There Will Be Oil—and That’s the Problem

Excellent article in Time on the future of oil. Unconventional oil – although not complety making up for declining conventional oil production – will lead to higher energy prices and will ultimately cook the planet.

And still political decisionmakers keep denying this very obvious reality. What is worse? Climate deniers or politicians in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry?

“… the new supplies are for the most part more expensive than traditional oil from places like the Middle East—sometimes significantly so. They are often dirtier, with a greater risk of more devastating spills and accidents. The decline of major conventional oil fields—coupled with the rapidly rising demand from countries like China and India—means the spare production capacity that once cushioned prices is melting away, ushering in an era of volatile market swings. And there’s climate change—burning all this leftover oil could lock the world into dangerous warming. “I’m less concerned about the absolute disappearance of fossil fuels than about the environmental consequences of pursuing what’s left,” says Michael Klare, an energy expert and the author of The Race for What’s Left.”

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One response

  1. The “Peak Oil Future” is a different idea than the “Running Out of Oil Future”. It’s not about volume, it’s about rate. That’s why it’s called a “Peak”, and not the “End”. In other words we can’t produce enough to sustain the economy and the world. Yes we will have oil, but not for all of us. Essentially the floating surplus that keeps the game going will evaporate and we will turn into a world where 7 billion people will want the very next barrel of oil coming out of the ground. It will be the end of cheap oil and the world will collapse.

    When we think of the discoveries like off the coast of Brazil, they all sound so promising(15 Billion Barrels of Oil). Unfortunately the world uses 31.3 billion barrels a year so a discovery of 15 billion would only last a half a year. That’s if we could pump it fast enough, which we can’t. Even Saudi Arabia can’t do that from dry land.

    When we think of oil, we picture the gas tank analogy. When the needle reaches E for empty is when we are in trouble. The world does in fact have a trillion barrels of oil left to produce. The real analogy is like a Pearl Harbor reconnaissance plane flying its mission over the ocean. The plane flies as far as it can for as high as it can. The pilot fulfils the mission of aerial photography of enemy positions. At a certain point though the pilot knows he must turn around at the HALF WAY point of the gas gauge to make it back home. When the needle reaches at half the tank the pilot MUST RETREAT and DESCEND to make it back to base. When the world has produced as much oil as it ever can in one day (peaked), when it has flown as far as it can for as high as it can the world economy MUST RETREAT and DESCEND.

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