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Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert's Peak

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2006

    Conversational examination of what happens as the oil runs out

    Geologist M. King Hubbert gained renown by predicting an end to the era of abundant energy. His 1956 projection that U.S. petroleum production would peak in the early 1970s and then decline has come true. Production leveled off and has never gone up again. So, if you are betting against global projections based on Hubbert¿s metrics, you are, in a very real sense, betting against history. Author, professor and geologist Kenneth S. Deffeyes is a leading proponent of Hubbert¿s theories. His pleasant, very conversational book thoroughly examines why Hubbert appears correct: He explains how and why ¿ unless public and private powers begin to react and plan ¿ the energy shortage will change everyone¿s life, and could lead to famine and beyond. This book is similar in tone to Deffeyes¿ earlier work, ¿Hubbert¿s Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage.¿ Some messages bear repeating and ¿ particularly since this iteration is so clearly presented and rich in updated information ¿ we believe that this is one of them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2005

    Beyond Oil - energy for the 21st century

    Beyond Oil by Dr. Kenneth Deffeyes is a sequel to his first book 'Hubbert's Peak'. Dr. Deffeyes is a retired professor of geology from Princeton University, so he focuses on technical, as opposed to political or economic issues. He begins by briefly reiterating the arguments for an eventual peak in crude oil production, then spends most of the book on possible replacements for oil in the next century. One chapter is about natural gas, including LNG and gas-to-liquids technologies. Then he considers coal, including Fischer-Tropsch reactions for producing liquid fuels. There is a chapter on the extraction and processing of tar sands and heavy oils, and a separate chapter for oil shale. Finally he concludes with nuclear power and hydrogen. Dr. Deffeyes recommendations are pretty straight forward: 1) double automotive efficiency, 2) use nuclear and renewables to generate electricity, 3) use the natural gas that is saved by step 2 to process tar sands and heavy oils, 4) use coal, combined with carbon sequestration, to produce additional liquid fuels. For example, one of his clever ideas was to build a coal-burning power plant over an oil field, and use the captured CO2 to enhance oil recovery.

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