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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: fossil fuel industry

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It’s just not that difficult to understand. But if your interests depend on a narrative contradicted by facts and reality, then telling only part of the story to unsuspecting others is the way to go….

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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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There are—almost always—at least two sides to any story of significance and potential impact upon others. The greater the impact and potential for a range of outcomes, the more certain one can be that there are more than a handful of factors, considerations, and perspectives to be accounted for if the issue at hand is to be both understood and resolved effectively.

Ignoring the “other side” of the issue may be effective if one prefers their narrative to remain unchallenged and to provide reassurance to fellow believers, but beyond that, it’s hard to understand what the benefit might be to those seeking information if what’s shared is inaccurate or purposely incomplete.

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I began last week’s post with a variation of these questions:

How do optimistic projections from ExxonMobil’s “The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040report—which I highlighted in that post—square themselves in the face of the oil production challenges suggested by the news excerpts which were also included in that piece? How long do those opposed to climate change and peak oil implications dance away from the unpleasant truths?

What is the benefit beyond avoiding painful discussions today? At what point do those contrarian viewpoints give way to a recognition that there is more than enough evidence already in play to make those challenges both very real and quite formidable now?

How does postponing not just acknowledgment but any and all efforts to come to mutual understandings and a commitment to work cooperatively in addressing these matters make it any easier or better for anyone?

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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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Americans only want to hear about the promise of ‘energy independence;’ they don’t want to hear that independence will ultimately mean higher prices. [1] 

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Recent publications featuring the impressive tales of the billions made by oil industry entrepreneurs does have a certain appeal to it, whether one is a cynic or fawning admirer. The levels of success and wealth enjoyed by those few—ignoring the not-always idealistic paths ushering continue reading…

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Such a nice story of American derring-do! If being glib, sliding past facts and honesty, and uttering inanities to satisfy others are the keys to success, then we might be on the verge of a whole new wave of multi-zillionaires!  continue reading…

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[O]ne thing is clear: Oil production is getting much more costly as easy-to-access fields are drilled dry, and new production is reliant on more difficult and costly extraction for the fossil fuel. continue reading…

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It’s been quite a while—several years, actually, since my last post on transportation issues. But it’s still as important as ever; more so, if that’s possible. More than 90% of all transportation systems depend on fossil fuels—oil and gasoline, specifically. continue reading…