The End of the World as You Know It
…and the Rise of the New Energy World Order
Oil at $110 a barrel. Gasoline at $3.35 (or more) per gallon. Diesel fuel at $4 per gallon. Independent truckers forced off the road. Home heating oil rising to unconscionable price levels. Jet fuel so expensive that three low-cost airlines stopped flying in the past few weeks. This is just a taste of the latest energy news, signaling a profound change in how all of us, in this country and around the world, are going to live -- trends that, so far as anyone can predict, will only become more pronounced as energy supplies dwindle and the global struggle over their allocation intensifies.
Energy of all sorts was once hugely abundant, making possible the worldwide economic expansion of the past six decades. This expansion benefited the United States above all -- along with its "First World" allies in Europe and the Pacific. Recently, however, a select group of former "Third World" countries -- China and India in particular -- have sought to participate in this energy bonanza by industrializing their economies and selling a wide range of goods to international markets. This, in turn, has led to an unprecedented spurt in global energy consumption -- a 47% rise in the past 20 years alone, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE).
An increase of this sort would not be a matter of deep anxiety if the world's primary energy suppliers were capable of producing the needed additional fuels. Instead, we face a frightening reality: a marked slowdown in the expansion of global energy supplies just as demand rises precipitously. These supplies are not exactly disappearing -- though that will occur sooner or later -- but they are not growing fast enough to satisfy soaring global demand.
The combination of rising demand, the emergence of powerful new energy consumers, and the contraction of the global energy supply is demolishing the energy-abundant world we are familiar with and creating in its place a new world order. Think of it as: rising powers/shrinking planet.
This new world order will be characterized by fierce international competition for dwindling stocks of oil, natural gas, coal, and uranium, as well as by a tidal shift in power and wealth from energy-deficit states like China, Japan, and the United States to energy-surplus states like Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. In the process, the lives of everyone will be affected in one way or another -- with poor and middle-class consumers in the energy-deficit states experiencing the harshest effects. That's most of us and our children, in case you hadn't quite taken it in.
A remake of the Light Cycles scene in Tron using cardboard.
thanks to Neatorama
by Jim Kunstler
A friend asked me how come the public apparently grasps the reality of climate change but can’t seem to wrap its collective brain around the unfolding oil crisis.
I'm not convinced that the public does grasp climate change. It's perceived, perhaps, as a background story to daily life, which goes on regardless. Are you even sure Hollywood didn't invent it -- and maybe some boob at Time Magazine is selling it as though it were really happening?
Few have anything to gain by espousing denial of climate change. It's hard for most people to tell if they have been affected by it. It doesn't quite seem real. Those who actually make gestures in the face of it –- screwing in compact fluorescent lightbulbs, buying Prius cars -- end up appearing ridiculous, like an old granny telling you to fetch your raincoat and rubbers because a force five hurricane is organizing iself offshore, beyond the horizon.
The public appears aggressively clueless about the peak oil story. They do not accept any threats to the motoring regime. The news media is surely not helping sort things out. I saw a remarkable display of ignorance on CNN last week when the new resident idiot-maniac Glenn Beck hosted Teamster Union boss James Hoffa and they agreed that the oil companies were to blame for high fuel prices. To put it as plainly as possible, Beck doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about, and it's disgraceful that CNN gives free reign to this moron to misinform the public. It's perhaps equally amazing that Hoffa doesn't know we have entered a permanent global oil crisis based on demand having outrun supply. These two idiots think that if Exxon-Mobil built a new refinery down in Louisiana, everything would be fine, diesel fuel would go back down to 99 cents a gallon, and it would be Christmas every morning.
I can't say that I've caught up but at least I'm moving in the right direction. We will be visiting Zoe's mom Gerry this afternoon at Western State Hospital. They are starting to mention the possibility of discharge. She has been there for over 2 years. Her behavior has been better but it seems to have been at the price of losing some of what makes Gerry Gerry. It's hard to say whether that change is the progression of her Alzheimer's or her medication. We would like to get her into a facility here on Whidbey Island. Getting her discharged is dependent on a facility being willing to take her. If she is discharged, and that's a big if, it won't be any time soon. It's a long process. We hope.
I couldn't get the chrome and leather SX-70 working but the black one has worked out fine. The leather on it was rough so I sent off to Aki-Asahi Custom Camera Coverings for the Blue Green Snake Emboss cover. It's actually dead cow. Sure looks nice.
I've been shooting the Hasselbladski and enjoying it. I've got several backs so I can switch between color and several speeds of black and white. I've been trying out some Ilford Delta 3200 with the super-wide 30mm Arsat. It's great for interiors. I've been shooting Tri-X for medium speed black and white but I'm switching over to Ilford films for all my Black and White. Tri-X is a classic but I don't think Kodak is in film for the long run and Ilford film seems to be. That and David Plowden hasn't liked how the Kodak films have deteriorated and switched to Ilford. He did all the testing I don't have the time to do. (I will be recommending some of his books.) My other square camera has been gathering dust. It's a Ricoh Diacord. It doesn't have the versatility of the Hasselbladski with its interchangeable backs, lenses, and finders but it sure is lighter. The problem was that I had a hard time focusing on the ground glass. My old eyes need a split-image finder. Then I ran across Rick Oleson's TLR focusing screens with a split-image spot. And grids! $30 later and I can focus and keep things from tilting to one side. It brings new life to the Diacord. He also offered to install it if I had a problem but it was an easy change. But, since he offered, I asked if he would install one of his screens on my Meopta Flexaret Va. The ground glass was dim and dirty. I tried to remove the top but I couldn't figure it out and it's been sitting. Rick Oleson also does Tech Notes on a variety of cameras. He likes taking them apart and has welcomed the challenge to remove the top. I just pay for the screen and postage. I actually like the ergonomics of the Flexaret a little better than the Diacord. But wait! There's more. The leather on the Flexaret is not so good. Aki Asahi just bought a laser cutter to cut out his leather camera coverings. Send him a 2D CAD drawing in DFX format and he will cut it. I've pulled off the leather on the Flexaret before sending it to Rick and will measure it for a new covering. Aki Asahi charges $34 for a custom TLR covering and will send a test covering cut out in heavy paper to check it out before cutting the final covering. If that works out I will do the same to the Diacord.
My first 4x5 view camera, back in the 1970s, was like this one. I sold it to get a lightweight 4x5 Nagaoka for backpacking. The Nagaoka went when my kids arrived in the early 1980s. This one is the long railed version. My old one was a standard with 16" of bellows and this is the CC-401 with 22" of bellows which will let me focus my 21 1/4" Kodak Anastigmat. My old one was the traditional silver. It was originally sold by Kodak in 1947. Calumet took over production in 1955 and made them until the the late 1980s. The black ones were the last ones. It needs just a little adjustment to make it like new again. The great thing about it is that it will take the same lens boards I made for my Burke & James Press. They just need a little more sanding to fit. Someone on Large Format Photography Forum wanted to find a good home for it and let it go for less than half what they usually go for. I picked it up for $50.