ColGlobe At The Spoof

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dominoes: Global Resources And Peak Production

Author's Note: Click on the links to expand on the subject matter being discussed. The data is taken from all over the world, including government agencies, research institutions and other top organizations, such as Forbes, the IEA, and more. Unless you follow the links, you are only getting a portion of the information.

Some of the best minds in the business have calculated that peak oil production probably occurred in 2008. That in itself is not really important, it merely marks a tipping point. What matters to you and I, and our children, and all the generations that follow after them, is that once that peak production was reached, the world will never again see the prosperity brought on by fossil fuels during the 20th century.

Yes, there are several prospects for alternative fuels. What most people do not realize is that production of alternative energy almost always requires the expenditure of fossil fuels or other non-renewable respurces under the constraints of our current technology. Hydrogen is hyped as the best chance replacement for crude oil, but commercial hydrogen production is really quite expensive and generally requires platinum. And platinum is becoming very rare already, as it is a crucial component of ordinary catalytic converters, among many other things.

We can, however, get more production out of our oil fields, which will sustain or even increase production for a short time. Doing so causes two problems, though: 1) It requires the use of other non-sustainable resources, such as rare earth elements. 2) Increasing the production once peak production has been reached hastens the end of crude oil. Unless you watch the news closely, you probably don't even know that we have already passed peak production of some rare earth elements. It isn't widely publicized.

Take note of the dramatic (and magical) increase of oil production from 2008 forward

For a graphic example, press the button in the center of a tire valve on one of your car's tires, and you will hear the air coming out, consistently slower as the tire deflates. This is equivalent to projected post-peak oil production. Now, go around to the other side of the car, and remove the valve from the tire stem completely. Instead of a gradual decrease, the tire will deflate many times faster. The end result is two flat tires and only one spare. Think about it.

Another theory, the abiotic theory, proposes that crude oil is somehow created naturally within the earth's mantle, and cannot be depleted. I haven't bothered to do much research on this idea, but it sounds like something cooked up by zealots to help explain away paradoxes in creation theory. If you really think that crude oil came from something other than decaying matter, you may want to read about abiogenic petroleum yourself.

But enough about rare elements. Copper is one of the more common metals, and it's usage can be dated back around 5,000 years. It is used in almost every electronic device made, and copper is becoming increasingly non-sustainable.

But, as the above rendention of an old commercial shows so eloquently, what is missing is the human element. At the very best estimates, world resources of water and food distribution will be strained to the limit at a population of 8 billion people. The good news is that we can purify water, and increase food distribution. The bad news is that it is going to require even more energy consumption. Here is the current estimated world population.

Here's how it all works:

From the moment a child is conceived, precious metals and other elements begin being used to support that person. Yes, from conception, through the use of medicinal aids and tools. As we age, we use more of the earth's resources. Then we procreate, renewing the process of using non-renewable resources. Every technological "advance" requires an additional supply of energy, making development of technology a liability in itself.

There is not a point to this entry..and that is the most important point of all.

1 comment:

  1. There's no "fossil fuels" and peak oil is a myth.
    "The suggestion that petroleum might have arisen from some transformation of squashed fish or biological detritus is surelely the silliest notion to have been entertained by substantial nummber of persons over an extended period of time". Sir Fred Hoyle, 192