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Oil dependency and Peak Oil

Machinery extracting tar sand in Alberta, CanadaAlmost every aspect of our lives is dependent on oil – not just the obvious things like heat and transport, but production of our food, clothes, plastics, manufacture of pretty much everything we use. Many campaigners have compared modern society’s dependency on oil to an addiction – we deny it’s a problem and it is so entrenched in our lives we find it hard to imagine life without it. Climate change has begun to make us face up to the problem.

But there’s another issue which is impacting our access to oil. Discovery of new oil reserves peaked some time ago, and some people predict that oil production will peak in the next decade. We are already having to tap into reserves which are harder (and more expensive) to access, like the tar sands of Alberta, Canada. That means that the cost of oil is likely increase dramatically over the next decade. At the same time as availability of the resource is decreasing, the world’s thirst for oil is increasing. Here are some links which explore this issue further:

Depletion Scotland

Depletion Scotland is a group of individuals based in Scotland, who are concerned that global oil production is going to peak then decline (“Peak Oil”) between now and 2015. They carry out various activities to promote discussion of Peak Oil such as writing reports/ media articles, presentations to interested groups etc. Their website has a handy introduction to Peak Oil.

The Oil Drum: Europe

Contains a page on Grangemouth, oil and uk energy.

Power Switch

Dedicated to raising awareness and discussion of the impending and permanent decline of cheap oil and gas supply

Transition Culture

A focus on a community-based approach to Peak Oil and climate change.

Richard Heinberg

Richard Heinberg is the author of eight books including The Party’s Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies (New Society, 2003, 2005), Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World (New Society, 2004), The Oil Depletion Protocol (New Society, 2006), and Peak Everything (New Society, 2007). His site is a handy starting point for research about Peak Oil

Energy Bulletin

Peak energy in the news.

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