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Tag: strategy

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An observation worth noting … and pondering, from Tony Greenham:

In this report [“The economics of oil dependence: a glass ceiling to recovery” – link above for download] we argue that the current economic crisis is neither an oil crisis nor an energy crisis, but a crisis related to the cost and availability of transport fuels – gasoline, diesel, jet kerosene, and ship bunker fuel. These liquid fuels account for up to 80 per cent of all oil usage.
Transport fuels link all elements of the economy. If every linkage costs more due to sustained high oil prices, all costs will increase, the economy will slow, and inflation will rise.

Happy Talk about vast awash-ness of fossil fuel supplies for zillions of years to come tend to overlook pesky facts like that. Doing so makes it so much easier to avoid answering the question of “What is that’s not true?” (It’s not, by the way.)

Oil is indeed the “life blood” of our way of life. There’s an understandable urgency and psychological insistence that we are in fact amply supplied for decades and decades to come. To think that we might not be suggests a host of concerns and problems and challenges no one wants to contemplate, much less deal with.

But we are not amply supplied, if by that one understands that it’s a very different story if we discuss only potential resources underground or beneath the sea rather than the necessary and much more significant issue of actually getting it from there to here without bankrupting us all in the process.

High prices to consumers have a ceiling, and lowering prices to oil producers have a floor. Hit the ceiling and we stop spending, which brings prices down. If prices drop below the floor, the oil industry can’t produce or look for what we all need … every day, in all kinds of ways.

I understand next to nothing about economics, but I do understand that that is a problem. I also appreciate that it is a bigger problem is we just ignore it or hope for the best, rather than sit ourselves down and realize how much we depend on an undependable resource.

Before we know it, we’ll be bumping up against ceilings and dropping to floors and hitting walls, and none of those experiences will be pleasant for any of us.

Planning has merit. Planning sooner than later is even better.

~ My (wife’s) Photo: a sample of her (late) mother’s art work – 09.11.10

Next post will be on Thursday the 27th

 

I invite you to read my other blogs at richardturcotte.com

New features will debut soon at that website:

            * THE MIDDLE AGE FOLLIES

This new column began on February 3, 2014. It’s a slightly skewed look at life for those of us on the north side of 50.

            * THE TRETIAK AGENDA

A political thriller filled with unexpected plot twists and drawn from real world historical events, this eBook is now available for purchase.

TretiakAgendaEbookCoverFinal copy

You can find it here and here.

Excerpts are available at my website, at the link above.

            * LIFE WILL ANSWER

(The inspiration for the second blog at that website). This eBook is scheduled for Publication on March 5, 2014

Excerpts are being posted as of January 15th.

Looking Left and Right:
Inspiring Different Ideas,
Envisioning Better Tomorrows

Peak Oil Matters is dedicated to informing others about the significance and impact of Peak Oil—while adding observations about politics, ideology, transportation, and smart growth.

 

 

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An observation worth noting … and pondering, from Gregor Macdonald+: continue reading…

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An observation worth noting … and pondering, courtesy of Dave Cohen: continue reading…

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Oil plays an essential role in almost everything that touches our everyday lives. From the food we eat to the means by which we transport ourselves, our goods, and our services, to what we grow, build, have, own, need, and do, oil is almost always an important element. But the painful truth now and soon is that the ready supply of oil and gas that we almost always take for granted is on its way to becoming not-so-ready—recent production increases notwithstanding.

What happens when there’s not enough to meet all of our demands, to say nothing of those of every other nation—including the many countries seeking more growth and prosperity? What sacrifices will we be called upon to make? Which products will no longer be as readily available? Which services? Who decides? What will be decided? Who delivers that message to the designers and producers and shippers and end users? What’s their Plan B? And how will we respond when decisions are taken out of our hands? Where exactly will the dominoes tumble?

There is nothing on the horizon that will work as an adequate substitute for the efficiencies and low cost and ease of accessibility that oil has provided us. We simply do not have the means to make that happen—not the technological capabilities, not the personnel, not the industries, not the leadership … yet. Clearly, we do not have enough time to do it all with effortless ease and minimal disruptions.

Piecemeal approaches that address some small aspect of need for some short period of time in some limited geographical area for just a few consumers is in the end a monumental waste of limited resources, time, and effort. We can’t wait until we’re up to our eyeballs in Peak Oil’s impact to start figuring out what to do. We’re too close as it is. We’re going to have to be much better, much wiser, and much more focused. **

Here’s the latest contribution to my Peak Oil’s Impact series—observations and commentary on how Peak Oil’s influence will be felt in little, never-give-it-thought, day-to-day aspects of the conventional crude oil-based Life As We’ve Known It. Changes in all that we do, use, own, make, transport, etc., etc., are inevitable. A little food for thought….

I came across an interesting article I had saved from late 2011, discussing business strategies worth considering. The title alone: “Safeguarding Your Supply Chain Against Rising Oil Prices” suggests it would be worthwhile for corporate executives whose businesses require juggling inventory and labor costs along with issues surrounding one or more distribution center locations in their supply and distribution chain.

In an era of rising (or fluctuating) oil prices, business leaders would be wise to consider author Lorcan Sheehan’s advice:

The challenges that ensue can negatively impact your supply chain if your infrastructure is not equipped to handle quick adaptations. However, by planning ahead and reevaluating where your supply chain activities are performed, as well as your current processes, you can face these challenges head-on and lessen the impact on your operations and your bottom line.

I don’t even pretend to be an expert on business practices, but this brief read contains a range of solid advice about the need for planning in advance of escalating prices. Basic supply and demand tells us that as the demand for fossil fuels continues to grow, and the supply and/or energy efficiency of what is being supplied decreases, prices will rise. The dominoes for any one or all businesses of any size dependent at least in part on fossil fuels will then tumble quickly.

As I urge repeatedly, planning across the board is among our highest priorities, and well in advance of the more obvious and inevitable impacts Peak Oil will impose on all of us.

The scope of considerations Mr. Sheehan offers suggests that the planning and risk mitigation efforts are not something business executives can slap together in a half-day conference. Product needs; labor costs; taxes; environmental considerations; utilizing multiple routes to market; the possibility or or need to move supply chain activities; inventory maintenance; assembly locations; shipping, along with product packaging and redesign issues are all discussed in this article.

Similar considerations on both smaller and larger scales must be planned for by every business entity and government agency. Last-minute is not a strategy anyone should rely upon. Worth postponing?

~ My Photo: Good Harbor Beach, MA – 09.05.05

 Looking Left and Right:
Inspiring Different Ideas,
Envisioning Better Tomorrows

 Peak Oil Matters is dedicated to informing others about the significance and impact of Peak Oil—while adding observations about politics, ideology, transportation, and smart growth.
            – Check out my new website

** Opening paragraphs adapted from prior posts:

http://peakoilmatters.com/2010/02/15/looking-ahead-to-peak-oil-transition-part-iv/
http://peakoilmatters.com/2010/02/07/looking-ahead-to-peak-oil-transition-part-i/
http://peakoilmatters.com/2010/12/13/thoughts-on-peak-oil-planning/
http://peakoilmatters.com/2011/02/14/peak-oil-a-new-direction-pt-5/
http://peakoilmatters.com/2010/02/25/peak-oil-infrastructure-more-to-discuss-part-ii/

 

 

 

 

 

An observation worth noting … and pondering, from Neil Peirce:

Is all economic growth always a good thing? continue reading…

 

 

 

 

Oil plays an essential role in almost everything that touches our everyday lives. From the food we eat to the means by which we transport ourselves, our goods, and our services, to what we grow, build, have, own, need, and do, oil is almost always an important element. But the painful truth now and soon is that the ready supply of oil and gas that we almost always take for granted is on its way to becoming not-so-ready—recent production increases notwithstanding.

What happens when there’s not enough to meet all of our demands, to say nothing of those of every other nation—including the many countries seeking more growth and prosperity? What sacrifices will we be called upon to make? Which products will no longer be as readily available? Which services? Who decides? What will be decided? Who delivers that message to the designers and producers and shippers and end users? What’s their Plan B? And how will we respond when decisions are taken out of our hands? Where exactly will the dominoes tumble?

There is nothing on the horizon that will work as an adequate substitute for the efficiencies and low cost and ease of accessibility that oil has provided us. We simply do not have the means to make that happen—not the technological capabilities, not the personnel, not the industries, not the leadership … yet. Clearly, we do not have enough time to do it all with effortless ease and minimal disruptions.

Piecemeal approaches that address some small aspect of need for some short period of time in some limited geographical area for just a few consumers is in the end a monumental waste of limited resources, time, and effort. We can’t wait until we’re up to our eyeballs in Peak Oil’s impact to start figuring out what to do. We’re too close as it is. We’re going to have to be much better, much wiser, and much more focused. **

Here’s the latest contribution to my Peak Oil’s Impact series—observations and commentary on how Peak Oil’s influence will be felt in little, never-give-it-thought, day-to-day aspects of the conventional crude oil-based Life As We’ve Known It. Changes in all that we do, use, own, make, transport, etc., etc., are inevitable. A little food for thought….

Most companies large and small, I imagine, indulge in the long-standing tradition of the holiday party. A pleasant meal at a local restaurant, perhaps some awards or recognitions for various achievements over the past year, and general good will—and fun—are the primary motivations for events like these. My wife and I attended one for her company [local branches] and one for the office of the mutual friend responsible for introducing us to each other. My wife has also attended several other similar events on her own. I assume many of you attended similar functions.

Nearly two years ago, I wrote a post about the national sales conference. While the scale of most of these local gatherings is much smaller than the conferences which I discussed then, many of the issues and considerations are the same. While these holiday gatherings are typically much more of a social event that a combination of business and pleasure as they tend to be at the national level, there are professional benefits nonetheless.

The atmosphere affords employees at all levels to mingle with peers and management from other local offices in relaxed, congenial settings. Opportunities to address concerns either set aside or never voiced during the normal day to day bustle (for any number of reasons) frequently find a healthy forum at these events. Solidifying personal relationships no doubt make the more typical business interactions more fruitful.

So too do the upper level professionals derive benefits from meeting their local peers and exchanging ideas and information, strategies, marketing techniques, and a host of other brain-picking opportunities they rarely get a chance to experience. As is true of conferences on a grander scale, the free exchange of information plays a vital role in the successes these individuals enjoy.

Their successes provide boosts to management, staff, and the companies themselves. Better service ideas for customers exchanged at gatherings like these directly benefit their clientele. Those benefits cannot be readily quantified, but there’s little doubt that the social perks from these events are matched by the professional advantages gained by the exchange of ideas.

Will they manage to carry on without holiday gatherings? Of course! But when inevitable fossil fuel availability is more tangibly on the decline, how much longer will functions like these be budgeted for? The costs for hosting these events, along with the food, beverages and whatever entertainment might be featured will all rise as the cost and availability of supplies increase. Hard to imagine that ancillary events like holiday parties will maintain any sort of priority.

As I noted in that earlier post:

When industry after industry must deal with the elimination of these and similar business gatherings and the personal exchanges of information, a diminution of quality will creep onto the landscape. To the outsider, few tears will be shed, but when quality in all its manifestations declines, the effects are not restricted to only the industry or company in question.

The establishments hosting these functions will suffer business losses as well. The employees and suppliers will likewise be affected, as will the suppliers to the suppliers, and on and on the dominoes tumble.

As with most of the topics in this Impact series, these are not earth-shaking changes. But they will be part of the fabric of everyday lives adversely affected when the energy sources we’ve used and relied upon for decades are no longer as affordable and available. And as with every other feature of modern life dependent in some manner on the availability of affordable, quality fossil fuels, changes will either be settled upon in advance or forced upon us.

Planning ahead will help.

~ My Photo: winter day at Good Harbor Beach, MA – 01.14.11

** Opening paragraphs adapted from prior posts:

http://peakoilmatters.com/2010/02/15/looking-ahead-to-peak-oil-transition-part-iv/
http://peakoilmatters.com/2010/02/07/looking-ahead-to-peak-oil-transition-part-i/
http://peakoilmatters.com/2010/12/13/thoughts-on-peak-oil-planning/
http://peakoilmatters.com/2011/02/14/peak-oil-a-new-direction-pt-5/
http://peakoilmatters.com/2010/02/25/peak-oil-infrastructure-more-to-discuss-part-ii/

 

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The Great Debate revolves around the U.S. oil and gas industry’s new claim that we are entering a ‘new golden age of fossil fuels’ and those who counter that this will come at an increasing cost to the environment and the health of the people on this planet….

In simple terms, the warnings of ‘Peak Oil’ have been replaced by promises of abundance if petrochemical companies get digging and using new and more expensive techniques to extract oil and gas from the ground.

All of a sudden, H.K. Hubbert’s prediction and threat of Peak Oil – for America and the world – has been dumped as miners turn to tar sands and fracking to satiate our growing appetite for fossil fuels, not just in North America but in many places around the world….

The issue of fossil fuels versus a more sustainable future is an issue too big for company bosses and pliant politicians to decide.

There is a need for The Great Debate, an ongoing discussion about an issue that has the potential to bring so much change and affect us all. It should be one in which all parties are adequately informed about the issue. It should be one in which all factors are taken into account, not just profit, prices and economic growth. It should be one in which all sectors of the public have a chance to have their say. It should be one in which people from around the world get a chance to speak.

Who should join the debate? Not just the usual suspects. All stakeholders should have a place at the table. Scientists, experts, innovators, environmentalists, community leaders, anybody who feels they have something useful to contribute.

And what is the crux of the debate?

Are we looking at a ‘new golden era of fossil fuels’? Or should we be rushing to transition to cleaner energy?

An issue this important needs serious debate. An issue this important should not be left to a handful of people with the wrong motives at heart.

Right now, those pursuing the new golden age for fossil fuels are running with the ball. It is the appropriate moment to shout – ‘Time out.’ We need to rethink the rules. [1]

… we need to do more than come up with new technology to solve the problems we now face. We also need to rethink and remake our entire infrastructure, our economics, and even our culture. This isn’t just a project for a crack team of scientists. This one is going to need the help of every one of us. [2]

And some past comments from me, echoing a primary theme and purpose:

If we’re not starting to think long term about what we’ll be doing and how we’ll be doing it, the rest of our lives, our children’s lives, and our grandchildren’s as well will be a succession of mini-crises that are never solved, with an election turnover every two years that guarantees all the wrong kinds of change (stagnation is more likely). It’s hard to see how that is going to keep working well for us. Is that the best we can now hope for? Are we willing to endure that anxiety and pain rather than face the uncertainty of structuring great change? [3]

We’ve achieved many great things, and our work is not done. It’s important to understand, however, that what we will accomplish and innovate in the years to come will arise with and from different resources and under different economic conditions. The monumental transitions which will take place will better serve us all if we take part now in understanding the challenges we face, the options and alternatives available to us, and appreciate what today’s decisions mean for us all in the days to come. We’re not powerless nor are we dependent solely upon others to make those choices for us. [4]

We can attempt to be ahead of those changes by understanding and then planning as best we can, or we can instead take our chances that the changes and adaptations may not be all that bad after all. That’s a dicey approach in dealing with our—and our children’s—futures. [5]

What will our future be? What’s the Plan? The choice remains ours.

* My Photo: Long Beach sunrise, Rockport MA – 08.06.10

Sources:

[1] http://www.earthtribe.co/the-great-debate/; [re-post from Transition Voice at: http://transitionvoice.com/2012/07/starting-the-great-debate/; Starting the Great Debate by the Earth Tribe Team – 07.14.12
[2] Profit from the Peak: The End of Oil and the Greatest Investment Event of the Century; Brian Hicks and Chris Nelder; Wiley Publisher, 2008 – p. 188
[3] http://peakoilmatters.com/2011/01/24/peak-oil-a-new-direction-pt-3/; Peak Oil & A New Direction (Pt 3) – 01.24.11
[4] http://peakoilmatters.com/2011/03/31/peak-oil-a-new-direction-pt-7/; Peak Oil & A New Direction (Pt 7) – 03.31.11
[5] Ibid.

[NOTE: This series spins off from a recent series of posts in which I’ve discussed the need for all of us to move in a new direction as we anticipate the challenges to be confronted as a result of declining oil production in the years to come. The impact will be felt by all of us in one degree or another (a separate series, which began here and was re-established more recently here, addresses some of the day-to-day impacts.) It’s time to turn our attention to what the New Direction might be….]

~~~

“Clearly, we are entering into a prolonged period of profound change, an era of “unintended consequences.” The changes that are coming our way will profoundly alter not only how we live, but even how we conceive of ourselves, how we think about the world, and how we see the future. And not only will we have to learn to cope with severe disruption to our conception of ourselves and the world, but we will also need to forge a new vision of the world that we can live by. Where will that vision come from?” [1]

Well, at the risk of excessive and perhaps even off-the-chart arrogance, I’m thinking that someone has to start the broader discussion, so why not me, now? Before we can provide answers and solutions, we must first understand what is at stake and at least begin the dialogue. Since someone has to take the first step, I’m volunteering.

To that end, I thought it might make sense to provide a template for where I envision going with this discussion about Peak Oil and our future. I won’t pretend that every answer is the solution, but we have to begin somewhere….

“[I]n the tradition of Albert Einstein amongst others … it frequently is not the answer but the question that poses the deepest insight.” [2]

So here are my table-setters:

What kind of a nation do we want to be?

What do you want for yourself, now and in the days to come?

What kind of life are you looking forward to living, whether you are a recent graduate about to enter the workforce, an established professional, or are now in your later years?

What kind of community do you want to live in?

What kind of environment do you truly believe is most conducive to a life of opportunity and hoped-for prosperity?

Will you choose to fear change, or welcome it as an opportunity for you to play a greater part in using it for your own benefit as well as for others—in whatever manner offers the most meaning for you?

Do you want to feel as though you have a voice in what your life can and will be, or is being entirely at the mercy of others a better way to live?

Do you still harbor at least a bit of hope for better days to come?

What do you want for your children and grandchildren?

What answers will we provide for them in years to come when they are mired in the difficulties and challenges brought about by an ever- declining supply of fossil fuels and are wondering why we were so short-sighted and narrow-minded when we had so many opportunities to do more?

Choices….Opportunities….

I hope to provide some answers or at least some ideas for consideration, opening the door to the dialogue we must engage in soon. Others are more than welcome to join in. The lengthy, complex, and at times contentious discussions must begin.

The problems will not solve themselves. The scope and breadth of the impact which declining oil production will have on all of us necessitates that as many of us as possible become involved in whatever manner we feel most comfortable. We each have a voice and a contribution to offer. There is little doubt that achieving some semblance of national consensus on where we go, how we get there, and what we each and all must do is highly idealistic and in the moment, seemingly impossible to achieve and attain, but it is where we must eventually be.

Educating ourselves is step one, as I’ve previously noted (here).

“You’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem”
— attributed to Eldridge Cleaver, among others

“The standard response is that people are busy, and I get that. But as Isaac Chotiner persuasively argued a while back, ‘[W]hen you live in a democracy, there are very few good excuses for not having minimal knowledge about what is going on in the world….Voters can choose to be ignorant or disinterested, but that choice is fundamentally their own.’” [3]

“If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem, but the perpetual human predicament is that the answer soon poses its own problems.” (Sydney J. Harris)

It’s easy to see that both variations of the theme apply. There are no clear-cut solutions to challenges of this magnitude that will not create a not-always-beneficial domino effect across the industrial and political landscapes. But ignoring it all is no solution at all. Corny as it may be, we are the change, but spouting the slogan and doing nothing about it avails us little.

More importantly, we must move beyond just an awareness of key facts and considerations on these crucial topics and take it all one step further by understanding the philosophy behind the issues and proposals. Just as essential, we must then understand the (sound-bite free) consequences—the real ones … the ones based on facts, the ones that will affect you and your significant other and your children and your family and neighbors and community. As this series evolves, I’ll soon discuss ideas about exactly how we can become more involved and develop the skills we need to participate.

We can either choose to make our contribution—whatever it may be (no rules about that)—or we instead accept that others are going to make decisions for us—decisions they may or may not be qualified to make; decisions which they may or may not make with our best interests at heart. There’s a lot of that going around these days….

But as I have noted, that part of the process will only carry us so far if our leaders don’t meet us on that path by being honest with us, and there are too many indications that that is not the case. To that end, I then discussed in a 4-part series (first one here) the importance of sound, ethical, honest leadership … a likelihood which seems to recede from possibility a bit more each day.

The recent near-shutdown of our government highlights the intense and acrimonious partisanship which sadly dominates our public and political discourse. Can anyone confess to being happy with this? Are we—should we—be content to let the loudest (and too often, the most narrow-minded partisans) speak for us and thus dictate public policy which impacts the great majority of us far more than it does the Warren Buffetts and the Bill Gates and the Koch brothers of this world? Have we indeed become completely powerless in the face of the moneyed interests which too often and in too many ways dictate how “our” elected officials act? Is nonsense like Senator Jon Kyl’s recent, intentional lying about Planned Parenthood’s involvement in abortion practice so as to bolster (?!) his position what we must now meekly accept? Have “leaders” become that arrogant and uncaring about us? Is there any integrity left?

Isn’t there still a place for your viewpoint? Do you still want that opportunity?

Let’s give leaders our best so that their efforts merit the highest levels of respect and cooperation. While we’re at it, let’s be clearer about which values really matter the most. Can we be more inclusive than we now demonstrate? The more of us working together for the same purposes, sharing the same objectives and values, with same ends and purposes and aspirations to guide our efforts, the better off we’ll all be! Smaller groups sharing more limited and narrow-minded perspectives and values are creating only more strife. Given the challenges we’ll soon be facing, that’s not our highest and best strategy. (The more intent one is on preserving one’s perspective and viewpoint against all contrary opinions, no matter how valid they may be, the more likely that conflict is the only outcome. Is that really the best strategy?)

Are we so unwilling and insecure and frightened by what we are now dealing with that we simply cannot bring ourselves to admit that others may have better ideas and more knowledge and truth and facts? Are we instead willing to risk perpetual discord no matter what harm that causes us and others? Are we willing to decline the needed efforts and expertise of others because their personal lifestyle choices or nationalities or private religious beliefs or reasoned but contradictory political philosophies may not mesh neatly with our own? Seriously? At what point do we come to realize that narrow-minded ignorance is not the best face for us to put forth on the world stage?

What kind of a nation do we want to be?

We need a better vision to guide us. And for those looking for reasons why a smaller role for government is what’s called for, I’ll save you the time and tell you this is not the place to be. As the main theme of this series expands in the months to come, I’ll discuss in greater detail why the libertarian/conservative-inspired vision of small government is completely inappropriate a strategy to pursue in light of the challenges we face. (How a bigger role for a better government with honest leadership takes shape will determine whether this ideology is valuable and a necessary pursuit.) Let’s begin with all that needs to be done, and then decide what role the various players will be required to fulfill.

Once I resume this series*, I’ll be discussing a variety of issues pertinent to the Peak Oil challenges we’ll soon be facing. The basic premise as I move forward from that point will be a simple one: local/regional efforts, production, and governance will become critically important—both necessitating and providing opportunities for greater involvement on our parts—but federal guidelines, contribution, and vision must provide the framework for those efforts.

The policies and guidelines supporting those objectives will require a focus on such policies and principles as smart growth, more transportation options, and more research and implementation of alternative energy strategies—while educating ourselves and others of the great changes that will and must take place across all levels of industry, production, commerce, and lifestyles. To that end, there will be a great deal of discussion on greater citizen involvement, energy and industrial policies, the political/partisan elements which too often hinder and harm much more than they assist, and a more detailed role for local governments.

I hope you’ll find the offerings and discussions meaningful, if not provocative and helpful as a starting point for what we all need to do.

We’re so much better than what we’re demonstrating. We need to show it, because we are going to need to be better in the years to come.

“The point is that the way we live together now, the way we govern ourselves, the way we arrange our physical spaces and our commerce, the way we do economics and measure prosperity—all these have to be changed in creative ways if we want to achieve the goal of sustainable prosperity. All these changes require … wait for it … innovation. Innovations in the way we think, interact, and structure our lives require just as much imagination, intelligence, persistence, and funding as innovations in technology.” [4]

Crisis, or opportunity?

* I expect the next post in this series will be published on May 26. Meanwhile, enjoy the intervening posts, as part of my accompanying series about the impact of Peak Oil. I’ll continue to offer similar posts every now and then in the months to come. (I’m taking this detour because I will be away most of next week—along with my wife and others—attending and celebrating my lovely daughter’s college graduation in New Orleans.)

Sources:

[1] http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2010-11-26/evolution-transition-us; The evolution of Transition in the U.S. Published by Transition Times on Fri, 11/26/2010 [Original article: http://transition-times.com/blog/2010/11/26/the-evolution-of-transition-in-the-u-s/ by Michael Brownlee]
[2] http://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2011/4/4/mobilitys-diminishing-returns.html; Mobility’s Diminishing Returns by Charles Marohn – April 4, 2011
[3] http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2011_03/028551.php; PONDERING THE ‘HOW DUMB ARE WE?’ QUESTION by Steve Benen – March 21, 2011 [original quote, here: http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/76367/notes-the-average-voter]
[4] http://www.energybulletin.net/node/51627; Why Bill Gates is wrong by Grist – 02/17/2010