Friday, March 31, 2006

End of Suburbia?

Something was brought to my attention the other day, and honestly, it kind of scared me.

My geology teacher, Mr. Handke (like Mr. Hanky, only with a D and not a piece of talking Christmas poo) was talking about how we are approaching the peak of our production of oil, and the whole concept was a little surprising.

Why don't we hear more about how this country is facing what is known as the peak of our supply of oil? 60% of our oil supply is imported, and 45% is from the Persian Gulf. Canada supplies the other 15% mostly from their tar sands. Now that 15% sounds like a smaller portion, but what we
fail to realize is things like this: Canada is producing 15% of our oil, but that's 50% of their production. Does that really sound like it's very sustainable? Not to me.

Now here is where I start to wonder about our media. Why isn't anyone looking into these facts? Why has it been so much about President Bush and how he's screwed up the world (whatever) and no one looking at these facts.

Fact: We will be facing the decline of our oil supply within the next ten years.

So what? For many people, this doesn't seem like it's going to be a big deal. For those of you who think this wouldn't affect you, because your car gets a nice 30 mpg, you'll be in for a nice surprise when the price of food doubles, triples, because we have no transportation to get food shipped. Honestly, just think how many of our businesses are dependent on massive commercial transportation.

Where is the answer? Wikipedia?

What's supposed to save us? Hydrogen vehicles? Wrong. This is a joke, because hydrogen, isn't even an energy source, it's merely a carrier. It has to be "charged", which honestly takes more energy to prepare. Professionals say, "You can get 300 miles on a small tank of 7 gallons", but do you want to be barreling down the highway at 60 mph then be hit? What do you think it's like driving a tank of compressed gas around on pavement where friction is building up and accidents are waiting to happen.

Ethanol? It’s nice to have people trying, but that’s just not working. The problem with ethanol is its still taking so much energy to burn the corn to get this fuel. And even with that, it would take literally, all the land in the world to grow enough corn to solve our fuel problem, and even then we would have no room to grow our food.

A DVD called The End of Suburbia brings forth good arguments and is available
at this website (that means click here).

“World Oil Peak and the inevitable decline of fossil fuels are upon us now, some scientists and policy makers argue in this documentary.”

We can’t keep pumping our oil until the last drop is used. It just doesn’t work that way. When is this peak oil hitting?

Fact: After the peak of the Hubbert curve, the price of producing the oil gets more and more expensive until finally it’s left behind until the value of oil has increased so companies can slowly go back and retrieve as much as they can feasibly get.

M. King Hubbert, the man who predicted the peak of U.S. oil within just a few years called for the national peak to be from 1990 – 2001/2. He may have predicted this exactly correct, but we’ve changed our efforts, so our efforts have extended (not fixed) our supplies.

We can’t keep depending on other countries for oil forever. We must find an alternative, and it needs to be now. I’m not sure who this falls on, but first it should fall on everyone to practice some conservation. All the Middle East companies are saying they have plenty of oil, but may have already reached their own peaks. No one but themselves are allowed to govern how much oil they actually have. But from observations, it seems they’re nearing or surpassing the top.

It was 1970-71 when the US had their first shortage of oil. The year before that was their most productive year.

The worst part about the whole drop after the peak is that you can’t exactly tell when that peak is hitting…

FACT: This isn't a poorly conceived, futuristic theory anymore. Geologists know this is coming, it's just a matter of when.