Should something be done to avert the Peak Oil Crisis?
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Side Score: 9
Yes. I think that thing would be to lean people off of oil, and fast.
Have the DMV distribute licenses to purchase petroleum for people that have legitimate reasons for driving. For Commerce and government use, lower the price as soon as the demand drops (from requiring licenses). A lot of people will be out of jobs, and I mean A LOT.
Oh well, it has to happen some time...
Absolutely, this is the biggest challenge of of our generation. Muaguana's argument pretty much nailed down the fact that the Peak Oil Crisis is real. When you combine that fact with the Global Warming crisis, the answer becomes a resounding YES.
Let's talk about how:
- Remove all tax breaks and incentives for Big Oil
- Increase the taxes on Big Oil
- Use tax revenue to subsidize energy alternatives
Most importantly, rally the country. I really hope that Al Gore & Barack Obama team up to save the world.
Bravo on bringing Global Warming into this - the two issues are intricately linked. The trick is to wean ourselves off carbon-based fuels altogether; when oil production craps out totally, coal and natural gas will be used to provide electricity, however these will continue to produce greenhouse gases and accelerate global warming (since coal is even more harmful to the environment than oil). They are likewise in finite quantities, so they are a temporary fix at best yet still will do damage.
If manic weather patterns, increased global temperatures and the destruction of many species of animals as habitats are turned upside down, aren't enough of a motivation to at least try to quell global warming in addition to peak oil, read this article:
Now, this is the Permian extinction we're talking about, the most massive extinction in earth's history (90% of ALL life was wiped out). That's a crapload of bad news, if global warming trends continue. It may not necessarily cause an extinction as massive as the Permian, however those frozen peat bogs in Siberia might release millions of tons of toxic methane into the atmosphere if thawed... and that can't be good.
Snowball effect, anyone?
It's interesting to be talking about Peak Oil at a time when gas prices are beginning to skyrocket. Time will tell if these trends continue, and we can debate whether peak oil is actually an impending threat, but we've actually been here before, debating peak oil.
Dr. M. King Hubbert was a geophysicist who predicted in 1949 that the United States would hit it's peak of oil production in the 1970's, a prediction that was laughable at the time. Of course, his prediction turned out to be remarkably true, and now the US has a large stake in foreign oil as a result.
If you're an environmentalist, you almost should be cheering on the oil crisis, because it hopefully be a catalyst for the mainstreaming to many green technologies. With gas as expensive as it is, we're already seeing more and more Hybrid cars become available each year, and we should expect that to grow.
Dr. M. King Hubbert (en.wikipedia.org)
New oil reserves found "on a regular basis"? Can you maybe cite some statistics to back this up? Here's a few for you to look at:
To understand this you really must study up on geophysicist Marion King Hubbert's theory on Peak Oil which was published in 1956. He subsequently devised THREE separate methods for predicting peak oil, which were all extremely accurate. For simplicity's sake, here's a Wikipedia article summing up the basics of his peak theory:
I highly suggest The Last Oil Shock by David Strahan, which covers an immense amount of ground on this issue. A very well-documented book and backed by over 360 sources (including government documents released under the Freedom of Information Act). A very good read with some fantastic journalism behind it. Peak Oil isn't disputed; even Dick Cheney admitted that oil production is in decline.
It's quite simple... oil is not a renewable resource. Production and discovery are declining yearly. The largest oil reserves have already been discovered, now smaller and smaller ones are left (and those only two football fields in area or smaller are not cost-effective to drill). Peak oil is a fact, it's already happening. The North Sea recently peaked and now its production is in terminal decline. The US hit peak in 1970 - right in line with Hubbert's prediction.
If we don't do something by the time oil runs out, it'll be too late. All our energy and production capacity will be halted, the multitude of products (such as plastics, styrofoam, as well as hundreds of types of food products) that depend on oil will cease to be produced, transportation will stop (which means no air or sea shipping). It's not so simple as "let's just wait until it runs out and then we'll figure something out".
Our society is built on oil. If we don't wean ourselves off of it immediately, we will crash and may never recover.
That is a pretty narrow view of economics.
Think of all the jobs and technology that has become obsolete. Where are all the horse-shoe-er unions trying to keep them employed, else they become a burden on society.
Supply and demand are always fluid and noticing a change does not necessarily mean that things are out of control.
Enough of the doomsday prophesy. People who want to be successful will find a way to fill the demands and a plentiful supply does not guarantee success.
I think you perhaps misunderstood me. I want people to do something now. I really do! Very few are, unfortunately. If society started collapsing around everyone, because there was no more oil, then and only then, would people actually get the ball rolling. Everyone will start gardening in their yards, instead of planting pretty trees and flowers, while buying fruit at the grocery store. Everyone will start riding their bikes. Everyone will have a renewed sense of community, because we will all need to help each other to get through it. McDonalds will fall. Wal-mart will fall. Starbucks will fall. And, I will laugh and laugh and laugh.