Sunday, March 20

peak oil: blow like the wind

I was mildly amused to see free-roaming peacocks on the Greenhill School campus (where the Sierra Club meets). There were 3 speakers this month:

Patrick Kelly (with the EPA) gave a presentation called "Partnering with Energy Star" and had some interesting insights. In no particular order:
  • it takes up to 3 yrs to get an Energy Star rating;
  • 50,000 Energy Star homes in Texas;
  • success story: Midlothian Independent School District;
  • R410A (new) vs R22 old: CFC 11/12
Next, a geologist in Addison - Jeffrey J Brown - spoke about "peak oil" where he explained the theory that world oil production has peaked (and consumption has not), to the point that we're now faced with a future of (much) higher prices for the remaining supply. Apparently this is hotly rebutted by the oil companies, and the SUV Owners of America (their theory is: the more we drive, the more oil we'll find).
Suggested reading #1: Peter Huber & Mark Mills co-authored The Bottomless Well

Suggested reading #2: M King Hubbert's Hubbert's Peak
Among the other Oily Terms I'd not heard before:
  1. Tar sands
  2. MMBOPD (millions of barrels oil produced per day)
  3. Light, sweet crude
  4. heavy, sour crude
Finally, Tom "Smitty" Smith is the Director of Public Citizen, and spoke at length about peak oil, and windmills (their footprint is 1/20 acre). Smith stated that if 1/16 of all Texas land used windmills, it would supply enough power for all of the United States. Naturally, that won't happen anytime soon (problem: lack of big transmission lines from west Texas wind farms. Interesting site: Renewable Texas (Texas has dropped to 14th in renewable energy).
worth a glance: Texas Carbon Dioxide Emissions Data
Several cool projects were mentioned:
1. Germany's target: 100% renewable energy by 2025
2. City of Austin - plugin hybrid car program

George Ure's How to Live on $10,000 a year (or less!) costs $10. I wonder if the author suggests writing a book?

1 comment:

William Bob said...

A deevorce loiyer two doors down keeps swearing that he's fixin' to write a book titled, "How To Eke By On $300,000 Per Year".

Seems that when he handles divorce cases for doctors and other high income professionals he finds that they have no assets! They buy their house with little or no money down and take out equity with refinancing; they are in hock for all the furniture; the cars are leased; so is the boat; all of their credit cards are near the limit; they have no savings.

On the other side, a couple with a combined annual income of $40,000 is likely to have significant equity in their home (or own it outright), own both of their cars (paid off), have little credit card debt, and have 10's of thousands in the bank.