Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math

Like many electric vehicle enthusiasts I am keen on protecting the environment and follow the discussions in the media on climate change – while not being exactly a treehugger. Today I read a very interesting summary of the current climate change situation. It was published by Rolling Stone magazine, which is respected for its political reporting, so I don’t think it could be considered extreme by either side of the debate. Highly recommended reading:

Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math – RollingStone.com

Global Warming New Math
Global Warming New Math

3 thoughts on “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math”

  1. Dear Trevor,

    Many congratulations on the “My Renault Zoe” website.

    Like you, I am eagerly awaiting further news of the Renault Zoe and am very interested in purchasing one.

    I also think climate change is a massive issue facing the world.

    However, I believe that the motivation behind the production of electric vehicles is oil depletion. In that regard, I would recommend the following website

    http://aleklett.wordpress.com/

    from Kjell Aleklett, a professor of physics and the chairman of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil.

    Kjell’s analysis, illustrated in the following graph

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/9870212/Peeking_at_PO/Fig%2018-3%20oil%20production%20and%20export_import.jpg

    indicates that OECD (including UK, EU, USA etc) countries oil imports will be continually squeezed by the growing oil consumption of China, India and south east Asia (SEA), the growing oil consumption of oil exporting countries (like Saudi Arabia, for example) and overall global oil production that is not increasing. The squeeze predicted is such that the volume of oil on the markets and “available” to OECD countries will approximately half from its maximum extent in 2005, by 2020. The historical data in this graph explains the run-up in the oil price since 2004/2005.

    I would also receommend Kjell’s recent book “Peeking at Peak Oil” which is very well written, informative and beautifully illustrated. Kjell also considers the issue of climate change and notes that those that model climate change do not consider fossil fuel depletion and tend to assume greater potential to produce CO2 from burning fossil fuels than can actually be produced due to constrained reserves. That is not to say that climate change is not a very real and serious threat. But our widely misunderstood energy situation or crisis is a much more imminent threat.

    Hence electric cars.

    Best wishes,

    Alister.

  2. Alister,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. I too had seen discussions of the news that Saudi Arabia could become a net importer – a shocking idea, until you realise how badly they appear to be squandering their oil assets. At least they seem to realise it, and are starting to do something about it – unlike Venezuala, for example.

    Personally I remain much more concerned about climate change than about a shortage of energy – we can always find more ways to produce energy (as Germany and other countries have shown with solar and wind power) but it seems to me we may not find a way to alleviate, never mind reverse, global warming.

    However – to the point! – as you suggest, I believe the solution to both problems (or at least a contribution to the solution) is electric cars.

    Trevor

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