There are 17 comments on the Baltimore Sun story from Jul 20, 2008, titled The Coming BLACK PLAGUE?. In it, Baltimore Sun reports that:

Edward F. Stanfield, 77, and his son, Edward B. Stanfield, 49, have followed this oil-inspired choreography for decades on their 600-acre farm in the Randallstown area of Baltimore County.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Baltimore Sun.

Mike Bendzela

Union, NH

#1 Jul 20, 2008
Nice article that hints at the hideous scale of this problem.

And let's not forget: we've known about this for half a century and did nothing. Hubbert spoke to the US Congress in 1974.
Rhisiart Gwilym

Stroud, UK

#2 Jul 20, 2008
John Felmy is simply wrong. Culpably so. If an amateur such as me can uncover the sweeping evidence already in the public domain, that global oil production has peaked, or is about to peak, and that the consequences of a steady decline in supply from here on, with no timely mitigation strategies well in place, are likely to be catastrophic, then why can't he? He's supposed to be a well-funded professional. But then, look at where his funding and his fat salary come from. Of course he's going to say what his owners want said:'Plenty of oil, and leave it to the 'free' market'. Criminally culpable irresponsibility in a time of global hypercrisis. People like Felmy and his owners should be held to account for STILL lulling people into a sense of false security, even as we tip over the sill and into the ultimate white water ride.

Glen Burnie, MD

#3 Jul 20, 2008
The effect on farming is another angle I hadn't considered in thinking about higher gas prices. This is a very interesting and excellent article. The argument almost seems to be made that the lazy people who don't want to work in farm fields should walk and bike to work to save oil, which would then presumably be more readily available for farmers. I'm not sure that's a logical argument, but it does underscore the complexity of this issue.
American Woman

Mebane, NC

#4 Jul 20, 2008
Thanks for giving the reporter the time to report this article. This is the seminal issue of the 21st century. You are doing an important public service by running this article. Please run more like it.
Ivona Vujica

Ottawa, Canada

#5 Jul 20, 2008
Abolition of Fossil fuels, Nuclear power and Weapons


According to an old story, a lord of ancient China once asked his physician, a member of a family of healers, which of them was the most skilled in the art. The physician, whose reputation was such that his name became synonymous with medical science in China, replied,“My eldest sister sees the spirit of sickness and removes it before it takes shape, so her name does not get out of the house. My elder brother cures sickness when it is still extremely minute, so his name does not get out of the neighborhood. As for me, I puncture veins, prescribe medicines, and massage skin, so from time to time my name gets out and is heard among the lords.

(Dr. Thomas Cleary’s introduction to Sun Tzu’s Art of War translation – note: Sun Tzu was writing at a time when Chinese civilization was embroiled in civil wars.)

War, Global Warming, financial calamity, starvation and suffering has become pornographic fodder world-wide.“The best and brightest” participate and profit by it regardless of their being on the right, left or the middle.

Chaos and Disorder are imbued and dispersed in our Knowledge-, Economic-, Climate-, even Wisdom networks of knowing. Politicians run amuck and Corporations have their blinders on to everything except what legally they are obligated to do – that is to make profit above all else.(see The Corporation documentary - What is a corporation? ...)

Too late is it now for long-term planning in the phase-out of King Coal and other Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Power and Weapons.

All Tribes, Nations, Communities and Peoples must call and ACT for the Full Abolition of King Coal, Fossil Fuels, Nuclear Power and Weapons immediately.

Abolition of King Coal, Fossil Fuels and Nuclear power and Weapons Everywhere!

Call for the Abolition in your community now-

Stop the Global Warming Machines!

Stop the Coming Genocides - Food/Water/Energy Chaos!

Divest from King coal

For rest of document see (previous document) (this document)


#6 Jul 20, 2008
According to energy investment banker Matthew Simmons, global oil production is now declining, from 85 million barrels per day to 60 million barrels per day by 2015. During the same time demand will increase 14%.
This is like a 45% drop in 7 years. No one can reverse this trend, nor can we conserve our way out of this catastrophe. Because the demand for oil is so high, it will always be higher than production; thus the depletion rate will continue until all recoverable oil is extracted.
Alternatives will not even begin to fill the gap. And most alternatives yield electric power, but we need liquid fuels for tractors/combines, 18 wheel trucks, trains, ships, and mining equipment.
We are facing the collapse of the highways that depend on diesel trucks for maintenance of bridges, cleaning culverts to avoid road washouts, snow plowing, roadbed and surface repair. When the highways fail, so will the power grid, as highways carry the parts, transformers, steel for pylons, and high tension cables, all from far away. With the highways out, there will be no food coming in from "outside," and without the power grid virtually nothing works, including home heating, pumping of gasoline and diesel, airports, communications, and automated systems.
This is documented in a free 48 page report that can be downloaded, website posted, distributed, and emailed:
I used to live in NH, but moved to a safer place. Anyone interested in relocating to a nice, pretty, sustainable area, good climate with much rain and good soil?

Oakland, MD

#7 Jul 20, 2008
cjwirth: Just where would it be your hinting would be a good place to relocate ?

Hopewell, VA

#8 Jul 20, 2008

Read my letter to James Kunstler:

- Forwarded Message -

July 14, 2008

Hi, James:

Re: "Event Horizon,"

You INCORRECTLY opine in your
second sentence:

"[1] The bottom line is the
comprehensive bankruptcy
of the United States.[2]
The Republican Party under
George Bush will be known
as the party that wrecked
America (release 2.0)."

No, James, Leftism is to be blamed
--shall be blamed by future

Capitalism isn't failing.

Capitalism enslaved to socialism/
communism/feminism is.

Bush & Company has been snookered
into feeding leftists' FAIRNESS/
EQUALITY demands; ergo, financial
collapse of the U.S.- and the
rest of the West - was (is)

Sub-prime collapse is rooted in
SOCIALISM/COMMUNISM, as the entirety
of sub-prime mortgage lending was
advanced by DO-GOODER LEFTISTS in
Congress, wishing to give millions of
otherwise UNQUALIFIED home buyers a
piece of the American Dream–-now
America’s frightening nightmare.

“Seen in the best possible light, the housing
bubble that began inflating in the mid-1990s
was ‘a great national experiment,’ as one
prominent economist put it–-a way to
harness the inventiveness of the capitalist
system to give low-income families,
minorities and immigrants a chance to own
their homes”:

which has created $57-trillion in unfunded
WELFARE mandates–-the result of touchy-feely, emotion-driven "FAIRNESS" on the Left.



Re the WHO, the HOW and the WHY
Of America’s financial dismantle-
Men, read and learn:

Planned Destruction of America

Robin Datta

Sanger, CA

#9 Jul 21, 2008
While we will not revert to the pre-fossil-fuel era, but rather to an ecotechnic (for those who follow The ArchDruid Report) society, the carrying capacity even with an ecotechnic society will be well below today's levels. The EROEI for the alternates does not come even close to what we have enjoyed till now (see Charlie Hall's balloon graph). So a population correction is to be expected.

Seattle, WA

#10 Jul 21, 2008
"Population Correction" ... how nice and sanitary sounding. Translated, people die. Poor people. As this becomes obvious there will be riots in the streets and the entire fabric of our society will unravel.


We can unshackle the most brilliant, creative, industrious, ambitious force on the planet and let the free market work the way it's supposed to. And I will applaud as everyone's standard of living continues to rise and the visionary few get stinkin' rich.

Why are so many so eager to embrace doom?
Tariq Mahmood

Islamabad, Pakistan

#11 Jul 21, 2008
It seems dark, since submitting to a major change in behaviour is hard to swallow. We have experienced similar changes previously in history. The change will come and we will be able to bear it, by learning to live with new means.

It is only one century ago that we got the internal combustion petrol engine and later added the pressure fired diesel engine. When fuel was cheap and abundant we never thought of thinking about a possibility for change. It is time that we will have to think about chnaging.

Anyway oil lies burried under the top soil which includes the entire surface of earth including the sea bed. Seas cover over 70 percent of earth surface when only a small fraction of the same is tapped at the moment.

Burried inside the belly of earth are many other fuels in addition to coal and oil. Solar, hydro and wind energies have not been as yet tapped to their best. If necessity is mother of invention we will soon bump into something new.

However, with oil no more we will have less smoke and cleaner air to breath, opportunities for walking, getting less flabby and lesser needs for wars in distant lands.
Lance Crossfire

Ottawa, Canada

#12 Jul 22, 2008
I suspect there will be enough calories in bread and beans for us westerners. If we spurge, we could get some oranges from Florida. All the South American fruit in the middle of winter will likely become prohibitly expensive for most people though.
Tom Chase

Selbyville, DE

#13 Jul 22, 2008
Time to dust off The Limits to Growth and see what will crash first: oil, fresh water, top soil, all of the above.

John Felmy of the American Petroleum Institute asserts that economists say that "you never run out of anything -- it's just how costly it gets." And he suggests that techology will enable us to find new sources of oil.

The sort of wishful thinking (denial?) keeps us from acting on this - and other planetary catastrophes.
Fred Presley

Meriden, CT

#14 Jul 28, 2008
This is broader than energy costs. These are whole complex adaptive systems that have been treated as linear fixed systems. Inability to recognize the changing conditions over a prolonged period have resulted in what now appears to be a recent catastrophic event.
What is required is systemic changes to how we see ourselves within the whole systems in which we operate. Only from there, can we begin to adapt to the changes that we are facing and build resilience.
See .

Saint Clair Shores, MI

#15 Jul 28, 2008
There's plenty of oil and it will never be in short supply in my lifetime. Without question this is an alarmists' piece and will be proven wrong in the future- as alawys.
Sily stupid lefty and his tripe.

There is so much food in North America it rots. So much more potential should the need arise. And the crap about global warming! Bet anyone it is proven obscenely the opposite. Nothing- not one sylable from Al Gore- has ever been right. Look it up!

Baltimore, MD

#16 Jul 28, 2008
This has about as much credence as the alarmists who predicted doom and gloom over the demise of the whale oil market 150 years ago.
Matt from CT

United States

#17 Aug 14, 2008
Stumbled across this sensationalist nonsense tonight trying to google something completely different.

First, we could feed the U.S. population quite comfortably with a fraction of the oil currently used.

Decades of field trials by the Rodale Institute and other studies have shown that organic production -- on average -- is competetive to within a few percentage points of "conventional" (synthetic pesticide & fertilizer) production. Organic does not produce as big of bumper crops as conventional; but it does not suffer as badly during poor years so it balances out. Given the resources put into conventional R&D v. Organic, that small gap could easily be eliminated.

What would happen without oil is the number of people to raise the food, and the number of draught animals (primarily horses) would increase. A good percentage of land would need to be re-programmed to feed the animals, but that can include land ill adapted for human food production where horses are allowed to graze when not at work; further some areas not well suited for tractors would be able to be worked efficiently with horses.

That's a dramatic impact on our society, and a lot of hard work by people not accustomed to it.

But we would not have a hundred million people starve. We would simply adapt our technology to what's available. I don't anticipate ever going back to horse agriculture -- I envision a lot of autonomous, plug-in hybrid electric tractors that automatically cultivate and control pests being the future. But clearly we have the knowledge base existing to use non-petroleum dependent technologies to feed this nation albeit at a high cost of labor.

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