I don't like the term Peak Oil {short version}


Jan 21, 2006

if you look at websites like Energy Bulletin, PeakOil.com, and theOilDrum.com, some of the conversations take on a "sky is falling" quality, which i like to stay away from.

LifeAftertheOilCrash.net is an example of the "Doomer" Paradigm ( meme ?). of course, a lot of the predictions are correct [ sharply rising oil prices & personal income diverted
to gasoline instead of, for example, new Asus Rampage Whatever systems ].

i have the impression that some of the other ATers are well versed in these subjects, know their physics, and some of us work in the related industries.

people are writing dozens of books on the subject (of Peak Oil). the American economy is - how dependent do you want to say - on cheap natural gas (for electricity, fertilizers, & petro-chemicals) and cheap oil. (very dependent, extremely dependent, sort of dependent.)

anyway, i was just curious how much this group is into the subject, e.g., the Decline of Ghawar, as detailed in Matthew Simmons' book, Twilight in the Desert. Ghawar is the largest oil field in Saudi Arabia.

and, among those people, how many are doomers, how many are cornucopians (technology will save us), how many are doomer cornucopians (technology will save those of us who have jobs at Google, but may not help the crew that's been going around the streets of SF robbing people lately).

i like the way Sweden is approaching the dilemma. not just passing a Peak Oil resolution, which i suppose is a start, but actually rolling on 100% fossil fuel independence by 2020. using the resources they have, lots of smart people, forest resources ( biofuels from wood chips, for example - not a new technology, at least 30 years old ).

also i don't actually dislike the term Peak Oil. the term has become coupled with a spectrum of societal disorders ranging from ? to cannibalism. so i'd rather use the term "Energy Transition" to describe the energy details side of it (e.g., Fedex deploying some electric vehicles to buttress their fossil fuel fleet, and actually rolling out the generation capacity to feed the electric vehicles), and, as far as the societal implications, i suppose we could use the term "history".

ref. URL's






No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
Ya, I suppose that makes sense. "Peak Oil" was obviously just a way to get the transition going by giving the reason why a transition was necessary.

That Biofuel from Woodchips sounds interesting. Here in British Columbia we've had huge areas of Forest infected by Pine Beatles. These beatles kill the trees they infect and there's been a rush to harvest infected trees while they still have commercial value as Lumber. Between the shear quantity of infected trees and now the downturn in the Housing Market, that task seems to be almost impossible to accomplish. Sounds like the perfect condition for using those trees for Biofuel. I'd just wonder what the Cost/Litre and Energy Input requirements for Wood to Biofuel is?


Golden Member
Nov 10, 1999
I'll be seeing you in the Thunderdome in a few years. "two men enter, one man leaves"


No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
Euphemisms are an effort to misdirect from candor and in this case peak oil is a perfectly valid term. It's up to others on how they will wield it. If we're not at peak oil, it seems we are indeed getting close, though even with vastly up oil prices I am more convinced than ever that it won't be the end of the world, but just a painful, albeit gradual shift. I don't think that the oil problems alone will send us into a cataclysm in which cannibals fight amongst themselves to eat you for dinner.
I'll be seeing you in the Thunderdome in a few years. "two men enter, one man leaves"
Oh, Blaster :(