Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jeremy Leggett: [what if] descent hits an oil-dependent global economy years ahead of expectations

Monbiot says he was wrong on peak oil but the crisis is undeniable | Jeremy Leggett | Environment | "There is more than enough potential oil resource below ground to create the climate disaster he refers to. Peak oil is not about that. It is about when global production falls never again to reach past levels: a disaster, if the descent hits an oil-dependent global economy years ahead of expectations. [our emphasis] This descent depends on flow rates in oilfields, not the amount of oil left. What worries those who believe the global oil peak is imminent is the evidence that the oil industry will not be able to maintain growing flow rates for much longer."
This is the essence of the peak oil concern. There is so much fixed capital invested in liquid fuels: refineries, ships, pipelines, trucks, highway systems, armies -- and there is so much denial, and so much propaganda. This bubble is bursting now and still nothing is being done. The pain of peak oil may even be greater than that of climate change. We don't need more science or technology. We need partisans! We need to occupy public transit and make it fare-free.