free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 333. WAL-MART KEEPS ON TRUCKIN'

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

333. WAL-MART KEEPS ON TRUCKIN'

Wal-Mart often plays the role of Satan in the anti-capitalist peak oil cult, and the end of Wal-Mart is a frequent subject of doomer porn:


Kunstler sees Wal-Mart rather like an entity from a horror movie....
It was a manifestation of the 20-year-final-blowout of cheap oil. Like all economic distortions, it produced economic perversions. It allowed gigantic, predatory organisms like WalMart to spawn and reproduce at the expense of more cellular fine-grained economic communities.
...which must wither and die when oil prices rise:
Operations like WalMart have enjoyed economies of scale that were attained because of very special and anomalous historical circumstances: a half century of relative peace between great powers. And cheap oil - absolutely reliable supplies of it, since the OPEC disruptions of the 1970s.

WalMart and its imitators will not survive the oil market disruptions to come. Not even for a little while. [...] WalMart's "warehouse on wheels" will not be able to operate in a non-cheap oil economy

It will only take mild-to-moderate disruptions in the supply and price of gas to put WalMart and all operations like it out of business.
Maybe the purest expression of the peak oiler theory of Wal-Mart was a 2004 attempt by pup55, one the "experts" at peakoil.com, to slay the beast by applying the usual Hubbert curve voodoo. In a thread called Peak Mart, pup55 used highly advanced mathematical techniques like logistic curve modeling and Q-inf to show that, in 2005 or 2006, sales of Wal-Mart would peak and terminally decline (like everything in the peak oiler universe). Here's the chart (pup55's forecast in purple, actual stats in yellow):

Oops. As you can see, the "Peak Everything" pseudo-science didn't work so well this time. Since the late 90s, the price of gasoline has roughly tripled, and so have the revenues of Wal-Mart. The "end of Wal-Mart" was just wishful thinking.

To add insult to injury, it turns out that Wal-Mart is planning to co-opt the organic food business:
In the United States the pressure to bring the cost [of organic food] down will vastly increase soon because in 2006, Wal-Mart, the largest grocery retailer, announced plans to increase the amount of organic food available in its stores.Source Specifically, the increase in demand for organic food will require that more organic produce be imported.Source Secondly, the push to lower prices might "virtually guarantee that Wal-Mart's version of cheap organic food is not sustainable".Source
Talk about diabolical. For the peak oil cult, this is the equivalent of Satan himself baking the communion wafers.
Bwahahahahahahahahaha...

by JD

31 Comments:

At Wednesday, February 6, 2008 at 2:29:00 AM PST, Anonymous Fergie said...

I got caught up in the whole peak oil doomer nonsense for a while but came to my senses last year and now visit peak oil sites for a laugh rather than as information sources. Walmart (and other superstores - like Tesco here in the UK) are often used as a kind of canary in the coal mine for PO but every year they adapt and survive - just like the rest of us.
Keep up the good work - I suspect many peoples lives have been badly affected by PO nonsense, we need more sites like yours to counter the extremists (such as LATOC)!

 
At Wednesday, February 6, 2008 at 3:31:00 AM PST, Blogger FR said...

There is one thing I hate more than everything: people who think they know everything. Why the hell did this "pup55" individual decide that, somehow, s/he knew about Walmart's impending doom, but no one else in the world could see it. Not even Walmart's own finance people could. Finance people know math too -- in fact, they know bell curves very well.

 
At Wednesday, February 6, 2008 at 6:24:00 AM PST, Blogger ScubaSteve said...

It's worth pointing out that Walmart does rely to some extent on "reasonable" oil prices to manage its network of goods. However as you have said previously, global shipping is quite efficient and even a big increase in oil prices can be spread out via cost increases over the millions of goods moved around the world.

Also, it's unlikely the entire global economy will be destroyed, just that certain things will be too expensive or not available.

Article on demand destruction:
http://www.energybulletin.net/39852.html

Also you forgot to mention that Kunstler missed (another) stock market prediction….

"Calling for a crash in the equity markets
Perhaps before the end of the week
Developments the past several days around the finace sector suggest to me that a crash in the stock indexes is imminent

Bad call, I'd say....
The Dow then proceeded to shoot up 207 points (Nasdaq 40, S & P 23

 
At Wednesday, February 6, 2008 at 10:07:00 AM PST, Anonymous Al Fin said...

Kuntsler and the other "peak oil superheroes" are disengaged from reality most of the time. For them, however, there is a "sucker born every minute!"

The real world is too complicated for them, so they hide within fudged predictions and models of "faux futures" of their own creation.

The people who run Wal-Mart have to understand reality-based mechanisms to make a profit. A big difference between fantasy doomsters and reality-based business veterans.

You can find the same distinction in politics between those who have always been in government and never worked for a living, and those who actually had to get their hands dirty making a profit in the real world.

 
At Wednesday, February 6, 2008 at 2:45:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do people honestly think that wal-mart doesn't know that they spend a lot of money on transportation and that they don't know that increased oil prices won't hurt it's bottom lines? that's what you would have to believe to say wal-mart will go out of business because of high oil prices. wal-mart knows this better than you do because they look at the numbers.

Wal-Mart orders diesel-electric hybrid truck prototype from ArvinMeritor
http://www.autobloggreen.com/2007/01/11/wal-mart-orders-hybrid-truck-prototype-from-arvinmeritor/

"Wal-Mart had announced earlier that in the next 10 years, it intends to double the fuel efficiency for its fleet of heavy-duty trucks."

do you honestly think wal-mart isn't trying everything they can do find ways to cut transportation costs? who has more resources in this sector than wal-mart to mitigate higher gas prices.

 
At Wednesday, February 6, 2008 at 3:02:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kunstler's great track record.

"Such an oil shortfall would put at hazard such "normal" American activities as national chain retail and industrialized agriculture. I doubt that the WalMarts and K-Marts of the land will survive Y2K."

" In order for WalMart to make a $100 profit, it has to ship 1000 plastic wading pools from California to Pennsylvania - and then sell at least 997 of the wading pools. What happens to their profit margin if the price of truck fuel goes up even modestly - say 30 cents a gallon "

I didn't look it up but haven't fuel costs gone up a lot more than 30 cents a gallon since y2k?

http://www.kunstler.com/mags_y2k.html

 
At Thursday, February 7, 2008 at 3:09:00 AM PST, Anonymous Zan said...

Even the 'fact' that Wal-Mart killed the Mom & Pop store front isn't entirely true. Mom & Pop hit the web with cyberspace storefronts selling 'nitch' and specialty products sold through the mail with out overhead expenses.

 
At Thursday, February 7, 2008 at 11:37:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JD- have you looked into debunking the "we have to grow our food locally" movement yet? I would like to see just how much oil it takes to ship food from the West Coast to the Midwest and East Coast.

I notice they are building hybrid trains.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_Locomotive

 
At Thursday, February 7, 2008 at 12:05:00 PM PST, Anonymous SF said...

Your post says a lot about this kind of mathematical modeling, but not much about peak oil. Evidently, Pup55 simply picked the end point of total Walmart sales based on what fit the upward part of the curve, then simply extrapolated, assuming that his pseudo-hubbert equation would work.

 
At Thursday, February 7, 2008 at 2:55:00 PM PST, Blogger GreenNeck2 said...

Even at 100$ oil is cheap. As of now I doubt many US/Canadian households spend more than 5% of their incomes on fuel. The same is probably true for Walmart.

And besides, as for 'canary for PO', we are not at P.O. yet, in spite of the pronouncements of many (including JD, until post 332). We'll see how things are once we are clearly on the declining side of the Peak. This may be several years away still.

 
At Thursday, February 7, 2008 at 5:36:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing that has been left out of the "peak wal mart calculation" is the devaluation of the currency. Inflation throws that curve way off....

 
At Friday, February 8, 2008 at 7:08:00 PM PST, Anonymous J. said...

One of the many things Kunstler et al miss - in constant 1982 dollars, weekly wages in the U.S. peaked in 1972, falling 22% over the next two decades, stagnating then through 1996 before rising roughly 5% into 2003 and tipping over into another stagnation/decline.

Wal-Mart incoporated in 1969; most all of its existance has been within an environment of wage decline - 'Wal-Mart customers give low prices as the most important reason for shopping there... ... The average US Wal-Mart customer's income is below the national average, and analysts recently estimated that more than one-fifth of them lack a bank account, twice the national rate.[69]'

IOW, and directly contrary to doomed doomers like the "pup", it's success has been based in long-run economic weakness as manifest through such things as falling real wages.

 
At Saturday, February 9, 2008 at 7:14:00 PM PST, Anonymous fugeguy said...

I think Walmart is great.

I don't think printing money is great.

There are many issues out there right now and we are not planning for any of them.

The US has went from being a strong capitalistic republic to the world's largest game of kick the can.

From below:

"the empire was too big, and it was poorly led."

How big is too big can always be debated but looking at the current crop of presidential hopefuls leave little doubt we got the second part covered.

"All civilizations grow too large to support themselves, and their leaders have little foresight. These civilizations then collapse and are buried in the mud. The same will happen to America, but human shortsightedness prevents us from seeing America as only one among many civilizations. America, in other words, is seen as "civilization" in a generic sense, not as merely one single civilization in a quantifiable sense.

Partly because Rome was the most recent civilization before that of America, it serves to a large extent as a mirror of modern times. The fall of the Roman Empire has been ascribed to various factors, from laziness to lead poisoning. The impoverishment of the soil, and the consequent lack of food, may have played a large part. No doubt it was also a combined military and economic problem: there wasn't enough money to pay for all the soldiers guarding the frontiers. Pestilence may have been another significant factor. Perhaps a more correct answer would actually be a more general one: the empire was too big, and it was poorly led.

The main difference between America and previous civilizations, however, is that from now on the cycle of "civilization" cannot be repeated. Oil is not the only mineral that will be in short supply in the 21st century. Industrial civilization has always been dependent on metals, but hematite, for example, is no longer sufficiently common, and mining companies now look for other sources of iron, which can be processed only with modern machinery.

The machines of one century built the machines of the next. The machines of the past - the hammer, anvil, forge, and bellows of the ancient blacksmith - made it possible for later generations to extract the low-grade ores of the present. Very low-grade iron ores can now be worked, but only because there were once better, more accessible ores. This "mechanical evolution" is, of course, liable to collapse: when Rome fell, so did literacy, education, technology. But after many centuries, the Classical world returned. The western world experienced its Renaissance, its rebirth, after the Dark Ages because the natural world was fundamentally unchanged.

In the future, however, after the collapse of the present civilization, the necessary fuels and ores will not be available for such a gradual rebuilding of technology. The loss of both petroleum and accessible ores means that history will no longer be a cycle of empires, contrary to the descriptions of Spengler and Toynbee."

 
At Sunday, February 10, 2008 at 6:13:00 AM PST, Blogger FR said...

fugeguy,

I think you're right about the decline of American power, but I don't see that as a bad thing at all. It's better if no nation has hugemony. We'll probably go the way of Britain, whose empire collapsed last century, but whose quality of life is still very good.

I don't agree with your second point, however, that oil is necessary to a thriving civilization. I don't have time to get into all of the arguments (and they've been made a few hundred times on this blog), but I'll just say one thing. If scarce oil means slowing or negative economic growth, why are India and China growing at double figure percentage points every year, despite our being right in the midst of peak oil?

 
At Sunday, February 10, 2008 at 2:42:00 PM PST, Anonymous The_Setite said...

Fugeguy, its now time for you to join that indefensible band of doom mongers and amateur doom predictors(along with doom fool exteaordinaire Jim Kunstler) in the line marked "all is lost". It always amazes me how internet doomers think they can predict the future so accurately....

 
At Sunday, February 10, 2008 at 5:37:00 PM PST, Anonymous fugeguy said...

fr,

I was watching the US public and private debt about a decade ago and stumbled into peak oil. There is (in my mind) little doubt that oil is finite and production will peak someday. No one knows when.

We will know in year or two if it happened between May '05 and July '06.

As far as India and China go sometimes the party gets the most out of hand just before the beer runs out.

I do not consider myself a doomer and am bothered by the lack of reality and anti-american/capitalism in some peak oilers.

But looking at things like public/private debt and the energy situation and not seeing a problem seems like an equally silly position to me.

Take care.

 
At Sunday, February 10, 2008 at 5:51:00 PM PST, Anonymous fugeguy said...

The_Setite said,

I am not a doomer. I do think looking at the current condition of world affairs and not seeing problems is well- naive.

Is the current turmoil due to the irresponsible printing of money and fractional reserve banking, dwindling energy reserves or the loss of US manufacturing? I believe that these things are all playing a role.

As far as predictions go it is always foolish to make them. The marketplace and the world have a nasty tendancy to do what they want to and not what we think they should.

gltu

 
At Monday, February 11, 2008 at 1:50:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In order to be a collapse so far down the tree that we lose the ability to smelt iron three things have to happen:
1. The collapse has to be total. So bad that skills are entirely lost and back to the stone age so that we really have to relearn everything.
2. It has to be global, so that there is no country or small region from which civilization can spring back up. Even a relatively small (couple of hundred thousand) nation who has ability to continue to run modern civilization and build ships would be able to run an empire if everybody collapsed back down the olduvai gorge. Thus we need there to be NOBODY left who can do this.
3. We need the collapse to last a long, long time. Long enough that the existing stock of high grade ores (all the infrastructure and vehicles, ships, factories etc) are rusted into oblivion and scattered. I figure that to be a few thousand years.

Now taking all these things together, what is the probability that we will have a total collapse?
What is the probability that we will have a global collapse?
What is the probability that we will be knocked back to savages with a dieoff so intense that knowledge is lost everywhere?

Personally, though I am way more of a doomer than JD and others, I don't think this is going to happen.

Instead I think the ONLY way this will happen is through a nuclear war.

And EVEN THEN, why would the US, Russia, China, Britain, Israel etc waste nukes on Venezuela or Brasil or Iceland or New Zealand?

So no, your back to the stone age doomer porn fantasy ain't cutting it.

I will buy a chunk of the population dies off and then we have a combination of masses of zimbabwe like conditions in most parts of the globe and a bunch of more-or-less 20th century civilizations in some scattered area.

Wait that's what we already have isn't it?
1 billion rich and 5 billion poor.

Perhaps now we will have 250 million rich and the rest poor instead.

 
At Monday, February 11, 2008 at 2:21:00 PM PST, Anonymous The_Setite said...

Fugeguy,
You are a doomer. Get over it. And you did make a prediction. Which makes you a foolish doomer by your own definition. But then, is there any other type?
Just for the record, there are problems in the system. Always have been, always will be. Problems do not mean "the end of the world" Except to doomer cowards. Yes doomers are cowards. The doom position is utterly resigned and passive. It is indefensible and lazy.

 
At Tuesday, February 12, 2008 at 9:26:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is Kunstler's area. I wonder if stuff like this changes his suburban thesis? I would guess not.

More riding Saratoga Springs bus routes
CDTA sees use nearly triple
http://www.dailygazette.com/news/2008/feb/09/0209_cdtabuses/

I like where some of the routes end- the mall.

"The Galway and Schuylerville routes will end at the Wilton Mall instead of Congress Park."

 
At Wednesday, February 13, 2008 at 2:12:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kunstler is flat out wrong. His suburbia will die position is indefensible.
The original American suburbs originated in L.A. and were made possible by streetcars.
I think densely packed cities over a couple million people are the ones that are unsustainable.
Do a thought experiment to see what I mean:
In the Roman Empire, the population of the empire was around 50 million people with about 10 million of those living in cities. Rome itself had more than a million people and the population of Roman Italy was around 10 million. There were some 500 cities in italy with populations of up to 10,000 people in them.

Now here is the important question: What infrastructure did the city of Rome use to sustain such a large population in a pre-industrial civilisation?
The answer is remarkably simple: Aqueducts, Sewers, Roads and Shipping.
What about food?
90% of Romes's food came from the Italian provinces with the rest being shipped in from all over the Empire.
The land was primarily kept fertile by two means: Firstly crop rotation and Seconly fertiliser created from both Animal feces and Human feces.

Looking at today, what scenario do we have?
We have far greater agricultural knowledge, the ability to genetically engineer crops, the ability to produce artificial fertiliser (including from non-oil sources although at great expense). We also have the ability to transport goods far more efficiently and quickly and this could be done by electrified trains as well as by shipping. Also we have refrigeration so products could be shipped further even if they have to come in on sailboats.

Conclusion:
Any geographic region today with the agricultural productivity of AT LEAST Roman Italy can support at least 1.5 million urban citizens with at least one city on the order of a million people. The requirements are a steady flow of fresh water, good roads, sewers and access to shipping.
This is without any of the additional advances we have made and are capable of sustaining.

As to how many people a geographic region could sustainably support others can do the calculation but anecdotally using Roman Italy as a baseline I suspect that with modern technology we could support at least double that level which is around half today's present population of 40 million people.

Thus from a post peak oil sustainability standpoint we could rank the sustainability of geographic regions based on "without modern technology" and "with modern technology".
From that perspective, California and New York State probably do not make it without technology.
In Europe most of the countries do not make it without technology with the possible exception of Ireland.

 
At Wednesday, February 13, 2008 at 12:30:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually went and read this thread you referred to by pup55:

"Normal disclaimers: This is based on a mathematical model, with no real basis in fundamental reality, and, especially in this case, should really not be used to make any kind of investment decision."

"You can make the argument that if it blows up for some subset of the data, is might not be necessarily valid for the "complete" data set either, since it is not really "complete" but just "complete as far as we know today". "

So this was just an exercise in running data through a model, with no suggestion that the outcome was any kind of solid prediction.

Tilting at windmills in an interesting hobby, but we are looking for substantive peak oil debunking, not just rants against strawmen.

 
At Wednesday, February 13, 2008 at 4:07:00 PM PST, Blogger JD said...

we are looking for substantive peak oil debunking

The substance of this debunk is that Wal-Mart continues to prosper, despite the widespread peak oiler belief/hope/theory that high oil prices would kill Wal-Mart. pup55's forecast is just an entertaining illustration of the broader phenomenon.

Undoubtedly, pup's model would have been a very serious and solid prediction if it had turned out correct ... When I'm right, I was being serious. When I'm wrong, I was only presenting a scenario. It's the classic peak oil fraud.

 
At Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 4:51:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't quite see the raison d'être of this blog... You do believe PO is going to happen... but just not yet? And that's why you're so up in arms? Why bother getting all worked up about the fact that some people believe it is happening now already?

I always find it a bit sad when some people spend so much time and energy ridiculing something other people believe in, whether it's UFOs, religion, Peak Oil, Global Warming, Santa Claus, humans travelling to the moon, evolution...

I'm fascinated by the phsychology of debunking, although I don't understand the drive. Why is it more fun to spoil someone else's party than to start your own? Why not write about what you do believe in yourself? Much more interesting, I reckon.

Another thing I've noticed is a tendency to make sweeping generalizations about people on the other side of just about any issue. "What peak oilers / republicans / democrats / mormons / Belgians / truck drivers / etc. don't seem to understand is that...". Do you seriously think that all the people engaging in earnest discussion over at www.theoildrum.com (for example) are intellectually inferior to you?

(My argument works both ways, of course - Kunstler does come across as a bit arrogant at times, even if you don't disagree with everything he says).

I heard of Peak Oil fairly recently, and as my science background is no stronger than most people's, I don't in any way consider myself an authority on the notion of Peak Oil or its consequences. Still, the concept of finite global resources is hardly difficult to comprehend, and I can't see any reason why it may not have happened already, or if not, why it may not happen quite soon(ish). It will have a big impact, for sure.

The thing is, I don't see anyone here disputing the fact that finite non-renewable resources do run out eventually, nor that it will have an impact, so why such ire?

 
At Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 6:43:00 AM PST, Blogger JD said...

Why is it more fun to spoil someone else's party than to start your own?

According to the doom&gloom wing of the peak oil movement, the "party" you are referring to will be the end of industrial civilization and a horrific die-off of 5-6 billion people. Some are quite eager for this to happen, and have proposed "solutions" like blowing up dams, murdering the elderly and handicapped, and murdering the people of China with biological weapons:
"TenThousandMileMargin - you have outlined why those few who are awake in the US really hope that the goodie-makers in their little workshops at the CIA are working on something that will "take care of" all those Chinese.

Most will not come out and say it or even come out and think it, but we all know about 90% of the world population needs to go. Starting with the biggest threat is the best first step." -- From The Oil Drum

 
At Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 7:17:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't wait for peak oil. The good guys are gonna win after all. Wicked.

 
At Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 8:45:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: An anonymous that hasn't posted here before.

JD, I really appreciate that someone is bringing some sanity to the issue of peak oil. People like Kunstler that talk about it becoming a "Mad Max" world and talk of "machete moshpits" are taking things way too far. But hey, they've gotta sell books, right? (This includes Pickens, Simmons, etc.)

I appreciated reading your posts on The Oil Drum today, even though those people didn't. Fairness? That's not fair! Its much more fun for them to make fun of you and ignore your points entirely. I mean, we're doomed, dontcha know? Its just so fucking exciting! We can't wait! Lets run to the hills and make some moonshine outside our fantasy self-sustaining houses! I really think you hurt their egos, they're an elite group and you should know it after all. ;) If you're not a true believer then you're just one of the sheeple.

 
At Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 8:35:00 PM PST, Anonymous fugeguy said...

FWIW, I never bought into the stoneage arm of the peak oil party.

My points about Rome were that even a technologically advanced civilization could fall. There are hundreds of years worth of material lying around and shallowly buried materials around so I do not foresee a stoneage anytime soon.

That being said consider the following:


"Yes, trillions would be lost/written off. But the trillions have already been lost. All we're doing is stretching out the pain. Such a confession of reality by all players would clear the decks of bad debt and allow regulators to start from scratch. No more appraisers paid by those whose only interest is a falsely high appraisal; another model would be put in place.

No more ratings agencies paid by investment banks for masking the real risks of debt being packaged. A new rating system could be put in place, perhaps based on the subscription model which worked well until the SEC abolished it. No more CDOs, CLOs, etc. No more hiding of assets off-balance sheet, "marked to myth"; all assets will have to be stated and marked to market at the end of each trading day."

What has been done to our greenback is criminal.

Money, integrity and hard work do matter. Which of these three does the US lead the world in now?

One out of three by my count and that one is becoming a suckers bet.

 
At Friday, February 15, 2008 at 5:18:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I don't quite see the raison d'être of this blog... You do believe PO is going to happen... but just not yet? And that's why you're so up in arms? Why bother getting all worked up about the fact that some people believe it is happening now already?"

Duh.
It's dieoff debunked.
Unfortunately the vast majority of the hardcore peakniks think we're all going to die.
Well yes we are.
But not necessarilly in a zombie horde bloodbath or from slow starvation.
It also says civilization is going to collapse.
Well maybe yes, maybe no.
I think that depends on the particular actions taken by the particular civilization.
There are solutions all around us.

This site debunks those who say we are doomed and there is nothing we can do about it.

What I really don't understand is if the hard core doomers really believe we're all going to die and there's nothing they can do about it, then what are the lemmings waiting for?

They are selfish aholes who could make life a lot better for the rest of us if they simply topped themselves.

According to their own mythology the problem is the world population so by definition if they top themselves they are saving the world.

But they are too selfish to do that aren't they?

As well as being just plain wrong.

 
At Monday, February 18, 2008 at 9:28:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JD: "The substance of this debunk is that Wal-Mart continues to prosper ..."

Ahem ... JD, are you predicting that Wal-Mart is going to prosper forever, just as our civilization will endure forever?

Corporations do have a history of failing and the ceasing to exist just as civilization have failed and ceased to exist.

But if you say that Wal-Mart is going to stay in business and make money forever, I guess that I have to believe you ...

 
At Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 2:44:00 PM PDT, Blogger Shane said...

I read a piece on Alternet written by Jim Kunstler about preparing for the end of oil. He did indeed hit on the death of Wal-Mart in that.

The thing about Kunstler's predictions is that he seems to paint a picture of libertarians' wet dream. No more Wal-Mart. No more public education. No more international trade. No more big agriculture. Smaller government. Set Western civilization back over 1000 years in an effort to "save humanity."

Well, y'know, yeah, let's cut oil off, and after most the Northern Hemisphere freezes to death this winter, the Libertarian snowbirds can throw a party.

The peak oilers and libertarians have infiltrated just about any news outlet that accepts comments to the point that one begins to believe that humanity is doomed, DOOMED! Just go to MarketWatch and read the comments there; you almost begin to believe current prices are about supply and demand.

Some of the goals are laudable. I'd love to see an end to Wal-Mart, as I feel some of their business practices are evil, and I feel that people and towns should be concerning themselves with growing their own food, but these guys so consistently ignore every positive advancement it's grown to the point of absurdity. Yes, oil will run out someday, and right now production is down, but if you pay attention to the things being said by OPEC members, they're mainly trying to strongarm us into droping our alt fuel programs. It's more about being able to build indoor ski resorts and mile-high towers in the desers, and not so much about a past-peak economy. To me it's proof we need to get off the oil teat anyway.

I enjoy reading your blog, and find myself nodding more often than shaking my head. And ignore the people who get onto you for the alt energy stories; you've been digging stuff up I've not seen anywhere else. :-)

 

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