Petroleum usage by the late 1990's
Name: Natalie M Collins
In my high school Chemistry text book, it states that we will reach our peak
usage of petroleum by the year 1997. This is to occur in my own lifetime and
is somewhat of a frightening thought. Is this prediction really true, and if
it is, what will we then use as a source of energy?
The prediction probably is not true, because no one can predict the future.
The older your book is, the less true its prediction is likely to be. In the
early 1970's a report by the Club of Rome called "The Limits to Growth"
made many predictions about when we would run out of resources and pollution
would smother us, but the predictions are not really on target because back
then they did not know that cars would become more fuel-efficient and people
would start conserving energy. For the same reason, the need for nuclear
power plants was greatly over-estimated back in the early 1970's, which lead
to bond defaults and bankruptcy on the part of the State of Washington's
public power utility. Anyway, even though the prediction may not be accurate,
there is a grain of truth to it: oil is not limitless and if we do not
conserve it we will use it all up.
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Update: June 2012