, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This will be my last post until after Thanksgiving break.

I featured Professor Charles Hall in EROEI and the Collapse of Empires and here he is again with another interesting talk on energy and EROEI to clear away all the bullshit headlines about America becoming the “New Saudi Arabia”. Our economy simply cannot grow anymore without energy inputs that have a high EROEI. Of course you also have to take into account the environmental externalities of fossil fuels which are writing the epitaph on our tombstones – “Homo Sapiens had more fossil fuels than brains. Mother Nature tried to warn them, but their addiction was too strong and their propaganda too pervasive.”

…Many experts now believe that, absent the discoveries of numerous new giant oilfields or breakthroughs in development of alternative fuels, oil demand will persistently push global prices to unaffordable levels, shackling economic growth indefinitely.

Even if discoveries somehow keep pace with demand, extracting oil from increasingly harsh conditions, such as beneath the Arctic Ocean or other deep ocean waters, will put upward pressure on prices.

Despite the potentially huge economic consequences, no full-scale, multinational energy conservation effort has been launched to buy time for development of alternatives, such as electric cars, that would ease pressure on oil supplies and prices.

When oil prices eclipsed $100 a barrel in 2011 and early this year, they were edging toward the “breaking point” – the threshold where economies can no longer expand, said Charles Hall, a professor in the School of Environmental Sciences and Forestry of the State University of New York. Hall, a co-author of the book “Energy and the Wealth of Nations: Understanding the Biophysical Economy,” said that the economy has stalled in the past when U.S. energy costs have approached 13 percent of the gross domestic product.

Annual global expenditures on raw energy have climbed to an estimated $8 trillion to $9 trillion, exceeding 10 percent of the $70 trillion world gross domestic product. Those figures, however, omit the succession of price up-charges along the manufacturing, marketing and delivery chain for energy-related components of goods and services.

“I don’t think the economy is ever going to grow again . . . not on a sustained basis,” Hall said in an interview…

…“The first half of the age of oil saw this rampant expansion of industry, transportation, trade, agriculture,” said Colin Campbell, an 81-year-old retired Irish petroleum geologist who founded the peak oil movement. “The population went up six times in parallel over 100 to 150 years . . . triggered by the cheap, easy energy that made everything possible.

Now we face the second half, which is about to dawn, which just undermines this whole world system under which we’re now living,” he said. “Naturally, no one wants to admit that.”... – link

…Also, the elite don’t want to admit that the game they control is over. Capitalism is finished. We won’t have to fret about what will replace this economic system which people believe is irreplaceable because the system is self-destructing and taking all of us with it.

And about those environmental externalities that are sealing our fate in the annals of extinct species…

In a devastating speech at Bristol University Tuesday November 6th, 2012, Dr. Kevin Anderson accused too many climate scientists of keeping quiet about the unrealistic assessments put out by governments, and our awful odds of reaching global warming far above the proposed 2 degree safe point.

In fact, says Anderson, we are almost guaranteed to reach 4 degrees of warming, as early as 2050, and may soar far beyond that – beyond the point which agriculture, the ecosystem, and industrial civilization can survive.

All this comes from one of the world’s top climate scientists, plugged in to the latest research and numbers. Kevin Anderson is from the UK’s premier climate modeling institution, the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, and the University of Manchester. He delivered the speech “Real Clothes for the Emperor, Facing the Challenges of Climate Change” at the Cabot Institute of the University of Bristol in Britain.

His estimates are backed up by recent reports from the International Energy Agency, and now the global accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. I also quote from Joe Romm’s blog at thinkprogress.org, and a comment by Lewis Cleverdon from Wales, in the Transition blog at transitionculture.org. – link

Did anyone really think there would be no consequences for this?: