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Peak Oil is a Scam or a Hoax (and it has /nothing/ to do with biotic vs. abiotic oil)

It is very fashionable for radicals to jump on the "Peak Oil" bandwagon these days, but it's time to pull that wagon off the side of the road. "Peak Oil" is a hoax that is being perpetrated by the fossil fuel industry and blindly parroted by many on the left. Fortunately, I can prove that it is a lot of hot air, smoke, and mirrors by deductive reasoning and a few, simple facts. (Deductive reasoning involves presenting a hypothesis first, and checking to see if it fits the available evidence. Similarly, it involves debunking an accepted theory if it doesn't fit all of the available facts).
Proof that Peak Oil is a Scam or a Hoax (and it has /nothing/ to do with biotic vs. abiotic oil).

It is very fashionable for radicals to jump on the "Peak Oil" bandwagon these days, but it's time to pull that wagon off the side of the road. "Peak Oil" is a hoax that is being perpetrated by the fossil fuel industry and blindly parroted by many on the left. Fortunately, I can prove that it is a lot of hot air, smoke, and mirrors by deductive reasoning and a few, simple facts. (Deductive reasoning involves presenting a hypothesis first, and checking to see if it fits the available evidence. Similarly, it involves debunking an accepted theory if it doesn't fit all of the available facts).

Forget about all you have heard about biotic versus abiotic oil. Forget about all you have heard about "clean" coal, "nuclear", and other red herrings. All of those arguments are meaningless. Whether or not "Peak Oil" is never going to happen, going to happen tomorrow, or has already happened, the argument is irrelevant. The world is /not/ going to run out of energy and industrial collapse is /not/ just around the corner. A few simple facts are all I need to prove this, and here they are:

(1) Already existing hybrid-electric automobile technology can reduce oil used for personal automobile travel by 50 - 75% (the average for conventional vehicles is roughly 21 MPG; in the US, that figure is actually closer to 17%. Hybrids get anywhere from 45 - 65 MPG). Demand for Hybrids in California is enormous, according to this article which ran in the San Francisco Chronicle:  http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/05/08/MNG44CLV291.DTL (Sunday, May 8 - America's passion for burly SUV fizzles Showrooms anemic, but customers paying full price for Toyota's hybrid)

(2) According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the entire US automobile fleet turns over every fifteen years (the rest of the world probably has slightly longer turnover times, but most cars are replaced quicker than 15 years, averaging closer to 2- 5 years).

(3) Hybrid technology can be combined with plug-in electrical charging technology, combining the best elements of a conventional hybrid with a conventional electric vehicle. Such vehicles, gas-electric hybrids, (like a Toyota Prius or a Honda Insight) could be plugged in over night and charged, so that the car runs on electricity /alone/ for the first 20 - 60 miles. Since most vehicle trips are less than 60 miles, if the charge can be maintained for 60 miles, gasoline consumption (already reduced by the hybrids' efficiency) could be slashed by an additional 75 - 90%! Such technology is already in existence:  http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0127/p14s01-stct.html (/Christian Science Monitor/, January 27, 2005 - Hybrids? Some opt to go all-electric.)

(4) While it is true that electricity needed to charge plug-in Hybrids mainly comes from conventional sources (natural gas, coal, nuclear, large-scale hydro-electric dams), none of those sources directly use /oil/, and all of them can be easily replaced by renewable technology, namely wind, solar, biomass, and small-scale hydro-electric. According to /Solar Today/ and /Co-op America Quarterly/ Some industrialized nations, namely Germany and Japan (and now China) are already transitioning to renewable energy economies.

(5) In the long run, oil is still a problem. It encourages centralization of economic and political power into the hands of a few rich capitalist or statist interests, it still causes global warming, and it still could run out, /however/, despite the negative claims made about Hydrogen as an alternative by the likes of Dale Allen Pfieffer, Richard Heinberg, et. al., it is in fact a /very/ viable alternative according to Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute:  http://www.rmi.org/images/other/Energy/E03-05_20HydrogenMyths.pdf.

(6) Some will argue that transitioning to these alternatives will require too much energy in the short run, but that claim misunderstands the situation. Such a claim would only be significant if no new products were going to be produced ever again. In reality, auto, battery, and energy technology manufacturers are going to produce products /anyway/ regardless of what /types/ they are. Since there is an increasing demand for greener technologies, likely as not, the items produced will be increasingly green.

(7) Of course, the age old problems of capitalist (or statist) repression, exploited labor, and disruption of communities will continue to be a problem (unless activists challenge it and demand that manufacturing interests be accountable to or controlled by the masses). Likewise, the non-energy related environmental problems caused by automobile usage (suburban sprawl, injury-accidents, and balkanized urban land use patterns) will not be solved through the use of greener energy technology, but those problems have nothing to do with "Peak Oil".

So what is the engine that drives the "Peak Oil" myth-machine? Ask yourself, cui-bono? Who benefits if we don't challenge the myth? I think the arrows all point to the oil industry itself. Don't let them get away with it.

You Make Some Good Points in Your Article 08.May.2005 15:39

Wallowed

But I don't see anything here that could be seen as 'Proof that Peak Oil is a Scam or a Hoax'.

The Peak Oil concept has to do with a peak in 'production'. The issues that you present here are mostly 'consumption' issues (hybrid/electric cars, etc.). Crude oil is a finite resource, and therefore, while some will always remain in the ground, eventually it will become to expensive/require too much energy to extract/refine/transport it, that it will yield.

That is a completely seperate issue from the current record high profits that oil corporations are enjoying these days. The current price gouging appears more to be a result speculators cashing in on geopolitical instabiliies that are a biproduct of the failing US global empirial plans.

somebody's jumping into the deep end of the pool 08.May.2005 15:59

take a deep breath

This whole argument seems to turn on the word "easily" in section (4).

"Peak Oil" means ... production of OIL is going to PEAK. Soon. Then it's going to decline.

That's not "fraud," that's the truth.

There is no unified prediction of what will happen after that. "Peak Oil" is not a brand name owned by some particular researcher. Certainly things are unlikely to be exactly the same afterwards as they have been before.

And the "hydrogen power" concept begs the question of where to get the energy in the first place to crack water into hydrogen. There is no chemical energy stored in water. ALL the energy you get from burning hydrogen has to be PUT IN artificially when you take the water apart.

H2O + H2O -> H2 + H2 + O2 -> H2O + H2O

Hydrogen is only "clean energy" because the source material is the same as the end products. FOR THE SAME REASON, you can't get any more energy out than you put in from some other source. The energy consumed in the first reaction is the same as the energy produced in the second reaction.

whine and cry... 08.May.2005 16:32

this thing here

i for one do not deny that greener, more efficient, and more sustainable forms of energy are not going to end "the age old problems of capitalist (or statist) repression, exploited labor, and disruption of communities", nor will they end "the non-energy related environmental problems caused by automobile usage (suburban sprawl, injury-accidents, and balkanized urban land use patterns)".

but to say that because greener and more sustainable forms of energy aren't going to completely solve these problems once and for all, and therefore Peak Oil is a scam perpetrated by oil corporations, seems ridiculous and incoherent as an argument.

again, the entire argument, the 7 points listed above, seem to me a clever way of saying that green energy won't destroy capitalism, so therefore let's not even try to become more sustainable, let's not even try to live in a cleaner world, so lets just keep using oil and coal forever and ever and ever because there's nothing else we can do.

BULLSHIT.

that EXACT argument is nothing but the sweetest music in the ears of exxonmobile. remember, THEY WANT MORE OF THE SAME, because more of the same benefits THEM. it costs industries billions to retool, so if they can keep pushing the same product forever, despite all the problems it creates, they will.

and if the argument is not a clever ploy for doing nothing, then it's simply defeatist, and i for one am tired of the whining, defeatist, do nothing attitude. you want a better world? whining that "nothing is going to change so let's not even try" is pretty fucking useless. go fucking cry to mommy then and let the warriors get on with it...

Nice One, DB 08.May.2005 16:41

Wallowed

Ahh, the power of proof-reading.

"eventually it will become to expensive/require too much energy to extract/refine/transport it, that it will yield."

should have been "eventually it (crude oil) will become more expensive, and require more energy to extract/refine/transport it, than it will yield economically."

I even question the "good point" 08.May.2005 16:54

TH oc4sure@hotmail.com

You address a few of the things we can do when "cheap oil" is no longer available, but proving "peak oil" is a hoax?
CMON

"(1) Already existing hybrid-electric automobile technology can reduce oil used for personal automobile travel by 50 - 75%"

No word on how much oil is needed to make each one of these cars. You also don't address the other users of oil in our country. Such as

Oil for plastics
Oil for transporting food and goods around the country (hybrid triple-trailer semi? right!)
Oil for pesticides
Oil for military (they use more than you think)


"(2) According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the entire US automobile fleet turns over every fifteen years (the rest of the world probably has slightly longer turnover times, but most cars are replaced quicker than 15 years, averaging closer to 2- 5 years)."


Exactly.
This shows how many worthless non-hybrids will be in people's yards and "littered" throughout the country. This also shows how much the car companies will be able to charge for their hybrids; only the rich will be able to afford them.


"(4) While it is true that electricity needed to charge plug-in Hybrids mainly comes from conventional sources (natural gas, coal, nuclear, large-scale hydro-electric dams), none of those sources directly use /oil/, and all of them can be easily replaced by renewable technology, namely wind, solar, biomass, and small-scale hydro-electric."

This is far from the truth.

Natural gas is basically a by-product of oil extraction. It is usually underneath the oil and comes out last. U.S oil peaked in 1970, while US natural gas peaked in 1973, oil is running out and natural gas is not that far behind.
Coal takes oil to extract, transport and refine.
Nuclear plants take oil to construct and even if a large nuclear program started today, it would take over 10 years and billions of dollars to become a viable energy source.
Most rivers are chockfull with hydro-electric dams, fish will be a major food source in the future: more dams = less fish. (Check out the Columbia for an example)


"despite the negative claims made about Hydrogen as an alternative by the likes of Dale Allen Pfieffer, Richard Heinberg, et. al., it is in fact a /very/ viable alternative according to Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute"

Right!

A hydrogen fuel cell needs platinum. Any idea why platinum is so expensive? I'll let you figure it out. Your RMI.org deal doesn't even mention it!
Also, take a look at how small the hydrogen molecule is, you can't store it in a zip lock baggie!





Better dig a little deeper on this one bud.

"engine that drives the "Peak Oil" myth machine"??!????? 08.May.2005 19:10

HUH?

"Steve Ongerth", author of the original posting above, is completely incoherent and without even a reasoned argument or case.

Any environmental or progressive change activist has known about all of the potential technological alternatives to hydrocarbons for decades now. The problem is - as it always has been - the corporate infrastructure's willingness to allow these alternatives to be given sufficient Research & Development funding, become widely available, and also economically competitive (here government regulation plays a role) and affordable. They've certainly had plenty of time to implement them, but many years of oil company co-optation of solar power, along with resistance to local and regional laws allowing alternative energy products and services to be made easily available, have prevented them.

As a consequence - that is, without the concerted efforts and controls of the US government to change from a petroleum-subsidized economy to an alternative-energy-source-subsidized economy - it is up to individual consumers and uphill-grassroots-capitalist investment and marketing (e.g. through gradual improvements in home-municipal solar energy technologies, or the gradual headway being made with hybrid-power automobiles - primarily led by California which has severe environmental consequences otherwise) to make the change.

TRANSLATION: only those with enough expendable cash to BUY THEMSELVES a new hybrid/electric commuter car, or a set of home solar panels (after they've paid all the municipal permitting fees) with which they can actually, in certain cases, _sell back_ surplus generated electricity to their monopoly utility, are on the leading edge of the movement. The average working, indebted, American, or global citizen, currently has little chance to participate.

Too bad GM isn't strong enough this time around to RIP OUT THE STREETCAR RAILS IN CITIES ACROSS AMERICA like they did back in the 1940s - effecting change the good old fashioned way, eh?

Peak Oil IS happening right now. We ARE on the down side of an economic extraction and consumption curve for a finite energy & materials resource. The economic effects ARE occurring, as anyone who's bought gas for their tank in the past year or so can notice (as well as those keeping an eye on China's energy consumption, global oil prices, etc.) The question (that nobody yet has a precise answer to) is, exactly when does the petroleum price/supply ratio begin to affect the global economy and other food/service prices so drastically that the system is dragged to an overall standstill . . .

there WILL be a point of no return - it's just a matter of where on the oil price+supply curve, and when in the 2005~2025 time frame that'll happen.

also, here's OILEMPIRE.US's page on Peak Oil with plenty of specific references, along with complete and thorough debunking of the "counterarguments" to it:

Remaining Global Oil Reserves (billion bbl / year)
Remaining Global Oil Reserves (billion bbl / year)

Last Week's Issue of The Economist 08.May.2005 20:01

Anarchy-nonymous

Peak Oil is real, based on a ceteris peribus argument, but the big variables are technology for recovery percentage, unknown deposits, and the future economic viability of other forms of petroleum like tar sands. The question is really about milking the existing technology, for which there is a huge industry established, to the last drop rather than provide incentive through government policy for energy diversification.

Oil recovery during the heyday of U.S. exploration was 20% of an oil field. That has risen to about 35% today. The rest of all those abandoned oil fields are considered to be not economically viable. So technology would only have to reach a point where abandoned oil fields can be re-accessed to raise their yeild from 20% to 40% to essentially renew the vitality of those fields to the level they were once drilled for.

Definitely there will at least be a short term cost associated with such oil recovery, but as oil depletes and demand increases, eventually technology will meet the challenge. Higher cost is actually a good thing, because it will make petroleum more competitive with solar power, wind power, etc. And if we can get an extra century worth of energy, we can buy a lot of time for the advancement of cold fusion. Then there will be no energy trade and all nations can advance on their own.

No, the greater risk is that world war will erupt over cheap oil and global catastrophe will follow.

Response to "TH" 08.May.2005 20:59

Steve Ongerth intexile@iww.org

TH writes:

No word on how much oil is needed to make each one of these cars.

No word, because the amount is insignificant. A certain number of cars will be made over the next ten years or so, whether or not they are hybrids. The amount of plastic used in a hybrid is not significantly greater than that used for a non-hybrid.

You also don't address the other users of oil in our country. Such as

Oil for plastics

The percentage of oil used for plastics is very small compared to the amount used for transportation, and alternatives exist. Quoting www.rmi.org again: http://www.oilendgame.com/Contents.html covers all of these issues.

Oil for transporting food and goods around the country (hybrid triple-trailer semi? right!)

Excuse me, TH, but would you care to show me your engineering credentials? In any case, mass transportation of freight can and should be done using rail transport, which can run on electricity or hydrogen. Of course, trucks can run on hydrogen as well.

Oil for pesticides

Cuba manages to produce enough food to provide everyone with a 2000 calorie diet every day using organic farming techniques and no fossil-fuel based fertilizers. If they can do it without access to machinery that increases production, and other goods blocked by the embargo, then others can do so as well.

Oil for military (they use more than you think).

No comment.

This shows how many worthless non-hybrids will be in people's yards and "littered" throughout the country. This also shows how much the car companies will be able to charge for their hybrids; only the rich will be able to afford them.

Hybrids cost approximately $24K. A conventional mid-sized car costs about $20K. The amount of fuel savings and tax-incentives make the cost of a hybrid appreciably similar to conventional automobiles. As hybrid technology becomes more plentiful, the cost differences between hybrids and conventionals will no doubt disappear. I don't know what your comment about "worthless" hybrids "littered" in yards is supposed to mean, but I take that to mean that you believe that the "Peak Oil" crisis will result in industrial collapse in the next five to ten years. Sorry TH, but even the Peak Oil experts disagree on when "Peak Oil" will happen. The predictions range from 2003 to 2150. What makes you an expert?

Natural gas is basically a by-product of oil extraction. It is usually underneath the oil and comes out last. U.S oil peaked in 1970, while US natural gas peaked in 1973, oil is running out and natural gas is not that far behind. Coal takes oil to extract, transport and refine. Nuclear plants take oil to construct and even if a large nuclear program started today, it would take over 10 years and billions of dollars to become a viable energy source. Most rivers are chockfull with hydro-electric dams, fish will be a major food source in the future: more dams = less fish. (Check out the Columbia for an example).

You didn't read what I wrote very carefully TH. I was pointing out that the conventional energy sources you just described are already in use and can (and should) be replaced by renewable alternatives.

In any case, even though these conventional technologies do use oil (a point I never denied), the percentage of oil used for these technologies pales in comparison to the percentage used for personal automobile transportation.

A hydrogen fuel cell needs platinum.

No, it doesn't. Do some research, PLEASE: http://www.rmi.org/sitepages/pid556.php. There are alternatives to fuel cells, by the way: www.safehydrogen.com.

Your RMI.org deal doesn't even mention it!

That's because it isn't an issue, TH.

Also, take a look at how small the hydrogen molecule is, you can't store it in a zip lock baggie!

What exactly is your point, TH? Hydrogen cars exist already. Look again at the RMI site.


Response to "Whine and Cry" 08.May.2005 21:07

Steve Ongerth intexile@iww.org

"This Thing Here wrote:"

i for one do not deny that greener, more efficient, and more sustainable forms of energy are not going to end "the age old problems of capitalist (or statist) repression, exploited labor, and disruption of communities", nor will they end "the non-energy related environmental problems caused by automobile usage (suburban sprawl, injury-accidents, and balkanized urban land use patterns)".

but to say that because greener and more sustainable forms of energy aren't going to completely solve these problems once and for all, and therefore Peak Oil is a scam perpetrated by oil corporations, seems ridiculous and incoherent as an argument.

again, the entire argument, the 7 points listed above, seem to me a clever way of saying that green energy won't destroy capitalism, so therefore let's not even try to become more sustainable, let's not even try to live in a cleaner world, so lets just keep using oil and coal forever and ever and ever because there's nothing else we can do.

No, "Thing", I am not saying that at all.

I happen to believe that we should switch to renewables ASAP, that doing so would be a major improvement over the way things are now, and that by doing so, it might be easier to overthrow / replace capitalism.

Ultimately, however, capitalism can only truely be overcome by the mass-based organizing of those exploited by it, and that is the working class. Exactly how that will come about is a matter of great debate. I do not wish to get sidetracked into that here, but you've probably noticed that I am a WObbly, and that should give you a clue as to where I stand on that issue.

Nowhere do I say that we can or should use oil forever. Need I mention Global Warming? Unlike Peak Oil, Global Warming is a very real threat and should be motivation enough to end the use of hydro-carbon based fuels once and for all.


Response to "somebody's jumping into the deep end of the pool" 08.May.2005 21:12

Steve Ongerth intexile@iww.org

I just LOVE it when people who don't know what they're talking about try to pass themselves off as experts. . .NOT!!!

Read  http://www.rmi.org/images/other/Energy/E03-05_20HydrogenMyths.pdf. and you will discover that the amount of energy produced from hydrogen (even if the initial energy used to produce the hydrogen is oil, which is by no means a requirement) is anywhere from 2-3 times as efficient as using oil directly for the same task.

not much 08.May.2005 21:13

of an argument

Some -- apparently most -- oil in the ground takes more energy to extract than it produces when burned. "Advancing technology" that needs to be driven by endlessly escalating demand will not, by definition, keep cheap oil on the market, and thus it will not keep production from declining, which is the only assertion of "Peak Oil." Expecting advancing technology to save us from geological and economic reality is appealing to magic. It's like early-'80s Interior Secretary James Watt's position that none of this matters because Jesus is coming back. Or like the "argument" that the inevitable disaster of infinite population growth can be mitigated by interstellar travel.

Question for "Not Much?" 08.May.2005 21:23

Steve Ongerth

What exactly is your point exactly?

Are you saying that technologies that already exist and greatly reduce oil usage are "magic"? Are you claiming that technologies that do not require the use of oil AT ALL are imaginary (even thogh I have shown examples of them already in existence)?

I guess I should trade in my hybrid, because it doesn't really work. It's just an illusion.

what's your point 08.May.2005 21:28

anyway?

The usual reason "hydrogen power" is brought up at all in these discussions is to confuse the ignorant by implying there's some natural source of molecular hydrogen that we could switch to as an alternative power source.

Oil is going to run out, Steve. It's going to start running out soon. There is no serious disputation of this basic fact, even from you. Your thesis is that it somehow doesn't matter. I agree it's not the only issue in the world. Feel free to work on other things.

what exactly is YOUR point exactly, "Steve Ongerth"? 08.May.2005 21:43

solar

Steve,

no one is deliberately taking issue with your presentation of technological energy alternatives,

many of which have been feasible, and some in relatively widespread or common use, on various scales for several decades.

(although I would disagree with the timeframe of implementation for hydrogen on a physical scale large enough to fully replace petroleum in the required timeframe, along with several economic and technological (mostly safety-related) issues of having a large enough global hydrogen fuel infrastructure to compete with the scale of what currently exists for petroleum fuels.)

the issues are two-fold:

1. Given current civilization's dependence on petroleum supply, how soon will current rates of consumption/demand exceed rates of new reserve discovery/economically justifiable-affordable extraction?

2. Given the **scale** of current global petroleum consumption, can **all** of its current fuel uses (see my comment above RE: hydrogen fuel) be economically and wide-scale emplaced **in time** to stave off the nearby steep decline?

the overall point is, "Steve Ongerth" :

all of the alternative technologies you've mentioned have been known about or available for many decades now, and in various ways the prevailing dominant petroleum corporations have actively prevented their widespread implementation - governmentally, capitalistically/economically, and R & D funding-wise.

It's not an issue of "do these things exist?" or "can we use something besides petroleum?" for fuel - that answer's always been a resounding YES.

it's whether the powers-that-be will actually ALLOW or PERMIT such things (many of which e.g. solar have nothing whatsoever to do with 'paying utility bills' to a conglomerate, and allow individuals to get 'off the grid' more or less permanently) to come about.

Response to "What's your point anyway" 08.May.2005 22:16

Steve Ongerth intexile@iww.org

You wrote:

The usual reason "hydrogen power" is brought up at all in these discussions is to confuse the ignorant by implying there's some natural source of molecular hydrogen that we could switch to as an alternative power source.

you're splitting hairs "anyway"; as demonstrated quite convincingly in http://www.rmi.org/images/other/Energy/E03-05_20HydrogenMyths.pdf. hydrogen is a viable alternative to oil as a transportation fuel.

Oil is going to run out, Steve. It's going to start running out soon. There is no serious disputation of this basic fact, even from you.

Don't put words in my mouth. In fact everything I am saying is a serious disputation of the "Peak Oil" theory. It is hardly a "fact". Go back and reread what I wrote carefully, and you will see that I quite easily demonstrate that the supply of oil can be made to last a good deal longer (perhaps 500 - 1000 times longer) with some simple technological applications that can be deployed today and be made widespread in just ten years.

You have no proof whatsoever that oil is going to start running out "soon", and there are in fact quite a lot of serious disputations of your claim. The whole abiotic theory is one such class of disputation.


yeah steve 09.May.2005 01:37

whatever

The abiotic people can't show that any oil reservoir is refilling fast enough to prevent production from declining. It's not a serious disputation, it's disinfo. If I weren't familiar with your other work I'd put you in the same category. We've been through this stuff before on this site.

'zzzz' has the facts, which are conveniently passed over 09.May.2005 02:50

by the zombies here

.

Furthermore 09.May.2005 08:40

Penzo Laka

Who gives a good dog damn who is 'responsible' for Peak Oil if it convinces people to quit using the shit and explore alternative energies? The pig-ignorant infighting on this thread is why nobody asks any of you jackasses to parties anymore.

"This punch would've tasted better with rum!"

"No! Vodka is the punch spike of choice, and here's a website to prove it!"

You guys are fucking idiots.

If you knew Steve, none of this would surprise you 09.May.2005 09:39

person who knows Steve

Steve still has the zeal of the newly converted and a glassy eyed stare to go with it. Many suspect that he is Paranoid Schizophenic, others feel that he simply never mastered social skills the rest of us learned in preschool. Regardless, he is a smart enough chap but comes on way too strong sometimes and apparently loves flamewars.

Response to "Solar" 09.May.2005 12:19

Steve Ongerth

In response to your questions:

the issues are two-fold:

1. Given current civilization's dependence on petroleum supply, how soon will current rates of consumption/demand exceed rates of new reserve discovery/economically justifiable-affordable extraction?

2. Given the **scale** of current global petroleum consumption, can **all** of its current fuel uses (see my comment above RE: hydrogen fuel) be economically and wide-scale emplaced **in time** to stave off the nearby steep decline?

First of all, I am not convinced that we are on the brink of "nearby steep decline". This is a claim not a fact. Until I see conclusive evidence that this is the case, a claim it shall remain. What you are describing to me is evidence of market manipulation not "Peak Oil".

In any case, hybrids reduce oil usage by 50-75%. A plug-in hybrid can reduce oil usage by 95%. Assuming that most people switch to plug-in hybrids in five - ten years, the supply of oil will no longer be an issue.

the overall point is, "Steve Ongerth" :

all of the alternative technologies you've mentioned have been known about or available for many decades now, and in various ways the prevailing dominant petroleum corporations have actively prevented their widespread implementation - governmentally, capitalistically/economically, and R & D funding-wise.

It's not an issue of "do these things exist?" or "can we use something besides petroleum?" for fuel - that answer's always been a resounding YES.

it's whether the powers-that-be will actually ALLOW or PERMIT such things (many of which e.g. solar have nothing whatsoever to do with 'paying utility bills' to a conglomerate, and allow individuals to get 'off the grid' more or less permanently) to come about.

I agree that these things are challenges, but I think that they're not as insurrmountable as you think. Not all capitalists march in lockstep. Most of the rest of the industrialized world has adopted the Kyoto protocols (and several nations, notably Germany and Japan, are taking it seriously). California passed a million-solar roofs initiative and strict emissions standards for automobiles. Canada has followed suit. In order to comply with the laws, automakers will have to conform (assuming the lawsuits are rejected, and my information tells me that they will be).

The challenge will be not whether or not these technologies are widespread, but rather can the masses control them. I think they can and will, but not if we sit around arguing about it.


Response to "HUH?" 09.May.2005 12:29

Steve Ongerth

"Huh?" wrote:

Peak Oil IS happening right now. We ARE on the down side of an economic extraction and consumption curve for a finite energy & materials resource. The economic effects ARE occurring, as anyone who's bought gas for their tank in the past year or so can notice (as well as those keeping an eye on China's energy consumption, global oil prices, etc.) The question (that nobody yet has a precise answer to) is, exactly when does the petroleum price/supply ratio begin to affect the global economy and other food/service prices so drastically that the system is dragged to an overall standstill . . .

there WILL be a point of no return - it's just a matter of where on the oil price+supply curve, and when in the 2005~2025 time frame that'll happen.

There's no proof of this at all, "huh". What is happeniong now could just as easily be market manipulations. In fact, "market manipulations" better fits the evidence than "Peak Oil". Why, for example, has Unocal shut down a productive oilfield in California of all places?

When the rolling blackouts hit California in 2001, almost everybody bought into the lie that these were caused by a shortage of electricty. As it turns out, these were pure market manipulations.

The idea that the oil corporations and the government would suicidally continue to push for ineffciency and hold back conservation measures if the oil supplies were truly dwindeling is just ludicrous. If oil were truly running out or dwindeling, they would be pushing for a crash program in renewables (they aren't) and they would try to justify monopolizing control of such resources.

also, here's OILEMPIRE.US's page on Peak Oil with plenty of specific references, along with complete and thorough debunking of the "counterarguments" to it:

Which ones specifically?


Response to "Whatever" 09.May.2005 12:35

Steve Ongerth

You wrote:

he abiotic people can't show that any oil reservoir is refilling fast enough to prevent production from declining. It's not a serious disputation, it's disinfo. If I weren't familiar with your other work I'd put you in the same category. We've been through this stuff before on this site.

This is a misrepresntation of the facts dude. The abiotic folks have made a convincing argument that whatever information that we the public have available is proprietary information owned by the oil industry. The fact is that neither the abiotic folks nor the "Peak Oil" folks have any idea what is happening in those oil wells.

Since the "Peak Oil" folks cannot conclusively prove (with smoking gun evidence) that the oil wells aren't filling up any more than the abiotic folks can prove that they are, the abiiotic thoery has just as much ground to make their claim as the Peak Oilers do.


peak oil is a fact 09.May.2005 13:08

think about it

There will be a peak in oil production. That is self-evident. To claim otherwise immediately undermines one's credibility in discussing related issues such as when this will happen and what the potential consequences will be.

we don't succumb that easily 09.May.2005 13:20

me

"peak oil is a fact 09.May.2005 13:08
think about it link

There will be a peak in oil production. That is self-evident."


We have thought about it. It's not a fact. It's a softening up campaign; it's a political motivation; it's simply a justification for profit extortion and genocide.

there's no such thing as endless growth 09.May.2005 13:23

think about it

>> We have thought about it. It's not a fact.

So "me", what you're claiming is that there will not be a peak in oil production, that is, there will be more oil produced each and every year from now until the end of time. Do you really believe that? Do you not see how ridiculous that sounds?

Peak Oil Is A Big Oil Cartel Scam 09.May.2005 13:49

Sam

At this time, there is a glut of crude petroleum waiting to be processed into gasoline, but it won't happen because Big Oil wants to keep the price of gas high. In fact, Big Oil is closing refineries to insure that the crude surplus will languish in holding tanks. Is this what you folks mean by "Peak Oil"? Do you think the Chinese and Indians buy into this Peak Oil scam? Not for one moment.

i smell the trolls, again. that peculiar odor... 09.May.2005 16:02

this thing here

i second that comment by think about it.

anyways, anyone claiming to be a progressive, socially conscious individual who at the same time denies such a thing as a peak in oil production, is either NOT a progressive, socially conscious individual, or is someone who does not have the mental capacity to understand the economic concept of supply and demand, or is someone who is actively working for the oil industry, or the u.s. government.

let me very very clear here:

PEAK OIL IS A THREAT TO ANY ENERGY INDUSTRY WHICH HAS ALL OF ITS CARDS IN ONE ENERGY BASKET: PETROLEUM.

THEREFORE, TO DENY PEAK OIL BENEFITS ONLY ONE SIDE. NO, NOT THE ENVIRONMENTALISTS. IT BENEFITS ONLY THE OIL INDUSTRY.

THE DENIAL OF PEAK OIL IS NOT A PROGESSIVE, ENVIROMENTALIST, LEFTIST ARGUMENT. IT IS AN ENERGY INDUSTRY ARGUMENT.

AT THE END OF THE DAY, IN ARGUING THAT THERE WILL NEVER BE A PEAK IN OIL PRODUCTION, THE ONLY RESULT WILL BE THIS: CONTINUED CHEAP OIL, CONTINUED USE OF OIL, CONTINUED POLLUTION, CONTINUED OIL CORPORATIONS, CONTINUED OIL WARS. THIS IS NOT A PROGRESSIVE, ENVIRONMENTAL, LEFTIST ARGUMENT. IT IS THE VERY ARGUMENT THE ENTIRE OIL INDUSTRY WANTS TO MAKE FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE. IT IS NOT IN THEIR INTEREST TO CHANGE, AND IF IT ISN'T THEY WON'T.

THAT is the end result of arguing there will never be a peak in oil production. no change. and the day progessive, enviromentally concerned people argue for no change is the day pigs fucking fly and jesus comes down.

har har har 09.May.2005 19:24

you got us pegged

"Furthermore" made me laugh.

He or she is right that this would all be trollery if the subject weren't spelled out right in the headline of the original article.

:-)

So THAT'S why I don't get invited to parties any more ...

it's not fair to run up the score 09.May.2005 19:29

here's a point they would make if they could think straight

Perhaps they imagine that there will be a PLATEAU in oil production.

That is, if the nefarious schemes of the genocidal chemtrail masters are successfully foiled by the righteous activist community.

zombies, go back to your graves 09.May.2005 20:04

me

No, mr word twister, you don't know how to think about it. You said:

"So "me", what you're claiming is that there will not be a peak in oil production, that is, there will be more oil produced each and every year from now until the end of time. Do you really believe that? Do you not see how ridiculous that sounds?

Nowhere above was what you are arguing against is claimed. The point is that it's a whole different issue. I still agree with 'zzzz' above...

Too Lazy to read? Here YOU Are, "Steve" - DEBUNKED (from oilempire.us) 09.May.2005 22:02

HUH?

 http://www.oilempire.us/peakoil.html

Two pieces of propaganda used to discourage interest in coping with Peak Oil:

The fake claim that oil is "abiotic" and therefore limitless (the limitless assumption is implicit). Numerous scientists and experts have refuted admirably. A representative selection of these rebuttals is at  http://www.oilempire.us/abiotic.html

Another subverting of efforts to spread consciousness about Peak Oil is to point out that since oil company people are talking about it, therefore it is not real (or merely an excuse for more drilling and more warfare). The best antidote is for permaculturally minded people to craft a different, peaceful, ecological approach.

http://www.oilempire.us/peakoil.html
You can't burn what you can't find

you have now entered 09.May.2005 22:09

the abiotic zone

> The abiotic folks have made a convincing argument that whatever information that we
> the public have available is proprietary information owned by the oil industry.

You might as well say there's no INDEPENDENT evidence that oil comes out of the ground at all. Maybe they're actually condensing it out of the atmosphere and lying to us about it. You can't PROVE they're not, can you? Or maybe everything's an illusion and we're living in machine-tended pods.

"Steve", you're being redundant to no good effect. 09.May.2005 22:40

solar

hi Steve,

I've noticed that your battery of responses to these comments are getting repetitive. You keep hammering away at "this technique has 95% effectiveness" or "if only consumers / 'the masses' would get together . . . take control . . ."

Steve, you are an advocate of APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY (presumbably for environmental, energy conservation, and quality of life purposes).

and rightly so.

but you have GLOSSED OVER the essential points made by me, "this thing here" and several other commenters. That is, the _economic structure_ and power heirarchy of global capitalism (with large U.S.-based corporations at its pinnacle) ___will not permit___ (and HAVE A HISTORY OF NOT PERMITTING) many of these innovations in technology and distribution to occur widely, and affordably.

the obstacles are *****NOT***** technological, "Steve".

The 'alternative energy' industry is several decades old, "Steve". I'm not going to reiterate what I already said - but this stuff has been tried time and time again. In 1979, President Carter installed solar panels on the roof of The White House. Guess who - after his inauguration - had them removed in 1981?

Some of the first automobiles from the late 19th and early 20th century were electric. Most large cities in the USA, during the early 20th century, had an extensive urban streetcar network - until General Motors and other automakers helped to have it removed. There are MANY powerful interests at work here Steve, which you have refused to acknowledge in your Thomas-Edison-Popular Science Magazine-revisited enthusiasm for these technologies. (I know personally, Steve: as an avid read of the magazine back in the mid-1970s I knew for certain that EVERY SINGLE TECHNOLOGY YOU'VE REPEATEDLY, REDUNDANTLY mentioned would be in widespread implementation by the time I was an adult. fat chance . . .)

The market for environmentally-friendly energy & transportation technologies - while very gradually and in SMALL increments is becoming economically viable - remains a MINOR, NICHE market. it is like JAZZ MUSIC: IT WILL NEVER BE "mainstream".

I can't (yet) afford to buy myself a new hybrid automobile, "Steve". I can't even justify, at the moment paying the extra utility rates to PGE to outsource 'wind power' for my electricity bill. This stuff should be subsidized or made absolutely cheap enough so that LARGE NUMBERS of 'the masses' of people can AFFORD it and will ABSOLUTELY, NO QUESTION want to choose it over a (even a cheap) gas-guzzler or "regular" electricity. (NOT TO MENTION ALL OF THE ECONOMIC AND REGULATORY OBSTACLES PLACED IN THE WAY OF AN AVERAGE HOMEOWNER SIMPLY WANTING TO INSTALL THEIR OWN SOLAR GENERATION SYSTEM.)

How do you explain that large, gas-guzzling SUVs (THIRTY-FIVE YEARS ["Steve", imagine the rate of automotive technological advances, with proper R & D funding/pursuit, that could have been made in that time frame] *****AFTER***** the U.S.'s first oil crisis) are the fastest-growing segment of automotive sales? Is there going to be a government "permit" or regulation which stems or reduces their rate of manufacture? Is this what the AVERAGE AMERICAN SUBURB DWELLER "wants", based on what marketers/oil/auto companies decided? Not everything boils down to "MOST APPROPRIATE" technology, or what efficiency/environmental engineers know, "Steve".

In selected response to your counter-arguments:

"First of all, I am not convinced that we are on the brink of "nearby steep decline". This is a claim not a fact. Until I see conclusive evidence that this is the case, a claim it shall remain. What you are describing to me is evidence of market manipulation not "Peak Oil"."

--it IS happening, "Steve". Shell Oil was forced to admit last year that its projection of reserves were severely undervalued - or outright falsified - and the Saudi Arabian oil field are declining in output. OPEC output increases over the past month have not been sufficient to quell mid- and long-term fears about global oil price stability. Global demand for oil is skyrocketing, and China now manufactures its own SUVs and luxury cars (they're becoming just like US, "Steve" . . .)

The information is ALL CONTAINED in every reference link that is already on this comment thread, above, "Steve". quite making us all waste verbiage and bandwidth with your denials, or "I know better"/"there's no proof" insinuations.

"I agree that these things are challenges . . . Not all capitalists march in lockstep. Most of the rest of the industrialized world has adopted the Kyoto protocols (and several nations, notably Germany and Japan, are taking it seriously). California passed a million-solar roofs initiative and strict emissions standards for automobiles. Canada has followed suit. In order to comply with the laws, automakers will have to conform (assuming the lawsuits are rejected, and my information tells me that they will be)."

--this is wishful thinking, and totally reflects your OPINION only "Steve" - not reality. REALITY is that the US has REJECTED Kyoto, we will have Bush for at least 4 more years and Kerry would not have been better on Kyoto (neither was Clinton for that matter). California, Germany and Japan are only implementing these programs because they are confronting these issues head-on from a municipal population point of view (all of Western Europe is far more concerned about Kyoto, industrial / automobile pollution, the environment etc. and has been for MANY DECADES now - Germany has a GREEN political party which is much more influential than its pale imitation in the U.S)

there is NOT ENOUGH TIME anymore, "Steve". (WE ALREADY HAD the time back in the mid-1970s to do something abou the rate of change of these token implementations is, and will continue to be, FAR TOO SLOW to stave off the overall drop.

I AM NOT, by any means, saying to you "Steve": 'stop doing anything' or 'nothing you do will have any effect'. No effort, of any kind for any issue, is ever 100% in vain. But what I am saying is: you have no chance of 'winning', or of stopping the inevitable from happening.

have it your way "me" and whatever other names you've posted under 10.May.2005 00:18

think about it

Peak oil is not a fact but you don't claim that there will not be a peak.

Brilliant... It's no wonder people take the time to poke fun; and I for one appreciate the laughs.

The Intensifying Global Struggle for Energy 10.May.2005 01:32

by Michael T. Klare

Published on Monday, May 9, 2005 by TomDispatch.com
 http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0509-21.htm


From Washington to New Delhi, Caracas to Moscow and Beijing, national leaders and corporate executives are stepping up their efforts to gain control over major sources of oil and natural gas as the global struggle for energy intensifies. Never has the competitive pursuit of untapped oil and gas reserves been so acute, and never has so much money as well as diplomatic and military muscle been deployed in the contest to win control over major foreign stockpiles of energy. To an unprecedented degree, a government's success or failure in these endeavors is being treated as headline news, and provoking public outcry when a rival power is seen as benefiting unfairly from a particular transaction. With the officials of numerous governments coming under mounting pressure to satisfy the needs of their individual countries -- at whatever cost -- the battle for energy can only become more inflamed in the years ahead.

This struggle is being driven by one great inescapable fact: the global supply of energy is not growing fast enough to keep up with skyrocketing demand, especially from the United States and the developing nations of Asia. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), global energy consumption will grow by more than 50% during the first quarter of the 21st century -- from an estimated 404 to 623 quadrillion British thermal units (BTUs) per year. Oil and natural gas will be in particular demand. By 2025, global oil consumption is projected to rise 57%, from 157 to 245 quadrillion BTUs, while gas consumption is projected to have a 68% growth rate, from 93 to 157 quads. It appears increasingly unlikely, however, that the world's energy firms will actually be able to deliver such quantities of oil and gas in the coming decades, whether for political, economic, or geological reasons. With prices rising all over the world and serious shortages in the offing, every major consuming nation is coming under increasing pressure to maximize its relative share of the available energy supply. Inevitably, these pressures will pit one state against another in the competitive pursuit of oil and natural gas.

Frenzied Search

In the past, such zero-sum contests between major powers over valuable resources have often led to war. Whether that will prove to be true in the case of oil and gas remains to be seen. But the pressure to maximize supplies is already shaping the foreign policy decisions of many states and generating fresh international tensions. Consider, for example, the following recent developments:

* A decision by Japan to initiate natural gas production in a disputed area of the East China Sea sparked massive anti-Japanese protests in China on April 16, the worst outpouring of such animosities in over 30 years. Although leaders of both countries sought to diffuse the crisis by promising fresh efforts at reconciliation, neither side has backed off its claims to the offshore territories. While other issues also fed into Chinese popular discontent, notably Japan's reluctance to express regret for atrocities committed by its forces in China during World War II, Tokyo's unilateral move to extract natural gas from the East China Sea was the precipitating factor. At stake potentially is the ownership of a vast undersea gas field in disputed waters lying between China's central coast and Japan's Ryukyu island chain. Because the offshore boundary between China and Japan has not been established, neither side is willing to countenance the extraction of gas by the other in the disputed "national territory." Thus, when Tokyo announced on April 13 that it would allow drilling by Japanese companies in waters claimed by China, Beijing had no compunctions about allowing an unprecedented, weekend-long display of nationalistic fervor.

* During her first visit to India as Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice called on New Delhi to back away from a plan to import natural gas by pipeline from Iran, claiming that any such endeavor would frustrate U.S. efforts to isolate the hard-line clerical regime in Tehran. "We have communicated to the Indian government our concerns about the gas pipeline cooperation between Iran and India," she said on March 16 after meeting with Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh in New Delhi. But the Indians let it be known that their desire for additional energy supplies trumped Washington's ideological opposition to the Iranian regime. Declaring that the proposed pipeline will be necessary to meet India's soaring energy needs, Singh told reporters, "We have no problem of any kind with Iran."

* One month after her meetings in New Delhi, Rice flew to Moscow and pressured President Vladimir Putin to open up Russia's energy industry to increased investment by American firms. Noting that Moscow's crackdown on the privately-owned energy giant, Yukos, along with proposed restrictions on foreign investment in Russian energy projects would discourage U.S. companies from collaborating in the development of Russia's vast oil reserves, Rice implored Putin to adopt a more inviting posture. "What Russia can do is to adopt policies in its energy sector in terms of the development of its energy sector that will increase the supply of oil both in the short term . . . and the long term," she avowed. But while embracing Rice's call for enhanced U.S.-Russian relations, Putin evinced no inclination to back off from his plans to bolster state control over Russian energy companies and to use this authority to advance Moscow's geopolitical objectives.

* On April 25, President George W. Bush met with Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, and exhorted him to substantially expand Saudi petroleum output so as to bring down American gasoline prices. "The Crown Prince understands that it is very important to make sure that the price is reasonable," Bush observed before the meeting. "A high oil price will damage markets, and he knows that." Bush and Abdullah also discussed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the continuing threat of terrorism, but it was oil demand that dominated the Crawford summit.

Highlighting the degree to which energy issues had come to overshadow more traditional security concerns, both Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley emphasized the importance of boosting world oil output in their comments on the meeting. "Obviously, with the states like China, India, and others coming on line, there is concern about demand and supply," Rice observed. "And these issues have to be addressed."

Developments like these, and Rice's comments on the Bush-Abdullah meeting, capture the essence of the current energy equation: Demand is rising around the world; supplies are not growing fast enough to satisfy global requirements; and the global struggle to gain control over whatever supplies are available has become more intense and fractious. Because the first and second of these factors are not likely to abate in the years ahead, the third can only grow more pronounced.

Insatiable Demand

Economies -- all economies -- run on energy. Energy is needed to produce food and manufacture goods, power machines and appliances, transport raw materials and finished products, and provide heat and light. The more energy available to a society, the better its prospects for sustained growth; when energy supplies dwindle, economies grind to a halt and the affected populations suffer.

Since World War II, economic growth around the world has been fueled largely by abundant supplies of hydrocarbons -- that is, by petroleum and natural gas. Since 1950, worldwide oil consumption has grown eightfold, from approximately 10 to 80 million barrels per day; gas consumption, which began from a smaller base, has grown even more dramatically. Hydrocarbons now satisfy 62% of the world's total energy demand, approximately 250 quadrillion BTUs out of a total supply of 404 quads. But no matter how important they may be today, hydrocarbons are sure to prove even more critical in the future. According to the Department of Energy, oil and gas will account for 65% of world energy in 2025, a larger share than at present; and because no other source of energy is currently available to replace them, the future health of the global economy rests on our ability to produce more and more of these hydrocarbons.

The future availability of oil and gas also affects another key aspect of the global economic equation: the growing challenge to the older industrialized nations posed by dynamic new economies in East Asia, South Asia, and Latin America. At present, the industrialized countries account for approximately two-thirds of total world energy use. Because these countries, for the most part, possess mature and efficient economies, their demand for energy is expected to increase by a relatively modest 35% between 2001 and 2025, a conceivably manageable rate. But demand in the developing world is soaring. By 2025, developing countries are projected to hold a startling half-share in total world energy consumption. When their added demand is combined with that of the industrialized countries, the net world increase jumps 54% over the same set of years, a far more demanding challenge for the global energy industry.

The competition for hydrocarbon supplies will be particularly intense. According to the Department of Energy, oil consumption by the developing world will increase by 96% between 2001 and 2025, while consumption of natural gas will rise by 103%. For China and India, the rate of growth is even more dramatic: China's oil consumption is projected to jump by 156% over this period and India's by 152%. The struggle these countries, and other developing powerhouses like South Korea and Brazil, face in obtaining additional oil and gas for their growing economies will naturally pit them against the older industrialized countries in the competitive pursuit of energy. As suggested by Rice, "with the states like China, India, and others coming on line, there is concern about demand and supply."

Questionable Supply

Accommodating the growing Chinese and Indian demand would not be a significant problem if we had great confidence that the energy industry is capable of generating the necessary additional amounts. In fact, the Department of Energy wants us to believe that this is indeed the case. Future oil and gas supplies, DoE claims, will be more than adequate to satisfy anticipated world demand. But many experts dispute this view. World oil and gas supplies, they argue, will never achieve such elevated levels. This is true because much of the world's known hydrocarbon reserves have already been exhausted and not enough new fields have been discovered in recent years to make up for the depletion of older reservoirs.

Take the case of oil. The DoE predicts that global petroleum output will reach 120.6 million barrels per day in 2025 -- 44 million barrels more than at present and just a tad shy of the anticipated world demand of 121 million barrels per day. For this to occur, however, the major oil firms must discover massive new reserves and substantially increase their output from existing fields. However, few new large fields have been discovered during the past 40 years, and only one, the Kashagan field in the Caspian Sea, has been found in the past decade. At the same time, many older fields in North America, Russia, and the Middle East have experienced significant declines in daily production. As a result, many geologists now believe not only that the global petroleum industry will not be capable of rising to the 120 million barrel level but will fall far below it.

Predictions that global oil output will peak between now and 2025, far short of the DoE's projections, are highly controversial. This is not the place to consider clashing assessments in detail. But one way to get at this issue is to consider the all-important case of Saudi Arabia, the world's leading supplier and the most likely prospect for higher production in the future. According to the DoE, Saudi Arabian oil output will more than double between 2001 and 2025, jumping from 10.2 to 22.5 million barrels per day. If Saudi Arabia could, in fact, raise its output by this amount we would have some degree of confidence that total world supplies could satisfy anticipated demand even at the end of this period. But there are growing indications that Saudi Arabia is not capable of coming anywhere close to that figure. In a much-discussed 2004 article in the New York Times, business analyst Jeff Gerth reported that "[o]il executives and government officials in the United States and Saudi Arabia... say capacity will probably stall near current levels, potentially creating a significant gap in the global energy supply."

In response to Gerth's assertions, Saudi officials insisted that their country is fully capable of boosting daily production by a sufficient amount to satisfy anticipated world requirements. "Should [higher world demand] actually materialize... we're going to be ready to meet it," Saudi Oil Minister Ali I. Al-Naimi declared in February 2004. In particular, "we have looked at scenarios of 12 million [barrels per day] capacity, we have looked at 15 million capacity, and those are all feasible." Such pronouncements have provided some relief to those alarmed by Gerth's report. But note that Al-Naimi spoke only of "scenarios" for reaching 12 to 15 million barrels per day -- hardly an ironclad guaranty -- and even an increase of that size would fall far short of the 22.5 million barrels projected by the Department of Energy. Many energy analysts have suggested, moreover, that any drive by Saudi Arabia to boost its daily output above 10 million barrels for any length of time will cause irreparable harm to its fields and result in an inevitable long-term drop in production. As noted by one senior Saudi oil executive, an attempt to reach 12 million barrels per day would "wreak havoc within a decade."

The question of Saudi Arabia's future oil output is terribly important to this discussion because it is highly unlikely that any other supplier, or combination of suppliers, can make up the difference between Saudi Arabia's sustainable yield of 10-12 million barrels per day and the DoE's 22.5 million-barrel goal for Saudi output in 2025. Other big suppliers -- Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Nigeria, Russia, and Venezuela -- are expected to have a hard enough time maintaining their own output at current levels, let alone filling in for the "missing" Saudi oil. This being the case, it appears highly unlikely that the global oil industry will be capable of satisfying anticipated world demand in the years ahead; instead, we should expect chronic petroleum shortages, higher prices, and persistent economic hardship.

Precisely because of this prospect, many national leaders are now placing greater emphasis on the acquisition of increased natural gas supplies. Because gas was developed later in the industrial cycle than oil, its principal sources of supply have not yet been fully exhausted, and new fields -- such as those in Iran and the East China Sea -- await full-scale development. Like oil, natural gas will eventually reach a global peak in output, but this is not likely to occur for a decade or so after oil has peaked. As petroleum output declines, therefore, natural gas is expected to take up some of the slack -- but only some, because there is not enough gas in the world to fully replace petroleum in all its myriad uses. And it is for this reason that many governments seek to gain control over or access to major gas reserves now, before they are locked up by someone else.


Response to "Huh" #2 10.May.2005 03:18

Steve Ongerth

I am not too lazy to read, and being a sport, I took a look at the "oilempire.us" site (though I am already familiar with it from other discussions elsewhere on the Peak Oil issue).

I remain thoroughly unconvinced after having looked at the site. While I do not doubt this individual's dedication to the 9/11 movement (and I say more power to him), his expertise on energy and resources are simply not convincing. Some of his arguments (or I should say, pieces of some of his arguments) are partially true, but I will focus on two that are lacking.

First of all, his statement on hydrogen--while annotated--is very misinformed. I happen to know through reading the documents provided by Amory Lovins, that the information that is provided on the oilempire.us site is ignorant at best or misleading at worst. While it is true that hydrogen requires another energy source (could be oil, could be solar, could be something else), if you (or the oilempire guy) would read the 20 Hydrogen Myths document carefully, they'd see that hydrogen is more effcient than the equivilant consumption of oil (in fact, three /times/ as efficient). So in that case, the oilempire.us fellow simply doesn't know what he is talking about. He obviously doesn't have any expertise in the field (whereas Amory Lovins has been working on energy issues since the 1970s when he wrote "Soft Energy Paths".

As for the biotic / abiotic issue, oilempire.us posts a bunch of opinions, editorials, quoted email messages, and back-and-forth discussions. He does /not/ post a simple, scientifically peer reviewed article demonstrating once and for all that the abiotic oil theory is garbage. This doesn't prove that the abiotic thoery is /correct/, understand. I never claimed in this debate that it /was/ (I /did/ claim that the abiotic crowd represents a dissent from the Peak Oil theory). But a collection of discussions on a thoery is not evidence against it, and based on the oilempire.us weak argument against hydrogen, I haven't confidence in his ability to reason on the issue of biotic vs. abiotic oil either. Most of the discussion consists of debunking the abiotic theory, because of those who're associated with it, not the merits of the theory itself.

Richard Heinberg's essay, while not entirely able to debunk the abiotic theory itself (as admitted by Heinberg in the essay) by itself would make a better case, but the website author chose to add a bunch of extra baggage.

Response to "Thing" 10.May.2005 03:35

Steve Ongerth

<p>You shouted</p>:

<blockquote>PEAK OIL IS A THREAT TO ANY ENERGY INDUSTRY WHICH HAS ALL OF ITS CARDS IN ONE ENERGY BASKET: PETROLEUM.</blockquote>

<p>Let's assume that is the case, Thing. That's a reasonable hypothesis, but here's where it fails: the energy industry could invest in alternatives and try and corner the market. (I suspect they wouldn't succeed in the long run, because renewable alernatives have the advantage of being easily decentralized. Conventional energy technology does not). They could at least get a major head start on the rest of us. Why, then, hasn't it happened?</p>

<blockquote>THEREFORE, TO DENY PEAK OIL BENEFITS ONLY ONE SIDE. NO, NOT THE ENVIRONMENTALISTS. IT BENEFITS ONLY THE OIL INDUSTRY.</blockquote>

<p>Here are several alternative hypothesis to explain "Peak Oil" as a hoax and how it could be used to benefit the oil industry:</p>

<p>(1) Making masses of people believe that there is no hope could demoralize them so that they do not empower themselves to fight for alternatives to the status quo (such as renewable energy in the control of the masses, rather than the elite few).</p>

<p>(2) Making people believe that oil is running out and renenwable energy is not going to be avialable in the short term could result in the masses relaxing their opposition to more oil extraction or the relaxing of enviornmental regulations.</p>

<p>(3) The claims of "Peak Oil" could be a ruse to distract attention away from market manipulations (in other words, the high cost of oil could be the result of organized capitalist greed complete with mountains of misleading "statistics" designed to make it /look/ like oil is "peaking".</p>

<blockquote>THE DENIAL OF PEAK OIL IS NOT A PROGESSIVE, ENVIROMENTALIST, LEFTIST ARGUMENT. IT IS AN ENERGY INDUSTRY ARGUMENT.</blockquote>

<p>Are you saying that I am not following the Party Line, Thing? Am I going to be excommunicated by self appointed "guardians" of the left?</p>

<blockquote>AT THE END OF THE DAY, IN ARGUING THAT THERE WILL NEVER BE A PEAK IN OIL PRODUCTION, THE ONLY RESULT WILL BE THIS: CONTINUED CHEAP OIL, CONTINUED USE OF OIL, CONTINUED POLLUTION, CONTINUED OIL CORPORATIONS, CONTINUED OIL WARS. THIS IS NOT A PROGRESSIVE, ENVIRONMENTAL, LEFTIST ARGUMENT. IT IS THE VERY ARGUMENT THE ENTIRE OIL INDUSTRY WANTS TO MAKE FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE. IT IS NOT IN THEIR INTEREST TO CHANGE, AND IF IT ISN'T THEY WON'T.</blockquote>

<p>For the record, Thing, I am 100% in favor of ending the use of oil, coal, nuclear power, "natural" gas, and large-scale hydro-electric dams as energy sources and transportation fuel as soon as humanly possible. I am 100% in favor of conservation measures and increased efficiency /yeasterday/. I am for limiting the use of the automobile through better land use planning, better mass transit, and localization of production of needs as much as humanly possible. I support renewable alternatives to convenrional energy sources. I am so much in favor of those alternatives, that I am doing everything I can in my spare time to learn as much as I can about them.</p>

<p>That said, I simply am not convinced that "Peak Oil" is an imminent threat.</p>

<p>I /am/ convinced that Global Warming is not only an imminant threat, but that it may already be too late to stop the damage that it might cause, and we may soon (much to our regret) discover just how painful the effects will be. With /luck/ and /hard work/ we may limit the damage. I hope so, but I have no way of knowing.</p>

<p>At any rate, I'm sure none of us in this debate disagrees that the oil age must end soon, whether because of "Peak Oil", global warming, or post scarcity anarchism.</p>

Response to Solar 10.May.2005 04:22

Steve Ongerth

Dear Solar:

You don't need to list my name in quotation markes. I am who I claim to be.. In any case, responding to your message:

but you have GLOSSED OVER the essential points made by me, "this thing here" and several other commenters. That is, the _economic structure_ and power heirarchy of global capitalism (with large U.S.-based corporations at its pinnacle) ___will not permit___ (and HAVE A HISTORY OF NOT PERMITTING) many of these innovations in technology and distribution to occur widely, and affordably.

I would agree this point, but only to an extent. The ruling class' power is not absolute. In fact it is anything but, and that is why the expound so much energy trying to manufacture our consent. Sometimes, change happens despite the resistence of the powers that be. The abolition of slavery in the US was resisted, but ultimately slavery as an institution was abolished (though some back-door loop-holes have allowed certain residual elements of it to persist).

the obstacles are *****NOT***** technological, "Steve".

I agree, but by taking that position, you deny that "Peak Oil" is the problem, because the adherents to the "Peak Oil" theory are saying that the problem is technical. My point is arguing the technical aspects of the issue are to point out that the problem isn't technical, and that the current energy crisis is political and largely manufactured.

The 'alternative energy' industry is several decades old, "Steve". I'm not going to reiterate what I already said - but this stuff has been tried time and time again. In 1979, President Carter installed solar panels on the roof of The White House. Guess who - after his inauguration - had them removed in 1981?

This point is meaningless. Just because an industry is several decades old does not mean that its inability to bloom is the result of deliberate repression. From what I have learned, the reasons why renewable energy hasn't replaced conventional energy are complex. Certainly, the dominance of conventional energy interests have retarded the advancement of renewables, but other factors have also contributed to the problem. They include the lack of easy and cheap manufacturing processes that have until recently not been available; the lack of sufficiently advanced computer technology (most renewables require advanced computerized applications beginning with the manufacturing of the equipment, to the installation process, to the daily operations of the same); the lack of a social imperative to change from one energy source to another (which is changing, primarily due to the threat of global warming, not "Peak Oil"--though for all of its faults, "Peak Oil" may benefit the renewable energy industry somewhat, though it could just as easily hurt it).

As for the Carter / Reagan anecdote, this is a popular citation of the "Peak Oil" camp. It is however, meaningless. Carter's energy policy was not appreciably different from Reagan's, nor was Carter's economic and foreign policy agenda appreciably different from Reagan's. (Don't any of you read Noam Chomsky or William Blum?) What did Carter as president do (that was of any significance) to steer the United States toward a green energy path? The solar panals at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue were a nice gesture, but largely symbolic and mostly for P.R. Carter never once called for a major R&D effort for renewables, a la Kennedy and the Apollo Moon Landings.

Some of the first automobiles from the late 19th and early 20th century were electric. Most large cities in the USA, during the early 20th century, had an extensive urban streetcar network - until General Motors and other automakers helped to have it removed. There are MANY powerful interests at work here Steve, which you have refused to acknowledge in your Thomas-Edison-Popular Science Magazine-revisited enthusiasm for these technologies. (I know personally, Steve: as an avid read of the magazine back in the mid-1970s I knew for certain that EVERY SINGLE TECHNOLOGY YOU'VE REPEATEDLY, REDUNDANTLY mentioned would be in widespread implementation by the time I was an adult. fat chance . . .)

Dear Solar, did I ever suggest that the technologies I described would magically fall from the sky or come out of a golden cornucopia? I didn't. I simply pointed out that these technologies exist and that if implemented could easily dispel any threat that "Peak Oil" might raise. My point is that since these technologies do exist, whatever energy crisis does occur (and there may indeed be a crisis), it would result from something other than Peak Oil.

By the way, Solar Today and Home Power are not "Thomas-Edison-Popular Science Magazine". They are publications be people who are actually putting the technology to work, here, today and many of them are very much aligned with the folks in the "permaculture" movement (a movement I support, by the way). Some of them even believe that Peak Oil represents an imminent danger. I happen to disagree.

The market for environmentally-friendly energy & transportation technologies - while very gradually and in SMALL increments is becoming economically viable - remains a MINOR, NICHE market. it is like JAZZ MUSIC: IT WILL NEVER BE "mainstream".

And you know this, because your crystal ball shows you this? You're pyschic? You consult a reliable oracle and it tells you this?

I can't (yet) afford to buy myself a new hybrid automobile, "Steve". I can't even justify, at the moment paying the extra utility rates to PGE to outsource 'wind power' for my electricity bill.

I sympathize completely. Perhaps, after we get tired of this debate, you and I could email each other, privately, and figure out a strategy to help you do something, at the very least, to have an impact. I happen to live in an apartment complex in San Francisco. I cannot choose my electricty provider, so I donate to the Native Wind Builders. At least that's something.

This stuff should be subsidized or made absolutely cheap enough so that LARGE NUMBERS of 'the masses' of people can AFFORD it and will ABSOLUTELY, NO QUESTION want to choose it over a (even a cheap) gas-guzzler or "regular" electricity. (NOT TO MENTION ALL OF THE ECONOMIC AND REGULATORY OBSTACLES PLACED IN THE WAY OF AN AVERAGE HOMEOWNER SIMPLY WANTING TO INSTALL THEIR OWN SOLAR GENERATION SYSTEM.)

I agree with you completely. If you visit the Z Magazine web site, you will find an article I wrote just a week after the November "selection" about that very subject. It's called "Green Kansas".

How do you explain that large, gas-guzzling SUVs (THIRTY-FIVE YEARS ["Steve", imagine the rate of automotive technological advances, with proper R & D funding/pursuit, that could have been made in that time frame] *****AFTER***** the U.S.'s first oil crisis) are the fastest-growing segment of automotive sales? Is there going to be a government "permit" or regulation which stems or reduces their rate of manufacture? Is this what the AVERAGE AMERICAN SUBURB DWELLER "wants", based on what marketers/oil/auto companies decided? Not everything boils down to "MOST APPROPRIATE" technology, or what efficiency/environmental engineers know, "Steve".

Actually, California passed a stringent emissions reduction law (which is being challenged by auto manufacturers in court, but will likely stand up) which will probably mean that automobile manufacturers will have to sell more hybrids. But I agree with your point, but again this is not an indicator of Peak Oil, it is merely an indicator of corporate greed.

--it IS happening, "Steve". Shell Oil was forced to admit last year that its projection of reserves were severely undervalued - or outright falsified - and the Saudi Arabian oil field are declining in output. OPEC output increases over the past month have not been sufficient to quell mid- and long-term fears about global oil price stability. Global demand for oil is skyrocketing, and China now manufactures its own SUVs and luxury cars (they're becoming just like US, "Steve" . . .)

But Solar, Unocal just closed a productive Oil Field near Bakersfield in California. Supposedly a new oil find was made in Utah.

If anything, the evidence is conflicting. The fact that evidence exists that contradicts the "Peak Oil is happening now" claim weakens the claim. Furthermore, as I stated above, the figures published by the oil industry are proprietary information. They could easily be lies. Just because the Saudi Arabian oil fields are "declining in output" and SHell admitted to "falsifying" its output does not mean that the entire oil industry is suffering from similar problems. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia is a US client state. Suppose Saudi Arabia is deliberatly lying to aid in market manipulations? During the manufactured California Power Crisis of 2001, PG&E, Southern California Edison, and others claimed that the rolling blackouts were the result of "insufficient power". It turns out that the "shortages" were manufactured by (secret) spot trading done through the (privatized) Independent Systems Operater in Roseville (the "shortages" were caused by excessive "maintenance" scheduling.

--this is wishful thinking, and totally reflects your OPINION only "Steve" - not reality. REALITY is that the US has REJECTED Kyoto, we will have Bush for at least 4 more years and Kerry would not have been better on Kyoto (neither was Clinton for that matter). California, Germany and Japan are only implementing these programs because they are confronting these issues head-on from a municipal population point of view (all of Western Europe is far more concerned about Kyoto, industrial / automobile pollution, the environment etc. and has been for MANY DECADES now - Germany has a GREEN political party which is much more influential than its pale imitation in the U.S)

Again, I agree with you, and it is imperative that we organize similar movements here, but again the lack of a movement in the US and the exietnec of movements elsewhere is not evidence of "Peak Oil". My point is that we should organize a renewable energy movement, because of the benefits of the same.

there is NOT ENOUGH TIME anymore, "Steve". (WE ALREADY HAD the time back in the mid-1970s to do something abou the rate of change of these token implementations is, and will continue to be, FAR TOO SLOW to stave off the overall drop.

You don't know that, and there is absolutely no way you could know that. There are far too many variables. If you can show me some evidence that you are a credentialed expert in the field of energy, resources, engineering, environmental science, or the hundreds of other disciplines that would be essential in calculating the end game you so pessimistically predict, I might take you a little more seriously, but even then do you have conclusive, annotated arguments that contradict the information provided by Amory Lovins--who is a credentialed expert in the science of energy and has at least thirty years experience working on the problem?

I AM NOT, by any means, saying to you "Steve": 'stop doing anything' or 'nothing you do will have any effect'. No effort, of any kind for any issue, is ever 100% in vain. But what I am saying is: you have no chance of 'winning', or of stopping the inevitable from happening.

This sounds contradictory. What is the "inevitable"? Describe it in detail, please.


#3 10.May.2005 04:29

HUH?

"Steve",

I personally DON'T GIVE A FUCK what oilempire.us or anyone else - besides Dr. Amory Lovins, that is - think of hydrogen. I'm a big enough boy to make up my own mind, especially when oilempire.us itself would never claim to be a 'scientific' reference site, and certainly wouldn't impute themselves above reputable organizations like RMI (you're the one having a hissy-fit over them - apples are not oranges, "Steve" and oilempire.us certainly ain't no RMI - but there's useful info to be learned from at both sources).

All of the technical aspects of hydrogen power and its efficiency for vehicle and other fuels you cite are true. But again, you ignore the larger political, economics-of-scale and safety issues which will prevent hydrogen from ever being a viable across-the-board, gas-pump-for-gas-pump "replacement" for petroleum-based fuels.

Again, about RMI and Dr. Lovins - they are obviously the leading edge of high-tech soft energy engineering solutions, have been for a few decades now. We're in agreement there, "Steve" AND DON'T BLAST HERE ONTO INDYMEDIA ACTING AS THOUGH YOU'RE THE ONLY HUMAN BEING WHO'S EVER HEARD OF DR. LOVINS (I personally was reading him back in 1978) OR ROCKY MOUNTAIN INSTITUTE. The US government at large will never widely adopt Rocky Mountain Institute's recommendations, though (they've been ignoring Lovins for 30 years). All RMI is at the moment, is a well-funded and -regarded, NICHE MARKET energy and environmental consultancy. They are helping the NICHE MARKETS of wind electricity generation, hydrogen power, etc. gain INCREMENTAL market share and technological legitimacy in the global capitalist trading bloc.

But you Mr. "Steve" are never going to make a case that Peak Oil is not occurring. All you can ever do in the face of it is continue to parrot how great and wonderful all of the 'alternatives' will be - however true that really is, they can not be implemented widely or fast enough to "prevent" Peak Oil and its aftermath from occurring.

In fact, you'd probably do much better just getting a job at RMI (it's tough though, you usually have to intern _without pay_ there for a year or so even to get in, plus you'd better have an advanced professional/scientific degree and certifications in your field) . . .


For the Record 10.May.2005 04:29

Steve Ongerth

So "me", what you're claiming is that there will not be a peak in oil production, that is, there will be more oil produced each and every year from now until the end of time. Do you really believe that? Do you not see how ridiculous that sounds?

I am not even claiming this. Oil production could peak; it's entirely possible that it already has, but as I continue to assert, that doesn't necessarily matter. Appropriate technology, utilized on a mass based scale would make such a peak mostly meaningless.

I guess I should make myself a little more plain: What I am saying is that the use of renewable alternatives wouldn't necessarily stop a "peak", but it would very likely make the downward slope much more gradual than the upward slope (especially if the plug-in hybrid technology is used). Since alternatives to oil exist for most applications (despite what the Richard Heinbergs and Dale Allen Pfeiffers are saying), the downward slope will be a road most won't even have to travel.

I suggest those who doubt me read the "Winning the Oil Endgame" document I cited above. Yeah, I know it was written for the military with a grant from the military, but the very internet on which we are having this rancorous debate was once a creation of the military for the military. Here we are, now, using it for non-military purposes in hopes of creating a non-military world.

Maybe I am just being a naive fool, but I think the future is not all doom and gloom. At least, if we get to work, it won't be.


... 10.May.2005 05:30

...

>>> PEAK OIL IS A SCAM OR A HOAX

>> there will not be a peak in oil production, that is, there will be more oil produced each
>> and every year from now until the end of time. Do you really believe that?

> I am not even claiming this.

Words fail me.

peeking out 10.May.2005 10:42

gas station video seeker

anyone?

words fail me as well 10.May.2005 12:24

reader

These posts have got to be some of the stupidest things I've ever read. To quote "Steve Ongerth":

"Peak Oil is a Scam or a Hoax"

then:

"Oil production could peak; it's entirely possible that it already has"

You are sure are a genius Steve.

Redundant response to now-running-in-circles-spinning-wheels "Steve" 10.May.2005 12:48

solar

"The ruling class' power is not absolute."

--do you know what Skull & Bones is, "Steve"? (please, please, PUH-LEEEEEZE don't tell me you actually cast a vote for Kerry-Edwards . . .)

"I agree, but by taking that position [the obstacles are *****NOT***** technological], you deny that "Peak Oil" is the problem, because the adherents to the "Peak Oil" theory are saying that the problem is technical. My point is arguing the technical aspects of the issue are to point out that the problem isn't technical, and that the current energy crisis is political and largely manufactured."

--"current energy crisis"?? IS THERE one, "Steve"? do you now ADMIT that Peak Oil is occurring? YOU ARE THE ONE CONTRADICTING YOURSELF. "Steve", we've already hashed out that these technological (not "technical") solutions are simply being obstructed from wide-scale adoption, on behalf of special interests. Especially in the USA - who should be setting all examples, starting with Kyoto.

"Just because an industry is several decades old does not mean that its inability to bloom is the result of deliberate repression. From what I have learned, the reasons why renewable energy hasn't replaced conventional energy are complex. Certainly, the dominance of conventional energy interests have retarded the advancement of renewables, but other factors have also contributed to the problem. They include the lack of easy and cheap manufacturing processes that have until recently not been available; the lack of sufficiently advanced computer technology (most renewables require advanced computerized applications beginning with the manufacturing of the equipment, to the installation process, to the daily operations of the same); the lack of a social imperative to change from one energy source to another (which is changing, primarily due to the threat of global warming, not "Peak Oil"--though for all of its faults, "Peak Oil" may benefit the renewable energy industry somewhat, though it could just as easily hurt it)."

--"Steve", the time for talk and "political analysis" is OVER. as I keep trying to remind you (because we live in an economic, capitalist system), these technologies will not become widespread or even obtain the necessary, preparatory Research & Development funding to be completely operative unless the CEOs who run the energy industry deem it profitable. Considering the miniscule size of their electricity-generating overall market share, the ENRON-logoed wind turbines in eastern Oregon are simply greenwashing, cosmetic good publicity for the utilities giants at this point. And wind power alone can not replace coal, coal mining, or the demand for coal-fired generating plants (which the Bush administration is - along with nuclear - attempting to give a massive push to). As to your totally unsubstantiated straw-man claim about the "advanced computer technology" for renewables: NO MORE ADVANCED (and sometimes less) than that required to operate the average coal, nuclear or natural gas generating facility. WE ALREADY HASHED THIS OUT "Steve":

THE 'obstacles' ARE NOT TECHNOLOGICAL.
THE 'obstacles' ARE NOT TECHNOLOGICAL.
THE 'obstacles' ARE NOT TECHNOLOGICAL.
THE 'obstacles' ARE NOT TECHNOLOGICAL.
THE 'obstacles' ARE NOT TECHNOLOGICAL.
THE 'obstacles' ARE NOT TECHNOLOGICAL.
THE 'obstacles' ARE NOT TECHNOLOGICAL. . . .

"As for the Carter / Reagan anecdote, this is a popular citation of the "Peak Oil" camp."

--is it, really? where? got that citation handy?

"It is however, meaningless. Carter's energy policy was not appreciably different from Reagan's, nor was Carter's economic and foreign policy agenda appreciably different from Reagan's."

"(Don't any of you read Noam Chomsky or William Blum?)"

--Name-dropping again, huh "Steve"? I'm not gonna go there (partially because I can vastly outdo you in this arena, but . . .) but about Carter, you're wrong, and a LIAR, "Steve". (SEE COMMENTS AND DOCUMENTATION BELOW about his energy policy.) We all know about East Timor. Carter, yes is just another imperialist American president - but would'ya prefer Reagan/BushI/BushII? You're just a wobbly with an overactive intellect.

"What did Carter as president do (that was of any significance) to steer the United States toward a green energy path? The solar panals at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue were a nice gesture, but largely symbolic and mostly for P.R. Carter never once called for a major R&D effort for renewables . . ."

--You're wrong, "Steve". Carter had a multitude of CONSERVATION-BASED (now ridiculed by oil exec Cheney: but didja ever think how goddanged *****PATRIOTIC***** it could be - if ENFORCED BY HOMELAND SECURITY - to actually SAVE energy?) energy policies effectively implemented by the late 1970s.

Here's a short list:

55 m.p.h. speed limit (lifted by Reagan).

Creation of the strategic oil reserve.

Federal tax credit incentives for homeowners installing renewable energy sources and conservation upgrades on their house or homestead (eliminated by Reagan).

Increased DOE funding for hydrogen, solar, and other renewables (slashed by Reagan/Bushes).

yes, he did also increase funding for projects like breeder reactors and other advance nuclear generators, but in case you didn't know: Carter had served in the US Navy on nuclear submarines under Admiral Rickover, and thus had a _personal_ interest in such technologies as possible.

----

Don't take my word for it - here's Carter's OWN:

(Carter's April 18, 1977 Proposed Energy Policy televised speech)
 http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/carter/filmmore/ps_energy.html

Carter Tried To Stop Bush's Energy Disasters - 28 Years Ago
by Thom Hartmann
 http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0503-22.htm

. . .

Consider President Jimmy Carter's April 18, 1977  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/carter/filmmore/ps_energy.html speech. Since it was given nearly three decades ago, when many of the reporters in Bush's White House were children, it's understandable that they don't remember it. But it's inexcusable that Bush and the mainstream media (which, after all, has the ability to do research) would completely ignore it. It was the speech that established the strategic petroleum reserve, birthed the modern solar power industry, led to the insulation of millions of American homes, and established America's first national energy policy. "With the exception of preventing war," said Jimmy Carter, a man of peace, "this is the greatest challenge our country will face during our lifetimes."

He added: "It is a problem we will not solve in the next few years, and it is likely to get progressively worse through the rest of this century. "We must not be selfish or timid if we hope to have a decent world for our children and grandchildren.

"We simply must balance our demand for energy with our rapidly shrinking resources. By acting now, we can control our future instead of letting the future control us." Carter bluntly pointed out that: "The most important thing about these proposals is that the alternative may be a national catastrophe. Further delay can affect our strength and our power as a nation." He called the new energy policy he was proposing, "[T]he 'moral equivalent of war' -- except that we will be uniting our efforts to build and not destroy."

. . .

Two years later, as the bin Laden family's sole US representative was bailing out George Bush Junior's failing oil business, Jimmy Carter gave another speech on energy, further refining his national energy policy. He had already started the national strategic petroleum reserve, birthed the gasohol and solar power industries, and helped insulate millions of homes and offices. But he wanted to go a step further. "I am tonight setting a clear goal for the energy policy of the United States," Carter said on July 15, 1979  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/carter/filmmore/ps_crisis.html . "Beginning this moment, this nation will never use more foreign oil than we did in 1977 -- never. From now on, every new addition to our demand for energy will be met from our own production and our own conservation. The generation-long growth in our dependence on foreign oil will be stopped dead in its tracks right now and then reversed as we move through the 1980s..." In addition, we needed to immediately begin to develop a long-range strategy to move beyond fossil fuel.

Therefore, Carter said, "I will soon submit legislation to Congress calling for the creation of this nation's first solar bank, which will help us achieve the crucial goal of 20 percent of our energy coming from solar power by the year 2000." But then came the Iran/Contra October Surprise, when the Reagan/Bush campaign allegedly promised the oil-rich mullahs of Iran that they'd sell them missiles and other weapons if only they'd keep our hostages until after the 1980 Carter/Reagan presidential election campaign was over. The result was that Carter, who had been leading in the polls over Reagan/Bush, steadily dropped in popularity as the hostage crisis dragged out, and lost the election. The hostages were released the very minute that Reagan put his hand on the Bible to take his oath of office. The hostages freed, the Reagan/Bush administration quickly began illegally delivering missiles to Iran.

And Ronald Reagan's first official acts of office included removing Jimmy Carter's solar panels from the roof of the White House, and reversing most of Carter's conservation and alternative energy policies.

----

Here's another tidbit, from your VERY OWN DR. LOVINS:

 http://www.freezerbox.com/archive/article.asp?id=164

Writing in the July/August issue of Foreign Affairs, energy analysts Amory and Hunter Lovins drop the following numbers, which deserve a slow and careful reading:

Carter's policies made new American-built cars more efficient by seven miles per gallon over six years. During Carter's term and the five years following it, oil imports from the unstable Persian Gulf region fell by 87 percent. From 1977 to 1985, U.S. GDP rose 27 percent while total U.S. imports fell by 42 percent, or 3.74 million barrels per day...If the United States had continued to conserve oil at the same rate that it did in 1976--1985 or had simply bought new cars that got 5 mpg more than they did, it would no longer had needed Persian Gulf oil after 1985. Instead, policy in the 1980s discourages energy efficiency, which was officially characterized as an intrusive, interventionist burden of curtailment and sacrifice...U.S. oil imports crept back up in the 1980s, spurred by low prices, abundant supplies, corporate inattention, and policy neglect. If the first Bush Administration had required in 1991 that the average car get 32 mpg, that measure alone would have displaced all Persian Gulf oil imports to the United States. Instead, [we] fought a war that deployed tanks moving at .56 mpg and aircraft carriers moving at 17 feet per gallon.

----

"By the way, Solar Today and Home Power are not "Thomas-Edison-Popular Science Magazine". They are publications be people who are actually putting the technology to work, here, today and many of them are very much aligned with the folks in the "permaculture" movement (a movement I support, by the way). Some of them even believe that Peak Oil represents an imminent danger. I happen to disagree."

--I KNOW THEM PERSONALLY, "Steve". It's a NICHE MARKET. People who are economically, or by lifestyle choice, committed to these soft energy paths (in the words of Dr. Lovins). It's all good, "Steve" AND WORTHWHILE TO FOLLOW. I'm simply saying - as are many Peak Oil people - that it will not QUANTITATIVELY BE ENOUGH, globally, to reverse the eventual collapse. But those people who are following and implementing the soft energy path will certainly be far ahead of the curve and much better prepared when the disintegration occurs. Just as are the ones into permaculture and growing their own food. Do it now.

""The market for environmentally-friendly energy & transportation technologies - while very gradually and in SMALL increments is becoming economically viable - remains a MINOR, NICHE market. it is like JAZZ MUSIC: IT WILL NEVER BE "mainstream"."And you know this, because your crystal ball shows you this? You're pyschic? You consult a reliable oracle and it tells you this?"

--I know this because I'VE WATCHED IT FOR THIRTY-FIVE YEARS, AND WILL CONTINUE TO WATCH IT FOR THIRTY-FIVE MORE YEARS AS THE GLOBAL ECONOMY COLLAPSES. you think people are "magically", "pyschically" [sic] going to start driving non-petroleum-fueled cars and using non-fossil-fuel electricity EVERYWHERE ON EARTH (not just in China, or a solar-powered remote village in Africa, or in the low-income-subsidized-with -solar-water-heaters neighborhoods of L.A., ________in enough numbers________ to reverse the overall trend? We're talking about drastic reductions in fossil fuel consumption and hydrocarbon emissions around the globe here, "Steve". Demand for these fuels is skyrocketing.

""I can't (yet) afford to buy myself a new hybrid automobile, "Steve". I can't even justify, at the moment paying the extra utility rates to PGE to outsource 'wind power' for my electricity bill."
I sympathize completely. Perhaps, after we get tired of this debate, you and I could email each other, privately, and figure out a strategy to help you do something, at the very least, to have an impact. I happen to live in an apartment complex in San Francisco. I cannot choose my electricty provider, so I donate to the Native Wind Builders. At least that's something."

--I NEVER SAID, "don't do anything at all". It's great to hear that you're doing what you can. More power to you, and others who make the same choices. And I don't consider this "debating" of any kind. But you have many gross misconceptions about where your enthusiasm lies, and you simultaneously refuse to acknowledge economic, political, and certain scientific/technological realities.

"Actually, California passed a stringent emissions reduction law (which is being challenged by auto manufacturers in court, but will likely stand up) which will probably mean that automobile manufacturers will have to sell more hybrids. But I agree with your point, but again this is not an indicator of Peak Oil, it is merely an indicator of corporate greed."

--if they sell a few thousand more hybrids in California each year it won't nearly make up for the emissions of Hummers/SUVs sold that same year. Remember "Steve" and STOP IGNORING IT: we're talking about tiny NICHE MARKETS here.

"But Solar, Unocal just closed a productive Oil Field near Bakersfield in California. Supposedly a new oil find was made in Utah."

--American oil production has been in decline since its peak in 1970.
 http://dieoff.org/42Countries/UnitedStates.htm

this is a widely known and documented fact, and is not disputed.

"The fact that evidence exists that contradicts the "Peak Oil is happening now" claim weakens the claim."

--WHAT evidence? where? you're being totally unspecific and have no basis for the above-stated claim.

"Furthermore, as I stated above, the figures published by the oil industry are proprietary information."

--well, the Shell Oil shareholders certainly demanded some accountability about the reserve estimates given to them recently. And we're not discussing small potatoes here . . .

"They could easily be lies."

--so is a lot of other stuff - including perhaps the unsubstantiated generalized hysterical claims you're making on this site "Steve". As regards Shell, they've been taken to court (a la Enron) to justify their fiduciary standing.

"Just because the Saudi Arabian oil fields are "declining in output" and SHell admitted to "falsifying" its output does not mean that the entire oil industry is suffering from similar problems. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia is a US client state. Suppose Saudi Arabia is deliberatly lying to aid in market manipulations?

--Saudi Arabia has 25% of the world's petroleum reserves. Period. A decline in Saudi production and discoveries of extractable reserves - in an era when global petroleum demand is sky-high - has a measurable economic effect. Period. New, global oil discoveries of reserves and efficiently-extractable fields are declining. Period.

(Oil Production in 42 Countries)
 http://dieoff.org/42Countries/42Countries.htm

as to Saudi Arabia "deliberately lying" . . . well, there's a lot of complex politics and energy security issues surrounding the oil markets and prices, some of which is alluded to in the Michael T. Klare article already published as a comment, above  http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0509-21.htm

"During the manufactured California Power Crisis of 2001, PG&E, Southern California Edison, and others claimed that the rolling blackouts were the result of "insufficient power". It turns out that the "shortages" were manufactured by (secret) spot trading done through the (privatized) Independent Systems Operater in Roseville (the "shortages" were caused by excessive "maintenance" scheduling."

--Now you're bringing up Enron, a story most of us (who read web sites like this, anyway) already know a lot about. It's separate from this discussion, and if you want to hash it out start your own thread. (Hey, how 'bout Bush and Cheney's connection to what happened there?)

"Again, I agree with you, and it is imperative that we organize similar movements here, but again the lack of a movement in the US and the exietnec of movements elsewhere is not evidence of "Peak Oil". My point is that we should organize a renewable energy movement, because of the benefits of the same."

--"lack of a movement"?? Are you now insinuating that any relative "lack" of renewable energy technologies is somehow "causing" Peak Oil? OF COURSE WE SHOULD "organize" a renewable energy "movement" "Steve"!! That's what almost everyone has been intensively discussing in every comment above! But as I've already commented above: IT'S BEEN TRIED FOR THREE DECADES NOW. AMERICA HAS TO TAKE THE LEAD. US rejected Kyoto. In 1981 Reagan removes Carter's 1979 solar panels from The White House roof in 1981. IT'S GOING BACKWARDS, "Steve". A few thousand Yuppies who purchase a Prius or other hybrid automobile each year IS NOT GOING TO REVERSE GLOBAL WARMING, OR RATES OF CHINESE + U.S. OIL CONSUMPTION, "Steve". THE POINT WHICH YOU TOTALLY REFUSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE IS: it's too little, too late.

"If you can show me some evidence that you are a credentialed expert in the field of energy, resources, engineering, environmental science, or the hundreds of other disciplines that would be essential in calculating the end game you so pessimistically predict, I might take you a little more seriously, but even then do you have conclusive, annotated arguments that contradict the information provided by Amory Lovins--who is a credentialed expert in the science of energy and has at least thirty years experience working on the problem?"

--as a matter of fact, I happen to be geologist working for a major engineering firm. There's no "arguments" of Lovins' to consider - he's not a resource economist such as Paul Erdman (or others whom YOU, "Steve" might term a 'doomsayer' - and even Erdman's numerical predictions - though he's not a 'hard scientist' as such - have been pushed forward in time, not 100% proven 'wrong') - Dr. Lovins concentrates on what technologies and methodologies would be **most energy efficient**, and after that **most environmentally beneficial**, for wide-scale use on Planet Earth. He does not, and never has, made experiments, claims, or predictions about when the oil industry would begin to economically exceed their limits of extractable reserves (although he may have alluded to it or very briefly mentioned such a scenario in one of his writings at one time or another). Oil and gas resource analysis is not his purview, nor is it that of RMI. They are a technology consulting firm - period.

"What is the "inevitable"? Describe it in detail, please."

--the "inevitable" is the loss of ever-increasing amounts of economically-extractable petroleum-based fuels and energy sources, at least in quantities available to keep up with much-faster-increasing global demand, and a resulting collapse of the predicated-on-continuous-'expansion' global capitalist hydrocarbon-fueled economy.

Period.

Response to "words fail me" and "as well" 10.May.2005 12:53

Steve Ongerth

You all are reaching. The crux of my argument is that "Peak Oil" doesn't /matter/. Perhaps I should have said that the /threat/ of Peak Oil is a scam or a haox. In any case, my position stands. You can split hairs all you like.

this isn't reaching and it's not splitting hairs 10.May.2005 13:16

reader

It's pointing out that your argument is deeply flawed.

You admit that Peak Oil is not a hoax. Maybe next time you'll be a lot more clear that your argument is not that Peak Oil is a hoax but that you don't foresee the consequences of peak oil to be as severe as what some others are predicting. It's too bad you had to waste so much of people's time instead of taking the time yourself to apply some critical thinking to your position.

Yet another Response to Huh 10.May.2005 13:19

Steve Ongerth

Please don't SHOUT, I can read easily enough. To respond to your comments:

All of the technical aspects of hydrogen power and its efficiency for vehicle and other fuels you cite are true. But again, you ignore the larger political, economics-of-scale and safety issues which will prevent hydrogen from ever being a viable across-the-board, gas-pump-for-gas-pump "replacement" for petroleum-based fuels.

I never suggested that hydrogen was "here, today", but you don't know that hydrogen will '[n]ever being a viable across-the-board, gas-pump-for-gas-pump "replacement" for petroleum-based fuels' unless you are an expert in the field who knows something the others don't. Later in your post you shout at me for insulting your intelligence by repeatedly quoting Dr. Lovins, but you obviously haven't read his documents very carefully, because he describes thoroughly solutions for overcoming the safety problems (and by the way, gasoline is hardly a "safe" technology as you are well aware. It just happens to be highly developed). If you will reread my original post, you will see that I am advocating the (wide spread) use of plug-in hybrids, which, if you'd read the figures I quoted, could result in a 95% reduction in fuel consumption.

Again, about RMI and Dr. Lovins - they are obviously the leading edge of high-tech soft energy engineering solutions, have been for a few decades now. We're in agreement there, "Steve" AND DON'T BLAST HERE ONTO INDYMEDIA ACTING AS THOUGH YOU'RE THE ONLY HUMAN BEING WHO'S EVER HEARD OF DR. LOVINS (I personally was reading him back in 1978) OR ROCKY MOUNTAIN INSTITUTE.

What do you expect me to do, Huh? It's obvious that most people in this debate haven't read him, because they're regurgitating arguments that are contradicted by his theories. You, yourself haveobviously not read anything he has written lately because you still believe that hydrogen will "never work".

The US government at large will never widely adopt Rocky Mountain Institute's recommendations, though (they've been ignoring Lovins for 30 years). All RMI is at the moment, is a well-funded and -regarded, NICHE MARKET energy and environmental consultancy. They are helping the NICHE MARKETS of wind electricity generation, hydrogen power, etc. gain INCREMENTAL market share and technological legitimacy in the global capitalist trading bloc.

I agree with you that without a mass-based movement that the above will remain true, but this is not "Peak Oil", but political shenanigans.

But you Mr. "Steve" are never going to make a case that Peak Oil is not occurring. All you can ever do in the face of it is continue to parrot how great and wonderful all of the 'alternatives' will be - however true that really is, they can not be implemented widely or fast enough to "prevent" Peak Oil and its aftermath from occurring.

I don't know how many times I am going to have to fucking say it, Huh, but nobody, not you, not Dale Allen Pfieffer, not Richard Heinberg, not anyone has any real idea how much oil is left or when it will peak, if it will peak at all, or how much it will matter. There are too many variables and complexities. There are a bunch of holes in your claim, that it is "happening now" and that it is "too late" to do anything about it. The same sort of nonsense was spouted about Y2K ("computers control everything!"; "civilization will crash on December 31, 1999!"). It DIDN'T HAPPEN Huh!

The vast majority of armchair experts on the Peak Oil subject are misinformed about a great many aspects of the problem (for example, some even claim that even if we could deploy solar energy or wind power en masse, there isn't enough land available, but these claims are simply wrong). Even the credentialed "Peak Oil" experts who are true believers are not even in agreement on when Peak Oil will happen (asuming that it will happen at all). SOme say it has already happened, but most say sometime between 2020 and 2050. Some even say as late as 2150!

Dale Allen Pfieffer and Mike Ruppert are the primary advocates for the theory that it is peaking now, because they have decided that "Peak Oil" was the reason for the 9/11 conspiracy, and they have commited to that rationale (investing a good deal of money into that as well). A lot of you have bought it, but I haven't. The evidence just isn't there.

In fact, you'd probably do much better just getting a job at RMI (it's tough though, you usually have to intern _without pay_ there for a year or so even to get in, plus you'd better have an advanced professional/scientific degree and certifications in your field) . . .

I am not interested in working for RMI. While it may sound like I regard them as the "one true church", the fact is that I have a great many disagreements with Amory Lovins and his pro-capitalist positions. I think their technical ideas about renewable energy are sound, but that there needs to be a massed, based movement to make sure that people like you and I and others can havethe goodies cheaply, otherwise it will remain a niche market.


"fact is that I have great many disagreements w/Amory Lovins pro-capitalist" 10.May.2005 13:53

HUH?

i'm not BOTHERING with you ANYMORE, mr. "Steve".

You are a WASTE OF TIME.

EVERY SINGLE ALTERNATIVE ENERGY TECHNOLOGY YOU HAVE MENTIONED IS

*****AUTOMATICALLY*****,

*****BY DEFINITION*****,

pro-capitalist.

so is the ENTIRE ISSUE OF ENERGY CONSUMPTION, MARKETING AND RESOURCE EXTRACTION.

(HOW ELSE can any of these changes occur? "magical", "grassroots" "enlightenment"?? there's nothing wrong with following the soft energy path, and growing your own food - but a tiny percentage of earth's total urban population simply doing that will not, numerically, change the overall structure. And when do Chevron/Halliburton convert to biodiesel, pray tell??)

you are totally tilting at illogical windmills now, and with this caveat you just stated about Dr. Lovins you have TOTALLY SHOT DOWN EVERY SINGLE COMMENT YOU'VE SPEWED ON TO THIS PAGE.

a large-scale solution to (human) planet earth's energy crises will necessarily involve the transformation of capitalism - either through its own usages of appropriate technology, or the utter replacement of capitalism itself across-the-board with an entirely different economic system.

(or are you somehow proposing the 'collapse of capitalism' mr. "Steve Ongarth"?)

Ideological Posturing 11.May.2005 03:09

Steve Ongerth

Dear "Huh" (and everyone else):

Solar, hybrid, wind, and hydrogen trechnology are inherently "pro-capitalist"?!? Good grief, what is this site, a back-to-the-pleistecine, primitivist, authoritarian cult?!?

Good greif people, technology is merely a tool and it's use is largely dependent upon the will of those that use it. Some technology is more conducive to certain behaviors than others (guns are likely to be used for killing, and capital intensive technology is more likely to be used by capitalists or statists to control others), but no technology is rigidly deterministic.

I guess I have to stoop to using ideological litmus tests to see whether or not I should waste any more of my time with some of you, because the level of debate is just pathetic, so here goes:

(1) Do you think that technology can be used for liberatory purposes, or do you believe that technology is inhernetly repressive?

(2) Do you fear industrial collapse, or do you welcome it?

(3) Do you believe that clean, green, sustainable urban cities are desirable or do you beleieve that isolated small farms and hunter-gatherer existence is better? Do you believe that the two are incompatable with each other?

Why am I asking these questions?

The answer is simple. I suspect that there is an inherent anti-technology and pro-primitivist dogma that underlies most of the responses that I am receiving. In other words, you all are leeting your biases determine the quality of the evidence you select to argue your point. Obviously "Peak Oil" is a primitivist's dream. If it were true, y'all could justify demanding that we all become Zerzanite hunter-gatherers and what-not.

A friend of mine (a coworker) described my arguments with y'all as being not unlike trying to tell a Christian that there is no god. No matter how much I resort to logic, y'all won't listen. No matter how often I raise doubts about your arguments, y'all won't budge. Fine. We have argued this to a stalemate. I won't claim that I have "won" this debate, because I obviously haven't convinced anyone (but myself). I certainly haven't "lost" it, because I am more convinced than ever that this dog won't hunt.

I could go on responding to your arguments, but i guess we'll go around in circles endlessly. I could do that, you all could do that, but meanwhile life (elsewhere) goes on.

I tell you what, though:

Are any of you interested in building or contributing to a movement to solve the problem, whether it's market manipulations, peak oil, or something else entirely?

I realize some of you may have been doing that (in your way) and I have been doing it in mine. Can we find some common ground? I don't want to prolong a stalemate arhgument any longer.

One more response to solar 11.May.2005 03:20

Steve Ongerth

Solar wrote:

[quote]:

--"current energy crisis"?? IS THERE one, "Steve"? do you now ADMIT that Peak Oil is occurring? YOU ARE THE ONE CONTRADICTING YOURSELF. "Steve", we've already hashed out that these technological (not "technical") solutions are simply being obstructed from wide-scale adoption, on behalf of special interests. Especially in the USA - who should be setting all examples, starting with Kyoto.

[end quote]:

I am not contradicting myself Solar. Not all energy crises = Peak Oil. Market manipulations by capitalists that drive prices up so that working people suffer even greater price gouging is a crises (an /economic/ crisis).

As for the rest of your post, thank you (sincerely) for educating me about Jimmy Carter's policies. I am old enough to remember some of the pro-conservation public service announcements that slowly disappeared during the Reagan / Bush years. That said, while Carter's policies may have been /slightly/ different, they /still/ were not appreciably different. Carter's foreign policy was equally expansionist as Reagan's. It was Carter's administration that administered the shock therapy that was accelrated by Reagan. Carter's conservation programs were offset by his pro-Nuclear polices, so in the balance of things, the direction of the US didn't change (much) between Carter and Reagan.

Germany and Japan, on the other hand, are charting a different course, and China is now pledging that 10% of their energy will come from renewable resources by 2020. AT least in Germany and Japan, the plans are actually bearing fruit (assuming that /Solar Today/ isn't lying).

By the way, what makes you think that in order for the world to change that the United States must take the lead? That's a rather arrogant and naive assumption, isn't it?

Anyway, this is my last post to this forum. I fear that I have wasted my time and that you have wasted yors and we have wasted each others. A pity that.

heh, heh - 11.May.2005 18:17

solar

"By the way, what makes you think that in order for the world to change that the United States must take the lead? That's a rather arrogant and naive assumption, isn't it?"

--good one, Steve . . . yeah, it sure is naive to think that the single largest emitter of fossil fuel emissions would actually take a _stand_ on Kyoto.

but yes, in my opinion Carter was on the right track back in the 1970s - it's just that his administration was so totally eclipsed by other political & economic forces (plus the deliberate, corporate + Christian Fundamentalist turn to the right after Reagan) that those energy + environmental initiatives were never allowed to come to fruition. I do think that if Carter had remained in office, US dependence on foreign oil would have lessened in the 1980s (although the outcomes of Iran/Iraq and Afghanistan are less clear), and that we would have seen greater federal initiatives and support for solar & renewables technology research and implementation, on a nationwide scale. We might even have been driving hybrid cars as of 10 years ago . . .

but I have no disagreement with you on the rest of Carter's foreign policy (Zbig Brzezinski was his NS adviser, after all . . .)

Better get a grip 22.May.2005 07:28

ho hum

Peak oil is a concept from Hubbert back in the 50's, and modified by Campbell et al in recent times. Oil will run out, as it is a finite resource. There have always been questions on "what's the last barrel going to" cost, but the end of oil will have nothing to do with availability (the old comment about the stone age not ending due to a lack of stones applies here). Most of the original article is inconsequential, and reflects the lack of scientific training of the author. Looking at oil companies (whose shares are publicly owned) as being involved in some sort of mega-scheme to block new technologies is nonsense. If a market-driven company can make a buck it will, no matter what the technology. Lots of space has been spent looking at alternatives. Most of these, although possibly better for the environment at face value, do not generate the same energy as oil, or as not as transportable. I'd be happy to use a hybrid car, as soon as someone explains to me how you get away from dumping all those dead batteries. Likewise, things like kyoto (which is of benefit to France and the EU mostly, because of the reference date) doesn't look at total waste of other processes (not sure about global warming, but certainly sure about nuclear waste generation from French power stations!!). If you look at the atmosphere now it is cleaner than it was during the 'coal age', due to lower particulates in oil. Also, there are a lot more whales since we stopped melting them down for oil. As it happens, I will do what I can to minimize waste associated with my lifestyle and things I work on, and also look closely at the companies I invest in. BUT......there will be a decline in oil. I'm stocking up on food and buying a gun. There are predictions that only 30% of the world's population will survive when the oil runs out!!!!

better fuel use 28.Mar.2006 12:46

David Spurling BSc, D.G.A, F.C.I.L,T, P.G.C.E, M. Inst. T.A davidjohnspurling@yahoo.com

We could in U.K. and I think in USA save vast quantities of fuel just through better insulation e.g. cavity insulation, loft insulation , lagging of fuel tanks and long life electric bulbs without any major expense very quickly within the domestic sector.
In the transport sector more access to cycle lanes and roads, buses which also take cycles as they do in Sweden, the median journey in U.K. is quite small probably about 7 km so many short journeys could be substituted for car if people would walk or cycle short distances. Bus roads as in Runcorn would help to both save fuel and cause some modal split. Car sharing should be encouraged through green transport schemes for firms as well as public bodies . Since cars have killed more people in the USA than all the wars that the USA has been involved in, it could be useful for this as well.
Wind farms are coming down in price and could be useful ancillary form of energy. in poorer African countries in particular as well as other where there is sunshine solar energy should be develop and at least a feasibility study of installing it in new building should be considered since there are economies of scale .

David Spurling
Chairman Learning Through Cooperation

reductions in use of oil 28.Mar.2006 22:51

David Spurling BSc, D.G.A, F.C.I.L,T, P.G.C.E, M. Inst. T.A davidjohnspurling@yahoo.com

We could in U.K. and I think in USA save vast quantities of fuel just through better insulation e.g. cavity insulation, loft insulation , lagging of fuel tanks and long life electric bulbs without any major expense very quickly within the domestic sector.
In the transport sector more access to cycle lanes and roads, buses which also take cycles as they do in Sweden, the median journey in U.K. is quite small probably about 7 km so many short journeys could be substituted for car if people would walk or cycle short distances. Bus roads as in Runcorn would help to both save fuel and cause some modal split. Car sharing should be encouraged through green transport schemes for firms as well as public bodies . Since cars have killed more people in the USA than all the wars that the USA has been involved in, it could be useful for this as well.
Wind farms are coming down in price and could be useful ancillary form of energy. in poorer African countries in particular as well as other where there is sunshine solar energy should be develop and at least a feasibility study of installing it in new building should be considered since there are economies of scale .

David Spurling BSc, D.G.A, F.C.I.L,T, P.G.C.E, M. Inst. T.A

Chairman Learning Through Cooperation

13, Periwinkle Close ,Sittingbourne, Kent , ME10 2 JT England ,