Friday, February 06, 2009



media files:

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YouTube ->. .

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---- "Another Day In Paradise" by: "Phil Collins"


This episode is going to be a little, uh, different.

I'm being a lazy so-and-so and combining some classwork with this show / podcast.

Part of this evening's show is going to be an explanatory speech on PeakOil.

I know, I know, that's what we had with the first seven weeks of shows, the last half of last term, fall 2008.

I am doing this to kill two birds with one boulder.

So let's all watch as "birdie go bye bye,"

---- "My Blue Heaven" by: "Bob Crosby"


This is an expository speech, wherein I reveal something to"inform" the listeners, as opposed to a suppository speech, wherein I just pull fiction, masquerading as fact, right out of my ass.

So sit back and for the next five to seven minutes let my palaver lull you into complacency.


How many of you know where oil comes from?

We're not talking geographically, we're not talking geo-politically, we're talking physically.

It doesn't come from the gas station either.

Oil comes from the ground.

There is some nonsense about it all being from fossil plant matter that died millions of years ago and oil is the result of bio-mass putrefaction. Which works fine until you realize that some of the oil exists in large pockets under the ocean and there is no way that plants lived anywhere near there in billions of years.

There is also some nonsense about it being produced (and I really mean excreted,) by anaerobic bacteria which live everywhere inside the crust of the earth and which we have recently discovered. (See, there are new things under the sun, way under the sun. The major part of the planet's bio mass was unsuspected. [ ])

It doesn't really matter.

The source is immaterial. Its a slow process (in fact if you believe in actual fossil fuels, it has stopped.)

What matters is that we've been using up to sixty million barrels of the stuff a day, and, barring the current, hopefully temporary, economic slowdown, we're going to use it up until its all gone.

We're right now at an inflection point: Peak Oil, which means that we're about half-way through all the oil we've found to date and all of the oil we're going to find.

We started using rock oil, a.k.a. petroleum, in the middle of the eighteen hundreds, when whale oil became extremely expensive and hard to come by.

Made a tycoon out of John D. Rockefeller; after the U.S. Civil War.

Standard Oil, which got so much wealth for ol' John D., got broken up because he was basically an emotionless, egoistical bastard and the company got to big to live.

But the "powers that were" needn't have worried.

There's no oil left in Pennsylvania, is there?

There no oil left in Texas, is there?

Actually, there's no oil left in the continental United States, is there?

There's almost no oil left in the North Sea, is there?

There isn't that much left in Prudhoe bay, is there?

The Catalina coast and the entire Gulf of Mexico is getting depleted enough that the oil companies are looking at the real-estate off the deeper coast of Florida.

The Canadian Tar Sands are still unrecoverable though they're hovering around the break even point.

Oh, there's some oil left out there all right, but its not economically viable; meaning that it costs too much to recover, to pump it out of the ground.

The story is the same in Russia, on the coast lines of Asia, in the ocean bottoms, even in the Middle East.

Its the same ... everywhere.

So we've got us a "situation" on our hands.

"Chicken Little" was right.

The sky "is" falling.

He had help in the voice of "M. King Hubbert" [ ] a research scientist with the Shell Oil research laboratories in Houston Texas, who did some simple math and made a few predictions that have since been borne out.

He saw the oil reserves in Texas and predicted that they were going to peak in the seventies. He saw that every barrel drawn from that point on would be drawn at a bigger cost from a dwindling supply.

Sure enough he was right.

Oil is a finite commodity and suffers from the same problems that all commodities run into.

Their supply runs out.

That is to say that in the immediate term consumption demand curve outstrips production supply curve.

When dealing with natural sources, the species can even go extinct.

The biggest problem facing the dodo was that it was big, fat, flightless and tasty.

This last point is not the problem facing other species, like the "Komodo Dragon."

And tastiness is not the issue.

Utility can be enough to seal a specie's fate.

As surely as the islanders on "Rapa Nui" ran out of trees to use a rollers to move their "Aku Aku" from the quarry in the central peak out to the beaches round the island.

Rather than bitch and moan, whine and complain and run around yelling "The American Way Of Life is under threat," just face facts.

It was a great hundred and fifty years but the oil is becoming prohibitively expensive on the down-side of the peak oil.

It doesn't matter that the extraction technology is still improving. Its an incremental improvement.

It doesn't matter that that there are still pockets of oil being discovered, even though they are getting smaller, deeper, farther and "not" cheaper.

The hunger for energy, although in order not to mix metaphors, I should say "the thirst" for oil is growing as fast as the population did over the last century, going from less than 1 billion to over six and a half billion.

It still takes a woman nine months to give birth regardless of how many women are assigned the task, while it will take the aggregate of humanity only a little more than 16% as long to consume the same amount of oil that mankind consumed during the period of time from 1850 to 1914.

Basically we're all screwed if we try to keep on the same gravy train that the Western World has been on since the end of the First World War.

"Can't do it. No way José. Won't fly."

If that's all you see, you're sure that we're all going to Hell in a hand basket.

Now, I'm upbeat about this and I'll tell you "why" in the next segment.

Here's a foreshadowing of that episode:

"The world we know has been created, in its entirety, since the introduction of oil a hundred and fifty years ago.

Nothing that exists now could even have been imagined then.

The biggest game changer, the mother of all unintended consequences, the internet. born out of a project by the US Military to build a scalable communication system capable of surviving nuclear devastation, couldn't even be imagined back less than fifty years ago.

In another hundred and fifty years, its all going to have to change again... But remember, change is cumulative...

There are no more "buggy whip" makers, but then there is no more need for them. There isn't going to be any need for them in the coming age either."

This is not a problem folks, this is an opportunity.

---- "If I Ever Lose This Heaven" by: "Quincy Jones"

We got PSAs:


Campus Safety urges students, faculty and staff to sign up for text alerts, online @

This will be used to inform students, faculty and staff in an emergency.

This was useful last year in the bomb scare.

To sign up, students must know their Spirit ID # (Bring their Saint Peter's College ID.)


Here's a proper, honest to goodness, real promo. :-)



We've also got some cross promotion going with the web version of St. Peter College's own "Pauw Wow".

The perpetually available and comment capturing web version is "growing on" as opposed to the occasional "Dead Tree" edition which can only capture "a moment in time" for a minority of the news competing for a scarce resource, space with anything else on a fixed number of pages.

As Liebnitz famously once said: "The 'Power of the Press' belongs to those who own one."

But as anyone who can read will attest, the limitations of "that" business model are slowly bleeding to death all of the owners of the "dead tree" press.

The future of the press lies on-line with the internet mixing media according to their appropriateness to whatever is being reported.

From "Twitter" to IM, to e-mail, to FaceBook to Podcasts, to web-radio, to streaming content, to PDFs, to vodcasts, to YouTube, to MP3s, to app mash-ups, to whatever's next, the internet is emerging as the clear winner of the media wars.

So log on to and grow with the media.

---- "Stairway To Heaven" by: "Led Zeppelin"


So that was my expository speech, wherein I expostulated, exaspiratedly about the execrable human condition that we tend to look at the glass, darkly, when it doesn't matter if its half-full or half-empty, we simply have "got" to stop drinking from it.

The bottom of the glass is visible and the pub is closing.

We're just going to have to find something else to drink, somewhere else.

But then, all of life is change isn't it...

The folks who rail against change are really railing about the fact that they've got to move their butts, possibly exposing their heads, to determine where the next bucks are going to come from.

Guess what?

I don't exactly know either, but its going to be a lot more fun finding that out than it is just sitting here, in the dark, along with all of the other Ethnic Mothers of those old jokes.

Have I succeeded in informing you of the facts (change is inevitable, unavoidable and even predictable,) and of my attitude to them (it can't happen fast enough for me...)

---- "Heaven Must Be Boring" by: "George Hrab"


The show notes, including the complete text of this episode, and any and all links to the artists featured, are on a server ... somewhere.

And this show is also being podcast in m4a format, which means that it you use a compatible player, like iTunes, you get the content divided up into chapters with images and "hot links" to the the web, on the topic of the chapter or to accompany the music.

You can send me feed back. suggestions, or just some sign that there's anybody actually outside the studio.

Address email to charles at

We're going to close off the week with

"HeavensaLie" by: "Lacuna Coil"

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