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The Global Oil Supply: Implications for Biodiversity?

Posted on 14. October, 2015.

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Talk given recently by Professor Chris Rhodes at the Linnean Society of London

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 ten years it may not be possible to sustain the global supply of oil at present levels. In view of an extreme dependency on oil, we may struggle to meet many of the demands of modern global civilisation, including that of food production. Meanwhile, maintaining business as usual exacerbates the environmental burdens of increasing carbon emissions, resource depletion and soil erosion.

Professor Chris Rhodes is an advisor on low-carbon energy to the European Commission and director of Fresh-lands Environmental Actions, based in Reading (U.K.). The talk examines the implications of fracking within the overall context of global oil supplies, and how humanity might best respond to the inevitability of a declining use of fossil energy sources. Might localisation be a remedy for globalisation? Is there an underpinning link to biodiversity?

A video of the lecture can be found here: (updated link)