You probably saw at least excerpts from Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth, about the effects of global warming. You may or may not like Gore, and you may or may not agree with the crescendo of scientific consensus concerning the imminent impact of global warming.
Whether global warming was an inconvenient truth or an inconvenient lie for you, soon it will fade from prominence as the consequences of Peak Oil begin to take hold.
Global Warming may still be subject to some conjecture concerning data interpretation, timing, severity, the contributing effects of fluctuating solar radiation, politics, and reversibility.
There is far less room for ambiguity concerning Peak Oil, however. Peak Oil is the point at which half the world's supply of crude oil has been used up. The oil in the second half of the curve — the half when supply starts to decline — will be a lot tougher to extract, produce, and distribute than the oil in first half was.
Peak Oil is coming soon. Some experts think it arrived in 2008.
Peak Oil is not reversible. No renewable energy source or combination of sources, including coal, will ever compensate for more than a fraction of the energy that oil supplied.
So things are getting a bit urgent.
Check out what the pundits and informed innocent bystanders have to say.
Here are some places to start, with more panicked experts than you can shake a stick at. They are listed more or less in their order of complexity, so you could grasp the PeakOil paradigm by just looking at a few of the pieces in the Primers section immediately below.
Online primers and resource sites
- Peak oil primer and links | Energy Bulletin (excellent!)
Multiple/multi-media sites, grouped by production
- The End of Suburbia: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of the American Dream (2004) (Internet Movie Database information)
- The End of Suburbia promo trailer (video that includes interviews with James Kunstler, from Saratoga Springs, NY)
- Kunstler's well-written and thoroughly researched blog, essential reading that complements the stuff below.
- A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash (2006) (web site promoting film)
"One year ago, in a report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy, Robert L. Hirsch challenged the notion that the free market can solve the onrushing emergency:
The world has never faced a problem like Peak Oil. Without massive mitigation more than a decade before the fact, the problem will be pervasive and will not be temporary. Previous energy transitions (wood to coal and coal to oil) were gradual and evolutionary; oil peaking will be abrupt and revolutionary."
- A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash (2006) (Internet Movie Database site)
The Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions, founded in 1940 as Community Service, Inc., is a non-profit organization located in Yellow Springs, Ohio, that educates on the benefits and values of small local community living. We envision a world where people live sustainably and cooperatively in local communities which are diverse, equitable, and just.
- The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil (2006) (Internet Movie Database site)
- Crude Impact (2006) web site
- End of Oil: The Peak Oil Debate YouTube interview with the makers of Crude Impact; answers some of the main anti-Peak Oil arguments.
- The Last Oil Shock: A Survival Guide to the Imminent Extinction of Petroleum Man (2007) (YouTube video)
- The Last Oil Shock - The Explosive Story of Peak Oil
Single video or movie sites
- A Post-Oil Man (video) The Cheney-Bush strategy for survival in a Post-PeakOil world
Web sites only
Peak Oil associations & institutes
Articles from online periodicals
- End of Cheap Oil @ National Geographic Magazine by Tim Appenzeller (June 2004)
- NYT Magazine cover story on Peak Oil by Peter Maas (August 21, 2005)
- What they don't want you to know about the coming oil crisis by Jeremy Leggett, The Independent (UK) (January 19, 2006)