It’s fascinating to see someone’s delusions falling off before your eyes. Environmentalists George Monbiot is moving bit-by-bit with baby steps away from his more lunatic ideas, and down the path trod before him by the likes of Bjorn Lomborg, David Bellamy, James Lovelock and Patrick Moore—sane folk who looked again at some of the enviro-lunacy they helped to promulgate and found it wanting.
He still has a long way to go before you’d call him sane. But he did call out The Team on what was exposed in their ClimateGate emails. And he has come out in today's Guardian admitting he was wrong on “peak oil.” Rather than being at its peak, as he and his colleagues had claimed so noisily, even he now can’t avoid noticing oil is pouring out of the ground all around the world in increasing amounts even as available oil reserves are growing.
And why were he and his colleagues so wrong? In a word: Economics—the very laws of economics he’d never bothered to notice before, especially the principle observing that as prices for commodities go up, more production of those commodities (or substitutes for them) tends to comes on stream. For there is compelling evidence, writes Monbiot, that despite the best efforts of the likes of the Lucy Lawlesses and George Monbiots of the world to stop exploration and slow new production, a new boom in oil production has just begun.
The constraints on oil supply over the past 10 years appear to have had more to do with money than geology. The low prices before 2003 had discouraged investors from developing difficult fields. The high prices of the past few years have changed that.
Unless, like George, you’re still a warmist and convinced fossil-fueled climate change is the new Armageddon.