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Peak oil - June 23

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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage


Friedman's Addicted to Oil documentary this weekend on Discovery

Thomas L. Friedman, Discovery/NY Times

Premieres Sat, June 24, at 10 p.m. ET on the Discovery Channel

This one-hour documentary, reported by Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign affairs columnist, Thomas L. Friedman, explores his ideas for a "geo-green alternative," a multilayered strategy for tackling a host of problems, from the funding of terrorist supporters through our gasoline purchases, to strengthening our economy through innovative technology.

Addicted to Oil examines a wide variety of developments taking place across the energy spectrum, from hybrid car enthusiasts who are converting their autos into "plug-ins" and getting 300 miles to a gallon of gas, to the current state of the hydrogen fuel cell. Other areas explored include "flex-fuel" vehicles that can run on an assortment of biofuels such as ethanol, which emits virtually no greenhouse gases and can be made from almost any biomass — like sugar cane, corn and even certain types of grass. (For example, in Brazil, 40 percent of all fuel used by drivers is ethanol.) Solar and especially wind power have made great advances in practical technologies that are increasingly being used throughout the world. We'll also look at new "clean and green" coal plants that are being designed to sequesterallcarbondioxideemissions.

Global warming is no longer a matter of debate, but a proven problem of potentially catastrophic proportions. As Friedman discovers in the course of our program, there is much we could do immediately, with technology at hand, to break our addiction to oil — and developing technologies promise a future free of a sole dependence on fossil fuels, a truly post-oil era. It can be done, if we have the will and leadership to do it.
(June 2006)
Excellent background material appears on the Addicted to Oil website. In particular, I liked the short videos appearing at: Friedman interview and Questions & answers.

No one in the mainstream media is pursuing the issue as doggedly as Friedman. Two things impress me:

  • He frame energys as a patriotic issue for Americans: "Green is the new Red, White and Blue." No one else can crafts a message that appeals to the center as skillfully as Friedman.
  • His ties together national security + economic success + global warming + peak oil (though he doesn't seem to use that term). Few other writers seem to make the connection.

-BA


Podcast - Kunstler: When Energy Demand Exceeds Supply - Impacts on Transportation and Cities

Planetizen
James Howard KunstlerOn April 19th, 2006, the University of Winnipeg, Centre for Sustainable Transportation, and the Institute of Urban Studies, presented a symposium and free public lecture featuring James Howard Kunstler, author of "The Long Emergency". We bring you highlights from James Howard Kunstler's speech at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in Winnipeg, Canada.

This speech was recorded and produced by Planetizen Correspondent Michael Dudley and Fawad Abbas of the University of Winnipeg.

Complete coverage of this event, including photographs, will be published on Planetizen next week.
(21 June 2006)


Michael Ruppert's economic forecast
(Audio)
Jamey Hecht, Global Public Media
Michael Ruppert of From The Wilderness talks with GPM correspondent Jamey Hecht about the US economy, the price of gold, politics, war, peak oil, relocalization and more.

Michael Ruppert is the publisher and editor of From The Wilderness and author of Crossing The Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil. He is a former LAPD narcotics investigator, whistleblower and a 1973 Honors Graduate of UCLA in Political Science.

Dr. Jamey Hecht is assistant managing editor of From The Wilderness and an author, scholar and artist living in Brooklyn. His articles on poetry, politics, and the history of ideas have appeared in a variety journals and periodicals ranging from The American Book Review to Nerve.
(15 June 2006, but just posted)


T. Boone Pickens on Charlie Rose
(Video)
Charlie Rose, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
According to EV World): "Streaming video of interview with legendary oil man on peak oil, global warming and water. Interview starts 36-minutes into the program."
(22 June 2006)
Caught this quote from Pickens a few minutes into the interview: "I'm convinced that we are peaked - around the world." -BA


Yuba Gals "Peak Moment TV" On The Road

Janaia Donaldson, Yuba Gals Independent Media
Nevada City videographers Janaia Donaldson and Robyn Mallgren of Yuba Gals Independent Media are taking their "Peak Moment" Television program "on the road" for two weeks in Oregon. They plan to videotape conversations and projects for their weekly 30-minute program, "Peak Moment: Community Responses For a Changing Energy Future" between June 22 and July 1st.

The Peak Moment series features positive responses to energy decline and climate change through local community action. It asks, "how can we thrive, build self-reliant communities, and help one another in the transition from a fossil fuel-based lifestyle?"

Follow their adventures on the blogsite www.relocalize.net/peakmomenttravels.

On this trip, Robyn and Janaia will videotape permaculturists and community gardeners, a car-coop member, a variety of cooperative living arrangements, an electric-vehicle wizard, and more.

The Yuba Gals will also meet with several groups affiliated with Post Carbon Institute's Relocalization network, whose members are working to inform their communities about Peak Oil and energy decline, and to build local production of essentials like food and energy. The Nevada county group, Alliance for a Post-Petroleum Local Economy (APPLE), sponsors the Peak Moment television show.

Now into its 26th episode, "Peak Moment" is cable-cast on Nevada County TV channel 11, Thursdays at 7pm and Tuesdays at 3:30pm. It is on public access TV stations in Mt. Shasta, Auburn, and is included in the "Media Edge" program in Sacramento and Davis; soon on stations in Pacifica, Novato, Chico, Illinois and Florida.

Episodes can be seen online at www.globalpublic media.com, search for "Peak Moment." DVDs are also available for purchase.

Peak Moment is produced by Janaia Donaldson and directed by Robyn Mallgren of Yuba Gals Independent Media, Nevada City. Contact janaia[at]peakmoment.tv.From: janaia2004&yubagals.com
(23 June 2006)


Thinking seriously: about energy and oil's future

James Schlesinger, The National Interest via Look Smart
THE RUN-UP in gasoline and other energy prices--with its impact on consumers' purchasing power--has captured the public's attention after two decades of relative quiescence. Though energy mavens argue energy issues endlessly, it is only a sharp rise in price that captures the public's attention. A perfect storm--a combination of the near-exhaustion of OPEC's spare capacity, serious infrastructure problems (most notably insufficient refining capacity) and the battering that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita inflicted on the Gulf Coast have driven up the prices of oil and oil products beyond what OPEC can control--and beyond what responsible members of the cartel prefer. They, too, see the potential for worldwide recession and recognize that it runs counter to their interests. But the impact is not limited to economic effects. Those rising domestic energy prices and the costs of fixing the damage caused by Katrina have weakened public support for the task of stabilizing Iraq, thereby potentially having a major impact on our foreign policy.

What is the cause of the run-up in energy prices? Is the cause short term (cyclical) or long term? Though the debate continues, the answer is both.

... (5) Many economists take great comfort from the conviction that there is always a price at which markets will clear, and that the outcome determined by supply and demand is not only inevitable, but is also politically workable and acceptable. An outcome in which the price of a crucial commodity like oil rises to a level causing widespread economic disruption, along with the political consequences that flow from such disruption, turns out to be a secondary consideration, if considered at all. One is reminded of the phrase used by Wesley Clair Mitchell and Arthur E Burns in their classic, Measuring Business Cycles (1946), in which they spoke scornfully of the "Dreamland of Equilibrium."

(6) The high percentage of world production consumed in the United States is used by critics to point to our presumed wastefulness. It is, however, misleading in that the United States also produces between 20 and 25 percent of the gross world product. Nonetheless, it does appropriately point to our greater vulnerability to a future period of oil stringency.

James Schlesinger is chairman of the Advisory Council of The National Interest. He has served as secretary of defense, secretary of energy and director of central intelligence. He is currently chairman of the MITRE Corporation.
(Winter 2005)

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