Think back to the oil shocks of 1973 and 1979.
That’s when Hirsch estimates the world will reach peak oil production. After that, supplies will decline.
It’s going to be chaos, the story described. And this time the recession will be much longer and tougher to turn around.
“There will be no quick fixes,” Hirsch said.
Hirsch first rang the warning in a 2005 report he did for the U.S. Department of Energy. He and two other authors have followed up with the “The Impending World Energy Mess,” a book released this month. Read more in this post.
There it is. A rather nondescript phrase that, when plugged into Google, calls up a mountain of angst and controversy.
Peak oil is the apex of production, when new field discoveries and technologies just can’t recover as much oil as we once did. The U.S. passed peak production in the 1970s. Some say we’re passing the global peak now, or about to.
The implications are huge.
Millions of years worth of energy have been stored in a compact and portable form to give us oil. Unleashed a century ago, the black gooeyness had a lot to do with transforming and buoying our modern economy and way of life.
Are there enough energy alternatives to replace black gold? Can we mitigate in time to avoid economic disaster?