38. IS PEAK OIL SCIENTIFIC?
ANSWER: It depends on what you mean by "peak oil". If by "peak oil" you mean the inevitable peak and decline in natural/conventional oil, then yes: it's a settled scientific fact which no one disagrees with. That much cannot be refuted. But I think it's a little disingenuous to claim that "peak oil" means nothing but that. In fact, "peak oil" is a huge mountain of doomsday religion, survivalism, luddism, anti-capitalism, conspiracy theory, democratic politics, radical environmentalism, fascism, nationalism, eugenics, authoritarian depopulation programs, goldbugs, oil speculators, shit-talking market bears and every other agenda under the sun, all trying to advance themselves under the cover of that tiny pinpoint of scientific fact.
Consider these positions:
"There is no techno-fix." OR
"The worst thing that could happen would be the discovery of a source of unlimited, cheap energy."
Are those positions part of "peak oil"? Are they scientific?
How about the luddite, anti-technology (sometimes even anti-agriculture) agenda of the doomers? Is that part of "peak oil"? Is that scientific?
How about proposals to adopt eugenics, and involuntarily euthanize burdensome humans, like we find in the ASPO newsletter (see #29)? Is that science? Or is that just plain ol' fascism masquerading as science?
Peak oil is a serious problem, and there are many honest people who are concerned about it. I'm one of them. It is critical, however, to think clearly and separate the science from the bullshit. The stubborn attempts by the doomers to portray their fearmongering and ideologies as science are a menace to clear thinking.