- John Howe and his 10hp solar
powered Farmall Cub -
Excerpted from Chapter 3 - with permission
It has been a most revealing and daunting task to
summarize and make understandable something so complex as world and U.S.
energy statistics. There is overwhelming information available especially
from the Internet. There are so many different organizations manipulating
the numbers that one hand may not know what the other is doing. Very few,
even in the U.S. government information alphabet soup of agencies (DOE,
EIA, DOT, and the BTS: Department of Energy, Energy Information
Administration and Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation
Statistics) are clarifying the energy shortfall of the future.
A number of other groups are attempting to project a clearer message and
sound an alarm, but they do not agree with the optimistic forecasts of the
DOE. Several examples of these organizations are:
The World Watch Institute
Quoting their mission statement, “By providing compelling, accessible, and
fact based analysis of critical global issues. World Watch informs people
around the world about the complex interactions between people, nature,
and economics. World Watch focuses on the underlying causes of and
practical solutions to the world problems … etc.”
CEES The Center for Energy and Environmental Studies (in conjunction with
scientists for a sustainable future and the National Academy of Sciences)
On May 18, 2001 this prestigious organization published an open
(electronic) letter in an attempt to convey a sense of urgency regarding
energy. The above website shows this letter and the names of hundreds of
distinguished scientists and educators who stand behind the messages
relating to the subject of finite fossil fuels, the folly of drilling in
ANWR, the problems with nuclear fuel, and the subject of climate change.
Also included is a list of responses to this public letter including
policy statements from President Bush and Vice-President Cheney, showing a
concern for the energy issues facing our nation and the world.
Unfortunately, their concern has not always been consistent with
NREL National Renewable Energy Laboratory
This is a government agency with the honest mission of educating the
public and leading us to a sustainable future. On their home page they
specifically state that their “research is paving the way to the hydrogen
economy.” Perhaps this is the government agency that is instrumental in
guiding our decision makers to a future less dependent on fossil fuels. If
they are, where is their input when legislative votes are called regarding
energy conservation, permitting trucks to be considered as cars, or
improving fuel mileage standards? It seems like either nobody’s listening
or they serve a cross-purpose to delude the public into believing all is
OK, and our government is watching out for us. With less than 1% of the
U.S. energy supply coming from renewable fuels (other than hydro), we are
not making progress nearly fast enough to prepare for the coming fossil
Many additional websites, links, and references provide a variety of
energy messages. I have prepared a partial list of those I have used while
researching this book. These are in addition to, or repeat specific cited
sources in other chapters. The most comprehensive and concerned references
are listed first:
www.hubbertpeak.com The basic
worldwide site concerning oil depletion.
www.oilcrisis.com The same site as
www.peakoil.net The home site for
ASPO (The Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas)
www.asponews.org The newsletter for
www.odac-info.org Oil Depletion
Analysis Center, an excellent, new summary site from the U.K.
www.apolloalliance.org This is
a very aggressive new movement to help the public take control of
America’s energy future. This website maybe a key to coordination and
action in the critical available time frame.
website is prepared by the M. King Hubbert Center of the Colorado School
of Mines in Golden, Colorado. The statistics and interpretation are
prepared by U.S. geological experts.
www.greatchange.org An excellent
site with an interjection of humor into a very serious subject.
www.after-oil.co.uk This the site
for the Busby Report referred to later in this book.
www.dieoff.com Another wonderfully
diverse and informative source of related information and references.
www.oilcrash.com A very
comprehensive site originating in New Zealand with many links, books,
essays. People the world over are really trying to be heard.
www.postcarbon.org Founded by
environmental philosopher, Julian Darley. Read “When Markets Fail, America
Leaps Off the Gas Cliff without a Parachute.”
Photovoltaic market development.
www.seia.org Solar Energy Industries
www.awea.org American Wind Energy
The remaining sites are of a more general nature but do cross reference to
www.forbes.com/energy A good
reference for current energy related issues. For instance, see “Rage for
SUV’s fuels oil import surge.” (Dan Ackman, 5/5/03)
Encourages political and popular support for clean energy and action about
www.earthfuture.com The name
speaks for itself.
attempt to reach the public.
www.renewables.com Solar power
information plus a significant foray into sustainable agriculture and an
www.solarsupply.com This and the
next two sites are excellent sources for renewable energy related products
voices in England.
www.simmonsco-intl.com Matthew R. Simmons, the chairman
of an international investment company, has been a key advisor to the Bush
administration, yet his dire warnings are not receiving appropriate
attention. You can download his lectures on depletion from
www.syncrude.com Canadian tar sand
oil issues from the optimistic industry viewpoint.
alternate site for CEES (Center for Energy and Environmental Studies)
www.ucsusa.org The home site for the
Union for Concerned Scientists.
Focuses on the critical issues of population, which are directly related
www.nrdc.org (National Resources Defense
Council) Energy is only one of many related issues.
www.nrglink.com An excellent and
reasonably priced weekly electronic subscription covering timely energy
www.rmi.org (Rocky Mountain Institute) A
strong case for energy efficiency as well as hydrogen and Amory Lovins’
www.inri.us Independent Natural Resources
Inc. Developer of the “Seadog” wave pump.
This and the next site teach micro-agriculure solutions.
www.copvcia.com See “From The
Wilderness” published by Michael Ruppert.
www.newrules.org Advocating a
www.pvenergy.com by Paul Maycock,
industry consultant and editor of “Photovoltaic News.”
www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/8296.html by John J Berger,
environmental author and consultant.
www.ieer.org The Institute for energy
and Environmental research
attempt to send a message to the public
www.citizen.org Read about the
critical mass energy project.
www.soros.org by philanthropist, George
Soros. Encouraging transparency of issues needing public knowledge.
The name speaks for itself.
www.zapworld.com Zero Air Pollution
vehicles (all electric) are available in all forms.
www.attra.org The Sustainable
Agriculture information service. Does not directly warn of fossil fuel
depletion, otherwise good concepts.
www.aceee.org American Council for an
Energy Efficient Economy
www.cera.com An excellent site for the
Cambridge Energy Research Associates headed by Daniel Yergin, author of
conservative news site that sometimes explores the news and mysteries of
www.wri.org The site for The World
Resources Institute. Another attempt to reach the public regarding
sustainability and climate change.
The site for CESA (Clean Energy States Alliance). At least 12 states
joining together to commit to energy related activity that is not being
www.api.org (American Petroleum
Institute) This last site is a typically feel good industry source
seemingly more concerned with perpetuating the habit and intent of an
American culture to consume more, look bigger, go faster, deny the
message, and negate the big picture.
the official administrative response alluding to much concern about
There are many other cross links and reference sites, which relate to the
crisis at our doorsteps but are limited only to the internet audience, not
the general public, which is more influenced by mass media.
We are not going to make it to any acceptable civilized future if we don’t
reach the public with the story of the depletion of finite fossil fuels as
well as a plan for an acceptable future lifestyle without plentiful
I repeat again, energy depletion is certain to be the greatest crisis ever
to face civilization. Yet, the message is lost in a blitz of bland media
coverage supported by hyper advertising of high-energy products. Our
elected leaders either don’t understand or are reluctant to address the
subject of energy. Unless we act quickly, we will be fossil fuel bankrupt
in another 40 years with very little left for our children. There will be
no possibility for a renaissance of an energy intensive civilization. The
earth’s original endowment of fossil energy will be gone. If you question
this statement, investigate the references. I contend the more you
research the subject the more concerned you will become.
© 2004 John Howe, McIntire Publishing