Although my blog is titled “The Rational Pessimist”, I am definitely ‘a cup half full’ kind of guy personality-wise. In a crappy situation, I will generally try to focus on the positive. But reading BP’s latest “Energy Outlook”, a publication that comes out every January, it is difficult to avoid despondency. Here is the latest edition, which was published a couple of days ago.
The charts within this publication are depressing enough, but more so is BP’s concluding slide (click for larger image):
For those not familiar with the publication, the BP Energy Outlook forecasts energy supply and demand out a couple of decades or so. For the January 2014 publication, we are now looking out to 2035, compared with the forecast to 2030 in the January 2013 edition.
Apart from all the numbers for oil, gas, coal, renewables and so on, the latest Outlook also gives a prediction for CO2 emissions out to 2035. This is what they are referring to when they use the word ‘sustainable’ and this is what they define as having ‘room for improvement’. This is how I would reword the last bullet point:
– No, A Frigging Disaster
How on earth can you regard this chart as merely demonstrating ‘room for improvement’?
The red dotted line is the International Energy Agency’s simulated emission path required to keep the atmospheric concentration of CO2 below 450 parts per million, the consensus (although somewhat arbitrary) limit deemed necessary to prevent dangerous climate change.
Is there any silver lining for this dark cloud? Continue reading