Panic! at the Citgo: Running Out of Oil, and Why 450 is the New 350.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) issued their annual World Energy Outlook, and despite a drop in 2009 demand due to the global recession, the numbers look grim. As Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director of the IEA put it;

“…a continuation of current trends in energy use puts the world on track for a rise in temperature of up to 6°C and poses serious threats to global energy security.”

The IEA is to consuming countries what OPEC is to producing ones, advising members on energy supply and policy.Their activities include estimating how much oil is available and what future energy consumption will look like, and things may be even grimmer than they have been letting on. 

Oil supplies in flux
According to a report in the Guardian, the Agency may have deliberately overstated world oil supplies, in order to avoid a worldwide buying panic. An unnamed (and therefore unverified) sources claim that the US has played an influential role in encouraging the organization to “underplay the rate of decline from existing oil fields while overplaying the chances of finding new reserves.” Another (also unnamed) source was quoted as saying “We have [already] entered the ‘peak oil’ zone. I think that the situation is really bad.”

“Peak oil” refers to the point at which the rate of production of oil, which has generally marched steadily upwards, begins to decline. If we continue our current energy habits and assume no change in government policies (called the ‘Reference Scenario), we will need to produce an additional 20 million barrels a day by 2030. It is not clear where that oil supply would come from, and is projected as “crude oil fields yet to be found.” 

Is even ’450′ a stretch?
In the ‘Reference Scenario’, the world’s primary energy demand in 2030 is estimated to grow by a staggering 40% over the current figures. Much of this increase would be in coal use, which would grow by 50% and have a severe impact on climate change.

The IEA also looked at the alternative scenario needed to hold greenhouse gasses to 450 ppm, which is generally considered the maximum upper limit to avoid irreversible and possibly cataclysmic change (we are currently at 385.)  What would need to happen? By 2030, a third of the world’s power needs to come from renewables and/or nuclear, 60% of cars need to be plug in or hybrid, and we need to invest nearly $10 Trillion globally in energy efficiency. These are all what I would call ‘stretch goals’, and is partially why others have described  staying below 450 ppm as pursuing “the greatest achievement in the history of the human race.”

The IEA didn’t even bother figuring out what it would take to reduce total ghg back to 350 ppm, a ‘do no harm’ target which seems to be completely out of reach. 

Pay now or pay later

Conspiracy theorists claim that global warming is a hoax designed to create new ‘green’ profits via cap-and-trade and clean technology. While some concerns about Wall Street are always warranted, here is the simple math: The IEA estimates that carbon should eventually carry a cost of around $50 per ton, which translates to $20 per barrel of oil. If we continue on our current path, however, demand will likely drive up oil prices by at least $50 per barrel, sending over $4 trillion dollars to OPEC members in the next 20 years, just for the oil  And the cost of climate change? The NRDC estimates that in the US alone, it will be $300 Billion a year by 2030. Many put the global figure in the Trillions.

So whether for the planet or the pocketbook, it’s time to wake up. Things simply will not stay the way they are. We can either start spending on clean energy and efficiency now, or pay even more for the privilege of using up more fossil fuel and polluting the planet, with dire consequences. Why does this seem like a difficult choice? 

Photo Copyright: / CC BY-SA 2.0


LMj Sunshine

Thank you for article.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you for article.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you for article.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you for article.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you for article.

Vickie W.
Vickie W.6 years ago

Visit for realistic solutions to the problems the earth now faces and will continue to face if left unaddressed.

Lea C.
Lea C.7 years ago

Well Citgo isn't running out of oil. Citgo gets their gas from Mexico, who buys it from Venezuela. That's the truth. Besides, government has finally admitted that the U.S. has 200 years worth of oil and gas at Pruedo Bay, AK That oil and gas was discovered in the early 70s and they kept it secret. Lindsey Williams had the written the book, "Energy Non-Crisis" which was a tell all. You can find that info on YouTube and listen to the entire story, from when he was living there as their minister. He was let in on all of the meetings and you can find out the rest listening to the interview.

So, as all the other lies government tells us, this is a huge one. We haven't had to be dependent on foreign oil since the 70s but government and the elite would NOT let the oil come through the pipeline.

There's more to this than meets the eye. I suggest you seek out Lindsey's information on YouTube and find out the truth of what the elites plan for this nation and us. Most especially, on the Alex Jones channel, his interview with Lindsey. He takes awhile to get to the point, because he is older, but he does know these elites.

Annie Bringloe
Annie B.7 years ago

Hi, all you fellow oil guzzlers. I too wish we could tech-nologize our way out of this mess. Heck, my father was an engineer and I was brought up a good Republican techno-twit. However, the more I leaned, experienced and aged, and saw engineering marvels collapse like the Hood Canal Floating Bridge, Three Mile Island, Mercer Island Floating Bridge, Twin Towers, Soviet Nuclear Reactors, "safe" nuclear waste storage at Hanford (ha!), the Exxon Valdez, levees in New Orleans etc, I have very little faith in engineered solutions to critically important problems. We must prevent the poisons from getting any more concentrated and not think we're going to come up with some alchemist's magic machine that's going to turn it into perfume. Remember when some thought we could shoot nuclear waste into space to get rid of it? I know people are no longer into discipline or self denial. That seems to have gone out with saving metal for WW II and victory gardens. But surely I'm not the only one who cares about my children, grandchildren and the fate of the planet. I would like for them to be able to eat a real wild salmon and grow a vegetable garden with affordable irrigation water. It won't happen for my great grandchildren if things go on the way they have been. Growing food for everybody and having drinkable water will be a bit tricky too. The big climate shift due to our dumping crap into the atmosphere is REALLY happening, fast. Let's take the bags off our heads and fix it now. We can.

Camilo G.
Camilo G.7 years ago

Bob E. and Lloyd H. got it right -- a few others are also spot on.

It is "Revelation," as in one, not Revelations -- I could go on, but the point is ignorance is hard to conceal. We can only hope that one day you, too, will have one.

God did not give man dominion over the planet, the world is not here to supply your every want and desire (especially if runs on gasoline or electricity), and technology is not the answer. The anthropocentric view is what got us, and keeps us, in trouble. This is not likely to change in time to avert some really incredible change -- I know, you're incredulous.

If I get nothing else across: NO NUKES. Nuclear waste will last for hundreds of thousands of years. And for those that don't know -- everything from oil, to wind, even nuclear is a form of stored solar energy. Hell, even the molten core and the rocky crust came from the sun, as do all forms of life as we know it.

Everyday we argue about it, the sun emits more energy than we could ever use even if we continue to waste more than we use. Every energy conversion returns 30% (at best) of the energy going in -- so we burn oil (or coal) to make electricity, then waste it in transmission, and use it to cook and even wash our dishes!

So, do what you can to make it better, do what you can to be less a part of the problem, and realize that Gaia doesn't care who is here, as long as it's green.

Apparently, there are two subspecies here, Homo sapiens sapiens and Homo sapiens

Steven C.
Steven Chandler7 years ago

Let's use technology to solve problems. We need to listen to both sides of the issues. In example, the below link shows how to turn smoke stack gas into methanol. The ultimate recycle process. Everyone wins. People keep their jobs, and the air is kept clean. No cap and trade needed. People need to work to provide for their families.