World energy consumption has been rising at a conerning rate since the mid 1970s. The reliance on oil presents a problem as this form of fuelruns out, the energy crisis worsens. Although rates of increase in energy use have been declining, the industrialization, agricultural development and rapidly growing populations of developing countries will need much more energy. However to bring the developing countries' energy use up to that of industrialized countries by the year 2025 would require an increase in the current global energy use by a factor of five. The planetary ecosystem could not stand this, especially if the increases were based on non-renewable fossil fuels. The current threats of global warming and acidification of the environment also tend to preclude even a doubling of energy use based on the present pattern of energy supply.
The energy crisis dates from the early 1970's and when Libya successfully challenged the world oil production-pricing policies traditionally dictated by the international oil companies. By 1980 the international oil companies had lost control of the world oil markets. Explorations in such areas of Alaska, the Arctic, the North Sea, and the continental USA failed to procure great benefits, and OPEC and Third World proven oil reserves failed to grown; thus the possibility of oil running out within 50 years became statistically demonstrable.
1. The so-called energy crisis owes more to politics, prices and technological gaps than to physical shortages of crude oil and other fuels. There are no shortages in fuels, because when prices of carbon-based fuels rise enough effective alternatives will be found.
2. The global energy problem has less to do with depleting resources than with controlling pollutants. No global shortages of hydrocarbon fuels are in sight. Reserves of oil and natural gas will last seventy to a hundred years if exploited at 1990 rates. (This does not take into account huge deposits of oil shale, heavy oils, and gas from unconventional sources.