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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage
NY Times coverage of peak oil - "A very bad idea"
Charles Hall and Nate Gagnon, The Oil Drum
The recent front page article “Oil innovations pump new life into old wells” by Jad Mouawad (March 5 page 1) is dangerously misleading. The author would have us believe that technological innovations will increase the proportion of oil recoverable from known fields sufficiently to compensate for the dearth of new discoveries.
It gives a false sense of security about our difficult oil situation based on a very selective interpretation of data. For example, the graph used to support the article undermines the author’s main thesis. It shows that steam injection is not new but has been used in the Kern River field since 1965 and also that oil production in this field peaked in 1984 and has been declining sharply since about 1997.
In fact most of the “oil innovations” mentioned in the article, including the injection of steam and various gases, are old technologies, first implemented in the 1920s. Innovations have always been occurring in the oil industry. The important question is whether these technologies are increasing production more rapidly than depletion is decreasing it.
Dr. Charles Hall is a Systems Ecologist who has written seven books and 200 scholarly articles; Professor Hall teaches Systems Ecology and Geographical Modeling courses and workshops at SUNY-ESF and in many locations in Latin America. Nathan Gagnon is a graduate student in the Graduate Program in Environmental Sciences at the State Univ NY College of Environmental Science and Forestry; his interests are the changing EROI of global and US oil.
(23 April 2007)
The Oil Drum and Energy Bulletin will continue to publish critiques of the New York Times until they improve their coverage of peak oil. -BA
Global warming and the coming peaks in oil, gas and coal production (slides)
Bruce Hodge, Global Climate Change (blog)
Talk: "Global Warming and the Coming Peaks in Oil, Gas and Coal Production
Carbon Mitigation Scenarios for the Next 100 Years"
This talk presents plausible scenarios for the depletion of the remainder of our carbon-based energy sources over the next 250 years.
It introduces the concept of stabilization wedges, which can be used to quantify the effects of mitigation strategies for global warming.
It then looks at the effects of applying different quantities of wedges over a hundred-year period and models the impact of various implementation delay times. It also examines per capita impacts.
The modeling results point to a period of falling energy services per capita after a peak in about 25 years if we seriously begin efforts to mitigate carbon emissions in order to prevent climate destabilization.
(June 2006, but recently updated)
The 58-slide presentation shows how several "wedges" (strategies) can mitigate climate change and replace our declining and polluting energy sources with renewable sources.
The concept of stabilization wedges was described in Stabilization Wedges: Solving the Climate Problem for the Next 50 Years with Current Technologies by Pacala and Socolow (Science, 13 Aug 2004). Also see an interview with Pacala.
Bruce Hodge is "a computer scientist, photographer and environmentalist who is deeply concerned about global climate change" living in the South San Francisco Bay Area. His blog is Global Climate Change. He has delivered the presentation to local environmental groups and said he is willing to do more. I attended one of his talks and found it stimulating, but probably best suited to a technically oriented audience. -BA
Oil Depletion in English as a Second Language (ESL) format
David DuByne, Dave's ESL Bio-Fuel
This is a free English as a Second Language (ESL) course available online about oil depletion, bio-fuels, and sustainability presented in a format so others worldwide studying English (ESL) can understand what is really going on and contribute their solutions. This is a global problem that will require worldwide solutions. What are those people on the other side of the globe thinking? Let's find out through the use of a common language, English.
Let’s Talk about Future Trends, Predictions and Possibilities of Oil
Oil is a subject filled with big words that even native English speakers don’t understand, so I have designed this ESL class into easy to read simplified English, for anyone on this planet to study from. Anyone who’s English is good enough to say “I drive a car”, “I bought vegetables at the market”, “I am cooking dinner” “I go to the store” will understand the main point. Natural gas and oil are now a finite, quantifiable (measurable), limited commodity (product).
The following pages will explain that some oil wells in the world are past the half way point in production and each day from now on will give less oil, so many oil fields and wells are declining that new oil being found in our planet is not enough to replace what is being used daily.
(21 April 2007)
Recommended by Robert Rapier.
Chris Vernon Responds to George Monbiot
Chris Vernon, Transition Culture
Chris Vernon edits The Oil Drum Europe and is an excellent commentator on peak oil and related issues. He sent me this response to some of the comments George Monbiot made at the Lampeter event. -Rob Hopkins
“It was with disappointment that I read the transcript of George Monbiot’s Lampeter address. I can identify four points relating to peak oil, critical points where I believe Monbiot is mistaken.
On the subject of peak oil specifically Monbiot suggests, to paraphrase, “we’ll find some more” whilst vaguely identifying the wilderness of north-west Saudi Arabia and Siberia. Secondly he turns to “new technology” listing a trio of techniques suggested to recover more oil than previously thought.
I’ll address these two points in more detail below but more worryingly perhaps is his concluding remark (my third point) concerning peak oil, that we don’t have to invoke it as an argument for change at all:
(23 April 2007)
More publicity for Transition Towns: Transition Values Are Catching On (Western Morning News - Devon).
A world without oil, in a game
Randy Myers, Media News via Woodland News
In a matter of days, gas prices will skyrocket, a dwindling food supply will rot, and the oil crisis will literally stop Americans in their tracks.
How can you and your loved ones survive a crippling breakdown?
Log in to "World Without Oil," a free alternate reality game that taps our collective ingenuity to stop a plausible crisis before it happens. Or at least prepare a post-Katrina nation to deal better with a disaster.
Sprung from the imagination of San Jose gamemaker Ken Eklund, the 30-day Internet game begins April 30 at www.worldwithoutoil.org.
"Oil's" creators herald the venture as a first - an alternate reality game that wrestles with a significant social problem. Another topical game, the obesity-themed "Fatworld," is in production.
(22 April 2007)