This week sees the theory of peak oil going mainstream with the International Energy Agency’s Medium Term Oil Market Report predicting a global oil “supply crunch” by 2012.

The theory of Peak Oil is that world production will peak and plateau at an undefined point in time and then begin to decline while demand continues to rise. Wars are already being fought over petroleum resources – imagine how much worse it could be if we do not respond to the decline in production with a similar decline in our use.

The IEA, which advises the world’s largest consumers, said this week that the world could face an oil crunch in five years’ time because producers outside the Middle East are unable to increase supplies at the rate demand is growing, meaning consumers will all be depending on the Opec cartel to pump out more from its fields. And there are doubts about the reliability of Opec’s reserves…

This decline in supplies is not necessarily good news for climate change – alternatives such as heavy oil in Canada and biofuel have their own negative impacts on the environment. These 2 challenges need the same response – consume less, but can we show the restraint necessary, or is just human nature.

Read The Last Oil Shock to learn more.