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Page added on March 31, 2014

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Global Oil Crunch In 2015?

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Dr. Jeremy Leggett, a former oil geologist, industry consultant, and former adviser to the British government, has a new book out: “The Energy of Nations: Risk Blindness and the Road to Renaissance”

Leggett’s book discusses five systemic risks that could affect the global energy market and financial markets. If not addressed soon they could spark a worldwide crash in the 2015-2020 time frame.

The 2015-2020 window came from a diversified group of experts from “academia, industry, the military and the oil industry itself, including until recently the International Energy Agency or, at least, key individuals or factions therein.”

Leggett proposes that carbon emissions, carbon assets, the financial sector, oil depletion, and shale-gas all have major risks. A “shock” to any one of these could be the catalyst that sets off a wave of problems.

The world’s dependence on fossil fuels, an increasingly expensive resource to produce, is our biggest risk. Leggett claims that the oil industry is lying to us. They’re lying about the size of their oil and gas reserves and they’re lying about their ability to pull them out of the ground.

The book discusses the growing U.S. shale-oil and shale-gas industry. Energy companies are drilling shale formations at a record-breaking pace and yet production is only up one million barrels a day. Meanwhile global consumption remains around 90 million barrels a day. Conventional crude oil production is falling at over four million barrels a day due to depletion.

Essentially the high depletion rates in shale oil and gas wells is barely staying ahead of tight oil production growth. It is not countering the normal declines in conventional oil production.

Leggett reinforces the idea that “peak oil” does not mean the world runs out of oil. Peak oil could mean peak production due to ever rising costs and slowing production rates.

oilslick.com



31 Comments on "Global Oil Crunch In 2015?"

  1. J-Gav on Mon, 31st Mar 2014 12:11 pm 

    The 2015-2020 time-frame sounds about right to me.

  2. rockman on Mon, 31st Mar 2014 12:16 pm 

    I wish Jeremy the best of luck making a few $’s from his book. Always nice to see a geologist making some money. Beyond that I don’t see much value in reading his book. He does an excellent job of predicting what has already been proven: the risk of the world’s dependency on fossil fuels and that potential for higher oil prices. Since prices began their climb to record levels I estimate the world’s economies have had to pay at least $5 TRILLION more than if prices had not boomed. Good call Jeremy. I would, of course, be much more impressed had he written your book in 2000 when oil was selling for 25% of its current value.

    “Energy companies are drilling shale formations at a record-breaking pace and yet production is only up one million barrels a day.” Not exactly true. Today we have less than 2,000 rigs drilling. In the boom of the late 70’s we had more than twice that number of rigs drilling all the different plays in the country including the more prolific conventional reservoirs and production increases less than 500,000 bopd. So 35 years ago we had more than twice as many rigs drilling and added less than half the oil production we’ve gained in this latest boom. So Jeremy’s shock in seeing the current status must indicate his experience doesn’t extend that far back in time. If only he had known about the free data existing out there in the www he would have realized that what’s going on today in the oil patch isn’t much different then what happened almost 4 decades ago: public oils hype there potential (much more so in the 70’s boom IMHO) combined with a big increase in drilling activity resulting in less than impressive results for the scale of the ramp up in activity…which was even less impressive in that long ago boom.

    But hey, better late than never for Jeremy. Perhaps if he had been mentored by my old Mobil Oil geologist that explained PO in detail to me in 1975 he could have written his book much sooner. LOL.

  3. Makati1 on Mon, 31st Mar 2014 12:58 pm 

    Energy decline has been covered up by the printing of trillions of dollars, yen, etc. over the last decade or so. I see the crash no later than 2020, and likely sooner.

  4. pat on Mon, 31st Mar 2014 1:15 pm 

    Oil apocalypse, start growing own food.

  5. Davy, Hermann, MO on Mon, 31st Mar 2014 1:35 pm 

    Rock said – If only he had known about the free data existing out there in the www he would have realized that what’s going on today in the oil patch isn’t much different then what happened almost 4 decades ago: public oils hype there potential (much more so in the 70’s boom IMHO) combined with a big increase in drilling activity resulting in less than impressive results for the scale of the ramp up in activity…which was even less impressive in that long ago boom.

    Rock I would say the dynamics have changed because society has changed. Drilling is much the same just more technical and complex but it is still the same process. The Society and economy are no longer at the same place. Today we have complex interconnect global society relying on a global economy. All this is in the context of diminishing returns of the limits of growth with population in overshoot to carrying capacity. This predicament is demanding more out of the oil industry. The oil industry is facing the prospect of having more expected out of it with affordable supply and being given less to do this with because of increased costs and reduced capital. This is where diminishing returns of efficiency, technology, and organization comes in. At some point this business environment oil is in will face an inflection down. A finite world has limits. I believe the oil industry is at its limits both below ground in cheap easy to get sources and above ground with the organizational aspects. Shale gold rush will be the last gold rush. Oil industry growth is a happy retirement party but all retirement parties are a bit sad.

  6. bobinget on Mon, 31st Mar 2014 1:43 pm 

    J.Leggett’s book is actually exciting for it’s historical
    incites, layout and anecdotal evidence gained from
    interviews with old school chums now running BP and XOM.
    Leggett served and is serving on important AGW committees, conferences and TV debates (youtube).

    I’m hoping the book gets wider readership among
    a confused public. OilSlick.com grabbed one or two sensational quotes which won’t surprise many on these PO boards. If you looking for a book to give
    AGW or PO fence sitters, give this one. BUT read it first
    I’ll warrant you will enjoy the read and learn too.

    The first few chapters on PO/ financial crash alone is worth the investment.

    The UN Climate Change Report out today is bound to
    bump up on paper hornet nests. Read J.Leggett’s
    book and understanding of relations between ‘Big Oil’
    and Global Warming will clarify.

  7. shortonoil on Mon, 31st Mar 2014 2:58 pm 

    “Essentially the high depletion rates in shale oil and gas wells is barely staying ahead of tight oil production growth. It is not countering the normal declines in conventional oil production.”

    This statement is especially true when one takes into consideration that at least half of shale production is condensate, which for the most part does not produce transportation fuels. The industry has used every trick in the book to obfuscate the fact that at least half of their stated production is paint thinner, moonshine, and cow flatulence. On an energy bases, which is what matters to the economy, shale is not even beginning to counter the decline in conventional crude. That decline is, and will have myriad repercussions throughout the economy.

    As to Legett’s statement that the industry is lying to us; if you believe that Saudi Arabia has 270 billion barrels of light sweet crude when they are horizontal drilling half of Ghawar to get the last few feet of oil left in their original 350 foot seam, not only have you missed the boat, you can’t find the dock! Remember BP’s statement after the Deep Water Horizon disaster and marine biologists were saying that oil settling to the bottom was going to destroy the gulf fishing industry. CEO Hayward replied, “everyone one knows that oil floats”. Funny how the CEO of one of the largest oil companies in the world didn’t know that petroleum with an API less than 10 sinks. Then of course, shale will lead “American to energy independence” when wells decline by 65% the first year, and half of its liquid production is only good for making plastic Dixie cups for MacDonalds, and sewer pipe. If the industry is not lying to us, they are sure stretching the truth a bit more than is acceptable.

    Our model tells us that the Laws of Physics say that the wheels have to fall off sometime between 2030 and 2035. Whether or not Legett’s 2015-2020 date for a crisis will come true only time will tell. But, we are not going to discount it out of hand.

    http://www.thehillsgroup.org

  8. rockman on Mon, 31st Mar 2014 3:12 pm 

    “I believe the oil industry is at its limits both below ground in cheap easy to get sources and above ground with the organizational aspects.” I agree. Exactly as it was in 1980. The only significant difference I see today is that we’re more efficient and producing a lot more oil for the effort then we were in the 70’s boom. You should appreciate that I was in the oil patch at the time. I know first hand the utter crap we were drilling. As poor as some folks feel the current shale plays are they are preforming much better then the “money disposal wells” we were drilling in the late 70’s. The hype today is nothing close to what we had back then. For instance many were seriously predicting the price of oil to triple in 5 years or so and thus drilled accordingly. Do you see many folks seriously predicting $300 oil in 5 years? This current drilling boom/hype/anxiety pales in comparison to what was happening 35 years ago. here’s one metric: my salary increase about 500% from 1975 to 1981. And then by 1985 my income decreased by the same amount. IOW they were pissing away money for geologist as bad as they were on wells. LOL.

  9. Nony on Mon, 31st Mar 2014 3:23 pm 

    I wonder how much of the price is from OPEC just getting its act together. I see how they intervened in 2008-2009. That price rise after the crash to 47 was not just free competition for a depleting resource. They intervened big time (look at Ron’s charts). If we could get them to be ineffective again, that might help us crash price again.

  10. meld on Mon, 31st Mar 2014 3:52 pm 

    I wish people would stop doing this. the crunch happened in 2008, hence all the revolutions,civil unrest, financial and commercial collapse and food price rises. Articles like this are fodder for the deniers who say that peak oilers keep moving the date forward. It happened get over it and adapt or die.

  11. Plantagenet on Mon, 31st Mar 2014 3:58 pm 

    Some predict a energy shortage in 2015. Others predict an oil glut as Iraq and Iran re-enter the global market.

  12. Nony on Mon, 31st Mar 2014 4:01 pm 

    The author of this book is a pretty hard core greenie type. I would not rest easy on his unbiased perspective. It’s not just that he sees some shale charade and wants to show analysis and point out insights…but that he doesn’t WANT there to be a lot of oil/gas.

    Read this review. The guy is even a bit of a conspiracy nut:

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/1751172-review-of-the-energy-of-nations-by-jeremy-leggett

  13. Northwest Resident on Mon, 31st Mar 2014 4:09 pm 

    meld — Excellent point! Let me put it in my own words. The global economy crashed in 2008 but was instantly put on artifical life support. Since 2008, the global economy has been kept alive only by constant infusions of QE billion$, by the many billion$ and more likely trillion$ pumped into the economy worldwide, and by all kinds of other financial tricks (artifically low interest rates, major market manipulations, shadow banking, etc…).

    But, like all terminally ill patients kept alive only by artificial life support, the treatments eventually begin to have increasingly negligible effect.

    The trillion$ being pumped into the global economy and the behind-the-scenese market manipultions are long past the point of diminished returns. The terminally ill patient’s days are number. It is time to start making preparations for his ultimate passing.

    R.I.P.

  14. Northwest Resident on Mon, 31st Mar 2014 4:29 pm 

    “The guy is even a bit of a conspiracy nut.”

    “Hard core greenie type.”

    “…doesn’t WANT there to be a lot of oil/gas.”

    Nony is hard at work trying desperately to discredit Jeremy Leggett, who brings news of certain doom that Nony simply refuses to believe because it doesn’t fit into his preconceived views.

    I tried to read that seekingalpha article, but you have to sign up for email alerts to get to the second page. It is an article by someone critiquing Jeremy Leggett, who if I could read the rest of the article, probably expresses a POV that Nony agrees with.

    NONY — You should read the article on Marcellus posted on that site today. It says:

    “The Marcellus has become the wonder child of US energy.” (Note to self: This is probably one of the places Nony goes to get confirmation of his beliefs about Marcellus).

    Then the article goes on to point out:

    Marcellus proved reserves, along with production rate, allow projection of life span, which is shown far less than the 100 years, closer to 10 years.

    The closeness to complete depletion of any domestic reservoir should lead to pricing escalation.

    With EIA (2013) Proved Reserves of Marcellus NG, with the escalated price model above, profitability should be impressive, but drop to zero by 2019 — per our pro forma.

    IOW — not “until 2035” which is what a local driller in Pennsylvania said the IEA definitely guarantees in an article posted by Nony yesterday.

    Nony, hard at work as usual, piecing together “facts” that confirm what he wants to believe.

  15. shortonoil on Mon, 31st Mar 2014 5:04 pm 

    Our analysis, which is from a thermodynamic perspective, indicates that shale gas, and oil are either a breakeven or an energy sink. Therefore it can be expected that its overall impact on the economy will small or negative. The following review is an economic analysis, and they come to the same conclusion:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-30/guest-post-limited-economic-impact-us-shale-gas-boom

    The “shale revolution” is more about marketing, FED money, and selling what was previously unmarketable than it is about delivering usable energy supplies to the economy.

    http://www.thehillsgroup.org

  16. Nony on Mon, 31st Mar 2014 6:14 pm 

    The Seeking Alpha article is positive about Legget. Just gives more details on the book. Legget thinks there is an oil company conspiracy to keep solar/wind down. Thinks they are really cheap and oil is conspiring to make them look expensive.

    The article is pro-Legget. Srsly. It’s just…with friends like that. BTW, you can read those articles without playing any money. Just register.

    You can

  17. Stilgar Wilcox on Mon, 31st Mar 2014 7:24 pm 

    “meld — Excellent point! Let me put it in my own words. The global economy crashed in 2008 but was instantly put on artifical life support. Since 2008, the global economy has been kept alive only by constant infusions of QE billion$, by the many billion$ and more likely trillion$ pumped into the economy worldwide…”

    I concur, and so does Chris Martenson in the linked video below. What’s nice about this interview he has with Alasdair Macleod is it was only posted on Youtube 3 months ago, so it’s current enough.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkyOVIYdpbw

    Martenson says, and I’m paraphrasing from the video; since 08 the OECD’s central banks have been just throwing more money in to keep things going, to fill the gap between left by higher priced oil.

    One interesting development today was Yellen retracting her earlier statement of interest rates rising 6 mo’s after QE tapers to zero. So even when it seems we may be going back to getting a decent return on your bank savings, the world economy still needs to be kept on life support. And to that end here’s a question: Will the Fed be able to taper QE to zero, or will negative economic feedbacks curtail that endeavor? I’m of the mind they will get down to something like 25-35 billion a month QE and think better of going all the way to zero. Should be a hoot to watch as this unfolds.

  18. Stilgar Wilcox on Mon, 31st Mar 2014 7:30 pm 

    Here’s the link to Yellen’s retraction from an article today on Google news:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-31/yellen-says-extraordinary-support-needed-for-some-time-.html

    “Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, easing investor concern that interest rates may rise earlier than previously forecast, said the world’s biggest economy will need Fed stimulus for “some time.”

    Yellen said today the Fed hasn’t done enough to combat unemployment even after holding interest rates near zero for more than five years and pumping up its balance sheet to $4.23 trillion with bond purchases.

    “This extraordinary commitment is still needed and will be for some time, and I believe that view is widely shared by my fellow policy makers,” Yellen said at a community development conference in Chicago. “The scars from the Great Recession remain, and reaching our goals will take time.”

    Ah, excuse me but wasn’t 08 six years ago? How long should it take to get this economy back on its feet to where it no longer needs a helping hand? It couldn’t have anything to do with the reduction in net energy? Nah, we just need the right stimulus for long enough? Ha!

  19. Stilgar Wilcox on Mon, 31st Mar 2014 7:37 pm 

    Hmm, could Yellen’s comments be code for a plan to halt taper?

  20. Northwest Resident on Mon, 31st Mar 2014 9:01 pm 

    Stilgar, I think it is pretty clear that The Fed is caught between a rock and a hard spot. Damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

    If one truly believes (as I do) that TPTB know for a fact that this economy can’t be kept alive forever — or even for much longer — and that the whole charade is simply to buy time while behind the curtains all the rats are scurrying about, laying up stores, making preparations — then it becomes all the more amusing when public figures like Yellen make pronouncements such as the ones in that video link.

    The modern world was built on immense quantities of EXCESS cheap oil. Today, and at least since 2005 or 2006 timeframe, we DO NOT have any excess oil at all, and what oil we do have is anything but cheap.

    The only logical conclusion is, game’s over. I don’t care how much shale oil is hiding in the world’s rock formations — it is too damn expensive and it can’t be pumped fast enough. Those QE trillion$ are keeping the lights on and the engines humming for a little while longer, but for how much longer, that’s the only question.

  21. meld on Mon, 31st Mar 2014 9:08 pm 

    I really do wonder whether they are playing for time or whether they just don’t know what else to do.

    Part of me says this is some huge geopolitical economic world war with everyone smiling and shaking hands in public whilst in the background trying to make each other collapse economically.

    The other part of me thinks these people truly believe technology is going to sweep in and fix it all.

    who knows, maybe a bit of both.

  22. Northwest Resident on Mon, 31st Mar 2014 9:16 pm 

    “Part of me says this is some huge geopolitical economic world war with everyone smiling and shaking hands in public whilst in the background trying to make each other collapse economically.”

    That is some very interesting speculation, meld. I’ve kind of speculated along those lines myself a few times.

    But my favorite speculation right now is that yes, they are indeed buying time, putting on global spectacles of threats of war (U.S. vs Russia, U.S. vs China, China and Russia vs U.S.,etc..) to keep the masses preoccupied, while behind the scenes the major powers are doing their best to 1) solidify borders, 2) divide up remaining oil reserves amongst themselves and 3) making plans to reemerge after the smoke and stench of total collapse, each with their own local zone of control.

    There isn’t anything left worth fighting over, not on any kind of major scale. TPTB aren’t about to commit suicide, and with nothing really worthwhile left to fight over, they’re just concerned about how to ride out the storm and still be in the driver’s seat once the dust settles. At least, that’s my speculation.

  23. J-Gav on Mon, 31st Mar 2014 10:04 pm 

    Short – Energy-wise, your group may well be correct putting the turning point somewhere out to 2030-35. I just wanted to specify that when I say 2015-2020, I’m actually talking more about the next big financial hit. The two will link up somewhere along the way but, as you suggest, getting any more precise than, say, 2015-2035 for a really hard bounce is probably beyond anybody’s forecasting abilities. The next 20 years should be ‘interesting,’ eh?

  24. GregT on Mon, 31st Mar 2014 10:21 pm 

    “they’re just concerned about how to ride out the storm and still be in the driver’s seat once the dust settles”

    If I had a few excess billion lying around, I certainly know what I would be doing……..

  25. Davy, Hermann, MO on Mon, 31st Mar 2014 10:44 pm 

    Gav said – Short – Energy-wise, your group may well be correct putting the turning point somewhere out to 2030-35. I just wanted to specify that when I say 2015-2020, I’m actually talking more about the next big financial hit. The two will link up somewhere along the way but, as you suggest, getting any more precise than, say, 2015-2035 for a really hard bounce is probably beyond anybody’s forecasting abilities. The next 20 years should be ‘interesting,’ eh?

    Short/Gav, looking at the physics of our predicament I can see the early 2030’s (MAX) but throw in Humans and Human nature and that drops the correction back down around 2020’s. I really think when one looks at the interaction of an unhealthy financial system, limits of growth, diminishing returns on efforts, population overshoot, and the normal global political dysfunction then one would understand 2015 to 2020 is quite possible as a correction period. I am not sure if a date is the right way to look at this coming correction. The correction started in 2008 and is currently in motion. There has been no real recovery except for the high net worth segment. This is not a linear event it is definitely nonlinear, complex, and systematic. There is waviness and choppiness. Some things improve other deteriorate. But if we were to look at a point or moment yes that is hard to predict a breaking point. If we are really lucky it will just be a continued slow deterioration and for whatever reason there is no “Minsky moment” or “Korowics Crunch”. What scares me is our global ability to survive a long duration and strong degree correction leading to major loss of physical and non-physical infrastructure. If we lose too much we will not manage our most dangerous modern man legacies of Nuk wmd’s and wastes. This can easily happen if too many tipping points converge. Gav, your statement of the next 20 years being interesting is most accurate. I believe many of us who treat this as a discipline will find fascination and awe with how these next 20 years unfold.

  26. Stilgar Wilcox on Mon, 31st Mar 2014 11:44 pm 

    “Those QE trillion$ are keeping the lights on and the engines humming for a little while longer, but for how much longer, that’s the only question.”

    That is ‘the’ question NR, because it already seems amazing how long they’ve been able to QE so far with no major repercussions, and yet it is keeping things going. I guess it’s a game of feed the rich with play money and see how long the underclasses can hold on.

    Nicole Foss talks in one of her videos of a collective optimism that people have of the future that keeps things going by taking risks in business ventures and home purchases taking out loans. She says the first time there was a collective pessimism was in 08/09, and once this happens again there will be a 2nd wave of pessimism and the economy will seize up from risk aversion.

    What puzzles me is how steady all the life signs are; like the stock market keeps bobbing up and down in the same zone. Oil prices have been about the same for a long time. Precious metals started up but then stalled. Interest rates remain close to the same.

    The only area that is changing is real estate values have come back in some of the major cities around the world to record levels. Maybe that’s where the QE money is ending up?

    In any case, I’m starting to form a Theory. Try this on for size: Since the USD is the reserve currency, investment in treasuries is still considered a safe haven, in spite of 4 plus trillion in QE. As long as the USD remains a safe haven BAU can continue, but as soon as it falters everything else falls with it. In other words the USD is the keystone in the archway of world economics.

  27. Makati1 on Tue, 1st Apr 2014 2:23 am 

    As I said above, the printing presses are all that keep the charade going.

    Watching the collpase is fascinating, if you are not a family head trying to find a job to feed your family and keep a roof over your head.

    Also, anyone ‘investing’ in the many retirement plans or buying a big house to sell when you retire, are wasting your money and energy. None of them will survive the next 10-15 years. The US is going to convert your IRAs and 401ks and other into USTs that will be worthless when you ‘retire’. I think I am in the last generation that will be able to retire short of death, forever.

    I personally don’t see the charade lasting much longer. 6-10 years is too long (2015-2020) I think. Haven’t you noticed that ‘events’ are picking up speed and seriousness? I have.

  28. Northwest Resident on Tue, 1st Apr 2014 2:45 am 

    I’m sticking with 2015 as the year that things really start to unravel. That IS just a speculation, not a prediction.

    Stilgar, I imagine “they” could theoretically keep BAU going just like you explain — by printing more money.

    But why would they?

    I base my speculations on the premise that TPTB are extremely smart, highly informed, possessing levels of determination that are Michael Jordan-like in terms of “winning”, and above all else are world-class practitioners of Machiavellian methods. I do not doubt but that they have a keen sense of history as regards human civilization, warfare and power struggles among nations. I am absolutely positive that “they” are driven by a keen sense of destiny and a belief in their own superiority.

    So, back to the question, “why would they”?

    Because:

    1) Every drop of oil burned on today’s version of human civilization and BAU is oil that will not be available to the new world that they intend to build post-collapse.

    2) Every day of BAU that passes only poisons the atmosphere and the environment a little bit more, further spoiling the world that they fully intend to live and prosper in along with their descendants.

    3) Every day that passes, another hapless million or two new lives are born into the world, just adding to the final body count that is inevitably approaching, and placing that much greater strain on already scarce and rapidly dwindling resources.

    When the U.S. Military says back in 2010 that 2015 is the likely year for oil/energy shortfalls, and when they keep repeating that year, and when so many notable others just happen to speculate that 2015 is a good estimate as to when we will begin to see things start to unravel, I get the impression that they are attempting to telegraph some vital piece of information to those of us who are listening.

    When you know that it is all going to hell in a handbasket sooner or later, what is the point of wasting precious resources and further despoiling your own nest any longer than you have too?

    I’m sure some very smart, ruthless and hardcore members of TPTB elite are and have been asking themselves that same question. They are fools if they aren’t, and I do not believe they are fools.

  29. Stilgar Wilcox on Tue, 1st Apr 2014 3:30 am 

    Well NWR, TPTB may have all sorts of designs and most likely nicely protected retreats to escape their extended families to and still have all the comforts of royalty, but they will also have a raucous, angry mob on their hands when shtf. I for one would not want to be in power when the anger swells. But people in power always seem to hold on to power as long as possible, like Gaddafi, Mubarak, the Marcos’, Ceausescu, and so on, so there must be some kind amazing feeling in a top position, like a deity or something. So you are probably right they know what is happening and have alternate plans to save their kin and still have power over us. What better way to survive than to have power over the minions? Who doesn’t want the military right behind them as shtf? Can you imagine the fear people will feel once chaos ensues? Palpable.

    ___________________

    Makati, “Haven’t you noticed that ‘events’ are picking up speed and seriousness? I have.”

    If you mean Capex dropping and world oil production still on a plateau since 05 not counting US shale oil, with shale oil appearing to be nearing a peak soon, and Yellen as of today backtracking on raising int. rates 6 mo’s after tapering QE (if they can) to zero because the economy is still weak, then yes I’ve noticed those events. Are there others? In any case, fascinating period we are now in.

  30. Davy, Hermann, MO on Tue, 1st Apr 2014 10:44 am 

    NR I am not sure is 2015 is the drop dead BAU year. I am thinking we will see a loss of confidence start soon maybe 2015 due to financial and political situations. Too many issues have been kicked down the road like deficits, FED policy, and geopolitical tensions. If, some of these issues (and many others) do not resolve they begin to cause side effects that create new problems. That is a funny thing with problems is problems procreate new problems. Sometimes the new problems are real devils. I see the initial breakdown come at the top with a loss of confidence among the rich as the house of cards gets shaky. These are the folks you have to watch. Look to the money. I see the bellow ground influence of oil as the 2020 crash zone if confidence among the rich holds and financial repression functions in the meantime. Oil depletion issues are the brick wall there is no escaping. A black swan event is the wild card that can strike at any time.

    Stilgar, lynch mobs and looting will be the norm in a breakdown in many locations. I imagine after the mobs have their fun and run out of supplies they will quiet out of thirst and hunger. The authorities are far from beaten. They have the guns and resources to regain order if only in pockets. Those pockets will be where the survival items are. Further down the road who knows how long authority and relative security will hold. I imagine the authorities will operate like on the battle field with triage mentality. This is why when building your life boat choose somewhere with water for your boat to float on.

  31. Northwest Resident on Tue, 1st Apr 2014 4:10 pm 

    Davy — I agree with you that IF things unwind more or less on track with the current state of the economy and the oil resources required to fuel that economy, then it could very well keep chugging along until 2020 or greater.

    But keeping BAU going until 2020 even in an increasingly diminished mode would burn so much fossil fuel that it would put us way past that “carbon budget”, wouldn’t it? That equates to “past the point of no return”.

    My speculation is based on the premise that TPTB know they can’t let that happen.

    If the world is being run by elites that could give a damn about the climate and the livability of planet earth for human beings, then they are more likely to stretch BAU out until it simply implodes on its own. But if the world is being run by smart people who care about the climate and the world that not only they but their descendants and others live in, then they MUST bring the curtain down on this act of human civilization long before 2020. Seeing as how our global economy is nothing but a house of cards, any stiff breeze is all it would take. The military keeps saying 2015. Sounds about right to me…

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