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Saved by Charles-A. Rovira
on October 17, 2008 at 1:13:23 pm

 P34k O1l


Bed: "Machinery" by "Might Could" off of "All Intertwined"




Welcome to the show that will give you a little history about what happened and tell you what you can expect to happen next.


I don't want to scare the crap out of you, but if that's what it takes to wake you up than, so be it.


My own epiphany happened early last year, in 2007.


I came across a web site that led me to some other web sites and after a bit I started to ask myself if these kooks could just happen to be right. I bought a book (not an unusual event for me.)


It was called "The Party's OVER, Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies" by "Richard Heinberg" ISBN: 0-86571-482-7.


This book in 275 pages gives you all the insights you need to get started in surviving the oil era (I can't even call it an age, like the "Bronze Age" or the "Iron Age", its less that two hundred years old, and, in that short period of time, we've managed t blow through around half of it.)


Knowing the All American propensity for ignoring people until it was half past too late, I started to look through the cracks and discovered exactly what M. King Hubbert meant by the expression "Peak Oil".


By the way, if you doubt that ignoring people is what America does best, to its own detriment, does the name William Edwards Deming ring a bell with anybody?


He invented the entire field of statistical sampling, quality control and a methodology that was utterly ignored until he had to "leave the 'States" and go to Japan, where he turned around Japanese industry and, now that Toyota is eating GM's lunch, the value of his approach has been recognized.


How about the name R. Buckminster Fuller?


His Dymaxion car and the principles that guided his engineering and his architecture led to the Geodesic domes and his fame lives on in Material Science in "Fullerines" and nanodevices.


M. King Hubbert stated back in 1956 that peak oil in the 'States would occur between 1966 and 1972. The peak in US oil production occured in 1970 and going down until there's no economically recoverable oil left. We've been squeezing the shelves on both sides of the continent dry ever since.


We're going to cover the book over the next six weeks. (One per chapter.)  We're also going to give reference to the other sources of information on the web and point you to a whole series of YouTube videos on the subject.


And I get to play all this podsafe music for you while scaring the bejeezus out of your complacency, but forewarned is forearmed so its better that you know rather than being blindsided by what will inevitably happen and can make plans around America's oil addiction.




In 242 pages + end notes, a bibliography and an index, Mr. Heinberg manages to deflate the accomplishments of the past century and a half and depress the hell out of anybody who thinks that its just going to go on the same as it has been.


Its not a particularly fun read. (Sort of like my MS diagnosis was not a fun read.)


But after spending the first 5 charters and 200 pages establishing how oil got into our lives over the past one hundred and fifty years and altered almost every aspect of out power structures, the books launches into how we're going to have to manage the collapse of those power structures.


If we do this with a modicum of intelligence, the changes don't have to be the equivalent to Afghanistan under "

Mullah Omar". (Shoot me now, because its just a question of time before he'd order his zealots to do it.)

The questions are myriad and the answers are always going to be "


  • Yes, we're going to have to do everything in a sustainable manner and
  • yes, we're going to have to factor in things like the energy required at every step of a product's life cycle, and
  • yes, we're going to have fond memories of airline travel, private travel and even rapid travel, and
  • yes, we're going to hate to commute and share the rides,
  • yes, we're about to say goodbye to living in the suburbs, except for retirement communities,
  • yes, we're going to have to recycle because we're no longer able to afford the cost of hauling away trash, and
  • yes, we're going to have to deal with the resentment of everybody on the planet,
  • yes, we're going to wave bye bye to fruits and veggies from everywhere on the planet,
  • yes, we're going to get used to eating locally grown varieties, (which tends to be an oxymoron, variety will be limited to whatever you can order from a seed catalog and grow in farms and co-ops like the one my wife and I belong to,) and
  • yes, we're going to have to get over having the kinds of hospital expenditures we've got now, (the HMOs are going to be absolute Hell to deal with as prices rise,) and
  • yes there are all kinds of things that are going to have to change and,
  • yes, we're looking at a few major plagues and other ecological disasters that we won't be able to avoid, (floods in low lying areas, typhoons and hurricanes leaving more cities like New Orleans and leaving entire countries like Myanmar/Burma, earthquakes shattering economies like in China's south...)

The list goes on, but basically you're going to be left to rely on your own physical resources.

But, and this is the biggest and heaviest "but" we're ever going to have, we'll have a wealth of information at our fingertips since, while the schools may have to move because there's no more "energy in the budget", we've still laid down the foundations of the next economy, the next world order, in shining glass strands,

We're looking at hydro-electricity and bandwidth becoming becoming essential to life in the post-oil world.



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