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Peak Oil Matters

A fresh perspective on the concept of peak oil and the challenges we face

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Archive for May, 2014

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The roster of Fellows at the Post Carbon Institute hardly strikes any reasonable person as a collection of bug-eyed extremists out to strike fear into the hearts of mere mortals everywhere. Disagree if one must with the conclusions they draw, but this think tank has shared with the continue reading…

Kurt Cobb, a colleague of mine, who maintains the excellent Resource Insights blog—among other peak oil and environmental/energy-related endeavors—alerted me to a terrific new film: “Passive House Revolution.”

This new venture comes from the same group which created the acclaimed ‘The Power of Community‘—an uplifting story about the Cuban people as they reinvented their society after the collapse of that nation’s chief benefactor, the Soviet Union. This remarkable display of courage and innovative spirit in the face of a series of imposing challenges (not the least of which was the end of cheap, subsidized oil), is a testament to the power of hope and community.

Passive House Revolution” offers a glimpse at the possibilities and promises for the future of this planet and for our children as it chronicles a revolutionary development in the way we think about buildings and energy. The film shows us how the buildings around us—which consume half of all the energy in the United States—can be built or retrofitted to use 80 to 90 percent less energy for heating and cooling. That means their greenhouse gas emissions from heating and cooling would drop by about the 80 percent scientists say we must cut all emissions before 2050 in order to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Passive House Revolution” demonstrates that this intriguing scenario is not only possible but actually starting to unfold. Viewers will watch leading-edge architects and builders as they create the first passive house buildings in the United States. Satisfied owners describe life in homes that don’t require a conventional furnace and yet remain comfortable year round even in cold climates.

It was a fascinating, well-crafted look at an important contribution to our energy and environmental future, and I highly recommend it.

For more information and to purchase a DVD, visit www.passivehouserevolution.org. Those wishing to show the film publicly can do so for a modest screening fee.

Enjoy!

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This is the third and final look at another great effort by Dr. Samuel Alexander * in his working paper entitled A Critique of Techno-Optimism: Efficiency without Sufficiency is Lost, examining the longstanding belief that no matter what society’s problems in an endless quest for more and better, technology will provide and resolve in due course. continue reading…

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This is the second part of an examination of the outstanding working paper entitled A Critique of Techno-Optimism: Efficiency without Sufficiency is Lost by Dr. Samuel Alexander * in which he examines the longstanding belief that no matter what society’s problems in an endless quest for more and better, technology will provide and resolve in due course. continue reading…

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Earlier this year, another in a growing list of consistently well-researched and well-considered efforts by Dr. Samuel Alexander * made its way from Australia. continue reading…

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‘The multiple forecasts of regional and global peaks that have been made since the 1950s have frequently proved premature. More optimistic forecasts have often proved equally incorrect, but it takes longer for their errors to become evident.’ continue reading…

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In the end, does the choice of words really matter?

He [Total CEO Christophe de Margerie] also cautioned against oil and gas industry pronouncements about abundant energy  continue reading…

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‘The way to fix the problem is not to turn the volume up on the evidence.… continue reading…

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In order to break the addiction to oil, economies dependent on oil will need to invest huge amounts of money and energy in building new social and economic infrastructures that are not so heavily dependent on oil (e.g. efficient public transport systems to continue reading…

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[The] increased oil expenditure is drawing money away from the rest of the economy. Overall, were it not for the price increase [from the historical average of $25.00 per barrel], the US would have an extra $1.5 billion per day to spend in the broader economy, continue reading…