8 thoughts on “The Peak Oil Myth”

  1. Not if they manage to stop it dead. Causes earthquakes and poisons farm animals, you see. Can’t be healthy. Must be stopped.

  2. Not only that, but the oil peakers ignore context. They point out, truly, that oil production has already peaked and declined–didn’t someone mention that in a comment here just last week?–but they fail to take into account that there may be other reasons for that decline than “the US is running out of oil.” They ignore the fact that there is LOTS of oil in the US that people quit pumping because foreign oil was cheaper. I assume some of that hasn’t come back yet because it’s still not fully recoverable even at current market prices. They also ignore technological advancements like fracking which lower the cost of recovering previously-unrecoverable oil, AS WELL AS the fact that if the Federal government won’t allow people to drill that oil, it won’t increase production!

  3. On a related topic, I thought it was a great oversight that Time ignored Norman Borlaug in hyping its “Person of the (20th) Century.”

    Norman Borlaug has passed on but he was still living at the close of the 20th century and perhaps ineligible for the dubious honor (I think it went to Albert Einstein in connection with atomic energy, which is a kind of indirect connection were you to think about it). My reasoning is that Borlaug’s silent and often not noted work in crop yields saved many more lives than all those lost to the wars started by tyrants who are better known on account of their notoriety.

    The Green Revolution put the lie to Paul Erlich’s “Population Bomb” and prophesy of food security problems, even in the U.S., by the mid 1980’s. I mean c’mon people, you are all science fiction as well as science geeks, take a look at Arthur Clarke’s novelization “2001”, which has large scale lunar colonies by now along with severe Earthside food security problems, even in the developed world. Arthur Clarke believed The Population Bomb, and what happened?

    What happened is Norman Borlaug and colleagues, funded by the “tainted money” of foundations funded by the “robber barons” of an earlier generation.

    But when Norman Borlaug was asked what he thought about food security and Malthusian predictions, even he believed in them inasmuch that he reasoned that the Green Revolution had granted the world’s multitudes a reprieve, but at some point the world had to approach some kind of asymptote of a stable population because he had doubts whether the magic he had worked could be repeated.

    My engineering intuition and life experience suggests that “fracking” will give us a reprieve on Peak Oil and that contrary to the Warmists, the environment will do OK with the increased CO2. I also think the Right Wing are becoming in like manner Peak National Debt alarmists. But just because I believe that the remaining endowment of oil is maybe closer to 5 trillion barrels instead of 1 billion, and that in the Great Recession the 15 trillion in debt is not the worry people think it is, doesn’t mean that we will reach some limits, in the available sources of hydrocarbons, in the ability of the environment to handle extraction and combustion of those hydrocarbons, and in the soundness of our money in the presence of that quantity of it in the form of debt.

    1. Type innumeracy — I am thinking there is perhaps another 5 trillion barrels of oil to go. Peakist think there is no more than 1 trillion to go — we have used up already 1 trillion barrels of oil over the course of the Oil Age and we have another 1 trillion left, which means we are at Peak Oil, and so on.

    2. I also think the Right Wing are becoming in like manner Peak National Debt alarmists.

      I don’t see how that analogy can work. Debt isn’t a mostly conserved quantity. We can always greatly increase what we owe with a pen stroke unlike the supply of oil or natural gas.

      Or maybe the analogy is supposed to be that large debts aren’t necessarily bad? Depends what you spend the borrowed money on. A companion belief to the idea that high government debt is bad is that government spending tends to be low value. One would need to show first that the benefit of borrowing exceeds its costs before advocating higher debt loads.

    3. If you’ve got something concrete on Norman Borlaug, the Green Revolution, and deaths in wars started by tyrants… never mind. With regard to the remaining endowment of oil and the remaining endowment of debt.

      One of these things is not like the other. What is our reprieve if we run out of the latter?

    4. Ever growing dept will eventually reach a point where lenders will insist on higher interest rates, if they’ll lend at all. At which point the borrower must repent of profligate spending or default on the debt. For governments that print their own money, the latter may be done by price inflation.

      Seems to me that a debtor hitting his credit limit and defaulting may onset far more suddenly than a decline of oil production after peak.

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