The Era of Contingencies
Every once in a while I ponder why, when Hubbert correctly predicted the date of peak oil in the U.S. around 1970, we still seem to extract a substantial fraction from domestic sources over 30 years later. In fact, several contingencies extended our run for years.
- Alaskan oil
- low throughput stripper wells
- Gulf oil
- other offshore oil
- easing of consumption rates
I declare that the era of contingencies has officially ended (1970-2005, RIP). Tar sands, oil shale, and methane hydrates qualify as second order contingencies; a miracle has to occur before we even consider them as remotely possible. War and hegemony, both imagined and real, has become the new contingency. And realizing that fact has become an admission of defeat. The oil economy has virtually no other options left. And global warming will stomp on us if we exercise our dirty wild card.
The Event that Introduces Peak Oil to a Nation