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Re: SC65

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April 07, 2008 08:48PM
http://energybulletin.net/42498.html

Peak Oil Review -- April 7th, 2008

..............2. Electricity Shortages and Diesel

Stories of current and imminent shortages of electric power are becoming more frequent each day. A combination of inadequate rain for hydro power, unaffordable oil and coal for thermal power, and rapidly increasing demand is leaving country after country with inadequate power for national grids.

It is becoming apparent that one of the unforeseen consequences of globalization is that there is simply not enough power being produced in the world to run the flood of inexpensive electric consumer goods – TVs, kitchen appliances, air conditioners -- that are pouring from the factories of Asia onto the world.

The increasingly frequent “rolling blackouts” that are appearing around the world unfortunately are killing “essential” systems – water pumps, hospitals, banking computers, factories, TV stations, and telephone exchanges – as well as the less-essential consumer devices.

While electric companies may eventually be able to make special arrangements to exempt organizations that are vital to the economy from blackouts, there are massive numbers of organizations around the world that are completely dependent on electricity to keep functioning. For these, the choice is generate their own electricity with their own generators or shut down.

What is developing is a new and potentially very large demand for gasoline and particularly diesel fuel as the national power grids fall further and further behind in their ability to keep up with demand for electricity. Higher prices and shortages are clearly in store as more and more Chinese-made small and medium sized electric generators come into service around the world.

3. Rice, Inflation and Oil

Rice prices increased by 50 percent in the last two weeks to an all-time high as importing countries scrambled to hold off social unrest by securing supplies from the few exporters still willing to sell. As the staple food for 3 billion people, 33 countries are facing unrest as the price of food and energy becomes unaffordable.

There are multiple reasons behind the sudden price increase ranging from weather-related poor harvests, hoarding, and world-wide inflationary pressures resulting from high energy costs to the financial crisis. Major rice exporters such as India, China, and Vietnam have already curtailed or stopped exports to hold down domestic prices.

Among the hardest hit countries so far have been Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Pakistan where millions now face seriously restricted diets.

Even rich oil states are facing problems. Nigeria is one of the world’s largest importers of rice and Kuwait is now shut off from the Indian rice that is the staple food for most of the 1.3 million foreigners working in the country. Even the Saudis have removed the import duties on imported food. In Pakistan 80 million people are estimated to be at risk of not receiving sufficient food.

This situation is too complex to foresee future developments. If it gets worse, widespread food riots could topple governments. If millions are faced with starvation, pressure to stop production of biofuels will increase. Leverage of food exporting nations in world affairs will increase.
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SC65

Wizard 1084April 04, 2008 07:09PM

Re: SC65

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Wizard 1169April 16, 2008 11:29PM



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