March 17 -- Remember Peak Oil? That was the notion, au courant a few years ago, that we have reached the limit of how much petroleum the planet can produce in a year. Of course, the shale revolution and continued exploration have proved that thesis wrong. And we should be careful about making projections about long-term developments in energy use. I still remember coming home in a panic from eighth-grade science class in 1980, when Mr. Smith told us there was enough oil left on the planet for only 30 to 35 more years.
But it now appears we may be reaching another peak, with a different fossil fuel. Only this time, the peak isn’t in production—it may be in consumption. I’m talking about Peak Coal. >>View Article