Re: [asa] On peak oil ...

From: Bill Powers <>
Date: Thu Apr 09 2009 - 11:32:31 EDT

The report really says very little about how we ought to prepare.

They suggest more research on unconventional sources of oil.
They mention nothing of nuclear, etc.

The real issue it seems is how much lead time is required to prevent a
"break down" in world economies.

The way the economic engine tends to work is that as the costs of
"conventional" (read easy) oil supplies decline and prices rise, other
methods of oil recovery and energy supply will be investigated, and
implemented. Some of these methods are already available in some form
(e.g., shale). Indeed, with the last $4/gallon oil prices there was
active discussion of implementing shale recovery in Bakken shale
formation in ND and MT, estimated to be 400 billion barrels.

The question is one of timing and time scales. Is there enough time
between the rising of oil prices, and the implementation of alternative
energy sources to prevent a global collapse? Once the collapse occurs
it may be that we can't afford nor are capable of implementing alternative
methods. Anyway, it makes for an interesting system's study.

The other alternative is to plan ahead, i.e., with only the force of
foresight. This requires redirecting funds that could be used for
production (i.e., wealth) to research (non-productive). Only the richer
countries can afford this. It surely seems prudent to invest some (better
than none), but will this be enough?

bill powers

On Thu, 9 Apr 2009, John Burgeson (ASA member) wrote:

> Published 12/15/2008. For the first time, the International Energy
> Agency has produced a date for peak oil. And itís not reassuring.
> --
> Burgy
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Received on Thu Apr 9 11:33:09 2009

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