how soon is oil running out??

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    THE DAILY MINING GAZETTE - www.mininggazette.com Thursday, December 23, 2004 — 10:35:28 PM EST
    Oil running out

    To the editor:


    Energy analysts are saying that the world's consumers have about 36 years left of adequate petroleum supplies (gasoline, diesel, heating oil).

    The outlook for natural gas is not much better. (It's about) 63 years.
    Americans, at current consumption rates, have only a 3-year supply left under U.S. soil. Drilling the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge would extend this about one year.

    No wonder the U.S. government is so desperate to control Middle East oil.

    The cruel logic of all this is as follows:

    1. Western industrial society has been built upon, and our personal American lifestyles have become addicted to, lavish uses of petroleum-based energy.

    2. The absolute end of this finite energy source is predicted to be in 30 to 50 years.

    3. 30 to 50 years is an excruciatingly short time for a society, a nation, or a local community to adjust to non-petroleum conditions.

    4. And our government and private sector are doing little if anything to help us transition to different energy systems.

    John Howe argues the U.S. must reduce its petroleum usage by 5 percent per year (something utterly unthinkable from the private sector or consumer point of view) between now and the year 2040 or our society will end up in "chaos, anarchy, and starvation."

    More optimistically, Barry Hanson* demonstrates the U.S. "has five times more clean (non-fossil, non-nuclear) energy than it needs" based on newly emerging technologies.

    The challenge will be to get these technologies on line in time to prevent entrenched petroleum interests from undermining the process.

    For as cataclysmic of a societal crisis as this could become, the exasperating thing is that no one is yet talking about this. The media is not informing the public, no attention is being paid to reducing energy consumption, little policy planning for transition to other energy sources appears underway, and, preposterously, the non-renewable oil-coal-gas industries remain heavily subsidized by U.S. taxpayers.

    I'm curious (about) what's being done in the Copper Country or State of Michigan to prepare us in coping with a possible severe energy shortage, or to make a successful transition to different energy sources possible?

    VERN SIMULA
 
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