The end is near?

31 03 2012

The closer we get to “the end”, the less those in power appear to be doing anything about it.  They want you to believe they’re onto it, but nothing could be further from the truth.

At the last Permaculture Noosa meeting I attended, a Sunshine Coast Regional Council chap did a Peak Oil presentation, explaining what it is, what it means for the citizens of the Council, and what they are going to do about it.

The explanation of Peak Oil I thought was on the money, but then we were exposed to the usual tedium of how a large quasi government institution goes about getting the wheels in motion…. on what I believe is flawed data to boot!

Last year alone, Australia’s oil production (hate that word, we don’t “produce” oil, we extract it..) fell by a gobsmacking 26.6%.  No, not a typo, twenty six point six percent.  Go to the link, and you will find a spreadheet.  From what I read, panic is starting to set in in the UK because their depletion rate is reaching 17.5%, but no, nothing like that here, who cares?

After the meeting, I fronted this chap and asked him did he know what Australia’s depletion rate was, and with gleaming eyes proudly said “yes of course”, reaching under the table to produce a report (which Council has kindly produced on CD for me to lift charts from!) and pointed to this graph:

OK, to start with, even this graph is bad news… the orange consumption line just keeps rising as the P90 line keeps falling, while the P50 and P10 “production” magically rose last year… WHICH WE NOW KNOW NEVER HAPPENED!  In fact, the P90 line fell much faster than even my black line….

For the uninitiated, the three coloured scenarios are called P10, P50, and P90.  Which means Probability of 90%, etc…

The P10 line (the high one) is pure fantasy.  The P50 is pure Hopium, and the P90 is bullshit.  Today’s production is already well below any of those predictions, which to me look just like ABARE’s, year after year after year of totally flawed predictions that never came true, like this:

And this is the reason why I believe the end is near… complete unpreparedness.

That black trendline by the way is my prediction…

We now have a new Premier in Queensland who, to my face (and two other witnesses) told me some years back when he was still Mayor of Brisbane, we would be driving cars into the future even if we have to “burn old tyres and carpets”. Earlier this week I had the misfortune of going to Brisbane, which then Mayor of Brisbane has totally ruined with spaghetti like overpasses and freeway on/off ramps and hugely expensive tunnels I cannot make any sense of, so poor is the signage…  He obviously really believes in “burning old tyres and carpets”, and I hope as Premier Campbell Newman will hoard lots and lots of them, because it won’t be too much longer before we face $2+ a litre fuel and/or shortages…. and we sure as hell will need those “old tyres and carpets”!

Such unbelievable shortsightedness is just unfathomable.

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4 responses

13 04 2012
informationforager

The “Peak Oil Future” is a different idea than the “Running Out of Oil Future”. It’s not about volume, it’s about rate. That’s why it’s called a “Peak”, and not the “End”. In other words we can’t produce enough to sustain the economy and the world. Yes we will have oil, but not for all of us. Essentially the floating surplus that keeps the game going will evaporate and we will turn into a world where 7 billion people will want the very next barrel of oil coming out of the ground. It will be the end of cheap oil and the world will collapse.

When we think of the discoveries like off the coast of Brazil, they all sound so promising(15 Billion Barrels of Oil). Unfortunately the world uses 31.3 billion barrels a year so a discovery of 15 billion would only last a half a year. That’s if we could pump it fast enough, which we can’t. Even Saudi Arabia can’t do that from dry land.

When we think of oil, we picture the gas tank analogy. When the needle reaches E for empty is when we are in trouble. The world does in fact have a trillion barrels of oil left to produce. The real analogy is like a Pearl Harbor reconnaissance plane flying its mission over the ocean. The plane flies as far as it can for as high as it can. The pilot fulfils the mission of aerial photography of enemy positions. At a certain point though the pilot knows he must turn around at the HALF WAY point of the gas gauge to make it back home. When the needle reaches at half the tank the pilot MUST RETREAT and DESCEND to make it back to base. When the world has produced as much oil as it ever can in one day (peaked), when it has flown as far as it can for as high as it can the world economy MUST RETREAT and DESCEND.

14 04 2012
mikestasse

I don’t know where you’re from…… but here in Oz, we ARE on track to totally run out, twenty years after peaking. And if oil becomes so scarce and so expensive that almost no one can afford it, that the planes and the trucks stop moving stuff everywhere, don’t you think that’s as good as running out?

I bought 98 octane fuel for the Citroen yesterday at $1.69/L. That’s $6.75/gallon if you’re American…..

14 04 2012
informationforager

Technically, that is right. Whether it peaks or we run out the difference will be the same. For the purposes of the Peak discussion though when it’s confused with running out, people don’t understand it. We won’t run out of oil, we’ll run out of CHEAP oil.

14 04 2012
mikestasse

We’ve ALREADY run out of cheap oil! When it costs me $110 to fill up my 4 cylinder car, the end IS nigh as far as I’m concerned.

We are so far past Peak Oil in Australia that we are now discussing running out. We WILL run out, and much sooner than anybody cares to believe.

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