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Report: The Interplay between Climate Change and Peak Oil

Rembrandt, The Oil Drum
Changes in the oil market and climate change are generally seen as separate phenomena. Although it is common knowledge that fossil fuels are the predominant source of CO2 emissions, the interplay between these emissions and fossil fuel scarcity is a topic that has scarcely been researched.

A new report from ASPO Netherlands provides a focused view of the interplay between these two themes. The report indicates that while the peaking of oil production would by itself have a favorable impact on carbon dioxide emission, this beneficial effect may be mostly offset by increased emissions from unconventional oil production. The report can be downloaded here (PDF, 2.4 MB, 56 pp) and a summary can be found below the fold…
(5 May 2009)

Blind Spot Trailer
(peak oil documentary)
Adolfo Doring, The Daily Reel
Richard Heinberg comments “There are now at least a dozen Peak Oil films; this, most recent, combines high production values, a haunting score, and excellent interviews from the likes of William Catton, Derrick Jensen, Joseph Tainter, and Albert Bartlett. The result is an insightful, bracing, and at times poignant overview of human civilization at the end of the brief era of fossil-fueled growth. Highly recommended.”

Also see the dry dipstick review on Chicken Little Was Right by Mick Winter. “Blind Spot is a powerful presentation of the state of the planet, with a primary focus on Peak Oil, but including overpopulation, global warming, and the worldwide economic infrastructure. The film is well-made, with excellent photography, editing and narration, and the choice of talking heads much more interesting than the average Peak Oil film.” KS.
5 May 2009

Action on peak oil essential for business survival, say UK transport chiefs

Martin Wright, GreenFutures
If you’re fighting to stay afloat in the teeth of a recession, you’re not going to worry about distant threats like peak oil and climate change, right? Wrong, say Brian Souter, Moir Lockhead, Will Whitehorn and Richard Brown. The UK’s leading transport chiefs tell Martin Wright why action now is essential for their business survival.

At the end of the year, eight UK companies came together under the auspices of the UK Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security to publish a report entitled The Oil Crunch. It was a stark warning that cheap, easily available petroleum production is likely to peak by 2013, sending the price soaring and the markets into turmoil. It called on the Government to respond with a crash programme of investments in energy efficiency and renewables, among other measures. These would not only offset the impact of peak oil, it argued, but also deliver massive cuts in carbon emissions [see ‘What does cheap oil mean for renewables?’].

Among the signatories to The Oil Crunch were three of the UK’s principal transport operators, Stagecoach, First Group and Virgin. These are not the easiest of times for the sector: after several years of stellar growth, passenger numbers on trains in particular are levelling off rapidly, and the operators are locked in complex tussles with the Government over the terms of franchise agreements.

Meanwhile, times are relatively sunny for Eurostar. Although not involved in the report, the company has recently become a vocal proponent of low-carbon travel.

So Green Futures asked the key leaders in each company what peak oil and climate change mean for their business – and how they square it with day-to-day survival.
(5 May 2009)