US Individual States Production, Bakken Area and GOM

The EIA’s Petroleum Supply Monthly has been published with production data for all individual states and offshore areas.  All data is Crude + Condensate and in thousand barrels per day with the last data point March 2014.



Since the Bakken occupies part of two states, North Dakota and Montana, I have combined their production in order to get a better idea of what is really happening there. I have drawn a trend line from July 2011 through October 2012. That shows where production might have been if the fast decline rate and bad weather had not caught up with the. Production was 1,050,000 barrels per day in March, still 5,000 barrels per day below the point reached in November.

ND and Montana Change

I wanted to show this chart so we could get a better idea what is really going on in the entire Bakken area. Back in May and June of 2012 production was increasing by an average of 23,500 barrels every month. Now production is increasing by an average of 15,580 barrels per month.


Texas is, by far, the state with the most production. But the last year or so is just an estimate by the EIA. That is why the last 12 months or so are so linear, they are all just a guess.

Texas Change

Texas change per month is a little more dramatic but keep in mind the last year is only an estimate. That estimate has Texas production increasing by 48,000 barrels per month.


I haven’t posted Alaska before. They are, of course, in continuous decline. They have, as of late, shown a slight slowdown in their decline rate however.

GOM Production

The Gulf of Mexico is going nowhere fast. They are continually drilling new wells in new fields. However the deep water wells have such a very high decline rate that they are just staying even. The EIA is counting on the GOM pumping 2 million barrels per day by 2016 to get them to 9.6 million barrels per day. That is not going to happen. They will be lucky to get to 1.5 bpd. In fact they will be lucky just to hold off decline.


I just had to show California now that the Monterey Shale has gone kaput. They have increased production by about 30,000 barrels per day since mid 2011.


Oklahoma has shown some slight increase in production but has slowed down as of late.

New Mexico

New Mexico has been increasing production lately, up about 100,000 barrels per day over the last three years.


And the last of the big producing states is Louisiana. The big spike down in September of 2008 was Hurricane Gustav.

United States

And it all adds up to this.

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193 Responses to US Individual States Production, Bakken Area and GOM

  1. Political Economist says:

    Ron, again, great graphs!

  2. Political Economist says:

    This is to continue the discussion with Dennis on the effectiveness of HL. Inspired by Dennis’s question on the tendency for Hubbert Linearization to predict increasingly higher URRs, I looked at the world (excluding US) crude oil production from 1980 to 2013 using EIA annual data.

    The world ex. US cumulative production up to 1980 is assumed to be 320 billion barrels (based on world cumulative production of 62.3 billion tons and US cumulative production of 18.3 billion tons).

    Consider the first graph, showing the evolution of cumulative production from 1980 to 2000. The cumulative production up to 1990 was 495 billion barrels and up to 2000 was 703 billion barrels.

    There was a natural break in 1991 as the Soviet Union collapsed. The trend from 1991 to 2000 indicates teh ultimately recoverable oil in the world ex. US to be 2.07 trillion barrels. R-square 0.909. The predicted peak year is 2014.

    • Political Economist says:

      Now let us consider the regression based on trend from 1991 to 2005. The cumulative production up to 2005 was 2.13 trillion barrels. Regression R-square is 0.929. The predicted peak year is 2015.

      • Political Economist says:

        Sorry, I mean the ultimately recoverable amount to be 2.13 trillion barrels. The cumulative production up to 2005 was 821 billion barrels.

        • Political Economist says:

          Now consider the trend from 1991 to 2010. The cumulative production up to 2010 was 946 billion barrels. The HL trend indicates the ultimately recoverable amount to be 2.12 trillion barrels. Regression R-square 0.968. Predicted peak year 2015.

          • Political Economist says:

            Finally, the trend from 1991 to 2013. Cumulative production up to 2013 was 1.02 trillion barrels. The HL trend indicates the ultimately recoverable amount to be 2.10 trillion barrels. Regression R-square 0.979. Predicted peak year 2015.

            To summarize, since 2000, HL trends have stabilized for the world excluding US. HL trends have consistently predicted ultimatly recoverable amount to be about 2.1 trillion barrels. Since 2005, the predicted peak year has stabilized at 2015. Regression R-square has been consistenlty high and improved over time.

            Is this not an indication that HL might work in some cases? Of course, we still need to wait till 2015/2016 to see if world (ex. US) peaks or not.

            • RalphW says:

              The problem with all these empirical models is that the underlying assumptions don’t remain static. Today there is at least 3 Mbpd of economic oil production that is shut in due to above ground factors – Libya, Iran, Sudan, Syria to name four. There may even be some oil spare capacity in Saudi Arabia. That is more than enough oil to skew the year of peak production. New technology does not come on stream linearly, US shale oil production shows that a combination of technology and price can cause a sudden (if short lived) increase in supply. As more unconventional oil comes on tap, production profiles for individual fields will reflect the pseudo-Gaussian curve less and less, so production will be more price sensitive. As the global economy shifts from energy profligacy to energy shortfall, the oil price that the economy will sustain is hard to predict.

              I’m not saying this analysis does not reflect reality in the long term, but it is mistake to use it as a detailed prediction of future production.

              • Watcher says:

                Well your last sentence is correct. As for above ground forces shutting in oil, with the presumption that resolution can flow that oil, there’s nothing to prevent some other place having problems that will shut in even more oil.

                That would be a nice graph to have . . . the historical amount of oil on a proportion-to-total basis that is shut in by upheaval. We might find our present day reality to be better than average rather than worse.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi PE,

              You have not convinced me. First I would focus on the World as we could probably eliminate countries arbitrarily from the analysis to get the results we are looking for. I would like an estimate of World URR, the World minus US is only of interest if we know the URR of the US, which we do not. I am going to assume that you do not think the US URR will be 500 or 600 Gb, we could do an HL on the US without LTO or the World without extra heavy oil. There are many possible ways to attempt to estimate World URR, based on discoveries it should be about 2700 Gb of C+C by Jean Laherrere’s estimates (2200Gb of crude minus extra heavy and 500 Gb of extra heavy in oil sands of Canada and Venezuela.)

              See my comment at the end because I want the charts to be readable.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi PE,

      Based on Data from Deffeyes for World Cumulative C+C through 2004 (year end Dec 31, 2004) of 981 Gb, and using EIA data to work backwards I get a 419 Gb cumulative C+C through year end 1979. For the US using EIA data the cumulative C+C through 1979 is 123.4 Gb. World minus US at year end 1979 was 295.6 Gb. So your starting point is off by 25 Gb (possibly you used BP data which includes NGL along with C+C)? I imagine this would change the analysis.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi PE, Ignore the post above, the US data is incorrect, it is lower 48 only not all of the US. I will get back to you with the correct number.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          The correct US cumulative C+C through 1979 is 124.4 Gb. So the correct Cumulative C+C through Dec 31, 1979 for the World minus the US is 294.6 Gb.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi PE,

            I checked to see if this (different starting cumulative output)changes the analysis, it does not. The URR fluctuates a little from 2100 to 2200 Gb, when 1992 is used as a consistent start for several HLs to 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013, most of these point to about 2100 Gb, same as your result.

  3. aws. says:

    Breakingviews: Oiling America’s wheels (Video 3:22) , Reuters

    May 28 – Antony Currie and Chris Swann discuss why a new report slashing California’s shale resources doesn’t impact fracking’s growth – and how the United States may be energy independent by 2020.

    Apparently total recoverable reserves no longer matter it’s proven reserves that count according to these Reuters – er – journalists. And proven reserves just keep going up, up, up… to infinity and…

    • He says:

      the opponents of fracking have tried to wish away the energy independence phenomena (sic) but sadly they simply can’t…. And according to Citi, which is one of the more gung-ho houses on this particular issue, America won’t have any need of net imports by 2020, and I don’t think that story has really been altered at all by this story.

      These guys are really funny.

  4. aws. says:

    California’s Drought Isn’t Making Food Cost More. Here’s Why

    by Dan Charles, NPR, May 23, 2014 4:01 PM ET

    The entire state of California is in a severe drought. Farmers and farmworkers .

    You might expect this to cause food shortages and higher prices across the country. After all, California grows 95 percent of America’s broccoli, 81 percent of its carrots and 99 percent of the country’s artichokes, almonds and walnuts, among other foods.

    Yet there’s been no sign of a big price shock. What gives?

    Here are three explanations.

    1. Some farmers have backup water supplies.

    They exist because many farmers here have a backup supply of water. They’re pumping it out of underground aquifers.

    This is happening all across the state. According to a new from the University of California, Davis, the extra water that farmers will pump from their wells this year will make up for about 75 percent of the cutbacks in water from dams and reservoirs.

    But this can’t go on forever: That groundwater is limited. Woolf tells me that just this morning, she heard about problems at one of their wells. “We have to actually drill down and drop the well deeper, which is a very bad sign,” she says. It means that the water table is dropping; the aquifer is drying up.

    2. Some parts of California are less dry than others.

    3. The limited water is going to crops that consumers are most likely to notice.

    So Peterson is still getting about half of his normal allotment of water. It’s enough to grow a crop, but not on every acre.

    “I’ve kept water on our almond crop, which is a higher-value crop. I’ve left fallow some corn ground, to make sure I have enough water for my almonds,” Peterson says.

    That means he won’t have corn to sell to his neighbors, the dairy farmers. Those dairy farmers are suffering from the drought. They’re bringing in feed from far away, and it’s expensive. Farmers in California are also growing less rice.

    And from the EIA, May 12, 2014,

    Many industrial electricity customers are farmers

    • Old farmer mac says:

      We aren’ t going to starve if California dries up and blows away, which is looking like a serious possibility these days, but winter season fruits and veggies are going to go up quite a bit.

      Now having said this much California is usually on the cutting edge for one reason or another and what happens there has a way of happening in the rest of the country too.

      The ground water situation is getting to be a very serious issue all over this country and all over the world but it is a situation with many parallels to the peak oil situation.

      A crisis is approaching but the world is simply not aware of it.

      We are going to be running very short of a lot of critical natural resources over the next few decades.In cases where the resource itself is still plentiful we will be short of affordable energy to exploit it.

      Most farms in the big sky country where grain is grown are irrigating with diesel and diesel is getting to be very expensive when you want to run a big engine around the clock for weeks on end.

      Not many farmers percentage wise have access to enough grid juice to run irrigation pumps.

      Plain old gravel for instance is easily manufactured out of stone that is plentiful almost everywhere but crushing it and hauling it around is an energy intensive business.

      These shortages are going to hit us maybe not all at once but they are all going to hit us pretty hard over the next couple of decades.

      I can’t remember who said it first but the best advice I can imagine for people willing to think and act is “Get thee hence to the non discretionary side of the economy”.

      A little thinking leads to the conclusion that many things considered necessities these days will be luxuries a couple of decades down the road.

      It will be better to be in the business of upgrading the energy efficiency of existing houses than building new ones unless I am badly mistaken.

      The most secure employment of all may be in law enforcement.

      Small scale farming is going to make a big comeback in places where land is still available and there is adequate rain because so much farm land these days is dependent on ground water irrigation.

      Transportation costs have risen to the point that some of my neighbors are profitably raising potatoes now- we were not able to compete with potatoes from up north a decade or so back but with trucking so expensive now it works out on the spreadsheet.

      A farm with a stream passing thru or even better heading up as springs on the place in the East could be a good place to be in terms of lifestyle and security in times to come.

      Water laws are far different from those in the western states and it is likely it will be possible to use as much water as needed in a dry year be cause there won’t be that many farms depending on it compared to out west.

      • TechGuy says:

        “We aren’ t going to starve if California dries up and blows away, which is looking like a serious possibility these days, but winter season fruits and veggies are going to go up quite a bit.”

        Food inflation almost always leads to civil unrest. Even if civil unrest doesn’t happen in the US in the near future, its going to impact overseas as the US does export a lot of food overseas.

        Food inflation increases the odds of inflation\stagflation, and dollar devaluation as it works up its way through the economy. Usually its food and energy prices that cause general inflation.

        FWIW: its not just CA that enduring a drought. I recall parts of the corn belt also had significantly less rain then normal and are near drought conditions. The odds are that come summer the rain shortages will persist.

    • TechGuy says:

      “They exist because many farmers here have a backup supply of water. They’re pumping it out of underground aquifers.”

      Drilling wells and pumping water for irrigation isn’t cheap. I am sure farmers are passing on higher costs (when they can).
      My guess is that some of these wells have semi-brackish water which will cause problems if they continually use it, or it must be desalinated, which costs money.
      “As California farmers face zero water allocations following one of the driest periods on record in California, one central valley farm is partnering with Desalitech, a supplier of high-efficiency water solutions, to irrigate farmland from a brackish aquifer in the San Joaquin Valley”

      • Watcher says:

        See, now that’s a proper conspiracy. EIA was paid off by water interests to declare the Monterrey shale useless.

  5. OldTech says:

    Off topic but perhaps relevant on the down-slope of peak oil.

    Today the UW released its study on global obesity saying: “The obesity epidemic is global: 2.1 billion people, or about 29% of the world’s population, were either overweight or obese in 2013, and nearly two out of three of the obese live in developing countries, according to a study released Thursday.”

    This statistic is grim. It likely means an early death for many of those who are impacted and since we are talking about 2 billion people this is a big deal. I actually think it is even worse since that statistic does not include those who have other metabolic diseases that do not always involve obesity such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. I suspect the statistic is closer to 40% to 50% when you add in these other metabolic diseases. This is the result of what was called the diseases of civilization in the early 1900’s and is now called the diseases of prosperity or the diseases of modernity. It is in essence the end stage of the neolithic experiment with agriculture.

    The near term impact will be measured in additional suffering, loss of productivity, increase of medical costs, and increase earlier deaths at a time when we will be less able to deal with it. It could impact population growth and perhaps even lead to population decrease.

    • RalphW says:

      If you look at the archeological record, you find that most cultures in the history of civilisations had their own disease blackspots. Ancient Egyptians were very prone to tooth decay and knock on effects. Cultures that had very narrow diets had associated diseases. The only difference now is that our culture and our agriculture is global, so our mistakes are global in effect. We have the evidence to see what constitutes a healthy diet, but we do not have the global organisation to modify the industrial model to provide people with the food that they need, evenly distributed between all 7 billion of us.
      We are approaching global limits very fast, the petri dish is more than half full, too late to do much about the quality of the food.

  6. aws. says:

    Cheap Climate Protection

    The Conscience of a Liberal, Paul Krugman, May 28, 2014 3:01 pm

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce just came out with its preemptive strike against Obama administration regulations on power plants. What the Chamber wanted to do was show that the economic impact of the regulations would be devastating. And I was eager to see how they had fudged the numbers.

    But a funny thing happened on the way to the diatribe. The Chamber evidently made a decision that it wanted to preserve credibility, so it outsourced the analysis. And while it tries to spin the results, what it actually found was that dramatic action on greenhouse gases would have surprisingly small economic costs.

  7. Frugal says:

    An now the tar sands are becoming uneconomical.

    Total shelves $11-billion Alberta oil sands mine

    The Joslyn oil sands mine has been shelved indefinitely, a result of rising industry costs that made the $11-billion project financially untenable.

    • “Joslyn is facing the same challenge most of the industry world-wide [is], in the sense that costs are continuing to inflate when the oil price and specifically the netbacks for the oil sands are remaining stable at best – squeezing the margins,” he told reporters in a conference call.

      This is a perfect example of where the marginal cost of a barrel of oil has risen higher than the current market price therefore the oil, in this instance, will not be produced.

      This is what happens when you reach peak oil.

      • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

        I’m reminded of the “Coffin Corner.”

        The coffin corner (or Q corner) is the altitude at or near which a fast fixed-wing aircraft’s stall speed is equal to the critical Mach number, at a given gross weight and G-force loading. At this altitude it is very difficult to keep the airplane in stable flight. Since the stall speed is the minimum speed required to maintain level flight, any reduction in speed will cause the airplane to stall and lose altitude. Since the critical Mach number is the maximum speed at which air can travel over the wings without losing lift due to flow separation and shock waves, any increase in speed will cause the airplane to lose lift, or to pitch heavily nose-down, and lose altitude. The “corner” refers to the triangular shape at the top right of a flight envelope chart where the stall speed and critical Mach number lines come together.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          Beautiful: We have a new (and apt) metaphor. Coffin Corner, I love it.

      • Frugal says:

        It appears that many people think that the tar sands are a homogeneous blob of tar mixed with sand, and it’s just a matter of building the infrastructure to dig it out. But like all other oil fields, the tar sands have sweet spots that are produced first. And now that the the sweet spots are being depleted, the lesser sweet spots require higher prices, which the consumer is unwilling or unable to pay.

        When I first heard about peak oil in 2005, this is not how I envisioned it to play out.

      • The Wet One says:

        Funny thing is, if a million people moved to Alberta today, other than having nowhere to live, one of the big issues that Total islikely facing in this endeavour which makes it uneconomical (I don’t know this for sure, but it’s a general problem in Alberta) is labour costs.

        This province has a 74% labour force participation rate with unemployment sitting at under 5%. We need skilled labour of all sorts in our economy. There are jobs, jobs, jobs aplenty (not houses for the workers mind you, but jobs).

        If the labour issue could be addressed (and it probably can’t because, like I said, there’s literally nowhere to live, we had tent cities sprouting up a few years ago in our cities, filled will full time employed people), costs would go down (sometimes significantly) for a lot of the oilsands (or tar sands if you prefer) projects.

        I suppose this is a factor of peak oil, but it’s a bit more complicated than just “peak oil.” Alberta really isn’t that bad a place to live, assuming you can get some affordable housing.

        These are the kinds of things your learn when you live in Alberta, go to various real estate forums that deal with housing and growth and development in the oil sand regions of the province and when your day to day occupation brings you into contact with people in all different parts of business and government who point out the problems they face in developing the oilsands.

        In fact, one of the more alarming things I learned a couple of years back is that the development oilsands may become uneconomic simply because long term operations are impossible when the turnover of the workforce is as high as it is. This is because the long term operations take place in a distant, remote area of the country where no one really wants to live full time with their families. So plant operators leave every 2 years, which imposes a huge additional labour cost and disruption. If the operators could just get people to settle down and have a full career there as happens most other places where people don’t mind living, this wouldn’t be a problem. Right now, it’s so bad that it could kibosh the whole project and cause the financing to dry up. It’s a serious enough problem that the Alberta government is pulling out all the stops to improve the community of Fort McMurray and to make available housing (the thing that is massively lacking there).

        It is of course, a lot more complicated and involved than just this, but it’s essentially the same squeeze on resources (in terms of shelter, roads, infrastructure, etc.) you’re seeing in North Dakota. The difference is that the oilsands can be exploited for 20 – 50 years (or however long), and will be. It’s just that it’s going to look like North Dakota for probably most or all of those of 20 – 50 years as the resource is exploited full tilt.

        Just 2 cents from a halfway informed local. 🙂

        • The Wet One says:

          And as a further follow up to this, the very problems in exploiting the oilsands, on land, a mere 500 kms from a major city, demonstrate at least some of the problems that the world will have in exploiting artic oil.

          However, bad Fort McMurray and its environs are, it has to be far more welcoming than oil exploration platforms in the Arctic. The labour issue (assuming similar numbers are needed which I doubt) will be a problem for such operations as well.

          • Paulo says:

            You have to go where the work is. My son is working in and around Ft Mac and has done for the last 10 years. He used to work in the camps, (5,000 men trailer camps), but now prefers to live at a friends home in Ft Mac proper. This way he still makes the big bucks but has a bit of a life when not on the job. Move there? Not likely. He presently has 3 acres on a beautiful river on the east coast of Vancouver Island. We had very little snow this year, almost no bugs, and our biggest hassle are elk eating our cedar hedges.

            Where would you live? In a $750,000.. particle board shitbox on a city lot in Ft Mac, or in a custom riverfront home with a caretaker to keep an eye on things while you are away for 1/2 the price? If you have to work 12 hour days anyway, you might as well work away. Almost every tradesman I know around here commutes to Alberta or to the mines up north. I know of very few who have actually picked up and moved there. The cost of living is just so damn high it isn’t worth it if there is a way to compromise.

            I worked construction in Alberta for a year when I was between jobs. That was back in the 70s. It was awful. I tried to make it work by transferring down to Lethbridge but my wife and I headed for the Rockies every weekend to get away from a town on the edge of a coulee with meat packing plants to the east. One nice winter day we tobagganed down a hill and had to pick out cactus thorns for a day. I went fishing on the Old Man river and my reel froze. The wind blew so hard our framed walls would sometimes topple. You couldn’t pick up plywood without helicoptering off the sub-floor. It was fricking cold, and we kept working outside until minus 25, with one glove off to be able to pick things up. The quality of the construction, as a whole, was criminal. Could I hack it? Sure. Did I stay? No.

            I could drive home to Vancouver Island on #3 in one terrible long day. That about says it all.

            There is a reason why almost everyone goes home and commutes to work. If quality of life is measured in 4X4 PUs full of quads or towing toys, then Alberta is just fine. But there is more to life and living than consumption and extra zeros on pay cheques.


        • Old farmer mac says:

          I envy your good luck in having plenty of jobs for now and for the immediate future at least but given the state of the economy elsewhere I doubt the oil companies will have any trouble recruiting help over the long run.

          If I were footloose and younger-both of which I used to be- living in a camper for a year or two wouldn’t bother me knowing I could save enough money to buy a nice little farm with a house and barn and some fences and so forth already on it in two years.Such farms can still be had out in the boonies.

          I have never worked in an oil field but a truck driver is a truck driver and a heavy equipment operator or mechanic or welder or tool room attendant or bookkeeper or surveyor or carpenter can move from one type of job site to another with very little trouble and be up to speed in a matter of days or weeks at the most.

          This will not be the case with people who are tight oil and gas specialists though.

          How many specialists does it take to run a drilling crew ?

          How many of them could come off of a conventional oilfield job and go directly to work in tight oil and gas without extensive retraining?

          And how many of them actually have to be on site most or all of the time?

          Given modern communications it seems likely an engineer or geologist who makes his decisions based on the readout of sensors on the drill rig and down hole could do his job almost as efficiently from Texas as he could within sight of the drill rig.

  8. B says:

    Exporting Oil Would Lower US Gas Prices And Boost Economy, Says Oil And Gas Lobby

    The study released [by the American Petroleum Institute] Thursday found that 18 U.S. states could gain more than 5,000 jobs each in 2020 from exports of U.S. crude oil, complementing a study released in March predicting that consumers could save up to 2.3 cents per gallon on petroleum products like gasoline, heating oil and diesel. ICF International and EnSys Energy produced the reports for API.

    “When it comes to crude oil, the rewards of free trade are not limited to energy-producing states,” Kyle Isakower, API vice president for regulatory and economic policy, told reporters on a press call. “New jobs, higher investment and greater energy security from exports could benefit workers and consumers from Illinois to New York, especially in areas where consumer spending and manufacturing drive growth [including California].”

    The analysis estimates that two big oil-producing states, Texas and North Dakota, would gain more than 40,000 jobs and 22,000 jobs respectively in 2020, and California, a large manufacturing state, would add more than 23,000 jobs. Texas and North Dakota also top the list for income contribution in 2020, with an estimated $5.21 billion and $4.81 billion respectively.

    Booming output from hydraulically fracturing shale formations, particularly in North Dakota and Texas, has helped the world’s largest oil-consuming nation achieve its highest level of energy independence in two decades. The U.S. will surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s top oil producer by next year, according to the International Energy Agency.

    “Restrictions on exports only limit our potential as a global energy superpower,” Isakower said. “Additional exports could prompt higher production, generate savings for consumers and bring more jobs to America. The economic benefits are well-established, and policymakers are right to re-examine 1970s-era trade restrictions that no longer make sense.”

    • wadosy says:

      “…The U.S. will surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s top oil producer by next year…”

      if that happens, then we’ll only be importing 8 or 9 million barrels a day… seeing as how we’re conusuming 18.5 billion barrels a day, and russia and saudi are producing, each, about 10 million barrels a day…

      so if US produciton exceeds 10 million barrels a day, but we’re consuming 18.5 billion barrels a day, where are we gonna get oil we can export?

      from russia and saudi?

      and first, before we start exporting any oil at all, we have to cover our own consumption, since we’ll still be consuming 8.5 mbpd more than we’re producing

      the main thing is to keep denying, denying denying…

      it’s right out of Goebbels’ propaganda handbook -the “big lie” theory

      • Danlxyz says:

        I mostly agree with your logic, but the numbers are a little off. According to the EIA’s last weekly report,, the net imports (Line 33) were 6,673,000 bopd for the week or 4 week moving average of 6,077 bopd.

      • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

        And net crude oil imports (four week running average) were 7.0 mbpd:

        Total liquids net imports were lower because of product exports, but note that net product exports have shown a huge decline, which I would assume is a result of increasing domestic consumption.

      • wadosy says:

        @ Danlxyz and Jeffrey J. Brown

        are you guys denying that there’s an organized campaign to deny peak oil and global warming?

        what is the magnitude of that crime? …is it a crime in the first place?

        if it results in the early death of billions of humans, are those lies crimes against humanity?

      • The Wet One says:

        The vacuous nonsense is something to behold. If only it couldn’t be captured and burned in a gas tank. It’d be the perfect Rube-Goldbergian solution to our predicament.

    • Old farmer mac says:

      Nobody has to my knowledge ever gone broke overestimating the ignorance and stupidity of the public.

      Some showman said it first.

      • wadosy says:

        so…………….. according to that logic, “two wrongs make a right”…

        if someone in th eplast made a buck or two by lying, then you’re entitled to lie to enrich yourself

        good deal

      • wadosy says:

        lies denying global warming and peak oil are not crimes against humanity…

        the idea of “human rights” is obsolete, anyhow, and it’s ridiculous to think that humans have the right to the truth about peak oil and global wrmng,

  9. wadosy says:

    correction… from “we’re conusuming 18.5 billion barrels a day” to “we’re conusuming 18.5 MILLION barrels a day”

    we blather on and on about “human rights”… we invade countries –“humanitarian intervention”– supposedly to protect the rights of people who are being abused

    is it not a human right to be told the truth about something athat’s gonna drastically change our lives?

  10. wadosy says:

    when does a lie become so big that it’s no longer an abuse of human rights, but is, instead, a crime against humanity?

    • Paulo says:


      If you are a conspiracy theorist you could believe there is a plot to deceive. Or, one could believe in a kind of willfull ignorance…a collective need to go on living as if nothing will ever change. I just think there are a lot of people out there who don’t like to think for themselves unless they really have to, and even then…….


      • wadosy says:

        if anyone had a realistic idea about the remaining oil, it would be exxon… but they’re financing the denial mechanism for both peak oil and global warming

        …in some cases, they’re using the same people who were involved in the tobacco industry’s denial that smoking is harmful


        of course, if people want to believe the lies, then they are obviously inferior stock and need to be weeded out of the gene pool

      • wadosy says:

        the chance that the liars will get away with their lies approaches certainty… they will probably die of old age before peak oil and global warming become undeniable, and besides that, the commotion from the oil wars will cause so much confusion that they’re overlooked

        on the other hand, if people start catching on, the perps can load the gold in the gulfstream and flit off to argentina

        is that a good deal, or what?

  11. Euan Mearns says:

    America energy independence

    I’m travelling, short of time 😉

  12. SouthLaGeo says:

    Regarding GOM production – with all of the new deepwater fields coming on line in the next year, (e.g.- Big Foot, Jack-St.Malo, Tubular Bells, Olympus, and a few other smaller projects) I think we will see production turnaround and get above 1.5 MMBOPD. I have to agree with Ron though – I think it is very unlikely to get up to 2 MMBOPD.
    (Note that a fair bit of industry’s previous years of investments has been in preparation for these fields coming on line)

    • Watcher says:

      Good info.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi SouthLaGeo,


      What do you think of the BOEM’s estimate of undiscovered TRR in the Gulf of Mexico?

      I believe their mean estimate is 48 Gb and their F95 estimate is 35 Gb (and 23 Gb for the central GOM at the 95% probability level)

      • SouthLaGeo says:


        Just came across the 2011 report through this website a few weeks ago. Greatly appreciated,,
        A mean estimate of 48BBO (Gb) of Undiscovered Technically Recoverable oil in the GOM? I just don’t see it. That’s 2 MMBOPD for 66 years?? really??, and the GOM is struggling to make 1.5 MMBO right now. I look at a map of the GOM and just can’t see where it is all going to come from. Maybe one could make the case for 48 BBO of undiscovered Oil-In-Place,,,
        A couple of new plays have surfaced in the last few years – a Norphlet oil trend in the east-central Gulf (Missisippi Canyon and Desoto Canyon – Shell’s Vicksburg and Appomattox discoveries I think are the best so far ) and a Mio-Pliocene subsalt trend in the middle of the Wilcox trend in southeast Keathley Canyon (Anadarko/ Exxon Lucius/Hadrian project is the only discovery I know of in this trend. This project is on track to start producing within the next few years). In both cases, I don’t think industry has been too successful in extending these new trends.
        That leaves the Wilcox as the primary exploration focus, and those prospects are getting deeper and harder to find – and I am sure more Wilcox discoveries will be made (maybe a couple of BBO of recovery??)
        There has been some talk about exploring for targets deeper than the Wilcox, but you can imagine what those depths will be – 35,000′ and deeper??

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          I know only what I read. Supposedly there are about 5 Gb of Proved and another 4 Gb of probable and possible reserves. What about the F95 UTRR of 21 Gb for the central Gulf of Mexico? Do you have a guess on what might be discovered based on your experience? (I am assuming you are a petroleum geologist, I am not.) What about another 10 Gb on top of the 9 Gb of already discovered reserves?

          • SouthLaGeo says:

            Given the fields that are already producing, and the deepwater sanctioned projects that are very, very likely to start producing in the next couple of years, I put a lot more confidence in their proved, probable and possible numbers. (Also, keep in mind this assessment was done in 2011. Probably about 1-1.5 Gb have been produced since then.)

            BOEM’s P95 UTRR of 21 Gb for the central Gulf, is, in my opinion, very, very aggressive. This is supposed to be a very high confidence number (95% likelihood of occurrence).

            It appears that BOEM does this type of assessment every 5 years. Given industry’s somewhat lackluster exploration successes since 2011, I’m quite curious what the 2016 assessment will look like.

            • Watcher says:

              What are the odds 35000 feet plays are oil vs gas? Pretty hot down there.

              Is that built into the proven reserves assessment?

              • SouthLaGeo says:

                I don’t know if BOEM is including any pre-Wilcox potential in the deepwater, but, these deepwater formations are subsalt (5000′ and thicker salt canopies), and salt acts a thermal wick. This results in subsalt layers not being as hot as if they were not subsalt – resulting in better porosity preservation, and deepening the oil window.

                • Watcher says:

                  More good data.

                  • Watcher says:

                    That presumably applies to the subsalt off Brazil, too.

                  • Watcher says:

                    See, guy, there’s a lot of signal here and you added a lot.

                    We are perpetually trying to read past press releases and articles by journalists who can’t possibly understand anything a geologist will tell them, so they call “petroleum economists” for quotes and that’s what we have to filter.

                    With 5K feet salt, why do they have any faith in the seismic imagery? Is that a valid question?

                  • SouthLaGeo says:

                    Responding to seismic comments below.

                    While salt canopies definitely create subsalt imaging challenges, the data acquisition and processing technologies are available now to generate fairly high quality subsalt images.
                    Prior to investing $200MM or so to drill a 33,000′ Wilcox wildcat in the deepwater Gulf, though, oil companies will spend the ~$10s of millions to get the best seismic data they can.

                  • Watcher says:


                    There was a famous NYT article of a few years ago, and only a few, talking about exploration in Africa. I *think* it was 3D results being used then, and with that information they were achieving success (producible wells) 1 out of 4 drillings.

                    The question generally is . . . has there been a technology jump or is 1:4 still the ratio?

              • SouthLaGeo says:

                1:4 is probably a good overall number. In more established trends, like the GOM Wilcox is now, 1:3 may be better, but in more frontier trends, like offshore Liberia or Morocco, 1:5 to 1:6 may be a better estimate of wildcat success rate.

    • SRSrocco says:


      I don’t see why shales wouldn’t be a bubble…. just about everything else in the world is a bubble.


  13. Dennis Coyne says:

    Hi PE,

    See my comment above near your charts for World less US.

    A better way to see how a World estimate of URR changes over time is to keep the number of data points in the HL consistent, let’s take a round number like 20 years and look at World HL from 1984 to 2003, from 1989 to 2008 and from 1994 to 2013. I will do three charts from oldest to newest. This is to simulate how an analyst might have seen things in 2004, 2009, and in the present (obviously a person in 2004 or 2009 did not have data from future years.

    So for 1984-2003 we have the chart below

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      For the 1989 to 2008 World HL the URR increases to 2300 Gb from 1900 Gb 5 years earlier.
      Note that adjusting the starting point to “fit” the data better to 1991 to 2008 increases the URR estimate to 2500 Gb (not shown in chart), 20 years was chosen for consistency.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      For the 1994 to 2013 World HL the URR estimate increases yet again to 2600 Gb.

      Will the increases continue? Is this a method for estimating URR where one uses the result if they agree with it and they ignore it when it does not fit their narrative?

      For more on the shortcomings of Hubbert Linearization see

      and for a longer discussion see The Oil Conundrum at the link below

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        On further analysis of World Hubbert Linearization. I think Politucal Economist may be correct that the World HL seems stable over the 1993 to 2013 period. Several Hubbert linearizationswith a start date of 1993 and various end dates (2005, 2007, 2009, 2001, and 2013) all give a similar URR estimate of 2600 Gb. See Chart below.

        One problem is the inconsistency between the World less US Hubbert Linearization of 2100 Gb and the 2600 Gb result for the World as this implies a URR for the US of 500 Gb, I think a URR of 250 to 300 Gb makes much more sense for the US so possibly the World or World less US is incorrect. In very rough terms it looks like 2350 Gb would be the minimum World URR and 2600 Gb a possible maximum, but an investigation of World minus extra heavy oil would be interesting.

        • One thing about the Hubbert Linearization is that predicts URR not time, not a date when any point will be reached. It does not distinguish between quick, easy and inexpensive and slow, hard and very expensive. But if we are realists then we know that the first half of the oil will be the former and the second half will be the latter.

          That should tell us that Hubbert Linerization cannot predict the date of maximum production. Well, it tells me anyway, you will have to make up your own mind.

          And I am not at all sure that a Hubbert Linerization accurately predicts anything at all.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            Hi Ron,

            I agree. Often people assume the shape will be a bell curve of sorts with the peak at a cumulative output of about 50% of URR. This will not necessarily be the case, note that for the US minus Alaska, the HL for 1980 to 2005 points to a URR of about 210 Gb, at year end 1970 cumulative output was 95.6 Gb so the peak year was at about 46% of URR. There have no doubt been cases where the peak was at a higher percentage of URR (Texas maybe). But the depletion rate can vary with oil price and the economic situation, it does not necessarily remain constant. That is why I prefer the shock model.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          I did the World less XH HL for 1992 to 2013, URR=2400 Gb. This is 200 Gb above Jean Laherrere’s estimate of World minus XH C+C, his estimate is undoubtedly more reliable. Note XH=extra heavy crude from Canada and Venezuela.

      • Old farmer mac says:

        It is my personal opinion that if Hubbert were to be here today he would have some unkind words for all the people who have misused his work either deliberately or ignorance.

        There is no way he could have incorporated new technologies that didn’t exist at the time into any future overall production trends and to the best of my knowledge he never said there would not be more oil discovered in places not yet developed in his time.

        He did say that the shape of the down side of the production curve was an unknown .

        Any early worker in the sciences is generally given due credit for pointing out even things that must be obvious to laymen if not to people blinded by professional blinders like a mule in harness- so long as he makes a couple of good predictions involving time scales and territories and so forth.

        Only creationists or professional busybodies employ their time nitpicking Darwin’s work but all professional biologists understand that he was not right in every detail and that there would be plenty of work to be done by others on evolution.

        Hubbert rubbed the industry’s nose in some basic facts that are easily understood by even a layman.

        Production in any given oil field can rise only so far – to a peak- and thereafter it must decline.

        There can be only so many oil fields in a given geographical area whether it be basin or country or continent.

        Each and every one of them will peak and decline at some point in its productive lifetime.

        Each area must peak and each continent must peak and deep water field must peak although deep water was yet to be exploited back then.

        There is intrinsically nothing wrong with his theory. Tight oil is just another kind of oil that is found in different fields but each field must eventually peak and decline tight oil or no.Ditto tight gas.

        Somehow or another the debates involving Hubbert Linearization seem to miss the basic fact that he is right about his basic premise.Every oil field peaks and declines and every country must eventually peak and decline.

        Hubbert was a professional well acquainted with technology and I don’t think he ever said that the technology of his day would never become obsolete or that the price of oil would never go up.

        Allowing for new technology and higher prices the increased production brought on by tight oil is to be expected and while it may result in a temporary increase in total production- total production is still going to peak and decline.

        I am sure this is an unnecessary rant in the case of the regulars here but if any readers new to peak oil happen to be reading this blog today it may save them some confusion.

        Even very intelligent people who are ill informed in the sciences and ill supplied with the facts in regards to oil and gas can very easily be lead down the primrose path of cornucopianism.

        One of the dirty tricks the cornucopian mouth pieces use is mischaracterization of Hubbert’s work.

        They maliciously credit him with saying things he never said and with drawing conclusions he never drew, with the express intent of destroying his well earned reputation as a serious scientist/engineer / businessman / educator.

        As JB points out often in discussing his ELM model this is a finite planet and there is a finite amount of oil on or in it in a finite number of fields.

        Oil and gas are going to peak and whether tight oil and gas delay the peak a few years is hardly of any consequence at all in terms of the big picture.

        Of course in human terms a few years can and do usually mean a great deal to any given individual.I am personally hoping that the harsh consequences of peak oil don’t come about so fast as to spoil my last hoped for decade of relative prosperity and tranquillity.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Hi OFM,

          The problem is that we continue to ignore the problem. If we can give more accurate predictions maybe people would pay attention, it is a problem if peak oil websites continue to make bad predictions because people stop listening.

          I think Hubbert was brilliant, but that his work has been oversimplified, my guess is that if he used the logistic function to model oil production he did so with all sorts of caveats such as, this seems to fit this current case I am looking at pretty well, but if X,Y or Z happen the model will fail.

          • Dennis I respect your opinion but you are just way, way off base on this one. Predictions by the EIA, IEA, BP, CERA and all other reporting agencies have been way, way off. But people still look at their predictions as if they were sent down from above.

            Yes, predictions by some, but not all, of peak oilers have been off. But that really makes no difference at all to the cornucopians. Their world view does not allow for any peak and no matter what we say or the EIA or anyone else says, they will continue to believe what they desire to believe. As Sir Frances Bacon wrote: People desire to believe what they desire to be true.

            I am predicting that we are at peak oil right now and if I am wrong or right it will not make one whit of difference to anyone outside the peak oil community. After all they are the only ones, the few who bother to read this blog, who will have any idea what I am predicting.

            So in spite of your opinion that, if I am wrong, I am ending the credibility of all peak oilers, I will continue to express my opinion. Because no one outside this small circle of readers really knows what I am predicting or really gives a damn.

            Let us not have visions of grandeur and believe that the world gives a harry rats ass what we are predicting.

            • Old farmer mac says:

              When you get right down to it I am sure Hubbert was an exceptionally competent oil man and very very good at everything he did but whether he ranks as a scientist is entirely open to question in my mind.

              As I see things personally he was more of a man who was not afraid to speak his mind- a man who would take the truth to the king and take his chances on being thrown in the dungeon or shot out of hand, figuratively speaking.Corporate management and government bureaucracies of course don’t actually shoot or jail people these days, at least not very often,but trouble makers do have a way of finding themselves out of work and blackballed or counting pencils in some warehouse out in the boonies.

              Hubbert was far enough up the ladder and senior enough to get away with saying out loud what any idiot should have been able to figure out- production must peak and decline nationally at some point. It isn’t as if all the other engineers and geologists and bean counters in the industry weren’t trained in basic math and used to moving from an exhausted oil field to a new one on a regular basis.

              But SOMEBODY had to say it out loud FIRST.

              Now as far as anybody caring about peak oil predictions- Ron is a little bit on the cynical side in my estimation but only a little.

              Information gets dispersed pretty fast in a modern society but there are many powerful people out there with a very big stake in suppressing peak oil awareness and so far they have been successful to an impressive degree.

              There are however a million academics and editors and pundits out there who are always looking for a safe and effective way to build themselves up professionally or egotistically by tearing somebody else down and once peak oil is reasonably well established as a fact in terms of accepted numbers and statistics provided by agencies such as the EIA or other government agencies then they will jump on the peak oil bandwagon.

              So Dennis has a point to- good numbers will attract the attention of serious bloggers and academics and reporters who are always looking for grist for their mills.

              There will be a substantial portion of the people who will never believe in peak oil of course no matter how much a gallon of gasoline costs or how long they have to stand in line to get it with a ration ticket.

              I will hazard a guess that two years after the time world wide production is down five percent there will be numerous stories in the papers about the reality of peak oil.

              It will take another decade after that for most people to accept the reality that oil is leaving us unless the downside is a shark fin. In that case four of five years will suffice for most people to get the idea.

          • Enno says:

            Hi Dennis,

            “If we can give more accurate predictions maybe people would pay attention”

            I do not belief so, could you provide one example where that has actually happened? I would not value a site/source based on its predictions, but on the presentation of information and quality of analyses. I do value the quality of the assumptions, and models used in making predictions, as it gives insight in the important factors. I don’t think much can be reliably predicted, except in very local domains, or when a wide range of outcomes are allowed.

            I try to ignore most predictions, especially those about the future.

            • Dennis Coyne says:

              Hi Enno,

              I believe that Hubbert’s prediction of a US peak in 1970 got a fair amount of attention. You and Ron are probably right, nobody is likely to pay much attention.

              Anyway the date of the peak is not nearly as important, in my mind as what the decline may look like. We cannot predict its exact shape but if we have a reasonable estimate for World URR, the shock model can be used to construct likely decline scenarios for different future economic conditions. In addition with a reasonably accurate World URR we can see what kinds of depletion rates(extraction rates) might lead to an earlier or later peak. In my mind we can only set bounds on the peak, sometime between 2014 and 2020 would be my guess, it depends on too many factors to forecast accurately, I would be very surprised if it followed a logistic function.

  14. Mike says:

    Thanks for this post, Ron, as always.

    You have probably seen it, but I was thinking you would also like the other EIA report that was just published, addressing the types of crude that are being produced and expected to be produced. I thought the Permian analysis was interesting–skews very light (API 45+).

    Here’s the link:

    • Mike says:

      Actually the Permian production is more like API 40+, but the report shows that in several of the US growth regions, the growth is skewing lighter–all of which has been discussed here before, of course. The EIA’s forecasted growth for each area, and each type of crude is listed too.

  15. I am a great fan of Gail Tverberg and her site Our Finite World. She is absolutely the best one out there explaining the connection to available energy and the economy. But I now think she is getting a little desperate. Her last post: Converging Energy Crises – And How our Current Situation Differs from the Past is really a fantastic post. I loved every word of it. But I had to shake my head in wonder at a small section of it:

    We need help from a Higher Power

    You may think I am kidding with respect to the last item, “We need help from a Higher Power,” but I am not. Our universe seems to have been created by a Big Bang. But big bangs don’t just happen. We live in a very orderly universe. According to Newton’s Laws of Motion, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. We also know that useful energy is balanced by friction. This, in fact, is a necessary balance, or the system would spin out of control. We also would not be able to drive down the road in a car without friction.

    If a big bang happened, it seems likely to me that there was a major force behind the big bang. We can call this force Nature or a Higher Power. I am doubtful that the force behind the big bang would fix the world situation so that humans can continue along their current destructive path on earth. But the force might fix the situation in some other way–perhaps make the transition for humans easier to bear, or produce a new kind of big bang supporting an afterlife for humans as envisioned by various religions.

    Folks who are regulars on this site know that I don’t see any painless way out of the predicament the world finds itself in with overpopulation, declining natural resources, the destruction of the environment and all the other problems Gail points out in this particular post. And I sure as hell don’t think God is going to bail us out.

    • wadosy says:

      used to have it all figured out, but i forgot to write it down…

      then they sawed the top off my head, took my brain out, wrapped it in a new yrok times, and put it in a bucket of molasses to soak…

      after they reinstalled it, my brain is slow and gooey, … i can feel it solidifying into the consistency of peanut butter…chunky

      after that happens, i wont be able to think at all

      then i can peddle my oldest granddaughter to white slavers in fort mcmurray to buy enough opium to see myself out in a stupor

      thank goodness they’ve decided to keep the troops in afghanistan

      • wadosy says:

        maybe I’m reading cheney wrong, but from the little i’ve seen of him on youtube clips, he looks like a worried man

        he signed PNAC’s statement of principles in 1997… he didnt sign “rebuilding amrica’s defenses” that mentioned, in september of 2000, the neocons’ need for a new pearl harbor

        but he was aware of peak oil, as he had to have been as CEO of halliburton… he laid it out in a speech to the london institute of petroleum in 1999… although he didnt use the phrase “peak oil”

        then he becomes vice president… supposedly to provide adult supervision of crusader bunnypants, who’s commonly regarded as an idiot… and then PNAC’s new pearl harbor happens, and cheney is right in the middle of it… bunnypants being kept out of town because he’s too unstable to be in on the gag

        so the logic seeps into the unwashed masses… if peak oil is such a big deal, maybe that’s why the neocons needed a new pearl harbor

        so maybe cheney is a worried man

        who knows

      • wadosy says:

        anyhow… it’s pretty obvious that certain facts –aspects of the truth– are intolerable

        that’s probably the source of gail’s seeming despair… the lies and the liars are so powerful that gail figures it will take divine intervention to overcome them

        oh ye of little faith

        but you can take “back bearings”… you can take note of which aspects of the truth are intolerable and deleted, and that will point you back to the guilty parties

        it’s a time-consuming, tiresome process, but it’s about the only course of action available, so far

        • wadosy says:

          this “back bearning” procedure is built into human nature… for most people, at least… it’s automatic

          that’s what the massive propaganda effort is about, that’s why some aspects of the truth are deleted from the “comments” on blogs… we’ve got to overwhelm humans innate ability to dig out the truth

          the efforts to control discussion wont work int he long run, but that’s why the main belief is in “might makes right”…

          we dont care what people thing so long as we are mighty enough to make them knuckle under…

          …knuckle under to our version of the “truth”

          and that’s how it is… thank you uncle walter

          • Wadosy, I don’t know what the hell is bothering you but it’s getting old. You are always talking about lies, propaganda and truth and sometimes throwing out racist remarks. You sound like a back country fundamentalist preacher blaming all the problems of the world on the sins of others.

            The problem isn’t in “others” the problem is in “us”. No one is to blame for the terrible state of the world. That pattern was set the day we walked out of the jungle, discovered fire and planted our first seed. We were destined from that day to dominate the world and kill off all the other wild creatures. We were destined to multiply our numbers until they were so great we destroyed our world. No one is to blame, we just evolved to be what we are. We are all just obeying our nature.

            Yes, I myself often laugh or cry at the stupidity of others but I do not blame them for anything. They simply cannot help being who they are. No one made themselves the way they are, we are all the product of our heredity and environment. We are not to blame for our genes. We are not to blame for our environment. People are the way they are and you ranting about propaganda and lies are not going to change anything one iota.

            So please stop acting like that fundamentalist preacher trying to blame the problems of the world on the sins of others. We have all heard that sermon before and it is getting old.

            • wadosy says:

              well then, i guess nobody’s to blame for anything, and we all got to acknowledge that we’re a failed species

              no big deal, no great loss if we’re such idiots and there’s no hope of educating ourselves

              good enough

              • A failed species? No we are by far the most successful species that ever evolved. We are so successful that we are wiping out all the other wild species. Simply because we have overshot our niche and will suffer a dramatic die-off in numbers does not mean we are a failed species.

                The rats of East India suffered the same fate when the bamboo fruit was all gone. Did that make them a failed species. No, rats are perhaps the second most successful species, second to us of course.

                Failed species go extinct. Neither humans or rats are in any danger of going extinct.

                Educate ourselves? That is what everyone is trying to do. Everyone is trying to educate everyone else, or trying to get them to buy into their world view, politics, religion or whatever. But the problem is simply in our nature, not in our inability to educate ourselves or others.

                • wadosy says:

                  okay, so we’re not a failed species, and we’re all trying to educate ourselves and each other

                  do you think that globlal hegemony is gonna solve our problems of population overshoot and habitat destruction?

                  are we breaking the biggest egg ever in order to make a colossal global omelette?

                • wadosy says:

                  who has the moral outhority to decide which eggs to break?

                • wadosy says:

                  …or is “moral authority” irrelevant, which accounts for our belief that migh makes right?

                  • Watcher says:

                    It doesn’t make right.

                    It becomes right.

                    The winners write the history books.

                  • wadosy says:

                    …or is “moral authority” irrelevant, which accounts for our belief that migh makes right?
                    .so it was right that europeans cleansed a continent of its natives

                    it will be right if the empire cleanses china and russia of chinese and russians

                    now we understand how it works

                    thank you for explaining

        • wadosy says:

          we know we’re right because of our accomplisments…

          those accomplishments include…

          we are powerful enough to exterminate millions of people more-or-less instantly

          we have invented stuff that’s caused a gross population overshoot

          we have diminished our habitat’s ability to sustain life

          these accomplishments are evinced of our superiority, and our superiority entitles us to decide which eggs to break

          • Wadosy I wish you would knock this crap off. What we have accomplished, as a species, don’t make anything right or wrong. There is no right or wrong in nature. We are a product of natural selection and we are all in the same boat.

            these accomplishments are evinced of our superiority, and our superiority entitles us to decide which eggs to break

            That is sheer stupid nonsense. There is no entitlement in nature it is survival of the fittest. It is true that our advantage over other animals has enabled us to wipe out millions of species and we are in danger of wiping out almost all the rest.

            But what the hell are you bitching about? You seem to be bitching because nature is the way it is. Damn, if there ever was an exercise in futility that is it.

            • wadosy says:

              nuke weapons are a manifestation of nature, and so is the will to use them


              i’m getting the hang of it

              • I deleted your post because you used a racial slur aimed at the Jewish people. We do not do that on this site.

                • wadosy says:

                  neocons have said they intend to establish benevolent global hegemony, although their actions have proved that their supposed benevolence is another big lie…

                  if you’re trying to imply that my condemnation of neocons and fascists is aimed at jews, you’re wrong…

                  there are lots of goy neocons, including jeb bush, joe biden and dick cheney

    • OldTech says:

      Amen brother! I use to believe, but that was 50 years ago.

    • Andy Hamilton says:

      Yes Ron I read Gail’s latest post and like you shook my head at that particular section. It does seem to me that Gail has been becoming more influenced by religious memes (I believe she has commented that she is active within a local Church). Perhaps dealing on a day to day basis with the enormity of the problems we face has driven her to try and seek solace in that direction. Personally I think it is a great shame she should do that, having always been of the belief that religion and belief in supernatural powers intervening on our behalf is one part of the disastrous human compact that has got us in this mess in the first place.

      • TechGuy says:

        “It does seem to me that Gail has been becoming more influenced by religious memes”

        Or she just reach the conclusion that civilization is NOT going to dig itself out of this one and is simply using the reference of a “Higher power” to suggest we are screwed.

        I more or less think she was trying to get those with strong religious beliefs to accept the situation in a last ditch attempt to get a movement for mitigation going. That said, it going to fail.

        • Watcher says:

          Inevitable means inevitable.

          It doesn’t mean “unless this, this, this or this.”

      • Dave Ranning says:

        Memes are like a lancet fluke that rewires the brain of a ant (to climb a grass so it can be consumed by a sheep, and replicated).
        Once one is infected, it is almost impossible to have any other action.
        With religion, a nasty parasite , you are a host for the memes replication.
        We need to give Gail some slack.

    • OscarThreeKilo says:

      I also read Gail’s Blog, and appreciate her well reasoned take on our predicament.

      I see myself as a rider on this bus, and I am listening in on your conversations via the posts and comments to each post. I should disclose that I worked for a Major Integrated Oil Company from 2003 through 2008, and we were plowing money into renewables and conventional technologies alike.

      It appears that my former employer is set to divest itself of a number of “assets” in the near future in order to make dividend payments and maintain “shareholder value”. In a quarter to quarter based business environment, I still believe that some of my former colleagues must know that it’s a form of self cannibalization, and will not be a lasting strategy.

      So Billions in CapEx upstream has had almost no resulting midstream payoff, and so the short term solution is to sell off divisions and spin off holdings to make up the shortfall. Who is going to buy, and how will it be financed? Citi is going to go “All-In” and piss more money away on dry holes? And even if they do find capital, it’s likely a lost cause because there’s no new product to be found to replace what’s been pumped already.

      So let’s look at our underlying reality. Petroleum production enabled the largest human population boom (or bloom) in the history of the planet, and now that resource is no longer available at the same rate of production as it was. When we realize the implications of that condition we have the predictable “Oh Crap!” moment.

      I follow along and read Dennis and Ron argue this detail and that detail, and think to myself “This bus is going to get to it’s logical destination sometime between today and 2035, after that we are pedestrians”.

      Gail Tverberg points to the possibility of a 95% reduction of the population when this cycle resets. Given that my past working life was that of a technical problem solver, I am naturally inclined to try to “Fix It”. Unfortunately this is beyond our ability to “Fix”. I would do well to cope, and there’s little likelihood that I can even manage that if I’m honest. It reminds me of a bit of a serious crisis that I was in the middle of, and thought to myself that it would be helpful if whomever it was that was screaming would just shut up so I could think. Until I realized it was me. People were seriously hurt, but procedures were followed, training actually works, and in the end, new procedures were written.

      No one is really trained for what we are in the middle of at the moment, panic will ensue, people will die. Probably in severely worsening waves or cascading failures. Existing systems and services will be rapidly overwhelmed. If there were a Tornado Warning System for this type of system failure, what could be done anyway? Will FEMA open a shelter with the Red Cross for 7.5 billion of us? I don’t think so.

      In all it’s been a hell of a party though. From 1750 to today we have done some incredible things, we should be proud of some of our accomplishments, and sorry for some of our failures. As with all things in nature, entropy eventually prevails and we reach a final steady state.

      Now, to Dennis and Ron, I don’t know when a specific milestone will be met, or given how well hidden the pertinent real data is, if we can reliably speculate where we are on the curve at any given time. But I sincerely thank you both for providing invaluable data points for me to triangulate to a coarse resolution where we are, and where we’re headed.



      • OldTech says:

        “short term solution is to sell off divisions and spin off holdings to make up the shortfall”

        For years I have been an idiot when I have read earnings per share and thought that it was a meaningful metric. Then today I read that one strategy companies use to boost earnings per share is to simply reduce the number of shares by doing buybacks. And they don’t necessary do the buybacks with their own money. A popular strategy is to issue bonds.

        • Watcher says:

          Very popular at 0% interest rates. You didn’t really think the companies getting their share prices jumped up were actually doing all that much better when so many consumers have no income?

      • robert wilson says:

        Charles Galton Darwin covered this in his monograph “The Next Million Years”. published during the 50’s

      • Dennis Coyne says:


        Your welcome. Note that it is Ron who does the heavy lifting, thank you Ron!

      • Thanks for the post O3K, it was very interesting.

        or given how well hidden the pertinent real data is, if we can reliably speculate where we are on the curve at any given time.

        The historical data we have is very pertinent, relatively accurate and not hidden at all. The hidden stuff is still in the ground. And I think there is less (recoverable) oil left in the ground than has been produced. What we have done in the last ten to fifteen or so years is figure out how to extract the cream off the top without significant decline.

        Just how little recoverable oil is left will shock the world… in my opinion anyway.

    • Old farmer mac says:

      Gail is good at what she does but there is nothing about her work that I have seen that is original or very far different from what other people in the peak resources camp are saying.

      I used to defend her on the TOD site when she was attacked for giving some credence ( any is too much to most ardent green dormers) to oil companies.

      A realist would not take the word of a south or central American politician much faster than the word of the devil himself.

      I have often defended religious people and religion as a matter of course. Religion in historical circumstances has had enormous survival value and people who accept it are not necessarily any less intelligent than those who don’t.They are however generally seriously disadvantaged in terms of education in the case of fundamentalists.That is something beyond their own personal control most of the time.

      When it comes to gods or God and understanding physics anybody who invokes religion has lost all credibility in a serious discussion.

      I met Gail once at a conference where she made a presentation. If I have ever seen a canned presentation that was it and she was extremely reluctant to vary from her script and not at all interested in getting into any serious free ranging discussions.

      All in all she is basically right. We are in a hell of a fix but most of us don’t realize it yet.

      • In the cheap seats says:

        I don’t subscribe to any religion, but for some people it seems to serve a purpose. My ‘line’ is when superstition is used to write and enforce laws.

        I appreciate Gail’s intelligence and her analysis on our finite World. Her site and this site are the two LTG/PO sites I visit on a recurring basis.

        Gail is free to hold her views on anything, including religion.

        ‘Our Finite World’ is Gail’s site and she controls the content.

        On her latest thread, some people’s views regarding religion struck a nerve with her.

        All that being said, this comment of Gail’s on the comment thread of her latest post raised my eyebrows a bit:
        Quitollis –Let’s get off of this topic.


        If we look at religions as an absolute, then indeed, it is easy to find fault with them. But they are a necessary part of our whole system, whether you have an interest in participating in one of them or not. I don’t want to hear any more about how terrible religions are.

        This was a further raising of my brows, the first being the original ‘maybe God will save us…’ talk.

        Maybe it would be better to not wander into the ‘religion swamp’ and get lost…once facts and reality-based prediction/speculation/opinion are mixed with Deus ex machina talk, my assessment of the conversation’s credibility and usefulness tanks.

  16. Watcher says:

    Re: Historical instances of oil shut in events due to above ground influences

    1) 1978-1984, Middle East in general reduced flow from 21.7 mbpd to 11 mbpd.
    Returned to 21.7 mbpd in 1995ish This would be the Iran revolution followed
    by the 8 year long Iran/Iraq war.

    2) Eurasia declined from 16.6 to 13.8 mbpd from 1987-1992. This would be the
    smash up of FSU production. A return to 16.6 mbpd achieved about 2002.

    3) Africa 1978-1982 6.2 to about 5 mbpd. Recovered by about 1989.

    4) Arab oil embargo of 1973, 21.7 down to 19.3 mbpd. Recovered immediately and flat til 1978.
    Africa dropped about 1 mbpd during this event, too, probably Libya.

    Attribution is usually silly, but might as well indulge.

    The point here is yup, it looks like the above ground shut-in totals of today (what, about 1.2 mbpd in Iran
    and 1 mbpd in Libya, plus a few hundred K in Syria or Sudan) are a tiny % of the total in comparison to the
    essential norm of the past 40ish years. We have at most 3 mbpd shut in by upheaval today out of 90ish mbpd.

    Hell, item 1 above was a 10 mbpd drop out of probably 50 mbpd. Those were huge % shut in events.

    Really hard to make a case for present day shut in amounts being in any way compelling about matters economic
    or anything else.

  17. Political Economist says:

    Dennis, thank you for your very interesting graphs. When you do HL for individual regions (say, world less US and US) and then add them up, most likely the results will be different from what you a single HL for the world as a whole. I think this is not only true for HL but true for probably every statistical method.

    Thus, it is not advisable to do HL for world less US and HL for world as whole and then use the difference to imply US URR. I see single HL for the world total as short cut. The more we can divide up the whole into many different individual regions and conduct individual HL, the resulting total is likely to be more accurate.

    I am still puzzled by your above results. I did a quick run using my data for the period 1994-2013 for world less US, it still gives me a URR of 2.1 trillion barrels. I’ll double check and come back to you later.

  18. Political Economist says:

    Hi Dennis, I see that for the second round of graphs you did it for world total not world less US.

    Your 1989-2008 graph yields higher URR than 1984-2003. That is probably because the collapse of Soviet Union resulted collase of the former USSR oil production in the 1990s. That would tend to pull down the back end of the trend line in your first graph but pull down the front end of the trend line in your second graph.

    For 1994-2013, the increase of URR obviously reflects US shale oil.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi PE,

      To be clear all of the charts I posted except one (which was World Crude minus extra heavy oil, where extra heavy is oil sands from Canada and Venezuela, URR=2400 Gb for that chart) were for World C+C not World minus US. For World C+C HL with a start date of 1993 for the HL and end dates from 2005 to 2013 the URR is about 2550 Gb.

    • Dennis Coyne says:

      The point was that over time the perspective changes as we gather more data. We do not know where the future data points will be and neither did we know in 2003 or 2008 where the future data points would fall. Someone in the future could say well we will ignore this or that because of the Iranian sanctions or unrest in Iraq or revolution in Libya, the method in the past has pretty consistently underestimated World URR, we will see in 2018 if the World URR based on HL has increased from the 2013 estimate of 2550 Gb. In 2018, 1993 (or 1991) may not look like the logical starting point for a Hubbert Linearization.

  19. Dennis Coyne says:

    Hi PE,

    If you reply under my comments it will be easier to follow what you are saying. I put up lots of different charts so it is not always clear which you are referring to.

    As I pointed out, I am convinced that over the period you covered shows stability. Whether it remains so, I don’t know.

    As I said I am interested in a World URR estimate. If we get several regions but leave out many large producers it is difficult to make guesses about the future.

    • It would be difficult to make guesses about the future even if you knew to the barrel how much oil was left in the ground. Surely you have heard the term, “it’s the size of the tap that counts, not the size of the tank.”

      • Watcher says:

        Ya, exactly.

        And if you MUST have more oil per day from a field, you’ll get it. You’ll drill 100 feet apart, you’ll use slave labor, you’ll shut off all environmental regulations, you’ll subsidize any company that needs subsidy and you WILL get what you need — until it’s gone. And the shape of output will look nothing like any graphs seen tra la tra la.

      • Dennis Coyne says:

        Hi Ron,

        URR is just a starting point, you are correct the flow rate is what matters, but if someone comes up with a model with flow rates that end up producing 4000 Gb over time, but the actual URR is 3000 Gb (or 2700 Gb as Jean Laherrere estimates), then the model is likely to be wrong. Of course any model of the future is likely to be wrong, the URR is just a useful place to begin.. I also agree it is pretty hard to predict the future correctly.

  20. Political Economist says:

    World Less Top 4 has clearly peaked.

    World Less Top 4 is defined as World total less Saudi Arabia, Russia, the US, and China. In January 2000, world less top 4 accounted for 65 percent of world total crude oil production. In December 2013, it still accounted for 58 percent of world total crude oil production. So roughly speaking, 60 percent of the world total crude oil has peaked.

    The cumulative production of crude oil up to December 1999 is assumed to be 470 billion barrels. Using the assumption and the EIA monthly data, cumulative production up to December 2013 is calculated to be 702 billion barrels.

    Using the entire data range from January 2000 to December 2013, the ultimately recoverable amount of crude oil from World Less Top 4 is indicated to be 1.24 trillion barrels. R-square is 0.897 for 168 observations.

    • Political Economist says:

      The predicted peak month is April 2009, with a theoretical peak production of 46.0 million barrels per day.

      January 2000 production was 43.3 million barrels per day. In December 2005, production reached 46.9 million barrels per day. In January 2011, production reached 47.1 million barrels per day, which is the currently observed peak. In December 2013, production was at 44.8 million barrels per day. By December 2020, production is projected to fall to 41.7 million barrels per day.

      Can the trend be reversed? Europe, Mexico, and Africa are clearly in decline. Canada is included in the above analysis. If the political situation in Venezuela stabilizes (a big if), heavy oil development is likely to be hampered by infrastructure. Even if sanction against Iran is removed (will be a slow process at best), production may never return to pre-sanction levels. Iraq may be the only place that can physically increase production. But it will always be postponed.

      So about 60 percent of the world total has peaked and will lose about 3 million barrels per day between now and 2020. According to EIA, the US may be able to produce 9.4 million barrels per day by 2020, about 2 million barrels more than in 2013. It appears that Saudi Arabia will peak. And if Ron is correct on Russia or even if Russia does not peak but grows very slowly, then PEAK OIL will be here.

  21. Jeffrey J. Brown says:

    World Bank warns of food riots as rising food prices push world populations toward revolt

    Hunger leads to revolution

    What the World Bank is leading to (but not quite saying) is that hunger leads to revolution. When the People are starving in the streets, there is political unrest that can easily turn violent. Because this is a fundamental human reaction, it is just as true in the United States, UK and other first-world nations as it is in Cameroon or India.

    American investigative journalist Alfred Henry Lewis (1855-1914) famously said, “There are only nine meals between mankind and anarchy.” He went on to explain, “It may be taken as axiomatic that a starving man is never a good citizen.”

    What he means is that hunger dispels the illusions of a polite society and unleashes the desperate animal-like nature that lurks inside all human beings. A starving man trying to feed his starving children will at some point abandon all law and order, doing anything necessary to keep himself and his children alive, including engaging in robbery, assault and murder.

    Stated another way, the only reason most people obey laws and agree to live in a socially polite manner is because their bellies are full. Take away the food and all illusions of social friendliness vanish in about nine meals (three days). No local police force can hope to control the actions of the starving masses, regardless of how obedient the population once was when food was abundant.

    • Old farmer mac says:

      ”A starving man trying to feed his starving children will at some point abandon all law and order, doing anything necessary to keep himself and his children alive, including engaging in robbery, assault and murder.”

      Absolutely true in the case of people who have known better times. Maybe not true in the case of people who have lived so beaten down they are certain they will be shot out of hand if they protest at all.

      But true nearly all the time.

      And one of the reasons why if the lefties in this country want my own personal weapons they will have to pry them out of my cold dead hands.I don’t expect to rob and murder in the event things go all the way to hell in a hand basket but anybody who expects the cops to maintain order and protect them in a collapse situation is utterly naive.

      Cops backed up by martial law will not suffice although cops plus martial law will probably keep city water and sewers operative and the grid functioning most of the time.Cops and marital law will probably suffice to keep some sort of food and fuel distribution going..

      Now the odds of collapse in the near future in a country like the US are extremely low- close to negligible in my opinion actually.

      BUT in ten or twenty years???

      In ten years we could be emerging from bomb shelters- the ones of us who have bomb shelters that is.

      In twenty years we could be mostly dependent on rationed food and water and remembering the good old days of eight dollar gasoline and ten dollar hamburger.There is no reason to believe things will be this bad – or worse- but on the other hand there is no assurance things won’t be as bad as this or worse.

      We super monkeys are amazingly good at mismanaging our affairs.

      We could vote in a tea party government lock stock and barrel – or a pure socialist government- or we could spend our time throwing bricks at each other while a new Hitler or Mao or Stalin consolidates his power.

      • Doug Leighton says:


        I’m certain this is well beyond the pale for Ron’s Blog but here goes. Yesterday I was returning some classical music CDs to my neighbour and noticed a crossbow sitting in a corner behind a couch. When asked he said: When things go sour I’m not going to starve while Tom’s got a field of heifers down there.

        Now this is kind of funny when you consider that this guy and Tom are often Bridge partners on cold winter nights. But, it reinforces your view: Hunger won’t bring out the altruistic best in human apes.


    • Frugal says:

      But after starvation really sets in (way after 9 missed meals), most people will no longer have the energy to fight for food. They instead become apathetic as they slowly wither away, and become easy targets for those who haven’t yet reached that stage. I think this scene has played out in parts of Africa.

      • TechGuy says:

        “But after starvation really sets in (way after 9 missed meals), most people will no longer have the energy to fight for food”

        That is incorrect. They have a very strong desire to find food at any cost.

        The Nazis, the Russians (Stalin) and the Japanese used applied forced labor camps with virtually no food until the workers dropped dead. People under starving conditions have thoughts of cannibalism..

        Usually in most situations people don’t have a sudden loss of food. but the amount of food they can eat. They make go from 2000 Cal. per day down to 500 Cal. Per day. They take to the streets in protest and start looting any retail stores that might have food or things they can trade for food.

        • Frugal says:

          The strong desire to find food at any cost may not totally vanish but it won’t do you much good if you don’t have the energy to pursue this. I stand by with what I said.

          • Old farmer mac says:

            Starvation itself and the behavior associated with it most of the time occurs on a continuum. It is probably rare for people to go from being adequately fed to no food at all in matter of days but it undoubtedly does happen.

            I will hazard a guess that most people in the US have enough food of some sort on hand to have SOMETHING to eat for a couple of weeks at least.

            If we ever reach the hell in a hand basket situation in the US a people will no doubt starve in place by the tens of millions but there will also be millions of people who realize that staying put is a sure way to starve and these millions will hit the road on foot or bicycles and most of them will be armed and very very dangerous.

            The place to go if in such a situation would be farm country with a mixed farm economy- some grain some field crops some livestock.

            There will be food of some sort available in such places for a good long while but it will be well protected by locals who are apt to be overwhelmed by out of town friends and family wanting to move back to the old home place.

            Local people will be ambushed and murdered on a regular basis and the remaining locals are apt to retaliate by shooting stranger on sight.

            Cops and martial law are not going to prevent this from happening in the event of an outright collapse of life as we know it.

            And all it would take to bring it about is a few neutron bombs set off almost anywhere over the country at the right altitude.

            If somebody does set off the first one, dozens more of the ordinary type that create lots of blast and fall out will be used too. Maybe hundreds more.

            It is not inconceivable that so called terrorists could provoke one or another country armed with nukes into attacking another nuclear power.

            There are fanatics in the world who would be pleased to see that come to pass.

            • Old farmer mac says:

              As Doug pointed out up thread this is getting pretty far afield for this forum but peak oil and peak resources will result in mayhem ranging from Somalia like situations in some localities maybe all the way up to WWIII.

              History is on my side when I make this statement.

              I do not believe Leviathan is going to roll over and die if tshtf- far from it.

              But the police may well be worse than the dispossessed and the starving who are going to be wandering around if it comes to pass.

              Here is a link that should wake everybody up who thinks the cops are going to look after them rather than themselves.

              When it comes to cops and misbehavior they almost invariably cover for each other to the extent that the child molesting priests could only envy.

              These cops are covering for their own in a case that is obviously what would be considered murder if I had been the shooter.


              This is par for the course of course.

              IF you believe in potential collapse you are an idiot if you are not prepared to defend yourself.

              The cops and the military will defend the public in general.

              If they are handy and they are feeling up to it.

              That does not mean you as an individual.

              There aren’t enough cops and soldiers to maintain order in the event of collapse. Not nearly enough.
              A starving cop with starving kids or parents is going to be as dangerous or more dangerous than a starving civilian. He is most likely to have all sorts of munitions only gun nuts with money are going to have and more training in their use to boot.

              Fortunately although collapse of our industrial civilization is baked into the cake it will probably come about piecemeal and not for a good while yet in places like the US and western Europe.

              Those of us reading this forum today are very likely to live out peaceful lives barring WWIII.

              I can verily easily remember when the biggest problem American farmers faced was a vast oversupply of grain and other staple foods, way more than could be sold or even given away domestically.

              Wholesale prices below production costs.

              • I do not believe Leviathan is going to roll over and die if tshtf- far from it.

                From Wiki:
                The word has become synonymous with any large sea monster or creature. In literature (e.g., Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick) it refers to great whales, and in Modern Hebrew, it simply means “whale”. It is described extensively in Job 41 and mentioned in Isaiah 27:1.

                A biblical word meaning “Whale”. I simply don’t understand your use of this word.

                • Old farmer mac says:

                  Sometimes I forget that most folks don’t spend all their spare time reading the way I do.

                  In case anybody wonders why I am so opinionated politically and economically it is because I have spent most of my non working hours since childhood reading the more important classic books.

                  This is from wikipedia too and you would have found it there if you had looked a bit farther.

                  ”Leviathan or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil — commonly referred to as Leviathan — is a book written by Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) and published in 1651. Its name derives from the biblical Leviathan. The work concerns the structure of society and legitimate government, and is regarded as one of the earliest and most influential examples of social contract theory.[1] Leviathan ranks as a classic western work on statecraft comparable to Machiavelli’s The Prince. Written during the English Civil War (1642–1651), Leviathan argues for a social contract and rule by an absolute sovereign. Hobbes wrote that civil war and the brute situation of a state of nature (“the war of all against all”) could only be avoided by strong undivided government.”

                  This is only the first paragraph of a decent write up.

                  Leviathan is the state the early commie theorists expected to wither away.

                  Leviathan is the military/ industrial / banking/ bureaucratic complex that rules the US today.

                  Leviathan is an evolved life form of sorts, consisting of many people who work together like the ants of a colony. They are fond of referring to themselves as public servants.

                  The only real differences are that a human ant doesn’t HAVE TO BE born into this particular sort of colony and that the colony exploits others of its own species as readily as it does any other resource.

                  Other species generally are not able to organize themselves this way but chimpanzees have developed the barest rudiments of a shared power government in that a few high ranking but still subordinate males can and sometimes do get together and whup the alpha males butt when he gets too far out of hand.

                  I will post a little more of the relevant wiki pedia article is follow up comment.

        • Watcher says:

          Now that’s a link.

    • Caelan MacIntyre says:

      Historically, previous plutocracies didn’t run on oil; their slave/taxed/military/police/other official thug populations didn’t run on oil or need cars that run on oil to get to work to pay taxes to pay the pimps or to buy food grown with oil.
      Slavery-energy was tied to food without oil, except maybe olive oil, and there was plenty of wood & wind for government war fleets that didn’t run on oil either.
      There was also a far lower-human-population and better ecosystem and areas in which to take refuge, and no internet to quickly exchange/form pro-democracy/anti-gov’t ideas/sentiment/molotov/pipe bomb flash mobs.

      I think one catch for any plutocracy is also to keep the population comfortable/brainwashed enough where the level-of-comfort/brainwash does not go below/above certain thresholds– perhaps some that are tied to a typical human’s tribal wiring…
      So, reasonably-edible/tolerable, if tasteless, food in the grocery stores, meat that’s already slaughtered, skinned, de-boned, cut and wrapped; some sort of work that’s easier than the hunt-and-gather, etc.; a developer-shlock home; a gutted Wallmart-oriented small-town community and so on.

      Stuff like that is what degrades in collapse/decline modes, which is what is happening.
      More of a decline-with-a-whimper than a collapse-with-a-bang might be what pans out in the USA, if hipsterism, obesity, general apathy, media-style consumption, and the pseudo and/or neo-tribalism piercings and tatoos are any indication. But who knows. Surprises will abound.

      I see a lot of wild cards and unprecedents from what history suggests and plutocracies (etc.) that have backed themselves into a lot of corners using the same oily ingredient in everything. ‘This time is different’, or at least the grande finale of more-of-the-same, which is still different because it’s the grand finale.

  22. Jeffrey J. Brown says:

    Link to World Bank report:

    International food prices increased by 4 percent between January and April 2014, interrupting sustained declining trends in food prices observed since August 2012. Prices remain in sight of their all-time peak, some 16 percent below their historical record in August 2012.

    International prices of wheat and maize increased sharply during the last quarter, in contrast with generally declining prices of rice. In the case of wheat, such a steep price increase has not occurred since the months leading to the historical peak in the summer of 2012.

  23. Jeju-islander says:

    Here’s an article that will really upset the denialist conspirators on this site.

    > Solar to match coal in China by 2016, threatening fossil dominance

    • TechGuy says:

      “Wuxi Suntech Power expects the cost of electricity from solar modules match to coal-powered stations in China as soon as 2016. If so, we are entering a dramatically different world.”

      Key work is “Expects”! Well China expects its economy to increase for ever. US consumers expected stocks to go to up for ever. Or they expected the value of there homes to go up forever. Take anything said by a financial “expert” or economist and dump it straight in the trash bin.

      Solar only provide power for about 5.5 Hours a day (if including weather, dust, and night). Where does the power for the remaining 18 hours come from?

      • Political Economist says:

        I thought Suntech is already banktrupt. By so-called grid parity, I think it depends on what you’re talking about, solar panels or solar power station. Solar power station is still 3 or 4 times more expensive and there is no chance to have parity in the near future.

        Rooftop solar panels may achieve parity in the near future. But as wind has illustrated, price parity is no guarantee to quick penetration into the market. I think wind growth has now slowed down everywhere.

        If solar development really takes off, it will consume a lot of silver and other metals. Silver price could surge. Chinese workers’ wages begin to rise rapidly. When cheap Chinese labor ends, the manufacture-based solar power will become expensive accordingly.

        • OldTech says:

          Yep. Suntech Is Pushed Into Chinese Bankruptcy Court (

        • Old farmer mac says:

          When you say solar power station do you mean ” solar farm”?

          A country such as China with a totalitarian government run by technically educated people who are aware of the big picture will do things that an economist might not expect.

          If they believe they can ” come out ” on solar power in terms of the biggest picture they will put the resources into it even if it promises to be far more expensive than coal. They may be thinking not in terms of the price of coal today but the price of coal during a hot war when the ships don’t leave port unless escorted and the navies needed to escort shipping just don’t exist.

          Even if they did the offensive capabilities of navies and air forces have apparently far outrun the defensive capabilities of navies these days. A carrier group might be able to protect itself from attack but a convoy escorted by a couple of destroyers almost certainly could not.

          In the US and other developed countries we are stymied by political opposition to renewables. The coal and gas and conventional generating industries have uncountable bought and paid for friends in politics and in the press.

          They are dug in and intend to hold onto their markets and so far they are doing so successfully.

          But in China the situation is different. The conventional industries are not so powerful and the decisions are going to come down from the top mostly.

          If it is cheaper to idle back or shut down a coal or gas plant and run on wind power the Chinese are going to do it and they will take into consideration the cost of importing coal and gas in a world with more people and less coal and gas from one year to the next.

          Another thing to consider is that the Chinese are (not yet at least) spoiled by around the clock around the calendar cheap electricity except maybe in a few of the major industrialized coastal cities.

          They will accommodate themselves to intermittent power far more successfully than we spoiled westerners can hope to.

          I am kind of hard up in terms of cash and would be willing to run my washing machine and clothes dryer – most of the time-when a little green light comes on in my kitchen to save a few bucks but as it is even though I have a perfectly good clothes line within a few steps of the door- I still use the dryer. I am not THAT hard up.

          I strongly suspect most of the people who visit this site are not at all interested in saving a few bucks by rescheduling their chores.

          A Chinese man or woman who has never had electricity or could afford only a couple of lights and maybe a fan will be willing to make good use of intermittent juice.

          They will be willing to run that fan and a couple of lights on a battery as soon as they can afford a battery if that is the choice between running the lights and the fan and sweating in the dark.

          And the country can build it’s stock of infrastructure – everything from houses to factories to water treatment plants- to accommodate intermittent wind and solar power far cheaper than a country such as the US can hope to go back and remodel and refit and refurb old infrastructure.

          If I could afford a Nissan Leaf and be assured of charging it up with wind and solar power at least once a week I could personally go oil, gas and coal free in terms of my own transportation for all personal business except for the occasional week when the wind and sun refuse to cooperate for the whole week.

          People will pay any amount they can manage for certain things. When our old shallow domestic water well went dry a few years back in a drought and we were afraid the backup water from a spring would fail too we paid out ten grand for a new deep well on a gamble that paid off- whereas if we had been on a water line we could have bought domestic water for a couple of decades at local rates for that much money.Longer than we will be around probably.

          But there is no water line on our road and we paid the ten grand.

          I could make a whole lot of use of intermittent electricity compared to no electricity at all.

          I have three large chest freezers and I could use one of them for an ice machine and freeze enough ice with it running and average of four hours a day to use two ordinary refrigerators as iceboxes.

          I could afford to buy a big old trolling motor battery or an even bigger forklift battery and use it to drive a few led lights and my internet connection; it would be expensive to be sure but still far cheaper and easier and safer than a kerosene lamp or candles or just going to bed at dark and waiting for daylight.

          We are spoiled rotten by prosperity and hardly any of us realize that people will gladly pay obscenely high prices for what they simply must have or can have if they really want it and do without something else. Most smokers and habitual drinkers will do without dental care before they will do without alcohol and tobacco for instance.

          I buy the biggest box of laundry detergent when it is the cheapest per ounce .

          But I see poor people buy the little boxes week after week in order to get by until the following week. But a whole lot of them are driving far nicer cars than I have ever owned.

          China will not have any problem for a long long time using all the renewable electricity she can generate.

          And except for highly skilled or professional labor she is not going to have much of a problem with high wages for a long time to come either.

          We don’t have much of a problem with high wages here do we? LOL

          There are still plenty of people willing to work for peanuts in China and more every day in the West.

          When local pay scales do go up- if they continue to go up- in China she will be ready and able to supply the consumer goods her new well paid workers will want with her own domestic industries.

          I don’t know if renewable electricity can ever be as cheap as conventional fossil fuel generated electricity has been in the past but I am dead certain it will be cheaper than fossil fuel juice in the future.

          Sun and wind don’t deplete.

          Boilers and turbines and generators are mature technologies and we cannot expect any really serious improvements in them in terms of either cost or efficiency.

          Wind farms and solar farms are on the other hand relatively new technologies in terms of large scale manufacture and deployment.

          It is reasonable to expect substantial improvements of both technologies in terms of both costs and efficiency in the mid and long term.

          Maybe I am entirely out of my league but I am convinced that wind and solar farms built today in good locations are going to be producing juice for substantially less than it can be produced by burning coal and natural gas within ten to twenty years.

          Remember that inflation is a built in deliberate policy of central bankers and that it is far more apt to get out of hand than it is to vanish.

          The problem with traditional economics is that traditional economists think in terms of ” normal” and define ”normal” by conditions that have prevailed in the past.

          But ”normal” is a word that is going to have to be redefined every few years in the future where as it had to be redefined only on the basis of decades or even centuries in the past.

          Most economists who busy themselves with forecasting the price of food a couple of decades down the road don’t seem to understand that a couple of decades from now ground water for irrigation is going to be a very scare commodity.They seem to think that allowing for a couple of percent inflation is going to be enough to cover the increase in the costs of fertilizers.

          It isn’t going to work this way because we make nitrates out of natural gas and gas is already short. We mine phosphate rock – and we know it is going to be in short supply.We know oil is going to be in short supply and that it takes plenty of diesel to farm and to haul farm products to wholesale markets and to process and distribute them.

          So far as I can see only a fool or a person unacquainted with basic geology, basic demographics ,basic economics, basic politics or history and basic physics could possibly think fossil fuels will continue to be available at real prices comparable to todays prices a couple of decades down the road.

          Of course it is rare that any individual is reasonably well informed in all these different areas.In my own case I got the sciences as part of my professional education and the rest by reading and in hanging out in forums such as this one rather than watching tv every evening.

          So far as I can tell just about all the regulars in this forum possess an educational background comparable to or better than my own.

          But not one out of a hundred men or women on the street has even a foggy idea what the score is in terms of natural resource depletion.

          Renewable electricity is a decade or so ahead of it’s time in terms of conventional market economics.But in a decade– when coal and gas prices are up substantially for reasons of both depletion and politics- renewable electricity is going to clearly be a bargain in terms of cost if not dependability.

          We will figure out ways to make good use of it.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        “Solar only provide power for about 5.5 Hours a day (if including weather, dust, and night).”

        If that were true, then this airplane couldn’t fly all night long!

        Nate Hagens crossed the ‘Ts’ and dotted the ‘Is’ when he talked about ‘Longage of Expectations’… It’s time for people who still think that the proponents of Solar expect it to keep BAU going to adjust to the new paradigm with much reduced expectations! Solar works just fine and it produces energy. However it will never replace oil or allow people to live the way they have gotten used to living.

        Boo Hoo Hoo!

      • Techsan says:

        Austin Energy just signed a large contract for solar PV power at less than 5 cents/KWH, less than the all-in cost of a new gas plant.

        In Texas, solar has peak production right at the time of peak demand (hot afternoon air conditioning), and wind is best at night.

    • OldTech says:

      Speaking of solar I see that Solar Roadways has successfully got their seed money using crowd sourcing and federal funding and will proceed with building solar panels that will be installed in roadways (a joke? it does not sound like it). One use is to melt snow and ice. Another use is to provide traffic signaling. From

      From their site:

      Our long range goal is to cover all concrete and asphalt surfaces that are exposed to the sun with Solar Road Panels. This will lead to the end of our dependency on fossil fuels of any kind.

      We’re aware that this won’t happen overnight. We’ll need to start off small: driveways, bike paths, patios, sidewalks, parking lots, playgrounds, etc. This is where we’ll learn our lessons and perfect our system. Once the lessons have been learned and the bugs have all been resolved, we’ll plan to move out onto public roads.

      Imagine one major fast-food chain retrofitting their parking lots across the nation: an all-electric vehicle (EV) could now recharge in those parking lots when needed. This removes the range limitation for EVs (eliminating their need to be recharged at home every night) and makes them far more practical. People would be more likely to trade in their internal-combustion engine vehicles for all-electric vehicles.

      Other businesses would see the advantage of retrofitting their parking lots: they could either go off-grid or put a huge dent in their monthly electric bill. They would also attract more customers, who would eat or shop in their stores as their EVs recharged in their parking lots. As more businesses jump on board, the EVs become more and more practical.


      • thrig says:

        My my, such twaddle.

        “This will lead to the end of our dependency on fossil fuels of any kind.”

        Heh! How are the solar panels mined, made, and transported? By bicycle and hand labour? Or perhaps moreso by China burning 70% coal for its energy? And how ever will the concrete and asphalt roads themselves be maintained if there’s no fossil fuels of any kind? Asphalt is a petroleum product, and the alternative bioasphalt is “uncompetitive economically” per a quick look at wikipedia. Can’t imagine why car owners might object to higher prices for their fossil-fuel free roads, nope, not at all.

        “Imagine one major fast-food chain retrofitting their parking lots across the nation”

        Or how about those fast-food chain stops selling toxic food to overweight unwalkers? Hey! Then there wouldn’t be real estate wasted on a parking lot that then does not need to be covered with expensive solar panels. Alas, such sensibility appears rather lacking in America. Supersize, sir?

        “EVs become more and more practical”

        Oh, back for sloppy seconds after failing in the marketplace to oil around a century ago? More a reflection on the decline of oil than the assumed viability of EV at current expected levels of conspicuous consumption.

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  25. TechGuy says:

    Richard Heinberg on RT discussing Peak Oil. Discussion starts at about 3:40

    • And right after Richard Heinberg’s talk James Hamilton gives a very good presentation. He says the Keystone Pipeline is much safer, much more economical and would emit much less CO2 into the atmosphere than rail.

      I agree.

  26. Doug Leighton says:


    Recently the notoriously conservative IEA announced two-thirds of presently known fossil fuel reserves can never be burned if the world is to avoid an intolerable rise in global temperatures: Up to six degrees Celsius (business-as-usual scenario). At the same time, UN scientists claimed that we’re looking at a world population increase of roughly the present numbers living in China and India by 2050: Only 35 years hence.

    I’ve no intention of discussing these reports but I will say that I’m forced to accept the findings because they are a consensus result by a large number of scientists who specialize in these areas. Is anyone on your Blog qualified to dispute these conclusions?

    With these and all the other issues (like PO) overhanging the political-economic landscape, how can anyone with a straight face make mid-long term predictions about the future that have any credibility whatsoever? A pandemic, for example, would have immediate worldwide and drastic ramifications: All negative. I mention this because talking to me doctor recently he mentioned civilization is sitting on a treacherous teeter-totter respecting infectious diseases; perhaps it’s a sort of Red Queen effect?

    There are numerous other issues waiting to test us. Maybe, Old Farmer Mac sees better into the future than anyone here. Or, perhaps you are with your apocalyptic vision. As an engineering student and later studying geophysics, professors would always smile at our fancy solutions to complex (multivariate) problems — unless we were working from first principals. A world facing innumerable catastrophes (potentially) cannot be modeled, at least in my opinion.


    • Doug, please feel free to discuss any report you desire. I agree with you. Of course all those people will never live in China. The collapse will happen long before it gets that bad. But what really astonishes me is some people who are fully peak oil aware still think we will pull out of this mess.

      Doug, when the peak oil folks are in denial, that is really deep, deep, denial. I mean when you know what is happening, and see the danger and then still believe “science will think of something”, or as John Michael Greer once stated when I posited a fast collapse instead of his “slow stair step collapse” scenario”, he said, the government won’t let that happen”, then there is really a problem.

      Or, perhaps you are with your apocalyptic vision. Well hell no, I don’t think the government will let that happen. 😉

      • Watcher says:

        Don’t know where the complacency comes from. Looks to me like most survival talk is useless and prepping done wrong, so it’s even worse than thought.

        This is not rocket science. When the trucks don’t bring food, the gov’t may or may not be able to act. Why would they not act? Because the cities are Democrat and the rural areas are not, and the GOP folks will caucus and say . . . why are we taking huge steps to authorize confiscation of diesel for the purpose of taking food from our voters and shipping it to their voters? Ya, we have enough food locally, but if the diesel goes to NYC, we can’t ship food to Dallas. The bad news is that’s a very legitimate question.

        The BAU perspective generally devolves to a single presumption — we can get along with less. Well, gasoline consumption is down, but we haven’t really gotten along well. Economic descent looks pretty clear when you have to print $50 B per month in the 6th year of alleged recovery to stay alive, and the slightest reduction in that amount generated -1.0% GDP in Q1. So . . . gasoline consumption decline did not happen painlessly. Further reduction will be even less painlessly.

        The buzzphrase is “transition”. What that really means is transitioning from 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit to 75 degrees Fahrenheit after the toughest and smartest of the city dwellers flow outward looking for food. Of course, quite a few of the BAU Transitionists live in the cities and won’t be among those tough and smart people headed out. They’ll just do the temperature transition where they are — the ultimate shelter in place.

        • Perk Earl says:

          “Economic descent looks pretty clear when you have to print $50 B per month in the 6th year of alleged recovery to stay alive, and the slightest reduction in that amount generated -1.0% GDP in Q1.”

          That’s what I think too, i.e. a reduction in QE is having a direct effect on GDP. I don’t understand why there aren’t articles connecting the two. It’s going to be endlessly fascinating if 2nd qtr. GDP numbers come in low too – then what do they blame that on. A warm spring?

          Are you of the same opinion that the govt. figured out 1st qtr. GDP was actually slightly below 0, but they know the definition of a recession is two successive qtr.’s of minus GDP, so they fudged it up to .1%? So even if the 2nd qtr. is a minus number they still have the 3rd qtr. to try and change it to a positive number without having to admit a recession. Pretty darn desperate!

          • Watcher says:

            Actually, I think oil north of 100 bux most of Q1 smacked GDP as hard as QE taper.

            As for manipulating for a short term headline, nah. Those folks don’t go to work to lie, probs with GDP are more systemic than manipulative — though, hmmm. Wasn’t there supposed to be an investigation internally at BLS about the big 0.3% decline in unemployment rate in the last report pre 2012 election? Where are the results on that?

            The more macro question is why in the 6th year of 500+B-1T fiscal stimulus and 500B-1T monetary stimulus is it thought even remotely possible to have a -1% quarter.

            Answer: economics is bogus and is driven by physics.

            • Dennis Coyne says:


              The fiscal stimulus was not enough, when both federal and local government spending are taken into account the fiscal stimulus was much less than 1 trillion, most state and local governments had to cut back because balanced budgets are required by law in most places and the recession resulted in lower tax revenue so lower government spending.

              The monetary stimulus is very small when interest rates are close to zero. It is called a liquidity trap.

              Government spending in the US was 52% of GDP at the end of World War 2, that is what got us out of the Great Depression, not that before the Great Depression Government spending was about 12% of GDP so government spending relative to GDP increased by more than a factor of 4. Before the Great recession Government spending was at 35% of GDP, the necessary fiscal stimulus was probably about 3 times larger than what actually passed by Congress.

  27. Old farmer mac says:

    Thanks for the kind remarks. Ron may very well be right. I am pretty much of a doomer myself but nevertheless I believe that since there is still plenty of coal and that we have the ability to run on coal and renewables if we manage things properly.

    Industrial civilization can conceivably and may survive indefinitely on a limited basis-given a good bit of luck in dodging the biggest bullets such as a nuclear WWIII.

    I am sure most of the human race will not survive the next century barring miracles of the political and technological sort.We are going to run too short of too many one time gifts of nature for any other possible outcome barring miracles that just aren’t in the cards.

    I can sum up my way of thinking in a few words when you get right down to it. The first insight is that the physical scientists are going to win every time when they confront the social or soft scientists and politicians and and cultural business interests on any issue at all ranging from the nature of the solar system five centuries ago to global warming over the next century.

    So you first must have a good grasp of the abcs of the physical sciences. Agriculture majors get a generous dose of chemistry, physics, and biology. A course in soils necessarily touches heavily on geology for instance.The first textbook I used in a soils class was a geology text.More than half my course work was in the sciences.

    The second insight is that while circumstances change the more things change the more they stay the same- because human nature does not change.

    Since the physical and life scientists are always going to win the people who are doing evolutionary psychology are going to prevail over the people who have not yet realized in their intellectual guts that we are just highly evolved animals with brains that are programmed by a hundred million years of evolution to behave the way we do.

    The neocortex can advise the lower brain centers but it cannot boss them around. ” Us and them ” will almost always trump facts and figures in terms of predicting human behavior.

    EO Wilson and Stephen Pinker know more ten times more about human behavior that all the idiots combined that ever lived who ever gave such foolishness as behaviorism and the blank slate a second thought.

    Given that human nature does not change- not fast enough to matter at least- and that we now have a good scientific understanding of what human nature is all about we can easily predict in general terms what people are going to do in various circumstances.But we didn’t really have to wait for the evolutionary psychologists to explain our behavior. The authors of classical literature from the earliest recorded times on till today have always understood it.

    There is more wisdom – and more foolishness too of course – in the King James Bible when it comes to understanding man and woman than there is in a whole library full of the psychology and sociology texts that are were in use when I was an undergrad. Skinner was a certifiable idiot compared to Mark Twain or Shakespeare or Dostoevsky.

    So if you know the abcs of the physical and life sciences and you enjoy reading history and the great books you will probably think pretty much the same way I do.History doesn’t necessarily repeat itself but it most certainly rhymes and anything that people have done in the past they will do again given the same motivations and similar circumstances.

    Here is a link to an article about the historical background of the current behavior of the Chinese nation. It parallels the behavior of the United States over the last couple of centuries so closely it might as well be described as history repeating itself detail for detail.

    (Another insight is that just because the modern so called conservative political camp is controlled by big business with a life and death stake in the status quo this is not proof that all conservatives are dingaling flag waving cave dwellers.Don’t let the name of the publication keep you from reading this article.)

    Anybody who doesn’t take this sort of thing seriously is either ignorant of it or utterly naive in my estimation.

    If it weren’t for the fact that both we and the Chinese are nuclear powers I would predict that we would be fighting them within twenty years.Hopefully the threat of MAD- one of the very few new things under the sun- will keep us separated into eastern and western spheres of influence.

    It may prove to be a very good thing that we have leaders these days highly skilled in twisting plain language into pretzels because if we can’t extricate ourselves from the defense agreements we have made all over Asia we are going to be belly to belly and nose to nose with nuclear China in her own backyard.

    Any miscalculation or just an accidental weapons launch by either side could mean the end of the world as we know it.WWI was started with a pistol.

    • TechGuy says:

      “Industrial civilization can conceivably and may survive indefinitely on a limited basis-given a good bit of luck in dodging the biggest bullets such as a nuclear WWIII.”

      I find that this assumption is nearly impossible. Virtually all industries depend on resources that need to be transported hundred or thousand of miles away. A manufacturing plant likely imports its energy by 500 or more miles away (electricity, NatGas, Coal etc). The materials it needs are also imported (Plastics, metals, solvents, machine tools, replacement parts, and semi-finished goods that it does not manufacture on site). Unless a factory can source all of the resources it need to function locally or at least regionally its not going to be able to function.

      Our entire economy is now based upon just-in-time (JIT) for production and transportation. In order to save costs and reduce warehousing. Manfacturing only sources the materials it needs to produce the good its needs to fill demand. Virtually all manufactured goods contain parts that are sourced all over the word. For instance a dozen parts are sourced from China, others from Japan, Korea, and Europe. The same is true with raw materials. China imports coal and iron ore from Australia, the US, and Canada.

      That said,who is going to buy the products? As transportation fuels become rationed or inaccessible, few people will have jobs and fewer will have money to buy goods. The industrialized world is drowning in debt and there is no means to pay it back with out cheap energy. At best a few ad-hoc factories will remain producing “must-have” products (that are essential for food production, shelter, or defense). These will more or less be producing 19-century type goods.

      Its extremely unlikely WW3 will be avoided. We have not yet breached peak transport fuels and we are already marching to war. The US has invaded or destabilized about a dozen countries in the US in the past 13 years, and just recently, started a proxy war with Russia in the Ukraine, China is threating Japan, and the Philippines with war over off-shore gas & oil fields, and has taken over Vietnam’s off shore waters to drill for oil and their fishing regions. This trend is not going to reverse once we are are on the decline slope. In order for Governments to stay in power they must meed the demands of the people. Since Government leaders don’t want to end up swing from a rope from a lynch mob, they will take resources by force, or send its population to fight a war to distract them from domestic problems.

      • Old farmer mac says:

        Hi Tech
        Your arguments hold water quite well if you assume collapse comes fast and furious and happens at about the same time all over the world.

        I believe collapse is coming and that no country is going to escape the consequences but that it is going to come piecemeal over decades or even half a century or longer and that countries such as the US -which actually has plenty of domestic resources of many kinds- will have an opportunity to retrench and adapt to the new circumstances.

        In 1960 or so a washing machine was most likely built here in the US using nothing imported except maybe some copper. We can easily go back to that sort of washing machine if we have too.We can lay railroad track in a hell of a hurry if we approach the job under wartime rules.

        Electronics and just in time are not necessary to commerce. Doing away with both will put a lot of unemployed people back to work.

        And that giant military industrial complex virtually guarantees nobody is going to mess with us or Mexico or Canada -even if we cut it by half or even more.

        Terrorism is the result of our meddling in domestic affairs overseas and political correctness at home. When tshtf we will quit meddling and kick out the people who just might be terrorists(Life ain’t fair.) and not allow any more people in from places where we did a lot of meddling. As a matter of fact we probably won’t allow hardly any body to come in for more than a visit unless they happen to possess critical skills.

        There is really no reason we can’t get by with coal based synthetic fuels for really essential work- commuting in a car that gets only twenty or thirty mpg is not going to be considered essential. We can build mass transit pretty fast if we have too – a single nice motor home costs pretty close to as much as a good bus. Cars will not be very common and the ones that are on the road will get well over a hundred miles per gallon of synthetic or biofuels- they will be similar to the experimental VW that gets over 200 mpg.

        Fifteen or twenty thousand bucks spent on energy efficiency instead of a new car that is not really needed will result in an average house using half as much energy as it does now. I don’t use it much but I do have a clothes line.

        I could sell enough firewood off my little farm to keep twenty or twenty five houses heated on as sustainable basis if they were to have chimneys and wood stoves added.

        If we have to we can live just fine on a quarter of the meat we eat now and we will be healthier for it – in the meantime cutting the need for grain in half.

        Almost any kind of machinery can be built to last just about forever with repair and maintenance rather than needing replacement every few years.We are using a tractor built in 1957 with no problems and commercial trucks last a million miles in constant use. Light trucks can be built to last just as long or for the life of the owner.

        We don’t even need half of the junk we buy. My brother (deceased ) and another relative used to build rustic furniture. It didn’t cost any more than the stuff imported from China considering it was never boxed up and shipped and retailed and that there was no advertising or any other lost motion involved. The timber was cut locally milled locally the furniture made locally and sold locally directly to the end user.It will last indefinitely- hundreds of years at least if cared for since it is constructed of nice thick hardwood carefully fitted and screwed with brass screws only.

        The debts will be repudiated outright or inflated out of existence.New currencies will come into existence.

        I am not saying that we or anybody else WILL survive and continue to enjoy an industrially based civilization. But I will continue to maintain that it is possible and that the odds against say a Fortress North America emerging and hanging on are not astronomically high. The odds of such and alliance coming into being and the US , Canada and Mexico getting by ok for the next couple of centuries at least might not be bad at all.

        (But on the other hand the climate may go so crazy only a few survivalists- people able to live like my great grand parents lived – will be left at high elevations up north.

        About the only things they bought were a few hand tools and nails and maybe a gun and a clock . A few very basic luxuries such as coffee and sugar and maybe a pair of factory made shoes for church.Window glass and nails.They made or grew just about everything else.)

        Belly to belly and nose to nose confrontations between major powers are going to be avoided like the plague because of the possibility of Mutual Assured Destruction.

        War is inevitable but WWIII may not come and if it does it may be a century or more getting here because all the major powers are nuclear powers now.

        This author is a sound thinker and has a lot to say about our past behavior and China’s future behavior. China is probably going to get her way in her back yard just as we have always gotten our way in our own backyard.

        We can’t stop her. She can’t stop us when geography is taken into account.

        One thing is for sure. Life is going to be very interesting for the next century or two.

        • War is inevitable but WWIII may not come and if it does it may be a century or more getting here because all the major powers are nuclear powers now.

          War is not inevitable. There is no way we can possibly know what politicians may do. We know what the earth is likely to yield in the form of fossil fuels, we know there will be a peak. We know economies will collapse. But we cannot possibly know what goes on in the minds of the politicians in power. They might go to war and then again they might not.

          Your link is to “The American Conservative”. Now I know why you are beating war drums. The far right are always beating war drums. Folks on the left, like me, are beating always beating drums of peace, but we know there is no way of predicting what goes on in the heads of politicians. So there may be war, then again there may not be. I hope not.

          • Old farmer mac says:


            You probably have this publication confused with some other publication.

            The fact that the word ” conservative ” appears in the title is not evidence that the contents are dictated by the current so called conservatives that dominate American politics.

            BY their ( the ones in charge these days) standards I am a lame brained liberal who believes in global warming, socialized medicine, food stamps and gasp !!!!!!!!!!!! the EPA monitoring what is dumped into the water we drink.

            The tone of the article is highly isolationist and the general position of the magazine is isolationist. I am left guessing you have never read it.

            This article could have been published without raising an eyebrow in any mainstream to left extreme liberal publication except for one thing- it is quite not politically correct enough.

            The author points out the past real world expansionary sins of the good ole USA – which is pc commendable but he does not pretend that China will play nice now that she is powerful enough and in a position to play dirty. So he is not going to make it as a guest at NPR – which incidentally is the only radio I ever listen to these days except a blue grass station occasionally.

            Now you are one of the smartest people I know but you say collapse is inevitable – and in another breath say that what is in the minds and the actions of politicians cannot be predicted. I see somewhat of a contradiction here .

            The collapse of business as usual is unavoidable for sure. Civilization may collapse all the way back to the early iron age or so ( no further because there will be so much refined salvageable metal around for millennia) or we may even go extinct.These scenarios are distinct possibilities for sure.

            Now any given politician or any given group of politicians may manage to avoid war between their countries-I am highly hopeful that the threat of Mutual Assured Destruction will prevent WWIII indefinitely.

            But it takes only a couple of people in the right positions to start a war between two small countries and there are so many countries and so many people in them that it is a statistical certainty that war IS inevitable and war has a way of spreading like a wild fire.

            IF we are very lucky the ones that are going to happen will burn themselves out but it is ALMOST inevitable that a few of them will spread and that a lot of other countries will become entangled in them.

            It is difficult to have a good discussion of what collapse means because it means different things to different people and they are thinking on different time scales as often as not.

            I have not and never will argue that things won’t go totally to hell in a hand basket; I have pointed out here that I have materials and equipment on hand to build a bomb shelter and am prepared to do so on short notice.Actually I should have built it years ago but I am not that concerned about war in the short term and my life is short term.

            I t is extremely unlikely in my opinion that collapse will happen like a lightning strike. Detroit and Somalia have collapsed and Bangladesh is in such a state that most of the people there would hardly even notice the difference.Ditto rural China.New York is ok for now at least.

            Collapse- however we define it- barring nuclear war- is going to be piecemeal and people who find themselves in an obvious do or die situation who have a good long while to DO generally actually DO DO. There is a pun intended here that can be interpreted in different ways, lol.

            IF we never build another combine or tractor or tractor trailer or dump truck there are enough in existence with good management
            (((remember we cannot predict what politicians are thinking or what they might do 😉 )))) to take care of our ESSENTIAL NEEDS for decades.

            We only need most of the junk we buy these days because producing it keeps people employed. In the event we don’t have it available any more we will continue to live – on state charity to be sure in many cases but I doubt widespread starvation or death by exposure is in the cards in this country at least for the foreseeable future.

            Essentials do not include beer hauled a thousand miles and soft drink and potato chip deliveries or paving driveways or building football stadiums of course.

            Beer – better beer mostly- can be brewed anywhere without hauling tons of water all over creation. And we Yankees can easily live on one quarter of our gross farm production by cutting way the hell back on beef and pork and even chicken.

            The state (Leviathan ) is not going to just roll over and die like a helpless beached whale. Oil production is not going to just stop overnight. Nothing is going to stop overnight unless it is stopped by nuclear war.

            I cannot pretend to know what the world will be like in a few centuries but peak oil and peak resources are not going to stop industrial civilization dead it its tracks.If it dies- and it may- it will probably be a century or more in the process.

            And a lot of things can happen in a century.

            It is even possible that politicians might actually get together and cooperate in making a few good decisions.Those decisions might be backed up by the power of a police state. Most likely they will be in the parts of the world that do not go all the way to hell in a hand basket- if indeed there are any such parts of the world.

            Collapse is going to mean the early death of billions of people barring miracles on the political front.Given such miracles we could actually prevent these deaths- simply by forcing women to stop having more that one child immediately to stop population growth and allowing old age to take care of the demographic problem.

            Couldn’t be done? Not without draconian force of course and probably not even then.But it might be possible to load up all the big bombers we have sitting around and SPRAY the cities where most of the people are with a pesticide that induces sterility.

            Now that would be a pretty drastic thing to do- but foresters who are fighting fires do the same sort of thing when they set backfires and generals have done it often when they have sent a bunch of troops to near certain death holding a piece of ground essential to allowing the rest of their army to withdraw from a losing battle.

            If the electrical grid goes down and stays down in this country most of the population will probably starve or die in a mad max scenario within a few weeks or months.

            But it won’t stay down forever- it will still physically exist and there are enough spares excluding big transformers to get it up again on a limited basis and the transformers last for decades at least. There was a grid before there was a transistor never mind a computer.

            The parts needed may not exist but the drawings for them do and they were made in pre WWII factories which can be recreated in a decade or less.There are plenty of machine tools that are used to make car parts that can be diverted to making electrical generating machinery.

          • TechGuy says:

            Ron Wrote:
            “War is not inevitable. There is no way we can possibly know what politicians may do.”


            Unfortunately we are already at War. Iraq (insurgents), Afghanistan (insurgents) , Iran (via cyber-attacks, cladestine operations), Libya (insurgents), Syria (Paid foreign fighters), Yemen (secret war , drones), Qatar (secret war, drones) , Ukraine (proxy). I am sure I am missing a few others. Its hard to keep track of them all! Virtually all of its is related to energy resources and preserving the Petro-Dollar.

            We can’t predict what the politicians will do, but they have very long historic record of going to war when faced with resource shortages or economic problems. I doubt this time will be any different.

        • TechGuy says:

          OFM wrote:
          “I could sell enough firewood off my little farm to keep twenty or twenty five houses heated on as sustainable basis if they were to have chimneys and wood stoves added.”

          Banned by the EPA!

          “The EPA has recently banned the production and sale of 80 percent of America’s current wood-burning stoves, the oldest heating method known to mankind and mainstay of rural homes and many of our nation’s poorest residents.”

          “Most wood stoves that warm cabin and home residents from coast-to-coast can’t meet that standard. Older stoves that don’t cannot be traded in for updated types, but instead must be rendered inoperable, destroyed, or recycled as scrap metal.”

          [I think by 2018 or 2019 the emissions controls increase so that its impossible to meet the regulation. Thus wood burning is getting banned]

      • Lloyd Gray says:

        Its extremely unlikely WW3 will be avoided. We have not yet breached peak transport fuels and we are already marching to war. The US has invaded or destabilized about a dozen countries in the US in the past 13 years, and just recently, started a proxy war with Russia in the Ukraine, China is threating Japan, and the Philippines with war over off-shore gas & oil fields, and has taken over Vietnam’s off shore waters to drill for oil and their fishing regions.

        The latest conflicts should have proved to US political and military thinkers that it can no longer prevail (in a cost-effective way) in a war on another continent. I think that resource wars will play out as local conflicts. The only place the US will invade for resources is Canada. I mean, think about it- if we were one country, it would be the largest oil producer in the world. It would leave the combined country with 13.87% of the oil production and 4.8% of the population (2013 figures.) Without Canada, it’s 10% of the oil for 4.4% of the population. You’re getting all of our production available for export now- in fact, as we import on the east coast because of transportation costs, the US currently gets more than 100% of our oil available for export. Ten years from now, our production will still be rising, and yours will be in free fall. I don’t have a carefully modeled guess for what those numbers will be, but I am sure they will look worse than they do today.

        There will be no better bang for the buck than annexing us. And the numbers will only grow more appealing with time.

        No one else can conveniently steal our oil, and by the same token, it will be hard for the US to steal anyone else’s. More to the point, however, is that it will not be in the interests of the US to allow Canada to sell its oil on the world market or at world prices. It may not be annexation, but our sovereignty will be interfered with. There are any number of scenarios where the US decides Canada is doing something it can’t abide- closing in production to fight global warming, giving precedence to Asian contracts, looking at the border funny…it won’t take much.

        So no- I don’t see World War III coming. But it doesn’t actually make me feel any better.

      • Perk Earl says:

        Good post, TechGuy. What is amazing along the lines of what you outline is how fast events are unfolding that pit one country against another. Things are really changing fast! There use to be a much broader willingness to avoid confrontation between countries, which is quickly being replaced by a willingness to face off and hold new ground in a desperate attempt to keep BAU going.

        The problem as I see it, is the writings on the wall regarding declining net energy and it’s influence on the world economy, so it’s just a matter of time until there will be collapse. That being the case it seems very unfortunate that between now and when collapse occurs towards localism, many military confrontations will take place. How out of hand those actions become remains to be seen, however with everything to lose at the pinnacle of civilization the stakes could not be higher, so the aggression will most likely match the state of desperation.

        Imagine a country like China as this situation deteriorates with potentially hundreds of millions suffering food shortages with chaos beginning to envelope their cities, tempers by TPTB will be very short and inclined to react extremely fast and harshly, i.e. war. I use to think things could contract without war, but I now see from events taking place that war is part and parcel, inevitable. Whether it gets to the point of using nukes is hard to say, but certainly it will elucidate extreme action.

  28. Jeffrey J. Brown says:

    An item linked on

    EIA: U.S. petroleum product exports to Mexico rise while Mexican crude exports to the U.S. fall

    The United States imported 850,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) of crude oil from Mexico in 2013, the lowest volume since 1993. In the past decade, U.S. crude oil imports from Mexico fell 47%, primarily as a result of declining production of crude oil in Mexico. Despite the decline, Mexico was the third largest source of crude oil imports to the United States in 2013, behind Canada and Saudi Arabia.

    My comments:

    Mexico’s net exports fell from 1.8 mbpd in 2004 to 0.7 mbpd in 2012 (total petroleum liquids + other liquids, EIA).

    At the 2004 to 2012 rate of decline in what I call the ECI Ratio (ratio of production to consumption), Mexico would approach zero net exports around the year 2020.

    A 24% decline in production from 2004 to 2012, plus a slight increase in consumption, resulted in a 61% decline in net exports. Yet another example of “Net Export Math.”

    Incidentally, the combined net exports from Saudi Arabia + Canada + Mexico (the three largest sources of imported oil into the US) fell from 11.4 mbpd in 2005 to 10.9 mbpd in 2012 (total petroleum liquids + other liquids, EIA).

    • Doug Leighton says:


      The negative Mexican numbers must reflect collapse of Cantrell. On the other hand, and to a degree, production has shifted to Ku-Maloob-Zaap which, it is claimed, will eventually produce 800 thousand barrels per day. However, this production rate will be achieved using nitrogen injection (same equipment that was employed at Cantarell) which, to be cynical, makes you wonder about long term aims-and-objectives in that country: Or in any country I suppose.


      • Jeffrey J. Brown says:

        Some numbers from the EIA:

        Over half of Mexico’s oil production comes from two offshore fields in the northeastern region of the Bay of Campeche–Ku-Maloob-Zaap (KMZ) and Cantarell. Another important source of oil production is southwest in the same bay, offshore Tabasco state. Most of the oil produced at KMZ and Cantarell is heavy and marketed as Maya blend, while the oil produced offshore Tabasco is a lighter grade.

        Cantarell was once one of the largest oil fields in the world, but its output has been declining significantly for almost a decade. Production at Cantarell began in 1979, but stagnated as a result of falling reservoir pressure. In 1997, PEMEX developed a plan to reverse the field’s decline by injecting nitrogen into the reservoir to maintain pressure, which was successful for a few years. However, production resumed a rapid decline beginning in the middle of the last decade—initially at extremely rapid rates, and more gradually in recent years. In 2013, Cantarell produced 440,000 bbl/d of crude oil, which was nearly 80% below the peak production level of 2.1 million bbl/d reached in 2004. As production at the field has declined, so has its relative contribution to Mexico’s oil sector. Cantarell accounted for 17% of Mexico’s total crude oil production in 2013, compared with 63% in 2004.

        Meanwhile, KMZ, which is adjacent to Cantarell, has emerged as Mexico’s most prolific field. Production nearly tripled between 2004 and 2013, when it reached 864,000 bbl/d, as PEMEX used a nitrogen reinjection program similar to that used at Cantarell. PEMEX hopes to increase output further over the next few years, in part through the development of the anticipated 100,000-bbl/d Ayatsil satellite field, although views differ about whether the KMZ complex has already reached peak production.

        At the 2004 to 2009 rate of decline in Mexico’s ECI Ratio, they would have approached zero net exports by the end of 2016. At the 2004 to 2012 rate of decline in their ECI Ratio, they would approach zero net exports by the end of 2019.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          That’s an excellent summary of the Mexican oil situation. Thanks. My info is (was) obviously rather stale. I used to follow Cantarell pretty closely, amazed that a super giant could fall from grace so quickly.

          As I’ve said before here, I doubt Cantarell’s history lesson (meteorite crater, nitrogen injection) can realistically be applied very far afield. In any case, it will be interesting to see how nitrogen injection translates to the remaining Mexican reservoirs.

      • notanoilman says:

        Are any new reserves likely to come online, in Mexico, following the changes to open up the industry to foreign investment? Are there any more fields waiting to be explored, developed?


        • Watcher says:

          There is talk of the Texas shale structures extending south across the border.

        • Anon says:

          Mexico was talking about getting 1m bpd out of Chicontepec, both in 2003 and 2006. They’re getting 68,000 despite a massive drilling initiative.

          There are tech problems and then there are tech problems. Chicontepec is the latter.

    • Old farmer mac says:

      High Lloyd,

      You make some excellent points.

      I can easily see a ”Fortress North America” in the future. I find it hard to envision the US actually forcing Canada to do or not do any particular thing or follow any given course of action for the easily foreseeable future but once things get to be hairy enough- and things ARE going to get hairy – the pistols will be on the table beside the cards.

      I can easily foresee a strong mutual pact for defense and supply.We can supply Canada with anything China or Europe can except cheap consumer junk and once things get hairy we may have domestic manufacturers of such junk again- if so it will be far better quality junk that will last a lot longer.

      ( I do not see the US and western Europe as potential enemies under any easily imagined circumstances.)

      Canada has the resources and our northern border but maybe not enough in terms of population and industry of the military sort to defend herself from a powerful enough enemy.

      There will be enemies enough but hopefully it won’t be the US Canada has to worry about in terms of military problems.

      With a little luck the threat of MAD will prevent WWIII indefinitely.

      The most likely scenario in my estimation is a three or four or five cornered world dominated in the northern western hemisphere by the US , by Brazil in the southern west, the European union in the western part of Eurasia and China in the far side of Eurasia. Russia will probably dominate in the north in Eurasia for a long time being a very powerful country militarily but they are more or less alone up there anyway compared to most other countries.

      Each sphere of influence will be more or less left alone by the powers in the other spheres due to the logistical implications of leaving home to meddle in other folks business in the future.

      WE Yankees have the biggest MIC in the world by far and away these days but it is stretched like a banjo string playing world cop or bully if you prefer that description. We are not going to be able to maintain it too much longer because it is breaking our back economically and once the oil in the Middle East is mostly gone we won’t have our biggest single incentive any more to maintain it any longer anyway.That oil is going to be mostly gone in another couple of decades.

      BUT we would be safe from anybody actually meddling with us militarily with only a rather minor fraction of that capability. One troop on the ground is as good as five or six or even a dozen on the opposite side of an ocean when it comes down to a face to face confrontation.

      The irony of nuclear weapons protecting us from destruction by conventional and chemical or biological weapons is simply delicious.

      Most people would say I am crazy but I foresee a nuclear armed Japan within a couple of decades- maybe sooner because it is eventually going to become obvious to the Japanese that we are not going to go nose to nose with China to protect them forever.Neither Japan nor China has forgotten the history between them such as the rape of Nanking.

      My guess is that given their engineering prowess and the fact that they already have plenty of fissionable feedstock they can manufacture both nuclear bombs and rockets adequate to deliver them in very short order.

      Most people have never given a thought to the fact that Japan has a huge stock of nice hot spent fuel.If I am not mistaken they were glad to take a considerable amount off of the hands of folks in Western Europe eager to get rid of it.

      • Anon says:

        I see Japan and South Korea going nuclear, and quickly, if there aren’t some major upside surprises to oil production in the next couple years. They share a neighborhood with China, who *does* have nuclear weapons and needs as much oil as all three nations consume now and then some if they want to actually hit those growth targets. China won’t be getting that domestically – they are at peak now and probably cannibalizing furiously – and when Russia enters decline, China won’t be getting any increase from them either.

        The US is in a relatively good place compared to Asia. We are advanced enough that consumption has been dropping ( largely the only reason a global shortage hasn’t happened) and we have a LOT of room to cut if we had to. We also have good suppliers that naturally sell to us because of geography, and among the highest domestic production in the world.

        Asia is where things are going to go downhill fast.

        • Dennis Coyne says:

          Keep in mind that total fertility ratios in S. Korea, Japan, and China are all very low, so for East Asia population will not be a big issue, if China transitions to a democratic capitalist state at some point (which might be demanded by the population as it becomes wealthier), it may simply dominate the countries around it in the same way the US does in the Americas, not great for Korea or Japan, but they would simply trade dominance by China for dominance by the US and avoid resource wars in the bargain.

          Now you might be worried about South Asia, which is a different kettle of fish.

          • Dennis Coyne says:

            As Ron said (and I agree), all of this is impossible to predict, war is not inevitable (though not unlikely).

            Where I disagree with most here (except OFM who I think has pretty realistic guesses) is that the decline in energy (all types) will be so rapid that it will lead to a rapid collapse of social order. Though this is a possibility I think the rather slow collapse over a couple of decades is more likely and that there is a possibility that a collapse can be avoided through government intervention.

            This does not mean there will not be economic decline, I believe that is likely, I do not think it likely that it will be rapid, aside from an initial depression as peak oil hits, it is possible that a WW2 type world effort to mitigate the decline will stabilize things at a lower output level.

            An all hands on deck effort to ramp up substitutes for fossil fuels may even result in slow growth from the lower baseline of economic activity established in Great Depression 2 (or 3 if the current recession is renamed to Great Depression 2).

        • TechGuy says:

          Anon wrote:
          “The US is in a relatively good place compared to Asia. We are advanced enough that consumption has been dropping ( largely the only reason a global shortage hasn’t happened) and we have a LOT of room to cut”

          I would have to disagree.
          The US is completely dependent on trucking to deliver goods. The US removed probably half of its rail in the 20th century, and replaced it with roads and highways. The US also largely dependent on the Dollar as the worlds reserve currency as we borrow about 5 Billion a day to pay for the good and services consumed. Sooner or later the dollar is going to fail and no longer be accepted for settling foreign purchases of goods and services. My guess is that it happens with in a few years beyond peak energy production (Sum of all Liquid\Gas fuels). Once the world recognizes the US is never going to be able to pay off its debts credits are going to be very reluctant to continue to accept US dollars. I think some nations will focus their industrial production on last ditch mitigation projects instead of exporting goods for American consumption.

          I don’t think Asia is any worse off then the US is. Most of the population in Asia still lives on self-reliant farms, and much of the population that relocated to the Cities for better paying jobs probably have retained the skills to go back to farming. The US on the other hand, will soon need to import farmers since less than 2% of the US population feeds the rest (98%) and the average age of american farmers is about 60 years. Big Agra is also forcing the smaller businesses and family farms out of business, by lobby Congress for regulation that favor Big Agra and makes the smaller businesses unprofitable.

          The biggest issue I see in Asia is violence as some of the most bloodiest and vicious wars have been fought in Asia. Americans on the other hand are fat and dysfunctional and become largely dependent on technology (drones, and mechinized infantry) as well as foriegn fighters (Mujahideen/Al Queda and Proxy wars).

          “With a little luck the threat of MAD will prevent WWIII indefinitely.”

          It seems as the WW2 Generation dies off most of the world has forgotten the horrors of a global war. I also see that most of our leadership has gone MAD (insane) and probably does not even understand the meaning of Mutual Assured Destruction. They actively seek unnecessary antagonistic foreign policies that is increasing destabilizing the world increasing the risks for region wars that can flare up into a full global war.

          DC Wrote (below)
          “Where I disagree [edit] is that the decline in energy (all types) will be so rapid that it will lead to a rapid collapse of social order”

          I doubt a rapid decline on energy resources will occur until after a collapse caused by social unrest. Already half of the world is on edge about one issue or another, but most of these issues are aggravated by high energy costs. At this point we still have not breached peak energy production (which is probably no too far off in the future). If we already have major social and economic issues today, its hard to believe that the trend will reverse once we are in decline. It probably will not take too much in production declines to set populations off that creates an unbreakable feedback loop that causes most nations to tear themselves apart. At some point we will breach a tipping point that causes a rapid collapse. That assuming in the unlikely event WW3 is avoided.

          The best scenario, in my opinion would be a fast decline slope that would prevent the major nations from engaging their military power to take over the remain resources. Military power is 100% dependent on fossil fuels to operate. A dramatic loss in energy production would turn all of the military hardware into useless relics. Sooner or later two major powers are going to come head-to-head on the same region as they run out of regions to consume to replace depletion..When this happens neither is going to back down.
          Unfortunately I don’t believe that will happen as gov’ts will subsidize oil production and use it to support their Military power.

  29. KC says:

    The two scenarios emerging – either 1) a fast collapse, being perhaps a few weeks to a few years, where governments disintegrate and we fall off the cliff into the next dark age; or 2) a slow collapse, possibly a decade, possibly a century or more, where governments recognize the predicament and ramp-up mitigation efforts to stem the fall onto a soft-landing…..

    It’s not unreasonable to believe that varying degrees of both scenarios might emerge, among nations, among regions, states, cities, towns , even within neighborhoods.

    Some cities and towns are being proactive now, already having installed networks of interconnecting bicycle pathways, walking trails, light rail, and promoting community local food and community and neighborhood gardening associations. Portland, Oregon comes to mind, among others – Seattle, Denver, Austin, Minneapolis, New York, and Boston, to name a few.

    While some might suggest that the large cities will be the greatest losers, I can see a circumstance where they instead emerge among the strongest. Many of the large cities are also among the wealthiest worldwide, and have the money and resources to execute their own express mitigation efforts even in the event of failure of national or statewide efforts.

    I’ve attempted my own efforts at mitigation, relocating to small-town rural America – a town of 7,000 at least three hours from anywhere in the middle of a high desert plateau, uber fertile with a very productive farming community.

    Yet, I found that even such a community was totally dependent on outside fuel supplies , electric utility, maintenance, goods manufacturing, healthcare, and that is just to name a few, off the top of my head. It doesn’t help that over 65% of population of such communities are dependent on federal and state aid, in the form of food stamps, subsidies to women and infant children (WIC), federal military bases or federally-administered farm land, social security income, and school aid, among too many other programs to count on two hands and two feet.

    I believe that both Ron’s and OFM’s are the most likely scenarios and that they will likely occur simultaneously around the world to varying degrees, depending on the national, state, and local circumstances of wealth distribution, remaining natural resources, propensity to cooperate, populations, preparedness and mitigation efforts.

    Why does it have to be either or rather than both at the same time?

    • TechGuy says:

      “I can see a circumstance where they instead emerge among the strongest. Many of the large cities are also among the wealthiest worldwide, and have the money and resources to execute their own express mitigation efforts even in the event of failure of national or statewide efforts.

      I’ve attempted my own efforts at mitigation, relocating to small-town rural America – a town of 7,000 at least three hours from anywhere in the middle of a high desert plateau, uber fertile with a very productive farming community.Yet, I found that even such a community was totally dependent on outside [Resources]”

      Cities are reliant on the resources that originate from rural areas. Food, Water, Energy, and just about everything else is imported into cities. If rural America is cut off, so will the cities. I suspect the as resources become constrained, the population in the suburbs will indeed pile into the cities in an attempt to find jobs or wealth fare. Unfortunately there will be few jobs as cities don’t export anything except waste. There are no factories, and no resources that can be sold to generate revenue. 99% of all City jobs (private and public) are service jobs (food preparation, retail sales, finance, insurance, healthcare, maintenance, construction, etc). Cities will become unpleasant as the infrastructure is unable to cope with the additional people and the lack of money to pay for infrastructure improvements. People without jobs will turn to drug abuse and crime in order to cope with poverty. Most major cities already suffer from serious budget problems and are stealing money from pension plans and other gimmicks in order to meet basic services, and we have yet to begin the energy declines.

      Manufacturing left the Big cities about 50 years ago, originally to the suburbs, and now to rural regions. Most of the new Auto assembly plants are located in rural America as will has just about every factory in order to reduce labor costs and tax rates. Even data centers are locating to rural regions since the cost of electricity is considerably cheaper than in metro regions. It very unlikely that factories will move back into Cities in the future as Cities will certainly demand high tax rates to pay for local gov’t services and wealth fare. I think as taxes and the cost of business increases in cities that many businesses will move out. Already we can see that a lot of businesses are leaving high-tax metro areas for lower tax rates, semi-rural regions. I also fear that many office jobs will be eliminated as software automation replaces workers and as demand for services such as retail, law, and financial services decline.

      In the short run, Cities may fair better, but as resource become constrained its very unlike Cities will be a long term safe bet. Cities will probably become a quasi prison as many will lack the money or resources to leave.

      In an economic collapse survival will favor those who have access to the resources needed to survive. Food, Water, locally\regionally generated power, and the capability to become self-reliant. Since rural regions have considerable more resource per capita, than cities, odds favor people living in rural areas but not in a isolated tundra or the high desert dependent of outside water or deep wells for irrigation.

      FWIW: I fear that time grows short, as it appears we are approaching peak energy production. I think it will very difficult for most to adapt to a self-reliant lifestyle once we begin the decline slope or shortly after. Those that choose to become reliant on current economy and system will become trapped in a future of abject poverty. I think many that are peak aware are in self-denial or unwilling to adapt to the changing environment. It is far, far more easily to put one-self on a path of dependence than on the path to self-reliance, so they choose to believe in a rosy future.

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