Sunday, June 1, 2008

Peak Oil Debunked

I just stumbled upon another blog that has been examining similar issues for quite a long time and has quite a readership. He, a self-proclaimed realist, has gone through the wide range of emotions and thought processes that I am currently attempting to sort out for myself. I highly recommend reading this for a rebuttal for the Kunstler/doomsday crowd. It is a 'realists' perspective: everything may not turn out to be moonbeams and rainbows, but it will not be the end of modern civilization, either. I have been trying to sort out exactly what is going to happen, and how bad it is going to be. It is important to consider a wide range of sources, opinions and viewpoints while maintaining a level head.

'Peak Oil Debunked' is a bit of a misnomer, he is not arguing oil is a infinite resource that will never be depleted. From my initial readings, he is merely providing another point of view that sometimes clashes with the current 'doomsday' crowd. I, too, am attempting to find that balance.

An excerpt:

The doomers may or may not be correct about our inability to switch the
energy basis of our civilization, but their case is far from proven. The mere
fact that people are debating what to do shows that a lot of people (even the
doomers) don't believe the future is totally out of our hands. The track record
of doomsday forecasts is poor - no one can really know the future. The smug
certaintly of the doomers that they've got all the answers is what finally shook
me out from their midst. The doomers are right about one thing - fossil energy
sources aren't going to see us through the 21rst century. But if we don't change
course soon, the way forward isn't going to be an agrarian utopia. It will be
powered, at least in the US and for the remainder of my life, by coal. The
environmental effects of that (primarily sea level rise from global warming)
aren't the legacy I want to leave to future generations.

If going back to the land is appealing to you, that's terrific! No one's
stopping you, or any of the doomers either. In fact, it's a good thing to have
people make some worst-case preperations, just in case the doomers are right.
But if, like me, you think technological and industrial civilization is
something worth preserving, then let's get to work. Don't be fooled by doomer
technobabble. This stuff isn't really too hard for the average person to
understand. Look for yourself. And not just at the self-serving prophets of
doom, many of whom simply cite each other in a kind of circular support system.
Check your prejudices at the door and actually look at sites from the nuclear
power industry, renewable power advocates, and environmentalists. Sift them for
biases to get to the facts. And keep thinking for yourself.

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