CNN Confirms Peak Oil
2 Oct 2003
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World oil and gas 'running out'
By CNN's Graham Jones
Thursday, October 2, 2003 Posted: 1245 GMT ( 8:45 PM HKT)
LONDON, England -- Global
warming will never bring a "doomsday scenario" a
team of scientists says -- because oil and gas
are running out much faster than thought.
The world's oil reserves are up to 80 percent
less than predicted, a team from Sweden's University
of Uppsala says. Production levels will peak in
about 10 years' time, they say.
"Non-fossil fuels must come in much stronger than
it had been hoped," Professor Kjell Alekett told
Oil production levels will hit their maximum soon
after 2010 with gas supplies peaking not long afterwards,
the Swedish geologists say.
At that point prices for petrol and other fuels
will reach disastrous levels. Earlier studies have
predicted oil supplies will not start falling until
Alekett said that his team had examined data on
oil and gas reserves from all over the world and
we were "facing a very critical situation globally."
"The thing we are surprised of is that people
in general are not aware of the decline in supplies
and the extent to which it will affect production.
"The decline of oil and gas will affect the world
population more than climate change."
According to the Uppsala team, nightmare predictions
of melting ice caps and searing temperatures will
never come to pass because the reserves of oil
and gas just are not big enough to create that
much carbon dioxide (CO2).
Alekett said that as well as there being inflated
estimates, some countries in the Middle East had
exaggerated the amount of reserves they had.
Coal-burning could easily make up the shortfall.
But burning coal would be even worse for the planet,
as it would create even more CO2, he said.
Predictions of global meltdown by the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sparked the 1997
Kyoto Protocol, an agreement obliging signatory
nations to cut CO2 emissions.
The IPCC examined a range of future scenarios,
from profligate burning of fossil-fuels to a fast
transition towards greener energy sources.
The Uppsala team say the amount of oil and gas
left is the equivalent of around 3,500 billion
barrels of oil -- the IPCC say between 5,000 and
18,000 billion barrels.
Alekett said his team had now established what
they called the "Uppsala Protocol" to initiate
discussion on how the problems of declining reserves
could be tackled -- protecting the world economy
but also addressing the problem of climate change.
The conclusions of the Uppsala team were revealed
in the magazine New Scientist Thursday, and Nebojsa
Nakicenovic, of the University of Vienna who headed
the IPCC team said it was standing by its figures.
He said they had factored in a much broader and
internationally accepted range of oil and gas estimates
then the "conservative" Swedes.
A conference in Russia this week heard a warning
that global warming kills about 160,000 people
through its effects every year. The numbers dying
from "side-effects" of climate change, such as
malaria and malnutrition, could almost double by
2020, the climate change conference in Moscow was
"We estimate that climate change may already be
causing in the region of 160,000 deaths... a year," Andrew
Haines of the UK's London School of Hygiene and
Tropical Medicine said. ( Full
Most deaths would be in developing nations in
Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia, says
Haines. These regions would be worst hit by the
spread of malnutrition, diarrhea and malaria as
a result of warmer temperatures, droughts and floods.
© 2003 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies
By Richard Heinberg