The Peak Oil Clock

We hear and read all sorts of numbers bandied about regarding oil consumption; phenomenal figures that are really hard to get our heads around.

Sometimes it’s a long way from the head to the heart and static figures and statistics don’t feel “real” at times.

Imagine if we could see the number of Olympic sized swimming pools filled with oil the world burns a day – or physically be in the middle of a major oil spill to get a sense of the scale. We might not be able to do that, but this application helps make oil consumption a little more real – the Peak Oil Clock.

Peak Oil Clock from EnergyAndCapital

The “since arriving” number you see on the Peak Oil clock is the number of barrels consumed just since your web browser loaded the application.

Peak Oil is the time when oil production begins to go into a state of decline. Some argue that time has already begun in terms of oil that’s easy to get at and it’s the even more environmentally destructive extraction practices such as those used in Canada’s tar sands operations that are keeping our fossil fuel addiction fed.

As you sit and watch the numbers spin on the Peak Oil Clock, consider how the world will be when consumption then starts to outpace production. It’s a fantastic thought in some ways as it heralds the end of the stuff – but if the world isn’t ready for that scenario, it may be quite a nasty shock. Aside from transportation and energy, bear in mind so many products are based on petrochemicals these days; including many plastics.

Unlike water we consume that always finds its way back into the environment (but often not in a “potable” state), once oil is consumed, it is gone. Oil is very much a finite resource, one not being replenished through natural forces at a rate that matches our consumption.

Looming peak oil is another reason why governments need to increase funding for renewable energy. It’s not just the warm and fuzzies in relation to environmental issues; it just makes sense when all the consequences of not being ready when that time comes are considered.


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