A New American Error in Oil and Gas: 3 Charts

US_crude_oil_production_1900_2035

In this, the mother of all oil charts, we can see that things were fine until 1970. It’s been downhill ever since, and will be from here on in.


Apparently there are still a few Americans who believe the hogwash being put out by the oil and gas industry to the effect that America is awash with gas and oil, is headed for energy security, and will soon be the world’s number one oil and gas producer. The people still clinging to this fantasy seem to include President Obama and the Wall Street Journal. We have refuted the case here more than once, using arithmetic and logic, but perhaps those languages are a bit arcane these days. Let’s try charts. I have three to show you. Continue reading

Energy Department Says: Brace for Impact

A new DOE report says everything in the energy sector, from power lines to refineries, is under attack from global climate change. (Photo by MNSC/Flickr

A new DOE report says everything in the energy sector, from power lines to refineries, is under attack from global climate change. (Photo by MNSC/Flickr

If you want a good scare this weekend, forget about seeing Pacific Rim: curl up with the latest report from the US Department of Energy.  It is truly terrifying. All the more so because it comes from a government department long regarded as a cheerleader for Big Oil, Big Coal and Big Power. Now, however, this report on the vulnerabilities of the entire US energy sector to climate change  puts them all — and us —  on notice: the energy infrastructure of the United States and the world is now under relentless attack for which it is not prepared; the attacks not only are going to continue, but are going to increase in frequency and severity, for the foreseeable future. The enemy is climate change. Continue reading

The Arab Winter Stalks Egypt. Who’s Next?

A fuel shortage in June clogs the streets of Cairo with gas lines. Egypt's oil production has peaked, and now so has the patience of its people.

A fuel shortage in June clogs the streets of Cairo with gas lines. Egypt’s oil production has peaked, and now so has the patience of its people.

Listen to the prattling of the punditocracy and you would think that millions of people are in the streets of Egypt fighting and dying over how religious their leaders are, or how much democracy they have. (Similarly, you would think that the most vital problem in America today is abortion, with lack of homosexual privileges a close second.) In the real world, where actions have consequences, people do not risk their lives unless their lives are already at risk. People who have bread do not riot. The longer we go without understanding why countries come apart, the closer comes the day when our country falls apart. And we will be so surprised! Continue reading

Phoenix Falling

By the time you get to Phoenix, it might not be there. (Photo by Jack Leeder/Flickr)

By the time you get to Phoenix, it might not be there. (Photo by Jack Leeder/Flickr)

“It’s true,” says the perky physical therapist with a giggle, “my boyfriend and I are moving to Phoenix. We’re really looking forward to it.” Really, responds a crotchety elder in for an attitude adjustment, you’re looking forward to living in a city besieged by a years-long drought, obscured by dust storms not seen since the 1930s, surrounded by wildfires, setting record high temperatures, running out of water, a strong candidate (with Las Vegas and Miami) to be the first US city abandoned because of climate change. [from the Los Angeles Times: “Heat, drought, violent winds turning Phoenix into hell.”] Which part are you looking forward to the most? When did you decide to opt out of the Age of Information? Continue reading

The American Natural-Gas “Revolution” is Over

Occupy Wall Street protesters take on fracking in 2011. Both revolutions have pretty much sputtered out. (Photo by Tony Fischer/Flickr)

Occupy Wall Street protesters take on fracking in 2011. Both revolutions have pretty much sputtered out. (Photo by Tony Fischer/Flickr)

Rational observers have told us from the beginning, on this and many other venues, that the so-called revolution of American energy based on fracking was bogus. If you chose instead to believe the fevered pitches of the corporate con men — we have a hundred years supply of gas, no two hundred, we’re moving “toward” energy independence, we’re going to surpass Saudi Arabia, all that crap — then consider the developments reported in the past ten days or so: Continue reading

Winning the Race to the Bottom of the Well

After the well goes dry, there’s nothing much to do but talk about how much you miss the water.....(Photo by TREEAID/Flickr)

After the well goes dry, there’s nothing much to do but talk about how much you miss the water…..(Photo by TREEAID/Flickr)

When the New York Times, the US Geological Survey and the United Nations declare a crisis in the same week — the same crisis — it just might be that we have a problem. The one that the newspaper, the agency and the international organization were all worried about last week: the world is running out of water. It’s a situation that resembles the impending shortages of oil — as the supplies dwindle, the pumps run faster. Continue reading

Europe Proves Again: Industrial Is not Renewable

Solar farms like this one metastasized across Spain for ten years, proving yet again that is it’s industrial (and heavily subsidized), it’s not sustainable. (Photo by Michael Mees --  mcmees24/flickr)

Solar farms like this one metastasized across Spain for ten years, proving yet again that if it’s industrial (and heavily subsidized), it’s not sustainable. (Photo by Michael Mees — mcmees24/flickr)

Two of the favorite pipedreams of environmental industrialists and industrialist environmentalists — known here as oxymorons — are on display in Europe this week as what they really are: pipe bombs. The European Union’s embrace of the financial shell game called “Cap and Trade” — promoted as a way to reduce carbon pollution without anyone spending, or doing, anything but make more money — is being declared a bust. And Spain’s embrace of industrial renewable energy has blown up right in their loving arms. Continue reading

It’s Official: Most Supermarket Meat a Biohazard

STAND BACK! DON PROTECTIVE CLOTHING! BIOHAZARD! INCINERATE AT ONCE! (Photo by Stuart Webster/Flickr)

STAND BACK! DON PROTECTIVE CLOTHING! BIOHAZARD! INCINERATE AT ONCE! (Photo by Stuart Webster/Flickr)

As I have written here a time or two [Meat Industry: Have MRSA on Us; USDA Gets Bad News on Superbugs: Shoots Messenger; and most recently, Microbes Winning War on Terra] the meat industry has for years, as a matter of course, been selling tainted meat. In the face of widespread coverage in the media (I’m kidding!) the industry has doubled down, and the situation is now much worse (I’m not kidding!). It may now fairly be said not only that most meat offered for sale in American supermarkets is contaminated with infectious bacteria, but that most is infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Continue reading

Brace for Impact Featured in Major e-Magazine

Front cover only jpeg[The following article, a condensation and adaptation of the arguments presented in my book Brace for Impact: Surviving the Crash of the Industrial Age, appears as the lead article in the May issue of the emagazine livebetter , published by the Center for a Better Life. Click on the above link to read their presentation, or read it here. ]

What if it were too late to save the world?

What if rising threats to the natural support systems on which all our lives depend, posed by our industrial way of life, have already done so much damage that collapse of the global industrial economy is inevitable? Continue reading

Texas Bomb Ignored by Media, Perp Honored by Victims

CNN is not broadcasting live from this, the site of the bombing of West, Texas and the terror that ensued.  (Photo by The Bay Area’s News Station/Flickr)

CNN is not broadcasting live from this, the site of the bombing of West, Texas and the terror that ensued. (Photo by The Bay Area’s News Station/Flickr)

The explosion that leveled much of the little Texas town of West occurred one day after the Boston Marathon bombing. It killed 15 people, five times the number of dead in Boston. It left a crater 90 feet across and ten feet deep, while the Boston bombs left some black marks on the sidewalk (along with a lot of blood — this is not to minimize Boston, but to put Texas in perspective). It destroyed an apartment building, a school and dozens of homes, while in Boston no buildings were damaged. And surely, in a system that recognizes negligent homicide and reckless disregard as crimes, the Texas bombing was just as criminal an act as the Boston one.  Yet it has vanished from the media and the perpetrator is being called a nice guy — by the victims. Continue reading