First and foremost, the issue of "running out" is a red herring since by the time you've run out of oil, society has imploded in part or completely due to severe ecological strains no longer being subsidized by cheap and abundant energy, or we've somehow discovered cold fusion, how to harness the quantum vaccuum, and continue to grow until the planet is 1 person per square inch on the dry land-surface. The real crisis hits when production begins to decline, not when reserves have exhausted. If there's one thing there will never be a shortage of, it is people rehearsing this tired old canard of "running out" and previous calculations being wrong. Someone made a calculation about a finite resource such as oil in the past. The calculation was wrong, and they therefore conclude that all calculations are wrong. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! Seeing as the world consumes so many tens of billions of barrels of oil a year, It's really no suprise that all the hard, empirical, corroborative, factual geological material supports this conclusion from a multitude of independent sources such as former (and thus disinterested) petroleum geologists as well as energy investment firms looking to cash on on the energy crisis. The whole situation in the 70's was explained easily enough by the aforementioned excerpt. Back then they just took the amount of oil they had then, divied it by the amount of resource they had already discovered, compensated for growth in consumption of the resource (Which was 7%. If you calculate the doubling time [T2 = 70/P where P is the percent growth per unit time] then you see that rate of consumption has a doubling time [time it takes to increase by 100%] of a mere decade), and came up with their figure. The thing is, with the way they were doing it, compensating only for the amount of resource already disovered, then they had to make a new calculation every time a new signifigant discovery was found. What we do with depletion modeling today is use that same method, but we calculate for the discovered and undiscovered reserves. We're now talking about all of the oil. You need look no futher than this to get a clear picture of where we're heading: Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! It is generally estimated that the world has has around 2,000 billion barrels of oil ever since we started using it. Now that is a very uncertain figure, plus or minus 50%. This figure here charts different estimates for the URR (Ultimate Recoverable Reserves) of oil. On the conservative end, we have that 2,000 billion barrel figure which puts us at peak oil like right now. On the high end, we have 3,000 billion, and on the uber extreme high end, we have twice the amount we ever expect, which is exceedingly unlikely given the paltry discovery trend of the resource. The United States Geological survey gives the conservative estimate a 90% chance of being correct, with the second estimate being something like 7%, and the final one 3%. But no matter how you look at it, you will live to see the peaking of world oil. And you have to ask yourself, "What's life going to be like with world energy in decline?". I don't think it takes much of an imagination to conceptualize what desperate times and scarcity issues combined with the human condition would lead to. You don't have to guess if you know the slightest thing about modern agriculture. There's no 2 ways about it. Food availability in first-world countries is directly proportional to oil availability. Take the oil and the food goes with it. Yeah. It's a good thing those children in third-world nations are getting divine sustinance to feast on and not starving to death like you see on TV. What, with God providing for them and all. Yep. But what allows people to maintain their unjustifiable optimism in technology and market forces are the fact that they don't understand both are predicated upon by finite energy sources which are subject to expiration and will take their flat-earth economic techno-hubris to the grave with them. People don't seem to grasp the fact that nobody can name a single renewable source as versatile, dependable, and energy dense as petroleum because it simply does not exist. People at large aren't interested in making a distinction between energy and technology. This reveals a misunderstanding very common among those in the US public who think about these things at all, namely, that technology is thought to be synonymous with energy, that they are essentially the same thing. The fact that energy and technology are not the same thing is crucial to understanding our predicament. There are really only five energy sources available to us: non-renewable oil, natural gas, coal, uranium, and renewable solar (which includes wind, hydro, photovoltaic, and bio-mass, all dependent on sunlight acting on the earth.) The hope is that technology will somehow allow us to capture an equivalent amount of energy from renewables that we now get from non-renewables. This is the central fallacy of techno-hubris There is a remarkable consistency in the delusional thinking at every level of American life these days. When Americans think about the future at all, they seem to think it will be pretty much the way we live now. The buyers of 4000 square foot McHouses think that they will be able to continue heating them with cheap natural gas, not to mention commuting seventy miles a day. The stadium builders assume that major league sports will continue just as it is today, with chartered jet planes conveying zillionaire athletes incessently back and forth across the continent. The highway engineers and the municipal planners are focused like lasers on providing more roads and more parking spaces for evermore cars. The architects are designing more skyscrapers, despite the decrepit condition of the electric grid and the frightful situation with our depleting natural gas supply. We're so confident, so sure of ourselves. When you combine the seven deadly sins with high technology, you get some really serious problems. You get turbo-sins. It's dreadful to imagine what goeth after turbo-pride. Those boys are in for a surprise when they discover that nature gave the human race technology in order that we might choose to shoot ourselves in the head when the time came. The tragic futility of the suburban growth racket and the towering hubris of Modernism go hand-in-hand. Both rest on ideologies that drive relentlessy toward death. Both depend on a condition of widespread and extreme narcissism among individual members of society to continue their operations. Both represent a kind of wickedness that does not require religious transliteration to understand. Both will be defeated by reality.