My Daughter

My Daughter
Remember when you learned how to do this?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Peak Oil and the New Media

Are websites like peakoil.com threatening or even replacing the television and print media?

Does our culture of "information overload" make us more or less vunerable to an energy crisis?
Or perhaps the monetizing of human attention has distracted many of us from the boring facts of oil well depletion into some kind of sensationalist killer zombie movie....

Does it even matter considering that news and informative media is less then 1% of all media content produced?
Consider that Google is now the #1 largest media company in the world.

Or these new stats from PEW
  • 33 percent of Americans now get their news online
  • 76 percent of teens get their news online
  • 61 percent of Internet users go online for news at least once a week
  • 46 percent of broadband users get their news online
  • 27 percent of users who get news online every day
  • 18 percent of those who get news online at least once a week say they use other sources less often, up from 11 percent two years ago
  • 53 percent of Internet users watch television news
  • 26 percent of of Internet users say they regularly watch a nightly network news broadcast
These guys did a survey on the problems with online news?
  • one in every five visitors to a news site leaves unhappy
  • poor content is cited as the number one reason Web surfers go to another site
  • shallow coverage is the next leading turnoff among Web news site defectors
  • since the beginning of 2005, customer satisfaction with the online news industry has declined 9 percent

Most people learned about peak oil from the internet. Perhaps the organic growth of new media like Peak Oil New and Message Boards is filling a temporary gap in these awkward years before the 6 largest media conglomerates catch up with us. Will the the blatant absuridty of old media polarize and strengthen Peakers? Or is Peak doomed to be packaged, spun, and otherwise re-absorbed? Doesn't every used-to-be-edgy media eventually sell out?

Friday, October 21, 2005

The Real Problem

Peak oil, terrorism, poverty, environmental destruction, war.

What we are really talking about is human nature.

By habit or convention we view these issues as the challenges we face. But the reality is that we visit these things upon ourselves and our planet. The root cause of these 5 "challenges" have a common origin... and it's us. Absent human intervention, not one of these issues would exist at all in the way we know them today.

Our advances as a species seem to come with a hefty price.

The traditional approach to solving the dilemma of human nature is attempts to control. To prevent our human nature from expressing itself in harmful ways. As the reader knows, it's been a mixed bag of results to say the least. But it's at the root of all human civilization... stuff you are not supposed to be doing.

There's an old axiom which says that you can't legislate intent.

Human Nature.

Our failures to control the expression of our natures is the descendant of this idea.

The heart wants what the heart wants.

Even the ancients recognized this basic truth. By attempted selected breeding programs, several populations have managed to preserve a certain clarity of genetic drift in their genotype over the centuries. But even the venerable Hebrew & Chinese bloodlines have begun to drift... You can't legislate intent.

Modern science has opened a Pandora's box of possibilities to humanity, including the miracle of cloning.

We are on the journey to uncover & map the mysteries of why you are you, and I'm me. Does anyone really doubt that someday, (maybe even some day in the past), that man will come to understand the processes of life so thoroughly, that we can literally redesign ourselves generation by generation? If we learn to treat diseases born of genetic defects, how long till we begin to manipulate other things? Think of the expression of genetic power across the history of life on Earth. From the greatest dinosaur, to the smallest virus... what if we become free to borrow the code which supports these creatures for ourselves?

What parent would deny their child the guarantee of freedom from genetic disease?

But what if you could choose other things? Hair, eyes, strength, intelligence, size, etc... If science could guarantee your child to be born strong, attractive, brilliant & compassionate, would you say no?

So what about human nature?

Could genetics hold the key to disposition in a breeding population?

What's your biggest grip? Mine is stupid people... people are pretty stupid.

Could we imagine a world without stupidity?

Is it possible that our only hope, is to reinvent humanity?

Send in the clones.

Friday, October 07, 2005

The Peak Oil Crisis: The First Casualty

Tom Whipple
Falls Church News Press
3 October 2005

When the historians come to write the history of the 21st Century, they may well record that the African nation of Zimbabwe was the first to succumb to peak oil.

For students of African economies, the current Zimbabwean meltdown comes as no surprise. During the last decade, Zimbabwe 's dysfunctional government got itself involved in war that drained the treasury and then implemented a land redistribution program that drove out the white farmers. These actions devastated exports and led to runaway inflation. The Mugabe government finally got into so much trouble with the International Monetary Fund for failure to make meaningful reforms and repayments, that it is constantly on the verge of being thrown out of the IMF and in turn, can no longer avail itself of the Fund's services When the price of oil started climbing into the $65+ range, official oil imports simply stopped.

The country currently does not have the foreign exchange to purchase oil and it seems nobody is willing to extend credit on acceptable terms. Rigged elections and expropriated land have left the country at odds with the usual foreign aid donors so that only humanitarian food shipments are currently arriving in the country. A few years ago, the government turned much of the oil import business over to the private sector while retaining price caps on retail gasoline.

Obviously, when the cost of oil got higher than the permissible sales price, gas stations went dry.

This has resulted in a black market where gasoline is selling for ten times the controlled price. While Zimbabwe 's multiple economic problems make it an atypical case, it is the first country to run almost completely out of oil. This, in turn, gives us a look at what will happen as the consequences of expensive and scarce oil spreads around the globe. By last week, nearly all buses and commuter taxis in the capitol, Harare , had stopped running, forcing tens of thousands to walk to work. While there are still a lot of private cars on the road, they are being fueled with $36 a gallon black market gasoline. Municipal services have stopped. There are no trash collections, no ambulances, or operating public works vehicles. Only one fire truck has any fuel left. The police immediately commandeer any fuel they come across. Clean water and electricity are available sporadically. Hospitals are out of supplies and the staff is fleeing. What was once one of the cleanest, most modern cities in Africa is nearly finished.

The long-term effects on the Zimbabwean economy are equally dire. The only sugar refinery is shut due to a lack of coal caused by a lack of fuel for the coal-transporting railroad. Production of tobacco, a major export crop, is already down to 30 percent of pre-land reform levels. It now appears that only about five percent of the normal crop will be planted this year. Large numbers of Zimbabweans are fleeing the county in the midst of what is clearly an economic death spiral. Famine, mass movements of peoples, and political turmoil cannot be far behind.

In the case of Zimbabwe , all this human misery is not completely attributable to peak oil and unaffordable gasoline; an abysmally incompetent government is playing a major part in the country's economic demise well in advance of better governed nations. It is, however, representative of what we will see again and again as oil depletion sets in. In the US , we are discussing whether tax cuts are the proper remedy for expensive gasoline.

In Africa , people are starting to starve. Somewhere in the future, peak oil will evolve a test of mankind's humanity to our less fortunate fellows. Will some sort of oil depletion protocol come to pass allowing at least of modicum of oil to support every country's essential services? Or will peak oil be marked by survival of the richest?

This will soon be seen as the heart of the peak oil moral dilemma.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

One Year on

After a long time I've finally managed to get my blog off the ground!!! About time.

What an appropriate time to choose to start. It is exactly one year ago that I joined the PO.com forum.....and what a year it's been.

How have I changed and how has my outlook on the world changed in the last year? Well I can say for one thing that there are times when I wish that I had never known about Peak Oil. Ignorance is bliss and there many times when I wish that I was just down the pub with my mates, drinking beer and being completly carefree and not actually giving a shit about the world....Unfortunately those days are now long gone. The beer will still be drunk but the way I look at the world has completly changed.

My friend said something to me the other day that summed up everything. He said that when I had found out about PO I had finally found what I was looking for. Allow me to explain. I'm the kind of guy who grows up being told that Adam and Eve were the first people on the planet. However I was also told that we evolved from Gorillas. Obviously these two theories cannot be the same. However my curiousity has always got the better of me and this has led me to investigate things such as religion and conspiracy theories in some kind of quest for the truth. As soon as I started learning about the importance of energy sources in human society then the penny finally dropped. That was it. It was so obvious. Yet I'd never even thought about it. Instead I was too busy enjoying the luxuries that oil was able to provide instead of appreciating it's importance.

Learning about PO has led me to one simple basic conclusion. All living things require a source of energy. NO SHIT!!! I hear you cry. If that statement is so obvious to all of us then why are we on the verge of the greatest energy crisis that our species has ever seen?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

An Undisclosed Source Reveals

Hurricane Ivan destroyed 7 platforms and 100 pipelines and 0 rigs.Katrina & Rita destroyed (so far) 90 platforms and (who knows) pipelines and 100?rigs.

There are typically around 130 rigs working in the Gulf. Today, there are 23.

There will be virtually no new exploration in the Gulf for the next year or so, assuming everything stays the way it is right now. Plus, with the rigs left in operation, there are several countries bidding to have them work in their waters. Guess who wins? Highest bidder.

Gasoline was up $0.40 at my test location just since last night. Expectations are that it will rise over $1.00 by Sunday night. Two years ago, I could fill my SUV (26 gal tank) for $28. Today, it cost me $28 to fill my buzzie with a 10 gal tank.

Service companies are strained to the max. There is very little equipment available. Dive equipment, generators, winches and the whole lot were destroyed in the storms. Rentals are going out all over the world to get the equipment to do the job.

Right now, everything is on an even keel, but one more surprise could put the whole remediation effort over the edge, as well.Still working on the refinery data for you.

Don't trust the happy talk. These are eyeball numbers. We are keeping a large wall map up-to-date in the war room. (Oilman1 is at an oil service company that does offshore work -

It's not only bad, it's very bad.