Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Oilephant Down--Richard Embleton

I have a friend from one of my Yahoogroups that has written a book! From what he has said, it is a non-fictional account of the end of the age of cheap oil from a Canadian perspective. I am going to buy it at my local store, so I haven't read it yet. I believe it is featured on 15 online sites now. The book's debut is not until March, though. I thought I'd give you all a "heads up" for my friend!

Here are the main online bookstore links to his book:
Barnes & Noble

on edit: I stand corrected. The book is not fictional, it's non-fictional. I misunderstood and thought it was a *story* of a peak oil scenario from a Canadian perspective. Hope Richard forgives my mistake.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Links to Sustainability: acquaponics, organic farming, power generation

Links to Sustainability: acquaponics, organic farming, power generation

Just a few links to whet your appetite for sustainable technology:


(barrel acquaponics & supplies)

Fish ponds
Web of Creation - Chapter 1
Web of Creation - Chapter 3
Mother Earth News

General Info
ibiblio.org (mostly older posts from 1990s)
ibiblio.org (a mixture of old and new as of 2005)

One Source in Particular:
March 27 & 28, 2006 - Barrel Aquaponics – Construction and Operation
Workshop, Bryson City, NC. Each participant will construct and learn
to operate a productive small-scale system capable of producing high
quality organic vegetables and fish. For more information or to
register, visit: Aqua Culture International, or write:
Aquaculture International, Inc., PO Box 606, Andrews, NC 28901

Videos of Aquaculture International Training (related to aquacultureinternational.org)

Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural areas

The Aquaponics Journal Site

Hydroponic Information and Magazine

S&S Aqua Farm

Helpful Aquaculture Fact Sheets

Western Regional Aquaculture Center

Center for Tropical and Subtropical Aquaculture

Aquaculture Network Information Center

Fisheries Publications at Texas A&M

Power Generation:
One source in particular caught my eye:
jxcrystals.com (Thermo-PV)

Infrared Cell Technology: The foundation of the company is gallium antimonide (GaSb) photovoltaic cells, which respond to longer wavelength radiation than either traditional silicon cells or newer gallium arsenide cells. That is, anything which is hot radiates energy in waves of varying length; silicon cells and GaAs cells capture energy in the visible light spectrum, but not in the longer wavelength infrared spectrum.

GaSb cells make a new type of electric generator possible, because 90% of the available energy is in the infrared spectrum, beyond the band edge of silicon or GaAs cells. To put the significance of this in perspective, consider that a one cm2 silicon cell in direct sunlight will generate about 0.01 Watts and a GaSb cell of equal size will produce a full Watt in a fuel-fired system. Energy densities of more than 100 times are possible, so GaSb photovoltaic cells produced in high volume can generate electricity economically. Development of the first commercially viable "thermophotovoltaic" generator is seen as the top priority of JX Crystals, and the company holds twelve patents on the technology and a copyright on the name Midnight Sun®.

Sustainable Wishes

Sunday, February 26, 2006

I'm the Area Oil Awareness MeetUp Leader Now

I finally did it. I've succumbed to paying the $19/month to become the Oil Awareness Meetup leader for my area. So far, no joiners. I decided to do it so I won't have to drive to the designated locations outside of my town. I probably won't get many joiners because *they* probably don't want to drive to my town! Oh, well, we'll see what transpires. I had been on the list waiting for a group to start for over a year but nobody took the initiative.

I see where Peak Oil NYC has many members but not many attend all the meetings. If only 1 in 100,000 have joined in NYC, I probably won't have much luck. I'm trying anyway. If after a year nobody has joined, I'll just forget about it. There's probably going to be as much interest in this as I had with my "End of Suburbia" presentation--zilch.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

"My Name is Randy, And I'm Addicted To Oil"--Willamette Week Online

Willamette Week Online

Randy White was a few minutes late to his Wednesday-night meeting in the basement cafeteria of the St. Francis church in Southeast Portland.

He dragged a seat up to the 40 or so addicts who sat in a circle of folding chairs on the Smurf-blue linoleum.

Over the past year or so, White, 29, has gotten serious about throwing off the trappings of his old lifestyle, the habits that drove him to use more and more of the stuff, but it hasn't been easy.

By his own admission, White is still hopelessly hooked. It's hard, he confides, when almost everyone you know—even your wife—is strung out, too.

Randy White is addicted to oil.

Then again, he would say, so are the rest of us. At least he's trying to do something about it.

"I'm the guy waving his arms saying, 'Hey, wake up! This is important!'" White says.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Rob Hopkins--Peak Oil, the Loch Ness Monster and Energy Descent

via the Energy Bulletin here

OK, its a tenuous link but stick with me. Last week President Bush announced that the US is ‘addicted to oil’. He unveiled his version of what is going to be done about it, which doesn’t really come close to what actually needs to be done, and seems to amount to letting his friends build lots more nuclear power stations to produce hydrogen to keep the cars on the road, but I suppose we should see it as some kind of a start. It did however raise for me the question as to what we ‘peakniks’ are supposed to do once everyone cops on as to the reality of peak oil. If George Bush feels compelled to ‘fess up’, then we must be pretty close.

In Richard Heinberg’s book ‘Powerdown’, he identifies 4 options we can choose in the face of peak oil. they are Last Man Standing, which is the fight to the end for the last remaining resources (Dick Cheney’s “war that won’t end in our lifetimes”), Waiting for the Magic Elixir, that is the belief that ‘they’ will invent a new power source as versatile as oil and capable of being scaled up and rolled out to the world in a few years), Powerdown, a national government-led process of reorienting the economy for contraction and self-reliance, and Building Lifeboats, which is a ground-up process of communities building their own self reliance.

Bush’s speech comes closer to Waiting for the Magic Elixir than Powerdown. The thing that struck me about it, was that, as I have discussed in previous posts, peak oil is one of those things that people will ignore and deny until it has already happened, and then, once it has happened, all talk about as if they had always known about it. The other morning on Radio 5 Live a Liberal politician was talking and just dropping in the term peak oil as if he had been saying it since primary school.

The First Amendment (not PO related)

Red State, Meet Police State: Boise Weekly

I know this isn't peak oil related but it makes me mad and upset. What has become of our nation? Maybe this was one of the reasons why I grew up hating war and everything about it. Like excessive abusive drinking combined with family life, there is nothing positive about it as far as I can tell.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Karavans--another cool peak oil blog

"Cheney's Got A Gun"

Big Gav from Peak Energy linked me to this blog that had some lyrics to substitute for that Aerosmith song "Janie's Got a Gun". The link happens to be yet another nice peak oil blog.

Harvard Gazette: End of the fossil fuel era?

click here for full story

Simmons recommended starting to work on alternative energy sources now, rather than waiting for an energy shock. He said a major restructuring of the way freight is carried would help, reducing the reliance on trucks in favor of more efficient trains and barges.

He recommended a push to grow more foods closer to home to eliminate the long-distance shipping and encouraged the use of technology that would allow more people to work from home, saving gasoline spent today on long commutes and hours stuck in traffic.

He also recommended letting oil's price rise to reflect its true value. Higher oil prices, he said, would not only encourage conservation, they would increase profits for the industry, encourage new investment in infrastructure and exploration to find new oil sources.

"High energy prices are salvation," he said. "Low energy prices are a curse. The sooner people understand that, the better off we'll all be."

In addition to those moves to change how oil and natural gas are used, Simmons said increased use of coal and nuclear power will be in our energy future. Wind and solar power will also be part of the mix, he said, with wind power already competitive price-wise with oil, and solar power heading in that direction.

"This is a very easy issue for people to be in denial about," Simmons said

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Great Tsunami--Online Journal

click here for full story

To conclude, while I could go on and portray many other elements of the devastating effect that Peak Oil will have upon our society, my message to the American people is just this. To the millions upon millions of Americans who are content to be safely tucked into their protective cocoons, in a self-imposed state of apathy and disinterest relating to these massive problems that America faces, this may be the very final wake-up call. If we, as a nation do not collectively recognize the threat of this great tsunami, refuse to think more deeply or get educated and involved, we will be sealing the fate of our children, our grandchildren and those who follow. They are the ones who matter. We simply cannot refuse to address this monumental issue that threatens their very future existence!

When Peak Oil slams into our society with its tsunami-like force, there will be an instant negative effect on each and every one of us. The US government will have to take immediate measures to prioritize the uses of petroleum for the good of the nation in an effort to overcome the horrendous obstacles that we will face. I am sure that the military, our national police forces, energy providers, the agriculture industry, water supply sources and other critical users of gasoline and natural gas will be given the highest priorities. All other uses of petroleum will be given much lower priorities and will not be considered critical. And that is exactly why lifestyles will be altered drastically.
We simply cannot let our insatiable, our totally out-of-control thirst for oil, cripple our nation and our society as we stand in a completely docile, sheep-like state and just let it happen; just let nature take its course. Just as the Titanic went down with the loss of more than 1,500 passengers who believed she was invincible, Peak Oil will bring down America (and actually the entire world) if we, collectively, do not have the heart and the desire to get involved and demand solutions.

Bernanke: Look for more rate hikes--CNN Money

click here for full story

I thought this was funny. Read energy and food is not included in inflation rates!

Bernanke said that, despite his inflation concerns, the Fed forecast that so-called "core" inflation measures, excluding volatile food and energy prices, should be up about 2 percent this year and 1.75 percent to 2 percent next year.

Pulled Plug on Renewable Energy Gurus--Denver Post

click here for full story

The day Carol Tombari got fired plays in her head like a scene from a cheesy espionage thriller.

She arrived at work and was told to appear at a mandatory meeting in 20 minutes. It was there that she learned she was being laid off and that she had five hours to pack and vacate the premises.

When she returned to her desk, her computer had been disabled, her phone service cut.

She had to cancel an appearance the next day at a regional mayors' caucus. Her presentation on the importance of energy efficiency to local governments was locked in her computer.

She was among the disappeared from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, where 31 workers were dismissed seven days after President Bush read the words "addicted to oil" off the teleprompter and announced yet another "Advanced Energy Initiative."

Monday, February 13, 2006

Hello from the Newest Member of the Peak Oil Premonitions Blog

Hello from the newest member of the Peak Oil Premonitions blog.

For almost a year I have studied the issue of depletion of "cheap oil" ( a.k.a. "big" oil). I believe it was used as part of a strategy developed during the Cold War of the 1950's. This involved dispersing the population of the densely populated areas of (the eastern half of) the USA towards the less populated regions. This necessitated the availability of an interstate highway network, the building of filling stations (some of which went on to develop a critical mass of people worthy of a town) and the creation of an automobile and trucking industry (to the detriment of trains and other mass transit methods).

The commensurate "development" model of business and commerce has, in my opinion, introduced a significant "distortion field" into the economic history of North America. The dependency on (ever increasing amounts of) imported oil grows larger. Both the political and economic impact of a disruption in oil (or other energy) supplies has already been felt, most recently in the aftermath of the Katrina and Rita hurricanes.

As a Christian, I believe we already have the spiritual foundation necessary to avoid the temptations of "modernity". Any alternatives to "modernity" should include a sense of optimism, community and self-fulfillment. The principles and methods of Permaculture go a long way in describing such alternatives in practical terms. Try browsing through http://www.technorati.com/search/permaculture and see if you don't agree.

Thank you for reading. Any constructive criticism is appreciated.

Kenneth Deffeyes--Join Us as we Watch the Crisis Unfolding

click here for story

In the January 2004 Current Events on this web site, I predicted that world oil production would peak on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2005. In hindsight, that prediction was in error by three weeks. An update using the 2005 data shows that we passed the peak on December 16, 2005.

"A decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires" that I present an update on the data sources and the interpretation.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Adding a contributor to my blog

Since I'm hitting a particular time in my life busy with a new full-time job and a child getting ready to enter college in the fall, I'm adding another member to the blog in order to keep the blog from standing still for long periods of time. Trying to train for this new job, getting ready for a high school graduation this spring, trying to start seeds for the garden, and helping to fill out and prepare scholarship applications is proving to push out quality time I'd like to spend here on my blog right now.

My new co-blogger is a very intelligent person I've found on the ROE2 group. His name is George and he is from Canada. I hope you will enjoy his contributions. His approval from blogger is pending, and hopefully his entry status will be operational soon. Please give him a warm welcome with his first entry.

U.S. Plans Massive Data Sweep--Christian Science Monitor

click here for full story

I bet I have an interesting file. What about you?

The US government is developing a massive computer system that can collect huge amounts of data and, by linking far-flung information from blogs and e-mail to government records and intelligence reports, search for patterns of terrorist activity.

The system - parts of which are operational, parts of which are still under development - is already credited with helping to foil some plots. It is the federal government's latest attempt to use broad data-collection and powerful analysis in the fight against terrorism. But by delving deeply into the digital minutiae of American life, the program is also raising concerns that the government is intruding too deeply into citizens' privacy.

"We don't realize that, as we live our lives and make little choices, like buying groceries, buying on Amazon, Googling, we're leaving traces everywhere," says Lee Tien, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "We have an attitude that no one will connect all those dots. But these programs are about connecting those dots - analyzing and aggregating them - in a way that we haven't thought about. It's one of the underlying fundamental issues we have yet to come to grips with."

The core of this effort is a little-known system called Analysis, Dissemination, Visualization, Insight, and Semantic Enhancement (ADVISE). Only a few public documents mention it. ADVISE is a research and development program within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), part of its three-year-old "Threat and Vulnerability, Testing and Assessment" portfolio. The TVTA received nearly $50 million in federal funding this year.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Permanent Energy Crisis--Michael T. Klare

click here for story

President Bush's State of the Union comment that the United States is "addicted to oil" can be read as pure political opportunism. With ever more Americans expressing anxiety about high oil prices, freakish weather patterns, and abiding American ties to unsavory foreign oil potentates, it is hardly surprising that Bush sought to portray himself as an advocate of the development of alternative energy systems. But there is another, more ominous way to read his comments: that top officials have come to realize that the United States and the rest of the world face a new and growing danger – a permanent energy crisis that imperils the health and well-being of every society on earth.

To be sure, the United States has experienced severe energy crises before: the 1973-74 "oil shock" with its mile-long gas lines; the 1979-80 crisis following the fall of the Shah of Iran; the 2000-01 electricity blackouts in California, among others. But the crisis taking shape in 2006 has a new look to it. First of all, it is likely to last for decades, not just months or a handful of years; second, it will engulf the entire planet, not just a few countries; and finally, it will do more than just cripple the global economy -- its political, military, and environmental effects will be equally severe.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

More Technical Difficulties

Well, I THOUGHT I had added some new entries the past few days but now they don't seem to come up. Hmmm. Weird. I saw them on my site yesterday. They aren't even in my save/edit files. Sorry.