Sunday, May 31, 2009

"7 Industries That Are Still Making Money in a Recession," By Parija B. Kavilanz,, May 22, 2009

"With shopping no longer their favorite pastime, Americans appear to be spending their money in other ways, such as acquiring new skills, getting help with their finances and visiting the dentist."

(Continued HERE).

Peak Oil Current Events, Kenneth S. Deffeyes, Beyond Oil, May 29, 2009

Click Here >>> Join us as we watch the crisis unfolding

Blog comment:

Professor Kenneth S. Deffeyes correctly forecasted crude Peak Oil in May 2005. By hindsight we will come to understand the Peak as the plateau between 2004 and 2008.

There are many labels for Peak Oil impacts, such as "crisis" or "long emergency." But these terms suggest major problems for a brief period. Because oil depletion is terminal and viable alternatives are non-existent, we face a global catastrophe which has no parallel in all of human history.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Peak Oil Preparation: A Power Blackout in Winter, A Comment by R.C., The Oil Drum, May 7, 2009

"I recently experienced one of the most educational periods of my life, as well as one of the more traumatic.

About 5 months ago in the U.S., in the state of Kentucky, we experienced the worst ice storm in our history. It was almost mythic in its destruction, destroying trees, power lines and even structures in an hour after hour ice pile-up which moved over the state like a glacier descending from the sky.

I was made homeless, with the power to my home destroyed, the electric meter sheared from the wiring of the house, and the water frozen and bursted on the north side of the home. The house still sits dark and cold. I was forced to relocate to an apartment some 22 miles away. I left the house at 2AM, using a garbage bag and a flashlight to round up some emergency supplies. When I left the house was 22 degrees Fahrenheit (-9.4 Celsius) inside with water frozen in the kitchen sink and water pipes bursted under the home.

The most important lesson I learned was this: If you are not prepared before the event, you cannot prepare for it during the event. The damage of cold and ice occurs very fast. By the time I realized I could not endure in the extreme cold, saving the house from damage was hopeless. I had stayed under mountains of blankets and wearing a parka and ski sweater and jackets, going to my car every 6 hours or so in an attempt to warm up, but I could not cook food, had no heat and no light, so could not bath or even shave (except for "dry shaving" with a disposable razor, with no way to wash my face afterward) By the time I left the home I was dehydrated, hungry, grungy and cold to the point of it being dangerous.

I know one man who stayed with his wife in his home until his feet began to turn black. He almost lost the feet, and the doctor told him once he made it to the emergency room that he had almost lost his life.

The U.K., like the U.S. has an aging demographic, many with health issues such as high blood pressure, bad circulation, diabetes and heart conditions. A collapse in natural gas/electric production that destroys the ability to heat homes scares me FAR more than any gasoline shortage ever could. The great Kentucky ice storm only proved to me what I had already known, but had not prepared for.

The fact is, the U.S. and U.K. would see great suffering and causalities in an emergency involving major loss of home heating and it would occur VERY quickly, almost before the emergency contingency plans could even be put into play.

If we do not prepare now, we cannot prepare when it happens, it will simply be too late."

(This comment and others are found HERE).

Blog Comment:

Emergency planning for a power blackout is wise.

According to Railton Frith and Paul H. Gilbert (U.S. National Research Council scientist testifying before the U.S. Congress), power failures CURRENTLY could paralyze a nation for weeks or months. When a widespread power failure occurs, it is difficult to get power working again, as much equipment depends on electric power. For example, diesel and gasoline are pumped by electric motors.

In an era of multiple crises and resource constraints, power failures will last longer and then become permanent. When power failures occur in winter, millions of people in the U.S., Canada, and Europe will die of exposure. There are not enough shelters for entire populations, and shelters will lack heat, adequate food and water, and sanitation. (5) Water purification and water distribution systems will fail, leaving millions of metropolitan residents without water. (6) Waste water treatment systems will fail, resulting in untreated sewage that will contaminate the drinking water for millions of residents who consume river water downstream. (7) Transportation and communications failures will cripple federal, state and local governments — leaving and residents without emergency services, emergency shelters, police and fire protection, water supplies, and sanitation etc. (8) Mechanized farming will cease, and harvested crops won’t be transported more than a few miles. (9) Fertilizer, pesticides, and herbicides won’t be produced. (10) Due to limited farm acreage near cities (much of it destroyed by suburbanization), most cities and towns will be unable to support their populations with sufficient food from local farming (Paul Chefurka). (11) Homes will lack heating and air conditioning. Even if homes are retrofitted with wood stoves, local biomass is insufficient to provide for home heating, and it will not be possible to cut, split, and move wood in sufficient quantities.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"Social Security and Medicare Finances Worsen," by Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press, May 12, 2009

"Social Security and Medicare are fading even faster under the weight of the recession, heading for insolvency years sooner than previously expected, the government warned Tuesday. Social Security will start paying out more in benefits than it collects in taxes in 2016, a year sooner than projected last year, and the giant trust fund will be depleted by 2037, four years sooner, trustees reported.

Medicare is in even worse shape. The trustees said the program for hospital expenses will pay out more in benefits than it collects this year, just as it did for the first time in 2008. The trustees project that the Medicare fund will be depleted by 2017, two years earlier than the date projected in last year's report.:


Blog Comment:

These funds will collapse much sooner than indicated here. Most government revenues are derived from the individual income tax. Peak Oil means less employment and less income.

"Job Losses Push Safer Mortgages to Foreclosure ," by Peter S. Goodman and Jack Healy, The New York Times, May 24, 2009

"As job losses rise, growing numbers of American homeowners with once solid credit are falling behind on their mortgages, amplifying a wave of foreclosures.

In the latest phase of the nation’s real estate disaster, the locus of trouble has shifted from subprime loans — those extended to home buyers with troubled credit — to the far more numerous prime loans issued to those with decent financial histories.

With many economists anticipating that the unemployment rate will rise into the double digits from its current 8.9 percent, foreclosures are expected to accelerate. That could exacerbate bank losses, adding pressure to the financial system and the broader economy."


World Oil Production Forecast - Update May 2009, by Tony Ericksen, The Oil Drum, May 19, 2009

"World oil production peaked in July 2008 at 74.82 million barrels/day (mbd) and now has fallen to about 71 mbd. It is expected that oil production will decline slowly to about December 2010 as OPEC production increases while non-OPEC production decreases. After 2010 the resulting annual production decline rate increases to 3.4% as OPEC production is unable to offset cumulative non-OPEC declines.


There are a number of interesting comments, especially from this comment to the end of the comments.

Blog Comments:

Tony Ericksen provides an excellent forecast for future oil production. But he concludes that "The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) should make official statements about declining world oil production now to renew the focus on oil conservation and alternative renewable energy sources."

But the development of renewables uses up precious fossil energy and yields electric power, which is not needed. We need liquid fuels for food production and transportation. When transportation fails the power grid will fail from lack of maintenance (that depends on the highways). Solar and wind gadgets will stand idle as monuments to ignorance. The problems with renewables are documented here.

The advice should be that governments, the media, business, and individuals need to focus on preparing for Peak Oil impacts and surviving Peak Oil.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"U.S. Public Health Community Begins to Discuss Peak Oil," By Rob Content, Community Solutions, March/April 2009

On Thursday, March 12, the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore hosted the world’s first gathering devoted to Peak Oil and Health, with support from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. These are two of the nation’s most prestigious institutions in the fields of public health and health education, and about a hundred people attended in person, with a larger number tuning in to the simultaneous web-cast. The audience was offered a wealth of information about the many ways in which today’s health care services rely on infrastructure and practices that depend upon petroleum. The most likely impacts of Peak Oil on public health were discussed, along with opportunities for public health professionals to prepare for the roles they will play in a post-Peak Oil world.


Blog Comment: The conference provides valuable information. But one conclusion is: "We should begin to devote the remaining oil to ramping up a transfer to renewable energy infrastructures." This is bad advice and misinforms the media, leaders, and the public. The development of renewables uses up precious fossil energy and yields electric power, which is not needed. We need liquid fuels for food production and transportation. When transportation fails the power grid will fail from lack of maintenance (that depends on the highways). Solar and wind gadgets will stand idle as monuments to ignorance. The problems with renewables are documented here.