[Editor's Note: I have heard many interviews of
experts touting their books on the topic of Peak Oil. I was
in complete disagreement with this concept because I believe that
the Earth always re-creates oil. At the rate of usage,
however, especially with the growth of countries like China, the
Earth will not be able to keep up with the re-creation process
fast enough. Unconventional methods of retrieving oil from
the earth such as tar beds, oil shale and oil sands are not
counted as 'oil reserves' because of the cost to retrieve oil from
Recently, on another interview - of
Alex - a channeled spirit
being, he stated that within the lifetime of those listening
to his words, the Earth would run out of oil and our lives would
change completely. He did not give any details of how this
would happen, and indeed there are many mitigating circumstances
as you will see below, however, he stated that removing the oil
from the Earth where it belongs, it creates frequency sickness
through pollution of the atmosphere, it creates holes inside the
Earth that must ultimately fill up with something - and that
creates major earthquakes and other catastrophes.
In other words, taking the oil out of the Earth will
eventually be a huge detriment to our society and wellbeing.
I am presenting information below - both pro and con - and
leave it up the reader to decide what to believe, but whether we
believe it or not, the Earth itself will make the deciding factor
we will have to live with.
Other information from Alex:
Where Fossil Fuels Come From
There are three major forms of fossil fuels: coal, oil
and natural gas. All three were formed many hundreds of
millions of years ago before the time of the dinosaurs -
hence the name fossil fuels. The age they were formed is
called the Carboniferous Period. It was part of the
Paleozoic Era. "Carboniferous" gets its name from carbon,
the basic element in coal and other fossil fuels.
of coal can be found during the time of the dinosaurs. For
example, thin carbon layers can be found during the late
Cretaceous Period (65 million years ago) - the time of
Tyrannosaurus Rex. But the main deposits of fossil
fuels are from the Carboniferous Period. For more about
the various geologic eras, go to
Oil has been used for more than
5,000-6,000 years. The ancient Sumerians,
Assyrians and Babylonians used crude oil
and asphalt ("pitch") collected from large
seeps at Tuttul (modern-day Hit) on the
Euphrates River. A seep is a place on the
ground where the oil leaks up from below
ground. The ancient Egyptians, used liquid
oil as a medicine for wounds, and oil has
been used in lamps to provide light.
The Dead Sea, near the modern Country
of Israel, used to be called Lake
Asphaltites. The word asphalt was derived
is from that term because of the lumps of
gooey petroleum that were washed up on the
lake shores from underwater seeps.
In North America, Native Americans used
blankets to skim oil off the surface of
streams and lakes. They used oil as
medicine and to make canoes water-proof.
During the Revolutionary War, Native
Americans taught George Washington's
troops how to treat frostbite with oil.
As our country grew, the demand for oil
continued to increase as a fuel for lamps.
Petroleum oil began to replace whale oil
in lamps because the price for whale oil
was very high. During this time, most
petroleum oil came from distilling coal
into a liquid or by skimming it off of
lakes - just as the Native Americans did.
On August 27,
1859, Edwin L. Drake drilled the first oil well from below the
ground in America near Titusville, PA. The oil was stored in
wooden barrels. This method is still used all over the world in
United States oil is found in 18 of the 58 counties in
California. Kern County, the County where Bakersfield is
found, is one of the largest producing places in the country.
But we only get one-half of our oil from California wells. The
rest comes from Alaska, and an increasing amount comes from other
countries. In the entire U.S. more than 50 percent of all the oil
we use comes from outside the country, most of it from the Middle
Perhaps this is
a coincidence, but California also has the most earthquakes in the
Sometime between 6,000 to 2,000 years BCE (Before the
Common Era), the first discoveries of natural gas seeps
were made in Iran. Many early writers described the
natural petroleum seeps in the Middle East, especially in
the Baku region of what is now Azerbaijan. The gas seeps,
probably first ignited by lightning, provided the fuel for
the "eternal fires" of the fire-worshiping religion of the
Natural gas is lighter than air. Natural gas is mostly
made up of a gas called methane. Methane is a simple
chemical compound that is made up of carbon and hydrogen
atoms. It's chemical formula is CH4 - one atom of carbon
along with four atoms hydrogen. This gas is highly
Natural gas is usually found near petroleum
underground. It is pumped from below ground and travels in
pipelines to storage areas
Note that Methane is found in great quantities on the bottom
of oceans as well under the surface. Natural methane
explosions have occurred recently as ocean water is warming up
with the current global climate change events.
fuels take millions of years to form and once they are gone - they
Coal is a hard, black colored rock-like
substance. It is made up of carbon, hydrogen,
oxygen, nitrogen and varying amounts of sulphur.
There are three main types of coal - anthracite,
bituminous and lignite. Anthracite coal is the
hardest and has more carbon, which gives it a
higher energy content. Lignite is the softest and
is low in carbon but high in hydrogen and oxygen
content.Ê Bituminous is in between. Today, the
precursor to coal - peat - is still found in many
countries and is also used as an energy source.
The earliest known use of coal was in China.
Coal from the Fu-shun mine in northeastern China
may have been used to smelt copper as early as
3,000 years ago. The Chinese thought coal was a
stone that could burn.
Coal is found in many of the lower 48 states of
U.S. and throughout the rest of the world. Coal is
mined out of the ground using various methods.
Some coal mines are dug by sinking vertical or
horizontal shafts deep under ground, and coal
miners travel by elevators or trains deep under
ground to dig the coal. Other coal is mined in
strip mines where huge steam shovels strip away
the top layers above the coal. The layers are then
restored after the coal is taken away.
Table of contents of other energy
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Further information:
A bell-shaped production curve, as originally suggested by
M. King Hubbert in 1956.
Peak oil depletion scenarios graph which depicts cumulative
published depletion studies by
ASPO and other depletion analysts.
Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of
petroleum production is reached, after which the rate of
production enters its terminal decline. If global consumption is
mitigated before the peak, an
energy crisis may develop because the availability of
conventional oil will drop and prices will rise, perhaps
M. King Hubbert first used the theory in 1956 to accurately
predict that United States oil production would peak between 1965
and 1970. His logistic model, now called
Hubbert peak theory, has since been used to predict the peak
petroleum production of many other countries, and has also proved
useful in other limited-resource production-domains. According to
the Hubbert model, the production rate of a limited resource will
follow a roughly symmetrical
bell-shaped curve based on the limits of exploitability and
Some observers, such as petroleum industry experts
Kenneth S. Deffeyes and
Matthew Simmons, believe the high
dependence of most modern industrial
industrial systems on the relative low cost and high
availability of oil will cause the post-peak production decline
and possible severe increases in the
price of oil to have negative implications for the
global economy. Although predictions as to what exactly these
negative effects will be vary greatly, "a growing number of
oil-industry chieftains are endorsing an idea long deemed fringe:
The world is approaching a practical limit to the number of
barrels of crude oil that can be pumped every day."
If political and economic change only occur in reaction to high
prices and shortages rather than in reaction to the threat of a
peak, then the degree of economic damage to importing countries
will largely depend on how rapidly oil imports decline post-peak.
Export Land Model shows that the amount of oil available
internationally drops much more quickly than production in
exporting countries because the exporting countries maintain an
internal growth in demand. Shortfalls in production (and therefore
supply) would cause extreme price inflation, unless demand is
mitigated with planned
conservation measures and use of alternatives, which would
need to be implemented 20 years before the peak.
Optimistic estimations of peak production forecast a peak will
happen in the 2020s or 2030s and assume major
alternatives will occur before a crisis. These models show the
of oil at first escalating and then retreating as other types of
and energy sources are used.
Pessimistic predictions of future oil production operate on the
thesis that the peak has already occurred
or will occur shortly
proactive mitigation may no longer be an option, predict a
depression, perhaps even initiating a chain reaction of the
feedback mechanisms in the global
market which might stimulate a collapse of global industrial
civilization. In early 2008 there are signs that a possible
recession will be made worse by rising oil prices.
Demand for oil
- Further information:
Oil consumption rates,
Petroleum: top consuming nations, 1960-2005
United States oil production peaked in 1970. By 2005 imports
were twice the production.
demand side of Peak oil is concerned with the consumption over
time, and the growth of this demand. World crude oil demand grew
an average of 1.76% per year from 1994 to 2006, with a high of
3.4% in 2003-2004. Demand growth is highest in the
World demand for oil is projected to increase 37% over 2006 levels
by 2030, according to the US-based
Energy Information Administration's (EIA) annual report.
Demand will hit 118 million barrels per day (18.8×106 m3/d)
from 2006's 86 million barrels (13.7×106 m3),
driven in large part by the transportation sector.
develop, industry, rapid
urbanization and higher
living standards drive up energy use, most often of oil.
Thriving economies such as China and India are quickly becoming
large oil consumers. China has seen oil consumption grow by 8%
yearly since 2002, doubling from 1996-2006,
indicating a doubling rate of less than 10 years. China
imported roughly half its oil in 2005, and swift continued
growth is predicted. India's oil imports are expected to more than
triple from 2005 levels by 2020, rising to 5 million barrels per
day (790×103 m3/d).
Energy demand is distributed amongst four broad sectors:
residential, commercial, and industrial.
The sector that generally sees the highest annual growth in
petroleum demand is transportation, in the form of new demand for
personal-use vehicles powered by
internal combustion engines.
Cars and trucks will cause almost 75% of the increase in oil
consumption by India and China between 2001 and 2025.
As more countries develop, the demand for oil will increase
further. This sector also has the highest consumption rates,
accounting for approximately 68.9% of the oil used in the United
States in 2006,
and 55% of oil use worldwide as documented in the
Hirsch report. Transportation is therefore of particular
interest to those seeking to
mitigate the effects of Peak oil.
6.5 Billion People
Today at 7:16 p.m. 10-20-06 Eastern Standard
Time, the population of Earth is projected to reach 6.5
According to a March 2004 U.S. Census Bureau report, the
world population hit 6 billion in June 1999.
"This figure is over 3.5 times the size of the Earth's
population at the beginning of the 20th century and
roughly double its size in 1960," the report noted.
Perhaps more amazing was the short time required to
increase the planet's population from 5 to 6 billion --
just 12 years.
Another large factor on petroleum demand has been human
population growth. Oil production per capita peaked in the
world’s population in 2030 is expected to be double that of
1980. Some analysts project that people will be much more oil-dependent
than they are now.
Author Matt Savinar predicts that oil
production in 2030 will have declined back to 1980 levels as
worldwide demand for oil significantly out-paces production.
Physicist Albert Bartlett claims that the rate of oil production
per capita is falling, and that the decline has gone undiscussed
politically incorrect form of
population control may be implied by mitigation.
Oil production per capita has declined from 5.26 barrels
(0.836 m³) per year in 1980 to 4.44 barrels (0.706 m³) per year in
but then increased to 4.79 barrels (0.762 m³) per year in 2005.
In 2006, the world oil production took a downturn from
84.631 million barrels per day (13.4553×106 m3/d)
to 84.597 million barrels per day (13.4498×106 m3/d)
although population has continued to increase. This has caused the
oil production per capita to drop again to 4.73 barrels (0.752 m³)
One factor that has so far helped ameliorate the effect of
population growth on demand is the decline of population growth
rate since the 1970s. In 1970, the population grew at 2.1%. By
2007,the growth rate had declined to 1.167%.However, oil production is still outpacing population growth to
meet demand. World population grew from 6.07 Billion in 2000 to
6.45 Billion in 2005, or by 6.2%,
whereas according to BP, global oil production during that same
period increased from 74.9 million barrels (11.91×106 m3)
to 81.1 million barrels (12.89×106 m3),
or by 8.2%.
or according to EIA, from 77.762 million barrels (12.3632×106 m3)
to 84.631 million barrels (13.4553×106 m3),
or by 8.8%.
Agriculture and population limits
Agricultural effects of peak oil,
Food vs fuel and
2007–2008 world food price crisis
Because supplies of oil and gas are essential to modern
agriculture techniques, a fall in global oil supplies could
cause spiking food prices and unprecedented
famine in the coming decades.
Dale Allen Pfeiffer contends that current population levels
are unsustainable, and that to achieve a sustainable economy and
disaster the United States population would have to be reduced
by at least one-third, and
world population by two-thirds.
The largest consumer of fossil fuels in modern agriculture is
fertilizer production via the
Haber process. If a sustainable non-petroleum source of
electricity is developed, this process can be accomplished without
fossil fuels using methods such as
Oil reserves and
Peak oil/Table of largest oil fields
2004 U.S. government predictions for oil production other
OPEC and the
former Soviet Union
"All the easy oil and gas in the world has pretty much been
found. Now comes
the harder work in finding and producing oil
from more challenging environments
and work areas."
— William J. Cummings,
major oil-company spokesman, December 2005 ,
As Peak oil is concerned with the amount of oil produced over
time, the amount of recoverable reserves is important as this
determines the amount of oil that can potentially be extracted in
Conventional crude oil reserves include all crude oil that is
technically possible to produce from reservoirs through a well
bore, using primary, secondary, improved, enhanced, or tertiary
methods. This does not include liquids extracted from mined solids
or gasses (tar
gas-to-liquid processes, or
Oil reserves are classified as proven, probable and possible.
Proven reserves are generally intended to have at least 90% or 95%
certainty of containing the amount specified. Probable Reserves
have an intended
probability of 50%, and the Possible Reserves an intended
probability of 5% or 10%.
Current technology is capable of extracting about 40% of the oil
from most wells. Some speculate that future technology will make
further extraction possible,
but to some, this future technology is already considered in
Proven and Probable reserve numbers.
In many major producing countries, the majority of reserves
claims have not been subject to outside audit or examination. Most
of the easy-to-extract oil has been found.
Recent price increases have led to
oil exploration in areas where extraction is much more
expensive, such as in extremely deep wells, extreme downhole
temperatures, and environmentally sensitive areas or where
high-technology will be required to extract the oil. A lower rate
of discoveries per explorations has led to a shortage of
drilling rigs, increases in
prices, and overall increases in costs due to complexity.
The peak of world oilfield discoveries occurred in 1965.
world population grew faster than oil production, production
per capita peaked in 1979 (preceded by a plateau during
the period of 1973-1979).
The amount of oil discovered each year also peaked during the
1960s at around 55 Gb/year, and has been falling steadily since
(in 2004/2005 it was about 12 Gb/year). Reserves in effect peaked
in 1980, when production first surpassed new discoveries, though
creative methods of recalculating reserves has made this difficult
to establish exactly.
Concerns over stated reserves
" World reserves are confused and in fact inflated.
Many of the so called reserves
are in fact resources. They're not delineated, they're
not accessible, they're not
available for production."
Sadad Al-Husseini, former VP of
Aramco, October 2007.
By Al-Husseini's estimate, 300 billion of the world’s
1,200 billion barrels (190×109 m3)
of proved reserves should be recategorized as speculative
One difficulty in forecasting the date of peak oil is the
opacity surrounding the oil reserves classified as 'proven'. Many
worrying signs concerning the depletion of 'proven reserves' have
emerged in recent years.
This was best exemplified by the 2004 scandal surrounding the
'evaporation' of 20% of
For the most part, 'proven reserves' are stated by the oil
companies, the producer states and the consumer states. All three
have reasons to overstate their proven reserves:
Oil companies may look to increase their potential worth.
Producer countries are bestowed a stronger
Governments of consumer countries may seek a means to foster
stability within their
economies and among consumers.
The Energy Watch Group (EWG) 2007 report shows total world
Proved (P95) plus Probable (P50) reserves to be between 854 and
1,255 Gb (30 to 40 years of supply if demand growth were to stop
immediately). Major discrepancies arise from accuracy issues with
self-reported numbers. Besides the possibility that these nations
have overstated their reserves for political reasons (during
periods of no substantial discoveries), over 70 nations also
follow a practice of not reducing their reserves to account for
yearly production. 1,255 Gb is therefore a best-case scenario.
Analysts have suggested that OPEC member nations have economic
incentives to exaggerate their reserves, as the OPEC quota system
allows greater output for countries with greater reserves.
The following table shows suspicious jumps in stated reserves
without associated discoveries, as well as the lack of depletion
despite yearly production:
|Declared reserves with suspicious increases
in bold purple (in billions of barrels) from Colin Campbell,
Kuwait, for example, was reported by a January 2006 issue of
Petroleum Intelligence Weekly to have only 48 Gb in reserve,
of which only 24 were "fully proven." This report was based on
"leaks of confidential documents" from Kuwait, and has not been
formally denied by the Kuwaiti authorities. Additionally, the
reported 1.5 Gb of
oil burned off by Iraqi soldiers in the first Gulf Wa
are conspicuously missing from Kuwait's figures.
On the other hand investigative journalist
Greg Palast has argued that oil companies have an interest in
making oil look more rare than it is in order to justify higher
Other analysts in 2003 argued that oil producing countries
understated the extent of their reserves in order to drive up the
price of oil.
Unconventional sources, such as
heavy crude oil, tar sands, and
oil shale are not counted as part of oil reserves. However, oil
companies can book them as proven reserves after opening a
strip mine or thermal facility for
extraction. Oil industry sources such as Rigzone have stated
that these unconventional sources are not as efficient to produce,
however, requiring extra energy to refine, resulting in higher
production costs and up to three times more
greenhouse gas emissions per barrel (or barrel equivalent).
While the energy used, resources needed, and environmental effects
of extracting unconventional sources has traditionally been
prohibitively high, the three major unconventional oil sources
being considered for large scale production are the extra heavy
oil in the
Orinoco river of
the tar sands in the
Western Canada Basin,
and the oil shale in the
Green River Formation in
Wyoming in the
Chuck Masters of the
USGS estimates that, "Taken together, these resource
occurrences, in the
Western Hemisphere, are approximately equal to the Identified
Reserves of conventional crude oil accredited to the Middle East."
Despite the large quantities of oil available in
non-conventional sources, Matthew Simmons argues that limitations
on production prevent them from becoming an effective substitute
for conventional crude oil. Simmons states that "these are high
energy intensity projects that can never reach high volumes" to
offset significant losses from other sources.
Moreover, oil extracted from these sources typically contains
contaminants such as
heavy metals and
carbon that are energy-intensive to extract and leave highly
recent high oil prices make these sources more financially
A study by Wood Mackenzie suggests that within 15 years all the
world’s extra oil supply will likely come from unconventional
A 2003 article in
Discover magazine claimed that
thermal depolymerization could be used to manufacture oil
indefinitely, out of garbage, sewage, and agricultural waste. The
article claimed that the cost of the process was $15 per barrel.
A follow-up article in 2006 stated that the cost was actually $80
OPEC Crude Oil Production 2002-2006. Source: Middle East
The point in time when peak global oil production occurs is the
measure which defines Peak oil. This is because production
capacity is the main limitation of supply. Therefore, when
production decreases, it becomes the main
bottleneck to the petroleum
World wide oil discoveries have been less than annual
production since 1980.
According to several sources, world-wide production is past or
near its maximum.
World oil production growth trends were flat from 2005 to 2008.
According to a January 2007
International Energy Agency report, global supply (which
includes biofuels, non-crude sources of petroleum, and use of
strategic oil reserves, as well as production) averaged
85.24 million barrels per day (13.552×106 m3/d)
in 2006, up 0.76 million barrels per day (121×103 m3/d)
(0.9%), from 84.48 million barrels per day (13.431×106 m3/d)
Production in Q3 2007 was 85.08 million barrels per day (13.527×106 m3/d),
down 0.62 million barrels per day (99×103 m3/d)
(0.7%), from the same period a year earlier. Average yearly gains
in world oil production from 1987 to 2005 were 1.2 million barrels
per day (190×103 m3/d)
(1.7%), with yearly changes since 1997 ranging from a decrease of
1.4 million barrels per day (220×103 m3/d),
(-1.9%; 1998–1999) to an increase of 3.3 million barrels per day
The IEA's March 2008 Oil Market report showed global supply to
be 87.5 mb/d, compared to 84.3 mb/d in July 2007, a 3.8% increase
on that interval. The great bulk of the increase came in the
non-OPEC sector, which now makes up 65% of global production.
Of the largest 21 fields, at least 9 are in decline.
In April, 2006, a
Saudi Aramco spokesman admitted that its mature fields are now
declining at a rate of 8% per year (with a national composite
decline of about 2%).
This information has been used to argue that
Ghawar, which is the largest oil field in the world and
responsible for approximately half of Saudi Arabia's oil
production over the last 50 years, has peaked.
The world's second largest oil field, the
Burgan field in Kuwait, entered decline in November, 2005.
According to a study of the largest 811 oilfields conducted in
early 2008 by
CERA, the average rate of field decline is 4.5% per year.
There are also projects projected to begin production within the
next decade which are hoped to offset these declines. The CERA
report projects 2017 production level of over 100mbpd.
However, CERA is often criticised for being overly optimistic
Mexico announced that its giant
Cantarell Field entered depletion in March, 2006,
due to past overproduction. In 2006, Cantarell was declining at a
rate of 13% per year.
OPEC had vowed in 2000 to maintain a production level
sufficient to keep oil prices between $22–28 per barrel, but did
not prove possible. In its 2007 annual report, OPEC projected that
it could maintain a production level which would stabilize the
price of oil at around $50–60 per barrel until 2030.
with oil above $98 a barrel, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, a
long-time advocate of stabilized oil prices, announced that his
country would not increase production in order to lower prices.
Saudi Arabia's inability, as the world's largest supplier, to
stabilize prices through increased production during that period
suggests that no nation or organization had the spare production
capacity to lower oil prices. The implication is that those major
suppliers who had not yet peaked were operating at or near full
Commentators have pointed to the
2 deep water test well in the
Gulf of Mexico, announced
as evidence that there is no imminent peak in global oil
production. According to one estimate, the field could account for
up to 11% of US production within seven years.
However, even though oil discoveries are expected after the peak
oil of production is reached,
the new reserves of oil will be harder to find and extract. The
Jack 2 field, for instance, is more than 20,000 feet (6,100 m)
under the sea floor in 7,000 feet (2,100 m) of water, requiring
8.5 kilometers of pipe to reach. Additionally, even the maximum
estimate of 15 billion barrels (2.4×109 m3)
represents slightly less than 2 years of U.S. consumption at
The increasing investment in harder-to-reach oil is a sign of
oil companies' belief in the end of easy oil.
In addition, while it is widely believed that increased oil prices
spur an increase in production, an increasing number of oil
industry insiders are now coming to believe that even with higher
prices, oil production is unlikely to increase significantly
beyond its current level. Among the reasons cited are both
geological factors as well as "above ground" factors that are
likely to see oil production plateau near its current level.
Nationalization of oil supplies
Another factor affecting global oil supply is the
nationalization of oil reserves by producing nations. The
nationalization of oil occurs as countries begin to deprivatize
oil production and withhold exports. Kate Dourian, Platts' Middle
East editor, points out that while estimates of oil reserves may
vary, politics have now entered the equation of oil supply. "Some
countries are becoming off limits. Major oil companies operating
in Venezuela find themselves in a difficult position because of
the growing nationalization of that resource. These countries are
now reluctant to share their reserves."
According to consulting firm PFC Energy, only 7% of the world's
estimated oil and gas reserves are in countries that allow
companies like ExxonMobil free rein. Fully 65% are in the hands of
state-owned companies such as Saudi Aramco, with the rest in
countries such as
Russia and Venezuela, where access by Western companies is
difficult. The PFC study implies political factors are limiting
capacity increases in
Kuwait and Russia. Saudi Arabia is also limiting capacity
expansion, but because of a self-imposed cap, unlike the other
As a result of not having access to countries amenable to oil
exploration, ExxonMobil is not making nearly the investment in
finding new oil that it did in 1981.
Alternately, commodities trader
Raymond Learsy, author of Over a Barrel: Breaking the
Middle East Oil Cartel, contends that OPEC has trained
consumers to believe that oil is a much more finite resource than
it is. To back his argument, he points to past false alarms and
He also believes that Peak Oil analysts are conspiring with OPEC
and the oil companies to create a "fabricated drama of peak oil"
in order to drive up oil prices and
profits. It is worth noting oil had risen to a little over
$30/barrel at that time. A counter-argument was given in the
Huffington Post after he and Steve Andrews, co-founder of
ASPO, debated on CNBC in June 2007.
Timing of peak oil
US oil production (crude oil only) and Hubbert high
M. King Hubbert initially predicted in 1974 that peak oil
would occur in 1995 "if current trends continue."
However, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, global oil
consumption actually dropped (due to the shift to
the shift to
natural gas for heating,
and other factors), then rebounded to a lower level of growth in
the mid 1980s. Thus oil production did not peak in 1995, and has
climbed to more than double the rate initially projected. This
underscores the fact that the only reliable way to identify the
timing of peak oil will be in retrospect. However, predictions
have been refined through the years as up-to-date information
becomes more readily available, such as new reserve growth data.
Predictions of the timing of peak oil include the possibilities
that it has recently occurred, that it will occur shortly, or that
a plateau of oil production will sustain supply for up to 100
years. All of these predictions indicate peak oil production
Pessimistic predictions of future oil
Saudi Arabia's King Abdulla told his subjects in 1998, "The oil
boom is over and will not return... All of us must get used to a
different lifestyle." Since then he has implemented a series of
corruption reforms and government programs intended to lower Saudi
Arabia's dependence on oil revenues. The royal family was put on
notice to end its history of excess and new industries were
created to diversify the national economy.
Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO) predicted
in their January 2008 newsletter that the peak in all oil
(including non-conventional sources), would occur in 2010. This is
earlier than the July 2007 newsletter prediction of 2011.
Kenneth S. Deffeyes argues that world oil production peaked on
T. Boone Pickens stated in 2005 that worldwide conventional
oil production was very close to peaking.
Data from the US
Energy Information Administration show that world production
leveled out in 2004, and reached a peak in the third quarter of
and an October 2007 retrospective report by the
Energy Watch Group concluded that this was the peak of
conventional oil production.
If current estimates hold, that peak may have been exceeded in
December 2007, though it is unclear how much of this amount is
crude oil production and how much is natural gas and other
Sadad Al Husseini, former head of
Saudi Aramco's production and exploration, stated in an
interview that oil production had likely already reached its peak
and that assumptions by the IEA and EIA of production increases by
OPEC to over 45 MB/day are "quite unrealistic."
Global Oil Supply 1997-2007.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Agency
The July 2007
IEA Medium-Term Oil Market Report projected a 2% non-OPEC
liquids supply growth in 2007-2009, reaching 51.0 mb/d in 2008,
receding thereafter as the slate of verifiable investment projects
diminishes. They refer to this decline as a plateau. The report
expects only a small amount of supply growth from OPEC producers,
with 70% of the increase coming from
Saudi Arabia, the
Angola as security and investment issues continue to impinge
on oil exports from Iraq,
Nigeria and Venezuela.
In October 2007, the Energy Watch Group, a German research
group founded by MP
Hans-Josef Fell, released a report claiming that oil
production peaked in 2006 and will decline by several percent
annually. The authors predict negative economic effects and social
unrest as a result.
They state that the IEA production plateau prediction uses purely
economic models which rely on an ability to raise production and
discovery rates at will.
Matthew Simmons, Chairman of
Simmons & Company International, said on
that global oil production may have peaked in December 2005,
though he cautions that further monitoring of production is
required to determine if a peak has actually occurred.
Optimistic predictions of future oil
Non-'peakists' can be divided into several different categories
based on their specific criticism of Peak Oil theory. Some believe
that any peak will not come soon or have a dramatic effect on the
world economies. Others believe we will not reach a peak for
technological reasons, while still others believe our oil reserves
are regenerated quickly over time.
CERA, which counts
unconventional sources in
reserves while discounting
believes that global production will eventually follow an
“undulating plateau” for one or more decades before declining
In 2005 the group had predicted that "petroleum supplies will be
expanding faster than demand over the next five years."
Dr. R.C. Vierbuchen, Vice President, Caspian/Middle East
ExxonMobil Exploration Co. believes a peak, "from resource
limitations, is unlikely in the next 25 years." He claims that
future technologies will increase production, and that the peak
will be the result of non-production factors.
Similarly, some analysts believe that the rising oil prices
will instigate a move toward alternative sources of fuel, and that
this will take effect long before oil reserves are depleted.
Energy Information Administration and
USGS 2000 reports
The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects world
consumption of oil to increase to 98.3 million barrels per day
in 2015 and 118 million barrels per day (18.8×106 m3/d)
This would require a more than 35% increase in world oil
production by 2030. A 2004 paper by the Energy Information
Administration based on data collected in 2000 disagrees with
Hubbert peak theory on several points:
Explicitly incorporates demand into model as well as supply
Does not assume pre/post-peak symmetry of production levels
Models pre- and post-peak production with different functions (exponential growth and constant
Assumes reserve growth, including via technological advancement and exploitation of small reservoirs
The EIA estimates of future oil supply are countered by Sadad
Al Husseini, retired VP Exploration of Aramco, who calls it a
Husseini also points out that population growth and the emergence
of China and India means oil prices are now going to be
structurally higher than they have been.
Colin Campbell argues that the 2000 USGS estimates is a
methodologically flawed study that has done incalculable damage by
misleading international agencies and governments. Campbell
dismisses the notion that the world can seamlessly move to more
difficult and expensive sources of oil and gas when the need
arises. He argues that oil is in profitable abundance or not there
at all, due ultimately to the fact that it is a liquid
concentrated by nature in a few places having the right
geology. Campbell believes
countries raised their reserves to get higher oil quotas and to
avoid internal critique. He also points out that the USGS failed
to extrapolate past discovery trends in the world’s mature basins.
No Peak Oil
"Yes, there are finite resources in the
ground, but you never get to that point."
— Jeff Hatlen, an engineer
Some commentators, such as economist
Michael Lynch, believe that the Hubbert Peak theory is flawed
and that there is no imminent peak in oil production; a view
sometimes referred to as "cornucopian"
by believers in Hubbert Peak Theory. Lynch argued in 2004 that
production is determined by demand as well as geology, and that
fluctuations in oil supply are due to political and economic
effects as well as the physical processes of exploration,
discovery and production.
This idea is echoed by
Jad Mouawad, who explains that as oil prices rise, new
extraction technologies become viable, thus expanding the total
recoverable oil reserves. This, according to Mouwad, is one
explanation of the changes in peak production estimates.
Abdullah S. Jum'ah, President, Director and CEO of
Aramco, states that the world has adequate reserves of
conventional and nonconventional oil sources for more than a
Sadad Al-Husseini, a former Vice President of Aramco who
formerly maintained that production would peak in 10-15 years,
stated in October 2007 that oil production peaked in 2006.
has never acknowledged imminent Peak oil concerns. In OPEC's 2007 annual book,
which discusses issues such as future supply position, forecasted
demand, and ultimate recoverable reserves (URR), the authors state
that the conventional oil resource base is sufficient to satisfy
demand increases until 2030 at a price of $50-60 per barrel,
increasing afterwards to account for inflation. It also states
that, comparing the five percent confidence (P5) URR of 3300(sic)
billion barrels from the 2000
to what appears to be (there is no reference given) the 95%
confidence (P95) URR of 1700(sic) billion barrels from the 1980
Rand corporation survey, production after 1980 has been only one
third of reserve additions happening during the same period, which
would contrast with Peak oil predictors. However, four other
surveys from 1980 give estimates of 2600, 2400, 2280, and
2,015 billion barrels (320.4×109 m3).
Comparing the average of the five 1980 estimates (2219 billion
barrels when using the actual Rand estimate of 1800 billion
barrels) to the P95 URR from the 2000 USGS survey (2272 billion
barrels), production since 1980 has been more than 10 times new
The theory that petroleum is derived from
biogenic processes is held by the overwhelming majority of
petroleum geologists. Abiogenic theorists however, such as the
late professor of astronomy
Thomas Gold at
Cornell University, assert that the source of oil may not be a
limited supply of “fossil fuels”, but instead an
abiotic process. They theorize that if abiogenic petroleum
sources are found to be abundant, Earth would contain vast
reserves of untapped petroleum.
A February 2008 article on abiogenic low-carbon hydrocarbon
production using data from experiments at
Lost City (hydrothermal field) reported how the abiotic
synthesis of C1 to C4 hydrocarbons (though not petroleum) may
occur in the presence of ultramafic rocks, water, and moderate
amounts of heat.
The most important counter arguments to the abiotic theory
biomarkers which have been found in all samples of all the oil
and gas accumulations found to date. The prevailing view among
geologists and petroleum engineers is that this evidence "provides
irrefutable proof that 99.99999% of all the oil and gas
accumulations found up to now in the planet earth have a biologic
origin." In this process, oil is generated from
While, Thomas Gold hypothesized that bacteria exist deep within
the Earth's crust, and are the source of the biomarkers,
these bacteria have not been found, the natural abiogenic
formation of high-carbon hydrocarbons has not been demonstrated,
and evidence for the biotic origin of petroleum is abundant.
Possible effects and consequences of
- Further information:
Malthusian catastrophe, Olduvai
theory, and Backstop
- For information on the timing of peak oil, see
Predicting the timing of peak oil
The widespread use of fossil fuels has been one of the most
important stimuli of
economic growth and prosperity since the
industrial revolution, allowing humans to participate in
takedown, or the consumption of energy at a greater rate than it
is being replaced. Some believe that when oil production
decreases, human culture and modern technological society will be
forced to change drastically. The impact of Peak oil will depend
heavily on the rate of decline and the development and adoption of
effective alternatives. If alternatives are not forthcoming,
products produced with oil (including fertilizers, detergents,
solvents, adhesives, and most
plastics) would become scarce and expensive. At the very least
this could lower living standards in developed and developing
countries alike, and in the worst case lead to worldwide economic
collapse. With increased tension between countries over dwindling
oil supplies, political situations may change dramatically and
inequalities between countries and regions may become exacerbated.
The Hirsch Report
In 2005, the
US Department of Energy published a report titled Peaking
of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation, & Risk Management.
Known as the
Hirsch report, it stated, "The peaking of world oil production
presents the U.S. and the world with an unprecedented risk
management problem. As peaking is approached, liquid fuel prices
and price volatility will increase dramatically, and, without
timely mitigation, the economic, social, and political costs will
be unprecedented. Viable mitigation options exist on both the
supply and demand sides, but to have substantial impact, they must
be initiated more than a decade in advance of peaking."
Conclusions from the Hirsch Report and
World oil peaking is going to happen, and will likely be
Oil peaking will adversely affect global economies,
particularly those most dependent on oil.
Oil peaking presents a unique challenge (“it will be abrupt
The problem is liquid fuels (growth in demand mainly from
the transportation sector).
Mitigation efforts will require substantial time.
20 years is required to transition without substantial
A 10 year rush transition with moderate impacts is
possible with extraordinary efforts from
industry, and consumers
Late initiation of mitigation may result in severe
Both supply and demand will require attention.
It is a matter of risk management (mitigating action must
come before the peak).
Government intervention will be required.
Economic upheaval is not inevitable (“given enough
lead-time, the problems can be solved
More information is needed to more precisely determine the
peak time frame.
Waiting until world oil production peaks before taking crash
program action leaves the world with
a significant liquid fuel
deficit for more than two decades.
Initiating a mitigation crash program 10 years before world
oil peaking helps considerably but still
leaves a liquid fuels
shortfall roughly a decade after the time that oil would have
Initiating a mitigation crash program 20 years before
peaking appears to offer the possibility of
avoiding a world
liquid fuels shortfall for the forecast period.
Some envisage a
Malthusian catastrophe occurring as oil becomes increasingly
inefficient to produce. Others claim that applying lessons learned
from "mature oil fields" to operational procedures of other basins
could preserve their operational tempo.
- Further information:
Agriculture and population limits,
Agriculture and petroleum,
Food security, and
Food vs fuel
Since the 1940s, agriculture has dramatically increased its
productivity, due largely to the use of petrochemical derived
pesticides, fertilizers, and increased
mechanization (the so-called
Green Revolution). This has allowed
world population to more than double over the last 50 years.
Every energy unit delivered in food grown using modern techniques
requires over ten energy units to produce and deliver. Modern
agriculture relies heavily on petrochemicals and mechanization,
and there are few or no quickly available non-petroleum based
alternatives. Because of this, many agriculture, petroleum,
sociology, and ecology experts have warned that the ever
decreasing supply of oil will inflict major damage to the modern
industrial agriculture system
causing a collapse in food production ability and food shortages.
One example of the chain reactions which could possibly be
caused by peak oil issues involves the problems caused by farmers
raising crops such as corn for non-food use in an effort to help
mitigate peak oil. This has already lowered food production.
food vs fuel issue will be exacerbated as demand for ethanol
fuel rises. Rising food and fuel costs has already limited the
abilities of some charitable donors to send food aid to starving
In the UN, some warn that the recent 60% rise in wheat prices
could cause "serious social unrest in developing countries."
In 2007, higher incentives for farmers to grow non-food
combined with other factors (such as over-development of former
farm lands, rising transportation costs,
climate change, growing consumer demand in
food shortages in
Mexico, as well as rising
prices around the globe.
As of December 2007, 37 countries faced food crises, and 20 had
imposed some sort of food-price controls. Some of these shortages
food riots and even deadly stampedes.
Another major petroleum issue in agriculture is the effect of
petroleum supplies will have on fertilizer production. By far the
biggest fossil fuel input to agriculture is the use of natural gas
as a hydrogen source for the
Haber-Bosch fertilizer-creation process.
Natural gas is used because it is the cheapest currently available
source of hydrogen.
When oil production becomes so scarce that natural gas is used as
a partial stopgap replacement, and hydrogen use in transportation
increases, natural gas will
become much more expensive. If other sources of hydrogen are
not available to replace the Haber process, in amounts sufficient
to supply transportation and agricultural needs, this major source
of fertilizer would either become extremely expensive or
unavailable. This would either cause food shortages or dramatic
rises in food prices.
Mitigation of agricultural effects
One effect oil shortages could have on agriculture is a full
organic agriculture. In light of peak oil concerns, organic
methods are much more sustainable than contemporary practices
because they use no petroleum-based pesticides, herbicides, or
fertilizers. Some farmers using modern organic-farming methods
have reported yields as high as those available from conventional
Organic farming may however be more
labor-intensive and would require a shift of work
force from urban to rural areas.
It has been suggested that rural communities might obtain fuel
synfuel process, which uses agricultural waste to
provide charcoal fertilizer, some fuel and food, instead of
food vs fuel debate. As the synfuel would be used on site, the
process would be more efficient and may just provide enough fuel
for a new organic-agriculture fusion.
It has been suggested that some
transgenic plants may some day be developed which would allow
for maintaining or increasing yields while requiring fewer fossil
fuel derived inputs than conventional crops.
The possibility of success of these programs is questioned by
ecologists and economists concerned with unsustainable GMO
practices such as
and a January 2008 report shows that GMO practices have failed to
address sustainability issues.
While there has been some research on sustainability using GMO
crops, at least one hyped and prominent multi-year attempt by
Monsanto has been unsuccessful, though during the same period
traditional breeding techniques yielded a more sustainable variety
of the same crop.
Additionally, a survey by the bio-tech industry of subsistence
farmers in Africa to discover what GMO research would most benefit
sustainable agriculture only identified non-transgenic issues as
areas needing to be addressed.
Transportation and housing
A majority of Americans live in
suburbs, a type of low-density settlement designed around
Electric vehicle, hydrogen power, or other technologies may extend the usefulness of these
living arrangements, but commentators such as
James Howard Kunstler argue that because over 90% of
transportation in the United States relies on oil, the suburbs'
reliance on the automobile is an unsustainable living arrangement.
Peak oil would leave many Americans unable to afford petroleum
based fuel for their cars, and force them to move to higher
density areas, where walking and public transportation are more
viable options. Suburbia may become the "slums
of the future."
Methods which have been suggested for mitigating this include
shared space, and
To avoid the serious
economic implications a global decline in oil production could
Hirsch report emphasized the need to find alternatives at
least 10-20 years before the peak, and to phase out the use of
petroleum over that time, similar to
the plan Sweden announced in 2005. Such
mitigation could include energy conservation, fuel
substitution, and the use of non-conventional oil. Because
mitigation can reduce the consumption of traditional petroleum
sources, it can also affect the timing of peak oil and the shape
Positive aspects of peak oil
There are those
who believe that peak oil should be viewed as a positive event. Many of these critics reason that if
the price of oil rises high enough, the use of alternative clean
fuels could help control the pollution of fossil fuel use as well
global warming. Others, in particular
anarcho-primitivists, are hopeful that it will cause or
contribute to the collapse of civilization.
Peak oil for individual nations
- Further information:
List of oil fields
Peak Oil as a concept applies globally, but it is based on the
summation of individual nations experiencing peak oil. In State
of the World 2005,
Worldwatch Institute observes that oil production is in
decline in 33 of the 48 largest oil-producing countries.
Other countries have also passed their individual oil
The following list shows significant oil-producing nations and
their approximate peak oil production years, organized by year.
US oil production (crude oil only) and Hubbert high
Canadian conventional oil production peaked in 1973, but oil
sands production is forecast to increase to at least 2020
Japan: 1932 (assumed; source does not specify)
Russia: a peak occurred in 1987 shortly before the
Collapse of the Soviet Union, but production
recovered, making Russia the second largest oil exporter in the
world. Figures from
early 2008, statements by officials, and
analysis suggest that production may have peaked in
New Zealand: 1997
Australia (disputed): 2004; 2001
Peak oil production has not been reached in the following
nations (these numbers are estimates and subject to revision):
Saudi Arabia: 2014
In addition, the most recent
International Energy Agency and
US Energy Information Administration production data show
record and rising production in Canada and China.
The amount of oil discovered each year peaked in the mid 1960's
at around 55 Gb/year, and has been falling steadily since then (in
2004/2005 it was about 12 Gb/year).
Reserves in effect peaked in 1980, when production first surpassed
new discoveries. Because of
world population growth, oil production
per capita peaked in 1979 (preceded by a plateau during
the period of 1973-1979).
Hubbert's curve has also been used to describe the peak
production of other
non-renewable resources, such as natural gas, coal,
uranium, metals, and even
renewable resources like water and fish.
Medium-Term Oil Prices, 1994-2008 (not adjusted for
In terms of 2007 inflation adjusted dollars, the price of oil
peaked in May 2008 at over $123 a barrel. Before this period, the
maximum inflation adjusted price was the equivalent of $95-100, in
Crude oil prices in the last several years have steadily risen
from about $25 a barrel in August of 2003 to over $125 a barrel in
May of 2008, with the most significant increases happening within
the last year. These prices are well above those which caused the
the 1973 and
1979 energy crises. This has contributed to fears of an
economic recession similar to that of the early 1980s.
One important indicator which supported the possibility that the
price of oil had begun to have an effect on economies was that in
the United States, gasoline consumption dropped by .5% in the
first two months of 2008,
compared to a drop of .4% total in 2007.
However the rise in other commodity prices such as gold, and a
decline in the US dollar against other significant currencies
might suggest that a significant part of these price rises is due
to monetary inflation.
Helping to fuel these price increases were reports from the
U.S. Department of Energy and others that showed a decline in
petroleum reserves, and analysts reporting that petroleum
production is at
or near full capacity.
In June 2005, OPEC admitted that they would 'struggle' to pump
enough oil to meet pricing pressures for the fourth quarter of
Demand pressures on oil have been strong. Global consumption of
oil rose from 30 billion barrels (4.8×109 m3)
in 2004 to 31 billion in 2005. These consumption rates are far
above new discoveries for the period, which had fallen to only
eight billion barrels of new oil reserves in new accumulations in
In 2005, consumption was within 2 million barrels per day (320×103 m3/d)
of production, and at any one time there are about 54 days of
stock in the
OECD system plus 37 days in emergency stockpiles.
Besides supply and demand pressures, at times security related
factors may have contributed to increases in prices,
including the "War
on Terror," missile launches in
North Korea, the
Crisis between Israel and Lebanon, nuclear
brinkmanship between the US and
the incursion by
Northern Iraq, and hurricanes.
Another factor in oil price is the cost of extracting crude. As
the extraction of oil has become more difficult, oil's
historically high ratio of
Returned on Energy Invested has seen a significant decline.
The increased price of oil makes
non-conventional sources of oil retrieval more attractive. For
example, the so-called "tar
sands" are actually a reserve of
bitumen, a heavier, lower value oil compared to conventional
crude. It only became attractive to production companies when oil
prices exceeded about $25/bbl, high enough to cover the costs of
production and upgrading to
synthetic crude. Recent months have seen billions of dollars
invested in the tar sands.
Despite the rapid increase in the price of oil, neither the
stock markets nor the growth of the global economy were
noticeably affected, though
inflation increased. In the
United States, inflation averaged 3.3% in 2005-2006, as
compared to an average of 2.5% in the preceding 10-year period.
As a result, during this period the
Federal Reserve consistently increased
interest rates to curb inflation.
Effects of rising oil prices
World consumption of primary energy by energy type in
In the past, the price of oil has led to economic
recessions, such as
the 1973 and
1979 energy crises. The effect the price of oil has on an
economy is known as a
price shock. In many European countries, which have
high taxes on fuels, such price shocks could potentially be
mitigated somewhat by temporarily or permanently suspending the
taxes as fuel costs rise.
This method of softening price shocks is less in countries with
much lower gas taxes, such as the United States.
Some economists predict that a
substitution effect will spur demand for
alternate energy sources, such as
liquefied natural gas. This substitution can only be
temporary, as coal and natural gas are finite resources as well.
Prior to the run-up in fuel prices, many motorists opted for
larger, less fuel-efficient
sport utility vehicles and full-sized pickups in the United
States, Canada and other countries. This trend has been reversing
due to sustained high prices of fuel. The September 2005 sales
data for all vehicle vendors indicated SUV sales dropped while
small cars sales increased.
diesel vehicles are also gaining in popularity.
Historical understanding of world oil
Although the earth's finite oil supply means that peak oil is
inevitable, technological innovations in finding and drilling for
oil have at times changed the understanding of the total oil
supply on Earth. As scientific understanding of petroleum geology
has increased, so has our understanding of the earth's total
recoverable reserves. Since the 1965, major oil surveys have
averaged a 95% confidence Estimated Ultimate Retrieval (P95
EUR) of a little under 2,000 billion barrels (320×109 m3),
though some estimates have been as low as 1,500 billion barrels
and as high as 2,400 billion barrels (380×109 m3).
The EUR The 2000 USGS survey (which reported 2,300 billion
barrels (370×109 m3)
EUR) has been criticized for assuming a discovery trend over the
next 20 years which would completely and dramatically reverse the
observed trend of the past 40 years. Their 95% confidence EUR of
2,300 billion barrels (370×109 m3)
assumed that discovery levels would stay steady, despite the fact
that discovery levels have been falling steadily since the 1960s.
That trend of falling discoveries has continued in the 7 years
since the USGS made their assumption.
Some do not agree with the "Peak Oil" theory, at least as it
has been presented by
Matthew Simmons. The president of
Royal Dutch Shell's US operations
John Hofmeister, while agreeing that conventional oil
production will soon start to decline, has criticized Simmons's
analysis for being "overly focused on a single country: Saudi
Arabia, the world's largest exporter and OPEC swing producer." He
also points to the large reserves at the "US
Outer Continental Shelf, which holds an estimated 100 billion
barrels (16×109 m3)
of oil and natural gas. As things stand, however, only 15 percent
of those reserves are currently exploitable, a good part of that
off the coasts of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas.
Simmons is also off the mark, Hofmeister contends, because he
excludes unconventional sources of oil such as the oil sands of
Canada, where Shell is already active. The Canadian oil sands — a
natural combination of sand, water and oil found largely in
Alberta — is believed to contain one trillion barrels of oil.
Another trillion barrels are also said to be trapped in rocks in
Colorado, Utah and Wyoming,
but are in the form of
oil shale. These particular reserves present major
environmental, social, and economic obstacles to recovery.
Hofmeister also claims that if oil companies were allowed to drill
more in the United States enough to produce another 2 million
barrels per day (320×103 m3/d),
oil and gas prices would not be as high as they are in the later
part of the 2000 to 2010 decade. He thinks that high energy prices
are causing social unrest similar to levels surrounding the
Rodney King riots.
Colin J. Campbell,
Kenneth S. Deffeyes,
Eberhart Mark (2007).
Feeding the Fire: The Lost History and Uncertain Future of
Mankind's Energy Addiction. Harmony.
Goodstein David (2005).
Out of Gas: The End of the Age Of Oil. WW Norton.
- Huber Peter
The Bottomless Well. Basic Books.
- Kleveman, Lutz
The New Great Game: Blood and Oil in Central Asia.
Atlantic Monthly Press.
Kunstler James H (2005).
The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of the Oil Age,
Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes. Atlantic
Leggett Jeremy (2005).
The Empty Tank: Oil, Gas, Hot Air, and the Coming Financial
Catastrophe. Random House.
Leggett Jeremy (2005).
Half Gone: Oil, Gas, Hot Air and the Global Energy Crisis.
The Carbon War: Global Warming and the End of the Oil Era.
Lovins Amory et al (2005).
Winning the Oil Endgame: Innovation for Profit, Jobs and
Security. Rocky Mountain Institute.
- Pfeiffer Dale
The End of the Oil Age. Lulu Press.
Rifkin Jeremy (2002).
The Hydrogen Economy: After Oil, Clean Energy From a
Fuel-Cell-Driven Global Hydrogen Web. Blackwell
Ruppert Michael C (2005).
Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the
End of the Age of Oil. New Society.
Simmons Matthew R (2005).
Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World
- Shah, Sonia
Crude, The Story of Oil. Seven Stories Press.
Simon Julian L (1998).
The Ultimate Resource. Princeton University Press.
Smil Vaclav (2005).
Energy at the Crossroads: Global Perspectives and Uncertainties.
Mark A, Reimbold Jason (2008).
The Braking Point. Hawk Publishing.
Tertzakian, Peter (2006).
A Thousand Barrels a Second. McGraw-Hill.
Oil, Anatomy of an Industry.
Yergin Daniel (1993).
The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power. Free
No Blood for Oil! by George Caffentzis discusses peak
oil and its relationship with current and past conflicts.
Reports, essays, and lectures
DOES OIL DRILLING CREATE EARTHQUAKES?
Will oil drilling
increase earthquake activity?
When we extract oil from the earth, surely we
leave big voids where there was once mass. Will
these voids lead to instability, increase plate
shift, and so lead to more earthquakes and possibly
unexpected volcanic activity? IF this is the case,
when do you think natural resources will run out?
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
Firstly, we don't leave "big voids"; the oil is
in spaces in porous rock, a bit like concrete
breeze-blocks. Vast caverns can't collapse.
However, oil drilling changes the pressure regime,
initially dropping it when the oil is extracted, and
often raising it again later when high pressure
water is injected to improve yields. The rock itself
is slightly elastic, and there is some settlement,
sometimes a few metres, again changing the stress.
There are large numbers of faults, and changing the
stress pattern can result in yield along some of
them, causing earthquakes.
Mining, and even constructing large reservoirs can
have a similar effect.
Most of these quakes are of "nuisance value" at
worse, though in the 60s an attempt to dispose of
toxic liquids deep in the earth below Nevada was
stopped, not because of environmental concerns but
because they were getting too many damage claims due
to minor earthquakes.
Big quakes, and especially volcanism, are on a
different scale however, originating in the deep
crust and mantle, up to hundreds of kilometres down
and far beyond the range of even the most ambitious
drilling project. There is no indication that
drilling could have a measurable effects on those.
Oil seeps to surface after earthquake
A recent earthquake has brought traces of crude oil to the
surface on Stewart Island, strengthening prospects of a significant
oil discovery in the nearby Great South Basin offshore area.
Several natural oil seepages have been detected behind the
beach at Thule Bay, said Ministry of Economic Development chief
petroleum geologist Richard Cook.
The ministry had been monitoring the area, where seepages had
been detected years earlier, for some time but found no fresh
activity until after the magnitude 4.8 quake last month.
"We are encouraged the latest information strengthens the case
for exploration in the area."
While the seepages did not indicate any particular size of oil
deposits "the fact that natural oil has been generated out in the
basin and seeped up there is encouraging".
"It's just reinforcing the fact that there's oil potential and
not just gas."
Crown Minerals has said the enormous potential of the basin,
southeast of Dunedin, is "commonly acknowledged" and may even
support the large-scale infrastructure needed to produce liquefied
If significant reserves were found, it could take between 15
and 20 years before gas or oil started flowing in commercial
However, Mr Cook said an exploration programme would give the
area an economic lift.
* Government geologists say the discovery of oil traces is
good news for an oil and gas exploration programme in the nearby
Great South Basin.
* Drilling is likely to begin within three to four years.
* Any significant discovery is likely to take 15 to 20 years
Drilling for tsunami and earthquake
Two Swiss scientists are taking part in the
research drilling project in what is known as the Nankai Trough
subduction zone off the east coast of Japan. In the coming weeks
they will report directly from on board the research ship Chikyu
about one of the most ambitious and spectacular research
borehole drilling projects in the history of the Integrated
Ocean Drilling Program (IODP).
A cross-section through the Nankai Trough subduction zone
shows the profile of the fault and the planned drilling
sites. (Graphic: JAMSTEC/IODP)
The Philippine plate of the Pacific slides
under the Eurasian continental plate at the Nankai Trough
subduction zone off Japan’s east coast. In this process the
tectonic plates can become interlocked and build up stress.
Earthquakes happen when such stress frees itself with a sudden
jolt. On average an earthquake with a magnitude greater than
eight occurs in the region every 90 to 150 years. Quakes of
this intensity can trigger devastating tsunamis, the last of
which took place in 1944. At that time the quake, which
created a tsunami, cost more than one thousand human lives.
The next strong quake is expected in the middle of the present
century. In the context of the Integrated Ocean Drilling
Program (IODP), an international marine research program, the
Japanese research ship Chikyu is now drilling for the first
time in what is known as the seismogenic zone of a subduction
zone, the Nankai Trough. The seismogenic zone is the region in
which earthquakes are generated.
Swiss researchers on board the research
Up to 25 international scientists from various
disciplines have been on board the Chikyu continuously since
September. They are replaced every eight weeks. Two Swiss
researchers went on board in December; France Girault, a
doctoral student in the Department of Earth Sciences at ETH
Zurich, and Michael Strasser, a geologist who recently
completed his doctor’s degree at ETH Zurich and now works as a
post-doc at the Research Center Ocean Margins of the
University of Bremen with a grant from the Swiss National
The aim of the research borehole project is to
gain a deeper insight into the processes responsible for the
formation of earthquakes and tsunamis at subduction zones by
recording physical and sedimentological parameters. This is
very important because 90 percent of the energy released by
earthquakes world-wide is generated at subduction zones.
In addition the plan is that one day special
instruments that will be installed in two of the total of six
boreholes during the subsequent expeditions will enable the
continuous measurement of for example the pressure and
temperature in the region of the seismogenic zone. Thus the
on-line monitoring could lead to improved forecasts of
earthquakes that are to be expected.
The Chikyu’s first research voyage
The Chikyu put to sea on 21 September for the
project which is called “The Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone
Experiment” (NanTroSEIZE). It is the Chikyu’s first research
expedition. The design of the ship, which was built in Japan,
is similar to that of the oil industry’s drilling ships. Thus
it is the first research ship with the ability, even in the
deep ocean, to drill down several thousand metres into
sediments that are under high gas or liquid pressure. The plan
is to drill up to 6000 metres down into the ocean floor during
the NanTroSEIZE Project.
Several boreholes in which only physical
properties such as the density of the rock and the propagation
speed of seismic waves were measured were drilled at the start
of the voyage. The next step will now involve drilling out
sediment cores from which firstly information about
sedimentological and tectonic events will be obtained, and
secondly micro-fossils that allow the age of the sediments to
be dated will be extracted from the sediments and identified.
The latter will be France Girault’s task for the next two
months. She was flown out to the Chikyu off the coast of Japan
by helicopter on 19 December and now, working in shifts round
the clock with another palaeontologist until 5 February, she
will examine the micro-fossil content of all the sediment
cores that are brought to the surface by the drilling tower
during this period of time.
A happy coincidence
She says she has dreamt of taking part in this
kind of research voyage ever since she heard a lecture by
Michael Strasser about four years ago. Girault explains that
he aroused her enthusiasm at that time with his descriptions
of a voyage on the research ship “Joides Resolution” off the
coast of Costa Rica. They now both see it as a lucky
coincidence that they are travelling on the Chikyu together.
The fact that only seven of the international scientists on
board are Europeans and two of these are Swiss is a small
Girault regards the voyage as a great
opportunity to allow her to interact with an international,
interdisciplinary research community. She says that a
possibility of this kind occurs only rarely. She thinks the
big responsibility would allow her to gain much experience and
to learn to take decisions independently. She sees the biggest
problem as the two-month stay on a ship, during which the life
she is accustomed to will move into the background.
Together with three other researchers, Michael
Strasser will be responsible for describing the sediments.
Above all he is keen to see what these will look like. This is
because one of the boreholes is expected to bring to the
surface sediments from the point where the sediment covering
of the oceanic plate is pushed underneath the sediment package
of the continental plate. “Although we have a pretty good idea
of what these should look like, they have never yet been seen
from this region before.”
Researching the origin of tsunamis
The plan is for the project to be completed by
2013 at the latest. Until then it will consume more than 100
million dollars a year. The researchers expect great things
from the data that will be obtained in the meantime. For his
personal research work on board, Strasser’s main hope is for
new knowledge about the conditions at what is known as the
“Megasplay Fracture Zone”, a kind of branching-off from the
main disturbance zone. This branching, which will be drilled
into directly, runs from the depth of the subduction zone to
the surface of the ocean floor. Strasser explains that this
means that energy, gases and liquids that are mobilised during
an earthquake can travel along it to the surface of the sea
bed. Therefore it has been suspected that conditions of this
kind play a decisive part in the formation of tsunamis. A
disturbance zone of this kind is also located off the coast of
Sumatra, and caused the devastating seaquake and tsunami at
Christmas 2004 that caused the deaths of tens of thousands of
people. Therefore an exact knowledge of the processes that
lead to catastrophic events of this kind could bring about
significant progress in tsunami research and forecasting.
However, some obstacles still remain to be
surmounted before that point is reached, because not only is
it very costly in terms of time and money to drill deep into
the ocean floor in water that is up to 4000 metres deep in
some places. For example special “lateral thrust propellers”
are needed to prevent the ship being carried away by the
current during a drilling operation. Strasser explains that
these are controlled via the Global Positioning System.
However, he says there are occasional breakdowns that only
recently forced the ship to leave expensive equipment behind
on the ocean floor.
During their stay on the ship, Girault and
Strasser will report in ETH Life in the coming weeks about
events on the Chikyu.
Earthquake Study Goes Nucleation
Imagine a brick resting on a board.
If you lift one end of the board, you put stress on the brick
Lift it high enough and the brick will begin sliding.
The brick's passing from a state of rest to a state of motion
is called the nucleation phase of the movement.
Understand the nucleation that occurs before a major
earthquake, and you could help save hundreds of thousands of
Bill Ellsworth, chief scientist for the U.S. Geological
Survey's Earthquake Hazards Team in Menlo Park, Calif., used the
brick-on-board example to explain a key puzzle piece in
understanding earthquakes, a mystery that can't be solved by
measurements taken at the surface.
"What we don't know is how that nucleation process takes place
within the Earth," Ellsworth said.
So the most important drilling project in the United States
isn't targeting oil or gas production.
It's sending a hole into the San Andreas Fault in California,
in hopes of capturing vital information about the origins and
processes of earthquakes.
Ellsworth is co-principal investigator for the San Andreas
Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD) project, with Stephen Hickman,
a USGS geophysicist, and AAPG member Mark Zoback, a professor of
geophysics at Stanford University.
collected a treasure trove of information about how large
earthquakes take place and what they do," Ellsworth said. "SAFOD
is going to let us study how the nucleation takes place."
And that's just one of the goals of SAFOD, a relatively small
but intensely ambitious component of the National Science
Foundation's $200 million EarthScope program.
By the end of 2007, SAFOD will put an array of instruments next
to the San Andreas Fault two miles below the surface, to monitor
earthquake origins for 20 years.
Scientists on the project talk about the wealth of deep-Earth
data promised by SAFOD, but the big payoff would come from any
step toward predicting earthquake occurrence.
As the Asian tsunami of December 2004 showed, advance warning
of a natural disaster could save a very large number of lives.
"Are we trying to predict earthquakes in SAFOD? No," Zoback
said. "Are we testing the predictability of earthquakes?
The SAFOD drill site in central California, north of Paso
Robles, sees a steadily repeating pattern of magnitude 2
earthquakes about every two years.
These repeaters were first discovered 15 years ago, according
to Zoback, originating from identifiable patches along the San
"If you were to look at the seismograms recorded at the surface
coming from these patches and you laid down the seismograms on top
of each other, they're indistinguishable, wiggle for wiggle," he
When Zoback says "patch," he means a football field-size area
along the fault.
"It slips about a centimeter or a half-inch in each of these
magnitude 2 earthquakes," he said. "That's the source, the
1 of SAFOD drilled just over 10,000 feet down in 2004. Now in
Phase 2 drilling, which began in early June, the hole will be
directionally drilled at a 55 degree angle, aiming toward the
"One challenge we have is that there appears to be two active
strands of the fault, separated by about 280 meters," Zoback said.
"We can miss the patch we're drilling toward slightly and still
be able to core into it. We're going to try to just graze it. That
makes the later multilaterals easier," he added.
The Phase 1 hole section was cased with 9-5/8 inch casing and
cemented, then cleaned of drilling fluid.
"Then we pulled a wet string, which depressed the water table
down to about 3,500 feet," Zoback said. "Since that time, roughly
since October 1, that pore fluid had been coming up."
Phase 2 began with fluid tests, part of a long-term fluid study
that's another essential part of the project.
"There are a lot of hypotheses about the role of fluids in the
fault zone, and how they affect the earthquake process," Zoback
"Some of the hypotheses argue that these fluids in the fault
zone migrate from very great depth," he said, "or possibly even
the Earth's upper mantle."
Next came a mini-frac to measure least principal stress, "what
in the oil industry would be called an extended leak-off test,"
"After that we intend to perforate casing in 10 different
places," he added. "We'll sample the fluids, if possible, but
we'll definitely do mini-fracs at each of those 10 points."
Drilling the 14,000-foot (measured length) hole to a total
depth of two miles will take another 36 days.
The project team will core four areas and run a number of tests
as drilling progresses, including a detailed study of gas from the
"In addition to a standard type of gas chromatograph, we're
also putting it through a mass spectrometer and radon detector and
so on, and even sampling for more sophisticated isotopic
analysis," Zoback said.
"All of this, Phase 2, will end with a seismometer and tilt
meter operating at the bottom of the hole in early September," he
SAFOD's drilling will penetrate and pass through the San
Andreas. That part of the hole will eventually be lost to movement
along the fault.
"One of the questions we have is, 'What is the width of the
deforming zone at depth?' It's part of the experiment plan to
watch the hole deform over time," Zoback said.
Phase 3 of the SAFOD project, the final phase, will acquire
cores and emplace instruments up to the fault zone.
Zoback said SAFOD scientists originally planned continuous
coring for the hole, but that idea wasn't workable. A petroleum
industry specialist suggested drilling the hole and then using
multilateral drilling for coring.
"This was 10 years ago, and I had not heard of multilaterals at
the time. Frankly, I thought it sounded like a pretty dumb idea to
drill our well twice," Zoback said.
He quickly decided it was a pretty great idea, however, given
the new technologies available.
"You use a hollow-stem top drive and a higher rotation speed so
you can do continuous wireline coring and actually retrieve core
barrels through the top drive, much as is done in the mining
industry," he said.
Without advances in drilling and instrumentation from oil and
gas exploration, SAFOD could never have happened, Zoback
"What's making this experiment possible is our being able to
modify and extend technologies that are routinely used in the
petroleum industry," he said. "The monitoring instrumentation
that's going into the observatory are extensions of what's being
done in oil and gas."
Ellsworth said project plans call for a series of renewed and
improved instrumentation for the downhole observatory as time goes
"We're deep. We're hot. So advances in sensor technology will
be essential to the project," he explained.
SAFOD's drilling location ensures a look at repeated
earthquakes at a feasible depth, according to Ellsworth.
Hunting bigger earthquakes would require much deeper drilling.
Magnitude 6 earthquakes originate about six miles below the
surface, he noted.
But rapid advances in deep-hole exploration could put that
depth within reach of ongoing scientific study in the near future.
The EarthScope program also includes huge networks of seismic
stations, GPS receivers, strainmeters and surface monitors. Zoback
called it "the biggest thing that's ever happened in solid Earth
"For people in the petroleum industry, they have to realize
that there are three components of EarthScope, and SAFOD is the
smallest," he said. "We're only about 10 percent of the budget."
SAFOD will make its collected data available to the industry,
primarily through the Web, and all cores will be kept at Texas A&M
University's Ocean Drilling Core Repository.
Another payoff for the industry will come from EarthScope's
ability to attract and train young scientists, Zoback observed.
"Some of those are Earth scientists who will find their way
into the oil industry," he said. "It's been a real stimulus for
bright young people to come back into Earth science."
Will the program be a major step toward predicting earthquake
The truth is, no one can be sure, because so little is known
about the origins of earthquakes.
"One of the objectives of SAFOD is to determine whether or not
earthquakes are predictable, no doubt about it," Zoback said.
"We're going to put our instruments within tens or certainly
hundreds of meters of the earthquake process, so we will see what
the fault does leading up to an earthquake," he added.
Ellsworth, who's studied earthquake nucleation extensively,
won't make any predictions, either.
If nucleation begins in an area the size of a coin before
spreading violently, scientists have little hope of finding and
identifying nascent earthquakes, he said.
But if nucleation takes place over a larger area, slowly
building and giving off definitive signals, earthquake prediction
may become reality.
"That slow process does not emit seismic waves -- it's what
we'd call creep," Ellsworth said. "We'd like to understand how
that occurs in the Earth.
"We can learn a lot about earthquakes at the surface," he
added. "What we don't see are the nonlinear parts of the process.
What we don't see is the breaking."
For the first time, SAFOD will give scientists a window to
earthquakes at birth.
The Next Big One—Earthquake Technology
Japan suffered its worst earthquake in a decade in October
2004, when a magnitude 6.6 quake rattled Niigata Prefecture,
killing dozens and displacing 100,000 people. Scientists often
can say where such extreme shaking is likely to hit—but still
can't tell when
The Hayward Fault, a long and lethal crack in
the Earth, slices along the base of the Berkeley Hills and
directly through the University of California. It passes under
a theater and a couple of dormitories—no problem, they're just
freshman dorms—and kinks the concrete steps outside California
Memorial Stadium. You can straddle the fault, one leg up the
steps, one leg down.
Then the fault runs underneath the stadium. One map shows
it splitting the goal posts in the north end zone. It races
downfield, barrels through the south end zone, and keeps
going, careening down the street toward Oakland.
Back in the 1920s, when architects drew up plans for a
grand football stadium at California's flagship university,
they refused to let a geologic imperfection stand in their
way. Earthquake science was still young, but the architects
apparently realized that the Hayward is a fault, where two
pieces of crust move past each other. So the architects gamely
built the stadium in two halves, shaped sort of like a coffee
bean, with a line, the fault, essentially splitting the
structure. Each half of the stadium could move independently,
riding the shifting crust without breaking a sweat.
Scientists now know that the Hayward creeps—it inches along
steadily, although millimeters along would be more accurate.
At the rim of the stadium, a Berkeley professor named Richard
Allen shows me the result of 80 years of creep: a four-inch
(102-centimeter) jog in the concrete, inelegantly bandaged
with a rusty metal plate. We're both a little amused. What
hubris to build a stadium on a fault!
But Allen points out the central problem: Faults don't just
creep. They also "break." They "rupture." The creep happens in
plain sight, but the breaking, the rupturing, the lurching—the
earthquaking—will hit you blindside.
Allen teaches Berkeley's oldest course on earthquakes. He
calls it Earthquakes in Your Backyard. The name couldn't be
more appropriate, because the Hayward is a particularly
dangerous fault. It hasn't spawned a major earthquake since
1868. Sometime soon, it could go.
Much of the stadium is built on soft ground, the kind that
amplifies seismic waves. "In an earthquake," says Allen, "the
entire field may liquefy." The players wouldn't sink into a
jiggling vat of goo. They'd just get knocked off their
pins—tackled by a temblor.
But of course no one on that field is worried about an
earthquake. It's a hot summer day a few weeks before the start
of the season. The players are worried about making the team.
They're worried about beating Stanford.
You see right there a fundamental problem with earthquakes:
They refuse to operate on human standard time. They're on
their own peculiar schedule. Earthquake faults have a nasty
way of combining patience with impulsiveness. Wait, wait,
It's been a hundred years since the last big one in
California, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, which helped
give birth to modern earthquake science. A century later, we
have a highly successful theory, called plate tectonics, that
explains why 1906-type earthquakes happen—along with why
continents drift, mountains rise, and volcanoes line the
Pacific Rim. Plate tectonics may be one of the signature
triumphs of the human mind, geology's answer to biology's
theory of evolution. And yet scientists still can't say when
an earthquake will happen. They can't even come close.
Some of the simplest questions about earthquakes remain
hard to answer. Why do they start? What makes them stop? Does
a fault tend to slip a little—telegraphing its malign
intent—before it breaks catastrophically? Why do some small
quakes grow into bigger quakes, while others stay small?
And there's the broader question: Are there clear patterns,
rules, and regularities in earthquakes, or are they inherently
random and chaotic? Maybe, as Berkeley seismologist Robert
Nadeau says, "A lot of the randomness is just lack of
knowledge." But any look at a seismic map shows that faults
don't follow neat and orderly lines across the landscape.
There are places, such as southern California, where they look
like a shattered windshield. All that cracked, unstable crust
seethes with stress. When one fault lurches, it can dump
stress on other faults. UCLA seismologist David Jackson, a
leader of the chaos camp, says the field of earthquake science
is "waking up to complexity."
This regular versus chaotic debate isn't some esoteric
academic squabble. Earthquakes kill people. They level cities.
The tsunami of December 26, 2004, spawned by a giant
earthquake, annihilated more than 220,000 lives. The magnitude
7.6 quake centered in Kashmir last October killed at least
73,000 people. Perhaps as many as a million would be dead or
injured if a major quake felled the unreinforced high-rise
structures of Tehran, Kabul, or Istanbul. One of the world's
largest economies, Japan, rests nervously atop a seismically
rambunctious intersection of tectonic plates. A major
earthquake on one of the faults hidden underneath Los Angeles
could kill ten thousand people. A tsunami could smash the
Pacific Northwest. Even New York City could be rocked by a
Yet at the moment, earthquake prediction remains a matter
of myth, of fabulations in which birds and snakes and fish and
bunny rabbits somehow sniff out the coming calamity. What
scientists can do right now is make good maps of fault zones
and figure out which ones are probably due for a rupture. And
they can make forecasts. A forecast might say that, over a
certain number of years, there's a certain likelihood of a
certain magnitude earthquake in a given spot. And that you
should bolt your house to its foundation and lash the water
heater to the wall.
Turning forecasts into predictions—"a magnitude 7
earthquake is expected here three days from now"—may be
impossible, but scientists are doing everything they can to
solve the mysteries of earthquakes. They break rocks in
laboratories, studying how stone behaves under stress. They
hike through ghost forests where dead trees tell of long-ago
tsunamis. They make maps of precarious, balanced rocks to see
where the ground has shaken in the past, and how hard. They
dig trenches across faults, searching for the active trace.
They have wired up fault zones with so many sensors it's as
though the Earth is a patient in intensive care.
Surely, we tell ourselves—trying hard to be
persuasive—there must be some way to impose order and decorum
on all that slippery ground.
We’ve been trying ever since the Earth humbled San
Francisco. In April 1906 the city was the commercial and
financial powerhouse of the West, a crucible of great
fortunes, a place utterly decadent by reputation, gorgeous by
any definition, with some 400,000 citizens and perhaps nearly
as many bars. The famed Enrico Caruso performed at the opera
the night of April 17.
All that changed at 5:12 the next morning, when the bars
had finally emptied. Something happened deep under the
seafloor just off the Golden Gate, out near the shipping
channel. Along an ancient crack in the Earth, two slabs of
rock began moving in opposite directions.
An earthquake will unzipper a fault at two miles per second
(3.2 kilometers per second). This one broke north and south.
In some places the slip was just 6 or 7 feet (1.8 or 2.1
meters), but elsewhere the ground lurched fully 16 feet (4.9
meters) in a snap. The fault broke for 270 miles (434.5
kilometers), from Shelter Cove, way up in the redwood country
of northern California, all the way south to the old mission
town of San Juan Bautista.
It wasn't the worst earthquake in history by a long shot,
but it was sensational. Not only did it heave the ground and
topple buildings, it ruptured the water mains, leaving San
Franciscans helpless as their Victorian homes and bustling
shopping districts and warehouses and opera burned to the
ground. No one knows how many people died, but about 3,000 is
It inspired a kind of war on earthquakes, using the weapons
of science. Until the San Francisco earthquake, geologists
weren't sure how earthquakes and faults were connected. Many
believed that faults were the by-products of earthquakes, not
their source. The great Berkeley geologist Andrew Lawson had
discovered the San Andreas Fault more than a decade earlier,
naming it after the San Andreas Valley—and possibly himself
(Andreas equals Andrew). But he thought it was just a little
sniffle of an earth crack, a trivial thing not much more than
a dozen miles (19.3 kilometers) in length, responsible for the
narrow valley that holds San Andreas Lake and Crystal Springs
Reservoir on the San Francisco Peninsula.
But earthquakes are teachable moments. When the fires died
down and San Francisco started to rebuild, Lawson and a team
of colleagues set out to solve the mystery of the Great
Earthquake. They literally walked the "mole tracks" where the
fault rupture had churned across barnyards and meadows. Then
they continued south for 600 miles (965.6 kilometers), reading
the landscape, discovering the unbroken sections of the fault.
This fault just kept going and going, all the way down past
Los Angeles. In 1908 the team published the fabled Lawson
report, which showed this rip in the Earth in vivid
In the course of the investigation, a scientist named Harry
Fielding Reid figured out why earthquakes happen. Reid studied
all the reports of ground motion, of roads and fence lines
offset by the fault, and came up with the key concept of
"elastic rebound." The surface of the Earth isn't perfectly
stiff. It bends. Land at some distance from a locked fault
will slowly stretch in opposite directions, but the fault
itself will remain locked, under increasing strain. Finally
the fault breaks, and the land springs back violently,
releasing accumulated strain. An earthquake, says Bill
Ellsworth of the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park,
California, is "a relaxation process"—from the standpoint of
the planet at least.
Lawson, Reid, and their colleagues had no way of
understanding the ultimate source of the forces behind
earthquakes. But by the late 1960s, scientists had come to
realize that the Earth is divided into about 15 plates of
crust, constantly shifting as new rock forms at mid-ocean
ridges and old crust dives into the Earth's interior at
subduction zones in the deep sea. Suddenly the Himalaya were
revealed as a crash site, with India slamming into Asia. And
the San Andreas was not just a long strike-slip fault: It was
a plate boundary, where the North American and Pacific plates
grind slowly past each other at a rate—precisely measured by
GPS—of two inches (five centimenters) a year.
But except for a section called the "creeping zone" in
central California, the San Andreas is locked. Around San
Francisco, the fault hasn't budged since 1906. North of Los
Angeles, a long stretch of the fault has been stuck since
1857. Near Palm Springs, there's been no action on the fault
since about 1680.
At some point the San Andreas will have another relaxation
event. When that happens, despite all the forecasts, all the
measurements, all the scientific conferences, nearly everyone
will be caught by surprise.
Although its probably the most famous fault on the planet,
the San Andreas is often strangely hard to find. It slices an
enigmatic path through wildly varied topography. Sometimes
it's obvious—viewed from above on the Carrizo Plain in
south-central California, for example, where it looks like a
zipper, or at Thousand Palms in the Mojave Desert, where fan
palms line up neatly to drink water percolating upward through
the fault. But usually the San Andreas lurks in the landscape,
a shadowy presence. When you search for the fault you spend a
lot of time thinking: Is this it? Or is that it? Is this the
boundary between two enormous tectonic plates, one stretching
to Japan and the other to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean? Or
am I standing in a random ditch?
A century after Lawson et al. rambled across California,
researchers are still pinpointing the fault's active trace. I
tagged along with Carol Prentice, a geologist with the U.S.
Geological Survey in Menlo Park, who has been stomping through
the dense redwood forests of northern California. She is aided
by a new technology called LIDAR, which uses aircraft-borne
lasers to trace the contours of the land. Photos and maps in
hand, she hikes through the woods, noting every feature that
might reveal the exact location of the fault: sag; ponds,
offset streams, displaced fences. She has even found what
appears to be a redwood stump literally ripped apart by the
great quake. Prentice takes you into brush so thick and
tangled you have to crawl. What we couldn't see on foot, we
saw on knee.
I asked her what would happen if the fault broke right
under us, out here in the boondocks. "That'd be so cool, if we
were right here," she said. "Oh! I would love it. You wouldn't
be able to stand up. It'd knock you on your butt. Presumably
you'd see the 'rending and heaving of the sod.'" She was
quoting from the Lawson report.
Scientists like Prentice would love to know when, exactly,
the San Andreas had a major quake prior to 1906. You sometimes
read that the San Andreas breaks every 150 years or 200 years
or 250 years, but that is not hard data. That's an informed
On the Point Reyes Peninsula, a knuckle of land north of
San Francisco, Tina Niemi is digging for an answer. In the
compacted sediment and peat of a trench dug across the fault
trace, the University of Missouri geologist can discern a
faint fracture, a line that slants across the trench wall from
upper left to lower right. The line isn't perfectly straight;
it jogs and splays. Along with other clues, these kinks
suggest that something has jolted the soil here as many as 12
times over the past 3,000 years. Niemi doesn't see any simple
pattern to the quakes—not in time, not in magnitude. "Our data
support more of a model for irregular occurrence," she says.
Nearby faults add another level of uncertainty. High in the
Santa Cruz Mountains near Palo Alto you can stand on the San
Andreas not far from the epicenter of the 1989 magnitude 6.9
Loma Prieta earthquake. That quake was strong enough to
destroy freeways and bridges and kill scores of people, but it
never ruptured the surface. To this day, no one is sure how
much of the quake to blame on the San Andreas and how much on
other, unknown faults.
"With faults, you don't have the luxury of tinkering under
the hood to see what's what," writes USGS seismologist Susan
Hough in her book Earthshaking Science. But some
scientists want to sneak a look. Their idea: Drill the San
Andreas. Find the biggest oil drilling rig in California and
ram huge steel pipes into the depths of the fault and send a
bunch of gadgets down there to sample the rock and record its
twitching. The project is under way near Parkfield, a village
in a dusty central California valley.
Parkfield's claim to fame is earthquakes. At the Parkfield
Cafe there's a sign that says, "If you feel a shake or a quake
get under your table and eat your steak." The quakes aren't
actually very strong here. They tend to be magnitude 6. There
has been a string of them. After the M6 in 1966, scientists
realized that these quakes had occurred fairly regularly,
roughly every 22 years, and so in the early 1980s the notion
arose that there ought to be another Park field quake around
Scientists wired the fault every which way, hoping to
detect signs of building strain, moving water, or some other
quake precursor. Rut year after year, the quake refused to
show. It became something of an embarrassment for everyone who
argued that earthquakes follow patterns. Finally, on September
28, 2004, an M6 struck near Parkfield, although its epicenter
was miles farther south than expected. A camera had been set
up to catch the fault rupturing from north to south, but it
broke from south to north.
"We missed Parkfield by over ten years—and that was an
earthquake in a barrel," said UCLA's David Jackson, he of the
Most disappointing to scientists was the lack of any
precursors. They pored over the data and could find no
evidence of anything unusual on the fault prior to the
September 28 rupture. Maybe there was a very tiny change in
crustal strain a day before the quake—but even that wasn't
certain. The unsettling notion arose that the jig was up, that
these things are just flat-out unpredictable, random, weird.
But science marches on—and digs deeper. At Parkfield there
are still seismometers and GPS stations everywhere, and now
there's even that 185-foot (56.4-meter) oil-drilling rig, a
monument to what you might call testosterone science. By late
summer 2005 it had punctured the fault and reached its
terminal depth of two miles (3.2 kilometers).
"In a sense we're testing the predictability of
earthquakes," says Mark Zoback of Stanford University, part of
the drilling team. Of the chaotic versus linear debate, he
says, "we're the guys who are trying to find out which side is
right. Not to be sanctimonious, but I think a lot of those
positions are held more on belief than on data." His rig is
the next best thing to sending a person down into the fault
directly, although even the rig can't get instruments down to
the six-mile (9.7-kilometer) depths where many large
In Japan, government scientists say they have settled the
question. Earthquakes are not random. They follow a pattern.
They have detectable precursors. The government knows where
Japan's big one will most likely strike. This is a country
where the trains run on time, and earthquakes are supposed to
do the same. "We believe that earthquake prediction is
possible," says Koshun Yamaoka, a scientist at the Earthquake
Research Institute of the University of Tokyo.
In fact, Japan has already named its next great earthquake:
the Tokai earthquake. The government has identified and
delineated by law the precise affected area—a region along the
Pacific coast about a hundred miles (160 kilometers) southwest
of Tokyo. After a series of small quakes in the Tokai area in
the 1970s, scientists predicted that a major quake might be
imminent there. The Japanese government passed a law in 1978
mandating that preparations begin for the Tokai earthquake.
Scientists have estimated a death toll of between 7,900 and
9,200 for a quake striking without warning in the wee hours.
Estimated property damage: up to 310 billion dollars. At the
Tokai earthquake preparedness center in Shizuoka, a map
pinpoints 6,449 landslide locations. Another map shows where
58,402 houses could burn in quake-related fires. It's all
remarkably enumerated. The only thing left is for the
earthquake to happen.
There is, indeed, a plate boundary, called the Nankai
Trough, that runs off the coast of the island of Honshu, where
the Philippine plate is subducting beneath Japan. The boundary
has generated massive earthquakes every 100 to 150 years. Two
sections of it, side by side, broke in 1944 and 1946. But the
section along Tokai hasn't generated a major quake since 1854,
right about the time Commodore Perry sailed his warships into
Tokyo Bay. The theory is that it's time for this part of the
subduction zone to relieve its accumulated stress.
At the Earthquake Research Institute, Keiji Doi, who is in
charge of public outreach, lays out the entire scenario. The
land near Shizuoka is sinking toward the underwater trough at
about five millimeters (0.2 meters) a year, indicating that
strain is building up. "The earthquake occurrence is imminent,
we believe," Doi says.
Up to this point, the Tokai tale is more a forecast than a
prediction. But a precise prediction of time and place would
be far more valuable for emergency planners. Thus has arisen
the idea of "pre-slip," a notion that skeptics say is part
science and part wishful thinking.
Naoyuki Kato, another scientist at the Earthquake Research
Institute, says his laboratory experiments show that before a
rock fracture gives way, it inevitably slips a little. He
believes that what happens in a lab at small scale will also
happen on a fault hundreds of miles long and running deep into
the crust, just before the next big one.
The government has an action plan built around pre-slip.
Strain meters are embedded in the ground all over the Tokai
area. If one or two meters show anomalies, scientists will
confer and schoolkids will go home. Three anomalies will put
the country on high alert. Police, soldiers, and firefighters
will race to the border of the vulnerable area. The prime
minister will make a speech and say that an earthquake is
imminent. Posters outlining this plan show a cartoon prime
minister sitting at a desk with hands folded, looking very
worried, but very much in charge.
Yet none of the experts on the Tokai earthquake describe
this scenario with much conviction. Press them, and they will
admit their uncertainty. Yamaoka and Kato, for example, are
both bullish on pre-slip, yet they also say it may be too
small to be detected.
Robert Geller, an American geophysicist who works half a
mile (0.8 kilometers) away at the University of Tokyo's school
of science, is less circumspect. Geller has been in Japan for
decades and has made "bashing earthquake prediction," as he
puts it, a passionate hobby. He calls the prediction program
"faith-based science." Pre-slip, he adds, "has never been
verified to exist for actual earthquakes."
Geller's skepticism is not just a case of American
outspokenness. Hideki Shimamura, an earthquake scientist at
Musashino Gakuin University near Tokyo, is almost as blunt.
"There may be pre-slip, but I rather doubt it," he says,
adding that few researchers are willing to question the focus
on Tokai lest they lose funding. The situation has potentially
lethal consequences, he says: Prior to the Kobe earthquake in
1995, which killed 6,400 people, few people or public
officials in Kobe had any inkling that they were vulnerable.
Earthquakes were mainly someone else's problem—far to the
east, in Tokai. "They didn't prepare," Shimamura says.
Since the Kobe quake, Japan has vowed to improve its
readiness for a big jolt. Many of the bullet trains now brake
at the first seismic tremor. Construction plans are supposed
to get closer scrutiny, particularly in Tokyo, which sits on
or near several dangerous faults. But the country has been
shaken in recent months by a scandal: As officials looked the
other way, crooked builders put up scores of structures that
were far too fragile to withstand earthquakes. Their occupants
were lucky that the scandal broke before the inevitable next
Near Tokyo's sumo stadium is the Tokyo Restoration Memorial
Hall, commemorating disasters that have struck the city. A
dlapper gentleman named Nobuo Yanai, 82 years old, visits
every year to honor nine family members lost in the great
Kanto earthquake of 1923. They died not in the quake itself
but in a fire that raced through a field that had become a
temporary home for 40,000 people—a huge throng suddenly
"They went up. Rose up in the sky. You may see the
paintings over there"—and there, indeed, were paintings that
showed the firestorm lifting people to the heavens. "My
great-grandmother went up in the sky and disappeared."
People still die in stunning numbers when the ground
beneath their feet begins to shake. Almost always it's not the
earthquake that kills them, but rather their collapsing homes,
offices, stores, and schools. An earthquake that might kill
dozens or hundreds in California or Japan can kill tens of
thousands in Latin America and Central and South Asia, where
many buildings are little more than unreinforced masonry
piles. There's a seismic gap between rich and poor.
Last October a magnitude 7.6 earthquake rocked northern
Pakistan and Kashmir, the mountainous region claimed by both
Pakistan and India. Within minutes, tens of thousands of
people were dead, and countless others died later of injuries
and exposure. Many were crushed when apartment buildings that
had little or no steel in the concrete pillars simply
pancaked. Had the quake been centered in nearby Rawalpindi, a
city of 1.8 million, the casualties could have been in the
hundreds of thousands.
Geophysicist Brian Tucker, head of a nonprofit organisation
called GeoHazards International, has been traveling the planet
to lobby local officials to build sturdier housing projects,
schools, and highways. He's seen cities where impoverished
citizens expand their dwellings vertically, piling one brick
floor on top of another, waiting for gravity to pull it all
In Kathmandu, a city crammed with brickpile high-rises, an
official once told Tucker, "We don't have earthquakes
anymore." Surrounding the city are the Himalaya, pushed toward
the stratosphere by tectonic forces. Tucker told the official,
"Look out the window. That's Mount Everest. As long as you can
see that, you're going to have earthquakes."
Mexico City is another catastrophe in waiting. Much of the
city is built on soft mud, the remnants of a lake drained by
the Spanish. In 1985 more than 9,500 people died when a
subduction zone off the western coast of Mexico ruptured,
sending seismic waves rolling hundreds of miles into the
capital. Building codes have improved since then but only
apply to new construction. And the population has boomed.
Nearly 20 million people now live in a metropolis ringed by
active volcanoes, testimony like the Himalaya to the tectonic
forces that can level cities.
Calamity has been part of the city's cultural fabric for
centuries. Underneath a church in the center of town, Cinna
Lomnitz, an earthquake specialist from the University of
Mexico, led me down a hidden stairwell to the remains of an
Aztec pyramid, sagging on the soft lake bed. An ancient relief
carved into the stone shows four suns surrounding a central
sun. According to Aztec legend, each sun represents a period
of earthly existence, and each is eventually destroyed.
"The fifth sun is the last one," Lomnitz said. "And it will
end in earthquake."
Kerry Sieh believes science can help break the cycle of
calamity. Sieh, a Caltech earthquake geologist, is convinced
there's a way to read the messages in the rocks, to heed the
warnings encoded in their trembling. He knows firsthand how
much could be gained if we could pinpoint the most dangerous
faults and know when they are due to rupture.
At 6:16 p.m. on Christmas 2004, Sieh was at his computer at
home when he received an emailed bulletin about a seismic
event at 3.3 degrees north latitude and 95.8 degrees east
longitude, near Sumatra. For Sieh, earthquake bulletins are
routine—quakes happen every day, all over the world. But a
number jumped out at him: 8.5. That was the initial estimated
magnitude of the quake, which had happened just over an hour
earlier. An 8.5 is enormous.
Soon came the aftershocks, scores of them in the next few
hours. Gradually the data began to harden around the obvious
fact: This was a great quake, upwards of magnitude 9. News
reports said a tsunami had killed perhaps several thousand
people in Sri Linka. And then those numbers began to climb
The Sumatran earthquake was not a total geologic surprise.
Two weeks earlier Sieh had given a talk about his research on
the great undersea fault paralleling the coast of Sumatra,
where one plate is subducting beneath another. He had warned
that the section of the fault he was studying, well south of
the part that actually ruptured, could break at any time and
It had happened before, in the late 1300s, around 1600, and
in 1797 and 1833—dates Sieh had determined by studying old
coral heads along the islands off the west coast of Sumatra.
When the Earth shifted in major quakes, the coral heads were
lifted out of the water, leaving a gap in their growth layers.
But the last really large earthquake had happened long before
anyone now alive in Sumatra had been born.
Sieh and his team had distributed posters in some villages
of southern Sumatra, warning of catastrophic tsunamis. But
Sieh's colleague Catharine Stebbins found that the novelty of
the posters and the American scientific expedition seemed to
outshine the posters' message. "It was like a circus came to
town." And no one thought the northern part of the fault would
Late Christmas Day, as the news about the disastrous
tsunami came over the wire, Sieh feared for his friends in
Sumatra, and he had an ominous thought: There would be another
huge quake. By releasing stress on one segment of the fault,
this earthquake had increased stress on the next segment to
Three months later, on March 28, 2005, that segment broke
in a magnitude 8.7 quake—smaller than the first but still one
of the ten biggest on record. Another tsunami followed, but
this time collapsing buildings and falling debris were the big
killers, taking more than 1,000 lives.
In his Caltech office, Sieh showed me a map of the Sumatran
plate boundary, detailing the GPS stations he had placed along
the fault before the March quake. They had all moved, yanked
to and fro and up and down. One directly over the March
rupture had jumped 10 feet (3 meters) up and 14 feet (4.3
meters) to the southwest. The pattern of movements indicates
that strain is still building. "If another great earthquake
happens in the next year," he said, "my guess is that there'll
be another couple hundred thousand dead."
He has heard the refrain that earthquakes are chaotic and
unpredictable. That's not what he sees on the map of the plate
boundary. He sees a fault breaking incrementally from north to
south. "Obviously this is not chaos. This is linear."
Sieh pointed to the area that he thinks is next in line.
That's where he and his colleagues will spend the coming
years, listening to the fault, tracking the Earth's movements,
taking the measure of shaky ground.
"I would like to predict this earthquake," he said.
THIS ARTICLE IS FROM
National Geographic Magazine
Extras: See photos, field notes, and more from this National
Robots Taking Over The Job On Offshore Oil
ScienceDaily (Jan. 1, 2008)
In the future, offshore platforms could be run by robots
alone, with human beings staying on land.
“Well, now you have seen the individual sensors and special
tools. Shall I put the robots into action?”
SINTEF scientist Pål Liljebäck is standing in the new NOK 80
million laboratory financed by Norsk Hydro. The lab covers only 30
square metres and lies deep in the basement of one of the Electro
buildings on the SINTEF/NTNU campus on Gløshaugen in Trondheim. An
orange robot arm hangs from a steel beam that spans the room at
ceiling height, framed by large, sky-blue support beams.
At the control panel, Liljebäck has pre-programmed a huge
range of rapid movements of the colossus inside the room. The
robot arm glides silently back and forward on its beam, suddenly
moves out in a wide arc to the left, and then straight towards the
scientist, before turning downwards to the floor. Liljebäck says
that the framework, traversing crane and robot arm weigh a total
of seven and a half tonnes. It would not be a good idea to get too
Hydro wants to automate
Nor will the petroleum operators find themselves in close
contact with the new robots when, if all goes according to plan,
they are ready for installation in 2015. The operators will remain
on land and control them from there, reducing both risks and
Hydro (now StatoilHydro) has long been focusing on
futuristic new technological solutions for extracting oil and gas;
among them are robot-operated platforms.
“If we can automate our platforms, we will have an
alternative to subsea platforms,” says Anders Røyrøy in
StatoilHydro. “Both technologies are aimed at small and
medium-sized field which are not exploited today because it is not
profitable to use normal manned platforms. An automated platform
doesn't need personnel, and therefore neither does it need fire
systems, sound insulation, catering or a whole range of other
installations. Automated platforms also have another advantage:
whereas subsea systems statistically only manage to recover about
45 percent of the oil or gas in a reservoir, a topside platform
can take out almost 55 percent. And then, maintenance at the
surface is much simpler."
The whole platform will be adapted for the robots. In
collaboration with both Hydro and Statoil, therefore, Aker Kværner
started to draw up a rough layout of such a platform. With an
internal layout in the form of shelves, these platforms might look
like hi-tech warehouses, with the robots moving up and down the
rows of shelves like fork-lift trucks.
The SINTEF test laboratory represents the next step, in
which the scientists will find out how robots can be used to
remotely monitor and control platform processes. The scientists
are looking at the sensors and tools with which the robots will
have to be equipped, and how the operators can safely and simply
control the robots on the platform without them colliding with the
The research results that are emerging from SINTEF will
demonstrate to Hydro that it would pay to automate. Within the
company, there are still many people who are sceptical to the idea
of robots. The new technology will have to be sold within the
company, via convincing demonstrations.
And the results are starting to come in. Pål Liljebäck is
proud to show off the various applications of the system. For
example, the robots will be able to inspect the equipment on board
the platform. Mounted on traversing beams, they move around,
listen, take photographs and make measurements.
“Here you can see the “toolbox”, says Liljebäck, pointing to
a stand in which four or five large drill-like heads are parked.
“Shall we connect up one of the tools?”
He seats himself at the control desk and operates the robot
via a mouse. Soon he has got the robot arm to move down to the
toolbox, where it picks up and connects a measurement device.
Liljebäck claims that the applications performed by the
robot here are unusual. “We are creating a robotised inspection
system. This is something quite different from industrial robots
that stand by a production line and perform a well-defined task
over and over again. This system will make it simpler for the
operator on shore to carry out operations that may not have been
planned in advance."
The robot has connected a special instrument for measuring
vibration and temperature to the end of its arm, and just a few
seconds later the arm is pointing over the high protective fence
and through the glass screen. On the right of the control desk are
two highly coloured beings have appeared on a screen: the human
occupants of the control room!
However, Liljebäck demonstrates how the robot measures
vibration just a few minutes later, when he points the appropriate
special instrument at a pipe in the laboratory that has just been
made to vibrate. The measurement curve drawn on the computer
screen will enable the shore-based operator to check that all is
“The challenges lie in ensuring that the robots are capable
of performing predefined and programmed tasks – and are also able
to function properly under unanticipated conditions. If the
operator suddenly finds that he needs to inspect something or
other under a pipework system, the robot must be able to do this,”
Obviously, a lot of things have to be thought out carefully
when human actions are replaced by robot movements. Sensors are
one aspect of this. Another is the matter of operations that
involve contact, such as when a robot has to pick up something
from the floor. Contact operations are a particular challenge,
because the robot is very strong and it can easily destroy the
equipment with which it comes into contact, unless we keep its
strength fully under control. The scientists have therefore fitted
the robot with a force sensor that enables them to measure the
forces exerted by its grippers, for example.
The robot is similar to a computer, in that it does exactly
what it is told. Unlike a human being, it will not stop moving by
itself or move aside if it collides with something else. On a
platform where a number of robots are in operation, there could be
collisions between them and other equipment. One of the systems on
which the researchers are working has the straightforward aim of
ensuring that the robot will never collide with anything.
“This is where our mathematicians come in,” explains Pål
Liljebäck. “When we have 3D models of the robots and we know their
positions, we can input these data into a 3D model that calculates
the distance between the robot and other equipment. As long as the
distance between them is greater than zero, there can be no
“We are pleased with the results and the progress of the
project,” says Anders Røyrøy in StatoilHydro. “The next step after
the technology has been handed over will be full-scale testing of
certain parts of the system in order to see whether everything
functions properly in its real environment.”
So far, some 15 to 20 scientists from four different SINTEF
divisions have been involved in work at the robot lab. The
Department of Technical Cybernetics at NTNU is also heavily
involved. All of these research groups also form part of a newly
established Gemini Centre for Advanced Robotics. Like the 12 other
Gemini centres, the Advanced Robotics Centre aims to bring
together all of SINTEF and NTNU's expertise within a particular
field, in order to give them extra power. The scientific group at
the Gemini Centre for Advance Roboticsconsists of 11 research
scientists and six professors, and it offers advanced expertise
for industry that ranges from subsea robotics to robots for
inspection and maintenance.
Dennis Kucinich on Energy & Oil
Democratic Representative (OH-10);
Democratic Candidate for President 2008
Raise CAFE standard from 27.5 mpg to 45, and 40 for
Q: Would you increase the required automobile fleet average of 27.5
mpg; and SUVs and pickups averaging 20.7 mpg?
A: The technology already exists to make light trucks that achieve
40 mpg and cars 45 mpg, and I will establish those standards as one early
step in a major shift away from the use of fossil fuels.
Source: Associated Press policy Q&A, "Fuel
Efficiency" Jan 25, 2004 Journey to planet
Earth: renewable energy by 2010 Q: What is the most
important environmental issue facing the nation?
KUCINICH: I would lead this country on a new energy initiative. In
the same way that President Kennedy decided to bring the academic and
spiritual resources of this country to reach the moon, I intend to have a
journey to planet Earth about sustainable and renewable energy. By the
year 2010, I'll call upon Americans to assist in creating a program, not
only of conservation, but of moving to renewable energy, away from oil,
nuclear and coal, and towards wind and solar and geothermal, green
hydrogen and biomass.
We're talking about saving our planet here. We have to understand
even here in New Hampshire how trees are affected and [even products like]
maple syrup are affected. We have to recognize that the economy of this
region has been hurt by environmental policies which dirty the air and the
water. I'm going to change that.
Source: Democratic 2004 Primary Debate at
St. Anselm College Jan 22, 2004
Nuclear waste poses grave danger to US
Nuclear waste poses a serious threat to this nation. The
transportation of this waste will require over 96,000 truck shipments over
4 decades. More radioactive waste will be shipped in the first full year
of repository operations than has been transported in the entire
five-decade history of spent fuel shipments in the United States. Poorly
tested transportation casks may be vulnerable to highway accidents and
security breaches. Because of a lack of rail facilities to several
reactors the Department of Energy will use barge shipments to move this
waste to a port capable of transferring 120 ton casks to a train. Some of
these shipments will occur on the Great Lakes. The world's largest source
of fresh water, over 35 million people living in the Great Lakes basin use
it for drinking water. [Kucinich] introduced the Nuclear Waste
Transportation Protection Amendments Act of 2002 to "radically improve the
safety and security" of these shipments.
Source: Campaign website, www.Kucinich.us, "On The Issues" Aug 1, 2003
Auto-dependent sprawl causes runoff
Subsidies for auto-dependent sprawl and transportation
further contribute to runoff pollution.
Source: Campaign website,
www.Kucinich.us, "On The Issues" Aug 1, 2003
Will sign Kyoto climate change treaty
As a citizen of Planet Earth, I want this project for the
same reason I will sign the Kyoto climate change treaty -- because we need
it for our children and our grandchildren.
Source: Campaign website,
www.Kucinich.us, "On The Issues" Aug 1, 2003
Double our energy from renewable sources by 2010
Q: What is your view on our dependence on fossil fuels?
A: There are many political obstacles - but the oil, auto and
electric utility corporations won't be directing energy policy in a
Kucinich White House. I will spur research and investment in "alternative"
energy sources - hydrogen, solar, wind and ocean - and make them
mainstream. Clean energy technologies will produce new jobs. We can easily
double our energy from renewable sources by 2010. I will sign the Kyoto
climate change treaty.
Source: MoveOn.org interview Jun 17, 2003
Global Green Deal for renewable energy
Q: How will you support progressive environmental
A: I will lead the way in protecting our oceans, rivers and rural
environments. I will also lead in fighting for clean, affordable and
accessible drinking water. I will initiate a "Global Green Deal" for
renewable energy, to provide jobs at home, increase our independence from
foreign oil, and aid developing nations with cheap, dependable, renewable
energy technologies like wind and solar.
Source: MoveOn.org interview Jun 17, 2003
$50B solar venture fund for developing
I will soon announce legislation to create a $50 billion
solar venture fund, in cooperation with the UN, to introduce solar
technologies to developing nations. Parallel legislation will provide
incentives for the production and application of solar technologies in the
Source: Speech at UN World Summit, in
Prayer for America, p. 40 Aug 29, 2002
Voted NO on passage of the Bush Administration national energy policy.
Vote to pass a bill that would put into practice a comprehensive national
policy for energy conservation, research and development. The bill would
authorize o $25.7 billion tax break over a 10-year period. The tax breaks
would include $11.9 billion to promote oil and gas production, $2.5
billion for "clean coal" programs, $2.2 billion in incentives for
alternative motor vehicles, and $1.8 billion for the electric power
industry and other businesses. A natural gas pipeline from Alaska would be
authorized an $18 billion loan guarantee. It would add to the requirement
that gasoline sold in the United States contain a specified volume of
ethanol. Makers of the gasoline additive MTBE would be protected from
liability. They would be required though to cease production of the
additive by 2015. Reliability standards would be imposed for electricity
transmissions networks, through this bill. The bill would also ease the
restrictions on utility ownership and mergers.
Reference: Energy Policy Act of 2004;
4503 ; vote number
2004-241 on Jun
Voted NO on implementing Bush-Cheney national energy policy.
Energy Omnibus bill: Vote to adopt the conference report
on the bill that would put into practice a comprehensive national policy
for energy conservation, research and development. The bill would
authorize a $25.7 billion tax break over a 10-year period. The tax breaks
would include $11.9 billion to promote oil and gas production, $2.5
billion for "clean coal" programs, $2.2 billion in incentives for
alternative motor vehicles, and $1.8 billion for the electric power
industry and other businesses. A natural gas pipeline from Alaska would be
authorized an $18 billion loan guarantee. The bill would call for
producers of Ethanol to double their output. Makers of the gasoline
additive MTBE would be protected from liability. They would be required
though to cease production of the additive by 2015. Reliability standards
would be imposed for electricity transmissions networks, through this
bill. The bill would also ease the restrictions on utility ownership and
Reference: Bill sponsored by Tauzin,
; vote number
2003-630 on Nov 18, 2003
Voted YES on raising CAFE standards; incentives for alternative fuels.
Require a combined corporate average fuel efficiency [CAFE] standard for
passenger automobiles and light trucks, including sport utility vehicles,
of 26 mpg in 2005 and of 27.5 mpg in 2007. It also would offer incentives
for alternative fuel vehicles. Bill
HR 4 ;
2001-311 on Aug 1, 2001
Voted YES on prohibiting oil drilling &
development in ANWR.
Amendment to maintain the current prohibition on oil drilling in the
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by striking language opening the reserve
up to development.
HR 4 ;
2001-317 on Aug 1, 2001
Voted YES on starting implementation of
Vote on an amendment that would allow the implementation
of the portions of the Kyoto climate change treaty that are already
allowed under law. The Kyoto protocol of 1997, which aims to reduce
emissions of certain greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, has
not been ratified by the United States. The amendment would allow federal
agencies, particularly the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] to
implement procedures already allowed under law that are also part of the
Kyoto accord before the treaty is ratified by Congress.
Reference: Amendment sponsored by Olver,
HR 4690 ; vote number
2000-323 on Jun 26, 2000
Regulate wholesale electricity & gas prices.
Kucinich adopted the Progressive Caucus Position Paper:
Escalating energy costs have almost no correlation with supply and
demand. Adequate capacity to supply our current energy needs is and has
always been plentiful within the energy markets. Newly formed deregulated
energy companies are creating an artificial shortage and reaping
tremendous profits while doing so.
The Progressive Caucus Solution: Wholesale Cost-based Pricing with
In the 1930s, wholesale electricity prices and wholesale natural gas
prices were regulated, and the regulations provided for refunds if unjust
or unreasonable rates were found. Since the late 1970s, these laws have
been methodically dismantled leaving little federal price regulations to
protect consumers. However, energy prices are easily manipulated as
production and delivery systems are complex. Cost-based rates for
wholesale electricity, natural gas, heating oil should be established to
protect consumers from unjust and unfair prices. Cost based rates allow
utilities to recover the cost of their investment and operations while
also allowing a reasonable profit. This is not a price cap— FERC sets
prices based on a specific, professional rationale. Establishing
cost-based rates ensure adequate supply is available and removes the
profit incentive from shorting the market. The rates should be set
retroactively to the beginning of 2000. Refunds will be issued to families
and businesses who have racked up incredible debt in 2000 and 2001, paying
the unreasonable and unjust charges that the energy producers, generators
and wholesalers inflicted.
Source: Progressive Caucus' Consumer Energy
Rate Relief Act
01-CPC1 on Mar 16, 2001
The Progressive Caucus advocates:
- Implement wholesale cost-based pricing of electricity & natural
gas to ensure consumers are not gouged. Require refunds when necessary.
- Grant FERC new powers to regulate heating oil prices at the
wholesale level. Cost-based pricing of heating oil will ensure consumers
are protected from heating oil price spikes.
Preserve Alaska's ANWR instead of drilling it.
Kucinich sponsored the Morris K. Udall Arctic Wilderness Act:
Title: To preserve the Arctic coastal plain of the
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, as wilderness in recognition of
its extraordinary natural ecosystems and for the permanent good of present
and future generations of Americans.
Summary: Designates specified lands within the Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness and components of the National
Wilderness Preservation System [which would preclude oil exploration and
Source: House Resolution Sponsorship
01-HR770 on Feb 28, 2001
Senate rejects GOP oil drilling plan
By H. JOSEF HEBERT
13 May 2008
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate has rejected a Republican energy
plan that calls for opening an Alaska wildlife refuge and some
offshore waters to oil development. Supporters of the measure
couldn't get the needed 60 votes to overcome a Democratic-led
Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said more
domestic oil production is needed to keep prices in check and to
reduce U.S. dependence on oil imports.
areas such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and coastal
waters that have been off limits to drilling for 25 years ought
to remain that out of bounds to oil companies. The GOP measure,
defeated Tuesday by a vote of 56-42, would have allowed coastal
states to get a waiver to the offshore drilling ban.
OIL FIELD FOUND IN UTAH - 2004
LITHOFACIES IN THE U.S. BLACK SHALE POWERPOINT - EXCELLENT PAGE
MISSISSIPPI AND ALABAMA LITHOFACIES
HANIFA FORMATION - ARABIAN
MISSISSIPIAN BLACK SHALE IN TEXAS
OIL IN OUR OCEANS
LITHOFACIES OF MARINE STRATA IN THE ARABIAN GULF pdf file
|SPIRITUAL REASONS TO END OIL DRILLING
Aboriginal Day with the Elders Interviews with our Spiritual Leaders
Prime Minister’s “action plan” on specific claims calms summer of
Arnold Schwarzenegger Honoured by B.C. First Nations
Aboriginal Day with the Elders Interviews with our Spiritual Leaders
By Danny Beaton
in the Haida Culture is the honour to the Spiritual world we live with
in harmony and respect.
The Haida Nation are one of the most artistic people on the planet,
their creativity thoughout their traditional culture have brought
museums alive throughout Canada and USA. The Canadian Museum of
Civilization hosts giant 50 foot Totem Poles carved by the late Bill
Reid and his student Guujaaw. Everywhere in Haida Culture is the
honour to the Spiritual world they live with in harmony and respect,
evolved over countless generations and with it is the various clans of
the Haida. The Elders of the great Haida Nation passed the teachings,
songs, dances, language and way of life onto their children and their
children became Elders and passed the way of life onto their children
and so forth. The Haida Sacred way of life is still thriving on the
shores and inland of Haida Gwaii surrounded by the Pacific Ocean,
mountains and between the great cedar forest of old growth. The
student of the late Bill Reid is Guujaaw, he is the leader of the
Haida Nation. He is the political and spiritual leader who has been
chosen to lead his people in this history of the Earth, Guujaaw is a
keeper of traditional knowledge and songs. He shares the Spirit, Force
and Peace when he is asked to lead a song or dance in community social
gatherings. He has insights into the problems society faces pertaining
to justice, peace and environmental protection and spirit of creation,
animals, fish, birds, and insects.
Clan Mother, Audrey Shenandoah, explains that we are told from the
beginning of our time here on Mother Earth that we must treat this
Mother Earth respectfully and not to abuse her but to use the gifts in
the right way and be thankful, I have to repeat because it is so very
simple that people can not understand it for people are used to living
a very sophisticated unreal kind of lifestyle.
Our messages from our people are the messages from our Creator have
been very explicated in explaining what could become of this Earth if
it is not used the right way. That the abuse of the waters, water is
life and if we do not take care and clean up the waters there can be
no life here on this Earth. We are told in the messages to our people
that in order for this to go on, all of these things that we depend on
so much everyday that we might live, that we as humans here on this
Earth must be sure to tell this to our Grand Children. For it is for
our grand children that we are protecting Mother Earth. Working to
save Mother Earth and to save all the gifts that our Creator gives us
so that they might have a good life also. Within every one of the
messages that is brought to our people. At the very end, it always
states that all of this will last for as long as the people will keep
it. That all of this will be bountiful and will give us life, will
give our grand children life for as long as we will take care of it
and it is up to us, the people, how long it will be. And so then in so
many words our same message the Earth is Sacred. Every spot on Earth
is Sacred, not just certain places that is regarded as Sacred sites
because something happened there. Something happened all over this
earth, people, our grand fathers and our great grand fathers have
worked hard to preserve this. Because this kind of life, this kind of
belief, this kind of living has been under persecution for all time.
People who believed in Mother Earth, who believed that all the
goodness that comes from the Earth is our livelihood, is our life,
have been persecuted.
We have not been worshipping the Earth, we have not been worshipping
the Sun, we have not been worshipping the Elements. We have been
giving thanks for Mother Earth, we have been giving thanks for the
Sun, we have been giving thanks to the Moon and thanks to our grand
fathers who bring the rains and the winds. That is much different than
from worshipping them, we do not worship in that way the elements of
the Creation. We are ever mindful that it is from all of the Creation
that we can maintain our lives, that our children can maintain their
lives and their children. So we have a duty to look after the Earth
and what we have here and not think of ourselves and what we can do
with the Earth here and now.
It is now evident to all that we are not progressing in the right way.
Changes must be made in the way we look after the Earth. The way we
look at all the life giving elements of the Earth. We have to make
sure that we are doing this in the right way. We cannot force people
to do this, but we must give the message over and over again so that
people will begin to understand and very simple and fact full,
truthful way that we are guardians of this Earth all our lives for the
generations of people who are coming for the faces yet unborn.
That is our prophecy. It is in every message that we have received
from the Creator. That it is up to us how long we will have this, and
how long all of this will last. So by telling one another by spreading
this message and hoping people will hear it and understand it. We know
that it must be heard over and over again. Just as all of our messages
would tell us how to live and how to move about on this Earth. We have
heard time and time again, I have heard all of my life since I was a
child, I heard the same messages, and then finally if you hear it
enough times, hopefully it will begin to take meaning and we will be
doing a duty that is given to us when we were given life.
Chief Oren Lyons says “today we have children killing children, we
have a dysfunctional nation, we have a dysfunctional global world.
What can we expect when we have as the major economic force in the
world the sale of arms and the second major force the sale of drugs.
Between the two of them you’re going to get a dysfunctional society.
So, what do we talk about then, what do we say to our young people.
What do we say to our nations, to our people, to the mothers and
fathers? What do we say to those people who are responsible for
communities and responsible for families? What do the leaders say? Who
are the leaders? These are all questions that need to be answered. I
think that people have a common sense, a sense of understanding, a
sense to be able to do things that’s not being dictated to us by large
corporate forces of money exchanging hands every day. Common sense has
to prevail. I think that our common sense will prevail or the result
will be that this natural world is going to take care of things
itself, in its own way and if that happens and when that happens, then
we’ll be suffering out loud. Because there is a law, and the law is
consistent and its constant and you cannot challenge it, the natural
law of life. If you try to challenge it, your simply going to fail and
you are going to suffer in the mean time.
The question of whether we as a species, a human species on this Earth
is going to survive is pretty much up to us at this time. So I think
the message that should be coming from all of us is that we have to
have responsible leadership who have vision, who have compassion for
the future, who have compassion for those seven generations that are
waiting under this earth. Each generation looking is waiting its turn.
We have to have a balance, we have to bring balance back to
everything. We have to bring balance between families, between male
and female, man and woman, wife and husband, father and mother. We
need this balance and we need this common sense and we need leaders
with vision who are selfless, who have compassion and who have courage
Its really up to us. If we put people up there who are negative and
who don’t do right, that’s our own problem and not only will we suffer
the consequences but our children will and even further, our grand
children will and their children along with all the other life.
I see the equation as relatively simple… Common sense, what advice
would you give to everybody . If I had a general advice, I’d say to
share, share what you have, share your knowledge, share your
abilities. Do what you were suppose to do in the beginning. It’s a
simple thing. Divest all you major corporations, all you people with
all the money, divest and so something positive. Its not complicated,
difficult probably for some, but nevertheless, there it is.
So with that, I think this particular part of the discussion is, as
far as I’m concerned, is coming to a close and I just wish us all well
and lets look for those leaders. Lets have the courage to put them
there and keep them there. Thank you for listening.”
The Hopi prophecies warn of the problems to come if humans do not seek
spiritural and environmental lifestyles in which to blend into Mother
Eartth and celebrate life in a way that creates peace, respect,
fertility and harmony everywhere. For nearly a century the elders of
Hotevilla, a tiny village on a remote Hopi reservation in Arizona have
been guarding the secrets and prophecies of a thousand year old
covenant that was created to ensure the well being of the earth and
its creatures. Manuel Hoyungowas’ voice is one with his spirit and the
spirits of his ancestors. He is a Hopi man willing to share his
ancestors instructions and warning as to how us humans can survive the
crisis that is now upon us physically, mentally and spiritually.
I was born in Fort Yukon, Alaska because that is where the hospital
was. I grew up part of the time in fort Yukon and Salmon River, but
most of the time in Arctic Village, Alaska where I now live.
About the only good thing that came out of the tragedy of the Exxon
Valdez was that Congress decided against drilling in the Arctic
Refuge. It was terrible. The Gwitch’in way of life continues yet the
people of Prince William Sound their way of life has been devastated.
Gwitch’in elder Sarah James spent two decades fighting proposed oil
drilling in her Alaskan homeland. Sarah James, 61, of Arctic Village,
has been trying to inform the public of her native land since 1988
when proposed refuge drilling first threatened the Porcupine Caribou
herd and the Gwitch’in way of life. The Gwitch’in, or Caribou People’s
of Alaska depend on hunting, particularly of the 130,000 strong
Porcupine (river) caribou herd, for approximately 75 percent of their
protein and calories as well as clothes, tools and other life
sustaining materials. For at least 10,000 years, the Gwitch’in have
lived by hunting and conserving on a coastal plain bordering the
Arctic Ocean, home to polar bears, rare birds and musk ox, where
caribou give birth to their young
Swamp is a respected elder of the Mohawk nation, her husband is Jake
Swamp a leader in the Mohawk Longhouse of Akwesasne, New York
territory. Together they have worked towards goals of creating peace
throughout the world, planting the Sacred Pine, the Tree of Peace
wherever they are invited to do so.
Mohawk people have been known to be organizers for a long time now,
holders of the Eastern door and one of the Six Nations of the
Haudenausanee Iroquois Confederacy. Mohawk people originated from New
York area by the great St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes area. In
the old days the Mohawk joined the British in their struggle to defeat
the United States Military during the war of 1812. It is common
knowledge iron workers, known as sky walkers built the tall
skyscrapers in New York and have been hired to travel all over the
world to build skyscrapers. Before the arrival of the first non
natives to North America, the Iroquois were one of the oldest native
governments in existence created for unity, peace, righteousness ,
equality and harmony. Clan Mothers, Faithkeepers and Chiefs govern the
communities throughout Iroquois territories and solved problems by
The Gathering of
the Tribes to Save the Valley of the Chiefs
By Howard Boggess, Crow Historian
Editors Note: The Sierra Club has been working
to protect the Valley of the Chiefs from oil drilling.
As we walk up the canyon to the Valley of the
Chiefs, I think about the hundreds of people who came to use this
sacred valley for more than a thousand years and walked the path that
I am walking. The Valley is so quiet that you can hear the birds chirp
from a long distance and eagles soar from high above. You can hear the
whisper on the winds of ancient ones saying their prayers and singing
songs as they prepared to paint their stories on the Ancient rocks
that tower so tall. The Indian religion has never been written and yet
has been practiced for hundreds of years and has been passed down
through the generations by oral stories. In the Indian belief, one has
to go to the sky to be with their maker, they pray to their father the
sky, their mother the earth, their grandfather the sun and to their
grandmother the moon. The Indian people are family oriented and their
religion is based on family and the ones who brought them to this
earth and cared for them. One day they will become the people that
they pray to, a Father, Mother, Grandparent, Aunt, Uncle, Brother or
We have seen something that has not happened for
hundreds of years, a gathering of non-Indians, Indians and spiritual
and tribal leaders from many different tribes of Indians. We started
off as quiet strangers who had never laid eyes on one another before.
The Comanche, the Crow, Blackfeet, and the non-Indian all traveled
together to the Valley of the Chiefs the traditional name for
Weatherman Draw, (AKA) the Valley of the Shields. As I walk I wonder
how long it has been since a Blackfeet, a Crow and a Comanche had
walked this valley together and prayed together and had food.
For one to enter the valley they must cleanse
their mind and body and have no bad thoughts or hate, fear or jealousy
in their hearts. You enter the valley after you cleanse yourself in
the traditional way with prayer or smoke from the sweet grass, sage,
and tobacco. After cleansing or prayer, you can begin a safe journey
into the Valley of Peace for there are no enemies here.
As we walked up the narrow canyon to the valley
we discussed how any work that would be done by an oil company would
destroy the canyon, as it is only wide enough for four people to walk
abreast. The earth is so fragile that we left marks that would take a
long time to heal from our footsteps. The first site we visited was of
the great black bear, ancient looking with large claws and very
powerful. There are shields and other spiritual artwork at this site
that has been used as campsite in recent years as there are the
remains of campfire. A few feet away is an old painting of a single
hand of a bear and recent work done in charcoal. At a nearby site two
separate groups of round dots form a panel that displays a count that
appears to have been made by two different groups, as the paint is of
two different shades of red and yellow oaker. There are also sites of
the tobacco society as they are wearing the flat hats on their heads
with a cross and others with marks on the hats. These types of hats
are in early 1900 hundred period photos and worn by Crow Indian women
in tobacco society photos.
In the history of the Indian there were no
serious wars among the Indians tribes until the traders and trappers
came in the mid-1700s. When Indians wars were fought they counted coo
on one another, as it was far braver to touch your enemy and take his
weapon and leave him alive then it was to take his life. Indian people
practiced their religion in the Valley of the Chiefs. This valley is
so sacred that your worst enemy was a friend when you were in the
valley; you ate together and prayed together. There was only peace in
this sacred valley.
with shields in the Valley of the Chiefs
They painted countless pieces of rock art to
show what their life was about in this small valley. There has been
more than ninety pieces of rock art found today and cataloged by the
Bureau of Land Management archeologists. The many shields painted on
the walls of the valley of the shield-bearing warrior tell us the age
of the earliest work, as the shield-bearing warrior was a time before
the horse. Small shields were adopted after the coming of the horse,
as the large shield was far too cumbersome for the swiftness of a
horse. Through modern technology, one of the sites was carbon dated.
There are three shields side by side in a hidden part of the Valley of
the Chiefs. One of the shields had dirt in the front of it, which
covered part of the shield. An excavation of the shield was done to
see if the painting had survived under the earth. As this work was
being done, a fire pit was discovered and three ablators stones were
found in the fire pit, all with the paint of the shields on them.
After the fire pit was carbon dated it was determined that the shields
were 900 to 1000 years old.
As we walk to the art sites we discuss what we
felt there, as it is an overpowering feeling in this holy place. We
compare this valley with other places that are non-Indian sacred
sites, Mount Rushmore, Gettysburg Cemetery, St Patrick Cathedral, The
walls of Jerusalem. These are sites that mean so much to the Indian
and are scattered over a large area. All of these same sites are in
the valley of the Chiefs, our burial sites, our vision quest sites,
our prayer sites, and the campsites that the families used so long
ago. Much of the vegetation like the yellow sage and ghost plant there
was used in the ceremonies and as medicines for the sick.
Spiritual art was done by the first Americans
telling the stories of their lives, religion, and power of their
medicine bundle. Each drawing was done by an individual and tells
about what this person used for his spirit being. Indians use
different animals, birds and other icons of their choice for their
powers and protection.
at Weatherman Draw
After you enter the Valley you can go to your
prayer site or vision quest site. For a vision quest site you go high
enough on the ridges for you to see the four cardinal directions,
North, South, East and west. You will stay at a vision quest the
length of time it takes for the quest to work for you. Normally, it is
three days and nights to make your vision quest work for you to guide
you in your future. After you return from your vision quest you go
before the elders and tell them everything you have seen or heard,
what came around and the dreams you had while resting. The elders
would then tell you how your vision quest would guide you in your
future life, what you would use for the powers in your medicine
bundle, or the drawing you would use on your medicine shield. This is
the drawing that you would paint on the sandstone walls in the valley
to leave power in the valley, where you received the powers that will
protect and guide you through life. When people stand before the
paintings they will receive a blessing from the one that painted this
story for people to see for many generations in the future.
At about the age of eleven years of age an
American Indian does his first Vision Quest. The reason it is done at
this age is that one has to do his vision quest before the time of
puberty, as after the time of puberty a boy becomes known as a man.
Girls also do vision quests before they become women. Vision quests
last for three days and nights. During this time they are not allowed
to eat, drink or to have other comforts such as clothing or blankets
or have any connection with other people during that time. One pays
attention to what they see or hear when doing a vision quest or what
they may dream about while they sleep. After they leave the vision
quest site they set with their elders and tell them of everything that
came around them or they heard, seen or dreamed about. The elders then
would tell of the things that would happen in their lives, like if
they would become great warriors and leaders of their people or other
significant things in their lives.
For a prayer site you go where you can see the
rising sun in the morning and the setting of the sun in the evening.
As you need to set there for a life of one day, you start your prayer
with the beginning of daylight and your prayer will last through out
the day and end with the sunset. Your prayers are said four times in
each of the four directions. Your prayer songs are sung in the same
way. You have to complete a series of prayers and songs before a
prayer is ended. For you to set by one’s self for the day is a way to
mend a way of life or to make a decision. The old way is for you to be
by yourself and think all your problems out for yourself and make all
decisions yourself. For guidance you go to your uncles or aunts who
give you your guidance, but you have to make the final decision
The valley is very well protected from the harsh
weather we have here in the winter. This is a small valley of about
4000 acres. If this were the last place on earth that may or may not
have a pool of oil under it the American Indian would probably consent
for the good of mankind to drill for this oil. It is not the last pool
of oil on earth and we do not consent to having a steel spear being
driven through the heart of our mother the earth to look for oil that
may or may not be there. To build the road, the bulldozers would
destroy the earth and the vegetation and this would be lost forever,
as this earth is so fragile any little disturbance takes years for any
recovery. The old road into this valley is unusable now, as it has
The area is closed to motorized vehicles and
firearms, but it is not enforced by the BLM. The valley has a natural
protection now that will be destroyed if a new road is allowed to be
gouged and ripped into this sacred valley.
At our hearing at the BLM office in Billings, MT
on May 7th, testimony was heard by deaf ears, even though good honest
testimony to the importance of the valley was given by the people that
traveled many miles to be there. Testimony was made by Indian and
non-Indian that was very moving to all whom were there. People were
not aware of the importance of this valley to the American Indian. We
believe the BLM has made a big mistake in allowing an oil lease for a
well to be drilled for in this small pristine valley.
We have a President and Vice President of our
country whose campaigns for office were financed by oil companies to
the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now they have to pay off
their debt and will push to allow for cultural religious sites and
pristine areas to be destroyed for the sake of an energy crisis that
was not there until they entered office. The Bush administration’s
energy plan would destroy any cultural or religious site, just for a
gallon of oil. The oil well to be drilled is only exploratory; they
don’t even know for sure if there is oil down there. If there is, it
is only a small pool of ten million barrels of oil, which would take
twenty to thirty years to pump and would only supply enough oil for
the United States for less than one half of a day.
As I’ve walked through the valley, I have seen
the paintings on the sand rock cliffs of the shield bearing warrior
with the wolves, two-headed water animal, the bear, two-meter man,
horses and men, tobacco society drawings, and antelope in colors of
yellow, gold, red, green, and black. I have hiked the valley ten times
this summer with religious leaders from the Crow, Blackfeet, Comanche,
Kiowa, Sioux, Arapahoe, Shoshone, and Cheyenne. Each time is a new
experience. I believe this is because before you enter the valley you
said your prayers and dismissed all bad thoughts for everyone and
think of what may have been going through the minds of the ones who
created the spiritual art. When I am in the Valley of the Chiefs, I
feel the peace and calmness of this sacred place. On May 18th 2001, I
was informed that the BLM had made their decision to go ahead and sign
the plan to proceed drilling for oil in the Valley of the Chiefs
without doing an Environment Impact Statement (EIS). There are
ninety-four sacred cultural sites that have been mapped and studied by
BLM and other archeology groups at this date. There is study history
back to the 1950’s--why did the BLM let this lease? It is said that
there is only about 10 million barrels of oil under this valley, if
there is any at all.
Why are we searching for potholes of oil? If
energy is this low, why are we not looking for alternative sources of
energy that will not destroy the earth and environment? Do we have to
milk the earth dry before we look in other places for energy?
AAH _ HOO
Howard Boggess is an enrolled member of the Crow Tribe and an oral
historian. He has worked in coalition with Sierra Club to prevent oil
drilling in Weatherman Draw.
MAY 4, 2007
Riptide Communications, 212-260-5000
Simeon Tegel, Amazon Watch, 510-962-0195
Amazon Leaders Give Oxy Ultimatum: Clean Up Your Toxic Waste
from our Rainforest
or Face Legal Action in the U.S.
Indigenous Children Suffer Lead and Cadmium
Poisoning from Oxy’s Toxic Dumping, New Report Finds
Photo Op. and Press Briefing at Oxy Shareholder
Meeting with Indigenous Delegation and Actors Benjamin Bratt,
Daryl Hannah and Q’Orianka Kilcher
LOS ANGELES - May 4 – Indigenous communities from the Peruvian
Amazon told Occidental Petroleum (Oxy) to clean up its toxic waste
from their tropical rainforest or face a major lawsuit. The
ultimatum, on the eve of the Westwood-based oil giant’s annual
general meeting for shareholders, came as a new report revealed
that 30 years of Oxy’s polluting had left indigenous Achuar
children with illegal concentrations of lead and cadmium in their
blood, at levels known to cause permanent developmental problems.
Compiled by EarthRights International (ERI), Amazon Watch, and
Peruvian legal non-profit Racimos de Ungurahui, the report also
provides a legal analysis showing how Oxy’s cost-cutting and
deliberate use of sub-standard technology exposes it to civil
demands from the Achuar, both in Peru and the United States.
It is likely to be a hot subject during the shareholder meeting
today, which will be attended by two Achuar leaders, who hold
proxy shareholder rights, spiritual elder Tomas Maynas Carijano
and Andrés Sandi Mucushua, President of the Federation of Native
Communities of the Corrientes River (FECONACO), the principal
Peruvian federation that represents the Achuar.
Mr. Sandi said: “My people are sick and dying because of Oxy. The
water in our streams is not fit to drink and we can no longer eat
the fish in our rivers or the animals in our forests.”
Mr. Maynas Carijano one of the potential plaintiffs, added: “We
have told Oxy this week that they must talk with us in good faith
about how they are going to clean up the toxic waste they left in
our rainforest. We have waited too long already. If Oxy doesn’t
respond satisfactorily and soon, I along with other Achuar are
prepared to sue them for the damages they have caused us.”
Marco Simons, Legal Director of EarthRights International, added:
“There is no question that Oxy is legally responsible for the
contamination of Achuar territory. If Oxy will not agree to
fulfill its legal and moral duties, we are fully prepared to
assist the Achuar in holding Oxy accountable in court.”
In total, Oxy dumped nine billion barrels of untreated “formation
waters,” a by-product of the oil drilling process containing a
variety of toxins and carcinogens, directly into the Achuar’s
pristine tropical rainforest territories.
Based on information gathered by a team of experts in May 2006 –
including a doctor, nurse, lawyers, soil scientist, agronomist,
environmental engineer, and chemist - the report found:
Oxy dumped an average of 850,000 barrels per day of toxic oil
by-products directly into rivers and streams used by the Achuar
for drinking, bathing, washing, and fishing.
Oxy used earthen pits, prohibited by U.S. standards, to store
drilling fluids, crude oil, and crude by-products. These pits, dug
directly into the ground, were open, unlined, and routinely
overflowed onto the ground and into surface waters, leaching into
the surrounding soil and groundwater
Oxy violated several international rights norms – including
several in the American Convention on Human Rights and the
International Convention on Civil and Political Rights – in its
actions on Achuar territory, including the right to life, the
right to health, the right to a healthy environment, and
indigenous people’s rights.
Oxy violated Peru’s General Water Law and General Health Law, as
well as environmental statutes meant to be applied in the
As a U.S. corporation, Oxy’s disregard for the law and for the
wellbeing of the Achuar could subject it to legal liability in the
U.S. as well as in Peru.
ERI previously brought a lawsuit against Unocal, another LA-based
oil company, for abuses in Burma, concluding in a landmark
settlement in 2005. Ka Hsaw Wa, ERI's Executive Director, noted,
“Oil companies think only about profits – they are blind to human
rights and the environment. As an indigenous person from Burma
whose people have suffered greatly at the hands of Unocal, I am
compelled to act against similar abuses being experienced by my
Achuar brothers and sisters.”
Atossa Soltani, Amazon Watch Executive Director, added: “Oxy’s
history of disregard for the law and for the most basic human
rights of the Achuar is appalling. Oxy needs to move decisively
and rectify its past mistakes by cleaning up its toxic mess and
helping the Achuar deal with their health problems. Otherwise this
scandal could haunt Oxy for years to come with negative publicity
and potential legal actions.”
ERI, FECONACO, and AW will also be holding a sidewalk rally, press
briefing and photo op with celebrities and indigenous delegation
on Friday May 4, 2007. Participants will be available for
WHO: Andres Sandi, a leader of the Achuar nation of the Northern
Tomas Mayna Carijano, Achuar spiritual leader
Lily La Torre-Lopez, leading human rights lawyer, Racimos de
Atossa Soltani, Executive Director of Amazon Watch
Darryl Hannah, actress, star of Kill Bill
Benjamin Bratt, actor, star of Law & Order
Q’orianka Kilcher, actress, starred as Pocahontas in Terence
Malick’s The New World
WHERE: Fairmount Miramar Hotel, 101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica,
WHEN: Friday May, 4, 2007
9:45 – 10:15am PST: Rally and photo op.
12:00pm PST: Press briefing to report back after Oxy Annual
(The AGM takes place in the hotel from 10:30am to
A copy of the report can be viewed online at EarthRights
International and Amazon Watch’s websites:
Colombia rejects 'cultural genocide' claim,
OKs oil drilling near
September 22, 1999
Threat of mass suicide
Balancing need for energy
Spiritual beliefs, fear of violence
BOGOTA, Colombia -- The Colombian government has granted a U.S.
petroleum giant a license to explore for oil next to Indian lands,
rejecting a remote tribe's assertion that the result would be
"cultural and environmental genocide."
Environment Minister Juan Mayr announced the decision to allow Los
Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum Corp. to conduct exploratory
drilling just outside a 543,000-acre reserve inhabited by the tiny
U'wa Indian nation.
Calling the cultural threat and the environmental impact minimal,
the government said Tuesday it granted the license to promote economic
development and prevent Colombia from becoming an oil importer.
A tribal spokesman said Tuesday the U'wa were considering a drastic
response to the government's action.
Threat of mass suicide
"We are looking at the information to see what action the community
will take. Mass suicide is one option we are considering," Evaristo
Tegria said in Cubara, the main town on the of 8,000-member tribe's
"This spells cultural and environmental genocide."
The decision is the latest twist in a seven-year battle by the
semi-nomadic U'wa to prevent drilling on their ancestral lands. The
U'wa, who fish and farm in the hilly forested territory near
Colombia's border with Venezuela, first received international notice
in 1997 when they threatened to commit mass suicide if the government
allowed exploitation of the land. Their cause gained support from
environmental groups ranging from the Sierra Club to Greenpeace to the
Rainforest Action Network.
Balancing need for energy
The permit that Occidental received Tuesday would allow it to sink
the first test well in the northeast Samore block, just outside the
U'wa reservation. If sizable petroleum deposits are found in the area,
the company will have to reapply for a license to take the oil out of
The 500,000 acre exploration block is tipped to harbor up to 2.5
billion barrels of crude, which would help ensure Colombia's energy
needs well into the next millennium.
Oil is Colombia's top export, bringing in some $2.5 billion per
year in foreign reserves. But output is currently stagnated at about
850,000 barrels per day and the country faces the prospect of having
to import oil again by 2004 if no major new finds are made.
But the U'wa insist the entire Samore block, including parts
outside the government- approved reservation, was the territory of its
Spiritual beliefs, fear of violence
According to the U'wa's long-established spiritual beliefs,
drilling for oil on its tribal lands that span the cloud forests and
plains of northeast Colombia, is tantamount to sucking the lifeblood
out of Mother Earth.
A major oil project so close to U'wa lands also would attract the
same kind of violence and environmental destruction that plagues
oil-producing regions throughout Colombia, Tegria said.
Rebels hiding in the jungle have kidnapped oil executives and have
carried out 55 dynamite attacks on pipelines this year, sending oil
gushing into the jungles. Thousands of soldiers have been detailed to
guard the installations.
An Occidental executive said Tuesday his industry was being
unfairly blamed for strife endemic to a country where guerrillas have
a nationwide presence.
"To say that oil is a magnet for violence is to ignore the reality
of Colombia, where in many areas you have violence and no oil
development, " said the company official, speaking to The Associated
Press on condition of anonymity.
Mayr said the government could ensure the U'wa are shielded from
any violence associated with the oil industry's coming.
That's almost impossible to guarantee, said David Rothschild,
director of the Amazon Coalition, a Washington D.C.-based
environmental group that has backed the U'wa cause. "The Colombian
government has shown no ability to keep violence out of these areas.
So the promises are hollow."
Three American activists working with the U'wa were kidnapped near
the reserve and killed in March by a unit of the rebel Revolutionary
Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.
contributed to this report.
Victory for the U'wa
“We are seeking an explanation for this ‘progress’
that goes against life. We are demanding that this kind of progress
stop, that oil exploitation in the heart of the Earth is halted, that
the deliberate bleeding of the Earth stop... We ask that our brothers
and sisters from other races and cultures unite in the struggle that
we are undertaking... We believe that this struggle has to become a
global crusade to defend life.” —Statement of the U’wa people, August,
When the story of Colombia’s indigenous U’wa people first hit the
world stage, it was an all too familiar tragic tale: A ruthless
multinational oil company invades the homeland of a traditional
culture, threatening their way of life and the fragile ecosystem. It
was a new twist on the same 500-year-old story of conquistadors,
invasion and genocide that has shaped the Americas—only this time, the
gold which the invaders were willing to kill for was black.
To the U’wa (a name which means “the thinking people”), oil is Ruiría
meaning “the blood of Mother Earth,” and to extract it violates their
most sacred beliefs. To the Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum
(OXY), oil is the lucrative drug of choice for industrial society and
the fast track to record profits. With both the Colombian and US
governments backing the project, it seemed inevitable despite the
uncompromising resistance of the U’wa, that eventually OXY would
develop oil operations on U’wa land.
But on May 3, at the Occidental shareholder’s meeting, the story of
U’wa resistance turned a triumphant page. OXY made the historic
announcement that it is returning its oil concessions on U’wa land to
the Colombian government and abandoning its plans to drill in the
region. OXY has suddenly decided there is no oil under U’wa land
despite eight years of assuring investors of a major oil strike and
only pursuing one drill site in the vast area. In other words, when
you strip away the corporate face-saving, the resistance of the U’wa
and the pressure of the international solidarity campaign helped to
force OXY to abandon its efforts to drill on U’wa land! The slogans
that so many of us have written on banners and chanted in the
streets—OXY Off of U’wa Land!—are coming true.
The significance of this victory cannot be overstated. It is a victory
not only for the U’wa and their thousands of allies, but for all
impacted communities fighting the devastation of resource extraction
around the world. Although it is not the final victory for the U’wa,
it is a major milestone in their decade-long struggle to defend their
way of life and to teach the world the simple message that, “If we
kill the Earth, then no one will live.”
The announcement comes nearly a year after OXY retreated from the
Gibraltar 1 drill-site, which thousands of U’wa, local campesinos,
trade unionists and students had occupied to prevent oil drilling.
After using the Colombian military to brutally evict the protesters
and militarize the region, OXY was unable to find oil at the site.
This came as no surprise to the U’wa whose Werjayas (“wise elders”)
had spent months doing spiritual work to “move” the oil away from
But as with all victories, this one has come with its share of losses.
As we celebrate this victory, remember the spirits of those who have
given their lives as part of the struggle to defend the U’wa land and
culture. Remember Terence Freitas, Ingrid Washinawatok and Lahe’ena’e
Gay, three indigenous rights activists who were kidnapped from U’wa
territory and murdered by Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia
guerrillas in March, 1999. Remember the three indigenous children who
were killed in February, 2000, when the military attacked U’wa
blockades. Remember the 20 non-combatants who are murdered in
Colombia’s war every day as well as the numerous cultures, species and
ecosystems that have already been lost across the region.
Celebration also gives us pause for introspection as we analyze our
victories and draw some lessons from this amazing campaign. The U’wa
struggle for survival has become a symbol of resistance to oil
exploration, corporate-led globalization and American militarism.
During the last five years, the U’wa resistance inspired a massive
international solidarity movement that captured headlines around the
world with hundreds of peaceful demonstrations and actions. U’wa
supporters confronted OXY’s most important shareholders—former Vice
President Al Gore and mutual fund giant Fidelity Investments—and
forced them to dump more than 60 percent of their holdings. Activists
raised tens of thousands of dollars to support U’wa organizing on the
ground and made links with numerous local campaigns.
The U’wa struggle is the embodiment of the clash of worldviews that
defines the globalization era. Across the planet, traditional cultures
with ancient spiritual traditions of living in balance with the Earth
are under attack by multinational corporations capable of seeing the
Earth only as a commodity to exploit and extract. It is up to all of
us to show the public that they must choose sides—either with those
who fight to defend the Earth or those who would destroy it for
The U’wa campaign has shown that times are changing. Increasingly,
activists from the global North are aligning themselves with the
voices of frontline resistance and weaving our struggles for peace,
justice and ecology into a broader vision of people’s globalization.
As we work to globalize solidarity, dignity and ecological sanity, we
must look to indigenous resistance to help us relearn and articulate
Earth-centered values. Let us learn from the examples of people like
the U’wa and place being in solidarity with all the planet’s besieged
indigenous cultures at the center of our strategies for transformative
The U’wa will continue to need our support. Despite this major
victory, the U’wa and all the people of Colombia are in danger of
becoming the next target in George Bush’s global military offensive
against “terrorism.” The Bush administration is proposing to spend $98
million to defend OXY’s Caño Limon pipeline. This money will
inevitably deepen the cycle of violence in Colombia’s brutal civil
war. It is up to us to continue our organizing to stop Bush’s latest
oil war in Colombia. Likewise, the Colombian government or another oil
company could invade U’wa land and continue where OXY left off.
Ultimately, no culture or ecosystem will be truly safe until we drive
the oil barons from power, kick our global fossil fuel addiction and
begin to restabilize carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.
Celebrate the U’wa victory and let it fuel your passion to defend the
Earth. Our work is far from done—but with each milestone, each
victory, each action and each celebration, we are getting closer.
Another world is possible!
Patrick Reinsborough is a long-term U’wa supporter and freelance
global justice organizer.
The Struggle of the Indigenous U’wa People
against Oil Exploitation and for Life
Green Action in Colombia
by Larry Mosqueda, Ph.D., Evergreen
The Struggle of the Indigenous U’wa People against Oil
Exploitation and for Life Green Action in Colombia by Giuseppe De
Marzo, Italian Greens
The U’wa are a community of 7000 indigenous people living in
the forests of the Colombian Andes. Their culture is based on the
belief that the earth that has nurtured them for centuries is
sacred and is the Mother and that they exist to protect Her. Now
the U’wa and their sacred land have to face the menace of an
American oil multinational, Occidental, which began drilling in
The U’wa are so determined in their opposition to the
exploitative plans that they have threatened to commit mass
suicide if the project is not stopped. They are convinced that
it’s better to die than to assist the destruction of their Mother
Earth. They have a strong spiritual opposition to the drilling, as
they believe that oil is the blood of Mother Earth. Part of the
U’wa community committed mass suicide 500 years ago as an extreme
action of love towards life.
The Colombian government and the Occidental Petroleum
company of Los Angeles are carrying on the exploitation in the
traditional territory of the U’wa. They seem to be careless of the
suffering of the U’wa, killing children, women and destroying
everything they find in their path.
As Italian ecologists we decided to join the struggle of our
U’wa brothers after the death of the three American companions who
were supporting the U’wa in their fight. We have visited Colombia
5 times so far, with 5 commissions. From this privileged point of
view we were able to verify the effects produced by neoliberal
economic policies on those countries which have been deprived of
democracy, human rights and their own dignity for more than 50
years. Impunity, violence, overwhelming blind power, the arrogance
of the system: this is what happens in every country of the “third
world” starved by the hyenas of the fat, rich “first world.”
Colombia is the country, which more than any other
symbolizes how life on this planet is becoming more and more
inhuman. The list is endless: 100 Colombians die every day;
350,000 “desplazados” (people literally thrown off their lands)
per year; indigenous people eliminated by the activities of
multinationals. More than that, there is a total lack of
democracy; interference in their internal affairs by a third
country (USA); civil war; destruction of the beauty of nature and
of biodiversity; unemployment and more. To cap it all, there is
the military project of astonishing destruction and exploitation
known as “Plan Colombia,” the last way to claim the ownership of
what cannot be possessed.
“We will in no way sell our
But while the picture may be bleak, at the same time
Colombia is the country with 10% of the world’s biodiversity. It
is a country rich in colors, perfumes and sounds with strong
traditions and passions. From the forsaken suburbs of the “center”
of the world the U’wa are fighting a battle for the future of
everybody’s children against huge and powerful forces. The U’wa
are prepared to die if they cannot defend the role assigned to
them four thousand years ago by Sira (God) to be guardians of the
“Heart of the World” (as their territory is known).
“We will in no way sell our Mother Earth. To do so would be
to give up our work of collaborating with the spirits to protect
the heart of the world, which sustains and gives life to the rest
of the universe. It would be to go against our own origins, and
those of all existence.”
Declaration of the U’wa, 10 August 1998:
The U’wa are convinced that oil, Ruiria, is the blood that
flows through the veins of Mother Earth. Extracting oil means to
them draining life out of the Earth. To the U’wa, “Oil is the
blood of Mother Earth...to take the oil is, for us, worse than
killing your own mother. If you kill the Earth, then no one will
How much should we learn from this people and their
culture? How much should we learn from their teachings and their
purity? We don’t go to Colombia to help the U’wa but to help
ourselves, because if the U’wa people disappear, a wonderful
part of us will fade away with them. This “human core” of the
project is more important than every political, biological or
any other reason.
We will be creating an Indigenous Tribunal of Judgment in
a forest in Colombia with indigenous people and campesinos and
will walk together in the whole process. For the first time it
will be for the indigenous to judge the government of the United
States and the multinational Occidental.
We will be creating an Indigenous Tribunal
of Judgment in a forest in Colombia…
This Tribunal will give the chance to native peoples all
over the world to use it. Being able to open a trial on the use
and exploitation of the earth and its resources would mean
striking to the core of the system that needs the control of all
of the resources in order to extinguish them all. The
institution of the Tribunal must become for us the moment in
which the concept of Crime Against Humanity extends to a new
one: the Crime Against the Life of the Planet (including all its
living beings). This would mean accepting the truth of all
indigenous beliefs and theories which since the dawn of time
have stated the same things: that the planet and its living
beings are a unique living organism and that in the very moment
that we attack our Mother, we precipitate our own extinction.
The march will start in a forest and will end with the
delivery of the sentence of the Tribunal right at Occidental’s
drilling platform, situated inside the “Territorio Sagrado” of
the U’wa. This “multicultural promenade” as it was defined by
the U’wa could have a lot of new elements; first of all the
presence of the campesinos and social sectors that after calling
for a national strike for that date will march side by side with
the indigenous people (this fact is everything but usual in the
history of Latin America). Another element will be the presence
of international observers from several countries. The day of
the promenade should turn out to be a “Levantamiento
Spiritual”—a Spiritual Uprising.
Giuseppe De Marzo is Speaker of the Promoting Committee,
Italian Greens, Ya-Basta! Social Centres, Associations and
The text is from the August, 2001 UPDATE, Newsletter of the
European Federation of Green Parties.
From: The Orion Project Team <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Dr. Steven Greer Alert! Immediate Action Needed!
Date: Wed, 21 May 2008 10:02:15 +0000
The Orion Project
Renewable Energy - Free for Everyone!
Imminent scientific breakthroughs will eliminate your monthly energy
bills (and the world's) FOR LIFE!
(Keep reading to learn how YOU can be a part of this exciting
IMAGINE a device that could produce every watt of energy your home will
IMAGINE this device being CLEANER than solar power, but as free as the
air you breathe!
IMAGINE no more dependence on oil reserves run by cartels in foreign
IMAGINE no more nuclear waste or stripping of the countryside for coal.
IMAGINE this device being available EVERYWHERE on the planet: from the apartments of NYC, to the desert communities in Africa, and even to your favorite
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited,
whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving
birth to evolution." - Albert Einstein
But do not confuse these exciting possibilities with mere wishful
thinking. These are very REAL technologies that exist RIGHT NOW! What needs to be done
is to quickly develop these technologies into actual products you can buy at a local
you to unplug from high monthly bills and unsustainable, polluting
utilities. Many of you know I have been working together with scientists, inventors
and leaders in society to advance a new, clean technology energy system for 17
years. My vision for The Orion Project is to provide free renewable energy for everyone.
We're getting so close to a solution, and I need your help today.
So how can YOU be a part of this?
join us on this incredible endeavor!
SPREAD THE WORD by forwarding this note to 10 others!
Your donation of $30 or more will make a huge difference.
Referring 10 friends will help us reach our goal of $3 Million in a very
short time. We currently have 6 different technologies under development. Any of
them is potentially "the one" that will be the breakthrough we need. Once we have
the results, it's a straight sprint to optimization and production.
But, this is currently being done on a shoestring budget! To make this occur in
12-18 months versus 12-18 years, we need to be able to bring these scientists
together. And, we need to give them the necessary tools and assistance to develop
multiple technologies that will provide free energy perpetually for all people.
Imagine $10/gallon in less than 5 years.
Imagine having to forego heating in the winter or A/C in the summer.
Imagine familities having to decide between eating and being able to
drive miles away to work.
Imagine having more and more pollution in the water, in the air, in your
It's not a pretty future... that is why we need you now to generously
donate as much as you can to develop these new technologies as quickly as
Cleaner than solar energy, but as free as the air you breath!
Do not delay! Share this message with ten others, and Donate today and
as generously as you can afford! $30 or more makes a huge difference in our future.
We soon shall stand at the finish line with our device in hand.
Toward a more sustainable and equitable future for all.
PS. Your donation is tax-deductible!
"Energy Cleaner Than Solar, And As Free As The Air"
Our campaign needs you and your help. In order to bring an alternative
energy device into your home or place of business, The Orion Project needs funding to
build a prototype, test it and manufacture it. When you donate a small amount
makes a huge difference), we promise that 100% of your contribution
goes directly to the development of an alternative energy device.
In addition to making a tax-deductible contribution, The Orion Project
Team asks that you introduce us, and Dr. Greer's vision of a renewable energy
device, to 10 friends and family members who are passionate about a cleaner, less
expensive energy source.
We appreciate your support and interest and thank you for spreading the
word of our efforts to others. We will share our progress on this, and other
projects under development, in future newsletters. Do you know of a scientist or
inventor whose focus is on alternative energy solutions? Please let us know.
The Orion Project Team
Inventor Shares Energy Prototype with The Orion Project (TOP)
Mr. Bill Costantino and Dr. Ted Loder of TOP just recently had the
opportunity to meet with an inventor who presented a wide range of possible
technologies and prototype samples that may be capable of producing clean and sustainable electric
power - without using polluting fossil fuels. If such a breakthrough is indeed
TOP expects to have actual data from preliminary tests within 2-3
months! (To read the full article, please click on Cutting Edge
We Hope You Can Imagine a Future Where Everyone - Rich or Poor - Can
Have Clean, Free Energy
The technology is just around the corner. Let your imagination reach
We can move from imagination to reality.
Refer 10 friends to The Orion Project. Your contact information will
never be sold or exchanged:
Sign up for our newsletter and breaking news about the Orion Project on
Upcoming Lectures & Conferences
Dr. Greer will be speaking at the IIIHS Conference
scheduled for July 11-20, 2008. Please check the conference website for
The Orion Project | PO Box 4347 | Charlottesville | VA | 22905
Subject: Dr. Steven Greer Alert! Immediate Action Needed!
Date: Wed, 21 May 2008 10:02:15 +0000
The Orion Project
Renewable Energy - Free for Everyone!
scientific breakthroughs will eliminate your monthly energy
bills (and the world's) FOR LIFE!
(Keep reading to learn how YOU can be a part of this
IMAGINE a device
that could produce every watt of energy your home will
IMAGINE this device
being CLEANER than solar power, but as free as the air you
IMAGINE no more
dependence on oil reserves run by cartels in foreign
IMAGINE no more
nuclear waste or stripping of the countryside for coal.
IMAGINE this device
being available EVERYWHERE on the planet: from the
apartments of NYC, to the desert communities in Africa,
and even to your favorite camping destination...
"Imagination is more important
than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas
imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating
progress, giving birth to evolution." - Albert
But do not
confuse these exciting possibilities with mere wishful
thinking. These are very REAL technologies that exist
RIGHT NOW! What needs to be done is to quickly develop
these technologies into actual products you can buy at a
local store, allowing you to unplug from high monthly
bills and unsustainable, polluting utilities.
Many of you know I have
been working together with scientists, inventors and
leaders in society to advance a new, clean technology
energy system for 17 years. My vision for The Orion
Project is to provide free renewable energy for
everyone. We're getting so close to a solution, and I
need your help today.
how can YOU be a part of this?
to join us on this incredible
SPREAD THE WORD by forwarding this note to 10 others!
Your donation of $30 or more will
make a huge difference.
Referring 10 friends will help us reach our goal of $3
Million in a very short time.
We currently have 6 different
technologies under development. Any of them is
potentially "the one" that will be the breakthrough we
need. Once we have rigorously verified the results,
it's a straight sprint to optimization and production.
But, this is currently being done on a shoestring
budget! To make this occur in 12-18 months versus 12-18
years, we need to be able to bring these scientists
together. And, we need to give them the necessary tools
and assistance to develop multiple technologies that
will provide free energy perpetually for all people.
Imagine $10/gallon in less than 5
Imagine having to forego heating
in the winter or A/C in the summer.
Imagine familities having to
decide between eating and being able to drive miles away
Imagine having more and more
pollution in the water, in the air, in your food,
It's not a
pretty future... that is why we need you now to
as much as you can to develop these new technologies as
quickly as humanly possible!
solar energy, but as free as the air you breath!
Do not delay! Share this message
with ten others, and Donate today and as generously as you
can afford! $30 or more makes a huge difference in our
future. We soon shall stand at the finish line with our
device in hand.
Toward a more sustainable and
equitable future for all.
PS. Your donation is tax-deductible!
Than Solar, And As Free As The Air"
Our campaign needs you and
your help. In order to bring an alternative energy
device into your home or place of business, The Orion
Project needs funding to build a prototype, test it
and manufacture it. When you donate a small amount
(even $30 makes a huge difference), we promise
that 100% of your contribution goes directly to the
development of an alternative energy device.
In addition to making a
tax-deductible contribution, The Orion Project Team
asks that you introduce us, and Dr. Greer's vision of
a renewable energy device, to 10 friends and family
members who are passionate about a cleaner, less
expensive energy source.
We appreciate your support and
interest and thank you for spreading the word of our
efforts to others. We will share our progress on
this, and other projects under development, in future
newsletters. Do you know of a scientist or inventor
whose focus is on alternative energy solutions?
Please let us know. The
Orion Project Team
Energy Prototype with The Orion Project (TOP)
Mr. Bill Costantino and Dr. Ted
Loder of TOP just recently
the opportunity to meet with an inventor who presented
a wide range of possible technologies and prototype
samples that may be capable of producing clean and
sustainable electric power - without using polluting
fossil fuels. If such a breakthrough is indeed
possible, TOP expects to have actual data from
preliminary tests within 2-3 months! (To read the
full article, please click on
Cutting Edge Inventor
We Hope You Can Imagine a Future
Where Everyone - Rich or Poor - Can Have Clean, Free
technology is just around the corner. Let your
imagination reach higher limits. We can move from
imagination to reality.
Reality is just 1-2-3 steps
Refer 10 friends to The Orion
Project. Your contact information will never be sold
REFER TEN FRIENDS
Donate what you
can, but $30 or more makes a HUGE difference:
Sign up for our
newsletter and breaking news about the Orion Project on
Upcoming Lectures & Conferences
Dr. Greer will be speaking at the
IIIHS Conference scheduled for July 11-20, 2008.
Please check the conference website for more
"jump over" to the Earth, be sure they will. And with that
will come great change. I hope this helps clarify some of your
questions. Sincerely yours,. Alex ...
by Dee Finney, Michelle Lavigne-Wedel and Alex. and
others as named. ... I hope this helps clarify some of
your questions. Sincerely yours,. Alex. ...
Alex tells us that our mission on earth is to raise the
'frequency' of earth so that it becomes ... Alex
states: "Frequency sickness is a global affliction. ...
THE TRUTH ABOUT NIBIRU - by Alex. Over time, Nibiru has
returned in its journey around our sun. ... It is so far from
the Sun that its orbital period is . ...
ALEX (THE LIGHTBEING ET) ANSWERS SOME QUESTIONS FROM
DEE · LISTEN TO ALEX ANSWER 6 QUESTIONS ... SEE
WHAT ALEX LOOKS LIKE. A NEW WAY TO LOOK AT IMAGES
www.greatdreams.com/alex/sacred-birds.htm -. DEES
DREAMS AND VISIONS -MARCH, 1999 THIRD EYE - I pulled the white
light down through the crown to the 3rd eye ...
8-12-03 - THE TRUTH ABOUT NIBIRU by Alex. 8-8-03 - THE
CHANGING OF THE GUARD 3 - 2- 1 - WE ALL FALL DOWN!!! 8-8-03 -
PREDICTIVE OUTLINE OF IDEAS ABOUT THE ...
by Dee Finney, Michelle Lavigne-Wedel and Alex. and
others as named. SOME SHIFTING HAS ALREADY OCCURRED ...
Through a series of small towers strategically ...
Alex tells us the definition of 'The Tuning': The
Tuning is a stage in the bringing ... Remember this:
Alex said that when the balance between positive and negative
DREAMS OF THE GREAT EARTHCHANGES
- MAIN INDEX