Peak Oil: "Time is Not On Our Side", IEA Chief Economist

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image: Ted Ollikkala

With oil prices declining in the past couple of months, and the notion that demand could decline due to global recession, it seems like peak oil has left the public radar screen (if it ever really was there). But perhaps if you read what George Monbiot has pulled out of Fatih Birol, chief economist of the International Energy Agency you'd still be worrying about peak oil.

So here's the quote from that got Monbiot writing and should get you concerned:Non-Opec Oil Peak in Three Years

I asked him a question for which I didn't expect a straight answer: could he give me a precise date by which he expects conventional oil supplies to stop growing?

"In terms of non-Opec [countries outside the big oil producers' cartel]," he replied, "we are expecting that in three, four years' time the production of conventional oil will come to a plateau, and start to decline. In terms of the global picture, assuming that Opec will invest in a timely manner, global conventional oil can still continue, but we still expect that it will come around 2020 to a plateau as well, which is, of course, not good news from a global-oil-supply point of view." (The Guardian)

We're Not Doing Enough...
Earlier in the original piece, to set the stage, Monbiot quoted an oil analyst for the US Department of Energy Robert Hirsch who had done a report on the impacts of peak oil for that agency who said,"Without timely mitigation, the economic, social and political will be unprecedented."

As far as what timely mitigation meant, Hirsch said that a "mitigation crash program" would have to begin 20 years before peak. So, despite all the investment in renewables, energy efficiency and energy conservation, we're not exactly on top of this one

But don't believe just me: When asked about if we're doing enough to mitigate peak oil, Birol told Monbiot, "I think time is not on our side."

via: The Guardian
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