Links – Week 14, 2010

Photo by: mugley

I haven’t been doing much general reading this week because I’ve been focussed on writing this essay on how peak oil is going to effect my organisation. It had become bigger than Ben Hur…….and then my computer crashed and hasn’t recovered. I’m trying not to panic about losing all that work….so you’ll have to forgive me if I’ve been a little distracted.

Regardless….here are a couple of things I found interesting around the interwebs this week.

The population debate in Australia seems to be heating up. I think this may well be the issue the next election is won or lost over. We’ll see.

When Size does matter – The PM needs to put flesh on his population policy before the issue explodes.

That 35 million-plus number has hung out there in the interim without much supporting architecture, mobilising people who are not instinctively culture warriors on immigration, or zero-population-growth environmentalists; people who struggle to maintain quality of life in Australian cities, where infrastructure is already straining to meet the needs of the existing population. People who would recoil from the idea of such an increase. Sensible people who vote.

This is an interesting article on the intersection between Climate change and Peak Oil. Venezuala, one of the major exporters of Crude oil to the US may be struggling to meet it’s production targets because of drought.

The Peak Oil Crisis: Countdown at the Guri

Now, if you are wondering why a falling water level in the Venezuelan highlands should be if interest to Americans, the answer is easy. Despite years of political tensions between the Chavez government and Washington, the U.S. is still importing some 800,000 barrels a day of crude from Venezuela. Should these imports go away, it is likely to come suddenly – shipping oil from Venezuela to Louisiana only takes two days — we are going to see an instantaneous jump in gasoline prices. Given that the U.S. is at the top of President Chavez’s least favorite countries list, it does not take much imagination to figure out who would be shut off first if exports have to be curtailed.


  1. Sorry to hear about the computer crash Mia. That’s no fun at all! If we were on the same continent I could offer you a very affordable mail and file server solution to backup and protect your files and email. In fact, given that I have a bunch sitting around not about to go anywhere, you could have one for free!

    Anyway, hope you recover everything ok; if I can be of any assistance, please let me know.

    As for the population issue, I don’t see it heading anyway but up in Aus. On a tangentially related matter, Sam and I were thinking about chickens this morning and came across the very surprising, number: 2. That’s the most chickens that you can stock per acre if you don’t have a ready supply of chook food available (chook food that is bought to you by fossil fuels).

    It really puts our population (and its continued growth and food consumption) in perspective. The average one thousand acre farm could only stock 2000 chickens _maximum_ at any one time (assuming that it was well vegetated and looked after). Somehow I doubt that 2000 chickens could ever pay the mortgage, let alone feed our growing population.

    Regarding the US and Venezuela, that’s my number one pick for the next oil war. Nothing good is going to come of that situation.

  2. LS. I might just contact you. I’m in need of some advice about web hosting and it seems like that’s what you know.

  3. Hi Mia, happy to help out. We may be able to work out something simple and reliable for backup. Happy to help with web hosting too 🙂 You can get me email off the top of my blog.

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