Oil on NPR

From: Al Koop <koopa@gvsu.edu>
Date: Tue Aug 17 2004 - 11:18:07 EDT

As I write this there is a discussion on oil on NPR with a guy from the
Economist and some professor of government just ending. We were assured
that we have much more reserves of oil now than we did 30 years ago even
though we have been guzzling it like crazy, and that is because of all
our new wonderful technology. The guy claims he has studied this
thoroughly (He knows about Hubbert's Peak and has read the geolgists'
predictions) and consulted all the experts and he assures us that the
world will be swimming in oil for at least the next 10-20 years--there
is absolutely no problem with supply. Moreover we are so much more
energy efficient than we were 30 years ago (true) that things are going
very well. (However, no matter how efficient we are, human population is
still growing and we are using more oil in absolute terms every year.)
Alternative sources will come on line and we will grow the world economy
just as we have for the last 50 years. No problem with oil

There is no doubt there are enormous differences of opinion on this
topic. What I find so intriguing is that almost all the people who think
that there are no problems cite the argument that people have been
predicting oil shortages all during the past years and they turned out
to be wrong, and therefore we do not have to believe them now. (This
argument was also used today on the show) If your gas gauge is near
empty and the light is on, the fact that your spouse predicted that you
would run out of gas 20 miles earlier and s/he was wrong, and your son
predicted that you would run out 10 miles ago and he was wrong, and your
daughter predicted that you would run out 5 miles ago and she was was
wrong; should not give you great comfort that you don't have to worry
about running out of gas in the next 20 miles.
Received on Tue Aug 17 12:37:33 2004

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