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David Bowden and Douglas Newman at Café Sci2

Frying the World in Oil?

Thursday 31 January 2013, 6:30 PM, at Brooklyn's near LoDo Denver


About the topic




Dave BowdenDave Bowden has been a TV producer, writer, cameraman, and editor on a wide range of news, investigative, and documentary programs since 1980. His credits include 4 years on the staff of PBS' MacNeil / Lehrer NewsHour covering major national and international news stories, PBS Frontline, New York Times TV, HBO, and Hallmark documentaries. He was selected as a Knight International Press Fellow in 1998, and has been employed by 3 CBS affiliates.

In the past 2 decades Dave has focused on science, health, and environmental topics. He directed a documentary about Greenpeace USA's 3 month journey down the Mississippi River, filmed the first national documentaries on AIDS and Alzheimer's Disease, and has more recently photographed health and socially-oriented documentary projects in Haiti, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Malawi, Israel, and Ukraine.

Dave is the founder of the Sustainable Media Network™, and has been actively engaged in sustainability issues since 1997, joining the Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES), in 1999. He served on its Board for 4 years and led the group as its President in 2004.

Dave also served as Executive Director of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil, (ASPO-USA) and organized the group's 2009 international conference.

Dr. Douglas Newman is an Exploration Geologist in Denver, who has worked in industry on domestic and international exploration and development projects since 1977. Doug holds 3 degrees in geology: a B.S. & M.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma.

About the topic

Until recent years, the prevailing understanding of peak oil, defined as the fundamental curves of oil discovery, production, and depletion, was that the world was close to maximum production, soon to begin an inexorable decline. In the long term, that inevitable scarcity of a finite resource, and subsequent higher prices, does threaten the core economic activities of developed societies worldwide.

However, technical innovations such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have unlocked previously inaccessible hydrocarbon resources, boosting America's petroleum output. As a result, reports from industry and the US Energy Information Agency now challenge that peak oil timeline, saying domestic production will be stable or rise for many years to come.

Clearly petroleum supplies will not decline in the near term. But larger questions posed by natural resource analysts and climate scientists revolve around how much more fossil fuel, of any type, can be burned without a substantial rise in CO2 concentrations and global temperatures. Will our advanced technology and unquenchable thirst for energy ultimately threaten the very ecosystems upon which human survival depends?

© 2004 Colorado Café Scientifique