In spite of everything I’ve presented here there are people who still want to buy into the peak oil scam. I’m not sure how much I should try to convince people otherwise because while there isn’t a peak oil situation immediately looming, at least not in the sense that we’ve used up half of all the worlds oil reserves, there is the problem of damage to our environment, and that is real and threatening and the right reason for transitioning to alternatives to oil.
I’m sure that James Howard Kunstler is a far more persuasive author than I am, and he’s also motivated to sell books. So what chance do I have of competing?
Those of you who really want to know the truth, it’s out there if you dig for it. One place I like to look is http://www.rigzone.com/. It is geared towards the oil industry and consequently not high in entertainment value like Kunstler’s book, however, it contains real data, the new oil field discoveries, the technological developments, the economics involved. There are other sites like it but that one makes everything available to anyone who cares to go and take a look.
On the other hand, if you just want to be entertained, read Kunstler’s book. Really, I’m not sure it’s a bad thing for the public to believe a peak oil crises is upon us, because if that actually provides the motivation to get us to move onto something environmentally less damaging then it’s not a bad thing.
My only gripe with the peak oil scam, besides the fact that it is a scam, is that by creating a perceived shortage it’s driving the price of oil up and sucking money out of the economy that could be used to invest in alternatives. It’s also causing major problems for many people economically forcing people to choose between heating and eating while the oil companies rake in 35 billion a quarter in profits. And it’s causing many Americans to look the other way while we conduct a war in the middle east because they believe it’s securing oil. In reality, it’s cut the production in Iraq considerably driving the cost of oil up which of coarse is what the multinationals had intended in the first place.
All of this isn’t to say that cheap oil is not getting scarce. There is plenty of oil left but it’s not the low sulfur light crude under so much pressure that all you have to do is poke a hole in the ground and it comes gushing out. There is plenty of deep oil, the kind you have to drill down 20,000+ feet and through granite or basaltic capstone to get to. There is plenty of oil shale and tar sands, which yield thick bitumen that has to be cracked into lighter molecules in order to be commercially useful and that increases refinery costs. There is about as much heavy oil in California as there is Venezuela. There is much oil off the Gulf of Mexico yet to be tapped but much of it is in deep water and requires deep drilling to get to. There are regions off the Pacific coast believed to have oil but they haven’t been allowed to even be explored let alone tapped.
I’d much rather see us move to clean renewable resources than tap all of these and spew more filth into the atmosphere and environment in general. I’d rather see it happen though because it’s the right thing to do for our planet and not because oil companies thought they could boost their profits by creating a perceived shortage.