Building a world of
resilient communities.

MAIN LIST

 

Open Letter to US Representative Hooley (OR 5th) About Energy Depletion

An unexpected and courageous speech on efficiency, conservation, and population control by an ultra-conservative Member of Congress needs to be brought to the attention of all. Readers, please feel free to borrow and customize to sent to your US Representative.

Dear Representative Hooley,

You've known of my environmental views since we were neighbors on Parkside Court and Failing Street. You've known my technical credentials since, as a Clackamas County Commissioner, you visited my workgroup at what was then Tektronix Wilsonville.

I hope you will accept the following as not being from some "nut case" end-of-the-world type, but rather as a rational analysis from someone trained and experienced in science and technology.

The United States and the entire world faces a looming crisis that has not been seen since the great wars of the last century. Our burgeoning population, as well as the finer points of our civilization, are completely dependent on a non-renewable natural resource that is going into decline, even as demand continues to increase. We are about to overshoot global oil production.

I have been studying this phenomenon for years, and have been making my own preparations. So far, politicians have ignored it, and the media have ignored it. But as Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R MD) recently stated before Congress, many "rational, professional, conservative individuals... are absolutely terrified by the phenomenon known as global peak oil."

If you missed Congressman Bartlett's presentation, and have not yet read it in the Congressional Record, I urge you to do so now. It is very well researched. Although I disagree with Congressman Bartlett's position on almost every other issue, I was impressed with the depth of his understanding of this looming crisis. It must have taken some genuine soul-searching for an ultra-conservative father of ten, opposed to most forms of birth control, to call for curbs on population growth.

http://www.energybulletin.net/4733.html

In fact, there are increasing signals that oil may have already peaked. Co-incidental with Congressman Bartlett's denial-breaking speech, OPEC announced that it can no longer keep up with global oil demand. Historians may cite March 15, 2005 as The Peak.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7190109/

We are not simply "running out of oil." The problem is more complex than that, and more difficult to communicate. What is true is that oil production will no longer keep up with demand, and our civilization will inevitably revert to the coal age.

Unless humanity abolishes the holy grail of "growth" and seeks a steady-state energy level of perhaps only 10% to 20% of today's usage, a child born today will in her lifetime experience a similar trauma of "peak coal", and humanity will begin reversion to altogether pre-industrial times.

I know letters like this one are supposed to ask for something. I am not aware of a vote, or a bill in committee, or a co-sponsorship that I can ask of you. The first national politician has taken public notice just this week!

I know of your favorable record in energy efficiency and conservation, and I hope it will continue. What I am asking now is that you become an activist, and vigorously pursue these issues, introducing and co-sponsoring bills, rather than simply voting for them. Congressman Bartlett calls for a "Manhattan Project" effort in this regard, and compares it to putting a man on the moon in scope.

Within each crisis is an opportunity. Today's adults are doomed to a future of rapidly escalating energy costs. But bold leadership now can save today's child from "shivering in the dark" in her old age.

Having spent a great deal of time researching this immense crisis, I am at your service, should I be able to help.

Jan Steinman, www.Bytesmiths.com

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.

Take action!  

Find out more about Community Resilience. See our COMMUNITIES page
Start your own projects. See our RESOURCES page.
Help build resilience. DONATE NOW.

 

This is a community site and the discussion is moderated. The rules in brief: no personal abuse and no climate denial. Complete Guidelines.


How We Went on an Energy Diet, and What We Lost (and Gained!)

In which I reveal the changes in our household energy usage from 2003 …

Five Billion Years of Energy Supply: the "Stereosphere" and the Upcoming Photovoltaic Revolution

Both the biosphere and the stereosphere use solar light as the energy …

Peak Oil Review - Aug 22 2016

 A weekly roundup of peak oil  news, including: -Oil and the …

Limitless imagination and physical limits

How do we distinguish those ideas that are forever going to remain in the …

Some Reflections on the Twilight of the Oil Age (part III)

The impact of the Tooth Fairy Syndrome is all the more felt in the main …

Peak Oil Review: A Midweek Update - 18th Aug 2016

 A midweek update. Oil prices climbed for the fifth straight day on …

Facts and Falsehoods in Energy Transition  

We...try to separate fact from falsehoods in this wide-ranging interview. It …