"Peak Oil Production & Decline - Raising awareness and discussion of the consequences and solutions"
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That the growing consensus amongst the World's leading independent petroleum geologists and geophysicists is that the peak of global oil production will occur at some point within the next 10 years (see the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas at www.peakoil.net), after which there will be a permanent and ongoing decline in the global extraction of oil, followed by a similar peak and decline in natural gas production.
That with most non-OPEC countries having already peaked, the percentage of global oil production will be increasingly concentrated in the Middle East. Production in the Middle East will also peak soon.
That the global discovery of oil peaked in 1962 and has been declining ever since. Continuing this trend, most future discoveries of oil fields will be too small and/or much more challenging: hence, extraction costs will be extremely high.
That the accepted reserve numbers of IEA and USGS are not verified and are likely to be overstated due to political and financial pressures.
That the strong economic advances by China and India are dramatically intensifying global competition for access to oil reserves.
That technology and the market alone cannot provide a solution to this problem and leadership must be shown by the Government.
That due to oil being so essential for economies, and with increasing competition, there is a very high risk of economic, political and military conflict over the control of remaining resources.
That any solution to the global decline in oil production must take into account climate change.
That our current economic and social structure, and indeed our way of life, is dependent on cheap oil and gas in every way, from transport to medicine, and from agriculture to plastics - which so many jobs, and thus our economy, rely.
That the prevailing expectations, standards and aspirations of many in modern industrialised societies is a culture based on the cheap and easy supply of oil, and thus any solution must address that culture.
That once it is realised that the oil-based economy is in permanent terminal decline, removing the confidence in perpetual growth on which the Financial System depends, the assumption of ever-onward growth, borrowing and lending dry up: there being little that is viable for one to invest in. It follows that there will be a need to remove vast amounts of so-called Capital, which in fact is not Capital in the sense of being the saved proceeds of labour, but merely an expression of speculative confidence in ever-onward economic growth. This financial shock will destroy many types of investments such as pensions.
We recognise that it is better to act as soon as possible, making the most of our economic strength to prepare for the transition. The essential and realistic task is to mitigate the consequences in order to prevent the extreme difficulties that are on the way from becoming catastrophes. We believe pre-emptive action and leadership from the Government is needed to soften the impact of declining oil supply, and therefore call on the Government to:
Prepare a full, honest and major public awareness campaign on the future economic and lifestyle consequences of oil depletion.
Establish a set of national targets for clean, renewable energy self-sufficiency by the year 2025.
Create a long-term plan to secure the well-being of every member of a low-carbon economy and society.
Establish measures and policies to encourage efficient use of energy throughout the economy within a framework of reducing total energy consumption, such as DTQs (www.dtqs.org).
Rethink and revise climate change policies and targets in the light of oil depletion data.
Recognise the fundamental significance of declining oil and thus prioritise the budget allocation to scientific research, energy efficiency and other policy measures aimed at commerce, industry and individuals, designed to manage the transition to a low-carbon society as speedily and painlessly as possible.
Furthermore, recognise the importance of oil and gas in agriculture and therefore address how food will be grown and distributed in the future.
Pro-actively work on international cooperation on energy resource management and energy solution development - e.g. sign and follow the 'Rimini Protocol' so as to cut imports to match world depletion rate.
For Further Information:
This petition was formulated by www.PowerSwitch.org.uk and launched on February 14th 2005. PowerSwitch.org.uk is a growing body of citizens that recognises that we have built a society, economy and culture based on oil and that we are now entering an age where the supply of that oil will be heavily challenged. PowerSwitch.org.uk is working to raising awareness & discussion of the issues of oil depletion. For study and analysis of the peak in oil production please see the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas at www.PeakOil.net.