Richard Ha writes:
A few years ago, Gail Tverberg gave a presentation here on the Big Island to the Kanaka Council. Her view of the world energy situation caused a split in its membership – some of them are now pro-geothermal, and some are still against.
The pro-geothermal group agrees with Gail that one day “the boat not going come.” Meaning that one day, all things that have oil embedded will be too expensive for the common people to afford. To people with this view, geothermal is a gift from our volcano goddess Pele.
Gail is a mathematician and former insurance actuary. She quit her job pricing risk for the insurance industry to take on a higher calling – to inform people about the implications of the world's oil supply not keeping up with demand.
There is a parable illustrating the need for empirical evidence. It concerns scholars vigorously debating the number of teeth in a horse's mouth. A naive young man suggests that they might resolve the question by looking in the horse's mouth and counting them. The scholars are horrified at this outrageous suggestion.
The common folk – the rubbah slippah folks, as I call them – have counted the teeth in the horse's mouth, and they know that the era of cheap oil is over. In their view, a hot water heater provides a luxury sponge bath, and a clothes dryer is a luxury clothesline. The electric grid is essential for the hospital, for childbirth support, life support, analysis, computers. It doesn't take them 10 minutes to understand that cheap, proven and no greenhouse gas emissions is good. And that geothermal is cheap and proven technology.
The price of oil was $25 per barrel in 2000, then doubled to $50 per barrel and in 2011 doubled yet again to $100 per barrel. If the price of oil, electricity and water follow the same doubling pattern, we can expect today’s $300 monthly electricity bill to rise toward $600 by 2016 and $1,200 by 2022.
But there is a great upside. If we stabilize our electricity rates by using geothermal as our primary base power, then as the price of oil continues to rise we will become more competitive to the rest of the world. And our standard of living will rise.
We need compassionate, decisive leaders who will take all of us to a safer place. Not, no can. CAN!
From Gail Tverberg's blog Our Finite World:
What the new 2011 EIA oil supply data shows
Posted on April 9, 2012
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently released full-year 2011 world oil production data. In this post, I would like show some graphs of recent data, and provide some views as to where this leads with respect to future production.... Read the rest