Peak Oil News: What would happen if oil began to run out?

Monday, November 14, 2005

What would happen if oil began to run out?

KPTV Portland, Oregon

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Peak Oil Lite. A friendly, happy-news view by Fox.

How much oil did you use today?

If you shopped, drove, used plastics, or anything made of rubber, you probably used more than you realize.  Now consider what would happen if oil began to run out.

That's the beginning of a concept called "peak oil" and hudnreds of people in Portland believe it's coming soon, if it's not here already.

Lisa Melyan and Randy White believe the days of cheap transportation, cheap food, and our relatively easy way of life here in the 21st century will soon end.

"Everybody who's used to paying low prices for food, low prices for gas, low prices for heating in their homes are going to get the shock of their lives soon," said Randy White.

The concept of peak oil really isn't new, in fact, people were singing about it 30 years ago!

What's different now, say those who believe in peak oil, is that finally the 'people in the know' are admitting it.

For 25 years, the US. government has banned new offshore drilling, but just this month, Congress considered oil drilling to more than a hundred miles off shore.  And there's renewed debate about opening up Alaska's Artic Wildlife Refuge to drilling.

But peak oil believers say they'll never be enough new found oil to meet the growing demand; that could effect you in ways you maybe never considered.

"What would happen if you just couldn't go to the grocery store and buy fresh vegatables in season year round?" asked White.

A as oil sources dry up, the cost of food could rise dramatically because many fertilizers and pesticides are made from oil, and someone has to pay to get those foods to your table.

Food on your plate at dinnertime, has travelled an averge of 1,500 miles to get to your plate.

That's why some say you should learn how to grow your own fruits and veggies or subscribe to a co-op farm like the 47th Ave Farm.

"People buy a share or membership in our farm and then they come get a box of food from us once a week," explained farmer Laura Masterson.

City commissioner Dan Saltzman passed out a resolution to determine what areas could be used to grow crops.  The city is interested in that because they want to create a network of self suffiency inside the city.

Growing your own veggies may not be the antidote to a world running toward empty, but folks here say it's a start.  And the more self relient we can be.. The better.

There are countless estimates on when peak oil might happen.  A report by the French government says 2013, another report from the US. Geological Survey says 2037.

Even Chevron says oil production has already declined in nearly two thirds of the largest oil producing countries.


At 4:29 PM, November 16, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's awesome that a local station is finally talking about this. Many of us in Portland are thrilled.

At 8:04 AM, November 21, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A funny thing about "peak oil" is that it is an obviously meaningless idea in isolation.

It is exactly like "peak weight" for a person or "peak level" for a river. I have a brother who sometimes weighs over 400 pounds. Nobody knows his peak weight and it is irrelevant. A river that is dry for 11 months and reaches a one-foot level for an hour once a year in the middle of nowhere - so what?!

The origin of "peak oil" in Shell corporation was considered as nonsense and it has become more so with time. All experts agree it can only be recognized in retrospect. It is a bit like trying to predict the second coming (Biblical). The Bible raises the possibility in the first place and admonishes that people will never be able to figure out "the day nor the hour." Yet false prophets have been pronouncing on this subject for as long as I can remember.

The further similarity between the two concepts is, we have a responsibility to do what is right and our best rather than try to make gods of ourselves by predicting the unpredictable.

Strictly in regard to "peak oil". It is a conceptual point at the top of a steep slope followed by a long, gentle slope of declining production. There is nothing to panic about. If you buy the idea in the first place, buy it all!

At 9:27 PM, November 22, 2005, Anonymous jack said...

I am sure they have taught of another way to run the machines if they ever run out of oil...i mean the world is gonna collapse if oil runs out so there must be something ew coming soon.


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