Explicaţii complexe
 
 
Necesitatea e mama invenţiei ( Nevoia te învaţă) dar energia e tatăl ei.

Poate v-aţi prins deja că apogeul resurselor energetice neregenerabile nu e un scenariu de genul "virusul anului 2000" sau "cometa care loveşte pământul". Sau "Era Glaciară".

"Virusul anului 2000" s-a dovedit o păcăleală, statistic şansele ca o cometă să lovească pământul şi să vă afecteze viaţa sunt mai mici decât şansele ca să câştigaţi la 6 din 49, iar "era glaciară" nu va veni, nu o mai aşteptaţi: Gaia se numeşte teoria lui Lovelock care vă explică de ce şi cum biosfera Pământului reglează temperatura planetei.
Din păcate
"Peak Oil" (apogeul petrolului) nu e o teorie, e pur şi simplu statistică, iar efectele vă vor afecta viaţa dramatic în mai puţin de 10 ani, indiferent cine sunteţi sau ce faceţi.

Vă rog să vă opriţi o clipă, să deschideţi alt browser şi să căutaţi pe Google (sau orice altceva) cuvintele "Peak Oil" - Apogeul petrolului. Veţi descoperii cu uimire că vorbim de lucruri de netăgăduit, ştiinţă şi statistică. Veţi descoperii că oamenii cei mai îngrijoraţi (aş zice chiar terifiaţi) sunt unii din cei mai respectaţi şi experimentaţi geologişti, ingineri petrolişti, fizicieni, politicieni şi bancheri din lume. Pe unii din ei îi găsiţi în experţii. Asta nu e gaşca obişnuită din serialul "Sfârşitul lumii". Cei pe care nu-i veţi descoperi acolo se numesc Dick Cheney şi George Bush. Deşi aparţin acelei liste.

Pe deasupra dacă citiţi ştirile (nu cele de la TV) veţi descoperii că predicţiile celor mai pesimişti dintre cei care discută despre asta se adeveresc cu o rată alarmantă.

Vă simţiţi ca în Matrix? Vă întrebaţi de ce aţi luat pilula roşie?
Atunci să ştiţi că nu sunteţi singurul.
De azi probabil că aveţi alte priorităţi în viaţă.
 
E posibil să fii realizat brusc ce viaţă incredibilă am dus noi, oamenii care am trăit la sfârşitul mileniului. Ce norocoşi am fost. Ne-am obişnuit cu un standard de viaţă pe care planeta Pământ nu ni-l putea oferii de fapt. Decât pentru o scurtă perioadă. Iată scrisoarea imaginară a unui urmaş din viitor http://www.museletter.com/archive/110.html
 
În 1999 Dick Cheney: "Estimările spun că avem o creştere a ratei consumului de 2,5% pe an şi minim 3 % declin pe an în producţia din rezervele existente. Asta înseamnă că în 2010 vom avea o lipsă medie de minim 50 milioane de barili zilnic." Ca să înţelegeţi cifra, să o punem în perspectivă; în 2004 producţia zilnică mondială e de 80 de milioane de barili iar cifra aceasta nu se va mai mări niciodată, este maximul, vârful, peak-ul.
 
Deşi presa încearcă să vă convingă că e vorba de o criză temporară, vă rog să citiţi Ştiri recente şi să judecaţi singuri. Marea majoritate a ştirilor vin de la periodice consacrate şi nu au nevoie de prezentare. Vă întrebaţi cum e posibil? Cum apar asemenea ştiri în "NY Times" sau "Washington Post" şi nimeni nu dă alarma? Într-adevăr, răspunsul nu mai e aşa simplu. Dar are de a face cu faptul că 99 % din oamenii de la ei ca şi la noi nu citesc ziarele serioase şi au nivel de informare ce nu depăşeşte buletinul de ştiri de seară al televiziunii . Sau şi mai rău că presa lor ca şi presa noastră publică gunoaie. Dacă aţi citit în Sumar despre interviul lui Peter Odell publicat de BBC, atunci vă invit să comparaţi cu articole din presa romanească care publică articole despre piaţa internă de petrol - Stiri recente.
Bine, trebuie să recunosc că noi avem şi alte probleme (cum să furi de la stat 500 milioane de euro) Până la urmă în România merită să furi.
 
Aţi auzit de Proiectul Manhathan ?
In an article in Science, November 1, 2002, eighteen experts reported that they examined all the conventionally understood alternatives to fossil fuels and found them all to have “severe deficiencies” in their ability to deal with environmental problems while also being adequate to growing planetary energy needs. Physics Professor Martin Hoffert, leader of that research group, told the press that the United States would have to undertake an urgent energy research crash program, like the Manhattan atomic bomb project or the Apollo lunar missions. According to the New York Times (November 4, 2003, D1), Hoffert stated that we would need “Maybe six or seven of them [massive projects] operating simultaneously…We should be prepared to invest several hundred billion dollars in the next 10 to 15 years.”
 
E adevărat, preşedintele Bush a făcut ce trebuia. A invadat Irakul şi i-a pus pe cercetători la treabă pentru a găsi soluţii energetice noi. Irakul a rămas a doua ţară ca mărime a rezervelor de ţiţei după Arabia Saudită. Iar hidrogenul pare o soluţie interesantă. Până o studiezi mai mult. Aşa cum puteţi citi în ştiri mai precis aici, Bush s-a opus înfiinţării unei taxe pe combustibil ca în Europa, pentru că ştie că politic asta ar însemna să-şi taie craca de sub picioare.
 
Pe undeva pe aici se presupune că vorbim puţin şi de Azerbaijan. În 1997 un zvon despre petrolul de acolo a întunecat minţile câtorva. După ce perdeaua de fum a trecut, peste tot în Azerbaijan erau găuri goale, investitori ameninţau că se aruncă de la etaj, Amoco a fost preluat de BP şi secretarul american cu probleme de energie ( ministrul energiei ) şi-a dat demisia. Aşa că atenţie la păcălelile de genul "goana după petrol" pe care le veţi citi în ziare de mii de ori în viitorul foarte apropiat.
 
Nothing has the bang for the buck of oil, and nothing can replace it - either separately or in combination.
You probably know that crude oil was formed in ancient times from rotting vegetation or marine life, etc. It only appears in very unusual geological conditions where the rotting material happens to get trapped and compressed under rock dome 'lids' that prevent the usual composting and evaporation into the atmosphere.
 

No countries plan for a decline in global oil production in the next decades. On the contrary, in its annual World Energy Outlook reports the International Energy Agency (IEA) presents scenarios for the future development of the global economy based on continued growth in fossil fuel consumption in general and oil consumption in particular. In these scenarios the per capita energy consumption remains much higher in the OECD countries than in the developing countries (9 times higher in 2000, 6 times higher in 2030) and the OECD countries become more and more dependent on oil and gas imports from the Middle East, Africa, and the FSU. In a recent report World energy, technology and climate policy outlook 2030 (WETO) the EU Commission presents similar scenarios, based on macroeconomic modelling under certain assumptions regarding growth in population, economic growth, future costs of different energy technologies, etc.
The IEA scenarios as well as the WETO scenarios are essentially business-as-usual scenarios with no resource restrictions and no restrictions regarding climate change mitigation. However, comparing the scenarios, it appears that the different modelling methods and hypotheses applied result in considerable differences in future demand and supply in the different regions of the world.
As mentioned in the last section of this chapter, curbing inefficient, unnecessary, wasteful or extravagant use of oil is the only way to attain substantial reductions in conventional oil demand which does not involve high economic costs, environmental hazards, and the depletion of other resources.
 

 
 
Le Monde 31.03.04
Michael Meacher, former Minister for the Environment of the United Kingdom (1997-2003), recently wrote in the Financial Times that in the absence of a general awakening and immediate global decisions of radical changes as regards energy, “civilisation” will face its most acute and violent upheaval of recent history.
If we want nevertheless to maintain a little humanity to the life on Earth in the years after 2010, we must, as the geologist, Colin Campbell, suggests, invite the United Nations to agree today to an agreement, based on the objectives of allowing the poor countries to still import a little oil; preventing profiteering from the oil shortage; providing incen-tives for energy saving; and stimulating renewable energies.
To achieve these goals, the universal agreement will have to implement the following measures. Each State shall regulate the imports and exports of oil; no oil exporting country shall produce more oil than its annual Depletion Rate, such to be scientifically calculated; and each importing State shall reduce its oil imports to match World Depletion Rate
This necessary recognition of physical economic limits will confront the theories of classical economics and the in particular the policies of the United States, whose successive governments have never accepted any question regard-ing the viability of the “American way of life”.
All American military interventions since the first oil crisis of 1973-1974 can be attributed to the fear an inter-ruption in the supply of cheap oil. Furthermore it was the peak of American oil production in 1970, which made it possible for OPEC to take control. It led to this first shock, coinciding with the Yom Kuppur war. The West then tried to regain control, not by energy saving but by bringing in new oil fields of Alaska and the North Sea. The Iranian Revolution of 1979 triggered the second oil crisis, returning power to OPEC, while the Western economies paid for their oil dependence by moving into recession over the following years.
 
 
Does the IEA deliberately aim to mislead?
A casual meeting with a member of the International Energy Agency revealed that it is at work on the next Energy Outlook, and is desperate to find a way to show that peak oil cannot arise before 2030. A fore-taste of this was also publicly presented in the workshop of the Swiss Federal Energy Office (see Item 334). In short, the stratagem is to take the USGS Mean Undiscovered and Mean Reserve Growth combined with Reserve to Production Ratio to demonstrate that there is enough to support growth to 2030, the convenient end of the study period. It evades the implication that production would have to fall like a stone in 2031 to respect even those numbers. The EIA did much the same with its earlier scenarios by assuming a 2% growth to a midpoint peak followed by a 10% decline, that succeeded in delaying peak to 2037, notwith-standing that a global 10% decline offends the physics of the reservoir.
The significance of this casual encounter is the recognition that the IEA studies derive not from ignorance or incompetence, but deliberately policy, based on the fear that any realistic assessment would cause panic, as the member governments are not remotely prepared. A similar reading has also been reported by a for-mer member of the UK Department of Trade and Industry, who says that the peak and decline of the North Sea is accepted internally, but the Minister finds it politically expedient to ignore the issue. The government is already in enough difficulty over its Middle East policy and immigration issues without drawing attention to the desperate energy crisis that stares it in the face.

Conclusion

Today, oil provides 40% of traded energy, and energy not money drives the economy. Production is set to start declining within about ten years. Since Hydrocarbon Man will be virtually extinct by the end of the Century, it might be a good idea to start planning how to use less and bring in such substitutes as can be found. Given the importance of the subject, it is surprising that more serious work is not done to resolve the matter. The obstacles are primarily political, tolerating ambiguous definitions and lax reporting practices, as there are no particular technical challenges in estimating the size of an oilfield or in assessing the potential for new discovery.

Energy/Culture Transition

In a growth based economy such as ours, a 1-5% shortfall in oil supply will cause a recession.  A 5-10% shortfall will cause a second Great Depression. The effects of  a shortfall greater than 10-15% are almost too horrible to imagine.

what we can call the Energy/Cultural Transition (E/CT) can be seen as the dominant challenge of our times. The main characteristic of the E/CT is an inevitable and irreversible change

One measure which has been proposed as a physical representation of natural resource availability is the quantity of energy used to make an additional unit of a resource available to society

 

 

One of the most important aspects of energy is its "quality". Different kinds of fuel have different qualities. For example, coal contains more energy per pound than wood, which makes coal more efficient to store and transport than wood. Oil has a higher energy content per unit weight and burns at a higher temperature than coal; it is easier to transport, and can be used in internal combustion engines. A diesel locomotive uses only one-fifth the energy of a coal-powered steam engine to pull the same train. Oil's many advantages provide 1.3 to 2.45 times more economic value per kilocalorie than coal.

Oil is the most important form of energy we use, making up about 38 percent of the world energy supply. No other energy source equals oil's intrinsic qualities of extractablility, transportability, versatility and cost. These are the qualities that enabled oil to take over from coal as the front-line energy source in the industrialized world in the middle of this century, and these qualities are as relevant today as they were then:

If one considers the last one hundred years of the U.S. experience, fuel use and economic output are highly correlated. An important measure of fuel efficiency is the ratio of energy use to the gross national product, E/GNP. The E/GNP ratio has fallen by about 42% since 1929. We find that the improvement in energy efficiency is due principally to three factors: (1) shifts to higher quality fuels such as petroleum and primary electricity; (2) shifts in energy use between households and other sectors; and (3) higher fuel prices. Energy quality is by far the dominant factor.

 

 Once we pass the peak, oil production will decline by 1.5-3% per year. Oil demand, however, will continue to increase by 1.5-3% per year. This means that one year post-peak, we will experience a 3-6% shortfall in oil supply.

I'm sorry to say that describing Peak Oil in this fashion is not an exaggeration.  As a March 2004 editorial in the L.A. Times explained: 

We won't "run out of oil"; a vast amount will still be flowing - just not quickly enough to satisfy demand. And as any economists can tell you, when supply falls behind demand, bad things happen.

 During the 1979 Iranian revolution, the last time oil production fell off significantly, world oil prices hit the modern equivalent of $80 a barrel. And that, keep in mind, was a temporary decline.  If world oil production were to truly peak and begin a permanent decline, the effect would be staggering: Prices would not come back down. Any part of the global economy dependent on cheap energy - which is to say, pretty much everything these days - would be changed forever.

 And that's the good news. The term "peak" tends to suggest a nice, neat curve. But in the real world, the landing will not be soft. As we hit the peak, soaring prices -$70, $80, even $100 a barrel - will encourage oil companies and oil states to scour the planet for oil. For a time, they will succeed, finding enough crude to keep production flat, thus stretching out the peak into a kind of plateau and perhaps temporarily easing fears. But in reality, this manic, post-peak production will deplete remaining reserves all the more quickly, thus ensuring that the eventual decline is far steeper and more sudden. As one US government geologist put it to me recently, "the edge of a plateau looks like a cliff."

As production falls off this cliff, prices won't simply increase; they will fly. If our oil dependence hasn't lessened drastically by then, the global economy is likely to slip into a recession so severe that the Great Depression will look like a dress rehearsal. Oil will cease to be viable as a fuel. Political reaction will be desperate. Competition for remaining oil supplies would intensify, potentially leading to a new kind of political conflict: energy wars.

 

 

None of the alternatives to oil can even come close to delivering net energy the way oil can. 

With all due respect to any environmentalists reading this, your dreams of a society powered by renewable energy are based more in myth and fantasy than science and reality.  It is physically and economically impossible for renewable energy to replace oil.

Oil has had an Energy Profit Ratio as high as 60 to 1.  This means it takes one unit of energy to produce 60 units

None of the alternatives have EPR's that even approach that of oil.  Some of the alternatives, such as Hydrogen and Biodiesal, are energy losers - they require more energy to produce than they carry. 

Furthermore, almost every advocate of alternative energy fails to realize two absolutely key points:

1.  It takes a tremendous amount of oil to build alternatives to oil    such as solar panels, windmills, and nuclear power plants.  The construction of an average solar panel system, for instance, consumes about as much energy as the construction of a brand new SUV.

2.  It would take even more oil to retrofit our multi-billion dollar, fossil fuel based infrastructure to run on these alternative sources of energy.

Even in the best-case scenario, we will have to accept a drastically reduced standard of living. None of the alternatives can supply us with enough energy to maintain even a modest fraction of our current consumption levels. To survive, we will have to radically change the way we get our food, the way we get to work, what we do for work, the homes we live in, how we plan our families and what we do for recreation. Put simply, a transition to these alternatives will require a complete overhaul of every aspect of modern industrial society. Unfortunately, industrial societies such as ours do not undertake radical changes voluntarily.