perspectives on the future what exactly is doomed ?
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DESCRIPTIONPerspectives on the Future What exactly is doomed ?. Bob Lloyd Energy Studies . Cheer up Christchurch . ☺. If you think its bad here it is likely to get much worse elsewhere . What is not doomed? . The future is not doomed, time will not stop. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
Perspectives on the Future
What exactly is doomed ?
Bob Lloyd Energy Studies
Cheer up Christchurch
If you think its bad here it is likely to get much worse
What is not doomed? The future is not doomed, time
will not stop. The earth is not doomed, at
least not for a billion years or so. Humanity is probably not
doomed; even James Lovelock talks of a few breeding pairs surviving in Antarctica.
What may be doomed ? The world’s physical resources, especially energy
are reaching limits The existing biosphere is degrading Many people in fragile and marginal environments
are doomed: they are already dying Resource wars are dooming more people Many species are doomed: they are currently
becoming extinct at an alarming rate Many freshwater supplies are degrading Fertile soils are degrading Our economic system and world’s fixation on
growth, wealth and GDP are doomed: they cannot survive a declining world energy supply
In Doomsaying Timing is everything
Prominent doomers who got the timing wrong
Malthus ( 200 years ago)
Paul Erlich (v Julian Simon
Meadows et al Club of Rome report 1972
Physical Resources reaching limits (Energy)
Fossil fuels Oil Coal Gas
Nuclear Renewables can they save us?
Oil data to June 2011
Oil consumption is flat lining
Oil Drum 2011
IEA on Peak Oil 28th April 2011
Fatih Birol - Chief Economist IEA interviewed on Australian Television recently
Peak oil is not synchronous
Developing countries are generally still increasing consumption
Developed countries are static or decreasing
OIL - Colin Campbell’s latest scenario puts peak oil (all liquids) at 2010:
GAS a decade later in 2020
Colin’s EUR for conventional oil = 1.9T bbls All liquids 2.5T bbls
What about coal?
There must be lots of coal everyone says so !
But coal reserve data is old and dated
A similar analysis to peak oil analysis was carried out by the German “Energy Watch Group” and they found peak coal could come as early as 2025 :albeit with a relatively flat plateau
Padzek and Croft predict peak coal in 2011 using a multicycle Hubbert
analysis: Energy Policy 2010
More realistic study by Minqi Li University of Utah Predicts peak coal for China AND the ROW by 2027 – Oil Drum July 2011
What about Climate change?
The earth is warming and the culprit is CO2
Current June 2011 CO2 is 393.7 ppm
450ppm CO2e IPCC
Jim Hansen 350 ppm CO2
According to Jim Hansen the safe level of CO2 of 350 ppm is only possible if …
1. No coal used after 2030 All coal emissions halted in 19 years
2. No Unconventional Fossil Fuels Tar sands, Oil shale, Methane hydrates
3. Only conventional oil used NO Polar regions, Deep ocean, Pristine land, No deep ocean oil off NZ
Tipping points and runaway climate change once temperatures go above 2 o
Current effects Fires in Russia Floods in Australia, Pakistan,
China .... Tornados, Twisters and
Hurricanes in various places Famines in East Africa Droughts various
Back to energy:What about Nuclear?
(Presently 6% of world energy supply from around 450 reactors)
What about Renewables
PV transition model for world electricity supply can solar replace
fossil fuels ?
Pessimistic and Optimistic embodied energy parameters for arrays ranging from 7000 MJ/m2 to 1750 MJ/m2
Solar radiation either mid European or southern European
Mineral resources needed cf world resources Costs ranging from $1/W to $4/W installed Limits of 10% of world electricity, flags % of
resources Land area limit of 1% of world land area or
1.5 million km2 cf area NZ 270,000 km2 Electricity growth rates ranging from BAU
(2.4% pa) through steady state to collapse situations
Conclusions from the model
The transition to renewables of our present world electricity supply is technically feasible
It would require considerable resources including up to 10% of world electricity supply pa to make the devices and around 10% of world GDP pa BUT
Material constraints would eventually prevail, however, if we want growth beyond the middle of this century
Energy and the economy Is oil money ?
History of oil and world GDP
GDP Data from Angus Maddison in constant US $
Ln world GDP and Ln world oil consumption
1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020
GDP 4.65% pa
Oil 7.34% pa
Oil 1.6% pa
GDP 3.2% pa
Oil consumption is closely linked to world GDP
1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015
Does this mean a decoupling of GDP from Oil consumption ??
World Debt and Coal consumption increasing
World Public Debt
Rest of World
KOREA, REP. OF
Data source "-Economist"
Gail the Actuary on Debt
See Gail Tvberg http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6191
Why we need growth? The world economy need growth to keep
people employed The financial system needs growth to pay
back debt and for interest payments The third world needs growth just to
BUT continuous growth is physically impossible – 2.3% pa increase in energy use leads to the following:
Tom Murphy Oil Drum Madness Murphy exclaims!
Highly non linear effects Originate because the world financial
system is predicated on growth Including our fractional reserve banking
system Debt and interest Are all essentially a Ponzi scheme Once growth falters then the system is
liable to non linear contraction
UK Govt report obtained under FOIA June 2011
Report conclusions When considering the consequences of
peak oil, no everyday experiences and only few historical parallels are at hand. It is therefore difficult to imagine how significant the effects of being gradually deprived of one of our civilisation’s most important energy sources will be.
Psychological barriers cause indisputable facts to be blanked out and lead to almost instinctively refusing to look into this difficult subject in detail.
What will happen to oil prices ?
Sadad Al Husseini ASPO 2009 Denver “there is a ceiling to what the global economy can afford for energy. Roughly speaking, once you get to five to six percent of the global GDP being spent on oil, that’s about the ceiling”
Implications oil price cannot go much above US$120 / barrel
Linear v non linear interactions
Linear: Hirsh - oil declines at 1% pa transport declines at 1% pa. world GDP declines at 1% pa. Economists like linear interactions as they are more
tractable Highly Non linear: oil declines at 1% pa world
economy collapses as financial system cannot work with negative growth (Knightian, Taleb: Black Swans) Highly Non linear interactions needs systems
dynamics modelling and even then chaotic systems cannot easily be modelled
Back to NZ
Is NZ ready for Peak Oil ?
It will depend on whether the predominant outcomes are linear or non linear and on the rates of decline of oil production
1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 20150
NZ Oil Consumption
NZ Energy Data File 2011
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 20100.00
Recent NZ oil consumption
But GDP has levelled off too
Scenarios for the future
Risk analysis: 4 scenarios
Optimistic: oil decline rate 0.6% pa until 2030
Pessimistic: oil decline rate 4% pa World economy reaction: linear World economy reaction: non linear
Linear 0.6% decrease pa Efficiency gains and transport
reorganization could mitigate crude oil declines with little adverse effects until around 2030 by which time either climate change difficulties or gas declines and coal peaking are likely to have triggered non linear responses.
Linear, 4% decrease pa
Efficiency gains could mitigate crude oil declines until around 2015 - 2020 depending on when the declines start. China and developing economies will be stressed by lack of petroleum supplies to fund further growth and the collapse of the world factory, among other problems, including climate change, are likely to trigger non linear responses elsewhere.
Highly Non linear, 0.6% decrease
Oil supply decline will trigger a slowdown in world economies and the world will move to a period of stagnating recession alternating with periods of recovery.
Evidence for this scenario has already appeared. What follows is likely to be a series of peaks and
downturns in the world economy as the non linear interaction unfolds and the world adjust to a declining oil supply.
Highly Non linear 4% decrease
A 4% oil supply decline per annum will trigger a run on the world stock markets triggering a substantial world depression necessitating a revision of the world monetary system.
Why have we let the world get to a situation whereby the inertia of the global system will make mitigation of these problems, in time to avert
an energy decline and an environmental catastrophe ,
difficult or impossible ?
I have explored possible reasons for this apparent insanity
Brain development : evolutionary deficits in the brain – Koestler – the growth delusion
It appears to me that: Our ability to solve complex problems such as
climate change and peak oil may be compromised by the structure of our brain - not allowing us to mitigate in a rational manner
Our recent belief in Growth parallels our longer term belief in Religion – they may tap into the same areas of the brain
Growth suits big business and through neuro-marketing this gives another level of reinforcement
In addition growth is needed by people in the third world for just for survival
Fossil fuels are profitable
The 800 billion tones of coal in the ground is worth around US$ 40 trillion at US$ 50/tonne
The remaining 800 billion barrels of oil is worth around US$ 64 trillion at US$80 per barrel.
Eric Fromm: The Sane Society 1956
Argued that society in mid 1950s was in fact insane The reasons he gave were:
War: 8000 conflicts between 1500BC and 1860AD average 2.4 per annum
Economy: Wars ,contribute to GDP, consumption and waste contributes, growth is paramount , NO emphasis on well being just on having more stuff
Media and advertising: population filled with mindless trivia “the cheapest trash and sadistic fantasies “
Since then Wars: Wikipedia count of conflicts since WWII is around
200 or 2.7 per annum . % killed, number killed increasing and now we have thermonuclear weapons , drones, cluster bombs, depleted uranium.
Economy: is now out of control Europe is on life support. Greece has just made a technical default. The US is deadlocked trying to raise its debt limit above 14.3 trillion US$
Media and advertising: the Murdoch circus has hit town and the culpability of the media in contributing to the insanity is finally being recognised . We now have neuromarketing targeted on children, 3D exceedingly violent computer games , mobile advertising etc.
I think the real question we have to answer is: Are people
actually capable of independent thought?
Can they resist the media, neuromarketing, the global advertising machine, the war machine, the growth economy and the mindless pursuit of more wealth and ever more stuff? AND
Can the rich decrease their consumption to allow the poor to increase theirs ?
Questions and discussion