Paul Ehrlich

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.   Read more »

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.”

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Rodney Hide on Jeanette Fitzsimons

Rodney Hide gives Jeanette Fitzsimons a lashing in the Herald.

We need to drag green hypocrites out from behind their shield of sanctimony.

I have known Jeanette Fitzsimons for more than 30 years. Back then, she was worrying we were running out of oil and gas. She’s now popped up as co-skipper of the protest vessel Vega trying to make it difficult for Anadarko to find more.

Her worry used to be that we were running out. Now her worry is that we are finding too much.

It’s a total back-flip but her solution remains the same – we must give up the good life and de-industrialise.

The flip-flops from the green taliban would get them life long jobs in the Cirque du Soleil. Global warming and pending ice age turned into Global Warming and roasting to death which now has turned into Climate Change. Peak Oil was supposed to have happened years ago and yet we keep on finding more and more.

At a seminar all those years ago, Jeanette explained that she was awoken to a world of worry by The Limits to Growth. The book had rocked me too. With Rachel Carson’s Since Silent Spring and Paul Ehrlich’s Population Bomb, it made me a hard-core Greenie and set me off studying environmental science to save the world.

But by the time I got to attend Jeanette’s seminar, I knew the studies were deeply flawed. Wider study, plus the failure of their predictions, had revealed that.

I’d also had the benefit of working on North Sea oil rigs and seeing first-hand the incredible ingenuity and engineering that had opened up new and exciting oil fields never thought possible.    Read more »