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.

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"..... 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

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

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


Good advice.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

After Oil -

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

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. 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

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:

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

Suitable for the holidays!

AlterNet: Running on Fumes

"...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


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

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....

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Back to the future: peak-oil scenario fuels "go local" campaign

BRATTLEBORO — Good news! The world is fast approaching the end of its oil supplies. Their depletion will lead to a Malthusian catastrophe as oil-driven economies crash, petroleum-linked world food supplies shrink, transportation costs skyrocket, and industrialized urbanization reverses itself, sending people fleeing their SUV-dependent suburbs for a rural lifestyle.

It takes a real optimist to see opportunity in such a dire scenario. But, a handful of Windham County activists see the end of oil dependence as the beginning of a better way of life.

“I believe that there are tremendous opportunities embedded in this whole issue/crisis of peak oil,” said Brattleboro ecological engineer Tad Montgomery.

“I’m seeing a lot of people wake up. A lot of people who have wanted to implement alternatives for years or decades finally are saying this is the time to put up those solar panels or drive a biodiesel car. They’re insulating their homes, riding their bicycles, growing gardens, and preserving foods, finding self-reliance,” he said.

Montgomery is a co-founder of Post-Oil Solutions (POS), a group of about 10 people who have been meeting twice a month since the summer to brainstorm ways to insulate and strengthen their communities against the potential effects of an oil-based economy crash. Self-reliance is the POS watchword, but so is interdependence: the ironic juxtaposition that community interdependence will achieve independence.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Petrocollapse for change of culture-Jan Lundberg

"In anticipation of your wanting elaboration on my predictions of petrocollapse and a positive recovery for a sustainable culture, let me summarize:

Rather than just a geological phenomenon, peak oil and its effects can turn out to be a function of the oil market acting as its own executioner. As alternatives to petroleum do not quite exist -- on the scale and cheapness necessary to allow the growth economy to perpetuate -- there will be nowhere for "petrosociety" to go but down and out. Reasons for the likelihood of rapid collapse include hoarding of fuel which will create artificial shortage. Businesses and people already hurting from post-hurricane petroleum prices and from the anticipated much higher-to-come oil prices, will not be able to stay on the road and on the job. As Congressman Roscoe Bartlett quoted me at the House of Representatives in May, "the trucks will not be rolling into Safeway and Walmart." As he added, "the veneer of civilization is very thin."

The U.S. government and other leading institutions are not willing or able to provide leadership, as evidenced by the lack of any learning from the hurricane's effects on society and energy. Just as the warning on Katrina was not heeded, the warning from Katrina's and Rita's effects was not heeded. These hurricanes may be the straw that broke the camel's back. Now the Energy Secretary is warning of high prices and shortages. We may be being prepared for rationing, and military management -- or the attempt -- of the nation under emergency conditions, although rejected by governers a few days ago. But the government will not be able to manage long without energy, especially when the population is no longer busy using energy as before. Congressman Bartlett told me last month that police and firemen are known through studies to abandon attempts at public order when the conditions of a given situation are past a certain point.

Although there will be insufficient food and therefore massive upheaval culminating in die-off, there will be plentiful land and housing. A new society will come together on a local-ecosystem basis. Cooperation and sharing will be necessary for survival, to make urban and suburban land productive and to assure water is as clean as possible. Petrocollapse along with climate distortion shall be such an historic learning experience that a completely different approach to human relations and economics will be adopted. There will be a perhaps universal rejection of the ways and values of petroleum society, and those who do not adapt will fail in contrast to strong, tribal communities. A lifestyle of separteness or non-community behavior, so rife in today's dominant, mainstream culture, would be seen as threatening the common good and a throwback to history BP: Before Petrocollapse. The bright side is that we will be taking care of the Earth in order to survive. This is how it always was, and appreciation of the long-term for the common good will return as a basic cultural value."

Thursday, October 06, 2005

We Can't Afford Our Gasoline (cartoon short-movie)

Hat tip to Mark N. on ROE2:

Sidenote: I've been offline for a couple days due to some spyware my computer got hit with. It's all taken care of for more withdrawals!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Fence Done

fence project

Well, the fence is almost finished. We still have to finish painting the inside. Ugh. I can tell my age now after painting the outside perimeters!

As you can see, my windows really need replacing. They're as old as the house--almost 30 years old. They're those old National Homes windows that have (it seems like) 3 panes of windows to remove and clean all the time. They were supposed to be energy efficient but I think we can do better these days. We think we might replace one at a time and pay as we go. I've really been paying close attention to those on RunningOnEmpty2 who talk about window replacement and insulation. Don't have the money yet but I want to know where I want to go with getting new windows for the best energy efficiency. I think I'm interested in those passive solar reflective-type of windows.

This picture is taken viewing the south and west sides of the house. It really gets a beating from the sun. I can't talk my spouse into getting solar panels for the south side there with only 2 windows. The tree in the back (west side)that is located close to the house has really helped with cooling the house in the hot summer. The fence helps keep the deer out of the garden and prevents the winter wind from beating the house too badly.

My first garden this year was only made up of 3-2x8s and a 4x4 raised bed. I will have plenty of space for more raised beds I plan to do as soon as I can find time and money. My spouse also wants us to buy a small shed so we can store bicycles, Christmas stuff, and gardening materials. Money, money, thing at a time, I guess.

Scarlet Alert (new blog)

Here's another new blog. This author's focus is how to convince others about peak oil and it's ramifications. They evidently attended the 2nd Annual Peak Oil Conference in Yellow Springs, OH, recently. I was never able to find anyone to go with nor could I get the time off work and away from my daughter's volleyball tournament that weekend. Money was an issue, too. By golly, I'm going next year come hell or high water! It just wasn't in the cards for this year. Anyway, check out the new blog! It looks like a good one!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Oil Prayer

If you haven't read this one, this is really good.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Sub-$100 laptop unveiled

BBC news

I like the sound of this. However, I'm sure it will take a lot of fossil fuels to make such a mass of these things. If we have to prioritize, though, I'm all for keeping the internet!