Over at Sustainable Bellingham's "Sustainability Documentation Project
," I created a page on Peak Oil, with links to some of my favorite web pages that describe the problem. Check it out and see links to all these articles here: http://sustainablebellingham.org/wiki/wikka.php?wakka=WhatIsPeakOil
One the clearest explanations of Peak Oil is at The Energy Bulletin, which starts with the question, "What Is Peak Oil?"
What is peak oil?
Peak oil is the simplest label for the problem of energy resource depletion, or more specifically, the peak in global oil production. Oil is a finite, non-renewable resource, one that has powered phenomenal economic and population growth over the last century and a half. The rate of oil 'production', meaning extraction and refining (currently about 84 million barrels/day), has grown almost every year of the last century. Once we have used up about half of the original reserves, oil production becomes ever more likely stop growing and begin a terminal decline, hence 'peak'. The peak in oil production does not signify 'running out of oil', but it does mean the end of cheap oil, as we switch from a buyers' to a sellers' market. For economies leveraged on ever increasing quantities of cheap oil, the consequences may be dire. Without significant successful cultural reform, severe economic and social consequences seem inevitable. "
Read the rest of the Energy Bulletin Peak Oil Primer here: http://energybulletin.net/primer.php
The Energy Bulletin
is also my favorite site to visit to get updated on all the latest info on Peak Oil. It's a clearing house for news on Peak Oil, so you'll find links to great articles every day.
OK, one more article...The Long Emergency: What's going to happen as we start running out ...
by James Howard Kunstler. This 2005 article published by Rolling Stone is an excerpt from Kunstler's book of the same title.