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Sunday, May 22, 2005

Just one nut at a time please

Anyone who has listened to any gas-price-related news media snippets over the past few decades has heard a reporter intone "According to the Lundberg Letter..." before launching into an explanation for that day's pricing mechanisms. Well, the analyst originally responsible for those concise pronouncements, Jan Lundberg, has lately tried to elaborate quite a bit more, and it looks like he has gotten the right people to listen:
I asked Congressman Bartlett, "Is there any chance you can tell President Bush about peak oil?" He replied "I have a half hour scheduled to do so, but I'm bringing two colleagues with me so he doesn't think I'm just one nut." I told the Congressman that I wanted to work with him on peak oil, and he asked me if I ever get to Washington, DC.
I wonder which two colleagues Bartlett dug up to back him up. Likely fellow Maryland Rep. Wayne Gilchrest but who else?

But then again, why would a veteran congressman make the assumption that the former oilman Bush would even consider this kind of talk "nutty"?

I know, I know, that's a rhetorical question.

(link from Flying Talking Donkey)

Update: Lundberg also quoted Bartlett as saying this during his congressional testimony:
He then added his own warning: "You can imagine what might happen when the lights go out. The veneer of civilization is very thin."
Read that again, but imagine it emanating from some inane Star Wars dialog that George Lucas dreamed up. If the latter, we could just chalk it up to bad writing. Alas, no such luck in the world of reality-based thought.


Professor Blogger Big Gav said...

I thought George Monbiot had the best phrasing for describing what happens when the thin veneer is pierced :

Those of us who are alive today have been lucky enough to have been brought up in an age of energy surplus. This is a remarkable historical and biological anomaly. A supply of oil that exceeds demand has permitted us to do what all species strive to do – expand the ecological space we occupy – but without encountering direct competition for the limiting resource. The surplus has led us to believe in the possibility of universal peace and universal comfort, for a global population of 6 billion, or 9 or 10. If kindness and comfort are, as I suspect, the results of an energy surplus, then, as the supply contracts, we could be expected to start fighting once again like cats in a sack. In the presence of entropy, virtue might be impossible.

And you even have part of that speech up in your quotes section...

5:26 AM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

Yes indeed, one of my favorites. But then we must follow with this quote:

G.Montbiot: Given a choice between a new set of matching tableware and the survival of humanity, I suspect that most people would choose the tableware.

9:02 AM  

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