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The World Is Running Out of Oil. The Cost of Finding New Oil Is Rising. The Price of Energy Is Rising. We Are Close to the Tipping Point: Downward.
What is peak oil? It is the point at which oil production begins to fall, long term. This takes place because new oil reserves are not being discovered in sufficient quantity to replace the oil that is being pulled out of the ground. It is the peak production of the world's most important nonrenewable resource.
Is peak oil a real-world phenomenon? Yes. . . unless oil is somehow a renewable resource, created by some presently unknown process deep in the lower regions of the planet. If it is, then the vast majority of oil geologists are wrong. We had better pray they are wrong and that the late Thomas Gold -- a physicist, not a geologist -- and some little-known Russian geologists are correct. Then there is the "anhydride" theory offered by geologist C. Warren Hunt, which Dr. Hunt says is both earlier than Dr. Gold's and suspiciously similar. Hunt thinks oil comes from methane gas, which he speculates makes up the earth's core -- not iron.
Does this mean that the world is running out of oil? Yes . . . if Hunt is wrong, and even he thinks the present rate of oil depletion exceeds the rate of oil formation.
Does this mean that the price of oil will rise? Yes.
Does this mean that urban life is threatened, that millions of people will begin to move out of cities? Yes . . . though maybe not in my day. Your day, possibly. If you are under age 40, probably.
Is there evidence favoring peak oil? Yes. A lot of it.
Is there evidence opposing it? Written by oil geologists, not much. Written by lawyers, economists, and other advocates of the free market as a religion and the price system as a way to overcome all problems, yes.
Are we facing the end of civilization? No. It is technically possible to get oil from coal, at some price. It will be a high price. So, peak oil can be delayed. This will not be cheap.
Are we facing the reconstruction of the world's economy? Yes . . . unless a wholly new form of energy is discovered, such as non-life-threatening fusion or nanotecnology's alchemical-like creation of oil.
There are no free lunches. This refers not just to money. It refers to the expenditure of energy: the second law of thermodynamics. It takes energy to produce energy. On the day that it takes more energy to pump a barrel of oil out of a deep well than a barrel of oil can produce, oil will cease to be a relevant source of energy. That day is coming unless the world switches to another, presently unknown energy source, or unless oil is not in fact nonrenewable. Betting on the possibility that oil is a renewable energy source is risky. Yet this is what modern civilization is doing.
One man isn't: Richard Rainwater, the multi-billionaire investor. Read about his views here.
This oil geologist isn't. Read his 2003 report here.
Another oil geologist isn't. Read his 2000 presentation here.
Yet another oil geologist -- a retired professor at Princeton University -- says the peak occurred on Thanksgiving Day, 2005. Of course, this degree of specificity is a PR stunt. He knows this. What he means is that we are now on the down side of world oil production. In contrast, a European economist thinks this will not happen until Thanksgiving Day, 2035. Both agree there is a peak. Read their views here.
I have provided some free links to reports on peak oil. If these reports do not peak your interest, then the material I post in this department will not interest you. On the other hand, if you read these links, and they convince you that there is a serious problem brewing, then this department -- this entire web site -- will make a lot more sense.
It is time for you to start asking serious questions. This site has answers.
The Federal Reserve has persuaded us to tap into these reserves. keep reading
The FED giveth, and the FED taketh away. Poof. keep reading
Basic economic forces are at work. They are moving the West to greater dependence. keep reading
Whenever I hear the words "energy independence," I reach for my flyswatter. keep reading
Do you believe in perpetual motion? Maybe you do. Take this test. keep reading
The answer may surprise you. keep reading
The Middle East Will not be able to meet this demand at today's price. keep reading