A city in Colorado has this year switched 25% of it’s bus fleet to Biodiesel. Aside from Biodiesel being good as a renewable fuel, they’ve also seen up to a 31% decrease in emissions. If they deem the results of this test “positive” they will switch their entire fleet next year. Cheers and good luck. The article is here.
That same website has a bunch of other good information on it too. I ran into this article that looked rather important:
The report doesn’t give date forecasts, but is good in that it looks at what will happen when we get there, and what some of the warning signs will be. It’s scary to think how close we are, and the recent price shocks are one of the warning signs.
I did find something interesting in the report, though, in this paragraph:
“Improved fuel efficiency in the world’s transportation sector will be a critical element in the long-term reduction of liquid fuel consumption, however, the scale of effort required will inherently take time and be very expensive. For example, the U.S. has a fleet of over 200 million automobiles, vans, pick-ups, and SUVs. Replacement of just half with higher efficiency models will require at least 15 years at a cost of over two trillion dollars for the U.S. alone.”
The highlighted sentence gives me the creeps. I can just see naive people all over saying “well if it’s going to cost that much we just won’t do it.” What these people don’t realize is that we don’t have a choice. Whether or not you believe in the reduction in use of fossil fuels to stem global warming, I hope there really aren’t people out there who still believe we aren’t running out of oil, and very quickly.
The math is very straightforward. Oil discovery peaked way back in 1962 and has fallen very quickly since then, except for one small blip. This isn’t the opinion of some hippy-lefty scientists. The oil companies are living this reality. Take this in conjunction with demand, which is increasing very quickly worldwide as the population grows and huge countries like China and India become industrialized. It doesn’t take a genius to see that this is a problem.
This site, Life After the Oil Crash, is a bit extreme in it’s message for my tastes, but it has all the data. Look at the chart of oil discovery and production. They do bring up some interesting points and interpretations of what the oil companies are planning for the future. For instance, oil consumption in the US is still increasing, the current refineries are at capacity, but no new refineries have been built since the 1970s. Do the oil companies believe they’re not going to need that much capacity because the supply of crude is dropping? Or do they hope to cap supply of gas to drive prices up? I don’t know, but either way it’s not good for our wallets.