Google+ The World 2 Come: The Coming Energy Crisis or Peak Oil

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Coming Energy Crisis or Peak Oil

Keywords: energy crisis, peak oil, oil, blackout

"Fertilizer, DVDs, rubber, cheap flights, plastics and metals. None of these things have anything in common, right? Think again. An ingredient in all of them, in one form or another, is oil.

Oil is the precious primer of the world economic engine, making it hum. Oil provides 40% of the world's energy needs, and nearly 90% of all transportation. It's also a building block for many products and goods. Cut supplies of this natural resource and life as we know it could change.

But while some experts say the world runs no risk of running out of oil, others disagree. Sounding the alarm is the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas. Its president is Kjell Aleklett, a physics professor at Sweden's Upsalla University.

'[During] the next 30 years we will find more than 150, maybe 200, but probably not, but 150 billion barrels of oil is roughly what you're going to find,' Aleklett said. 'And during the same period, we will consume 1,000 [billion barrels of oil]. So that means we are now digging deep into the reserves we have at the moment.'

Aleklett is among a group of international experts - ex-oil executives and geologists - who believe there is less oil percolating under the ground than the oil industry acknowledges. They say the world has burned up nearly half of all its oil - an estimated 900 billion barrels of crude.

In industry jargon, that halfway point is the 'peak', after which reserves no longer rise but drop. No one denies this will happen eventually. After all, oil is a finite resource. But these oil skeptics - so-called 'peak' oil analysts - say the 'peak' is coming sooner rather than later, maybe even in 2008. They paint a gloomy picture: falling oil supplies plus rising demand will equal shortages - and perhaps a rising risk of war."
Link
Source: Asia Times

A Question Of Scale
"To appreciate the magnitude of the Peak Oil crisis confronting us, it's necessary to come to grips with the colossal scale of the world's appetite for oil. Humanity currently consumes about 82 million barrels of oil per day, 30 billion barrels per year, and demand is increasing more or less exponentially (i.e., doubling at a constant rate). How big of a number is 30 billion barrels? It's roughly equal to one barrel per second, every second, for a thousand years. That's our annual consumption, and it's growing rapidly.

To put this in perspective, consider the debate over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). ANWR drilling proponents often talk about it in a context of 'US energy independence.' This is a cruel joke. Optimistic order-of-magnitude estimates of ANWR oil reserves are in the vicinity of 10 billion barrels. For the sake of argument, let's suppose 100% of this oil can be recovered (it can't). 10 billion barrels is enough to satisy world oil consumption for a mere four months. If it all went to the US, it would satisy US consumption for less than a year and a half. Then what?"
Link
Source: Past Peak

Change Agent
"Conclusion: in the next twenty years, China is certain to contest militarily for the world's remaining oil with what has been the prime customer for its manufacturing output. That would be America."
Link
Source: Clusterfuck Nation by Jim Kunstler

The next big thing on the internet will be video. The death of distance. I suppose we will travel much less. Invest in broadband!

See also:
Coal/Oil/Energy -Google Answers
Peak Oil: Life After the Oil Crash
The Post-Oil Megacity - WorldChanging
End of Cheap Oil - National Geographic Magazine
The Economics Of Sprawl - West of the Expressway
Let a Thousand Reactors Bloom - Wired
Peak Oil - Google News
Peak Oil - Yahoo News
Peak Oil - Topix.net
Peak Oil - Technorati

Discuss:
Solar Power and Alternative Energy - tribe.net

Peak Oil: Open Forum - Future Hi
Future Salon - Yahoo Groups
The Final Blackout - ImmInst.org

Audio:
The Future of Energy: Oil Reserves Running Dry? - NPR
Analysts See U.S. Goals and Global Oil Needs in Conflict - NPR
Peak Oil & Gas - Global Public Media
Alex Steffen - WorldChanging.com - IT Conversations
Bob Metcalfe - IT Conversations
Distance Infrastructure - Accelerating Change 2004 - IT Conversations

Another problem:
Global Guerrillas

Solutions:
Future energy development
Technological Singularity
Telecommuting
Hydrogen Economy
Broadband
Nanotechnology
Artificial Intelligence
Space Elevator

Learn:
How Oil Drilling Works - HowStuffWorks
What is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve? - HowStuffWorks
Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences - MIT OpenCourseWare

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