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Motoring in Spain Book Update, OCTOBER 2007

PEAK OIL; ARE YOU READY?

Part of one of the weekly articles in my English newspaper columns here in Spain. 

The Editor gives me a fairly free hand in writing these articles as long as the are associated with motoring for I have two passions apart from my lovely wife and they are motoring, of course, and the other is the elimination of the stupidity that seems to have invaded Europe and especially the UK called political correctness which is not in any way at all correct to us sensible people.  But let’s discuss motoring.     

How many of you have heard of “peak oil”?  Not many I would bet as I never read of it much in the Press, either here or in the UK.   One of the serious changes that is now affecting us and it will get worse in the next few years is due to oil production being less than consumption, and that is what basically the reference is about.  According to some reports, it has already arrived in 2006.  Now be honest, how many of you worry about such events that as an individual, you think you have no control over them?   After all, the prices at the pumps have really increased this year and we moan but pay up and drive off.   Anyway, the governments of the world are very worried about it, according to reports that are to be read between the lines, and top intellectuals who can think for themselves (not all one can), know that it is a major reason for the global warming “craze” is to force us tax-payers to use less fossil based oil products such as petrol, diesel, plastics, etc.   But it is worse than that.  Some experts predict that wars could start because of the shortage, especially with the concurrent and increasing food shortages due to the changes to bio-fuels.  Already the USA is selling a lot of its wheat production for fuel conversion instead of selling to countries that cannot feed themselves such as South Africa, etc.  And as for Zimbabwe, who can feel any pity for their plight which is self-inflicted?  

Well, what can be done?   As regular readers will know, I am for more nuclear power stations to allow the production of liquid hydrogen to power our transport.  I do not believe in hybrid cars that have to have expensive toxic battery packs that have a finite life and then have to be disposed of, and the vehicles are not as economic as claimed except in city conditions, and this has been proven.   But hydrogen needs electricity to produce it as part of the process, but is it completely clean emitting only water vapour from vehicle exhausts and it has one other major bonus that must be factored into the cost of production. It can be made in the country of use so as well as saving massive foreign exchange outgoings (US$) to pay these countries, some of which are either plotting to turn us all the Islam, others to communism that now well proven failed system of government, and just think of the savings with the “carbon footprints”.    From no need anymore for massive tankers to ship the oil around the world, with the ever present risk of pollution when one sinks or breaks up, no need to clear millions of square kilometres to plant crops to turn into bio-fuels that, although they are cleaner than fossil based fuels, they are still nowhere as clean as hydrogen and the major effect is already starting where nations that rely on imports of grain products to feed their people, will not suffer starvation because there is more money to be made by selling to the bio-fuel factories.

But peak oil is going to cause great consternation around the world because the countries that have fossil fuels will find in quite a short time, say 10 to 20 years that the major income producer for them will be finished and they will have to find other means of income.     It could benefit continents such as Africa where there is much fertile land with good seasonal rains, and with the building of large dams as has happened in the past with the colonialists, they could again become food self-sufficient, but sadly we have to face the fact that at this time major changes in the leader-ships will have to be made for Africa to be successful and these are unacceptable to the current leaders.  So what to do,  The politicians only talk about global warming and the need for more taxes but nothing about how to effectively overcome the problem.. We need to build nuclear power stations now as they take at least ten years to finish I am told: and they can replace the masses of these enormous “windmills” that are spoiling the scenery and killing large birds.

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SORRY, Not much else to report this month as I have been very busy getting the Third Edition of the book to the Printers.

 

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