Judging by the relatively low level of interest the past few articles published here regarding the collapse of fossil fuel ERoEI (along with PV’s) have attracted, I can only conclude that most people just don’t get it……. How can I possibly fix this……?
When I first started ‘campaigning’ on the issue of Peak Oil way back in 2000 or so, 2020 seemed like a very long way away. I still thought at the time that renewables would ‘save us’, or at the very least that energy efficiency would be taken up on a massive scale. None of those things happened.
Way back then, I gave many public powerpoint presentations, foolishly thinking that, presented with the facts, (NOT alternative facts like we have today…) people would wake up to themselves. I even foolishly believed that the Australian Greens would take this up as a major issue, because after all the ‘solutions’ to Peak Oil also happen to be the ‘solutions’ for Climate Change. Now you know why I have turned into such a cynic.
In that presentation, there was one important slide, shown above. It is indelible in my memory.
I’ve now come across a very similar chart, except this one has dates on it….. and 2020 no longer seems very far away at all….
COLLAPSING ERoEI IN ONE CHART
I have selected three years; 2017, in red; 2020 in black; 2025 in green.
Each year has two lines. One for how much energy is being extracted, and the lower one of the same colour shows the net energy available from that extraction. The ‘missing’ energy, lost to crashing ERoEI, is the difference between the two lines of the same colour…. Already, in 2017, we probably only have the amount of energy that was available mid 1980.
By 2020 (which I happen to believe will be crunch time), net energy available is roughly equal to what we had in ~1975.
By 2025, we will be down to 1950 levels………
It doesn’t matter whether I’m out by 1, 2, 5, or even 10 years (which I very much doubt). The point is, the global economy will have shrunk dramatically by then. It simply cannot grow without energy, more and more of it every year in fact. Without growth, the entire money system will have collapsed, and it’s anyone’s guess how many banks will be left standing. Or governments for that matter, the electorate has recently proven itself to be very very fickle……
Why this isn’t mainstream news beggars belief….