July 15, 2008

Program Takes Low-Key Look at Peak Oil


GREENSBORO -- Peter Kauber didn't want to frighten anyone on Saturday. Instead, Kauber aimed to get enough of his audience uncomfortable with worldwide oil supply challenges to go home and do their own research.

"I am not hoping that peak oil comes true," Kauber told people gathered in a room at the Kathleen Clay Edwards library. "Nobody in my community hopes it comes true."

The concept of peak oil -- the point at which the rate of global oil production reaches its maximum before declining -- has received more media attention recently because of record-setting fuel prices.

Some oil experts, including Texas energy investor Matthew Simmons, predict the peak in production will occur within five years. They also believe the decline will present serious economic challenges for the United States, which depends heavily on oil for transportation.

More than 40 people attended Saturday's peak oil presentation by Kauber, who coordinates the Guilford Solar Communities program.

Kauber did not focus on the possible effects of peak oil or solutions in his presentation, but said he may follow up with additional meetings later.

A sustainability advisory committee recently appointed by the Greensboro City Council also plans to add peak oil to its agenda.

"My guess is we are the people we have been waiting for and we better get started," Kauber told attendees.

Bob Kollar of Greensboro said he appreciated Kauber's low-key approach to the controversial topic and planned to use the presentation as a springboard to discussions with the environmental groups he represents.

"This raises my consciousness of the problem," said Kollar, who serves on the city's sustainability committee. "This strikes me as not if it's going to happen, but when. I think if the information could get out on a broader basis, it would be good."

Contact Morgan Josey Glover at 373-7078 or [email protected] record.com

(c) 2008 Greensboro News Record. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.