Peak Oil Guru Robert Hirsch Gives A Dire Outlook For The Future

hirschRobert Hirsch

Photo: ASPO

A year and a half ago, we featured a presentation by Robert Hirsch, the author of the first major US government report on peak oil.Peak oil is the theoretical point in time when oil production peaks and begins to fall.

He recently reiterated his argument at this year’s Association for the Study of Peak Oil conference in Vienna.

Before he began his remarks, Hirsch made sure to clarify that while he still believes the world faces a liquid hydrocarbon crunch, the broader energy picture is not all that gloomy.

“Longer term, I totally believe we are going to electrify a lot of our technologies and we are going to have a better longer term future, it just won’t happen quickly,” he said. 

To better understand Hirsch’s argument, we decided to combine his new presentation with his 2010 presentation to illustrate why even after all the new bullish news on energy, he remains sceptical. 

These big names agree that oil is peaking

Since 2004 we've been stuck in a plateau

At most, the plateau has another four years. Then comes the decline

Slowing demand would have a minimal effect on the horizon

Economic growth and oil production move almost in lockstep

But Hirsch believes oil production dictates GDP — not vice-versa

We saw this in the '70s

And any new production techniques that come along, Hirsch believes, will have a minimal effect

And they would would take 10 years to catch up

Prices will dictate winners and losers

Those are just the economic and geologic factors. Things could get worse

Major exporters could run up the score

Now let's get personal

Peak oil will hit the public as a shock

A return to the 1970s

Recession will follow

It won't be pretty

Gas lines...

Here's what Hirsch has done in preparation

The stakes are without precedent

Thinking about sustainability must begin now

We can beat this

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