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Aug 22 / Dave Schumaker

Peak Oil – In November?

A former professor at Princeton University, Kenneth Deffeyes, is predicting that “peak oil”, when the global oil production and output reaches a maximum level before it starts to decline, will happen this November. This contrasts to what the U.S. government, as well as other scholars and organizations are predicting. The problem, he determined, was that no one appreciated how scarce the stuff had become. He soon found that several respected researchers had already applied Hubbert’s methods to the current world oil supply and determined the peak would arrive between 2005 and 2008. Deffeyes did the calculations himself and pinpointed the peak at Thanksgiving of this year. The exactness of the prediction is somewhat tongue in cheek, but Deffeyes’ point — that the peak has either already arrived or will very soon — is quite serious. […] In the long term, the nation will compensate with clean-coal and nuclear energy, along with renewable sources like wind and solar power, Deffeyes said. “It’s the five-year time scale that I’m really scared about,” he said. There are many who doubt his theories. Economists, in particular, believe the supply and demand equation will spur innovation and conservation, and the problem will take care of itself. The article says that the U.S.G.S. predicts we will reach peak oil production in 2037, though other sources (including this very informative USGS open-file report [408kb PDF file]) predict peak oil will be reached around 2020. Crackpot theory or something to think seriously about?

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