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Why we still don’t know when ‘peak oil’ will hit

Consumption

We’ve been hearing for years now that oil supplies are on the verge of running out.

Actually, let’s be a bit more specific: we’ve been hearing for years now that US oil supplies are on the verge of running out, along with those of several other key global economies in the West (including the UK). But how much of the bigger picture are these dire predictions really giving us, and why are they seldom any more specific?

Well, in any brief overview, the first point of note should be this: it’s nigh-on impossible to predict with any degree of certainty how long our planet’s oil reserves will last us.

That’s basically why we’re used to hearing so many conflicting reports across news media, academic studies, industry PR and environmental campaigns. Case in point: despite widespread agreement among the scientific community that our appetite for oil will eventually exhaust the reserves we can viably access, BP announced that global production actually in 2016. Go figure.

Ten years? Fifty years?

Recent numbers bandied about with regards to the remaining US and UK reserves have argued that, under current production rates, we could have as little as left, or as much as . It could easily be far longer than that, too. There are still relatively vast proven resources left in several other nations, many of which utterly dwarf what’s known to be directly available to the US and UK at present. (Quite what that could mean for the future of international diplomacy, of course, is another issue altogether.)

Either way, a key problem with trying to work out precisely when we’ll reach ‘peak oil’ – the last happy moment right before existing production levels become genuinely unsustainable – is that we’re not talking about the Earth, or even individual nations, being empty per se.

Far from it, in fact: geologists the world over are certain that our planet contains a heck of a lot more oil than we can currently access.

Part of the trouble with putting a more precise figure on things is that, while we’re busy devising and conducting ever-more-accurate research methods, discoveries of previously unknown reserves continue to be a relatively common occurrence (albeit ). To complicate matters still further, regular progress in drilling technology keeps granting us access to previously untappable sources, fudging the calculations even more.

Economies of shale 

If all of that wasn’t already headache-inducing enough, the basic economics of that progress introduce a third major variable. Oil’s status as a finite resource that will eventually ‘run out’ – literally or figuratively, for better or worse – plays a role in helping to keep prices buoyant, and bottom-line profitability is ultimately what drives oil companies to keep digging deeper.

Yes, we know there’s a lot more oil stored in the Earth than we’re currently able to get at, never mind exhaust. Yes, in future we may well develop drilling capabilities that make it profitable to go and exploit some of it. But, as any undergrad economist will tell you, profitability in the simplest terms is a question of supply and demand, and that brings us to yet another twist – one that the US is experiencing right now.

When oil demand is high, as it has been for much of the last decade, prices increase to reflect that. This in turn makes it worthwhile for companies to plough vast funds into ever-more-complex drilling and extraction methods. The US domestic oil industry is a perfect example of this in action: it’s heavily reliant on the extraction of shale oil trapped in rock, which is much more difficult and expensive to tap than traditional liquid reserves.

The fact that worldwide production shot up in real terms over the last year or two – thanks largely to oil-rich countries like Saudi Arabia rejecting a proposed cap – resulted in a net price drop per barrel, and the American shale oil industry slowed dramatically.

Crucially though, it didn’t entirely collapse; instead, it cut back on overheads and dug its heels in. Eventually prices recovered, prompting US market experts to earmark 2017 as a after a tricky period of decline that many had feared could be fatal. Again, go figure.

 

Incidentally, it’s still not entirely clear how much of an impact a healthy domestic industry will ever really have on prices for consumers. Back in 2009, the Natural Resources Defense Council claimed in its paper on Building the Clean Energy Economy that “It won’t make any significant difference in what we pay at the pump – not now and not ever. And it won’t make our country any less dependent on foreign fuel. Our thirst for oil is bad for national security, bad for our economy and bad for the environment.”

The race is on

Controversial new processes involved in fracking and shale oil production have been making headlines around the globe for the past couple of years. Indeed, the amount of coverage fracking has received is testament to how quickly the landscape can change (pun semi-intended) in the oil game.

And, at the same time as that scandal was unfolding, we were also making major leaps forward in harnessing and delivering renewable energy sources. Solar power, for instance, is becoming more affordable and widely available – not to mention more socially, environmentally and politically popular – by the day.

Major advances in cutting-edge drilling capacity are happening right now, seemingly on an almost weekly basis, but they’ll all count for little as soon as they’re officially deemed to be less cost-effective than a stable, accessible source of alternative renewable power. In effect, there’s something of a race unfolding, and the simple economics of it all could plausibly render fossil fuels obsolete decades before we even get close to pumping them all out.

In short, the problem for anyone trying to predict a ‘peak oil’ date right now isn’t just that most of the numbers are educated guesswork; it’s that even the numbers we do know won’t keep still long enough to tell us anything definitive.

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100 Comments on "Why we still don’t know when ‘peak oil’ will hit"

  1. Antius on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 8:03 am 

    “Antius, that is only a solution for a few. In the meantime those without that possibility will have to make arrangements for a collapse. Space colonies seem far fetch to me and you will not see me in space. I will make my last stand here and they will plant me in Mother Earth”

    Agreed. This is a long shot and even if it works, it cannot be a solution for everyone. But it would mean that a portion of humanity and advanced civilisation can escape the thermodynamic and ecological collapse that will ruin us here on Earth.

    Musk’s rocket revolution has already reduced the cost of accessing space by a factor of 10 simply by slashing ground infrastructure. Mass production could cut it by another factor of 10, but it will still cost at least $100,000 to put a person in space. People will need a mortgage to afford a ticket. This would be a solution for young, affluent, technically educated people. And that is assuming that we can develop space manufacturing in the way O’Neill envisaged. We would need to establish mining facilities on the moon and asteroids at a cost of many billions of dollars. This would be every bit as challenging for us today as the Apollo project was in the 1960s. But unlike Apollo, there would be a return on the investment.

    For the people left on Earth, the flood of new resources (rare earth minerals from the asteroids and solar power satellites) may actually help avoid the worst excesses of thermodynamic collapse, without the need to proliferate Cloggie’s hated plutonium economy. Of course, that still means pouring more agar into the petri dish. Nothing is a solution to everything.

  2. Dredd on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 8:10 am 

    Very near peak civilization (Doing The Alt-Right Thing – Mithraism – 5)

  3. GregT on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 9:21 am 

    “It will be difficult for renewable energy (or nuclear for that matter) to replace fossil fuels. Renewable energy can stretch the benefits of those fuels.”

    And that is precisely what they are. Fossil fuels extenders. Every barrel of oil replaced by alternate energy in one part of the world, will be burned by somebody else in another part of the world. Mankind has been fully aware of the consequences of continuing to destroy the environment for at least 40 years now. We have not stopped, and we will not stop. Alternate energy is simply more of the same old BAU, with little green stickers on it.

  4. GregT on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 9:33 am 

    And I might add,

    The primary reason for alternate energy production is economic, not environmental. Infinite exponential growth in a finite environment is a mathematical, and physical, impossibility. Yet growth continues to be the mantra of modern ‘civilization’.

  5. bobinget on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 9:36 am 

    Believe me. Peak oil is behind.
    Shale, a last ditch tech wonder kid.
    Real elephant fields produce for decades.
    A great, six million $ mile long Horizontal OIL well might still put out 500B p/d for 18 months.

    HFIR article on how many wells you need to get to 1 MM barrels/day growth
    US needs to complete 819 shale wells per month to grow 1 MM barrels/day/year. Current July rate is 597 wells/month.

    https://seekingalpha.com/article/4100812-shale-great-great-people-think-part-2

    In the GOM, exploration, wells, platforms, labor, run into the billions. So do results.

  6. onlooker on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 9:37 am 

    Since at least the 80’s, the people have known of AGW. But instead of alerting the masses and leading a cogent effort to ameliorate this threat, the putative leaders and the Fossil Fuel Industry have tried to delay and deceive up to the present
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/hansens-1988-projections/

  7. Cloggie on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 9:40 am 

    And that is precisely what they are. Fossil fuels extenders. Every barrel of oil replaced by alternate energy in one part of the world, will be burned by somebody else in another part of the world.

    Greg is slowly moving away from the erroneous idea that renewable energy can’t exist without fossil fuel.

    Now “extending” means extending in time. If Europeans replace fossil with renewable (as they do), there is less European demand for ff, freeing this supply for consumption at other locations, which is true.

    The primary reason for alternate energy production is economic, not environmental.

    In the EU it is very well for environmental reasons: “reducing greenhouse gases”.

  8. GregT on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 9:44 am 

    Correct onlooker, we were even taught about the greenhouse effect in junior high school back in the 70s.

    Every single year since then, we have increased our consumption of coal, oil, and natural gas. Alternate energy schemes are also adding to the accumulation of greenhouse gasses into the environment. They are not removing anything.

  9. onlooker on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 9:52 am 

    The problem Clog, as others have explained to you is that Renewables would then need fossil fuels to extend them. Maintenance, transport, mining, parts, infrastructure etc all would need the support of the FF energy. In addition, many studies have shown that they could not function as a stand alone industry because of their intermittency and lacking as a concentrated energy source comparable to fossil fuels. So, we are still talking about a powerdown even as populations continue growing with all their wants and needs and their impact upon the Environment. One has to wonder with what economic capacity this complex transition can occur given the already unstable nature of the world economy and the faltering nature of the Oil Industry

  10. bobinget on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 10:02 am 

    Combined, Venezuelan and Canadian oil sands
    current production, can’t fill voids left by more then two years of lay-offs, bankruptcies, idle equipment,
    suspended CAPEX, bank reluctance, Muslim infighting, Arctic change, population overhang,
    political/religiously motivated premature deaths of
    several hundred thousand youth, ten million internally, externally, displaced persons.

    ME Oil Wars, African Oil Wars, changed an entire dynamic. We witnessed oil weaponized, wasted.
    Way late putting that nuclear proliferation genie
    back in a bottle.

    How can we even think peak oil is still ahead when there is nothing like evenly distributed wealth on this green planet? Take two nuclear nations w/too little oil; N.Korea and Pakistan. Would either trade technology or weapons for oil? What result should we expect from such an exchange?

  11. GregT on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 10:06 am 

    “In the EU it is very well for environmental reasons: “reducing greenhouse gases”.”

    Greenhouse gasses are not the only environmental problem that mankind faces Cloggie. Resource depletion, deforestation, topsoil erosion, loss of biodiversity, water scarcity, to name a few, are all also the direct results of population overshoot and economic growth. When the EU addresses those underlying problems, only then will it be focussed on environmental sustainability. Alternate energy is not being pursued in an attempt to collapse economies that require exponential growth, or to decrease human population numbers that also require surplus energy to continue to grow.

  12. rockman on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 10:07 am 

    Cloggie – We often share different views. But: “In the EU it is very well for environmental reasons: “reducing greenhouse gases”.” So name me one significant effort by any European country to reduce GHG emissions that was a net money loser. IOW when potential economic benefit WAS NOT a significant component of any decision to “go green”? It seems the vast majority of your posts regarding European efforts with alternative energy have focused on the financial and security benefits. In fact, perhaps due to may fading memory, I don’t recall you describing a single effort that resulted in any negative financial value.

    Or simply: who in Europe is losing money for the sake of protecting the environment?

  13. GregT on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 10:14 am 

    “Greg is slowly moving away from the erroneous idea that renewable energy can’t exist without fossil fuel.”

    One more time Cloggie,

    Name one standalone alternate energy scheme, of any meaningful scale, that does not require fossil fuels in it’s resource extraction, refinement, manufacture, distribution, installation, and maintenance. You can’t, because it does not exist.

  14. GregT on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 10:18 am 

    And also Cloggie,

    They all require the consumption of finite resources, which will eventually be depleted, just like fossil fuels.

    Merely replacing one set of problems with another, and achieving absolutely nothing other than maintaining some semblance of BAU.

  15. bobinget on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 10:22 am 

    Are Venezuelans, Sudanese, Syrians, worried about
    peak oil?

    Venezuela Econ @VenezuelaEcon
    The black market rate is 16,841 BsF/$. The bolivar is down 3.33% against the dollar.

    One trick for ripening papaya. Make many cuts in skin to permit bacteria entrance.

    Venezuela has been cut from end to end. Quite ready now for consumption.

  16. onlooker on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 10:24 am 

    It is fascinating that deniers always manage to miss the central point that our trajectory has inevitably become one of growth due to our basic makeup of desiring to procreate and to consume ie. feel good. And in turn endless growth on a finite planet is impossible

  17. Cloggie on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 10:28 am 

    So name me one significant effort by any European country to reduce GHG emissions that was a net money loser.

    Making money is not a motive in the renewable energy policy of the EU. The plausible (but difficult to prove) theory is that global warming is caused by CO2 emissions. Folks are afraid of “runaway global warming”. That was and still is the most important motivator behind that policy. Resource depletion another, but of secondary importance, in contrast of what some here think (and I used to think, until you intervened late 2012.lol)

    You have to admit that the countries that most seriously have undertaken the energy transition, like Denmark and Germany, have rather high electricity prices, much higher than in the US. So here it was absolutely not a net money gain for said countries, but bleeders.

    I do think that in the long run Europe will benefit by being the first, because of patents and skills that can be sold on world markets. But… first the pain, then the gain.

    It seems the vast majority of your posts regarding European efforts with alternative energy have focused on the financial and security benefits.

    I’m not aware of that. Renewable energy has only become somewhat price competitive in very recent years.

    It is as they say in 17th century Dutch:

    de cost gaet voor de baet uyt

    The cost goes before the benefit (out).

    Or simply: who in Europe is losing money for the sake of protecting the environment?

    In the short term: everybody.

    http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/electricity-rates-around-the-world.html

    In the long term Europe will own the Seven Brothers that will replace the illustrious Seven Sisters.

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2017/01/11/ten-largest-wind-turbines-to-date/

  18. GregT on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 10:30 am 

    Exactly why Apnea’s cancer analogy is so fitting. Mankind will continue to,pursue growth, at any cost, up to, and including, killing off it’s one and only ever host.

  19. GregT on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 10:33 am 

    And instead of reigning in on that growth, and facing the dire consequences, mankind will continue to tell itself comforting stories about finding another host to infect. It should be fairly obvious as to how that story ends as well.

  20. Cloggie on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 10:39 am 

    Name one standalone alternate energy scheme, of any meaningful scale, that does not require fossil fuels in it’s resource extraction, refinement, manufacture, distribution, installation, and maintenance. You can’t, because it does not exist.

    Nothing requires fossil fuel, apart from your door hinges.

    You can transform every energy form into any other (apart from nuclear energy).

    You can transform renewable electricity in hydrogen and hydrogen in natural gas.

    Zero problems.

    Again: 1 kWh = 1 kWh

    Basta.

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2017/08/19/water-electrolysis-in-mainz/

    https://deepresource.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/first-climate-neutral-power-station-in-the-netherlands/

    Get yourself an energy education if you want to spread opinions around on energy.

    If a 100% renewable energy base was not possible, than the center of science in the universe, I mean Europe…

    https://postimg.org/image/gzome55xh/

    …would not have embarked on that mission.

  21. bobinget on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 10:39 am 

    Sellers to WTI get $4.17 fewer petro-dollars per barrel. This condition seems to be trending. Unless
    longs get Crude over $50. today there will be the mother of all short squeezes Wed.

    Because of below real cost exports, lack of imports, look for OVER ten million barrel deficit extraction Wednesday, 10:30 EIA

  22. GregT on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 10:42 am 

    “In the long term Europe will own the Seven Brothers that will replace the illustrious Seven Sisters.”

    In the long run, Europe would be taken over by other nations that still have enough fossil fuels left to maintain military dominance. Unless, of course, all of mankind completely abandoned fossil fuels. Which isn’t going to happen.

  23. bobinget on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 10:46 am 

    Clogged,
    Try olive or canola oil on those hinges.

    Now, it’s you turn to ask me how I know?

  24. GregT on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 10:48 am 

    “Get yourself an energy education if you want to spread opinions around on energy.”

    The answer to my question is not an opinion, and it does not require the regurgitation of dogma that somebody else has told you.

  25. Cloggie on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 10:52 am 

    In the long run, Europe would be taken over by other nations that still have enough fossil fuels left to maintain military dominance. Unless, of course, all of mankind completely abandoned fossil fuels. Which isn’t going to happen.

    We are already taken over by other nations that still had enough fossil fuel left to maintain military dominance.

    In fact Germany could be expected to defeat Poland, France, Britain and the USSR and keep the US at a safe distance if it had not run out of fuel.

    But America is busy blowing itself up, so the cards are going to be dealt anew.

    https://altright.com/2017/08/22/the-alt-right-is-finished-debating/

  26. GregT on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 10:55 am 

    “If a 100% renewable energy base was not possible, than the center of science in the universe, I mean Europe…”

    There’s that anthropocentric bug rearing it’s fallacious tentacles again. Humans 1.1.

  27. rockman on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 10:56 am 

    Looker – You seem to refute your position within a single sentence: “Since at least the 80’s, the people have known of AGW. But instead of alerting the masses and leading a cogent effort to ameliorate…”. So if “people” have known of the potential problem haven’t they been alerted to the problem for decades? So why have the “people” continued to consume ff? Granted the petroleum industry has never taken out front page adds warning of the problem. OTOH the “people” have been inundated with studies and MSM reports on the situation. Some accept the conclusions and some don’t. But probably the vast majority of the “true believers”, like VP Gore, still consume fossil fuels to some meaningful degree.

    Yes: the petroleum industry produces fossil fuels. But only because the consumers pay us to do so on their behalf. If you want the industry to reduce ff production, say 50%, no problem: just get the consumers to stop burning 50% of the fossil fuels they are currently utilizing.

    For instance how many here can honestly say they’ve VOLUNTARILY cut their ff consumption 50% since they’ve become a believer of AGW? And don’t cheat: besides what you directly consume you need to guesstimate how much is consumed for you benefit: electricity consumption at your office and home. And your share of the rest of the energy consuming infrastructure available to you: hospitals, municipal water/sewage works, police/fire departments, street/highway construction and maintenance and air travel (unless you swore to never fly again since you became aware). And the list goes on and on. Remember to whatever degree you wish to claim everyone here is a part of the collective that consumes a hugely disproportionate share of the world’s ff energy. Either directly or indirectly for your potential benefit.

    Again despite my saying it continues to irritate some here they cannot deny a simple FACT: the vast majority of GHG is DIRECTLY produced the consumers or is done so for their DIRECT benefit.

  28. Antius on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 10:58 am 

    “The problem Clog, as others have explained to you is that Renewables would then need fossil fuels to extend them. Maintenance, transport, mining, parts, infrastructure etc all would need the support of the FF energy. In addition, many studies have shown that they could not function as a stand alone industry because of their intermittency and lacking as a concentrated energy source comparable to fossil fuels. So, we are still talking about a powerdown even as populations continue growing with all their wants and needs and their impact upon the Environment. One has to wonder with what economic capacity this complex transition can occur given the already unstable nature of the world economy and the faltering nature of the Oil Industry”

    This is exactly why I have advocated a transition to Gen III and Gen IV nuclear power reactors. Present day PWRs using centrifuge enrichment have EROI somewhere between 75 and 100. Gen IV units generally have higher power density and closed fuel cycles, which should increase EROI even further. With EROI this high, we can manufacture synthetic fuels like hydrogen, liquid air and ammonia, which will fill a lot of the functions that you mentioned. The only renewable energy source that comes close to having enough EROI to produce abundant synthetic fuel is hydro, which is maxed out in most parts of the world.

    It will be very difficult and expensive to build a wind/solar energy system that can produce reliable power without fossil fuel back-up. This is because both of these energy sources suffer from daily, seasonal and inter-annual intermittency. Storing energy to cover these lull periods requires transmitting electricity to a storage facility, converting electric power into a storable energy medium (water at height, heat or a chemical fuel), reconverting it back into electricity and then putting it back onto the grid. These energy transitions are very wasteful – you typically lose between one-third (pumped storage) to three-quarters of the useful exergy (hydrogen). Capital costs are very high as well, as you must build what is in effect an entire additional power plant, along with the energy store and more wind/solar power plants to cover the energy losses. If natural gas is available it solves this problem at a stroke. Suddenly, we only need to build half as many wind turbines and solar plants and instead of a huge energy storage plant, we build a relatively tiny CCGT, the embedded energy of which is tiny.

  29. GregT on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 10:58 am 

    “But America is busy blowing itself up, so the cards are going to be dealt anew.”

    Europeans don’t exactly have a stellar track record of getting along Cloggie. Somehow I doubt very much that this time will be any different, in a resource constrained world, full of environmental potholes.

  30. GregT on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 11:10 am 

    “This is exactly why I have advocated a transition to Gen III and Gen IV nuclear power reactors.”

    Ignoring two somewhat obvious underlying problems.

    The industrial processes required to manufacture all of the gadgets that we use that electricity for, and the economies of scale required to pay for all,of those same said gadgets. Both which also happen to require massive inputs from fossil fuels energy.

  31. onlooker on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 11:10 am 

    A typo, Rock. I meant to say leaders. In fact, I do not deny your point that the masses almost certainly would not intentionally chose to live much more primitively. That Fossil fuels were here to stay by majority vote. But we will never truly know as the politicians and your Industry were not forthcoming about what the Science was really saying and what it means. Yes, I have heard that people could have researched in the library back then as the Net was not up yet. But how likey was that to happen. So, thanks for pointing out my contradiction. And even more so now when many more people have been incorporated into modernity with China and India having grown so much in the last couple of decades. So blame if one is still in the blame game is all around to be meted out. And you are correct in that it takes two to tango, producers and CONSUMERS.

  32. GregT on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 11:12 am 

    Not to mention the food, water, and resources required to maintain a population of some 7.5 billion people. The people that are the backbone of those economies of scale.

  33. Cloggie on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 11:18 am 

    Europeans don’t exactly have a stellar track record of getting along Cloggie.

    In the past we only had each other to take seriously. That is now different. Additionally in the past war was not really that destructive as it is now. In the cinema Anglo-Dutch sea wars are even fun to watch:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j21t1i_SiKI

  34. Antius on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 11:22 am 

    ” Ignoring two somewhat obvious underlying problems.
    The industrial processes required to manufacture all of the gadgets that we use that electricity for, and the economies of scale required to pay for all, of those same said gadgets. Both which also happen to require massive inputs from fossil fuels energy”

    Greg, this is true at present. But there is no physical law that says that those processes must be powered by fossil fuel energy. We could make steel using renewable or nuclear energy. The problem is one of cost – raw coal costs $0.01/MJ. Nuclear electricity from mass produced units is likely to be 50% more expensive and buffered renewable energy could easily be 10 times more expensive.

  35. onlooker on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 11:33 am 

    I am amazed that this board still wallows in whether we can keep this modern civilization humming albeit at a somewhat lower intensity level. Non renewable resources are getting depleted, our current population levels are seriously undermining the replenishing of renewable resources. Even as population is still growing. The questions should have been already years back here, how can we powerdown and yet avoid as much as possible unneccessary suffering. Die off is baked into the cake. Some countries are totally powerless to prepare in any way for food, energy and water shortages. And those countries that can somewhat prepare will nevertheless be strained to the max to avoid disintegration of civilized order and die off. So why the hell would we even wish to retain any semblance of this Modern Civilization? The same which enables more humans to exist and consequently more damage to be done to our host planet.

  36. GregT on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 12:06 pm 

    Onlooker,

    The contributors on this board represent an extremely tiny minority of the human population. The vast majority of people on this planet, especially those who live in first world nations, are either completely ignorant of the environmental constarints that humanity faces, or they are complicent in the mantra of techno optimism, and the constant barrage of media stories of continued exponential economic growth. There will be no concerted effort to change humanities ways, and our numbers will eventually be decimated through natural forces.

    There is nothing more that I would like to be than hopeful for humanities future, but hope is nothing more than another one of humanities coping mechanisms, and will in no way solve the human predicament.

  37. onlooker on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 12:16 pm 

    Greg, yes I do think few on this planet truly realize and accept this devilish predicament we are in. And it has nothing to do with as some paint us doomers but simply looking honestly and squarely at the facts

  38. onlooker on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 12:17 pm 

    And it has nothing to do with as some paint us doomers-giving up

  39. Hello on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 12:17 pm 

    >>>> especially those who live in first world nations

    That’s a good one. You are trying to tell me that a 3rd worlder who has to fight for survival practically every day is much more concerned or aware of environmental constraints?

    It’s the luxury of abundance of the first world that allows unemployed internet warriors like most board members to even contemplate the limits to growth.

  40. Boat on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 1:25 pm 

    Hello,

    Even in the first world it wasn’t until I was 55 that I was able to cut my working hrs and have the luxury time to up shyt.
    In the case of peakoil.com commentators wont take the time to look at readily available ff data but have spend plenty of time on hate politics.

  41. GregT on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 1:39 pm 

    Here are some of those 3rd worlders, trying to knock some sense into the 1st worlders, beginning 27 years ago.

    What Colombia’s Kogi people can teach us about the environment

    The Kogi people are warning society of destruction we face if we fail to embrace nature

    https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/colombia-kogi-environment-destruction

    Of course it’s a difficult message to comprehend, when one lives in a modern city, completely removed from the natural environment.

  42. GregT on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 1:50 pm 

    Hello,

    Are you trying to tell me that somebody who is fighting environmental constraints practically every day, in an attempt just to stay alive, is less aware of those constraints than somebody working in a cubicle in an air conditioned downtown office tower.

    I suppose you could be partially correct, those 3rd worlders probably don’t stop to wonder why their double foam, no fat lattes have gone up 13 cents over the past year. They’re probably more concerned with texting, Facebook or the possible line up at the gas station.

  43. GregT on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 1:55 pm 

    Boat,

    “Even in the first world it wasn’t until I was 55 that I was able to cut my working hrs and have the luxury time to up shyt.”

    Not the least bit surprising. I’ve been fully aware of the ‘shyt” ever since we were taught about it in Junior high school, over 40 years ago.

  44. bobinget on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 3:24 pm 

    https://twitter.com/spann/status/899988226647175168

    Harvey gonna mess things up for a few weeks.

    He hits hot GOM water, teen Harvey will grow.

  45. rockman on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 3:52 pm 

    Cloggie – Thanks for the long answer. But I’ll let you confirm if true: “…like Denmark and Germany, have rather high electricity prices, much higher than in the US.”. But those countries had high energy prices before renewables kicked in…correct? So are you saying those consumers are KNOWINGLY accepting higher energy prices to support the transition to the renewables?

    Which may very well be true. As I’ve detailed in the past Texas consumers are doing just that. As the electricity cosumers agreed to years ago. And as the citizens of Georgetown, Texas, have agreed to in the effort to make themselves the first major US city to be powered 100% by renewable energy. And including the $7 billion contribution by all our tax payers needed to upgrade our grid to allow for our wind power expansion.

    But as I’ve also pointed not one politician or utility company (including our Grand Master, ERCOT, that manages the entire system) has ever tried to justify the effort for the sake of the environment. It was always presented as a logical solution to LONG TERM price and supply stability. They could have instead said it was being done just for the sake of the environment. And if done those politicians would have been voted out of office and Texas would not have world class wind power.

    Trust me: I’m not trying to be funny. You know how much fossil fuel we produce, consume and ship not only to other states but also other countries. If environmental protection were a priority here that would NOT be the case, would it?

    Not picking on European politicians (and your consumers) but while claiming to push the renewables for the sake of the environment do they not also recognize (and thus add to the justification) the LONG TERM economic benefit? After all the US doesn’t fear Russia cutting off NG imports, does it? And the US, unlike any European country, is one of the 3 largest oil producers on the planet, right? IOW who should be more worried about the energy future: the EU or Texas.

    I could claim Texas, based on our support of wind power (and now with solar beginning to ramp up) is one of the most environmentally conscious states. Which would give many here a good laugh. But based on our renewable build out I could claim just as many EU countries claim. But with the exception of Russia and the US, most European countries have a higher per capita consumption of fossil fuels then almost the other countries on the planet.

    That ain’t exactly being very “green”, is it? LOL.

  46. rockman on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 4:19 pm 

    Looker – “But we will never truly know as the politicians and your Industry were not forthcoming about what the Science was really saying and what it means”. Why would you need the petroleum industry to be forth coming to convince anyone? Other the some mushy adds you don’t hear much coming from us one way or the other. Go ahead, make my day: name 5 specific examples of the industry advertising that consuming fossil fuels don’t damage the environment.

    But every day there is a constant drum beat from scientists and environmentalists trying to warn people. Lots of MSM coverage. How many documentaries have you seen from the industry saying there’s no problem compared to ones highlighting the growing danger? One vs five? One vs twenty-five? One vs one hundred? Or let’s put it this way: name one documentary broadcast by the MSM put out by any petroleum company arguing that there is no problem.

    I always see such claims that the industry has this Svengali-like control of the consumers. But when pressed for examples the best anyone can come up with is Chevron touting its Techron additive in its gasoline. LOL.

  47. onlooker on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 4:29 pm 

    My comment arises from the article and news I have read about Exxon. How it knew decades ago based on the studies of its own hired scientists and how instead of making public those findings they embarked on a obfuscation denial and omission campaign. Other than that case I am not aware of others and the rest of your commentary is correct that ample warming have been emitted from other sources

  48. onlooker on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 4:30 pm 

    oops warning

  49. Boat on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 4:48 pm 

    greggiet,

    There is a reason people end up in cities. Premodern China/post WWII lost over 50 million due to famine. Living one with nature is a killer.

  50. GregT on Tue, 22nd Aug 2017 7:40 pm 

    Boat,

    Living in nature sucks big time. Please tell everyone that you know.

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