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Smc Newsletter December 06


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Smc Newsletter December 06

  1. 1. Volume 1, Number 12, – December 2006 Unfortunately, the world is more complicated than the one our brains evolved to deal with. The lure of the simple single solution is always tugging at us. There’s no end of events and people and ideas that are hard to understand—and make us uncomfortable. Con men have made their livings down through the ages exploiting people’s attraction to panaceas, and that won’t be any different in the age of fossil-fuel depletion and climate change. Those selling ease and simplicity offer temporary comfort (followed by a rude surprise) to those who are not sufficiently critical, skeptical or informed. Not that the ideas they offer will all be bad ones—some are great. But even the best ideas can be the basis of pernicious fantasies when treated as the one solution to our problems: a panacea. It’s likely that doing everything that helps, as fast as we can, will fall short of preventing hardship in the next decade or two. So we need 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 No paean to panaceas People you should contact about peak oil: •Senator Barbara Boxer act/email/policy.cfm •Senator Dianne Feinstein stein/email.html •Congressman Sam Farr 1221 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-2861 FAX (202) 225-6791 •Governor Arnold Schw… •President George Bush Now you can contribute a cent to SMC every time you do a web search—just go to, enter “Sustainable Monterey County” in answer to the “Who do you GoodSearch for” question, and search . Thanks to all those who have contributed help and funds to SMC Mission: To ensure an orderly transition through the fossil fuel decline by cooperatively developing a sustainable economy for Monterey County. Dec. 7: Amory Lovins 7:00 PM at Irvine Auditorium, MIIS December 24: “Tomorrow Matters” on KRXA 540 AM, Richard Heinberg December 31: “Tomorrow Matters” on KRXA 540 AM, Richard Heinberg Jan. 11: SMC Discussion Group: (re?) Introduction to Peak Oil Thurs., 6:45- UPCOMING EVENTS 8:30pm, Mry Youth Center, 777 Pearl St. January 24, Wednesday: Richard Heinberg speech at “Ecofarm Conference”, Asilomar February 1, Thursday: SMC Discussion Group: Economy, 6:45-9pm, Mty Youth Center, 777 Pearl St.
  2. 2. S U S T A I N A B L E M O N T E R E Y C O U N T Y Amory Lovins came to Irvine Auditorium at MIIS and presented a whole string of great energy-saving ideas: • Ultralight cars could safely and cheaply double fuel economy. • Houses can be comfortable without heaters. • Small-scale cogeneration can make electricity more robust and inexpensive. • The U.S. could develop energy saving technologies to sell to the world. • Businesses could spontaneously decide to act in their enlightened self-interest to solve our energy problems. He’s not wrong—at least the physics and engineering are GREAT IDEAS AREN’T BEING ADOPTED FAST ENOUGH Has Oil Peaked Already? (shamelessly lifted from an article by Khebab on the Oil Drum) “The All liquids peak is now May 2005 at 85.205 mbpd, the year to date average values (9 months) are down from 2005 for all the categories.” The peaks and dates are listed for all categories of liquid fuels in the table below. He got his data from the Energy Information Administration of the USDOE, and BP. Of course, oil production could rise again, but this is the first time it has fallen with rising prices and no major political disruption to production. Category Sept 2006 Sept 2005 12 MA1 2006 9 Months 2005 9 Months Share Peak Date Peak 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 + Condensate 73.32 73.28 73.46 73.38 73.50 86.62% 2005-12 74.08
  3. 3. S U S T A I N A B L E M O N T E R E Y C O U N T Y I found this graph on the web in the last week or so, and the implications 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 production less unconventional. You can’t extract what you haven’t discovered—and it looks like we’ve extracted and used almost all that we’ve discovered. NATURAL GAS IS LOOKING SCARY Amory Lovins’ house stays warm enough to grow bananas, without a furnace—in Aspen. Could we make an unheated home in Monterey that would stay warm enough for people? Further Reading Rocky Mountain Institute Life After the Oil Crash Energy Bulletin 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
  4. 4. Steering Committee Members Deborah Lindsay, Director Ruth Smith, 831-620-1303 Committee Chair and Budget Chair Virginia Chomat, Secretary and Co-treasurer Pierre Chomat, Resident Expert Mark Folsom, Newsletter Editor, George Wilson, 831-372-0659 Committee Evaluation Coordinator Denyse Frischmuth, 831-643-0707 Volunteer Coordinator and Urban Environmental Accords Coordinator Robert Frischmuth, Co-Treasurer Program Heads: Annette Chaplin, 831-372-8725 Sustainable Pacific Grove Linda Parker, phone # 831-656-0664 Big Sur Powerdown C O N T A C T I N F O R M A T I O N MARK FOLSOM: Phone: 831 648 1543 E-Mail: We’re on the Web! See us at: groups/monter ey Newsletter Design by Adrienne Allen Director’s Note The year is coming to a close and there are so many things looking up. Please see our website, for a recent letter I wrote to the Herald (unpublished) about all the things going on in Monterey County, (look for the title, “Things looking up in Monterey County”) because it outlines what’s really going on in our community, 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; I know my words are voiced in all your hearts and minds. Going local is 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. 2007 has SMC approaching the County to adopt the Monterey County Peak Oil Resolution. We will start lectures in Marina and we will make Sustainable Monterey (the City) a reality. We will continue to support 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 supporters to take our work to the next level. We are embarking on a support drive to raise $12,000 toward our efforts. As one who understands the urgency of transitioning our region to one that lives within its means and in peace with the global community, we ask that you help us reach this goal. All donations are tax-deductible and support our vital programs to localize our regional economy. Donors of at least $250 will be personally acknowledged in our next newsletter. Remember, money moves ideas and the ideas of SMC are for the environmental and social profit of our local community and its future. Many holiday blessings to you and your family, Deborah Can oil money buy your science teachers? The scandal at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) just keeps getting worse. Since the Washington Post published an op-ed I wrote asking if NSTA's puzzling decision to reject 50,000 free DVDs of Al Gore's global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth might - just might - have had anything to do with more than six million dollars the organization 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 companies that have done everything in their considerable power to delay, deflect, and derail any serious effort to cut global warming emissions. Funding scientific disinformation has long been one of their favorite tactics. New evidence flatly contradicts statements NSTA has made in defense of its suspect partnerships, 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 "educational" materials that play down threats like global warming and play up the glories of continued oil dependence. --Laurie David via Huffington Post