Have you ever heard of Marion Hubbert? He was a leading geologist from the 30’s who helped Shell make Texas famous for its oil. His insights lead to the great American automobile boom of the 50’s when he fomulated his well known model of the world’s oil reserves that predicted a bell curved path with a top known as “Hubbert’s Peak”. here’s some interesting info from wikipedia…
In 1956, Hubbert predicted that oil production in the continental United States would peak between 1965 and 1970. U.S. oil production peaked in 1971, and has been decreasing since then. In 1971, Hubbert used high and low estimates of global oil reserve data to predict that global oil production would peak between 1995 and 2000. ASPO has calculated that the annual production peak of conventional crude oil was in early 2004 - nearly 4 years off. However, it should be noted that other events that occurred after Hubbert’s prediction may have delayed the peak, especially the 1973 energy crisis, in which a decreased supply of oil resulted in a shortage, and ultimately less consumption. The 1979 energy crisis and 1990 spike in the price of oil due to the Gulf War have had similar, albeit less dramatic effects on supply. On the demand side, recessions in the early 1980s and ‘90s have decreased the demand and consumption of oil. All of these effects would theoretically delay peak oil.
An increasing number of theorists believes some peak in world oil production has already occurred. After Hurricane Katrina, Saudi Arabia admitted that it simply could not increase production to make up for the loss of Gulf of Mexico oil rigs. This was widely believed, albeit speculatively, to be the beginning of a final oil crisis, in which there will be no choice but to radically curtail the use of oil.
Nor is the crisis restricted to oil. As natural gas supplies are coexistant with oil in many places, it too may be running out, unless new sources like coalbed methane can be exploited.
So why are gas prices rising now? Well… are you looking for an excuse or a answer? Obviously, the oil industry (ahem..Bush!) is just trying to suck as much money out of our pockets before the shiite hits the fan.
if you ever get a chance to watch the movie “the end of suburbia” do it. sure, the host is a little too annoying but the info is really great.