Comment 48655

By rickgreen (anonymous) | Posted October 02, 2010 at 13:28:32

Conclusions from the Hirsch Report and three scenarios
• World oil peaking is going to happen, and will likely be abrupt.
• Oil peaking will adversely affect global economies, particularly those most dependent on oil.
• Oil peaking presents a unique challenge (“it will be abrupt and revolutionary”).
• The problem is liquid fuels (growth in demand mainly from the transportation sector).
• Mitigation efforts will require substantial time.
• 20 years is required to transition without substantial impacts
• A 10 year rush transition with moderate impacts is possible with extraordinary efforts from governments, industry, and consumers
• Late initiation of mitigation may result in severe consequences.
• Both supply and demand will require attention.
• It is a matter of risk management (mitigating action must come before the peak).
• Government intervention will be required.
• Economic upheaval is not inevitable (“given enough lead-time, the problems can be solved with existing technologies.”)
• More information is needed to more precisely determine the peak time frame.
• It is not temporary. It is permanent.
• It will take trillions of dollars to fix.
• We need the help of other countries.

Three Possible Scenarios Hirsch Report:
• Waiting until world oil production peaks before taking crash program action leaves the world with a significant liquid fuel deficit for more than two decades.
• Initiating a mitigation crash program 10 years before world oil peaking helps considerably but still leaves a liquid fuels shortfall roughly a decade after the time that oil would have peaked.
• Initiating a mitigation crash program 20 years before peaking appears to offer the possibility of avoiding a world liquid fuels shortfall for the forecast period.

As of 2010 we have done very little that will mitigate this problem nor has any plan been developed. That means that if oil has already peaked, or will peak in the next couple of years, we will have a significant liquid fuel deficit for more than 20 years. For a copy of the entire Hirsch report, go to

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