The moment we started tapping the vast reservoirs of oil that the Earth is endowed with, we started coming closer to the end of the oil age. I am sure the question was raised: how many generations away would the end be?
We who are alive today in the early 2000s can also ask ourselves “how many more generations can enjoy the benefits of oil?”
Will our children or our grandchildren witness scarcity of oil and the inevitable spiralling prices that come from demand exceeding supply? When the oil age started, how long did they think it could last?
The answers to these questions are a lot simpler than one could imagine if you take a wide view. Way back in the 1950s, scientists working for Shell published academic papers on world fossil fuel use, time frames and consequences. In fact, one of their predictions – that US production would peak in 1970 – came true that exact year.
So the end has been in sight since the 50’s. In fact, oil discoveries peaked in 1963. Since them less and less oil has been discovered. So much analysis says the end of the oil age, the end of business plans relying on cheap, abundant supplies of this fossil fuel is about…… this generation…. YOUR lifetime.
Why are we carrying on as if our modus operandi can be applied indefinately? Maybe planning for an equitable, eco-system preserving end would be more sensible?
I’d like to hear you views. If you are unsure of how or if the whole oil story is unravelling before our eyes do take a look at a brief history of the oil age, my article published on SOCYBERTY