Thursday, December 29, 2005

Oil and Gas in Indiana

Oil and Gas in Indiana

I thought this was interesting as pertains to Indiana. Looks like the graph that is shown indicates somewhat of a bell curve like in Hubbert's curve. It looks a little bumpy due to the reasons stated in the article. Perhaps newer technology will give us a little more. That still doesn't satiate the fact that oil is a finite resource and will decline eventually anyway. At the most, it could buy us some more time to "make the switch" (as if THAT will ever happen). As long as prices stay high, they will reopen and explore, production will rise, and the curve will spike once again for a time period. If some type of demand destruction occurs, then this will probably cause the curve to look a little bumpy, too. Nonetheless, ultimately comes decline for our future generations. If those responsible would only look a little further down the road...

Oil drilling continues in Indiana | IndyStar.com

www.indystar.com

This paper is known as a predominantly political-right rag here in Indiana. Suffice it to say, they would put a happy light on oil exploration in the state. Well, at least it is being done by the owners and not through companies using the power of eminent domain laws. I often wonder that as oil resources become scarcer and scarcer how the new eminent domain laws will affect landowners who happen to be located on areas where there might be small oil reserves. That thought makes me shudder for the future.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Outlook on Oil : Some Experts Worry That Production Will Soon Peak. Others Warn That It Already Has. (by Jim Motavalli)




www.emagazine.com

Good article with all of the pro-peak oil experts' names mentioned. I couldn't highlight just one paragraph that stood out to me. You'll have to go and read it.

Newspaper: U.S. trailing in refinery growth - Dec. 28, 2005

cnn money

....Meanwhile, U.S. oil companies continue to hold back on building refineries despite the increases seen in 2005 in prices for gasoline, heating oil and jet fuel. While regulatory issues are one barrier, oil companies generally see better returns on investment in oil exploration rather than refinery capacity....

...The newspaper reports that potentially could keep pressure on gasoline prices and increase the import of refined product.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Toward Freedom - Syriana: Hollywood�s Oil Flick

towardfreedom.com

And, as "Syriana" makes plain throughout the story, energy corporations and the U.S. government are doing this, not just to make huge profits, but to perpetuate the current oil-lubricated American way of life for as long as possible. Many of us may pay lip service to opposing Team Bush/Exxon/ Cheney/ Halliburton’s plans, but as long as we refuse to make a radical energy shift, we are complicit in this whole exercise. Without being heavy-handed or preachy, Gaghan reminds us of this in subtle ways throughout the film.

Haven't seen the movie yet. I doubt it will come to my small town. Controversial movies never make it here. I'll probably have to wait for the DVD.

Monday, December 26, 2005

thedesertsun.com | Bulls and bears tied in energy debate

www.thedesertsun.com

Hope everyone has had a happy holiday. I'm back again after a short break.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

We are facing a severe survival test: The Rock River Times

www.rockrivertimes.com

Looks like Rockford, Illinois, is getting the message.

Seed Catalogs for 2006 Incoming!

seeds


If you're already a home gardener then this is probably old news to you but if you're new to gardening then this is entry will be of help. Recently, I've been receiving all of the new seed catalogs from suppliers that I've purchased items from last winter in my first pursuit of gardening. This is an exciting time when you get to re-plan your garden for the upcoming spring!

What does this have to do with peak oil, you ask? It has EVERYTHING to do with peak oil. You see, as the bumpy road progresses, food prices will likely skyrocket. How are you going to feed yourself if you can't afford the food in the stores or if it's just not available? What if there is some sort of crisis and everybody raids the storeshelves bare? What are you going to do if you don't know how to grow or preserve your own food? Gardening and preserving is probably the most basic thing besides stocking up that you can do. Or else, I wouldn't be doing it! It's not simple but it's doable.

It's not enough that you can plop the seed into the ground alot of the time. Ultimately, you should learn how to save your seed and grow from seed. I still haven't accomplished the saving seed part of the process. I have a very long way to go. One of these days it will probably be more difficult to purchase the seed due to the expense of shipping it. You also want to try the heirloom varieties, too, if you can because I believe it's more difficult if not impossible to get viable seed from some of the new hybrids and genetically modified types after the second generation or so. Someone may correct me on that if not. Anyway, it's a whole different and lengthy subject on its own.

On my sidebar under "Food & Garden", I've added to the list a number of seed companies I've bought seed and other things from. I'm not affiliated with any of these companies.

That said, I've been the happiest with Johnny's because they have nice detailed instructions on the seed packaging. Good success with their seeds.

I bought my asparagus and jerusalem artichokes from Gurney's (here in Indiana) but I was upset because they couldn't send me any elderberries last spring. One of my blueberry bushes I bought from there has died but that may be my fault.

Pinetree also has some nice directions on the seed packages.

Baker's Creek gave me great seeds but there are/were no instructions on the packet on how to plant, so it I had to go and look it up. P-I-A.

All the rest were pretty good about instructions. I had good success with starting almost everything according to instructions but later I might have slacked off and caused some things to die due to neglect. My fault. I probably tried to start too much at once for the first time. I was a little overly enthusiastic to say the least. I even started a garden journal (which is smart and someone told me to do) but I tuckered out on that after awhile. It was all so new and overwhelming doing it on my own. I'm going to try harder this next planting season.

So if you're new to gardening, give these links a glance. They've been referred to me by some really experienced gardeners. I would also add that it might be best to order from those companies close to where you live because they might carry more selections that are more suitable to your climate. Not always, but I try to follow that as a rule. If they're located north of me then I pretty well figure their seeds could survive in my climate. Somebody also told me these things.

Happy browsing!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

12 ways to fight soaring heating bills

realestate.msn.com

Some interesting information in this article.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Why Oil Shale Won't Work

DenverPost.com - OPINION

Although Shell's method avoids the need to mine shale, it requires a mind-boggling amount of electricity. To produce 100,000 barrels per day, the company would need to construct the largest power plant in Colorado history. Costing about $3 billion, it would consume 5 million tons of coal each year, producing 10 million tons of greenhouse gases. (The company's annual electric bill would be about $500 million.) To double production, you'd need two power plants. One million barrels a day would require 10 new power plants, five new coal mines. And 10 million barrels a day, as proposed by some, would necessitate 100 power plants.

How soon will we know whether Shell's technology is economic? The company plans to do more experiments, before making a final decision by 2010. If it pulls the trigger, it would be at least three or four years before the first oil would flow, perhaps at a rate of 10,000 barrels a day. That's less than one-tenth of 1 percent of current U.S. consumption. But if it turns out that Shell needs more energy to produce a barrel of oil than a barrel contains, bets are off. That's the equivalent of burning the furniture to keep the house warm. Energy is the original currency; electricity its most valuable form. Using coal-fired electricity to wring oil out of rocks is like feeding steak to the dog and eating his Alpo.....


...What contribution can oil shale make to energy security? Producing 100,000 barrels per day of shale oil does not violate the laws of physics. But the nation currently consumes that much oil every seven minutes.....

Bloomberg.com: Goldman's Murti Says 'Peak Oil' Risks Sending Prices Above $105

www.bloomberg.com

Oil-producing nations are seeking to extend the life of their reserves. Norway, which ranks behind Saudi Arabia and Russia in world oil exports, forecasts its production will peak in 2008. Oil and Energy Minister Odd Roger Enoksen in a Dec. 8 interview said he thinks it will come later.

``We had thought we would very quickly see a strong drop in oil production, but now we expect to keep it at a plateau for longer,'' he said.

The biggest questions center around Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter. The most vocal skeptic of Saudi Arabia is Matthew Simmons, chairman of energy investment bank Simmons & Co. He's author of ``Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy,'' in which he argues that fields are about to decline because water injection has damaged reservoirs.


I understand that in an economist's or consumer's mind, a plateau on the peak would be a good thing. However, when you visualize our current (or higher) rate of consumption and dependency in relation to what the population will grow to in 10 years....that is quite a scary scenario. This will make the crash all that much harder. Sigh. I realize the plummet will be inevitable sooner or later. If this plateau is reality, we have maybe 10-20 years to get switched over to a different way of living. Sounds like it could happen but not likely. Nevertheless, the earth's carrying capacity without fossil fuel inputs is approximately 1.5 billion. We now carry 6 billion. Therw will be alot more people than that in 10 years.

People also talk about demand destruction curbing the peak to a later date. What will this solve? The only thing it might do is give us some time to switch to renewables. Will we really do this? If we don't, we are in for some VERY difficult times.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Petrodollar Warfare Oil, Iraq and the Future of the Dollar

www.world-wire.com

I agree with this:

GABRIOLA ISLAND, BC, Canada, December 15, 2005 --/WORLD-WIRE/-- The invasion of Iraq may well be remembered as the first oil currency war. Far from being a response to 9-11 terrorism or Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, William R. Clark's new book, Petrodollar Warfare Oil, Iraq and the Future of the Dollar, argues that the invasion was precipitated by two converging phenomena: the imminent peak in global oil production, and the ascendance of the euro currency.

But I don't agree with this statement in the article:

He recommends the multilateral pursuit of both energy and monetary reforms within a United Nations framework to create a more balanced global energy and monetary system - thereby reducing the possibility of future oil depletion and oil currency-related warfare.


Now I'll interject some of my religious beliefs into the peak oil story. I don't want a global monetary system. I would rather have smaller, more locally controlled economies. I'm one of those one world order nuts who doesn't like the idea of a global monetary system. That leads into the possibility of having to exchange or trade with this currency only. I don't like that idea. This is probably why I like the ideas coming from the left libertarians and anarchists. What good will a global monetary system be if it will be more difficult to transport goods and services from afar? I just don't see the reasoning between having a lower energy world and a global monetary system. No way.

I love Richard Heinberg in all aspects, however, I don't totally agree with his idea of maintaining this particular globalist point of view.

Bliss: Climate Change Expert's New Book On Oil Depletion

www.dissidentvoice.org

Though most theorists and activists concerned with oil descent acknowledge the importance of climate change, the reverse is not always true. “Environmentalists have had a tendency to downplay or ignore oil depletion, and still do,” Leggett writes. “This may be due to a lack of the geological knowledge needed to appreciate the power of the argument. I have also heard the view from environmentalists that the issue is too depressing.....

....Leggett concludes by making his “most important point of all” -- “There is much that people can do to influence the outcome of this struggle to increase renewables production faster than coal, hence to ameliorate the worse excesses of the global energy crisis, and to create a better society in the process.” Among the measures that Peak Oil activists point to as helpful in developing post-carbon societies are to conserve energy, be more efficient in its use, and re-localize.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Congress Meets Peak Oil: Falls Church News-Press

Falls Church News-Press

I think everyone who is aware of peak oil should contact their representatives in the next 24 hours and let them know you support this newly formed Peak Oil Caucus. In fact, we should also ask our representatives to become members of this Caucus.

Bill Gates bets $84M on ethanol

CNN Money

I guess it a sign of the times. Personally, I'd rather EAT than use the land around me for transportation fuel. I wonder which environmentalists they're talking about?

"It really differentiated us from the pack," Koehler said. Gates' investment firm, Cascade Investment, agreed last month to buy 5.25 million preferred shares in Pacific Ethanol, a producer of the corn-based fuel hailed by environmentalists as an answer to the earth's dwindling supply of petroleum.

...I suppose Koehler would say this:

"It's a common fact, we are running out of oil and there is only one commercially-viable liquid fuel alternative," Koehler said.

since he's the owner of the company. I say, ssshhure we can replace oil solely with ethanol at our current consumption rates...not! What about the petroleum inputs that go into the corn growing and then the processing? The equipment would have to run on ethanol, too, not anything petroleum based, right? What about the tires and the the material the equipment is made from? Can they make these items out of ethanol, too?

Druidry and the Future (a Druid takes on peak oil)

An Open Letter to the Druid Community

Wow. Even the Druids are taking up peak oil. Hat tip to Aaron on ROE2.

Elizaphanian: Misplacing the Apocalypse

Elizaphanian: Misplacing the Apocalypse

In my profile I tell all I'm a born-again Christian. Where is all of my commentary on peak oil from a Christian perspective, you ask? Well, Olwe's 'Edenism' of which I posted when this blog was born about summed it all up for me. I've spent a good 20 years learning, searching, and finding myself spiritually. Although there is always room to grow, I think my foundation is pretty well solidified and I have no need to proselytize to others about my own spirituality on a regular basis like I did when I was new to the faith. I've learned over the years to spread faith more by appropriate actions rather than by words alone. That's probably why you don't read much from me about the relationship between my faith and peak oil.

....but every now and then, I run across what others have to say about this relationship, and their opinions are always of interest to me. This blogger that I've posted this link to in the title is a priest from the UK. He has only known about peak oil for a month or two. I'm sure we'll see some interesting blog entries from him in the future.

USNews.com: A winter fuel crisis of high prices and shortages could darken homes and factories

www.usnews.com

Just thought I'd encourage everyone to turn down their thermostats!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Goldman Sachs analysts see oil prices in "super-spike" phase

CNN Money

"With WTI oil prices on-track to average about $57 a barrel in 2005, we think the past phase will be remembered as the first of what could be a four-to-five-year 'super-spike' phase," their report said.

peaknik note: In a couple of years, I can visualize Goldman Sachs stating that we will be going through a "super, SUPER-spike phase" from about 2010 to, uh, maybe forever???

The analysts said oil demand remained resilient and supply growth lackluster, prompting them to keep their average U.S. crude price forecast for next year unchanged at $68 a barrel.

"Ultimately, we agree that the energy bull market will roll over once demand destruction really begins," it said. "We simply do not believe we have arrived at that point."

peaknik note: Oh, so I guess this means the price will only go down when people can't afford it anymore? Do I have that correct?

The Wizard of Oil--political satire from dailykos

www.dailykos.com

We all need a little humor every know and then, don't we? heh, heh.

ConocoPhillips to acquire Burlington Resources for $35.6B - Dec. 13, 2005

CNN Money

Okay. This is amusing but yet it's not. Most of us in the peak oil groups know that natural gas will deplete faster than oil will and that natural gas has already peaked in North America. With that said, has anyone seen ConocoPhillips' new commercial that airs daily on the news and financial channels? They tout that natural gas is the answer! Who are they trying to kid? Actually, I believe they're not trying to kid the investors because as natural gas becomes a coveted scarcer resource, the value of the shares will go up, up, up. It's the answer for investors, not for the average Jane's and Joe's on the street. We will be paying out the "ying-yang" for this resource. They are teasing the average Joe and Jane who knows no different. Maybe I'm wrong. It's just a hunch.

If you have any investment money (which I don't, of course), I would say to buy some shares. I would also quit using natural gas and convert to another form of energy because it will be too expensive after a certain point. It may be next year or it may be 10 years from now but it's going to happen. Then comes the demand destruction. You will know that it's time when you hear people say they can't afford NG anymore and are switching their appliances before they need them replaced. Right then, as or before demand destruction takes place, will be when it's time to sell your shares.

Investing - Energy's Prophet of Doom - FORTUNE - Page

www.fortune.com

Hat tip to the infamous Matt Savinar!

Oil shale

cnn money

This article claims oil from shale could be made for $30/barrel?? Hmm. The article doesn't say how much oil & gas could be obtained either. The development is always "several years away", too. I'm a little tired of hearing that line. I have a feeling CNN Money doesn't delve so deep into these issues.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Venezuela delivers energy 'aid' to New York poor

cnn money

I know I've blogged about this before. But this is quite an interesting story to me. I really am intrigued as to Chavez' motives. It's a very nice gesture toward the American poor whether the motive is good or bad. I liked the response of the Congressman, Rep. Jose Serrano, when criticized of the arrangements though"

"To those folks who say that this is a way for Hugo Chavez to score political points, I invite every American corporation that wants to score points with my community, to start scoring points this afternoon," he said.

I thought that was a very witty response. Good question: where ARE these corporations who are supposed to represent that ethical and moral personhood we so often hear about?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Peak oil fringe group gains Congressional attention

cnn money

A House energy subcommittee met Wednesday morning to learn more about the so-called peak oil movement, which says that by 2008 humans will have extracted half of the earth's oil. In other words, we're using oil faster than we can ever hope to find it.

"We have all been enjoying the greatest party the world has ever seen: the great oil party," according to Kjell Aleklett, president of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO) and a physics professor at Uppsala University in Sweden.

Aleklett, who testified at the hearing, said in a paper last year, "After the climax comes the decline, when we have to sober up and face the fact that the party is coming to an end."

The hangover would mean not only the end of low oil prices, but also a slowdown in world economic growth. It could also lead to social and political unrest, as many countries try to keep the party going even as oil disappears.

Noted witnesses at the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality also include Robert Hirsch, senior energy program advisor at Science Applications International Corporation, and Robert Esser, a director and senior consultant at Cambridge Energy Research Associates;
....more at link above.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Sunday, December 04, 2005

I Found a Locally Produced Product!....& Bad News for Cantarell

Yesterday, I went shopping at my newly-found organic health food store called Judy's Goodlife Emporium (don't know if she has a website or not). I found a wonderful product made locally and also hand-made! They even have a website anybody can order from! Here it is Water's Edge Natural Soap

I was able to buy locally, eco-friendly, and still satisfy my friends who don't understand my new love of eco/peak oil-friendly ways. This soapmaker had made up some gift items for sale in the health food store. One was a teacup and saucer wrapped up with echinacea tea, 1 bar sniffles soap, 1 bar tea tree Soap, Lip Balm & No Cracks Balm. It's called "Winter Soother". The other gift set I bought was called "Swan Song" which includes a swan-shaped soap dish with handcrafted patchouli soap & milk bath. These are things we women like! One will go to a friend and the other will go for a Christmas gift exchange.

While I was browsing through this store, I also found this product called "Tired Old Ass Soak"! It's a biodegradable and eco-friendly aromatherapeutic mineral bath. Here is the site so you can read about it for yourself: Little Moon Essentials. It's powerfully smelling and contains the essential oils of rosemary and eucalyptus among others. It was a riot when I found out about it and I'm going to give it as a boobie prize to the oldest nurse at my Christmas party!

I still have a couple more gifts to buy and I think I'm going back to my local store and continue to buy these original little things that nobody probably cares to find as most people are probably all at the grand WalMart or other big box stores.

If I ever get my batteries on my camera running again (charger isn't working) I'll take a picture of my gift items.

Oh, by the way, I'm still following peak oil. Things don't sound good regarding the Cantarell fields in Mexico. I think I read about it from
oilcast.com. Looks like the top link right now, for listening, I mean!

Gotta run! My 97-year-old grandpa wants me to check out and compare return rates on Notes from the automakers online. His GM, Ford, & Chrysler Notes aren't getting as good of a return for him. I'm going to check out the return on Notes for Toyota, Honda, Isuzu-Subaru for him. Looks like he might even switch to CDs. Between his experience and my knowledge of peak oil, we might be able to keep some assets afloat. He won't take anything out of the market completely and he won't buy silver or any of that. Our question is should he keep ahold of those Notes from GM and Ford and take the risk of a possible bankruptsy and then hope for a split stock (which often comes out good) or trade into something else??? Hmmm. Some of his stock is from the 1920s!! Oh well, I'll see what I can find out.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

More Peak Oil-friendly Holiday Idea Links

If treehugger wasn't enough, I've found a couple more links for holiday ideas that are peak oil friendly. Try these:

Green Guide to Gift Giving--Grist 2004

New American Dream.org....scroll down and click for more meaningful peak oil-friendly holiday ideas.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Online Green Shopping

Since I haven't had very good luck spreading the word about peak oil lately, I've been working more on myself and how I can become more sustainable in my living. Now that the holiday season is officially upon us, I've decided to take a look at what some of the environmental blogs are touting.

For instance, treehugger has several links and ideas for the green shopper. How about a recycled wrapper handbag? They really look nice and they plant a tree for every bag sold. Unfortunately, they're a little pricey for my pocketbook right now.

I've been needing some bath & kitchen towels recently, so I did a search for "hemp towels" and here is what I found: Rawganique. I think the place is actually located in Georgia, the country. I guess that's not very peak oil acceptable to have it shipped all the way from there, but their things look nice. Again, they are a little costly for me. I'll put them on my wish list, though.

Since I can't totally avoid Christmas gift giving with my family, I'm really pretty limited in what I can do. Most of them don't understand or don't accept peak oil so I would probably get a wrinkled nose if I turned around this year and gave them basic necessities au naturale. I've also thought about giving to a local charity in their name. Don't know how well that would go over either. My mother is doing it, though. I think I might stay local and go to this organic health store I found and find some things there. I also might do a lot of baking and give some presents that way, too. There is also this new homemade candle business that just opened up around my city somewhere but I can't find it and I don't know the name of it! I thought about purchasing some candles locally for some of my friends. Most of the kids and grandkids just want money to go and buy their commercially-made gadgets. My husband's side of the family has always just given each other money. My side of the family has never been big on gift giving. They often get you something you could care less about. It's the friend arena whereas I think I can get creative. I've got 5 birthdays aside from Christmas this month. Sigh. It's a tough month where I can't get much prepping done for myself or pay off debt. It's kind of frustrating!

Anyway, it's fun to look at all the Green sites and look at all the things you wish you could have or that others would like.

This month should be kind of light on the blogging for me. I'm sure it's busy for all of you, too. We probably should take a breather because I fear for what's coming after the first of the year....

That reminds me--I've received some of my first seed catalogs for 2006! We should be planning for spring planting soon!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Peak oil: Not an environmental silver bullet | Gristmill

Grist Magazine

Blog entry on Grist which brings up an observation I've noticed when bringing up peak oil to people who've never heard of it before.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Living Too Large In Exurbia

www.businessweek.com whole article


"These days, though, a chill is sweeping through the fast-growing exurbs that have popped up like mushrooms on the outskirts of established cities and suburbs all across America. A lifestyle built on cheap energy costs and low mortgage rates is in jeopardy. Consumers who hardly gave a thought to gassing up when regular was $1.50 a gallon are abandoning their hulking sport-utility vehicles and pickups, signing up for carpools, and leaving the motorboat in the backyard now that prices are stuck at nearly twice that. And with heating bills expected to jump as much as 70% for many this winter, more pain is on the way.

Experience says that most Americans will turn down their home thermostats and break out the fleece. But if super-high energy prices persist for the next few years, as now appears increasingly likely, they will put a world of hurt on the thousands who already were stretching their budgets to live in the outer suburbs and rural fringes. As exurbia struggles with this new hurdle, what has grown into a huge new social and economic force will face its first real challenge.

Love them or hate them, the exurbs are playing an increasingly important role in America's cultural landscape. In the minds of critics, the exurbs tend to attract conservative young families whose communities and lives often revolve around megachurches. Liberals blame the exurbs for reelecting President Bush in 2004. Conservationists blame them for spoiling the landscape with ugly sprawls of look-alike houses and promoting wasteful lifestyles."

portland imc - 2005.11.24 - eat Local Organic food and abate global starvation

portland.indymedia.org

Good article with LOTS of good links below it! I'm putting it on my list.

USATODAY.com - Can oil production satisfy rising demand?

USATODAY

But the debate is affecting oil company marketing. A Chevron ad asks: "The world consumes two barrels of oil for every barrel discovered. So is this something you should be worried about?"

The NPC study is intended to answer that question. The roster of the 175-member body, created in 1947 by President Truman, reads like a "who's who" of the petroleum industry. The council is chaired by Raymond, CEO of the nation's largest oil company.

That causes Simmons to doubt whether the NPC will endorse the peak oil camp. But Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., who met with President Bush this summer to urge government action, says: "Any thinking person has to recognize at some point the world is going to face a crisis."

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Water crisis threatens China city of 3.8 million - Asia-Pacific - MSNBC.com

MSNBC.com

This doesn't have much to do with peak oil but everything to do with dwindling resources amid population density.

My question is....how are these people using the restrooms? That's got to be a predicament. No mention about that. In a city of 3.8 million people, that has to be a problem. I'm sure they don't all have composting toilets.

Second concern is...if the area is in such a cold climate, I hope their pipes don't freeze and break.

CNN.com - Venezuela sending cheap oil to Massachusetts - Nov 22, 2005

CNN.com

Now here's an interesting story. Chavez is giving a discount on heating oil to some low-income people in Massachusetts.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

"End of Suburbia" screening report

Maybe I'm the One Who's Nuts!!

Apologies for not posting about the screening right away. It's taken a few days for me to digest and I've also been quite busy.

I've come to the unfortunate conclusion that society is definitely comprised of a slowly boiling pot of frogs. Exactly 2 people attended my presentation Saturday. Those 2 people consisted of my mother and a friend she brought along. They were my moral support, so I'm thankful they came. We went ahead and watched the screening because they hadn't seen it yet. My mother has already been aware but has been quite ill and is disabled from a stroke. There is not much she can do about peak oil at this point. For purposes of confidentiality, I will not discuss my mother's friend's background.

I made handouts for everything from a book list, helpful websites with PO information, energy conservation tips, PO facts, etc. I also had on display several books I have related to the peak oil issue. Too bad nobody is interested. To be fair, maybe it was at he wrong time. It was on a nice sunny Saturday when people might of had other things planned. But who DOESN'T have things planned all the time anymore. I guess this just wasn't high on the list of anyone's priorities. I guess something that might bother someone's conscience never is.

I'm not going to quit totally. I'm still going to stay involved with the local community groups I've joined to try and steer my community towards sustainability incognito. I don't see any reason to outwardly announce to the world anything about peak oil because they could care less until it affects them in their pocketbook. I imagine they'll just have to wait until then. To know the seriousness of the situation would put anybody to action, I would think. I suppose this is not ingrained into all human wiring.

I went to a local political party meeting lastnight and after the meeting I was discussing some of the issues of peak oil related to the recent job losses in the auto manufacturing industry. My area where I live within a 30-mile radius will be losing at least 1000 jobs at the beginning of the year. Delphi and Chrysler are the largest employers in this area. The person I was speaking to about the relationship of peak oil to the way things are going told me I was an "oddity". I know he meant it in a good way but I can't help being left to think I'm very alone on this issue in my community.

Taste for Space Is Spawning Mansions Fit for a Commoner

Washington Post

A great piece about people living large in America.

t r u t h o u t - Kelpie Wilson | Thanksgiving Day 2005

t r u t h o u t

"Peak oil and Thanksgiving Day are now linked. Eminent geologist Kenneth Deffeyes predicted two years ago that the peak moment of world oil production would occur on Thanksgiving Day 2005.

Peak oil is a term for the point in time when world oil production will stop increasing and begin to decline. Deffeyes acknowledges that his prediction is just a guess based on extrapolated figures, but given all the unknowns, it may be as good as any other prediction about the end of the oil age.

One thing that is not in doubt is that the oil age will end. Geology and physics tell us that much. But because so many governments and corporations have not shared honest information about their oil reserves, they have not presented a reliable timeframe for the depletion of the oil resource.

The official agencies, the US Energy Information Agency and the European International Energy Agency, have said that world oil production will not peak until sometime around 2030. But last year after Royal Dutch Shell got caught inflating its reserve numbers in order to keep its share prices from plunging, the world suddenly started questioning the official numbers, and new reports have emerged from every quarter showing that peak oil is much closer than 2030. Most of these reports put the peak somewhere between 2006 and 2012. Others say we have already passed it."

Friday, November 18, 2005

baloghblog: Wal*Mart revisited (the topic that is)

baloghblog

What baloghblog says I can't repeat enough. I've been making a special effort lately to NOT go to my local Walmart. I have to confess, I've gone for compact fluorescent lights but I make sure it's a brand that's made in the USA. There are no longer any mom 'n pop stores in the neighborhoods I grew up in around my small town. The lumber yards are slowly dying because of Home Depot just built here a few years ago. I absolutely HATE to go in those big stores. Old people have a hard time getting around in them. There is no practically service in these places. You have to walk a mile to find a salesperson only to find they don't know anything about what you're looking for because it's not in "their" department. Some of them even try to avoid you because they have other things to do besides help you. It's pitiful. Then, if you go in on "down time" thinking you can get in and out quicker, it's a wash because then there is only one cash register open out of 25 and a line that extends to the lingerie department! This is aside from all of the things probably covered in the movie. I've been paying 75 cents at my local Rural King or grocery store rather than 50 cents at Walmart for my dog food just so I don't have to go there. Please heed baloghblog's advice, I'm trying to.

I'm getting ready for my peak oil presentation tomorrow. That's why I haven't posted much this week. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Author speaks on impact of 'peak oil'--Event will offer options to relying on oil

The Union - News

It's surprising how many other groups out there are now reaching out in their communities to speak up about peak oil. I'm interested in how they were able to get Richard Heinberg to come and speak to for 20-25 people! Maybe if I can get this number in my community interested enough, we can raise some money to have him come to our location!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Friday, November 11, 2005

God's Gift to me Today

ENN: Price of Plastic Skyrockets in Hurricane Katrina's Wake

Environmental News Network

Like I said, it's a plastic, petroleum world!

Of all the raw materials that have seen price hikes since hurricanes ravaged the Gulf Coast -- including plywood, drywall and metal -- few have been as sharp as the rise in prices in the plastic industry. Prices for the three most common resins used to make plastic have jumped between 20 and 30 percent since August -- compared to post-Katrina increases of 1.8 percent in cement, 2 percent in plywood and 6.5 percent in structural steel, according to analysts and trade publications.

The price hikes are being felt everywhere, from public works projects to grocery store shelves.

"Plastic is a huge part of our business. And we're seeing an increase in every single plastic thing," said Beattie, rattling off the different types of containers he uses to package his gourmet goods at Cucina Fresca, the Seattle-based pasta business he owns.

Raw materials of all kinds have been hurt by the spiraling cost of oil, which soared past $70 a barrel in the wake of the hurricane, and natural gas, which went from $10 per million British thermal units to over $14 per million British thermal units.

But plastic suffered from a triple whammy. The first blow came to resin factories, the majority of which are based in the Gulf Coast and were forced to shut down during the storms, creating a backlog. Second and third is the fact that plastic -- unlike wood, cement and other raw materials -- uses natural gas twice: Once to generate the power needed to run the plastic factory and a second time as the key ingredient used to make the plastic resin.

Hit by all three, the Dow Chemical Co. plastic factory in Hahnville, La., on the outskirts of New Orleans, was forced to cancel more than 1,000 contracts to customers ranging from Rubbermaid to Clorox, which rely on the factory for the raw polyethylene and propylene pellets used to make their plastic wares and jugs.

They were far from alone: One by one resin factories run by Exxon Mobil, Chevron Phillips, Shintech Inc. and Formosa Plastics Corp. invoked their act-of-God clauses to get out of their contracts, raising prices and delivering weeks off schedule.

The result is that three of the most common types of plastic resins have gone from between 55 cents and 64 cents per pound in July, to between 70 and 80 cents a pound last week -- with another 8 cent rise projected by the end of November, according to Plastic News, an Akron, Ohio-based trade publication. The ripple effect is being felt across the country in the cost of everything from plastic knives and forks to Styrofoam cups to polyethylene (PVC) pipes used in municipal sewer and water projects.

"We haven't seen any plastics spared," said Mike Levy, the executive director of the Polystyrene Packaging Council, an industry group.

In Montpelier, Vt., the makers of Cabot cheddar, prized by cheese enthusiasts worldwide, wonder: "Do we increase our prices? Or do we sacrifice our margins?" said marketing director Jed Davis. The Cabot Creamery uses plastic film to cover their cheddar.

In supermarkets across the country, Folgers is back to selling its coffee in metal containers, just two years after the 150-year-old company did away with its signature metal cans in favor of plastic, which it says keeps the coffee fresher.

"We don't have enough plastic to fill the shelves," said Tonia Elrod, spokeswoman for Folgers, a Procter & Gamble Co. brand headquartered in Cincinnati.

Both Clorox Co. and Kraft Foods Inc. have slashed their earnings-per-share expectation for the year, citing rising commodity and fuel prices. In a press release, Kraft specifically cited the increased cost of packaging as one of the reasons for its revised forecast.

The food and consumer products industries have long been dependent on plastic, but during the last decade the construction sector has also seen a shift toward plastic -- with PVC pipes replacing concrete ones. Now in cities including Riverside, Calif. and Prineville, Ore., municipal water projects are being put on hold because of a near-doubling of PVC pipe prices. In desperation, some contractors are turning back to outdated technologies, such as fashioning the pipe out of cement -- a far more labor-intensive technique, but one which now is significantly cheaper.

For small, niche businesses -- like Beattie's high-end pasta -- the increase has created an economic drama. Industry research has shown that even in a gourmet grocery store, consumers shy away from pasta products priced above the $5 ceiling, Beattie said. Even a 10 percent increase in the plastic tubs for his marinara and tomato vodka sauces will easily put Beattie above that mark, forcing him to consider a painful alternative: "If we want it to stay under $5, we need to eat the plastic cost ourselves," he said.

Many industries are considering alternative materials. Instead of gallon milk jugs made of plastic, dairy processors are substituting paper board. In the coffee business, some franchises are considering substituting waxed paper cups -- which, although made of paper, still contain a trace of resin -- with paper cups that are resin-free.

But in Sun City, Calif., there is no easy alternative for the PVC pipe needed to complete a large water desalination project, which jumped from $1.9 million to $3.5 million after the storm. In Prineville and Portland, Ore., contractors are considering casting the pipe out of cement, after similar price hikes. But in Southern California, the soil is too corrosive and will eat through cement, said Peter Odencrans, senior public affairs officer for the Eastern Municipal Water District in Riverside County, Calif.

"And you can't make pipe out of paper," he joked.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Revolution: deconsumption




Join the New American Revolution

The message from deconsumption is "get out of debt". Ever since I've found out about peak oil two years ago, getting out of debt has been my goal. It's taken awhile. I've paid down about half of my total debt including mortgage and student loans in two years. Twenty-three more payments and my home is paid off! My original goal was to be at zero debt by May 2006 (except for home mortgage). This was mainly because my daughter will be going to college and I wanted to do use a "pay-as-you-go" plan without having to worry about other outstanding debt. Well, it looks like I won't completely attain my goal by that target date but I'll be close. This, I think, is one of the MOST important goals a peaknik should have. As soon as I'm not shackled to my debt, I'll be freer to take measures to become more personally sustainable in my living without going into more debt. I'll be able to invest in more energy-efficient windows and doors, gardening and preserving equipment, and things of that nature. I might even be able to implement some solar or wind systems. So this has been my top priority since February 2004. I feel good that I've accomplished as much as I have DESPITE having a teenage daughter!! lol

Hat tip to Dead Ants for the link.

Bingo! Another Newfound Peak Oil Website









www.petropeak.com

I was messing around looking at bloggers with the same interests as mine in the profiles section. I clicked on my listing of favorite movies where I listed "The End of Suburbia" as one. I clicked to see if anyone else listed this movie as a favorite because surely if they listed this documentary as a favorite, then they would definitely be a person of like mind. That's when I found this site called Petropeak. Very informational and it has some facts I've been looking for to include within my handout for the oil depletion presentation I'm doing next weekend.

Maybe some of you already know about this site. It's new to me.

CBS News | How Soon Will Oil Supplies Peak? | November 9, 2005

Story here

..."Trying to pinpoint the date when oil production peaks has become something of a guessing game of late. There have been at least seven predictions that the peak could come within five years. A U.S. Department of Energy analysis in 2000 studied 12 scenarios for peaking, with the mean peak coming in 2016. If true, that gives the U.S. 10 years to prepare — too little time to avoid dislocations.

Several experts say it is time for Congress and the president to pay closer attention to the peaking issue, and to take steps soon enough to protect America's energy future."

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Fossil Fuels and Modern Medicine


Fossil Fuels and Modern Medicine


I think I'll place this site in my links section. Since I'm a nurse, it seems quite logical.

TABLE 1. PETROCHEMICALS USED IN MEDICINE

Phenol, acids and anhydrides, alkanolamines and aldehydes:
Used for: analgesics, antihistamines, antibiotics, antibacterials, sedatives, tranquillizers

Esters and alcohols:
Utilized in process of fermentation to manufacture antibiotics.

Polyethylene glycols, hydroxyethyl celluloses and water-soluble ethylene oxide polymers:
Used as tablet binders and pill coatings.

Other
Essential uses in pharmaceutical products, from aspirin to penicillin molds. Common medications may require ethanol as a solvent to extract the antibiotic agent; polyethylene glycol is used in rectal suppositories; and phenylpropanolamine is used in cough syrups.

Petrochemicals Used in Instruments and Supplies

Use of plastics in all disposables used for maintaining sterile conditions; specialized plastics used in heart valves; common items such as isopropanol (rubbing alcohol); polyethylene and poly-vinyl acetate used in tubing, sheeting, splints, prostheses, blood bags, disposable syringes and catheters.

Sterilization of equipment uses ethylene oxide; ammonium nitrate is a basic ingredient in "quick cold" applications.

Nitrogen mustards have provided a long-standing part of chemotherapy treatment for cancer; propylene glycol is used for obtaining specimens for sputum cytology.

Petrochemicals Used in All Specialties

Petrochemicals are used in radiological dyes and films, dermatological creams, sigmoidoscopes, speculum probes – in endotracheal tubes, intravenous tubing, syringes, and oxygen masks.

Courtesy: Glenn D. The hidden energy crisis. Texas Medicine (72) December, 1976. "

Monday, November 07, 2005

There goes the Sun

My Backyard

I'm a crummy photographer as everybody will attest to. But I realize all script is pretty boring! Actually, the main computer that I use doesn't have access to my pictures I've downloaded. I thought I'd add a picture to make Premonitions a little more exciting. I'll be working on some more.

"End of Suburbia" Documentary Showing in Logansport, Indiana

There will be a free viewing of the documentary "The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of the American Dream" on Saturday, November 19th, 2005, from 1-3pm at the Logansport-Cass County Public Library, 616 E. Broadway, Logansport, Indiana. The film is 78 minutes long and there will be a short discussion after the viewing.

The library wouldn't allow me any equipment to show it. I will have to bring my own TV and DVD player or I might just bring my laptop because I can bring my nice speakers. The problem is the screen isn't very big. If a lot of people show up, it could be cumbersome to try and view although it could be heard very easily. I'm not figuring on many people coming, as I've heard of others who have presented this topic and nobody showed up despite a newsletter to thousands of potential viewers.

I've given the local newspaper a press release, and I've contacted my alma mater Indiana University Kokomo media relations person and she is posting up an announcement at the school and alerting the geology and environmental professors. It was a very good conversation and she was very supportive. She asked if I would possibly be interested in showing the program over at the school if asked. Hope it happens. Maybe some of the professors will come and view it and then decide whether or not to bring it to the university.

I've posted it on some Indiana yahoogroup boards like the Indiana Green party group. I figured they might be supportive because the peak oil concepts and theory fit nicely into their political platform. I also posted it to an Indiana peak oil group which is very small in number of list members.

Aside from trying to get the word out, I've been busy creating informational handouts. The last one I need to work on is a Peak Oil Fact Sheet that is only 1 page. Other handouts I've made include a book list, an informational website listing, and a 'things you can do to conserve energy & avoid high energy costs'-type page. I might also create a page for websites that promote sustainability and how-to projects like ones listed on this blog. The peak oil fact sheet will be the most time consuming, I believe.

Time is getting short! I felt it was time for me to put feelers out for the interested ones and/or educate people to something new. I will also call my city planner, a rotational-grazing dairy farmer someone referred me to, some city councilmen I know, some of the organizations I'm joining, and a few others if I get the courage. This is no easy feat for me, mind you. I'm quite sociable but I'm not very experienced at making presentations! I'll make an entry about the whole experience after next Saturday. Tune in again!

Community of Stelle, Illinois

Community of Stelle, Illinois

This is where Community Solutions will hold a peak oil workshop for community leaders Dec. 2-4. This community looks awesome to me. And it's not too far from me! I wasn't even aware there was such a place in action this close to where I live. I'm thinking about applying to go to the workshop but I hardly have the qualifications. I don't have solar or wind powered ANYTHING but a radio. I'm learning how to garden on my own and just finished my first year of it. I don't have the family or friend support for making the changes. Without help or approval, I can't do it by myself. I truly envy a community like this. I wish I could just go and see sustainability in action!

Here's a .pdf announcement from Community Solutions:
here

A Picture of Sprawl

Suburban Sprawl Panoramic Picture

Wow. This is a really telling picture of suburban sprawl. Hat tip to
Tim of Suburbia.

My First Attendance at the City Council Meeting--Focus: Utility Worker Wages, Golf Course Fees, Walkable Trails

Tonight, I attended my first City Council meeting. Quite interesting. It was much more lively than the Utility Service Board meeting I attended awhile ago. The room was full due to an amendment regarding local salaried & non-union hourly employees' wages to approve a 3% wage increase. Recently, the local utilities union employees received a 3% increase as well. The local utility is municipally-owned so the City Council had to approve or disapprove the increase. As it appears, some of the council members did not want to give these city workers the full 3% raise. Some of these council members were looked at as discriminating against women because a majority of the workers who would receive the raise are women. The opposing members contended it was because the manager of the utilities (who makes a 3-figure salary) would be included in that 3% raise. My suggestion: Couldn't an ordinance be made that wouldn't include the top-salaried in this ordinance? Couldn't these considerations be made separately?

Anyway, the next heated debate that came up was raising some rates for golf fees at our local municipal golf course. One council member claimed that the golf course has lost a considerable amount of money in the past year. We are also without a pro. Some protesters to the raise in rates included a man who worried about people who play that are on fixed incomes and how they wouldn't be able to pay to play anymore. He argued that this would actually decrease the revenue for the golf course in the long run. I don't ever play golf and I'm not familiar with the course that well. From my perspective, why couldn't they implement greener energy-saving and cost effective measures to save money? I have several ideas. One would be using rainwater capture & greywater irrigation systems. This would cutdown on water usage and costs. What about using composted fertilizers instead of expensive fossil-fuel produced fertilizers? It would be much cheaper and better for the environment. I also thought about all of the mowing. Wouldn't it be more cost effective to switch to diesel-powered equipment? Last, wouldn't composting toilets save on water and sewage costs? I know golf courses aren't the most environmentally-friendly places but it would be impossible to just say to the dedicated golfers, "No, we'll just have to shut the course down now because it's not high on the list of priorities one will have in a post-peak world!" The next thing would be to either implement these lower-tech, lower-cost measures for the golf course or to just let it go until it can't sustain itself anymore.

When I came home, I did a search on sustainable golf courses to see what I could find. I didn't find much but I did find this book that I wish I had the money for to give to the local Parks Department for ideas:
Sustainable Golf Courses: A Guide to Environmental Stewardship
It costs $70. Just published in January 2005.

============

I'm joining some local revitalization groups to try and introduce some of my ideas. One of the groups is called "Friends of Banker's Row". It is basically a group of homeowners who are trying to refurbish some old homes that some of the rich in our community lived in around the early 1900s, I believe. Many of these old homes have become severely distressed. Tonight, an ordinance was approved declaring the area as "residentially distressed" for tax abatement purposes. This ought to help the homeowners in their plight. It is right in the heart of the city. This group, FBR, will be combining efforts with another group called the Historic Preservation group. I'll meet with them on the 16th. We'll see what's going on.

Another group I'm going to join is called The Little Turtle Waterway Project. Much has been done already to create a walkable area along the banks of our rivers that run directly around the heart of the downtown. Presently, there is a push to combine two separate trails, thus, creating an opportunity to walk along the banks of the rivers for miles right into the heart of the town. We already have a trail called River Bluff Trail that our local hospital engineered and developed. The new trail connecting River Bluff with the Little Turtle Waterway will most likely be called the Historic Mill Race Trail. At least that's the name it's been given at this point. The name may change. But I will be happy to be a part of its development, even to the physical point of clearing the brush! I'm going to the meeting with the intention of introducing the public composting toilet idea as one of topics will be the discussion of public toilet facilities along the route. It may not "fly" but at least it will be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly idea in a post-peak future. Hope they will listen. All of this development most likely will not be the exact picture of my vision for my hometown but I'm willing to compromise for the walkable part of the projects! Here are pictures of some of the riverbanks that will be affected by the new Historic Race Mill trail to be developed:
Peaknik's Picture Place (will update with more accurate pictures as soon as I get on my other computer!!)

At the Council meeting, an ordinance was approved for the commitment of Rainy Day Funds for this new Mill Race Trail

All in all, I feel like I'm beginning my journey of helping my community to become more sustainable in a world where energy will be on the low side in the near future.

Russ Grayson argues small communities need investment and innovation to avoid the impact of declining oil stocks. - On Line Opinion - 7/11/2005

www.onlineopinion.com.au

Australian article focusing on peak oil and partial solutions to the problem.

Excerpt:
"The economy will not grow if the energy supply does not,” Tim told the audience. “Yet, this can be seen as an opportunity. The Northern Rivers could become a world leader in what to do in a situation of scarcity and there are things we can do both personally and as a region. On the personal level, avoid debt. On the community level, invest in the regional economy. Reduce car-dependence and adopt pedestrian-friendly urban planning. Develop local sources of energy such as biofuels, solar and wind. Adopt energy conservation. We need to educate and make people more aware of the situation. Importantly, we need to work out how to do more through good design.”...

..."Supporting and investing in regional economies by buying local is not a new proposal - it has been encouraged by business people in areas of failing local economies and by advocates promoting the partial-decoupling from the global economy to preserve local jobs and the viability of towns. What is new is proposing localism as a means of reducing oil consumption. Localism as an economic and cultural solution has been explored by commentators such as Michael Shuman, attorney and director of the US Institute for Policy Studies who wrote Going Local - creating self-reliant communities in a global age (1998; Simon & Shuster, NY)."...

..."The North Coast cannot avoid negative impacts that might come with peak oil, however a new localism might reduce them to some extent. To what degree that is possible will depend upon the availability of local finance and initiative. Any peak oil coping strategy will have to motivate the region’s innovative citizens and its social and economic entrepreneurs. Motivated by rising transport, goods, food and petrol prices, even the region’s environmentalists might look beyond trees and forests at the very infrastructure that supports the way they live."

Oil supplies may be lower than OPEC countries want to admit - The Clarion-Ledger

www.clarionledger.com

This article speculates world oil reserve reporting and focuses on Matthew Simmons' new book, Twilight in the Desert.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

"Peak Oil. Peak Oil. Dad, how come you talk about Peak Oil all the time?"

HoweStreet.com

Peak Oil plus financial article.

Beyond Peak - Living Sustainably with Peak Oil and Economic Collapse

www.beyondpeak.com

Dry Dipstick has created this sister site for those who want to focus on living sustainability after everything "goes down". Looks like it may be a pretty good resource!

Vegetable fueled 'Greasecar' still running strong

www.kvbc.com

Hope this link stays active because there is a link with the story about information on making your own "greasecar". Hat tip to Steve in Nevada for the link.

Friday, November 04, 2005

An interview with peak-oil provocateur Matthew Simmons | By Amanda Griscom Little | Grist Magazine

www.grist.org

TomPaine.com - Net Zero v. Nukes

www.tompaine.com

...."Net-zero homes could just blow that dark vision out of the water and free the American consumer from dependence on two increasingly greedy corporate oligarchies.

Instead of building a limited number of multi-billion dollar reactors, we could simply mandate that all new construction and major redevelopment be net zero. These new designs and technologies, combined with smart growth or new urbanist metropolitan planning, would decisively delink GDP from energy use. In other words, energy consumption can drop while prosperity increases. America could rebuild itself sustainably while reducing its energy consumption. That, in turn, means greater security and a new source of economic growth.".....

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Energy Policy or Disaster

National Post

Canadian perspective on the economy and peak oil.

Oil: The blood of capitalism -- oil :: Richard Russell

www.321energy.com

Economic viewpoint.

Chemist Rick Smalley - Discover Magazine

www.discover.com

From what I've learned, this man has passed away and was one who influenced Matthew Simmons to write his new book, "Twilight in the Desert".

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Thank you Alanis, thank you PBS, thank you ... | Gristmill

Grist Magazine

Looks like Alanis Morissette is a global warming advocate. She will host & narrate Global Warming: The Signs & the Science on PBS Wednesday night. Hope I remember to watch this AND get the correct air time for viewing. DST always screws me up by living in Indiana! We just don't ever know what time slot to follow.

I missed the Oprah show with guest Leonardo DiCaprio talking about global warming. From some insider information, I learned that the Oprah show requested a copy of "The End of Suburbia" DVD for this particular show. Come to find out, they wouldn't air any clips of the documentary during Leo's visit but they said the topic might make a good segment of its own in the future! You know when something is aired on Oprah, all of the soccermoms will listen! lol Let's hope!

Monday, October 31, 2005

Latest consumer spending numbers hide weakness - Oct. 31, 2005

cnn money

Summary: consumer spending down. could be lowest point (Q4) in 19 years. low gas prices could be a trojan horse if the Fed raises the short-term interest rates again in this quarter and the bond-market rates go higher as they did in September for the first time. (i think i got that right)

Oh, don't worry. Christhmas is coming!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Oil Peak in 2005? - Dale Pfeiffer's Blog

See blog entry here.

More evidence is coming in weekly to suggest that world oil production peaked in 2005. Within this past month, two notable petroleum geologists have produced statements to that effect. First there was Ali Samsam Bakhtiari, who said this past October. "In my humble opinion, we should now have reached 'Peak Oil'. So, it is high time to close this critical chapter in the history of international oil industry and bid the mighty 'Peak' farewell... At present, global oil output fluctuates around 82 mb/d as some institutions try vainly to push 2005 statistics towards 83 and 84 mb/d (as they always do). But they will be obliged to backtrack as 'actual' oil supplies fail to follow their 'paper' ones."(1)

This was followed by Colin Campbell's announcement at a conference in Rimini, Italy on October 28th that 2005 could be the year when world oil production peaks, to be soon followed by an irreversible decline. According to Dr. Campbell, "the maximum peak of production as far as the normal so-called oil has come this year; after that will be a long decline. Meanwhile, for other types of hydrocarbons… the peak will occur by 2010."(2) (Translated from Italian.)

These two statements, taken in concurrence with OPEC's August market report that total light, sweet oil production was declining,(3) and declining extraction rates from all the major oil companies except BP,(4) make it a safe bet that global oil production did indeed peak in 2005. I must offer a note of thanks to Chris Vernon for making both of the observations listed above in this paragraph.

Implications
If world oil production has indeed peaked, then demand and production are diverging and the trend will be towards rising oil prices from here on in. However, the real problem lies not so much with the peak and with the irreversible decline that will follow. How serious our problems will be depends in part on how steep this decline is, and—possibly in larger measure—on how we react to the divergence and decline.
.....

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Profits Likely Won't Mean New Refineries

Yahoo News

Things that make you go "hmmm".....

....so we now know it's not the EPA that's stopping them from building more.....hmmm....if that was the case they could always build one in Mexico and avoid those nasty regulations and also get some cheap labor!.....hmmm....didn't the Saudi's want to build a refinery here awhile back but were turned down?....hmmmm....

Freezerbox Magazine - Peak Freaks

Freezerbox Magazine

I thought this was a "cool" article (pun intended!). It's long but a good review about peakniks.

The Peak Oil Crisis: Waiting for Winter

Falls Church News Press

Understanding peak oil

www.vermontguardian.com

What's peak oil? It's time to learn

www.portlandtribune.com

Friday, October 28, 2005

Oil above $61 on Gulf closures, cold snap, China demand - Oct. 28, 2005

cnn money

"We expect that 350,000 barrels per day of distillate demand will have to be rationed out of the market this winter through higher prices in order to hold demand in line with available supplies," analysts at Goldman Sachs said.

Household Disaster Preparation-Smokytopia

disasterprep.htm

Good advice.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

After Oil - MSNBC.com

www.msnbc.com

More mainstream "After Oil" talk.

Press Herald in Maine: Power shortage possible

State: Power shortage possible

Things I've Been Reading Today

Hello! I've been scouring websites tonight. Don't have a whole lot to add to a conversation but alot of others do!

For instance, Bill Moyers has written a piece on CommonDreams called Finding Justice in Charity. In the article, he reviews Jared Diamond's new book "Collapse":

There's a book I wish we could make required reading for every member of Congress: Jared Diamond's new book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed . The Pulitzer Prize winner tells us that one of the main factors in the decline of earlier societies was the insulation of elites. Mayans on the Yucatan Peninsula, for example, suffered as environmental degradation - deforestation, soil erosion and poor water management - diminished food supplies. Chronic warfare made matters worse as more and more people fought over less and less land and resources. Although Mayan kings could see their forests vanishing and their hills eroding, "They were able to insulate themselves from problems afflicting the rest of society. By extracting wealth from commoners, they could remain well fed while everyone else was slowly starving." Too late, the elites realized they could not reverse the deteriorating environment, and they became casualties of their own privilege.

Any society, Diamond warns, contains a built-in blueprint for failure if people at the top insulate themselves from the consequences of their actions and from an awareness of the commonplace experiences of life. He goes on to describe an America where elites cocoon themselves "in gated communities, guarded by private security patrols, and filled with people who drink bottled water, depend on private pensions, and send their children to private schools." Gradually, they lose the motivation "to support the police force, the municipal water supply, Society Security, and public schools." At the end of this road is a state of nature - a war of all against all - "where the strong take what they can, and the weak suffer what they must."


Then I started down my blog list where I came upon Bill Totten where he has posted 30 Steps to an Oil Free World which he obtained from www.theecologist.org.

For a break, I decided to check out Dead Ants where I rediscovered Frappr!-Peak Oilers, and wow! The list has grown since I placed my name on the list a couple of days ago! I saw a couple of new blogs on the list I thought I might check out. I hope the one dude who wants to send all Mexicans back to Mexico with the "white power" icon by his name is just kidding!! (shudder)

Next stop was Energy Exigency where (ack!) I found out that natural gas prices increased by 10% in the U.S.A. today! I moved along after reading that. I don't want to know that right now! (fingers in ears)

Nothing caught my interest until I hit Middle Earth Journal for some good 'ole feel good political administration bashing where Ron covers Truthout's Maureen Dowd calling Cheney the "Lord of Darkness"!

Then I come to Odograph. If I remember right, he is somewhat of a conservative? Anyone know? He is not happy about Cheney either, see here, although for different reasons.

Monkeygrinderis also worried about this administration except this is from a DIFFERENT front--Syria!

Things are just so bad these days that Vermont is considering suceding from the USA! This I found on Peak Oil Anarchy. I wonder if they would accept a left libertarian?? I didn't realize there were so many libertarians in Vermont. I thought it was New Hampshire that hosted a majority of the libertarians.

With Peak Oil News I was back to strictly peak oil, "The Coming Petro Collapse" written by the New York Press. Again, this piece alludes to our leaders deciding to go to war in Iraq and compares their policy with how our leaders might address declining resources in our nation. Not good for the track record, I suspect.

Here's another disturbing article I noted from someone else's suggestion on my yahoogroup. The Ergosphere posted "Republicans to lose Red America?" on Monday. This kind of hits home as my son-in-law has been contemplating quitting farming because he can hardly afford it anymore. They really are hurting.

The next thing to catch my eye, I got to "all oil all the time"--The Oil Drum where things don't look good for Saudi oil output according to Matthew Simmons....

which led me to the interesting peak oil dates that Ben at theWatt found here from the Foreign Policy Research Institute. 48% expect an oil peak around 2010. Ouch.

I'm tired enough now! Whew! I think tomorrow evening I'll go through the more optimistic sites under my Food, Alternatives & Sustainable Living List. Have a good day!

Monday, October 24, 2005

The pressure mounts: Guardian

Society | The pressure mounts

UK focused article but relevent to the world all the same.

TIME.com: How to Kick the Oil Habit -- Oct. 31, 2005 -- Page 1


entire article here

".....As consumers, we need time to make adjustments--often very expensive ones--to the new technologies. Not everyone can afford to junk a two-year-old SUV to buy a new hybrid. Most people can't afford to abandon houses built in developments 100 miles out in the countryside when oil was cheap. And although energy and power companies are investing in new technologies, they can't create a massive new infrastructure overnight. Coal liquefaction, nuclear power, wind power--"all of these things need an enormous lead time," says Heinberg. The problem with the free market, in short, is that while it may sort things out over the long run, people have to cope in the short run. "Price signals," he adds, "come much too late, and we will endure a tremendous amount of economic and social hardship that could have been averted if we'd acted sooner. We could see the equivalent of the Great Depression, fueled by extreme oil and natural-gas prices."

Things would have been different if we had been pouring money into alternative energy for the past couple of decades, as we did in the aftermath of the oil shocks of the 1970s. Back then, despite the ribbing Jimmy Carter got for appearing on TV in a cardigan and calling for sacrifice, there was a clear sense of national emergency. That crisis receded, thanks in part to conservation and investments in energy efficiency and in part to the worldwide recession the oil shocks helped trigger. As a result, a barrel of oil costs 30% less today, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than it did at its peak in 1981. This is not the first time the world has run out of oil. Yergin says it's the fifth or sixth.

But this may be the real thing. Matthew Simmons, chairman of Simmons & Co. International, an energy-industry investment-banking firm, says, "This is a shortage where demand actually exceeds supply. The two shortages in the '70s were artificially induced." Back then, OPEC was powerful and disciplined enough for Middle East oil producers, angry about U.S. support of Israel and the Shah of Iran, to be able to simply turn down production. But now a confluence of trends has made oil shortages inevitable, not optional. One is the unexpectedly rapid expansion of India's and China's energy needs. Fadel Gheit, senior vice president for oil research at the New York City investment firm Oppenheimer & Co., says, "They created the tight market we're in."

Another problem is refinery capacity. Even an unlimited supply of crude is useless if it can't be refined into gasoline, heating oil and other fuels. And for the past 20 years, says Gheit, the refining industry has been losing money--or has barely made it: "[The industry was] closing refineries because they weren't profitable." That set up a situation in which a hurricane like Katrina or Rita or last year's Ivan could trigger a shortage by putting even a few of the remaining U.S.-based refineries out of business for a few weeks. Yet the industry is reluctant to build more refineries, Gheit says, because "they've been burned before. It's like the boom and bust in real estate."

Beyond that, the supply of crude is not unlimited. Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or the coast of Florida for drilling, which congressional Republicans have been pushing for, is a relatively short-term fix. And the more oil that is removed, the more expensive the cost of extracting the remaining oil becomes. At some point--possibly as early as 2010--production will therefore reach a peak, though not necessarily a sharp one, and then gradually start to decline. "The problem," says Simmons, "is that the global economy and the U.S. economy are structured on the assumption that the oil supply will only increase."

The upheaval could be alleviated significantly if the government had a long-range policy for moving beyond oil. But no Administration or Congress in the past 25 years has put one together because such a move would involve spending money and offending powerful interest groups. Republican Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico, chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, astonished environmentalists last month when he suggested that federally mandated auto-mileage (CAFE) standards had to be reconsidered. But because that could cut into automakers' profits, there's virtually no chance that such legislation would pass. Tax incentives for switching to alternative energy may be easier. Republican Representative Richard Pombo of California, chairman of the Resources Committee, says, "There is already an incentive to develop new technology. You just have to send a real clear signal that the Federal Government wants to." But a wholesale push to change our highway culture is unlikely. European countries decided long ago that it paid off to interfere in the free market by discouraging oil consumption and subsidizing mass transit, but that's not the American way...."

monkeygrinder says it better than I can

Peak Energy: only a moron wags the dog twice

warning: Rated R--may be too anti-government for some, foul language used

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Creating the vision of Logansport's future

www.pharostribune.com

Well, it looks like I'm not the only one in my community to think about restructuring the city to become more sustainable! They're actually suggesting using a trolley again!

"One of the things we're looking at is some type of shuttle. There's been talk of a trolley, perhaps linking the new Ivy Tech campus, following Burlington into the downtown area, heading back out to 18th Street and maybe using Main Street.

"We wanted to build three strong anchors, particularly with Ivy Tech coming in. We wanted to make it as easy as possible for students, faculty and staff at Ivy Tech to look at downtown Logansport as the place to go to hang out, to do whatever it is they need to do."



Maybe it's not completely with the end of cheap oil in mind but it's a beginning! Earlier this year I would've never thought I'd hear use of a trolley from anyone around here!

Now I just need to get my vision of a riverfront boardwalk into their psyches!

Another New Blog: longemergency.blogspot.com

Peak Oil News & Discussion

Peakoil20 has a new blogspot. Peakoil20 features the best of the best peak oil articles found on the net in their entirety along with the links. If you are interested in trying to find a particular story, this is where to go!

Friday, October 21, 2005

New Blog: Peak Oil Anarchy

Peak Oil Anarchy

This looks like my kind of website! My attraction to the softer forms of anarchy is illustrated in this blogger's entries....something peak oil has done to me in the last 20 months or so.

Climate Mash Animated Cartoon

www.climatemash.org

Suitable for the holidays!

AlterNet: Running on Fumes

www.alternet.org

"...In economics there is a mythical beast known as a Giffen Good. A Giffen Good is a basic commodity that absorbs a large proportion of a poor population's income. As its price goes up, more and more income is absorbed, leaving less for anything else. Because it is a staple, as other staples are forgone what little money is left over gets spent on the higher-priced good that's causing the financial chaos in the first place. Nobody's quite sure if such a creature exists. The Victorian-era British economist Sir Robert Giffen, after whom it is named, argued that potatoes during the Irish potato famine fit this bill for the starving Irish. Since potatoes already made up the bulk of their diet and consumed most of their income, as prices rose due to the potato shortages, what little discretionary money they had for meat and other food disappeared. No longer left with enough for even morsels of meat, the peasants desperately threw their remaining pennies back at the potato vendors for a few more spuds, thus driving prices of the scarce commodity up still further. More recently, two economists at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, Nolan Miller and Robert Jensen, have made similar claims about rice consumed by peasants in southern China.

Obviously, at some point, soaring potato prices would have curtailed absolute demand simply because nobody would have had enough money to buy any, and the "normal" laws of the market would have been restored. Giffen's point, however, was that prices would have to rise beyond all reasonable levels before that critical peak was reached and demand for a scarce commodity began slacking off.

Extending the argument to gasoline, it is at least possible that, as gas eats up a higher percentage of poverty-line rural workers' incomes, drivers will scrimp on things such as their quarterly oil change, their 30,000-mile tuneups, as well as minor repairs to their vehicles. They will likely also defer the purchase of new cars. People will, in other words, probably drive older, less well-maintained cars, one side effect of which will be decreased gas efficiency and the need for even more gas to get them to and from work than they were consuming earlier in the price cycle. Kerr's old Explorer gets only twelve to fifteen miles per gallon; her husband's 1974 truck gets even worse mileage. In a rational world, both would be able to buy more fuel-efficient vehicles. In the Siskiyou County of 2005, however, neither can scrape together enough to make the upgrade......"

The World at $100 A Barrel: The Seoul Times

The Seoul Times

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Two day wrap-up & thoughts

Hello, folks. I'm trying to overcome a "cold/flu bug" that got me Wednesday. Maybe I've been thinking and seeing so much coverage regarding the Avian bird flu virus that I psychosomatically developed the symptoms of the flu! I'm feeling better than yesterday, though. Actually, I think I caught it because my insistence on leaving the heat off lowered my immune system which isn't acclimated to the colder temperatures we've been experiencing lately. I've only decreased the thermostat to 68 degrees but it hasn't turned on yet. We've had several days/weeks of fluctuating weather. Today it was warm.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day (sick and) traveling because I had to take my mother to the "big" hospital in Indianapolis for a follow-up visit. On the way back, we visited a place that sold fresh brown eggs, apple cider, gourds, pumpkins & squash. It wasn't as fun as usual because I was sneezing & chilling continually. Later, after we returned, I had to attend "Senior Night" for my daughter's volleyball. They usually have this every year for senior players on their last home game night. That's right. Four more volleyball games and watching my daughter play volleyball is history! I won't be quite as busy after all this is over. Kind of bittersweet. Next, it's on to searching for scholarships and moving on to Purdue where she was accepted for next Fall.

After she's off to college next Fall, I will have the freedom to become more involved in helping to build community for the coming hard times! This past week, I've been contemplating setting up a date at the local library for an "End of Suburbia" viewing as an introduction to peak oil for the community. I have a list of key contacts within the communiy who I think might be receptive to it. Then, I'll place an announcement in the newspaper. I want to call my group "L.E.A.D.--Logansport Energy Awareness Development". It could exist with many avenues such as personal and community preps, education on geopolitics, community development, downtown revitalization...just all kinds of things from peak oil education to how to store foods to local community activism. This could include guests like co-op extension demonstrators, local food distributors, local emergency planners for the city and brainstorming ways to prep for disasters etc., and more. I have it all written down somewhere. In the first meeting I could display pertinent books to recommend (we're in a LIBRARY of course!) and various websites to get more information. I could also offer to show it at house parties and things like that to get others educated on our predicament. Anyway, it's in my plans before Christmas.

On another note, I've heard Carla Emery who wrote the book "Encyclopedia of Country Living" died this week of a heart attack caused by an infection of some sort? This is sad and disheartening because she was in my plans to have her come to my city and give a presentation for my group!

I'm also now the OWNER of my previously 4-year leased 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and NO, I'm not proud of it! I had to compromise with my husband. He wanted to keep it and I didn't. The ONLY reason I agreed to keeping it was that the payments would be $100 less a month. I had to compromise in my situation so that's where I'm at. Like I said, he's not completely with me on the peak oil bandwagon yet. Maybe I can con him into getting me a nice bicycle and/or clotheslines (indoor & outdoor) now since I compromised??! ....

I've been watching the financial channel today. Seems like they aren't too optimistic. Collective consensus from the bears & the bulls suggests that they "just won't know" until the beginning of next year. The bears seem to think "recession" in 1Q 2006 with the higher heating costs. The bulls think not. That's the only place they're differing. My perception is that the stocks probably won't reflect the adversity that millions of Americans will have to go through because of the bankrupsty laws, higher energy costs, consumer debt, etc. My hunch is the investor class will do alright but they will do alot of complaining. They froze some accounts for trading on this one company that starts with an "F". They were kind of worried about that. They were worried about GM & Ford sales. Nary a person to be found in a Chicago car showroom today. They say all the incentives have saturated the market and people will not buy until they start offering those incentives again--pressuring the automakers. October is usually the worst month of every year for stocks so I'm not surprised that the market will be lower this month. I just look for things to start cracking from January to May especially with the natural gas & oil lines of distribution being affected.

The good old oil just seems to be hovering from $61-65 doesn't it?! The talking heads just think that's great! Well, that's not what they were saying last year!? They also haven't been this pessimistic ever since as long as I've been watching it.

Last note, almost every light in my home uses the CF lightbulbs now. Even the porchlight! I just may give them as presents for Christmas since they cost so darn much! lol I think those along with something like a fire extinguisher and a carbon monoxide detector would be nice as presents. I might do this for some on the list.

That's it for now. I'm feeling the effects of this bug come back again. Better go lay down for awhile.....

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

CNN: High gas prices forcing governers to park SUVs

CNN

PERSONAL NOTE: My governor Mitch Daniels is still driving his huge mobile trailer thingy that was "donated" to him. I think he also uses biodiesel--also donated (probably to support local corn/ethanol production).

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has been using a white Ford Escape hybrid after Katrina, keeping his Ford Expedition parked when he travels around Tallahassee. The hybrid goes hand-in-hand with Bush's recent push for alternative fuels. Ford and Lincoln vehicles are made by Ford Motor Co.

"It's kind of hard to be arguing to conserve gasoline when you're driving around in a Ford Expedition that guzzles it down at a 6- to 8-mile per gallon clip," Bush said last month.

Two Midwest governors, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Tom Vilsack of Iowa, are shifting to SUVs that run on E85, a gas-ethanol blend. Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne started using an E85 Chevrolet Suburban after helping open a pump for the alternative fuel in Boise.

Pawlenty, who is awaiting a black Chevy Suburban, considered getting a hybrid. He chose an ethanol-powered SUV because he couldn't find a hybrid large enough to accommodate himself, three family members, security, equipment and staff members. Chevrolet is a brand of General Motors Corp.

"Our country has been asleep at the switch on these things," Pawlenty said. "The basic economics are that the supply of fossil fuels is limited and the demand is outstripping the supply. It's a recipe for continued crisis if we don't start changing our ways."

Maine Gov. John Baldacci, meanwhile, has left the SUV world altogether. He now uses an unmarked sedan such as a Chevrolet Impala instead of a Suburban.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Code Three & FTD have become chick diaries...

I think I'm definitely going to have to kill my links to Code Three and Flying Talking Donkey! They've morphed into chick diaries! Will this be my fate? I'm sad. Bye bye Code Three and FTD....please let me know if you resurect into something anew! I will miss you.

From A Texas Realtor's Perspective: Energy Tsunami On the Way

realtytimes.com

NOTE: I think he misquotes Simmons on saying to expect $10 barrel oil...I think he means $100 barrel oil. Maybe I'm wrong. Read everything in context at the website.

CORRECTION: I reread it and he's saying Simmons said $10 agallon of gas not a barrel of oil! Duh! My bad.

...Okay, so what does all of this mean to you as someone in real estate? Well keep in mind we're really in uncharted waters here. It's not like we can look to the past and learn from all the times something similar to this has happened to us. This is a very unique and unprecedented event in our lifetimes, and in world history, too. But here are my thoughts on what this could mean to all of us who are in real estate:


1. The values of homes and residential rental properties in and closer to major cities will probably do better in the long run versus those located farther away in the suburbs. Especially when compared with those suburbs that have a high percentage of their population who commute a great distance to major cities for their jobs. This is because the cost of commuting could become so expensive that people will do whatever it takes to live closer to the city rather than spend so much money on gas and sit in traffic.

2. Office buildings will experience a major increase in heating and air conditioning costs, especially those located in areas with severe winters or very hot summers. Landlords of these buildings could experience a substantial loss in their profits if their leases don't call for their tenants to pay for any increases in heating and air conditioning expenses. And conversely tenants who will be paying for these increased expenses themselves will find this solidly biting into their own profits.

3. Commercial and industrial properties closer to the major cities will do much better than those in the suburbs. With more people living closer to the major cities, commercial space in these areas will command even more of a premium in the future when compared with commercial space in the suburbs.

4. There will be a need for a much greater amount of housing near the central business districts of major cities. People will want to live closer to where they work and they'll also want to be within walking distance to both shopping and entertainment. This will create a demand for revitalizing central business districts and creating a more neighborhood-friendly environment with shopping, entertainment, and restaurants all nearby.

5. Industrial businesses will transition away from shipping and receiving their goods by truck and towards shipping and receiving them by rail which will be more economical for them. And as a result we'll see a surge in demand for rail-served manufacturing and warehouse buildings, and those buildings without rail will sit vacant for longer periods of time and command less rent when they're finally leased.
So while in recent years owning a rail-served building may not have meant much to your prospective tenants, you may very well have a functionally obsolete building on your hands years down the road no matter what kind of condition it's in and how high the ceilings are if your prospective tenants can't ship by rail.


6. Manufacturing businesses that already have substantial energy costs right now will be hit very hard with the coming increases in these costs and will find it increasingly difficult to remain profitable. In addition, I'm hearing from agents all over the country that their markets are cooling down now and listings aren't moving as fast as they were months ago. In looking over the past 25 years in our industry, through three economic up cycles and two down ones, this is exactly the way the down cycles have begun in the past.
In both situations there was a gradual cooling off period where buyers were no longer willing to pay the higher prices, but sellers still wanted to get the higher prices anyway. And when you're talking about selling commercial or investment properties with owners who don't need to sell them if they don't want to, this can become very frustrating when you're an agent. But if you study Peak Oil and become very knowledgeable about it, you may be able to persuade your owners that they may be far better off selling their property now at the best price they can get for it, rather than waiting and taking their chances one or more years down the road.

And in saying this to you, the real estate world was full of owners during the last two recessions who really wished they had sold their property 2-3 years earlier while times were still good. Remind your owners of this, show them the underlying warning signs of where your market could be headed, including the potential problems with Peak Oil, and you just might convince them that they could turn out to be market timing geniuses if they move forward and sell right now....