Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Peak Oil Warning From an IMF Expert : Interview with Michael Kumhof


Michael Kumhof is the deputy chief of the modeling division at the research department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Together with other researchers from IMF, this 50 years old German economist has published several papers focused of “peak oil”, sending warnings regarding the possible imminence of a decline of world oil production and its impacts.
Echos of these concerns about peak oil are nowhere to be found in the official policy line of IMF, nor has Michael Kumhof ever been asked to present his research to the political leadership of IMF. That does not make his work pointless…
Peak Oil
Peak Oil Warning From an IMF Expert : Interview with Michael Kumhof
Michael Kumhof interviewed by Matthieu Auzanneau, The Oil Man blog, Le Monde blogs

8 comments:

Dan Kervick said...

Is he standing there like a model because he is in the "modeling division"?

Matt Franko said...

Dan were you on the radio today?

rsp,

Ryan Harris said...

The peak in oil may not come from the production side as most assume but rather from the demand side. I'm always suspicious of studies that look at current trends and extend them out 20 or 30 years. Past performance does not indicate....whatever. Whether oil production peaks now or later in the future, the decline in consumption of Gasoline and Oil in the US is likely to continue. The government has paid for a variety of replacement technologies to be developed and the price of fuel doesn't have to rise much from current levels to make replacements very attractive. Even when considering the world as a whole, new technologies like Lithium sulfur batteries that are flying under the radar but will be used in new electric cars instead of lithium ion batteries starting next year will have enough capacity, charge cycles, and inexpensive, non-toxic ingredients to be quite competitive with gasoline. For the same size/mass battery they carry 6-10 times the energy. When cars can charge up for 1/4 the price of gasoline and range 700-1000 miles and be recharged 500 to 1000 times, all the assumptions change. People adapt and change rapidly when they can save money.

Tom Hickey said...

I think that the transition will begin in earnest when the public finally wakes up to climate change and what is in store on the current trajectory. It would have occurred already if not for the disinformation campaign that has been waged successfully.

Given the negative externalities involved, the true cost of carbon-based energy sources is far higher that the market price.

The difference is a subsidy to the energy industry, which allows the industry to privatize the apparent gain and socialize the actual loss.

Polling shows that the public is waking up to this dangerous scam, however, comparable to that of the tobacco companies wrt covering up the scientific research linking smoking and cancer.

Dan Kervick said...

Hi Matt,

Yes, the link is at NEP.

y said...

He looks happy and relaxed. Just look at the laughter bags under his eyes.

Jose Guilherme said...

suspicious of studies that look at current trends and extend them out 20 or 30 years

And a re-read of Paul Ehrlich's 1968 book "The Population Bomb" will make you even more suspicious :)

Tom Hickey said...

The government has paid for a variety of replacement technologies to be developed and the price of fuel doesn't have to rise much from current levels to make replacements very attractive. Even when considering the world as a whole, new technologies like Lithium sulfur batteries that are flying under the radar but will be used in new electric cars instead of lithium ion batteries starting next year will have enough capacity, charge cycles, and inexpensive, non-toxic ingredients to be quite competitive with gasoline. For the same size/mass battery they carry 6-10 times the energy. When cars can charge up for 1/4 the price of gasoline and range 700-1000 miles and be recharged 500 to 1000 times, all the assumptions change. People adapt and change rapidly when they can save money.

NOt that the tech is not there and can't be scaled. The problem is that subsidizing carbon both directly and not taxing negative externalities is undermining the market for alternatives, which cannot yet compete.

Moreover, with vehicles, it is not just a matter of switching fuels but vehicles, and alternatives and hybrids are still not cost-effective for most people.

In addition, the used market will be dominated by old tech for a nearly a generation.