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Peak Oil in a Nutshell (BONUS: The Solution in a Nutshell)


Posted on : 9:26 PM | By : Nic | In : ,

Here is what peak oil is, in a nutshell:

Saudi Arabia's King Abdulla told his subjects in 1998, "The oil boom is over and will not return... All of us must get used to a different lifestyle." He then implemented a series of corruption reforms and government programs intended to lower Saudi Arabia's dependence on oil revenues. The royal family was put on notice to end its excessiveness and new industries were created to diversify the national economy. (Scott MacLeaod,2002-02-25). "How to Bring Change to the Kingdom". Time)  Saudi Arabia is the country that claims the most oil... and they were nervous 10 years ago?

Most people are a little confused by the phrase ‘peak oil’, and they don’t fully realize that our entire 1st World civilization is almost entirely dependent on oil.  The rate of consumption of oil is higher than the rate that we can extract it from the earth, and the problem is compounded by the fact that oil reserves are depleting and population is skyrocketing.  With more and more people putting more and more demand on less and less oil that is harder and harder to extract, it creates a situation where people will have to choose to stop using oil, or they will be forced to.  It may not be that oil is rare or running out, we just can’t get it out fast enough because we use such vast quantities. Some people think that when this happens to an intolerable level, we will simply switch to electric vehicles, but the truth is that every product you use is manufactured using petroleum.  Without oil, vehicles wouldn’t be able to be built at all, along with just about everything else.  Even the organic food you eat is dependent on oil because it takes petroleum to grow it (in the form of large tractors), and to ship it. 

In 2003, the world consumed 80 million barrels of oil per day, and the US alone used 20 million barrels per day (The Hirsch Report). The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects world consumption of oil to increase to 98.3 million barrels per day in 2015 and 118 million barrels per day in 2030. ("World Oil Consumption by region, Reference Case", EIA, 2006).  In 2005, the US Department of Energy published a report titled Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation, & Risk Management. Known as the Hirsch Report, it stated, "The peaking of world oil production presents the U.S. and the world with an unprecedented risk management problem. As peaking is approached, liquid fuel prices and price volatility will increase dramatically, and, without timely mitigation, the economic, social, and political costs will be unprecedented. Viable mitigation options exist on both the supply and demand sides, but to have substantial impact, they must be initiated more than a decade in advance of peaking."

The solution, in a nutshell:

One of my favorite families, the Dervaes, have started a great new website.  Remember the 100 Mile Diet?  Not good enough!  The real solution to peak oil is the 100 Foot Diet.  You have to dedicate yourself to eating at least one meal a week that came directly from your backyard.  One meal isn't that bad right?  Eventually you could even be like them and eat all your food from your urban backyard.

Comments (1)

We palanted our Garden and are participating in the 100 Foot Diet Challenge!

I love the idea of growing something besides grass in our backyard.