Sunday, 1 July 2007

Videos on Peak Oil

Yes, understanding Peak oil can be difficult. Statistics after statistics, decision trees to prune, probability functions to consider and depletion functions to model.

A plain old video hit piece does the job of hammering the message in so much more effectively, even if some corners are cut.

Energy Standard team has probably seen most of the available documentaries and video pamphlets about peak oil. The quality varies immensely, but there are some really useful ones out there.

Below is a collection of some peak oil videos worth watching. Some easier, some shorter, some longer. Take your pick.

Interview with M. King Hubbert, 1976, 2 mins.

Description: The father of Hubbert's Peak of oil production, M King Hubbert explaining to us what the peak is. His 70's estimate for peak of crude oil was 1995-2005, depending on how OPEC adjusts their production. Crude oil production did peak in May 2005 and we are now running on fumes (condensates).

End of the Oil Age, BBC, 2005, 40 mins.

Description: A roundtable interview presented by Paul Mason (BBC). Interesting comments from James Howard Kunstler, Paul Ormerod (economist) & Felipe Fernandez Armesto (historian).

Criticism: Economists in the interview fall into the "let's create more energy through technology" trap. One should be aware of the laws of physics and remember that energy cannot be created out of nothing. In addition, it is useful to consider that it took us c. 100 years to create our oil, coal and natural gas based energy & urban infrastructure. It cannot be replaced in ten or twenty years by anything. Hydrogen or not, one must abide to laws of physics.

End of the 1st Half of the Oil Age, Fuelling the Future Conference, 2006, 33 mins.

Comments: Colin J Campbell walks you through how oil is formed, what are the physical limits to production, why more investments can't solve production issues and what it means when the world hits peak oil production.

Criticism: Quality is a bit off, it may be difficult to understand all the implications at times, unless you follow closely and know some backround data. Regardless, half an hour well spent.

Interview with Matthew R Simmons, Bloomberg TV, 2007, 5 mins.

Matt Simmons of Bloomberg on Peak Oil

Comments: "We are at Peak Oil now". Where we could be now according to Simmons.

Robert Newman's History of Oil, 2006

Comments: Robert Newman's biting stand up comedy about Peak Oil, war in Iraq, house of Saud and so much more. It's a laugh, even if you don't buy into any of the Peak Oil arguments.

Criticism: Should be painfully obvious and not a criticism as such, but do not use this as an accurate reference on history.

Other documents available online:

Do note, that these people are respected authorities in their fields. I do not often call for authority, but consider the fact that these people have put their names and reputations on the line, to say something, which many still don't believe is true. Pluse they have the facts on their side. That tends to help.

If you want something to watch on the telly, then the following docs available on DVD:

The End of Suburbia, (trailer)

Crude Impact
, (trailer)

A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash, (trailer)

Crude - The Incredible Journey of Oil, (view online)