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Why a Sense of Global Community is Needed to Survive the Coming Worldwide Energy Crisis Peak oil, ec


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Title: Why a Sense of Global Community is Needed to Survive the Coming Worldwide Energy Crisis Peak oil, ec

Why a Sense of Global Communityis Needed to
Survive the Coming World-wide Energy Crisis Peak
oil, ecological carrying capacity, and the
perilous phase transition to renewable energy
  • Presentation at the LMU Bellarmine Forum,
    November 7, 2005
  • Dr. Michael Mills
  • Psychology Department Loyola Marymount

Some bad news, and some good news,about our
  • The bad news (according to ecologists and
    population biologists)
  • Thomas Malthus
  • The population of a species increases
  • But the carrying capacity of the environment is
  • Populations fluctuate between geometic growth and
    sudden die-offs
  • Our species may be no exception.
  • Carrying capacity of earth for humans is maybe 1
    - 2 billion people (?)
  • And we are already have over 6 billion people
  • The good news (according to cornucopian
  • Ray Kurzweil
  • Scientific knowledge, like populations, grows
    geometrically too
  • May allow us solve problems of carrying capacity,
    cure disease and aging,
  • Technology will help us overcome population
    overshoot and collapse.
  • The outcome of the Malthusian / Kurzwilian
    grudge match
  • More than just an academic exercise
  • One of the two scenarios will likely occur
  • within your generations (college students)

Overview of Presentation
  • Part 1 The Coming Worldwide Energy Crisis
  • The world is running out of cheap oil and other
    fossil fuels at a time when demand is increasing.
  • Part A Malthusian Perspective Possible
    worldwide economic problems, societal collapses,
    wars, and even population die-offs.
  • Part B Kurzweilian Perspective Technology will
    come to the rescue
  • Part 2 Why a Sense of Global Communityis Needed
    to Survive the Coming World-wide Energy Crisis
  • Declining energy results in what game theorists
    call a Negative-Sum Game
  • This condition creates greater risks for social
    conflict and war.
  • How can people of the world cooperate to survive
    the energy crisis?

Part 1 The Coming Energy Crisis
  • Part A The Malthusian Perspective

We have become Oilcoholics.
  • Oil Storm movie trailer
  • FX Channel movie Oil Storm (June, 2005).
  • Exemplifies our dangerous dependence on oil
  • What would happen if our access to oil was
  • http//www.fxnetworks.com/shows/originals/oilstorm

Oil Storm movie trailer
Thomas MalthusAn Essay on the Principle of
  • "It is an obvious truth, which has been taken
    notice of by many writers,  that population must
    always be kept down to the level of the means of
    subsistence but no writer that the Author
    recollects has  inquired particularly into the
    means by which this level is effected..."  --
    Thomas Malthus, 1798 An Essay on the Principle of
  • http//www.ac.wwu.edu/stephan/malthus/malthus.0.h

Population in a Petri dish(from
Geometric rates of increase in a finite world
Source Dr. Albert Bartlett http//www.hawaii.go
The Introduction, Increase and Crash of Reindeer
on St. Matthew Island, by David Klein
  • 20 reindeer were introduced to St. Matthew Island
    in 1944
  • Lots to eat, no predators
  • Population exploded
  • By 1963, the density of the reindeer on the
    island had reached 47 per square mile
  • They ate all the lichens (their food) on the
  • In 1963, there was a die-off about 6,000
    reindeer starved to death
  • http//dieoff.org/page80.htm

The Introduction, Increase and Crash of Humans
on Easter Island
  • A few humans arrived about 400 A.D.
  • Population exploded to as many as 20,000
  • They cut down trees to move the stone statues
  • No trees no boats, no top soil
  • About 1700 AD die off of up to 18,000 people
    due to starvation and cannibalism.
  • Easter Island is Earth writ small Jared

Imagine the world as a petri dish
The Introduction, Increase and Crash of Humans
on Earth Island
  • The essential energy resource to support
    industrial/technological civilization oil
  • Sobering Fact There is no energy-equivalent
    substitute for oil,
  • in terms of its advantages of energy density,
    transportability, range, safety and cost.
  • Also, oil is used to make fertilizer to grow
    food, and in many everyday products (plastics,
  • Oil has unique advantages for transportation
  • Imagine trying to fly an airplane on a non-oil
    power source Wood? Coal? Electricity? Nuclear?
  • Problem like trees on Easter Island, oil is a
    finite resource. And, we are gradually running

Peak Oil Discoverer M. King Hubbert 1903-1989
  • Shell Oil Geologist / Petroleum Scientist
  • Highly qualified and intellectually courageous
  • In 1954 he predicted that U.S. oil would peak
    about 1970
  • Universally criticized at the time
  • After 1970 he became highly respected
  • In 1984 Hubbert predicted world peak oil in the
    early 2000s

PEAK OIL When you plot the production of an
aggregate of oil fields over time you get roughly
a bell curve
Top of the curve
Mid point
2nd half
1st half
USA Oil Peaked in 1970http//www.oilcrisis.com/de
Peaking Oil and Gas
  • Iran peaked 1974
  • Russia peaked 1987
  • Saudi Arabia peak 2005?
  • In 2005 natural gas production has peaked in
    North America," -- Exxon Chief Executive Lee
    Raymond (Reuters, June 21, 2005)

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Jean Laherrere, Estimates of Oil Reserves, paper
presented at the EMF/IEA/IEW meeting in
Laxenburg, Austria, June 19, 2001. http//www.iia
Crude oil production by the world's largest
private oil companies is in decline as of first
half of 2005.
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How much time do we have left?
Another related problemOil Demand-Production
  • Oil demand now exceeds supply.
  • New sources of increased oil demand China and
  • Source http//money.cnn.com/2005/08/12/markets/oi

Oil demand expected to double in 25 years, while
oil reserves will be plummeting.
  • Demand for oil is increasing, but oil production
    is decreasing.
  • The red portion represents demand short fall.
  • Result oil prices go through the roof starting
    in 2005

Exxon-Mobil Report, Oct. 2004
If this is such a serious problem, why havent we
heard about it?
  • Time horizons
  • Business Annual Profits
  • Government Next election (4 6 years)
  • Media Dramatic headlines of current events
  • People in general
  • in ancestral environment, life span about 35
  • -- discount future events over current events
  • Denial?
  • Nothing like this has ever happened before
  • Or, if it has (1970s oil shocks), problem quickly
  • Jiminy Cricket syndrome technology to the
  • Loss Aversion invested in current
  • Dislike the idea of change, especially, reducing

But the mass media (both fiction and
non-fiction) is starting to catch on
  • "How to Kick the Oil Habit"
  • Time Magazine, Oct. 23, 2005
  • "If this explosion of (renewable energy)
    innovation has a problem, however, it may be
    that the developments are coming too late to
    allow a smooth transition to the postpetroleum

Chevron TV ad.http//www.chevron.com/about/advert
Chevron TV ad.
Exxon Energy VideoSource http//exxonmobil.com/c
Video Clip (fiction)
  • Syrinia movie trailer
  • Those who control oil, control the world.
  • Increasing international conflict (resource
    wars) over the remaining, dwindling oil
  • To be released in December, 2005.
  • http//movies.yahoo.com/feature/syrianaqt.html

  • Article Outcome Grim at Oil War Game -- Former
    Officials Fail to Prevent Recession in Mock
    Energy Crisis
  • By John Mintz, Washington Post Staff
    WriterFriday, June 24, 2005 Page A19
  • The United States would be all but powerless to
    protect the American economy in the face of a
    catastrophic disruption of oil markets,
    high-level participants in a war game concluded

Declining oil production rising demand ever
rising gas prices
  • Rising gas prices (hypothetical)
  • 2005 2.60/gallon
  • 2006 3.25/gallon?
  • 2007 4.10/gallon?
  • 2008 5.95/gallon?
  • 2009 11.54/gallon?
  • 2010 16.82/gallon?
  • 2015 ???

Peak Oil and Economic Effectshttp//www.theoil
Recent Quotes
  • "We're all going to have to diversify away from
    hydrocarbons over time. -- President
    George W. Bush, April 19, 2005
  • Doing nothing or doing too little too late will
    lead to a global economic and geopolitical
    tsunami with potentially devastating
  • -- U.S. Congressman Roscoe Bartlet.
  • "Peaking (oil) will be catastrophic... We are
    about to drive the car over the cliff and say,
    Oh my God, What have we done? -- Robert
    L. Hirsch, US Dept. of Energy consultant, 2005.
  • After you drive a car off a cliff, its too late
    to hit the brakes. In effect, we have gone over
    the edge of the cliff. -- Kenneth
    Deffeyes, author Beyond Oil

Recent Quotes
  • (Peak oil) is one of the biggest social and
    political challenges for this century.
  • Robert K. Kaufmann, Professor, Center for
    Energy Environmental Studies, Boston
    University. (2005)
  • Weve embarked on the beginning of the last days
    of the age of oil.
  • Mike Bowlin, Chairman and CEO, ARCO, 1999 and
    Chairman, American Petroleum Institute (2005)
  • My father rode a camel. I drive a car. My son
    flies a jet airplane. His son will ride a
    camel. --Saudi adage
  • Whether (a transition to renewable energy)
    will come in time to avoid an energy crunch
    depends in part on how high a priority we give
    energy research and development.
  • Richard A. Kerr and Robert F. Service, Science,
    Vol 309, Issue 5731, 101 , 1 July 2005

Have Saudis Overstated their Oil Reserves?
  • Investment banker Matthew Simmons.
  • Highlights many discrepancies between Saudi
    Arabia's actual production potential and its
    seemingly extravagant resource claims.
  • May in fact be peaking soon.

What might we expect in near future?
  • Ever rising gasoline prices.
  • Fewer recreational road trips.
  • More use of trains.
  • Airline travel ever more expensive.
  • Commuting from the suburbs ever more expensive.
  • Electricity, gas, heating oil, become ever more
  • Rising inflation everything will cost more (due
    to rising shipping and production costs).
  • Economic recessions.
  • International conflict over oil resources.

Worst case future scenarios
  • Economic recessions.
  • We might see a return of the Great Depression.
  • Maybe a Malthusian catastrophe
  • (e.g., population die-off).

Wonder what life would be like without cheap oil?
  • We already have examples North Korea and Cuba.
  • LA Times Article
  • "GLIMPSES OF A HERMIT NATION A decade after a
    massive famine, North Koreans are still
    struggling. In Chongjin, deprivation spurs
    change. By Barbara Demick, LA Times Staff
    Writer, July 3, 2005.
  • outsiders know relatively little about its
    people or the miseries they have endured since a
    famine in the mid-1990s wiped out an estimated 2
    million people.

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MSNBC.com article Think it's hot? Be glad
you're not in Cuba - Daily blackouts putting
nation in a bad mood.July 12, 2005
  • HAVANA Summers searing temperatures getting
    you down? Just be glad you dont live in Cuba
    where daily blackouts make it about impossible to
    beat this years record heat.
  • At first, the blackouts were tolerable, four
    hours twice a week. But by mid-month they had
    grown to daily six-hour ordeals.
  • Still, she considers herself lucky. We live on
    the top floor apartment so we get to use the roof
    to sleep. Peoples biggest complaint has to do
    with the nighttime blackouts. Its hard to sleep
    without the use of an air conditioner or fan.
  • Cuba at Night

Cubas vs. N. Korea Oil CrisisWhy was Cuba able
to avoid famine?
  • Cuba had a similar oil crisis when the Soviet
    Union collapsed, but, unlike North Korea, they
    were able to avoid famine.
  • Why? How?

Historical Energy Sources Energy Phase
  • Wood, which was replaced by
  • Coal, in the 1800s, which was replaced by
  • Oil, in the 1900s, which must be replaced by a
    renewable energy source
  • _________ ? in the 2000s (?)
  • Solar?
  • Wind?
  • Nuclear Fusion (hot or cold)? (Current nuclear
    fission is finite and non-renewable)

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Energy Phase Transitions
  • Each previous energy phase transition
    wood -gt coal -gt oil was to a more dense
    energy source.
  • Energy Density All clean, renewable energy
    sources are far less dense
  • Demand for wood and coal could be met when they
    were needed.
  • But demand for oil will rise inexorably, as
    production inexorably decreases. Demand cannot
    be met.

Perilous Energy Phase Transition Period to
renewable energy sources
  • Do we have enough time?
  • Or, is it already too late?
  • Transition period is very risky.
  • Huge infrastructure changes / investments
  • It takes time to transition smoothly we may not
    have started soon enough.
  • Costs of infrastructure change will be enormous
  • We need to start immediately.

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The Kurzweilian PerspectiveScientific
technology to the rescue!
  • Part B
  • Ray Kurzweil
  • Technological knowledge will increase
  • Exponential explosion of scientific knowledge
    will allow us solve problems of carrying
    capacity, find unlimited energy sources (e.g.,
    fusion), cure disease and aging, and to become

(No Transcript)
The Law of Accelerating Returns
  • Ray Kurzweil argues
  • Machine intelligence will surpass human
    intelligence, leading to The Singularity --
    Technological change so rapid and profound it
    represents a rupture in the fabric of human
  • Merger of biological and non-biological

Possible sources of a breakthrough techno energy
  • Nuclear fusion cold or hot?
  • E.g., Focus Fusion -- http//www.opensourceenerg
  • Hydrino Energy?
  • Controversial classical quantum mechanics
  • Posits that an electron can move much closer to
    the proton at the heart of a hydrogen atom and,
    in doing so, releases substantial amounts of
  • http//www.guardian.co.uk/science/story/0,3605,162
    7424,00.html / http//www.hydrino.org/http//phy
  • Methane hydrates (non-renewable)?
  • Buried beneath the seabed and Arctic permafrost.
    A mixture of ice and natural gas,
  • May contain more carbon than existing reserves of
    oil, coal and gas put together.
  • But can it be extracted?

Current renewable energy technology (no techo-fix
  • Solar concentrators can be used for Electrical
    Power Generation, Hydrogen Production
  • 100 square mile area could provide all electrical
    needs of U.S.
  • Another 100 sq miles could provide all of our
    transportation energy
  • From http//www.shec-labs.com/products.php
  • A Solar Concentrator

100 square miles solar PV could meet the entire
U.S. yearly electrical needs.http//www.energycoo
Part 1 ConclusionFor todays college students,
in your lifetime
  • From the baby boom generation to yours
  • Sorry, we used up most of the cheap oil
  • But, we developed a foundation of scientific
    knowledge that might help rescue you
  • but we must start on a crash program immediately
    to transition to renewable energy
  • Within 20 50 years, you will likely know who
    won either
  • Malthusian scenario Economic collapse and
    perhaps a significant world population die off
  • Kurzweilian scenario Knowledge singularity
    a scientific/technological energy transition

Part 2 Global CooperationDuring the Perilous
Phase Transition to Renewable Energy
  • The life contest is primarily a competition for
    available energy.
  • Ludwig Boltzman, Physicist (1886) Der zweite
    Hauptsatz der mechanischen Waermetheorie, 1886
    (Georold, Vienna) p. 210.
  • E.G., contest for the energy contained in food.
  • Now, also a contest for fossil fuels
  • Energy determines what you can do, and often you
    can do what you will do.
  • Fredric Cottrell, Energy and Society (1955)
  • Whoever controls the oil, controls the world.

How can we avoid an economic collapse, even a
Malthusian die off?
  • Depletion of fossil fuels will lower energy
    availability by about 3 - 6 each year, every
    year, from here on out
  • not pretty.
  • We have to immediately
  • conserve oil and gas, and
  • rapidly transition to renewable energy (solar,
    wind, etc.)
  • hope for an extraordinary energy technology
    rescue (e.g., fusion, etc.)
  • It is too risky now to rely only on a possible
    future techno-fix
  • Need now
  • World-wide conservation of fossil fuels
  • Build infrastructure for current renewable energy
  • Invest in research to try to find a breakthrough

Peaking of World Oil Production Impacts,
Mitigation, Risk ManagementLed by Dr. Robert
Hirsch, U.S. Department of Energy (2005)
  • If a crash program to switch from oil to
    renewable energy begins
  • 0 years before Peak Oil Leaves the world with a
    significant liquid fuel deficit for more than two
  • Severe economic disruptions.
  • 10 years before Peak Oil Helps considerably but
    still leaves a liquid fuels shortfall for roughly
    a decade after the time that oil would have
  • Moderate economic disruptions. 
  • 20 years before Peak Oil Appears to offer the
    possibility of avoiding a world liquid fuels
    shortfall for the forecast period.
  • Slight economic disruptions.
  • Hirsch The world has never confronted a problem
    like this, and the failure to act on a timely
    basis could have debilitating impacts on the
    world economy. Risk minimization requires the
    implementation of mitigation measures well prior
    to peaking.
  • Source http//www.projectcensored.org/newsflash/

Problem Human Nature
  • From a biological perspective
  • Humans are designed to maximize their own
    reproductive output (Darwinian Fitness)
  • And help family and close kin (inclusive
  • Were not much inclined to help non-kin
  • Examples
  • Tragedy of the Commons
  • Free-rider problem

Who would you save?
  • There are 2 doors
  • Behind the door on the right is your child, who
    will die if you dont open that door.
  • Behind the door on the left is someone elses
    child, who will die if you dont open that door.
  • You can only open one door.
  • Which door do you open. Why?

When will people tend to cooperate with others?
  • when dealing with genetic relatives (Hamiltons
    inclusive fitness theory).
  • when repeated interactions with non-relatives
    offer reciprocal benefits (Trivers tit-for-tat
    reciprocity theory)
  • And cheating (temptation) is reliably punished.
  • when dealing with non-relatives, when social
    rules against cheating are usually enforced, and
    the resource pie is growing (Ginits, et al.,
    generalized reciprocity e.g., follow the
    rules, even when no-one is watching).

Hamiltons Rule.
  • r degree of genetic relatedness
  • b benefit (in reproductive terms), to related
  • c cost (in reproductive terms) to altruist
  • Altruism will occur when
  • c (cost to you) lt (r) b (benefit to kin)

When will you be altruistic?Answer when cost to
you lt (r) x (benefit to kin)
  • c lt rb -- plug in some sample values
  • To your siblings (share ½ of your genes)
  • When benefit to a sib is 2x cost to you
  • 1 lt (.5) 2 -- cost to you lt (r) benefit to sib
    -- e.g, c lt rb
  • Only when it will cost you less than 1 to get
    your sib at least 2
  • To ½ sibs, aunt/uncle, niece/nephew (r .25)
  • 1 lt (.25) 4 When benefits to this kin member is
    4x the cost to you.
  • Only when it will cost you less than 1 to get
    your nephew at least 4
  • r .125 ? 8x benefit to other vs. cost to you
  • r .062 ? 16x benefit vs. cost to you
  • r .031 ? 32x benefit vs. cost to you
  • r .015 ? 64x benefit vs. cost to you
  • Sad bottom line As r declines, altruism will
    exponentially decline

Arab Adage
  • Me against my brother.
  • Me and my brother against my cousins
  • Me, my brother, and my cousins against the
  • Me, my brother, my cousins and my village against
    the other village

Game Theory Types of Social Interactions
Game Theory and Peak Oil
Problem Cooperation is Far Less Likely in a
Negative Sum Game
  • Generalized reciprocity works well when the
    overall resource pie is growing (a positive sum
  • The costs of cooperating are low.
  • But Peak Oil crisis is a shrinking energy pie
    situation (a negative sum game).
  • Peak oil requires the whole world to cooperate as
    resources grow scarce. How can that be achieved?

Peak Oil Bell CurveAscent and Decline Strategies
  • Peak Oil Slope Ascent Strategies
  • Served us well on peak oil ascent
  • Free market capitalism, consumerism, globalism,
    un-taxed energy use, no incentives for renewable
    energy use, short term time horizon
  • But now, it is dangerous if we cling to those
    Ascent Values
  • Peak Oil Slope Decline Strategies
  • Requires new ways of thinking.
  • Government conservation and renewable energy
    incentives, taxes on excessive energy use, RIMINI
    Protocol (shared burdens)
  • Businesses and Individuals Localization (food,
    manufacturing, etc.), energy conservation, use of
    renewable energy.

Imagineyou are on Easter Island
  • How do you convince your tribe, and other tribes,
    to create a sustainable timber industry on the
  • Instead of businesses plundering the planet, is
    sustainable capitalism possible?

THE RIMINI PROTOCOLhttp//www.peakoil.ie/protocol
  • Kyoto Protocol deals with climate change.
  • Oil Depletion Protocol (RIMINI Protocol) deals
    with Peak Oil.
  • Each importing country shall reduce its imports
    to match the current World Depletion Rate.
  • That is, if World Depletion Rate is 3, the U.S.
    (and all other countries), must reduce its oil
    imports by 3 per year.
  • That is agreement for each nation to share the
    declining energy burden proportionately.
  • The stakes are very high -- if every nation
    follows these guidelines, we may be able to avoid
    conflict and resource wars over the remaining
    fossil energy supplies as they grow ever more
    scarce and precious.

  • Peak oil means a shrinking fossil fuel energy
    pie, and higher oil costs, each and every year.
  • Energy transition time window We have a short
    window of time to transition to renewable energy.
    We need to start yesterday.
  • We can hope for an energy techno-breakthrough
    (e.g., fusion), but we better not count on it.
  • World-wide cooperation vs. human nature
  • Avoiding conflict and resource wars over
    shrinking resources will require world-wide
    cooperation and conservation
  • We need to see the threat as a common one that
    transcends borders, cultures and religions.
  • Are we smarter than yeast in the petri dish? Can
    we transcend our human nature?

To download a copy of this presentation, see
  • www.DrMillsLMU.com/PeakOil.htm
  • Online in about a week.
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