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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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Tag: climate change

 

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What is actually important is not the date of peak global oil production, but the decades of decline that follow

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I ended last week’s post with this observation: “We could do so much worse than taking some time now to find just enough courage to acknowledge that we face some fact-based challenges in the years to come.

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This was included as part of a more extensive quote in last week’s post:

The present research finds that system justification tendencies are associated with greater denial of environmental realities and less commitment to pro-environmental action.

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By 2035, the global population is expected to reach nearly 8.8 billion, meaning an additional 1.5 billion people will need energy, according to BP’s annual world energy forecasts, and based on current forecasts it won’t be sourced from renewables.

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Research has powerfully illustrated that a lack of knowledge in domains such as energy and the environment can lead to bad decisions and erroneous beliefs that hinder a society’s ability to create change in domains that require it

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Entrenched as each side is in what seems an endless and ever-disheartening conflict between conservatives and progressives, finding seams to broaden discussions is no easy task. Cocooned as each partisan is in the selective comfort of peer perspectives and beliefs, suspicion and ridicule are the easier guidelines to follow.

But at what cost to all of us, if not today, then soon enough? Has there been a collective, irrevocable determination by all that the political and ideological wars will continue until … well, when?

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As cognitive dissonance theory would predict, people tend to avoid information that is dissonant with their current beliefs and seek consonant information, especially when they are already committed to a particular position [citations in original pdf]

I’ll conclude this portion of the series with some unedited comments about President Obama by anonymous readers of the American Thinker article discussed in prior posts. It’s a remarkable but unfortunately not uncommon sampling of what passes for reasoned responses—at least for those having any relevance at all to the article about our future energy supply and its dismissive treatment of any concerns about fossil fuel production—from a too-large segment of the far Right on almost any issue dividing Left from Right. That’s not to say those on the Left don’t contribute their share of discord, but from my very unscientific observations over a numbers of years, the personal attacks are far fewer; and one finds more substantiation of the positions taken.

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I suggested at the outset of this series that I did not want it to turn into yet another exercise in mocking those who do not accept the implications of peak oil. A legitimate argument could be made that I’ve failed in that objective.

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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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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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