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Peak Oil

Peak Oil and the Philosophers Stone

Big Gav, Peak Energy (Australia)
…The more I observe peak oil the more it becomes clear that for most (if not all) people the peak oil meme acts as like the “Philosopher’s Stone” from Harry Potter, so they envisage the post peak future as something they would like to see happen anyway.

Kunstler has a deep seating loathing of suburban sprawl and modernity in general it would seem, so he sees peak oil as resulting in a semi-collapse that returns us to a future that resembles small town america of 150 years ago (plus wasted large cities and pirates ravaging the coasts of course).

He isn’t alone in seeing what he wants to see of course – the Viridian camp sees a shiny green future awaiting us in the post oil world, old school oil guys like T Boone Pickens see a exploration and drilling bonanza, energy industry investors like Matt Simmons and Henry Groppe see soaring energy prices, gold bugs see rampart inflation and soaring gold prices, ferals and hippies see a return to living closer to nature, socialists see the revivial of marxism, conspiracy theorists see government/elite conspiracies and the rise of the new world order, primitivists see the collapse of industrial civilisation and human dieoff, libertarians see an opportunity for the market to bring new energy sources and technoloies to us, fascists see an opportunity for a return to authoritarianism and some of the uglier approaches to population control used by their ilk in the past, economists see suuply and demand issues being resolved by energy prices, military-industrial complex members see the need to militarily dominate the energy rich regions of the planet, end-times Christian fundamentalists see another symptom of the impending rapture and survivalists see an opportunity to say “I told you so” and finally get to use the skills and tools they’ve spent their lives practicing for…..
(5 December 2005)
Who know? Perhaps they’re all right. -BA

Catalyst: Real oil crisis

Catalyst (ABC) via Global Public Media
What would happen if the world were to start running out of oil? Conventional wisdom says we’ve got 30 years, but there’s a growing fear amongst petroleum experts it’s happening much sooner than we thought – that we are hitting the beginning of the end of oil now. So how soon will the oil run out, and can we stop our economy collapsing when it does? How prepared are we for the real oil crisis?
(4 December 2005)
Transcript of a television broadcast recently aired on ABC (Australia).
The fairly honest 13min video can also be streamed from the ABC.

NZ Green Fitzsimons: Surely the time is now?

Jeanette Fitzsimons, Global Public Media
Opening address of ‘Solar 2005’ – the Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society conference at the University of Otago, Dunedin, delivered 8.45am, 28 November 2005.

In Brief: Oil prices have doubled in 18 months. Our oil dependence is showing up in the current account deficit and in the inflation rate. During the last few months I’ve been meeting with groups of 100 or so people around the country and showing The End of Suburbia. Citizens, unlike governments, are taking it seriously and are deep in discussion about what we should do.
(4 December 2005)

Uncharted territory

James Howard Kunstler, Clusterf*ck Nation
When people of any political persuasion cry for America to pull out of Iraq, what do they suppose will be the result? That America will go back to being the same nation of easy-motoring, McMansion-buying consumpto-trons we were in 1999? Things have changed.

The world oil markets have changed. Their stability through the 1990s was a transient phenomenon, and a circumstance which, unfortunately, put us to sleep. During that time, OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, was the world’s “swing producer” — the oil producer with spare capacity that could always open the valves and pump more. And they did, even cheating on their own official quotas, which only had the effect of flooding the market with “product” and driving down the prices — so by the end of the last century oil had sunk to $10 a barrel.

That was great for America in the short term. It reinforced the widespread illusion that the oil disruptions of the 1970s were a shuck and jive. We ramped up all our car-dependent behavior, built more malls and “lifestyle centers,” carved more housing subdivisions in the farthest-out asteroid belts of the metroplexes, bought cars the size of tactical military vehicles, and acted as if this was a way of life with a future.

Many things have changed. One is that a potent segment of the Islamic world declared war on the west (jihad). Another is that OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, has apparently lost its spare capacity, and therefore its role as the world’s swing producer of oil. Another is that the North Sea and Alaskan oil fields have passed their production peaks and are depleting at phenomenal rates — in the case of Great Britain’s fields, up to 50 percent a year — because they were drilled so efficiently with the latest technology. Yet Another is that rising ocean temperatures have led to several years of massive hurricanes wreaking havoc among the oil and gas platforms of the US Gulf Coast. Still another is the industrial turbo-expansion of China and India, taking advantage of their ultracheap labor to become the world’s factories and back-offices, while jacking up their oil consumption

Oil trade has now become a dead heat race between supply and demand, with demand looking like the stronger horse coming into the home stretch.
(5 December 2005)

Peoria teachers form outpost to examine peak oil

Jesscia L. Aberle, Peoria Journal-Star
Doug Day wonders, even worries, about what life will be like without fossil fuels. He believes other people need to start thinking about it too.

Day, a theater instructor at Illinois Central College, along with his partner and fellow history professor at the school, Dave Thompson, have formed the Peoria-area Post Carbon Outpost for the discussion of issues related to the concept of peak oil and life after fossil fuels.
(4 December 2005)

The most destructive crop on earth is no solution to the energy crisis

George Monbiot, The Guardian
By promoting biodiesel as a substitute, we have missed the fact that it is worse than the fossil-fuel burning it replaces
Over the past two years I have made an uncomfortable discovery. Like most environmentalists, I have been as blind to the constraints affecting our energy supply as my opponents have been to climate change. I now realise that I have entertained a belief in magic.

In 2003, the biologist Jeffrey Dukes calculated that the fossil fuels we burn in one year were made from organic matter “containing 44 x 1018 grams of carbon, which is more than 400 times the net primary productivity of the planet’s current biota”. In plain English, this means that every year we use four centuries’ worth of plants and animals.

The idea that we can simply replace this fossil legacy – and the extraordinary power densities it gives us – with ambient energy is the stuff of science fiction. There is simply no substitute for cutting back. But substitutes are being sought everywhere. They are being promoted today at the climate talks in Montreal, by states – such as ours – that seek to avoid the hard decisions climate change demands. And at least one substitute is worse than the fossil-fuel burning it replaces.

The last time I drew attention to the hazards of making diesel fuel from vegetable oils, I received as much abuse as I have ever been sent for my stance on the Iraq war. The biodiesel missionaries, I discovered, are as vociferous in their denial as the executives of Exxon. I am now prepared to admit that my previous column was wrong. But they’re not going to like it. I was wrong because I underestimated the fuel’s destructive impact.
(6 December 2005)

Peak Oil hits the hill

Ana Unruh Cohen, Gristmill
Peak Oil will get its first-ever Congressional hearing tomorrow in the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. It kicks off at 9:30 am EST and you can watch it live!

Panel 1
The Honorable Roscoe G. Bartlett, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

The Honorable Tom Udall, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

Panel 2
Kjell Aleklett, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Radiation Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Dr. Robert L. Hirsch, Senior Energy Program Advisor, SAIC, Alexandria, Va.

Robert Esser, Senior Consultant and Director, Global Oil and Gas Resources, Cambridge Energy Research Associates, Huntington, N.Y.

Murray Smith, Minister-Counsellor Government, Canadian Embassy, Washington, D.C.
(6 December 2005)

Ruppert vs Corsi on PO and abiotic oil
(radio broadcast)
A Closer Look
On Wednesday, December 7 2005 — Mike Ruppert will debate Jerome Corse, Ph.D. on the topic of “PEAK OIL” vs “ABIOTIC OIL”

The two hour debate will be moderated by Michael Corbin, host of the KHNC Denver radio show “A Closer Look.” Denver area listeners tune to AM 1360 at 11a.m. mountain time. — West Coast listeners click at 10 a.m. Pacific time.

MMFA investigates: Who is Jerome Corsi, co-author of “Swift Boat Vets” attack book?

FTW’s articles debunking “Abiotic Oil”

(5 December 2005)
Big Gav comments: “I doubt it will enlighten anyone, but it may be entertaining.”
For background on A Closer Look, see About ACT on their website.

[ Dec 7 – UPDATE – the debate was cancelled ] [ Dec 8 – UPDATE from FTW and Jerome Corsi: ] There has been a response from Jerome Corsi, as indicated on the FTW website as well, claififying the reason for the cancelling of the radio debate between Jerome Corsi and Michael Ruppert.

This information is the correct and accurate version that needs to be updated on your webpage.


Please correct the statement on your homepage.
I got a call too – from Michael Corbin and he told me himself that he was sick. That is why the debate today was cancelled. I am happy to debate Mr. Ruppert and look forward to the show being rescheduled. Please don’t misrepresent that I wanted the show cancelled. I was ready today and looking forward to it. I will be ready tomorrow, or whenever Mr. Corbin wants to schedule the debate. If you want to schedule some debates on other programs, let’s do it. Please call me if you need this confirmed. Also call if you have a forum where you would like me to debate. I was looking forward to it.

Jerry Corsi