3. DOOMER LOGIC GLITCH
The doom argument in a nutshell:
(1) World oil production will peak, therefore
(2) Oil consumption in all individual countries will peak, therefore
(3) The economies of all individual countries will go down the toilet.
The glitch is between steps (1) and (2). Who says a world production peak means US consumption has to go down? That's not necessarily true. Maybe world production starts declining, and US consumption doesn't, or even goes up. After all, the US is rich, and the schoolyard bully.
Obviously this situation can't go on forever, but it's certainly a good stopgap, and I don't see anything to really prevent it from happening.
Or consider Canada. The world peak is irrelevant there, because their production's going up, and it's going to keep going up for quite some time with the syncrude. So their economy's not going to crash, and the party's still on! No threat from peak oil up there. Don't run for the hills, just move up to Vancouver.
My understanding of syncrude is that there is no way it can be increased in production at the same rate as the decrease in the production of CHEAP oil.
In other words, there's lots of tars sands etc, but as Heinberg rightly points out, that consumes a lot of gas to produce.
And I love the way JD digs his own grade by relying on the HUGE reserves of coal and uranium. Guess what? They are not!
Expect peak coal in the USA around mid century, and peak uranium!
(Unless those breeder reactors can stretch the stuff out even longer... but why bother building expensive nuclear reactors with dangerous waste when we could build solar chimney's at about the same price... or even CHEAPER if you include disposing of nuclear waste and decomissioning the plant at the end of it's lifespan. Go solar chimney's!)
mid century you say? so in 45 years I'll have to worry about the lights going out?
Boy, I better start preparing
sure we have lots of coal and it's the only thing that stops me thinking the Doomers are right. However, given the enormous lead times in energy infrastructure I think we do need to see massive investment in renewables.
Remember the Hirsch report concluded that it would take 20 years to wean off oil onto coal liquefaction because it all takes so much time! And now (march 2006) he's saying that his report was probably optimistic, because it was based on a 2% energy decline... the actual figure of annual decline could be much higher!
So, fortunately wind has already become cheaper than coal but we still need coal as base load power generation. Market forces will lead to more and more investment as renewables become cheaper than fossil fuels.
But we do need strong government leadership for peak oil, because I believe it's bleeding obvious that we are about to peak and that our economies are really going to suffer.
I like the emphasis JD has on leaving cars behind, but can't stand the opening "Screw the earth" comment... umm, JD, don't we need the earth? I'd rewrite that bit if I were you... it wrecks the opening salvo of your argument and makes you sound as nutty as the doomers.
This is one of the stupidest, most selfish and most ignorant comments I have ever read.
Firstly, you say the US is rich! For how long? The US now runs a massive deficit every year and provides barely anything of primary worth but corn to the rest of the world.
And the fact that you think the rest of the world starving to death while the US and Canada 'party on' isn't a problem?
I know that you are probably ill educated and untravelled, so I won't hold this against you.
But please get of your statistically large ass, buy yourself a world atlas (hint: the ones that have countries, not states) and learn something about the rest of the world. Its ignorant people like you that are the scum of the earth
Post a Comment