Peak Oil Awareness Expected to Surge This Holiday Season

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As Princeton Geologist’s prediction of Thanksgiving peak oil passes, citizen groups renew call for action; Oil Age Poster Seen as thought-provoking gift alternative.

SF Informatics today announced the passing of a major milestone in the debate over peak oil. According to Princeton geologist Kenneth Deffeyes, Thanksgiving 2005 is the day -- give or take a few weeks -- when the world reaches its all-time maximum of oil output, marking the halfway point in the consumption of conventional petroleum supplies. After the Thanksgiving peak it’s all down hill, Deffeye’s says, and the outlook for oil-addicted societies like the United States will be dim if governments and citizens fail to take action.

It may take several years before we know for sure whether Dr. Deffeyes was correct about the exact timing, but the renowned geologist is not alone in his predictions of a near-term oil peak. Respected oil geologist Colin Campbell and Petroleum Review Editor Chris Skrewbowski are among a growing group of experts who see the first half of the oil age ending this decade. And in recent months, the New York Times, National Geographic and Time Magazine have published major articles on the topic of oil and energy scarcity.

With evidence mounting that the world is nearing the oil peak, citizens groups such as SF Informatics, Global Public Media, Post Carbon Institute, the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO) and others are calling for a broad-based campaign to promote awareness of the looming energy shortfall and to take practical steps to begin the transition to a sustainable, post-petroleum society.

One such effort is the release in October of a comprehensive energy information tool -- a colorful poster called The Oil Age--created by SF Informatics in association with Global Public Media. The poster traces the history of oil production worldwide and displays the latest energy statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, BP Statistical Review and other industry sources. With the cost of oil and gas soaring to record highs this year, the poster offers students, educators, concerned citizens and journalists a comprehensive resource for understanding the global oil situation.

Richard Katz of SF Informatics says the holiday season is an ideal time to introduce the concept of peak oil to friends and family. “People take a look at this poster and it changes how they think about the world,” Katz says, adding that the poster makes for a thought provoking gift and timely gift. “It’s an antidote to the usual array of consumer merchandise,” he said.

Copies of The Oil Age poster can be purchased at http://www.oilposter.org. Orders received before December 10th should arrive before December 24th (excluding the media mail shipping option). Each sale helps fund the no-cost distribution of the poster to high schools, universities and non-profit institutions worldwide. To date, over 1,100 posters have been donated to teachers worldwide. And thanks to Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, the poster has been distributed to every member of the U.S. Congress.

For more information about Kenneth Deffeye’s oil-production estimates, visit http://www.princeton.edu/hubbert/the-peak.html

About SF Informatics

SF Informatics represents a group of concerned citizens committed to researching and communicating critical ecological and societal trends worldwide. For more information: dave@oilposter.org. Poster ordering or donation information: http://www.oilposter.org.

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Richard Katz