Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead!

Ding, Dong, the Witch is DEAD!

Ding, Dong, the Wicked Witch is dead!!!

Hey all you Peak Freakers, time to celebrate! The wicked witch is dead!

Finally! Finally!! The SUV is dead.

Check out this article from the New York Times about the closing of the last of the plants making SUVs.

Obviously it is unfortunate when autoworkers lose their jobs.

But at least now the Peak Oil message is getting through.

It doesn't work to have a whole country full of soccer moms driving around in 6 or 7 thousand pound steel beasts.

I guess America is finally getting what it deserves. This is exactly the outcome that the US government carefully planned for the last 34 years!!!

Yeah! Aren't you impressed?

Remember a few years ago there was that tax rule that gave you a break if the vehicle weighed OVER 6 THOUSAND POUNDS!!!

That was about the stupidest thing the government could have done.

I remember all sorts of wanna-be's all of a sudden buying Hummers and huge crew cab trucks and anything else they didn't need that weighed over 6 thousand.

It was insane. That just helped the SUV to crash and burn.

People were stupid enough to drive a 6 thousand pound SUV three miles to the store and back and then they wondered why they were getting so fat and they spent so much money every month on gasoline.

Make no mistake. The death of the SUV is a direct result of Peak Oil.

If oil had not peaked in the USA in 1971, there would still be plenty of cheap fuel and the SUVs would be selling like hotcakes because obviously Americans prefer the increased visibility you get when driving a big, tall SUV and the convenience of bringing a whole truck full of junk along with them everyday, everywhere.

No more of that, huh?

I've had my share of SUVs just like most Americans.

Chevy Blazer. 700 horsepower. 8 miles per gallon.

Dodge Durango. 12 miles per gallon.

Dodge 1500. 12 miles per gallon.

Ford E350. 8,500 pounds. V10 engine. 15 miles per gallon.

Even though about 80 percent of the miles I drove on those vehicles since 1975 were work-related miles and much of the time I had the vehicle full of "tools," I still have no legitimate rationalization for the other 20% of the miles I drove in a big SUV.

I started driving an SUV in 1975.

Nobody. I mean nobody drove SUVs then.

My friends all drove Porsches. (remember the song? Janis Joplin?). They thought I was weird, or stupid for driving a big beast.

I remember being so amused when people started driving SUVs. It wasn't usually because they needed to carry a whole load of lumber or concrete finishing tools or motocross bikes. Lots of people just got tired of driving shitty sedans with crappy acceleration and no creature features.

I remember when chicks used to complain about SUVs because they were "hard to park."

Well, the girls got over that a long time ago.

The death of the SUV is going to be a big blow to lots of folks for lots of reasons.

I guess some of the Nannys that drive kids to private school in Newport Beach every morning are going to have to adapt. No more Cadillac Escalades and Chevy Yukons!

Good luck selling your SUV!!! I got rid of mine a couple of years ago.

By the way....Pop quiz. Do you know where the closest electrical outlet is to your workplace where you can plug in your new PHEV? Hmmm......

I wonder how Arnold is coming along with that "hydrogen highway" up and down California. ;-)

Enjoy the crash after the Peak!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Speaking of multi-syllabic words.... how about, Papahanaumokuakea! Only nine syllables. Just rolls right off your tongue, don't it?

(pronounced: pop-ah-ha-now-mow-koo-ah-kay-ah)

Sorta reminds you of Humuhumunukunukuapua'a, eh?

Or my first, I learned when I was about 7 years old in private school, antidisestablishmentarianism. A convenient 12 syllables.

Well, all you Peak Freakers out in Peak Freak land, today I've got a new one for you. I've coined a new term for your own personal entertainment pleasure and to help develop our AWARENESS about the reality of Peak Oil and the inescapable nuances of the oil business.


(pronounced: blah-goy-yeh-vich-ick)

Allow me to illustrate the use of this term in polite conversation. 

Example: Two Saudi Princes are riding the ski lift on the chair in front of us at Aspen and we overhear them remarking, in their unmistakably British accents, that, "The situation with Iraqi oil exports has simply become Blagojevichic." (which of course refers to the black market sale of oil from Iraq that mysteriously seems to defy efforts at accounting and control by a whole host of governments including the United States, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Italy, France, the UK, Russia and others, along with some of the biggest, most sophisticated oil companies in the world, that somehow can't seem to keep track of all the oil being illegally sold right in front of everybody that is supposed to be watching). 

In other words, another way to understand the true meaning of Blagojevichic is that "I've got something that's golden. I'm not going to give it away without me getting something for it." Kinda a Dick Cheney sort of philosophy, no?

Why should anybody sell oil on the open market and have to pay taxes or properly account for it? Isn't it interesting how Iraqi oil production seems to be officially stuck at about 2.5 million barrels per day? Gee, I wonder where all the other 2 million barrels a day are going?

"Corruption charges! Corruption? 

"Corruption is government intrusion into market efficiencies in the form of regulation. That's Milton Friedman. He got a god damn Nobel prize. 

"We have laws against it precisely so we CAN get away with it.

"Corruption is our protection!

"Corruption keeps us safe, and warm.

"Corruption is why you and I are prancin' around in here instead of fighting over scraps of meat out in the streets.

"Corruption, is why we WIN!" (Danny Dalton- from the 2006 film Syriana)

So, there you have it. Blagojevichic. Corruption. Greed.

Admittedly, Blagojevichic might be a little long-winded for a public with the attention span of a pteropod and it doesn't enjoy the bi-syllabic efficiency of other popular terms like "Ponzi" but still, I propose that it is wonderfully functional as a shorthand for an otherwise impolite subject.

(p.s.- Papahanoumokuakea is the correct name for what is otherwise known to those outside of the Ocean Tribe as the Northwest Hawaiian Islands Marine Sanctuary, which of course is the absolutely amazing legacy that George Bush gifted to the world in 2006 and represents the single greatest effort by anybody, ever, to preserve "the environment" and remains the United States' new "Grand Canyon of the Pacific" even though the Average-Joe American over at Starbucks doesn't have a clue it exists or why it is so important.

And, a "Humuhumunukunukuapuaa" is otherwise known to mainlanders as the "Reef Triggerfish," which are actually quite tasty to eat, even though they are now protected and not politically correct to dine upon.

WARNING: Just be careful not to teach any small children in your life how to say Humuhumunukunukuapua'a or they will run around in circles driving you crazy repeating it over and over and over again. Enjoy!)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Grocery Fairy cometh?

Next time you are in the grocery store, take a look around. Ask yourself honestly if even one person is in that store thinking about where all those goodies come from?

The Grocery Fairy!

All the goodies in the grocery store must come from the Grocery Fairy, right?


All those groceries come from TRUCKERS. Plain and simple. Truckers are the "backbone" of America. Nothing gets to market without truckers.

Every time I have been to Russia, I have met someone who told me a story about the lines they had for meat and bread after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Things were pretty harsh, to say the least.

But these days it is easy to visit a grocery store in Russia that is packed full of goodies. Most of the Russian grocery stores look about the same as one in the US, or Mexico.

A few years ago, I had an eye-opening experience that increased my AWARENESS of the food situation in the US. One of the supply ships that goes back and forth to Hawaii from the mainland threw it's rudder and became disabled.

About three days later, I finished my work for the day and stopped by the grocery store on the way home. It was a panic.

All the Hawaiians were busy fighting each other while cleaning out everything off the shelves in the grocery store. It was sheer pandemonium. People were charging through the store with at least two shopping carts and just throwing stuff in. The word had gotten out that things were thinning out on the shelves and then everybody panicked. All the ATM machines ran out of cash too.

The amazing thing to me was when I watched one large Hawaiian "Island boy" bashing around with his two shopping carts and even though he rudely pushed right past me, he couldn't push his way past some even larger Hawaiian "girls" blocking the aisle. The guy happened to be standing next to the cake and frosting stuff and I watched him reach down and start loading up on multi-colored candy sprinkles and frosting, candles and cake decorations and so forth.

I asked him, "Excuse me, but, why are you buying cake-baking supplies when there is a food shortage?"

"Fo trade bruddah!" He replied.

Oh! For trade. To trade for food later. Ok. Whatever. Good luck with that strategy. I could just smell his sense of desperation. He was a big dude and obviously he needed some major calories every day to keep the fires burning. The thought of the local grocery store running out of food had him really scared!

I told this story to my buddy that works maintenance over at the Honolulu airport, and his cousin works down at the port of Honolulu, and he proceeded to "educate" me on the fact that Hawaii only has a few days of food supply at any given time. Everything is sort of "just in time inventory now in the new age of container ships. If the ships stop coming in..... people stop eating. I guess that figures. Hawaii obviously doesn't grow a whole bunch of food crops with the intention of self-sustainability, even though they could. Corruption prevents things like that that make sense. It is easy to observe that, for example, one WHOLE ISLAND, Lanai, is dedicated to enriching just one company, not providing a self-sustainable food supply for all the Hawaiian Islands. Hmmmm.....

Now, just to put this into perspective for you....I'm a pretty fortunate kid. My family was always very comfortable and having food to eat had never once been an issue. About the only time I have ever gone hungry was my own fault for deciding to go climb some mountains and getting stuck in the tent a few extra days because of the avalanches. I've never gone hungry.

But watching the melee going on in that supermarket in Hawaii really opened my eyes. In a different way than living in California. 

In California, any idiot understands that we have earthquakes every day. So anybody with any common sense keeps their running shoes in their car (to walk home 30 miles once the freeways are blocked after "the big one") and keeps a week's worth of canned goods and water sitting in the garage.

Peak Oil kind of raises the stakes to a whole different level.

What if the Grocery Fairy just quit coming? Not just for a week. But what about FOREVER?

That's what it is all about really.

Go into the market today and instead of looking at all the wonderful "products," take a look around at all the people. Ask yourself what any of them plan to do if the Grocery Fairy stopped bringing loads of goodies once a week?

No plan! That's the answer! They have NO PLAN. They don't have a plan because they are not AWARE. That is what this blog is all about. Awareness.

I hate to be the one to tell you but, most people really believe in the Grocery Fairy. I don't even know you but I can easily say with certainty that YOU probably believe in the Grocery Fairy!

Most folks living today didn't grow up on a farm. That was more than 100 years ago when most Americans lived on farms and had some mental awareness of the connection between the farm and the grocery store.

Filling your tank with gas at the local "filling station" is the same vibration. People don't sit and think about the oil well that was drilled and the pipeline that was laid and the refinery that cooked and the delivery truck that brought the magic go-go juice to the fillin' station. Everybody I observe is busy texting and squawking on their bluetooths (blueteeth?) and obviously think the GASOLINE FAIRY brought some cheap go-go juice for them.

Well, guess what you Peak Freakers? The party is over. TRUCKING IS SUCKING.

Diesel fuel was about $5.00 per gallon all through the summer of 2008 and thousands of truckers got permanently shoved out of the Fairy business.

Even though diesel has dropped in price, the economics of our system of long distance salads and the millions of dollars we waste shipping food all the way across the country just does not make sense.

It is not just that truckers are having a "hard time." Things are CATASTROPHIC.

A whole way of life is ending.

Remember that the interstate trucking business was "born" in the 1920's during the days of alcohol Prohibition. That's when all the big trucking companies got their start running moonshine. (That's right, it wasn't just those ho-dad NASCAR drivers and rum-runner Kennedys).

But now there is a fundamental shift. Trucking just doesn't make sense. The numbers don't add up. At lease not for shipping food in trucks. Maybe you can still make some money on high-end consumer electronics or drugs like cigarettes but shipping food just does not make economic sense any more.

Oil prices are going to be very volatile for the near future. Up and down. Probably way up and down. Deal with it. Get a clue. Become AWARE!

And don't forget to leave a quarter under your pillow tonight for the Grocery Fairy. ;-)


Friday, December 12, 2008

$200.00 a barrel? Jim Rogers agrees

Dobroe Utra! That means good morning.

All you Peak Freaks might want to brush up on your Russian now that Dmitry Anatolevich (Dmitry Anatolevich Medveydev: the President of Russia) has hinted that Russia may join OPEC.

And, did you notice that Jim Rogers, the co-founder of the Quantum Fund with George Soros, has stated that oil can go up to $200.00 a barrel? I agree. So does Matt Simmons.

Click here to check out Rogers' latest at Reuters.

Has Global Oil Production peaked? Nobody knows. But 85-87 Million barrels a day might be all we can get. We won't know for 10 or 20 years until we look back. It seems to be peaking RIGHT NOW.

The problem seems to be that oil prices are going to get a lot more volatile and could go into some big swings, maybe over $300.00 per barrel? Maybe $600.00?

All the "experts" have now been proven wrong. For example, how about all the wonder-boys who got ripped off by Bernie Madoff right in the middle of Wall Street. They couldn't even recognize a Ponzi when it was right in front of them for years. You might want to be a little more cautious about taking "advice" from the Wall Street machine. Including on Peak Oil.

Try to remember that the "economy," meaning all economies, in all countries are based on energy and the only energy we got is OIL.

Forget about the concept of "cycles." A cycle is like a nail in a tire and it clicks with each revolution. Oil prices, and supply and demand follow a much more complicated mathematics than just simplistic "business cycles" that don't exist in reality.

Oil prices follow the mathematics of non-linear dynamics. They're fractal. Natural. Beautiful.

The volatility being observed is caused by natural dynamics of a very complicated system and will continue and likely worsen.

Maybe the decline in production in most of the world's oilfields will influence a decline in volatility and price fluctuations. Maybe it won't. Good luck playing Nostradomus.

But all mathematics is the study of patterns. Natural patterns. And imperfect math leads to imperfect conclusions and "predictions." So expect more volatility.

And don't forget to compare your cup of coffee to a cup of oil (and remember to multiply by 667 cups per barrel of oil).


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Listening? Or waiting to talk?

Buzz, buzz, buzz....buzz, buzz, buzz.....

This is the sound of your brain.....on yourself.

At least that's what I tell myself sometimes.

Have you ever been in one of those situations where you find yourself drifting in a conversation?

You want to be polite, of course, but your mind just starts to drift....

"Excuse me, what did you say again?"

Be honest. Sound familiar?

Been there, done that?

Were you really listening? Or just waiting to talk?

I notice this behavior sometimes when I talk to people about Peak Oil.

"Ever wonder where that go-go juice comes from," I casually remark while standing watching a fellow motorist pump their gas?

"Nope." At least that's what most people say.

"Well, have you ever heard about 'Peak Oil'....," and off I go, into "the schpeel," you know, about the Peak.

I always amuse myself by guesstimating how long it will be before somebody's eyes will glaze over in disinterest or whether they will suddenly interrupt with their own "real life drama" that lets me know they were WAITING TO TALK the whole time, and not really listening at all.

And there you have it.

So, one has to ask themself at some point, "Am I listening?" Or just waiting to talk.

That's the thing about AWARENESS. How can a person develop awareness when they spend most of the time just waiting to talk?

Hey, how about the propaganda they threw into last Sunday's "60 Minutes?" Poetic? Or what?

So, they are "bullish" on oil, huh? Hmmm. That's not the "bull-word" I was thinking of.....

Check it out...at CBS News

And then, when you get done smoking the Saudi Whacky Tobacky....check out the latest word from Matt Simmons....

I suggest you pay attention to the part where he talks about growing food locally!