Peak Oil


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I don't know if anyones here has posted on the topic of Peak Oil.
I don't know if many of you here even know what Peak Oil is.

So rather than give you my opinion on it and possibly have people say that it can't be as bad I make out, I'm going to give you a lot of loinks to people who are very informed on the subject.

This is the first full report I read when I heard about Peak Oil. This is a truly terrify read. It is also handily chock full of links.

Actually, as these sites have so many links between them I'm going to leave it at that.
The New Internationalist covered this a while back:

In an article called "Pipelines to power". They reckoned that modern terrorists are often concerned with controlling pipelines. This is just one of millions of ramifications.

If you ask me, the best solution is for us to dramatically reduce our dependence on the stuff. The biggy is motorised vehicles, but so much of what we buy is produced from by products of the oil industry, including most nonherbal medicines and all plastics.

Do you know any environmentally friendly alternatives to paraffin for fire twirling?
Mmm... Peak Oil..... Yeah.... 4 more years for Bush.... Aaaah...... "Plink"
(sound of lightbulbs going on all over the place).... The Revolution will NOT be Motorised.... End of '07 will be critical... 4 more years for Bush...
Oh Bollox!!!
Aaaah Well.... Time for Breakfast.... Baileys on yer cornflakes?

I guess you could say that this is a pretty exciting time to be alive!
We can all see it happening, although you have to look well beyond the price of petroleum distillate at your local filling station!
Oh, Arse! I'm at risk of going into full-on Rant Mode!
All that really matters is being fully AWAKE!


In a commonsense sort of way - if we have passed or reached peak oil then havent we way back passed peak gas?

Thats slightly more scary as many have gas cooking/heating, then electricty that was once produced from coal has been turned over to be produced from gas.

Apart from we may have have mothballed coal fire stations - at the cost of more pollution!!! but we don't have the coal pits anymore as Thatcherer put paid to them or the mining skills as she put paid to the miners as well.
Good gaseous point!
My gut-feeling is that we've certainly passed peak oil/gas at this point in time!
It's gonna be pretty barbaric in political terms over the next few years, that's for sure! It'l be interesting to see when THEY come clean about the whole issue!
The only upside is that this paticular crisis might imanentize OUR next evolutionary step. I'm thinkin' BIG punctuation mark here. I guess it'll please me in some Psad way that TL, McKenna, Fuller et al have been right all along!
However, we're in for some serious hardship in the run-up to the next decade!

tum-te-tum off be be positive and light hearted about something completely inappropriate and be the life and soul of the party
Hmm I don't think Bush can be voted for president again since they have a 2 season limit for one person to act as a president.

Plastics and stuff are actually by-products of oil industry, AFAIK the stuff is so cheap that drilling for oil just because of plastics would never be commercially viable.

This same problem is evident in metals: we are predicted to run out of copper, zinc, lead, tin & quicksilver all in at most 100 years. And that's not really so long...

The oil issue is exactly why USA is investing a lot into hydrogen technology right now, and Shell & all the rest are hoarding pantents so that when the oil prices start to rise too much, they can just dominate the energy market just like before :Sad:

Still I think we have SO good luck that we'll be at least running out of oil so that we'll be forced to create alternative ways of producing energy and not just burn away the fossils for all eternity. (I always thought that the fact that the modern world is almost completely dinosaur-powered is hilarious!)

I used to think that nuclear power was a bad choice, but the more I've been getting to these issues, the more I'm convinced that it's the only realistic way to produce enough electricity for the whole world for the next 50 years or so until renewables will probably be advanced enough to replace that tech for all eternity... It's not a good choice, but it's the best we have I believe. Choices like this are sometimes so painfully NOT easy. We really couldn't afford any more atmospheric warming, and the 60% we'd have to cut the emissions to even stop the current trend in warming is ridiculously high and without either a cultural change of immense proportions or nuclear power, we'll never achieve that...

If I understood Dave arc-i right, he proposed that coal would be a good alternative. Weel, it's absolutely the worst there is! Coal power pollutes only in the form of co2 from 4 to 8 times more than gas power.
Coal also produced the most waste since not nearly all of the coal is burned in the process. The sulphur also has to be filtered away, and this produces huge piles of plaster (calciumsulfate) or calciumsulfite. It's not toxic in itself, but it has to be got rid of somehow...
Burning coal also produces the most aerosols, small particles that aren't understood very well yet, but that are evidently very dangerous.

Of the fossils, gas is best, and there will be enough for hundreds of years so we'll probably never run out of it since by that time technology will be so advanced that the only place we'll find fossil fuels is the museum.

If you are bothered by dependence, you can always just make your own from vegetable oils. The problem here is that I think it's ethically suspect to use edible plants, soy especially, to create fuel for the cars... But it still might just be better than supporting the oil companies any further!
No I am not proposing coal as either a good alternative or even as an alternative at all - just making the point that the UK's ability to be self sufficient in energy is rapidly coming to the end of its short lived life time and nothing is really in place as a safety net (not unusual in the UK!)

I also take the view that nuclear power is not the way to go either and it's only now becoming apparent that being near HV transmission lines is not exactly good for you due to the electromagnetic fields being produced by the transmission of electrictiy (links are now being shown to childhoof lukemia's).

The point you have missed is that as a planet we have already gone well past peak gas and that we are now running on dwindling supplies that will not be around for hundreds of years - hence the panic that was created by Shell announcing that they had their reserve calculations wayout.
No, we are nowhere near peak gas, I'm pretty sure about this. That's exactly why many countries are now investing heavily on it. (apart from the fact that it's the cleanest fossil fuel of course.)

The question about nuclear power is REALLY hard. I used to be a bit anti-nuclear activist, but the more I've been researching and thinking about the facts, I've just had to admit that there are so many strong points to nuclear power that we shouldn't just dismiss it blindly.

Think China for example (or any other country that's going to face intense developement and rise of living standards soon). What's your proposition to solve the energy problem?
They are now burning huge amounts of coal in China. In many cities the air is almost unbreathable and people are dying of lung diseases in alarming numbers. The people would surely like to breathe clean air, but they've only in the last few decades got even the coal power and now their economy is competely dependent on it so they really have no choice.

I just don't see how the world can take the industrialization of the whole third world with fossil fuels. We'll just have to face the facts that The renewables are 40 years late, and we'll have to think of some non-emission way to keep the planet from frying in the meantime until they can solve the worlds energy problems...
Today in the UK news it has been annouced by Swedish Doctors of a small but significant rise in cases of cancer in areas of the country that were affected by the passing cloud of radiation that was released from Chernobyl - given enough time I think it will become apparent that there is NO safe level of radiation and that becomes a really good arguement against nuclear power.

But back to the thread Peak Oil

It is accepted that PEAK DISCOVERY was passed during the 1960's.
PEAK PRODUCTION is an argueable thing but the graph below *is based upon figures released by Exxon Mobil (probably one of the largest Oil companys) and shows that we are very close to PEAK PRODUCTION.
The implications of this shows that humans have reason to worry that energy supplies (loss of Oil will have major impacts on electricty) are going to become an expensive (we have seen two prices rises in Electricty this year due to this fact) and scarce commodity.

Now to Peak Gas. It is accepted that PEAK DISCOVERY was passed during the 1970's.
PEAK PRODUCTION is even more contentious that of Oil but even the BEST estimates allow to 2030. With as I pointed out earlier companies like Shell revising reserve estimates downward by 30% then that BEST estimate comes back to 2020.
This best estimate has to be countered by current informed thinking that argues we are currently at peak production.
Even if these 'experts' are wrong and the other 'experts' are right it does blow a rather large hole through this statement....

Taika-Kim said:
gas is best, and there will be enough for hundreds of years so we'll probably never run out of it

I have no solutions to an impending problem and have no alternatives to offer as I do not profess to be an expert. What I am trying to make a point of is that we need to open our eyes to what is just around the corner OR even here and now! Just because at best estimates peak gas will reached by 2030 and the chances of me still being here become more remote (I would be 75) doesnt mean that the issue shouldnt concern me either!

*Bollox - jpeg wouldnt load but if you browse the links in the first post it is easily found - sorry.
Any non-renewable resource is ultimately not a sufficient source of energy. If oil doesn't run out in the next 50 years, what will we do when it does 100 years after that? To say "Oh, it won't run out for x years" is not an answer. That is, unless the time it astronomically large, like how long it will be until the sun burns out and solar energy is no longer viable :Grin:

I think if technological research had been focused on implementing a reliable alternative to fossil fuels for the past 20 years instead of designing larger bombs we wouldn't be in this giant mess.
Yup, I agree completely about the issue of where the money and investments should have, and instead have gone.

When I said "we will never run out of it", I of course meant that when we'll do in future, there will be other, better alternatives. Shouldn't write when tired :P

Oops, and I was completely wrong about the gas issue. I went and checked the facts, and it seems that the situation isn't much better than with oil. I stand corrected.

Anyhow, I think the big issue is with developing countries: how they will respond to growing energy demand? I think the scientifically and economically more developed countries have a great possibility as well as responsibility here to help out those countries to build cleaner energy.
With the United States refusing to sign the Kyoto protocol it does mean that the biggest single (current) producer of CO2 emmisions is not exactly leading by example. It doesn't send a very good signal to countries like China and India that are rapidly expanding into very developed economies. Add to that jungle clearance in Borneo and other countries is causing the peat bogs that many forests grew in to have caught fire as a direct result of burning involved in the clearances, just adding to the CO2.
The amount of CO2 in the sea is now causing the death of many species of corals.
Which of the currently non-threatened species on this planet are we going to have to send to extinction before people wake up to what we are doing?