[ExI] Whatever happened to peak oil by 2020?

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Mon May 13 14:47:31 UTC 2013

On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 04:10:23PM +0200, Tomaz Kristan wrote:
> We have a problem here. Is there or isn't enough affordable oil in the
> ground, to drive our civilization?

Did you read the world EROEI data? The answer is spelled out
pretty clearly. At this point we'll be hurting plenty, whatever
we do. It no longer matters what exactly we do, people
are going to die. The question is just about how many
exactly. It will be quite easy to ignore, because poor 
people die conveniently remote from where you are reading this
message. It's not your fault that they can't afford food,
after all.
> The latest data shows us more and more, that probably is. Very likely.

I suspect if you want to read very selectivity you can
cherrypick something matching your preconclusion. The less
effort you spent (say, just reading the newspapers),
the easier it gets. Most people think there is no
problem at all. Which is the main reason why we're in
this situation, and why this situation will not start
deviating from the pessimum until everybody gets the
message, close and personal. This is not something I can
do, so the education will have to be postponed. 
> You, among many, just don't want this solution to be true. You
> want renewables - like solar and  wind.

It's not a question of what we want. The question is what
we can have a reasonable chance of clawing from the unwilling
universe, while the tools and the time to do so are slipping
from our fingers. 
> The question is, which one is more viable. (Shale) oil/gas or sun/wind. A

Globally, unconventional sources have zero (look at the graphs) contribution.
Locally, in the US, unconventional sources give you a temporary
(few years) respite at continuously increasing (some plays already below
being worthwhile) inputs. This is a pretty good set-up for 
desaster, because you think everything is going swimmingly, until
(apparently) suddenly it doesn't. Nobody could saw that coming,

> pure technical question.
> Now, can we discuss it in an objective manner or not?

I don't see why. This list has demonstrated an inexhaustible
capability to not even ignore the evidence. You yourself said
that 400 ppm CO2 is a great boon for this planet, so 600 ppm 
can only be better.

I think I'd rather go back reading that wacky LENR list. 

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