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The emails I wrote
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PaulS



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 602
Location: Cottage Farm,Cornwall

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 11:37 am    Post subject: The emails I wrote Reply with quote

This thread is to simply publish whatever emails or letters we are all sending to politicians, broadcasters, businessmen, etc, so that we can learn from each other?s style and make the task easier. We might even develop one or two good pro-forma letters that can be dispatch at minimum of effort.

Every time you hear see or read anyone missing the point about oil, WRITE to him/her! Tell him what the real reason for high prices is. Direct him to couple of suitable information papers. I know, you could be writing all day if you wrote to everyone, but how about starting with just ONE email or letter a day.

After all, each and every one of us has gone through the stages these people may be at: ignorance, denial, disbelieve, and only then perhaps acceptance and active search for solutions.

I propose to try to send one such email or letter each day, to any particular politician, broadcaster, businessman or anyone else, whose public pronouncements on oil I disagree with. I would encourage you all to do the same. That could be 100 emails a day. Not a bad start to an ongoing campaign!
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PaulS



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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Location: Cottage Farm,Cornwall

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TO: Richard Branson at Virgingalactic@virgin.com (his current baby)

Dear Richard,

I have always been an admirer of yours and still wish you best of luck in your ventures

BUT

some of your business are likely to collapse in the near future ... Why?

Because of Peak Oil.

If you do not know about Peak Oil, please take 30 minutes to study this lecture, which is a good introduction to the subject: http://www.geologie.tu-clausthal.de/Campbell/lecture.html or a more populist: http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/

Oil has tripled in price over the past 18 months. Oil is likely to be doubling in price each year for the foreseeable future. Why? Nothing to do with hurricanes or Iraq. The reason is that world wide production of oil is about to reach a peak. Once that happens, production will start declining and will continue to decline indefinitely. At the same time demand will try to grow. There are NO currently viable substitute energy sources (see the links for info on each possible alternative). The resulting massive oil price increases will push the world into depression comparable to the 1930s, but with no prospect of an end.

Clearly that is not a good prospect for your businesses. But please do not dismiss this email on the basis of the above summary. Do study the lecture.

I would be interested to know what you decide.

Personally, I have completely changed my lifestyle, to one which I hope will protect me and my family from the worst of the coming crises. In the meantime, I am doing my best to alert UK politicians, with some limited success - the House of Commons is due to discuss an Early Day Motion on the subject, The LibDem Energy spokesman seems to be coming round to understanding the seriousness of the issue and recently we have been successful in raising the topic in various media.

Unfortunately, most people are in denial. But that only to be expected. Hopefully, that will not apply to you.

Best regards

Paul
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isenhand



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I write a small email newsletter once every 3 month. The latest one went out last night and it went out with a little mention of peak oil Smile
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PaulS



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My email to Richard obviously hasn't had the desired effect. I just heard the silly fool describing on radio4 his plans for a refinery and even exploration, since the 'oil companies do not do it properly'!
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snow hope



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope Richard Branson does not read this thread and see himself described as a silly fool. Wink I wish I was as silly (and successfull!)

But the purpose of the comment is to say that until March this year (when I discovered PO, I was a "silly fool" too. I think we have to be careful how we address people who haven't discovered PO yet. We also have to accept that for a lot of people they don't necessarily "get it" overnight. I do have sympathy with some people who initially have feelings of denial - I would say it is even a natural process, maybe a bit like death and mourning. Which is something like disbelief, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance and then recovery and how to survive.

Back on topic, it is a great idea to develop some material than can be used to "waken people up". Well done for taken the initiative to email these people. Smile
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skeptik



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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Location: Costa Geriatrica, Spain

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PaulS wrote:
My email to Richard obviously hasn't had the desired effect. I just heard the silly fool describing on radio4 his plans for a refinery and even exploration, since the 'oil companies do not do it properly'!

He's no fool, I think he's just a bit pissed off at the moment. I think once he's had a carefull look at what building a refinery entails that idea will be quiety dropped.

Unless it is possible to build some sort of small 'boutique' refinery specifially optimised to produce aviation fuel, that doesn't cost billions of pounds... Dont know about that.
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PaulS



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I meant it in a kind of endearing way. I know he is no fool and we all love him!
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isenhand



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2005 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PaulS wrote:
My email to Richard obviously hasn't had the desired effect.


He probably never even got it. The email was probably filtered by some one else. Not sure how to get it to him persoanly, maybe send a letter to his ?home address? marked ?private??
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DamianB
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Posts: 553
Location: Dorset

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This letter was published in my local paper (Western Gazette) last week


Quote:
Dear Sir/Madam.

I am an objector to major road-building schemes on principle; enough of our precious landscape has already been given over to the car and building new roads has been shown time and again (viz M25) not to solve congestion problems in the long term. However, I decided to visit DCC's WRR exhibition at the Corn Exchange last week to see what is being proposed. It struck me was that the presentation was set up as 'fait accompli' when in fact there is a public enquiry yet to be held and also that 'Weymouth Relief Road' is a mis-nomer, part of the self-agrandising spin that DCC are employing; surely 'Broadwey By-pass' would be more appropriate.

I would also like to draw your readers' attention to oil depletion. The term 'peak oil' has been coined to describe the geological constraint that will occur by 2008 that means worldwide oil supplies will start to fall and thus ensure a prolonged increase in prices. This in turn will mean that personal travel by car will decline to the point where schemes like the WRR will be severely under-used and ultimately prove to be 'white elephants'.


I wish I'd used 'production' instead of 'supplies' !
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DamianB
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Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 553
Location: Dorset

PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2005 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sent this letter to the Local Transport Plan manager at the county council when leaving my copy of EoS at reception:

Quote:
The information in the DVD is vital to you for the next LTP. Whilst the similarities between a rural county like Dorset and US suburbia may not be immediately apparent, I?m sure they will become so after you?ve watched it.

I also enclose a ?Peak Oil? primer and details of a conference we are involved with.

Please feel free to circulate the DVD among your colleagues.


It took him nearly a month and two 'phone calls to get him to watch it but I got a positive response in the end.
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peaky



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 332
Location: Brighton, UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sent this on the 11th of September to my MP, Des Turner:

Subject: The current oil/energy situation

Dear Mr Turner,

I'm reading the news media with increasing disbelief these days and
today I've been prompted to write due to comments I read on the BBC
website from Gordon Brown ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/
4234788.stm
)

I am one of the growing number of people who believe that we have
reached, or will very shortly reach, the point known as 'Peak Oil' -
not when we run out, but when demand for oil begins to exceed supply.
Mainstream economics simply views this as a temporary situation
whereby increased prices will bring about increased supply which will
even things out and so on. However, apart from a few mavericks who
support the concept of renewable (Abiotic) oil, it is generally
accepted that oil reserves are finite. It is fairly widely
acknowledged in the media, that 'oil capacity is tight' though the
reasons are only vaguely alluded to. It is necessary to discover oil
before it can be extracted and world oil discovery peaked around 1964
and has declined ever since. In the 1980s we began to use more than
we were finding on a daily basis and currently we are using 4 times
as much oil as we find. It does not take a rocket scientist to
realise that this is unsustainable. Sooner or later we will reach a
point where things start to get difficult, to say the least, and I
believe that we are at or very near to that point now.

Mr Brown said that "Opec has failed to respond quickly enough to the
surging demand for oil from China." Has he considered that Saudi
Arabia may not be able to respond quickly enough? Perhaps Mr Brown
may like to attend the conference "The End of Oil" being held in
London on the 11th of October ( http://www.eafl.org.uk/default.asp?
topic=OilConf ) at which your former environment minister Michael
Meacher MP will be speaking. You may wish to read an article written
by him in the Financial Times in January last year - http://
www.energycrisis.com/uk/planNow.htm

I would be interested to know your views on our energy situation,
particularly in light of the information that British Gas has just
announced a 14% increase in gas prices. I think we are now beginning
to see a trend here - do you think so? How does this potentially new
energy situation inform the government's policy in terms of road
building, airport expansion and measures to tackle fuel poverty for
the elderly? Does the government have a policy of reducing dependence
on these increasingly expensive and harder to obtain fossil fuels?

I look forward to your reply,

peaky

I received the standard acknowledgement on the 12th of September.

I'm going to write again today to 'jog his memory'.
Smile
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PowerSwitchJames



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the intro below really adds a punch.
---------------------------------------------------------

"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."
- A report for the U.S Department of Energy entitled "Peaking Of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation, & Risk Management" by Robert Hirsch, February 2005

-------------------------------------------------------------

We are a group of concerned citizens who have become aware of a phenomenon known as 'Peak Oil' and we are actively promoting awareness & discussion through grass-roots movements, the internet, e-mail and other media. ?Peak Oil? is one of the most talked about topics today. Peak Oil means we will soon be entering a period of permanent declining global oil production resulting in a relentless climb in oil prices; it does NOT mean we are immediately running out of oil!"

It is a fact of geology and physics that production from individual oil fields follows a bell-shaped curve and so, world production from all wells follows a similarly shaped curve. We are now at, or very near, the top of that curve. Official IEA and USGS reserve data show that we have 30-35 years' supply left, depending on which economic growth rates are used but these numbers are in doubt, as evidenced by Gordon Brown's request to OPEC for greater transparency in reserve numbers.

In 2004 the world used 29 billion barrels of oil but only discovered 7 billion barrels. This four-to-one depletion/discovery ratio is not an isolated case; there simply is not enough unexplored territory in the world left to cover this shortfall. This fact is evidenced by the trend among large oil companies to buy each other out rather than prospect for new oil, and the current supply squeeze caused by a slow down in infrastructure investment.

It is another fact of geology that the easiest and cheapest to produce oil is extracted first, leaving behind the thicker, more contaminated oil that costs more to get out of the ground and to refine. This oil itself uses more energy in its extraction, refining and delivery to the consumer.

Cheap oil has driven western economies on their impressive growth curve since WWII and many less developed countries now seek to emulate that growth. Oil is used in virtually every facet of our lives from cars, pharmaceuticals and plastics to artificial fibres, airline fuel and detergents. Oil has allowed farmers in the UK to increase yields of many staple crops threefold through the application of herbicides and pesticides. Our current way of life cannot continue in the face of rising oil prices and decreasing availability.

As a nation we need to discuss these facts because the sooner the general population is made aware, the issues are debated and action is taken, the easier a transition to a way of living less dependent on oil can be achieved. The Hirsch Report for the U.S Department of Energy clearly says we need 20 years to prepare a successful transition (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hirsch_report )

The report concludes:
"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."

Please look on the Internet at these three papers:

1. Presentation to a House of Commons All-Party Committee July 1999):
http://www.hubbertpeak.com/campbell/commons.htm
2. Deutsche Bank Research:
http://www.dbresearch.de/PROD/DBR_INTERNET_DE-PROD/PROD0000000000181487.PDF
3. An overview of Peak Oil:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubbert_peak

Congressman Roscoe Bartlett has spoken of this in the U.S.A
http://www.energybulletin.net/4733.html

Chris Skrewbowski, Editor of Petroleum Reviews, points to imminent Peak Oil with his Megaprojects report:
http://www.globalpublicmedia.com/transcripts/379

Coverage in Press & Magazines:
1.The Sunday Times:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2099-1813695,00.html
2. The Guardian:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/life/feature/story/0,13026,1464050,00.html
3. TIME Magazine:
http://www.time.com/time/globalbusiness/article/0,9171,1106299-1,00.html

The UK Peak Oil Petition
http://www.petitiononline.com/PeakOil/petition.html

We are happy to speak to you privately or provide more evidence by e-mail or post. If you are looking for a comprehensive introduction of the problem and possible solutions, please see our introductory booklet at http://www.powerswitch.org.uk/Downloads/pos.doc

Yours

James Howard
www.PowerSwitch.org.uk
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GD



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 1099
Location: Devon

PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2006 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My latest one to my MP - a PO reminder and asking to support John Hemming. There's about 3 or so paragraphs in there shamelessley lifted out of one of Richard Heinberg's articles. (I'm pushed for time these days!)

Quote:
Date 14th January 2006.

Dear Adrian Sanders,

Just after the election last May, I wrote to you regarding the peaking of global oil production. In that letter I supplied information on the decline of fossil fuels and how it would mean a move towards coal (which has much larger reserves) and nuclear power will be likely. In the meantime the government has answered calls from the Confederation of British Industry to open a debate on the future of nuclear power and work with environment agencies on a derogation to be allowed to pollute more in the event of a shortage(1); which, in my opinion, represents the "thin end of the wedge" in relaxing environmental regulations.

You passed the information I gave you on to Norman Baker MP for comment. I am yet to receive a reply from Mr Baker, but in the meantime I have been working with the NGO PowerSwitch in raising awareness of the issue, who have received a response from him. To summarise his reply, Mr Baker stated that oil price increases will signal markets to invest in efficiency measures and develop renewables, which seems reasonable enough on the surface.

The United States Department of Energy published an assessment in February of last year by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), titled ?Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation and Risk Management? (2).

The report?s Executive Summary begins with the following paragraph:

"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."

The Hirsch report examines three scenarios: one in which mitigation efforts are not undertaken until global oil production peaks; a second in which efforts commence ten years in advance of peak; and a third in which efforts begin twenty years prior to the peak. Each scenario assumes a ?crash program rate of implementation.? In the first case, the study concludes that peak will leave the world with a ?significant liquid fuels deficit for more than two decades? that ?will almost certainly cause major economic upheaval?; even with a ten-year lead time for mitigation efforts government intervention will be required and the world will experience a ten-year fuel shortfall. A crash program initiated twenty years ahead of the event will offer ?the possibility? of avoiding a fuel shortfall. The report emphasizes repeatedly that both supply- and demand-side mitigation options will take many years to implement and will cost ?literally trillions of dollars?; it also notes that ?the world has never faced a problem like this.?

Hirsch et al. note that, ?While greater end-use efficiency is essential, increased efficiency alone will be neither sufficient nor timely enough to solve the problem. Production of large amounts of substitute liquid fuels will be required.? Further, ?Mitigation will require a minimum of a decade of intense, expensive effort, because the scale of liquid fuels mitigation is inherently extremely large.? Hirsch, et al., also point out that ?The problems associated with world oil production peaking will not be temporary, and past ?energy crisis? experience will provide relatively little guidance.?

I am chiefly concerned with this issue due to the likely effects on ordinary folk, especially on the poorest, who will find increasing difficulty in meeting fuel costs, and then the majority of Britons, who are likely to have a difficult time in servicing their record levels of debt.

So far, the only MP taking the issue seriously in this country is John Hemming. I think it is important that he gets as much support as possible, and I would be grateful if you could lend him your support in any way you can.

<ends>

Footnotes:

1 Confederation of British Industry. ?Powering the future - Enabling the UK energy market to deliver?. 21st November 2005.
www.cbi.org.uk/pdf/energybriefnov05.pdf

2 Hirsch, R.L, Bezdek, R.H, Wendling, R.M. ?Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation and Risk Management.? United States Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). February 2005.
www.netl.doe.gov/otiic/World_Oil_Issues/Oil_Peaking_NETL.pdf
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Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 1099
Location: Devon

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First PO letter sent to my new MP. My favourite 3 paragraphs from Heinberg in there again.

Quote:
Dear Gary Streeter,

I attended the Friends of the Earth discussion on climate change on the 2nd of June, and wanted to raise a couple of further points with you. The term "Peak Oil" was mentioned by Martyn Williams at one point, and I was wondering if you had heard of it before, so I thought I would take this opportunity to write to you about it. (I am certain that you have other constituents who know about the issue, but I do not know if any have written to you about it.) "Peak Oil" is shorthand for the point at which the maximum amount of oil can be extracted from the Earth's crust and brought to market. It is essentially an issue with flow rates and not about how many years worth of reserves may be in the Earth's crust. The implication is higher prices in the near term and, when the flow rates begin to decline, sky high prices and learning to live without. The same also applies to Natural Gas, which is expected to reach a global peak soon after oil.

The United States Department of Energy published an independent assessment of the issue in February of last year by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), titled ?Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation and Risk Management?1.

The report?s Executive Summary begins with the following paragraph: "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."

The report examines three scenarios: one in which mitigation efforts are not undertaken until global oil production peaks; a second in which efforts commence ten years in advance of peak; and a third in which efforts begin twenty years prior to the peak. Each scenario assumes a ?crash program rate of implementation.? In the first case, the study concludes that peak will leave the world with a ?significant liquid fuels deficit for more than two decades? that ?will almost certainly cause major economic upheaval?; even with a ten-year lead time for mitigation efforts government intervention will be required and the world will experience a ten-year fuel shortfall. A crash program initiated twenty years ahead of the event will offer ?the possibility? of avoiding a fuel shortfall. The report emphasizes repeatedly that both supply and demand side mitigation options will take many years to implement and will cost ?literally trillions of dollars?; it also notes that ?the world has never faced a problem like this.?

Hirsch et al. note that, ?While greater end-use efficiency is essential, increased efficiency alone will be neither sufficient nor timely enough to solve the problem. Production of large amounts of substitute liquid fuels will be required.?

Further, ?Mitigation will require a minimum of a decade of intense, expensive effort, because the scale of liquid fuels mitigation is inherently extremely large.? Hirsch, et al., also point out that ?The problems associated with world oil production peaking will not be temporary, and past ?energy crisis? experience will provide relatively little guidance.?
Whilst it is impossible to forecast exactly when the peak will be, with estimates ranging from within the next 2 years to over 30 years in the future (the discrepancies arising from mis-reporting of reserve data for various political or economic reasons2) the time to take action is now, due to the length of time to implement mitigation strategies. It is not unreasonable to suggest that the recent increases in oil prices are a signal that we are indeed close to the peak.

Due to the nature of the problem being dependence on fossil fuels, the solutions required for Peak Oil are the same as required for climate change. In this regard, I was glad to see, at the Friends of the Earth event, that cooperation between different parties, and, also between nations was recognised as a vital way forward.

Without any certainty about the future of energy sources or prices, we are all at the mercy of oil market volatility. However, given clear signals from government, individuals, communities and businesses alike can be given a climate of certainty with which to make the necessary changes.
TEQ's would provide the forward planning necessary to creatively surmount these obstacles. I do not believe they will simply be a permit for the rich to pollute, as I think that the most well off will perceive how fuel prices will increasingly consume their income and capital, and they will also have the most means with which to tackle that threat.

I agree that TEQ's could be complex in it's implementation, but on the other hand, I see many complex things in operation today, such as National Insurance numbers, Pay As You Earn, Tax Credits and itemised billing. I am not sure it would be so complex as to be impossible, but that could well be a subject for much forward debate.

The only alternative I can think of at this present time is to simply implement a tax policy on fossil fuels, which will increment the percentage of tax over a number of years (which would likely need to cover several general elections). But this would also become complicated, when some of the revenues would need to be balanced on alleviating fuel poverty (which is already getting worse), and developing efficiency and renewables.
How would a country such as Britain implement such a policies, when large multinational corporations can shift their capital and employment overseas to any nation that would allow them to continue business as usual?
Of course, another issue is how do politicians implement such policies without first gaining broad support from the electorate?

One thing I am doing is working to raise awareness of the Peak Oil issue, and have arranged a couple of public events for Ivybridge. The first one, is a fairly in depth introduction to the issue, and is taking place this coming Friday the 23rd June at 7.30pm in Ivybridge town hall. The second is on Thursday the 13th July, and covers possibilities of solutions to the issue, such as developing local markets. This will also give an overview of the recent Devon Association for Renewable Energy report on renewable energy options for the South Hams.

You are, of course, welcome to attend should you so wish. (I can reassure you that this Friday's event only clashes with a France - Togo game!) I feel that, with knowledge of the issue, support for a planned transition to reducing fossil fuel use would increase, despite the fact that it might be seen as inefficient or interfering in the market.

I also feel that a country such as Britain making positive strides in this area would not only be beneficial to us in the long term, but would also send a strong signal to the world that it can be done in the near term.
Another thing I am doing is supporting the Simultaneous Policy, that my Wife and I wrote to you about previously, which aims to answer the two above questions.

I look forward to hearing your thought on this issue, and some of the actions that you feel the British government could and ought to take.

Yours Sincerely,

References:

1) Hirsch, R.L, Bezdek et al. ?Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation and Risk Management.? United States Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). February 2005. www.netl.doe.gov/publications/others/pdf/Oil_Peaking_NETL.pdf

2) Roger Bentley. ?Global Oil and Gas Depletion ? A Letter to the Energy Modelling Community?. International Association for Energy Economics newsletter, second quarter 2006.
www.iaee.org/documents/06spr.pdf
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Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 1099
Location: Devon

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got a reply this morning:

Quote:
Thank you v. much for your letter...

I am grateful to you for the explanation of Peak Oil which was something I had only a passing knowledge of and for the other information that you let me have.

I'm sorry I was unable to make the meeting as it clashed with another appointment...

Best wishes


Any suggestions for the next step? EDM 419?
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