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Van Jones: ‘Grow the comfort zone’
Spiritually Fulfilling, Ecologically Sustainable AND Socially Just?

Van Jones, HopeDance
Highlights from Van Jones speech at the the Pachamama Alliance Awakening the Dreamer Global Community Gathering. Reprinted with permission from the Pachamama Alliance.
-HopeDance editor

…People are always talking about their comfort zones, you ever heard that expression? “This is outside of my comfort zone.” Grow your goddamn comfort zone then, okay? ‘Cause we are running out of time. My suggestion is, grow the comfort zone.

People say that I am hard core about some of this stuff but I know because I have been to Davos, and I’ve sat with Bill Clinton and I’ve sat with Bill Gates and I’ve sat with Tony Blair and I’ve sat with Nancy Pelosi. I’ve sat with all these people who we think are in charge, and they don’t know what to do. Take that in: they don’t know what to do! You think you’re scared? You think you’re terrified? They have the Pentagon’s intelligence, they have every major corporation’s input; Shell Oil that has done this survey and study around the peak oil problem. You think we’ve got to get on the Internet and say, “Peak oil!” because the system doesn’t know about it? They know, and they don’t know what to do. And they are terrified that if they do anything they’ll lose their positions. So they keep juggling chickens and chainsaws and hope it works out just like most of us everyday at work. That’s real, that’s real.

And so I’m hard on people, I try to tell a few jokes, you know, to make it go down easier, but I’m hard on people. But I will tell you why I am hard on people. This is real ball, this is the last chance, this is it. I’m not telling you that; Tracy’s not telling you that. You go to places like I go, and the Pentagon will tell you that. This is real ball and people, for whatever reason, need sometimes a little encouragement. You walk up to that limit of yourself and you want that limit, ‘cause that wasn’t your limit yesterday and you go Whooo! I made it, now let me start telling everybody else what to do. But the goal is over there and every step hurts and every step is challenging and every step is humbling but every step has to be taken or we’re not going to be here.

So what I’m saying to you is, you have to make a friend of the pain. It doesn’t mean you don’t get hugs, doesn’t mean you become a martyr, doesn’t mean you’re self flagellating, no, no, no-you’re precious, you’re beautiful; take care of yourself, love yourself, laugh-but it can’t be only that.
(September/October 2007)
Emphasis added.Powerful speech – one of the best I’ve read on race, environment and communication.

Recommended by Ed of Cleveland who writes: “I don’t think that there is a better quote about peak oil.”

Global Public Media has an interview with Van Jones (Audio and transcript).

US energy expert [Richard Heinberg] attacks airlines’ bid to fly more Kiwis

Mathew Dearnaley, New Zealand Herald
Efforts by competing airlines to get more New Zealanders on the move are under attack by a visiting American energy expert for flying in the face of dwindling global oil reserves.

Richard Heinberg, who argues in books such as his The Party’s Over that the world is approaching or has already passed its oil production peak, says New Zealand’s physical isolation and associated dependence on aviation make it especially vulnerable to high fuel prices.

But he is gratified with the amount of electricity produced from renewable energy sources here, which he believes could give New Zealand a survival edge in a world in which video-conferences and other forms of telecommunications may have to become a substitute for international travel.

“With proper policy, New Zealand could be very well-placed relative to other nations for a power-down,” Mr Heinberg said in Auckland yesterday.

“It would have to electrify its transport infrastructure and produce more food for local consumption and less for export – New Zealand’s standard of living would probably change, but relative to many other countries it could come out quite well.”
(10 October 2007)

The Hubbert Linearization Applied on Ghawar

Khebab, The Oil Drum
The following analysis is based on a chart from Frederik Robelius (see Figure 2 below) from which I retrieved the production profile for Ghawar from 1950 to 2003 (xls). Using the Hubbert Linearization method to fit a logistic curve, we get a size estimate for Ghawar close to what other TOD contributors (Stuart and Euan) derived using advanced analysis. A possible decline of Ghawar is happening in a context of record oil rig counts, record domestic consumption and record oil prices.

Executive Summary: The fitting of a logistic curve (Hubbert Linearization) on Ghawar production produces an URR around 100.59 ± 8.59 Gb with a possible decline rate around 2.6%/year (asymptotic decline at 7.41%/year).

  • The fitting of a logistic curve on non Ghawar production (crude oil + condensate) produces an URR around 60.13 ± 12.78 Gb.

  • The Hubbert Linearization on total crude oil + condensate production gives an URR at 200 ± 24 Gb which is 20-40 Gb higher than the sum of the two above components.
  • If Ghawar is in terminal decline, supply growth from other fields has to be at least 2% a year in order to maintain a flat production and 4% a year in order to maintain flat exports.

(10 October 2007)

Patrick Holden, Peak Oil, Local Food and Transition
Rob Hopkins, Transition Culture
An excellent documentary aired on BBC Wales last night, called Back to the Land, which was part of a series called ‘Week In, Week Out’. In featured Patrick Holden, the director of the Soil Association, discussing peak oil and the impact that finding out about it had on his life and on how he farms his farm in Wales, as well as looking at the bigger implications of its ramifications for food and farming. It also included interviews with myself and some peak oil deniers, and sets out a strong argument that the transition to life beyond oil could actually bring many benefits to society. You can watch the film here for the next week.

Text from the BBC-Wales site:
Back to the land
Patrick Holden, BBC-Wales Television
One of the country’s top food campaigners explains why Wales is heading for massive food shortages and price rises unless more of us get back to the land and start growing our own.

Oil wells are running, sparking a surge in food prices. This could leave us hungry. There are fears, in the worst case scenario, that this could lead to conflict and anarchy…

These are some of the concerns raised in a Week In Week Out presented by one of Wales’s leading food campaigners, Patrick Holden.

A west Wales-based farmer for 30 years, Mr Holden claims our food distribution system is on shaky ground because of its dependency on oil.

He says: “More and more people are coming to agree that oil production will peak in the next few years and when that happens its price could triple.”

Mr Holden says the end of cheap oil spells the end of cheap food.

The petrol and food shortages of the fuel protests in 2000 could happen again, he warns. Mr Holden predicts the end of cheap oil will ignite social disorder and leave people hungry. The answer? We must all get back to the land – grow and eat food produced locally.
(10 October 2007)
Holden is uncompromising in his reporting about peak oil. It’s a shame that the video will disappear from the BBC in a few days.

The Patrick Holden segment begins about 2 minutes 4 seconds into the BBC video. The last bit of the broadcast seems to be cut off. -BA

Think oil can’t go higher? Think again

Eugenia Levenson, Fortune
Goldman Sachs commodities analyst Jeffrey Currie tells Fortune’s Eugenia Levenson that he sees crude prices moving above recent record levels.

…After Goldman Sachs raised its year-end price forecast by $13, to $85 a barrel, Jeffrey Currie, global head of commodities research in London, spoke to Fortune’s Eugenia Levenson about where oil is headed from here.

Q: What’s behind the recent surge in crude oil prices?

A: The OPEC supply increase was too little, too late. The market is in a significant deficit, the first deficit we’ve seen since 2003. Inventory started to drop in October of last year for two reasons. Non-OPEC supply has been extraordinarily disappointing, because those producers are hitting technical difficulties with new equipment and their existing fields are getting less productive. OPEC has the supply but hasn’t brought it online. The second factor is that we’re in the part of the energy cycle where extraction costs are rising and have been since 2001.
(10 October 2007)

The Energy and Environment Round-Up: October 10th 2007

Stoneleigh, The Oil Drum:Canada
In Alberta, the debate of the the tar sands royalty review is heating up. Major companies are threatening to pull investments in the province, while other point out that a peaking world offers them few other options. The environmental effects of large-scale bitumen mining, which are not considered often enough, are discussed in detail in journalist Willam Marsden’s new book.

On the other side of the country, LNG shipments seem set to ignite a political row over safety in narrow shipping lanes. Nuclear appears to be approaching a revival, although cost is an issue.

The effects of climate change are making themselves felt across the globe, notably in the Australia and in the Arctic, where Inuit climate change campaigner Sheila Watt-Cloutier could be about to share the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.
(10 October 2007)
Headlines and excerpts follow.

ODAC News – Wednesday 10 October

Douglas Low, Oil Depletion Analysis Centre
Peak Metals
1/ Peak Metal (theologyweb, Tue 09 Oct)
Gas Supplies: Turkmenistan – Russia – Ukraine

2a/ Credit squeeze linked to Ukraine gas dispute (The Financial Times, Mon 08 Oct)
2b/ Russia settles dispute over Ukraine gas debt (The Financial Times, Tue 09 Oct)
2c/ The Turkmenistan – Russia – Ukraine Natural Gas Saga Comes Back To Life – Feedback

Natural Gas Exports – Azerbaijan
3a/ Azerbaijan: Looming Gas Power? (Energy Intelligence [World Gas Intelligence], Wed 10 Oct)
3b/ Harsh Realities Cloud Caspian Hopes (World Gas Intelligence, Wed 26 Sep)

LNG Imports – China and Japan
4/ China’s Spot Appetite (Energy Intelligence [World Gas Intelligence], Wed 10 Oct)

US Energy Information Administration Forecasts
5/ US Energy Information Administration Forecasts for Winter 2007/8 (Energy Intelligence, Wed 10 Oct)

Economy – UK Trade Deficit
6/ UK’s trade deficit narrows (Financial Times, Tue 09 Oct)
BBC Peak Oil Documentary
7/ Patrick Holden, Peak Oil, Local Food and Transition (Transition Culture / BBC, Wed 10 Oct)

Shortage of Oil and Gas Workers
8/ Help wanted…lots of it (Platts [The Barrel], Fri 05 Oct)

9/ Biofuel Bandwagon Slows as Feedstock Prices Surge (Planet Ark [Reuters], Fri 05 Oct)

UK Oil Depletion Conference
10/ UK conference: Oil Depletion – continuing the debate, Energy Institute, London, 14 November 2007
(10 October 2007)