2012-03-25

Peak Oil i Scientific American

USA:s äldsta vetenskapliga tidsskrift -Scientific American har nu en artikel med titeln:
Spread Reckoning: U.S. Suburbs Face Twin Perils of Climate Change and Peak Oil- Sprawling metropolitan areas like Merriam, Kans., face fundamental challenges from global warming and the end of easy oil

Artikeln är ett utdrag ur Maggie Korth-Bakers bok Before the lights go out: Conquering the Energy Crisis Before It Conquers Us

Artikeln är 8 sidor lång men Peak Oil beskrivs på sida 5-8. Författaren är framförallt angelägen om att förstå hur Peak Oil och klimatförändringarna kan påverka förorter som Merriam utanför Kansas City. Precis som de flesta amerikanska förorter bygger den på bilpendlande och har ett dåligt eller obefintligt  järnvägssystem. För att inte tala om att många förorter inte ens har trottoarer eller cykelstråk, städerna är helt enkelt byggda för bilen.

Nedan några intressanta citat hämtat från artikeln (vi hoppar över att översätta denna gång men finner ni det minsta klurigt-använd google translate):

"All of the conveniences, comforts, and wealth we've accumulated since the late 1800s have been largely based on the availability of relatively inexpensive fossil fuels. Those fuels  pack a lot of energy into a compact space. Other fuels, such as cut wood, can't compete with that kind of energy density—a fact that becomes especially important when you need to travel somewhere and must carry fuel along with you. The weight and the volume of fuel definitely matter. More than a hundred years ago, oil, refined into gasoline, solved the transportation -fuel problem, but what happens if oil becomes too expensive for most Americans?"

"First, Peak Oil is a real occurrence. We know enough about how oil fields work and what happens during the life of a given oil deposit to say that production of oil will peak, and then it will decline." (sida 6)

"Even if you factor in a wide range of reasonable estimates about the quantity of oil supplies, you're still left with a relatively narrow window of time during which oil production is likely to peak.
The peak is probably going to happen by 2030"

"As the price of gas climbs, and middle-class Americans have to start seriously thinking about whether they can afford a given trip, the residents of Merriam will find themselves without an easy, all-weather way to navigate the crazy quilt of metro towns that surrounds them. For those who work outside Merriam, it'll be harder to get to work"

Kanske viktigast av allt tar Maggie upp den omtalade och högintressanta Hirsch-rapporten från 2005 (mer info om Robert Hirsch och rapporten finner du under "Måste läsa doks" ovan):

"Hirsch wrote that total economic meltdown wasn't an inevitable consequence of peak oil. Yet he also pointed out that most economic recessions in the United States after 1969 were preceded by a spike in oil prices, and that every jump in oil prices was followed by a recession..."

"...There's a key quotation from the paper that really drives home the kind of risks we're talking about: "Economically, the decade following peaking may resemble the 1970s, only worse, with dramatic increases in inflation, long-term recession, high unemployment, and declining living standards." The 1970s, only worse. That's the pleasant outlook. Even that won't be possible, Hirsch says, if we don't start changing the way we make and use energy now".

"Remember, oil is most likely to peak sometime before 2030. We don't know exactly when. It could be tomorrow, could be 2029. Yet if we want to really mitigate the impact of peak oil and keep the economy as stable as possible, Hirsch thinks we need at least twenty years of dedicated effort to sufficiently reduce oil consumption and create alternative fuels"

Maggie avslutar artikeln med:

"We have two problems: our metro lifestyles require energy, but we also want to avoid the negative impacts climate change and peak oil will have on metro communities. The timeline for action: the sooner, the better. So, the question becomes "Now what do we do?""

Ja vad gör vi!? Förslagsvis sätter vi igång med omställningen nu!


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