More on the lack of peak oil

Yesterday we explored the lack of peak oil.

I also found an interesting recent article on the topic at Real Clear Politics.

In a chilling 2010 column, Paul Krugman declared: “peak oil has arrived.”

So it’s really not surprising that the national average for a gallon of gas has fallen to $2.77 this week – in 10 states it was under $2.60 – and analysts predict we’re going to dip below the two-dollar mark soon. U.S. oil is down to $75 a barrel, a drop of more than $30 from the 52-week high.

Meanwhile, the Institute for Energy Research estimates that we have enough natural gas in the U.S. to meet electricity needs for around 575 years at current fuel demand and to fuel homes heated by natural gas for 857 years or so – because we have more gas than Russia, Iran, Qatar and Saudi Arabia combined.

With prices returning to ordinary levels and a few centuries’ worth of fossil fuels on tap, this is a good time to remind ourselves that nearly every warning the left has peddled about an impending energy crisis over the past 30 to 40 years has turned out to be wrong. And none of them are more wrong than the Malthusian idea that says we’re running out of oil.

Each time there’s a temporary spike in gas prices, science-centric liberals allow themselves a purely ideological indulgence, claiming – as Krugman, Paul Ehrlich, John Holdren and countless others have – that we’re rapidly approaching a point when producers will hit the maximum rate of extraction of petroleum. Peak oil. With emerging demand, fossil fuels will become prohibitive. And unless we have our in solar panels in order, Armageddon is near.  

In a 2005 New York Times Magazine piece, ominously titled “The Breaking Point,” Peter Maass warned: “Few people imagined a time when supply would dry up because of demand alone. But a steady surge in demand in recent years — led by China’s emergence as a voracious importer of oil — has changed that.” I can remember sitting through a number of editorial board meetings during the 2000s watching peak oil cranks pull out charts that, with pinpoint accuracy, predicted exactly when this tragedy would hit – even as enormous new deposits were being discovered and advancements in productivity were debunking those claims in real time.

And while everything is “finite” in a galactic sense, there has never been any consensus as to when oil, gas and coal will hit peak production. Probably because we’re never going to run out of any of them. Julian Simon is still right, and spikes in oil’s price only create more innovation and better productivity:

“The reason that the cost of energy has declined in the long run is the fundamental process of 1) increased demand due to the growth of population and income, which raises prices and hence constitutes opportunity to entrepreneurs and inventors; 2) the search for new ways of supplying the demand for energy; 3) the eventual discovery of methods which leave us better off than if the original problem had not appeared.”

The doomsayers are almost invariably wrong.

We also had some commenters suggest electric cars are going to be our saviour…I will research that next, and the sources of energy needed to put the electricity into the cars. I’ll go out on a limb here and suggest it cannot be done without a vast increase in production of electricity using cola or oil fired powerplants….and that NZ generation capacity is non-existent to support it. With the RMA making it almost impossible to build new dams it makes it very problematic to build extra capacity for even 10% of our vehicles to cut over.

Meanwhile ministers of little brain like Simon Bridges wax lyrical that there are 250 electric cars in New Zealand, forgetting that there were 181,404 new car registrations last year. Making his 250 stink electric cars a pathetic number.


– Real Clear Politics

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.