Monday, December 20, 2010

Mainstream magazine gingerly mentions Peak Oil

Study of Peak Oil and GasImage via WikipediaOf course it dismisses it -- the last sentence basically parses to "There's no good substitute ready so we can't be at the peak" -- much like the joke about "I can't be overdrawn, I still have checks!"

But interesting that the magazine felt it had to address the question nonetheless:
Has ‘peak oil’ already passed?

The moment at which global oil production reaches its zenith before entering perpetual decline—“peak oil”—has long been the subject of contentious debate. But in November the International Energy Agency, which advises governments on energy policy, announced that peak oil had already occurred, in 2006. The agency, previously skeptical that peak oil was near, said fuel supplies would nevertheless remain abundant because of “unconventional” sources like tar sands. But it forecast rising oil and gas prices ahead. “The age of cheap oil is over,” said IEA economist Fatih Birol. More bullish analysts say the world still has decades of affordable oil and gas supplies, which will dampen the incentive to develop alternative energy sources. “The competitiveness of oil and gas and the scale at which they are produced,” said energy consultant James Burkhard, “mean that there are no readily available substitutes in either one year or 20 years.”
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For the autodidacts and those who try to keep up with them

Interesting service offered through the regional library system that Salem Public Library belongs to (Chemeketa Cooperative Regional Library Service) -- a whole bunch of self-study courses.