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Lester Brown interview (“PO may be imminent”)

Mark Tovey, WorldChanging
…LB: I think Americans are more concerned about the future than any time that I can remember.

Two of the things they’re concerned about: One is oil. They realize, in the Middle East, it’s a mess right now, and to count on oil from there is really a high risk proposition. And also, that our reserves are being depleted. That’s pretty clear. I mean, peak oil may be imminent. A world very different, when oil production is declining. Very different from any we’ve known. We’ve spent our lifetimes in an environment where global production was rising: there are temporary interruptions, but basically … not.

I think concerns with oil are one thing, and concerns about climate change are another thing. And fortunately, they both have the same solution, or solutions. What reduces our dependence on oil also helps to reduce carbon emissions.

…LB: … the real question is whether we cross the tipping point in social behaviour, attitudes, first, or whether we cross some of the climate change thresholds first. It’s two tipping points, one social, and one environmental.

My model is one based on rising levels of information.

…these changes do occur. Sometimes as with cigarette smoking it’s a gradual rising level of awareness. In the case of Pearl Harbour it was a very dramatic event that just changed everything. And, so, I am inclined to think it’s going to be information.

And interestingly, and the reason I’m always happy to do interviews, is because in the United States beginning of World War II, it was the automobile industry that really held the key to our restructuring quickly.

Today I think the equivalent are the communications media. Because we’re faced with an enormous educational challenge. I don’t think the formal educational system has the capacity, because of the built-in time lags. I think [that the media is] the only institution that can respond to the educational challenge we face, so that people everywhere are as aware of what’s happening — or almost — as the people that are in this conference today. And that’s going to take an enormous effort. Now, it’s encouraging because the media’s beginning to give much more coverage to Climate Change, for example.

MT: What might that look like?

LB: It would mean more news coverage, more news analysis of these issues, not just reporting there’s flooding someplace, or drought, or an enormously destructive storm, but not reporting it as just weather events, but as quite possibly part of a change in the Earth’s climate. And then people, are — it sort of forces people to think into the future. And say, you know, if it’s Katrina today, what might it be tomorrow? And documentaries of course — analysing these things. And reality shows, that deal with these issues.
(3 Feb 2007)

Australia oil supply report to be released

AAP via Sydney Morning Herald
A Senate report into Australia’s future oil supply will be released on Tuesday.

…The interim report of the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee linked oil use to global warming.

Committee chair Australian Greens senator Rachel Siewert says the link between the two issues of oil vulnerability and climate change must be accepted by the federal government.

“The government needs to be taking issues around oil vulnerability extremely seriously,” she said.

The Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas, a body of environmentalists and oil experts, highlighted in its submission to the Senate inquiry the need to reduce car use to help avoid the possibility of oil running out.
(5 Feb 2007)

“The End of Oil” – 4-hour Link TV special Feb 9 and 10

Link TV
The End of Oil – Part 1 is the first half of a special four-hour programming block exposing the facts and quickly approaching consequences of our dwindling world oil supply. The special features the highly-anticipated feature documentary Crude Impact, and the film Protecting the Heart of Everywhere by the Pachamama Alliance.

The End of Oil – Part 2. is the second half of a special four-hour programming block exposing the facts and quickly approaching consequences of our dwindling world oil supply. The special features Link TV’s original program Outside the Box with Peter Coyote: Beyond Big Oil and the controversial BBC documentary Global Warming: Bush’s Climate of Fear. Outside the Box with Peter Coyote: Beyond Big Oil and the controversial BBC documentary Global Warming: Bush’s Climate of Fear.

The special will be hosted and debated throughout by renowned environmental reporter Mark Hertsgaard, actor/writer Peter Coyote, author Antonia Juhasz (“The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time”) and James Wood, director of Crude Impact.

(Feb 2007)
The two parts of the special are scheduled for broadcast at various times on Feb 9 and 10. The website has clips from the special.

Matty at peakoil-dot-com adds:

During the airing of the program, we will be leading an online discussion at and on our site with James Wood, director of the film, and oil experts like Richard Heinberg and Antonia Juhasz. It will take place on Feb. 9 from 9-11 p.m. ET and 6-8 p.m. PT. We are hoping to get the word out about the discussion to people that might be interested. So please join us. Here is a clip from the film and an example of some of what we will be talking about:

Link TV is the first nationwide television channel dedicated to providing Americans with global perspectives on news, events and culture. The channel was launched in December 1999, on DIRECTV and added to EchoStar’s DISH Network a few weeks later. Currently, the channel is available as a basic service in over 22.4 million U.S. homes that receive direct broadcast satellite television (DBS).”

Peak Oilers’ Error

Washington Policy Center, National Center for Policy Analysis
Peak oil advocates argue that we are at or rapidly approaching the beginning of a long decline in oil production, having reached the “peak” of oil resources. Combined with the increase in oil use, some in the peak oil community are predicting dramatic consequences, says the Washington Policy Center (WPC).

These predictions, however, don’t match the facts, says WPC:

  • At each point when environmental activists have claimed that the downturn was just around the corner, world oil reserves defied predictions and continued to increase.
  • The reason is simple — as oil exploration technology improves, previously unusable or undiscovered resources are found.
  • According to the Energy Information Administration, proven world crude oil reserves have risen from 645 billion barrels in 1980, to 1,002 billion barrels in 1990 and to 1,317 billion barrels today.

However, even if the peak oilers were right, the solution lies not in government programs, but in the market:

  • If the supply of oil does decline, the market will adjust; prices will go up and consumers will change.
  • In fact, Americans responded to rising gas prices during the second and third quarters of 2006 by cutting back on the nearly $0.50 increase between March and August — as prices declined, drivers began to drive again.
  • Overall, those who warn of resource underestimate the ability of markets to improve technology efficiency and change demand patterns.

Further, peak oilers and other environmental activists who warn of resource depletion usually call on the government to take actions to avert the upcoming crisis. When the government spends money trying to solve non-existent problems, it takes resources away from real problems and increases skepticism about real environmental problems on which we should focus, says WPC.

Source: “Seattle Peak Oilers, World To End Soon – And This Time We Mean It,” Washington Policy Center, January 2007.
(3 Feb 2007)
SourceWatch entry on National Center for Policy Analysis.
Not a very rigorous argument – CERA does skepticism better. Hat-tip to SP.

Bartlett, Gilchrest on CNN at 5:30 ET Feb 6

Staff, Rep. Bartlett
Washington, DC – Congressmen Roscoe Bartlett and Wayne Gilchrest will discuss the interrelationships between energy and the environment in a one-hour Special Order speech this afternoon beginning at @5:15-5:30 pm Eastern. They will discuss the impact of fossil fuel use and the challenges posed by peak oil and climate change.

C-SPAN will broadcast the one-hour Special Order speech LIVE on cable and the Internet. Streaming video on C-SPAN can be accessed on the Internet at .

Transcripts of the texts of the speeches can be downloaded from the Congressional Record using the Thomas search engine from the House website: with keyword searches by Member and date. The C-SPAN toll-free number to order video tape or DVD copies of floor speeches is 1-877-662-7726. Electronic copies of some previous Special Order speeches by Congressmen Bartlett and Gilchrest and charts are posted on Congressman Bartlett’s website: under Energy Updates.
(6 Feb 2007)

DVDs of the Boston Peak Oil Conference

Rick Block, ASPO-USA
ASPO-USA has produced a set of DVDs of the Boston Peak Oil Conference in October The entire conference was video recorded by Kelly Way Productions from Los Angeles. Their production team was there to complete the video recording necessary to finish their documentary Asleep In America and recorded the conference for ASPO-USA. A short promo of their documentary was shown at the conference.

Damien Collier, who was at the conference recording for Kelly Way Productions is also a professional video editor. He has spent over 200 hours, skillfully editing and integrating the PowerPoint presentations into a set of 9 DVDs of the conference. The DVDs are now available through the ASPO-USA website. The cost is $75 plus shipping and handling. Order here:
(Feb 2007)