Thanks and Disclaimer: This article is taken
After The Oil Crash". We are aware that the solutions
of L.A.T.O.C. are more "self-sufficiency"oriented,
rather than with building solidarity and community, which
we believe is crucial to the success of "operation planet",
but for clarity of facts and for showing up attitudes, this
info seems excellent. See original for more source references.
See also the Energy
Bulletin which has the most uptodate, widely-sourced information,
and the Post
Carbon Institute which also looks at creative responses
and has developed the Oil
Depletion Protocol. See also the Interactive
Oil Depletion Atlas.
Civilization as we know it is coming
to an end soon. This is not the wacky proclamation of
a doomsday cult, apocalypse bible prophecy sect, or
conspiracy theory society. Rather, it is the scientific
conclusion of the best paid, most widely-respected scientists,
in the world. These are rational, professional, conservative
individuals who are [deeply shocked] by a phenomenon
known as global "Peak Oil."
Peak Oil is also called "Hubbert's
Peak," named for the Shell geologist Dr. Marion
King Hubbert. In 1956, Hubbert accurately predicted
that US domestic oil production would peak in 1970.
He also predicted global production would peak in 1995,
which it would have done, had the politically created
oil shocks of the 1970s not delayed the peak for about
"Are We 'Running Out'? I Thought There
Was 40 Years of the Stuff Left"
Oil will not just "run out"
because all oil production follows a bell curve. This
is true whether we're talking about an individual field,
a country, or on the planet as a whole. Oil is increasingly
plentiful on the upslope of the bell curve, increasingly
scarce and expensive on the down slope. The peak of
the curve coincides with the point at which the endowment
of oil has been 50 percent depleted. Once the peak is
passed, oil production begins to go down while cost
begins to go up.
In considerably oversimplified terms, this means that
if 2005 was the year of global Peak Oil, worldwide oil
production in the year 2030 should be the same as it
was in 1980. However, the world’s population in
2030 will be both much larger (approximately twice)
and much more industrialized (oil-dependent) than it
was in 1980.
Consequently, worldwide demand for oil will outpace worldwide
production of oil by a significant margin. As a result, the
price will skyrocket, oil dependant economies are liable to
crumble, and resource wars are liable to explode. The issue
is not one of "running out" so much as it is not
having enough to keep our economy running. In this regard,
the ramifications of Peak Oil for our civilization are similar
to the ramifications of dehydration for the human body. The
human body is 70 percent water. Because water is so crucial
to everything the human body does, the average man doesn't
need to lose all his 140 pounds of water weight before collapsing
due to dehydration. A loss of as little as 10-15 pounds of
water may be enough to kill him.
As with dehydration, an oil based economy doesn't need to
deplete its entire reserve of oil before it begins to collapse.
A shortfall between demand and supply of as little as 10 to
15 percent is enough to wholly shatter an oil-dependent economy
and reduce its citizenry to poverty. The effects of even a
small drop in production can be devastating. For instance,
during the 1970s oil shocks, shortfalls in production as small
as 5% caused the price of oil to nearly quadruple.
Those 1970's price shocks were only temporary. But the coming
oil shocks won't be so short lived. They represent the onset
of a new, permanent condition. Once the decline gets under
way, production will drop (conservatively) by 3% per year,
every year. War, terrorism, extreme weather and other "above
ground" geopolitical factors will likely push the effective
decline rate past 10% per year, thus cutting the total supply
by 50% in 7 years. Source
These estimate comes from numerous sources, not least of
which is Vice President Dick Cheney himself... (article expands)
"Big deal. If gas prices get high,
I’ll just drive less. Why should I give a damn?"
Because petrochemicals are key components to much more than
just the gas in your car. As geologist Dale Allen Pfeiffer
points out in his article entitled, "Eating Fossil Fuels,"
approximately 10 calories of fossil fuels are required to
produce every 1 calorie of food eaten in the US. This is because
every step of our food production is fossil fuel and petrochemical
- Pesticides are made from oil;
- Commercial fertilizers are made from ammonia, which is
made from natural gas, which will peak about 10 year after
- With the exception of a few experimental prototypes, all
farming implements such as tractors and trailers are constructed
and powered using oil;
- Food storage systems such as refrigerators are manufactured
in oil-powered plants, distributed across oil-powered transportation
networks and usually run on electricity, which most often
comes from natural gas or coal;
- In the US, the average piece of food is transported almost
1,500 miles before it gets to your plate. In Canada, the
average piece of food is transported 5,000 miles from where
it is produced to where it is consumed.
- According to the Organic Trade Association, the production
of one pair of regular cotton jeans takes three-quarters
of a pound of fertilizers and pesticides.
For more information, see:
the end of oil be the end of the end of food?
will we grow food after Peak Oil?
for natural gas
"Are all forms of modern technology actually petroleum
Yes. It's not just transportation and agriculture that are
entirely dependent on abundant, cheap oil. Modern medicine,
water distribution, and national defense are each entirely
powered by oil and petroleum derived chemicals.
In addition to transportation, food, water, and modern medicine,
mass quantities of oil are required for all plastics, all
computers and all high-tech devices. Some specific examples
may help illustrate the degree to which our technological
base is dependent on fossil fuels:
Automobiles: The construction of an average
car consumes the energy equivalent of approximately 20 barrels
of oil, which equates to 840 gallons, of oil. Ultimately,
the construction of a car will consume an amount of fossil
fuels equivalent to twice the car’s final weight. It's
also worth nothing that the construction of an average car
consumes almost 120,000 gallons of fresh water, which is also
rapidly depleting and happens to be crucial to the petroleum
refining process. Source
Microchips: The production of one gram of
microchips consumes 630 grams of fossil fuels. According to
the American Chemical Society, the construction of single
32 megabyte DRAM chip requires 3.5 pounds of fossil fuels
in addition to 70.5 pounds of water. The Environmental Literacy
Council tells us that due to the "purity and sophistication
of materials (needed for) a microchip, . . . the energy used
in producing nine or ten computers is enough to produce an
Computers:The construction of the average
desktop computer consumes ten times its weight in fossil fuels.
"What about alternative energy systems like solar panels
and wind turbines? Are they also manufactured using petroleum
and petroleum derived resources?"
Yes. When considering the role of oil in the production
of modern technology, remember that most alternative systems
of energy — including solar panels/solar-nanotechnology,
windmills, hydrogen fuel cells, biodiesel production facilities,
nuclear power plants, etc. all rely on sophisticated technology
In fact, all electrical devices make use of silver, copper,
and/or platinum, each of which is discovered, extracted, transported,
and fashioned using oil powered machinery. For instance, in
his book, The Lean Years: Politics of Scarcity, author Richard
J. Barnet writes: "To produce a ton of copper requires
112 million BTU's or the equivalent of 17.8 barrels of oil.
The energy cost component of aluminum is twenty times higher".
Nuclear energy requires uranium, which is also discovered,
extracted, and transported using oil powered machinery.
For more information on metals shortages see:
of aluminum, copper threaten solar installments
supply of rare metals imperils innovation
faces copper shortage
Most of the feedstock (soybeans, corn) for biofuels such
as biodiesel and ethanol are grown using the high-tech, oil-powered
industrial methods of agriculture described above. In short,
the so called "alternatives" to oil are actually
"derivatives" of oil. Without an abundant and reliable
supply of oil, we have no way of scaling these alternatives
to the degree necessary to power the modern world.
Note: alternatives to oil are discussed in depth here
(orig. article page 2)
"Is the modern banking system entirely dependent on cheap
Yes. The global financial system is entirely dependent on
a constantly increasing
supply of oil and natural gas. The relationship between
the supply of oil and natural gas and the workings of the
global financial system is arguably the key issue to understanding
and dealing with Peak Oil. In fact this relationship is far
more important than alternative sources of energy, energy
conservation, or the development of new energy technologies,
all of which are discussed in detail on page
two of the original site.
Dr. Colin Campbell presents an understandable model of this
complex (and often difficult to explain) relationship as follows:
"It is becoming evident that the financial and investment
community begins to accept the reality of Peak Oil, which
ends the first half of the age of oil. They accept that banks
created capital during this epoch by lending more than they
had on deposit, being confident that tomorrow’s expansion,
fuelled by cheap oil-based energy, was adequate collateral
for today’s debt. The decline of oil, the principal
driver of economic growth, undermines the validity of that
collateral which in turn erodes the valuation of most entities
quoted on Stock Exchanges. The investment community however
faces a dilemma. It desires to protect its own fortunes and
those of its privileged clients while at the same time is
reluctant to take action that might itself trigger the meltdown.
It is a closely knit community so that it is hard for one
to move without the others becoming aware of his actions.
The scene is set for the Second Great Depression, but
the conservatism and outdated mindset of institutional investors,
together with the momentum of the massive flows of institutional
money they are required to place, may help to diminish the
sense of panic that a vision of reality might impose. On the
other hand, the very momentum of the flow may cause a greater
deluge when the foundations of the dam finally crumble. It
is a situation withou precedent". Source
In October 2005, the normally conservative London Times acknowledged
that the world's wealth may soon evaporate as we enter a technological
and economic "Dark Age." In an article entitled
"Waiting for the Lights to Go Out" Times columnist
Bryan Appleyard reported:
"Oil is running out; the climate is changing at
a potentially catastrophic rate; wars over scarce resources
are brewing; finally, most shocking of all, we don't seem
to be having enough ideas about how to fix any of these things.Almost
daily, new evidence is emerging that progress can no longer
be taken for granted, that a new Dark Age is lying in wait
for ourselves and our children . . . growth may be coming
to an end. Since our entire financial order from interest
rates, pension funds, insurance, to stock markets is predicated
on growth, the social and economic consequences may be cataclysmic".
In May 2007 the London Times published excerpts from a study
about the future of Britain's electrical grid. According to
the study, fears of a catastrophic energy crisis occuring
within the next 10 years can no longer be dismissed as "apocalyptic
fantasies", emphasis added:
"Across Britain, cities are plunged into darkness.
In London, the Underground grinds to a halt, leaving panicked
commuters stranded in oppressively hot carriages. In office
blocks, lifts stop operating and the air-conditioning shuts
down. Employees swelter in stifling conditions. This
is not the postapocalyptic vision of some film-maker, but
a realistic scenario as Britain grapples with a looming energy
crisis. The statistics are frightening. In only eight
years, demand for energy could outstrip supply by 23% at peak
times, according to a study by the consultant Logica CMG.
The loss to the economy could be £108 billion each year".
"What does all of this mean for me?"
Journalist Jonathan Gatehouse summarized the conclusions
of Oxford trained geologist Jeremy Leggett, author of The
Empty Tank: Oil, Gas, Hot Air, and the Coming Financial Catastrophe,
in a 2006 Macleans article as follows, emphasis added:
"... ... when the truth can no longer be obscured,
the price will spike, the economy nosedive, and the underpinnings
of our civilization will start tumbling like dominos. The
price of houses will collapse. Stock markets will crash. Within
a short period, human wealth -- little more than a pile of
paper at the best of times, even with the confidence about
the future high among traders -- will shrivel. There
will be emergency summits, diplomatic initiatives, urgent
exploration efforts, but the turmoil will not subside. Thousands
of companies will go bankrupt, and millions will be unemployed.
Once affluent cities with street cafés will
have queues at soup kitchens and armies of beggars. The crime
rate will soar. The earth has always been a dangerous place,
but now it will become a tinderbox.
By 2010, predicts Leggett, democracy will be on the run.
. . . economic hardship will bring out the worst in people.
Fascists will rise, feeding on the anger of the newly
poor and whipping up support. These new rulers will find the
tools of repression -- emergency laws, prison camps, a relaxed
attitude toward torture -- already in place, courtesy of the
war on terror. And if that scenario isn't nightmarish
enough, Leggett predicts that "Big Oversight Number One"
-- climate change -- will be simultaneously making its presence
felt "with a vengeance." On the heels of their rapid
financial ruin, people "will now watch aghast as their
food and water supplies dwindle in the face of a climate seemingly
going awry." Prolonged droughts will spread, decimating
In other words, if you are focusing solely on the price at
the pump, buying a hybrid car, or getting some of those energy
efficient light bulbs, you aren’t seeing the bigger
For more information, see:
Oil: The biggest event of the century is now upon us
most important thing you don't know about "Peak Oil"
energy crisis is rapidly developing
"Is the Bush administration aware of
Of course they are.... One of George W. Bush's energy advisors,
energy investment banker Matthew Simmons, has spoken at length
about the impending crisis. For instance, in an August 2003
interview Simmons was asked if it was time for Peak Oil to
become part of the public policy debate. He responded: "It
is past time. As I have said, the experts and politicians
have no Plan B to fall back on. If energy peaks, particularly
while 5 of the world’s 6.5 billion people have little
or no use of modern energy, it will be a tremendous jolt to
our economic well-being and to our health — greater
than anyone could ever imagine".
When asked if there is a solution to the impending natural
gas crisis, Simmons responded: "I don’t think
there is one. The solution is to pray. Under the best of circumstances,
if all prayers are answered there will be no crisis for maybe
two years. After that it’s a certainty".
In May 2004, Simmons explained that in order for demand to
be appropriately controlled, the price of oil would have to
reach $182 per barrel. Simmons explained that with oil prices
at $182 per barrel, gas prices would likely rise to $7.00
per gallon. If you want to ponder just how devastating oil
prices in the $200/barrel range will be for the US economy,
consider the fact that one of Osama Bin-Laden's primary goals
has been to force oil prices into the $200 range. Oil prices
that far north of $100/barrel would almost certainly trigger
massive, last-ditch global resource wars as the industrialized
nations of the world scramble to grab whatever oil is remaining.
This may explain why the director of the Selective Service
recently recommended the military draft be expanded to include
both genders, ages 18-to-35.
As one commentator recently observed, the reason our leaders
are acting like desperados is because we have a desperate
situation on our hands. If you've been wondering why the Bush
administration has been spending money, cutting social programs,
and starting wars like there's no tomorrow, now you have your
answer: as far as they are concerned, there is no tomorrow.
For what it's worth, Bush's Crawford ranch is completely off-the-grid
and equipped with the latest in energy saving and renewable
power systems. It has been described as an "environmentalist's
dream home." The fact a man as steeped in the petroleum
industry as Bush would own such a home should tell you something.
On a similar note, Dick Cheney's personal investments indicate
he (or more accurately, whoever handles his money) is expecting
"How do I know this isn't just fear
mongering by loony-environmentalists and 'the end is nigh'
If you think what you are reading on this page is the product
of a loony-left nut, consider what Representative Roscoe Bartlett
(Republican, Maryland) has had to say in speeches
to Congress. On March 14, 2005 Bartlett gave an extremely
thorough presentation to Congress about the frightening ramifications
of Peak Oil. During his presentation Representative Bartlett,
who may be the most
conservative member of Congress, quoted from this site
extensively, citing the author (Matt Savinar) by name on numerous
occasions, while employing several analogies and examples
originally published on this site. You can view a video of
Bartlett recommending the article you are now reading to Resources
for the Future, an extremely influential DC think tank,
by clicking here.
On April 19, 2005 Representative Bartlett was interviewed
on national television. Again, he referenced the article you
are now reading: "One of the writers on this starts
his article by saying, 'Dear Reader, Civilization as we know
it will end soon.' Now your first impulse is to put down the
article. This guy's a nut. But if you don't put it down and
read through the article, you're hard-pressed to argue with
his conclusions." On May 12, 2005 Representative
Bartlett gave another presentation about Peak Oil on the floor
of the House of Representatives, stating that this website
"Are Western governments preparing for
the effects of this?"
Yes. In January 2006, the Department of Homeland Security
gave Halliiburton subsidiary Kellog, Brown, & Root a $400
million dollar contract to build vast new domestic detention
camps within the United States. The camps are ostensibly being
built to house and process an "emergency influx of immigrants",
which is exactly what the U.S. will be facing between 2008
and 2012 as Mexico's oil production collapses.
In June 2007, the UK Register reported that the Pentagon
has been running "war games on the grandest scale"
to simulate how billions of people will react to food and
fuel shortages, including shortages on the US homeland: ".
. . the US Department of Defense may already be creating a
copy of you in an alternate reality to see how long you can
go without food or water, or how you will respond to televised
The British government appears to be making similar preparations
behind the scenes. According to a British military report
leaked to the press in April 2007, the British government
is preparing to control middle class citizen "flash mobs"
as the economy collapses under the combined pressures of resource
shortages and climate change... Source
"How is the oil industry reacting to
If you want to know the truth about the future of oil, simply
look at the actions of the oil industry... In addition to
lowering their investments in oil exploration and refinery
expansion, oil companies have been merging:
December 1998: BP and Amoco merge;
April 1999: BP-Amoco and Arco agree to merge;
December 1999: Exxon and Mobil merge;
October 2000: Chevron and Texaco agree to merge;
November 2001: Phillips and Conoco agree to merge;
September 2002: Shell acquires Penzoil-Quaker State;
February 2003: Frontier Oil and Holly agree to merge;
March 2004: Marathon acquires 40% of Ashland;
April 2004: Westport Resources acquires Kerr-McGee;
July 2004: Analysts suggest BP and Shell merge;
April 2005: Chevron-Texaco and Unocal merge;
June 2005: Royal Dutch and Shell merge;
July 2005: China begins trying to acquire Unocal
June 2006: Andarko proposes buying Kerr McGee
July 2007: BP-Shell "Mega Merger" rumored
While many people believe talk of a global oil shortage is
simply a conspiracy by "Big Oil" to drive up the
prices and create "artificial scarcity," the rash
of mergers listed above tells a different story. Mergers and
acquisitions are the corporate world's version of cannibalism.
When any industry begins to contract/collapse, the larger
and more powerful companies will cannibalize/seize the assets
of the smaller, weaker companies. The Big Oil companies have
also been (quitely) buying back their own stock at an alarming
"How do I know Peak Oil isn't Big Oil
propaganda that is being used to create artificial scarcity
& justify gouging us at the pump?"
...If "Peak Oil is a myth propagated by the greedy
oil companies to justify high prices", why didn't any
of the greedy oil company CEOs offer "the peaking of
world oil production" as a partial justification for
high gas prices when they testified before Congress about
high gas prices? Yet "Peak Oil" was never mentioned
during the hearings by either the executives or the Senators
questioning them. Given the obvious importance of the issue,
any reasonable person can't help but to ask, "Why the
heck not?" The answer is simple: the true consequences
of Peak Oil cannot be acknowledged in such a highly public
forum without crashing the financial markets or begging the
obvious yet politically-dangerous and "patriotically-incorrect"
question: "Is the war in Iraq really a war for the
world's last remaining significant sized deposits of oil?"
... ... ...
If Peak Oil was just "Big Oil" propaganda ask yourself:A.
Why is Exxon Mobil spending millions of dollars to convince
people there is no such thing as Peak Oil? See Exxon's anti-Peak-Oil
advertising campaign. B. Why is its CEO, Rex Tillerson,
going on MSNBC and denying Peak Oil? C. Why is Shell doing
The answers to these questions are simple if you understand
how publicly traded oil companies work. An oil company's share
value is dictated first and foremost not by the price of oil
but by how much oil that company reports having in reserve.
A company can't admit its reserves are peaking or it risks
seeing its share price drop relative to other companies who
report more abundant reserves. Big Oil companies are thus
motivated to over - not under - report how much oil they have
For more information, read the full original article page
and "alternatives to oil" on page 2 here