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What is Hubbert's Peak?

If you've been paying attention to the debate around oil lately, you may have heard experts using the term "Hubbert's Peak" (or, perhaps, "Peak Oil"). If so, you probably soon figured out that it has something to do with the point at which we reach maximum production of oil, and it's downhill from there. But where did the phrase come from? What does it really mean? Caltech vice provost and professor of physics and applied physics David Goodstein gave a talk on campus a few months ago on just that issue -- and his talk (with graphics) is now available via the Caltech Newsletter.

It's a great summation of what it means to be at "peak oil," and the difficulties of figuring out what to do about the situation. WorldChangers may quibble about his too-easy dismissal of wind and solar, but he's absolutely right on the scope of the challenge.


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Comments (2)

And y'all call *me* a pessimist!


Jennifer Evonne:

Great article, thanks for the link! I was just on the postcarbon.org site and wondered about Hubbert's Peak.....

Thankfully he brings the article full-circle to encourage leadership that can honestly discuss these energy issues with the people.


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