When We Run Out of Oil…

If you pay attention to any of the relevant facts about oil production (i.e., supply), oil consumption, and why it’s likely we’re in the Middle East fighting a “war” (e.g., to deploy a strategic military position to ensure a steady flow of oil), then you probably do like I do: waver between complacency and sheer terror over the prospect of running out of oil.

I’ve been following oil geeks at The Oil Drum for some time, and while they clearly give solid and deep analysis of all the current data and conjecture in the oil industry, it’s this “Crash Course 17A-Peak Oil” video by Chris Martenson (from his Crash Course on economics) that I’ve embedded below and is one that will give you a very concise snapshot of where we are in the world with respect to peak oil.

Having learned more than I ever wanted to know about the looming fate of us all in a world soon hungry for energy, I gave up a 34mpg Mercedes diesel in favor of a Toyota Prius — one I routinely get 48mpg in as an average — since I can see strategically that the world’s dependence on a finite resource is accelerating while that resource is dwindling and getting more expensive to deliver. Not a pretty combination. It’s also why I’ll be buying a plug-in hybrid in the next year or two when I find one that fits my strategic and tactical needs for transportation. Gas prices in the next two years will only go one way….up.

Bottom line? If you’re not thinking about your business and personal life in a world with shrinking energy reserves, then you’re not paying attention and need to be….now.

Entering the Age of Energy Scarcity

no-gasWhen former President George W. Bush indicated in several interviews that “history will be my judge” — referring to the reasons his administration went to war — a disturbing number of people still seem to believe that our invasion of Iraq has something to do with stopping terrorism in the Middle East, instead of “fighting them at home” and spreading freedom and democracy in that region.

If that were true it should’ve been a priority, and relatively easy, to convince our pals, the House of Saud, to give up their monarchy and become a democracy. But because our presence in that region is about protecting “our national interests” (that would be a steady flow of oil, especially from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and ensuring we get our fair share (though that share is larger than any other country receives), having a strategic position in the Middle East is what Bush was driving toward, and is now counting on, as historians review his focus on protecting a dwindling resource vs. an all out effort to find replacements for oil.

One of the sites I follow is called The Oil Drum, a site run by oil geeks who run article after article that are highly detailed and often over my head. That said, it’s one of the few places I can go to understand the incredible complexity of the energy marketplace and read opinions by those in-the-know and gain some insight.

It’s not hard, however, to ascertain one fact from all the prognostications and writings within this site: we’re either just past, now at, or damn close to peak oil production and that by 2020 we’ll begin to see a major dropoff in world oil production.

2020!?! That’s less than 11 years from now and with What happens when demand outstrips supply? If you paid attention in 7th grade you’ll know that prices increase in that scenario, if you can even get some. Read More