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Oil and Sustainability. Charles A. S. Hall SUNY ESF January 31, 2013. What are humanity’s critical resources ?. Water Energy (including food) Soil Breathable air. ). 33 HP animal power (controlled by 5 workers plus Land for feed, Human work, Water and soil, Stables.

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Oil and sustainability

Oil and Sustainability

Charles A. S. Hall

SUNY ESF

January 31, 2013


What are humanity s critical resources

What are humanity’s critical resources ?

Water

Energy (including food)

Soil

Breathable air


Oil and sustainability

)

33 HP animal power (controlled by 5 workers plus

Land for feed, Human work, Water and soil, Stables




O il problems i peak oil
Oil ProblemsI. Peak oil


King hubbert america s greatest scientist
King HubbertAmerica’s greatest Scientist?

  • Geophysicist at the Shell lab in Houston, Texas

  • In 1956, he wrote a paper with predictions for the peak year of US oil production


Oil and sustainability

The Epoch of Fossil Fuel Exploitation

(after Hubbert, 1969)

300

200

Trillion kwh per year

100

+5

+1

2

+3

-1

+4

-5

-4

-3

0

-2

Mayan

Steam

culture

Stonehenge

Built

Parthenon

Engine

completed

Pyramids

“Hubbert’s pimple”

Iron in

constructed

Black

Middle

Death

East

Inquisition

Magellan's

Circumnavigation


Oil and sustainability

Villagers Su Jia Hong, 69, and Yan Man Bairen, 74, stand on the edge of the six-mile-wide toxic lake in Baotou, China that has devastated their farmland and ruined the health of the people in their community

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1350811/In-China-true-cost-Britains-clean-green-wind-power-experiment-Pollution-disastrous-scale.html#ixzz2L0RHvIogFollow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook


Depletion is easy to grasp
Depletion is Easy to Grasp

As every beer drinker knows:

“Glass starts full, and ends empty”

  • The quicker you drink it, the sooner it is gone

  • The same principle applies to oil and gas

    How has this self-evident reality been concealed ?

  • It is so obviousyet it is a

    DEVASTATING REALISATION


  • Oil and sustainability

    Peak oil? Then Peak petroleum? (Courtesy of Colin Campbell)



    Oil problem ii d eclining eroi

    Oil Problem II. Declining EROI

    Technology is real and important. But so is depletion

    The integral of their effects is reflected in EROI



    Oil and sustainability

    1981

    We used Yield per Effort concepts from fisheries…..


    Special issue of sustainability on eroi

    IV. We have a lot of new information about EROI

    1. We have many studies now that are based on physical data 2. These studies tend to be consistent with our earlier studies 3. All show relatively high but declining EROI for conventional fuels and low but occasionally increasing values for e.g. new solar4. All show decreasing EROI when effort is high

    Special issue of Sustainability on EROI:





    Iii the growth rate of many economies is declining
    IIi 2008.. The growth rate of many economies is declining


    Oil and sustainability

    The evidence: 2008.

    declining growth rate of US GDP





    Break even cost
    Break-Even Cost in the price of oil

    McKinsey GEM, 2010 using IEA, Wood Mackenzie, Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission


    Oil and sustainability

    Why is this the case? in the price of oil

    Why is the economic growth in the US (and OECD and maybe the world) slowing down?

    Are we just in an economic downturn or are we on a slope?

    ?

    ?



    Oil and sustainability

    Average EROI for gas wells in Indiana County Pennsylvania. It is an EROI for gas at the well head only.

    EROI - tight gas wells in Appalachia


    Oil and sustainability

    Scope of the problem. It is an EROI for gas at the well head only.

    This concentrator photovoltaic collector can generate 138 kilowatt-hours per day, half the energy consumption

    of an average American.


    Oil and sustainability

    R. Hersh It is an EROI for gas at the well head only.


    So i hope to have shown you that

    So I hope to have shown you that: It is an EROI for gas at the well head only.

    The evolution of human society has been mostly about sequestering more energy

    That additional energy has allowed the human population to grow

    That fossil fuels, and especially oil, are the main reason that human numbers and economies have grown

    Human societies cannot possibly be sustainable at anything like our present level without a large flow of cheap (i.e. high EROI) energy

    That the availability of oil in the immediate future is of considerable concern

    That this may be our greatest issue related to sustainability of humans and civilization

    As far as I know it I and my students are about the only to think about this.


    Oil and sustainability
    - It is an EROI for gas at the well head only.

    My final professional goal

    Neoclassical economics


    Oil and sustainability

    THE END It is an EROI for gas at the well head only.

    Thanks to the Santa Barbara Family Foundation


    Oil and sustainability

    Another way of looking at the same data It is an EROI for gas at the well head only.


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