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Peak oil is a non-threat

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

Peak oil is a non-threat

Unread postby Tikib » Sun 22 Sep 2019, 18:41:10

Peak oil, as in the threat of running out of either energy in general, or energy specifically for transportation is no longer a threat in my opinion. I have researched energy issues for a long time as many of you will know.

The rapidly increasing capability of renewables and electric vehicles as well the near-term prospect of large scale energy storage and fusion energy, make any energy based collapse in the next century very unlikely.

Climate change is however a significant threat and is almost certain to shorten lives, cost a lot of money as well as wiping some human settlements off the map entirely due to rising sea levels.
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Re: Peak oil is a non-threat

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sun 22 Sep 2019, 18:47:51

Tikib wrote:Peak oil, as in the threat of running out of either energy in general, or energy specifically for transportation is no longer a threat in my opinion. I have researched energy issues for a long time as many of you will know.


Peak Oil was never the "threat of running out of ...energy in general." Peak Oil is defined as the moment the earth reaches a maximum point in the global production of oil.

We may be close to peak oil senso stricto. Conventional oil production has already peaked on a global basis and about the only kind of oil continuing to grow in production is oil from fracking in the USA. And that isn't infinite.....oil from fracking in the US may also be close to peaking, and when US oil from fracking peaks that might be it---that may well mark the moment of peak global oil production.

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Re: Peak oil is a non-threat

Unread postby Tikib » Sun 22 Sep 2019, 18:52:29

Well okay that's fair. There is peak-oil as in the technical term for the peak in global oil production and 'peak oil' as in the predicted result of technical peak oil resulting in the gradual or possibly fast collapse of civilization.
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Re: Peak oil is a non-threat

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sun 22 Sep 2019, 18:56:22

Tikib wrote:Well okay that's fair. There is peak-oil as in the technical term for the peak in global oil production and 'peak oil' as in the predicted result of technical peak oil resulting in the gradual or possibly fast collapse of civilization.


Not really. Peak oil has one specific meaning, and thats the peak in global oil production.

Knock-on effects from peak oil may be quite serious, or perhaps our future energy needs will be met by renewable energy as you suggested in your first post. But lets not confuse peak oil itself with the various speculative scenarios of things that might occur as a result of peak oil.

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Re: Peak oil is a non-threat

Unread postby Tikib » Sun 22 Sep 2019, 19:02:56

I REALLY hate having arguments over semantics but I have here and in 'real-life'(tm) have heard people using the phrase peak-oil to describe energy based collapse. /end

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Re: Peak oil is a non-threat

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sun 22 Sep 2019, 20:26:37

Tikib wrote:I have here and in 'real-life'(tm) have heard people using the phrase peak-oil to describe energy based collapse.


I don't use it that way and I don't think most of the people at this site do now either, although in the past there may have been some who did.

This forum works best when people discuss their own views rather then setting up some imaginary straw man or some unknown "people" out there in 'real-life'(tm) who supposedly said something, and then bashing the supposed things the unknown straw man said.

Please go ahead and expound on whatever actually is your personal scenario for the future and perhaps we can discuss that?

My own view, as I stated above, is that conventional oil has peaked on a global basis, and the growth in world's oil supply since ca. 2010 has mostly come from new production due to US fracking.

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Re: Peak oil is a non-threat

Unread postby Tikib » Sun 22 Sep 2019, 20:49:01

Well yea your right about the conventional oil but that's a well known fact.

US fracking of course can't last forever and will likely begin to shrink sometime in the 2020's at which point total oil production will peak.

But after that we won't see a sharp decline but a small decline followed by a plateau for another 5-10 years as the offshore and super fields take the burden once again.

After say 2030 there could be a sharper drop in production but I think by then electric vehicles and renewables will be capable of taking a significant amount of demand away from oil.

And if there not ready by the time oil production decreases significantly pressurized natural gas can be used to fill in the gap in transportation fuels until we can electrify the whole system.

So I am not that worried about peak oil as a threat to the global economy.
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Re: Peak oil is a non-threat

Unread postby ralfy » Sun 22 Sep 2019, 21:12:44

Renewables, etc. require fossil fuels for mining, manufacturing, and transport. The same goes for the infrastructure needed to distribute energy, consumer goods that will use them, etc.

Oil is part of various resources, including minerals, needed for BAU. To ensure BAU, we will need at least one more earth.
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Re: Peak oil is a non-threat

Unread postby Tikib » Sun 22 Sep 2019, 21:25:15

Why do you need oil for those things?

Theres no reason you can't electrify the mining operation etc.

Business isn't going to be as usual but it never has been. The economy has been changing and adapting since the dawn of time.

Your right that endless growth can't go on forever, but I don't see a dramatic crash in the next 100 years unless we ignore climate change or we kill ourselves off.

Why I am so confident about this, because of the progress we have made on solar energy. Solar energy is abundant and will soon be extremely cheap to deploy.

https://singularityhub.com/2019/08/09/t ... n-its-way/
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Re: Peak oil is a non-threat

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sun 22 Sep 2019, 22:13:25

Tikib wrote: I don't see a dramatic crash in the next 100 years unless we ignore climate change....


I think you mean assuming we ignore climate change.

But we can't ignore climate change, and IMHO climate change is likely to cause very severe disruptions in the global economy well before we reach the year 2100.

Tikib wrote:Why I am so confident about this, because of the progress we have made on solar energy. Solar energy is abundant and will soon be extremely cheap to deploy.


Possibly. But in the mean time we are pumping more and more CO2, CH4 and SF6 into the atmosphere every year, and the climate is getting hotter and hotter, bringing more heat waves, more forest fires, bigger hurricanes, more floods, and higher sea levels.

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Re: Peak oil is a non-threat

Unread postby asg70 » Mon 23 Sep 2019, 10:46:21

I see Plant is trying to derail the thread on semantics. Seems like he can never do anything but talk down to other posters.

I agree with the OP up to the fusion aspect.

I think that it's not so much that peak oil is a non-threat but that it is a mild one insofar as the prescriptive measures like shifting to electric transit documented in the Hirsch report are going to start happening on their own over the next decade.

The greater issue of limits to growth is definitely still in play via global warming and biosphere collapse, but this is playing out over a longer time-horizon than peak oil. The whole zeitgeist of the peak oil movement predicted that we'd be pretty far into Mad Max territory by now.

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-Short welched on a bet and should be shunned.
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Re: Peak oil is a non-threat

Unread postby Pops » Mon 23 Sep 2019, 12:28:55

PO and CC are not mutually exclusive.
GHGs are persistent, lifetimes in the atmosphere spanning decades at least and no reduction in sight.
Sunk costs in FF consumption are as overwhelming as ever. Retrofitting in a growing economy even with the cheaper RE will likewise take decades —and that's in a growing economy with governments that "believe" in CC.
If the economy sputters, nationalism impacts trade or worse, CC bites, PO bites, and/or population growth stagnates, killing econ growth, the easy decisions of simply building new capacity with cheaper RE becomes the hard choice of decommissioning perfectly good FF generation to cut GHG emissions. Double that if PO raises the overhead cost.

Non-hydro RE is still tiny. This is primary energy (million tonnes oil equivalent), consumption of which increased 2.5% last year:

Image

Obviously the threat of PO is as real as ever because energy demand continues to rise. Running out was never the threat, constrained supply = high price = difficult mitigation is the threat, same as it ever was. And of course "constrained supply" doesn't need an actual physical peak, just higher demand/supply.

Latest from Matt @ CrudeOilPeak.info. Increases have been keeping up and exceeding declines but only by increments.

Image

So not out of the woods yet as a society. On the bright side, personal energy prep is far, far easier than 20 years ago, that's a huge relief. In fact 20 years ago there wasn't a lot to be done without a large budget or drastic measures, or just ignoring it.

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Re: Peak oil is a non-threat

Unread postby Ibon » Mon 23 Sep 2019, 14:18:25

Pops wrote:If the economy sputters, nationalism impacts trade or worse, CC bites, PO bites, and/or population growth stagnates, killing econ growth, the easy decisions of simply building new capacity with cheaper RE becomes the hard choice of decommissioning perfectly good FF generation to cut GHG emissions. Double that if PO raises the overhead cost.


Yes that is increasingly likely and along with that we will see a sharp decrease in CO2 emissions because the demand destruction will be awesome. Consumption will drop and folks will
reuse, recycle, repair, reduce and recover..... just like they do in Panama.
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Re: Peak oil is a non-threat

Unread postby ralfy » Tue 24 Sep 2019, 03:11:25

Tikib wrote:Why do you need oil for those things?

Theres no reason you can't electrify the mining operation etc.

Business isn't going to be as usual but it never has been. The economy has been changing and adapting since the dawn of time.

Your right that endless growth can't go on forever, but I don't see a dramatic crash in the next 100 years unless we ignore climate change or we kill ourselves off.

Why I am so confident about this, because of the progress we have made on solar energy. Solar energy is abundant and will soon be extremely cheap to deploy.

https://singularityhub.com/2019/08/09/t ... n-its-way/


It's takes coordination on a global scale and sacrifices in order to transition. One study argues that it will take more than a century to do so.

The current global capitalist system, which is based on competition and assumes continuous and increasing growth, is not suitable for that.

Solar energy has low energy returns and quantity.

Finally, if it will not be business as usual, then peak oil is not a non-threat.
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Re: Peak oil is a non-threat

Unread postby ralfy » Tue 24 Sep 2019, 03:21:09

Ibon wrote:
Yes that is increasingly likely and along with that we will see a sharp decrease in CO2 emissions because the demand destruction will be awesome. Consumption will drop and folks will
reuse, recycle, repair, reduce and recover..... just like they do in Panama.


It's always nice to imagine that the world population will peacefully transition given a combination of a resource crunch and ecological damage.
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Re: Peak oil is a non-threat

Unread postby Tikib » Tue 24 Sep 2019, 22:13:01

ralfy wrote:
Tikib wrote:Why do you need oil for those things?

Theres no reason you can't electrify the mining operation etc.

Business isn't going to be as usual but it never has been. The economy has been changing and adapting since the dawn of time.

Your right that endless growth can't go on forever, but I don't see a dramatic crash in the next 100 years unless we ignore climate change or we kill ourselves off.

Why I am so confident about this, because of the progress we have made on solar energy. Solar energy is abundant and will soon be extremely cheap to deploy.

https://singularityhub.com/2019/08/09/t ... n-its-way/


It's takes coordination on a global scale and sacrifices in order to transition. One study argues that it will take more than a century to do so.

The current global capitalist system, which is based on competition and assumes continuous and increasing growth, is not suitable for that.

Solar energy has low energy returns and quantity.

Finally, if it will not be business as usual, then peak oil is not a non-threat.



Once the price of solar goes to say half the price of conventional sources (read coal and gas) then capitalism is exactly what you need to transition from one to the other.

Solar energy has improved a lot since Halls study, solar cells are cheaper and more efficient than ever before, but there are still a lot of gains potentially to come (the most exciting one just over the horizon are of course silicon-pevovskite tandem cells with over 25% efficiency)


My title should really be something like : peak oil is a an overrated threat compared to climate change.
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Re: Peak oil is a non-threat

Unread postby ralfy » Wed 25 Sep 2019, 21:13:17

Tikib wrote:Once the price of solar goes to say half the price of conventional sources (read coal and gas) then capitalism is exactly what you need to transition from one to the other.

Solar energy has improved a lot since Halls study, solar cells are cheaper and more efficient than ever before, but there are still a lot of gains potentially to come (the most exciting one just over the horizon are of course silicon-pevovskite tandem cells with over 25% efficiency)


My title should really be something like : peak oil is a an overrated threat compared to climate change.


The problem isn't price but energy return, and the latter is ultimately affected by biosphere limitations. That's also the same reason why peak oil is not a non-threat.

Capitalist systems, especially when competition is involved, require ever-increasing returns on investment indefinitely. All energy sources cannot ensure that. In fact, any business (including financing, which involves essentially numbers) cannot ensure that.

Your last point is correct, but it's irrelevant because it essentially argues that peak oil is not as bad as climate change. The fact that we need to bring in all sources of energy (not just solar) to stay afloat not only shows that peak oil is not a non-threat, but that the effects of climate change are inevitable.
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Re: Peak oil is a non-threat

Unread postby Darian S » Tue 01 Oct 2019, 14:03:31

Tikib wrote:
ralfy wrote:
Tikib wrote:Why do you need oil for those things?

Theres no reason you can't electrify the mining operation etc.

Business isn't going to be as usual but it never has been. The economy has been changing and adapting since the dawn of time.

Your right that endless growth can't go on forever, but I don't see a dramatic crash in the next 100 years unless we ignore climate change or we kill ourselves off.

Why I am so confident about this, because of the progress we have made on solar energy. Solar energy is abundant and will soon be extremely cheap to deploy.

https://singularityhub.com/2019/08/09/t ... n-its-way/


It's takes coordination on a global scale and sacrifices in order to transition. One study argues that it will take more than a century to do so.

The current global capitalist system, which is based on competition and assumes continuous and increasing growth, is not suitable for that.

Solar energy has low energy returns and quantity.

Finally, if it will not be business as usual, then peak oil is not a non-threat.



Once the price of solar goes to say half the price of conventional sources (read coal and gas) then capitalism is exactly what you need to transition from one to the other.

Solar energy has improved a lot since Halls study, solar cells are cheaper and more efficient than ever before, but there are still a lot of gains potentially to come (the most exciting one just over the horizon are of course silicon-pevovskite tandem cells with over 25% efficiency)


My title should really be something like : peak oil is a an overrated threat compared to climate change.

The problem is battery tech ain't there yet for solar to power most of the electric grid.

Also battery tech ain't there yet for heavy industrial vehicles, long range trucks and planes.

Fusion could help, but it tends to be a technology always 30 years away.

Climate change also means you need excess energy to rebuild every time multi 100 billion total disasters years come by.
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Re: Peak oil is a non-threat

Unread postby Sinclarsorus » Tue 01 Oct 2019, 17:01:14

My dad was born in 1917 and as a kid in the 1920's that's all he heard was how the world would run out of oil someday. Since that time we seem to find more and more oil somehow and consume more and more.

How I look at it either Peak Oil may be right but they have the peak year wrong of 1970, or its a device to keep oil prices high through fear of scarcity or limited production maybe etc. Like supposedly diamonds are stored in warehouses to limit supply and keep jeweler shops in business with high prices. So the same scam could be used in oil production as well.

The United States now has almost as much oil production as Saudi Arabia through Shale, Sand and Fracking etc. I have seen reports that old oil fields were reopened after decades of running dry full of new oil. (Ok how did the well magically refill? Could Abiotic Oil theory be right or some other similar process be happening deep down the crust of the earth?

All the explanations are entertaining we read, many theories contradict one another, they can't be both right, but could be a combination of the two, like we are using up oil faster than its made underground etc. That could be a reality, but how could you even measure that process, What figures will you believe.

Example: I have seen figures of world debt at 72 trillion to 700 trillion, which figure do you believe, its the same with oil production numbers and use as well.
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Re: Peak oil is a non-threat

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Tue 01 Oct 2019, 17:52:38

The United States now has almost as much oil production as Saudi Arabia through Shale, Sand and Fracking etc. I have seen reports that old oil fields were reopened after decades of running dry full of new oil. (Ok how did the well magically refill? Could Abiotic Oil theory be right or some other similar process be happening deep down the crust of the earth?


there is a whole thread dedicated to the Abiotic oil nonsense, please go there for details. It continues to come up but it has been proven incorrect based on theory, experiements, observations etc. for decades.
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