Some good news and some worse news in a recent KPMG survey of oil/gas company execs. The bad news is that:
Sixty-five percent of the respondents say that while they believe global warming is occurring, it is a natural weather cycle, and 11 percent say that they do not believe it is occurring. Just under a quarter believe CO-2- induced global warming is occurring.
The worse news is that 60 percent believe the current trend of declining oil reserves is irreversible:
"These executives are deeply concerned about declining oil reserves, a situation they see as irreversible and worsening," said Bill Kimble,National Line of Business Leader, Industrial Markets for KPMG LLP.
In other words, we're over the Hubble Peak of Peal Oil fame, and its downhill from here. Ah but that's good news, you might think, because we will be forced to transition into a alternative fuel/ low GHG emissions future. Well, not necessarily:
Although oil is the biggest single source of energy-related greenhouse gases, coal and gas combined are bigger still, and the expected growth in their emissions [after the hubble peak] would overwhelm any reduction from oil.
Soaring crude prices could tip the world into a depression deeper than that of the 1930s, and collapsing stock markets cripple our ability to finance the expensive clean energy infrastructure we need.
As the unemployment lines grow, the political will to tackle climate change may be sapped by the need to keep the lights burning as cheaply as possible.
If there is encouragement to be taken from the survey, it is that our oil execs support research into alternative energy sources as a means of combating the effects of a decline in oil reserves rather than climate change. Get your good news where you can, I suppose.
Hubble Peak: We're Over