I am repeating here something I just posted on my Facebook page because I feel I should go on record as having expressed this view more widely.
The stupidity or outright crassness of sections of the media, including the BBC, simply astounds me. Many are crowing that the ‘myth’ of peak oil is over and that we will never run out of oil in the ground. The second part of that sentence is true but only because we will never have the technology or the funds to extract it and even if we did we would seal our own doom by doing so.
The fact remains that oil production has not been able to lift its game to escape the production plateau it has been on since 2005 even though demand is always increasing and has not yet reached its own peak.
This article explains it better than I can.
I will say though that however much or how little oil we extract and burn up in the future, our civilisation will not survive the effects of climate change that our fossil fuel consumption has already set in motion.
A report soon to be released estimates that it will take an amount of at least $60 trillion (equivalent to the whole world’s annual GDP) to mitigate the impacts of climate change at an increase in temp of 2Centigrade above pre-industrial levels of the methane release (50 Gigatons) from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf alone, leave alone all of the other factors.
The world just does not have the means to fight such a battle. A battle which it is also estimated to be arriving on our doorstep 15-35 years earlier than previously expected. This means that much of our civilisation will be wiped out in 20-40 years and there is not a thing we can do about it.
How much does that put into perspective the loony ideas of planting a few trees or changing a few light bulbs. And how insanely futile does the plans for more oil drilling and more coal mines seem.
I should add to this, and I wish I had included this in my Facebook post, that the effects of climate change originally estimated to result from a 2C temperature increase, we are now seeing globally at less than 1C (currently temperatures have risen only ~0.8C). A 2C increase was in the past seen as a safe value to work towards setting as a do-able limit. There is recent serious talk of reaching something between 4C and 6C increases before the end of the century. These things are always, have always been, underestimated. What horrors await us I cannot even begin to imagine. Well, I can, but I would choose rather not to contemplate such things.