This is where we stand, and it's a fairly bleak view: "Peak oil" -- the concept that the globe's oil supplies are finite and will, perhaps sooner rather than later, run out entirely -- is almost here. Nothing new (with the possible but unlikely exception of Iraq) is coming online anytime soon. And while the clock is ticking, forward movement on developing renewable energy resources has been sadly inadequate. In the meantime, the idea that shale reservoirs will lead the US to energy independence will soon enough be recognized as unrealistic hype. There are no easy solutions, no viable quick fixes, and no magic fluids. Yet the future isn't all doom and gloom: Certain energy technologies do show promise. We had a chance to speak with well-known energy expert Dave Summers, where we cut through the media noise and take a realistic look at what our energy future holds.
Dr. Dave Summers — scientist, prolific writer and author of "Waterjetting Technology" — is the co-founder of energy discussion website The Oil Drum and currently writes at the popular energy blog Bit Tooth Energy. From a family of nine generations of coal miners, Summers' patented waterjetting technology enables the high-speed drilling of small holes through the earth, among other applications.