To understand why peak oil is a problem you need to be able to hold about a dozen facts
in your mind simultaneously. If you can do that then suddenly a light will go on in your mind—you will
“get it”—and from then on you will understand the true nature of the problem. If one critical fact is missing
from your understanding, then you will be able to say to yourself that this may not really be an important
issue to consider in your life.
Eventually I may add links from these basic points to more lengthy explanations of them. There are plenty of
other websites with this information already there, if you look for it.
Oil is necessary for every aspect of our modern society. Not only transport—it is the raw material for all
plastics, basically all pharmaceuticals (drugs), pesticides (needed for our modern methods of food production),
and many other chemicals and other items essential to maintain our modern way of life. Fertilisers, also essential
for our modern food production, are made from natural gas—which is usually found with oil, has its own peak of
production, and appears to have already peaked in North America. Without oil, we would be able to produce only a
fraction of the food supply that we can now. It is estimated that 9 in 10 calories in our modern/western food come
from fossil fuels, not even allowing for packaging and transportation (then it would be 19 in 20). You hear quotes
all the time like how what farmers used to think of as “soil” is increasingly becoming just a sterile substrate for
the addition of fossil-fuel-based fertilisers and pesticides, to allow for food to grow…