Decline in output from the world's oil fields is averaging 5% per year http://aspousa.org/peak-oil-reference/peak-oil-data/oil-depletion/, with some speculation that we may have reached the global production limit for conventional crude oil http://www.skepticalscience.com/Climate-Policy-Peak-Oil_U-Washington.html. Once the loss in output overtakes what can be provided from unconventional sources, it can be said that we have passed the point of global "peak oil". The exact timing of this will be known only to posterity, but its circumstance is widely perceived as an unquenchable and imminent disaster of planetary proportions, and the "End Times" movement, hard-line Christian fundamentalists, mostly in the US, are rubbing their hands in anticipation of such "proof" that God really did tell us 2000 years ago that the Tribulation would befall us, in preparation for the second coming of Jesus Christ, who would ultimately transform the Earth into paradise. A cynic might say that since these are mostly people who live in a nation that consumes vastly more energy, and has more cars than anywhere else on earth, such acceptance is really an act of inertia, and they would rather die than change their lifestyles to anything less energy consuming.
essentially an optimist by nature, I am trying to avoid falling to apathy along the
wayside, although it is extremely difficult not to see things
in a gloomy perspective, especially living in a country that has
pledged itself to additional debts of around $1.2 trillion (£750
billion) in the wake of the 2008 banking crisis, and which will take so long to
pay-off that the point when (or if ever) the balance sheet comes back into the black
is really anybody's guess. If it takes 30 years, one can only speculate
as to the kind of world and society that will prevail then, and since I am a man of a certain age, in all probability I won't be part of it.
are many scary scenarios to be had, and which are gratuitously
foretold, but mostly these involve wars over resources, mainly oil and
also water. The two are connected inextricably in the matrix of energy
and production that forms the web of globalisation, with oil-powered
pumps drawing water to bring desert into fecund crop-land and
pasture. Thus if oil fails, so does the land, and much of the food
production especially in the mid-western United States, once it is no
longer possible to extract water, much of which is of fossil origin,
drawn up from underground aquifers. These are not routinely refilled by rainwater, but
are an essentially finite resource, laid-down millions of years ago http://ergobalance.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/terminal-shortage-of-water-for-us.html.
It is not worth elaborating the conceivable plots of mayhem, including one I have heard of, where the governments are forced
to bomb the inner cities to destroy the rapacious and desperate
millions, before they become lawless and soulless roaming hoards, rather as in the 1956 novel "The Death of Grass http://ergobalance.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/death-of-grass.html. Rather,
to consider that there may be a solution, but only one, and that is for
the governments of the world to unite in a voluntary and cooperative
programme to reduce oil consumption by 3 million barrels/day (ca 3%) per year, in line with the
predicted fall in oil production from the present to 2030 http://ergobalance.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/can-solar-fuels-avert-imminent.html. Any other strategy - including business as usual - will be tough,
unpleasant and disastrous, and must inevitably abrade society into
conflict and all-out wars between regions and between nations. In a
nutshell, oil-producing nations must agree to reduce their production
by 3% per year and oil-importing nations to reduce their imports by an
exactly matching amount. Production will fall and must be planned to
fall, while consumers take-up the slack in supply, in the form of fuel rationing.
We need a
clear strategy to gear-down our dependence on personalised
transportation and on the carriage of essential goods such as food and
water to the extent that should this mechanism fail, in Britain we have
probably three days supply before the supermarket shelves are
empty and the country begins to starve. To put it another way, a fall
in oil provision by 3% per year means building more localised means
that depend less on transport by that same figure, pro rata. Since the
problem is a global one, the solution can only be found globally, and
individual nations - under the leadership of their governments - must
cooperate in creating an overall less fuel-dependent ideology and
putting this into practice. Fuel rationing is key and a reconstruction
of societies so that the means for shelter, work, food production,
money and all else are not separated, but become part of the integrated
hive of community.
I just found your blog tonight through notech magazine. I totally agree with you. A large cooperative move needs to be done. Also, switching to mass transit except for very select reasons would help avert a collapse. I don't think that is realistic though. I'm an American that would happily change, but people like me make up way less than 50% of the population.
The transport situation in the U.S. is highly oil/road based, thanks, in part,to the actions of the likes of Ford and Rockerfeller, back in the day, to force citizens onto the roads, even pulling-up existing railway lines. In Britain, Dr Beeching did similarly, and closed many railway lines, partly because he was fed wrong information. Here, and in the rest of Europe, public transport, especially in cities, is pretty good. I don't drive, myself, and either walk, or get buses, or trains, depending on the distance involved. I think that the only real driver for change will be when fuel costs rise to the point that people can't afford to jump in the car, willy nilly, or even to get to work - whatever jobs there will be in the future. I live in a tpown called Reading, in the SE U.K., and its economy is hugely dependent on commuting - not only of Reading folk into London, but the other way too, to do IT jobs. But, I do wonder what jobs people we will all be doing in 10 or 20 years time... and beyond then.
Post a Comment