US military warns oil output may dip causing massive shortages by 2015
Good to see you here!
Firstly, I’ve just got to resurrect that fantastic thread you built called, The Wealth Gap and the Collapse of the U.S. You literally smashed the ball out of Fenway Park from the outset there. I watched in total amazement as the ball turned into a speck of dust and disappeared beyond the curvature of the Earth. In fact, it was a major draw to my coming here, with the prospect of something new to learn from and think about.
A very very small minded few lost the plot and took to wadding some of the info into spitballs, but then that’s what generally happens when the take is a lovely brand of irony that I stamp approval of, because to me, that stokes my understanding that the message is controversial enough to smash a number of confrontational beliefs that have now been scattered into dust around these parts over the last 18 months.
Now for what I’m writing a reply for, and as learning curves go, I cut my teeth down to the gum-line reading two leviathans of Peak Oil, namely Richard Heinberg and James Howard Kunstler. After reading your post I thought I’d see if both books had been copied online to a PDF format, and sure enough, they have. Saving people the cost of spending $40 on a pair of good books and also accrediting the authors to being worthy of reading them is surely part of the purpose of following these forum threads.
I put both authors together because, even though they say much the same thing, where the response to reading Heinberg hits you over a number of days, Kunstler makes your World turn a giddy upside down with each monster of a page. I still like them both equally: –
Never mind the chances of an asteroid impact or sea levels rising in 200 years time, super volcanoes or books of cryptic religious texts. This really is the book you should read. Rooted in hard science and physical facts, we really are about to enter a man made catastrophe. Unless you live in a mud hut, gathering root vegetables and hunting wildebeest you will be affected by the up and coming energy crisis.
What is this impending energy catastrophe? It is the inability of the world to provide enough raw oil, (a finite resource) to sustain the year on year (exponential) growth of our economies and population, (an infinite goal). The crisis will affect what you eat, how you travel, the costs of all raw materials and products made from them, employment, the value of money, perhaps even the value of life itself. It will certainly change the way you live sooner rather than later.
With decent historical analysis of former civilisations which failed due to resource issues and why our civilisations have so far escaped such failures, Richard Heinberg paints a colourful yet familiar picture of our current reliance upon finite resources and oil. With some oil history, evaluation of likely supplies and demands upon it, and a debate on contrary views; a reasoned and balanced argument is formed. Few would find Heinberg’s conclusions difficult to reject, and most will find them hard to swallow.
James Howard Kunstler has a knack for observing the way we live, and imagining what that will mean for the future as current trends unfold. With a bold and broad scope, he combines peak oil, climate change, economic abstraction and debt, water shortages and health scares to suggest that we face a `long emergency’, as the consequences of our unsustainable society are revealed.
Chapters on peak oil and the economy are useful here, and there are some eerily accurate predictions of the economic crisis that was still three years off when the book was written. The chapter on international epidemics is less useful, and rather speculative. The best part is the end, where Kunstler explores a series of trends that will define life in the long emergency. Among them are localization, a new focus on agriculture, vocational training, and the end of the suburbs.
While not a cheerful book, The Long Emergency resists the worst of the doom-mongering and die-off theories, and remains well researched and realistic. It should be a loud warning bell to anyone who still thinks our consumer lifestyle as we know it will carry on indefinitely.
Finally, I have to put the film Crude Awakening at the foot of this post, simply because I hadn’t watched it for some time, and earlier today I hired it at a local Video Shop to show a group I was teaching, and believe you me, if you can’t see the signs around you that we’ve already hit Peak Oil, this will surely prove it. The use of the music from the film The Usual Suspects should be warning enough: –
A Crude Awakening
The ‘talking heads’ are very good, some of them familiar (Campbell, Simmons, Savinar..) and others not. All have useful insights to offer on the situation, from perspectives new to the peak oil debate. Unlike EoS’s’ focus on suburbia, or ‘the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world’ as it describes it, this film goes beyond the US experience, being more of a global film, focusing on Europe and the UK as much as the US. Whereas the recent movie ‘Crude Impact’ focuses on too many things and it ends up a rather confused and exhausting sprawl, Crude Awakening keeps its gaze purely on peak oil, and presents a well argued, well-paced, and well-edited summary of what peak oil is and what it will mean for us all.
My Very Best To You,
That “Wealth Gap” thread was something else. It was a great unbrainwashing tool for me. I’ll never look at the world the same way after going through that nearly four month journey. Lots of great free thinkers in that thread.
Since I left that thread I’ve taken up the project of editing/cowriting/illustrating an upcoming sci-fi/fanatsy novel which will be out in September 2010. Mark Zug will be doing the cover. It’s a great read, and I have every belief that it is up there with any classic ever written.
The book that tipped me off to Peak Oil was Dale Allen Pfeiffer’s, “The End of the Oil Age.” I found it quite by chance in a local independent bookshop. At one point I was shaking as I read. A few back of the envelope calculations and I could see exactly where this was headed. Then came James Howard Kunstler’s, “The Long Emergency.” It was like reading everything that went through my head after Pfeiffer’s book. Heinberg’s, “The Party’s Over”, was like icing on the cake. Sweeter, but still the same cake.
Finally, the DOD gets the message. If anyone would know the key role fuel plays in war making, it would be the military. Just ask the Third Reich about the importance liquid fuel just before the Battle of the Bulge.
Don’t expect much out of that millionare’s club called Congress. They have to be dragged kicking and screaming to reality. They have all their economists and other fools to tell them that markets will find substitutes and that copper can be made of some other metal.
We’re so screwed.
Someone on Alex jones show said 7 buck gas is comming in two years. Oil rig and this
Sounds about right.