"A single liter of oil has an amount of energy equivalent to a human performing hard labor for hundreds of hours ... We even “eat” oil: The energy inputs that undergird industrial agriculture, including synthetic pesticides, largely come from oil. By some estimates, our food system uses more than seven calories of energy for every calorie of food consumed ... The first oil to be found and produced was, naturally, the easiest to extract and therefore the cheapest; it also happened to be of superior quality, generally offering a net energy ratio of well over 25:1. Worldwide discoveries of this “conventional” oil peaked in the 1960s, however, and worldwide production has flattened over the last decade, despite record-high prices. It is widely accepted that the age of “easy” oil is coming to a close. Society is turning toward deepwater offshore oil, tar sands, oil shales, and other more challenging resources to meet ever-growing global demand for oil ... As terrestrial reserves are depleted and drilling technology improves, offshore production is expected to increase ... [D]eepwater drilling inherently has a lower net energy ratio than conventional oil production on land ... The enormous technical complications of unconventional oil suggest that it will be extremely challenging to ramp up their production to fully replace declining conventional oil resources at the scale and rate needed ... Whether the current boom in hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for shale gas is a short-lived bubble or a natural gas revolution, it threatens to increase pollution, destroy habitat, and keep [the world] hooked on a “bridge fuel” to nowhere ... Moreover, our massive globalized economy perches atop a century’s worth of physical infrastructure that was built to run on fossil fuels ... Perhaps the most worrisome aspect of emerging technologies is the hope they instill in us that technology can ultimately defeat all environmental limits, allowing economic and population growth to continue exponentially, indefinitely. In a finite world, that is a false hope."

Zum Auszug aus dem Buch "The Energy Reader: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth" von Tom Butler, Daniel Lerch und George Wuerthner, erschienen beim Post Carbon Institute (23. April 2013) »