Gasland is a good watch on the whole fracking thing, gets a bit overly artsy at times though.
The "Energy Crisis" is over, according to some analyses, with new gas discoveries securing supplies for as much as 250 years. Conventional gas reserves peaked in 1970, which made the "dash for gas" in the late 1980s, with gas replacing oil and coal for power generation, seem particularly short-sighted at the time. The UK led …
Gasland gives ample reason to prevent fracking from taking place, especially in the UK which is so small compared to the USA. The evidence against fracking existed prior to the publication of the Gasland documentary, thankfully the documentary has helped spread awareness of the irreversible damage that occurs through application of that process.
I'm not comfortable with the idea of our energy reserves being 'secure' for the next 250 years, gives the impression of being able to sit on our arses and ignore the need for cleaner energy supplies in the meanwhile.
But consumption isn't steady. It's rising. And that's before noticing that there's four or five billion people looking to drastically up their daily energy consumption as soon as they can afford it and/or it becomes available to them. And their success will mean yet more people on the planet, wanting in on it too. Refusing them that "right", meaning to them being refused entrance to the developed countries club, is not an option. It'll mean war.
So I sit here in my comfy room commentarding away, reflecting that even the measly two thousand years of not-really western civilisation is but a drop in the ages of humans having been around. Those gas reserves, like the oil reserves, took a ridiculous multiple of even that to form. And it'll be gone in what, fifty, maybe a hundred years? Provided our tech base lasts that long, of course. But assuming that, it still seems a poor show to just use it all up in that short a time period. Can we please get a move on with finding better ways to power our 'leccy habit?
Like what? Like I don't really care what. We need options. So let's find more options. Not through silly solar and wind subsidies. That's just for show, for the fuzzy warm feeling of being all environmental, baby. Through long-term investment in research. We've got fifty years before we need to start to scramble. Surely we can figure out a thing or two in that time.
I don't plan on living for 250 years, so just like the baby boomers didn't give a toss when they stole everyone's financial future with their tax burden I don't give a toss either as you'd hope that it would be enough time for science to come up with something. We can all waste our time worrying about the future we won't be here for but I'd rather live in the present thanks.
It seems ours is the pick up the bill generation. The baby boomers in the political and financier classes tell use to tighten our belts to pay for their excesses, and we're told we're not allowed to palm it off to future generations as they did. We're like a middle child.
no population can grow beyond the sustaining level of its environment. Sooner or later food production / water availability or space will reach its upper limit, and grow will stop. I don't know why people even worry about it. We cant destroy life on this planet, only particular samples of it, heck we probably cant even really destroy our species, only our civilization.
"But she (the report author) stressed that the totals were highly uncertain, and depended on price, technology and the accessibility of supplies."
Also 250 years is at the top end of the estimates, and again, the author says ""Not all of this will be recoverable,"
Pass me the kool-aid someone.
There is never been such a thing, what we called energy crisis was in reality an "Energy-related Economic Crisis" or EREC.
Yes I know I just made the term :-) I could not resist.
There's never been a shortage of anything, any shortage has been an artificial one orchestrated by the OPEC to make the prices go higher.
Please be specific at the start of the article! I had to read the whole thing before I could finally conclude that you were talking about NATURAL gas, and not gasoline. It wasn't until you talked about trillion cubic feet that it became obvious.
So, even if we have lots of natural gas, no infrastructure exists for automobiles to use it. Least not yet.
I knew implicitly that the article was referring to gas as in the UK the gas we burn in our cookers and boilers is... well, a gas. The fuel we put in our cars is either petrol, diesel or LPG* and is a liquid 'Merkins referring to petrol as gas has always puzzled me as... well, it's a liquid. Granted 'step on the liquid' doesn't have the same ring to it, but 'Punch it Chewy' still works just as well...
*I'll admit that LPG kind of muddies my argument as it is only a liquid under compression.
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...aka petroleum distillate. Being a UK-centric site it is natural to assume they are referring to natural gas as opposed to petrol. The term "gas" is very much a North American thing from what I can gather.
Besides, petrol does not occur naturally, oil and gas do. You do not "drill for petrol" - it is distilled from crude.
Kill me, I've become a pedant.
I have a car that runs on both gas and gasoline. Propane and natural gas conversions are as easy as taking your car in to get a tank and modified carburettor. After that you will be able to fill up at one of the stations where they sell your fuel of choice. That's Canada, where do you live?
In India we already run a lot of our cars and buses on LPG / CNG. The infrastructure for that is available, at least in our cities. Makes for much cleaner air as compared to petrol / diesel engines. And much cheaper than petrol.
Oh! And you don't have to modify the engine to make it run on LPG / CNG.
>So, even if we have lots of natural gas, no infrastructure exists for automobiles to use it. Least >not yet.
Hate to rain on your parade pal but I've been running cars on CNG (Compressed Natural GAS) or LPG here in the UK for many years. There are currently 1400 or so stations that sell it too. how much MORE infrastructure you think we'll need?
Cost to convert my 2010 Nissan...well under a thousand quid and I've already saved more than that in fuel savings. Filling up tonight at 74.9p a litre.
You could even convert your fleet of Toyota Pious' how green would that be!
Gas alone can power everything, apparently. What's that skippy? Gas is only currently about 20% of current energy consumption, so gas being 250 years means that if we only burnt gas it would only last 50 years at current consumption rates? Or that in the last 50 years the worldwide energy consumption has nearly trebled, and this shows no sign of slowing?
Say it ain't so, gas supplies have fixed the energy crisis for 250 years, the writer told us. He's a writer, so that makes it true.
Here in the good ol' US o A, two groups are getting in a tizzy over natural gas and fracking: Energy companies and NIMBYs. On the whole, both have valid points: The energy companies are engaging in "extract at any cost" behavior, even when going through aquifers and water tables, and the NIMBYs are a bit too NIMBYish. Sadly, our paralyzed governments are sitting this one out, so litigation is king.
The latest we've heard is that even after being told not to for the last 10 years by the government, the energy companies continue to use diesel fuel as a solvent for many of their fracking operations. Now they are being sued, and trying to defend themselves with the ever-popular "We thought when you said not to use it, you meant that we could use it!" defense. Good times. Of course, it's only a problem with the fracking operations that aren't using the proper containment techniques, and nothing goes wrong. But a few water tables have been spoiled, or at least contaminated enough to require expensive filtration costs for the city or water authority.
But, 85% of the time, that doesn't happen (number randomly pulled out of my backside), so instead of putting some decent regulations in place (no diesel or other difficult to clean out solvents without some kind of insurance that will cover clean-up/mitigation costs, prompt reporting of accidents and "incidents" to local authorities, and transparent bidding/contracting processes), the energy companies are going whole hog where they were let in (rural areas, poor areas, etc), while being completely blocked in other areas.
The only other concern is that in some areas of the country that are a slight bit more geologically active than the area I call home, there has been increases in micro-earthquakes, usually detectable only by sensitive instruments or animals, with one or two real earthquakes (4ish on the scale) that might be attributed to fracking operations.
as reserved for creating synthetic crude oil from the oil sands.
On the other hand, I hear-tell that Japan has some used reactors on the auction block. Or perhaps the nice folks who buy part of Atomic Energy Canada can sell Canada a nice shiny reactor so that they stop burning ninety-nine dollar bills to make a one-hundred.
China, in the meantime, has to do some work to displace the folks in Western China. Damn them and their existing on top of China's gas! If anyone can handle the task with ease, it's China. That they have such a huge reserve, and that a great use for natural gas is creating plasticy things, me thinks that it may lead to a China that doesn't look to the RotW for quite as much as it does today. Outbound only, ah-thankya.
Mine is the one with the Mattel toys spilling from the pockets...
Is that code for, "So expensive to recover that nobody will bother tapping it until energy prices have doubled again"?
If so, at some point the rising costs of digging deeper and deeper into the planet (hello Horizon Deepwater!) will make alternative energy sources look more and more attractive.
Car use in the developing world is increasing rapidly. To power those cars they are going to need oil. As we've probably already reached peak oil, petrol prices are going to go up. This will mean that the demand for LPG to power cars will increase and hence these new gas supplies will get used up faster than we expect.
The energy crisis is far from over.
As the writer of "250 years at steady consumption." says, the world seriously needs to start pump more money into research into non fossil based energy sources.
Solar Energy World Wide / A End to Oil
Solar Energy carports at our commuter Rail Stations, Schools, Homes and Businesses World wide will produce electricity and recharge Electric Vehicles. The Roofs all over the Globe are starting to be covered with Photovoltaic Panels Powered by the SUN Solar Energy. Many Cities and Industry around the Globe are starting to cover their parking lots carports and roofs with Solar Panels.
Solar Energy and Electric Cars and Electric Vehicles that have solar covered skin or body and recharge from Solar, Wind and Renewable Energy. Will Soon be all over the Earth. Now if you wish to get into Solar or Electric Vehicles that market will grow like a weed or wild fire.
You will make more in Solar Energy then any other Product and your Productivity will go up grow way more then you can ever want. Free Energy from GOD the SUN Solar Energy.
Solar Energy has More then Doubled in the last Year.
and May HE Guide you all.
The Lord's Little Helper
Paul Felix Schott
many a Nation have fallen from taxing their people to Death. You want Prosperity and for thing to Flourish and grow lower all taxes. You want thriving, success, or good fortune for only a few, keep over taxing all.
Solar, Wind and Renewable Energy Freedom from OIL. The Humanitarian thing to do. Solar Energy.
So after the 80% gas price hike in the last couple of years, surely the consumer can expect a significant drop in the near future.
Ahah, just kidding, they'll probably even find another excuse to increase prices further. "We had to fit a bullshitotron to every gas pipe, it.... errr... helps make things better... you know, making the gas more gassy and stuff... but it costs so we pass this cost on". Like petrol: crude goes up, we pay more, crude goes down, we don't pay less.
....the atmosphere CO2 levels today are already higher than they have for 25 million years, when average temperatures were 3-5°C above today's & oceans were 20-35m higher. The oceans are also acidifying 10x faster than the mass marine extinction 55 million years ago.
If we continue burning fossil fuels at our current rate we're staring down the muzzle of a 16°C average temperature rise.
Would you want your grandchildren to live in a world like that? Or try to...
Seriously El Reg, when did being fashionably contrarian replace journalism? You tossers.
1.) Claiming a 250 year supply of gas is a massive overstatement which borders on being an outright lie.
2.) Recovering the gas has non-trivial implications in terms of cost and environmental consequences, which have basically been ignored by this 'journalist'. But I'm sure we can trust the energy companies to be careful and thorough rather than merely choosing the most expedient and profitable methods of extraction. Google Great Artesian Basin for a hint.
"If we continue burning fossil fuels at our current rate we're staring down the muzzle of a 16°C average temperature rise."
Yes please! Just think of all the CO2 and oil we could save if we actually had decent weather in the UK! Burning those fossil fuels WILL save the planet!
PS. Global Warming is hyberbole bollocks.
As Kiwiiano points out this would have significant ramifications for climate. How much higher are CO2 levels going to get because of these additional reserves?
Peak oil/gas/coal is the last ditch hope to prevent catastrophic climate change by forcing us to reduce carbon emissions even if we are unable to do so voluntarily. If humans had access to infinite fossil fuels we'd happily push CO2 levels ever higher and higher, wiping out most life on land and in the oceans in the process. We'd just not see it without hindsight, like the proverbial frog in a slowly heating pan of water.
In many ways it would be good to just pretend this additional gas wasn't there and just act as if we were in such a situation.