Holistic Books | Peak
Oil | Peak All | Climate
Change | Curious
Anomalies in Climate Science | Climate
skeptics | What will we eat as
the oil runs out? | Can Britain
Feed Itself? |Overpopulation
| Why nuclear power cannot fill the
gap | Renewable energy cannot
power a consumer society | All the
Information - Global Challenges
Oil Primer - The
Peak Oil theory says we have used up more
than half of what’s available, and if
we find no equivalent alternatives, what’s
left will cost more and more to extract. Our
whole way of life, including food production,
transport, and power, is based on the unsustainable
idea of a "growth economy" which
has become heavily dependent on cheap, plentiful
oil for petrol, diesel, all plastics, all
synthetic fabrics, heating, fertilizers, and
electricity. This mega-challenge on our doorstep
is still widely ignored or is backed up by
highly suspect "science". But we
have a "window of oppurtunity" to
look for creative solutions, new ideas, and
good science, while we still have cheap oil...
||Oil is our biggest
single energy source (37%); taken together
with gas which is also expected to peak very
soon, the total is 60%. If prices start to
rise steeply, we will be affected in every
part of our life. Food and agriculture would
be particularly vulnerable... BUT FIRST WE
NEED TRUSTWORTHY SCIENCE. Climate Science
has shown widespread malfeasance directed
by UN - so how can we trust Peak Oil any more?
However, read Peak
Oil: a detailed and transparent analysis
by Skrebowski and Hart. Read the Hirsch
Report stressing the urgent need to face
Peak Oil, commissioned by the US government.
Read the GAO
report commissioned by Senator Roscoe
Bartlett to look at strategy. Although
the US "suburbia" will be hardest
hit, Peak Oil will hit us all. "Every
attempt to flog non-solutions (tar
is precious time lost to get plausible alternatives."
Bulletin - ASPO
Carbon Institute - Oil
Depletion Protocol. Sign the Petition
Switch. Read the rousing wake-up
from LifeAfterTheOilCrash that
converted Senator Bartlett. See the lovely
just Peak Oil, Peak All is a concept we must face some
time . Rare minerals used in flat-screen
televisions and monitors, mobile phones, computer chips,
solar cells, fluorescent light bulbs. Platinum for vehicle
fuel cells. Phosphorus for fertilizer. And when oil
production is perceived to have peaked, all energy-dependent
costs will rocket, and a transition to a low-energy
economy will occur whether we like it or not. It is
not just oil - coal production world-wide is predicted
to peak in 2030 – 2040. Ores of other important
minerals may be running low.
Change is NOT as the Intergovernmental
Panel for Climate Change portrays. So
what is the truth, and how can one be sure?
I fervently believed in Global Warming as
shown in An Inconvenient Truth, I believed
top NASA expert Jim Hansen. How to respond
to a "sustainability emergency"
for which the evidence looked grimly clear?
I checked the science... it held up... Then
I was challenged further - to reverse directions!
It's tough re-examining, inch by inch, what
one thinks one has mastered. I try to be courteous
- we all can fall short when we've
checked so carefully from top sources that
we're right, that we "must be" dealing
with idiots in denial...
years - zero correlation between CO2 and
global warming. This graph suggests
that the earlier link was sheer coincidence,
though it seemed so evident from 1975-2000.
Anomalies (my Climate Science Primer).
<<The evidence of this graph has
not been explained satisfactorily by the
IPCC. With claims of global crisis, we need
to have a human-scale handle on this, to
examine evidence for ourselves, to grasp
the science, as well as human factors: experts'
pride, misplaced trust in "experts",
funding for "alarming" issues,
science issues outside one's own discipline
being incomprehensible, peer pressure to
stick to consensus, pressure from UN IPCC,
fear of job loss, etc...
say "sea level rise could be far worse
than expected" - but sea level rate
of rise hasn't changed at all for a century.
Moreover for ten years it's leveled off
- this was not predicted by any climate
models. See the IPCC
Summary for Policymakers (Nov 2007).
Hansen is the Director of NASA's Goddard
Institute for Space Science; an eminent
climate scientist; but he is disowned
by his former boss. Hansen says
we have a "sustainability emergency".
But - we need to be able to check
the science, for the actions Hansen demands
are far too expensive to risk a mistake.
Then comes the bombshell: Data unobtainable
(now grudgingly released, thanks to pressure
from climate sceptics). Methods still uncheckable.
Will We Eat as the Oil Runs Out?
- Richard Heinberg, Nov 2007, addressing Soil
Association: "Our global food system faces a crisis
of unprecedented scope" - Rising oil prices, biofuel
displacing crops, extreme weather (Climate change),
degrading topsoil, water loss, dependence on nitrates
from the Haber process which uses fossil fuels, peak
phosphorus, petrochemical pesticides, cities' dependence
on transport: all these bring the harshest difficulties
to the most impoverished nations, which threatens social
unrest. "All these efforts [individual campaigns
to fight poverty, protect topsoil, etc] are laudable;
however, they largely fail to address the common sources
of the dilemmas we face - human population growth, and
society's and agriculture's reliance on fossil fuels."
Britain Feed Itself? - Simon Fairlie expands
Kenneth Mellanby's 1975 report "on the back of
an envelope" into a pdf
report - in brief, he says that Britain can feed
itself - but with less meat. Chemical, organic &
permaculture ways are examined. This is a crucial piece
of work that needs developing further and reviewing.
We understand that the Soil Association is going to
take up this work, perhaps together with Transition
and Overconsumption: Overpopulation
exists when the population exceeds the stable
carrying capacity of the country/planet. There
are ten times as many Asians as North Americans,
but one North American uses the resources
of twenty Third World people. We have passed
our sustainable limits for both of our major
food energy sources, grains and fish, and
we are very quickly reaching our fresh water
limits.THIS IS THE BIG SUSTAINABILITY ISSUE,
behind all the rest. We need sensitive,
holistic education to wake up, grasp a truer
picture, in which there is room for Spirit
and what happens before birth and after death,
and how to take responsibility, contribute
solutions, support the changes we need, and
plan the civilized transition we each need
to make if we are to survive with integrity.
Nuclear Power fill the gap? -
here is a summary/download
of Lean Guide to Nuclear Energy by David Fleming,
who believes it cannot. Extrapolating present technologies,
supplies, and demands, Peak Uranium would mean that
we cannot generate enough nuclear power to even handle
its own waste - and if energy prices skyrocket, this
will be even harder... it has greenhouse liabilities
... it is dangerous ... However, there are other possible
sources of uranium... and other possible nuclear technologies...
beside other even more fringe ideas of which 99.999%
may be wild, but 0.001% may bring something that provides
enough energy to solve all our problems...
Energy Cannot Power our Consumer Society
- "this is one of the best arguments
for the inevitability of energy descent
yet to appear" - Rob
Hopkins. Wind, biomass, photovoltaic
and solar thermal sources could not (in
current theory) meet present electricity
demands. It is too difficult to generate
and distribute enough hydrogen. Nuclear
energy is not a good answer. Conclusion:
our problems need to be solved by incorporating
a transition to a society based on simpler,
more self-sufficient and cooperative ways,
within an economy changing to zero-growth.
Governments have a moral obligation
to fund renewables research, and encourage
local small-scale renewable energy generation,
way beyond the insultingly low current level
of funding. Politicians need Education for
the mega-problems that challenge the
21st Century (this is the list by James Martin). Water
shortages, excessive population growth, loss of ocean
life, desertification, pandemics, unstoppable global
migrations, violent religious extremisms, famine in
ill-organized countries, etc.
We did a mind-map
on Research to make key issues readily available - but
we need so much more! How many people, for instance,
know how many man-hours a gallon of petrol represents?
(a gallon of petrol drives a car 20-30 miles; this is
equivalent to 6-8 weeks' manual labour.) How many people
know how much of our present energy consumption could
be replaced by all the current viable
alternative power sources?
Facts" about crucial issues - both user-friendly
In the 70's there was an amazing series of little
leaflets published by ECOROPA: short, pithy, informative,
and accurate, issues like "Atomic Energy
and Nuclear Weapons - the intimate connection"
This website serves a unique function in bringing
together all the basic, essential "Snappy
Facts" you will need to grasp for Transition,
and offers help with holistic, spiritual awakening
many people have found necessary to cope with
such hard facts and still keep a sense of Life,
Purpose, Meaning, and Hope.
We need to "ratchet up" Education for Sustainability
for everyone. This needs Research for Transition to
Sustainability, not just for children or academics or
governments but for all, and not just UK or "Western"
but worldwide. It also needs a willingness to open up
and seek help from the Great Spirit of the Universe,
by whatever name we call God - Spirit - Allah - even
Matt Simmons, top banker, advises prayer to handle Peak
- simple, friendly, "icons" of the basic
scientific evidence crucial to Transition,
- discernment and healing of the current climate science
- the basics of good scientific method and how to
distinguish good evidence from bad,
- the basics of agriculture and permaculture for sustainability,
- our share in building resilience and re-localization,
- the basics of economy, both global, national and
- our natural resistance to change, and our genius
- the psychology of addiction and how to pass "from
darkness to light",
- the non-negotiable, utter, profound need to build
- Sensitivity, Creativity, and Openness.
We've all heard about changing our light bulbs until
we're sick of it. We need to reach far, far deeper.
There are many fine inspirations to draw on. Before
Gorbachev were people like Churchill, Alfred the Great,
Martin Luther King, Gandhi, and many more. We can learn
a lot from other peoples' strategies of integrity at
times of great danger.
More loose ideas
updated 14th November 2009
go to top