Dr Bill Rees, “Why we’re in denial”

Dr Bill Rees founder of “The Ecological Footprint” and co-developer with Matthis Wackernagel, spoke at the recent International Conference on Degrowth in Montreal. “The Extraenviromentalist” team of Seth & Justin did a great job of covering the conference. http://www.extraenvironmentalist.com/blog/2012/05/24/degrowth-american-dream/

It is very rare that someone is able to concisely and clearly spell out what the inhabitants of the Earth are facing, but someone as respected as Bill Rees who has studied many areas of life on earth is worth listening to.

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CANADA, home to WHITE BEARS, BOREAL FORESTS, TAR SANDS and CLIMATE CRIMINALS.

Earlier posts have referred to The Tar Sands Pipeline issue threatening pristine wilderness on Canada’s west coast. Here Garth Lenz gives an impassioned plea to recognise one of the wonders of the world already bearing the scars of fossil fuel madness.

The ‘Canadian Boreal Initiative” has a terrific website with more stunning photographs, maps and information from a report – “THE CARBON THE WORLD FORGOT”. 

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Earlier posts on Tar Sands Pipeline issues, including the brilliant documentary “SPOIL”, on the CANADIAN GREAT BEAR FORESTS and WINONA LADUKE’s tireless campaign against TAR SANDS. 2 headed fish have been taken from the Athabasca River, cancer rates amongst idigenous villages have skyrocketed.

A recent study from the Australian Government clearly states that the PEAK of ALL OILS (including Tar Sands) will occur in 2016, after that demand will outstrip supply and a significant decline in availability will impact severly on the way society operates.

TOTAL TAR SANDS PRODUCTION of 250 BILLION barrells sounds a lot, but at current global demand of 83 MILLION BARRELLS A DAY,  the entire production of TAR SANDS will extend total peak another 5 or 6 years, (to 2016). Then we’re in decline, and as the report clearly states ;

Thus beyond 2017 we must begin to cope with the longer-term task of replacing oil as a source of energy.”

In the meantime what is lost is graphically shown in Garth Lenz’s TED TALK.

More discussion was raised through a recent BBC documentary, (the interviews are real, the storyline  acted) “IF THE OIL RUNS OUT”

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Meanwhile with the help of The Post Carbon Institute an animated film explaining just HOW and WHY we are at this point has been released by Incubate Pictures. http://www.incubatepictures.com: THERE’S NO TOMMOROW”

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AUSTRALIAN GOVT SLEEPWALKS INTO PEAK OIL.

“After that, the modelling is forecasting what can be termed ‘the 2017 drop-off’. The outlook under a base case scenario is for a long decline in oil production to begin in 2017, which will stretch to the end of the century and beyond.

Thus beyond 2017 we must begin to cope with the longer-term task of replacing oil as a source of energy.”

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Those readers of the “Oil Drum” or “Energy Bulletin may be up with this report from 2009 commissioned by the Federal Australian Govt, and how it has remained locked away from public discussion since then, displaying the complete absence of any seriousness in preparation for the future.

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 Whilst officials have been aware of the spin over the future of energy supplies, only 1 municipal Council in Melbourne (Maribyrnong) has taken ANY measures to assess what impact PEAK OIL will have. It has been mentioned in Jago Dobson’s groundbreaking research from Griffith University looking at the double impacts to Australia’s car driving society. Rising oil prices and economic hardship are projected to have devastating effects on Australia’s “middle class”. Mortgage payments on expensive housing now leave very little discretionary cash.

The Report clearly agrees with the I.E.A. projection that the “PEAK” of  “easy extraction”, conventional oil, that society has based it’s growth upon, happened in 2006. From that point, current oil supplies have been bouyed by Tar Sands oil and deepwater drilling. These VERY DANGEROUS and expensive extraction methods are temporary NEW sources that are expected to maintain EXISTING demand ONLY UNTIL 2016.

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From then on global supply deteriorates until the end of the century AND NEVER REGAINS THE SUPPLY LEVEL WE HAVE NOW.    2015 – BIG YEAR …………….. PEAK EMISSIONS AND PEAK OIL. Funny how similar the graphs look !!!

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…………………        This is a graph from Prof Kevin Anderson of the Tyndal Institute who provided the Audio presentation at “2015 – PEAK EMISSIONS, or the planet gets it” detailing the emissions reduction needed to PEAK in 2015.

Australian Energy Minister Martin Ferguson is currently Chair of the IEA Ministerial Committee ;

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“New technology, such as floating LNG, will unlock huge resources and boost this major industry. We’re on track to be the second largest exporter of LNG in the next few years.” Ferguson states.

His last BIG IDEA was to bring OPRAH WINFREY AND THE WHOLE SHOW out to Australia to record a couple of programmes. At the cost of millions of tax payer $$’s FERGUSON RECKONS “You can’t buy that sort of publicity”.

It’s really great to know such an “international player” is across so many issues like what’s good for Australia. He maintains his position as an ABSOLUTE DUD with his “planet saving” COAL AND GAS EXPORT DEALS AND REFUSAL TO RECOGNISE THE CLIMATE REALITY.

NO SURPRISE that his new “MATE” FATIH BIRROL and the I.E.A. is projecting a 40% increase in the “gas future”, AND BIG MARTI’s gunner do the Ozzies proud. His “great white hope” of a GAS/GEOSEQUESTRATION answer to a LOW CARBON future is a MYTH.

It is his policy decision making that is RUINING THE GREAT BARRIER REEF with gas and coal export terminals in WORLD HERITAGE LISTED AREAS, this ensures global emissions reduction targets CANNOT BE MET.

With people such as FERGUSON in the “power faction” within the Labour Party THERE CAN BE NO EFFECTIVE CONTRIBUTION TO PREVENTING CLIMATE CHANGE. He remains the man who refused to release the report on the Timor Sea Oil Spill and fire and stuck up for vested FOSSIL FUEL interests..

The Dept of Transport (which commissioned the report), under Anthony Albanese, has still not published it on the Dept’s website, and since the report was finished, HE AND THE TRANSPORT DEPT haVE been busy approving freeway projects all over Australia – DID THEY THINK WE WOULDN’T NOTICE WHEN THE PRICE OF PETROL GOT TO $3 per litre ?

THE FULL REPORT CAN BE DOWN LOADED HERE ; http://ianmcpherson.com/blog/audio/Australian_Govt_Oil_supply_trends.pdf

Dmitry Orlov, a presentation and an interview.

A recording of the public lecture by Dmitry Orlov on 9 June 2009, at the Davenport Hotel, Dublin, Ireland.  This was the opening talk to the 3 day conference The New Emergency: Managing Risk and Building Resilience in a Resource Constrained World.
This conference was organised by Feasta, the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability. The talk is entitled  “Seizing the Mid-Collapse Moment”

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More recently Dmitry Orlov gave an interview with Tancrede Bastie which is available in FRENCH at http://www.orbite.info/traductions/dmitry_orlov/index.html and at http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/ and                                  http://energybulletin.net/stories/2011-12-16/conversation-dmitry-orlov-about-europe

The last question and response are incisive comments about the difficulties associated with the future.

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“If you read Dmitry carefully, scrupulously separating the factual bad news, which are beyond his control, from his views on what can be done to survive and live in a post-industrial world, you will find evidence of strong optimism.”  T.B.

TB: What difference do you see between American and European close future?

DO: European countries are historical entities that still hold vestiges of allegiances beyond the monetized, corporate realm, while the United States was started as a corporate entity, based on a revolution that was essentially a tax revolt and thus has no fall-back. The European population is less transient than in America, with a stronger sense of regional belonging and are more likely to be acquainted with their neighbors and to be able to find a common language and to find solutions to common problems.

Probably the largest difference, and the one most promising for fruitful discussion, is in the area of local politics. European political life may be damaged by money politics and free market liberalism, but unlike in the United States, it does not seem completely brain-dead. At least I hope that it isn’t completely dead; the warm air coming out of Brussels is often indistinguishable from the vapor vented by Washington, but better things might happen on the local level. In Europe there is something of a political spectrum left, dissent is not entirely futile, and revolt is not entirely suicidal. In all, the European political landscape may offer many more possibilities for relocalization, for demonitization of human relationships, for devolution to more local institutions and support systems, than the United States.

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Nicole Foss – How I Prepared My Home for Peak Oil and Economic Uncertainty

Nicole Foss gave this talk in October 2011 which explained her personal preparation for Peak Oil depletion. As a guide to supplement her “inside” knowledge of Peak Oil and financial uncertainty it is invaluable, and gives excellent guidance on where her thoughts are for future everyday living. It details the preparations she and her family undertook in order to get ready for tough times ahead. Foss concludes with, “There is a hell of a lot we can do.  We can’t have business as usual.  We have to get over it.  It is gone.  It is done.  We cant’ have that.  We have to be happy with what we can have; that is really what it means to be human, and that is incredibly important. Perhaps the first solutions to “Starting Again”.

In February 2011 Ms Foss gave a talk on “Peak Oil & Economic Crisis – A Century of Challenges” which is a presentation of a DVD that is available from The Automatic Earth website (see “Links” om Home page). The Q & A after the talk is well worth listening to and replayed below.