Friday, April 20, 2007

If Fox News Admits We're Near the Peak...

So Fox publicized a recent Swedish story here:,2933,266764,00.html. What is most interesting to me is that they took the story from, whose headline was "Oil Could Peak Next Year" and changed it to reflect the outside numbers from Robelius's study. Everyone raise their hand who thinks that Fox did this because they didn't want to be accused of scaremongering or overstatement. The simple fact is that the Saudi and Mexican decline, OPEC cuts, and the overwhelming number of petroleum geologists are now all pointing at the same outcome - peak now, or 10 minutes from now or awfully soon.

In the same review at energy bulletin, is a reiteration from Robert Hirsch, the lead scientists on the DOE's report on mitigating peak oil, of the fact that we need at least 20 years to adapt. He says,

"Peak oil presents the world with a risk management problem of tremendous complexity and enormity. Prudent risk minimization requires the implementation of mitigation measures roughly 20 years before peaking, to avoid a very damaging world liquid fuels shortfall.2 Since it is uncertain when peaking will occur or whether it will be due to geological or investment constraints, the challenge is indeed vexing."

Now let me count on my fingers...are there 20 years before 2018? Nope, I don't think so. How about before 2005, the highest production point so far, and potentially the world's peak. And let us note that world natural gas is expected to peak in the next decade, and North American natural gas (you get what's on your continent for the most part), and a recent study suggests that coal will peak at 2025. The Hirsch report was based upon the assumption that we'd have a good bit of natural gas and coal at low prices to fall back on.

No matter how you figure it, we're in fairly serious trouble. The Fox article is still fixated on transportation, which is certainly an issue and tends to be the first thing people think of when they hear about peak oil. But in a sense, transportation is a meta problem - yes, transporting things and people around will be an issue. But it is the basics of life - the economy that runs on cheap energy, and the food that cheap energy and wealthy economy produce, etc..

The simple fact is that we're well short of time to fix this. So you do what you do when you can't fix everything. Triage. It is time to figure out what the essential elements of our lives are, and focus in on them.

Me, I'd pick food, shelter, and basic medical care instead of keeping the planes flying and the cars running, but no one elected me.



Anonymous said...

It may well be true that no one has elected you, but have you run for anything? Perhaps the time has come.

MSquirrel said...

I think we all know that the recent trend is not to elect intelligent people who could move our country (countries) in the direction it needs to go. Its actually to elect people who say what you want to hear, even if they never truly act on it.

anna in canada said...

In the wake of the release, yesterday, of our (Canada's) conservative government's "report" on "why we can't follow the Kyoto protocol" (because it will throw the economy into a recession), I have to say that msquirrel is right.

The reason the "report" was necessary is that the senate was just about to pass a law insisting that we *do* follow the Kyoto protocol.

It brings to mind that interesting image in Al Gore's DVD with the big scale--on one side, the planet; on the other, a big pile of gold bars. Mmmmmmm. Gold Bars. Gold the size of a planet. Mmmmmm.

Pity you can't eat it, or wear it, or build anything out of it.

I have to say--any time I think about these issues on a large scale, I feel overwhelmed and helpless. On the other hand, when I think about what individuals are doing, often in isolation, to try to solve the problem, I feel light and positive. IMHO, the changes are going to come *in spite of* the people we elect, because the people who would do the right things will simply never be elected. Their policies are simply not going to be popular. Richard Heinberg asks, in an article I read recently (I can't remember the title, sorry!) whether we're dumber than yeast. That is, whether we're going to consume whatever we're living in and produce toxins until we die--like yeast does. Collectively, we might. Individually, we can always carve out a little patch of alternative reality, and live there.

At least, my belief that this is the case is what sustains me!

nulinegvgv said...

abandon the poilitcal process. we don't have time to waste on those idiots.

plus we don't need them. the internet provides an open source of information. we can use it to affect real change in our own lives and, through example, in our communities.

then laugh as the politicians try to keep up. or maybe they could do us a favor and just get out of the way.

RAS said...

If Fox is telling the truth about something, its time to run for the hills. the world must be about to end. ;-)

I agree that we need to focus on food, shelter, and basic medical care. The necessities of life.

I also agree that the political process and the economy are useless and pretty much dead in the water. There was a story on NPR earlier this week describing how some companies are interested in turning pig fat from factory farms into an alternative fuel for cars! This to me sounds like the equivalent of a crack addict selling the furniture or burning down the house to get the insurance money, all to buy one more hit.

I think its going to be up to individuals and small communities of folks to make the changes necessary, and to perform the triage.

Chelee said...

I agree: Food, Shelter, Medical.

It's so crazy to hear people b*tchin' about the gas prices and they don't realize the food prices are rising.

Anonymous said...

I, too, think that while people are starting to get it, many of the changes proposed are wrong headed or more or less pointless. Wal-Mart is going "green," including reducing fuel use for their truck fleet by 50% by 2015. Seems to me that by 2015 the whole warehouse on wheels thing is going to be gone with the wind. They are talking of putting in sensors that will light up refrigherates display cases when someone walks by. No talk of how to manage without this sort of display. Or to at least cut back on them.

But can you imagine Wal-Mart saying we are going to use our resources to turn our system into one of small, local ecomomies and train our workforce to help you start your garden, etc. while setting up just enough of you to re-tool car parts into spades.

As ras says, it's going to up to us one by one, and in small groups to get us through this, and out the other side.

Consider medicine. There is a huge, ongone fight in hospitals to get workers, esp. nurses and doctors, to wash their hands, removed false nails and keept their own trimmed to 1/4 inch. What a low tech and easy solution. Couldn't help and is sure to help. Isn't there a lot of that sort of thing we could deal with on the journey.

MEA, who is in a rather bad mood.

nulinegvgv said...

food, shelter and basic medical care, and to that list i would add clean water and education. there are low tech solutions to all of those that are not dependant on giant organizations.

Anonymous said...

禮服店 ,酒店小姐 ,酒店經紀 ,酒店兼差,酒店打工, 酒店上班,酒店經紀PRETTY GIRL 台北酒店經紀人 ,酒店經紀 酒店兼差PRETTY GIRL酒店公關 酒店小姐 彩色爆米花酒店兼職,酒店工作 彩色爆米花禮服店, 酒店上班,酒店工作 PRETTY GIRL酒店喝酒酒店上班 彩色爆米花台北酒店酒店小姐 PRETTY GIRL酒店上班酒店打工PRETTY GIRL酒店打工酒店經紀 彩色爆米花酒店兼差,酒店,,經紀公司,經紀公司,經紀公司,童裝批發,童裝GAP,酒店經紀,酒店,

Anonymous said...

酒店打工 酒店兼職
台北酒店 打工兼差 酒店工作 禮服酒店
酒店兼差 酒店上班 酒店應徵 酒店 酒店經紀

penisenlargement4male said...

It is best to participate in a contest for among the best blogs on the web. I'll recommend this website!
Vimax Pills Enhance VigRX Plus metropathies Male Extra Amp Do Vimax pills really work mastoidal