No one knows exactly how much oil is left hidden beneath the earth’s surface, but we can all agree on one thing: it is a finite supply. The U.S. military is well aware of this, and is looking at developing alternative energy solutions for troop and material deployment to preserve the fossil fuel we have left. As you’d imagine, the Department of Defense probably has more than a few people assigned to the task of projecting just how much fermented dinosaur juice remains untapped. Their recent findings don’t bode well for those of us who enjoy the sound of a V8 at full throttle.
Per the D.O.D’s less-than-optimistic projections, surplus oil production will cease as soon as 2012, with production falling behind demand to the tune of 10 million barrels per day by 2015. Worldwide demand for oil is expected to exceed 86.6 million barrels per day in 2010, exceeding the record of 86.5 million barrels per day set in 2007, before the global economy was flushed down the crapper. Add in the growing demand for automobiles in places like China and India, and you can safely bet that worldwide demand for fossil fuel isn’t going to be decreasing any time soon.
Let’s hope that these projections are truly the dire worst case; after all, our military isn’t known for viewing the glass as being half full. As unpleasant as it may be, I can learn to embrace a future without gasoline powered cars and motorcycles (once the bugs are worked out of electric vehicles, of course). It’s the rest of the baggage associated with the collapse of the oil industry that concerns me.