# Making Sense of the US Oil Story

We frequently see stories telling us how well the United States is doing at oil extraction. The fact that there are stories in the press about the US wanting to export crude oil adds to the hype. How much of these stories are really true? If we believe the stories, the US is now the largest producer of oil liquids in the world. In fact, it has been the largest producer since the fourth quarter of 2012.

Figure 1. US Total Liquids production, including crude and condensate, natural gas plant liquids, “other liquids,” and refinery expansion.

Oil “Extenders”

One of the issues is that a few years ago, the US created a new oil-related grouping, combining valuable products with much less valuable (lower energy content, less dense) products. Using this new grouping, the US was able to show much improved growth in total “oil” supply. The US EIA now calls the grouping “Total Oil Supply.” I refer to it as “Total Liquids,” a name I find more descriptive. Besides “crude and condensate,” the mixture includes “other liquids,” “natural gas plant liquids,” and “refinery expansion.”

“Crude and condensate” is the original grouping. Often, it is just referred to as “crude oil.”

“Other liquids” is primarily ethanol from corn. If we produced coal-to-liquids, it would be in this category as well.

Natural gas plant liquids (NGPL) are the liquids that condense out of natural gas when they are chilled and compressed in the natural gas processing plant.

Refinery expansion occurs when a refinery breaks long chain hydrocarbons into shorter ones. The resulting products take up more volume, but don’t really have more energy content. In some ways, the process is like making whipped cream out of whipping cream–more volume, but not really more product. The new products tend to be more valuable–say, diesel and lubricating oil made from something close to asphalt.

The process of breaking (cracking) long hydrocarbon chains is a valuable service to those producing heavy oils, because it makes valuable products from crude that otherwise would not have been useful for most purposes. The cracking process uses natural gas. Because natural gas in the US is inexpensive relative to its price in most other countries, the US can perform this process more cheaply than other countries. Because of this, it makes financial sense for the US to import heavy crude oil and process it in this way, whether or not US citizens can afford to buy the finished products. (Cracking is not useful on very light oil, such as Bakken oil, since it has primarily short chains to begin with.) If US citizens can’t afford the finished products, they are exported to others.

Whether or not the US should be credited with this expansion of volume is somewhat “iffy,” since the process doesn’t add energy content. Quite a bit of the oil processed in this way uses imported oil, such as oil from the Canadian oil sands.

If we look at the base figure reported by the US Energy Administration, that is, “Crude and Condensate”(Figure 2), the US does not come out as well in original comparison (Figure 1).

The United States makes much greater use of extenders than do Russia and Saudi Arabia. If we calculate the ratio of extenders to the base (crude and condensate), the ratios are as follows:

Figure 3. Extenders as a percentage of crude oil production, based on EIA data.

Both Russia and Saudi Arabia have much lower ratios of extenders. For both of these countries, the extenders are Natural Gas Plant Liquids.

Natural Gas Plant Liquids (NGPL), have varied in price. For a while, the price was up with the price of crude, but as supply increased, the US price dropped during 2011 (Figure 4).

Figure 4. Price Comparison per Million Btu for Oil (West Texas Intermediate), Natural gas plant liquids, and natural gas, based on EIA data.

This drop  in NGPL price occurred because the US market for at least some components of this grouping became saturated. With too much supply for demand, prices dropped. Excess ethane, for example, could be sold to be burned as natural gas, putting a floor under its price. As a result, recent prices seem to be influenced by changes in natural gas prices.

With the drop in NGPL prices, we hear more talk about the need for exports. We don’t really have use for all of the low value products that are being produced, other than to burn them as part of natural gas. Perhaps someone else does. If someone else does, it might get the price back up.

What is the Real US Trend in Production/ Consumption?

The US EIA makes fuel comparisons based on Btu energy content. This approach makes it easy to see how much of our fuel is US produced, and how much is imported (Figure 5).

Figure 5. Comparison of US production and consumption of oil plus NGPLs, based on EIA data.

Production is indeed rising, but it is still far below consumption–about 55% of consumption in 2013. Many articles make this situation confusing.

The emphasis in most news reports is the drop in imports–that is the difference between the blue line and the red line in Figure 5. If we look at the chart, though, we see that a big reason for the drop in imports is a drop in consumption, with the big step down coming in 2007 and 2008. Oil use is associated with jobs. It takes oil to make and transport goods. Also, workers with good jobs can afford cars and the oil to operate their cars. If they remain students forever, they can’t afford cars.

A person can better see the drop in consumption by looking at consumption on a per capita basis.

Figure 6. US per capita oil and Natural Gas Plant Liquids production and consumption, based on EIA data.

If prices don’t fall, consumers don’t feel the effect of more production. What they do feel the effect of is falling consumption-the top line. Young people especially have been finding it hard to get good paying jobs. With all of their student loans, it is hard to be able to afford to get married and buy a house. This holds down demand for new homes, and all of the things that go into new homes.

If we look at total per capita energy production and consumption in the US, we see even more of this trend. While production per capita is rising, an even bigger issue is falling consumption.

Figure 7. Total per capita energy production and consumption for the US, based on EIA data.

US per capita energy consumption has been dropping since 2000. 2000 is the year of peak US employment, as a percentage of the total population.

Figure 8. US Number Employed / Population, where US Number Employed is Total Non_Farm Workers from Current Employment Statistics of the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Population is US Resident Population from the US Census. 2012 is partial year estimate. (Sorry, not updated.)

With a smaller percentage of the US population employed (and lagging salaries for those employed), US consumers cannot afford to buy as large a quantity of energy products. Rising US oil production is not really helping US consumers, because at its high price, we cannot really afford it.

Rising oil production has not brought down oil price, making it more affordable. In fact, the situation is the reverse–high prices are needed for today’s oil production. It is questionable whether today’s prices are even high enough. Oil companies have to  keep adding debt, to keep extracting oil.  The EIA recently wrote an article about the situation called, As cash flow flattens, major energy companies increase debt, sell assets. Steven Kopits shows this chart of cash flows for Independent Oil Companies in a recent post.

Figure 9. Image by Steven Kopits showing Free Cash Flow of US independent oil and gas producers, from Platts Guest Blog.

With negative cash flows, companies have to keep increasing their debt levels–something that eventually becomes impossible.

When those producing the oil see that US oil prices are at times not as high as world oil price (Brent), they hope that selling their crude to world export markets, they will be able to get higher prices for their crude. If they are successful, there will be less crude available sold to US producers, perhaps raising the price of this crude sold in this country as well. The net impact may be higher prices for US consumers, making the US consumers even less able to afford the oil products.

Energy Growth is Needed for Economic Growth

There is a close tie between energy consumption and economic growth. Perhaps my statement “Energy growth is needed for economic growth,” in the header is a little too strong. Perhaps if energy consumption is flat, with the benefit of technological progress and efficiency changes, there can still be economic growth. There is definitely a connection, though. Energy of the right type is needed for every process we can think of–getting to work, shipping goods, operating our computers, heating metals when they are refined.

The problem comes when what we are facing in shrinkage of energy consumption, over and above what can be accommodated by technological progress and efficiency. Figure 7 hints that this is already happening. Then we have danger of a collapsing financial system, as the low energy consumption growth pushes the economy toward contraction. The economy has been held together since 2008 with quantitative easing and zero interest rates. The plan has been to allow consumers more income to spend, by keeping interest rates artificially low. I heard an excellent presentation on this subject recently called Global Financial System on Life Support by Roger Boyd.

Conclusion

I wrote a post recently called The Absurdity of US Natural Gas Exports. The situation with exports of crude oil is not quite as absurd. The issue is that current oil refineries are not configured for the influx of very light oil. Many of them are busy “cracking” long hydrocarbon chains, often using imported oil as their energy source. If US oil producers have the option of selling their crude oil abroad, perhaps they can get a higher price for it. If US oil producers can get higher prices for their oil, this may very well filter through to higher oil prices for US consumers, and less oil consumption by US consumers, but this is not the concern of oil companies.

A major concern with falling per-capita energy consumption it that the financial system may soon reach limits where it is stretched beyond what it can stand. The economy needs energy growth to grow, but the economy is not getting it.

My name is Gail Tverberg. I am an actuary interested in finite world issues - oil depletion, natural gas depletion, water shortages, and climate change. Oil limits look very different from what most expect, with high prices leading to recession, and low prices leading to financial problems for oil producers and for oil exporting countries. We are really dealing with a physics problem that affects many parts of the economy at once, including wages and the financial system. I try to look at the overall problem.
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### 1,009 Responses to Making Sense of the US Oil Story

1. J says:

I agree it’s a little difficult to get a feel for what’s happening in the world. Media is spinning it. The number of people begging for money and gas prices (down = recession) are my current indicators in my community. Guy moving in with another guy across the street. Visible increase in the number of people living in run down RVs and sometimes even station wagons. Kind of like liveaboard boat but without the moorage cost and the cops hunting you every night.

KMO (http://c-realm.com/) has an awesome podcast (number 426) out with Greer that talks about the end of upward mobility among other things.

2. CrisisMaven says:

Hello, thanks for the good wrap-up and esp. the illustrative graphics. I have taken the liberty to translate a few pertinent passages into German and posted it on the widely-read German politics and econonomics forum “Das Gelbe Forum”: “Making Sense of the US Oil Story” – Die USA das neue Saudi Arabien (hinsichtlich Oelproduktion)?

3. J says:

US GDP must now be completely decoupled from wages! Just check out this chart! If anything, Q1 was a tad stronger than Q2!

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/realer.pdf

• Paul says:

J – all data coming out from countries is a lie or an obfuscation… particularly the US. There is no growth – there is only stimulus… how can you have growth when labour participation has plummeted … when 50M are on food stamps …. when real wages have dropped nearly 10%?

The numbers that we are being fed are meaningless. I ignore them.

if you want to get real numbers you can check out Shadowtats.com — but I don’t even bother with that because I know that the real numbers are abhorrently bad — but that they would be FAR worse if the US gov was not engaging in all sorts of crazy stuff such as massive subprime auto loans…

Of course all of these games are aimed at making the masses feel that recovery is around the corner… that there is hope.

There will be no recovery. This is the best it’s going to get (and then it will collapse in a heap of rubble)

• Coast Watcher says:

I very much agree with your comment, Paul. Official government statistics from any country can be viewed with only the utmost skepticism these days.

GDP=Gross Domestic Prevarication. Corporate profits are soaring due to mergers and acquisitions, coupled with productivity and efficiency gains. They are doing this by continuing to keep a lid on wages. The only thing that is keeping this from being explosive is that we are in a deflationary spiral so the price of food remains affordable even with stagnant wages. And any time you hear that housing is rebounding, its only because corporations and the Chinese are purchasing huge tracts of real estate at bargain prices. Real Americans are not buying and selling their homes in any statistically significant way, and in fact households are combining (young people back to their parents) in order to save money. All this talk of GDP growth is how it is being measured (ala chained CPI). They are numbers on paper but they don’t reflect the reality on the ground. And later on there is always the revision downward.

4. Stilgar Wilcox says:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/14/us-eurozone-economy-idUSKBN0GE0J220140814

‘Euro zone economy grinds to halt even before Russia sanctions bite’

Germany, Europe’s largest economy contracted by 0.2 percent on the quarter.

France fared little better, flatlining for the second successive quarter.

Italy, the euro zone’s third largest economy, slid back into recession for the third time since 2008 in the second quarter, shrinking by 0.2 percent.

Zero growth reported by statistics agency Eurostat on Thursday was alarm bell for politicians and policymakers in the 18-nation economy, which is already bracing for the impact tit-for-tat sanctions against Russia over Ukraine.

Keep in mind that the US GDP for the 1st qtr. ended up at -2.9% then rebounded in what must be one of the most historically incredible turnarounds in history, particularly since QE is in the process of tapering, to +4% in the 2nd quarter. Maybe the US policy makers should contact the EU to let them know their secret to shifting into a much higher gear to increase growth in one quarter from the previous by a whopping 6.9%

I still am vexed by that turnaround. Some say it’s clear from the stats, while others say the government is lying. I guess we’ll just have to wait to find out what possible corrections are made to 2nd qtr. GDP. But if 4% stands and that transition from the first qtr. to the 2nd qtr. remains on that same trajectory, then the 3rd quarter should come in at 10.9% and the 4th qtr. at 17.8% Ok, so I’m being sarcastic, but really something must be up with 4%. If this country can end QE, and continue to greatly reduce the deficits while streaking into the stratosphere with monumental GDP increases, then get on the hotline to the EU. Explain to them how it is done.

• Rodster says:

“I still am vexed by that turnaround. Some say it’s clear from the stats, while others say the government is lying.”

You know what i’m vexed about? That they are still referring to Europe’s problems as a recession when it’s in fact a Depression. Gotta love the MSM who just spins stuff to keep the clueless from figuring out what they are really up against and how bad the upper 1% have screwed them and future generations.

• Paul says:

The MSM does once in a blue moon write something that is useful but for the most part the ONLY purpose it serves is to allow you to rule out whatever they are printing as the truth — that is valuable because you can then move on to other explanations on an issue.

Once a person becomes aware of this they will watch the ‘news’ in an entirely different light… I seldom watch the ‘news’ (I don’t have a TV) but when I happen to be in an airport lounge or somewhere a TV is on — I watch with bemusement (while others are gripped by what is being presented believing they are doing their civic duty and being informed)

When I watch CNN it’s like I am watching a drama — most of what they report is lies — the presenters are actors — they never ask hard questions. I sit there and think – why don’t you ask this or that… but nope — they read from the script. They are not journalists — Glenn Greenwald is a journalist as is Jeremy Scahill… Christine Amanpour is trained as a journalist but she is a whore in the sense that she sells out her integrity for a big salary.

Zero Hedge is without question the best source of news on the web — why? — because they pull stuff directly from the MSM and they a) add context by commenting on the relevance of the story (the MSM often publishes accurate stuff — but they fail to give it context so it goes in one ear and out the other) and b) they expose the lies in the MSM propaganda.

ZH deserves at least one Pulitzer per month.

Chomsky is correct when he says to follow the MSM but also look at the MSM of other countries — I follow Al Jazeera, RT.com, and others… because they give me the story from different perspectives — and only when you see the angles can you work out what the truth MIGHT be.

If you simply shortlist sources that have a western bias — you will forever remain in a state of ignorance.

Europe is without question in a massive Depression. Some of the countries have youth unemployment rates in the region of 50%… 50%!!!!!! And people are still willing to believe the EU is improving????

Frog boiling in pot being told by the MSM the water is refreshing cool — and they want to believe so badly that they do

did mr chomsky ever explain why the neocons needed a new pearl harbor?

…or explain why bibi thouoght 9/11 was “very good”?

• Paul says:

Why don’t you google his name with these subjects to find out what he thinks…. he is one of the great thinkers of the last 50 years… well worth spending some time reading his works…

He does have quite a few video presentations online as well…

does chomsky explain why bibi thought 9/11 was such a good deal?

please post urls pointing to that explanation

please also post urls pointing to chomsky explanation of why PNAC needed a new pearl harbor

while you’re at it, please post urls where chomsky explains why europeans were entitled to move to palestine and terrorize thenatives from their land

• Paul says:

I think chomsky wrote a book on that — he was banned from Israel because of it (btw – he is jewish — self-hating of course)

no urls, then

why is that?

• JMS says:

I’m with wadosy here. I was a big fan of Chomsky, until I found the truth about 9/11. Since Chomsky continues to play dumb about 9/11, defending the liberal “blowback tesis”, I don’t care what he says anymore. Fortunately, another of my youth heroes – Gore Vidal – saw the light and had the guts to promote the book of David Ray Griffin.

• Paul says:

I am not aware of his take on 911.

I do take issue with his position that Israel is not the tail wagging the dog (America).

Where did I read recently that ‘American politicians live in fear of Israel’

Of course Obama makes statements against Israel — which makes it appear that the dog is wagging the tail — but look at the actions — America always vetoes any UN sanctions against Israel — America NEVER halts arms shipments to Israel even when they commit war crimes — in fact America is pouring arms into Israel now which are being using to destroy Gaza — BUT John Kerry is on CNN saying he is concerned….

So Chomsky is not necessarily right on everything — but he is right generally in his analysis of how the US operates — and he is right when he suggests reading a wide variety of news sources

• Stilgar Wilcox says:

“When I watch CNN it’s like I am watching a drama — most of what they report is lies — the presenters are actors — they never ask hard questions. I sit there and think – why don’t you ask this or that…”

I do the same thing – LOL! Sometimes I reach out with my hands in exacerbation at the lack of any sense to ask easy, obvious questions, let alone the hard ones. They take everything ver batum, and then just say, OK.

Should be interesting to watch them when it is reported that, “The economy has collapsed, there is mayhem in the streets and we see no way to get the economy going again.” Are those automatrons going to say, “Ok”

• Paul says:

If in a conversation someone refers to CNN as their source for ‘news’ I immediately know which direction to take the discussion — so how about those Yankees… how’s the weather been…

I also feel somewhat the same about NYT readers — although I forgive them because the NYT is a really sneaky beast — they drop in some real stuff from time to time — which makes the readers believe that everything they publish is not propaganda…. when most of it is…. that is a very powerful trick.

I used to recommend the international edition to people in Bali when I first moved there — but then I eventually became aware of their scam — and I cancelled my subscription.

• Coast Watcher says:

I spent 40 years in the news business — dailies, weeklies, magazines — and what I see today on CNN, MSNBC, et al is so bad that I can’t watch it. Today’s print media isn’t far behind. I never had much respect for TV news, but to watch the decline and fall of American print journalism just sickens me. I get most of my news these days from foreign sources. The handful of corporations that own the vast bulk of American media kowtow to their advertisers, which is why you’ll never see a honest, in-depth story about GMOs or the Occupy movement or Peak Oil.

• Paul says:

I have an interest in a small media business and I recall some years ago a story was run that apparently upset the wrong people — apparently the phone call came — that first threat that was made was ‘we will contact all your advertisers and inform them of what you are doing and your business will suffer’

Unfortunately for them the business was not in the US and most of the advertisers were not American companies — so they were told to go ahead with what they had threatened because other advertisers would respect the integrity of this media for not giving in to these threats.

The story continued to run — and to my knowledge the threat was not carried out.

Now imagine if you are CNN, BBC, etc … and you write something that upsets your advertisers… most being big American corporations …. they can crush you.

Now think about the Iraq War — trillions of dollars were made off of that war — corporate America LOVES war — it is great for the bottom lines of a lot of companies… companies with big ad budgets….

Now you know one of the main reasons the MSM was a cheerleader for that — and every war.

They cannot afford not to be — they are riding on the gravy train just as much as Haliburton and Raytheon….

How anyone can believe the utter bs about America standing for good is beyond me.

America is a death machine — run by cold calculating psychopaths — completely amoral people — they do not care about you…. I repeat they do not care about you — you are chattel

They send you off to wars to be killed and maimed not to protect America — but to bolster their wealth and power by subjugating other countries. They are the cowardly bully in the playground and you are the fools who fight their battles.

They offshore your jobs because they don’t like that they should have to pay you a living wage when they know there are billions out there who will gladly work for a buck a day.

No – there is not changing the situation because they are very clever and they have worked out how to manipulate the masses very effectively —- but do you want to be played the fool by believing the idiocy that America is a bright shining light in the world?

When it is very obviously a beacon of darkness run by sinister forces.

• Stilgar Wilcox says:

“You know what i’m vexed about? That they are still referring to Europe’s problems as a recession when it’s in fact a Depression.” I concur, Rodster.

• Paul says:

I actually don’t buy the EU number — it surely MUST be far worse than that….

And keep in mind the tools normally used to fight a recession — particularly the lowering of interest rates — are exhausted.

5. Jarle B says:

Gail or others,

as a Norwegian I sometimes think: When the going gets tougher, what are the chances that someone decide that they don’t want to pay for oil any more, and invades Norway to get to our nice Brent wells?

• Perhaps at that point your elites realize for good that the no questions asked super obedient alliance with NATO was a grave mistake. Similarly as your national sovereign wealth fund holding paper promises around the world and very little real assets. Simply that per capita gargantuan oil and gas wealth endowment was put on the altar of silly ideology and greed. But in the end Norway is still a very nice country, and if the ocean won’t go completely dead zone in short order, it can provide for some fraction of todays population. Relatively speaking don’t be afraid you have it good.

• Jarle B says:

Cut us some slack: 1) It’s hard for a small country with a lot of oil not be obedient to USA. We did our best; for instance we didn’t give the oil away to big US companies, but took care of business ourself. 2) Bying IOUs are risky, but what real asses would have been a better investment (Our national fund owns some real estate, for instance in central London – what is that good for when things fall apart?)?

• Jarle B says:

Edit: real *assets* that is. Sorry about the Freudian slip…

• Jarle B says:

Spesific: Will USA go down without trying to save themselves by invading and seizing oil even in “friend countries”?

• Openly only as the very last resort.
They will have to come with some cheesy cover story in the first try, like protection of shared values etc. Because the heavy hand approach on formely friendly-allied countries would meant global markets meltdown, resulting in US economic crash and fast implosion into couple of former US regions ala Orlov’s scenario. This is unlikely at the moment, I guess what’s next is 10yrs window of slowly enforced unconsumption – deflation hellhole, gorillataping all crucial systemic supports like crazy, however the 2020-30 period could be start of rather chaotic future in the west also.

• antares71 says:

Jarle, I personally think that up there in the North, Russia will try to dominate the area, and Norway is a good bounty. Greenland will also be an eye-catcher, especially from China. In that case what can Denmark do? Now that the ice is smelting there will be more people interested to explore what’s underneath.
However, I think it’s also a military strategy to have control of the North. “Remember” how Hitler rushed to Norway before the British could? It was swift and fast!
So, yes, US and Canada, will “help” as you suspect to “protect” the Nordic Union. I personally prefer the latter two then the former two.

As a formal student of history and politics, I can see the world fracturing into hemispheres again. Russian will own Europe (sorry Norway), most of Eurasia, and the north on their side of the world. The US will focus on controlling Canada and South America, very resource rich. Russia will have the counterweight of China that it will be competing with for control of the Eurasian land mass, but China will likely focus on dominating Southeast Asian resources. Both of these giants will have their hands full dealing with unpredictable nuclear-armed N. Korea and Pakistan. These will be their wildcards. India, also nuclear-armed will be in a death struggle with Pakistan. Israel will be in the doughnut hole of a glowing nuclear slag pile as it slings atomic arms in a circle around itself to fight off jihadist terror armies. The Eastern hemisphere will be a very dangerous neighborhood to live in. All in all, I think if you end up living in the West, you will have a better time of it–geopolitically speaking. I know it is easy to bash America, but it has the advantages of “splendid isolation” with the protection of two very wide oceans east and west and two very weak neighbors north and south. It still has somewhat deep soils, plenty of rainfall, inland waterways, hardwood forests…and once the die off occurs this may be enough.

• antares71 says:

Yes, I think you’re right.
Where did you learn about macro-regions? I first read it in The Clash of Civilization by Samuel Huntington

One of my degrees is in Foreign Affairs. Samuel Huntington’s article came out over 20 years ago and still holds true.

Here’s a link to the article in Foreign Affairs. http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/48950/samuel-p-huntington/the-clash-of-civilizations

• PeterEV says:

Did you ever read “The Nine Nations of North America” by Joel Garreau? Copyright is 1981 It started as a craziness to define areas of North America by what reporters sensed when visiting various areas in North America. The author assembled those impressions into nine areas that could be considered fairly uniform by various traits. He thought there was enough similarity in some, they could form their own nation (e.g., Quebec, the Breadbasket, Mexamerica, the Empty Quarter, Ecotopia, the Foundry, The Islands, Dixie, and New England).

norway and russia share a border and the barents sea… oil and gas there

so it’s a perfect setup for a false flag attack on a statoil drill rig in the barents, blamed on russia

russia will be is convicted in a trial by media before the investigation even starts… just like the malyasian airliner caper in ukraine

oughta work… for a week or so, anyhow

• Jarle B says:

“norway and russia share a border and the barents sea… oil and gas there

so it’s a perfect setup for a false flag attack on a statoil drill rig in the barents, blamed on russia”

just the sort of thing I’m worried about…

i’m hoping there’s a “cold civil war” going on now in the US… but it’s gonna be tough sledding for the american siloviki because the neocon philosophy seems to have spread like cancer through many western governments, and the main media seems to be on noeons’ side…

the russian siloviki had a relatively easy time of it when they pruged the russian neocons, and the russian people apparently approved of that action

but the neocons have never forgiven russians for that, especially for repossessing yukos, because the neocons need to control russian energy if they’re to accomplish their benevolent global hegemon

Do you actually follow American politics? The neocons are on a downward slide into oblivion. Except for a large chunk of gerrymandered congressional districts, they have lost the “culture war” in the US, they have lost the hispanic vote, never had the black vote and are on their way to losing over issues of immigration, legalized marijuana and so forth. In the next few decades the majority white population will become only the largest of several minorities. The neocons are finished. That doesn’t mean that the US won’t have an interventionist foreign policy, it might. But it will be one of desperation rather than ideology. Maybe not even that as their is a strong, and growing, isolationist movement in the general population. The neocons were a virulent strain in US thinking, but they are on their way out.

• Paul says:

Remind of me who is who at the zoo.

I know Cheney is a neocon …. but Obama is doing the same things as Cheney — war in Libya, war in Syria, war in Ukraine, war in Yemen…. war in Afghanistan… back in Iraq….

Would Obama be considered an ultra-neocon? A mega-neocon? He has more wars under his belt…

But he has a Peace Prize — even Orwell didn’t think of that — the Nobel Peace Prize – awarded to the leader who initiates the most wars

Because as we know – WAR is PEACE.

Clinton – Bush – Nixon – Obama – same same same — they are the front men for the Deep State.

The last front man to attempt to stand against the Deep State — got a bullet through the head.

Obama is certainly not a neo-con, but he is certainly having his hand forced by events in the middle east. The deep game is that he may forced to go back into Iraq so that it doesn’t seem that the Democrats lost it to ISIL after all of the American lives sacrificed. This will allow the Democrats to keep the presidency. Notice how Hillary Clinton, is already distancing herself from the Administration policy so that she can go her own way in 2016 regardless of what is done in the next two yearas. That is the deep game you are seeing being played out.

• Paul says:

Ok — so let’s play this game — you can be the Cowboys — I am the Redskins…

You say that your QB was forced to do what he did in the Middle East etc…. What forced him to invade Libya? What forced him to arm and support Al Qaeda and Al Nusra in Syria? What forced him to arm and support terrorists who are attacked and overthrew a democratically elected government in Ukraine?

My QB only invaded only two countries. He did it because he was ordered to do it by the Deep State.

I will save you some time — your QB was indeed forced to do what he did — but not by circumstances… but because he takes his marching orders from the same people that give my guy his marching orders….

And here we get a rare peak at how that works http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NR3RqMMIwD4

Now lets have a look at a member of the Deep State — you will note that Don Regan was never elected — yet he is able to chide the president as if he were a janitor at Merrill Lynch who was taking to long to mop up some spilled champagne after the the celebration that followed the repealing of Glass Steagall

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Regan

Wake up people — you are being played for fools.

the original neocons were so successful in propagating their philsophy that tthey can hide out now…

meanwhile, people like biden (PNAC signatory), mccain (PNAC signatory), victoria nuland (wife of PNAC founder rober kagan), jeb bush (PNAC signatory) and radek sikorski (AEI fellow and PNAC signatory, married to anne applbaum who writes a necon column for the washington post) havent gone away… an now hillary has turned into a warrior princess

the main media, which ued to at least try to maintain a semblance of truth, are nothing but mouthpieces for the neocon agenda

.
if you ant lists of neocons, here you go…

mplete List of PNAC Signatories and Contributing Writers
http://www.publiceye.org/pnac_chart/pnac.html

List of American Enterprise Institute scholars and fellows
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_American_Enterprise_Institute_scholars_and_fellows

American Committee for Peace in Chechnya
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Committee_for_Peace_in_Chechnya

of course, one of the reasons the noeocns ahve been so successful at propagating their philsophy is because of 9/11…

…which must have been one of the reasons they needed a new pearl harbor, dont you think?

• Paul says:

Remind me why Mr Obama has not initiated a proper inquiry into 911?

Oh right — it’s because he wants us to look forward — let’s bury the past and be positive — and hopey and changey (while he marches the US into more wars)

What do you think would happen to Obama if he got in front of the US and said — there are serious questions about 911 that need answering — and that he was allocating a 50m budget to an investigation.

I will tell you what — he would be put in a room and shown the Zapruder film once — and then asked if he wanted to continue with his investigation…

But Obama is not a stupid man — he knows that it pays to not rock the boat — he knows who the master is — he is a slave just like every other president — and he knows that when he steps down if he has been a good boy — he will — like Clinton, like Blair, like most other leaders who do the bidding of the Deep State…. he will be worth tens of millions from speaking engagements alone.

Heck — if it were me in that position I’d be saying ‘yes sir’ left and right if that was the payoff… 911? I don’t see nothing there worth investigating … let’s move on … who did you guys say we need to drone next? Where do you want me to invade next? Would you like some more coffee – I’ll run right down and get it… two sugar right….

ah

good

You two are so paranoid it makes me laugh (;-D You want to believe so badly in this deep subterranean machine that controls all that you mistake it for basic human incompetence, vanity, greed, and the inability for anyone to juggle more than a few balls at the same time. All of these secret motives belong in a book by Dan Brown. If invading Iraq was about Oil, why did the US exit? If the president is in the pocket of this alleged Deep State, why does he have to “chided” by anyone. If the deep state were so controlling, clearly the Cowboys would beat the Redskins every time.

• Paul says:

IA – we are not paranoid…. I used to be deluded to some extent as well — I used to believe America stood for good (mostly)— but then I started to think a bit — and dig a bit — and I eventually realized what the reality was…

Which I have outlined in an earlier post.

I understand how difficult it is to grasp what I am saying — I have had this discussion with many Americans — few every escape the matrix — it is powerful — it bombards you day and night

One of my epiphanies came when I read John Perkins Confessions of an Economic Hitman — I can save you reading it — now you can dogmatic — or you can open your mind a little and see what Perkins has to say http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTbdnNgqfs8

I am very much interested in what you have to say about America after watching that short talk.

people dont want to believe it… that’s why it’s all been so successful

i surely dont want to believe neocons –israelis and americans– did a false flag attack to kickstart their PNAC project…

but that’s where the dircumstanital evidence points

the real phisical evidence was shipped off to korea as soon as possible and turned into tuna cans and KIAs, the bush administration resisted hearings and the hearings, when they finallty happened, were restricted

no proof of bin laden’s involvement has ever surfaced, these people restored the opium growing and lied us into iraq

.
what it boils down to in the absense of real evidence is: we’re reduced to the “motive, means, opportunity and character” method of compiling a suspect list for 9/11, and the neocons and israelis emerge at the top of the list

there’s just no getting around it

• Paul says:

People don’t want to believe it because if they did then that would destroy one of their fundamental beliefs — i.e. that America is not good — it is run by psychopaths — and they would know they are powerless to do anything about it — so best to tuck that knowledge into a dark corner of the mind and pretend…

If anyone things the Deep State is not capable of killing Americans you need to read this:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=92662

Here is the actual document with highlights http://dc911truth.org/index.php?p=evidence2a

This was signed off by the JOINT CHIEFS and the SECRETARY OF DEFENSE.

JFK killed it — and he was dead 6 months later.

Now if you can’t see the forest through the trees after reading that…. you probably never will

I can believe in resource depletion, climate change, peak oil, financial collapse, and state actors pursuing their own interests, as well as all of the other converging dilemmas of the 21st century without having to buy into paranoid delusions about a masonic-like, deep-state run by psycopaths plotting to rule the world.

• Paul says:

Paul Craig Robers was a high ranking member of the Deep State (high Reagan official, WSJ senior editor) — and he has seen the light — he has turned against both parties — I suggest you subscribe to his regular diatribes against the Deep State and its minions the Democrats and Republicans.

As he says — he has lost most of his friends by doing what he has done — the Deep State and its acolytes do not appreciate when one of their kind exposes them.

David Stockman is another — he has equal vitriol for both parties – because there is no difference between the two – there can be no difference — because the same people control both of them.

And it is because the masses refuse to acknowledge this that you never see hope or change… you just get the same shite over and over and over…

Ask yourself — has Obama done anything to roll back the power of the NSA? Did Bush?

Does that not tell you something?????

Well — that is all about to become nothing more than verbal diarrhea…. because the Deep State is soon to be done… they might have a last hurrah firing those 1.6 billion rounds … but they are over… because this is over.

• CTG says:

InAlaska, I have no part in any discussion on the blue-red team or American politics although I know what is going in there. However, when it comes to conspiracy theory, I always remember the age old proverb – “there is no smoke without fire”. The person who came out with the conspiracy (other than aliens, etc) cannot that creative. There has to be some truth in it. When you dig further, you will realize that there are many things that you do not want to know and may not know if you did not dig them out. However, you must have an open mind. In my country, we have been using blogs and alternative media for local politics for more than 6 years and we know that there are many things that are hidden in our politics and conspiracy is abundant here. So, I am not surprised at all on deep state. Think MH370, MH17 – many of our citizens know that there are stories behind it and they accept that deep state is involved.

• xabier says:

Jarle B

Watch out for the Scots!

• Jarle B says:

The Scots are our friends. I have had some of the best pub nights in Scotland – we are brothers and sisters separated at birth by the North Sea!

Yes, indeed. Any people who can happily eat haggis are to be feared.

6. Paul says:
7. Paul says:

Quiz – is this:

a) Cairo
b) Gaza
c) America

A whiff of what is to come….

• Stilgar Wilcox says:

Being African-American, this is a great opportunity for Obama to show some leadership and get down to Ferguson to help stabilize that situation. If he really had some guts he’d walk right out in between both factions (with plexiglass protecting him), face the angry crowd and with mega phone in hand come up with something more than a canned sound-bite.

• Jarle B says:

If only he were more then a hand puppet…

• Paul says:

And then try to tell me the Deep State does not run the show…. the guy treating the President like a 6 year is a very senior banker who was inserted into the administration to offer ‘guidance’ to the president.

US politics is nothing more than a made for TV drama to convince the masses that they actually have a say in how things are run.

• Rodster says:

Obama and leadership in the same sentence, laughable.

• Paul says:

It amazes me that Americans – despite the obvious — still continue to vote and bicker about which party is better than the other.

They might differ on innocuous issues such as gay marriage and abortion but when it comes any issue involving corporations, money and foreign policy — they are ONE AND THE SAME.

The President has ZERO power…. as does Congress and the Senate. They are entertainment value at best – like a Cowboys Redskins game — at the end of the day one or the other wins — but the result is meaningless.

The puppet masters know this – they play you off against each other like rabid sports fans — and they are laughing at you — I bet they even crack jokes over a glass of fine single malt and say ‘oh these blind deluded morons — they continue to vote and sing America the Beautiful — hahaha isn’t it great to be the king!’

THIS is who is in charge http://mikelofgren.net/tv_appearances/deep_state.html They do not care about you — you are ‘the little people’ — you are there to fight their wars — to run their enterprises (or not – look how pleased they were to send the better paying jobs overseas)

I know it is difficult to WAKE UP when you are indoctrinated from birth to believe America is the chosen country — when you are bombarded day after day after day by the lies on CNN, the NYT, FOX, etc….

But when you can’t identify the sucker at the table —- it is you.

Tip: read a few of Noam Chomsky’s essays – he does an excellent job of explaining the reality that is America

• Rodster says:

I’m not a red vs blue person. Both parties are one and the same, “good cop vs bad cop, Diet Coke vs Diet Pepsi”. I figured that out a long, long time ago.

• Paul says:

It is a perfect system — the puppet masters remains behind the curtain — and the trot out their stooges to front their policies….

So you get Bush — he gets his marching orders to go into Iraq — he is the one to get in front of the cameras and tell all the lies — and when it all goes badly wrong and the lie is exposed – the vitriol gets directed at him… the anonymous puppet masters are nowhere to be seen…

The real beauty of this is that Bush disappears and whoever replaces him gets a clean slate (like replacing a whore with a virgin)

So it’s as if Iraq never happened (oooh that Bush he was a bad guy but lets move on…)

Of course the new guy does not engage in witch hunts — because that would mean that he would be next up for the noose because he will be doing exactly the same thing as the last guy…. don’t wan to set that precedent.

Rinse repeat rinse repeat rinse repeat…

And the heavily indoctrinated masses fall for the same BS again – and again — and again…. because they believe the lies that the US stands for good in the world — if a president did something bad he was an anomaly — a bad apple — in general they still believe America is a bright shining light…

Difficult to see I suppose — if you are born in America — but for many of us not born there — we see people like this as no different than brainwashed people living anywhere in the world…. you are unable to see the forest through the trees — even if we point the forest out to you.

In a diabolical way this is truly brilliant….

And what is amazing is that even though I have exposed exactly what is happening I am sure there are people on this site who will still believe Obama is justified in doing what he is doing… that he is somehow different from Bush.

He is no different — he takes orders from the same people who gave Bush his orders.

after two hundred years of experience with the roundeyes’ imperial dope peddling, china has had quite enough, thank you, of our benevolence…
.

so china seems like it’s gonan build the nicaragua canal so they can haul orimulsion to china and not be subject to the israeli american imperial shims at the panama canal

well, we dont really know how serious the chinese are about that canal… they made that feint towards gwadar, pakistan… plans for pipeline terminals, refineries, LNG liquefaction plants, tanker ports… the spent a ouple hundred million to lure the US into spending trillions to block it –maybe

maybe the chinese are playing go while the americans are playing checkers… who knows

despite his sins, nixon seems to have had a puritanical streak, and probably admired moa because mao kicked the chinese opium habit

that must have distressed the drug cartels, but they recovered by moving their operations to burma and loaos, where they were protected by US mlitary and paramilitary organizations

and big manufacturers were thrilled at the prospect of a massive population of cheap, sober labor

.
mao was a very immoral man, depriving opium industrialists of their prime market and production area, and nixon, by hobnobbing with mao, sealed his fate

or something like that

history had to have made sense to somebody, didnt it? …or else it wouldnt have happened that way

• Paul says:

Actually the drug cartels have not left China at all — the biggest pushers were Swire and Jardines… they are two of the biggest listed companies in Hong Kong.

wouldnt be much a surprise if swire and jardine had a slice of the afghanistan opium/heroin pie…i mean, if the empire changes suppliers and markets, there’s no need to junk the distibution and financial setup, is there? …it’s got to be a pretty smooth operation, having had a couple hundred years of practice

you’re not trying to imply that the big drug guys are still selling opium to china, though, are you? …because i think you’d be wrong about that…

yeah, there’s probably still a market for opium and heroin in china, but nothing like it was before mao

.
but the point i was making is this: we owe a huge karma debt to china, and i hope they dont hold grudges

i get the feeling that china is just waiting, hoping against hope, that we grow up before we do something terminally stupid… judging from our actions lately, maybe it’s gonna be a vain hope and a long wait

• Paul says:

No – I don’t think those companies would be involved in any drug related activities.

They leave that stuff to HSBC http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-02/hsbc-judge-approves-1-9b-drug-money-laundering-accord.html

Of course HSBC = Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation …. so no doubt they are returning to their roots as the bankers of the drug barons.

do you have any urls pointing to opium use growing in china?

and the HSBC is a brit bank….

well, maybe the brits havent given up on renewing opium use in china, but we still need some numbers

• Paul says:

Drug offenses in China will get you a bullet in the head — the country was destroyed by the British insistence on forcing opium on China in the 1800s so I doubt there is a major problem now. The government would not stand for it.

the chinese went along with the gag, but they probably didnt think they had much choice

they realized they had to industrialize to be able to defend themselves from our benevolent global hegemony –our ambitions had become evident in NATO’s expansion and our escapades in asia

then comes the global warmng scare, but chinese press on with their industry, apparently preferring to deal with sea level rise rather than our benevolence

who can blame them? …they’d experienced our benevolence during two hundred years of opium

ia this stuff below science fiction, or some moldy plan laying in the basement of the AEI building, just waiting to spread its wings as the latest loony tunes neocon idea? ..giben the empire’s contempt for humanity, it’s hard to tell

the empire finally came up with a plan that pleased everybody, even the empire’s victims and human rights activists… it especially pleased the imperial bankers and drug cartels

the plan consisted of heroin drops on victims prior to bombing them

the drop volume was calculated from target population… the formula was: population multiplied by lethal dose multiplied by legth of drop period…

for instance, a target population of 1,00,000 multiplied by 75 mg per person, multiplied by 14 days of drops

the heroin was dropped in one-dose packets, dispersed over the target area to reduce the possibility of the heroin being collected, packaged and sent back to the US and europe where heroin prices were skyrocketing due to increased demand caused by the empire’s heroin distribution project

the heroin was dropped in conjunction with non-lethal drops of cluster bombs designed to inflict maximum pain… the pain intended to encourage use of heroin… the two-week drop period was assumed to be the max endurance of normal humans to extreme pain without pain medication

.
tthe opium growers, refiners, cartels, and bankers were especially pleased by the project… anyone suffering adverse financial effects from the project were reimbursed by the imperial government if a reputable bank confirmed that aggrieved parties had suffered financial losses

it worked good

imperial chemists, psychiatrists and medics calculated that human suffering in target populationswas reduced by 934.33%, and the project was praised by liberals of all stripes
.
.
the idea for the project first surfaced at at pembroke college, oxford, billed as “a modest proposal II” and was adopted by a british think tank whose members were distressed by the amount of suffering caused by imperial necessity

the idea migrated to the US via the American Enterprise Institute, and from there to the University of Chicago where it was adopted by politically correct professors

the idea eventually became a key argument for those advocating the use of armed might to achieve benvolent global hegemony

9. dolph9 says:

Broadly speaking, I would make a last stand in any temperate region with decent agriculture/water/demographics. That narrows it down but there are still choices.

I personally would avoid extremes of cold or heat, and any place that, for whatever reason, you have doubts about the capacity of the people there to handle themselves in a very long emergency triage situation when international capital breaks down, and with it the big nanny/corporate state.

Dolph9
When New York yesterday got a record of 13″ of rainfall in 9 hours and Alaska has had the warmest summer in recorded history, how do you find “temperate regions” and “avoid extremes?” That’s the whole point of climate chaos: the game is changing and we don’t know the rules.

10. edpell says:

Elon Musk, has a vision. The only source of energy is solar, PV captures solar, batteries store solar. He is building the worlds largest PV plant in Buffalo, New York. He plans to build the worlds largest lithium battery factory in California. The backup colony on Mas well that is just for fun.

• edpell says:

Mars, the “r” key is sticky

• tfouto says:

Is there oil in Mars?

Paul, Bill Gates left Microsoft long ago. He has a foundation as you know. He also, has a power company. You can look for it. Nuclear researc.

I guess he’s aware of oil peak danger but maybe is just relying on technology…

• Paul says:

yes I am aware of that.

• Jarle B says:

Paul wrote:
“I have a problem with people referring to these titans of industry as if they know everything about everything.”

+1. Gates is just a guy with a lot of money from luck with computers, forget about him contributing good to what’s ahead.

• Dave Ranning says:

Nuclear and Gates may possibly bring a new meaning to The Blue Screen of Death, all MF users encounter.

• Paul says:

Good luck to elon – he is in the wake of huge failures:

Ten Reasons Intermittent Renewables (Wind and Solar PV) are a Problem
http://ourfiniteworld.com/2014/01/21/ten-reasons-intermittent-renewables-wind-and-solar-pv-are-a-problem/

Solar – After Hundreds of Billions of Dollars of Subsidies and R&D and this is what we get?

The German Solar Disaster: 21 Billion Euros Burned
http://www.thegwpf.org/german-solar-disaster-21-billion-euros-burned/

Spain’s disastrous attempt to replace fossil fuels with Solar Photovoltaics
http://energyskeptic.com/2013/tilting-at-windmills-spains-solar-pv/

• Jarle B says:

Mr Musk is just taking advantages of peoples fascination with technology, people who wants to feel green and like here in Norway, people who don’t want to pay car tax/road toll/ferry tickets etc and think it’s nice to drive in the bus lane. Hurrah for Musk!

• Jarle B says:

Fact: A majority of the respondents in a recent survey (in Norway) said electric car would not be an option if the government take away all the incentives.

• tfouto says:

Yes. That’s why the govenrment give all incentives. That’s also a fact. If not no need for subsidies…

• Jarle B says:

“That’s why the govenrment give all incentives. That’s also a fact. If not no need for subsidies…”

Sorry, I didn’t get that…

• Jarle B says:

tfouto,

you do understand that a government need the car taxes/ road tolls etc – or the will have to build less roads etc?

• tfouto says:

i didn’t get what you wanted to prove. That’s why subsidides exist. If it would be an option then government wouldn’t need to give incentives.

That’s what subsidies are for… Any type of subsidies…

• tfouto says:

Yes of course i understand the need for car taxes and road taxes…

• Paul says:

Yes – there is big money to be made in tapping into the green religion. The true believers in the green saviour are great customers — they drink the kool-aid without questioning anything — and they are often a wealthy demographic — so if you can come up with something that appeals to them you can make a whole lot of money…

Probably the most hypocritical group of people on the planet…

The only way to go ‘green’ is to do this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walden Of course Tesla and Prius owners would laugh at you if you suggested that … while sipping the premium double latte machiatto grande while taking a break from buying hemp bags (in a mega mall with AC) that have been shipped half way around the world.

Heck if you suggested these people take the bus to the mall they’d be insulted.

11. J says:

So for MAYBE 6 more years TPTB can fudge the numbers and in the meantime we will live with headlines such as “Britain’s recovery gains momentum – but wages slip”. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/14/business/international/bank-of-england-lifts-growth-and-inflation-forecasts.html?_r=0

But there will come a day when every chart is pointing down. Steel production. Oil “production”. Tankers in circulation. Trucks on the road. PCs manufactured. Phones manufactured. Vehicles produced. People living on earth (perhaps a little delayed). I mean solid facts that we’re in de-growth mode. They are starting to emerge but not to a point where everyone sees them.

I guess everyone on this list has a plan. Will it work? Even harder, how can I help my child? I always feel that people in their 60s have it good. They “made it through”. The barista at 21 – not so much. I’m somewhere in the middle.

My “buddy” mentioned is now living aboard a boat and may sail away. Orlov also has a boat. I have a boat. If nothing else my boat helps me retain hope. But eventually it will need to be hauled out and need new sails and new engines and everything eventually and I may be broke at that time.

But hope is important.

• Paul says:

Yes the disconnect between the headlines and the reality is incredible.

China has been instrumental in keeping the hamster running — they have engaged in the mother of all infrastructure projects — see http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/06/13/1306854/-China-has-consumed-more-concrete-in-3-5-years-than-United-States-did-in-100-years-says-Bill-Gates#

As is if that was not enough they are stockpiling astronomic amounts of metals http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-17/chinese-iron-ore-stockpiles-rise-record-end-demand-plummets

This has lead of course to a massive credit crisis in china — but the PBOC simply keeps on spewing out new cash to lend to the bankrupt entities involved in these projects so that they can make interest payments on loans they will never repay.

How long can this go on – who knows — as long as nobody tells the emperor he has not clothes perhaps quite a while longer — it is of course in the interest of no one to reveal the truth — because there is not way to trade this and make money when it collapses — so everyone plays along as if this was normal.

Someone mentioned that they had seen doomsday scenarios come and go — and asked why this was any different.

Well – there’s another demonstration of just how desperate this situation is… can you imagine building an entire new MANHATTAN — that remains completely empty — just to keep the hamster running?

Most people not comprehend the implications of that video — because we are like frogs slowly boiling in a pot…

thank goodness for our nuclear primacy… we can do nuke first strikes on china and russia when the crunch comes

meanwhile, it looks like china is serious about digging that nicaragua canal… well, that seems to have been, originally, a bechtel reagan-era idea… reagan’s administrationw as infested with bechtel guys, iran/contra/ollie north and all that…

so china builds thenicaragua canal… what on earth for?

because of the maybe trillion barrels of heavy bitumen in venezuela’s orinoco belt, that’s why… that stuff can be diluted with water and a surfactant and then it will flow through pipelines… it’s called “orimulsion”, and the process has been abandoned by western oil companies but china’s till there in venezuela, refining their orimulsion production techniques

so the stuff will be loaded on chinese tankers, go through the nicaragua canal, and thence to china

.
i guess we could have done all that, except we are committed t infantile fantasies of gunning the owrld, like some mad scientist out of a 50s movie

.
oh, sure… there are variations… we need a big final war so jesus will come back… that’s not very appealing to most people

or maybe we have to protect israel… that’s starting to leave a bitter taste in lots of peoples’ mouths…

or maybe…

it gets tiresome

12. Paul says:

James – re central banks – was unable to comment on your earlier comment:

“The whole debt Ponzi was set up deliberately in the first place to make the 1% rich”

I think those who really benefit are far less than 1%… follow the money — who owns the central banks? Why do THEY get to make money out of nothing and charge interest?

Heck why can’t I do that? Here – you want a billion dollars at 2% — done. As long as those who really control this system do not completely screw it up (let’s be frank – pretty hard to screw that gig up eh) this goes on for a long time — as it has…

But eventually it runs out of room — which it has… and those in shift the levers are I guarantee running scared… their perpetual money making machine is busted — because it was always a bit of smoke and mirrors…. the real basis of this is cheap energy… they just found the best way to exploit the system…

Quite brilliant actually. And quite amazing that the world could be enslaved by so few men.

Anyway – it’s all about to end and these masters of the universe are about to find out they never were.

13. It is plain to see now, that the world is turning from the rail of one way globalization effort into circling the wagon tactics of various factions. It used to be recently just words of theoretical warnings and plans, while today it’s direct actions, especially now with the sanction and contra-sanction of US/EU vs. Russia/friends. From that observation follows that new arrangments of global and regional powersharing have to be agreed upon and put in practice. And it’s fairly unlikely the first reaction would be radically ending the fiat/debt system “overnight”, what could be more likely proceeding in the next few years is some kind of forced debt/banking collateral clean up in which the complexity of virtual economy is reduced (null derivatives etc.) not transformed or evolved. Simply, pension funds and governments will be left to cut to the bone in order to have the patient survive another day. Look at the PIGS countries in Europe, fake government numbers on the economy, people pushed into shadow economics and/or various degree of starvation, unconsumption. While the system is still humming along. I doubt we can meassure the treshold of collapse. The future is therefore much more scary, the Seneca Cliff event of shark fin could be the point of no return. And that might be “easily” postponned a decade or two, even more for the western countries. As evidenced now, people can just sit home watch stupid soapp, and tap on their igadgets while receiving some government nutritional ration to keep them quasi comatose aka alive but not strong enough to mount rebellion or political movement etc. I suggest to all read up on available long term historical cycle accounts, the dynamics is often very similar. It could be long and nasty.

14. Paul says:

John Doyle commented on World Oil Production at 3/31/2014–Where are We Headed?.
in response to Paul:

And for the most part Gail’s extremely well-reasoned and researched views… Since she has done all the hard work for us I suggest you read through the archives on this site — then you too might be able to post arguments instead of opinions.

So you too are just reprising Gail’s arguments?
Show me how I post opinions and you post arguments?

If you follow my thousands (millions?) of comments on this forum you will likely see that I have a few original thoughts from time to time – but for the most part I post comments backed by comments from people who have done thorough research on the issue I am looking into.

I am wise enough to know when I don’t know — and I defer to those who are smarter and have done the heavy lifting. But I do not simply regurgitate what others have said — I frequently disagree (I do at times disagree with Gail)

Ultimately that is what this forum is all about — it is a place to learn from people who are seeking answers — from people who spend time on learning and understanding — I get more links to more interesting and useful articles on this forum than the rest of the www combined… (zero hedge also posts some good stuff as well – but its finance vs energy)

15. dashui says:

Recently I got an invitation to the 3rd Annual Governors Energy Summit in October.
Featuring former prez. canidate and gov. of texas, rick perry!
And who is Gov.Perry bringing to inform us on 21st century energy issues? The first person all us peek oilers think of, John Michael Greer? No! none other than John Ratzenberger, the actor who is best known for playing “norm” on cheers.
THings r getting more and more bizarre….

• Paul says:

Maybe Sarah will make an appearance? I will give her one thing — she was right about Drill Baby Drill — without fracking we are not here (actually she is a paid cheerleader nothing more – so right is not really appropriate)

Sarah Palin! Not one of the sharpest tools in the shed. Didn’t I just say that?

MG, you’re right. Forget gold and silver, and even bitcoins. What will be of real value will be 50lb. bags of flour, rice and beans or anything edible that has a long shelf life.

• tfouto says:

Gold of the future just have a different name and color. Is black liquid and it’s called…

• Paul says:

What do you do with spare cash when you already have enough 50lb bags of food… cans of food and tools to last you for years?

• tfouto says:

how do you have cans of food to last for years???

• Paul says:

How about if we just leave it at — enough food to last through a significant enough period — along with a very productive piece of farmland…. and stockpiles of tools needed for many many years…

If that then what would you do with extra cash? It’s not as if there is any point making investments — so might as well either blow it — or put at least some of it into gold or silver.

I suspect when things blow to pieces there will be a short period – months – maybe a year or more — where we are under martial law as the die off occurs and the PTB struggle to hold things together… during that period PM might provide a god-send ….

But after than when the real crazy gets started as the PTB run out of fuel reserves and are unable to keep things under control….

I see it kinda like the period after the Titanic was holed and the band kept playing and the brave faces were put on for a few hours – then the forces of gravity took the hole heaving mass that everyone thought would go on forever — to the bottom of deep ice cold sea.

I doubt gold will be of much use then — for those that don’t go to the bottom they will be like Jack and his girl — suffering badly and clinging to the detritus of a failed civilization… food will be all that matters at that point…. I doubt there will be any surpluses available in most places… no surpluses no need for money…

However once things stabilize gold might be useful.

A lot of what ifs in there…. but again — it goes back to either you blow it — or you buy gold… or a little of both…

(4000+ cooling ponds… no means to cool them — blow it all asap?)

• tfouto says:

Paul and others,

Do you have a pile of food stored? If so, for how long will it last? What kind of food? Canned food?

• Paul says:

We have a lot of canned food stored at our place in Bali — primarily protein (tuna, sardines, ham) — we have an inventory but I am out of Bali so don’t know specifics (probably 500+ cans?)

We also have quit a bit of dried beans + pasta in storage — we have had problems with rice.

I worked out that we have enough food stored for at least 6 months assuming we for some reason were unable to supplement with what we grow (we are two adults and we have two kids who we sponsor who live with us) The main reason we store food is because I am sure it will be a huge shock when the shops close — and having to immediately fall back on what we grow will be a tough transition — so this gives us a bridge — also if there is a crop failure we want to have a back up plan.

The reason we have protein is because we produce loads of fruit and vegetables year round… much more difficult to produce protein…

We also have two large water storage tanks (1000 litres each I think) — when we see things going sideways we will fill those — as mentioned I am also installing a solar bore pump + we have a roof rainwater catchment system in place — so that means water should not be an issue

We’ve also hoarded lots shovels and other implements we use in farming… We have many many extras which we could use for barter or just give to the villagers around us — we need them to be able to produce food or they will be relying on us…

Rick Perry! Not one of the sharpest tools in the shed. At least “Norm” was fat and funny!

16. Paul says:

It just occurred to me — I am wondering if Sarah Pailin is now participating on this site — under an alias of course….

17. Paul says:

Gail – if you had a choice of where to make your last stand — assuming you could emigrate without any hassles.

Which place would you choose and why?

• the little bighorn–where else

• Paul says:

Alamo? No water though…

• tfouto says:

I know I am not Gail.

Neverthless, Norway. Plently of water. 100% of renewable energy production Almost from hydric. Oil that could be used for producing critical parts. Big, big land for the amount of people living in. Cold would be the major issue. Rely on blankets and warm clothes and fireplace…

• Paul says:

I think interesting to hear others thoughts on this as well!

• tfouto says:

Or in a desert Pacific island… All you have to do is learn fishing…

• Paul says:

• tfouto says:

Good idea…

it must have been an awful move… my dad, in his 60s alone with his dump truck, loads 26 years’ accumulation of american junk and move across the state… my brother and his family had moved there and my mother wanted to be close, so my brother moves back to where we all came from

daddy’s too old now, and the horror of that first move haunted him, so they stayed

nice setup, real good dirt, fruit trees, a couple acres, decent house, good barn…

right next to the reeway from portland –daddy must have figured that would be the family refuge –right next to the freeway

the freeway –despair for his gallantry and…. –watching the fruit rot on the ground

after 13 years of this internet crap, maybe i’ve got a warped opinion of humanity

what do you do when your kids are crying, hungry, and you cant afford to feed them?

do you steal food from trees next to the freeway? …if it’s a small place defended by an old man who cant see well enough anymore to shoot straight, do you just move in and take over>

when do we get so desperate that we quit cooperating?

what made the neocons desperate enough to need a new pearl harbor?

have their actions since rendered them less than human?

or do i have a naive opinion of what humanity is?

i still say people know what’s happening, and their refusal to talk about it is just evidence that they’re aware, too, of the uncertainty and the possible horror of it all

• Jarle B says:

I’m living in Norway. We are now about five million people. That’s to much. When North America was colonised, about one million Norwegians took part. One million out of a lot less then five millions are a lot. Emigration in those days was a lot harder than today, but it was better than staying because staying meant starving, often to death. What I’m saying is that Norway without hydro carbons do not have the carrying capacity for five millions – more like well below one million. But I’m staying anyway, because I don’t think that anywhere else is better.

• Coast Watcher says:

Right where I am, the coast of Maine. Lots of hardwood trees for heat, rivers and ocean access for fish and trade, an active and growing organic small-farm culture, a long history among its residents of use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do wthout. A 1981 news article on survivalists in Maine quoted one person as saying, “Everyone in Maine is a survivalist.” She was referring to our “gettin’ by” culture. Not much has changed since, once you get outside Portland.

• MJx says:

Trappist Abbey of Gethsemani near Bardstown Kentucky. Pretty secluded and self sufficient and all peaceful monks about my age. No one will hurt you there and sure the locals will pretty much leave them alone

18. yoananda says:

Gail, comments are blocked on the other post.

““Peak oil” is related to what I am writing about, but not really the same thing. What I am writing about might better be described as “Limits to
Growth. Peak oil is a story based on geological depletion that leaves out the economic impacts. It is right in the sense that it shows that oil limits are close at hand. Where it falls down is showing how the scenario will play out–whether substitution will be possible, for example. The Hubbert Curve model that is frequently used gives the impression that future oil production will be far higher than it really will be.”

===>
I like to think that the “obvious signal” (for the dumbs) of “peak oil” (in the sense limit to growth) will be one of the 5 major bankruptcy.

Peak oil is a proxy for limit to growth. It’s more easy to understand and to estimate. Including economic relationships is a dynamic/complex system, non predictible in essence.

Steven Koppits just have written an interresting post :
http://blogs.platts.com/2014/07/30/peak-oil-forecasts/
productivity of capital has deteriorated by a factor of four, from $5,300 capex b/d of oil production in 2004 to$21,400 in 2013. This deterioration is net of technology improvements. Geology is not only winning, it is crushing technology.

• Paul says:

“Geology is not only winning, it is crushing technology.” Like

• VPK says:

Oil companies fracking into drinking water sources, new research shows
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-fracking-groundwater-pavillion-20140811-story.html#page=1
Fracking into underground drinking water sources is not prohibited by the 2005 Energy Policy Act, which exempted the practice from key provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act. But the industry has long held that it does not hydraulically fracture into underground sources of drinking water because oil and gas deposits sit far deeper than aquifers.

The study, however, found that energy companies used acid stimulation, a production method, and hydraulic fracturing in the Wind River and Fort Union geological formations that make up the Pavillion gas field and that contain both natural gas and sources of drinking water.

lRelated Deal will keep fracking battle off Colorado ballot
POLITICS NOW
Deal will keep fracking battle off Colorado ballot
SEE ALL RELATED
8

“Thousands of gallons of diesel fuel and millions of gallons of fluids containing numerous inorganic and organic additives were injected directly into these two formations during hundreds of stimulation events,” concluded Dominic DiGiulio and Robert Jackson of Stanford’s School of Earth Sciences in a presentation Tuesday at the American Chemical Society conference in San Francisco.

• Paul says:

Yet another example of the total desperation of the situation – and how this time is different.

Think about it — we are poisoning our land and drinking water — to get at the dregs of old oil fields.

The EPA has made frackers exempt from clean water act laws.

Why in the hell would we do such things?

Clearly the PTB feel that they have no choice — because they know that if they don’t poisoned drinking water will not matter — because most people will be dead if they don’t get that oil out of the ground

Frogs boiling in water…

there’s one other little thing here that enters into the peak oil denial syndrome…
.

peak oil doesnt exist, so it couldnt have been the reason the neocons needed a new pearl harbor

but the logic is inescapable –oil wells peak and quit, whole oilfields peak and quit, oil-producing regions peak and quit

but peak oil doesnt exist because, if it did, it would have been the reason the neocons got their new pearl harbor and have committed all these atrocities since

once you admit to the existence peak oil, you open the door to a chanin of logic that is unthinkable, including the neocons’ supposed strategic alliance with israel, and israel is still exploiting the holocaust exemption…
.
.
well, nevermind… humans bigest talent seems to be a talent for self-deception..

how else can you explain the existence of religion?

we dont know israel’s function in the neocon scheme of things… we know they’ree= exemption and some of that exemption seems to have rubbed off on the neocons, even goy neocons

so we got to wonder, “is israel being used, again? …or is israel sceduled to become the nerve center of the neocon empire once it achieves its ‘benevolent global hegemony’?”

or is israel alredy the nerve center? …or is israel being used by the brits again to recruit american musscle into the brits’ last-gasp effort to preserve their empire?

• Paul says:

Chomksy would disagree — but I am fairly certain the tail is wagging the dog.

And before anyone shouts anti-semite — if I were Jewish I would not be real comfortable with such a situation — because when these sorts of things boil over — the elites with the big money who exert control do NOT give a damn about me — and I feel the brunt of the backlash — meanwhile the puppet masters at the top pick up the chess pieces and start again.

does any of this make any difference in the long run –say, in a thousand years?

\it probably does, because we’re wasting so much time, effort, money, oil and good will on wrecking stuff when we should be using all those resources to set ourselves up for dealing with a post-oil world

if the oil runs out and we’ve squandered all those already… well, figure it out

• tfouto says:

What puzzles me the most is that the “experts” financial, editors, scientists are all unware of this. Almost all. Sustainability, the fall of our civilization…

• Paul says:

Upton Sinclair: ‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.’

Not only does this apply to financial analysts and finance journalists — it applies to EVERY single person on the planet.

BAU is what pays the bills for us — it feeds us… so no wonder so few ‘get it’

Interestingly a few of the big financial bloggers do reply if I send them questions and ideas — but across the board NONE of them has anything to say when I suggest this is all about oil – even if I sent them very good analysis.

I am not sure if they disagree – or if they simply do not want to go there — because if they concede expensive oil is the problem it would be pretty difficult to keep on writing analysis — because basically everything you are covering would be white noise.

the only thing that makes much sense to me is that the big people who are aware are trying to prolong their opportunities to loot…

the theory being, “if we stack up enough loot, we’ll be able to buy refuge… maybe set up enclaves, hire protection and labor and whatnot”

that makes sense, i guess, if you’re a psychopath

sometimes i thinki isrel i “enclave practice”… and practice makes perfect, they say

• tfouto says:

one problem in the future will be security… Places like that will be flooded by people in dispair. People will move to rural areas and invade other people terrains…

19. Rodster says:

This article puts together nicely what Gail has been saying that the entire Global Economy is a networked entity and how energy and the health of the economies are tied at the hip. As cheap oil goes so will the economies. I could not have said it better than the article posted on the SRSRoccoReport.com

Steve has been correlating cheap oil along with precious metals and the health of the economy. Chris Martenson has been saying the same for sometime now.
——————————————————————————————————————–
http://srsroccoreport.com/the-unknown-factor-how-the-global-financial-system-will-collapse/the-unknown-factor-how-the-global-financial-system-will-collapse/

“THE UNKNOWN FACTOR: How The Global Financial System Will Collapse”

Excerpt: “One day out of the blue, the Global Financial System will collapse plunging the world’s economies into a depression for which there is no recovery. The reason for this sudden collapse will be due to a factor that most analysts fail to recognize or understand.

Roger Boyd discusses the negative implications of the Self-Reinforcing Feedback Loops of Energy and the Financial System. Basically, Boyd shows how the world moved into a new economic system over the past century where the Global Financial System and Energy are now dependent on each other to survive.

Up until the middle of the 1800′s, the world’s energy supply was mostly based on human-animal labor along with the burning of wood for fuel. To account for this simple LABOR-WOOD BASED energy economy, gold and silver were used as money for trade. Which meant, the world powers acquired and colonized countries with large gold and silver deposits.”

• Paul says:

Thanks for the post (the useful ones are few and far between these days)

“What happens when the world finally realizes that it cannot continue to grow its global oil supply?”

I agree with that — the central banks have been able to override any failures in the financial system by printing money and backstopping any failing economy or key business — but when fracking peaks, because energy is the foundation of everything and fracking is the only type of oil that is growing… when it starts to decline then Houston — we have a problem…..

That said — conventional oil continues to decline — so if that decline outstrips the increases in fracking and new oil finds…. then we have a problem much sooner… the markets will quickly reflect a peaking of total supply — the price of oil will quickly move upwards when supplies flat line…

And because this involves something that is tangible (you can’t print oil) — I expect the central banks will powerless to act.

That’s probably when we get Mr Obama on the teevee telling us we have a real big problem — but that if we stick together we will get through this — we just need to introduce a few temporary measures to make sure we transition smoothly …. including martial law and shooting anyone who attempts to come out of their house to loot or search for food.

That will roll out worldwide — and before you know it — billions will be curled up in balls in their homes — slowly dying from starvation.

No Hollywood ending this time I am afraid

• tfouto says:

One idea,

I was thinking in getting a diet. Maybe now i will thinking in getting really fat…

If we get really fat we might have more months to live…

• MG says:

The gold and silver will have limited/no value in the future. As the humankind has discovered the value of the energy, the energy is more and more valuable than gold or silver. The real value of the paper/electronic money is higher than that of gold or silver, as the creation of such money is less energy intensive than mining, processing etc. of gold. There is no way back to gold or silver.

It is more probable that the barter trade will replace the money than the gold or silver will be used as money again. Various “bitcoins” etc. are a clear example of this trend.

• Paul says:

Gold is simply a way of storing surpluses — surpluses only come about because of excess energy.

Since we will be going back to a situation where surpluses will likely only be realized by yoking animals to plows — there will be very limited levels of surplus production.

Since gold has historically been the default store of wealth — even when the only surpluses were a result of enslaving animals — I could see a return to that.

However I can’t see that happening particularly soon — when things collapse I doubt there will be any surpluses at least in the first years — most people will be struggling to produce enough calories simply to survive.

Of course this all assumes exploding nuclear facilities don’t kill every bit of life on the planet

• MG says:

“Since gold has historically been the default store of wealth”

What is the meaning of gold in the world with the depleting energy resources? We were on the upward trend since the begining of the human race, as there was always some new energy horizon on the surface or below the surface of the Earth.

But now we more and more lack the energy for achieving further horizons. That is the reason of the deflation. And the gold will not be spared from the deflation, too. It will have a very little value in the future, lower than the aluminium or some other contemporary metals, plastics that require very high energy inputs to produce them and that are much more valuable as regards their importance for everyday life and that we will not be able produce in the future with wood, sun, hydro or wind energy.

• Paul says:

Right.

But if I have my farm and it produces more than we need — I can barter it — but I might also want to store the surplus someone as I don’t need anything when the crop comes in.

So I need to store that wealth somehow — if that is the case then gold likely performs that role.

I believe that is how money came into being… and gold is money of course

• tfouto says:

Is Bill Gates unware of peak oil?

• Paul says:

No idea — and I don’t care.

I have a problem with people referring to these titans of industry as if they know everything about everything.

Bill Gates has done one thing in his life – the Operating System for computers — and then of course he has been very good at monopolizing the market by buying out upstarts or crushing them with monopolistic methods.

If I want to understand an OS or how to keep competitors out of my way I will ask him.

See Malcolm Glawell – Outliers – for more on this

But I would not value his feedback on this issue any more than that of any other intelligent person – and from my experience — almost every intelligent I know — does not believe that expensive energy is the cause of our problems.

Being a billionaire means someone has a certain level of intelligence — (by no means must you be a genius) — a very intense focus — good organizational skills — a strong work ethic — a massive ego (if not ego what drives you past the first 10M or so?) — and first and foremost — luck.

In fact asking a billionaire what he thinks of something outside of his industry is probably a complete waste of time — because to get to that level of wealth you pretty much have to keep your eye on the ball — such people often have no interests outside their business because they are generally megalomaniacs who count happiness by their position on Fortune’s richest people list.

Funny thing is many of these people — because they are fawned upon by the MSM and the masses — get to believing they do know everything about everything.

Oh – if you were looking for feedback on the best mega yacht builder — they would likely be experts on such things…

• edpell says:

Bill Gates is 4th generation banking family in Washington state. He knows corporate structuring to funnel money to himself.

MG, you’re right. Forget gold and silver, and even bitcoins. What will be of real value will be 50lb. bags of flour, rice and beans or anything edible that has a long shelf life.

20. Paul says:

Oh my….

Japan GDP Plunges 6.8%, Consumption Down 19.2%, Private Investment Down 9.7%

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.ca/2014/08/japan-gdp-plunges-68-consumption-down.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+MishsGlobalEconomicTrendAnalysis+%28Mish%27s+Global+Economic+Trend+Analysis%29

so what does abe do for an encore now that his massive QE plan has failed?

And how does the stock market in Japan not implode? Oh right — because central banks are buying stocks and propping it up — and passing cash to the companies who are also buying back stocks…

• VPK says:

I’m enjoying the show, I know you are Paul, what will they do for an encore?
I know, approve the XL Pipeiine!
http://online.wsj.com/articles/democrats-increasingly-backing-oil-and-gas-industry-1407790617
Democrats Increasingly Backing Oil and Gas Industry
Lawmakers in the Party Weigh Benefits of Fracking Boom Against Opposition from Environmentalists
The energy boom is shaping a new kind of Democrat in national politics, lawmakers who are giving greater support to the oil and gas industry even at the risk of alienating environmental groups, a core of the party’s base. The trend comes as oil-and-gas production moves beyond America’s traditionally energy-rich states, a development that also is increasing U.S. geopolitical influence abroad.
“It’s a huge business opportunity for the country,” said Rep. John Delaney (D., Md.), who was among 17 first-term lawmakers who voted yes on Mr. Gardner’s bill. It passed the House and now awaits action in the Senate.

Mr. Delaney, whose district extends from the Washington-area suburbs to the West Virginia border, opposes a moratorium Maryland has placed on fracking. “I think that has really hurt the western part of my district.”
See, the Sarah Pa;in was RIGHT after all,
DRILL, BABY, DRILL

• That global levitation act put on since 2007-9 is just out of this world.
It’s comparable only to those proverbial 7wonders of the ancient era. I gather the situation as of now strongly suggest that the temporary “solution” after the next leg down will be some form of heavy top down crush of all social, environmental, and political dissent. And the people will gladly take it when facing their “service economy skills” vs. hunger and cold rooms. Now the question remains how long such temporary “emergency” plateau could be maintained? Years, decade or two, even a bit longer? That’s impossible to predict, while it’s likely some regions will fall apart pretty quickly and others not so much, perhaps that’s going on right now in the ME. So we are back to rule number one again, get out of metropolis, get out of any attachments to the industrial world. Which is rather impossible task anyway for most of us.

21. tfouto says:

http://insideevs.com/4-optare-electric-buses-enter-service-london/

4 Optare Electric Buses Enter Service In London

“The introduction of the four pure electric Optare MetroCity buses is the first step of the Mayor’s plan for all single deck buses in central London to be zero emission at tailpipe, as part of the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone, from 2020. This brings the total number of electric buses now in service in London to six. The first two electric buses in London have been operating on routes 507 and 521 since last December. A further two are expected to enter service later this year.”

According to Optare, the MetroCity has range of up to 100 miles and can be fast charged in 2 hours. Overnight charging takes 5 hours.

“The introduction of these new pure electric vehicles is part of our continuing assessment of the technology, to ensure it can handle the capital’s challenging operational environment. We will be closely monitoring the results of the trials, which may help us adopt this new clean technology more widely in London.”

My words now:

I think more and more, that phrases like: clean technology, green energy, climante change are used by governments to ilude people that that’s the major problem. Is disguised as the real problem which is oil addiction. And the need to leave oil. But that way sounds cool, and dont make people panic. People feel good about green energy. If they were thinking about oil addiction and the problems of oil shortage there would be panic.

Climate change is important, but almost irrelavant to me to oil shortage that going to happen.

Sustainability of energy and resources is a abstract concept on mind of people. People know that oil is a non-renewable resource. (altough it might be considered renewable on a very long timescale), but is like a abstract idea. Oil will never run. Dont affect me…

• dolph9 says:

The relationship of energy to the political and financial sphere is too abstract for most people.

So we are never actually going to attribute anything to “peak oil” anymore than the Romans were able to correctly analyze or prevent the factors leading to their demise.

Here in America, It will be the the liberals, the jews, the mexicans, the canadians, the blacks, the environmentalists, the muslims, the russians, the chinese, the federal reserve, the bilderbergs, the illuminati, the new world order, the neighbor’s dog, the hairdresser, the elderly, the welfare bums, etc. etc.

All of these groups (and more) will be scapegoated as the reason why America ends up in civil war instead of building race tracks and strip malls on Mars.

• tfouto says:

yes but foremost when prices of oil start to spike, the guilty ones will the big oil companies that are willing to gain big profits.

for them oil is almost infinite.

Except it is the big oil companies that are keeping us all alive. “Exxon for President!”

• Paul says:

“The relationship of energy to the political and financial sphere is too abstract for most people.”

Completely agree — but I am not sure why this is so difficult for people to understand.

I generally try to explain it this wa:

When oil prices increase dramatically as they did in 2008 people have to increase the amount of money they spend on gasoline (and everything else of course but I focus on gasoline) – if you spent $50 a week on gas and you now spend 100 – you have less cash available to buy other stuff. When everyone buys less stuff that means less work for people producing stuff. So people get laid off at the factories which means they have less money to spend on stuff — and of course they pay not taxes when they have no jobs — so governments have less money to spend on stuff and services — which means more layoffs — which leads to a death spiral. At that point the blank stares come. This is not difficult to understand — something is happening in the minds of people when they are confronted by that rather easily understood explanation. For some reason the gears begin to grind and they go catatonic….and smoke comes out of their ears… It must be some sort of defense mechanism being deployed — because that explanation destroys the foundation of everything — if one accepts what I have said then the constructs that people rely on to remain sane start to unravel —- one thing leads to another — if that is correct then b) capitalism has failed then c) what about my job d) what about my children e) how do I eat f) I am going to die… So people go into denial — this cannot happen! It will not happen! They are not stupid — they know exactly what that story means – in fact one very smart person I know even said to me ‘well yes if it is correct that the end of cheap oil is the problem and we are unable to extract oil then we are all dead’ — and he fell back on the tried and true ‘but we always invent our ways out of these things — so we will again’ Technology — performs the function of religion to many. 22. Rodster says: A reminder that we all live in a finite world. “Las Vegas Will Go Dry If Water Levels Drop 7% Further – Lake Mead Hits Record Lows” http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-08-12/las-vegas-will-go-dry-if-water-levels-drop-7-further-lake-mead-hits-record-lows “Lake Mead – the main source of fresh water for Las Vegas and its 40 million visitors – just hit record low levels at 1080 feet. Most concerning – at 1,000 feet, drinking water intakes will no longer function and Las Vegas will go dry. As analysts concluded previously, “unless it can find a way to get more water from somewhere, Las Vegas is out of business. Yet they’re still building, which is stupid.” • Like I was banging on in an earlier post—denial is maybe our biggest danger 23. wadosy says: ah well 24. J says: Just hung out with a guy with more extreme views. His claims: * Agenda 21 – major aim of population reduction, spraying us with aluminum and barium and “chaf” Also for climate change mitigation * FEMA camps being constructed. Preparing large detention camps. * Over a weekend checking accounts will be “non-acessible” causing immediate panic. * Borders to the south are open on purpose so that sick people can enter (busses in some cases) and cause major pandemic here. All to have a cause to declare an emergency. * The Bilderbergs now own much of the world. * The great depression was a planned event that transferred enormos amounts of wealth to the bankers * 9-11 was an inside job to justify the Iraq war. What’s the opinion? Any truth to any of this? • we can maybe do without such idiocy • wadosy says: in my opinion, your guy disqualified himelf with his chemtrail theory . and we dont need an bunch of speculation about who’s doing what to whom and why when the PNAC people came –bill kristol and robert kagan, for example– have stated they intend to cahieve “benevolent global hegemony”… …the “benevolence” of which has long ago departed the building kagan is the co-founder of PNAC and his wife, victoria nuland, seems to be running the ukraine fiasco . earlier on, in 1999, PNAC signtory cheney showed an awareness of peak oil at a speech he gave to the london institute of petroluem cheney didnt sign PNAC’s “new pearl harbor” document in september 2000, but he signed their “statement of principles” in 1997… • I expect most of this is nonsense. At some point, I could imagine a version of “Over a weekend checking accounts will be “non-acessible” causing immediate panic.” More likely, we could pull out a maximum of$200, or something like that. Or we would find that our retirement accounts are all invested in government debt.

i tot to say, gail, that i admire your willingness to publish stuff that has become politically incorrect

the problem is, for gatekeepers on other websites, is that the facts are out there, tons of them

.
i got to admit it looks pretty hopeless sometimes, but i’n not very sure at all that god cares enough about us to save us

you know what i mean?

• tfouto says:

I believe in God. But does God saves African people today of starving to death? Dying from wars and diseases? Does all Roman civilization saved from death? Jews from being gased during holocaust? Are we special people from God?

.if you believe you’re “special people from god”, it seems likely you’re gonna tempt fate

not such a good thing to do

we talk about getting down to a “micro” level –a personal level– to deal with pak oil, and we’ve got to cooperate locally to pull it off

but the biggest threat to humanity is global –we’ve got to scale our efforts up to educate people, and we’ve got the tolls to do it with the internet

so we got this contradiction… we have to cooperate to survive, but our leaders seem to believe might makes right.. is their guiding philsophy obsolete in light of our ability to communicate globally, instantly?

is it a misinterpretation of darwin? ..when we’re talking about “survival of the fittest” are the fittest humans those that can best cooperate with each other on a global scale?

• I may not like the idea very much, but the my prime function has been to see to it that my children reach the stage of reproduction.
Thats it in terms of raw brutality.
OK—so I wouldn’t see a neighbours child come to harm, but we live in times of plenty, not privation, so that primary force can be subverted…but I m not so foolish as to think it isn’t there, just below the surface.
I have concerns about the immediate future—and have the means to take steps to protect myself a little, I might be able to help my own kids out of a hole, if only temporarily—Do i follow my primeval instinct and help my own, or help a 100 others who have not taken a few precautionary measures?
Interesting conundrum dont you think?

oh, it’s quite obvious that your childrens’ survival depends on our destroy russia and eruope in another big war

that will destroy two centers of resistance to the neocons’ “benevolent global hegemony” and your children will be able to bask forever in neocon hegemony and benevolence

• erm—-I don’t quite follow that one
just pointing out genetic forces over which I have no control

sounds like a prtty lame excuse

but then i never saw any need to have kids, having grown up pretty close to the land –hunter and fisherman– and having watched an ivasion of my hunting territory by refugees from california

kids never made much sense to me

my wife said she wanted kids, but i didnt believe her

good catholic girl –well, not so good by then, but we tried, lord knows we tried

didnt happen, and i have no doubt i’d be a different person now if it had worked

under the “benevolent global hegemony”, kids will have their DNA analyzed at birth… if they dont measure up, they will be sterilized, right then and there

good deal

.
or we could try telling poeople, once it becomes so bovious that it’s undeniable, that the planet simply cant support all of us

so wil will voluntarily limit ourselves to one child

it’s up to the women

but the dominant women have turned into warrior princesses

hooray for hollywood

• Jarle B says:

End of More,

thinking about what’s ahead I’m glad I don’t have children. But I think that there’s newer just you for yourself, so I guess I will have others to worry about…

• Jarle B says:

Edit: *never*, that is…

• I have grandkids too—worrying about them is just too much, the first generation is bad enough—and as my dad warned me—youre never free of them

• tfouto says:

I have 8 nephews. I fear for them. Not as much as having sons I bet, but terrifying neverthless…

• tagio says:

Gail, I wish people would explain this “you will wake up one day and be told that all your retirement accounts will be invested in government debt” meme. Or dropt it, because it just doesn’t seem realistic to me. As most people hold their retirement funds in stock or bond funds, this meme seems to imply that the government would force an exchange of all stocks and corporate bonds held in these funds for Treasuries or other government promises (bond funds holding Treasuries would perhaps be forced to exchange short-term Treasuries for long-term Treasuries). Not only would this likely make the government the majority owner and/or a very large creditor of most public companies (nationalization) but, presumably, this would destroy the investment industry and the security trading industry. No more (private) money to be made buying and selling stocks and bonds, or managing people’s savings and investments. But I thought the government worked for the banks and the finance industry. Is the government going to destroy the predatory industries that make all those campaign contributions?

Isn’t a more realistic scenario that government would force retirement funds to be paid out on an annuity basis over the retirees’ remaining lifetime, thus preventing large cash outs and runs on the funds and allowing debasement and collapsing company values to do their work? No cashing out and buying land or anything real.

• Paul says:

Where will governments get the funds to pay out anything when the SHTF? There will be no jobs – there will be no economy…

In fact there will be no centralized government at all because governments on this scale require energy and revenues to exist.

There may be some sort of martial law for a time (to keep order while the die off occurs) — and at some point there is likely to be some sort of small community organizations emerging in the aftermath — but to think that there will be anything remotely resembling what we have now — well that is underestimating the nature and the scale of what is imminent.

I wouldn’t be overly concerned about receiving a pension — because most of us will soon be dead anyway. And anyone who is alive will be mainly concerned with growing food.

• Jarle B says:

J,

don’t waste your time on stuff like this. Tell your friend to shut up, and make the most out of every day – “Carpe diem”, as they love to say in Hollywood movies.

• VPK says:

For amusement I bring up the topic among co-workers and others here in the USA. Their reaction is on of non response and change the topic ASAP and it seems one can not fathom that such a change of depletion can occur in our world.
I agree with Paul 99% will not register what is going on when the SHTF, even if they were warned beforehand.

• Paul says:

I generally don’t bring this topic up with anyone but a few of my closer friends — and siblings. The main reason I bother is because perhaps they might be able to make some sort of preparations — sadly none of them are. One friend I know has understood there is no way out — he is single and he retired at a relatively young age — and he is have a ripping time of it until it all comes crashing down — as he knows it will.

Not much point in discussing with other people — I find that they are not open to the idea — and I prefer not to antagonize them — and I don’t want to be sucking the happiness out of the room by bringing this rather negative topic up (although I might test the waters to see if they get it — none do)

And I really don’t care if they agree and take action — I am not about to be the second coming of Jesus and try to get disciples to follow me … most of them could do very little anyway (perhaps what I an others do is pointless anyway).

I have determined it is best to leave them be — let them enjoy their families and lives without having the burden of this hanging over them.

In this instance ignorance is bliss most definitely applies

the people who refuse to discuss peak oil and the baggage that goes with it probably, at some level, already know it

but they also know they’re trapped, so there’s really ot much they can do… so they’ll cling to the myths

it seems to be a collective unconscious thing –they know, but they dont know they know… or maybe they’re unwilling to admit they know

…and why wreck a good party by talking about hangovers?

,
meanwhile, the game theorists have got this attitude reduced to equations that they can plug into their crays… and the crays tell them, exactly what they can get away with

and so far, it’s worked okay

• Paul says:

I am not so sure — I have had this conversation with a fewf very sharp fellows — and they all sincerely believe that we will find an alternative. I bought one of the guys The Long Emergency last week — I am interested to speak to him once he reads it.

I think the bigger issue is the MSM bombards the masses with messages that peak oil is a myth and that shale gives us decades of oil…. and of course most people don’t read past the headlines — so to think they would spend the time and effort to get at that truth — well that is just too difficult…. if it was on CNN then they believe it — no matter what the facts are that you present.

it’s hard to tell how paranoid to be, you know?

the only rule of thumb that’s surfaced in the years since 9/11, at least for me, is that it’s always worse than my worst imaninings

it’s interesting, thought\, that this “people wont listen” meme is so prevalent on believer websites

it’s beginning to smell like another Dept of Mindf*ck operation, akin to chemtrails, abiotic oil, and peak oil/global warming denial

• Jarle B says:

Paul wrote:
“In this instance ignorance is bliss most definitely applies”

I absolutely agree.

if peak oil is such a big deal, it must be why those PNAC people needed a new pearl harbor and got it

ipretty comical when those same people, though, are some of the most rabid deniers of peak oil

why would they deny peak oil?

.
peak oil seems to be happening slow enough, we’d have a chance to adjust if we were left alone… it wouldnt be pleasant, it would be tough, but we could have done it in the most effiecient manner

but once the politicians, religious fanatics and racists got into it, we’ll be lucky to get out of this scrape alive

the cold comfort is: if humanity is so stupid it destroys itself, then it’s a failed speciies, and doesnt deserve to survive…

…from a darwinian’s perspective

.
the gatekeepers are committing crimes against humanity, and if humanity persists in tolerating those crimes…

26. Jarle B says:

In Norway we have a lot of hydroelectric power. My father used to work in a hydroelectric power station. We have talked about how they went from manual control to computer aided remote control. But the manual controls are still there; even the main water valve can be operated by hand. This means that in the future you can throw out the electronic parts, put people on the site 24/7, and keep the station running. Eventually important mechanic parts will fail in a way that can not be fixed, but it buys time. Years, I would believe. This is not “collapse overnight”, and it makes me think about other things that will remain for some time. In my mind it adds up to quick decline rather then sudden collapse, which might be a comfort to some.

• antares71 says:

Yes, it is of some comfort. Finally 🙂
However, knowing Norway to be quite a wise nation don’t you think that it could go through a nation-wide plan to back-up spare parts of vital infrastructure to buy even more time? If you know that some parts will fail why not stocking them up? (especially metallic parts).
Do anyone consider this strategy a national security issue?
Since you guys stock-up seeds under ground I think the society would be open enough at least to start a debate on this.

• Jarle B says:

antares71,

sadly Norway is no wise nation – if we were we wouldn’t have put almost everything on the oil card (a clear case of “Dutch disease” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_disease ). Stockpiling mechanical parts for vital operations are not in focus, because the common belief is that you can always get them from afar when you need them. Anyway it wouldn’t matter much, because in the times to come there are so many other things that will fail that there is no way of avoiding our destiny.

• Jarle B says:

antares71,

See Gails post “Why Standard Economic Models Don’t Work – Our Economy is a Network” at http://ourfiniteworld.com/2014/06/23/wy-standard-economic-models-dont-work-our-economy-is-a-network/ regarding the way our modern economy works.

• antares71 says:

Yes, I read it. There is no doubt we cannot avoid what’s coming.
But I still believe there are plenty of initiatives we can take to ease the transition rather then falling from a cliff (if only politicians were on board). You’re example of the manual control is one of them and as you said many things will remain for some time.

• Paul says:

I don’t see the point in nations building inventories of spare parts — I don’t even see the point of them stockpiling food for the masses.

To what end? Keeping BAU going for a few more years?

There is not getting around this — billions must perish – and the sooner the cull happens the better — at least for those who have already made the move back to an self-sufficient lifestyle.

• antares71 says:

I know you don’t see the point.
You would be feel very disappointed if the end of oil would not bring suffering and desperation to billions of people instead of feeling relieved.
In that case you would probably hope for some loose planets to smash crash against the Earth. Then you would probably feel good 🙂

• tfouto says:

🙂

• Paul says:

Doesn’t matter what I want or think — and I have a pretty pretty pretty good life – as larry david might say…

So I really don’t want BAU to end at all — I do enjoy my mountain biking trips into BC every summer and visiting new countries from time to time and I really do like going to restaurants and drinking wine and seeing friends and family — so I would rather they are all not dead…

I am not overly keen on having to raise everything I eat and likely never going within a few miles of our farm gates — or pulling out a problem tooth with plyers — or dying from an infected scratch…

But unlike you I deal in reality. Let’s see what reality looks like:

So governments fill warehouses with 50billion cans of food — and ration that food amongst 7.2 billion people. How long is that going to last? Say two cans per person per day — so not even 5 days. How about 500 billion cans of food…. a little over a month

Meanwhile there will be no food production because we have killed virtually all ag land with oil and gas based pesticides and fertilizers. It takes 3 years to get such crops to grow even with intensive organic inputs

How many cans of good would you need to feed 7.2 billion people for 3 years?

You can sing koombaya all you like — you can bury your head in the sand — you can plug your ears and scream I don’t like this over and over….

But that will change nothing – when this hits — billions will die – and those that survive will suffer — when the oil stops the food stops — we do without just about everything else — but we cannot live without food.

Stockpiling cans is futile. You are dreaming if you think otherwise.

And yes I would be more relieved if a planet slammed into the earth and put us out of our misery. I have always preferred sharp quick pain to long drawn out affairs.

• antares71 says:

Well Paul it is not a question of realism. I am perfectly aware of what’s coming, I know of all the possible worst case scenarios (that’s why I read your comments) and I know it can’t be stopped. Nonetheless, I always strive to find ideas and ways to mitigate as much as possible the impact.
So you see, it is a question of attitude. I am not pervased with hopefulness. You find difficulty in every opportunity I find opportunity in every difficulty.

• Paul says:

Understood — however I pointed out the futility of your suggestion that governments should stockpile — and you suggested that I was wishing for hell on earth.

If you are going to throw ideas out there — expect that they will be challenged. Lord knows how many epiphanies I have had in the past few years on this subject — most of them came from reading articles here — and the comments of many of the regulars….

And I have concluded there is zero hope — the best case situation is that the dying happens quickly. Trying to save 7.2B is absolutely a waste of time and will only prolong the suffering.

I do not say that lightly – i do not know of a single person who is doing anything to hedge against this — so I expect all will suffer badly and perish.

On a personal level I struggle mightily with what more I should be doing… and I often wonder if it is futile to bother doing anything at all.

We crossed the Rubicon long ago — there is nothing we can do to soften the crash

Try as I might that is the conclusion I have reached.

• antares71 says:

I meant pervased with hoplessness

• Paul says:

One would have to be living in a delusional world of happy fairies singing koombaya — or operating on the level of a moron — to not see the hopelessness of this situation.

Two questions:

– how do you feed 7.2 billion people when there is no oil being pumped (and if you think oil is still going to be pumped when there are no jobs and no economy then let’s end the debate here)

– how are we going to keep 4000 spent nuclear fuel ponds cool and 500 reactors from melting down when we have no oil — and the world is in total chaos?

If you can give me reasoned answers to those two questions — then I will have a slight bit of hope

• antares71 says:

Oh dear! Where shall I start!
First of all I did not suggest to stockpile food. If you read the thread I said it makes perfectly sense to back-up spare parts of vital infrastructures to keep them going as long as possible. And to it I still hold, I think it is the best idea I had so far out of this blog.
Second, we have different sense of reality of what can be done. I know that 7.2 billion people cannot be saved. That’s easy to understand so it should be off the table. Nuclear plants surely you can’t avoid not to be able to maintain them but surely if you take a pool of experts willing to squeeze their brains some proposals will come up.
I do not hold the answers to all the problems so I cannot come with sensible solutions or suggestions, I can only propose ideas, like in a brainstorm sessions, whether they make senso or not. I am not here to teach I am here to learn.
Third, you reached your conclusion BECAUSE your attitude, because your brain is wired in such a way that makes you traverse the network of possibilities to hopelessness. No matter where you start or what path you take, your wiring will always take where your attitude holds. It is like a car that has unbalanced wheels, if you leave the hands from the stearing wheel it will tend to go left of right depending on where the unbalance is. My wiring will always take me to what can be done.

• Paul says:

What is the point of stockpiling tools if there is nothing to eat?

As for nuclear installations — you suggest we get experts together to fix them so they don’t blow sky high.

Is that not like inviting a panel of wolves into the farm to provide consultancy services to set up measures so that wolves don’t get into the coop and eat the chickens?

I am tired of people telling me that we need more technology to solve the problems that technology caused in the first place.

The industrial revolution was a colossal disaster — it was the beginning of the end.

And the ‘experts’ such as this fool http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Borlaug kept on ‘fixing’ things so that we were able to compound the disaster to the point where now we are building to a thundering crescendo… which quite likely will be an extermination event

And what is the solution? Oh yes… let’s call in those experts. They will fix everything.

The ‘experts’ can’t even contain Fukushima even with all the resources of BAU still available — and you think that they can find a solution to 4000+ Fukushima meltdowns?

Maybe we should call the Maytag Man?

If this is not cause for despair then golly gee — I guess you can’t see that those are theEmperors hairy balls up there on the podium.

Maybe I need a Steven Covey moment — a few rah rahs — the glass is half full not half empty — while Chris Martenson does back up dancing (in a sexy outfit) while I sing koobaya followed by what a wonderful world.

• antares71 says:

Spare parts are needed to those who can make it. The collapse will not affect anybody in the same way. There will be those who will make good use of them. Or you want to be told with 100% whether you will use them or not to buy them?
You want the solution to nuke? and if you don’t have the solution you despair? Do you think we got out of the stone age because we run out of stones? who better then those who understand nuclear physics has a better chance to find a solution? them or a pharmacist?
If you base your hopes on certainty you will be forever a doomer.
Hope is not for you to provide security, hope is something that gets people to work instead of crying in desperation.

• It is good you still have manual back-ups.

There are definitely some things that will continue to work for a while, especially if workers can be convinced to work without pay, or without many goods to buy. It seems like after the fall of the Soviet Union, many workers continued to work, without getting much pay beyond state benefits.

• tfouto says:

On solution could be some sort of forced “communism”… people would receive much less and food rations. They would have to work more, to rebuild the new necessary infraestructurs…

• wasn’t there somebody called pol pot with the same idea?

• Paul says:

I think he called it ‘going back to year zero’

And I don’t think that will happen because without oil it is impossible to have centralized control. I could see – after 6-7 billioin die – a reversion to some sort of medieval village type societies…

I was visiting an organic farm in the interior of BC yesterday — the women who owns it was out in the field with a tiller and tractor — she was pumping enormous amounts of water she said (very dry in this area in july august) — I was thinking how the hell would this farm run if she didn’t have all these machines?

Well —when there are no jobs and no food — I can imagine that she will be inviting the community to help with working the land — although I am not sure how they will get water onto the fields without pumps…

I think best case scenario is that the people who make it through end up spending their days on farms producing food for themselves and their families. Peasant living at its finest.

Amusingly I volunteered to spend some time helping offering to so some digging or other more intensive work — she said oh we don’t do that sort of work much here — we have tractors … 🙂

That’s gonna change – real soon

• In medieval times—and until the late 1700s, 80% of the people produced food, while 10% did other things. This was why you didn’t have vast standing armies–they ate too much
now we have 2% of the people working the land and 98% doing other stuff–or retired or whatever.
That is one of our fundamental problems

• Paul says:

I am in BC at the moment — a land of immense hydro power dams.

One of the reasons I bought property in BC a couple of years ago was because I had thought hydro might still be viable post SHTF (in hindsight I have determined that I was totally wrong)

As I drive by on my way to Nelson later this week I will see those mega dams — and I will wonder — how often do the mechanisms that operate them break — and where to the spare parts come from?

And I will wonder — what is involved in getting that power to my shack up in the mountains — how many stations are between me and that big ol dam. Do they use helicopters to fix the relay stations and lines? I suppose the workers need to get to the breaks — how will they do that – horses? Where will the spare parts come from — China? How will China make these parts and get them to BC?

I am not planning a last stand in BC — but if I was — I would not expect to have hydro generated power — plenty of trees here though.

• Jarle B says:

Paul,

my father told me about his early years working in hydroelectrics. If a valve on one of the dams up in the mountains had to be closed or opened he or some other guy walked the distance and did what had to be done. No helicopters like today, just your two feet and enough food in the rucksack. Likewise, if a power line broke, a lot of walking carrying tools were involved. It took more people and more time – but they fixed it. In the coming downscaling of society manpower will buy time. This means, like I wrote earlier, that the future will play out like “a quick decline” rather then “a sudden collapse”.

• dolph9 says:

Paul, what are your reasons for not wanting to make a last stand in BC? Ultimately all of us have to make a last stand somewhere or the other.

I am a Canadian-born American, currently in Texas, who is strongly considering BC. Alot of people are moving to Texas but imho it’s a disaster in the making. Too many different cultures, porous border with Mexico, hubris based around oil, sprawl, etc. Here in America, I have pretty much ruled out the southwest, the southeast, and most former industrial cities. That pretty much leaves the upper west coast/pnw, the upper midwest and new england. And even then, it’s going to be a problem because politically I’m not sure America (much less Canada) can stay together.

• Paul says:

The interior of BC would likely be fine — sparse population — lots of trees — lots of orchards — high quality self sufficient people — good communities — difficult to access due to mountains on one side and lakes on the other… a long way from any major cities.

Downside – cold — nuclear plants in the US and Japan that surely will melt down and spew radiation far and wide….

• CTG says:

Jarle, unfortunately, not many modern systems have “previous system backup”. Modern medicine (anyone knows traditional cure?), telecommunications (telegraph anyone?), transportation (anyone knows how to built a wooden wheel?). We have lost the knowledge and skills of olden days, There are many things we have no backup. We have many “digital snow days” (see http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=digital%20snow%20day ) now. We simply cannot work when the network is down. Imagine if the network is down and the banks could not function. Salary could not be deposited and possibly EBT does not work. Imagine what would happen. It is evern worse than riots. All might end in one night ! An evemy does not even need to send troops over. All they need is just to crash the system and the internal fighting will take care of the rest.

I can still remember in the 1970s and 1980s, the banks will actually receive a telegraph on the transfer and initiate the transfer. Salary deposit slips are manually by hand. Slow and low tech but it works fine without electricity !

• Jarle B says:

CTG,

educated and trained as a IT system developer, I know that the world is extremely dependent on electronics. But when important parts of the society falls apart people just don’t give up. Example: Without their fancy electronic equipment the hospital can still do a lot of things to help sick people.

• Paul says:

Agree – trauma care (broken bones, wounds etc) can still happen. But modern medicine will mostly be over… no MRI’s CT scans or much in the way of major surgery. Life expectancy will plummet because of this and because most drugs will not be produced…. also disease will be endemic… because it will not be possible to provide clean water or run the sewage systems

• xabier says:

The main function of doctors in the past, – if it wasn’t a matter of prescribing diet, dealing with wounds and setting bones,which could be handled remarkably well even 2,000 years ago, – was watching patients die. And getting fees……

• CTG says:

Unfortunately, even the drips are made by B. Braun and it is electronic. Gone were the normal drips. Skill wise, I think the new staff (nurse or doctors) may not know how to use the old method as it is not taught anymore. So many things have gone the way of the dodo when new things (technology dependent) are introduced and the old ways are lost forever. The next generation mechanics may not even know to tune a car the old tune (strobe lights). All they know is plug in, press a few buttons and voila, all is well….

• Coast Watcher says:

As someone who has had more than his fair share of IV infusions over the past two years, I can assure you that the old skills are still very much practiced and taught.

• Paul says:

Re: Die-off….. I wonder how many people will die just because they no longer have access to meds….

There are massive numbers of people who without modern medicines — would be dead in very short order.

But then of course there are massive numbers of people who would quickly recover their health and return to a normal weight a few weeks after processed shite was unavailable…

27. tfouto says:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_liquefaction

Coal liquefication could help delay the problem a little more. At least on transportation, not on material production…

• tfouto says:
• The catch is that even coal of reasonable quality/location is in limited supply. If we start using coal for oil, besides its current uses, we quickly start running into depletion issues.

If we add carbon capture and storage, that burns through our coal supply even more quickly.

• tfouto says:

Yes, it would serve only for a few years more.

• edpell says:

oopps wish there was a delete

• Stilgar Wilcox says:

“Steven Kopits from Douglas-Westwood said the productivity of new capital spending has fallen by a factor of five since 2000. “The vast majority of public oil and gas companies require oil prices of over $100 to achieve positive free cash flow under current capex and dividend programmes. Nearly half of the industry needs more than$120,” he said.”

The price of Brent has fallen lately to approx. $104 a barrel. Instead of oil price rising, it is falling?! Is that the shale revolution reducing price by increasing supply? Or is it a weakening economy that is using less oil? The 2nd qtr. GDP of 4% (taken for face value) suggests instead that consumption must be rising. So I’m not sure what to make of oil price dropping in spite of high capex costs and rising GDP. Somebody throw me a bone. • Stilgar Wilcox says: Ok, give credit where it is due, Adam provided the link 1st. • Adam says: > Ok, give credit where it is due, Adam provided the link 1st. I am but a conduit. It matters not. > So I’m not sure what to make of oil price dropping in spite of high capex costs and rising GDP. Somebody throw me a bone. “Just gotta warn ya, Give you the strap, Stand you in the corner, Dunce’s cap!” 🙂 Now what has Gail been saying all this time? It’s the gap between the oil price that the oil industry needs to be viable and what the workers can afford that will determine events. • Stilgar Wilcox says: Maybe you should wear the dunce’s cap Adam, because that doesn’t answer the question, only the overview of the overall situation which we all know. In fact, the trend continued today: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/12/us-markets-global-idUSKBN0GC01B20140812 Brent oil prices were down 1.6 percent at$103.01 while U.S. crude fell 0.8 percent to $97.33. Oil price headed in opposite direction for what is needed to spur exploration. Oil price has dropped from Brent at approx. 110 a barrel down to today’s 103 in a relatively short period of time. Should be interesting to see if it bounces back up higher or continues to slide, and if it does continue to go down, does the stock market follow by also going down? • Adam says: > Maybe you should wear the dunce’s cap, Adam So, you want a dunce’s cap fight? I’ll force you to wear 70 dunce’s caps at once. You’ll be in the Guinness Book of Records for “Peak dunce’s caps” before you know it. Ha! But seriously now, didn’t Steve Kopits predict autumn of this year for when this very issue would come to the fore? Well, he wasn’t wrong. Your link seems to suggest the next recession is getting underway. The future is now! • Paul says: I can best you — I will put on 1000 dunce caps and ride a donkey backwards while juggling 8 tomatoes. Alert Guinness. • Thanks! Great article! • Paul says: AEP is finally starting to get it — or he is being allowed to write about that — I have posted a number of Finite World links onto the comments over the past few months — I suspect he is reading this blog 28. tfouto says: http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewdepaula/2014/01/31/audi-tests-synthetic-e-fuel-derived-from-microorganisms/ “Audi has been producing e-fuels at a research facility in Hobbs, New Mexico, through a partnership with Joule, a firm that specializes in developing synthetic fuels with solar energy. At the facility, genetically engineered photosynthetic microorganisms are kept in water (which could be brackish, salt or wastewater). They metabolize carbon dioxide after being exposed to sunlight and produce fuel as a byproduct.” “We now know that our e-fuels are the same as or even better than conventional fuels,” Reiner Mangold, head of sustainable product development at Audi, said in a report that the company published.” “Once the technology is fully commercialized, Joule aims to produce 25,000 gallons of synthetic ethanol and 15,000 gallons of synthetic diesel per acre annually, for as little as$1.28 a gallon and $50 a barrel, excluding subsidies.” • tfouto says: http://gizmodo.com/the-worlds-largest-natural-gas-powered-ships-are-almost-1619504300 “The World’s Largest Natural Gas-Powered Ships Are Almost Ready to Sail” • Interesting! • tfouto says: • Interesting–but I don’t think they really fix our problems. If our problems were simply transportation vehicles, and we could keep up electricity, it would be different. • antares71 says: I hope they will make it. If the technology holds I would jump into the business of converting existing cargo instead of building them from scratch. • edpell says: I have read this from other companies. I have never been able to buy auto fuel for$1.28 from any of them. I will wait and see.

• tfouto says:

Just go to any Audi stand. This might not ever see the light of the day. Who knows?

• tfouto says:
• Jarle B says:

tfouto,

“It can be done” does *not* mean that “it can be done on a large scale at a low price”…

• tfouto says:

Yes i know. It’s a nice idea, tough.

• Right. This is the same operation as was discussed a few days ago that is creating a liquid fuel that can be blended 50% – 50% with jet fuel, to reduce the amount of oil Qatar needs to use. If natural gas is really cheap to produce (as it is in Qatar), this kind of option is viable. There is a big front-end cost.

What we need is not more $100 barrel oil. We need$40 barrel oil. It is possible with a lot of investment the technique will give us some a relatively high-priced substitute for oil, but it is not going to give us a rapidly growing supply of $40 barrel oil. • antares71 says: If they manage to really pull through with this technology and stabilize it, It would be cool if this e-fuel could also be used in gas-cookers to cook food or heat up a house. 29. Paul says: WHO Warns “No End In Sight” As 170 Ebola Healthcare Workers Now Infected http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-08-11/who-warns-no-end-sight-170-ebola-healthcare-workers-now-infected • It seems to be that the stories we hear about transmission only happening through direct bodily contact with fluids must be somewhat distorted. This WHO article says that coming in contact with soiled clothing and bed linens is an issue. There has to be a pretty easy route of transmission if all of these healthcare workers are getting sick. 30. Rodster says: As I have been saying, China is it’s own worst enemy. So right on que we have this: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-08-10/wonders-modern-world-chinas-amazing-tower-garbage “The Wonders Of The Modern World: China’s Amazing Tower Of Garbage” When it comes to ancient wonders of the world, there is the tower of Babel, and to a lesser extent, the leaning tower of Pisa. Sadly, modern wonders leave something to be desired: case in point, this 30 metres high garbage mountain at the crossroad of Huanghe avenue and Zhufeng street of Shijiazhuang, central China’s Hebei province. The garbage mountain has been piled up as high as a 9-story Building in the last 30 years. The local village committee now is dealing with these wastes: best of luck. And to think all it took were several trillion in non-performing loans… • Christian says: It looks like they need wall-e to pile it higher and make more room in the surface 31. kerry dempsey says: When the ‘crunch” comes there will be 1/2 the oil still in the ground.Can we look at this in another way. Forget about the financial cost etc,it only matters because of the type of system we have at present . Which is we have to make a ” profit ” , selling something to somebody. The money system will be over. For survival as a human family we have to obtain the resources, FOOD,OIL, COPPER,IRON ORE, etc and use them as a society to survive.There is no such thing as profit anymore.You do what you need to do to get what you need as a society.You don’t need money, just the people and equipment .To hell with money! • Christian says: Yes Kerry, something like that. Nevertheless, money or such or barter is needed for international trade • When the crunch comes, most of the other half of the oil will stay in the ground. So will the remaining other resources, because we have built an integrated system. We don’t have the means to transition to a new system, without oil, in a short period. Substitution is just too expensive and resource intensive. • Paul says: It’s not about the money – it’s about a complex system that allows use to extract the oil and other resources — when the global economy fails — those systems fail. And the resources will remain in the ground — just as they did before the age of oil. 32. Christian says: Historical communities of a few hundred people are stone age, and I wonder if iron age could be maintained with such a little population, moreover given this kind of communities are likely to get different shocks after industrial society completely dispappears • ironworking by hand is time consuming, so your community has to be producing enough surplus food energy to allow that to happen of curse if your ironworker produces sufficient edged weapons to bring you a killing advantage, then it makes sense to keep him metal bashing and not risking his life out hunting or whatever. • Dave Ranning says: There will be low entropy steel and iron everywhere (just look around). It will be quite a while until a collapsed species, such as homo sapiens, needs to produce it from what little ore is left. • go to a junkyard pick up any scrap item of steel—car panel, engine, wheel, sheet of aluminium, bike wheel now take it home now try to turn that item into something useful without the use of a lot of heat and effort (and skill) on your part best of luck—you’ll need it • Rodster says: EXACTLY ! People keep thinking we can easily get by and survive without OIL when the entire global system we have since the early 1900’s has been BUILT around cheap oil. • Paul says: But … but … what about thorium? Could I not have a thorium reactor in my basement to melt down the scrap metal — and a hammer and an anvil — and make new fenders from y car? I bet I could also make a transmission and an engine 🙂 • edpell says: Paul, I love this idea. A backyard thorium reactor in _____ (what country is it, Bali?) • Paul says: I was just down at the Home Hardware here in BC and I see they had a special on thorium reactors… now I don’t think you can run a city on these suckers — but you could definitely keep the lights on — I gotta get back down there tomorrow and buy me a couple of them! Meanwhile in the real world — I can’t buy a decent wheelbarrow in Bali so I ordered two strong ones out of China to our HK office — 20 bucks each! — but now the airline is telling me I have to pay$600 because they are oversize (weight is not an issue – only 18kg)…. the alternative is shipping them to bali where the corrupt customs officers will probably jam me for \$1000 🙁

I really hate this end of world stuff… I really do.

• Dave Ranning says:

Another energy source that is a constant–
Always 20 years away.

• Paul says:

Like ‘free beer – tomorrow’

• tfouto says:

PeterEV.

Musk cant do more. Our infraestructure for electric cars is not there yet. Batteries are not yet price affordable. He’s going to build some megafactories of batteries and plans by 2017 to release his Tesla 3 to mass production and also some trucks… Of course this mass production is nowhere near the sheer volume of cars sold today…

I guess all (Musk and even govermants) can do now is wait that the decline in oil gets delayed the maximum possible, while electrification of transport gets going.

I am not aware if trains in USA are electric or oil…

I think that government already have a contigency plan to try to minimize the damage, altough they arent really sure it will help much…

• PeterEV says:

There is a fellow who goes by the name of “Al from Big Easy”. He has done plans on electrification of our rail system. Rail within large metropolitan areas is electrified.

• Paul says:

How do you make new railway tracks when the current ones wear out? Plywood?

How do you make rolling stock and the engines? Plywood?

To be quite frank you are clogging up what has been an excellent forum with comments that are complete nonsense.

• tfouto says:

Facebook will be available for sure. How else could we upload our selfies?

Selfie, look i am really fit, no belly at all.

• PeterEV says:

Sounds like you two have never been to a junk yard to pick up a part to replace an alternator, side panel that’s been hit. Many garage mechanics and body shops go there to pick up parts to replace damaged parts.

You might find an engineless pickup truck to convert to electric. At least when you are done, you won’t be using gasoline. 9,000 miles at 30 mpg is 300 gallons or close to 17 barrels of oil refined to 300 gallons.

Instead of complaining, find ways to save energy.

• you are simply replacing like with like for the same purpose
the inference was that we should use the metal in junkyards to support a metal-depleted infrastructure
this you cannot do without colossal heat input—on a par (or greater) than the heat-energy used to form the metal in the first place
Can you imagine the engineering skill necessary to convert “an engineless pickup” to electric—The idea would be laughable if so many people didnt have such fantasies. Most people dont even look at the engine between services. The chassis structure itself doesnt allow for such nonsense without serious cutting and carving. (you can borrow my hacksaw btw) You fill the thing up in the back with batteries (from where I am tempted to ask) then you find a means to charge them (I suggest an exercise bike as the most reliable method)
When youve done all that, you are faced with the ‘duh’ moment
Exactly where are you going to drive your pickup? To work? The mall? On vacation? Nascar? Mad Max car chases?
Dream on, and share your fantasies—we need a little light relief.

• PeterEV says:

Before you ridicule someone you should do an internet search.
Try: http://www.evalbum.com. There are 4196 EVs of various types listed there.
There are two books on converting:
Convert It by Michael Brown
Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Bob Brant
There are numerous YouTube videos of people building EVs
There are several listservs for people to talk with others about their projects.
A number of people see the utility of an EV.

I don’t know what the future holds for battery supplies. I don’t think anybody really does. I know Musk signed an agreement with Panasonic to build a battery plant. They likely see its “potential”. I happen to think that EVs can serve a useful purpose in the future in distributing products in local areas. There are not enough horses to pull wagons. The idea is to see problems and try to address them.

I know that there are concerted efforts here and abroad to develop high energy density batteries with long cycle lives. The efforts are paying off. LG Chem has announced a 200 mile battery pack by the end of 2016. 200 miles is more than enough for me to run supplies to and from farmers or take a vacation to the beach. The beach may be deserted or full of people. The important thing is that it is a move away from gasoline and diesel and it is a possible solution for distributing needed resources.

• justeunperdant says:

You cannot work metal without intense heat. One way to heat meat it is with a fuels such as propane and oxygen. Oxygen can only be extrace using complex manufacturing processe.

• Christian says:

Peter, farmers on vacation to the beach, is that important what you’re thinking about? And 4 thousand different EV’s, have you heard about anthropologist Joseph Tainter and his view regarding complexity? I know a good one we have here is a few models account for a majority of existing cars, and dismantling to reuse parts has always been the rule (and we’re somewhat poor if compared with most of you)

• PeterEV says:

I have not read Tainter but have read enough in print to understand his views on complexity and civilization. EVs can be simple or complex. Years ago, the controller was a human moving a lever that would create a circuit through a number of different resistors of various values. The higher the resistance, the slower the vehicle would go. Even a Carrington Effect could not knock out an EV back then. Today, the Tesla EVs have a 17″ tablet controlling and interacting with the various systems in the vehicle. It’s fairly complex electronically. Heaters back then were made of wool and spread over laps.

“Farmers on vacation to the beach.” After the harvest, after the reapers have been put up for the winter, and the farmer has time to relax, why not??? If he and his family are in Iowa, it might be more difficult but if they are near the east, west or gulf coasts, why not???

If you can maintain a sense of humor going into the next 20 to 100 years, you’re richer than most.
If you have learned to reuse, mend, and patch before throwing it out, you’re richer than most.
If you know your neighbors and can work with them, you’re very rich in ways that can not be measured.

• Read the sign: EV’s are not simple

• PeterEV says:

The Detroit Edison was a simple EV and did not employ any electronics.

• I meant the construction and production in quantity of an electric motor
together with everything else necessary to make an ev system function properly
And given all that, it still doesn’t get around the glaring problem that wheels do not deliver prosperity, or even a sustained standard of living no matter how they are made to go round, or at what speed.

• Thanks for some worthwhile thoughts:

If you can maintain a sense of humor going into the next 20 to 100 years, you’re richer than most.
If you have learned to reuse, mend, and patch before throwing it out, you’re richer than most.
If you know your neighbors and can work with them, you’re very rich in ways that can not be measured.

• Jarle B says:

*Some* people will be able to do this, but *most of them* not. The same with a everything else that requires knowledge, parts and tools. Read up on terms like micro and macro, and you will understand a lot more.

• PeterEV says:

My mom had a green thumb and so does one of my sons. My wife does the gardening which she likes to do. My thumb is not so green. I do the mechanical. It works out. We are a “team”. I understand that we will not be able to grow and preserve all the food we need. We will need the support of the local farmers. How do we support them? Can I make an EV or ferment alcohol for a vehicle that will get their produce to market and supplies from town? Where might I get parts? <– this is part of Greer's Salvage Economy thinking.

There are a number of small EV groups around that support the conversion of ICE vehicles to EVs. They may convert a few a year. Musk can manufacture 500 per week. We can not hold a candle to his efforts. Those groups can only support people who have that drive and the ability to support their conversion. I think I would feel much better if Musk had an electric pickup truck on his drawing board.

There are a lot of unfounded naysayers writing here. People who have not done their homework. It may be that they are right. EVs may no end up as being viable at all. But I have asked myself, what vehicles could exist and be viable after the Peak??? My list would include: BAU vehicles,
H2/fuel cell, fermented grain based ICE, EVs, wagon drawn by horse or mule. What ones have not been included? What ones have a major technological barrier or barriers? What needs to be done to make one or more of these viable? What ones would work in one locale but not another (e.g, Iowa vs Arizona vs Alaska vs Hawaii)??

With regard to fermented grain, a Dr. Lewis gave a Power Point presentation on global and national energy entitlted: "The Future of Power and Energy in the World". He agnostically cranked the numbers. The one thing that I remembered was that if we fermented all our grains, we would only be able to power about 12% of our fleet. Here is the URL to his presentation:
http://online.kitp.ucsb.edu/online/colloq/lewis1/

My point is that we should all be educating ourselves and looking for constructive ways to get through the next 20 to 100 years. Not pooh poohing a junk yard as a potential source of already made parts.

• When Ford developed his first car, his intention was that it should be a substitute for the horse in farming communities. Land was plentiful, and a couple of acres of corn could produce 250 gallons of moonshine, which was his anticipated fuel—remember in the 1890s, no fuel distribution system existed, whereas any blacksmith could make a still.
Similarly the first diesel engines ran on peanut oil
It wasn’t until 1910 that production of gasoline overtook biofuel, which remained a viable alternative until the prohibition laws of the 20s
As to Greer—he makes some sound points here and there, but anyone espousing ‘druidic’ philosphy with regard yo our future has got to be highly suspect.
better to read Kuntsler this week http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/global-nausea/
now that really is scarily accurate

• Kunstler says a lot of good things, including:

We’ve sold ourselves the story that shale oil will insulate us from all the woes and conflicts breaking out elsewhere in the world over the dissolving oil economy paradigm. The shale oil story is false. By my reckoning we have about a year left of the drive-to-Walmart-economy before the public broadly gets what trouble we’re in.

• Paul says:

Kuntsler was dead on with the predictions he made in The Long Emergency — written a few years before the 2008 crisis hit…

When I read this “By my reckoning we have about a year left of the drive-to-Walmart-economy before the public broadly gets what trouble we’re in.”

I get a bad feeling in my stomach… it is one thing to debate and discuss what is coming — it almost seems as if it is surreal almost ivory tower – almost like it really can’t happen

But it is going to happen.

That is a stark reminder from Mr Kuntsler — I tend to agree — when you see the growth in shale oil stop — get ready.

• How do you keep EV’s going if you can’t maintain roads and electric transmission lines?

Perhaps if the EV’s have big high wheels to go through ruts, and can be connected up to the user’s own solar panels they will work for a while. But I have a hard time seeing the system providing them much support.

• PeterEV says:

>>How do you keep EV’s going if you can’t maintain roads and electric transmission lines? <<

Excellent questions.

I think the problem of recharging is one in which you have to rely on solar or wind or some other form of renewable in the long run. For instance, my solar system is grid tied. It is synchronized with the mains. It the grid is not there or there are signs that it won't be there, I am thinking that I will add to my system an inverter that will allow me to recharge independent of the grid. We are talking a few more dollars. The payback should be rather quick based on the cost of gasoline (or diesel).

The one advantage of an EV is that the slower you go, the further you go. Someone mentioned that 30 mph is where the air resistance starts to have an noticeable effect on range over frictional drag. So slowing to 30 mph will increase your range.

I am no road repair and maintenance professional or anywhere near that title. So I looked things up on the internet and found this link:
http://europe.theoildrum.com/node/6349
Peak asphalt: the return of gravel roads
Posted by Ugo Bardi on April 5, 2010 – 11:10am in The Oil Drum: Europe
with comments by some one calling herself "Gail the Actuary". ;^))

The central idea is that there are large (vast?) quantities of bitumen available for paving roads. Some in Venezuela and some in the form of the Tar Sands in Canada. "The problem, as usual, is not one of quantity, but one of energy." It is going to cost money to fix the roads and many will return to gravel. Gravel road will necessitate slower speeds. This is better for situation for EVs and horse pulling wagons.

The question of road repair and maintenance is a very important issue and deserves some good and carefully research input.

• Just what does one have to do—-to drive the point home that only prosperity allows us to increase our number of wheels.
Increasing the number of wheels does not increase prosperity.
A wheeled vehicle is only useful if you have a purpose for it.
“Driving to work” is not the purpose—work is the purpose.
If you dont have a job to go to, having a set of wheels will not produce a job, neither will wheels miraculously make a full supermarket appear after 30 miles of driving.
Yet the obsession continues, that to keep our ‘lifestyle’ intact, we must have motorised transport

• PeterEV says:

It is not an obsession to keep our lifestyle intact. Lack of abundant oil is going to see to that. EVs can be use to carrying supplies that can be used by a family or community to sustain itself.

>>A wheeled vehicle is only useful if you have a purpose for it.<<
I agree such as going for basic necessities: milk from a dairy farm,

A trip to the beach would be a luxury. If someone can do it why not?? They might be able to bring milk to the beach area in exchange for fish. We'll have to see what happens and adjust to it. There are too many divergent opinions for everyone to be completely right.

It you are able to motorize your transport, why not? It would likely make things easier in carrying cargo around and especially up hill. The SE US in summer is no picnic under bright sunlight. It could save people from heat exhaustion.

People who bug out have "everything" they need until they either break something, lose something, or discover they have a weakness in their plan. Then it might be a 30 mile trip to a "supermarket" of some sort. Toting back a heavy object, bulky item, or oddly balanced item can be a real PITA on a bike.

What do you use as a means of exchange? If you presented me with real gold, how would I know it is gold? Would I have a use for gold? What if I needed seed or venison and you did not bring either? How would we trade?

I don't think there are any easy answers. We do have to beef ourselves up with knowledge, skills, and friendships. We have to think critically. To be able to ask the right questions is paramount. To seek and find useful information is an imperative; but what information? I suppose that would be based on your point of view. The information for a person who stays in place vs someone who bugs out might be a lot different. They would have some things in common as Gail pointed out:
Clean Water,
Edible food and the ability to cook it
Good shelter

• Paul says:

What about Facebook? Could the kids still have Facebook — and will there be TeeVee in this world?

I am not sure I could cope if I couldn’t watch Dancing with Stars and American Idol …. I don’t even mind if all I can get are reruns… I wonder if there would be some way to save these and watch them on my laptop. If I had the choice between food and TeeVee —- I think I’d have to go with TeeVee because I could always eat grass.

• Jarle B says:

My last comment was a reply to PeterEV.

• tfouto says:
• PeterEV says:

I had completely missed that. Thanks!!
Quite a shot across Ford’s (and GM’s) bow.

We’ll see if we can hang together long enough as a society to this come to fruition.

• The electric pick-up truck won’t be available for (at least) five years though.

• Paul says:

How cool is that! In a few years I will hook one of those up to my big cow — and haul it into the farm — and use the back as a composting pit! And the neighbourhood kids can take turns at spinning the steering wheel and pretending they are driving a car.

• PeterEV says:

If Robert Hirsch says we need to start preparing 20 years in advance and Musk sees a need for electric pickup trucks, why aren’t these two talking? If Tesla has a board of directors as well as Toyota, why are they not seeing the same things we are seeing here? What has Exxon and Total and Shell and all the others oil companies told the car manufacturing CEOs about oil supplies and costs? If all these very smart people have their fingers on the pulse of this economy, why are they that blind? or are they?

Yergin has postulated an undulating plateau and has not said if we are there yet. Colin Campbell started talking about a peak in production of around the year 1995; five years prior to Hubbert’s original prediction and 10 to 18 years prior to an apparent actual peak in conventional production. (Note: There was a peak in 2005 and a second peak in 2008; all with in a few thousands of barrels per day.) Others have peak out to 2030+

Gail, it is not that I do not doubt you but what is it that is causing a delay in manufacturing an electric pickup? Delayed peak? Assured increase in battery energy density (good possibility)? Doesn’t believe in Peak Oil? Might get a better price from the highest bidder per vehicle? This last question may be supported by the last statement of the abstract below.

This is an abstract from:
http://royalsocietypublishing.org/content/372/2006/20120491

Exploring the undulating plateau: the future of global oil supply
Peter M. Jackson, Leta K. Smith
DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2012.0491Published 13 January 2014

In this paper, we analyse the factors that will influence long-term oil supply and describe the future form of the global oil supply profile as an ‘undulating plateau’ rather than an irreversible, short-term peak or an ever upward trend of increasing production. The ultimate transition from a world of relatively plentiful and cheap oil to one of tight supply and high cost will be slow and challenging. An understanding of the signposts for the future path of supply and the drivers of that profile will be critical to managing the transition. The ultimate form of the global supply curve may well be dictated by demand evolution rather than a limited resource endowment in the longer term. Several factors will probably control future global oil supply. We believe that the scale of global oil resource will not constitute a physical supply limit for at least the next two or three decades. However, all categories of oil resources are already more expensive to develop than in the past, requiring high oil prices to stimulate supply growth. Lower rates of oil demand growth relative to economic growth, combined with more challenging supply growth, will probably lead to an undulating plateau sometime after 2040, with demand from non-Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development states continuing to dominate. Upstream investment requirements and oil price volatility will increase towards and beyond the undulating production plateau. In this new world, high oil prices will induce demand destruction, fuel substitution and ever increasing energy efficiency. As we discuss below, the fundamental differences between the IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates’ (IHS CERA) view of the future of oil supply and many peak oil supply models are the timing of the onset of a dramatic slowdown in the rate of growth of supply and the existence or otherwise of a production plateau. We do not dispute that supply will plateau and eventually fall; the question is when, how and at what price? As the plateau approaches, oil prices are likely to increase strongly, with some very severe spikes along the way.

• Jarle B says:

PeterEV,

thinking about the future, do you really think EVs is the thing to focus? How about simple, local activities like producing enough food and having a proper roof over your head – how doesn’t that sound like more important?

• PeterEV says:

Hi Jarle,

My contention is that even though I have a 1/3 acre, I can not grow all that will feed me and my family. The same goes for my neighbors. To keep from starving, we will need to move or we will need ways of distributing food and ways of preserving food. The later is up to the individual or community based businesses. The earlier will need to come from some form of transportation and some form of refueling. I contend that electric pickups and solar refueling might address that problem.

Is it sustainable? Perhaps. I read where the rare earths in hard drive magnets can be recycled out of the drives but requires a lot of manual labor.
Battery chemistry is evolving. If there isn’t enough of one element, a different chemistry could be used. The fall back is Lead-Acid and although marginally doable, it has a lot of drawbacks.

AC motors are in but DC motors are still viable. Both are physically long lasting. The electronics in AC motors are still somewhat of an unknown. DC motor brushes need to be replaced about every 80K miles but it’s low tech.

A roof over my head is there but I am shooting for replacing it with something that does not need to be replaced every 20 years or so. Any suggestions and experience would be welcomed.

• Cooking food is an important activity as well–one people forget.

• tfouto says:

At night, people of local comunities will have races of EV cars for entertaining for relieve of the hard day of work…

• well early bicycles had wooden wheels

• PeterEV says:

>>At night, people of local comunities will have races of EV cars for entertaining for relieve of the hard day of work.<<

Only if there is a surplus of electric pickups. This is more of an outcome of success in transitioning. Who knows, maybe one of the losers will be picking splinters from their butt…

I think I'd rather be working toward EV races than jousting using horses instead of bikes.

• Paul says:

Peter – do you think we will have NASCAR races once this plays out? EV cars made of wood?

Curious – what would the tires be made of since oil is required for tires these days…

I guess we could somehow get real rubber from Brazil — but it’s kinda soft ya – how many laps would you get at 150MP around a circuit on those sorts of tires?

• PeterEV says:

>>do you think we will have NASCAR races once this plays out? EV cars made of wood? <>what would the tires be made of since oil is required for tires these days…<<
Some one told me that local but natural products could be used. They would be expensive. Not sure of the environmental consequences are but I know the person and I am taking his word that it is possible.

When I take a look on line and see BIOMASON, I wonder what else the human mind is capable of. In some cases, I may not want to know ala Steven King. How do you make Kevlar or Aramid fibers out of locally sourced and/or produced products?

The Germans and South Africans used coal to make gasoline through the Fischer-Tropsch process. Whether we should or shouldn't is not the point. The point is that there are possibilities. I picked up a book on Formulas and Processes. There is a lot of stuff that we can make. There are a lot of skills that we need to reacquire.

Gotta go…

• Paul says:

So is that a yes or a no?

• Christian says:

Obviously, End. Thanks for wishing luck

• Dave Ranning says:

But at a much lower energy output than from ore.
I live on a ranch, and parts are made (however, I’m using hydrocarbons).

• Jarle B says:

Dave Ranning,

exactly, how would you get things done without the hydrocarbons?

• The steel may not be in the right location, used for the correct purposes, though.

It takes energy to make it into new form-even pounding takes some energy. Heating to very high temperatures takes quite a lot of energy, and the new product may not be suitable for the new purposes. For example, it is not clear we can make sharp cutting knives from reprocessed steel.

• We’ve all dug up an old tin can from the garden…if its more that 2 years old or so you can be sure or 2 things:
1..Youre a lazy SOB gardener
or 2, there will be little steel left except the top and bottom rings

• Coast Watcher says:

Gail, my father made top quality steel knives using old automobile leaf springs, a forced-air (bellows) coal fire, and a hammer and anvil. The junk pile at our farm was a source of endless spare parts, either salvaged whole or purpose-made in the farm’s shop. Stainless steel is a bugger to repurpose, but carbon steel can be worked with hand tools and knowledge.

33. Christian says:

After having been trying to get local politicians on LTG issue for a year I must say it didn’t worked so much. I’ve tried with three different parties. It’s not they doesn’t understand the situation; with some limitations, they do. The point is they can’t do very much, almost nothing. They can’t say on TV “this civilization is over, now it’s gonna be something like Middle Ages. But as long as in the new order there is no room for everybody we will just save some of you”. It’s impossible, of course, even if they all agree upon this and let aside the struggle for votes. Even in Argentina, where there are some resources (land and HC), there is no way to “save” everybody (locating us in a rural environment and giving us the needed skils and tools).

So politicians and MSM will never talk about it. Democracy and nation-states can do nothing upon this. Almost nothing, they surely could theoretically plant some trees and not to be so much Monsanto friendly but… I don’t know, they just don’t do it. I know of some of them who are really sad, depressed.

And I still see some transition initiatives having troubles. Some times they don’t get the whole picture about all the scarcity that is coming on. Or they have some bourgeois romantic view of living in the countryside. Another point is the scale. Small transition communities will have some problems I think, not to talk about an isolated family. So I conclude that -ahead of land, water and trees- those willing to transition to this imagined post (or pre) fossils world must seek to group as much as possible. Building communities as huge as possible, or establishing them one near the other. Some specific areas could be targeted. Another point is that when TSHF there will be many people willing to integrate. Being prepared to host some of these waves could be a good tactic to enlarge communities population, and perhaps to get rid of some labour as the “new ones” -BAU fanatics that missed the first train- would likelly to be subordinated to the formers (just as “citizens vs leaders” or even “servants/slaves vs dominus”).

• unless you are a professional hermit, or a bushman of the kalahari, you are locked into a system controlled by the production distribution and use of hydrocarbon fuel for the furtherance of communal debt and the illusion of infinite profit.
Deny it all you want, but that’s where we all are right now, super rich or super poor.

• justeunperdant says:

Tribe will go back to a size of about 15 to 20 individual. There will be really slack form of governance with the tribe. Look at the siberia tribe.

• justeunperdant says:

Intelligent people will also notice that there is no handicap children. Infanticide is propalby pratice and.

• These are the folks that will succeed without oil.

• VPK says:

and they are Happy!

• Christian says:

Good stuff, thanks. Anything can happen

• xabier says:

Christian

It was an effort worth making. The most painful experience is to see it all clearly, and know that very little can be done – even by groups – within current structures. I think we have become so politicised in our thinking that we tend to assume that ‘awareness’ moves mountains, but the mountain just stops there……

• edpell says:

• An issue with these groups is what membership means, and how the group is led. I am not convinced that random aggregations of people will work.

I know Dmitry Orlov has looked into groups–has a book out called Communities that Abide

I know that one of Dmitry’s observations is that a little persecution of the group is helpful. Many of the “intentional” groups that have been formed to date have not worked. The groups that Dmitry found that “worked” were unintentional groups–groups of relatives, or groups with a common religion.

• Christian says:

Good points. Intentional groups are not essentially linked as are kinship groups or religious ones. Those that started early had more time to disgregate, while if built right now when collapse is really near they will go through it, and after that there will be no outside or almost so (this vacuum is the Danger, and can be assimilated to Dimitry’s persecution). The collapse shock -because it will be an incredible shock- will redefine everybody’s personality, partly because at that point there will be no escape from the group, and so this one will redefine itself to become essential (or perish). IMHO as a former anthropologist.

I don’t know if random aggregation would work per se, sounds like a lottery, but to an established group it will be very easy to catch lonely people or tiny groups and absorb them, especially if theese had never thought on collapse and are just barely surviving it.

• antares71 says:

Gail, I think group dynamics it’s an important knowledge to be familiar with, especially in time of chaos and emergency.
I will invest time and possible money in this direction. Thanks for flagging Dmitry’s book.

34. Paul says:

James gets it…

35. dashui says:

My cousin has a small company that buys and sells oil and gas leases. He said all the best talent is going to china, because china is very interested in learning fracking and directional drilling technology. It assume the Chinese will branch up into Russia after they learn how to frack for themselves.
He also said that he can’t get anyone to go work in west texas anymore because of the ongoing mexification of that area.

• MJx says:

Suppose the Chinese don’t mind poisoning their groundwater either

• Paul says:

Fracking requires a lot of water….

Water in China: Desperate measures | The Economist

• Rodster says:

China is it’s own worst enemy. When it comes to pollution they are even more reckless than the USA.

• Dave Ranning says:

China is not remotely survivable, if one enlarges ones view.
If you are a neoclassical economist, they are doing great!

• edpell says:

The mistake is to view China as a monolithic whole. The people who live on the land being polluted care but the rich in the far away city making money from polluting the land are happy and drink bottled water from France. Nobody fracks in their own backyard, they frack in the backyard of poor, politically not connected people.

• MJx says:

Like to add an article written by Richard Heinberg that is worthwhile to share.
I purchased his book, “Snake Oil” and this is a good recap on what is being played out:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/environmentalists-blamed-for-bursting-fracking-bubble/5395536
Environmentalists Blamed for Bursting Fracking Bubble
The bursting of the fracking bubble will have almost nothing to do with environmentalists, but they have deliberately and courageously put themselves in harm’s way. Fracking has terrible impacts on water, air, soil, human health, the welfare of livestock and wildlife and the climate.
…No, this is all business. Environmentalists will merely be handy scapegoats. Blaming environmentalists for the bursting of the fracking bubble will divert public attention from the industry’s own bad business practices. But even more usefully, telling receptive members of Congress that falling oil and gas production rates are due to anti-fracking, fear-mongering, business-hating enviros will set the stage for new and powerful calls to roll back local, state and national regulations. Congress’s likely response: “Poor you! What can we do to help? How about some further exemptions to the Clean Air and Clean Water acts? Maybe a preemption of local fracking ordinances with a new industry-friendly national rule? Would you care for some drilling leases on millions of acres of federal land as an appetizer, while you’re waiting? They’re on the house.”

• I expect if oil prices were a lot higher, there would be more money to spend on approaches to mitigate the environmental impact. As long as oil prices are not high enough, producers will tend to cut corners and make a bad situation even worse.

• tfouto says:

If oil were high enough, maybe the governmant would have to try and ease the addiction to oil.

• The problem is low oil prices, not high. Oil prices are not high enough to encourage extraction.

Substituting electric cars might reduce demand for oil further. Oil prices might drop further.

• xabier says:

dashui

Interesting, and just what one would expect. Hence the latest US attempts in the Ukraine to assert hegemony over the resources of Eurasia.

36. Don Stewart says:

Dear Gail and All
Cuba and Food

Here is some data from Albert Bates on food production in Cuba. This was a subject of some discussion a couple of months ago. There is still uncertainty, but I will state the facts as best I can ferret them out.

(1) Cubans eat 3200 kcal of food per day, the highest in Latin America.
(2) Cuba gives every citizen a ration of basic staples. These staples account for one third of the calories that Cubans eat. From 50 percent to 70 percent of these staples are imported, depending on how hurricanes and drought affect production in Cuba itself in any given year..
(3) Of the discretionary purchases for the other two thirds of the diet, and of food served in the tourist industry, 86 percent is grown in Cuba.
(4) Cuba has invested lots of money in its Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology. Cuba produces 100,000 liters of glyphosate per year.
(5) One urban farmer told Albert that he made 1000 dollars per month with his urban plot. The plot was built on waste land near a gully full of trash. They scavenged plastic waste and used tires to make the raised beds. Their revenue is 5 dollars per square foot per year (which Albert finds reasonable).

My guess is that the glyphosate is mostly used on the staple crops, with the urban farms using very little.

Finally, Albert states: ‘I have made a proposal to the Antonio Nunez Jimenez Foundation to conduct a series of biochar stove camps across Cuba. Carbon farming is actually tailor-made for tropical island soils. It might even cut into agrochemical dependency. Stay tuned.’

Don Stewart

• Thanks! This is another I article I ran across from 2003. http://www.farmdoc.illinois.edu/policy/choices/20034/20034.pdf

It says farmers lease state land rent free, in perpetuity, as long as quotas are reached. This subsidy should help their costs.

It also says

Production of tubers and plantains tripled and vegetable production quadrupled between 1994 and 1999, while bean production increased by 60% and citrus by 110%. Potato production increased by 75%, and cereals increased by 83% between 1994 and 1998.

Urban agricultural production climbed from negligible in 1994 to more than 600,000 metric tons in 2000. There are more than 200,000 urban farm plots ranging in size from a few meters to a hectare in size. Production practices rely on organic matter, vermiculture, raised beds, crop rotation, companion cropping, and biopesticides. Yields are between 6 and 30 kilos per square meter and are predominantly roots, tubers, and vegetables.

The reforms have not yielded dramatic results for sugar, meat, or dairy, nor for traditional import crops (rice and beans).

Meat production and dairy production were hit particularly hard by the loss of subsidized Soviet feed and petroleum. The loss of petroleum meant that animal traction became a strategy to reduce reliance on farm machinery. Animal traction is also better for soil management, particularly given the smaller farm size after land was redistributed. However, the conversion to animal traction was impeded by lack of oxen and expertise. The solution was to prohibit slaughter of cattle without government permission (in order to build up the herd) and to create “schools” to train the oxen (and presumably farmers). More than 150,000 oxen have been trained at these schools, and pairs of working oxen are ubiquitous throughout Cuba. This dramatic transformation did not come without a cost—the availability of beef plummeted, and anyone caught illegally slaughtering cattle could spend up to 20 years in jail.

I would expect that meat and dairy are still mostly imported, as are rice and beans.

• Christian says:

Very interesting Gail. The special period would have been very difficult. Most Cubans really love their way of doing things and struggle for it, while what the article doesn’t say is at this moment the government opened the valves and unofficially let 10% of the population emigrate. Something I never found in the litterature on the special period is if the number of rural population increased or if just big farms employees converted to the new system. The first path would have required new housing, and I know at that point building became almost impossible (and the unpainted houses of Havanna were an ugly picture for tourism).

State ownership of the land and control of education, research and distribution chains made this half transition possible, while it is hard to see our privatised countries doing so well. On the other hand, even if covering basic needs for everybody is at the roots of the cuban system, I doubt standards of living are so much equally levelled.

• try repeating the cuban experiment in north dakota

• I don’t have all of the answers on Cuba. I know that Cuba is not doing very well now.

• Christian says:

“Not doing very well now” from a capitalist point of view, perhaps? Upon this, which country is doing well? In case I don’t get family and friends to build up a community I’m considering moving to Cuba. No wonder if it happens to be the last place on Earth where iron tech is lost. As far as I know, inner, rural Cuba has thousands of oxen at work and organic is the rule, almost the whole island goes on low tech and consumerism has always been a fairytale, the State knows about difficulties and politicians there are not likely to runaway on helicopter when TSHF. I suspect their system will survive longer than ours. Besides, they have no reactors, climate is wonderfull, water plentifull and soil rich. Good music and spanish speaking friendly people. And if I come there with the value of my house in cash it will really be a lot of money considering actual prices in the island. What else can you ask?

• Jarle B says:

“Now, this I’m trained for!”
– Steven Segal in Under Siege 2

• tfouto says:

Silverster Stalone should be fine. He learn a lot with Rambo movies…

37. tfouto says:

Anyone heard any of this?

http://www.ibtimes.com/goodbye-oil-us-navy-cracks-new-renewable-energy-technology-turn-seawater-fuel-allowing-1568455

“It’s a huge milestone for us,” said Vice Adm. Philip Cullom. “We are in very challenging times where we really do have to think in pretty innovative ways to look at how we create energy, how we value energy and how we consume it. We need to challenge the results of the assumptions that are the result of the last six decades of constant access to cheap, unlimited amounts of fuel.”

also this:

http://www.ibtimes.com/us-navy-robots-build-satellite-would-beam-solar-energy-space-1562014

Interesting concept, but i think nothing more then that…

• Rodster says:

Quote: “The development of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel could one day relieve the military’s dependence on oil-based fuels and is being heralded as a “game changer” because it could allow military ships to develop their own fuel and stay operational 100 percent of the time, rather than having to refuel at sea.”

That still doesn’t address the entire global infrastructure that operates and relies on cheap oil. Everything starts at point zero and needs to be converted.over to a new energy source and that takes money my friend and LOT’S of it. We are on the verge of a global economic collapse. I don’t see how governments around the world can fund the conversion? Even if they tried the global economy would collapse even faster from printing worthless money. With a 1.6 Quadrillion derivatives bubble staring at the global economy, I don’t see anyone funding a new source of energy conversion.

As Catherine Austin Fitts says many times. “The best we can hope for is a ‘slow burn'”.

• unless somebody comes up with a fuel that can be poured into a billion fuel tanks right now—we’re still in trouble

• Rodster says:

And another thing to consider is that most MAJOR economies export oil and derive profits from the sale of oil or LNG to fund the operation of their governments. If it were not for LNG or Oil exports, Russia would collapse, so would Saudi Arabia. China is an oil exporter as well as the USA and Canada. Moving economies that function on oil and who sell that oil for profit would collapse all those governments.

As Gail has written on several occasions, the global economy is a very complex network that if you change one part of the equation it can cascade into multiple undesired and unpredictable failures throughout the network.

This is why Michael Ruppert was very vocal as well as others that the global population went from just under a billion to well over 7B with the advent of cheap oil.

• tfouto says:

Was it really oil that make the advent of 7B? All the poor chinese and indian crowd born out of fuel?