Wednesday, 4 July 2012

“Peak oil” is past

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.

Great news!

Unless, like George, you’re still a warmist and convinced fossil-fueled climate change is the new Armageddon.


  1. Seems to me the concept of peak oil is sound - it's a finite resource that will eventually run out.

    What was unsound was the exageration of limited stocks, failure to take into account new technology and options for extraction, and failure to account for the laws of economics which makes alternate forms of oil extraction eventually worth looking at and improving as standard wells dry up.

    So Peak Oil hasn't "gone away", but the alarmist clap-trap that went with it needs to be more moderated. As with most rationales the left come up with.

  2. A significant amount of oil will remain in the ground, when we really do pass the peak it will become uneconomic to extract and other technologies will become more affordable and replace oil. Maybe quickly and painfully but it will happen and much oil will be left in the ground. It's the nature of resource use.

    Peak oil is nothing to worry about for anyone who has taken basic economics classes or read a bit about economics online.

  3. The Peak Oil alarmists never clearly answer the question I pose to them all... Have you invested your savings in oil futures? If not, why not?

    If they truly believe oil is running out, and the price will go sky high, then it's a sure thing.

    If they wont, then why the hell should government undertake policies that tax, spend and regulate people who also wont.

    It's hypocrisy of the highest order.

  4. Because LS, money as a motivation is only something those evil, uncaring capitalists have.

    Principled greenies are spending their dosh on cutting down trees for mining petitions, petrol for the outboard motors of their drilling protest rubber dingys and flying to climate conferences on the other side of the world. You know all that moral stuff.

  5. Well, that was interesting then. A totally fact free exchange of mud slinging. Thanks.

  6. Yeah, but 4 comments was the peak. It's all downhill from here until it eventually peters out.

    There are only so many ideas in the world, so we better not use them up too fast.


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