I spend a lot of time looking into the current state of peak oil, or as I like to refer to it some times “PEO”, peak economic oil, for the sake of saving confusion.
I find conversations around peak oil often become lessons on economics, energy extraction and the big one: Energy Returned On Energy Invested, which often leads to discussion of the EROEI of other energy sources or fuels. I find this is useful as it helps me, and I hope whoever hears me, think deeper about energy usage.
(Aside: Recently I gained deeper insight into an area I attempt to think about a lot, the energy/water nexus.)
I recently read this on the NYtimes Dot Earth blog: Earth Scientist Explores the Biggest Climate Threat: Fear.
I labeled it as a perspective from a western techno optimist.
I’m glad to see plenty of realists (and chicken littles too) piling on in the comments section, all the best comments have a theme; “I don’t see that much fear, I see plenty of ignorance, that, is our biggest problem.”
The Grackles and Cowbirds, Towhees, Finches, Phoebes, Starlings and Red throated blackbirds. I call their home mine. I live in their domain, the structure is mine, some of the land too, but they don’t care who thinks they own the air under their wings.
Great Tailed Grackles are large birds, loud birds, their call shrill, piercing and repeating.When a Grackle deigns to cast its gaze upon you, sharp glass yellow eyes stripping your hominid arrogance away for just a second, he is reading you.
Hopefully I can annoy a few more people by conjoining two phrases into one, obviously semantics indicate grand conspiracy. John Spitler asks what happened to global warming? Here’s what; decades of scientific study which I’m sure are wholly rebutted in the books he referenced.
Claiming that climate science is often based on a short window of time is one among a few credible misunderstandings and most not so credible arguments, counter to the scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change which can be reviewed at skepticalscience.com.
I urge perusal of that site and by all means checking against Brian Sussman’s claims.
11,300 years, is that a long enough window ? in the long posit, rebuttal cycle of the evidence based scientific method, Scott Marcott of Oregon State U. has done some interesting work recently showing global temperatures peaking 9,500 years ago and the earth then cooling 0.7 degrees. Taking “8000 years to go from warm to cold” and then in the last 150 years gaining back that 0.7 degrees.
Brian and John think this is clearly an indication of some sort of green (or red?) global power grab aimed at American freedoms. Wake up. There are myriad (self inflicted) problems which are a threat to our current way of life, they are not conspiracies, they have no face or tribe to be demonized, stop looking for one.
We’re going to have to get to grips with living with more people and less of everything else in more extreme conditions. A painful truth, not a very comforting fairy tale in which blame can be placed.
The hullabaloo over a (finally !) leaked DOJ white paper, describing an OLC memo, which mangles language to justify usurping judicial principles in favor of swift death from above for our enemies, is palpable at the moment. I am relatively isolated from it as I don’t watch cable news, but I am none the less eyeballs deep in knowledgeable opinion about it online.
But good enough is the friend of disaster, enemy of justice and the executioner of real change.
A good friend of mine once leveled that phrase at me and I thank him for it. Here I hope to adhere to it exactly; thinking deeply about environmental struggles and how we choose to react to them. Whether to simply count carbon reductions (which globally are insignificant year to year in an upward trend) or to see the big picture.
Coal to Gas
This all started with some hoopla over the US showing a positive trend in coal to natural gas switching which was equated by a few folks as at least partly responsible for a reduction in US CO2 emissions over roughly the same period. (7.7% down 2006-2009)
I’m not going to disagree with that really. Except that ..