Peak Oil – What’s that all about then and why worry?

Peak oil is the point at which oil production reaches its maximum.  After that production gets less and less.  Many believe we are at or near that peak.  This is basically a pretty straightforward issue with pretty devasting consequences.  The demand for oil is increasing, the supply is reducing, and our whole way of life is completely reliant on oil.  And guess what so far it’s hellishly difficult to get politicians and public administrators to recognise it as a problem, let alone plan what to do about it.  When you say peak oil to most people the response is “Ughh”.

You can say climate change now and at least people have heard of it, even if a good proportion don’t really understand or necessarily believe it (more of that to come), but peak oil is going to become a major problem for us much sooner.

I’ve been trying to do a little bit of fact funding.  Here’s what I have so far.

Crude oil is sold in barrels, each one which is 159 litres, or 35 gallons, or 280 pints.

In the UK we get through about 2 million of them every day

Global productions gets measured in million of barrels per day.  World oil production in December 2009 was 86 million barrels a day.

Some questions

  1. Why does it matter?
  2. Is it true?
  3. What will happen?
  4. What can we do about it?

More on this soon.

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