Stanford University School of Earth Science

Energy & Environment Public Lecture Series

The End of Oil?
This three-lecture series was convened in November 2005 with the presentation of two contrasting views about just how much oil is left. The series continued in February 2006 with presentations on modeling techniques to predict further climate changes and the impact these are likely to have on the environment and on populations worldwide, and concluded in March 2006 with a discussion about the transition to non-carbon forms of energy.

Part 1: The End of Oil?

What You Need to Know About Oil
Prof. Stephan Graham describes the formation of oil, explains different kinds of petroleum, and characterizes the distribution of known oil and gas provinces.
Oil migration (Quicktime - 5 Mb) | Slides (PDF - 37 Mb)

Oil & War: Revisiting M.K. Hubbert
Prof. Amos Nur discusses declining conventional petroleum resources and how the concentration of oil in countries of the Middle East and in Russia portend a future of geopoltical skirmishes among the countries who need oil and gas.
Slides (PDF - 1.5 Mb)

The Oil Depletion Myth
Prof. Steven Gorelick proposes that the fear of running out of oil is based on a number of fallacies, and suggests that new technologies, non-conventional forms of oil, and energy substitutions collectively will ensure ample supplies of oil for at least the next 50 years.
Slides (PDF - 1 Mb)

Part 2: Carbon, Climate, and Consequences

Introduction - Prof. Pamela Matson
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The Atmosphere & Greenhouse Gase
Prof. Azadeh Tabazadeh explains how solar radiation is captured in the atmosphere by a variety of greenhouse gases (GHG) and some aresols and illustrates that GHGs have long residence times in the atmosphere.
View (Quicktime) | Slides (PDF - 14 Mb)

Climate Change is for Real
Prof. Rob Dunbar illustrates how the concentration of GHGs has been increasing since the early 1800s and how this is directly responsible for the warming of the Earth.
View (Quicktime) | Slides (PDF - 12.7 Mb)

Forecasting Future Climates
Dr. Michael Mastrandrea uses climate models to suggest that the global mean temperature will rise between two and six degrees C by the end of this century.
View (Quicktime) | Slides (PDF - 24 Mb)

Question & Answer Period
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Part 3: Moving Toward Alternatives

Introduction - Prof. Pamela Matson
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Changing the World's Energy System
Prof. Lynn Orr suggests that the key to a carbon free energy system is developing a host of new technologies that reduce demand, enhance energy efficiencies, and provide new forms of energy.
View (Quicktime) | Slides (PDF - 21 Mb)

Buildings, Cars, Climate & Oil
Prof. Gil Masters describes how buildings and cars are the two greatest consumers of energy; energy efficient buildings and plug-in hybrid electric cars are two ways to quickly reduce the consumption of fossil fuels.
View (Quicktime) | Slides (PDF - 50 Mb)

Banking on Alternative Energy?
Prof. Margot Gerritsen discusses how windmills, photovoltaic cells, biomass conversion to fuels, and geothermal systems collectively should grow to five to ten percent of US energy production.
View (Quicktime) | Slides (PDF - 1 Mb)

The Policy Challenge
Prof. Jim Sweeney discusses how higher energy prices, cap and trade markets for carbon dioxide, and other prudent energy policies will allow the US to reduce its dependency on sources of foreign oil.
View (Quicktime) | Slides (PDF - .25 Mb)

Question & Answer Period
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