It seems fossil fuels are starting this new year with a lot of bad news. It is not only a treehugger’s hope and dream but also an incresingly pressing reality. Let us start with reviewing coal.
According to TreeHugger, ” a Ford representative is saying that they are “going to be aggressive rolling [stop-start] out”. As we have seen previously, such innovation enable cars to stop automatically their engines when not moving. Such a simple system could cut the oil consumption by ten percent for urban driving while only costing around … Read more
With shale oil and other extreme oil sources, many think peak oil is dead, or at least is not threatening our economies. But this couldn’t be more wrong. The historic average oil prices are of $25. Current prices are above $110 a barrel.
Five years ago, they were less than half of that. As the Conversation notes, current high prices have a huge toll on our economies as we spend $9.5 billion globally on oil every single day, amounting to a staggering $3.5 TRILLION each year.
This addiction is hurting our economies each day more are the global demand keeps on increasing, fueled by developing and emerging nations.
It had been a long while I hadn’t blogged on oil prices. This came to me as last week I found two pieces of news showing how oil prices are just going up and up and how they will just keep on increasing in the next months and years.
First and foremost, according to PeakOil.com, US drivers are paying in 2013 higher gas prices than in 2012, which were higher than 2011, which themselves were also higher than in 2008, when oil prices reached their all time high of $147 a barrel.
Still to this website, the annual average for 2012 for Brent crude – one of the benchmarks for oil prices – was higher than in that fateful year of 2008.
For my ultimate post of 2011, I would like to write about something that was little to not noticed at all, yet as crucial as the increased importance of extreme weather events : oil prices were at their highest average ever this year.
In 2008 – when oil prices reached the all-time high levels of $147 – the barrel of brent had averaged ” only ” $99. We had then noticed a near-exponential escalation of oil prices…
To TreeHugger : ” If (the) Kyoto Protocol dies at COP17 climate talks, so does our climate “. This article reminds us that the next round of UNFCC climate talks will start in less than two months in Durban, South Africa.
It also reminds us that it is the only law we have on a global level on climate and that even if the United States are still not part of the process it is working (quite) well as developed nations decreased their emissions since 1990.
Due to end in 2012, the Kyoto Protocol might not be perfect but really got us moving on climate and energy issues.
To TreeHugger : ” Leave it to the nation’s premier fake newspaper to pen the best real article on climate change I’ve read in weeks.”. Similar opinions have come from Andrew Revkin in the New York Times and Grist. Having read the full article, I can say it is indeed a fantastic reflection showing that … Read more
Further to the Fukushima catastrophe in March, Japan has been decreasing in a massive way its electricity consumption. Indeed, only 17 nuclear reactors are bringing power to the grids out of the 54 existing ones. As the New York Times notes :
” Preliminary figures indicate that regions under conservation mandates have been able to meet reduction targets and even exceed them, providing a possible model of conservation’s potential when concerns about global warming are mounting. “
” In the Tokyo area, the government is pushing to cut electricity use by 15 percent between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays to prevent blackouts – and on Thursday, that target was met compared with last year.”
According to Fast Company : ” Many major cities have seen a decline in driving over the past few years. The reasons for this are varied, but if it’s a continuing trend, it’s going to mean drastic changes for the way we shape our cities. “ ” (…) There’s just one caveat: The study only … Read more
According to Environment America, a federation of US organizations, the country could reduce its oil dependence by 79 billion gallons per year—more than all of their imports from OPEC nations.
For those who are not familiar with gallons and other non-metric – I almost wrote exotic – measures, this represents 299 047 530 936 liters of oil, or 1.88 billion oil barrels. These would save the United States 5 million barrels of oil per day !
These are huge savings, perhaps not as much as the US could and should do but by any means, this would represent an excellent beginning. Would this be enough in the face of peak oil ?
In French, we have an expression, ” la fuite en avant “ which can be explained this way : “A fuite en avant is something one does when one is in a losing situation, and one hopes to salvage it by doing more of the same or worse.”
Not that I want to delve into linguistics… I am writing about this as the answer to our oil woes is not “more” but “less”. We are beyond the end of conventional oil. The International Energy Agency stated so.
What we are heading towards is unconventional and dirtier, even extreme oil. Think about the mess caused by oil shales…