Watch "History of Oil"

I think you can be deeply concerned about peak oil — and make a good case for it having passed — without sounding like a lunatic.

Peak oil or Hubbert’s peak is that moment in history when half of all the world’s oil supply has been consumed, presumably the half that’s easier to extract and refine. If you combine that with increasing demand — which we have, not only in the U.S. but globally — then the price of oil will increase, its supply will become erratic and there’s a dire risk of greater conflict over what remains. And as I said, this moment — which will only be identified in retrospect — may already have passed.

In short, to survive, we’ll have to change. The presented options — ethanol, hydrogen, coal cracking, even biodiesel — are too limited and environmentally costly to leave our oil-consuming ways intact. We’ll have to change. One of the reasons I’m gung-ho about Car Free Day, or really, carfree living.

Ms. Theologian at Surviving the Workday just learning about peak oil and recommends one film; I have a second.

Robert Newman has a one-man show called The History of Oil that has been played on Britain’s Channel 4 and may be seen on Google Video. I’ve not vetted his take on history, but how he links twentieth and twenty-first century warfare with petroleum is chilling.

So seriously, try to go carfree and watch the film.

The History of Oil, 46 minutes

One Reply to “Watch "History of Oil"”

  1. Wow. That’s an amazing performance piece. I can’t imagine memorizing that much for a show. And thanks for the mention. I think Crude Awakening focuses more on Chapter Five of The History of Oil and doesn’t give the interesting backstory.

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