Peak oil - Mar 7
Click on the headline (link) for the full text.
Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage
Sustainable fossil fuels (Dr. Mark Jaccard) (AUDIO)
Quirks and Quarks, CBC Radio One
Dr. Mark Jaccard's new book, Sustainable Fossil Fuels: The Unusual Suspect in the Quest for Clean and Enduring Energy, is likely to surprise a lot of people. In it he argues that fossil fuels should be part of an environmentally sound and responsible energy system for the foreseeable future. In other words, we don't have to stop using fossil fuels. In fact, he says to avoid an economic disaster we probably should continue to use them, while moving towards more use of renewables over time. At the same time, to avoid an ecological meltdown, we'll have to use available technologies to clean up fossil fuels, especially carbon sequestration to keep greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. The major barrier to a future involving sustainable fossil fuels, he thinks, is the lack of political will to establish the necessary regulations and incentives. Dr. Jaccard is a professor in the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University.
(4 March 2006)
Scroll down on the original to find the segment on "Sustainable Fossil Fuels."
Tragedy prompts personal peak oil website
David Lankshear, EclipseNow
How I learned about peak oil
2004 was the worst year of my life. My 5 year old boy Harry was diagnosed with Leukaemia just 2 weeks before he was due to start Kindergarten, his first year of school...
It was during this horrific period that I learned about peak oil. I went home after a nasty day in hospital, and googled “renewable energy”. I was trying to forget about Harry’s cancer, and thought renewable energy would be a positive subject to cheer me up. That is how I came to accidentally stumble into www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net!
Civilization as we know it is coming to an end soon. This is not the wacky proclamation of a doomsday cult, apocalypse bible prophecy sect, or conspiracy theory society. Rather, it is the scientific conclusion of the best paid, most widely-respected geologists, physicists, and investment bankers in the world. These are rational, professional, conservative individuals who are absolutely terrified by a phenomenon known as global "Peak Oil."
The stress I experienced that week nearly broke me. I could all too easily visualize my children starving to death — I just had to look at Harry’s chemo wasted body!
"Great... now I have to save my boy from cancer and the end of civilization as we know it!"
During this rather stressed and manic period, I taught myself web-design, asked my wife to design a few posters and eventually I logged in as “Organizer” for my local Sydney oil meetup group. That has evolved into www.sydneypeakoil.com and I now have more hope for our future, and feel less isolated. The story is breaking, the science is irrefutable, and we will have to adapt. We can prevent a catastrophe if we work hard and prepare for change. Otherwise I would already have joined an eco-village, learning to grow veggies and milk cows.
Well-designed website with lots of general information on Peak Oil. Just one of the many personal efforts being made by people around the world. -BA
NZ branch of ASPO started
press release, ASPO-NZ
A New Zealand branch of the International Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO-NZ Inc) has been incorporated.
Dr Peter Ballance, President of ASPO-NZ says: "The world is now close to the peak for oil and gas extraction and may already have passed this point."
...ASPO studies peak indicators and strives to make national governments, local governments and the public aware of the serious consequences associated with the dwindling supply of our most useful source of energy and most universal industrial raw material.
ASPO also compiles, researches and gathers meaningful responses and mitigation strategies available as oil supplies dwindle.
ASPO has no political affiliation and membership is invited from all people and organisations interested in learning more about Peak Oil and in furthering the aims of the Association.
The Oil Drum empire expands to the UK
Super G, The Oil Drum
We're pleased to announce the latest addition to the TOD franchise, The Oil Drum: United Kingdom. It's being spearheaded by Chris Vernon of Vital Trivia, and Heading Out and Stuart Staniford, who have UK roots, may stop by every once in a while. Check it out at uk.theoildrum.com. If you're in the UK, and you're interesting in contributing, contact Chris at chris at vitaltrivia dot co dot uk.
(4 March 2006)
As always, check out The Oil Drum for the techie side of peak oil.
Ex-CIA head and environmentalists agree on no-oil thinking
(original headline: "Speaker inspires no-oil thinking")
Bob Keefer, Eugene Register-Guard (Oregon)
You wouldn't have thought it possible: a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency drawing a standing ovation from a room full of left-leaning environmentalists right here in Eugene.
But that's exactly what happened at the University of Oregon's Public Interest Environmental Law Conference Saturday afternoon as R. James Woolsey - the nation's chief "spook" under President Bill Clinton from 1993-1995 - spoke passionately about the need to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.
"There is a moral dimension to this," Woolsey said. "We should be good custodians of the Earth.
And if that means creating an unlikely alliance between national security hawks, American farmers, Christian evangelicals, liberal do-gooders and tree-hugging environmentalists, Woolsey said, that's just fine with him.
"All these groups are starting to come around on this set of issues," he said.
(5 March 2006)
The "unlikely alliance" described by Woolsey is exemplified by the peak oil articles we're posting at Energy Bulletin. Yesterday, we had two comprehensive analyses on energy security from military journals: Joint Forces Quarterly and Parameters (US Army War College). -BA
Revisiting the Olduvai Theory
"Lads', The Oil Drum
...The Olduvai Gorge Theory was laid out by Richard Duncan in 1989, after seeing that world energy per capita (WEPC) has been declining since 1979. Although others had seen this, Duncan felt that they missed the point that if it kept falling, modern civilization would collapse.
Duncan defined the Electrical Civilization as the way-of-life enabled by widespread and abundant electricity, and set its limits as the period where WEPC is above 30% of its peak, i.e. the period beyond 1930.
The Olduvai Theory assumes that after peaking, WEPC will decline at a rate that mirrors its growth. This brings the Electrical Civilization to an end after 100 years.
The Olduvai Theory shows us something very simple, without renewable energy sources our modern way of life will end some time in the future. I'm an optimist and I believe we can drive away from the road to Olduvai. We can do it by controlling population or by using other forms of energy like Solar and Wind. Of course Oil will be hard to replace, but maybe cellulosic ethanol or something like it can help us in the long run.
Duncan introduced a very important concept, energy per capita, a measure of our Civilization. It's something that let us get a better understanding of the place Energy has in our life, and how can it affect our Future.
From the Olduvai Theory we learned that modeling resource depletion is also modeling population, and that there is a strong link between the two.
(6 March 2006)
Peak Oil becoming de facto
Jerry McManus, EnergyResources e-group
I found this in the flyer that gets tucked into my electric bill each month (and seen by at least one or two million fellow customers). After briefly discussing the accomplishments of the first hundred years of Seattle City Light the superintendent Jorge Carrasco goes on to comment about future challenges:
We have different challenges, but they are no less daunting:
- We must build a new energy strategy in the face of global warming, escalating energy prices , and the predicted end to the era of fossil fuels.
- In the face of unprecedented technological change, we must be open to new ideas and new technologies that will fundamentally change the way energy is produced and transported.
- Finally, in the face of enormous pressure on our environment, we will
have to make sure our legacy is not only measured by the power we produce,
but by the environment we hand over to other generations.
Wow. A realistic and sober assessment of our predicament from someone at the top of 'the establishment' is refreshing to see, but it was the 'predicted end to the era of fossil fuels' that caught my eye.
This would seem to support the speculation I've seen on this list that Peak Oil, Climate Chaos and Ecosystem Collapse will quietly become 'de facto' and the vociferous deniers of same will suddenly change their tune and start acting like they were the ones who were predicting it was going to happen
(5 Mar 2006)
Poster child of the collapse
Ronald Greek, RunningOnEmpty2
I came across this ad from ADM in "THE ECONOMIST", a picture of an oriental youth eating, with the long caption below...
It struck me he could easily be the "poster child" for the coming crash...
ADM in it's ad is showing one aspect of the "global economy" that seems a clear error... being dependent on food shipped in...
The add reads:
Somewhere west of Shenyang, a teenager is stopping for dinner.
Which is why the soybean harvest west of Peroria is not stopping.
And why a soybean processor west of St. Louis is not stopping.
And why a ship's captain on the west coast is stopping but just for a while.
Somewhere west of Shenyand a teenager is stoping for dinner.
A dinner rich in soy protein.
An Energy Pearl Harbor?
Gal Luft, Washington Post
The two cars that exploded a week ago outside the inner perimeter of Abqaiq, an oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia that is the world's largest, could have caused more loss of life and economic devastation than the two planes that crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
Had the terrorists succeeded in penetrating the guarded facility and detonating their bombs inside, they might have turned the complex into an inferno, releasing toxic chemicals that could have killed and sickened thousands of locals and expatriates, including many Americans, who work and live nearby.
The damage to the world economy also would have been severe because the oil market today resembles a car without shock absorbers: The tiniest bump on the road could send consumers and prices bouncing off the ceiling.
(5 Mar 2006)
There's something of a counter-argument by David Smith in The Times -AF
What do you think? Leave a comment below.
Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.