This is the SECOND of several efforts to profile global energy issues
and relate that to similar challenges with water, climate, and food.
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Earth Day - TODAY!
Read a tribute to Earth Day by Kathy Hutman, (ma femme)
Also attending the World Affairs Conference in Boulder, April 4-8 was Craig Newmark, founder, manager
and daily customer support specialist, of craigslist.org.
Begun in 1995, it
now has 8,000,000 users per month and 2 billion page views per month in 100 cities and 20 countries. What is it? -
"craigslist provides local community classifieds and forums - a place to find a job, housing, goods &
services, a social life, advice, and just about anything else.".
Craig's own description of his beginnings and his mission included:
It began as a community service devoted to how to sell your sofa.
It is focused on things that can actually get done.
It has a moral compass that believes that people are reasonable.
Considering "global energy" it is difficult to get a handle on how we, as part of our
day to day life, can affect the bigger picture. We need simple and direct ways to get a grip on
issues, similar to what Craig Newmark did with his "how to sell your sofa" approach.
A theme of this newsletter is to promote knowledge transactions on important issues. Please use persuasive
advocacy when you can and make daily dollar investments to promote sustainability.
Web Link - craigslist.org
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Global Energy / Resources - Oil & Water
Last week, one of the bulleted items which highlighted oil as a finite resource said,
"Consumption is at its global peak - there is no spare capacity left." To expand on this
briefly, it has been
estimated by various students of the problem that at the present rate of "upward spiraling" consumption oil
reserves will be steeply falling in 5 to 10 years. A rather jarring thought to say the least.
Better start dusting off the old bicycle.
US Department of Energy "Ask a Scientist" web page says:
A barrel of oil contains 42 gallons. After refining, it makes about 19.5 gallons (46.4%)
of gasoline in addition to numerous other products such as heating oil, plastics and on and on (there are hundreds).
Production of Oil and Gasoline
- 82,500,000 barrels of oil world wide per day* = 38,280,000 barrels gasoline of per day (46.4%)
- 38,280,000 barrels of gasoline = 1,607,760,000 gallons of gasoline per day (38.280 x 42)
Consumption of Gasoline
- 9,000,000 barrels of gasoline are used per day in US** = 378,000,000 gallons per day in U.S..
- 36,000,000 barrels of gasoline are used world wide (approximate)*** = 1,512,000,000 gallons per day.
- 94% The consumption of 1,512,000,000 GPD is 94% of production of 1,607,760,000 GPD
* In 1996 OPEC said 71.7 million barrels world wide. In 2004 US DoE projected 121 million in 2025
Data shows increases of about 1 million per day per year in recent years and expect 1.7 million per
The calculations use a 1.2 million per day per year increase from 96 to 05 = 82.5 million per day per year
** Graphs show 8.7 to 9.2 million, so I am rounding off to 9 million.
*** U.S. is consuming about 25%, so world wide is 4 x 9 = 36 million barrels
Web Link - USDE - Ask a Scientist
The best answer to not running out of gasoline - literally - is to ramp up to very serious conservation
RIGHT NOW. To invest time and/or money
in alternative energy and conservation - RIGHT NOW - see the
ACTION LIST below.
As if the oil issue isn't bad enough, prospects for its natural resources cousin, water, may be worse.
The rapid depletion of underground water resources
poses a greater threat than oil depletion. There are substitutes for oil but there are none for water.
Humans lived without oil for thousands of generations, but we can live only a matter of days without water.
There are no substitutes for water. We need vast amounts of it to produce food. The water
needed to produce the food consumed by one person in a
day is 500 times what that person drinks in a day.
No wonder that 70% of the world's fresh water is used for irrigation for food production.
River water is fully exploited world wide. Some large rivers, like the Colorado River in the U.S.
and the Yellow River in China are 100% depleted before reaching their coastal deltas.
With rivers fully exploited the world has turned to underground water in recent decades to meet
irrigation needs. These underground
aquifers are of two types, replenish-able and fossil (the greatest of the latter is the Ogallala
of the North American Great Plains). The rate of water use world wide exceeds the rate of replenishment
in the first and will soon exhaust the second.
So far no country has succeeded in stopping the fall of its water tables. Eventually this situation may result
in food shortages.
The water issue is very difficult to get a grip on for most people because
such a huge proportion of the problem belongs
to agriculture and its use of water for irrigation. Because of population growth of
70,000,000 persons per year, the world needs higher food production
and yet it also needs to dramatically reduce water consumption. This may be a less volatile issue than oil
but is a more perplexing and potentially more dangerous issue than oil.
Expanding awareness of the finite nature of our primary resources such as oil and water
has created a tidal wave of
interest, talk and embryonic advances in "sustainability".
Think about "sustainability" as the notion of an earth where perpetuity, sempiternity,
and ceaselessness prevail. (my definition)
Purchase wind credits from Renewable Choice
"Renewable Choice connects wind power producers with wind power consumers.
This is a key service to expanding the wind power market and maintaining
the explosive growth in the industry. Renewable Choice aggressively markets
wind power everywhere in the United States and Canada."
Web Link - Renewable Choice
The Land Institute
Become a supporter of The Land Institute
Your contribution supports work on perennialization of food grains. This approach
to food grains emulates the native grass prairie and thus could save enormous
quantities of both WATER and OIL (gasoline).
Web Link - About Land Institute's work
Web Link - Contribute to Land Institute
Center for Rural Affairs
Become a supporter of The Center for Rural Affairs
"The Center works to direct agricultural research and education programs to
support strong family farms, ranches, and rural communities, and a healthy environment. We're
advocating for research that enables family farmers and ranchers to substitute their own skills
and management for high-cost inputs, brings them higher on-farm profits,
and protects the environment."
Web Link - About Center for Rural Affairs
Web Link - Donate to Center for Rural Affairs
Use this reply link to send suggested actions to KF
Suggestions will be posted in the upcoming Newsletter(s).
Expand the KF News mailing list
"Send to a Friend" box at bottom of this page.
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It has been pointed out that I seem to be "advertising" the Toyota Prius. I admit it's true.
Frankly it is the only way I
know of personally to cut your gasoline consumption in half. I'll give it a rest soon.
Web Link - Toyota Prius web page
Web Site - Prius Home Page - book a test drive
Web Site - Yahoo Prius E-Mail Group
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Once in a while you run across something that is the embodiment of what you have wished you could
invent. It can be a "Eureka" moment or, if you are seriously trying to invent that something, it can
be a great let down. For me most recently it has been a Eureka! The Visual Thesaurus is a wonderful conceptual model
of what I have been dreaming KnowledgeFarm could do with associating ideas about sustainability.
Kathy (ma femme once again) actually found this gem - she is the real word person here - and passed it on to me.
It is a marvelous thing, this wonderful little wizard of a program. It displays related words in a map like
configuration that adds another dimension to understanding how things connect.
Talk about connect-the-dots,
you must see this in action.
Visual Thesaurus is created by a company called "Think Map".
The web site offers a quick and easy to use demo. And for $29 you really can't go wrong in
ordering it for your own enjoyment.
Web link - www.visualthesaurus.com