Think it Through
Mankind can't afford more oil drilling-ex-BP exec
Wed Feb 13, 2008
By Gerard Wynn
LONDON, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Known oil, gas and coal reserves may already contain a quarter more carbon than mankind can emit and still avoid dangerous climate change, putting the value of new oil exploration in doubt, said a former oil major executive.
The oil industry may be wasting $50 billion annually searching for new fields, said Jan-Peter Onstwedder, formerly BP's most senior risk manager. He left BP in December.
He calculated potential carbon emissions from proven oil, gas and coal reserves at around 700 billion tonnes, compared with about 500 billion tonnes which can be emitted this century and keep temperature increases within less dangerous bounds.
"It prompts the question where does more exploration fit, do we already have all the reserves we possibly need?" he said.
"I don't know whether they thought their strategy through." clip
I wonder if any of us have thought this through.
"The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported last year that keeping long-term warming to 2.0-2.4 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels meant mankind had to at least halve global carbon emissions by 2050.
The European Union warns that 2 degrees warming is a threshold for dangerous climate change.
Halving emissions meant limiting carbon emissions to about 500 billion tonnes of carbon this century, Onstwedder estimated.
Onstwedder's estimate was in line with academic studies.
Potsdam Institute climate scientist Malte Meinshausen calculated that mankind should emit no more than 400 billion tonnes of carbon this century to have at least a 50:50 chance of staying within 2 degrees."
So if we already have enough discovered fuel to cause dangerous species stopping climate change, why do we need more?
It's a little like buying extra bullets for the gun you plan to shoot yourself with.
We need to think a lot of things through.
Scientists: Lake Mead May Be Dry by 2021
Changes in climate and strong demand for Colorado River water could drain Lake Mead by 2021, triggering severe shortages across the region, scientists warn.
Researchers at San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography said Tuesday the West's largest storage reservoir faces increasing threats from human-induced climate change, growing populations and natural forces like drought and evaporation.
There is a 50 percent chance Lake Mead will run dry by 2021 and a 10 percent chance it will run out of usable water by 2014, if the region's drought deepens and water use climbs, the researchers said.
"We were stunned at the magnitude of the problem and how fast it was coming at us," said marine physicist Tim Barnett. "Make no mistake, this water problem is not a scientific abstraction but rather one that will impact each and every one of us that live in the Southwest."
Currently, Lake Mead — located in Nevada and Arizona — is half-full, as is Lake Powell. Both lakes help manage water resources for more than 25 million people in seven states.
Researchers said that if Lake Mead water levels drop below 1,000 feet, Nevada would lose access to all its river allocation, Arizona would lose much of the water that flows through the Central Arizona Project Canal, and power production would cease before the lake level reached bottom. more
I wonder what the odds are in Las Vegas
I need to think that through.
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