There is a controversy about how much oil there is in the world and, if the amount is finite, when will we start running out. The ‘Peak Oil’ theory is an attempt to answer this question. It says that, yes, the amount of oil in the world is finite, and, given our best educated estimates it’s going to start running out about now.
A related controversy is about the question, if we are going to run out of oil, then what should we do about it? There are many answers being given to this question. One of them involves the claim that, unless you want dark nights at the Schnitz, so to speak, (The Schnitz being Portland’s downtown center for the performing arts, …very expensive to run,…uses a lot of electricity,) the U.S. military and intelligence services better get over to the Muslim countries where they have a lot of oil and start taking possession of it. This is one of the ideas behind skepticism that the wars against Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and soon Iran and Venezuela, are about spreading democracy or the dangers of their elected leadership.
Here is a recent discussion of the idea of ‘Peak Oil.’
Scientists challenge major review of global reserves and warn that supplies will start to run out in four years' time
By Daniel Howden
Thursday, 14 June 2007
Scientists have criticised a major review of the world's remaining oil reserves, warning that the end of oil is coming sooner than governments and oil companies are prepared to admit.
BP's Statistical Review of World Energy, published yesterday, appears to show that the world still has enough "proven" reserves to provide 40 years of consumption at current rates. The assessment, based on officially reported figures, has once again pushed back the estimate of when the world will run dry.
However, scientists led by the London-based Oil Depletion Analysis Centre, say that global production of oil is set to peak in the next four years before entering a steepening decline which will have massive consequences for the world economy and the way that we live our lives.