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Is the oil dependence problem on the radar?

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  • Joe
    In a recent email from John Kerry s campaign there was a short interview with Rand Beers. It was mostly about fighting terrorism, but his last line was:
    Message 1 of 20 , Jun 4, 2004
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      In a recent email from John Kerry's campaign there was a short interview
      with Rand Beers. It was mostly about fighting terrorism, but his last
      line was:



      "Finally, we need to become energy independent, so our foreign policy
      isn't distorted by our dependence on Middle East oil."



      Politicians do talk a lot and this wasn t even Kerry speaking, but I
      was encouraged to read it anyway. I didn t post the article because I
      thought it had little relevance to this group and wasn t sure if
      campaign email would be acceptable to post.



      My question to the group is how aware are people of the oil dependence
      problem? For myself as little as 18 months ago id say I was 0% aware.
      Now that I bike commute, belong to this and other forums, have read some
      books on New Urbanism I read about it everyday. There are some articles
      in the main stream press, the national geographic mentioned here in
      another post. I still feel like most of the country really doesn t get
      it. What does everyone else think?



      Have a Great Weekend,



      Joe




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    • Mike Morin
      ... I think you re correct. Judging by the choices made by American consumers (e.g. the preponderance of SUVs), I would have to conclude that the majority of
      Message 2 of 20 , Jun 4, 2004
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        Joe wrote:

        > I still feel like most of the country really doesn t get
        >it. What does everyone else think?


        I think you're correct. Judging by the choices made by American consumers
        (e.g. the preponderance of SUVs), I would have to conclude that the majority
        of Americans are unaware of the imminent shortages of fuel, the problems of
        global warming and other sorts of pollution, the availability and
        desirability of walkable environments, or they just don't or won't believe
        it.

        It is deeply troubling to me that there is virtually no "economy" new cars
        available. For example, look what has happened to the Toyota Camry. New ones
        are now as big as the Ford Taurus. Similar enlargement can be seen for
        almost all "Japanese" makes and models. The American cars have remained
        large, and the production of SUVs has become the pre-eminent products
        available and sold (for almost all automakers).

        What is more disheartening is that people have been given and made huge life
        choices (i.e. homes in sprawl and the dependence and convenience of large
        automobiles) that are almost impossible to reverse. The government policies
        of the last sixty years (i.e. highway programs, VA and FHA lending to
        bedroom community developments, infrastructure development) and the
        associated projects by developers (i.e. sprawl housing and malls) have left
        little choice with regard to the major life/purchase choices that Americans
        make and have made. New urbanism and smart growth are a relatively recent
        notions and the awareness or at least the acceptance of such seems to be
        confined to a minority of the population. Furthermore, there is a premium
        associated with the relatively few new urbanist developments that many
        people can't and/or won't pay. Even if everyone decided that new urbanism
        was their choice, one that they were willing to pay for, the choice would
        not be available to most of them. That is, the supply and demand situation
        would drive up further the costs of new urbanist living and they would be
        unable to sell their existing property or command a workable price to make
        the move.

        What is needed is a good study documenting the degree of cogniton and the
        acceptance of the principles of new urbanism and smart growth among the
        general population. A good study would give us insight into how to proceed
        with an educational agenda. After which, the more difficult assignment of
        building a smart, new urbanist environment transitioned from the sprawl
        would be our burden.


        Mike Morin


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Joe" <jbushkey@...>
        To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Friday, June 04, 2004 2:44 PM
        Subject: [carfree_cities] Is the oil dependence problem on the radar?


        >
        >
        > In a recent email from John Kerry's campaign there was a short interview
        > with Rand Beers. It was mostly about fighting terrorism, but his last
        > line was:
        >
        >
        >
        > "Finally, we need to become energy independent, so our foreign policy
        > isn't distorted by our dependence on Middle East oil."
        >
        >
        >
        > Politicians do talk a lot and this wasn t even Kerry speaking, but I
        > was encouraged to read it anyway. I didn t post the article because I
        > thought it had little relevance to this group and wasn t sure if
        > campaign email would be acceptable to post.
        >
        >
        >
        > My question to the group is how aware are people of the oil dependence
        > problem? For myself as little as 18 months ago id say I was 0% aware.
        > Now that I bike commute, belong to this and other forums, have read some
        > books on New Urbanism I read about it everyday. There are some articles
        > in the main stream press, the national geographic mentioned here in
        > another post. I still feel like most of the country really doesn t get
        > it. What does everyone else think?
        >
        >
        >
        > Have a Great Weekend,
        >
        >
        >
        > Joe
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > _____
        >
        > << ella for Spam Control >> has removed 22361 Spam messages and set
        > aside 801 Newsletters for me
        > You can use it too - and it's FREE! www.ellaforspam.com
        >
        >
        >
        > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
        > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
        carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
        > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Steve Geller
        Dependence on foreign oil is a problem, but I don t think it has much to do with terrorism. The US gets a lot of its foreign oil from Venezuela, for example.
        Message 3 of 20 , Jun 4, 2004
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          Dependence on foreign oil is a problem, but I don't think it has
          much to do with terrorism. The US gets a lot of its foreign oil from
          Venezuela, for example. The terrorists are mostly Muslims, but
          do most Muslims live in oil-producing countries?

          If Saudi Arabia cut off the US oil, they'd be invaded, and they know that.

          Saudi is a major producer. But imagine what would happen to
          the terrorist situation if some non-Muslim region turned up
          a bigger oil deposit, just as the Saudi output began to dwindle.
          Did Eskimos become terrorists when oil was discovered in Alaska?
          Did the Scots become terrorists because of North Sea oil?

          As oil begins to dwindle globally, there will be a struggle for
          the remaining supplies, but I don't see this becoming a Muslim-Infidel
          struggle. That insanity is pure religion; no oil necessary.

          Oil dependence is not prominent on the political radar because most
          people are childishly confident that more oil will turn up -- or we'll go
          to a Hydrogen energy economy or something. Anyhow, they are sure
          car driving will go on forever.
        • Matt Dobbing
          Steve, in reply to your comments on this thread about oil and terrorism... it seems that you are arguing that Muslims are more likely to be terrorists because
          Message 4 of 20 , Jun 7, 2004
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            Steve, in reply to your comments on this thread about oil and terrorism...

            it seems that you are arguing that Muslims are more likely to be terrorists
            because of their religion! I certainly don't believe that links can be made
            between religion and terrorism in the sense that people of a certain
            religion are more likely to be terrorists. I have grown up in the UK and we
            have lived with terrorism linked to 'the troubles' in Ireland, a conflict
            between two demonimations of Christianity.

            I think it is a great shame that the US is increasingly perceived as a
            Christian country globally rather than a 'free' country. I thought the US
            Constitution seperated church and state (is this true?) The more America is
            perceived as an 'aggressively' Christian country the more it will come into
            conflict with similary 'aggressive' Muslim countries. I fully support any
            country celebrating its religion but perhaps the US needs to be aware of how
            it is 'perceived'. I am not saying this is the reality of what the US is
            about or claiming that the UK is any better. I am also not justifying
            terrorism or violence of any sort (my own bias in this case being that I was
            brought up a Quaker and am a pacifist!) just pointing out what the
            perception of the US increasingly is. Apologies if I have misinterpreted the
            thrust of your argument.

            By the by, as I am being so picky! (sorry!!!) neither the eskimos or the
            scots are independant countries like Saudi Arabia.

            Completely off topic!, do people think that the film 'The day after
            tomorrow' has advanced or hindered the campaign to reduce dependancy on
            fossil fuels?


            Matt Dobbing
            Head of Careers and CPSE
            Northolt High School
            Eastcote Lane
            Northolt
            Middx
            UB5 4HP

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          • Steve Geller
            ... Terrorists these days are just more likely to use Islam to justify their activities. Being a Muslim doesn t make one a terrorist. ... Interesting typoe --
            Message 5 of 20 , Jun 7, 2004
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              >Matt says:

              >it seems that you are arguing that Muslims are more likely to be terrorists
              >because of their religion!

              Terrorists these days are just more likely to use Islam to justify their
              activities. Being a Muslim doesn't make one a terrorist.

              > I certainly don't believe that links can be made
              >between religion and terrorism in the sense that people of a certain
              >religion are more likely to be terrorists. I have grown up in the UK and we
              >have lived with terrorism linked to 'the troubles' in Ireland, a conflict
              >between two demonimations of Christianity.

              Interesting typoe -- religion in N. Ireland certainly was "demonimized".
              But that conflict has been quiet recently, as the world concentrates
              on the Islamic demons of jihad.

              >I think it is a great shame that the US is increasingly perceived as a
              >Christian country globally rather than a 'free' country. I thought the US
              >Constitution seperated church and state (is this true?)

              Yes, it's true, but some of the evangelicals keep trying to make
              the US into a Christian theocracy. Our current President draws
              much of his political support from his fellow evangelicals.

              There's no reason for Islam and Christianity to be in conflict,
              unless one believes there's only one "true" religion. People wouldn't
              be much concerned with Muslims if it weren't for oil and Israel.

              In fact, I suggest that if the oil in the Arab countries dried up,
              terrorism would shift its base to some other region and religion.

              The world is very dependent on oil, especially the US.
              As the oil becomes scarce, there will be conflict.
              Ideally, we should shift to powering transportation with
              renewable energy. But right now, the threat is not perceived
              as immediate. Maybe someone should do another film like
              "Day After Tomorrow" but about what happens when the oil runs out.
            • Richard Risemberg
              Most religions end up hijacked by fascist-trooper personalities--ie, those who want an infallible leader (spiritual or corporeal) to define their lives for
              Message 6 of 20 , Jun 7, 2004
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                Most religions end up hijacked by fascist-trooper personalities--ie,
                those who want an infallible leader (spiritual or corporeal) to define
                their lives for them, give them a rigid structure that relieves them of
                the responsibility to make difficult decisions, and give them a little
                power over somebody else. Anything that threatens this structure makes
                them frantic and defensive; if there isn't a limiting mechanism in the
                structure, they go to the extremes of fascist governments (of left or
                right) and fundamentalist religions everywhere and throughout all time.
                Hitler, Stalin, Mao, the Crusades, the 800-year Irish conflict, and
                now Jihad...each learning from the other. The biggest terrorist act in
                the US prior to 9/11 was the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma
                City, perpetrated by politically right-wing Christian zealots.

                The US is in danger of losing the limiting mechanisms I spoke of
                above--by which I mean the system of checks and balances propounded in
                the Constitution--because of the actions of Christian zealots who now
                run the joint--the result of a faudulent election (the 12,000 Democrats
                falsely excluded from the Florida vote because, "Oh, we thought they
                were convicted felons but made a terrible mistake,--we're so sorry...,"
                would have turned the tide without need for a recall). If the
                Republicans win again Bush will be our Hindenburg, and I don't mean the
                blimp.

                The call to do anything we must to preserve our oil-based consumerist
                lifestyle is an effort to draw the people into support of a fascist agenda.

                The jihadist's call to battle the infidel--never mind that this is the
                religion of "Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate"--likewise serves to
                garner support for the power of religious fascists.

                The cruel irony, for US citizens, at least, is that our "leaders" use
                the call to defend "Freedom" as an excuse to suppress freedoms. But
                Orwell told you all about it in "1984," anyway.

                Ultimately, going carfree is a step towards political as well as
                personal freedom--because it moves us towards a society of atomized
                (localized) power--both literal and political--which starves the fascist
                mindset. Alexander's "Pattern Language" is a profoundly revolutionary
                work, because in it people create their own communities, physically,
                socially, and ultimately politically--but as long as oil dominates our
                economy, the power of armies will prevail.

                If we succeed, it may be by taking a clue from Gandhi and the '60s
                hippies, and building parallel societies (Gandhi in effect organized a
                highly-structured ignoring of the British Raj as his mechanism of
                revolt, but none of his followers ever fired a shot). Societies that
                participate productively in the world economy without enslaving
                themselves to it.

                Let's have at that dream, eh?

                Richard

                Matt Dobbing wrote:

                > Steve, in reply to your comments on this thread about oil and terrorism...
                >
                > it seems that you are arguing that Muslims are more likely to be terrorists
                > because of their religion! I certainly don't believe that links can be made
                > between religion and terrorism in the sense that people of a certain
                > religion are more likely to be terrorists. I have grown up in the UK and we
                > have lived with terrorism linked to 'the troubles' in Ireland, a conflict
                > between two demonimations of Christianity.
                >
                > I think it is a great shame that the US is increasingly perceived as a
                > Christian country globally rather than a 'free' country. I thought the US
                > Constitution seperated church and state (is this true?) The more America is
                > perceived as an 'aggressively' Christian country the more it will come into
                > conflict with similary 'aggressive' Muslim countries. I fully support any
                > country celebrating its religion but perhaps the US needs to be aware of how
                > it is 'perceived'. I am not saying this is the reality of what the US is
                > about or claiming that the UK is any better. I am also not justifying
                > terrorism or violence of any sort (my own bias in this case being that I was
                > brought up a Quaker and am a pacifist!) just pointing out what the
                > perception of the US increasingly is. Apologies if I have misinterpreted the
                > thrust of your argument.
                >
                > By the by, as I am being so picky! (sorry!!!) neither the eskimos or the
                > scots are independant countries like Saudi Arabia.



                --
                Richard Risemberg
                http://www.living-room.org
                http://www.newcolonist.com

                "Until you stop looking for simple answers, you will not be happy. You
                will not even be human."

                RR
              • dubluth
                ... ... I m not that familiar with the genre (never having carefully watched Mad Max) but isn t that what the distopian sci-fi movies of the 70 s were
                Message 7 of 20 , Jun 7, 2004
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                  --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Steve Geller <stgeller@c...> wrote:
                  >
                  <snip>
                  >
                  > But right now, the threat is not perceived
                  > as immediate. Maybe someone should do another film like
                  > "Day After Tomorrow" but about what happens when the oil runs out.

                  I'm not that familiar with the genre (never having carefully watched
                  Mad Max) but isn't that what the distopian sci-fi movies of the 70's
                  were about?
                • CEB
                  Except Star Wars which shows that good triumphs over evil if you spend your fuel resources right: Paraphrase: We cannot defend the station against snub
                  Message 8 of 20 , Jun 8, 2004
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                    Except Star Wars which shows that good triumphs over evil if you spend your fuel resources right: Paraphrase: "We cannot defend the station against snub fighters (bicycles)."

                    Todd (I have a dog named Obi)

                    ______________________________________________________________
                    > Od: "dubluth" <dubluth@...>
                    > Komu: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
                    > CC:
                    > Datum: Tue, 08 Jun 2004 02:48:00 -0000
                    > Předmět: [carfree_cities] Re: Is the oil dependence problem on the radar?
                    >
                    > --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Steve Geller <stgeller@c...> wrote:
                    > >
                    > <snip>
                    > >
                    > > But right now, the threat is not perceived
                    > > as immediate. Maybe someone should do another film like
                    > > "Day After Tomorrow" but about what happens when the oil runs out.
                    >
                    > I'm not that familiar with the genre (never having carefully watched
                    > Mad Max) but isn't that what the distopian sci-fi movies of the 70's
                    > were about?
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
                    > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
                    > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >

                    --------------------
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                  • Korn, Dan
                    ... LOL! See: http://www.chicagocriticalmass.org/movie_flyers/CarWars.pdf One of a series at: http://www.chicagocriticalmass.org/movie_flyers Dan Chicago
                    Message 9 of 20 , Jun 8, 2004
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                      CEB [mailto:cyklopraha@...]:
                      >Except Star Wars which shows that good triumphs
                      >over evil if you spend your fuel resources right:
                      >Paraphrase: "We cannot defend the station against
                      >snub fighters (bicycles)."

                      LOL! See:
                      http://www.chicagocriticalmass.org/movie_flyers/CarWars.pdf

                      One of a series at:
                      http://www.chicagocriticalmass.org/movie_flyers

                      Dan
                      Chicago
                      www.dankorn.com



                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Simon Baddeley
                      Does this really surprise? To some it s like being on the Titanic (v.comfortable, v.secure and assured). Imagine you knew ahead of times that you were
                      Message 10 of 20 , Jun 18, 2004
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                        Does this really surprise?

                        To some it's like being on the Titanic (v.comfortable, v.secure and
                        assured). Imagine you knew ahead of times that you were inevitably going to
                        hit an iceberg in a week's time and that even if you changed course no-one
                        on board would save themselves as the collision was unavoidable. First of
                        all you would find it difficult to convince many on board of this scenario.
                        Then when you explained even to those who accepted the scenario that
                        whatever people did would only make any difference in a future beyond the
                        life time of all on board.

                        Then what of the story of the monkey traps? Put a desired piece of food in a
                        jar with an entrance wide enough for the beast to get its hand and arm into
                        the jar. Once the monkey has made a fist round the desired object it becomes
                        easy to catch, because capture and possible death is preferable to letting
                        go the object of desire. If people could be martyred for a Messiah and the
                        promise of everlasting life, is it surprising if the denizens of a consumer
                        society are ready to die for their possessions and the way of life it offers
                        on earth and promises for the future?

                        None of these depressing observations on our nature and condition makes me
                        any less resolute. What I don't intend to become is a sandwich board man
                        pacing the decks among the partying passengers declaiming that "We're all
                        going to die!!". That in me that is anxious for some validation thinks of
                        future historians asking what what people like me were doing in the early
                        years of the 20th Century.

                        If we fail then there won't be any history anyway.

                        My maxim is that in this endeavour you are always losing until you win. The
                        proponents of most great causes never live to see them succeed. It is being
                        able to keep going with angry and compassionate reasoning in these
                        circumstances that is a test of character and leadership. I fall short of
                        that but it is my aspiration to avoid that enormous temptation to do nothing
                        because I can do so little.

                        I have a little test. There are nice environmentalist's I meet who I realise
                        after a while have yearning for global Armageddon for the fleeting pleasure
                        of watching all those feckless consumer vandals earn the wages of their
                        sins. Me too! But it's not good enough to think like that.

                        Simon

                        On 4/6/04 11:42 pm, "Mike Morin" <mikemorin@...> wrote:

                        > Joe wrote:
                        >
                        >> I still feel like most of the country really doesn t get
                        >> it. What does everyone else think?
                        >
                        >
                        > I think you're correct. Judging by the choices made by American consumers
                        > (e.g. the preponderance of SUVs), I would have to conclude that the majority
                        > of Americans are unaware of the imminent shortages of fuel, the problems of
                        > global warming and other sorts of pollution, the availability and
                        > desirability of walkable environments, or they just don't or won't believe
                        > it.
                      • kenavidor
                        Simon Baddeley said: To some it s like being on the Titanic It definately seems that way to me. I really doubt there s a way to change course or to reverse
                        Message 11 of 20 , Jun 18, 2004
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                          Simon Baddeley said:

                          "To some it's like being on the Titanic"

                          It definately seems that way to me. I really doubt there's a way to change
                          course or to reverse the engines. I think a better plan is to make ready the
                          lifeboats and prepare to abandon ship.

                          Ken Avidor
                          Minneapolis
                        • Simon Baddeley
                          Wow. The great Ken Avidor. My hero. Sorry for embarrassing you! Trouble with the Titanic metaphor is that although it was risky there was at least a place to
                          Message 12 of 20 , Jun 18, 2004
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                            Wow. The great Ken Avidor. My hero. Sorry for embarrassing you!

                            Trouble with the Titanic metaphor is that although it was risky there was at
                            least a place to bale out to. Barring planetary colonisation there's nowhere
                            else for us - sinners and saints alike - to go.

                            We all hang together or we all hang separately.

                            Simon


                            On 18/6/04 11:36 pm, "kenavidor" <kenavidor@...> wrote:

                            > Simon Baddeley said:
                            >
                            > "To some it's like being on the Titanic"
                            >
                            > It definately seems that way to me. I really doubt there's a way to change
                            > course or to reverse the engines. I think a better plan is to make ready the
                            > lifeboats and prepare to abandon ship.
                            >
                            > Ken Avidor
                            > Minneapolis
                          • Doug Salzmann
                            ... To which Simon responded: ... I think Ken means that the prospects for altering the course of mainstream culture seem remote, and that those of us who
                            Message 13 of 20 , Jun 19, 2004
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                              Ken wrote:

                              > > Simon Baddeley said:
                              > >
                              > > "To some it's like being on the Titanic"
                              > >
                              > > It definately seems that way to me. I really doubt there's a way to change
                              > > course or to reverse the engines. I think a better plan is to make ready the
                              > > lifeboats and prepare to abandon ship.

                              To which Simon responded:

                              On Sat, 19 Jun 2004, Simon Baddeley wrote:

                              > Trouble with the Titanic metaphor is that although it was risky there was at
                              > least a place to bale out to. Barring planetary colonisation there's nowhere
                              > else for us - sinners and saints alike - to go.
                              >
                              > We all hang together or we all hang separately.

                              I think Ken means that the prospects for altering the course of
                              mainstream culture seem remote, and that those of us who clearly
                              see the looming iceberg can most usefully focus our energies, at this
                              late date, on strategies for survival and rescue.

                              Sadly, I think Ken is correct. It appears very unlikely that
                              global techno-industrial society will even recognize that destruction
                              is around the corner in time to take corrective action, let alone
                              actually implement such action. The only chance, I think, is for the
                              relatively alert and enlightened among us to work to establish and
                              support as many pockets and corners of sustainable culture as
                              possible.

                              As Ken Said earlier, each of these projects is likely to be different
                              from the others, and that's a very good thing -- it's how evolution
                              works.

                              Here an Illichville, there an Arcosanti, over there an implementation
                              of the Reference Design... We need to try it all.

                              As for hanging together, I'm afraid that hanging with the dominant
                              culture means that we will all *choke* together -- in our own wastes.


                              -Doug



                              "Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do."

                              -Ronald Wilson Reagan, 1981


                              ---
                              Doug Salzmann
                              Kalliergo
                              Post Office Box 307
                              Corte Madera, CA 94976 USA

                              <doug@...>
                            • Simon Baddeley
                              But excuse me - what s this idea that you can somehow survive separately. In the European dark Ages the Monasteries preserved a literary and spiritual
                              Message 14 of 20 , Jun 19, 2004
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                                But excuse me - what's this idea that you can somehow survive separately. In
                                the European dark Ages the Monasteries preserved a literary and spiritual
                                tradition. During the world wars of the 20th C. some countries managed to
                                remain neutral. The character of the catastrophe we are discussing allows no
                                refuges of this kind. It's more like The Flood, only without the Ark. This
                                isn't about removing yourself from the mainstream of a society you don't
                                like. There will be no place to go.

                                I thought everyone know this the moment that first photo of earth from space
                                - from the Mercury satellite in the late 1960s - entered general
                                circulation.

                                Simon

                                On 19/6/04 9:09 pm, "Doug Salzmann" <doug@...> wrote:

                                >
                                > Ken wrote:
                                >
                                >>> Simon Baddeley said:
                                >>>
                                >>> "To some it's like being on the Titanic"
                                >>>
                                >>> It definately seems that way to me. I really doubt there's a way to change
                                >>> course or to reverse the engines. I think a better plan is to make ready
                                >>> the
                                >>> lifeboats and prepare to abandon ship.
                                >
                                > To which Simon responded:
                                >
                                > On Sat, 19 Jun 2004, Simon Baddeley wrote:
                                >
                                >> Trouble with the Titanic metaphor is that although it was risky there was at
                                >> least a place to bale out to. Barring planetary colonisation there's nowhere
                                >> else for us - sinners and saints alike - to go.
                                >>
                                >> We all hang together or we all hang separately.
                                >
                                > I think Ken means that the prospects for altering the course of
                                > mainstream culture seem remote, and that those of us who clearly
                                > see the looming iceberg can most usefully focus our energies, at this
                                > late date, on strategies for survival and rescue.
                                >
                              • Doug Salzmann
                                ... I would say, rather, a hope that some of civilization can survive (especially the arts and music that, in my view, distinguish us from other species, like
                                Message 15 of 20 , Jun 19, 2004
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                                  On Sat, 19 Jun 2004, Simon Baddeley wrote:

                                  > But excuse me - what's this idea that you can somehow survive separately.

                                  I would say, rather, a hope that some of civilization can survive
                                  (especially the arts and music that, in my view, distinguish us from
                                  other species, like squirrels, that are otherwise more attractive)
                                  -- a longshot, to be sure.

                                  > The character of the catastrophe we are discussing allows no
                                  > refuges of this kind. It's more like The Flood, only without the Ark. This
                                  > isn't about removing yourself from the mainstream of a society you don't
                                  > like. There will be no place to go.

                                  That may be true. It depends, mostly, on the specific forces
                                  unleashed during the death throes of the mainstream culture. If it
                                  goes out with a whimper, collapsing and crumbling rather than
                                  exploding, there may remain pockets of survival and cultural
                                  persistence.

                                  If, instead, global industrial capitalism exits with a bang, humans
                                  may be reduced to a Mad Max caricature of our former "glory" -- at
                                  best.

                                  Either way, it appears overwhelmingly probable that the dominant
                                  culture *will* fail catastrophically, most likely sooner rather than
                                  later. Having observed the trends, signs and portents with some care
                                  and attention for nearly four decades, I very much doubt that such
                                  failure can now be avoided.

                                  > I thought everyone know this the moment that first photo of earth from space
                                  > - from the Mercury satellite in the late 1960s - entered general
                                  > circulation.

                                  Yes, I think we have all felt that way from that time, Simon. For me,
                                  the changed analysis arises from the growing realization that we have
                                  *already* failed in our efforts to save the whole, that the best we
                                  can now, perhaps, achieve is the preservation of parts, pieces and
                                  fragments -- along with, one hopes, a thimble of wisdom -- much as
                                  happened during the Dark Ages in Europe.

                                  I really don't believe we can do more at this late date, which is why
                                  the subject header, "Illichville or Else," seemed appropriate to a
                                  recent message.

                                  I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think I am.


                                  -Doug



                                  --

                                  "Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do."

                                  -Ronald Wilson Reagan, 1981


                                  ---
                                  Doug Salzmann
                                  Kalliergo
                                  Post Office Box 307
                                  Corte Madera, CA 94976 USA

                                  <doug@...>
                                • Richard Risemberg
                                  ... The initial effects will be economic, and those who have the power will do whatever they can to gather the remains to themselves, resulting in a world of
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Jun 19, 2004
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                                    Doug Salzmann wrote:

                                    > That may be true. It depends, mostly, on the specific forces
                                    > unleashed during the death throes of the mainstream culture. If it
                                    > goes out with a whimper, collapsing and crumbling rather than
                                    > exploding, there may remain pockets of survival and cultural
                                    > persistence.

                                    The initial effects will be economic, and those who have the power will
                                    do whatever they can to gather the remains to themselves, resulting in a
                                    world of even more widespread poverty than today's. I think that's part
                                    of the perhaps unconscious program of what I call the New Feudalists: to
                                    establish a structure that allows for vast hordes of miserable poor to
                                    support a tiny elite.

                                    However, if communications remain as cheap as they are now--and there's
                                    no guarantee that they will, or that structures such as the Internet
                                    won't be entirely privatized in the end to become the trivialzed and
                                    consored domains of the remains of the corporate class--but *if*
                                    communications remain cheap and widespread, it could provide fertile
                                    soil for a revolution.

                                    If such a scenario comes about--and part of our goal is to evade that by
                                    establishing, or at least facilitating the establishment of, a better
                                    way to live--then our work becomes to try to bring about a peaceful
                                    Ghandian revolution, rather than the usual mess. Ghandi won by ignoring
                                    the British Raj, living separately within it, enmeshed with it yet not
                                    dependent. A revolution of giving rather than taking.

                                    Richard
                                    --
                                    Richard Risemberg
                                    http://www.living-room.org
                                    http://www.newcolonist.com

                                    "Until you stop looking for simple answers, you will not be happy. You
                                    will not even be human."

                                    RR
                                  • Steve Geller
                                    ... We ll have to change our ways. We don t burn wood or peat like we used to. There s still coal. There might even be some surprise oil formations, or some
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Jun 19, 2004
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                                      >The character of the catastrophe we are discussing allows no
                                      >refuges of this kind. It's more like The Flood, only without the Ark. This
                                      >isn't about removing yourself from the mainstream of a society you don't
                                      >like. There will be no place to go.

                                      We'll have to change our ways. We don't burn wood or peat like we used to.
                                      There's still coal. There might even be some surprise oil formations,
                                      or some new technology to cheaply process marginal oil formations.

                                      If none of this takes place, we're simply going to have to get most
                                      our energy from something besides oil. There's still wind, geothermal,
                                      hydro, tides, waves and of course the sun.

                                      And don't forget nuclear power. Maybe the members of the "nuke club"
                                      will get together and reprocess spent fuel elements for another
                                      trip through the reactors, instead of making the stuff into WMDs.
                                    • Doug Salzmann
                                      ... Indeed, there s still coal -- The undisputed king of global warming and filthy air. See the recently-circulated article in which we hear the Shell honcho
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Jun 22, 2004
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                                        On Sat, 19 Jun 2004, Steve Geller wrote:
                                        >
                                        > There's still coal. There might even be some surprise oil formations,
                                        > or some new technology to cheaply process marginal oil formations.

                                        Indeed, there's still coal -- The undisputed king of global warming
                                        and filthy air. See the recently-circulated article in which we hear
                                        the Shell honcho proclaim, "I'm really very worried for the planet."

                                        <http://www.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/story/0,12374,1240704,00.html>

                                        By comparison with coal, oil is clean energy.

                                        Considering the history of discoveries over the past three decades
                                        (during which exploration technology has improved by orders of
                                        magnitude), it seems quite unlikely that surprise formations, of
                                        sizes likely to make a long-term difference, are out there to be
                                        found.

                                        No doubt, recovery processes will improve, but there will always be
                                        unavoidable *energy* costs associated with overcoming gravity,
                                        friction, etc. Unless those costs are relatively low in comparison
                                        with the energy value of the recovered fuel source, that marginal oil
                                        is an energy *sink.* Not to mention the environmental damage
                                        associated with production of oil from unconventional formations.

                                        > If none of this takes place, we're simply going to have to get most
                                        > our energy from something besides oil. There's still wind, geothermal,
                                        > hydro, tides, waves and of course the sun.

                                        Yep. Those, with other renewables, will have to suffice. Just don't
                                        imagine that 6-10 billion people are going to use these sources to
                                        "enjoy" "standards of living" similar to those currently prevailing in
                                        North America and Western Europe.

                                        > And don't forget nuclear power. Maybe the members of the "nuke club"
                                        > will get together and reprocess spent fuel elements for another
                                        > trip through the reactors, instead of making the stuff into WMDs.

                                        A fair amount of reprocessing could, of course, take place. It would
                                        have to, because, contrary to all of the 1950's nonsense about power
                                        too cheap to meter, *fissionable* uranium is actually rather scarce on
                                        this planet.

                                        We could certainly produce much more nuclear-generated
                                        power than we do now, but there is only one way (unless you want
                                        to wait for the Fusion Fairy) that it is even conceivable to
                                        use it to replace cheap oil: Build a bunch of fast-breeder reactors.

                                        Just imagine a world of greedy warmongers and clashing cultures
                                        blessed with an unlimited supply of cheap plutonium. Pu-239 is *such*
                                        useful stuff and, with a half-life of 24,100 years, so very durable.

                                        Of course, even that nightmare scenario depends upon relatively early
                                        adoption of a plan for all-out nuclear construction, and widespread
                                        commitment to its implementation. It takes a lot of time, money and
                                        (ever-scarcer and more expensive) *energy* to build nuke plants. The
                                        last round of such building took place in a world of much cheaper and
                                        more plentiful oil.

                                        I'm afraid that those who expect technology or Fortune to save us from
                                        the looming permanent energy crunch have unreasonable and unsupported
                                        expectations. It ain't gonna happen.

                                        If human civilization is to survive (I think it's a big "if"), it will
                                        have to be in communities that use much less energy and many fewer
                                        resources, while discharging a tiny fraction of the poisonous waste,
                                        we Westerners do now. Consumer culture and endlessly-growing
                                        material wealth will be history, or we will be.

                                        So, imagine a carfree, post-industrial, sustainable city or town --
                                        and go build it. Soon.


                                        -Doug


                                        --

                                        "Is it not a strange blindness on our part
                                        to teach publicly the techniques of warfare
                                        and to reward with medals those who prove to
                                        be the most adroit killers?"

                                        -Donatien-Alphonse-Francois de Sade, 1740-1814



                                        ---
                                        Doug Salzmann
                                        Kalliergo
                                        Post Office Box 307
                                        Corte Madera, CA 94976 USA

                                        <doug@...>
                                      • kplcards
                                        The sooner we run out of oil the better . If we are ever going retake our living space for life and not automobiles we need to do more then just talk - what
                                        Message 19 of 20 , Jun 23, 2004
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                                          The sooner we run out of oil the better .

                                          If we are ever going retake our living space for life and not automobiles
                                          we need to do more then just talk - what good does talk do if doesn't lead
                                          to action ?

                                          The auto industry will just find a different poison to replace oil

                                          Recent UK Guardian ? article

                                          "NO INSULT TO BALTIMORE
                                          Baltimore wants to turn itself into a 'clean' energy company, so might want
                                          to take a look at algae. Scientits at the University of New Hampshire in
                                          the US have discovered that you can make biodiesel, which can run in normal
                                          diesel engines, from algae. The fast-growing oil-rich algae can be
                                          cultivated in shallow salt water pools in currently barren deserts and fed
                                          on human and animal waste, the processing produces useful methanol as a
                                          by-product and the waste material is nitrogen-rich fertiliser. To supply
                                          the entire US would take up only 9% of one American desert, the Sonora, and
                                          the total cost of productIon is half of the amount spent by the US on crude
                                          oil alone, never mind oil refinement. Should Baftimore be looking to
                                          cultivate pond life after all "




                                          Kelly Plastics , 24 Benburb Street , Dublin 7 . Ireland .
                                          Tel: 00 353 1 6799234 - Fax: 00 353 1 6799236 - Email kplcards@...

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