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Peak Oil

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I am posting this under "Transportation" because 10 percent of GLOBAL oil usage is by American motorists.

 

This article is a very good synopsis of an increasingly critical situation, and finally one that's published in a domestic newspaper. But I've seen this syndicated article published only in the Palm Springs, Calif. Desert Sun (?). This nation is going to be in for a shock, and the public isn't going to understand why.

 

KJP

________________

 

 

http://www.thedesertsun.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050227/COLUMNS03/502270307/1081/business

 

 

Investors watch rising energy costs

 

Morris Beschloss

Special to The Desert Sun

February 27, 2005

 

The Paris-based International Energy Agency's recent pessimistic update about the world's oil supply/demand inversion set off global alarm bells. This was a major turnaround from a previous projection issued by the respected international agency before the end of last year.

 

With the IEA trumpeting increased global demand, combined with a cutback in non-OPEC production, the New York Mercantile Exchange oil traders returned per diem oil prices back to the high 40's per barrel. Only two months ago, oil prices had retreated back to the $40 per barrel range. The early winter weather in the Northeast was exceptionally mild, and it looked as if oil prices in the 30's were only a matter of time.

 

.......


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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In effect, OPEC has taken off the mask of keeping prices down to accommodate global economic growth. Its spokesmen have lately "legitimized" price per barrel in the $50 range, due ostensibly to higher costs of production and the weakness of the dollar - the currency of all OPEC transactions.

 

 

Ye another ramification of running these dollar-crushing deficits  :|

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Just think about it..what really would happen if there was really very little oil. Can you imagine $5-7 a gallon for gas. The areas that will fair better than others would be Chicago and NYC. They have superior mass transit compared to the rest of the other cities. Many cities would just die if there was no more oil. Cities like Las vegas, Orlando which rely mainly on tourism. Cities like Cincinnati and Cleveland and Atlant would die slower because you will not get enough workers to work because the metro's are so spread out.

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We're a very vulnerable nation for a number of reasons. The debt crunch on multiple fronts in the U.S. -- on the federal budget, the trade imbalance and the credit crunch creating personal debts -- is bad enough. You throw rising energy costs on top of this and it creates a "perfect storm" to wrought a great deal of economic damage to this nation.

 

Even the oil companies are acknowledging that conventional oil supplies are peaking and will begin a permanent decline in the coming years. That wouldn't be a problem if consumption rates were halted and reversed. Then we might have affordable oil for decades or even centuries to come. Instead, oil consumption is growing at record rates.

 

Too bad we're addicted to our SUVs and big-ass McMansions in the outer 'burbs. Most of these folks have no idea what's coming, since the U.S. media never covers "big picture" stuff. I find that I routinely have to go to foreign media (Reuters, FT, UK Financial Times, Asia Times, heck even al Jazeera, etc. plus some of the petroleum industry's own publications) to learn how dire the situation is.

 

Older cities like Cleveland may actually fare better than places like Columbus or Indianapolis, but the suburbs of all metro areas will have some serious problems. Rail and transit will also fare better, but will still see higher costs. At the other extreme, the "canary in the mineshaft" is the airline industry, which has a greater proportion of their balance sheets to devoted to fuel costs. And those are already some pretty sick birdies!

 

Here's some recent articles from overseas media that may cause you to put that SUV up for sale before the rest of America wakes up....

 

Shell, Exxon Tap `High Cost' Oil Sands, Gas as Reserves Dwindle

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000102&sid=aZ6yVeyLhzkE&refer=uk

 

US warned of east-west oil bidding war

http://news.ft.com/cms/s/454b9d94-7fbf-11d9-8ceb-00000e2511c8.html

 

Expert says Saudi oil may have peaked

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/80C89E7E-1DE9-42BC-920B-91E5850FB067.htm

 

Matt Simmons (in the last article) is my hero. Do a Google search on his name and read more of his stuff. As a former energy advisor to Bush/Cheney, Simmons is one of the most respected people out there publicly raising the alarm on peak oil. Too bad his advisee's weren't listening (or, perhaps they were, hence "Operation Iraqi Freedom").

 

KJP


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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From the first article:

 

``We're damn close'' to the peak in conventional oil production, Boone Pickens, who oversees more than $1 billion in energy-related investments at his Dallas hedge fund firm, said in an interview in New York Feb. 16. ``I think we're there.'' Suncor Energy Inc., the world's second-biggest oil-sands miner, is his largest holding.

 

 

T. Boone Pickens is known for telling it like it is - If he says we're peaking, we'd better listen.

 

You know we've got problems if it is becoming profitable to process tar sands in Alberta. Read Hubbert's Peak

 

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0691116253/qid=1109557746/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/104-3557227-8698309

 

The author goes in depth about the geologic processes that make oil and how unlikely it is that there are any more large reserves to be found. He also describes the process by which oil is extracted from tar sands. As I recall,  the process was a net energy loser in that used more energy from electricity and coal in order to produce usable oil than the energy that the oil itself yielded. It was only feasible because the net product is more versatile than coal or electricity.

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Tar sands = net energy loser <-- you are correct. I suspect that's why they're going after the Alberta sands now, before energy costs rise further. But, like you say, the mere fact the tar sands are being sought speaks volumes.

 

KJP


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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FINALLY!!!!! Here's a major departure from past statements by the US Department of Energy. This was just published by the ASPO at www.peakoil.net ...Yet, I don't expect major media to cover this, at least here in the U.S.

 

KJP

________________

 

The US Department of Energy submitted the following article for inclusion in the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO) Newsletter

 

The Mitigation of the Peaking of World Oil Production

Summary of an Analysis, February 8, 2005

 

A recently completed study for the U.S. Department of Energy analyzed viable technologies to mitigate oil short-ages associated with the upcoming peaking of world oil production.1 Commercial or near-commercial options include improved vehicle fuel efficiency, enhanced conventional oil recovery, and the production of substitute fuels. While research and development on other options could be important, their commercial success is by no means as-sured, and none offer near-term solutions.

 

Improved fuel efficiency in the world’s transportation sector will be a critical element in the long-term reduction of liquid fuel consumption, however, the scale of effort required will inherently take time and be very expensive. For example, the U.S. has a fleet of over 200 million automobiles, vans, pick-ups, and SUVs. Replacement of just half with higher efficiency models will require at least 15 years at a cost of over two trillion dollars for the U.S. alone. Similar conclusions generally apply worldwide.

 

Commercial and near-commercial options for mitigating the decline of conventional oil production include: 1) Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR), which can help moderate oil production declines from older conventional oil fields; 2) Heavy oil/oil sands, a large resource of lower grade oils, now produced primarily in Canada and Venezuela; 3) Coal liquefaction, an established technique for producing clean substitute fuels from the world’s abundant coal reserves; and 4) Clean substitute fuels produced from remote natural gas.

 

For the foreseeable future, electricity-producing technologies, e.g., nuclear and solar energy, cannot substitute for liquid fuels in most transportation applications. Someday, electric cars may be practical, but decades will be required before they achieve significant market penetration and impact world oil consumption. And no one has yet defined viable options for powering heavy trucks or airplanes with electricity.

 

To explore how these technologies might contribute, three alternative mitigation scenarios were analyzed: One where action is initiated when peaking occurs, a second where action is assumed to start 10 years before peaking, and a third where action is assumed to start 20 years before peaking.

 

Estimates of the possible contributions of each mitigation option were developed, based on crash program imple-mentation. Crash programs represent the fastest possible implementation - the best case. In practical terms, real-world action is certain to be slower.

 

Analysis of the simultaneous implementation of all of the options showed that an impact of roughly 25 million barrels per day might be possible 15 years after initiation. Because conventional oil production decline will start at the time of peaking, crash program mitigation inherently cannot avert massive shortages unless it is initiated well in advance of peaking. Specifically,

 

* Waiting until world conventional oil production peaks before initiating crash program mitigation leaves the world with a significant liquid fuel deficit for two decades or longer.

* Initiating a crash program 10 years before world oil peaking would help considerably but would still result in a worldwide liquid fuels shortfall, starting roughly a decade after the time that oil would have otherwise peaked.

 

* Initiating crash program mitigation 20 years before peaking offers the possibility of avoiding a world liquid fuels shortfall for the forecast period.

 

Without timely mitigation, world supply/demand balance will be achieved through massive demand destruction (shortages), accompanied by huge oil price increases, both of which would create a long period of significant eco-nomic hardship worldwide.

 

Other important observations revealed by the analysis included the following:

 

1. The date of world oil peaking is not known with certainty, complicating the decision-making process. A fundamental problem in predicting oil peaking is uncertain and politically biased oil reserves claims from many oil producing countries.

 

2. As recently as 2001, authoritative forecasts of abundant future supplies of North American natural gas proved to be excessively optimistic as evidenced by the recent tripling of natural gas prices. Oil and natural gas geology is similar in many ways, suggesting that optimistic oil production forecasts deserve to be viewed with considerable skepticism.

 

3. In the developed nations, the economic problems associated with world oil peaking and the resultant oil short-ages will be extremely serious. In the developing nations, economic problems will be much worse.

 

4. While greater end-use efficiency is essential in the long term, increased efficiency alone will be neither suf-ficient nor timely enough to solve the oil shortage problem in the short term. To preserve reasonable levels of economic prosperity and growth, production of large amounts of substitute liquid fuels will be required. While a number of substitute fuel production technologies are currently available for deployment, the massive construction effort required will be extremely expensive and very time-consuming, even on a crash program basis.

 

5. Government intervention will be essential, because the economic and social impacts of oil peaking will otherwise be chaotic, and crash program mitigation will need to be properly supported. How and when governments begin to seriously address these challenges is yet to be determined.

 

Oil peaking discussions should focus primarily on prudent risk management, and secondarily on forecasting the timing of oil peaking, which will always be inexact. Mitigation initiated earlier than required might turn out to be premature, if peaking is slow in coming. If peaking is imminent, failure to act aggressively will be extremely dam-aging worldwide.

 

World oil peaking represents a problem like none other. The political, economic, and social stakes are enormous. Prudent risk management demands urgent attention and early action.

 

1 Hirsch, R.L., Bezdek, R.H, Wendling, R.M. Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation and Risk Management. DOE NETL. February 2005

_________________

 

 


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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It's interesting to see how many knowledgeable people are coming on board and speaking up on oil supplies. It's reflective of our culture, I guess, that virtually all of them talk about more efficient cars while no one challenges the basic premise of private cars as the foundation of America's transportation system. :wtf:

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It's interesting to see how many knowledgeable people are coming on board and speaking up on oil supplies. It's reflective of our culture, I guess, that virtually all of them talk about more efficient cars while no one challenges the basic premise of private cars as the foundation of America's transportation system. :wtf:

 

Well, I would think it's gonna take a lot more than $4/gallon gas to abandon the trillions of dollars of property that private cars make tenable.  We've come so far down this path that I don't believe even an oil crash would change the basic transportation structure.  Maybe that means you pay double for a car that runs on electricity generated at a nuclear power plant - great, get fewer features, less pick-up, but you get to stay in your huge home in the community you love - I think that's a no-brainer for most folks.  Maybe they cut down to one car, maybe they use more public transit, maybe folks who can't afford it move closer to transit - but even if gas rose to $20/gallon, you ain't gonna sell your $350K home for scrap, you're gonna find a way to make it work.

 

If oil crashes, we're going to pay a lot more for products because of increased cost of transport, and that will definitely impact the economy.  But it's not gonna turn a $350K home into a scrap heap or turn yuppies into starving gangs, like someone on another thread implied...that's nuts.  Just like after 9/11 the economy adjusted to majorly increased security costs, so will the economy adjust to majorly increased energy costs.  One thing makes the energy costs easier to bear - unlike 9/11, the new costs are coming in gradually, over the course of years as oil gets more expensive to extract but demand goes up; and one thing make energy costs much harder to bear - it's gonna be a far, far deeper transformation.  So does that mean a depression, a recession, or a long-term drag?  Hell if I know...but just like everything else, we'll pay the cost and make the changes.

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I think this is quite a bit more serious than paying for more gas to put in your car. Sept. 11, 2001 isn't even an appetizer compared the economic hardship that Peak Oil will bring. And, yes, people will die, either from resource wars (U.S. v China?) or from starvation as most fertilizers are oil based.

 

Oil is a tremendous energy carrier that no technology is ready to replace. According to the Department of Energy, if a Manhattan Project-scale effort to develop alternatives were started today, we'd be at least 10 years from replacing oil as an energy carrier...assuming an alternative can be found.

 

We aren't 10 years from running out of oil, but we are likely 10 years or less from reaching Peak Oil. And, just like dehydration of the human body, it won't take much of an oil shortfall to cause serious economic problems, especially in such an oil-dependant nation like the U.S. where too many people are already overburdened with debt. I don't know if you're old enough to remember the 1970s, but I remember keeping the thermostat at chilly levels in our house, fist fights at gas stations, and even a riot that spread from a gas station in Philadelphia. This time around, it's structurally induced shortage, not a politically induced one that's temporary.

 

The point of all this is, think of all the products with plastic in them and what their costs might be if crude oil doubles in price, or what the availability of flying will be the average traveler, or the availability of food to people all over the world. These don't have any meaningful alternatives, while our current, auto-dominated transportation system does have them (which also includes non-transportation solutions like smarter land use and telecommuting). America has 4 percent of the world's population but uses 25 percent of the world's oil. We have the ability to drastically cut our oil use within a decade to buy more time to aggressively pursue renewable energies that are potent enough to replace oil.

 

Pardon my abruptness, but if we wait until Peak Oil arrives to decide on and implement a Plan B, a lot of people on this planet are screwed.

 

KJP


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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    Umm, what problem are we trying to solve here?

 

    If  I conserve oil, it simply allows someone else to consume more oil.

 

    If, say, the United States were to enforce a driving ban, saving a million barrels of oil a day, then some other country, say China, could burn that million barrels instead.

 

    If they enforce a regulation that only even-numbered license plates can drive on certain days of the week, then people who can afford it will buy multiple cars.

 

    If we increase fuel efficiency of cars, we can drive more miles on the same amount of oil but we still use that amount of oil.

 

    Basicly, we are burning oil as fast as it is extracted from the ground. No amount of conservation or energy efficiency can change that fact.

   

    It is telling that the IEA, the U.S. Department of Energy, and others are publically recognizing that we have a limited supply of oil.

 

   

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So, basically we're screwed, is that what you're trying to say?

 

Conservation isn't hopeless. Europeans use less oil per-capita than Americans do (hell, everyone uses less oil per capita than does America!) and they maintain a very good standard of living. Just because Americans can't seem to live within their means, doesn't mean everyone else wouldn't too if we used oil more rationally.

 

I love how U.S. policymakers and media most often lay the blame for the oil supply/demand dilemma at the feet of China and India. While both nations have more than 1 billion people, neither uses half the oil that America does, which has less than 1/3 of a billion people. And, there is evidence that China and India are stockpiling much of the oil they are acquiring for a strategic reserve. Plus, both nations are becoming much more aggressive in promoting alternative energy and alternative transportation, which isn't that hard for them. After all, only 1 in 10 Chinese even own cars!

 

If I bought and drank four cases of Diet Coke each day from the corner store, and a family moves to the neighborhood and started buying one case of Diet Coke each day, causing the store to occasionally run out, who should be blamed? Why, the new family, naturally! And, while the store could be blamed, it won't do any good, 'cuz that's all the Diet Coke they can supply.

 

The problem is us, er, U.S.

 

KJP


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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    Prohibiting people from using resources by legislation and enforcement does not "save" resources, but just diverts them somewhere else. I do not favor a police state as proposed by the IEA.

 

 

 

   

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Then we'd better try to conserve voluntarily, or one way or another, it will be done for us.

 

KJP


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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No doubt, we're going to run out of oil - just like England largely ran out of lumber and firewood in the 17th and 18th centuries, with the difference being forests can be replaced in a generation or two.  The question is how we're able to handle the transformation of our economy.  I'm all in favor of conservation, though suspicious of mandating it via legislation.  CAFE standards do seem to be an effective tool, but rising prices are going to be the best driver of conservation.  If prices rise slowly enough to avoid a major shock, but fast enough to encourage research and development of alternative energy sources, then it will be just another transformation, like we've undergone many times before.  If not, we may have some nasty shocks in store.

Personally, I believe we'll be able to develop alternatives, especially when there's money to be made in doing so.  And with a global network of oil drilling, and a horizon of oil drilling that's measured in decades, and ever-mounting price pressures, I think we'll probably end up transforming the economy in fairly good order.

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The gasoline age has just begun and will likely last for hundreds of years.  All this talk of gasoline running out in the next 20 to 30 years is BS.  Proven reserves of gasoline have been growing for decades.  That trend will not continue forever, but I do believe that we will be able to tap deeper and trickier deposits of oil for a long time to come.

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Are you saying it's BS because you consider yourself well-read on the subject or because you're just one of those folks who hear about 2-5 trillion barrels of oil out there and think that sounds like a lot? If you're not well read on the subject, do youself a favor and correct that oversight. Read or ask where the oil is, in what form it's in, what costs will be incurred to extract it and refine it, what our current depletion/consumption rates are, and so on.

 

Or, are you saying it's BS because you believe there will someday be another major discovery of oil? Doesn't it bother you that, for every six barrels of oil we burn, only one new barrel of oil is discovered to replace it?

 

People hear or read comments about Peak OIl and automatically assume that means the oil is going to run out. I don't think oil is ever going to run out, mainly because some is so difficult and expensive to reach that it is uneconomical. But there is a clear distinction when depletion rates start to kick in on a global level. Except for a few very large producers (like Saudi Arabia, Iraq or Iran), they ALL are in decline. And Iran and Saudi Arabia are expected to decline before the end of the decade (decline, NOT run out!). The point of all this is a decrease in supply and an increase cost. That's already starting to happen. Now, if you want to deny it's occurring, that's certainly your perogotive. Will you also deny that a sunset has to follow every sunrise? Or that night will certainly follow?

 

KJP


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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I have a degree from an Ivy League school in Chemistry.  I'm capable of making my own judgements on things, thank you very much.  I don't get my facts from Greenpeace.  From the evidence I have seen, I do believe the gasoline age will last much longer than the doomsaying tree huggers today think it will.

 

When I was in grade school in the 1980's, the public school system tried to brainwash us into thinking all gasoline would be gone by the year 2000.  That didn't happen now did it?  These claims today that gasoline will run out in 30 years are also BS.  The economic reality is that gasoline is never going to technically run out.  We will reach a point where gasoline is too limited in supply, too hard to get, and no longer economically feasible.  At that point, we will use other energy sources.  Today, gasoline is king.  For cost, it is unbeatable.  When gasoline will no longer be economically feasible is anyone's best guess, but these policies to "conserve" gasoline make little sense, because it just frees up gasoline use for someone else, someone not stupid enough to limit their own economic potential.

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There are huge oil reserves in Canada that equal the amount of gasoline in all the Middle East.  Read up on the Alberta tar sands.  Nobody taps them today, because the MIddle Eastern oil is cheaper to extract.

 

We've barely scratched the surface of the Earth's crust.  In the 21st century, I think there will be all sorts of deep sea drilling for oil, and deep land drilling as well, in places that we haven't searched yet because the technology is not good enough, or it makes little sense to do so because the MIddle Eastern, Russian, North Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and whatever else oil is so cheap and plentiful.

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    "All this talk of gasoline running out in the next 20 to 30 years is BS."

 

    I think it may take 80 to 100 years to reduce the production of gasoline to a fraction of what it is today, so that the gasoline age could be said to be over. I am convinced that we are near the peak of global oil extraction, including the deep sea, tar sands, and other sources you mention.

 

    I agree with you that policies to "conserve" gasoline make little sense.

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

   

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I've never read anything from Greenpeace, and if you had gotten a degree in geology, maybe I'd be more willing to listen to what you have to say. A college degree is a wonderful thing. I have one too. What you do with it over the next few decades is more important that earning one. Don't flash it around and think it will automatically impress others.

 

I do get my information from current and former oil industry geologists, investors and policymakers who have been on this planet a little longer than you have. They know their stuff. So far, you haven't produced much more than wishful thinking based on technologies that have yet to prove themselves.

 

Is there a problem? All I can suggest to you is to go outside, find the nearest gas station and check the current price on the sign. Is it higher than what it was last week? Last month? Last year? Does this bother you? Why is this happening? Why can't we keep increasing production to keep up with demand? The fact is, we're near the peak of production. Will we be able to put into production all the tar sands at rates fast enough to compensate for the depletion of conventional oil reserves? Doesn't look that way. And even if we employ all the tar sands in the world, it doesn't necessarily make sense to do so if there is little or no return on energy invested. Does it make sense to burn one barrel of oil to get one barrel of oil equivalent out of the ground? Of course not, and that's why many tar sands deposits will never be tapped.

 

Remember, all prosperity is fleeting, and civilizations never stick around forever. If we're willing to sacrifice for the greater good and put our self-interest on the shelf, then we will overcome our unsustainable, wasteful ways. But all growth is not good if we're not doing it smartly. Remember that growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.

 

KJP


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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http://www.thebulletin.org/article.php?art_ofn=mj05cavallo

 

Oil: Caveat empty

By Alfred J. Cavallo

May/June 2005  pp. 16-18 (vol. 61, no. 03) © 2005 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

 

Without any press conferences, grand announcements, or hyperbolic advertising campaigns, the Exxon Mobil Corporation, one of the world's largest publicly owned petroleum companies, has quietly joined the ranks of those who are predicting an impending plateau in non-OPEC oil production. Their report, The Outlook for Energy: A 2030 View, forecasts a peak in just five years.

 

In the past, many who expressed such concerns were dismissed as eager catastrophists, peddling the latest Malthusian prophecy of the impending collapse of fossil-fueled civilization. Their reliance on private oil-reserve data that is unverifiable by other analysts, and their use of models that ignore political and economic factors, have led to frequent erroneous pronouncements. They were countered by the extreme optimists, who believed that we would never need to think about such problems and that the markets would take care of everything. Up to now, those who worried about limited petroleum supplies have been at best ignored, and at worst openly ridiculed.


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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I know this question might seem more focused on NEO Ohio, but it also applies to everyone.  I will just use NEO examples for a broader context.  My question is; I wonder if developers know something we don't.  I mean when you think about it, lately NEO Ohio has been experiencing a lot of growth in the form of downtown living areas that has really seemed to come from no where.  Multi use town like malls like legacy village and crocker park already in place have been doing quite well in suburban areas.  It seems like a new fad in building could be “centralization”, even if it is located in a sprawled suburb.  I know some builders, developers, etc and they are very ‘bottom line’ people, usually not concerned with how things will work, just if something will be profitable.  With oil supposedly close to or past “peak”, I wonder if these current large investments in NEO are just some of the big dogs trying to establish themselves first because they have the money to wait until others catch up.  I’m not a conspiracy theorist or anything, I usually trust the market over anything that a politician will say, but it seems like the market is saying something.

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First, the increased interest in developing higher-density, urban (or urban-like) forms is happening everywhere. In fact, NEO is behind the curve on this. Most metro areas of any consequence throughout the nation have seen this happening, going back a decade or two.

 

While peak oil is a major force that will be reckoned with (actually, it will reckon with us), most developers I speak with aren't even aware of it. Instead, they seem to be looking at other factors. Foremost is that only 25 percent of all households have school-age children. That percentage is only going to shrink further as the baby boom continues to age. Some among our aging population are seeking smaller homes or condos, smaller or no yards to maintain, easy access to transportation, medical services and shopping. And, of course, many developers are themselves aging baby boomers, so they know what their generation is looking for when it comes to housing and land use design.

 

Also, I think there's a growing realization among developers that the American Dream is a lot more complicated than building a house on a large lot surrounded by a white picket fence. There are, in fact, numerous American Dreams -- for students, single professionals, gays, young and old empty nesters, and even families with 1.5 kids.

 

And, some of this renewed interest in developing mixed-use urban forms comes from a rising disillusionment with suburban development patterns and architecture. Since World War II, these have metamorphasized into an incredibly bland collection of cheap, look-alike structures that sap the soul and dull the human spirit. And, if it couldn't get any worse, they have been arranged on the landscape in such an isolationistic way that they force us to drive everywhere, and thus inhibit spontaneous social interaction, except when we beep our car horns or flip the bird at our neighbors for getting in our way.

 

I think people are steadily waking up to the reality that something isn't working with development patterns of the past 50 years. It's all about quality of life. But I believe people, including developers, are still asleep when it comes to peak oil. When we wake up to that issue, that's when America's wasteful lifestyles of the past half-century will be undergo a serious reevaluation. And, with apologies to Dick Cheney, the American way of life is negotiable. Just like the American Dream, there is no single American way of life. Nor does it stay the same. It is a constantly evolving, diverse thing that is influenced by a myriad of forces, both manmade and natural, and cannot be constrained with a government official's hollow pronouncement.

 

KJP


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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its rather funny. the aging boomers are rediscovering that the "main street, usa" urban forms of their parent's generation (and earlier) were not so grotesque and abhorant after all!

 

not so easy to get your groceries when you are old, the kids are gone and you are now 'stuck' in a cul-de-sac....

 

 

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By the way, I don't know how many of you caught this, but an article on oil depletion was the lead story in the Plain Dealer on Sunday. It's a very in-depth article, but doesn't present much new information for those who have been following the peak oil issue for some time. However, for many, this article was a very good introduction.

 

Read the article at:

http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/isene/1117394149193950.xml&coll=2

Enter the PD's "Crude Awakening" portal at:

http://www.cleveland.com/energy/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/news/1117359235209313.xml&coll=2

 

This is the opening salvo for the PD, which promises to following the oil/energy issue for long term, through its Crude Awakening series. The San Diego daily also had a major story on peak oil on Sunday. It's great to see the mainstream media starting to follow the peak oil issue. Maybe our TV news (cable, network and local) will start to follow it, but they're usually too lazy to do any research, and would rather do rip-and-read stories on Michael Jacko, J-Lo and....hell no.

 

KJP


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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You would think the older generations would have a problem with moving back into cities.  My parents first bought a house in goodyear heights when they were married.  This neighborhood was right down the street from the goodyear production plants.  They said they couldn't wait to get out of the city because at certain times of the month black rubber soot from the smoke stacks covered everything on their street.  But I think that cities have gotten a lot cleaner, especially around here, and people are getting over the fear of living in a "dirty downtown".  Maybe it took a while longer in our area because of stories like my parents, who grew up in an industrial city like Akron.  I'm 24 and I know that a lot of my friends are actually excited about living in a city oposed to a suburb.  I think the transition for the younger generations will be easier than those older ones.

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^and the opposite of north dakota is new york city. there is a rush to be here, despite being a high tax city and state. obviously, other factors are in play. no question keeping taxes low is factor in being an attractive place to be, but only one. ohio's historic mindset of the deification of blue collar industry has more to do with what keeps it lagging economically than taxes.

 

as for the inital poster, i'm afraid lifestyle malls and centralized pockets are just real estate trends rather than the developers being prescient about oil prices or anything like that. those things were happening elsewhere and are only recently coming into ohio and becoming mainstream. sure it all appears to coincide with current oil price rises as it sweeps around ohio today, but in fact was a trend that started a decade+ earlier elsewhere around the usa. for example, mizner park lifestyle mall in boca was built in 1991. other long running trends include: ongoing infill townhouse construction; rehabs; downtown living; warehouse districts (every city has one), etc.. so ohio is playing catch-up with much of this stuff, but hopefully local developers can learn and improve and put local spins on it all.

 

i'd say better late than never and anything that takes a bite out of sprawl is a good thing.

 

 

 

 

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    "If the Earth were a car, its gas gauge would be approaching E."

 

    It seems the author missed the ball on this one. If the Earth were a car, it's gas guage would be approaching HALF EMPTY. We still have lots of oil in reserves and to be discovered, up to 1.5 trillion barrels perhaps. On the other hand, we have already burned 1.5 trillion since Drake's discovery. Until now, we have burned more oil each year than we did the year before. Shortly, we will be burning less oil each year than we did the year before. This is the essence of Peak Oil.

 

    Saying that we are almost out of oil only confuses the situation.

 

 

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I agree. That's one thing I didn't like about his column. In reality, we probably will never run out of oil, as the last barrels will be so expensive that no one would be able to afford them. That is the endpoint. Between that and the present day situation is a lot of discomfort, in terms of a painful realignment of our economy and lifestyles.

 

However, what are running out of is cheap and easy oil, and that's what too many of us (especially Americans) are addicted to. When that's no longer available, the withdrawal symptoms will get pretty ugly for many. As for me, I already live a low-oil use lifestyle, except for the lack of organic food retailers in my area. We could always turn my building's roof and pool area into a hydroponic garden.

 

KJP


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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This is an important issue, but since I am not an oil expert, I cannot tell if we have reached peak yet.  However, it seems clear that prices will continue to rise.  The question is how fast.

 

One argument about this I have heard is that gas prices have been kept artificially low by US policies, such as Navy protection of oil tankers at taxpayer expense.  Additionally, many european governtments have used gas taxes to help control sprawl, reduce congestion and fund public transportation.

 

Another issue not discussed in the article, but relevant to Urban Ohio is that true conservation would be more that hybrid cars, it would include public transportation or just plain living near your work.

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Well, if our government actually cared about us, they would put a tax on the extra revenue that the oil companies are receiving because of this.  Then put this money into lowering prices.  Man, I wish my Daddy moved me to Texas, then try to run a oil company, and then try to run a country.  Oh, I will be making a ton of under the counter cash to at the same time while I rip off Americans.  I wonder who that could be?

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http://money.cnn.com/2005/08/16/markets/markets_newyork/index.htm

Markets dive on oil

Major gauges sink lower late in session as high fuel prices begin to weigh on investors.

August 16, 2005: 4:25 PM EDT

By Jessica Seid and Katie Benner, CNN/Money staff writers

 

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Weakness in tech and retail stocks dragged the broader market lower late Tuesday after financial results from Wal-Mart Stores and Gateway, along with the latest economic reports, raised concerns that high energy prices may be taking a toll on Wall Street.

 

The Dow Jones industrial average (down 120.93 to 10,513.45, Charts) and the broader Standard & Poor's 500 (down 14.53 to 1,219.34, Charts) lost 1.2 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite (down 29.98 to 2,137.06, Charts) fell 1.4 percent.

 

Shares of Dow component Wal-Mart (down $1.53 to $47.57, Research) sank 3 percent and was the leading blue-chip loser after it posted disappointing second-quarter sales and reported that high oil prices may continue to weigh on results.

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I haven't seen one in a long time! I know I've posted some stuff here and there, but not a general thread for people to post all sorts of energy-related news and comments. So if you want to combine them here, it sounds like a good idea to me!

 

Well, if our government actually cared about us, they would put a tax on the extra revenue that the oil companies are receiving because of this.  Then put this money into lowering prices.  Man, I wish my Daddy moved me to Texas, then try to run a oil company, and then try to run a country.  Oh, I will be making a ton of under the counter cash to at the same time while I rip off Americans.  I wonder who that could be?

 

If our government really cared about us, we wouldn't be so dependent on an energy source whose production is flattening out and is destined to decline sooner rather than later. We need alternatives to oil, and we need them ASAP. Reduced gas prices will only keep us addicted to the stuff. If our government is unwilling to stop enabling our oil addiction, then each consumer should resist paying the higher prices and make changes in their lifestyles to afford living in this new paradigm. But if we are unwilling, then we have no one to blame but ourselves for lining the oil executives' pockets.

 

KJP


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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Well, Wall St. & the mainstream media is starting to be very concerned.

Though the only alternatives mentioned so far is conserve or restructure your budget. But that only helps in the short term (if you call that help  :-()

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This is an older article, but I think it does a pretty decent job of cutting through all the BS reasons quoted in the media.

 

KJP

_____________

 

http://www.axisoflogic.com/cgi-bin/exec/view.pl?archive=94&num=16269

 

Published on 14 Mar 2005 by Axis of Logic. Archived on 15 Mar 2005.

 

How to deceive friends and influence people: Oil crisis lies

by Julian Jackson

 

I’m going to give you some money. Alright, it’s only notional money, but here it is: you have a product that costs about $20 to produce. You sell it for $50. That’s a nice 30 bucks profit.

 

Now this is the world’s most popular product and you sell millions of units each day. So you voluntarily decide to stop selling 1 million units per day, giving up 30 million dollars profit per day.


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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And a continued rise in demand from developing contries (China etc). and an increase in the sheer numbers of autos.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/pdf/perspectives.pdf

 

Image Below: See Fig 31, gallons used per vehicle holding steady or dropping, although nudging up a little at the end of the figure. We all know that the number of miles driven is rising (Fig 32), so MPG mst be getting better (Fig 33)

 

On the surface, it would look like its all the SUV's - but look whos using all the gas and increasing the most in those figures - Trucking - maybe if we shift some freight to rail, we can put the biggest dent in our usage

 

 

 

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