When Oil Peaked

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Overview

In two earlier books, Hubbert's Peak and Beyond Oil, geologist Kenneth S. Deffeyes laid out his rationale for concluding that world oil production would continue to follow a bell-shaped curve, with the smoothed-out peak somewhere in the middle of the first decade of this millennium?in keeping with the projections of his former colleague, pioneering petroleum geologist M. King Hubbert.

Deffeyes sees no reason to deviate from that prediction, despite the ensuing global recession ...

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When Oil Peaked

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Overview

In two earlier books, Hubbert's Peak and Beyond Oil, geologist Kenneth S. Deffeyes laid out his rationale for concluding that world oil production would continue to follow a bell-shaped curve, with the smoothed-out peak somewhere in the middle of the first decade of this millennium—in keeping with the projections of his former colleague, pioneering petroleum geologist M. King Hubbert.

Deffeyes sees no reason to deviate from that prediction, despite the ensuing global recession and the extreme volatility in oil prices associated with it. In his view, the continued depletion of existing oil fields, compounded by shortsighted cutbacks in many exploration-and-development projects, virtually assures that the mid-decade peak in global oil production will never be surpassed.

In When Oil Peaked, Deffeyes revisits his original forecasts, examines the arguments that were made both for and against them, adds some new supporting material to his overall case, and applies the same mode of analysis to a number of other finite gifts from the Earth: mineral resources that may be also in shorter supply than "flat-Earth" prognosticators would have us believe.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Deffeyes, a geologist and former oil researcher, continues the conversations he began in Hubbert's Peak with this level-headed look at the earthly limits of our natural resources. According to Deffeyes, oil production peaked in 2005; "On a time scale somewhere between one hundred and three hundred years, our civilization has to come around to sustainable and renewable resources. Most energy will be, directly or indirectly, solar." Offering the admittedly unpopular alternatives of uranium and coal until that happens, he discusses means of minimizing dangers and reducing energy consumption; his comparison of the efficiency of various forms of transportation may make readers think again about barges coming from China. And overviews of topics ranging from worldwide metal resources to biofuels leads to a consideration for where natural resources originate. Offering his own take on historical oil prices and the Great Recession, Deffeyes doesn't hide his bias, but presents data to support his arguments. Concluding with recommendations for a better future, the author suggests a market volatility tax and urges readers to create their own vision of what a sustainable future looks like, even while positing two extreme options himself. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"[A] level-headed look at the earthly limits of our natural resources." —-Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400118915
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2010
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged CD
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Kenneth S. Deffeyes, a former researcher for Shell Oil Company, is an emeritus professor of geology at Princeton University and the author of Beyond Oil and Hubbert's Peak.

Kent Cassella is an actor who divides his time between Vermont and New York. Television and film credits include all of the Law and Order franchise shows, FX's Rescue Me, Showtime's Brotherhood, and the Ben Affleck film The Town.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An academic analysis of the world's energy future and the alternatives

    Forecasting the date of peak oil production is serious business, and this short book tackles the predictive methodology, geology, economics and mathematics head-on. Princeton professor emeritus Kenneth Deffeyes presents the techniques used by petroleum geologist M. King Hubbert to validate his prediction as to when oil production would peak. Deffeyes, who worked with Hubbert, further validates Hubbert's work, as he did in his earlier book, "Hubbert's Peak". He presents the pros and cons of various alternative energy sources, how oil prices contributed to the recent global recession and the status of the oil industry today. This is a technical book; Deffeyes is an engineer, geologist and oil heavyweight, and he makes detailed presentations requiring advanced knowledge not provided in the text. getAbstract considers this an important text and recommends it to people interested in the most rigorous assessment of future energy trends and climate change.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Good Easy Read

    I have read about 10 books on the subject of peak oil in the last year, to include Kenneth S. Deffeyes' previous two books on the subject ("Hubbert's Peak" and "Beyond Oil"). With no doubts, Dr. Deffeyes is an expert on the subject of geology and petroleum geology. His previous books were like textbook primers on the subject of petroleum geology and how oil and gas are formed, and how these are extracted. I learned a lot and almost felt like I was in one of his classrooms at Princeton.

    This latest work does not really add much to Dr. Deffeyes' previous works. When Oil Peaked is not a bad read, but it meanders back and forth across the subject and diverts down rabbit trails. The main thrust seems to be that world oil production stopped growing in 2005 and mankind mankind has about 100 years to move away from fossil fuels to completely solar energy sources.

    There are other authors who have delved more into the possible social and economic impacts that the end of the age of oil will bring. Richard Heinberg's "The Party's Over" (2003) and James Howard Kunstler's "The Long Emergency" (2005) come to mind.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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