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kubera

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PostSubject: nominated work   Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:00 pm

For the most part I know most of you don't read what I blog or give a rats ass but once again I'm nominated this year in the Canadian Blog Awards,(somebody likes my work)

This year I'm nominated for best blog post series for my work on Peak oil the doomer movement and adaptation. I would appreciate that you read, comment or vote in my category. actually read some of the other guys too, some are quite good.

http://greenassassinbrigade.blogspot.com/2009/12/this-year-ive-been-somewhat-of-absentee.html

this link to my blog will take you to the nominees and voting.
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PostSubject: Re: nominated work   Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:09 pm

I placed yours at No. 1--even though our views seem irreconcilable.
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kubera

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PostSubject: Re: nominated work   Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:22 pm

these posts were more on adaption strategy, personal food management , and defining doomerism rather than political commentary. Unless you totaly dismiss peak oil then there is no point.

speaking of which
http://www.princeton.edu/hubbert/current-events.html

2008 numbers came in showing we have still not managed to produce more oil than we did in 2005, looks like peak has passed, we are on the plateau
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PostSubject: Re: nominated work   Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:34 pm

kubera wrote:
these posts were more on adaption strategy, personal food management , and defining doomerism rather than political commentary. Unless you totaly dismiss peak oil then there is no point.

speaking of which
http://www.princeton.edu/hubbert/current-events.html

2008 numbers came in showing we have still not managed to produce more oil than we did in 2005, looks like peak has passed, we are on the plateau
The peak oil hypothesis is unconvincing, as I've mentioned before, and for the reasons I gave at that time--though I'm always open to evidence.

Even if it were true, anti-market solutions must be rejected. I submit that this (hypothetical) peak oil situation (and its attendant problems) would have been unlikely in a world without legalized aggression. In the free market, prices rise when supply declines. This in turn reduces demand which reduces price. In fact, oil would be unaffordable before it would run out--but those who pay the premium prices would continue to consume it indefinitely; oil may never actually run out in a free world, for the price would just keep climbing. The market outcome is natural and just. There's no "need" to use force against innocent people.

The peak oil issue is dangerous for another reason. Because the pretext for political oppression is grounded in public opinion, we are, in effect, literally, physically captive to the opinions of those around us. "Democracy" is very close to legalized mob rule. I used quotes because the only real democracy is the market, which is shaped by everything we do. What is the market, after all, but the natural mechanism for satisfying our individual demands and making us all richer in the process (it makes us richer because market transactions, by their voluntary character, improve our situation)?
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PostSubject: The failure of persuasion   Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:30 pm

When I read George Giles' "Plentiful Petroleum" (12/31/09), I was reminded of your post in this thread. I decided to look up oil reserve stats. The U.S. Dept. of Energy estimates world reserves as of 1 Jan. 2009 (the latest date given) at 1.34 million barrels, a figure which generally increases every year. Plus, when the price of oil rises, reserves increase because marginal sources become economically feasible to exploit and therefore must be counted among the reserves. But I agree with Giles and others that such figures might be unreliable.

Historical oil pricing trends are hard to eyeball, but there seems to be a gradual decline over the long term. Major fluctuations seem to have political causes; no surprise there. (All the more reason for humanity to eschew politics.)

By what theory or reasoning can it maintained that production will never exceed 2005 levels? Even if the peak oil hypothesis were true, the market and its pricing system is the only just way to allocate oil. This is true of any finite resource (all property, in fact), such as collector cars, gold, land, and Gary Gygax autographs. The political means must be repudiated as immoral. Politics is a tool used by those who have failed to persuade.
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PostSubject: Re: nominated work   Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:19 pm

There a number of issues here but giles is correct that the estimates are flawed in several aspects. No outside independant group verifies oil reserves for each individual country, In OPEC especially they are assigned their sales quota based on total reseves , the more you claim the bigger your quota. the data on oil supply is a state secret in Saudi but you know damn well they would not be spending as much as they have been doing for off shore drilling at $50+/barrel if those wells on land that produce at $12 were not depleted. They want stable supply but not a glut.. the new expensive wells are to supply that stability not flood the market.

The Saudi have never dropped their reseves despite nearly depleting some of their biggest fields. If the biggest, easiest and cheapest are those that are first exploited then the vast majority of new fields will be smaller, harder and more expensive,, and generally less recoverable. Light sweet fields have higher recovery rates than the newer heavy sour fields.

The IEA says the depletion rates on existing fields has risen to 9.1 percent, new discoveries are only adding 1-2 percent, yet the reserves keep showing growth.. Someone is lying.

The governments claims on coal of 200 years supply are just as suspect and based on all coal being of equal and high grade, based on previous usage levels not on levels where coal starts to replace oil, etc.

1. Originally I would have predicted Peak would rattle around the limit for many years putting off making an accurate prediction for a number of years but as of now because of the recent economic issues the drill counts have been very weak meaning we are not punchin enough holes to keep up to depletion.. yes new tech may squeeze more out of some existing wells for a time but we are going to be well past 2 years before all the rigs start being utilized again and that gap means we now must play catch up rather than sustain long term production . If we did not expand production 2005-8 before things went boom financially we sure as hell are not going to 2009-11 when the drilling rigs are not even being fully utilized.

2. New wells are generally lower viscosity and smaller in size meaning it takes many times more drills and well heads to produce the same amount of oil. The capital to run these drilling opperations is not available right now and even if it was there are not enough drills available to discover as much as is being depleted under this model.

3. Regional Depletion such as Mexico's gulf fields that have risen to 18% and the wells are running dry and being capped. Mexico will probably become a Net importer by 2011, as did indonesia a couple years ago when they left OPEC. This removes supplies and brings more people to the private market but it has to be noted that 80% of the worlds reseves are state owned entities that will never raise the local price high enough to recoop the real cost of new production, and they will eventually refuse to sell at any price, so as to maintian domestic peace.

4. For the private companies there is no incentive to once again flood the market with cheap oil because even if new big fields do come on line for a time the resource is still finite and they wish to maximize total profit.

IF enough money was funneled into new drilling, extration etc we might beat 2005 for a few years but if Oil is finite (which I believe)and we don't find a replacement before the REAL peak all hell breaks loose. Personaly I can't see that investment before 2012, scale up would take until 2014 , that is if we don't see a massive sovereign default destroy our monetary system before that point.

I prefer to plan for the worst and hope for the best , where as politicians and those who claim there is no problem simply hope for the best and do no planning. Their political motives are, lie to get reelected because no one wants bad news.

The lack of governments and a prue market solution will not stop violence when real shortages impact peoples ability to survive, people are scum and will fight over the very last barrel of oil, bag of rice etc.

My interest in informing others to be self sufficient and adapt to less is actually playing to your desires of less goverment, when people don't need hand outs because the know how to take care of more of their own needs, gov begins to loses the power to bribe/influence them
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PostSubject: Re: nominated work   Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:38 pm

[This is a draft I had written soon after your post. I wanted to chop it down (long posts = less chance of being read), but decided to post the whole thing anyway. Sorry for the length.]

kubera wrote:
[...]

My interest in informing others to be self sufficient and adapt to less is actually playing to your desires of less goverment, when people don't need hand outs because the know how to take care of more of their own needs, gov begins to loses the power to bribe/influence them
I agree that self-sufficiency is a tremendous antidote to the social forces that urge the surrender of one's humanity. (Adulthood--the status of a fully responsible human being--and slavery are incompatible; passive, obedient acquiescence to the state's predations against oneself, one's loved ones, and others, is a form of self-imposed slavery that undermines one's sovereignty as an adult.)

kubera wrote:
[...]

The lack of governments and a [true] market solution will not stop violence when real shortages impact peoples ability to survive, people are scum and will fight over the very last barrel of oil, bag of rice etc. [...]
I can't imagine normal (i.e., non-government) people becoming violent over oil and fuel shortages. Normal criminal theft of gasoline could escalate, and governments have already killed many people to secure energy, but I don't think this is what we're talking about.

But here's a thought experiment anyway. In a market-based society (as opposed to one based on legalized brutality), at what point would someone become violent over a good in short supply? Prices rise as supply decreases, of course, but oil doesn't run out overnight. There is no magic moment or price threshold when masses of people (even if they're in the minority, as I believe looters are) are going to start robbing each other.

Only in a political society can such a thing occur. For instance, in New Orleans after the flooding, which was caused by government (i.e., negligence on the part of the Army Corps of Engineers, which was responsible for the levees, and government-subsidized flood insurance), some instances of looting were prevented by armed private citizens, despite government efforts to disarm locals.

(In fact, looting by the state goes on all the time via taxation, etc.; it's just not recognized as looting because the state's use of force rarely escalates to actual violence owing to general capitulation induced by the perception of the state's vast power and legal authority. Moreover, the democratic state teaches the horrid lesson that it is permissable to rob others in order to enrich oneself; according to H. L. Mencken, every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.)

Establishment propaganda claims that market pricing is equivalent to price gouging, or that price gouging is a bad thing. To the extent that people believe this, the state creates envy among its subjects and turns them against each other (i.e., divide and conquer). Thus, the increase in price due to shortage--a normal response that ensures the just distribution of scarce goods, which is especially important in a crisis--is punished by the state in many cases. When the state prevents the market from setting the price, it creates the shortage because people will buy, at the lower price, more than they "need" (similar to the tragedy of the commons)--whereas when the price is allowed to rise in response to demand, people will purchase only what they feel they need, freeing up stocks for others. See my post above dated "Fri 11 Dec 2009, 4:34 pm" for an explanation of how the market's pricing mechanism prevents violence.

The state aggravates the situation by regulating and taxing, and by forbidding free trade; as a result, fuel and other goods cost much more than they otherwise would--not to mention that our buying power is already reduced by the state through income tax (etc.) and inflation of the money supply. This hurts people at the margin the most, but it hurts everybody (except those who profit by using force to seize wealth from those who are productive). Thus, the state contributes to, or even creates, shortages. Notice that shortages are mainly a phenomena of the state and its decrees. We are taught that monolpolies are bad, yet no one is able to see that the state is the only monopolist--the tale of the emperor's new clothes meets the Stockholm Syndrome.

Any danger of looting can therefore be blamed on the state. Thanks to capitalism, and despite the presence of the state, our society has achieved a level of civilization from which descent into chaos is unlikely--though if such a thing occurs, it will be because people have been emasculated by the state and its propaganda.

The solution, then, is to agitate against the state--not become a part of it.
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PostSubject: Re: nominated work   Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:43 pm

I won't disagree that political market interference does not make things worse in many cases, but I cannot agree that no regulation does not kill people and damage our long term ability to survive on this planet, something that matters to me above experimenting with absolute freedom.

There are too many of us having the access to too much potentially deadly technology to experiment with absolute freedom. I simply don't have the faith in people you do, I know too many of them.

If you can make us all pre industrial and cull 90% of the population I'd willingly take part in your experiment.



As I've said before the pure libertarian utopia you see depends on a combination of perfect knowledge being used by perfectly rational people, but neither of these conditions can exist when 2/3 of the world is under educated and people put today's profit above tomorrows well being. Greed, hedonism, egotism trump compassion, logic and long term thinking in a great many people. Even when people have perfect knowledge they would not necessarily interpret it the same or prioritize the benefits vs risk the same way due to any number of reasons from chemical imbalance to personal preference. religion or nationality.

I will also never accept that suing dow Chemical after a Bhopal type disaster is more just than government interference/regulation attempting to stop such a disaster. There does need to be limits to these interferences , like peoples personal choice to drink raw milk or smoke up for examples, things that harm no one but oneself (potentially) but there does need to be restrictions on behaviors that damage the common good not just penalties after the damage is done.

I also have no doubt that most fully free people would put their freedom of free action before the rights of of others to not be harmed, some by ignorance some by malice. Libertarians as you see them should be like Wiccans
"an it harm none, do as thou wilt"
but imperfect people with imperfect knowledge cannot or will not recognize the harm their actions might pose to others.

While the total free market might look good on paper it cannot be achieved without overthrowing each and every government on the planet at the same time, and you'd know what would happen in 98% of those locales? new govs would spontaneously arise within days. It's a pipe dream, and even if it might work I cannot wait for it to happen because it won't


Governments are the first issue but for a market to be free commodities cannot be nationalized and hoarded. Well guess what? they always will be.
Oil 80% state owned
china blocking exports of rare earths
Venezuela making deals to sell outside the world oil bourses to punish the US.
The U.S. subsidizing grain production to destroy the free market in Africa.

You will say if we get rid of governments it would change all that and it might in some cases, but I simply don't believe you can get rid of governments. From the first primitive chiefs and priests a great deal of the population has always look to others to lead, participation in any community group or club will show you this, power structures and governments/rulers arise in any situation with more than a few people involved.

Even if you did get rid of governments, cultural and religious bias, personal relationships, and irrationality would not allow the market to set the perfect rational price or a free market. A Tutsi may sell his surplus grain to a Hutu but only at a premium to punish them for being the wrong flavour,, or he may simply refuse to sell at any price to any but his own kind. This scenario will play out constantly at all levels of transactions.

Inequity whether created by individuals or governments can and will promote violence.

There is no perfect system, yours, mine or the one we have, but the likelihood of being able to make the changes you want to make on a world wide basis are infinitesimal, especially through passive change and you by your own nature you don't believe in active change(ie violence) It's one of those "you can't get there from here" situations.

AT least you have convictions , something most of the people lack but for my time and my legacy I'd prefer to improve what we have. Incremental changes toward my vision are better than waiting or a pipe dream.
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