Guest Post: There Are No Good Outcomes

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform

There Are No Good Outcomes

The political class and their mouthpieces in the corporate controlled
mainstream media are desperately trying to spin the oil price surge as a
temporary inconvenience that will not derail their phony recovery
story. Brent crude closed at $116 per barrel yesterday. West Texas crude
closed at $104 per barrel. Unleaded gas has risen by 22% in the last
month and 60% since September 1, 2010. I’m sure this slight increase
hasn’t impacted Ben Bernanke or Lloyd Blankfein. Their limo drivers just
charge it to their unlimited expense accounts. Joe Sixpack, driving his
15 mpg Dodge RAM pickup, is now forking over an extra $1,200 per year
in gas expenditures, not to mention more for everything impacted by oil
such as food, utilities, and anything transported to their local
Wal-Mart by truck (everything). Luckily, the Federal Reserve and crooked
politicians only care about their comrades in the top 1% elitist
society, for whom oil is an investment, not an expense.  

               UNLEADED GAS 

The “experts” speak as if they know what will happen, even
though they never saw the rebellions coming in Tunisia, Egypt or Libya.
They assure the masses that Libya doesn’t really have an impact on U.S.
oil supply. It’s as if these shills never took Econ 101 in college.
World oil demand is 88 million barrels per day. Oil supply is 88 million
barrels per day. If 1 million barrels of oil supply are taken off-line,
it doesn’t matter that the U.S. doesn’t get their oil from Libya. The
Italians need their oil. Do the talking heads understand that oil is
fungible? The supplier will ship the oil to the highest bidder.
Presto!!! – $116 a barrel oil.

With Friends Like This, Who Needs Enemies

Let’s assess the probability of things getting better in the near,
medium, long term or ever term. Take a gander at the chart below. These
countries account for 29% of the daily world oil supply. Does it strike
you as a list of stable countries with happy populations of employed
young men?  Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria and Iran have already experienced
revolution or are on the verge of revolution. Algeria is dead man
walking. The Saudi royal family is trying to buy off the masses to stay
in power. The revolution genie is out of the bottle. It can’t be put
back. Mix 40% unemployment, with millions of young men, no hope, and
some Muslim fundamentalism and you’ve got yourself an out of control
situation. No amount of public relations spin will create a positive
outcome for the United States. The existing world order of despots,
kings, and military juntas was just fine for Washington DC. They poured
hundreds of billions of “aid”, tanks, helicopters and missiles to these
“freedom fighter” despots who diverted the billions to their Swiss bank
accounts and fell into line with U.S. policy. No matter who takes power
when these revolutions succeed in toppling our puppets, the new regimes
will not be friendlier toward America. And they still have the oil. 

  Proven Oil Oil
Country Reserves (bil barrels) Production Per Day
Saudi Arabia 265 8,400,000
Iran 137 3,700,000
Iraq  115 2,700,000
UAE 98 2,300,000
Kuwait 102 2,300,000
Libya 46 1,600,000
Algeria 12 1,300,000
Qatar 25 820,000
Oman 6 810,000
Egypt 4 742,000
Syria 3 376,000
Yemen 3 298,000


One look at the chart of self reported world oil reserves paints a
picture of woe for the United States. Countries in the tinderbox of the
Middle East and Africa control 65% of the world’s oil reserves. Saudi
Arabia controls 20%, Iran and Iraq control 11% each, Venezuela controls
7%, Russia 5%, and Libya 3%. So, countries that can barely stomach our
existence, hate us, or just despise us, control 57% of the world’s
remaining oil. Sounds like a recipe for lower oil prices in the future.
The two countries on our border are the only dependable suppliers for
the U.S. Canada controls 13% of the world oil reserves, mostly in its
tar sands. Mexico controls just over 1% of the world’s oil reserves, but
supplies 13% of the U.S. daily oil supply.

File:World Oil Reserves by Region.PNG

Drill, Baby, Drill

Now for a reality check on the “Drill Baby Drill” propagandists like
Larry Kudlow and the other dishonest Republican shills. The United
States controls a full 1.58% of the remaining oil reserves in the world.
We have 21.3 billion barrels of reserves versus 264 billion barrels in
Saudi Arabia. We are currently producing 9 million barrels per day. At
that production rate, the U.S. will deplete its proven reserves in the
next 6 to 10 years. New discoveries will not be able to keep up with
depletion of existing wells. The good news just keeps coming. Mexico’s
oil production has been dependent upon one giant oil field since 1976.
The Cantarell oil field produced 2.1 million barrels per day in 2003 at
its peak. It is currently producing 464,000 barrels per day. Peak oil
has arrived in Mexico. By 2015, the country that currently supplies 13%
of our daily oil supply will become a net importer of oil. Drill Baby

File:Mexican Petroleum Production.PNG

Based upon the monthly import data below from the IEA, it would
appear that, to paraphrase Chief Brody in Jaws, we’re going to need more
corn. As the Obama administration operates in denial of these simple
facts, they will continue to push ethanol and Chevy Volts to save us
from dirty oil. We are already diverting 40% of our corn crop to the
ethanol boondoggle. I’m sure that has nothing to do with the 98%
increase in corn prices in the last year. Maybe tax credits for solar
panels on SUVs and rubber band propeller cars will save the day.

We know for a fact that Mexico’s 1.2 million barrels per day will
evaporate in the next few years. But, at least we have that solid
dependable 2.7 million barrels per day (30% of our daily imports) from
those stable bastions of democracy Nigeria, Venezuela, Iraq, Angola, and
Algeria. Makes you want to go out and buy a Hummer. The storyline being
sold to the American people is that there is no need to worry. Saudi
Arabia will step to the plate and make up for any shortfalls throughout
the world. Just one problem. Saudi Arabia is lying about their reserves
and their ability to increase production. They’d fit in very well in
Congress and on Wall Street.

Crude Oil Imports (Top 15 Countries)
(Thousand Barrels per Day)
Country Dec-10 Nov-10 YTD 2010 Dec-09 YTD 2009

CANADA 2,064 1,975 1,972 2,104 1,943
MEXICO 1,223 1,229 1,140 1,063 1,092
SAUDI ARABIA 1,076 1,119 1,080 870 980
NIGERIA 1,024 806 986 1,020 776
VENEZUELA 825 884 912 772 951
IRAQ 336 340 414 325 449
ANGOLA 307 263 380 266 448
BRAZIL 271 188 254 181 295
ALGERIA 262 379 325 336 281
COLOMBIA 220 489 338 179 251
ECUADOR 192 188 195 86 181
RUSSIA 158 85 252 168 230
KUWAIT 125 170 195 160 180
UNITED KINGDOM 124 80 120 67 103
ARGENTINA 85 35 29 33 53


Lies, Obfuscation, Misinformation & Denial

The late Matt Simmons made the strong case In his book Twilight in the Desert that
Saudi Arabia has been lying about their reserves for years. Documents
released by Wikileaks give support to this contention. Cables from the
U.S. Embassy in Riyadh , released by WikiLeaks, urge Washington to take
seriously a warning from senior Saudi government oil executive Sadad
al-Husseini, a geologist and former head of exploration at the Saudi oil
monopoly Aramco, that the kingdom’s crude oil reserves may have been
overstated by as much as 300bn barrels – nearly 40%.
The UK Guardian reported:

According to the cables, which date
between 2007-09, Husseini said Saudi Arabia might reach an output of 12m
barrels a day in 10 years but before then – possibly as early as 2012 –
global oil production would have hit its highest point. This crunch
point is known as “peak oil”.

Husseini said that at that point Aramco
would not be able to stop the rise of global oil prices because the
Saudi energy industry had overstated its recoverable reserves to spur
foreign investment. He argued that Aramco had badly underestimated the
time needed to bring new oil on tap.

One cable said: “According to
al-Husseini, the crux of the issue is twofold. 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 and energy
optimists would like to portray.”

The US consul then told Washington:
“While al-Husseini fundamentally contradicts the Aramco company line, he
is no doomsday theorist. His pedigree, experience and outlook demand
that his predictions be thoughtfully considered.”

A fourth cable, in October 2009,
claimed that escalating electricity demand by Saudi Arabia may further
constrain Saudi oil exports. “Demand [for electricity] is expected to
grow 10% a year over the next decade as a result of population and
economic growth. As a result it will need to double its generation
capacity to 68,000MW in 2018,” it said.

It also reported major project delays
and accidents as “evidence that the Saudi Aramco is having to run harder
to stay in place – to replace the decline in existing production.”
While fears of premature “peak oil” and Saudi production problems had
been expressed before, no US official has come close to saying this in

The overstatement of reserves by Saudi
Arabia and most of the OPEC countries should be abundantly clear to
anyone with a smattering of critical thinking skills. This eliminates
just about everyone on CNBC or Fox News. Essentially, the self reported,
unaudited declared oil reserves from OPEC members are a fraud.
Production quotas for each member of OPEC are dependent upon their oil
reserve amount. When this was instituted in the early 1980s, shockingly
OPEC countries miraculously added nearly 300 billion barrels to proven
reserves in a six year period with NO NEW DISCOVERIES of oil. The chart
below shows the unexplained jumps in reserves in red. Do you honestly
believe any self reported number from Iran or Venezuela? Dr. Ali Samsam
Bakhtiari, a former senior expert of the National Iranian Oil Company,
has estimated that Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab
Emirates have overstated reserves by a combined 320–390 billion barrels
and has said, “As for Iran, the usually accepted official 132 billion
barrels is almost one hundred billion over any realistic estimate.”

Using some common sense, someone might ask,
“How could Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves remain above 260 million for the
last 22 years despite pumping over 60 billion barrels during this time
frame, and not making any major new discoveries?” Maybe their
statisticians did their training at Goldman Sachs or the Federal
Reserve. The monster Saudi oil fields are over 40 years old. They will
deplete. Oil is finite. They will not refill abiotically like some
crackpots contend. Saudi Arabia’s production peaked in 2005 and it has
been unable to reach that level since. The spin sheiks in Riyadh and
spin doctors in Washington DC cannot spin oil out of sand. Peak oil is
about to choke the American way of life.    

Declared reserves of major Opec Producers (billion of barrels)
BP Statistical Review – June 2009
Year Iran Iraq Kuwait Saudi Arabia UAE Venezuela Libya Nigeria
1980 58.3 30.0 67.9 168.0 30.4 19.5 20.3 16.7
1981 57.0 32.0 67.7 167.9 32.2 19.9 22.6 16.5
1982 56.1 59.0 67.2 165.5 32.4 24.9 22.2 16.8
1983 55.3 65.0 67.0 168.8 32.3 25.9 21.8 16.6
1984 58.9 65.0 92.7 171.7 32.5 28.0 21.4 16.7
1985 59.0 65.0 92.5 171.5 33.0 54.5 21.3 16.6
1986 92.9 72.0 94.5 169.7 97.2 55.5 22.8 16.1
1987 92.9 100.0 94.5 169.6 98.1 58.1 22.8 16.0
1988 92.9 100.0 94.5 255.0 98.1 58.5 22.8 16.0
1989 92.9 100.0 97.1 260.1 98.1 59.0 22.8 16.0
1990 92.9 100.0 97.0 260.3 98.1 60.1 22.8 17.1
1991 92.9 100.0 96.5 260.9 98.1 62.6 22.8 20.0
1992 92.9 100.0 96.5 261.2 98.1 63.3 22.8 21.0
1993 92.9 100.0 96.5 261.4 98.1 64.4 22.8 21.0
1994 94.3 100.0 96.5 261.4 98.1 64.9 22.8 21.0
1995 93.7 100.0 96.5 261.5 98.1 66.3 29.5 20.8
1996 92.6 112.0 96.5 261.4 97.8 72.7 29.5 20.8
1997 92.6 112.5 96.5 261.5 97.8 74.9 29.5 20.8
1998 93.7 112.5 96.5 261.5 97.8 76.1 29.5 22.5
1999 93.1 112.5 96.5 262.8 97.8 76.8 29.5 29.0
2000 99.5 112.5 96.5 262.8 97.8 76.8 36.0 29.0
2001 99.1 115.0 96.5 262.7 97.8 77.7 36.0 31.5
2002 130.7 115.0 96.5 262.8 97.8 77.3 36.0 34.3
2003 133.3 115.0 99.0 262.7 97.8 77.2 39.1 35.3
2004 132.7 115.0 101.5 264.3 97.8 79.7 39.1 35.9
2005 137.5 115.0 101.5 264.2 97.8 80.0 41.5 36.2
2006 138.4 115.0 101.5 264.3 97.8 87.3 41.5 36.2
2007 138.2 115.0 101.5 264.2 97.8 99.4 43.7 36.2
2008 137.6 115.0 101.5 264.1 97.8 99.4 43.7 36.2




The denial, accusations and misinformation have already begun.
Congressional hearings will be called to blame Big Oil and the dreaded
speculators. Americans always need a bogeyman to blame for their
mindless decisions and willingness to be led to slaughter by corrupt
politicians. Big oil companies do benefit from higher oil prices. Big
oil companies spend millions buying off Congressmen. Big oil
companies cut corners, ignore safety procedures, and seek profits by any
means possible. But, they do not control the oil. Nations control the
oil. Many of these nations are led by lying, corrupt, evil despots. That
is a fact. Blustering moronic Congressmen going after oil executives
and phantom speculators is just a sideshow. It will divert the
non-thinking masses from the truth that our leaders haven’t allowed a
refinery or nuclear power plant to be built since 1977. These leaders
have promoted and subsidized corn based ethanol that requires more
energy to produce than it creates and has driven the cost of our food
sky high. We are more dependent on foreign oil than any time in our

The real speculators are the Americans who clog our highways every
morning driving monster SUVs, turbocharged sports cars, gas guzzling
minivans, and pickup trucks that make them feel like salt of the earth
tough guys despite living in their 6,000 square foot energy sucking
McMansions in suburban tracts 30 miles from their jobs, if they have
one. The ignorance of the average American car buyer knows no bounds.
The recent bounce back in auto sales was led by SUVs and pickups. The
green clean cars are nothing but hype and bullshit. GM expects to sell
about 10,000 Volts this year, and Nissan expects to sell about 25,000
Leafs in the United States, a piss in the ocean compared with the
millions of sport wagons and SUVs purchased by Americans annually.
Americans have the attention span of a gnat and are already dazed and
confused by the surge in gas prices to $3.50 per gallon.

When oil prices spiked to $147 barrel in 2008, Americans were
spending $467 billion per year for fuel. By early 2009, the collapse in
energy prices due to the worldwide recession reduced the annual
expenditure to $265 billion, freeing up over $200 billion for consumers
to spend on other items, pay down debt, or save. Expenditures for fuel
had already surged back to $400 billion before the recent spike in oil
prices. Next stop $500 billion. That should do wonders for the faux
economic recovery that has been touted by Obama and the MSM for the last
year. The years of denial, lies, indecision, bad decisions, and inertia
have left the country vulnerable and at the mercy of countries in far
off lands that despise our way of life.

There are no good outcomes, only bad, really bad, and catastrophic.
Take your pick. Could gas prices drop below $3.00 per gallon if the
world sinks back into recession? Yes. But it would only be momentary.
The easy to access supply is dwindling. The medium and long term
direction of gas at the pump is up. There is nothing that can be done in
the next five years to prevent significantly higher oil prices. A full
court press of realistic ideas like converting our truck fleets to
natural gas, a major effort to build nuclear power plants, more
drilling, greater use of wind, geothermal, and solar would take at least
a decade to have an impact. There is no consensus or resolve to
undertake such an effort. Therefore, Americans will suffer the
consequences. Be a good American and take advantage of GM’s no interest
for 7 years deal on their biggest baddest SUVs and buy two. What could
go wrong?

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Everyman's picture

The time is soon to be coming to "ventilate" those that created this mess.  The reprisal from the severly effected "great unwashed" will not take this lying down.  I personally would like 15 minutes with Hank Paulsen, Ben Bernanke, and Timmah in  a room with a 2x4.  Those SOBs!

Meme Iamfurst's picture

so that smell is not burning tire rubber but smoke?????

Quite sure that they are doing everything possible to raise gas prices to keep the unwashed masses from driving to DC this Spring.

Meme Iamfurst's picture

Until Americans re-embrace the 2,000 years old civilized notions of ethics, honor, conscience, respect, integerty, and 'shalt not', it won't matter.   At this point, it would seem that these concepts are on the shelf, and we are likely to have a long hot summer.

Civilization is in trouble because very powerful forces have chose that path for us to walk or crawl down.  These powers know how to turn us into animals, how to make us eat our own and not flinch.  They show us blood and we want is exciting, and it is their entertainment to watch us.  They know how to make us want, want more of everything.   They know how to maniliplate us everyday..... with religions, with hate and fear, with toys, with food and water, with fame and status, with anything you can name and they do it with freedom from constraint and with ingenious expert finesse. 

These powerful people have hundreds of generations of fine tuned family DNA, hand picked marriages for the right children to execute the familys' plans, and to hand the legacy to their yet unborn aire worthy to continue their kingdoms. 

They have won, over and over and over, for centuries...for generations.  To all things come to an end sooner or later.  The next seven years will be telling the tale to either their children or yours.

Maybe it is time their real names were bantered about and made public, let the sun shine on their crimes and clean us of this mildewed world.

Calmyourself's picture

Maybe it is time their real names were bantered about and made public, let the sun shine on their crimes and clean us of this mildewed world.


Bicycle Repairman's picture

The peak oil scam is just another version of the green energy fraud.

Governments, investors and even the World Bank are rushing for the exits in the Great Escape from the green energy bubble.

Solar energy appears to be the worst affected sector so far. Dow Jones reports on a startling U-turn by Britain’s ultra-green government has caught investors off guard and shock waves across the markets will likely precipitate the further rush from green energy projects to shale gas.

The UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change made the shock announcement as it revealed a comprehensive review of its Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program. Indications from data provider, Prequin are that over $1bn in earmarked funds may be lost as Britain now promises it will only hold tariffs until April 2012.

Green Investors Feeling Betrayed by European Governments

Britain’s decision is another nail in the coffin for Europe’s tottering green energy market. Last year the first of several crushing body blows was dealt to environmentalist dreams when the Spanish government retrospectively cut the value of its tariffs in its own U-turning energy review.

The devastated Spanish Solar Photovoltaic Industry Association, with mass bankruptcies on the cards, is accusing their government of utter betrayal is yet to carry out a threat to sue over the ruling.

As the green house of cards collapses Netherlands-based investment manager DIF and BNP Paribas and venture capitalists such as Future Capital Partners are rumored to be extremely fearful of further repercussions coming at a time when European public opinion is bored and fatigued after two decades of endless global warming hype.

UK Energy Minister Charles Hendry made the starkly ominous admission, “one third of Britons think the science on climate change has been exaggerated.”

Not helping the green cause has been a succession of brutally cold Northern hemispheric winters which an increasing number of scientists fear may be the harbinger of the onset of a mini-ice age.

Abundance of Shale Gas Deflates Green Energy Bubble

Causing green lobbyists and environmentally focused investors to cry bitter into their carrot juice comes the news that China is making its move to become pre-eminent in shale gas investment.

Peter Foster in the Financial Post (February 11, 2011) reports that energy company Encana is to get a proposed $5.4-billion investment by PetroChina in its shale gas operations. The move he says “confirms the soaring importance of a resource that 10 years ago was hardly on the commercial map.”

The market obviously liked the news of the Chinese investment as Encana shares jumped 4.5% to close at $32.02.

Savvy shale gas investors are also looking most eagerly at Canada where the discovery that Quebec has considerable shale gas potential has dealt another blow to the idea that the world’s energy resources are anywhere near a so-called “peak.”

A strident Quebec Oil and Gas Association has hired former Parti Quebecois premier Lucien Bouchard to help lobby for provincial development to exploit the unexpected huge find.

With so many known large deposits of shale gas in countries such as Poland, Germany, France and the U.K. economic strategists are finally waking up to the fact that this monumental new resources could help free Europe from the threat of disruptions from its main natural gas supplier, Russia.

Andrew Orlowski reporting for ‘The Register’ (February 10, 2011) reveals Holland has also joined the rush away from green by becoming the first country to abandon the EU-wide target of producing 20 per cent of its domestic power from renewables. The Dutch are now putting their long-term faith in nuclear. Netherland’s only nuclear reactor, the Borssele plant, scheduled for closure by 2003 is now planned to operate at least until 2034.

World Bank Joins Rush Away from the Green White Elephant

Top line international bankers also appear to be abandoning ‘big green’ according to a report by climate scientist Roger Pielke Jr. who highlights two recent research papers published by influential thinkers inside the World Bank.

Economics papers by Robert Mendelsohn and Gokay Saher (here in PDF) and Medelsohn, Kerry Emanuel and Shun Chonabayashi (here in PDF) chop the legs from under the pro-green Stern Review (2007) and affirm that no human impact may be inferred on global climate.

With economists plainly joining an increasing number of scientists in global warming skepticism its little wonder there’s now a mass flight away from ‘renewables;’ such that both investors and governments are compelled to follow suit in the clearest indication yet that green energy won’t live up to its promises.

The key to long-term economic success now appears to be safely premised once again on solid market innovation, not ideologically driven government subsidies; such subsidized ventures have a long and notorious history as lame duck enterprises. It seems ‘green renewables has become the latest of these white elephants.

New_Meat's picture

Bicycle Repairman:

"The peak oil scam is just another version of the green energy fraud."

But, .. er .. as a bicycle repairman should you not embrace this moonbat meme in order to stimulate your repair business?

just askin'

- Ned

Bicycle Repairman's picture

I ride bicycles for fun and exercise.  I am not saving the planet.

snowball777's picture

John O'Sullivan sucks Exxon dick...for fun and exercise. He's not saving Exxon dick.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

Keeping working on your credibility.

New_Meat's picture

nay cred' but y'know, two-wheelerz need maint!

spinone's picture

shale gas.  oil liquid.  US cars run on liquid.  any questions?

Bicycle Repairman's picture

Cars can be retrofitted to run on natural gas.  Therefore cars can be manufactured to run on natural gas.

Crisismode's picture

You are Dreaming smoke and mirrors.


Go back and snore.

zhandax's picture

Steam cars can run on last week's garbage.  A Stanley Steamer with a bit too much aerodynamicity went airborne in Daytona in 1906 when it hit a new land speed record of 127mph.  Seen any steam cars in the last 80 years?  What's you point?  Google Fred Mariott.

Milestones's picture

Gasoline engines atomize the "liquid" into a gaseous form and is sprayed or injected into the engine and fired.     Milestones

snowball777's picture

Keep workin' that shaft, Exxon bunboy.

Michael's picture

Project BLS Mayhem.

Every unemployed person must apply on-line for unemployment weather you qualify for it or not.

If they ask questions just say you thought you qualified for emergency unemployment compensation.

Michael's picture

If your not having fun, you ain't doing it right.

Ron Paul Dragster at the Cardboard Classic

velobabe's picture

B A N G , iam IN , michael.

where do i sign ^ .

Michael's picture

Charlie Sheen live 7PM pacific time. Sheen's Corner.

trav7777's picture're aware that gas is not oil, right?

Peak oil has nothing whatsoever to do with global warming or climate change or any of this other shit.

Peak oil was methodically described by M. King Hubbert in the 1950s, LONG before there were any environuts or concepts of carbon emissions.  You dipshits need to get with the program

jeff montanye's picture

you've convinced me but some think it's like who do you want in the fraternity.  it isn't.

geekgrrl's picture

Obviously you're an idiot and have no business making claims related to climate change. All I can hope is that you have children, children who will have to endure the hell of a world fuckheads like you seem to be intent on creating.

MisterAmbassador's picture

There is nothing that can be done to reverse or stop climate change.  The damage has already been done.  Any real expert who doesn't have a political agenda will tell you that.  You might as well just enjoy living in the Oil Age.  It really is an amazing time; the modern world isn't possible without oil.

Right-wingers, like Joe on Squawk Box on CNBC, have a point when they claim they cannot believe that the act of exhaling CO2 is destroying the planet.  But, they fail to realize that it's not so much that we produce CO2 and other greenhouse gases, as much as it is we are producing those gases faster than the earth can absorb and recycle them.  If there were only 100 million people on the planet, everyone could drive a hummer and the planet could easily recycle all that CO2 because we wouldn't be clearing rain forests for vast farms to feed and wood to house 6.7 billion people. We produce more and more gases while also cutting down the trees and plants that can clean the air - it's just unsustainable defined.

You see, all of the problems on this planet, including climate change, really come down to over-population.  The planet simply cannot absorb and replenish the damage done by 6.7 billion people.  Now, the planet is only able to support 6.7 billion because oil has increased the carrying capacity of the planet far beyond what it would otherwise be.  As oil production declines, population will decline.  Huge farms to feed the world are not possible without oil.  Many, if not most, pesticides and fertilizers are petroleum derivatives, not to mention diesel for farm machinery.  And, the massive amounts of energy needed to distribute all that food to 6.7 billion people mainly come from oil.  Climate change is the planet's way of re-balancing itself.  If climate change results in the deaths of several billion people, then the planet has solved its problem and is back in balance.  If climate change doesn't result in the deaths of several billion people, the decline in oil production over the next twenty-five years will.  The population will fall back to a more historic, sustainable level of 1 billion +/- 500 million.  This isn't something we can really solve.  Nothing can replace oil.  The planet has fundamental limits on its ability to support life, especially those pesky humans who find ways to cheat Mother Nature for a time by artificially overcoming those limits - make no mistake, though, She always wins.  Earth was here long before human beings, and it will be here long after.  Just enjoy living in the Oil Age.  The quality of life during the Oil Age (at least here in the United States) outweighs the loss of quantity of life facing those 50 years of age and younger (like me at 24). 

Considering what appears to be on the horizon economically, I don't really see much point after 26 or 27.  Trying out Charlie Sheen's lifestyle is sounding better all the time; might as well go out of this world partying it up.  At least, that's how I see it.  If you don't, then find another way to artificially increase the carrying capacity of the planet while preserving the quality of life you've come to take for granted, without throwing off the ecological balance of the planet.  Good luck with that.

geekgrrl's picture

Your position seems to be a rehashed form of nihilism with the sole focus for climate change on population, when it is the product of 1) population, 2) technology, and 3) hubris that leads to environmental impact. A reduction in any one of these three would be a step in the right direction, but most people seem unwilling to examine their way of life and certainly are unwilling to part with their precious technologies, hence the focus on all those damn people behaving like bunnies. (BTW, I'm not a breeder)

When I examined the data, it was very clear that the primary contributors to global warming are developed countries, such as the US, where 5% of the world's population consumes 25% of the worldwide output of oil. From my perspective, the only real power I have to change the world is to decide what I am going to do, and so I made a series of changes in my life that allowed me to drastically reduce my personal usage. I consider it a form of insurance, in that I will be less affected when the oil shortages come. I live on an organic farm with several water sources, and many people in the community are peak-oil and also PM aware. Folks here are already talking about using silver for local trade, so I have been feeling less doomer than usual.

I don't necessarily disagree with much of what you wrote. It does seem very clear that Malthus was right after all and global weirdness is going to wreak havoc and make survival that much more difficult in the face of pestilence and war. For a long time I have seen life in the US as a form of musical chairs, and I think the music is going to stop very soon. But folks aren't just going to lay down and die. There is already an exodus of people to places where they can provide for their needs and achieve some degree of security, but obviously many sheeple will need the proverbial 2x4 to wake them up.

MisterAmbassador's picture

Yes, those things are certainly inter-related.  The population wouldn't be possible without the technology, though, and hubris is a human characteristic.  But, I still say that if there were only a couple hundred million people here, the planet could absorb the damage done by them burning oil and clearing land, etc.  For instance, the planet could absorb and replenish the US population's damage easily, if there were no other people on the planet.  Whenever I get into this topic, I feel like people think I'm calling for people to be killed.  I'm not.  If something like that began, I'd make sure to check out too.  People who survived and instituted that type of policy wouldn't be people I'd care to be around.  The world would be an absolutely evil place after something like that with those people in charge of it.

Yes, the US does consume 25% of the world's oil.  Life isn't fair.  And, this is nothing new.  Power has alwasy seemed to concentrate with a relatively small number of people compared to the population of the world.  Empires rise and fall.  It all evens out in the end.  America was truly a new world.  We had a lot of resources to exploit and develop and were protected from WWII by geography.  This gave us great wealth and, of course, power.  Our rise was inevitable.  So, we're kind of like the modern day Roman Empire, except not nearly as brutal.  That's just the way the world has always worked and always will, so long as there are scarce resources.  China and India have far too many people to ever rise to the status of superpower.  It would be impossible to elevate the majority of their population to an American middle-class standard of living.  Our standard of living will fall back down to a more world-wide standard of living.  I mean, in the timeline of history, our 70 year dominance is nothing.  Just an anamoly.

I agree people won't just lay down and die.  I don't expect them too.  But, I have no desire to be here for the chaos and carnage that will ensue when America isn't there to keep the world stable and people realize that we are actually running out of resources.  I will just leave and lay down and die.

The historic popluation of the planet is around 1 billion +/- 500 million.  You can see a direct correlation between oil production increase and population increase over the last 150 years.  The planet cannot sustain this population, or anywhere near it, without oil.  Oil is finite.  And, this population is just an anamoly in the timeline of humanity.

Hubris of a being that lives maybe 80 years is nothing compared to a planet that will be here for billions.  I'm a reincarnation person.  I think this is just one universe out of an infinite number.  Just leave this one go into the next.  So, death doesn't scare me; it's a natural part of life.  Everything works out exactly the way it's supposed to in the end.

geekgrrl's picture

I guess I was wrong in characterizing your position as nihilist, you're fatalist.

I don't think population is the problem. The real problem is our use of energy, our technology, and the arrogance to believe everything on this planet is ours to exploit - and then act upon that belief as if it were true, and well, what you get is what we have now. It's called an empirically-proven faulty epistemology.

We're not more brutal than the Romans? Wow. You should tell that to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. I'd imagine they have a slightly different point of view. How about those guys in Gitmo? I can easily imagine many things worse than death, and my understanding is that they teach these things at The School of Americas, and have practiced and perfected them over many years in Latin America and now in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have surpassed the cruelty of the Romans in every way imaginable. They have figured out how to destroy the mind utterly, yet keep the body intact. So you mock me by suggesting the US and it's forces are somehow a "Kinder gentler machine gun hand."

As far as I can tell, there is no "historic population." We have been growing for many generations, as permitted by available resources and a relatively stable climate.  I don't dispute that oil and other fuels have permitted the population increase, and that population is going to decrease going forward due to famine, pestilence, war, and the wrath of Mother Nature. But I'm not a fatalist. Instead, the way I see it, either we will begin evolving again and begin to relearn how to adapt to the environment instead of adapting the environment to meet our trivial and transitory desires, or the changes induced by our faulty epistemology will be too great for anything larger than a small shrew to make it through this Sixth Extinction Event. 

trav7777's picture

There are certain things that are of the most immediately apparent is that I am the opposite of an idiot.

I have absolutely no clue whatsoever as to how you could make the leap from my TRUE statement that Peak Oil has nothing whatsoever to do with climate change to your diatribe; it's a complete non-sequitur

geekgrrl's picture

A grasp of basic logic seems to evade you. The way these sort of arguments go is: premise 1, premise 2, premise 3, ... premise n --> conclusion.

Simply saying that it is a true statement that peak oil has nothing to do with climate change is just an unsubstantiated conclusion, without any premises. And without any empricial evidence either. What you have been articulating is called a belief, and beliefs aren't subject to contradictory evidence. They just are. It is a construct that only exists in your brain in the form of mutually-reinforcing ideas, and it is easily demonstrated that people can believe all sorts of crazy things that are nothing less than idiotic. e.g. Jim Jones and the cyanide kool-aid. I merely made the obvious inference.

Meme Iamfurst's picture

Hey Trav!!!! how ya doing honey.  Marcie told me about that big bonus and promotion you got from BP...WOW, you dog you.  What ya gone buy with it?   How about a different Hummer for each day of the month, maybe a nice big yacht or that kool penthouse you were talking about at the Christmas party.  Come on ...tell!!!

Flakmeister's picture

Good god, if you are going to keep cutting and pasting the same garbage, provide a link instead.

 You have shown that you are capable of listening and understanding though. Nice to see you took my advice re: paragraphs and italics are a nice touch.

All that being said, just STFU, you have not added anything to the discussion.

trav7777's picture

use your aggressive feelings, boy...let the hate flow through you

snowball777's picture

Remember, a Jedi's strength flows from the Force. But beware. Anger, fear, aggression. The dark side are they. Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.

Or, to paraphrase, "once you go black..."

geekgrrl's picture

That's all you got? Nothing more intelligent than that? Idiot.

Flakmeister's picture

Bit of a private joke between Trav and I....

Jim Quinn's picture

Nice cut and paste job. It beats original thought.

steve from virginia's picture

First of all, it's interesting to see an Oil Drum article here @ ZH.

What took you so long?

Next: our energy situation is a mess and the time to take action has long passed.

The big problem is the carz and the ag. Our ag is 100% dependent on fuel and there are no plans in place to manage a marginal shortage situation. Farmers get good prices for their crops but cannot plant or harvest if they cannot afford the diesel or if diesel is unavailable for some reason or another.

The ag situation is absolutely terrifying b/c of a lack of any sort of contingency plan. The whole country is set to experience that 'New Orleans after Katrina' phenomenon. You know, where thousand are w/o water while truckloads of bottled water are stranded a few miles away ... See Rick Munroe:

The carz have taken over the American brain, the space of the country, the way the country used to work and now the way it doesn't anymore. Choice: you can have a decent job or drive a car? What do most people choose? Car ...

We have a vast and wasteful, grim and nasty car- habitat that is too expensive to operate with fuel over $35 a barrel. This is why the country has been going broke since 2004, people! The bullshit housing bubble was a putative 'hedge' against high fuel prices the same as the Japanese bubble economy and the euro. Add offshoring of jobs; all these were hedges and all have failed miserably.

Economists are morons: the current situation is deflationary because of the DEBT. High fuel prices set a competition between fuel users and with other borrowers for credit. That is the mechanism by which high oil prices destroy credit- based economies. Guess what happens when the credit market is unable to service $100 trillions worth of debt, like starting yesterday?

Bank runs have already started, look for runs out of bonds. The credit market is stinky worldwide and the cause is competition for funds from oil using businesses as well as governments.


This is going to get really, really ugly folks. You have no idea.

Seer's picture

Excellent overview!  Just when I'm about ready to give up hope that there's intelligent life out there...

Even simpler is the fact/challenge that infinite growth on a finite planet isn't possible.  Throughout the ages we've been programmed to believe in the fairy tale that growth is good; of course, it's TPTB who are served by the growth, they live off this temporary growth, they don't have to be digging in the dirt like the rest of us...  but, just like supply and demand corrects things, Mother Nature will correct for the imbalances that these fairy tales have created.

Nostradumbass's picture

: )

Sometimes I get this vision in my imagination of Earth removing the current plague of humankind like a dog shakes water or dust off of its back...

As we continue to shit in the nest and disrespect our home, this is as likely a scenario for the planet and its inhabitants  as any other...

Meme Iamfurst's picture

you and the one other guy, living in VA with these thoughts, must have a up hill time on your hands.  Stranger in a strange world, don't know how you can handle it.

Flakmeister's picture

Nice to see you here....I rarely post at the drum anymore, I just check in to see the latest developments. 

Nostradumbass's picture


Next time just leave a hyperlink, k?


LawsofPhysics's picture

Right on cue whenever oil is mentioned, bikeman is there with his propaganda.  My brother and I have worked in oil and agriculture for almost thirty years.  Fuck the academics and talk to people in the field retard.  Yes, there are more reserves to tap, however, the "low hanging fruit" as it were, has been picked.  Moving forward with ANY energy network based on combustable fuel for generating power will see significantly diminishing return on investment capital to dig up, harvest, or process the fuel source, period.  The "system" we inhabit (and the universe for that matter) is a closed system with a finite amount of energy that is available (first law). What is worse is that earth (and the universe) are moving even more quickly to a low energy state of disorder and high entropy (second law).  These laws of thermodynamics are not negotiable, no matter what your preacher says.  Citing "influential thinkers inside the World Bank."  does not help your cause bikeman as we both know that these "scientists" are simply shilling for their masters at the world bank and therefore they are paid puppets that world bank can hold up and say "see a scientist says it is so".  These people are sellouts promoting junk science, their work is not peer-reviewed.

The economic models of the past are based on infinite growth and are driven by cheap labor and cheap energy.  No matter what, going forward there is no more cheap energy.  If people insist on keeping the same broken economic models, then the cost of labor will have to give (and we know where that leads now don't we?)  We need a new economic model, period.


The only thing bikeman has going for him is selling bikes to the peasants in the near future so they can get to work (on my sharecropping farms).



Hdawg's picture


"Top of the list"


Correct, you'll notice the near novel length replies to your post are intended to break up the thread.


jeff montanye's picture

tell me again how the jews controlled the nazis.  oh that's right.  the holocaust never happened.  i forgot.