“Peak Oil” was about SUPPLY. Now we’re experiencing “Peak DEMAND.”

In 2004, 2005, and a bit beyond, people (including me) were writing a lot about “Peak Oil.”  (If you want links to articles, etc., contact me at glenanderson@integra.net.)

“Peak Oil” was about a peak in SUPPLY, resulting in several kinds of crises (economic, political, etc.) when the SUPPLY reaches its peak and starts to decline.

Now we are facing a peak in DEMAND.  The climate crisis is forcing governments, businesses, and consumers to practice serious conservation and to convert to renewable energy.  This new “Peak DEMAND” will cause crises too.  Oil companies, transportation companies, etc., face serious problems like those that caused many coal companies to go bankrupt.  People in the Divestment Movement are working on this.  Contact me for information about this.  See some information at the “Climate” and “Oil” parts of this blog.

I wrote this summary of Peak Oil in 2004:

Oil has been the cheapest and most convenient energy resource ever discovered by humans. For 200 years industrial nations became accustomed to a seemingly endless supply of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas). The US in particular designed our industry, transportation, and many other aspects of our society around the assumptions that oil would always be available and cheap – and that growth is necessary and can go on forever.

Oil took hundreds of millions of years to accumulate. In the past 150 years we have used half of the world’s available oil. Oil production in the US peaked in 1971 and has been declining ever since. We’re importing more and more of our oil from other countries – especially countries that are politically unstable. The biggest oilfields in the rest of the world have been peaking in recent years, and global oil production will start declining soon.

Meanwhile, oil consumption worldwide is increasing at an exponential rate, as Americans enjoy gas-guzzling vehicles and the rest of the world industrializes and builds more cars. When the steep upward slope of oil demand crosses the downward slope of oil production – within just a few years – we will start to see global chaos on a scale never before experienced.

Over the coming years, prices for gasoline and everything made from oil will spike. This will cause economies to crash.

Transportation of people and goods will become much more expensive. Large-scale agriculture (based on fertilizers and pesticides made with oil and natural gas) will stop being cost-effective, so global food production will de-cline. Experts predict that hunger will kill billions of people in a few decades. Wars for oil will ravage the globe. (Indeed, they’ve already started as the US tries to conquer Afghanistan to build a pipeline and tries to control the oil of Iraq, Colombia, and Venezuela.)

We’ll be transplanted from a world of energy growth to one of energy decline. We’ll enter uncharted territory. We’ll need to adjust our mental frame of reference to this new reality. We’ll need to rethink and redesign modern society. Government and the public have resisted the radical changes that are necessary. Frankly, the odds are against us, but some solutions are possible – but only if we can generate the political will – and only if we start immediately!


For more information (links to informational resources, etc.) about Peak Oil, contact me at glenanderson@integra.net

Also, contact me for information related to Peak DEMAND, especially as it forces the need to DIVEST — to sell off all fossil fuel investments.  See the April 2018 TV program:  “Sell Off All Fossil Fuel Investments Now” at the “TV Programs” part and the “Climate” part and the “Oil” part of this blog.


About GlenAnderson 1497 Articles
Since the late 1960s Glen Anderson has devoted his life to working as a volunteer for peace, nonviolence, social justice, and progressive political issues. He has worked through many existing organizations and started several. Over the years he has worked especially for such wide-ranging goals as making peace with Vietnam, eliminating nuclear weapons, converting from a military economy to a peacetime economy, abolishing the death penalty, promoting nonviolence at all levels throughout society, and helping people organize and strategize for grassroots movements to solve many kinds of problems. He writes, speaks, and conducts training workshops on a wide variety of topics. Since 1987 he has produced and hosted a one-hour cable TV interview program on many kinds of issues. Since 2017 he has blogged at https://parallaxperspectives.org He lives in Lacey near Olympia WA. You can reach him at (360) 491-9093 glen@parallaxperspectives.org