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Peak oil - June 11

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Rising energy prices will challenge western way of life – MoD report

Nafeez Ahmed, The Guardian
A little-known Ministry of Defence (MoD) report published earlier this year warns that converging global trends will dramatically affect UK economic prosperity through to 2040.

The report says that depletion of cheap conventional "easy oil", along with shortages of food and water due to climate change and population growth, will sustain rocketing energy prices. Long-term price spikes are likely to lead to a long recession in Western economies, fuelling internal unrest and the rise of nationalist movements.

The report departs significantly from the conservative and relatively optimistic scenarios officially adopted by the British government, as exemplified in the coalition's new Energy Security Strategy published in November last year by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc)...
(4 June 2013)


Dangerous Times As Energy Sources Get Costlier To Extract

Stephen Leeb, Forbes
Remember the term “peak oil”? With all the oil now available from oil shale, tar sands, and other new sources, many analysts assume that the old talk of peak oil has been proven dead wrong. They buttress this conclusion with statistics showing decreased per capita oil usage, a signal, they say, of our entry into a golden era of rising supply and falling demand that will cut energy prices and fuel economic growth.

The optimists believe that our energy problems have been largely solved. I wouldn’t bet on that. The real issue with oil isn’t how much we have or even whether we can continue to increase production. That’s what peak oil had come to represent and why, in retrospect, it was a misleading term.

Rather, what really matters is the cost of resources, in terms of resources required, including energy resources, to keep producing oil. On that front, the U.S. is losing ground at an alarming pace...
(6 May 2013)


Peak oil: preparing for the extinction of 'petroleum man'

James Morgan, Science Omega
Professor in Global Energy Systems Kjell Aleklett, President of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO International), explains how we can prepare for the ‘second half of the age of oil’...

Last month, Time reported that peak oil had been certified dead by the International Energy Agency (IEA). It seems that unconventional energy sources in North America have delayed the onset of peak oil. To proclaim that peak oil is dead, however, is a little misleading. It would be more accurate to say that peak oil is dormant, or at least, that the rate at which oil is extracted is likely to continue on a bumpy plateau for longer than anticipated.

Assuming that your calculations are correct and that global peak oil is imminent, why should be worried? What, in your opinion, are the major difficulties that this situation is likely to create?

The modern global economy has never undergone a period of significant expansion without an increase in the use of oil. My colleagues and I are currently working with researchers at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to explore the implications of the relationship between these two factors. It is absolutely clear that a decline in oil production will damage the global economy. Of course, if the economy isn’t functioning as it should, it has knock-on effects for society as a whole...
(10 June 2013)


Greenwashing the Tar Sands, Part 3: Wherein money trumps fact every time

Jeff Gailus, DeSmog Blog
Greenwashing the Tar Sands, Part 3: Wherein money trumps fact every time (via Desmogblog)

This is last installment of a three-part series on greenwashing and the tar sands. Be sure to read Part 1, A Short History of Greenwashing the Tar Sands, and Part 2, Do As I Say, Not As I Do. Recently, Canadian Oil Sands Chief Executive Officer Marcel Coutu explained to Bloomberg why he and other big…


(10 June 2013)
Part 1, Part 2

Oil barrel drip image via shutterstock. Reproduced at Resilience.org with permission.

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