"It is an obvious truth, which has been taken notice of by many writers, that population must always be kept down to the level of the means of subsistence; but no writer that the Author recollects has inquired particularly into the means by which this level is effected..." -- Thomas Malthus, 1798 An Essay on the Principle of Population
In 1954 he predicted that U.S. oil would peak about 1970
Universally criticized at the time
After 1970 he became highly respected
In 1984 Hubbert predicted world peak oil in the early 2000s
PEAK OIL: When you plot the production of an aggregate of oil fields over time you get roughly a bell curve
Top of the curve
USA Oil Peaked in 1970 http://www.oilcrisis.com/de/lecture.html
Peaking Oil and Gas
Iran peaked: 1974
Russia peaked: 1987
Saudi Arabia peak – 2005?
In 2005 natural “gas production has peaked in North America," -- Exxon Chief Executive Lee Raymond (Reuters, June 21, 2005)
Jean Laherr`ere, Estimates of Oil Reserves, paper presented at the EMF/IEA/IEW meeting in Laxenburg, Austria, June 19, 2001. http://www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/ECS/IEW2001/pdffiles/Papers/Laherrere-long.pdf
Crude oil production by the world's largest private oil companies is in decline as of first half of 2005.
How much time do we have left?
Another related problem: Oil Demand-Production Cross-Over
But… the mass media (both fiction and non-fiction) is starting to catch on…
"How to Kick the Oil Habit"
Time Magazine, Oct. 23, 2005
"If this explosion of (renewable energy) innovation has a problem, however, it may be that the developments are coming too late to allow a smooth transition to the postpetroleum era."
Chevron TV ad. http://www.chevron.com/about/advertising/
Chevron TV ad.
Exxon Energy Video Source: http://exxonmobil.com/corporate/Campaign/Campaign_energychallenge_home.asp
Video Clip (fiction):
“Syrinia” movie trailer:
Those who control oil, control the world.
Increasing international conflict (“resource wars”) over the remaining, dwindling oil supplies.
To be released in December, 2005.
Article: “Outcome Grim at Oil War Game -- Former Officials Fail to Prevent Recession in Mock Energy Crisis”
By John Mintz, Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, June 24, 2005; Page A19
“The United States would be all but powerless to protect the American economy in the face of a catastrophic disruption of oil markets, high-level participants in a war game concluded yesterday.”
Declining oil production & rising demand = ever rising gas prices
Rising gas prices (hypothetical):
Peak Oil and Economic Effects http://www.theoildrum.com/story/2005/8/24/161535/296#comments
"We're all going to have to diversify away from hydrocarbons over time.” -- President George W. Bush, April 19, 2005
“Doing nothing or doing too little too late will lead to a global economic and geopolitical tsunami with potentially devastating ramifications.”
-- U.S. Congressman Roscoe Bartlet. (2005)
"Peaking (oil) will be catastrophic... We are about to drive the car over the cliff and say, `Oh my God, What have we done?’” -- Robert L. Hirsch, US Dept. of Energy consultant, 2005.
“After you drive a car off a cliff, it’s too late to hit the brakes. In effect, we have gone over the edge of the cliff.” -- Kenneth Deffeyes, author “Beyond Oil”
(Peak oil) “…is one of the biggest social and political challenges for this century.”
Robert K. Kaufmann, Professor, Center for Energy & Environmental Studies, Boston University. (2005)
“We’ve embarked on the beginning of the last days of the age of oil.”
Mike Bowlin, Chairman and CEO, ARCO, 1999 and Chairman, American Petroleum Institute (2005)
“My father rode a camel. I drive a car. My son flies a jet airplane. His son will ride a camel.” --Saudi adage
“Whether … (a transition to renewable energy) will come in time to avoid an energy crunch depends in part on how high a priority we give energy research and development.”
Richard A. Kerr and Robert F. Service, Science, Vol 309, Issue 5731, 101 , 1 July 2005
Have Saudi’s Overstated their Oil Reserves?
Investment banker Matthew Simmons.
Highlights many discrepancies between Saudi Arabia's actual production potential and its seemingly extravagant resource claims.
May in fact be peaking soon.
What might we expect in near future?
Ever rising gasoline prices.
Fewer recreational “road trips.”
More use of trains.
Airline travel ever more expensive.
Commuting from the suburbs ever more expensive.
Electricity, gas, heating oil, become ever more expensive.
Rising inflation – everything will cost more (due to rising shipping and production costs).
International conflict over oil resources.
Worst case future scenarios:
We might see a return of the Great Depression.
Maybe a “Malthusian catastrophe”
(e.g., population die-off).
Wonder what life would be like without cheap oil?
We already have examples: North Korea and Cuba.
LA Times Article:
"GLIMPSES OF A HERMIT NATION A decade after a massive famine, North Koreans are still struggling. In Chongjin, deprivation spurs change.” By Barbara Demick, LA Times Staff Writer, July 3, 2005.
“…outsiders know relatively little about its people or the miseries they have endured since a famine in the mid-1990s wiped out an estimated 2 million people.”
MSNBC.com article: “Think it's hot? Be glad you're not in Cuba - Daily blackouts putting nation in a bad mood.” July 12, 2005 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8500543/print/1/displaymode/1098/
“HAVANA — Summer’s searing temperatures getting you down? Just be glad you don’t live in Cuba where daily blackouts make it about impossible to beat this year’s record heat.”
“At first, the blackouts were tolerable, four hours twice a week. But by mid-month they had grown to daily six-hour ordeals.”
“Still, she considers herself lucky. ‘We live on the top floor apartment so we get to use the roof to sleep.” People’s biggest complaint has to do with the nighttime blackouts. It’s hard to sleep without the use of an air conditioner or fan.’”
Cuba at Night
Cuba’s vs. N. Korea Oil Crisis: Why was Cuba able to avoid famine?
Cuba had a similar oil crisis when the Soviet Union collapsed, but, unlike North Korea, they were able to avoid famine.
How can we avoid an economic collapse, even a Malthusian die off?
Depletion of fossil fuels will lower energy availability by about 3% - 6% each year, every year, from here on out…
We have to immediately
conserve oil and gas, and
rapidly transition to renewable energy (solar, wind, etc.)
hope for an extraordinary energy technology rescue (e.g., fusion, etc.)
It is too risky now to rely only on a possible future “techno-fix”
World-wide conservation of fossil fuels
Build infrastructure for current renewable energy
Invest in research to try to find a breakthrough “techo-fix”
Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation, & Risk Management Led by Dr. Robert Hirsch, U.S. Department of Energy (2005)
If a crash program to switch from oil to renewable energy begins:
0 years before Peak Oil: Leaves the world with a significant liquid fuel deficit for more than two decades.
Severe economic disruptions.
10 years before Peak Oil: Helps considerably but still leaves a liquid fuels shortfall for roughly a decade after the time that oil would have peaked.
Moderate economic disruptions.
20 years before Peak Oil: Appears to offer the possibility of avoiding a world liquid fuels shortfall for the forecast period.
Slight economic disruptions.
Hirsch: “The world has never confronted a problem like this, and the failure to act on a timely basis could have debilitating impacts on the world economy. Risk minimization requires the implementation of mitigation measures well prior to peaking.”
…when dealing with non-relatives, when social rules against cheating are usually enforced, and the resource “pie” is growing (Ginits, et al., “generalized reciprocity” – e.g., “follow the rules, even when no-one is watching”).
r = degree of genetic relatedness
b = benefit (in reproductive terms), to related individual
c = cost (in reproductive terms) to altruist
Altruism will occur when:
c (cost to you) < (r) b (benefit to kin)
When will you be altruistic? Answer: when cost to you < (r) x (benefit to kin)
c < rb -- plug in some sample values…
To your siblings (share ½ of your genes):
When benefit to a sib is 2x cost to you:
1 < (.5) 2 -- cost to you < (r) benefit to sib -- e.g, c < rb
Only when it will cost you less than $1 to get your sib at least $2
To ½ sibs, aunt/uncle, niece/nephew (r = .25)
1 < (.25) 4 When benefits to this kin member is 4x the cost to you.
Only when it will cost you less than $1 to get your nephew at least $4
Businesses and Individuals: Localization (food, manufacturing, etc.), energy conservation, use of renewable energy.
Imagine…you are on Easter Island
How do you convince your tribe, and other tribes, to create a “sustainable timber industry” on the island?
Instead of businesses “plundering” the planet, is “sustainable capitalism” possible?
THE RIMINI PROTOCOL http://www.peakoil.ie/protocol
Kyoto Protocol deals with climate change.
“Oil Depletion Protocol” (RIMINI Protocol) deals with Peak Oil.
“Each importing country shall reduce its imports to match the current World Depletion Rate.”
That is, if World Depletion Rate is 3%, the U.S. (and all other countries), must reduce it’s oil imports by 3% per year.
That is: agreement for each nation to share the declining energy burden proportionately.
The stakes are very high -- if every nation follows these guidelines, we may be able to avoid conflict and resource wars over the remaining fossil energy supplies as they grow ever more scarce and precious.
Peak oil means a shrinking fossil fuel “energy pie,” and higher oil costs, each and every year.
Energy transition time window: We have a short window of time to transition to renewable energy. We need to start yesterday.
We can hope for an energy techno-breakthrough (e.g., fusion), but we better not count on it.
World-wide cooperation vs. human nature
Avoiding conflict and resource wars over shrinking resources will require world-wide cooperation and conservation