Thursday, December 23, 2010

Robert Hirsch interview "Best" in 2010

Matthieu Auzanneau's interview with author Robert L. Hirsch makes top ten "best of" moments on Energy Bulletin site. Read the interview with Dr Hirsch here.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Consumer Energy Report Review of The Impending World Energy Mess

Robert Rapier posts review of "The Impending World Energy Mess". The review sparks debate over alternative energy and climate change.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New offshore licenses for exploration suspended

US government backs off from offshore drilling again. The Wall Street Journal implies that future election politics played a big part in the decision. The article also implies that the Alaskan reserves are still in the multi-billion barrel range despite recent USGS reports downgrading the resource to only several hundred million barrels.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Robert Hirsch responds to Frank Kaminski's review of The Impending World Energy Mess

Kaminski: “First it was his insistence that we must frantically develop liquid fuels from every feasible alternative source–including from environmentally ruinous coal, bitumen and tar sands–if we are to have any hope of effectively dealing with conventional oil depletion. Peak oil activist Rob Hopkins rightly called this stand "profoundly repugnant."”

Hirsch:  Either we were not clear or Kaminski did not understand our view that the onset of decline in world oil production will trigger a worldwide recession, which will deepen each year. Think about shutting down large fractions of autos, trucks, buses, trains, ships, airplanes, etc.  Society will change dramatically, making this current recession look like the good times.

Our view is that it is imperative that liquid fuels be provided to get economies back up and running.  He implies that the world could quickly shift to clean energy sources, but he doesn’t appreciate that this will take decades and be very costly.  In a deepening oil-induced recession, available money will dry up quickly.  We will have to get economies back up and running, which is why we emphasized the technologies that we did – Liquid fuel technologies.

Kaminski:  “And then, during the recent recession, he pleaded for peak oilers to temporarily keep quiet because if public awareness of oil depletion were added to existing woes, "the added trauma could be unthinkable." Grist columnist Joe Romm aptly described this as "an incredibly dumb 'You can't handle the truth!' memo." Hirsch's latest stunt takes the form of a book titled The Impending World Energy Mess, which includes a shoddily and lazily put together case for being skeptical about climate change—one that's already been thoroughly discredited. Astonishing indeed have been Hirsch's antics.”

Hirsch:  Our book was eight years in the making.  We felt that it reasonably and carefully presented the issues. Yes, I did suggest that peak oilers cool it for the time being, because people were dealing with the Great Recession. The truth did not go away; it just didn’t get shouted from the rooftops.  I don’t know whether anyone did anything differently as a result of my SUGGESTION.  I do know that the U.K. industrial committee did its work anyway and came out with two killer studies, which the British government is apparently taking very seriously.  Maybe I made a mistake, but I never thought of hiding the truth; my efforts for the last eight years have been aimed at developing truths related to world oil.

Kaminski:  “Excluded from the list of mitigation options are nuclear, wind, shale oil, photovoltaics and biomass-to-liquids. The authors explain that shale oil isn't yet commercial; biomass-to-liquids fuels aren't viable without government mandates; and wind, nuclear and photovoltaics produce electricity, not liquid fuels. The authors also don't see much promise in electrifying railways or converting homes and commercial buildings to natural gas/electric heating. Electrifying railways would free up only a trivial amount of additional fuel–in the United States, it would come to 0.3 million barrels per day, or less than one and a half percent of current daily consumption. And the problem with switching buildings to natural gas/electric heating is that the substantial costs of doing this would have to be born by property owners, who will want to do everything in their power to tighten their belts as economic recession deepens."

Hirsch:  We tried to make it clear that world oil production decline will result in a world liquid fuels problem, because of the sheer magnitude of the existing fleets of oil product-consuming machinery.  In the near-term they won’t operate without oil products – period – at the moment I can’t operate my car on anything but gasoline.  Electric power will not power existing cars or buses or airplanes or ships.

Kaminski:  "Will many readers be offended by the remarks about climate science?"

Hirsch:  Will many readers be offended by the truth about the “climate science” situation?  It is a mess, which is what we said.  It is not established science.  It may be established religion

Kaminski:  “Suffice it to say that the book contains a good deal of other, non-climate-change-related material that is worth a read by both general readers and peak oilers.”

Hirsch:  Thank you.

Dr Robert Hirsch (Principal Author - The Impending World Energy Mess)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Author Roger Bezdek responds to Frank Kaminski review

There appear to be two major criticisms of the book in this review.  First, the reviewer takes some gratuitous potshots at one of the authors (Dr. Robert Hirsch); e.g. “what outlandish thing will he propose next!.  This criticism is trite and not worth responding to.

Second, the reviewer appears to be a true believer in the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and is “aghast” that the authors would have the audacity to question the AGW gospel.  As the authors noted in the book, AGW has become more of a religion than a scientific theory, and this reviewer’s accusation of heresy proves the point.  Since it is useless to try and argue religion with a true believer, no attempt will be made here.

The rest of the review is a fairly accurate discussion of some of the major points made in the book, and it is not clear that the reviewer has many problems with these.  His mention of the precautionary principle is germane. The world is facing a serious imbalance of oil supply and demand in the near future and the precautionary principle argues that this must be addressed immediately.  This, indeed, is the major point of the book, and it lays out the pros and cons of various options that will have to be employed for the world to avoid economic, political, and social catastrophe.  These are hard, irrefutable facts and the authors note that many people will be very uncomfortable when confronted with these.  This reviewer is apparently one of these people – but there will be many, many more.  This book does not make for pleasant reading and its message is, of necessity, highly disturbing.  It is not for the fainthearted.

Dr Roger Bezdek (Co-Author - The Impending World Energy Mess)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Robert Hirsch discusses man-made Climate Change

Robert Hirsch, principal author of "The Impending World Energy Mess" discusses the chapter in his book about climate change. (See video at right)

New Review by Frank Kaminski

Frank Kaminski, prominent writer on Peak Oil takes issue with climate change chapter in "The Impending World Energy Mess". Read review here.

Monday, November 8, 2010

BP Chief Petroleum Engineer Jeremy Gilbert Talks about Peak Oil

A very interesting presentation by former BP Chief Petroleum Engineer Jeremy Gilbert that provides support to Robert Hirsch’s position and, in fact, references Hirsch in the last slide.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bruce Soltani interviews Dr James Schlesinger at ASPO

Bruce Soltani interviews ex-Secretary of Energy Dr James Schlesinger at the 2010 ASPO conference. Dr Schlesinger provided the Foreword for "The Impending World Energy Mess".

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Impending World Energy Mess

The Impending World Energy Mess will help educate readers about the realities of energy in general and oil in particular.

The reader will be able to cut through the smokescreens that various self interests have, and are, promulgating and understand that there are a number of credible studies that clearly demonstrate that world oil production is close to going into decline, which will create long-term world oil shortages.

The huge economic impacts associated with impending oil shortages are brought into sober, balanced perspective and readers are given tools to minimize the impending negative impacts on their personal lives.

Finally, The Impending World Energy Mess provides a balanced discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of a number of electric power production technologies, and in particular, the inherent weaknesses in solar and renewable technologies.

The Impending World Energy Mess provides a practical basis for understanding and personal action.

Included in this book is a special Foreword from Dr James Schlesinger - First US Secretary of Energy, Director of Central Intelligence, Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission.