Peak Oil May Limit Catastrophic Climate Change

kk-g-3Scientists are saying that dwindling supplies of oil will curtail the devastating effects of climate change. Somehow, I think our readers will have a few things to say about both…

Via Scientific American:

Even as governments worldwide have largely failed to limit emissions of global warming gases, the decline of fossil fuel production may reduce those emissions significantly, experts said yesterday during a panel discussion at the Geological Society of America meeting.

Conventional production of oil has been on a plateau since 2005, said James Murray, a professor of oceanography at the University of Washington, who chaired the panel.

As production of conventional oil, which is far easier to get out of the ground, decreases, companies have turned to unconventional sources, such as those in deep water, tar sands or tight oil reserves, which have to be released by hydraulic fracturing.

But those techniques tend to lead to production peaks that tail off quickly, Murray said.

Keep reading.

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  • echar

    I have it on good authority from someone who is authoritative that says I have the authority to be an authority on this topic. Now that we established that I am an authority on this topic. It’s all lies because rich people, and oil makes nuclear power distributable because coal.

    Oh and here’s a link to be more convincing
    http://cordis.europa.eu/fetch?CALLER=NEWSLINK_EN_C&RCN=36007&ACTION=D

  • Rhoid Rager

    Yeah and gout stops hurting if you saw your feet off, too.

    • InfvoCuernos

      remember when they said that a nuclear winter would counter greenhouse warming?

      • Rhoid Rager

        I’m willing to wait patiently in a rural area until humanity recovers from its current state of madness. If it doesn’t happen in my lifetime, then at least I can teach my children how to wait it out and why it’s important that they ought to.

        • Rhoid Rager

          It wasn’t a serious analogy. And, yes, I do believe you. It’s
          life-threatening for some regions and most likely an opportunity for
          other regions. It doesn’t affect humans equally, because geography
          differs across regions and climate differs across latitudes. But peak
          oil does affect the masses equally as long as we rely on the massive
          energy subsidy that oil provides in our daily lives.

    • talleyrand

      If you want to use an amputation analogy then this is less like gout and more like stopping an life-threatening infection. If you don’t believe me then please read the article before making up your mind.

      • Rhoid Rager

        See comment below.

  • ishmael2009

    The myth of peak oil is a gift to fossil fuel interests. Not only does it justify hugely expensive government intervention to prop up unstable oil regimes, but it allows the false equivalence of fossil fuels renewables to be perpetuated. James Hansen, Lovelock and other scientists are right to point out that this only leads to continued fossil fuel use. We need to have an honest conversation about whether we go with nuclear power for now or drastically (massively) cut back energy use – and can anyone honestly see any politician coming to power on a pledge to cut energy use?

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/oct/18/energy-price-volatility-policy-fossil-fuels?commentpage=last#end-of-comments

  • InfvoCuernos

    Ya, peak oil is kind of a tough sell after we saw all that Texas Tea gushing out from the depths of the Deep Horizon spill. I do believe that there is a finite amount of oil in the Earth, but I don’t think we are anywhere near using it all up, and the Chinese and Cubans saw the same thing and that I did. I can’t say for 100%, but I get the sinking feeling that peak oil is just some oil conglomerate propaganda to excuse ridiculously high prices, you know, like they did with diamonds. Still, the sooner we stop burning that crap, the better off we will all be.

    • talleyrand

      Actually they were drilling for oil in the deep sea, a difficult and
      dangerous area obviously, because cheap oil became scarce. It’s the same reason they are now fracking, using corn for ethanol, or digging up canadian shales. They’re desperate. And oil
      businesses often deny peak oil because of the effect it would have on
      investment.

    • Rhoid Rager

      Peak oil is no oil conglomerate propaganda meant to jack up oil prices. It’s a thermodynamically-sound model of the global peak of oil extraction. It doesn’t imply the immediate depletion of underground oil reserves, but the tipping point when oil can no longer be extracted at rates that allow economic growth to continue–all things being equal. But things aren’t equal, since we live in an age of austerity for the masses and opulence for the rich. So economic growth continues, even though conventional sources peaked in 2005. Oil prices have risen three fold since that time. To make unconventional sources profitable, oil prices must remain high. Until there is a revolution with guillotines to eradicate the rich, the status quo of increasingly taking from the poor to continue the extraction of unconventional sources of oil to sustain economic growth (an energy-based dynamic) will continue unabated. 2008 was a sputter in the system that was quickly corrected with QE, and QE will continue without taper until the Fed is dismantled by force. This is a global pyramid scheme tightly dovetailed into a our life support system of global commerce. It will only end through a massive social uprising.

      • InfvoCuernos

        ok that sounds better(well, not better, but more correct) than the way I put it. “revolution with guillotines”-I like that.

  • BuzzCoastin

    we will run out of potable drinking water & arable land
    before we run out of oil
    but
    if I was a betting man
    I’d bet on catastrophic climate change
    it’s a frequent blip in the earths weather patterns
    for the last 500K years

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