Wednesday, May 24, 2006

What is Peak Oil

Ok, should have written this in the introduction, so here goes.

Colin Campbell: "The term Peak Oil refers the maximum rate of the production of oil in any area under consideration, recognising that it is a finite natural resource, subject to depletion. Understanding depletion is simple. Think of an Irish pub. The glass starts full and ends empty. There are only so many more drinks to closing time. It’s the same with oil. We have to find the bar before we can drink what’s in it."

The problem is that global oil discovery peaked in 1964, since then oil companies haven't found any oil fields of significant size, plus oil consumption has increased a hundred fold.

It was M. King Hubbert who first coined the term Peak Oil in 1949, that the fossil fuel era would be of very short duration. The in 1956, he predicted that US oil would peak around 1970, most people in the oil and energy industry scoffed these predictions, US oil did indeed peak around 1970-1971.

Hubbert, a geophysicist, created a mathematical model of oil extraction which predicted that the cumulative amount of oil extracted over time would follow a logistic curve, which follows a bell-shaped pattern now known as the Hubbert curve. The theory implies that the predicted rate of oil extraction at any given time would be given by the derivative of the logistic curve at that time.

When oil reserves are discovered, production is initially small, because all the required infrastructure has not been installed. As wells are drilled and more efficient facilities are installed, oil production increases. At some point, a peak output is reached that can not be exceeded, even with improved technology or additional drilling. After the peak, oil production slowly but increasingly tapers off. After the peak, but before an oil field is empty, another significant point is reached when it takes more energy to recover, transport, and process a barrel of oil than the amount of energy contained in that barrel. At that point, it is no longer worthwhile to extract petroleum for energy - it becomes a resource sink. According to Hubbert's model, oil reserves in the United States would be exhausted before the end of the 21st century.

Given past oil production data, and barring extraneous factors such as lack of demand, the model predicts the date of peak oil production output for an oil field, multiple oil fields, or an entire region. Hubbert's original formulations applied to a "theoretical, unconstrained province," and that the model must be adjusted if significant artificial impedances, such as political or environmental regulations, are in effect.

Taken from Wikipedia.

In 1971 Hubert predicted that a world peak would between 1995 and 2000, though current experts believe that events since then may have delayed the peak, events such as the 1973 energy crisis, in which a decreased supply of oil resulted in a shortage, and ultimately less consumption. The 1979 energy crisis and 1990 spike in the price of oil due to the Gulf War have had similar, albeit less dramatic effects on supply. Most experts believe this peak will now happen around 2010 and that natural gas will peak around 2010 to 2020.

In 2004, 30 billion barrels of oil were consumed worldwide, while only eight billion barrels of new oil reserves were discovered. the International Energy Agency reported annual global demand at 84.9 million barrels per day (mbd) which means over 31 billion barrels annually. This means consumption is now within 2 mbd of production. At any one time there are about 54 days of stock in the OECD system plus 37 days in emergency stockpiles.

there are now new theories that suggest that world peak did happen between 2004 and 2005,

Colin Campbell of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas (ASPO) has calculated that the global production of conventional oil peaked in the spring of 2004 albeit at a rate of 23-GB/yr, not Hubbert's 13-GB/yr.

Another peak oil proponent Kenneth S. Deffeyes predicted in his book Beyond Oil - The View From Hubbert's Peak that global oil production would hit a peak on Thanksgiving Day 2005 (Deffeyes has since revised his claim, and now argues that world oil production peaked on December 16 2005. (

No one knows for sure when global oil production/consumption will peak or has peaked, we won't know until we have passed the point of no return. By then it will probably be too late to switch over to other suitable form of energy.

If...The Oil Runs Out (BBC, Tuesday 30th May)

If... The Oil Runs Out
Tue 30 May, 11:20 pm - 12:20 am 60mins

It's 2016 and the world is in crisis. The Oil Age is coming to an end. Global supply can't keep up with soaring demand and the price of petrol is going through the roof. So now the oil companies are in a race, to the ends of the earth in a desperate search for Black Gold. But what happens if the oil isn't out there anymore?

What then?

Blending drama and documentary, this film investigates the scenario which experts fear will come true when the cheap oil on which we depend starts to run out. Suddenly we won't be able to take anything for granted any more.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Has Opec Peaked???

I came across this little article the other day, it seems that OPEC may have peaked last year, which would indicate a world peak.

MEES (Middle East Energy Specialists) says OPEC oil production wasdown by 460 thousand barrels in January. (Crude Only)

Those losing production were:
Country...Thousand b/d Down or Up Thousand b/d
Iran.......3,650......... Down 240
Nigeria....2,310......... Down 110
UAE........2,400......... Down 100
Saudi .....9,450......... Down 30
Indonesia... 920......... Down 10
Iraq.......1,580......... Up 30

All others were unchanged.
These figures are very close to those of the EIA for January (CrudeOnly). The EIA had OPEC, crude only, down by 555 thousand barrels per day in January as compared to

The figures for Nigeria were largely caused by unrest in that country but the figures for Iran and even Saudi Arabia, I believe is simpledepletion. Indonesia has been in steep decline for years. There issome doubt about the UAE as 2005 is, so far, the year of theirhighest production. At any rate I believe OPEC has clearly peaked. They are producing one million barrels per day less than theyproduced in October 2004.

Ron Patterson

Apparently OPEC has dropped a further 300,000 barrels per day during the month of March. It looks like we are truely on the slippery downwards

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Can Triffids help us get through Peak Oil?

I have just re-read The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham and was suprised by how relevant it is today.
Although the book is about genetic engineering (the triffids) and biological warfare (the green lights in the sky) it is also an excellent debate on how to survive a radical change in society.

The book present arguments for and against most of the issues it raises - especially the moral ones, most often resulting in the main character Bill, realising how subjective the whole thing is.
Should you stay in the city and try to help the blind survive for as long as possible, or leave with a group or mixed sighted citizens and try to set-up a new community? This kind of moral conundrum was recently discussed by Neal Brandvik in his article, Satan in the Driving Seat where he looks at the Peak Oil question in relation to his Christian Faith.

Towards the end he has this quote: "Our wakeup call is coming. Peak Oil and Climate Change will force us to spiritually evolve or suffer the inexorable laws of nature until we “get it.” The longer we fight this reality, the greater the cost in human tragedy.

"In the Triffids, where Bill meets up with a group planning to start a new community. They have a sociologist who gets up to speak and explains that when society changes, so must the people and the values they uphold. Neal may have been discussing a spiritual evolution, but Wyndham is explaining how important values are to us.

If there is no food is it OK to steal to feed yourself?

If someone tries to steal your food how strongly should you defend yourself?
Is it wiser to kill an attacker, so that they cannot mount a second, more successful attack later?

Is it kinder to leave someone to die slowly if there is no practical way of helping them survive long term?

These are the sorts of difficult questions the book ponders, albeit in a much nicer way than I am laying it out here.

Peak Oil is going to change our society, in fact it should be changing it now. We should be witness to a major societal evolution. We should be changing our lifestyles and our values to meet the needs of the 'energy crisis' so that we can survive.

If we choose to value more than just our own lives, we find it logical to change the way we do things. Shop locally and from farm shops to eliminate packaging, pesticides, food miles etc.

Day of the Triffids was published 1951 and the characters find it terribly hard to adapt to a sudden shortage of food, electricity etc. In fact, Bill admits that while there is still petrol to be found easily for cars and generates they can manage, but when the oil runs out they will really be primitive. His middle-class view of this makes the suggestion of not having power a thing to be avoided at all costs.

Funny how many people you meet who are happy to go down with the ship (or car and tv) with regards to Peak Oil.

Bill ends up in a farmhouse on the Sussex Downs, erecting a triffid fence around 100 acres of land. He realises that he has to learn how to do things the 'old fashioned' way.

Today we think of the 50's as being old fashioned! If it was that incredible a concept in 1951, how much worse is it today?

Bill knows there are libraries full of books and that he needs to stock up on knowledge, as well as equipment and food.

At one point he realises that the tools will last till they need fixing, and by that point he'd better have learnt how to do that. Then there are the parts that need replacing, and he'd better have learnt how to make new ones. But this means learning how to work metal, which requires a forge, which requires knowledge of not only how to run one, but how to set one up.

As he points out, learning from books is fine up to a point, but not practical in most circumstances - you cannot flick to the appropriate chapter when you are in the middle of certain tasks - it just doesn't work!

Bill knows he has time to practice and perfect hundreds and thousands of new skills before he is forced to use them to survive.

As another character Coker points out, the pursuit of knowledge is only possible if the lifestyle can support it. If you are living and working just to keep alive, you have no time to learn anything new - and no time to pass your knowledge onto others, so it dies with you.

Now is our time to start learning. Our comfortable lifestyles are still possible for most of us, although the sands are trickling through the timer. We need to start practicing now, and we need to look back further into the past.

In 1950 you still bought your food from a shop, you (could have)had a fridge and a car and warehouses full of supplies.

We need to know how to grow food. How to make food and this means more than making your own bread from flour bought in a shop. How do you grow your own grain, mill it, store it before you can bake with it? More to the point, can you culture your own yeast for bread? What about sugar - it doesn't grow in the UK?

Can you grow crops without pesticides - sure organic sounds easy compared to growing without oil - without a tractor, or a combine-harvester, etc. How do you do it with a horse and cart?
In the triffids horses are now scarce, Bill looks at making do without.

How do you make your own clothes - can you sew, knit? Can you weave -can you make a loom? Can you spin wool? Can you make linen?

There are so many things to think about and a whole fascinating world of knowledge awaits us.

Bill finds a sense of purpose and of freedom in his new life. The end of an age is the beginning of another and a chance to start again - to reinterpret.

Coker criticises a woman in the book and to be honest it is a bit of a feminist rant against the lazy and the silly, daft attitude people (not just women) have.

To say you can't change a fuse because you don’t know how and don't want to learn is irrelevant in a society where engineers and knights in white armour aren't always available.

Learning to do things yourself and getting off your arse to do what you can are terribly important. There isn't room for weak links, everyone has to pull their weight, and using the excuse that someone else isn't - so you don't have to is pitiful. These people don't deserve help, they need a rocket up their arse.

Next time someone says to you, "what's the point in recycling, my neighbours chuck away loads of rubbish" tell them to go talk to the neighbours and explain why they should recycle - and bloody well tell them to recycle themselves.

We are a nation full of wimps and individuals are the only people who can make anything happen. We need guts, we need balls of steel. We need to grab our chance of a future by the scruff of the neck and not let go - and if that means recycling the TV set as a plant pot so be it. It's a small price to pay.I'm not saying the fun times are gone, but new times are ahead and we need to understand recess is over and we need to go back into class. The bell is ringing, now.

Read; “The Day of the Triffids,” as soon as you can. If you haven't done so before - enjoy. For those of you that have you need to see this with new eyes. See it's relevance to now. Decide how you want to spend your future.

Now is the time to choose our fate, and if a Wednesday starts feeling like a Sunday - be ready to go.

Thank you for your patience and fortitude in reading my ramblings.
Written by Rebecca Hubbard (my wife)

How much of an impact do the visitors have on the preservation and protection of a site like Hadrian’s Wall?

It iIt is evident that while humans have imposed many undesirable and often unexpected changes on the environment, they often have capacity to modify the rate of such changes or reverse them. There are cases where this is not possible once the soil has been eroded from an area it cannot be restored.(The Human Impact on the Natural environment – Andrew Goudie, 2006)

Is the impact of the landscape, archaeology and the wall itself reversible or are those changes, damages and soil erosion being destroyed permanently. Is making Hadrian’s Wall sustainable for future generations, is nothing more than prolonging the inevitable, should an important archaeological site be closed to the public or will this in itself only make the deterioration of the site speed up because closure would mean there would be a lack of funding coming into the region to help pay for the preservation of the site.

With over 1 million visitors a year how much impact does this have on the protection and preservation of the site as a whole, and are there any impacts on the remaining archaeology underfoot. Could the number of visitors be reduced or sections closed off, or would this have an impact on the sustainability of the site and the communities along the wall, who rely on those visitors. Does the survival of these communities depend on visitor numbers to the wall?

Should we accept that this heritage site is in a state of constant destruction as a result of its own success? People have been visiting the wall since the 18th Century. Its potential as a heritage site for tourism was first realised I n the early part of the 20th Century. Should we now stop people from visiting the site, that init self would be impractical and wrong, due to the fact that Hadrian’s Wall is apart of our heritage and therefore belongs to the people.

In 1996, English Heritage published the Hadrian’s Wall Management Plan in attempt to provide a clear objective and vision for the future of Hadrian’s Wall Military Zone. (Visitor Management - Case Studies from World Heritage sites)

The aim of the plan was to carefully manage the protection and preservation of the site as well as the experience of visitors to the wall and its numerous attractions along the site. By managing the visitor experience the hope is that this will reduce any harmful impacts along the wall. Yet at the same time ensuring that the visitors gain maximum enjoyment understanding and appreciating the heritage along the wall. In 2002 the management plan was updated and it recommended, “Sustainable development to ensure the recovery of the local economy especially after foot and mouth” (Heritage Management Plan – Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage site).

Recently there have been proposals for an investment of around £56.25 million which would potentially increase the amount of visitors to the wall and its attractions by a third and potentially create 1,672 new jobs. Increasing the amount of visitors will only add more pressure to the impacts being created by an already stressed site, yet more visitors means an increase in jobs and a greater development in the walls sustainability as a tourist attraction.

With a greater increase of visitors will have a major impact, more visitor’s mean that the land along the wall will fall prey to soil erosion through an increase in visitor activity. With improvements to local amenities and attractions along the wall has brought a greater increase in day visitors. With this increase in foot traffic management of the site have maintained a grass sward. The reason for this was to keep visitors in a maintained path without damaging in a wide area.

Access need not entail actually walking on a fragile archaeology, as long as visitors can see remains in sufficient detail. (Finding the Way- British Archaeology July/August 2005)The problem of this particular type of footpath is that its natural and therefore can’t take the pressure from the amount of visitors to the region. Then if that amount of visitors is going to increase, then the grass sward will deteriorate at a far greater level. The saving grace that a grass sward has is that it is natural and there for blends in to the natural landscape, but it does require a greater level of maintenance. The hope of the path is to keep the visitors to a particular area, rather than walking all over the place creating erosion on a greater and wider area of the landscape along the wall, thus reducing the impact on the wall and its archaeology.

Footpath, maintenance and construction creates a permanent scarring of the landscape, but in encouraging visitors to keep to a path, it is arguably less damaging than an ever increasing natural path. (Wall Management Plan- Hadrian’s Wall Heritage Site).Some critics argue that a hard surface path would be better. A hard surface path wouldn’t require the same level of regular maintenance as the natural grass sward. Yet at the same time the hard path wouldn’t blend naturally into the natural landscape. It would jar; it would need careful planning and thought, it would also be more expensive in the initial stages of development. It would not be impossible to produce a hard surface path that would blend into natural landscape, but it would be expensive and some of the private landowners along the wall may object. The Peak District in Derby have been implementing a natural stone paths on some of the areas that have a great number of visitors, in the hope to reduce any impacts they may have on the landscape.

The ambition to retain a grass sward on the Hadrian’s Wall trail was flawed. They argue that increased hard surfacing is needed because of the trail’s success on attracting so many walkers. (Finding the Way- British Archaeology)Has the fact that the success of the site has led to its downfall. Is it possible to continually preserve a site like Hadrian’s Wall and its archaeology when visitor numbers keep increasing year by year? The pressure on the wall and its archaeology will keep growing, but is its sustainability not only lay in the protection of that archaeology but in the attractions and communities along the wall.

It’s estimated that around 1.5 million tourists visit the wall and its attractions on the wall each year, with that number expected to continually grow. (Visitor Management - Case Studies from World Heritage sites)With more visitors will mean more money to the region, this in effect means that there is more money for the funding for the needs of conservation and preservation of the site.

Even though there is a green sward, it isn’t able to cope with the increased traffic of visitors. Professor Peter Fowler said, “I was really quite alarmed, the problem is that the trail is very close to the wall and it doesn’t seem in any significant way to be managed. It’s not the walkers; it’s the lack of management of the trail which is causing the erosion and wearing of the path which in places is, around 10-15cm deep.This would suggest there is a great need to provide a hard surface path, which will cope with the ever growing visitor number. A decision needs to be made, is it better to have a path that can cope with the number of visitors or a natural path that will blend into the landscape and be sensitive to the archaeology underneath. A hard surface path on the more popular stretches of the trail may be the best solution, but this will need to be both sensitive to the archaeology underfoot and the landscape it sits in.

English Heritage and the countryside agency are committed to the view that the green sward is the most sympathetic surface to the protection and preservation of the archaeology. (Finding the Way- British Archaeology)Daily management will be needed to help maintain the green sward, especially as visitor numbers will grow year by year. Once erosion has established acceleration is quick, which will require a regular maintenance to protect the landscape. In order to provide this level of maintenance, a requirement might be that local staffs are given additional training to help with the management of the trail. Better and continued use of volunteers will also improve the protection of the wall trail. To do this a regular monitoring system will need to be initiated with a precise system of reporting and all damage, especially if the wall and its attractions are to be appreciated by future generations and continued use as a national trail. Making use of the visitors themselves may be a potentially useful tool, asking visitors to report any damage they see along the wall, this may also be a way of making the visitors acting in a responsible manner whilst walking along the site.

Should we stop visitors from walking the site, as this would instantly reduce any impact on the site? This is an impossible task, plus the site should be enjoyed any and everyone. Also reducing the number of visitors would have a detrimental effect on the communities and businesses along the wall that rely on those visitors. Yet at the same time there has to be plan in place to help reduce the impacts of the visitors on the archaeology and the building remains along the wall.

It has fulfilled economic objectives, having so far generated an estimated £4.5m within the regional economy. Businesses reliant on tourism welcome this, especially after the hardship suffered when visitor numbers fell during the foot-and-mouth outbreak of 2001. The trail has provided farmers on the wall, hard pressed before foot-and-mouth, with opportunities to diversify. (Finding the Way- British Archaeology)Reducing the impacts along the wall is a difficult issue, the wall is there to be enjoyed by all, but it must be maintained in a sustainable way so that future generations can also enjoy the site. There is also the problem of developing a sustainable plan that will help the communities along the wall that rely on the tourism generated by the wall and its attractions.
For a site like Hadrian’s Wall the management team can only do so much, at the end of the day it comes down to people like me who visit the site. The visitors have to behave in a more responsible manner; respect has to be paid to the archaeology of the site and sensitivity and delicate nature of the landscape at the archaeology. Visitors numbers will only increase, those visitors will have be careful and sensitive to the need of the site. By behaving in a more responsible way whilst visiting the site, then hopefully the site will not suffer to much from the impacts of human activity.

Vale, B & Vale, R (1991) – Green Architecture: design for a sustainable future, Thames & Hudson.
Seymour, J (1982) -The Lore of the Land, Whittet books.
Horster, V (2003) – Living the Past, English Heritage.
Holden, A (2000) – Environment & Tourism, Routledge.Mowforth, M & Hunt I (1998) – Tourism & Sustainability, Routledge.
Shackley, M (ed) (1998) – Visitor Management: Case Studies from World Heritage Site, Butterworth Heinemann.
Goudie. A (6th Ed) (2006) – human Impact on the Natural Environment, Blackwell Publishing.

English Heritage (2005) - Making the Past part of our Future, English Heritage Publications
HM Government (2005) – Securing the future: delivering UK sustainable development strategy, TSO.
English Heritage (2002) - State of the Historic Environment Report, English Heritage Publications.
Hadrian’s Wall (2002) - Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site Management Plan 2002-2007,

British Archaeology (July/August 2005) – Finding the Way, Paul Austen, CBA Publications.


s it possible to maintain sustainability of our heritage in the face of climate change?

The effects of a changing climate can already be seen. Temperatures and sea levels are rising, ice and snow cover are declining. The consequences could be catastrophic for the natural world and society. The scientific consensus is that most of the warming observed over that last 50 years is attributable to human activity, through emissions of greenhouse gases-such as carbon dioxide and methane-into the atmosphere. We need to make a profound change in our use of energy and other activities that release these gases. And we need to prepare for the changes in climate that are now already unavoidable. (Securing the Future-delivering UK sustainable development strategy, HM Government, TSO 2005)

Its getting difficult to determine what is fact and which is fiction, deciding if its freak weather or becoming our normal weather pattern. As we descend into the grip of climate change, what effects will this have on our built and natural historical environment.

We must also consider what changes we must take as individuals, groups, businesses and nations, we need to make changes to maintain a level of sustainability for our future generations. We are already seeing effects of damage to our natural environment in the UK, the Somerset levels are rapidly disappearing, which will have a great impact on the Wetland archaeology of the levels.

Global warming or climate change was first predicted in the nineteenthCentury, and in 1896 a Swedish scientist Svante Artenius satated, “that the use of fossil fuels could double the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and could cause a rise in the average global temperature of about 5 degrees C (Green Architecture, 1991).” It has now been predicted that the average temperature will rise between 1.4C and 5.8C between 1990 and 2100.These types of effects will have a dramatic impact on our heritage; it will not only have an impact on the tourists and the environment, but also on the structures themselves. These new developments in climate will have a devastating effect on the actual integrity of the buildings. We will see more damage occurring because of these changes.

Climate change has been much debate issue for some years, but it is now widely accepted that well established climate patterns are indeed changing, it is becoming a matter of urgency not only to mitigate the level of future change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but also to develop plans to adapt our societies and economies to cope with the climate changes that will occur. (Climate Change and the Historic Environment, English Heritage, 2005)

What the heritage sector will need to do is to adapt to these growing problems if it is to maintain a level of sustainability. We need to consider what we mean by sustainability;

Sustainable development aims to enable all people throughout the world to satisfy their basic needs and enjoy a better quality of life without without compromising the quality of life for future generations. (Securing the Future-delivering UK sustainable development strategy, HM Government, TSO 2005)

What we mean with regards to sustainability is that we manage our resources better. The resources we use are managed so that future generations will also have access to those same resources. If we take wood for example, for every tree felled, we need to re-plant a new one. It may be that we as a society return to the old practices of coppicing and pollarding of our trees. To make sure our industries and particular heritage is sustainable for future generations, then we need to implement management strategies that pay particular attention to sustainable development of our resources and products.

During the last century we used our energy resources without any consideration for our future sustainability. It is only now with the impact of climate change that developments and research are being put into action concerning this issue. If the heritage industry is to become sustainable, then what actions should it take as an industry?

Currently within the heritage sector there is a save all approach with regards to preservation, this may not be possible in the light of climate change. The save all approach to the historic environment needs to be re-evaluated. It is not realistic to conserve anything forever or everything for any time at all. (Climate Change and the Historic Environment, English Heritage, 2005).

Already there are significant issues being raised with the preservation of our coastal heritage in the face of rising sea levels. After adjusting for national land movements, the average sea level around the UK is now 10cm higher than it was in 1900. (

We have to face the reality that we will lose a large proportion of our coastal heritage to the rising sea levels. Many sites will be endangered by sea level rise and storm surge: 600 to 1800 sites are vulnerable to coastal erosion (English Heritage 2005). Therefore it may be wise to consider stopping any funding towards the protection of these sites and simply survey and record them for the future. If they are to be swallowed by the sea, then it will be impossible to sustain them for future generations. Inevitable loss will probably require approaches to rapid investigation and recording (English Heritage 2005)

There will be no new preservation problems, what climate change will do is highlight those that already exist. These problems will become a more frequent and will need regular maintenance, in order to accommodate a more frequent maintenance plan, and then organisations may need to develop staff training requirements. Local site maintenance may require training in basic preservation techniques so that there is a constant level of preservation work being carried out at a local level. Organisations may not have the luxury of leaving sites until there is a substantial amount of building work to be carried out by contractors. Extreme weather may bring extreme cases of damage that will require immediate attention which may only be possible by local staff.

We can’t know precisely how far the sea levels will rise over the following decades, but we do have possible scenarios, based on existing available data. Therefore we should plan based around that data. We have to assume we will loose a substantial amount of our coastal heritage. So a system of precise survey and recording of our heritage along the coast will need to be done immediately.

Important decisions will need to be made with regards to any archaeological sites. Do we record and leave in situ? Or do we excavate and preserve, in the same way we have done in the past, as was done with the discovery of the site Seahenge and the Ferriby boats. Archaeology presently preserved close to ground surface is likely to be destroyed before it can be excavated and recorded. (English Heritage 2005) If this is the case then we are likely to lose a lot of the buried archaeology on a lot of sites around the country.

Flood plans will need to put in place and it may become a factor that some museum and buildings, which find they are in a flood risk area, who house valuable collections may have to relocate those collections to a more suitable location. For instance The Derby Industrial Museum, Silk Mill is located alongside the River Derwent and is in a flood risk area. In the future that risk may become too great and the museum may have to relocate a substantial amount of its collection.

With forecasters predicting that this coming winter could see temperatures dropping below freezing, the heritage sector could face the possibility of a range of problems caused by severe cold weather. We are likely to see an increase of weather extremes in the future, everything from freak whirlwinds, similar to those experienced in Birmingham this year, heavy rain falls, localised flooding and storm surges, as witnessed in Boscastle in 2004.Yet with climate change there can be benefits that come with a warmer climate such an increase of visitors to sites around the country but an increase may also be destructive to sites such as Hadrian’s Wall. Currently Hadrian’s Wall faces problems from visitors walking along wall, this impact’s on soil erosion and the delicate archaeology under foot. To combat this problem Hadrian’s Wall has built a path, which will protect the archaeology.

Physical access to the WHS is important as the means whereby visitors can enjoy fully first-hand experience of the Site without compromising its fabric, character or setting. The Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail is due to become available for public use in 2003 and will provide an enormous opportunity for walkers to enjoy and learn about the WHS by opening up sections not previously accessible to the public, and by linking together existing rights of way. (Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site Management Plan 2002-2007).

This has been achieved by building a grass sward path, though in areas this was not possible on wet and sloping ground. This path will still need constant management, to maintain this feature; this is an example of good practice in maintaining sustainability. Any solution to a constant problem requires regular maintenance.


Climate change is an acknowledge threat to both the natural and historic environment. For example, changes in the intensity and frequency of storm events will pose a challenge to a wide spectrum of the historic environment from coastal sites to veteran trees. Can we measure the likely impact and the cost necessary mitigation? (State of the Historic Environment Report, English Heritage, 2002)It is possible to maintain sustainability of out heritage in the face of climate change, but it will require new management plans, compromises, change and new ways of thinking. The heritage industry just like other industries will have to adapt to a range of new ideas and procedures. Our buildings will have to become more self sufficient and greener in the use of energy and other natural resources.

They may have to implement changes that may compromise the historic integrity of the trust, group or individual, who manages the building/site. We can no longer be complacent about the energy we use, the materials used in construction/repair, as well as issues of how the heritage sector will be funded.

With rising oil prices, cheap modes of transport, especially from abroad, may have an impact of the amount of tourists who visits sites, especially those from abroad. The current boom in air travel may become a thing of the past reducing the overall number of potential visitors. Heritage sites may have to consider the possibility that their visitor numbers may drop drastically in the future, that they are no longer able to attract people to their site globally. This may mean that sites may have become more locally entrenched economically, by becoming more involved with the local community and attract a more consistent locally based visitor.

We assume that our electricity will there at a flick of a switch. Most of our nuclear power stations, which provide approximately a third of our electrical energy, will be shut down over the next twenty years. Currently there are no definite plans to replace these power stations, therefore we have to assume that within twenty years we will have lost nearly a third of our capacity to generate electricity. Which will have an impact on our businesses and homes, we can import more gas and oil to make up this short fall, but this means that costs will be incurred by the customer. Which long term will make have an impact on the visitor, if the cost of heating and lighting a building increase then that cost will have top be made up at the entrance fee. To avoid this heritage building will have to produce their own energy, using one of the alternative methods, such as solar, wind or wood.

We will need management plans that will allow us to protect, develop and be in a position to pass our heritage assets on to the next generation. We as the public need to understand that our heritage is important to our society as a whole and that it has great potential value for future generations.

Yet in the end, sustainable development is not a fixed state of harmony, but rather a process of change in which exploitation of resources, the direction of the investments, the orientation of technological development, and institutional change are made consistent with future as present needs. (WCED 1987, Our Common Future-Oxford University Press).

Vale, B & Vale, R (1991) – Green Architecture: design for a sustainable future, Thames & Hudson.Seymour, J (1982) -The Lore of the Land, Whittet books.
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Iran says OPEC won't change output ceiling - ISNA

Iranian Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh told the students' news agency ISNA on Friday; "OPEC's production ceiling will not change," he said, adding that he did not expect any movement despite the onset of a peak summer period of consumption by U.S. drivers.

"I believe that oil prices will not become three digits in the future," the minister said in reference to $100 a barrel.

The ceiling for the 10 OPEC countries bound by quotas is 28 million barrels per day (bpd). In April, those 10 countries pumped 27.81 million bpd, according to a Reuters survey.
Iran pumped 3.85 million bpd, compared to its quota of 4.11 million bpd.

The number of people travelling in the United States in the coming Memorial Day weekend, traditionally seen as the start of peak driving season, will rise by the smallest amount in four years, the U.S. auto industry group AAA said on Thursday. They believe this will due to the higher gasoline prices.

I suspect that this will be proved wrong as we hit the summer months. I don't think people will change their driving habits just yet, the price isn't high enough to deter most drivers, also as we get the hotter weather, especially here in Europe, I think there will be a substantial rise the use of air conditioning. I also believe the reason the oil companies aren't reaching thier quota total is because they no longer can, if they could, they would pump as much as it was humanly possible to do.


People keeping whinging about how they will fuel their cars and heat their homes in a post oil society, like that’s the only area that will be affected by peak oil. The biggest problem with peak oil is all the industries that depend on derivatives of oil, such as the plastic and chemical industry, farming (in the form of pesticides and transport), pharmaceuticals, and electronics. These are just the tip of the iceberg, go down to your local supermarket and check out where most of the food is produced, you can bet that most it comes from abroad, places such as Africa, Asia and S.America.

This is where the biggest problems lie, because there is likely to a global economic breakdown as oil gets more and more expensive. The industries that rely of oil as part of their products, manufacturing and transportation will be greatly affected. We are heading towards a depression of the same magnitude as the 1930’s or greater. Yet people are more concearned with how they will travel about, the answer use your legs and only shop and work locally.