Peak Oil Headlines - 26 October, 2005
Click on the headline (link) for the full text.
Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage
National Academies Workshop on Trends in Oil Supply and Demand, and Potential for Peaking of Conventional Oil Production (multiple AUDIO)
various speakers via Global Public Media
Audio from the workshop held at the AAAS Building Auditorium, Washington, D.C. October 20 - 21, 2005. Featured speakers include Peter Jackson of Cambridge Energy Research Associates, Matt Simmons of Simmons and Co. International, Kjell Aleklett, ASPO and Professor of Physics at Uppsala University, Robert Hirsch of Science Application International Corp and many others.
(24 October 2005)
Time Magazine all over energy this week
Links to all the articles in the current issue of Time about energy.
(24 October 2005)
Escaping the road to extinction
Bill Henderson, Countercurrents.org
...Man's exponential increase over the past several centuries will outgrow the planet's carrying capacity, probably in our time. Animal populations that bloom exponentially usually crash. Increasing population armed with powerful technologies will cause severe resource depletion and large scale changes to the biosphere engendering die-off. Famine, disease and most probably war - a final, nuclear, world war? - will be the immediate cause of death for billions of innocents.
America's foremost scientist E.O. Wilson describes navigating this passage of expanding humanity constrained in a finite world in his Bottleneck metaphor for the 21st century. William Catton Jrs brilliant OVERSHOOT is now available in chapters all over the net because of its usefulness and clarity in applying ecological understanding of our present global predicament.
Unfortunately, this bigger picture, which should be the context for all our day to day decision making, is heresy in our predominant religion of expanding economies. We can't even really be allowed to think these thoughts.
For example, both global warming and imminent severe oil depletion require a rapid transition away from fossil fuels to more sustainable sources and use of energy, yet subsidies for the oil industry continue to dwarf investment in alternative energy development, and global oil demand relentlessly increases.
(25 October 2005)
Also just posted at Countercurrents-dot-org: House of cards by Dan Benbow.
Ripping up asphalt and planting gardens
Derrick Jensen, Raise the Hammer
I don't see declining oil extraction as a problem. I see it as a wonderful and necessary thing I wish would have happened a long time ago.
This culture is killing the planet. It must be stopped. We evidently do not have the courage to stop it ourselves. The natural world will stop it for us. I think suburbs have no future. Nor do cities. They are inherently unsustainable.
They can be made less unsustainable than they are, but all cities require the importation of resources, and if you require the importation of resources your way of living can never be sustainable, because requiring the importation of resources means you've denuded the landscape of that particular resource.
There has never been a sustainable city anywhere on the planet. Sustainable villages, yes. Sustainable camps, yes. But not cities.
Civilization is going to crash, whether or not we help bring this about. If you don’t agree with this, we probably have nothing to say to each other (how ‘bout them Cubbies!).
We probably also agree that this crash will be messy. We agree further that since industrial civilization is systematically dismantling the ecological infrastructure of the planet, the sooner civilization comes down (whether or not we help it crash) the more life will remain afterwards to support both humans and nonhumans.
(21 October 2005)
Derrick Jensen's recent writings are marred by a romantic espousal of direct action, such as "taking out dams." Derrick, please look at what happened to people who ran with those ideas in the 70-80s. -BA
The Slow Crash
Imagine the end of the world in moderation. It's hard. We tend to imagine that either the "economy" will recover and we'll go on like 1999 forever, plus flying cars, or else one day "the apocalypse happens" and every component of the industrial system is utterly gone.
I'm not ruling out a global supercatastrophe. A runaway greenhouse effect might turn Earth into another Venus and cook us all. Acidification of the oceans might kill the plankton, and with them everything that needs a lot of oxygen. An instant ice age could happen several ways, and this scenario needs more attention because some humans would survive. But what I'm focusing on here is the scenario that includes only events we're reasonably sure about: the end of cheap energy, the decline of industrial agriculture, currency collapse, economic "depression," wars, famines, disease epidemics, infrastructure failures, and extreme unpredictable weather.
If that's all we get, the crash will be slower and more complex than the kind of people who predict crashes like to predict. It won't be like falling off a cliff, more like rolling down a rocky hill.(2 February 2005)