Peak Oil Self Teach

Document Sample
Peak Oil Self Teach Powered By Docstoc
					Peak Oil Self-Teach

                 The Environmental Change-Makers
                 Los Angeles, CA, September 2008
Notes to user: The Environmental Change-Makers developed this “Peak Oil Self-Teach”
for a “Life After Oil” mini-conference held in Los Angeles in September 2008. More
information about our “Life After Oil” series (including agendas, handout packets, and
other items) is available for your use at
The Peak Oil Self-Teach concept came from Rob Hopkins’ The Transition Handbook (Green
Books, 2008), page 26.
We assembled these slides, and printed them (2 sides of a page on recycled paper, of
course!). Although some slides are in color because of the original source material, we
printed them in black and white and they looked just fine.
Each participant received only one section (i.e. 2 to 4 slides) out of the total. With close to
50 participants, that meant we had about 7 sets of these things circulating in the room.
At the signal, each participant had to seek someone who had a DIFFERENT set than he held
himself. The pair would then teach each other (or help each other figure out) the
information on the set of slides.
Four minutes later, another signal, and all participants scurried to find new partners, with
yet another DIFFERENT set than they’d discussed before. Again, they shared information
back and forth.
This was repeated for six time increments, at which point all participants should have seen
all the slides.
As Rob Hopkins points out, this is a great icebreaker. We used it within the first hour-and-
a-half of our full-day session. Everyone got a lot more comfortable with each other,
because they’d interacted. There was much laughter, and people declared it was lots of

                                                                   The Environmental Change-Makers
 Section #1:


WHAT IS PEAK OIL?                      WHAT IS PEAK OIL?
“Peak oil is the term used to          “The peak in oil production
describe the situation when the        does not signify ‘running out of
amount of oil that can be              oil,’ but it does mean the end of
extracted from the earth in a          cheap oil, as we switch from a
given year begins to decline,          buyers’ to a sellers’ market.”
because geological limitations
are reached. Extracting oil            --Energy Bulletin, Peak Oil Primer,
becomes more and more
difficult, so that costs escalate
and the amount of oil produced
begins to decline.”

--The Oil Drum, Peak Oil Overview,
June 2007,

 “Oil is a finite, non-renewable
 resource, one that has
 powered phenomenal
 economic and population
 growth over the last century
 and a half”

 --Energy Bulletin, Peak Oil Primer,

                                                                                 Section 1
      Section #2:

Production / Supply

The US Oil Story

                                                                Section 2
             Gail Tverberg, Peak Oil Overview – June 2008
         US Peak in 1970
• US had been world’s largest producer
• Peak came as a surprise to most
  – Had been predicted by Hubbert in 1956
• Precipitated a rush to find oil elsewhere
  – Ramp up Saudi and Mexico production
  – New production in Alaska and North Sea

                              Gail Tverberg, Peak Oil Overview – June 2008
World Oil: Discoveries follow same
    pattern as US production

                                                                           Section 2
                        Gail Tverberg, Peak Oil Overview – June 2008
“Fifty years ago, the world was
consuming 4 billion barrels of
oil per year and the average
discovery was around 30
billion. Today we consume 30
billion barrels per year and the
discovery rate is approaching 4
billion barrels of crude per

--Asia newspaper, 4 May 2005,
quoted by Rob Hopkins, The
Transition Handbook, p. 21

 Section #3:


  TECHNOLOGY                                        IMPACTS:
  “Every technological advance of the               “A few of the things in our homes made from
  last 150 years has been powered by                oil:
  a unique, extremely energy-dense,
  but finite—and, as it turns out,                  “Aspirins, sticky tape, trainer shoes, lycra
  planet-killing—source of fuel.”                   socks, glue, paints, varnish, foam mattresses,
  --Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery, “Editor’s   carpets, nylon, polyester, CDs, DVDs, plastic
  Note,” Mother Jones, May/June 2008                bottles, contact lenses, hair gel, brushes,
                                                    toothbrushes, rubber globes, washing-up
                                                    bowls, electric sockets, plugs, shoe polish,
IMPACTS:                                            furniture wax, computers, printers, candles,
                                                    bags, coats, bubble wrap, bicycle pumps, fruit
“Oil is so important that the peak will have
                                                    juice containers, rawlplugs, credit cards, loft
vast implications across the realms of war and
                                                    insulation, PVC windows, shopping bags,
geopolitics, medicine, culture, transport and
                                                    lipstick … and that’s just some of the things
trade, economic stability and food production.”
                                                    made directly from oil, not those that needed
--Energy Bulletin, Peak Oil Primer,
                                                    fossil fuels and the energy they consume in
                                                    their manufacture (which is pretty much
     FOOD                                           --Rob Hopkins, The Transition Handbook, p. 19

     “For every one joule of food consumed in
     the United States, around 10 joules of
     fossil fuel energy have been used to
     produce it.”
     --Energy Bulletin, Peak Oil Primer,

                                                                                                           Section 3
We regard these things as “normal”
because we--and our parents and
grandparents, and perhaps even
our great-grandparents--grew up
during the brief age of oil, the age
of abundant, cheap, available fossil
Our sense of “normal” has got to
change. It’s about to change –         “The most important thing to bear
drastically.                           in mind is that our present society
                                       will not continue for much longer.
                                       Ideas of finding a job at 18,
                                       marrying, acquiring a house and a
                                       family, then retiring at 60 or 70,
                                       belong to history and the sooner
                                       you accept this, the sooner you can
                                       consider what needs to be done.”
                                       --Paul Thompson (author of Wolf at the
                                       Door website), quoted in Albert Bates,
                                       The Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and

       Section #4:

Bottom of the Barrel

                                                         Mother Jones, May / June 2008

“What is the point, exactly, of finding techno-fixes
that will let us continue to live in a burning house?”

                                                                                         Section 4
--Albert Bates, The Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and                              15
Cookbook (New Society, 2006)
COAL                                                 SEQUESTERED COAL
"Coal reserves are highly uncertain,                 “Companies say they will employ
but the reserves are surely enough to                carbon sequestration or carbon capture
take atmospheric CO2 amount far into                 and storage (CCS), in which the CO2
the region that we assess as being                   emissions are stored, usually deep
"dangerous."                                         underground, rather than released into
                                                     the atmosphere. …
“Thus we only consider scenarios in
which coal use is phased out as rapidly              “CCS could increase a plant’s energy
as possible ..."                                     requirements by anywhere from 10 to
--James Hansen et al, "Target Atmospheric            40%, and the overall cost of generating
CO2; Where should Humanity Aim?"                     energy from 25 to 125%. In addition to
Columbia University, April 2008                      being difficult and expensive, CCS is   potentially dangerous. In 1986, an
                                                     eruption of CO2 from a naturally
                                                     occurring pocket under a Cameroon
                                                     lake bed instantly suffocated nearly
                                                     1,800 people. …
                                                     “No power plant is yet operating with a
                                                     full CCS system.
                                                     --James Ridgeway, “Scrubbing King Coal,” Mother
                                                     Jones, May / June 2008

EROEI or “Energy Returned
on Energy Invested”
“In the early days of oil, much of the oil
extracted came from highly pressurized
wells, so little effort was required to get
the oil out. At that time, the typical
EROEI was about 100. As those wells
became depleted, more and more
effort was required to get the oil out. A
typical EROEI for oil is now about 15,
considering additional costs like
repressurization of wells and drilling in
underwater locations. …
EROEI is in the low single digits for oil
sands, and is barely above 2 for
ethanol from corn.”
--Gail Tverberg, Peak Oil Overview – June
2007, The Oil Drum

                                                   Section 4
Myth #3: A small downturn can easily
 be made up with energy efficiency
• The quickest impacts are financial
  – Recession or depression
  – Serious recession in 1973 - 75
• Use of biofuels raises food prices
  – Further increases recession risk
• Don’t need peak for recession
  – Only need supply/demand shortfall
  – Likely what we are experiencing now
                                Gail Tverberg, Peak Oil Overview – June 2008
Myth #2: Drilling in Arctic National
  Wildlife Refuge will save us

                         Gail Tverberg, Peak Oil Overview – June 2008
   Myth #4: Canadian oil sands will
              save us
• Hard to see this with current technology
  – Technology known since 1920s
  – Production slow and expensive
• Natural gas is in limited supply
  – Alternatives require more capital
• Most optimistic forecasts equal 5% of
  current world oil by 2030
  – Even this exceeds available natural gas
                                Gail Tverberg, Peak Oil Overview – June 2008
     Section #5:

Alternative Fuels

Now the US is a major importer of oil
   and tiny user of renewables

                                                                             Section 5
                         Gail Tverberg, Peak Oil Overview – June 2008
         Reading the slide:

• About two thirds of oil is imported
• Biofuels make up about 1.0% of energy
  production - a little less of use
• Wind comprises 0.4% of energy
• Solar comprises 0.1% of energy

                           Gail Tverberg, Peak Oil Overview – June 2008
     Myth #5: Biofuels will save us

• Corn-based ethanol has many problems
   – Raises food prices, not scalable, CO2 issues,
     depletes water supply
• Cellulosic ethanol theoretically better
   – Still does not scale to more than 20% of need
   – Competes with biomass for electric, home heat
• Biofuel from algae might work
   – Not perfected yet

                                                                                         Section 5
                                     Gail Tverberg, Peak Oil Overview – June 2008
A U.N. expert on Friday called the growing
practice of converting food crops into biofuel
"a crime against humanity,'' saying it is
creating food shortages and price jumps that
cause millions of poor people to go hungry.
--AP News, October 2007, quoting UN independent expert Jean Ziegler

                                          The idea that we can simply replace
                                          this fossil legacy -- and the
                                          extraordinary power densities it gives
                                          us -- with ambient energy is the stuff of
                                          science fiction.
                                          There is simply no substitute for cutting
                                          --George Monbiot, “The Most Destructive Crop On Earth Is No Solution
                                          to the Energy Crisis,” The Guardian, December 2005

   Section #6:

The Economy

And Prices are Spiking

                                                                     Section 6
                 Gail Tverberg, Peak Oil Overview – June 2008
“GROWTH”                                           THE ECONOMY
“Our industrial societies and our                  “The issue is not so much ‘running out’
financial systems were built on the                as it is not having enough to keep our
assumption of continual growth –                   economy running.”
growth based on ever more readily                  --Matt Savinar,
available cheap fossil fuels.”
--Energy Bulletin, “Peak oil primer”

                                                The long period of economic growth in the
  THE ECONOMY                                   past 60 years has lulled analysts of many
                                                types into believing that the favorable
  Looming environmental limits                  patterns associated with economic growth
  require economic contraction.                 will last forever. It is pretty clear that these
  —Richard Heinberg, “Resilient Communities:
                                                favorable patterns are in fact temporary.
  A Guide for Disaster Management,”             Peak oil, or the squeeze preceding peak oil,
  MuseLetter #192, April 2008.                  is likely to result in a rapid change in the
  _resilient_communities                        financial situation that may have more
                                                impact than the decline in oil production

                                                —Gail Tverberg, “Economic Impact of Peak Oil,” The Oil

Growth Paradigm in Economics

Standard Model of
the Economy

                             Interpretation: the economy is
       Economy               all, and ecosystems are just
                             another element within the
                             overall economy.


                                                                                            Section 6
                                 Center for the Advancement of a Steady State Economy
Growth Paradigm in Economics

Standard Model of                Reality-Based Ecological
the Economy                      Economics Model
                             Reality: Everything on earth, including
                             “the economy,” is within the earth’s
       Economy                            Ecosystem

            Ecosystem                                       Economy
                Resource           Resource
                extraction         extraction
 Waste                             Waste
 products                          products

                                     Center for the Advancement of a Steady State Economy
  Section #7:


                                         Expressed in terms of
                                         "number of planets," the
                                         biocapacity of the Earth is
                                         always 1 (represented by
                                         the horizontal blue line).
                                         This graph shows how
                                         humanity has moved from
                                         using, in net terms, about
                                         half the planet's
                                         biocapacity in 1961 to
                                         over 1.25 times the
                                         biocapacity of the Earth in
                                         The global ecological
                                         deficit of 0.25 Earths is
                                         equal to the globe's
                                         ecological overshoot.
                                         --Global Footprint Network,

                                                                                 Section 7
BIOCAPACITY                                      FAIR SHARES
                                                 The environmental organization WWF periodically
No one wants to undertake basic change           analyzes the amount of earth’s resources—
unless we have to, especially if doing so        energy, raw materials, water, food—that
means restrictions on reproduction and           industrialized nations consume. They compare
individual consumption. But … business as        this figure to our per-capita share of the resources
usual is not an option, even if there is a       available. It’s all measured in acres: how many
solution to the energy problem in isolation.     acres of planet it takes to produce those
The oil-depletion crisis is merely the current   resources. This concept is known as our
mask for the timeless ecological dilemma.        ecological footprint.
—Richard Heinberg, PowerDown
                                                 When we divide the biologically productive acres
                                                 available on the planet, our per-capita fair share
                                                 amounts to about 4.5 acres. North Americans
                                                 currently consume resources equivalent to 24.7
                                                 acres of planetary surface—nearly five times our
                                                 fair share.
                                                 In other words, if everyone on the planet lived the
                                                 lifestyle we do, we’d need about five planets to
                                                 provide the resources for it all.
                                                 --Joanne Poyourow and Peter Rood, Environmental Change-Making.
                                                 Statistics source: William Rees, “Footprints to Sustainability,” UBC Reports,
                                                 Vol. 52, No. 4, April 6, 2006,
                                        4.5 and
                                                 24.7 were calculated from U.S.A. data at Global Footprint Network, “National
                                                 Footprints,” Metric hecatres
                                                 were converted to U.S. measures based on: 1.8 hecatres=4.45 acres, 10
                                                 hecatres=24.7 acres


Shared By: