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Peak Oil Matters

A fresh perspective on the concept of peak oil and the challenges we face


Category: Peak Oil

Happy New Year


Like many, the election results have left me more than a bit flabbergasted. The list of synonyms is long, and none are pleasant.

I’ve devoted a lot of time, effort, and thought to the issues, challenges, and potential consequences of peak oil/our future energy supply, and I’m proud to have had a voice in the discussions.

While I am not abandoning all efforts going forward, postings for the foreseeable future will likely be sporadic at best unless an issue of such import and potential to affect us necessitates that I toss in a word or two. I’ll still post a Tweet on peak oil and/or climate change more often than not, but I’m going to turn my attentions, time, efforts, and voice to raising my own concerns about the consequences of voters having deposited a know-nothing, dangerous, vindictive authoritarian in the White House.

Those of us who fear the damage awaiting our democracy, our culture, and the traditions of decency upon which American exceptionalism stands, courtesy of this awful human being now in charge, hope–as I do–that we are all wrong. But even as overly optimistic as I tend to be, it is difficult to disregard the norms already cast aside by this menacing and astonishingly unqualified peddler of fear and aberrant behavior.

As consequential as the risks of ignoring the limitations of  a finite energy supply may be, failing to offer a voice–no matter how small–to challenge the policies, attitudes, decisions, appointments, and steady stream of mean-spirited, ignorant pronouncements offered up by our Tweeter-in-Chief is a choice I cannot make in good conscience. And so I’ll invite you to check out my website and Twitter account in the days and weeks ahead to join in the conversation as to how we continue to work together to make our nation and our world a bit better today than yesterday–t-Rump’s presence and influence notwithstanding.

And check back here now and then as well … I may have an insight or two to help us deal with the challenges which continued production of expensive, finite energy resources will surely impose on all of us. Peak Oil Matters … still.

Thank you









Without a serious revisiting of the questionable optimism that dominates any dialogue related to longer-term world oil supplies, without a harshly realistic scrub of the facts, we face unnecessarily large energy policy risks.

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Of course it’s threatening to think that our lifestyles, systems of governing, and capitalist processes themselves may all face drastic changes in the not-too-distant future because of the facts and reality of Peak Oil and climate change! I’m certainly not the poster-child for Peak Oil advocacy and lifestyles. I have a very nice, capitalist, well-to-do lifestyle. To hell with all of you, I don’t want MY life to change!

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coffins beach 050


Peak oil’s message is rather simple once all of the fluff and distractions are set aside. It’s about a recognition that we are dealing with a finite resource used extensively for decades upon decades by ever-increasing numbers for ever-increasing needs.

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The essential problem is not just that we are tapping the wrong energy sources (though we are), or that we are wasteful and inefficient (though we are), but that we are overpowered, and we are overpowering nature – Richard Heinberg, from the Introduction to ENERGY

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[O]ur Peak Oil problem is a case of simple mathematics.
‘We stopped finding large oil fields 40 years ago. The production from those fields decreases every year and we simply can’t bring enough smaller fields on fast enough to offset those declines and grow daily oil production….
‘The demand side of the equation is no help either. Population grows every year. And the most populous countries in the  world grow per capita oil production every year as well. When you consider how many people are in China, India and other emerging countries and then consider how little oil each of them uses, it isn’t hard to see that changes in their lifestyle to include more oil consumption will make a big difference.’ [quoting John Hess, CEO Hess Corp]

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This was included as part of a more extensive quote in last week’s post:

The present research finds that system justification tendencies are associated with greater denial of environmental realities and less commitment to pro-environmental action.

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By 2035, the global population is expected to reach nearly 8.8 billion, meaning an additional 1.5 billion people will need energy, according to BP’s annual world energy forecasts, and based on current forecasts it won’t be sourced from renewables.

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Research has powerfully illustrated that a lack of knowledge in domains such as energy and the environment can lead to bad decisions and erroneous beliefs that hinder a society’s ability to create change in domains that require it

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