Peak Oil

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The History

In the mid 40's U.S. was the largest oil producer in the world. King Hubbert was a geologist working for Shell Oil and his job was to keep track of the performance of oil wells over time. He noticed that each oil well followed a bell curve. Which meant that the output of the well would sharply increase till approximately half the oil in that well was extracted and then it would fall in steep perpetual decline.

This applied for one well as much a group of wells in a region and as a result the gross output of a region also followed the bell curve.

The Present

About 72% of the oil producing countries are in decline to various degrees.

The larger picture facing the industrial world is that of Energy Descent. The world has gotten used to relying on an extreme surplus of stored solar energy in the form of fossil fuels. This amounts to over 300 million years of accumulated solar energy. We have burnt about half of it in just 150 years. This is the insane level of deficit that the industrial world is running on. It standards to reason that the only way after reaching the peak is a decline in the kind of energy that we are used to consuming. This is the hard part for most people to grasp.

The difficulty is that to understand this well one has to have an understanding of the laws of energy. This branch of physics is called Thermodynamics. This may sound a daunting word but the core principles can and must be understood by all if we are to truly grasp the predicament facing us.

One of the main efforts of this Wiki should be to create a simple base of knowledge that allows a lay person to grasp these energy principles and therefore the reality of Peak Oil and its implications on the modern industrial world and our form of growth-based economics.

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Topic revision: r15 - 24 May 2017 - 16:57:24 - EditaStewart
 

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