Editors Note: The following excerpt is from an interview published on the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Website. The full article can be accessed here.
Tim Parsons, director of Public Affairs, discussed the “peak oil” theory, or the point at which the maximum production rate for the world’s oil is reached, with Brian Schwartz, MD, professor in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences and co-director of the School’s Program on Global Sustainability and Health. Once the peak is passed, oil production is expected to decline continuously. (Learn more about peak oil here.) Schwartz explains how future demand for energy could impact on our society and our health.
Question: What will be the impact of peak oil on our economy and our daily lives?
Answer: Petroleum and other fossil fuels are essential to all aspects of our daily lives. It is a very unique source of energy that cannot be replaced. Oil does work for us. It moves us around in automobiles and planes and it powers heavy machinery. The transportation sector cannot currently function without it. Oil is heavily used in food production and distribution including everything from fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation to agricultural machinery, transportation and refrigeration.