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The Five-Minute Guide: Oil

 
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DamianB
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Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 553
Location: Dorset

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 10:58 pm    Post subject: The Five-Minute Guide: Oil Reply with quote

Does exactly what it says on the tin! Smile

Quote:
IT CAN BE FASHIONED into a Chewbacca action figure or the fuel that propels a stealth B-2 Spirit. One sixth of the world's economy is devoted to exploiting it. Boiled by refineries into a phalanx of hydrocarbon products ? gasoline, diesel, kerosene, you-burn-it-they'll-make-it ? crude oil has set us free. We've employed it to unlock the atom, explore outer space, map the human genome. It's the most potent, important resource ever gifted to mankind. And it's pretty much gone.

7 Critical Questions

1. What's "peak oil"?
Formulated by Shell Oil geophysicist M. King Hubbert, "peak oil" is the recognition that oil and gas are finite resources subject to depletion. All oil production will peak according to a bell curve, with increasingly negative repercussions after the peak, when supply plummets and demand increases. Hubbert, who died in 1989, was mostly ignored in 1956 when he predicted continental U.S. oil production would crest between 1965 and 1970. But when domestic production peaked in 1970, experts applied his suddenly portentous theory to world supplies. Various Hubbertites now predict that global oil production will peak within twenty years.

2. But we have reserves. Right?
Created in the 1970s and housed in massive underground salt caverns along the Texas and Louisiana coasts, America's Strategic Petroleum Reserves' 727 million barrels would keep the U. S. operating at normal capacity for about forty-five days, figured at the current U.S. consumption rate of sixteen million barrels a day.

3. Can we get our oil from someplace outside the Middle East?
Venezuela, Mexico, Russia, and various African nations will provide temporary relief, but their reserves will likely be played out by 2025. As a further worry, discovery of major new oil fields hit zero for the first time ever in 2003.



Esquire Magazine
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"If the complexity of our economies is impossible to sustain [with likely future oil supply], our best hope is to start to dismantle them before they collapse." George Monbiot
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peaky



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 332
Location: Brighton, UK

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Damian - that should come in handy.
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It's very hard to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on him not understanding it. - Upton Sinclair
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skeptik



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 2969
Location: Costa Geriatrica, Spain

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 3:14 pm    Post subject: Re: The Five-Minute Guide: Oil Reply with quote

Does exactly what it says on the tin! Smile

Quote:
It's the most potent, important resource ever gifted to mankind. And it's pretty much gone.


Journalists. gawd they still dont get it. How often does it have to be said? Why do they keep coming up with either alarmist or complacent nonsense?

It isnt 'pretty much gone', its about half gone.

say it again boys - about half the conventional oil extractable with currently available technology has been used up. Whats left will be progressively more difficult and expensive to extract and process. The rate at which it CAN be extracted will peak and decline.

Quote:
with increasingly negative repercussions after the peak, when supply plummets and demand increases.


more alarmism. And the evidence that supply will suddenly 'plummet' post peak is, please?

And what does the SPR have to do with anything? Its just a spit in the pond which can get you out of temporary touble after a disaster or supply disruption - time frame months rather than the decades that future energy supply has to be considered over. Like the can of petrol a motorist might keep in the boot of his car.

Quote:
Venezuela, Mexico, Russia, and various African nations will provide temporary relief, but their reserves will likely be played out by 2025.

Bullshit. I'm certain in my own mind that all those places will still be pumping oil in 2025

This article is slop. I wouldnt show it to anybody
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RevdTess



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 2933
Location: Newquay

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 8:07 pm    Post subject: Re: The Five-Minute Guide: Oil Reply with quote

skeptik wrote:

This article is slop. I wouldnt show it to anybody


Agreed.
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Joe



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 596
Location: Leeds

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2005 11:42 pm    Post subject: Re: The Five-Minute Guide: Oil Reply with quote

I disagree.

skeptik wrote:
Journalists. gawd they still dont get it. How often does it have to be said? Why do they keep coming up with either alarmist or complacent nonsense?


Because it sells. Accuracy is the enemy of sensation, but sensation is the doorway to the consciousness of the masses.

skeptik wrote:
It isnt 'pretty much gone', its about half gone.


Can you imagine a writer on the Esquire staff walking into the editor's office and saying "hey Boss, I've got a really hot story that we've just got to put in this month's issue - wait for it - drumroll..... we've used half the oil"?

I think most of us agree that society as a whole needs to prepare for Peak Oil so the most important thing is that the message gets out to as many people as possible. The most widely read newspaper in the UK is the Sun, not the Independent - people like sensationalism.

Realistically speaking, if the Peak Oil message is going to reach society as a whole, it needs to be reduced to something as simple as: "There isn't going to be enough oil to go round soon and we're in deep sh!t if we don't do something about it." As long as that's getting out there, it'll prompt thought, discussion, further research (on the part of the reader) and hopefully, ultimately action.

Yes, innacuracy will initially undermine the plausibility of the Peak Oil story for some and allow them to continue living in denial for a bit longer, but those with the sense to be skeptical about it should also have the nouse to read up a bit more about it - especially as more and more of their friends start to talk about the issues. If Peak Oil were only ever reported in the style of say, Matt Savinar or Richard Heinberg, awareness of it would be restricted to small minorities of academics, geeks and special interest groups who are either dismissed, undermined or roundly ignored.

I think it's great that publications like Esquire are starting to pick up on Peak Oil and sensationalise it - it's the only way I see the story crossing into the wider pubilc consiousness. Lord knows there are enough topics in this forum where people are complaining about how their friends and family don't "get" Peak Oil. Maybe with more articles like this, in time they will.
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