Climate Change

Thursday, August 10, 2006

IN SEARCH OF BLACK GOLD

We are a generation that feeds, lives and depend on fossils fuels. We are who we are because of fossil fuels, for instance the economy of the 20th century was built upon oil. For some oil brought exceptional wealth and power (Middle East especially Saudi Arabia and in particular George W. Bush) while for others it meant oppression, wars and colonialism (Nigeria). Everything that surrounds us somehow needs fossil fuel to operate.

As we have enter the 21st century nothing has changed apart from that our addiction on oil now threatens the whole globe, rich and poor. According http://www.nonewoil.org/ as oil supplies fall behind the demand the world will face more and more conflicts. Western countries especially the US and the UK are now scrambling to secure and to get their hands on the last reserves that’s left. Why do you think USA occupies Iraq and have such strong relations with Saudi Arabia and Israel? Israel is not oil exporter but this country provides a foot hole for the rest of the Arab peninsula. The Gulf War was fought because of oil thus western countries will do anything to have part of the reserve oil.
All oil regions have life cycles and this can be divided in three phases:
· Phase of continual production (Pre-peak)
· Second phase is stagnant (peak or plateau)
· Continual declining production (decline)
All or most of the western countries are demonstrating that their own oil supply is in the last phase where there is a continual declining in their production. Alaska and Texas the major oil suppliers within the USA have reach the maximum/peak 10 and 30 years ago respectively. Texas produce no more than it did in 1930. It is only in the Gulf of Mexico that production can and might be increase further on all oil/gas field in the USA are declining at an alarming rate. The production of UK based oil peak in 1999 and in 2010 it is expected to be on reserves (Zittel and Schindler 2003).
The Mecca of future oil production for global purposes is the Middle East region. The perception of many people is that this oil rich region will supply the globe for many decades to come, but already some of the larger oil fields in Saudi Arabia will shortly if not already have reached their maximum production. Thus Saudi Arabia oil production cannot be increased any more. The countries on the Arab Peninsula that can potential increase their production and who are far for their maximum is Iraq, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait (Zittel and Schindler 2003).
After the major oil exporters have reached their maximum and entering the last phase of the oil cycle, they will look for other regions and guess where they will inflict conflict and pain? You have guessed right, the 3rd world nations! Nigeria are already under British rule (BP) and currently there seems to ethnic and religious conflict among the nations due to BP. This company has already been kicked out Bolivia and Costa Rica. The president of Venezuela and Bush has already had some words to say to each other. Venezuela have the largest reserves outside the Middle East and are already a target. Other targets include Angola, Brazil, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Sudan, Afghanistan and many more (http://www.nonewoil.org/).
Some of these countries have been in the news lately with conflict if not with the USA than with their own people. So do be surprise if the USA starts a war like the one on South African soil with the British for our gold back in the days.

Reference:

Nonewoil contributors. Beyond oil: the oil curse and solutions for an oil-free future; 2006 October [ Cited 2006 Aug 10]. Available from http://www.nonewoil.org

Zittel W & Scindler J. International Summer School: On the Politics and Economics and Renewable Energy; 2003 July 15th, [cited 2006 Aug 10]. Available from http://www.lbst.de/


PLAGIARISM DECLARATION
1.I know that plagiarism is wrong. Plagiarism is to use another’s work and to pretend that it is one’s own.
2. I have used the CSE/CBE convention for citation and referencing. Each significant contribution to, and quotation in this project from the work, or works, of other people has been attributed, and has been cited and referenced.
3. This assignment is my own work.
4. I have not allowed, and will not allow anyone to copy my work with the intention of passing it off as his or her own work.

ARE TRANSPORT SYSTEMS RELATED TO CLIMATE CHANGE?

There are many transport issues that are related or can be affected by climate change, a brief discussion on transport issues around climate change is provided. Man has always relied on transport systems since the period of horses to the invention of automobiles. But these transportation systems are actually a contributor of climate change. So where are we heading with old transport systems?

Countries such as the UK have already pointed out these transport problems and has started to implement certain traffic and transport regulations. For example an average UK citizen traveling has increased 10 times as appose to previous years but with their new systems they make new resources available to their public [1]. Here in South Africa we can see what effects public transportation has on our economy and how many people actually rely on this. As indicated in the UK our countries car ownerships has increased and citizens travel greater distances than they did in the past [1]. For South Africa new transport facilities are underway and the country is considered as a role model for technological sophistication and advancement for transport [2]. These include upgrading much of the old air transport, roads, railways, ports etc. [2], but are government aware of climate change?

The South Africa government agreed to the Kyoto Protocol in 2002 [3], and more studies have highlighted the problems of climate related factors in South Africa. These strategies focus on renewable energy and less carbon intensive energy economy [3] but these are all “under development” as the 2010 world cup is underway. So is climate change really of an importance in SA? To me this is not much highlighted because many people are still unaware of such climate changes as poverty and lack of education is still some of the major issues of South Africa.

Transport systems are considered as immovable infrastructures but with climate change on the horizon this may change [4]. If sea levels increase then this will lead to the relocation of most railways and roads close to coastal areas [4]. Since many roads and railways would have to be replaced because of sea level rise, can you imagine what effect it will have on harbors and many ports around coastal areas of the world? This will have a devastating affect on coastal countries that rely on import and export goods via harbors. Not only will devastated drought events occur, but countries can be stricken with excessive rain fall periods [4]. Furthermore, drought periods are followed by heavy rainfall events these roads are then easily washed away. This will cause flooding of many roads and an increase in food prices because agricultural road networks are gravel for most African countries [4]. Thus upgrading is required as well as environmental friendly technologies. Several studies have been done to point out certain areas of climate related factors but little has been done about it but for now the 2010 world cup and other environmental and political issues last.


References:

[1] Lucas R. 2006. Providing transport for social inclusion within a framework for environmental justice in the UK. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice 40(10):801-809

[2] South Africa, Alive with Possibility. Doing_business/economy/infrastructure [Internet]. South Africa's transport network [cited 2006 August 10]. Available from: http://www.southafrica.info/doing_business/economy/infrastructure/transport.htm

[3] Department of Environmental affairs and Tourism. 2004. A national Climate change response strategy for South Africa. Report: 1-48.

[4] UNEP, WMO. Transport [Internet]. The Regional Impacts of Climate Change [cited 2006 August 10]. Available from: http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc/regional/035.htm

PLAGIARISM DECLARATION
1.I know that plagiarism is wrong. Plagiarism is to use another’s work and to pretend that it is one’s own.
2. I have used the CSE/CBE convention for citation and referencing. Each significant contribution to, and quotation in this project from the work, or works, of other people has been attributed, and has been cited and referenced.
3. This assignment is my own work.
4. I have not allowed, and will not allow anyone to copy my work with the intention of passing it off as his or her own work.