We Speak For Earth

Be the change you want to see here on Earth. Boldly protect your rights and the rights of all living things on Earth including the Earth itself.

Contributing Authors
Posts tagged "oil"
He who owns the oil will own the world, for he will own the sea by means of heavy oils, the air by means of the ultra-refined oils, and the land by means of the petrol and the illuminating oils. And in addition to these he will rule his fellow men in an economic sense, by reason of the fantastic wealth he will derive from oil - the wonderful substance which is more sought after and more precious than gold itself.
In the long run, the eventual use for oil will be for manufacturing useful organic chemicals. I expect our grandchildren to ask, “You burned it? All those lovely organic molecules, you just burned it?” Sorry, we burned it.
Kenneth Deffeyes, Hubbert’s Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage (via perscientiamlibertas)
The First Half of the Oil Age was a remarkable chapter in history lasting about 150 years, when this new, cheap, and abundant source of energy permitted the rapid expansion of industry, trade, transport, and agriculture, allowing the world’s population to grow six-fold in parallel. In addition, it saw the massive growth of financial capital as banks lent more than they had on deposit, confident that tomorrow’s economic expansion was collateral for today’s debt. Seemingly, they did not recognise, or perhaps did not admit that they recognised, that it was the flow of cheap oil-based energy that made the expansion possible. Now, we face the Second Half of the Oil Age, when production, and all that depends on it, declines. Logic suggests that the expansion of the past must be matched by the contraction of the future, at least so far as the traditional economy is concerned.
Colin Campbell, The Oil Depletion Protocol: A Response to Peak Oil (via perscientiamlibertas)
Take a moment to think about your immediate home environment. Not only do hydrocarbons take you to work and to the grocery store; they are used for virtually everything around you. Your home and your furniture were built using the energy of hydrocarbons. If your chair has a metal frame, that metal was forged with hydrocarbons. Your carpet and your polyester clothing are products of hydrocarbons. All of the plastics around you are derived from hydrocarbons. Even this book was printed and delivered using hydrocarbons. The very value of the money in your wallet is pegged to oil.
Dale Allen Pfeiffer, Eating Fossil Fuels - Oil, Food and the Coming Crisis in Agriculture (via perscientiamlibertas)



As growth in oil production slows and global demand continues to rise, sustained high oil prices and price spikes will have a significant impact on the economy, in effect placing a glass ceiling on economic recovery

The analysis presented in this report shows that this threat is as real and as imminent as was the banking crisis in the middle of the past decade. Without bold and imaginative action, the consequences will cast a shadow on generations to come. Unemployment, underfunded essential services, recession, and depressed and crippled economies provide daily reminders of what the future will hold.

Oil prices and the recession

In the last year, the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the G7 have warned that high oil prices have likely been constraining economic recovery from the Great Recession.

Slowing the rate of decrease in oil production can only be achieved by a potential doubling of the price of oil over the next decade. This is likely to usher in the phenomenon of ‘economic peak oil’. In this report, we define this as:

“…the point at which the cost of incremental supply exceeds the price economies can pay without significantly disrupting economic activity at a given point in time.”

Beyond this ‘pain barrier’, the level of oil prices will have a dramatic effect on a nation’s people and its economy, threatening stagnation and hardship.

Using this definition of economic peak oil, our analysis provides a new method for determining the likely timing of peak oil, compared to the more common method of simply looking at new capacity, subtracting depletion, and balancing that against the most likely trajectory for growth.

We find that both approaches seem to point to 2014/2015 as a crunch period.

Continue reading



Imagine that the the petrol stations ran dry. The trucks would stop rolling. The supermarket shelves would be bare within three days. We would be nine meals away from anarchy.

In this pamphlet, nef Policy Director Andrew Simms explores the chronic vulnerability of our oil-dependent society. Originally given as a talk at Schumacher North in Leeds, Nine Meals from Anarchyexamines how climate change, competition for resources, decline in oil production and the international food crisis will cause system collapses far greater than the economic crisis.

Simms proposes that we need to act quickly to rebuild resilience into our economy. By looking to countries that have already faced energy descent - such as Cuba - and to periods of the UK’s own history when resources were scarce - such as during the Second World War - we can learn how best to act now. Drawing on the Transition Town movement, nef’s work on the core economy and the gathering demands for a Green New Deal, Simms charts a course towards a sustainable, resilient and careful future.



Canada’s War on Science, supremely covered by Al Jazeera. Note, too, that the Canadian government is purchasing and socializing oil companies(!).



The United States could eliminate the need for crude oil by using a combination of coal, natural gas and non-food crops to make synthetic fuel, a team of Princeton researchers has found. (Credit: © Maridav / Fotolia)

Besides economic and national security benefits, the plan has potential environmental advantages. Because plants absorb carbon dioxide to grow, the United States could cut vehicle greenhouse emissions by as much as 50 percent in the next several decades using non-food crops to create liquid fuels, the researchers said.

Synthetic fuels would be an easy fit for the transportation system because they could be used directly in automobile engines and are almost identical to fuels refined from crude oil. That sets them apart from currently available biofuels, such as ethanol, which have to be mixed with gas or require special engines.

In a series of scholarly articles over the past year, a team led by Christodoulos Floudas, a professor of chemical and biological engineering at Princeton, evaluated scenarios in which the United States could power its vehicles with synthetic fuels rather than relying on oil. Floudas’ team also analyzed the impact that synthetic fuel plants were likely to have on local areas and identified locations that would not overtax regional electric grids or water supplies.

“The goal is to produce sufficient fuel and also to cut COemissions, or the equivalent, by 50 percent,” said Floudas, the Stephen C. Macaleer ‘63 Professor in Engineering and Applied Science. “The question was not only can it be done, but also can it be done in an economically attractive way. The answer is affirmative in both cases.”

Accomplishing this would not be easy or quick, Floudas said. A realistic approach would call for a gradual implementation of synthetic fuel technology, and Floudas estimated it would take 30 to 40 years for the United States to fully adopt synthetic fuel. It also would not be cheap. He estimates the price tag at roughly $1.1 trillion for the entire system.

The research makes up an important part of a white paper recently produced by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the nation’s largest chemical engineering association. In the paper, the chemical engineers call for a greater integration of energy sources and urge policymakers to consider chemical conversion processes as a potential method to produce cleaner and cheaper fuels.

Continue reading

Related reading:


Obama needs to face climate change, reject Keystone pipeline
Climate activist Bill McKibben says now is the time for the administration to stand up to the richest industry on Earth.


Offshore drilling ‘likely’ in Arctic, feds say
Oil exploration will probably begin in Alaskan waters this summer, according to a top U.S. official, with more lease sales likely in the next four years.