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Peak Oil Matters

A fresh perspective on the concept of peak oil and the challenges we face

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Archive for April, 2016

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[T]he West’s energy security is assured to a degree that has not existed in the past.
That’s good news for the American people and for the world, even if it is not news that Obama wants to hear.

He doesn’t? I wonder how that author knows this? Any chance it’s instead just a variation of the same let’s-not-consider-facts-and-instead-just-make-stuff-up-to-“prove”-our-point-and-keep-the-followers-properly-agitated strategy?

With a century’s worth of cheap, practical energy in hand, the global economy has a good chance of expanding.

A “good chance”?! And that would be based on … what?

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[P]eak oil naysayers hardly have reason to gloat. The supply of oil may be rising, but the nature of the fuel mix is changing quickly, adding greater uncertainty to the long-term outlook for the world’s largest energy source.
Pockets of cheap, easy-to-produce oil — called conventional crude — are gradually drying up after more than a century of exploration. Exxon Mobil, the world’s largest publicly traded oil and gas company, said it expects output from developed conventional oil fields to decline through 2040. Conventional crude output actually peaked in 2006, at 70 million barrels a day, and has since plateaued, the International Energy Agency said in its 2010 World Energy Outlook report. [1]

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I’ve mentioned in the prior posts of this series that there were two articles posted online a number of weeks ago *  which caught my attention for reasons which at first puzzled me. No disrespect intended either author, but the contents of each were fairly routine offerings by those who clearly have not accepted the rationale of Peak Oil [and/or climate change] and have a decidedly anti-liberal/progressive perspective about … probably everything. Not exactly unusual these days, is it?

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If nothing else, we’ll need to recognize that, like climate change, Peak Oil is not some event looming on a distant horizon. Peak Oil is happening now.

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We will have to transition to a post-fossil-fuel economy eventually, either out of wisdom or chaos [1]

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The truths, unpleasant though they may be, are the truths: inexpensive, readily available oil is slowly but surely becoming less readily available, more expensive, and harder to come by. Current conditions [ultra-low prices; curtailed/canceled oil production and exploration projects; over-supply; declining investments; high debt] only highlight that the problems of maintaining an adequate, affordable, accessible supply of fossil fuel needed to power modern society aren’t going away.

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In Part 1 of this series, I confessed at the outset that I had mixed feelings about posting this series. More of the same tiresome pieces [1. 2.] of fact-light energy abundance Happy Talk designed to do anything and everything but start a meaningful conversation [at least from this peak oil advocate’s perspective] was instead an invitation to just jump on the More Nonsense train and have at it once again. There was nothing remarkable about either article alluded to, nor from the comments offered by readers dutifully following guidelines from the Denial Playbook.

Both were easy targets in that regard, but the articles and ensuing comments were just the vehicles to serve as the jumping off point for a broader discussion. As this series progresses I will actually discuss the content of each as they bear upon that purpose. But for now, laying the foundation is more important.

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I ended last week’s post on the topic of Confirmation Bias* with these questions:

After all, who among us wants to be wrong about important matters on which we’ve staked no small amount of credibility?

But what if being wrong about those important matters winds up being the least of our problems?

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I’ll confess that I hesitated before starting this series. It was too easy to again just dive into mockery and sarcasm over pieces written several weeks ago by those who refuse to give credence to the concept of peak oil and/or its implications. [It’s also the gateway to yet another round of verbal grenade lobbing which generates a lot of high-five’s with fellow ideologues, but little else.]

I’ve contributed my share of mocking on numerous occasions, to be sure. It’s just part of the ongoing Left-Right hostilities….Tiresome. Pointless. Embarrassing. Damaging … always.

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