Passions run high where oil is concerned. Witness the tumult over the BP drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. But much of the public discussion about oil has been long on emotion and opinion while short on scientific fact, a state of affairs that Steven Gorelick, a professor of environmental Earth system science at Stanford, takes steps to rectify in his book, Oil Panic and the Global Crisis – Predictions and Myths, published earlier this year.
In Geofluids, a reviewer wrote, "Gorelick weaves an intriguing story from what might have been a dreadfully boring, yet impressive collection of data and observations."
For close to a century, there have been predictions that it is only a matter of time – perhaps just a few decades – before world oil reserves begin to run dry. The prospect seems worrisome, but with continuing advances in renewable energy, does it really matter? Stanford Report talked with Gorelick, a senior fellow at Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment, to get answers to that and other questions.