Peak Oil + Public transport
Merlin, et al
Please read Nine Shift: Work, Life and Education in the
21st Century by William A. Draves and Julie Coates. Chapter 9:
"Trains Replace Cars: Shift Four." The prediction is that: "In just
ten years, between 2010 and 2020, cars will go into decline, replaced as the
predominant mode of transportation in the U.S. by light rail and trains."
Draves and Coates analysis indicates that trains will replace cars in the U.S.
within the next 15-years, not because of legitimate environmental concerns,
or the price of oil or gasoline, or because of public policy.
"Economics rules, and trains will replace cars because of a fundamental economic
need to replace cars. Public policy will change, Congress will have
a change in heart, but it will follow the economic need, not precede it."
Please, check out www.lern.org or www.nineshift.org and order the
The Gluskin Townley Group, LLC
Merlin here, from the UK.
I do the bike and train combo, works very well. On one train line
I've used there's a system where the bike hangs up, and the FreeRad fits,
just. One guard would not let me on a return train, although I told him
the bike had come on the train here without problems...
The FreeRad looks (and acts!) bigger than it is, need to show people where
the back wheel usually comes to, and that it is only a little longer.
We don't have those racks on the front of busses over here.
For those of you not aware yet, Peak Oil is hitting about now.
Will be more bikes, is the good news :~)
http://www.re-cycle.org ~ Bike Aid for Africa
Oil is the world's premier source of energy and is fundamental
to almost every important function of modern life. It fuels 95 percent of land, sea and air transport, so the
efficient movement of raw materials and goods, as well as personal mobility, is
almost entirely oil-dependent. Food production too relies heavily on oil
to run farm machinery and to make fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides.
Oil generates 40 percent of the world's commercial energy, provides heating
fuel, and drives industry and commerce. No other existing energy source
can match the versatility, convenience and low cost of oil. Moreover, it
supplies feedstock for many thousands of manufactured products as diverse as
plastics, medicines, clothing and building materials.
Global demand for oil has increased seven-fold over the
past half-century due to rapid population growth and industrial
expansion. The world now consumes
about 82 million barrels of oil a day. (A barrel is the
equivalent of 42 U.S. gallons or 159 litres.) Demand is generally
expected to continue growing at an average annual rate of one to two
percent. The International Energy Agency forecasts that worldwide
oil demand could exceed 100 million barrels a day by 2020. The
greatest rise in demand is expected to come from developing nations.
Growing transportation needs throughout the world would account for up to
three-quarters of the projected increase.
Oil industry leaders acknowledge that new sources of oil
are becoming increasingly difficult to find and more costly to
exploit. New oilfield discoveries
have been declining steadily for 40 years despite extensive exploration
with the most advanced technology, and most importantly, finding giant new
fields is becoming ever more rare. Recently, major oil companies
have had to cut their production growth targets. In 2002, the world
used four times more oil than was found from new sources. Since
about 80 percent of the oil that will be necessary to meet projected needs
in 10 years time is not currently in production, unprecedented levels of
investment and yet-to-be-achieved technological advances will be required
to balance supply with future demand.
industry's ability to locate and recover ever-smaller volumes of oil has
improved significantly but the physical limitations of the resource are
inescapable. Operating experience from tens
of thousands of oilfields shows that the rate of production always rises to a
peak and then begins to fall off when about half the recoverable oil has been
extracted. Since the world's total endowment of oil is finite and
non-renewable, in due course, as new discoveries become insufficient to offset
the natural depletion of existing reserves, overall output will reach its
maximum limit and begin to decline.
The world has now consumed almost half the total amount
of conventional oil most experts estimate will ever be available for
recovery. Assessments of the world's
ultimately recoverable oil reserves vary but 65 published studies by oil
companies, geologists, government analysts and consultants over the past
50 years have produced remarkably consistent estimates. The overwhelming
majority of these put the world's original endowment of recoverable oil at
no more than about 2,400 billion barrels; the average estimate is 2,000
billion barrels. Cumulative worldwide consumption had exceeded 900 billion
barrels by the end of 2003.
number of experts now foresee a permanent downturn in global oil production
rates within a matter of years. Although
past premature forecasts have led many to view warnings of impending oil
scarcity with a great deal of scepticism, no fewer than a dozen recent
independent analyses, using different assumptions and demand growth projections,
all show global production reaching its natural peak within the coming
decade. Even the most conservative of these, based on what some consider
an implausibly high estimate of the total oil endowment, forecasts the peak by
As growing demand
exceeds available supplies, oil prices will rise substantially and the effects
will be felt throughout the global economy.
Oil is the world's single largest traded commodity, accounting for over half the
total value of all commodity transactions. Fears of oil supply disruptions
alone can create financial panic. The few episodes of dramatic oil price
rises in the past 30 years, due mainly to events in the Middle East, have shown
how vulnerable the world economy is to the impact of supply restrictions.
High oil prices fuel inflation, contribute to economic recessions and create the
greatest hardship for those least able to bear the additional
The world will become increasingly
dependent on oil from the Middle East as supplies from elsewhere
decline. Already over 50
oil-producing countries have passed their peak production, including the United
States, once the world's largest producer, which now relies on imported oil for
over 60 percent of its domestic needs. Most other producing nations are
expected to reach their peak within the next few years. The only
exceptions will be a handful of oil-rich Persian Gulf states, which hold about
two-thirds of the world's proven reserves. Saudi Arabia alone controls 25
percent of those reserves.
The productive capacity of Middle East
oilfields is uncertain and the risks of supply disruptions are heightened
by continuing political instability in the
region. Oil from the Middle East
currently accounts for almost a third of the world's supply and that share
will grow steadily in the years ahead. While it is commonly assumed
that some excess production capacity is available to meet short-term
increases in demand, little is known about the longer-term potential for
growth. In any case, intensified worldwide competition will
inevitably accelerate the depletion of those reserves and the onset of
falling output. Moreover, securing reliable supplies from the region
comes at a substantial additional expense. Some estimates put the
military costs of protecting pipelines and tanker routes, borne mainly by
U.S. taxpayers, at around $15-20 a barrel.
The era of cheap, plentiful supplies of oil is
coming to an end, requiring fundamental restructuring of the world's energy
systems. Any shift towards new, more costly
alternatives is bound to be difficult and time consuming. Growing
recognition of the serious environmental damage and climate-changing effects
caused by burning oil (and other fossil fuels) is beginning slowly to drive new,
long-term energy policies. The approaching peak and decline in oil
supplies adds urgency to the need for greater energy efficiency measures and
more rapid development of sustainable energy alternatives.
See http://www.fcnp.com/521/peakoil.htm for recent effects
PEAK OIL RELATED
Good intro, inc video, and links
For daily updates and links to mainstream
Lessons from Russia
The official site of the Association for
the Study of Peak Oil & Gas.
Clearing house for news regarding the peak
in global energy supply.
Dedicated to raising awareness &
discussion of the impending & permanent
decline of cheap oil & gas
Oil Depletion Analysis Centre working to
raise awareness and promote better
understanding of the world's oil-depletion
GLOBAL PUBLIC MEDIA
Public service broadcasting for a post
POST CARBON INSTITUTE
Learning to live in a low energy
US site and forum to educate and promote
awareness of global hydrocarbon
The Foundation for the Economics of
Chris Vernon's Peak Oil Blog
CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION
THE OIL DRUM
OIL PRIMERS: WHAT IS PEAK OIL?
http://www.earthship.org - ultra eco-house, provides its own heat, water,
electricity and some food!
Domestic Tradable Quotas - http://www.dtqs.org/ - something the government
would have laughed at 10 years ago, though are looking at now...
Centre for Alternative Technology - http://www.cat.org.uk/