When I read the media, I often notice articles entering mainstream thought that are the opposite opinion of what I know to be true. I look at things differently, so to speak, and think that I am a realist.
So take Peak Oil for instance. Of late, there have been many articles in the international press, mainly opinion pieces, that claim that peak oil is and was a myth, and that we have drilled our way out of the problem. Apparently we have plenty of oil!
This is simply not so. If it is true, why are crude oil prices still above $100 a barrel and not fallen to 1990 prices of $20 a barrel. If you have we have an global oil glut then why the high prices? Articles here, here and here.
It seams that the real problem is that vested interests in Big Oil are the ones creating all of this hyperbole, which is obviously in their best interest to keep finding capital to continue drilling. It seems that the more stories that claim that peak oil is a myth, the more it screams at me that we are in serious trouble and now going through the same denial and inaction as we have seen with climate change. Remember the stages of change? We are at the shock and/or disbelief stage of the cycle.
As any realist would know, fossil fuels are a finite resource, that take many tens of millions of years to replenish. We have guzzled through the easy-to-get oil in just 200 years, and are now bending over backwards to find new ways of keeping up with demand.
I acknowledge that I am not oil expert, however, I do consider the facts in a realistic light, weighing the arguments for and against peak oil. I believe that we did reach Peak Conventional Oil back around 2005, as documented by the International Energy Agency, and we are only keeping ahead of oil field depletion by deep-water drilling, digging up Tar sands, drilling like crazy for Shale Oil, and Fracking for Gas. All of these methods are environmentally devastating.
Additionally these supplementary supplies are only viable when the price of crude oil hovers over $100 a barrel.
The age of cheap oil is well and truly over. The peak happened, and we are now like drug addicts screaming for our next fix. It can only get very messy from here on in. Check out this video with some facts from the Post Carbon Institute.
There are some glimmers of fact out there like this article in UK The Telegraph, and a few rebuttals (this one by Jeremy Leggett – author of Half Gone) to a recent George Monbiot article, but other than those it is constant promotion of drill, baby, drill or better known in around the tar sands of Alberta, Canada as dig, baby, dig.
Our own rapid increase in Australia of coal seam gas fracking, and brown coal exploration is another example close to home, not forgetting to mention the recently approved Alpha mega coal mine in Queensland. Are we just plain dumb or just too bloody greedy? Probably the latter.
When will people begin to wake up that we need to move away from fossil fuels quickly? Not just because of the impact of burning them upon our climactic systems, but because our entire civilization relies way to much on these energy forms for just about everything.
Time to start using less? This is very difficult when China, India and Brazil are ramping up their consumption, and the developed countries have hit a plateau. Demand keeps rising and it looks like we are heading for a crunch (again)!
Solutions? Well re-localisation, renewable energy, Permaculture, and community building come to mind and I have written about all of them many times.
What plans have you made for the inevitable oil crunch?