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Peak Oil










The Karavans masthead photograph was taken by Colorado mountain biker and photographer Timmy Pitschka.

Peak Oil Primers

Fossil fuel is not just something you pour into your tank at the gas station. Look around you. Practically everything that's not wood or metal is made from or derived from fossil fuels. However, even those wood and metal products required fossil fuels to be created and delivered to your door. Think of all the products in your life: your computer casing, pens, food packaging, shoe soles, automobile interior, etc. Almost everything in modern life is derived in one way or another from hydrocarbon molecules.

More importantly, the food we rely on can only be grown in the volumes needed to feed 300 million Americans and 6.2 Billion non-Americans with the use of fertilizers and pesticides derived from hydrocarbons.

Think of what Peak Oil means this way: once the world's oil production peaks and starts declining everything will start rising in price due to shortages. Absolutely everything, including your food and ability to stay warm in winter and alive in summer if you live in the southern states.

This article is an excellent primer on Peak Oil. The Energy Bulletin site aggregates articles from a wide variety of sources on all matters relating to Peak Oil, resource depletion and alternative energy resources.

Video/Audio Peak Oil Primer

Short (12 min) video introduction to Peak Oil from the Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC).

Interview on Peak Oil with Richard Heinberg (audio file)

Jim Puplava of the Financial Sense Newshour talks with authors Richard Heinberg and James Kunstler about Peak Oil.

Dr. Jason Bradford interviews the Oildrum's
physicist Stuart Staniford on Peak Oil. This is a one hour long radio interview. Fast forward through the first 5 minutes if you can as it covers local topics.

TV interview with Dr Andy Pica. 30 minutes.

Doomers versus Cornucopians

Whenever you are reading anything on Peak Oil, recognize whose writings you are reading. Are they Doomers or Cornucopians? Understanding these two extreme responses to the Peak Oil provides you with valuable perspective. It's easy at first to become either depressed by or entirely dismissive of the threat depending on who you are reading.

Peak Oil's Bumpy Plateau

Does Hubbert's Peak (aka, Peak Oil) represent a smooth transition in pricing as fossil fuel production passes the peak production point and goes into decline? In other words, once peak production is passed will fuel prices start a steady climb?  The answer is not likely which will make consensus on when peak is officially reached difficult to attain. More likely we will experience a "bumpy plateau" where for several years prices fluctuate up and down as the market attempts to respond to shortages with reduced demand.

As the experts like to say, "We'll only recognize Peak Oil through the rear view mirror."

If you are interested in monitoring the price trends for both fossil fuels, bookmark this page oil and gas prices.
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