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Enjoy GP's page of peak oil quotes/quotations, peak energy quotes & quotes about oil peaking.

This page presents peak oil quotes and peak energy quotations -- trenchant things said about peak oil, shrinking oil production, oil shortages, and more. I have divided the quotes on the page into two sections: serious and funny.

I'll keep adding to this peak oil quotes list over time. If you know of a great peak oil quote, you can email it to me. My regular multimedia pointers frequently cover peak oil issues. You can get Grinning Planet by email for free.


Serious Peak Oil Quotations ... and ...

"Surveying the available alternative energy sources for criteria such as energy density, environmental impacts, reliance on depleting raw materials, intermittency versus constancy of supply, and the percentage of energy returned on the energy invested in energy production, none currently appears capable of perpetuating this kind of society."

Richard Heinberg, from his article,
"Temporary Recession or the End of Growth?"

"There are few problems which have greater potential to quickly unsettle the North American public and strain essential services than suddenly being denied access to fuel."

Rick Munroe, from his article, "Fuel Emergency"   (Pt1Pt2)

"Here in the United States we're now consuming about three gallons of petroleum per person per day. That's twenty pounds of oil per person per day. We only consume about four pounds of oxygen per person per day. We're consuming five times more oil each day, here in the United States than we are oxygen. We've become the oil tribe."

Randy Udall, speaking in the film
Sprawling From Grace; Driven To Madness

"Where the United States is in regard to oil: most of the untapped reserves we have left are smaller, deeper, farther offshore, less permeable, increasingly sour, and generally more expensive to bring to market. And the more we drill, the more this will be the case... The faster we use up the little oil we have left, the quicker OPEC will be the only one at the table with any chips left. Strategically, this is a loserís strategy."

Timothy Kailing

"OPEC, over the last 20 years, has not managed to add any additional capacity. So we're in a world today where we're going to need a vast amount of additional energy, and we're utterly dependent on countries that in the past generation have added absolutely no additional capacity."

Steven Lee, oil analyst

"Oil depletion and climate change will create an entirely new context in which political struggles will be played out. Within that context, it is not just freedom, democracy, and equality that are at stake, but the survival of billions of humans and of whole ecosystems."

Richard Heinberg, Powerdown

"Saudi Arabian oil production is at or very near its peak sustainable volume (if it did not, in fact peak almost 25 years ago), and is likely to go into decline in the very foreseeable future. There is only a small probability that Saudi Arabia will ever deliver the quantities of petroleum that are assigned to it in all the major forecasts of world oil production and consumption."

Matthew Simmons, from Twilight in the Desert

"[The report 'World Energy Outlook 2006'] reveals that the energy future we are facing today, based on projections of current trends, is dirty, insecure and expensive."

Claude Mandil, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency

"The real problem is that we use too much oil. It's that simple and that difficult. If we truly want to reduce our vulnerability to high prices, the best way to do so is to reduce consumption."

Richard Heinberg, author of Peak Everything

"Technology is great, but it can't find what's not there. In the last five years, we consumed 27 billion barrels of oil a year, but the oil industry discovered only three billion barrels a year. So only one barrel was replaced for every nine we used!"

L.B. Magoon report for U.S. Geological Survey, as quoted in E Magazine

"In my humble opinion, we should now have reached peak oil. So it is high time to close this critical chapter in the history of international oil industry and bid the mighty peak farewell."

Ali Samsam Bakhtiari, Vice President of the National Iranian Oil Company

"We've run out of good projects. This is not a money issue... If these oil companies had fantastic projects, they'd be out there [developing new fields]."

Matthew Simmons, author of Twilight in the Desert

"The idea that we industrialized humans are immune to the natural laws that have restrained growth in other species—and humans in past social regimes—is to me so self-servingly blind as to be morally reprehensible."

Richard Heinberg, Powerdown

"Through our inattention, we have wasted the years that we might have used to prepare for lessened oil supplies. The next ten years are critical."

Kenneth S. Deffeyes, Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert's Peak

"We've embarked on the beginning of the last days of the age of oil."

Mike Bowlin, Chairman, ARCO

"...More important than the deficit, more important then healthcare—more important than anything—we have got to do something about our energy strategy. Because if we permit the climate to continue to warm at an unsustainable rate, and if we keep on doing what we're doing until we're out of oil and we haven't made the transition, then it's inconceivable to me that our children and grandchildren will be able to maintain the American way of life and that the world won't be much fuller of resource-based wars of all kinds."

former president Bill Clinton, speaking in the film
Sprawling From Grace; Driven To Madness

"We are not good at recognizing distant threats even if their probability is 100%. Society ignoring [peak oil] is like the people of Pompeii ignoring the rumblings below Vesuvius."

James Schlesinger, former US Energy Secretary

"The end-of-the-fossil-hydrocarbons scenario is not therefore a doom-and-gloom picture painted by pessimistic end-of-the-world prophets, but a view of scarcity in the coming years and decades that must be taken seriously."

Deutsche Bank

"Until you change the way money works, you change nothing."

Michael Ruppert, From the Wilderness Peak Oil Blog

"We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality."

Ayn Rand

"I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that."

Thomas Edison, 1931


Related Grinning Planet articles

Peak Oil and Environment — The Coming Environmental Impact

Peak Oil Solutions — Real Energy Solutions for Declining Energy Supplies

See more articles in this category





Funny Peak Oil Quotations ... and ...

"My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I drive a Mercedes, my son drives a Land Rover, his son will drive a Land Rover, but his son will ride a camel."

— attributed to Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emir of Dubai

"The United States has compensated for its production decline by importing oil. The planet does not have that option."

Russell A. Brown, Argonne National Laboratory

"The Senate is now considering increasing government subsidies for corn growers to produce more ethanol. If we produce enough ethanol we can postpone our next invasion of a Middle Eastern country for two to three years."

Jay Leno

"Well, the common enemy in North America is the Western consumer. The consumer has driven oil up to $50 a barrel so we have to have these wars. I think it's incumbent upon us to."

Dan Aykroyd

"As we head to war with Iraq, President Bush wants to make one thing clear: This war is not about oil. It's about gasoline."

Jay Leno




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If you know of a great peak oil quote that I missed, I'd love for you to email it to me. Provide the text of the quote and who said it; and, if you have it, a reference where we can verify the text and the spelling of the person's name (a web page address, Bartlett's, etc.). So... email the quote. Thanks!

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