Kunstler on Energy – Today’s Quote

The economy we’re moving into will have to be one of real work, producing real things of value, at a scale consistent with energy resource reality.

James Howard Kunstler

 

Gates on Energy Strategy – Today’s Quote

The American people are going to pay a terrible price for not having had an energy strategy.

Former Secretary of Defense & Director of Central Intelligence Robert Gates

The Drums of War, Israel, Iran and the Logistics of Oil

The Drums of War…the most strategic piece of oil real estate in the world is being threatened and our leaders believe that Iran has the capability to block the strait of Hormuz.  I believe it’s just a matter of time before the Judeo-Persian War.  Iranian leaders have stated that they will wipe Israel from the face of the map, Israeli leaders have said they won’t tolerate a nuclear Iran…at this point it’s just a question of who will strike first.

If you’re an Ian Fleming fan read a little about the what’s been happening to Iran’s dwindling pool of nuclear scientists in recent years…the spymaster himself couldn’t have come up with more interesting plot devices including limpet mine attacks on cars…hmm, wonder who’s behind that? (more…)

DOD’s Warning About our Energy Future and Peak Oil

Andrew’s Note: Today we continue running a section discussing Oil from the Energy Section (Part II, Trends Influencing World Security) of the Joint Operating Environment (JOE) 2010. The JOE is the Department of Defense’s keystone document used to project the world in which it will operate up to 25 years into the future.  As I mentioned yesterday, it’s a sobering read for the prepper and likely to turn the non-prepper into one.  Read on to learn what the Department of Defense thinks about Peak Oil and our energy future:

Energy

To meet even the conservative growth rates posited in the economics section [of the JOE], global energy production would need to rise by 1.3% per year. By the 2030s, demand is estimated to be nearly 50% greater than today. To meet that demand, even assuming more effective conservation measures, the world would need to add roughly the equivalent of Saudi Arabia’s current energy production every seven years.

Absent a major increase in the relative reliance on alternative energy sources (which would require vast insertions of capital, dramatic changes in technology, and altered political attitudes toward nuclear energy), oil and coal will continue to drive the energy train. By the 2030s, oil requirements could go from 86 to 118 million barrels a day (MBD). Although the use of coal may decline in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, it will more than double in developing nations. Fossil fuels will still make up 80% of the energy mix in the 2030s, with oil and gas comprising upwards of 60%. The central problem for the coming decade will not be a lack of petroleum reserves, but rather a shortage of drilling platforms, engineers and refining capacity. Even were a concerted effort begun today to repair that shortage, it would be ten years before production could catch up with expected demand. The key determinant here would be the degree of commitment the United States and others display in addressing the dangerous vulnerabilities the growing energy crisis presents.

That production bottleneck apart, the potential sources of future energy supplies nearly all present their own difficulties and vulnerabilities. None of these provide much reason for optimism. At present, the United States possesses approximately 250 million cars, while China with its immensely larger population possesses only 40 million.

Peak Oil:Future World Oil Production from JOE 2010

As the figure at right shows, petroleum must continue to satisfy most of the demand for energy out to 2030. Assuming the most optimistic scenario for improved petroleum production through enhanced recovery means, the development of non-conventional oils (such as oil shales or tar sands) and new discoveries, petroleum production will be hard pressed to meet the expected future demand of 118 million barrels per day.  [Interesting to note that the document actually uses the term “Peak Oil”] (more…)

Hofmeister on Peak Oil – Today’s Quote

I think OPEC is about maxed out. when people talk about spare capacity in OPEC, I don’t see it. I just don’t see it coming through and I’m not sure it’s there. And it’s not just that they’re greedy, but they’re really producing what they can produce.

John Hofmeister, former President of Shell Oil, CNBC February 2012

Why Prep, Part 3 Triggers & Stressors

Note from Andrew: The complete Why Prep Series has now been consolidated HERE.

Today we present the third article in our series on why to prepare for disaster.  In the first article, ‘Why Prep, The Introduction’ we asked and answered the following question:

Question:  Why Prep…why become more self-reliant?

Answer:  Because it’s the only reasonable and logical response to an unknown future and even a cursory study of history.

In the second article, ‘Why Prep, Historical and Current Examples’ we discussed examples of places and periods where preparedness could have made the difference between survival and suffering (or worse) for you and your family.  In this third installment we’ll discuss stressors and triggers for potential The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) situations.

Today we’re going to talk about stressor events and triggers.  A stressor event is an occurrence that has the potential to change a system or society.  Stressor events happen all the time and can vary dramatically in the amount of stress or influence they place on a system.  Some examples of stressor events are election outcomes, legislation, trade wars, disease outbreaks, government spending programs, wars, acts of terror, social movements, development or loss of key infrastructure (like the internet you’re browsing), information releases (like the Watergate scandal) or changes to the physical environment (like drought or natural disasters).  From a societal standpoint, stressors often manifest themselves in multiples and if significant enough disruption occurs…they can create a situation that cascades out of control.  While it’s an overly simplified model think of these stressors from the last century:

  1. Germany loses World War I and a large percentage of its reproductive age males
  2. War damage and reparations create severe economic hardship
  3. Rise of the National Socialism in Germany bringing Adolf Hitler and his Brownshirts to power (were the Brownshirts easier to recruit due to a lack of fatherly guidance?)
  4. Election of 1933 gives Hitler enough power in the Reichstag to pass the Enabling Act and assume dictatorial powers

This example from history led to TEOTWAWKI for much of the world from the mid 1930’s to the mid 1940’s and eventually ushered in the atomic age.

(more…)

Navy’s ‘Great Green Fleet’, $26 a gallon fuel

The Navy is steaming ahead with an initiative to power ships with biofuel, despite criticism the so-called “green fuel” costs nearly seven times more than conventional fuel.

This month marks the first time the Navy is using biofuel in an operational setting — sending five ships to a multi-nation exercise off the coast of Hawaii.

… the 50-50 blend of alternative and conventional fuel is part of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus’ plan to have half the Navy fleet on alternative fuel by 2020.

The spokesman also confirmed the fuel — which does not require engine modifications — costs $26 a gallon compared to $3.60 a gallon for conventional fuel.

via Republicans critical of Navy’s ‘Great Green Fleet’, $26 a gallon fuel | Fox News.

The Department of Defense is soon going to be in full blown fiscal conservation mode and yet it’s willing to spend $26 per gallon for bunker fuel.  While I applaud the Navy’s efforts to become more (domestically) energy self-relilant…it seems to me that the ‘need to be green’ is what’s really driving this ‘ship.’  If government decisions (and yes the Department of the Navy is part of the government) were based more on energy self-reliance and less on perceived environmental issues maybe we’d be able to pipe oil in from our neighbors instead of tankering it in from the other side of the world. 

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