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The 10 Commandments – Guidelines to Surviving in a Post Peak Oil World

Chris Rhodes, OilPrice
If they are not actually “commandments” they might as well be. The original set of 10 provided a simple set of rules for members of a small community to live in reasonable harmony with one another, and that is essentially the requirement for an oil-dependent society that has necessarily fragmented into smaller communities, once its supply of oil has been severely curtailed.

At first sight this does seem like a prognosis of “doom and gloom”, as indeed it will be if there is no sensible scale-down of oil-fuelled activities. Indeed, a “wall” of fuel dearth will suddenly appear, and we will drive straight into it; or really be abandoned by the wayside of the petrol-fuelled journey of globalisation. So, here are some suggestions (not rules or commandments, but logical consequences and prospects for the era that will follow down the oil-poor side of Hubbert’s peak).

Overall, it will be necessary to curb our use of oil in the same amount as its rate of declining supply, which it is thought will be around 2.5%/year. Clearly the depletion-rate will not be precisely linear, but certain courses of action are indicated.

(1) The real problem is that our society is based around the car. …

(2) That brings me onto the next vital issue – food production. All farming will necessarily become organic. At the outset, let me say that I realise that growing food organically (fertilized by plant mulch and animal manure, and without using chemical pesticides) requires more land than modern forced agriculture does. …

(3) Many urban conurbations can only support a small number of their very large populations. A city the size of London is a good example, with around 10 million people depending on where you draw the borders, which would pose a considerable exercise in relocating most of that number since London itself has insufficient arable land for the purpose of sustaining so many.

(4) Transportation is, of course, a major issue, beyond the availability of the “car”. Virtually all goods on shop shelves are imported – many from other countries, sometimes across the world, and certainly over considerable distances within these shores. Most of that will have to go, and local production will become the norm. Hence there will be an inevitable rise in local economies.
(3 October 2011)

O’Malley, Dems aim to use Md. as ‘weapon’ in redistricting fight for U.S. House

Aaron C. Davis, Washington Post
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s redistricting commission will release a plan in coming days to attempt to harness the Washington area’s surging — and largely Democratic — population growth over the last decade to help Democrats retake control of the House of Representatives.

How far O’Malley (D) is willing to go to achieve that goal is now the question.

According to interviews and drafts of two leading proposals obtained by The Washington Post, O’Malley and a cadre of the state’s top Democratic lawmakers are engaged in a secretive, final round of negotiations over whether to go further than expected and try to unseat not one but potentially both of Maryland’s Republican congressmen.

At a minimum, the maps make clear that O’Malley will seek to oust Western Maryland’s 10-term Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett (R) by moving a swath of liberal Montgomery County voters into the traditionally conservative 6th Congressional District.
(1 October 2011)
Submitted by EB reader GB who writes:

Maryland’s Democratic governor, Martin O’Malley, is spearheading a redistricting effort by the Democratic Party to unseat Maryland’s two Republican members of Congress, one of whom is Roscoe Bartlett, well-known to all who pay attention to Peak Oil. Although Republicans in recent years
have been the primary offenders in gerrymandering, the Democrats are not immune, either… One of the less attractive facets of the U.S. political system…

Tech Talk – Pipelines in and from Canada

Dave Summers (“Heading Out”), The Oil Drum
If one looks at the countries that are major importers of oil into the United States, Canada currently easily tops the list, exporting 2.085 mbd of crude (2.524 mbd of total petroleum products) for example in June. Interestingly Saudi Arabia was in second place at 1.164 mbd and Mexico had fallen to third place at 1.108 mbd. In light of the countries that used to occupy places on earlier lists and no longer do, it is worth noting that places such as Chad and the Congo are now on the list.

… Since that summary review, Canada has gone on to post some of the highest volumes of the recent past:

… This increase has occurred as the amount imported from Mexico has seen some of its lowest numbers.

The numbers suggest a growing importance for that oil coming from the North. It was interesting, for example, to note that in the recent report reviewing available United States oil and natural gas authored by the National Petroleum Council, (which I discussed earlier) and which had Daniel Yergin as Vice Chair, that Canadian oil has begun to get counted with that of the United States in the more generic classification of North America, thereby acting as an anticipated aid in solving some of the “domestic” supply problems in the near future. Following that report, Dr Yergin wrote an article in the WSJ denouncing the idea of peak oil. Euan Mearns has provided his usual detailed and well-argued rebuttal to this (as does this entire series), so I will not go into that further at this point.
(2 October 2011)
The latest in a series by TOD co-founder Dave Summers, aka “Heading Out.” -BA

Exxon’s climate admission

Christopher Jones, Climate and Capitalism
This just in: Exxon Mobil has made a multi-billion dollar acknowledgement that climate change is real and is happening now.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for them to admit this, though. Exxon would like you to believe that climate change is neither real nor urgent. That is why they have spent millions of dollars over the last several yearsfunding climate skeptics and fighting legislation that would regulate the emissions of greenhouse gases. When you hear climate skeptics speak, there’s a good chance that Exxon money is in their pocket.

Actions, however, speak louder than words. And Exxon’s most recent action was a thunderclap. According to reports, Exxon has just signed an extensive deal with Rosneft, the Russian state oil company, to develop promising offshore oil and gas deposits in the Arctic Ocean.

The companies will begin by investing $3.2 billion to explore in the Kara Sea, with the potential of increasing the investment to $500 billion in the future.

Exxon is so convinced of the potential of these sites that it is giving Rosneft ownership rights in several of its global properties to complete the deal.

Large deposits of gas and oil have been known to exist in the Arctic Ocean for decades. So why did they make this deal now? One key thing has changed: the arctic ice is melting rapidly. The Kara Sea has typically been covered by ice floes nine months of the year or more, making commercial development of its resources unprofitable. But for the last several years, the extent and duration of the arctic ice has been diminishing, a phenomenon the vast majority of scientists believe to be caused by climate change.

Suddenly, oil and gas exploration in the Arctic Ocean is looking far more attractive. Exxon has realized that a warming planet offers some new opportunities for profit and is adjusting its strategic decisions accordingly.

Exxon is not the only big oil company whose actions show it believes climate change to be real. British Petroleum made a major play for developing the same resources several months ago,
(10 September 2011)

‘Fossil fuels are wonderful’, claims US documentary

Leo Hickman, Guardian
New Mexico filmmaker makes a ‘pro-truth’ film about oil – but he needs to be more open about his own links to pro-oil advocacy

Here’s a new documentary that I suspect we’re going to hear lots more about in the coming months.

An Albuquerque-based filmmaker called Mark Mathis has produced a film called Spoiled, which promises to expose the “outright lies” being spread about oil by “the media, politicians and environmental activists”. Mathis says it’s now time to “fill up on the truth”.

… The only clue to the film’s deeper content and arguments is the trailer that is currently posted on the film’s website. The viewer is introduced to half a dozen or so (unlabelled) talking heads, including Senator James Inhofe, all of which help to feed into the film’s central premise of why we need “an open and honest discussion about energy”. (The film’s co-writer Kevin Miller also talks about the film on an Atlanta-based Christian TV station.)

The Farmington Daily Times put the obvious question to Mathis: who is funding the documentary?
(3 October 2011)
The usual astroturfing, as far as I can see. – BA