A year ago to the day I first wrote about Peak Oil. Wow, what a year it has been!

In that post I touched on the fact that we cannot count on alternative or renewable sources of energy to bail us out of this predicament:

… And while some renewable energy sources hold promise for supplying some energy, it is likely that in the short term we won’t be able to come anywhere close to meeting demand. For reasons I won’t get into here [...] hydrogen fuel cells and biofuels are not answers but rather dangerous distractions.

Last summer Kurt Cobb wrote an article (which I just came across now) that very clearly explains why this may hold true not only for the short term, but long term as well. The issue is what David Goodstein called the ‘rate of conversion’ problem.

Here is Kurt’s article about the ‘rate of conversion’ problem, which you should consider our required reading assignment for the week  ;-)