Reports coming from The Guardian are that a whistleblower from the International Energy Agency leaked information that we are much closer to the peak production of oil than anticipated. The whistleblower is staying anonymous so I want to state that it's still unconfirmed, the IEA is denying what is being stated.
The IEA reports world reservoirs of oil for the open market. If a decline in the production of oil was imminent that would cause major panic. The whistleblower stated that most in the IEA don't see us getting past 90 million barrels per day in order to feed future supplies. The report also said IEA overstated oil supplies intentionally not to upset U.S. interests. While denying the claims IEA released a new report this week. World Energy Outlook 2009 states :
"In the oil and gas sector, most companies have announced cutbacks in capital spending, as well as project delays and cancellations, mainly as a result of lower cash flow. We estimate that global upstream oil and gas investment budgets for 2009 have been cut by around 19% compared with 2008 - a reduction of over $90 billion."
With a shortcoming of $90 billion how will we acheive higher demands once we recover from our economic slump? Will oil supplies become constrained in the later years? Does this not prove the necessary facts that would conclude normal intelligent individuals to find it prudent to invest in a economy that is resilient to further oil shocks?
If oil production can't meet demand in the future, and will possibly exceed supply further, do we continue on with this car-centered lifestyle much longer? Biofuels are a decade or more away from being a reality, while solar and wind couldn't fully supply a vast electric vehicle conversion due to lack of investments.
We are in a twin crisis of both energy and capital liquidity. With these continued bail outs to the car companies from GMAC to Cash for Clunkers, the President and Congress seem fixed to only perputate the old style of thinking and propping up failed companies instead of investing in what is going to be arguably a lower energy future. We must take hold in our minds and believe this, or if we continue in the old belief of perpetual growth forever, we could find ourselves ill equipped to handle the upcoming oil decline. We know they are on the horizon - why not work towards resilience against them now?
The following is a talk and photographs by Edward Burtynsky, a Canadian photographer who documents the impact of humanity's ever expanding footprint on the Earth.