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The coming global peak in oil production is a grave concern

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  • P. Neuman self only
    My comment are at the end of this post. npat1 ======================== Excerpts from post at: fuelcell-energy@yahoogroups.com ======================== The
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2004
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      My comment are at the end of this post. npat1
      ========================
      Excerpts from post at: fuelcell-energy@yahoogroups.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
      economic consequences.
      ...
      Goodstein says that best and worst-case scenarios are fairly easy to
      envision.

      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
      currently released.
      "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@...
      http://pr.caltech.edu/media/Press_Releases/PR12478.html
      j2997
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      ==============
      [npat1 comments]
      ==============
      Goodsteins worst-case scenario is "The change in the greenhouse effect
      that results eventually tips Earth's climate into a new state hostile to
      life" ...
      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
      limited Earth.

      Pat N







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