New Years Greetings:
It is possible that 2007 will be the last year people will expect their
future to be a continuation of the past.
Lets hope that we are able, however possible, to help ourselves and others learn about the new world of changing energy availability and how we can make the most secure and satisfying adjustments in both our thinking and our behavior.
We do have the advantage of some amount of lead time before actual declining availability of energy and associated resources force our behavior in unacustomed ways. Lets hope we make the most of it.
Any my very best to you all.
Tom Robertson, Moderator, EnergyResources Group
(39°53'N 76° 59'W)
- Hi Tom, all
Best wishes for you all. Yes i'm also convinced that 2007 will be a
'very interesting year'!
Tom Robertson wrote:
> It is possible that 2007 will be the last year people will expect their
> future to be a continuation of the past.
> Lets hope that we are able, however possible, to help ourselves and others learn about the new world of changing energy availability and how we can make the most secure and satisfying adjustments in both our thinking and our behavior.
> We do have the advantage of some amount of lead time before actual declining availability of energy and associated resources force our behavior in unacustomed ways. Lets hope we make the most of it.
> Any my very best to you all.
> Tom Robertson, Moderator, EnergyResources Group
> (39°53'N 76° 59'W)
- Hi Tom!
And my very best greetings to you and everyone else on this most
esteemed list. Yes, even you, Mr Mathews! (I know I pick on you a
Now that 2006 is over, we can now look towards 2007, and make some
analysis of what has passed and make some few predictions of what might
logically transpire this coming year.
2006 will go down as one of the worst years in the history of the USA.
There were some good points - a few - but not many. For me, personally,
it was an extremely difficult year. From Sept 2005 - June 2006, I spent
most of the time 3000 miles from my family, and basically missed most
of Avanti's 3rd grade. In that year she went from being a little kid to
a Big Kid, and it is time I will never get back. At the same time, I
got some really great experience as a full time Assistant Professor at
a University, and all the details and work associated with such a
position. I also made some new friends in the process, and that was
Locally, I had a great effect on some people.
Friends of mine woke up to the fact that electricity will go up in
price, and they installed a grid tie solar electric system on their
roof. now if they will just get rid of the second fridge in the garage,
they could probably make some serious inroads into resource
conservation... One step at a time.
I was able to convince another family to hyperinsulate their brownstone
and start an urban "food" garden. They won't be able to grown much: the
rats and mice will decimate any "crops", but they will be able to get
accoutrements to supplement their diet, especially in terms of herbs
and easily preserved vegetables. They are even looking into a compost
I demonstrated to 35 students the concept and problem of Peak Oil. Most
of them came away distressed, but aware, and now know they need to set
about changing their vision of the future. With a change in that vision
comes a greater acceptance of the necessity for greater changes in
lifestyle. did I get anyone to drop the idea of working as a designer
and become a farmer? No. But they all understand that their chosen line
of work may not exist when they are older...
Ideas and Vision are powerful tools. They may not be enough to avoid
suffering, but the actions they inspire could be enough to avoid
This year saw the unanimous passage of a call for a Depletion Protocol
for the city of San Francisco. I am very proud of my city for that.
With the development of the Portland Depletion Protocol and a San
Francisco Depletion Protocol, other cities will be able to model it and
Also, the mayor has expressed great interest in developing a "tidal"
energy system under the golden gate. The currents under there are
Extremely Powerful and continuous - with proper demand adjustment, it
could well provide a vast portion of SF's electrical needs.
This year saw the Democratic Party take over the House of
Representatives. I believe this will stay the hand of the imperialist
Dominionist NeoCon fascists in 2007 long enough to prevent further
belligerence by the USA in the Middle East. I have no great
expectations for the Democrats, but I do have some few hopes.
This year saw the dawning of what the war in Iraq has become: a civil
war. Our presence is about as useful as the presence of the British
Army would have been during the American Civil War. The Iraqis must
settle their differences themselves - all we can do is help with their
recovery as they put their shattered nation back together.
This year saw a variety of important signs of "peaky" behaviour - the
Saudi's aren't pumping more oil, Kuwait's largest field peaked and is
in decline, the Russians have europe by the short and curlies by way of
their extensive gas deposits, and many other distortions are coming to
I think some predictions can be made for 2007:
1. My job situation is oddly stable for a change. This is neither good
(I'd rather be professoring) nor bad (I'm paying my bills, for a
2. San Francisco will develop a Depletion Protocol Study and it will be
3. The Democrats i nthe House and Senate will launch a blizzard of
investigations on the White House. This may or may not have the effect
of forcing the Bush Junta to resign. If it happens, it would follow the
Watergate protocol - remove the VP, Agnew (Cheney), get an appointed
nebbish (Ford) in as VP, then go after Nixon (Bush). I don't expect
this to happen, but it would be nice... In any case, the Bush Junta
will be in so much hot water, they will be spending every waking hour
defending themselves. In the process, they will likely be constrained
from planning any more hair-brained stunts like Iraq...
3a. In spite of the drumbeat from the imperialist wing of the Inner
Party (neocon fascists) and the Ministry of Truth (Fox News et al) for
military action against Iran, I doubt such attitudes can/will prevail.
If there is military action against Iran, then all bets are off.
3b. I predict American Troop levels will drop. I wold like it to go
down to ZERO, ASAP, but I doubt that will happen. Iraq will continue to
drift into a deeper civil conflict. The problem is: Maliki's biggest
support comes from al Sadr. Sadr is not a nice guy. He needs Maliki's
regime to train his people in a fight against the Sunnis. The Sunnis
need to find a way to cut a deal with the Shia. The Shia hold all the
cards, but the Sunnis are not going to rollover and play dead. The
Sunnis are being funded by the Saudis. The Shia, by Iran. In this way,
the Iraq conflict has devolved into a proxy war for the Saudis and
Iranians. The Saudis have a LOT more money than the Iranians. The
Saudi's also have the general support of the West, while Iran's regime
is viewed in a dim light. Asa consequence, the American interests are
for the Sunnis to prevail enough that the Shia cannot defeat them, and
in the interest of spinning a profit on the oil below them, must come
to a compromise with them. The Kurds? They don't give a flying fsck
about either side...
Hence: the wise thing is for the USA to remove our military and
increase its flexibility in dealing with the parties involved. The USA
has a big stake in seeing the gov't presently headed by Maliki to
survive. Sadr needs Maliki's gov't to train and supply his troops, and
Maliki is desperate to stay on the good side of Sadr. As a consequence,
it is up to the Sunnis to prevent themselves from being exterminated.
How that happens, and how the Shia respond to ti all remains to be
seen. In any case: the USA will be i na better position once it
withdraws its military from Iraq.
Part two of this missive will come later, perhaps tomorrow....
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