Gadget by The Blog Doctor.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Letter to the Editor

I am currently participating in a course called Our World in Crisis?. One of the assignments is to write a letter to a newspaper. My letter, was published today in The Age.

I have reproduced the letter below:

The Deep Horizon oil well may finally have been capped (Age 16/7/10). The leak is a disaster for the Gulf of Mexico states but also has important implications globally. The reason why BP drilled in such a difficult and dangerous place is that all of the easy to get at oil has been found. As we have known for more than forty years oil supply will peak some time. It seems that the “some time” has finally arrived as global oil production has remained flat for the last six years.

Many experts think, that as the global economy comes out of recession in the next year or so, oil demand will exceed supply (as happened in 2008) and the consequent sharp increase in oil prices will choke off economic growth. We are likely to face low economic growth into the foreseeable future. Peak Oil is having serious effects even before the oil supply starts declining!

What is amazing is that there is no discussion of this prospect from our political leaders. If world growth is likely to be anaemic then the rosy claims of the return to the black of Australia’s budget may be excessively optimistic.

Stephen Spencer, Tarneit

It was an interesting task, writing something vaguely comprehensible in just 200 words. The topic was peak oil and its potential dangers. I hooked the larger theme into two current issues - the Deep Horizon spill and the prospects of economic growth in Australia.

UPDATE 03/08/10:
After I wrote the letter and posted here, I found the following video which expresses in some more detail the conserns that I was expressing in the letter:

Richard Heinberg is the author of nine books including The Party’s Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies (2003), Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World (2004), and Blackout: Coal, Climate, and the Last Energy Crisis (2009). He has authored scores of essays and articles,is featured in many documentaries, and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs. Heinbergis Senior Fellow-in-Residence at Post Carbon Institute.

The video, and many other resources can be found at this site.

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