OP/ED: Peak oil’s slippery slope

Discussion in 'In the News' started by Chuck, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    If you think high gas prices this summer are gonna be a bummer, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet

    [xfloat=left]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/523/fsp.jpg[/xfloat]R.V. Scheide - newsreview.com - March 26, 2008

    Illustration by Robert Armstrong

    The picture is memorable. -- Ed.

    Both President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, when questioned about their subterranean public-approval ratings, have repeatedly asserted their administration will be vindicated by history. After you’re done guffawing, consider this: They just might be right.

    Why? In a phrase, peak oil.

    For those unfamiliar with peak oil—and here I include Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, most of the state Legislature and even the California Energy Commission—it is derived from the geological phenomenon of oil-field depletion, first elaborated on in 1956 by M. King Hubbert, then a geophysicist for Shell Oil. Simply put, peak-oil theory asserts that for any given oil field, there is a finite amount of recoverable oil. When half of that oil is used up, the field has reached its peak. Thereafter, production begins declining to near-zero. This principle, Hubbert claimed, applies to all oil fields, individually and in the aggregate… [rm]http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/Content?oid=643529[/rm]
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2008
  2. Bike123

    Bike123 Well-Known Member

    Vindicated by history? If they had gained their unpopularity by pushing efficiency and conservation, yes. Cheney must be planning to rewrite history, so his quote becomes , "Conservation is a personal and national virtue, the core of any successful energy plan."
  3. Robert Lastick

    Robert Lastick Well-Known Member

    This is without a doubt the best article I have ever seen posted on CleanMPG.com. It tells all of us exactly where we are in the nightmare that is post peak oil America and the article is right. Bush's policies will be vindicated by history because,

    1. Oil is pivotal to life as it exists now.

    2. We are a country wallowing in arrogant, self righteous energy excess.

    3. Peak oil has already happened and there is no way to turn our country around in time to forestall social and economic chaos.

    4. The only way to forestall this disaster is thru the policies set forth by Bush & Cheney.

    "Fortunately, future American heroes George Bush and Dick Cheney have their eyes on the prize: the oil fields of Iraq and Iran, which together have about the same amount as Saudi Arabia, whom we’ve already bought off. Together, the three countries have half of the world’s remaining petroleum supply. They’re also believed to be at or near their own peaks. Nevertheless, taking control of their reserves will keep those Hummers rolling until the realities of peak oil sink in. Who cares about a little genocide when there are pockets to line and gas tanks to fill"?

    And so, there you have it. GM can continue to produce Silverado's for Americans to commute in. History will vindicate Bush because, given the decades and decades that we have ignored the problem, there is really no alternative that America has. We must take over Iraq and Iran for their oil. It will buy us very precious and very little, more time.

    Actually, it is quite simple, once the light of reality shines on our situation.
  4. Earthling

    Earthling Trying to be kind to Mother Earth

    Forget about rising sea levels. The advent of peak oil will make global warming seem like a day at the beach. Petroleum doesn’t just fuel our automobiles, it’s in everything, from fertilizer to pharmaceuticals to food products. Since the beginning of the oil age in the mid-19th century, the world’s population has grown from slightly less than 1 billion to more than 6 billion today. This simply couldn’t have happened without oil, and in petroleum’s absence, the world, including the United States, is facing a dramatic decrease in the number of its human inhabitants.

    It's not looking good, is it?

    And today there will still be people signing on the dotted line for gas hog SUV's and oversized pickup trucks. Unbelievable.

  5. mparrish

    mparrish Rosie the Riveter Redux

    "The advent of peak oil will make global warming seem like a day at the beach."

    But peak oil too can be denied & politicized unfortunately. The supply is there, it is just being withheld........we just need to tap it. Send in the 81st.

    I find myself lately as worried about the consequences of our failure to acknowledge peak oil as I am peak oil itself. Like not detecting cancer until stage 4.
  6. toastblows

    toastblows Well-Known Member

    and for the 4-5 billion people on earth who dont need electricity or petroleum...life will go on without a blink. I think the envy may turn from the american dream to the simple lives of tribes who live deep in the jungles of Brazil, or plains of Africa....hunt and gather before oil, hunt and gather after, doesnt really matter.
  7. Robert Lastick

    Robert Lastick Well-Known Member

  8. 99HXCivic

    99HXCivic Well-Known Member

    Peak oil and global warming? Maybe I shouldn't live to 90! Gotta eat lots of fast food now!
  9. jsmithy

    jsmithy Well-Known Member

    I can't understand why everyone is so negative all the time, especially about energy. People seem to thrive on it. Just human nature I guess.

    Necessity breeds innovation. Just watch the Science Channel for a little while. I believe we still have time and the ability to figure this out. Market forces are already driving positive change.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2008
  10. hobbit

    hobbit He who posts articles

    What a priceless picture! I managed to generate a reasonable
    looking larger version of it, suitable for printing:
  11. worthywads

    worthywads Don't Feel Like Satan, I am to AAA

    I know what you mean, it's as though there is a hope for the worst.:confused:
  12. Dan

    Dan KiloTanked in post 153451

    We're totally on the same team here, but I'm gonna have to challenge that figure. With 6 billion ppl, 4-5 billion is 67% - 83% of the human race. I don't think there are that many indigenous people left. So I googled a bit and found that China + India + South America + Africa totaled to 4.4 billion. So for those figures to fly, it would have to be stated to that 90% of those 4 continents don't use electricity or oil at all. No bus, not tractors, no water pumps, not generators, nothing.

    Personally I'd go with 2-3 billion (if you twisted my arm) but not 4-5 billion. In my household poll conducted though, your coming out ahead.

    Ahh found a source (not a good one):

    pegs the figure at 2 billion without electricity. :eek: I find that quite shocking... I still thought it was much lower than that.

    So 35% of the Human Race do not use electricity... astonishing. Of the hundreds of people I know, I only know of 1 person that doesn't use electricity, but he does use tons of diesel.

  13. Dan

    Dan KiloTanked in post 153451

    We are running out of Oil, but we have absolutely gobs and gobs of coal. So I'm not that worried about the end of America. I'm just a bit worried about what is going to be like when we go 80% coal powered as a country.

    But everyone is right. We'll figure something out. Our job (as citizens) is to make sure what they figure out is a good thing.

  14. worthywads

    worthywads Don't Feel Like Satan, I am to AAA

    I doubt we'll get to that much coal, protests against coal plants are exceeding that of nuclear.:Banane13:
  15. mparrish

    mparrish Rosie the Riveter Redux

    A national grid that is 30% renewable / 50% nuclear / 20% NatGas/Coal powering our homes, businesses, & transport via PHEV. That plus a huge dose of demand management.

    I find 2 billion surprising too. The poorest of the poor do without adequate shelter, nutrition, and plumbing. But electricity is fairly cheap and the first to usually arrive.
  16. Dan

    Dan KiloTanked in post 153451

    Yep, I think Nuke is the way to go. The grid is also (as I guess here) much more capable of switching from one fuel stock to another. Just build another 50 million dollar plant.

    Transportation is my fear. Last report I read put the average cycle time of the US fleet at 13 years (pick any number really). So most of the new cars offered would have to be PHEV for at least 5 years for it to make a sizable dent in the US fleet. So we are still gonna need some devil juice to keep the older portion of the US fleet rolling. Hopefully a clean coal-liquification comes on line, or the Bush Bomb-em-and-take-the-oil policy keeps the oil flowing long enough to keep the grocery stores stocked with meat.

    But... yeah... We will definitely figure it out. Guess I should go back to school and look at that Nuclear Engineering program.

  17. toastblows

    toastblows Well-Known Member

    Hah, i like how you are taking polls....its mind blowing to think about it.

    2-3 billion is easily the number, i would guess 4+ need no oil, 2-3 need no electricity. As Americans (or developed world people) not having electricity is hard to fathom. So figure this, someone on the line of poverty in this country with a job probably has some sort of living space with electricity. Im not talking homeless, i mean even the person making $5/hr living with 6 people in a 2 bd apartment probably has a toilet and electricity.

    Take China though, 1.3 billion people. 800 million of them are in poverty. And poverty in a 3rd world country (they can claim to be industrialized, but 800 million people living in shacks with no running water or electricity isnt my idea of a 1st world nation) isnt making $5/hr and having an apartment with a running water and electric outlets. Its a shack with nothing but wood to burn, maybe coal, and living off the land for food. A village of people may have access to generators, or a place with electricty..and there may be a truck or 2 in the village...but this is not what i consider a 1 to 1 relationship needing oil and electricity...or being able to afford it.

    i think 2 billion people (population in the 1820s-1830s world wide before industrialization started) will still be sustainable if a catastrophe like the worst peak oil doom theories suggest actually happens.
  18. 300TTto545

    300TTto545 Well-Known Member

    "By the end of 1996, the percentage of household with access of electricity amounted to 94.7 %, and 11 counties and 72 million residents throughout the country remained no electricity." The Current situation of China's Electric Power Industry
    By Zhou Jia Ping, Director of general engineer office of Chongqing Energy Conservation Technical Service Center

    That quote is referring to China - where do you guys get your numbers from? Now access to electricity does not equal having it in the home but really - I doubt less than 50% have electricity in the home.
  19. Dan

    Dan KiloTanked in post 153451

    My source listed above sites the US Department of Energy, which I suspected had skewed the numbers one way or the other for political reasons. That's why I labeled it "unreliable"

  20. toastblows

    toastblows Well-Known Member

    I recalled a Time or Newsweek article i read back a few years saying that 760 million chinese are "poor" for whatever they considered poor.

    If you believe China's official word, 10% of the population lives below the poverty line, which is 130 million.

    Here is what how the World Bank classify's the poverty line in China:

    "The World Bank has estimated that more than 60% of the population was living under its $1 per day (PPP) poverty line at the beginning of economic reform. That poverty headcount ratio had declined to 10% by 2004, indicating that about 500 million people have been lifted out of poverty in a generation."

    So if you think $1 U.S. per day is above poverty, then time or newsweek was wrong. Personally i think the world bank if a lil off even for a country like china. you make $1.01 a day and you are not in poverty basically. I bet that is a life full of beemers and champagne :rolleyes:

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