Study: Which Sectors of U.S. Economy Will Peak Oil Imperil?

Richard Ha writes:

This is what I’ve been talking about here, over and over again. We are not paying attention to this, and yet it’s the most important concern we are facing in Hawai‘i today.

Bill 113 is just moving chairs around on the deck of the Titanic. The issue is so much bigger:

Researchers from the University of Maryland and a top university in Spain have just done a study, and written about, “which sectors could put the entire U.S. economy at risk when global oil production peaks (‘Peak Oil’). This multi-disciplinary team recommends immediate action by government, private and commercial sectors to reduce the vulnerability of these sectors.”

The study looked at how vulnerable different aspects of the U.S. economy are to the effects of Peak Oil. In the United States, the research concludes, such sectors would include iron mills, chemical and plastic products manufacturing, fertilizer production and air transport.

Here’s the article from the University of Maryland:

UMD Researchers Address Economic Dangers of 'Peak Oil'

October 16, 2013

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Researchers from the University of Maryland and a leading university in Spain demonstrate in a new study which sectors could put the entire U.S. economy at risk when global oil production peaks ("Peak Oil"). This multi-disciplinary team recommends immediate action by government, private and commercial sectors to reduce the vulnerability of these sectors. 

While critics of Peak Oil studies declare that the world has more than enough oil to maintain current national and global standards, these UMD-led researchers say Peak Oil is imminent, if not already here—and is a real threat to national and global economies. Their study is among the first to outline a way of assessing the vulnerabilities of specific economic sectors to this threat, and to identify focal points for action that could strengthen the U.S. economy and make it less vulnerable to disasters.

Their work, "Economic Vulnerability to Peak Oil," appears in Global Environmental Change. Read the rest

It's almost like we are getting ready to launch the canoes from down in the south Pacific, in order to find another island home. That's how significant these threats are.

I wrote the following back in 2007. It’s been six years now and we’re at risk of going backward with taking care of our people and food supplies, not forward!

…I told them I had a nightmare that there would be a big meeting down by the pier one day, where they announce that food supplies were short because the oil supply was short and so we would have to send thousands of people out to discover new land.

I was afraid that they would send all the people with white hair out on the boats to find new land—all the Grandmas and Grandpas and me, but maybe not June.

Grandmas and Grandpas hobbled onto the boats with their canes and their wheelchairs, clutching all their medicines, and everybody gave all of us flower leis, and everyone was saying, “Aloha, Aloha, call us when you find land! Aloha!”

I spoke about where we want to be in five, 10 or 20 years. We know that energy-related costs will be high then. And that we need to provide food for Hawai‘i’s people. 

It's as though soon, we’re going to have to go.

But where will we go?

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