PHOTO CAPTION: Guardian contributor Dr. Nafeez Ahmed

Zombie 'Peak Oil' Is Still Going to Kill the Economy

Director of Institute for Policy Research & Development Dr. Nafeez Ahmed warns the hype around the 'death of peak oil' is premature.

Published: 24-Jul-2013

Last Monday's BBC News at Ten broadcast a report by science editor David Shukman arguing that concerns "about oil supplies running dry are receding." Shukman interviewed a range of industry experts talking up the idea that a "peak" in oil production has been "moved to the backburner" - but he obfuscated compelling evidence in his own report contradicting this view.

"There's still plenty of oil - we just haven't got all of it out of the ground yet. There's not a real danger of there being no fossil fuel," one oil company executive told the BBC. "There's enough oil in this country for another 100 years with our present technology and there's more around the world to be found yet."

Following a chorus of industry hype on the wonders of shale gas and fracking, Shukman finally referred in passing to a new scientific paper published by Eos, Transactions - the newsletter of the American Geophysical Union - saying that the paper "supports the assertion that a peak in oil production is 'a myth' but argues that the rising cost of extraction could itself provide a limit, and may act as a brake on economic growth." He then closed his report with the following quote from a leading industry figure: "The era of cheap oil is over, but we're a long way from peak oil - costs will go up but the technology will respond."


Richard Heinberg is a senior fellow with the Post Carbon Institute and author of 11 books.

Except from Richard Heinberg's new book, 'Snake Oil: How Fracking’s False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future.'

Industry sectors vulnerability to peak oil threat.

It would be a huge mistake to assume the shale oil and gas boom have solved America's energy problems, say authors of University of Maryland Peak Oil study.


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