Peak oil - The end of america as we know it?

I have only recently stumbled across SEB, but the vast majority of what I have read here leads me to believe that there are some bright, thoughtful, reasonable people about.

I recently stumbled across a documentary called The End of Suburbia. Although I thought the beginning and end were a bit silly, the core message throughout it is that we are all going to be quite screwed here in the very near future due to sever lack of natural gas and oil and no longer having the infrastructure as a country to support ourselves. I would like to think that it is tinfoil hat material, but my gut reaction was that the statements made are truth and I have just never added the the facts up…

Digging about on the net for information on ‘peak oil’, ‘end of suburbia’, and other things noted in the documentary, I am fairly convinced that we are in fact going to be up the creek without a paddle here sooner rather than later… and our government and media both seem to be purposefully ignoring this.

Anywise, I only figured I would submit this to see if any among you have read much on this or have any insights into this situation. With almost everything in our current living styles being heavily reliant on oil, it looks like anyone who is not filthy rich is destined to be dirt poor and fighting just to get food in the not to distant future.

Am I missing something? Or just gullible? I would like the latter to be proven… but am thinking this is not the case. The more I search the net, the more information I find supporting peak oil in the very near future.
(hopefully I am going about submitting this correctly)

77 thoughts on “Peak oil - The end of america as we know it?

  1. If I may interject here, Nunya wrote…

    That is fine as far as power plants and the electric grid is concerned however has little to do with anything else, somehow I dont see us all driving around in Nuclear powered cars.

    Perhaps not nuclear powered cars, but consider what Daryl said about hydrogen being a means of moving energy from point A to point B: You’d still use the nuclear plants to make the hydrogen fuel cells.

    As for the whole debate over free market/price gouging, I’m torn on the issue. The debate here has given me plenty to think about, but I’ve reached no conclusions yet.

  2. can be easily and cheaply converted to Biomass fuels which are renewable, cleaner,

    As I stated above, projections are that to fulfill the need of the world, biofuels would have to be grown practically everywhere. And I mean to the exclusion of food. Or forests.

    Sadly I threw away the issue of Newsweek (2 weeks ago?) which contained some more specific numbers.

  3. Ingolfson, thank you for saying that. I read the comment about biofuels, and had just kinda given up on a reply. Without even knowing the numbers, it’s obvious to me that if we’re already damaging the environment and people are starving WITH plenty of petroleum, that damage will be a thousand times worse, and more people will starve, when we try to replace oil with some sort of energy crop.

    There’s something else I’ve believed for a long time, and which never, never, never gets said in any discussion of energy shortage …

    In once sense, THERE IS NO ENERGY SHORTAGE.

    What there is, is a surplusage of humans.

    Everytime I “conserve” water, or whatever, I’m reminded that the reason I’m conserving, when I didn’t before, is so more and more and more people can move in on what was formerly an adequate supply of water (for instance) and make it an inadequate supply.

    If there were one billion people on this planet, for instance, the petroleum would last six times as long. With a well-thought-out plan for population control established back when the idea of overpopulation was first advanced, peak oil might be 50 years away, or 150.

    The point of any serious consideration of population control is the question “Does Family A have full and unhindered right to intentionally bring new children into a neighborhood where the existing children of Family X, Y and Z – every neighbor – will suffer a loss because of it?

  4. Hank, in the “supply & demand” equation, neither variable is fixed.  If energy supply is short, and demand goes up, you’ll see other sources of energy popping up everywhere until the total energy consumption comes from many different sources.  Same with food – if it starts to get scarce, underutilized high-rises will start devoting some floors to aquaculture. This is a VGT (Very Good Thing).

    Lots of arguments I see against various energy sources amount to; “If all our energy came from that source, ‘X’ would happen.”  It’s a false argument because no one source will own the market.

    One thought that came to me last night as I continue reading the SciAm “Crossroads” issue is that many critics of solar power deride its efficiency (currently about 20 percent).  But it turns out coal-burning power plants are about the same efficiency, and then more power is lost in delivery.  Solar power is typically collected where it will be used.  So the criticism is based on if you used a new source with an old distribution model.

    Out West there’s a saying: “Water flows uphill to money.”  As well it should, but the market is distorted by ludicrous subsidies.  We should not be growing cotton in desert lands.  Cut out the cotton fields (and other water-intensive agriculture) and there’s plenty of water for people to live.  We can grow cotton in Alabama.

    Be of good cheer, friend.  Not that we won’t be cleaning brown stuff off the fan later, but it probably won’t be as bad as some predict.  grin

  5. As I stated above, projections are that to fulfill the need of the world, biofuels would have to be grown practically everywhere. And I mean to the exclusion of food. Or forests.

    That is nonsense, number #1 is that BOTH food waste and forest waste ARE Biomass fuel.

    http://www.nrel.gov/clean_energy/bioenergy.html

    Here is a “Fibrowatt” plant that is powered by TURKEYSHIT! something this country produces mass tonnage of every single day as waste product and can be used for electric power.
    USA produces approx. 30 Million tons of poultry shit every year and growing.

    http://www.fibrowattusa.com/US-Corporate/OurTechnologyUS.html

    US forests produce over 200 million tons a year of forest residues, in the form of thinnings, offcuts (including branches), bark and sawdust, much of it unused.

    There are millions of tons of just thrown away Alf-alfa stems produced for cattle feed can be used as a Biomass fuel.
    All the Husk, stalks, and even used ” distillers’ grains” from the massive corn industry in this country is unused.

    US Gov. actually pays farmers to grow nothing today on millions & millions of acres of land of which they usually plant grass just to keep the topsoil from blowing away.
    They could instead plant “Switchgrass” 1 acre of Switchgrass can grow the equivalent of approx. 5tons of coal per year, times that by millions of acres that are already being planted with grass anyway, nothing has changed other than the crop planted is actually USED for energy.

    Biomass is also but ONE method, combined with Co-firing, and Hybrid/Electric vehicles, and Biomass wood pellets in place of heating oil would make a huge difference, Solar heating, power from Wind, etc. 

    But no matter what within the next 100 years there isn’t going to be much debate about it as there will not be any choice.
    I assume you dont actually believe that fossil fuels are unlimited.

  6. Hank said: What there is, is a surplusage of humans.

      That is the long and short of it regarding 99% of the problems we are facing.  The bottom line regarding energy, resources, potable water, arable land, desertification, food, global warming, the Sixth Great Extinction, etc… is that it is directly related to overpopulation.  Overconsumption is merely the insult to the injury.

  7. “surplusage of humans” is technically correct, however to some degree is the same as saying Sun Burn is caused by the Sun therefore lets get rid of the sun.

    To a large degree Science & better healthcare in the past 100 years has created a population explosion that certainly does need to be dealt with along the same lines as what China has implemented, however even with such drastic measures China still has approx. a birth rate of 13 per 1000 per year with a death rate of approx. 7 per 1000 so still approx. 6 per 1000 population increase. Of course you know what the rhetoric of Far Reich religious zealots would be if we tried that.
    With any luck we will not have to rely on mass genocide & death due to war to thin numbers down, ironically the same religious zealots have no problem with that.

    Dont think we should be building any “Carousels” a la Logans Run to send the population through at age 32 either.

    So what we are left with is to try an level out Global population so that birth rates do not exceed deathrates, maybe even for a century or so try for a slight reduction.
    But even if we can pull this off it does little to realistically help matters as far as oil/energy consumption for the next 100+ years.

    We would have to do a population control method literally twice as drastic as China has tried to achieve such a goal.

  8. Hey all,

    Just when did that “Crossroads” issue of Scientific American hit the stands?  I’ve been everywhere but I can’t find it (I see the Ever-Changing Earth though).  I still have a few more newsstands to check out, but is there anyone here who doesn’t plan to keep their issue that would be willing to sell it to me?  I’d pay for postage too of course (US only—I’m not paying to have it shipped from Bulgaria!).  Contact me via email.  Thanks.

    —Joe

  9. In once sense, THERE IS NO ENERGY SHORTAGE.

    What there is, is a surplusage of humans.

    As elwed already noted, its a multi-variable problem.

    I also have a major problem with your statement concerning population growth. No western nation is growing (the US is growing through immigration only). The only areas where large population growth happens are Africa and Asia. Want us to FORCE those people into a population plan?

    That said, I have a journal article in front of me (from ‘Ca M’Interesse’, a French popular science mag, but the data is from the ‘Centre d’etudes strategiques et internationales’ – from Washington, natch!).

    Basically, according to current trends, the worlds population will level off at about 7,5 billion in 2050. In 2100, it may already have dropped back to 5,5 Billion. If the trends hold longer (a pretty unsure proposition for such a long-term forecast, I’ll admit), by 2300, the Earth might by back on 2,5 Billion folks.

    The item also has another couple of interesting tidbits: in 2050, (sub)saharan Africa and Pakistan/Afghanistan are likely to be the ONLY areas of the world likely to still have more than 2 children per woman. China indeed faces a population drop of European (or even worse) style (probably because of the one-child policy and the favorization of male children in the resulting selection process): after 2050, they may lose up to 25% of their population per generation.

    As for Nunyabiz:

    That is nonsense, number #1 is that BOTH food waste and forest waste ARE Biomass fuel.

    Again, we have a definition problem. Chickenshit may produce electricity. But biofuels that can be used as a petro-substitute in cars are NOT that simple to manufacture, except from ‘high-energy’, ‘quality’ agricultural sources (at least all I’ve browsed so far makes me think so).

    In other words: you may pull quite a bit of power out of currently wasted ressources if you build enough of those biomass-electricity plants (though there’s likely to be an immense need for investment, and a diminishing returns problem as well, because such an effort would have to be decentralized).

    As it is, only subsidies make biomass plants rentable, as far as I know. This may well change, I’ll give you that.

    As it is, I’m hoping that public transport gets a big boost out of this all. For purely selfish reasons though: it would give this traffic planner here a lot of work wink

    One thought that came to me last night as I continue reading the SciAm “Crossroads

  10. Ingolfson, you are quite right about the baked-silicon solar cells.  They take a buttload of energy to produce.  I’m not too concerned about it, though.  A lot of progress on that score is already underway, mostly in the private sector with companies like NanoSolar (which is exactly what it sounds like.)  First company to roll out dirt-cheap polymer solar-cells at 15% efficiency is an instant Microsoft, and then some.  (Wish I knew which company that would be!)

    I wouldn’t go to eBay for the September SciAm issue – it should hit the stands in a week or so.  (Gosh after this buildup I hope you don’t all think it sucks!  But I was encouraged to read something that recognized problems but also laid out constructive and realistic solutions for a change.)

  11. Think about some of the most successful government initiatives in the past 20 or 30 years.  Deregulation of the airline industry has lowered fares by over 80% at the same time flying got much safer.  Dismantling the government-imposed monopoly on long distance phone service has made it essentially free.  Auctioning of airwaves on the free market led to widespread, cheap availability of mobile phone service.

    In each case, government withdrawal from the marketplace was immediately met with lower prices, better service, and more consumer choice.  Yet socialists like Religion still claim our free market economy is being “manipulated from within

  12. Free Market is all well and good, but I for one am not thinking that starving people just so the insanely rich can get a little richer is what a free market was meant to entail. Stealing money from the people to give to huge companies so that their profit margins are higher does not sound much like a free market…but then again, I am not an economics major so what could I possibly know?

    There’s so much insanity in your foregoing post that I could spend all day giving you a proper fisking, but the level of insanity is so high that I am convinced it would be wasted effort.

    Your thesis is that masses of Americans are dropping dead of starvation in the streets? Really?

  13. There is a reason we pay 50-60% of everything we make to the government (directly or indirectly) these days when in the not too distant past the total of all taxes per person was 5%. I can guarantee you that this is not because the government is serving us properly.

    What distant past? The Wild West frontier? Even there, they probably paid taxes, though likely not compunded monthly.

    Heck, even Middle Ages peasants paid a lot more (church tithes alone were usually 10% to start with). So from taxes alone, you cannot make the argument that the US is a oppressive state. Yes, the tax load is unfairly distributed, and wages are low for a great part of the people. But as far as I know, your taxes are not THAT different from those here in Europe.

    Basically, I disagree with your ‘Its all going to HELL!!!’-opinion. Both the free market and democracy had its times when it was more, and its times when it was less fair and equal. Now may be one of those ‘less’ times. But no matter how much fun it is making fun of’King Goerge’, I haven’t given up faith yet that this can be turned around again.

    Capitalism has been tamed before, democratic institutions have been returned to less corrupt levels before. All this goes for the US as well as other countries.

  14. Hi gang, just letting you know I finally found my own copy at a newsstand.  They had quite a few.  You might even say they had a “surplusage” …

    (just teasing, Hank)  wink

    —Joe

  15. http://www.guardian.co.uk/oil/story/0,11319,821349,00.html

    Well here are cars running on ChickenFat.

    The Grease car.

    http://www.greasecar.com/

    anyway, there are more viable fuel sources than Fossil fuels.

    Once Hybrid Vehicles really take off in popularity and the majority of cars on the road are getting 45-60+ MPG of either Biodiesel or ethanol or mixes then demand for Biofuels will never reach that of fossil fuels anyway. Unless people start driving 2-3X as many miles or 2-3X more cars hit the road.

    Apparently “Pete Wyckoff” needs to get more up to date on Ethanol. Im thinking what he wrote for Sun-Tribune in Minn. was most likely not research of his own but parroting what he read a couple of years or more ago, which is pretty disgraceful for a Environmental Scientist living in a state that I think pretty much leads the country in Biomass technology.
    the numbers are completely different now that gas is $2.50+ a Gal as opposed to $1.50 or less.
    Not to mention new methods of extracting ethanol from Biomass has lowered the cost of the Enzymes by about 30X.
    http://www.novozymes.com/cgi-bin/bvisapi.dll/press/press.jsp?id=33504&lang=en

    http://www.wired.com/news/planet/0,2782,67691,00.html

    Current cost of E85 Ethanol is about $1.83 gal or less $1.69 in some places and dropping.
    Biodiesel is about $2.20 and dropping, or FREE + cost of filters, if you just get used oil from restaurants.
    http://www.verasun.com/releases_5_6_05.htm

    Large & small farms alike need to start producing their own energy, be it Methane, Biodiesel, Ethanol, Wind, Solar, etc.

    Also now they can extract BOTH Biodiesel and Ethanol from the same batch of corn doubling the value, then turn around and sell the distillers grain for feed leaving zero waste product.

    Gas is about $2.50+ and rising.

    Then we have the real hidden cost of Oil dependence on this country.
    http://www.iags.org/n1030034.htm

    Everyone can rag on Biomass fuels all they like but in reality it is by far the best alternative and should have already been implemented 30+ years ago.

    King George the W is purposely raising the cost of Gas no doubt being paid several hundred Million from the oil industry, going into the Bush Crime Family coffers.

    Dubya has through most all of his stolen terms in office Bought up on average 100,000 barrels of oil per day at high prices to store in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to keep the demand falsely inflated, then his cronies in the now only 5 Big Corps have bought out, or put out of business all the small refineries through nefarious means so that these 5 companies have total control over oil/gas production.

    What this has given them is basically a monopoly and they are playing it by buying millions of barrels of oil and stockpiling it when it was less than $40 a barrel, then trickle it through THEIR refineries now that it is $60+ a barrel for huge profits, then of course their good buddy Dubya has relaxed or completely killed all Environmental laws that took some 40+ years for environmentalist to fight into place, he rubber-stamped out of existence almost overnight under this Theopublican one party rule.
    This gave them another few % profit, then Dubya just got through handing them what, some 14 Billion tax payer dollars just a few weeks ago?

    Sadly enough this satire at the Onion is probably close to the truth in the world of King George.
    http://www.theonion.com/news/index.php?issue=4132

    Peak Oil is basically here, so we had better start investing into some other forms of energy pretty quick.
    http://www.bluegreenearth.com/

  16. There’s so much insanity in your foregoing post that I could spend all day giving you a proper fisking, but the level of insanity is so high that I am convinced it would be wasted effort.

    Yes, there is a lot of insanity in that post. Just because something is insane does not make it false…and the argument that “it would be wasted effort” is a cop out. Perhaps you are right though, perhaps the things I am seeing are just figments of my deranged imagination. When I have a bit more time (this evening), I will dissect my above post and either call myself a quack or provide links and reference material…

    Your thesis is that masses of Americans are dropping dead of starvation in the streets? Really?

    It is not a thesis, simply conjecture on where we are headed if we allow those running this country to keep going as they are. Masses are not _yet_ starving in the streets, but a disproportionate amount of people are getting closer and closer.

    According to the US Department of Agriculture and   answers.org, 3.5% of us citizens are qualified as officially “hungry”, 11.2% are food insecure, and 12.5% live in poverty. Also, the numbers are increasing. As everything starts getting quite a bit more expensive due to rising energy costs, more and more people will be pushed into the hungry, food insecure, and poverty levels.

    What distant past? The Wild West frontier? Even there, they probably paid taxes, though likely not compunded monthly.

    Admittedly, it has been a long time since taxes in the united states were so low, but there was a time…and there is no reasonable explanation for the amount of taxes that we pay today other than corruption.
    Tax History
    Unless this site (and many others) are misinformed, we had no major taxes until after the 16th amendment was passed in 1916. That is only 90 years ago. No wonder some of the elders among us hate the tax system so much…there was a time when they did not even pay taxes.

    From the link above:
    It should be noted that the Tax Act of 1864 was challenged several times. The Supreme Court unanimously supported the tax. After the war the tax was declared unconstitutional by the same court because it represented direct taxation on the citizenry which was not allowed under the constitution.

    “The Supreme Court defines “income tax”, as an excise tax “imposed with respect to the doing of business in corporate form”.

    To understand a law, one must use the definitions at the time it was written. One cannot simply change the meaning of a word to change our constitution.

    Heck, even Middle Ages peasants paid a lot more (church tithes alone were usually 10% to start with).

    That is part of the point, americans _are_ peasants of the us nobility. I did not realize that we had become a monarchy…

  17. And just for illustrative purposes on the state of our government…

    US Population (from CIA World Fact Book): 295 million people.

    Taxes “lost” by the department of defense: ( [url=http://gnn.tv/forum/thread.php?id=5483] GNN ) 1 trillion dollars.

    Most people (including me) cannot even truly grasp what 1 trillon dollars is. For some perspective:

    US People:  ~295,000,000
    Lost by DoD: ~1,000,000,000,000

    So, from each person in the usa: ~$4,000

    Median household income for 2003 (US Census): $43,300

    At ~109,300,000 households in the us, median income per person is ~12,000 per year. subtract all taxes currently taken and you are left with around $6000 per person (average) before expenses such as food, shelter, warmth, etc (per year).

    Note that this is on average. The more people that make more than 6000-7000 takehome, the more people that must make less. Our president declared about 378,000 last year (family of two, so about 190,000 each)…meaning 378 people must make $1000 less than average (or 90 people must make $4000 less than average.

    Accountability? None. Meh, it is only a few thousand from each person in the united states.

    Current national debt?
    CBS: $7,782,816,546,352 to be increased by 368,000,000,000 this year and 1,350,000,000,000 over the next 10 years.

    So about $26,000 per person in the us (every man, woman, and child), to increase by around another $4000 or so per person over the next 10 years.

    There _are_ a lot of poor in this country and our government _is_ taking the vast majority of what little we have and either giving it to corporations, giving it to other countries, or “losing” it.

    If we do not keep good books, the government can come take everything we have and stick us in jail.

    If they do not keep good books, well who cares? Once we can no longer pay we can just go to jail.

    What does this have to do with oil? It illustrates just how wrong things are and how unlikely anything is do be done about energy unless things are changed drastically.

  18. As promised, a dissection of my previous “insane” post.

    I would have responded quite a bit sooner, but have been spending a great deal of time reading up on “manipulation from within

  19. Anywise, just figured I would post a bit of (possibly wrong) information to show just how insane I am since I noted that I would above.

    Mission accomplished!

  20. Mission accomplished!

    Spoken like a true product of our education system.

    The references above are not singular references that took hours to dig up. Many are not even the original ones that I came across looking for information.

    While I fully understand that one cannot take random posts across the net at face value, one also cannot take what the public school system or mainstream media states at face value.

    Anywise, your argument is typical of one who has no argument and I do not have the excess free time to go digging up extra data for someone that obviously did not bother to look at or could not comprehend that which I spent a good deal of time gathering already.

  21. Religion, you are certainly right about the weaving together of gov’t and big business.  But the other side of the coin is the tremendous economic successes that have come from those partnerships.  I must admit I’m torn here – I have a love/hate relationship with both gov’t and big business.

    In a country with ~=300m people, we need both, but we also need to get better at managing both.  Without overcontrolling.  But with lots of freedom for innovation. 

    I’s a real head scratcher, I’ll admit.

    On the homeless, there are some people who are homeless due to inflexible, idiotic beaurocracies and businesses, prejudice, etc.  Many others are homeless because of (as Ronald Reagan said) “their own dismaying choice to remain homeless.”  Keep in mind people who own apartments and have jobs to fill deserve some choice in who they rent to or hire.

    This stands by itself…if your cost of living increases drastically, you plummet towards poverty.

    Oil prices do affect the poverty line, but after some displacement I think our country will simply adapt.  Who knows – people could start riding busses.  Zoning boards could start allowing corner stores.  Companies like CostCo could invent new kinds of corner stores that combine small-store locality with big-store high-tech efficiency.  (In fact, I think Walgreens is trying to fill that niche but it could be done better)

    I would define poverty as lack of access to opportunity.  If someone can find a way to cost-effectively provide education, medical care, and transportation to poor people and make a profit, they’ll get rich.  But deciding what’s cost-effective will take a long view.  Too often we take the short view.

    An admission of my own idiocy over the last decade. At least I am partially awake and removed from my apathy now.

    I bet you’re not alone, that this is a growing phenomenon.  I’ve always been kind of a politics junkie but now that my kids are grown I have more time to devote to figuring things out and trying to lift up public dialog.  The most optimistic thought in my head right now is that people are waking up.

  22. In a country with ~=300m people, we need both, but we also need to get better at managing both.  Without overcontrolling.  But with lots of freedom for innovation.

    I agree completely. One of the problems I am seeing is that we, as a people, have slowly let the federal government become too large and allowed it to intrude into areas that it has no right to meddle in under our own laws. In doing this, we have began simply accepting what we are told by them without verifying facts for ourselves.

    The federal government is supposed to be there to take care of federal issues (defense, regulation of foreign trade, etc), not to intrude on all facets of our personal lives (sexual preference, religion, income, speech, expression, etc).

    I think there is a good answer to at least regain some measure of control over the government…but it sounds ludicrous on its face as we are taught exactly the opposite: Stop paying federal taxes. They are optional.

    See? Take a look at your reaction to that statement. Mine was one of disbelief, wanting to dismiss those stating such as quacks. If you can make time, take a look at 861 video and givemeliberty.org.

    Their main message is that the federal government is commiting fraud and that to prove it you should reference the United States Tax Code, the Constitution of the United States, and Supreme Court decisions on whether the 13th amendment gave the federal government any new taxation powers.

    I went and dug through the code for myself (No bookstore in my area has a copy and the local library is not open late enough for me to get there…but it available online at gpoaccess.gove)

    They are correct. Look at the what givemeliberty.org is doing and read over the documents from them and their responses from the government. Any intelligent person would assume that the complete refusal by all branches of government to respond over the last three years means that the government knows this to be true.

    It is simply “insane”…but true. Read the code yourself. Givemeliberty.org is not selling anything (well, they will send you a cd of the video for $1.00, but I cannot see that as a big money making scheme…)

    Stop paying them excessive money and they must stop growing excessively. They already make plenty of money from other avenues to do their intended role properly.

    Yes, things would be a bit crazy for a while, but moving power back to a more local level would be a very good thing in my opinion.

    On the homeless, there are some people who are homeless due to inflexible, idiotic beaurocracies and businesses, prejudice, etc.  Many others are homeless because of (as Ronald Reagan said) “their own dismaying choice to remain homeless.

  23. Read “Crossing the Rubicon”, by Michael Ruppert. Peak Oil, 9-11 and the so-called War on Terror all come into beautiful clarity. I heard Michael Ruppert speak about 6 weeks ago in a personal local appearance. I came away with respect for his integrity and motivation. A good soul and a good friend in troubled times. Do read his book. Based on many years of astute and accurate research.

  24. Yes we are at, or will very soon be at Peak Oil.  Peak Gas will not be far down the road either.  We are screwed, we don’t have to be totally screwed, but that’s just the way people make it.  We should introduce permanent petrol rationing……20 liters a week per registered car, one car per person.  Doesn’t matter if it’s a hummer or a suzuki…..bad luck…..you don’t get more……end of story.  Force people to do away with all unessential recreational waste of fuel.  Also…..limit power consumption per household dependent upon how many people live there.  You get so many kilowatts per day…then the power is cut until the next day……..no ifs……no buts.  People will soon realise that their giant flat screen tv and the viewing habits are why the food is going off in the fridge and they have to go to bed at 9pm because there is no light.  This is the only way people will learn to conserve…..force them……..with no choice but to comply.  This would force production of energy efficient appliances….like a 40 inch lcd tv which phillips produce a few years ago that used only 60 watts of power……..compared to the averge of 250 watts.  It wasn’t a success because people don’t give a rats about power consumption……..make them care by giving them a limited amount…….enough for the essential and an amount for leisure only as long as they don’t waste it and make it stretch as far as possible.  A total ban on all stupid devices that just waste power for nothing to do what you can do with a bit of effort from your hands…….electric can openers….electric toothbrushes…..electric shavers……electric carving knives…..no standby on appliances…….you turn them off at the switch…..make it compulsory for all business to turn off all appliances in buildings at night or when unoccupied.  Sensors on street lights in side streets to shut them down when no movement detected….only light one side of side streets……all street lights out at midnight.  No tv transmission after midnight…..and get rid of most stations…..Ban air conditioning except for hospitals, age homes, and buildings where there is a real reason why they must be kept cool…….peoples comfort doesn’t count at all…..get used the heat or go live where it’s cold.  Add up all the fat we can trim and peak oil wouldn’t be such a problem, in fact it could solve our enviro probs……but….it won’t be like that as people fight and stuggle to maintain their waste lifestyles til the end.

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