Peak Oil News: Peak Oil Is Officially Here, Says The Economist

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Peak Oil Is Officially Here, Says The Economist

By James West

Excerpt – Click to read entire article:

The world’s most respected journal of economics has now officially acknowledged the advent of peak oil, validating (finally!) what we’ve been saying for years.

In a July 19 article, the venerable Economist cut straight to the point:

“The world is consuming more oil than it is producing.”--The Economist, July 14-20 print edition.

Now there would appear to be a certain degree of confusion over exactly what is meant by “Peak Oil.”

According to

“In the context of models of the depletion of resources, notably Hubbert peak theory, peak oil is the date when the peak of the world’s petroleum (crude oil) production rate is reached. After this date the rate of production will by definition enter terminal decline. According to the Hubbert model, production will follow a roughly symmetrical bell-shaped curve.”

Some observers such as Kenneth S. Deffeyes, Matthew Simmons, and James Howard Kunstler believe that because of the high dependence of most modern industrial transport, agricultural and industrial systems on inexpensive oil, the post-peak production decline and possible resulting severe price increases will have negative implications for the global economy.


At 12:05 PM, August 12, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what is the answer? Electric Cars? Diesel Cars? Fischer Tropsch seems like the only reasonable solution.

The following java calculator will allow you to see for yourself how fast the oil is being consumed:

At 10:29 AM, August 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark, the answer depends on what question you are asking. If all you want to do is maintain our current level of energy consumption, there is no answer. If you are asking about what changes to our lifestyle we can make, the possible responses are myriad.

At 3:06 PM, August 16, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fischer-Tropsch is a terrible solution. You still need carbon-based materials that either pollute the environment or require vast amounts of energy/resources to get them into the proper starting materials. The hydrogen to start FT for example, is usually produced from hydrocarbons like those found in oil and coal.

To put it simply, there is no silver bullet to the energy problem. We can make oil if we have to; we just cannot do it cheaply, which is the real problem. Electric cars are impractical in terms of distance per kWh and amount of time to recharge them. Hydrogen cars use hydrogen from hydrocarbon sources, which puts them out of the game. Solar cars only work when the sun shines, etc. I could say more, but I think you get the picture. America and the rest of the world must have cheap oil to survice just as a human being needs air.


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