Joint Statement of science academies of all G8 and other large countries

6 views
Skip to first unread message

Michael Tobis

unread,
May 25, 2007, 3:03:02 PM5/25/07
to globalchange
It seems like this is getting far less attention than it deserves for
some reason:

http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/document.asp?tip=0&id=6634

It can also be found on the US NAS site.

http://www.nationalacademies.org/includes/G8Statement_Energy_07_May.pdf

It seems real enough. They make some strong (and I think strongly
justified) statements. Why is this not making a splash?

mt

Eli Rabett

unread,
May 27, 2007, 11:28:13 AM5/27/07
to globalchange
For one thing because people like you are putting a statement like: It
seems real enough infront of Why is this not making a splash.

Michael Tobis

unread,
May 28, 2007, 2:53:01 PM5/28/07
to global...@googlegroups.com
It's not my job to put this on the front page of all the major
newspapers and news magazines.

If that isn't happening, which it doesn't seem to be as far as I have
seen, that constitutes more than a small problem.

Fortunately it is one that can be fixed if the blogosphere starts
howling a bit...

Where's Chris Mooney when you need him?

mt

Michael Tobis

unread,
May 28, 2007, 3:15:44 PM5/28/07
to globalchange
Go to news.google.com and search for something like "National science
academy joint statement energy" or such and see if you can come up
with anything besides a few obscure blog references. Something is very
seriously amiss here.

One of two very bad things is happening.

Either it is an elaborate and peculiar prank or it is an abject and
grotesque failure of the journalistic establishment. I'd definitely
like to know which it is and then go about fixing it either way.

mt


On May 28, 1:53 pm, "Michael Tobis" <mto...@gmail.com> wrote:
> It's not my job to put this on the front page of all the major
> newspapers and news magazines.
>
> If that isn't happening, which it doesn't seem to be as far as I have
> seen, that constitutes more than a small problem.
>
> Fortunately it is one that can be fixed if the blogosphere starts
> howling a bit...
>
> Where's Chris Mooney when you need him?
>
> mt
>

Don Libby

unread,
May 29, 2007, 6:29:40 AM5/29/07
to global...@googlegroups.com
----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Tobis" <mto...@gmail.com>
Newsgroups: gmane.science.general.global-change
To: "globalchange" <global...@googlegroups.com>
Sent: Monday, May 28, 2007 2:15 PM
Subject: [Global Change: 1646] Re: Joint Statement of science academies of
all G8 and other large countries

>
> Either it is an elaborate and peculiar prank or it is an abject and
> grotesque failure of the journalistic establishment. I'd definitely
> like to know which it is and then go about fixing it either way.
>
> mt

One tool for fixing it: letters to editors.
-dl


inel

unread,
May 29, 2007, 1:16:26 PM5/29/07
to globalchange
Where's the Press Release, Press Team and nominated scientist(s) to
speak to the press for the U.S. National Academy of Sciences? That's
the way it works in other countries, and they also translate into
local languages as a matter of course.

You start with a Press Release in plain text (to introduce the PDF
which newswires cannot handle well), include quotes from named
experts, and name the PR and Expert contacts and all contact details
possible ... and if interest doesn't flow from there, the Press Team
call respected reporters with whom they have built up good
relationships (!) and make more quotes available from experts, and
then try to arrange face-to-face appointments if it is really tough
getting an audience with a reporter.

This is not a failure of framing science in terms of the way these
core statements have been prepared. They are the content, and they
have been handed to the PR departments at the Academies on a plate:
after that it is the local/national packaging and delivery that matter
(appointments, PR and relevant experts at the ready).

It appears (to me) to be a failure of commitment to the goals of the
Joint Science Academies' statements by NAS, and a natural consequence
of that is minimalist PR (posting two links with two sentences on a
webpage) by NAS.

inel

On May 28, 11:53 am, "Michael Tobis" <mto...@gmail.com> wrote:
> It's not my job to put this on the front page of all the major
> newspapers and news magazines.
>
> If that isn't happening, which it doesn't seem to be as far as I have
> seen, that constitutes more than a small problem.
>
> Fortunately it is one that can be fixed if the blogosphere starts
> howling a bit...
>
> Where's Chris Mooney when you need him?
>
> mt
>

Michael Tobis

unread,
May 29, 2007, 5:07:47 PM5/29/07
to global...@googlegroups.com
I don't see much coverage in non-US English speaking countries either,
three of which were signatory. Is the case different elsewhere?

mt

Steve Bloom

unread,
May 30, 2007, 5:50:41 PM5/30/07
to global...@googlegroups.com
It's possible that they have something planned for the summit. The press
would give a lot less attention to that if the joint statement had already
received major coverage. The point of releasing the statement this far in
advance would be to make sure Bush etc. have no credible excuse for not
responding at the summit. It would be very strange for the academies to go
to all the trouble of developing and issuing a new statement if they planned
to do essentially nothing with it. Notice also that there has not yet been
a public response by the NAS to Hansen's call for a special panel. Is there
a connection? As Eli says, pass the popcorn.

----- Original Message -----
From: "inel" <iNe...@gmail.com>
To: "globalchange" <global...@googlegroups.com>
Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2007 10:16 AM
Subject: [Global Change: 1651] Re: Joint Statement of science academies of
all G8 and other large countries


>

Luis

unread,
May 29, 2007, 7:41:56 AM5/29/07
to globalchange
You don't hear what you don't want to hear. This might be unfair to
the working poor, but gas at the pump should be taxed $100/gallon.
Then some people might notice. But we need a fair rationing system.

Luis

On May 25, 3:03 pm, Michael Tobis <mto...@gmail.com> wrote:

Fergus

unread,
Jun 9, 2007, 6:23:10 AM6/9/07
to globalchange
Damn their useless hides. Predictable, I suppose, but once again,
they're paying not the slightest bit of attention. This is my take on
the statement: http://fergusbrown.wordpress.com/2007/06/09/69/
Any thoughts?

It reminds me that I've been thinking for a while now that something
more potent to influence our policy makers is clearly needed.

Regards,

Phil Randal

unread,
Jun 9, 2007, 7:40:29 AM6/9/07
to globalchange
The G8's "economic growth" sacred-cow also dominates the UK
government's energy white paper (http://www.dti.gov.uk/energy/
whitepaper/page39534.html) and Nuclear Power consultation document
(http://www.dti.gov.uk/energy/whitepaper/consultations/
nuclearpower2007/page39554.html).

On page 5 of the Nuclear Power "consultation" document they state:

"7. Our aim should be to continue to raise living standards and the
quality of life by growing our economy, while at the same time cutting
waste and using every unit of energy as efficiently as possible. But
based on existing strategies to reduce energy demand, the IEA predict
global energy consumption is likely to grow by about 50% by 2030.
Therefore we will also need to transform the
way we produce the energy we need for light, heat and mobility."

Constraining demand is obviously completely and utterly unthinkable.

Phil

Eric Swanson

unread,
Jun 10, 2007, 10:50:58 AM6/10/07
to globalchange

Phil Randal wrote:
> The G8's "economic growth" sacred-cow also dominates the UK
> government's energy white paper (http://www.dti.gov.uk/energy/
> whitepaper/page39534.html) and Nuclear Power consultation document
> (http://www.dti.gov.uk/energy/whitepaper/consultations/
> nuclearpower2007/page39554.html).
>
> On page 5 of the Nuclear Power "consultation" document they state:
>
> "7. Our aim should be to continue to raise living standards and the
> quality of life by growing our economy, while at the same time cutting
> waste and using every unit of energy as efficiently as possible. But
> based on existing strategies to reduce energy demand, the IEA predict
> global energy consumption is likely to grow by about 50% by 2030.
> Therefore we will also need to transform the
> way we produce the energy we need for light, heat and mobility."
>
> Constraining demand is obviously completely and utterly unthinkable.
>
> Phil

Capitalism must grow or it will die.

The thrust of the G8 Statement just reaffirms that point. Growth is
good. Greed is good. The economy must grow just to keep up with
population increase, which (in the U.S.) is more than 1% a year.
Every year, there's a new "crop" of youngsters that graduate from
school and want jobs/cars/houses/families, etc. Looking back, we (the
U.S.) decided to consume or way out of the Great Depression and we've
not been able to face the other side of the equation, which is,
resources are devoured and the environment get smashed in the process.

I saw the movie "The End of Suburbia" a few weeks ago. That movie
puts our situation in stark terms. When Peak Oil arrives (if it
hasn't already), the American Lifestyle is going to go into a serious
nosedive. Reading the latest energy bill in the U.S. Congress,
there's the notion that we can just switch to "alternative" energy
supplies, such as coal-to-liquids and nuclear, along with
ethanol and plug in hybrids. The politicians aren't willing to admit
that there's a need for a major
change in the way we all live and work. No politician wants to fall
on their sword and raise taxes to reduce the deficit, let alone tell
the truth about the massive problem of Peak Oil. At least, we now
have "lip service" from the Big Guys that climate is changing.

Matt Simmons has been trying to make folks aware of the Peak Oil
problem. Whatever his motives (he's in the energy finance business),
he does make a good case, as seen in his book "Twilight in the
Desert". Here are 2 of Simmons' recent presentations:

http://www.simmonsco-intl.com/files/Offshore%20Technology%20Conference%20April%2030,%202007.pdf

http://www.simmonsco-intl.com/files/Investment%20Advisers%20Association%20April%2026.pdf

Then, there's Daniel Yergin, who wrote "The Prize" about the history
of the oil industry. Here's a comment about the CERA's oil production
projections:

http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2007/06/post_mortem_on.html

For some economists, the future looks very bleak, even without concern
for Peak Oil:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/10/business/yourmoney/10every.html

E.S.

Jim Torson

unread,
Jun 12, 2007, 9:27:24 AM6/12/07
to global...@googlegroups.com
At 07:50 AM 6/10/2007, Eric Swanson wrote:

>I saw the movie "The End of Suburbia" a few weeks ago. That movie
>puts our situation in stark terms. When Peak Oil arrives (if it
>hasn't already), the American Lifestyle is going to go into a serious
>nosedive.

Thanks for the links to the recent Matt Simmons presentations.

I recently watched (online) the video "Crude." I had previously
seen "End of Suburbia" and had read quite a bit about Peak Oil, but
I found "Crude" to be a lot more interesting that I had expected.
It appears that perhaps global warming could lead to conditions
that result in the formation of new oil deposits. However, this
would take millions of years and conditions on the Earth would
be rather unpleasant while we're waiting for the new oil.

--------

http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2007/6/2/213424/4191


On the unity between peak oil and climate destabilization

Posted by <http://gristmill.grist.org/user/JMG>JMG at 6:14 PM on 03 Jun 2007

<http://www.abc.net.au/science/crude/>Crude: a
great overview of how, when, where, and why oil
is obtained, and a fascinating look at what
happens when you burn a bunch of it real fast.

Think
<http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2006/9/15/23589/1860>The
End of Suburbia meets
<http://www.grist.org/advice/books/2006/05/24/roberts/index.html>An
Inconvenient Truth.

---------

One of the people interviewed in "Crude" is Jeremy Leggett. (The
website includes an extended interview with him.) Here's a very
interesting article that he wrote:

----------

http://environment.independent.co.uk/article339928.ece


What they don't want you to know about the coming oil crisis

Soaring fuel prices, rumours of winter power
cuts, panic over the gas supply from Russia,
abrupt changes to forecasts of crude output... Is
something sinister going on? Yes, says former oil
man Jeremy Leggett, and it's time to face the
fact that the supplies we so depend on are going to run out

<big snip>

Adapted from "Half Gone: Oil, Gas, Hot Air and
the Global Energy Crisis", by Jeremy Leggett
(Portobello Books, £12.99). To order a copy for
the special price of £11.99 (inc P&P), call
Independent Books Direct on 08700 798 8897

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

In September 2005 I attended a presentation by Richard Heinberg.
Here is an excerpt from a newsletter on his website that refers to a
report on the subject of Peak Oil prepared for the US Department
of Energy:

-------

What if forecasts of a near-term peak in global oil
production are wrong? Won't there be a cost to preparing for
the oil peak too early? In practical terms, won't this mean
voluntarily choking off economic growth?

Because so much is at stake, it is important that these vital
questions be addressed not just by partisan participants in the
debate over the timing of the oil-production peak (the so-
called "oil optimists" and the "oil pessimists"); some
independent assessment is required of the costs of preparing
too soon versus the costs of preparing too late.

Fortunately, such an assessment has already been
undertaken - "Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts,
Mitigation, & Risk Management," a Report prepared by
Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) for
the US Department of Energy, released in February 2005,
and authored principally by Robert L. Hirsch (hereinafter
referred to as "the SAIC Report").

The SAIC Report concludes that substantial mitigation of
the economic, social, and political impacts of Peak Oil can
come only from efforts both to increase energy supplies from
alternative sources and to reduce demand for oil. With regard
to the claim that efficiency measures will be enough to
forestall dire impacts, 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."

The SAIC Report agrees that mitigation efforts undertaken
too soon would exact a cost on society. However, it
concludes that, "If peaking is imminent, failure to initiate
timely mitigation could be extremely damaging. Prudent risk
management requires the planning and implementation of
mitigation well before peaking. Early mitigation will almost
certainly be less expensive than delayed mitigation."

<snip>

Why can't the market take care of the problem? Won't high
prices stimulate more exploration and the development of
alternatives? Wouldn't interference with market mechanisms
be harmful?

The SAIC Report's authors dismiss the claim that the
market will solve any shortage problems arising from global
oil production peak, with higher oil prices stimulating
investments in alternative energy sources, more efficient cars,
and so on. Price signals warn only of immediate scarcity.
However, the mitigation efforts needed in order to prepare
for the global oil production peak and thus to head off
shortages and price spikes must be undertaken many years in
advance of the event. Hirsch, et al., maintain that,
"Intervention by governments will be required, because the
economic and social implications of oil peaking would
otherwise be chaotic. The experiences of the 1970s and
1980s offer important guides as to government actions that
are desirable and those that are undesirable, but the process
will not be easy."

-----------

The SAIC Report is available on-line here:

http://www.mnforsustain.org/oil_peaking_of_world_oil_production_study_hirsch.htm

It is available as a PDF file here:

http://www.hilltoplancers.org/stories/hirsch0502.pdf

The Heinberg newsletter quoted above is available here:

http://www.richardheinberg.com/archive/160.html

Jim

Eric Swanson

unread,
Jun 12, 2007, 1:19:04 PM6/12/07
to globalchange

Jim Torson wrote:
> At 07:50 AM 6/10/2007, Eric Swanson wrote:
>
> >I saw the movie "The End of Suburbia" a few weeks ago. That movie
> >puts our situation in stark terms. When Peak Oil arrives (if it
> >hasn't already), the American Lifestyle is going to go into a serious
> >nosedive.
>
> Thanks for the links to the recent Matt Simmons presentations.


>


> Because so much is at stake, it is important that these vital
> questions be addressed not just by partisan participants in the
> debate over the timing of the oil-production peak (the so-
> called "oil optimists" and the "oil pessimists"); some
> independent assessment is required of the costs of preparing
> too soon versus the costs of preparing too late.
>
> Fortunately, such an assessment has already been
> undertaken - "Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts,
> Mitigation, & Risk Management," a Report prepared by
> Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) for
> the US Department of Energy, released in February 2005,
> and authored principally by Robert L. Hirsch (hereinafter
> referred to as "the SAIC Report").

>...... 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."

Yes, the two big hits in 1974-75 and 1980-81 were temporary
political problems. We kept going as before after the oil flows
resumed. In 1986, the Saudi's flooded the market and oil fell
to less than $10 per barrel. Now it looks like it's no longer
possible to dump extra production onto the market, while demand
has been steadily pushing upwards.

> The SAIC Report agrees that mitigation efforts undertaken
> too soon would exact a cost on society. However, it
> concludes that, "If peaking is imminent, failure to initiate
> timely mitigation could be extremely damaging. Prudent risk
> management requires the planning and implementation of
> mitigation well before peaking. Early mitigation will almost
> certainly be less expensive than delayed mitigation."

Yes, that's the problem. If we are at the peak in conventional
oil, then it's too late to avoid some massive pain because of
the inherent inertia of the economy. All those gas guzzling SUV's
and power cars will need to be SCRAPED, as in removed from,
service, not just traded in. And, lots of structures will need basic
modifications in order to become more energy efficient, but many
will also be SCRAPED as too expensive to retrofit.

>............ Hirsch, et al., maintain that,


> "Intervention by governments will be required, because the
> economic and social implications of oil peaking would
> otherwise be chaotic. The experiences of the 1970s and
> 1980s offer important guides as to government actions that
> are desirable and those that are undesirable, but the process
> will not be easy."

The longer that "government" waits to deal with the Peak Oil problem,
the harder it will be to put the brakes on demand. And, there are
lots
of groups that don't want to change things, like the car companies,
etc.

The U.S. Senate is beginning the debate on a new energy bill, (S.
1416. ?)
The various lobby groups are out in full force:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/12/washington/12energy.html

While there is hope for a rational result, I'm not holding my breath.

> The SAIC Report is available on-line here:
>
> http://www.mnforsustain.org/oil_peaking_of_world_oil_production_study_hirsch.htm
>
> It is available as a PDF file here:
>
> http://www.hilltoplancers.org/stories/hirsch0502.pdf

E. S.

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages