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
•Senator Dianne Feinstein
•Congressman Sam Farr
1221 Longworth House
Washington, DC 20515
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
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
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-
8:30pm, Mry Youth Center, 777 Pearl St.
January 24, Wednesday: Richard
Heinberg speech at “Ecofarm
February 1, Thursday: SMC Discussion
Group: Economy, 6:45-9pm, Mty Youth
Center, 777 Pearl St.
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
• Ultralight cars could safely
and cheaply double fuel
• Houses can be
• Small-scale cogeneration
can make electricity more
robust and inexpensive.
• The U.S. could develop
technologies to sell to the
• Businesses could
spontaneously decide to
act in their enlightened
self-interest to solve our
He’s not wrong—at least the
physics and engineering are
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.
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 +
73.32 73.28 73.46 73.38 73.50 86.62% 2005-12 74.08
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
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?
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
Steering Committee Members
Deborah Lindsay, Director
Ruth Smith, 831-620-1303
Committee Chair and Budget Chair
Secretary and Co-treasurer
Committee Evaluation Coordinator
Volunteer Coordinator and Urban
Environmental Accords Coordinator
Sustainable Pacific Grove
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
Phone: 831 648 1543
We’re on the Web!
See us at:
Newsletter Design by
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
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,
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 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