Uh oh, another hippy lie busted, Peak Oil is well dead now

Remember peak oil?

The hippies still cling to this shibboleth like Michael Jackson to a small boy.

But the reality is there is more oil now than ever before as we have got smarter and technology improvements give us access to previously uneconomic oil supplies. And the alarmists are upset that oil prices are falling.

Many environmentalists had assumed that if neither fear nor reason helped us to lessen our reliance on oil, then at least we could count on scarcity. But scarcity is not an economic or environmental policy. Humans have long had a habit of expecting the sky to fall. Yet from Malthus to Paul Ehrlich, predictions that the planet was on the verge of starvation have never come to pass (or at least not as broadly as expected). Nonetheless, the drop in oil prices comes at a terrible moment. Last month the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that our only chance to halt the rising temperature of the Earth, and to prevent the calamity that rise will cause, would be to eliminate fossil-fuel emissions by the end of the century.

A plan to end U.S. fossil-fuel dependence would be an unlikely goal in any case, but, if oil remains easily accessible, it becomes politically impossible. “It is technically feasible to transition to a low-carbon economy,” Youba Sokona, the co-chair of one of the I.P.C.C.’s working groups, says. “But what is lacking are appropriate policies and institutions. The longer we wait to take action, the more it will cost to adapt and mitigate climate change.”

See the alarmism at the end..not even a hint of irony that their alarmism over ‘peak oil’ has proven by the market to be a lie.

Others think low prices are here to stay.

During the last decade, even as alarums about the advent of “peak oil” grew ever more frenzied, world oil production actually increased from 77.6 million barrels per day in 2003 to 86.8 million barrels per day in 2013. Lynch’s book The “Peak Oil” Scare and the Coming Oil Flood, scheduled for publication this coming spring, predicts even larger leaps in the global production of crude. Lynch thinks world oil production will increase to around 110 million barrels per day during the next decade. In the meantime, global oil prices will hover around $60 per barrel over the next couple of years and conceivably drop to $40 per barrel in five years. At $40 per barrel, the price of oil would, in inflation-adjusted dollars, just about equal the annual average price of $17 per barrel in 1998.

I asked Lynch if this meant oil markets might be in for a replay of the price collapse that occurred in the 1980s. He replied that he thought so. In inflation-adjusted dollars, the price of oil reached its peak annual average of $106 per barrel in 1980 and then collapsed to an annual average of $30.80 per barrel in 1986.

Another factor to consider when attempting to project future prices is that demand for oil appears to have peaked in the United States and Europe. This is due in large part to the recent period of sustained high prices that encouraged drivers to buy more energy-efficient vehicles and to conserve the amount of fuel they burned. U.S. gasoline consumption peaked at 142 billion gallons in 2007 and has since fallen by 6 percent to 135 billion gallons in 2013. In the European Union, transport fuel consumption has fallen by 8.4 percent since peaking in 2007. In addition, the total estimated vehicle-miles traveled by Americans has dropped by more than 2 percent since 2007. (Lynch muses that low oil prices may mean we’ll “see the death of the electric car” once again.) Finally, if the big industrial countries do get serious in the next decade or so about cutting carbon emissions, that too will tank demand for oil.

Well there is one benefit..the death of the electric car.

Either way the claims about peak oil have proven to be as accurate as Michael Mann’s hockey stick in predicting global temperatures.

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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.  And 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 that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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