Oil!

So there went the summer… I went to Cuba, which was great. They have some first-hand experience with this energy crisis thing. Maybe the kind of forced energy conservation they’re living through is the future for us all?

I’ll just jump right back into this with some stuff about oil. I have some exhibits for you.

Exhibit A: Summer is great for catching up on reading, and this July I read this book: Oil 101, which is simply a more or less complete walkthrough of every single aspect of oil, from its chemical composition to its many uses to the incredible amount of factors that influence the price of oil. Check out this glowing review for the low-down. Recommended.

Exhibit B: Even the International Energy Agency (IEA) are now saying that oil production is now falling at an alarming pace. In fact,

The IEA estimates that the decline in oil production in existing fields is now running at 6.7 per cent a year compared to the 3.7 per cent decline it had estimated in 2007, which it now acknowledges to be wrong.

That’s quite an adjustment to make in just two years. The rate of decline is almost double what they thought!

Exhibit C: Of course, it doesn’t help that they seem intent on spilling all the oil after they’ve gone through such trouble to haul it out of the ground. Incidentally, I’m going to that area this weekend for a last few days of summer vacation. Nice.

Exhibit D: Drilling technology is advancing.

Exhibit E: This one is either scary or good news, depending on what mood I’m in. According to a paper from Energy Policy, the coming energy crisis will be so severe that the world economy will need to be completely reworked just to avoid collapse. The authors base it on a pretty optimistic reading of future energy estimates (which turn out to be too optimistic, see Exhibit B) crossed with estimates of future demand. The good news? Economic collapse allows us to just barely reach our goal of limiting global warming to 2 C…

PS: The title of this post is from the 1927 novel Oil! that inspired the very cool movie There Will Be Blood.

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