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What If There Isn't Enough Energy Going Forward?

We'll be forced to live with less. Maybe a LOT less.
Friday, August 24, 2018, 6:09 PM

Currently the media is breathlessly cheering the record amounts of US oil production. Stories like this one get top billing on major news websites:

Texas Gulf Coast exports more oil than it imports for the first time (CNN)

It's a big achievement that highlights a surge in US oil exports, and that shows how the shale boom can make America less reliant on foreign oil.

"It's a definite milestone. Nobody saw this coming 10 years ago," said Bob McNally, president of consulting firm Rapidan Energy Group and a former energy official under President George W. Bush. "It's an unambiguously good thing. It diversifies our dependence from the volatile Middle East."

Texas is the epicenter of the shale revolution, with soaring production in the oil-rich Permian Basin leading the United States to record output. Rapid technological advances in fracking, the process of unlocking oil and gas deep underground, have dramatically reduced the cost to drill oil in the Permian Basin.

Texas is now on track to produce more oil than either Iran or Iraq. That would make Texas No. 3 in the world if it were a country.

Sounds pretty wonderful, right? Technology advances in the fracking process have enabled the "shale miracle", resulting in the US producing over 10 million barrels per day for the first time since the 1970s. Think of all the incremental GDP growth that excess oil will power!

If these trends continue, CNN goes on to tell us, the US will become an net energy exporter soon:

US on track to become net energy exporter

The United States still relies on foreign oil -- but not as much.

The gap between oil imports and exports shrank to a 24-year low of 6.8 million barrels per day in 2017, according to the EIA. Even though the economy is stronger, US oil imports fell to 7.8 million barrels per day in May. That's down from more than 9 million barrels per day as recently as mid-2012.

Reality-Check

OK, let's take a moment to conduct a little reality-check of the hype.

First off, notice how the CNN article above mentions that the US is still importing 7.8 million barrels per day. That's not much less that the record levels we're currently extracting from our own soil. So domestic oil production would have to nearly double from here to turn the US into a net oil exporter. Translation: we're not weaning ourselves off of foreign oil anytime soon, under the best of conditions.

Next, a key assumption the shale cheerleaders are making is that current output trends will continue. That shale basins like the Permian will yield increasing volumes of crude from here well into the future.

As petroleum geologist Art Berman has explained to us in numerous podcasts, shale oil (called "tight oil") wells deplete very differently than conventional oil wells.

Oil extraction from a conventional well over time follows a bell curve (left), where it takes roughly as many years as it did to the hit the apex of production as it does for the well to peter out. Shale wells on the other hand, deplete on a hyberbolic curve (right). Roughly 80% of a shale well's total output is exausted by the end of Year 2(!):

So to increase production from a shale basin, you have to drill more and more wells to overcompensate for this rapid decline of each individual well.

This is referred to as the Red Queen syndrome, where eventually you're having to drill more and more aggressively just to maintain a constant (i.e. flat) level of output:

An even bigger problem with this approach is that shale basins are not infinite. Eventually, they deplete. You run out of well sites to drill.

And well quality within a basin tends to degrade over time. Humans being humans, we tend to pursure the best well prospects first, and then move on to lower and lower-grade prospects as the better wells dry up.

In fact, production for most major US shale basins like the Bakken and Eagle Ford declined substantially from their peaks in 2015 to the beginning of this year. They've both seen a resurgence in output over 2018 as oil has risen to the $70 per barrel range -- though the big question is: How long can this new surge last?

It's also important to keep in mind that estimates of how much oil in these basins is actually economically recoverable are not rock-solid. Over the past decade, estimates for several large shale basins have been drastically reduced once better data started coming in from oil explorers. The Utica play is a good examples of this -- but none is more extreme than the Monterrey basin, which was reduced overnight in 2014 by a whopping 96%:

U.S. officials cut estimate of recoverable Monterey Shale oil by 96%

Federal energy authorities have slashed by 96% the estimated amount of recoverable oil buried in California's vast Monterey Shale deposits, deflating its potential as a national "black gold mine" of petroleum.

Just 600 million barrels of oil can be extracted with existing technology, far below the 13.7 billion barrels once thought recoverable from the jumbled layers of subterranean rock spread across much of Central California, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.

The Monterey Shale formation contains about two-thirds of the nation's shale oil reserves. It had been seen as an enormous bonanza, reducing the nation's need for foreign oil imports through the use of the latest in extraction techniques, including acid treatments, horizontal drilling and fracking.

The energy agency said the earlier estimate of recoverable oil, issued in 2011 by an independent firm under contract with the government, broadly assumed that deposits in the Monterey Shale formation were as easily recoverable as those found in shale formations elsewhere.

The estimate touched off a speculation boom among oil companies. The new findings seem certain to dampen that enthusiasm.

(Source)

Take that in for a moment. Two thirds of the US shale oil reserves suddently declared essentially useless/unobtainable.

Why This Matters

OK, so why does this matter?

Because Energy is essential to the Economy. It powers economic activity.

More energy = more growth. Less energy = economic contraction.

There's a plethora of charts out there showing this 1:1 correlation between energy expended (Mtep/Mbtus) and economic growth (GDP). Here's just one:

(Source)

So, as energy goes, so goes the economy.

As we've covered in great depth on this website and in The Crash Course video series, the world remains addicted to liquid fuels and nearly all of those today are fossil-based. Even under the best case scenarios, the world will continue to be fossil-fuel dependent for decades to come.

Looking at projections for world liquid fuel demand, we see demand continuing to grow substantially, as shown this chart from ExxonMobile's 2018 Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040 report:

Note a few important observations here:

  • Conventional oil production is projected to decrease, while total oil production (conv + deepwater + sands + tight) will increase
  • Tight (i.e. shale) oil will be the biggest contributor to filling this gap

Now, remember above. The shale plays deplete MUCH faster than conventional fields and we've already gone after the richest basin deposits. A big question to answer is: Can we really count on the shale industry to provide this much new oil for this long?

Petroleum geologists like Art Berman don't think so. He sees the current spike in shale output as a relatively short-term event, a pleasant windfall that will exhaust itself much faster than most realize. He refers to the current bonanza as not a new dawn for US oil production, but as its 'retirement party'

We're also cautioned not to put too much faith in the conventional oil supply projections, as the industry is notorious for over-estimating remaining deposits. This chart, referred to as the "hedgehog" chart by oil analysts, shows how nearly every year, the IEA has been forced to downgrade its previous production projections for conventional oil:

So, the existing fields may deplete faster than we think AND there may be less economically recoverable supply than we currently forecast.

Furthermore, a lot of investment is required to get all of this future liquid fuel out of the ground and to market. The chart below (from the same ExxonMobile study) shows that roughly 80% of the supply from today's current wells will be gone in the next 20 years.

With the shale oil producers losing money every year for the past decade, with oil producers underinvesting in capex for much of that time, and the risk of global recession(s) returning, will the full investments necessary to meet world liquid fuel demand actually be made?

What If There Isn't Enough Energy To Meet World Demand?

What if future oil supply comes up short? Either from lack of investment, or faster-than-expected depletion of the shale plays (and/or the conventional ones), or whatever.

For a world addicted to liquid fossil fuels, what would the ramifications be?

Transportation specialist Alice Friedemann has made a career of warning of how bad things could get, depending on the swiftness and severity of a liquid fuels emergency.

Best known for her book, When Trucks Stop Running, here's her forecast of what would happen should our trucking system shut down for lack of fuel:

Day 1 without trucks

  • Manufacturers and assembly lines that use just-in-time delivery will shut down when parts run out or storage for finished products fills up.
  • Hospitals will run out of supplies like syringes and catheters within hours.
  • Milk and fresh bread will run out.

Day 2 without trucks

  • Food shortages will escalate, especially in the face of hoarding and consumer panic. Supplies of essentials and perishable foods will disappear
  • Restaurants and fast food outlets close
  • ATMs will run out of cash
  • Construction stops
  • Pharmacies close
  • Americans generate 685,000 tons of trash per day. Garbage will start piling up in urban and suburban areas creating a health hazard.

Day 3 without trucks

  • Most service stations will run out of fuel
  • Widespread lay-offs in the manufacturing sector
  • Waste water sludge becomes a problem as tanks at treatment plants are now full
  • Work on infrastructure stops as repairs can’t be undertaken
  • Public transport, fire, police, ambulances, telecommunications, utilities, mail, and other essential services stop

Day 4 without trucks

  • The repercussions start to reverberate globally, as 48,000 imported containers per day can’t be unloaded off of ships. Exports stop too.
  • All fuel supplies are depleted from service stations. Many people can’t get to work
  • With no fuel, airplanes and railroads shut down.
  • Garbage is piling up and has become a sanitary problem
  • Britain is out of beer

Day 5 without truck transport

  • Drinking water is depleted. The delay of weekly deliveries of chemicals has meant that water treatment plants can no longer guarantee that water is fit to drink.
  • Industrial production stops, a large proportion of the labor force is laid-off or unable to get to work, travel and recreation stop
  • Healthcare is confined to emergency services
  • Utilities have localized disruption of gas and electricity, and due to lack of fuel can’t pump water and gas, repair broken water and gas networks, etc
  • Livestock begin to suffer from lack of feed deliveries, wastes accumulate, ranchers can’t transport animals to slaughterhouses,  meat production stops
  • The Swedish Alcohol Retail Monopoly is out of alcohol

Within four weeks:

  • The nation will exhaust its clean water supply and water will be safe for drinking only after boiling.
  • If this happened at harvest time, many crops will rot in the fields
  • The Department of Defense supply chain will break down, crippling the military “in ways no adversary has been able to achieve”.
  • Global financial collapse.  A halt of international trade would bring the financial system down, probably sooner than this.

This is just a partial list of what would occur.

(Source)

Where Are We In The Energy Story?

So Friedemann certainly paints a frightening picture of how bad things *could* get. How likely is it to get that bad?

Where are we in the energy story? Are we flirting with disaster, or are things closer to the rosy outlook we read about in the media?

These are important questions. Depending on the answers to them, very different actions need to be taken. So it's important to get as clear a picture as possible of what the likeliest developments from here are, and then determine your best path to prepare.

Which is why we're hosting our webinar, The Energy Predicament, this Sunday, August 26 at 4pm ET. It will feature Art Berman, Alice Friedemann, along with oil & gas well operator Bob Burr -- to provide both analytical as well as boots-on-the-ground perspective.

If you agree this is an important topic to educate yourself on, learn more about the webinar by clicking here.

IMPORTANT NEWS

The live version of this webinar took place on Aug 26, 2018. It was excellent.

To purchase access to the replay video of the event for $30, click the blue button below:

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29 Comments

themccarthyfarm's picture
themccarthyfarm
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 4 2014
Posts: 32
Why don't I see it coming?

I started studying oil in 2003 just after I read Richard Heinberg's book "The Parties Over".  I know all the issues Adam is talking about but for some reason it's so much easier to not worry about it.  For awhile I just had to tell everyone I met, "Do you know the world has an oil problem?" No one listened.  No one did anything.  They didn't even want to know.  

I have mostly stopped telling people about the trouble we are in.  I don't even think about it that much anymore.  I just pretend my idilic life will go on and on just as it has for many year. 

My mind can't hanlde know the train wreck is coming for this long.  Maybe I should be doing more to prepare.  Maybe I should be trying to teach people what to do.  Maybe I should be writing letters to President Trump explaining what is happening.  The reality is I've done a lot.  I've tried to teach a lot of people.  And I'm pretty sure Donald wouldn't pay much attention to me.

I know the poop could hit the fan any time now but it might be another 5 years.  I can't handle the stress of worrying about the world as we know it coming to an end.  I know the end is coming but I can't worry about it anymore.

Yoxa's picture
Yoxa
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 21 2011
Posts: 306
Fact of Life
Quote:

 I know the end is coming but I can't worry about it anymore.

That is sensible. Even as we brace for dark probabilities, little is gained if we let worry suck all the joy out of today. Cultivate an attitude of watchfulness rather than worry.

Improving our readiness needn't and shouldn't preclude our ability to "smell the roses" along the way.

 

ezlxq1949's picture
ezlxq1949
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 29 2009
Posts: 264
Armourgeddin?

Oh dear, look, I know I can't spell "Armageddon," but it's not the end of the world.

aggrivated's picture
aggrivated
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 22 2010
Posts: 572
Which way do you lean?

The McCarthy response to Chris' marketing article for the webinar is very normal. Marketing is supposed to awaken an awareness of need. In the case of oil dependance, if you are already leaning away from it and have made a number of preps for some yet to be defined future then this marketing can cause more angst than knowledge.

The article reaches out to those of us who give up leaning away from oil dependance and fall back into operating in what many Peakers would call LaLaLand.

Putting aside the marketing and just participating in the webinar should help eliminate some cognitive dissonance. Both Berman and Friedemann are fact based professionals who do not impress me as worriers. Learning more of the facts and considerig their implications should help all of us know better how to look to the future with both soberness and satisfaction that our preparation is not stupid or insane. I'm looking forward to hearing their presentations and discussion.

kleymo's picture
kleymo
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Joined: Apr 28 2012
Posts: 16
Is this all there is, is this all there is ... (the song)

I think you have kind of hit the nail on the head there. If you are old enough, and still able to enjoy what is currently available, there is no personal material loss. The codicile there is that your family would not want to do what the Martenson family did.

 

My family has no interest what-so-ever in changing the way we live. For me, it is either give up my family, or live life as if things will go on the way they are. At this point I am willing to talk, but find it more politic to not volunteer much. My successfull acquaintences are doing fine personally, so it's all good. When they occasionally do make comments about my "doom and gloom" I start asking questions. That ends the conversation pretty quick.

 

Of course, these friends only want to talk about politics right now. For a year they thought I voted for Trump, just because I did not talk like them. I lost a job due to not talking as if the Russians are after us, and that Trump is a monster. The fact that I am fluent in Russian does not help my case. 

 

I find personal satisfaction in my children enjoying the bounty that we have, am sad for their futures, and have much disdain for metropolitan America.

nedyne's picture
nedyne
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 14 2012
Posts: 73
When the trucks stop running

I'm baffled. Why did Adam choose to include the day-by-day analysis of what would happen if oil supplies went from normal to absolute ZERO overnight, with no caveat? Of course that's not going to happen for geological reasons. If anything anywhere close to that happened, it would have to be for a pandemic.

If oil declines, it would be just that: a decline, and a rise in price. Trucks are essential services or services for which the oil price is just a tiny amount of the value derived, so they would be among the last things to go. Way before all trucks went idle, people would reduce their discretionary (and even some non-discretionary) driving and air travel and this would close the short-fall (for a while, or for a few years). And if oil availability continued to decline, then even more drastic savings would ensue.

The US also has a strategic oil reserve (however limited), so the idea of going from normal to zero overnight also doesn't make sense on that count.

I don't know how it can be useful to consider what would happen in such an unrealistic scenario, but the article doesn't even say that it's a completely fictional scenario.

skipr's picture
skipr
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 9 2016
Posts: 168
70s oil embargo

Declining production isn't the only thing that can stop the trucks.  I was living in LA and working at my first job out of college when the oil embargo hit.  I had to drive 25 miles one way to go to work and some people had to go 60.  Car pooling became an immediate necessity.  There were fist fights and worst at the gas pumps since the car lines went on for blocks.  And all of this was happening when the US oil production in the lower 48 was at it's peak.

On the positive side, a friend bought a house close to his job just before it went down.  The price of his house skyrocketed.  He sold it and moved out of Calif.

Stan Robertson's picture
Stan Robertson
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 7 2008
Posts: 665
Minor correction needed.

The statements that say that a conventional vertical well depletes in a bell curve is simply wrong. Multiple well reservoirs and fields produce in that way and the bell curve figure shown in the article could be corrected easily by just changing the "Well" in the heading to the plural "Wells". The decline curves of conventional vertical wells and horizontal shale wells have the same typical shape with an early production peak followed by rapid decline, then slower decline. The difference is that the early production rate peaks are usually much higher for a horizontal well than for a  vertical well in the same formation, followed by a much more rapid rate of decline for the horizontals. Horizontals typically recover 90% of their ultimate reserves in the first 3 years.

As most readers here are well aware, the thing that counts is EROEI (if unfamiliar, look it up).  To the extent that this is reflected in the economics of drilling, it appears to me that there is a net gain in the horizontal wells. Average well cost for a horizontal well is about 2.5 times that of a vertical well, but yields recoveries of about 3 to 4 times that of a vertical well. The big problem here is that vertical wells are simply uneconomical in many, if not most, shale formations. The gain from horizontal drilling may not do much for you if you are drilling poor prospects in the first place.

Uncletommy's picture
Uncletommy
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: May 3 2014
Posts: 633
Embrace the change!

The energy predictament is only that, if you focus on what we stand to lose. As long as we continue to see the world as a place where manufactured commodities continue to be our mainstay in our ever increasing frenetic lifestyle, then we are in for some difficult times ahead. That fact does not preclude our desire or ability to provide the basic necessities for those of us inclined to be self-reliant. If we continue to look to Wal-mart, Future Shop, Costco, Safeway, Kroger and the likes for the conveniences that an oil-glutted world provides, we will certainly be dissappointed, as will our children and grandchildren. If we fail to be the broken-record of elderly and sage wisdom to our peers and the coming generations, we only have ourselves to blame and our descendents indignation.

The future is going to happen whether we approve of it or not; so get over it! Get out of your little "cellular" cocoon and interact with those around you. Reconnecting with our natural environment and working within that framework can be a poignant demonstration to those around us of what can be achieved. And, if you happen to break a sweat in the meantime, embrace it; it's bound to be beneficial in the long run. Our fossil-fuel bonanza should not be squandered, but shared diligently. Look there for your contentment and succor.  

richcabot's picture
richcabot
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Posts: 226
You're not alone
kleymo wrote:

My family has no interest what-so-ever in changing the way we live. For me, it is either give up my family, or live life as if things will go on the way they are. At this point I am willing to talk, but find it more politic to not volunteer much. 

I find personal satisfaction in my children enjoying the bounty that we have, am sad for their futures, and have much disdain for metropolitan America.

I'm in the same situation.  The veneer of normalcy makes people unwilling to have a conversation about what's really going on.  There is still far too much trust in the mainstream media and the manufactured message of the day.

Boomer41's picture
Boomer41
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 30 2008
Posts: 137
Trucks will stop running when banking crisis hits

The idea that the trucks will stop running because diesel fuel becomes suddenly unavailable is implausible. However, if a banking crisis caused all of the ATMs to shut down and the credit cards truck drivers use to buy fuel went off-line, then the above disaster scenario could happen. I believe this to be a much more probable event.

richcabot's picture
richcabot
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 5 2011
Posts: 226
It may be a sharper drop than you expect
nedyne wrote:

Of course that's not going to happen for geological reasons. If anything anywhere close to that happened, it would have to be for a pandemic.

Any serious disruption in the mid-east could cause this.  Start a war with Iran and brace yourself.

nedyne wrote:

If oil declines, it would be just that: a decline, and a rise in price. Trucks are essential services or services for which the oil price is just a tiny amount of the value derived, so they would be among the last things to go. 

The US also has a strategic oil reserve (however limited), so the idea of going from normal to zero overnight also doesn't make sense on that count. 

Oil can't be turned completely into diesel fuel.  The ratio of distillates can be varied within a range but not too wide.  This would be an interesting topic for an interview with an industry expert.

Also, oil isn't interchageable.  Refineries are optimized for different types.  It takes a long time (a year or more) to convert a refinery from one type to another.  If sweet crude supplies drop because the mideast shuts down, refineries that depend on it will shut down as well.

aggrivated's picture
aggrivated
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 22 2010
Posts: 572
Is energy just another commodity?

Will the price of oil go up if less is available? The answer to that question will shape your whole outlook on the seriousness of our future predicament.

We might say that oxygen is a commodity that we humans and nature use to keep our systems running. If it becomes scarce (as in the drop of oxygen in your blood during various diseases) then the whole human biological system goes into crises quickly. With only a slight drop to below 90% the body starts to react and systems of normal interactions break down.

Similarly we live in a very complex system we call the economy. If the energy availble to operate it is decreased slowly then it should adapt. But if the drop is precipitous then there will be inadequate time for adaptation. Complex system theory (of which I am not expert) could help us to know what might happen if we could have all the necessary variables in consideration, but this is a gargantuan task. I suspect from my reading that even a 10% drop in available energy will disrupt far more than we might expect.

And to add to the mix, our money and energy are tightly coupled. Gail Tverberg's perspective is that, unlike many commodities, energy will not follow the normal 'supply and demand' pricing structure.  Part of this due to the fact that our monetary system is heavily based on future available energy (debt), not just expended energy ('true' savings based capital). In this scenario if the hope of growing future energy starts to vaporize then the confidence in the whole monetary system also goes up in vapor. Over the past few decades the monetary system balance between debt and capital has been more and more debt skewed.  Cheap money is the lifeline of fracking oil. This is to me a sure sign that the canary is wobbling on its perch.  So with the tight interdependance between future energy availablity and money, the pricing for oil as it becomes scarce should not follow the normal supply and demand relationship.

 

ezlxq1949's picture
ezlxq1949
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 29 2009
Posts: 264
LaLaLand Down Under

I've written elsewhere on PP about the bafflingly blithe attitude towards fuel security of a series of Australian federal governments, of both main political persuasions. Some 75 per cent of our crude oil and 55 per cent of our refined petroleum come from outside the country. At any one time we have only 21 days of petrol stocks, 16 days of diesel and 19 days of aviation fuel.

Australia is one of the few places in the world without a government-mandated strategic reserve of fuel, and if conflict broke out in our region and current stockpiles of petrol, diesel and aviation fuel ran dry, the military would effectively be grounded. Some of our new naval vessels are powered by a form of diesel or bunker oil which comes precisely from a part of the world which is most susceptible to turmoil. Honestly, you couldn't make this up.

Other things would be affected if food can't be distributed readily. One commentator hit the nail on the head, “At one stage they calculated we only have 14 days worth of yeast. People say, ‘What about the bread?’ Bugger the bread, what about the beer?”

Then there's pharmaceuticals. I have an eye condition which can be treated, not cured, by two imported drugs, one from Ireland, the other from France. If the supply of these were permanently cut off, I could lose my vision within a few years. How's that for a cheerful prospect? Sightless in a collapsing world!

Mind you, it might be very salutory for us to cope with an energy predicament. In the 1970s we were quite a busy and innovative manufacturing and agricultural country. At the end of long supply chains we simply had to be. The major resources we lacked then and lack now are heavy crude oil and natural rubber. We have ample thorium. I don't know what rare earths we have. Untold volumes of coal. Whether any of this would help in a crisis, I don't know. We did it before; could we do it again? Probably not. We've been dozing in the neoliberal sun for far too long.

The government last May made noises about undertaking an urgent review of the situation and doing something minor by 2020 — wow, such exemplary celerity! — but this has been overtaken by events as the incumbent government tears itself apart in internecine brawls and lunges for power. The public are fed up and a change of government (to Labor) now looks highly likely, and maybe the new one will take this matter more seriously than the former, but elections will of course be postponed for as long as possible.

Worryingly, both main parties — or rather, both branches of the central party — seem wedded to neoliberalism. The right-wing incumbents certainly are; we have a new PM and ex-Treasurer who self-describes as a neoliberal. The horror. Our pollies believe that our salvation will come from The Market, they can check their brains in at the Market door, they are relieved of the need and responsibility for thinking and acting, they can continue business as usual, government exists solely for defence of the realm (via outsourced weapons systems) and contract enforcement.

They seem to view market failures, and there are plenty of them, as minor, inevitable, disregardable bumps in the road towards economic and social paradise. OK then, I'll see you there.

Sparky1's picture
Sparky1
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Joined: Jul 21 2016
Posts: 15
Passing of Sen. John McCain

Ok, I post next to never and try my best to remain as invisibile on the 'net as possible, and I haven't yet figured out the PP forums for alternative posts, so here I am/land, compelled to post givien the passing of Senator John McCain.Note please that I am apolitical, distrustive for all good cause of political affiliation. But I wanted to acknowledge the passing of Senator John McCain on 8/25/2018, a person who was thrust into and lived life to the fullest dispite extreme difficulties, even to the very end of his life. Note please also that I hate f'in war and all of its polico-financial incentives and carnage. For me, courage in the face of adversity, perseverence and dedication to loved ones and principles is important and defining. I sensed that in John McCain, so I acknowledge his contributions and the loss to humanity with his passing.  Sorry in advance if inappropirately posting on this venue. Otherwise, IMHO:  Difficult and dark times ahead, plan and implement accordingly.

grandefille's picture
grandefille
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Posts: 38
As Richcabot wrote,  The

As Richcabot wrote,  The veneer of normalcy makes people unwilling to have a conversation about what's really going on.  There is still far too much trust in the mainstream media and the manufactured message of the day.

13 years ago I learned about peak oil.  Talked a lot about it with my extended family.  Nothing changed.  11 years ago I bought a small farm.  Currently have productive pastures with sheep, dairy goats, and honey bees.  I'm a partner in a cheese prducer.  Am collaborating with the owners of a high tunnel for extending the growing season (in Michigan).  Heat the house mostly with wood and have several years' worth stockpiled.  Have a small solar/wind system.  Had chickens until recently.  People don't want to hear "doom and gloom", so I let my actions speak for me.

With the current political system, more people are making derogatory comments about MSM.  When that happens, I say that the media works hard to distract us with stupid, unimportant [email protected]#t so that we don't think about what's really happening.  Sometimes that is a conversation starter.  Usually not. 

I don't "worry" much about the future.  I do what I can, know that it will be inadequate, but that's life.  I truly enjoy my current endeavors and am very fortunate to have enough money to live comfortably.

Matt Holbert's picture
Matt Holbert
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Joined: Oct 3 2008
Posts: 145
Did local progressive radio station censor McCain discussion?

Sparky1- For an alternative perspective on McCain entitled Obit Omit: What the Media Leaves Out of John McCain's Record of Misogyny and Militarism:

https://www.democracynow.org/shows/2018/8/27?autostart=true

Perhaps the most interesting -- to me, at least -- aspect of this segment is that the local "progressive" radio station cut the segment off midway through. They just started playing music. The show never came back on. It could have been a technical glitch but one wonders...

I was able to watch it in its entirety by going to the above link.

Pipyman's picture
Pipyman
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Posts: 64
Thanks

I’m glad you bothered. I wasn’t sure whether my guttural reaction was misleading me. Now at least I know it’s not just my guts playing-up

Sparky1's picture
Sparky1
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 21 2016
Posts: 15
"Obit Omit" Alternative Perspective on John McCain

Hi Matt,

Thank you for your post and link to the alternative perspective on McCain entitled Obit Omit: What the Media Leaves Out of John McCain's Record of Misogyny and Militarism:

https://www.democracynow.org/shows/2018/8/27?autostart=true

The piece was well-done, interesting and informative and did, indeed, provide an alternative perspective on the late Senator John McCain than that which is now saturating the main stream media. A balanced reporting of McCain's life and his record of "contributions" and/or "crimes" will be hard to come by. For better and worse, McCain was truly a product of his times--our times. Whether his passing constitutes a loss to humanity or an opportunity to highlight and atone for crimes against humanity should be the topic of thoughtful reflection (my own included) and uncensored discourse and reporting. Regardless, his passing will make no difference in slowing the relentless pursuit of power and profit from war. As noted in "Obit Omit", we may just have a different "brand" of militaristic foreign policy.  But oil and energy will be its key feature, as always.

 

Matt Holbert's picture
Matt Holbert
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 3 2008
Posts: 145
Why have I not come across this person before? Remarkable...

(Note: I submitted a recent article about Mayer Hillman to Daily Digest earlier today. Pehaps it will appear in tomorrow's DD...)

As someone who has not flown in 14 years and someone who is committed to cycling...How could I have not run across this man and his ideas; 2002 article: https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2002/nov/02/weekend7.weekend2

acesovereggs's picture
acesovereggs
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 22 2018
Posts: 15
Suicidal

I would love to ride my bicycle more.  It would be suicidal to attempt to go to the grocery store, for example.

Around here a not insignificant percentage of folks are openly hostile -- usually horn honking or getting their vehicle as close as possible to you (if you're lucky enough to catch them while they're not texting). 

Uncletommy's picture
Uncletommy
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: May 3 2014
Posts: 633
Suicidal or death by a thousand cuts(breaths)?

Even riding a bicycle on residential roads, to avoid the big gas-guzzling pickups, you still expose yourself to the vagarities of on-street parking as you weave your way through town. Loosening up standards for four-wheeled behemoths still ignores basic safety principles for any of us inclined to human powered transport. The Netherlands and Demark are on the "right track" with segergated pedestrian and bike lanes. Unfortunately, big auto makers stand to lose by any suggestion of this alternative.

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/trump-fuel-economy-standards_us_5b106b1ae4b010565aaa80e4

aggrivated's picture
aggrivated
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 22 2010
Posts: 572
Not suicidal but being armed helps

Most urban cyclists carry a chain for locking purposes. It can also double as a self defense weapon. (no carry permit needed) I've seen a cyclist have his chain in hand on difficult streets. Most motorists love their paint jobs more than their immediate access to your spot of roadway turf. The keys to safe cycling are being clearly visible (bright colors and bright lights) plus staking out your spot of road confidentially. I'd much rather work through traffic than have some dog lunge at me on a greenway path.

Texting while driving on the other hand is a menace for other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

Matt Holbert's picture
Matt Holbert
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 3 2008
Posts: 145
Tips to make cycling less "suicidal"

Uncletommy- Here's to segregated bicycle/pedestrian/motor vehicle lanes. I've been in two cycling accidents and both resulted in multiple fractures and lacerations. In the second incident, I fractured the right side of my face in three places and have since had to have a tooth extracted as one consequence. (Implants are obscenely expensive. I could have a complete set of implants done in Thailand for what it costs for one here in the states.) Someone I know said: "finally, you'll have to get a vehicle." The person, like many in my part of the world, consider cyclists to be the devil. I have not bought a vehicle, but I do have some tips on cycling:

1) Do not hesitate to ride on the sidewalk at an appropriate speed in high vehicular traffic areas.

2) Never, ever assume that drivers see you no matter how bright your clothing or how many high powered lights you have. Unfortunately, many vehicles have darkened windows and a cyclist or pedestrian has no idea whether or not they are seen. Often, I just stop and pull to the curb and let them go on their merry way.

3) Avoid riding during the times when drivers are crazed. The start of the workday, lunchtime, and the end of the workday are to be avoided. My second accident happened just after 5 pm. Bad timing. 10am to 11am is a better time to get out if you have to "run" errands.

4) Focus on the road. The last incident was partially caused by a woman -- approaching me in a car -- who could see that a pickup was backing out of a drive in my path. She yelled at me as I met her and I turned to see what she was yelling at. Bam! I could have probably stopped in time if she had not distracted me.

5) Avoid the medical/insurance complex at all costs. The experience of dealing with the aftermath of the accident was far more painful than the injuries themself.

6) And, stay away from those car doors...

Michael_Rudmin's picture
Michael_Rudmin
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 25 2014
Posts: 919
I'm going to add that there's a good bike safety website

Let me think... it might be something like

https://bicyclesafe.com/

One other thing I noticed: if you get a really nice trike or velomobile, people think it's cool; they like it, and therefore they notice you.

So they don't hit you.

But if you do that, I'd advise getting a New York Fuggetaboutit version of the kryptonite lock. It sucks to have a $12k velomobile stolen. Maybe also put in a geotracker as well...

ezlxq1949's picture
ezlxq1949
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 29 2009
Posts: 264
Ways to avoid suicide by bicycle

You may be interested to know some ways in which Canberra is promoting the bicycle as a mode of transport.

  • It is legal to ride on the footpath (sidewalk). It is not legal in the enveloping state of NSW.
  • It is now the law that motorists must maintain a separation of at least one metre from cyclists. It is legal for motorists to cross double white lines if necessary.
  • Many roads have bike lanes marked on them. A network of separate bike paths has existed for many years and is being extended.
  • Most buses have bicycle racks on the front. Only 2 bikes at a time, but it's better than nothing.
  • Privatise lots of public open space so that car parking facilities become either scarce or private, in the hope that people will be forced out of their cars and into public transport and/or onto bicycles. (Privatisation is the neoliberal response to every problem. Permanently and totally successful.)
  • Recently, amendments to 3rd party injury legislation were proposed so that anyone injured in a car accident (including hitting a cyclist or a kangaroo) will be covered regardless of fault for up to five years for medical treatment, care, loss of income and dependent support in the case of death. I'm not sure if this has been enacted yet. Of course, I'd rather not be injured at all. :-)
sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 2033
Kangaroo Collisions a Big Problem

Thanks, ezlxq1949, for helping to highlight the problems you Austrailians are having with Kangaroo collisions.  The prospect of having to pay the medical bills for 5 years for an injured Kangaroo would be pretty strong incentive to caution on the roadway!

In Santa Cruz, CA, where I lived for 25 years, broad bike lanes line the biggest streets and traffic is cautious enough in the residential areas that a bicycle is truly a workable transportation form.  And of course, the weather was moderate with 320 days per year judged "good for biking."

Here in Virginia, quite the oposite.  Norrow lanes, no bike lanes and no paved shoulders on the roads.  Every big pickup whizzing past a cyclist is a near death experience.

 

DennisC's picture
DennisC
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 19 2011
Posts: 342
Same Here

Same deal in my area.  On the other hand, in my many years, I have trouble remembering when the last time was that I saw a cyclist stop at a stop sign, traffic signal, or for someone in a crosswalk.  Everyone is fair game it seems.

If I was an "ambulance chaser", this might be a place to hang out the shingle (link below, but read just before bedtime).  Some bureaucrat worked overtime to come up with the fee schedule for "accidents".  Did not see anything regarding D.V.M. costs for the poor Roos on bikes.  In my opinion, kind of like getting a $7,500 .gov payment for funeral expenses.  Guess how much the undertaker charges...wait for it...$7,500.

https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/regulations/2017-639.pdf

 

aggrivated's picture
aggrivated
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 22 2010
Posts: 572
Bicyclesafe.com is a great site

When I was younger I rode the streets of a small USA city for over 15 years as a cycling commuter without an accident. It can be done.

I attribute this in large part to a sobering cycling event that happened years before at age seven when I had a head on collision with a car. My bicycle speedometer was approaching 20mph when we collided. Thankfully the auto driver saw me coming and came to an emergency stop as we 'met'. After severely bruising my face and chin on the car's windshield and destroying my bike, I began the process of learning to ride safely. My enthusiasm for cycling eventually led to even owning a bike shop for awhile.

The rules of the road for cyclists are primarily common sense. See and be seen and make yourself be seen; hear, hear and listen. You are invisible, anticipate others actions based on that fact.

Stay off main drags! At over 6ft tall, on a bike I am very much only a runt in car traffic. I don't care if there are bike lanes, your chance of survival on an observed 30mpg road are multiple times better than on a 40mph road. Don't piss off others, including pedestrians.

If you plan to ride, learn the rules, adopt the attitude. I have a friend who is now in his 90's and still riding safely.

All of the guidelines for common sense riding are on this website. If you ride now or plan to, I highly recommend https://bicyclesafe.com/. Cheers and safe riding.

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