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  • Good evening. It is nice to see all of you attending this conference. We have a lot of territory to cover in the next 45 minutes so we had better get started.
  • Due to the amount of material we will be covering, I won't be able to go into details about much of it. However, if you want an in depth examination of these topics, then I refer you to,, & my upcoming book Eating Fossil Fuels, due out in October of this year from New Society Publishers.
  • To start off, let's take a very sketchy look at where we are with regard to oil production. Evidence is gathering that world oil production peaked in 2005. Let's take a quick look at this evidence.
  • First we have OPEC's August 2005 Market Report. The data in this report, when examined closely, reveals that between 2000 and 2004, global sweet light production declined by 2.26 million barrels per day. Sweet light is the premium of crude; it is the easiest to refine. It is the crude on which our technological civilization was built.
  • Next, in 2005 all of the major oil companies, excepting BP, reported declining production. The majors operate mainly outside of OPEC. So we can easily infer that non-OPEC oil production has peaked.
  • Next we have statements from 2 of the preeminent authorities of world oil production. Ali Samsam Bakhtiari & Colin Campbell agree that oil peaked in 2005.
  • Finally, we come to the most conclusive proof thus far that oil peaked in 2005. King Hubbert is the geologist credited with developing the concept of peak oil, and the methodology for determining when the peak will occur. In a nutshell, Dr. Hubbert found that oil production will peak when roughly half of the total reserves have been extracted. King Hubbert's colleague, Dr Kenneth Deffeyes, applied Hubbert's method to world oil production. Total world oil reserves are estimated at a little over 2 trillion barrels. Using data from cumulative world oil production, Dr. Deffeyes found that we crossed the halfway point on or around December 16th of 2005. The peak has come and is now a matter of history. Now that world oil production has peaked, it is of prime importance for us to determine the future rate of decline in oil production. A decline rate of 2 to 3% will lead to problems, but we might be able to adjust to it. If the decline rate is 5 to 7%, then we are in big trouble. And if the decline rate should exceed 7%, then we are looking at a collapse. Unfortunately, we don't have the data we need to determine future world decline rates. But we can look at the health of the world's giant fields, and from that get some idea of what to expect. For our purposes, we will accept Matthew Simmons definition of a giant field as producing 100,000 or more barrels per day.
  • Here we have the world's top 5 producing fields, which together account for 20% of world oil production. Note that only one of these fields is less than 45 years old, that being Mexico's cantarell field—which was discovered 30 years ago. Let's take a look at each of these super giant fields.
  • Kirkuk was damaged by the Gulf Wars of the 1990's and the ensuing embargos. In 2001, it was reported that if something was not done soon to rehabilitate Iraq's oil fields, they would be severely & irreversibly damaged. France & Russia held most of the contracts to repair infrastructure and rehabilitate the fields. The US blocked all repair efforts until after the Invasion, when it nullified all previous contracts. Production from Kirkuk is still not up to what it was before the invasion, and it is increasingly likely that sabotage and civil war will further damage the field.
  • China's Daqing has been in decline for a few years now. PetroChina says that it will slow or halt Daqing's decline, but analysts find this unlikely.
  • Kuwaiti oil officials have admitted that Burgan is exhausted. It is believed that well fires set in the wake of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait contributed to the depletion of Burgan and other fields.
  • Of the most direct importance for the US is Mexico's Cantarell field. A collapse in Cantarell, which is quite possible in a couple more years, would have a disastrous effect on the US.
  • Ghawar is the largest field in the world. The failing health of Ghawar would be felt throughout the world. Saudi oil officials are not very forthcoming, but information leaked out by 3rd party contractors is not good. The picture that emerges is that of a field on the verge of collapse. The health of all 5 super giant fields is very questionable. And the situation does not improve much as we work our way down the list of giant oil fields.
  • All of the companies producing these fields are vowing to halt or slow their decline. There are a number of things they can do to this end. Foremost is the introduction of more and more wells to the field. Second is pumping in more water, natural gas or nitrogen to hold up the pressure and force the remaining oil to the well heads. Unfortunately these and other production enhancement technologies have the ultimate effect of shortening the life of the field and increasing the decline rate at some future point.
  • It is extremely unlikely that we will replace the failing giants with new discoveries. Discovery rates peaked in the 1960s and have been declining ever since.
  • There are very few projects on the board right now that fall into the giant range, and none will come online before 2010. Not only are we making fewer discoveries, but the size of our discoveries is diminishing, and the newer discoveries tend to play out much quicker—largely due to new technology.
  • So, world oil production peaked in 2005, and it is likely that the decline rate will be higher that 2 to 3%. What does this mean for us? Well, first let us get rid of this idea of technofixes. Whenever you broach the subject of oil depletion with someone, they immediately start jumping at alternative energy sources. Let me state right now that biofuels (including ethanol) and hydrogen fuel cells are not the answer. They require more energy input than they can deliver. Personally, I do not embrace nuclear energy for various reasons, but in any case it is unlikely that we will ever scale up nuclear energy enough to replace more than a small portion of oil. While solar and wind technologies are much more appealing, it is unlikely that they will ever replace more than a small portion of our oil consumption either. Tar sands and oil shale will be heavily developed but will undoubtedly run into problems that we won't get into here. We could go on, but let's state right now that…
  • There are no technofixes. We need to realize this, so that we can focus our efforts in more productive areas. Solar and wind, and some other alternatives will help, but they will not replace oil, nor will they prevent a crash.
  • The Hirsch Report was the first known study of the world oil peak to be commissioned by the US government. The conclusion of the Hirsch Report was that we would need 20 years to prepare for the oil peak. And if we fail to take any action until the peak, then it is too late. Well, as we saw earlier, we have peaked, and government and industry have yet to even admit it. Let me qualify the Hirsch Report by pointing out that this report is primarily concerned with the continuation of the dominant socio-economic system and does not concern itself with the viability of alternative systems.
  • To bring all the talk about technofixes to an end, once and for all, let me state that even if we had the perfect technofix completely developed and ready to replace all oil production starting tomorrow, this would not solve our problem. That is because energy depletion is not our problem, it is only a symptom of the real problem. As such, a technofix would, at best, only buy us some time. Our real problem is much more complex. So let us look at it from 3 different aspects: the socio-economic aspect, the psychological aspect, and the thermodynamic aspect.
  • We have developed a socio-economic system that is dependent upon constant growth and consumption. But we live on a finite planet. And now our socio-economic system has brought us up against the limits of our planet. We need a system that does not depend upon constant growth and consumption.
  • Each of us experiences daily reality in a very personal manner. However, we hold ourselves separate from others and the world around us. We do not experience the world as subjectively as we do our own thoughts and feelings. It is this dichotomy in our perception that makes it possible for us to manipulate our environment, ultimately resulting in all our art and crafts, civilization, science and technology. Unfortunately, this duality in our perception also makes possible the exploitation and abuse of everything we view as separate from ourselves. Our consciences have proven to be woefully inadequate at warning us when we have overstepped our bounds.
  • The thermodynamic aspect of our problem will require a little more explanation than the other two aspects. First we need to understand the concept of entropy. Entropy is the amount of energy in a system that is available to do useful work. In the slide, we list some of the important points to keep in mind about entropy.
  • It is important to understand that the total amount of entropy in the universe is always growing, and can never be diminished. We can maintain the appearance of reducing entropy in a subsystem only by bringing in energy from outside of that subsystem and exporting entropy. But the total entropy of the universe will only increase.
  • Living things engage in a sort of shell game with regard to entropy, by hiding their entropy production outside of their subsystem. But in the end, they are really performing a balancing act because they have not reduced entropy, only shifted it elsewhere. Life requires low entropy and cannot exist in a high entropy environment.
  • Let us look at the brewing process to illustrate the relationship between life & entropy.
  • A brewer's vat is a low entropy environment full of energy packed carbohydrates and sugars. When we introduce yeast to this vat, they will begin eating and multiplying. The growing population of yeast produces high entropy in the form of carbon dioxide and ethanol. When the entropy reaches a critical level, the yeast die off. Some remain to feed off the little remaining low entropy, but their population will never be able to expand again.
  • Human beings have taken the creation of entropy to new levels. It would seem that the one thing our socio-economic system does exceedingly well is to produce entropy. Our entropy production has been subsidized by fossil fuels.
  • The human brewing vat was filled with cheap & abundant fossil fuels. Human being grew on this mash just as did the yeast in our example. But now we are approaching the critical level of entropy that will result in a die off.
  • The big question (or questions) is: How close are we to the critical level of entropy in our system? Can we slow the production of entropy? Can we replace the entropy slide with a sustainability treadmill? And what will happen if we cannot make the transition? The last question is perhaps the easiest to answer. If we do not make the transition and exceed the critical level of entropy, we will experience a die off just as the yeast did. Furthermore, as there is no way to reduce entropy, we will never recover from this die off. In regard to the first question, we do not know what this critical level is, but all the signs indicate that we are approaching it. We can slow the production of entropy, but we will have to abandon the dominant socio-economic system to do so. And before we can answer the third question, we need to define what sustainability is.
  • First off, nothing is sustainable forever. All systems produce entropy and eventually wind down. However, we can classify certain long-lived stable ecosystems as sustainable and study the factors they share in common. Sustainable systems are maintained by cyclical processes. All nutrients and resources are used at the lowest rate possible and are recycled as fully as possible. And here is perhaps the most important factor determining how sustainable the system is: entropy production is kept at a minimum, preferably below the level of incipient solar energy.
  • When we compare our industrial system with sustainable systems, we find out that it is anything but sustainable. It fails to be sustainable by any of the criteria of previously mentioned.
  • If we want to solve the real problems that lie behind energy depletion and all of the other pending crises, then we need to move away from the dominant industrial system to a more sustainable system. We need to replace the dominant socio-economic system with one that is more equitable and democratic, and which incorporates the costs of entropy. We need to grant legal rights to all organisms and environments. And we need to foster a stronger ethics within ourselves.
  • We should strive to evolve a new socio-economic system based on relocalization, decentralized and democratic processes, and a guaranteed right to food, housing and education. Edward Bernays was the father of the public relations industry. Previous to him, products were sold for strictly utilitarian reasons and were kept for as long as they were useful. Bernays applied his uncle Sigmund Freud's theories to the manipulation of human thoughts and emotions. Edward Bernays, almost single handedly, transformed us from a society of informed citizens into blind consumers led by our desires. It is time to reverse the trend that Bernays started.
  • Consumption must return to a minimum if we are to survive. We need to derive our sense of fulfillment from community interaction and personal achievement, not from conspicuous consumption.
  • Let us look at a model for sustainable agriculture. This particular model was developed by Swedish engineer Folke Günther. This model attempts to close the loop on agricultural production, transforming it into a cyclical system. We assume that all livestock on the farm is fed with food grown on that farm, and all wastes are recycled to the farm. It is also assumed that no fossil fuels or fossil fuel based products are used on this farm. Given these assumptions, the area of balanced agriculture required for 1 human is about 0.2 ha (or about half an acre). All human wastes and garbage must be recycled to this land to make up for the nutrients exported from the farm in the form of food.
  • This diagram shows that 5 to 8 people are required to cycle the nutrients in 1 ha.
  • And here is a simplified diagram of the same cycle.
  • Scaling this model up, we find that 160 to 270 ha could sustain 3 or 4 small settlements of 800 to 1,200 people per settlement. This community would be large enough to offer various cultural amenities such as schooling, health clinics, and social activities. As we continue scaling upward we find that New York City would require a minimum of 1.6 million ha. In order for the system to be sustainable, this farm land needs to neighbor the community.
  • Moving up to the national scale, we find some surprisingly good news. In this particular model, the current US population would require only 31% of our existing permanent cropland.
  • What is more, by cutting out the middle man, such a system would result in higher profits for the farmer, and a savings for the consumer.
  • We must note that other reputable studies suggest that there is not enough cropland in the US to support our current population without fossil fuels. These studies seem to suggest that we would have to lose at least a 3rd of our population to achieve sustainability.
  • The problem is that there is no common agreement on the variables in these studies. We should have focused more attention on this subject decades ago. We need the answers now.
  • In order to maximize equality and democracy within a social system, government and business both need to be organized through direct democracy at the local level.
  • In order to protect our environment from exploitation, we need to set up a system of stewardship. All ecosystems and species should be granted rights equivalent to citizenship. Local communities should act as stewards for surrounding ecosystems and resources. When the local community deems that a resource should be used, they should award the contract to a worker-run cooperative. The profits of resource harvesting would then be distributed 1st to the ecosystem, 2nd to the community, & 3rd to the cooperative. Safeguards would have to be set up to ensure that this system ran smoothly, and to ensure that the community acted with the best interests of the ecosystem in mind.
  • So what can each of us do on a personal basis to help make this transition to sustainability?
  • First we must look to our personal survival. Much of the advice on this slide seems to fly in the face of standard financial advice.
  • Many people have asked me where they should relocate to. Here is my advice. There are 3 areas you could choose to live in: rural, wilderness, or urban. Each has its benefits and its drawbacks.
  • Do you really want to move at all? You might be better off right where you are.
  • When choosing your location, you need to consider a large number of factors. How that location will fair in the coming crises is only one of those factors. Instead of asking "Where should I move?" you would do better to ask "Where do I want to live?"
  • Too many peakers talk about the hordes of the cities who will prey upon the countryside, neighbors attacking neighbors and starving homeless degenerates practicing cannibalism. I suspect that most of this talk results from projecting their own fears onto the world around them.
  • When we look at examples of collapse, we do not see much real change in the crime rate. What we do see is people helping each other. The counter-argument is that this is a different situation. There will be no recovery, and in the US people are atomized, selfish and overly competitive.
  • My answer to that is Argentina. The people there were highly atomized and terrorized. Moreso, even, than people in the US. Decades of experience taught them not to concern themselves about their neighbors; to look out only for themselves.
  • But when the Argentine economy collapsed, the people banded together to create one of our best examples of how people can respond positively on a grassroots level to a collapse.
  • So what can we do right now? Here are several suggestions. And there are many others not listed here. Set up community vegetable gardens on currently vacant land. Play Johnny Appleseed. Not just with apples, but with any edible plant that can be propagated with a minimum of care. Fruits, nuts, and vegetables such as Jerusalem Artichokes could be sown wherever you find a spot of open ground—particularly in parks and vacant lots. Join or establish a Food not Bombs chapter. While you are picnicking with the homeless and the hungry, show them the results of your Johnny Appleseed operation. Support your local Farmer's Market or join a CSA. Establish a community transportation network, or a bicycle co-op. And, as always, it is a good idea to support local businesses.
  • If you perceive some need in your community that will go lacking following the crisis, establish a cooperative to fill that need. Organize community activities: sewing bees, repair fairs, free community entertainment. Establish a cooperative to help refurbish homes in your neighborhood for energy efficiency. If you are feeling very enterprising, establish a community energy production co-op utilizing solar cells or wind turbines. And if you want move toward that ultimate goal, found an ecovillage.
  • The peak has already happened, now we are on the downward slope. The dominant socio-economic system is toast. But that does not mean that we cannot build something more sustainable, more equitable and more democratic. Do not worry if few people respond to your efforts right now. When things get bad they will come. We just have to be there to hand out the saws and hammers and point out what needs to be done.
  • Presentation to the New York Local Solutions Conference ...

    1. 1. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gas Station Nowhere to Run Or Don’t Worry, Be Happy
    2. 2. <ul><li>The ideas presented here are explored at greater depth in… </li></ul><ul><li>The Mountain Sentinel ( ) </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>& in the forthcoming book Eating Fossil Fuels , due out in fall of 2006 from New Society Publishers. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Peak in 2005?
    4. 4. OPEC’s August 2005 Market Report <ul><li>non-OPEC production of sweet, light crude dropped from 27.06 million barrels per day (mb/d) in 2000 to 23.8 mb/d in 2004, for a net decrease of 3.26 mb/d. OPEC added 1 mb/d of light, sweet oil production over the same period. As a result, global sweet light production declined by 2.26 mb/d from 2000 to 2004. </li></ul>
    5. 5. Major Declines In 2005, all of the oil majors (except BP) reported declining extraction rates BP is now the world’s largest oil producer. Petroleum Review, October 2005
    6. 6. Ali Samsam Bakhtiari, Iranian energy consultant <ul><li>&quot;In my humble opinion, we should now have reached 'Peak Oil'. So, it is high time to close this critical chapter in the history of international oil industry and bid the mighty 'Peak' farewell... At present, global oil output fluctuates around 82 mb/d as some institutions try vainly to push 2005 statistics towards 83 and 84 mb/d (as they always do). But they will be obliged to backtrack as 'actual' oil supplies fail to follow their 'paper' ones.&quot; From Peak Oil to Transition One, October 2005 </li></ul>
    7. 7. Colin Campbell, noted petroleum geologist <ul><li>“… the maximum peak of production as far as the normal so-called oil has come [this year]; after that will be a long decline. Meanwhile, for other types of hydrocarbons… the peak will occur by 2010.&quot; Petrolio/Campbell: In 2005 Produzione, Poi Iniziera' Declino. Presentation at Rimini conference. Apcom, October 28, 2005. </li></ul>
    8. 8. Oil Production over Time Join Us as We Watch the Crisis Unfolding; February 11th, 2006. Kenneth S. Deffeyes
    9. 9. Top 5 Super Giants 20% of World Daily Production 900 1927 Kirkuk Iraq 1,108 1959 Daquig China 1,200 1938 Burgan Kuwait 1,211 1976 Cantarell Mexico 4,500 1948 Ghawar Saudi Arabia 2000 Production (1000 b/d) Discovery Date Field Name Country
    10. 10. Iraq - Kirkuk <ul><li>Damaged by questionable pumping techniques during the embargo </li></ul><ul><li>Damaged by 1st & 2 nd attacks on Iraq </li></ul><ul><li>Iraq unable to repair damages. “The United States placed over 80% of the holds on oilfield equipment.” –Benon Sevan, head of UN Iraq program </li></ul><ul><li>Post-invasion production is still down. Attacks on infrastructure likely to increase. </li></ul><ul><li>Civil war could compound the damage. </li></ul>
    11. 11. China – Daquig or Daqing <ul><li>Has already peaked. </li></ul><ul><li>Production declined by 5% in 2004, & another 3% in 2005. </li></ul><ul><li>Production projected to shrink by 7% per year for the next several years. </li></ul><ul><li>PetroChina promises to work hard to slow or halt Daquig’s decline. </li></ul>
    12. 12. Kuwait - Burgan <ul><li>Chairman of the State oil company recently said that Burgan is exhausted. </li></ul><ul><li>Kuwait Oil Company will spend $3 billion annually to hold production steady. </li></ul><ul><li>International Energy Agency expects production will decline. </li></ul><ul><li>Well fires burned 4-6 mb/d. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Mexico - Cantarell <ul><li>Cantarell accounts for 60% of Mexico’s production. </li></ul><ul><li>88% of Mexico’s exports go to the US. </li></ul><ul><li>In 2005 PEMEX announced Cantarell had peaked. </li></ul><ul><li>2005 production down 5% from 2004. </li></ul><ul><li>Production could collapse by 2008. </li></ul>
    14. 14. Saudi Arabia - Ghawar <ul><li>6.5% of world daily production. </li></ul><ul><li>Recent reports indicate water cutting at 55%. </li></ul><ul><li>Aramco is injecting 7 barrels of water to get 1 barrel of oil. </li></ul><ul><li>Water is present throughout the field. </li></ul><ul><li>Oil column is now 150 feet thick (was originally 1300 feet thick). </li></ul>
    15. 15. Efforts to Arrest Decline <ul><li>Put in more wells. </li></ul><ul><li>Pump in more water, natural gas or nitrogen. </li></ul><ul><li>Both strategies will boost current production, but at the cost of future production. </li></ul><ul><li>Technological innovations lead to a steeper decline, or a crash. </li></ul>
    16. 16. New Discoveries <ul><li>No discovery with 1 mb/d capacity since Cantarell in 1976. </li></ul><ul><li>Only 26 giant fields discovered since 1980. </li></ul><ul><li>Total production of post-1980 discoveries is 4.5% of world daily production, or less than 10% of the production of all giants. </li></ul><ul><li>400+ fields discovered in 1990s, only 2.5% are giants. None have production capacity in the range of 200,000 b/d. </li></ul>
    17. 17. New Discoveries <ul><li>Only a few deep sea projects may have a peak capacity in the range of 250,000 b/d. </li></ul><ul><li>Only 2 or 3 new Middle Eastern projects might fall within this range. </li></ul><ul><li>None of these will come online until 2010 at the earliest. </li></ul><ul><li>Recent discoveries tend to be smaller, peak sooner, and decline more steeply. </li></ul>
    18. 18. What Does this Mean for US?
    19. 19. There are no Technofixes <ul><li>Nothing can match fossil fuels for availability, energy content, economics or usefulness. </li></ul><ul><li>No combination of alternatives can match fossil fuels. </li></ul><ul><li>There is no time left to research & ramp up an alternative. </li></ul>
    20. 20. The Hirsch Report <ul><li>Prepared by a private firm for the US Department of Energy </li></ul><ul><li>A study of peak oil, it’s implications and mitigation. </li></ul><ul><li>The report concluded we will need 20 years to prepare for the peak. </li></ul><ul><li>If we do not begin preparations until the peak, then it is too late. </li></ul>
    21. 21. Even if We had the Perfect Technofix Ready & Waiting <ul><li>A technofix would only buy us a little time, at best. </li></ul><ul><li>Peak oil is only a symptom of the true problem, like global warming, pollution, overpopulation, ect. </li></ul>
    22. 22. The Real Problem (The Socio-economic Problem) <ul><li>We have a socio-economic system dependent upon constant growth and consumption. </li></ul><ul><li>We live on a planet that is finite. </li></ul>
    23. 23. The Real Problem (The Psychological Problem) <ul><li>We view personal reality in a subjective manner. </li></ul><ul><li>We view our environment an objective manner. </li></ul><ul><li>Our conscience is woefully ineffective at reining in our ego. </li></ul>
    24. 24. The Real Problem (The Thermodynamic Problem) <ul><li>Entropy: the amount of energy in a system that can be used to do physical work. The higher the entropy, the less energy that is available to do work. </li></ul><ul><li>All physical systems move from a state of low entropy to a state of high entropy. </li></ul><ul><li>The amount of energy available in a system is always less than the total energy of the system. </li></ul><ul><li>Whenever energy changes forms, or is used, a portion of it is lost to entropy. </li></ul>
    25. 25. The Entropy of a System <ul><li>The entropy of a system cannot be reduced without introducing more energy from outside of the system and, </li></ul><ul><li>Producing a proportional increase in entropy outside of the system. </li></ul>
    26. 26. Entropy & Life (The Shell Game & the Balancing Act) <ul><li>All life is maintained by processing the energy available from low entropy systems, while depositing higher entropy elsewhere. </li></ul><ul><li>Living beings appear to produce low entropy from high entropy, but they are really producing more entropy (wastes & dissipated heat energy) than they take in. </li></ul>
    27. 28. Yeast <ul><li>A Brewer’s vat full of mash is a low entropy environment rich in carbohydrates & sugars. </li></ul><ul><li>Yeast feed on this abundant energy & multiply. </li></ul><ul><li>Yeast produce high entropy in the form of carbon dioxide gas and ethanol. </li></ul><ul><li>When the vat exceeds some critical level of entropy, the yeast dies off. </li></ul><ul><li>Some yeast will remain to feed on the little remaining low entropy, but the vat will never return to its low entropy state without being emptied and refilled. </li></ul>
    28. 29. Humans are Superior Entropy Creators <ul><li>All human technology derives products from low entropy systems through an increase in displaced entropy. </li></ul><ul><li>Our modern civilization produces entropy at a prodigious rate. </li></ul><ul><li>This entropy (and our civilization) is currently subsidized by abundant, cheap fossil fuels. </li></ul><ul><li>The high entropy is found in landfills, environmental degradation, pollution & global warming. </li></ul>
    29. 30. The Human Brewing Vat <ul><li>Our vat was filled with low entropy fossil fuels. </li></ul><ul><li>We have multiplied our numbers while feeding on this mash, and we have produced an abundance of material goods. </li></ul><ul><li>We have produced high entropy in the form of environmental degradation, garbage, pollution and global warming. </li></ul>
    30. 31. The BIG Question(s) <ul><li>How close are we to the critical level of entropy in our system? </li></ul><ul><li>Can we slow the production of entropy? </li></ul><ul><li>Can we replace the entropy slide with a sustainability treadmill? </li></ul><ul><li>What will happen if we cannot make the transition? </li></ul>
    31. 32. Sustainability Defined <ul><li>Nothing lasts forever. </li></ul><ul><li>Long-lived, stable ecosystems are the best examples. Such ecosystems share certain characteristics. </li></ul><ul><li>They are maintained by cycles (i.e. water cycle, carbon cycle, nitrogen cycle, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Nutrients and resources are used at the lowest rate possible to maintain the system. </li></ul><ul><li>Everything that can be is recycled. </li></ul><ul><li>Entropy is kept at a minimum, preferably below the level of incipient solar energy. </li></ul>
    32. 33. The Industrial System <ul><li>Is linear (resources are processed into food and goods, refuse is discarded). </li></ul><ul><li>Exploits nutrients and resources at the highest rate possible. </li></ul><ul><li>Very little is recycled. </li></ul><ul><li>Entropy is maximized, & is offset by cheap & abundant fossil fuels. </li></ul>
    33. 34. Real Solutions <ul><li>Replace the dominant industrialized system with a sustainable system that will reduce entropy production to a minimum. </li></ul><ul><li>Replace the dominant Socio-economic system with a more equitable and democratic system that incorporates the costs of entropy. </li></ul><ul><li>Grant legal rights to all organisms and environments. </li></ul><ul><li>Foster a stronger ethics based upon healthy relationships with our fellow human beings and our environment. </li></ul>
    34. 35. A Sustainable, Equitable, Democratic System <ul><li>Relocalization. </li></ul><ul><li>Organized from the bottom up. </li></ul><ul><li>Guaranteeing basic rights to sustenance, housing and education. </li></ul><ul><li>Replacing the urge-driven consumers of Edward Bernays with informed citizens. </li></ul>
    35. 36. Sustainable <ul><li>Consumption must return to the minimum necessary, as it was previous to Edward Bernays & the advent of conspicuous consumption. </li></ul><ul><li>People need to derive their satisfaction not from consumption, but from community and personal accomplishment. </li></ul>
    36. 37. Sustainable Agriculture <ul><li>Given that animal feed is produced on the same farm & animal manure is returned to the soil… </li></ul><ul><li>The area of balanced agriculture needed to sustain 1 person: 0.2 hectares (ha) per person, with complete recycling of human wastes and garbage. </li></ul><ul><li>(1 Hectare = 2.471 acres, so 0.2 ha = ~ ½ acre) </li></ul><ul><li>Vulnerability in Agriculture: Energy Use, Structure & Energy Futures, Günther, Folke. INES Conference, June 2000. </li></ul>
    37. 38. Persons needed to recycle the nutrients in the food from the balanced agriculture
    38. 39. Simplified Balanced Agricultural Cycle
    39. 40. Sustainable Agriculture – Community Scale <ul><li>40 ha could support 200 people. </li></ul><ul><li>160-270 ha could support 3 to 4 distributed settlements of from 800 to 1,200 people per settlement. </li></ul><ul><li>200,000 ha for a city of 1 million people. </li></ul><ul><li>1,600,000 ha for New York City </li></ul>
    40. 41. Sustainable Agriculture – National Scale <ul><li>US Population: 298,444,215 (July 2006 est.) . </li></ul><ul><li>Land Area: 9,161,923 km 2 (1 km 2 = 100 ha) . </li></ul><ul><li>Permanent Crops: 0.21% or 192,400 km 2 . </li></ul><ul><li>For present population, balanced agriculture would require a minimum of 59,688,800 ha or 59,688.8 km 2 (31% of US permanent cropland). </li></ul><ul><li>(All data from the CIA World Factbook). </li></ul>
    41. 42. Such a System would be More Economically Favorable for Consumers & Farmers ( Even if production costs increased 30% )
    42. 43. Other Studies <ul><li>Folke G ünther’s model is based on the recycling of phosphorus as the limiting factor in sustainable agriculture. </li></ul><ul><li>Other reliable studies place the maximum population in the US for a sustainable economy at around 200 million. The Tightening Conflict: Population, Energy Use, and the Ecology of Agriculture, Giampietro, Mario and Pimentel, David. NPG Forum Series, 1995. ; Energy and Population , Werbos, Paul J. NPG Forum, 1993?; Impact of Population Growth on Food Supplies and Environment, Pimentel, David, et al. Population and Environment , 19 (1): 9-14; 1997. </li></ul>
    43. 44. More Research Needed, No Time Left <ul><li>If these other studies are correct, then the US population would have to decline by 98,444,215 in order to be sustainable. </li></ul><ul><li>The problem with all of these studies is that there is no agreement about the variables. </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainability should have long ago been the subject of intense & exhaustive research. </li></ul><ul><li>We need answers now; there is little time left to debate. </li></ul>
    44. 45. An Equitable & Democratic Society <ul><li>Government & business should be organized through direct democracy on a local level. Local governments should be federated, but all federated issues should be brought back to local communities for discussion and democratic decisions. </li></ul>
    45. 46. Stewardship <ul><li>All ecosystems and species should be granted rights equal to citizenship. </li></ul><ul><li>No resource should be harvested unless it can be demonstrated that the ecosystem will ultimately benefit from this harvest. </li></ul><ul><li>Local communities should control their resources and have stewardship over local ecosystems in an informed & democratic manner. </li></ul><ul><li>If the local community deems that a resource should be used, they should award the contract to worker-run cooperative. </li></ul><ul><li>Profits of resource harvesting should be distributed 1 st to the ecosystem, 2 nd to the local community, and 3 rd to the cooperative. </li></ul>
    46. 47. What Can I Do?
    47. 48. Personal Survival <ul><li>Get out of debt. </li></ul><ul><li>If you are where you want to be & can do so, pay off your mortgage. If you are not where you want to be, or cannot pay off your mortgage, sell your house. </li></ul><ul><li>Sell your stocks, bonds & mutual funds before the market crashes. </li></ul><ul><li>Buy gold & silver. </li></ul><ul><li>Rent a place in the area where you want to be. </li></ul><ul><li>Get involved in your local community. </li></ul><ul><li>After the crash, buy a house, preferably without a mortgage. </li></ul>
    48. 49. Where to Go <ul><li>If you are living in the country, you will want to become an independent farmer. </li></ul><ul><li>If you are living in a wilderness area, you will want to become totally independent, and probably hide your location as well. </li></ul><ul><li>If you are living in an urban area, you will want to organize your community, so you can survive with the cooperation of your neighbors. </li></ul>
    49. 50. Do You Really want to Move? <ul><li>You will be the new kid on the block. </li></ul><ul><li>Even in wilderness areas, there are residents who will look upon you as the new-comer. </li></ul><ul><li>If you move too far, there will be cultural and language differences. </li></ul><ul><li>You may always be the outsider. If things become difficult, you may be persecuted. </li></ul><ul><li>If life becomes difficult, communities are not going to welcome the displaced. </li></ul>
    50. 51. Location <ul><li>You must decide whether it would be preferable to move into a new & unknown community, or to help organize the community where you are already at home. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t ask, “Where should I move?” </li></ul><ul><li>Ask, “Where would I like to live?” </li></ul>
    51. 52. Avoid Projection <ul><li>Contrary to the fears of some peakers and survivalists, it is highly unlikely that you will be preyed upon by your neighbors, and it is equally unlikely that the cities will unleash hordes of desperate degenerates to pillage the countryside. </li></ul><ul><li>Those who believe this are projecting their own fears and insecurities onto the world around them. </li></ul><ul><li>There might be a rise in crime, or there might not. In large part, this depends upon us. </li></ul>
    52. 53. Why Not? <ul><li>During the Great Depression, people helped each other. </li></ul><ul><li>During the collapse of the Soviet Union, people helped each other. </li></ul><ul><li>Even in North Korea, people helped each other (though they were terribly oppressed). </li></ul>
    53. 54. Argentina <ul><li>The people of Argentina were extremely atomized and terrorized. </li></ul><ul><li>10+ year dirty war, 30,000 disappeared. All public gatherings were illegal, even for sporting events. </li></ul><ul><li>Dirty War followed by over a decade of privatization, neo-economics and IMF enforced austerity programs. </li></ul>
    54. 55. Argentina Grassroots Efforts <ul><li>When the economy finally crashed, Argentines came out of their houses to talk to each other. </li></ul><ul><li>They organized democratic Neighborhood Assemblies. </li></ul><ul><li>Nodos: barter exchanges. Over 2.5 million Argentines participated in Nodos. </li></ul><ul><li>Worker Self-Managed Businesses. There are now over 200 reoccupied businesses in Argentina. </li></ul>
    55. 56. 12 Fun Activities for Activists <ul><li>Community Vegetable Gardens </li></ul><ul><li>Operation Johnny Appleseed </li></ul><ul><li>Food not Bombs </li></ul><ul><li>Farmer’s Markets & CSA’s </li></ul><ul><li>Community Transportation Networks </li></ul><ul><li>Bicycle Co-ops & Bicycle Trails </li></ul><ul><li>Support Local Businesses, particularly Co-ops </li></ul>
    56. 57. 12 Fun Activities for Activists Continued <ul><li>Form Co-ops </li></ul><ul><li>Organize Community Activities </li></ul><ul><li>Community Refurbishing Co-ops </li></ul><ul><li>Community Energy Production Co-ops </li></ul><ul><li>Ecovillages </li></ul>
    57. 58. Conclusion <ul><li>Peak Oil is happening right now. </li></ul><ul><li>The dominant socio-economic system is doomed. </li></ul><ul><li>There is still a chance for a grassroots transition to a more meaningful socio-economic system. </li></ul><ul><li>Most people are still not aware of the problem. </li></ul><ul><li>We must be ready to hand out saws and hammers, and offer guidance. </li></ul>
    58. 59. Thank You for Your Time & Your Consideration