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Shell report predicts peak oil now or soon, ponders ‘Depression 2.0′

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 11:43 EDT
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The industrial doomsday scenario put forward by peak oil theorists isn’t just for far flung voices on the Internet anymore.

Peak oil is not a problem of Earth’s supplies: there’s plenty of oil in a variety of forms. The difficulty is in how much energy it takes to recover and process it. And if it hasn’t happened already, soon the demand for energy commodities will soar past existing production capacity and crash headlong into the brick wall of declining discoveries.

The economic effects of this could be devastating to the human populations within industrialized societies, to say the least.

That’s not just the line from Noam Chomsky, Michael Rupert and Dmitry Orlov: the second largest company in the world, Shell International, a major player in the energy commodities industries, is saying it too.

In a recent “Signals & Signposts” report by Shell, forecasting energy scenarios through 2050, the oil giant predicted a growing volatility in the price of oil and a coming period of “extraordinary opportunity or misery.”

As the demand for oil buts up against actual production and remaining reserves, the climbing price of oil will cause the gross domestic product of all nations to decline, they predict.

In another section, Shell calls these economic effects “Depression 2.0.” Though that scenario is introduced as “unlikely,” the rest of the report does not paint a rosy outlook.

Climate and environment

Shell predicts that as the energy industry struggles to meet global demand, “environmental tension will swell and spread.”

They add: “Political, industrial and individual choices will determine whether these tensions can be resolved and whether the solutions will be benign or harmful to us.”

Within what they called a “zone of uncertainty,” energy entrepreneurs will have “extraordinary opportunity” for growth if the right assemblage of technology is made available. However, Shell adds that competition and “natural innovation” in energy efficiency would only account for a moderation in demand of about 20 percent by 2050.

Meanwhile, between 2000 and 2050, demand for easily accessible energy will triple, they predict.

China, Shell adds, is preparing to institute its own cap-and-trade system for regulating carbon emissions. Businesses around the world, they noted, have already largely started to accept that climate regulations will soon become a reality for global trade and have begun to budget accordingly.

But even the most rapid improvements in renewable technologies, like electric cars or microorganisms that convert captured carbon into liquid fuel, won’t help much in the near term.

“New energy technologies must be demonstrated at commercial scale and require thirty years of sustained double-digit growth to build industrial capacity and grow sufficiently to feature at even 1-2% of the energy system,” they wrote.

The bumpy peak

Shell predicts in clear terms what journalist Michael Rupert said in his recent film “Collapse“: more shocks to the industry loom ahead, which will lead to increased price volatility, producing rapid inflation and deflation on the consumer level.

And if that phenomena hasn’t already begun, they add, it will be in full-boar by the end of this decade.

Interestingly enough, Shell also predicts that “[the] longer the delay in climate policy action, the more likely shocks become.”

One such example would be the potential for peak output in Saudi Arabia. If it were a reality and word got out that their fields would be in permanent decline, it could produce extreme price variations and social unrest amid worsening economic conditions. A series of US diplomatic cables from 2007-2009, published by secrets outlet WikiLeaks, revealed that the former head geologist in charge of exploration for the Saudi oil firm Aramco, who retired in 2004, has expressed very serious concerns that this was happening.

This admission would seem to run counter to Shell’s political strategy, which has been to help fund the obfuscation of efforts toward climate policies. They were particularly generous with former Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who was a loyal supporter of their interests.

According to the nonprofit activist group Oil Change International, as of August 2010 Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) topped the list of US politicians who’ve benefitted handsomely from the generosity of the oil and gas industry. He’s accepted over $1.8 million from them.

Other names atop the list, they add, include “Representative Joe Barton (R-TX) at $1,707,173; Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) at $1,147,558; Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) at $1,123,006; Representative Rick Boucher (D-VA) at $1,094,811; and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) at $1,004,514.”

Read the full report here (PDF).

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
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  • Anonymous

    It’s almost past time to ramp up renewable energies. It would be wise to be proactive to help head off the coming energy “crises”. The country with the best overall energy policy will be the winner in the future power “wars”.

  • Anonymous

    This is the part where global warming deniers get crushed by the weight of their own b.s. If we as a country do not start to move forward we will all get dragged down as well.

  • Guest

    Thanks a lot, know-nothing anti-science bashers of the environmental movement. Decades and decades of insults from you and what is your reward? Runaway climate change and economic depression! You guys are such geniuses! Hope all that Rush Limbaugh was worth it to ya…

  • Anonymous

    Glad to know Shell is pouring all their research/exploration budget into alternate energy technologies.

  • Anonymous

    We’ve wasted 40 years. We got the first warning shot in the early 1970s. Carter took some promising steps to boost use of renewable energy, only to be u-turned by Reagan. Then we spent 20 years fighting wars over oil, spending trillions that could have been invested into getting us off oil instead. And now it’s 2011 and we’re still on square 1.

    The problem, of course, is that our government is a wholly owned subsidiary of corporate special interests, and those interests want to keep things exactly the way they are, even if it leads to the destruction of human civilization and the planet.

  • Anonymous

    World’s energy needs = average energy needs times number of people in the world.

    Might birth control be a factor in the equation?

  • Anonymous

    While I agree with the general sentiment that reality will catch up with climate change deniers, we must resist the temptation to be intellectually lazy and to conflate the issues.

    The issue here is not climate change. It is peak oil. Peak oil is why we have no choice in the matter and need to get off oil anyway, regardless of what other damaging effects its use has.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah they spend a few millions on token research into renewables, and then spend a hundred times as much on greenwashing PR campaigns to tell us about it.

  • Anonymous

    In our little ruts, we resist change. The only constant is change.
    The monetary, possibly unenforceable, judgement against Chevron for the polluting in Ecuador,
    the lack there of, of accountability toward BP for the Gulf of Mexico, are cases in point that peak oil
    just may be a good thing. Those who continue to profit from beating this dead horse, hold the rest back
    from alternatives. And I don’t mean coal and the plug in car, light rail that spread just as much poison.
    I.E. mercury releases in the environment

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DPZWG5EHEJBYONDVTXHP5QTMHU RobertW

    It’s like what Mitch McConnell said yesterday about Obama’s budget ” He [the President] would rather spend money on windmills than balance the budget.” This is the mindset that will do anything to minimize green energy development. And Mitch is probably thinking ” so what if we run out of oil, there are always whales we can bank on.”

  • Don Corleone

    I can’t explain exactly why, but if Shell is reporting this then it can’t be the truth. Just another excuse to raise prices, as always, I presume.

  • Anonymous

    Forgive me, but that’s just complete BS. We Americans alone are 5% of the world’s population and we consume 24% of the world’s energy. The problem is not the third world. It’s us – us meaning the developed world – and our failure to transform our way of living into one that is sustainable.

  • http://www.ameridane.org/ thingwarbler

    Don’t think truth when it comes to outfits like Shell, think profit and tactical advantage. They may be evil, but they’re not stupid. They’ve long since realized that the cash cow of fossil fuel can only be milked for so long before they’ll need to adapt to the harsh reality of climate change and peak oil. After all, you don’t think they actually believe their own lies about climate change being a hoax, do you? They know we’re right, it just wasn’t convenient or profitable for them to agree — and as long as they had idiot suckers like Cornyn and Inhofe going to bat for them (and limp-dick “opponents” like pushover Obama pretending to reign them in), they could have their cake and eat it, too.

    So make no mistake: as long as it suited their purposes (and their bottom line) they could deny climate change and fund the mouthbreathers who managed to hold back alternatives for decades, allowing them to maximize their profits from oil. Now that their strategists have apparently come to realize that there’s more potential profit from switching over, they’re simply preparing their investors for the change of tune to come. Next will be a million-dollar “re-write history” PR campaign to paint them as forever spearheading alternative energy, hyping all that they’ll be doing to own that game, too.

  • Anonymous

    Wasn’t making any reference to the third world. Merely pointing out that even if the world attains a sensible per-person consumption level, the population is also a critical factor. Disagree?

  • Anonymous

    demand the release of free energy technology, break the chains of reliance on fossil fuels.

  • Anonymous

    James Lovelock says it is too late.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    wit

  • Roberthe

    It’s been quite a year so far, and it’s only February. In many ways, Shell’s announcement is a relief: 1) I’m always amazed when corporations tell the truth about risks; 2) I don’t think it’s too late to save ourselves from the looming debacle of collapsing economies, countries and ecosystems, and countless multitudes of starving people. If the deceit dissipates the possibility of meaningful debate and the will to act on what we must do to maintain some semblance of technological society goes up dramatically. Good luck to us all!

  • http://twitter.com/MrEthiopian ed smith

    Bullshat! the oil companies have been preaching peak oil over and over, its nothing but a lie to squeeze more money out of us.This prediction of peak oil is based on an old and flawed system and the oil company’s understand this and refuse to change.

    How can we believe Shell oil, if it the (Peak oil study) was performed by a truly independent group that has no connection with project profits of selling peak oil, then the study of peak oil would have some merit, but a study done by the same people that potentially stand to make money based on this report is nothing but a marketing ploy to make more money.

  • Guest

    all our problems become more manageable with less people.it was 1 billion less than 200 years ago, now at 7 billion!! what are we trying to do see how many we can fit on here at once? the Eco systems crying mercy. we will regulate are own numbers or they will be regulated for us . . by the usual suspects war ,famine,pestilence ect . . if Vegas ran a line on this the four horses would be heavy favorites.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t expect the criminal oil cartels with the republican crime syndicate to let that happen.

    The right wing will be the death of us all!!

  • Mr. Neutron

    And climate change is why the solution to Peak Oil is not to triple the use of coal by turning it into a replacement for dwindling oil production (coal to liquids), even if this was possible…

    The world is complex – issues are related.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VQWPH3VNR5NTXMH6DFPLENMXAE Dane

    Oh dear, oh my, oh goodness…be afraid, people, be very afraid.

    On the other hand, Shell: Go f*** yourselves.

    Oil barons continue to assume that all future roads lead to their energy cash-cow. Meanwhile, they don’t mention that they were behind the demise of electric cars in the 1990s (and electric cars decades earlier), they were behind the sluggish growth of public transportation, they were behind the continued use of rubber tires for cars…and the list goes on and on and on.

    When Shell and its ilk decide that the world can get along just fine without their petrol products, change will happen. But only after Shell and its ilk rob us with “peak oil”, “rising prices”, and everything else that is pure Big Oil bullcrap.

    This isn’t headline news. It’s corporate propaganda.

  • Mr. Neutron

    No, I think we’re on square 3 or 4.

    Wind turbines have come a long way since Carter’s time – of course, Denmark (Vestas) did much of that progress, not the U.S.
    Photovoltaics have made a lot of progress since Carter’s time – again, many advances came from Germany and Japan – one country sticking its head in the sand cannot stop planetary-wide progress. And even with reduced support during Reagan and the Bush’s, PV work has progressed in the US. Now China is ramping up production, bringing economies of scale to bear on this young technology, and creating billionaires in the process.
    Transportation has made a lot of progress towards using electricity instead of oil in 40 years – the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf are on sale now, and new electric cars from young companies like Tesla and BYD are hitting the market. All the other companies, like Toyota and Ford, are working on plug-in hybrids and electric cars – everyone knows Peak Oil is coming, it’s just a question of exactly when.

    We are nowhere near ready for Peak Oil, but the world is definitely more ready for a crash program now than it was in 1970. If Saudi Arabia admitted it had peaked and oil hit $300/barrel next year, and gasoline hit $9/gallon, all these alternatives would see explosive growth. Of course, industries like airlines would crash and burn, trucking costs would go through the roof and things like food and clothing would get a lot more expensive, many people with SUV’s and pickup trucks won’t be able to afford to drive to work (which happened when gasoline hit only $4/gallon), etc – there will be huge dislocations, but at least the beginnings of solutions are in place.

  • Mr. Neutron

    He’s 91 – a crotchety old man.

    He thinks Civilization might fall, but humans will survive:
    Human beings are very tough and will survive – have survived for at least a million years. Civilisations, though, are fragile. Thirty or so have come and gone in the past 5,000 years. And there’s no reason to assume that ours is permanent.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/james-lovelock-the-green-man-517953.html

  • Anonymous

    How is Peak Oil propaganda? It might suit the oil company’s need in the short term to propagate Peak Oil, but that doesn’t make it any less true. This country should use whatever means necessary to inform the public that we need to leave fossil fuels in the ground for another 300 million years. Sounds to me like “Peak Oil is a sham, there is plenty of oil left” is the real propaganda oil companies would want you to believe….then there would never be an incentive to get off the fossil fuel tit. Whatever is the truth of it there is no denying that mining, drilling, pumping, extracting, burning, and combusting fossil fuels are not environmentally sustainable practices.

  • Anonymous

    yea but latex rubbers come from oil….darnit all to hell!!!

  • Mr. Neutron

    The oil companies have been denying Peak Oil for decades – they didn’t want people to develop alternatives too aggressively. If an oil company now, finally, admits Peak Oil is close, that means they don’t expect to be able to deny it much longer.
    Like Exxon-Mobil still does.

    Have you heard of this 2003 book?
    http://www.amazon.com/Partys-Over-Fate-Industrial-Societies/dp/0865714827/ref=tmm_pap_title_1
    This 2004 book ?
    http://www.amazon.com/End-Oil-Edge-Perilous-World/dp/0618562117/
    This 2005 book ?
    http://www.amazon.com/Twilight-Desert-Coming-Saudi-Economy/dp/047173876X

    Corporate media has been downplaying the Peak Oil issue because they don’t want Joe Sixpack to panic and demand that steps be taken to get ready for this. People like the Koch brothers, Halliburton, and Xe (formerly Blackwater) like the current system just fine, thank you very much. And they work to make sure Congress and news corporations feel the same way.

  • Anonymous

    This! 20 years from now we could be on 100% clean renewable energy, if only we had the political will…

  • Anonymous

    Hydrogen from hydro and thorium proton reactors. Long haul and commuter rail. We will be back to walking soon. The oligarchy continues to isolate and fortify themselves. Despotism and scattered anarchy are the future.

  • Anonymous

    was this before his last book

  • Anonymous

    This is news? Didn’t one of its retired representatives already appear before Congress saying we’ll be paying $5 a gallon for gasoline in a few more years? I thought that meant the stage was already set for the price increase and we consumers were just supposed to sit back and say, OK.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t worry, The Republicans and their ignorant will only claim this is liberal propaganda. It was only a few years ago that Shell and the oil industry was pooh-poohing this idea. Wait until the come out and say Global Warming is a real threat.

    Profits above Humanity – The Globalist Way.

  • Anonymous

    Poor helpless baby

    You don’t have to be their bitch, just stop burning oil.

  • Anonymous

    To be honest, both are going to have to happen. The rest of the world is going to have to slow up or halt population growth and the US has to become a hell of a lot more efficient with respect to fossil energy use.

  • Monkei

    Don’t worry, when it comes time for oil companies to start losing money they will figure out new technologies to keep us hostage.

  • Mr. Neutron

    China could care less what propaganda American or European corporations tell their people.

    But they know Peak Oil is imminent, and they are exploring, drilling, and locking up 30 year contracts for as much oil and natural gas as they can get their hands on. Of course you should doubt everything corporations say through PR, but this issue goes way beyond Western oil companies.

    Whether you blame oil companies, Wall St. speculators or Ahmed the local gas station owner, high oil prices are approaching – get used to the idea. Anyone still driving a large gas guzzler when Peak Oil hits deserves what’s coming. You should already be preparing for the storm on the horizon.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_J2BKVG44GLNRGIAYKD7UO4O27E Arthur Young

    I am only hazarding a guess, but this like some of the readers have suggested is a ploy to get the World ready to pay BIG TIME. The Oil Industry sells a product that powers cars and freight trucks , heats homes,there are very few of us who are going to refine our own petroleum !! Say what you will about these Barons…they could care less, unless there is a threat to life and limb ( their business and their families ). What is to stop these vultures charging a 100 dollars a gallon, our government who have allowed them to decimate Public Transport and Alternative Energies. I still to this day believe that when they have sucked every dollar/drop….they will move to charge us for the very alternatives they held back . Supposedly Nikolai Tesla approached some people about free energy utilizing the Earth’s magnetic field and then the same people asked Tesla how much they could profit , his answer was met with a swift metaphorical kick in the ass, Capitalism at it’s finest !!!

  • Anonymous

    Super high energy prices might bring those off shore jobs back to our shores as the cost of moving commodities will be too high. There is some good and bad in everything.

  • Anonymous

    This is propaganda. The reserves have increased by 20% since 1989.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070411.wrreynolds11/BNStory/Business/home

    “TrendLines, the Canadian statistical research company, confirms this assertion in its February report on URR — “ultimate recoverable reserves.” In an analysis of optimum reserves, TrendLines concludes that the world’s URR is now increasing, depending on the period you select for comparison, at twice or thrice its historical pace. From 1957 through 2006, it says, URR grew at an average annual rate of 2.4 per cent.

    From 1979, it grew at an average annual rate of 4.2 per cent. From 2000, it grew at an average annual rate of 6 per cent. “Peak oil” prophet Mr. Campbell, TrendLines says, has underestimated the actual rise in URR by tenfold.

    In 2000, the U.S. Geological Service (USGS) calculated that global URR would increase by 2.4 per cent a year for the foreseeable future — rising from 1,669 billion barrels in 1995 to 3,345 billion barrels in 2025. (A billion barrels — one Gb — is roughly the amount of oil that the U.S. keeps in its Strategic Petroleum Reserve.) “Peak oil” proponents dismissed the USGS analysis as impossibly optimistic. As with all apocalyptic manifestations, peaks must necessarily be imminent. Yet the forecast has proven significantly understated.

    Driven by smart technology, global URR now increases each year at unprecedented rates. It has now (December, 2006) reached 3,288 Gb, not far off the USGS calculation for 2025. It increased last year by 114 Gb, compared with a historical annual average increase of 47 Gb. Sustained at this rate for another 20 years, the world’s ultimately recoverable oil could increase by another two-thirds to 5,568 Gb, or three times the resource when “peak oil” proclamations began. Assuming consumption of 30 Gb a year, this URR could sustain production for something approaching 200 years. Once again, the end is not nigh.”

  • Anonymous

    Write your representative. And learn how to farm. The latter will likely yield more fruitful results.

  • Anonymous

    And the ‘Idiot’ Jimmy Carter showed us exactly what to do in 1978 to avoid this & the GOP Bogus Wars/ Depression II. But we wanted the the Hollywood B actor story teller. We still haven’t paid for his ‘Morning in America’ LIES.

  • Anonymous

    This is going to be used to justify $6/gal prices in the US. Don’t fall for this BS.

    BTW: “U.S. carbon dioxide emissions fell record 7% last year”

    – “While emissions have fallen in three of the last four years, 2009′s drop was the largest since the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) began keeping comprehensive data in 1949. —

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2010/05/us-carbon-dioxide-emissions-fell-record-7-last-year/1

  • tehamawhiteneck

    And still no real incentives to get away from oil and her owners

  • Anonymous

    In response, Shell immediately raised gas prices.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Q7G2NHLD62L3CDU7VHFZ4QPVQM Unknown

    Had the Goverment not been feeding billions in subsidies to the oil industry maybe would have had a replacement by now. As it stands now were going to have a major culture shock.

  • Anonymous

    That’s bullshit. Their economy depends on us buying stuff from them.

    If our leaders tell us not to buy their stuff then China is gonna get really pissed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kenneth-Darryl-Spencer/1612917002 Kenneth Darryl Spencer

    oil companies don’t control oil prices

  • Anonymous

    I saw Michael Rupert speak several years ago, where he discussed various topics, including Peak Oil, PNAC, and 9/11.

    His prediction, as to the public acknowledgment of Peak Oil, is right on track. I don’t feel like getting into a fight on the rest of it, at the moment, but suffice to say, he opened my eyes, and shifted my paradigm that had been shocked into place by the events of 9/11.

  • Anonymous

    Cogent, and rather Mark Twain-esque.

  • Anonymous

    Who controls oil prices? ACORN? Just look how they manipulated the real estate market!

  • Anonymous

    We NEED $6 gas

    Shit we NEED $10 gas

    It’s the only way we are gonna get weaned from the stuff

    Until we do, we will just continue to support war and destruction all over the planet.

    Oh and by the way: YOU ARE DUMB

    The oil companies WANT OIL TO BE CHEAP. They don’t WANT to encourage alternatives. They want to stay nice and cheap so everyone will stay hooked.

  • Anonymous

    The controlling group of this nation just spread BS and propaganda not caring what lies they spew.
    They have become so arrogant and criminal they would put the mob to shame.
    The republicans have always been aboard.
    But now democrats are jumping aboard if not ,, the group controlling the democratic funds and power will see that they are not elected or reelected to office.

  • Anonymous

    Frantaylor, you are one nasty person. I’ve seen you just outright attack posters on this forum who make very rational arguments.

    If you don’t agree with the person, fine, then rebut their points, as that is your prerogative.

    I do attack people, here, but only jerks like you, who have already opened that can of worms.

    My prediction is, you’ll now attack me, and pretend that coming along and replying in your opening line to a post “That’s bullshit” isn’t an attack.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PSKROFVS7E4PVTI2CEPLFWEJII John

    Everybody should just stay home….for longer periods.

    Have fun while you are staying there.

  • Anonymous

    Whoa. This report is a SHELL scenario working from their assumptions, their data, their desires for market dominance. I am on page 55 (admittedly skimming this thing) and I’ve read these docs before. The same scare -mongering was done 20 years ago when it was thought we would be out of oil by 1996.

  • Anonymous

    Do you have any clue the damage that so-called renewable energies are doing because people don’t understand what’s involved with creating them?

    The current food crisis in the third world is the result of the first world arrogantly wanting its conscience cleansed with biofuels that cost more in fossil fuels to make than the ultimate fuel created. And look what wind turbines have wrought, are wringing, right now in China. This is like the Baby Boomers who had to have clean water for themselves and have polluted the world with plastic bottles for two decades.
    Take an effing look at this:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1350811/In-China-true-cost-Britains-clean-green-wind-power-experiment-Pollution-disastrous-scale.html#ixzz1DYUmDCAs

  • http://proudprimate.com Proud Primate

    Stephen — great article, great story. A few quibbles:

    “As the demand for oil buts up against actual production”

    should be “butts up” — “but” is a conjunction. The noun and verb are “butt”.

    “it will be in full-boar by the end of this decade.”

    Stephen, the expression is “full-bore”, and the reference is to the inside diameter of a carburetor throat. It is identical to “full throttle”, meaning that the throttle plate is parallel to the airflow, presenting virtually zero resistance. This is a Kosher phrase — no pork at all.

    As to the gist of the story, it may be that “the party’s over” and they’re headed for the cloakroom.

  • Anonymous

    Who cares how much oil there is!

    The simple fact is that the price is gonna go up. Up up up. Not coming down. Ever ever ever.

    If you are smart you will find another way to go. If you are dumb you will continue to be an addict and pay continually higher prices. You will give your money to foreigners and they will use your money to fuck you. If that is what you want then I suggest you get your butthole primed.

  • Anonymous

    Bullshit. That would encourage alternatives. They want oil to stay CHEAP. They are ALREADY using your taxes to keep the price artificially low.

  • Anonymous

    Are you kidding? Those subsidies are pure profit. If they come up with alternatives then the subsidies will go away.

  • Anonymous

    They’ve already figured out what to do: they get the government to give them your tax money. Is this the “new technology” you are talking about?

  • Anonymous

    “And look what wind turbines have wrought, are wringing, right now in China.”

    Please elaborate!

    Here in the US they are working out great. Low cost, reliable electricity. As reliable as the wind and the weather. Good jobs for US workers manufacturing and repairing them. You can’t outsource repairs!

  • http://proudprimate.com Proud Primate

    The greatest part is, the wind is totally local. You don’t need a distribution network (although windy areas can indeed export. My point is, all those farmers and ranchers can put up windmills and sell the power into the grid. Wall Street will have to look on with envy because that’s all they have left.)

  • Monkei

    No, not at all, BigOil knows they can only make a limited amount of cash on oil, they will simply move to another form of technology, maybe something they bought the rights to years ago, and just start using that and gouging us as they have done with oil. It’s pretty simple stuff.

  • http://proudprimate.com Proud Primate

    What about 20 years ago? In ’73, the wife and I went to a seminar back in Denver, where the old Leftie told of a copper smelting plant on the banks of the South Platte River in the 20′s which was run entirely on methane from the sewage plant. If the criminals had not stopped us, we could be well on the way to a, maybe not soft landing, but a survivable one. As it stands, we are probably looking at terrible refugee flows and unimaginable weather and sea problems.

    Likewise (or, contrariwise) the National City Lines that bought up trolley companies in major US cities, tore up the tracks and put in rubber tired smoky diesel buses. Owned by SOCal, Firestone, Phillips Petroleum and GM.

    As Poppy Bush told veteran DC journalist Sarah McClendon (as reported in her newsletter in 1992), “Sarah, if the American people had ever known the truth about what we Bushes have done to this nation, we would be chased down in the streets and lynched.”

    Again, we waited too long. Imagine how much better off the world would be if we had lynched every one of them in ’92! 9/11 would never have happened, nor the Iraq or Afghan War, probably no Enron coup against California, very likely no Sharon administration or 2nd Intifada. The only thing that gave the old lizard the guts to pull off his strut on the Temple Mount 9/28/00 was the assurance that the fix was in on the Bush v Gore contest.

  • Anonymous

    “Shell report predicts peak oil now or soon, ponders ‘Depression 2.0′”

    Great. Now the tories can introduce “Hell_ver2.01″, where they take our bodies from the “Debt Prisons,” hospitals, “brown” skin police-pull-overs, homeless shelters, make-believe terrorist cells, in-the-middle-of-the-night raids, etc., ; heat then up to remove the fat and combine them with plastic bags so they can have fuel to drive their 550 hp cadillacs/humvees to a golf tournament.

    Machine turns plastic bags into fuel

    http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/02/15/6059428-machine-turns-plastic-bags-into-fuel

    Oh shit. I fell asleep while reading about the Morlocks in the “The Time Machine.” Sorry about the terror.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah soon. Like 3 weeks ago soon.

  • http://proudprimate.com Proud Primate

    One very promising technology is this combination of solar furnace with a cerium oxide (“ceria”) oxygen pump for hydrolysis. Cerium is a member of the Rare Earths, but it’s nearly as abundant as copper. The article, quoting the BBC, says “Ceria has a natural propensity to exhale oxygen as it heats up and inhale it as it cools down.” This really cool Ethiopian chick is the principle researcher in the field, with her grad student.

    As for explosive growth in investment, Gerald Celente in this podcast tells Eric King of King World News that there are bright spots on the horizon — two in particular. Here’s what he told Eric King:

    “And, is there a game changer, Yes! And it’s alternative energy. And we identify two of the most hopeful and probable game changers in the Trends Journal. Because here’s the deal, Eric: Go back to 1990s, we’re in a recession. How did we get out? Very simple: our whole lives changed. It was the internet revolution. Those of us old enough to remember the late 80s and early 90s, it wasn’t like that. We didn’t have what we have today. Products were invented, designed, manufactured — serviced. Marketed. It was a whole revolution. Productive capacity. Without a productive capacity, we can’t get out of this.

    The alternative energies that we’ve identified, and one of them is the word you’re not supposed to ever say out loud, but we’ll say it, is, cold fusion. They call it now “low energy nuclear reactions”. And after we came out with the Trends Journal, in Italy, Rossi, R-o-s-s-i, go on YouTube, they did an experiment in front of everyone. These are very hopeful and positive developments that are coming. The whole game will change.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_L3CO7EDEIVXRO47OAWUBUUBJXA Textynn Textynn

    The elite have been running around behaving like the Titanic is sinking and blatantly pulling life jackets off of kids in plain site. peak oil is past tense.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kenneth-Darryl-Spencer/1612917002 Kenneth Darryl Spencer

    traders on the nymex and ice via futures contracts. by the way the wti futures price for dec 2019 is $103.52. if oil companies were using the peak oil scenario wouldn’t it be at least $150-250.00?

  • Anonymous

    Nationalize these bastards!

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

    Nonsense. That does not change the realities they, and others warn us of. As a solution, your suggestion is just plain silly.

  • http://proudprimate.com Proud Primate

    Arguments to the contrary are limited at best. They consist of fears, justifiable in many cases, that elites have serious plans to delete major portions of world population. The worst part is, the survivors will be genetically selected to be ruthless sons-o-bankers. Reduction by attrition is not part of that scenario. Rather, they lean toward quicker fixes.

  • Anonymous

    I’ll tell you what is not silly –the oil companies receive federal subsidies and make obscene profits while sitting on their ass and manipulating the price of crude instead of investing the profits in building new refineries. In addition to that, speculators in cahoots with the gas companies artificially manipulate the price to make big bucks themselves.

    Maybe you weren’t around in the 70′s when people had to wait in lines around the block to buy gas or could only buy on odd or even days depending on the last number of their license plate tag. Meanwhile ships filled with oil are sitting off the coast of California filled with oil and were not allowed to dock and unload it.

    These are contrived and nobody can do anything about it because they are a closed loop monopoly. I would nationalize these bastards, slap a neck jolting windfall profits tax on their ass, and then I would do the same thing to the insurance companies.

  • Anonymous

    In 1979 Carter had Solar Panels installed/working on the White House . In 1980 Ronnie Raygun/Bush had them removed/destroyed . We have wasted more than 30 years because our so-called leaders have been puppets of the oil/coal/gas industry . Imagine where we might be if the past 3 decades of government money had gone to alternative energy development instead of increasing the profits of Exon/Mobile/Shell/BP/ the Koch Brothers , Halliburton , ect. ect. . …. 30 years wasted , unless you’re the oil industry .

  • Anonymous

    I agree….until we start paying for the environmental degradation in our utility bills and gasoline costs we will never stop using this poison. Paying 8 dollars a gallon will hurt in the short time but will eventually lead us towards renewables.

  • Anonymous

    Reagan killed numerous alternative energy intiatives his first illegal year in office*. He was a corporate whore, first-class who screwed the whole country.

    (*His “October Surprise” deal with the Iranians was treason withoutt a doubt. He stole the election, then things went quickly downhill from there.)

  • Anonymous

    They will take over the new technology and become ” energy” companies like B.P. I’ve always believed we would know that easy oil was comming to an end when oil companies started to call themselves that. And now here we are.

  • Anonymous

    Well there is always tomorrow.

  • Anonymous

    We listened to Ronald Reagan who told us there was plenty of oil, we just had to go after it. We should have listened to Jimmy Carter, who warned us of this.

  • Mr. Neutron

    Their economy depends on us buying stuff from them.

    You’re delusional. China does almost as much trade with Japan as it does with the US – add in Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, Australia and Malaysia, and China’s $9.9 trillion economy would barely notice the US “not buying stuff from them”.
    http://www.uschina.org/statistics/tradetable.html

    Do you know what the top two categories are of things the US buys from China ? Electrical machinery and equipment, and power generation equipment – if US corporations want to shoot themselves in the foot and exclude this stuff, and the profits for corporations like Walmart, it would set China back about 4 years in its race to become the planet’s #1 economy. China would welcome a good reason to torpedo the US$ as the world reserve currency.

    http://www.thetradingreport.com/2010/12/15/france%E2%80%99s-sarkozy-joins-chorus-to-end-dollar-dominance/
    China wants to promote the use of SDRs for pricing commodities and in global trade. Russia has championed SDRs and recruited fellow emerging heavyweights China, Brazil and India to promote it as a reserve currency.
    Plenty of countries want to end the post-WWII world economy casino that the U.S. is running.

  • Mr. Neutron

    Yeah, I used to think cold fusion was bullshit, but then I read a few fairly recent papers that implied it might really be possible – I think it’s the impurities in the palladium lattice that cause entering deuterium to cram up in the lattice break, like people getting crammed in the back of a bus by more and more passengers getting in at the front. Eventually some deuterium is close enough for long enough to fuse – I remember thinking there was a way to transfer the full energy of fusion (24 MeV) of a not-too-nucleonically-excited 4He to the lattice without gamma rays, but I can’t access my old notes tonight (have to fix an old computer). Anyway, I think the impurities in the palladium lattice are the key – that’s why some experiments don’t work, some do. Eventually, the stigma on this research will fade away, and theorists will do modelling of fusion in a lattice framework with impurities – it won’t be as useful as 1 GW fusion power reactors, but if they get the theory/engineering worked out, it might be as useful as a Bloom box, something like that (deuterium and palladium are still pretty expensive… not sure if they could get the costs down even if they get it working reliably). There are some experiments with materials like nickel, but I’m not sure if these are really working…

  • Anonymous

    The most significant thing one should take of Shell’s admission is in my view that if Shell is predicting a period of extraordinary opportunity or misery in 2050, then my best bet is that we are already there, as the more credible sources have been saying for years. I think some estimates said we entered Peak Oil perhaps as early as the 1970s or 1980s, and thus it is safe to say even if these are wrong, I’ll never understand why liberals so often cite their adversaries as legitimate sources of information.

  • Anonymous

    That machine is really cool. I’m so over plastic and it would be nice to turn it back into energy. Cast Iron and Glass is the way of the future. Waste Oil heaters can be home built cheaply and can burn hot and cleanly. Veg oil burns cleanest. Human fat would be messy but I’m sure Tories prefer the smell. How many BTUs are in a Half Ton Teen?

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the videos. They clearly illustrate the value of birth control.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

    I have no love for any corporation, and think that the executives and Board for most of them should be hanged. That said, peak oil is a fact of life, and one day…sooner rather than later…we will all have to face that fact. World demand cannot keep growing for an obviously finite resource. Nationalizing the companies ignores that fact. What happened forty years ago is not relevant today.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

    Dream on….

  • Anonymous

    I wonder if Jonathan Swift had a formula for older kids? Of course, the “fry bread” that the US government gave the Native Americans to live on while on their reservations that attributed to diabetes and other health problems surely “creates” some BTU’s. And the greasiest ones of all are sitting in the House and Senate; if they ever start to eat their own.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    “Peak oil” as defined herein shall be construed as “Oops! We just had our [Royal] Shell Oil ass kicked out of the ME. From now on, we have to actually start buying the shit instead of having the USG invade those damn oil-rich countries and steal it for us.”

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Well, I hope you’re heating your house with solar panels, Fran. And riding a bike or a horse to work. Otherwise, that would make you the second biggest hypocrite in the USA.

  • Anonymous

    You forgot to mention that the companies that drill for and obtain American oil and gas do not have to sell it to the U.S. A good deal of it is shipped overseas. I believe most of the Alaskan oil goes to Japan.

  • http://twitter.com/RheaBecker Rhea Becker

    There is no renewable energy that could replace fuel. You can’t run a fleet of trucks or airplanes on solar or hydrogen energy. We just have to learn to do with less. A lot less.

  • Anonymous

    So, they FINALLY figured out that it’d actually impact their profits??? FINALLY, mentioning the obvious??

    Ain’t they benign….

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    The bio-fuel you’re talking about is Ethanol from Corn. It is a VERY bad idea, and one that only is being pursued because of the Corn Lobby.. subsidized corn means a lot of it (contributing to HFCS and the like, as well), and the same people wanting more money wanted more demand for their “product”.

    Bio-fuels in _general_ can be a viable addition to the overall strategy, but you have to use fuels that make sense. For example, HEMP.. you can get enough oil from help to not only cover ALL the fuel needed for production of the hemp, but have oil left over to feed into food supplies and fuels for other people. And hemp isn’t even the best bio-diesel producing plant out there. And unlike corn, hemp doesn’t destroy the ground or need tons of fertilizer to grow well (it’s a weed..).

    There’s currently an algae program that makes huge amounts of oils for bio-diesel that can be attached to power plants with CO2 sequestering to feed the algae. If nothing else, it’s at least a twofer from the power plant (personally, I’m not sure that’s a great plan because we still are putting up a whole lot of CO2 in the long run).

    Then you have things like wave/tidal energy, geo-thermal, etc. etc. Things that make good sense, but produce too much energy without consuming natural resources so the people that own the planet can’t charge you.. that pisses them off. Duh?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    Chemical sterility is a better choice. When you _want_ a child, turn on the baby maker.. once she’s pregnant, turn it back off and diddle till your heart’s content :)

  • Anonymous

    This is the number one engineering challenge. The only thing that works for heavy transportation is liquid fuel and the current bio fuel technology is not practical on the scale required. There is one promising bio tech involving modified bacteria that literally uses water (doesn’t have to be clean water) and air to generate fuel at a competitive price to fossil fuels. Apparently it works in the lab and they are starting industrial scale tests which may or may not work to the required level. If not, flexible heavy transport as we know it is going to go away, and with that the world will become very large and local again. The transition will probably not be pleasant or peaceful.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    But it’s not BS. The planet can’t keep satisfying more and more people indefinitely. We can comfortably survive with our 7 billion people if we change the way we do things (energy, food, etc).. but the planet will not carry 14 billion people. Period.

    The issue is that we need 0% population growth.. no one has to die, but people have to stop thinking having 10 kids does anything more than contribute to destroying the planet. Of course, it’s religion and poverty that drive high population rates.. religious texts say “reproduce for god!” while poverty says “have 10 kids so 2 live and can take care of you when you’re old and dying!”. Both are old-world constructs and need to be abandoned in the modern world.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    Are you suggesting Peak Oil is a justification for legalizing cannabis?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    And just think.. if we nationalized oil, we would save not only billions a year in current subsidies (we can end those now, and should), but all current “profits” could go into alternative energy research instead of $400 million dollar retirement bonuses for Lee Raymond.

    And if it was nationalized, poor people could afford fuel for driving to work and heating their homes; our subsidies would be for the down trodden, not billionaires.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IPV6LRYFLBF6AYBLXYMS6L3XGQ chris

    Every Indy race car at the Indianapolis 500 and every other Indycar race has run on 100% sugar cane ethanol for years. Sugar cane grows like weeds. This is the biggest open secret in this corrupt country. Research it.

    http://domesticfuel.com/2010/07/13/all-cars-should-run-on-e100/

    http://sweeteralternative.com/economic-advantages/congressional-policy-effectively-blocks-sugarcane-ethanol

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KORPQY5FRLCYZ6NPPDCEXUYQPI Rupert Murdoch

    I call bullshit on this. Oil companies have thousands of capped wells, where they store untold billions of barrels. There are three thousand such wells in the Gulf of Mexico alone. There is plenty of easily available, low cost oil for many years to come. The high price of oil is due to price fixing by the cartel (which includes US and UK oil companies as well as OPEC producers).

  • Anonymous

    Chrysler strikes back, “All Our Cars will have Hemis”

  • Jaimie11

    Renewable energy research and applications, and energy saving devices, have been suppressed, hidden, kept out of the marketplace, and in some cases inventors disappeared or outright killed.

  • Jaimie11

    Lots of collateral bird damage though with large windpower installations.

    Do you know about this PP?

    http://www.permaculture.com/

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/YVBA25ZZJYN5C44WGILY6P4X34 Raven

    Until every last penny of profit is milked out of fossil fuels, no other form of alternative energy will be seriously pursued. In WW2 the Germans were making synthetic fuel for their jet fighters. So 70 years later we still have no alternative to oil? It’s all a scam. So long as people are dependent on oil, those that control the resource ensure that they maintain their control over those that need it. It’s all about money and power.

  • Jaimie11

    The only problem with climate change politics is that it is being used to justify carbon credits, carbon taxes, neither of which will solve any problems. The money will go into the bankers’ pockets and we’ll still be screwed.

    Peak oil will be used to rationalize domestic drilling and fracking expansion along with oil price increases that will stall or destroy economic recovery. No matter, the 2%ers will do well.

  • DesertSun59

    “The economic effects of this could be devastating to the human populations within industrialized societies, to say the least.”

    This admission by Shell is, of course, decades late. And, for the record, there is no ‘could’ involved here. The word is supposed to be ‘WILL BE’.

  • DesertSun59

    Not quite square 1. There are several generations of wind turbines in the Coachella Valley. At last count there were over 4000 turbines in operation. Several hundred miles away is a solar thermal plant as well. The political will is there but the powerful oil lobby is keeping a tight lid on its use – for now. But that will bite them in the ass sooner rather than later.

  • DesertSun59

    When I was born there were only 3billion. Now there’s more than double that. This planet can’t sustain a continued increase at that rate and not expect dramatic shortages of everything.

  • Anonymous

    Peak Cheap Oil, happened in 2005 / 2007 globally. And btw, without cheap oil, there is no economic growth. And without cheap oil, you’re not going to be building wind turbines, solar panels, etc. for very much longer. If you doubt what I say, you need to check out this site: http://www.kunstler.com/

  • WitsEnd66

    Must be just coincidence that they are saying this a day or so after the president mentions cutting or cancelling oil company subsidies. Nice, don’t be too obvious.

  • http://proudprimate.com Proud Primate

    The first generation of modern wind turbines with small blades turned very fast (essentially in low gear) to overcome the load. Current technology turns at a very modest pace and doesn’t endanger birds. The size of the blades gathers so much more wind that it can overcome the load resistance without a lot of RPMs. We do need to replace the old Bird-a-Matics, it’s true. But they are marginal in value anyway compared to what is being built today.

    As for alcohol, my opinion is, “all of the above”. All the approaches that we can think of, especially the small-scale, local or homemade stuff — there’s always room for that, and as prices rise, more people will reach out for it. Just like the masses of protesters in Egypt, we need masses of small solutions. To quote what some might call a dubious source, “Let a hundred flowers bloom.”

  • http://proudprimate.com Proud Primate

    So your guess is that palladium of a higher order of purity, as a crystal-grown boule of silicon is compared to amorphous silicon — some process dependent upon the absolutes of the atoms themselves to guarantee purity — could provide a surprisingly generous flow of reactions? No, apparently (as I read it again) you are saying the impurities are the important element, providing the pressure, like a sphere of explosive provides the critical mass in bombs? If so, well established doping technology could certainly tailor the crystal just about any way imaginable.

    So if I understand you, these tepid nuclei are just on the borderline, and if everything is perfect, the can be cajoled into fusing, but are essentially incapable of doing any harm, no matter how one might try. It’s a perfect model, if that pans out. I’m sick of energy sources that have lots of sickening side effects. So is the planet.

    Celente may be a media darling, but he’s no sucker. His calls have been very, very surprising, for a long time. He has no black marks that I’ve heard of.

  • Jaimie11

    I did not know that about the newer wind technology. Thanks.

    And agreed, there are so many options that could be deployed and many are regional. We don’t all need to be on the same technology, except for automobiles and the like.

    Since 1972 we’ve had plenty of time, but the oil boys saw to it nothing would be brought to market. Plus, there is already advanced technology that DARPA keeps well hidden, technology the debt for which we have already paid and are paying with our taxes.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, Mitch probably isn’t thinking at all. If he really believes this is the truth, then he is delusional at best.

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