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Guest Post: Future Chaos: There Is No "Plan B"

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Chris Martenson

Future Chaos: There Is No "Plan B"

Note: This article builds on my recent report Prediction: Things Will Unravel Faster Than You Think.  It explores the coming energy crunch in more detail by looking at existing government planning and awareness, and the implications of what international recognition of peak oil as early as 2012 might mean.

The hard news is that there is no "Plan B": the future is likely to be more chaotic than you probably think.  This was the primary conclusion I came to after attending the most recent Association for the Study of Peal Oil & Gas (ASPO) in Washington DC in October, 2010.

The impact of peak oil on markets, lifestyles, and even national solvency deserves our very highest attention - but, it turns out, some important players seem to be paying no attention at all.

ASPO conferences tend to start early, end late, and be packed with more data and information than should be consumed in one sitting.  Despite all this, I was riveted to my seat.  This year's usual constellation of excellent region-by-region analyses confirmed what past participants already knew: peak conventional oil arrived a few years ago and new fields, enhanced recovery techniques, and unconventional oil plays are barely going to keep up with demand over the next few years. 

But there were two reports that really stood out for me.  The first was given by Rear Admiral Lawrence Rice who presented the findings of the 2010 Joint Operating Environment (a forward-looking document examining the trends, contexts, and implications for future joint force commanders in the US military) which spends 76 pages summarizing the key trends and threats of the world.  "Energy" occupies six of those pages and peak oil dominates the discussion.  Among the conclusions (on pg 29) we find this hidden gem which uses numbers and timing that are eerily similar to those I put forth in my April 2009 report Oil - The Coming Supply Crunch:

By 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear, and as early as 2015, the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 MBD.


While there are two "coulds" in that statement, the mere possibility that such an imminent arrival and massive shortfall could be true should give every prudent adult a few second thoughts about what the future may hold. If surplus production capacity disappears in just a couple of years, there's an entire world of planning that should really take place beforehand at the international, national, community and personal levels. 

More on the JOE report in a minute.  Next I want to turn to a presentation given by Rick Munroe who did his best to discover where in the civilian governmental departments lie the plans for what to do in a liquid fuel-starved future. 

To cut to the chase, it turns out that virtually every department he contacted in both the US and Canada denied having any such reports.  In one humorous exchange by email Natural Resources Canada  stated two things in the same email:

  • “At this time the Department has no views on [peak oil].
  • "There is no imminent peak oil challenge…."

It will be interesting to see how NRCan words their emails once they do develop a point of view. 

The main conclusion from Rick's presentation was that peak pil is being examined closely and taken seriously by military analysts but not civilian authorities.  What few plans that do exist on the civilian side are decades old.

The implications of this are that North America "remains highly vulnerable to a liquid fuel emergency disruption" and, since because there are only a few dusty plans lying around, there will be greater chaos than necessary.

Now back to the JOE report. 

OPEC: To meet climbing global requirements, OPEC will have to increase its output from 30 MBD to at least 50 MBD. Significantly, no OPEC nation, except perhaps Saudi Arabia, is investing sufficient sums in new technologies and recovery methods to achieve such growth. Some, like Venezuela and Russia, are actually exhausting their fields to cash in on the bonanza created by rapidly rising oil prices. (pg 26)

A severe energy crunch is inevitable without a massive expansion of production and refining capacity.  While it is difficult to predict precisely what economic, political, and strategic effects such a shortfall might produce, it surely would reduce the prospects for growth in both the developing and developed worlds. (pg 28)


Well, the amounts needed from OPEC are quite, shall we say, 'ambitious' as they amount to an additional two Saudia Arabias coming on line in order to make up the shortfall.  A massive crunch is not otherwise avoidable.  Let's be honest, there are no more Saudia Arabias to be found.  Perhaps we could cobble one together out of thousands of smaller, less productive fields, but the likelihood of a few massive fields 1,100 feet under the ground waiting to be found is extremely remote.  People in the business of actually producing oil know that producing from smaller wells takes more time, equipment and manpower. 

Meanwhile, I also happen to agree with their assessment that the details of the effects are difficult to predict but that the general theme will be one of reduced growth, and that's under the best of circumstances.  More likely we'll have to figure out how to operate on zero or even negative growth.

So I came away from the ASPO conference pondering two completely polar trends that combined to create a lasting discomfort.  On the one hand we have more and more private and military organizations coming to the conclusion that peak oil is imminent and will change everything, possibly disruptively.  On the other hand there appear to be no plans within the civilian government to deal with a liquid fuels emergency.

While we can expect that such plans will be tossed together when necessary, I would hope that Katrina taught us a few lessons about developing plans on the fly after the disaster has already arrived.  Sure, things got done, but they were certainly suboptimal and led to more confusion and more chaos than if they'd been carefully developed, practiced, and debugged.

The way that I understand the lack of planning on the part of the civilian side is that peak oil does not present any easy political wins, if any at all.  Given the 2-year planning cycle in DC, it's never a good time to bring up such an unpleasant subject.  Politics trumps necessity. 

What can be rather easily predicted here is that when the next fuel crisis arrives there will be more chaos than necessary.  Some areas will get completely stiffed on their fuel allotments while other areas will be reasonably well supplied.  The reason that this can be easily predicted is because it more or less already happened in Europe during a protest by French fishermen inspired by high fuel prices.  They blockaded ports in late May of 2008 and by early June the action had spread across Europe.  Shelves were quickly stripped bare of essential goods, tensions mounted, and petrol stations ran dry in a hurry.   

And these were just the effects of a port blockade and tanker truck strike.  What would happen with a real and persistent shortage of fuel?  Well, if it were perceived to be due to a structural and permanent inability of the global oil market to meet demand, prices would rise stratospherically until demand was cut off.  The only problem is, letting prices determine which industries idle back may not be the best plan. 

Consider the case of agriculture.  If full 'pass through pricing' is the mechanism of rationing, which it currently is, then less food will be grown.  With world grain stocks at historic lows this is one area where we might not want to let Mr. Market dictate the activities of farmers based on fuel price.  To do otherwise would require a plan of some sort and none appear to be in effect.

That's the source of my discomfort.  It's not necessarily that large organizations are beginning to share my sense of timing and impact of peak oil, although that will hasten the tipping point of awareness - it's that somehow I always thought that because Admiral Hyman Rickover knew well that this day would come (in the 1950's!) that 60 years would have been sufficient lead-time to assemble some credible plans.

No plans = unnecessary chaos.

The lack of planning also betrays a very common attitude which might be summarized as “we’ll deal with that when we get there.”  I detect this attitude in a wide range of individuals and market participants so it’s not at all uncommon.  However, I think it’s a mistake to hold this view.  When (not if, but when) full awareness of peak oil arrives on the international stock, bond and commodity markets we’ll discover just how narrow the doorways really are.  Only a few will manage to preserve their wealth by squeezing through the doorway early, most will not make it through. As mentioned frequently on this site, our What Should I Do? guide for developing personal resiliency against a post-peak future offers a valuable resource for those just getting started in their preparations.

This thinking is explored in greater depth in Part 2 of this report (enrollment required) in which I discuss strategies to fill the official vacuum by developing our own plans for what we should do in response.


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Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:08 | 648861 Goldenballs
Goldenballs's picture

Plan B does exist and is a top secret project run by NASA  the end result is a manned landing on Mars.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:14 | 648881 Mongo
Mongo's picture

Well that solves the problem!... or at least redefines "diversifying risk".

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:20 | 648916 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

You mean Operation Goldmember?

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:25 | 648933 Vergeltung
Vergeltung's picture


Thu, 10/14/2010 - 13:45 | 649882 Broken_Trades
Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:36 | 648963 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

Will it be Schwarzenegger?

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:39 | 648978 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Just google HAARP. There is a plan B, C, D, E, F against the global currency mess.

You just need to be willing to open your eyes.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:44 | 649192 I am a Man I am...
I am a Man I am Forty's picture

Thank god for haarp, keeps those pesky hurricanes in the atlantic and away from the coast....yep.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 11:13 | 649262 chopper read
chopper read's picture

HAARP is the subject of numerous conspiracy theories, with individuals ascribing various hidden motives and capabilities to the project. Journalist Sharon Weinberger called HAARP "the Moby Dick of conspiracy theories" and said the popularity of conspiracy theories often overshadows the benefits HAARP may provide to the scientific community.[15][16] Skeptic computer scientist David Naiditch called HAARP "a magnet for conspiracy theorists", saying the project has been blamed for triggering catastrophes such as floods, droughts, hurricanes, thunderstorms, and devastating earthquakes in Pakistan and the Philippines aimed to "shake up" terrorists. Naiditch says HAARP has been blamed for diverse events including major power outages, the downing of TWA Flight 800, Gulf War syndrome, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Conspiracy theorists have also suggested links between HAARP and the work of Nikola Tesla (particularly potential combinations of HAARP energy with Tesla's work on pneumatic small-scale earthquake generation) and physicist Bernard Eastlund. According to Naiditch, HAARP is an attractive target for conspiracy theorists because "its purpose seems deeply mysterious to the scientifically uninformed".[17]

Conspiracy theorists have blamed HAARP for numerous earthquakes. An opinion piece on a Venezuelan state-run television channel's website named HAARP as a cause of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. [18][19][20]

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 12:26 | 649549 Mariposa de Oro
Mariposa de Oro's picture

LOL.  I get a kick at the FEMA camp/Bush/Marital law meme of these stories.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm convinced the gov is preparing a police state in the USA.  However, Bush has been gone for almost two years.  The articles about Bush/FEMA Camps/Martial law haven't been updated to include the current regime's progress in the police state creation.  My three favorites are the airport x-rays, x-ray vans, and Czar John Holdren's plan in incorporate UAVs into the national airspace.  Why he wants drones patrolling the skies over America, I can only imagine, but judging by usage in the ME, and HSA's focus on 'right-wing extremists and domestic terrorists, I'd say its not to help out the 'little guy'.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 21:26 | 651520 chopper read
chopper read's picture

+ 1776

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:11 | 648872 scratch_and_sniff
scratch_and_sniff's picture

There are lots of tiny little plan B's, they all add up and we live happily ever after.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:13 | 648880 Mongo
Mongo's picture

Still waiting for peak stupidity...

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:17 | 648893 bada boom
bada boom's picture

Or the parabolic rally.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:18 | 648905 Mongo
Mongo's picture


Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:19 | 648907 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Sept 1st to today isnt enough of a lunatic parabolic rally for ya?

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:14 | 649099 Lux Fiat
Lux Fiat's picture

Yep.  I like potentially promising small caps, and trade in that arena frequently.  The number of near vertical lift-offs of late is amazing.  In the past, that has usually been a pretty good warning sign.  However, if BB keeps ramping liquidity, hard to say how long it could go on.  Then of course, there is always the laggard or two that keeps tap dancing right above the stop level.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:18 | 648902 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

I'll introduce you to my mother-in-law at your request.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:17 | 648897 Steak
Steak's picture

algae bitchez!

There's no doubt that algae-based fuel is tantalizing -- unlike crops, trees, the sun and wind, algae starts out already half-comprised of hydrocarbons useable for bio-diesel, as Debora MacKenzie writes at New Scientist. That's why Silicon Valley, the Pentagon and serious oil companies are attempting to crack the code and scale up algae into a global transportation fuel. And if you ask the chin- and chest-out Venter, his own efforts are headed for tickertape-parade-type success: "Designing and building synthetic cells will be the basis of a new industrial revolution," he told Pollack. "The goal is to replace the entire petrochemical industry." 

<this article is pretty evenhanded in adressing algae, there is promise and limitations, but it is undoubtedly a plan B> 

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:56 | 649042 spartan117
spartan117's picture

Seaweed, bitchez.  It's abundant, naturally occuring, and full of vitamins and nutrients.  Except for the ones floating in and around the GOM, of course.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:25 | 649129 kurt_cagle
kurt_cagle's picture

But the seaweed in the GOM is full of oil already!

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:03 | 649062 downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

Exactly. There are alternatives. We just have to be creative enough to discover or utilize the solutions to their full potential. I think he was right about the wake up call. Although, maybe if farmers were charging more for their crops based on higher fuel prices, it would create an incentive for us to explore other ways of fueling agriculture.



Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:17 | 649103 morkov
morkov's picture

meanwhile stock-up on bicycles ...

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:14 | 649097 Sneeve
Sneeve's picture

Yeah, algae sounds great, but it ain't gonna happen on this planet in a useful timeframe. Someone who knows (Robert Rapier) writes about it here:

and elsewhere on his blog


Thu, 10/14/2010 - 12:08 | 649242 the rookie cynic
the rookie cynic's picture

Alternatives are pie-in-the-sky pipe dreams at this point. The EIA suggest we'll need 739 quadrillion BTUs/year by 2035. That's a hell of a lot of "alternatives." So much for Plan B.

Needless to say, I'm not holding my breath on that one.

From my blog a few days back:

"Not only are these critical raw material getting scarce, it’s also takes more and more energy to get them.

Nature, the ultimate lender of last resort has a balance sheet problem: depletion.

Eventually we will have a zero sum game; it will cost more to get the stuff out of the ground than it’s worth.

The powers-that-be are in denial; on a finite planet, exponential growth is an oxymoron.

Contrary to what they preach in Washington and Wall Street, our current economic system destroys the basic resources it depends on to survive.  We’re committing environmental, and by extension, economic suicide."

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 19:29 | 651168 wake the roach
wake the roach's picture

Contrary to what they preach in Washington and Wall Street, our current economic system destroys the basic resources it depends on to survive.  We’re committing environmental, and by extension, economic suicide."


Absolutely... We have created the perfect economic system (profit/competition) for the unsustainable extraction and conversion of low entropy natural resources into high entropy waste...

The universal laws of thermodynamics can not be trumped... The only solution is the global abandonment of the profit system of energy (money) allocation and thus, an end to infinite growth (consumption/waste)... I do not underestimate the scale of such a systemic change (ideologically), but it is one that we are now being forced to make... Exponential or not, any growth via consumption of finite resources is unsustainable, meaning, profit 2.0 is collective suicide... The jig is up, time to pay the bill...

But I'm absolutely certain that if global civilization does survive and prosper into the next century and beyond, this moment in time, when we made the brave and wise collective decision to accept global resource equality, will be celebrated as the birth of civilization type one... 


Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:36 | 649165 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Just what Kalifornia needs, more potheads...

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 11:16 | 649272 chopper read
chopper read's picture

repealing the prohibition?  ...what a rapid change in 'ethics'.  ha, ha.   

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:18 | 648900 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

The future is a lot more chaotic than the Zerohedge permabull boner chart posters think. I myself know what chaos is coming, loaded up with guns beans and bullets for months now.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:37 | 648971 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Plus, you may be able to fart your way to hydro-carbon independence...

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:28 | 649134 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Hey it worked for Bartertown! Not shit, FUEL! Who run Bartertown? MasterBlaster! *toot*

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:42 | 648987 Sunshine n Lollipops
Sunshine n Lollipops's picture

KAOS agents to Benny:

K: 200 billion dollars by 3pm.
Benny: 200 billion dollars by 3pm?
K: You seem a bit slow, is there someone else I can talk to?

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:25 | 648934 BobPaulson
BobPaulson's picture

Peak oil is already hitting us. It won't land like a tonne of bricks IMO, it will look like a tonne of bricks in retrospect, but the pain it creates will be attributed to other economic issues. If there is more gas and coal for the medium term, it just makes driving more expensive, which will be good. Not sure how the effect on prices will be felt in a backdrop of rapid currency devaluation...

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:36 | 648965 doolittlegeorge
doolittlegeorge's picture

think the Saudi's are out?  Dubai collapsed less than one year ago.  Seem longer than that, doesn't it?

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:42 | 649189 BobPaulson
BobPaulson's picture

The 2nd and 3rd majors Cantrell and Burgan (sp?) are both past peak. They must pretend Ghewar is not peak to reduce panic - of course even past peak it continues to produce. After that our good friends in Iran, Iraq, Venezuela and Russia have good sized conventional reserves. I think the fact that prices have been so stable is evidence of how weak the U.S. economy is.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:29 | 648944 101 years and c...
101 years and counting's picture

Is peak oil really a threat as the global depression takes it grip and demand drops 20-30% from current levels?

you folks can talk about peak oil....i'll talk about peak demand (already hit).


Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:35 | 648962 Mako
Mako's picture

I agree.

We're always at oil peak. 

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:06 | 649070 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Don't forget that demand in Asia is increasing...

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:29 | 648947 espirit
espirit's picture

Looking forward to the continuation of your series. During the past rash of hurricanes impacting the east coast of Florida, it was interesting to know that employees / contractors of fuel oil importers of port servicable areas were not able to obtain available gasoline or diesel to fuel their trucks. So... I am inclined to believe there are contingency plans in place, but perhaps not available to the average joe.

Dig deep into the Homeland Security Plans and you will find what you seek. 

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:33 | 648957 TradingJoe
TradingJoe's picture

Everyones Plan B is different, based on their personal situation. I think food, shelter and security are the main ingredients! Rest can be accomplished as we go!

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:44 | 648958 Mako
Mako's picture

"The hard news is that there is no "Plan B": the future is likely to be more chaotic than you probably think."

I always word it like this... there is no backup financial system.  There is no backup generator to be turned on. 

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:42 | 649184 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Of course there is a plan B, and C and Z.

Every possible action effecting the US/World/TPTB has already been modeled.

Every conceivable scenario has been planned for with acceptable amount of loss due to death and destruction.

What the fuck do "Think Tanks" due?


Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:36 | 648964 ATM
ATM's picture

Plan B is to own a donkey and expect to never travel beyond 20 miles from home unless you have some wealth. Maybe the Amish were right afterall?

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 22:58 | 651728 Sunshine n Lollipops
Sunshine n Lollipops's picture

I'm pretty sure I won't like donkey meat.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:36 | 648966 duo
duo's picture

peak stupidity = ethanol

irreplaceable oil, water, and farmland used to create subsidies for agribusiness and kickbacks for a few senators.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 19:57 | 651253 wake the roach
wake the roach's picture


Although I believe biofuels do have a select role in our future energy mix, its very limited by scale... No way on gods green earth ;-) can we produce the BOE (barrels of oil equivalent) energy from biomass to save this economic model/lifestyle... And really, who wants to??? From what I can gather, the more "wealth" we accumulate, the higher the SSRI dose one needs to believe the lie... We need to re-examine what makes for a happy and productive life and in a big way...

I have posted this link before but I feel its quite an eye opener and a glimpse into our future... Note who funded one of the studies ;-)...

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:37 | 648969 system failure
system failure's picture

WTH is going on? Why is the market not green green green!!! Are (BEN) they losing control is the last acts of desparation?

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:45 | 648998 cnbcsucks
cnbcsucks's picture

Not to worry.  Just the usual "get the token selling out of the way" in the first 10 minutes and then we rocket higher on abysmal economic news and a crashing dollar. 

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:41 | 648983 B9K9
B9K9's picture

The impact of peak oil on markets, lifestyles, and even national solvency ... some important players seem to be paying no attention

I don't understand why some people continue to promote the concept that only a few, the prescient and astute, have a correct handle on future economic drivers. This attitude is arrogance and hubris defined, rolled into one annoying manifestation of pride going before the fall.

Memo to CM: the power-elite get it. Not only do they get it, they are way, way ahead of the rest of us in terms of advance preparation. This act being foisted on the gullible about seemingly not paying attention is merely a rear-guard action designed to prevent the competition - um, you - from cluing in and confusing their efforts.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 11:03 | 649246 Andrew G
Andrew G's picture

Of course they do know what's going on. That's reason #6 they're trying (and succeeding) in reverting us back to feudalism - how the hell will they be able to afford the fuel for their Ferraris and tanks if the average Joe, Kumar and Boon all use it.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 20:15 | 651302 wake the roach
wake the roach's picture

Not only do they get it, they are way, way ahead of the rest of us in terms of advance preparation. This act being foisted on the gullible about seemingly not paying attention is merely a rear-guard action designed to prevent the competition - um, you - from cluing in and confusing their efforts.


Agreed... Anyone who believes that "real" powers that be are not absolutely aware and have been planning for this very time for at least three decades is only fooling him/herself... The factual and coincidental evidence is irrefutable, at least to those who believe in causality and not random information creation from the vacuum of the aether... 

But having said that, I also believe CM is well aware of this but needs to seperate himself from a "conspiracy theorist" attack from the moral majority by adhering to more orthodox  methods of forming a hypothesis ;-)...

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:41 | 648985 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Remind me again why we are tilting at windmills and solar panels and not exploiting the crap out of this country's massive and recently accessible shale (and other) natural gas resources?

Power plants and many types of diesel type machinery run just fine on the stuff.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:47 | 649000 Mako
Mako's picture

There will be plenty of energy not being used in the future.

Just like back in the 30s they started dumping crops out at sea for the lack of demand, yet people were starving onshore.

Not only will they not be putting new power plants online they will taking existing ones offline. 

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:50 | 649009 Cvillian
Cvillian's picture

Perhaps because they're not sustainable resources? The ole phrase "kicking the can down the road" apply here?

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:33 | 649153 nmewn
nmewn's picture

The atom is quite sustainable.

If we had not gotten side tracked by chicken littles running through the crowd with their hair on fire screaming the sky is falling most of our electric power generation would be nuclear by now. But no...we were treated to endless magazine articles and movies on Three Mile Island.

The public was effectively brainwashed into paying more for less.

And here we are...well done greenies.

So the Plan A US tax payer subsidized solar power assembled with Mexican labor & bird killing wind farms where the cost of energy does not go down but up for said taxpayer...excellent.

What do they do for an encore...mail you a free tire gauge...oh, wait, I feel a campaign slogan coming on ;-)

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:50 | 649210 BobPaulson
BobPaulson's picture

Agree that nuclear will come back big time, but don't cite the oil lobby BS about wind turbines being "bird killing", it's a red herring (and I work in the fossil fuel industry).

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 11:40 | 649367 nmewn
nmewn's picture

I admit I have no idea of the extent of the problem and it must be low because windmill use is small...but to my knowledge the Peregrine Fund is not part of big oil (looks like Turner's kid is a Director) but there will necessarily have to be an "acceptable level" of death to birds for this technology...there is no other way around large blades slicing through the air.

My point of course, was the state sanctioned fascism of subsidizing companies to make them viable on my dime, along with the unintended consequences of every action taken (past & present) pursuing a coherent energy policy.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 12:04 | 649470 BobPaulson
BobPaulson's picture

Windows kill more birds but as you say, there are more of them. Point taken though. 

As for fascism, it's usually state sanctioned, no?

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 13:18 | 649743 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"As for fascism, it's usually state sanctioned, no?"

LOL...yes, I guess I was over emphasizing.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 11:41 | 649372 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Geothermal.... and I'll not add the requisite "bitchez" expletive.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 13:40 | 649838 nmewn
nmewn's picture

I don't have a problem with any & all sources of energy. I just want them viable on their own.

Hell I'm toying with the idea of solar at my house for purely selfish/fiscal reasons...the fact I live in Fla. where hurricanes come through and my power bill...LOL.

I just don't believe in government creating false markets...we see how that's working out everyday.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 20:40 | 651386 wake the roach
wake the roach's picture

The atom is quite sustainable.


Really? Ever been to a uranium mine? Nuclear fission is not the holy grail we are led to believe it to be... As for fusion, I'm not willing to trust my future on a "maybe someday" possibility, how about you? And even so, fusion still requires fuel?

Even the sun is going to burn out one day (perpetual motion is a myth, regardless of where matter exists in the universe) and it does not require the fossil fuel energy subsidy to provide its reactor with fuel (Let alone build the reactor infrastructure)... But yeah, nuclear energy is definately a temporary bridge for some select economies... Namely those, which have infrastructure in place or the presen economic means to do so,ie. not the USA... You guys already have huge issues with painted rust infrastructure...

You should watch CM's crash course series (especially on energy)... You will not be dissapointed ;-)

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:44 | 648996 doolittlegeorge
doolittlegeorge's picture

There was no plan A.  That's why I find what going on as "the ultimate boner."  It's funny, but it's not.  Like the infantry guy laughing while he pulls the trigger.  It's not funny, actually or in actuality (obviously.)  When dealing with the government "boners like this can last a while." 

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:46 | 649005 Species8472
Species8472's picture

"The only problem is, letting prices determine which industries idle back may not be the best plan. "

Yes it is the best plan. Less food might be produced but you assume that is bad. It's not if the mix changes, less meat, more grain etc.


Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:48 | 649011 ILikeBoats
ILikeBoats's picture

"Peak oil" is a myth. Easily proved to be false, if you do the research.  Example: find out how many wells have been drilled in Texas, and how many drilled in Iraq (where we know they have almost as much oil as Saudia Arabia and the lifting costs are less).

What is not, is "Peak Refinery Capacity" - even if we could pump 50% more per day out of the ground, it still has to be refined.  From what I can see, that is currently the bottleneck - and it can take years to bring a refinery online.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:10 | 649084 low_frequency_trader
low_frequency_trader's picture

Ummm, here's a slightly more detailed analysis . . .

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:59 | 649231 ILikeBoats
ILikeBoats's picture

There is a lot wrong and even stupid in that analysis, but I am not going to bother refuting it - it should be obvious if you ask yourself, "what are the charts posted NOT saying"?

I gave you a simple example, one you could research on google in less than five minutes.

Here, let me do the work for you:

Texas - approximately 100,000 oil wells in operation.

Iraq - approximately 3,000 oil wells in operation. Very underdeveloped, due to the previous embargo most of their tech is 30 years old (1979 era).

Oil, natural gas, and newer sources like gas hydrates are not the problem - especially any time oil stays above $55 per gallon for any length of time.  The issue is refinery capacity - refineries cost a lot to build, take a while to build, and operate on slim margins, so the demand absolutely has to be there for years in order to make it worthwhile to build it.

The easier way to go, is to do what refineries are doing - tighten up the market by a bit and get better margins on what they do refine.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 11:00 | 649235 BobPaulson
BobPaulson's picture

One figure is all you need to see it's not a myth (speaking for conventional crude): (this is just one place that has the figure posted, not advocating this site).

They have been exploring like mad this past decade, especially when prices went to the moon. There are no more massive reservoirs "hiding" out there kids, sorry for the bad news. If there were, why would they not disclose them? A conspiracy to push green energy? Come on. The more recent, so-called, big conventional finds are puny compared to the low hanging fruit from the middle east.  It's heavy oil, coal and nukes from here on in (and a bit of a gas glut we're currently enjoying in North America right now which we get at the expense of fresh water).

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:48 | 649015 low_frequency_trader
low_frequency_trader's picture

The forecast from Leonard Cohen . . .

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:53 | 649022 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

We haven't thought about conservation yet.  Biggest restaurant in town just replaced a flat, black, tar paper roof, with a new flat, black tar paper roof.  What they did not do is use a white sealant, or at least a couple of gallons of white paint, while they had the men and the ladders up there.  Could easily have cut their air conditioning bill for the next 20 years.

OK they are rednecks, but they are not unusual.  When power gets expensive, even the sheeple will make adjustments.   

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:29 | 649144 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

don't got a be a redneck to be stupid kaiser.   just watched a nice new 20,000 s.f. black tar roof get laid up north this summer.   of course, the landlord still worships the altar of extend & pretend.    la la la la la

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:31 | 649147 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

LOL, good one! I remember those idiots talking about all white cars, roofs, and pavement. No wonder this country is so screwed its run by retards who make themselves feel better by calling everyone 'rednecks'.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 12:04 | 649472 chopper read
chopper read's picture


Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:50 | 649023 MountainMan
MountainMan's picture

Peak Oil will be looked back in 50 years as another scam perpetrated on the world population. Vast regions of the planet have not even been touched!

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:19 | 649109 Sneeve
Sneeve's picture

But vast areas of the planet have been touched already and the result is a lot of yuck. You wanting more of that? Wonderful.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:28 | 649142 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

29% of Earth is land mass. Of that 29% humans occupy less than 1% of that area. Of the remaining 28% about 40% is pure wilderness. 14% is true desert and 15% has desert like characteristics. 9% is Antarctica. Most of the remaining 22% are agricultural areas. There may be other areas with a human footprint of some kind but it is insignificant in any relation to global warming.


Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:34 | 649162 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Peak oil is another scam to manipulate the genpop.


Imagine a future where everyone has x amount of Carbon credits to purchase food, transportation and utilities. Only rich and corporations may purchase more credits. Poor people can't.

Every item, from Tomatoes to bus rides, is designated by the amount of Carbon credits it takes to produce.

Todays society is designed to be more efficient because people find it hard to move from one side of the nation to the other. It makes for Demographic stability. ( One of the issues with prisons is they force family to relocate closer to the prisons, thus breaking up various voting blocks).

In a Carbon Credit based society it becoms even harder for single entities to relocate.


Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:59 | 649230 samsara
samsara's picture

It must be nice arriving at conclusions without being encumbered by any knowledge of Geology or Thermodynamics.

Riddle me this;

Name the top 3 producing fields in the world and their current flow rate?

Would For-Profit oil companies be drilling thru 5000+ feet of water and another 2000 feet of rock at extreme cost if there were other easier "Untouched" regions to plunder?


Thu, 10/14/2010 - 12:37 | 649584 malek
malek's picture

Does "easier" include overthrowing or invading other countries to get access to untouched regions?

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:50 | 649024 wafflehead
wafflehead's picture

electric cars will take care of peak oil little by little. This is nothing but some doom and gloom

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:43 | 649190 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Jevons Paradox creates more problems.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 13:23 | 649764 Crabshack
Crabshack's picture

Electricity isn't harvested unless you can pull off the kite and lightning strike.  Electricity has to be made by oil, nukes or renewables.  So, converting to electric cars would require building about 50 nuke plants across America.  They cost billions, take 10 years to build and the "greens" will never allow it.  Recall a nuke was shutdown in Vermont earlier this year for fear of it possibly going Chernobyl.  Based on the infrastructure repair bill that came out recently, they are probably correct.

Unfortunately, nothing packs a punch like a drop of oil.  Besides being dirty it really has been the magic that has got us to this point in the world.  

Any unbeliever in peak oil should start to look at all the things that require oil.  The shirt you are wearing, the plastic in your iPhone, the steak you ate last night, etc.  People think Peak oil and say, "eh, I will scale down from a Hummer 2 to a Hummer 3, no biggie".

It is more like the population will 'scale down' a few billion people and we can all go back to partying like its 1899.  :)  

Besides the nuke subs and ships the military requires a lot of oil.  Those strategic reserves will never be allowed to drop.  In fact the strategic reserve assumes that oil could be delayed but will always be on the way to top things up.  If something did change I would expect the US to try to have 5 times the current reserve lest their military be crippled.

As others have said, nobody can really believe BP wanted to drill miles down.  Or that companies are going to attempt to drill up in the Arctic.  Even if you are suspicious of peak oil, understand that these giants aren't stupid.  A barrel of oil is still the same if it comes from under the surface in Saudi or 2 miles below the ice in the Arctic.  They really don't want to go up there but they have to.

Even at Peak oil there will be lots of oil left just nothing we can get at without oil being $1000/barrel.  Energy required for energy produced.


Thu, 10/14/2010 - 09:51 | 649028 cossack55
cossack55's picture

"They" don't need a Plan B.  "They" know we ain't gettin' to 2012, much less 2015.  Hope ya got a few tubes of SPF 4000.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:08 | 649080 DarkMath
DarkMath's picture

Velvet weekend. It will allow an orderly collapse of the dollar. Panic is so chaotic.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:12 | 649092 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

No plan B = One Trick Pony. The Fed only knows to print. Only ever a question of how much and when. 

America has undergone "PLanned Obsolescence" at the hands of an elite that don't care. 


Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:13 | 649095 Jason T
Jason T's picture

Math says exponential growth is not natural.  


Unlimited oil not natural and debt based money with interest is not natural.


Both will implode.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 12:39 | 649598 malek
malek's picture

Exponential growth happens in nature all the time, until limiting factors come into play.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:20 | 649111 Kina
Kina's picture

Must remember to set aside some cash for Austrlaian energy stocks, for after the next market crash.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:25 | 649128 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Peak this, Peak that.

This is a REAL problem.

Think Again: Global Aging A gray tsunami is sweeping the planet -- and not just in the places you expect. How did the world get so old, so fast?

It's true that the world's population overall will increase by roughly one-third over the next 40 years, from 6.9 to 9.1 billion, according to the U.N. Population Division. But this will be a very different kind of population growth than ever before -- driven not by birth rates, which have plummeted around the world, but primarily by an increase in the number of elderly people. Indeed, the global population of children under 5 is expected to fall by 49 million as of midcentury, while the number of people over 60 will grow by 1.2 billion. How did the world grow so gray, so quickly.


Eventually, the last echoes of the global baby boomers will fade away. Then, because of the continuing fall in birth rates, humans will face the very real prospect that our numbers will fall as fast -- if not faster -- than the rate at which they once grew. Russia's population is already 7 million below what it was in 1991. As for Japan, one expert has calculated that the very last Japanese baby will be born in the year 2959, assuming the country's low fertility rate of 1.25 children per woman continues unchanged. Young Austrian women now tell pollsters their ideal family size is less than two children, enough to replace themselves but not their partners. Worldwide, there is a 50 percent chance that the population will be falling by 2070, according to a recent study published in Nature. By 2150, according to one U.N. projection, the global population could be half what it is today.


Today, however, we see that birth rates are dipping below replacement levels even in countries hardly known for luxury. Emerging first in Scandinavia in the 1970s, what the experts call "subreplacement fertility" quickly spread to the rest of Europe, Russia, most of Asia, much of South America, the Caribbean, Southern India, and even Middle Eastern countries like Lebanon, Morocco, and Iran. Of the 59 countries now producing fewer children than needed to sustain their populations, 18 are characterized by the United Nations as "developing," i.e., not rich.

Indeed, most developing countries are experiencing population aging at unprecedented rates. Consider Iran. As recently as the late 1970s, the average Iranian woman had nearly seven children. Today, for reasons not well understood, she has just 1.74, far below the average 2.1 children needed to sustain a population over time. Accordingly, between 2010 and 2050, the share of Iran's population 60 and older is expected to increase from 7.1 to 28.1 percent. This is well above the share of 60-plus people found in Western Europe today and about the same percentage that is expected for most Northern European countries in 2050. But unlike Western Europe, Iran and many other developing regions experiencing the same hyper-aging -- from Cuba to Croatia, Lebanon to the Wallis and Futuna Islands -- will not necessarily have a chance to get rich before they get old.


Asia will also be plagued by a chronic shortage of women in the coming decades, which could leave the most populous region on Earth with the same skewed sex ratios as the early American West. Due to selective abortion, China has about 16 percent more boys than girls, which many predict will lead to instability as tens of millions of "unmarriageable" men find other outlets for their excess libido. India has nearly the same sex-ratio imbalance and also a substantial difference in birth rates between its southern (mostly Hindu) states and its northern (more heavily Muslim) states, which could contribute to ethnic tension. ...

"Old People Will Just Work Longer."

But only if older workers are healthy. And that's a big if. You might have noticed a lot more middle-age Americans using canes, walkers, and wheelchairs these days. So many of Walmart's customers are now physically impaired that the giant retailer has replaced many of its shopping carts with electric scooters that allow shoppers to remain seated as they cruise the aisles. Such sights are reflected in statistics showing that, for the first time since such record-keeping began, disability rates are no longer improving among middle-age Americans, but getting worse.

According to a recent Rand Corp. study published in Health Affairs, more than 40 percent of Americans ages 50 to 64 already have difficulties performing ordinary activities of daily life, such as walking a quarter mile or climbing 10 steps without resting -- a substantial rise from just 10 years ago. Because of this declining physical fitness among the middle-aged, we can expect the next generation of senior citizens to be much more impaired than the current one.

It isn't just Americans. Obesity and sedentary lifestyles are spreading globally. Between 1995 and 2000, the number of obese adults increased worldwide from 200 million to 300 million -- with 115 million of these living in developing countries. From Chile to China, McDonald's and KFC are opening franchises every day, even as people everywhere spend more and more of their time in automobiles and in front of flat-screen TVs and computer monitors. More than a billion people worldwide are now estimated to be overweight, creating a global pandemic of chronic conditions from heart disease to diabetes.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 12:50 | 649649 Mariposa de Oro
Mariposa de Oro's picture

The dropping fertility rates around the world may not be so unexplained.  Bill Gates, the UN, and assorted friends, have this little vaccination program, as well as a few other programs, who's objective is to reduce the global human population.  If you really want to be horrified, start looking into what the crowd of enviro-MENTALS (and I do emphasize mental) have planned for humanity.  (Big Green=Population Control) Give a bit of thought to the 'soft-kill' methods of population reduction, and then look around.  I did.  I then got a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach.  I feel sorry for my 22 yo daughter and those of her generation and after.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 21:29 | 651526 chopper read
chopper read's picture

some pigs are more equal than others, for the sake of 'the planet', of course.  

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:25 | 649131 cbaba
cbaba's picture

This was expected since last 50 years.

If there is no plan B then we have to face the reality ...

One day scientists will find other energy sources to replace oil. Then we will have a better world.

Then there will be no Saudis, Iranians as nations sitting on oil and doing nothing, just spreading their way of Sharia Islam.

One this good out of this is There will be less War in the world.

Most military equipment works with gas( ships,planes,tanks,trucks etc..), they will all be obsolete when we use  another energy sources.


Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:40 | 649174 Henry Chinaski
Henry Chinaski's picture

Most military equipment works with gas( ships,planes,tanks,trucks etc..), they will all be obsolete when we use  another energy sources.


One of the smartest people I know once said "information is the highest form of energy."  STUXNET would be an example of this. 


Thu, 10/14/2010 - 15:06 | 650172 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Hey, I've got a complete Oxford English Dictionary set.   How do I get 'em shredded and stuffed into my gas tank?    ;-)

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:25 | 649132 samseau
samseau's picture

peak oil is over-hyped.  no one here can predict the future course of technology, so the speculation over peak oil is mostly hysteria.


this peak oil reminds me of paul elrich

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 12:54 | 649661 Mariposa de Oro
Mariposa de Oro's picture

Could it actually be Man-Made Peak Oil?

Never let a crisis go to waste, even if you have to create it yourself.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:33 | 649155 Scaramanga
Scaramanga's picture

I prefer this plan B

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:33 | 649156 Henry Chinaski
Henry Chinaski's picture

Just this morning, I was thinking that Plan B may already be underway.  I don't believe it will work, but the following actions may be intented to mitigate the effects of peak oil.

Mandate ethanol in gasoline to mechanically destroy older incompatible ICE's, then people will have to buy whatever rollerskate cars that are mandated that much sooner. 

Crush the economy to conserve resources and lower expectations.

Get more people dependent on the government for sustenance to make them more compliant.

Erect a smart grid under he control of central planning to shut users down as needed.

Outlaw incandescent lights and require CFL to force everyone to live in a cold dreary light that sucks the life out them leading to depression and apathy in order to have as many people as possible sitting around in the cold dark and not doing much.   

perhaps you can think of others....

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 12:58 | 649675 Mariposa de Oro
Mariposa de Oro's picture

Soft Kill Population Reduction via ObamaCare and health care rationing.

So much cleaner than those nasty death camps.  No muss-no fuss!  Yeah, about 30 million 'Capitalists' should do it....

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:40 | 649175 Dagny Taggart
Dagny Taggart's picture

But,I thought "they" had masonic treasure chests full of CFR Philosopher-Kings? Like the ones out at the Bohemian Grove? No? <sarc off> Bilderberg, my ass.

Seriously, do you think the Pentagon top brass would agree there is no plan B?

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:46 | 649198 doomandbloom
doomandbloom's picture

Out of chaos comes order.

- Illuminati


( or we could populate another planet as suggested by WWF.. )

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:51 | 649211 DavosSherman
DavosSherman's picture

Time to invest in horses, horse carriages & horse plows...

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 11:03 | 649248 Dagny Taggart
Dagny Taggart's picture

Ya' better make sure you can get your hands on an ongoing supply of non-engineered seeds first.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 12:31 | 649565 TheDriver
TheDriver's picture

Amish, bitches. (couldn't resist).

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 10:57 | 649225 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Let's take this all one at a time:

1) Oil isn't everywhere.  Japan has not a drop, which is why they are willing to go to extremes about China grabbing the Senkaku Islands south of Okinawa.  The Phillipines have no oil.  Zero oil production there.  Zero from Portugal.  Zero from Spain.  Oil isn't everywhere.  It IS Finite, and there's nothing anyone can do about that.

2) The places where it was, are becoming relentlessly past tense.  As in Oklahoma.  As in Texas.  Oklahoma oil production hit 750,000 barrels per day in 1928.  From there, relentlessly down and today it is 150,000 bpd, with 2010 technology.  You will see in all articles a cry for "more investment and development" as The Answer, but all that can do is make the downslope more gradual.  You cannot create oil underground with money.

3) Oil isn't energy.  Expecting 30 horsepower engines powered by batteries to plow the fields that require 450 horsepower tractors is just silly.  No, don't wave your hand and say the electric tractor will just take longer.  Planting and harvesting seasons are only so long.  There are 10,000 acre farms now.  They have to be plowed.  Electric won't do it.  Ever.  Oil isn't energy.  There is no energy crisis.  There is an oil crisis, and there is nothing anyone can do about it.  

4) You can make oil last a very long time -- by not producing and using it.  This is the foundation of quotes you hear about Bakken of how it will last 200 years.  Of course it will, if you never extract more than 400K barrels/day, and odds are it, like all shale, will never produce any faster than that.

5) Expect international sharing?  The US has 300 million people out of the planet's 7 billion.  That's 4%.  We use 25% of the oil.  When it comes time to share, do you think America is going to endure a reduction of oil use (and 1:1 mapping of GDP) by a factor of 5?  GDP tracks oil consumption precisely.  Can any administration tolerate a 5:1 reduction of oil use/GDP growth?  No.  Of course not.  The US would never agree.  War is then inevitable.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 14:19 | 650000 ILikeBoats
ILikeBoats's picture

re your point #1-- - Philippines makes first export of Galoc Oil (name of the oil field) - how many ZH posters are incapable of using Google or Bing, I wonder ... this was the second search result...



Thu, 10/14/2010 - 11:05 | 649252 Gimp
Gimp's picture

No oil could be the end of globalization.

Stay local and, work, social network etcetra.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 11:20 | 649287 84Hog
84Hog's picture

That sounds fine, except that if there is no oil, there's likely to be no work or food either.  Your social network is going to be stressed too.  The "adjustment phase" is going to be a bitch...  Long Glock, canned food and water filters.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 11:14 | 649266 SipOnSodapop
SipOnSodapop's picture

Anyone notice how when the dollar goes down, market goes up?

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 11:18 | 649277 peak experience
peak experience's picture

peak experience

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 11:18 | 649279 bankonzhongguo
bankonzhongguo's picture

Well I just got through walking through my vegetable fields this morning.  I had enough food on the ground just to feed a small town, never mind the ongoing yields.  If there is not enough gas to get to market - I don't care. I'm organic good and so are my neighbors.

Sweet potatos bitchez!

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 11:24 | 649312 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

bankon, mad props to you for such a bountiful harvest.

how big are your fields?

how long did it take you work the soil up to generate such yields?

do you till or no-till?

how many hours you spend a week farming?

curious to learn more if you care to share...thx

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 13:09 | 649704 bankonzhongguo
bankonzhongguo's picture

40 acres and a mule.  150 feet of green house.  I have another 160 fallow.

It takes a good 3 years to get all the pesticides and yuck out of the soil. Lucky that the place used to be a kiwi orchard.  Well water - never from the canal, drip irrigation.  Ultra wide beds - you can weed the place with a tractor, so labor costs are way down, but yields are nearly the same for standard cultivation.  zero tillage no furrows.  Practice organic, but not going to pay all the fees for the USDA certification - thats a racket and the big organic producers still use bad stuff.  What a scam.  The difference is the taste.  It either tastes like the county fair July 4, 1975 or it doesn't.  Plant a ton of different things and just rotate it all to get the soil balanced out.  I like to spend about 20 hrs a week outside, but I depend on specialists when needed.  Always something to do.  Birds keep pecking at the irrigation lines.  Harvest times takes a crew a few days full time to get everything to market.  The great thing though is trading with other farmers.  Trade basil for anything.  The margins are better than picking stocks and never go hungry.  Its a little too scientific, but it keeps the fuel and labor costs down.

What to do when Prop 19 passes?

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 17:29 | 650779 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

thanks for sharing.  wow, that's a lotta land man.   bet you got a hell of a compost pile (numerous ones i'm sure).

crop rotation is key for sure.  grew some holy basil this year on my 1/4 acre...amazing herb.

"What to do when Prop 19 passes?"

carve out a 5x5 plot and start experimenting?

Fri, 10/15/2010 - 00:55 | 651915 zaknick
zaknick's picture

What to do when Prop 19 passes?


If you build it, they will come!

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 11:24 | 649314 TDoS
TDoS's picture

Some people won't be happy until the last forest is clear cut, the last mountain is leveled, and the last ocean is an acidic, oily soup -- all to chase some mirage of progress.

Peak oil is very real, and only really requires that you concede to the fact that the Earth is finite to understand. Get that? The Earth is finite. It only has so much to give, and that includes oil. We have used up over half of what it had to offer, and all that is left is in smaller fields, deeper underground, and often far out to sea.

There can never be economic recovery without spurring the price of oil upwards, which will result in kicking the economy in the teeth, dragging it back into recession or depression. This will be the whimper of our demise.

Either accept it, and prepare yourself, or keep believing in the fairly tales about alternative sources that don't come close to providing the EROI that oil does, and that cannot be made into the over 500,000 products oil is used as a base for. If you only think about liquid fuel for cars, then you're missing the majority of the picture.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 15:13 | 650224 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

I can't imagine why someone junked your comment.  There may be disagreement with it in one or more respects but it certainly doesn't deserve to be junked.   As you say, the cure for problem can be high prices.  So, what's not to like?

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 11:27 | 649318 Bartanist
Bartanist's picture

There are many alternatives and can be many plan Bs. The question is not the availability of the technoligy. It is all available. The question is how a country such as the US transitions 300 million people from the current plan to plan B.

My guess is that one plan B involves the missing $2.3 trillion of missing Pentagon funds that not surprisingly stopped being investigated on 9/11 when the accountants were blown up in the 9/11 Sunstein conspiracy attack on the Pentagon.

So, what exactly was built underneath Stapleton airport and other Rocky Mountain bases?


Thu, 10/14/2010 - 12:38 | 649586 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

always wondered why Don Donny chose 9/10 to hold a news conference on that.   must have been just another co-inki-dink.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 11:35 | 649344 Anton LaVey
Anton LaVey's picture


Regarding this sentence:

The reason that this can be easily predicted is because it more or less already happened in Europe during a protest by French fishermen inspired by high fuel prices.  They blockaded ports in late May of 2008 and by early June the action had spread across Europe.  Shelves were quickly stripped bare of essential goods, tensions mounted, and petrol stations ran dry in a hurry.  

I don't know which Europe the author is referring to, but it certainly is not the Europe I have been living in for 40+ years. While they certainly were tensions in France around that time, and some regions of France (NOT the whole of Europe, juste SOME parts of France) did have some petrol shortages, that was far from the chaos and shortages the author is implying.

While Peak Oil is certainly a challenge, and a very important one for the coming years, I strongly suspect it will much less of a problem in Europe, where people commute less and use public transportations a lot more than in the USA or Canada, for instance.

I, for one, is looking forward to a future with a lot less gas guzzlers on the road...

Make of that what you will.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 12:22 | 649538 WALLST8MY8BALL
WALLST8MY8BALL's picture

Plan B. It walks on 4 legs,it chews grass, and is served in a bun at McDonalds in France.


Thu, 10/14/2010 - 13:01 | 649680 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

You guys are not embracing the ramifications and extrapolations.

GDP requires oil consumption.  Repeat that.  GDP requires oil consumption.

In a world of decreasing oil production, SO DOES GDP.  For everyone.  It's all downhill.

It is that . . . that specific reality . . . which is crushing.  The future is not bright and never will be again.  You guys who think you will organically farm and live locally and swagger about at how YOUR children will be okay are delusional.  Hungry fathers and mothers will rationalize ANYTHING.  10,000 of them streaming out of just a smallish city will overrun you and your Glock, take your food, and then look for more.  Somewhere.  They will do so with no problems sleeping afterwards, because they have to feed their children.

Btw, before you worry about organic farming, make sure you live somewhere that has a water supply that does not arrive in pressurized pipes, because the guys who make those work are going to starve, and then the pipes won't work.

7 billion people on the planet.  It will never work without easy oil, and that's gone forever.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 16:29 | 650640 bankonzhongguo
bankonzhongguo's picture

well water, but i hear ya.  solar is just not economical without government subsidies. wind does some, but lets face it the joules/kg is the magic formula on fuel.  7.62x51 doesn't hurt either (except on the receiving end.) then again, building a still or going to wood-gas gets you some range in the road warrior world.  I don't think the sky will fall that far though.  The US war games taking out the the Saudi family and command structure in a sunny afternoon.  Thats a lot of oil without the Arab margins.  Would not want to live in a big city though.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 21:16 | 651494 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Sorry, the "take the oil" scenario can absolutely not fly.

Oil production and transport infrastructure is hugely vulnerable.  It is not stealable.  Any conflict at the production or transport terminal will destroy the pipelines and pumps.

There's no way for this to work.  Also, China ships theirs.  Most of our import comes in via pipeline from Canada, and pipelines can be sabotaged, but pipelines can also be fixed.  Sunk tankers are gone forever.

Fri, 10/15/2010 - 00:49 | 651910 zaknick
zaknick's picture

Same thing I surmised. I think the House of Saud has made a pact with the banksters of this world which will end with making theirs a golden kingdom for a thousand years.

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 13:12 | 649720 Gimp
Gimp's picture

Better get to the gun range this afternoon for some practice rounds!

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 20:49 | 651415 Triggernometry
Triggernometry's picture

Tru Dat, Keep it Real!

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 16:30 | 650628 Nine Pies
Nine Pies's picture

So Iran really does want nuclear power for peaceful reasons?  Maybe we will wake up and build more nuke plants pronto.

Will this help or hurt railroad stocks?

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 17:29 | 650815 Anton LaVey
Anton LaVey's picture

Go long Thorium.

Railroads (especially high-speed, electrically powered railroads) are, IMHO, the transportation of the future. Except in the USA, where they are undrefunded and under-appreciated.

Fri, 10/15/2010 - 00:44 | 651906 zaknick
zaknick's picture

If America ever rids itself of the parasitic entity currently running it, you will see magnificent bullet trains made in America, better than most built now overseas. In other words, if we could get rid of these bankster scumbags, look out China!

Thu, 10/14/2010 - 17:58 | 650891 Geoff-UK
Geoff-UK's picture

In the future, could contributors to ZH posting articles on "Peak Oil" please use the expression "Peak Oil" in their "Peak Oil" article?


At the current time, I'm only interested in "Peak Demand" articles, and found your lack of any reference to oil in your headline somewhat careless. 

Thank you.


Fri, 10/15/2010 - 14:20 | 653533 WALLST8MY8BALL
WALLST8MY8BALL's picture


Thu, 10/14/2010 - 20:51 | 651420 Triggernometry
Tue, 11/16/2010 - 10:39 | 730618 daniel
daniel's picture

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