Peak Oil - Jan 19
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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage
MEP demands EU statement on 'peak oil'
UK Greens press release
Is EU ready for another price shock? asks Lucas
The EU must prepare for the 'Peak Oil' scenario in which global oil production passes its peak and demand for oil outstrips supply, causing a massive price hike, according to Green Party MEP Caroline Lucas.
In a written parliamentary question, Dr Lucas calls on the EU Commission to make a clear public statement on Peak Oil, its predictions of when it will occur and strategy for dealing with it.
"Declining production at major oilfields and public over-statements of reserves by oil companies mean that the point of 'Peak Oil' - when growing demand for oil outstrips falling supply - will occur sooner than is openly suggested," said Dr Lucas, MEP for South-East England and a member of the European Parliament's influential Environment Committee.
"Some argue that we have already passed the 'Peak Oil' point, and the US and UK governments are beginning to openly acknowledge the issue.
"Peak Oil will have a profound effect on oil prices - and climate change, as there is likely to be a rush towards other energy sources like coal, which will further add to greenhouse gas emissions - and it is high time the EU became involved in the debate."
(16 January 2006)
Bracing the world for the day when the oil runs out
Michael Harrison, UK Independent
As the oil price nudged above $64 a barrel yesterday on heightened concerns about disruption to supplies from Iran and Nigeria, a small group of geologists, economists and commodity traders was meeting in London to consider a more fundamental question: when will the world begin to run out of oil?
...Chris Skrebowski, the editor of the Energy Institute's Petroleum Review, believes peak oil will occur in 2008, at which point the world will move into "a land without maps where we are all likely to be poorer".
...Yesterday's conference in London, organised by the Dutch investment bank Insinger de Beaufort, represented both strands of opinion. Mr Skrebowski says that the world's big five oil majors all produced less in 2005 than they did in 2004, while North Sea oil production is declining so rapidly that it will halve in the next seven years.
According to the University of Reading's Dr Roger Bentley, the secretary of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas, the evidence is irrefutable. He points out that 64 of the world's 100 or so oil-producing countries are already past the point of peak production and on the downward slope. Although there may be a "mini-glut" as output is stepped up from Russia, the Caspian and Iraq and new sources come on stream such as deepwater oil and oilsands, the trend, he says is unmistakable. Dr Bentley believes that non-Opec production will reach a peak within the next 30 months while global output will start to decline between 2010 and 2015 or 2020 at the latest depending on the contribution from non-conventional sources such as oilsands. "Alongside global warming, this is one of the two extraordinary challenges facing mankind," he says. "The numbers may slip a little but the fundamental underlying direction does not change."
(18 January 2006)
Later in the article Jeremy Leggett and Michael Lynch are mentioned.
BBC Radio's "Farming Today" on energy depletion, alternative fuels and food security (AUDIO)
BBC via Global Public Media
BBC Radio's daily "Farming Today" report on Friday 6th January 2006 begins with, "There are seven and a half million people in the greater London area. They all need feeding. But what would happen if the oil ran out?"
The segment covers the possibilities of war or catastrophic climate change bringing about energy shortages - what would happen to the transportation of food to London, not to mention the growing of that food? The report briefly discusses alternative fuels, as well as individuals growing their own food and farmers switching to organic methods.
(6 January 2006, but just posted on the GPM website)
Canada's former Governor General on peak oil (AUDIO)
David Room, Global Public Media
Edward Schreyer, former Governor General of Canada and current NDP candidate in Manitoba, speaks candidly about the energy crisis and his return to politics with GPM's David Room.
"This is a matter of imminent emergency and necessity, to get on with the job of putting in place wind turbines, hydroelectric turbines and biodiesel plants... ethanol too, for that matter. And all this we have to do increasingly, and we have to get on with it... we have spun our tires these past 8 years now with the Kyoto protocol. The government of Canada has apparently got some kind of self satisfation out of saying it signed on... I keep asking after a thousand and one press releases, what has actually eventuated in the building of anything- and the answer is virtually nothing. In fact we've gone from bad to worse with natural gas consumption, and depletion therefore, of natural gas and oil."
(13 January 2006)
Kunstler's backroad trip
James Howard Kunstler, Clusterf*ck Nation
The past week's adventure took me up the back roads through a little corner of eastern upstate New York into Vermont to Burlington, to tape a public TV show. Are you indignant to read that I drove there in a conventional gasoline-powered automobile? Guess what -- one doesn't have a choice, given the pathetic condition of our railroads, and I haven't ordered my soy-diesel-powered one-man zeppelin yet. Anyway, the subject is what I saw along the way.
It would be hard to imagine a sadder landscape than these rural backwaters along the New York / Vermont border. Geographically they are still beautiful. It's a region of tender hills, well-wooded now, and ribboned with trout streams. It's the human furnishings that are desolate and what they say about what we have become as a nation. This was a farming region of course, and the re-growth of the woods is a symptom of farming's decline the past fifty years.
...I traverse this landscape goggling at the sights in wonder and nausea. This part of America has become something worse than a former Soviet backwater, something sadder. In these places, we have managed to overcome even the hard-won fruits of enterprise achieved by the independent people who preceded those alive now. Everything they wrested from the land has been thrown away, or allowed to rot in place -- so that more attention can be paid to televised entertainments.
(16 January 2006)