For several years now I have been waving the flag trying to catch activists and citizens attention about the serious connection between peak oil, global warming and war making, especially nuclear war. Well, a significant development by a conservative source has now underlined this message. In its 2009 report the Energy Information Administration (EIA) has joined ranks with peak oil folks in its "International Energy Outlook." The report is a radical turnaround, one issuing "gloom and doom" according to one analyst.
In 2007 the EIA report projected the projection of conventional oil to be 107.2 million barrels per day by world sources by 2030. Now, in 2009, the projection for 2030 is 93.1 MB/D, a drop of 14%. The EIA has gone from rosy to cloudy, dark clouds due to compounding factors. The first compounding factor is the surging increase in Asian oil demand expected to resume with the economic turn about in 2010. The second compounding factor are the technical, environmental, and energy demands to produce unconventional liquid fuels. These changes will have huge effects on economic, military, and human issues affecting all nations, beginning with the United States and China.
In 1990 Asia and the Middle East consumed 17% of the world's oil. They are projected to consume 41% by 2030. China is expected to pass the US consumption in the next five years. How will this competition between the US and China play out?
At present, unconventional fuels (syn fuels) account for 4% of liquid fuel production. The report estimates that this will be 13% by 2030. Don't look now but demand is racing ahead of supply with these slippery projections. Canada's oil sands, Venezuela's extra heavy oil, Brazil's deep off shore oil and biofuels, Arctic oil and natural gas, Colorado's oil shale, every body's coal to liquids (CTL) offer some relief from conventional oil limitations, but at the costs to the environment and energy demands. Think about the changes in international relations implied here. Think about the billions of poor living, existing, fading implied here.
Then, there is global climate change.
You can obtain Michael Klare's full analysis by going to Truthout.com: "It's Official - The Era of Cheap Oil is Over -- Energy Department Changes Its Tune on Peak Oil."
Yesterday, I read an insightful piece by Chris Hedges, who said we need to resurrect our emotion and put it behind our rational understanding. Amen.