Crude Bubblin’ Bust

October 11, 2009

A few short years ago, anyone who discussed subjects like “peak oil” were considered a crank (not to be confused with, for instance, ‘Will my car crank without fuel?’) or a nutcase or just a plain worry-wart-conspiratorial fruitcake (not to be confused with a Dick Cheney), but nowadays there’s enough evidence from authentic sources to ignite water.

The latest report outlines a “significant risk” of oil running out in a decade, another from Germany’s Deutsche Bank which spell the end of the oil era and from San Francisco, “the end of the world as we know it.”

(Illustration found here).

Peak oil, of course, is manacled hand-and-foot with global warming/climate change, though, it’s hard to tell which will seriously erupt first — coal and oil fueled the engine for an industrial society (advanced civilization) that seems about to eat itself.
A classic creation-destroying-the-creator scenario.
Peak oil is also tied to economics — when there’s no money, consumption drops and there’s less demand.
Some even ponder $6-a-gallon gas as making life better.
Catastrophic results of peak oil appear further on down the time-line, although who’s to really say about a future so entangled with so many varying variables.

This week, a gaggle of peak oil “theorists” will gather in Denver, also the HQ of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas-USA (ASPO), to swap figures, statistics and hopefully seek solutions on how best to handle the inevitable.
According to

“Up until now, technology has delivered dazzling results to America and the world economy, in delivering oil from all around the world despite increasingly challenging environments,” said Dave Bowden, ASPO’s executive director.
“The harsh reality is, despite the best efforts of amazing technology, they’re not finding as many of these big fields anymore.”

ASPO and others of its ilk push wind, solar and ocean-wave power, along with hybrid cars and use of better technologies to extract more oil — a bandage on an gut shot.
Last May, the US Energy Information Administration released its International Energy Outlook 2009 and a large oil-gulping sound could be heard: World marketed energy consumption is projected to increase by 44 percent from 2006 to 2030. Total energy demand in the non-OECD countries increases by 73 percent, compared with an increase of 15 percent in the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries.

And in Alaska, peak oil and climate change collide.

Oil companies scouring the coastline of Alaska’s North Slope for new production sites are converging on the same territory as hungry polar bears trying to escape shrinking and thinning sea ice.
Polar bears have not attacked any workers recently, but oil companies are reporting four times as many sightings as they did last decade.

“What this appears to be is bears looking for another option because their traditional habitat is not as healthy as it used to be,” said Steve Amstrup of the U.S. Geological Survey. This summer, Arctic sea ice shrank to its third-lowest area on record.

(h/t The Oil Drum)

Mad Max, a damn dog and polar bears.

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