Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Two hundred years of the Oil Age are depicted in the poster's main chart, which features a colorful year-by-year rendering of Colin Campbell's Depletion Model. Historical annotations as well as detailed data on production, trade and reserves make this poster a versatile tool for presenting the realities and implications of global oil production and its impending peak.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Excerpt from MuseLetter #222 / November 2010 by Richard Heinberg
This is the second Museletter containing an excerpt from the upcoming book which has the working title 'The End of Growth'. The book is set for publication in July 2011.
The End of Growth
Introduction: The New Normal
The central assertion of this book is both simple and startling: Economic growth as we have known it is over and done with.
The “growth” we are talking about consists of the expansion of the overall size of the economy (with more people being served and more money changing hands) and of the quantities of energy and material goods flowing through it.
The economic crisis that began in 2007-2008 was both foreseeable and inevitable, and it marks a permanent, fundamental break from past decades—a period during which most economists adopted the unrealistic view that perpetual economic growth is necessary and also possible to achieve. There are now fundamental barriers to ongoing economic expansion, and the world is colliding with those barriers.
This is not to say the U.S. or the world as a whole will never see another quarter or year of growth relative to the previous quarter or year. However, when the bumps are averaged out, the general trend-line of the economy (measured in terms of production and consumption of real goods) will be level or downward rather than upward from now on.
Nor will it be impossible for any region, nation, or business to continue growing for a while. Some will. In the final analysis, however, this growth will have been achieved at the expense of other regions, nations, or businesses. From now on, only relative growth is possible: the global economy is playing a zero-sum game, with an ever-shrinking pot to be divided among the winners.
[via MuseLetter read full article there]
Friday, November 12, 2010
Dr. Campbell is now a Trustee of the Oil Depletion Analysis Centre ("ODAC") in the United Kingdom, a charitable organisation in London that is dedicated to researching the date and impact of the peak and decline of world oil production due to resource constraints, and raising awareness of the serious consequences. He has published extensively, and his recent articles have stimulated lively debate. His views are provocative yet carry the weight of a wide international experience.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
by Richard Heinberg
Fossil fuels have powered human growth and ingenuity for centuries. Now that we're reaching the end of cheap and abundant oil and coal supplies, we're in for an exciting ride. While there's a real risk that we'll fall off a cliff, there's still time to control our transition to a post-carbon future.
And now, for your viewing and sharing pleasure we bring you 300 YEARS OF FOSSIL FUELED GROWTH IN 5 MINUTES:
Written and narrated by PCI Senior Fellow Richard Heinberg.
Animated by the wonderful team at MONSTRO DESIGN.
Friday, October 22, 2010
The Conclusion of the report
The global economy is heavily dependent on affordable oil.
It may seem counter-intuitive that, when oil reserves and production capacityare higher than ever, the future of the oil market appears bleak. The problem is that production capacity is not expected to keep up with demand. That fact leads to severe economic consequences.
To replace the declining production from existing oil wells and increase production, oil companies are forced to extract oil in more difficult and expensive conditions (deep-water, oil sands, lignite to liquids) from smaller, less favourable reserves. The marginal (price-setting) barrel of oil costs around US$75-$85 a barrel to produce. This will continue to rise with higher demand and exhaustion of reserves.
Although there remain large reserves of oil which can be extracted, the world’s daily capacity to extract oil cannot keep increasing indefinitely. A point will be reached where it is not economically and physically feasible to replace the declining production from existing wells and add new production fast enough for total production capacity to increase. Projections from the IEA and other groups have this occurring, at least temporarily, as soon as 2012.
The difference between the global capacity to produce oil and global demand is the supply buffer. When the supply buffer is large, oil prices will be low. When the supply buffer shrinks - due to demand rising faster than production capacity or production capacity falling - prices will rise as markets add in the risk that supply will not be available to meet demand at any given point in time.
When a supply crunch forces oil prices beyond a certain point, the cost of oil forces consumers and businesses to cut other spending, inducing a recession. The recession destroys demand for oil, allowing prices to drop. Major international organisations are warning of another supply crunch as soon as 2012.
The world may be entering an era defined by relatively short periods of economic growth terminating in oil price spikes and recession.
New Zealand is not immune to the consequences of this situation. In fact, its dependency on bulk exports and tourism makes New Zealand very vulnerable to oil shocks.
Monday, October 18, 2010
The presentation files of the 2010 World Oil Conference have been posted on the aspo-usa web site including:
- The Impending World Energy Mess Keynote Presentation by Robert L. Hirsch
- Economy & Energy by Chris Martenson
- Energy and Financial Crisis by Nicole Foss of The Automatic Earth
- The End of Investment by John Michael Greer of The Archdruid Report
- Where are we now? by André Angelantoni of postpeakliving.com
- & more