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Ac A

Neven, that is VERY actual. Robert Rapier sumarizes it very well, I think. Supply is largely dictated by demand, not vice versa:

"Whether Keystone is or isn’t approved, the real story here is the world’s growing demand for oil. Trying to restrict oil supplies — which is what Keystone XL opponents are attempting to do — is futile when global demand for oil continues to grow. Bill McKibben demonstrated this point himself when he said “One of the great ironies of my life is that I have a carbon footprint the size of a small Indian village.” If McKibben himself can’t get by without fossil fuels, why do we expect others to be able to do so? Also keep in mind that small Indian village would like the same mobility that the developed world enjoys, and is consuming more oil to achieve that goal.

And as long as the world demands oil, the crude will find a way to market. The only way to stop it is to curb demand, not try to cut off supplies. The war on drugs demonstrates every day the futility of that approach."


We don't need to frame it as a supply OR demand problem, it's both. Agreed, when there is no demand then there is no supply, but when demand is high and supply is restricted then prices must go up and demand is reduced (or less increased).

So it's not only a question of reducing demand, which we very much need to do. How do you get 7 billion people to agree? We also have to put in place strict limits on supply. The case for Arctic oil is a clear example: only 3 or 4 governments need to agree on banning all fossil fuel exploration up there and *bam* all those GtC will not enter the world's markets and not released into the atmosphere.

But ofcourse I know; both won't happen any time soon, the users and suppliers are both addicted as are the regulators. We're doomed.


It was interesting to read this in the article

"After watching Shell’s string of mishaps from the sidelines, Norway-based oil and gas company Statoil said two weeks ago that it would consider walking away from its Arctic offshore leases if exploration proves too risky and expensive."

Perhaps for the foreseeable future the Arctic will be 'drill free' ( let's hope so ) but I'm also concerned about the increased shipping in general and movement up there, so many ways things can go wrong.

I think the only way we can get 7 billion people to agree is when they have no choice.

Ac A


I think the only way we can get 7 billion people to agree is when they have no choice.

as of now, we have 7664 (yourclimatechange.org) - I am not holding my breath...


scarlet p.

The winner of the climate change slogan contest was
"Worst. Ancestors. Ever." It looks pretty good:


These will be appearing on California freeways along with "Save the Humans" and "Location. Location. Location" (with pictures of the planet.)

Many Thanks to Neven and commenters here for your suggestions...


Ac A,

There’s likely not enough time to convince enough people into downscaling their demand.

The comparison to the drugs economy isn’t viable. Drugs are very dangerous on a personal level, but they won’t finish off most higher life on this planet.

I’ve been reading several contributions by fellow-bloggers here and on the Forum on the fate of life on Planet Earth. In my own words, it seems inevitable in BAU-scenario that the Planet will have an atmo- and hydrosphere reflecting Paleo-Proterozoic similarities.
No, that’s not completely viable, because we’re unable to unleash all stored carbon by life in the last 500 MYA.

So let’s assume parameters similar to Late Precambrian times, “just” before multi-cellular life could explode into the Cambrian diversity shown in the famous Burgess-shale in present-day Canada.
We are triggering this in a minuscule period of 240 years, with the exponential phase at the end.

Inducing this forcing upon the natural cycle makes it hard to assess what sequester of consequences could result from this.
I guess it is viable that life will continue on Planet Earth in whatever form. There was a time it flourished in anaerobic circumstances. But it is hard to see a future for stabile, zoological lifeforms, not to speak of human civilisation.

Maybe the Planet won’t resemble Venus, nor shape up as “slushball-Earth”, but the volatility will be extremely high.
With 400 ppm CO2 and 1900 ppb CH4 now, a part of that is already locked in.

I haven’t read Hansen’s book ‘storms of my grandchildren’ (I’m too weary, I rather seek refuge in the Arts). But I think he puts it right. In my own words: within 60 years the sixth extinction event may materialize.



I consider what's happening to our planet as an evolutionary event.

Our species needs a kick up the butt! And here it is.

"Late Precambrian times" What was that like? Will my great grandchildren be buying land in Antarctica?

Ac A

Hello Werther,

The comparison to the drugs economy isn’t viable.

I completely agree. Industrial revolution has no analogy or viable comparison. it is unique.



Aaron Lewis

The melting sea ice is indicative of huge energy flows. Just because the sea ice is gone does not mean the energy flows will stop.

Rather, the ongoing, very large, energy flows will drive will drive extremely intense weather events.

Shipping and oil production will be limited as a result of very frequent, intense weather events.

Jim Hunt


See a discussion along similar lines over on the forum:


Espen Olsen

The Russians are inviting the Chinese to drill in the Arctic:


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