ES202 Lecture Number Two

ENVS 202 On-line Access


The results of the Pool

Climate Change:

Salmon:

Energy Issues:

Headlines, Media, Sources of Information:

Belief System:

Issues for This Class:

Fossil Fuel Depletion

The Two Principle Problems with Energy Management:

The result of these failures is to create an escalating energy crises as time continues to run out. Unfortunately, most people are either oblivious to this or believe that some new source of energy will magically appear.

If we look at the 20 year period 1970--1990 we see both good and bad trends:

Resource

1970

1990

Comments

Lead Emission

204,000 tons

5,000 tons

Factor 40 reduction

Aluminum Cans Recycled

1.2 billion

47 billion

Factor 40 increase

Passive Solar Houses

35,000

2 million

Factor of 75 increase

Tons of Garbage

121 million

160 million

marginal increase

Percentage of Oil Imported

23%

51%

Stupid

World CO2 Emissions

14 billion tons/yr

21 billion tons/yr

Climate Change

Other trends:

Overview of The Fossil Fuel Problem

The World mirrors the US:

1992 Energy Consumption by Source

Resource

The US

The World

Oil

41%

38%

Coal

23%

26%

Natural Gas

24%

22%

Hydro

4%

7%

Nuclear

8%

6%

When does the Oil Run Out

Resource

US

World

US Lifetime

Oil

24 billion bbl

990 billion bbl

8 years

Natural Gas

0.16 tcf

4.9 tcf

9 years

Coal

265 gigatons

1140 gigatons

300 years

Note on Units:

The US has:

Hence, it becomes clear that the major challenge which faces us is the large scale conversion of fossil fuel based energies to renewables ("green") on a time scale of 50 years

The Historial Price of Gas

Depletion Timescales:

  • At current consumption rate, total US Oil reserves can power us for 12 more years; Alaska alone has only 5 more years left in it:

    • Known US Reserves as of 1990: = 36 billion barrels of oil
    • Total population is 250 million 144 barrels per person
    • Consumption Rate 3 billion barrels of oil per year 12 barrels per year per person
    • 144/12 12 more years left therefore we require importation!

    • By 1995 the Reserve Estimate had dwindled to 22.5 billion barrels of oil and the cosumption rate remains the same
    • 22.5/3 = 7.5 years left so we are still on the trajectory
    • Decline of our Reserve
    • Where is the Oil in the US?:

      • Texas 26%
      • Alaska 26%
      • California 16%
      • Gulf Coast Off Shore 9%
      • New Mexico 3%
      • the remaining 20% is widely distributed

    • On a World Wide Basis there are 400 bbl per person. Timescale when this resource is used up is dependent on the world wide consumption rate which is very difficult to estimate.

      A worst case scenraio is the "Third World" aspires to the US consumption rate and this consumption rate then doubles: there would only be 400/24 = 17 years although this is a worst case, most best case scenarios offer a resource exhaustion timescale which is at most 3-4 times this value (e.g. 50-70 years) left

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