Peak oil, anyone?
In a comment posted to Tuesday's "How global warming will save us from peak oil," Tadeusz Patzek, a U.C. Berkeley professor of chemical engineering who has made How the World Works appearances here and here, provided a data point on oil production worth repeating.
We track world oil production using perhaps the most reliable source, Oil & Gas Journal. Their database has been updated through July 2007. World oil production declined 386,000 barrels of oil per day relative to the same period in 2006. If it continues for the full year, I believe this will be the first year-on-year decline in world oil production since 1984-1985.
Those would seem to be significant numbers.