379. TWILIGHT IN THE DESERT, MY ASS
Matt Simmons has been wrong about virtually every important trend he has tried to call.
He was wrong in his shrill predictions about US gas "going over a cliff". He predicted a catastrophic drop in US natural gas production by summer 2005. That never transpired, and in summer 2008 US gas production is *rising* at a rapid clip. Details
He also predicted a near term collapse in Saudi oil production (Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock) which never transpired. The book was released in June 2005, and in the last 18 months, Saudi crude+condensate production has steadily risen, reaching a high of 9,700mbd in July 2008 (EIA stats, Table 1.1c). Historically, that's an extremely high level. The last time Saudi crude+condensate production was that high was almost 30 years ago, in October 1981 (see EIA, 2008 Monthly Energy Review, Table 11.1a Link).
Simmons staked his reputation on the claim that Saudi Production was going to collapse, and it did exactly the opposite. No wonder he's having a nervous breakdown and promoting bizarre schemes like mowing the bottom of the ocean with "underwater lawnmowers":
“Call it seaweed, if you want,” Simmons said. Whatever you call it, Simmons said the world must start harvesting this micro algae using what he called “underwater lawnmowers.”Simmons' consistent view has always been that high prices will not temper demand, that demand will continue to follow optimistic IEA forecasts even if supply massively undershoots that level (economic gobbledygook like "In seventeen years the world’s demand for oil may well be more than 50 percent greater than it is today, while production capacity may well sink to 1985 levels."Source), and that prices are going to go through the roof. Which, of course, is completely at odds with the actual situation of falling demand and prices. The man is overwrought and out of touch: on Sept. 22, 2008, as the price of oil was nosediving to $33, his comment was: "There really is no roof on oil prices at this point."Source
Simmons acknowledged that any plan for large scale harvesting of micro algae likely would be strongly opposed by environmentalists. His blunt message to them: "Get over it. We’ve already destroyed the fish stock."Source
-- by JD