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Monday, August 15, 2005

The Nonsensical Ramblings of a Cornucopian

The debate over peak oil is increasing. A line is being drawn in the sand between those who see the tip of the iceberg, and those you have looked under the water. Here are one man’s ramblings from a recent debate I had. It is not edited, although I paraphrased the first paragraph, and much of what follows is out of context; however, the statements are so profound as to not matter, in my opinion. I’ll let you be the judge of that.

I write this not to bash one man’s views, but to point out just how much some are in denial about the issue and to what lengths they will go, and what straws they will grasp, just to insist it just ain’t so. We have our work cut out for us to persuade the masses to accept a much needed change in our world view, not just a change in energy policy.

So, without further ado:

“Peak oil is merely a possible point where an imbalance takes place between demand and lack of supply. In a nutshell, the problem has already been identified as too much road and air transport, as well as, plastic consumption, and the lack of a techno-fix at the time of writing on the demand or supply side coupled with the downstream effect of that.

It is a fact that several new energy sources have been invented by the use of new devices since 1750. Tomorrow one *could* be invented to supply all our needs for thousands of years simply by figuring out a way to transfer energy by use of resources. You stated oil is a primary energy source, when quite clearly even today it’s not. It was not important until 1950. Only the very rich and military had a few planes, there was hardly any cars about. I've told already, up until then it was a railway age, oil meant nothing.

There is also no evidence that *one* commodity, oil, or industrialized society has increased population more that it would have done *overall*. At present the earth could support 67 billion people on a minimal diet if farmers used the most advanced agricultural methods. There is no evidence that through substitution, public education and planning that the population cannot be sustained for the foreseeable future. Efficiency should offset price rises for the next 20 years or so.

No, fossil fuels did not create most of the infrastructure in many parts of the world! No, growth does not require production; money is also generated from services. Energy does not = economic growth. Some energy = economic growth. The reason I said some energy, because you need a certain amount. However energy = growth would imply it's proportional and it's not. There's plenty of economists that don't agree energy = growth. In fact, if anything, too much energy is less productivity and less growth. This is a very US idea energy = growth.

People breed when they see the need or out of sheer stupidity. It is incorrect to say oil created a population boom on its own and will shrink back as it declines. The Green Revolution was just a way to reduce costs and staffing, very similar to the actions of any other industry sector to stay competitive.

If oil wasn't available, we would be still living in a steam engine world, very probably with a similar level of industrialization and population we have now. ”

Author’s note:

People should start asking themselves how they can construct localized economies out of the rubble.

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