Oil has no future. Really. Just look at this graph of oil discovery (borrowed from this excellent Peak Oil Overview). The graph shows oil discovery (in billions of barrels) per decade.
Now oil discoveries peaked at about 500 billion in the 1960’s, about the time I was born and started crawling towards anything electrical and driving my Mum crazy. World wide we use around 85 million barrels/day, or 30 billion a year. So when you read the next mainstream media article about a “billion barrel oil discovery” remember that 1 billion barrels is just 12 days world oil consumption.
So 30 billion barrels a year is 300 billion a decade. Now look at the graph above. In how many decades did we discover more than 300 billion barrels?
And what is this fixation with economic growth? Politicians seem to be telling us we are all doomed unless we constantly grow the economy. The worst thing about the financial crisis is that we might now get “growth”. growth Growth GROWTH!
The problem with x% growth is that it is exponential. That means we consume more and more every year. It goes to infinity real fast. More oil, more water, more people, more money, more debt. Just 5% growth means doubling every 14 years. One small oversight guys: nature is finite. A good example is yeast growing in a Petri dish. Nature always shuts down exponential growth. Always. Usually by killing everything in the Petri dish.
Economics is busted as it depends on the ultimate unsustainable practice – exponential growth.
An earlier post on Peak Oil.