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Peak Oil, Energy Descent, and the Fate of Consumerism

University of Melbourne, 15/01/2012


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Resource information:
Resource IDalexanderpeak2012
Resource titlePeak Oil, Energy Descent, and the Fate of Consumerism
Author(s)Samuel Alexander
Publication/ sourceUniversity of Melbourne
Date published15/01/2012
Summary text/ abstractWestern-style consumer lifestyles are highly resource and energy intensive. This paper examines the energy intensity of these consumer lifestyles and considers whether such lifestyles could be sustained in a future with declining energy supplies and much higher energy prices. The rise of consumer societies since the industrial revolution has only been possible due to the abundant supply of cheap fossil fuels – most notably, oil – and the persistence of consumer societies depend upon continued supply, for reasons that will be explained. But recently there has been growing concern that the world is reaching, or has already reached, its peak in oil production, despite demand for oil still expected to grow considerably. Put more directly, many analysts believe that demand for oil is very soon expected to outstrip supply, with a recent study by the US military reporting that, globally, spare productive capacity could entirely dry up by 2012 and by 2015 demand for oil could outstrip supply by almost 10 million barrels per day.
Library categoriesNeo-Luddism, Peak Oil
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file iconPeak Oil, Energy Descent, and the Fate of Consumerism [443.4 kilobytes]
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