The Sky (and Global Oil Production) is Falling!
February 18, 2005 10:52 AM   Subscribe

The Sky (and Global Oil Production) is Falling! With all the recent news on Global Warming, here's an article on the root cause of the problem: Global Energy Use. Has oil production peaked? Is the real focus of the Iraqi insurgency foreshadowing an energy-dominated future? Is there a solution to the problem??
posted by DAJ (13 comments total)
But what does Jeff Vail think about all of this?

Maybe we'll run out of fossil fuels before global warming becomes a serious problem, and we'll solve two problems at once!
posted by driveler at 11:14 AM on February 18, 2005

See also this, this, this, this, and this. I'm pretty sure there have been others, but I don't have time to look for them now.
posted by alms at 12:11 PM on February 18, 2005

Good lord! All this time it was the STUDIES that were causing global warming?!

Ah, thanks for that gurple, that was funny.

Yours too, spicynuts.

caution live frogs:

In the novel Crichton pointed out that (as of the time of publishing) no model had successfully predicted climate change. Predictive value is the key here - anything telling us what already happened isn't going to help much. We need some way of being able to ask "What will happen if we do this?" and know with a strong degree of certainty what the answer will be. So far, no model has been able to do that.

Aside from Crichton being a hack writer who has ZERO expertise in this field and thus holds a fairly uninformed opinion, this thesis of his (?) shows a complete lack of understanding in what the hell a MODEL is.

The models talked about in the article have PREDICTED past events. That may not seem like much to an idiot like Crichton, but in the real world, one tests a model on known data points, and if it agrees well, you have reason to have some confidence that it will predict the future well.

Further, models were used to make predictions about the 700K measurements taken in this study. Guess what? The human caused greenhouse models were the ones that predicted the measurements correctly. So even with Crichton's blinkered world view, WE JUST GOT OUR PREDICTIVE MODEL. The time for his shit is over.
posted by teece at 1:15 PM on February 18, 2005

Damn! How the hell did I end up in this thread? Sorry.
posted by teece at 1:16 PM on February 18, 2005

I have been harping on Peak Oil for years. Peak Oil: it's not just for conspiracy nuts anymore.
posted by tkchrist at 2:39 PM on February 18, 2005


I couldn't agree more. I didn't phrase my post very well, as Peak Oil in general has been discussed here often (as pointed out). What I think is worthy at this time is that the developing situation in Iraq may just be the catalyst for the full realization of this trend... with the recent attacks against the Baiji pipeline (certainly not the first), I think that it's only time before other groups (al-Qa'ida, ELF, etc.) begin to pick up on the value of attacking this part of our global-economic infrastructure. And when that happens, Peak Oil will suddenly move in the public perception from the realm of conspiracy theory to the front page...
posted by DAJ at 4:07 PM on February 18, 2005

Word DAJ. Word.
posted by tkchrist at 4:31 PM on February 18, 2005

DAJ, you should be reading John Robb and his Global Guerillas blog for more on this topic.
posted by billsaysthis at 6:03 PM on February 18, 2005

Question - and if they discover Oil is a mineral and not a fossil fuel?
posted by Fuka at 6:20 PM on February 18, 2005

Then we're truly fucked.

Because the only thing that might force a change away from the oil economy is peak oil. And the only thing that can possibly have an impact on global warming on this point is the large scale shift away from the oil economy.

If it turns out that there really are trillions and trillions of barrels of oil out there untapped, then we're not going to stop as a culture until we've turned this planet into the next Venus.
posted by Grimgrin at 9:10 PM on February 18, 2005

I am starting to think the Iraq war is perhaps justified, only because the looming oil crisis is so dire. In the beginning I think we were all really baffled and angry at the WMD and "freedom" rhetoric, because there never was any backup at all for this stuff. As noted here 2 Chinese oil companies had actually signed agreements with Iraq in 1997 to develop huge, previously untapped oil reserves, and other countries were moving in, such as Russia and France. If Iraqi oil control was to fall to China (whose energy needs are growing incredibly fast) the US would be in a very bad position in the coming years. Iraq is the most promising oil resource of the future because so little of their terrorist has been thoroughly explored and there is high potential for new oil discovery there. Their oil is also known for its high quality and ease of extraction (very close to the surface) making it extremely profitable. .
posted by sophist at 9:55 PM on February 18, 2005

um freudian slip there?
terrorist = territory.
posted by sophist at 9:56 PM on February 18, 2005

A model that predicts is useful because you know for sure the model hasn't been trained on the future data point. I can give you a model tomorrow with a bunch of magic numbers that links global mean temperature to whatever time series you want almost perfectly but it won't have any predictive value whatsoever.
posted by drscroogemcduck at 1:18 AM on February 19, 2005

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