December 27, 2010 at 7:59 am #254042
”With Australian cities so clearly exposed to the effects of depleting global oil supplies, our urban planning should now turn its attention to mitigating oil vulnerability and adapting Australian cities to an oil-constrained world.”
A surprising read! Perhaps there’s hope that the ‘powers that be’ are looking further into the future than the next election?December 27, 2010 at 11:31 am #485765KarmaMember
There was also something on the net this morning saying that outlying suburbs will be turned into slums as oil becomes more expensive and that State Governments should be planning for an oil shortage. I live in an outer acreage suburb where there is a railway line that runs through it but the State Government is not thinking of upgrading it to a passenger line for something like 15-20 years, they obviously prefer congested roads! CrazyDecember 27, 2010 at 1:04 pm #485766AnonymousGuest
this sort of chat has been around before, usually comes on the heals of the fear hype factor as no one can catagorically say what resources are left as the people who own the raw material aren’t about to say, and why would they build all this huge expensive toursism infrastructure in their lands to atract westener’s if there is no fuel for planes or that fuel is too expsnsive, but that is only a fraction of the fuel/oil use story astory that shows that many follies using the resource like there is no tomorrow, and food miles.
planning sustainable infrastructure if things are as bad as the soothsayers say is now too late, i’m sure many will know of large housing developments with blocks of land barely large enough for the large house built on them people can’t garden there is no space.
there is no call from the home buying yuppies who buy these developments, the very act of buying tells the gov’ planners and developers and home designers they must be getting it right. so there is not even the megerest thought of communities built to be sustainable with their needs within walking or bike riding distance without the need to be an athlete.
it needs latteral thinking outside the box, yes most will be livng locked in suburbs like slums where the strong survive at the expense of the week, should the worst case hype scenerio happen.
lenDecember 27, 2010 at 1:47 pm #485767porgeyMember
Back to being LOCAL.December 27, 2010 at 2:43 pm #485768julientuaregMember
I was reading a report the other day which gave the usage of oil per day in Australia which was from memory about 19,500 barrels a day. It also gave the known Australian oil reserves which (provided we sell none overseas) would last approx 4.5 years. It spoke about setting up oil reserves within Australia but one of the problems is all the oil is produced and owned commercially. It did however refer to the “post oil period” so in the background I think there is some thinking going on, the powers that be seem to be keeping the information flow to a trickle to the general public for a myriad of reasons which I am sure we can all identify.December 27, 2010 at 8:48 pm #485769clareccMember
I’m no expert but from the little I read Australia is very badly placed to handle an oil crisis – long distances, suburban spread so very few can walk to work or shops, most of our GDP oil dependent (mining, farming, exports). I’m 30km from shops – that’s a pretty long walk. I suspect the government won’t talk too much about it – pretty scary, and long term thinking isn’t in their interest (only the next election).December 28, 2010 at 10:29 am #485770edensgateMember
Gardenlen, and everyone, where is the evidence that it’s now too late to plan sustainable infrastructure?? Every kind of timeline I ever read on this site is about fifty years shorter than what I read from other sources. I do understand the logic that the brainstorming and planning begins now, I don’t understand the anger at government inaction when the time to act is obviously not yet.
And where is the evidence that governments aren’t thinking twenty or fifty years ahead in their planning? They won’t be implementing anything for some time yet because, well, it isn’t yet necessary, but rest assured, there will be copies of the Kinsale Energy Descent Plan (and its relatives) circling the globe as oil reserves decline and I would hazard a bet that once uptake reaches a certain tipping point, the rest of the world will be on board in the blink of an eye. Global communications being what they are, uptake, I imagine, will be swift.December 28, 2010 at 11:51 am #485771
Edensgate, I think we’d all be interested in knowing what those other sources are so we can add further depth to our knowledge and understanding of the coming energy crisis.
I think it’s safe to say that if we are at peak oil now then it’s too late to build sustainable infrastructure.
However, even if peak oil is a decade or two away then we’re still pushing the time boundries as major changes and/or developments to infrustructure take years to just finalise paper work. Let alone get the work finished.
I hope you’re right though. I hope the governments of the world are secretly colluding on the best way to switch to a low energy way of life… but I’d rather not bet my future on it.December 28, 2010 at 12:13 pm #485772AnonymousGuest
yes building in sustainable infrastructure is going to take a long time to take hold, as even if they started today it would only be those new developments that would have the planning what about all those development that are still occuring and from decades ago, what of them?
does the gov reclaim some of the best of that suburban land for 20 to 40 acre farms and increase property sizes to minimum 27 perches with modest home and at what cost where do the taxes come from the subsidiesed solar debacle has sucked up much money that should have gone to at least public health. as this oil thingy and its cousin climate change and carbon taxes grab hold, unemployment will rise as small business is pushed off shore or to the wall.
if and it’s a big IF they where to start right now it would be too little far too late if we believe the conjecture, and those who own the reserves aren’t about to tell you the truth. if the gov’ beieved it they would be developing at least other fuel sources and not ethanol, that pushes food prices up. but they’re not are they? they are toying with ‘d’ cell battery dinky cars, there is no answer there.
lenDecember 28, 2010 at 2:03 pm #485773edensgateMember
Oh, I’m sure we’ve hit peak oil or the original article linked in this thread wouldn’t have been considered newsworthy.
But I’m not into conspiracy theories so believe the UN and Dr Jeffrey Sachs (Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet) when they declare the world has 100 years of oil left – assuming a degree of global co-operation and all that jazz, which I know is a huge assumption. But even if we only have fifty years, that is still a generous amount of time to transition an enconomy and build infrastructure. What was ‘society’ 😉 doing 50 years ago (for those who remember)? How different was it and how much change have we accommodated in a seemingly short amount of time?December 28, 2010 at 3:55 pm #485774AnonymousGuest
50 years agao as i recall we bought our produce, eggs and milk from the local farm so the infrastructure was already in place until greed came along.
and yes conspiracy but has not been a theory for along time now, or we wouldn’t be having this chat because we would all agree that fear hype is very newsworthy. and quoting the names you used they all have vested interests in generating paranoia.
so as i and oterhs have said before we need to go back to the future now if only to keep food affordable and minmise further the dependency on fuel for cars in suburbs where the public transport infrastructure is abysmal. then along the way if this oil junket is to be believed then they must ban or severely limit the use of fuel and oil and tyres in un-neccessary ventures ie.,. all motor racing/rallying sports including power boats and aircraft, if the oil hype is so true then only necessary air travel, and no cruise ships, now once they start looking at all those things then maybe just maybe the 70% give or take of the population who simply does not believe all of this may sit up and take a little notice. keep in mind places like dubai and sigapore where the massive fuel profits are being poured into tourism infrastructure, they need tourist from the self same countries they ripped that profit from to keep their ventures afloat.
lenDecember 28, 2010 at 5:17 pm #485775WazzaMember
I don’t know what society was doing back in 1950, because I was just a kid then. But I guess my mum and dad were trying to rebuild their lives and achieve some sense of normalcy after WW2. World population then was about 2.5 billion, now it’s close to 7 billion. I’d say it’s this exponential growth in population, in just my lifetime, that’s causing most of the environmental and economic issues we’re struggling to deal with today.December 28, 2010 at 5:46 pm #485776porgeyMember
Ah, the doom & gloom about peak oil is just nonsense. There is abundant energy in a number of forms that can be captured & utilised to support dwindling oil reserves.
Oil companies are slowly morphing into energy companies to maximise there current oil based investments whilst developing and releasing new techs. In addition new companies are developing usable energy & technology that is not oil dependent.
Whilst governments have been publicly slow to react the fear sorrounding a lack of infrastructure will amount to very little when oil reliance diminishes.
Less people will die from lack of oil than have died due to oil.December 29, 2010 at 12:51 am #485777roadwarriorMember
Far be it for me to be the one to side with the government, but they are actually planning for this in their own special way.
Transport NSW is now the “super agency” covering all forms of state-owned transport, from the RTA, State Rail, Ferries, Country Rail etc etc. The reason for this is to siphon money to areas where it’s needed more. Very soon they will be taking money from roads and moving it to rail and other forms of public transport.
Of course this really only helps people who live in Sydney. Bugger the rest of the state.
And I suspect the sale of electricity in NSW is to help finance these projects as well, or at the least to help get the state out of debt.
Looks at the feds too. The National Broadband Network isn’t to help people watch faster porn (although that’s what the majority of it will be used for). It’s to help those able to work from home, or run their businesses remotely. But its way too much money being wasted on something that will have little effect.
It’s all far too little too late. Someone is advising them that these projects will help mitigate an energy crisis, and they’ve taken the bait hook line and sinker.
What the ultimate solution is I don’t know. I actually don’t think there is a solution except to get out of debt and stop wasting money. Other countries are encountering this much sooner than they’d like, while we sit back in the lucky country and thank our stars it hasn’t happened to us yet. Unfortunately I can hear the bad times knocking at our door, but we won’t wake up to the fact until we’re deep in the middle of it.
With an oil consumption of almost 1 million barrels per day, and a domestic production of only around 600,000 barrels, when the oil crisis leads to shortages this country will struggle the same as everyone else.December 29, 2010 at 8:56 am #485778
Roadwarrior – The suburban public transport system in Melbourne can’t even sort out how to sell you a ticket let alone get you where you need to go on time and safely. So, I’m not as confident about the government’s commitment to public transport as you are! 🙂 Plus, living in a regional area, public transport is virtually non-existent.
Porgy – I’m even less confident that an alternative energy source will be developed to the point where it can really make a difference to our survival BEFORE oil prices reach the point where they seriously impact the cost of everything we need for our daily existence – transport, utilities, food, medical care, emergency services – and therefore seriously impact the ability of the average citizen to take up that new technology.
Hybrid cars are a great example, I can’t afford a new one as they are in the region of $40,000 and the second hand ones are still very expensive. PV solar panels are another example, they’re still too expensive for me to install on my roof, what about you? What about your neighbours?
I like to think of myself as a realist, therefore I plan for the worst while I hope for the best. To approach an uncertain future any other way is, as I see it, madness.
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