An interesting thing happened last month. The Oil Drum, a well-regarded website + blog, announced it was ceasing operations and archiving itself for posterity. Well, everything has its day - we can all list blogs that were thriving a few years back but are no longer with us.
Some have suggested it was the extraordinary shale-based renaissance of US gas and oil production that did for the Drum. Probably not. But, fairly or unfairly, the Drum was associated with 'peak oil', which at its simplest is a view (or theory or doctrine or whatever) that global oil production - as a function of oil-in-the-ground - is doomed to peak, after which we start 'running out of oil'.
At its simplest, it is Malthusian hogwash. Of course, there are more nuanced versions than that, and the Drum shouldn't be tarred with the brush one would use for countering hogwash. Much more important is the concept of EROEI - energy return on energy invested, which has been another Drum favourite. And this concept really does bear careful consideration. Declining EROEI could be the end of civilisation as we know it for, in the immortal words of James Lovelock - "civilisation is energy-intensive". Better believe it.
So - no more drum-beat. But you'll not stop hearing about EROEI.