Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Peak Oil - recent reports need translating

Some recent publications about when peak oil is likely to change our lives for, pretty much ever, need to be shared, and translated around here into Portuguese and Galego...

Novos relatorios sobre pico de petroleo / devemos traduzir-los...

A report by the UK Energy Research Centre was presented to the APPGPOG in London this month, see here in condensed presentation format.

This study attempts to bring together the findings of over 500 experts' reports from around the world about oil production forecasts - how long we can maintain our current output, and even increase it to meet anticipated increased demand. It finds:

- the rate of decline (of oilfield output) is accelerating. To meet our oil habit in 2030 we would need to replace around two thirds of existing capacity, or, in other words, find a lot of new Saudi Arabia's by then.

- there is a "significant risk of "a peak in conventional oil production" by 2020. Many observers / oil industry geologists believe that peak production was actually July 2008 (at around 85m barrels per day). Regardless, anytime between now and 2020 is far too close for comfort means we need to be preparing communities and adapting technologies, entire infrastructure arrangements if we are to weather this storm.

The International Energy Agency's reassuring predictions is gave in last year's World Energy Outlook are still seriously detached from reality. However, we need to use this report as an useful reference: the voice of energy strategy for most Governments in the world.

Do people, local communities, city councils, regional and state Governments not know what is at stake if global oil production peaks? Surely they will have run the numbers and felt that chill going all over their body as they realize how desperate the situation could get. Especially for food production. Especially for people in developing countries who rely partially (sometimes completely) for our spare cash in aid funds to keep basic services and often food supplies flowing. Spare money for aid will be history. There will be no spare money. Developed economies will crash far harder as people loose jobs around the world, another recession following harder and deeper than the current blip. As their economies contract, it is hardly likely they will increase spending on aid in response to the multiple crises unfolding around the world as global food prices soar.

George Monbiot, as usual sums it all up eloquently in his recent article about peak oil and our food supply. He raises some great points, but rightly comes back to the issue of UK / EU / World food supply, about 90% of which is made, processed and shipped around with oil and gas. Reduce the amount of fuel, and the price will rise.

We need to get ready

1 comment:

Ruth Andrade said...

i'll translate when I get there and have a bit of time, but into brazilian!