Many of us believe the energy crisis is nature’s answer to global warming. Sooner or later we will be forced to deal with the climate crisis whether we believe in it or not and an energy crisis may start that work much sooner. As peak oil hits carbon emissions will naturally subside, question is will it be in time and what price will we pay in the process. Richard Lawrence, director and co-founder of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas-USA (ASPO-USA), a nonprofit and non-partisan research and public education initiative. gave a talk entitled, “Converging Storms: Peak Oil and Climate Change.”

The basic problem, Lawrence said, is that there is a fundamental mismatch between supply and demand. World population growth is rising exponentially, while available oil and other fossil fuel resources are rising at best linearly, if not declining, he said.

All living creatures on Earth grow within a carrying capacity – natural limits on population growth in balance with their ecosystem. But the availability of cheap energy has enabled human beings to artificially increase their carrying capacity to a level that could not be supported naturally, Lawrence said.

The current world population is estimated at more than 6.5 billion and counting. But without abundant and cheap energy, the capacity for human beings would probably be somewhere between 500 million and 2 billion, Lawrence said.

“Unless we can find equivalent substitutes for current fossil fuels, we’re in for some very tough times, and potentially, you might say, a pruning of the Earth’s population,” he said.

Here on the south coast of Oregon we have a unique opportunity to pave the way toward energy independence because we have wind resources.There really is no time to waste getting started.