We live in the age of exuberance. We have all the things that go with the good life; plenty of food, warm clothing, and good homes that are warmed in the winter and cooled in the summer, and great medical treatment to help us live long and healthy lives.
Our population, for over one hundred years now, has been increasing exponentially. Worldwide, in the year 1800, our numbers measured just over 800 million. A hundred years later it was about a billion and a half.Today, our population measures over 6.3 billion and it is still increasing at almost 80 million per year.
What has enabled our numbers to increase with such great profusion? Certainly modern medicine has contributed greatly, especially in the developed world. But primarily it has been food. Food produced by modern farming techniques, modern farming equipment, and massive amount of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. All this was made possible by a great abundance of fossil fuel. In short, a massive amount of relatively cheap energy has enabled our population to explode almost to plague proportions.
But can it last? The short answer to that is, not bloody likely! Per capita food production is down in almost every area of the world. There are several reasons for this, drought and floods brought on by changing weather patterns, soil exhaustion, and falling water tables being among them. In fact, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, actual worldwide food production has fallen now for five years in a row. The point I wish to make here is that even with ample amounts of fossil fuel, we are living at the very brink of worldwide famine.
But what would happen if the flow of oil were to begin to slow down. I am afraid that is exactly what is about to happen within the next few years. It is not that we are about to run out of oil, but what will actually happen is oil production will peak, level out for a year or two, then begin a long but steady decline of around three percent per year. When fuel to grow and transport food starts to drop, food production must follow and likewise the population that depends on that food to live.
Today, births outnumber deaths by about 2.5 to 1, in just a few years deaths must outnumber births by at least that amount, perhaps a far greater amount. The four horsemen, war, famine, disease and pestilence will return with a vengeance.
When future historians write the history of the last half of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first, they will say of the people who lived in these times: «They thought their world would last forever. How could they have been so stupid?»
A number of oil field geologists and other experts in the energy field feel that oil production is about to reach its peak, then decline. This site will tell their story, and will outline a few scenarios for our future.