One of my online friends, Terra Praeta, pointed me towards Dave Pollard's latest blog article, this one on peak oil.
For those who are unfamiliar with the term, peak oil is the point in time in which half of the world's oil has been extracted. By estimates from many geologists, we are at that point.
"So, we still have plenty of oil left" is a fair comment. However, as Pollard points out, it takes more energy to produce a gallon of oil now than it did in the past.
"The amount of energy needed to produce each barrel of oil has increased from the equivalent of 0.04 barrels at the start of the oil boom (when we were busy converting our economy to be oil-powered) to over half a barrel today. If this trend continues (and there is nothing to lead us to believe it won't), by 2030 we will be using more than a barrel of oil equivalent energy to produce every barrel of oil."
This reasoning is the same reasoning I have used to critique ethanol production as it is currently produced. Cellulosic ethanol is another means that is gaining momentum.
If you are interested, please read The Party's Over, which talks about peak oil in more detail.
After reading Pollard's article, I turned down my thermostat and put on a sweater. (Thanks for the reminder!)
Tags: oil, peak oil