General criteria for assessing the essays are as follows.

1. Has the student demonstrated an ability to express their ideas clearly with appropriate grammar, spelling and English expression?

2. Has the student demonstrated adequate reading and other preparation for the essay? Note also that the essay must be properly referenced using either the Harvard or Oxford referencing system. Essays which are not properly referenced will be returned to students for correction before they are marked.

3. Has the student demonstrated an ability to discuss the main issues raised by the essay question clearly and coherently?

4. Has the student demonstrated an ability to express their own views and critical reflections about the issues raised in the essay questions and to support these views with appropriate arguments and evidence?


Peak Oil – Why are we ignoring this fact?


The phrase ‘Peak Oil’ used to describe a situation when supplies of global oil touch its vertex and as a result the supply of oil decline substantially and is never expected to rise again (Macalister, 2011). If geophysicists are to be believed, the world is in peak oil situation or if it has not occurred yet, by 2015, we will be facing this situation for sure (Leanan, 2012). There is an over-the-top rise in the demand for oil in the world. We will be forced to look at the world differently because of Peak Oil as the sky touching prices of oil will leave us with no other option but to bring down usage of oil drastically. The quantity of oil that will be entering into the market will be very negligible as whatever quantity oil producing countries will produce, will be consumed domestically in these countries (Hirsch, 2008).

Though, as a human being, it is our responsibility to use minimum possible oil in our day-to-day activities in order to save our environment (Gordon, 2004). Fossil fuels provide tremendous amount of energy and there is an absence of rich, replete, inexpensive and utile alternatives of these fuels. Be it our food, transportation, heating and lighting, electronic gadgets or any other thing, we are totally dependent on fossil fuels for our every day needs. The depleting oil situation will lead to a situation where there will not be enough supply to meet the rearing demand and this will lead to major rise in prices of energy. Energy is needed to produce any good or service, and in case the price of energy will increase considerably, the price of goods and services where energy is used will also increase substantially.

Thus, the world is entering into a new world with ‘Peak Oil’ situation. The production of energy will come to a standstill. This will result in bringing an end to the industrialism and the societies where consumers are the main focus will become feckless (Leanan, 2012). There will be a drastic failure in the life of suburban areas as surge in petrol prices will lead to major rise in travelling cost and the travelling long distances between home-work and leisure will not remain feasible. Major changes will be seen in the whole global economy, numerous people will opt for working of their own instead of employing themselves and getting paid for the work they do for others.

Why are we ignoring the fact?

Leaders all over the world are very clear with the fact that there is no other alternative that can actually take place of fossil fuel. Even after knowing this fact world leader USA took the path of military to extend the oil age rather than improving infrastructure, railroads, long lasting agricultural farms, making cars which are more fuel efficient and taking other crucial measures (Macalister, 2011). Rather than doing all these things, America took the route of spending trillions of dollars on foraying into countries that produces oil. These countries not only have major portion of oil reservoir but the cost of taking out oil is minimum in these countries (OPEC spends approximately $20-22 per barrel vs. $60-80 spent by rest of the world). Americans support their action by giving an argument that their policing over oil rich countries is saving world from any kind of war that can take place over sources of energy.

If our leaders will easily admit that world has reached the peak oil stage then public will ask them to provide them alternative for the same but unfortunately they do not have any answer when they are asked about the alternative sources (Whipple, 2011). Already there has been loads of coverage on peak oil by media.  In a public television show in California, apart from peak oil, there was enormous coverage on the difficulties that experts are facing to construct wind and solar energy sources and why government is finding it difficult to follow the rule of using renewable sources of energy till 2020 for one third of total demand.

Another reason why leaders are not ready to accept the fact that peak oil stage is very close to all of us is that as soon as they will admit this fact, there will be a major crash in the stock markets all over the world. The key reason behind it is that fossil fuel has become the key ingredient of our lives. Without these fuels no industry, no society and no individual can survive now. Thus the growth without fossil fuel will come to a standstill and investors will lose their money and as a result there will be a blood bath on bourses.

Nobody has any solution for this problem. This one problem has lead to several another problems. Moreover the political interest stops our leaders to talk about a future problem which has no answer. It is believed that Jimmy Carter lost the elections just because he asked Americans to relinquish for the future. Once Richard Heinberg pointed out that opting the strategy of “being the last man standing” is best and there is a national survival interest as well. So keeping things going as they are going as long as possible is in the interest of leaders. Nobody wants to take the blame of telling people about the crash.

Even if leaders will accept this fact, then also the solution to this issue cannot be arrived. They even cannot ask people to become farmers or ranchers as for this also they will need land, and water which again is scare moreover the climate change has lead to uneven rainfalls, aquifer, melting snow etc, thus getting into agricultural activities is also next to impossible. The only way that would ease the trouble is to make it compulsory that every family can have only one child. Though there are very dim chances of creating such situation as there are many controversies pertaining to controlling birth rate. Already there is a lot of indignant among Catholics for the health care plans that cover the cost of birth control pills. Once a congressman Bartlett raised a point in a very private discussion that the main problem behind all these things is rising population, but not a single politician is bold enough to mention it in public. According to him, any mitigation in demand is offset by the  rapid growth of exponents. To illustrate his point he gave one example: Let’s assume we have coal that we have in reserve will last for 250 years and we start substituting coal for oil. Even if we will consider a very minor rate of growth say of 2% a year in consumption of coal as we will need huge amount of coal to replace oil, then the reserves of coal will last for not more than 85 years. In case we will convert coal in liquid form then also it will not survive for more than 50 years as whole lot of energy will be needed to do that.

Telling people what they want to hear is the source to gain votes, wealth and power. People favour those politicians who tell them good things, whether they are realistic or not. A politician who will bring hard truth in front of them will not get their support and may lose the elections. More over ideas like controlling population, save energy, vanishing resources do not help leaders in winning elections.

All those who know the truth are quite hopeful that scientists will come out with a solution to this problem but again scientists are also hungry for the name and fame (Hulbert, 2011). They do those discoveries which can get them Nobel prizes and loads of money.

However researchers associated with energy issues are very well aware of the fact that climatic change and peak oil condition has lead to crucial danger for whole humanity. They are worrisome as well as scary. U.C. Berkeley’s scientists are also conscious about the unfavourable consequence that bio fuels may have on environment. They have decided to chosen to focus on a politically probable strategy of emphasizing lack of water to prevent large programs in this from being funded. They are putting extra ordinary efforts to avoid running power plants that supply electricity to California on energy generated by firing coal. They are trying to replace coal with natural gas to generate electricity. They are also trying to expand the grid, taxing carbon, energy efficiency, nuclear power, geothermal, wind, and so on. Everyone is waiting for a miracle and is trying to increase the age of oil, bring down greenhouse gases, and so on. But the downside slope of Hubert’s curve so near, and the week financial system ready to burst again anytime given the debt and lack of reforms, it is difficult to assess how long anyone can stretch things out.

Ignoring the fact of peak oil is and climate change is like thinking as a chess player, think of several future moves before taking a step (Rapier, 2010).  People who deny this fact believe that denying can postpone the problem. Maybe for them peak oil will never occur if they do not accept the situation. Or it is a strategic plan to delay the idea and let the air out of tires of civilization as slowly as possible to avoid the situation of panic and discontinuity.

Oil prices are most common headlines in daily newspapers and news channels (Grubb, 2010). The Western Europe benchmark Brent crude has hovered near $100 / barrel recently. IEA has warned about the unbearable burden being posed by oil consumption. Should this be taken as an indication of threats or just a mere statistical highlight of a “well supplied” market? The oil prices have surged on the back on strong demand, some being structural and some transient. So the question arises, in the coming years how will the events come to play in the oil markets? Climatic changes have resulted in striking cold winters in the northern hemisphere, which led to increased heating oil usage. Also, the global economy is going through a recovery phase after recession, as a result of which even the demand is bouncing back after the recessionary low. These may be passing events to some extent. But the fact remains that the demand is continuously increasing much faster than its supply and this is fundamentally reflected in its increasing price.

Astonishing is the word used to describe the recent growth of oil demand. Though it is not unexpected, it is still impressive to see its pace. While it is not unexpected from our perspective, demand growth is still impressive. If EIA is to be believed, there was a rise of about 3.2% or about 2.8 million b/d in consumption of liquid petroleum globally in three months through January 2011 in comparison to the similar three months in the year 2010. In the twelve years to 1972, there was a 150% growth or a growth of 30 million b/d in consumption of oil worldwide. Annually there has been a growth of 2.7 million b/d on an average.

Huge problem…small initiatives

Many Governments have started taking the steps towards the initiative to face the problem of peak oil. The officials of the Britain’s Department of Energy and Climate Change are not ready to face the problem of peak oil publically, on the other hand the Guardian reports that the DECC, Ministry of Defence and the Bank of England were involved in a peak oil workshop. Reports indicate that some officials in Britain are considering the challenge of peak oil and its impact on economic and military scale and the contingency plan if the peak oil turns out to be disruptive.

Not only Britain, a military study conducted in Germany also came out with adverse effects that peak oil could have on economies and countries. A leaked draft of the report by the Bundeswehr Transformation Centre was in charge of this report. A draft which got leaked from this report and was made available on SPIEGEL ONLINE clearly admonishes about the shifting of power globally, creation of interdependent relations, decreasing importance of western industrial nations, complete destruction of consumer markets and of the “total collapse of the markets” and of severe political and economic danger.  Irrespective of whether one accepts the problem of peak oil or not, it may be noted that some governments have already started taking the problem seriously and also looking for measures to avoid the disaster that could be caused.

Transition Initiatives is the term used for the initiatives that have been started by many communities to face the challenges like peak oil, destruction of climate and environmental imbalance. Places from all over the world are adding to the list that is making efforts for these problems, like towns in Australia, Brazil, Portugal or rural areas of Slovenia, cities of Britain, islands on the coast of Canada. These projects started by these places are targeted to make efforts in respect of energy consumption, waste, transportation, education, food etc. to tackle the issue of falling supply of inexpensive source of energy.


There is a correlation of 1:1 between the fall in production of oil and fall in the economy (Hirsch, 2008). Thus if every year there is a decline of 2.5% in global economy, then after 10 years, global economy will shrink by 25%. This decline will lead to a major destruction of wealth all over the world. To realise how situation would be if we choose not to change today, its depressing, demoralising and discouraging. But change is inevitable when it is imposed by the nature. We are not short of information about the situation, but short of understanding of its severity. It is difficult to understand why we continue to destroy our environment on which we depend so much, but it’s definitely not because we don’t know any better. It is because we don’t want to know it. It is ironical how there is an optimism of the Transition movement, which is seen widely among humans, and a similar optimism seems to enable us to blinker out unpleasantries, like the impossibility of endless economic growth or the need to radically change the way we do things.

People who contend that the problem of peak oil is a very real and evident one, that we need to be concerned and push efforts for the development of alternative sources of energy  that are even renewable and are not in the danger of eventual decline due to changing conditions (Matt, 2011). On the other hand, those who do not accept the idea of peak oil or that we are anywhere near to the point of decline of this energy source believe that there is nothing to worry about. The facts and situation are right there in front of us, to believe it or not is a choice.









Macalister, T., 2011. UK ministers ignored ‘peak oil’ warnings. [online] Available at: <http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jun/15/peak-oil-warning> [Accessed 18 May 2012 ].

Hirsch, R., 2008. Mitigation of Maximum World Oil Production:Shortage Scenarios. [online] Available at: < http://www.postpeakliving.com/blog/aangel/estimating-economic-impacts-peak-oil > [Accessed 18 May 2012 ].

Rapier, R., 2010. Leaked Study on Peak Oil Warns of Severe Global Energy Crisis. [online] Available at: <http://www.consumerenergyreport.com/2010/09/02/leaked-study-peak-oil-warns-severe-global-energy-crisis/> [Accessed 18 May 2012 ].

Whipple, T., 2011. The peak oil crisis: a report to remember. [online] Available at: < http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2011-11-22/peak-oil-crisis-report-remember> [Accessed 18 May 2012 ].

Grubb, A., 2011. Peak Oil Primer. [online] Available at: < http://energybulletin.net/primer.php> [Accessed 18 May 2012 ].

Leanan., 2012. Dump the pump: could peak oil be voluntary?. [online] Available at: < http://www.theoildrum.com/> [Accessed 18 May 2012 ].

Hulbert, M., 2011. Peak Oil Off: Great Game On. [online] Available at: < http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewhulbert/2012/04/19/peak-oil-off-great-game-on/> [Accessed 18 May 2012 ].

Gordon, J., 2004. Peak Oil: a brief introduction. [online] Available at: < http://peakoil.org.uk/> [Accessed 18 May 2012 ].

Matt., 2011. UK government report in 2009 picked late peak oil scenario – and got it wrong. [online] Available at: < http://crudeoilpeak.info/uk-government-report-in-2009-picked-late-peak-oil-scenario-and-got-it-wrong> [Accessed 18 May 2012 ].


“The presented piece of writing is a good example how the academic paper should be written. However, the text can’t be used as a part of your own and submitted to your professor – it will be considered as plagiarism.

But you can order it from our service and receive complete high-quality custom paper.  Our service offers Society essay sample that was written by professional writer. If you like one, you have an opportunity to buy a similar paper. Any of the academic papers will be written from scratch, according to all customers’ specifications, expectations and highest standards.” Please  Click on the  below links to Chat Now  or fill the Order Form !

order-now-new                                   chat-new (1)