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An observation worth noting … and pondering, from Kevin Carson:

Peak Oil has nothing to do with the total size of oil reserves underground, or how many years of America’s present energy needs they could supply. What Peak Oil is about is the rate at which those reserves can be extracted, the cost in money and energy of extracting it, and the diminishing size of the net energy returns when the energy cost of extraction is accounted for. The Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROEI) of the predominant sources of fossil fuel energy has been declining steadily since they first started distilling petroleum into gasoline.

This is a very straightforward explanation of what is actually a quite simple concept. The oil industry and its media shills routinely unconcerned with disseminating facts, context, and the truths about oil production—conventional and unconventional—toss up huge clouds of dust to try and explain away the geological certainty that on a finite planet, resources are likewise finite.

Economic principles are added to the mix to further cloud the issue when disingenuous arguments don’t complete the task of steering conversations away from reality.

It does not matter how many gazillion barrels or vast, massive quantities of choice of this or that potential resource might possibly be found in X, Y, or Z. If industry cannot get it out of there in an affordable, energy-efficient, timely, and productive manner given the technologies in place so that we can use it here, then the numbers are irrelevant. They sound great, but are still irrelevant.

Rate matters.

~ My Photo: Rockport, MA – 09.11.10

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