Sunday, August 5, 2012

Peak oil - peak olympics?

The thirtieth olympic games in London 2012 has the fewest contestants, approximately 10 500, since the games in Atlanta 1996.
Olympic contestants and global
oil production, all liquids

We've seen this drop in contestants before, namely during the oil crises of the seventies and early eighties. This time around, global conventional oil production peaked around 2005 and we're experiencing a plateau phase in total liquids production, including biofuels. As net energy declines with a lower EROEI for unconventional oil and biofuels, less and less energy is available for non-essential things like sports.

The olympic games peaked in Beijing 2008 and the number of contestants is significantly lower in London.
Olympic contestants and
conventional oil production. EIA
doesn't provide conventional
oil production data so data
is from BITRE up until 2006.

The world may very well have passed peak olympics, possibly as a consequence of peak oil and the limits to economic growth that is the result of resource constraints. On top of that we have the accellerating global debt crisis.

Historically it has been very expensive to travel around the world to compete in the olympics. The games in St Louis 1904, Los Angeles 1932 and Melbourne 1956 experienced dips in the number of contestants. These locations required world-spanning travel, which was extremly expensive at the time.

The rise in contestants has been fueled by cheap oil, but with peak oil we can say goodbye to cheap and plentiful oil, as well as economic growth.

In short, the world has passed peak olympics.

See also an article in Swedish.

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