I or we have to give credit to
Martin Vander Meyer on this one
technically. He predicted last
time, world's energy supplies
were and still abundant, and, so,
there should be no need for
He's like the Christopher Booker
of the anti-climate-change
drive, activism or initiatives.
But, this is where I step in to
explain that the debate is still
out there as to whether world's
energy supplies or reserves are
inexhaustible. The world would be
like the ostrich with its head
buried in the sand, should it
abandon ongoing research and
development into alternative-
energy sources. Because, this is
not going to be the last time,
there will be rapid rise and fall
in energy prices. It'd
happened before. But, nothing
ever dramatic like that of
July last year where crude oil
prices rose as high as $147.00
a barrel; which has now fallen
down to as low as $37.00--a
steep decline of about
75 percent. But, what we are
seeing here is deflation. The
general fall in prices common
during recession or depression,
due to illiquidity or reduced
cash flow, wage freeze or
severe economic decline. I was
amazed when I tried to fill my
car's gas tank at $20.00. It
filled up, and started
overflowing early this week.
I used to do that with, at
least, $60.00! This is a practical
measure of how fast
and how steep gas prices have
At the peak of the high oil and
gas prices, many oil-producing
nations and energy companies
reaped huge fortunes. Russia's
Gazprom--the largest oil company
in the world--saw its profits and
revenues tripled. Venezuela's revenues
went up 225 percent. US energy
companies reaped huge profits and
revenues in hundreds of billions of
that there was a drive by
Democrats with energy legislation
still stalled in
the Congress for wind-fall
profits tax: A moved blocked by
allies. It's still uncertain
whether the Obama administration
will pursue campaign promise to
collect windfall-profit tax from
the energy companies to finance
that would supposedly make the
United States independent of
foreign oil within a decade,
which many energy experts doubt.
Drive for windfall,
oil-profit tax was, also, stalled in
supported by Labor and opposed
mostly by Conservatives just
like US Republican counterparts.
And, there were serious debates
and commentaries on this issue.
The biggest beneficiary from this
fallen and still-falling
gas prices will be the auto
manufacturers that have been
driven to bankruptcy with the
US big three auto makers
reeling from poor sales, along
with their global counterparts.
General Motors and Chrysler
have received loan commitment of
$17.4 billion from the United
States government as part of the
bail-out initiatives, with initial,
immediate disbursement of
$4 billion for each company.
Ford Company decided to ride
out the loan bail out. But, was
pleased with the bail out of its
counterparts by releasing a
statement expressing gratitude
to the federal government for
the largesse doled out to its
competitors, which, of course,
came out with heavy strings
attached by way of rapid,
The fallen gas prices are great
news for auto manufacturers,
because, for the first time in
many months, it's reported
that sales of SUVs (The gas-guzzling
sports utility vehicles) have
started overtaking those of
regular cars at the dealers'
market. It's because of the
plummeted sales of these vehicles-
manufactured in large numbers,
but battered by sales decline
in recent months--that auto makers,
suppliers and dealers were driven
to near-bankruptcy. The reported
SUV sales increase will be key
to revitalization of
the auto industry around the
world. Because, the most recent
articles from energy-industry analysts
and auto trends trackers and commentaries
I wrote, suggest cutbacks in the
automobile industry, which
dramatically was followed by
steeper decline in gas prices
than many energy-trends watchers
But, going back to the energy
crisis that seemed to have
eased, and the drive for
renewable or alternative-energy,
it's unbelievable the West
would suddenly drop the bio-fuels
experiments and innovations and
search for other sources of
energy beyond the traditional
Otherwise, industrial and
developing nations, along with
the United Nations and European
Union would have dropped the
drive for climate-change goals,
initiatives and implementation.
But, consumers have short-term
memories. Many are returning to
gas guzzlers for short-term
convenience. But, governments
(especially European or EU
member-nations) would not
forget the extortion from Russia
and OPEC nations at the time
many nations, especially poor
ones, were reeling from high
energy costs, as oil-producing
nations still wanted more higher
oil and petrochemical prices.
It's good that the experience
happened sooner. The West is
unlikely to fall back from
alternative sources of energy.
Because, that's what will keep
fossil-energy reserves longer
and oil and gas prices lower for
future generations. But,
meanwhile, the bad news is that
some renewal-energy companies
rapidly formed, because of the
energy crisis, are folding or
folded. Those with foresight
will stay in the business,
because, the market is there
already for cleaner, low-cost,
renewable energy, which is the
wave of the future. Excessive
dependence on foreign, Middle East,
Russia or Venezuela oil is not a wise,
strategic plan or
exigency. Lessons from the
situation are hard to forget in
America, western nations and
others that heavily import oil.
But, surely Russia cutting off oil
shipment to Ukraine over dispute
on energy bill of
$1.5 billion is a different matter.
It's partly strategic, partly energy-
oriented, partly geopolitical and
partly ideological. Conclusion:
Regardless of recession-induced
falling oil prices (deflation), world
fossil-energy (oil) reserves are not
inexhaustible. Common sense: It's
like a river, which will dry up
without rains that feed them from
distributaries seasonally, or lakes
that haven't received
water similarly. The concept of
renewable energy comes from the
system that does not disturb,
damage, or exceedingly deplete
or consume these natural
resources, which should not be
given up for temporary gains and
momentary low energy prices.
The tragedy of circular violence of the PENTAGON.
“It’s clear that unless we have a means of rationing oil, we’ll end up fighting over it...,”
DRAWING CIRCLES IN THE SANDS AND OCEANS OF THE WORLD...
Depletion, Peak Oil, Controlling the TAPS.[P3]
Flashback to the Initial Pentagon
operations in Afghanistan and IRAQ....
You will INEVITABLY see, a CIRCULAR
expansion of combat operations...like
clock work, as if the whole plan was
drawn way before 9/11...or any other
"motives", from central Asia to the
Middle east, all the way to Mauritania,
North Africa, Africa, Sudan & Worldwide
A concerted effort to "influence",
Provoke and destabilize whole geographic
areas, is tightly connected to an imperial
grandiose "circular Plan" in a very large
theater of operations, directly and solely
connected to ENERGY resources on a
Global scale....With US bases spread all
over the GLOBE, in a new scheme, linked
exclusively to ENERGY, to project power
and protect energy sources and especially
transportation routes, pipelines, maritime
lanes and loading ports, etc.
Examine Geographic areas of conflict
carefully, and you will immediately notice
the ever expanding "circles" drawn by DOD
planners at the Pentagon... It is obvious
for the expert eye... that these
contingencies have been in detailed
existence for years, and have found
the right time for tight; deliberate and
violent execution on the ground.
Depletion, Peak Oil, Controlling the TAPS.
The real reason for the contingencies...
US - IRAN WAR.
The three P's: Property, Power, and Privilege.
Depletion, Peak Oil,
The real reason for the contingencies...
US - IRAN WAR.
The three P's: property, power, and privilege.
The Hariri clan (with its dodgy deals with the USA and the Saudis) will plunge Lebanon in further debt purgatory with regard to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, as the clan did in the previous reconstruction process...
The move toward fascism in America is no accident.
The ruling elite fear this dawning awareness among the masses more than anything else, once reality can no longer be hidden ....
US, IRAN , oil , Lebanon, Proxy WAR .... ?.
The Planning started way back in the US Strategic Agreement in 1998....
The TOOLS.... and the Kleiat Air Force Base in North Lebanon ???
The Murders and the "Outcry"...
THE END GAME .... KSA [ DIVIDED IN THREE TERRITORIES? ]
THE THUG FROM TEXAS, MANIPULATED BY DICK CHENEY,
THE STOOGE OF THE MOTHER OF ALL LOBBIES,
THE PETROLEUM LOBBY , OF TEXAS...
"THE SUM OF ALL LOBBIES WORLDWIDE"
THE LITTLE DONKEYS
God and/or the cosmos may be infinite, but nothing else is. Hence it is a lead-pipe certainty that human beings are going to run out of oil. The only question is when. Civil WAR in the USA ???The preponderance of political power is held by men and women over the age of 40, who will probably not live long enough to suffer the terrifying changes that will come to a country unprepared for the end of the Age of Carbon.May the infinite God help Americans under the age of 40. As matters stand now they can look forward to a frightening future. It will be a future the older people did nothing to prepare them for or to prevent.?
Scientists fear that global warming will bring climatic turbulence, with changes coming in big jumps rather than graduallyRichard Alley's eyes glint as we sit in his office in the University of Pennsylvania discussing how fast global warming could cause sea levels to rise. The scientist sums up the state of knowledge: "We used to think that it would take 10,000 years for melting at the surface of an ice sheet to penetrate down to the bottom. Now we know it doesn't take 10,000 years; it takes 10 seconds."That quote highlights most vividly why scientists are getting panicky about the sheer speed and violence with which climate change could take hold. They are realizing that their old ideas about gradual change - the smooth lines on graphs showing warming and sea level rise and gradually shifting weather patterns - simply do not represent how the world's climate system works.It does big jumps; it works by tipping points.?
Methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, might be even more problematic.According to Tessa Hill, a geologist at the University of California, Davis, more methane is released into the atmosphere from ocean deposits during periods of warming than previously thought.?This expelled methane increases temperatures and releases more methane, creating a positive feedback loop.
The most prominent calculators of the coming peak —not wishful thinkers— are coming around to 2010 plus or minus a couple of years as the year of actual peaking. There could, of course, be foreshocks such as marked reductions in world oil exports that could have serious economic consequences. In fact, some people think we are seeing these foreshocks or perhaps even the actual peak right now.?All this suggests that by 2008 there is a very good chance the reality of peak oil will be widely recognized and will be causing such economic hardships that politicians can neither ignore nor pretend a cure with yet another meaningless “energy bill.” If this is indeed the case, by 2008 ways to mitigate the effects of declining oil supplies could become the central issue of elections in America and around the world for many decades to come.
It was one of the greatest calamities of all time: Something turned up the Earth's thermostat, touching off a monstrous heat wave that killed many animals and drove others far from their homes to seek cooler climes....The hot spell, which lasted 50,000 to 100,000 years, goes by the unwieldy name of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. It was caused by a sudden -- in geological terms -- doubling or tripling of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Climate scientists say the result was an increase of 10 to 12 degrees Fahrenheit above the prevailing temperature.In certain regards, the PETM is very similar to what is happening right now, said Gerald Dickens, an earth scientist at Rice University in Houston. "Just like now, a huge amount of carbon rapidly entered the ocean or atmosphere. The most notable difference is the rate. Things are happening much faster now than during the PETM."...
World oil demand growth is being driven by China and India...and US SUVs. He indicated that the shift to SUVs caught the experts by surprise. This was the first time I'd ever heard an oil company executive almost "blame" US automakers and the public for being so gluttonous. This thought was further embellished later by noting that... It is "immoral" that the US consumes so much energy, far in excess of its world share of population...
The first post-Cold War decade, the 1990s, has been called the “holiday from history,” when the United States turned inward and encouraged the gathering threats from terrorism, failed states and ethnic rivalry. For even longer, we’ve been on another kind of vacation, turning our backs on the grave risks to national security and the economy from our ever-rising dependence on foreign oil...
Cheap imports from the Far East and eastern Europe have kept the prices of goods down. In spurring greater competition, globalization has provided a "favorable tailwind to central banks' attempts to hold inflation down," Mr. Bean said at the annual gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, sponsored by the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank. Yet he cautioned: "Winds can be changeable and the process may go into reverse at some point. To an extent this may already be happening .... There is no never-ending banquet under the sun."The guys in charge of the US economy are worried because they are losing control; facing both inflation and an unpayable mountain of debt that is being destabilized by this inflation. The US is simultaneously addicted to cheap foreign oil and also addicted to a continuation of unsecured foreign loans (largely to pay for it) that keeps increasing at $2 billion a day, not to mention the burden of a $3 billion a week war in Iraq.WASHINGTON - U.S. oil prices would have to hit $100 a barrel to drive the world's largest economy into recession, according to a semiannual survey of economists released lately.
The aero-generator turbine, now being laboratory tested before sea trials next year, mimics sycamore seeds that spin like propellers in the slightest breeze. Its twin arms could each be as tall as the Eiffel tower, and the structure could be moored like an oil platform in 450 feet of water.Each turbine, said Martin Pawlyn, an architect with Grimshaw - which developed the transparent "biomes" at the Eden Project in Cornwall - could produce 20 megawatts of electricity, nearly five times as much as any existing wind turbine. "A cluster of 100 of them spread over just a few square miles of ocean, each turning at just a few revolutions a minute, could outperform almost all Britain's existing wind farms put together," he said.We are now learning from natural eco-systems, and are scaling up projects. We are going back to first principles, taking our inspiration from nature...
On July 25, 2006 Al-Anbar commander and U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Richard Zilmer submitted an MNF-W priority 1 request pointing to the hazards inherent in American supply lines, and noted that the up to many of the supply convoys on Iraq's roads (up to 70%, by some studies) are carrying fuel. Much of that fuel isn't even for vehicles - it's for diesel generators used to generate power at US bases et. al. In response, the document requests alternative energy solutions to power US forward operating bases... and the US military looks like it will act on the request.Well-known renewable energy advocate Amory Lovins, who advises a Defense Science Board panel on fuel efficiency, was quoted by Defense News as saying that the Pentagon's fuel cost calculations have traditionally been based on wholesale prices, and have not taken into account the actual cost of delivering it to front-line units. Before the Iraq war, "fuel logistics were assumed to be free and uninterruptible." Former CIA director and current energy adviser to the Pentagon and Congress James Woolsey adds this: "If you're talking about getting the gas to an M1A1 tank in Fallujah, the supply lines, the tanker vehicles and their protection could drive the cost up to $100 a gallon or more."....?
Most of our food is now produced by industrial agriculture, which has proved to be immensely productive, but at the cost of destroying the means of production. It is enormously destructive of farmland, farm communities and farmers. It wastes soil, water, energy and life. It is highly centralized, genetically impoverished and dependent on cheap fossil fuels, on long-distance hauling and on consumers' ignorance. Its characteristic byproducts are erosion, pollution and financial despair. This is an agriculture with a short future.
Oil powers 80-95% of all transport, 50-75% of all oil is used for transportation, 99% of all lubrication is done with oil products, 95% of all goods in the shops get there using oil, 99% of our food involves oil or gas for fertilizers, agrochemicals, tilling, cultivation and transport. Oil is the most important source of primary energy on the planet accounting for 36.4% of all energy. What do current high oil prices tell us? The market is saying ‘send more oil!’. Economics need a balance of supply and demand, they assume that high prices bring new demand, yet high prices have failed to bring any new supply to meet this demand. In the Third World, high oil prices are already having a huge impact.
The US energy structure at the moment includes;150 oil refineries4000 offshore platforms160,000 miles of oil pipelines10,400 electricity generating plants410 underground gas storage fields1.4 million miles of gas pipelines160,000 miles of high voltage powerlinesPort facilities to handle 15 million barrels/day of oil.
Ecological footprint model, not perfect but the best seen yet. We are now at 120% of global capacity, and can’t go much higher. Some indicators of overshoot are the deterioration in renewable resources, surface and ground water, forests, fisheries, agricultural land, rising levels of pollution. Also growing demand for capital, resources and labor by military and industry to secure, process and defend resources, and rising levels of personal debt. Insurance company losses are also rising.
Population and industrial growth are inherently exponential, and that exponential growth takes a resource to its limits very quickly. It showed that global society will most likely adjust to these limits by overshoot and collapse, not an S-shaped growth curve. However, I do still believe that sustainable development is possible, if important changes are made.
The tipping point in terms of climate is 2°C above pre-industrial levels. This is the point of no return. We look set to go soaring through that. We need a mass withdrawal from carbon emissions. We must leave the coal in the ground. The bottom line is that coal is the killer. We have plenty of it, and we do have the option of seeing if every Government research lab IN THE WORLD is wrong. If we panic and use coal it will be our epitaph.
The average pound of produce travels 1500 miles.In the typical meal served in Iowa, most of it has traveled 1000 to 2000 miles and consumes 17 times the energy in transportation than it would have if they had consumed food grown within 50 miles.10 calories of fossil fuels are consumed for every 1 calorie of food.20% of fossil fuel use in the U.S. goes to our food systems (from production to getting it to our table)."
The decline of global oil production seems now irreversible. It is bound to occur over a number of transitions, the first of which I have called T1, which has just begun in 2006. T1 has a very benign gradient of decline, and it will take months before one notices it at all. But T2 will be far steeper…My World Oil Production Capacity model has predicted that over the next 14 years, present global production of 81 million barrels per day will decrease by roughly 32%, down to around 55 million barrels per day by the year 2020. Thus, in the face of Peak Oil and its multiple consequences, which are bound to impact upon almost all aspects of our human standards of life, it seems imperative to get prepared to face all the inevitable shock waves resulting from that. Preparation should be carried out on individual, familial, societal, and national levels as soon as possible. Every preparative step taken today will prove far cheaper than any step taken tomorrow. In this regard, when it comes to his efforts in explaining Peak Oil to a worldwide audience, Dr. Bakhtiari is a prophet. He is both predicting something, and giving a 14-year time frame for its occurrence. Thus his efforts, his writings, and his work embody the old saying that "Time takes no holiday."
CIA STOOGES +
HELP WILL ONLY COME FROM ABOVE...
As for Iran, the usually accepted official 132 billion barrels is almost 100 billion barrels over any realistic assay. If the higher figure was for real, its oil industry would not be struggling day in and day out to keep output at between 3.0-3.5 million barrels per day (inclusive of Persian Gulf offshore). Coming from a former senior official of NIOC, this is an utterly astonishing comment with immense implications. It may explain much about the current Iranian government's view of its options for setting future industrial, economic, political, and military policy, although Dr. Bakhtiari certainly did not say this, and I do not want to put words in his mouth...?
'Post-Peak' will bring about explosive disruptions we know little about, and which are extremely difficult to foresee. And the shock waves from these explosions rippling throughout the financial and industrial infrastructure could have myriad unintended consequences for which we have no precedent and little experience. As for how much we do not know in a post-Peak Oil world, as Dr. Bakhtiari noted, that could be analogous to the phenomenon known as "flash evaporation." That is, if you raise the temperature of water to something well below its standard boiling point, but then rapidly change some other condition, such as lowering the atmospheric pressure above the water, the water "boils" at a lower temperature and lower pressure regime. This might be considered similar to some abrupt, unanticipated event reducing the supply of oil; for example, warfare, natural disaster, or unexpectedly rapid depletion and decline in a major oil-producing region of the world.
The vast bulk of the world's oil, gas and strategic minerals resources either is coming under or is already under the control of authoritarian, or less-than-democratic, or leftist, or otherwise radical regimes either with a decidedly anti-Western political stance and ideology or pointedly decreased sensitivities to strategic US interests.the steady rise of the powerful economies of Asia beckons oil and gas producers toward such lucrative markets that are politically cost-free, meaning they do not attach political demands and seek to interfere in the domestic affairs of the producing regimes, as does the US....?
Right now there is probably not a single bright and motivated teenager in the entire U.S.A., or the world for that matter, who could figure out the implications of Global Peak Oil without being indoctrinated in some forceful and demanding manner.?
The price of crude oil could hit $300 a barrel if BP's pipeline corrosion crisis in Alaska turns out to be an endemic problem for the industry, according to the leading oil industry analyst Matthew Simmons."The industry cut too many corners when prices were low. For 25 years, there was not a proper maintenance programme. We backed ourselves into a system - rigs, pipelines and refineries - that rusted away."He said the oil industry was now confronted with a dual problem: the view that oil supply has "peaked" and, now, the issue of corrosion of infrastructure.
KILLERS COME TO MOURN..."LEARNING FROM SYRIAN PRACTICES... AND LIARS MADE IN USA
So what are the tensions of transition? One is whether or not this tension will trigger a stock market crash. All the companies are overvalued, which is assuming business as usual in terms of energy. Does this spell a second Great Depression? There are a few ironies around the whole depletion area. Firstly that better technology actually accelerates depletion. Secondly that it is very hard to produce oil on a battlefield. Peak oil will likely lead to reductions in trade and a return to regionalism, possibly to the end of the nation state....???What happens when world oil supplies decrease? The oil shocks of 1973 and 1979 caused inflation, unemployment, recession and high interest rates. What we are about to face now is the world’s first forced energy transition. Growing oil shortages will lead to world demand destruction.
It is more important than ever to understand that, if you are going to withdraw your confidence in one system (or have it withdrawn for you), you'd better have thought through where you will place it instead. Otherwise a vacuum is created which is the perfect Petri dish to grow all sorts of authoritarian alternatives. The move toward fascism in America is no accident. So what's the program? Step number one: kill your television. (Okay, I am a filmmaker. I love the art form, so at my house we have a DVD player, but watch no TV at all. You'll be shocked what a difference it will make. More on that another time.) Start right now forming co-ops of every kind: food, transportation, water, shelter, health care. Form community with the people around you every chance you get. Organize. Hold meetings (call them parties and potlucks. Who knows, you might actually have a good time in the process.) Plant gardens everywhere. Begin storing food and water. Get out a map and draw a circle with a radius of ten miles around your house (the distance you can walk and back in a single day). Then start taking inventory of what (and who) is there. Where are the farms? Water wells? Streams? Doctors? Midwives? What would you need if you were suddenly on your own, and what do you have?Reprogram the mind. That is, just throw out any previous business-as-usual thinking and similar rosy scenarios. Nothing will remain as usual, going forward. This also means that people should engage in as much lateral thinking as possible. Do not just come up with Plan B, but come up with Plans C, D, and E as well. People should challenge themselves, and their associates, not just to expect the unexpected, but to begin thinking the unthinkable.
PIPELINE DESIGNS MADE IN HERZLIYAH...
Without an Oil Depletion Protocol (ODP), what will happen? Extreme price volatility will make planning and investment difficult. There will be conflict over the remaining reserves which will hinder their development and make planning and investment difficult. Conflict over remaining reserves will hinder their development and divert resources from the required energy transition. Also, efforts to produce at maximum rates will damage reservoirs. We need a cooperative agreement to gradually reduce oil consumption, to discourage competition, stabilize prices, protect the resource base and this agreement should be pegged to some kind of objective datum.
IS THIS THE GOOD OLD USA? OR A STREET THUG ?
Peak oil is the Organizing Event of our time. I believe it to be the beginning of a massive and radical shift of power away from global systems and nation states, toward (very) localized, community-based structures. The whole process is inevitable, but will get a serious turbo boost once reality can no longer be hidden behind the flash and bang of TV. The ruling elite fear this dawning awareness among the masses more than anything else. A power shift is power loss for those who now have it.
Finance is just about the only thing our nation "produces" any more.
Oil is not the true lifeblood of our civilization, no matter how tempting a metaphor that is. Money is. All money, from the two bucks you need for a loaf of bread all the way up to the (mostly imaginary) US treasury, is made of oil. Take away oil, or more precisely the energy it delivers into the system, and there is nothing left. Most people will never see a single drop of oil in its natural state. It is only useful insofar as we can convert it into a whole constellation of products or services with the universal purpose of making money. The terminal product in this immensely complicated chain is always the same: profit. this economic model of converting oil into money can benefit everyone has been completely destroyed by a handful of "elites." They have diverted vast amounts of our wealth into their own pockets. They live to expand their personal share of the three P's: property, power, and privilege, while passing on the costs to the rest of us...The reason is simple. The economic equations that turn oil into money are not pure math: so much energy in, so much money out. No, they include terms that have to be described as psychological at best, or - probably more accurately - as metaphysical. There is a commodity that is far more slippery than oil, upon which the whole runaway train glides.It is called confidence. (It should give us no comfort that this is also the key ingredient in any successful "con." The "con" man has to get and keep his mark's trust for the scheme to work.) Confidence is an essential ingredient in modern economics. The fact is, our economic machine is built on nothing more tangible than ideas. Ideas shrivel up and blow away without the consent of large numbers of people to believe them - to act as if they are the truth.The truth that our economic system pretends to represent is the idea that our modern way of life can and will go on forever. It is the idea that the future will always be "like today, only more so." Confidence in this premise borders on mental illness for two reasons. First, it permanently anchors our attention in the future, dissociating our consciousness from here and now. Second, it requires that we ignore fundamental scientific concepts like entropy and the other laws of thermodynamics. In other words, we have created an elaborate science fiction set in a future fantasy world, but have forgotten that it is only a story. The only thing that gives this illusion the appearance of reality, is that we have all agreed to "role play" our way through life as if it were true. Our confidence in the system is the one thing it can't live without.The subversive and revolutionary question is this: what happens when people really start to catch on to the fact of peak oil? What happens when people start to realize that the economy is never again going to get better, that it can't get better because it has - literally - run out of (cheap) gas? The illusion of never-ending growth and prosperity for all depends entirely on ever greater supplies of (cheap) oil. Economic "opportunity," as we have defined it, is a virtual synonym for (cheap) oil. What happens when the pain of peak oil finally amps up and overcomes all the dulling and distracting "drugs" we take as a culture?Answer: sudden and catastrophic economic collapse. Oh, come on. That's a bit dark, don't you think?No, I don't. Widespread collapse only waits for a critical mass of people to experience what many individuals who study peak oil have already gone through. I call it the "Oh shit," moment. When the implications of peak oil finally penetrate our thick skulls, faith in the future - confidence - is the first thing to go. It evaporates right before our eyes, involuntarily and irretrievably.
At some point the Arab/Israeli conflict must be looked at from above. It is a tragedy of circular violence. Neither side is without reproach. The truth and balance of it all is lost in the noise of battle. Do you see any reasons to break out of this bondage. It will have to come spontaneously from both sides. It should start with the women as mothers, daughter, and sisters because women are the only ones who can quell a man's anger....
April 17, 2007 -- The reality of Iraq. The specter of sudden violent death or disabling permanent injury -- such as that visited upon Virginia Tech by a crazed gunman yesterday -- confronts our servicemen and women every day and every hour in war-torn Iraq.
WMR has learned the following facts of life from U.S. military members in Iraq, many of whom have just found out that their tours have been extended until December of this year. Many of our service members know that CNN, Fox, and the other corporate media are not reporting the truth from Iraq but are walking a fuzzy line between mouthing Bush administration propaganda and actual news reporting.
Iraq is locked in a bloody civil war in which Shias and Sunnis are prepared to massacre one another to the last person. The only thing they agree on is their hatred of the U.S. occupiers. The much-heralded Gen. David Petraeus is faced with an impossible situation in which alliances change on a daily basis. Take Tal Afar, for example. While Kurds are trying to ethically cleanse the primarily-Turkmen city and replace Turkmen with Kurds, the U.S. occupiers are trying to separate Shia and Sunni Turkmen into separate cantonments. However, the Turkmen, who are not Arab, are not plagued by the Shia-Sunni split that pits Iraqi Sunni and Shia Arabs against one another. Petraeus and his advisers are ignorant of this and many other facts of life in Iraq. The American military does not know enemy from friend. Female U.S. military police are just as likely as their male counterparts to be killed while on patrol. There are the rapes of female U.S. military members by their Iraqi police and military "allies." Add to this, substance abuse and murder among and between U.S. forces and their Iraqi "allies."
JUST A REMINDER: DATE OF THIS PICTURE: JULY 22ND 2005...
[THANKS LAHOUD FROM CIA...]
HE DID A GREAT JOB HELPING CIA...WHO WAS THE ENGINEER OF THE 2004
EXTENSION TO LAHOUD? SYRIA OF COURSE, BUT ORDERS CAME FROM CIA FOR SURE.
"YOU SCRATCH MY BACK... AND I SCRATCH YOURS"
Iraq: A hell on earth brought about by an elite cabal of neo-cons who have not yet paid a fitting price for their despicable actions.
Most of the Iraqi police are corrupt and untrustworthy. Most U.S. troops who work with the Iraqi police do so armed and post guards in the event Iraqi police try to to kill American troops. This unhappy marriage of convenience drawn up by neo-cons in Washington will continue for at least the next 15 months. The same situation exists between the U.S. military and the Iraqi Army, which is predominantly Shia militiamen, many loyal to Moqtada al Sadr, who has just pulled his ministers from the Nouri al Maliki government. When U.S. troops capture Sunni militiamen, they purposely do not release them to the Iraqi Army, lest they be massacred.
Most of Shia insurgents who are arrested are released back into their communities. There is not enough detention space for either Shias or Sunnis. And, as with the case of captured Sunnis, they are released rather than face execution by the Sunnis.
Nothing stops explosive formed penetrators (EFPs) used by the insurgents. They easily rip through up-armored Humvees like driving a Ginzu knife through a Coke can. What remains of U.S. soldiers hit with EFPs are hardly recognizable as human.
An additional 500,000 US troops in Iraq is the only surge that could even start to make a difference. Less only provides more cannon fodder for the enemy or "enemies." Over 170,000 US troops have served more than one tour in Iraq. Now, everyone in Iraq now must serve 15 months.
The Rules Of Engagement (ROE) for the U.S. military are now so strict that most units that are attacked never fire a shot in retaliation, even when they suffer fatalities among their own ranks.
Route clearance is now performed by 20-year old combat engineers. These engineers look for the EFP's and the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) on roads used by military convoys. Roadside bombs are so well hidden they go off without being detected first. One such bomb recently misfired and killed around two dozen small school girls walking home, hand in hand, from school. The American combat engineers were not able to detect the bomb in time to save the girls. The American troops, especially the fathers, came to tears over the murder of the young girls. And the American troops could not even stop to give the girls first aid because they were on a rescue mission to assist a stranded American squad under fire.
Private sector contractors -- the war profiteers from Blackwater, Halliburton, Triple Canopy, and all the others start, with less than three years of experience, at a salary of $86,000 for moving boxes around in a warehouse. Their active duty counterparts, with much more experience, earn $32,000 a year. However, the contractors can leave Iraq whenever they see fit.
COVER-UPPER IN CHIEF
Mental healthcare for U.S. troops leaving Iraq should be a top priority but it is not. They are left for an inadequate Defense and Veterans Affairs Department to deal with.
Read the following insightful words from a U.S. service member in Iraq. These are words to ponder, for hours, if need be:
"Our country is amazing and a place worth holding dear, but very insidious things lurk in our government. Things we see here. Things you will never hear about. Things that you would never think could come of America. Be careful what you believe. Not everyone here dies the way the paper says they do. Some people aren't as brave as they say. Some people were more heroic than you will ever know."
Ed. note: Iraq is a debacle, a bloodbath of monumental proportions. If the Democrats continue to drag their feet and enable the Bush-Cheney war criminal administration, they will be relegated to the same fate as the Republican Party: political obscurity when the American people decide to exact their revenge on the architects of the current American dilemma and nightmare....
As of the May, 2006 EIA numbers, the world is down 1.3% since December, an annual decline rate of 3.1% per year, but the top 10 oil exporters are down 3.0%, an annual decline rate of 7.2%.Note that consumption is growing quite rapidly in most of the exporting countries, and note that in most cases domestic consumption is satisfied before oil is exported. In the captioned article, I showed, using my "Export Land" model, how a 25% drop in oil production and a 20% increase in consumption (over a five year period) would lead to a 70% drop in net oil exports.I estimate that net oil exports from the top exporters are probably down by 4% to 5% (over a five month period), an annual decline rate of as much as 12% per year, which suggests that exports from the top exporters are falling about three to four times faster than world oil production is fallingAs I have been relentlessly pointing out, I think that we are looking at a series of bidding cycles for declining net oil export capacity, with the oil going to the high bidders and with the losers having to reduce consumption. Leanan, on The Oil Drum, has documented several case histories of poorer countries having to reduce consumption. Soon, the developed and rapidly developing countries will be bidding against each other, instead of bidding against regions like Africa.However, we are beginning to see clear signs of stress here in the US, among poorer households and among financially overstitched homeowners. Consider some recent numbers from the 8/21/06 issue of Barron's.The No-Money-Down DisasterLon Witter, Guest Column, 8/21/06 Barron'sSummary:32.6% of new US mortgages and home equity loans in 2005 were interest only, up from 0.6% in 200043% of first-time home buyers in 2005 put no money down15.2% of 2005 buyers owe at least 10% more than their home is worth10% of all home owners with mortgages have no equity in their homes$2.7 trillion dollars in loans will adjust to higher rates in 2006 and 2007At the end of 2003, 1% of Washington Mutual's (WaMu's) option ARM (adjustable rate mortgage) loans were in negative amortization (the borrowers were borrowing more money each month, not even paying enough to pay the monthly interest charge in full). At the end of 2005, 47% of WaMu's option ARM's were in negative amortization (55% by value of the loans).WaMu is booking these negative amortization payments as earnings. In prior times, loans where borrowers were making less than the interest payments would be classified as non-performing loans. In January-March, 2005, WaMu booked $25 million in earnings from negative amortization payments. In the same period in 2006, WaMu booked $203 million in earnings from these payments. These borrowers are increasing their mortgage balances as property values have started falling, so the default risk on these loans is extremely high.
It would seem from this case that these factors could interact this year produce to an unprecedented--and probably permanent--net oil export crisis.
Shelby Foote said "we can never know the truth but we can get closer to it"the US is the iceberg and the world is the Titanic.This is a no win situation. The anti-US world should not think we will go down gracefully. A few well placed stealth delivered bombs in key resource areas (oil & water) could make sure no one has enough oil, water, and food to run anything like a so called "modern society". Even the jihadist will be hungry. Even the Nazi's had their poison pills.The three sister oil, water, food will be wailing in the night.
It is interesting to see how suggestible world opinion can be. Hassan Nasrallah says that Hezbollah "won" the one-month war it started with Israel and the world affects to believe it. Even the Lebanese pretend to believe it, though their economy was wrecked in the process.What interests me a little more is the absence of any sense of cause and effect among the Lebanese leaders. They allow Hezbollah to operate as a surrogate military within their state, and then they complain when Hezbollah's military transgressions are answered by an Israeli military response against the host state. And now the Lebanese have to pretend to celebrate Hezbollah's victory -- while tourists quietly decide to go anywhere in the Mediterranean except Beirut. World opinion seems to regard Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the current "winner" in the region. He says he aims to kick Israel's ass and sends his goons to show the world how it's done. They're like little kids who go to a neighbor's house, set a paper bag full of dog shit on fire on the door step, ring the doorbell, and hide in the bushes to watch the response. Eventually the police show up.America's aura of loserdom in the Iraq adventure glows a more nauseating shade of greenish brown every day. But it would be a mistake to think that Iraq was Vietnam all over again. Iraq stopped being a war for us three years ago and became a hopeless police action in a terrible neighborhood. Would Iraq (and the world) be better off with Saddam Hussein still in charge? My guess is he would be vying with Mr. Ahmadinejad to lead the jihad for a return of the Islamic caliphate. That event might have stimulated Europe to take the clash of civilizations a little more seriously a little sooner -- but, alas, we will never know. As things stand now, Iraq appears poised to crack up along ethnic and regional lines, no matter how many Hummers patrol the streets, which would leave most of the remaining oil wealth of the Shiite-dominant south within Iran's sphere of influence.Sooner or later America is going to lose access to the roughly 20 percent of the total oil imports it gets that come from the Middle East. The foothold in Iraq was an attempt to postpone that day. It looks like it will not work out. The US army is exhausting itself and bankrupting the civilian treasury. Sixty percent of the US public now disapproves of our continued presence there. Internal pressures among the Middle East oil producers themselves -- including those on the sidelines of the war -- will create additional stresses. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, the UAE, all have peaked now in terms of oil production. Meanwhile, their populations still grow, their internal oil consumption increases, leaving less for export, and the quality of the crude goes from light-and-sweet to heavy-and-sour, with further difficulties for refining and marketing.If America loses 20 percent of its oil imports -- on top of steep depletion rates elsewhere (Mexico, the North Sea), plus political trouble in places like Nigeria and Venezuela -- then we can kiss goodbye a whole roster of things like WalMart, easy motoring on the interstate highway system, Walt Disney World, a continued profitable build-out of suburbia, and a diet of Cheez Doodles and Pepsi. I am on record, of course, as not being in favor of these things, but it would be very messy indeed if they all ground to a halt in a few mere months. We've done a lousy job of preparing ourselves to live differently. In fact, the whole thrust of American politics along the whole spectrum has been to keep the current racket going. This is why the only broad discussion now occurring over our energy problems is focused to the point of neurotic obsession with keeping the cars running by other means at all costs. This is true on left as well as the right. The left is lost in raptures of driving around in cars fueled by used French-fry oil. The right is lost in raptures of executive pay packages for retiring oil company executives. We are putting no thought, meanwhile, into how we will grow our food in an energy-scarce future, how we will conduct manufacturing and trade, or how we will heat all the McHouses.
Based on EIA crude + condensate numbers through May, world oil production is down by 1.3% since December. However, as I have been predicting, production from the top 10 net oil exporters is down more--3% since December. Since domestic demand in the exporting countries has to be satisfied first, and since domestic consumption in most exporting countries is rising quite rapidly, the effective drop in net exports from these 10 countries is probably more than 5%. In other words, net exports are probably dropping about three to four times faster than world oil production is falling.
I am devoid of the impulse to reform the social class system per se, precisely because I regard it as an implacable fact of life. The universe is organized hierarchically and that’s all there is to it. All of the subcategories of things in it tend to be organized hierarchically, too, especially the social life of animals, including human beings. by 1956, say, the president of a toaster company might be paid several multiples more than the guy on the assembly line, but not obscenely more. In 1956, both would certainly be owners of American cars (a Cadillac versus a Ford Fairlane), and might well have owned their own homes in greater or lesser suburbs. But their standards of living would seem, from today’s standpoint, startlingly similar. Both families would have had TV, perhaps one versus several, but both families also went to the movies at the Loews Theater, and democratically took their seats first-come-first serve. Ditto the ballparks and football stadiums in the days before luxury boxes. Both upper and working class families ate the standard supermarket victuals of the day, because the gourmet stratification of America had not yet happened. Both families might well have sent their children to public schools. Both fathers may have been Sunday golfers, though on different public and private courses. And so on. By the early 1960s, with America at the height of its manufacturing dominance, General Motors assembly line workers made as much money as tenured college professors.But like all good things deriving from industrial civilization, this social leveling process had some strange diminishing returns. One was that the lower ranks of American society became so affluent by historical terms that they were able to impose their tastes on everybody else, if only because there were so many of them, with so much money to spend. They begin to occupy and modify the terrain of America in a way that lower classes never had been able to before – using the prime artifact of industrial civilization to accomplish that takeover, namely the car. They bought homes in the new subdivisions that were obliterating the rural hinterlands of the cities, and before long all the commercial accessories followed: the strip malls, the department stores, the fried food huts, the cinemaplexes, the office parks, the Big Box stores – in effect, an entire alternate infrastructure to the tired, old, bleak, nauseating downtowns of the industrial cities, which had begun to sicken in the Great Depression and with a very few special exceptions would never return to health again. The new stuff built all over America in the late 20th century was analogous to the content of the television programming to which the lower classes insidiously became addicted – a cartoon simulacrum of a real world that was systematically being obliterated. Instead of a real countryside outside the hated cities, we now had suburbia, a cartoon of country living. Instead of towns, shopping malls. The real new economy was the final blowout of the cheap oil era: the hypertrophic build-out of suburban sprawl and the furnishing and final accessorizing of it. In other words, our living arrangement essentially became the remaining basis of our economy, in the absence of any other purposeful creation of value or wealth, such as manufacturing things. And because it was a racket devoted to a way of life with no future, it spawned enormous cynicism. Just as the immersive ugliness of the suburban highway strip was economic entropy made visible, so the cynicism of the public was entropy applied to human values, a force propelling things into disorder. When nothing was sacred, everything became profane.The demoralization of the American public, and especially of the economic lower orders proceeded remorselessly from the 1980s on and became focused on two very pernicious ideas: first the belief that it was possible to get something for nothing, and second the belief that when you wish upon a star your dreams come true. The first derived from the fact that Americans still appeared to generate wealth without really producing anything of value. This was achieved, by one means or another, through the accumulation of debt. This debt was represented by the false collateral of suburban real estate – the infrastructure of a living arrangement with no future. Meanwhile, this debt, or credit (hallucinated surplus wealth), was cleverly converted into huge batches of tradable financial instruments and used to drive both bond and derivatives markets. Since finance is ultimately predicated on the expectation that the wealth of societies will ever increase, this economy was the greatest shuck and jive the world had ever seen. Hence, the most important monument in American life moving into the 21st century was Las Vegas, a shrine to the now universally accepted creed that it was possible to get something for nothing.The second idea, that when you wish upon a star your dreams come true, was its perfect accompaniment. It derived from the mental bombardments of advertising and Hollywood movies, and it provoked the American masses to believe that sooner or later the time would come when their individual big payoff would arrive, their ship would come in, their lottery number would hit the jackpot, they would break the house at the blackjack table of the Mirage Hotel.Now, the trouble with this kind of demoralizing belief system is that most adult human beings realize at some level that it is at odds with the way the universe works, that it is an edifice of lies – just as the suburban housing developments were an edifice of lies about an enduring way of life, and a maxed-out collection of credit cards was a lie about one’s personal finances. Their own sensed moral failures aroused in Americans a welter of negative emotion including guilt, shame, unworthiness, powerlessness, terror, and ultimately anger over having to feel these unpleasant emotions, and they expressed their anger by striking out against nature, employing the very machines that defined the terms of their existence, the automobile and its spawn: monster trucks, motorcycles, dune buggies, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, and gigantic motorboats whose chief attractions were their power to negate the scale of the average freshwater lake while making enormous amounts of noise. These were people who no longer felt comfortable, or even ontologically present in the world, unless engines of some kind were ringing in their ears. Their assault on the landscape of America completed the destruction that suburbia had left unfinished. And as the cheap oil, which made the whole exercise possible, fades into history with the global oil production peak upon us, America was reduced to a nation of tattooed, overfed clowns in paramilitary drag, pretending to be powerful and good.
Oil production is beginning to experience diminishing energy returns as crude becomes harder and more expensive to find. A yield of 100 barrels for every barrel invested was typical in 1930; the ratio had dropped to 30 to 1 by the 1970s and has now plummeted to 15 to 1 or less. 'It doesn’t matter how much you find if it costs you a barrel to get that barrel', .Despite having its soldiers pinned down by Sunni militants, Washington plans to overthrow the regime in Tehran, purportedly over the latter's nuclear enrichment program. An outright invasion would be catastrophic to the global economy, not when the 1.0 to 1.3 million barrels of oil cushion is expected from Saudi Arabia. Iran has the capacity to take out 10-20 million barrels per day by destroying oil infrastructures in the Gulf Arab states, and sink enough tonnage to make the Straits of Hormuz impassable.An Iranian response has to be quick, brutal and bloody as paradoxically, it is net importer of gasoline. Years of U.S.-led sanctions have left the Iranian oil complex in a decrepit state.But this does not stop each party from laying a snare for each other. The proxy war fought in Lebanon was yet another manifestation of this game. If Washington thinks it has knocked a pawn or two from Tehran's game plan through the proposed deployment of 15,000 U.N. sanctioned troops in Southern Lebanon, it should think again.Then of course, there is China which supplies the finest weaponry in Iran's arsenal. The world's fastest growing economy, and its fastest growing market, has already locked and secured oil and other raw materials from some of the most despotic regimes on earth.Beijing will not tolerate any disruptions to its precarious oil supplies. And neither would those who can be regularly spotted buying discounted Chinese products when they are not crying foul over Tiananmen Square.China alone accounts for 40 percent of global oil demand growth. The ratio between China's GDP growth and demand growth for crude oil is an alarming 10:9. On a worldwide basis, the ratio is 10:4.If there is any disruption to oil supplies, China would be the first to reel, and that would be dangerous....
Let’s take a quick look at the OPEC production trends, one by one. Algeria can go on squeezing out a little more oil every year until around 2010. Libya has big unknowns but can expand fairly gently certainly to 2010 and, depending on exploration success, probably for some time after that. Indonesia is in terminal decline but may get the odd year off (production stabilizing). Kuwait has a little more increase in their production to come but is likely to peak around 2010-2012. UAE/Abu Dhabi probably won’t peak till 2015. Qatar’s expansion is overwhelmingly linked to gas liquids and condensates associated with the gas/LNG production. In theory it could expand for some time but this really depends if the North field is as big as is claimed. Qatar is the original all-the-eggs-in-one-basket producer. Venezuela is a bit of a mystery. Maintaining conventional oil production requires (because of a high decline rate) a level of drilling and investment that is currently not happening. Expanding heavy oil (Orinoco) requires new projects. Higher tax take and preference for Chinese and Russian companies means no plans have been sanctioned, so even if there is sudden progress there will be no supply impact before 2010/2011. The longer investment is postponed the less chance of expanding supply; remember -- Depletion Never Sleeps. So Venezuelan production is more likely to decline than expand under Chavez’s leadership. Iran is clearly struggling. Decline rates in existing fields are high and although there are new projects they’re not coming through fast enough to expand production. I would expect production to remain around current levels with slow decline more likely than expansion. Saudi is also clearly struggling. They’re draining rigs and completion engineers from around the world. They’re already up to 100 big rigs and expect to get to 120; just two or three years ago they were running a mere 30 rigs. I would guess that Saudi production will now have a saw-tooth profile with jumps in production as reworked/redeveloped fields come on-stream. All the new field developments they tout, with the exception of the 100,000 b/d Nuayyim field, are redevelopment of old fields that have actually been in production several times. All the super-duper new technology will do is extract the last knockings – fast. I’m with Matt Simmons on the Saudi outlook. Iraq is Iraq, but a not-too-cynical guess is no real expansion before 2010, probably holding at around current levels between now and then. Nigeria has expansion potential till 2010/2012 when rapid onshore declines are likely to overwhelm offshore gains. However, we have a replay of the Biafran Civil War underway (although we’re too polite to mention it). So far some 800,000 b/d of production has been shut in. So the Nigerian production outlook? Cloudy and unpredictable.
Kuwait's parliament has again called for the government to reveal how much oil the country has in its reserves, reported the Kuwait Times. Speculation has continued for months that the country has 48bn barrels of oil in reserve, about half of the official figure of 99bn.
The first paradigm we might call the ‘Business-as-Usual-at-all-costs’ paradigm. This argues that peak oil is simply a problem of energy supply, and that provided we can resolve that, everything will be fine. The second paradigm we might call the ‘Cultural Evolution’ paradigm’, which argues that we cannot solve the problems peak oil presents with the same thinking that got us into the mess in the first place.
China's sharp rise in sulphur dioxide emissions, the main component of acid rain, is ruining the nation's croplands and threatening the food chain in rivers and lakes, experts have said.
Where does this leave us as we enter the new period of history I have several times alluded to: the post-cheap-oil world, and eventually a world altogether without recoverable fossil fuels? You could say up a cul-de-sac in a rusted GMC Denali without a fill-up. Or you could say more to the point, in a society that will have to get its thrills and satisfactions in other ways, involving fewer prosthetic projections of our will-to-power. The will-to-power itself will probably be subdued by something more elemental: a will to stay warm, clean, and well-nourished in the era of post-oil-and-gas hardship and turbulence we are entering, which I have taken to calling the Long Emergency. In this new era, coming soon to a twenty-first century region near you, the formerly industrial nations will have a great deal of trouble keeping the lights on, getting around, and feeding their people. Vocational niches by the hundreds will vanish, while the need to make up for a failing industrial agriculture, with all its oil-and-gas inputs, will require a revived agricultural working class in substantial numbers. This is in effect, a peasantry, and the word itself obviously carries unappetizing overtones, especially among those who used to be certain that the perfectibility of both human nature and human society were at hand. It all seemed that way, I suppose, in the early 1960s, when the United Auto Workers Union was setting up vacation camps along the Michigan lakes, and President Kennedy promised to put a man on the moon before the decade ended, and the doctrine of mutually assured destruction kept a sort of peace among the great military powers, and Dad drove home from the Pontiac showroom with a new GTO, which his son, Buddy, used to cruise the strip on Friday nights while Born to Be Wild rang out of the radio and out into the warm, soporific San Fernando night.All over. All over but the keening for our soon-to-be-lost machine world. We’ll have to find new satisfactions now looking inward and reaching out with our limbs to those around us to discover what they are finding inward and outward about themselves. We’ll certainly find music there, and dancing, and perhaps some fighting, and we will still have the means to make bases and balls and sticks for hitting them and gloves for catching them and twilight evenings in the meadow to play in. Amid a great stillness. With the moon rising.
A third of the world is facing water shortages because of poor management of water resources and soaring water usage, driven mainly by agricultureWater scarcity around the world was increasing faster than expected, with agriculture accounting for 80 percent of global water consumptionGlobally, water usage had increased by six times in the past 100 years and would double again by 2050, driven mainly by irrigation and demands by agricultureAnalysts see widespread conflicts by 2015Cholera may return to London, the mass migration of Africans could cause civil unrest in Europe and China's economy could crash by 2015 as the supply of fresh water becomes critical to the global economy...
Michael Pilarski published his case for "peak food." Between global warming (a major, systemic, global stressor) and peak oil (a systemic loss of agriculture's capacity to respond to stressors), Pilarski builds a case that food production, like oil production, will peak. He points out that after bad weather in 2005, 2004 remains the historic high point of global food production; the global heat waves and droughts of 2006 make it unlikely that we will beat 2004's record this year, either.9
Researchers in California report that on a given day 25% of the pollution littering the skies above Los Angeles has wafted over from China...
It was and it is: we were looking at a truly international solution, it was never an Iranian solution in the first place, it was a middle-eastern solution, and we see that in the context of a global market, which has got worse than in June 2001, it has become more volatile, more risky and is leading to more profits at the expense of the producers and consumers, the trouble is that none of these profits are really visible to producers and consumers because of the opaque nature of the market operation.Oil is typically priced using what are called "Benchmarks" , and also producers and consumers manage risk, the price going up or down, by using derivatives, a form of risk management tool. The derivatives should derive from the underlying market, but using the current market architecture it is possible to generate unnecessary levels of market volatility, and in fact the entry of hedge funds into the market in a big way in the last two or three years has been responsible for a large amount of current market volatility.During the first oil shock the Saudis and others who benefited did invest their petrodollars in the States, in US assets. Now many many people, the Russians particularly, the Norwegians are talking about a Euro-denominated oil bourse, are beginning to question whether they want to put their assets into a dollar-denominated debt or dollar-denominated assets. Let's face is the Americans are reluctant to let foreigners buy key US assets anyway. There aren't very many places you can invest in the US other than T-Bills.If we could just look at the Euro first - there aren't enough Euros to go around to even begin to cope with demand that would be needed if we were to start pricing in euros, and I don't think the European Central Bank would start printing those quantities, that would be almost a declaration of war by the ECB on the US. I don't see that as a practicable proposition. Other currencies I see as pretty peripheral.That's exactly what he called it. I would go along with that analysis. What is needed is an energy clearing union, with a petrodollar which consists of a dollar's worth of energy, in whatever form, at the launch date. In the same way that the Euro had a launch date, when the rates were set against other currencies, so you would take a petrodollar - a US Dollar, and set it against various energy manifestations, whether it is kilowatt hours, or barrels of oil, or whatever.And from that point on you have something that is exchangeable against all other currencies, which would vary against it, that would give you the basis for a rational clearing system, I think that is an eminently practical proposition albeit one that would take a lot of work to put in place. I do not see any currency being able to compete with the dollar.No currency issued by a central bank, if I can put it like that.What I am proposing is a currency based upon an asset, as opposed to a claim over an asset issued by a central bank. So it's asset based, rather than deficit based.
Terrorists were planning to unleash a series of deadly mid-air explosions on flights between London and America on August 16, it has been revealed today.Hmm... August 16 is the Impact Day in Armageddon, I.e. 'the other' Deep Impact movie released in 1998. How fitting!
Sooner or later Jihad will turn to its "oil weapon" to throw a wrench in the machinery of the West's defense -- but in the meantime, the greed for oil revenues trumps that action. Anyway, Jihad perceives the West's growing weakness without sacrificing its oil income. The addicts are killing themselves.
In Islam, as in Judaism and Christianity, there are certain beliefs concerning the cosmic struggle at the end of time--Gog and Magog, anti-Christ, Armageddon, and for Shiite Muslims, the long awaited return of the Hidden Imam, ending in the final victory of the forces of good over evil, however these may be defined. Mr. Ahmadinejad and his followers clearly believe that this time is now, and that the terminal struggle has already begun and is indeed well advanced. It may even have a date, indicated by several references by the Iranian president to giving his final answer to the U.S. about nuclear development by Aug. 22. This was at first reported as "by the end of August," but Mr. Ahmadinejad's statement was more precise.What is the significance of Aug. 22? This year, Aug. 22 corresponds, in the Islamic calendar, to the 27th day of the month of Rajab of the year 1427. This, by tradition, is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to "the farthest mosque," usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back (c.f., Koran XVII.1). This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world. It is far from certain that Mr. Ahmadinejad plans any such cataclysmic events precisely for Aug. 22. But it would be wise to bear the possibility in mind.
Certain sectors are particularly at risk to oil depletion. First, transport costs will rise dramatically, hitting commercial aviation and tourism especially hard. Second, oil scarcity will push up food costs and reduce output as modern agriculture is highly dependent on oil for tractors, transportation, and chemical fertilizers and pesticides. This may have serious food security implications, especially for food-importing countries. Third, the volume of manufacturing production will be hurt by rising energy prices, especially in the petrochemical, plastic and pharmaceutical sectors.
there is considerable scope for increasing energy efficiency and reducing consumption, both have limits, especially given current energy and transport infrastructure. No alternative energy source is fully substitutable for oil, considering its versatility as both a fuel and a petrochemical feedstock, as well as its high energy density. Natural gas is expected to peak within a couple of decades, while coal is highly polluting, not least in terms of harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Switching to an economy based on renewable and nuclear energies will require massive investment, and take several years to begin making an appreciable difference. The crux of the matter is whether new energy and transport investments can be undertaken before the peak of oil production is reached; after the peak, economic conditions will be far less conducive. On the down slope of the Hubbert curve, the world faces an endless sequence of supply-side oil shocks, causing the oil price to fluctuate around an upward trend. This will fuel inflation and increase uncertainty. Central banks are primed to respond by raising interest rates, which will put a brake on global economic growth. If the oil price continues to rise gradually and monetary authorities tolerate higher inflation to allow prices to adjust, reflecting the increasing scarcity of fossil fuels, an economic meltdown may be avoided. However, there is a strong likelihood of a sharp spike in the oil price, either when the peak is reached or when a critical mass of investors wakes up to the inevitability of the peak. This realization could spark widespread panic, with potentially devastating effects on financial markets and the global economy...
Based on the report's extensive field-by-field analysis, [Peter] Jackson and [Robert] Esser conclude that the data reinforce CERA's view that the specter of "peak oil" is not imminent, nor is the start of an "undulating plateau" pattern of supply capacity.These half-truths have gone on long enough. A bit more in-depth analysis is required to reveal this charade for what it is. Our future energy need is put in ever greater jeopardy the longer the world waits to mitigate the crisis. One step toward changing perceptions to create a call to action is to refute deceptions, whether they are intentional or not.
We are entering an era in which we know nothing much, where we have a brand-new set of rules...One of these new rules, in my opinion, is that there will be in the very near future nothing like business as usual. In my opinion, nothing is usual from now on for any of the countries involved. And the lower you are in the pile, the worse it is going to get.Bakhtiari is pessimistic about the prospects for large-scale energy projects based on manufactured fuels, such as coal-to-oil and gas-to-oil projects. His reasons are many, ranging from the scale and cost of such projects to the raw environmental degradation they cause. In addition, much of the feedstock for these projects, for raw material and/or process heat, is supposed to come from natural gas. But natural gas supplies are about to "peak" worldwide and commence their own irreversible curve of decline, so this is not a long-term solution.
The implications of Peak Oil are negative enough even without the prospect of negative reinforcement.
By 2021, it has been estimated that we will have to adjust to a supply of just 50% of today's volumes. Under that scenario, many of the services that we currently take for granted - cheap flights, cheap imports and global distribution of food - will be radically curtailed.One of the greatest impacts will be on how and where our food is produced. The dominant models of intensive agriculture and the global food trade depend on vast inputs of oil. In a post peak oil world, the combination of higher transport costs, climate change and increased conflict will necessitate us all relying far more on re-localized food supplies. Even though it requires far lower amounts of oil, organic farming is not exempt from the need to adapt.
The decline after peak might initially be low, buying a few years of time, but if it does reach 8% per year, world oil extraction would decline by almost half in eight years. That is likely to lead to the collapse of civilization, because there is too little time to adapt.
Global trade will not disappear, since moving freight over water is very efficient, but there will be several discontinuities as declining energy forces us to roll backwards through history. Most cargo is shipped on enormous container vessels that can be over 1100 feet long with ten thousand containers stacked many stories high. The first discontinuity will come when we have to retrofit ships to run on coal, and set up coal stations and tenders all over the world. The second discontinuity will occur when coal gets scarce and container ships are moved by wind power (if this is even possible), with liquid fossil fuel only used when entering and leaving ports. A further step down will happen when it’s too energy-intensive to keep harbors dredged deep enough accommodate large container ships. It’s already very tricky getting these large ships into port, a local pilot is brought in and complex computer systems are used to delicately park these gargantuan ships along the wharf.43 These huge ships would have to remain offshore and unloaded to smaller ships, if that is possible, since they weren’t designed for this. The third discontinuity will come when containerization can no longer be supported due to lack of fuel and/or electricity for cranes, trucks, and trains. Containerization revolutionized the amount of cargo and the swiftness with which it could be loaded and delivered from origin to destination by orders of magnitude over earlier forms of transportation. The final discontinuity will come when ships need to be built from wood, because the remaining mineral ore is too low quality and energy-intensive to process, and when we can no longer recycle the rusted and dispersed iron and steel.
United States Infrastructure?While the EROI of oil was high, we built a vast infrastructure to deliver clean water, treat sewage, built roads, bridges, dams, and so on. Any non-fossil fuel type of energy will have a great deal of work just maintaining the existing infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the following grades to our infrastructure in 2005.22 Grade Infrastructure Components C+ Solid Waste C Bridges C- Rail D+ Aviation Transit D Dams, Energy, Hazardous Waste, Roads, Schools D- Drinking Water Wastewater Navigable Waterways Consider just the drinking water infrastructure, the main reason our life spans have increased so much.23 In this century, all of the 600,000 miles of pipes delivering clean water to homes will need to be replaced. Every component of the water system is aging. The energy required to replace or maintain thousands of treatment plants, pumping stations, reservoirs and dams over the next century is staggering.24 Useful Life MatrixClean Water Years Component 80–100 Collections 50 Treatment Plants – Concrete Structures 15- 25 Treatment Plants – Mechanical & Electrical 25 Force Mains 50 Pumping Stations – Concrete Structures 15 Pumping Stations – Mechanical & Electrical 90–100 Interceptors Drinking Water Years Component 50- 80 Reservoirs & Dams 60- 70 Treatment Plants – Concrete Structures 15– 25 Treatment Plants – Mechanical & Electrical 65– 95 Trunk Mains 60- 70 Pumping Stations – Concrete Structures 25 Pumping Stations – Mechanical & Electrical 65- 95 Distribution And consider the energy required to deliver the water. According to Allan Hoffman, “Energy is required to lift water from depth in aquifers, pump water through canals and pipes, control water flow and treat waste water, and desalinate brackish or sea water. Globally, commercial energy consumed for delivering water is more than 26 Quads, 7% of total world consumption”.25
Twenty years ago, following the collapse of the Soviet empire, Fidel Castro's small island faced a food crisis. Today, its network of small urban farmers is thriving, an organic success story that is feeding the nation
A more fundamental limitation of the 20th-century grid is that it is poorly suited to handle two 21st-century trends: the relentless growth in demand for electrical energy and the coming transition from fossil-fueled power stations and vehicles to cleaner sources of electricity and transportation fuels. Utilities cannot simply pump more power through existing high-voltage lines by ramping up the voltages and currents. At about one million volts, the electric fields tear insulation off the wires, causing arcs and short circuits. And higher currents will heat the lines, which could then sag dangerously close to trees and structures.
Hurricane Katrina was "our energy 9-11," that the world oil supply was "peaking," and that the industry needed to get on "war footing." Two months later, an article appeared in Fortune magazine featuring another Bush confidante: Richard Rainwater, who made his billions in oil and Houston real estate. It was titled simply "The Rainwater Prophecy," and it forecast an economic tsunami that was about to rip through the world as a result of the peak-oil crash.
farming and ensuring a stable food supply into the future. Think Quakers with 12 gauges.
We use the energy equivalent of all of ExxonMobil's proven oil and gas reserves in less than four months. In my opinion, this is why it is imperative that we kill consumption, before consumption kills us. I recommend an energy consumption tax, offset by cutting or eliminating the highly regressive Payroll Tax, combined with an aggressive wind and (probably) nuclear power program and an electrification of transportation program
Here's a theoretic figure that is hard to ignore: $8 a gallon. That is the hidden cost of imported oil, according to Milton Copulos, a respected analyst with the National Defense Council Foundation in Washington. Copulos examined such factors as oil-related defense spending in the Middle East and calculated U.S. jobs and investments lost to steep crude prices, Salopek reported. When he isolated the hidden costs of Middle Eastern crude in particular, the price jumped to $11.
Petrol price rises may cause the housing bubble to burst, triggering global recession and the fall of America's EdenHomebuilder Toll Brothers said the current slump in residential construction is unlike any it has seen in 40 years as it became the latest to warn of a glut in new homes for sale and a slowdown in the closely watched real estate market...
America's energy doomsday clock could be inching closer to midnight with the news that Mexico's primary oilfield may be ready to crater. If these dire predictions turn out to be correct, such a development could deal a body blow to the United States' desperately needed oil supplies. With 2006 demand calling for 22 million daily barrels, domestic U.S. supply is down to less than 8 million barrels a day. Of the average daily imports exceeding 12 million barrels, Mexico has been counted on to deliver 20 percent of that amount. In fact, additional offshore discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico were expected to add to that total. However, due to the excessive depth of these reserves, and the prohibitive cost of extraction, Mexico is not capable of pursuing that option at this time. The problem that the US has is that, according to the WSJ, production from both Venezuela and Mexico is falling, while domestic consumption in these two countries is rising rapidly, so net exports from these two key US suppliers are being squeezed from two directions.
The tourism losers in the next decades, are set to be Greece, Italy, Spain, and the Caribbean. Tourists will flock to the Baltic coast, southern Sweden, Ireland, the Alps, Croatia and southern Britain.Germans are the most traveled nation with 72m international tourists and the UK is third with 53m.
Jihad and peak oil are related, mutually-reinforcing problems. The world is in a lot of trouble and America is in a lot of trouble in our corner of the world. We talk about a lot of things, but the one thing we've absolutely avoided is any talk about making the necessary changes in our "non-negotiable" way of life. I think the remainder of 2006 will be the start of that national conversation.
Saudi Arabia's shaky situation with its Ghawar oil field, which gives ominous signs of entering a far steeper and more sudden decline / crash than previously imagined by many observers. A similar picture is resolving with Mexico's dominant Cantarell oil field. Yet another interesting problem all over the map is that oil exporting nations are seeing their internal consumption increase even while reserves and daily production decline, and the net effect is a lot less oil for export.
The U.S., and the West in general, has focused its attention on other people as the source of trouble in the oil markets, with countless hours devoted to worrying about whether or not the Iranians or the Saudis or the Venezuelans will cause trouble. And here we are, an utterly and shamelessly oil-dependent culture, waking up to the fact that rust in the pipelines of Prudhoe Bay has taken down 400,000 barrels of oil in one fell swoop.It reminds me of the words of Matthew 10:36. "And a man's foes shall be they of his own household."400,000 barrels... that's a supertanker sinking every day. Gee I wish I had said that in the article.
ASK ME for anything, said Napoleon to his lieutenant. "Anything but time."With those three words, Napoleon was referring to the binding agent of operational military art, the concept of "Time, Space, and Force." What Napoleon was saying to his subordinate was that in the context of war, there are always setbacks. Terrain, for example, is sometimes captured and lost to the enemy, but lost terrain can be regained. And forces are lost in combat but can be rebuilt and reconstituted from the strategic reserve. But lost time? Once it has passed, time is lost forever. You will never see it again, and no general, however great, can win it back.
With crude production from Alaska's Prudhoe Bay field down indefinitely, and tight supplies of short-haul Latin American crudes, typical Alaska North Slope crude buyers may have to seek crudes from as far away as West Africa or Asia to fill the void on the US West Coast, market sources said August 7.California may have problems, Standard & Poor's Chief Economist David Wyss said. "The entire West Coast could be in trouble."
Global freshwater use tripled during the second half of the twentieth century as population more than doubled and as technological advances let farmers and other water users pump groundwater from greater depths and harness river water with more and larger dams. As global demand soars, pressures on the world’s water resources are straining aquatic systems worldwide. Rivers are running dry, lakes are disappearing, and water tables are dropping. Nearly 70 percent of global water withdrawals from rivers, lakes, and aquifers are used for irrigation, while industry and households account for 20 and 10 percent, respectively.Together, China, India, and the United States produce nearly half the world’s grain, and these three countries plus Pakistan collectively account for over three fourths of the world’s reported groundwater extraction for agricultural purposes. Falling water tables in these countries may make expanding world food production more difficult.Thirty percent of China’s urban water supply is fed from groundwater. Worldwide, it is estimated that roughly 2 billion people—in both rural and urban environments—rely on groundwater for daily water consumption.
As far as Lebanon is concerned, Israel wants nothing less than a permanent buffer zone on its northern flank. And if Lebanon turns into an Iraq, even better—although the Lebanese have learned the hard way about sectarianism and won’t “Iraqify” their own country. Beirut will be rebuilt—again, and again the Hariri clan (with its dodgy deals with the US and the Saudis) will plunge Lebanon in further debt purgatory with regard to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, as the clan did in the previous reconstruction process. There’s also the all-important matter of the waters of the Litani River in southern Lebanon. Israel might as well prepare the terrain now for the eventual annexation of the Litani. Beyond Lebanon, Israel is mostly interested also in Syria. The motive: the all-important pipeline route from Kirkuk, in Iraqi Kurdistan, to Haifa. Enter Israel as a major player in Pipelineistan. So Israel wants to grab water (and territory) from Palestine, water (and territory) from Lebanon, and oil from Iraq. This all has to do with the inevitable—the 21st-century energy wars. The Israel and Lebanon situation seems to be about religion, terrorism, and land; the US-Iran situation seems to be about nuclear proliferation. But if one looks beneath the surface, nearly everything of significance that happens in the Middle East is at least partly about oil.
Petroleos Mexicanos, Mexico's state- owned oil monopoly, said production at its Cantarell oil field, the world's second-largest by volume, will decline 8 percent in 2006, dropping faster than its December estimate of a 6 percent.``Our bigger concern starts in about 2008,'' Padilla said.Mexico's economy and government are living on borrowed time, and the day of reckoning may be coming sooner rather than later. A third of the country's federal revenues come from the profits from government-run oil fields.
The philosopher Slavoj Zizek once remarked that the United States does still have a working class -- it's simply in China.But here's another way to look at the situation: While China expands its industrial base to supply the world with everything from mops to electronics, it's cutting drastically into its farmland. Might some wag soon be moved to remark, "China does have farmers -- they're just in Brazil"?According to this news report, between 1995 and 2005, China shed eight million hectares (20 million acres) of arable land -- equal to about two-thirds of Iowa's farmland. Over the next five years, the nation's farmland will "irreversibly shrink," the report quotes an Agriculture Ministry official.
1) Net energy is more important from a relative basis than absolute. A 3:1 EROI doesn't tell us much unless we know how that compares to what an organism/society has been built on/used to. A 2:1 EROI would have made stone age villagers incredibly rich. A 5:1 EROI may not be enough to power our society.2) Energy reserves are not as important as energy flow rates. We could have a billion mongo nut trees, but all that matters is the maximum flow that society is able to harvest in real time. (This obviously applies to oil as well)3) Energy quality depends on the context. High BTU substances, like oil or coal, are clearly very useful to our society, but may not be to others. (the sasquatch colony valued and used Waybread, not oil)4) Liebigs law of the minimum applies to an energy portfolio. Wind has a high EROI, but our system infrastructure relies on liquid fuels. The net energy of the weakest link matters more than the overall net energy of society. (Adding high EROI wind capacity while net energy of oil dwindles does not solve the problem, unless the energy mix changes from liquid fuels to electricity)5) Using different boundaries in net energy analysis will lead to different conclusions. A society running at 5:1 EROI would be happy to develop a scalable technology with an 8:1 EROI, however, after environmental externalities are included, it might only be a 3:1 technology. (Coal-to-liquids and climate change comes to mind) The difficulties lie in making meaningful comparisons and valuing important life functions not priced in the market system.6) Rather than pursuing the highest and most promising energy technologies, it might be prudent to pursue ones that are certain, and meet the net energy decline half-way by reducing energy footprints.7) Since evolution has favored organisms that have the highest energy output energy input ratios, it will be a cognitive challenge for us (as organisms) to willingly reduce the numerator.8) Consumption, in the sasquatch example, continued very high until late in the game, and was subsidized from borrowing from other aspects of society. Lack of energy gain was a phantom concept until the situation was much deteriorated.Our collective task will be to improve our net (total cost) energy from renewables while changing the infrastructure of society to best match what our long term sustainable energy gain can be.
take the case these past three weeks of one of America's most taken-for-granted miracles: the cornucopia of California's San Joaquin Valley. Sprinklers to wet the panting cows in the San Joaquin's massive dairy and meat farms, and fans to cool them, were not enough. Thousands of cows dropped dead in the heat.This one valley grows nearly half of America's fruits and vegetables. You've most likely tasted some recently, wherever in the United States you are... The agricultural miracle of the San Joaquin Valley — crops stretching in every direction literally as far as the eye can see — simply wouldn't be possible if the farmers tried to pull it off with the natural weather. It only rains eight inches a year, and almost all of that in the wintertime.What makes all the food possible is irrigation — water brought in from far away, a large part of it from snow pack in the mountains, and distributed throughout the Valley by a vast system of irrigation canals and pipes.ABC News drove three hours up into the Sierras to Sequoia National Park to see the fast-disappearing snow pack under the towering ancient trees.Even though the Sierras had a snowfall far above average this past winter, as did many of the western mountain regions, in most places that didn't help the valleys much because the snowpack melted weeks too soon as it has been doing for some years with global temperature rising. And snowpack provides about three-fourths of the West's water.The trouble is, as scientists studying the change explain, water normally used to trickle out over the summer. Now, running downhill too soon, it is leaving many valleys dry by midsummer, and crops withering.(5 Aug 2006) Frightening article, especially as the high energy input into irrigation will make it less viable post oil peak. Swales and keyline plowing might have something to offer. These are two methods for radically increasing the water holding capacity of the topsoil, by carefully working with the contours of the land. Both are primarily for farm-scale application, although you might have small swales in a backyard, certainly a park or urban orchard. Keyline plowing is a type of slightly-off-contour plowing with a special plow which causes minimal surface disruption of the soil, and causes water to move from valleys into ridges. This helps the soil hold water, and also allows plants to build topsoil from subsoil, building the organic percentage of the soil, becoming a system of carbon capture. Swales are ditches dug along contour lines, with an associated uncompressed mound on the downhill side of the ditch. Water trapped in the ditch charges the soil beneath slowly. In one of permaculture co-originator Bill Mollison's documentaries (Global Gardener I think) he visits some vast swales which were built in the US in the dustbowl of the great depression, and they remain corridors of fertility in a damaged landscape.
too much wind or too little wind - are having an affect on the "upwelling" process that nurtures krill.The fertilizing nutrients necessary for krill begin in the cold, lower depths of the ocean. Those nutrients eventually must come near the surface and bask in sunlight for photosynthesis to occur, which, in turn, generates conditions in which krill flourishes.To get to the surface, nutrients ride funnels of water that are created by winds. That process - upwelling - is the key process that begins the food chain. Too much or too little wind can upset the process.Earlier research claimed that Southern Ocean krill numbers have dropped by about 80% since the 1970's.
principle of sufficiency (again my paraphrasing) is:Through collective, networked community-based self-management, allow an understanding of what would optimize the well-being of all life in the ecosystem, balancing all interests and appreciating natural constraints, to decide what is needed.Agree to produce only, but generously, what is needed, accepting and addressing all costs of production. Collectively, distribute what is needed to those who need it. Much more complex, and vastly more difficult to scale. As Princen shows, this works fine, in the absence of efficiency-cult competitive pressure, for family farms, locally owned hardware stores, owner-operated fishing boats, and timber companies with no place to expand. But sufficiency, unlike efficiency, requires broad, decentralized, consensual, networked decision-making to assess what is needed, who needs it, and how best to produce and distribute it.the principle of restraint (changing one's own behaviors to adapt to changes in constraints -- 'absorbing the problem' rather than trying to 'solve' it)the resiliency principle (creating buffers, cushions and reserves to reduce vulnerability and fragility)the principle of resource primacy (valuing a resource as a part of a functioning, self-managing system, not as a consumable for liquidation)decision criteria that resist overharvesting, depletion, waste accumulation, incomplete costing, uncontrolled 'positive feedback', irreversibility, nonsubstitutability, overconsumption, excess throughput, and limited regenerative capacitiesthe principle of respitemechanisms that enable 'negative feedback' to be introduced to counter and rebalance unsustainable 'positive feedback'the precautionary principlethe polluter pays principlethe principle of selectively permeable boundariesthe principle of zero tolerable limits on and virtual elimination of persistent toxinsthe reverse onus principle (burden of proof of safety and sustainability is moved to the proposed resource developer/user)the principle of self-determined and self-directed worka long-term decision-making orientationself-acknowledgement of humans and human activity as part of (not apart from) the ecosystem -- we are part of the environment, it is not 'out there' (giving a whole new much broader meaning to self-management than merely management by humans)the principle of information preservation (appreciation of the value of long-standing, proven human practices, techniques and preferences)appreciation that in complex adaptive systems, predictability is highly limited
Runoff from modern life is feeding an explosion of primitive organisms. This 'rise of slime,' as one scientist calls it, is killing larger species and sickening people.Toxic algae that poison the brain have caused strandings and mass die-offs of marine mammals - barometers of the sea's health.With sickening regularity, toxic algae blooms are invading coastal waters. They kill sea life and send poisons ashore on the breeze, forcing residents to flee.We're pushing the oceans back to the dawn of evolution, a half-billion years ago when the oceans were ruled by jellyfish and bacteria." They authors note that "dead zones aren't really dead. They are teeming with life — most of it bacteria and other ancient creatures that evolved in an ocean without oxygen and that need little to survive."
There is only enough high grade uranium ore globally to power the entire world economy for about one year.
Imagine a world when peak oil meets peak grain and peak water at a confluence called peak mayhem?
Natural gas production in North America has leveled off. Only warm winter weather has so far delivered the continent from a severe crisis. The glib confidence with which Wall Street analysts touted the buildup in gas storage earlier this year betrays their ignorance about how tenuous those supplies really are. Underground gas storage currently stands at 2.8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) and could reach well over 3 tcf if the current hot weather abates and reduces demand for gas used to produce electricity. But those figures amount to a very small buffer when compared to the approximately 26.5 tcf consumed each year across North AmericaReynolds predicts that North American production will begin to fall precipitously sometime after 2007. And, unlike the gradual downslope that the declining production numbers for a depleting oil well or an entire oil-producing nation trace on a graph, Reynolds expects the falloff in North American gas production to resemble a cliff. When gas wells begin to decline, they decline swiftly and often with little warning.
Out in the gulf, for instance, Petronius' 19 wells do things engineers couldn't dream of a quarter-century ago. They snake downward through almost 1,800 feet of seawater, bore vertically through a mile and a half of rock, and then veer off laterally under the stony seabed for distances of up to 5 miles. This is the oil-patch equivalent of drawing blood from a hidden vein--with a hypodermic needle 180 feet long. Such whiz-bang technology has encouraged the U.S. Minerals Management Service to boost the Gulf of Mexico's potential oil reserves by 15 percent, to 86 billion barrels. That's enough, in theory, to meet U.S. demand for another decade. Much of that, however, lies in deep, environmentally sensitive waters near the Florida coast and is prohibitively expensive to extract using current technology. Petronius, itself, is anticipated to have a life of less than 15 years.Nigeria, Africa's oil heavyweight with 36 billion barrels of reserves, boasts only a seventh of Saudi Arabia's bounty. Still, African crude has its advantages. It is light and low in sulfur--well-suited to pollutant-sensitive U.S. refineries. Its reservoirs are closer to major East Coast ports. And American companies can do business on the continent unhampered by the terror war tensions that dog them elsewhere. Americans already get more oil from Africa than from Saudi Arabia. By 2015, oil experts say, African states will supply a quarter of all U.S. imports, up from 15 percent today. The United States quietly signaled this shift in 2002, when the State Department declared African oil a "strategic national interest," meaning in diplomatic code that U.S. troops may intervene to protect it.America and China are on a collision course over what remains of the world's hydrocarbons, said Gal Luft, a China expert with the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security in Washington. "The 21st Century is going to be defined by this aggressive competition for a resource that's depleting."Cushioned for the moment in their oil-soaked lifestyle, most Americans have little idea how surging energy demand in China is reshaping the future, Luft said.
Marathon service station in South Elgin, just north of Chicago. They were able to find that the 7,723 gallons of a delivery came fromGulf of Mexico crudes--31 percent Texas crudes--28 percent Nigerian crudes--17 percent Arab Light from Saudi Arabia--10 percent Louisiana Sweet--8 percent Illinois Basin Light--4 percent Cabinda crude from Angola--3 percent N'Kossa crude from the Republic of Congo--.01 percent Iraqi crude - a little more than a trace.
A Nobel Prize-winning scientist has drawn up an emergency plan to save the world from global warming, by altering the chemical makeup of Earth's upper atmosphereProfessor Crutzen has proposed a method of artificially cooling the global climate by releasing particles of sulphur in the upper atmosphere, which would reflect sunlight and heat back into space. The controversial proposal is being taken seriously by scientists because Professor Crutzen has a proven track record in atmospheric research.The effect of scattering sulphate particles in the atmosphere would be to increase the reflectance, or "albedo", of the Earth, which should cause an overall cooling effect.Such "geo-engineering" of the climate has been suggested before, but Professor Crutzen goes much further by drawing up a detailed model of how it can be done, the timescales involved, and the costs.
Takeo Kurita, vice admiral of the former Imperial Japanese Navy.We Ran Out of OilKurita held nothing back. There were no state secrets any more. "What happened?" asked the American officer. "We ran out of oil," replied Kurita, matter-of-factly.
But, all of that changed with the emergence of industrial society and the concomitant discovery of large quantities of fossil fuels, particularly oil and natural gas. These seemingly endless stores of concentrated power allowed humankind to create previously unimaginable wealth and social mobility. And, with these developments came a society whose central emotion is envy.Competitive enterprise is at the heart of industrial capitalism. The presumed motive for success is profit. And, the presumed benefit of profit is the ability to afford more goods and services. There is, of course, a benefit to material comfort. But beyond a certain point wealth goes into displays of social status. At the height of ancient Rome, we are told by Thorstein Veblen in his classic, The Theory of the Leisure Class, powerful and well-to-do Romans exhibited their status through displays of vicarious leisure. They hired attendants or kept slaves who did nothing but follow them around. The size of a retinue was a measure of a man's influence and resources. Anyone who could hire others to do nothing, that is to enjoy their master's leisure vicariously, surely must be a person of some station.In today's mass society status is now routinely communicated through the display of possessions, the sight of which can reach so many more people. (Veblen coined the popular term for this kind of behavior: conspicuous consumption.) How many times have you passed lavish homes of wealthy heirs or successful entrepreneurs whose names you know, but whom you've never met? Cars, boats, even entire islands can serve the same purpose of display.But the point of television-induced consumerist envy is that it can never be satisfied. The newest fashions in housewares, automobiles, electronic wonders, vacation destinations, and megahomes are designed to stimulate ever greater competitiveness among the envious masses (and thus drive up consumption). And, it is the role of modern advertising to encourage that competitiveness.This is what drives economic growth in industrialized countries, and it will soon be the basis for growth in the so-called developing world. Certainly, there are advancements in medicine, diet and educational opportunity which are important to the well-being of the world's many poor. But, once they pass beyond the stage of want, they move directly into the whirlwind of ever-expanding, unquenchable consumer desire born of envy.The rich, of course, continue to pursue their larger yachts, grander homes and expensive galas. But, the rich have always done this because it has always been within their means. And, so the wealthy live under the perpetual sway of envy. But, now the world's masses seek to put envy at the center of their lives as their new-found wealth--courtesy of the ongoing fossil-fueled transformation of the planet--makes it possible.The gap between rich and poor, far from being the curse of modern industrial society, is its very engine. The resulting endless striving which capitalism's defenders say is its cardinal virtue has become the road to ecological overshoot.The question then for a future with ecological limits becomes: What shall we do with this powerful force of envy which has been awakened across the globe? How will people, both the rich and those aspiring to greater wealth, come to grips with limits which will undermine the consumer society within which that envy flourishes?
“the worst mistake in the history of the human race.”(1) Bill Mollison says that it can “destroy whole landscapes.”(2) Are they describing nuclear energy? Suburbia? Coal mining? No. They are talking about agriculture. The problem is not simply that farming in its current industrial manifestation is destroying topsoil and biodiversity. Agriculture in any form is inherently unsustainable. At its doorstep can also be laid the basis of our culture’s split between humans and nature, much disease and poor health, and the origins of dominator hierarchies and the police state. scholars break human cultures into five categories based on how they get food. These five are foragers (or hunter-gatherers), horticulturists, agriculturists, pastoralists, and industrial cultures. Knowing which category a people falls into allows you to predict many attributes of that group. For example, foragers tend to be animist/pantheist, living in a world rich with spirit and in which all beings and many objects are ascribed a status equal to their own in value and meaning. Foragers live in small bands and tribes. Some foragers may be better than others at certain skills, like tool making or medicine, but almost none have exclusive specialties and everyone helps gather food. Though there may be chiefs and shamans, hierarchies are nearly flat and all members have access to the leaders. A skirmish causing two or three deaths is a major war. Most of a forager’s calories come from meat or fish, supplemented with fruit, nuts, and some wild grain and tubers.(4) It’s rare that a forager will overexploit his environment, as the linkage is so tight that destruction of a resource one season means starvation the next. Populations tend to peak at low numbers and stabilize. Agriculturists, in contrast, worship gods whose message usually is that humans are chosen beings holding dominion, or at least stewardship, over creation. This human/nature divide makes ecological degradation not only inevitable but a sign of progress. While the forager mainstays of meat and wild food rot quickly, domesticated grain, a hallmark innovation of agriculture, allows storage, hoarding, and surplus. Food growing also evens out the seasonal shortages that keep forager populations low. Having fields to tend and surpluses to store encouraged early farming peoples to stay in one place. Grain also needs processing, and as equipment for threshing and winnowing grew complex and large, the trend toward sedentism accelerated.(5) Grains provide more calories, or energy, per weight than lean meat. Meat protein is easily transformed into body structure—one reason why foragers tend to be taller than farmers—but turning protein into energy exacts a high metabolic cost and is inefficient.(6) Starches and sugars, the main components of plants, are much more easily converted into calories than protein, and calories are the main limiting factor in reproduction. A shift from meat-based to carbohydrate-based calories means that given equal amounts of protein, a group getting its calories mostly from plants will reproduce much faster than one getting its calories from meat. It’s one reason farming cultures have higher birth rates than foragers. Also, farming loosens the linkage between ecological damage and food supply. If foragers decimate the local antelope herd, it means starvation and a low birth rate for the hunters. If the hunters move or die off, the antelope herd will rebound quickly. But when a forest is cleared for crops, the loss of biodiversity translates into more food for people. Soil begins to deplete immediately but that won’t be noticed for many years. When the soil is finally ruined, which is the fate of nearly all agricultural soils, it will stunt ecological recovery for decades. But while the soil is steadily eroding, crops will support a growing village. burial sites at Dickson Mounds, an archaeological site in Illinois that spans a shift from foraging to maize farming, show that farmers there had 50% more tooth problems typical of malnutrition, four times the anemia, and an increase in spine degeneration indicative of a life of hard labor, compared to their forager forebears at the site.(8) Lifespan decreased from an average of 26 years at birth for foragers to 19 for farmers. In prehistoric Turkey and Greece, heights of foragers averaged 5'-9" in men and 5'-5" in women, and plummeted five inches after the shift to agriculture (1). The Turkish foragers’ stature is not yet equaled by their descendants. In virtually all known examples, foragers had better teeth and less disease than subsequent farming cultures at the same site. Thus the easy calories of agriculture were gained at the cost of good nutrition and health. We think of hunter-gatherers as grimly weathering frequent famine, but agriculturists fare worse there, too. Foragers, with lower population densities, a much more diverse food supply, and greater mobility, can find some food in nearly any conditions.Agriculture needs more and more fuel to supply the population growth it causes. Foragers can reap as many as 40 calories of food energy for every calorie they expend in gathering. They don’t need to collect and spread fertilizer, irrigate, terrace, or drain fields, all of which count against the energy gotten from food. But ever since crops were domesticated, the amount of energy needed to grow food has steadily increased. A simple iron plow requires that millions of calories be burned for digging, moving, and smelting ore. Before oil, one plow's forging meant that a dozen trees or more were cut, hauled, and converted to charcoal for the smithy. Though the leverage that a plow yields over its life may earn back those calories as human food, all that energy is robbed from the ecosystem and spent by humans. Farming before oil also depended on animal labor, demanding additional acreage for feed and pasture and compounding the conversion of ecosystem into people. Agriculture’s caloric yield dipped into the negative centuries ago, and the return on energy has continued to degrade until we now use an average of 4 to 10 calories for each calorie of food energy. The damage done by agriculture is social and political as well. A surplus, rare and ephemeral for foragers, is a principal goal of agriculture. A surplus must be stored, which requires technology and materials to build storage, people to guard it, and a hierarchical organization to centralize the storage and decide how it will be distributed. It also offers a target for local power struggles and theft by neighboring groups, increasing the scale of wars. With agriculture, power thus begins its concentration into fewer and fewer hands. He who controls the surplus controls the group. Personal freedom erodes naturally under agriculture. The endpoint of Cohen’s cultural continuum is industrial society. Industrialism is really a gloss on agriculture, since industry is dependent on farming to provide low-cost raw materials that can be “value-added,” a place to externalize pollution and other costs, and a source of cheap labor. Industrial cultures have enormous ecological footprints, low birth rates, and high labor costs, the result of lavishing huge quantities of resources—education, complex infrastructure, layers of government and legal structures, and so on—upon each person. This level of complexity cannot be maintained from within itself. The energy and resources for it must be siphoned from outlying agricultural regions. Out there lie the simpler cultures, high birth rates, and resulting low labor costs that must subsidize the complexity of industry. An industrial culture must also externalize costs upon rural places via pollution and export of wastes. Cities ship their waste to rural areas. Industrial cultures subsidize and back tyrannical regimes to keep resource prices and labor costs low. These tendencies explain why, now that the US has shifted from an agrarian base to an industrial one, Americans can no longer afford to consume products made at home and must turn to agrarian countries, such as China and Mexico, or despotic regimes, such as Saudi Arabia’s, for low-cost inputs. The Third World is where the First World externalizes the overwhelming burden of maintaining the complexity of industrialism. But at some point there will be no place left to externalize to. another form of culture between foraging and agriculture. These are the horticulturists, who use simple methods to raise useful plants and animals. Horticulture in this sense is difficult to define precisely, because most foragers tend plants to some degree, most horticulturists gather wild food, and at some point between digging stick and plow a people must be called agriculturists. Many anthropologists agree that horticulture usually involves a fallow period, while agriculture overcomes this need through crop rotation, external fertilizers, or other techniques. Agriculture is also on a larger scale. Simply put, horticulturists are gardeners rather than farmers. Horticulturists rarely organize above the tribe or small village level. Although they are sometimes influenced by the monotheism, sky gods, and messianic messages of their agricultural neighbors, horticulturists usually retain a belief in earth spirits and regard the Earth as a living being. Most horticultural societies are far more egalitarian than agriculturists, lacking despots, armies, and centralized control hierarchies. Horticulture is the most efficient method known for obtaining food, measured by return on energy invested. Agriculture can be thought of as an intensification of horticulture, using more labor, land, capital, and technology. This means that agriculture, as noted, usually consumes more calories of work and resources than can be produced in food, and so is on the wrong side of the point of diminishing returns. That’s a good definition of unsustainability, while horticulture is probably on the positive side of the curve. Godesky (10) believes this is how horticulture can be distinguished from agriculture. It may take several millennia, as we are learning, but agriculture will eventually deplete planetary ecosystems, and horticulture might not. Horticulturists use polycultures, tree crops, perennials, and limited tillage, and have an intimate relationship with diverse species of plants and animals. This sounds like permaculture, doesn’t it? Permaculture, in its promotion of horticultural ideals over those of agriculture, may offer a road back to sustainability. Horticulture has structural constraints against large population, hoarding of surplus, and centralized command and control structures. Agriculture inevitably leads to all of those....
A revolution is coming, ready or not. It's about time, too, if you ask me...It is called peak oil - the end of the era of Hydrocarbon Man. It will initiate the most "dramatic change in ideas or practice," the world has ever known. It is far more than the usual changing of the faces on the money. This one strikes at the roots of our very survival. Declining supplies of oil and the radically rising prices that will follow, are going to upend everything we take for granted. Nothing will be left untouched or unchanged. We will change how we think and how we live, or we will die. It's hard to get more revolutionary than that.
South Africa and California technologies rely on the same alloy -- called CIGS (for copper-indium-gallium-selenide) -- deposited in an extremely thin layer on a flexible surface. Both companies claim that the technology reduces solar cell production costs by a factor of 4-5. That would bring the cost to or below that of delivered electricity in a large fraction of the world.Second, Nanosolar is scaling up rapidly from pilot production to 430 megawatts, using a technology it equates to printing newspapers. That implies both technical success and development of a highly automated production process that captures important economies of scale. No one builds that sort of industrial production facility in the Bay Area -- with expensive labor, real estate and electricity costs -- without confidence.
... For all that the Third World is destined to suffer the harshest of the coming blows, it may well be in the non-industrialized areas that any non-fascistic reorganization of society is possible. Cuba’s response to its national peak oil crisis is a case in point.Not only are the Third World nations more susceptible to peoples’ struggles, but the fragmentation they will undergo under the conditions on the horizon, combined with the relative closeness of the peasantry to the land in those places, lends itself more readily to the kind of small, local, sustainable solutions that appear to be the only solutions that will be possible or desirable.That is, if we manage, somehow, to avoid a nuclear World War lll, if global warming and desertification don’t turn the land into an oven, if local ecosystems can be sustained, or only partially collapse; if the aquifers aren’t depleted; and if the rivers and lakes don’t disappear with the glaciers…
“From the beginning, this culture -- civilization -- has been a culture of occupation.” -- Derrick Jensen It’s scripted: a tragedy whose end is embedded in its beginnings, an unfolding logic whose conclusion is the inevitable result of its premises. It’s simple. And obvious. We find ourselves in the midst of the most rapid mass extinction in Earth’s history; we have the power to all-but end life on Earth. We can do so with nuclear weapons, today, in Iran, or simply by turning the ignition switch on our automobiles and gliding over paved surfaces where nothing can live. A little more carbon dioxide, just a little, will tip the scale -- unleashing our potential for matching the greatest mass extinction ever -- the one called The Great Dying.Science has given us until roughly 2012 to take radical action to change the course we’re on. In the next six years, they tell us, we will determine the fate of the Earth.
There is a growing sense of urgency as oil depletion, global warming, debt burden and peak food all seem to be coming together as part of the same interconnected, looming disaster. Oil and gas depletion is real. It’s very close if not here already, and it’s going to be bad. Around the world most governments are not taking the issue seriously and in fact, are largely in denial, disseminating bad information about oil reserves and the possibility of future production increases
the price of oil will rise until there is a balance between supply and demand. But this relationship will also be more complicated than it has been in the past. There is a high probability that future oil markets will be characterized by arbitrary oil prices. It will take longer for the supply versus demand mechanism to resolve any imbalances. In addition, oil consumption for transportation will evolve from an emphasis on individual vehicles (my car) to mass transportation (including ride sharing), moderating the normal impact that the supply versus demand mechanism would have on pricing.We are moving from a world economy that enjoyed excess oil capacity to a world economy dominated by chronic, severe, and highly volatile shortages. The GDP of all nations will have a volatile response to these shortages It's safe to say that increased oil prices will drive up the Rate of Inflation. Although the price of oil tends to be more volatile than the Rate of Inflation, there is a correlation. Rates will be highly volatile as periods of oil shortage alternate with months of surplus. If the price of oil were the only driver of inflation, then inflation would skyrocket. But there are other factors that must enter into our calculation. The combination of higher prices and sporadic shortages will drive an increase in unemployment, restrict consumption and disrupt both the production and distribution of goods and services. Productivity will decrease. Lower interest rates will only marginally help the economy because oil shortages will disrupt the flow and use of money in the economy. These impacts are all deflationary. Thus in our formulae for calculating Inflation, we must offset the inflationary impact of higher oil prices with the recessive impact that oil prices and shortages will have on the economyAny oil crisis will drive up the rate of unemployment. Primary factors include: a decrease in consumption of goods and services, the horrific disruption of transportation and a fear driven decrease in capital spending. In the Best Case scenario described in my book, oil shortages create a mildly recessive condition in the economy. The Production Crisis drives us into a long period of chronic recession that alternates with intervals of mild economic recovery. The Political Crisis scenario describes an economy that plunges into a depression.Future estimates of unemployment must include a consideration for persistent oil shortages and the resulting volatility of oil prices. The annual change in oil consumption is therefore a better guide to estimated unemployment than the price of oil. We can assume that in periods of restricted supply, nations will consume all the oil they can get up to the point where there is sufficient oil to sustain current economic activity. The level of economic activity will be directly proportional to available oil supplies. Oil consumption and unemployment have an inverse relationship. As oil consumption increases, unemployment will decrease - and vice versa. Any oil crisis will have a global reach, sparing no nation from its pain and hardship. The industrial nations of North America, Europe and the Pacific Rim will be hit the hardest because they have the most energy intensive economies. The oil crisis described in the Best Case and Production scenarios may also produce a panic in world financial markets. The Political Crisis will definitely cause these markets to collapse.If a Political Crisis occurs - like the one described in my book - the world will suffer the same kind of devastating economic volatility that it did in 1929. If oil production simply fails to meet consumer demand over a long period of time (there is no political crisis), then the Production scenario becomes more likely. In both cases, however, the economic trends will be irreversible unless we humans develop a suitable alternative energy system.A gradual decline in the availability of oil will tend to be inflationary because consumers have time to adjust their spending habits as they encounter higher fuel and product prices. However, a sudden - and very large - decline in oil shipments could cause a short period of intense inflation (as consumers scramble to buy available oil based products), followed by a longer interval of deflation (as economic activity rapidly declines). It would appear that under depressive economic conditions, Federal interest rate policy will only have a modest impact on the outcome.After weeks of trying to model world oil production and consumption, after spending hundreds of hours trying to develop and test formulae to predict American GDP, unemployment and inflation based on changes in world oil consumption and production, I concluded it is impossible to develop a conclusive business case from an analysis of available data. Why? There are many reasons. Here are two of the most important. Some of the essential data is unknown, or unknowable. For example, how much oil will Saudi Arabia produce over the next 20 years? What is the projection for Iraqi oil production? And so on. It became very clear that past oil market behavior may not be a good predictor of future oil market performance. Historically, the interaction of production, consumption and pricing occurred in a market that had excess production capacity. That may, or may not, be true in the future. After constructing several alternative scenarios, it became abundantly clear they all produced results that were strikingly similar. Every scenario produced higher rates of inflation and unemployment with declining GDP. The only real difference was in the timing and degree of severity.
Make no mistake. We tell ourselves stories all the time and live by them. The great story of our time is the myth of perpetual growth, followed by the myth of empires that last a thousand years. Everything we have built in our culture rests upon these stories, from McMansion filled suburbs to the rubble and craters of Lebanon and Iraq. But that plot line is very clearly falling apart. Every day we confront new evidence that the happy ending we wrote for ourselves is highly implausible – and improbable.The biggest myth of all is that we could live this way and never – ever – have to pay for it. Boy, has that turned out to be a whopper. We are finding out the bartender was running a tab on us after all, and it has been gathering interest. The real kick in the butt comes when we realize that we are paying for a party most of us never really participated in. Almost all of us stood outside and watched the “elite” on TV, just close enough to the action to be fooled into thinking we were invited. The end of the era of Hydrocarbon man has arrived. Honestly, you have to be willfully ignorant or just plain crazy not to see the signs everywhere you look. The peak oil revolution we now face is far more than a changing of the guard at the same old palace of power, privilege and prestige. It is a full-spectrum upheaval of everything we depend on. Like shamans who visit the dark side on behalf of the people, our artists must cross over to the other side and come back again with stories of what they have seen.
While this has the beneficial effect of slowing down the rate at which the planet's atmosphere is heating up, ocean researchers have found that the huge influx of carbon dioxide since 1800 is making oceans more acidic than they have been for millions of years. If not reversed, this trend could destabilize -- or even threaten --much of the world's marine life, particularly animals that can't adapt to living in a more corrosive environment.So far, the ocean's pH (the commonly used scale of whether something is acidic or alkaline) has become about 30 per cent more acidic over the past 200 years because humans have added so much carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Scientists say this change has never occurred in the recent history of the planet -- either in such a massive way, or so quickly.
A number of people continue to work on the question of just when and at what level world oil production is likely to peak. The most prominent of these researchers, Chris Skrebowski of the UK ’s Energy Institute, has reworked and expanded the scope of his research during the past year. He now believes that, unless some major geopolitical interruption takes place, world oil production will peak in late 2010 at somewhere around 93 million barrels a day (b/d). Current production is 85 million b/d.Although a few prominent observers are still talking about the peak coming in 2015 or 2020, Skrebowski is one of the few independent analysts who actually has done a field by field, year by year, inventory of depletion vs. likely new productionIf one is optimistic then you assume that none of the brewing geopolitical crises —Lebanon, Iraqi meltdown, Iranian enrichment, Nigerian militancy, Venezuelan nationalism — will actually lead to a significant reduction in oil exports during the next few years. If this turns out the be the case, then Skrebowski’s estimate of 1,500 days from now seems like a reasonable upper limit for the period within which peak oil is likely to occur.The most important theme to emerge from the conference was reinforcement of the notion that oil “reserves” are an academic exercise, and that only ability to produce and deliver oil counts. Given the increasing scarcity of production resources and rapidly increasing costs of getting oil from the dark and frigid places where it is being found these days, a peak of 93 million b/d circa 2010 is more likely to be too high than too low.
Consider what's possible with lighting alone. Half of U.S. electricity comes from coal. Two-thirds of U.S. electricity is consumed in commercial and residential buildings. In commercial buildings, 35 percent of electricity goes to lighting (the figure is 20 percent for homes). Selkowitz says that with an aggressive effort, lighting consumption in commercial buildings could readily be cut -- by half -- through better designs, more-efficient light sources, and smart sensor and control systems. That strategy alone, fully deployed, would replace 40 one-gigawatt coal plants.
we were shocked two week ago when Shell Canada and Western Oil Sands announced that the price tag of their Athabasca oilsands expansion won’t be $7.3 billion (Canadian dollars) as initially projected, but rather $11 billion – or 50% higher! If that’s not inflation folks, then we don’t know what is. This isn’t the first, and we doubt it will be the last, cost increase that we’ll hear about in the oilsands. Costs there are a continually moving upward target. One is cost-push inflation, and the other is Malthusian theory. As we’ve already said, we found the oilsands announcement to be shocking – so much so that it effectively changed the landscape. Not only is it highly inflationary, but we fear that it is the kind of inflation that threatens to pervade absolutely everything. It is difficult to envision a scenario where the cost of energy soars without impacting the cost of all things, whether good or service. Just about everything we do comes from or relies on energy.
The way women live now in the Western world is almost entirely a result of cheap energy and its byproducts. I think it would be easy to lose track of how much contemporary feminism, with its focus on women in the workplace, and on the politics of equality is shaped by cheap energy in the forms of birth control, easy access to medical care, formula, breast pumps, drive-to daycare, Social Security, etc... I am a feminist, and enormously grateful for what feminism has given me, but I also feel that women have not carefully enough interrogated the degree to which their options are dependent on carbon exploitation.
class upon whose shoulders the Cheney Centurions ride is grown restive, and they are figuring out how to send them home with the least disruption, so someone can try and figure out how to un-fuck the mess they’ve made.Elevating the position and status of Iran, allowing the breakaway of Latin America, building the basis for a resurgent American left along with a growing sector of secessionist-minded libertarians, stimulating around a billion Muslims into a sullen fury, destroying the myth of American military supremacy, degrading the armed forces, de-legitimating the US state itself, and raising the price of oil on top of an historic debt overhang… wasnot what they’d bargained for.the US is not immune to real fascism, which historically is a phenomenon of a “middle-class” thrown into deep economic crisis....[This is a] a neo-imperial strategy not even faintly aimed at "democracy," but rather at the procurement of energy sources -- or the control over the distribution of oil and natural gas to other energy-hungry nations.
..."We are in a higher risk situation than we have been at any time in years," said Andrew Weissman, an energy consultant at FTI Consulting in Washington. A year from now or five years from now, he said, there's a "substantial possibility" that Americans will look back on last week "as a major turning point" in the price of oil.“I’m guessing that if oil gets to $100 a barrel, that could provoke a recession,” Mr. Gault said, “but even then it depends on how quickly we get there. We do seem to be adjusting to gradual increases.”A ballooning budget deficit and a pensions and welfare timebomb could send the economic superpower into insolvency, according to research by Professor Laurence Kotlikoff for the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, a leading constituent of the US Federal Reserve.
The Earth is on the brink of "major biodiversity crisis" fuelled by the steady destruction of ecosystems, a group of the world's most distinguished scientists and policy experts warn today.Destruction of natural habitats and the effects of climate change are causing species to die out at 100 to 1,000 times faster than the natural rate, leading some scientists to warn we are facing the next mass extinction.
With the advent of Heavy Oil refining, coker's have become common. They are now competing with the asphalt market. Asphalt now must compete with fuel where before it was, a byproduct of refineries. Even at high prices asphalt is still by far, the best value for pavement and concrete is one of the most energy intensive products made.roughly 580,000,000 gallons of gas is used in lawn mowers annually!That’s an average of over 1.5 million gallons a day spent on just keeping grass short. And really, that’s just the beginning of how much petro is used on lawn care.Homeowners in the U.S. spend over $25 BILLION a year on lawn care products, like pesticides and fertilizers, most of which are petroleum-based.
the idea of "braided" time. The average American segregates such activities as work, shopping, dining out, exercise, and socializing. And, because of the way we have organized our towns and cities, this means an average of six car trips per day per household in addition to any commute to work,the cheapest, most effective, most long-lasting improvements in energy efficiency will come about through cultural changes, such as "braided time." They seem difficult, almost impossible, now. Yet when people have to make cultural changes, as during wartime or spikes in the price of oil, the changes can come remarkably quickly.
We have 1,500 days until peak and tomorrow we’ll have one day less,” Chris Skrebowski, the editor of Petroleum Review, told the ASPO-5 crowd today. Skrebowski’s projections, which focus on oil flows instead of reserves, has the world peaking at between 92 and 94 million barrels per day. Unfortunately, he said, “collectively we’re still in denial.” “It’s clear that unless we have a means of rationing oil, we’ll end up fighting over it,”
we need to change our consciousness, but I guess I’m impatient with the idea that we can change the world just by changing our thinking. Unless we also change our behavior, it’s pretty pointless. Anthropology has shown that cultural change tends to start at the level of our relationship with the natural world, particularly how we get our food. That’s why we classify societies as “hunter-gatherer” or “agricultural.” Cultural change can happen also at the level of politics, ideology, or religion, but the really fundamental change starts with our relationship to the natural world. Some anthropologists call this the cultural “infrastructure,” as distinct from a society’s “structure” of politics and economics and its “superstructure” of ideology and religion. We’re on the verge of an infrastructural shift as profound as any in human history, on the scale of the Industrial Revolution. You might say we’re going to be seeing the other side of that revolution, and it will change our political system, our ideologies, and our beliefs. The most important work we can do right now is at the level of infrastructure: finding new ways to meet our basic needs — particularly for food — in a sustainable way.
Figuring out how to meet the world’s demand for energy involves choosing between two complex, or dare say “inconvenient” formulas: Cost optimization based on the cheapest forms of energy available vs. the risk of pumping the resulting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The cost optimization formula is relatively easy: The world is awash in oil, coal and other forms of fossil energy; and the supply will last for all of our lifetimes. The carbon formula is a bit stickier: Based on energy consumption projections, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will at least double by 2050. Carbon dioxide is the principle contributing “greenhouse” gas that prevents heat from escaping the planet. And there is enough fossil fuel left on the planet to pump at least five times the amount of carbon dioxide currently in the atmosphere. A major problem with the carbon-risk formula is the unknown. No one knows what a safe or unsafe level of carbon dioxide is, Lewis said. It could be just above what it is now, or it could be double or triple.“Whether or not this will be a problem or has no effect at all, we don’t know. There are about six major climate models out there, all differing in detail, which means in detail at least five of them must be wrong,” he said. Added to the element of the unknown, any damage caused by carbon dioxide is irreversible on a human time scale. Carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for more than 2,000 years. At the rate of world energy consumption, carbon dioxide is accumulating in the atmosphere much more quickly than it is being destroyed. formula, world energy demand will about double by 2050. This will mean the world will need about 28 trillion watts by mid century, compared to 12 trillion watts in 1990. “There has never been a year on the planet than we’ve used less energy than in the year before,” Lewis said. “Population growth and GDP growth will conspire to increase energy demand.” “We know that CO2 when burned goes into the atmosphere; and we know that half of it stays in the atmosphere, and about half is absorbed into the oceans
Concerning the mean estimates for the publicly quoted numbers, those 19 billion barrels of oil and 86 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, we note that non-existent reserves -- proved, probable or possible -- are being discussed as inferred from seismic data and extrapolations from the Gulf of Mexico where similar studies have been carried out. Considering the current US R/P ratio, I can only recommend this wisdom: "deal with reality or it will deal with you".In conclusion, here in the United States we continue to fiddle as Rome burns.
oil prices are on an upward trend because there is a serious imbalance between global supplies and demand and this imbalance can only get worse in coming years. High oil prices might not simply be a cyclical phenomenon brought about by peak demand in this four-year global economics recovery. Instead, they might be an early indication of a supply-demand imbalance that can’t be reconciled by still higher prices. The current oil price rises may be the preamble to what may be the final energy crisis."...
energy costs have been absorbed by many ordinary people in the rich economies of the world, the OECD nations. Those costs have either been ignored by the very rich - I mean the top 1 or 2% of earners – or they have been passed along the chain by regular earners.The very poor are already starting to hurt, we can see this from anecdotal evidence of pensioners, students and other low income earners. Most people however have passed on higher energy costs just as they have passed on low wage increases, they turned it into debt. Then they turned it into more debt. The took advantage of the fear of a deflationary recession – and resulting low interest rates – to re-mortgage and so on.with an impending shake-out of the most indebted, well, in the next 12 months we could have problems. Serious problems.
Food and AgricultureFor the second year in a row, the world produced over 2 billion tons of grain (more than at any other time in history). Since 1997, wild fish harvests have fallen 13 per cent. Yet total fish production continues to grow-to 132.5 million tons in 2003-bolstered by a surging aquaculture industry. World exports of pesticides reached a record $15.9 billion in 2004. Pesticide use has risen dramatically worldwide, from 0.49 kilograms per hectare in 1961 to 2 kilograms per hectare in 2004. Energy and ClimateOil use grew 1.3 per cent in 2005, to 3.8 billion tons (83.3 million barrels a day).In 2005, the average atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration reached 379.6 parts per million by volume, an increase of 0.6 per cent over the record high in 2004. (The average global temperature in 2005 was 14.6 degrees Celsius, making it the warmest year ever recorded on Earth's surface. The five warmest years since recordkeeping began in 1880 have all occurred since 1998. Economic damages from weather-related disasters hit an unprecedented $204 billion in 2005, nearly doubling the previous record of $112 set in 1998. Global wind power capacity jumped 24 per cent in 2005, to nearly 60,000 megawatts. The growth in wind power capacity was nearly four times the growth in nuclear power capacity.In 2005, worldwide production of photovoltaic cells jumped 45 per cent to nearly 1,730 megawatts, six times the level in 2000. ,li> Production of fuel ethanol, the world's leading biofuel, increased 19 per cent to 36.5 billion liters in 2005.Economic TrendsIn purchasing-power-parity terms, the global economy reached another new peak, with the gross world product hitting $59.6 trillion in 2005. Global advertising spending increased 2.4 per cent to a record $570 billion in 2005. Nearly half of this spending was in the United States, with $56.6 billion alone going to the production and distribution of 41.5 billion pieces of mail advertisements.In 2005, steel production reached a new record of 1,129 million tons while aluminum production reached a record 31.2 million tons. Roundwood production hit a new record of 3,402 million cubic meters in 2004. In 2004, nearly 1,800 transnational corporations or their affiliates filed corporate responsibility reports, up from virtually none in the early 1990s. While this reflects growing transparency and commitment to social and environmental principles, 97.5 per cent of the nearly 70,000 TNCs worldwide still do not file such reports. Transportation and CommunicationsThe world reached a new record in vehicle production, with 64.1 million cars and light trucks being manufactured in 2005. Air travel hit new records as well: in 2004, 1.9 billion passengers traveled 3.4 trillion kilometers. Yet only 5 per cent of the world's population has ever flown. Total membership in car-sharing organizations (CSOs) hit 330,000 in 2005, 2.5 times the number in 2001. Total vehicles used by CSOs reached 10,570. Conflict and Peace* The number of wars and armed conflicts worldwide declined to 39 in 2005, the lowest figure since the peak in the early 1990s. Yet at the same time, global military expenditures hit $1.02 trillion, the highest spending since the early 1990s. Health and SocietyWorld population added 74 million more people in 2005, reaching a record 6.45 billion. Five million more people were infected by HIV in 2005, while 3 million people died from AIDS-related illnesses. Infant mortality rates fell 7 per cent over the last five years, from 61.5 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1995-2000 to 57 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2000-2005. Over half of the world's 7,000 languages are endangered, and more than 500 are nearly extinct. One billion individuals, or one in every three urbanites, live in "slums," areas where people cannot secure one or more of life's basic necessities: clean water, sanitation, sufficient living space, durable housing, or secure tenure. As of 2002, 1.1 billion people lack access to an improved water supply, and some 2.6 billion are thought to lack access to improved sanitation facilities. Obesity now afflicts more than 300 million people, increasing their chances of contracting cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and other ailments. Environment TrendsHumanity overdrew the natural capital it depends on by 23 per cent in 2002. Between 2000 and 2005, global forested area shrunk by more than 36 million hectares (just under 1 per cent of the total forested area). As of late 2005, an estimated 20 per cent of the world's coral reefs had been "effectively destroyed," while 50 per cent are threatened in the short or long term. Twenty per cent of the world's mangrove forests have been destroyed over the past 25 years. Twelve per cent of all bird species were categorized as "threatened" in 2005. Three per cent of all plant species are currently threatened with extinction.
In agricultural terms, the world appetite for automotive fuel is insatiable. The grain required to fill a 25-gallon SUV gas tank with ethanol will feed one person for a year. The grain to fill the tank every two weeks over a year will feed 26 people.In some US Corn Belt states, ethanol distilleries are taking over the corn supply. In Iowa, 55 ethanol plants are operating or have been proposed. Iowa State University economist Bob Wisner observes that if all these plants are built, they would use virtually all the corn grown in Iowa. In South Dakota, a top-ten corn-growing state, ethanol distilleries are already claiming over half of the corn harvest.With so many distilleries being built, livestock and poultry producers fear there may not be enough corn to produce meat, milk, and eggs. Andsince the United States supplies 70 per cent of world corn exports, corn-importing countries are worried about their supply.The 55 million tons of US corn going into ethanol this year represents nearly one sixth of the country's grain harvest but will supply only 3 per cent of its automotive fuel. (The soaring demand for crop-based fuel is coming when world grain stocks are at thelowest level in 34 years and when there are 76 million more people to feed each year.the vast number of distilleries in operation, under construction, and in the planning stages threatens to reduce grain available for direct human consumption. Simply put, the stage is being set for a head-on collision between the world's 800 million affluent automobile owners and food consumers.
It depends upon the industry itself. If the industry continues to be this empire of denial, if it resists change, if it doesn't rush to embrace a sustainable path -- which means not dangling FutureGen, but building some [coal-gasification] plants, really moving forward -- it's got a limited future. If it does move in a creative way, respond to what's going on now, there is a path to the future for it. But in the long run, it's obvious to me, and to everyone, that coal is a very inefficient way of getting energy, even in the best-case scenario. Best-case scenario, it is a bridge to some other breakthrough, some cleaner, greener technology.
Energy surety takes an integrated approach to achieving safety, security, reliability, recoverability and sustainability objectives for the nation’s civilian and military energy systems. Patterned after Sandia’s many decades of applying surety principles to weapon systems, the approach includes choosing the best mix of fuels and applying conservation principles to all steps, starting with energy production and ending with final use, even using what would normally be characterized as waste heat and mass. Energy is all around us—just look at the power of hurricanes and tsunamis. It’s not the lack of energy that’s the problem, it’s a knowledge shortage of how to manage and harness that energy. We believe the energy surety approach is the best way to do this. If we don’t follow this model, the whole world, including the US, could find itself living a lifestyle of the Third World.As humans, we are in a never-ending battle with the second law of thermodynamics, constantly using energy to support ourselves and our surroundings in an environment in which we are in nonequilibrium. This activity (which consumes energy) is in keeping with nature’s biological tendency to use resources to create “order” around us. This consumption expands until the resources become exhausted and equilibrium with competing life forms is reached, but to let this natural process run to its normal conclusion would not be consistent with our current view of “civilized societies” because of the implications of societal collapse upon complete resource depletion.Efficiency. The first step is to squeeze every unit of available energy from the current supplies. This goes beyond the implementation of higher-efficiency electricity-consuming devices (lighting, appliances, and motors) and vehicles (diesels and hybrids) to include waste-to-energy options such as the extraction of methane from landfills and the conversion of biomass wastes to liquid fuels. Making better use of limited fossil supplies will allow the country to buy time while it moves down the path towards energy surety, Tatro says.Population control. Holding the world’s population to a level that the earth can sustain and capping energy demand at some point are also parts of step one. To address demand, consumer needs for energy must be reduced. The traditional view of an expanding world population and economy must level off or it could surge to the point of “resource exhaustion, social upheaval, disease epidemic, and then collapse,” notes the report. An ultimate plan must have some commitment to hold growing populations in check.Conservation. A final part of the initial step is to limit the use of fossil fuel resources—although the magnitude of potentially recoverable fossil fuels may never be known. Conservation must be a major part of the surety plan.Storage. The second step involves storing energy for later use when there is no wind, the sun is obscured, or an energy supply is disrupted. Currently, energy storage techniques are used in limited ways, ranging from battery-powered units to managing brief interruptions to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Examples that could provide expanded energy storage include solar production of hydrogen for fuel cells, solar-powered conversion of carbon dioxide and water to liquid fuels, and energy storage from solar thermal collectors.
The government reported Friday that the average temperature for the 48 contiguous United States from January through June was 51.8 degrees Fahrenheit, or 3.4 degrees above average for the 20th century. No state was cooler than average and five states _ Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri _ experienced record warmth for the period. In some parts of east Africa, higher rainfall and and temperatures will help crop production in the short term but there will be more frequent crop failures in the future. "What is clear is that Africa appears to have some of the greatest burdens of climate change impacts, certainly from the human health and agricultural perspective," the research concluded.It is a region with a generally limited ability to cope and adapt; and it has some of the lowest per capita emissions of the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.The average global temperature reached 14.6 degrees Celsius, making 2005 the warmest year ever recorded on the Earth's surface. At the same time, most economic indicators are on the rise, says Vital Signs.In 2005, more steel and aluminum were produced than ever before, vehicle production reached a record 45.6 million units, and gross world product reached a record $59.6 trillion. The number of Internet users worldwide topped 1 billion in 2005, and cell phone sales reached an estimated 816 million. As of late last year, an estimated 20 per cent of the world's coral reefs had been destroyed, as were 20 per cent of mangrove forests.deforestation accounts for 25 per cent of annual human-caused carbon emissions,
The most surprising feature of the current oil crisis is that it does not really feel like a crisis. Oil and gas prices may be high and many people are struggling to cope with rising energy bills, but at a macro level, the world’s largest economies have grown consistently in the past two years.energy costs make up such a small portion of total costs (or total output). Even with high prices in 2004, energy costs make up about $450bn or 4.5% of total input costs. More than anything else, this should underscore why large changes in energy expenditures are not placing as high a strain on the economy, even though the fact that prices have risen more orderly than in the past may help explain why the adjustment has been less painful.The likely net impact of price rises to $75/bbl, if interest rates in the OECD countries are not ‘vigorously’ increased to double-digit base rates, will be increased world oil demand due to continued and strong economic growth. This ‘perverse’ impact of higher prices will therefore tend to reduce the time available for negotiating and planning energy and economic transition.Only at genuinely ‘extreme’ oil prices, well above US$100-per-barrel, will the pro-growth impact of increasing real resource prices be aborted by inflationary and recessionary impacts on the world economy.This will come too late to offer any chances of organized and efficient economic and energy restructuring, especially in the OECD economies and societies, which are the most oil-dependent due to their high or extreme average per capita rates of oil demand.Higher oil prices increase world economic growth by raising ‘real resource’ prices, through what we can call ‘the revenue effect.’ The pro-growth impact of oil does not stop there, because fast increasing values of world merchandise trade due to higher ‘real resource’ prices directly leads to fast growth of world liquidity ... the quantity of money in circulation. The trend for world liquidity is close-linked to oil price changes (both up and down), but in the current context there is also growing world liquidity due to fast industrialization of, and growth of exports from China, India and other countries. This directly translates to additional growth of the value and volume of world trade. World trade is now growing at its fastest rate for over 15 years, which again is concrete, cast iron proof of fast economic growth.
Air travel makes an extraordinary contribution to greenhouse gases.The low (and often subsidized) cost of air travel encourages people to travel many more miles than they otherwise would. This is a spectacular case of the Jevons paradox The real cost of air travel For the sake of the world's poor, we must keep the wealthy at homeRising number of greens ditch cheap air travel
If the leaders of the G-8 do anything this weekend, they would do well to move closer to an understanding that energy security (I.e. enough supply at an affordable price) is a matter of global market interdependence - not national control.in order to get broad bi-partisan support and have it bite with the American people, you need to have to put the climate change issue into the context -- first you have to inject this oil depletion issue. This needs much more serious debate. It's almost not discussed at all in the mainstream media and very few people know about it. You've got to read these books by these geologists or people who talk to them to get a grip on the facts. To protect ourselves and our economy, the order of business should be: sound a national call for conservation, invest heavily in energy efficiency, drill for any oil we've got and embark on crash programs (with tax incentives) to manufacture petroleum alternatives on a large scale.But we've been mostly diddling around. The private investment going into new energy sources is baby stuff compared with the spending on oil. The government upped its research grants and loans for energy alternatives, but not for conservation, where results come fast.
Modern, and certainly Western-style, economic life is based on the ready availability of large quantities of relatively cheap, sweet, easily refined petroleum. This is what has evolved over the past 140 years or so. We are all both products and prisoners of history.Absent the happy state of affairs brought about by relatively cheap and available supplies of oil, the economies and societies of the world will have to rebalance themselves to function at a lower average energy state.
The Soil Association, with the support of its members, is determined to press home the case for the rapid expansion of the only clear alternative: organic farming, linked to local food supplies.Organically grown crops require 50% less energy than those produced by industrial agriculture – mainly due to zero use of artificial fertilizers which are produced from fossil fuel;Livestock production to high organic standards, based on high grass diets and free-range systems, has a much lower energy demand than intensively-reared animals housed indoors and fed on imported grain;Conventional agricultural systems are heavily reliant on transport. The distribution of food, animal feed, live animals and fertilizers accounts for 31% of all domestic freight in the UK;The food processing industry uses huge amounts of energy whilst reducing the nutritional value of fresh food;Conversely, the emphasis on using natural resources achieving self-sufficiency in organic agriculture, and on local food distribution systems, cuts the use of energy and transport substantially.
The Y2K event would have been a harsh lesson in the diminishing returns of technology and especially over-investments in complexitywe are faced with the essential problem of ever-increasing prices for far less net energy. That is a recipe, perhaps, for an American perestroika, but not for continuing to benefit from the old arrangements. And so far, America at all levels, in leadership and the public, resists the sort restructuring we require. For example, we are still systematically starving and dismantling the railroad system instead of rebuilding it. There is still plenty of time left in 2006 for the stock market to start reflecting the true character of our phony-baloney economy -- namely that it is based on consuming goods and resources without producing things of value.The energy picture, as alluded to above, is certainly cause for concern. Oil prices are creeping up relentlessly into territory that will, at least, stall the consumption orgy among the WalMart shoppers. We are one hurricane or one geo-political incident away from an energy trauma. The natural gas supply situation is another storm lurking on the far horizon.
“human beings can neither predict nor control the future. If anyone still suffers from the delusion that the ability to forecast beyond a very short time span is available to us, let him look at the headlines in yesterday’s paper, and then ask himself which of them he could possibly have predicted a decade or so ago.” “The doubling of oil prices from 2003-2005 is not an anomaly, but a picture of the future. Oil production is approaching its peak; low growth in availability can be expected for the next 5 to 10 years.” He is doubtful that “any military, even that of a global hegemony, could secure an oil lifeline indefinitely. Failing to take urgent economic steps now will necessitate more painful economic steps later and likely require protracted military action.” “In sum, trying to drill our way out of this crisis will not address the real problem, which is soaring demand and the danger of military conflict over shrinking resources.” “simple economics—as in higher prices—seem to do far more to free America from dependence on foreign oil imports and spur energy technology innovation than any federal program. The question is, can America afford to wait that long?”
Pentagon knows that the US is addicted to oil, the American way of life is non-negotiable, and we are late for alternatives. Pentagon is also well aware of the facts that American economy and the US dollar are in big danger. But Pentagon is the world’s biggest power. Besides, it consumes at least 400 thousand barrels per day (half of which overseas) and hence is the largest oil consumer and purchaser in the US; it is one of the world’s largest landlords; by directly employing more than three million people it is the world’s largest employer; and its Armed Forces are deployed or stationed in approximately 130 countries.
Coal boosters say we have 250 years worth of coal in this country. But as Jeff Goodell argues persuasively in Big Coal, this number is wildly exaggerated. Much of that coal lies under inhabited or wilderness areas; the estimate is based on outdated studies; it assumes our usage won't increase, but the whole point of "energy independence" would be to increase it substantially. In short, if we replace all oil with liquefied coal, we'd burn through the coal quickly and do immeasurable damage to our natural landscapes in the process.The hard, unavoidable fact that dozens, probably hundreds, of coal plants are going to be built around the world soon.US coal exports are declining sharply. If present trends continue, the US will be a net importer of coal by 2013...?
In regard to efforts to deny the reality of Peak Oil, I have previously described what I call the "Iron Triangle," which I define as: (1) most auto, housing and finance companies; (2) most of the mainstream media and (3) most major oil companies, major oil exporters and the energy analysts that work for the major oil companies and major oil exporters.In my opinion, the Iron Triangle has a vested interest in denying the reality of Peak Oil, and they are, in effect, working together to encourage Americans to continue buying large vehicles, in order to continue driving large distances to and from large mortgagesMy personal take on this issue is that we have to kill consumption--via a large tax on energy consumption, offset by tax cuts elsewhere--before consumption kills us.
Recent scientific reports document that the total biomass of these large fish has declined by about 90 per cent in the Pacific since 1950 – about the time that new technologies allowed us to fish areas of the ocean we’d previously been unable to exploit fully.it seems more appropriate to view the system as having multiple tipping points and thresholds that range in importance and scale from the smallest ecosystem to the size of the planet. As the system is forced into new configurations more and more of those points are likely to be passed, but some of those points are more globally serious than others.
And America's health care crisis will be resolved -- or descend into systemic chaos -- in the context of the emerging worldwide energy crisis. This will astound those industry professionals who are, first, unaware of the dimensions of the incipient energy predicament and, second, possess only a vague understanding of the indispensable role petroleum (as well as natural gas) plays in medicine. The era of cheap, abundant fossil fuels is in its twilight, and, as things now stand, the health care community -- like the society at large -- is wholly unprepared for this geologically-mandated transformation. Accordingly, the administrative, legal, and fiscal structure of American health care represents a "worst of both worlds" pastiche of bureaucratic regulations on the one hand and free-market incentives on the other. It is unable to control cost increases driven by technological innovations, malpractice and liability insurance, and rising energy and petroleum-based equipment prices (not to mention inefficiencies, waste and fraud); it is unable to provide adequate coverage for 45 million uninsured citizens and several millions more who are underinsured; and it is unable to adopt needed improvements in quality either on an absolute basis or relative to the standards of other industrial nations.
a widespread delusion among people who ought to know better -- that energy and technology are virtually the same thing, mutually substitutable, that if you run out of energy just bring in new technology. This is really becoming the central misunderstanding of our time. And any way that you cut it, less net energy means less net productive capacity and ultimately less net wealth generated. Since financial instruments are based on the hope and expectation that society will generate more wealth, then this is a predicament for finance generally. when you start adding up the externalities of climate change, geo-political conflict over remaining world energy resources, and domestic sociopolitical strife incurred as Americans fight over the table scraps of the 20th century. The model of an economy that produces more wealth as its basic energy inputs contract is a contradiction in terms, in essence just another perpetual motion device.
We are facing a global energy crisis which is very complex because it has many ingredients, starting with global warming and the peaking of oil discoveries. And there's the dependence of many of the major industrial countries on sources of energy from politically unstable areas of the world and the behavior of some of the energy rich countries like Iran and Venezuela and Russia exploiting the high price of oil and their control of the supply. So we are in fact in a global energy crisis. That instability has certainly added $20-$30 to the price of oil.
Almost one kilowatt-hour of electricity out of every five consumed in the United States in a full year goes to cooling buildings...
There are even some places in the U.S. where ethanol could provide a (mildly) sustainable solution even as it is produced today. Take Iowa, for instance. Iowa has good corn yields and doesn't require irrigation. If the ethanol is produced from local corn, and is used locally (not shipped halfway across the country), the renewable portion of ethanol is increased. This may provide marginal mitigation for peak oil in certain local areas (though it is still not a highly efficient way to produce fuel). But get into areas outside the Midwest, where you have to ship corn a long way, ship ethanol a long way, and/or irrigate the corn, and ethanol rapidly becomes just a recycled fossil fuel.
Nobody is talking about the much more likely prospect that we'll have to reduce motoring drastically, and make other arrangements for virtually every aspect of daily life, from how we get food, to how we do business, to how we inhabit the landscape. The more we resist thinking about the larger agenda for comprehensively changing daily life, beyond our obsession with cars, the more likely we will veer into hardship, political trouble, and violence.
If you’re a baby boomer like me, you and I have witnessed more people added to the world’s population in our lifetime than all the people added in all the centuries of history — and prehistory — that came before us.The population explosion is beyond control. It has emerged as the single most powerful, immutable force on Earth, driving geopolitical change, stimulating economic growth and generating global inflation.
dollar's collapse is both inevitable and overdue, and that it MIGHT be precipitated in the next year or so by a "melt-down" in the energy markets caused by rampant speculation by hedge funds. A bit like the Long Term Capital Management fiasco, the difference being that the Federal Reserve Bank cannot print oil to bail market participants out...
"Jevon's Paradox," whereby increases in energy efficiency are obliterated by corresponding increases in energy consumption. The US economy is a good example of Jevon's Paradox in action. Since 1970, we have managed to cut in half the amount of oil necessary to generate a dollar of GDP. At the same time, however, our total level of oil consumption has risen by about fifty percent while our level of natural gas and coal consumption have risen by even more. Thus, despite massive increases in the energy efficiency over the last 35 years, we are more dependent on oil than ever. This trend is unlikely to be abated in a market economy, where the whole point is to make as much money (consume as much energy) as possible.US has built it's entire infrastructure and way of life under the assumption oil would always be cheap and plentiful. the end of oil may result in the end of America as we know it.
If demand remains frozen at the current rate ofconsumption, the coal reserve will indeed last roughly 250years. That prediction assumes equal use of all grades ofcoal, from anthracite to lignite. Population growth alonereduces the calculated lifetime to some 90−120 years. Anynew uses of coal would further reduce the supply. . . .Theuse of coal for conversion to other fuels would quicklyreduce the lifetime of the US coal base to less than a humanlifespan.
This is why I do not believe consumer-capitalist society cansave itself. Not even its "intellectual" classes or greenleadership give any sign that this society has the wit or thewill to even think about the basic situation we are in. As theabove figures make clear, the situation cannot be solvedwithout huge reduction in the volume of production andconsumption going on.
While there are many technologically viable alternatives to oil, there are none (or combination thereof) that can supply us with anywhere near the amount of net-energy required by our modern monetary system and industrial infrastructure. People tend to think of alternatives to oil as somehow independent from oil. In reality, the alternatives to oil are more accurately described as "derivatives of oil." It takes massive amounts of oil and other scarce resources to locate and mine the raw materials (silver, copper, platinum, uranium, etc.) necessary to build solar panels, windmills, and nuclear power plants. It takes more oil to construct these alternatives and even more oil to distribute them, maintain them, and adapt current infrastructure to run on them.the combined output of every wind turbine in the US is actually equal to less than two coal fired power plantsif you add up all the solar photovoltaic cells now running worldwide (2004), the combined output around 2,000 megawatts barely rivals the output of two coal-fired power plants."The laws of physics mean the hydrogen economy will always be an energy sink. Hydrogen’s properties require you tospend more energy to do the following than you get out of itlater: overcome waters’ hydrogen-oxygen bond, to moveheavy cars, to prevent leaks and brittle metals, to transporthydrogen to the destination. It doesn’t matter if all of theproblems are solved, or how much money is spent. You willuse more energy to create, store, and transport hydrogenthan you will ever get out of it.
"The agriculture miracle of the 20th century may become the agricultural apocalypse of the 21st." He speculates that an agriculture meltdown would lead to a nightmarish global "die-off": Somewhere between 2 billion and 4 billion people would perish. "alternatives will be unable to support the kinds of transportation, food and dwelling infrastructure we now have. ... The transition ... will entail an almost complete redesign of industrial societies." Just as the arrival of fossil fuels once transformed our lives, so will their disappearance transform our lives once again.
Our current industrialized food system is not sustainable due to it's over dependence on non-renewable fossil fuel energy and it's degradation of the natural systems on which it depends for its existence. If action to change these aspects of the food system are not taken, convening resource depletion and degradation will cause the food system to collapse. Our food system is the result of the “green revolution” which created greatly increased crop yields by using large amounts of fossil fuel energy in the form of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, petroleum based agrochemicals, diesel powered machinery, refrigeration, irrigation and an oil dependent distribution system. This system destroys biodiversity, contributes to global climate change and degrades soil and water quality.
The foundation for this possible ‘Perfect Storm’ is a combination of factors that have coalesced to achieve a paradigm shift from the pre- and post-Cold War period of energy security to a new long-term era of 21st century energy insecurity. These factors are identified in this Research Note as the G Forces of Energy Insecurity: Growth, Geology, Geopolitics, Guerrillas, Global Warming & Green Energy. Together, they represent a structural as opposed to phenomenological change in energy market dynamics that will keep prices elevated for many years.GROWTH: Globalization-fueled economic growth has increased energy demand, with billions of people in the developing world (e.g. China, India) beginning to use energy—primarily gasoline and electricity. This growth sits atop a doubling of U.S. energy consumption during the last two decades.· GEOLOGY: Supply constraints have increased due to the end of ‘easy oil’ (e.g. poor exploration results, rapid inflation of energy production costs, mature field depletion).· GEOPOLITICS: The loss of nearly one million bpd of Iraqi production has removed the old paradigm’s assurance that the projection of U.S. military strength into the Middle East can secure oil supplies. This has been concurrent with increased use of the ‘energy weapon’ amidst resurgent Cold War tensions (e.g. U.S., China, Russia).· GUERRILLAS: Guerrilla and terrorist groups have shut down more than one million bpd (bpd) of crude oil production (e.g. Iraq, Nigeria) and threaten further attacks. · GLOBAL WARMING: Significant risks of hurricane disruption, rising environmental compliance costs, and a growing regulatory consensus on climate change have made Global Warming a major energy issue (e.g. Hurricane Katrina, Kyoto Protocols).The reality that none of the G Forces of Energy Insecurity are improving, but rather are worsening, leaves scant room for significant price corrections in the next 12 months—and continues to establish a base for the long-term trend of higher global energy prices.
..."We're going to see generally a very big hangover from the customs and practices of the last 30 years. . . . there'll be a lot of wishful thinking around the whole idea that we're entitled to be living this way. We're going to have to rethink the whole thing."And will we? Certainly there's no reason to doubt that we will, indeed, find ourselves living differently. "Human societies are self-organizing," Kunstler points out. "We will be compelled to behave differently whether we like it or not."
* The world-wide expansion of agriculture has appropriated fully 40% of the photosynthetic capability of this planet.* The Green Revolution provided abundant food sources for many, resulting in a population explosion well in excess of the planet's carrying capacity.* Studies suggest that without fossil fuel based agriculture, the US could only sustain about two thirds of its present population. For the planet as a whole, the sustainable number is estimated to be about two billion.Concluding that the effect of energy depletion will be disastrous without a transition to a sustainable, delocalized agriculture
when do we put all our facts on the table and come up with honest options to cope with the end of the Oil Age and its associated crises? The answer may be that there are no leaders, and everyone is on his or her own. National leaders are becoming irrelevant and obsolete for ecologically based, local economics.the sooner the public will stop expecting miracles or "something for nothing" (Jim Kunstler’s pet peeve about American consumerism). Perhaps many folks would then start taking action toward mitigating the effects of peak oil and other shortages and resultant conflict unprecedented in history. What part of "petroleum reduction to the maximum" is hard to understand?
What folks from top to bottom prefer not to anticipate is that the oil market will turn a modest, initial but permanent shortage into a paralyzing supply crisis that will take down the global economy in a matter of days. Think of the federal government trying to fix a national Katrina, or the 1970s oil crises in the U.S. Any frantic action will add to the snowball of market forces to exacerbate shortage. Rationing fuel now would be too risky to today’s false but profitable calm. We have run out of time to change our society away from petroleum in a graceful way as an industrial society. Some of the few options for maintaining the world’s 85 million barrel per day crude-oil frenzy are clearly unlikely to keep the patient alive: liquefied natural gas will never be provided to the U.S. in vast enough quantities or cheaply enough, and the tar sands of Alberta will at best provide 5 million barrels a day of oil-equivalent within 10 years (at a net-energy loss and with vast damage to the environment).
The obvious problem with freeing up animal land to grow fuel, to anyone looking at peak petroleum, is that the nation’s crop production is already completely hooked on natural gas and oil to grow food. When that system crashes from petroleum shortage, there is hardly going to be a change-over to biofuels as people starve. People will deal suddenly and desperately with the wasteful energy practices and water demands of cattle raising by haphazardly slaughtering the cattle for meat, and trying to grow plant-based food crops on those ranches and pastures. Besides lower yields, the trouble will be in trying to truck that food around for hundreds and thousands of miles - not possible in a petroleum-starved world.
the entire policy of promoting individualized transport rests on a dubious premise - permanently cheap oil.But the most worrisome shortfall seems to be energy literacy. Politicians, policy planners and the public need to get up to speed very quickly about the realities of energy demand, supply and the costs and limitations of oil, coal and the alternatives
Those who think we can just use up the oil/gas/coal/uranium/tar/shales and then quietly slip back to 1765 are plain missing the second half of the picture. When the slide begins, there is no resource ledge left unspoiled in the commons on which we may establish a foothold for a new start - it will be all the way back to the caves.
Riding the van out of the airport Friday night to the Park-and-Fly lot, with the planes floating down in the distant violet gloaming, an eerie recognition came over me that life today is as much like science fiction as it will ever get -- at least as far ahead as I can see. Some of my friends' kids may never fly in airplanes. They may never own cars. At some point twenty, thirty years ahead, they may not take for granted throwing a light switch in a dark room.Our sense of normality will be coming up for review soon, and hardly anybody seems ready to face it.
"managed collapse" that might make way for a slower-paced, low-energy, sustainable society in the future.
promoting cars of any kind and neglecting rail at this point in history borders on insanity or stupidity. Freeway building should stop cold in its tracks right now.
Make Sure 'Solutions' Do Not Deepen the Energy Hole Many suggested alternative energy solutions may worsen the crisis Any source of useable energy with energy input close to same energy output will not work Many solutions do not scale Some only provide intermittent electricity Understanding energy input/output is crucial Creating an honest energy dialogue is urgent
An economy collapses one person, one family, one community at a time. First, the dreams evaporate: the future starts looking worse than the present, and ever more uncertain. Then people are forced to withstand ever greater indignities and privations, which they tend to accept as their personal failings. The resulting stress causes them to experience a variety of physical and psychological symptoms. Our pride, our habits and expectations, and our unwillingness to adapt, can kill us faster than any physical hardship. But eventually something has to give, and even if life does not get any easier, one morning we wake up, and not only has life all around us been transformed out of all recognition, but everyone we encounter recognizes that times have changed. And we realize that none of this is about us personally, and feel better.
My premise is that the U.S. economy is going to collapse, that this process has already begun, and will run its course over a decade or more, with ups and downs here and there, but a consistent overall downward direction. I neither prognosticate nor wish for such an outcome; I just happen to see it as very likely. Furthermore, I do not see it as altogether bad. There are some terrible aspects to the current state of affairs, and some wonderful aspects to the post-collapse environment. For example, the air will be much cleaner, there will be no traffic jams, and people will have plenty of time to devote to their children and to people within their immediate community. Wildlife will rebound. Local culture will make a comeback. People will get plenty of exercise walking around, carrying things, and performing manual labor. They will eat smaller and healthier diets.
Assumption 1: Peak Oil is real and imminent; worldwide oil production is unlikely to ever exceed 85 million barrels per day. Assumption 2: Once at Peak, oil production will be at a plateau for some period, during which the possibility for further production increases will be in dispute and may be obfuscated by temporary recession-led declines in demand. Assumption 3: No angels or prophets will herald Peak Oil in any way that will generate an immediate global response, and the public perception and reaction to Peak Oil will occur in fits and starts and be very uneven among countries (with the U.S. lagging). Assumption 4: In accordance with most Peak Oil theories, there is no viable alternative to oil, at least in the short term, and none that will meaningfully ameliorate the disjunctive pre-and post- Peak economic landscape. Assumption 5:one might rapidly be paying down debts, buying up farmland, quitting "normal" employment, and retooling one’s assets and skills for a new paradigm.Assumption 6: Most readers are still "living in two worlds". On the one hand, the reader is steadfastly tracking the breadth of Peak Oil developments and unevenly planning for the worst case. Yet at the same time, the reader is still working at a "normal" job which may have no future in a post-Peak scenario, living in an urban or suburban environment, sending children to public school, and contributing to the company 401(k). Assumption 7: Volatility is opportunity for the Peak Oil investor, and there is as much or more money to be made in what is going to lose value as in what is going to gain value.
mechanics of peak oil and the way it has influenced so much of modern history, all the pieces start to fall into place. You awaken to a world at once more logical and much more sinister.
humans have become almost completely dependent on fossil fuels, not just for gas in the tank, but for much more. This dependency is responsible for the leap in human population from 1.5 billion around 1850 to the 6.4 billion today. The delivery of fresh water also depends on fossil fuels, as does modern medicine. "If the experts are correct," Savinar writes, making an analogy to bacterial bloom and die-off in a lab, "we are less than one generation away from a crash. Yet to most of us, there appears to be no hint of a problem. One generation away from our demise, we are as clueless as bacteria in a petri dish."fundamental issue that humans are up against: the earth has a carrying capacity, and we have used up the super-abundant resource, oil, over the last 150 years to systematically deplete virtually every other resource: top soil, fresh water, forests, biodiversity and minerals.
If you want to ponder just how devastating oil prices in the $200-$400/barrel range will be for the US economy, consider the fact that one of Osama Bin-Laden's primary goals has been to force oil prices into the $200 range. Oil prices that far north of $100/barrel would almost certainly trigger massive, last-ditch global resource wars as the industrialized nations of the world scramble to grab what little of the black stuff is remaining.As one commentator recently observed, the reason our leaders are acting like desperados is because we have a desperate situation on our hands. If you've been wondering why the Bush administration has been spending money, cutting social programs, and starting wars like there's no tomorrow, now you have your answer: as far as they are concerned, there is no tomorrow.From a purely Machiavellian standpoint, they are probably correct in their thinking.
the rate of innovation peaked in 1873 and has been declining ever since. In fact, our current rate of innovation — which Huebner puts at seven important technological developments per billion people per year — is about the same as it was in 1600. By 2024 it will have slumped to the same level as it was in the Dark Ages, the period between the end of the Roman empire and the start of the Middle Ages.it seems we'll just have to accept that progress, at least on the scientific and technological front, is slowing very rapidly indeed.if innovation is the engine of economic progress — and almost everybody agrees it is — growth may be coming to an end. Since our entire financial order — interest rates, pension funds, insurance, stock markets — is predicated on growth, the social and economic consequences may be cataclysmic. The evidence is mounting that our two sunny centuries of growth and wealth may end in a new Dark Age in which ignorance will replace knowledge, war will replace peace, sickness will replace health and famine will replace obesity. You don't think so? It's always happened in the past. What makes us so different? Nothing, I'm afraid.
for current trends continue much longer —crop destroying droughts, hurricanes, increasing energy prices, and the construction of ethanol plants— it is obvious that food is going to become more expensive, probably much more expensive.As much of the world's food production rests on oil, then a decline in oil and natural gas production must reduce food production. If it hasn't happened already, then at some point there will be a peak food year when worldwide production of grain or food calories, or whatever you want to measure, will reach a maximum for the foreseeable future. However, unlike oil which was bequeathed to the world in a finite amount, until recently food was grown without benefit of fossil fuels. Thus the potential is there for food production to resume its growth someday without benefit of oil. This, however, is likely to happen in some other era.In the meantime, however, it is a safe bet we are going to be hearing a lot more about food vs. fuel and that large-scale food-crop-based ethanol production is likely to slip quietly away.
As a pilot it always stuck in my head the three conditions for a crash. The combination of the three are deadly. I see our world right here right now:pilot errorfuel starvationadverse weather
Nothing in our prior history and culture prepare us for this new reality - we never before had the ability to do lasting harm."new public philosophy that discounts the future consequences of present actions" -we see it in the market place with emphasis on short-term results, in politics with overnight polling, in the media everywhere - news has devolved to reflect the long-standing mantra of local editors: "if it bleeds it leads, if it thinks it sinks". This short-term approach is not conducive to the need we have on the climate issue.operating the planet like a business in liquidation".
the high-speed air currents that steer storms to temperate zones in both hemispheres have shifted about one degree toward the poles, or about 70 miles
the whole die-off thing is pretty impressive and does have a fair body of knowledge behind it - combining Peak Oil, William Catton's "Overshoot" concept, Garret Hardin's "Tragedy of the Commons", "The Limits to Growth" and various other theories about human psychology and exponential growth into an apocalyptic view of the coming decades"It is the material energy - the universal aid - the factor in everything we do. With petroleum almost any feat is possible or easy; without it we are thrown into the laborious poverty of early times."the debate as it is currently configured, with its skewed focus on supply increase over demand reduction and big-industry products over decentralized, human-scale solutions.
• Quit subsidizing fossil-fuel industries. Period. • Impose a gas or carbon tax. It would put uniform pressure on the market to reduce oil consumption, without favoring any particular alternative. (The impact on low-income Americans could be offset with reduced payroll taxes.) • Encourage density by reversing land-use policies at all levels of government that subsidize road-building and sprawl at the expense of compact, walkable, mixed-use communities served by effective public transportation. • Drop perverse agricultural subsidies that overwhelmingly favor petro-heavy industrial agriculture and long-distance food transport at the expense of organic farms and local food systems. • Scrap electricity-market regulations that virtually mandate centralized power production at large, inefficient plants (by some estimates, up to two-thirds of energy is wasted en route to end users); instead, encourage decentralized production from small-scale, site-appropriate sources.
Given the current shape of the human population graph, those indicators also spell out a much larger and, from our point of view, more ominous message: the human plague cycle is right on track for a demographically normal climax and collapse. Not only have our genes managed to conceal from us that we are entirely typical mammals and therefore vulnerable to all of evolution's customary checks and balances, but also they have contrived to lock us so securely into the plague cycle that they seem almost to have been crafted for that purpose. Gaia is running like a Swiss watch.The earth's immune system, so to speak, has recognized the presence of the human species and is starting to kick in. The earth is attempting to rid itself of an infection by the human parasite.slope, slide and cliff large cities, of course, will be the most dangerous places to reside when the electric grids die. There you have millions of people densely packed in high-rise buildings, surrounded by acres-and-acres of blacktop and concrete: no electricity, no work, and no food. Thus the urban areas will rapidly depopulate when the electric grids die. In fact we have already mapped out the danger zones. (e.g. See Living Earth, 1996.) Specifically: The big cities stand out brightly as yellow-orange dots on NASA's satellite mosaics (I.e. pictures) of the earth at night. These planetary lights blare out "Beware", "Warning", and "Danger". The likes of Los Angeles and New York, London and Paris, Bombay and Hong Kong are all unsustainable hot Olduvai theory postulates that electricity is the quintessence of Industrial Civilization. World energy production per capita increased strongly from 1945 to its all-time peak in 1979. Then from 1979 to 1999 — for the first time in history — it decreased from 1979 to 1999 at a rate of 0.33 %/year (the Olduvai 'slope', Figure 4). Next from 2000 to 2011, according to the Olduvai schema, world energy production per capita will decrease by about 0.70 %/year (the 'slide'). Then around year 2012 there will be a rash of permanent electrical blackouts — worldwide. These blackouts, along with other factors, will cause energy production per capita by 2030 to fall to 3.32 b/year, the same value it had in 1930. The rate of decline from 2012 to 2030 is 5.44 %/year (the Olduvai 'cliff'). Thus, by definition, the duration of Industrial Civilization is less than or equal to 100 years.The Olduvai 'slide' from 2001 to 2011 (Figure 4) may resemble the "Great Depression" of 1929 to 1939: unemployment, breadlines, and homelessness. As for the Olduvai 'cliff' from 2012 to 2030 — I know of no precedent in human history.Governments have lost respect. World organizations are ineffective. Neo-tribalism is rampant. The population is over six billion and counting. Global warming and emerging viruses are headlines. The reliability of electric power networks is falling. And the instant the power goes out, you are back in the Dark Age.
A widespread rejection of the dollar in oil trading would have an impact on the US economy somewhere between serious and fatal, in the opinion of various commentators. neocons’ efforts have meanwhile squandered immense amounts of fiscal, political, and diplomatic capital. And these efforts have played out (not coincidentally) as global energy streams are drying up. America’s power elites bet the farm on the neocons and lost. There can be no second chance. A recovery of America’s former position of unquestioned dominance, enjoyed until only years ago, is simply not in the cards. The best that can be hoped for is a partial re-consolidation based on withdrawal and reconciliation abroad, and massive inflation at home. This is a reversal of truly historic proportions. In short, we are witnessing nothing less than the beginning of the disintegration of the American empire abroad, and of long-standing national economic and political structures at home. It is important to avoid overstatement: the US is still an immensely powerful nation militarily and economically, and one that yet commands respect in at least some quarters. But the degree of the recent erosion of that respect, while difficult to quantify, is nevertheless considerable and unprecedented. This is the end of an era. And the transition toward whatever stable geopolitical arrangements are yet to come is likely to take some time and to be extremely dangerous and messy. If you want to understand the progress of that transition, follow the energy.
The world is plunging into an energy crisis unlike any before, while geopolitical alliances are shifting quickly and to a degree not seen since the end of the Soviet era, and perhaps not since the end of World War II. break the news to the American people that the era of cheap oil, and cheap energy in general, is finished, over, done, dead, and gone. And that era just happens to be the only one that Americans alive today have ever known. The US, the world’s undisputed superpower for the past 15 years, is stumbling. Once the world’s energy king, its domestic oil production has been in steep decline for decades (ANWR and coastal drilling won’t change that). Its natural gas extraction is also in decline, its electricity grid is in need of overhaul, its transportation system is inefficient, its roads are crumbling, and its urban infrastructure is designed to function only with massive ongoing inputs of cheap energy.
One of the things I don't want to do is to look at my grandchildren and hear them say: "Grandfather, you knew it was happening - and you did nothing."the best way to pitch all of this might be to ask ourselves what sort of world we want to leave for our children and grandchildren. “It’s not a world that’s going to get easier; it’s going to get harder. We must be vigilant about our energy use for decades to come.”
World: Total Recoverable Reserves: 2,000 Gb; 1,043 Gb Remaining; 48% depleted.US:Total Recoverable Reserves: 225 Gb; 40 Gb Remaining; 82% depleted.Russia:Total Recoverable Reserves: 195 Gb; 44 Gb Remaining; 77% depleted.Saudi Arabia:Total Recoverable Reserves: 165 Gb; 64 Gb Remaining; 61% depleted.
Oil is that most paradoxical of substances: extremely valuable, extremely necessary and extremely dangerous, in terms of supply vulnerability. So the free market can no longer be oil's arbiter; politicians purporting to represent all stakeholders are claiming the final word on energy usage. OPEC has already cartelized the producing nations; we are now likely to see a counter-cartel of consuming nations.
Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century."The entire edifice of American civilization-from our mega-scale methods of food production to our great repositories of national wealth, that is, the equity invested in our sprawling suburbs-is propped up, trembling as if balanced on matchsticks, on cheap oil. And there is no substitute for cheap oil."The days of inexpensive, convenient, abundant energy sources are quickly drawing to a close," warns a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study, which projects there's only 41 years left before the world uses up the proven reserves of oil. "World oil production is at or near its peak and current world demand exceeds the supply."The world is now eating more food than farmers grow, pushing global grain stocks to their lowest level in 30 years. Rising population, water shortages, climate change, and the growing costs of fossil fuel-based fertilizers point to a calamitous shortfall in the world's grain supplies in the near future
When and if we ever have a chance to look back we will historically mark Katrina and Rita as the singular moment in time when a true US economic and military resurgence became impossible; the moment when the Empire began it’s collapse. In other words, that was the moment when the Empire passed from decline to terminal status.
Very few Americans realize how precarious their lifestyle has become in recent years, as the United States becomes increasingly dependent on imported oil. Every year our aging oilfields produce less oil, while newly virulent hurricanes will likely continue to tear up oil and gas fields in the Gulf of Mexico .As the world approaches oil depletion, the United States carries an especially heavy burden. We have blundered into a dependency on imported oil that approaches 70 percent of our consumption and can only end in disaster. The US position as the world’s current military and economic power has built up a reservoir of resentment and ill will around the world. Issues range from support for Israel to growing tension between militant Islam and other cultures, to unfair exploitation of foreign resources.Thus, the American lifestyle faces a double-edged problem: worldwide oil depletion and soon the inability to import oil at anywhere near the current rate. When world oil depletion arrives and oil supplies start to dwindle at anywhere from three to eight percent a year, the rate at which oil ceases to be available to the US economy will be higher— perhaps much higher.
oil has become the top issue in world politics, and it will likely remain there for decades to come.Despite official explanations that the U.S. invaded Iraq out of self-defense or to free the Iraqi people from an evil dictator, Operation Iraqi Freedom is really just a mission to protect U.S. oil sources, according to Michael Klare, author of the 2004 book Blood and Oil.Unlike other commodities such as copper or coffee, oil has long been securitized. That means governments will go to war to protect supplies. The British securitized oil just before World War I. President Carter made oil security into official U.S. policy on Jan. 23, 1980, after the Iranian revolution disrupted supplies.Since then, under the so-called Carter Doctrine, all subsequent U.S. presidents have made guarding "our" oil in the Middle East an issue of national security. Saddam threatened U.S. suppliers in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, so he had to go. Iran could be next, and then, who knows? The U.S. could fight decades of future wars just to guard oil. We could even see a new cold war, this time pitting the U.S. against the world's second-biggest oil user, China. According to Klare, in the last 20 years the U.S. military has essentially been turned into a "petroleum-protection force." Think about that the next time a young person you know wants to enlist.
...We are so dependent on oil for every aspect of our lives, that its gradual (or rapid, depending on who you listen to) but steady disappearance from our lives will force us to redesign everything about our communities and our own lives. We need to relearn the skills that sustained our ancestors: crafts, local medicines, the great art of growing food. This is the biggest challenge.
The entire thrust of American life the past forty years has been toward the privatization of public goods. That is why suburbia will turn out to be such a fiasco -- because the public realm, and everything in it, was impoverished, turned into a universal automobile slum, while the private realm of the house and the car was exalted. The private goods of suburbia will now have to be liquidated and we will be left with little more than parking lots and freeways too expensive to use.A true Progressivism of the years ahead has to begin by concerning itself with a redefinition of what our public goods really are -- and in practical, not abstract terms. That's why I harp on the project of restoring the railroad system. Not only will it benefit all classes of Americans in terms of sheer getting around, but it would put tens of thousands of people to work at something with real value. It would also begin the process of healing public space ravaged by cars for almost a hundred years.A true Progressivism would concern itself with the comprehensive reform of all land use laws, policies, codes, and tax incentives that promote more new car-dependent suburban development. A new Progressivism would put dwindling public monies into the re-activation of our harbors and shipping infrastructure. We're going to need it. It would direct remaining agricultural subsidies into explicitly organic, local farming enterprises, not to the Archer Daniel midland corporation. It would revive the legal practice of restricting monopolies in business. It has to lead us in the direction of making other arrangements for how we live...
"No amount of economic growth is going to pay for the cost of the damage caused by a new and unstable climate.""We are imprisoned by our political Hippocratic oath: we will deliver unto the electorate more goodies than anybody else. Such an oath was only ever achievable by increasing our despoliation of the world's resources. Our economic model is not so different in the cold light of day to that of the Third Reich - which knew it could only expand by grabbing what it needed from its neighbors."Genocide followed. Now there is a case to answer that genocide is once again an apt description of how we are pursuing business as usual, willfully ignoring the consequences for the poorest people in the world." economic growth is the problem. The capitalist system and the world's ecological system are incompatible - there cannot be unending economic growth in a world of finite resources, even including renewables."Welcome to the twenty-first century. And welcome to a world for which none of us is prepared. Take a good look around: things are changing quickly everywhere, and the omens are . . . well, ominous.
“sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The key to this is that we can use ecosystems as models. They are adaptive and sustainable, they support life, they recycle, they are solar powered. In terms of creating sustainable human communities, our aim has to be to redesign them so that they don’t interfere with nature’s inherent ability to sustain life. Our first step is to understand how Nature sustains life. The second step is then to introduce these principles into design, which we call ‘eco-design, to redesign our technologies, social institutions, commerce and so on. The first step is that we have to help communities become what I call ‘eco-literate’, there is really no way round this. It needs to happen at a very early stage in a relocalisation process. The 6 principles are; Networks Nested Systems Cycles Flows Development Dynamic Balance Networks is listed as the first principle because it is it the defining characteristic of life.Nature sustains life by creating and nurturing communities.Community is visceral and real, and that is why I think it is central to a definition of sustainability. The experience of a living network is the experience of a living community. The network concept is important, as sustainability is the quality of a community, an individual cannot be sustainable. Creating communities is creating sustainability. If we empower people they will self organize, it is the nature of life. If you are empowered to participate you will self organize.Does Globalization Have a Future? No, not economic globalization. It has peaked, in much the same way oil has. The current global capitalism has created a number of interconnected problems - increased poverty, alienation and pollution, destroyed communities, environmental destruction, in the human political realm we have seen diminished democracy. Within the last year we have seen a turning point in perception. The model no longer works, even within its own parameters, never mind those that you or I might use. Opinion polls in the US show that people don’t believe in it anymore. South America appears to be turning away from it as a continent. Technology has a big part to play, but if technology could solve the problems they’d already be solved. If it was only technology that is the problem we would already be thereI drive a Toyota Prius, and if everyone in the US drove one too, the US would be self-sufficient in oil, and not need to import anything from the Middle East. Wind power and biofuels are there and ready when we decide to use them. In the supermarket the organic food costs more than the non-organic, of course it should be the other way round. This is a question of taxes and subsidies. As a scientist I believe in human creativity and human discoveries, but the problem is not a matter of technology, but one of short termist politics, vested interests, and so on. The solutions exist and make sense, sense that is clear to most people. If we feed our children good food they won’t become obese, if they grow the food too they will be healthier and more cooperative, with the added benefit that they will be building soils which will be locking up carbon… there is no downside to this…
How to stay young - post-carbon style1. Try different things, and share what you learn. In preparing for an energy constrained future, work cooperatively in your local community with local government, business, NGOs, and educational institutions to put theory about living with less hydrocarbons into practice while sharing knowledge and experiences with the global network of people working on relocalization. Projects taken on by local groups are experiments for a hydrocarbon constrained future; we are almost as eager to find out what doesn't work as what does...so try everything, and share what you learn. 2. Keep cheerful friends who lift your spirits. Remember, solutions lie in community, and not in isolation. 3. Keep learning.Learn more about practical preparations - self sufficiency skills, understanding permaculture, being involved in community projects, and so on – it's an excellent way of dealing with some of the emotional pressures of living in these unpredictable and 'historically interesting' times. (adapted from 'The Heart and Despair of Peak 4. Enjoy the simple things.This is the single best answer to the twin hydrocarbon problems of Peak Oil and Global Warming. Dramatically reduce the use of fossil fuels and instead enjoy the simple things. "Voluntary simplicity involves both inner and outer condition. It means singleness of purpose, sincerity and honesty within, as well as avoidance of exterior clutter, of many possessions irrelevant to the chief purpose of life. It means an ordering and guiding of our energy and our desires, a partial restraint in some directions in order to secure greater abundance of life in other directions. It involves a deliberate organization of life for a purpose." - Duane Elgin, Voluntary Simplicity. Or, as Dave and Allison Ewoldt like to say - "think and act the way the rest of nature works--in mutual support and reciprocity, with no waste or greed, by increasing diversity, and self-organizing attraction relationships that support the whole."5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.In times like these, maintaining a sense of humor is essential. 6. The tears happen.Difficult times are a part of living, and a part of every life. As we transition to a post-carbon age, we can expect more than our share of difficulties and trying times. Be prepared for these times, and when they happen allow yourself to experience the grief. Enter into it fully, and when the time is right, move on. "The divine can be found in the darkness and nothingness, in the silence and emptiness, in the letting go and letting be, and in the pain and suffering that constitute an equally real part of the spiritual journey." 7. Surround yourself with what you love. Not with possessions, but with family, friends, community, music, dance, and other creative endeavors. Your home may not be much of a refuge in the post-carbon transition, but your community may very well be.8. Cherish your health.In the post-carbon world, your health will be your most important asset. Do all you can now to preserve and improve it. Take advantage now of modern medicine's conveniences, but learn alternative healing modalities that do not require high tech procedures or petroleum dependant pharmaceuticals.9 Don't take unnecessary trips.Ride a bike. Live close to where you work. Carpool or Rideshare or Carshare. Use a push mower, or don't mow your lawn.If you feel like you drive too much, don't take a guilt trip, but start where you are and bring awareness to your driving habits. Unfortunately most of us are still driving too much, but let's find ways to encourage each other to combust less fossil fuels. 10. Love people, love life, and love this earth that we've been blessed with. At every opportunity put your love into action and work to make it a better place to call home, and a place that will continue to sustain the people, plants, and animals that will come after us.
America, Kunstler argues, is about to become one fantastically miserable place. Why? Because our entire standard of living is propped up by cheap oil, and the days of cheap oil are over. "No combination of alternative fuels is going to allow us to run the United States the way we've been used to running it," he tells the Dallas crowd. And though tonight he'll resist calls to pinpoint when the nightmare will begin, he's told the online environmental magazine Grist.org that "we're going to be feeling the pain" in as little as three years, and suburban collapse might start in ten.
The end of the banquetJames Howard Kunstler, Clusterfreack Nation ...I try to avoid the term "peak oil" because it has cultish overtones, and this is a serious socioeconomic issue, not a belief system. But it seems to me that what we are seeing now in financial and commodity markets, and in the greater economic system itself, is exactly what we ought to expect of peak oil conditions: peak activity.After all, peak is the point where the world is producing the most oil it will ever produce, even while it is also the inflection point where big trouble is apt to begin. And this massive quantity of oil induces a massive amount of work, land development, industrial activity, commercial production, and motor transport. So we shouldn't be surprised that there is a lot happening, that houses and highways are still being built, that TVs are pouring out of the Chinese factories, commuters are still whizzing around the DC Beltway, that obese children still have plenty of microwavable melted cheese pockets to zap for their exhausting sessions with Grand Theft Auto.But in the peak oil situation the world is like a banquet just before the tablecloth is pulled out from under it. There is plenty on the table, but it is about to be overturned, spilled, lost, and broken. There's more oil available then ever before, but also so many people at the banquet table clamoring for it that there is barely enough to go around, and the people may knock some things over trying to get it.(1 May 2006)
Saudi Aramco announced on April 10, 2006 that Saudi Arabia's mature oilfields "are expected to decline at a gross average rate of 8 percent a year without additional maintenance and drilling."But get this: the spokesperson went on, "This maintain potential drilling in mature fields combined with a multitude of remedial actions and the development of new fields, with long plateau lives, lowers the composite decline rate of producing fields to around 2 percent."The last time I checked, a two percent decline is still a decline. If this is correct, then Saudi Arabia may be past its peak in oil production. Saudi Arabia is responsible for approximately one eighth of the world's oil; as Saudi Arabia goes, so goes the world.
...To get a sense of the [energy] sector, we turned to Dan Rice, who oversees one of the top mutual funds of the past decade,WSJ: So you think the peak could be hit in as few as three years? How would we know we're at the peak, and what do you mean by "fall off the cliff"?Mr. Rice: The timing depends on when several of the world's largest oil fields begin to roll over. Unfortunately, information on most of these fields is guarded as a "state secret" and is difficult to obtain and analyze. Suffice to say that the average age of the Mideast fields in question (is) over 50 years old, and when they start to decline, the decline will be over 10 percent a year. That would be "peak oil," as the world probably couldn't add enough new production to offset declines of that magnitude from the giant fields.Rice said:The best of all worlds for me is if oil sits around $60 or $70 a barrel until we fall off the cliff and peak oil is reached.Note that this would be the worst case for society at large - prices low enough to discourage alternatives to oil, until peak oil catches society unprepared. -BA
Consider that “The Hirsch Report” to the Department of Energy, released in February of 2005 to virtually no media attention,(2005: 64) states: “The world has never faced a problem like this…Previous energy transitions (wood to coal and coal to oil) were gradual and evolutionary; oil peaking will be abrupt and revolutionary [emphasis added].”Peak oil is not a virus, carcinogen, or a pool of fetid standing water. It is a unique problem of exogenous change: a geologically imposed end to the fossil fuel era, whose first manifestation is the peaking of petroleum extraction, to be followed later by natural gas and then coal.
SURPRISES What are some of these possible surprises?• Just one more major hurricane• A major earthquake in any oil producing region or pipeline corridor from Russia ’s far east, to Iran , to Alberta• Any one of a dozen possible side effects from global warming, whether from melting tundra that might sink pipelines, to rising sea levels that might endanger offshore production• Civil unrest in any oil-producing region that gets out of control and damages more infrastructure than can be quickly repaired• A decision by Venezuela ’s Hugo Chavez to redirect just 10 or 15% of his US exports to other customers• A successful attack on Saudi Arabia ’s Abqaiq terminal• Political unrest in our second-largest oil supplier, Mexico • Major unrest in the Caspian basin – another region where covert operations are now probably the second- or third-largest GDP component for several nations.As I speak tonight, India is moving to supply MiG 29s to Tajikistan at the same time that Kyrgyzstan is threatening to revoke permission for US bases. This is a building vacuum that China , India , Russia and Pakistan (all nuclear powers) are eager to fill. Add Iran to the list of nations seeking increased influence in the Caspian Basin.Another one of many reasons why the US cannot and will not attack Iran is that—unreported by the major media—the US military has undertaken quiet but significant military build ups in both West Africa and in the Caspian. US military personnel have been dispatched to Nigeria and NATO and the US Navy have begun moving into to the Gulf of Guinea. This is pulling ever tighter on the already over-stretched rubber band holding the US military together as it experiences a continuing, unmitigated and unprecedented defeat in Iraq .There are many more possible precipitating events that could push the first dominoes in the chain of collapse. Any one of them could trigger a massive and sudden descent into chaos that would catch all of us by surprise. My position is that we cannot afford to be unprepared for surprises. And it’s probably an event we haven’t thought of that will ultimately do it. These are only a few possibilities.THE STATE OF THE AMERICAN AND WORLD ECONOMIES• General Motors, as it stands on the brink of bankruptcy, has announced that it lost $106 billion last year.• Ford and Daimler Chrysler are teetering not far behind GM as Toyota is poised to become the largest auto maker in the world, bigger in terms of sales than America ’s Big Three combined.• As US News told us last December 19th, 800,000 jobs were going to be cut last winter. The final numbers aren’t in yet, but it looks like that happened.• According to an MS-NBC story dated April 24, “The Housing Bubble Has Popped” as inventories swell, sales decline, prices soften, lenders are raising rates and the first signs of panic start to appear. For those who have followed the housing bubble closely, you know that this is a global housing bubble and that these trends have become apparent from the UK, to Australia, to Japan. Along with falling house prices and a drying up of credit, over-stretched consumers now face very difficult choices as they are forced to decide between driving, eating, paying their bills, or having a place to live. This particular collapse is just beginning and the world economy must follow its lead.• New stories are reporting that some Americans are pawning precious objects for gas money.• Consumer debt continues to skyrocket as the US trade deficit continues to explode.• Bankruptcies are at an all-time high.• As Reuters told us on April 22, the Finance Ministers of the G7 nations have just announced after their recent meeting in Washington that the dollar is going into decline.• On April 24th, Qatar announced that it will begin diversifying out of dollars and into Euros.• On April 4th, according to Reuters, the Vice Chair of the Chinese parliament urged that China reduce its holdings of US debt.• On February 22, the director of Norway ’s stock exchange recommended that Norway drop out of the London Petroleum Exchange (priced in dollars) and open an oil trading bourse priced in Euros.• On January 12, Britain ’s Independent announced that Norway had begun preparations for a global environmental and economic collapse. The story reported that “ Norway has revealed a plan to build a ‘doomsday vault’ hewn out of an Arctic mountain to store two million crop seeds in the event of a global disaster. The store is designed to hold all the seeds representing the world's crops and is being built to safeguard future food supplies in the event of widespread environmental collapse.• In a sign of pending inflation, the Federal Reserve last month stopped telling us what the M3 money supply was in a surefire indication that inflation is on the way. This came conveniently after further inflationary indicators were hidden by removing the cost of gasoline and food from the Consumer Price Index.• On March 28, Al Jazeera warned that Asia must be prepared for an imminent dollar collapse.• On March 26, India moved to relax all currency controls for the Rupee. This suggests that India knows a dollar crash is coming and hopes that the Rupee will enjoy the bounce.• China has made another adjustment re-evaluating the Yuan, accelerating the dollar’s decline.• The Asian Development Bank has announced plans to develop a regional currency index as a preliminary step in the creation of a Euro-like currency for Asia.• The dollar has lost six cents against the Euro in the last six weeks.• Gold, which I have and still devotedly endorse as a safe haven for either rich or poor, has broken through to highs not seen in 18 years. I had not expected gold to break $600 an ounce until at least this fall. It happened weeks ago. Notwithstanding the predictable price corrections that we will see, as a failed and broken system of gold price suppression loses control, I think the path is now fairly clear to $800 gold within two years or less. When Peak Oil becomes aggressive, within the next five years, I think $1,000 gold is a certainty. As always, I encourage FTW subscribers and anyone who will pay attention to continue to invest in gold. To be precise, I encourage them to invest in physical, tangible, gold bullion or bullion coins like the Maple Leaf or Krugerand that can be kept close to home and hearth. Small gold purchases can be made for as little as a few hundred dollars. All of the struggling FTW subscribers who have made even tiny purchases have benefited by seeing even their meager investments double in four years and increase by 50% in value in just the last 18 months.• Morgan Stanley’s Stephen Roach – who last year warned of an economic Armageddon is now warning, “I continue to believe that the American consumer is the weak link in the global daisy chain. The combination of rising long-term interest rates and higher oil prices puts an unmistakable squeeze on discretionary income – the last thing overly indebted, savings-short US consumers need…”So why then has the Dow recently reached six-year highs? It’s simple, and I know that my good friend and colleague, Catherine Austin Fitts will agree, that the DOW Jones Industrial Average has absolutely nothing to do with measuring the quality of American life. I am reminded of one of the most important quotes I have ever obtained for a story, that of Dutch economist Martin Van Mourik who told the Paris ASPO Conference in 2003, “It may not be profitable to slow decline.”Indeed ladies and gentlemen, we have reached the point where every increase in the Dow will mean that life has actually gotten worse for Americans and riskier for the world as a whole. I described the endgame of this irony in one of my favorite essays of all time Globalcorp. As M. King Hubbert wrote, and as Catherine Austin Fitts teaches, and as I have said for so long, “Until you change the way money works, you change nothing.”It is a shame that much of the Peak Oil movement that understands this problem is foolishly trying to change the way money works systemically, instead of trying to change it in the only way that time and circumstance now permit—individually, locally and regionally. The first and primary requirement for that to occur is for people to disengage from the global paradigm.
• The Times of London on April 8th ran a story that should have pre-empted every other major story that day. Headlined “World ‘cannot meet oil demand’”. The story’s first sentence read, “The world lacks the means to produce enough oil to meet rising projections for demand for fuel, according to Christophe de Margerie, head of exploration for Total.” Later the story quoted Margerie as saying, “’Numbers like 120 million barrels per day will never be reached, never’ he said.”• In the last year we have seen the collapse of Kuwait ’s super-giant field Burgan; accelerated decline in the world’s second-largest field, Mexico ’s Cantarell; and an overall global decline rate approaching 8%. We have seen Saudi Arabia fail to increase production while at the same time finding it more difficult to hide deteriorating reservoir conditions in all of its mature fields, including Ghawar. As of tonight, more than 30 of the world’s largest producing nations have entered steep decline.• Discoveries continue to fall off a cliff. Over the last four years the world has been consuming 6 barrels of oil for every new one found. Publicity stunts, such as the recent attempt to reclassify Venezuelan tar as oil – even when applauded by dilettantes like Gregg Palast – are having no impact on markets, prices or public policy. I think we can safely say at this point that we will soon see an end to the influence of charlatans and schemers like Daniel Yergin of Cambridge Energy. (Now there’s at least one bright note.) At this point, the Peak Oil movement should avoid expending needless energy on any arguments about whether Peak Oil is real or not. That precious energy is needed elsewhere. We have won that debate.• Soaring commodity prices for everything from copper, to uranium, to cement and steel are not only hampering needed infrastructure investment, they are also making it almost impossible to build new drilling rigs, especially deep water rigs. Commodity scarcities are the result of overpopulation, hoarding, over consumption and nothing else. Drilling rigs themselves are in extremely short supply around the world and I believe we should also stay away from any debates about whether new oil supply will even make a difference. It will not and we need only continue to breathe in and out to see this position vindicated also.• The US government continues an unwinnable war in Iraq while building massive permanent bases and the largest embassy compound ever built. Not only does the US have no intention of leaving Iraq , it has committed—whether under Republican or Democratic leadership—to staying forever—whatever that means. The Empire’s position is clear, not as a result of what it says, but as a result of what it has done. America ’s primary plan to deal with Peak Oil is to fight or intimidate for energy supplies wherever it deems necessary. That, of course, has forced the rest of the world—with a few notable exceptions like Norway and Brazil —to dance to the same sheet music. As a result, I would estimate that of every ten units of energy (or money) expended preparing for Peak Oil today, nine are spent preparing for war while only one is spent building lifeboats and teaching people how to survive. This is sheer insanity.• The US government is playing a bluff hand over an attack against Iran , which in spite of being both unlikely and risking a global nuclear holocaust, has resulted in massive increases in military spending all around the planet. A global arms race is now using up energy and commodities that should be used rebuilding railroads, enhancing mass transportation, and building renewable infrastructure to soften the coming blows.• In the face of this, the entire world, and especially China , Russia , India , Germany and Japan are pouring hundreds of billions of dollars of investment into Iran . This is one of many sure signs that the American Empire’s weaknesses are becoming visible. There is blood in the water and blood in the water usually leads to a fight. The world, at least as far as its pocketbook is concerned, is betting on Iran .• Russia is selling Iran lots of Tor M1 anti-aircraft missile systems and cruise missile and high-speed torpedo technologies. China also is flooding Iran with advanced military systems.• The US has stepped up deliveries of weapons systems and military advisors to oil-producing regions around the world. This has been matched by similar deliveries to the same regions by Russia , China , Pakistan , Saudi Arabia , Venezuela , France , Britain , India and many other countries. A best-selling novel in China , The Battle in Protecting Key Oil Routes, has the Chinese navy destroying a US carrier battle group. The popular book documents a bloody contest over control of the Straits of Malacca, that narrow channel through which most of China ’s, Japan ’s, and Korea ’s energy passes.• China ’s Hu Jintao, clearly one of the world’s only major leaders with both plans and choices, is making direct calls on Saudi Arabia and Nigeria as George W. Bush haplessly points to hydrogen fuel cell cars as a solution. Don’t worry about how many American people will buy into such Bush nonsense. Worry about how many world leaders are watching these same clips and asking, “Is that the best he can do? America is in deep shit.”• In Nigeria—the US’s fifth largest oil supplier and the world’s eighth—groups of well-organized and supplied rebels are using high-tech email, bombs, bullets and kidnapping to terrorize major oil companies. Production is threatened on a daily basis. In a world where there is no place else to go to replace even 50,000 barrels a day—out of the 84 million needed—the totally corrupt regime of Olusegun Obasanjo is besieged by rebel and dissident groups on many fronts. I have no doubt that several of these groups are being financed, trained, led and supplied through covert arms of the US, Chinese, Russian, British, Saudi, Pakistani and/or Indian governments.• In nearby Chad—which is the source-country for the Chad-Cameroon pipeline delivering 160,000 barrels a day into the global mouth—as he attempts to ward off an aggressively hungry World Bank, President Idriss Deby is literally holding oil hostage. Knowing full well that to shut down the pipeline would cause an estimated $10 jump in the price of oil, he is literally telling the west, “Come any closer and I’ll shoot the oil.”• At the same time, Chad is beset by rebel insurgents from neighboring Sudan , which is China ’s fifth-largest oil supplier. Both the US and China are hip-deep in covert operations in Sudan.• On April 18, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with one of Africa’s most brutal dictators, Teodoro Nguema of Equatorial Guinea —Africa’s third-largest oil exporter, calling him a good friend of the US . With institutional memories as short as they are, few remember that Sir Mark Thatcher, son of Britain ’s Margaret Thatcher, was nabbed last year in the middle of a coup intended to oust Nguema.• All of Africa, especially West Africa—exactly as I predicted in 2003, in Crossing the Rubicon and in last year’s lecture series which became our newest DVD Denial Stops Here—is exploding with armed insurrections from the Western Sahara region to Angola . It is West Africa where I believe we will see proxy wars likely intensifying this year, which could trigger a global nuclear exchange in very short order.• But murder, far more callous, is about to be perpetrated by the Democratic Party as it enters the 2006 midterm campaigns with what is surely—barring a miracle—going to be one of its major planks in 2008: “Don’t worry,” they will promise, “the Democrats will restore cheap gasoline for all and find a no-pain answer to all of our energy woes. High prices are the fault of greedy oil companies and price gougers, not a lack of supply.” I can promise you now, Hillary Clinton, that if the Democratic Party adopts this approach it will find in me an enemy that will make FTW’s editorial posture towards the Bush administration over the last five years look like abject friendship.• American mainstream media has become absolutely and certifiably schizophrenic on the issue of Peak Oil. Within the space of an hour, one can watch segments acknowledging Peak Oil and Gas and the insoluble problems they bring, and segments assuring us that there is no problem at all if we just fix a few little things.• On April 11th The Financial Times reported that Russian production is falling and expected to decrease—rather than increase—rapidly over the next four years.• On April 21, Russia ’s giant, Gazprom—for the second time in less than a year—threatened to shut off Europe’s only major source of natural gas. Just a month previously, a desperate and hobbled Britain surrendered its energy sovereignty to the European Union in the hopes of getting better energy prices at the end of Russia ’s long natural gas supply line.• On April 24th, just a few days ago, during his state visit to Saudi Arabia , Chinese President Hu Jintao signed a series of accords in which China , in exchange for a larger portion of Saudi oil exports, agreed to transfer high-tech weapons and other technologies to the Saudi monarchy in exchange.• At the same moment that George W. Bush has announced that he will stop refilling the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an ill-conceived attempt to lower pump prices—a completely shortsighted and self-serving gesture—China is in negotiations with Saudi Arabia to begin filling a new one.• Climate Change and hurricanes not only continue apace but have accelerated. Now that we are just weeks away from a new hurricane season, fully 23% of Gulf of Mexico production remains shut-in after last year’s hurricanes. Recently the Department of Energy acknowledged that most of that would never be rebuilt due to high investment costs at mature and post-mature reservoirs. Aside from the fact that it’s not cost effective, this is also because of rig shortages. This is what FTW warned you about almost a year ago. When and if we ever have a chance to look back we will historically mark Katrina and Rita as the singular moment in time when a true US economic and military resurgence became impossible; the moment when the Empire began it’s collapse. In other words, that was the moment when the Empire passed from decline to terminal status.• On April 4th, Dow Jones’ MarketWatch reported that $6 to $7 gasoline might be coming this summer. Is there anyone in this room tonight who does not believe that $6-$7 gasoline would be an unmistakable sign of collapse?• And let me add an observation here. I think a good part of this unseasonable spike in American oil prices is both caused by the switch out from MTBE to ethanol and a classic political strategy which is to create a bad problem and then appear to solve it so that people will accept an otherwise unacceptable solution. This is an election year. The elections are not for seven months. I for one do NOT think we will see $6 or $7 gasoline this summer. I think gas prices may reach $4 or even $5 for a short period, after which the Bush administration (say sometime between July and September) will again tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and his oil industry base will—they hope—be able to find a few million barrels to temporarily drive prices down, give Republicans a desperately-needed electoral boost, and feed another dose of valium to the increasingly worn out American consumer.• But to assume that the current high prices are solely caused by the MTBE/Ethanol switchover is to miss the fact that Britain is now experiencing it’s highest-ever gasoline prices averaging more than $8 per gallon or that Japan—according to the news agency Chugoku—has now reached it’s highest-ever price for diesel fuel at almost $4.00 per gallon. These countries do not have MTBE rules to be concerned with. Peak Oil is here.There is an enormous risk lurking in all this. I mean a potentially deadly risk.As the effects of Peak Oil intensify there is less and less wiggle room on the planet for any miscalculation. Worse, there is less and less room to recover from or adjust to any “surprises” that might come along.
The answer to our oil addiction is not the desperate, chaotic search for the next fix. We do need energy, it's true, but just as alcohol and drug addictions are symptoms of an unmet spiritual need, so our oil addiction is the symptom of a society out of balance, and it is that imbalance we must address first. One of the 12 steps to recovery from addiction is to take a personal, moral inventory of oneself. If we took such an inventory of America, what would we find? I believe we would find a deep-seated moral failure going back to the frontier days when European immigrants poured into a vast continent that seemed free for the taking. Beginning with the genocide of the native people, the American dream was not only about freedom and independence, it was also about the rush and the boom and the getting rich quick, applied with such furious dynamism over the past two centuries that the getting and spending is never ending and the shopping only stops when we drop from exhaustion. America today consumes one out of every four barrels of oil that the planet produces. We are already at war over Iraq's oil and may soon go to war over Iran's.
The third Bush pipe dream is one shared by many well-meaning people - replacing gasoline with corn-derived ethanol. But it takes a lot of fossil fuel to grow corn and process it into ethanol: fertilizer manufactured from natural gas, diesel to run farm machinery and transport grain, electricity to run irrigation pumps, and coal to run the fermentation process are just a few of the inputs used. As a result, the energy returned on energy invested (EROI) is either negative or just barely in the positive, depending on which study you read. In a recent interview, agrarian philosopher Wendell Berry put it this way: "... ethanol is just a way to get rid of surplus corn ... to start raising a burnable fuel from your cropland at the present cost in erosion and soil degradation and toxicity is a fool's bargain."
10 SOLUTIONS to the peak oil and global warming twin crises that are feasible, healthy, and sustainable:
1. An immediate and permanent moratorium on all new road construction and expansions.
2. An immediate and permanent moratorium on all new airport construction and expansions, as well as an end to all aviation subsidies.
3. The immediate construction of a nationwide new train network across America connecting every city, town, and neighborhood with an efficient, state-of-the-art electric train network comparable to what is currently operating all across Europe and Japan.
4. An immediate tripling of minimum vehicle miles per gallon standards for all vehicles produced in America - accomplished by a quick and complete conversion of all factories to the building of only hybrid, solar, and fully electric vehicles.
5. An immediate moratorium on the construction of any new coal fired or nuclear power generating plants.
6. The immediate construction of massive new solar and wind power generating capacity all across America, including small windmills that can be incorporated inconspicuously into the roofs of buildings.
7. The immediate installation of full roof solar panels on every building in America. 8. An immediate moratorium on the building of any additional sprawl.
9. A major focus of federal, state, and local governments on the densification and revitalization of all existing cities and towns across America, with pedestrians and bicycles given top priority over automobiles. Included would be millions of affordable housing units and high quality neighborhood schools located so all children can walk or bike to them.
10. The immediate installation of major organic farms at the edge of every city and town across America.
Oil companies do not single-handedly determine the price of oil. The price of oil is set on the crude oil futures market. Simply put, these prices are affected by supply and demand because, at present, oil trades in a global commodity market where increased demand or reduced supply in one place instantly translates into price shifts everywhere. A variety of publicly available information sources show that supply is relatively static at the moment, while world demand continues to grow as economies grow.We have provided evidence many times at The Oil Drum that the output of major oilfields is declining and that we may now have reached a peak or plateau in global oil supply. Oil companies have not been able to increase production for a number of years, and it is unclear that OPEC is accurately reporting their reserves. Even if there were significant sources of high quality oil remaining, it is getting increasingly difficult and expensive to drill. These factors, along with aging infrastructure for oil exploration and a retiring workforce are also contributing to high oil prices.The geopolitical situation is volatile, and an astute citizen may notice that every time there is news from Nigeria or Iran, the price of oil goes up because of the potential and real effects of these situations on world oil supply. Again, oil traders are fearful that the supply will not remain stable forever.Countries like China and India are industrializing at a great pace, and while we are accustomed to obtaining oil at a comfortable quantity and price, it will be impossible (and immoral) to deny similar resources to these countries. China is working furiously to secure new oil supplies, and they're content to negotiate with countries we're reluctant to deal with, like Iran and the Sudan.It is nonsensical for political leaders of both parties to eliminate the gas tax temporarily or permanently as this will only worsen our dependence on oil by disincentivizing the innovation of oil alternatives and oil conservation efforts.Both mainstream American political parties are doing their country a disservice by accusing convenient scapegoats of price gouging or price fixing instead of educating the public about how the price of gas is actually set.Right now, governments should be focused on helping us cure our "addiction to oil." The answer does not lie in lowering gas prices, which will only encourage people to drive more and further waste our valuable resources. As the Department of Energy funded Hirsch Report on Peak Oil laid out, the consequences of not taking steps to transition away from oil could be dramatic to our economic system. Appropriate solutions include large-scale research, development, and implementation programs to improve the scalability of alternative sources of energy, other projects geared towards improving mass transit and carpooling programs across the country, providing incentives to buy smaller and more fuel efficient vehicles, and promoting a campaign to increase awareness about conservation.
Between the poles of real-time catastrophe and nonevent lies the prevailing scientific view: without big changes in emissions rates, global warming from the buildup of greenhouse gases is likely to lead to substantial, and largely irreversible, transformations of climate, ecosystems and coastlines later this century. ...By the clock of geology, this climate shift is unfolding at a dizzying, perhaps unprecedented pace, but by time scales relevant to people, it's happening in slow motion. If the bad stuff doesn't happen for 100 years or so, it's hard to persuade governments or voters to take action.
Bartlett’s message is tremendously logical and moral: Don’t try to fulfill rising demand to cope with peak oil via supply solutions because this would mean "more greenhouse gases" and just increasing our future vulnerability to a greater supply crunch: "A bigger fall later. We pigged out. Filling the gap (with supply) is intending to further pig out."Bartlett shows how pigging out is not necessary for happiness. He shows a graph of nations’ happiness indicators compared to their energy use, and sure enough, the U.S. is not at the very top in happiness despite our energy gluttony."Nature is going to grab us and not give us an opportunity to evolve." This is hampered, Hirsch says, by certain people who "don’t give us credible information." "Technology and price will not save us. He goes on to explain that "oil is very different from minerals" regarding extraction success in response to economics.Hirsch’s "most optimistic case is an assumed crash program" when people can agree the crisis is finally here. For mitigation, he sees as the first and best measure "fuel efficiency" across the boardHe allows also that if we attain fusion energy "then we will be home free." Bartlett is very realistic: "In an aggressive program, first is conservation." The overall approach must be likened to, he says, "World War II’s effort (victory gardens), along with the effort to put a man on the moon, and the Manhattan Project… the worst case is World War III. We face a hard landing, the 1930s will look good. Or it could be The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse."
Today central banks face a new constraint on their action from a vertical (totally inelastic) supply curve for energy. For reasons discussed below, the constraint from the energy sector will be one of the most important factors—if not the most important—facing monetary policy officials for the next three to four years if the global economy continues to expand. The energy constraint must dominate policymaking because it will almost certainly limit the growth of potential GDP for the next five years. Indeed, the energy constraint could propel the U.S. economy into a deflationary cycle if it is improperly addressed. Unfortunately, the energy constraint, to this date, has been misunderstood at the Federal Reserve, if speeches by Greenspan in the last year of his chairmanship are representative.
I recommend a much higher energy tax, offset by the elimination of the Payroll Tax, combined with a crash electrification of transportation program.
"Supermarket shelves can be emptied in hours. This is past experience with localized crises. And if we have failure to resupply, and when you look at other sectors of the economy such as factories and shippers, they rely on 'just-in-time delivery.' And if the FedEx and UPS trucks are having supply problems as well, if there's enough social upheaval and disturbance that deliveries are made difficult, then the attempt by society will be to use the police and military to keep order and to make sure that deliveries of energy, food, and other goods and services will continue."However, that is not a permanent option. And so Representative Roscoe Bartlett quoted me in Congress, saying that the effort to control society through the military and police will last only a few days at best. Congressman Bartlett also pointed out to me subsequently that when police and firemen are in a touchy situation, and their safety is impaired, and they try for a given number of hours or days to contain a situation, they will abandon it and go back to their homes and protect their own loved ones and properties."
Patience1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4(whistle) Shed a tear 'cause I'm missin' you
I'm still alright to smileGirl,
I think about you every day now
Was a time when
I wasn't sure
But you set my mind at ease
There is no doubt
You're in my heart now
Said, woman, take it slow
It'll work itself out fine
All we need is just a little patience
Said, sugar, make it slow
And we come together fine
All we need is just a little patience(patience)
Mm, yeah I sit here on the stairs'Cause
I'd rather be alone
If I can't have you right now
I'll wait, dearSometimes
I get so tense
But I can't speed up the time
But you know, love
There's one more thing to consider
Said, woman, take it slow
And things will be just fineYou and I'll just use a little patience
Said, sugar, take the time'
Cause the lights are shining bright
You and I've got what it takes
To make itWe won't fake it,
I'll never break it'
Cause I can't take it(whistle)...
little patience, mm yeah,
mm yeahNeed a little patience,
yeahJust a little patience,
yeah Some more patience, yeahNeed some patience,
yeahCould use some patience,
yeahGotta have some patience,
yeahAll it takes is patience
Just a little patienceIs all you need
I BEEN WALKIN' THE STREETS AT NIGHT
JUST TRYIN' TO GET IT RIGHT
HARD TO SEE WITH SO MANY AROUND
YOU KNOW I DON'T LIKE BEING STUCK
IN THE CROWDAND THE STREETS DON'T CHANGE
BUT BABY THE NAMEI AIN'T GOT TIME FOR
THE GAME' CAUSE I NEED YOU YEAH, YEAH, BUT I NEED YOUOO
OOH, I NEED YOU WHOA, I NEED YOU OO, ALL THIS TIME(ah)
People are failing to deal with the reality of the price, which has nothing to do with speculators or even any lack of reserves, which are ample. "It is a problem of capacities and of timing," de Margerie says. "This is the real problem of peak oil." The oil is there, he says, but the amount you can deliver today depends on how many wells you can drill and how fast you can deplete an oilfield, not to mention gaining the co- operation of governments, which guard access to the precious resource jealously. There is no prospect of reaching the lofty peaks that economists at the International Energy Agency, predict will be needed to satisfy world demand for oil. There are not enough engineers, rigs, pipelines and drillers to increase current world output of 85 million barrels per day to 120 million, he says. It would be possible only in a world without politics, he says. "If there were no Americans, no Iranians, no English, no French and no Italians. Not a world I know."
We no longer live in a 19th century world where most of us lived on farms and could more or less provide for ourselves. We have become so dependent on elaborate networks of transportation, energy, and communications to sustain our lives, and there are now so many of us -- 300 million in the US, 6.4 billion in the world --- it is clear governments are the only entities with the authority and the means to get us through to the post peak oil world.If you are skeptical of this, ponder 1929 to 1945 and the pervasive role that government came to play in the economy and our lives during the depression and the ensuing war. There seems little doubt that the problems coming with peak oil will be comparable to those of the 1930s and '40s.
Humans are activated by crisis, and often do little until it arrives. We waffle and deny as a bad situation builds, such as during Hitler’s repeated aggression in Europe in the late 1930s. Then we pass a trigger point and leap into all-out efforts; we are galvanized into war or its equivalent.
it is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. to the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while.
god i offer myself to thee--to build with me and to do with me as you wilt relieve me of the bondage of the self, that i may better do thy will take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those i would help of thy power, thy love, and thy way of life. may i do thy will always
beware of the teachers of the law. they like to walk around in flowering robes and love to br greeted in the marketplace and have the most important seats in the synagogues
no one can serve two masters. either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. you cannot serve both god and money
humans do respond quickly to fear. But if you can't get out of that mode and see what's beyond, you're stuck and you'll just go in circles, reaching nowhere.The Grail is outside the circle, outside the cycle of time. When that 'extra dimension' is ignored or disrespected, the 'Hammer of Judgment' does come down and smacks us hard, so to speak. :)
Your odds of drawing a club, diamond or heart from a shuffled deck of playing cards are three out of four. In the EMF study, the participants found that the odds of a foreign oil disruption happening over the next 10 years are slightly higher at 80 percent. Disruption events included surprise geopolitical, military or terrorist turmoil that would remove at least two million barrels per day—an amount representing about 2.1 percent of expected global oil production. Foreign disruptions of this magnitude would have more serious effects on oil prices and the economy than we have seen with the Katrina and Rita hurricanes. Oil prices, however, would rise more and for longer than a few months or a heating season. In the study, experts estimated the amount of oil lost to the market as the number of barrels removed by the initial disruption, minus any offsets from the use of excess capacity from undisrupted regions. The experts were asked to exclude any releases from the U.S. strategic petroleum reserve, as these actions require separate decisions from the government during an emergency. The approach identified four major supply regions where disruptions are most likely. These regions account for approximately similar shares of total world oil production. Collectively, they account for about 60 percent of total world oil production. The study lumped Algeria, Angola, Libya, Mexico, Nigeria and Venezuela as the first region, called “West of Suez.” Saudi Arabia was the second region, and other Persian Gulf states—Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and Oman— were the third. Russia and the Caspian states comprised the fourth region. The riskiest areas were the Persian Gulf countries outside of Saudi Arabia and several countries along the Atlantic Basin, such as Nigeria and Venezuela. The least risky area was Russia and the Caspian states. Although the participants found the possibility of disruptions was lower in Saudi Arabia than in several other vulnerable regions, disruptions there would tend to have larger effects. In the second study on the economic consequences of a major disruption, we sought to understand how easily the economy could absorb such a shock. Figure 1 shows that oil price shocks preceded nine of the last ten recessions in the United States. The solid line indicates the path of inflation-adjusted crude oil prices since 1950. The gray bars denote periods when the U.S. economy was experiencing recessions as defined by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). This finding was first advanced by Professor James Hamilton at University of California at San Diego and has been confirmed by numerous other researchers. If a large disruption does occur, we can expect very serious economic consequences. Large disruptions, especially if they move inflation-adjusted oil prices higher than experienced recently, will cause unemployment and excess capacity to grow in certain key sectors. Many large-scale models of the U.S. economy estimate that the level of real GDP could decline by 2% for a doubling of oil prices. Since the economy is growing more rapidly than 2% per year, that impact would not mean a recession.
...World oil demand has grown by seven million barrels a day since 2000; of this growth, two million barrels a day have gone to China. India’s oil consumption is less than 40 per cent of China’s, but its demand will accelerate. The impact of growth in China, India and elsewhere on global demand for energy has been far reaching. In the 1970s North America consumed twice as much oil as Asia. Last year, for the first time, Asia’s consumption exceeded North America’s. The trend will continue: half the total growth in oil consumption in the next 15 years will come from Asia, according to Cambridge Energy Research Associates (Cera)....Although talk of an imminent peak in oil output followed by a rapid decline has become common in some circles, Cera analysis indicates that net productive capacity could increase as much as 25 per cent over the next decade. Despite current pessimism, higher oil prices will do what higher prices usually do: fuel growth in supplies by increasing investment and by turning marginal opportunities into commercial prospects (as well as moderating demand and stimulating development of alternatives).
what is the kingdom of god? how can I illustrate it? it is like a tiny mustard seed planted in a garden; it grows and becomes a tree, and the birds come and find shelter among its branchesthe kingdom of god does not come with careful observation, nor will people say, here it is or there it is, because the kingdom of god is within
The technology for electrification of transportation is extremely well proven and widely used (more so outside the US) and, from an energy BTU/joule point-of-view, highly efficient. Well-established modes of electrified transportation in use today provide many more freight ton-miles/BTU and passenger-miles per BTU than the competing rubber-tired, oil-burning transportation alternatives. The ratio in energy efficiency is so great, especially when electrified rail is substituted for "18 wheeler" tractor trailers and single-occupancy vehicles (SOVs), that minimal, if any, expansion of the national electricity grid will be required to reduce U.S. national oil consumption by 10%, or about two million barrels per day. Electrified transportation is also much more environmentally benign as well. Central power plants are more efficient thermodynamically and their emissions can be more easily controlled. Electric motors are dramatically more efficient than internal combustion engines. There are three viable electrified modes available in the USA today: (1) urban rail – rapid/heavy rail, high-performance light rail transit (LRT), and streetcars, (2) electric trolleybuses, and (3) electrified inter-city railroad lines (predominantly freight, but with a passenger component). The US could learn from the French "Grand Strategy" of using domestic nuclear and hydroelectric power to operate electrified inter-city transportation and urban rail. A majority of French towns of 250,000 or more are now getting at least one new tram line.
By now, all radical environmentalists-if not all humans-should be aware of the fatal ecological effects of civilization's unsustainable energy binge. Yet many of us have been slow to grasp the true gravity of what our rapid depletion of non-renewable fossil fuels portends.We must recognize three essential points about civilization's imminent energy future: First, the unfolding "energy crisis" is real and will soon manifest as chronic oil scarcity. Second, industry is seeking to quickly and quietly implement a nightmarish swarm of ultra-dirty oil "substitutes," ranging from coal-to-oil "liquefaction" in Appalachia to nuclear-powered "heavy oil" mining in northern Canada and biofuel plantations in South America. Rather than presenting feasible solutions, these "alternatives" are unsustainable and ecologically destructive. Third, we cannot cling to the hope that scientists will unveil a magical cocktail of clean, oil-free "alternative" technologies that will power a benign "new civilization."Unless societies learn to sharply reduce their ecological footprints, any large-scale energy alternatives will ultimately prove ineffective because they would prolong and intensify destructive practices. It is time to seriously consider that our best hope for a biodiverse Earth and a biocentric future for humanity would be civilization's collapse. Let's dream our post-petroleum utopias unapologetically wild.
We have to give up on growth altogether in terms of energy use. Our resources simply won't stand for it. We cannot turn to coal, for example, in the hopes that our huge coal reserves would allow us to continue business as usual. Given the kind of growth we have been enjoying, we would make short work of coal supplies, as well, in about 20 years. Just as those fish in the full pond would populate another pond (should they send out explorer fish to find one) in only a single day.Nor can we have sustainable growth or "smart growth" as some environmentalist espouse. Smart growth is like deciding to buy a first class ticket on the Titanic, Richard pointed out. You're just going to your death in style. There is no such thing as growth that is sustainable. The question is can we reverse our yeast like drive to growth and use our smarts to cut back consumption soon enough to avoid extinction? Are we smarter than yeast?
On Tuesday I had a conversation with a few Senior Executives in the Department of the Interior about how to solve the Peak Oil problem--and we all came to the same conclusion: there is a structural block to the solution to this problem, because to do so would require massive and immediate investment that would not pay dividends for at least 10 years--longer than the 2, 4, and occasionally 6 or 8 year cycles in American politics that proscribe our national time-horizon. It just isn't politically realistic to back a project that won't pay off in time for the next relevant election cycle--even if you could find politicians that would be willing to sacrifice their own re-election for the greater good, they would still be hamstringed by the unavailability of the campaign funding on which they require, and would likely lose in the next election to a candidate who is promising a short-term benefit... We're structurally short-sighted, which goes right along with my general thesis that the structure of our institutions, much more than the individuals within them, is the real root of our problems.
"The industrial age began with the transition from wood to fossil fuels," "Now we're going in the other direction."
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes,than what other people think or do or say. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company…a church….a home.The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we willembrace for that day. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do isplay on the on string we have, and that is our attitude….I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you….we are in charge of our attitudes.
“The peaking of world oil production presents the U.S. and the world with an unprecedented risk management problem. As peaking is approached, liquid fuel prices and price volatility will increase dramatically, and, without timely mitigation, the economic, social, and political costs will be unprecedented. Viable mitigation options exist on both the supply and demand sides, but to have substantial impact, they must be initiated more than a decade in advance of peaking.”
The US Department of Defense (DoD) is the largest oil consuming government body in the US and in the worldAmerican GI is the most energy-consuming soldier ever seen on the field of war“The Army calculated that it would burn 40 million gallons of fuel in three weeks of combat in Iraq, an amount equivalent to the gasoline consumed by all Allied armies combined during the four years of World War I.” 
4x4 the awakening is near. a new hemisphere of the galaxy will reveal the lies and the hall of maat.just say no 1/2 the time to the suv and the mall.mother earth is crying....environmental degradation, climate tipping, cultural destruction, human exploitationtechnology/hydrocarbons is a false gift that will render us impotentthe system is imploding continuous growth in a finite world is not possible at some point the tower will crumble. cash in that 401 and run for the hills
"The Olduvai Theory states that the life expectancy of industrial civilization is approximately 100 years: circa 1930-2030. Energy production per capita (e) defines it. The exponential growth of world energy production ended in 1970. Average e will show no growth from 1979 through circa 2008. The rate of change of e will go steeply negative circa 2008. World population will decline to about two billion circa 2050. A growing number of independent studies concur...."
I feel what is happening to mother earth by humankind is a natural process. And I feel it is too late for tranquility. We have tipped the balance and there are consequences. We are now at a spiritual point where like a child loosing innocence we realize this is the end of business as usual. All we can do now is come together as best we can and make life as comfortable as possible. Otherwise life could become quite terrible. The twin horsemen climate tipping and habitat depletion will not allow 6 billion souls much more time. Geology and Climate allowed us civilization it can take it away.
The typical US diet, about 28 per cent of which comes from animal sources, generates the equivalent of nearly 1.5 tonnes more carbon dioxide per person per year than a vegan diet with the same number of calories, say the researchers, who presented their results at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco last week.
A disturbing consensus is emerging among the scientists who study global warming: Climate change may bring more violent swings than they ever thought, and it may set in sooner.What if the secret behind civilization is that we've had really good weather? Humankind has prospered and multiplied during one of the most benign climate eras in the history of the planet. And the past two centuries -- which witnessed the great expansion of the Industrial Revolution, a sixfold increase in human population, the triumph of the consumer society, and the rise of the integrated global economy -- have been particularly stable. One would have to go back 115,000 years to find a time as tranquil and warm as the present.These and other weather surprises make scientists uneasy because they resonate with a new understanding of how climate changes. Just 40 years ago the consensus was that climate shifted from warm to cold and vice versa, smoothly and over many centuries. Since the early 1990s, however, scientists have been coming to see climate change as less like a dial and more like an on-off switch. The transition from, say, warm to cold is far more abrupt--taking decades, not centuries--and far more chaotic than previously supposed Scientists now compare such transitions to the flickering of a flame or a fluorescent bulb--where the "flickers" may be quite violent, marked by fluctuations in temperatures of more than 18 degrees Fahrenheit in just a few years, as well as extreme variation in wind speeds and precipitation.How bad could it get? Imagine Europe suffering floods and heat waves on a vastly greater scale than those endured in 2002 and 2003, while northern regions experience intermittent deep freezes as atmospheric and ocean circulations struggle to find new equilibrium. At the same time, droughts and floods not seen since ancient times would afflict some of the most densely populated regions on earth. The probability of drought in the American breadbasket would rise, and along with it the possibility that the U.S. grain surplus--which accounts for the dominant share of world grain exports--would disappear.A flickering climate wouldn't just clobber countries with the wealth and technological resources to try to cope. It would affect every part of the planet, and in so doing reduce the resiliency of the global community. With every nation dealing with local emergencies, it would be more difficult to mobilize resources to aid victims in other areas, and there would be fewer resources to mobilize.Municipalities around the world would struggle under the burden of greatly increased demands on funds to maintain and repair basic infrastructure. Forget about safety nets--FEMA and its ilk would be bankrupt. In the world's tightly coupled markets, financial tsunamis would surge through the system, leaving banks and corporations insolvent. Financial panics, largely absent for more than 70 years, would return with a vengeance.Here at home, a flickering climate would impose an enormous tax on every individual and business. Property values in most places would plummet as buyers disappeared and costs of insurance and maintenance soared. The upper-middle-class American family, today so well protected against external shocks, would find its layers of insulation gradually stripped away as fuel, food, jobs, and social order became less certain. Katrina's aftermath exposed how quickly extreme weather can reduce an orderly society to dysfunction.
"hydrocarbon twins": global warming and the end of cheap energy (Peak Oil) (1). Since both conditions are caused by fossil fuels, the pressing problem is how to minimize their use. Re-examining transportation is key, since that sector is the biggest consumer of petroleum. According to the New York Times, the transportation sector "represents two-thirds of all oil demand in the United States and is solely accountable for the growth of the nation's oil thirst over the last three decades" (2). A second emerging issue is the destruction of local communities and their replacement by a globalized commercial culture. Local communities are critical buffers against rising energy prices, economic dislocation and dysfunctional national governments. Their absence puts us at risk.
just trying to be simple in a complicated world.???
tropical influences, particularly the El Niño and monsoon cycles (which are related), are the bigger drivers of climate change. This suggests that in the future, the Earth's climate may resemble what we see in El Niño years, but much more extreme. Depending on where you are, your climate shock could show up as either flood or drought or both in rapid succession - a permanent El Niño from Hell.Gulf Coast residents got their climate shock this past hurricane season as warming oceans spawned the strongest storms on record. Alaska natives are getting their climate shock as retreating sea ice ruins their hunting, and melting permafrost topples their homes. Pacific Islanders are getting it too as their atolls flood and they flee to higher ground. And this is just the very beginning. Conditions change on Earth, and one is that the sun has grown hotter. For most of the age of mammals (the age that followed the dinosaurs and their asteroid demise) the Earth was warm and no ice formed at the poles. But as the sun grew ever hotter, by about 2 million years ago, polar ice caps formed and the Pleistocene began - the ice ages. This sounds odd, but Lovelock explains it: the Earth began to pull more CO2 out of the atmosphere and store it in rocks and plants. Less CO2 in the atmosphere lessened the greenhouse effect and temperatures dropped. But because of cyclical changes in Earth's orbit over time, the ice ages have see-sawed back and forth between glacial and interglacial in a series of 100,000-year cycles. A system with this much dynamism is prone to getting knocked off balance, and there is little doubt that that is what is happening now: climate shock. An international commission predicts that there is a high likelihood that all of the Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035. The Himalaya will turn black, and the Ganges and other rivers that flow from it will dry to seasonal streams. The 500 million people in India who depend on water from these rivers will have no other source. As mountain glaciers and snow packs melt everywhere, China, the Andes and California will face the same climate shock - no water. Meanwhile, the melting ice will raise the seas. Lonnie Thompson and other researchers are discovering that once glaciers start to melt, they can melt all the way to bedrock very rapidly. If all of the Earth's mountain glaciers were to melt, it would raise the sea level by a foot and a half and that would be the end of places like Bangladesh and Louisiana's bayou country. But the polar ice caps are showing the same tendency for rapid melting, and a mere two degree Fahrenheit rise in global temperature could be enough to cause a complete disintegration. Sea levels could start rising by 3 feet every 20 years. We will have to act quickly and drastically to avert this inundation.
“conventional oil production around the world apparently peaked in 2004″. It is the thing that we’ll see with oil peak, it will be denied as we approach it, denied as we go over it, and then spoken about as though everyone had always known about it and it was just a fact of life once we are beyond it in nervous bank boardrooms the world over.
Is it really money that makes the world go round? If only it were so simple. Oil lubricates our global economy.Proof? 98% of the world’s transportation is directly dependent on oil.Just two analogies to illustrate the value of oil:A single barrel contains the equivalent energy of twelve men working for a whole year: We owe our wealth to the abundant supply of cheap energy.Ten calories are needed for every calorie produced on a US farm: We literally eat oil.Demand continues to grow and there is less and less new oil to be found: Already we are using up four barrels of oil for every new one discovered.
In the society as infantile and as non-attentive to reality as ours, the ex-urbanization is taken as a welcome trend by almost everybody:- by would-be home owners who see this as an opportunity to get "affordable" living in the "nice" environment (and energy worries be damned!);- by the politicians who advertise the view of non-negotiable way of life (which must be good because people want it);- by the economists who know that home construction, furnishing and financing have become the primary engine of the US economy (that also cannot be outsourced! a major plus), and who are concerned only with the year-to-year growth, not with longer-term consequences;- by Wall Street, which is mostly concerned with the same;- by the real estate industry;- by the mortgage financing industry;- by the homebuilders;- by the municipalities;- by Wal-Mart and its imitators;- by the automakers;- by the land owners;- and, last but not least, by oil companies...
In 10,000 years the population has doubled at least ten times. Yet suddenly the doubling has ceased. It will never double again. The end of humanity's population boom will happen in the lifetimes of people alive today. It is the moment when Malthus was wrong for the last time.
American Experiment and globalization MAY end the way all empires end - with military over-extension and subsequent economic decline.
“Our society is in a state of collective denial,” Leggett explains with respect to oil depletion, “that has no precedent in history, in terms of scale and implications.” With “the cost of everything going up,” Howard asserts, it will be harder “to deal with the problems brought on by Climate Change. Cheap oil has enabled us to tackle many of the world’s problems. The decline of oil may simply exacerbate Climate Change.”A lack of transparency in the world oil market makes assessing oil reserves a guessing game, with figures in official oil reports often based as much on politics as geology: nearly three-quarters of the world's oil is controlled by state-owned companies, whose reserve figures are never audited. "We know that oil production will peak within our lifetime, we are pretty sure that market prices will not anticipate this peak, and we know that not having alternatives in place at the time of the peak will have tremendous economic and social consequences," says Robert K. Kaufmann, an energy economist at Boston University. "Doing too little now in the name of economic efficiency will appear in hindsight as rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic."Falling gasoline prices make it easy to believe the nation has seen the last of the energy woes that swept in behind this year's Gulf Coast hurricanes. But they don't fool an unemployed woman on the Crow Indian Reservation, using the electric oven to warm her house on increasingly crisp Montana nights because her natural-gas heat has been cut off. For brickyard workers in Mill Hall, Pa., unemployment looms after the holidays, because it will be too expensive to fire the clay kilns this winter. And one retiree in a mobile home in Millinocket plans to take her asthma medication once daily instead of three times as prescribed, to save money to pay the kerosene bills that will soar in Maine's bitter cold.With the season's first snowfall hitting the Northeast last week, it is becoming apparent that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita did far more to the nation's energy equation than spoil Labor Day vacation drives. The storms upset the already precarious balance of the nation's supply and demand for fuel. So much Gulf of Mexico oil and natural gas production remains in disarray that even with a mild winter, Americans face a Big Chill: astronomical heating bills--on average, 38 percent higher than last year's record costs for natural gas and 21 percent higher for oil.Triple threat. That means hundreds of closed factories and enormous hardship for low-income and working poor families, who can expect scant federal government help. And if bitter cold rides in on Mother Nature's coattails, extraordinary measures will be needed to keep energy flowing, particularly in the Northeast, as natural-gas shortages spill over into oil and electricity supplies. "We pray for warm weather. We have a prayer chain going," says Diane Munns, an Iowa regulator who is president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. "People are talking not just about high prices but actual shortages."Adds Matthew Simmons, a prominent Houston energy investment banker, who has warned of a new era of scarcity: "We're headed into a winter that could be a real winter of discontent."
A MUST READ! -- At last, a glimmer of sanity somewhere in the mainstream media. It’s as bad or worse than FTW said it would be. But for me that’s good news. Pardon the pun but US News’ analysis is sound and this winter will be our much needed cold shower and wake up call. As people like Julian Darley of the Post Carbon Institute and Matt Simmons have been saying, natural gas is our biggest problem this winter. So where is all this hidden abiotic stuff? Where are these prolific reserves promised by Cambridge Energy Research Associates? Where is the abundance guaranteed us by DoE? Someone had better “‘splain” this to the people suffering here. Someone had better ‘splain' this to all of us. Peak Oil cannot be a conspiracy of big business to get rich when big businesses are about to be shut down, either because of a lack of energy or a frozen work force. It cannot be a conspiracy of big business when GM and Ford teeter on the edge of bankruptcy; when 800,000 jobs are slated for the ax this winter; when Delta and Northwest are in bankruptcy; when the Federal Reserve has blithely announced it is going to conceal how much money it is printing into the M3 money supply. It cannot be a conspiracy to impose a one-world order when the international scene is starting to look like a saloon fight in a “B” western. It cannot be anything other than what it is: the beginning of the collapse of modern industrialized civilization.
The main thing about Peak Oil - and this could be what everyone needs to grasp hold of - is that it is symbolic of much more than just oil supplies. Because oil is so important to everything that modern industrial society is based upon, including the assumptions of continuous growth, we can see that the decline of oil will pose serious questions about how we live and the systems, structures and culture we have developed. Peak Oil is therefore a symbol of the high-watermark of the hydrocarbon human and everything associated with it
The flapping of a single butterfly's wing today produces a tiny change in the state of the atmosphere. Over a period of time, what the atmosphere actually does diverges from what it would have done. So, in a month's time, a tornado that would have devastated the Indonesian coast doesn't happen. Or maybe one that wasn't going to happen, does.This phenomenon, common to chaos theory, is also known as sensitive dependence on initial conditions. Just a small change in the initial conditions can drastically change the long-term behavior of a system. Such a small amount of difference in a measurement might be considered experimental noise, background noise, or an inaccuracy of the equipment. Such things are impossible to avoid in even the most isolated lab. With a starting number of 2, the final result can be entirely different from the same system with a starting value of 2.000001. It is simply impossible to achieve this level of accuracy - just try and measure something to the nearest millionth of an inch!
We will be living in atmospheric conditions that human beings have never experienced.
Water shapes the mountain into sand and an island so is our age...as above so as bellow. the floor has shifted old dances grow harder yet we dance on harder and harder...new dances bloom like flowers..come naturally and wonderfully. the big boys are eating their tails..there time is near...truth and balance...the word is missing but the light shows it all...
DIDO LYRICS"White Flag"I know you think that I shouldn't still love you,Or tell you that.But if I didn't say it, well I'd still have felt itwhere's the sense in that?I promise I'm not trying to make your life harderOr return to where we wereI will go down with this shipAnd I won't put my hands up and surrenderThere will be no white flag above my doorI'm in love and always will beI know I left too much mess anddestruction to come back againAnd I caused nothing but troubleI understand if you can't talk to me againAnd if you live by the rules of "it's over"then I'm sure that that makes senseI will go down with this shipAnd I won't put my hands up and surrenderThere will be no white flag above my doorI'm in love and always will beAnd when we meetWhich I'm sure we willAll that was thereWill be there stillI'll let it passAnd hold my tongueAnd you will thinkThat I've moved on....I will go down with this shipAnd I won't put my hands up and surrenderThere will be no white flag above my doorI'm in love and always will beI will go down with this shipAnd I won't put my hands up and surrenderThere will be no white flag above my doorI'm in love and always will beI will go down with this shipAnd I won't put my hands up and surrenderThere will be no white flag above my doorI'm in love and always will be
To all of us POW-MIA's. We are near the end of the age of deception and mechanization. There is a polarity shift and some are shifting sooner then others. Don't be fooled by conventions. Be careful of the many false gifts. Laugh and dance if you can. We didn't ask to be born and don't know when time is up but we should not waste a good moment if available. As for myself don't know much of anything. What's real and isn't. Who is watching. Maybe tomorrow I will loose my mind. I have before so I know the razor edge. There is the missing word and it can't be found but at times it can be seen. Ying Yang and all that. Don't worry about Disney World we are in for a ride. Foraging, finding a nice climate, and clear water will be an adventure. It may or may not be abrupt but its coming. Stay close to those you love and protect the women and children for the next age is theirs.
I see and admire your manner of living, your warm houses, your extensive fields of corn, your gardens, your cows, oxen, work-horses, wagons, and a thousand machines, that I know not the use of. I see that you are able to clothe yourself, even from weeds and grass. In short you can do almost what you choose. You whites possess the power of subduing almost every animal to your use. You are surrounded by slaves. Everything about you is in chains, and you are slaves yourselves. I hear I should exchange my presents for yours. I too should become a slave. Talk to my sons, perhaps they may be persuaded to adopt your fashions, or at least to recommend them to their sons; but for myself, I was born free, was raised free, and wish to die free.-Big Soldier, 1820...
Time does not move up and down as in forward progress or regress, rather it moves us in and out of intimacy with our source and center.
Nature enjoys Nature and only Nature can overcome Nature