Saturday, December 15, 2012

Peeking at Peak Oil

Peeking at Peak Oil
Kjell Aleklett

Amazon: Peeking at Peak Oil, 2012 [hardcover]

The term “Peak Oil” was born in January 2001 when Colin Campbell formed the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas (ASPO). Now, Peak Oil is used thousands of times a  day by journalists, politicians, industry leaders, economists, scientists and countless others around the globe. Peak Oil is not the end of oil but it tells us the end is in sight. Anyone interested in food production, economic growth, climate change or global security needs to understand this new reality. In Peeking at Peak Oil Professor Kjell Aleklett, President of ASPO International and head of the world’s leading research group on Peak Oil, describes the decade-long journey of Peak Oil from extremist fringe theory to today’s accepted fact: Global oil production is entering terminal decline. He explains everything you need to know about Peak Oil and its world-changing consequences from an insider’s perspective. In simple steps, Kjell tells us how oil is formed, discovered and produced. He uses science to reveal the errors and deceit of national and international oil authorities, companies and governments  too terrified to admit the truth. He describes his personal involvement in the intrigues of the past decade. What happens when a handful of giant oil fields containing two thirds of our planet’s oil become depleted? Will major oil consumers such as the EU and US face rationing within a decade? Will oil producing nations conserve their own oil when they realize that no one can export oil to them in the future? Does Peak Oil mean Peak Economic Growth? If you want to know the real story about energy today and what the future has in store, then you need to be “Peeking at Peak Oil”.

Very Important Work September 1, 2012
By keith renick
Format:Hardcover|Amazon Verified Purchase

This book, Peeking at Peak Oil is a very important work. This work is based on science. It's sound in it's findings. Again, it's science that's based on very sound research methods. It's not pie-in-the sky or doomsday is here. It's sound scientific research that can't be overlooked. Looking at the facts, readers can draw their own conclusions as to how peak oil will play out. Peak Oil is real and it has arrived. Peak Oil is most often misunderstood by economists and the general public. Modern economics is flawed because it never had a reason it include net energy in it's economic models of growth. Economist are obsessed with total labor productivity. The world is consuming more and more energy and getting less and less growth, less bang for their buck. Along with "Peak Oil" we will have water problems as many places that produce oil will require huge amounts of water for water injection to get the remaining oil out of the ground. What's never addressed is the growing car and light truck population of the earth. When my granddaddy Crump was born in 1889 there were maybe 3 cars in the USA. When I was born there was less than 70 million cars in the USA. Today, there are over 250,000,000 cars and light trucks in the USA and growing. Today the global car and light truck population more than 800 million and racing to a billion worldwide. At some point, it doesn't matter how much oil is in the ground or how many miles per gallon your car gets. What matters will be the total number of cars and light trucks in the world, all of them, more than a billion, wanting their gas tanks topped off. But the average person doesn't want to hear that there are limits. Tap water and gasoline will always be there in abundance and will always be affordable. Many believe everyone who can afford a car should have one and the earth can support one billion cars, one and a half billion cars, 2 billion cars or more. The total number of cars and light trucks in the world has never crossed their minds. How can it be expected that China and India will stop making cars? They won't and the demand for oil will overtake production forever. At some point, the question might not be how much oil is left in the world but rather how are we going to use the oil that is left? Only about 2 thirds of a barrel of oil is used to make gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. This is the term "peak oil" refers to most often is that it's a liquid fuel transportation problem. This statement is true. However, I am very concerned about the remaining one third that's used in manufacturing thousands of products that we use everyday. Now we call everything oil. Heavy sour, tar and NGL. I was very honored several years ago when Dr. Colin Campbell emailed me some of his field-by-field estimates for Saudi Arabia. I believe the author of this book and Dr. Colin Campbell are the 2 most informed experts on the subject of "peak oil." The quality of their research is unquestionable. While I do not share the authors belief that we can feed a future world of 9 billion people, the authors knowledge and effort that went into "Peeking at Peak OIl," is truly remarkable. Keith Renick, Saudi Aramco Oil Retired

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

The History Of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire
Edward Gibbon

Complete HTML edition

The History Guide

The Enlightenment found many of its virtues ready-made in the world of ancient Rome: economic abundance, and international political structure and a common language for many people. Of course, the greatness of Rome also led to its eventual collapse and fall, and this singular fact has exercised the mind of the historian ever since. Gibbon was perhaps the first to make such a sustained investigation of this kind of event. The following selection is from Chapter XXXVIII: General Observations on the Fall of the Roman Empire in the West. A brief list of resources follows the excerpt.

Wikipedia: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Intellectus journal of the Hong Kong Institute of Economic Science: Edward Gibbon, Historian of the Roman Empire [Part I]; [Part II]
by Eugene Y. C. Ho, Hong Kong

What led first to Rome's decline and ultimately to her fall? Gibbon discovers many causes, which he discusses in various parts of his work. For instance, the long period of peace and the uniform government of the Romans gradually extinguished the industry and creativeness of the people, as well as the military discipline and valour of the soldiers (Chs. 2 and 7); the indulgence in luxury, which originally remained confined to the nobles and residents of the Imperial Court, was later extended to the troops, totally corrupting their morals (Ch. 17); the enrolment of mercenary barbarians in the armies, which served to excuse the Roman themselves from military responsibilities, at the same time encouraged the barbarians within the Empire to grow in power and influence (Ch. 17); the multiplication of oppressive taxes was countered and evaded by the rich, who shifted the burden to the poor, who in turn also dodged them and fled to the woods and mountains to become Rome's rebels and robbers (Ch. 35).

Notwithstanding the importance of these many contributing causes, Gibbon considers another two to be the most important and decisive: (1) the invasion of the barbarians, and (2) the growth of Christianity within the Empire. "I have described the triumph of barbarism and religion," he writes in the concluding chapter of his History. Every student of ancient Roman history would be familiar with the foreign enemies of the Roman Empire, most of whom were barbarians: the Goths, Lombards, Vandals, Alemannis, Huns, Persians, Turks, etc. As they had invaded Rome at one time or another, it is easy to appreciate their respective role in her fall. However, it is less easy to understand the role Christianity played as an accomplice. How was it possible that a religion whose humble founder preached love and peace and who later found himself gruesomely nailed to a cross contributed to Rome's collapse? Let us analyze this position of Gibbon in more detail.

In Gibbon's view, Christianity made for the decline and fall of Rome by sapping the faith of the people in the official (pagan) religion, thereby undermining the state which that religion supported and blessed. To be sure, Gibbon is not blind to the fact that other cults and sects within the Empire were also competing with one another in their attempt to attract believers. As he admits, "Rome, the capital of a great monarchy, was incessantly filled with subjects and strangers from every part of the world, who all introduced and enjoyed the favourite superstitions of their native country" (Ibid., Ch. 2). However, Christianity was to be distinguished from the other flourishing sects in its claim to exclusivity, or in other words, in its claim that it alone held the key to "Truth" and to Heaven, and that all its competitors were vicious and damned. Moreover, as the early Christians believed in the imminent end of this world, they all put their thoughts in the "next" world. This other-worldly attitude proved most disastrous to the Empire during the barbarian invasions, since the Christians, instead of bearing arms to serve the state and the public good, diverted men from useful employments and encouraged them to concentrate on heavenly and private salvation. Needless to say, Gibbon's anti-Christian position aroused the fury of his Christian contemporaries.

The City of God

The City og God [De Civitate Dei contra Paganos]

Agustine of Hippo

Wikipedia: De Civitate Dei, (full title: De Civitate Dei contra Paganos), translated in English as The City of God, is a book of Christian philosophy written in Latin by Augustine of Hippo in the early 5th century AD. It is one of Augustine's major works, standing alongside his The Confessions, On Christian Doctrine, and On the Trinity. Augustine is considered the most influential Father of the Church in Western Christianity, and The City of God profoundly shaped Western civilization.

Amazon: City of God (Perguin Classics)
Augustine of Hippo

St. Augustine, bishop of Hippo, is one of the central figures in the history of Christianity, and City of God is one of his greatest theological works. Written as an eloquent defence of the faith at a time when the Roman Empire was on the brink of collapse, it examines the ancient pagan religions of Rome, the arguments of the Greek philosophers and the revelations of the Bible. Pointing the way forward to a citizenship that transcends worldly politics and will last for eternity, City of God represents a dramatic turning point in the unfolding of Christian doctrine.

The new introduction by Gill Evans examines the text in the light of contemporary Greek and Roman thought and political change. It demonstrates the importance of religious and literary influences on St. Augustine and his significance as a Christian thinker.

Wikipédia: A Cidade de Deus, de Agostinho de Hipona

De Civitate Dei (A Cidade de Deus) é obra de Santo Agostinho, onde descreve o mundo, dividido entre o dos homens (o mundo terreno) e o dos céus (o mundo espiritual). Teria sido a obra preferida pelo imperador Carlos Magno.

Uma das criações mais representativas do gênero humano. A propósito da filosofia ou teologia da História, trata dos mais variados e complexos assuntos que sempre apaixonaram e torturaram o espírito humano: da origem e substancialidade do bem e do mal, do pecado, das culpa e da morte, do direito, da lei e das penas, do tempo e do espaço, da contingência e da necessidade, da Providência, da ação humana e do destino no desenvolvimento da História: do ser, do conhecer e do agir do homem, de Deus, da natureza e do espírito, da temporalidade, do eterno, da perenidade e dos ciclos cósmicos, da profecia e do mistério como argumento apologético, da pessoa, da cidade e da comunidade humana.

A Cidade de Deus (PDF em português)
Santo Agostinho

The End of Growth

The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality
Richard Heinberg

Richard Heinberg’s latest landmark work goes to the heart of the ongoing financial crisis, explaining how and why it occurred, and what we must do to avert the worst potential outcomes. Written in an engaging, highly readable style, The End of Growth describes what policymakers, communities, and families can do to build a new economy that operates within Earth’s budget of energy and resources. We can thrive during the transition if we set goals that promote human and environmental well-being, rather than continuing to pursue the now-unattainable prize of ever-expanding GDP.

Amazon: The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality [2011, Paperback]

Why have mainstream economists ignored environmental limits for so long? If Heinberg is right, they will have much explaining to do." -- LESTER BROWN, Founder Earth Policy Institute  --Lester Brown - Earth Policy Institute

Heinberg shows how peak oil, peak water, peak food, etc. lead not only to the end of growth, but to the beginning of a new era of progress without growth. --Herman E. Daly, Professor Emeritus, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland

By the time you finish this, you will have 2 conclusions: This is the end of economic growth and it is our problem, not our childrens'. It's time to get ready. This book is the place to start. --Paul Gilding - Former head of Greenpeace International

Richard has rung the bell on the limits to growth. Our shift from quantity of consumption to quality of life is the great challenge of our generation. Frightening...but ultimately freeing. --John Fullerton - President and Founder, Capital Institute

Nobody should be elected to federal office who has not  read Richard Heinberg's The End of Growth. - William Catton, author of Overshoot.

Back Space, Richar Heinberg website

The Revenge of Gaia

The Revenge of Gaia: Earth's Climate Crisis & The Fate of Humanity
James Lovelock

From Booklist — British geophysicist Lovelock introduced the Gaia theory in the early 1970s, envisioning the biosphere as "an active, adaptive control system able to maintain the earth in homeostasis." Since then, Lovelock has expanded the Gaia concept to embrace "physical, chemical, biological, and human components," recognizing that organisms do change the environment, none more radically than humanity. Lovelock now describes Gaia as fighting for its very existence as a rapidly increasing human population threatens to upset the precise balance of forces the make the earth conducive to life. Lovelock looks beyond biodiversity (see E. O. Wilson's The Creation, p.19) to elucidate the functions of the polar ice caps, Amazon rain forests, and ocean currents, and then explains the causes and consequences of global warming. This is solid science, a practice Lovelock seems to abandon in his strangely irresponsible arguments for nuclear energy and against sustainable energy sources (see Helen Caldicott, p.15). In spite of its flaws, Lovelock's tough-minded presentation is a valuable contribution to the urgent debate over humankind's future. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Amazon: The Revenge of Gaia: Earth's Climate Crisis & The Fate of Humanity [Paperback, 2007]

The key insight of Gaia Theory is that the entire Earth functions as a single living super-organism. But according to James Lovelock, the theory’s originator, that organism is now sick. It is running a fever born of increased atmospheric greenhouse gases. Earth will adjust to these stresses, but the human race faces a severe test. It is already too late, Lovelock says, to prevent the global climate from “flipping” into an entirely new equilibrium that will threaten civilization as we know it. But we can do much to save humanity. In the tradition of Silent Spring, this is a call to address a major threat to our collective future.

Second Chance

Second Chance: Three Presidents And The Crisis Of American Superpower
Zbigniew Brzezinski

Foreign Affairs: Brzezinski's latest book is a passionate polemic arguing that U.S. foreign policy since 1989 has been deeply flawed. According to Second Chance, the errors and misjudgments of the current Bush administration, although significantly more egregious and damaging than those of its immediate predecessors, proceed at least in part from some common assumptions about the United States' world role following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Brzezinski's ability to see that the problems did not start with the current Bush administration gives his analysis depth and credibility; his critiques of all three post-Cold War administrations score telling points. Yet despite it all, Brzezinski remains optimistic. There are no real alternatives to U.S. world leadership, and most major countries agree that the world still needs a stabilizing leader. That so cogent and frank a critic should find so much latent strength in the United States' international position is a remarkable and perhaps encouraging sign. In any case, Brzezinski's reputation will be further enhanced by yet another lively, sweeping, and learned tour d'horizon of a troubled world.
Reviewed by Walter Russel Mead
May/June 2007

Amazon: Second Chance: Three Presidents And The Crisis Of American Superpower [2007]

Sets the Stage for our Second Chance in '08! March 16, 2007
By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME

Brzezinski is incomparably qualified to explain and comment on foreign affairs in the last two decades, given his high-level academic and experiential backgrounds, and numerous current contacts. "Second Chance" begins by pointing out that the U.S., having emerged from the Cold War as the unquestioned victor, enjoyed an unprecedented degree of international dominance. Unfortunately, the subsequent three presidents squandered a great deal of its power and prestige - especially Bush II. Brzezinski's intent is to lay out all the problems in the hope that America does better when it gets a second chance after the '08 elections.

Before getting into the details, however, Brzezinski also points out that the collapse of the Soviet was NOT the work of a single person (Ronald Reagan), but the consequence of a 40-year bipartisan effort, beginning with Harry Truman, and also aided by Lech Walesa (defied communism for a decade and compelled compromises that ended communist monopoly on power and precipitated uprisings in Czechoslovakia and Hungary), Pope John Paul II (revived spiritual viability), and Mikhail Gorbachev.

Bush I, according to Brzezinski, did a good (B) job overall - his main achievements were dealing positively with Gorbachev and the U.S.S.R.'s collapse, and then building an impressive coalition to handle Hussein. His two criticisms are that Bush could have done more to resolve the Israeli-Palestine rift (though he did forcefully confront Israel's push to expand settlements), and that Bush I left the Iraq problem unresolved.

Clinton, according to "Second Chance" worked well to move former USSR warheads back into the new Russia, preventing proliferation. However, he did not effectively confront North Korea's efforts to build a bomb, and ultimately failed with Pakistan as well (ignored the fact that India's possession put enormous political pressure on Pakistan). As for the Israeli-Palestine conflict, Clinton's bringing the two parties together was a good step, though Rabin failed to renounce continued settlements; the second effort (Barak and Arafat) also failed, with even Barak's foreign minister noting that he would have rejected the offer as "too vague." Perhaps success would have been attained with more time - part of the problem was that Gore did not want pressure put on the Israeli's near his election campaign.) Another Clinton strength, per Brzezinski, was his bringing the U.S. government to surpluses, generating an even greater impression of world power. Overall, Clinton is rated as a "C" in foreign policy.

Bush II, however, is spared no scorn in "Second Chance," and rates an "F." Until '03 the world was accustomed to believing the word of the U.S. president. Our moral standing also suffered via Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo (without high level accountability), and the brutality of counterinsurgency efforts in the midst of hostile civilians. Our failure to decisively prevail further lowered America's esteem, and further helped unite our enemies and creates more terrorists. Resources diverted from the terrorist threat have led to a resurgence in Afghanistan, Somalia, and Pakistan. Taking Iraq out of the picture has also strengthened Iran; our bias towards Israel has increased - further acerbating a major issue within the Muslim world. Meanwhile, Russia and China, with their new economic strength (oil and manufactured goods, respectively), and lacking the constant mentoring and admonishments of the U.S., are becoming stronger and more involved throughout the world. Disrespectful treatment of China's President Hu during his D.C. visit (no state dinner, allowing hecklers outside the Blair House to continue late into the night, playing the Taiwanese anthem by mistake), as well as supporting more nuclear weapons for its neighgor India were also cited as mistakes by the author. Finally, Brzezinski believes our summary rejection of the International Court (even pressing to exempt U.S. personnel from local courts) and the Kyoto proposal also lowered our esteem.

The world is no longer automatically America's to lead, and by 2050 only 15% of the total population will be in North America and Europe. Hopefully, after the 2008 election we begin to regain our influence.

An excellent overview!

Aside: Brzezinski likes to use the word "Manichean." I had to look it up - means presenting or viewing things in "black and white" fashion.

Seeds of Destruction

Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation
F. William Engdahl

Amazon: Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation [2007]

This skillfully researched book focuses on how a small socio-political American elite seeks to establish its control over the very basis of human survival, the provision of our daily bread. Control the food and you control the people. This is no ordinary book about the perils of GMO. Engdahl takes the reader inside the corridors of power, into the backrooms of the science labs, behind closed doors in the corporate boardrooms. The author reveals a World of profit-driven political intrigue, government corruption and coercion, where genetic manipulation and the patenting of life forms are used to gain worldwide control over food production. The book is an eye-opener, a must-read for all those committed to the causes of social justice and World peace.

A Century of War

A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order
F. William Engdahl

Amazon: A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order [1992, 2004, 2012]

This Book is a Gripping Account of the Murky World of the Anglo-American Oil Industry and its Hidden Role in World Politics. -- William Engdahl takes the reader through the history of how seven giant oil companies - five American and two British - developed a controlling grip on the world's economy unprecedented in history. This is no ordinary history of oil. It is a history of global politics, more precisely of global geopolitics - how control of strategic geographical pivot regions first British and later American interests to control in large part the world economy. -- The book sheds light for the first time on such events as the 1973 oil shock - a sudden 400% rise in the price of the world's most essential commodity in a matter of weeks. What William Engdahl reveals, with flawless documentation, will shock most people. The implications are even more devastating. He also documents how oil played an essential role in the ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union, in the rise and fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, in the US occupation of Iraq and countless other events not normally understood in such a light.

 F. William Engdahl website

The Long Emergency

The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century
James Howard Kunstler

Amazon: The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century 

The indictment of suburbia and the car culture that the author presented in The Geography of Nowhere turns apocalyptic in this vigorous, if overwrought, jeremiad. Kunstler notes signs that global oil production has peaked and will soon dwindle, and argues in an eye-opening, although not entirely convincing, analysis that alternative energy sources cannot fill the gap, especially in transportation. The result will be a Dark Age in which "the center does not hold" and "all bets are off about civilization's future." Absent cheap oil, auto-dependent suburbs and big cities will collapse, along with industry and mechanized agriculture; serfdom and horse-drawn carts will stage a comeback; hunger will cause massive "die-back"; otherwise "impotent" governments will engineer "designer viruses" to cull the surplus population; and Asian pirates will plunder California. Kunstler takes a grim satisfaction in this prospect, which promises to settle his many grudges against modernity. A "dazed and crippled America," he hopes, will regroup around walkable, human-scale towns; organic local economies of small farmers and tradesmen will replace an alienating corporate globalism; strong bonds of social solidarity will be reforged; and our heedless, childish culture of consumerism will be forced to grow up. Kunstler's critique of contemporary society is caustic and scintillating as usual, but his prognostications strain credibility. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

James Howard Kinstler website