Both Sides of the Peak Oil Debate

I was reading freakonomics today, which is a great blog, and there was an article on the $2.99 gas promotion Chrysler is putting on and the guy made the completely unqualified statement that “There is also every reason to believe that gas prices will be lower in the future than they are now”. He also linked to an article in 2005 that he wrote saying that he doesn’t know anything about oil reserves, but that oil will react just like any other commodity with supply and demand principles. I mean, wouldn’t that only be true if oil was sold on a free market? I’m pretty sure I don’t trust OPEC with embracing a free oil market with accurate supply numbers. I’m pretty sure that’s not how cartels work.

You might not care about this at all. I like it because energy is deceivingly important but largely invisible to us. As a general rule of thumb, it’s probably a good idea to keep track of big world changing movements so you don’t get crushed like an unsuspecting fool.

Anyway, it got me thinking about how much back and forth there is on this topic. Personally, I like to hear both sides of the argument because the answer is probably between the two sides. It’s just a question of where in between. The best websites on this that I’ve found are:

Pro-Peak Oil: http://www.theoildrum.com/

No-Peak Oil: http://peakoildebunked.blogspot.com/

Anyway, there’s a lot of people who will tell you a lot of useful and well-explained things on both sides of the debate. But instead of doing that, I’ll make a list of interesting things I came across in reading online and reading this book, which is the best book on energy as far as I’m concerned.

  1. Russia, by far, is the most pro Global Warming country there is. They make no secret about their desires to pollute as much as possible to help their potato crops, expose a northern sea route, and (ironically) expose unbelievable amounts of oil and gas trapped under the Siberian arctic.
  2. Oil of Olay is the still the most popular search term that starts with “oil” on Google, edging “oil price per barrel”. Why the fuck would you ever search for “oil of olay”? Guess what the website for Oil of Olay is? It’s fucking oilofolay.com (which redirects to olay.com so either one would work). Google is making a killing off of people who will type web addresses into their search bar. Genius.
  3. U.S. petroleum consumption is projected to fall by 330,000 barrels/day in 2008 ( -1.6%, as of 5/6/08 )
  4. WWII was largely decided by a lack of Axis oil. Hitler back-stabbed Stalin because he needed Russian oil (fatal mistake) and Japan’s lack of fuel led them to choose not to intercept small aerial formations like our B-29 nuclear attacks.
  5. Japan is the smartest and most dependent country on foreign oil. They’re probably coming up with some kind of solution. I have no idea if they’re worried about Peak Oil or not but if they’re not then I wouldn’t be worried either.
  6. The Europeans knew they’d be able to meet the Kyoto protocols because their economy was slowing down anyway. It was a classic Euro-scam.
  7. The reason you see Chinese people spitting all the time (in China) is because they can’t heat their homes in the winter and they’ve learned that this helps against respiratory illnesses. I got to spit on the street when I chewed tobacco over there and nobody cared, that was the only bonus.
  8. We will probably move from oil to natural gas for mobile transportation in the next 20 years, with a move to hydrogen sometime after that. This will mean Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) tanker explosions will be the new oil spills. I guess environmentalists will like this better because the sea animals won’t suffer.
  9. There’s already a natural gas car for sale in the US for $25K. You can even refill it in your own garage if you have a natural gas line, you get a ton of tax breaks to buy it, and it costs a little more than the equivalent to $1/gallon to fill up (gas prices were as high in 05 when this was written as they are now). Why is all the talk about the Prius then? Because environmentalists are status whores.
  10. About half of the World’s natural gas reserves are held by Russia and Iran.
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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Both Sides of the Peak Oil Debate

  1. “I guess environmentalists will like this better because the sea animals won’t suffer.”

    hahahahaha, stupid environmentalists, they care more about plants and animals than humans

  2. E

    I like the term “energy” — such as “I’m working in the energy industry” — because it is a catchphrase for “money grubbing oil/somewhat linked to oil” thing.

    “I was interviewed by an energy sector company before b-school graduation” means “I was interviewed by a company that prints its own money because they sell oil, process oil, or somehow closely related to oil and natural gas.”

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  5. anon

    This is a must read about oil’s grip on us.

    The Prize by Daniel Yergin

    Its long but interesting.

  6. Frankie

    I really wonder why people pay such a lot of attention to the ending fossile energy sources problem, in stead of concentrating on finding information on the various environmental-friendly alternatives that ARE developped.

    The only but ever so tough “reason” that oil and gas need to seem so “difficult to replace”, is to serve the interests of the current world elite, that floats on the ineffeciency and human stride of our world economy as it is now.

    And I am not talking about nuclear energy here. There are already much safer sources. But almost everybody who could invest in further development of these sources, has no personal interest in that. On the contrary: such people are dependent on the world elite and thank their economic power to scarcity of a.o. energy.

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  8. Frankie, are you retarded? Maybe you should read before you open your mouth, just a suggestion. You can start here

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/environment/2008-05-15-pickens-wind-turbines_N.htm

    Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens is investing $2B in wind technology in the Texas panhandle. I love how everybody thinks there’s some invisible conspiracy out to control the world, working against the interests of the masses.

  9. Frankie

    I was not talking about wind-turbines. Everybody who reads a little bit further knows that they are not costeffective. And why, of all people, is an oil magnat investing in alternative sources? Could it be self interest? His noble image, for example? To keep him or his “predecessors” in the running after oil has run out (but of course with a source that will be of a comparable sort of scarcity as the current sources)?

    Well, if you love it, I don’t see a need for you making a problem out of retarded, paranoic and especially boring conspiracy-thinkers like me.

  10. Frankie

    predecessors should be successors. So sorry for my terrible English. Sure your Dutch is better 😉

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