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Eddie Hobbs: "We are now at Peak Oil"

Eanna Dowling

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Jun 6, 2009
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On the final Questions and Answers the other night, Eddie Hobbs led a discussion on Peak Oil.

"If we look to the immediate future, I think that there’s issues far bigger than Government coming down the tracks," said Hobbs. "The biggest issue of all is the one related to energy. The International Energy Agency report that came out in November was lost in the media melee over banking and it completely reverses a lot of the predictions that we’ve used to base our entire national economic planning around. It seems to me that we’re now at Peak Oil production globally so we’re entering the age of scarcity.

"We have this collective view that we’re somehow going back to what was there before with just less wealth and I believe we’re entering a brand new economic age and the future is all about energy efficiency, energy creation, green technology and we’ve a lot of catching up to do in order to prepare for that. And we’ve great potential to do so."

John Bowman: And do you think the public are ready for that message?

Eddie Hobbs: No, this is the problem. It’s not until oil hits €200, €250 €300 a barrel that people will accept it, because it’s a very personal thing. But even nationally our preparedness really is quite pathetic. For example our most recent reports on oil supplies and on what we would do in the event of oil shortages are two huge reports and there isn’t even one sentence dealing with the possibility that we’re actually at Peak Oil. Even Fatih Birol, the chief economist with the IEA says it’s 2020 but some say it’s earlier."

Minister John Gormley "Eddie is absolutely right. We have twin problems: scarcity of oil and climate change. Despite the global recession it’s very clear that our emissions are growing by 1.9% per annum, so we’re using up our oil resources."

John Bowman then diverted the discussion to wondering why climate change hasn't caught the public imagination with Noel Whelan accepting that the Green Party had brought the issue to public attention.

see for yourself: RTÉ News: Questions and Answers

As Transition Town groups organise themselves throughout Ireland and the wider world to prepare their communities for the changes associated with Peak Oil and Climate Change, what can they realistically achieve? Why is there no national Plan A or B to cope with what Hobbs refers to as the coming "age of scarcity"?
 


lapsedmethodist

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See the work of Dr. Colin Campbell, acknowledged expert on Peak Oil who lives and works out of Ballydehob. I have friends who,like me, have worked in the oil producing countries and who think that his pessimism is too optimistic !
For a start, if you've ever talked to the guys who go out with the thumpers on seismic runs, they'll tell you that the oil producers are fed highly iffy data from which they estimate their reserves.
Secondly, OPEC nations are allowed to produce a percentage of their reserves. If they feel that this is not enough to maintain their lifestyles they fake the extent of their reserves in order to increase production.

As for Gormless, he's clueless. Even the average geography lecturer will be able to paint a picture of the effect on world security of resource management during Peak Oil and global warming. Gormless is a pacifist. Higgins is much the same.

Things are much worse than the average citizen realises.
 

mr_anderson

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Secondly, OPEC nations are allowed to produce a percentage of their reserves. If they feel that this is not enough to maintain their lifestyles they fake the extent of their reserves in order to increase production.


Things are much worse than the average citizen realises.
Would it not be in the interests of OPEC countries to underestimate the amount of oil they have ?
This would surely force the price upwards without having to curtail production.
 

Kensington

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oh yes, it is very near and may have already occured. The IEA have come out and said that production will peak by 2020. This is a huge change on their position from last year.

Even the EIA (American agency) have completely changed their position. The IEA and EIA have always been extrememly optimistic, so something really big must have happened for them to change so completely.

Russia has peaked already and the Cantarell super-giant field in Mexico peaked and is decling at an alarming rate. China has begun hoarding huge volumes of oil.

We are screwed. The Government has to build at least one nuclear plant and it must start immediately. Hopefully it would be ready for 2020. Money should be moved from renewables if needs be. Wind power cannot work long-term anyway without nuclear as a base-load producer.

Be wary of peak gas too.

Global oil supply will peak in 2020, says energy agency | Business | The Guardian

Goodbye to cheap oil | Salon

Colin Campbell is a really nice guy and very willing to help anyone who studies the area. He is the most knowledgable man on the planet when it comes to peak oil and we are lucky to have him here. It's a pity we aren't listening to him.
 

fiannafailure

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oh yes, it is very near and may have already occured. The IEA have come out and said that production will peak by 2020. This is a huge change on their position from last year.

Even the EIA (American agency) have completely changed their position. The IEA and EIA have always been extrememly optimistic, so something really big must have happened for them to change so completely.

Russia has peaked already and the Cantarell super-giant field in Mexico peaked and is decling at an alarming rate. China has begun hoarding huge volumes of oil.

We are screwed. The Government has to build at least one nuclear plant and it must start immediately. Hopefully it would be ready for 2020. Money should be moved from renewables if needs be. Wind power cannot work long-term anyway without nuclear as a base-load producer.

Be wary of peak gas too.

Global oil supply will peak in 2020, says energy agency | Business | The Guardian

Goodbye to cheap oil | Salon

Colin Campbell is a really nice guy and very willing to help anyone who studies the area. He is the most knowledgable man on the planet when it comes to peak oil and we are lucky to have him here. It's a pity we aren't listening to him.
Unfortunately Uranium is getting scarce and expensive too but don't worry the wind and waves are here for good
 
G

Gimpanzee

WTF does Hobbs know about Oil other than Brylcreem ?
Thankfully we've passed Peak Eddie, and some experts believe that we may be at Peak Mary Lou with the current production of 50million barrels of moany ********************e pd viewed as unsustainable in the longer term.
 
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Kensington

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fiannafailure,

It's not really. Production is going to increase dramatically anyway and there is enough for at least a centurym probably alot longer. We would have no problem securing enough. We will have to go nuclear anyway, if we plan for it now, we might be ok, but if we delay, we will be at the end of a long line.
 

rhonda15

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Would it not be in the interests of OPEC countries to underestimate the amount of oil they have ?
This would surely force the price upwards without having to curtail production.
i am very skeptical about TPTB pushing the "peak scarcity" story

The peak oil theory is a money making scam put out by the speculators looking for high commodity returns in a challenging market environment. Most of the above mentioned finds have occurred in the last two years alone. I didn't even mention the untapped Alaskan oil fields or the recent Danish and Australian finds. In the long term, crude prices will find stability at historic norms because there is no supply problem. How much longer will investors ignore these new oil finds? Probably until they can find other investment alternatives which won't happen in the broad market until financials (XLF) stop hemorrhaging. Respect the trend but understand that this is a bubble preparing to burst. When oil hit it's high of $139 it represented more than a 600% increase in crude since the bull market began, returns eerily similar to the dot.com craze.

The 'Peak Oil' Myth: New Oil Is Plentiful -- Seeking Alpha
 

amblincork

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Frankly this makes the case for incineration for energy more compelling; every potential source of alternative energy should be availed of.
 

Jock_the_Waster

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Eddie of Brendan Investments?

Eddie couldnt spot 'peak' property and now I take it he must be a geologist?
 

fiannafailure

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fiannafailure,

It's not really. Production is going to increase dramatically anyway and there is enough for at least a centurym probably alot longer. We would have no problem securing enough. We will have to go nuclear anyway, if we plan for it now, we might be ok, but if we delay, we will be at the end of a long line.
I will not argue against nuclear, but I actually know what I am talking about when I say, it is not as clear cut as you think, please do a little research before you make up your mind.
And being reasonably well informed, I disagree that we have to go the nuke route, but it is an option, an expensive one, but an option.
 

Wendy

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There's a whiff of opportunism about this alright. Coinciding as it does with the bank and property crisis fatigue that must be due to set in any day now.
 
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wombat

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And being reasonably well informed, I disagree that we have to go the nuke route, but it is an option, an expensive one, but an option.
I don't want to get into an argument about nuclear as it seems to be a closed issue in Ireland but what do you think should be done about Moneypoint. It seems to be the item that environmentalists want to ignore in the hope that something will turn up
 

Sam Lord

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I saw an interesting documentary recently about how Cuba adapted to the situation when it's oil supplies were curtailed to an enormous degree, almost overnight, with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Alot to be learned from their experience.

Whether there is 50 years, 70 years or a hundred years left is a moot point. It is going to end and in the relatively near future. Those who think we can blissfully carry on forever the way we have been are truly deluded.
 

fiannafailure

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I don't want to get into an argument about nuclear as it seems to be a closed issue in Ireland but what do you think should be done about Moneypoint. It seems to be the item that environmentalists want to ignore in the hope that something will turn up
Wombat you certainly know how to ask a direct question, It will be next to impossible to close moneypoint within 10 years, it is the bedrock of our grid and if we want to replace it, we have got to get ourselves a real national energy policy that reflects real life. There are replacement tech's available and the S of I proposal in its entirety not bits and pieces allied to modern CCGT gas plants are the medium solution, but both require that national plan, no tax payers money, just the plan. And Quickly
 

SPN

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The Government has to build at least one nuclear plant and it must start immediately. Hopefully it would be ready for 2020. Money should be moved from renewables if needs be. Wind power cannot work long-term anyway without nuclear as a base-load producer.
We'd actually have to build two Nukes, otherwise what would we do when one of them is down?

More importantly though, Nukes cost too much, take too long to build, wouldn't fit on our grid, are not commercially viable (would require massive taxpayer subsidies), and we would still be relying on foreign sources of Uranium (which will peak very quick if lots of new Nukes are built).


On the other hand, a network of biomass CHP plants would cost a fraction to build, would produce cheaper electricity, would build resilience into the grid, would benefit local economies by keeping the money in the economies, and require no subsidies.



Someone else mentioned incineration: After peak oil, the amount of plastics we can produce will diminish, so the waste stream will decline massively in terms of energy content. Then what?
 

nonpartyboy

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The clowns running this country couldn't even see a property bubble that burst 2 years ago , peak oil and how we prepare for it is way beyond them.
 


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