Peak Oil – Yeah … it happened.

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  • Sun, Oct 17, 2021 - 01:25pm

    #1
    Netlej

    Netlej

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    Peak Oil – Yeah … it happened.

Peak oil was not a fad, a conspiracy, or something dreamed up by “Crazies” as most people now believe. The concept first outlined by M. King Hubbert is basically we will reach the maximum of oil production then production will decline. This is a vast over simplification of the thing but no one can say it is wrong. This curve of production is true for all finite resources.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubbert_peak_theory

The website “The Oil Drum (TOD)” and all of its contributors did an amazing job of delving into the minutiae of the concept and helped thousands of interested people to understand what was at stake. All of the facts and data compiled over those years are still 99% correct. What no one got correct was the exact date peak would be reached or how that would go down. That last point was all it took for most people to totally dismiss peak oil and move on, get back to making money and consuming like nothing happened. Oh, but something did happen, just not to us.

What few if any predicted was the lengths that the US would go to to muddy the waters (pun alert) in and around the peak so as to control the outcome.

Prior to 911 a group of “neo-cons” published a document called The Project for the New American Century (PNAC);

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century

In that document they worried about the US not being aggressive enough in our Imperial exploits around the world. They rightly observed that unless we nip it in the bud the rest of the world will start consuming our resources that they are sitting on leaving less for us. They recommended that the US massively ramp up military spending, global presence, and aggression as the solution. They also stated that the American public would probably not allow this unless there was some sort of Pearl Harbor event to stir them up. 9 1 1 was just a coincidence though.

One of the top contributors to TOD was an oil industry geologist named Jeffrey Brown who dug up all the data and developed what he labeled “Export Land Model” where he extrapolated the rate at which oil exporters were increasingly consuming their own oil in order to grow their own economies. Factoring in depletion and increased domestic use that meant that within a dozen or so years they would not be able to export oil. ( The wiki page for this is not very accurate and they don’t allow for revisions no matter how well documented)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubbert_peak_theory

About this same time General Wesley Clark talked about the US plans to attack 7 countries in 5 years. Starting with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and finishing off Iran. These countries were in the top 10 of the original export land model and all of them have had their economic growth….ah….lets just say squelched, either by heavy sanctions or direct bombing back to the Stone Age and we still largely control their oil production for better or worse. Oh and by the way Mexico, one of our biggest supplier has announced that they will stop exporting in the next year or so.





The Peak Oil Theorist didn’t see that one coming. Still that only bought us a a few years then came “Fracking”.

Fracking has been possibly the biggest natural disaster done on purpose in history not to mention that when you factor in everything it is questionable as to whether or not it was a net gain or even profitable and that is not factoring in the hundred thousand or more abandoned wells that may never be cleaned up and closed off some still spewing methane.

There were around 150,000 wells done in the last 10/12 years, each took 3 million gallons of water or hundreds of billions of gallons, produced billions of gallons of toxic waste water every year. A few of the toxins used in fracking;

5 billion pounds of hydrochloric acid, a caustic acid;
1.2 billion pounds of petroleum distillates, which can irritate the throat, lungs and eyes; cause dizziness and nausea; and can include toxic and cancer-causing agents; and
445 million pounds of methanol, which is suspected of causing birth defects.
The exact identities of many other chemicals are unknown because they are kept secret as proprietary information.
People living or working nearby can be exposed to these chemicals if they enter drinking water after a spill or if they become airborne.

A recent analysis by researchers at the Yale School of Public Health identified 157 chemicals used in fracking that are toxic; the toxicity of 781 other fracking chemicals examined by the researchers is unknown.
A 2014 study by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory reported that an estimated 10 percent of chemicals used in fracking fluid are known to be toxic to humans or aquatic life.

https://environmentamerica.org/reports/ame/fracking-numbers-0

But at least we didn’t have Peak Oil right?

Except for the hundreds of millions of people around the world who have tasted the wrath of Empire and are living in conditions exactly like the ones all of us peak oil crazies described back in the day. I know Venezuela very well and it has been in collapse for years now just like straight out of one of those peak oil zombie novels. All of the middle-east countries we have destroyed were modern, thriving, largely nonsectarian economies before we came along. It was no accident that first thing we did when we attack is destroy all infrastructure all across the land. In Iraq almost all of the infrastructure is still in ruins, same with Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, and on and on.

All of the so called failed military exploits since 9 1 1, and before for that matter have had the net effect of destroying demand big time. Many of us understand that that was part of the goal all along. Add up all the demand destruction from all actions and sanctions over the years and it represents a significant reduction in consumption allowing the selected economies of the world to grow unhindered.

Despite all of that the world is shaking off the reins of oppression and seems hell bent on massive growth projects bringing up a few billion people into middle-class so they can consume on a middle-class level most of which is being fueled not so much by oil, which is still increasing in demand, but by coal. What could possibly go wrong.

What people need to understand is that it is all about the resources. No country is self-sufficient in the resources needed to maintain yet alone grow their economies. In this context money is meaningless if it can not buy resources. Resources become unavailable when there is no one who will give them to you for your money so the most important thing in the world is to make damn sure anyone who has resources will take your money for them. If not then you get them the other way, you take them.

Back to oil, the fact is we could keep increasing production until there is none left. We would take that nice smooth, rounding curve of production and decline and turn it into a steep uphill slope until it plunges straight down. Some call it the Seneca Effect or the Shark Fin Curve but the point is it didn’t make peak oil go away. All it did is make the other side of peak into a guaranteed hell.

We could use all the (FF)energy (and water) we have to keep on producing, which is just what we have been doing but that doesn’t mean it is beneficial to humanity and in fact is terribly detrimental. We could also use all that (FF) energy and water to ramp up industry and build out all the “renewable” energy and infrastructure which by the time we finish and all the FF’s are gone we would have destroyed the biosphere and we would need to Start right in renewing all that “renewable” energy capturing stuff only without FF’s. It’s called renewable because it needs to constantly be renewed.

So did we reach peak oil…?  HELL YA! Are things going to get bad…?  YOU BETCHA!

  • Sun, Oct 17, 2021 - 01:45pm

    #2
    Ision

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    Peak Oil – Yeah … it happened.

It is really hard to understand the World, if one is not allowed to understand the World.

  • Sun, Oct 17, 2021 - 02:34pm   (Reply to #2)

    #3
    Netlej

    Netlej

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    Peak Oil – Yeah … it happened.

Ision – not sure what that cryptic comment means but I will correct it for you;

“It is really hard to understand the World, if one chooses not to understand the World.”

Which is about 90% of the population. Truth is even with all the mis/dis-information out there is is dead nutz easy to understand the world. All it takes time, patience, diligence, and most of all common sense.

  • Sun, Oct 17, 2021 - 03:04pm

    #4

    sebastian

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    Peak Oil – Yeah … it happened.

Netlej:

“All it takes time, patience, diligence, and most of all common sense.”

Sorely lacking these days, cognitive dissonance has trumped  most rational discernment with the masses. I think at this point the discussions I have with the sleep walkers about peak oil return some kind of mix between techno hopium/anxiety/or a sleepy gaze. I just keep it to pragmatic discussions on resiliency, but only with those who have a sparkle in their eyes… I fully accepted collapse is baked right into it, I’m hopeful I can make a difference for my children.

  • Mon, Oct 18, 2021 - 10:39am   (Reply to #4)

    #5
    DreamsAwake

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    Peak Oil – Yeah … it happened.

And most of all, curiosity!

  • Mon, Oct 18, 2021 - 11:14am

    #6
    pyranablade

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    Peak Oil – Yeah … it happened.

Netlej:

Energy, the Environment, the Economy….

We’re not hearing those topics discussed so much anymore around here. So thanks for starting the topic.

I imagine you were being sarcastic when you asserted that 911 was “just a coincidence.” Even if it was, though, your discussion about how we’ve used the military to keep oil flowing into the USA was an important comment.

  • Mon, Oct 18, 2021 - 04:12pm   (Reply to #6)

    #7
    Netlej

    Netlej

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    Thanks for your reply Pyranablade

Sometimes I feel like resource depletion, biosphere destruction, and economic collapse are just fad subjects for most folks. You just pick one and thats then your subject …for awhile anyway.

Clearly 911 was not a coincidence, it is a conspiracy fact.

For me the most interesting part of what I have learned is that concept of demand destruction. It puts all the wars and the crushing, murdering sanctions into perspective.

Cheers! jef

  • Mon, Oct 18, 2021 - 04:59pm

    #8
    LBL

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    Peak Oil – Yeah … it happened.

‘Helplessness’ in Lytton, B.C. says mayor, as residents question findings on devastating wildfire

I think one of the most interesting & tragic manifestations of Peak Oil is the situation where urban interface wildfires are increasing  (i.e. fires that burn homes & businesses), and all the wildfire finessing (people usually use the term “fighting”) tech requires liquid fuels … at a time when liquid fuels are decreasingly available.

The article is about the wildfire in Lytton BC this last summer.  It started about 15 minutes after a coal train went through town.

The official report says the coal train did not start the wildfire.  Of course since it was 157 cars long I’m not sure how they measure the 15 minutes (18 minutes in the article).

It sounds a little bit like Big Energy is telling the people of Lytton BC that their concerns are secondary.

I wonder how close the physics & economics of that coal transport are to being not economical.

How much coal does it take to remove 157 train cars’ worth of coal and move it to the bigger market ?

Maybe the smaller towns of BC will have the “last laugh” as they are simply closer to the source of the coal.

On the other hand, since 90% of the town of Lytton was burned down, and since that also occurred in recent fires in the US (e.g. Greenville CA and Grizzly Flats CA) … looks like a Trend.

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