Max Keiser Report
Last week, I recorded an interview with Max Kaiser on my post, The United States’ 65-Year Debt Bubble. The post can be found here. The video can be found here.
US Natural Gas Overview
Last week, I also gave a talk to a university class studying peak oil and related issues. A link to the slides (pdf) can be found at this link, US Natural Gas Overview.
Financial Impacts of Reaching ‘Limits to Growth’
On Friday, November 4, I will be speaking on “Financial Impacts of Reaching ‘Limits to Growth'” at the meeting of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil-USA in Washington DC. This is a link to my slides (pdf): Financial Impacts of Reaching Limits to Growth. I expect to write up this talk as a post, after the presentation is over.
Oil Limits for Casualty Actuaries
I have spoken at a number of actuarial conferences recently. Next week, on November 7 and 8, I will be speaking at the Casualty Actuarial Society’s Annual Meeting in Chicago. This time, I will be part of a panel, with a woman named Terri Dalenta from Allstate talking more specifically on the insurance aspects. This is a link to my presentation: Reaching Oil Limits in a Finite World.
While I am at the ASPO-USA meeting in Washington DC later this week, I expect to meet with several folks with respect to my book. We have pretty much decided it needs more of a “Limits to Growth” theme than the title, “Beyond Hubbert: How Limited Oil Supplies Cause Economic Crises” would imply. So hopefully things can be moved forward on this issue.
Gale has made the point before but I will make it again. Apartment dwellers will not be able to grow their own food in their apartment. Not enough area, not enough sunlight. From what I have read I would estimate at LEAST half an acre per person is needed to provide 2000 food calories per day 365 days per year. And of course water and sun. City folks will import food or they will leave the city.
@Ed Pell, although I agree with you that relatively few of us will supply all our own food, I think all of us will be more involved in our food production.
It’s quite simple for apartment dwellers with a balcony in a temperate climate to grow many nutrient sources that might become very expensive — besides bulk calories.
The corporations and politicians will do their best to supply calories, but what about lycopene? What about Vitamin B12? An apartment dweller could grow tomatoes and cavies and supply these two nutrients, for example. Many in south/central America supply a significant portion of their protein with cavies.
The city of Havana supplies at least 50% of its own food from within its borders, most of it from individuals. That’s going to need to happen in US/Canadian cities, as well.
On the theme of “personal news items,” I wonder if you would allow me to post something peripheral to your main topic?
I very much appreciate Gail’s focus on natural resource depletion and peak oil through the eyes of an actuary. I would like to take a moment to focus on them through the eyes of a farmer.
In a low-energy future, I believe all of us will be much more involved with our food. The “1%” rich will be paying a whole lot more for it. The “99%” urban and suburban middle and lower classes will be growing it — on lawns, on rooftops, on apartment balconies, on abandoned lots.
However, big agribusiness sees this as competition, and is systematically helping their government pawns put in place a system that makes small-scale food production difficult or illegal. The mis-named “Food Safety Modernization Act” does this by allowing warrantless search and seizure of computers and bank accounts (among other things) merely for the suspicion of using “unapproved farming methods” or “unapproved seed sources.” The US FDA is using this to shut small farmers and food producers down, while the large ones sicken and kill thousands, with little more than a slap on the wrist.
The food freedom battle starts with raw milk.
A kind, gentle man in Ontario is at the heart of this battle for your food future. Michael Schmidt started a “herd share” operation, since it is legal in Canada to drink raw milk from an animal you own, although it is illegal to distribute or sell it. In a battle spanning 17 years, the Gray Bruce Health Unit, with plenty of help from Ontario and the federal Canadian government, has found him guilty of distributing raw milk, and slapped him with onerous fines that will surely bankrupt him if they are allowed to stand.
Now Michael is in his fifth week of a hunger strike. All he asks is to respectfully begin a constructive dialogue with the government in order to allow people to consume food of their choosing. He is seeking to meet with Ontario Premiere Dalton McGuinty, who refuses to meet with him.
You can make a difference by flooding McGuinty’s office with calls and emails: directly (via email@example.com) or via his website “contact me” page.
When you write, please send a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org, and it will get published on Michael Schmidt’s blog, The Bovine, which is also one of the best sources of food freedom information.
While you’re at it, please take a moment to sign Michael’s food freedom petition.
Finally, you can join Michael’s Facebook Cause.
You may say, “but I’m a vegan,” or “I don’t drink milk.” This is not a single-issue problem! Anyone who eats should be concerned about the coming “seed to plate” corporate control of food. Today, it may be someone else’s raw milk, but tomorrow, they may come for you and the squash seeds you saved, or the bean sprouts you grew in a non-inspected facility. Canada and Wisconsin judges have declared that you do not have a fundamental right to grow and consume food of your choosing!
Please do all you can to support Michael Schmidt, so he can continue to fight for your fundamental right to eat what you choose. Today, it may mean raw milk from a neighbour. Tomorrow, it may be a matter of starving because you can’t afford to buy food, and the government won’t let you grow your own.
(Gail, please delete this if you deem it inappropriate to your blog; otherwise, thank you for allowing me this off-topic plea in support of fundamental rights that will be essential in a low-energy world.)
Your are right. This general topic is an issue. I know that Sharon Astyk has written about this issue–how small farmers have to install all kinds of ridiculous equipment, that might be appropriate if they were selling 100 times as much, but make no sense whatsoever for a small scale farmer. This is a link to one of her posts, On the Khaki Market: What do you do when the food system you need is illegal? One of the reasons why it is so difficult to “go back” to less complex culture is because our laws have moved ahead to match the current high-energy culture. It is hard to undo the laws, in such a way that small farmers will be treated fairly.
Thank you, Gail, for allowing me to “hijack” your blog for a bit.
The challenges we face are so immense that we risk despair if we can’t carve off a small manageable chunk in which to do battle.
As someone who left a six-figure income in high tech in order to sustainably produce food and energy, I’m drawing my personal line in the sand on this topic, led by courageous people like Michael Schmidt, Sharon Astyk, and Joel Salatin.
Requisite on-topic info: Gail, if you ever come to Vancouver or Victoria BC, please try to leave a day on one end or the other of the trip and I’ll try to get a group together for you to speak to on our island of 10,000 mostly-progressive souls.
I look forward to reading your book.. When will it be published?
I wrote a draft of a short book under the name “Beyond Hubbert: How Limited Oil Supplies Cause Economic Crises,” under a contract with Springer, earlier this year. Now, most of us involved with the book agree that the real issue is Limits to Growth. So the desire to spend time fixing up the first draft for publication by Springer is not there.
So one option is to get the contract amended to a new title. This would mean re-writing the book, with the new title, and then going through the various stages with Springer. This would take several months, at best. It would be part of the same series as Ugo Bardi’s The Limits to Growth Revisited and Joe Tainter and Tad Patzek’s Drilling Down: The Gulf Oil Debacle and Our Energy Dilemma.
If I were released from the original contract, I presumably could self-publish my original “Beyond Hubbert” draft. Self-publishing of that draft would be quick, but the book would be less than perfect.