"Many things have happened in the [last] four months: Thousands upon thousands of innocent people have died in wars and ethnic/religious strife. Most of these wars have as background access to oil, gas, and drinking or irrigation water. More narrowly, Shell decided not to go back to the Arctic in 2013, and Statoil and ConocoPhillips are waiting on Shell to go to the Arctic. According to mass media, the world is awash in liquid hydrocarbons everywhere. Or is it? ... the real rate of petroleum production has stalled since 2004. And for good reason: we are at the peak of global rate of crude oil production ... So here is the dirty little secret of our civilization: It runs on power, or energy per unit time, not on energy. The scientifically illiterate English majors, economists and politicians, simply cannot comprehend the fundamental difference between a quantity (here energy) and its time derivative (here power) ... In other words, having one billion dollars in your checking account does not help you with purchasing a Rolls Royce with cash if your daily withdrawal limit is 100 dollars. The huge checking account is a metaphor for the oil deposits or global resource, and the ATM card you use to tap into this account is the oil wells and installations that produce this resource ... It is the rate, stupid. In summary, for the U.S. and the world, it doesn't matter how huge a resource is, if it is used over one thousand years, drop-by-drop. We are interested in energy gushing at us at an incredibly high rate of 75 million barrels of crude oil per day (one cubic mile of petroleum per year). This gigantic global rate of producing petroleum will not increase substantially from now on and - if anything - this rate has started declining. Hubbert was right because he was a genius scientist, who understood nature. The lay interpreters of Hubbert occasionally get his thinking wrong."

Zum Artikel von Prof. Tad Patzek, erschienen auf LifeItself (12. Mai 2013) »