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The Oil Drum: US Peak Oil Adaptation: Prognosis in a Credit Crunch

Posted by Stuart Staniford on August 20, 2007 – 1:10pm

In this post I want to start exploring a hypothesis that is worrying me a lot.

Specifically, the possibility that the emerging financial/credit crisis could cause a near-term collapse in demand for energy, energy prices, and investment in energy infrastructure. That in turn could lead to an even poorer failure to adapt to peak oil than we have seen so far, resulting in great difficulties once the economy begins to recover from its credit problems. I’m not claiming to have conclusive evidence for this hypothesis, I am not sure of its truth myself, and this post will only be a beginning of exploring the issues.

Let’s first review the situation to date. I began worrying that we might be essentially at peak oil already back in November 2005. This was the date of Ken Deffeyes’ famous prediction based on Hubbert Linearization, but my concern was based as much on the plateauing of the monthly oil production series in spite of high prices. As more evidence emerged, I firmed in my view that peak oil is probably about now.

For the full extensive article with graphs, go to… and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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