Roscoe Bartlett Needs Your Help

I don't know how many of you actually watch C-Span, but I do now and again (hazard of my job...). When members of Congress give special orders speeches, they often just stand up in the well of the House and read 'em, usually to a (very) empty chamber.

This was also true of Roscoe Bartlett's latest speech (which if you have not read yet, you really should. It's well done.)

Bartlett's speech needs to be spread around to local, state, and federal government officials of all stripes, parties, colors, and creeds. I hope that you will take a minute to pass it on to people in power or to someone you want to understand the problems of a plateauing supply. Bartlett has also been involved in promoting the DRIVE Act (Dependence Reduction through Innovation in Vehicles and Energy Act), a first step in what needs to be a very long process of reform.

Bartlett's website can be found here; Bartlett also refers to Admiral Rickover's speech, which can be found here.

Noticed this rather large typo:

"today corn is over $4 a barrel, it is ordinarily about $2 a barrel"

Very good speech. I assume it was an empty house?

Never heard of Bartlett but have been to Maryland. They used to grow tobacco way back I thought or was that just another Sandra Dee movie with made up stuff that showed her working on a tobacco farm. Didn't see much except suburbs when I was there 2 yrs ago.

Again very good grasp of the situation and I am amazed that an old Naval Officer realized all this back those many years ago.


Roscoe Bartlett. I sure do not envy his position.

He has been a great policy thinker, in a place where thought is out of place, and is a true technical thinker who understands science, where technical complications are considered deadly.

Next to Matthew Simmons, Bartlett is one of the few speakers/writers on this subject I will listen to any more. He is no Luddite, and does not see a collapse to a stone age past as a romantic adventure. Rare among the "peak aware" nowadays.

But, he is being pushed to the edge of obscurity, and being portrayed as a bit wacky, kind of a latter day Jerry Brown "Governor Moonbeam" type.

Let's admit it. "Peak oil" is easy for opponents to mis-portray and spoof. This is why caution in what we say is of EXTREME importance. Sadly, so many voices, even some of the pioneering voices of the peak oil issue, have not been at all cautious. Thus, most people who have heard of Roscoe Bartlett have heard of him by way of the opponents of peak oil awareness, not by it's supporters. I know some politically savvy people. I have mentioned Bartlett to them. In many cases, I got back a wry grin. They had already heard of him and his argument. Well, not his real argument, but his argument as portrayed by those who parceled out his points, and quoted his 'friends" to make a joke of any concern about the oil and natural gas issue. It's sad, but Washington is no place for nuanced argument. And of course, everytime the price of oil drops a few bucks, it is further "proof" to those willing to use it that way that Bartlett and his "friends" are simply folks with a bit of an "eccentricity".

But yes, I will still repeat and spread his speeches, at my own web group as well as among friends. I think he deserves that, and sometimes, it is more important to be right and honest and try to help you nation than it is to win.

Remember, we are only one cubic mile from freedom

Roscoe Bartlett is a true American Hero and Patriot.

It must be a terrible shock to him, as a Republican, to learn that the Invisible Hand has foresaken him.

U.S. Congressman Bartlett has even gone directly to the leader of his party (GWB) to explain "the problem", only to be told that some things are more "urgent" than others and that Peak Oil does not even make the "urgent" list. It is merely "important" but not important enough to be "urgent".

Direct link to Bartlett's PDF posting into the Congressional record is here.

(Don't bother with the links at the bottom of the page, they were temporary cgi's generated by

It was an excellent speech. To an empty house of course, which is the problem.

Sitting here in the Midwest becoming involved with Biodiesel and Biooil (from Pyrolysis) it is obvious that we just need to start moving on some of these projects. More people need to be engaged in the pursuit of solutions, not wait for someone else to solve them.

I have no illusions that Biofuels can solve our energy problems. But they will help. Wind can't solve our problem, but it helps. Ditto with solar. All are a piece of the energy production and consumption equation that need to be investigated.

Most importantly we need to conserve energy of all kinds and understand how hard it is to capture and manipulate. My experience is that the people most engaged in finding energy solutions are also the most passionate about conserving energy and using new design to create efficiency.

The American public is crying out for leadership in this area. They would gladly pursue new jobs and approaches if it was presented as a coherent plan for building a new economy and lifestyle where all can participate and potentially excel. This is what is missing in the public forum now. All our leaders demonize the innovators as whacko greenies, self serving farmers, special tax break wind generators, etc. This is all true now because there is no other option for pursuing solutions.

It is is hard to be a leader today. You have to be willing to stand up and put a bullseye on your reputation. It is risky if you aren't confident you are headed in the right direction. You have to be willing to make mistakes, admit to them, and still push for change. Few politicians will do these things. Our president espouses to these characteristics but in my opinion is just stubborn and status quo driven not visionary or leading. And ultimately you have to lead people to a better outcome than where we are today and I see very few of those people running for office today.

Now I have to go back to work and solve some real world problems.

A truly excellent speech by a man who clearly understands the subject of energy. In fact, he is something of a Renaissance Man (read his bio), having involved himself in anything from physiology, to teaching, farming and real estate development. And he has fathered 10 kids! But I am afraid that, despite his valiant efforts, the effect of Congressional speechifying will be no greater than sermonizing to the choir.

The vast majority of Americans care about one thing only, that which 99% of all politicians take great care to "preserve, protect and defend": money. Anyone that believes it is not "money (that) makes the world go round" is simply deluding him/her-self. Of course money and wealth accumulation is merely another manifestation of energy, but for as long as future scarcity or depletion is not reflected into today's energy prices, people will just coast along until they hit the wall.

Mr. Bartlett quotes Einstein: "compound interest is the greatest force in nature", i.e. the exponential function. It will take that, at least, to overcome what is today's greatest inertial mass: American complacency. Until and unless energy prices start moving exponentially, as they did last summer, no oratory, no beating of Oil Drums shall dislodge perceptions or alter behavior.

When money talks, people listen. Sadly, when thoughtful people like Mr. Bartlett talk, it is mainly the choir that listens, but it is already converted, anyway. We here at TOD are the choir.

Now, if Congress were to impose a $1/gal tax on gas every year for the next 5 years, that would be the Exponential Money Force meeting the American Inertia. I guarantee everyone would listen, then.

Yo Super G,

Thank you for pulling the plug on Oil CEO. You did it while I was searching for that "Report Spam Here" page. The old page will not accept new comments. Is there going to be a new Spammer-porting Page?

I like Oil CEO (some days). But this was way over the line. I pray that he has someone in his real life to get him to a doctor. Unfortunately in a growing site like this you find that commentors are human and some humans have severe health issues that are not to be laughed at, but rather understood and empathized with.

Is that the Lipstick comment, which I'd seen earlier, and is now gone? I can't keep track of some of the dudes who come back with new names.. (I do yearn to see an elusive 'Sasquatch' every now and then, however. Apologies, Nate) And there are worse things you could be watching than C-span. I've got no TV these days, and I miss my Brian Lamb fix!

Anyway, I read the whole Bartlett speech and was encouraged to hear it.. if the choir is the only ones who heard it, then as PG says, we gotta sing it out to whoever else we can, in this key or that one.

I just sent a letter to my Congressman Tom Allen of Maine, just outlining the areas I'd like to see research and business incentives (and rail investments) set up to give Maine both some energy resilience and some new business/industry opportunities.

Bob Fiske

And speaking about men of great vision ... there is always John Tierney of the NY Times:

Dr. Rees, a cosmologist at Cambridge and Britain’s astronomer royal, doesn’t just issue gloomy predictions. ...

No, Dr. Rees is braver. He gives odds on doomsday and offers to bet on disaster. In his 2003 book, “Our Final Hour,” he gives civilization no more than a 50 percent chance of surviving until 2100.

Dr. Rees is not a knee-jerk technophobe — he expects great advances as researchers around the world link their knowledge — but he fears that progress will be undone by what he calls the new global village idiots. He’s sure enough of himself to post an offer on Long Bets,

Roscoe Bartlett should run for president for the sole purpose of forcing this issue into the mainstream.

The current Politician-and-Chief failed miserably in this regard and we shouldn't expect any better from the Hillary Duffus party.

A candidate like Bartlet running on the Energy Platform is the only way the United States of Titbabies will realize that Mommy government's Nipples are running on empty and the free ride is ending.

I will pass this along to the local politicians but doubt it will do any good. They are very busy waiting for someone else to do the jobs they are paid and elected to do.

LOL good post and GOD BLESS ROSCOE. Please all the anti religion posters pretend I didn't say that and waste all your energy disputing me. Have you read America Alone? Its a great book for smart ass nanny state haters? Uncle Sam can you spare another nipple?