Heading Out

Seeking the winds that help to sail on Shakespeare's tide.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Hubbert's Peak, and I are peaked

Jimbo asked what Hubbert's Peak is, so I hope you forgive the quick diatribe. King Hubbert (his name, not a title) was a petroleum geologist who realized that oil is a finite resource and thus developed a model to predict how long an oilfield would last. He gained lasting fame by predicting 15 years ahead of the time the year that US production would peak (that was 1970). He also predicted when world oil production would peak, and that would be right around now. (He actually predicted around 2000).

A retired Princeton faculty member called Deffeyes has written a couple of books, one of which came out yesterday, in which he simplifies the math and makes the odd correction. He concludes that the peak will likely hit around Thanksgiving of this year. Deffeyes points out that if the major oil companies thought oil production would continue to grow they would still be building more large oil tankers - they aren't. They would be building new oil refineries to meet the burgeoning demand - they aren't. etc.

Unfortunately today was one of those days where although we got 1 proposal through the door, one waiting for info and ready to send, one sent in draft form, and a presentation made to students on the wonders of the course I plan on teaching next semester, it left me so befuddled that I left my bag with book and laptop at work, so I can't quote the new book more extensively. He writes well though and while I think his first book was better, this is quite informative.

My apologies to Jimbo but with the lack of that computer I am also constrained tonight against being able to effectively link - otherwise I would link him, the Hubbert's Peak site and the book. Now that I know how to add a roll, I might add some sites to keep folk up to date on how dreadful it is going to be. Actually a lot of what is written is hyped out of all proportion, but my confidence in our national press on this issue, as you may have noted, is waning fast.


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