New MyFonts site

The new myfonts site is looking a little bit similar to the new open font library site! It seems the MyFonts beta site first went live in September, since the feedback page has some comments dated september 19th and thanks to the comments below, and some invitation emails went out in late October.

I wonder if this is a good thing or a bad thing; some people think the designs are similar, and others don’t.

Spiro in ShoeBot

Spiro is coming to shoebot!

shoebot 2009!

Pirates of the Amazon lol.

New 2008 John Taylor Gatto Interview

A 2008 interview with John Taylor Gatto: Direct MP3 download.

New 2006 John Taylor Gatto Interview

Tom Heck interviewed John Taylor Gatto in 2006, and its one of the most recent I can find, and as good as the classic interviews from the 1990s (direct MP3 link)

6% Oil Decline Starts Now

I thought this blogpost about ‘The End of Imperial Expansion’ was thoughtful. MCR last week predicted food shortages in the USA next year, and this seems to have some truth to it. Uh oh.

the new plan is to partition Iraq into three countries, and Obama is not going to pull out the troops until this happens. Furthermore, permanent US bases will remain in the oil-rich regions. This is why Biden was chosen for VP. He’s a PNAC player. See these two links by Mark Robinowitz.

To summarize… for a long time the powers that be in the US knew the world was going to divide itself up again into nation-state alliances for control of energy. The dream of a corporate-controlled, one-world government (i.e. the “New World Order”) ended as soon as the reality of peak oil was understood. As Mike Ruppert explained in a lecture four years ago in Seattle, “Without abundant oil to drive corporate dominance, geography once again defines political power.” And the elites understood this decades ago. Remember that US oil production peaked in the 70s, and world discoveries of new oil fields peaked in the 60s. So it did not take a rocket scientist to predict when the global economy was going to collapse (just a few petroleum geologists). The IEA just last week released a report predicting a 9.1% decline in output from existing world oil fields, and new fields being brought online are only expected to increase output by about 3%. This is a 6% decline in overall oil output, beginning right now, and which is predicted to continue year after year, forever. (Read for the best information and discussion about energy.)

So what we are seeing now is unique. The major world powers are actually narrowing their spheres of influence to only the oil-rich regions. (Watch Obama go into West Africa sometime during his first term—I wonder what the pretext will be). They are neglecting the rest of the world, the places without energy resources. This is how things are very different from the cold war and the days of imperial expansion. We are living in a very significant time in history.

What “Peak Oil” REALLY means. It is not about “running out.”

I went to the Poole Agenda 21 AGM last week and heard Laurie Michaelis, an expert IPCC scientist, say that peak oil is “about oil running out.”

This is a total misunderstanding, and it is common.

Peak oil is about growth in oil production and supply running out.

Plenty of oil is left when growth runs out completely. Looking at a simple bell curve makes this visible:


There is visibly half remaining to the right of the center peak line. The reality is more complex than this abstract smooth line, though, so perhaps it is less than half. But it is still plenty :-)

I expect that some people who communicate the misunderstanding are confused, and some are trying to confuse. Politicians and energy company executives are more likely to understand themselves but attempt to confuse others about the issue.

For example when asked about peak oil, the chief economist of BP said “there will never be a moment when the world runs out of oil.” That statement is true, but it contains the assumption that this is about the world running out of oil. That is not the problem at all.

What is the problem?

  1. An economy is a bunch of businesses lumped together.
  2. The global economy is all the businesses in the world lumped together.
  3. A business does things.
  4. A successful business is a growing business.
  5. A business uses oil-dependent processes to do things, like transport its materials in and its produce out.
  6. A growing business uses more oil to do more things.
  7. Growing a business means growing oil use.
  8. Growing oil use means growing oil supply.
  9. Growing oil supply means growing oil production.
  10. Oil is essential; it would takes many years to switch liquid fuel processes to electric ones.
  11. Therefore, no more growth in global production of oil means no more growth in global production of anything else.

Michaelis said that this idea was “preposterous,” and that was pretty much the end of our conversation :-(

Plenty of reporting about peak oil explains the idea like this. In October 2007, the Guardian wrote that:

[Peak oil is] defined as the moment when maximum production is reached … “The world soon will not be able to produce all the oil it needs as demand is rising while supply is falling. This is a huge problem for the world economy” “The world is at the beginning of a structural change of its economic system.”

However, Michaelis’ concern with peak oil is that is takes away focus from the absolute fact that global oil production has to decline sharply anyway to save our lives from climate disaster. He seems concerned that a focus on a natural shortage of “easy oil” will simply encourage us to burn “hard to get oil.” The development of Canadian tar sands is a clear example of this.

But abruptly stopping oil use because of climate change presents the same ‘preposterous’ problem: The end of a growth-based economy.

What businesses work without growth?