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Thank you guys for the encouraging words. Now if I could find that outside of the CM virtual community. I should try to make Rowe next year. My wife actually brought it up. She’s always up for a trip!
I am very grateful to have a supportive wife, who gets it, and is actually interested in continual learning and preparing. However, outside of her, I have gotten zero traction.
Three years ago, I made a concerted effort to get my family, and my wife’s family on board. I had been making preps since 2006′, but I was not vocal about it. Naively, I thought if we helped each other, we could face these issues together. I can honestly say that it turned out to be a complete disaster for me. I know everyone is thinking that I was probably too pushy, or too political, or whatever, but I am a fairly quiet person, with no political affiliation, and I tried to delicately appeal to reason.
The end result with my family, was that basically everyone has not done a thing, but in a SHTF situation, they think I will be an oasis. I told them in a polite way, that I have a two bedroom house, and while I might be able to help two people max, I will not and cannot help everyone. Everyone in my family is employed, and has the means to make major changes, but they refuse to sacrifice. If anything, since 2008′ they have wasted more money on worthless crap. For example, my mother who is in debt, but just financed a new car. I told her to just drive her old one until it dies. She wanted a car with all the “new” technology in it. My dad told me that if things get bad he will just take what he needs, and he can plant a garden then. As a former green beret, he may be able to take what he needs, but I don’t think the garden is going to be successful if you’ve never done it. After four years, I’m still learning tons, and making mistakes. My brothers and sister get it, sort of, but they have done nothing to prepare. I think they are stuck in normalcy bias. I also think people who have jobs think that these issues are the poor’s problem. They are too smart and too skilled to have to worry about unemployment. At this point I don’t talk about these issues with my family, and I sense relief from them. I think they were humoring me all along.
The end result with my wife’s family was even worse. My sister-in-law is a corporate exec with a doctorate, who is highly intelligent, but thinks she knows everything, and has the emotional maturity of a teenager. She was extremely uncomfortable with what I was concerned about for the future. She blamed me for her lazy teenager not wanting to go to college. Incidentally, the teenager is going. It’s a waste of 100K if you ask me, and yes I kept that opinion to myself. It’s flattering that she thinks I have that much influence, but I can assure you I don’t. I tried to help my wife’s parents, and my brother in law, and they were getting it, but the sister-in-law discredited me. Last Christmas was a disaster. Early in the year I suggested only presents for the kids so as to save money, and not buy useless crap. Everyone agreed, then on X-mas the sister-in-law bought everyone gifts, except for my wife and I. Apparently she had a good year downsizing American workers, and wanted to share the wealth. So now that the stock market is back up, everyone is doing well, I am full of it. I have lost all credibilty at this point.
So, I quit. I have basically completely shut up. I no longer say anything. I listen to the nonsense that people talk about constantly, and it amazes me how blind people are to what is right in front of their face. If I had a nickel for every time I heard “when the economy recovers”, I would have a few gold eagles by now. I think people are looking for some cinema style sign that it is time to do something, but I’m not sure it’s going to be like that. I think we will have a slow grinding decline that will affect people individually. You may be fine, until the day that you lose your job.
I just continue to do the best I can to prepare, and I realize that it may still be insufficient. I hope everyone else has better luck.
Let’s do a complete refresher then…
1) Take into account all domestically available oil, (a number which we don’t have yet since Obama hasn’t released exploritory permits)
2) If you throw in the economy realize you are throwing in OPEC price manipulation primarily who’s influence would increasingly deminish with each added domestic oil source.
3) People are calculating gasoline prices at the current taxed level. It’s an intristic tax which means it’s a tax on a tax, on a tax, on a tax… Gasoline is only $0.40-$1.00 a gallon without all the taxes.
4) Obama is subsidising additional energy with tax dollars. Take away those subsidies and it’s a HUGE loss which places a ton of blame directly on him as wasting energy. Oil however, even with the dangers of Peak Oil is still a money makerand net gain. (And Bernie Sanders’ ideology is directly to blame since Socialism is the main cause of all these taxes and drains on the economy and business.)
5) Glass-Steagal was a MARXIST policy and should never be reenacted. (I’m seeing a trend here though… Both Republicans and Democrats that have taken part in Marxist programs which have destroyed our economy and caused prices for things like oil to skyrocket.)
“The U.S. contains some of the world’s most thoroughly explored oil and gas basins. Most of the accessible, high-quality oil and natural gas have already been or are being produced, and remaining resources are increasingly concentrated in geologically challenging and environmentally sensitive settings.”
2. OPEC can influence prices, but they do not have quite the spare capacity as commonly thought. I would bet that they produce less to save for their own population or future generations. There is a good article at the oil drum on spare capacity.
3. Crude oil makes up the majority of the cost of gasoline. Below is a quote from this USA Today article. http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/2008-05-24-gas-breakdown_N.htm
The biggest factor in the skyrocketing price of gasoline is the historic ascent of crude oil, which has surged from $45 per barrel in 2004 to more than $135 this past week, setting new record highs all the while.
In the first quarter of this year, based on a retail price of gas that now seems like a steal — $3.11 a gallon — crude oil accounted for all but about a dollar, or 70%, of the cost, according to the federal government.
The rest is a complex mix of factors, from the cost of turning oil into gas to taxes to marketing costs to, sometimes, nothing more than the competitive whims of your local gas station owner.
Over the past six years, I have thought that peak oil would eventually easily be recognized for what it is, an observation over countless fields. It is so basic, but there is always such opposition. It still genuinely surprises me.
In CM’s book he talks about the possibility of a fairly abrupt awakening to the reality of peak oil, sparked by hoarding of former exporters, similar to what Russia did with wheat last year. I still wonder if peak oil will ever be recognized amongst the masses. I could see $300 oil, with people still talking about “big oil” screwing them, or China buying up our oil, or some other nonsense to avoid dealing with the real issue.
I had a conversation with a middle school teacher the other day about high gas prices, and he told me that the oil companies were hoarding oil to keep the price high. I told him that the major independent oil companies (Mobil, Shell, Chevron, BP etc..) only control a very small fraction of the reserves. The state owned companies such as Saudi Aramco control the bulk. I went on to tell him about the extraction and depletion curve that most oil fields follow, and where we are today in regard to discoveries and production figures. He had this blank look on his face, and he said, “I believe in conspiracy theories, and I think the oil companies are ripping us off!” (paraphrased) I’m pretty sure I lost him at state owner oil companies.
By the way, Mike, thank you for constantly responding to the peak oil deniers.
I’m not really sure how to invest in a conventional way anymore, it all seems like speculation. I hate to be a total narcissist, but the below link is a nice article on making energy efficient improvements to your home. The return on investment on many of the possible improvements are in the double digits, and as a bonus no risk!
How many people have you ripped off? This BS should be pulled.
I saw that a couple of months ago. By the way if anyone has netflix, you can stream it for free. It gave me an increased appreciation for the vast wealth that is held by the elite and passed down from generation to generation. Further, they have been able to dramatically increase their wealth over the past few decades. You often hear people talk about how how the wealthy elite really don’t understand how regular people live, and this documentary in my opinion shows just that. My favorite parts are listening to the wealthy business owner who talked about how he deserved all his wealth because god thinks he can handle it, and the cop who talked about how talented the black people in his community are, meanwhile desparately trying to suppress his racist views. Very funny.
When I first discovered PO in 2000, I joined a Yahoo group in which Lynch was a regular poster. We crossed swords on many occasions, and I finally gave up, the man has unflinching belief in $20 oil, even in the face of the bleedin’ obvious! When the GFC first hit and oil collapsed from $147 to $30 in days, he was all “I told you so”. But I just checked, and doesn’t appear to have posted much since oil went back up to $80+
In the NY Times he writes “While peak-oil advocates have in the past ridiculed optimistic industry expectations, the evidence continues to confound them. Over recent decades, the consensus estimates of the amount of recoverable oil on the planet have roughly doubled. And recovery rates — the percentage of those reserves that we are technologically able to collect — have grown from 10 percent a century ago, to 25 percent a half-century ago, to an estimated 35 percent now. In some areas, like the North Sea, the figure is above 60 percent.”
But not at $20/barrel hey Michael…….
In the 2006 article he said that oil would be $20 a barrel because of increased supply, equal to Iran’s production. As you know, the price of oil dropped because of decreased demand as the world economy fell apart. There was no huge supply increase. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think we only had one year of decreased oil consumption during The Great Depression. Maybe he gets paid to serve up the rosy forceasts. I’m sure companies would prefer to hear his forecast than someone like Jeff Rubin. In our short sighted culture, it wouldn’t surprise me.
Lynch makes me wonder about an MIT education. I have an Economics degree from Duke and an MBA from Wake Forest, and the first time I read about Peak Oil it made perfect sense. The graph showing when the easy oil was found, our growth of consumption, and the growth of production give you a good conception of what is happening. It is interesting that I believe production will no doubt peak very soon, but there is the distinct possibility that consumption will outstrip production even before production peaks. That’s not even talking about depletion and the increased consumption in the oil producing states themselves. There are a lot of trends coming together to create a possible catastrophe.
The only reason I say possible catastrophe is how the world handles it. We could grow and come together or blow each other up…LOL
Thank for the response,
I often wonder about the highly intelligent people we have that just seem to completely miss what is so obvious, and so important to the cushy lifestyle we enjoy. I am certainly no MIT grad, but I do have an open mind. In fact the funny thing is that I have found that younger people tend to understand peak oil and it’s ramifications better than “educated” adults. I like to ask people why they think the price of oil is so high, and the responses that I get are astounding. Everything from the “greedy oil companies”, to the “government won’t let us drill”. These people might be book smart, but they don’t know jack about oil. By the way 2005 was the peak for conventional oil, although some argue it was 2006. 2008 was the peak for all liquids, although it would not be impossible to improve on that total, but I doubt we will. In my opinion peak conventional oil, and peak total liquids are in the rear view. It would not surprise me if the media never really acknowledges that fact. They might blame geopolitics or not enough capital investment, but the last thing they want to talk about is depletion rates.
I own SLW through my advisor’s fund, Stephen Leeb, who has been pretty bullish on Silver for a long time. Having said that, I just got an automatic e-mail that they sold some of my SLW stock on Thursday. It may not mean much, but I guess they want to take some profits. They bought it for me at $12 a share. They are still holding about 70% of it.