Peak Oil Day
By Richard Heinberg · Jul 3 2009
On May 4 of this year, Raymond James Associates, a prominent brokerage specializing in energy investments, issued a report stating, “With OPEC oil production apparently having peaked in 1Q08, and non-OPEC even earlier in 2007, peak oil on a worldwide basis seems to have taken place in early 2008.” This conclusion is being echoed by a cadre of other analysts.
Maybe it’s a stretch to say that the production peak occurred at one identifiable moment, but attributing it to the day oil prices reached their high-water mark may be a useful way of fixing the event in our minds. So I suggest that we remember July 11, 2008 as Peak Oil Day.
We are now approaching the first-year anniversary of Peak Oil Day. Where are we now? The global economy is in tatters, yet oil prices have recovered somewhat (they’re now about half what they were in July 2008). World energy consumption is down, world trade is down, the airline industry is shrinking, and most of the world’s automakers are on life support.
It is too late to prepare for Peak Oil—a year too late, in fact. Now the name of the game is adaptation. We are in an entirely new economic environment, in which old assumptions about the inevitability of perpetual growth, and the usefulness of leveraging investments based on expectations of future growth, are crashing in flames. Even if economic activity picks up somewhat, this will occur in the context of an economy significantly smaller than the one that existed in July 2008, and energy scarcity will quickly cause most green shoots to wither.
Even though Peak Oil is now in the past, its annual commemoration on Peak Oil Day may serve an important purpose by reminding us why our economy is shrinking, and by focusing our thoughts on ways to facilitate the transition to a post-petroleum world.
The author wonders about how to commemorate this new “holiday” but I have a better, more useful suggestion. Instead of commemorating, I suggest a visit a fantastic site where you can glean ideas on how to prepare for the changes coming.
The site is ChrisMartenson.com. It’s listed in the Economic News/Analysis/Contrarian blogroll . Martenson is a scientist with an MBA who once worked was a top executive for a large company in Connecticut. A few years ago he figured out what was what was going on, quit his job and reconfigured his and his family’s life.
Then he started putting together the “Crash Course.” It’s a series of short videos in which he explains how our world will change in the next 20 years. He discusses “the three E’s” that are all coming together in a perfect storm. The E’s include: Economy, Energy & the Environment. See below for the list of chapters included in the course. If you can only watch one section, watch Part 19 which summarizes much of the material. But, I strongly advise watching the entire course because the graphs and charts really make things abundantly clear and will probably scare the heck out of you!
Martenson is a master teacher and you will be amazed at how he integrates the converging forces that are affecting us now and into the future. I thought I knew a lot about why we are where we are now, but I found that I not only learned things I didn’t know but also finally got a handle on the big picture, which prompted me to start rearranging a few things.
After going through the Crash Course, check out Martenson’s suggestions for actions that will help you live well as things unfold. See the “Take Action” section for info on how to assess where you stand now and how you might proceed in terms of dealing with your personal investments. (This is in broad terms and is basic information everyone should absorb. CM is NOT an investment company!)
The site provides a “Daily Digest” of economic and other news related to where we are going, often information you won’t pick up easily from anywhere else. Find the tab for the “Daily Digest” about halfway down the left sidebar.
And sign up and join in the forums which are chock full of good discussions and ideas about living more independently. Subjects such as raising food, storing food, lowering energy costs…plus more. You’ll also pick up a lot of links from forum members that may prove useful.
Chris Martenson will give you inspiration to take action to preserve and enhance your future as the growing demand for dwindling natural resources begins to affect us all!
So, “celebrate” Peak Oil Day by taking action!
Chapters in THE CRASH COURSE
- Chapter 1: Three Beliefs (Time: 1:46)
- Chapter 2: The Three “E”s (Time: 1:38)
- Chapter 3: Exponential Growth (Time: 6:20)
- Chapter 4: Compounding is the Problem (Time: 3:06)
- Chapter 5: Growth vs. Prosperity (Time: 3:40)
- Chapter 6: What is Money? (Time: 5:55)
- Chapter 7: Money Creation (Time: 4:19)
- Chapter 8: The Fed – Money Creation (Time: 7:13)
- Chapter 9: A Brief History of US Money (Time: 7:14)
- Chapter 10: Inflation (Time: 11:48)
- Chapter 11: How Much Is A Trillion? (Time: 3:28)
- Chapter 12: Debt (Time: 12:32)
- Chapter 13: A National Failure To Save (Time: 12:06)
- Chapter 14: Assets & Demographics (Time: 13:41)
- Chapter 15: Bubbles (Time: 14:10)
- Chapter 16: Fuzzy Numbers (Time: 15:52)
- Chapter 17: PART A: Peak Oil (Time: 17:52)
- Chapter 17: PART B: Energy Budgeting (Time: 12:15)
- Chapter 17: PART C: Energy And The Economy (Time: 7:05)
- Chapter 18: Environmental Data (Time: 16:22)
- Chapter 19: Future Shock (Time: 8:02)
- Chapter 20: What Should I Do? (Time: 19:48)
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