Like it or not, explains Business Insider, our world runs on oil – and we need more of it. With an expanding global population – we’re at 7.7 billion people and counting – energy supply needs to keep pace with energy demand. Currently, there’s no energy source as cheap, reliable, and scalable as oil. But what if we were to lose that energy source? Find out what could happen…
Supplying 33% of the world’s energy, oil is our primary fuel – for over a century and a half, oil has been the cheap energy source that has made industrial civilisation possible. No other energy source is as calorie-dense, cost-effective or versatile as oil. From oil we get:
The amount of oil the world consumes to sustain our global economy is staggering. Consider these statistics, courtesy of Forbes.com:
While energy demand continues to rise with human population growth, some say we’re fast approaching (or have even reached) peak oil – the hypothetical point, theorised by geophysicist Marion King Hubbard some six decades ago, at which global crude oil production hits its maximum rate, and will then start to decline.
Caption: Peak oil, as projected by M. King Hubbard using data from 1956 world oil production. Peak oil was theorised to occur around the year 2000-2020
Hubbard’s peak oil theory predicts hitting critical mass, followed by gradual decline in production – giving us time (when he proposed the theory in the fifties) to discover new energy sources and innovate new methods of energy production and distribution.
Given our dependence on oil, though, transitioning from an oil to alternative energy sources will be both difficult and expensive. The enormity of this transition is best demonstrated if we imagine a scenario in which this vital resource disappears overnight – our current global economy and related contemporary lifestyles would simply cease to be! Watch this video…