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Whatever happened to peak oil?

General Ideas

About 10 years ago, discussions of peak oil were everywhere.  Peak oil was a cover story in Newsweek and National Geographic.  When would the production of oil from the Earth’s crust begin to drop and fail to keep up with rising demand, particularly from the developing world?  What would be the impact of peak oil on the price of gasoline for each of us?   Several petroleum geologists estimated that sometime between 2004 to 2008, we’d reach peak oil.

Peak oil focused our attention on two problems related to petroleum: the finite supply in the Earth’s crust and the climate changes rendered by burning fossil fuels.  For a time, concern about the problem of peak oil worked in favor of solving the climate-change problem.  Alternative energies were the rage.

But somehow peak oil just never came to be.

The Energy Information Agency has shown that oil production has increased every year since the early 1980s, even though new discoveries have lagged production over the same interval. We have gotten better at exploiting old reserves and squeezing oil from rock never thought to hold it.

Peak oil was a market casualty, but only a temporary one.  Rising demand caused prices to rise and focused an enormous amount of new effort to extract oil from the Earth’s crust—including fracking and roasting of oil sands.  Oil flooded the markets from these sources, and coupled with a global recession in 2008, the price of a barrel of oil dropped by more than 50 per cent.

Still there has been no magical addition of oil reserves to the Earth’s crust and no major new discoveries of conventional oil fields that we had failed to notice.  The current glut of oil on the world market shows how more effort and more efficient methods can extract oil from deposits discovered decades ago.

Oil remains irreplaceable for most forms of transport and agriculture in the modern economy.   At some point, perhaps rather soon, production will begin to fall, and fail to satisfy rising demand. All the symptoms of peak oil will return to haunt us.  Along with others, my prediction is that peak oil production, even with new technologies, will occur about 2020.

We were granted a lot of extra time to prepare for peak oil, but unfortunately, we have wasted most of it.   Specifically, we have only a short time to make serious efforts to transition modern society away from fossil fuels and onto other sources of energy—solar, wind, tidal and geothermal.  These can satisfy the demand of an ever-increasing number of humans to live the good life in an economy driven by external sources of energy.  Renewable energy can also allow us to remove fossil fuels from society and avoid the worst consequences of global climate change, which is increasingly evident all about us.

This is not the time to be smug about the demise of peak oil.  The fundamentals have not changed and the challenge of dealing with declining oil production will define the world we live in—for both those that have oil and those that don’t.

Brace yourself.

themillbrookindependent.com



37 Comments on "Whatever happened to peak oil?"

  1. Davy on Tue, 27th Sep 2016 12:27 pm 

    “Edited”
    “Specifically, we have only a short time to make serious efforts to transition modern society away from fossil fuels with stopgap energy sources—solar, wind, tidal and geothermal. These will help satisfy the demand for a short time of an ever-increasing number of humans to live increasingly marginalized lives in a collapsing economy driven by depleting sources of energy. Renewable energy will have little impact removing fossil fuels from society and avoiding the worst consequences of global climate change, which is increasingly evident all about us.”

  2. orbit7er on Tue, 27th Sep 2016 2:31 pm 

    Actually the Dutch are proving that oil is NOT irreplaceable for Green Transit Rail which is ALREADY electric! The Dutch already provide 50% renewable electricity for their Electric Rail with concrete plans for 100% renewable electricity for their electric Rail by 2018. This is what we need to do ASAP – run Electric Rail, LightRail and Trolleys powered by renewable electricity. This is way more efficient than 1 person 2 ton private electric cars or battery powered trains or buses as the batteries take 30% off efficiency

  3. Cloggie on Tue, 27th Sep 2016 3:16 pm 

    Drone pictures of WestermeerWindPark:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BkyTBE7d8E

    Provides 33% of Dutch Rail electricity since August 2015.

    100% of Dutch Rail will be covered by 2017, one year earlier than planned:

    https://twitter.com/Klimaatcoalitie/status/773486625695404032

    And it is all from new, dedicated wind parks.

    Rail electricity consumption is 1% of total Dutch electricity consumption.

    It is the same policy other companies, heavily dependent on electricity like Google and Apple also pursue.

    New google data center Eemshaven-Netherlands:

    2014:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcNfB481gXw

    Meanwhile Google has this smaller wind park nearby to power the new data center:

    http://projecten.eneco.nl/windpark-delfzijl-noord/

  4. Apneaman on Tue, 27th Sep 2016 3:45 pm 

    The mind-boggling New Orleans heat record that no one is talking about

    “On 43 nights, the temperature did not drop below 80 degrees in New Orleans, according to the Louisiana state climatologist.

    It blows the previous record out of the water — 13 nights in 2010. It’s also incredible considering in an average summer, New Orleans has just 2.1 nights at or above 80 degrees.

    This record should be getting much more attention than it has been.

    Record-breaking overnight warmth in New Orleans
    On 43 nights in 2016, the temperature in New Orleans did not drop below 80 degrees. This is a new record by far — the previous was 13 nights in 2010.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/09/26/the-mind-boggling-new-orleans-heat-record-that-no-one-is-talking-about/

    There are many things no one is talking about. Maybe it will go away if we ignore it?

  5. dave thompson on Tue, 27th Sep 2016 5:37 pm 

    Thinking that wind turbines, solar and the like have any chance of replacing all of the needs and wants FF provide, is a sad example of the human thought process. What humans need is a sobering wake up call to the facts of depletion and the second law of thermal dynamics.

  6. penury on Tue, 27th Sep 2016 5:45 pm 

    You are correct Ap, but this is an election year in the U.S. anything which resembles “bad” news is prohibited from being released to the voters. It has been months since the media has covered any of the real problems of the planet and will be after the election before anyone hears about reality. This statement pre supposes that tptb can hold this sucker together that long. It does not look good for that at the moment.

  7. Cloggie on Tue, 27th Sep 2016 5:47 pm 

    Thinking that wind turbines, solar and the like have any chance of replacing all of the needs and wants FF provide, is a sad example of the human thought process. What humans need is a sobering wake up call to the facts of depletion and the second law of thermal dynamics.

    Um, wind turbines and solar panels are not known to deplete, unlike FF. The whole point of replacing FF with renewables is to combat depletion once and for all.

    And what on earth has the 2nd law of thermodynamics to do with the renewable energy transition?

    And I have a little suspicion that you have no clue either.

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

  8. energyskeptic on Tue, 27th Sep 2016 5:50 pm 

    If we’re going to use the remaining oil for things that won’t work like wind and solar, can’t we at least make them look like Easter Island heads?

  9. peakyeast on Tue, 27th Sep 2016 6:31 pm 

    @orbit7er: Re. The construction of said rail system: How large a percentage of the production of all this hardware, software, services and others do you think were done with renewable resources?

  10. Cloggie on Tue, 27th Sep 2016 6:55 pm 

    things that won’t work like wind and solar

    What exactly “doesn’t work” in the videos below?

    Wind:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmPs4mj6eVQ

    Solar:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHnKyTeggV4

  11. Apneaman on Tue, 27th Sep 2016 7:40 pm 

    penury, don’t be surprised if the living denial goes on right to the very end. Historically speaking, the ruling class has never given up their power or invoked major changes (except to their benefit) to the status quo no matter how bad things have gotten and that includes their managerial class. They all in. Power never willingingly gives itself up unless the threat of death is imminent and not even always then. Power is the ultimate dopamine hit and almost no one has ever kicked it. The history of collapsed societies is filled with clinging elites. Sometimes they and their managerial class end up dead like the Romanovs, Louis XVI & wife, Charles I, Mussolini & mistress, Ceaușescu & wife and others, but more often than not, they cling and take everyone down. I do not see any real resistance or alternatives at this time. Takes a certain amount of competent leaders with loyal followers ready to sacrifice and get dirty. I see many people who want change, but they are largely fat morons who are unwilling to sacrifice and have with no one with real leadership abilities. All this technology has made it easier than ever to control sheeple and only with it has the power been able to concentrate to the level it has. It’s another trap. The only way to hurt them other than violence is non compliance. Get enough people to stop consuming at their maximum credit level and they would start to panic. Globalization is predicated on mass consuming, not subsistence. If everyone stopped shopping for just one day the whole thing fall down. No one who has wants to give anything up and the billions who do not have want the goodies too. Look at the Greens, how they have convinced hundreds of millions with false promise of green consuming to eternity – just recycle and use the right light bulbs and alt energy and we don’t have to give anything up. Green capitalism is no alternative at all. I expect some eco terrorism in the near future but it won’t be enough to bring it down. It will go on until it can’t and more will be thrown under the bs as the unraveling continues.

    In the meantime let’s all give our cancer monkey selves a round of applause for hitting the 92% mark – we deserve it. At 225,000 new consumers a day and fracking and continued cancer growth we should easily make up the remaining 8% in only a matter of a few more years. Hooray for the cancer monkeys. Hooray!

    92% of the world’s population exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160927144248.htm

  12. makati1 on Tue, 27th Sep 2016 7:44 pm 

    Peaky, ignorance is rampant with some here. They refuse, or are unable, to look at whole systems. They only see the end products (solar, wind, cars, etc.) that they want to see.

    I just mentioned on another article that when the oil companies go broke, (sooner rather than later) the government is NOT going to take over and run them. By that time all of the support systems will have shut down or be in the process of doing so. It takes millions of people to get oil from the ground to their gas pumps, but all they see are the oil wells and the end product. I even gave them a hint: “It starts at the mines.

    You and I both know that most of the ideas and facts in ALL of these articles is pure high grade bullshit, meant to either keep the investor rats on the sinking ship and/or the dreamers pacified so they don’t wake up to reality and revolt. It is too late to do anything to change the path we are on, except prepare so the pain is not as bad as it could be. Good luck!

  13. makati1 on Tue, 27th Sep 2016 7:52 pm 

    ap, of course I totally agree with your view above. I look out my window and see that pollution every day here in Manila. I used to see it everyday when I loved in Philly. It is universal.

    Even the seemingly clean air we breathe has all kinds of carcinogenic pollution we just cannot see, like CO2 and the by products of all of the industries scattered around the world. Not to mention vehicle fumes, and those that come from all of the chemicals many use daily in their jobs and homes.

  14. dave thompson on Tue, 27th Sep 2016 8:19 pm 

    Clogie, I have never seen a solar or wind powered Heavy duty truck, plane, or ship. Are the concrete factories starting to run on wind and solar? How about mining of minerals? How about the making and processing of steel? How can modern agriculture be sustained with this alternative intermittent power? The second law of thermal dynamics will not allow for battery technology to advance much further then what it was 200 years ago. Plenty of info out there on the subject of batteries and thermodynamic limitations. Try Google. Or your public library if you do not believe anything on the internet.

  15. Boat on Tue, 27th Sep 2016 9:21 pm 

    dave,

    Wind and solar can replace most cars and small trucks. It can be used for industries largest use, lighting. A lot of industry runs on compressed air and electric motors. Solar and wind already capture most of new electric growth. Watch wind growth, it is beginning to explode. Solar will soon.
    Heavy duty truck, plane, ship, concrete, tractors will continue to use FF. This is not new news. The expanding use of renewables is.

  16. dave thompson on Tue, 27th Sep 2016 9:43 pm 

    Boat I do agree that wind and solar are being used and expanded, to a limited and very expensive extent. Ever replace a set of batteries in an electric car just as one example? Very expensive. My contention is that the idea of a transition away from FF usage as the main building block of energy in our industrial civilization to a clean green world of wind turbines, solar panels and what ever else such nonsense is bandied about, is not going to happen. For that matter is not happening now. What little electricity that is generated today by these FF built devices has not stopped or even slowed down the burning of FF. Remember all of these devices are built exclusively by burning FF.

  17. rockman on Tue, 27th Sep 2016 9:45 pm 

    “Actually the Dutch are proving that oil is NOT irreplaceable”. Since 1984 Dutch oil consumption steadily increases y-o-y until 2007. The good news: since 2009 Dutch oil consumption has not increased. But it hasn’t decreased either….been flat.

    The Dutch have one of the most carbon intensive electricity generation system more the most European countries. More then 80% of electricity is generated from fossil fuels. They have one of the highest CO2 per capita outputs in the EU.

    Electricity is not a power source…it is a power transmission method.

  18. Cloggie on Wed, 28th Sep 2016 3:54 am 

    “The Dutch have one of the most carbon intensive electricity generation system more the most European countries.”

    That’s true and the reason why Holland is embarrasing lagging behind in Europe when it comes to the introduction of renewables is due to the enormous Groningen gasfield, the largest in Europe, as you well know and perhaps the primary source of our current wealth. In ten years time that source will be depleted.

    The point orbit7er is making that the potential of wind is enormous. Within 3 years it is possible to install brand new wind capacity that can power the intensively used Dutch railway system, transporting millions daily with some 150 stupid wind turbines. It is roughly one large modern wind turbine that can power a long modern double-decker passenger train.

    http://www.ns.nl/en/about-ns/energy/sustainable-energy.html

    P.S. Holland maybe lagging behind in renewable energy, but that is going to change fast. Enormous wind park investment plans are about to be implemented in the North Sea.

    And when Shell is throwing its weight behind it, one knows that things will be moving fast:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/shell-wind-netherlands-idUSL8N1BK1XX

    Shell now has a new CEO, Marjan van Loon, who very well wants to turn a part of Shell into a renewable energy company:

    http://www.nltimes.nl/2016/09/01/shell-ceo-reinvest-natural-gas-revenues-renewable-energy/

    She also correcty opines that wind is THE choice for the Netherlands and that things must move forward quickly if we want to reach the intended goal of 95% CO2 reduction in 2050.

    The Shell shareholders attempted a coup earlier this year, narrowly staved off by the grey suits, but it is going to happen soon anyway: Royal Dutch Shell Windturbines, Solar, Geothermal oh and oil company.

  19. Cloggie on Wed, 28th Sep 2016 5:21 am 

    dave thompson says Clogie, I have never seen a solar or wind powered Heavy duty truck, plane, or ship. Are the concrete factories starting to run on wind and solar? How about mining of minerals? How about the making and processing of steel? How can modern agriculture be sustained with this alternative intermittent power? The second law of thermal dynamics will not allow for battery technology to advance much further then what it was 200 years ago. Plenty of info out there on the subject of batteries and thermodynamic limitations. Try Google. Or your public library if you do not believe anything on the internet.

    No guarantee that heavy duty trucks, planes or ships will continue to exist, like they didn’t exist before 1900 or later. But there was civilization before 1900 anyway. Mining is a niche application, can be done with bio-fuel.

    Processing steel can very well be done with electricity, generated renewably:

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

    Intermittent power can be eliminated by connecting wind- and solar- parks on a continental scale, like already exists in Europe and North-America. Chem-batteries will be niche, real storage volume can be achieved by pumped-hydro storage in the mountains:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/norway-wants-to-offer-hydroelectric-resources-to-europe-a-835037.html

    The renewable energy transition needs to be carried out and nothing remains other than being content with its future results. No guarantee for BAU.

  20. brough on Wed, 28th Sep 2016 5:41 am 

    In some respects ‘peak oil’ is yesterdays news. Conventional crude oil peaked in 2006 – 2009 end of story. Now we are in the downward slope of production, the discussion is about want we can replace the black liquid stuff with. But every time I bring up the subject the topic is diverted by the introduction of the electicity, natural gas and even fracking argument. I’m not getting at you guys above on Peak Oil message board, but I’m talking about my local politians, planning officials, even people down the pub. Sooner or later everybody is going to have to change their mind-set and take this on board or else we’re all screwed.

  21. makati1 on Wed, 28th Sep 2016 5:58 am 

    “Mining is a niche application, can be done with bio-fuel.”

    Yep. It was done by hand mining tons of ores and then smelting it with charcoal. But that is not going to do any good after the SHTF. Why? Ores are now found way under millions of tons of earth, not on the surface, and trees will not last long when people use them to keep warm, not smelt metals. Not to mention scale of operations. 500 BC produced a few tons per year at best. Today multi-millions of tons are needed to keep it all going.

    Processing steel can very well be done with electricity, generated renewably:

    HAHAHAHA! Sorry that one does not even rate a response. So far from impossible to not even be worth saying why. Take that from someone who actually worked in a steel foundry that used electric to melt the ores and scrap.

    As for the rest of your techie dreams, you obviously have no clue about anything happening in the real world, or how it works. Or you are in deep denial. To paraphrase a quote:
    “You can ignore reality, but you cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.”

  22. makati1 on Wed, 28th Sep 2016 6:01 am 

    Brough, basically … we are all screwed. The herd is running for the cliff and nothing will turn them away at this point. We are decades too late anyway. I suggest that you just prepare as best as you can and hope to ease the pain.

  23. Cloggie on Wed, 28th Sep 2016 6:12 am 

    Ores are now found way under millions of tons of earth, not on the surface

    Wrong:

    http://www.snopes.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/unsold1.jpg

    They invented a new approach to mining, it’s called recycling. In advanced western nations, recycling of metals is approaching 100%. You can create an new car from an old clunker, no need to dig deep, just tow one away. Most iron we are ever going to need is already above the ground and can be reued ad infinitum.

    HAHAHAHA! Sorry that one does not even rate a response. So far from impossible to not even be worth saying why. Take that from someone who actually worked in a steel foundry that used electric to melt the ores and scrap.

    Huh, so you admit that you can melt ores with electricity?

    Advantages of using electricity to melt iron:

    http://tinyurl.com/hvg2m5m

  24. brough on Wed, 28th Sep 2016 6:47 am 

    Many thanks for advice Makati1.

    Already on the case.

    Selling up oil stocks and buying agricultural land as fast I can.

    I’ve worked in the oil and chemical business for 40+ years. My children work in the oil and chemical industry, but grand-children will be farmers

  25. Davy on Wed, 28th Sep 2016 7:53 am 

    It comes down to scale and the enormous growth needed to building up of a new civilization. A renewable civilization would be a new civilization. It would be an advanced modern civilization. Fossil fuels especially oil are so much a part of our lives it we really made that transition it would be a new civilization. The fly on the wedding cake is getting there in time and all the while you are recycling the old civilization. The economic activity needed to both build out a new civilization and retire an older civilization is beyond anything modern man has attempted.

    Part of Clog’s problem he is parochial with his European center of the world thinking. This is typical of Northern Europeans. Northern Europeans think they are a special race. To be fair they have reason to be proud. My roots are Prussian and Czech so it is not like this thinking hurts my feelings. But I am not concerned with race. I admire Native Americans more than my destructive European background. Clog thinks because these transitions are occurring in Europe with results and momentum this will scale. I admire Europe for its achievements but Europe still has a long way to go and a short time to get there. This is just for this small land mass and population in relation to the global world. We are a global world scaling these achievements with this small little geographic area and population group is unrealistic. Scale of time and quantity is the issue when global is discussed.

    Scale of attitudes and education are also a factor. No matter how optimistic you are with the technology of storage and adapting to intermittency these issues are not likely to be at the level needed to avoid a dysfunctional civilization. Electricity as we know it does not work for our society if it is to be variable. We have too many things that must be full time “on” to achieve the complexity we must have to support so many people. It is conceivable we could educate and adapt our lifestyles and attitudes to this new way of life but scale gets in the way. Attitudes and lifestyles are as big as the technological change needed.

    Economic scale is such that major and disruptive changes on the scale needed will be beyond its scope. This is a global system of adapted markets to one global system of trade and exchange. The common denominator is oil and fiat currency. I say oil because it all comes down to mass transport over global distances. Sure we have plenty of regional and local transport. Much of our vital transport is regional and local but there are vital elements of our economic system that are global. Critical parts and people are global and their vital impute make a global system. Trade flows are global currents of economic liquid that touches all shores. Our system currently is brittle to change and it is not capable of making this change over in the scale of time and quantity.

    Finally, there is the climate and ecosystem. These are deteriorating relatively quicker than we had anticipated and as new science discovers new relationships. Almost all of the findings are bad and worse than thought. Population is heading in the wrong direction and at some point it is likely we are going to at least have a die off at the level of driving more deaths than births. We may get lucky and we only see a gentle population decrease from deaths outnumbering births. This sounds reasonable until you realize how fragile the global economy is to a decline in growth. More deaths than births is a economy killer. A disrupted economy will lead to a much larger die off. It is something we can’t get our arms around systematically but disruption is definitely an economy killer that at a minimum will put us in a depression and a depression will likely destroy the global economy.

    Scale is the issue. It is both in the time available and the time needed to complete a transition. It is with human attitudes and education. It is with economics. Scale is a factor with energy with intermittency. Scale is with denial. We have a critical mass of people beyond acceptance and acknowledgment of this transition. Most of all we have a scale of population that needs to be reduced and needs to be transitioned. Scale is not our friend.

  26. makati1 on Wed, 28th Sep 2016 8:00 am 

    Cloggie, that was in 1963. Melting ores to make steel using electricity is not new, but you obviously have no clue as to how much is needed and what it all entails.

    A “heat” was about 8,000 pounds (4 tons) of manganese steel. It took about 2 hours of electric to melt it to about 2,700 degrees F. And the amount of electric that a town of 25,000 people would use. Not to mention the equipment and materials that needed to be replaced regularly to make it possible.

    The electric was only a small part of the total energy that went into making that 8,000 pounds. As I keep saying, it starts at the mines. And one of the products of that manganese steel was huge crusher parts for mining. Four tons sometimes only made one part. You have no idea … just a few lies in articles you want to believe.

  27. makati1 on Wed, 28th Sep 2016 8:09 am 

    BTW: Melting a ton of scrap takes almost as much energy as using ores. Same temperatures. And you still have to transport the scrap to the smelter then the metals to a factory to make something out of it. SYSTEMS, Cloggie. TOTAL SYSTEMS. Not some small part of a system.

    The world produces ~1,600,000,000 TONS of steel per year. Do the math.

  28. makati1 on Wed, 28th Sep 2016 8:13 am 

    Brough, those of us who make it through the next decade will ALL be farmers, I think. Your kids, like mine may be farmers soon also, no matter what their present careers might be.

    I suggest that you build a good library of “How To” books and not rely on the internet for future education.

  29. Davy on Wed, 28th Sep 2016 8:30 am 

    This article questions if we have 4-5 years left of central bank policy. My opinion is it is the approach to 4-5 years that the difficulties go exponential. I think we could halve 4-5 and be closer to what the system is capable of. The economy is central to most our discussion here so this is important.

    “Bridgewater Calculates How Much Time Central Banks Have Left”
    http://tinyurl.com/zqer859

    “One of the key themes that have emerged in the past year is that, having loaded up their balance sheets with tens of trillions in various assets, central banks are “running out of road.”

    “The first slide looks at the bond transmission mechanism, namely that central banks have become increasingly aware of the adverse impact of low bond yields on financial sector profitability; another aspect is that European pension liabilities as a % of market cap are at a 10-year high – and above the levels they reached in 2008, when the European market cap was at half the current level. This means that absent an independent rise in inflation expectations, central banks’ attempts to push up nominal bond yields (via less QE or faster hikes) risks leading to higher real bond yields as well; the implication is that equities tend to de-rate when real bond yields rise (i.e. the discount rate increases).”

    “There is a limitation from the standpoint of markets as well: European 12-month forward P/E, at 14.9x, is around 20% above its 10-year average; DB notes that its P/E model suggests that this deviation is fully accounted for by the fact that real bond yields are 180bps below their 10-year average; more troubling is the admission that any removal of monetary accommodation would likely lead to a sharp rise in credit spreads to reflect the deterioration in fundamentals (with default rates now at 5.7%), while equity strategist note that accommodative monetary policy has driven aggregate bond and equity valuations to the highest level since 1800”

    “In the third slide, DB points out that while equities would likely react positively to any rise in nominal bond yields driven by higher inflation expectations (rather than by higher real bond yields), underlying inflation is only likely to accelerate if growth accelerates to be clearly above potential (i.e. the output gap closes). Meanwhile, weakening growth momentum in the US points to downside risks for inflation, and that since the Chinese RMB is still around 10% overvalued – and any renewed devaluation is likely to weigh on DM inflation expectations.”

    “Ok fine, central banks are “running out of road”, however at the same time they are terrified to rip (or even peel) the band-aid off. This has put the system in an unstable equilibrium: on one hand, central bankers – as even they admit – need to hand over the growth impulse over to governments, yet on the other hand, they terrified of even the smallest change to the status quo as they know they may undo some 7 years of “wealth effect” creation overnight.”

  30. Cloggie on Wed, 28th Sep 2016 8:51 am 

    @Davy – five years ago when my name was still Arthur, I would agree with you about the lack of time for a more or less ordered transition. But I moved on after realizing that ASPO-2000/Heinberg were right about conventional peak oil, but simply didn’t know about c.q. ignored the usefulness of the “higher hanging fruit”. The message of ASPO-2000 was correct and irrelevant at the same time.

    Now I assume that there will be enough fossil fuel for the next 35 years to do the transition, no doubt in leaps and bounds and prices for fossil fuel climbing and diving like crazy. But the carbon is there and the technology
    to access and use them is there (fracking) c.q. will be developed (underground coal gasification), the environment be damned.

    30-40 years is the usual life span of a conventional power station, so no reason to do massive write offs; simply replace the old fossil fuel junk. And countries moving forward faster, like Germany, can export their excess “free” renewable power to its neighbors.

    – Britain was the most powerful country during the 19th century and there was only one reason for that: coal + steam engine.

    – The US was the most powerful country during the 20th century and there was only one reason for that: discovery and application of oil.

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

    – Interesting to guess who is going to be the top dog in the 21st century. Haven’t the faintest idea, beats me.

    http://tinyurl.com/gl59u8z

  31. Cloggie on Wed, 28th Sep 2016 8:58 am 

    Wrong thread, should have posted my 8:51 am post here:

    http://peakoil.com/generalideas/whatever-happened-to-peak-oil-5

  32. Cloggie on Wed, 28th Sep 2016 9:07 am 

    A “heat” was about 8,000 pounds (4 tons) of manganese steel. It took about 2 hours of electric to melt it to about 2,700 degrees F. And the amount of electric that a town of 25,000 people would use. Not to mention the equipment and materials that needed to be replaced regularly to make it possible.

    That was 1963, this is 2016. These days we have heat recovery techniques, so the heat of the glowing end product can be used to pre-heat the next batch of ore.

    A town of 25,000 people you say? So yes, the steel plant will need to invest in a 50 large wind-turbines or so and that’s a lot of money. Looks like steel will be a lot more expensive than the insane less than 1 euro/kg it is today.

    So be it.

  33. ghung on Wed, 28th Sep 2016 9:12 am 

    “I suggest that you build a good library of “How To” books and not rely on the internet for future education.”

    Better start living those “how tos”. Books are worth the paper they’re written on if you don’t practise what’s in them, especially when it’s agriculture. Get busy.

    As for “….not rely on the internet for future education.”

    Yeah, but there’s a lot on the internet that can be downloaded and saved for future reference, especially stuff from university studies and papers. Great for regional content; what to grow, how to grow, when to grow….. I print stuff pertinent to my area and put it in binders.

  34. rockman on Wed, 28th Sep 2016 9:21 am 

    Cloggie – Of course wind has tremendous potential. Texas has proved that. But as you point out with reference to that huge NG field alts ARE NOT typically driven by environmental concerns but by price/security interests. The Dutch have a huge supply of cheap fossil fuel = less alt incentive. Countries with high fossil fuel cost = strong alt incentive. Pointing out the CO2 output of the Dutch isn’t so much a criticism of them but to point out that the other EU countries would be right up there with them if they had cheaper fossil fuel resources. As always just simple economics.

  35. Boat on Wed, 28th Sep 2016 9:49 am 

    brough on Wed, 28th Sep 2016 5:41 am

    “In some respects ‘peak oil’ is yesterdays news. Conventional crude oil peaked in 2006 – 2009 end of story. Now we are in the downward slope of production”

    So where are products like gasoline and diesel coming from as consumption grows and oil production drops. Can you explain?

  36. Davy on Wed, 28th Sep 2016 10:41 am 

    Clog, you never acknowledge the economy as a deciding factor. It is always a secondary factor and contingent factor. This energy transition we debate is all about the economy. You are disconnected in this regard. You are like most people in the status quo who are habituated to a functioning economy and the continuation of the economy as is or an adapted similar state. You want to imagine a transition and an evolution but with the status quo economy. This is a growth based economy and an oil based economy. It is not yet a renewable based economy. The economy is as important and likely more important than technology and or energy in this transition. Both technology and energy rely on economy to be produced and distributed.

    The economy is the biggest global risk factor today in regards to collapse of modern civilization. This collapse process may or may not happen quickly. We may be at a frog boil and if it is a gradual process of collapse momentum there will likely never be the means available to create your renewable civilization. Momentum appears to be is in the wrong direction. Forget peak oil and climate change in this regards although they are no less important. It will take trillions to transition and we do not have trillions left in the economy. If we did we would have a healthy economy as we speak.

  37. rob on Wed, 28th Sep 2016 3:24 pm 

    I just replaced an alternator on my car. I’ve replaced parts all summer. The death of petrol can’t come soon enough. Now i must go tend to my bloodied hands.

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