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The Global Oil Demand Driver That Is Being Ignored

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When looking at oil demand, oil market analysts focus overwhelmingly on passenger vehicles. One of the hottest debates today is over the prospect of peak oil demand: whether or not electric vehicles along with general trends towards more fuel efficiency will ultimately lead to a peak and decline of total oil demand worldwide. No doubt the upcoming release of Tesla’s Model 3 will spark more than a few columns on how it could be the beginning of the end for oil.

But the conversation often overlooks the role that heavy trucks and freight play in driving demand. The International Energy Agency just published a report arguing that the world needs to get a handle on fuel efficiency for freight, or else oil demand will continue to rise, regardless of how many Tesla’s are on the road.

Freight transit is crucial for economic growth, and indeed, it tends to be correlated with GDP. The IEA says that only four countries – Canada, the U.S., China and Japan – have fuel efficiency standards for heavy trucks, one-tenth of the 40 countries that have rules for passenger vehicles.

“For far too long there has been a lack of policy focus on truck fuel efficiency. Given they are now the dominant driver of global oil demand, the issue can no longer be ignored if we are to meet our energy and environmental objectives” Dr. Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, said in a press release.

Since 2000, heavy trucks have accounted for 40 percent of the total growth in oil demand, on par with the share for passenger vehicles. Trucks burn about 17 million barrels of oil per day (mb/d), or about one-fifth of total global demand.

Crucially, demand is still growing…rapidly. By 2040, road freight will be responsible for 5 mb/d of demand growth, or about 40 percent of total additional demand over that timeframe. If that occurs, any chance at putting a dent in global greenhouse gas emissions would be significantly undercut by the large increase in emissions from trucking.

Even in industrialized countries like the U.S. and Europe, where oil consumption in passenger vehicles has plateaued, the freight sector is still seeing increasing demand. But most of the growth will come from China and India, where 90 percent of the additional barrels for freight will be consumed.

The IEA urges governments to make progress on restraining demand growth. It cites three possible areas for improvement. The first area is logistics and operations, which means using things like GPS to “optimize truck routing,” improve supply chain efficiencies so that trucks are carrying heavier loads and making fewer empty trips. Big Data, the “internet of things,” and autonomous trucks fall into this category.

Second, there is plenty of room for hardware improvements. The IEA says that the trucking fleet could use aerodynamic retrofits to reduce drag. Lighter materials, better engines, transmissions and drivetrains can all boost fuel economy. There is also potential for hybrid and even zero-emissions trucks.

Third, there could be a large payoff from the use of alternative fuels, which encompasses biofuels, natural gas, electricity and even hydrogen.

If the sector adopts a range of these improvements, the IEA says it is possible to reduce oil demand by nearly 16 mb/d by 2050, relative to a business-as-usual scenario.

Some areas will be much more difficult to achieve than others, but the IEA says that governments need to focus on several areas: Fuel economy standards; support for the improved use of data for supply chain management; and policies to promote alternative fuels, including R&D, market uptake and refueling infrastructure.

The conclusion from the report is that while everyone is (rightly) focused on passenger vehicles, where indeed, a lot of progress is being made, there is scant attention to freight transit.

The prospects of peak oil demand, at least for light-duty vehicles, is within reach. But unless there is an equivalent campaign for heavy-duty vehicles, crude oil demand could continue to grow for several more decades. That would be just fine for the oil industry, but for governments trying to reduce their oil consumption and make headway on climate change, the policy approach to the transportation sector needs to be much more comprehensive.

By Nick Cunningham of

46 Comments on "The Global Oil Demand Driver That Is Being Ignored"

  1. goat1001 on Wed, 5th Jul 2017 2:46 pm 

    More emphasis needs to be placed on railways, especially electrified railways – they are generally more efficient at moving heavy freight over longer distances than trucks.

  2. MASTERMIND on Wed, 5th Jul 2017 3:19 pm 

    Simple really….when the World Economy Collapses everything shuts down…the end….were
    talking about grids down all over the world and 7.5B people dropping like f*** flies in
    short order…The collapse will be absolutely horrible..There is no collapse or horror movie ever produced that has even come close to imagining what the collapse of BAU might look like. I’m talking about every corporation and every social program going bankrupt at once.I’m talking about people eating people. I’m talking about the Worst Catastrophe to ever happen in the history of mankind. Nothing has ever, or will ever come close. The last law of nature: says that any creature that despoils and outbreeds its natural habitat will be culled to bring its numbers under control and restore a stable environment. We are the Reindeer on St Matthews, we are Easter Island, we are the mice in Calhoun’s Utopia.It will be a bloody mess.(Meadows 1972) (Ehrlich 2013) (Motesharrei 2012) (Jefferson 2015)
    (Chapman,I 2013)(Ritchie 2017)
    (Korowicz 2012)(Tainter 1990)

  3. yellowcanoe on Wed, 5th Jul 2017 3:59 pm 

    Truck manufacturers have had a strong incentive to make their vehicles more fuel efficient at least as far back as the oil crisis in the 70’s. I can remember talking to Cummings engineers back in the 80’s and they were looking for more compute power so they could design more fuel efficient diesel engines. We’ve reached the point of diminishing returns on this one. goat1001 has it right — the only way to significantly reduce the consumption of fossil fuels for transport is to revert back to rail, preferably electrified rail.

  4. Cloggie on Wed, 5th Jul 2017 6:16 pm 

    The West is sinking, China will be the #1 super power of the 21st century:

    Scroll down for interesting interactive graph.

    The climbers are China and India.

    The West has embraced suicidal values like Christianity, feminism, hedonism, universal human rights and racial egalitarianism.

    You might as well drive your car against a wall at a speed of 180 kmh to achieve the same effect, only faster.

  5. Makati1 on Wed, 5th Jul 2017 6:28 pm 

    Cloggie, I agree. China and India have thousands of years of survival skills, and history, to support them when the SHTF. Europe had a chance too, but the current influx of ‘refugees’, from U$ sponsored terror, is going to make survival there very difficult. Or so it seems to me. Good Luck!

  6. Lucifer on Wed, 5th Jul 2017 6:30 pm 

    Clog, when The West goes down, your beloved China and India will go down with them, but not only that they will sink much further into the abyss.

  7. Makati1 on Wed, 5th Jul 2017 6:30 pm 

    MM, are you really Kenz? He has the habit of replying with the same bullshit copied and pasted in every forum. No matter how many times you post it, it will not make it true.

  8. Makati1 on Wed, 5th Jul 2017 6:31 pm 

    Lucifer, are you really Davy? Or his Siamese twin? The bullshit smells the same.

  9. Cloggie on Wed, 5th Jul 2017 6:41 pm 

    My “beloved China and India”???

    I have repeatedly said the the Trans-Atlantic alliance needs to be redefined, after the US deep state has been sent packing and the majority white heartland has achieved imdependence from Washington. Furthermore Russia needs to be accepted as a major European country. Russia is ready to join Europe in a confederation that will replace the EU.

    The backbone of the European race: Amerikaner, French, Germans and Russians, together in a Commonwealth of European peoples. Exceptionalism willl need to go.

    Only in this setup can we still remain #1, although not as dominant as 100 years ago.

    The meteoric rise of China will dictate geopolitics of the 21st century.

  10. Lucifer on Wed, 5th Jul 2017 6:47 pm 

    Mak, when your time comes to kick the bucket, i hope we meet in person because i have a whole theme park full of red delights waiting in hell for you.

  11. Makati1 on Wed, 5th Jul 2017 6:58 pm 

    Lucifer, since you do not exist, I have no fear. Religion is for fools and suckers. LOL

  12. Lucifer on Wed, 5th Jul 2017 7:31 pm 

    Mak, So you think i’m a charlatan, believe what you want, but can you prove 100% i don’t exist? Ignorance is for fools and suckers.

  13. Makati1 on Wed, 5th Jul 2017 7:46 pm 

    Lucifer, delusions are also and if you actually believe in devils, then you are deluded. You cannot prove you do exist. I can prove you do not by reason.

    When we die it is blank, like a burnt out bulb. No conscious existence. Nothing. A pile of meat and bones to rot back into nature. Nothing more. In 100,000 years there has never been even the smell of the existence of any deity. None. End of debater. You cannot win.

  14. Lucifer on Wed, 5th Jul 2017 8:02 pm 

    Mak, God did give you all free will, so people like you can believe what they want. My advice to you is try to enjoy the rest of your existence, because one day when you rot back into nature as you say, and you push up daisies. Only then will you find the truth.

  15. onlooker on Wed, 5th Jul 2017 8:08 pm 

    Lucifer, do us grownups a favor and tone down your mumbo jumbo of Satan, Lucifer etc. I was bought up nominally Catholic but now I reject it because I know it is just fabrication and mumbo jumbo. I respect somebody like Makati because he uses reason to inform him of life and everything in it. We thankfully mostly as a species have left behind the times of unreasonable superstitions. Having said that I do believe Existence and Reality have aspects to them that go beyond our abilities to reason or our senses. Makati, you may be surprised when the time come what awaits.

  16. MASTERMIND on Wed, 5th Jul 2017 9:36 pm 

    Makati1- Are you mad because nature gave your people the smallest average penis size?

  17. Makati1 on Wed, 5th Jul 2017 11:14 pm 

    MM, re you insane? I think so. It is obvious in your comments. But, you live in the right country, the FSofA. LMAO

  18. Makati1 on Wed, 5th Jul 2017 11:21 pm 

    Onlooker, No, I will not be surprised. I will have zero consciousness to know anything.

    Anyone, including you, who leave the religious door open a crack is just hedging his bets.

    I was raised a Protestant. I had an uncle who was a preacher. I had an aunt who was a Jehovah’s Witness. Another Aunt who was Catholic. I switched to the Mormon Church in my 20s and found out, from the inside as Ward Clerk or Executive Secretary to five bishops over 20 years, how that is purely a scam. And ALL claimed that THEIR belief was the REAL one.

    There are literally hundreds of religions in the world and ALL make the same claim. Insanity, not reason. The is no god. You live this one life so make the best of it.

  19. Makati1 on Wed, 5th Jul 2017 11:25 pm 

    BTW On looker. I appreciate the “I respect somebody like Makati because he uses reason to inform him of life and everything in it” comment. Thanks. It is a nice change from the accusations I get from a few others here who cannot allow anyone to have a different idea about the world than theirs. ^_^

  20. deadlykillerbeaz on Thu, 6th Jul 2017 3:01 am 

    17,000,000 bpd, times 42, 714,000,000 gallons of diesel fuel every day.

    If trucks have mileage of 6 mpg, there is a fleet of trucks that probably numbers in the neighborhood of 119,000,000. All will need to be replaced after three million miles of service.

    Have to count the motorhomes that wander around the western United States.

    Railroads can handle freight, especially if it is a trainload of perishable produce heading from California to Chicago. It will be more efficient to use diesel electric engines.

    You can’t use rails to haul wheat and barley from the field to the grain elevator, trucks and wagons have to do that work. Diesel fuel engines in combines and tractors have tanks that hold 300 gallons.

    Have to go back to steam engines to power thrashing machines and for pulling power on the rails. Coal and wood will make a huge come back. Twenty mule teams in the fields to pull implements and plows.

    You won’t be using a wind turbine to pull a hundred car freight train 1000 miles.

    If that all happens, there will be hell to pay. Doom and gloom will be standard fare for the day, day in and day out.

    Of course, you can grow diesel fuel, like Rudolf Diesel had planned all along. Problem solved for the farmer, if there is any left over, the peanut oil can power your diesel engine Rabbit.

    The business as usual has gone on too long, collapse is going to happen again.

    It’ll be deja vu all over again.

    I don’t advocate collapse, it is just something that happens time and time again.

    The price to pay can be higher than one thinks.

  21. Theedrich on Thu, 6th Jul 2017 3:41 am 

    The Mongoloid Millennium, not the American Century, is the future.  Cloggie is right.  As for North Korea, there is nothing which can or will be done about it, given subtle but immovable Chinese resistance.  The heavy breathing about NoKo by the Swamp creatures and the media (“nothing is off the table,” etc.) will have no effect.  China is not going to let Pyongyang be “regime-changed” à la Libya.

  22. Cloggie on Thu, 6th Jul 2017 5:19 am

    Putin, Xi message to Trump: US unipolar world is over

    From the previous Spiegel link:

    West (G7): decline in 2 decades from 44% to 31% global GDP [*]
    BRICS: 18.4% to 31.2% in merely 7 years

    [*] G7 USA, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, UK and Canada

    So the BRICS have already taken over the G7 and will rapidly increase the distance and will soon challenge the West as a whole.

    The good news is that Russia can be persuaded to “defect” to the white European world, provided this happens on Paris-Berlin-Moscow terms, not those of “exceptionalist” Washington, that merely seeks vassals, it will subsequently multiculturalize with the aim to destroy white majorities, because of a certain kosher minority that holds all the levers of power.

    Thanks, but no thanks.–3-2–830×553/public/465171078.jpg?itok=LhqurC0R

    Senator A: I love Israel most!
    Senator B: no you f*head, I love Israel most!
    Senator A: you wanna fight?
    Senator B: take off you jacket, a*hole!

  23. Davy on Thu, 6th Jul 2017 5:27 am 

    “BTW On looker. I appreciate the “I respect somebody like Makati because he uses reason to inform him of life and everything in it” comment. Thanks. It is a nice change from the accusations I get from a few others here who cannot allow anyone to have a different idea about the world than theirs. ^_^”

    makati, can’t you see the self-promotion of the above comment. You don’t have a modest bone in your body. It is all about you. I find you extremely narcissistic and disgusting because of this attitude. Not only is it the narcissism but it is also the agenda of hate along with the self-promotion. You use reason to advance your agenda and your self-promotion. It is cherry picked facts for a presentation of a revised reality. Onlooker is just caught up in it. Maybe he wants to be you or something. I could live with some of your anti-Americanism but you take it to the extreme. The US is tops the list of many of the worst dangers to the world but it is deeper than that and all you anti-Americans know this but emotionally it is tough to look in the mirror. makati, you are not even effective with anti-Americanism because of this extremism. Anti-Americanism with Asian promotion is just plain propaganda of an emotional investment. Asia is great because you live there. If you were in Europe then Europe would be great. I make this point because you are poison to the truth. People love to hear what you have to say because many hate the US. This hate is taken to the extreme with emotional investments that are hypocritical. I will continue to expose your lies and the hypocrisy of anti-Americanism. Your lies are not of fact they are lies of presentation. Twisting the truth is still a lie.

  24. Davy on Thu, 6th Jul 2017 6:09 am 

    “Have to go back to steam engines to power thrashing machines and for pulling power on the rails. Coal and wood will make a huge come back. Twenty mule teams in the fields to pull implements and plows.”

    Wood and coal will continue to be important fuels but there is no going back to their respective ages. Humans will have to face a reset to return to those times and it is unclear we can survive that journey. Alternatives are our last best hope and it is unclear whether they can scale up and in the time frame needed. Animal power will make a comeback because it has important elements of sustainability but it too can’t scale. Alternatives are our only real hope for an increasingly unstable status quo. Wood, coal, and animal power don’t fit into modernism at scale.

    Alternative energy will make a strong contribution to extending modern life but it is yet to be proven an energy transition paradigm. The problem with alternative energy is again scale, resources, and affordability. The problem is more than just the energy part of the equation because energy is only part of our catch 22 problems and predicaments. Alternatives can’t fix everything and that is what we need. Technology is failing the transition criteria because of diminishing returns and overextension. This is why techno optimists also have as part of their faith a denialism of ecological destruction and runaway climate change. They may not deny the science behind these dangers but they embellish the science behind the solutions to the problems and predicaments with fantasy solutions based on technology that is yet proven capable. The economy and social situation is always kept at a comfortable constant of growth and basic stability. They know a failing economy and decaying social fabric are dangerous for their fantasy of transition but habituated normality allows them to dismiss it. There is also the idea that parts of globalism can survive and it is their part that will survive, how convenient. I am all for alternatives. There is hope in alternative but I have yet to see them as our savior.

    We are going to have to combine the old with new at some point if the world unravels. We are going to have to do this with salvage and cannibalization of resources. This will not be what we have today. It will be a post modernism with trappings of the modern remaining. We will have to recycle and innovate without the huge productive abilities of modernism in globalism on demand. The key is degree and duration of the decline. Some place may become Byzantiums of techno modernism likely through alternatives. “May” is a big word. It is likely these Byzantiums will live precariously next to multiple failing regions. Regions will likely fail because of climate disruption and overshoot decay. Population and ecological destruction will render areas uninhabitable at population levels they are now. Places with excessive dependence on complexity and resource support will not maintain themselves as-is in decline. Can the world enter decline without destroying itself with war is always a challenging question.

    What is ahead is a big unknown because so many directions are possible but the trend is apparent to those awakened to a new time of decline and decay. Techno optimist continue the self-deception and global society only hears this because it supports the idea of survival in a status quo of normality. A sad truth to this deception is it is needed for confidence. The sheeples must be deceived but the reality is they have always been deceived either by skydaddies or economic religions. Humans must be led and to lead humans you must deceive them. This is a reality of humans in large populations. There are many small groups that know the truth and are based in wisdom but most of the world lives in a fantasy of denial and delusional expectations.

  25. Davy on Thu, 6th Jul 2017 6:37 am 

    “BRICS: 18.4% to 31.2% in merely 7 years”

    That is an extremely lame example of figures because it says so about the deeper meaning. One thing is clear the BRICs are dead. It is only China that matters and if anyone studies what is going on in China it is clear their growth bubble has ended. It is only the US and China that matter in terms of holding the global system together. Europe is a side show and if the US and China can maintain the facade of globalism Europe will survive in this shadow. The rest of the world is a tail being wagged.

    China and The US are too big to fail and they are failing in their own perspective ways. If you take the combined GDP of China and the US then you see this reality. Fully 30% of the world GDP is with these two countries. What is deeper to this is China is the manufacturing hub for so much of the global GDP and the US is the financial and consumption part of the equation. Both countries have huge bubbles maintaining their economic vitality. The rest of the world is invested in these bubbles. It is the two together that make them so systematically important. In a different world the US could be phased out over time or China could diversify itself but this is likely not in the cards. The issue is we have hit limits to growth in diminishing returns to systematic complexity. This complexity is both soft and hard. The soft part is the human networks and systems the hardware part is the technology and the equipment. A transition takes growth with increasing complexity. There is no room for another China of growth. Smart growth and sustainable development is a farce of status quo denial.

    The BRICs are clearly finished as a block. China and the US are in a financial end game of bad debt and unfunded liabilities. Europe will decline in line with a China and US decline. Globalism has hit the end of growth. This robust system has the momentum of no alternative so this might continue for a time. We have no alternative to what we are doing now in globalism because it has become so interconnected. It is a matter of economies of scale that maintains such a large population in the complexity we enjoy. Any major disruptions will destroy this complex arrangements that allow such a huge productive system to maintain itself. Nature is already disrupting this global system. Ecosystem physics are also unbalanced. Our human arrangement is not scaled to our planet nor to our human nature.

  26. Davy on Thu, 6th Jul 2017 7:04 am 

    “Global Warming Might Be Speeding Up”

    “When it comes to climate change, the Earth doesn’t cook evenly. But as cooler areas catch up, a study says things will get hotter faster.”

    “It’s almost universally understood that the Earth will continue to get warmer for the foreseeable future. The rate at which the planet warms, however, won’t remain the same, report Cristian Proistosescu and Peter Huybers of Harvard University. They say it’s likely to speed up. Some parts of the planet heat up more slowly than others, they explain. But as more time passes, regions once less affected by global warming will get hotter. Thus, the bulk of planetary warming this century may actually be back-loaded onto its final decades.”

    “There is also a “slow” mode. Places like the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean and the Southern Ocean, which are colder relative to much of the rest of the world, take longer to warm. But warm they will. As the atmosphere traps more heat, their temperature will rise, and the overall rate of planetary warming will accelerate. Warming projections based only on historical observations assume the pace of climate change will remain the same; the new study says that as time goes on, things may get worse faster.”

  27. Cloggie on Thu, 6th Jul 2017 7:09 am 

    That is an extremely lame example of figures because it says so about the deeper meaning.

    That’s not even a coherent sentence.

    One thing is clear the BRICs are dead.

    Why? The core of the club is indeed China-Russia, but it is covered by SCO, of which India and Pakistan will become full members. Doesn’t sound “dead” to me.

    Europe is a side show and if the US and China can maintain the facade of globalism Europe will survive in this shadow.

    Really? You are stuck in the logic of post-WW2, but that world doesn’t exist anymore. America is retreating as global leader. Germany alone has larger export figures than China, where the US has merely huge deficits. America until November 2016 was pushing a globalist, exceptionalist agenda, that is mobilizing everybody against it. America’s cities are decaying and the country shows signs of deep division that could easily explode in violence.

    Europe is the only one with a serious renewable energy and environmental policy, away from fossil fuel. You can count your obsolete carriers, the number of GWs renewable power says much more about the sustainability and future of a society.

  28. Makati1 on Thu, 6th Jul 2017 7:29 am 

    Cloggie, as I said in another reply to a comment here, ‘there are some here who cannot accept that there are better places in the world to live than the U$”. That there are also many countries that are moving away from the U$ influence is also true and more obvious every day. A unipolar world is history.

  29. Makati1 on Thu, 6th Jul 2017 7:32 am 

    BTW: You might find this interesting…

    Propaganda everywhere. Or, should I call it brainwashing? LOL

  30. onlooker on Thu, 6th Jul 2017 8:04 am 

    Davy, I respect you for the same reason. However both you and Makati are entrenched in your positions vis-a-vis the US and its prominence and effects upon this planet. It does seem a bit ideological on both your parts. Other than that it seems you both are reasonable intelligent persons. We all have our blind spots and emotional attachments. Other posters are so biased and predictable it is pathetic. Sticking with facts without an agenda is not easy. But it seems some don’t even try

  31. Davy on Thu, 6th Jul 2017 8:49 am 

    The difference onlooker is I admit to the US issues and also participate in them. Makati and many others here are clearly in an extremist agenda of discrediting and dismissing the US without a balance. Taking a position everything is the fault of the US and then in many cases talking up either Europe or Asia is about a game of competition and not the pursuit of truth. If I am sometimes extreme and unbalanced it is because I am fighting a majority here who are engaged in an agenda of anti-Americanism. Many are emotional and extreme and that affects me. There is no way to avoid this other than to give up. It is a dirty business but the truth is worth it. Anti-Americans are a clear majority and BTW just because it is a majority does not make it right. We are talking a handful of individuals mostly anti-American Anglosphere people, anti-American Americans, and the occasional European. Most anti-Americans are hypocritical because of this unbalanced blaming of the US for all world ills. They can’t stand to admit they are part of nearly everything the US is up to. It is this group who feeds each other with support and bias. The site is anti-American because most of its articles deal primarily with American problems. This sets the anti-American agenda.

    I fight extremism. I am caught up in fighting multiple extremist as well as a site that is also bias. This means I have no choice but to appear extreme because of the extent of the information I have to present to counter so much anti-Americanism. Anti-Americans have lots of support among each other making your efforts cumulative and give themselves the appearance of being right. I am not saying any are necessarily wrong with the facts but they are clearly wrong with the presentation. Anti-Americans are extremist and peddling propaganda. I have no choice but to do the same to some extent but I would rather stick to core issues without the polarizations. War results in extremism on all sides and it is a war of ideas here.

    I have seen you radicalize onlooker. When you first came on here you were much more balance than now. Maybe it is a sign of the times because shit is building and the pressure is likely going to blow and we are dealing with the meaning of this powder keg. So in a sense we have both radicalized but from different positions. The truth could give a shit about extremism. I am honored to have so many foes. It makes me stronger and more battle tested. It is easy to be a yes man and to follow the herd. It is hard to strike out on your own and battle many foes.

    I agree we all have blind spots and we all have our starting points. I hope the worst of the offenders like makati go someday. He is the primary reason for sustained radicalization. It is amazing how this board calms down when he is gone. Like I have said many times. If you are an Anti-American you better do it well or I will give you a rash of hell. Unbalanced emotional attacks are lame and I will address them. I have achieved my goal of making idiot anti-Americans think twice about looking like dumbasses. It is a way of life for me on this board. The board is a healthier place without only having a narrow agenda. We all have to be on our toes with competition. Circle jerking is mindless pleasure seeking. Many here would love to circle jerk. I make sure there is a price to be paid for it.

  32. Kenz300 on Thu, 6th Jul 2017 9:54 am 

    As battery prices continue to fall and energy density increases truck manufacturers will go electric.

    In the next few years we will begin to see electric power in all modes of transportation.

  33. GregT on Thu, 6th Jul 2017 10:50 am 

    “I am honored to have so many foes. It makes me stronger and more battle tested.”

    More imagined delusional thinking on your part Davy. You’re either with Davy, or you’re a radicalized anti-American extremist.


    Question for you Davy; With the boys off on summer holidays, and so much going on around the “farm”, how do you find all of the time every day to fight your imaginary little war? Oh battle tested warrior.

  34. Davy on Thu, 6th Jul 2017 12:03 pm 

    Wow, that was some good bait caught the biggest hipocrit of all. It has been nice with you gone greg. Go back to what you were doing.

  35. GregT on Thu, 6th Jul 2017 12:12 pm 

    A little FYI for you Davy. The responsibilities of parenthood won’t end after the boys have graduated from university. It is a life long commitment. Man up Davy boy.

  36. Davy on Thu, 6th Jul 2017 12:52 pm 

    greg, you have attacked my family now for years like you even know my situation. Why should I care about what someone like you thinks? It is nice to draw you out because it means my point hit the mark.

  37. GregT on Thu, 6th Jul 2017 1:11 pm 

    Davy, I am sure that your ‘family’ is wonderful. It is however blatantly obvious that you are not what most would consider to be an engaged and responsible member of it. The same could be said of your patriotic duty.

  38. Hello on Thu, 6th Jul 2017 2:18 pm 

    “there are some here who cannot accept that there are better places in the world to live than the U$”.

    It is strange that visiting California feels like visiting asia/china.

    And I used to believe Mak when he said how great asia is. Could he be wrong? Could the truth be that asia/china is actually a shithole where people try to escape from, to places like california, vancouver and europe?

  39. Apneaman on Thu, 6th Jul 2017 3:55 pm 

    hello, it’s somewhat more complicated than that. Much of it depends on ones economic situation. There’s more to the US than California. If you live in Flint Michigan or parts of Detroit or any of the ever growing shit holes know as “sacrifice zones” you might be happy to live in one of the thousands of ‘first world’ cities in Asia. For most, it’s only going to matter in the short term since the rate and scope of decline is increasing on all fronts.

    Growing number of Americans are retiring outside the U.S.

    In An Age Of Global Citizenship, American Expatriates Increase
    What will it mean for us not only when a growing share of residents are non-citizens, but when a growing share of citizens are non-resident?

    “Using data from the World Bank and United Nations Population Division, I’ve put together a global table of the American diaspora. However, this is a low estimate of the diaspora. There are lots of Americans abroad excluded from my sample: military and diplomatic personnel, temporary workers, long-term tourists, many illegal emigrants (yes, people illegally enter foreign countries from the United States), and some others. So my numbers should be taken as floor for the diaspora, not a ceiling.”

  40. Cloggie on Thu, 6th Jul 2017 4:54 pm 

    The two Fossil Boys Trump and Putin, or Fossils for short, will avoid G20 climate talks on Friday and instead have a private gathering all by themselves to get the bromance started:

    Putin and Trump against the rest of the world.

  41. Makati1 on Thu, 6th Jul 2017 6:07 pm 

    Ap, good article on U$ emigration. I saw a bit of American “exceptionalism” inserted in it, but the author probably didn’t even notice. The brainwashing is so complete, they don’t even see it. (Example: Russia invading the Ukraine.)

    I agree that Americans abroad should NOT be taxed on income earned outside the U$, nor should banks be required to report any account activity to the IRS. It complicates living abroad but does not make it impossible. There are legal ‘work-arounds’.

    As for the U$ “protecting” Americans abroad. Forget it! Any American living abroad should have taken the world situation into account and not want American “protection”. Not that they will get it anyway, More than likely, the U$ caused the trouble and will bomb you as ‘collateral damage’. I don’t regret my decision and I doubt the millions of other emigrants do either. The American ‘brain drain’ is gaining speed. (The uneducated/stupid do not emigrate. They suck on the taxpayer teat.)

  42. Antius on Fri, 7th Jul 2017 4:00 am 

    In net energy terms, it is very likely that Peak Oil has already happened, since fractured shale and other alternatives have much poorer EROI than conventional oil, and even conventional oil must now focus on smaller fields for reserve replacement. That is why extraction costs keep going up and the US industry cannot make money on oil below $50/barrel even with rock bottom interest rates.

    Peak oil was always about peak demand; they aren’t separate things – supply and demand always balance and demand is limited by the price and utility of the resource. The whole argument for peak oil was based on the premise that there was a limit to what people were prepared or able to pay. If that were not true, humanity could produce infinite oil by reacting electrolytic hydrogen with CO2 derived from limestone. What is running out is cheap oil and that is precisely why we are seeing peak demand. Demand is limited in the US and Europe by the sheer number of young people out of work and unable to afford cars. The great reduction in demand stems from declining prosperity in a significant subset of the population – the ones that should be running the show in another decade, but will lack the education level and prosperity of preceding generations.

    In spite of all talk about the emergence of electric vehicles, oil utility is not very different to what it was 10 years ago; its work potential is much the same. EVs just pass a small portion of transport energy demand onto other resources, which face their own constraints. Given their poorer energy density, performance, higher purchase cost and their need for transmission infrastructure, their emergence is a symptom of resource stress, not a sign of new prosperity.

    The one big thing most peak oilers did miss was the effect that rock bottom interest rates would have on the US oil industry. They have allowed the party to continue for a little longer at the expense of bankrupting the world economy in the 2020s. This does not mean the peak oil advocates got it wrong, it just means that the timing of absolute peak will be a little later and the bell curve will be skewed with a steeper gradient on the decline side. Politicians from the 1980s onward chose to burn the future for the sake of avoiding pain today.

  43. Davy on Fri, 7th Jul 2017 6:19 am 

    The evolution of peak oil dynamics is about the understanding of multiple issues. In the beginning PO had a narrower geologic definition and historic context. It is this original version that is often unfairly criticized and ripped apart intellectually. It is the evolved understandings of oil and economics that are so significant and potent today. Techno optimist and cornucopians dismiss PO now because we are in a glut and alternatives are rapidly advancing. Yet, when one studies the glut you see it is significantly influenced by financial rate repression and liquidity easing. Inflated prices through bubbles started the glut. The technology behind it was not new. Demand destruction is at work both because of technology but also elements of broad based decline. With oil prices so low demand should be much higher. New discoveries are minimal in historical reference. Welcome to our obscured world.

    Techno optimist dismiss PO as irrelevant because they believe alternatives will replace oil. They have not proven this is possible as a complete transition. Alternative energy allowing the replication of alternative and still providing energy for agriculture and transportation is a huge undertaking requiring decades. Do we have decades? Peak demand and affordability are at the moment obscured by financial repression. Bubbles are allowing malinvestment and the moral hazard of extending bad debt and pretending the vast quantity of that debt has a return. It is debatable the principal will even be returned similar to unfunded liabilities. These are nothing more than promises.

    EV’s and alternatives are very susceptible to economic decline. If demand drops assets will be stranded by affordability and low returns. You can’t build out a new energy infrastructure if it is not affordable. Techno optimist claim prices are coming down but will they come down more and stay down if the economic situation of repression and easing ends? I doubt affordability will be there at the level that is needed to continue this build out and “real” transition. A transformation and extension of the status quo is likely but a full blown transition? The easy part has been done. The best sweet spots filled. The hard part of storage and buffering is ahead. A new and more expensive smart grid must be constructed.

    We have a precarious future precisely because of peak demand and declining affluence. Not only are all those predicaments of planetary decline a dangerous risk but so is affluence. Assets will be stranded in a decline because of affordability and declining returns. Existing assets are available and their price will be discounted. New energy assets must be constructed at higher cost because the efficiency of the economy will have been eroded. Economies of scale and low financial cost are contingent on higher demand and productivity that may not be there. Rate repression and easing surely will not have the same impact the next go around. This is all the central banks have left to stimulate demand. Balance sheets are debt laden now and full of nonperforming assets. Bubbles will deflate lowing asset values further.

    Really in the end it is about peak demand and economic prosperity. There will not be an energy transition without prosperity that drives affordability. Prosperity is at risk. Oil and its unconventionals are likewise at risk in the same way. High quality conventional oil is depleting rapidly this is not argued. Unconventionals and liquid fuel replacements have come on strong because of a significant amount of artificial affordability. Affordability today is not natural it is managed. Real price discovery is distorted beyond a historical reference. Without natural rates and bad debt realization price discovery is obscured. Malinvestment is rife.

    While EV’s and alternatives are vital to our future their future is not near as bright as many predict because they do not have answers for the economics behind them. The same is true for liquid fuels. Affordability and prosperity are a systematic thing. Technology does not make prosperity and affordability. In fact it is diminishing returns and limits that raise the cost of technology at an eventual point. In the beginning technology may lower costs but we all know technology is limit based. PO dynamics are alive and at work influencing this limit basis. Diminishing returns to technology and oil is increasing. Economic decline from diminishing returns due to rate repression and easing are at work. Excessive debt is eroding productivity. Economic bubbles and asset inflation are poised to rebalance. All this points to lower prosperity and affordability. This combines with planetary decline does not paint the optimistic narrative techno optimist and cornucopians talk about. The technos and corns claim that if we have a decline it will be temporary? Can they be sure or could that just be habituation? We know civilizations enter decline and eventually collapse. Every one of them have except our global one. That is a scary fact to dwell on.

  44. Sissyfuss on Fri, 7th Jul 2017 10:33 pm 

    A cogent and enlightening observation, Antius. Very well expressed.

  45. Makati1 on Fri, 7th Jul 2017 11:47 pm 

    Well said, Antius. Spot on!

  46. Cloggie on Sat, 8th Jul 2017 2:43 am 

    A sigh of relief from Makati and Sissyfuss, somebody with more than average brains comes to the rescue of peak


    Timeline oilprices:

    Timeline interest rates:

    You say we are passed peak oil in terms in net energy. Then why the collapse in oil prices from $150 back to $50? Oil at the pump is still oil, regardless of net energy. Collapsing interest rates do indeed make it easier to continue to search for new oil, but the best explanation for peak oil not happening (as predicted by the likes of ASPO & Heinberg) is that unexpected new supply entered the markets. And there is no end in sight of that source of supply as it is currently mainly restricted to oil technology central USA. You can frack the entire planet (we shouldn’t).

    Currently renewable is the largest share of new installed power generation. Apart from two fossils, who shook hands yesterday in Hamburg (and who I both support on a political level, not energy or climate policies), most of the world is embarked on getting rid of fossil and steering towards a renewable energy future, because of depletion, environmental concern attached to fracking and climate change.

    Your argument that renewable can’t work, because of abstract, non-defined “low density”, doesn’t fly. It is about EROI and certainly offshore wind has sufficient EROI to function as a replacement for oil.

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