World Faces a Peaking Petroleum Problem

Cavalier Daily associate editor, Adam Keith wonders why Congress is worried about steroids in baseball when economic crisis brought on by peak oil could dwarf any the world as seen since the Great Depression.

Published: 04-Apr-2005

WHILE Congress is consumed with such pressing matters as the use of steroids in Major League Baseball, an economic crisis looms on the horizon that could dwarf any that this world has seen since the Great Depression.

If you listen to the growing number of geologists and executives at petroleum corporations that advocate a theory known as "peak oil," the recent rise in gas prices could signal the beginning of chronic petroleum shortages that will shackle the world with debilitating levels of inflation and unemployment for decades to come. Because this issue could have such grave consequences, Congress must lead the world into a comprehensive survey of the long term prospects for growth in petroleum production, and take action to correct the problem if the survey determines that the world's oil-fuelled economy is unsustainable.

The central problem in the view of peak oil theorists is that the world's finite supply of oil cannot keep pace with its skyrocketing demand. Indeed, a Department of Energy report released in 2004 stated that demand for oil will rise from 77.1 million barrels a day in 2001 to 120.9 million barrels a day in 2025.


Visits to China, India, Malaysia and Pakistan are significant because the trip spells out the Saudi Kingdom's Look East policy, representing a new reorientation in its foreign policy that was heavily tilted toward the West.

The worst two scenarios suggest a drastic decline in output to 875,000 barrels a day by the end of 2007 and to just 520,000 a day by the end of 2008.

Bush said he envisioned a future in which a plug-in hybrid car could drive 40 miles on a lithium-ion battery, then stop at a filling station for ethanol, a fuel usually made from corn, similar to HyMotion Prius pictured below.


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