Articles tagged with "ASPO-USA Conference"
It is still not too late to register for the ASPO-USA Conference, November 30-December1, at the University of Texas, in Austin, Texas.
Some reasons you might consider attending, even if you didn't decide before:
1. The conference is at the home location of Dr. Tad Patzek, author of Peak, What Peak, recently published on The Oil Drum. He is one of the conference co-ordinators, and will be speaking at the conference.
2. Less expensive housing options are available this year than in the past. There is a choice of hotels, including a Day's Inn and LaQuinta Inn. ASPO-USA, on their web-site, offers to help find you someone to share a room with, if you select that option.
3. Additional speakers have been added. An updated agenda is shown below the fold.
4. There will be a chance to meet speakers at informal dinner meet-ups.
Full information can be found at the ASPO-USA conference website.
Register now to attend ASPO-USA's 8th conference, held this year at the University of Texas on November 30 and December 1. The theme this year is "The Next Oil Crisis: Is the Boom Just Another Bubble?" The conference features a debate on the subject, "Do Energy Limits Require a New Economic Framework?" among three noted speakers:
- James Kenneth Galbraith - Prof of Economics, University of Texas
- Charles A. S. Hall - ESF Foundation Distinguished Professor, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
- Jason Schenker - President and Chief Economist, Prestige Economics
Other speakers Oil Drum readers are likely to be familiar with include Arthur Berman, Robert Rapier, Jeff Brown, and Robert Hirsch. Additional information below the fold. Full conference information can be found at the ASPO-USA Conference website.
I recently attended the ASPO-USA annual conference in Washington, DC. Overall, I found the presentations and discussion to be very engaging. The vibe this year had much less of a doomsday feel than last year and the topic of how best to tell an engaging Peak Oil story came up often. In the notes below I attempt to recap the sessions I attended with the caveat that these notes reflect primarily what I paid attention to. No attempt is made to be complete or unbiased in my coverage of the conference. I apologize in advance for any omissions or misrepresentations. In the next few weeks ASPO should make videos of the presentations available on aspo.tv.
One of the keynote speakers at the recent ASPO-USA conference was Jeff Rubin, former Chief Economist with CIBC World Market. Rubin talked about why he believes high oil prices caused the recent recession. He also talked about how high oil prices are likely to vastly reduce globalization. He views this as a positive situation, because he expects this will change supply curves in such a way as to make American-made products more competitive. He believes that we will find our new smaller world much more livable and sustainable.
Dr. James Schlesinger gave one of the keynote talks at the recent ASPO-USA Conference. Dr. Schlesinger comes with a wealth of experience: He was the first Secretary of Energy, from 1977 - 1979. Prior to that, he had been Chairman of the US Atomic Energy Commission, US Secretary of Defense, and Director of Central Intelligence.
The video can be viewed (for free) at ASPO.TV. Thanks to ASPO-USA for letting us know about these videos. We understand more free videos will be added over the next few weeks.
Below the fold is the text of his 11 minute talk, talking about the fact that oil production has been flat for six years. The "Peakists" have won the intellectual debate, but the political order will not respond.
The remark that sticks most in my mind, as I look back on this year’s ASPO-USA Conference was one that I believe totally missed the underlying Conference message. It was Ralph Nader, the speaker at the final luncheon, who trying to encourage action, noted the likelihood of our still debating the same topic at the meeting ten or fifteen years from now. The chances of the happening are slim to none. If by that time there has not been an oil peak, with all its subsequent impacts, the Association will have lost any claim to be able to predict reality, and likely will no longer be having meetings. On the other hand, and the evidence was increasingly evident and worrisome, if the peak comes, then the group that met in Washington will have moved on to the equally worrisome topic of trying to predict how fast the decline in liquid fuels will be, and the impact. So we won’t be still talking about the same stuff.
One of the helpful aspects of the ASPO-USA organization is that they post the videos and presentations that were given at their conferences. Obviously these need to be tweaked after being recorded, and so do not go up immediately but, for example, they have just posted the video of the Jeff Rubin talk on their site. I am going to conclude my summary of the conference itself with this report. I was not able to stay for the final afternoon, and so Gail has kindly furnished a summary that I will add to cover that section of the Conference. As usual I will then give a short summary of what I felt were the highlights, but which is more opinion that content – the goal of these initial posts.
Turning therefore to the Saturday morning meetings, these began with a slight change, since Terry Backer the scheduled speaker was, unfortunately, ill. Paul, one of his advisors, spoke on his behalf, noting that Connecticut – where they are from – has no indigenous coal, oil or natural gas. They had a plan for moving forward that had received support for a significant effort to insulate houses, but unfortunately even though it would have provided a number of jobs, it fell victim to the recession. They are now looking to see the potential for micro-hydro in the state.
The first session was chaired by Ted Patzek and was focused on the Gulf oil spill and the likely consequences.
This is a continuation of a series of reports on the ASPO Conference on Peak Oil that was held in Washington DC this week. I had covered the first 24 hours in three earlier posts, and return to the meeting at the luncheon on the second day of the meeting.
At the beginning of the lunch the Association presented the M. King Hubbert Awards for excellence in energy education. These, deservedly, went to Colin Campbell, Tom Whipple and Art Berman. They were followed by the Tom Whipple Volunteer Awards, which went to Lt. Col. Davis, Greg Geyer, and Mary Block.
The first speaker was Jeff Rubin who pointed out that although the deepest recession since the second world war has been blamed on the housing bubble and the financial problems of the American banking system, the problem was really global in nature, and it is not difficult to show the correlation with energy prices.
Jim Baldauf, a co-founder of ASPO-USA, provided the opening remarks to the Plenary Sessions of the day. He noted that with a coal mine explosion, the concern over hydrofracks, and the Gulf oil spill, this year could be considered Hydrocarbon Hell. The Macondo well is evidence that we are now having to seek the more difficult oil, with the associated costs.
He also noted that, with a change in Board membership, ASPO-USA will also be moving to Washington, to have a greater ability to influence opinion, and it will also then serve as the site for next year’s Conference.
Michael Klare chaired the first session and introduced Chris Skrebowski to discuss “The Latest Analysis of Future Oil Supply Capacity.” Chris noted that, with the recession hitting in the last two years, it has become more difficult to be predictive, since not only must the capacity available be assessed, but now also the demand levels are a lot more uncertain.
The initial report on the conference papers was getting a bit long, so I split it into afternoon and evening parts, and the second follows.
Again, there were three sessions in the final afternoon part of the program and I chose to go to the one chaired by Ron Swenson on Energy Alternatives. The first speaker was Charlie Hall who pointed out that the neo-classical economists and those who advocated different political theories had found it easier to justify their claims in an environment where oil became increasingly available to support GDP growth. However we are now entering a period of oil supply decline, when perhaps the “biophysical economics” theories will gain more credence.