Various technical topics related to science, energy, climate change and coal & gas.


Postby HVPA_research » Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:17 am

Link to HVPA post:
This article "Back to School Month: Peak Oil 101" proves that even "set-in-the-concrete peak oil skeptics" must agree that peak oil is real and that unless we do something about it we will be in a big trouble in a decade or two. Well done, Sharon!

The article discussion of these weighty issues is also quite educational. However, I think we should join the discussion and inject some environmental issues. Otherwise the pro-gas-drillers will jump on it and say that gas is the solution to the peak oil. I reckon that in the general population fewer then 1 in 1000 know what GASLAND is, even amongst the educated people, or specially amongst the educated classes.

Every so often someone comes up to me with fiery eyes and raring for a battle and says "I don't believe in Peak Oil" or "I don't believe in Climate Change." When this happens, I think they expect me to argue with them, and I do. But isn't the argument they expect - my standard response, correct almost 100% of the time is not to make the case for peak oil or climate change, but to argue "Yes, you do, in fact, believe in them."



So we agree on all this stuff - we agree that:

1. Oil peaks are a proven fact

2. We are creating the correct conditions for an oil peak by consuming more than we discover and using oil up in a way that depletes the supply.

3. There is a decent chance that we are facing at least some trouble from an impending oil peak, whether the peak is tomorrow or whether we use more conservative estimates. We will need a long time of very intense effort to build out enough renewable energies to cover the gap for oil, if that's possible and there is time.

4. We can't rely on discovery of huge new oil sources - in fact, most of the oil left to discover is in the ground for a good reason - and it is risky, expensive and/or ecologically damaging to extract.

o we're pretty much agreed peak oil is going to bring about some problems - there doesn't seem to be any good way around that, unless someone finds a magic bullet. But so far, no one has. Solar and wind and such are great - but they don't give us so much energy that they can magically speed this process up. It usually takes about 30 years, history shows, to bring really new technologies into full common use - 30 years from development. But we've already seen that 30 years is pushing it, and there is no obvious magic bullet.
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