Peak Oil

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pmodiano's picture
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 6 2008
Posts: 1
Peak Oil

I have watched your series with great interest. I think that you summarize the current fiscal situation wonderfully and I have been spreading your link around.
I am a little concerned that your next chapter on peak oil may spoil the broth. The compelling “SOFT ENERGY VS. HARD FACTS,” by Jerry Taylor and Peter VanDorn speaks convincingly that, historically, mankind's ingenuity in finding cheap energy tends to outpace resource rarification (an example offered was it was not until the 80s that Venezuelan oil reserves were considered provable reserves).
I cannot wait for the final chapter to this great series. I hope that you can get it out before I have to trade in my wallet for a wheel barrow.

switters's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 19 2008
Posts: 744
Peak oil is real and it's not going away
I'm sorry but I'm getting so tired of the "human ingenuity" and "technology will save us" arguments. Name one source of energy (that could be implemented on a massive scale in the next 20-30 years) that can even come close to replacing oil. Renewables like wind, solar, tidal, etc. will be invaluable sources of energy in the future, but because of the storage problem they won't address transportation in the near term. 61% of oil in 2006 was used for transportation needs. Right now we have no viable alternative to replace that with. Coal-to-liquids (CTL) is an ecological disaster, and if we go that route it's likely we'll accelerate climate change at such a rate that resource depletion will be the least of our problems. We'll be much too occupied with cataclysmic weather events, water shortages, crop failures, etc. to worry about $10 prices at the pumps. Not to mention the fact that recent reports on global coal reserves generally point to the likelihood of supply limits appearing relatively soon—within the next two decades. So even if we foolishly embraced CTL for powering the transportation fleet that "relief" would be very short-lived. Natural gas isn't practical for transportation because of storage and safety issues. Peak Oil is more accurately Peak Oil-Coal-Gas, and it's here. Surely technology will play a strong role in whatever solutions we adopt, but it isn't going to save us from the impact of resource depletion. The almost religious faith that technology will save us, along with almost complete psychological denial, are the two primary obstacles towards making the changes we need to make RIGHT NOW.

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