free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 57. MATT SAVINAR RESPONDS

Thursday, August 25, 2005


Matt Savinar, who runs the peak oil doom site Life After the Oil Crash was debunked yesterday by jkl from the NYC Peak Oil Meetup Group: Savinar Debunked.

Rather than address jkl's substantive points, Savinar posted a rambling attack on his critics:

While people love to pontificate on the internet about all the wondorous virtures of market mechanisms, hypercars, biodiesel-from-algae, super-duper windmills, space-based solar arrays, etc. these saviors are doing absolutely jack-shit out here in the real world either by themselves or in conjunction with each other.

I am doing something, Matt. I do not drive a car. I paid a total $0 for gasoline last year, and have paid $0 for gasoline this year. My personal petroleum demand is zero. I live entirely on electricity, LNG, electric trains, bicycle and walking. I have done everything I can possibly do as an individual to eliminate my dependence on oil. I am also arguing the substantive issues of peak oil, and improving peak oil awareness, on this website. I am doing the very best I can as a human being to address this issue in a rational way.

I would like to think that is the case, but the tone of these sites and articles lead me to believe something else is afoot. Why resort to personal attacks and insults if one is only "seeking the truth?

Insults and personal attacks are the proper response to material of this nature:
To those sentimentalists who cannot understand the need to reduce UK population from 60 million to about 2 million over 150 years, and who are outraged at the proposed replacement of human rights by cold logic, I would say “You have had your day, in which your woolly thinking has messed up not just the Western world but the whole planet, which could, if Homo sapiens had been truly intelligent, have supported a small population enjoying a wonderful quality of life almost for ever. You have thrown away that opportunity.”

The Darwinian approach, in this planned population reduction scenario, is to maximise the well-being of the UK as a nation-state. Individual citizens, and aliens, must expect to be seriously inconvenienced by the single-minded drive to reduce population ahead of resource shortage. The consolation is that the alternative, letting Nature take its course, would be so much worse.

The scenario is: Immigration is banned. Unauthorised arrives are treated as criminals. Every woman is entitled to raise one healthy child. No religious or cultural exceptions can be made, but entitlements can be traded. Abortion or infanticide is compulsory if the fetus or baby proves to be handicapped (Darwinian selection weeds out the unfit). When, through old age, accident or disease, an individual becomes more of a burden than a benefit to society, his or her life is humanely ended. Voluntary euthanasia is legal and made easy. Imprisonment is rare, replaced by corporal punishment for lesser offences and painless capital punishment for greater.#29

Fascism is fascism, Matt. I'll address the peak oilers in more respectful tones when they renounce this Pol Pot garbage.


At Thursday, August 25, 2005 at 8:18:00 AM PDT, Anonymous WW said...

The typical profile of a hardcore ‘Jevon’s witness’ (aka Peak Oiler) is rarely the average sandal-wearing pulse-eating bearded hippy, rather an SUV driving US citizen living in the oil rich south of the country. By their own admission, many of these individuals have done little about their own life apart from make fascist statements and ruminate that civilisation will be a god forsaken place without Hummers, 3 steak meals a day and everything in XXL sizes. How much of thing has become a problem? Well judging by the latest BBC report a huge problem 65.5% of the US population is officially overweight.

Now, if many typical Jevons witnesses did not work (or used to work) for oil companies, energy investment companies, or were flogging books and films over the internet and moving to sustainable places with a low footprint lifestyle they may have some credibility with most people. That’s not to say that there isn’t a message to be heard, their quite clearly is, we thank them for it,their lifestyle is a problem and they may need to do something about it - clearly they have the brains to recognise this minor detail.

Thankfully things are not quite as bad as it may seem. The world is not about to run out of useable energy, merely it lurches towards its next era, which may or may not include Chelsea tractors.

At Thursday, August 25, 2005 at 9:15:00 AM PDT, Anonymous guamanian said...

"I'll address the peak oilers in more respectful tones when they renounce this Pol Pot garbage."

Agreed! We're working on it...

Post Carbon Institute - Policy Proposal

In my experience, there are MANY more progressive, anti-authoritarian types involved in peak oil relocalization and powerdown strategies than there are authoritarians and fascists. Tagging the 'peak oil' movement as fascist is a misrepresentation.

If anything, the anarchist and anti-globalization left is a more common political tendency amongst 'peak oilers' -- though this too would be a vast over-generalization.

Mostly, 'peak oilers' seem to be moderate in their politics, and are often more concerned with community than national issues.

Thus the importance in pointing out to peak oil activists that fascist fringe groups are now beginning to latch on to peak oil. I'm convinced that the vast majority of peak oil groups will clearly reject racism and fascism -- once they realize that it is a serious issue, rather than something that will go away if ignored.

At Thursday, August 25, 2005 at 10:40:00 AM PDT, Blogger James said...

It's good to see another person in the PO community poke holes in Savinar's arguments. This isn't to say he's wrong about peak oil existing; in fact, he illustrates our vast overconsumption in a shocking light. However, oil is not the be-all and end-all of modern society (though it certainly kick-started it!), and the NYC PO guy points that out beautifully.

Being an ergonomist, I also have to give him kudos for pointing out the MUDA (Japanese for waste) that is so flagarant in industry these days. Much of the low-hanging fruit in those situations has not been picked yet, simply because there hasn't been a reason to do so. With the dawn of the era of expensive energy, the savings from reducing these wastes will be enormous.

At Thursday, August 25, 2005 at 11:00:00 AM PDT, Blogger James said...

I just read Savinar's rebuttal on his web site, dismissing sites like this out of hand. Sorry, but I just find that rather arrogant of him to do such a thing...!

Yes, this site may lag behind Oil Crash and, but this ship just got launched. Futhermore, there are more gloomy sites out there than positive sites because let's face it, bad news sells alot better than good news. It's because of unchallenged theories and hypotheses of the gloomy side that sites like this one have risen up to finally keep the and sites honest.

Give it time, everyone. The other side of the PO blogosphere is growing. Variety is the spice of life!

At Thursday, August 25, 2005 at 1:05:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

growing like a bad venereal disease.

At Thursday, August 25, 2005 at 2:03:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Debunking the debunkers? Too much hassle. Get over it and prepare for the big roll-over in Q4/2005 *Yawn*.

At Thursday, August 25, 2005 at 2:34:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Fernando said...


I find you site's content and style very appealing.

I like the way you write each statement and try to refute or prove it. It is a very good way to clarify the situation in laymen's terms.

I'm going to do the same thing in spanish, soon.



At Friday, August 26, 2005 at 2:58:00 AM PDT, Blogger JD said...

Welcome to POD, Fernando. Be sure to post a link when you get some information posted in Spanish. Feel free to use the material you find here.

At Friday, August 26, 2005 at 6:31:00 AM PDT, Blogger James said...

"growing like a bad venereal disease." -- Anonymous

"Debunking the debunkers? Too much hassle. Get over it and prepare for the big roll-over in Q4/2005 *Yawn*." -- Anonymous

All you can do is throw insults? Could it be because you feel threatened that our point of view actually has some valid points? Seroiusly, get over your smugness so we can work together on PO rather than waste time attacking and counterattacking each other.

P.S. Stop hiding behind the Anon tag, Matt Savinar had the balls to identify himself, do you?

At Friday, August 26, 2005 at 7:33:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Matt Savinar said...

Like brass baby.

JD, I have to admit I have a bizarre fascination with your blog. I was particularly enamored (sp?) with how you deftly argued that even if oil goes to $2,600/barrel, the shipping of your rice won't be affected. That was classic.

As far as "saviors" I wan't referring to you personally. But to the techno-saviors like coal to oil. If it's so great, please tell me when it's going to come online so we can pull out of Iraq and get gas prices under control. What's it going to take? Another 2,000 dead troops and gas at $4? Or 4,000 dead troops and gas at $8? before we just liquify our coal reserves and turn them to oil.

At Friday, August 26, 2005 at 7:39:00 AM PDT, Blogger James said...


Why don't you ask Bush?

Cindy Sheehan seems to be trying to do that right now...

At Friday, August 26, 2005 at 7:40:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Matt Savinar said...

excuse me, I meant gas to liquids. (it's 7:30 am). In either case, the same logic applies. When? When oil is fluctuating between $100 and $300 a barrel?

At Friday, August 26, 2005 at 9:18:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More fuel efficient cars would help...Subsidies to the wrong kind of energy project...less war and more spent on renewable energy...less subsidising plane travel and more HS rail running from renewable energy...Inventions that turn lights off when walking out of a room with mandatory fitting of these devices in new homes...That's just for a start. The US could lead the world on renewable energy, conservation and money saving ideas, but it chooses not to.

At Wednesday, December 27, 2006 at 5:27:00 PM PST, Blogger adolfo said...


It you seem to be running a public relations campaing against Peak Oil and by the tone of your statements it wouldn't surprise me if it is through corporate sponsorship. What is this Jevon's Witness lable? What are you? A Chevron's Witness? Similarly the lable 'Peak Oilers' is childish, as if it was some kind of junior activity, like Gamer or Skateboarder or even a football team. The Disneyfication of the issue nor the killing of the messenger will make the consequence of our gluttony go away. It has nothing to do with not having revisited the moon since the 70's, there is nothing there only a child would think that going back would make anyone feel better about the possibility of a techno fix to the depletion of fossil fuels.

At Wednesday, May 9, 2007 at 4:34:00 PM PDT, Blogger Ihaia said...

I am an early topper - peak oil has passed. I choose this view purely for risk management purposes to ensure that there will be some sort of prudent risk management action. Like most other peak oil early topper believers, and unlike the POD group, we wish we were wrong. This view is supprted by Dr Robert Hirsch of SAIC, the largest research group in the US. In his peak oil mitigation adive to the US govt he made clear links between the monetary system and peak oil. He also states that he is a free market economy thinker but has now realised that this model is dysfunctional and will inevitably collapse. I do not claim to be an expert in the field, but in terms of credibility, the "Hirsch Report" has far more credibility (and is well researched)than both Matt Savinar and POD.

Ihaia Puketapu (Aotearoa New Zealand)

At Wednesday, September 26, 2007 at 4:46:00 PM PDT, Blogger brent said...

"I am doing something, Matt. I do not drive a car. I paid a total $0 for gasoline last year, and have paid $0 for gasoline this year. My personal petroleum demand is zero."

You're kidding me right?

You think that just because you don't drive a car you're not a personal user of petrol?

I suppose that the food in your supermarket shows up by horse and cart too...

every time you touch something that's plastic you use oil... every time you touch something that was mined (ie: everything metal) you use oil.

Don't you get it? Every time you spend money in this industrialised world you spend oil.

At Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 10:36:00 AM PDT, Blogger Martin said...

Dear Mr. Lowden

I read Matt's book and found it very disturbing, so I searched for a debunk and came across yours.

You're obviously a very intelligent person, but if you want to get your point across, please don't make the mistake of assuming that everyone else is on the same wavelength. The masses who have read Matt's doomsay are not economists, and although I'm not saying you owe them anything, I don't believe its fair of you to dismiss them offhand as not worth spending the time on more easily understood logic. "If you don't know much about economics or science or history, and don't read the arguments too closely, you might be fooled. One thing you most certainly should not do is try to learn anything from it, or try to teach anyone anything from it. Citing it or Savinar as an authority to explain or bolster your arguments will only expose you as a gullible subscriber to crackpot theories."

If your debunking was to convince the top 1% of people in terms of IQ, you may have succeeded, but what a shallow victory. I'm not an economist, and I don't consider my intellectual capacity anywhere near yours, but I also don't believe I'm a dummy. I found it difficult to follow much of your logic. Without a debunking the masses understand, who is to say there was a debunking at all? Are there as many blogs popping up in support of your debunking as there are of Matt's book.

While I must confess I didn't follow the links to any of Matt's many references (his explanations and logic I understood, and made enough sense to me on their own), I noticed in your debunk that you only quoted 1 reference right at the end, and as I struggled to follow your high level logic, this lead me personally to conclude (incorrectly perhaps) that much of the debunk was your own opinion.

Could you rewrite your debunking to explain your views as you would to someone of (forgive my use of these words) "lesser" intelligence?

While I guess the effort required to do this would likely not carry the same financial reward as writing another doomsay (bad news sells), but Matt felt strongly enough about his views to give up a career in law and write a book, and I don't believe his motivation was self enrichment. How deeply felt is your commitment to debunk Matt to the masses possibly also in book form and give them the reassurance that everything is going to be OK?

The mob rules, which is why such great effort has been expended by the top 1% on weaponry and controls to keep them in check, when all that the mob really needs is effective leadership that speak in mob language.

kind regards
Martin Glass

At Saturday, February 7, 2009 at 8:43:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Possibly the last great thing about America is that we have not lost the right to free speech. Matt Savinar is certainly entitled to his. But Matt does not pontificate. You do. Speak for yourself but never ever try to speak for me or anyone other than yourself.

There are so many holes in your logic that it's not going to take many of us long to figure you out. Let's try this one for size. You do not use oil? Do you have any plastic in your home? PVC pipe or other oil based buiding materials? Do you consume anything made in plants powered by oil or natural gas? And as someone else pointed out, has anything you own or consume been transported by truck?

I prefer to read your words and Matt's and others who weigh in on the subject of peak oil and form my own conclusions. As an engineer, I see no emerging technologies that can replace our dependence on oil. As a businessman, I can see the havoc being wreaked throughout the business world by, among many other things, wildly fluctuating energy prices.

Are you not affected by these types of hard evidence? I'm having a tough time understanding who you are and where your head is buried. Why don't you give us a little background on yourself and your qualifications to debunk Matt or anyone else. I will read it and consider it if you will write it and post it.

Otherwise, my feeling (and obviously the feeling of many others who have responded here) is that your opinions will be highly discounted.


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