Posts tagged “peak oil”
On May 3rd I will be delivering a talk called Moving Beyond Oil Dependence as a part of UC Santa Barbara’s Spring 2012 Chemical Engineering Seminar Series. The talk will roughly follow the outline of my book, and I have used several graphics from the book in the presentation.
However, I created a couple of graphics specifically for this presentation that I believe explain the majority of the oil price escalation over the past decade. True, part of the price rise may be due to speculation, but the following two graphics show just how robust demand has been even in the face of $100 oil. The data source for both graphics is the 2011 BP Statistical Review of World Energy:
I am traveling some over the next two weeks, and did not have a chance to record my weekly video segment this week. However, last Friday I was a guest on Alan Colmes’ show on Fox News Radio, so I will share that this week instead. I had been a guest on his show last month to discuss whether President Obama bears responsibility for high gas prices.
As I said then, gas prices are outside the control of a sitting U.S. president. As an aside, gas prices appear to have peaked for now and are on the way down. Does anyone who blamed Obama for higher prices think he is responsible for bringing them back down? That is in fact a dangerous issue to campaign on, because if gasoline prices fall between now and the election — and you have made a big deal out of how they are the President’s responsibility — guess what? President Obama now takes credit for falling gas prices.
Anyway, I am drifting off topic here. On his show, Alan and I discussed my new book Power Plays. Some of the topics we discussed were:
- What peak oil means
- The role of speculators in the oil market
- Why I am skeptical that we will address rising carbon emissions
- Whether methane hydrates are a viable alternative energy source
- The difference between our oil shale resource and oil reserves
- Which alternative fuels are promising
My new book — Power Plays: Energy Options in the Age of Peak Oil — has been published. A press release issued last week describes the book in some detail:
Here I want to describe a bit about the evolution of the book, discuss what’s in it, and finally provide contact information for reviewers who would like a copy.
It was less than a year ago that I was contacted by Jeff Olson, a Senior Editor at Apress, which is a division of the large global publisher Springer about writing “a book for educated laypeople on today’s energy issues.” I had been contacted a couple of times previously about writing a book, but the timing wasn’t right for various reasons. This time, I felt like I could pull it off, and around the first of August 2011 I actually sat down to write the first words. Eight months and 272 pages later, it was published. CONTINUE»
I have gotten numerous inquiries about the book I am working on, so just wanted to provide a quick update. I have been unsure about exactly how long this process would take, but apparently it is a lot faster than I had imagined. My original thinking was that it would be out around the middle of next year, but I found out today that it is already available. People have been asking about the title, but I have been saying that it isn’t set in stone. Well, it is now: Power Plays: Energy Options in the Age of Peak Oil I don’t actually know if that cover is final; this is actually the first time I have seen it and… Continue»
I have just returned from the annual ASPO conference in Washington, D.C. This was only my 2nd ASPO conference; the first one I attended was in 2008 in Sacramento. There were many familiar faces; some of whom I had previously met and some I only knew by reputation. The mood seemed remarkably calmer than in 2008. That year, oil prices were just coming down from record highs, a pair of hurricanes were causing spot gasoline shortages, and the economy was headed into the toilet. The general mood was that things were rapidly unraveling. Three years later, the long-term outlook isn’t really any different, but I think some who predicted imminent doom are starting to change their views on how things… Continue»
The 2011 ASPO-USA Conference will take place in two weeks. The dates are November 2nd-5th, and the venue is the Capitol Hill Hyatt in Washington, D.C. The only other ASPO conference I have attended was the 2008 conference in Sacramento, so I am looking forward to catching up with and hearing presentations from people I haven’t seen in three years. At the 2008 ASPO conference I gave a talk on where to find credible energy data, one on biofuels (here is the outline of that talk), and then I participated in an evening panel session. At this year’s conference I will also deliver two talks and participate in a roundtable. The first talk will be on how to conduct technical… Continue»
This Week in Energy is a weekly round-up of news making headlines in the world of energy. Most of these stories are posted throughout the week to our Energy Ticker page. The purpose is to stimulate discussion on energy issues, and community members should feel free to turn these into open thread energy discussions. Suggestions and news tips are welcome. I (Sam) can be reached at editor [at] consumerenergyreport [dot] com . Military and DoE Studies According to a new study: From Barracks to Battlefield: Clean Energy Innovation and America’s Armed Forces [PDF], by Pew Charitable Trusts, the U.S. Defense Department could spend upwards of $10 billion annually on alternative energy by the year 2030. The DoD spent $15.2 billion… Continue»
For the past few months, the normal schedule on R-Squared Energy has been altered in order to ease Robert’s load so he can devote more time to writing chapters for his book on energy, slated to be published sometime next year. Instead of the customary twice-weekly essays written by Robert, we accepted guest articles once per week to keep the blog filled with fresh content while Robert published one essay (and sometimes two) of his own per week. While we still welcome guest post submissions, our plans moving forward are to cut down on how often we publish them. What we’re kicking off now is a weekly segment that will cover the stories of the week making headlines — and… Continue»
I read two books on my recent trip to Europe. The first was Cracking the Carbon Code by Terry Tamminen. l reviewed that book here, and indicated that while I disagree with the notion that we will come up with a viable solution to rising carbon emissions, some of the steps that Tamminem suggested — like improving energy efficiency — are worthwhile in any case. And I felt that the book as a whole was well-written. I had mixed feelings about that book, and I have mixed feelings about Howard Johnson’s book Energy, Convenient Solutions: How Americans Can Solve the Energy Crisis in Ten Years. Johnson is a self-described “chemical engineering graduate of Purdue University in 1949.” On the one… Continue»
A theme that I commonly discuss in articles and presentations is the problem of economic recovery when oil prices are high. If the market is well-supplied and there is ample excess oil production capacity, oil prices tend to be moderate and stable, and economic growth can proceed without much headwind. However, the world has now had essentially flat oil production for several years in the face of historically high prices. This implies — and I believe it is true — that there are serious supply constraints within the system. I believe that some countries do still possess spare capacity, but that the overall amount isn’t large. I think if there was much excess capacity, we would see countries taking advantage… Continue»