Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
The International Energy Agency (IEA) is forecasting world oil demand will set a new record next year when is smashes through 2008's pre-recession high --- and warning that the "era of cheap oil is over."
According to the IEA's latest Oil Market Report, published August 11, global demand will reach 86.6 million barrels per day in 2010, and then 87.9 million barrels per day in 2011, assuming a continuing global economic recovery. This means demand is set to pass the all-time high of 86.9 million barrels per day established in 2008 before the global economic downturn.
The figure has been given significance by those that say oil peaked midway through 2008. Peak oil refers to the time of maximum production --- the high point of the oil output bell chart, after which, as geologist M King Hubbert showed, output will diminish even though much oil remains to be extracted. If oil did peak at 86.9 million barrels per day, then demand would be expected to overtake supply early in 2011. (Personally, I don't believe oil has peaked --- but this will soon be put to the test.)
Another significant figure bandied around relates to oil's mid-2008 price spike: it traded at $147 a barrel in July of that year. People that believe oil peaked will tell you this was a simple matter of supply and demand, while Opec has all along blamed speculators for pushing the prices up. Another factor, as reported at the time by Reuters, was the then tension between Israel, the US and Iran, including Iranian missile tests and rumoured Israeli air force drills in Iranian airspace that "left the oil markets worried about a potential supply disruption."
There were clearly many market forces pushing oil prices up at the time --- so, unlike more accomplished peak oil writers, I don't see oil's passage through the 86.9 million-barrels-per-day threshold as guaranteeing triple digit figures. Anything is possible, of course, but to my mind the key figure to watch is Opec's spare capacity. This is the amount of mothballed production that can quickly come online to cushion against oil supply and demand shocks. Periods of tight capacity are associated with high oil prices; zero capacity indicates peak oil, or at least supply failing to keep up with demand.
As long as the Oil Conspiracy continues, these arch criminals will have a stranglehold on the world.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
John Holdren, chief science adviser to US President Barack Obama, lamented the recent failure of Democrats in the US Senate to push forward legislation on global warming, in a speech to the Ecological Society of America conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, yesterday:
He told the audience that the Senate’s failure to act was particularly disappointing during a summer in which the planet has experienced record heat, drought and wildfires.
“Societies are not taking the actions that the science indicates are needed and the technology indicates are possible. It’s important to understand why not,” he says.
He says he believes the hold up is “rooted in human behaviour” and there is an urgent need to involve social science and humanities researchers in questions on climate change to understand how to make progress.
Holdren dismissed concerns that last November’s “climategate” controversy had damaged the scientific evidence supporting climate change. Rather, he said, the incident showed that “climate scientists were human too”, and that they “resist sharing data with those they believe have no interest in truth-seeking”. He added that Obama understood this.
Holdren also warned that the world was failing to meet the Millennium Development Goals which aim to end the poverty of people living the developing world by 2015. In particular, he said “we are not remotely on track to end hunger” and that the world was “doing even worse” on meeting its targets to conserve biodiversity and stop animals and plants from going extinct.
He called for socio-political and environmental factors, such as competition for land and water, to carry greater weight in development efforts, saying they still play second fiddle to economic considerations.
“In the past, development has mainly referred to strengthening the economic pillar. But development must mean improving all three,” he said.
Let's get one thing straight: We have the technology to solve the climate problem. We just don't have the money to implement it. And, we don't have the money because the big vested interests who pay your salary are stopping it. There's no mystery here. Get real, guy.
We applied four times for an Energy Dept grant to solve the climate problem under the ARRA. We asked for $5 million over 18 months. Surely, a pittance to a government that spent a trillion dollars creating such wonderful public monuments as a tunnel to nowhere or a sidewalk to a ditch. But, each time, your bureacrats, who are probably on the payroll of BP, found some rationalization why we didn't qualify. They never argued that the science was wrong. No, they gave us answers like, "Not transformational." What? How do you answer that?
It's clear that you aren't in the loop, Holdren. Why don't you try asking your boss Obama why? The answer will probably be that we didn't offer the highest bribe.