Apparently, We're Out of Oil

Ah, gloom and doom with a dash of wacky science thrown in. What’s not to love?:smiley:

[Arthur Dent]So this is it. We’re going to die.[/AD]

Aw, dammit, now I’m all worried and stuff and I’ll never be able to sleep tonight.

::::Runs around like a chicken with it’s head cut off::::

Well, that’s it. I’m not gonna get up and go to work tomorrow. I mean, what’s the point?

I don’t know about the science in that article, but this topic keeps popping up. I think it’s something to worry about. At the national level, it doesn’t seem as if there are any plans for when this happens, because the argument isn’t if this is going to happen, it’s when it will happen.

Reaching peak oil production is not the same as running out. It has all the dire consequences, only sooner. The most conservative estimate I have seen has the world production peaking in the mid-2030’s to 40’s, with the most alaming estimate being about 3 years from now. I would hardly call the wacky science, but rather straightforward analysis of estimated remaining reserves, exponential growth of consumption, and the law of diminishing returns as applied to oil and gas exploration . Ask: what is the average size of a “big” new oil find, versus the same question asked 60 years ago.

Yes, well he’s projecting next year.

Call me cynical, but I’ve got a Popular Mechanics from the 1950s around here which said that the world would run out of oil in the 1990s. Not hit peak production, but completely and utterly run out. So you’ll forgive me if I cry “Chicken Little” at someone who says we’re all screwed because we’re about to hit peak production. There’s still untapped oil in the US, pumping capacity at most oil sites could be increased with the addition of more equipment, and one of the reasons why refineries are shutting down is because they’d rather not shell out the money to come into compliance with new EPA rules.

As the price of oil increases, sources of oil which have been known about, but have been considered not cost effective to drill for, will suddenly look like a good idea. The fuel economy of vehicles are increasing, alternative fuels are being researched and there’s supposedly been a breakthrough in the costs of producing synthetic oils.

Oh, that is just rich.

I just finished with the Secret Santa exchange of names. And now no one will be able to share the love?

Who do I write to to complain?

One cannot help but feel that it would have been somehow … smarter … if we’d gotten right on that oil thing, oh, I dunno … in the seventies, when it first came up …? But no, people kept saying it didn’t matter, we’ll never run out, alternative energy sources that are cheaper and renewable which will appear like magic right when we need them …

y’know, there’s gotta be some kinda name for someone who’s the opposite of Chicken Little … who won’t admit the sky is falling even while he’s trying to pull his leg out from under a chunk of it … other than "idiot …

I’m not saying we should have all converted to hydrogen years ago, but a consistently-run program of research designed to smooth the transition instead of the ideologically-driven hodgepodge we’ve had would make a HELL of a lot of sense.

… I have long suspected it’s an unspoken policy of the US government to stay on an oil based economy for as long as possible for strategic and economic reasons. We’re the number one consumers in the world, our up and coming rivals in the east are never going to GET to use the amounts of cheap oil we burned to leapfrog into superpowerdom… we will have burned it all. The alternatives are more costly (for transistion) and required much more advanced technology, both of which we can arguably afford. Heck, we might even become the new middle east for alternative energy exports and technology. But while there’s oil in the ground it behooves us to burn it first, and do it fast because if we jump the gun and go off oil while it’s still vaguely affordable there just might be enough left for a few other countries to buy time to catch up with us.

Well, we still have plenty of Coal and Uranium.

Steam Power, Synthetic Gasoline and Fission uber alles! :smiley:

I suspect rather that there’s not enough financial incentive to convert the society to other forms of energy when you still have the vast bulk of the country simply shifting a very small percentage of its income simply from the “movie popcorn” column to the “gasoline” column.

I do wonder if there will be a time in my lifetime when people will have to move closer to work and leave their old churches and communities so that they can afford to drive or be able to use bicycles or scooters. I personally won’t whine about the death of the Escalade. What an immense waste of money.

We’re also heavily dependent on petrochemicals for manufacturing, though-- and neither coal nor uranium are particularly useful materials in that respect.

It’s insane to be going great guns burning oil for fuel the way we have been. It’s far too valuable a commodity for that.

This is the best news I’ve heard in months!

::wanders off mumbling “Now where the hell did I leave those hollow points? Bastards should have known I could wait till the end of time to exact my revenge!”::

Whaddyall worrying about? If I read that right, it means we’re producing more oil than we ever have before!!

Quick, run outside and crank up the SUV. Oh, and leave the garage light on, too. Otherwise we’re never gonna be able to burn all this damn oil!

About 30 years ago there was a letter published in the press from a boy that I think was 10 years old. He asked why Australia was extracting all its oil from Bass Strait and letting the oil companies charge the same as OPEC. He suggested that if it is no cheaper we should leave it until we can’t buy oil elsewhere. What a genius.

Oh, I quite agree that this country needs a sensable energy policy, but if you read the page I linked to in the OP, you’ll see that the guy makes the claim that no matter what we try to do, we’re boned. It’s impossible for us to convert to fuel cells since there’s not enough palladium in the world (uh, dude, I’d be willing to bet that there’s other ways we could make 'em than just using palladium, and even if not, I’d lay real money down that there’s at least one asteroid we could mine for the stuff), solar’s totally unworkable, as is wind and geothermal (I didn’t see any mention of nuclear, however, might have missed that, though). He states explicitly, that it’s impossible for us to “invent our way out of this.” :rolleyes:

I’m sorry, but it’s entirely possible for us to “invent our way out of this.” Admittedly the government needs to get serious about the matter, but screaming that we’re all going to die no matter what we do, isn’t helping things.

Now are they talking about motor oil or that stuff that you use to fix squeaky hinges? If it is that stuff you use to fix squeaky hinges, I am going to run out and buy some right now because I have two that are driving me crazy. If it is motor oil, I don’t have anything to worry about because I just had mine changed.

Alarmists. Remember the big “Y2K–there’s no way we’re going to able to upgrade in time! the sun will burn outbecause it won’t know what year it is … !” And what happened? Some British Credit Card company had an accounting burp.

This oil thing is just stupid. Why in TWO issues of Discover magazine in 2004 there has been coverage of a technology to turn turgey guts into high octane unleaded, Uranium, gold or even softcore porn. I’m tellin ya, we just gotta keep eating turkeys and everything will be fine.

But…if we run out of oil how would that affect our nations leadership?

I look forward to the day when we “run out” of oil. Maybe by then anti-nuclear power hysteria will die down enough for people to accept it. And more attention/funding will be given to developing nuclear power to be safer and more fficient.

Alternatively, we could develop a decentralized grid based on solar and wind power (and other sources) This would take pressure off of power plants and reduce fossil fuel consumption.

Also, if the US gets control of the majority of the world’s oiul supply, we get to sit back while other nations develop new technologies to deal with their shortages. Then, when there is truly a crisis in supply (it will take forever to “run out” but it will get prohibitively expensive to get out of the ground), we can simply borrow from the technologies that other nations will have spent time and money developing. It’s good to be the bully, see? Sad but true. The US will sit high and dry and wait for the rest of the world to bail us out.