Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Peak Oil, by Edward Anderson

About a week ago, on Grimner's Gate, I read a thought-provoking post about oil and economic growth. Not the usual topic for that list, many members there share an interest in things of a political and environmental nature, particularly when such topics have an effect on the heathen community. I could post a link to the message, but the Gate's mailing list archives are for members only. So I asked the author, Edward Anderson, for permission to share it here on Prophet or Madman. He was happy to provide permission with the following email message:
From: Edward Anderson Date: Wed Jan 12, 2005 12:05:16 AM US/Eastern To: "brainwise" Subject: Re: [Grimnirs_Gate] Peak Oil, the End of Economic Growth Yes you can post links to my post on GG, or you can post this else where, but of course please keep my name on it.
Mr. Anderson then provided a modified copy of his article in which he had made one minor correction: The U.S. strategic oil reserve is closer to 700 million barrels and not the 70 billion barrels that he typed on the original GG post [membership required]. So, please keep in mind that the post below was authored by someone other than me. If you want to comment on it, go right ahead. If you would like to contact the author, let me know and I will forward your information to him. He didn't say I couldn't post his email address, but I never bothered to ask him. So until I hear otherwise, you probably won't see his email addy on this site.

Peak Oil, the End of Economic Growth Back when I was in College we heard about peak oil. Peak oil is when the world wide supply of oil no longer meets demand. Peak oilwill first limit, then end and finally reverse all of theindustrialized economies of the world. Due to the input ofpetroleum in fertilizers, pesticides, and to fuel farm machinery,peak oil will also cause agricultural output to drop world wide. This was supposed be something that would happen during the nextgeneration or two. However since the economy of China has been growing at a 9 percent rate, since India and other areas have grownso fast, peak oil is nearly here now. Currently there is about a one million barrel a day production buffer that Saudi Arabia is capable of still pumping on a daily usage of about 80 millionbarrels. In August China starts to fill it's strategic oil reserve. The United States currently has a strategic oil reserve ofabout 700 million barrels on a planned 750 million barrel reserve, which is equal to about 60 days of imported oil. A very large factor which might bring on peak oil is the fact that OPEC exports were originally pegged to a countries oil reserves. Hence every single OPEC country lied about the size of their oil reserves so that they could export more. Some believe peak oil may have already occurred. Some annalists believe the actual peak will occur around next Thanksgiving (I personally favor this estimate). Many think that it will occur in2008, and a final group thinks that it will happen as late as 2014. After peak oil, things like the United State's national and trade deficits become especially onerous since it will no longer bepossible to economically grow out of these deficits. Future economic activity, rather than growing to dwarf the current deficits will most probably be actually shrinking. Peak oil also tends to mean an endless recession and then economic depression. The one ray of hope that I see is the 3 billion dollar nuclear fusion (not fission) project which is to be built in Japan in a few years. This project had been intended to be a 6 billion dollar project that wasto be possibly built in Canada. Unfortunately the United States has largely dropped out and the project was scaled back to a 3 billion dollar version. Fortunately our former European, Japanese and Russian partners in the project feel that an alternate half priced design might still work as a viable nuclear fusion demonstration project. Hopefully this nuclear fusion project's prospect of success is real and it is not just a carefully timed publicity stunt to act as a distraction timed to occur at the beginning of peak oil and world wide recession. Lately Patricia and I have been going to some public gatherings which focus on the subject of peak oil. One bit of propaganda thatI have seen which I do not like is the claim that the current Iraq war is some how linked to and is in some way an American military solution for peak oil. Since oil, like gold, is a fungible commodity there is no way a war can permanently change by much the world wide price of oil. This issue of peak oil is no truejustification at all and is only being used as a false and obscuring justification for the Iraq war. Concerning the future of Asatru, peak oil might be a good thing. So many things will change that the Christian beliefs of the masses might also be one of the things which largely change. Other than a Mad Max type of world, I am looking forward to the return of the Chicago based Great Lakes freight trade by sail boats,as the cost of the fuel for truck freight makes trucking less economically competitive. Below I have posted a link to a peak oil site. They are quite depressing, so I have also included a link to the planed nuclear fusion sites. A clearing house and linking site for peak oil. http://drydipstick.com/ Deutsche Bank report on peak oil coming in 2014. http://www.btinternet.com/~nlpwessex/Documents/peakoil2014.htm Uppsala University in Sweden has done a lot of work on the peak oil topic. http://www4.tsl.uu.se/isv/UHDSG/ http://www.peakoil.net/ Nuclear fusion sites: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/tt/2002/sep25/magnetpulse.html http://www.ca.emb-japan.go.jp/ITER1.html http://www.ipp.mpg.de/~Wolfgang.Suttrop/ppcfsites.html http://www.eubusiness.com/afp/041220030916.ykizqqm7 This looks like a real thing that will happen and that will change many things. It has been suggested that it might be a good time to begin preparing for these changes, if such preparations are indeed possible. by Edward A. Anderson II January 2005

I hope you enjoyed this "guest" column today. I know I did.

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