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The End of the Oil Drum

General Ideas

Rembrandt Koppelaar has announced today that the Oil Drum will cease to be an active site with the end of July 2013. After eight years of activity, TOD is closing down.

I would like first to thank all the members of the TOD group, of which I have been a member up from 2008 up to a few months ago. It has been an unforgettable experience of learning and of personal growth. The “peak” of the group, for me at least, was the Alcatraz meeting that we had in Italy in 2009 which led me to develop the “peak empire” idea.

Alas, as Seneca had said about all human things, there always comes a moment of decline which, often, is faster than growth. This seems to have been the destiny of the TOD group, which I had already left some months ago because it seemed to me that it wasn’t any more the lively discussion group that it had known at the beginning. So, I was surprised to see that the site closes down, but really not so much.

Why these cycles? Hard to say; maybe human groups suffer of entropic effects, just as everything in the universe. But it is a fact of life that human associations start lively and die ossified. As Marcus Aurelius said in his “meditations” “Observe always that everything is the result of a change, and get used to thinking that there is nothing Nature loves so well as to change existing forms and to make new ones like them. ”

So, if an ancient form is gone, we can work at making new ones.

Cassandra’s Legacy

An End to Eight Years of The Oil Drum

Posted by Rembrandt on July 3, 2013 – 5:47am
Topic: Miscellaneous
Tags: the oil drum, tod [list all tags]

Dear Readers of The Oil Drum,

A few weeks ago the ISEOF board (The Institute for Energy and Our Future that facilitates The Oil Drum), Euan, Super G, JoulesBurn, and Myself, met to discuss the future of The Oil Drum. A discussion we have had several times in the last year, due to scarcity of new content caused by a dwindling number of contributors. Despite our best efforts to fill this gap we have not been able to significantly improve the flow of high quality articles.

Because of this and the high expense of running the site, the board has unanimously decided that the best course of action is to convert the site to a static archive of previously published material as of 31st July 2013. We will continue to post articles up to this date. Afterwards any articles will be held as a public archive into the foreseeable future, so that others can continue to learn from the breadth and depth of knowledge published by our many authors, over the 8+ history of this remarkable volunteer effort.

We sincerely thank everyone who has been part of the TOD community – authors, staff and especially commenter’s and readers – for contributing to the success of the site. It is unusual for a site which is based primarily on volunteer effort to continue this long.

The Oil Drum

15 Comments on "The End of the Oil Drum"

  1. LT on Wed, 3rd Jul 2013 8:20 pm 

    Shortage of endurance?

  2. LT on Wed, 3rd Jul 2013 8:20 pm 

    Shortage of endurance?

  3. Plantagenet on Wed, 3rd Jul 2013 8:29 pm 

    The Oil Drum has peaked.

  4. kervennic on Wed, 3rd Jul 2013 8:39 pm 

    It is ironic that the most central issue of our time is debated by a few chap.

    We are 7 billion on earth. What the fuck is going on ?

  5. Arthur on Wed, 3rd Jul 2013 8:47 pm 

    The shale oil chainsaw massacre kicking in?

    Heard Rembrandt speaking a few years ago in Holland on the topic of peakoil. At the time he was running That forum has gone ‘static’ as well.

    In a Dutch newsprogram (english subs) in 2008 he predicts peakoil for 2018 (0:52). That is still the position of the Energy Watch Group, but now includes shale.

    Rembrandt is specialized in reserve data. Maybe he decided the peak event is too far away in the future?

  6. DC on Wed, 3rd Jul 2013 9:38 pm 

    The Oil Drums contributors started droping once they made the decision to strictly limit articles to arcane discussions about geology and a few other narrow fields that most people, outside industry wonks would find interesting. That and the TOD took a noticeable turn and became a lot more oil-friendly didn’t help either. Once could say they turned into a slightly more sophisticated version of Rig-Porn.

    They said no more broad-based discussions about PO or any closely related topics is what doomed them imo. Back when they made the announcement that they would be severely limiting both the scope and scale to PO discussions to things oil field outputs and so on, a lot of people simply stopped going. Most of articles that ended up here after that came across as pro-oil and almost never discussed any of the wider implications.

    IoW, the TOD became dull, too arcane and not very informative.

  7. jmm on Wed, 3rd Jul 2013 10:27 pm 

    zeer jammer dat dit medium verdwijnt.

  8. Arthur on Wed, 3rd Jul 2013 10:53 pm 

    Ach ja, die dingen gebeuren.

    Would not be surprised if Rembrandt accepts a job at the IEA or Shell.

  9. J-Gav on Wed, 3rd Jul 2013 10:55 pm 

    It served its purpose – let it go, if possible, without recriminations and acrimony. Let’s at least admit that weren’t very many sites pumping out the info they gave over the years, some of it contestable, some of it convincing, but what site never runs up against that?

  10. dashster on Thu, 4th Jul 2013 12:58 am 

    “It is ironic that the most central issue of our time is debated by a few chap. ”

    This. And also that I mention Peak Oil males will invariably say “We aren’t going to ever hit Peak Oil” or “We aren’t gonna run out of oil”. But they haven’t a clue as to production curves or daily consumption trends or anything at all, other than their gut tells them their is plenty of oil. The ones old enough to remember will use as “evidence” that we have plenty of oil – the fact that people in the 1970’s warned about running out of oil.

  11. Others on Thu, 4th Jul 2013 1:18 am 

    They raised the awareness about Peak Oil.
    Many concerned people would have installed solar panels, bought wind energy or even hybrid and plugin vehicles to reduce the Oil consumption.

    World’s economy and energy consumption has grown at a much higher percentage than the Oil consumption.

    So these 8 years were well served. Goodbye.

    The day when the shale oil could not meet the World’s need, Oildrum will start beating again.

  12. GregT on Thu, 4th Jul 2013 2:05 am 

    “World’s economy and energy consumption has grown at a much higher percentage than the Oil consumption.”

    Really? Over the past 8 years, there has been an unprecedented decline in global economic output and growth. Shale oil and tar sands will never meet the world’s needs, they are only a temporary buffer.

    There is a very small percentage of people that are able to look at the big picture, and most of them are bouncing back and forth between reality and denial. Then there are the ‘Others’, the 99.9999 percent, that have absolutely no clue.

  13. BillT on Thu, 4th Jul 2013 4:45 am 

    Yes, the PER CAPITA energy consumption has been declining for decades. Since the 70s for sure and maybe sooner. The fact that certain countries are still consuming more just means that they are producing more of the world’s goods and not that they are getting richer. The US shifted much of it’s manufacturing off-shore and shifted the energy consumption (and pollution) with it.

    We are in a NET energy decline that will likely not stop this century, or at least until it is back to the energy supplied daily by the sun on crops and solar water heaters.

  14. Arthur on Thu, 4th Jul 2013 9:06 am 

    Rembrandts assessment of the oil reserve bandwidth in 2010:

    I suspect that R. concluded that the real reserves are in the upper blue regions and that PO is not to be expected before 2030. And that’s too far away to hope for a splendid career as PO consultant. My two cents.

  15. MO on Thu, 4th Jul 2013 6:37 pm 

    Nobody cares.

    Peak oil, the topic, is in terminal decline.

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