Would running out of oil and coal stop global warming?

Would running out of oil and coal stop global warming?

We’re not likely to run out of coal or oil any time soon.

Oil Reserves

Coal Reserves .

If AGW is in fact a fact (and the science shows that it is very likely to be) we’ll have melted sufficient ice to destroy coastal cities across the globe before we run out of coal and oil. Millions displaced, famine, economic crash, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!

I welcome our new malarial parasite overlords. On the bright side, any Anglos trying to make a stand for white supremacy in the USA will die off in time. On the dark side, my Scots-German arse have to move to some dark hole like Europe.

Here is what a Science article on the subject of long-term climate change (i.e., looking out beyond just the next century) had to say:

I can’t see petroleum remaining a major primary energy source beyond the end of this century; it won’t cease to exist but it will be too expensive to compete with alternatives. Coal may still be around but primarily as the last resort of economies too poor and backward to develop anything better. My best guess is that we’ll stumble through somehow: we’ll address global warming and other environmental concerns on a “finish your term paper at 4:00 AM” basis.

Does burning coal and oil contribute to Global Warming?

According to a consensus of experts, yeah, almost certainly.

Apropos of nothing, that Wikipedia coal link is an example of one thing that’s wrong with Wikipedia. Even though the facts are mostly OK, they are very over-generalized in some areas, and too specific in others. No one, I repeat, no one in the industry uses the German coal “rankings” for coal, outside of Germany and possibly a couple of other countries. Believe me, I have 30,000 spec sheets from 100 different countries sitting in file cabinets next to my office (and piled on the floor, holding up computers, etc.) ASTM or ISO rankings are used nearly 100% of the time. Every single section of that Wiki article contains facts that are mostly or entirely correct, but which are incomplete or tell a story that is not really telling the whole story at all. It reads like it was written either by a group of European academics who never actually worked in the industry, or else by students picking and choosing material from other sources.

I’m not so sure about this, it is hard to beat energy that you can just dig right out of the ground, except for energy that you can just pump out of the ground like water.

The only way I could see us getting ourselves out of this dependency with forseable technologies is build many nuke plants and improve our grid system, flood the market with electricity which will drive down it’s price making it attractive for people to put up with the inconveniences of electric cars.

Wanna update it? :slight_smile: Subject experts are a good thing for Wikipedia.

Well, yes, insomuch as global warming is caused by modern industrialized society (which would cease to exist without coal and oil).

Except that it’s not like water where you can just go down to the river or dig a well and get some. Exploration, drilling and refining are extremely expensive. By your logic, solar and wind power should be the dominant energy sources since we can just pick them right out of the sky.

There is an interesting lecture given by Dave Rutledge, chair of the division on engineering and Applied science at CalTech, on this very issue. Check out the power point slides at this site:


Originally I did that, but I quit a long time ago after every update I made was erased over just a couple of months by others, regardless of how accurate or complete their updates were. Including updates that were erased by, in effect, madmen. I can’t bang my head against that wall any further.

I hear ya.

Una or anyone with the straight dope, I have read on Peak sites that although US coal volume is increasing, the actual BTU value is not increasing due to less energy intesive coal being mined. Is this accurate or another misstament?
I think might also factor into the coal reserve question.

Bob Z

Much less coal and oil were used 1000 years ago than now, but it didn’t stop the Medieval Warm Period from occuring.

First off, sorry my posts to this thread are so terse; I am in a critical crunch time at work and have very little time to contribute meaningfully. Lame, I know.

Regardless, I am very glad to see Una monitoring this thread. Can I ask the favor that you look at the slides I linked to above? When I first saw the presentation, I thought about creating a thread to discuss its conclusions and methodology with hopes that I could get an opinion from somebody with your expertise (as well as the ever patient JShore). But again, I have not had the time to create and participate in what would surely be a debate thread (albeit, probably not a very popular one).

For those who do not want to open the power point slides, here are the conclusions that I find interesting (paraphrased):
[ul][li]His historical fits to production data has given projections for ultimate production that appear to be accurate to within a factor of 1.5.[/li][li]He has projected that remaining world coal production is 450Gt, half of stated reserves (using a producer-limited profile).[/li][li]Opal, oops, I mean he has projected 90% exhaustion of world fossil fuels by 2077.[/li]His projections for future fossil-fuel carbon emissions are significantly less than that in all 40 UN IPCC scenarios.[/ul]