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Archive for the ‘peak oil’ Category

Ten Years. Leadership. Get it Done.

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

The video above is a very effective summation of by oilman-gone-good . Using a whiteboard as a prop, he clearly communicates his rationale for investing so deeply into wind farms, and how his wind farms in Texas are prototypes for explanding wind energy collection throughout the wind corridor of the United States, one of the largest such wind resources in the world. Doing this may lessen our dependence on the importing of foreign oil by as much as 38% in the short term (potentially in under 10 years), and we can begin immediately to see results. Watch the video, he ties everything together as a formidable spoke in the nation’s energy strategy very, very well.

Where Does Our Oil Come From?

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Really interesting piece at that looks closely at where the United States imports its oil from. We are constantly told that the largest exporters of oil to the U.S. are Canada and Mexico. But, we also export refined petroleum products back to both nations, and when you net out exports Mexico falls down to the fifth largest exporter of oil to the United States, presently just ahead of Iraq.

Innovation and The Future of Peugeot

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

The vehicle above is the Peugeot RD concept created by 25 year old Carlos Arturo Torres Tovar of Colombia and chosen as the winner for the recent , which ended back on September 15th. Like other automobile companies, Peugeot hosts these contests to open wider the search for innovations, vision, and ideas for the future of its products and while the RD will probably not actually be made, some of the smart innovations that it incorporates may very well inform the Peugeots of the immediate future. Some of the innovations in the RD concept are focused on shrinking the vehicle’s footprint, like the ability to fold and being single seat 3-wheeler, as shown below in a detailed rendering:

As of late there have been several automobile concepts that take advantage of folding functionality. This is a response to the reality of space constraints of navigating urban environments and the need for a smaller parking footprint. We’ve also seen more single seat concepts, a design approach that takes up less space, less material, and subsequently less weight. In many ways, the single seat concept is one that takes the great efficiencies of a motorcycle and wraps them in the safety and convenience of an automobile, making vehicles like the RD concept above seemingly ideally suited to urban commuting and meeting the needs of a flexible city car.

An Energy Protection Force

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

I have been reading and researching more intensely about and the intricacies and intrigues of U.S. energy policy. I found an excellent resource in the comprehensive blog , as well as , and the . It was at The Oil Drum that I came across this video of Bill Moyers from June of this year. Moyers ties a few things together, and makes some assertions that are worth serious consideration:

The Lonely Road of High Gas Prices

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Our little family is definitely feeling the pinch of higher gas prices, to the tune of a couple hundred dollars a month more than we were paying about a year ago. Yet, my wife and I are ok with this and are adjusting our lifestyle and schedule to allow us to drive less. We know that these high gas prices may be what it takes to change not only the habits of Americans as individuals, but of society at large. The net of that will be a very good thing. So we are beginning to drive much less, and be much more thoughtful in our destinations. We are clearly not alone.

A Department of Transportation study (via ) has revealed that in April of this year Americans drove 1.4 billion fewer miles on highways than they did in April of 2007, a 1.8% reduction. So far for 2008 Americans have driven 20 billion fewer miles than they did in 2007. What is interesting, though, is that while those numbers may sound large they are not yet a significant percentage reduction over 2007, though the April numbers continue a six month trend in declining miles travelled. I would anticipate that miles driven will continue to decline and while 1.8% may not seem like a large decline it is my guess that this is a trend that will continue for some time to come. If the high gas prices last as long as many are saying they will, those declines in driving may become permanent lifestyle changes.

The Price of Oil

Sunday, May 25th, 2008

The price of oil from 1990-2008

The graph above and the recent editorial by intersect with some grim realities. The steadily rising price of oil has created petro-authoritarian states that no longer see the United States as a nexus of power in the world. In fact, they actively work to counter American interests globally, and do so fairly effectively right now. Huge amounts of money is flowing into states like Venezuela, Russia and Iran, and power and influence follow money. Energy and security expert testified to Congress last week and pointed out that as oil approaches $200 a barrel, OPEC will have amassed the wealth to:

“…potentially buy Bank of America in one month worth of production, Apple computers in a week and General Motors in just three days.”

Gal Luft

In his editorial, Thomas Friedman points out that the really startling issue here is that despite the confluence of so many negative catalysts around oil for our nation, and catalysts that will have long term socio-economic implications for us as individuals AND globally as a nation, we still do not have an effective energy policy in place that moves us past this desperate reliance on oil. What is it going to take?