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What Peak Oil?

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Old 09-02-2008, 01:42 PM
Chuck Chuck is offline
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What Peak Oil?

Plenty of oil - just very dirty

http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/Pump_Jack_up_close.jpg
SchNEWS - Aug 30, 2008

Can still make a case for geopolitical peak oil (available oil from friendly nations) -- Ed.

From Transition Town workshops to the city slickers at the Financial Times (to over-excited pieces in ill-researched journals like SchNEWS), there’s been more and more interest in ‘Peak Oil’. Perhaps it’s got something to do with the price of a barrel reaching $140+ (down to a mere $115ish at the mo), and more noticeably for most, petrol at the pumps is at record highs. Not to mention UK power companies pushing the burden on to punters with up to 35% price increases.
So, is the reality of scarce energy really beginning to hit home? Is the oil now running out?

The basic premise is what’s known as Hubbert’s Peak. Oil, a finite commodity with an ever expanding demand, will reach its halfway point somewhere in the early 2000s (now) and from then on will irreversibly decline. Hubbert developed his theory in the 1950s when he predicted that America’s domestic oil would peak by the mid 70s. In the mid-80s they realised he was right. Since then others have taken his predictions and expanded them to fit the whole globe, where the consensus has been for a peak in the first decade of the 21st century… [Read More]
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Old 09-02-2008, 02:02 PM
Vooch Vooch is offline
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Re: What Peak Oil?

Oil production will start going down - it is only a question of will it happen in 5 or 25 years.


I wouldn't want to bet my life savings (ie my home equity) on 25 years
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Old 09-02-2008, 03:43 PM
Robert Lastick Robert Lastick is offline
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Re: What Peak Oil?

When gasoline was $3.00 a gallon my family and I were spending about $450.00 per month on it (about 150 gallons per month). This last month we spent $180.00 for gas at $4.00 a gallon (about 45 gallons). We achieved this by changing our commuting vehicles, hypermiling and taking on a rider who shares the cost, to commute the 49 miles one way I go each day to work.

But what I have done is quite rare. There are people on this web site that are aware of the dangers of "business as usual", and I have a few friends that have reduced gasoline consumption because they could not afford their former extravagance. But, alas, there is no general understanding on how our heavy dependence on oil combined with our lack of motivation to develop alternate forms of energy is destableizing our country, our economy and the world.

We all just continue to think about what we want and not what the world desperately needs. I wonder what it will take???
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Old 09-02-2008, 05:24 PM
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Radio_tec Radio_tec is offline
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Re: What Peak Oil?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plenty of Oil
Plenty of oil - just very dirty

http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/Pump_Jack_up_close.jpg
SchNEWS - Aug 30, 2008

In fact, herein lies one of the central flaws in the theory of peak oil - supply and demand: that fundamental essential of capitalism. If the price of oil goes up as its demand goes up (and its availability goes down) then at some point it will be too expensive for oil based industrial capitalism to afford. At that point we enter a new depression/recession. Businesses collapse, people can’t afford to run their cars, factories grind to a halt and so on. The effect of a depression means that, with the entire economy in free fall, the demand for oil drops. As the demand drops so does its price, until at some point people can afford to buy it again, and, hurrah, capitalism reasserts itself (albeit in a leaner, less carbon-heavy form).[Read More]

This author is in a deep state of denial. It hardly matters if there is 1, 2 or even 3 trillion barrels of proven reserves if the extraction rate is low. When your extraction rate peaks it then goes into an irreversible decline because you have picked all the low hanging fruit. What's so hard about that to understand?

The alternatives like tar sands, deep water drilling, Fischer-Topsch Coal to Liquids don't work either because the Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROEI) is low or even negative. The production rate is also below the rate of production of the easily extractable oil that was once common in the lower 48 states. The Canadian tar sands project may work for a while as long as all that cheap natural gas in northern Alberta is still available. Once it’s used up an already expensive project gets even more expensive. Why is it so hard to distinguish between the cheap easily extracted oil that flowed out of the oil fields at Spindletop in East Texas with the thick bitumen, energy intensive tar sands project? The cheap oil is going away and industrial expansion was based on cheap energy from fossil fuels.

To adjust to the reality of peak oil and continue society on a stable footing we will have to dramatically localize and decarbonize food production, localize the production of goods and link as much of the transportation system to the electrical grid as we can. The fossil fuel era is waning in its ability to provide energy at the level of demand today and into the future.
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Old 09-02-2008, 05:42 PM
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Re: What Peak Oil?

And then there's 1.3 BBBBillion Chinese adding cars as fast as they can.
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Old 09-02-2008, 06:05 PM
lamebums lamebums is offline
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Re: What Peak Oil?

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A real danger of the fear of peak oil is that it risks handing states and corporations even more planet-wrecking power. If people believe the oil is running out, then pressure from consumers and businesses alike is to find more at any cost. This is already being written into the US election strategy of the republicans, where John McCain is promoting drilling in the Arctic Circle as a way out of the energy ‘crisis’.

This could lead to a seriously deadly irony: The warnings of Peak Oil by environmentalists could lead to the erosion of the public’s psychological barriers protecting the few remaining areas of wilderness left.
I never thought of that. But what he says here is absolutely true.
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Old 09-02-2008, 06:58 PM
Vooch Vooch is offline
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Re: What Peak Oil?

Robert,

That is an incredible change in household consumption !

I'd say that gets you easily into Elite status
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Old 09-02-2008, 07:53 PM
Chuck Chuck is offline
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Re: What Peak Oil?

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Robert,

That is an incredible change in household consumption !

I'd say that gets you easily into Elite status
Agreed
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