Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
one...two...tree

Peak Oil Is a Problem We Can Solve Now

6 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Filed: Country: Philippines
Timeline

Joseph Romm, Climate Progress

I have a new article in Salon on perhaps the most misunderstood subject in energy -- peak oil.

Here is the short version:

  1. We are at or near the peak of cheap conventional oil production.
  2. There is no realistic prospect that the conventional oil supply can keep up with current projected demand for much longer -- if the industrialized countries don't take strong action to sharply reduce consumption, and if China and India don't take strong action to sharply reduce consumption growth.
  3. Many people are expecting unconventional oil -- such as the tar sands and liquid coal -- to make up the supply shortage. That would be a climate catastrophe, and I (optimistically) believe humanity is wise enough not to let that happen. More supply is not the answer to either our oil or climate problem.
  4. Nonetheless, contrary to popular belief, the peak oil problem will not "destroy suburbia" or the American way of life. Only unrestrained emissions of greenhouse gases can do that.
  5. We have the two primary solutions to peak oil at hand: fuel efficiency and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles run on zero-carbon electricity. The only question is whether conservatives will let progressives accelerate those solutions into the marketplace before it is too late to prevent a devastating oil shock or, for that matter, devastating climate change.
That last sentence has been a major focus of this article. I discuss it briefly in the Salon article, but let me elaborate on it here. For more than two decades, conservatives have put up almost every conceivable roadblock to a sane energy policy. They have essentially said to peak oil -- and catastrophic global warming, for that matter -- "Bring it on!"

No one should be surprised we are now mired in a tar pit of growing dependence on oil imported from unstable or undemocratic regions, oil prices over $100 a barrel, a trade deficit in oil alone approaching $500 billion a year, and, of course, the very serious threat of catastrophic climate change from burning an ever-increasing amount of fossil fuels. Many of us have predicted for a very long time that a quarter century of ignoring or underfunding the key solutions to our addiction to oil would have consequences. For instance, an April 1996 article I coauthored warned about what the Gingrich Congress was trying to do:

"
"

Now, absent an aggressive set of government-led policies, the oil situation will only get worse, with oil and gasoline prices doubling (or worse) in the next quarter century. Crucially, we must solve our oil addiction and carbon addiction together. And soon. Fatih Birol, chief economist of the International Energy Agency, said in November:

The problem is urgent. And the solutions are known.

Clearly we now have only two realistic strategies -- indeed, we have had only two realistic strategies for decades. We must greatly increase the fuel economy of our vehicles and we must find one or more alternative fuel sources that are abundant, low carbon, and affordable. Both of these are strategies that conservatives have strongly fought for a long time.

Just to be clear, let's just say we adopted the favorite strategy of conservatives -- more supply -- and we opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, and found enough to provide one million barrels a day for 30 years. That would delay the peak in oil one whole year! Catastrophe not averted. And of course, it would only make global warming harder to fight. More domestic supply is not the solution.

Significantly, both Senators Clinton and Obama have announced plans to sharply increase fuel economy standards. As for McCain, one of his top economic advisors recently said that if his cap and trade system worked well enough, he might take the new standards off the books. That shows the McCain campaign does not understand what it will take to solve either the global warming or the peak oil problem.

Let's optimistically assume we can get fuel economy standards for cars and SUVs of 60 miles per gallon by 2030. We would still need half their fuel to be zero carbon. And that's just the time-line for dealing with global warming. If you want a motor fuel to deal with peak oil, then you need something that can provide a substantial and rapidly growing resource starting by 2020 at the latest (optimistically assuming we have a decade before peak).

Only one alternative fuel is even remotely plausible -- carbon-free electricity.

Hydrogen is a "multi-miracle" nonstarter that became stake-through-the-heart dead this month when GM and Toyota told everyone the obvious -- we won't have "hydrogen fuel cells for mass-market production in the near term" but "electric cars will prove to be a better way to reduce fuel consumption and cut tailpipe emissions on a large scale." [Note to GM and Toyota: Duh!]

Corn ethanol is, as we've seen over and over again, a total loser from an energy and climate -- and every other conceivable -- perspective.

Biomass-based cellulosic biofuels hold a lot of promise, maybe even more promise than they held more than a decade ago when my office at DOE was pushing hard to develop them in the face of opposition from the Gingrich Congress. But we still don't have a single commercial cellulosic biofuels plant in operation in this country. So it will require massive government support for biofuels to be a major player by 2030, let alone 2020. Moreover, electricity is not a fuel that can be used for air travel and probably not for long-distance travel, especially by big trucks. So, again optimistically, we should probably assume every last drop of cellulosic biofuels will be set aside to cut non-automotive transportation fuel sharply in the coming decades.

I have previously explained why I believe plug in hybrids and electric cars are the cars of the future, especially as a climate solution. The Salon article, "Peak oil? Consider it solved" talks about how they are the ideal peak oil solution, too.

The bottom line is that if we solve the climate problem, we will solve the peak oil problem. If we don't solve the climate problem, peak oil will be a somewhat painful, but relatively short blip on the history of humanity compared to the extremely painful, multi-century tragedy our children and the next 50 generations after them will face.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: Lift. Cond. (apr) Country: China
Timeline

Interesting topic.

Many experts believe we've already reached peak oil production. However, as you mentioned, the demand continues to rise at an almost exponential rate.

Utilizing renewable energy is essential. However, since it has not been profitable, we are far behind in the necessary hardware and technology needed to replace even a fraction of our oil consumption.

If many of the suggested "solutions" are carefully analyzed, we find that they sometimes require more fossil fuel energy to produce the alternative fuel than the energy provided by the alternative. Hydrogen is a good example.

We're all drinking each other's milkshake and the cows are getting scarce.


  • 07/17/07 Returned from two months in China. All K1 documents 'in hand'.
  • 07/19/07 Completed preparation of I-129F & associated documentation. Mailed it.
  • 08/03/07 Received NOA1 from the CSC.
  • 12/13/07 Received NOA2 from the CSC.
  • 01/23/08 NVC sent our case to U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou China.
  • 03/31/08 U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou China received, issued case number.
  • 04/05/08 P3 received.
  • 04/06/08 P3 sent.
  • 05/01/08 P4 received.
  • 05/12/08 Flight to China.
  • 06/23/08 Interview at U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou China- PINK.
  • 06/25/08 K1 & K2 visas received.
  • 07/09/08 We all arrive in America, Chicago POE
  • 08/06/08 Fiancee receives SSN (req. for marriage in our state)
  • 08/08/08 Married
  • 09/01/08 Moved into new house. AR-11's filed for wife & son.
  • 09/19/08 AOS / EAD package mailed.
  • 09/25/08 AOS / EAD NOAs.
  • 10/02/08 Biometrics letters.
  • 10/16/08 Biometrics taken.
  • 10/17/08 Case transferred to CSC.
  • 12/08/08 EADs approved / EAD cards issued.
  • 03/05/09 AOS approved.
  • 03/12/09 Green Cards received.
  • 09/17/10 Application for Lifting Conditions Mailed.
  • 10/04/10 NOA1
  • 10/19/10 Biometrics Taken.
  • 01/07/11 Removal of Conditions Approved
  • 02/26/12 Still Happily Married & Doing Well

4983700_bodyshot_300x400.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: Country: Philippines
Timeline
Interesting topic.

Many experts believe we've already reached peak oil production. However, as you mentioned, the demand continues to rise at an almost exponential rate.

Utilizing renewable energy is essential. However, since it has not been profitable, we are far behind in the necessary hardware and technology needed to replace even a fraction of our oil consumption.

If many of the suggested "solutions" are carefully analyzed, we find that they sometimes require more fossil fuel energy to produce the alternative fuel than the energy provided by the alternative. Hydrogen is a good example.

We're all drinking each other's milkshake and the cows are getting scarce.

I think the author, Dr. Romms, is making the argument that by simply supporting more stringent fuel effeciency requirements for cars, we could make a significant reduction in our consumption of oil. One has got to wonder why Americans consume more fossil fuel per capita that just about any other country.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: Lift. Cond. (apr) Country: China
Timeline

One of the primary reasons is that the infrastructure of mass transit (especially by rail) in America was dismembered in the late 1940's and into the 1950's. Additionally, the 'American Dream' was hammered into the minds of Americans as living in a huge all-electric house far from town and people's work places.

The primary influence of this 'structuring' of post WWII America was General Motors. By getting rid of mass transit and moving people far from essential services and workplaces, they were guaranteed to sell cars (lots of cars).

Oil was extremely cheap then. We were practically throwing it away. A typical squandering of resources that has been repeated over and over throughout history.

Now, the 'American Dream' has been passed through two generations. We still think to be successful we must have a huge house in the country. Now, we've added a new component: Everything must be 'safe'. So, now we all want to drive four wheel drive SUV's (so we're safe and those with whom we crash die).

Not only must the American mindset change. The way the country has been built must be changed. I didn't even get into how much of our best farmland has been turned into suburbs.

We have a serious problem that is essentially being ignored. We have an elephant in the living room, a dinosaur in the kitchen, and a whale in the pool.

For more information about Peak Oil: http://www.hubbertpeak.com/

Edited by Richard and Li

  • 07/17/07 Returned from two months in China. All K1 documents 'in hand'.
  • 07/19/07 Completed preparation of I-129F & associated documentation. Mailed it.
  • 08/03/07 Received NOA1 from the CSC.
  • 12/13/07 Received NOA2 from the CSC.
  • 01/23/08 NVC sent our case to U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou China.
  • 03/31/08 U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou China received, issued case number.
  • 04/05/08 P3 received.
  • 04/06/08 P3 sent.
  • 05/01/08 P4 received.
  • 05/12/08 Flight to China.
  • 06/23/08 Interview at U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou China- PINK.
  • 06/25/08 K1 & K2 visas received.
  • 07/09/08 We all arrive in America, Chicago POE
  • 08/06/08 Fiancee receives SSN (req. for marriage in our state)
  • 08/08/08 Married
  • 09/01/08 Moved into new house. AR-11's filed for wife & son.
  • 09/19/08 AOS / EAD package mailed.
  • 09/25/08 AOS / EAD NOAs.
  • 10/02/08 Biometrics letters.
  • 10/16/08 Biometrics taken.
  • 10/17/08 Case transferred to CSC.
  • 12/08/08 EADs approved / EAD cards issued.
  • 03/05/09 AOS approved.
  • 03/12/09 Green Cards received.
  • 09/17/10 Application for Lifting Conditions Mailed.
  • 10/04/10 NOA1
  • 10/19/10 Biometrics Taken.
  • 01/07/11 Removal of Conditions Approved
  • 02/26/12 Still Happily Married & Doing Well

4983700_bodyshot_300x400.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: Timeline
One of the primary reasons is that the infrastructure of mass transit (especially by rail) in America was dismembered in the late 1940's and into the 1950's.

Yup.

If anyone in the northeast has time, go check out Liberty State Park in Jersey City. Visit the old train station. It's still there, as a historical exhibit. Read the old route signs and compare that with the routes we have in the area today. The rail network we have today pales in comparison to what existed back in the day.


Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is going to be very interesting to see how this situation pans out for the US. Without heavy rail or light rail, commuting to these outer suburbs will become extremely expensive. What kills me though is that the rail is there. And as troll said the old stations are usually still there. While I am no 'economics genius' ;) I would highly recommend a national plan to rejuvenate these stations and upgrade the existing rail to handle hi-speed rail. This way we can still drive 'Expeditions' but have the choice of mass transit to commute to places as well. Drastically cutting the use of oil. Hydrogen and pure electric cars are years away. And even then, they cannot address the growing congestion on the dilapidated roads here..


According to the Internal Revenue Service, the 400 richest American households earned a total of $US138 billion, up from $US105 billion a year earlier. That's an average of $US345 million each, on which they paid a tax rate of just 16.6 per cent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
- Back to Top -


Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
×
×
  • Create New...