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  • Matthew McNulty
    ... The ... days. ... CNN ... people ... challenge ... kind of ... nonstop ... everyday ... the ... no ... gas ... not to ... music, ... argument ... problems
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 21, 2005
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      >The Long Emergency
      >
      >What's going to happen as we start running out of cheap gas to guzzle?
      >
      >By JAMES HOWARD KUNSTLER
      >Rolling Stone.com, March 2005
      >
      >
      >A few weeks ago, the price of oil ratcheted above fifty-five dollars a
      >barrel, which is about twenty dollars a barrel more than a year ago.
      The
      >next day, the oil story was buried on page six of the New York Times
      >business section. Apparently, the price of oil is not considered
      >significant
      >news, even when it goes up five bucks a barrel in the span of ten
      days.
      >That
      >same day, the stock market shot up more than a hundred points because,
      CNN
      >said, government data showed no signs of inflation. Note to clueless
      >nation:
      >Call planet Earth.
      >
      >Carl Jung, one of the fathers of psychology, famously remarked that
      "people
      >cannot stand too much reality." What you're
      about to read may
      challenge
      >your
      >assumptions about the kind of world we live in, and especially the
      kind of
      >world into which events are propelling us. We are in for a rough ride
      >through uncharted territory.
      >
      >It has been very hard for Americans -- lost in dark raptures of
      nonstop
      >infotainment, recreational shopping and compulsive motoring -- to make
      >sense
      >of the gathering forces that will fundamentally alter the terms of
      everyday
      >life in our technological society. Even after the terrorist attacks of
      >9/11,
      >America is still sleepwalking into the future. I call this coming time
      the
      >Long Emergency.
      >
      >Most immediately we face the end of the cheap-fossil-fuel era. It is
      no
      >exaggeration to state that reliable supplies of cheap oil and natural
      gas
      >underlie everything we identify as the necessities of modern life --
      not to
      >mention all
      of its comforts and luxuries: central heating, air
      >conditioning,
      >cars, airplanes, electric lights, inexpensive clothing, recorded
      music,
      >movies, hip-replacement surgery, national defense -- you name it.
      >
      >The few Americans who are even aware that there is a gathering
      >global-energy
      >predicament usually misunderstand the core of the argument. That
      argument
      >states that we don't have to run out of oil to start having severe
      problems
      >with industrial civilization and its dependent systems. We only have
      to
      >slip
      >over the all-time production peak and begin a slide down the arc of
      steady
      >depletion.
      >
      >The term "global oil-production peak" means that a turning point will
      come
      >when the world produces the most oil it will ever produce in a given
      year
      >and, after that, yearly production will inexorably decline. It is
      usually
      >represented graphically
      in a bell curve. The peak is the top of the
      curve,
      >the halfway point of the world's all-time total endowment, meaning
      half the
      >world's oil will be left. That seems like a lot of oil, and it is, but
      >there's a big catch: It's the half that is much more difficult to
      extract,
      >far more costly to get, of much poorer quality and located mostly in
      places
      >where the people hate us. A substantial amount of it will never be
      >extracted.
      >
      >The United States passed its own oil peak -- about 11 million barrels
      a day
      >-- in 1970, and since then production has dropped steadily. In 2004 it
      ran
      >just above 5 million barrels a day (we get a tad more from natural-gas
      >condensates). Yet we consume roughly 20 million barrels a day now.
      That
      >means we have to import about two-thirds of our oil, and the ratio
      will
      >continue to worsen.
      >
      >The U.S. peak in 1970 brought on a portentous
      change in geoeconomic
      power.
      >Within a few years, foreign producers, chiefly OPEC, were setting the
      price
      >of oil, and this in turn led to the oil crises of the 1970s. In
      response,
      >frantic development of non-OPEC oil, especially the North Sea fields
      of
      >England and Norway, essentially saved the West's ass for about two
      decades.
      >Since 1999, these fields have entered depletion. Meanwhile, worldwide
      >discovery of new oil has steadily declined to insignificant levels in
      2003
      >and 2004.
      >
      >Some "cornucopians" claim that the Earth has something like a creamy
      nougat
      >center of "abiotic" oil that will naturally replenish the great oil
      fields
      >of the world. The facts speak differently. There has been no
      replacement
      >whatsoever of oil already extracted from the fields of America or any
      other
      >place.
      >
      >Now we are faced with the global oil-production peak. The
      best
      estimates of
      >when this will actually happen have been somewhere between now and
      2010. In
      >2004, however, after demand from burgeoning China and India shot up,
      and
      >revelations that Shell Oil wildly misstated its reserves, and Saudi
      Arabia
      >proved incapable of goosing up its production despite promises to do
      so,
      >the
      >most knowledgeable experts revised their predictions and now concur
      that
      >2005 is apt to be the year of all-time global peak production.
      >
      >It will change everything about how we live.
      >
      >To aggravate matters, American natural-gas production is also
      declining, at
      >five percent a year, despite frenetic new drilling, and with the
      potential
      >of much steeper declines ahead. Because of the oil crises of the
      1970s, the
      >nuclear-plant disasters at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl and the
      >acid-rain
      >problem, the U.S. chose to make gas its
      first choice for
      electric-power
      >generation. The result was that just about every power plant built
      after
      >1980 has to run on gas. Half the homes in America are heated with gas.
      To
      >further complicate matters, gas isn't easy to import. Here in North
      >America,
      >it is distributed through a vast pipeline network. Gas imported from
      >overseas would have to be compressed at minus-260 degrees Fahrenheit
      in
      >pressurized tanker ships and unloaded (re-gasified) at special
      terminals,
      >of
      >which few exist in America. Moreover, the first attempts to site new
      >terminals have met furious opposition because they are such ripe
      targets
      >for
      >terrorism.
      >
      >Some other things about the global energy predicament are poorly
      understood
      >by the public and even our leaders. This is going to be a permanent
      energy
      >crisis, and these energy problems will synergize with the
      disruptions
      of
      >climate change, epidemic disease and population overshoot to produce
      higher
      >orders of trouble.
      >
      >We will have to accommodate ourselves to fundamentally changed
      conditions.
      >
      >No combination of alternative fuels will allow us to run American life
      the
      >way we have been used to running it, or even a substantial fraction of
      it.
      >The wonders of steady technological progress achieved through the
      reign of
      >cheap oil have lulled us into a kind of Jiminy Cricket syndrome,
      leading
      >many Americans to believe that anything we wish for hard enough will
      come
      >true. These days, even people who ought to know better are wishing
      ardently
      >for a seamless transition from fossil fuels to their putative
      replacements.
      >
      >The widely touted "hydrogen economy" is a particularly cruel hoax. We
      are
      >not going to replace the U.S. automobile and truck fleet with
      vehicles
      run
      >on fuel cells. For one thing, the current generation of fuel cells is
      >largely designed to run on hydrogen obtained from natural gas. The
      other
      >way
      >to get hydrogen in the quantities wished for would be electrolysis of
      water
      >using power from hundreds of nuclear plants. Apart from the dim
      prospect of
      >our building that many nuclear plants soon enough, there are also
      numerous
      >severe problems with hydrogen's nature as an element that present
      >forbidding
      >obstacles to its use as a replacement for oil and gas, especially in
      >storage
      >and transport.
      >
      >Wishful notions about rescuing our way of life with "renewables" are
      also
      >unrealistic. Solar-electric systems and wind turbines face not only
      the
      >enormous problem of scale but the fact that the components require
      >substantial amounts of energy to manufacture and the probability that
      they
      >can't be manufactured at all without the underlying support platform
      of a
      >fossil-fuel economy. We will surely use solar and wind technology to
      >generate some electricity for a period ahead but probably at a very
      local
      >and small scale.
      >
      >Virtually all "biomass" schemes for using plants to create liquid
      fuels
      >cannot be scaled up to even a fraction of the level at which things
      are
      >currently run. What's more, these schemes are predicated on using oil
      and
      >gas "inputs" (fertilizers, weed-killers) to grow the biomass crops
      that
      >would be converted into ethanol or bio-diesel fuels. This is a net
      energy
      >loser -- you might as well just burn the inputs and not bother with
      the
      >biomass products. Proposals to distill trash and waste into oil by
      means of
      >thermal depolymerization depend on the huge waste stream produced by a
      >cheap
      >oil and gas economy in
      the first place.
      >
      >Coal is far less versatile than oil and gas, extant in less abundant
      >supplies than many people assume and fraught with huge ecological
      drawbacks
      >-- as a contributor to greenhouse "global warming" gases and many
      health
      >and
      >toxicity issues ranging from widespread mercury poisoning to acid
      rain. You
      >can make synthetic oil from coal, but the only time this was tried on
      a
      >large scale was by the Nazis under wartime conditions, using
      impressive
      >amounts of slave labor.
      >
      >If we wish to keep the lights on in America after 2020, we may indeed
      have
      >to resort to nuclear power, with all its practical problems and
      >eco-conundrums. Under optimal conditions, it could take ten years to
      get a
      >new generation of nuclear power plants into operation, and the price
      may be
      >beyond our means. Uranium is also a resource in finite supply. We are
      no
      >closer to the more difficult project of atomic fusion, by the way,
      than we
      >were in the 1970s.
      >
      >The upshot of all this is that we are entering a historical period of
      >potentially great instability, turbulence and hardship. Obviously,
      >geopolitical maneuvering around the world's richest energy regions has
      >already led to war and promises more international military conflict.
      Since
      >the Middle East contains two-thirds of the world's remaining oil
      supplies,
      >the U.S. has attempted desperately to stabilize the region by, in
      effect,
      >opening a big police station in Iraq. The intent was not just to
      secure
      >Iraq's oil but to modify and influence the behavior of neighboring
      states
      >around the Persian Gulf, especially Iran and Saudi Arabia. The results
      have
      >been far from entirely positive, and our future prospects in that part
      of
      >the world are not something we can
      feel altogether confident about.
      >
      >And then there is the issue of China, which, in 2004, became the
      world's
      >second-greatest consumer of oil, surpassing Japan. China's surging
      >industrial growth has made it increasingly dependent on the imports we
      are
      >counting on. If China wanted to, it could easily walk into some of
      these
      >places -- the Middle East, former Soviet republics in central Asia --
      and
      >extend its hegemony by force. Is America prepared to contest for this
      oil
      >in
      >an Asian land war with the Chinese army? I doubt it. Nor can the U.S.
      >military occupy regions of the Eastern Hemisphere indefinitely, or
      hope to
      >secure either the terrain or the oil infrastructure of one distant,
      >unfriendly country after another. A likely scenario is that the U.S.
      could
      >exhaust and bankrupt itself trying to do this, and be forced to
      withdraw
      >back into our own hemisphere,
      having lost access to most of the
      world's
      >remaining oil in the process.
      >
      >We know that our national leaders are hardly uninformed about this
      >predicament. President George W. Bush has been briefed on the dangers
      of
      >the
      >oil-peak situation as long ago as before the 2000 election and
      repeatedly
      >since then. In March, the Department of Energy released a report that
      >officially acknowledges for the first time that peak oil is for real
      and
      >states plainly that "the world has never faced a problem like this.
      Without
      >massive mitigation more than a decade before the fact, the problem
      will be
      >pervasive and will not be temporary."
      >
      >Most of all, the Long Emergency will require us to make other
      arrangements
      >for the way we live in the United States. America is in a special
      >predicament due to a set of unfortunate choices we made as a society
      in the
      >twentieth
      century. Perhaps the worst was to let our towns and cities
      rot
      >away and to replace them with suburbia, which had the additional side
      >effect
      >of trashing a lot of the best farmland in America. Suburbia will come
      to be
      >regarded as the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of
      the
      >world. It has a tragic destiny. The psychology of previous investment
      >suggests that we will defend our drive-in utopia long after it has
      become a
      >terrible liability.
      >
      >Before long, the suburbs will fail us in practical terms. We made the
      >ongoing development of housing subdivisions, highway strips,
      fried-food
      >shacks and shopping malls the basis of our economy, and when we have
      to
      >stop
      >making more of those things, the bottom will fall out.
      >
      >The circumstances of the Long Emergency will require us to downscale
      and
      >re-scale virtually everything we do and how we do
      it, from the kind of
      >communities we physically inhabit to the way we grow our food to the
      way we
      >work and trade the products of our work. Our lives will become
      profoundly
      >and intensely local. Daily life will be far less about mobility and
      much
      >more about staying where you are. Anything organized on the large
      scale,
      >whether it is government or a corporate business enterprise such as
      >Wal-Mart, will wither as the cheap energy props that support bigness
      fall
      >away. The turbulence of the Long Emergency will produce a lot of
      economic
      >losers, and many of these will be members of an angry and aggrieved
      former
      >middle class.
      >
      >Food production is going to be an enormous problem in the Long
      Emergency.
      >As
      >industrial agriculture fails due to a scarcity of oil- and gas-based
      >inputs,
      >we will certainly have to grow more of our food closer to where we
      live,
      >and
      >do it on a smaller scale. The American economy of the mid-twenty-first
      >century may actually center on agriculture, not information, not high
      tech,
      >not "services" like real estate sales or hawking cheeseburgers to
      tourists.
      >
      >Farming. This is no doubt a startling, radical idea, and it raises
      >extremely
      >difficult questions about the reallocation of land and the nature of
      work.
      >
      >The relentless subdividing of land in the late twentieth century has
      >destroyed the contiguity and integrity of the rural landscape in most
      >places. The process of readjustment is apt to be disorderly and
      >improvisational. Food production will necessarily be much more
      >labor-intensive than it has been for decades. We can anticipate the
      >re-formation of a native-born American farm-laboring class. It will be
      >composed largely of the aforementioned economic losers who had to
      >relinquish
      >their grip on the American dream. These masses of disentitled people
      may
      >enter into quasi-feudal social relations with those who own land in
      >exchange
      >for food and physical security. But their sense of grievance will
      remain
      >fresh, and if mistreated they may simply seize that land.
      >
      >The way that commerce is currently organized in America will not
      survive
      >far
      >into the Long Emergency. Wal-Mart's "warehouse on wheels" won't be
      such a
      >bargain in a non-cheap-oil economy. The national chain stores'
      12,000-mile
      >manufacturing supply lines could easily be interrupted by military
      contests
      >over oil and by internal conflict in the nations that have been
      supplying
      >us
      >with ultra-cheap manufactured goods, because they, too, will be
      struggling
      >with similar issues of energy famine and all the disorders that go
      with it.
      >
      >As
      these things occur, America will have to make other arrangements
      for the
      >manufacture, distribution and sale of ordinary goods. They will
      probably be
      >made on a "cottage industry" basis rather than the factory system we
      once
      >had, since the scale of available energy will be much lower -- and we
      are
      >not going to replay the twentieth century. Tens of thousands of the
      common
      >products we enjoy today, from paints to pharmaceuticals, are made out
      of
      >oil. They will become increasingly scarce or unavailable. The selling
      of
      >things will have to be reorganized at the local scale. It will have to
      be
      >based on moving merchandise shorter distances. It is almost certain to
      >result in higher costs for the things we buy and far fewer choices.
      >
      >The automobile will be a diminished presence in our lives, to say the
      >least.
      >With gasoline in short supply, not to mention tax revenue, our
      roads
      will
      >surely suffer. The interstate highway system is more delicate than the
      >public realizes. If the "level of service" (as traffic engineers call
      it)
      >is
      >not maintained to the highest degree, problems multiply and escalate
      >quickly. The system does not tolerate partial failure. The interstates
      are
      >either in excellent condition, or they quickly fall apart.
      >
      >America today has a railroad system that the Bulgarians would be
      ashamed
      >of.
      >Neither of the two major presidential candidates in 2004 mentioned
      >railroads, but if we don't refurbish our rail system, then there may
      be no
      >long-range travel or transport of goods at all a few decades from now.
      The
      >commercial aviation industry, already on its knees financially, is
      likely
      >to
      >vanish. The sheer cost of maintaining gigantic airports may not
      justify the
      >operation of a much-reduced air-travel
      fleet. Railroads are far more
      energy
      >efficient than cars, trucks or airplanes, and they can be run on
      anything
      >from wood to electricity. The rail-bed infrastructure is also far more
      >economical to maintain than our highway network.
      >
      >The successful regions in the twenty-first century will be the ones
      >surrounded by viable farming hinterlands that can reconstitute locally
      >sustainable economies on an armature of civic cohesion. Small towns
      and
      >smaller cities have better prospects than the big cities, which will
      >probably have to contract substantially. The process will be painful
      and
      >tumultuous. In many American cities, such as Cleveland, Detroit and
      St.
      >Louis, that process is already well advanced. Others have further to
      fall.
      >New York and Chicago face extraordinary difficulties, being
      oversupplied
      >with gigantic buildings out of scale with the reality of declining
      energy
      >supplies. Their former agricultural hinterlands have long been paved
      over.
      >They will be encysted in a surrounding fabric of necrotic suburbia
      that
      >will
      >only amplify and reinforce the cities' problems. Still, our cities
      occupy
      >important sites. Some kind of urban entities will exist where they are
      in
      >the future, but probably not the colossi of twentieth-century
      >industrialism.
      >
      >Some regions of the country will do better than others in the Long
      >Emergency. The Southwest will suffer in proportion to the degree that
      it
      >prospered during the cheap-oil blowout of the late twentieth century.
      I
      >predict that Sunbelt states like Arizona and Nevada will become
      >significantly depopulated, since the region will be short of water as
      well
      >as gasoline and natural gas. Imagine Phoenix without cheap air
      >conditioning.
      >
      >I'm not optimistic about the
      Southeast, either, for different reasons.
      I
      >think it will be subject to substantial levels of violence as the
      >grievances
      >of the formerly middle class boil over and collide with the delusions
      of
      >Pentecostal Christian extremism. The latent encoded behavior of
      Southern
      >culture includes an outsized notion of individualism and the belief
      that
      >firearms ought to be used in the defense of it. This is a poor recipe
      for
      >civic cohesion.
      >
      >The Mountain States and Great Plains will face an array of problems,
      from
      >poor farming potential to water shortages to population loss. The
      Pacific
      >Northwest, New England and the Upper Midwest have somewhat better
      >prospects.
      >I regard them as less likely to fall into lawlessness, anarchy or
      despotism
      >and more likely to salvage the bits and pieces of our best social
      >traditions
      >and keep them in operation at some
      level.
      >
      >These are daunting and even dreadful prospects. The Long Emergency is
      going
      >to be a tremendous trauma for the human race. We will not believe that
      this
      >is happening to us, that 200 years of modernity can be brought to its
      knees
      >by a world-wide power shortage. The survivors will have to cultivate a
      >religion of hope -- that is, a deep and comprehensive belief that
      humanity
      >is worth carrying on. If there is any positive side to stark changes
      coming
      >our way, it may be in the benefits of close communal relations, of
      having
      >to
      >really work intimately (and physically) with our neighbors, to be part
      of
      >an
      >enterprise that really matters and to be fully engaged in meaningful
      social
      >enactments instead of being merely entertained to avoid boredom. Years
      from
      >now, when we hear singing at all, we will hear ourselves, and we will
      sing
      >with our
      whole hearts.
      >
      >Adapted from The Long Emergency, 2005, by James Howard Kunstler, and
      >reprinted with permission of the publisher, Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
      >
      >
      http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/_/id/7203633?pageid=rs.NewsArchive
      >
      >

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    • John Patten
      Matt, I read the whole thing and don t know whether to commit suicide or go bowling. I put this synthetic oil from Mobile in my car once and it worked great.
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 21, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        Matt,

        I read the whole thing and don't know whether to
        commit suicide or go bowling.

        I put this synthetic oil from Mobile in my car once
        and it worked great. Can't we just make a big batch of
        that stuff?

        Actually, I agree people don't like to be confused
        with reality. We have to wait until things
        deteriorate, but then still may not see it.

        On balance, some other unforeseen factors inevitably
        come into play that were not part of the equation at
        the time. I'm not confident with current
        neoconservatives driving some of this, but can take
        solace in the fact that the article appeared in
        Rolling Stone, and in the same issue they said Nelly
        had really phat rhymes, so it's not infallible.

        I saw on Battlestar Galactica once that many of those
        spacecraft run on electro-magnetism. Is anyone
        exploring that? Those things seem kind of heavy just
        to sit there in the air.

        In the meantime, I'm going to build a small cottage on
        Likoma to run to, and grow small plants for
        travellers.

        JP

        --- Matthew McNulty <mcnurty@...> wrote:

        > >The Long Emergency
        > >
        > >What's going to happen as we start running out of
        > cheap gas to guzzle?
        > >
        > >By JAMES HOWARD KUNSTLER
        > >Rolling Stone.com, March 2005
        > >
        > >
        > >A few weeks ago, the price of oil ratcheted above
        > fifty-five dollars a
        > >barrel, which is about twenty dollars a barrel more
        > than a year ago.
        > The
        > >next day, the oil story was buried on page six of
        > the New York Times
        > >business section. Apparently, the price of oil is
        > not considered
        > >significant
        > >news, even when it goes up five bucks a barrel in
        > the span of ten
        > days.
        > >That
        > >same day, the stock market shot up more than a
        > hundred points because,
        > CNN
        > >said, government data showed no signs of inflation.
        > Note to clueless
        > >nation:
        > >Call planet Earth.
        > >
        > >Carl Jung, one of the fathers of psychology,
        > famously remarked that
        > "people
        > >cannot stand too much reality." What you're about
        > to read may
        > challenge
        > >your
        > >assumptions about the kind of world we live in, and
        > especially the
        > kind of
        > >world into which events are propelling us. We are
        > in for a rough ride
        > >through uncharted territory.
        > >
        > >It has been very hard for Americans -- lost in dark
        > raptures of
        > nonstop
        > >infotainment, recreational shopping and compulsive
        > motoring -- to make
        > >sense
        > >of the gathering forces that will fundamentally
        > alter the terms of
        > everyday
        > >life in our technological society. Even after the
        > terrorist attacks of
        > >9/11,
        > >America is still sleepwalking into the future. I
        > call this coming time
        > the
        > >Long Emergency.
        > >
        > >Most immediately we face the end of the
        > cheap-fossil-fuel era. It is
        > no
        > >exaggeration to state that reliable supplies of
        > cheap oil and natural
        > gas
        > >underlie everything we identify as the necessities
        > of modern life --
        > not to
        > >mention all of its comforts and luxuries: central
        > heating, air
        > >conditioning,
        > >cars, airplanes, electric lights, inexpensive
        > clothing, recorded
        > music,
        > >movies, hip-replacement surgery, national defense
        > -- you name it.
        > >
        > >The few Americans who are even aware that there is
        > a gathering
        > >global-energy
        > >predicament usually misunderstand the core of the
        > argument. That
        > argument
        > >states that we don't have to run out of oil to
        > start having severe
        > problems
        > >with industrial civilization and its dependent
        > systems. We only have
        > to
        > >slip
        > >over the all-time production peak and begin a slide
        > down the arc of
        > steady
        > >depletion.
        > >
        > >The term "global oil-production peak" means that a
        > turning point will
        > come
        > >when the world produces the most oil it will ever
        > produce in a given
        > year
        > >and, after that, yearly production will inexorably
        > decline. It is
        > usually
        > >represented graphically in a bell curve. The peak
        > is the top of the
        > curve,
        > >the halfway point of the world's all-time total
        > endowment, meaning
        > half the
        > >world's oil will be left. That seems like a lot of
        > oil, and it is, but
        > >there's a big catch: It's the half that is much
        > more difficult to
        > extract,
        > >far more costly to get, of much poorer quality and
        > located mostly in
        > places
        > >where the people hate us. A substantial amount of
        > it will never be
        > >extracted.
        > >
        > >The United States passed its own oil peak -- about
        > 11 million barrels
        > a day
        > >-- in 1970, and since then production has dropped
        > steadily. In 2004 it
        > ran
        > >just above 5 million barrels a day (we get a tad
        > more from natural-gas
        > >condensates). Yet we consume roughly 20 million
        > barrels a day now.
        > That
        > >means we have to import about two-thirds of our
        > oil, and the ratio
        > will
        > >continue to worsen.
        > >
        > >The U.S. peak in 1970 brought on a portentous
        > change in geoeconomic
        > power.
        > >Within a few years, foreign producers, chiefly
        > OPEC, were setting the
        > price
        > >of oil, and this in turn led to the oil crises of
        > the 1970s. In
        > response,
        > >frantic development of non-OPEC oil, especially the
        > North Sea fields
        > of
        > >England and Norway, essentially saved the West's
        > ass for about two
        > decades.
        > >Since 1999, these fields have entered depletion.
        > Meanwhile, worldwide
        > >discovery of new oil has steadily declined to
        > insignificant levels in
        > 2003
        > >and 2004.
        > >
        > >Some "cornucopians" claim that the Earth has
        > something like a creamy
        > nougat
        > >center of "abiotic" oil that will naturally
        > replenish the great oil
        > fields
        > >of the world. The facts speak differently. There
        > has been no
        > replacement
        > >whatsoever of oil already extracted from the fields
        > of America or any
        > other
        > >place.
        > >
        > >Now we are faced with the global oil-production
        > peak. The best
        > estimates of
        > >when this will actually happen have been somewhere
        > between now and
        > 2010. In
        > >2004, however, after demand from burgeoning China
        > and India shot up,
        > and
        > >revelations that Shell Oil wildly misstated its
        > reserves, and Saudi
        > Arabia
        > >proved incapable of goosing up its production
        > despite promises to do
        > so,
        > >the
        > >most knowledgeable experts revised their
        > predictions and now concur
        > that
        > >2005 is apt to be the year of all-time global peak
        > production.
        > >
        > >It will change everything about how we live.
        > >
        >
        === message truncated ===


        "Think of where man's glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends." Yeats

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