GLOBAL FUTURE ANALYSIS
FACTS | FINITE RESOURCES
We have build a mega beautiful global economy (splendid) on finite resources (oil, gas, coal, iron, copper and uranium) (stupid). Backwards analysed certainly not the most wise thing to do (certainly as Tesla and others more than 100 years ago has promoted focus on renewable sources policies), but it has brought as where we are and we can be proud on very much that's achieved in the last 150 years. The importance of finite resources are no problem so long as they help us in the building phase, but that finite resources (like the word says) are finite is obvious for everyone. Finite resources must be replaced by unlimited resources and this will be done. Not because we want to, not for ideological reasons, but just because the market prices of finites will rise, rise and rise. This price rises makes the search for economic alternatives attractive, gives it a premium. Ideology is a weak mover with almost no real action power. Ideology is certainly in the Climate Change issue more than 99% talk and less than 1% action. Economic factors are the real change drivers. Increase of energy prices directly results in changes. This is not an opinion, but an observation. A price rise of 10% of crude oil had more communication and changing effects than even the heavily intensive widely supported climate change discussion ever had. When companies, households, persons and governments recognise that a) finite means finite, b) demand outstrips supply and last but certainly not least c) prices never will go down to the low levels of the past, they all change directions. PeakX discussions on finites has less value: The future is not a main agenda issue in our current operations. Actual price rises certainly are. Price rises are the rudder of each ship on the economic sea. The bad news is that we're blessed with leaders that don't understand the word finite. Leaders that signals that finite means unlimited and that price rises are caused by bad investors or bad producers. Of course producers of finites don't invest full in new capacity: it are finite resources, why hurry. In the ground they gets more value by the day and when explored and sold the future price rise is aborted and the value decline of the dollar erode the value instead. Any one with resources will and should do the same. This attitude is not bad for the world: it stretches the transition period with maybe several years. That's something the world certainly needs, because our processes, models and installbases. For example: almost all our transportation vehicles (cars, trucks, trains and planes) are based on (or better said) powered/fuelled by cheap abandon oil. Changing processes takes a long time, awareness, denial, acceptance, anger and than changing action. Governments and economists must asks psychologists to assist them in understanding human standard reaction patrons in economic behaviour and/or response on great changes. Is there any hope for a decade during extension of the carbon production plateau by new easy to explore new discoveries? Maybe a mixture of the biotic and abiotic origin theory could lead to the finding of several new giants like Ghawar. Geo (not bio) originated carbon plus water as basis material for C en H (much more valid theory than the huge concentrated basins full with bio material dumps) (deep water enough in tectonic active zones). Bacteria's as slow motion (hundreds of thousands of years) producers (proven to be possible). Tectonic pressure energy, internal geo pressure energy and earth warmth as the real energy sources (following first law of thermodynamics). There's not much science available on the behaviour of elements (and C element formation) under huge (tectonic) pressure. Useless theory, only can be used as chance to find new (yet undiscovered) potential hydrocarbon giants, if they are out there, the chance that they are nearby tectonic pressure is statistical huge, buying us some extra transition time (but even that is not true: new discoveries now, will not help us the next 10 years -by the exploration time- and by that time current fields will be drowned up: it will only soften the impact and give less geopolitical stress). Movement to the surface (tarsands and easy to find oil) by tectonic activity. Why exploration effects of this new theory? In this model taking the tectonic map of the world and find 'the new Middle East look-a-likes' nearby tectonic crossroads. The surrounding of Venezuela is such an example, this area is just like the Middle East located on a tectonic crossroad. But even new major fields doesn't solve the problem. It will only buy us some extra time (and certainly not for free). The current demand for energy is more than the carbon of the world has to offer: 365 days times 85 million barrels a day = 31.025 million barrels a year = 31 billion barrels a year. The elephant Ghawar has produced from 1951 till 2005 'only' 60 billion barrels: just enough to feed the world only two years on current consumption level (85 mbd * 365 * 2 = 62050 mbd = 62 bbd). A new Ghawar (not many believe in the possibility that such a giant will be discovered, but it is always a theoretical possibility, the knowledge of today never may seen as the ultimate knowledge of tomorrow) only will give the world just approximately 4 years of extra transition time. Time is running out very quick, maybe even before we have noticed the real need to transite. Speaking with the words of James Mulva the CEO of Conoco Phillips (if someone knows the global oil sector of economy: he -as leader one of the big five- is): "Where must all that oil come from?". And that's just oil, de demand for natural gas and coal is increasing even more rapidly as power plants divert away from oil. Carbons drive us and our economies and carbons are finite. Time to leave them before they leave us, because it will be otherwise a very expensive divorce. It's time to confront the 'nothing is the matter' guys with hard data, because they worsen the problem severely by reducing the short transition time we already have (by lack of vision of us all) with their misty (non data based) 'believes' in endless carbon resources. It's a said thing that political leaders think they know the oil market better than pro's like the CEOs of the major oil companies. Historical data don't tell the future if the current developments (slowing supply, increasing demand, much more higher prices) are completely different and are not taken into the data models. We don't need photo's of the past. We need 'photo's' of the future. Let's kill historical (as in: based on old data of a not changed world) denial that will deepen our troubles and work ourselves out this expensive carbon energy problem to a future based on actual data and not based on wannabee/desired data. Carbon energy more and more is been seen as an addiction: just the wagon trail of decades of historical economics. Breaking with carbon is even difficult to realize as breaking with an alcohol or drug addiction. But our carbon addition has become the biggest transfer of wealth ever. In our current perceptions economies without cheap and abundant carbon are even dead. This will change. We will reinvent a new type of low energy demanding prosperity. Energy demand and prosperity where parallel and will become reversed opposite. Having an economic system that is focused and finance system is based on exponential growth, is contrary to the fact that much resources are limited/finite.
Author: Gijs Graafland
Back to Facts Index
Download the full Global Future Analysis report in PDF