Volume1, Number 6, – JUNE 2006
People you should
Peak Oil and Politics—What ARE Those Guys contact about peak oil:
Smoking!? •Senator Barbara Boxer
The price of gasoline keeps rising, real catastrophe. http://boxer.senate.gov/conta
there’s no spare oil production If it’s handled really well, we can strive ct/email/policy.cfm
capacity left in the world, oil intelligently together to make a
•Senator Dianne Feinstein
production has virtually stalled at the sustainable world and better lives for
level of late 2004, a report ourselves and our children.
commissioned by the US Department It appears that world oil production
of Energy says we need a 20-year may be peaking right now, and if it •Congressman Sam Farr
1221 Longworth House
crash program to deal with peak oil isn’t, it will soon. We need all levels of
—and the best the leader of the government to tackle this emergency as
Washington, DC 20515
Senate can do is propose a $100.00 if our futures depend on them. First,
dollar tax rebate. We’re careering state and Federal officials should admit FAX (202) 225-6791
toward a cliff at 100 mph with publicly that the peaking of oil http://www.farr.house.gov/
monkeys driving the car! Could we extraction is inevitable and imminent.
•Governor Arnold Schw…
please find an adult to take the wheel? Second, they must forcefully take steps
Seriously, we have a big problem to prepare our state, nation and planet
that’s going to get worse, and there to function with a relentlessly •President George Bush
are still many opportunities to take diminishing supply of fossil fuel. http://www.whitehouse.gov/
constructive action in advance of a Third, they need to insist that we reduce
real crisis. our carbon emissions, and apply
If our looming predicament is effective measures to make it so.
handled badly enough, what should
be just a tight spot could turn into a
June 1st - SMC Discussion group, quot;Peak Oil June 17th, SMC fundraiser yard sale, 860
and Politicsquot; at the Central Avenue Bakery 7-9 Congress Avenue, Pacific Grove, 8 am to 2 pm.
June 7th, quot;End of Suburbiaquot; movie showing at June 20th, Sustainable Pacific Grove showing
Humanist Society, Café Stravaganza, quot;The Power of Community – How Cuba
Crossroads, Carmel, public welcome, Free Survived Peak Oilquot; 7 pm followed by a Q & A
June 8th, quot;Introduction to Peak Oilquot; at the with SMC's Mark Folsom and Deborah Lindsay.
Green Party meeting at the Seniors Center on June 23rd, Sustainable Big Sur Coast showing
the corner of Lighthouse and Dickman, with quot;The Power of Community – How Cuba
Pierre Chomat, author of Oil Addiction: The Survived Peak Oil, 7 pm followed by a lecture
World In Peril, and Deborah Lindsay, Director from Julian Darley, Director of Post Carbon
of SMC 6 - 8 PM, Open to Public, Free Contact Institute and author of quot;High Noon for Natural
George Riley, 831-645-9914 for more info, Gasquot;
Mission: To insure an orderly transition through the fossil fuel decline by
cooperatively developing a sustainable economy for Monterey County.
SUSTAINABLE MONTEREY COUNTY
1. Transportation can meet our needs in the US while using
much less energy
WHAT a. Rail and ships are more efficient than cars, trucks and airplanes.
OPPORTUNITIES DO b. All vehicles can be made lighter and more energy efficient.
c. We can use transportation less.
WE HAVE TO LIVE
2. Food doesn’t have to cost 10 calories in fossil fuel for every calorie we eat.
WELL ON LESS FOSSIL a. Organic farming methods can reduce or eliminate the need for fertilizers
and pesticides, which are both made from fossil fuels.
b. We can get food from farms near our homes
c. Foods that are less processed are probably healthier, as well as less
d. We can eat less meat, especially less grain-fed meat, since it takes about
10 calories of feed to make 1 calorie of meat.
So, we already have e. Food doesn’t need as much packaging.
3. Communities can be restructured to reduce the need for
examples of how to do automobile use.
much better, and there a. Allow mixed-use, with homes, stores, schools and businesses close
are still other together.
b. Promote higher density near public transport.
opportunities that no c. Provide sidewalks and bike paths everywhere people want to go locally.
one is exploiting fully. d. Make car-free zones in some business districts.
4. Homes can be more energy efficient.
But it’s urgent that we a. Update appliances and lighting.
get moving before all b. Improve sealing and insulation.
the needed changes c. Use solar heating and natural ventilation.
d. Let indoor temperatures vary more.
have to compete for e. Live in a smaller space.
declining resources with f. Heat or cool only space that’s in use.
g. Use automatic light switches.
a population desperately 5. Power generation can be less wasteful.
trying to maintain a a. Use waste heat from generating plants for space heat or industrial
way of life that can no processes (cogeneration).
b. Generate more electricity from wind and tides, etc.
longer work. Many c. Develop micro-generators that make electricity with home heaters.
areas of our lives and d. Create and deploy new methods of energy storage, so the most efficient
our economy will need generators carry more of the load.
6. Develop more efficient biofuels, that don’t compete with food production, and
to undergo radical get them to market
conversion in a. Oil bearing algae show enormous promise.
b. Cellulosic ethanol from crop waste, sawdust, paper, etc. should be much
the years ahead: more efficient than that from corn.
c. Stop taxing imported biofuels.
The peaking of world oil production presents the U.S. and he world with an unprecedented risk
management problem. As peaking is approached, liquid fuel prices and price volatility will
increase dramatically, and, without timely mitigation, the economic, social, and political costs
will be unprecedented. Viable mitigation options exist on both the supply and demand sides,
but to have substantial impact, they must be initiated more than a decade in advance of
--Robert L. Hirsch, et al, Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation and Risk
Management, Science Applications International, for the U.S. Dept. of Energy
SUSTAINABLE MONTEREY COUNTY
WHAT CAN GOVERNMENTS DO TO HELP?
They can stop making the
problem worse, for one Specific things I would like to see governments do
thing: They subsidize roads include the following:
heavily, while leaving rail
transport to fall apart. They 1. A crash program to fund energy research and development.
subsidize American corn- a. Energy storage options including compressed air, flywheels, batteries,
based ethanol, while taxing etc.
b. Advanced biofuels including oil-bearing algae, cellulosic ethanol and
cane-based ethanol from genetically engineered organisms.
Brazil. They publish highly c. More efficient automotive technology, including continuously variable
misleading and overly transmissions, diesel hybrids, plug-in hybrids, efficient regenerative
optimistic projections of braking, and more.
future oil production, and d. Promote development of energy saving devices that can be retrofitted
to existing motor vehicles.
have since at least 50 years
e. Advanced photovoltaic technology
ago. They promote f. Stage competitions and award prizes for key energy breakthroughs.
unworkable long-lead 2. Incentives, subsidies, taxes and all that
schemes like using a. Stop funding new highway construction.
hydrogen as a transportation b. Subsidize railroads at higher funding levels than roads.
c. Remove special subsidies for oil companies.
fuel, while ignoring
d. Remove subsidies for ethanol from corn.
technologies that are ready e. Remove taxes on imported ethanol.
to be applied starting right f. Levy a tax on gasoline and diesel fuel that assures a predictably rising
now. They subsidize oil price—use the proceeds to reduce payroll taxes.
companies that are already g. Push power companies to employ cogeneration wherever possible.
3. Regulation and other forms of coercion
doing very well.
a. Cap carbon emissions and decrease the cap year after year.
b. Raise vehicle fuel economy standards.
c. Negotiate a treaty along the lines of the “Oil Depletion Protocol” and
stick to its terms.
d. Relax some regulation for ultralight motor vehicles.
e. Stop fighting wars to keep control of other countries’ oil.
a. Do energy planning in the open and publish the plans.
b. Pressure oil producers to allow independent audits of reserves.
c. Publish realistic projections of future energy production, rather than
Develop new motor vehicle fuel economy
tests that are realistic and accurate.
Peaking of World Oil Production… www.projectcensored.org/newsflash/the_hirsch_report.pdf
The Oil Drum http://www.theoildrum.com/
Energy Bulletin http://www.energybulletin.net/
Oil Addiction: The World in Peril, Pierre Chomat
The Party’s Over, Richard Heinberg
The Long Emergency, James Kunstler
Hubbert’s Peak, Kenneth Deffeyes
LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR,
As you can see, Sustainable Monterey camps; red versus blue, peace versus
County's newsletter has a new look! war, growth versus conservation. An
Thank you so much to Adrienne Allen for important note to remember is that we
Phone: 831 648 1543 all her contributions. This goes along with must face the issues of oil depletion
our new and ongoing efforts. This month together, regardless of political affiliation
we had an excellent discussion meeting or economic agenda. We will only
at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural weather the coming storm as a united
History, titled quot;Is Sustainable community. Also, remember that a
Development possible in the face of fossil thriving community is dependent on an
Steering Committee fuel decline?quot; with guests, Chris Fitz, active local economy. Spend your dollars
Members Director of LandWatch Monterey County at a local shop, and sometime this month,
Deborah Lindsay, and Ashley Hefner from Sustainable reach over the fence and say hi to your
Director Monterey Bay. We are learning that the neighbor. In June, we look at the larger
email@example.com issues of sustainability in our region are implications of Peak Oil, with Mark
Ruth Smith, 831-620-1303 broad and multi-layered. No solution is Folsom leading a discussion on the
Committee Chair and simple and all require dialogue between political angle of oil at the Central Avenue
Budget Chair groups that have been on opposite sides Bakery, see the calendar of events for
Virginia Chomat, of the coin for a long time. Our national more details. Cheers! Deborah Lindsay.
Secretary and Co-treasurer media have not helped with building
Pierre Chomat, bridges between groups. On the contrary,
Resident Expert we're generally lumped into one of two
OIL PRODUCTION AND PRICES IN THE RECENT PAST
The figure below shows that past pauses
in the rising trend of oil production have
been preceded by falling prices. Now,
however, it’s different—production has
stopped rising, even though prices
continue to rise sharply. These are not
Volunteer Coordinator and
normal times for oil production.
Sustainable Pacific Grove
phone # 831-656-0664
Sustainable Big Sur Coast
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