Skip to comments.There Will Be Oil (advocates of 'peak oil' have wrongly been predicting a crisis in energy supplies)
Posted on 09/19/2011 2:25:22 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Since the beginning of the 21st century, a fear has come to pervade the prospects for oil, fueling anxieties about the stability of global energy supplies. It has been stoked by rising prices and growing demand, especially as the people of China and other emerging economies have taken to the road.
This specter goes by the name of "peak oil."
Its advocates argue that the world is fast approaching (or has already reached) a point of maximum oil output. They warn that "an unprecedented crisis is just over the horizon." The result, it is said, will be "chaos," to say nothing of "war, starvation, economic recession, possibly even the extinction of homo sapiens."
The date of the predicted peak has moved over the years. It was once supposed to arrive by Thanksgiving 2005. Then the "unbridgeable supply demand gap" was expected "after 2007." Then it was to arrive in 2011. Now "there is a significant risk of a peak before 2020."
But there is another way to visualize the future availability of oil: as a "plateau."
In this view, the world has decades of further growth in production before flattening out into a plateauperhaps sometime around midcenturyat which time a more gradual decline will begin. And that decline may well come not from a scarcity of resources but from greater efficiency, which will slacken global demand.
Those sounding the alarm over oil argue that about half the world's oil resources already have been produced and that the point of decline is nearing. "It's quite a simple theory and one that any beer-drinker understands," said the geologist Colin Campbell, one of the leaders of the movement. "The glass starts full and ends empty, and the faster you drink it, the quicker it's gone."
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
” possibly even the extinction of homo sapiens”
I get the crisis part, but how do they figure this? There are plenty of people in the world totally or nearly so independent of the need for oil. Are you telling me the collapse of modern economies is going to hurt hunter-gatherers in Papua New Guinea?
Great! I can’t wait for $1.50 a gallon gas to come back soon.............../s
Too many facts, too much history, does not support the global warming agenda or statist control...and far too many instances of clear thinking and logic...This guy must be a Conservative or in the pay of the Koch Bros, Halliburton and BP!! LOL!
“Peak Oil” is no more about the price of gasoline, diesel and Jet-A than “Global Warming” is about temperature change. Both issues are used by those with agendas of worry and change, primarily to destroy our prosperity and our liberty.
Our great-great-grandparents didn’t worry about “peak whale”, because the higher price that was caused by dwindling supply was mitigated by adaption, innovation and changes in behavior. Whale oil for illuminating homes gave way to the use of oil made from coal and later from crude oil.
With respect to “peak oil”, nobody buys oil to burn in their car or airplane, they buy a technical product that is made by breaking down and reassembling a feedstock of hydrocarbons that presently is in the form of crude oil. However, should the price of crude climb higher than the hydrocarbons found in other sources such as coal or agricultural wastes, then those sources will be used. The only issue is cost. This does not mean that there cannot be supply disruptions when oil suddenly jumps in cost, as it has recently. However, there is abundant documentation, such as the Barna report (Office of the Secretary of Defense, Clean Fuel Initiative ), that show we are awash in convertible hydrocarbons. The only thing stopping their use is cost and government.
The truth is that we are awash in hydrocarbons that can be converted to usable fuels. And the economic truth about crude oil is that the ONLY thing that matters is the price of the finished fuel product at the pump. That price reflects how much people are willing to pay for it. At today’s price, we can afford to convert many sources of hydrocarbons into the fuels we need. It just happens that for the time being, crude oil is the most economically efficient feedstock. The instant that some other source is better, we will start making our fuels from it.
 Dr. Theodore K. Barna., OSD Clean Fuel Initiative http://www.westgov.org/wieb/meetings/boardsprg2005/briefing/ppt/congressionalbrief.pdf
Since the beginning of the 21st century, a fear has come to pervade the prospects for oil, fueling anxieties about the stability of global energy supplies
When I was in elementary school the Weekly Read had a story that said we would be out of oil in 30 years. That was in 1958.
Why would people that are dependent on oil become extinct without it for that matter. Many might die from the crisis caused by a new life without oil- but many would survive to build a new society. It would be nothing like what we have now but humans survived for a very long time without all the creature comforts we have today. I cannot imagine why anyone would think it would cause “the extinction of homo sapiens” and as you say there are many that are not now dependent on oil so the effect on them would be little to none.
It’s kind of a petroleum exploration counterpart of Moore’s Law. The ability to find new oil gets twice as good every decade. If some magic goggles existed that could spot every drillable oil pocket on the face of the earth, so much oil would result that the world as we know it could keep going on it for thousands, if not tens of thousands, of years. That’s more than enough time to come up with the holy grail of sustainable nuclear fusion.
You'll be surprised at the number of "hunter gatherers" that drive motorcycles and cars. If you doubt me, take a trip to Papua New Guinea.
They have been saying we are going to run out of oil soon since the 1920s, meanwhile they keep finding new deposits that supposedly rival the Saudis. I’ve heard industry people say there is enough oil and gas from all sources in the US and Canada to last 200 years.
There is also a “out in left field” theory that the planet produces oil plenty fast to keep us continuously supplied.
I don’t know enough about any of it, but I like that theory :)
I really think gasoline & diesel could be the optimum energy storage medium (including for solar, wind, and any other “green” energy), at least until we make some sort of massive sea-change breakthrough in electric energy storage or hydrogen extraction from water.
The Navy is actually developing a way to take excess reactor power on board their carriers, and pull CO2 from the atmosphere and convert it into Jet Fuel. Not all that efficient, but they have the extra juice in normal situations, so may as well use it for something like that, I guess.
“You’ll be surprised at the number of ‘hunter gatherers’ that drive motorcycles and cars. If you doubt me, take a trip to Papua New Guinea.”
If you drive motorcycles and cars, then you are by definition not hunter-gatherers (hence the quotes). I actually know nothing about Papua New Guinea; I just plucked that out of the sky. Perhaps that island’s been globalized, or however they put it. But there are hunterer-gatherers somewhere, I’m sure of it.
Nothing stops a “hunter gatherer” from using his motorcycle to hunt and gather. One thing about living in Africa is that it helps you appreciate how the stone age and 21st Century can exist in close proximity.
Having said that, the total population of authentic “National Geographic” style tribes is very small. In many cases, they play dress up for photographers / documentary film makers.
Great post! :)
Phew! I didn't learn to read till 1959. Probably spared me a lot of angst. I can hear myself now asking Dad how we'd heat the house when the fuel oil was all gone.
Those sounding the alarm over oil argue that about half the world's oil resources already have been produced and that the point of decline is nearing. "It's quite a simple theory and one that any beer-drinker understands," said the geologist Colin Campbell, one of the leaders of the movement. "The glass starts full and ends empty, and the faster you drink it, the quicker it's gone."What a moronic theory. Perhaps Mr. Campbell should slow down on his beer consumption.
It first foolishly presumes that we've already discovered all of the oil in existence on the planet. I don't believe that for a moment. Beyond that, it requires further presumptions that:
1. There is no possibility of any advancement ever occurring in oil exploration technology.
2. There is no possibility of any advancement ever occurring in oil drilling/recovery technology.
I find those two presumptions ludicrous at best.
I don’t get the robotic me too speak.
It’s a plateau? Why? Is RDS holding back drilling offshore Brazil? Is BP holding off drilling in Falklands? Or in Russia?
Meaning, no one is holding back globally. So why is it a plateau. And what’s with the all liquids stuff? My car doesn’t run on butane or propane. It needs gasoline. What’s that chart look like when it’s calibrated in BTUs rather than in barrels, when some of those barrels don’t have the BTUs that a barrel of oil has?