On 8 April 2009 at 7pm I will give a public seminar with the title “Energy – the challenge to sustainability” in the Scotiabank auditorium in the McCain Building on Dalhousie’s main campus, Halifax, Canada. The abstract for the seminar:
When future energy scenarios are discussed a “Business as Usual” scenario is always included. The most well known “Business as Usual” scenarios are those delivered by the International Energy Agency, IEA, in its yearly publication World Energy Outlook and those that form the foundation of the IPCC’s climate scenarios. The Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas, ASPO, http://www.peakoil.net, was formed in 2002 and one of the motivations for this was that we do not regard “Business as Usual” as a valid future scenario when considering oil production.
Crude oil is the basis for different forms of transport fuel. These forms (fractions refined from Crude oil) are divided between gasoline (aka petrol, 23.8%), aviation fuel (6.3%), diesel (33.1%) and bunker oil (16.1%). The remaining products from crude oil are used for other purposes.
The basis for globalization is global transport and the future that the aviation industry project is “Business as Usual” with growth of 5% per year. What happens when “Business as Usual” is not an option? Shipping uses primarily bunker oil but more and more refineries are now converting this fraction to increase production of diesel. What will happen to shipping without “Business as Usual” as an option?
The nations of the world are now gathering to make decisions to reduce global emissions of carbon dioxide. Since 2004, CO2 emissions from oil have leveled off and Peak Oil means that these will soon decrease regardless of political decisions. Natural gas will also reach a production maximum and its emissions will decline. What will happen with coal in the future? It is time to discuss the future of the climate without “Business as Usual” as an option.