Friday, January 9, 2009

If You Do Not Scale the Mountain, You Can Not View the Plain

I haven't commented much on Peak Oil because I decided that it would be impossible to see the peak until we are well down the far side. Couple that with most Americans' belief that cheap gas is a gl0d-given right, and you have a recipe for frustration. But I'm in a graphing mood, and energy happened to be the folder I clicked on today.

We're still climbing here. But you can see how the overall growth slowed in after the "oil shocks" of the 1970s. The most noticeable downtrend is in domestic production.

Gasoline dominates consumption, growing from about 38% to 43% of the total. Other modes of transportation consume 24%. Home heating oil, a common fuel in Vermont, commands only 3% of the total.

There are two pairs of lines - onshore/offshore and Lower 48/Alaska - each of which add up to the total. America has clearly reached a top for the oil production rate. Productivity has declined, too.

Update: I was remiss in not including the follow graph at the outset.

The graph contains some okay news: consumption per person has been roughly flat since the early 1980s. That means Americans are using less oil for each dollar of GDP created. Whether efficiency has gone up or a different primary fuel substituted for oil will be the subject of another post.


Clifford J. Wirth, Ph.D. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
PeakVT said...

I hate spam even if I am inclined to agree with it.