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Kurt Cobb: secrets and treachery of the arrival of peak oil

Kurt Cobb talks with Kirk Heinze on WJR

Kurt Cobb is a Kalamazoo-based author and columnist who focuses on energy and the environment, and he's the author of a brand new novel called Prelude.  It's about the secrets and treachery surrounding the arrival of peak oil.

"Peak oil is the point at which the worldwide production reaches its highest level that it will ever reach and thereafter it begins an irreversible decline," Cobb says.  "It's a reality in the United States where peak oil occurred in 1970."

It's important, says Cobb, because economic growth in the world depends on an ever-increasing supply of cheap oil.

"We went and got the easy oil in the first 150 years of the oil age and now we're going after the hard to get oil," says Cobb.  "That's the stuff that's in the arctic and the deep waters of the ocean.

"It's expensive and dangerous to get and it flows at a slower rate, and it can be very costly in environmental terms to get this oil out of these difficult to reach places as the BP oil spill showed us last spring and summer."

The fastest way to adapt to a peak oil scenario is to reduce consumption, Cobb says.

"We could share rides and immediately cut gasoline consumption drastically," Cobb says.  "There's a lot we could immediately without severe hardship."

Click on the arrow above to hear Cobb's February 13 Greening of the Great Lakes conversation with Kirk HeinzeGreening of the Great Lakes airs Sunday evenings at 9 on News/Talk 760 WJR.

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