Debunking The "Peak Oil" Theory
Yet Again, One Might Add
By Pejman Yousefzadeh Posted in Energy | Featured Stories — Comments (49) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
How much oil lies beneath the Earth's crust? The only thing we know for sure is that history is littered with estimates so far off the mark--usually below the mark--that they border on the comical. In the 1920s, for instance, the Anglo-Persian Oil Co. (now BP) refused to take a stake in Saudi Arabia, thinking that the country didn't hold a single drop of oil. In 1919, the U.S. Geological Survey predicted that the United States would run out of oil in nine years. Yet by the time nine years had passed, huge discoveries, topped by the Black Giant field in Texas, had created a massive oil glut that almost destroyed the industry. In the 1970s, the consensus turned grim again: oil production would peak in the mid-1980s and then drop precipitously. A famous CIA report predicted the "rapid exhaustion" of accessible fields, while President Jimmy Carter warned that oil wells were "drying up all over the world." Instead, in 1986, oil prices collapsed in the midst of a huge supply boom, as they had done many times before.
Now doomsday forecasts are back, predicting the end of oil in this decade or the next. The verdict of the new catastrophists may appear more convincing because they use statistical and probability models that appear to penetrate the mysteries of our planet's subsoil. In fact, they do no such thing. In sum, what little is known about the world's underground resources justifies a positive view of the future.
Don't stop there. More awaits if only you would take the trouble to click on the link. In general, scarcity of resources is certainly a possibility--and perhaps more possible with some resources than with others--but perhaps it is high time that we demand a little more from various and sundry Malthusians before we start believing them.