Smc Newsletter June 06


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Smc Newsletter June 06

  1. 1. 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. 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. tein/email.html 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 Office Building —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, (202) 225-2861 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 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. 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 UPCOMING EVENTS 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. PM, Free 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.
  2. 2. 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. ENERGY? b. We can get food from farms near our homes c. Foods that are less processed are probably healthier, as well as less energy intensive. 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 peaking. --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
  3. 3. 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. 4. Information 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 fanciful nonsense. Develop new motor vehicle fuel economy tests that are realistic and accurate. Further Reading Peaking of World Oil Production… The Oil Drum Energy Bulletin Oil Addiction: The World in Peril, Pierre Chomat The Party’s Over, Richard Heinberg The Long Emergency, James Kunstler Hubbert’s Peak, Kenneth Deffeyes
  4. 4. LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR, CONTACT INFORMATION As you can see, Sustainable Monterey camps; red versus blue, peace versus County's newsletter has a new look! war, growth versus conservation. An MARK FOLSOM: 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 E-Mail: 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 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 Mark Folsom, Newsletter Editor, OIL PRODUCTION AND PRICES IN THE RECENT PAST George Wilson, The figure below shows that past pauses 831-372-0659 in the rising trend of oil production have Committee Evaluation been preceded by falling prices. Now, Coordinator however, it’s different—production has Denyse Frischmuth, stopped rising, even though prices 831-643-0707 continue to rise sharply. These are not Volunteer Coordinator and normal times for oil production. Urban Environmental Accords Coordinator Robert Frischmuth, Co-Treasurer Program Heads, Annette Chaplin, 831-372-8725 Sustainable Pacific Grove Linda Parker, phone # 831-656-0664 Sustainable Big Sur Coast Newsletter Design by Adrienne Allen We’re on the Web! See us at: groups/monterey