The Coming Global Oil Crisis.

1. What does the future hold for oil?
* Oil depletion is inevitable, coming soon, and significantly. Different countries will suffer from the impact in different ways: UK, Mexico, Indonesia.

2. Can new supplies be brought on-line on time and at a reasonable price?
* No, but even if they could, the carbon footprint of  non-conventional oil dramatically limits its potential to offset oil depletion.
* Furthermore, every attempt to flog non-solutions (tar sands, shale, coal-to-liquids, hydrogen, ethanol) is precious time lost to get to plausible alternatives.
* Therefore net energy is the essential metric to find out which technologies can save the day.

3. What strategies can the USA pursue to create conditions for stability?
* Especially for the USA, the automobile is our nemesis. In the 21st century it is a travesty that it takes 4,000 pounds of metal to move 200 pounds of people. That’s only 5% efficient! Solar energy is sufficient to power high capacity transport – 100% – using only the system’s 4′ to 8′ right-of-way.

Sometimes complex truths become more clear when we put them in very simple terms. Around the world, political leaders are still living in the delusion that we have time on our hands to find sensible alternatives to oil. But global oil production has peaked.

A significant example of collapsing oil production is Cantarell, recently the largest oil field in the Western Hemisphere. From over 2 million barrels per day in 2004-2005, Cantarell is now producing at around 700,000 barrels per day.

Technology can help but humanity needs more than technology – we need high leverage methodologies as well. And, at the very least we need a new way of thinking about the impact of fossil fuels on the environment.

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