An observation worth noting … and pondering, from Chris Martenson:

The reason I say in the title that shale oil proves that Peak Oil is upon us is that we would not be drilling them if there were anything better left to drill. The simple yet profound reason that we’re going after this more difficult and expensive oil is—drum roll, please—the easy and cheap stuff is all gone.
Rather than proving that Peak Oil is dead, as many have claimed, the new focus on shale plays indicates to me that we’ve indeed moved down the resource ladder to the next best (i.e., less good) options because the better ones are all gone….
[T]here’s nothing yet in the data that makes me think that Peak Oil is dead or that we can breathe a collective sigh of relief that we’ve bought ourselves a few more easy decades of abundant fossil energy via shale.
Again, the shale plays are magnificent in many respects, but they are not permanent game-changers that afford us the choice of neither examining our beliefs nor changing our behaviors. Indeed, they are a reinforcing indicator that we now live in the age of Peak Cheap Oil.

Facts and reality continue to screw up the narrative offered by fossil fuel industry cheerleaders that all is well and we are at the dawn of an almost completely worry-free future of limitless supplies of energy.

No one doubts that there is great appeal in attesting to the marvels of technology and ingenuity which have provided us with a recent oil-production increase. It is a legitimate accolade. But once you move past the pom-poms, geology and facts remain in place.

What we’re relying upon now is of less quality, costs more, is harder to extract, and depletes rapidly, among the highlights. Meanwhile, conventional crude oil production remains stuck on its nearly full-decade plateau. And demand is not going away.

So while we’re all breathlessly assured that we’re not running out of oil—a favorite straw man argument which continues to be mentioned by the peak oil deniers because no one else is making that claim—we’re butting heads with the limitations innate in finite resources.

So while there may indeed still be billions of barrels of fossil fuel reserves, the unpleasant disruption to the Happy Talk is that it’s a lot more difficult and a lot more expensive to get at (assuming that’s even an option; geology has its own ideas about access). And that “a lot more expensive” part of the discussion is relevant for two reasons:

(1) We are the ones dealing with “more expensive,” and that impacts our own personal bottom lines. There’s only so many ways we can divide the household budget; and
(2) When we stop buying “more expensive,” the industry stops exploring and producing. So unless they have magic at their disposal, more expensive and not producing creates the problem peak oil proponents have been trying to explain despite the louder and better-funded voices.

Beliefs and behaviors at some point must bend to reality. Sooner is better.

~ My Photo: high tide on the private side at Good Harbor Beach, MA – 07.22.07

 – I invite you to read my other blogs at richardturcotte.com

New features will debut soon at that website:


This new column begins on February 3, 2014. It’s a slightly skewed look at life for those of us on the north side of 50.

            * THE TRETIAK AGENDA

A political thriller filled with unexpected plot twists and drawn from real world historical events, this eBook is scheduled for Publication on January 28, 2014.

Excerpts are being posted as of January 6th. Look for a few teasers already posted as well.

            * LIFE WILL ANSWER

(The inspiration for the second blog at that website). This eBook is scheduled for Publication on February 12, 2014

Excerpts are being posted as of January 15th. Look for a few teasers already posted as well.

 Looking Left and Right:
Inspiring Different Ideas,
Envisioning Better Tomorrows

Peak Oil Matters is dedicated to informing others about the significance and impact of Peak Oil—while adding observations about politics, ideology, transportation, and smart growth.