Move past era of oil, experts say
Former CIA Director James Woolsey paints a dire scenario: A terrorist attack causes a months-long, 6 million-barrel reduction in Saudi Arabia's daily petroleum output, sending the price of oil skyrocketing past $100 a barrel.
Industry banker and author Matthew Simmons says the kingdom's oil fields are deteriorating anyway. And a recent New York Times story cited an intelligence report suggesting the Saudis lack the capacity to pump as much oil as they boast they can.
Even if nothing disrupts the projected flow of Middle East petroleum, Energy Department consultants warned earlier this year that "the world is fast approaching the inevitable peaking" of global oil production -- a problem "unlike any faced by modern industrial society."
They wrote that the United States and other nations are in a race with the clock to find alternative sources for oil, "the lifeblood of modern civilization," and avoid potential economic disaster.
The folks over at Participate.net have put up a good page to go along with their movie Syriana: Oil Change. Read through the blog and you'll see various mentions of peak oil:
A campaign to reduce our dependence on oil Inspired by the film Syriana Oil addiction. It saps America's economic strength, pollutes our environment, and jeopardizes national security. Breaking that addiction begins with the choices we make as individuals. Instead of oil dependence, let’s choose Oil Change!
Writing for the Arizona Daily Star Matthew Simmons and Stewart Udall Time to discard fifty years of energy myths
This summer's hurricanes have triggered the most serious energy emergency in the nation's history. With gasoline, natural gas and heating oil at near-record highs, many families face the chilly prospect of much higher energy bills in the future. The entire economy is at risk, but airlines, tourism, farmers, small business, seniors and the poor are particularly threatened.
Katrina and Rita ravaged the Gulf of Mexico's petroleum infrastructure, but a larger, more daunting crisis was already on the horizon.
To craft an intelligent response, we must begin by discarding 50 years of energy myths. Because our continent had huge reserves of oil, coal and natural gas, Americans have nurtured a set of energy illusions that have now come home, in biblical fashion, to haunt us.
The most dangerous myth is that cheap energy is our birthright, that the well would never run dry.
This illusion was born in the early 1950s, when U.S. oil fields provided two-thirds of the planet's petroleum. Oil was so abundant that domestic producers were required to curtail production to prevent a price collapse. For lack of a market, large plumes of natural gas, now our most precious heating fuel, were flared into the sky.
And atomic energy, the new kid on the block, promised an infinite supply of almost-free electricity. In this euphoric moment, our nation began to fashion a new way of living unlike anything ever seen on the planet.
For a half century, we designed skyscrapers, autos, cities and houses on the assumption that energy would remain inexpensive. In the '50s, we invented the suburb, the shopping center and the Interstate Highway System. In the '60s we bought Mustangs. In the '70s we visited the moon, and in the '80s we built the world's most powerful military. Between 1950 and 2005, the country's population doubled and the economy grew sixfold.
Then there's this by Patrice Hill over at the Washington Times: Speculation surrounds oil peak. It's short and overly optimistic but it is coverage of the issue.
Thanksgiving marked the day that some analysts thought global oil production would have reached its peak, ushering in a new era of fuel shortages.
These petro-pessimists were using the same formula as the one that accurately predicted the apex of U.S. oil production in 1970.