free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 6. THE PEAK OIL CONSPIRACY

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

6. THE PEAK OIL CONSPIRACY

I think it's easy, as a layman, to get overawed by all the graphs that Campbell etc. are trotting out. Wow, you think, these guys have the credentials, and they've really done their homework. They have convincing evidence, hard science. Oil's going over the hump in 2006, and oil/gas combined is going over the hump in 2010, so it looks pretty grim.

But here's where I keep getting stuck: If the evidence is so airtight and convincing, why does only a small minority believe it? Bear in mind that I'm not talking about the fact that a peak will occur. Everyone agrees with that. I'm talking about the predictions of the "early-peak" crowd, like Deffeyes (2005) and ASPO (2006). Also, bear in mind that I am not talking about ordinary laymen. I am talking about critical people involved in the oil/gas business, and high-level people in public policy like Alan Greenspan. Why don't they believe it?

I think that is probably the most devastating critique a layman can level at peak oilers. Yah, sure, you read about all the data on a website called "dieoff.com" on the Internet, and it looked good to you, but if it's so convincing, why doesn't Greenspan buy into it? Why don't the majority of petroleum engineers and geologists buy into it? Why don't the Saudis buy into it? Or, more to the point, why aren't they *behaving* like they buy into it? They're all acting like peak oil is 20 years away, not one year away.

So how do you explain that? The stock answers seem to be: A) They're all incompetent, or B) It's a conspiracy, but I find both of those answers pretty unsatisfying.

One example: Matt Simmon's assessment of the state of Saudi oil fields. Simmon's claim that SA is about to peak is certainly a linchpin of the early peak argument, but I haven't seen anything to support that claim beyond the fact that Matt Simmon's is making it. (I guess that's why it's so critical to stress his credentials as an OIL BANKER from HOUSTON.) Even he himself admits that he doesn't have access to the actual facts; that's why he's so adamant about the need for transparency and disclosure. His argument, in a nutshell, is this: They won't disclose their internal figures, therefore they are lying. This is the claim underlying the graphs and other "scientific" trappings of the argument, and it's obviously not scientific at all. It's more like something from Conspiracy Theory 101.

As opposed to Mr. Simmons, the US government is totally in bed with the Saudis (as seen in Fahrenheit 911), and we've undoubtedly got spies and insiders ferreting out intelligence on their oil fields, and this intelligence is surely being disseminated to key people in the government like Greenspan. They have certainly taken a close look at Matt Simmon's arguments, and it would be very surprising if their data was inferior to that of Simmons, who pieced his together from old reports which are publicly available. They remain unconvinced. Why?

You could say the same thing about the secret/proprietary database that ASPO uses for its model. Undoubtedly, the US Government and the major oil companies have looked at the same data. So why aren't they convinced?

If you say, "They are convinced, but they're pretending like they aren't because it's a conspiracy," then the early peak theory isn't really a hard scientific argument. It's a conspiracy theory, and you should frankly face up to that. That would account for why it is only believed by a small minority of informed people.

But why a conspiracy? If peak oil is coming in 2005/2006 and peak oil/gas in 2010, and Greenspan etc. know it, then they are cynically and knowingly condemning the American people to massive malinvestment and an economic train wreck, and the question, as always, is why? It honestly strains my credulity to believe that the US Government is contaminated with cynicism to that degree. For all his faults, I believe that Greenspan is patriotic and loves the US, and does not wish to see it needlessly harmed for the nebulous aims of some cynical conspiracy he belongs to.

Here's the alternative explanation: Campbell, Deffeyes, and Simmons are underestimating reserves and future production because they are private citizens, and therefore do not have access to the best data. It wouldn't be the first time they goofed up like that.

12 Comments:

At Wednesday, August 17, 2005 at 7:59:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you are saying that the government who lied about the reasons for invading Iraq and causing tens of thousands of casualties finds it beneath themselves to lie about the world's oil reserves considering the powers that be are all oil men?

 
At Thursday, August 25, 2005 at 11:26:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are almost certainly over estimating the ability of these power hungry madmen in Washington to use the intelligence that is available, as well as hoping/guessing that they have more information than anyone else can getout of the Saudis.

As to WHY thye would withhold bad news of an early peak in oil, isn't it pretty clear? This maladministration has been bent on cushioning the fall for the very rich and certain corporations ever since early 2000. At the same time they urge ever more consumption by the masses in the US as well as developing countries like India.

He who controls the oil controls those dependent on the oil.

 
At Saturday, August 27, 2005 at 3:39:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again, you are ignoring the overwhelming crowd that think we are at peak oil.
David Suzuki.
Dr Karl... Australia's celebrity scientist.
The former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, John Anderson.

Oh, and let's not forget the Department of Energy's Hirsch report...
all at www.eclipsenow.org

How about OPEC admitting light sweet crude has peaked?
http://eclipsenow.org/Facts/Whistleblowers.html

How about Chevron at www.willyoujoinus.com where they say, "The era of easy oil is over."
Duh JD, just plain DUH!

How about Exxon Mobile saying all non-OPEC peaking in the next 5 years

How about NY Times expose where a senior Saudi oil man reveals he think the upper limit on Saudi oil might be in the realm of 12 to 15mbd? These are big oil guys... big oil themselves are saying

1/ non-OPEC world is peaking
2/ Saudi Arabia will peak at 15 (optimistically) which means
3/ The world peak of production is in the next few years.

JD, get your facts straight, and do some reading. It's not a conspiracy when the OIL MAJORS ARE ASKING FOR OUR HELP WITH IT! Our governments are only starting to wake up. The Queensland government in Australia has a peak oil taskforce.

JD, as Matt Savinar says, deal with reality or reality will deal with you!

 
At Saturday, September 3, 2005 at 8:23:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conspiracy is not neccessary - it's simply an inherent problem with democratic systems that are difficult to adapt in advance to drastic changes. They work extremely well in conditions of abundance of resources.

The people in power can be well meaning, but they can't do much about non-obvious threats. Candidates for political power that are too pesimistic are simply not elected - the public favors those that promise the future to be better.

Nobody can accurately predict the future. If some politician wants to do something that would reduce the economic growth and perceived welfare or would require great expenses and lot of work, he needs to have extremely good, convincing and immediately demonstratable reasons (or extremely powerful and expesive PR operation).

The public will not see consequences of peak oil (combined with a lack of eadily avaiable substitute!) util long after the peak and only then the political recognition and action will be possible (if the peak without substitute occurs at all).

 
At Saturday, October 1, 2005 at 3:03:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they are evil and intelligent enough to keep this under wraps, why didn't they simply plant WMDs in Iraq to make the invasion legitimate?

 
At Sunday, February 24, 2008 at 8:36:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

THE GOVERNMENT DOESNT WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT WE HAVE ENOUGH OIL IN ALASKA ALONE TO SUPPLY THE USA FOR THE NEXT 200 YEARS. ITS ALREADY BEEN PROOVEN. SADDAM WAS TOLD BY OUR GOVERNMENT THAT WE WOULD NOT INTERVIEN IF THEY INVADED IRAQ. BUT WHEN THEY INVADED WE WENT TO WAR WITH IRAQ. SADDAM WOULD NOT ENTER INTO THE AGREEMENT TO DENOMINATE IN US DOLLARS AND USE A PORTION OF THE MONEY WE PAID THEM FOR OIL TO BUY OUR NATIONAL DEBT. SO HE HAD TO BE DESTROYED. yOU DONT SEE US GOING TO WAR WITH ALL THE OTHER COUNTRIES THAT OPENLY SAY THEY HAVE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. THE POWERS THAT BE ARE THE IMF AND THE WORLD BANK.

 
At Sunday, February 24, 2008 at 8:45:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the IMF and The World Bank dictate on a daily basis how much a barrel of oil will be, they run the world.
it cost 5 dollars to barrel a barrel of oil in Saudi Arabia, and 3 dollars here, but we will never see our own oil in the USA because of the agreement with all the oil producing companies. Our government wants a democracy in iraq so they can control them. because the USA is a republic not a democracy. a democracy is we the sheeple, but a republic is we the people.

 
At Tuesday, March 18, 2008 at 10:27:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alan Greenspan was and still is a right wing political hack. Sure he says some more truthful things now but he (still) does not take responsibility for causing a very large part of our current mess.

In 03-04 Greenspan was telling all the sheeple to refi (with cash out) into variable mortgages because real estate never goes down across the whole country; guess what this last year it DID! First time since the Great Depression. Look at the results of this culture of denial. Can you say Bear Stearns? Citing Mr Greenjeans for seeing/anticipating the future? You got to be nuts. Looks like we'll have to hand out some of Kunstler's toilet paper.

 
At Tuesday, June 10, 2008 at 8:16:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I SAW A VIDEO MADE BY A PASTOR LINDSEY WILLIAMS ABOUT THE "NON-OIL CRISIS" AND ABOUT THE LARGEST OIL FIND IN ALASKA BUT NEVER PRODUCED. IS THIS TRUE? RALPH E. PETTIT RALPHPPETTIT@AOL.COM

 
At Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at 8:29:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well its mid 2009 now and I don't actually remember running out of oil 2 or 3 years ago. Hey, maybe all the filling stations have been selling me nothing in a bid to make me beleive everythig is still OK when in truth they sneaked round one night and replaced my engine with a perpetual cold fusion version. Lets all get freaked out by that next shall we?
by ... someone sensible!

 
At Sunday, November 15, 2009 at 3:40:00 PM PST, Blogger earth_spirit said...

I'll agree that this isn't science and we don't have the facts. Yes governments can (not necessarily, but can) conspire against the people.

If you were the government of a third world country and you bought into peak oil you wouldn't industrialize. You would keep the sweat shops going. There you find your reason. If countries keep on industrializing the world is going to run out of sweat shops. No cheap labor = equalization of income.

 
At Friday, April 30, 2010 at 11:11:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is common for a mass of people, including top decision makers, to be in denial about big events. Certainly true about the bogus weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Most recently it is true about the global economic meltdown, triggered by massive marketing of bad mortgages.

 

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