Wednesday, 31 October 2007

60 seconds of your life

The following is a quickly patched together animation of various Oil, Natural Gas, Hard Coal and Nuclear Energy resource peaks as compiled by LBST (GER).

Click to see the full image size with animation

It compares the total combined energy peaks with IEA World Energy Outlook (2006) reference case for energy needed to carry on the world economic growth (at c. 2% / year).

Even if one does not believe in the exact numbers for oil, gas, coal and uranium respectively, the same principle applies - the peak is just pushed forward into the future.

So a series of questions arise: Where does future energy come from? To which energy forms will we transition into? What will the effects of this transition be, esp. for the climate and environment in general?

And the more painful question: can we have steady annual average 2% economic growth with accompanied energy consumption growth?

We conclude with a quote from Harvard physicist, Albert A. Bartlett, Ph.D.:
"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." - Albert A. Bartlett
While the inability seems to be real (innately, overcome through learning), it remains for you to decide whether it really is a shortcoming or not.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Energy Watch Group: World Oil Has Peaked Now

Al Jazeera has the scoop on Energy Watch Group's latest report on peak oil, which claims that the world oil production has peaked about now and that we are facing a major economic adjustment to a new reality we have never experience before.

Al Jazeera : Inside Story - Peak of Oil production Part 1
(Oct 23rd , 2007, 12 mins)

Al Jazeera : Inside Story - Peak of Oil production Part 1 (Oct 23rd , 2007, 10 mins)

More info @ Guardian:

"The world soon will not be able to produce all the oil it needs as demand is rising while supply is falling. This is a huge problem for the world economy," said Hans-Josef Fell, EWG's founder and the German MP
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia: "The oil boom is over and will not return. All of us must get used to a different lifestyle."

...Chris Skrebowski (editor: Petroleum Review) w/ Julian Darley interview on the issue (mp3):
The report's finding"Oil production has probably peaked now and will decline steadily from here on out at about 3% a year, which then means that we have - looking forward - some pretty dramatic decline... This may be the start of a very major social and economic upheaval." - Chris Skrebowski
CNN (with an interview with Leo Drollas, market analyst):
New Scientist:
The report also predicts significant falls in gas, coal and uranium production. The group warns that supply shortages could cause "a meltdown in society", leading to scenes of mass unrest, such as those that took place in Burma earlier this month when the government pushed up fuel prices.
... and in the actual report 'Crude Oil - The Supply Outlook'

Friday, 26 October 2007

Just one image today

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

ASPO 2007 presentations

ASPO 6 (cork, Ireland) and ASPO USA 2007 (Houston, USA) are now over. You can find most of the presentations for the conferences at the respective web sites. For those who don't know, these are the two major 'open to public' Peak Oil conferences that deal with facts of the reality and peer discussion.

ASPO Ireland has also a DVD of all the ASPO 6 Conference presentations for sale.

If you are in a hurry, here's a quick rundown of some of the presentations based on their approach:

Consumption & Production forecasts + Peak Timing
Summary: Non-FSU non-OPEC (sic) has peaked. FSU to peak in 10-15 years (?). OPEC data still very unclear, but may be close to peaking (or not). Global peak 2011-2017?

OPEC & Growing consumption in Producing nations
Summary: Available oil will be reduced faster than geological depletion occurs due to oil exporting nations using more themselves and starting to ration production (in order to sustain a longer production).

Summary: Coal is the major problem. If we turn to that after oil, pretty much all climate bets are off (including the most optimistic ones). This comes at a time when Tim Flannery reports elsewhere that the world may have surpassed c. 450 ppm of CO2 already in 2005. That was not supposed to happen for another 10-15 years - the time we were supposed to use for radical CO2 emission reductions...

Economics & PO
Summary: The actual effects of peak oil depend a lot on the shape of the peak and plans in place. However, regardless of the shape/plans, the mitigation is not going to be easy: hard choices ahead.

Alternative & Renewable fuels
Summary: Do NOT scale fast or high enough, but will be produced, even if some of them might be energy or climate losers.

Nuclear power & Electricity
Summary: Nuclear electricity production share has actually gone down, not up. Fusion energy has been and still looks to be "50 years away". Oil is liquid (energy source), electricity is a transport system (energy vector). Nuclear cannot replace oil in a short timespan (20 years).
Nuclear power will reach a (new) renaissance and take us into the next golden cleaenergy age, through the fusion of oil and nuclear industries. It all depends on who you believe.

Planning, Response & Restructuring
Summary: Mitigation is possible at many levels. Requires a lot of political work, investments and time. USA looks to be far worse off than Europe, due to very high oil use and car dependency with very low mass transit usage.

There are many others in addition to the ones linked above. Go to the presentation folders linked first, to find them all.

On a related note, David Strahan (of 'The Last Oil Shock' fame) interviewed Robert Hirsch on the economic effects of Peak oil and responses (incl. rationing) with the title 'Peak Oil means Peak Economy' (mp3). Well worth listening.