My comment are at the end of this post. npat1
Excerpts from post at: email@example.com
The coming global peak in oil production is a grave concern
PASADENA, Calif.-- Ancient Persians tipped their fire arrows with it,
To address the choices society will soon face in the inevitable peaking
of worldwide oil production, California Institute of Technology physics
professor David Goodstein has written a new book titled Out of Gas: The
End of the Age of Oil. Goodstein argues that
global production will peak sooner than most people think, possibly in
this decade--a view held by a number of geologists--and that the peak
itself will be the beginning of serious and widespread social and
Goodstein says that best and worst-case scenarios are fairly easy to
At worst, after the so-called Hubbert's peak (named after M. King
Hubbert, the Texas geophysicist who was nearly laughed out of the
industry in the 1950s for even suggesting that a U.S. production peak was
possible), all efforts to deal with the problem on an emergency basis
will fail. The result will be inflation and depression that will probably
result indirectly in a decrease in the global population. Even the lucky
survivors will find the climate a bit much to take, because billions of
people will undoubtedly rely on coal for warmth, cooking, and basic
industry, thereby spewing a far
greater quantity of greenhouse gases into the air than that which is
"The change in the greenhouse effect that results eventually tips Earth's
climate into a new state hostile to life. End of story. In this instance,
worst case really means worst case."
The best-case scenario, Goodstein believes, is that the first warning
that Hubbert's peak has occurred will result in a quick and stone-sober
global wake-up call. Given sufficient political will, the transportation
system will be transformed to rely at least
temporarily on an alternative fuel such as methane. Then, more long-term
solutions to the crisis will be put in place--presumably nuclear energy
and solar energy for stationary power needs, and hydrogen or advanced
batteries for transportation.
The preceding is the case that Goodstein makes in the first section of
the book. The next section is devoted to a nontechnical explanation of
the facts of energy production. Goodstein, who has taught thermodynamics
to a generation of Caltech students, is
particularly accomplished in conveying the basic scientific information
in an easily understandable way. In fact, he often does so with wit,
explaining in a brief footnote on the naming of subatomic particles, for
example, that the familiar "-on" ending of
particles, such as "electrons," "mesons," and "photons," may also suggest
an individual quantum of humanity known as the "person."
Goodstein dedicates the book "to our children and grandchildren, who
will not inherit the riches that we inherited."
The book, published by W.W. Norton & Company, is now available.
Contact: Robert Tindol tindol@...
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Goodsteins worst-case scenario is "The change in the greenhouse effect
that results eventually tips Earth's climate into a new state hostile to
A tip to an ice age is not a worst-case scenario and that can't happen
anyway, not with the volume of greenhouse gas emissions that humans are
putting into the atmosphere.
The worst case scenario is rapid increases in unbearable heat, humidity
and drought, with minimal food and water... and no air conditioning.
Plus terrorism and other social unrest and fighting over a resources
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