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A New UK Version of the Crash Course

Friday, December 3, 2010, 12:34 PM

I traveled to the UK for a series of talks and meetings earlier this year.  After a presentation to the City Council of Bristol, I was approached by Matt Dunwell, who expressed interest in creating a 45-minute version of the Crash Course for the UK/European audience.

And thanks to a generous donation from Matt, we've done just that.  It's now freely available to all - here's the first five minutes:

Click here to access the entire presentation.

We're also making a DVD of this new version (in PAL format only—not compatible with North American DVD players) available for sale ($10/USD).

In the US, similar DVDs have proven to be effective vehicles for introducing the 'Three Es' to friends, family, and colleagues who may not have time to take in the full three-hour Crash Course online. Those interested can click here to purchase.

High-quality free content like this video, the translated versions of the Crash Course, and our 'What Should I Do?' Guide wouldn't be possible without the support of your donations and enrollments. Your support helps us achieve our mission of creating a global tipping point of awareness by expanding the variety of content we can offer as well as putting it into more hands.

On that note, we extend our deep thanks to Matt Dunwell for his generous donation, and to Peter Lipman of Transition Network and Sustrans UK, who helped coordinate throughout this project.

We hope you enjoy this new video and consider sharing its message with like-minded Europeans (via word-of-mouth, DVD, email, Facebook, Twitter, carrier pigeon...)

best,

Chris Martenson

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12 Comments

JAG's picture
JAG
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 26 2008
Posts: 2492
Re: A New UK Version of the Crash Course

Best presentation yet....awesome job Dr. M and crew.

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Re: A New UK Version of the Crash Course

Loved it.....  so nice to see the whole thing so well fine tuned.

bluestone's picture
bluestone
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 29 2008
Posts: 263
Re: A New UK Version of the Crash Course

Chris

I really like the UK crash course.  Kudos to those who put it together.

I have a question for you though.  If I remember correctly you pretty much made a blanket statement that the shale oil in North Dakota, Montana, Colorado is not worth EROEI, even if there is a trillion barrels.  I suspect this is true, but I've never seen or been able to find data backing this assertion.  

do you know if there is any hard data available as to:

EROEI for shale oil?  what would the true fresh water needs of producing this type of oil be?  Is the environmental damage associated with producing shale oil the same, less or more than that associated with the Canadian tar sands?

when I discuss Peak oil with the skeptics around me, they always throw shale oil back at me, and I have a difficult time proving my point?

thanks

Brian

Kelly313's picture
Kelly313
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 20 2009
Posts: 11
Re: A New UK Version of the Crash Course

Brilliant presentation, you show how the 3Es are relevant to everyone. I live in Northern Ireland, so am part of the UK economy. 

I have been following this site and forum for 2 years now but have never posted.

I have learned so much from all who contribute to this site.

Thanks to all

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 5754
Re: A New UK Version of the Crash Course

Thank you, Kelly1, and welcome aboard!   We'd love to receive your first-hand account(s) of the situation over there from your perspective.

Bluestone, shale oil EROEI's are very hard to come by; the only ones I know of are very crude and come from potentially biased industry sources.  So what I rely on for my claim that they are not energetically favorable is in the "receding horizons" observation, which goes like this:  When oil was $20 a barrel, the shale oil players said, "When oil gets to $30, shale oil is a solid go."  Then, when oil was at $30, they said that $40 was the new go point.  And at $40 oil, $50 became the new go point.  And so on all the way up to today. 

Every time oil advanced in price, so did the break-even point, receding into the horizon. 

The explanation for this is that extractive industries are very energy intensive; it takes a lot of steel and diesel to get rock out of the ground, crush it up, heat it, and then refine the kerogen (not oil) that is the substance mixed with the shale.  As oil prices go up, so, too, do the extractive costs.

If the energy returned from the equation was favorable, this would not happen.  You could, with a favorable EROEI, simply use the oil returned from the operation to entirely fund the operation with some to spare.  By "fund" I mean use the oil directly in the operation, as well as sell it to buy/capitalize the rest of the operation.

Because of the fact that the shale plays are always just out of reach, I conclude that they are energetically highly unfavorable.  At a minimum we can conclude that a billion barrels of shale oil is nothing remotely equivalent to a billion barrels of good, old-fashioned conventional oil.

The caveat here is that this reasoning applies to current methods of extraction.  Perhaps someone will figure out a better way to get the kerogen off of and out of the shale formations which will prove to be energetically favorable.  But we'll know this because an operation will be up and running and churning out oil.  So far that's not the case.

Travlin's picture
Travlin
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 15 2010
Posts: 1322
Re: A New UK Version of the Crash Course

Chris

I really appreciate the concise way you bring light to murky issues and make logical conclusions where data is uncertain.  I've been hearing about Colorado shale oil for over 30 years, since oil was about 1/4 of today's price.  Your comments about rare earth minerals saved me a lot of fruitless research and potential investment losses

I know time is your scarcest resource, but please comment in the threads whenever you can.

Travlin 

Stan Robertson's picture
Stan Robertson
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 7 2008
Posts: 662
Re: A New UK Version of the Crash Course
bluestone wrote:

Chris

I really like the UK crash course.  Kudos to those who put it together.

I have a question for you though.  If I remember correctly you pretty much made a blanket statement that the shale oil in North Dakota, Montana, Colorado is not worth EROEI, even if there is a trillion barrels.  I suspect this is true, but I've never seen or been able to find data backing this assertion.  

do you know if there is any hard data available as to:

EROEI for shale oil?  what would the true fresh water needs of producing this type of oil be?  Is the environmental damage associated with producing shale oil the same, less or more than that associated with the Canadian tar sands?

when I discuss Peak oil with the skeptics around me, they always throw shale oil back at me, and I have a difficult time proving my point?

thanks

Brian

The UK presentation was/is superb! When discussing EROEI for shale oil, one needs to make a distinction between the kerogen rich shales of the western U.S. and the oil bearing Bakken or Eagle Ford shales. As Chris noted, the receding horizon effect for the kerogens strongly suggests a very low EROEI for them. For the shales rich in conventional oil, the EROEI is much better. I have seen estimates from 5 to 20 for them. Even better results are obtained for gas bearing shales, such as the Marcellus, Barnett and Woodford formations. Gas just flows better than oil in tight formations.

 

bluestone's picture
bluestone
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 29 2008
Posts: 263
Re: A New UK Version of the Crash Course

thank you Dr. Martenson and Stan for providing further clarification.

Brian

Kelly313's picture
Kelly313
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 20 2009
Posts: 11
Re: A New UK Version of the Crash Course

Thanks Chris, I would say that the vast majority of people around here have very little awareness of the 3Es. I have heard very little debate around these issues. People take it very much for granted that there needs to be growth in the economy as this message is constantly being driven by the government and the media. Someone on here posted a link to a channel 4 programme about the trillions of debt in the UK. I never heard anyone here mention that they had watched it.

At the top of the housing bubble there was a general unease about where it was all going, mostly related to young people not being able to afford houses. A conservation would have went like so "My house is worth four times what I paid for it", "Will my son ever be able to buy a house?" Smug in one regard then worried in another.

I can only comment as I see things as I have no qualified opinion not being involved in business or finance and having absolutly zero to invest in anything.

Visiting this site has made me more 'mentally prepared' than anything for a worst case scenario. I borrowed that quote from someone else on here as I found it aptly describes where I am. I am just glad I live in the countryside close to a freshwater lake full of fish. I also have a great wee wood burning stove.

changingman's picture
changingman
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 15 2010
Posts: 20
Re: A New UK Version of the Crash Course

Hi Kelly313

I too am from NI and you probably have the same concerns as myself, no-one or at least not enough people in our country seem to have a clue about what is actually happening.

I work in a sector which puts me in contact with businesses in construction, engineering etc and most people do feel a sense of 'things are bad' but then they say next year should 'pick up'. I have tried to start conversation with people about where this growth and pick up will come from and no one can advice me. Then when I go a little further with a type of 'what then' question, people look blank and crack a joke around 'the government will have to do something' or 'there were bad times before and things will improve'.

I seen that channel4 programme about the £trillion debt issue. It was a fantastic illustration of where we are heading and they added humour and children to soften the blow. Again I mentioned that programme to people, some did see it but didn't take the message in. I find it simply alarming that people can't figure out that our growth economy is coming to an end and I'm confused if our local government are aware of the challenges ahead.

I'm reading a report from a UK government agency called SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT COMMISION. The report is called 'prosperity without growth'. I've only started it but the report basicly highlights that we can not sustain the current growth economy and we need a sustainable economy built around natural resourses and the environments we live in. The UK government spent good money getting someone to do this report yet I can't understand why they are not trying to change people's mindset away from the wasteful, debt increasing, energy sapping way of life.

You mentioned that you live in the country (I do too) and that is a good thing but we all need to start to change our communities because if we have an oil crisis in Ireland, can you imagine the nightmare senario unfolding? how do we feed ourselves, keep warm, get around etc. Most people are so distance from food production that they wouldn't know where to start looking for food. Then protecting your own becomes an issue. I won't go any further.

There are lots of positive things happening in Ireland today ie: Transition Towns Ireland & NI and you should get involved. I also think like minded people should stay in contact so if you wish to get in contact with me I'm sure we can pass details through this website somehow.

 

Kelly313's picture
Kelly313
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 20 2009
Posts: 11
Re: A New UK Version of the Crash Course

Hi JQ,

Good to see a local on here, I have been reading stuff on this site for two years now and have never posted anything. I then get a reply from the man himself and now someone local.

I have joined the transition towns site and will keep a eye on what's happening locally. I have little opportunity to get directly involved in anything, but it does no harm to be better informed.

I try not to dwell too much on what the future may bring, but if the recent snow is anything to go by our neighbours all pull together well when we need to. I think most people like an excuse to be more neighbourly but we get so busy on the hamster wheel of life that the opportunities do not arise. I just hope this will be the case in my community. I know many other areas will be a lot worse to live in.

I haven't researched too much on how Ireland could cope, probably for good reason. I read a lot on David McWilliams website but haven't caught up with it recently. He has plenty to say about Ireland's poor governmen planning and many posters to his articles are well informed and debate the issues well.

 

 

changingman's picture
changingman
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 15 2010
Posts: 20
Re: A New UK Version of the Crash Course

Hi JQ - I've changed my username to something that represents me better.

Kelly313 - it's funny you mention David Mc Williams I was ment to go to his tour last week but the bad weather stopped me. I really want to hear his view because he knows the mess the country is in. Even Robert Peston the BBC economics editor has some good stuff on his blog. Robert predicts 2011 is a 'do or die' year for the banks, they must now prove they can run themselves with no more money from tax-payers.

It's not good to dwell on a painful future but unfortunately I do and it does effect the decisions I make. I'm also up beat and want to enjoy life as well because the world around us is still a wonderful place and we can only try to make it better.

Anyway try to keep in touch with as many like minded people as possible because they really do keep you going.

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