Global Climate Change & Peak Oil Part III
The first reaction of most environmental activists to the news of peak oil is to say, "Good, we need to stop using fossil fuels anyway." It seems logical that a decline in hydrocarbon production will lead to a decline in carbon dioxide emissions. And it is likely that somewhere down the line, carbon emissions will abate simply due to the scarcity of fuel. But we will not go gently into that good night.
Peak oil will not be a blessing in disguise with regard to global warming. The models of global climate change developed by the IPCC and others have not taken into account the impacts of Peak Oil and the North American Natural Gas Cliff. These models are based on faulty economic projections produced by neo-classical economics-a warped discipline which is blind to resource depletion.26 If we turn to coal and biomass to make up for the decrease in oil and natural gas production, then it is likely that our actions will push the average global temperature well beyond the 6Âº C threshold mentioned above. The end of the oil age could very well push us into an age of runaway global warming.
Coal will not be able to support the kind of energy-intensive economy which we have built on oil and natural gas. It will be a faltering effort from a civilization in denial, intent on clinging to unsustainable ways. It will fail in the end, but in this last mad burn-off of energy resources, we may very well incur the demise of life on this planet.