Sunday, April 25, 2010

Peak Oil and A Crude Awakening

Staggering Fact #1: 2008 Level = World burns 30 billions barrels of oil/year.
Staggering Fact #2: The estimated reserve = 1.1-1.3 trillion barrels.
Staggering Fact #3: Estimated 40 years of oil left with what we know can be recovered with current technology.
Staggering Fact #4: The National Petroleum Council estimates 1,125 billion barrels is left, of which 374 billion barrels would be recoverable.
Staggering Fact #5: Hubbert claims we have peaked in oil in 2002, but expectations and improvements in technology should allow us to contunie to rise and not peak until 2030 and maybe even 2060.
Staggering Fact #6: CO2 injection maintains and restores reservoirs pressure, and captures CO2 emissions from power plants.
Staggering Fact #7: Today, 90% of worlds oil is under direct control of producing countries.
Staggering Fact #8: As technology increases, attainable oil will also increase, and by 2030 estimated total of 16000 billion barrels will be used from the overall 4,500-5,000 billion barrels estimated to exist.
Staggering Fact #9: "Expected spare production capacity is what drives the cycles in oil prices.
Staggering Fact #10: There exists an optimal price for oil/barrel, which is the "most sustainable," (layered in irony) is roughly $60-$70/barrel.

Debriefing Part 2

The high points as I mentioned in "Debriefing Part 1" were the field trips and the interactions our class had with the field trips. I believe learning about a Progressive Education and then directly applying it is something that opens your eyes about education and the way it can be tought given the right circumstance. Some things that I found difficult was the movies. I know its expected to do the readings and watch the videos (which i did) but they are very preachy. It's Glen Beck-esque if he were to take a Xanex and calm down for an hour at a time. I like Ed Norton, I like Brad Pitt (Fight Club is my favorite movie) but they did preach to the quire. I agree with the fact that global climate change is a serious subject, and I respect the way that you (Muldoon) did not in any way get political while explaining it. From what I've heard, the other teachers take the "preachy approach," and I would have gotten into a few teacher-pupil debates if it wasnt for your refrained approach. I enjoyed how you let us decide if the information being portrayed was serious or not. Everything we learned is relevant to the global climate change issue, and again, I respect that you let us students have an open mind and not try to sway our decisions one way or the other. DOUBLE THUMBS UP!

Debriefing Part 1

The colloquium class has once again opened my eyes to not only the global climate change problem, but to the beauties that lie not only in SW Florida, but all over the world. The interrelatedness of everything was what fascinated me most. For example, how a drought in Africa, which leads to a severe dust storm, which consequently leads to a higher ashtma rate in the Caribbean was flat-out scary. The experiences through Colloquium was key to perk interest. Ding Darling was awesome, and it was a shame the 40-year-old Croc crocked out the day after we visited. ECHO was intriguing to know that you can feed the poorest of people by educating them on how to make due with regular thrown away objects such as tires and Duck Droppings. Finally, the downtown restoration project/field trip was definitely what kept me coming back for me. To think we have the potential to reshape downtown Ft. Myers (even though it is unlikely they will chose our solar powered yacht club) was a much funner project than a term paper or lame group powerpoint that is totally irrelevant to the outside world. Overall, this class exceeded my expectations and was not just a blow off class, rather a "keep an open mind" class.

India and China Leading the Way

One important thing that I have learned about China during my time in Colloquium is that they have already surpassed the U.S. in emissions of fossil fuels. Becuase of the booming population in China, they have gone far and beyond what people expected of a Communist country, and have made it known that any future infrastructure shall be completed with low-energy, high-efficiency and low-emission in mind. India is a fascinating story as well. In roughly 40 years, India's poverty rate has dropped from 60% to around 30%. This can be linked to the industrilization of their country as well as the abundance of physical and human resources. They now have water governances to protect their citizens from extremely-polluted water. The most fascinating part of developing countries is how they become developed. In most cases, they wipe out their natural resources and use them to develop trade-agreements with other countries. While this is beneficial to them, they lack the necessary education on how to replenish the resources they destroy (such as the deforestation in poor Southern American countries) and they are sick and tired of being sick and tired, and will do anything to improve the conditions for their own sake as well as their countries sake.

Food, Inc

Meat, Chicken and Pork. Pork Chicken and Meat. Ding, Dang, Dong. I could eat one for breakfast, one for lunch and the other for dinner 365 days of the year if it was possible and healthy enough to do so. Yet the way the meat-packers go about getting this food to our stomach is anything but eco-friendly. They brutalize em, feed em pesti's, take em out back and "off with their heads." Second,Corn and Soy beans are the devil. They look sweet, but are coated with evil. Every kernal has been sprayed with god knows what, and each soy bean has had its fair share of spray; obviously unethical and unsustainable. Finally, the major food companies are a farse! Food is cheap, cheap is good, poison is bad! Petroleum-based chemicals -- those which we use with ease -- slowly but surely contaminate our food, the soil our food comes from, all the way to the water than soaks into the soil which is contaminated. It's a viscious cycle, one which is combined with the worst food-habits that are openly promoted by Big Business's in America to keep the economy (ORR!) going at a good pace, even though its scientifically proven that eating fast-food makes you fat, increases heart disease and promotes a very unhealthy diet. (So do cigarettes)

How to reduce my reliance on energy and promote conservation

Many things I do should be changed to promote conservation. There are many steps I could take to reduce my reliance on energy. Yet, it's hard to imagine any of these things because of the world we live in, per say. Some things I could do would be to buy a bike and bike anywhere that is deemed in biking distance. This would not only promote conservation but save me some $$$ in gas. I could also set my home thermostat so that it turns off during the time of day when I am not home. This would reduce the AC bill as well as save tons of energy that didn't needed to be used in the first place. On top of all this, the hardest, yet easiest, thing I could do to reduce my reliance on energy is to turn off the lights. It sounds easier than it is, but by remembering to turn off every light in the house before I leave, as well as unplug any appliances such as the Foreman and Toaster, can greatly reduce my energy output and make my home a greener home. As i look around my house, I see the porch light on, the TV screen frozen due to a pause in the DVR, the dryer still going at 12a.m. four different ceiling lights on, my bathroom light, my bedroom light, a black light, my closet light and the garage light all sitting there on for some unknown reason. The first step to reducing my reliance on energy is to recognize my problems. All of aforementioned have been turned off -- minus the blacklight, whose dim light provides a superb sleeping experience -- and I have already won the war against global climate change in my house.

David Orr > Marjory Stone Douglas

Instead of writing about MJD, I decided to write about Orr's essays in that they were far more interesting and current than MJD's articles about the everglades. The main thing I liked about Orr's articles was his take on "Biophilia." It was cool to note that I, in fact, am a Biophiliac. Orr states that what we call "modernization represented dramatic changes in how we regard the natural world and our role in it." It is suffice to say that with economics acting as the driving force of this modernization, people can easily get lost in the fact that a greener world might not be directly related to a greener wallet. The biophobiacs out there, such as Woody Allen, are free-riding there way to a two degree temperature rise, and represent the bigger problem because Biophobia, according to Orr, is the foundation for a politics of domination and exploitation. Also, I'm a big Orwell guy, and Orr recollects Orwell's words on how the placement of nature and human nature by technology and the replacement of real democracy by a technological tyranny is now looming on the horizon. Look at how Obama won the election; Facebook. Not comparing Obame to a tyrant, but the implementation of technology is becoming prevelant in politics, and it is only a matter of time until this "Biophiliac Revolution" turns into a Coup.