apples that cost more. And by Sky Daddy it was a true argument, THEN.

        We have since learned how to get along ok using half as many pesticides in the orchard , and in less than half the quantities, as well.

        I am not obsessing, not personally. I go in smoky rooms, I have a snort, I eat well marbled steaks, I get a lot of exercise but ought to get more, I still ride in cars, and everything you say about various sorts of pollution shortening peoples lives is generally correct, with the likely exception of the cell phone.

        The one significant discrete thing I have done to lower my risk of early death is give up riding motorcycles. A couple of close calls on the road lead me to conclude that Sky Daddy was sending me a message about that now forgone pleasure.

        And it is true that most of the people who suffer from pollution live in places where the pollution is heaviest.

        BUT ANY MD will tell you that air pollution is a significant health risk here in the USA.

        I am pointing out the TRUTH, which you and some of your buddies are doing everything possible to keep under wraps.

        I am also pointing out that the entire health care industry, and the insurance industry, etc, back up what the climate science establishment is telling us, air pollution is bad for us.

        I am not a WORKING scientist, nor do I have an advanced degree, but I am well trained in the APPLICATION of the physical and life sciences to my own profession, the production of food.

        Air pollution is not good for food production, taken all around, although it is true that higher co2 levels do stimulate more plant growth.

        Air pollution in the end tends to degenerate into water pollution in many cases. The mercury in coal winds up in places you don’t want it. In your body.

        The evidence for my case is overwhelming, and grows stronger every year.

        It is time, and past time, for a number of SUFFICIENT reasons, for us to be working to reduce the use of fossil fuels, to the extent we can, as alternatives become available and economically viable.

        Renewable energy is now economically viable under favorable circumstances, and getting cheaper all the time.

        Nobody with working brain is advocating taking away my diesel tractor and forcing people out of suburbia back onto the land to plow with sticks or mules, or starve.

        People with working brains are trying to clean up the environment as best we can.

        The clean up will cost some people more than they get in return, in terms of dollars.

        BUT for most of us, it has been so far, and will be in the future, an incredible bargain.

        I have spent many a long evening reading history, and can say without any doubt whatsoever, that Germany started WWII as a resource war, and that Japan jumped in for the basic same reasons.

        I am not much interested in having my nieces and nephews and younger cousins fighting in hot little oil wars, or seeing half of humanity wiped out in WWIII.

        Yes, without any doubt whatsoever , we owe our amazingly rich and abundant and easy present day western life style to fossil fuels.

        But debts are supposed to be paid off, in reality. Ask any lender, lol.

        It is time we put the fossil fuel life style debt behind us, as best we can, and as soon as we can.

        • Javier says:


          I agree with everything you say about pollution. But CO2 is not a pollutant, it is the basis of life. We all come from CO2. It is as important as O2.
          Let’s concentrate on eliminating all other pollutants instead of concentrate in eliminating CO2.

          • Nick G says:

            CO2 is not a pollutant, it is the basis of life.

            That’s not a good argument. There are plenty of things that are the basis of life, but will kill you in excess: water, calories, Vitamin A, chromium, selenium…the list is very, very long.

            There are many things that are essential, and yet become poisonous or a pollutant in excess.

            • Javier says:

              Do you have any idea at what point does CO2 become dangerous?
              Do you have any idea at what point does CO2 become insufficient for complex life?
              Do you know to which point are we closer?

              • Nick G says:

                That’s not the point.

                The point is: “X is necessary for life, therefore it can’t be a pollutant” is not a good argument.

                There are many, many counter examples.

            • Proteus says:

              I would put Hydrogen Oxide in the same list of “toxins” as CO2.
              Perfect combustion exhaust consists of CO2 and water vapor. Now that CO2 is evil, water is next on the list, I guess..
              Ban it’s use worldwide!! (Sarc)
              In my opinion the Global Warming aka. Climate Change has been a very successful scam to convince an entire planet of short-sighted naked apes to get alternate energy production in high gear (rightly so!) before the true and inevitable shortfalls in Fossil Fuel production collapsed the entire civilization.
              The ends justified the means I guess.
              I just don’t like being lied to, although 35 years ago, faced with Peak Oil and a planet-full of short-sighted idiots, that’s exactly what I would do..
              Before I get ripped by everyone, let me say I agree FF needs to be wound down ( because it will happen anyway) and alternate/cleaner means of fueling our world have to spool up.
              BTW- I am one of the fortunate ones in Central TX to get pretty nice Royalty checks from our oil leases.
              Hate to see it go, for my sons sake…

              • Bob Nickson says:

                Who is orchestrating this scam, and how have they ensured that climate scientists worldwide both participate and keep it secret?

                • Proteus says:

                  It is certainly not a secret and the data clearly shows natural thermal trends towards the warmer. I have no problem with that.
                  Global warming is MUCH better than cooling, which is the more natural trend when the 10,000 or 100,000 year temperature timelines are observed.
                  Really, don’t freak out about it-be happy!
                  Warm is good, the climate has been changing since, well, forever, and the ruins of ancient civilizations are proof that what is a fertile area this millennium can easily be the next desert.
                  You can comfortably walk around ancient ruins in pretty much any place on the planet and see them in most of their former glory.
                  Lost and/or deserted cities are freakin eerie and make you realize how transient we really are..
                  Ice ages kill the shit out of a lot of things on earth, they are not a good thing..
                  As far as who may have started orchestrating the story, well I’m guessing it would probably not have been a bunch of our “elected officials” worried about running for their next election.
                  There are a lot of very intelligent people ( REAL scientists) in various agencies, universities and think tanks that clearly saw FF decline and ultimate collapse decades ago.
                  Hell, we ALL did but who would even consider dumping $20 oil back in the 1980’s and putting Billions or Trillions into new sources when it was not a war emergency event?
                  It’s just my pet theory, but the fact that Peak Oil and Climate Change both, curiously, demand that FF be phased out, or rather, ALTERNATE energy be adopted to SAVE THE PLANET, well, I don’t know, it just seems too coincidental to me.
                  And I DO believe that alternate energy sources have to be developed and in full swing before FF shortages start or it will be a bad day at the office for everyone..
                  And the real bummer is that time is running out.
                  Sorry for the rambling.
                  It’s late and I’m tired from keeping in contact with our boat crews in the GOM working a couple of multibeam and seismic jobs and the weather out there is going to hammered crap for the next week.
                  Stay safe out there.

                  • Bob Nickson says:

                    Thanks for your reply Proteus.
                    Personally, I’m unable to see how the mechanisms of this strategy would work – how it would be implemented.

                    Hope your week goes well.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Javier,

            Clearly nobody wants to eliminate CO2, just reduce our dependence on fossil fuels as we need to do that anyway. You are absolutely correct that we cannot live without CO2, but currently we have plenty, higher fossil fuel prices will help the transition to other forms of energy (solar, wind, hydro, nuclear, and geothermal) occur more quickly so that when the peak arrives it may be less catastrophic. We could put a pollution tax on fossil fuels where the dirtier fuel (coal) is taxed more and the cleanest fuel (natural gas) is taxed less, with oil taxed somewhere in between the previous two.

            • Javier says:


              The current disastrous situation in Europe with diesel cars was brought about due to environmental concerns. Diesel cars were more fuel efficient and produced less CO2 although more pollutants. They were promoted by European governments through lower taxes on diesel to compensate their higher cost because CO2 concerns. The end result of that misguided environmental concern is that we have now a lot of pollution in our cities, diesel car manufacturers lie about their emissions because they cannot meet legislation requirements, and we have as much CO2 as we would have otherwise, because gasoline cars have improved a lot more and now emit about the same CO2.

              The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

              • Nick G says:

                They were promoted by European governments through lower taxes on diesel to compensate their higher cost because CO2 concerns.

                No, diesel taxes are lower because of worries about freight transportation costs making European exporters uncompetitive. A classic “tragedy of the commons”, or “race to the bottom”.

                • Javier says:

                  This place doesn’t agree with you:

                  Europe’s love affair with diesel cars has been a disaster

                  “the switch was supposed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and help stave off global warming. Thanks to tax breaks and other incentives, diesel cars now make up one-third of Europe’s fleet”

                  • Nick G says:

                    Look closely:

                    “But starting in the 1980s, French and German automakers began showing more interest in developing diesel cars…it traces back to the OPEC oil crises of the 1970s…When the crisis subsided, Europe’s refiners were still producing lots of diesel with no buyers. So governments began urging automakers like Peugeot to look into diesel-powered vehicles.…”

                    “After Kyoto: European companies like Peugeot and Volkswagen and BMW had already been making big investments in diesel, and they wanted a climate policy that would help those bets to pay off. Europe’s policymakers obliged. ”

                    This is a story similar to ethanol in the US: ADM and other agricultural companies wanted subsidies for bio-fuels, and policy makers complied. Later, it was promoted as an environmental policy, but it was always primarily a business subsidy.

                    Just like diesel, ethanol was never good for the environment, though you can make an argument that ethanol was good for US energy security, which is clearly something the US prioritizes very highly, given our disastrously expensive foreign policies aimed at securing oil supplies.


                    Now, I should admit that it’s hard to figure this whole thing out. I saw some pretty strong hints some time ago that the current popularity of diesel for passenger vehicles really started decades ago with preferred pricing for commercial vehicles, which leaked over to the passenger side. But…I haven’t seen really clear evidence – I’ve been looking for it ever since.

                  • Javier says:

                    Well sure,

                    The whole climate scare is also primarily a business issue. Everybody is trying to get a slice. I never thought I would see the Greens and the nuclear industry in the same bed.

                    Governments spend like 5-10% of GDP on defense, 10-15% on healthcare, 10% on education, and now they just signed to spend 0.2% on saving the planet from impending doom.

                  • Nick G says:

                    The whole climate scare is also primarily a business issue.

                    It’s really a fight by FF to preserve itself, even as it knows it’s obsolete.

                    now they just signed to spend 0.2% on saving the planet from impending doom.

                    Really? That’s great (where did they say that?). Now if they actually spend it, we’ll all be a bit healthier, safer, and more prosperous.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Javier,

                There can certainly be policy mistakes, the tax on fuel should be based on all pollution in my view. In any case, even without taxes, high prices for fossil fuels will arrive in 5 to 15 years as we peak in output for all fossil fuels and fuel scarcity drives up prices. We will only have reached the peak (instead of a peak) when maximum output can no longer be increased by an increase in oil prices, probably because demand will flatten at higher prices as people cut back or substitute other forms of energy.

          • oldfarmermac says:

            Hi Javier,

            I don’t want to play word games. Too little co2 in the atmosphere would be the end of us and probably most of life as we know it. Too much is too much, likewise.

            I believe that we already have “too much” in that it will lead to more warming than is good for us, to say the least. You disagree of course.

            Now as far as the relative risks involved, I tend to agree with you that we are focusing too much on co2 and not enough on some other problems that are apt to do us in sooner than forced climate change.

            You have to cross minefields as you come to them, and we may never have to worry about putting a whole lot more co2 into the atmosphere.

            I can easily envision a dozen scenarios where in industrial civilization crashes before the world wide climate gets too far out of kilter.

            Fortunately anything we do that helps solve any one problem involving resources and environment will likely help to some extent with the other problems.

            More fuel efficient cars for instance will pollute less, and also stretch out finite oil supplies.

    • Paulo says:

      Those self driving cars. Will they negate drinking and driving laws?

      Just kidding. Snowing here today on Vancouver Island, (at least where I live). We also have a lot of black ice and animals that like to dart out in front of cars….like 900 lbs bull elk. I think I’d rather be driving the car and not just sitting looking at the crash unfold.

      • Dave Hicks says:

        Those self driving cars will be able to “see” (using radar or by heat or any other newer tech not even around today) animals, people, and then pass that info along to other self driving cars in close proximity. For safety, I’ll choose autonomous cars over people today, let alone 5 years from now, when the technology will most likely be light years ahead of today.

        I used to be much more of a doomer 7 years ago upon learning of peak oil, but tech is progressing/has progressed so rapidly that I think I am turning/turned into a “gasp” cornucopian. Almost everyday I read about a new ai breakthrough. We are headed towards the singularity and it seems even the developers are surprised at how quickly things are developing.

        It seems like a race to me. Do we go down in the flames of war due to peak oil (barring nuclear war, really only delaying the singularity) or do we squeak by due to rapidly advancing tech?

        I think a large part of today’s economic problems throughout the world are due to tech displacing so many people from finding work. As we learn to live in the new world of tech, we should be able to be solve these economic problems so that everyone can benefit.

        With technology potentially solving the peak oil problem (maybe) that would leave population control to be dealt with which seems to me as mostly an education problem and then this other pesky problem of climate change of which I have no opinion how problematic it may or may not be.

  6. Jimmy says:

    Does anybody know a good link/source that reports global crude storage inventory. A source with nation by nation breakdown would be good. I’m interested in seeing who’s got what in storage and how it’s fluctuated over time.

  7. Watcher says:

    Ron if this is open thread time, suggest this one be about oil and another be about whatever else people want to put on an oil blog.

  8. Sydney Mike says:

    The climate conference brought as usual no important advances. The world’s motor vehicle numbers are up 50% in the last 10 years. We think a doubling or so every 20 years is normal. The air in much of Asia is toxic. Living in places like India, China and surrounds is a constant health hazard. Yet these clowns see progress and development (=more burning of fossil fuels) as their way forward. Let’s add another 50 million stinking and gas guzzling cars to our fleet each year and another coal power plant or two each week in China.

    The great failure of economists is to keep environmental factors out of their calculations. When you take oil out of the ground you deplete the resource asset and when you burn it you deplete the clean air. It is amazing that we let them get away with it. Entire countries sell the family silver by way of their resources, yet their governments record economic growth as if it were just general revenue.

    Peak oil now or peak oil a little later, it seems that a Seneca Cliff is heading our way.

    • oldfarmermac says:

      “Peak oil now or peak oil a little later, it seems that a Seneca Cliff is heading our way.”

      Dead on, any body who is scientifically literate and has taken the time to acquaint himself with the depletion of one time thru resources is compelled to agree, we are headed into very dangerous waters. A miracle or two a long about now would be great, but I am not holding my breath.

      Depletion of natural resources is stalking us like a cat stalking a bird, and the cat already close enough to pounce. If the bird doesn’t get moving FAST, it is all over for the bird.

      We have a shot at avoiding the very worst consequences of the depleting resources Seneca Cliff, and we ought to make the most of it.

      Scaling up renewables is going to take a hell of a long time, and we are ninety nine point nine nine percent damned sure to be VERY short of oil and gas before we get even a quarter enough wind and solar farms built to enable us to cut back very much on coal, and save the gas for other essential purposes such as manufacturing fertilizers and other commodities.

      Of course nothing would suit our hard core defenders of the fossil fuel status quo better than an oil and gas supply crisis.

      Such a crisis will make the nickel and dime players who own production assets RICH, and the ones who are rich already will become several times as rich.

      If I were younger and had more money, I would be looking at doing a little bottom feeding in the oil industry myself. It seems to me the odds are EXCELLENT that oil will spike just as sharply, within the next few years, as it crashed a year or so ago. Depletion never sleeps.

      Are we going to move fast, or is the DEPLETION CAT going to have us for lunch?

      Population and consumption per capita of resources are both growing exponentially.

      This is not going to end well.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Old Farmer Mac,

        Population for the World is not growing exponentially, from 1968 to 2010 World population growth was linear, about 81.6 million people per year were added to the World’s population from 1968 to 2010.


        especially Figure II on page 5

        Chart below with UN medium and low fertility variants, hopefully the World will follow the low fertility path.

        • oldfarmermac says:

          Hi Dennis, ya caught me having a senior moment when I said “exponentially”.

          You are not the first person to catch me in that mistake. It seems to be a habit, like forgetting where I put my glasses.

          I generally point out that population growth has been flattening, and with birth rates falling fast in most countries.

          Personally I am hopeful that between cheap birth control tech and the spread of cheap electronic communications, people almost everywhere will get the idea the way women in Brazil got the idea.

          The odds imo are good that the low case UN scenario is still a little on the high side.

          Birth control is incredibly cheap compared to supporting children, and the old “gotta have kids to work the farm and support us in our old age ” paradigm is pretty well smashed to bits any place where people are giving up rural life for the city and the city job.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi oldfarmermac,

            I hope you are right that the World will do even better than the low fertility variant, but surprisingly I am a little less optimistic, I think perhaps in 2070 or so we may start to fall below the low fertility variant because education for Women worldwide will have improved by then (hopefully). It is possible that World total fertility ratios (TFR) will fall to 1.5 in the mid 22nd century and population may drop to 2 billion by 2300.

            See chart below from


      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Old Farmer Mac,

        The only way the World will transition away from fossil fuels is if the prices of fossil fuels are higher and remain high. Whether we can transition quickly enough to alternatives as fossil fuel output declines depends on too many factors to predict.

        I agree with those who think it will not be smooth sailing, whether the boat sinks or not is unknown. The main question is whether we can we bail the water as fast as the ship takes on water.

  9. islandboy says:

    Ban on US crude oil exports to be lifted!

    The actual headline from my favourite EV news site was:

    Solar 30% Tax Credit To Be Renewed For 5 More Years, PV Stocks Soar

    The “solar cliff” looks to have just been avoided.

    The 30% federal credit for solar energy was set to expire in 201,7 to be replaced with a 10% credit for businesses and eliminated entirely for residential solar consumers; basically signalling a huge roadblock for widespread PV adoption in about~13 months time.

    However, late last night House Republicans took the wraps off of new legislation which had provisions for five year extensions of tax credits for solar and wind.

    And if that action seemed a bit odd for the Republications…or at least a bit out of character, well, there are trade-offs. The cost was the end of protracted negotiations with the Democrats over the ban on exports of U.S. crude oil.

    The extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar and the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind is widely expected to now be approved shortly (Thursday or Friday) as Democratic leaders said yesterday they would support new Republican proposals, provided those renewable energy credit extensions were attached.

    • Arceus says:

      Does anyone have an idea who actually benefits from the removal of the crude export ban?

      I have heard there is a worldwide abundance of the heavy sour oil but not enough of the light sweet oil… is that correct?

      • Glenn Stehle says:


        When it comes to light sweet oil, the United States has a dearth of refining capacity. And since the new production coming on line from the shale plays is light sweet oil, the U.S. refineries are not able to handle it all.

        Outside the U.S., however, the majority of refining capacity is for light sweet oil.

      • Glenn Stehle says:

        DEPA claims there are a number of refineries around the world that face closure due to a lack of supply of light sweet crude.


    • Glenn Stehle says:

      islandboy says:

      The “solar cliff” looks to have just been avoided.

      I’ll bet that’s right.

      Uncle Sam to the rescue!

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Islandboy,

      This seems like a win for those who would prefer an eventual transition to alternative energy, not as good as a carbon tax, but better than nothing. Rockman has long said the export ban makes little difference because the excess light sweet crude can be swapped for imported heavy oil and the export ban was pretty meaningless. So getting these tax credits extended (because a carbon tax will only be passed in the US when the Greenland ice sheet has returned to the ocean, around 2499 give or take a 100 years) is a win for the planet.

      • oldfarmermac says:

        Hi Dennis,

        I think this was an excellent move on the part of the dim rats. It won’t cost us anything so far as I can see, or at least not much, and that out of the pockets of the owners of refineries making windfall profits because of the ban on exports.

        It will probably help lower the cost of diesel a little, compared to gasoline. That would be good for everybody, because business runs almost exclusively on diesel. Gasoline is a consumer good, diesel in this country is an industrial commodity.

        The dim rats ought to have put one over on the repugnathans the same way with the Keystone. Building it would not have resulted in any significant environmental harm, in terms of the BIG picture, and they could have extracted all sorts of environmental concessions out of the repugnathans by cutting a deal.

        The pipeline pushers would gladly have spent megabucks for that permit. The money could have been usefully spent on anything from expanding protected lands to medical research.

        As a practical matter, all is fair in love war and politics.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Old Farmer Mac,

          I agree on the Keystone pipeline. Perhaps Obama should reverse his decision in return for a carbon tax, he could throw in elimination of the Wind and Solar subsidies as long as the carbon tax was high enough and the legislation was for a 20 year period.

          Maybe start at some lower level with an increase in the tax each year at the rate of inflation plus 2% (roughly a 4 to 5% increase each year), start at $20/ton of carbon (the tax would be based on carbon emissions from burning the fuel, this is equivalent to about a 5 cent per gallon tax increase on one gallon of gasoline).

          If we assume an average increase of 4.5% per year, the tax gradually rises from $20/ tonne of carbon to $48/tonne in 20 years time.

          If Obama could accomplish that it would be huge, as I said before, probably not until Greenland is green again (around 2525).

          • oldfarmermac says:

            Too late now.

            He can’t reverse course this late in the Keystone Game, and the industry is in the doldrums now, and has already managed to scrape up enough alternative shipping capacity to lower the need for the pipeline any way.

            But I am personally convinced it would have been very much in the interests of this country to have the pipeline built.

            History ain’t over, and peak oil is not yet biting a huge chunk out of our collective economic backside, but it will be , and sooner rather than later.

            Resource wars hot and cold are inevitable. Having that oil travel south thru the Home o the Free would be highly preferable to having it going east or west to the Atlantic or Pacific.

            We are going to need it, because the odds against us being able to get away from oil faster than oil goes away from us are very much against us.

            We need to buy all the time we can, just as a poorly armed but economically capable country needs to buy all the time it can, diplomatically in delaying an inevitable war, so as to prepare.

            Every precious year means the expansion of the ev industry, the tightening up of the building code, higher fuel economy standards, a few more miles of street car and subway lines etc etc.

            Getting the renewables base big enough to cope before depletion of fossil fuels is going to be the key to the survival of something APPROACHING life as we know it.

      • Dennis, swapping oil isn’t that useful. The light crude needs to be refined elsewhere. Us law forbids export. It’s a stupid law, kept in place by brain dead politicians.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi Fernando,

          My impression was that you could swap the light barrels for heavier barrels (say Bakken crude for oil sands from Canada) at the border, the light barrels get refined in Canada and the heavy barrels go to the Gulf coast.

          I probably misunderstood what Rockman was saying.

          I agree the policy was stupid, we have a lot of that in the US, probably true in most places.

  10. John S says:

    Post Carbon Institute:Eagle Ford Reality Check by David Hughes at this link:


    • shallow sand says:


      The most recent presentation shows Chesapeake “break evens” in all of their major plays.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Thanks JohnS,

      I was interested in checking David Hughes work as the 242 wells needed to keep output flat seemed a bit too high. I have a slightly different peak at 1580 kb/d on March 2015, Hughes may have used all production from the Eagle Ford region, or my estimate may be incorrect, I do not have access to drilling info data. In any case I used a model based on Rune Likvern’s Red Queen model and a well profile I developed using Eagle Ford RRC lease data. Errors are my responsibility, Mr. Likvern has not checked my work, I want to give credit to his original work on this idea as applied to the North Dakota Bakken/Three Forks.

      Model below has 242 new wells added each month from Oct 2015 to Jan 2017, output increases to 1700 kb/d by Dec 2016, so my suspicion seems to be correct.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      A second scenario with the only change being 185 new wells per month from Oct 2015 to Jan 2017,
      output was about 1435 kb/d in Sept 2015, output falls to an average of 1420 kb/d from Oct 2015 to Dec 2016 in this scenario. It is doubtful that this many wells will be completed if the current low oil prices continue for the period covered by this scenario.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Ok lets assume Bloomberg’s estimate of 1250 DUCs in the Eagle Ford(EF) at the end of April 2015 is correct and that this count has decreased by 50 each month for 5 months so that presently the DUCs are 1000 in the EF. Lets also assume a rig count going forward that will average 75 rigs from now until Jan 2017 and that 1.4 wells per rig can be drilled, that is 105 new wells drilled and let’s assume 50 wells completed from the fracklog over the next 15 months (until Dec 2016), that would correspond with 155 new wells per month. Scenario below has 155 new wells added each month from Oct 2015 to Jan 2017, output falls from 1435 kb/d in Sept 2015 to 1286 kb/d in Dec 2016, a drop of 149 kb/d and 291 kb/d below the March 2015 peak of 1577 kb/d.

    • Glenn Stehle says:

      John S,

      What a devastating report card for Team Carbon.

      Even in the best of cases — Dewitt County — this play is in deep trouble, economically speaking, at $35 oil.

      And to make it even worse, these wells were drilled by taking on a huge mountain of debt.

  11. ChiefEngineer says:

    The Energy Report 12/16/15

    Time to Deal

    Congress has a budget deal that includes lifting the 40-year-old ban on oil exports. While many think the news is bearish for prices, the truth is the lifting of the oil ban is more complex. The immediate thought is allowing more oil into an oversupplied market is bearish. Which is funny because many that opposed the lifting of the oil ban argued that it would raise prices. In reality we have the lifting of a global bottleneck that added to the global oil glut of supply and allowed countries in the OPEC cartel and Russia to dictate global energy policy.

    What we have here is an issue of crude quality and the ability to move supply to where it is needed. The type of oil that the U.S. shale producer is producing is a much lighter grade than most U.S. refineries can maximize. Most of the US refineries are geared towards refining heavier grades of oil.


    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      IMO, the lifting of the export ban will be largely a non-event.

  12. shallow sand says:

    Halcon Resources, which has significant Bakken production and per NDIC has 2 rigs running, stock price is indicating a BK announcement is coming. 18 cents per share, dropped 40% today.

    A couple other noteworthy quotes.

    Whiting fell below $10.

    California Resources Corporation (OXY spinoff) fell below $2.

    I suspicion much of CA oil and gas production has joined several other states in having overall production underwater on an operating basis.

    Euan Mearns predicting Brent will finish 2016 at $37 and will breach $20 in 1H 2016.

    If Euan is correct, a large percentage of US conventional will be shut in.

    Dennis, where do you see US production headed if Euan is correct and WTI average price in 2016 is $30.

    If he is correct, we will either shut down and or lose a lot of $$. There is nothing more to cut here.

    • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

      For the two or three independent oil companies that survive, one would think they should have a profitable future.

      Someone I know is doing a gift exchange tomorrow, at their oil & gas company, and they took me up on my suggestion for a gift box–a selection of beans and bean soup mix, with the following enclosure:

      Oil & Gas Crisis Survival Kit

      Step One: Prepare beans & rice

      Step Two: Eat beans & rice

      Step Three: When hungry, repeat Steps One & Two

      • shallow sand says:

        Jeffrey. I am thinking maybe when we hit new year we will see a dramatic oil rig drop, maybe below 300?

        They can’t even pretend it makes sense to drill at sub $30 oil.

        As for gas, I know little about it, other than $1 gas surely will cause further rig loss. Again, the price has dropped past the level where any E &P will be able to BS anyone.

        Glad I don’t have any ND sour crude to sell. Flint Hills might pay you $6 for it?

        • Toolpush says:


          Surely this has to be the final wash out. It is hard to see how many of these companies will be able to release their annual reports and still show they are solvent.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Shallow sands,

      I think output will drop by at least 1 Mb/d in the US if Euan is correct, possibly 1.5 Mb/d from Sept 2015 levels, for the rest of the World we would probably see at least another 1 Mb/d drop, so my wag is 2-3 Mb/d, combine this with the likely increase in demand for oil and I just don’t see how this price forecast can be correct.

      Keep in mind that I consistently get prices wrong, so perhaps Euan is correct, if he disagrees with me that increases his odds. 🙂

    • Clueless says:

      SS – Obviously, I have been wrong, as I believed that it has been totally non-economic to frac wells for about the past six months. I know that you do not do fracking, but on the other hand, I have also read many articles that have said that stripper production will plunge. Well, you are the only person I know that is in that business. So I have a couple of questions. But, if they are too intrusive for you to personally answer, then do not do so.
      1. Using percentages, what do you think that your December 2015 total barrels produced will be compared to December 2014? Like 75% or 125%, etc.
      2. Based upon your knowledge of the stripper industry, do you think that your % is average, above average, or below average?
      Clearly, I am trying to get real world information as opposed to just reading from journalists.

      • shallow sand says:


        I received a research note recently which stated, per IHS Energy:

        12/14 – 6/15. US lower 48 onshore conventional oil down 16.3%

        12/14- 9/15 Canadian onshore conventional down 15.3%.

        I thought a good anecdotal example would be to look at the top Kansas oil producers. Kansas has a very user friendly, simple website. I tried to eliminate those who I think might have some horizontal Mississippian wells, such as Sandridge. I also eliminated ones that had big well number changes from 2014 to 2015. Listed below are producing oil wells and barrels of oil per day for each company for 2014 and 1/15-8/15. Kansas has not posted September or October yet. As can be seen, each company has approximately the same number of wells each year. No drilling, likely no divestitures. Probably shut a few down.


        2014. 881 wells. 6,624.6 barrels per day
        2015. 876 wells. 5,054.5


        2014. 984. 5941.5
        2015. 974. 5620.7


        2014. 1140. 3309.8
        2015. 1126. 3105.73.

        2014. 342. 1501.3
        2015. 342. 1426.7

        Herman Loeb, LLC

        2014. 394. 1384.9
        2015. 373. 1335.3

        Shakespeare Oil

        2014. 71. 1135.84
        2015. 72. 917.9

        I am familiar with the above companies. They have all been around over 30 years. Some go back to the 1940s, 1950s. They are generally not the type to get overextended, having survived 1986, 1998-1999 and 2008-2009.

        So, as you can see, US conventional, the majority of which is stripper, is dropping fast. From what I have read, the % drop is steeper than 1986.

        We have declined more in percentage terms than any year since I became involved in 1997. We are in line with the lower declines of the above Kansas producers.

        • shallow sand says:


          To add some more information, I looked at some of the larger conventional areas I am familiar with. Most have declined since the end of 2014.

          One example would be Chevron’s production in Kern Co., CA.

          Kinder Morgan’s SACROC is declining, Yates holding steady.

          However, looks like XTO is boosting production in Andrews Co., TX.

          The production info is easy to navigate if you are interested in looking.

          BTW, Texas October is out.

  13. Javier says:

    This post is for Dennis Coyne and it is very technical. Most will want to skip it.

    It is in response to:

    Problems with Marcott et al. 2013 Global temperature reconstruction

    You support Marcott et al., 2013 global reconstruction over any other without having given any reason for that. You say it is superior but you do not prove it.

    Actually Marcott et al., 2013 global reconstruction jump to fame was because it presented a hockey stick at the end. This was highlighted by the MSM, the NSF (National Science Foundation), and the main journals. It turned out that the hockey stick at the end was an artefact, and Marcott et al. ended up saying the last century reconstruction was not robust, but obviously this retraction did not make it to the MSM, NSF or main journals. That’s probably one of the reasons you do not use his original graph. It is curious that to defend their reconstruction most people use graphs made by other people, like you do.

    What else is wrong with their reconstruction? It will have to go over several posts as I have several pictures to show:

    1. The mentioned bogus spike at the end.

    2. The redating problem. Of the 73 proxies, Marcott et al. redated 68 proxies, sparing only the 5 ice cores. Of 7795 observations redated, only four were left unchanged from their published values. Moving dates by 1000 years or more was not beyond their capabilities. There was a 1008-year and a 1612-year move forward, and a 3117-year move backward. The mean direction was slightly toward making dates older.

    Another dating issue was coretop dating by which the date of the top of the core was changed. This had the effect of altering the end result of the graph. In one case the top was assigned to 1950, when at 3 cm depth the core showed the typical H spike attributed to nuclear bombs testing that it is used to date at 1960.

    While some redating can be considered standard methodology (like the use of CALIB program), there is simply no justification for a lot of the redating work done to coretops and proxies.

    Also inexcusable is the truncation of the three most recent values of proxy #23, perhaps because they were very negative. This allowed the authors to exclude this proxy for the 1940 analysis

    3. Regarding the proxies, several problems also arise. One of the novelties of this temperatures reconstruction from previous major ones is the use of alkenones as temperature proxies. 31 of the 73 are alkenones, gathered from both the sea and lakes. So the reconstruction is >40% alkenones. Looks like a heavy bias.

    This has some potential problems because the reconstruction is a global surface reconstruction, but alkenones are a proxy for intermediate water temperatures, not surface water temperatures, so they are used as a double proxy inferring surface temperatures from the proxy. This is a major possible source of underestimation of temperatures, as surface temperatures change a lot more than deeper temperatures.

    Another problem is lack of criteria ante-hoc for including proxies. They did publish their criteria, but then 10% of the proxies used do not fit their criteria and should have been rejected.

    Another problem is the use of proxies from the same location that show completely divergent temperature changes, like 2 cores that each showed Tex86 and UK37 alkenone proxies that were very divergent. This makes very little sense. You either keep one based on some criteria or reject both, but you should not include both because then you have a guarantee of 100% that a least one is wrong.

    4. Regarding temperatures.

    We have very few SH reconstructions and Marcott et al., is the only global reconstruction of the entire Holocene, but its temperatures look very flattened for what we know from other reconstructions and proxies.

    How do we know it is flattened if we do not have other reconstructions? By looking at LIA to see if it is consistent with what we know. It is not.

    Nothern Hemisphere is where most of the land is located, and the consensus is for 0.5-0.6°C drop from about 1000-1200 to the bottom of LIA. There is an abundance of reconstructions.

    For the ocean we have several good studies that show that in different parts of the Northern or Southern hemispheres and tropical waters that indicate that everywhere we have looked, LIA was a significant cooling of about 0.5-0.9°C in SST. The studies are:

    Oppo et al. 2009 2,000-year-long temperature and hydrology reconstructions from the Indo-Pacific warm pool. Nature 460. 1113-1116.
    Rosenthal et al. 2013 Pacific Ocean Heat Content During the Past 10,000 Years. Science 342. 617-621.

    They both show that ocean temperatures underwent much bigger changes during the Holocene that what Marcott et al. allow. Let’s not forget that the ocean covers 70% of the Earth, and that changes in Sea Surface Temperatures and Ocean Heat Content track very well global surface temperatures during the instrumental era.

    Finally the other global reconstruction for the last 2000 years, that of PAGES 2K, also shows that Marcott et al., have flattened temperatures. If both are aligned at 1600-1800, PAGES 2K reconstruction is outside 1sigma of Marcott et al., and shows about double cooling.

    Why is Marcott et al., temperature reconstruction flattened? It is difficult to say. One possibility as I said was the extensive use of alkenones. Since Marcott et al. reconstruction extends to 1940, it is possible to externally re-calibrate its temperatures between 1860 and 1940 to the instrumental record. This is far from sanctioned methodology due to the divergence and convergence problems, but when properly done after redating the proxy records and using an average by diferencing to eliminate the spurious final spike, the result also suggests that the temperature span for Marcott et al., has been compressed by about 50%.

    6. Regarding hemispheric reconstructions.

    The problems that plague Marcott et al. mean that there is a profound disagreement with previous reconstructions. This is particularly notable with respect to the hemispheric reconstructions. Since these differences are built into the global reconstruction, one can hardly say that Marcott et al. agrees well with previous published reconstructions even if the authors claim it in the article. Some examples are shown in the figures.

    7. Conclusion

    Marcott et al. is the only global temperature reconstruction that expands the entire Holocene. Even if deeply flawed, we don’t have much alternative. Until a better one comes around we may have to use it, but we should be aware of its many flaws.
    -Only originally dated proxy versions can be relied on.
    -RegEM or differencing averages have to be used to remove the bogus spike.
    -No trust should be placed on temperature changes proposed. They are most likely smaller than should be, and probably by a factor of two.


    Figure 1. Comparison Marcott / PAGES 2K Global temperature anomalies 0-2000 AD
    Marcott presents much less amplitude, and PAGES 2K falls outside 1 sigma between 200-600.

    • Javier says:

      Figure 2. Sea surface and intermediate waters temperatures.
      A. Complete correlation of SST at the Makassar strait 4°S with NH temperature reconstructions showing much bigger changes than Markott et al. (not shown).
      B. Similar situation in Indonesian intermediate waters.

    • Javier says:

      Figure 3. Comparison of Northern Hemisphere reconstruction from Markott et al 2013 to those of Mann et al 1999 (hockey stick) and Mann 2008.

    • Javier says:

      Figure 4. Comparison of Northern Hemisphere reconstruction from Markott et al 2013 to Moberg 2005.

    • Javier says:

      Figure 5. Comparison of Southern Hemisphere reconstruction from Markott et al 2013 to two different versions of Mann et al 2008.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Javier,

        Read http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/03/response-by-marcott-et-al/



        Especially the last piece points out problems with the Marcott et al reconstructions particularly for the 30N to 90N region after 1800, but all three latitude bands are somewhat problematic after 1800 with the 30S to 90S being best and 30N to 90 N being worst. The area weighted average remains close to 0.3 C over the 1000 AD to 1800 AD. The ocean studies you cite are not global, so I would discount those. I am no expert. Perhaps the change over 1000 AD to 1800 AD is 0.5C as you believe. The difference between 0.3 C and 0.5C is not a huge concern.

        • Javier says:


          Unlike most people, probably including you, I read from both sides of the divide to be able to analyze all the evidence. I read those places a long time ago.

          Tamino (aka Grant Foster) has done a great job solving several of the issues with Marcott et al. 2013. He has a graph with the published dates and averaged by differencing that is what Marcott et al., should have published had they not been bent on producing a hockey stick.

          Some of the problems with the proxies cannot be solved. But the temperature issue is easy to solve. When we have more global reconstructions, specially if they are done without political intent, it will become clearer.

          The important point is that if LIA is a cooling of 0.5°C, then Holocene maximum was 1.2-1.5°C warmer, and thus we have not reached yet Holocene maximum as all the rest of the evidence indicates and most experts believe.

          Regarding the oceans works, they have looked at North Pacific, South Pacific, Antarctic and tropical seas and they have found the same. Most people in the field assume that the result is pretty global pending more studies. Their result supports a global Medieval Warm period and LIA and yet they have not been overly criticized. Perhaps the scientific climate is already changing.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Javier,

            I agree the cooling may have been 0.4 to 0.5 C from around 900 AD (+/-100 years) to around 1700 to 1800, there are many different reconstructions with different results. The Holocene Climactic Optimum may have been 1 C warmer than 1750, there may have been warm spots that were warmer than this, but the study you have pointed to suggesting higher temperatures was biased with mostly Northern Hemisphere proxies from high latitudes. It is well known that Northern hemisphere summer insolation was particularly high during the HCO, so your 1.5 C, might be true for latitudes from 60N to 90N,but we are interested in global temperatures. The chart below looks at the Mann 2008 Global composite(EIV) using 100 year and 300 year centered averages and compared with the Marcott standard 5×5 estimate from 500 AD to 1900 AD. The Marcott estimate does not give very good short term resolution, I believe the authors said fluctuations over 300 year periods are preserved, but their method smoothes out the shorter term fluctuations. I also plotted the Best Land Ocean data with a 100 year centered average from 1900 to 1960.

            I agree that Marcott et al may have underestimated cooling from 1000 AD to 1750 AD, or possibly others have overestimated this, part of the issue may have been the way their estimates smooth out the estimate.

            I also agree Grant Foster did a nice job looking at the Marcott paper (as do the authors at Real Climate). We mostly disagree on the Holocene Climactic optimum temperature, 0.9 C from the HCE to the coldest part of the LIA (100 year centered average), about 1724 based on Mann 2008

            • Javier says:

              Dennis, the question is not as trivial as you try to present it.

              This is a hotly debated issue because it has big repercussions. The people running the show in climate science today that mainly come from the physics area are pushing for a reinterpretation of paleoclimatic evidence to show that present warming it is not only unusual and unprecedented in X thousand years, but that we are now way past the Holocene Climatic Optimum. If global average was only 0.7°C over 1750 AD, and we are now 1°C over 1750, it stands to reason that we are warmer than at the Holocene Climatic Optimum.

              But this is in stark contradiction from a huge amount of evidence coming from Biology, Geology and Glaciology that points that we are nowhere near the Holocene Climatic Optimum yet. This evidence is pretty much ignored outside academic circles, and contested by the people running the show by smearing the issue over summer temperatures vs winter temperatures, changes in insolation, and changes in precipitation. As if reducing climate to a pretty meaningless global number is more important that system response, that is what those other disciplines are measuring.

              Glaciology says very clearly that the global extent of glaciers during Holocene Climatic Optimum (HCO) was very much reduced with respect to present day. As we know that glacier dynamics respond to climate changes in a very fast manner, it is clear that present global temperatures above HCO are not supported by this discipline. As this includes glaciers from both hemispheres, this effectively deals with problems with latitudinal changes in insolation.

              The development of biological proxies like alkenones and examination of diatoms and coccolithophores in sediments allows to demonstrate that globally the oceans were warmer than present during the HCO.

              Finally biological regional studies show we are not near HCO conditions pretty much everywhere we are looking. A couple of examples:

              Kultti et al. 2006 research the forest line in Lapland. They recognise there is a lag for young trees to grow, but trees can grow in as little as a couple of decades and they study both latitudinal and altitudinal changes. They conclude:
              “Results indicate that pine reached its maximum distribution between 8300 and 4000 cal. yr BP. Between c. 8000 and 4000 cal. yr BP pines were growing at 350-400 m higher altitudes than at present and the shift in mean July temperatures compared with 1961-1990 climate normals was +2.5 – +2.6°C. The modelled pine distribution area in Finnish Lapland during the ‘Mediaeval Warm Period’ is c. 7200 km2 more extensive compared with the present, suggesting that the mean July temperatures were higher during the ‘Mediaeval Warm Period’ than at present, and pines were growing at 40-80 m higher altitudes.”
              So despite 350 years of warming, Lapland still hasn’t gotten to the Medieval Warm Period in biological terms, much less to HCO conditions. This is despite global warming being more intense in the Northern Hemisphere and the essential prediction by AGW hypothesis of a polar amplification mechanism.

              Crosta. 2009 investigation on “two diatom species, Fragilariopsis kerguelensis and Fragilariopsis curta, in Holocene samples from sediment core MD03-2601 from the Antarctic Continental Shelf off Adelie Land,
              East Antarctica. Apical valve length measurements of the two species are compared to their respective absolute and relative abundances as a proxy for the species productivity. F. kerguelensis valves were longer and more abundant during the warmer Mid-Holocene period and smaller and less abundant during the colder Late-Holocene period. Conversely, F. curta
              valves were smaller and less abundant during the warmer Mid-Holocene period and longer and more abundant during the colder Late-Holocene period. Mean apical valve length variations even follow centennial-to-millennial oscillations in the species abundances. Maximal valve length and minimal valve length were also larger during the warmer Mid-Holocene period and during the colder Late-Holocene period for F. keguelensis and F. curta, respectively. The observed positive size-abundance relationships are linked to the environmental conditions at the core location that stands today at the lower ecological limit for F. kerguelensis and upper ecological limit for F. curta.”

              So the warm/less sea-ice loving species did great during the HCO and it is now at its lower limit, while the cold/more sea-ice loving species has been doing better since the HCO ended and is now at its best.

              This are just two grains from a huge pile. They are from both poles of the world with tons of evidence in between. It is indefensible to say that present temperatures are anywhere near HCO temperatures. If present warming is 0.8°C, HCO cannot have been 0.7°C over LIA as Marcott et al, propose. Not even 1.2°C. Most specialists in several fields are having a laugh on the ridiculous claims by the people running the show, but none of that makes it outside academic circles. Consilience of science works both ways. The rest of sciences are saying no to present temperatures being anyway near and much less above HCO temperatures.

              • Dennis Coyne says:

                Hi Javier,

                You seem to be missing a crucial difference between today and the HCO. The HCO lasted for about 5000 years, so clearly the oceans would have been somewhat warmer than today, it takes about 400 years for the ocean to turn over, it also takes time for glaciers to melt.

                The rise in temperatures from 1724 to the present has been very fast relative to the Early Holocene (up to about 5000 BP). In fact based on Shakun 2012 global temperatures rose about 0.65C per 1000 years from 12.5ka to 9.9ka, so the current rate of temperature increase is very different, we have seen about 1C of temperature rise from 1910 to 2010 based on BEST land ocean data or 15 times faster than the fastest rate during the glacial inter glacial transition from 18,000 BP to 11,000 BP (I chose the steepest portion of the curve from 12.5 to 9.9 ka.) Shakun’s estimate is about 4 C from the LGM in 21,600 BP to the HCO in 7,200 BP for the Global temperature change.

                The physicists do know how to read, and keep up with what the other scientists are doing.

                • Javier says:


                  You make the mistake again of comparing different time scales. You cannot compare warming rates for decades with those of centuries and much less those of millennia. Within the HCO there was the 8.2 kyr event that lasted a total of about 600 years between cooling and warming, and was a much more abrupt event than LIA and present warming.

                  Ocean temperatures might take longer to change, but not SSTs that as we are seeing move quite in concert with LSTs. In the Oppo et al. 2009 paper cited above, they determine the SSTs at 4°S for the past 2000 years. The data on ocean cooling is consistent.

                  Regarding glaciers, the whole point is that they melt very fast, or grow very fast depending on conditions. We have been told over and over that glaciers can melt in a few decades. You cannot have it both ways. Besides there are small permanent patches of ice in some Northern regions like Canada and Alaska. We know they were not there during the HCO because they are releasing organic material from 3-6000 years ago when they formed. These small patches clearly indicate that HCO conditions have not been reached in those regions.

                  The world was significantly warmer during HCO than it is today. Those physicists running the show are trying to rewrite history because their models are unable to reproduce it and the alternative is to recognize they don’t understand climate.

                  • Dennis Coyne says:

                    Hi Javier,

                    Ice sheets take a long time to melt, the short term events you point to were not global events, they were regional episodes, there is no evidence that HCO temperatures were warmer globally than present day temperatures. Northern Hemisphere high latitude temperatures were higher and these higher temperatures lasted for thousands of years which meted the northern ice sheets. One thing that physicists and chemists understand quite well is thermodynamics, this is pretty simple energy balance stuff.

                    Possibly biologists don’t under the thermodynamics as well.

                    I have never said that ice sheets melt very quickly and certainly ocean temperatures take a long time to change.

                    Note it takes 334 J to melt a gram of ice(latent heat), and roughy 4 J to raise a gram of water from 0 C to 1 C (specific heat). So for an equal mass of ice and water it would take far more energy to melt the ice than to warm the water from o to 1 C.

                    Bottom line the Holocene climactic optimum was 0.19 to 0.67 C (95% confidence interval)warmer than the 1961 to 1990 mean temperature in 7000 BP, with the best estimate at 0.43 C at the global level.

                    In the Northern hemisphere from 30-90N the 95% confidence interval in 7000 BP is 0.5C to 1.7C with a best guess of 1.1 C, it was slightly cooler (0.1 C) than the 1961-1990 mean in the rest of the world.

                    Also regarding the areas in Alaska and Northern Canada. Insolation was very different there during the HCO , again this is a regional change easily explained by Milankovitch theory, again fairly straightforward stuff.

                    The 8.2 ka event was also associated by rapid sea level rise and is thought to be a sudden release of large volumes of meltwater from North American ice sheets, raising sea levels and possibly affecting the normal Atlantic thermohaline circulation. Seems less likely that such an event would happen under current Northern hemisphere summer insolation levels.

  14. ezrydermike says:

    $34.73 and the beat goes on…

    • Javier says:

      By technical analysis the next strong support is at $26. It could go there.

      • ezrydermike says:

        second time I saw a comment similar to this. What does strong support mean? Why is it at $26 per barrel and not some other value?

        • Javier says:

          A support is a price point where in the past the price had difficulties to break through whether upwards (resistance) or downwards (support). It represents a psychological barrier for participants, that place a higher number of bets at that price point, leading to a different behavior of the price. A strong support is a price point that acted as a support quite a few times in the past.

          You can see a support in the above graph at 40$, where the price bounced twice before being able to break through.

  15. ezrydermike says:

    and now the lakes…


    In this first worldwide synthesis of in situ and satellite-derived lake data, we find that lake summer surface water temperatures rose rapidly (global mean = 0.34°C decade−1) between 1985 and 2009. Our analyses show that surface water warming rates are dependent on combinations of climate and local characteristics, rather than just lake location, leading to the counterintuitive result that regional consistency in lake warming is the exception, rather than the rule. The most rapidly warming lakes are widely geographically distributed, and their warming is associated with interactions among different climatic factors—from seasonally ice-covered lakes in areas where temperature and solar radiation are increasing while cloud cover is diminishing (0.72°C decade−1) to ice-free lakes experiencing increases in air temperature and solar radiation (0.53°C decade−1). The pervasive and rapid warming observed here signals the urgent need to incorporate climate impacts into vulnerability assessments and adaptation efforts for lakes.


  16. ezrydermike says:

    The NOAA Artic report card…

    In summary, there are many signals indicating that environmental system components throughout the Arctic continue to be influenced by long-term upward trends in air temperature, modulated by natural variability in regional and seasonal anomalies.


  17. Jim Galasyn says:

    $100B evaporates as world’s worst oil major plunges 90 percent

    Colombia is nursing paper losses of more than $100 billion after its oil boom fell short of expectations, wiping out 90 percent of the value of what was once Latin America’s biggest company.

  18. RDG says:

    Too bad all the so-called “scientific progress” in the past 100 years has not saved the day. We’re worse off today than in Lenin’s dream world in 1920 of “national electrification” via hydroelectric power plants which as of 2015 is still the gold standard for so-called renewables. The JP Morgue is running around with its head cut off screaming “what to do…do nuclear…no do something else…what to do….”


    “Basically, they reach their conclusions from the following critical elements:

    energy cannot be stored economically
    time-series data demonstrates that, even when wind power is sourced over a very wide area, there will always be multiple days where the wind/solar energy is “a lot lower” than usual

    The choices are:

    spend a crazy amount on storage
    build out (average) supply to many times actual demand
    backup intermittent solar/wind with conventional
    build a lot of nuclear power

    These are obvious conclusions after reading 100 papers. The alternatives are:

    ignore the time-series problem
    assume demand management will save the day (more on this in a subsequent article)
    assume “economical storage” will save the day

    Many papers and a lot of blogs embrace these alternatives.”


    GOELRO plan (Russian: план ГОЭЛРО) was the first-ever Soviet plan for national economic recovery and development. It became the prototype for subsequent Five-Year Plans drafted by Gosplan. GOELRO is the transliteration of the Russian abbreviation for “State Commission for Electrification of Russia”

    The Plan represented a major restructuring of the Soviet economy based on total electrification of the country. Lenin’s stated goal for it was “…the organization of industry on the basis of modern, advanced technology, on electrification which will provide a link between town and country, will put an end to the division between town and country, will make it possible to raise the level of culture in the countryside and to overcome, even in the most remote corners of land, backwardness, ignorance, poverty, disease, and barbarism.”

    The Plan included construction of a network of 30 regional power plants, including ten large hydroelectric power plants, and numerous electric-powered large industrial enterprises.[8] It was intended to increase the total national power output per year to 8.8 billion kWh, as compared to 1.9 billion kWh in Imperial Russia in 1913.[3] Soviet propaganda claimed that the plan was basically fulfilled by 1931.[3][4] In reality, only three out of ten hydroelectric stations were built by 1930: the Volkhov, the Svir, and the Dnieper Hydroelectric Stations

    “Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country.”
    — Vladimir Lenin

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Tks RDG, we got it! Science and electricity are both obvious signs of a massive communist plot.
      Lenin? Imperial Russia? Dang, you couldn’t make this shit up! Hey RDG, in case you haven’t noticed we are living in the 21st century. Lenin has been dead for almost a century, times have changed a bit since then…

  19. Heinrich Leopold says:

    Texas RRC data for October are out. Although data are subject to revisions, it looks like the steep decline continues (see below chart). The recent slump in oil well completions – down nearly 40% from October to November – suggests that the decline accelerates in November. Moreover, the recent slump in the bond and equity market for oil companies makes an even steeper decline in December more likely. I have the impression that everybody – including the central banks – want to destroy shale companies, although I am wondering about the motivations. The consequences of a steep reduction in US oil production would be an increased US current account deficit- already at a five year high – a steep dollar drop and a massive US recession. If the motivation is to give way for alternative technologies, it is first necessary to improve efficiency and productivity of alternatives, which clearly cannot compete with fossil fuels.

    • AlexS says:


      Are completions numbers final or preliminary?

    • shallow sand says:

      I have a TX question also.

      I skimmed through production data on several of the larger TX conventional units (primarily Permian).

      Is there a data delay concerning those leases, or is the data delay strictly the result of new wells/leases?

      I am noticing significant declines in many of these units, but don’t want to waste time putting anything together if they have the same inaccuracies.

      I can’t envision why there would be revisions to the conventional, which should be going into common tank batteries.

    • likbez says:


      “I have the impression that everybody – including the central banks – want to destroy shale companies, although I am wondering about the motivations. ”

      Driving oil prices down brings profits and benefits to important players, including the US government. Frackers and oil companies are collateral damage. Low oil prices in 2015 alone are equivalent to a stimulus the tune of 200 billions for the USA economy. Also a shakeout of frackers means consolidation of good properties by oil majors, who were late in this game.

      That’s how neoliberalism works. As attributed to former U.S. President George H. W. Bush: New World Order is the consolidation of more power and money into tighter, fewer, righter hands.

      Also John Kenneth Galbraith said “The sense of responsibility in the financial community for the community as a whole is not small. It is nearly nil.” (The Great Crash of 1929). They live by the next quarter results.

  20. Glenn Stehle says:

    Shallow Sand,

    I have been using the Texas Railroad Commission Production Data Query System (PDQ) since it was first implemented in 1993 to monitor production from leases which I have an interest in.

    Not once in the last 22 years have I ever seen production figures revised once they have been entered into the PDQ, nor have these production figures differed from the production figures reported on my revenue checks.

    That said, sometimes it takes several months for the RRC to get new leases entered into the system.

    • shallow sand says:

      Thanks Glenn. That is what I thought. If I get time, may look at some of the larger TX units and see how production is holding up. I suspect it is on the decline, given the low number of conventional rigs in service.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Shallow sand,

        Just keep in mind that when the data has not been reported (due to paper work issues or whatever) it will show up as a zero in the PDQ, it would be better if the put a NA or some such in the PDQ. Bottom line, zero means both zero and data not available.

  21. The Wet One says:

    For anyone interested about the good news (ahem) about the state of the world, go here:


    It’s a heck of a read. Especially this morning.

  22. ezrydermike says:

    San Diego….

    “Raising the bar for municipalities across the country, San Diego has adopted one of the nation’s most ambitious plans to cut carbon emissions.
    The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the co-called Climate Action Plan, which requires annual emissions be cut in half during the next two decades based heavily on a strategy to use 100% renewable energy within that timeline.”


    • Russell Boga Flores says:

      You know, it would seem to me that the most common sense approach to fight global climate change isn’t to try and nudge greenhouse gas emissions to a slightly smaller growth rate using horribly inefficient and expensive renewable energy. After sixty plus years of public warnings, I think it should be clear to the scientists, politicians, and nay-sayers alike that this will not be sufficient to reverse what may be a naturally irreversible process, plus, as usual, the taxpayers would end up footing a massive bill in the long run.

      So how about we have a serious talk about engineering the climate for the betterment of humanity instead? There have been many ideas put forward that could alter temperature and precipitation on a local or a global scale. Let’s think about this for a moment; humans have already been engineering cities, agricultural land, and waterways for centuries, and our species has completely thrived as a result. What good reason is there not to work on engineering the atmosphere and oceans as we head into the future? Why stop now when we could improve living conditions for generations to come?

      • JN2 says:

        >> horribly inefficient and expensive renewable energy <<

        You don't get out much, do you? The facts are different…

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Simple answer.

        We only have one planet, if we screw it up, by trying to “improve” it, we have no where to go. So if you mean plant some trees and use better farming methods, I am all for it.

        You do realize that fossil fuels are going to peak anyway, then they will be just as expensive as alternative energy (or more expensive), so no taxes will be required, you will just pay the price for energy if you want to use it, as it becomes more expensive people will use it more efficiently.

        • likbez says:


          I agree with you, but we need to distinguish between oil as a chemical substance, a source used by chemical companies to produce all kind of useful things and oil as a source of motor fuel.

          The US government policy of allowing (or, most probably, facilitating/engineering) very low oil prices is extremely unwise (I would use a stronger word) because at least for one segment of transportation (which is around 70% of total oil consumption in the USA) alternative does already exist. Small hybrid and electrical cars with prices of oil over $100 (and gasoline above $4 per gallon) are absolutely viable.

          Instead now we have a huge jump in SUVs sales which became No.1 personal car category. To say nothing about light trucks. Which is the last thing we need.

          Switch to natural gas in large vehicles such as buses (and small delivery trucks) also experiences a dramatic slow down (transit buses in Europe already are using this fuel on mass scale).

          Again I think that it is the US government which is the culprit of destruction of the US shale industry which was build with such great effort and expense and is now on the verge of extinction. By really great people working in very difficult, challenging conditions.

          The US government could buy excessive oil into strategic reserve or do something similar to keep prices at least above $70 dollars level. They could also prohibit short oil ETNs and other Wall Street machinations and for good effort jail couple of too aggressive traders for violation of some New Deal era laws(after all this is gambling, plain and simple) which are still on books after all this deregulation efforts by Clinton and Bush II administrations.

          They did absolutely nothing. Amazing…

          It’s still very true that renewable energy in the form on wind and solar is “horribly inefficient and expensive”. The green crowd just does not want to understand that you burn quite a lot of energy in advance to produce PV panels or wind turbines and need additional infrastructure to make them viable on large scale (above single digits). Those money can be more efficiently used. Moreover the energy flows into PV panels and wind turbines are weak by definition so their cost effectiveness outside very few areas such as deserts or extremely windy mountains chains can’t be improved dramatically. Ever. They are just stuck mentally on wind and solar energy. And do not want to hear any counter arguments.

          My point is that wind and solar might well be not the best choices. Other alternatives of renewable fuels exists. Meanwhile we need to save oil and the best way to do it is to ramp up oil price to above $100 level, which ensure the survival of frackers, which unfortunately became a collateral damage in some larger, possibly geopolitical play.

  23. Ulenspiegel says:

    “It’s still very true that renewable energy in the form on wind and solar is “horribly inefficient and expensive”. The green crowd just does not want to understand that you burn quite a lot of energy in advance to produce PV panels or wind turbines and need additional infrastructure to make them viable on large scale (above single digits). Those money can be more efficiently used.”

    OMG, get correct data on energetical payback times for wind turbines and PV:
    wind 6 months, PV two years.

    Therefore, you can double PV and wind turbine production each two or three years without net input of fossil energy.

    The high integration costs of PV and wind are a myth, the German VDE (not very green) calls people dumb who call for much storage without green energy providing 40% of the electricity demand.

    • likbez says:

      If you are on the grid then your contribution of energy to the grid is minimal and mostly unwelcome (saving some fuel during day hours on sunny days; you need full capacity at rainy days and during winter). So you are more of a nuisance then help.

      If you take yourself off the grid you are in pain, as you can’t store enough energy to get you for more then one day (7.5 Kw battery is $3000). But let’s assume it’s enough.

      Also let’s assume no air conditioning and no heating. In other words that 1 KW is enough for you ( your daily consumption is always limited to around 24 KW a day).

      Let’s assume 65 watt panels at $100 each (with installation, with everything)
      Let’s assume that your roof contains 50 such panels. That’s $5K.

      Plus you need at least one a battery for $3000 for nights (no snow, no rainy days are assumed; only cloudy days are permissible).

      Total investment is $8K

      Let’s assume that you can generate 65 watt from each panel 8 hours a day 300 days a year
      At $.1 per kilowatt (night tariff for electricity in many areas is lower; daily is higher ) that’s $780 per year.

      So we are talking about 10 years for the return of investment with much lower quality of life. I do not see 2 or 3 years here.

      The whole idea is somewhat problematic to me.

      • Nick G says:

        I do not see 2 or 3 years here.

        He was talking about energy return, not dollar return.

        A couple other thoughts:

        Why the battery?

        Power in the US costs about $.12, before taxes. That’s an average, of course, so in many places it’s much higher, and returns will be higher: those places will go first. And, of course, in many places in the world it’s much higher.

  24. 70%H2O says:

    The latest monthly temperature anomalies are just off the chart. Check out his link and scroll down to the bottom, look for the 2015 data of the last months. Then have a look at the rest of the data in the table. This is scary stuff.


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