Monday, November 26, 2007

Peak Oil Production - July 2006

There are many in America scared about energy. I am quite concerned. In America, we have little to fall back on. We do not know our neighbors, nor what their strengths and weaknesses are. We have abandoned proximity for mobility.

James Howard Kunstler once said we would see Peak Oil in our rear-view mirror. If that is true, then we have peaked in July 2006, with global production of 85.5 million barrels a day. Saudi Arabia is producing less each year, as predicted by Matt Simmons. It is hard to dispute an energy crisis is now, and the Long Emergency has begun.

Though I do not own a car, this does not make me immune to the price of oil or the economy. And while Europeans already pay more for oil, they have not reduced their consumption. Therefore peak oil will affect them, albeit less than America.

Our road and transit infrastructure need more investment in Minnesota, yet we are reluctant to increase taxes because oil prices are significantly higher. But how do we fund fixing our roads and bridges? Can we disregard m and wait until they catastrophically affect the trucking industry and average drivers? To me, it seems foolish - yet this has been current Minnesota policy. That and Governor Tim Pawlenty borrowing money to fund road projects ( at excess of $2B ). Funding our roads with debt makes our roads a liability not an asset. If they are an asset, we should pay for them now and not later.

Energy research has also been lagging. Had pressure not been put on the Bush Administration, much of our energy research projects would have been axed. The priority of non-hydrocarbon research and development has increased in the last two years, but still needs to be at least tripled. It should be our top priority if we wish our quality of life to maintain and eliminate CO2 production.

I would like to find solutions to our energy problems. A possible solution would be drastic action to reduce our consumption, starting with rationing. This would wreak havoc on our economy in the short-term but reap enormous benefits long-term. The Oil Depletion Protocol is one such option. Does America or any other nation have the stomach for such foresight?

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