How to Write Letters to the Editor

This is a guest post by Oil Drum reader Carl Henn.

I spend a lot of time reading The Oil Drum. It helps me to understand the nature of the energy and economic problems we face. These problems are complex and important, so it is easy to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to understand them. But it has become clear to me that we will have to address our problems without fully understanding the mess we are in. The average Oil Drum reader understands our problems far better than the average citizen. The average Joe may yet not have heard of Peak Oil, let alone the Export Land Model. We need to do more to share our knowledge. We are at the point where the overall understanding of Peak Oil will increase if a few of us read a bit less Oil Drum and write a few more letters to the editor.

I know many folks here have worked hard for years to spread the word. I salute your effort, and write today only to promote a tool that is too little used – letters to the editor.

Letters to the Editor are free and reach thousands of people. We can use them to spread awareness and understanding of our energy problems. I’ve been writing L2Es for 30 years have had several hundred letters printed. A few tips for getting printed:

Read the coverage of the topics you intend to respond to. You are much more likely to be printed if you respond to their editorial or news coverage rather than submitting a letter that doesn’t relate to recent stories.

  • Respond quickly, hopefully within a day, not later than a week.
  • E-mail it. Snail mail is too slow and needs to be retyped after receipt.
  • Put the letter in the body of the e-mail, not in an attachment. Newspapers fear viruses and don’t open attachments.
  • Don’t send longer letters than that paper typically prints. Usually not more than 300 words and in some papers 150 is all they’ll take.
  • Never use facts or figures you aren’t sure of.
  • Include your name, address and phone number. Most won’t print anonymous letters, and they frequently call or e-mail to confirm authorship and exclusivity.

As an Oil Drum reader you have probably already taken one key step – becoming well informed about your topic. This will be enough to respond to any number of articles and editorials in your local paper or the magazines you subscribe to. You may need to do more research to get up to speed on relevant local issues. Your local or state government is probably trying to build a highway or parking garage near you, which provides many opportunities for explaining peak oil. Or they may still be converting farmland to sprawl development, or cutting transit while still providing free parking. We live in a target rich environment.

The Writing Process

There are many approaches. Use what works for you. I try to read the newspapers at lunch. Most are online these days. Mull over the topics while walking the dog or hanging the laundry. Think about the facts you need, the concepts you wish to present, and metaphors you might use.

1st draft: Get it out into words; don’t worry about spelling or organization.
2nd draft: Fix spelling & grammar, read to see if it makes sense.
3rd draft: Let it rest a bit. Go get a snack or read some e-mail to get distracted a bit before coming back. Now read it again. Revise and improve.

Remember your word count. If it’s over what they are likely to print, cut it back. Better for you to cut it than for them to not print it. You can drop the softening words like “as I see it”, “I would suggest” and “in my opinion”. You can frequently drop adjectives and retain the core meaning. If you are well over the count, drop whole sentences. You may need to present just one idea rather than a few. Practice a concise writing style. Be Steinbeck, not Faulkner.

In school you were taught to begin with a topic sentence, give two or three sentences in support and a concluding sentence that summarizes what you just said. That can work as a letter to the editor, but isn’t necessary. It moves slowly and eats up a lot of words. Another approach is to use a logic chain. Show people a better way to think about the topic. You can start in one place and end in another.

They may have taught you in school to never start a sentence with “but”. Forget that. “But” is a fabulous sentence starter in letters to the editor.

You may use humor, but avoid sarcasm. People might not get it, or you may come off as a know it all or jack ass. Never make fun of someone’s name.

Attack ideas or proposals, not motives or people. It’s rarely helpful to ascribe evil motives to people.

Be sure to include the title and date of the article or editorial you are responding to in your first sentence. You can work it into the sentence, or put it in parentheses at the end.

Some newspapers just won’t print about Peak Oil. It’s still good to send them L2Es. Management may change hands, or maybe a letter will finally sink in someday. Or look for other outlets in the same paper. The Washington Post will rarely acknowledge Peak Oil except to deny it’s a problem on their opinion page, but I still managed to get it in through the “Dr. Gridlock” column. Don’t overlook newspapers that you typically disagree with. The more you disagree, the more opportunities you have for letters to the editor. I’ve had a boatload printed in the Washington Times with whom I typically disagree.

If you are printed, be sure to read the next few weeks' papers to see if they print a reply. Some papers will print a rebuttal to a reply. Even if they don’t, it's good for the editor to know you had a good reply.

Here are a few sample letters. Feel free to steal these words when sending in your own letters. You may find a few words that I took from you… (Thanks)

Washington Times

Washington Examiner

Baltimore Sun

Atlantic Monthly

Government Executive Magazine

Gazette Newspaper

Who reads newspapers anymore? Especially letters to the editor.

When I read a newspaper on occasion, I go straight to the editorial page. I consider the other content of the newspaper less reliable since it tacitly but not explicitly promotes the agenda of the owners of the newspaper. Editorials at least project bias explicitly.

The editorials are the only part of the paper I read every time. Better than the comics, seriously :|

I agree with reading the editorials first,then the oped page,then articles relevant to my interests, which are many.

I save the comics for last ,as a treat like dessert.

Lots of newspapers will print stuff that undermines thier position in a subtle way if they ignore a contrary argument.

I will bet that if I sent a comment to the NYT as a response to some of thier blogs, picturing let us say Nate Hagens as a deluded chicken little worried about the sky falling,saying HOW FUNNY I find his blog to be, they would print it.And some people would wind up at TOD as a result.

But they won't print a simple question asking if they are ever going to run an article about the case FOR peak oil.Or respond in any way at all.

I too read editorials first.

The "news" I already know. I saw it on the Internet pretty much at the moment it happened.

What I don't get easily from the Internet is what my neighbors are thinking regarding controversial topics.

That said, I don't think my local paper will be willing to print a Peak Oil L2TE. The editorial management is very conservative in a reactionary way. They are totally into the market place and technology "will save us" mentality.

Yes, the golden age of newspapers is now behind us. Still, The Oil Drum has 15,141 readers. The Washington Post has 673,180 daily subscribers. So that one newspaper has 44 times as many readers.

Of course it isn't blogs or newspapers. You can contribute to both.

I think The Oil Drum also has news feed readers, so the amount is more than the on line readers you quote.

But I think your point is a good one.

Also, the readers of the newspapers are less likely peak oil aware.

Magazines would also seem to be a good place to place letters to editors.

TOD has bout 20-25k unique visits per day, plus 15k RSS readers, plus the folks who read via other methods (twitter, facebook, etc.) it is indeed more than that.

Don't forget papers in EU, Japan & Australia etc. Eg:
Branson warns that oil crunch is coming within five years the Guardian

• Virgin chief and fellow business leaders call for action
• Energy crisis threatens to be more serious than credit crunch

Notifying key news aglomerators about Peak Oil articles is complementary strategy. e.g. notify DrudgeReport about key Peak Oil articles, especially on major newspapers or well trafficed sites that can bear the traffic.

However, there's also receptivity to consider, David. We have been bombarding reporters, news sites, name it with our releases and press information for quite a while...and there's always a few folks who pay attention, and it's growing slowly, secularly...and that's ok.

We just have to keep the pressure on, day after day, month after month--that's why everyone hitting as many buttons as possible helps us in our mission, whether it's on reddit, or at the NYT in the comment thread, or whatever.

It's working, but it's working slowly.

The small local papers are very receptive to well written letters. This includes the neighbourhood papers in large cities. It produces feedback and discussion.....even if it is just a 'good letter attaboy' from friends.

I've been thinking about writing to local officials rather than just congressional leaders. I live in a well-managed suburb that has pretty good government. Perhaps the city manager would be open to ideas about risk management and peak oil. I'm not sure.

I think there is a huge potential for local government response to peak oil. My hometown plants 700 trees each year. Perhaps those should be nut trees. My town provides a tax cut for low income home owners. What if we used that funding for home energy audits and upgrades instead? Our town could require that businesses install bike parking. We could establish the right to hang laundry. Currently many homeowners associations ban clothes lines. By raising awareness of the issue, we could encourage people to find jobs closer to home, insulate, etc. I would like to see a local co-op to run a car sharing service. If 1000 households share 20 cars, perhaps many could drop their second cars and rely more on biking, telecommuting and transit. While no progress is easy, you may be able to get more progress on the local level.

There are indeed a lot of local approaches and success stories, as well as large number of failures. That's one aspect of coverage that I have always wanted to engage in more than we have--the local angles, what works, etc., but we've never quite made that work.

I think each of us has venues where we have a possibility of getting peak oil information published. Letters to the editor is one way. Opinion pieces is another, although probably a little harder. It has slightly different rules, but I know some have been successful in this venue as well.

Write enough of them with carefully chosen prose and careful research (and use constructive criticism without being vindictive) and they might ask you to write a regular column for them. That's what happened to me. I now have a column called "Energy & Ecology" with the Red Deer (Alberta) Advocate.

Oh, and I almost forgot. Check the Oil Drum daily for new ideas.

So far so good. By the moment we get to succeed in publishing letters to the editor, we will realize that a good idea can hardly be expressed in 150 or 300 words.

I can not imagine Kant, Hegel, Marx, Plato, Aristotle, or any of the big transmitters passing a valuable idea within 150 words.

It is a fingertrap: by the moment we succeed in reaching the presidency of the United States, we will realize that we can do nothing to transform the world, as we reached so high because we were already part of the system.

So, my guess is that if you succeed in this way, it is precisely because you have failed to transmit any valuable message. Sorry if I appear to be so cruel.

This is a message going a little bit higher than 150 words and the idea is very simple.

150 words is rather limiting. But in 129 words I raised the issue for Atlantic Monthly readers who had read an article assuring them that oil supply was no problem.

In 190 words I called the issue to the attention of all the Government Executive readers.

Given that our current press largely ignores the issue or assures us that there is no problem, the relative grunt you can get out in 150 words is still worthwhile.

All good advice,Carl.Even if a letter is not published the message may still be noted by the editor and that may change his/her views down the track,especially if numbers of people are writing in on the same lines.The editor is in a position to run articles that may not comply with the general editorial policy.

We in the West still live in some sort of democracy,in spite of all the problems.Use it,defend it,or lose it.

Good point.

Even in a non-democracy, people are susceptible to "group think".

If an editor is hit with enough L2TE's re a same topic (i.e. Peak Oil) on a same day, that editor may start wondering if there is something more to it than just the musings of a lone lune.

As an editor myself, I would also recommend going the route of writing articles for publication on the web. Increasingly many web publishers are moving to a point where they make use of freelance content (the web tends to be a far more voracious consumer of media than print publications of any stripe) and a well written, intelligent and balanced article on Peak Oil and related issues actually can make for interesting (albeit controversial) reading.

Some points to consider if you're looking at writing articles rather than letters to the editor:

  • Contact the Editor. Most web sites have a submissions or editor email on their sites - this is a good route to at least find out who to talk to and to better shape your message.
  • Stay appropriate to the venue. Web sites are more like magazines than newspapers in that they tend to be topically oriented rather than (mostly) geographic. Make your articles relevant to your venue and audience (provide local examples, don't write technically to non-technical audiences, etc.).
  • Aim for between 800 and 1500 words. The lower limit is about the point where you can provide meaningful information, while the upper limit is about the point where articles reach the saturation level for web content. 1500 words translates into about three "web pages" of content.
  • Free is good. Your goal should be to spread the word about peak oil. Most editors will be far more receptive to articles they don't have to pay for, though if they like your work the may commission you for other articles.
  • Avoid dogma. The MSM has been doing a bang-up job of trying to downplay peak oil, to the extent that many otherwise receptive people tend to approach the topic warily. This means that where you are not dealing with ignorance, you will likely be dealing with hostility. Accentuating the urgency of the problem is good, but too much doom and gloom makes it harder to sell the story.
  • Link Extensively. Such articles should be seen as stepping stones rather than cathedrals. Sites such as the Oil Drum provide a huge amount of information on the issues - by linking both to the site and to relevant articles within the site, you not only help people become more aware of the issues but increase the authority of the article itself.
  • Start a Blog. Blogs serve several purposes in the journalistic realm - they provide a way to build up dedicated subscribers to your content (and point of view), they serve to archive what you've written in the past, and they establish another beachhead in the war against ignorance.

Take Chances. The key to success as both a writer and a concept evangelist is to aim as high as you can, and if you don't hit your target you still stand a good chance of hitting something on the descent.

I agree that one should avoid dogma and use links. It is better to be concise and stick to one issue. Keep it simple and readable or you will loose the reader. A letter of mine was published in our local weekly last week. I have been encouraged by a surprising number of folks to write more. As published (in print and online):

Several months ago we let our subscription to the Progress expire. I occasionally buy or borrow an issue, but have no plans to renew our weekly delivery. While this may be seen as “throwing out the baby with the bath water,” out of a sense of frustration related to content, for now I’ll stand fast on my decision.

Our small [news] paper is special in its accessibility. Anyone can write to the opinion section and express themselves, and I look forward to reading informed and thoughtful points of view. Two weeks ago the newspaper published a sarcastic and ill-informed opinion regarding global warming, casting ridicule and offering nothing constructive. In response I will post an example of the kind of discourse that would cause me to reconsider my decision regarding our subscription to this paper:

Those of you who are in denial and resorting to ignorant sarcasm regarding the issues of global warming and energy (oil) depletion would be well served to examine and consider the following:

“In 2007, the CNA Military Advisory Board (MAB) released the landmark report “National Security and the Threat of Climate Change,” which found that climate change constitutes a “threat multiplier” to existing security risks in some of the most volatile regions in the world. A 2008 National Intelligence Assessment confirmed the report finding that climate change is a serious threat to national security and long-term global stability. The MAB, which comprises some of the nation’s most respected retired admirals and generals, also found that, “Climate change, national security and energy dependence are a related set of global challenges.”

A year later, the CNA MAB reconvened to study America’s energy posture and further examine the issue of energy security and how it relates to climate change and national security. Moving beyond recent studies on the dangers of imported oil, this 2009 report finds that fossil fuels, as well as the nation’s fragile electricity grid, “pose significant security threats to the country as a whole and the military in particular.”

Full report available at: This is one of several reports I have found that tells me that your military, at the highest levels, accepts global warming and peak petroleum availability/affordability as reality. Another fun read is the “Joint Operating Environment 2008,” a report by the military sent to the Joint Chiefs, President and Congress regarding the future environment that the military anticipates it will have to function in: . The section regarding energy (beginning on page 16) is telling.

This is your paper folks. Let’s not squander it and an opportunity to have an informed exchange of ideas and facts about our county and our world. Let us not turn our discourse over to those whose dogma has little value as we face the future together. Debate invited.

One warning: avoid a confrontational approach and don't call people out. I have recieved threats as a result of one very "to the point" letter I wrote (I also got much positive feedback). There is an art to leading people to your way of thinking without being threatening. Avoid sarcasm, ridicule and especially religion.

Hi Ghung,

Good Letter!

Avoid sarcasm, ridicule and especially religion

"especially religion" - I'm a L2E writer also, but TOD is the only place I challenge religion as being useful today. However, I think this is a very sad statement. The old saying is "never bring up politics or religion". In most social situations this is good advice. But, when it comes to public discourse regarding the big issues facing life on the planet - should discussion of religion (in any challenging manner) be taboo?

I would not dare to make a even the most mild critical comment about religion in a letter to our local newspapers. And yet, I feel this type of discussion is very much needed (for a variety of reason). Much of the hatred in the world is underpinned with contradictory religious views and yet it is generally unacceptable to bring up the subject.

Hi Dave. I take it that like me, you prefer free thinking to dogma. I have learned (here in the bible belt) that the quickest way to get folks to stop listening is to challenge their deeply held beliefs. Better to address issues factually and incrementally. Too much logic is more than many folks can handle. Nothing new, just part of the human condition. I was told by an old neighbor that he didn't understand many things about the world, that if he tried he would go crazy. "People like me just trade on kind of crazy for another, one we can live with." I can respect that.

I've written several letters to the editor of my hometown paper, The San Francisco Chronicle, and never got any of them published. Sadly, the only thing to write about the Chronicle these days is its obituary.

I used to really like the San Francisco Chronicle. It was a daily addiction. While it wasn't nearly as good as the NY Times or the Washington Post, it was lively enough with an acceptable level of reporting. No longer. Once Hearst bought the paper in 1999, the Chronicle started a long plunge in the intelligence of its reporting until it has become an embarrassment. There is little to no analysis, often poor, slow reporting of facts, and limited coverage of items of interest to local residents. Most of the national and international stories are straight off the AP wire. In addition, the paper has shrunk and thinned until soon it will fit on a couple pieces of Kleenex. It became so painful that last year my husband and I canceled our subscription, which, because I really do believe in the importance of a free press in a democracy, felt like the most unpatriotic thing I have ever done.

Newspaper circulation has dropped all over the country, but the Chronicle's fall has been precipitous. Circulation in 1999--482,000. Circulation as of 10/09--251,782. I hear Hearst is losing $50 - 60 million a year on the Chronicle, but it truly is their own fault for dumbing the newspaper down beyond what a reasonably literate person can bear. (If you want to get an idea of who still reads the Chronicle, peruse the comments section at the end of each article at Be prepared. I've warned you.)

The paradigm for journalism is morphing, and it's not clear what the new one will be even as the old one is dying. These days I check the BBC world service for international news and the NY Times website for national, mostly just to see what stories are being fed to us any given day and trying to read between the lines. I get local news from several San Francisco local blogs. For news about energy and the environment, I check TOD and the Energy Bulletin; for economic analysis I check TAE as well as a number of other websites. Occasionally I'll spend 30-40 seconds looking at the local headlines at, then shake my head and wonder when it will die its whimpering death. Maybe when it does, someone brave will start up a real newspaper again in San Francisco. I may even feel like writing letters to the editor.

The Chronicle ran a good peak oil op/ed on Sunday, August 26, 2007...right around the time that I was first becoming PO aware. It was written by Erica Etelson, who runs a local activist group out that way.

After oil supplies dry up, what's Plan B?

When Hurricane Katrina struck two years ago, Americans learned just how ill-equipped the government is to respond effectively to natural disasters. But if you think the government's response to Katrina was inept, brace yourself for peak oil.

Global oil production will hit its peak in the next few years, at which point oil prices will skyrocket and voracious consumers like the United States, China and Europe will quickly drain every last barrel they can afford to buy. Our per-capita oil consumption is double that of most European nations and more than triple Mexico's, and shows no sign of slowing. As supplies dwindle, an economic disaster on a par with Katrina will start to unfold.

We know now how differently things are starting to unfold, of course, but at least the awareness is there.

So your paper in the not too distant past has actually allowed the "madness" to be printed.

Ditto here in the South Bay.

The Merc News is a shadow of its former self and often I wonder why I still keep my subscription.

This is the letter I got publish a couple of weeks ago. As regards to how many people still read the newspaper, I received zero responses.
When will we get it?

Ten years ago I sent a rather detailed letter, with supporting data, to all members of the County Council, predicting the price of Crude oil would exceed $75.00 per barrel by the end of the decade. I also predicted that would cause economic turmoil. The purpose was to highlight the need for faster implementation of alternative energy sources. At the time oil was $15.00. Needless to say I received polite dismissal of this prediction from both the council and members of the general public.. A couple of inevitable letters about how there is enough oil for ten thousand years hit the press.
Even I did not foresee the rise to almost twice that number, but, in 2008, the world economy melted down two months after oil hit $147 per barrel, I do not believe that the price of oil was the cause of the meltdown, toxic financial instruments did that, High oil prices, and the demand destruction thus created, supplied the tipping point.
The same data and people, who allowed me to accurately make that prediction, now lead me to another. Ten years from today, the world will be producing, and therefore using, 25% less liquid fuels than we do today. There are many reasons for this, some geological, some economic, which I will not get into here, Since capitalism requires growth, and growth, to date, has always required more cheap energy, I am, therefore, very pessimistic about our economic future.
There are far too many variables to accurately predict what this will mean with any precision, but I can guarantee it will not be business as usual, or as we knew it a couple years ago.
I don't wish to leave the impression that the situation we are in had to be this way. There are things we could have done and perhaps still can do, alternatives we could develop. Unfortunately we do not presently have the political will, public support or financial capability to do what is necessary. I hope we can get some of all three soon. We certainly don't have much time.

It would seem Colin Campbell and Jean Laherrère know the utility of Letters to the Editor. (From Letters to the editor Feb 2010 issue of Scientific American)

Readers Respond on 'Squeezing More Oil from the Ground'

In “Squeezing More Oil from the Ground,” Leonardo Maugeri, director of strategies and development of an international oil company, expresses the conventional view of his profession, assuming a world of near-infinite oil resources to be produced under market forces. Maugeri is particularly dismissive of our Scientific American article “The End of Cheap Oil” [March 1998]. It is difficult to find fault with at least its title, considering that the average price of oil over the preceding 10 years was $28 a barrel but rose to $45 over the ensuing decade to reach a peak of almost $150 in 2008.

Given the central place of oil-based energy in the modern world, it is critically important that governments should base their policies on realistic depletion profiles, despite ambiguous definitions and lax reporting practices. Decline typically commences at about midpoint of depletion, as already exemplified in more than 50 countries. World discovery peaked in the 1960s and must deliver a corresponding peak of production. A debate rages as to the precise date of peak but misses the point when what matters is the vision of the long decline on the other side of it.

I hate to be cynical, but I think you're widely off track on this one. Let me give you a perspective that you may or may not be able to relate to, but it's at least the way I look at things.

I'm a male in his late 20's. I don't think I'm quite "young" anymore, but at the same time my formative years took place during the growth of the internet and the Bush regime years...which has shaped my view of the world profoundly. During these years, I have witnessed what may be collectively referred to as the "mainstream media" (though I'm hesitant to use that broad term), which includes all national newspapers and most regional/local ones as well, fail miserably when it comes to reporting on any major issue of our day...whether it be stolen elections in 2000/2004, the illegal wars in the Middle East, Patriot Act/loss of our liberties, global warming, peak oil, financial crisis, healthcare...I could go on and on. Why should I bother having anything to do with newspapers, which, IMO, are a failing and irrelevant institution? I get my news from internet blogs, every single day. The newspapers that you mentioned in your post...well, let's just say they are only good for one thing...and no offense intended to good toilet paper. Why should I waste a second of my time, or an ounce of my strength to pick up a pen, to write a letter to a newspaper?? I'm with Mike Ruppert on this one...use them to occassionally pick up stories that make sense, but otherwise screw 'em. If I want people to be informed on peak oil...well then every last family member and good friend of mine will receive some words at some point, whether they like it or not. But newspapers and the public at large? Frankly, I don't give a dam-.

And if you think that I'm just some punk who doesn't read and is uninformed...well, I'm here on the OilDrum, aren't I?

Why should I waste a second of my time, or an ounce of my strength to pick up a pen, to write a letter to a newspaper??

Because you wrote it OS, not some MSM reporter, editor or pundit. This one of the most read sections of the paper, especially smaller papers. When blogging on line, you are usually just preaching to the choir.

Agreed that the younger generation doesn't do print media.

Then again, comments on a blog are a form of L2TE.

One thing that is a total waste though is to be just another one of 10,000 comments, just another face in the crowd.

Oilman Sachs -

L2Es are not a good tool for reaching the under 30 crowd. But many old folks like me still read them, and the majority of Congress, state legislators and local mayors and councils are over thirty. Senator Stevens thought the internet is a series of tubes. Many powerful people, as well as many of your neighbors, can still be reached through the newspaper.

Hi OS,

national newspapers and most regional/local ones as well, fail miserably when it comes to reporting on any major issue of our day...whether it be stolen elections in 2000/2004, the illegal wars in the Middle East, Patriot Act/loss of our liberties, global warming, peak oil, financial crisis, healthcare...I could go on and on.

Your comment is very interesting and presents somewhat of a puzzle. From my POV, you have correctly identified (and characterized) many of the most critical issues of our time. I know quite a few other younger people (many of us TOD regulars are double your age - or more) who tend to feel as you do - but perhaps not with as much clarity and completeness.

So, the puzzle is how DO you reach others in your age group and motivate them to take these issues seriously - and most importantly to put forth and support political candidates that also understand these issue? You folks are the ones who will inherit the mess we have left you. We really don't need violent revolution when TSHTF - better to have political revolution instead.

Where I live, there are only a tiny minority of older folks who can appreciate your thinking. But, all of these older people (especially the majority "conservatives") vote religiously in every election. It has long been a truism that younger adults seldom bother to vote - is there really a way to change this?

Yes, to get them to vote thrust them into the real world. Unfortunately the way things are going they may be thrust into it whether they want to or not. I'm around young people daily, I can assure you the vast majority are not prepared for much of anything. Maybe it is better they do not vote as a whole.

Carl and bicycle dave:

Anectdotally, there was alot of energy from my cohort in the past two election cycles, 2006 and 2008. I personally know people who travelled out of my state (Texas), to toss-up states and did alot of work, phone calls and canvassing and the like. I know many people who were enthused about Obama and hoped that he would end the wars, close Guantanamo, push for national healthcare, etc. But alas, it seems as though he's owned by Wall Street and is hamstrunged by a paralytic political process.

Our society is so divided that I don't think it's quite clear cut where any of this is headed. Liberal Massachussetts just sent a Republican to Ted Kennedy's seat...what do you think is going to happen in the rest of the country? Moreover, many, many young people are conservative, especially since conservatives tend to have more kids, and there also is, as always, a sort of anti-government libertarian strain amongst young people, which I share.

I suppose I was too caustic in my original post...I've given up hope nationally, but not at the local or state level. The real meaty action is going to take place in mayor's offices, city councils, state legislatures, etc. We can already see this happening as so many states are bankrupt and having to make tough choices, unlike the national government which just prints money and buys its own bonds. So what happens at a local level, to me, is far more interesting than what the U.S. military does in Afghanistan or following the endless national healthcare fiasco. So I suppose it may not be a bad idea to write letters to local media outlets. It's just that every place I lived has just had so many people living there seems like one's voice is trivial. This might not be the case in smaller towns with say, 10 to 50,000 people? (although I guess you could get alot smaller than that)

Some newspapers just won’t print about Peak Oil.

To find out where their minds were
I just did a search in The West Australian for "Peak Oil". No result, Peak+Oil No result.

Methinks all is lost.

It's a pretty good assumption that many advertisers aren't happy to see Peak Oil covered by media outlets, but advertisers wouldn't pull ads because they were unhappy about news coverage, would they?
Toyota Dealers Pull TV Adverts As 'Punishment'

Toyota dealers in the US have pulled their television adverts because news bulletins were running too many stories about the carmaker's crisis, broadcaster ABC has claimed.

I particularly enjoyed the reactionary comments to the articles in

I wish I wasn't so cruel.