Have you noticed that the people who warn us about peak oil are also the ones who don’t want us to look for anymore?
So what is peak oil? An email from a reader explains:
The thesis of ‘peak oil’ is that demand will significantly exceed supply and ability to find more (hence the peak) which will start a bidding and resource war, leading to the eventual collapse of western civilization as we know it. There are plenty of charts etc produced to prove that this will happen / or is happening right now. . .
The counter argument is that there is plenty of oil available and yet to be tapped – for example the shales, coal conversion, gas conversion, oil sands, and deep ocean fields. The price goes up making it economic to extract from these sources, and the peak gets pushed way forward. In the interim, because of the higher cost of oil/fuel alternative technologies – electric, hydrogen, hybrid etc make much more sense and become more widely adopted. High speed internet makes travel for communication less of a requirement, and the whole system balances up in some degree. Let’s say this is the technological progress continuing argument. . .
The consequences of peak oil would be dire. That makes the opposition to further exploration from those who promote the theory so puzzling unless they want to make sure their fears are realised.
Requiring safeguards to protect the environment from exploration and exploitation is eminently sensible. Taking the Luddite’s approach to banning exploration altogether turns peak oil into a self-perpetuating scenario: they say it has happened/will happen and won’t let us find more so it does happen.