free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 356. SEGWAY: ULTRA-EFFICIENT MOBILITY

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


A persistent misconception in the peak oil community is the idea -- frequently repeated by Matt Simmons and other oil addicts -- that oil demand will continue to rise in the face of faltering supply. The underlying idea is that people "need" their cars to get to work and run errands, and thus there is no way for demand to fall. According to this theory, we really "need" oil production to grow in order to maintain mobility and keep society functioning.

This couldn't be further from the truth. The reality is that it takes an incredibly small amount of energy to move a person from point A to point B. To demonstrate this, let's take a look at the "volkswagen" of the near future:
The Segway

First let's do the comparison in terms of price. The average passenger car in the U.S. now gets about 22 miles per gallon, and gasoline costs roughly $4/gallon, so a car gets about 5.5 miles/dollar.

The Segway, on the other hand, can run about 20 miles on one charge (1Kwh), and that 1Kwh costs roughly $.09 in the U.S. Therefore, the Segway gets about 222 miles/dollar.

Conclusion: A Segway will get you from point A to point B about 40 times cheaper than the average car -- the equivalent of about 889 miles/gallon, at current gas prices.

That right there is the fundamental debunk of all the peak oil hysteria. Why are we going to "need" all that oil to move people from A to B, when an efficient vehicle like the Segway will take you there at 1/50th of the cost, using 1/10th the energy, and that energy doesn't have to come from oil? In fact, it would be very feasible, even today, to generate all the charging energy for a Segway with home solar panels. 1Kwh per day is not a lot of energy.

Of course, that's not to say that the Segway per se is "the answer". It isn't. Peak oil will be addressed by a wide range of vehicles, ranging from total vehicle elimination (as in telecommuting) to electric streetcar-style buses, to high end vehicles (like the Tesla roadster), and, in the long run, to people clustering into areas of greater density.

The Segway, however, does demonstrate how little energy/oil we really need to maintain individual mobility and "easy motoring".

And it is quite a little beast in its own right. Observe this video of a Segway climbing the steepest street in the world:

Segways in the snow:

Figures from: Segway energy efficiency white paper (pdf)
by JD


At Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 5:36:00 AM PDT, Blogger JD said...

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

P.S.: I've rehabilitated the Peak Oil Debunked Google Forum. There have been so many positive articles lately about people making the shift to scooters, bicycling, car pooling etc. It's a really good sign, and I've decided to get a little newstream of that type going. If you have a good link, or any other ideas, I hope you'll join the forum and post. :-)

At Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 5:41:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Here's an hillarious take on the segway:


It's a good laugh.

At Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 7:21:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These things are actually a phenomenal substitute for using a car for short trips. I happen to live in easy walking distance of both my work, both my parents and inlaws homes and a shopping area, and one of these makes life not only extremely convenient but also fun.

I would love to pick up one of those Ninja Mopeds that I have seen talked about on this site as well as one of the "suburbia solutions" as they're fun and incredibly fuel efficient.

The problem however was right at the beginning of the article wherein the premise of the whole issue is wrong- far from oil demand rising sharply (or "soaring" as the media loves to tell us) in the face of "flat" supply, oil demand is rising moderately right along with moderate supply growth. This can be illustrated given the numbers JD posted from the IEA a few posts back.

All these solutions to oil are fantastic.

There hasn't been one thing that JD has written about that I don't think would be fantastic on a large scale.

I am a huge proponent of fuel efficiency and individual energy independence.

The problem is that they are solutions to a "problem" that really is a hoax.

It's like "conservatives" accepting the global warming hoax and trying to sell us "better" solutions than liberals.

At Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 8:04:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HA! I was just looking over the Segway 2008 price list for Europe and one of thet things costs 7200 euro (including tax, but not shipment).
JD, if you are trying to point us to alternatives, avoid things like this one. I agree, it looks nice, the specs are good, but I have no motivation of buying one at this price.
I would buy one for 2000 euro(MAYBE 3000), but only if gasoline prices were 4-5 times higher than they are now. But for 7200 euro, I'd rather walk, so this is not really an alternative.

At Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 9:00:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personal mobility has never been the key problem here. Its the transport of tons and tons of freight accross oceans that is the issue.

I'm not saying that there is "segway" alternatives for container ships and cargo planes, but I'm certainly not aware of any.

I'm less concerned with getting to the supermarket as I am with food being able to get there. It would be smart to provide insight into these commercial issues if we're going to debunk peak oil.

At Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 9:02:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, correction: "I'm not saying that there are no 'segway' alternatives for container ships..."

At Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 9:05:00 AM PDT, Blogger JD said...

My intention wasn't really to promote this particular vehicle, but rather to point out how little energy/oil it takes to move a person. The solution to peak oil will involve a roll-out of numerous species of high-efficiency vehicles. At the moment the electric bike seems to be the low-cost option, but the designs are likely to evolve quickly as oil prices rise. The bottom line is that people will still be able to "motor around" with much more expensive oil. The cars just have to get smaller and lighter -- more like bicycles.

At Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 9:36:00 AM PDT, Blogger JD said...

According to the stats, ocean freight accounts for 2.5% of U.S fuel consumption, and air freight 1.1%. Cars account for 40%. Clearly personal mobility *is* the key problem. The U.S alone is burning up Saudi Arabia's production capacity in oil everyday, just in cars. That's a huge volume of fat to shave off. And it can be shaved off, as I've shown in this post.

At Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 9:51:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The main transportation problem in the USA isn't the lack of more efficient modes of transport (includding good-ol' tennis shoes). The main problem is the layout of our suburbs, which are designed for cars rather than for people.

I saw a presentation by architect and urban planner Andrés Duany, where he contrasted arial photos from a traditionally laid-out neighborhood -- zoned mixed-use with interconnecting streets -- and a modern suburban "pod" -- zoned single-use with one way in and one way out. He pointed out that, living in the pod, it was impossible to simply walk to the close-by strip-center retail shops because of the interposing culverts and chain-link fences.

Our suburbs are designed so that shoppers and workers have to drive their cars out of their neighborhoods and onto the feeder roads to get anywhere. In the situation most suburbanites live in, as wonderful as the machine is, driving a Segway to the store or to work would require taking one's life in one's hands.

Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk are pioneers in a cutting-edge school of urban design (their most famous project being Seaside, Florida), called The New Urbanism. This school is championing a return to mixed-use city planning where residences, business enterprises, professional offices and retail are mixed within the same human-scaled neighborhoods.

The Wikipedia entry on The New Urbanism lists a number of the school's projects nation-wide. Heck, there's even a mixed-use neighborhood under construction here in lil' ol' San Antonio.

The New Urbanism website (linked above) proclaims that the movement is, "Giving people many choices for living in sustainable, convenient and enjoyable places, while providing the solutions to global warming, climate change, and peak oil." And it quotes the New York Times saying that the school is, "the most important collective architectural movement in the United States in the past fifty years."

Duany and others have also produced a new zoning code, called Smart Code, which local zoning comissions can use to develop along mixed-use lines. In it, they've solved all the square-peg, round-hole and wall-plug technicalities that are involved in the implementation of any zoning code within the political systems and developmental norms as they currently exist. And it turns out, no small task, that.

Ironically, peak oil may end up returning our lives in the USA to a liveableness that we've forgotten ever existed.

At Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 9:56:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A persistent misconception in the peak oil community is the idea -- frequently repeated by Matt Simmons and other oil addicts -- that oil demand will continue to rise in the face of faltering supply."

A persistent misconcenption in JD's posts is that a complete re-engineering of the transportation infrastructure will be fast, non-energy intensive and all merry.

Other than that i agree that energy efficiency will save us from most of the apocalyptic stuff put forth by loonies.

At Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 12:33:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We cannot avoid an economic shock from a supply crunch. But this shock will be temporary. We cannot avoid the economic shock because right now our entire infrastructure is built on oil based transport. Much higher oil prices will cause the shock - there is no way around this.

However, battery technology has really improved by leaps and bounds in the last decade. Current battery technology is adequate for powering small cars that can carry two passengers over long distance (note that the Tesla batteries can carry a fast sports car over 220 miles without needing a second charge). This technology when applied to small cars should yield even better results.

But it gets better. Stanford University have developed a nanowire battery that packs 8 times as much charge as your top high-end lithium ion battery does today. So if you put those into cars, they should be able to run decent sized sedans purely on battery power. Battery power is really the future because it wastes the least energy (of all forms of transportation fuel) - because battery run cars do not have so many moving parts, very little energy gets wasted - unlike the internal combustion engine.

I do believe that in ten years from now, oil will become superfluous for transport. The fall in oil supplies will make other forms of energy use much more economic. Once that happens, people will make a permanent switch to non-oil based energy.

Actually if I were to be "bearish" about any region in the world, it would have to be the Middle East. What will the Saudis do when there is a global switch to battery power? For them it doesn't even bear thinking about. But perhaps this Saudi proverb shall come true:

My father rode a camel, I drive a car, my son flies in an aircraft, my grandson shall ride a camel.

Nanowire battery:

The Eestor capacitor:

The amazing Eliica (this car went almost as fast as a Bugatti Veyron (the fastest road car ever made) on a fraction of the budget:

The technology exists today and it is improving with astonishing rapidity. Oil will be toast as a means of transport within a decade.

At Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 12:48:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think a related point can be made with respect to the transition to more fuel efficient IC cars. An oft-cited dark cloud is that we have a massive fleet of cars and it takes a long time to phase in new technology, so we not only have to wait for cheap, widely available plug-ins, but we also have to wait for the phase-in (and that's just too long, the story goes). But this assessment ignores two important considerations. One, phasing in can happen more rapidly given market pressure, and two, we may well be able to convert our existing fleet in ways that substantially improve fuel efficiency. For this, see this company as an example, which claims (unverified) that it can convert existing cars to hybrids reaching 100 miles mpg for a price of $4-5000 range. If this is so, we can modify cheaply, soon, and phase in plug-ins more slowly.

At Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 1:10:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry JD. I've been coming to your site for a while to get another side to the Peak Oil debate. And while it is good for me to do so, (I tend to be a pessimist concerning some things), I must say that the Segway article just cracks it for me. There are knee-jerks on both sides of this debate, and you just knee-jerked one too many times. I know you were simply doing a thought exercise ( I think to the point of aburbism) to counter some of the more aburbist, doom-saying on the other side, but come on! America came along at the just the right time as a young civilization to see its inherit capitalist/entrepenuerist nature get a HUGE growth hormone injection from the discovery of cheap oil. Human civilization had not changed dramatically (even with the advent of America) until the production of the steam engine and mechanical production (ie the cotton gin) in the early 1800's. But America and the world radically took off after the discovery of CHEAP oil. And America went into the STRATOSPHERE in the 50's when the inflation adjusted price of gas was a fraction of what it was even in the 20's and 30's.

However, it is nearly a 1:1, linear relationship viz a viz our growth with cheap, homegrown oil. That changed when we peaked in the early 70's. Our purchasing power has been dwindling since then, our deficits and debt have been growing and our manufacturing based has eroded ever since we peaked and started being a net importer in the early 80's. However, just like the Titanic, it takes a while to steer the ship and even after it was hit by the iceberg, it took a while for it to sink.


How can you seeminly be so sanguine, when you should know that our ENTIRE ECONOMIC SYSTEM AND SUBURBAN, MIDDLE CLASS CULTURE SINCE THE DAWN OF MODERN TRANSPORTATION, has been designed and propelled by cheap oil?

Since it took 100 years to build up this system, how do you suppose a new system can arrived in the 20 years it will take for most alternative ideas to make it to the market place and even then they aggregately cannot not replace CHEAP oil as a CHEAP alternative?

How do you keep America from lurching into a prolonged recession, (whether deep or not is irrelevent after such a prolonged and huge run-up for the last 50 years, any scenario will seem bad) even if Peak Oil turns into just Plateau Oil? Couple this with our crushing debt load which devalues the dollar and the oncoming retiree/age wave which will drain more resources from the economy, thus driving the dollar down more, only to fuel run-ups in the commodities market (ie OIL?)

How can you stop China and India from aspiring to the same lofty Middle-Upper Class goals we have been crowing about for 50 years? Especially China that desires to do to us what Reagan did to the old Soviet Union, drive us bankrupt trying to keep up with the Socio/Economic and Military growth of China? You certainly cannot tell 1/3 of THE ENTIRE WORLD'S POPULATION THEY CAN'T FINALLY COME UP FROM CENTURIES OF POVERTY TO OBTAIN THE "AMERICAN" DREAM JUST BECAUSE OF THAT PESKY PLATAU/PEAK OIL THING!"

Look, you need to pick your arguments and your points better, just like the "DOOMSTERS" need to back off the "Lord of the Flies" scenario. But the facts are the facts. We are fast coming to an end to "CHEAP OIL", that is the oil that can be gotten to for relatively little energy outputted. We have built a monsterously complex system of culture around "Cheap Oil" and complex systems break down far easier and with worse results than non-complex systems. Our system is based on growth. Our ability to handle our debt load is based on growth. Our growth for the last 100 years has been based on "CHEAP OIL". That is coming to an end. And eventually every oil exporter, just like us, will export less once they reach their peak, to keep more for themselves. So shortly after peak and long before they run out, exports will decline and importing nations such as ourselves will take it in the neck.

Final question? How do you support $55 trillion dollars in total debt (National Debt, Social Security, Medicaid/Care, Gov. Pensions, etc.) not including 10+ trillion in personal debt AS OF TODAY MUCH LESS IN THE NEAR FUTURE, when "CHEAP" oil is getting harder and harder to find and inputted into our system of growth?

Not trying to be a "doomster" or political (I'm an independent). Just a steely-eye realist.

At Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 4:26:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous needs to start his/her own blog, with lots of ALL CAPS for the really important bits of doomer regurgitation.

There are plenty of ways to get a set of wheels rolling without gasoline. Not that a doomer would ever admit that, gosh, a bus running on CNG is an efficient way to transport 50 people at once! I'm not like JD, since I live in the middle of nowhere I drive a lot and I kind of enjoy it. When I make a 50-mile trek to town I usually have lunch at my favorite Thai place, then Mexican for dinner and I pick up their used veggie oil. My car runs on it, though I do mix in some diesel so my cost per gallon is about .25.

Obviously anon doesn't believe there is such a thing as a middle class outside the US, but there is (umm, Europe, anyone?) and it is not defined by oil consumption. The middle classes of Asia & elsewhere will not have a problem "getting theirs" because of the cost of oil. It's like saying in 1985 that the poor of the world would never have access to telephones because the lines would be too expensive to put in. Now you can find people in the poorest areas that either own cell phones or they can rent them at a price they can afford, ie by the minute.

At Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 8:03:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm not saying that there is "segway" alternatives for container ships and cargo planes, but I'm certainly not aware of any. "

Cargo planes are a tough one, but for ships, there are these "sail" things that have been out for what, 3000 years? For non-time critical cargo, they will still work.

Even with no oil at all, Coal To Liquids would keep the trains and ships moving. Farmers can grow their own fuel on about 20 to 30% of their land, about the same as it took to keep draft animals. (This surprising result is because the horses/oxen eat every day whether they work or not.)

Light transportation is the bottleneck. Now that it's warm (finally, third coldest April on record locally) I'm back on the motorcycle just in time for the $4.00 gas. Alas, I'll be froze off the bike and back into the cage next October.

At Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 8:49:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

mike S, that's ridiculous, no farmer can grow their fuel on 30% of their land, if that were possible, oil would be history already. biofuels is a bust, and will never work unsubsidized. even algae.

At Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 11:33:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I think a segway would only have a niche market, even now, in the "foothills" of peak oil. However, a niche market still plays a role--whether it is 10,000 people using them nationwide or 50,000. Along with walking, car-pooling, bicycles (electric and pedal) , vespas, and hybrids and PHEVs, the segway could well have its place in keeping the downward slope somewhat manageable. Why not? Japan uses half the amount of oil per person that Americans do...and those

Changes are going to come VERY fast in the coming years, and if its a segway that gets you to work or a scooter, or a carpool, then so be it. All are part of exponential changes that occur result in reaching critical mass, be it protest movements or awareness of impending oil shortages.

It's been said that there are two more Saudi Arabias to be found--one under Detroit and one in telecommuting.

As for CTL, only one country in the world--South Africa--has a working CTL plant. China is building CTL plants currently, but, the Fischer-Tropher process has a very low EROI and extremely low yields. The plants cost billions to construct and, obviously, years to get from site approval to manufacturing. CTL doesn't seem a likely mitigation pathway.

MIT has shown success in algae production at a cost of $20 per litre. Scaling up takes time but the results have been positive, including the cars already powered by the biodiesel and gasoline. Would it not simply take some deep pockets and vision to bring this scale?
The Manhatten Project was largely funded by one donor....

At Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 3:13:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

segway is dead. Long live segway.

...Where's my fucking bike? Now THAT's a vehicle!

At Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 4:35:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who said anything about replacing infrastructure? Why not make the fuel at home? You'll probably have to for the Tesla Roadster, the BMW 7-series and the Suzuki CrossCage.

If you like Segway, why not a Honda Cub? Apparently it's pretty much indestructible and will run on just about anything. Nice!

At Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 6:28:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Cargo planes are a tough one, but for ships, there are these "sail" things that have been out for what, 3000 years? For non-time critical cargo, they will still work."

I don't think so; sailing ships lost to inefficient, crappy steam engines powered by slightly combustible dirt(aka coal).

Ships are very efficient and they can easily afford to outbid commuters or people using oil for home heating/process heat. Short term they're just going to keep using oil, maybe reduce the speed a tad and keep building ever larger container ships.

Longer term, large container ships like Emma Maersk that require a power output of up to 110 MW(80 MW from a diesel engine so large that the crank box has ladders going into it and each cylinder can comfortably fit a person inside) seems like a perfect match for a small nuclear reactor of a passively safe design, like the pebble beds.

At Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 8:36:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are fast coming to an end to "CHEAP OIL", that is the oil that can be gotten to for relatively little energy outputted. We have built a monsterously complex system of culture around "Cheap Oil" and complex systems break down far easier and with worse results than non-complex systems. Our system is based on growth. Our ability to handle our debt load is based on growth. Our growth for the last 100 years has been based on "CHEAP OIL". That is coming to an end.

Repeating something over and over again does not make it true.

Your claims about "CHEAP OIL" "RUNNING OUT" are simply not true as has been illustrated on this site over and over again. It's been repeated by honest analysts, oil execs and OPEC.

These aren't stupid people. They have to plan for the future years in advance and they aren't planning for oil running out because it has not reached the point where it is running out, or even "peaking."

Look at the numbers from the IEA- oil production is not peaking, oil demand is not "soaring." Demand is slowly rising along with supply. And new supply is coming online (albeit slower than projected) all the time. New discoveries are being made and the environment is changing in several key producing areas.

In simple terms, your claims are at worst false and at best entirely unsupported by any evidence and completely contrary to the evidence that exists.

At Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 10:51:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are fast coming to an end to "CHEAP OIL", that is the oil that can be gotten to for relatively little energy outputted. We have built a monsterously complex system of culture around "Cheap Oil" and complex systems break down far easier and with worse results than non-complex systems. Our system is based on growth. Our ability to handle our debt load is based on growth. Our growth for the last 100 years has been based on "CHEAP OIL". That is coming to an end.

You have to stop reading LATOC. It has been studied that it damages your critical thinking abilities and coverts people into insane blogging zombies. Some people are found dead in front of their TFTs often showing a not-finished ranting about world starvation and lack of water resources due to the phenomenon of "peak oil". Cause of death is always the same: dehydration and famine.

At Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 10:52:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

jstanley01 : I love in a TND. LOVE it. Schools, parks, shopping all in walking distance, whole place set up around pedestrians. It's wonderful. A great link for New Urbanism which, I did not see in your post is .

Luis Dias said...

segway is dead. Long live segway.

...Where's my fucking bike? Now THAT's a vehicle!

Exactly. As far as real transportation is concerned, the Segway is a dumb joke compared to a bicycle.

At Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 11:44:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One post here mentioned "two more Saudi Arabias": Detroit and telecommuting. Maybe there's a third; local industry:

At Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 11:47:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure if it's in the above article, but i also read that shipping fuel consumption has increased mainly because ships are moving faster, and burning more fuel to do so. Just slow down!

At Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 6:01:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read alot of this blog and today Steely Eyed Realist finally said it. The real damage done by the oil supply not meeting demand will be because of fractionary banking practices. None of you pie in the sky strawmen even touched the topic in your haste to rebutt him. This blog is either plain wrong or making a straw argument in every post. This blog and most of the "doomer" blogs also all ignore the fact that 1% of the population owns 95% of the wealth in the USA. Not to mention they are 3 missed mortgage payments away from owning the other 5%. All these great ideas could be implemented but it seems the Scum Federal Reserve bankers (lets face it they are the top 1%) have other plans. I believe Japan is in the same position in this respect JD. The fact that you wrote about Greenspan like he was anything but a thief who stole more wealth than you could count in a lifetime shows your complete ignorance of the greedy central bankers crimes. In the USA the Federal Reserve Banking system owns controling interest in every media corporation. The bankers have known about peak oil for years. They chose to give us McMansions and SUV's and turn the news into gossip. What do you think their plans are? I honestly don't know but somehow I don't think they involve me in any good way. Try addressing the real issue of FRACTIONARY BANKING PRACTISES (sorry couldn't help the caps knowing how much it bugs you guys) and the absolute need for continuing growth otherwise you are just strawmen twisting in the wind. You also might want to address what will happen when China sells US dollars short. Sooner or later they will do this. What better way to get the oil they need than by wrecking the US economy and lowering demand.
By the way the US economy is reeling at $4 gas and the consequences have already been pretty bad for many people I know. If you take the billionaires out of the equation the US #'s are horrible. I know this is a US centered post but I don't care I live in the US.

At Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 7:06:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Found a reference, for the UK at least.

"Agriculture requires 1.4 million tons oil equivalent for motive power. Around 500,000 hectares are currently devoted to growing rape as an agricultural product and around 1,500,000 additional hectares would be required for rape and beet cultivation for the processing of sufficient bio-diesel to make agriculture self-sufficient in motive power. This represents around 8.5% of the agricultural land in current use."

For the US, I had to combine two references. the first, it would take 36% of US farmland to replace 10% of oil consumption, and the second (from JD's site here) is that agriculture uses 2.5% of US oil consumption. Combine these, and you get 9% of the land needed to fuel agriculture. (This does not include moving the food to market.)

And in answer to the question why are farmers not doing this yet: If the cost to buy fuel is less than 9% of your crop's value, you are going to plant the crop and buy the fuel. If the fuel cost is more than 9% of the crop's value, then you might save money by converting to fuel production. And you have to buy some expensive equipment to do the processing.

So my 30% estimate was way high. Oh, and the above economics was why the draft animals were rendered so quickly when tractors came out. Kill the horses, and plant the 20 to 30% of the land it took to feed them, and profits went right up, because fuel was cheap. And deductible.

By the way, a few years ago farmers were burning corn in pellet stoves, as that was the most value they could get for the crop. Times have changed just a bit.

At Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 2:40:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its funny how it is always an anon that makes a trollish comment. Stop reading LATOC, you fool! Most things that you said are not even wrong! If China bombs the dollar, then China is also dead, you idiot! Banks did not choose to give you SUVs and McMansions, you moron, YOU DID! 4$ a gallon is nothing compared to the 8.5$ a gallon we spend in Portugal, where GDP per capita is half than USA, you ignorant!

At Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 10:09:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All these comments and no one has spotted the problem with jd's post.
If you want cheap transportation, walk. $0.0 per mile.
The problem with walking and the Segway is time. Segway tops out at 12.5 mph. I have a 25 mile commute to work, at top speed, all the way, that's 2 hours. In my car, at 60mph, it's 30 minutes. That's 3 hours per day lost using the Segway. How much is your free time worth?

At Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 10:37:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't figure out why the idiot Anon's of the world even bother reading this blog when LATOC is a much better place for bunching up your panties and screeching BS about impending doom and then getting high-fived for it.

For example, anon says, "the fact that 1% of the population owns 95% of the wealth in the USA." Actually, as of 2001, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 33.4% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 51%... In terms of financial wealth, the top 1% of households had an even greater share: 39.7%. This is from UCSC and you would have a hard time finding a school more geared to socialist/communist thought.


40% of Americans own their houses outright so the mortgage disaster does not affect them, plus the only dopes who are losing their houses at this point are the ones who did not bother to learn the difference between an adjustable and fixed mortgages. Or the greedy dorks who bought thinking they'd flip in two years or did not bother to see if their budget could handle the payment.

There is another huge bonanza out there -- shipping optimization. Two years ago I worked on a project for a large company that shipped goods to the US in an amazingly inefficient way - because they'd been doing it that way for 50 years. The project allowed them to put about 20% more goods in each container at no cost since shipping is more about volume than weight. I doubt they are the only company out there like that.

At Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 10:46:00 AM PDT, Blogger al fin said...

Walking costs calories, and calories ain't free, mi anonamor. Walking takes a lot more time than an electric scooter as well. Time ain't free, mi anonamor.

Instead, we at Oynklent Green [OTC:OYNK] propose the thermochemical conversion of corrupt politicians, trial lawyers, and post-modernist university professors into clean, renewable energy. Corrupt politicians and trial lawyers are a renewable resource, since there are always ten waiting in line to replace every one who falls.

Post-modernist irrationalist university professors will die out for lack of anyone to teach the new ones, but they are so plentiful that the supply should last for hundreds of years before extinction.

At Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 12:54:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your attempt to debunk peak oil is more than a little lopsided. First of all, transportation is roughly 70 percent of the problem. What about the nearly 30 percent of total consumption that occurs in petroleum based products and fertilizers for our crops, just to name a few. Furthermore, personal transportation makes up and even smaller portion of total consumption. What about commercial transportation? Peak oil cannot be debunked because it is an irrefutable fact. One could argue whether we have reached it yet, but the FACT that we are heading in that direction quickly is simply undisputable. Common Sense! Listen to the facts here. It takes roughly from 10 to 300 million years for organic matter to go through the necessary processes to turn to petroleum. This is a common scientific belief.
The industrial revolution began a little more than 200 years ago, but didn't really get going until a little more than 100 years ago with the invention of the internal combustion engine and the electric power generator. Now, in just a little more than a century we are already talking about the possibility of peak oil? Millions of years to form versus hundreds of years to use, that's a little unbalanced if you ask me. Yes, of course, we are not out yet and there is probably still some more out there we haven't found yet, but how much? Where is it? The technology of oil extraction is incredibly advanced, yet still they are having trouble finding new reservoirs of oil. By the end of the century, scientists believe the global population will reach 9 billion. Do the math man. It really isn't that hard to figure out if you pull your head out of your ass. Everyone seems to think the scientists have it all figured out too, guess what they don't. They have some ideas, but none of which will provide enough energy to sustain our demand. Basically, we're fucked. Hopefully, we will figure something out before it's too late.

At Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 6:39:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We have built a monsterously complex system of culture around "Cheap Oil" and complex systems break down far easier and with worse results than non-complex systems."

yes, because oil has been cheap for 100 years. WRONG!

oil was cheap during the lat 90s. it wasn't cheap during most of the 70s and early 80s.

because the system is complex, expensive oil won't do it in.

At Friday, May 30, 2008 at 2:12:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Basically, we're fucked. Hopefully, we will figure something out before it's too late."

I think this line of thinking is ages old. Grow up. Life's tough. Never been otherwise. Learn to live with it.

At Friday, May 30, 2008 at 3:08:00 AM PDT, Blogger DB said...

Electric cars just have to get less expensive.
We're nearly there already.
Boutique after market suppliers can provide you with an electric SUV with a 100 mile range for $40K.
Mass market suppliers like th!nk of norway can provide you with a smallish euro-city-car for about $20K with a 150 mile range.
smith electric vehicles can provide 7.5 ton trucks with a 100 mile range. I don't know the price but the per vehicle mile price is quoted at being 1/4 that of an equivalent diesel truck.
TNT logistics in the UK ordered 200 of them. Sainsbury's (a large supermarket chain in the UK) also ordered 200 of them.

We are ALMOST there. If the price comes down to $20K then these cars will go mass market.

Forget the segway. It's so expensive I'd rather walk/take a bicyle or else wait for electric cars to get cheaper.

Peak Oil? Yawn.

At Friday, May 30, 2008 at 3:15:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And another thing anon:
This site is called peak oil debunked but it's really "peak oil dieoff religion debunked" rather than peak oil deniers anonymous.

Get a clue.

At Friday, May 30, 2008 at 7:18:00 AM PDT, Blogger David Grenier said...

Personally, I prefer my gas scooter (Bajaj Chetak @100mpg) to a Segway, which would be too expensive and take too much time to get anywhere - but I think its too easy to get bogged down in trying to find the ONE TRUE SOLUTION. I think JD is right, there's a ton of different options for different people. There's no one-size-fits-all solution, and most people will come up with a variety of solutions (drive when I have to, scoot when I can, bike or walk sometimes).

As an FYI - my local scooter shop is almost completely sold out of their stock. They ordered more scooters (mostly Genuine Buddys and Kymco Peoples) than ever before but they just can't keep them in the store. The sad part is that they actually can't get more. Genuine can't import them fast enough to keep up with demand.

So rather than waiting for the GM Volt and then another 15 years for auto stock to turnover, I'm seeing people making changes right now. And lets face it, getting to ride a scooter to work isn't exactly some huge sacrifice.

BTW JD, you should do a post on the Geo Metro. It got nearly the same gas mileage a Prius gets for half the price, and was around for a decade. Just by building that car again GM could make a lot of money and people could reduce their reliance on petroleum compared to anything they drive now that isn't a hybrid.

At Friday, May 30, 2008 at 3:31:00 PM PDT, Blogger regeya said...

"How can you stop China and India from aspiring to the same lofty Middle-Upper Class goals we have been crowing about for 50 years?"

Don't worry; their ability to subsidize oil will run out soon enough.

jd did another post about that, too. And to everyone else defending this guy, I love how the argument shifted from Peak Oil to fractional banking. Yep, fractional banking needs to die, but it has nothing to do with peak oil.

(And I refuse to capitalize peak oil. It's a theory, not a religion.)

At Friday, May 30, 2008 at 4:43:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

shane how could you? Bow right now to the MIGHTY Peak OIL and you won't be SMITED for your wickedness!

At Friday, May 30, 2008 at 5:39:00 PM PDT, Blogger Ms. Incognito said...

jstanley01 said: "Our suburbs are designed so that shoppers and workers have to drive their cars out of their neighborhoods and onto the feeder roads to get anywhere. In the situation most suburbanites live in, as wonderful as the machine is, driving a Segway to the store or to work would require taking one's life in one's hands."

And I agree wholeheartedly.

Over 50% of all Americans now live in suburbs. This is a recent anomaly of human civilization made possible only in the past 60 years by cheap oil. When cheap oil comes to an end, the suburbs will become a liability. We will either have to radically alter our suburbs into mixed-use communities AND put in sidewalks everywhere in those suburbs (more on sidewalks from me in another comment) or else abandon the suburbs all together. And considering most subruban houses are (over)-valued at a half million and up, 50% of the American public is either about to ose their shirts, or else will demand that the suburbs be altered. And who is going to pay for the re-structuring of suburbia? God only knows. But whatever is coming will not be pretty.

At Friday, May 30, 2008 at 6:12:00 PM PDT, Blogger Ms. Incognito said...

As for sidewalks ...

Sidewalks are one of the most critical components to the structuring of a viable and sustainable community. And yet since the 1970's, sidewalks have been all but phased out of new construction developments in the United States, most especially residential suburban developments. And why is this??? Because of the following:

1) It costs the construction companies less money if they just eliminate sidewalks from the neighborhood construction plan. Each 40-foot stretch of 3-foot-wide sidewalk running in front of a typical suburban house costs anywhere from $2 to $9 per foot (sometimes more if local zoning requires unique materials or specific sub-structures). Multiply that out by 60 houses at 40-feet per frontage, and the savings for even just ONE development are astoundingly high. And then the additional savings on not having to bother with curb-cuts at every intersection (curb-cuts are the federally mandated sloping ramps at every street corner allowing wheelchairs to go up and down from the street to the sidewalk) just makes good business sense. So whenever such a mega-builder (such as Toll Brothers, one of the largest and most prolific coast-to-coast mega-builders of suburban neighborhoods in the USA) comes to town and buys up 50 acres for a housing development, they hold their breath, hoping some smart alec does NOT bring up the "S" word at the local zoning meeting as they apply for approval of their proposed housing development. And if it DOES come up, they do their best to fight it.

2) The home-buyers don't want sidewalks because then they don't have to shovel snow from them. Most municipalities require sidewalks to be shoveled within 24 hours of any snowfall. Failure to shovel can result in a fine. And the postal carrier is not obligated to deliver the mail if he/she finds your sidewalk unshoveled. Most post-1970's suburbs are built with curb-side mailboxes with the little metal flags on them, and so the mail carrier never even has to exit his/her mail truck.

3) The homeowners once again don't want sidewalks because they will get a break on their liability insurance if there are no sidewalks capable of causing a slip-and-fall accident for some pesky pedestrian. Back in the 1970's was when slip-and-fall lawsuits began to increase dramatically in this nation --especially from postal carriers who slipped on unshoveled sidewalks! So the elimination of sidewalks was the solution to that.

4) The homeowners yet again don't want sidewalks because they derive a sense of relief from knowing that their children are physically incapable of leaving the neighborhood on foot. So all of these post-1970 suburbs act like 20-acre playpens whose railings are too high for Jimmy and Susie to climb over.

So now ...

... We have deliberately designed over 50% of current housing in the USA in such a way as to prevent those inhabiting them (50% of all Americans) from walking anywhere, even if they wanted to. We ASSUMED that cars would be with us forever. This one revelation about our lack of sidewalks in the face of Peak Oil has got to be one of the biggest OOPSIES! in the history of the world.

At Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 7:06:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil Hamm:
Thanks for the link! I've surfed around there before, but failed to bookmark it. Thanks to you, it's bookmarked now. Great site.

Ms. Incognito:
What's our cities need are much more than simply sidewalks. What we need are interconnecting streets that are narrow enough so that the intersections are easy and safe for pedestrians to cross, and where street parking is allowed to give them protection from the tons of metal, glass and rubber speeding by.

Duany gave a talk here to some San Antonio planning committe or other, back in 1989, which was played on a cable access channel and which I taped. I think it's three four hours long (I've got to get it back from my sister). In it he lays out all the principles behind the New Urbanism.

It's a talk every American, living in the midst of suburban sprawl, ought to see. Then they'd understand why their quality of life is so dull-and-boring, not to mention inconvenient, despite the quality of their dwellings and the money they forked over to buy them.

Suburbia, as currently designed around aptly-named "bedroom communities," is waste of precious energy resources, yes. But it has also become in some ways just like Texas in the 19th century: "Heaven for men and dogs, hell on women and horses."

We are paying a heavy price for designing our neighborhoods around cars rather than people. Where mothers are chained to their steering wheels, having to drive the kids everywhere. To school. To the sandlot to play baseball. To the store.

And forget about growing too old to drive. Time to warehouse you in an nursing home, old timer, conveniently located on the access road of a freeway. Where your kids can pick you up and drive you to a park or greenbelt for some fresh air. Except that, there are no parks or greenbelts.

Maybe I can figure out a way to get a copy of Duany's talk to friends here. Email me at if interested. I need to get it onto DVD, and I'll have to see if I can figure out how to get an email to him to get permission.

At Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 7:59:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shane, I hope you don't believe you actually debunked anything by simply stating fractional banking and peak oil are not related. Fractional banking practices will be the most devastating aspect of peak oil. The US economy is already contracting. It is not a myth that economies with fractional banking need to grow or they crash. When the US economy crashes no other country will want to sell anything for the worthless US dollar. Unfortunatly we are headed for what will have to be called the greatest depression. To claim peak oil and fractionary banking will not meet to smash economies is clearly a lack of critical thinking. Peak Silly you walked right into the strawman I left about the bankers even after I pointed out Fractional banking is the real culprit. As for your link it is old. Bush is a banker and has changed things alot since 2001. I also made a mistake in claiming 1% own 95% of the wealth I should have said 1% "control" 95% of the wealth. Although this essentially amounts to the same thing. As far as the mortgage crises and all the bad loans I believe that the bankers want to elicit class warfare and a push for facism. What better way than to blame the poor who chased the American dream of home ownership for the economic collapse that was coming anyway. Also I took a 2nd job in a tire warehouse to get ready for the coming depression and I can tell you that weight is the only determining factor in shipping costs for tires anyway. Luis Dias China has a strong economy that is experiencing inflation because the Yaun is tied to the US dollar. They will dump the dollar soon and be better off for it. The US is stealing from the world by inflating the money supply. The US Federal Reserve Bank openly admits that they plan to double the money supply in 2008 essentially stealing half of the worlds investments in the US. How long would you stay on the losing side of this equation? People buy what they are offered and the bankers offered us suberbia and suv's also I hope you realize what a powerful thing mass media is. The bankers own the media and use it to push their agenda. I will stand by my statement that they gave us this wasteful lifestyle on purpose. Many countries were smart enough not to allow this. Arum the IEA took countries claims of proven reserves at face value. The current oil prices have caused them to take a closer look and so far every field they have investigated does not contain the stated reserves. The oil producers have $ millions of reasons to lie. Opec quotas and capitol raising abilities are the incentive to lie. This blog has not "proven" anything ever. I am not a doomer I like my car, don't want/know how to grow my own food, and I have no interest in playing GI Joe. My fears about peak oil are financial and political. If you people think a Facist USA will not affect you you might want to think again. Lastly I just want to point out calling people names does not make you smart it just makes your weak arguments look weaker. This is my name>>>Shiner<<<. If you scroll up you will see it on my 1st post too.

At Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 10:43:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>Peak oil will be addressed by a wide >range of vehicles, ranging from

Why don't you just stick to your business, which is debunking peak oil.

Not ameliorating it.

At Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 11:21:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the moron that sadly attempted to debunk my statement with: "Life is tough...learn to live with it." Louis Dias, is that all you have. Listen, the only way to really bring about any change, granted in the LONG RUN, is to increase awareness. However, that is hard to do with brain-dead naysayers who just convolute everything with ridiculous pseudo-maxims like "Life is with it." Come on man, please at least put some effort forth. We aren't playing marbles here, we are discussing the all-too-possible crash of the global economy. At least act like you just might care a little. Of course we all know this isn't as much of a problem for us as it is are great grandchildren, but have a little sympathy for future generations.

At Sunday, June 1, 2008 at 1:50:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you should get a 3rd job anon. Perhaps selling fries and burgers.

That way you could maybe also store fatty foods for bad times.

At Sunday, June 1, 2008 at 6:04:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Babun, wow what spectacular insight your post brings. Your parents must be so proud of your ability to pretend you are smart without any effort whatsoever. Do you really think your post was funny? I may not agree with all the doomer site's but at least they aren't filled with stupid pedantic comments. Shiner

At Sunday, June 1, 2008 at 7:41:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes i think my comment was rather funny. You are welcome to just keep on reading doomer sites. I tend to respond to inconsiderate posts with malevolent comments.

At Monday, June 2, 2008 at 11:53:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, but segways are lame. no, not because some people think they look gay or whatever. but because they aren't open source.

bicycles, cars, skateboards, mopeds, etc. they are all open source. you can build one and you can work on one without have to take it to a special shop. even more importantly, segways are made by one company -- ergo, the price is going to stay high. even after, what, four years? it's still higher than practical.

At Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 7:54:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shiner, how can I listen to you when all you have are written words?

Worse, poorly written, with no coherent structure, not even one single paragraph for the respect of the reader's eyes.

And about your factoids, shiner, believe in santa claus if you want. For all I care, you could even believe that 911 was a conspiracy of Bush, that OVNIS exist or that some nailed man to a tree is somehow gonna save us all from our own sins.

You can also believe that you know the present and the future with great precision. You can also assure yourself that you know what China will do, that everyone around you is either ignorant or trying to cheat you to the bones, that reality is going to "kick our ignorant arses really good", but obviously not yours, that I couldn't care less.

"Listen, the only way to really bring about any change, granted in the LONG RUN, is to increase awareness"

Awareness to what exactly? Oh, wait:

"We aren't playing marbles here, we are discussing the all-too-possible crash of the global economy."

Because yeah, you are such an insider! And also because we know that people are reasonable and logical and will pose sensible answers and solutions when confronted with the inevitability of the die-off scenario. It's not as if they will freak out and turn themselves into blog-poster zombies making obsessed poor-written comments about how the end of the world will kill us all unless we repent and worship the God of Peak Oil...

No, not at all.

At Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 12:37:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just can't understand why people spend so much time vigorously refuting the absolute fact that we are polluting our atmosphere with an enormous amount of carbon from the burning of fossil fuels, and that this is only going to worsen with time. Most scientists expect that global population will increase to 9 billion by mid-century. I've already explained the obvious ramifications of this in an earlier blog so scroll up if you need to, but I'll go ahead and paraphrase: more people using more non-renewable resources equals LESS RESOURCES FOR MORE PEOPLE. Comprende!

I know a guy, granted a total freakin idiot, but nonetheless a guy that offered this genius rebuttal to this dismal equation. He said, "How do we know there isn't a lot of oil still out there undiscovered” and my favorite, "How do we know that more isn't being made right now?" Wow! What a GD idiot. Sure, there probably is still quite a bit of oil out there that is undiscovered, but how much? Exploration technology is incredibly advanced and the absolute fact is that oil companies are having an extremely hard time keeping up with demand, which is why the price is going up. Anyone ever take an economics class? Ever heard of supply and demand? These are irrefutable facts. Furthermore, let me reiterate once again for those of you who are mentally challenged, THAT DEMAND IS ONLY GOING TO INCREASE WITH THE EXPECTED POPULATION INCREASES. Furthermore, we’re already talking about the possibility of peak oil only 200 years after the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and scientists believe it takes roughly from 10 to 300 million years for organic matter to go through the necessary processes to turn to petroleum. Do the math!

Alright, now we hopefully can see that there is a problem, so then how do we fix it?
Some of you seem to think the best course of action is to just ignore it. “Awe hogwash, it’s all a hoax.” I wonder what would have happened to the civil rights movement if everyone just "let it work itself out."

Listen, I'm sure we will figure something out. I'm not denying that, and you can be a part of it or not. That is your choice. Why participate in hindering our progress into sustainable energy? Why spend so much time refuting the facts? Why would you want to be a part of the problem? Sure you can scan every last word I've written here and try to find some fault, some inconsistency, but the truth is so obvious it cannot be refuted.

I have absolutely no idea how this will all play out, and I never claimed I did. I probably won't even be alive if or when anything catastrophic happens. Nonetheless, the signs are there. If we don't start changing things soon it will happen. The only way to begin real change is to be aware of the problem.

At Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 2:27:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luis you are one big STRAWMAN hahahahahahaha this is my last responce to you because you never say anything at all. Its all insults and insinuations. I never mentioned 911, I dont't know what those letters mean, and I think Religous people are kinda slow. I call those topics marginalizers. They are employed by people with no argumentation skills all the time. Starting out with a sentence like "for all I care..." is classic, leaves you wiggle room. This is proof to me you have been doing it for a long time. You don't ever attempt to answer anyone's questions all you do is spew straw and vitrol. I believe what I wrote is true. I would love to be refuted logically. Lets get this straight. I think peak oil is gonna kick MY ass. I don't read the doomer site's any more because now I look for proof that we will be ok and i'm not finding much. It kinda sucks to come looking for hope and just finding insults, straw, and alot of just plain wrong info. Every job I have ever had was high intensity energy using. Its not about driving a car.
"Listen, the only way to really bring about any change, granted in the LONG RUN, is to increase awareness"
I didn't write this dumbass. I guess in your rush to spew trash you got a little ahead of yourself huh?

Here is a paragraph to let you know that since my boss isnt gonna see this and I wont be getting graded you can fuck off.

At Monday, June 9, 2008 at 10:51:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe what I wrote is true. I would love to be refuted logically. Lets get this straight. I think peak oil is gonna kick MY ass. I don't read the doomer site's any more because now I look for proof that we will be ok and i'm not finding much. It kinda sucks to come looking for hope and just finding insults, straw, and alot of just plain wrong info.

I have no problem believing that you're completely convinced by your own arguments. I don't really think there is a point in anyone actually arguing with you since your arguments are based on preconceptions about things that mostly seem like conspiracy theories (and then there's the peak -oil doomster mantra which already declares the argument over). Also you're presenting them in the comments section of an article concerning segways . I believe that means actually arguing with you would be like trying to explain human rights to a muslim fundamentalist completely devoted to sharia law.

All the information is out there and this blog is about information too. Acknowledging the dangers of peak oil is one thing - being completely obsessed with them (and being overly pessimistic about everything) is another. The issue is pretty complex but the most rational attitude in my opinion is to think of it as playing poker. Acknowledge all possibilities but go with what's most probable.

At Tuesday, June 10, 2008 at 3:50:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More blather that doesen't address any of my concerns. I made three points and you touched none of them.
1. Bankers in general. Legitamate question: Why did they push such a wasteful society on the USA, knowing peak oil was coming?
2. Bankers inflating the US $ and stealing half of the worlds investments in the USA. The question is would you continue to be on the losing end of this deal for long? Would you send oil or anthing else to the country that did this to you?
3. Fractional banking,the economy has to grow and it is starting to shrink. I work in buisness and I see it shrinking a little every day.
These are the questions of the day if you live in the USA. Who cares about Segways. The oil bigwigs testafied under oath to a hostile US Congress that it is a simple case of supply not meeting demand.
"Also you're presenting them in the comments section of an article concerning segways . I believe that means actually arguing with you would be like trying to explain human rights to a muslim fundamentalist completely devoted to sharia law."
How easy for you to discount legitamate concerns. How hard do you think I would have to look on this blog to find you commenting on entirely differen topics? Almost calling me a conspiricy nut just like your pal Luis. Your attempts to marginalize what you can't refute are almost as silly as the above three questions being "conspiricy theories". I can see where I came off as pessimistic but its only because you guys don't seem to want to face reality. I am currently mulling over becoming the distributor for my region of the Motor Wind turbines that I believe I first saw on this blog. I'm looking to roll with this punch as well as possible but The reality at both my jobs is not looking good. I kinda like all the straw on this blog. It sends me on many interesting internet journeys. JD, as others have said before me stick to finding neat little energy savers/creators and i'll keep reading. Leave the econ stuff out, you just get beat up in the comments section every time.

At Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 4:12:00 AM PDT, Blogger twn said...

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times. All we need to do is decrease demand for oil and peak oil becomes null and void. Anything we do that has this effect debunks the argument of the doomers.

- Richard

At Monday, July 14, 2008 at 10:27:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good of you to encourage readers to use alternative transport (e.g., Segways) to mitigate the onset of peak oil.

In this regard, I don't see disagreement here between your site and peak oil sites.

At Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at 4:31:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since 5-10% of GLOBAL CO2 comes from the production and transport of cement, sidewalks are not the no-brainer in all circumstances.

At Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 8:35:00 PM PST, Blogger Dan Swanson said...

I have been studying the energy situation for about 5 years, and would be considered a doomer by your standards. I think that your material is very good. Keep up the good work. I have personally calculated the energy required for various lifestyles, and the likely scenarios for production. I agree that there is a pretty good chance that we can move to a sustainable lifestyle without excess violence and die off. But how do we educate enough people to get started? What I see happening currently is horrifying.



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