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 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 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

Good article with LOTS of good links below it! I'm putting it on my list. - Can oil production satisfy rising demand?


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 -

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

My question 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. - Venezuela sending cheap oil to Massachusetts - Nov 22, 2005

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)


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

Are We guzzling oil too quickly?

Durango Herald Online

Review of the Denver ASPO Conference.

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

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.


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.

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:

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

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

"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

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?"

Peak Oil plus financial article.

Beyond Peak - Living Sustainably with Peak Oil and Economic Collapse

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

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 - Net Zero v. Nukes

...."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

Economic viewpoint.

Chemist Rick Smalley - Discover Magazine

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!