Infoscience

Journal article

'Peak Oil' As Classical Economic Process

Forecasts about 'peak oil', the limits of oil production, are the subject of controversies. 'Peak oil' forecasts are based on extrapolations of a priori chosen mathematical models fitted to field data. Scientifically that is not very sound. To clarify this point, in this paper 'peak oil' is modelled in a generic reductionist, approach, in which the conflicting dynamic between economic forces and physical laws are well identified. This model finds a natural interpretation just supress in a classical economic analysis frame. The 'peak oil' controversy is thus brought into the field of economic thought as a debate between classical and mainstream economics, in particular between an objective and a faith based appraisal about this historical event. The goal is not to improve forecasts about 'peak oil', which is very likely not a predictable event, but to propose an objective framework for the analysis of its systemic effects on economic production.

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