Latest Graphs

fig_1d_2010_12 fig_1c_2010_12 fig7_2010_12 fig8_opec_2010_12

Oil Price

Solutions

Events/impacts/problems

10 point program

Next oil price shock and/or fuel shortages any time after 2010. When the truth comes out about OPEC’s overstated oil reserves confidence in oil reserves will evaporate and resource nationalism will spread.

Catch 22: Diesel shortages will delay implementation of essential rail and clean energy projects.

(1) Immediate moratorium on new freeways, airport and port expansions, car-dependent shopping centers and subdivisions, multi-level car parks and other oil dependent infrastructure. No more business as usual.
(2.1) Set aside – by legislation – oil and gas fields for diesel, petrol and CNG supplies to civil works needed to mitigate the impact of peak oil and to de-carbonize our economy. Example: Turrum oil field on-stream by 2011.

(2.2) Build up Strategic Oil Reserve

Public largely unaware of the physics of the coming oil, energy & climate crisis.

Political system and corporate sector in denial mode and unable to grasp magnitude and urgency of problem.

Too many untested assumptions around.

(3) Public education program; participation of public is absolutely essential. Nation needs to be put on a war footing; change of value system is needed. Prepare motorists for petrol rationing and car-pooling as this is the only “solution” if a physical oil crisis were to hit tomorrow, e.g. during the next oil or oil-proxy war.
Best alternative transport fuel in Australia is natural gas. (4) Develop compressed natural gas (CNG) for buses, trucks, construction and mining machinery. This must get priority over LNG exports.
Peak oil means end of internal combustion engine which wastes 90% of energy as heat. Oil decline is so steep that there is no time for any transition to electric, hydrogen or ‘green’ cars. We have a clean primary energy problem, not a technology problem. EVs running on coal are dirty. (5) Abandon unrealistic car dreams

Electrification of land transport system is required which must be more efficient by an order of magnitude; urban rail on all free-ways (Transperth) and major roads; all genuinely renewable energies produce electricity, not fuels. Time is now running out for these solutions; too late for large scale rail and metro tunnel projects

Globalization built on cheap oil will go backwards. (6) Re-industrialization of Australia on the basis of renewable energies; focus on essential tools, products and parts.
Peak oil will quickly turn into food production and distribution problem (7) Bio fuels to run farming machinery, trucks and other vehicles to transport agricultural produce and implements; revive rural rail lines
Proximity to 4 (out of 10) tipping points

in the next 10 years will force us to abandon coal (without geo-sequestration of CO2) much earlier than generally assumed.

1. Disappearance of Arctic summer sea ice

2. Increase of melt lakes on Greenland and hydraulic cracking of glaciers

3. Release of methane over permafrost

4. Destabilization of West Antarctic ice sheets

In Australia: more droughts, floods and cyclones

(8) Replacement program for all coal fired power plants; re-tool car factories and suppliers (BEFORE they go out of business after peak oil) to mass-produce components for wind farms, solar power plants, solar water heaters.

A 1,000 MW coal fired power plant requires the continuous sequestration 150 Kb/d of liquid CO2.

NSW alone has 12,500 MW installed. Australian oil handling capacity around 500 Kb/d. 1,000s of km of CO2 pipelines needed. Huge challenge. Difficult while oil production is declining. May come too late to fix climate.

Power shortages unavoidable (9) Drastic power down and energy efficiency. Permanent Earth Hour.
Airlines first hit by high oil prices, then by financial crisis (10) Interstate rail development and electrification; both passenger and freight; replace domestic flights with night trains; coastal shipping for freight