The Continued Relevance of Peak Oil

Taking a moment to highlight Ian Chapman's excellent article "The End of Peak Oil? Why this topic is still relevant despite recent denials." The article also appeared in the journal "Energy Policy" for January 2014, its 64th Volume.

And although I've mentioned it before, it's worth revisiting the January 2014 edition of Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society - the theme issue on "The Future of Oil Supply"

One simple question I frequently have for Peak Oil critics: "Where are their peer-reviewed journal articles?" And the simple answer - they don't exist. Pieces by the critics blanket the pages of the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times, but the land of true experts and peer-reviewed rigor belongs only to those with a proper unbiased understanding of our energy issues and the continued relevance of this discussion.

The abstract from Chapman: 

Up until recently Peak Oil was a major discussion point crossing from academic research into mainstream journalism, yet it now attracts far less interest. This paper evaluates the reasons for this and on-going relevance of Peak Oil, considering variations in predictive dates for the phenomenon supported by technological, economic and political issues. Using data from agencies, the validity of each position is assessed looking at reserves, industrial developments and alternative fuels. The complicating issue of demand is also considered.

The conclusions are that, supported by commercial interests, an unsubstantiated belief in market and technical solutions, and a narrow paradigmatic focus, critics of Peak Oil theory have used unreliable reserve data, optimistic assumptions about utilisation of unconventional supplies and unrealistic predictions for alternative energy production to discredit the evidence that the resource-limited peak in the world’s production of conventional oil has arrived, diverting discussion from what should be a serious topic for energy policy: how we respond to decreasing supplies of one of our most important energy sources.