Minnesotans For Sustainability©
Sustainable Society: A society that balances the environment, other life forms, and human interactions over an indefinite time period.
International Peak Oil/Gas Meetup*
Every 2nd Wednesday of the month at 7:00 PM.
Join us in a discussion on the coming peak in oil production, the consequences and the actions that can be taken.
Currently, there are 223 Oil Awareness Meetup groups in 220 cities in 23 countries. For a location near you go to < http://oilawareness.meetup.com/ >. Key in your zipcode to locate a Meetup group in your area.
The Minneapolis PeakOil Meetup group meets Wednesday's:
All oil production follows a bell curve, whether in an individual field or on the planet as a whole. On the upslope of the curve production costs are significantly lower than on the down slope when extra effort (expense) is required to extract oil from reservoirs that are emptying out.
Put simply: oil is plentiful and cheap on the upslope, scarce and expensive on the down slope. The peak of the curve coincides with the point at which the world's endowment of oil has been 50% depleted. “Peak Oil” is the industry term for the top of the curve. Once the peak is passed, oil production begins to go down while cost begins to go up.
In practical and considerably oversimplified terms, this means that if 2000 was the year of Peak Oil, worldwide oil production in the year 2020 will be the same as it was in 1980. However, the world's population in 2020 will be both much larger (approximately twice) and much more industrialized than it was in 1980. Consequently, worldwide demand for oil will outpace worldwide production of oil by a significant margin.
The more demand for oil exceeds production of oil, the higher the price goes. Ultimately, the question is not “When will we run out of oil?” but rather, “When will we run out of cheap oil?”
When will Peak Oil occur?
The most wildly optimistic estimates indicate 2020-2035 will be the year in which worldwide oil production peaks. Generally, these estimates come from government agencies such as the United States Geological Survey, oil companies, or economists who do not grasp the dynamics of resource depletion. Even if the optimists are correct, we will be scraping the bottom of the oil barrel within the lifetimes of most of those who are middle-aged today.
A more realistic estimate is between the years 2004-2010.
Unfortunately, we won't know that we hit the peak until 3-4 years after the fact. Even on the upslope of the curve, oil production varies a bit from year to year. It is possible that worldwide oil production peaked in the year 2000 as production has dipped every year since.
Big deal. If gas prices get high, I'll just carpool or get one of those hybrid cars. Why should I be concerned?
Almost every current human endeavor from transportation, to manufacturing, to electricity to plastics, and especially food and water production is inextricably intertwined with oil and natural gas supplies. Oil based agriculture is primarily responsible for the world's population exploding from 1 billion at the middle of the 19th century to 6.3 billion at the turn of the 21st. As oil production went up, so did food production. As food production went up, so did the population. As the population went up, the demand for food went up, which increased the demand for oil.
Within a few years of Peak Oil occurring, the price of food will skyrocket as the cost of producing, storing, transporting, and packaging it will soar.
For more information read
"Eating Fossil Fuels" by Dale Allen Pfeiffer -
See at < http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/100303_eating_oil.html >.
Minnesotans For Sustainability energy section.
< http://www.museletter.com >.
People working together to raise public awareness about oil
depletion and to prepare for a post fossil-fuel age:
Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas (ASPO) < http://www.peakoil.net/ >.
Search < www.google.com > for "Peak Oil".
Please send mail to
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Minnesotans For Sustainability