free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 396. NUCLEAR POWER UPDATE

Friday, February 27, 2009

396. NUCLEAR POWER UPDATE

(Image from M. King Hubbert's 1956 paper "Nuclear Energy and the Fossil Fuels")

Kentucky House panel approves nuclear bill
The Tourism Development and Energy Committee of the Kentucky House has approved a bill that could lead to the lifting of a 25-year-old moratorium on the construction of nuclear power plants within the US state.
Georgia lawmakers OK early recovery of nuclear costs
The Georgia House voted Thursday to let Georgia Power Co. begin charging customers for a planned nuclear power plant five years before it is due to go into service.

The bill, which passed 107-66, already has cleared the Senate and now heads to Gov. Sonny Perdue for his signature.

It would allow the utility to recover $2 billion in financing costs for the $14.4 billion expansion of Plant Vogtle near Augusta. Georgia Power plans to charge ratepayers $1.30 per month for the plant in 2011, when construction is due to begin.

The charge would continue to increase by that amount each year until 2016, when the first of two new nuclear reactors is scheduled to begin operating.
Iran tests first nuclear power plant in Bushehr
Iran began testing out its first nuclear power plant on Wednesday in the southern port of Bushehr, the New York Times reports.

Iranian officials say that fuel rods made of lead were used in place of nuclear fuel in order to test the 1,000 megawatt, Russian-built nuclear plant, according to the ISNA student news agency.

Deputy head of Iran’s Nuclear Energy Organization Mohammad Saeedi told reporters that the fuel rods contained lead instead of the usual uranium.

Meanwhile, Sergei V. Kiriyenko, the head of the Russian nuclear agency which helped built the power plant, said that the plant was “nearing its final stages before launching,” during his visit to Iran and that the construction was finished.

Russia supplied Iran with the nuclear fuel to build the plant under arrangements of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is the same UN agency that monitored the nuclear plants in North Korea’s Yongbyong.

According to an IAEA report released last week, Iran is planning on loading fuel during the second quarter of 2009.
Most Asean members want nuclear power
Most of the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are amenable to tapping nuclear power to promote alternative sources of energy, an official said yesterday.

They expressed support for the idea even as they prepared to sign an agreement today that will allow governments to sell their oil to neighbors at “friendship” prices.

“Nuclear energy is being seriously looked at, but we are still very much at the preliminary discussion stage, at the technical working group level,” Asean Deputy Secretary General Pushpanathan Sundram said in an interview during the Asean Business and Investment Summit.

“There are some that are opposed to it, while others are pushing for it,” he said.

Those in favor of creating or reactivating nuclear plants are Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar and Indonesia.
After a 20-year ban, France helps Italy embrace nuclear energy
Twenty years after banning new nuclear plants, Italy is turning to France to restore its nuclear program.

On Tuesday, Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi signed a cooperation deal with President Nicolas Sarkozy for the construction of four power plants in Italy.

Italy shut down its four nuclear plants following a 1987 national referendum that rode a wave of fear and outrage over Russia’s Chernobyl reactor meltdown. Now it is joining a growing number of European countries – including Germany, Slovakia, and Bulgaria – that are returning to nuclear energy due to concerns both about carbon emissions and about the reliability of energy supplies from Russia.
Workforce education for a nuclear energy revival
A rapidly growing demand for more electricity – from cleaner energy sources – has nuclear power poised for a revival in the United States.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) expects companies in the energy industry to apply in the next two years for construction and operation licenses for more than 30 nuclear power plants.

To respond to the demand for more expertise in the field, the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University is launching a graduate-level program in nuclear power generation.
Wisconsin regulator says nuclear should be an option
Wisconsin Public Service Commission Chairman Eric Callisto told attendees at an energy conference Monday that he believes legislators will end the state's ban on new nuclear power plants. But Tia Nelson, co-chairwoman of the Governor's Global Warming Task Force, called nuclear energy a "distraction" from efforts toward conservation and energy efficiency.
Oklahoma nuclear power bill advances in committee
Oklahoma lawmakers signaled their interest to go nuclear, approving legislation that would streamline the state's regulatory process and provide new incentives to build a nuclear power plant.
Toshiba wins US nuclear plant projects
Japan's Toshiba Corp. said Wednesday it had won a contract to build two nuclear plants in the United States that are scheduled to start generating power in 2016.

It is the first such contract a Japanese company has won overseas, covering the projects entirely from engineering and procurement to construction of the nuclear plants, the company said.

Under the contract, Toshiba America Nuclear Energy Corp., a US-based Toshiba subsidiary, will build two Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) nuclear power plants in Texas.

The plants, the first ABWRs to be constructed in the United States, will have an output of approximately 1,400 megawatts each, the company said.
Two new nuclear power stations planned for Cumbrian coast
Two new nuclear power stations could be built on farmland in west Cumbria, as well as those already predicted for the Sellafield site.

A German energy firm has revealed plans to build reactors on coastal sites near Egremont and Millom. These are separate to plans for reactor development on land around Sellafield.
W.Va. lawmakers propose nuclear power ban repeal
Some West Virginia lawmakers hope to add nuclear power to the state's energy portfolio.

A bipartisan group of senators has introduced legislation to repeal a partial 1996 ban on the building of nuclear power plants.

"A ban is inconsistent with West Virginia's claim that it is an energy state," said Sen. Brooks McCabe, the bill's lead sponsor.
Algeria to erect nuclear Power plant
The Algerian government has announced its plans to erect the first ever nuclear power plant by 2020, Energy and Mining Minister Chakib Khelil has said.

Minister Khelil said Algeria will also build new plants every five year after the erection of the fisrst station.

The Minister said Algeria has already signed civil nuclear agreements with Argentina, France, China and the United States. “Algeria presently has two experimental nuclear plants in Draria, in the suburbs of Algiers and another one in Ain Oussera, near Djelfa about 300 kms from capital Algiers,” he said, stating that further negotiations were underway with Russia and South Africa.
Jordan, Russia sign nuclear deal
Russia, which is helping Iran build its first nuclear plant, inked a preliminary cooperation deal with Jordan on Thursday to pave the way for producing nuclear power in the energy-poor kingdom.

Under the agreement, Russia will help Jordan, which imports around 95 percent of its energy needs, build power and desalination plants as well as research centres, Jordan Atomic Energy Commission head Khaled Tukan said.

"A final agreement will be signed in Moscow by the end March," Tukan told state news agency Petra after signing the deal with Nikolai Spassky, deputy director of the Russian Federal Agency for Nuclear Energy.
Yucca Mountain is Dead! Long Live Fast Breeders?!
The Obama administration's new budget essentially kills the Yucca mountain radioactive waste repository project. The original goal was to build a facility in which to safely store high level radioactive wastes from America's 104 nuclear power reactors. Anti-nuke environmentalist ideologues have long opposed the Yucca mountain facility. Their goal is make nuclear power impractical by blocking the waste disposal stream. But perhaps they've outfoxed themselves. nukepower

The new budget promises that the Obama administration will “devise a new strategy toward nuclear waste disposal.” Well, there is already a strategy that will work, using fast breeder reactors to burn up waste and simultaneously produce more reactor fuel.
Now Even “Greens” Are Turning To Nuclear Power
Nuclear power has new converts, according to top UK environmentalists, as they made public their belief that this energy source is still required.

Many have long opposed nuclear power because of the risk of weapons proliferation, as well as the difficulty of waste disposal.

In spite of worries about nuclear power, global warming is seen as a more serious hazard.

Nuclear is seen as an improvement over new coal-fired power plants.

Britain will have a key energy gap over the coming years.

Coal burning power stations and ageing nuclear power facilities will shutdown and the government is obliged to reduce carbon emissions by 80 per cent, not later than 2050.

Therefore, many environmentalists are converting back to nuclear power.

In a momentous piece for the Independent newspaper, a member of the Green Party, a past head of Greenpeace, and Lord Smith, Chairman of the Environment Agency and a prominent columnist, made known their coversion to supporting nuclear energy.
India Targets 6,000-MW of Nuclear Power in 2009
The agreements with AREVA and TVEL come at a time when three reactors in the country are set to commence production. Units 5 and 6 at the Rajasthan Atomic Power Plant (2 X 220 MW), Unit 4 at the Kaiga Power Plant in Karnataka (220-MW) and one unit at the Koodankulam Power Plant in Tamil Nadu (1,000-MW) will go live this year. The steady supply of fuel is expected to boost atomic power production from the existing 17 facilities to about 6,000-MW by the end of 2009, with the reactors expected to operate at about 90 percent of their combined installed capacities.

NPCIL is also embarking on a joint venture with NTPC Limited (New Delhi) to establish new nuclear plants in India based on indigenous "fast breeder reactor" technology. Five other reactors with a production potential of 2,660-MW are already under construction. The Atomic Energy Commission recently said that India would have 20,000-MW of nuclear power by 2020.
German State Calls for Extension of Nuclear Power
Germany’s largest producer of wind- powered electricity, the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein, should extend the use of its three nuclear power plants, a government minister said.

A mix of energy, including nuclear power, is the most sensible way to guarantee energy security and cut carbon-dioxide emissions, said state economy minister Werner Marnette, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling Christian Democratic Party.

The minister’s comments renew the debate over atomic energy ahead of German federal elections later this year and follow Sweden’s Feb. 5 decision to scrap a ban on new atomic plants.

“It’s essential that we allow our three nuclear plants to keep running or we won’t have enough energy,” Marnette said today in an interview in Husum. “Of course, we have to work on the security issues as well as the problem of waste.”
Tender for Armenian nuclear power station
The Armenian Government has announced a tender for holding a competition which will identify which company should undertake the construction of a new nuclear power station in the country. In 38 days the tender commission will announce the winner of this tender, who will then hold the competition and thereby identify the most appropriate power station constructor.
China may help Vietnam build N-reactor
A Chinese firm has started talks to help Vietnam in building its first nuclear power project to reduce electrical shortages in the country.

China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGNPG), one of the two main nuclear power plant operators in the country, announced Monday it was in talks with Vietnam to help the country construct its first nuclear power plant.

According to a report on the website of the Shenzhen-based company, Vietnam plans to build two 1,000-mW reactors in Ninh Thuan Province on the lower central coast.

Vietnam plans to build nuclear power projects with a total capacity of 4,000 mW by 2021, a CGNPG executive who declined to be named said.
Manitoba town pushes for nuclear reactor
The town of Pinawa, Man., may be in line for a nuclear renaissance.

The town of 1,500, 110 miles northeast of Winnipeg, is in discussions with Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., to possibly build a nuclear power plant on the site of AECL's Whiteshell Laboratories.

Dale Coffin, a spokesman for AECL, said it's very much in the early discussion stage but said the idea of putting up a nuclear power plant in Pinawa is a good one.

``From our point of view, Pinawa is already a licensed site, there are already experienced people working there, abundant water near by and it's close to the United States and transmission lines,'' said Coffin. ``There are some very positive features there already.''
Third reactor at North Anna nuclear power plant debated
About 100 people turned out last night to argue for and against plans to build a third nuclear reactor at Louisa County's North Anna Power Station.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is evaluating the potential environmental impact of a third reactor at the nuclear power plant near Mineral. The agency used last night's meeting to gather public comments.
Sweden lifts ban on nuclear power
Nuclear power received a significant boost today when the Swedish government announced plans to overturn a near 30-year ban on atomic plants as part of a new drive to increase energy security and combat global warming.

Ministers said they would present a bill on 17 March which would allow the construction of nuclear reactors on existing sites and introduce a new carbon tax as part of a programme to cut carbon emissions by 40% on 1990 levels by 2020.
Kuwait eyes nuclear power with French help - paper
Kuwait is considering developing nuclear power with the help of a French firm to meet demand for electricity and water desalination, the country's ruler said in remarks published on Wednesday.

"A French firm is studying the issue," daily al-Watan quoted Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah as saying, adding that the oil-rich Gulf Arab state would only put nuclear power to civilian use and according to international laws.

Nuclear power would "save a lot of wasted fuel in electricity and water desalination plants", he said, giving no further details. The emir did not specifically refer to any French firm in his published remarks.
by JD

98 Comments:

At Friday, February 27, 2009 at 7:55:00 PM 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. ANONYMOUS POSTS ARE SUBJECT TO DELETION.
Thank you!
JD

 
At Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 7:22:00 AM PST, Anonymous fugeguy said...

The Fubar Economy

Events are beginning to overtake the ability of things like the PPT
to control them.

How can an investor make decisions when the published data is beyond
suspect?

"Economy moving in reverse faster than predicted

I still think this was not an accident.

When the GDP numbers were originally released the market was very
fragile.

This news would have sent the market over the edge and the numbers
were intentionally improved.

My comment on the long emergency board on 1/30:

"IMHO this number was hedoniced, seasonally adjusted, fabricated or
whatever they all call the forging of economic data these days. I
suspect the number was North of the 5.4% predicted and this was
presented to avoid panic.

Expect future adjustments..."

These manipulations will do great harm over time- as intended...

---

Economy moving in reverse faster than predicted
Friday February 27, 8:02 pm ET
By Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer
Latest figures show economy is moving in reverse faster than
government can predict


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The economy is moving in reverse faster than the
government can measure.
The contraction for the fourth quarter of 2008 had been estimated at
3.8 percent just a month ago. Then the Commerce Department raised it
to an astonishing 6.2 percent Friday -- the largest revision since
the government started keeping records in 1976.

That was the economy's worst showing in a quarter-century and raised
the prospect that the nation could suffer its worst year since 1946."

The intentional destruction of the US economy continues in earnest.

The trouble is that the destruction of trust cannot be undone and
will be the undoing of everything.

- Fuge


All of these stresses in the economy are related to the passing the
peak in oil production and a loss of the ability to grow the debt
economy endlessly.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/thelongemergency/messages

 
At Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 10:58:00 AM PST, Blogger Ari said...

fugeguy,

Lots to deal with in this comment of yours...

Events are beginning to overtake the ability of things like the PPT
to control them.


What's a PPT? I mean, other than a Powerpoint file.

How can an investor make decisions when the published data is beyond
suspect?


Depends. Not all of the published data is "beyond suspect" (cute phrasing, by the way). Some is bad, but most is usually as good as it can be for that period of time.

Nonetheless, your criticism is sound for a reason that you probably didn't realize: it undercuts rational choice theory and the efficient market hypothesis as they pertain to microeconomic studies.

However, anyone outside of a classroom could tell you that "efficient markets" weren't so informationally efficient because some people consistently beat the market.

Want to know how people with bad information can beat the market? Go ask Warren Buffett.

"Economy moving in reverse faster than predicted

I still think this was not an accident.

When the GDP numbers were originally released the market was very
fragile.

This news would have sent the market over the edge and the numbers
were intentionally improved.


Or, maybe... it's just not an easy task to come up with the right numbers? These sorts of figures are adjusted up or down all the time because of the complexity of the issue.

Unless you have evidence to suggest otherwise, assuming bad faith is fallacious.

"IMHO this number was hedoniced, seasonally adjusted, fabricated or
whatever they all call the forging of economic data these days. I
suspect the number was North of the 5.4% predicted and this was
presented to avoid panic.


First off, let's tackle the attacks on hedonic regressions.

I dare say that most people have no idea what a hedonic regression is and why it matters. I'll go ahead and explain it in as simple as possible terms: basically a hedonic model is a way to estimate demand/value by breaking an item down into constituent characteristics in order to weight characteristics.

They are used for the CPI and for real estate economics. CPI calculations used them to control the effect of changes in products.

That's really all there is to it. Nothing more devious than that. It's just a useful regression for dealing with panel data and non-linearity.

There is a legitimate criticism of hedonic regressions, which is that it has the potential to mask inflationary pressures. That's the only thing I remember being taught to fear when it came to hedonic regressions.

Expect future adjustments..."

With data this complex? Sure! If they weren't adjusting, I'd be even MORE worried!

These manipulations will do great harm over time- as intended...

Evidence for the intent? Any?


The intentional destruction of the US economy continues in earnest.

The trouble is that the destruction of trust cannot be undone and
will be the undoing of everything.


Once again, you have no evidence for your claims-- or at least you have presented none. Cough it up. You are making a VERY strong claim here.

All of these stresses in the economy are related to the passing the
peak in oil production and a loss of the ability to grow the debt
economy endlessly.


Tell me something. How can we be past peak if production grew every past year up until this year, which saw lowered production due to lower demand?

 
At Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 12:28:00 PM PST, Anonymous fugeguy said...

Ari,

Good stuff!

PPT = plunge protection team or as some call it the new invisible hand.

I agree that some adjustment is to be expected but 2.4% off- that's a 63% error. I mean really, as an engineer I frequently make calls with less than perfect data. Even so my swags are within 20%. The people doing this for a living are far better than a 63% error, so I assert, as I asserted at the time, such an error can only be intentional.

The other reason I was so sure it was bogus when released was that there were numerous questions raised at the time by people who track such things. Everything I was reading at the time stated that all the available data pointed at a contraction of more than 5%. People were shocked when the numbers came out at 3.8% and had no idea on what that figure was based on.

Hedonics is not a specialty of mine but I understand the concept and actually think it was not a bad idea originally. The problem is that it has been corrupted and used as a technique to justify pre-chosen answers- IMHO.

Come over and read posts at alas babylon and the long emergency groups on yahoo. I can't put everything in every post.

I will throw this out- do you think the current level of government spending in the US is indicative of thoughtful responsible people who intend to ever re-pay that money?

Please do not go down the road of talking total liquids. Peak oil is about the production of crude oil. The easy high energy return stuff. I do not know what peak oil will mean. I do believe it is happening now and it will greatly change things. Keep in mind that one of the predicted consequences of peak oil was the collapse of the debt based growth economy. Now that it has happened it is something the cornucopians like to forget.

I did not expect the last part to win any friends over here. Just like to check in and see how the sand box is doing.

Nuclear is one of many things we should be pursuing to mitigate the effects of peak oil. Hell we should be doing it all and we should be doing it all right figgin now.

- fuge

 
At Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 2:45:00 PM PST, Blogger Ari said...

Good stuff!

Merci beaucoup.

PPT = plunge protection team or as some call it the new invisible hand.

I don't even know what your acronym means, but I do suggest that you perhaps expand on the neologisms outside of the doom'n'gloom forums.

I agree that some adjustment is to be expected but 2.4% off- that's a 63% error. I mean really, as an engineer I frequently make calls with less than perfect data. Even so my swags are within 20%. The people doing this for a living are far better than a 63% error, so I assert, as I asserted at the time, such an error can only be intentional.

Economics is not engineering. It is not a controlled setting with carefully measured variables. It's messy, stochastic, and errors can be quite large. This is especially true when measurements are done with regressions, which are essentially extrapolations of the real world.

What you call "less-than-perfect" data would probably be called "best case scenario" for most economic measurements. In the case of CPI or GDP measurements, we often work with incomplete or extrapolated data and bootstrap models. During periods of volatility, bootstrapping may be insufficient for deriving accurate or even remotely meaningful results.

There is also the fact that inflation is measured with a basket of goods, which only proxies for the real thing. Lots of potential problems.

The other reason I was so sure it was bogus when released was that there were numerous questions raised at the time by people who track such things. Everything I was reading at the time stated that all the available data pointed at a contraction of more than 5%. People were shocked when the numbers came out at 3.8% and had no idea on what that figure was based on.

Let's separate "bad work" from "deliberate lying."

It's possible that the figures were simply derived with poor quality work. It may also be that the assumptions that went into deriving the figure at the time were incorrect.

Hedonics is not a specialty of mine but I understand the concept and actually think it was not a bad idea originally. The problem is that it has been corrupted and used as a technique to justify pre-chosen answers- IMHO.

Evidence, if you have any. Otherwise, this is speculation and little else.

Furthermore, let me say this again: hedonics is just a cross panel regression. That's it. It's not some evil tool of the monied rich. It's just the best regression available for measuring heterogeneous goods. I don't see how this translates into "CORRUPTED FOR EVIL!" It's a kind of regression, not a goddamned virgin maiden.

Come over and read posts at alas babylon and the long emergency groups on yahoo. I can't put everything in every post.

To be honest, this one site is enough for me. But thank you.

I will throw this out- do you think the current level of government spending in the US is indicative of thoughtful responsible people who intend to ever re-pay that money?

I don't even understand your question, to be honest.

Do I think that the current boomer generation plans to pay back the US debt? No. Of course not. The OECD is still paying WW II debt, for goodness' sake! Debt is a tool that allows you to leverage future income.

Please do not go down the road of talking total liquids. Peak oil is about the production of crude oil. The easy high energy return stuff.

Wait. So now peak oil is the "easy stuff?"

Is North Sea oil "easy stuff?" Or is "easy" only what you get in Texas or Saudi Arabia?

Do we count heavy oil? Or is there a specific API threshold beyond which, even if we pump the stuff, it's not counted against "the peak?"

I do not know what peak oil will mean. I do believe it is happening now and it will greatly change things. Keep in mind that one of the predicted consequences of peak oil was the collapse of the debt based growth economy. Now that it has happened it is something the cornucopians like to forget.

Let's say I predict that the coming of the anti-Christ will lead to the end of the "debt based growth economy." Let's say I predict that the anti-Christ will be a black man with a "funny sounding name."

OMG. MY PREDICTION WAS CORRECT.

Correlation ≠ causation.

Nuclear is one of many things we should be pursuing to mitigate the effects of peak oil. Hell we should be doing it all and we should be doing it all right figgin now.

No arguments here.

 
At Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 6:42:00 PM PST, Anonymous benny "centipede glut" cole said...

I think nukes have a huge future, and Draper, the VC guy, is red hot for mini-nukes.
So far, even the doomsters can't come up with a way to refute this model: a country in which nukes power PHEVs and electric trains.
The most I have heard from doomsters is that we will not be able to build nukes fast enough, and so we collapse first.
France is 80 percent nuked up, and building two more huge nukes. If they mandate PHEVs, or tax gasoline heavily enough, we will see oil demand further evaporate.
In fact, the entire developed world is on the cusp of pretty solid declines in oil consumption, even in a growing economy.
If oil ever stays above $100 a barrel (not a sure thing) the nuke-PHEV model starts to look like a sure thing.
What if China mandates PHEVs, and starts building nuke plants like crazy? Sort of shreds the whole "Chindia will take all the oil" argument.
Bring on the nukes!

 
At Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 8:25:00 PM PST, Anonymous fugeguy said...

Ari,

Economics is tougher- no doubt.

Like I said the problem was everyone knew the CPI number was wrong when it was published. Not after the fact.

You do not think buy that crazy Obama crap?

The difference is much of the finanical stuff was precdicted before and not after. Start reading the long emergency on page 228 for example.

Take care and let's hope for a better tomorrow.

- fuge

 
At Saturday, February 28, 2009 at 9:03:00 PM PST, Blogger Ari said...

I disagree. I don't think that everybody "knew" it was wrong when it was published. I think we don't know either way. I think you, for some reason, assume bad faith because it suits your paradigm. I prefer to be skeptical of any conclusion until proven otherwise.

Personally, I think it's more likely that it was simply a form of "wishcasting" in effect. I don't assume bad faith because it's so much easier to assume other, more logically consistent things. Like I said, however, I just don't know. I can't see their models to say what went wrong.

As for Obama, whom I support wholeheartedly (and was semi-involved in his campaign), my point is this: correlation ≠ causation. Was the trigger for the financial meltdown oil prices? Hard to say. Any model you put together is going to be rife with endogeneity anyway, so we can say, at best, that there are perhaps linkages, but not say how much of x was caused by y, or how much it was the other way around. Economics is a bitch that way.

The thing is that Kunstler is NOT impressive for predicting that which Roubini, Taleb, Krugman, and Stiglitz had said long before he hoovered onto their coattails. With all due respect to Kunstler, whom I agree with a great deal on suburban bullshitiness, he's just another poseur when it comes to financial Cassandranism-- the pros called it long before him, and with better reasoning.

 
At Sunday, March 1, 2009 at 9:49:00 AM PST, Anonymous benny "centipede glut" cole said...

You know, there are many scenarios in which suburbs do just fine. 1) Higher mpg cars. Sheesh, the GM Volt just about eliminates the commute-gasoline problem for most commuters 2) Trains that connect suburbs to city, ala Japan 3) Retirees--a huge group, and getting bigger-- move to suburbs, where houses are cheaper. They do not need to commute daily, so they are fine there, but not so far away from doctors and culture and families as to feel cut off. 4) A not so pretty but still not doom scenario is that lower-income people migrate to suburbs, and higher income people move in. The cities continue gentrifying. A more Europe-Asian model. This is only a "doom" scenario if you think the whole world is suburbs. It is not more a doom scenario than the building of suburbs and the ruin of many of our cities (1965-1990) which we survived easily also. Indeed we prospered even while wrecking major parts of major cities).
Kuntsler is a lunatic. He was a Y2K nut byt the way. It is his mindset.
I would say this seems clear now: The risk to our prosperity not Peak Oil, or dying suburbs. Obviously, the big risk is the lack of a sturdy international financial system. If our banks fail, it gets ugly.
First, we must repair our financial system, and then outlaw all serious threats to its stability. Possibly derivatives, credit-swaps, and any real estate lending at greater than 90 percent LTV are good things to outlaw.
Peak oil is not a threat. Dying suburbs are not a threat. The price mechanism can handle those "problems."
However, I don't see a free market solution to bankers getting paid so much in a few years that a failing bank (after their career) is a credible deterrent. By that I mean, the price signal sends such a strong immediate incentive that who cares what happens a few years down the line.
We can say we can allow the free market to work for banks, but watching everybody starve to death to honor the free market takes ideology too far, in my estimation.
Back to nukes -- there are another reason why suburbs may do fine. A bunch of nuke plants (and yes, solar, wind, geothermal etc) makes PHEVs an enticing option.
Some people like suburbs. Fine. There are worse ways to live than a small park for every homeowner. As a city dweller, there are times I envy the lifestyle.

 
At Monday, March 2, 2009 at 11:57:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JD,

While I disagree with most of the feel-good, BAU nonsense on this site, I think you have hit on my biggest talking point at TOD.

Breeder Reactors coupled with electrification and conservation (we don't all need cars and we certainly don't all need electric SUVs) are the longterm fix.

The reactors will probably take the form of one of the molten salt reactors burning thorium into plutonium and U-233. The Liquid Floruide Thorium Reactor is getting the most discussion these days and for good reason. This technology is not "vaporware" no matter what people say. Are there technical hurtles to comercial availability? Yes. Are they huge or fundamental? No.

Thorium reactors burn almost a 100% of their fuel compared to one through uranium reactors that burn only 0.7% percent. Thorium is far more abundant than uranium. It is nearly an endless energy source.

It will take time to implement though and the longer we wait the harder the transition will be. The US Congress currently has a bill deferred to the Energy commttee from last session that would okay the use of thorium in US power plants. I strongly suggest you all support it.

Some good reading:
www.thoriumenergy.com
thoriumenergy.blogspot.com

Andrew

 
At Monday, March 2, 2009 at 12:06:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there a point to this post?

No.

Any analysis of what the global nuke industry looks like at the moment?

No.

Any analysis of the number and type of permits applied for?

No.

Any analysis of the length of the permitting process?

No.

Any observations regarding advancing the number of permits applied for?

No.

Any observations regarding decreasing the length of the permitting process?

No.

Another useless POD post?

Yes.

Podnaught

 
At Monday, March 2, 2009 at 2:57:00 PM PST, Anonymous benny "centipede glut" cole said...

Podnaught-
You seem to caught in the snivel mode. "We can't do anything, because we can't do anything."
Sure, there are regs on nuke power plants. Sure, politics is slow and sticky, and a perceived crisis has to happen to break logjams.
If oil ever goes over $100 a abrrel again, you find resistance to nukes lessens. A few blackouts, and former greenie-weenies ask to be nuked until they glow.
I wonder why oil stock sank 5 to 10 percent today? Could it be we will have a glut of oil for a long, long time?
And that more nukes and PHEVs could extend that glut for decades?

 
At Monday, March 2, 2009 at 2:58:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a point to everyone of the posts on here and the common thread is this:

Instead of repeating dieoff mantra of "we're all doomed and there's nothing can be done" there is the alternative of posting what COULD be done.

Doesn't mean it will be.

We COULD collapse. Or we COULD build tons of nuke plants. Or something else entirely unforeseen.

But the point is, it's a useful alternative to post what COULD be done instead of just weeping in the corner.

DB

 
At Monday, March 2, 2009 at 3:19:00 PM PST, Anonymous Jamelet said...

Well said DB, but I disagree with this sites neurotic fetish of 'debunking'/insulting people that believe the world is in a bad way and prefer to see the truth rather than blatent forced optimism.

Mea Culpa....I'd thought I'd throw that in for no particular reason....

Anyways, I for one am heartened by news of a new way of generating electricity by harnessing the power of the electrical potential where salt water meets freshwater. Apparently a conservative estimates state that 40% of the worlds energy demands could be met.

 
At Monday, March 2, 2009 at 4:34:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jamelet,

Thanks.

I have to say, however, that I only partly agree with your follow up comment (unless I misunderstood what you were saying).

I do *NOT* consider this site to be forced optimism. On the contrary I consider it to be a valuable antithesis to the forced DOOM that most of the other sites propound.

As for your comment about the salt-water: yes I agree.

If we build a bunch more nukes, build some of those freshwater/saltwater systems, a bunch of pumped storage, a bunch more wind and a bunch more coal plants along with heavy dosage of terra preta then we just MAY be able to keep things on an even keel for our grandchildren.

Now we just have to fix that pesky banking system and debt based currency...

DB

 
At Monday, March 2, 2009 at 5:30:00 PM PST, Anonymous Stuck in Shizuoka said...

I'd like to see a return to $100 oil Benny. The reasons are obvious of course. But, aside from further OPEC cuts and a recovery in the world economy, how can we get there. Government intervention into the markets seems the only way. That, or a world-wide consensus on gasoline taxes. Not that THAT would ever happen. But, for this plateau in oil production to happen, we'll need steadily expensive oil. And to get through this bumpy transition phase we are entering into, we'll need a on going plateau in production to make changes to renewables and Nukes. Renewable liquid fuels are not going anywhere fast with low oil prices and neither are upstream projects. So, how can we maintain high oil/gasoline prices in a broken economy. That's where my mind is at right now. We now are building some consensus on where transportation is going--LPG/Electric/Hybrid/high mileage diesal and gas autos. But to get there in time to avoid serious consequences we need expensive oil, but not killer prices or a see-saw in prices.

Thoughts?

Stuck in Shizuoka.

 
At Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 9:02:00 AM PST, Anonymous benny "centipede glut" cole said...

Dear Stuck-
Well, the price mechanism works wonders. I think it will see us through a gradual transition to a post-fossil economy, one that I define as one that uses less crude oil every year, not more.
I think is is abundantly obvious tht the biggest threat to prosperity is not Peak Oil but "Peak Banking."
Our banking system is dead. We must revive it, and set into hardened granite regulations that will make it much sturdier in the future. Like outlawing credit swaps, derivatives and real estate loans at greater than 90 percent LTV.
I concur we need a $4 a gallon gas tax in the USA, but phased in over 4-8 years.

 
At Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 12:53:00 PM PST, Anonymous Gardener said...

You may have remembered me from a few weeks ago. I'm here to post my last post, as my apartment lease is up and I'm selling off my computer. I'm heading to the a commune plot of land in Oregon tomorrow with a PO circle of mine. We've decided that now is the best time, and that we are at impact. This is "it". We've been preparing for this day for years, and now it has finally come. It's time to leave industrial civilization. I hope you all enjoy your die off. Me and my friends will continue human kind. It's time for the leaders like Ruppert, Savinar, and Heinberg to be the new revolutionaries like Washington and Jefferson were. It's time to rise up and meet start the next chapter of mankind. It's too bad that most of you will have to die off.

If I were you guys, I would seriously start to be worried. Ruppert has predicted massive food shortages in the late summer. Kunstler has predicted a collapse of the federal government by this year. Oh yea, and Kunstler predicted a 4,000 point DOW. Isn't that funny JD? You had that one post ridiculing Kunstler about his DOW predictions, and now he's going to be correct, albeit a few years late.

I hope your die off is as painless as possible, even though you all have been ridiculing doomers and PO theory for years (I'm looking at you, JD). However now is not the time to say "I told you so". Enjoy your deaths, I'd suggest making a run on your local grocery store right now as well as an outdoor store for supplies. That should give you at least a few extra weeks. Enjoy the die off JD, Ari, benny, DB, Andrew Ryan, etc.

Gardener -- out.

 
At Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 1:41:00 PM PST, Anonymous stuck in shizuoka said...

Well, "die-off" aside.

Thanks for the reply Benny, but, as far as the price mechanism, my current thoughts are in-line with the following article;

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/position-yourself-now-300-barrel/story.aspx?guid=%7B9C42CE1C%2DB7C8%2D4C22%2D8907%2D3A8D60BE1F0B%7D&dist=TNMostRead

Sorry, I don't know how to use the HTML tags--JD kindly gave me instructions a year ago or so and I've forgotten. The instructions here on the site give this wonderous starting point "you can use some HTML tags". Funny.

Anyway, back to price mechanism Benny, we obviously have a glut, but I cannot see how, without alternatives in place, the glut will not disappear in a heart beat once demand snaps back and we are right back to where we started from. I have looked at previous situations, but it seems that the gluts that followed recessions in the past were also followed by new supplies--eg., North Sea/ Alaska coming on stream as the economy heated back up.

Yes, I know there is some room for new supplies in the next couple of years with some big OPEC/Saudi projects APPARENTLY able to keep something of a cushion, but, should we look 2-3 years out (as the article above opines), and demand from Chindia rises with their new cars (Tata on the road this summer, new cars in China up 28 %--see Green Car Congress for that stat), why oil will not zoom up in price as it did this past summer.

In some ways I share your optimism Benny, and Ari and JDs focus on alternatives to some sort of die off, I still cannot fathom how massive price swings will not occur with each swing getting progressively more extreme, as decline rates and lack of alternatives expose our inability to deal with tighter and tigher supplies. The noose gets tighter.

Of course, this does not mean there are not measures we can take and I believe that much of the West can adjust to some degree. I have read all the posts here and keep up with Green Car Congress, MIT Technology Review, New Energy and Fuels, and Robert Rapier, among others. But, what nags me most is this idea that we will have a long term glut in oil, and low prices to match. The price mechanism does do wonders--by economic attrition largely it seems, because of the volitility rather than the rush to alternatives--but I cannot agree with you that we will have low prices for years to come.

It seems these low prices now are largely killing off the incentives--both on the part of consumers and investors--to do the very things that would enable a transition to alternative liquids (GTL, Cellulosic etc) and much much smaller, more efficient cars, etc. etc.

So, without wide-spread government mandates (fuel tax/ distance tax), how will we not see massive price swings? Have a look at the article above please and if anyone wants to try to counter it, it would be appreciated.

As for die-offs and plots of land in Oregon, listen mate--if there is some sort of die-off on the scale that you suggest, a plot of land in Oregon isn't going to be worth a hill of beans. I'd rather have it all over very quickly than some sort of return to 17th Century agrarian culture because that means serfdom and you would be one of the serfs. At best.

 
At Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 2:10:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck in Oregon.
I hope you have plenty of bear spray and antibiotics.
Don't do a McCandless on us now, will ya?

DB

 
At Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 3:15:00 PM PST, Anonymous DoctorJJ said...

Gardener,
Oregon, huh? Okay, just wanted to know where to come looking for food once the SHTF. That is, of course, assuming you've been able to fend off the other 5 million or so, hungry, armed, and angry people who've already descended upon your little plot of land.
Hahahahahahaha!!!!!!!

DoctorJJ

 
At Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 3:24:00 PM PST, Anonymous DoctorJJ said...

Stuck,
I read that article and I hear what the guy is saying, but really the longer a contango market continues, the better for coming shortfalls in production. The stockpiles that are occurring right now, and not just at Cushing, OK or other known staorage facilities, but all over the world, including in floating containers, will just help to cushion the financial shock once demand picks back up, if it ever does.

Really, if you look at the data, the Western world, (US and Central and South America), consumption has actually been decreasing since about 2005 anyway. I don't see how this most recent price shock will do anything but hasten that lowering of demand, permanently. I actually believe the rest of the world will also follow. Why would Chindia be immune to such price signals? Everyone said the world wouldn't/couldn't decrease their oil consumption no matter what the price was. Well, they were all wrong. I think these are becoming long term trends, in what will ultimately prove to have been world peak demand.

DoctorJJ

 
At Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 5:56:00 PM PST, Anonymous benny "centipede glut" cole said...

Stuck-
Actually, I think it is the oil thug states that should be scared. They may price themselves out of a market. After each price spike, demand comes more and more slowly.
And looming on the horizon are PHEVs and nuke power, geothermal power, wind power, solar power etc. Hydro power. Palm oil plantations.
It is simple. Energy demand will shift from liquid fuel to batteries, if need be. If the price signal says so.
It is easy to generate electricity and we have multiple paths to do it.
I am about 100 times as scared of Peak Banking as Peak Oil.
We gotta fix the banking system, and fast.

 
At Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 9:46:00 PM PST, Blogger Ari said...

Jamelet,

Are you implying that mea culpa is some sort of rare, odd Latin phrase? Odd. I've always seen it as no more obscure than et cetera, but I guess it struck a nerve with you. Again, I

stuck,

Yes... and no. You're right that lower prices, all else being equal, lead to higher demand. Unfortunately, there are other factors to consider when figuring out demand for a good like crude oil. Like I've said before, price is one rather strong factor, but it's only one. IOCs and the NOCs (national oil companies) aren't stupid to the idea that demand will likely increase some time in the future, but as with anything else, when is that? It took decades for demand to ratchet up after 1979, and it may happen the same way again. It may not.

One thing I may suggest, however, is that China may not as heavily subsidize oil after the recession ends. Despite the fact that its economy is growing, the government will probably have to spend down its reserves a fair bit-- this will reduce its ability to subsidize in the near and maybe medium-term future.

There's a strange notion that China has some magic infinity well of cash with which to subsidize oil prices, and that's just not the case. India, as well, is a finite nation with finite cash.

It seems to me, at least, that there is a lot going on in the background to be optimistic about. Hybrids are slowly creeping into every product line, and we could see fuel economy climb significantly as people trade their Camrys for Priuses or their Accords for Insights. Prius sales are still strong, and there are other factors, such as the desire to reduce GHG emissions, that are putting people into hybrids. PHEVs have a lot of potential for being a disruptive technology, and while electric cars are "always a few years away," the current attempts are definitely heartening.

To be honest, I was a bit less optimistic in early 2008. Despite the craphole economy of 2009, I'm more optimistic about the long run than before. Although I'm loathe to give up too much personal info, I do some side work with an environmental consultancy. The overlap between the environmental movement and the marketplace are starting to blur in good ways. Technologies that were previously silly to imagine are actually becoming marketable, and many of them make it possible to imagine serious solutions to oil use.

Then again, the more I look into it all, the more I realize that the problem isn't too little oil... it's too much. And it's too much in either dumb places (yes, dumb), or places I'd rather not drill and mine. In any case, it's okay... the OECD is going to non-breed itself into obscurity soon anyway. Eventually, it'll be four Russians selling oil to twenty Frenchmen and an old Japanese couple.

Well, not really, but it's a funny image.

To the naysayers,

So here's my take on this site, and I'm sure that plenty of people will flip out on me: POD is about possibilities, just like LATOC, TOD, and others. Yes, LATOC and TOD are just sites about POSSIBILITIES. Look, every time you make a prediction based on an extrapolation, it's a possibility.

We cannot know the future with certainty. It's only over time, as we gather evidence, modify our explanations to fit the evidence, and show as much humility as we can about the flaws in our arguments, and maintain as much scientific thinking as possible that we might improve our guesses.

But they'll still be guesses, mind you. Some are just better than others.

 
At Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 4:50:00 AM PST, Anonymous Stuck in said...

Doctor JJ, Benny and Ari,

I'm heading over to Canada from Japan in a couple days (sorry JD--it's Narita this time) and am taking a big time break from all things PO, except for the personal enjoyment that accompanies copious consumption of all things good in Canada.

Thanks for your posts, and your thoughts. Yes to room for optimism, in short. Cheers.

Momentarily Unstuck from Shizuoka

 
At Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 9:01:00 AM PST, Blogger Ralphzillo said...

The cost to produce energy using Nuclear Reactions is higher than using Wind Power. And no one has figured out the Radioactive waste problem, not even the French.

And conservation and Solar Power put even more nails in the coffin of Nuclear energy.

It is time to move beyond this failed technology.

 
At Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 11:27:00 AM PST, Anonymous DoctorJJ said...

Ralphzillo,
Which corner did you buy from? I gotta know because that guy sells the good stuff, apparently.

DoctorJJ

 
At Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 12:45:00 PM PST, Blogger Ari said...

Stuck,

Enjoy Canuckistan! I'd head up there myself, but I have enough snow and ice here in NY to keep me cold through spring. :-)

Ralphzillo,

On a kilowatt hour basis I've seen it argued, but I see very few decent data to support it.

http://berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2007/04/02_nuclear.shtml

This suggests to me that the real problem has not been that nuclear is inherently more expensive, but that there is a lot of reasons.

 
At Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 12:47:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The cost to produce energy using Nuclear Reactions is higher than using Wind Power."

This is a straw man.

It's the same straw man as "$500 a barrel oil will trash the economy".

Nope. No it won't.
A sudden spike in prices trashes the economy.

If oil were priced at $500 a barrel (or nuke at 50c / KWH instead of 8c/KWH for other electricity) then guess what would happen?

Efficient use of the energy.

The problem occurs when we have runaway price increases and sudden collapses. It's impossible to suddenly change your budget from one day to the next, but if your budget already included $500/barrel oil and 50c/KWH electricity from nuke then things look a lot more manageable.


Ari,
I agree about this site being about possibilities (scenarios in fact) but I disagree that this is the whole picture.
The other sites are about arguing about why nothing can be done and billions of people will die.
This site is pointing out that things ARE being done. Millions upon million of people around the globe are trying to figure ways out of the *potential* mess that's coming down the line and are not actually doing it.

When trains were first invented in the 18th century there were respected scientists who said they wouldn't work because the human body could not stand speeds of 50 miles per hour.

If you take false assumptions then you can build any scary scenario you like.

The Dieoff scenario as chanted on LATOC, the Oil Drum and many other peak oil sites has one main assertion and it's this:

There are NO SUBSTITUTES to oil and our modern way of life depends on oil completely, thus if oil is taken away we die.

On here we have pointed out that not only are there substitutes but in many cases we can get by even without the substitutes. We just use less.

In that sense we are fundamentally different than the other sites because we are heretic to the dieoff religion though still believing in peak oil.

JD is Luther, pinning the refutations to the door of the peak oil cathedral.

We here are peak oil heretics but still believers.

DB

 
At Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 2:08:00 PM PST, Blogger JD Walters said...

Here's an intriguing piece on the relevance of higher fuel economy standards for oil consumption:

http://blogs.wsj.com/environmentalcapital/2009/03/04/tire-inflation-industrialized-nations-call-for-better-mpg/

Of particular interest is the last statement:

"The IEA said its plan, if executed with aplomb, could axe 6 billion barrels of crude demand annually — amounting to around 16 million barrels a day, or 19% of current world oil consumption — along with 2 gigatons of carbon dioxide gases by 2050."

Just think: reducing average fuel consumption 50% by 2050 (which is what the IEA proposes) can knock off 19% of current demand for oil. What's more, it seems likely that this will actually happen. Sorry, doomers, people are often more resourceful than you give them credit for.

 
At Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 2:35:00 PM PST, Blogger OptimisticDoomer said...

hahaha Gardener that was hilarious. Yet another doomertard that thinks they get to decide who will die if a die-off happens, at all. You already sorely lack people skills, I hope your gardening skills are better!

 
At Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 6:22:00 PM PST, Blogger Yogi said...

When comparing the cost of nuclear energy with wind it is important to remember to adjust for the differences in capacity factors.

Wind turbines typically average about 25-30% of their rated “name-plate” power capacity, and may generate little or no energy at times (e.g. hot summer afternoons, when electricity demand is often highest).

Modern nuclear reactors typically average 80-90% of rated power capacity, and shut downs are usually planned outages for maintenance or refueling.

Charles Barton did an ineresting cost comparison on his Nuclear Grteen blog.

http://nucleargreen.blogspot.com/2009/02/how-much-would-all-renewables.html

And used fuel (inaccurately called “waste”) still contains over 95% of its original energy in uranium and bred plutonium.

It can be stored safely in steel casks for decades until the time comes to recycle it in the next generation of breeder reactors.

 
At Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 10:21:00 AM PST, Anonymous benny "centipede glut" cole said...

Oil at $20 a barrel?

Little noticed, Russia just signed a long-term contract to supply China with oil at $20 a barrel.

From Foreign Policy magazine.


The Russia-China oil puzzle
Wed, 02/18/2009 - 7:08pm
By Philip Zelikow

As announced by Igor Sechin on leaving Beijing, it appears that the Chinese government will loan $25 billion to two giant energy companies controlled by the Russian government. In exchange, the Russian government has pledged to supply 15 million tons of oil to China per year for the next 20 years.

This appears, roughly, to be a pledge of about 2.2 billion barrels of oil, over the next 20 years, in exchange for $25 billion now. Depending on how one calculates the cumulative value of present money, this sounds like a deal worth something in the neighborhood of $20 a barrel. And this would lock in at least about 5 percent of all Russian oil exports just for the Chinese market, at such an effective price. I invite others to share information that contradict or elaborate on these apparent estimates.

Yeah Peak Oil means we pay $20 a barrel. What a disaster!

 
At Friday, March 6, 2009 at 6:20:00 PM PST, Anonymous MakersMark said...

A quote from the market ticker:

Just so you have a short list of what’s at stake if Washington DC doesn’t change policy here and now (which means before the collapse in equities comes, which could start as soon as today, if the indicators I watch have any validity at all. For what its worth, those indicators are painting a picture of the Apocalypse that I simply can’t believe, and they’re showing it as an imminent event - like perhaps today imminent.)

All pension funds, private and public, are done. If you are receiving one, you won’t be. If you think you will in the future, you won’t be. PBGC will fail as well. Pension funds will be forced to start eating their "seed corn" within the next 12 months and once that begins there is no way to recover.

All annuities will be defaulted to the state insurance protection (if any) on them. The state insurance funds will be bankrupted and unable to be replenished. Essentially, all annuities are toast. Expect zero, be ecstatic if you do better. All insurance companies with material exposure to these obligations will go bankrupt, without exception. Some of these firms are dangerously close to this happening right here and now; the rest will die within the next 6-12 months. If you have other insured interests with these firms, be prepared to pay a LOT more with a new company that can’t earn anything off investments, and if you have a claim in process at the time it happens, it won’t get paid. The probability of you getting “boned” on any transaction with an insurance company is extremely high - I rate this risk in excess of 90%.

The FDIC will be unable to cover bank failure obligations. They will attempt to do more of what they’re doing now (raising insurance rates and doing special assessments) but will fail; the current path has no chance of success. Congress will backstop them (because they must lest shotguns come out) with disastrous results. In short, FDIC backstops will take precedence even over Social Security and Medicare.

Government debt costs will ramp. This warning has already been issued and is being ignored by President Obama. When (not if) it happens debt-based Federal Funding will disappear. This leads to….

Tax receipts are cratering and will continue to. I expect total tax receipts to fall to under $1 trillion within the next 12 months. Combined with the impossibility of continued debt issue (rollover will only remain possible at the short duration Treasury has committed to over the last ten years if they cease new issue) a 66% cut in the Federal Budget will become necessary. This will require a complete repudiation of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, a 50% cut in the military budget and a 50% across-the-board cut in all other federal programs. That will likely get close.

Tax-deferred accounts will be seized to fund rollovers of Treasury debt at essentially zero coupon (interest). If you have a 401k, or what’s left of it, or an IRA, consider it locked up in Treasuries; it’s not yours any more. Count on this happening - it is essentially a certainty.

Any firm with debt outstanding is currently presumed dead as the street presumption is that they have lied in some way. Expect at least 20% of the S&P 500 to fail within 12 months as a consequence of the complete and total lockup of all credit markets which The Fed will be unable to unlock or backstop. This will in turn lead to….

The unemployed will have 5-10 million in direct layoffs added within the next 12 months. Collateral damage (suppliers, customers, etc) will add at least another 5-10 million workers to that, perhaps double that many. U-3 (official unemployment rate) will go beyond 15%, U-6 (broad form) will reach 30%.

Civil unrest will break out before the end of the year. The Military and Guard will be called up to try to stop it. They won’t be able to. Big cities are at risk of becoming a free-fire death zone. If you live in one, figure out how you can get out and live somewhere else if you detect signs that yours is starting to go “feral”; witness New Orleans after Katrina for how fast, and how bad, it can get.

The good news is that this process will clear The Bezzle out of the system.

The bad news is that you won’t have a job, pension, annuity, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and, quite possibly, your life.

It really is that bleak folks, and it all goes back to Washington DC being unwilling to lock up the crooks, putting the market in the role it has always played - that of truth-finder, no matter how destructive that process is.

Only immediate action from Washington DC, taking the market’s place, can stop this, and as I get ready to hit “send” I see the market rolling over again, now down more than 3% and flashing "crash imminent" warnings. You may be reading this too late for it to matter.


The world is ending. Get on the horse and enjoy the ride. As Ruppert just stated, the die off is beginning.

 
At Friday, March 6, 2009 at 10:07:00 PM PST, Anonymous DoctorJJ said...

And all that is based on what??? One guys random thoughts? I'm not sure why Karl Denninger gets so much credit.

Ari,
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the above post and about Karl Denninger, on general. Thanks.

DoctorJJ

 
At Saturday, March 7, 2009 at 8:12:00 AM PST, Anonymous AndrewRyan said...

Karl Denninger is just your run of the mill fear monger, DoctorJJ. You really think that he's somehow smarter than the thousands of other analysts that don't predict his same scenario? He also underlines and bolds a lot of words in his world-is-ending-tomorrow rants. Kind of annoying. I wouldn't be surprised if Savinar paid him under to table to write such crap, since he's linked almost daily on LATOC.

His predictions will never materialize (to the extreme degree that he is saying). Will that stop him? Nope, he will just continue to post his garbage, because he can. If he were an actual financial analyst with actual credentials that wrote for a paper, magazine or was on a news program, he would be fired. The internet empowers anyone, unfortunately.

Sadly, with today's technology, any idiot with a computer and an internet connection can spout off "predictions" with no real credibility or accountability. Your best bet is to ignore them and let the doomers lap everything and leave them be in the corner, like a child with down syndrome.

 
At Saturday, March 7, 2009 at 1:01:00 PM PST, Blogger JD Walters said...

For those who have the stomach for some heavy analysis, this paper is absolutely must-reading:

This Time It's Different

Just to be clear, the title is the opposite of what the authors demonstrate. Using cross-country analysis across many centuries, they conclusively demonstrate (in my opinion) that the current crisis has the same characteristics as many that have gone before. It is not a harbinger of collapse, it does not mean that the world population is 'overshooting' or any of that crap.

 
At Saturday, March 7, 2009 at 2:14:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anywhere said...

JD Walters, your link didn't work for me. I think this might have been what you were going for (Carmen Reinhardt was one of my professors last year, so I had already read it and knew what I was looking for).

 
At Saturday, March 7, 2009 at 2:37:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Sadly, with today's technology, any idiot with a computer and an internet connection can spout off "predictions" with no real credibility or accountability."

And you prove that point every time you post. Sadly.

JE

 
At Saturday, March 7, 2009 at 4:03:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wank not, want naught. PODON...

 
At Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 8:26:00 AM PDT, Anonymous jzx said...

"Sadly, with today's technology, any idiot with a computer and an internet connection can spout off "predictions" with no real credibility or accountability."

And you prove that point every time you post. Sadly.


Agreed

 
At Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 10:45:00 AM PDT, Blogger Ari said...

To all those who are saying that AndrewRyan is another idiot making predictions:

Actually, he hasn't made any predictions. He's only shined light on those who have and verbally dressed them down.

Now, you can criticize his style, but criticizing him for something he doesn't actually do kind of misses the mark.

DoctorJJ,

Denninger doesn't impress me a lot from what little I've seen of him. People who put percentage chances on events like him are usually not the kind of person to whom you want to be listening if given a choice. Denninger uses a lot of superlative language and definite statements, and apparently has little grasp of how corporate finance actually works.

I wouldn't bother with him. If you want a good, sober, sometimes depressing blog on the state of the economy, Econbrowser is a helluva lot better.

 
At Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 12:12:00 PM PDT, Anonymous benny "centipede glut" cole said...

JD and Ari-
You guys have to post regularly, and more fresh topics. I think one reason TOD has a big readership is the regular posting of topics. I wonder who finances that site?
Maybe you need more contributors to throw fresh meat at the readers. I think it is not too hard to scour the web for topics, and then post with fresh spin on your site.
But the comments section becomes self-absorbed and OT after two-three days. People arguing with each other, instead of addressing the topic.
More fresh posts!

 
At Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 12:20:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Actually, he hasn't made any predictions. He's only shined light on those who have and verbally dressed them down."

Actually, he is making predictions in his own sloppy, juvenile way. Since Andy has yet to express an original thought of any kind, he's basically saying Ruppert's predictions are wrong, or will be wrong, so that's a prediction of sorts.

And what a valuable light he shines! - one tawdry, mean-spirited ad hominem attack after another, aimed at Ruppert's associates and pets. Sort of like JD, without the pretense of objectivity. "Loose vaginas," now there's illumination for you!

But then, what do we expect from self-annointed "debukers" who reflexively argue for massive populations and against organic agriculture?

Keep it up, guys. Your juvenile insults and sloppy arguments make Ruppert, Savianr and Kunstler look like compassionate geniuses in comparison.

HDT

 
At Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 12:38:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anywhere said...

But then, what do we expect from self-annointed "debukers" who reflexively argue for massive populations and against organic agriculture?

Who here argues for massive populations?

 
At Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 12:52:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Who here argues for massive populations?"

That would be JD - read blog # 277 "Why massive Population is Good."

Isn't it obvious?? Haven't all the novice debunkers memorized JD's oeuvre?

HDT


http://peakoildebunked.blogspot.com/2006/04/277-why-massive-population-is-good.html

 
At Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 1:08:00 PM PDT, Blogger Ari said...

HDT,

I don't think that anyone here has argued against organics qua organics, though. In fact, I think organic agriculture offers a lot of value to the global food supply chain when it's applied properly.

But, if NOT making predictions is making a prediction, then how does one actually NOT make any predictions? I'll say that I don't agree with the personal attacks myself-- if only because they distract from the more interesting stuff-- but I prefer to call a spade a spade and not play silly semantic games when possible.

I get called a lot of things here by you and others, but at least I make an attempt to engage people and their arguments. I would actually like to see you become an effective gadfly (in the Socratic sense), though. I am not always entirely sure that everything I argue is correct (I am human, therefore I err), and enjoy having those with contrary views engage me head on. You, however, are apparently more interested in pointing at the name callers by calling others names. As the saying goes, "physician, heal thyself."

Join us, Monsieur Gadfly. You have something to offer. But if you are only interested in being a half-hearted gadfly, then why bother? After all, a fly without wings is a sad creature.

 
At Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 1:30:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But, if NOT making predictions is making a prediction, then how does one actually NOT make any predictions?"

Ridiculing the predictions of others IS making a prediction. You went to college, you should be able to grasp that concept if you really want to.

There's so much fodder for ridicule in this blog, it's hard to know where to start. Do you want to defend JD's call for a massive population? Do you really want to split semantic hairs over JD's preposterous rant about backyard gardening?

"But if you are only interested in being a half-hearted gadfly, then why bother?"

This half-hearted blog needs a half-hearted gadfly just to make it interesting. If it weren't for my half-hearted attempts, this blog would be even more of a crashing bore with a small fraction of the low numbers of comments you have now. You should be down on your knees thanking me for making a half-hearted effort to attract attention to this blog.

You want a real gadfly here? Try writing something real, something relevant, instead of the half-hearted attempts at satire.

 
At Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 1:53:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But the comments section becomes self-absorbed and OT after two-three days."

Given the quality of the content, its surprising there are any comments at all.

HDT

 
At Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 1:55:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anywhere said...

HDT,

Thanks for pointing that out. However, it should be noted that that entry was not posted by JD.

 
At Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 2:35:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"However, it should be noted that that entry was not posted by JD."

Yes, but you can bet your hybrid scooter that it had JD's full approval. And the 'thinking' behind that post had the same bizarre, everything-you-know-is-wrong logic that JD espouses.

 
At Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 2:43:00 PM PDT, Anonymous DoctorJJ said...

"Yes, but you can bet your hybrid scooter that it had JD's full approval. And the 'thinking' behind that post had the same bizarre, everything-you-know-is-wrong logic that JD espouses."

I thought the logic JD espouses is everything-peaksters-say-is-rife-with-preconceived-notions-and-biases-and-has-little-scientific-backing. Bwahahahahahaha!!!

DoctorJJ

 
At Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 2:50:00 PM PDT, Anonymous DoctorJJ said...

HDT,

"Given the quality of the content, its surprising there are any comments at all."

If the content is so bad, well, bye (in my best Curly Bill voice).

DoctorJJ

 
At Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 3:05:00 PM PDT, Anonymous AndrewRyan said...

HDT and other anon twits: Keep in mind I only call Ruppert out on his fear mongering predictions after they fail. Ruppert has a knack for predicting the end of the world, every week or so, because it livens up his boring, middle aged life. It also is part of his paranoid schizophrenia condition.

For instance, Ruppert predicted $2000 an oz. gold by March in an attempt to fear monger about fiat currency crashing, a typical doomer prediction over the last decade. His prediction flopped, nothing of the sort happened. I'm simply holding him responsible for his moral hazard inducing fear mongering. Seems pretty simple to me. Although I don't expect you to be able to comprehend it.

He also called for blood in the streets, unemployment worse than the Great Depression era (>25%), government FEMA camps, and bird flue outbreaks for 2009. I observe and call him out of his bullshit when it doesn't come true because he is a lying con man with a mental disorder.

I'm sorry that your panties get in a bunch when I insult your fearless leader and disciple.

 
At Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 3:21:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anywhere said...

Yes, but you can bet your hybrid scooter that it had JD's full approval.

If by "full approval" you mean that he allowed it to be posted, then of course that's true; this is, after all, his blog.

But if you mean that he agreed with the sentiment, then no, I would not make that bet. He and Ari seem to have some fundamental disagreements on the issue and yet he allows Ari to post writeups.

But now you're just backpedaling, anyway, because you realize you've been caught not only throwing out red herrings but throwing out erroneous red herrings.

 
At Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 3:29:00 PM PDT, Anonymous DoctorJJ said...

anon,
You might just want to keep it anon, as Anywhere just pwned you! Hahahahahaha!!!!

DoctorJJ

 
At Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 3:31:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But if you mean that he agreed with the sentiment, then no, I would not make that bet."

Of course you wouldn't, you have no convictions. I'll bet you that JD agrees with that post, regardless of who wrote it - him or one of his surrogates.

None of the "debunkers" here disagree in any major way. They're united in their superiority to "doomers."

Prove me wrong.

HDT

 
At Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 4:24:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anywhere said...

Prove me wrong.

Ask the most prolific poster here if he thinks the peak in oil production is passed/imminent. Ask the 2nd most prolific poster the same question.

What's that sound? You being proved wrong.

 
At Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 5:38:00 PM PDT, Blogger Ari said...

Anywhere,

Even if that weren't the case, having a group of like-minded people agree on major points isn't necessarily a bad thing. Walk into any university biology department, and 99.9% of people will agree with you that the theory of evolution explains biodiversity best. Walk into any physics department, and they will almost all agree that special relativity is the best theory of measurement in inertial frames of reference. And so on and so forth.

Now, group think can be bad as well-- we see this evidenced a great deal with "bad" ideas that get entrenched, such as the steady continents theory prior to modern tectonics. But it has to be taken on a case-by-case basis, because a lot of times agreement is simply rational given the circumstances.

Before I get the usual crap lobbed at me:

1. I do not believe we are doing something on par with a university physics or biology department, so don't even bother.

2. I am fully aware of the consequences of group think, having worked in plenty of offices.

3. I am fully aware that it is possible to be part of a group that believes in the wrong thing.

Before I get anything else lobbed at me, I also:

- know that the sky is blue because of Rayleigh Scattering
- know that centipedes don't actually have one hundred legs
- know that debt can be bad under certain circumstances
- know that there is virtue to be had in frugality
- know that the modern economy is not everlasting and permanent
- know that institutions end
- know that war, huh, what is it good for, absolutely nothing
- know that antibiotics do nothing for viral infections, and should therefore be used sparingly, lest we create more MRSA-like diseases
- know that reducing my meat consumption will likely lengthen my lifespan
- know that most store-bought suits are made of inferior processes, such as fusing, and are best passed up for tailored hand-sewn suits
- know that, in the end, we're all stardust and whispers

 
At Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 8:11:00 PM PDT, Anonymous DoctorJJ said...

Anywhere, just owning people left and right. Wow!!!

DoctorJJ

 
At Monday, March 9, 2009 at 5:53:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Ask the most prolific poster here if he thinks the peak in oil production is passed/imminent. Ask the 2nd most prolific poster the same question.

What's that sound? You being proved wrong."

That's it?? OK, consider them asked, whoever they are.

Tell you what, if JD were to reply here that he categorically disagrees with "Massive Population is Good," I'll concede you were partially right. Until then, you and JJ are just jerking each other off. JJ obviously enjoys it too. Who leads when you dance together?

 
At Monday, March 9, 2009 at 6:27:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anywhere said...

When out of arguments-- even incorrect ones-- throw out homophobic insults? You are a good little troll, aren't you?

 
At Monday, March 9, 2009 at 6:52:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

""Massive Population is Good"

Right or wrong, debunkers?

HDT

 
At Monday, March 9, 2009 at 9:30:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anywhere said...

""Massive Population is Good"

Right or wrong, debunkers?


Not sure if I count as a "debunker", but I'd say "wrong" as long as our species is confined to this planet. Of course, our social welfare models will have to be reworked to allow for zero or negative population growth. The majority of those who replied to the original post to which you referred seemed to be of a similar opinion.

Now, what's your opinion on the expansion of nuclear power that this post concerns?

 
At Monday, March 9, 2009 at 9:48:00 AM PDT, Anonymous DoctorJJ said...

I don't know if I count as a debunker either, but I wouldn' mind if there were only a handful of people left. There's only a few people I actually like and probably fewer that like me. If about 6 billion people just disappeared, well, I'd own a lot of shit.

DoctorJJ

 
At Monday, March 9, 2009 at 10:07:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anywhere said...

Heh. I realize that's tongue-in-cheek, DoctorJJ, but-- assuming that the sudden disappearance is spread proportionately throughout the world-- that might be a worst case scenario for you. Six billion is between 6/7 and 12/13 of all people-- enough for civilized society to collapse, but not enough that there wouldn't be a whole lot of people around to fight you for the leftovers.

 
At Monday, March 9, 2009 at 12:45:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Not sure if I count as a "debunker", but I'd say "wrong" as long as our species is confined to this planet."

I'd like to believe that any thinking person would reject the idea that a massive population is desirable. Yet here in POD we find an entry that argues that very point. Why is that? We also find pro-growth entries and comments belittling 'anti-growth' writers and thinkers. Doomers, not debunkers, it would seem, are the ones who should be arguing against unrestricted growth of either the economy or the population.

It's that kind of lack of consistency, coupled with THE DISCLAIMER FOR IDIOTS, and the Andy Ryan Potty Party that makes you wonder what the point of this blog really is.

HDT

 
At Monday, March 9, 2009 at 1:45:00 PM PDT, Anonymous AndrewRyan said...

It's that kind of lack of consistency, coupled with THE DISCLAIMER FOR IDIOTS, and the Andy Ryan Potty Party that makes you wonder what the point of this blog really is.

LOL, a doomer complaining about a lack of consistency. You know what's inconsistent? Your doomer prophets predicting a die off for the last decade or so (longer than that if you include die-off.org).

Also, if you're so bothered by this site, HDT, then why not stop visiting, let alone posting comments? Stay in your corner on the LATOC forums or Kunstler's/Ruppert's comments sections like a good little follower.

 
At Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 10:58:00 AM PDT, Blogger Barba Rija said...

HDT, the point of this blog is to tell you that whatever you think you know about the world, including its impending doom, is completely wrong.

People usually think they've already captured the world, "sussed it out", as snobbishly put by the radiohead, when they've only got a miniscule point of view. The more ignorant and enclosed the person is, the more certain he is about the world that surrounds him. The more knowledge one has, the more unknowns he is aware of. Enough ones to tell you that you should just let it go.

This is a world of insane contradictions, of inane injustices, of dire problems and consequences. And yet, of so much beauty, love, surprising twists of history, and mostly, what always seems as unsurmountable barriers, it's only because we didn't see the ladder engraved on them. On hindsight, we forget the problems we once faced with horror, and just look at the future terrified once more, as if we didn't learn the lesson.

Or perhaps it's just a combination of sheer ignorance, of novelty of a new medium (internet), and the total lack of personal experiences with "doom", resulting in spoiled brats.

I'm not even patronizing you, it's a cultural wide phenomenon, and there's nothing I can say that will get you out of that personal terror. Just keep lurking in here, and in other good-spirited blogs or portals, behave as if this ain't that problematic at all, and you'll eventually succeed in conquering the emotional part of your brain.

Because, really, rationally speaking, I can't really see how peak oil is still to be a problem. We've passed its curve. The next time we get another price spike, we'll be technologically ready for it (this ain't like the 70s for that reason alone), and we will smoothly and unexpensively change to other types of energy for our transportation.

 
At Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 11:07:00 AM PDT, Blogger Barba Rija said...

""Massive Population is Good"

Right or wrong, debunkers?


Personally I couldn't care less on that question. We'll have problems either way. If we stop having babies, who takes care of the growing elderly population?

If we have babies, where will we put them and how will we feed them?

Legitimate questions. I've seen but a handful of people that took that question seriously in a context of an evolutionary society and technology, though. Too much handwaving and rethorical bluffs compose 99% of this discussion.

 
At Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 11:51:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Podnaught-

"You seem to caught in the snivel mode..."

Wrongo bongo centipede gut.

I am in the if this post were submitted as a paper or article it wound be soundly laughed at and promptly roundfiled for a complete lack of substance.

This post is just a bunch of clippings with no synthesis.

Perhaps one day you PODsters will wake up a smell your denial.

WAAH - I want my iPOD to last forever. WAAH - Cheap energy will be our forever. WAAH - Dieoffs are impossible (Tell the last to a Sudanese.)

How about for a change one of you peaktards publish something of substance?

Podnaught

 
At Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 12:24:00 PM PDT, Blogger Ari said...

Podnaught,

"Substance" is a bit of a fuzzy target, though, is it not? I posted a review of a book and got told it wasn't substantive because someone didn't like the writing style.

JD has written many posts on specific topics and been told they "lack substance." Is "substance" just another way of saying, "in agreement?" I wonder that sometimes with these online discussions, to be honest. In any case, the point of the newsfeed posts is basically to serve as a counter to the Drumroll posts on TOD that list off the "negative" news stories at the time. Considering that there are nearly 400 posts on this site and only about 10 of them are in this style, it's hard to argue that more of them haven't had some sort of thesis.

But attacking a post that is by design a newsfeed for "lacking substance" is like raging at a lump of iron for being heavy.

Disagreeing with a thesis, by the way, does not mean that the thesis lacks substance. For example, I disagree with much of The Leviathan, but I find it hard to argue that Hobbes is lacking in "substance."

"Die off" is certainly possible-- I doubt that many people would argue that we haven't seen Russia's population decrease rather precipitously. But possible doesn't make something likely. Are we ready to believe that the United States and Europe suffer from the same problems as Sudan? Sudan has had ethnic issues since the Kush! It also doesn't help when your early "modern" government is a Mahdist dictatorship that offers little in the way of national identity.

Also, "cheap energy" is a silly canard. "Cheap" is relative. Are you saying that we cannot possibly tap into the vast stores of uranium and thorium available and produce energy "cheaply?"

What does "cheap" even mean to you, anyway?

 
At Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 12:45:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since you PODder's are embracing irrational belief systems how about participating in a survery to see what percentage of you also believe in supreme beings and an afterlife?

Click Here to take survey

Cheers!

Podnaught

 
At Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 12:53:00 PM PDT, Blogger Ari said...

Podnaught,

That seems awfully petty. I may be an atheist myself, but I know plenty of rational, well-grounded scientists who believe(d) in some kind of deity. Never mind that you have yet to say what it is that is so irrational about my, or anyone else's beliefs.

I don't see what you seek to gain by this survey.

 
At Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 12:53:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ari,

Your review opened with "fatally flawed" which thankfully preempted the need to read the rest of the review or the fatally flawed book.

I did get the sense that you felt the book was flawed from both TOD and POD perspectives. Bravo for that but correct me if I am wrong.

Podnaught

 
At Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 1:01:00 PM PDT, Blogger Ari said...

Podnaught,

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and copy and paste what I actually wrote:

While the book is flawed, it presents a broad optimistic view of energy reserve availability and potential for development and supply of those reserves in the foreseeable future. What makes the book most important, however, is that Mills demonstrates, using easily accessed sources, that the imminent peak arguments are highly flawed and irrational.

Nowhere did I say "fatally flawed." Besides, who says that "flawed" means that something is bad? I think that On Liberty is flawed. I also think that The Social Contract is flawed. Newton's Principia is flawed.

Every book written by every hand is in some way flawed. In the case of MoTOC, the biggest flaws I found had little to do with the substance of the argument-- in fact, the flaws were mostly semantic or unrelated to oil availability issues.

 
At Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 1:11:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ari,

Blogger Ari said...

Podnaught,

That seems awfully petty.

Ari - this entire blog is all about petty. Ironic, huh?

This is the kind of irrational thinking this blog seeks to support:

"The next time we get another price spike, we'll be technologically ready for it (this ain't like the 70s for that reason alone), and we will smoothly and unexpensively change to other types of energy for our transportation."

Aside from delusional, that's dangerous thinking.

To which you will likely repeat:

"Are you saying that we cannot possibly tap into the vast stores of uranium and thorium available and produce energy "cheaply?"

If this could be done wouldn't we be doing it now.

As for not in my backyard dieoffs, the 2008 European truckers strikes emptied the supermarkets in days. No diesel, no trucks, no food. Get it?

Podnaught

 
At Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 1:26:00 PM PDT, Blogger Ari said...

Ari,

Blogger Ari said...

Podnaught,

That seems awfully petty.

Ari - this entire blog is all about petty. Ironic, huh?

I don't think that's true, but even assuming that's the case, it doesn't give you carte blanche.

This is the kind of irrational thinking this blog seeks to support:

"The next time we get another price spike, we'll be technologically ready for it (this ain't like the 70s for that reason alone), and we will smoothly and unexpensively change to other types of energy for our transportation."

Aside from delusional, that's dangerous thinking.


How is it either delusional or dangerous? There are certainly technologies available, that are also being integrated, that offer the opportunity to reduce oil consumption a great deal in the near future. This is not delusion, it's mere observation.

As for it being dangerous, why? Because it's optimistic? Optimism is not necessarily dangerous. Like another blogger I read from once said: we live in defiance of the disastrous, not for it.

To which you will likely repeat:

"Are you saying that we cannot possibly tap into the vast stores of uranium and thorium available and produce energy "cheaply?"

If this could be done wouldn't we be doing it now.


Could and are are different. Just because we CAN does not mean we are doing it right now. We could, if we wanted to spend the capital, give everyone in the United States T3 internet. Does it make sense to at the moment? Not really.

I think the real question is: why will nuclear cease to be an option in the "post-peak" future? Hell, as you probably have heard a few times, Hubbert was arguing in favor of nuclear after oil peaked. It's a very viable option to produce energy.

As for not in my backyard dieoffs, the 2008 European truckers strikes emptied the supermarkets in days. No diesel, no trucks, no food. Get it?

Are you honestly claiming that we're going to run out of diesel fuel? That seems unlikely, even in the midst of a "post-peak" scenario. What is to stop governments from instituting rationing like they did in Northern Europe? Diesel isn't going to "run out," but there may be market shortages given certain policies. Rationing could certainly reduce that problem, and there are plenty of alternatives to diesel lorries.

But that wasn't what you argued originally. You were presenting a Sudan-like scenario, which is pretty hard to swallow in the OECD given its history. You wanted to paint a gruesome future, and Sudan is a good proxy for that. Too bad it doesn't fit...

 
At Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 3:42:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ari,

This where your wheels fall off. "Are you honestly claiming that we're going to run out of diesel fuel?"

The high diesel price induced trucking strike and resulting immediate food shortage proved we don't need to run out of diesel to run out of food.

Wake up dude, you seem smart enough and all that.

50% of JD's energy spend is produced from oil. I wonder what his contingency food supply plan should Japan's oil supply be cut or diminished due to a disruption in global shipping routes similar to the 9/11 week plus long shutdown of the airways.

JD is going to argue that he has eliminated diesel and oil from his lifestyle. How about we take a look at how JD eats absent oil, gas, diesel, ng, and lpg? Coal he can have but how to eat it or plant, fertilize reap, transport, store and distribute food with it?

If this global disruption were to happen today, there is about three weeks to figure out an answer before people start popping off in increasing numbers.

Codswallop? Probably not. We have sky pirates. We have ocean pirates. We have North Korea and the adjacent Singapore processing, storage and distribution routes. processing shipping lanes.

International shipping in the west pacific and pacific rim regions could easily be disrupted for weeks if not months. What would Japan do then.

You PODders are generally a smart lot. How about serving up a critique of Japan's emergency response plan for an unforeseen month long interruption of the global shipping routes? If sub aquatic pipelines are involved please presume they got disrupted too.

Cheers and cheerio,

Podnaught

 
At Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 3:45:00 PM PDT, Anonymous DoctorJJ said...

"If this global disruption were to happen today,..."

And what exactly would a disruption like that have to do with peak oil?

 
At Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 2:02:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Brother Cadfan said...

I think it deserves to be pointed out that diesel shortages had a lot to do with oil refinery processing runs, related to how refineries are optimised to produce distillates, as well as China using a great deal of diesel to power emergency generators and improve air quality during various tumult there during 2008.

 
At Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 5:31:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"How about we take a look at how JD eats absent oil, gas, diesel, ng, and lpg? Coal he can have but how to eat it or plant, fertilize reap, transport, store and distribute food with it?"

Well, Podnaught, as I recall, JD/Ari seem to think that electricity and electric vehicles will perform all of those tasks. They both have heaped scorn upon backyard gardens and small-scale organic farming, that's "subsistence" farming and therefore not even an option for them.

How will JD and Ari eat absent fossil fuel? Easy, just order a pizza delivered by hybrid scooter. Nothing to it...

HDT

 
At Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 5:49:00 AM PDT, Blogger Ari said...

Well, Podnaught, as I recall, JD/Ari seem to think that electricity and electric vehicles will perform all of those tasks. They both have heaped scorn upon backyard gardens and small-scale organic farming, that's "subsistence" farming and therefore not even an option for them.

That's because subsistence farming is a shitty experience and one best avoided if the tools at hand allow one that option.

And no, I have not "heaped scorn" upon small-scale organic farming. You're a liar. But then again, you've spent most of your time around here lying about what I've said, trying to paint a picture that doesn't exist, so why should I be surprised?

Also: I have no problem with backyard gardening as a supplement to one's diet or as a hobby. I just don't think it's a "solution" to food supply issues as has been suggested by some. If that's "scorn," then fine. Personally, I think you have nothing to really bring to the table, so you'd rather play troll and stir up trouble. Admit it: trolling is fun.

 
At Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 6:07:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, you still don't have an answer to the question of how we'll east post-oil. No surprise there.

And yes, I suppose it is JD heaping most of the scorn. But when you act as JD's Boy Friday, you get tarred with the same brush.

HDT

 
At Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 6:31:00 AM PDT, Blogger JD said...

^
I don't have any scorn for backyard gardeners. I personally enjoy gardening, and I'd do it myself if I had a yard. I simply pointed out some of the glaring problems with gardening as a way to feed yourself. No scorn, just simple arithmetic.

 
At Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 6:39:00 AM PDT, Blogger JD said...

You PODders are generally a smart lot. How about serving up a critique of Japan's emergency response plan for an unforeseen month long interruption of the global shipping routes? If sub aquatic pipelines are involved please presume they got disrupted too.

Hi podnaught, welcome to POD. I think you're onto something there, and I'd love to respond, but first I'd like to hear your contingency plan for another scenario. In this scenario, I burst into your bathroom in a skimask while you're taking a shower. I peel back the shower curtain, and blast your hairless testicles off with my trusty 4-10. What would be your emergency response in that case?

 
At Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 7:09:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The blowhards of the peak oil community are strongly in favor of gardening as a solution.

That's JD, and it sounds like scorn to me, particularly since no one, blowhard or otherwise, has suggested that backyard gardening is some perfect, one-size-fits-all solution to feed yourself. Of course, no one comes to this blog for nuance.

No, JD uses this kind of shotgun equivocation and strawman arithmetic because some anonymous 'doomer' thought small, local and organic might offset some of our fossil fuel needs, and of course we have a glut of that stuff.

Keep it up JD, your credibility is slowing passing 0 into negative numbers.

HDT

 
At Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 9:26:00 AM PDT, Blogger Barba Rija said...

That's wrong, HDT. Many doomer "think tanks" suggested gardening as the solution to offset most or a big chunk of the supposed peak oil problem.

Fact is, agriculture doesn't even spend that much oil. Neither it does the transportation of it.

So what most doom outlets did was to assert there was this huge big problem no one was competently watching for and it had these huge big consequences that it clearly would never have.

I'm sorry, people, you apparently like to stir the pot, please do (as if I cared), but you are really just wasting your time while there's a great sun out there waiting for you at the beach.

Facts are, peak oil did happen because of the financial crisis, and not because of any geological factor. I know this must be a painful truth for those that took the teachings of Simmons et al. too much seriously, but things are what they are.

We are looking ahead and see a glut of oil. New projects that entered the scene when oil was at 100$+ will have to compete in a market where oil is at 30/40$. Saudis et al are diminishing their production rates. Russia is in an enormous crisis and Iran is also at pains (my worst fears about peak oil were about giving these rogue and tirannical states more power than they should ever have), and people are still thinking in innovative ways to diminish oil's demand.

Personally, I've delayed the decision to turn my car to GPL, but I'm spending less gas than I ever was before. When people learn not to spend so much, such knowledge stays (specially whithin an economic crisis!).


In the battle between "Peak Everything" and the "Singularity", I'd say that the latter is making huge kicks and punches out of the former.

But the future belongs to itself.

 
At Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 9:33:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That's wrong, HDT. Many doomer "think tanks" suggested gardening as the solution to offset most or a big chunk of the supposed peak oil problem."

Bullshit, and you know it. Produce a citation or two to that effect.

HDT

 
At Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 3:19:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

podnaught,

You're talking about an Alex Scarrow event.

Of course if we have a months long cessation of ALL world oil supplies right NOW there will be a die off.

Likewise if we have a nuclear war there will be a die off.

We're not talking about Alex Scarrow's novel, however.
We're talking about real life.

i.e. a decline of global oil supplies in the 2-8% range with some of that decline being partially met by demand substitution to Nuke, LNG, Coal and Electric Transport ultimately.

That's WAY different.

But go ahead enjoy your doomer fantasy.

For the record, Alex Scarrow is writing a new book to follow up "Last Light", called "Twilight".

I will be buying this piece of FICTION as soon as it comes out because it's good honest entertainment.

But that's all it is.

DB

 
At Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 5:58:00 PM PDT, Blogger Ari said...

DB,

Right you are.

While worldwide oil shocks are possible-- hell, a meteor might take out the entire Middle East and vaporize all the oil there-- they are also incredibly unlikely.

Like, getting hit by a meteorite unlikely. Just not worth building societies on.

I mean, should Japan have built its entire post-war economy on "self-sufficiency?" To what end? If it had done that, it would have been a shadow of its current self. To be honest, I don't understand the fascination with the notion of "self-sufficiency." When is a country "self-sufficient?" When 100% of its economy is conducted domestically? Or is it just when 50%+1 or greater of all your income is domestically produced?

Personally, I think that nuclear offers the greatest opportunity for solving both emissions issues AND energy supply issues. It's been saddled with regulations and is still not quite price effective, but that can all change rather quickly. I think a lot of green organizations are coming around to nukes, so we may see a green-fueled nuke renaissance like we saw nukes get dismantled by an anti-nuke green movement.

Oh, and why is nuclear not being pursued more heavily, to whomever asked? Simple: the final waves of the anti-nuke backlash of the 20th century. Nuclear can work, as it works in France. Unfortunately, not all countries were blessed with the foresight of the French energy authorities. Unfortunately, while we bowed to almost certainly misguided green goals (note: I am not anti-green, I'm anti-stupid), we traded temporary "anti-nuclear victories" for coal power and decreased energy security. Ceux qui rient le vendredi, pleureront le dimanche, non?

(BTW, note that that is NOT Latin, but French. The phrase is just cute in this context. Don't like it? Too bad. French is fun, and I'm sipping champagne as I eat some truffles. Les goûts et les couleurs... ;-)

 
At Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 6:44:00 PM PDT, Anonymous jamelet said...

Ari:vah! Denuone latine loquebar? Me ineptum. Interdum modo elabitur

Sorry Ari, didn't mean to hit a nerve - modern and ancient languages are fun; I was merely playin around with the fact that their use was irrelevent in the argument :)

 
At Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 7:12:00 PM PDT, Blogger Ari said...

jamelet,

I only use non-English phrases when I believe that no truly efficient alternative exists. Sure, I can say "all else being equal," but ceteris paribus is more efficient, and better understood within an economic context.

Now, I may slip, and as Clemens may have said, don't always aspire to "the modern way and the best way." I admit that fault! However, I don't think I'm an inveterate Latin user. Of course, as Clemens also said, "An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice." Perhaps I have grown weak and sin. For that, I repent. Really.

Cheers!

 
At Thursday, March 12, 2009 at 6:31:00 AM PDT, Blogger Barba Rija said...

Bullshit, and you know it. Produce a citation or two to that effect.

HDT, had I the time and I wouldn't produce "a citation or two", I'd produce hundreds of them.

 
At Thursday, March 12, 2009 at 8:08:00 AM PDT, Blogger JD said...

You're an ass and a bore HDT. Find another site to troll.

 
At Thursday, March 12, 2009 at 8:40:00 AM PDT, Blogger JD said...

HDT,
Take a hike. The core problem here is that you think you can turn this site into yet another beachhead for doomer talking points. Sorry, but that's not going to happen. I'm a nice guy, so I give you guys a lot of slack.. but there's a limit. You wanna talk gardening, buzz on over to Oil Drum: Campfire, or LATOC, or Prepping for the Future at peakoil.com. You can talk about compost and the evils of consumerism to your heart's content. Enjoy yourself. This site is for the unreconstructed technoheads, and here we rule the roost. You get deleted here, and I get deleted at aspo-usa.org. What goes around comes around.

 
At Sunday, March 15, 2009 at 1:49:00 PM PDT, Blogger wchfilms said...

Wow this is nutso. I'm really starting to think that many Doomers are just mentally ill. So, oil's not a problem now, the banking crisis is teotwawki? And it's so important this site has to be informed too? Sheesh.

I suppose it's fitting in a way because peak oil doom is itself at heart an economic prediction. But even professional economists tend to make astrologists look respectable. Roubini is a lot like a permabear--- sooner or later is going to be 'right' to some degree, but people only look for people like this after a crisis occurs. There's a stock prediction scam relating to this.

The financial crisis was very scary back in September and October but once we got past that part of it, it's really just a recession of whatever degree. Probably a sharp one, but recessions end. That money is based on credit/debt is not new in the slightest, so an interesting puzzler which might put some doomers at ease (haha yeah right) is to wonder why *any* recession would *ever* end. Why doesn't 1974 or 1979 just spiral down until nothing was left? Basically: greed. And some greed is good. Lack of regulation bad.

 
At Friday, April 3, 2009 at 3:06:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So, you still don't have an answer to the question of how we'll east post-oil. No surprise there."

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

I'll order pizza from Dominoes delivered by electric scooter.

Hope that Helps.

DB

 

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