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February 2015

After the Peak – Richard Heinberg

By | letters and essays (Educational Comments only) | No Comments

Richard Heinberg always writes with impeccable calm and care.  I feel it is always a pleasure to read his words, which are incidentally, right on.  We are at the peak of oil extraction and consumerism.  We need to return to a simpler ethic in my opinion. – Ray http://www.postcarbon.org/after-peak/ After the Peak Richard Heinberg January 31, 2015 Nearly 17 years ago the modern peak oil movement began with the publication of “The End of Cheap Oil” by petroleum geologists Colin Campbell and Jean Laherrère in the March, 1998 issue of Scientific American. Campbell coined the term “peak oil” to describe the inevitable moment when the world petroleum industry would produce oil at its historic maximum rate. From then on, production would decline as the overall quality of available resources deteriorated, and as increasing investments produced diminishing returns. Unless society had dramatically and proactively reduced its reliance on oil, the result would be a series of economic shocks that would devastate industrial societies. Campbell estimated that global conventional oil production would reach its maximum rate sometime before the year 2010. In later publications, Laherrère added that the peak in conventional oil would cause prices to rise, creating the incentive to develop more unconventional petroleum resources. The result would be a delayed peak for “all liquid fuels,” which he estimated would occur around the year 2015. Today we may be very nearly at that latter peak. Slightly ahead of forecast, conventional oil production started drifting lower in 2005, resulting in several years of…

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