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Peak oil - Oct 15

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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage


Peak Minerals

Ugo Bardi and Marco Pagani, The Oil Drum: Europe
Abstract: We examined the world production of 57 minerals reported in the database of the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Of these, we found 11 cases where production has clearly peaked and is now declining. Several more may be peaking or be close to peaking. Fitting the production curve with a logistic function we see that, in most cases, the ultimate amount extrapolated from the fitting corresponds well to the amount obtained summing the cumulative production so far and the reserves estimated by the USGS.

These results are a clear indication that the Hubbert model is valid for the worldwide production of minerals and not just for regional cases. It strongly supports the concept that “Peak oil” is just one of several cases of worldwide peaking and decline of a depletable resource. Many more mineral resources may peak worldwide and start their decline in the near future.

Ugo Bardi teaches chemistry at the University of Florence, Italy. He is the president of the Italian section of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO) (www.aspoitalia.net). Marco Pagani is a physicist presently teaching and physics in secondary schools. He is a member of ASPO-Italy, a social and environmental activist, and the blogger of ecoalfabeta. (ecoalfabeta.blogosfere.it)
(X October 2007)


New presentations by Matt Simmons

Matt Simmons, Simmons & Co.

40 Year Energy Perspective: Where Have We Been? Where Are We Going? (PDF)

Future Energy Challenges: Are We In Denial or Facing Hard Truths? (PDF)

Ocean Energy: An Idea Whose Time Has Come (PDF)

(15 October 2007)
Noted by Leanan at The Oil Drum.


Heinberg: Upside to rising price of the black stuff

Mathew Dearnaley, New Zealand Herald
Spiralling oil prices are a necessary inconvenience, says visiting American ecologist Richard Heinberg, as the world faces a double-headed monster of climate change and sinking fossil fuel reserves.

"Yes, it causes hardship for some people as the price goes up, but I think we've been cursed with cheap oil," he told the Herald in Auckland, en route to the third national Ecoshow held in Taupo at the weekend.

"It has lulled us into complacency about using this non-renewable resource at ever-increasing rates and we simply can't continue to do that - if it takes high prices to change our behaviour then so be it.

"For the last couple of centuries we've been doing something incredibly stupid - developing economies on the ever-increasing consumption of non-renewable resources."

Mr Heinberg is revered as a leading educator on the concept of Peak Oil, the point at which world production begins a slippery slide from an all-time high, sparking what its proponents warn will be shortages and widespread conflict between or even within nations unless the international community can agree on quotas for curbing demand.
(15 October 2007)


A review of a new doomer cult classic What a Way to Go

JMG, Gristmill
Some years ago I was alerted to the problem of peak oil by a friend from Bellingham, Wash., way up in the upper left corner of the continental U.S. A nuclear physicist and astronomer, the smartest guy I know, and no doubt someone who uses the serial comma, he had this to say about a new movie called What a Way to Go: Life at the end of empire:

Before I committed the college to spend $500 for the viewing, I watched a copy a friend had purchased - all by myself. It was so powerful and so close to my own analysis over the last few years that I urged our dean/vp to just pay for the entire cost of the viewing, and he agreed. Seeing it the 2nd time was just as moving and powerful.

For my taste, which I think you comprehend pretty well, it was the best movie on the big picture (peak oil, climate change, rate of extinctions, and population overshoot) a person can make.

Bennett narrates the entire 2 hours, and except for rare moments of levity and some giggles, there was not a peep out of the 300+ people for the whole time. Less than 10 left early, far less than I had expected due to the intensity of the message. Audience response: awed, somber, grateful. In my mind, it is the movie to end movies on this subject and will go down someday as a classic.

I've thought quite a bit about what people said and what the producers did to knit together the story and edit, and I can't think of a way to improve it - zero criticism. I think Bennett's a genius at what he does - but he's a totally quiet, observant person up close, very hard to read.

(13 October 2007)
The author of the review is John Rawlins who writes that he wasn't expecting his comments to be published:

In the future when I send [my friend JMG] something like this, I'll edit out the poor grammar.
The only inaccuracy in what JG said in Grist is that I teach astronomy; I'm definitely not and never was an astronomer. My nuclear physics/energy background is appropriate preparation for teaching the introductory course I instruct, but teaching an advanced course would be a huge stretch."

Energy Bulletin published excerpts from an 11-part series on peak oil that John Rawlins wrote.


Blogging for a better world ...

A Siegel, Political Cortex
...Global Warming ... Peak Oil ... These fundamental issues intertwine to threaten the opportunity to pursue and achieve a progressive vision for tomorrow. Facing these must, MUST be core to progressive politics or, well, every other progressive cause is doomed to failure.

Every Progressive should recognize and incorporate, deep in their soul, the plain fact: Peak and Global Warming are the most serious threats to Progressive ideals, concepts, policies, and aspirations through the 21st century ... AND today.

These are not just let's wait until tomorrow issues, that should be put in the back of the line to deal with after other issues, we must address them with urgency today if we hope for a progressive world tomorrow. Energize America bumpersticker

Without better energy policies starting now, the future could be bleak economically for decades to come with the impending strike of Peak Oil. Amid recessions and depressions, what happens to mental health programs? What happens to music in the classrooms? Training programs for economically disadvantaged among us? Will there be funding for these and other progressive causes? I doubt it. Don't you?

With ever-increasing environmental stresses, global refugee and food crises, multiple-Katrina-like challenges and choices over whether to protect or abandon America's coastal infrastructure, will Head Start funding be secure? Will Americans focus on expanding GLBT rights? Will there these and other progressive concerns be the top of the agenda? I doubt it. Don't you?

Not just Progressive Politics ...

One of the real powers, the real opportunities created by the extremely serious intertwined challanges of Global Warming and Peak Oil (and the need to move to a new energy future) is that allies are out there, allies can be created.

Those concerned about America's economic strength who think "environment" is an evil word, can be convinced to move toward greater energy efficiency and away from imported oil.

Security "Hawks" despise America's reliance on imported oil (especially Middle Eastern Oil).

Labor Unions can see a rosy future in energy efficiency retrofits and renewable energy programs.

Highly religious people, reading scripture about stewardship, can embrace a vision of a healhier planet -- healthier for humanity and the rest of God's creatures.

Health Care advocates would celebrate eliminated fossil fuel pollution from America's (and the Globe's) air and water and food supplies.

And, well, the list can go on ... and on ... and on ...

Perhaps the greatest strength available to those concerned about Global Warming is that, fundamentally, every single person, living or unborn, is affected by Global Warming, even if they don't realize it (yet). Every single person is a potential advocate and activist to change course for the better.
(15 October 2007)


Will a New Phenomenon, The ‘ASPO Effect,’ Send Oil Prices Higher This Week?

Energy Tech Stocks
Starting Wednesday the U.S. branch of a global group of oil experts who believe the world is at or very near “peak oil” production will hold a four-day meeting that could unleash an important new phenomenon impacting the price of oil.

Call it the “ASPO Effect,” after the group that will be holding the meeting, the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas, commonly known as ASPO.

Conditions appear ripe for the ASPO Effect to send oil prices higher later this week. Organizers say registration for the meeting, which will take place in Houston, is running well ahead of last year. A number of speakers, including T. Boone Pickens, Matthew Simmons and Charley Maxwell of Weeden & Co., are likely to attract a lot of media attention which, in turn, is likely to influence the growing number of speculators and other purely financial players who have started buying and selling oil futures contracts and who are always on the lookout for a reason to send prices up or down in order to benefit from market volatility.

Peak oil is the perfect reason to send prices higher.

According to ASPO-USA, peak oil experts don’t claim that the world is running out of oil but, rather, that the world is running out of cheap oil as production decreases and demand increases.

...To be sure, the ASPO Effect, if one develops, could turn out to be short-lived, what with other potential market movers such as political tension with Iran and a late season hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Still, the lasting impact of this week’s ASPO-USA meeting likely will be to further cement in traders’ minds that oil prices are more likely to go up than down in coming weeks and months as supply-demand fundamentals continue to worsen.
(15 October 2007)
Clever idea, but I don't think so! -BA


The Energy and Environment Round-Up: October 14th 2007

ilargi, The Oil Drum: Canada
As the tar sands royalties soap drags on, and we do have links to some really good articles on the topic, from Nature.org, Mother Jones, and many others, still, how could we not open with climate change, two days after Al Gore and the IPCC won the first ever Climate Change Nobel Prize, and Sheila Watt-Cloutier and James Hansen did not?

Everything that the winners stand for is rendered obsolete in one broad stroke by the article from New Scientist that we open with below. And that is the problem: the people who do the frontline work are snubbed, while the late arrivals get decorated. Yes, Gore raises awareness. But awareness of what, exactly?

And that’s not the only issue: both winners stand out for being repeatedly, if not incessantly, wrong on what they claim to be experts in, only to be corrected time and again by those they beat out for the award. Yes, it’s done, we know, and maybe we should just lower our standards, like everyone else. Problem with that is, we don’t trust there’s time left for any standards other than the real ones.
(14 October 2007)
Headlines and excerpts at original.


ODAC News -- Wednesday 10 Oct

Douglas Low, Oil Depletion Analysis Centre
Oil Price
1/ Oil Rises Above $86 to a Record on Turkey-Iraq Border Tension (Bloomberg, Mon 15 Oct)
Economy - UK

2/ This economic crisis is bound to hurt (The Telegraph, Thu 11 Oct)

Economy - USA
3a/ US home foreclosures double (Financial Times, Thu 11 Oct)
3b/ Wall Street trio poised to unveil $100bn fund to fight American credit crisis (The Times, Mon 15 Oct)

Population
4a/ Australia - Largest population increase ever (Beyond Oil News / Australian Bureau of Statistics, Thu 11 Oct)
4b/ Australian conference: Population, Peak Oil, Climate Change: their impact on the Millennium Development Goals, 14-15 March 2008, Canberra
4c/ Feedback on Population (Tue 09 Oct)

Unconventional Oil Production Forecasts
5/ Forget Your Silver Bullet (EV World, Thu 04 Oct)

Coal - UK
6/ The new coal age (The Guardian, Tue 09 Oct)

Peak Minerals
7/ Peak Minerals (The Oil Drum: Europe, Mon 15 Oct)
(10 October 2007)

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