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Volume 1, Number 12, – December 2006
People you should con-
No paean to panaceas tact about peak oil:
Unfortunately, the world is more
complicated than the one our brains •Senator Barbara Boxer
evolved to deal with. The lure of the
simple single solution is always tug-
•Senator Dianne Feinstein
ging at us. There’s no end of events
and people and ideas that are hard
to understand—and make us un- •Congressman Sam Farr
comfortable. Con men have made 1221 Longworth House Of-
their livings down through the ages fice Building
exploiting people’s attraction to Washington, DC 20515
panaceas, and that won’t be any dif- (202) 225-2861
ferent in the age of fossil-fuel deple- FAX (202) 225-6791
tion and climate change.
•Governor Arnold Schw…
Those selling ease and simplicity
offer temporary comfort (followed by
•President George Bush
a rude surprise) to those who are not
sufficiently critical, skeptical or in-
formed. Not that the ideas they offer
Now you can contribute a
will all be bad ones—some are
cent to SMC every time you
great. But even the best ideas can
do a web search—just go to
be the basis of pernicious fantasies www.goodsearch.com, enter
when treated as the one solution to “Sustainable Monterey Coun-
our problems: a panacea. ty” in answer to the “Who do
It’s likely that doing everything that you GoodSearch for” ques-
helps, as fast as we can, will fall tion, and search .
short of preventing hardship in the
next decade or two. So we need to Thanks to all those who have
contributed help and funds to
do all the things that will help, and
not just pick the first one that sounds
good, and then go back to sleep.
Here’s a list of tools I think are
necessary, but not sufficient for
Dec. 7: Amory Lovins 7:00 PM at Irvine 6:45-8:30pm, Mry Youth Center, 777 Pearl
Auditorium, MIIS St.
December 24: “Tomorrow Matters” on January 24, Wednesday: Richard Heinberg
KRXA 540 AM, Richard Heinberg speech at “Ecofarm Conference”, Asilo-
December 31: “Tomorrow Matters” on mar
KRXA 540 AM, Richard Heinberg February 1, Thursday: SMC Discussion
Jan. 11: SMC Discussion Group: (re?) Group: Economy, 6:45-9pm, Mty Youth
Introduction to Peak Oil Thurs., Center, 777 Pearl St.
Mission: To ensure an orderly transition through the fossil fuel decline by co-
operatively developing a sustainable economy for Monterey County.
SUSTAINABLE MONTEREY COUNTY
Has Oil Peaked Already?
GREAT IDEAS AREN’T (shamelessly lifted from an article by Khebab on the Oil Drum)
BEING ADOPTED FAST
Amory Lovins came to Irvine Au-
ditorium at MIIS and presented a
whole string of great energy-sav-
• Ultralight cars could safely
and cheaply double fuel
• Houses can be comfort-
able without heaters.
• Small-scale cogeneration
can make electricity more
robust and inexpensive.
• The U.S. could develop “The All liquids peak is now May 2005 at 85.205 mbpd, the
energy saving technolo- year to date average values (9 months) are down from 2005
gies to sell to the world. for all the categories.” The peaks and dates are listed for all
• Businesses could sponta- categories of liquid fuels in the table below.
He got his data from the Energy Information Administration
neously decide to act in
of the USDOE, and BP. Of course, oil production could rise
their enlightened self-inter-
again, but this is the first time it has fallen with rising prices
est to solve our energy
and no major political disruption to production.
He’s not wrong—at least the
physics and engineering are pos-
sible—but it isn’t happening with
the necessary scale and speed.
Sept Sept 12 2006 9 2005 9 Peak Peak
2006 2005 Months Months Date Value
All Liquids 84.64 84.01 84.43 84.41 84.45 100.00% 2005-05 85.21
Crude Oil + NGL 81.09 80.86 81.24 81.21 81.30 95.80% 2005-05 81.97
Other Liquids 3.55 3.15 3.19 3.20 3.15 4.20% 2006-09 3.55
NGPL 7.77 7.58 7.78 7.83 7.81 9.18% 2005-02 8.04
Crude Oil + Con-
73.32 73.28 73.46 73.38 73.50 86.62% 2005-12 74.08
SUSTAINABLE MONTEREY COUNTY
NATURAL GAS IS LOOKING SCARY
I found this graph on the web in the
last week or so, and the implica-
tions seem pretty serious. Jean
Laherrere shifted a smoothed plot
of North American gas discovery
by 23 years, so it would lie most
closely on top of the curve of gas
production. I think the match is
amazing. The blue curve is gas
discovery, pink is marketed gas
production, red is marketed pro-
duction less unconventional. You
can’t extract what you haven’t dis-
covered—and it looks like we’ve
extracted and used almost all that
Amory Lovins’ house stays warm enough to grow bananas, with-
out a furnace—in Aspen. Could we make an unheated home in
Monterey that would stay warm enough for people?
Rocky Mountain Institute http://www.rmi.org/
Life After the Oil Crash http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/
Energy Bulletin http://www.energybulletin.net
Oil Addiction: The World in Peril, Pierre Chomat
Blood and Oil, Michael T. Klare
Eating Fossil Fuels: Oil, Food and the Coming Crisis in Agriculture, Dale Allen Pfeiffer
The Oil Depletion Protocol, Richard Heinberg
CONTACT The year is coming to a close and there are so many things looking
up. Please see our website, www.sustainablemontereycounty.org for a
recent letter I wrote to the Herald (unpublished) about all the things go-
ing on in Monterey County, (look for the title, “Things looking up in Mon-
Phone: 831 648 1543 terey County”) because it outlines what’s really going on in our commu-
nity, and let me tell you, it’s a lot! I’m positive you readers could add
even more to the list. You could add all your efforts of lowering your
ecological footprint, of reducing your CO2 production, of helping see our
area successfully through to the next generation, and passing on a
strong and vital legacy. I know you are there, I know we stand together;
Steering Committee Members I know my words are voiced in all your hearts and minds. Going local is
Deborah Lindsay, Director deb@sus-
catching on; we are forging green economies and creating a greener
planet. Now, that is something to celebrate!
Can I say it’s all done? No, of course, there is still much to be done.
Ruth Smith, 831-620-1303
2007 has SMC approaching the County to adopt the Monterey County
Committee Chair and Budget Chair
Peak Oil Resolution. We will start lectures in Marina and we will make
Sustainable Monterey (the City) a reality. We will continue to support
Secretary and Co-treasurer
Sustainable Pacific Grove and Big Sur Power Down, and we will march
on until this County is ready for the fossil fuel decline and we can
weather the coming storm together.
SMC is at a critical juncture—we must broaden our network of sup-
porters to take our work to the next level. We are embarking on a sup-
port drive to raise $12,000 toward our efforts. As one who understands
831-372-0659 the urgency of transitioning our region to one that lives within its means
Committee Evaluation Coordinator and in peace with the global community, we ask that you help us reach
Denyse Frischmuth, this goal. All donations are tax-deductible and support our vital pro-
831-643-0707 grams to localize our regional economy. Donors of at least $250 will be
Volunteer Coordinator and Urban Envi- personally acknowledged in our next newsletter.
ronmental Accords Coordinator Remember, money moves ideas and the ideas of SMC are for the en-
Robert Frischmuth, vironmental and social profit of our local community and its future.
Many holiday blessings to you and your family,
Sustainable Pacific Grove
phone # 831-656-0664
Big Sur Powerdown
Can oil money buy your science teachers?
The scandal at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) just keeps getting
Since the Washington Post published an op-ed I wrote asking if NSTA's puzzling decision
Newsletter Design by to reject 50,000 free DVDs of Al Gore's global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth
Adrienne Allen might - just might - have had anything to do with more than six million dollars the organiza-
email@example.com tion has accepted from ExxonMobil, Shell Oil, ConocoPhillips and the American Petroleum
Institute, the muck keeps piling up.
ExxonMobil, of course, remains the standout among a large group of fossil fuel compa-
We’re on the Web!
nies that have done everything in their considerable power to delay, deflect, and derail any
See us at:
serious effort to cut global warming emissions. Funding scientific disinformation has long
http://www.postcarbon.org/ been one of their favorite tactics.
groups/monterey New evidence flatly contradicts statements NSTA has made in defense of its suspect part-
nerships, and efforts appear to be underway to wipe out online evidence showing that what
the oil industry got in exchange was the group's imprimatur on classroom videos, teaching
guides, and other quot;educationalquot; materials that play down threats like global warming and
play up the glories of continued oil dependence.
--Laurie David via Huffington Post