Peak Oil has now had a few years to pan out. If the predictions had been true then we would be seeing some evidence now. But instead of course things have panned out very differently. Oil is popping up all over the world, particularly in Alaska, Brazil, USA, Arctic Circle, New Zealand. This has been helped, as economists predicted, by the fact that the price of oil is sky high.
So it is about now that we can read some of the sillier comments made a few years ago. Here is one I enjoyed:
While it would be difficult to create an airtight legal case forThe Energy Bulletin describes itself as:
impeaching George W. Bush based on his ignoring the very real threat
posed by Peak Oil, nevertheless I believe that his actions—and
inaction—in this regard constitute dereliction of duty on an
a clearinghouse for information regarding the peak in global energy supplyIt is focussed on anything to do with peak energy, including:
- energy production statistics, models, projections and analysis
- articles which provide insight into the implications of peak oil...
- a range of information to help preparedness for peak energy...
- any other subjects that could lead to better understanding the implications of an energy production peak
But strangely it doesn't focus much on the much more useful question of whether the whole thing is just a load of hot air.Here is the case from Richard Heinberg's article:
- Peak Oil is foreseeable.
It certainly is at $10 a barrel, but at $120, it is highly, highly unlikely. At $10 a barrel I would rather roast peanuts than drill for oil. At $120 I've already starting digging in my back yard. People respond to incentives, a fact that environmentalists never fail to miss.
- The consequences are also foreseeable and are likely to be ruinous.
The consequences of a Martian invasion are similar, yet we sleep soundly at night. The point is not the consequences, so much as whether it is actually going to happen.
- The Bush administration has been repeatedly warned.
The Bush administration has been warned about the dangers of a Martian invasion, but few are bothered.
- Actions could be taken to reduce the impact, but the longer those actions are delayed, the worse the impact will be.
This is referring to changing energy sources, but this is a long term aim, not something that is possible in 5 years. Or at least not without destroying the economy. Which is perhaps where the intentions of environmentalists and the Bush administration diverge.
- The administration, rather than taking steps to mitigate these looming catastrophic impacts, has instead done things that can only worsen them.
The case for this isn't really made in the article. But I think would be a very difficult case to make.