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Peak Oil

The term “Peak Oil” has been thrown around a lot. But what will it really mean for most of us when it comes? Greg Pahl explains that, and why peak oil is the most pressing global issue, in the Rutland Herald.
Renowned petroleum geologist Colin Campbell estimates that global extraction of oil will peak before 2010, probably around 2007. Geophysicist Kenneth Deffeyes says the date for maximum production will be this November. The current instability in the international oil market tends to confirm that we probably are approaching peak oil. But the exact date may be somewhat academic. This is because if the rollover point at the top of the peak does occur within the next few years, there simply isn’t enough time left to make the massive shift to the renewable energy strategies that would allow for a smooth transition from our present oil-based economy.
Greg Pahl also notes that supplies of natural gas are as unreliable and rapidly declining as oil. What’s the real situation with natural gas and liquid natural gas? Julian Darley and the Postcarbon Institute sent this update from WorldWatch this morning:
WORLD WATCH Judging by the latest trends in spot LNG trade, the Henry Hub gas price on the US Gulf Coast is increasingly setting the tone. Despite global growth in LNG, the market has been hit by shortages in recent months due to an unexpected series of problems at liquefaction trains. As a result, the US market, which has seen prices at Henry Hub almost double over the summer, has seen no gains in LNG imports. In fact, total third quarter import volumes into the US were off by more than 20% from a year earlier. The paucity of supplies into the US is a direct result of strong European demand in addition to the problems at export plants. Asian LNG markets are tight too, with both Korea and Japan increasing their imports and showing a willingness to pay above Henry Hub levels. LNG trade seems to be transmitting the market pressures in the US to gas prices around the world. Magda Jura in New York

Save Energy & Money This Winter: Seal Up Your Drafty House

Unless you’ve taken special preventative precautions, it’s likely that on cold days much of your house’s heat pours out through your (closed) windows. Most houses—especially old houses—have drafty, uninsulated windows that do little to prevent heat from dumping out into the cold night. Even if your windows aren’t drafty, the expensive heat your furnace has […] Read More..

The Limits to Growth and Greece: Systemic or Financial Collapse?

Could it be that the ongoing Greek collapse is a symptom of the more general collapse that the Limits to Growth model generates for the first two decades of the 21st century? Author Ugo Bardi (Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth is Plundering the Planet) examines the correlation between what is unfolding between Greece […] Read More..

Permaculture Q&A: Mulching Options for Your Garden

As Permaculture Month continues, we are making our expert authors available to answer your burning permaculture questions. If you have a question to submit, fill out this form. This week, Lottie from Florida asked if there are other garden mulch options that are as effective as hay. Josh Trought, one of our soil building and garden management […] Read More..

Designing Your Own Solar Cooker & Dehydrator

In today’s world, nearly everything we use, from phones and computers to cars and kitchen appliances, requires energy derived from fossil fuels. Wouldn’t it be nice to offset some of that energy use by harnessing the renewable power of the sun? Josh Trought, founder of D Acres—an educational center in New Hampshire that researches, applies, […] Read More..

Building a Sustainable Community: The D Acres Model

If you were going to create a community-based homestead or farm from scratch, where would you start? What building materials would you use? What crops would you grow and what animals would you raise? How would you develop an organizational structure and connect with your community? And, how would you make sure all of this […] Read More..
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