Friday, March 12, 2010

Peak - a - Boo

Interesting to see this kind of article in the mainstream news:

Oil Production to Peak in 2014, Scientists Predict

More and more I see topics that used to be relegated only to conspiracy theorists showing up through more “credible” sources like the Wall Street Journal, AP, Reuters, etc.

I have no idea if the scientist’s predictions in this case are correct, but it would sure seem to me that regardless of the specific date, sooner or later we will reach that “peak oil” plateau. And just for the record, very few scientists seem to be proposing that it will be “later”.

Most people, when thinking about a contracting oil supply, tend to focus on rising gasoline prices. It's viewed more as an annoyance and a personal financial burden than anything else.

Rising gas prices would certainly be one effect, but they would only represent the very tip of a what is actually an extremely large iceberg.

Think about how you live your life now and compare it to what life was like just 100 years ago. (Do a little Googling into history for photographs & descriptions if you need to.) What you will see is that up until the beginning of the 1900’s, the way people lived didn’t really change all that much from one century to the next. There were improvements to be sure, but they were all generally very small and incremental.

And then suddenly, just a little more than a century ago . . . Boom. Everything changes, with incredible speed.

Our entire way of life today – from interchangeable parts and the industrial revolution, to plastics and electronics, to transportation, to food production, to heating, to manufacturing – is all based on oil. If it’s not made of petroleum it was made with petroleum and transported by petroleum.

It’s all possible because of oil. It is all completely dependant on oil. And if – or maybe more appropriately when – oil isn’t available anymore?

Well now. That's something to think about, isn't it?

1 comment:

Tony said...

Or...would a real oil shortage (as opposed to a contrived one) really force us to innovate, again? It was a little before our time, but there was the great scare "world to go dark, whale oil scarce." Somehow we got past that one. Of course, 100 years ago we didn't have environmentalists to deal with -- that could be the new risk.