big deal of the world

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big deal of the world

Post  nittinchabbra on Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:39 pm

I didn't tell my dad till years later. He wasn't mad. But he didn't believe me. He thought I was confused. After about a year or two he finally realized maybe I knew what I was talking. Now it's not that big of a deal. I'm out to any and everyone in the world now.
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big deal of the world

Post  raj on Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:29 am

Peak Oil - What's The Big Deal?

Peak Oil

For the life of me, I don’t understand all the attention the world pays to the concept of Peak Oil. Is our path of extracting, refining, and burning crude oil sustainable? Of course not. But could someone please explain the significance of the date – even to the decade -- where we truly started – or will start – to decline in terms of oil production?

Here are four ideas that, in my mind, make this subject completely moot:

1) The world’s demand for oil, right now, is accelerating – but at a rate that no one can predict. Yes, we’re on a course to have twice as many cars on the road by 2030 as we do now. But it’s by no means a certain course. And how many of them will be electric or other alternative fuel? The numbers on this vary all over the place.

2) What will happen politically and economically over the next decade or so – that will forward – or impede – the deployment of renewable energy? This will have an even bigger effect on oil supply and demand.

3) Technologically, what R&D-related improvements will happen with the forms of the renewables that have the most promise to move the needle rapidly? I’m thinking especially of solar thermal with molten salt storage, but obviously, there are several others.

4) For that matter (not that I’m rooting for them) but what improvements will we see in fossil fuel extraction techniques?

I’m reminded of the business plans I read in which some idiot has predicted his sales volume for 2016 out to three decimal places. Is this a joke? Can anyone be expected to believe that we have such a grasp of reality here in 2010 – let alone a vision of the future -- to make that kind of prediction?

At 2GreenEnergy, several of my guest bloggers, notably Kathy Hershelow, writes volumes on Peak Oil. It’s good, well-constructed stuff – but I simply can’t get excited about it. In my discussions on the subject, I just try to make sure I’m hitting the broad side of the barn. Regardless of whether Peak Oil happened a couple of decades ago, or won’t for a couple of decades to come, there are five or six excellent reasons to curtain our use of petroleum. It’s the single most important imperative facing mankind today.


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