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Open Letter to US Representative Hooley (OR 5th) About Energy Depletion

An unexpected and courageous speech on efficiency, conservation, and population control by an ultra-conservative Member of Congress needs to be brought to the attention of all.
Indymedia readers, please feel free to borrow and customize to sent to your US Representative!

Dear Representative Hooley,

You've known of my environmental views since we were neighbors on Parkside Court and Failing Street. You've known my technical credentials since, as a Clackamas County Commissioner, you visited my workgroup at what was then Tektronix Wilsonville.

I hope you will accept the following as not being from some "nut case" end-of-the-world type, but rather as a rational analysis from someone trained and experienced in science and technology.

The United States and the entire world faces a looming crisis that has not been seen since the great wars of the last century. Our burgeoning population, as well as the finer points of our civilization, are completely dependent on a non-renewable natural resource that is going into decline, even as demand continues to increase. We are about to overshoot global oil production.

I have been studying this phenomenon for years, and have been making my own preparations. So far, politicians have ignored it, and the media have ignored it. But as Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R MD) recently stated before Congress, many "rational, professional, conservative individuals... are absolutely terrified by the phenomenon known as global peak oil."

If you missed Congressman Bartlett's presentation, and have not yet read it in the Congressional Record, I urge you to do so now. It is very well researched. Although I disagree with Congressman Bartlett's position on almost every other issue, I was impressed with the depth of his understanding of this looming crisis. It must have taken some genuine soul-searching for an ultra-conservative father of ten, opposed to most forms of birth control, to call for curbs on population growth.


In fact, there are increasing signals that oil may have already peaked. Co-incidental with Congressman Bartlett's denial-breaking speech, OPEC announced that it can no longer keep up with global oil demand. Historians may cite March 15, 2005 as The Peak.


We are not simply "running out of oil." The problem is more complex than that, and more difficult to communicate. What is true is that oil production will no longer keep up with demand, and our civilization will inevitably revert to the coal age.

Unless humanity abolishes the holy grail of "growth" and seeks a steady-state energy level of perhaps only 10% to 20% of today's usage, a child born today will in her lifetime experience a similar trauma of "peak coal", and humanity will begin reversion to altogether pre-industrial times.

I know letters like this one are supposed to ask for something. I am not aware of a vote, or a bill in committee, or a co-sponsorship that I can ask of you. The first national politician has taken public notice just this week!

I know of your favorable record in energy efficiency and conservation, and I hope it will continue. What I am asking now is that you become an activist, and vigorously pursue these issues, introducing and co-sponsoring bills, rather than simply voting for them. Congressman Bartlett calls for a "Manhattan Project" effort in this regard, and compares it to putting a man on the moon in scope.

Within each crisis is an opportunity. Today's adults are doomed to a future of rapidly escalating energy costs. But bold leadership now can save today's child from "shivering in the dark" in her old age.

Having spent a great deal of time researching this immense crisis, I am at your service, should I be able to help.

:::: Jan Steinman http://www.Bytesmiths.com>

homepage: homepage: http://www.Bytesmiths.com
phone: phone: 503 635-3229
address: address: 19280 Rydman Ct

energy consumption 21.Mar.2005 12:43

greg snyder

It's wonderful that an elected official has now said something about the impending energy crisis. The rest of the world seems to be aware that something needs to be done. I guess sooner or later the politicians will also have some vague awareness of it. The fact is, something will need to be done. A "Manhattan" project? Seems there are many things that could be done. Legislation mandating the conversion of housing to solar power (all houses and buildings in the country) and give tax credits to compensate for the burden of the cost of doing so. The country could also convert over to a hydrogen-based economy. Motor vehicles, airplanes, all combustion engines and electrical power plants should be required to be hydrogen-based systems. And there should be a timetable placed on such a conversion project. What would be a reasonable time frame for such an enormous project? 5 years? 10 years? Well, at least there should be some discussion, don't you think?
But, instead, the politicians in Washington are butting into the affairs of a family matter and are thus occupied, which is a waste of taxpayers' money and an infringement on the law (negation of durable power of attorney for health care?)if you ask me. Washington politicians these days are doing an awful lot of such micromanagement and as a citizen I think of it as being an infringement and wrong since many of these matters are not rightly political and should not even be considered so. They are not doing what they should be doing which is making legislation that is important and matters.
An entire infrastructure to support the conversion would have to be put into place and that could take some time to do. It would free the country up from its dependence on oil. The country, and world, would also benefit greatly from expanding use of renewable sources of energy such as wind power, hydroelectric power, etc.. The main obstacle to do all of this, of course, is big business and the way that America lives and consumes. It would be a radical restructuring of the entire economy.

Change of address/phone 10.May.2006 23:03

Jan Steinman Jan@Bytesmiths.com

Please note my new address and phone: 160 Sharp Road, Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada, +1.250.537.2024.

I just couldn't take it any more. After the 1984 (s)election, I began investigating Canada. The more I learned, the better it looked. See what I'm up to at EcoReality!

250 537.2024
160 Sharp Road, Salt Spring Island, BC Canada