free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 264. SIMMONS' PREDICTIONS FLOP... PATHETICALLY

Sunday, March 19, 2006

264. SIMMONS' PREDICTIONS FLOP... PATHETICALLY

The latest sensation in the peak oil community is yesterday's CNN program We Were Warned -- a one hour program about oil issues which you may have seen. On the whole, the peak oilers weren't too impressed by the program. They felt it was pablum and didn't really address the dire, depressing crisis that they see "almost just verging around the corner".

One exception, however, was the interview with Matt Simmons. True to form, Matt Simmons ran off at the mouth, and gave the doomers one of those S-C-A-R-Y doggy bones they so desperately crave:
In his book, "Twilight in the Desert," Oil Analyst Matthew Simmons argues we're nearing the point when the world will use more oil than it can produce.

(on camera): Do you hear a ticking clock? MATTHEW SIMMONS, AUTHOR OF "TWILIGHT IN THE DESERT": I hear a gong. I heard a ticking clock during the '90s.

SESNO: And if we don't act? Something doesn't change?

SIMMONS: Well, our life could get a lot darker fast.

SESNO: What is your worse case scenario?

SIMMONS: My worst case scenario is so bad that you don't want to go there.

SESNO: Tell me.

SIMMONS: We basically end up having a series of energy wars over who gets oil. And they're wars between you and your neighbor. And the war is between one town and another, and ultimately one country and another.

SESNO: Chaos.

SIMMONS: It's just total chaos.Source
Yup, you read that right... "chaos". That's the American code word for having to car pool or ride the bus. The horror! The horror!

I don't think Simmons has thought this through, however. I mean, if it's going to be all-out war between municipalities, have they considered parking? I don't think we can really expect morbidly obese American oompah-loompahs to waddle all the way to these bloody conflicts. In fact, we'll probably see some of the fiercest fighting over the handicapped slots closest to the battlefield.

Anyway... Since Mr. Simmons' has become the latest font of doomer hype, it behooves us to take a look at some of his previous predictions. More specifically, today is the first day of spring, so let's take a little trip down memory lane and see how Simmons' predictions for the winter of 2005-2006 fared.

On July 4, Simmons warned of $100 oil:
Warning of $100-a-barrel oil

The Scotsman, July 4 2005

ROCKETING oil prices might hit $100 (£57) this year, controversial
Texan oil analyst Matt Simmons has warned.

Crude surged past $60 a barrel last week and investors are pinning
their hopes on a build-up in US oil-stocks to bring the price down
again in the coming months. However, Simmons said surging demand will
keep prices well above $50.

"We could be at $100 by this winter," he said. "We have the biggest
risk we have ever had of demand exceeding supply. We are about to face
up to the biggest crisis we have ever had."Source
Apparently, this wasn't spooky enough, so in October Simmons ratcheted up the hype to $190 crude:
Oil guru says crude could hit $190 this winter
'Prices are really cheap today and they need to go a lot higher,'
analyst says

Reuters 0ct. 19, 2005

OTTAWA - Consumers should brace for crude oil and natural gas prices
possibly doubling or tripling this winter, Matthew Simmons, a
best-selling author and oil-supply bear, said on Wednesday.

"Prices are really cheap today and they need to go a lot higher, and
they probably will go a lot higher," Simmons said in Ottawa.

"I am very concerned, given the destructive damage done by (Hurricanes)
Katrina and Rita, that the United States must be closer to starting to
see significant product shortages than we've seen since 1979."

Too much got destroyed and too little has been brought back on stream,
the Houston-based analyst said.

He also said that cold weather this winter could bring a very high risk
of natural gas curtailment in the United States.

"Either one of those events (oil product shortage or natural gas
shortage) could send prices two to three times higher than they are
today," he said after a speech in Ottawa.

That could translate into natural gas prices of $40 per million British
thermal units from more than $13 now, he said. Doubling or tripling
crude would put it in the range of $125 to $190 per barrel. Source
Hate to be blunt, but it's almost like Simmons has become a media whore. Here's Simmons in September predicting $10 gasoline for the winter:
Matt Simmons Issues a Wake Up Call Energy THE Of Future

By Jeanne Klobnak-Ball

9.28.05

Like the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina stands to become
a defining moment in our nation's history. While the precise meaning of
such moments remains to be interpreted, Matt Simmons believes the
natural disaster may well be remembered as the start of "our great
energy war." "We're almost at the verge of having real energy
shortages," Simmons said last Friday, when he issued a wake-up call to
a standing-room only audience at the Center for the Arts. "We could be
looking at $10-a-gallon gas this winter."

Author of "Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the
World Economy" and founder of Simmons and Company International, a
Houston-based energy investment banking firm managing over $60 billion
in assets...Source
And then there was the cherry on top of this whole fudge sunday of escalating bullshit -- Simmons' prediction of $330-$650 crude, and $12.50-$25.00 gasoline, kindly calculated by peak oil know-it-all Matt Savinar over at LATOC(click to enlarge, Source):

Had to archive the screenshot of that one. Wouldn't want Matt&Matt pulling any funny stuff, and trying to squirrel their ridiculous rhetoric down the memory hole when they think nobody's lookin'. Anybody wanna wager on how long it's going to take Savinar to revise that page, now that we're all laughing at his silly red ass, like a monkey in the zoo?

Well then, since we've reviewed what the nutters and hysterics predicted for this winter, let's take a brief look at what actually happened in the real world. These are the actual stats from the EIA:

Gasoline never topped $2.50:


Crude barely topped $65.00:

Massive shortages predicted by Simmons never materialized. Inventories are at a 7-year high:

Enjoy that spring weather everybody! I know I will. ;-)
-- by JD

42 Comments:

At Sunday, March 19, 2006 at 6:39:00 PM PST, Blogger The Masked Lemming said...

kick the doomers in the nuts jd!!!

 
At Sunday, March 19, 2006 at 8:14:00 PM PST, Blogger kommiepinkofag said...

JD, I love it when you talk dirty....

 
At Sunday, March 19, 2006 at 9:22:00 PM PST, Blogger JD said...

Loved this line from the Simmons segment as well:
Oil Analyst Matthew Simmons argues we're nearing the point when the world will use more oil than it can produce.
What idiot was responsible for this slop?

 
At Sunday, March 19, 2006 at 9:23:00 PM PST, Blogger DC said...

JD, I'm speechless. You made good on your promise and then some: I haven't had as good a laugh in quite some time.

You could have authored a kick-ass entry by just posting the facts, but it's that sardonic wit that kicks it up a notch.

Kudos on yet another brilliant post. Let me preempt the doomer indignation: the laughter and backslapping results from Simmons being called out on his hackery. It's one thing to reasonably err on an estimate and quite another to be so grotesquely off. His credibility is shot and I'm glad for it because jokers like him undermine the legitimate debate over energy issues at a critical time.

 
At Sunday, March 19, 2006 at 11:13:00 PM PST, Blogger dub_scratch said...

JD, do you know the difference in meaning between the words 'could' and 'would'? If I say "it could rain tomorrow", is that a prediction?

----------------

On a related subject, one thing I was a little pissed that Simmons said is something about how we should try to show the Chinese how to live in a world beyond oil. What a fucking hypocritical selfish bullshit attitude is that? I guess the implication is that if China does not start squandering oil on traffic jams, then we in the good ol' USofA can eek out another decade or so of our own oil squandering ways-- one more decade without carpooling, mass transit or telecommuting.

We Americans should start worrying about our own oil dependent ways before trying to dictate how other nations should develop. The best way to show China is by example.

 
At Monday, March 20, 2006 at 12:50:00 AM PST, Blogger The Masked Lemming said...

jd screw the doomers we're gonna get energy from the moon!!!

 
At Monday, March 20, 2006 at 1:01:00 AM PST, Blogger JD said...

Hi dub,

If I say "it could rain tomorrow", is that a prediction?

Yes it is, if you are all over the media making that statement repeatedly in order to warn people about the imminent rain crisis.

I guarantee you that if oil had hit $500 last winter, the peak oilers would have been carrying him around on a litter like some kind of Prophet El Supremo. That's the weasel game: if the prediction turns out right, Simmons gets all the credit, and if the prediction turns out wrong, Simmons doesn't get any of the blame. See how slick that works? It's classic MBA chicanery: privatize the gains, dodge the losses. I'm not fooled.

What a fucking hypocritical selfish bullshit attitude is that?

Simmons is very much a peak oil hypocrite, even in his personal life:
******
Q:What do you do personally to reduce your energy footprint?

A(Matt Simmons): Very little, actually. I do have a new Mercedes diesel car that on the open road gets up to 50 miles per gallon. But in fact I'm one of the problems right now. I'm flying around the country giving too many energy talks. If I really wanted to say I'm going to be a personal crusader, I'd actually shut up and stay home.
LINK
*****

 
At Monday, March 20, 2006 at 2:54:00 AM PST, Blogger Omnitir said...

Oh, but then I suppose what they were saying was just hyperbole…

Seriously though, that was another great post JD!

 
At Monday, March 20, 2006 at 3:27:00 AM PST, Blogger half said...

we'll probably see some of the fiercest fighting over the handicapped slots closest to the battlefield.

Cold, that.

 
At Monday, March 20, 2006 at 3:38:00 AM PST, Blogger Roland said...

Oil Analyst Matthew Simmons argues we're nearing the point when the world will use more oil than it can produce.

LOL!! I guess that means all our problems are solved.

That's right up there with this line I just saw on the evening news:
Reporter: "What do you know about Islam?"
Random person on street: "Well, I know that Islam is where Arabs come from".

Doh!!!

 
At Monday, March 20, 2006 at 3:59:00 AM PST, Blogger Dom said...

However, Simmons said surging demand will keep prices well above $50.
Well, his first prediction seems to have been right. Have you ever believed a prediction from even a main-stream market analysis? Or from Greenspan, for that matter? Remember, he did not believe in PO because oil futures in 5 years were cheaper than in 3 months...

JD, where do you see the price of oil on Thanksgiving Day 2006?
Memorial Day 2007?

Remember, we WILL hold you responsible if your "could" does not transpire...

Dom

 
At Monday, March 20, 2006 at 4:19:00 AM PST, Blogger Freak said...

Remember during the Potato famine the Irish turned to cannabalism just like on easter island???

no, seriously, I was thinking tonight.
Some "Peakees" like to say that gas prices are high because peak oil is near. But as it grows nearer wouldn't production continue to grow up until the PEAK? so why should gasoline be expensive because of the approach?
How can they infer the world events leading up to Peak? I don't understand this..price volatility, military conflict, etc...?

How can you experience the consequences of an event which has not occured yet? And furthermore does the knowledge of it prevent (mitigate) it's occurance?

I lie awake at night worrying about "Paradox Oil"

 
At Monday, March 20, 2006 at 8:05:00 AM PST, Blogger JD said...

JD, where do you see the price of oil on Thanksgiving Day 2006?
Memorial Day 2007?


dom, I don't make predictions. I don't see any point in it. I'm interested in creating the future, not predicting it.

 
At Monday, March 20, 2006 at 9:49:00 AM PST, Blogger dub_scratch said...

(Matt Simmons): Very little, actually. I do have a new Mercedes diesel car that on the open road gets up to 50 miles per gallon. But in fact I'm one of the problems right now. I'm flying around the country giving too many energy talks. If I really wanted to say I'm going to be a personal crusader, I'd actually shut up and stay home.


This underscores something that has bothered me whenever I read or hear about some peak oil conference somewhere around the world. It seams as if folks like Heinberg and even Simmons should and could be doing tele-conference presentations at many of these peak oil talks and stop with their peak oil rock&roll world tours. Maybe if these people were setting an example like this we can gain an understanding that oil decline does not necessarily mean complex society comes to a screeching halt.

One of the first things I did after learning about the coming oil decline is I relocated my job in order to reduce my energy footprint by half. I'm still living a pretty affluent American lifestyle (in idiotic car dependant SoCal) despite of that huge energy dependence reduction, but what a stupid move on my part. I should have kept my old commute until our National Traffic Jam gives way to either mass starvation in the streets, wars between SUV owning suburbanite neighbors, or conflicts with people fighting over parking places at the battlefields.

 
At Monday, March 20, 2006 at 11:25:00 AM PST, Blogger Avo said...

The complete Simmons interview that Savinar quotes is available at

http://www.financialsense.com/transcriptions/
Simmons.html

I have this bookmarked from the time when I was terrified that Simmons, Boone Pickens, et al, were right, and that the winter of 05-06 was going to be a catastrophe. And that was BEFORE Katrina and Rita hit.

 
At Monday, March 20, 2006 at 10:03:00 PM PST, Blogger Roland said...

dub_scratch, don't forget that the really hardcore doomers actually waste oil deliberately because they want their sad wish-fulifllment fantasy to come as true as soon as possible. Like those people in the "Oil Drum Swirling Down the Toilet of Doom" post.

Actually, I sort of understand why they're just itching for a worldwide catastrophe so they can ride donkies shooting inferior races with shotguns with bullets made of old potato chips and then start their own stone age tribe where they can have 25 wives and live in the TV department of an abandoned shopping mall. Hey, sounds appealing. Why don't I become a doomer?

 
At Monday, March 20, 2006 at 10:08:00 PM PST, Blogger Roland said...

Come to think of it, this sort of pre-apocalyptic thinking does have a certain appeal if you believe you are going to be saved because you're in the know. It's the basis of lots of religions.

I guess it evolved as a survival mechanism, and in the modern world where you're not constantly under threat of being eaten it turns people to crappy current affairs shows with Matt Simmons. Or making blogs with names like "malthusiandieoff" with a black page and one post that says "peak oil". Follow through the links to the doomers' pages - they're all like that.

 
At Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 9:08:00 AM PST, Blogger half said...

itching for a worldwide catastrophe so they can ride donkies shooting inferior races with shotguns with bullets made of old potato chips and then start their own stone age tribe where they can have 25 wives and live in the TV department of an abandoned shopping mall.
Okay, Ima rethinking the doomer thing, it has potential.

 
At Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 1:10:00 PM PST, Blogger Dom said...

dom, I don't make predictions.

Right. Well.
Wouldn't want to disappoint your disciples with a false prophecy now, would you? (couldn't help but getting that jab in :)

Two years ago had a conversation with a worker at a gas station. I explained the peak oil thing. Wasn't real interrest. But when it came to price, he had a perfect answer - "next year it will be higher than today."

I think that kinna sums it up, now, don't it boys?

 
At Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 2:07:00 PM PST, Blogger The Masked Lemming said...

jd simmmons and savinar are in the oil crash movie the doomers are all raving about!!! what are we going to do? have you seen they're raving about it they say it's horrible and going to convince everybody to join their death cult! our ship is sunk if this gets out the doomers are going trample us like panicked elephants and then devour our carcasses like crazed cannibals and put our remains into their thermal depolymerization machines so they can keep driving their cars just like their hero dick cheney!!! we need to stop them while we can!!! I dont want to turn into fuel for the doomers' suvs, jd help!!!

 
At Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 2:36:00 PM PST, Blogger Jan-Willem Bats said...

It looks like these assholes haven't grasped the skill of extrapolating yet.

With advances like these:

http://www.technologyreview.com/BizTech/wtr_16523,295,p1.html

we're all gonna have an extremely good laugh at all doomers.

I'm thinking about creating a blog with pictures of prominent doomer spokesmen, for the sole purpose of laughing at them.

 
At Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 2:49:00 PM PST, Blogger The Masked Lemming said...

jan if you do that the doomers might sue!!! these people are like rapib animals and will rip your carcass limb from limb if you give them a chance that's why i'm here with jd to stop them but you dont want to get sued and lose all your money then what will you do?

 
At Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 2:57:00 PM PST, Blogger Omnitir said...

really hardcore doomers actually waste oil deliberately because they want their sad wish-fulfilment fantasy to come true

It’s so pathetic, isn’t it? The other day @ peakoil.com in a discussion about cyclone Larry devastating North Queensland (it was more powerful then Katrina), some asshole said how he hopes it will move into more heavily populated areas which will require more oil in the cleanup efforts and hence lead to a faster “cliff oil”.

What kind of screwed up mentality is that? Some of these people are real nut cases. Though I’m guessing if it was his country and he had family living in the region he might feel different.

Oh, and speaking of nut cases, masked lemming, would you mind either contributing a worthwhile argument or shutting up? Your posts are always annoyingly pointless. Is that really the best you can do?

 
At Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 3:08:00 PM PST, Blogger JD said...

Lemming, you're back in the trash can. Apologies for the infestation everyone.

 
At Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 3:34:00 PM PST, Blogger Roland said...

The other day @ peakoil.com in a discussion about cyclone Larry devastating North Queensland (it was more powerful then Katrina), some asshole said how he hopes it will move into more heavily populated areas which will require more oil in the cleanup efforts and hence lead to a faster “cliff oil”.

Huh? Uh??? Eh????

It must be said again - Eh???????

1. I'm doubt he'd say that if he lived in the cyclone path.
2. As the doomers are constantly reminding us, the world uses 84 million barrels of oil a day. What kind of cleanup effort would use even one hundreth of that amount? No cyclone I've ever heard of.

Just goes to show these people are obsessed with oil. Their brains are fast-fossilizing into heavy crude while they're still alive. They're probably sitting at home hoping I have a steak dinner tonight so that oil gets depleted faster. Peak Oil is a religion.

 
At Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 10:01:00 PM PST, Blogger summerhome=wintersquat said...

Maybe the reason Campbell and Simmons are getting a lot of attention is that oil prices have been rising steadily for a few years now.

The free market theorists would say that when prices go up, producers will increase supply. So when is oil going back to $25 a barrel like the old days?

Would you like to make a prediction, JD?

 
At Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 11:10:00 PM PST, Blogger JD said...

Hi summerhome, welcome to POD.
What makes you think I want prices to go down? High prices are the solution, not the problem.

Also, I don't understand why you peak oilers are so hung up on making predictions. Especially since you guys are so consistently wrong. What's the payoff of predicting gasoline prices? What purpose does it serve?

I don't even drive, so why should I care where the price of gas goes?

 
At Wednesday, March 22, 2006 at 1:02:00 AM PST, Blogger BlackSun said...

JD--

Don't know if you've read the Salon Article yet, but you are mentioned. I posted this response and put in a plug for you:

...

We probably ARE at, or near, the global peak of conventional oil production. But that doesn't excuse the blatant fear-mongering and outright hyperbole of James Howard Kunstler, Matt Savinar, Richard Heinberg, Jan Lundberg, and their peak-oil doom cult. (Yes, I've read all their blogs and books.)

Reading between the lines, it's clear most peak-oilers actually wish doom and destruction on the current world politico-economic order. Many adherents are marginalized in the current system. They relish their fantasies of halcyon eco-villages, and the collapse of globalism and existing urban power structures. Finally, they chortle, the era of the "common people" has arrived, free of government and corporate domination. As oil-refineries worldwide gurgle to a halt, they envision a paradise for healthy, physically fit, mostly vegan, do-it-yourselfers. It's laughable. It's pathetic.

Last time we tried such tribalism, there were a lot fewer people on the planet--and they still managed to brutally slaughter each other in large numbers.

Thankfully, it won't come to this. There will be a period of energy transition, and contrary to peak-oil doomthink, the solution will be part economic, and part technological. Here it is, pure and simple: $3.00 gas didn't stop SUV drivers, but it nearly bankrupted GM. $6.00 or $10.00 gas will kill or transform GM once and for all, put the road-behemoths permanently in park, and restore some sanity to Americans' profligate sense of energy entitlement.

The government may be forced to step in and deal with shortages. But that doesn't mean it will collapse. If you don't think the military has first rights to any oil in this country, think again. Martial law would be declared in any kind of 'doomsday' situation. There's a far greater chance of internment camps than eco-villages in that scenario.

Last time we had those kinds of shortages in WWII, the government issued ration coupons. We Americans have a lot of fat in our energy diet. We are SPOILED ROTTEN. We could easily, and I mean easily cut our fossil energy consumption in half, almost overnight if necessary. (Carpooling, public transport, change all light bulbs to half wattage, turn off heat to rooms we aren't using, ride bicycles, use organic waste in place of fertilizer, turn lights and computers off in office buildings at night, and stop WHINING!)

I'm here to agree on one point with the peak-oilers: we will be forced to cut our oil consumption. And it will paradoxically be great news for future forms of energy. Amory Lovins' Rocky Mountain Institute is right on the money. And the only reason why his plans haven't been taken more seriously until now is because oil has been dirt cheap!

Both private and National Oil Companies know that they stand to make 5-10 times the money on the downslope of the peak as what they have made up to this point. Think you hate the Oil Sheiks now? The West is about to get into a bidding war with China and India over oil. Prices could hit $150-200 per barrel or more.

Wickedly high prices will be the bitter medicine America (and the world) needs to go cold-turkey. The coming energy shock will not only prove peak-oilers wrong, it will kickstart the long-overdue energy transition like the "chorus of doom" never could. As prices rise, demand will plummet. It will only be a matter of time before new energy extraction and production methods take over, and energy prices moderate worldwide. Some of this is already happening, such as in Brazil, which produces almost 20 percent of its transport fuel from sugar cane, and it's already cheaper than gasoline. Or globally with wind power, now the fastest growing energy source. If enough alt-energy comes on line in the next few years, we might not even have to go through such a traumatic shock. And--there's a silver lining to the energy transition: a better, healthier lifestyle, with far less CO2 production!

Either way, sell your SUV, and buy an efficient hybrid car or diesel (not a bullshit luxury hybrid). Buy stock in clean-tech companies. Buy E85 or biodiesel if you can find it. Plan to telecommute in the future. But don't waste your money on survival gear, or your life by drinking the peak-oil kool-aid. Don't take my word for it, pay a visit to JD over at Peak Oil Debunked. His writing style is great, and you'll see why human ingenuity will ALWAYS find enough energy to power the future.

 
At Wednesday, March 22, 2006 at 2:39:00 AM PST, Blogger Roland said...

That's a cool article.

 
At Wednesday, March 22, 2006 at 5:18:00 PM PST, Blogger Quantoken said...

Please note that we are SAVED by an EXTREMELY warm winter, which every one has got to agree that is pretty unusual. Had it been an average winter, or even a bit colder. We would have been in a much worse situation in terms of energy price, Matt Simmons' prediction could have a real chance of become reality had it been a cold winter for USA.

 
At Thursday, March 23, 2006 at 12:27:00 AM PST, Blogger popmonkey said...

quontoken. lets all hold hands and prey for a hard winter next year!

 
At Thursday, March 23, 2006 at 9:51:00 AM PST, Blogger half said...

There won't be a winter next year thanks to BusHitler, natural gas prices will collapse to 5 causing Halibuirton to forfeit all it's grain puts. Wake up folks! It's all in the water supply! We have no chance against anything greater than the butterflies or mailman.

 
At Tuesday, April 11, 2006 at 3:48:00 AM PDT, Blogger sameu said...

lol @popmonkey

on second thoughts

maybe JD could lead the prayer, since he believes high prices are the solution ;-)

 
At Thursday, April 20, 2006 at 9:23:00 PM PDT, Blogger Override367 said...

"Please note that we are SAVED by an EXTREMELY warm winter, which every one has got to agree that is pretty unusual. Had it been an average winter, or even a bit colder. We would have been in a much worse situation in terms of energy price, Matt Simmons' prediction could have a real chance of become reality had it been a cold winter for USA."


Actually during the beginning months of the winter here in south eastern wisconsin it was significantly *colder* than average.

However, due to JD's and other blogs educating me on some simple procedures, I paid significantly less than I did last year.

I don't control the radiators, but I can and did turn them off for much of this winter. Insulated everything that was insulatable and used a single space heater :)

 
At Friday, June 9, 2006 at 12:33:00 AM PDT, Blogger ajw said...

to jd:

"I don't even drive, so why should I care where the price of gas goes?"

This thread is the first of your blog I have read. I'm going to use the quote itself to "debunk" your "debunking attempt", assuming that this quote is a fair representation of your intelligence regarding the global energy issue.

Every product you consume requires immense energy to produce, every dollar you spend eventually ends up in the hands of "Big Oil", every sip of clean drinking water you take is a result of energy-intensive purifying processes. In the end, our entire way of life is dependent on a continuous source of virtually free energy.

I'm sure you already know this...I'm merely repeating "crap" that has been said by Simmons. But perhaps what you're not aware of is the magnitude of supply disruption for -all consumer goods- that will occur if energy is unattainable.

Do you grow ALL the food you eat in your own backyard? Do you produce ALL the electricity for the appliances you use in your house (in a sustainable manner - like PV)? Do you have a source of water (with exception to rain, which won't be enough quantity needed for showers/baths/flushable toilets) and a means to purify it (again, in a sustainable manner)? And I'll be nice and assume you live with tolerable summer heat and mild winters (ridding the need for HVAC - superunlikely).

Now, let's get something straight about me. I am a Peaknik because it's pure logic: we are attempting infinite resource consumption and growth on a planet with finite resources. I'm an applied physicist and it's literally my profession to develop energy solutions. I, however, am NOT a doomsayer. I don't believe we will fall off a cliff and crash and die. I do believe we will slide down a cliff and crumble. Be it now, in 10 years, or 30 years, it simply must happen, according to the laws of thermodynamics and how they relate to the modern industrial-grade lifestyle.

When it does happen, every commodity will spike in price and the quality of life will be significantly reduced.

What happens then is completely unpredictable and only fools can predict it. This is because we are unsure how policy will be set and how quickly alternative energies can be set up. But that's another thing I have briefly glimpsed on this blog...the belief that alternatives to fossil fuel will save us. Once again, I'm a physicist and I know the numbers and I know they won't. Alternatives are too ineffective..we're talking orders of magnitude in the lacking of required wattage.

The sun has generated a gift in an enormous timeframe. We're abusing it to the best of our ability. You can go ahead and make threads like this that bash peakniks and say Peak Oil is a myth or will have minimal effect. But whether economists/scientists can predict the time of supply decline and prices is irrelevant. An exodus from the industrial ways must occur because of the simple facts.

Hence, this entire blog is counter-productive. You should all be learning to grow organic food and be buying PV cells while they are still cheap (this is actually very arbitrary...just do something helpful). Thus, when consumer goods become harder to acquire, your quality of life won't be affected due to your own efforts.

If you continue to say that peak oil is a myth, you are being illogical (and I suggest studying some geophysics, economics 101, Newtonian physics, and chemistry). If you argue that a doomsday scenario is a myth, I'm right beside you.

 
At Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 1:42:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's Jan. 2008 and $100 oil looks pretty real. I think that Simmons just thinks that the potential for supply disruptions is great, as there is no siginificant spare capacity. The question is, when and where will the price top out. This year ... next ... the next? At $100 ... $200 ... 300? To start to answer that question, one has to know the cause of the price rise in the first place. Peak oil?

 
At Saturday, February 9, 2008 at 11:58:00 AM PST, Anonymous Soylent said...

"Every product you consume requires immense energy to produce, every dollar you spend eventually ends up in the hands of "Big Oil"..."

This is emphatically false. That fancy haircut consumed miniscule quantities of oil per $ while those new tires cost several gallons each to make.

To pre-empt the inevitable follow-up: 'Oh yeah, but the hair-dresser eventually spends that on something that consumes oil'. So? All that money is eventually spent on cheese at one point or another; proving that we are all in the hands of big cheese.

"...every sip of clean drinking water you take is a result of energy-intensive purifying processes."

Oil is not electricity. Electricity is not threatened by peak oil.

"In the end, our entire way of life is dependent on a continuous source of virtually free energy."

And peak oil is first and formost a liquid fuels crisis and not an energy crisis.

"Do you grow ALL the food you eat in your own backyard?"

Energy inputs to the food supply are mostly in the form of natural gas for N-fertilizer(ammonia can be produced from electricity at economical rates.), phosphate mining(largely dependent on electricity, not oil. Uranium can and often is co-mined.) and transportation; the pesticide and oil input of the machinery is insignificant.

Transportation is clearly the only part of the food supply situation threatened by peak oil. Freight trains and ships are both very efficient and amenable to substitution; so the real problem is getting the goods from the warehouse to the store, i.e. local distribution.

In the near term we can quite easily double efficiency by using longer more aerodynamic trucks. We can significantly increase efficiency by not eating as much meat. The scale of this problem is small enough that it will be decades before we'll finally be forced to come up with a viable long term solution. Worst comes to worst and we don't manage to electrify on time we can probably get by with growing energy crops on a small fraction of land for this problem; worked well enough for horses.

The hard problem is still personal transportation. The scale of the problem makes it hard to electrify in the near future. The scale of the problem makes bio-fuels capable of sustaining it very doubtful. The good news is that much of this is just discretionary and that car-pooling, better mileage, regenerative breaking and busses can stall for long enough to move people closer to their work and get some decent public transport online before it really hits the fan.

"Do you produce ALL the electricity for the appliances you use in your house (in a sustainable manner - like PV)?"

The electricity supply isn't dependent on oil and is not threatened by peak oil. My electricity supply is ~45% hydro-electric and ~50% fission. Uranium is so abundant in the Earths crust that it will be millenia before we need to think about replacing it even if we replace the entire worlds electricity supply with fission. The end of fission power will be due to finding a cheaper/better power source.

Peak oil is an (affordable) portable fuels crisis, not an electricity crisis.

"Do you have a source of water (with exception to rain, which won't be enough quantity needed for showers/baths/flushable toilets) and a means to purify it (again, in a sustainable manner)?"

I live in Sweden. We couldn't waste enough water to draw down water tables even if we wanted to.

"And I'll be nice and assume you live with tolerable summer heat and mild winters (ridding the need for HVAC - superunlikely)."

I live in a block of flats with proper insulation and triple glazed windows. Heating is supplied by cogeneration in a local power plant. Unless it's about 10 degrees C below zero I keep the radiator closed; just living in the room and having a modest 100W or so heating from lighting and a computer is enough to get ~16-20 degrees C room temperature. There's no cooling in the summer whatsoever.

If I had to do completely without heating I might have to wear a thicker sweater for a few weeks out of the year. If you can't tell, I'm so scared I nearly soil myself.

If you feel compelled to try and save american style suburbs from some inconvenience I guess you can advocate ground source heat pumps and proper insulation.

 
At Friday, March 28, 2008 at 12:49:00 PM PDT, Anonymous View from the future said...

It is now March 13th, 2008 the oil price went up but not b/c of a growing gap between supply and demand. In fact, just today I went to the gas station and filled up my car and drove by at least 15 working gas stations with no lines around the block. There are no major supply shortfalls except at a couple dozen gas stations in China b/c they don't have any refining capacity.

The price increases have largely occured due to speculation, devaluation of the dollar, and a perceived risk of supply disruption.

So, maybe Simmons was right about the price, but for all the wrong reasons. I guess sometimes even the biggest nut job in the oil industry can't be wrong 100% of the time.

From my vantage point, it looks like $100 oil is not dragging society to a halt. In fact, I think I'll drive down to McDonalds for a cheeseburger and then to the wal-mart 25 miles away for some socks and then 30 miles to the movie theater.

I hope Savinar's freeze dried food hasn't spoiled yet.

 
At Thursday, April 17, 2008 at 8:26:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

we're hitting all time record highs on a daily basis and supply is declining.

Where do we go from here?

 
At Friday, May 30, 2008 at 9:49:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where do we go from here? Straight down the dumper, baby. Simmons, Savinar, et al have it right.

 
At Monday, June 30, 2008 at 5:55:00 PM PDT, Anonymous BOG said...

So Simmons was out by a year or two, not bad. Looks like us doomers have the last laugh.

 
At Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 11:26:00 PM PST, Blogger jose said...

Well, you can buy a barrel of oil for $44 today.
Again, doomer's forecast will have to be postponed...

Supply might be finite, but demand is not fixed.

 

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