No Blog Posts Added Yet

What if?

26 April 2012
THE PEAK OF WORLD OIL PRODUCTION AND THE ROAD TO THE OLDUVAI GORGE

When you live on a boat for 3 years, you become very aware of the base elements that sustain a comfortable quality of life onboard. Most of us have solar panels, generators and massive alternators that keep our batteries topped-off. This in turn keeps our refrigeration cold and enables the use of the watermaker to sustain our fresh water supply for drinking, showers and dish washing. Fresh water and cold food are undoubtedly first world concerns. However, all it takes is a couple of weeks without a refrigerator and fresh water to realize just how important those two elements of life really are to most of us that have become accustom to the modern world. I am quite certain that even the most conservative of us cruisers is completely dependant on diesel fuel to sustain our quality of life while at anchor and sailing.

Soooo...what if "Peak Oil" is real and we are running out of the critical energy source that sustains our modern existence? The thought process associated with depleting oil supplies leads even the most optimistic sailor down a dark path of horrific scenarios. The good news is that "Peak Oil" means we don't need to worry about Anthropogenic Global Warming anymore...and thank goodness for that! However, before one can consider the implications of such devastating events, it is necessary to understand the critical elements of our modern world that would lead to a rapid decline in the present quality of life that most of the first world population enjoys.

The United States Census Bureau estimates that the world population exceeded 7 billion on March 12, 2012. The world population has experienced continuous growth since the end of the Great Famine and the Black Death in 1350, when it stood at only 370 million. Current projections show a continued increase in population with the global population expected to reach between 8 and 11 billion by 2050. There is no denying that the human population is growing at an exponential rate like that of a well fed bacterium. The primary reason this rate is possible is the modern methods of food cultivation and medicine. Unfortunately, both food cultivation and medicine is completely dependant on affordable petroleum supplies.



Most people do not realize that without petroleum, the world wouldn't have the ability to produce massive quantities of pesticides, fresh water, fertilizers, and fuels to run farm machinery. If "Peak Oil" is real, it will soon be impossible to grow enough food to feed the current population, much less the current growth rate. In addition, most all items used in modern medicine contain petrochemical derivatives. Some of the main categories are medications, synthetic rubber, clinical disposables, sterile packaging and even the stainless steel and titanium joint replacements are completely dependent of petroleum.

So what if "Peak Oil" is real and we are fast approaching the depletion of crude oil? Unfortunately, present day alternative sources of energy will not save the world from a systemic collapse that would occur over the next 40 - 50 years. This is the case for several reasons, but mainly because of a problem of "net energy": the amount of energy output is not sufficiently greater than the amount of energy input. All alternative forms of energy are so dependent on the very petroleum that they are intended to replace that the use of them is largely self-defeating and often irrational. Alternative sources ultimately do not have enough energy producing capacity to replace 30 billion barrels of oil each year...or even to replace just a small fraction of that amount.

So what if "Peak Oil" is real? How will the remaining energy be used to maximize the development of alternative energy sources before it is too late?




Energy Returned on Energy Invested versus Energy Content: Source The Oil Drum
The Oil Drum: Why EROI Matters

"Most economists are not too concerned about peak oil (if they think about it at all) because they believe that markets will generate substitutes from which markets will choose. But today's markets often give very misleading signals about the potential of various fuels. The boom and bust of ethanol is an obvious example. I have been working on this issue for 40 years and have no idea what might be an adequate qualitative and quantitative substitute for petroleum except possibly and with enormous difficulty something based on electricity."

Charles Hall
State University of New York
College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Syracuse New York




Comparative Costs per kWh of Alternative Energy Sources





Comments
Album: (Main) | .
Ships, Dunes. Port Said
187 Photos
Created 2 April 2016
The Pyramid
562 Photos
Created 2 April 2016
Giza, Karnak, Suez Canal
331 Photos
Created 2 April 2016
Giza, Karnak, Suez Canal
125 Photos
Created 2 April 2016
Luxor, Valley of the Kings, Karnak, Giza, Step Pyramid
176 Photos
Created 2 April 2016
Luxor, Valley of the Kings, Karnak, Giza, Step Pyramid
280 Photos
Created 2 April 2016
Pirates, Yemini Rebels, More Pirates, Sand Dunes, Bedouen, Lobster Feast, Saukin Ruins, Diving Paradise
389 Photos
Created 2 April 2016
Port Galle
47 Photos
Created 24 December 2015
Lake Toba, Coffee Plantations, Batak People, Orangutan, Sipiso Piso
163 Photos
Created 22 June 2015
29 Photos
Created 29 May 2015
Beijing, Forbidden City, The Great Wall
239 Photos
Created 18 May 2015
Mekong River, Chau Doc, Ho Chi Minh City, Cu Chi Tunnels, Hanoi
416 Photos
Created 1 May 2015
Angkor Wat, Temples, Buddhas, Siem Reap
230 Photos
Created 25 April 2015
Phi Phi Don, Phi Phi Le, Phuket, Koh Mok, Bangkok
191 Photos
Created 11 March 2015
Kuala Lumpor, Pangkor, Penang, Langkawi
54 Photos
Created 1 March 2015
Padangtegal Mandala Wisata Wanara Wana Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Balinese long-tailed macaque
66 Photos
Created 24 September 2014
Lovina Beach, Ubud, Cock Fighting, Wood and Metal Craft, Rice Terraces, Temples & More Temples, Kopi Luwak Tasting, Flowers & More Flowers
117 Photos
Created 24 September 2014
Uluru, Las Olgas, Coober Pedy, Opals
43 Photos
Created 30 December 2012
Sky Scrapers, Ferry Boats, Parks, Pubs, People
86 Photos
Created 21 November 2011
Caves, Canyons, Roos and Wambats
132 Photos
Created 9 November 2011
Talcum Powder Beaches, Mushroom Rocks, Reefs, Pine Trees, Caves
61 Photos
Created 1 October 2011
Turquoise Water, Pink Powder Beach Sand, Mushroom Rocks, Paradise
93 Photos
Created 21 September 2011
Pines, Frenchies and cool breezes.
17 Photos
Created 12 September 2011
White Beaches, Lizards, Hot Springs, Reefs
110 Photos
Created 19 August 2011
Volcanos, Lava, Ash, Rain, Kava, Banyan Trees
136 Photos
Created 8 August 2011
Low Tide Sand Spit & Bon Fire Party
44 Photos
Created 23 June 2011
Crystal Clear Water, White Sand Beaches, Palm Trees
35 Photos
Created 6 May 2011
Ports, Towers, Americas Cup, Wind, Rain
18 Photos
Created 20 March 2011
Mount Doom hunt for Hobbit
100 Photos
Created 10 March 2011
Volcanos, Crater Lakes, River Shoots, Steam Gysers
55 Photos
Created 5 March 2011
Butterflies, Steam, Gysers, Quakes and Redwoods
62 Photos
Created 22 February 2011
Giant Trees of the World...and Lori
11 Photos
Created 17 February 2011
Four Wheeling Beaches, Sand Dunes, Light Houses
87 Photos
Created 12 February 2011
Costume Kiwis, Sevens, Velux, Ferries, Traffic, City Scapes
64 Photos
Created 4 February 2011
Knifes, Pancake Rocks, Arches, Tasman Beaches
104 Photos
Created 27 January 2011
Balls, Flowers, Castles, Beer...Cold!
112 Photos
Created 14 January 2011
Fiords, Bars, Cold Rain, Snow, Ice
70 Photos
Created 7 January 2011
Wind Surfing, Expensive Shops, Parties, Friendly People
35 Photos
Created 23 December 2010
Waterfalls, Rivers, Rapids, Sheep, Glaciers and Majestic Views
96 Photos
Created 20 December 2010
Vinyards, Mountains, Camping & Lakes
18 Photos
Created 17 December 2010
Glaciers, Beaches, Camping, Helicopters, Hiking
74 Photos
Created 13 December 2010
Castle Rock, Jacksons Retreat, Highway 73
36 Photos
Created 11 December 2010
Trenches, Poolside Bars, Boat Work
34 Photos
Created 3 December 2010
Coral & Caves
106 Photos
Created 4 October 2010
Fjords, Markets, Whales and The Fleet
100 Photos
Created 18 September 2010
Snakes, Caves, Coral and more Snakes
94 Photos
Created 10 September 2010
Arches & Caves
103 Photos
Created 8 September 2010
Chasms, Whales, Caves, Arches, Cool Beach Bars, Kiwis
70 Photos
Created 8 September 2010
Wahoo, Marsters, Whales, Nasty Weather, Surreal Anchorage
53 Photos
Created 8 September 2010
Cannons, Sky High Views
33 Photos
Created 7 August 2010
Crystal Blue Water, Parties, Yacht Clubs, Deep Anchorage, Wind and Rain, Diving
133 Photos
Created 17 July 2010
Sharks, Bigger Sharks, Moray Eels, Lion Fish, Deep Blue Water
60 Photos
Created 17 July 2010
Vanilla Tours, Moorings, Wind, Solar Eclipse and Private Feast for Two
81 Photos
Created 13 July 2010
Beautiful Mountains, Palm Beaches, Calm Anchorages, Pizza
57 Photos
Created 4 July 2010
Big Waves, Rain, Surfers
27 Photos
Created 27 June 2010
Noise, Shopping, Yacht Quay, French Speaking People, Great Food
86 Photos
Created 16 June 2010
Squalls, Mahini Islet, Sharks
33 Photos
Created 7 June 2010
Fish, Coral, Sharks, Giant Horned Sea Cucumbers and Baracuda
49 Photos
Created 7 June 2010
Pearl Farms, Oysters, Expensive gifts, Cool Places
40 Photos
Created 31 May 2010
Cold Beers, Exotic Locations
19 Photos
Created 28 May 2010
Coral Sand Beaches, Rough Passage, Drift Diving, Sharks
34 Photos
Created 28 May 2010
Mountains, Large Trees, Incredible Views
31 Photos
Created 19 May 2010
Waterfalls, Rest, Friends, Boat Drinks
88 Photos
Created 17 May 2010
Mega Yachts, Pizza, Laundry, and Tattoos
20 Photos
Created 9 May 2010
Diving, Coral Heads, Hiking and Rain
36 Photos
Created 7 May 2010
Paradise, Cliff Diving, Hiking, Rain
76 Photos
Created 5 May 2010
Empire of the Evil Tikis
89 Photos
Created 21 April 2010
Big Seas,Squalls, Doldrums, Hull Speed
72 Photos
Created 17 April 2010
Puerto Vallarta/Manzanillo/Zihautanejo/Angangueo/Guadalajara/Tequilla
125 Photos
Created 11 February 2010
Malecon, Street Vendors, Shopping, Rivers, and Buses
31 Photos
Created 15 January 2010
Touristas, Jungles, Beaches and Boat Drinks
68 Photos
Created 15 January 2010
Blues, greens, turquois, and thalo.
137 Photos
Created 6 December 2009
Inside Sea of Cortez
125 Photos
Created 12 November 2009
San Diego to Cabo San Lucas with 193 other boats and big seas to start.
109 Photos
Created 6 November 2009
11 Photos
Created 25 April 2009
9 Photos
Created 1 March 2009
120 Photos
Created 28 April 2008
74 Photos
Created 10 October 2007
47 Photos
Created 1 December 2006
10 Photos
Created 1 December 2006
7 Photos
Created 1 December 2006
47 Photos
Created 1 December 2006
23 Photos
Created 1 December 2006
23 Photos
Created 1 December 2006
4 Photos
Created 1 December 2006
8 Photos
Created 1 December 2006
19 Photos
Created 1 December 2006
19 Photos
Created 1 December 2006
12 Photos
Created 1 December 2006
119 Photos
Created 1 December 2006