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Page added on April 27, 2014

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Global energy crunch: how different parts of the world would react to a peak oil scenario

General Ideas
Peak oil theory predicts that oil production will soon start a terminal decline. Most authors imply that
no adequate alternate resource and technology will be available to replace oil as the backbone resource
of industrial society. This article uses historical cases from countries that have gone through a similar
experience as the best available analytical strategy to understand what will happen if the predictions of
peak oil theorists are right. The author is not committed to a particular version of peak oil theory, but
deems the issue important enough to explore how various parts of the world should be expected to
react. From the historical record he is able to identify predatory militarism, totalitarian retrenchment,and socioeconomic adaptation as three possible trajectories
The Stone Age came to an end not for a shortage of stones. The
Coal Age came to an end not for a shortage of coal. But, contra
former Saudi Oil Minister Sheikh Yamani, the Oil Age may come to
an end for a shortage of oil. This is what the proponents of ‘‘peak oil
theory’’ suggest. Peak oil theory predicts that oil production will
soon start a terminal decline. Most authors imply, further, that no
adequate alternate resource and technology will be available to
replace oil as the backbone resource of industrial society.
1
To be sure, the demise of oil has been predicted many times over.
Oil shortages were predicted in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. Peak oil
theory was first introduced in 1956 by oil geologist Marion King
Hubbert. In the oil crisis of 1973, US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
James Akins declared that ‘‘This time the wolf is here’’ (Akins, 1973).
Similar cries were heard in the second oil crisis of 1979.
Although the history of oil is the chronicle of a death foretold,
oil is a finite resource. It will run out at some point. Extrapolations
of unfettered growth are clearly more misleading than predictions
of a peak in global oil production. And peak oil theorists proffer
serious arguments why, despite many alarms in the past,
Cassandra will turn out to be right this time. In this article I am

not going to repeat their arguments.

Jörg Friedrichs, [PDF] Global energy crunch: how different parts of the world would react to a peak oil scenario

 



11 Comments on "Global energy crunch: how different parts of the world would react to a peak oil scenario"

  1. Ricardo on Sun, 27th Apr 2014 5:15 pm 

    http://bountifulenergy.blogspot.com/2013/07/being-peak-oiler-means-never-having-to.html

    Peakoilers, just a bunch of commies who dream with a collapse, as I suspected long ago.

  2. mack on Sun, 27th Apr 2014 5:38 pm 

    one small detail. the coal age never ended, we just added oil and gas to the mix. Really it should be called the fossil fuel age. At least he never wrote the stone didn’t end because we ran out of stones lol that one is really tired!

  3. GregT on Sun, 27th Apr 2014 6:33 pm 

    Anyone with 2 functioning brain cells, should be able to figure out that by consuming a finite resource, that same said resource will eventually run out.

    Political affiliation has no bearing on ones understanding of grade school arithmetic. Apparently, stupidity does.

  4. Makati1 on Sun, 27th Apr 2014 6:44 pm 

    “… At some point, industrial society will start crumbling and free trade will begin to disintegrate…”

    Most of his 9 pages are about using NG, coal, and nuclear alternates to slow/prevent the fall. Only in his last paragraph does he admit the inevitable. But, over all, he is just another “tech will save us in time” (or at least extend our time to prep by several decades), believer. “the greatest
    hope for the mitigation of peak oil is a combination of conservation,
    energy efficiency, and renewable energy.” A brief touch on possible financial collapse and war but nothing serious as is true of most . Four year old article saying little or nothing new but is spot-on in his predictions if you see what is happening today.

    Jörg Friedrichs teaches at the University of Oxford in the Department of International Development, UK.

  5. Newfie on Sun, 27th Apr 2014 7:00 pm 

    Never ending growth is a fairy tale that adults believe in.

  6. Kenz300 on Sun, 27th Apr 2014 8:59 pm 

    There is something to be said for self sufficiency.

    People and countries should become more energy independent and less reliant on outside sources.

    This goes against the centralized distribution model of the past and takes us to the decentralized, distributed energy production model of the future where huge fossil fuel companies have less control over energy sources. Every solar panel on a roof takes us one step closer. Every wind mill makes us less dependent on the fossil fuel companies.

    Every biofuel plant that gets built reduces the need for imported oil. The oil companies want to stop second generation biofuels made from algae, cellulose and waste from taking a bigger share of the transportation fuel market.

    The fossil fuel companies are doing all they can to reduce the competition. It will delay the transition but the transition to safer, cleaner and cheaper alternative energy sources will happen.

    The energy transition tipping point is here – SmartPlanet

    http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/the-take/the-energy-transition-tipping-point-is-here/?tag=nl.e660&s_cid=e660&ttag=e660&ftag=TRE4eb29b5

  7. energydata on Mon, 28th Apr 2014 12:45 am 

    I’m linking here a summary of the BGR’s latest estimates of global fossil fuel resources and reserves.
    http://j.mp/FF_RR_2013

  8. J-Gav on Mon, 28th Apr 2014 3:42 am 

    I think I’ll just stay in bed all day today and pull the covers over my head to protect myself from all them rampaging commies.

  9. forbin on Mon, 28th Apr 2014 6:00 am 

    and back Mack up in one point

    the stone age ended…… no, it hasn’t , we use far more stone today that we have ever done in construction.

    Also if you’re confined to warfare and tool use then , yes , atleast there’s evidence , should you care to look , that valuable flint was being mined in ever deeper mines ( by hand ofcourse ) and harder to obtain …..

    still a little ray of bitter sunshine is all we need .

    Coal yup, still a coal age going on in the power industry , after all its all fossil fuel in the end

    and all finite as well

    Forbin

  10. bobinget on Mon, 28th Apr 2014 9:59 am 

    When the Soviet Union collapsed Cuba’s oil dependent
    economy nearly did as well. Luckily, Venezuela eventually came to the rescue, trading oil for medical personal, technology and medicines.

    Cuba almost starved until brigades of ‘volunteers’ cut cane and grew produce by hand. Without tropical climate, 97% literacy, genetic and bioengineering, a Red Venezuela there would have been chaos.

    This article seems to have a beginning, no middle and a missing ending.

  11. Patrick on Tue, 29th Apr 2014 7:20 pm 

    If you take out the United States, global oil production has already been on the decline for several months, as shown in this video (less than 4 minutes):
    http://jklm.cc/9/740996550.php?video=ad119228

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