Seeing is Believing: World Energy Consumption

The always-thoughtful Gail Tverberg has a great post that simply shows in visual terms the history of world energy consumption - well worth a look. I've reproduced one of her graphs here, but please read the whole thing.


One graph not in her post (not suggesting it should be, but I like the contrast) is world discovery of oil over about the same period - anyone who implicitly believes we are discovering vast reserves should contrast the two:

(Source, Colin Campbell)

Gail goes on to write about how an economist might be misled by past trends to disregard "facts in the ground" - lack of understanding of geology or scientific reality is an ongoing problem for our society, sadly.


More like this

Every so often someone comes up to me with fiery eyes and raring for a battle and says "I don't believe in Peak Oil" or "I don't believe in Climate Change." When this happens, I think they expect me to argue with them, and I do. But isn't the argument they expect - my standard response, correct…
The IEA has pretty much conceeded peak oil, announcing that growth to meet demand in the coming decades will come from entirely mythical sources. Ok, they didn't say that, what they said in the latest World Energy Outlook was that the majority of oil production by 2030 will be coming from "fields…
1. To hang out with me, of course ;-). 2. To make your voice heard in Washington about this issue - because we don't have much time to begin to act, and every person here who says 'I care deeply about this' helps reinforce our message of the centrality of this issue. 3, To hear Wes Jackson talk…
Last year at the 2010 ASPO conference (and over the years at other places) I've highlighted the connection between oil prices and food prices - and the ways that our increasingly tightly tied oil and food systems unravel together. If you missed these graphs last week, they'll give you the…

An interestiong first graph. It shws that the natural rate of increase of energy use & thus world GNP was stopped about 1970. I assume the "world" energy growth post 2000 is as entirely among the non US/EU countries as the GNP growth has been.

Clear visual evidence of the effect of political Luddism coming to power.

Your graph is less meaningful since it specifically refers to "regular conventional oil" which, presumably deliberately, excludes tar and shale oil, shale gas which can be converted into oil & algae grown oil. One might as well "prove" that we ran out of oil in 1860 by producing a graph of production of "regular" whale oil.