Oil's History of Booms and Busts: Toward the Ultimate Downturn

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Title: Oil's History of Booms and Busts: Toward the Ultimate Downturn
Creators: van der Veen, C.J.
Contributors: Tipton-Everett, Lynn R.
Keywords: peak oil
fossil fuels
natural gas
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: Byrd Polar Research Center, The Ohio State University
Citation: Van der Veen, C.J. Oil’s History of Booms and Busts: Towards the Ultimate Downturn. BPRC Report No. 21, Byrd Polar Research Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 46 pages, 2006.
Series/Report no.: Report (Byrd Polar Research Center) ; no. 21
Abstract: It is often said that we learn from our mistakes. This may be true for individuals, but collectively, humanity repeatedly continues to exhibit collective amnesia and, by ignoring past events – willfully or not – the same mistakes continue to be made. A case in point may be our continued dependence on and consumption of fossil fuels, most notably oil and natural gas. Since the discoveries of oil fields in the upper mid-west of the United States and in southern Ontario, the world economy has become truly dependent on this black gold, led, of course, by a handful of oil-thirsty industrialized nations. Yet most western consumers appear to have little concern about the available resources and how limited these resources are – much like in the early days of the American and Canadian oil boom. Recoverable oil reserves are limited – certainly the end of cheap oil is in sight, if not here already. This may not necessarily imply the end of civilization as we know it, but surely the decline in world oil production will necessitate changes in our way of life and thinking. Perhaps most surprising is the fact that many smaller communities have experienced their local “peak oil” and gone from boom to bust – yet, many people, including most politicians, continue to be optimistic and hope for some magical solution to our problems. As argued in this report, what has happened on smaller scales to the towns of Petrolia, PA, ON, TX, CA, and too many other communities in the original heartlands of oil exploration, is bound to replay on the world stage. This time around, however, there may not be an easy way out.
Description: An initial version of this Report presenting the essential ideas was published previously as: Van der Veen, C.J. (2006), Reevaluating Hubbert’s prediction of U.S. Peak Oil. EOS, 87(20), 199&202.
The University Archives has determined that this item is of continuing value to OSU's history.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1811/35733
ISSN: 0896-2472
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