Peak Oil News: Oil Has Peaked

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Oil Has Peaked

Times Argus

For 15 years, retired geologist Colin Campbell has warned of the approaching end of the age of oil and the dire consequences for the world should that happen. Although experts hotly debate the issue, it has drawn little attention from the average consumer.

But now, with the price of oil reaching $50 a barrel, Campbell believes his warnings should finally gain credence.

The editors of The Wall Street Journal regard Campbell's views as so newsworthy that they published a lengthy article about him and the controversy surrounding him in Wednesday's edition.

"Dr. Campbell is at the center of a small but suddenly influential band of contrarians known as the peak-oil movement," the newspaper reported. "They see cause for alarm in the fact that since the early 1980s the world has been pumping more oil out of the ground than it's been finding. By as early as next year, they say, humanity will have reached a point of reckoning: It will have extracted half the oil it will ever get. Once that 'peak' is reached, Dr. Campbell says, global oil production will start falling, never to rise again."

And that, the report continues, would mean the end of cheap oil. Consumers might continue to use oil for another century or so, but oil prices would steadily rise, forcing the world "to become radically more energy-efficient, shifting quickly to alternatives such as solar and nuclear power. If the switch wasn't fast enough – an outcome Dr. Campbell thinks more likely – the global economy would screech to a halt."


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