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Leaflet : Peak Oil Introduction

 
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admin
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:04 am    Post subject: Leaflet : Peak Oil Introduction Reply with quote

To get the best possible intro to peak oil 500 word document, I post this in the hope that you'll be able to offer refine and improve it.


Peak Oil: Overview

Oil is a finite resource; it was created through various geological processes over millions of years. In the last 150 years mankind has used around half of all the oil ever created by the planet. To extract the rest is always going to be more and more difficult as time goes by.

More than simply the petrol you put in your car, oil surrounds us. It is the plastic bag from the supermarket checkout, it is the plastic bottle that holds your water, synthetic fibers in your waterproof clothing, the UPVC Double Glazing that you might have or be thinking of having installed.

Perhaps even more important is the fact that oil produces our food. Not only are all commercial pesticides produced from oil but the tractor and the combine harvester are powered by diesel, it is transported to the distribution centre in a petroleum powered vehicle and from the distribution centre it is transported by smaller vehicles to the supermarkets. We visit the supermarket in our car. Not only are these vehicles powered by oil, they are largely made of it. Almost all plastic, rubber and paints are derived from oil, along with the lubricants in the engine.

The sheer density of the energy in oil has allowed us to map the human genome, harness the power of nuclear energy, put satellites into space, even land a man on the moon but there are limits to what nature can provide.

The world economy is based on the assumption of growth. Growth is what drives all business in the UK and economic growth is dependent on ever increasing inputs of energy. In March 2005, the UK government predicted economic growth would be around 3 - 3.5%. In October the rate was reported as being 1.6%. Without this growth, fewer jobs can be created and without increasing inputs of energy, growth becomes very difficult, with declining inputs of energy it is impossible.

North Sea oil peaked in 1999 and Britain is now a net energy importer. This means we cannot live the lifestyle we currently have using our own energy reserves, we have to import the shortfall. Around the globe countries are experiencing the same problem. With China's economic growth at around 9% and India?s at 8% the demand for energy has never been higher and the energy that is demanded is oil.

Ask yourself, what will happen when we cannot extract enough oil to go around?

As the price of oil rises so will the price of everything that is related: Transportation, construction, leisure services, electronic goods, heating, food and medicine, all will increase in cost.

Perhaps the government will take control of the situation when the oil price hits a certain level. Rationing would enable a society to allocate energy to what is considered most important: Police and Ambulance Services, Hospitals, Public Transport and the Military.

It could be left to market forces, where the price is bid higher and higher, the wealthiest industries winning out over the less profitable.

No one knows what will happen, the solution to this problem lies with us, in our families and communities.


Last edited by admin on Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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DamianB
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Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 2:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Leaflet : Peak Oil Introduction Reply with quote

Oil is a finite resource; it was created through geological processes over millions of years, 80 to 120 million years ago. In the last 150 years mankind has used around half of all the oil ever created, the sweet, easy to get hold of stuff; to extract the rest is going to be more and more difficult and use more and more energy.

More than simply the petrol you put in your car, oil surrounds us. It is the plastic bag from the supermarket checkout, it is the plastic bottle that holds your water, synthetic fibers in your waterproof clothing, the UPVC double glazing that you might have or be thinking of having installed.

Perhaps even more important is the fact that oil produces our food. Not only are all commercial pesticides produced from oil but the tractor and the combine harvester are powered by diesel. It is transported to the distribution centre in a petroleum powered vehicle and from there back out to the supermarkets where we drive to collect it. Not only are these vehicles powered by oil, they are made using it. Almost all plastic, rubber and paints are derived from oil, along with the lubricants in the engine.

The sheer density of the energy in oil has allowed us to map the human genome, harness the power of nuclear energy, put satellites into space, even land a man on the moon but there are limits to what nature can provide.

The world economy is based on the assumption of growth. Growth is what drives all business in the UK and economic growth is dependent on ever increasing inputs of energy. In March 2005, the UK government predicted economic growth would be around 3 - 3.5%. In October the rate was reported as being 1.6%. Without this growth, fewer jobs can be created and without increasing inputs of energy, growth becomes very difficult, with declining inputs of energy it is impossible.

North Sea oil peaked in 1999 and Britain is now a net energy importer. This means we cannot live the lifestyle we currently have using our own energy reserves, we have to import the shortfall. Around the globe countries are experiencing the same problem. With China's economic growth at around 9% and India?s at 8% the demand for energy has never been higher and the energy that is demanded is oil.

Ask yourself, what will happen when we cannot extract enough oil to go around?

As the price of oil rises, so will the price of everything that is related: transportation, construction, leisure services, electronic goods, heating, food and medicine, all will increase in cost.

Perhaps the government will take control of the situation when the oil price hits a certain level. Rationing would enable a society to allocate energy to what is considered most important: police and ambulance services, hospitals, public transport and the military. It could be left to market forces, where the price is bid higher and higher, the wealthiest industries winning out over the less profitable.

No one knows what will happen, the solution to this problem lies with us, in our families and communities.
_________________
"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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EmptyBee



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 336
Location: Montgomeryshire, Wales

PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know this is an introduction and therefore shouldn't be overly technical, but I've one minor niggle - we're not half way through all the oil ever created, but all the recoverable oil ever created. Recovery so far hasn't substantially been altered by technology, only rates of production, although I keep hearing claims that CO2 injection can increase ultimate recovery.
I understand the figures the ASPO data is predicated on is an average recovery of about a third of oil in place. Thus the vast majority of the oil ever created is likely to stay in the ground barring technical solutions to get more of it out.

This is further complicated by the phenomenon of 'reserve growth' which Colin Campbell argues has had little or nothing to do with increases in URR but is an artefact of the way reserves are reported - in order to comply with stock exchange rules. This has created the illusion of growing reserves despite declining discovery trends.

Of course there's recoverable oil and economically recoverable oil, which is another reason the economists anticipate more reserve growth following prolonged higher oil prices.
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