According to Nielsen’s trend monitor, BlogPulse, weblog mentions of ‘Peak Oil’ themselves peaked on June 27 2008.
In spite of such compelling evidence, sceptics argue that supplies of Peak Oil opinion are actually unlimited and will never run out. Others are more cautious and warn that not talking about it won’t make the issue go away. They also warn that if demand for Peak Oil talk did ever outstrip supply, the blog would be a very different place from the blog we have always known.
Though the trend seems clear, it’s too early to tell yet whether this really is a peak, or whether we’re seeing instead early indications of a less radical ‘undulating plateau’.
Experts note that this pattern is fully compatible with the well-known ‘Hubbert curve’ hypothesis of resource extraction, and that M. King Hubbert himself would have predicted the present shortfall in Peak Oil blogging- if only he had remembered to predict the invention of the blog itself.
To avert an impending Peak Oil blog crisis, many American bloggers are considering asking their OPEC counterparts to increase production of views about Peak Oil, although there is widespread concern that this may still be too little, to late. It has even been suggested that opinion-producers could dilute their blogs using so-called ‘advanced recovery technology’. In this way, Peak Oil talk could be sustained well beyond current expectations.
The opinion of this author is that even though we may indeed have exhausted half of all the words about Peak Oil that will ever be written, we won’t run out completely for at least another, oh, let’s say thirty years.
Furthermore, absolute shortages of Peak Oil talk are highly unlikely and in any case can be avoided by means of substitutes such as unconventional Peak Oil talk. We may not know what this is yet, but that certainly won’t stop us from talking about it.
And if all else fails we can always talk about peaks in many other commodities – a trend already clearly identifiable among key opinion-formers.
One thing is certain: the current lull in Peak Oil talk has nothing whatever to teach us about our amazingly short-term view of energy resources, which stops us thinking any further than this week’s prices at the pump, and which encourages us to believe that as soon as oil prices drop slightly we can all go back to talking about Paris Hilton.
So relax Peak Oil pundits, as ever there’s nothing to worry about. Just remember you read it here first.