college prep work

Sunday, May 07, 2006

plateau or drop off

Whether oil production will peak and then crash or plateau and then slowly decrease depends on many different things. How will people change their lives when the threat of a collapse becomes more blatant, how will the U.S. relations stay with oil rich countries, most importantly how much oil is there really available.
I believe that it is likely that oil production will peak followed by a plateau as CERA consistently states. However once we come to the end of the peak or the other side of the mountain I do not think that oil will be able to slowly decline. Because of the high level that oil will have been produced at for a few years there will be much less to slowly decline into, so the trip down will become much more steep than say the economist wants us to believe,
Look at the amount of oil OPEC is pretending to have. As Adam Porter from Aljazeera says OPEC has listed Kuwait as having 92 billion in reserves since 1992. Even though there have been no significant oil finds in almost ten years, plus dwindling oil reserves around the world due to an ever increasing demand, they are still pretending to say we have a much larger amount in the world. While Saddam Hussein raised the amount in reserves Iraq had from 42 billion to 100 billion no proof of that was needed for OPEC. So I believe beyond a reasonable doubt that the amount of oil the United States in running on and believes that they have, as a safety net is nowhere near as strong as they think it is.
The only way that oil will really slow down and make it plateau and not drastically drop off is if the world changes. I believe that what will happen in the United States is that oil use will not decrease until it has become extremely expensive and it is literally impossible for people to afford to use as much as they have. 2/3 of oil use in America goes towards Transportation. While other countries and areas have stayed to communities and certain areas the American way of life of being spread out, it what’s going to hurt people? Even our government does not seem to feel that cutting down on the oil used for transportation is necessary. Naphtha-based jet fuel is what the U.S. government used for its entire military. They have recently decided to switch over to a more kerosene-based product, which uses more oil. It seems like the U.S. would want to set the example but not having as much oil used, but they show the exact opposite with that move.
Oil standards will have to become much more strict in order for their to be a sharper decline, I believe this could happen in the U.S. but find it unlikely to happen within the next 3 years or while we have this president. While there have been slightly stricter regulations on gas mileage for cars. Bush for the first time in 16 years says that they will try and raise the gas standard. Although many republicans and automakers are trying to stop this saying that it will make cars less safe. It seems to go along with the American idea, the bigger the car the safer we are on the road.
As I have said the only real way we can see if oil will peak or not is how the masses will react. Recently prices have been going ever upward raising around 25 cents a week. Many people who did not believe the idea of a sharp decline have said that it won’t happen because people will see it coming and begin to change their ways. The average American draws their beliefs from what they are told by the government official they support. Our government is reacting to the foreshadow of the oil peak very badly and for that I feel it is very likely that it will not be a slow decline but a sharp decrease. While Bush’s government has said they would raise the gas standard on cars here is what they have really done. They have agreed to raise the standard by 1.9 miles per gallon between 2008 and 2011(says CNN). Obviously making it seem that there is not a reason to be worried about the gas or changing ones lifestyle at all. So between now and 2011 we can expect to only be seeing cars get better gas mileage by 1.9 miles a gallon. Many case studies show that the peak may have already even happened by then.
Also reported by CNN is that the U.S. government is planning to tax breaks over the next year to people, sending the $100 checks. So now the cost may seem less to people because they will be getting their money back. While it did seem unlikely I did hope that the U.S. government would raise prices in order to fund technology that could help ease off of the gas. Now they are showing they are going to be taking in even less money which means they would not raise the amount they are spending on new research, now that they have even less income.
I doubt that it will happen however if the prices continue to rise as quickly as they have in the last two weeks people may be thrust into seeing what is happening and begin changing. Maybe our government will begin seeing what will happen and start measures to research new energies. While for Bush’s 6 years in office he has been supporting the oil companies to no ends he has begun to cut back slightly. He finally stopped giving the oil companies their 2 billion dollars in tax breaks, amid oil company’s record profits. HE also for the first time is openly saying to the people that we have a dependency on oil that we need to cut back on. When Bush announced, "The prices that people are paying at the gas pump reflect our addiction to oil." Prices dropped by a total of 45 cents. A barrel that is. However small that is it may show that if our government decides to wake up they may be able to kick start the majority of people into operation.

1 Comments:

At 4:46 PM, Blogger Jasmin Morales said...

This was a really detailed paper and you really explained each thought you had really well. I think it’s crazy when you were talking about the oil in Kuwait and how the government plans to exert that oil, but what gives us the right to just take it. Just because we put ourselves in this predicament, then we have the power to just take from others. I think that’s a very interesting observation because instead of the whole world worrying about oil peak. It seems to just be the United States because all means necessary; we’ll have our source of energy. And I really feel that is what’s it’s all about. This is a global issue, but basically the United States is the only country that will have a solution. You have mentioned that this whole idea changes what everyone plans for their future to look like, and I really think we should take notice and really adjust our lives so this situation because it is reality. I think we all want to believe that it’s not among us as soon as they say it is, but it is an important factor to factor into our lives.

 

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