Sunday, April 25, 2004

The Twilight of the Oil Age?

Sun goes down on Oil Rigs

The Faculty of Security Studies at the University of Openess (sic) hosts the Apocalpyse Project, a multidisciplinary study of theories about the end of the world as we know it. I was one of those who inspired it, driven, I think, the same impulse that leads me to largely reject religion.

After the successful workshop held in the graveyard of the Limehouse church on 24th April, we are near to organising a reading list and email discussion. The topic has been kicked around for quite a while, first in the Climate Change session, later on the UO mailing list and now recently in a discussion I’ve been having with two French dudes.

My understanding so far, based on the International Energy Agency reports, the U.S. Geological Survey and the energy chapter in Bjorn Lomborg’s book "The Skeptical Environmentalist", and other sources (including studies by Julian Simon and the National Center for Policy Analysis) is that reserves of to cover about 40 years’ worth of forecast usage are currently available for extraction production and that other sources of petroleum, namely shale oil and tar sands, will be economic with oil above $30 per barrel.

With plentiful coal and uranium, and wind power becoming a viable alternative, I’m doubtful that we need worry too much about the geology of oil, whatever about the wisdom of the political and economic risks the world takes in depending on the Persian Gulf for supplies.

However, I'm very much looking forward to experimenting as to how with this project. Between unaccountable governments, hysterical NGO's and incompetent corporations, what will a group of citizens - all educated, independent-minded and with diverse intellectual approaches - achieve to bring some light to these vexed environmental questions. Bringing more people to the UO would be a bonus.

Links to the project and related sources are available at the UO FoSS site linked above.

Peter 笔德