There’s a strong possibility that if you stop by to read what I write here you are already familiar with the concept of peak oil. Regardless of whether or not that is true of you, I would strongly suggest taking a peak at what will inevitably be a milestone in history. The U.S. Government Accountability Office has released an official report that acknowledges peak oil (If only they had released it earlier on the 15th of March). I am linking to a copy from
The guts of the report are a bit wishy-washy. You can get an overview of the report from Energy Bulletin here. It says we might not peak until 2040. In fact it includes studies that say we won’t peak after 2100 which is like saying Hank Aaron might hit another major league baseball home run. It is very remotely possible, but it ain’t very likely at all. Stuart Staniford from the oil drum sums up my thoughts,
I don't endorse exactly where the center of gravity of the report is (My reading of the evidence is that we are more-or-less at peak already, but I also think adaptation is not going to be as hard as some people think). But despite that, just the legitimization of the debate is a big deal.
So it’s important to recognize why this report is so important and why it really isn’t. It is important because big, lumbering government is about to enter into the discussion of peak oil. While it could take decisive action- even effect real change- in all likelihood it will fumble around and postpone its own action in response to this problem the same way it does with most other problems. So it is important not to get our hopes up that now, with official recognition of the problem (please read in a sarcastic voice) the
But we must also be aware of our government’s past history of co-opting fear for its benefit. Beware the tales of terror we might be told in order to enforce foolish, draconian laws in order to save us from the peak (read protect the profits of big oil, big auto and big banking from the peak). We must remember that real social change happens from the bottom up not the top down. Look to your local community, not the federal government, to make changes that might affect your life. And don’t buy into big government fear.
How best then might we use this groundbreaking piece of peak oil legitimization? As propaganda of course. You know that mother-in-law who thinks you’re crazy, “With all your crazy talk of peak oil and the end of the world?” Here’s an official
Now, safely inoculate against the possibility of fear induced by our government and armed with the representation of an official
Oh and enjoi this video of Matt Simmons responding to the report. Thanks to Michael for helping me to learn how.