Natural gas and oil supplies

One of the folks at Post Carbon Toronto sent around this clip about North American oil and gas supplies.  It is an interview with David Hughes, a geologist with Natural Resources Canada.

Climate change campaigners and peal oil campaigners would both like to see planning for a carbon-constrained future, but for different reasons.  Climate change campaigners fear the catastrophic effects of global warming — floods, droughts, inundations, heatwaves, ice ages, methane clouds, uncontrolled fires, mass starvation, and death and destruction as people turn desperate.  Peak oil campaigners fear the catastrophic effects of the inability of oil supplies to meet demand — water shortages, killer heat, uncontrolled fires, mass starvation and death and destruction as people turn desperate.  The disagreement about which threat to focus on centres around which threat is more immediate, and which threat is likely to be taken more seriously.

I understand both groups.  For those who feel that climate change may not be worth addressing, it may be useful to point out that if we don’t address it now, within a few years, we’ll have to be doing the same things anyway for reasons of declining supply.  And we’ll be better able to handle the declining supplies when they hit us if we’ve been preparing for them along the way.

The lack of reliable natural gas supply has important implications for building up more and more demand, particularly in the form of large power plants like the Portlands Energy Centre.  By devoting more and more natural gas to electricity generation, we are literally threatening our ability to keep Canadians warm in the winter in a couple of years.

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