Friday, November 25, 2005


Happy Peak Oil Day

Kenneth Deffeyes, the Princeton geology professor who is Peak Oil's voice of scientific reason, says here
Although it is a bit silly, we can now pick a day to celebrate passing the top of the mathematically smooth Hubbert curve: Nov 24, 2005. It falls right smack dab on top of Thanksgiving Day 2005. It sounds a little sick to observe a gloomy day, but in San Francisco they still observe April 18 as the anniversary of the 1906 earthquake.
Yesterday, November 24, was Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. I gave thanks for my energy rich lifestyle, and the bird that was fed on fossil fuel enriched feed, that came to market on a fossil fuel powered truck, that was kept in a fossil fuel powered electric refrigerator and was cooked on a fossil fuel gas stove. I gave thanks for my friends who had come hundreds of miles in fossil fuel powered vehicles to celebrate with me in a fossil fuel heated room.

I gave thanks that in this year of 25 named tropical Atlantic storms, whether fueled by atmospheric carbon of fossil fuel origin put out there by humans or not, that none of them had come to Cape Cod.

Then I had a little sliver of humble pie for dessert. Now, for the first time in the 146 year history of petroleum, production is leveling off and eventually will decline. Meanwhile, demand, which has lagged supply since the 1860s, shows no sign of leveling off. Production and demand will diverge. The Magic Hand will hold us in its inexorable grip. Gasoline may be down to $2.09 temporarily, but we ain't seen nuthin' yet.

Whether the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock on the last Thursday of November is beside the point; it is the date we celebrate. Whether the actual global peak of oil production actually fell on November 24, 2005 is also irrelevant. It is as good a day to mark as any.

Steve Crandall is marking it too.

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John McPhee spends a lot of time with Dr. Deffeyes in one of his books - I forget which one. The Good Doctor is a very interesting fellow and all of McPhee's books are worthwhile.
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