Out Of Gas: The Disturbing Truth About Oil
What if oil were actually an infinitely renewable resource? What if deep beneath the Earth's crust a petroleum factory was producing oil around the clock? During the Cold War, Russian geologist Nikolai Kudryavtsev theorized that the accepted belief that fossil fuels come from the decomposing remains of pre-historic dinosaur, bacteria and other organic life is dead wrong. Instead, he said petroleum has abiotic origins and is in constant production.
Raymond Learsy says the abiotic hypothesis has been suppressed for half a century.
New Wave & Alternative
What about alternative energy sources such as wind power, biofuels, solar power and ocean power? Peak oil doomers believe these alternative sources will not be powerful enough or online fast enough to make up the coming energy shortfall. To complicate matters, petroleum products are required for the manufacturing of windmills and photovoltaic solar panels.
But several environmental groups believe there is time to make the changeover to alternative energy sources with sufficient public activism and political will. The National Resources Defense Council says a combination of mandated fuel efficiency improvements for motor vehicles, fuel efficient tires, improved public transportation and subsidies for the research and development of alternative energy sources will reduce greenhouse gas emissions while making our economy less vulnerable to price shocks and disruptions in the oil supply.
Many environmentalists point out that it was new technologies rather than resource depletion that actually pushed humans to transition from wood to coal and coal to oil. And they say innovations are now making it possible to move to an era of cleaner energy.
So, from the crest of peak oil, is humanity looking upward to a higher summit of alternative energy? Or is man peering down into a new dark age, where only the fittest will survive?
The Transition movement that began in England in 2005 predicts a bit of both. They say the damage from the age of oil has been done. Economic turmoil, climate change and societal breakdowns are coming. But they also believe strong, organized local communities can survive the global shift away from oil.
There are now 350 transition communities around the world working to ensure people have access to local sources of food, water, medical care and heat when the wells run dry. There will be bumps and bruises on the way down, but the doomers hope they'll eventually be able to walk away from it all.