free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 259. KEN DEFFEYES STARTS BACKPEDALING

Thursday, March 09, 2006


As many of you are already aware, Professor Kenneth Deffeyes of Princeton University rocked the peak oil world in February 2006 with this juicy little nugget of doom:

Doomers and primitivists everywhere were electrified, but, sadly, the dream came crashing down yesterday when Deffeyes backpedaled and printed a retraction:
I do have an apology to make for a line in my February Current Events comment on this website. After stating that the world oil peak had already occurred on December 16, 2005, I reported that the Bush administration hoped to double the direct solar electric generation from the present one percent to two percent by the year 2025. My fingers got away from me and typed out: "By 2025, we'll be back in the Stone Age." I'm sorry that some readers thought that I actually meant that we would be wearing furs and hunting buffalo with flint spear points. It's called "hyperbole."Source
Yah, I know how those finger slips go, Ken. It happens to me a lot, but I usually just erase with the delete key and retype. Generally, I don't break the goof out of the body of the main text, and highlight it in yellow with a snappy black border.

Of course, now that Ken has exposed himself as a slapstick comedian who can't be taken seriously, I'm starting to wonder about all his other apocalyptic statements. Like this one from Feb. 27, 2006:
Where is the economic impact of peak oil going to be felt acutely and when?

Geologists like to look back in time, and I'm not that good at futurology. I borrow the analogy of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: war, famine, pestilence and death.Source
Apparently Ken's tongue got away from him here. What's that? You really thought he meant "war, famine, pestilence and death?" You silly fool. He's being clever and ironic. It's called "hyperbole".
-- by JD


At Thursday, March 9, 2006 at 12:52:00 PM PST, Blogger Roland said...

Now I see that quote in context it's pretty obvious he was being ironic. Obviously some doomers are not very smart.

But I agree with Deffeyes that Bush's goal to have 2% direct solar generation by 2025 is a bit of a laugh. 2%? Forget it. More like 100%, if molecular manufacturing gets off the ground.

At Thursday, March 9, 2006 at 1:07:00 PM PST, Blogger Roland said...

One other thing - I noticed in that first post by Kenneth Deffeyes he had a highly technical, sophisticated method for predicting the peak date: he looked up page 48 of his own book to find out the URR, then divided it by two. Geez, I could have done that myself.

Rembrandt would beat this anyday.

At Thursday, March 9, 2006 at 2:03:00 PM PST, Blogger half said...

I use the time-honored method of a pointy stick when predicting stuff. My dousers sez peak oil in 2025. Peak weirdness in 2525, peak funk in 1971.

At Thursday, March 9, 2006 at 3:03:00 PM PST, Blogger Rembrandt said...

Deffeyes his method is okay but not in the way he uses it giving an almost exact date. As if he doesn't know that every reserve estimate is a very wild guess...

Hubbert Curving can estimate world peak with an error margin of 5 to 10 years I think if done with current educated reserve guesses.

At Thursday, March 9, 2006 at 3:33:00 PM PST, Blogger Roland said...

It's just that, being the world's leading oil geologist and all, I would have expected him to have a bit more in-depth methods for predicting the date of the peak. Anyway, now I know why these people always get their dates wrong.

At Friday, March 10, 2006 at 2:39:00 AM PST, Blogger Freak said...

So, if he's the world's leading geologist, what does that say for the one's who aren't retired, and who are currently involved in the exploration or the world's reserves right now? The one's with less know-how than him....

At Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at 9:00:00 AM PST, Blogger Aaron Dunlap said...

The reason he used that hyperbole was to emphasize the point that it does not matter exactly when the technical peak date is... the important date is before the actual peak date, after which we have a diminished ability to avert the worst consequences of peak oil.

And that there will come a date, prior to the peak, when we simply won't have enough time to effect solutions.

At Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at 12:54:00 PM PST, Blogger Harpy! said...

Well spoken Mr Dunlap. Deffeyes was simply highlighting the fact that we have the ability to predict what the future will bring based on our present knowledge (be that full or partial) and that the time to act is NOW!

At Saturday, May 20, 2006 at 11:37:00 AM PDT, Blogger TheLastSasquatch said...

I recently met Ken Deffeyes at a conference. My impression is that he is so smart that he gets bored with typical conversations and topics and tries to use humor to make things more interesting. He is definitely a rebel, and speaks his mind, but I think his large head houses a razor sharp mind.


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