free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 382. MASSIVE RAILWAY BUILD IN CHINA

Monday, November 17, 2008

382. MASSIVE RAILWAY BUILD IN CHINA

It's nice to read about a country which doesn't spend all of its national energy saving financial players, and endlessly griping in the blogosphere. Confronted with the current economic problems, the Chinese roll up their sleeves and get to work. The figures in this very interesting article will blow your mind:
China has long had plans for laying 120,000 km worth of railways by 2020, but as the global economic slowdown begins to bite, it looks as though the money will be spent faster than planned to help speed flagging economic growth in China.

In September and October, the Ministry of Railways announced eight new railway projects in various parts of the country. Their investment has added up to 405 billion yuan, equaling 78 percent of the total investment that China poured into railway construction from 2003 to 2007.

In the past five years, the total investment for the railway infrastructure was 522 billion yuan, Minister Liu Zhijun told a working conference in January.

The start-up of the eight railway projects in a short period of time is the beginning of a railway construction boom.

The ministry's planning department chief Yang Zhongmin says about 3.5 trillion yuan will be invested on railway projects in next three years.

At present, 150 railway projects are under construction, involving an investment of 1.6 trillion yuan, he says.
Converting the figures (at 6.8 yuan to the dollar) we get: $60 billion in new rail projects announced in Sept/Oct, $77 billion spent on rail in the last 5 years, $515 billion to be invested in the next three years, and 150 rail projects under construction worth $235 billion.

Damn! That's my kind of bailout. It makes you wonder why the US can't do something like that. Assuming that they wanted to, are the Americans even capable of rolling out a large rail project? I'm thinking: probably not.

It's clear that China is paying attention, and making the moves they need to make to thrive in the 21st century. Meanwhile, the US is blogging up a storm on all the doom sites. It seems that much of the angst about TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It), is really more about TEOAAWKI (The End Of America As We Know It).
by JD

110 Comments:

At Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 12:40:00 AM PST, Blogger JD said...

As always, please use the Name/URL option (you don't have to register, just enter a screen-name) or sign your anonymous post at the bottom. The conversation is better without multiple anons.
Thank you!
JD

 
At Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 3:59:00 AM PST, Blogger Big Gav said...

I agree with your point about "The End Of America As We Know It" (in fact I said something similar myself once).

The decline of America dominance internationally and its related need to make a much larger change in per-capita oil consumption than elsewhere seem to result in many US based peak oil observers taking a much more negative view of the post-peak future than those who aren't facing such wrenching changes.

 
At Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 6:04:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

china should better use all these money to finance health and education in the countryside.it is already spending 9% of gdp on infrastracture projects(0,5 U.S. but only 1% on health.Many rural households are seeing their health expenses rise 10$% a year and most schools still have fees.China is already full with empty highways and maglev trsins.Thanks to all this resources misallocation energy efficiency is at Mao's level.

 
At Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 6:09:00 AM PST, Anonymous stuck in shizuoka said...

It does make me wonder that, should America's demand destruction for oil continue--albeit dragging down much of the rest of the world, certainly the G20 with it--will China continue much of its growth and with renewed access to imported oil? Opec has to deliver somewhere, and, should oil go back up in price, will China be the one buying it while putting the money into large domestic growth programs?

 
At Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 9:20:00 AM PST, Anonymous benny "moag" cole said...

I too wonder if the United States has the will to be a great nation anymore, or even deliver a better life to its citizens.
I hope it is only the train wreck known as the Bush Administration that is creating negativity. After all, only eight years ago we were an optimistic people.
We could finance an infrastructure buildout through higher gasoline taxes, but our leaders have not the will to even suggest a gas tax. The federal gasoline tax is a mere 18 cents and McCain suggested a tax holiday.
On oil, the story is over. The USA gets another reprieve. We will see huge floods of unwanted oil everywhere in the next two years. Oil might hit $10 a barrel.
And we will see this glut despite the fact that Iran and Iraq pump at half speed, that Venezuela and Mexico have not even minimally invested in their production (Venezuela has a trillion barrels in the Orinoco), that Libya has only recently rejoined the world community, that KSA is actively limiting production, that Africa is a mess.
I can't imagine the surfeits of oil we would have if the world was a free market.
Making predictions is hard, especially about the future.
It is remarkable what eight years of Bush rule has done to America. Suddenly, we feel we are in our twilight, when a short time ago we talked of Pax Americana.
I am reminded of the gloom we faced in the late 1970s. It was even worse then. But, we came out of it. Maybe we can again.

 
At Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 2:37:00 PM PST, Blogger wchfilms said...

Hmm, yeah, I'm always dubious of "America is over" statements. Looks to me like we've had continuously repeating cycles of "hey let's do something cool" that causes an economic boom, then people getting fat and lazy and complacent, then the thing crashing, then (younger) people realizing "oh crap, we got to do something new". This goes back a very long time. I think it really is the system that America has that facilitates this. Maybe green energy really will be the next boom.

I read an interesting article somewhere stating that America is unlikely to endure a "lost decade" like Japan's 90s because after their bust, they pretty much pretended nothing was wrong the entire time, while propping up essentially dead banks and companies. While America will do some of that (most notably the likely bailout of the car makers), it will likely be nowhere near as extensive, and these banking problems haven't been hidden at all. Maybe not properly anticipated, but not really hidden. America quickly starts screaming and pointing fingers and blaming, then works to get past it.

I guess that's sort of stereotyping, but countries do have different mindsets.

 
At Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 5:31:00 PM PST, Blogger Fat Man said...

I hate to disappoint you, but the Railroad business in the US is actually in very good shape and is investing billions of dollars to upgrade its tracks and equipment. The US railroad system carries a much higher percentage of the nations freight than do European systems. China, of course is trying to catch up to where the US was a century ago.

 
At Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 9:06:00 PM PST, Blogger JD said...

fat man,
I know that US rail has been doing well. In fact, I blogged on that topic a few months ago 353. RAILWAYS BOOMING. However, the magnitude of the Chinese build-out is totally astounding given the size of the Chinese economy. Look at the figures again. There's no comparison between the two efforts. China is rolling out and electrifying a huge, comprehensive rail system, including a number of high-speed train links. The US is doing some much appreciated, but minor expansions to a pretty creaky old network.
Don't get me wrong. I'd love to see a monster shift toward rail building in the US. I just find it amazing/appalling hear about all those hundred billion dollar investments in Chinese rail, when the only time I hear such figures in the US context are the Iraq war, and bail-outs for Wall Street etc. The US is pissing investment funds down the drain.

 
At Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 1:34:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It's nice to read about a country which doesn't spend all of its national energy saving financial players, and endlessly griping in the blogosphere."

JD - you are one of my favorite oil bloggers. You are a lot of people's favorite. This is a great site.

Your last two or three posts have been right on target.

But c'mon. This is the lamest opening sentence.

It's contrived and engineered around "national energy." duh. Blogosphere has nothing to do with anything (we are way beyond that).

Nuff said, I'll go read the rest of the post now.

-Mystery

 
At Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 1:37:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Thanks to all this resources misallocation energy efficiency is at Mao's level."

Can you source this, Charlie Chan?

-Mystery

 
At Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 2:53:00 AM PST, Blogger Barba Rija said...

I think you are over estimating chinese ability to understand where they should invest their energy and money. Yes, those numbers sound big, and I am afraid, too big. Ever heard of white elephants? China is a huge big white elephant, in my modest opinion.

 
At Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 9:04:00 AM PST, Anonymous benny "MOAG" cole said...

JD-
Right, right, right. We have pissed away $1 trillion in Iraq, to establish an Islamic state (not a secular state) which will inevitably become great buddies with Iran. It also gives huge oil contracts to commie China.
But people say we cannot spend $1 trillion to acheive energy independence.
Well, we can't now. We don't have any more money.
The train wreck known as the Bush Administration will haunt us for years to come.
If you wanted to wreck a nation, you could 1) set off a few bombs and brag about; or 2) load trillions in debt onto a nation, while spending the money on wars and consumer goods.
Bush chose option 2.

 
At Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 3:12:00 PM PST, Blogger francy933 said...

Well China needs to move the additional coal (at near 3 gt already)that it will need to continue its economic expansion. I wonder what China's coal use will peak at 4.3 gt (4 times the US) or so ?

 
At Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 5:02:00 PM PST, Blogger JD said...

francy933,
Good point.
Apparently, China has been using huge amounts of diesel to truck coal (and other freight) due to rail bottlenecks:

"It's also important to consider how oil is used in China. Adjusting the Soviet-style official energy consumption numbers to account for nature of use, and not sector of use, oil for transport (road, rail, air, water) now accounts for about 39% of the total, compared to 65% in the US. Although the growth of the vehicle industry is high, it is not the discretionary private user that is driving transport oil demand. In large part, the biggest growth is coming from road freight transport. China's rail system, the largest in the world, is completely overwhelmed moving coal, and coal now accounts for 49% of all freight moved on the rail system, but this in turn accounts for only 55% of coal production, down from 80% of production moved by rail in 2001. What this means is that the road system (they now have pretty much the equivalent of a US interstate system in place and still expanding) has had to take up a lot of the slack, and story after story appears of overload coal trucks (30 tonne size) creating severe damage to highways which were not built to this weight specification. Similarly, the rail system has to refuse 60% or more of new freight transport requests, and this means that a manufacturer trying to move his freight to the coast to deliver to just-in-time export markets have had to shift to road transport as well. In China, the shift of one tonne-km of freight from rail to road increases energy use 8 times."
Link

 
At Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 7:35:00 PM PST, Blogger JD Walters said...

Anyone interested in peak oil issues should read Robin Mills' new book, The Myth of the Oil Crisis. He has read everything and treats all peak oil perspectives fairly, including the pessimistic geologists, the optimistic economists and the more radical die-off types, but he still demolishes most of the peak oil arguments put forward by TOD, ASPO and so on (one TOD commentator was even begging for someone to write a rebuttal of this book; apparently it's too upsetting to their cherished beliefs). This guy knows what he's talking about: both a petroleum geologist and an economist. Although of course he couldn't have taken into account the financial meltdown which is drying up investment capital for new projects, his is still the most balanced, plausible perspective I've come across.

 
At Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 9:18:00 AM PST, Anonymous Nick said...

JD, the link you gave for Chinese coal transport gives the most recent entry - I couldn't find the article you referred to.

 
At Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 12:31:00 PM PST, Anonymous John unDoe said...

one good resource for "peak oil" related news:

http://peak-oil-crisis.org/

at least for me it's difficult to know whether to believe in peak oil or not.

 
At Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 12:52:00 PM PST, Blogger Ari said...

John unDoe,

Not believing in peak oil is like not believing in CO2 being a key climate forcing. It's silly and ignores the pertinent facts in order to support a worldview (instead of reality.)

The question is not whether peak oil exists, or whether CO2 is a forcing, but the extent to which either one will be a serious issue for human societies worldwide.

 
At Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 1:39:00 PM PST, Anonymous benny "moag" cole said...

Ari-
I wonder about Peak Oil. What if we learned to extract shale oil and Venezuela's heavy oil profitably? Then PO is postponed for a long, long time. Coal-to-liquids? How about biofuels? People researching palm oil say they are coming up with hybrids that could quadruple production.
Sheesh, I could sketch out a scenario in which production very slowly increases for centuries.

 
At Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 2:05:00 PM PST, Anonymous Malcom said...

Great post, keep up the good work.

 
At Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 10:13:00 PM PST, Blogger El-Visitador said...

«We could finance an infrastructure buildout through higher gasoline taxes, but our leaders have not the will to even suggest a gas tax. The federal gasoline tax is a mere 18 cents»


To build more highways and roads, no need to raise gasoline tax: already 41% of the gas tax (that was supposed to go to roads) is "flex-funded" into unrelated projects and diverted to "mass transit".

So you could lower the gas taxes to 10 cents, and the exact same amount of roads would be built as today.

Source:

Federal Transit Administration 1

and

Federal Transit Administration 2

 
At Friday, November 21, 2008 at 11:55:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hear, hear!

Rail is what we need, it will cushion the oil decline a great deal. Yes, freight trains have been doing well, but what we need are commuter rail, light rail, and people-moving rail. Train travel remains the most efficient, leas-polluting, way to move lots of people. Electric rail lets us ride around on wind/solar, and does not require any battery tech breakthroughs.

But we have such a massive investment in the car culture; and buggy-whip manufacturers Ford, GM, and Chrysler are unlikely to be able to change over.

Can we do it? Yes we can.

Will we do it? Probably we will.

Will we do it in time? Uh, it might be too late already, but today is a good time to start...

pond

 
At Friday, November 21, 2008 at 1:17:00 PM PST, Anonymous Nick said...

"Train travel remains the most efficient, leas-polluting, way to move lots of people."

Actually, train travel takes more energy than electric cars: about 350 watt-hours per mile per passenger, vs 200-350 per vehicle for EVs, which means that carpooling 4 people in an EV is about 5 times as efficient.

Extended range EVs (like the Chevy Volt), and plug-ins (like the plugin Prius planned for 2010) are both straightforward to make and cost effective, once you pay for the engineering associated with any new vehicle, and build it in volume.

 
At Saturday, November 22, 2008 at 4:14:00 AM PST, Blogger Ari said...

pond,

I never got the "it's too late!" line.

What does it actually mean? That it's too late to start before oil supply declines, or that it's too late to start and civilization is going to go into a tail spin of doomer doomerosity and implode on itself because of the price of oil?

I really have to know what the "it's too late" think means.

 
At Saturday, November 22, 2008 at 11:14:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Actually, train travel takes more energy than electric cars: about 350 watt-hours per mile per passenger, vs 200-350 per vehicle for EVs, which means that carpooling 4 people in an EV is about 5 times as efficient."

It can be much worse than that, because the train takes you from where you don't want to be (a station) to where you don't want to go (another station); a car goes from where you are to where you want to be via the most direct route.

When I lived in the UK I had a choice between driving to work or taking the train; aside from being more expensive and taking four times as long, the train also required traveling twice as far, as I had to go to another town and change trains to get to where I wanted to go. So even if the car was half as efficient per person as the train, I'd be no worse off.

And it can be even worse than that; when I took that train there were typically 6-12 people on board, including the driver. So the fuel cost of pulling a train for that trip must have been much larger than that of each person driving a car. Sure, you could cancel the least used services, but then even less people would use the train because it would be even less convenient.

Having lived in a country full of trains, I've never understood why people who live in countries where people don't use trains much think they're so wonderful. They have their uses for shipping slow-moving freight that isn't needed on a tight schedule, or for moving lots of commuters in and out of a city every day, but even then we'd probably do better to produce more locally and discourage commuting in the first place.

 
At Sunday, November 23, 2008 at 2:53:00 PM PST, Anonymous babun said...

Actually, train travel takes more energy than electric cars: about 350 watt-hours per mile per passenger, vs 200-350 per vehicle for EVs, which means that carpooling 4 people in an EV is about 5 times as efficient.

And these statistics are based on what?

 
At Monday, November 24, 2008 at 1:51:00 AM PST, Anonymous Babun said...

JD : if you can get your hands on any WEO material I bet that would make a great post.

 
At Monday, November 24, 2008 at 3:45:00 AM PST, Anonymous Roy Latham said...

This past past election, three major rail projects were approved in California. They are the high speed rail line from San Francisco to Los Angeles($45 billion), the light rail extension from Fremont to San Jose ($4.7 billion), and the Marin County commuter line ($450 million). The U.S. has a huge system for rail transport of freight. Passenger rail depends upon high population density, otherwise the number of passengers per station is too low to be practical. Much of the U.S. lacks the required density.

 
At Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 4:07:00 PM PST, Anonymous AndrewRyan said...

Anyone interested in peak oil issues should read Robin Mills' new book, The Myth of the Oil Crisis. He has read everything and treats all peak oil perspectives fairly, including the pessimistic geologists, the optimistic economists and the more radical die-off types, but he still demolishes most of the peak oil arguments put forward by TOD, ASPO and so on (one TOD commentator was even begging for someone to write a rebuttal of this book; apparently it's too upsetting to their cherished beliefs). This guy knows what he's talking about: both a petroleum geologist and an economist. Although of course he couldn't have taken into account the financial meltdown which is drying up investment capital for new projects, his is still the most balanced, plausible perspective I've come across.

JD Walters: I just got the book today from Amazon.com after reading your post last week. Thanks a ton for the recommendation. I'm going to give the book a good read the next few days. Thanks again.

 
At Wednesday, November 26, 2008 at 9:42:00 AM PST, Blogger JD Walters said...

Sure thing, AndrewRyan. Let me know what you think of it once you've finished.

 
At Friday, November 28, 2008 at 9:02:00 AM PST, Blogger sniperslaststand said...

JD, do you know anything more about the BYD F3DM going on sale.

It appears that this will be the first affordable plug-in hybrid car to enter volume production. Wikipedia already no longer calls it "concept" car, quoting prices announced to be circa 25000 USD, only a bit more than a Toyota Prius.

On the other hands, when I wanted to research anything about the car on the Internet, everything that appeared was just some sort of concept pictures and promises.

The most surprising thing is however how little attention this ground-breaking car gets on... the BYD site itself.

I can't read Chinese AT ALL but since BYD webmasters named sites and associated files in English (say: http://www.bydauto.com/carlineup/f3/features.php) I knew where I was and could use Google Translate for specific pages (automatic translation of links doesn't work very well because of Javascript usage by the page to link). And there is very little about the F3MD there. Why?? It looks like the most promising car of these days!

The so-so translated news from BYD from today says the city of Shenzhen have already started building charging stations. But again, I couldn't find any specific content-rich F3DM product microsite.

Not to mention any independent test or first drive of the pre production model. Did you encounter any of such thing so that anyone other than the BYD themselves can assert 70 all-electric miles claim, everyday usefulness, acceptable charging speed or batteries not bursting in flames?

I'd like to see such tests cause, you know, not that long ago Chinese sent the car they called brilliant (by naming it Brilliance) to the Europe and it simply fell apart in the crash test, just like the Landwind/Isuzu SUV they had sent us before. Some improvements after it were quoted.

 
At Saturday, November 29, 2008 at 11:46:00 AM PST, Anonymous Akrotiri21 said...

As this post appears to be stalling a bit, I think it ok to post the below article. I'll leave it to readers to see why it is relevant to the enduring themes of this site.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/30/books/review/Crain-t.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

 
At Monday, December 1, 2008 at 9:14:00 AM PST, Anonymous benny "MOAG" cole said...

Oil tanking hard, hard, hard today. We may see $30 oil again -- this year.
Demand falling rapidly, a consequence of both rising prices and recession. Add in too much supply.
I think this is almost exactly how the last oil scare ended. In glut.

 
At Monday, December 1, 2008 at 11:28:00 AM PST, Blogger Carl Carlson said...

A couple of points about this blog.

1) It is mis-titled.

Einstein's theory of relativity can not be debunked, neither can the theory of Peak Oil.

Both are scientifically proven and accepted theories describing the behavior of aspects of the physical world.

And no, you can not debunk gravity either.

2) This site incorrectly assumes that all those that believe in Peak Oil are Doomers. That is like believing that all Democrats are liberals and all Republicans are conservatives.

Peakniks believe that Hubbert's statistical models are valid and therefore global oil production will eventually decline and eventually cease altogether.

No judgement or opinion on what that means is offered, just the mathematical certainty that Peak Oil is happening.

If you feel that is a Doomsday scenario, then you are the Doomer, not the Peaknik.

3) This site confuses technology with energy. Electrification and conservation are touted as solutions to Peak Oil (how one can offer solutions to a theory one professes to debunk is another nice oxymoron).

Sure conservation works and works even better if the population is stabilized or reduced.

But electrification is a different story. If the oil consumed in a year is to be replaced with electricity one of the following would have to happen.

Build 4 Three Gorges dams a year for 50 years.

Install 32,850 1.65 megawatt wind turbines a year for 50 years.

Build 91,250,000 2.1 kW solar PV installations a year for 50 years.

Build 104 500 megawatt coal-fired electric plants a year for 50 years.

Comission 52 1.1 gigawatt nuclear electric plants a year for 50 years.

That makes 'electrification' a possible solution but to do it, the impossible must be done.

4) The belief that "I like my modern first world life and I am not giving it up, so therefore Peak Oil must be a sham" would be funny if it were not so dangerous.

So because you love your SUV and iPod, thousands of Ph.D.'s are wrong, ipso facto.

A Palinism if there ever was one! Time to grow up folks. Peak Oil is real. Get used to it.

 
At Monday, December 1, 2008 at 11:55:00 AM PST, Blogger Ari said...

Carl Carlson,

You clearly haven't read much of this blog, nor even the damn disclaimer:

"Debunking peak oil hype with facts and figures, and exposing the agendas behind peak oil.
DISCLAIMER FOR IDIOTS: This site officially accepts that oil is finite, and will peak someday."

Why is it that everyone who comes to this site and runs around saying that JD is wrong, and oil is gonna peak always manages to miss the disclaimer? So silly.

Also:

So because you love your SUV and iPod, thousands of Ph.D.'s are wrong, ipso facto.


JD is a "dyed-in-the-wool car hater." I also find it funny that you quote "thousands of PhDs" without offering:

-- who they are
-- their qualifications
-- why we should believe them.

Appealing to authority is one of the worst logical fallacies. Instead of formulating your own argument, you get to let others do it for you. No thinking required!

But electrification is a different story. If the oil consumed in a year is to be replaced with electricity one of the following would have to happen.

Build 4 Three Gorges dams a year for 50 years.

Install 32,850 1.65 megawatt wind turbines a year for 50 years.

Build 91,250,000 2.1 kW solar PV installations a year for 50 years.

Build 104 500 megawatt coal-fired electric plants a year for 50 years.

Comission 52 1.1 gigawatt nuclear electric plants a year for 50 years


Any source for this argument, or is this just another doomer soundbite from the doomer soundbite mill?

No judgement or opinion on what that means is offered, just the mathematical certainty that Peak Oil is happening.

Mathematical certainty? That makes absolutely no sense. First off, it would have to be a "geological certainty," but the funniest thing is that it's been TWENTY YEARS IN A ROW that the peak-factory has been predicting that "this year is the peak!"

So is it this year? FOR REALS? FOR CERTAIN?

 
At Monday, December 1, 2008 at 1:32:00 PM PST, Anonymous Brother Cadfan said...

Rather odd for someone who goes on about confusion between 'peak oil' and 'doomerism' to state in his profile that 'peak oil will solve the population problem.

Just a thought.

 
At Monday, December 1, 2008 at 2:02:00 PM PST, Blogger Ari said...

Brother Cadfan,

I see a lot of people like that lurking in the PO shadows.

"I'm not a doomer, really! I just think that 5 billion people are going to starve to death in the coming decade. OK?"

It's like Bill O'Reilly claiming he's not a Republican, despite never having supported a Democrat for anything and being a registered Republican.

 
At Monday, December 1, 2008 at 4:20:00 PM PST, Blogger OptimisticDoomer said...

Good reading Akrotiri21. Good thing the internet wasn't around back then. The doomers would have convinced everyone they were going to die! I wonder if steam will make any sort of comeback?

 
At Monday, December 1, 2008 at 4:31:00 PM PST, Anonymous benny "MOAG" cole said...

Carl Carlson-

The DOE has put out studies that even if the entire US motor fleet converted to PHEVs, we would need onyl a 20 percent increase in our built electrical grid. That is because PHEVs are expected to charge up at night, when the grid is not overtaxed. I don't see how that means building many power plants every day. It means a reasonable increase over many years.
Even at that, I wonder if we will need all that more capacity. I work with architects, and it is wonderful how new techniques are radically lowering power consumption in buildings.
As for peak oil, the output of liquid fuels may in fact peak sometime in the next 20 years. Or maybe 30. Biofuels, GTLs, CTLs, shale oil, the trillion barrels locked up in Venezuela's Orinoco deposits -- all are imponderables.
But what does seem to happen is when oil crosses over $100 a barrel, alternative fuels start ramping up, while demand starts going down.
This time around the process barely started and we have the Mother Of All Gluts (MOAG)coming.
Hubbert's Peak applies only to conventional oil, and in practice only in a confined geographical area (the lower 48). In practice, Hubbert's Peak becomes a plateau if you look at all oil production in North America.
Sure, we will run out of commercially viable fossil fuel one day -- but before that, we will have PHEVs, biofuels, and CTLs, GTLs, and who knows what else.
I think we see $10 oil soon. And lucky for the doomers, in a way. If there were a way to maintain higher oil prices, we would see the rapid evolution of alternatives.
But, instead, we always see glut, glut and more gluts.
This glut could last for 10 years. I predict you will quit the PO movement long beofre this glut ends.

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 6:46:00 AM PST, Anonymous Title Critic said...

You clearly haven't read much of this blog, nor even the damn disclaimer...

Let's be fair, though: if you came across a site called "Evolution Debunked," you might not pay very close attention to the disclaimer saying it's really a site debunking pseudo-scientific misconceptions about evolution, not promoting creationism, before drawing certain reflexive conclusions about its agenda. And those conclusions would be completely understandable given the title. The fact that so many people still comment on this blog's title as if it were about denying the geologic peak in oil production, and thus discount anything it has to say as being the rantings of an ignorant person, tells me that JD probably could have come up with a better title - maybe "Peak Oil Doomers Debunked" - for his blog. And I like this blog.

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 6:46:00 AM PST, Blogger Carl Carlson said...

Benny,

Just as one can not quit the theory of relativity one can not quit the theory of Peak Oil.

In less than 5 years Mexico will cease exporting oil.

Mexico is our third largest supplier of oil.

What do think will happen when Mexico goes offline?

Even Saudi Arabia is in decline. Read the IEA report or BP's World in Review. The decline in production is quite apparent which makes sense given there have been no major discoveries since the 1960.

This blog should be renamed The Peak Oil Denial Support Group...

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 7:07:00 AM PST, Blogger Ari said...

Title Critic,

True, but I also believe that most of the so-called critics are really just not paying attention.

Carl Carlson,

Cite your sources that demonstrate that Mexico will cease exporting in 5 years. Give specific pages of the reports that show KSA is in decline. Otherwise you're not really offering much. I'm so sick of the grand claims of the peak oil feedlot that lack any sort of actual documentation. It's tiring.

You also sound an awful lot like Andre Angelantoni. Any relation?

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 7:21:00 AM PST, Blogger Carl Carlson said...

Ari,

Check the WSJ. And yes, even the MSM acknowledges Peak Oil.

You ever heard of big river syndrome? You've got it.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB116984658739189365.html?mod=hps_europe_at_glance_most_pop

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 7:30:00 AM PST, Blogger Ari said...

Also, Carl, you need to read more closely: Benny didn't say you would quit believing in peak oil theory (though it has serious flaws as a theory), but that you will quit the movement.

The movement and the theory are different things. The theory is a pretty sterile look at what happens to oil production over time. The movement, however, is based on half-baked extrapolations on what that curve does to societies. They're very different beasts.

It's possible to believe that oil production will peak and decline without believing that it means that the shit hits the fan, the world ends as we know it, and that we had better buy guns and bomb shelters.

Kind of like how it was possible to believe that Y2K would cause problems for some computer systems without the world being melted down.

Here's the thing: peak oil is a reality. The movement, however, is a religion. It's almost a sort of cargo cult (in the Feynman sense)/millenarianism at this point. It's chock-full of charts and numbers and so-called "theories," but very little of it actually has any scientific/predictive value. The fact that ASPO and Campbell have had to adjust their scenarios for nearly two decades is demonstrative of that fact, actually.

Again, that's not to say that oil production doesn't peak. That's just to say that there's a lot of BS being tossed about.

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 7:35:00 AM PST, Blogger Ari said...

Carl,

Actually, I've never heard of "big river syndrome" and couldn't find it after Googling it. Do tell what it means, as I'd like to know.

I don't have an online subscription to the WSJ, so I had to get it off of another site (without the corrections that the WSJ mentioned, unfortunately), but the un-appended article had some interesting things in it:

Mexico's declining production also will raise the pressure on Mr. Calderon to crack open the country's closed energy market to allow private investors to help Pemex find new oil deposits. But the former energy minister will have a tough time convincing an opposition-dominated Congress to rewrite Mexico's Constitution. The country's oil expropriation of 1938 is part of Mexico's self-image.

A year ago, The Wall Street Journal published an internal Pemex study that reviewed possible scenarios at Cantarell. The study's best-case scenario forecast Cantarell's production would fall to 1.54 million barrels a day by the end of last year -- almost exactly what happened.

At the time, top Pemex officials disputed the report and said the study's scenario represented a "do-nothing" or "worst-case" approach that didn't take into account maintenance at the field. Pemex predicted that Cantarell production would only drop to 1.87 million barrels a day by December and that overall output at the company would actually grow to 3.42 million barrels a day.


You know what this sounds like? It sounds like a state-run oil company isn't doing its job.

Shocking.

Dutch Disease? IN MY MEXICOS?

IT'S MORE COMMON THAN YOU THINK.

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 8:01:00 AM PST, Anonymous mdf said...

http://www.oilcrisismyth.com/

I'm in the middle of chapter 4: Mills is taking no prisoners.

A small note for our host, JD: your blog is given top-billing, so to speak, from the "links" page of the above website.

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 8:01:00 AM PST, Blogger Ari said...

And one more fun quote from an "insider." This comes courtesy of the NYT.

"''The easy oil is running out because it has already been found,'' said Ezio Plenizio, an Italian geophysicist
aboard the Neptune, which belongs to the oil services company Schlumberger. ''But 20 years ago, when I
started in the business, people were already saying that oil is going to run out soon.''
"

And the world keeps moving forward... somehow.

Alas!

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 8:14:00 AM PST, Anonymous mdf said...

Ari: It sounds like a state-run oil company isn't doing its job.

Everyone here is strongly encouraged to read Mills "The Myth of the Oil Crisis", mentioned above. Chapter 3 (of 11), essentially obliterates Hubbert's analysis as a rational model of future oil production, lays waste to the idea we are at the peak today, or the near future, that all the "easy oil" is gone (I found Mills commentary on this subject especially devastating, given the weight the PO nutbars place on this 'fact': in essence, "oil" has never been easy) ... but ... to bring this back to Ari's comment, above ... we have been seriously short on investment in production for the last 10 years or so. One of Mills arguments is that the Peak Oilers are being misled by a deep reduction in exploration and other investment due to an unusually low price of oil from about the mid 1980's to 2000.

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 8:27:00 AM PST, Anonymous mdf said...

Ari: quotes the NYT The easy oil is running out because it has already been found,'' said Ezio Plenizio, an Italian geophysicist
aboard the Neptune, which belongs to the oil services company Schlumberger.


I can't help myself. Here is Mills, on page 93 of his book, making one of a numerous observations on so-called "easy oil":

The development of North Sea oil during the 1970s was the greatest technical challenge the industry had faced. Entirely new technologies, backed up by innovative financing, had to be devised to meet the vast cost of developments in this hostile environment. A series of disasters cost many lives: the sinking of the Sea Gem in 1965, with thirteen deaths, having just discovered the first offshore hydrocarbons in the United Kingdom; three sailors who died during the evacuation of the Hewett platform during a 1967 blowout; the collapse of the Alexander Kjelland rig in 1980, killing 123; and the fire and explosion on the Piper Alpha platform in 1988, in which 167 people died. Easy oil proponents should try telling a driller who worked in the North Sea in the 1970s that this was easy oil -- but keep a safe distance.

Wikipedia (and others) have coverage of the events mentioned by Mills.

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 8:56:00 AM PST, Blogger Carl Carlson said...

"It's possible to believe that oil production will peak and decline without believing that it means that the shit hits the fan, the world ends as we know it,"

Believe all you want, that's denial.

Prove it with citations. I'm waiting...

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 11:49:00 AM PST, Blogger Ari said...

Carl Carlson,

Ah, but you can't "prove" the future. You can extrapolate, but you can't "prove." Thing is, I'm not "denying" anything because there's nothing to deny!

How can I "deny" that which has never happened? That's like saying that I "deny" that I'll not be hit by a meteorite tomorrow! I can't do it!

Even if I were to apply the most advanced statistical methodology to demonstrate that perhaps X variable will cause Y to occur, it is never certain BECAUSE (and this gets into Bayesian thinking) I don't know the future parameters. Essentially, you're telling me that I'm denying that which I don't know.

On the other hand, we CAN more easily extrapolate Mexican exports using certain assumptions, and we CAN see if production in KSA is declining (it's actually up from past years). That's not too difficult. But trying to say, with certainty, that very complicated and messy events, such as the collapse of society, will occur is very very hard to do. I can get into it a bit more. I have a great deal of training in classical statistics and I'm starting to delve into Bayesian methods as well.

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 12:09:00 PM PST, Blogger Carl Carlson said...

Ari, you said "Ah, but you can't "prove" the future. You can extrapolate, but you can't "prove." Thing is, I'm not "denying" anything because there's nothing to deny!"

Horse feathers.

My request was that you prove how the energy provided by petroleum could be replaced by any mix and match of the alternatives.

So tell me how that would be done.

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 12:32:00 PM PST, Blogger Ari said...

Carl,

My gut feeling is that it doesn't have to be replaced liter for liter because a lot of the usage is simply discretionary, but I tend to believe that most oil use (being poured into gas tanks) can be replaced with rail, transit, PHEVs, and EVs. Unfortunately, the market signals are currently lacking for some of the transition. We already know that we can easily replace the KWh with nuclear (plenty of fuel for that), but then the challenge is replacing the portability of oil. Of course, a challenge doesn't mean "OMG SOCIETY GO BYE BYE."

But again: I can't say, for certain, what will happen. I seem to lack the crystal ball you've got your hands on that tells us exactly how all of industrial civilization will react to price changes.

Here's what I'll say, and I'm sure your response will be something along the lines of "DENIAL!!" or "COWARD!" or "HAHAHA I WIN!"

I don't know. I can dream of scenarios, some of which I find more likely, but I really don't know. The thing is, I already know how hard it is to predict relatively simple and data rich situations. The social reaction to something like decreased raw supply of oil, which ASPO has predicted for the 20th year in a row, and Ehrlich predicted decades ago, is hard to pin down.

Also, what's "big river syndrome?" I'm curious. I couldn't Google it, and nobody I talked to had heard of it.

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 12:46:00 PM PST, Blogger Carl Carlson said...

Ari,

Big River Syndrome = The Nile = Da Nile...

I don't have a source handy but ~ 60% of our annual petroleum spend is in the agricultural sector for food production, processing, storage and transport.

Maybe phosphates for fertilization can be produced through some form of electrolysis or maybe not, I just don't know.

But it seems unlikely that current levels of food production and distribution can be maintaned in the absence of cheap and abundant oil.

Less food = less people = contracting economy.

Hard to envision that happening without socioeconomic chaos.

Oops - there's that electron faerie, gottta go catch it before it gets away again.

BTW - I hear there's oil on mars too.

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 12:59:00 PM PST, Blogger Ari said...

Big River Syndrome = The Nile = Da Nile...

Oh, cute. Still funny that you're telling me that I'm denying that which I cannot know.

I don't have a source handy but ~ 60% of our annual petroleum spend is in the agricultural sector for food production, processing, storage and transport.

How is that possible when nearly 70% of oil consumption goes into transportation in general?

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/diagram2.html

Your claim seems highly suspect, considering the data the EIA provides. Motor gasoline alone is almost 50% of our oil use. That doesn't make your 60% claim very likely.

Maybe phosphates for fertilization can be produced through some form of electrolysis or maybe not, I just don't know.

Phosphates are mined. Nitrogen is currently produced via Haber-Bosch using NG. However, you can produce a good deal of N fertilizer via other methods.

But it seems unlikely that current levels of food production and distribution can be maintaned in the absence of cheap and abundant oil.

Why not?

Less food = less people = contracting economy.

Less food doesn't necessarily mean less people when over 1 billion people in the world are obese.

Hard to envision that happening without socioeconomic chaos.

Oops - there's that electron faerie, gottta go catch it before it gets away again.

BTW - I hear there's oil on mars too.


Who cares? We don't seem to be running out of it on Earth at present, either.

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 1:09:00 PM PST, Anonymous benny "MOAG" cole said...

Carl Carson-

Yes, what I said you would quit the Peak Oil movement before we truly reached peak oil (however defined).
Or, you can spend the next 10 years warning about impending doom that never seems to come. That will get old, and you will quit (you are obviously literate, and thus ave better things to do).
Look, there is an oil glut now, and we have barely started this recession (unfortunately). Look for crude demand to fall 10-15 percent, as it did after 1979. This time around around, demand may be slow in recovering, due to better technologies available, including PHEVs. It could be 10 years, maybe even 15 years before demand recovers to 2008 levels, and then only if oil is cheap. If oil stays above $50-60, demand will never recover. We will simply transition into a post-fossil economy.
Japan uses less oil today than in 1972, and they have yet to embrace PHEVs. Europe is going down same path. Fossil oil is a fossil industry.
The price mechanism will sort it out as we go.
In one sense, you should pray for $10 oil. That is the only thing that will reignite demand, leading to another "oil crisis."
Check out global crude demand following the 1979-80 price spike, on BP's website. You will be preaching doom for a long, long, long time.

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 2:14:00 PM PST, Blogger JD said...

I don't have a source handy but ~ 60% of our annual petroleum spend is in the agricultural sector for food production, processing, storage and transport.

Carl, you're so full of shit, it's ridiculous. You're going to have to back this up if you want to continue posting here. I want the citation and the proof. I'm not interested in anything else you have to say. Post the proof, or an apology. I have zero tolerance for liars who fabricate bogus "facts" and statistics.

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 2:46:00 PM PST, Anonymous p35flash said...

JD, there are many people here who feed the trolls.

You have a great blog. I'm glad I found it before I became a doomer.

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 4:30:00 PM PST, Blogger Carl Carlson said...

HA HA HA HA HA HA!

JD said:

JD has left a new comment on the post "382. MASSIVE RAILWAY BUILD IN CHINA":


I don't have a source handy but ~ 60% of our annual petroleum spend is in the agricultural sector for food production, processing, storage and transport.


Carl, you're so full of shit, it's ridiculous. You're going to have to back this up if you want to continue posting here. I want the citation and the proof. I'm not interested in anything else you have to say. Post the proof, or an apology. I have zero tolerance for liars who fabricate bogus "facts" and statistics.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Go on, censor me JD!

You're so smart. Figure out how much of our petro spend goes to food and figure out how we are going to replace it.

Nice thin skin you got there too.

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 4:58:00 PM PST, Blogger JD said...

Figure out how much of our petro spend goes to food

Pretty pathetic dodge, Carl. You made the claim, to wit:

I don't have a source handy but ~ 60% of our annual petroleum spend is in the agricultural sector for food production, processing, storage and transport.

Now support the claim, Carl. Or, alternatively, apologize for being a lying sack of crap who makes stuff up, and can't be trusted.

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 5:14:00 PM PST, Blogger Carl Carlson said...

Ari & JD,

Looking at the chart at http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/diagram2.html

Take 60% of Industrial and Transport and attribute that to agriculture and model the alt.fuel equivalents and resource reserves. And a substitute for phosphates since we it seems we can not grow them with electricity.

I am working on finding a citation for the 60% agriculture petro spend ratio. Will post it when I find it.

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 5:26:00 PM PST, Blogger Carl Carlson said...

JD & Ari,

Cruise and debunk http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agriculture#Agriculture_and_petroleum

Not what I'm loking for (that 60% thing) but it will be fun to see what you have to say.

Agriculture and petroleum
Further information: Effect of biofuels on food prices
Since the 1940s, agriculture has dramatically increased its productivity, due largely to the use of petrochemical derived pesticides, fertilizers, and increased mechanization (the so-called Green Revolution). Between 1950 and 1984, as the Green Revolution transformed agriculture around the globe, world grain production increased by 250%.[45][46] This has allowed world population to grow more than double over the last 50 years. Every energy unit delivered in food grown using modern techniques requires over ten energy units to produce and deliver.[47] although further analysis largely discounts these figures as based on oversimplified assumptions.[48] The vast majority of this energy input comes from fossil fuel sources. Because of modern agriculture's current heavy reliance on petrochemicals and mechanization, there are warnings that the ever decreasing supply of oil (the dramatic nature of which is known as peak oil[49][50][51][52][53]) will inflict major damage on the modern industrial agriculture system, and could cause large food shortages.[54]

Oil shortages are one of several factors making organic agriculture and other sustainable farming methods necessary. The reconditioning of soil to restore nutrients lost during the use of monoculture agriculture techniques made possible by petroleum-based technology will take time. Some farmers using modern organic-farming methods have reported yields as high as those available from conventional farming (but without the use of fossil-fuel-intensive artificial fertilizers or pesticides).[55][56][57][58]

Farmers have also begun raising crops such as corn (maize) for non-food use in an effort to help mitigate peak oil. This has contributed to a 60% rise in wheat prices recently, and has been indicated as a possible precursor to "serious social unrest in developing countries."[44] Such situations would be exacerbated in the event of future rises in food and fuel costs, factors which have already impacted the ability of charitable donors to send food aid to starving populations.[43]

One example of the chain reactions which could possibly be caused by peak oil issues involves the problems caused by farmers raising crops such as corn (maize) for non-food use in an effort to help mitigate peak oil. This has already lowered food production.[59] This food vs fuel issue will be exacerbated as demand for ethanol fuel rises. Rising food and fuel costs has already limited the abilities of some charitable donors to send food aid to starving populations.[43] In the UN, some warn that the recent 60% rise in wheat prices could cause "serious social unrest in developing countries."[59][60] In 2007, higher incentives for farmers to grow non-food biofuel crops[61] combined with other factors (such as over-development of former farm lands, rising transportation costs, climate change, growing consumer demand in China and India, and population growth)[62] to cause food shortages in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Mexico, as well as rising food prices around the globe.[63][64] As of December 2007, 37 countries faced food crises, and 20 had imposed some sort of food-price controls. Some of these shortages resulted in food riots and even deadly stampedes.[65][66][67]

Another major petroleum issue in agriculture is the effect of petroleum supplies will have on fertilizer production. By far the biggest fossil fuel input to agriculture is the use of natural gas as a hydrogen source for the Haber-Bosch fertilizer-creation process.[68] Natural gas is used because it is the cheapest currently available source of hydrogen.[69][70] When oil production becomes so scarce that natural gas is used as a partial stopgap replacement, and hydrogen use in transportation increases, natural gas will become much more expensive. If other sources of hydrogen are not available to replace the Haber process, in amounts sufficient to supply transportation and agricultural needs, this major source of fertilizer would either become extremely expensive or unavailable. This would either cause food shortages or dramatic rises in food prices.


[edit] Mitigation of effects of petroleum shortages
One effect oil shortages could have on agriculture is a full return to organic agriculture. In light of peak oil concerns, organic methods are much more sustainable than contemporary practices because they use no petroleum-based pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers. Some farmers using modern organic-farming methods have reported yields as high as those available from conventional farming.[71][72][73][74] Organic farming may however be more labor-intensive and would require a shift of work force from urban to rural areas.[75]

It has been suggested that rural communities might obtain fuel from the biochar and synfuel process, which uses agricultural waste to provide charcoal fertilizer, some fuel and food, instead of the normal food vs fuel debate. As the synfuel would be used on site, the process would be more efficient and may just provide enough fuel for a new organic-agriculture fusion.[76][77]

It has been suggested that some transgenic plants may some day be developed which would allow for maintaining or increasing yields while requiring fewer fossil fuel derived inputs than conventional crops.[78] The possibility of success of these programs is questioned by ecologists and economists concerned with unsustainable GMO practices such as terminator seeds,[79][80] and a January 2008 report shows that GMO practices "fail to deliver environmental, social and economic benefits."[81] While there has been some research on sustainability using GMO crops, at least one hyped and prominent multi-year attempt by Monsanto has been unsuccessful, though during the same period traditional breeding techniques yielded a more sustainable variety of the same crop.[82] Additionally, a survey by the bio-tech industry of subsistence farmers in Africa to discover what GMO research would most benefit sustainable agriculture only identified non-transgenic issues as areas needing to be addressed.[83] Nonetheless, some governments in Africa continue to view investments in new transgenic technologies as an essential component of efforts to improve sustainability.[84]

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 5:50:00 PM PST, Blogger JD said...

Carl, let's keep our eye on the ball here. I'm not going to be running any errands or doing any large homework projects for you, until you complete the simple task you need to finish, i.e. providing backup to prove your claim that:

"~ 60% of our annual petroleum spend is in the agricultural sector for food production, processing, storage and transport."

Or, like I said, we can just cut to the chase, and you can frankly apologize for being the sort of person who tries to win debates by fabricating bogus figures.

I've certainly got a lot of character flaws, Carl, but making up bogus figures is not one of them. As everyone here knows, I am accurate and thorough to a fault, and I provide extensive citations to back up every figure I produce.

Keep hunting for that proof, buddy. I'm waiting here, impatiently, tapping my foot.

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 6:39:00 PM PST, Blogger Carl Carlson said...

"I'm not going to be running any errands or doing any large homework projects for you,"

Oh, poor baby. Can't scientifically defend his own mathematical projections.

Waaah!

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 6:49:00 PM PST, Blogger JD said...

Note from JD: Here Carl spam bombed us with Dale Alan Pfeiffer's "Eating Fossil Fuels" in its entirety, with the message "have fun" attached at the top. As if I'd never read the thing, LOL.

Sorry Carl, you're just making an ass of yourself. You still haven't produced any support whatsoever for your claim that:

"~ 60% of our annual petroleum spend is in the agricultural sector for food production, processing, storage and transport."

Please don't bother posting unless you're prepared to back that statement up. Juvenile blather and other stupid dodges will be deleted.

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 7:52:00 PM PST, Blogger Ari said...

Carl,

I already demonstrated that at least 50% of oil use goes into motor gasoline. That doesn't leave a lot of room for you to argue that 60% goes into agriculture.

Unless, of course, you think the EIA is bonkers.

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 8:16:00 PM PST, Anonymous DoctorJJ said...

Just ban this 'tard, Carl. Wasn't that Billy Bob Thornton's character in Slingblade? Mmm, like some mustard on ma' biscuits, mmm hmmm.

Back to the topic at hand, I know Carl quoted some figures (probably made up too) about if you replaced all the energy provided by oil consumption you would need X amount of coal plants, nuclear plants, dams, etc. But one thing I am SURE this did not account for is the approximately 20% tank to wheel efficiency of a car. Since electric motors are around 90% efficient, you won't need to burn up nearly as much energy to move all those cars and truck around. Different forms of energy for a particular us are not equal based on their BTU's or whatever other standard measure you want to use. A lot more goes into the calculation.

DoctorJJ

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 8:28:00 PM PST, Blogger OptimisticDoomer said...

Used to be concerned about population growth. Now no worries because Peak Oil will take care of the population problem.

That says all I need to know about Carl. Why are you guys wasting your time on him?

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 9:01:00 PM PST, Blogger JD said...

If you're interested, the following is a good source on the actual statistics:
Energy Use in the U.S. Food System

The bottom line is that the food system accounts for about 15-17% of all *energy* use in the US. That includes agricultural production, processing, wholesale/retail, marketing/distribution, transportation, restaurants and home prep. Only a small fraction of that involves the use of oil -- mainly diesel for farm equipment and trucking. The rest is powered by NG or electricity, neither of which is facing a near-term supply crisis.

Diesel is likely to remain the first choice for tractor drive well into the future, although it can be replaced by biofuels if necessary. Long-range transport of food will eventually be switched to electric train, and short-range to electric truck.

The oil dependence of the food supply is grossly overestimated. The U.S. feeds 300 million people using 24 barrels per capita per year. China feeds 1.3 billion people using 2 barrels per capita per year.

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 9:08:00 PM PST, Blogger JD said...

To sharpen that up even further, China fed itself just fine in 1998 at 0.8 barrels per capita per year. So the U.S. is burning at least 30 times more oil than necessary to feed the population.

 
At Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 10:31:00 PM PST, Anonymous Robert Hurst said...

mbf wrote: "I can't help myself. Here is Mills, on page 93 of his book, making one of a numerous observations on so-called "easy oil":

'The development of North Sea oil during the 1970s was the greatest technical challenge the industry had faced....'"

That's a straw man. I don't recall anybody ever including the North Sea, or any offshore oil, in the easy oil category. The easy oil was from certain places in the Middle East and Texas.

Pumping oil seven or eight miles to the surface of the ocean and 150 miles to shore = not easy.

Sticking a spigot in the ground and black gold gushes out and rains down all over James Dean = easy.

Robert

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 3:15:00 AM PST, Blogger Barba Rija said...

Robert, if the 70's oil crisis were averted with non-easy oil, then we could say that the "easy oil" ended 30 years ago, and life still goes on without a die-off.

NEXT!

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 5:57:00 AM PST, Blogger Carl Carlson said...

"Please don't bother posting unless you're prepared to back that statement up. Juvenile blather and other stupid dodges will be deleted."

Ah - censorship. How refreshing. Brings back memories of fascism.

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 6:06:00 AM PST, Blogger Carl Carlson said...

Here's 10%

http://www.sustainabletable.com/issues/energy/

Her's 20%

http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/food/factoryfarms/dairy-and-meat-factories/climate-change/greenhouse-gas-industrial-agriculture

Explain to me how to replace either with any mix of all the alt.fuel options.

Dang - there's that oil ogre. Gonna go get him. Where's that squirrel anyway?

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 6:39:00 AM PST, Blogger Ari said...

Ah - censorship. How refreshing. Brings back memories of fascism.

As they say in games: CRY MOAR NOOB.

Unlike the government, a private blog has no responsibility to uphold any freedom of speech. If the blog owner deems a person's behavior counter to its goals, then it is well within its right to shut you down. As Eugene Volokh once said, "Nongovernmental entities may and often should do things that the government may not; and their ethical rights and obligations are often more complex and context-sensitive than what we'd expect from the law."

Here's 10%

http://www.sustainabletable.com/issues/energy/


Note: "Conventional food production and distribution requires a tremendous amount of energy—one study conducted in 2000 estimated that ten percent of the energy used annually in the United States was consumed by the food industry."

That doesn't mean that ten percent of the OIL used is consumed by the food industry, but just that ten percent of all energy used is consumed by the food industry.

Also note:

"The biggest culprit of fossil fuel usage in industrial farming is not transporting food or fueling machinery; it’s chemicals. As much as forty percent of energy used in the food system goes towards the production of artificial fertilizers and pesticides. xii Fertilizers are synthesized from atmospheric nitrogen and natural gas, a process that takes a significant amount of energy. Producing and distributing them requires an average of 5.5 gallons of fossil fuels per acre."

Note, again, that it's not OIL being used, but NG. Big difference.

Her's 20%

http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/food/factoryfarms/dairy-and-meat-factories/climate-change/greenhouse-gas-industrial-agriculture



Again: "Twenty percent of the fossil fuel used in the United States goes toward food production."

That is not oil per se.

Again, your "60%" claim is highly dubious.

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 6:44:00 AM PST, Blogger Ari said...

OptimisticDoomer,

You asked: Why are you guys wasting your time on him?

Simple. Because I don't want anyone to come here, read what he writes, and get pulled in by the untruths.

I don't comment on this blog to turn people like Carl. I comment on this blog to help make sure that nobody else becomes Carl.

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 7:25:00 AM PST, Anonymous Oil Nitpicker said...

I don't think that we're forced into a binary choice between "easy" and "hard" oil, Barba. The fact that, at some point, we had to resort to exploring and developing sources of oil under the ocean floor certainly shows that exploiting oil resources got harder, compared to what it was back when nobody would consider even looking there because sources on land were so plentiful.

At best, the excerpt shows that rhetorical devices like "the easy oil" are inaccurate and don't tell the whole story, but so is saying, "oil development was always hard." That's because there are degrees of "difficulty," and the measure of that difficulty is relative. It would be better to simply say, "oil resource exploration and development is getting progressively harder." Of course, the next step after that will be to show that it has gotten harder since the 70s, and to show what the threat of this increasing difficulty could be (e.g., through EROI analysis, etc.).

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 7:55:00 AM PST, Anonymous imsmall said...

OWNERSHIP

To own a lot of useless junk
And kill the climate for it,
Betokens myths time to debunk,
It too late to ignore it.

What is the use of drilling all
The world´s petroleum for
Obtaining plastic goods to sprawl
On your linoleum floor?

To set the turbines at full gear
That heat the planet up,
All for some nonsense--nor a tear
Yet falling in the cup

Of sympathy for those displaced
Because the waters rise,
Or those who starve so you may taste
Red beef that bloats your size.

Let us observe there is a good
In economic shrinkage,
Because such commerce never should
Usurp the greater linkage.

A world of life upon the planet
Did not deserve this plunder,
And, while it might be God began it,
It is not man´s to sunder.

A life is not made meaningful
By things that you possess,
And, even without hardship´s pull,
One can get by on less.

Consumption in excess, and travel
Beyond the means of foot,
Invite the climate to unravel,
Man´s sustenance to cut.

There is no need to bloat and glut
Upon one´s entertainment:
Spectacle does the mind´s eye shut,
Bring conscience to arraignment.

Enough, there is no need for more--
Use at a minimum
And save the world, worth at the core
More than all pleasure´s sum.

.

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 8:25:00 AM PST, Anonymous mdf said...

Oil Nitpicker, you are advised to get a clue (ie, read the book). I only quoted one of many observations Mills makes re: oil is always hard. Here is another:

The industry has always operated at the margins of technology. In this, it is like other industries. Are we at the end of 'the age of easy microchips'? Was it easy to invent the integrated circuit in 1959? Microchips, being cutting edge, will always be difficult.

And so forth.

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 8:33:00 AM PST, Blogger Carl Carlson said...

Ari,

My supposition is that there is not enough alt.fuels to replace the any x% of fossil fuels used to produce current food production levels.

10% of energy 20% of fossil fuels or 60% of petroleum products. Pick the lowest one and try to get there with any mix of all avaiable alt.fuels.

Bear in mind that about the only thing one can do without consuming fossil fuels is breath, so good luck trying to find a way to support our argicultural system without oil.

Getting hungry yet?

I am - gonna go bbq that dang squirrel.

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 9:02:00 AM PST, Blogger Ari said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 9:11:00 AM PST, Blogger Ari said...

Ari,

My supposition is that there is not enough alt.fuels to replace the any x% of fossil fuels used to produce current food production levels.

China produces enough food to feed more than 3 times the current American population on a fraction of American oil consumption. Really now?

10% of energy 20% of fossil fuels or 60% of petroleum products. Pick the lowest one and try to get there with any mix of all avaiable alt.fuels.

60% of petroleum products? THAT IS STILL FALSE. It is impossible for that to be true since nearly 50% goes into automobile tanks alone! 100% - 50% = 50%. That leaves 50% of the remaining petroleum use. Around 25% is used industrially. 50% + 25% = 75%

So 75% either goes into a car's gas tank or goes into industry. How do you still get your 60% figure?

Bear in mind that about the only thing one can do without consuming fossil fuels is breath, so good luck trying to find a way to support our argicultural system without oil.

Oh bullshit. France alone is proof that you're wrong. Give me a break.

Getting hungry yet?

I am - gonna go bbq that dang squirrel.


Hurr hurr.

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 9:16:00 AM PST, Blogger Carl Carlson said...

Ari Says: "Carl,

There is enough uranium and thorium in the world for centuries, if not millenia. "

Dude - like find a citation. You wong, again.

I like how you Debunkniks state your opinions as facts while deriding Peakniks for stating their opinions as facts.

Just as screwed in the head as creating a Debunking Peak Oil blog with a leading disclaimer that Peak Oil is real. Which one is it?

Dang - there's that squirrel again. Twitch twitch.

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 9:26:00 AM PST, Anonymous Oil Nitpicker said...

I only quoted one of many observations Mills makes re: oil is always hard.

So it's fortunate that that is the only one I responded to I guess!

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 9:32:00 AM PST, Blogger Ari said...

Carl,

Easy: "This is in fact suggested in the IAEA-NEA figures if those covering estimates of all conventional resources are considered - 10.5 million tonnes (beyond the 5.5 Mt known economic resources), which takes us to over 200 years' supply at today's rate of consumption."

Of course you'll say, "BUT THE USAGE WILL INCREASE SO UR WRONG HUR HURR!"

Remember, however, that:

-- Most American reactors use a once-through cycle. It's incredibly wasteful, and it's easy to recover a lot of what we call "spent fuel" and make it into new fuel down the road. Look at what France and Japan do with fuel recycling. Note that a lot of American reactors are based on very early Westinghouse designs. Even the "simple" CANDU design is more efficient in fuel use than what most American nukes offer.

-- The current reserves are based on nearly two decades of little to no exploration. Almost 50% of current nuclear fuel is being derived from the "Megaton to Megawatts" scrapping of nuclear weapons. Simply put, we don't know how much fuel is actually out there even based on current extraction technologies! What we can say, however, is that current reserves (remember that reserves will grow as exploration increases) are enough to last for at least a few decades. That's assuming NO exploration, NO changes on the current usage behavior, and NO recycling of spent fuel.

-- Thorium is far more abundant than uranium-- somewhere around three times more abundant, in fact-- and can be made into a fissile fuel with known technologies. Note, also, that reserves are not very well defined because we simply have not done any exploration for it. Uranium is too abundant!


Hope this helps.

Sources:

- OECD NEA & IAEA, 2006, Uranium 2005: Resources, Production and Demand

- http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/thorium/index.html#mcs

- http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/ieo/uranium.html

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 9:39:00 AM PST, Anonymous mdf said...

Oil Nitpicker: So it's fortunate that that is the only one I responded to I guess!

Well, had you read my quote, it would have been clear there was more where that came from. That you choose to make yourself look a little foolish is your own problem.

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 9:39:00 AM PST, Blogger Barba Rija said...

Carl, you are a troll. You give ridiculous numbers that come right out of your ass, refuse to back up any claim whatsoever, continue to ask us if we are "afraid yet?", without even noticing you're just painting yourself as a complete jerk. If your role here is to try to fear up anyone, sorry pal, epic fail.

You have no authority to ask for numbers, because you have given none. Ari has been right throughout this year out, as far as I've noticed, and he has always given his numbers and quoted excellent sources. If you are really interested, just check the discussions of the last, say, 10 blog posts here at POD.

Investigate further. Read more than just the LATOC forums. Eventually, if you are really not the moron 10 year troll you apparently thrive to be, you'll ask more politely more interesting questions. Eventually, you'll get off that lunatic doomer loop. And then you'll find out that there is a whole life outside your fucking doomer lot virtual chat rooms.

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 9:45:00 AM PST, Blogger Carl Carlson said...

JD said...

To sharpen that up even further, China fed itself just fine in 1998 at 0.8 barrels per capita per year. So the U.S. is burning at least 30 times more oil than necessary to feed the population.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Wow - you walked right in to this one. Most Chinese live in rural villages with intermittent power or no power at all. Their dwellings are mud and thatch type huts and car ownership is almost unheard of outside the cities.

Kind of like an Asian 'World Made by Hand", huh?

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 9:48:00 AM PST, Blogger Carl Carlson said...

Blogger OptimisticDoomer said...

Used to be concerned about population growth. Now no worries because Peak Oil will take care of the population problem.

That says all I need to know about Carl. Why are you guys wasting your time on him?

<><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Yeah you are right.

Since we live on a planet with infinite resources we can continue to grow our economies and populations forever.

The world will start expanding to keep up with us and the moon will extend a giant filling hose all the way to Saudi Arabia and pump it full of oil again.

So "It's All Good!"

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 10:10:00 AM PST, Blogger Ari said...

Carl,

Your game is getting a bit boring.

Stick to the target! You claimed we use 60% of our oil for agriculture, but when that proved a fruitless datum, you changed it to 10 to 20%, but now it was fossil fuels in general! Woe be us!

Then you said we CANNOT POSSIBLY replace even a small fraction of fossil fuel-based energy with anything else! No way, no how!

Now it's unlimited population growth? But I thought peak oil was going to take care of us? Sucks to be your children, to be sure!

So what is it?

In any case, I wouldn't worry about "unlimited population growth." We were being told that there would be 10 billion in 2010 not too long ago. That seems unlikely. Now we're being told 10 billion in 2100.

Whoops, just 90 years off the mark.


--Sources--

-http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/08/0806_population.html

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 10:14:00 AM PST, Anonymous mdf said...

Carlson blathers on: Most Chinese live in rural villages with intermittent power or no power at all. Their dwellings are mud and thatch type huts and car ownership is almost unheard of outside the cities.

Your thesis is that we are "eating oil". A counter-example is offered, and you now raise a red-herring.

But hey, fine, we give the rural chinese large, comfortable, houses, PlayStations connected to 52" LCD televisions, and seven cars each.

This would certainly increase the consumption of energy, but, well, gee, I don't see how it could increase the consumption of energy for agricultural purpose.

Unless, of course, this entire "60%" stuff of yours is just an accounting scam. You may wish to reflect on that as you search for even one citation that supports it.

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 10:36:00 AM PST, Blogger Carl Carlson said...

Ari,

Your game is getting a bit boring.

I can't find the 60% citation Too bad. So the bar is lowered so stick to the target, all you have to do is find replacements 10% and 20% of oil or fossil fuels respectively.

I did not say "we CANNOT POSSIBLY replace even a small fraction of fossil fuel-based energy with anything else! No way, no how!" Or anything even close. I challenged you find replacements for the 10% and 20% figures. Rather than do that you choose to disparage me.

So duder - I throw down the gauntlet. Choose the 10% or 20% number and figure out how how to alt.fuel them.

And duder - 6.75 billion is already way too many meople. Starvation in Africa, western and southern US water shortages. New Jersey built out by 2010...

Are you ok with that? Do you think we should keep expanding the population and economy given the resource shortages and climate change crises we are facing?

Or are these non-issues like Peak Oil too?

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 10:45:00 AM PST, Anonymous mdf said...

Given it may be better to ignore the current enemy of humanity infesting this humble abode -- pearls before swine and all that -- I can suggest a brief diversion:

http://nucleargreen.blogspot.com/

Updated almost daily, and almost always with extreme excellence.

Today's (2008-12-03) essay is coincidentally on the long term sustainability of civilization. Contrary to the odious anti-human rhetorical effluent from the likes of Carl Carlson and his ilk, this planet does in fact possess a practically infinite supply of energy, which strongly suggests that predictions of the death of civilization are 'wildly exaggerated'.

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 10:48:00 AM PST, Anonymous benny "MOAG" cole said...

Let Carl preach doom. In a couple of years, he will resemble those guys on cardboard podiums in the public park, preaching about pending doom.
Oil trading in mid-$40s now, headed for $20, maybe even single digits. And (unfortunately) I don't see demand recovering for years. It could be 10 years, maybe longer.
I would say a $100 drop in oil prices is not a signal of pending shortages.

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 10:50:00 AM PST, Blogger Carl Carlson said...

Blogger Ari said...

Carl,

Easy: "This is in fact suggested in the IAEA-NEA figures if those covering estimates of all conventional resources are considered - 10.5 million tonnes (beyond the 5.5 Mt known economic resources), which takes us to over 200 years' supply at today's rate of consumption."

Dude - you said like FOREVER. 200 years = forever?

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 10:58:00 AM PST, Blogger Ari said...

Carl,

I can't find the 60% citation Too bad. So the bar is lowered so stick to the target, all you have to do is find replacements 10% and 20% of oil or fossil fuels respectively.

Too bad? Here's the problem: a good portion of your earlier thesis rested on this so-called "fact." Now, if you told me we had to replace 60% of oil in, say, 5 years, then I'd be worried. Plenty worried. But we're talking about replacing 10-20% of fossil fuel use over the course of decades! Possibly over a century!

How is this so frightening?

So duder - I throw down the gauntlet. Choose the 10% or 20% number and figure out how how to alt.fuel them.

Well, I'll take that as a mea culpa of sorts I suppose.

In any case, I've already shown that we have tons (literally) of uranium and thorium, both of which can supply humanity with tons of energy.

And duder - 6.75 billion is already way too many meople. Starvation in Africa, western and southern US water shortages. New Jersey built out by 2010...

Let's be fair here: water shortages in the American Southwest are not largely due to physical scarcity, but due to practices. Lawns in Vegas?

Starvation in Africa is also largely due to the fact that the Green Revolution, which I'm sure you would malign, never made it there.

Are you ok with that? Do you think we should keep expanding the population and economy given the resource shortages and climate change crises we are facing?

I've never said that I'm excited about an expanding population. As for the economy, the fact of the matter is that advanced economies tend to use less in "physical" weight than developing economies, so I don't see why an intelligent, resource thrifty economy can't continue to grow for the forseeable future.

And really... what resource crisis? The same one that Ehrlich predicted in the 1970s? Where are the physical shortages of oil? Of metals? Of anything, really?

We grow more food on less land using less fertilizer than we did in the past. We make more cars using less energy and less metal than we did in the past.

We recycle more than ever.

Where is the resource crisis? Where have we seen shortages?

As for the "climate crisis," tell me what it actually is. What's the "crisis?" How are we being affected, and where? Give me specifics.

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 11:00:00 AM PST, Blogger Ari said...

Carl,

Where did I say "forever?" I said centuries, if not millenia.

Also, notice that the 200 year figure is based on KNOWN CONVENTIONAL RESOURCES.

In mining terms, that's kind of like saying, "What we can mine economically using today's tools." You don't think that we'll have better tools for using uranium (not to mention thorium) in a century?

Really?

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 11:06:00 AM PST, Blogger Ari said...

mdf,

Great post! This is a really incredible paragraph if you sit and think about it:

1200 tons of Thorium a year would be sufficient to provide the United States with all the energy it needs to power its economy. The world's fly and bottom ash mountain has already been mined, so extracting it from the earth would not require any energy. Thorium and uranium can be recovered from ash piles at highly favorable Energy Returned on Energy Invested, using acid extraction techniques. The world's economy can be operated at energy levels found now in Western Europe with the energy from 12000 tons of thorium. Thus twice the energy the world needs to assure every man woman an child on this planet a satisfactory level of material comfort is being thrown away every year in the form of thorium left in cola ash waste.

In other words, we are THROWING OUT more fuel than we actually need to power our current levels of energy use! Incredible.

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 6:21:00 PM PST, Blogger Yogi said...

Here’s a reference on plans for commercial extraction of uranium from coal ash:

http://atomicinsights.blogspot.com/2007/10/uranium-produced-from-coal-ash.html

“In two recent press releases, one dated August 3, 2007 and one dated October 15, 2007 Sparton has demonstrated the global reach of its interest in mining coal ash piles for uranium. The August 3 press release discussed a project in Hungary while the October 15 press release announced a successful test of samples from an ash pile located in the central Yunnan Province of China.

In each case, the uranium concentration in the ash pile is about 150-180 parts per million, about 1/4th of the concentration often thought of as commercially viable for ISL mining. However, coal ash piles have some physical characteristics that might help overcome that disadvantage since they may be easier to drill and it might be easier to protect the local groundwater from contamination. There might also be some monetary value in reducing coal ash radioactivity if the government in the country hosting the ash piles has regulations in place that restrict the ash use or require its clean-up.”




And other unconventional uranium resources are likely to be much larger than the conventional resource estimates:

http://nuclearinfo.net/Nuclearpower/UraniuamDistribution

Uranium Distributions in the Earths Crust

The following table is from Deffeyes & MacGregor, "World Uranium resources" Scientific American, Vol 242, No 1, January 1980, pp. 66-76.

type of deposit estimated tonnes estimated ppm
Vein deposits 2 x 105 10,000+
Pegmatites, unconformity deposits 2 x 106 2,000-10,000
fossil placers, sand stones 8 x 107 1,000-2,000
lower grade fossil placers,sandstones 1 x 108 200-1,000
volcanic deposits 2 x 109 100-200
black shales 2 x 1010 20-100
shales, phosphates 8 x 1011 10-20
granites 2 x 1012 3-10
average crust 3 x 1013 1-3
evaporites, siliceous ooze, chert 6 x 1012 .2-1
oceanic igneous crust 8 x 1011 .1-.2
ocean water 2 x 1010 .0002-.001
fresh water 2 x 106 .0001-.001


The total abundance of Uranium in the Earth's crust is estimated to be approximately 40 trillion tonnes. The Rossing mine in Nambia mines Uranium at an Ore concentration of 300 ppm at an energy cost 500 times less than the energy it delivers with current thermal-spectrum reactors. If the energy cost increases in inverse proportion to the Ore concentration, shales and phosphates, with a Uranium abundance of 10 - 20 ppm, could be mined with an energy gain of 16 - 32. The total amount of Uranium in these rocks is estimated to be 8000 times greater than the deposits currently being exploited.

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 11:03:00 PM PST, Blogger JD Walters said...

For doomers convinced that high oil prices caused the financial meltdown and subsequent (unfolding) recession, this is MUST reading:

http://www.portfolio.com/news-markets/national-news/portfolio/2008/11/11/The-End-of-Wall-Streets-Boom#page1

It completely and convincingly explains the current financial crisis. It has nothing to do with oil, but a lot to do with greed and stupidity on Wall Street.

 
At Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 6:59:00 AM PST, Anonymous Oil Nitpicker said...

Well, had you read my quote, it would have been clear there was more where that came from. That you choose to make yourself look a little foolish is your own problem.

Man, you've got a pretty big chip on your shoulder about this, chill out a bit. Can you understand why someone would want to deal with the logic behind a specific point raised rather than an unspecified number of other points not raised? It's not possible to respond to an argument which has not been articulated beyond, "There's more where that comes from!"

Knowing that other arguments theoretically exist gives me no specific reason not to analyze what is actually before me on its own merits, nor can I fairly be faulted for not responding to an argument I am completely unaware of. Hope this helps!

 
At Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 7:08:00 AM PST, Anonymous Oil Nitpicker said...

New Jersey built out by 2010...

Can you clarify what you mean by "built out"? Because I live in northern New Jersey and behind the strip-suburbs following major routes like US 46, there is way too much sparsely-populated rural and forested land to be "built out" in the next two years, if I understand that to mean "covered in urban or suburban zoning."

I'm not even sure what the significance is supposed to be; a small state in the richest country on Earth nestled between two major cities (NYC and Philly) could be completely developed at some point? So what? I'm surprised it isn't "built out" already, to be honest.

 
At Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 7:20:00 AM PST, Blogger Ari said...

Oil Nitpicker,

I live just outside of NYC. I've spent enough time in "Joisy" to know that it will never ever be "built out."

That's because you Jerseyvolk will always aspire to be New Yorkers. You'll never admit it, but it's true.

Seriously, though, I just drove across the US this past summer. You have to drive from CA to NY to really understand just how little of the US is "developed." Driving through PA is like driving through the forest that never goddamn ends.

 
At Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 7:54:00 AM PST, Anonymous Oil Nitpicker said...

That's because you Jerseyvolk will always aspire to be New Yorkers. You'll never admit it, but it's true.

Hahaha, let me blow your mind: I plan to move to Brooklyn or Queens in a year, and I have no illusions about my goal to become a full-on urbanite New Yorker.

(I didn't actually grow up in NJ, so maybe that's the difference...)

You have to drive from CA to NY to really understand just how little of the US is "developed."

I did just this after college and it really opened my eyes.

Driving through the Colorado Rockies on an old US highway and into Utah to SLC... You'd miss the fact that it's like going back in time if you took an Interstate, I think. There are little towns that have nothing but a gas station and a few houses to their name, and then there's the abandoned towns a few miles down from them. There is so much nothing.

 
At Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 8:00:00 AM PST, Blogger Ari said...

Oil Nitpicker,

New York City welcomes you with cruel, rude, and somewhat malformed arms.

But arms, nonetheless.

What really got to me, besides the "flyover states," was the fact that there was a whole lot of nothing along the interstate highway system. I can't even imagine how much less "developed" my drive would have been had I taken the old "Route 66"-style highways instead.

 
At Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 1:27:00 PM PST, Blogger JD Walters said...

What do people think of this?

http://www.earthfiles.com/news.php?ID=1485&category=Environment

Sounds pretty plausible (and frightening) to me.

 
At Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 5:58:00 PM PST, Blogger Ari said...

Carl,

Do you have any proof of your "FOOD PRODUCTION IS GOING TO DROP" claim?

Any?

It's getting tiresome having you make outrageous claims with no evidence for them, only for you to ignore the evidence that we put in front of you. Are we still running out of uranium, Carl?

By the way, it's awfully generous of you to doom your child to starvation. How positively caring of you. Or am I to believe that starvation is only something for the darkies and non-whites to contend with, seeing as they have the audacity to reproduce at higher than a 2.1 rate?

Also, your understanding of what caused the meltdown is lacking. Go read Nick Taleb if you want to sound halfway educated on the subject. Seriously, it's tiring listening to people who have no clue (or less of a clue than the rest of us) about finance and how Wall Street worked telling us what happened.

 
At Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 7:16:00 PM PST, Anonymous Soylent said...

"Ah - censorship. How refreshing. Brings back memories of fascism."

Might as well, it's patently obvious that you're either trolling or that you "opened your mind" so much your brain fell out. In either case you're all noise and no signal.

 
At Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 9:24:00 PM PST, Blogger JD said...

Wellllll.... get your hankies ready, folks. Carl has earned the coveted POD Death Penalty and won't be posting here anymore.

Hate to see you go, ol buddy, but the rules are the rules. Drooling retards like yourself aren't allowed to post on a premiere site like Peak Oil Debunked. Have fun back at your own little internet sandbox!

JD

 
At Friday, December 5, 2008 at 9:08:00 AM PST, Blogger OptimisticDoomer said...

Thanks JD. He was runing this blog with figures he pulled out of his empty mind. I have no problem with people posting oposing views, but back it up!!

 

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