A Message from the Editor

In the summer of 1965, as I prepared to go to Australia to continue my studies as a graduate student and teach part time at the University of Adelaide, I learned that the draft board would not issue me a permit to leave the country. To avoid the draft I was encouraged to seek a job teaching at San Jose State School of Engineering. I promptly met Norm Gunderson, the Dean of Engineering, and he offered me a job on the spot.

By the grace of God, a few months later I was fortunate to have Bucky Fuller as a "visiting scholar" for two months in the class that I co-taught with others, called Cybernation and Man. (This was a bit before the feminist movement caught on.)

One of the things that Bucky stressed repeatedly was that we (humanity) should save our oil resources for a rainy day. What a horrible waste to burn this valuable resource in a car engine! As the years went by, often as I drove a car or hopped on a plane, I remembered and was disturbed by this admonition.

Suddenly one day several years later I realized that it is a "rainy day". With the human population continuing to explode and tropical rain forests (we used to call them jungles) being decimated, not to mention a myriad of other mind-boggling environmental calamities, it will be all that we can do to avert disaster. Using fossil fuels judiciously, humanity may be able to build a sustainable economy. That is the challenge facing us.

In 1994 I was in Mexico City working on a solar race car when I came across an article in The News which led me to the geologists, petroleum engineers and others who have contributed their research to this website.

Consequently for the past several years I have been gathering contributions to the debate about the timing and extent of the coming decline in oil extraction. The website now has an extensive set of articles and links, offered to assist people to draw their own conclusions and act accordingly.

As the price of oil increased in 2000 and the California "Energy Crisis" surfaced in early 2001, creating unrest and suspicions, I have begun to concern myself more with what people can do about the looming threat of an energy crisis and less with convincing people that my colleagues and I are "right" about the data which reveals that such a crisis is on its way.

To encourage options which I feel have promise and will not have significant negative environmental impacts, I have developed a number of websites:

In the course of developing SolarQuest® Allan and I have also created an online news service to provide a repository for contributions by readers. Readers are encouraged to check in on a regular basis, to register and contribute articles to be posted to this website and our affiliated websites as well.

Authors' written contributions are selected by myself as editor (and sponsor) to illuminate the debate on the timing and scope of the impending crisis, and may or may not reflect my own opinions.

Thanks for visiting!

Ron Swenson
revised 2001 September 9
first published 2000 July 15