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Peak oil now? Leaked cables show concerns that Saudis running low

By Stephen C. Webster
Wednesday, February 9, 2011 9:48 EDT
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Potential oil reserves are often treated as a state secret. This is especially true in Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer. But soon, the cheap energy bonanza could be on the downturn, according to US State Department documents released by British newspaper The Guardian.

The documents, dated between 2007 and 2009, point to a phenomenon known to many as “peak oil,” or the point of production where you cannot continue producing more, leading to a decline in availability and a spike in prices.

But far from being a mad prophet of doom, the US cables’ source is not someone whose credibility is easily questioned.

His name is Dr. Sadad al-Husseini, the former head geologist in charge of exploration for the Saudi oil firm Aramco. He retired in 2004, but stayed in touch with US officials.

According to al-Husseini, Saudi Arabian reserves may be smaller than thought, even though the Saudis are on a growth cycle aimed at pumping out over 12 million barrels a day over the next several years. But, al-Husseini warned, global output would likely peak before then, and potentially starting in 2012.

“Our Mission now questions how much the Saudis can now substantively influence the crude markets over the long term,” one of the cables noted. “Clearly they can drive prices up, but we question whether they any longer have the power to drive prices down for a prolonged period.”

A decline in production in Saudi Arabia would likely send global oil prices soaring, with demand far outpacing supply.

“A series of major project delays and accidents XXXXXXXXXXXX over the last couple of years is evidence that Saudi Aramco is having to run harder to stay in place – to replace the decline in existing production,” the document continued. “Additional production would likely come from increasingly heavy crude which the world lacks sufficient capacity to easily refine. The Saudis appear dis-inclined to discount its heavy crude sufficiently, so the market is dis-inclined to purchase it. In neighboring Iran, the regime is now purchasing floating storage for heavy crude which has no takers. While this Mission is far from embracing doomsday ‘Peak Oil’ theorists, Saudi Aramco’s challenges are significant.”

In another cable, al-Husseini argues that Aramco may have been overstating their potential for production all along — by the vast sum of over 300 billion barrels in “speculative resources.”

“According to al-Husseini, the crux of the issue is twofold,” the cable explains. “First, it is possible that Saudi reserves are not as bountiful as sometimes described and the timeline for their production not as unrestrained as Aramco executives and energy optimists would like to portray.”

Another cable shows how, even in the world’s wealthiest oil producing nation, concerns about potential output and catching up to other developed nations renewable energy technology has spurred innovation.

The document noted that Saudi electricity demand was expected to grow at 10 percent a year for the next decade. The consequence, it added, is that Saudi Arabia will have to constrain exports in order to drive up oil prices, allowing them to pay for doubling their electric grid capacity by 2018.

This video is from Al Jazeera English, broadcast Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
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  • Fedupin10

    This is astounding in that the Saudi’s or US government, in general, have never even acknowledged Peak Oil publicly.

  • Anonymous

    I wonder who it will be that uses the last drop of oil on the face of the earth. Probably, the last soldier that dies fighting the war for it.

  • Anonymous

    All the more reason to develop alternative renewable energy. The potential for hemp alone could help in many ways, fabrics, food and oil….along with other bio-fuels, solar and wind I see no reason an entirely new and vibrant economy can’t be possible. We need the political will to make it happen, as long as the BIG OIL republican party has a say in any of this it seems unlikely in the near future.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/RepublicConstitution?feature=mhum TruthRegimes

    Peak Oil is a myth. It is not oil production that matters since the U.S. alone has literally dozens of CAPPED oil wells all over southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas…and Alaska has more oil under the surface than Saudi Arabia according to many geological reports. The left loves to believe that Peak Oil is real because they hope for that system to crash, but you have to look at who stands to gain by the left believing in Peak Oil? The oil companies and gas companies benefit by it because they can charge whatever they want and give the impression that supplies are limited even when they are not. Stop and think about it before you rush headlong into believing a myth that actually does not benefit you to believe. It is another excuse for price gouging over a 100 year period. There is a lot of oil and they will get it when they please.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/RepublicConstitution?feature=mhum TruthRegimes

    You are correct.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/RepublicConstitution?feature=mhum TruthRegimes

    LOL, just which companies do you think will jump out to the forefront on ALL “alternative” energies? These oil and gas companies have numerous patents on such things already and have suppressed discoveries for years…they already have all the data on it and can roll it out on their own timeline. Even if some little startup jumps the gun on them, they will monopolize the market in no time and will still take your money.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/RepublicConstitution?feature=mhum TruthRegimes

    Yeah, but that will be around 1000 years from now and the monstrous companies then will be working with nuclear, antimatter, and other sources of energy. They will dominate for a long time and keep the left in the dark with myths such as Peak Oil and make everyone pay Global Carbon Taxes to “fix” everything.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/RepublicConstitution?feature=mhum TruthRegimes

    All in due time. They have a timeline for all of these things. Their myths can be made reality with a single news broadcast.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voluntaryism Voluntaryism Today

    please read before speaking again, you just make yourself sound stupid. peak oil fact, get used to it, teotwawki is just round the corner, get rid of your oil addiction, now.

  • Anonymous

    Too early to be smoking that stuff….

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UPBSFM2BL6LBPKP7AORSMJCAJQ Joel

    Stop playing democrats and republicans and wake up. You can go to CIA dot Gov and download the data. Country after country has peaked in their oil production and is now on decline, soon the world will peak or maybe has already. Ethanol and other substitutes are much MORE expensive than oil, however, they are subsidized to make you think they are cheaper. Why do you think we have corn syrup in all our food? Because it is healthier, cheaper, better? No! It is subsided and sugar has tarrifs. Why do you think we are drilling in 5000 ft of water for oil? Because it is easier? No! Because we’ve drilled all the easy spots already… wake up and turn off your talk radio, dude.

  • Anonymous

    Doesn’t the Right (GOP) have a say in this? Of course they do, Big Oil, Big Corp Tax Cuts, GW/Cheney Oil (Iraq) now get
    Sarah Palin going on this.
    TruthRegimes TruthRegimes
    RepublicConstitution’s Channel Start adding the word Right Wing Fear to your comments. It all makes sense

  • TeddyOrwell

    We most likely already passed peak back in 2006. The IEA acknowledged this last year. I don’t even bother arguing with the peak oil deniers anymore. They’ll realize they are in error soon enough.

  • Roberthe

    The United States experienced its peak oil myth about 40 years ago. When I was a kiddie we were the major oil exporting country on the Earth; we’re now the major oil importer. For every barrel we produce domestically we import two. That’s not good math.

    In October the USGS cut the estimate of undiscovered oil in the National Petroleum Reserve by 90%. Companies are drilling in increasingly difficult environments, the recent debacle in the Gulf or Brazil’s new super-field, 150 miles into the Atlantic and 3 miles under it, being examples of the extremes that the industry is going. The latter, the Tupi field, is the largest find in the Western Hemisphere in the last 30 years with an upper limit of 8 billion barrels, which at the USA’s current consumption rate would last us (if we were to get every drop) about a year. Again, that’s not good math.

    Furthermore, the quality of reasonably accessible oil is degrading; less and less sweet crude is being found and brought on line. We are considering tar sands and oil shale deposits to be viable options for our decreasing supplies, regardless of their catastrophic impact on the environment, but then perhaps that’s just another myth like Climate Change, the Apollo Moon missions, and the Holocaust.

  • ProgressiveInNewYork

    Since this country didn’t learn from the oil embargo of the 70′s they won’t learn from this either. Once again big oil and corporate america will stall any innovation and just send their profits to off shore accounts and take their tax breaks to send the jobs overseas.
    Until we get a truly representative government instead of a bought and paid for bunch of whores, we’re gonna be screwed.

  • Anonymous

    Like Ronald Reagan said about someone from the government, TruthRegimes is from the oil company and are here to help us all “understand”.

  • Roberthe

    Actually, there is an informative GAO publication from 2007, the title of which belies your point “Uncertainty about Future Oil Supply Makes It Important to Develop a Strategy for Addressing a Peak and Decline in Oil Production”. Neither the Saudi nor the American governments deny Peak Oil. Rather, the question has been when that peak would occur.

  • Guest

    News flash: The Green Bay Packers might beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2011 Super Bowl!

    The US military has known that peak oil probably happened around 2006 and is preparing for it. The “easy oil” has already been drilled for and burned. Now, the majority of our oil imports are from Canadian tar sands. Get used to riding your bicycles, folks.

  • Anonymous

    So how are the bonuses at ExxonMobile this year?

    But seriously, I don’t even give a shit about peak oil. If it’s true, well then there’s just another order of magnitude of human misery on top of the pollution, disease, climate change, and displacement that is already in the works. If it’s false, and somebody just wants to lie about peak oil in order to make gajillions of dollars on wind and solar energy, then I’m all for it.

  • Roberthe

    For the CEO? Up 40%, along with an 8% pay raise (my wife’s about to see her salary cut 15% but at least she still has a job) and 225,000 shares of stock, currently trading at $82. Why do you ask?

  • Anonymous

    Agreed 100%

  • Anonymous

    Not long from now about 2015, the decline in oil production will be noticeable.
    Big oil keep snowing people that oil is plentiful as ever. They are good at keeping things secret.
    But in 24 to 48 hours it will come crashing down that most of the oil reserves under the Earth will be too expensive (and to deep) to dig and pump out.
    Then what? I’m asking you, then what? You decide not the oil companies won’t care.
    It’s too late to go solar, wind, geothermal & tidal.
    What will you do? What will world governments do?

  • Mr. Neutron

    Saudi Arabia, like all of OPEC, bumped up their oil reserve numbers in the 1980′s because their production quotas (how much they got to sell each year) depended on their “total reserves” – pretend you have more oil, get more real money this year:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_reserves#OPEC_countries

    Matt Simmons argued that the Saudi’s had much less oil than they were claiming, back in 2005:
    http://www.amazon.com/Twilight-Desert-Coming-Saudi-Economy/dp/047173876X
    Matthew R. Simmons, a Texas investment banker with a Harvard Business School degree and 20 years’ experience in oil, has his doubts. In “Twilight in the Desert”, Mr. Simmons argues that the Saudis may be deceiving the world and themselves. If only half of his claims prove to be true, we could be in for some nasty surprises.

    Some ignorant Americans think Peak Oil is a myth started by “Big Oil”, not realizing that Big Oil is vehemently arguing against Peak Oil, because they don’t want countries to start making the huge investments necessary to transition the global energy infrastructure to the next generation. Claims of vast energy reserves “somewhere in Alaska” or in the Bakken Formation or offshore in the US betray vast ignorance of geology, production techniques and the numbers involved in the global oil industry. China and India don’t care what American oil companies are paying PR firms to confuse the American public about – they are busy locking in 30 year contracts on all the oil they can buy, and exploring for all the remaining short term fields in their territory, before the big Peak Oil crunch. The escalating “oil market” prices are for countries that don’t plan ahead and lock in 30 year contracts – like the U.S.

  • Anonymous

    That’s why I have been a fan of Toyota’s Prius and similar cars. Nissan’s Leaf, Chevy Volt, Honda’s Insight.
    If you don’t have 1 of those cars in the near future (5years) you’ll be walking.

  • Tom

    Two things I have learned to NOT debate is Peak Oil and Climate Change. You will never convince a denier that their belief is incorrect no matter how much data you present to them that they are wrong. This is because theirs is a belief based view of both situations not a fact based one.

    One thing I have noticed is that in most cases if you discuss it with them enough, is you’ll find that the main reasons they are really denying both facts are:

    1). They don’t want their taxes to go up.
    2). They don’t want their lifestyles to change.

    So it is going be interesting to see how tortured their logic will become as they continue to try and rationalize away decreasing oil production, and the resulting sky rocketing prices, and climate disasters.

    Maybe they’ll realize something is up, when some good old boys are standing knee deep in sea water at a gas station that used to be a half mile from the ocean in Charleston SC. And they are pumping $15/gallon gas into their pickups, on a balmy 125 degree day in late May.

    Or will they continue to think both are still liberal conspiracies? Stay tuned…

  • http://twitter.com/Tao_of_Ray Ray

    It’s time for hemp! Just like Henry Ford wanted

  • Guest

    For the time being I have my 2002 Ford Focus station wagon. It’s paid for, and I can haul 5 bails of straw in it to mulch my garden. But, I have my ’55 Rudge when gas becomes too pricey.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LNW4VIDV7IRSYK7ROABZ27TPVQ Tim

    Wow – you just proved the exact opposite with your non-factual scare scenarios.

  • Whatever_happened_to_courtesy

    I own a 2005 Honda Insight. Two seats (no kids, don’t need more than two seats) and at least 55 mpg. 65 mpg if it’s only expressway and I’m conservative (in my driving!). When I purchased it, gas was about 1.80 to $2.00 per gallon. I didn’t buy the car to save money on gas (though I do), I bought it because I realized the importance of furthering research into fuel efficiency and alternative fuels. I’m vehemently against the wars in the middle east and I saw my purchase as one way to not contribute to them. I ordered my car (the dealership didn’t carry them because demand was low) so I wasn’t even able to test drive it. But it’s been a very great car. And at less than 21,000 dollars, it’s was also a bargain.

  • Anonymous

    Alaska has still crude for the next > 50 years to come!

  • Anonymous

    If Peak Oil is a myth, does that mean you believe in an infinite oil supply? Come on, it has to run out some time, the only question is when. Remember, our dependence on oil has been for less then 100 years. Before that it was coal. Before that wood. All non-renewable energy sources eventually get exhausted and need to be replaced with something else.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t recall our government ever discussing it at all.

  • Anonymous

    So you’re saying the earth holds another 1000 years worth of oil? Where do you get your information?

  • Anonymous

    TruthRegimes, you present no evidence for all this oil we supposedly have. I think your’re full of shit.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LNW4VIDV7IRSYK7ROABZ27TPVQ Tim

    “While this Mission is far from embracing doomsday ‘Peak Oil’ theorists, Saudi Aramco’s challenges are significant.”

    But that doesn’t stop folks from making the world is ending leap…

  • Anonymous

    That was obviously hyperbole to demonstrate a point.

  • Anonymous

    A reference please/

  • I. M. Agoste

    Peak oil, polluted waters/air/land, civil unrest as food/fuel becomes scarce. And ya know, with famine comes disease… Oy. Nowhere to go when the proverbial shit hits the fan.

  • DesertSun59

    Whether true or not, whatever company(ies) in the US get on the alternative fuels bandwagon will make a mint.

  • Mr. Neutron

    I bought it because I realized the importance of furthering research into fuel efficiency and alternative fuels.

    I bought a Prius in 2004 for much the same reason. People don’t just vote every 4 or 2 years for politicians – you also vote with your wallet. When Bush was giving huge tax breaks to big SUV buyers in 2003, a few tens of thousands of consumers like you and I were supporting new auto technologies with our purchases. I was hoping that when crunch time for oil prices came in 10 or 15 years, the technology would be there to soften the crash. The success of the Toyota and Honda hybrids inspired companies like GM and Nissan to develop the Volt and Leaf – so the technology is progressing nicely. The li-ion batteries continue to get better and cheaper, so by 2014 the Volt should be much cheaper, for instance. And developments like bigger, cheaper wind turbines, and ultra high voltage transmission lines for less line loss, are also progressing nicely, to power such cars.

    I’m glad to see some citizens and companies continue to plan ahead, even when Governments are temporarily insane.

  • DesertSun59

    Nope. The news about Peak Oil may come months in advance. Those who depend on the purchase of oil futures have insider information.

  • DesertSun59

    TR hasn’t spent a day in a college classroom. You can tell because of the sweeping beliefs: there’s no such thing as Peak Oil (it is well proven that ALL oilfields reach a peak and are capped), AK has more oil than Saudi Arabia (there are no geological reports that have ever said so), and the belief that the ‘Left’ wants the ‘system to crash’.

    Really. This is why they’re called Teatards.

  • Anonymous

    Well gee. The Mayans were right. 2012 is the end. I mean, how could we possibly survive without fossil fuels?

  • WaStConcerned

    yeah, right….they produce such a small portion of our oil now that it’s laughable….

    …if they had more, easily extractable oil we wouldn’t be buying it from the middle east and SA….

  • WaStConcerned

    …”months in advance” still won’t allow for transitioning to non-oil vehicles/transportation nor heating nor alternatives to plastics nor….etc. etc. etc.

  • My3Cats

    Before oil it was whales. The whaling industry. It wasn’t until 1858 that the Titus, PA oil gusher happened changing the world from whale oil to fossil fuel. The USA from Nantucket Island whaled out it’s waters as did Europe and Scandinavia. Competition was fierce and, believe or not, the most predatory and cruel whalers where the Quakers.

    Moby Dick was published in 1851 and was a major disappointment in sales. Melville never recovered from that and didn’t write anything after that. So, from 1851 to about 1858, peak whale oil had been hit.

    Sadly, it was the exploitation of these magnificient creatures that fueled the world before coal.

  • WaStConcerned

    ….if Alaska truly had that much oil reserves, they would be currently supplying more than the paltry amount they do now (no, drilling in the “refuges” would have no effect – they would just drill outside the refuges). This form of fuel and base material for plastics etc. has to be phased out. Regardless of climate change – oil and its products POLLUTE the air, water and soil and we are taking in it’s debris in our bodies.

  • Anonymous

    So the either the All alternative energy companies will get our $$$ through oil and gas companies because of their patents, which I have no problem with. At least the Middle East Saudi’s won’t get it, unless they own the alternative energy. Either way, lets cut back on OIL. I’m sure the GOP hates to hear, but serious TruthRegimes, your still supporting the GOP and Big OIL…we see throught you

  • WaStConcerned

    The perpetuation of the myth of oil as the ONLY fuel AND the squelching of any true renewable alternative fuel development is the end result of the oil industry/billionaires/and auxillary industries demanding to be kept in business. This industry needs to transition as do ALL outmoded industries currently in business and proven by past “effective shelf lives” of past industries.

  • http://twitter.com/leetmeatgolem leetmeatgolem

    10.6 billion recoverable barrels is the mean estimate of Alaska. To put that into perspective, the US alone used 6.9 billion barrels of crude oil in 2009. The US currently uses about 18 million barrels a day. 10.6 billion is not going to last 2 years for the US even, let alone 50 years. More oil is not coming to save us from the end of the oil age, and people need to get over it.

    References
    http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2002/fs045-02/
    http://www.eia.doe.gov/ask/crudeoil_faqs.asp#barrels_consume_year

  • Roberthe

    How long petroleum lasts is dependent upon specific factors.

    We’re all going to agree that demand, which is already high, will only increase during the next decade. I will out of politeness assume that you don’t believe oil is being produced this very second right under our feet in prodigious quantities by hard-working American Oil Fairies (some people believe in a similar scenario), so that we also will agree that oil, being a finite resource, is gradually running out. The next matter to consider is expense of extraction. At this time, most of the easily accessible oil has already been pumped, which is why we increasingly are turning to hostile environments such as deep sea platforms. It is becoming more and more expensive to pump oil, and more energy intensive as well.

    There are two break-even points to consider. The first is expense versus profit: if it becomes more expensive to produce and distribute oil than will be recovered through its cost to the consumer then market forces dictate that the drilling stop until prices go up or technology comes on-line to make processing cheaper. The other break-even point has less wiggle run and zero market flexibility, regardless of how expensive oil becomes: this point is reached when more energy is expended in the recovery and processing of the oil than is present in the oil itself. Short of a technological fix that lowers energy consumption on the production side that is oil that will remain in the ground forever; the alternative would be akin to a shipwrecked sailor drinking salt water because he is thirsty-in so doing he actually is removing water from his body and making himself more thirsty.

    So yes, there will still be crude in Alaska in 50 years. It will be there in 500 years. No one will be touching it. The question is: how much recoverable crude is there in Alaska? The most optimistic estimate for recoverable Alaskan crude is 45 billion barrels, which is considerably higher than the median (15 billion is a common estimate). Even at the higher rate that would be 8 years of current (important word) American consumption before every drop was wrung out of the 49th state.

    Again, crude will still be in Alaska in 50 years. It’ll most likely still be pumped in 50 years, but it won’t be going to peasants such as ourselves, it will be used to make the lives of the uber-rich ever so delightful. A last consideration, if you would indulge me: The Arab oil embargo was in 1973 (just three years after we hit our peak pumping capacity) at which time average Americans woke up to the realization that oil was not an infinitely available and incredibly cheap commodity (I look back with disbelief on 19 cent/gallon gas). There were efforts at that time to start conserving and looking for alternative forms of energy. That was 40 years ago-amazing how far we HAVEN’T come in that time. Your 50 year scenario, which seems almost Pollyanna-ish in its optimism, will pass way more rapidly than would seem possible. Considering the inherent inertia to do anything about this critical matter I would suggest you start working on solutions right now to answer the energy demands of 2061. Or perhaps you believe in the American Oil Fairies.

    PS: I will table for the moment what 2061 will be like if we don’t do something significant to curtail CO2 emissions.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, yawn, wow.

    Now what about those B of A files?

    Oh right.

    Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ye, tomorrow, you’re only a day away.

  • Anonymous

    Thankfully I’ve got horses.
    Is it time to invest in Buggys and buggy whips again?
    (semi-snark)
    What ever happened to bio-diesel?

  • Marcelo

    Your understanding of energy use is as limited as the Saudi’s ability to pump more oil.

  • Mr. Neutron

    The Black Death didn’t “end the world”, but it was definitely unpleasant for those involved.

    If you know a crisis is coming, it’s wise to get ready as best you can.

  • Anonymous

    The oligarchy has a solution, slave labor and senior genocide. We’re past peak on human intelligence. We have fallen back to a combination of feudalism and tribalism aided by computers and electronics. The result is going to be a punishing brutal tyranny on a scale not seen in human history.

  • http://twitter.com/leetmeatgolem leetmeatgolem

    What geologic reports from respectable geological sources contradict the ones that report we have at max possibly enough recoverable oil to last 5 years? I didn’t know geology was a left-right issue.

  • Guest

    Aah yes, the old “we are running out of crude gag.” Heard this one before. Here is some inside info for those of us not in the know. Oil, natural gas, and most other “natural resources” replenish themselves naturally.

    http://freeenergynews.com/Directory/Theory/SustainableOil/

    More fear mongering is all they are doing. The article I present to you makes more sense than believing we get oil from compressed dinosaur and organic material decay. Who makes up this crap.

    meant to say from “only” compressed dinosaur and organic material decay.

  • Mr. Neutron

    No, whale oil production peaked in 1845, at 18 million gallons. It’s main use was as a high quality (expensive) lamp fuel – it didn’t “fuel the world” as petroleum now does. Whale oil had some other commercial uses, like oiling wool for combing, making margarine and protective paint for steel (Rust-Oleum) but the main use was for lighting:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whale_oil
    http://www.radford.edu/~wkovarik/misc/blog/8.whaleoil.html

    Coal, wood, and hay (for horses) was fueling factories, heating and transportation way before Russia began drilling for oil in 1846 Azerbaijan. Whale oil was just a bit player in the lamp fuel industry – profitable, but camphene and coal oil was a bigger fraction of the market back in 1850.

  • Anonymous

    Fuck it! The sooner it runs out, the better and the more of a chance of the human species making it. Not that I think that’s a great idea.

  • Anonymous

    Yes oil does renew itself “naturally”. It got here in the first place after all, right? The problem comes when you need to fuel your car and can’t wait the next 200 million years for mother nature to cook up a new batch. Quit believing in sky fairies, aliens and baby jeebus comin’ to solve your problems.

  • Guest

    Keep drinking the kool-aid ckerst. It will all be over soon.

  • http://twitter.com/Michael_Gaston Michael Gaston

    I hope your horses can pull a plow. They’ll need to when trucks can’t deliver their dinner.

  • http://twitter.com/Michael_Gaston Michael Gaston

    Oh no! No more crude Palin. I don’t think I can take it. I would happily give up oil to get rid of her crude.

  • http://twitter.com/Michael_Gaston Michael Gaston

    But if they keep Sarah Palin happy, they will have enough natural (unnatural?) gas to power the nation for 50 years. Just don’t put a lighter near her mouth.

  • http://twitter.com/Michael_Gaston Michael Gaston

    Now ya talkin. The ganj will save us all. If not, then we can at least be mellow while facing it.

  • http://twitter.com/Michael_Gaston Michael Gaston

    The weapons will start pointing out the answers soon. The Pentagon report even stated that war would define human existence by 2020. Dammit, they are right this time. I wish they were wrong though. My humanity wishes so dearly they were wrong.

  • Anonymous

    Amazing geologists haven’t jumped on the idea of abiotic oil. Maybe they know something you don’t? Like it’s bullshit!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Zentrails/100001475536421 Bob Zentrails

    We need for population growth to reach zero to survive.

    Nobody seems to understand this, much less try to get it to happen.
    Even the Chinese are backing off their 1 child laws.

  • Anonymous

    Reality has a liberal bias.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    so, let me get this straight.. we have all the clean energy we want, we just have to make it expensive enough on the oil companies for them to switch to it? … and you’re against jacking up the cost of energy for dirty fuels? Wouldn’t that spark them to start releasing clean fuel tech?

    You DO realize that some of the biggest reasons we’re not switching to things like GeoThermal and Wave power generation is because oil companies can’t charge for the raw resources, so they can’t charge much for the energy.. right? How will they “take all the money” from power made in a very cheap to run Thorium Reactor? .. the cost of electricity would plummet and the profit-mongers would lose their gravy train.. The reason cheap abundant energy tech is “locked up” is because the vile corporatists want to bleed us dry.. they cant’ do that with near free energy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Zentrails/100001475536421 Bob Zentrails

    You’re completely wrong. Population growth ensures that we will run out of everything we need and a lot sooner than you think. Look up the “rule of 72″ and educate yourself.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    You fix that by nationalizing all oil production and use all proceeds to develop sustainable energy.

    Oh, right.. can’t interfere with the rights of the few to abuse the masses..

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    It would be nice if we could find a way to definitively track the number of people that will die when it all blows up.. those that died but would have lived if we had put an honest effort into alternatives. Then, take all of these delusional deniers and charge them with a count of Manslaughter for each death. … I wonder if they would change their tune about “finding alternatives” then.. especially if we decided to put their posterity in prison as well, to fulfill the sentences.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    Don’t dis the math, man! The math isn’t bad.. it’s just the messenger. What you want to dis is the current policy of doing nothing, the math just shows how bad that policy is and provides a warning to all those paying attention.

    Geez.. do you shoot your mailman on bill day, too?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    Lee Raymond got a $400 million dollar retirement bonus. Not sure what he did to make them so happy.. maybe staved of Regulations that would save the planet but cost them money? .. or maybe it was keeping the 10s of billions in subsidies for the most profitable companies on the planet in the last 100 years..

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    As a guy I used to work with says, “oil comes from the core of the planet.. it’s always being generated and seeps up through cracks in the mantle.. we can never run out of oil because it’s constantly created at the core. The dino flesh story is a hoax.”.

    /sigh

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    Reality has a Liberal Bias, dontchaknow.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/36L7TV6QB6XG4OXP5OBOFDY3SA Geoff Smith

    Poppycock. Your theory has been totally discredited and is not taken seriously by anyone in the oil industry or in government. It has about as much scientific credibility as the global warming deniers’ claims.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/36L7TV6QB6XG4OXP5OBOFDY3SA Geoff Smith

    Exactly, Bill! But SayerofNay would rather believe his comforting illusions. Oh well.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    Survival is the opposite of Commerce.. you’ll want to reduce competition all you can. Rifles are good for that.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/36L7TV6QB6XG4OXP5OBOFDY3SA Geoff Smith

    Uh, we’re well past time of asking them politely “transition”–something they’ve shown no propensity to doing. It is time to take them over and transition them on behalf of We the People. Fat chance of that happening anytime soon, of course. So obviously we need a revolution, since the criminals in charge refuse to do what is mandated by any sane and rational approach to both climate change and petroleum depletion.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    Bio-diesel was killed by the corn lobby.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/36L7TV6QB6XG4OXP5OBOFDY3SA Geoff Smith

    Says who–Sarah Palin? What a joke. Dream on, bro’.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    Ah, I see you beat me to my comment above about those that figure it’s just generated from the Earth’s core. Or is yours some other yet-unknown-untested source?

    edit: ah, 5 websites the guy has, and drafted Ron Paul for President, and when he failed to run that year, Mr. Stirling ran instead!.. .. OH, and I see he sells “preparedness” stuff, for all the Beckerheads stockpiling their bunkers! … out of all the staff, one Ph.D., and he’s a mechanical engineer.

    While I commend all the alternative energy stuff, all of it become moot if we have “infinite oil”.. doesn’t it?

  • Roberthe

    Who makes up this crap? For one the author of your article: “Addressing the theory in circulation that oil is not SOLELY of organic origin…”, the operant word being “solely”. Your author doesn’t deny that petrochemicals are produced through biological processes; what he states is that it can also be produced abiotically. We have known for a while that at least some hydrocarbons, such as methane, can be produced through non-biological processes. Otherwise, the detected presence of methane on Mars would have been considered proof of extraterrestrial life. So far no abiotic theory has been useful in locating actual deposits of petroleum and until one actually is able to produce results at the wellhead the theory is going to remain marginalized. Of course, if you know otherwise you could always go into wildcatting and become wildly rich.

    Interestingly, your author also states that we need to get away from dependence on fossil fuels. Do you agree?

  • Anonymous

    What has been known for years is being talked about now by reliable people. If Oil replenishes itself naturally or not doesn’t matter. What matters is that the Saudis would have depleted their oil layer and what oil that they could get would be to expensive to pull out of the ground.

  • Roberthe

    What do you think Exxon is going to do with its profits, invest in renewable energy research? Pay their fines for the Exxon Valdez? You must be a fasco-commie tree hugging mooslem!

    As an interesting sidebar to history, the first credit default swap (remember those?) was set up by JP Morgan to help defer the line of credit they gave Exxon to cover the potential settlement in the Exxon Valdez case.

  • Anonymous

    When is the Global Stupidity Production (GSP) going to peak?

  • Roberthe

    What, is that sumbitch here again? (reaches for his rifle…) Effing messengers! (inserts full clip and starts to shoot randomly)

  • Anonymous

    The Saudis are running out of oil? Hooray! Does that mean we can stop protecting them yet? Please? There are people there that would like their country back.

  • Roberthe

    Again, it was in a nice hefty (82 page) document back in 2007. An earlier one, although the phrase itself isn’t used, is from my favorite Georgia peanut farmer during the first year of his presidency, 1977. “Unless profound changes are made to lower oil consumption, we now believe that early in the 1980s the world will be demanding more oil that it can produce … Each new inventory of world oil reserves has been more disturbing than the last. World oil production can probably keep going up for another six or eight years. But some time in the 1980s it can’t go up much more. Demand will overtake production. We have no choice about that.” Obviously he was off on his timeline, we brought a considerable amount of oil on-line after the 1973 oil embargo, but 1) little new oil has been found in the Western Hemisphere since that speech; and 2) had we listened to him then we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in today. As it is, he was a single term president and we got the other guy for 8 years. Remember Mr, Decrepit, the guy who traded weapons with Iran so they would keep the hostages in Tehran until after the election? Remember, it’s morning in America? That guy.

  • Guest

    lol

  • Guest

    I do agree with getting off of fossil fuels, absolutely. If they would release the tech they have instead of suppressing it for the oil companies greedy execs and that lot. Teslas free energy concept is a good one, pulling electricity from thin air is a viable source of clean energy. But thanks to big Corporations we don’t have that option.

  • Anonymous

    MG,
    You use mules or oxen to plow :) It requires twice as many horses for the work done as it does for an ox or a good mule. Plus the mules will keep the coyotes away from your stock. Strange but it works. You can always tell who the old timer rancher is by the presence of mules in his pasture grazing with the livestock.

    Besides you save the horses for transportation as they are a heck of a lot easier to mange than a mule. The hard part is finding mule/horse/oxen drawn implements. Finding Tack for horses is much easier too.

    Speaking of “dinner” here’s a tip and I recommend it for everyone even city dwellers or those with a balcony in a high rise.

    Square Foot Gardening.

    The yield is much better per water use, the plots are easier to manage and if you are careful and have a little luck as well you can feed a family quite easily (if you’ve got enough space).

    But you will have to learn how to “can” your produce for preservation over the winter until the next crop comes in. The bummer is finding legacy seeds rather than the “one and done” variety sold these days.

  • Guest

    lol I beg to differ. I think there is a hard core group of dudes that lie to the people for their benefit. I believe this is one of those areas that they like to lie about. Just saying.

  • Anonymous

    I know for a while here in the country you’d smell a bio-diesel “dualey” coming down the road as it smelled like french fries LOL. A lot of my friends were getting their “fryer fat” free until the businesses decided to get a piece of the action.

    For a long time we never saw much corn grown around here until the ethanol boom. Then every piece of dirt was covered in it. Sometimes two crops in a year. Then the good old Texas weather changed it’s mind and cut the water off so to speak. Now it’s back to winter wheat and Milo..

  • Anonymous

    SVO might be a better option. Greasecar.com

    Boycott fossil fuels! Save money. Carbon Neutral and cleaner burning…
    Learn how. It’s all over YouTube etc. It’s happening.
    http://www.gekgasifier.com/

  • Anonymous

    The future is now. Fossil Fuels are a scam. Learn how. Sustainable carbon neutral fuel is available all around you. Research is fun. Expand your fuel parameters.

    http://www.gekgasifier.com/

  • Guest

    That wont happen for one simple reason. Check out the Georgia Guidstones.

  • Guest

    LOL Just keep drinking the kool-aid too bub.

  • Guest

    Indeed.

  • Anonymous

    Push the local organic farming!
    Here’s a farmall H buzz sawing it’s own sustainable fuel (wood). This beautiful beasty ‘lil tractor doesn’t need fossil fuel and the gasifier serves as extra weight in the back. Thanx for the tip about mules!
    Grow flax and you can press the seeds to make organic Linseed Oil which makes the natural wood preservative and superior paint of the past. Ethanol, Vegetable Oil fuels, the old timer farmers and mechanics know they don’t need fossil fuels.
    Check out solventfreepaint.com
    Don’t wait for King Obama to bring you the green jobs. He won’t even legalize Hemp! Go gasify your tractor! Or your truck and through a gen set implement on there for cheap carbon neutral electricity!
    Flax and Hemp is all you need.

    Gasified Farmall H Buzzsawin’ it’s own fuel!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHbXC6na9hg

  • Anonymous

    I stand corrected. Silly me not recognizing spontaneous generation when I see it.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the links..
    Check out the steam traction engines as well. My goodness the ingenuity of the farmers of the late 1880′s – 1920′s was incredible. There are a many great youtube videos of these traction engines in action. Incredible stuff to see. However you got to watch the boiler pressure or…you could have a very bad day.

  • I. M. Agoste

    At one time I thought it would be a good thing to be legally armed so I looked into it. Funny thing though, after all that, I realized I wouldn’t be able to pull the trigger. Something along the lines of “Thou shalt not kill” kept running through my mind.

  • Phil E. Drifter

    It’s not something they’re going to broadcast on tv.

    You have to read, and you have to conduct research.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, wasn’t he the guy that took down the solar panel installation on the roof of the White House?

  • Anonymous

    Bull. Why is it that the specter of Peak Oil always raises its’ ugly head around the same time that the speculators are driving crude prices to outrageous levels that have nothing to do with current demand or circumstances.

  • Anonymous

    I meant something broadcast on TV. You never hear any speeches or anything about it. We should, but we don’t.

  • Anonymous

    That’s an argument?

  • Anonymous

    I did. What of them?

  • Roberthe

    As if Bush ever would have said any such thing. However, it was in Jimmy Carter’s energy address, which was televised in April of 1977. It approaches treason that so little has been accomplished (or even attempted) in the intervening 34 years. This was actually a famous speech, perhaps the most memorable of his presidency, and definitely the one most ridiculed. If you’re old enough to remember this was the speech where he appeared wearing a sweater and called the energy crisis the moral equivalent of war. Take a look at it sometime and be prepared to accept how thoroughly we have been, and continue to be, fucked by the special interests. My deepest regards and thanks to President Carter, who was the last flash of brilliance this country has seen in the Oval Office.

  • Guest

    If I have to spell it out for ya man, ya seriously need help. Troll somewhere else.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_A7KHDX6CSM5TLM6G77EHCIS5ZA Chuck W

    Global peak oil already occurred in 2006-2008. The decline has begun and it the main reason for the economic problems we are facing. Hubbert was correct.

    This reality will really hit hard for the poor and especially the food importing countries (such as Egypt?). It’s going to be a very rough transition for most of us. If you have a large house or gas guzzling SUV, it’s going to be a major hit to the wallet when you’re paying 2-3 times what you’re paying now for heat, electricity and gasoline.

    It’s a good time to downsize your lifestyles before peak oil does it for you!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_A7KHDX6CSM5TLM6G77EHCIS5ZA Chuck W

    More like negative, Bob.

    We’ve already surpassed the carrying capacity of the planet w/o fossil fuels. The number of humans that can be supported by non-oil based agriculture is about 1-2 billion.

  • Guest

    Like ants to a slurpee. Now the slurpee is running out.

    Like squirrels during an acorn boom.

    The acorn/slurpee is CHEAP oil.

  • Anonymous

    Well that is precisely how it would happen would it not? What do you expect the price to come down?

    Every news tidbit just ratchets the price higher and higher. Is the trend not obvious? Do you study commodity pricing? Do you see what happens when the supply dwindles?

    Besides from the consumer’s perspective there is no differene between a fake crunch and a real shortage. They see their bills go up either way. And also either way there is a tremendous influence to kick the habit.

    If an artificial shortage drives up prices and forces more people to use less energy, what is wrong with that?

  • Anonymous

    “Nobody seems to understand this” That’s because it makes NO SENSE

    Tell me how many people have to starve before we become enlightened? What an idiot.

  • Anonymous

    “pulling electricity from thin air is a viable source of clean energy”

    Apparently pulling lies out of your ass is a viable source of bullshit.

  • Anonymous

    Yes indeed we need to open more McDonalds and eat more greasy food and get even more overweight so we can subsidize a fake industry that uses only the byproducts of unhealthy fast food.

    If people ate healthy meals you would have no source of fuel. You ride comes at the expense of our health.

    Yes indeed you can’t even SEE the freaking warning sign! You are advocating using food for fuel! Do you see the danger of this precedent?

  • Anonymous

    “have numerous patents on such things already”

    Please give us some patent numbers! They are all open records so I am sure you will have no trouble supplying a list.

    Patents EXPIRE in 20 years! That means that anything developed before the 90′s is 100% up for grabs with no patent protection whatsoever.

    But there is no doubt that you just pulled all of that out of you ass.

    If you want to find patents for “alternative” energies then I suggest you look through the german patent office records in the 30s and 40′s. The Nazis also had terrible problems getting fuel from the Arabs and they too embarked on an ambitious “alternative” energy program. Yes indeed the germans had panzer tanks that smelled like McDonalds french fries.

  • Anonymous

    “very cheap to run Thorium Reactor”

    Wow what planet are you on? When you count the costs of disposal and storage, nuclear energy is by far the most expensive.

    It’s not just the spent fuel. The entire reactor vessel and many many other components are rendered radioactive in the course of its lifetime and the entire reactor vessel is yet more radioactive waste.

    Also there are virtually no known thorium deposits in this country so we will ONE MORE TIME be dependent on foreigners for our energy. That is no solution.

    “The decay of Thorium does, however, create Radon gas so caution should be exercised when thorium decays in closed spaces. Exposure to an aerosol of thorium can lead to increased risk of cancers of the lung, pancreas and blood, as lungs and other internal organs can be penetrated by alpha radiation. Exposure to thorium internally leads to increased risk of liver diseases.”

    Our nuclear industry has a very poor record of handling radioactive material. The Connecticut Yankee story alone will freak you out.

    We humans are too stupid and too inept to handle nuclear fuel.

  • Anonymous

    Frak ‘Peak Oil’, think about ‘Peak Food’. The Europeans think the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt have been largely motivated by rising food prices.

  • Anonymous

    WOLF ! ! ! WOLF ! ! ! WOLF ! ! !

    More oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico last year than was suppose to be in all our domestic oil supplies combined. I’m not buying it, sorry.

  • Anonymous

    Uh, do some research. If the engine runs how is it fake? McDonald’s Grease is actually a pain in the ass. You want non-hydrogenated oil from healthy restaurants. Ideally you have your own Oil Press and your own field of Hemp with seeds and voila off you go. With a VW MK1 or MK2 you have a simple non computerized car that gets up to 50 mpg carbon neutral fuel that runs cleaner (better for the air and the motor) than polluting terrorist oil from BP etc. In the doc “the Champagne Safari” Charles Bedaux http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Bedaux
    was working with the Germans (who happened to be Nazis) to build a pipeline from North Africa where there would be peanut plantations that would produce Peanut Oil for fuel for diesel engines. The plan was to pipe the peanut oil and water to to Europe for a sustainable fuel source. His work with the Nazis got him imprisoned for Treason and he either committed suicide or was poisoned as he (and others) didn’t want him to go to trial as a lot of international treasonous big business dealings would have been uncovered.
    Aside from that Rudolph Diesel invented the Diesel engine using Peanut oil as fuel. The whole food for fuel idea is complete B.S. Corn for ethanol is stupid. Corn depletes the soil. Grow Hemp instead, grow potatoEs for ethanol instead. Google it and you will see many other sources. Or better yet check out the GEK gasifiers. They are setting up computerized sensors to monitor the Syngas produced to tweak the systems so you can throw whatever garbage you want in and get a quality carbon neutral fuel out to power your internal combustion engine more cleanly than fossil liquid fuel. AggroCulture in the U.S.A is utter bull shit. There should be more than enough fuel and food to go around if people would pull their heads out of their asses. But people buy fast food because it’s convenient. And people believe what they are told because it’s convenient. And people accept cancer because it’s convenient. What can you do when so many believe the evil MonSantoClaus is gonna save them? You can grow your own and build your own, that’s what you can do!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5o8WS5IQF8c

  • Anonymous

    Hell Yeah! Steam is so cool! I love the sound of Steam Shovels! Stanley Steamers were fast and full of torque! At this website Mike Brown sells smallish steam engines and also carburetors to run your V8 on ethanol that you could create with your own still. He also makes the case for ethanol using the example of the WW2 Japanese Zero fighter planes that ran on rice ethanol. Those lethal agile fighters had engines that were copycats of Pratt and Whitney engines that pushed 1,000 horsepower and they ran on ethanol derived from rice! Probably “organic” rice back then! Carbon Neutral non terrorist fuel! And we are worried about the price of Oil!
    http://home.earthlink.net/~dlaw70/12stmng.htm

    And here is that organic solvent free paint site again, about non-toxic paint that humans have used for hundreds of years until Big Business squashed it! I love this stuff! It’s like hand lotion for wood, it will bring old dry wood back, it’s like putting the tannins back into the wood. If you have land grow Flax! A very useful plant! My grandfather in North Dakota used to grow it. It can probably grow almost anywhere. If you are restoring and maintaining tractors check out the wood gas stuff as well!
    solventfreepaint.com
    and I love this vid as well… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWwNX0Bf7WI

  • Anonymous

    It has very little to do with the population growth and everything to do with the reckless things being done by that population while following the lead of that greedy 1% that wants to profit off everything and stop at nothing to put money in their pockets.

  • Anonymous

    Furthermore, I helped a friend Greasecar.com her ’96 VW Passat and a local Restaurant was actually bringing their waste french fry oil to her door where she would filter it on her stove and throw it in her tank. 50 mpg on free oil! And it would start on pure SVO in the summer (she finally ran out of diesel one day). She finally gave the car to her brother because of various electrical problems (the windows wouldn’t go up, the odometer was freaking out) but the engine ran fine! That’s why I prefer the older and simpler diesels… if you can find ‘em! You can thank King Obama for his “Cash for Clunkers” corporatist scheme!
    Are you willing to eat used vegetable oil?
    And how much land is not being used out there? Don’t complain about the lack of food, Grow it! But do it organically and boycott the evil Monsanto Claus!

  • Phil E. Drifter

    Bullshit. Do you have a any source for your outrageous claims?

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/L5PHKRPFHK3LLTRDNVH2ZBIWOA Cal

    “Peak oil” hit in 2008 as OPEC output did not keep up with demand. If it wasn’t for the financial crisis later that year crimping demand by 10%, we would have been well past the point right now. Demand appears to be recovering again to near 2008 levels and so we should see tight supplies once again if this trend continues. Get used to expensive gasoline.

  • Anonymous

    The Age of Petroleum is over. Get used to it.

  • Anonymous

    I smell the desperation of denial.

  • Anonymous

    Believing that oil renews itself is WORSE than believing in sky fairies and aliens, and anything else along that line. It doesn’t happen.

  • Guest

    LOL your ignorance is blinding.

  • Guest

    maybe you should check yourself, I have done the research, what have you done? STFU with your blatant ignorance :)

  • Anonymous

    “A decline in production in Saudi Arabia would likely send global oil prices soaring, with demand far outpacing supply”. Yes, for a period of time. Then people begin conserving which results in a oil glut and prices begin to fall. The question is, will we be able to conserve enough this time to keep prices from going up.

  • Roberthe

    You know what they say about people crying wolf, Axekick. Approximately 5 million barrels was spilled into the Gulf. While that is a horrific amount, it represents about 6 HOURS!!! of United States consumption. Our proven reserves, that isthe amount we know for sure is in the ground, is about 21 billion bbls so the spill represented about 1/4000th of our total known supply, or .02%.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah I do know what they say about people crying wolf RobertHe which was the reasoning behind my starting my comment with it. See the analogy between constantly changing oil supplies, mixing sands with oil reserves, etc.. and “Proven oil” is not oil we are sure is in the ground it is the quantity engineers and geologists estimate to be in the ground. Further more according to the CIA Factbook in January of 2010 we had 19.1 billion barrels, not 21. Nor does your math add up, LOL

  • Roberthe

    Peak originally oil reared its ugly head in 1956, over 50 years ago. It has been in plain sight for anyone willing to look since the 60s. What you really want to know is why it is kept off the radar map until it forces its way back into the spotlight during times of crisis and constriction. Peak oil is not a tool of the avaricious (though any speculator worth his salt is prepared to make a killing during times of panic) so much as it is a symptom of the overarching willful ignorance of the citizenry.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_A7KHDX6CSM5TLM6G77EHCIS5ZA Chuck W

    Peak food is the result of peak oil. You need plentiful cheap oil in order to grow the amount of food we are accustomed to growing. Without cheap oil, you can’t have cheap food. The two are forever linked in modern societies.

    How critical is peak oil? You’re already seeing food riots and revolutions due to food.

    Now imagine what it will be like when these people who are already paying 60-70% of their incomes on food see prices double again?

  • Roberthe

    LOL? Axe, you made the statement that more oil spilled than was supposed to be in our domestic supplies. I pointed out that you were off by a factor of 4000. Your retort is LOL, I’m off by a factor of 1/10. My stats were from the Energy Information Agency, circa 2007, so I will gladly accede to your number. Therefore I stand corrected and must apologize for my hasty comment. Your statement wasn’t off by a factor of 4000, it was off by a factor of 3900. Mea culpa.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, such a mature, intelligent response. You ain’t done shit.

  • Guest

    lol i am done with this troll!

  • Lincoln Paradox

    Chuck, peak food also has a lot to do with corporate agriculture. Over the past 50 years, big ag-tech companies have been making it harder for the individual farmer to exist both in the US and abroad.

    It’s not going to get any better anytime soon.

  • Roberthe

    What’s outrageous about it? Any ecosystem has a carrying capacity which can be thought of as an equilibrium between needs and resources. Remember, we are concerned with more than just energy here; we also have to take water, arable land, raw materials, etc, into account. Much of the United States already is running out of water. Arable land is disappearing into subdivisions and parking lots or as the consequence over increased salinity. The more people the fewer resources available per capita-it’s not a difficult concept to understand. The whole notion that the viability of the economy has to be pegged to growth is a fool’s game. Obviously, population has to stay within the limits afforded it by the ecosystem or pay severe consequences as per Malthus. Because for the last 150 years we have had access to cheap energy we have more or less contemptuously ignored those boundaries world-wide, the price of our hubris soon will catch up to us. Whether it is fuel, fertilizer or pesticides a significant part of world-wide agricultural production is driven by petrochemicals. As they become scarcer food prices will inexorably increase past the level where they are affordable for a large part of the world population. We are seeing converging threats from plummeting water tables and degrading soil. One way or another we will find ourselves face to face with the specter of having to pay the debt on our profligate living: we will be forced to return to living in accordance with the actual carrying capacity.

    What that capacity is varies considerably, but 200 million for America and 1-2 billion for the planet as a whole are often used. If you’re interested in the concept google it and start your own researches. At least take a peek before labeling something you disagree with as bullshit.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    Thorium is a waste material from mining rare-earth metals.. and we have a SHIT TON in the U.S. — it just “costs too much to mine” because we have safety standards (unlike the exploding mines of China).

    And from what I’ve read about Thorium Reactors, the “waste” amounts to a bowling ball sized lump once a year. Compared to traditional nuclear, that’s almost nothing.. and we can reclaim it into more fuel if we’re willing to spend the money to do so.

    I’m no fan of traditional nuclear plants, but from everything I’ve read of Thorium Reactors, they are infinitely better and safer .. it’s been suggested that they can’t melt down, in an overheating scenario the salts fall out of the reactor and the reaction stops.

    And complaining about Radon gas seems to ignore all the toxins we’re putting up with burning coal and oil at present. No “fuel” is going to be 100% “clean”, but we can take steps to collect/contain/dispose of toxins. It’s all about the time, money, effort, and willingness to do it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    Actually, WVO (waste veggy oil) is what you’d be using from “unhealthy foods”.. and if we stopped eating those bad foods, all you have to do is put that oil directly into your tank (or bio-diesel still).. the oil doesn’t have to make poison-fries first.

    In fact, that’s one of the arguments for Hemp.. if we grow too much for the food/soap/paint/polymer/etc we nee, we could have a fuel surplus..

    Ethanol (a very inefficient fuel) is already being used from corn.. a very bad choice. And bio-diesel can be made from all kinds of stock, including things we don’t eat.

    In other words, to adequately switch from dino-oil to bio-liquid fuels, we need a wide ranging plan.. one that is sustainable and doesn’t cause other problems (like using our core food stocks for fuel instead of eating). No one seems to be able to think past any single sticking point, though. … well, no one outside of those damn “intellectual elites” that everyone hates.

  • Anonymous

    My original comment was ‘tongue in cheek ‘ and intentionally a sarcastic exaggeration. You responded seemingly hastily with figures and calculation, frankly I immediately assumed you worked within the oil industry upon reading it. Then I looked up the information you cited and found it to be flawed and your arithmetic incompetent. Now being called out on it you suddenly become sarcastic too. Check the number of hours in a year compared to the barrels of oil you cited us using against the total amount of oil used in a year and one quickly sees you are simply full of shit.

  • Anonymous

    …though any speculator worth his salt is prepared to make a killing during times of panic.

    Speculators are right up there with rapists and murders in their usefulness to our society.

  • Anonymous

    And you’re delusional.

    Get used to it.

  • Roberthe

    The main difficulty with satire on the Internet is summed up in Poe’s Law. My regards on the success of your parody; I will be more wary of your humor when next we meet.

    As far as my math failing, it doesn’t (at least not in this case). The United States uses approximately 20 million barrels a day. The Deepwater spill was about 5 million barrels or the equivalent of 1/4 of a day’s worth of petroleum at current consumption rates, which is 6 hours.

    You’re more than welcome to take this as far as you want but considering you say you were tongue-in-cheek I wonder why you are so eager to defend what you indicate was parodic in the first place.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_A7KHDX6CSM5TLM6G77EHCIS5ZA Chuck W

    Agreed lincoln.. The loss of individual farmers who knows how to farm organically with less petrochemical input is a serious loss. The big ag-tech companies won’t be able to continue growing food at that scale much longer. It’s the loss of knowledge in sustainable agriculture that really concerns me.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_A7KHDX6CSM5TLM6G77EHCIS5ZA Chuck W

    Phil- I’d say most people would understand that there isn’t an infinate amount of oil in the ground. Eventually, the oil will reach the mid point and production will decline. As for sources.. just look at the graphs posted by the IEA (international energy agency which is the worldwide authority on energy issues)..
    http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2010-11-11/iea-acknowledges-peak-oil

    Essentially, we would have to find another saudi arabia within a few years just to keep things even. The population growth in the world has matched the growth in oil production rates. The curves match exactly.. Now what happends to population when the oil production falls?… less food, expensive gas, etc. coal and natural gas may keep electricity generation going for awhile.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_A7KHDX6CSM5TLM6G77EHCIS5ZA Chuck W

    SynGas- Biodeisel is an excellent alternative. It does work.. he’s right. I don’t think the average deisel engine can run on filtered cooking oil though right? It has to be modified somehow.

    There are alternatives.. but we have to have the political will in this country to push them. As an American, I’m not very encouraged now that we have a global warming denier Republican in charge of the house energy committee.
    http://energycommerce.house.gov/about/about_chair.shtml

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_A7KHDX6CSM5TLM6G77EHCIS5ZA Chuck W

    Maybe if they interrupted an episode of Glee with it, then maybe more clueless Amercians would get it. You won’t hear anything about it in the mainstream press explaining it in detail because it would crash the markets. Money is more important that preparing your citizens for something that will change their lives considerably. It’s something that really needs to get out there to more people.

  • Anonymous

    Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO) will work in most diesel engines, at least older engines. I read that the newer VW TDI’s might need the injectors changed, I believe 2005 up or something like that, but the older diesels work better with SVO. The Diesel engine was originally designed to run on Peanut Oil over 100 years ago. My friend would heat up her waste Veg Oil on her stove and pour it through a sock filter and then put it in her extra tank in her ’96 Passat. If you are interested in more info go to GreaseCar.com and also search the web. There are kits for trucks and cars and filtering kits as well. The main thing is the oil needs to be clean, free of water and warm so it doesn’t gell. My friend with the Passat would start her car in the summer on SVO when she finally ran out of diesel from her regular tank. The diesel in these systems is used to start the engine and to turn off the engine, to clean the lines of the SVO in case it gells and clogs the lines because it is too cold. I’ve read of people mixing diesel with SVO in the winter and not using any kit at all, but it probably depends on the climate, the kit makes it so you can drive in very cold weather. Also, SVO is best for longer drives as you want the engine to be warm before it switches from diesel to SVO and when you turn the car off you want the diesel to get through the lines to clean the SVO. The best situation would be to use BioDiesel instead of Diesel and then the SVO could be used for the longer trips. SVO is easier to process and to make BioDiesel you need filtered SVO anyway. A diesel Prius with Plug In Battery System running on BioDiesel would be a step in the correct direction. The tech has been there for a long time but the Automakers, for some strange reason ($) don’t want it. Actually I bet you could easily have a SVO diesel Prius, just preheat the SVO electrically and also using the antifreeze. Someone out there must be doing it…

  • Anonymous

    I’m not sure if Ethanol is that inefficient. I believe burning it increase Nitrous Oxide emissions, but it’s still carbon neutral. If you made it with a still that was heated with a clean burning gasifier using some sort of “garbage” food (excess saw dust, walnut shells that would be composted anyway, shredded excess framing lumber bits etc.) the heat would not cost much. Farmers used to make Ethanol out of all kinds of things. I believe you can make it out of Hemp stalks, or potatoEs, or anything that ferments. Rice… and other things that we might not eat as you say, perhaps weeds! It would be a fun hobby although sort of Illegal since the 1930′s but maybe this summer I’ll try making a still and brew up some weed ethanol and see if it ignites, then perhaps try it on a lawn tractor… Henry Ford predicted that Ethanol might be the fuel of the future. Using Monsanto Corn for Ethanol is a horrible idea. Corn depletes the soil and the GM aspect of it is simply horrifying and unfortunately a spreading dark reality. But Hemp does not deplete the soil. With ethanol you need to change the carburetor and the timing. Computerized fuel injection and timing could theoretically adjust the motor to the fuel. Maybe those FlexFuel vehicles are like that, I don’t know. I believe they only have one fuel tank…
    Dragsters run on Ethanol. You don’t have the BTU’s so your MPG is less than gasoline. That’s one problem. But Hemp could perhaps provide both Hemp Oil for fuel or for many other things (go to the health food store and see what products have Hemp Oil in them) and the stalks could perhaps be stilled into Ethanol. Hemp has a bazillion uses. The word “Canvas” comes from “Cannabis”, the first Levi’s were made from Hemp etc. etc. Then there is that Canadian electric Hemp car that is coming out soon…

  • Anonymous

    It would be painful for me as well as others if fuel prices increase even more but maybe cars with better mileage would increase in demand. Cars used to get amazing mileage in the early 80′s. Hell, my ’65 beetle would get up to 44 mpg on the highway if I drove it sparingly. People drive too much anyway. It’s painful but I sort of welcome increased fuel prices because that’s what really pushes the demand for cleaner burning alternatives that otherwise remain shelved for whatever reasons. The Technology to do this has been around for 100 years. People are brainwashed into apathetic consumerism.

  • Anonymous

    Fossil Oil is killing the planet and centralizing power. The sooner “we” stop drilling the better. There are better alternatives right now for those interested in thinking outside their jail cell. I say leave the Oil alone, perhaps it’s useful in acting as a hydraulic shock absorber to lessen earthquakes and earth shifting… anyone know about that? We need to stop playing God.

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