Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got 'til it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
--Big Yellow Taxi, Counting Crows

“A planet doesn’t explode of itself,” said drily

The Martian astronomer, gazing off into the air--

“That they were able to do it is proof that highly

Intelligent beings must have been living there.”

, John Hall Wheelock

I had to smile ruefully coming across a stack of bookmarks this weekend for a new book of essays by local authors celebrating the Gulf Coast -- "UnspOILed". A day late and a dollar short.

report issued in April by United States Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) uses the idea of "peak oil"as a basis for strategic planning (The Joint Operating Environment 2010). The report states that diminishing returns from established oilfields will necessitate of drilling new ones offshore, like the Deepwater Horizon.

Still, that would leave the U.S. behind the power curve in terms of new energy development and in competition for dwindling supply with emerging nations. The vast undersea reserves sound impressive until put into perspective with consumption rates.

From today's Daily Finance
The World Can't Live Without Deepwater Oil
) The Tiber reserve [into which the Deepwater Horizon well tapped] "is expected to produce in its lifetime some 3 billion barrels of oil. Sounds impressive, but it's less than six months of current U.S. consumption."

That article also reports that "the majority of new production is assumed to come from the development of existing reserves, such as the offshore and deepwater deposits in the Gulf of Mexico, which currently yield 30% of America's oil production. Deepwater wells like the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon made up 15% of total U.S. production in 2002 and
are expected to rise to 30% of total production by 2015."

I have a friend doing post-doctoral work developing alternative materials for solar cells. The work is very promising and could see widespread applications; however, he said he will have to work in Europe as there is no market for this kind of R & D in the states.

Perhaps the next book by the coast advocates will be called, "SpOiled".

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


There might be people along this road that pay/do research. He might try contacting one/more of them.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 9:45:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Thanks -- what a great idea!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 6:16:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous RangerHazen said...

A couple of small things Lisa...

One. Joni Mitchell did the original version of "Big Yellow Taxi" and it's much better than the cover by Counting Crows. note that it's also over 35 years since her version came out. I say this to remind the dear readers that this issue has been around for along time and yet things continue to get worse.

Two. The dear readers might owe it to themselves to watch "Collapse."
Now I am not one for conspiracy theorists but Mike Ruppert makes a very compelling case about how dangerously dependent we are on oil and it's an outstanding bit of film making. It keeps me up at night when I think about it.
I have to ask myself the same question over and over...Am I willing to continue to consume petroleum products knowing that I am complicit in the largest environmental disaster in US History?

Cause and Effect? you bet your ass!

Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 2:39:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Point well-taken. Nothing new here in that we've been polluting for some time. The scope and immediacy of our plunderings just grow larger, and our ability to record it grows better.

Your perspective is right: It comes down to me, and a billion other me's. What will we choose; what is an acceptable trade-off? What can we live without? Probably a whole lot. I live fairly light on the planet -- that's my choice.

Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 10:16:00 AM GMT-5  

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