Australia’s top investigative journalist Jonathan Holmes hosted a special TV documentary on ABC (Australian Broadcasting Company) on Peak Oil on July 10. This is a very well-executed multimedia presentation representing some key voices on the topic. Highly-recommended, and you can see it here if you have Flash 8.
What is Peak Oil, or Hubbert’s Peak? Here is the official explanation. It has been covered elsewhere on this site and many others, including Worldchanging.com at length, but in case you are new to the idea it involves the peak of a bell-shaped curve that defines global oil production by the late Shell Oil geologist M. King Hubbert who predicted peak of U.S. oil production decades before it happened in the 70s as well as a prediction for global peak oil production which may be true as well. Peak oil is the point on the curve where you reach maximum oil production before the supply begins to fall. The costs of extracting oil as it passes it’s peak gets increasingly expensive, goingskyward long before the actual supply runs out. “This does not mean that the world is running out of oil: it means that we are running out of the cheap pumpable oil that has fueled the economic development of the 20th Century,” – Hubbert’s website.
Although the U.S. Department of Energy’s Robert L. Hirsch has acknowledged the serious nature and ramifications of Peak Oil here in 2005 (“The peaking of world oil production presents the U.S. and the world with an unprecedented risk management problem…”), the Bush Administration publicly remains optimistic about the exploration and supply of oil and in fact has been promoting new drilling proposals, including the recent House of Representatives resolution to end the 25-year ban on offshore drilling.
Other great links on Peak Oil information and resources include Post Carbon, Colin Campbell, and the award-winning documentary End of Suburbia among many others I hope to list later. Please add more in comments.