Were they crying “Wolf”?
Concerns about “peak oil” have recurred repeatedly since the resource was first developed, but they reached an unprecedented height in 2007 just prior to the global economic recession. Since then public concern has diminished, partly as a result of shale oil production in the United States. Yet, despite these developments and globally rising reserves, oil prices have almost doubled since 2010 and have tripled in a decade. The ‘peak oil’ debate has not gone away – oil remains critically important, adequate substitutes have yet to be found and concerns about depletion persist.
This volume presents the best scientific evidence on why a decline in oil supply may, or may not, be in sight. It considers the production and resources of conventional oil and the potential for developing alternative liquid fuels from tar sands, shales, biomass, coal and gas. It describes how economies might react and adapt to rising oil prices and how the transport sector could be transformed. It provides comprehensive and interdisciplinary perspective on the ‘peak oil’ debate and reflects a range of views. Ultimately, it reminds us that the wolf did eventually appear – and that it would be wise to prepare.
Read the introduction (free)
Video interview with editors Steven Sorrel and Richard Miller