Peak oil is a controversial theory that suggests oil production is peaking and will invariably decline over the coming years, leaving the industrial world facing short supplies.
In its own way, the theory is more controversial than climate change and rests on interpretation of arcane numbers.
Indeed, there are those who point to recent finds of giant oil reserves off places like Brazil and argue that there’s far more oil left in the ground than we can imagine. However, the peak oil advocates are now picking up support and their warnings ought to be of at least passing interest to auto industry planners, some of which have already embraced it, notably General Motors.
In the past, anyone speaking out about oil supply challenges was usually stereotyped as a fringe element with little knowledge about the oil industry, notes a Denver-based organization called the Association for Study of Peak Oil & Gas.