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‘Peak Oil Theory’ Demands Energy Alternatives
(audio and text)
John Burnett, Weekend Edition, National Public Radio
Plummeting gasoline and diesel prices have given consumers relief at the pump. But oil pessimists believe the current slump in demand will pass. And when it does, the world will be in the same fix it was before the global recession. The era of easy oil is behind us. According to those who believe in what’s called “peak oil theory,” world oil production has already peaked, or flattened, and in the foreseeable future, the declining resource will inevitably change the way we live.

Brainstorming How To Stop Using Oil

A group in Austin, Texas, meets once a month to prepare for the end of oil. They call themselves Crude Awakening.

“When gas prices peaked here about six months ago, we had the largest meeting in July. We had about 25 people show up,” said Brian McNerney, a 46-year-old retired Army lieutenant colonel.

On a recent night, about a dozen people showed up. What this group does — and dozens like it around the United States and the globe do — is trade lifestyle tips on how to kick oil addiction.
(13 December 2008)
NPR does peak oil – I’d never thought I’d see the day. Fairly good job too. -BA

Simmons and Hirch at Energy Roundable
Jim Puplava, Financial Sense Newshour
Chairman, Simmons & Company International
Author, Twilight in the Desert

Senior Energy Advisor at MISI and consultant in energy, technology and management
(13 December 2008)
EB reader Rick Munroewrites:

This conversation between Matt Simmons and Robert Hirsch contains information which needs to be considered with some urgency.

The key messages are these:

    The IEA is finally on board, and last month’s World Energy Outlook (esp. chapters 10-13) cannot be ignored or dismissed. Simmons says he is “so proud” of Birol and his team (minute 28).

  • The WEO warns that even with timely investment, we appear headed for an oil supply crunch. However, the current recession is resulting in plummeting investment, not the necessary surge.
  • There has been much focus on demand destruction and falling oil prices, but the untold story is the much greater destruction of future supply (min. 12). (The information that I’ve seen indicates a drop in consumption of about 1 mbd, with global consumption still around 85 mbd. But the price has dropped to one-third of the July high, so the consumption drop is in no way commensurate with the price drop.)
  • Despite the recent lull in prices & public concern, the situation has therefore become much more serious: “We have a fire in the theatre” (min. 22). Mexico’s decline is terrifying; it may be done as an exporter in a year’s time (min. 35), with implications for Mexican stability and US import supply.
    Simmons thinks that we will be lucky to produce 60 mbd of crude in 5 years time (min. 43).

  • Both he and Hirsch indicated that not only is there “no quick fix”, there may be no effective fix at all (min. 16). Market forces cannot solve this; we need government leadership (min. 42).

In short, their discussion with host Jim Puplava (who also deserves credit for his ongoing efforts in advancing these issues) is very concerning. All three are well-informed, credible & caring individuals.
Their tone of urgency is unmistakable, their call for immediate government action & public education is loud & clear.

UPDATE: Reader Bob B writes:
The link to the Matt Simmons/Robert roundtable needs to drill down one layer to

There are icons for various formats on the page you list but they are not active, at leas not for me.

Matt Simmons talk: The Three Energy Amigos
Matthew Simmons talked about the effects of the energy crisis in North America. He said that the shared investments of the U.S., Mexico, and Canada are essential to the discovery and implementation of alternative fuel. Through collaborative funding and research, these countries could become the world’s foremost alternative energy leaders.

Matthew Simmons is an adviser to the Oil Depletion Analysis Centre. He is a member of the National Petroleum Council and the Council on Foreign Relations.

“The Three Energy Amigos: Mexico, Canada, and the US” was a program of the World Affairs Council of Houston, held at the Hyatt Regency.
(4 December 2008)