Commiting oil suicide illustraiton
Is America committing oil suicide? Sadly, it would appear so and even more telling, much of the rest of the world envies our energy profligate ways. Image adapted from the cover of Richard Heinberg's "The Party Is Over", with apologies to General Motors, but guys, you really need to get beyond the 60's. Cheap oil is history and so will you if you're not careful.

The Oil Depletion Protocol

Proceedings from the Sustainable Energy Forum, Washington, D.C. May 7-9, 2006

By EV World

Richard Heinberg is the personification of post-petroleum man. He is small of stature and lean of frame. His smile is disarming, but the intensity in his gaze tells you he's deadly serious about the business of peak oil, and he clearly isn't convinced that modern society will outlive the end of the age of oil.

That doesn't prevent him from hoping that we'll listen and act before we reach the point of no return. Toward that end, he's about to publish his third book on the subject of the oil depletion protocol first proposed by Dr. Colin Campbell at the 2003 Pio Manzu Conference in Europe.

Speaking on the last day of the Sustainable Energy Forum in Washington, D.C., Heinberg carefully walked through the key elements of the protocol and addressed the major objections. Essentially, the protocol calls on producing nations to not over-produce beyond their national rate of oil depletion and for consuming nations to gradually reduce their oil consumption at a rate equal to that of global oil depletion, using a combination of greater conservation, more efficient technology and alternative forms of energy.

He admits that initially he didn't take Campbell's proposal all that seriously until he spent a day with the former petroleum geologist at his home in Ireland last year.

"He carefully explained the protocol itself, why it is needed and how it was, in fact, very practical I realized that this was an immensely valuable potential tool, but unfortunately hadn't been explained all that well in literature up to that time."

Heinberg, like many at the conference, no longer believe that peak oil -- the point at which world demand for oil exceeds industry's ability to supply it as oil reservoirs begin going into decline -- is some distant future event, but may already be happening.

"We have probably entered the peaking period already and over the next few months or few years we will see global oil production begin clearly to go into decline. That means we have very little time in which to adapt."


Campbell's oil depletion protocol is one of those tools or as Roger Bezdek, another conference speaker that we'll feature here on EV World, labels them, "wedges.". The trouble is, those wedges take time to implement and the longer we dally and deny, the less effective those wedges will become.

"We need ten to twenty years at a minimum working at a crash program scale and intensity. It's unlikely that we have ten to twenty years," he states in this 37-minute long MP3 audio program, which we are making available to all EV World visitors, as well as through Apple's iTune service. To listen to the address, use either of the two MP3 players available on this page or download the file to your computer hard drive for later playback on your favorite MP3 device.

EV World expresses its gratitude and appreciation to the Sustainable Energy Forum and its many sponsors who helped bring together many of the leading lights on the subject of peak oil. In the future you'll also hear from the following individuals. If you wish to be notified when these presentations will be published, be sure to sign up for our free weekly newsletter.

  • Roger Bezdek

  • Bill McKibben

  • Roscoe Barlett

  • Kenneth Deffeyes

  • Michael Klare

  • William Catton

  • James Hansen

  • Lester Brown

  • Robert Costanza

  • Brian Schweitzer
  • Joseph Tainter

  • Mona Sahlin

  • Cutlver Cleveland

  • Daniel Lashof

  • Charles Hall

  • David Pimentel

  • David Blittersdorf

  • Claudio Filippone

  • Herman Daily

  • Pat Murphy
  • EVWORLD Future In Motion Podcast

    Download MP3 File

    Times Article Viewed: 7464
    Published: 12-May-2006


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