Tuesday morning cold and clear on California’s north coast with rain predicted for this afternoon and tomorrow, but this is 2013, not 1963 — we’re in the formative stages of the real tempest in a teapot.
Weather’s going to be anything but normal.
In the final days to Friday, and the crossing of the Rubicon, oops, sorry, crossing of the Potomac, and into the land unknown of cuts and slashes could mean curtainsÂ for the slow upward trek of the sluggishÂ US economy.
And even as we wait with fish-baited breath for the axe to fall, a lot of people are gushing on the state of energy-producing fuels being unearthed in many, varied places nationwide, pushing the seemingly fad of “peak oil” into the rabid dustbin of history.
Wrong as rain in Kansas.
(Illustration found here).
And where right now, along with Texas and Oklahoma are being lashed with ‘hurricane-force winds‘ as the second humongous storm in the last week or so has cut a swarthy path through the US mid-section.
Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Sly James: “This one has the potential to be quite serious.”
Just about everything is serious nowadays, Sly.
All the hubris surrounding the miracle of shale oil is bullshit. There is no quick-fix to the reality of ‘peak oil,’ and the end result, which would be the even-more ruination of our environment.
Via Climate Progress:
In a meticulous 181 page study for the Post Carbon Institute, geologist David Hughes concludes that the U.S. â€œis highly unlikely to achieve energy independence unless energy consumption declines substantially.â€
Exuberant projections by the media and energy pundits that claim that hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling â€œcan provide endless growth heralding a new era of â€˜energy independence,â€™ in which the U.S. will become a substantial net exporter of energy, are entirely unwarranted based on the fundamentals,â€ adds Hughes in a companion article for the science journal Nature.
Moreover it is unlikely that difficult and challenging hydrocarbons such as shale oil can even replace the rate of depletion for conventional light oil and natural gas
Since 1990, says Hughes, the number of operating wells in the U.S. has increased by 90 per cent while the average productivity of those wells has declined by 38 per cent.
The latest panaceas championed by industry and media talking heads are too expensive and will deplete too rapidly to provide either energy security or independence for the United States, concludes the 62-year-old geologist who worked for Natural Resources Canada for 32 years as a coal and gas specialist.
To Hughes, shale gas and shale oil represent a temporary bubble in production that will soon burst due to rapid depletion rates that have only recently been tallied.
Taken together shale gas and shale oil wells â€œwill require about 8,600 wells per year at a cost of over $48 billion to offset declines.â€
â€œThe idea that the United States might be exporting 12 per cent of its natural gas from shale is just a pipe dream,â€ Hughes, a resident of Cortes Island in British Columbia, told The Tyee.
In conclusion Hughes warns that societies that switch to high-cost fuels that deliver diminishing returns in terms of energy output without analyzing some cold hard energy realities will experience economic contraction, and price shocks and be held hostage by industry propaganda.
â€œI live on a pension and donâ€™t give a damn what pundits think.
My report is based on fact not hyperbole.
My friends in the industry, who donâ€™t want to be mentioned, will agree with my findings.”
And along with that, this from the Christian Science Monitor:
In 2000, the experts were unanimous: American oil and gas production was in terminal decline.
By 2015, it was said, weâ€™d need 10 supertankers a day, carrying 12 million barrels of crude, plus 10 billion cubic feet of liquefied natural gas.
Since 2005, however, this scarcity meme has been toppled.
Domestic oil and gas production has grown 35 percent in seven years.
Natural gas production is at record highs, and oil production has climbed almost 2 million barrels a day, faster here than anywhere on the planet.
The combination of horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing, 3D seismic surveys, and other gee-wizardry has produced a near-miracle, which has left experts confounded, politicians exuberant, and journalists suffering from hyperbole.
That is not hype, it is a hallucination.
Meanwhile, the oil and gas industry has launched its own euphoric ad campaign, assuring TV viewers that we have a â€œcenturyâ€™s worth of gas,â€ an unfounded contention, but one that President Obama seems eager to spread.
To make sense of the shale gale, we must celebrate what industry has accomplished.
Then we must grasp how such a fabulous miracle may ultimately prove fleeting.
And all this fracking shit is way-horribleÂ Â for our heating-up climate.
Climate change apparently just ain’t about the weather — it’s also about us humans and our earth’s environment. The warming air is cutting down on our ability to work — energy levels will continue to slip away.
From Climate Central:
That one-two punch has already cut the worldâ€™s working capacity by 10 percent since humans began burning large amounts of oil, gas, coal and other fossil fuels at the start of the Industrial Revolution, found the analysis, which was published Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predict that dive will continue, reshaping daily life in the most populated areas of the planet as climate change intensifies. â€¨
By 2050, a combination of rising heat and humidity is likely to cut the worldâ€™s labor capacity to 80 percent during summer months â€” twice the effect observed today
â€œThe planet will start experiencing heat stress unlike anything experienced today,â€ said study co-author Ron Stouffer, a climate modeler at NOAAâ€™s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. â€œThe world is entering a very different environment, and the impact of that on labor will be significant.â€
Experts who were not involved with the research praised it as a solid, sobering analysis.
â€œThis is an excellent study that draws upon existing work on heat stress and combines it with climate model projections of the future to bring home the point that â€˜global warmingâ€™ means, among other things, that it will get quite hot and wet in many places,â€ said Matthew Huber, a climatologist at Purdue University.
Huber, who has published work examining the limits of humansâ€™ ability to tolerate high heat and humidity, said the study suggests that economic models used to project the economic toll of climate change may be underestimating its financial impacts.
And all a dream within a nightmare encased in a hallucination — piped into our brains by history.