“Peak Oil” is a false summit

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        Obama turns his back on the US economy’s biggest success story

The shale gas (and oil) revolution has had a dramatic effect on the American economy.  Suddenly, energy prices are greatly reduced — and competitiveness suddenly increased.  Manufacturing that was “off-shored” years ago is being “on-shored” again.  There is an industrial renaissance going on.  There is huge prosperity in areas where shale gas operations are taking place — like North Dakota, for example.

The effect on America’s balance of payments is huge and positive.  From being a major oil importer, America will become self-sufficient in oil and gas within five to ten years, according to Deloitte.  And the prospects are for this oil and gas bonanza to last for decades.

Of course oil and gas are finite, and may run out sooner or later.  But “Peak Oil” is a false summit.  Hill-walkers are familiar with that view of the top of the hill, which as you approach it turns out to be just another ridge a long way from the summit.  So it is with Peak Oil.  Just as with charcoal centuries ago, oil will finally run out.  But as with charcoal, it will not leave us without power — it will be replaced with newer and better energy technologies.

But now, President Obama, as he enters the “Lame Duck” stage of his Presidency, has thrown a spanner in the works.  He seems to be looking for “legacy issues” for which history will remember him.  The rapprochement with Cuba.  The nuclear Treaty with Iran.  Maybe even Obamacare (though some might not be proud of a European-style socialised medicine model).  But his last and biggest throw of the dice is (he thinks) to save the planet.  Ahead of the Paris Climate Summit, he has announced draconian new targets for emissions. Incidentally, The Global Warming Policy Foundation has issued its findings here online , showing Obama’s key issues and challenges surrounding his climate plan.

Previously he had endorsed shale gas as “a bridging technology on the way to a carbon-free future”.  Now, it seems, he wants to ignore the bridge, and simply leap across the divide.  His plans will devastate the US coal industry.  And they will be vigorously opposed both by the industry, and by Republicans who can see the huge damage his plans will cause.  There will be legal challenges.  Some Republican Governors have already repudiated the proposals, as have Republican Presidential hopefuls.  And this new Obama plan cannot become law until after his Presidency — so if the Republicans win the White House, this Obama legacy plan is dead in the water.

Maybe the ghost of Harold Wilson could give President Obama some good advice about “picking winners” (and “the white heat of the technological revolution”).  In 2009, Obama’s administration, with his blessing, gave over half a billion dollars of funding to a cutting-edge solar power company, Solyndra,  which was going to transform the solar energy business.  In 2011, it went belly-up.  In Harold Wilson’s day, governments proved rather inept at picking winners.  So did the Obama administration in 2009.

Lesson for Obama: the markets are probably better than bureaucrats at selecting viable technologies.

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28 Responses to “Peak Oil” is a false summit

  1. Jane Davies says:

    I know you will dismiss this Roger but this is happening here, many people here in Canada rely on local wells and aquifers for their water.

    http://thetyee.ca/News/2013/01/16/Ernst-Frack-Update/

    • catweazle666 says:

      More paranoid, unscientific drivel.

      You lot never give up, do you?

      • catalanbrian says:

        Just the sort of thoughtless stupid and offensive drivel that I have come to expect from someone who clearly has his head buried deeply in the sand. Whatever you may say there is no valid argument against conserving the Earth’s finite resources, so why do you bother?

      • catweazle666 says:

        I will always bother to take patronising, ignorant, ill-informed short-sighted trolls like you to task sunshine.

        Taking into account all the varied fossil fuel resources such as shale gas and oil, the new in-situ extraction technologies that permit us to access almost unimaginable quantities of coal and the even greater volumes of coal bed methane, we have hundreds – perhaps even thousands of years’ worth of fossil fuel resources.

        I am confident that before we have even scratched the surface of that cornucopia we will have developed something cheaper and more convenient, such is my faith in the imagination and ingenuity of our species – something you sad dimwits appear to ignore completely.

        Meanwhile, we will use what we already have that is efficient and as cheap as possible – don’t forget the couple of billion Third World citizens who are currently suffering life-threatening pollution because they don’t have access to our clean cooking and lighting technology – but hey who cares about them when you pathetic tossers can flaunt your caring sharing treehugger BS on blogs, right?.

        It is you and your mindless ilk that are stupid and offensive, you sad little man.

        The Stone Age did not end because we ran out of stones, the Fossil Fuel Age will not end because we run out of fossil fuels, it will end because we have improved on them. But I will bet a million pounds to a penny that the likes of you will in no way contribute to those breakthroughs, you’re too busy sitting around whining.

      • Jane Davies says:

        You might think it’s unscientific drivel but the fact remains people are having their wells contaminated. Your opinion is your opinion, and you are entitled to it. What you are not entitled to is to be rude to others who put forward FACTS, but you are not affected so it doesn’t exist as far as you are concerned. I’m not paranoid, just passing on information that this is happening, I’m not against LNG just the way it pollutes ground water. You can all dismiss this now but one day the scales will fall from the eyes of those who are so blinkered with the excitement of this fuel source that they cannot, will not, see what is happening to many who rely on wells for their fresh water. Whether you agree or not really doesn’t bother me your rudeness means I don’t value your opinion anyway.

      • catalanbrian says:

        Jane, I think that you will find that the Catweazle person is someone who always relies on rudeness and offence to project his narrow views on the world. As you say because of this his views are of no importance.

      • catweazle666 says:

        “Whether you agree or not really doesn’t bother me your rudeness means I don’t value your opinion anyway.”

        I believe perhaps you take me for someone who could care less what value you place on my opinion, I can assure you it can’t possibly be lower than that which I place on yours.

        Further, I doubt you would know a FACT if it bit you on your backside, fracking takes place some thousands of metres below the aquifers from which water is drawn.

        As for Brian’s statement that “As you say because of this his views are of no importance.”, heh, if only you knew!

  2. catalanbrian says:

    The problem with you deniers who wish to keep on sucking the last bit of oil out of the earth is that you will not see the hidden cliff just over the peak that you are about to walk over because you just don’t believe that the peak is there. What is wrong with conserving resources?

    • craigm350 says:

      Nah we ‘deniers’ have no chance of seeing over the cliff because of all the blooming windmills in the way😉

    • Brin Jenkins says:

      And the problem with believers is they have no credible explanation for their belief! Its all based in a faith which I don’t share.

      • catalanbrian says:

        I believe the science, rather than the claptrap peddled by the climate change deniers.

      • catweazle666 says:

        Brian, you wouldn’t recognise “the science” if it scuttled under your dank, dark, slimy bridge, jumped up, and bit you on the snout.

        And NOBODY denies the climate changes, rather it is you nutters that seem to believe that it can be prevented from doing so by destroying 200 years of progress.

        You’re the denier now sunshine, live with it.

    • Roger Helmer says:

      Nothing wrong with conserving resources, Catalanbrian. But we conserve them in order to be able to use them.

      • catalanbrian says:

        I don’t disagree with that, Roger. But is is the continuous squandering of those resources without even a nod being given to the conservation of those resources so that they are available to future generations that I object to. Conservation of resources is not difficult, it just requires a little more thought by governments and their electors. Energy, and I know that we have crossed swords on this before, is a prime example where we can minimise the use of fossil fuels by using renewables, such as solar, tidal or (and I know you don’t like it) wind. Solar panels are now a real option as they are now a lot cheaper and more efficient than they used to be and, provided the entire countryside is not covered with banks of solar panels, their installation should be encouraged, rather than discouraged. Roofs of houses and of industrial properties are ideal locations. I won’t go any further into wind as I know your views and I think that we are unlikely to agree, however many keystrokes we may make to put forward our respective arguments. Tidal still has its challenges but the human race has always rather enjoyed a challenge. Why can’t we all work towards a less wasteful economy that will benefit not only us, the human race as a whole, but also future generations?

        Finally I have to say that if I were you I would be very worried by the writings of some of your supporters on here, as they clearly are of the “couldn’t give a damn about others” mindset and I am not sure that a politician really needs that sort of support. Perhaps you are worried.

      • catweazle666 says:

        I’ll try again…

        Taking into account all the varied fossil fuel resources such as shale gas and oil, the new in-situ extraction technologies that permit us to access almost unimaginable quantities of coal and the even greater volumes of coal bed methane, we have hundreds – perhaps even thousands of years’ worth of fossil fuel resources.

        I am confident that before we have even scratched the surface of that cornucopia we will have developed something cheaper and more convenient, such is my faith in the imagination and ingenuity of our species – something you sad dimwits appear to ignore completely.

        Meanwhile, we will use what we already have that is efficient and as cheap as possible – don’t forget the couple of billion Third World citizens who are currently suffering life-threatening pollution because they don’t have access to our clean cooking and lighting technology – but hey who cares about them when you alarmists can flaunt your caring sharing treehugger BS on blogs, right?.

        The Stone Age did not end because we ran out of stones, the Fossil Fuel Age will not end because we run out of fossil fuels, it will end because we have improved on them. But I will bet a million pounds to a penny that the likes of you will in no way contribute to those breakthroughs, you’re too busy sitting around whiningcriticising and flaunting the chip on your shoulder in the perverse belief that it somehow constitutes a badge of honour.

        But hey, just ignore the information in my post brian, and concentrate on calling me names, that will save you the bother of actually addressing the true issues.

      • catweazle666 says:

        You haven’t got a case, brian.

      • catalanbrian says:

        There is nothing said in your post worth noting or ignoring. You just regurgitate what has been said before by others, but with added venom. And as for name calling I think that you need to look at your own rabid outpourings, where at least I draw some comfort from the fact that you are pretty much equally offensive to everyone, so I don’t feel singled out for your particularly offensive remarks. How do you get on with your neighbours?

  3. Ian Terry says:

    Did anyone expect anything different from Obama?

    That is the problem when people in power give knee jerk reactions to percieved problems that they just don’t fully understand.

  4. omanuel says:

    TRUTH IS REVEALED ON 70th HIROSHIMA ANNIVERSARY

    As reported today in comments on the end of WWII in Japan Times,

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/08/05/national/history/japan-times-reported-atomic-bombings-hiroshima-nagasaki/#.VcJm8Nm9Kc3

    For seventy years (1945-2015) truth about the Creator, Destroyer and Sustainer of atoms in the solar system has been hidden from the public.

  5. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Thats ok…we’ll need the empty oil wells and coal mines to stuff the excess(?) CO2 down. Thats a business that has to turn a profit (CCS) and create loads of jobs? The CO2 I refer to is the 400 ppm stuff and not the 1600 ppm stuff pumped into green houses.

    Whats the point of the Met Office, the House of Lords, DECC… and the BBC of course. Well, not a lot other than burning taxes (add BBC babble) on statistical methods that point at Global Warming or dreadful Climate Change. That’ll be statistical methods that those who espouse/authorise the impending doom are not competent at…climate scientists. Greenpeace discover matters with FOI’s that perhaps our host mathematician might comment upon? A tangled read below and very interesting:

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2015/8/5/what-decc-knew.html#comments

    Evidence is supposed to be supplied by the authorities….and is not supplied? See Doug Keenan’s comments at 12 comments down.

    I’d say that if you are involved in this mucky subject and do not cover your ar*e adequately you should expect constant attack. However, as an authority(?) you can legally throw your teddy out of the pram and use phrases such as…costing and wasting the Lords time. Or suddenly not talk/discuss. How many loaf around that place with more to come. Answers around 300 at about £300 a day when present and not necessarily conscious..

  6. Chris Barron says:

    I find it ironic that as a result of shale oil production increases the price of oil fell….unfortunately it fell too far, to the point where shale oil production became unprofitable.

    When you’ve wrung out a wet sponge, wringing it even more sometimes just isn’t worth the effort

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-11-20/oil-at-75-means-patches-of-texas-shale-turn-unprofitable

  7. Tuxedothomas1 says:

    The U.S. President is like an addicted gambler that has backed the wrong horse !!

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