Wednesday, October 19 2016 at 7:30PM
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84 Parrock Road
Professor Chris Rhodes
What's the talk about?
Across the world, 30 billion barrels of crude oil are produced each year, not only for fuel but to make products ranging from plastics to pharmaceuticals. Nearly all our food production also depends on oil.
However, global existing production of crude oil is in decline by 5% per year, meaning that a compensating equivalent of a new Saudi Arabia must be brought on-stream every 3—4 years. Most of this “new oil” is expected to come from more challenging, unconventional sources, which include fracking shale, deepwater drilling, heavy oil, and tar sands. Within 10 years, it may not be possible to sustain the global supply of oil at present levels. Hence, if we continue as we are, Western civilisation will collapse. Our salvation requires a re-adaptation of how we live, from the global to the local; to a world of small communities far less dependent on transportation. Technology will not save us, unless we cut our energy use and particularly our demand for oil.
Professor Chris Rhodes is Director of Fresh-lands Environmental Actions and is based in Reading. He has written numerous scientific articles and recently published his first novel, University Shambles, a black comedy on the disintegration of the British university system.