The Earth’s mineral riches are distributed unevenly over the globe, and this has tremendous effects on the human condition. Different regions have achieved great power and affluence with the development of resources, from water and fertile soil to oil and high-tech metals. What will happen to these economies as the resources are depleted?
This unique volume presents and analyzes essential data on energy and mineral resources and population issues of concern to sociologists, geologists, ecologists, economists, policymakers, futurists, and political scientists.
Science tells us that an oil crisis is inevitable. Why and when? And what will our future look like without our favorite fuel?
Our rate of oil discovery has reached its peak and will never be exceeded; rather, it is certain to decline―perhaps rapidly―forever forward. Meanwhile, over the past century, we have developed lifestyles firmly rooted in the promise of an endless, cheap supply. In this book, David Goodstein, professor of physics at Caltech, explains the underlying scientific principles of the inevitable fossil fuel shortage we face. He outlines the drastic effects a fossil fuel shortage will bring down on us. And he shows that there is an important silver lining to the need to switch to other sources of energy, for when we have burned up all the available oil, the earth’s climate will have moved toward a truly life-threatening state. With its easy-to-grasp explanations of the science behind every aspect of our most urgent environmental policy decisions, Out of Gas is a handbook for the future of civilization.
Colin Campbell explains why, in a work that’s accessible to both layman and professional. The grand old man of depletion studies, and currently president of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil, Colin Campbell distils a lifetime’s study of oil reserves into this book. In his previous acclaimed book, the Coming Oil Crisis, he explained why a crisis was imminent. Now, in OIL CRISIS, he argues it’s here, and the world is hopelessly unprepared for the consequences. Well meaning enthusiasm for renewables and high hopes about hydrogen will be seen for what they are when the wells stop pumping. It’s a crisis of truly historic proportions. This is the book by the man who has the deep oil industry experience to properly unravel the issues, to illuminate for us the chamber of horrors into which we’ve just stumbled. To find out where you really are, read this book.
In two earlier books, Hubbert’s Peak (2001) and Beyond Oil (2005), the geologist Kenneth S. Deffeyes laid out his rationale for concluding that world oil production would continue to follow a bell-shaped curve, with the smoothed-out peak somewhere in the middle of the first decade of this millennium–in keeping with the projections of his former colleague, the pioneering petroleum geologist M. King Hubbert.
Deffeyes sees no reason to deviate from that prediction, despite the ensuing global recession and the extreme volatility in oil prices associated with it. In his view, the continued depletion of existing oil fields, compounded by shortsighted cutbacks in many exploration-and-development projects, virtually assures that the mid-decade peak in global oil production will never be surpassed.
In When Oil Peaked, he revisits his original forecasts, examines the arguments that were made both for and against them, adds some new supporting material to his overall case, and applies the same mode of analysis to a number of other finite gifts from the Earth: mineral resources that may be also in shorter supply than “flat-Earth” prognosticators would have us believe.