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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Must Watch Australian Report on Peak Oil

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The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Catalyst programme has just broadcast the best peak oil documentary in recent times. In just 12 minutes it covers many of the essential points, and is a great way to get yourself up to speed on peak oil. Please take the time to watch it, and share this Youtube link and the ABC Catalyst link with your networks, and with anyone you believe is unaware of, or in denial about peak oil.

Highlights --

  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) has confirmed that global conventional crude oil production peaked in 2006
  • The IEA's estimate as to how world production will be maintained and grow marginally in the next 20 years is impossibly optimistic and simply not credible. The IEA's projections imply a rate of production which is three times higher than historical levels
  • Even so the IEA's chief economist Dr Fatih Birol issues several stark warnings. He says existing oilfields are depleting so fast that just to maintain production at present levels we need to find four new Saudi Arabia's
  • Birol warns of rapidly rising oil prices, a greater risk of oil wars, and severe economic impacts globally
  • And Birol warns that governments (including New Zealand’s which relies heavily on the IEA advice) should have started tackling the peak oil problem at least 10 years ago.
  • Dr Jeremy Leggett and Chris Skrebowski of the UK Taskforce on Peak Oil offer even more dire warnings of an oil crunch no later than 2015 and possibly much earlier. They say the decline in world exports will be rapid and may even generate a collapse as oil producers keep more of their own oil. The outcome for New Zealand which imports two thirds of its oil will be especially severe.
  • The program also examines the environmental and economic risks of drilling for extreme oil in ultra deep-water, as proposed offshore in New Zealand.

The Catalyst website has extended interviews with Fatih Birol, and peak oil experts Kjell Aleklett of Sweden, and Dr Jeremy Leggett and Chris Skrebowski of the United Kingdom. These are well worth taking the time to watch. The projections from Leggett in particular are clear, coherent and as he puts it "blowing a big whistle". There is also extended comment from Prof Robert Bea - a US expert in the offshore oil industry.

The ABC documentary has another message. It once again reveals the parlous state of current affairs reporting in New Zealand. Australia's state broadcaster tackles meaty issues like the oil crisis, while Kiwis are fed a relentless diet of cooking shows and other trivia. Where is the coverage on Sunday, 60 Minutes, CloseUp or Campbell Live or in feature articles in our print media?


seemorerocks said...

Excellent job Denis!
I think TV is a lost cause (except Campbell did something on Peak Oil a couple of years back - maybe he will again?
I have managed to get Mike Ruppert onto Chris Laidlaw's programme, being broadcast this Sunday after the 10 am news.

Denis Tegg said...

Mike Ruppert is always a fascinating listen even if very intense and self absorbed.
Any chance you have a link to the Campbell Live report?

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