Peak Oil Life After the Oil Crash
Introduction 1. Is civilization coming to an end? This is the scientific conclusion drawn by highly recognized, rational and conservative international professionals terrified by a phenomenon known as global peak oil. 2. What is peak oil? It is a point of time when the maximum rate of global petroleum production is reached. This point coincides with the time when 50% of global oil reserves has been depleted.
How much oil is left in the world today? 2 trillion barrels is the figure cited by oil geologists. • What is the current consumption? Presently total daily world consumption of oil stands at about 77 million barrels a day. For every 4 barrels of oil that the world consumes there is only 1 barrel that is discovered.
"What does all of this mean for me?" • Petroleum and petrochemicals are key components to all forms of modern technology. a) Transportation: Ships and planes fueled by petroleum distribute food worldwide. Increased oil prices would result in the food we eat being much more expensive than it is today. Poorer countries would suffer from a severe shortage of food resulting in violent hunger,starvation and death. b) Farming implements: Tractors and lorries are constructed and powered using oil-derived fuels such as diesel. Rising oil prices would result in fewer crops grown.
c) Pesticides and agro-chemicals: these are made from petroleum based products. Lack of oil means higher priced pesticides. Because of this farmers may stop using pesticides resulting in more frequent cases of diseased vegetables and fruits. d) Food storage systems: refrigerators are manufactured in oil powered plants. If they are too costly to produce, food must be consumed much quicker than before. Long term storage would be impossible. e) Medicine and medical supplies: these are highly dependent on hydrocarbon fuels especially oil and natural gas. Prices of all medical drugs and supplies would go up if the price of oil increases due to world oil shortages.
f) Water distribution would be adversely affected because water pumps are powered by oil and petroleum derived chemicals. g) National defence would be rendered ineffective in the absence of oil and petroleum derived chemicals. Without fuel to power jet fighters and tanks, the army would not be able to effectively defend the nation. h) Electricity: In many countries power plants use diesel to activate their turbines. The more expensive oil becomes the more we would have to pay for electricity. If oil is finished would we have to live in darkness for the rest of our lives?
Other possible consequences: • Worldwide unemployment as millions lose their jobs when oil dependent economies crumble . • The world would face a generations-long economic depression. iii) Energy wars would flare among nations.
Points to Ponder • Only a few days ago, the price of a barrel of oil reached USD$111. • Ten years ago (1998), the price of oil was USD$11 per barrel. • Long term forecasts put it above $250per barrel in the near future. • The price of petroleum in Malaysia is reduced because of government subsidies. But for how long?
Time to Invest in an Alternative Energy Source? With demand for oil continuing to rise and supply dwindling the upward trend of petroleum price is not expected to change. It will only go higher when demand continues to exceed supply. If world governments do find an alternative source of energy that is easily renewable, the entire world civilization could find themselves living a primitive life of some 200 years ago.