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Getting On : All My Politics

The Coming Oil Crisis

from Anamorph - Friday, February 17, 2006
accessed 999 times

The coming oil crisis?

"The horrific terrorist attack in Bali, the attack on the French tanker off Yemen the other week - these threats are coming at the world from all directions."

"And you can't continue, though it's important to try obviously, to just keep erecting security and defence barriers all around you."

"We have a way of life, a set of consumption patterns, that are going to have to change - all of us."

"We have to recognise that without a major shift in the whole way we organise ourselves, our pattern of life is simply not sustainable."

-Peter Hain, UK Minister for Europe.

I just wanted to ask a question of those whom frequent this site, as coming from our background and the way we were raised to believe in the “End time” and the other apocalyptic views of the way civilization was going to end.

Personally I never really believed much of the teachings about the end of the world and tribulation, I still don’t. After the early nineties, due to the facts not matching predictions, it was just another sideshow which helped keep people in line. Nothing like supposedly knowing the time when the world would end!

Having been out of TF for a number of years now I have never really had reason to think that society would not continue more or less as it has done. With new technology and inventions keeping us in more or less comfortable lives with maybe a few bumps along the way. However, lately I have been reassessing my opinion when it comes to how the world is going to cope with the coming crisis. I believe we may be in for a period of upheaval that will be almost, if not as bad as many of the apocalyptic films and sci-fi books imagine.

Before I go on, I’d like to say that unlike many people on this site I have not been able to further my education much and I’m still pretty much relying on what I have learned from reading papers, internet and various scientific journals. So I ask for lee-way on the quality of the writing in this article. The topic is one I have a great deal of interest in, as someone who has come to the subject late I get the impression there is more disinformation and lies about what the real situation is, and how badly especially us in the western world will be affected.

The main reason I’m writing this is to get feed back from those of you who may be better informed or who may even work in the oil industry. I know this subject is being talked about in all levels of Government and there are many Think Tanks and Scientists sounding warnings, but it still seems to be a problem that most people don’t think about. As long as the power stays on and the fuel keeps coming the vast majority carry on as if there’s no problem.

So what do most people think? Are we in for a gradual lessening of our dependence on oil and conversion to new technologies? Or are we in for a very difficult period in humankind’s history and a bumpy landing that will tear our society apart? When we realize how much of our civilization depends on oil it’s not an easy question to answer without alarm bells sounding in your head, even a small fall in production could cause huge economic problems for the world.

Here are a few links that contain a great deal of statistics and information on the Peak Oil debate.

Reader's comments on this article

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from exister
Monday, February 20, 2006 - 13:40


The surest solution to the inevitable is to precipitate it. The surest solution to the looming oil crisis is to burn all of that foul gunk up until there is none left to fight over. Then we can move on to wars over real necessities, like fresh water, which explains my plan to move to Canada.

In the spirit of said oil crisis precipitation I do my part every day, driving far and wide, enjoying the acrid stench of automotive exhaust while it lasts.

See you all on a commuter foot path someday soon!

(reply to this comment)

From Anamorph
Monday, February 27, 2006, 09:14

Fair enough! I think the rich and those that are prepared will be fine anyway, I'm more interested in the economic impact, are we going to see another depression?

As I live in the UK I think I'll have to get a bike or maybe a motorcycle, wish it wasn't so damp here!
(reply to this comment
From exister
Monday, February 27, 2006, 14:13


The answer to the question of whether we will see another depression is pretty simple. Yes, except it will be more like a mass extermination than a depression. The math to back up this argument is pretty straightforward.

Human life as we currently know it requires a fairly large amount of energy. Securing the things that we need to maintain our current life expectancy requires loads of energy; for food, water, sanitation, medical care etc. A finite amount of energy is locked inside of our planet in the form of fossil fuels. We are rapidly pissing this energy away and pretty much dissipating it into space and using it to hammer pollutants into the atmosphere and biosphere. There never has been and likely never will be another source of energy that returns so much energy as a function of the energy required to obtain it. Once it runs out the very fabric of modern civilization will collapse and those who would survive will likely have to start cutting throats for a gallon of potable water.

There is simply no way that this planet can sustain 6 billion people without fossil fuels. It's not a question of if, but when. We can get all hippy-dippy conservationist about it and just pass the buck of the inevitable catastrophe on to future generations, or we can show the courage to bring this illusion of prosperity crashing down in our lifetimes and hopefully straighten all of this shit out before we hand off this planet to its future stewards.

Like I said above, for my part I will be burning fossil fuels as fast as I can before moving to The Great White North with enough weaponry to defend my little chunk of fresh water from all comers. This scenario is vaguely like our parents' much touted Great Tribulation except for the fact that it is rooted in reality.

Got water?(reply to this comment

from moon beam
Monday, February 20, 2006 - 10:31

Can't wait to build my eco-friendly house ;)

It's usually easier for people to choose the less environmentally friendly option for example, you have to make an effort to find efficient electrical appliances that use less power, and they're usually more expensive. Plus there's less choice — and often, the most environmentally friendly product is not the most attractive one. But that is changing, all my kitchen appliances are energy saving as well as atractive silver.

If you haven't heard of BedZED development, check it out as it could well become mainmstream one day, they build homes and offices that make it easy, affordable, and attractive to live and work in a sustainable way. This concept helped the project gain financial support from a range of organizations, including WWF.

The eco-friendliness starts with the building material. The homes and offices were built using reclaimed steel, and timber from well-managed forests that have been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Most construuction materials were sourced within a 60km radius of the site, reducing polution and environmental damage by minimising freight transport.

The buildings are also designed to save energy. The well-insulated homes have large, south-facing windows and conservatories to trap as much sunlight as possible, reducing the need for artificial lighting/heating etc.. I also like the feel and spaciousness they give.

The homes are also fitted with energy-efficient refrigerators, ovens, and other electrical appliances. Solar panels and an onsite combined heat and power plant — which runs on tree surgery waste — provide hot water and electricity. They also deal with their own sewage by using reed beds.

Monitored results reveal that heating is reduced by about 90 per cent and total electricity consumption by 25 per cent compared to conventional homes. The BedZED development uses no fossil fuels, and produces no net CO2 from energy use.

This doesn't just benefit the environment, it also benefits everyone.

About BedZED

If that bike is a bit too much hard work esp. in winter Smart cars are far more fuel efficient.

I grow some of my own vegies, herbs, fruit etc and recycle waste as well as composting, I have also recently started buying organicaly grown from the our local farmer.

But in the end the future of the world rests in our children's hands. We can only hope that they grow up to be eco-friendly. We can start them on the path to living an eco-friendly lifestyle while they are still young.

Here are some ways you can teach your children to be eco-friendly. IMO it is important to give your children knowledge about the environment and the impact humans have on it. Some are direct. Some are less direct. But they all have one thing in common - they will all give your children a better sense of the world we live in and how to keep it green.

1.Decorate a recycling box with your children. Get an old empty box and make it as colourful as possible. Use pictures of nature and animals. Then remind them to place papers and bottles in the box. In many area's they provide recycling bins as in our area.

2. Have fun with your children in the garden. Plant vegetables and other small plants. Explain how the garden grows. Harvest the vegetables with your children and see their look of wonderment when they realised they had a hand in growing them. This also helps as many children are unaware what many are, and have no idea how or where they come from.

3. Take your children to a national park. Even better, see if there are children-friendly activities in the park. My son and I enjoy hiking/ cycling and go ape.

4. Explain things. So often we tell our children not to do things or to do things, but we never explain why. This means that when our children get older they may stop doing as we have suggested as they think it is of little or no use. Instead of saying "Don't remove that log", say "Don't remove that log because many different animals may use their log as their home. Taking that log would be like someone taking your home away." The message is far more likely to sink in.

5. Ask your children to find new ways of using rubbish. It may be difficult for them at first, and they may need your help. But once they have seen the interesting and different ways that rubbish may be used, they will be eager to think of their own ideas. Children have a lot more imagination than we give them credit for.

6. Use products in your home that are eco-friendly. Take your children shopping and tell them why you are picking certain products. For example, "We get this detergent because it's kinder to the planet". Ask for your children's help in finding the eco-friendly products on the shelves. We also use energy saving bulbs.

7. Buy books and toys that celebrate our wildlife or that impart good messages.

Change comes one person, one family, one neighborhood, one community at a time.

"If we don't loose our addiction to oil we will never leave Iraq"
(reply to this comment)
From moon beam
Monday, February 20, 2006, 10:34

(Agree/Disagree?) to this comment
from Baxter
Sunday, February 19, 2006 - 03:52


This is an interesting theory....
(reply to this comment)

from SeanSwede
Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 11:34

I can`t wait till all of the worlds oil is finished. But not to worry. There is alread alternative methods of fuel which has already taken affect on the market since quite a few years ago. Like biogas and /or batteries. So the world will be just fine without all of that sickening fossil fuel which has been been making us sick with cancer etc. The old world will end and it has been, but its been in the process of becoming a new one with the uniting of countries and using alternative methods of fuel like I just said.
(reply to this comment)
From Anamorph
Monday, February 27, 2006, 09:19

Isn't Sweden trying to be completely fuel self sufficient by 2020? I heard they were at least going to try and get all there transport on alternative fuels. Good for them if they can do it.
I think it's going to be quite a bit tougher for the larger countries, and the poorer ones, as oil is the easiest fuel to use right now.(reply to this comment

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