Travelling note

As is the case with many travelling Americans, I got my news today from USA Today before hitting the road again for a second day. Charisse Jones reports that there is an anticipated 2.2% increase in travel likely, over this weekend last year. Gas prices are set to average $2.11 across the nation (up by $0.06 from last year at this time). As a result travel is likely to be up 2.3% this summer over last year.

What I suspect this says is that the stocks of stored fuel will decline at least as fast as they did last year, but starting a little earlier. But what it also says is that the general public is not yet really aware of Peak Oil issues and so , in the short term will continue to flock to the highways and encounter the usual delays due to road construction, which have not, alas, diminished, or been affected by considerations of peak oil either. (Time lost in a 300 mile trip today, due to traffic, was well over an hour).
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The only travel for me this weekend me will be the daily 6 miles to and from the golf course.

Perhaps it's just me, but don't you find it odd that the Peak Oil bloggers are on the road, much like the uninformed masses, burning up our dwindling and finite fuel base? Shouldn't we be leading by example? Ok, ok, maybe I need to lighten up. If I was really serious I suppose I'd be riding my bike to the course.

You'll be happy to know, however, that my mode of transportation on the course is bi-pedal, with very few of the members taking carts. To me, it's a sad sign of the times that many courses in this country mandate the use of golf carts. Years from now the use of carts (including electric) may be prohibited (or prohibitively expensive).

Safe travels.

Carts are fine - electric beats burning gas hands down in so many ways. But pedaling is better for you, so you are leading by example.

I think if you can adapt so that you only use a gas or diesel powered vehicle for jogs over 100 miles, then you are definitely making a difference. For my family, the majority of consumption is within 50 miles of home, and most of that within 10 miles.

But it is definitely a bitch to carry lumber or cement or dirt for your gardens in a golf cart. And the fact that most cities outlaw their use on roads is a very starnge thing. If we went to golf cart-type vehicles for running to the grocery or the corner store, it would make a decent dent in things. Just doing the pickup and dropoff of kids in one would be a lot less gas for many of us.

Too bad we cannot use this simple little vehicle to drop gas consumption.

You may consider the following for zipping around town

Mobjectivist pulls up a 30 year old Santayana-esque "condemned to live the past" editorial from George Pazik, the editor and publisher of Fishing Facts that tells the energy story like it is, or, rather was -- but still is.

It's truly startling to understand how little really has changed.

Profgoose: You might as well ask a non-linear dynamics mathematician to join your blog as adding an economist. Both oil and the money it converts into are liquid, after all.

I heard Milton Friedman say something like, "Any economic system will work as long as everyone believes in it." It's the economist's job to engineer and maintain that belief by any means necessary, most of which do not include clarity (transparancy) or truth telling.

According to publisher George Pazik, we were being deliberately and systematically lied to at least 30 years ago. I sense that all of us, Canadians and Americans alike, share an uneasy feeling that all is not well. We suspect that we are not being told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

What Americans believe to be true, is not true and will not become true, because our beliefs hinge on a continuous pattern of lies and deceptions. Knowing that, what remains is digging for the real truth. Right now I really don't know what the truth is.

J -- Thanks for addressing Mr. Liu's "facts". I'm still studying your responses. I'm glad to see that his off-the-wall increasing asset valuation schema confused everybody else, too.


Profgoose: You might as well ask a non-linear dynamics mathematician to join your blog as adding an economist. Both oil and the money it converts into are liquid, after all.

Speaking as one of the card-carrying economists around here, and one who's married to a mathematician, I have to say that I've been called a lot worse, both directly and indirectly. (But I'm not so sure my wife will take the implied comparison as gently as I did.)

I have to ask, though, why it's OK for many people to lump all economists into one group? Didn't these people learn at an early age that whenever you group people together that casually that you wind up making some horrendously bad errors of judgment? And on top of that, that it's just plain rude to exhibit that kind of prejudice about people you don't know?

You don't see me running around online calling geologists names and saying they're stupid for not understanding how markets work, after all. (I know, you didn't say those things about economists; I'm generalizing to make a point.) Geologists look at the world one way, and economists look at it another. As I've said before on this board, if you dismiss either viewpoint you're in effect deciding that it's OK to be wildly wrong about some aspects of energy issues. The only useful, rational approach is to combine the talents of both groups, recognize and minimize their weaknesses, and benefit from their strengths.

Exactly! What I call holistic. In my little jaunt around the Oregon wine country the past 3 days, I talked with a baker's dozen winery/vineyard owner/operators who proved the case for the success of such an outlook. All want to reduce their fossil fuel inputs to a minimum and were very intrigued with the prospect of producing their own fuels. None had a kind word for Bush's policy proposals. I'm now more convinced than ever that the Granges and Small Farmers' Associations can again become the hotbed of rural radicalism they were from the 1870s-1930s. We discussed the proposed formation of urban ag belts and the promotion of local seasonal crops to greatly reduce the distances traveled by ag products. Far more vineyards/farms are practicing organic methods than are certified organic. These men and women showed tremendous concern for our country's current direction, and through their trade associations have legislators' ears.

Lou Grinzo,

How can I ignore you making a strawman example by extrapolating a total fiction from a selective reading of my comment to make a point of your own? A point, I must say, I already knew and agreed with, what karlof1 calls "holistic".

My point about both non-linear mathematicians and economists is simply that both would contribute more or less equally to the blog in the manner of the "point" you dissed me in order to make. Note my mention of both oil and money being liquid. A rather curious comment, wouldn't you say, for a name-caller to make? What you thought you heard, perhaps, would be my preference to have a non-linear dynamicist blog-on first.

The fact of the matter is, Lou, I called you no names, I didn't call your mathematician wife any names either, and it's impossible for me to see you "running around" calling or not calling names anywhere.

So, Lou Grinzo, Economist, make your blog bones right now and help us market un-savvy name-callin' "stupid" folks understand Henry Liu's asset revaluation concept where for every 1% increase of inflation due to higher oil prices, asset valuation of in situ oil (wealth) increases by 17% and what that really means as oil is converted to monetary assets needing a place to be invested and the other stuff he baffled us all with (possibly excepting J who at least gave the "facts" a shot), while you're at it.


karlof -

there are a lot of us "organic" and "sustainable" types out here. You just have to look. Agriculture has more, because it's a 'close-to-Earth' industry. The gains and advantages are readily visible on the farm.

"Certified Organic" basically means you paid the licensing tax for the government and met their laughable criteria.

My neighbor got back from their 30 miles excursion to their family farm. I am about to go and grill some really big zucchini my son brought home. They call them "homewreckers" due to their size...yum!

rajiv -

you ever try to carry anything like a 2x4 on one of those scooters? Or groceries for a family of 4?

They sound cool, until you look at their weight limit, and think about reality. I haven't weighed 150 pounds since I was in Junior High.

But it might be good for students.

Given those limitations, you may consider
or perhaps

Rajiv -

Dude, you are a trip!! I am guessing you either are single with no kids or else you live in a city apartment where you never have to fix anything? Or both?

Because I still couldn't carry a 2x4 or much of anything in either of those contraptions. I'd be better off with an oxcart. But they do make me think!!


I do realize what you say. All I am trying to imply is -- It may not be back to the stone-age just as yet!

J, My point regarding organic practices has to do with various news items and statistics that show some modest gains whereas in reality the gains are much larger, at least with non-agribusiness. And since in Oregon almost 90% of all businesses are family owned, there seems to be a greater effort to rebuild the common ecosystem that's absent elsewhere. And becoming certified organic here means quite a lot of hard work and documentation, just as in California and Washington.

But it wasn't the organic angle that impressed me the most. It was the voiced realization that humans had damaged the very fabric of nature and that immediate action is required that was so refreshing for me to hear after years of great disappointment dealing with agribusiness in general and in California specificly. What I learned provided me with a small glint of optimism to combat my deepening cynicism.

Karlof -

It is nice to see that we are not such a small sect, ain't it?