There is only so much oil in the ground — it is not being replaced, at least, not on a human time scale. 

The term “peak oil” refers to the point in time when the rate of extraction of petroleum reach a peak, after which it enters a gradual but terminal decline.

Peak oil is a function of both geology — the physical amount of oil available — and economics. The costs to do with finding and developing new sources of oil are steadily rising because the easy-to-find sources were developed first. There comes a point when it is no longer economical to develop new sources. At that point in time peak oil has occurred.

Therefore, the term “peak oil” does not mean that we run out of oil; it means that we run out of affordable oil.

The 300 Year Party

Published: August 2021

Imagine taking a magic carpet ride through northern Europe from east to west in Biblical. The area is circled on the map shown below — an area that Ugo Bardi rather unkindly refers to as a "vast regions of fog and swamps, inhabited by hairy Barbarians . . . the area we call today "Western Europe".


The Shape of Net Zero (1): No Substitute

The central theme of Net Zero programs is that our use of fossil fuels must cease within the next two or three decades. This leads to the question as to whether there any other alternative energy sources that can replace the fossil fuels while allowing us to maintain our current, energy-profligate way of living. In this article we identify the features of fossil fuels, particularly oil, that make them so attractive, and that makes it unlikely that we will find an equivalent replacement.

The Hubbert Curve

When the historians of some future civilization write about the times we are living in now it is possible that two phrases will be frequently quoted. They are ‘Hubbert Curve’ and ‘Limits to Growth’. They will use these terms to illustrate how the people of our time were well informed as to the predicaments that were heading their way, but they chose not to take action.