Are some governments taking 'peak oil' seriously?

Sep 08, 2010 by Miranda Marquit weblog
Image source: Trevor MacInnis via Wikimedia Commons

(PhysOrg.com) -- One of the arguments that some bring up in defense of alternative energy is that of "peak oil." The idea behind peak oil is that, as a fossil fuel in limited supply, eventually we will reach a point where oil production hits its maximum capability -- and then begins to decline. Because there aren't endless supplies of oil, and because it is a finite resource, the idea is that we will reach a tipping point at which it becomes impossible to continue increasing oil production. Some even contend that we're already there.

Those who contend that peak oil is a very real problem that we need to concerned about push for the development of solutions that are renewable, and not in danger of eventual decline. Opponents of the idea of peak oil insist that we are nowhere near any point of decline, and that there is nothing to worry about. Some even call those bring attention to peak oil "alarmists."

However, it appears that some governments are starting to seriously consider the merits of peak oil. Publicly, officials in Britain's Department of Energy and downplay worries about Peak Oil. However, an adviser to the department has requested information about peak oil, and the Guardian reports that there was a peak oil workshop in the not-to-distant past that involved the DECC, Ministry of Defense and the Bank of England. Indications are that some officials in Britain really are considering the possible impacts of peak oil -- and thinking about contingency plans should peak oil turn out to be disruptive on an economic and military scale.

Britain isn't the only government interested, either. In Germany, a military study addresses the possible impacts that peak oil could have. A leaked draft of the report by the Bundeswehr Transformation Center was seen by SPIEGEL ONLINE:

It warns of shifts in the global balance of power, of the formation of new relationships based on interdependency, of a decline in importance of the western industrial nations, of the "total collapse of the markets" and of serious political and economic crises.

While the leaked document was confirmed in its existence, German officials insist that it hadn't been edited, and that it wasn't meant to published. Even so, the existence of the report indicates that another government is concerned about the implications that peak oil, if we really are approaching such a point, could have on a worldwide scale.

Whether or not you believe that peak oil is a pressing problem, it is interesting to note that some governments are starting to take the issue seriously -- and even look for ways to avoid disaster that could come.

Explore further: New paper calls for more carbon capture and storage research

More information: Terry Macalister and Lionel Badal, "Peak oil alarm revealed by secret official talks," The Observer (August 22, 2010).

Stefan Schultz, "'Peak Oil' and the German Government," SPIEGEL ONLINE (September 1, 2010).

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User comments : 63

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A_Paradox
3.6 / 5 (22) Sep 08, 2010
No, no, let's all just keep our heads in the sand! Let's all just pretend that peak oil isn't here already.

Doh!
Noumenon
3.7 / 5 (76) Sep 08, 2010
We're not going to run out of oil 'all of a sudden', .... as if there's going to be that empty straw sound coming from the oil rigs, and only then will we look into alternatives.

There are plenty of oil fields that are not being used because it's not profitable given the value of oil right now. What will happen is that oil will gradually become more and more expensive as the decades pass. As a result, alternative markets will be able to compete and have plenty of time to develop. What is more potentially damaging to economies is -ad-hoc button-pushing efforts to artificially cause oil/coal prices to increase.

The left are trying the AGW scam to engineer solutions. This is foolish, unnecessary, and dangerous dial-turning by anti-capitalists social engineers, without any consideration whether free market capitalism can solve the problem.
Noumenon
4 / 5 (67) Sep 08, 2010
Another problem is, the oil companies are lying about actual state of oil resources, because the higher their claimed state is, the higher production quotas are enabled by governments. In this way the actual sources of oil are overestimated systematically


This doesn't make sense to me, could you explain? Wouldn't it be in the best interest of oil companies (OPEC) to determine that the state of oil resources is depleting so that they could justify increase of the price? Governments buying into the AGW would also benefit by justifying decreasing production.
Noumenon
3.8 / 5 (67) Sep 08, 2010
There was an experiment performed in support of AGW? Not possible.
Noumenon
3.8 / 5 (71) Sep 08, 2010
The peak oil idea provides a means for a inevitable increase in oil price. This is a free market mechanism which will allow alternatives to compete without the need to conjecture a AGW 'emergency' and anti-capitalistic irrational measures, such as "Global warming requires nothing less than a reorganization of society and technology that will leave most remaining fossil fuels safely underground", that many left wing environmentalists propose. So it no wonder we here little of Peak Oil and much of AGW.
ian807
4.1 / 5 (11) Sep 08, 2010
What governments are starting to realize is that we'll see the *effects* of oil depletion long before we actually run out of available oil.

Oil price feedback is what gets us. As oil gets more expensive (the cheap stuff is long gone), so does everything else as price increases work their way down the value chain, including the price of finding, extracting and distributing refined petroleum products.

The process feeds on itself, causing prices to rise rapidly until the economy can no longer cope, and it crashes, and recovers again, only to increase oil demand until the process repeats, until it can repeat no longer.
xznofile
2.5 / 5 (13) Sep 08, 2010
The remaining oil reserve assessment data was produced by the oil companies themselves. It's possible they would have an interest in under reporting reserves to justify higher prices. Recent wars demonstrate that they're amazingly ardent in that pursuit.
mikiwud
1.6 / 5 (20) Sep 09, 2010
Have a look at this article.
http://canadafree...le/27414
If oil is not a fosil fuel, no problem.
out7x
2.5 / 5 (8) Sep 09, 2010
Europe may be at "peak oil" meaning conventional oil reserves. But unconventional oil is abundant, enough for another 100 years at least.
hodzaa
2.4 / 5 (19) Sep 09, 2010
But unconventional oil is abundant, enough for another 100 years at least.
Yeah, the core of Earth is full of "unconventional" iron. The only problem is, it's not mineable with conventional methods...
Birger
4.3 / 5 (12) Sep 09, 2010
This doesn't make sense to me, could you explain? Wouldn't it be in the best interest of oil companies (OPEC) to determine that the state of oil resources is depleting so that they could justify increase of the price? Governments buying into the AGW would also benefit by justifying decreasing production.


As I understand it, it is the OPEC countries that exaggerate their remaining oil reserves, since their yearly quotas are estimated as a fraction of total reserves. If you are a corrupt emir or president who only cares about getting more money RIGHT NOW, you want to produce as much oil as possible, even though it means the wells will dry up sooner.
--- --- ---
In regard to AGW....claiming that thousands of researchers are in a conspiracy, faking the quarter-million data sets about temperature now available...yes, and all the jews are in a conspiracy to rip off the christians. And the moon landing was a hoax. How clever of you to notice.
hodzaa
2.3 / 5 (20) Sep 09, 2010
..If you are a corrupt emir or president who only cares about getting more money RIGHT NOW, you want to produce as much oil as possible, even though it means the wells will dry up sooner...
You understood it right, but this is just what the capitalism and monetary economy is all about: it only cares about maximization of profit in CURRENT prices - it doesn't care about past or future.

For example, the global warming killed a number of frogs, whose skin can contain valuable antibiotics.

http://www.sott.n...rog-Skin

We are losing the price of million years of evolution with every organism extinct. But monetary economics isn't able to evaluate this price, until it cannot be expressed in dollars. This is why the AGW problems are interesting just for socialists only.
GaryB
4.1 / 5 (12) Sep 09, 2010
Have a look at this article.
http://canadafree...le/27414
If oil is not a fosil fuel, no problem.


When did the west abandon rationality and science??

This "abiotoic" source of oil is as stupid as abiotic Bull S*it. All the oil exploration relies on biologically defined geologic layers. Coal and oil beds are jammed full of ancient marine fossils. The deep ocean floor is young, less than 200M years and you find a total of zero barrels of oil there. This is on par with believing in creationism. Get on a religious site with this abiotic poop.
GaryB
4.8 / 5 (10) Sep 09, 2010
Given the risks of peak oil, global warming and the simple fact that oil is funding some of the west's worst enemies AND given the fact that world energy use will grow not fall, what we should be doing long before peak oil is to very seriously fund programs and research in alternative energy. Not only "renewables", but Apollo program sized efforts into breeder reactors, especially new possibilities such as Thorium Thermal Breeders. That way, these things will be ready to roll when the time comes.
GSwift7
1.7 / 5 (17) Sep 09, 2010
This isn't a news story. Governments study things to find out if they are true or not. There have been numerous government studies on alien abductions, crop circles, ghosts, psychic phenomenae, and legendary monsters like bigfoot and loch ness monster. A government study on peak oil is no different than any other number of studies. This story is exactly like the stories back in the 1960's and 70's that said "alien abductions are real, the government is even studying it!!!!"

Wake up people. Even if oil runs out, we can still make petroleum products from coal for a very long time to come. READ, exercise your brains, and stop being morons!!! This story should be deleted from the site for being pure nonsense. Physorg publishes quite a bit of this trash though.
Sirinx
2.3 / 5 (12) Sep 09, 2010
If oil is not a fosil fuel, no problem.
This is just a propaganda, which is trying to keep oil prices low. Even if the oil wouldn't be of fossil origin, it still doesn't explain, why all classical sources of oil are depleted and why we are drilling three kilometre holes in bottom of ocean, which are polluting life environment in explosions and subsequent spills.

We cannot stop with oil usage anyway, because we are using it for plastic industry in large quantities. We just must stop with its burning ASAP, or we are facing global nuclear war, as we already did during last oil crisis.

http://www.global...aid=1928

GSwift7
1.9 / 5 (18) Sep 09, 2010
"We just must stop with its burning ASAP, or we are facing global nuclear war, as we already did during last oil crisis."

I don't recall any gloabal nuclear war. I'd sure like to have some of what you're taking. It must be good stuff.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.1 / 5 (7) Sep 09, 2010
"We just must stop with its burning ASAP, or we are facing global nuclear war, as we already did during last oil crisis."

I don't recall any gloabal nuclear war. I'd sure like to have some of what you're taking. It must be good stuff.

So you missed the entire cold war? Zephir is correct this time, on all counts.
Sirinx
2.3 / 5 (12) Sep 09, 2010
.. we can still make petroleum products from coal for a very long time to come...
This is energy hungry and ineffective process. Hitler used the oil produced in such way and he lost WWW II anyway, because he didn't get the Russian oil fields at the time. Actually we got the price of oil over $100/gallon already and the coal didn't saved the world from financial crisis not a bit.
GSwift7
2.1 / 5 (18) Sep 09, 2010
"This is energy hungry and ineffective process. Hitler used the oil produced in such way and he lost WWW II anyway, because he didn't get the Russian oil fields at the time. Actually we got the price of oil over $100/gallon already and the coal didn't saved the world from financial crisis not a bit."

Huh? That doesn't make any sense at all. Coal isn't being widely used as a source of petroleum production right now because we still have plenty of oil right now. Hitler could not compete against people who had oil while he did not. You are right about coal oil being expensive to produce, but it is not too expensive to be viable if we reach a point where there is no alternative. Economic forces will prevail and we will all manage to survive. If oil becomes scarce, other energy sources will become more attractive and the world will slowly change as it must. The sky is not going to fall on your head any time soon, but you can keep worrying about it if you like.
eachus
3.1 / 5 (7) Sep 09, 2010
It is worth paying attention to facts before speculating too much. There are currently several countries producing oil from shale oil. When oil production from shale oil and tar sands is significant, then we can start discussing peak oil.

As it is, the world's known reserves of shale oil amount to 3.3 trillion barrels, of which 2.6 trillion are in the United States. It is unlikely that the US so dominates actual shale oil, just that the shale oil in the US has been better explored, and in oil terminology, "proved."

Recent experiments in the Green River formation in Colorodo, currently amoung the largest known shale oil formations have proven a very low cost in situ recovery method. Several horizontal holes are drilled through the shale. Steam is forced into the upper holes, and oil is recovered from the lowest hole. This also does some preliminary "cracking" of the kerogen to make it liquid.
Sirinx
1.8 / 5 (12) Sep 09, 2010
Actually the coal reserves are completely insufficient to replace production of oil, not saying about economy of this replacement. The people, who are trying to think in such way should return into reality fast.

If we could produce the oil in cheaper way, then with drilling of the bottom of oceans, we would do it already before years, because this technology is extremely difficult by itself.

The production of oil from shale sands and tar sands requires too much energy and steam, which ruins the whole economy of oil mining.

http://en.wikiped...conomics
Sirinx
1.5 / 5 (8) Sep 09, 2010
Oil rises to near $75 amid US crude supply drop

http://news.yahoo...l_prices
http://upload.wik...6_09.PNG

The question isn't, whether we are facing the new oil crisis, but when.
Skeptic_Heretic
2.6 / 5 (8) Sep 09, 2010
When oil production from shale oil and tar sands is significant, then we can start discussing peak oil.
They're not producing diesel or gasoline from said tar sands and shale oil. Shut down transportation and your economic future will be bleak indeed.
GSwift7
1.7 / 5 (14) Sep 09, 2010
Anyway, I'm going back to my original point. The point of this story is to try to convince you that peak oil is real because the British Government studied it, and someone "leaked" a report about it. lol. The government studies lots of things. That's how we plan for events that may or may not happen in the future. There are plans for economic crisis, food shortage, wars with different countries, etc. Don't get all excited over a little study.

To Skeptic: Shut down transportation? Are you deliberately trying to troll again today? That's a rediculous statement.
HealingMindN
5 / 5 (2) Sep 09, 2010
I know I'm giving the hard headed wonders here a chance to piss on me like you've done others, but I might as well ask the logical questions:

If there's no such thing as abiogenic oil, then how do you explain the insane gusher in the Gulf from a well that was drilled more than 16,000 feet? There are NO recorded fossils below the 16K level - ask any archaeologist. Did you personally do a carbon dating on that oil in the Gulf? or ask oil industry experts about the existence of abiogenic oil? How do you explain the decades long oil gushers in Ghawar, Saudi Arabia? Why did my college chem book claim, in 1980, that we would reach peak oil in 20 YEARS?

It's much easier to jump down people's throats rather than do your own research - isn't it? If scientists were running the show rather than greedy politicians and oil execs, who would be nothing w/o harded headed people supporting them, we would have made the switch to alternate energy a long time ago.
Skeptic_Heretic
2.3 / 5 (6) Sep 09, 2010
To Skeptic: Shut down transportation? Are you deliberately trying to troll again today? That's a rediculous statement.

So how're you going to move food from the US to Europe with no fuel?
How're you going to move manufactured products from Asia to the US with no fuel?
How're you going to commute to work with no fuel?
Bye bye economy.
Noumenon
4.2 / 5 (60) Sep 09, 2010
I don't know why I got hit with a bucket of 1's.

I suspect that Peak oil is real and suggested that higher oil prices is going to be the mechanism to spark alternative markets. If I'm wrong then where are the plans to engineer society so that less carbon based fuel is used? Where are the plans to outlaw the use of oil by 2xxx? A fact of reality is that oil will be used until it is no longer the cheapest energy source no matter what Algore says.

I'm stating "how it will play out" given the free-market forces, ..not tree-hugger dreams of what "should be". If it was up to me, we would have nuclear and a manhatten'esque project working on fusion, etc.
GSwift7
1.8 / 5 (14) Sep 10, 2010
@Noumenon: First, you actually didn't get as many 1's as it seems. Several of those 1's are from the same person using multiple accounts. They don't give 1's or 5's for good comments and thoughtful responses. They give 1's and 5's based on whether you FEEL the same as they do about the environment. If you question theories they like, you will get 1's and you will be called names.

@Skeptic: Run out of fuel? Not in our lifetime or our children's lifetime. Stop scaring the children with your fictional fearmongering. There are already plausible solutions which are only held back because they are not competitive yet. New solutions will be discovered and existing solutions will continue to become more competitive. If oil even starts to become scarce the tipping point that makes alternative technology viable will be reached long before any global transportation crisis. You should know this better than most people, since you are such a strong supporter and student of alternative energy.
Ronan
4.5 / 5 (2) Sep 10, 2010
This isn't a news story. Governments study things to find out if they are true or not. There have been numerous government studies on alien abductions, crop circles, ghosts, psychic phenomenae, and legendary monsters like bigfoot and loch ness monster. A government study on peak oil is no different than any other number of studies. This story is exactly like the stories back in the 1960's and 70's that said "alien abductions are real, the government is even studying it!!!!"


While I don't agree with your position on the validity of the Peak Oil hypothesis, GSwift7, I do think the point you make here is worth stressing; just because a government looked into some topic or other doesn't mean that the topic has any validity.
Skeptic_Heretic
2.7 / 5 (3) Sep 10, 2010
@Skeptic: Run out of fuel? Not in our lifetime or our children's lifetime. ... If oil even starts to become scarce the tipping point that makes alternative technology viable will be reached long before any global transportation crisis. You should know this better than most people, since you are such a strong supporter and student of alternative energy.
That's correct, but, what are the economic rammifications going to be in the intermediary? How long will the intermediary cutover period last?

When I speak of fuel, I'm not talking primarily about the pumpable bullshit you burn by the drop in your car. I'm talking the massive amounts of fuel used in the oceanic and airline shipping industries. These are heavy duty, high grade fuels that come from two sources, light sweet crude from the Middle East and oceanic reserves from south America. The stuff we pump ouot of the gulf is barely usable in this regard and shale oil isn't good for much beyond home heating and overland trucking
Noumenon
4.1 / 5 (60) Sep 10, 2010
what are the economic rammifications going to be in the intermediary? How long will the intermediary cutover period last?

SH, I don't think you pay attention. There's no "intermediary period", or definable "cutover period". It will be a gradual phase to alternatives over many years, not because some governmental body decides so. but because it becomes in the best economic interest.. Several energy technologies including carbon based may be in competition at the same time for decades. The effect of the free market is that it does what it always has done, evolve and adjust, and continue to grow as long as ad-hoc gov interference doesn't dampen it. Innovation occurs when there is a potential for profit. The government's solution is about limiting uses of energy, regulations, cap & trade,... this is retreat mentality, not progress.
BrianH
5 / 5 (2) Sep 10, 2010
If the project tracked at focusfusion.org goes as hoped this year, fuel and energy cease to be problems. Forever.
Skeptic_Heretic
2.7 / 5 (3) Sep 10, 2010
SH, I don't think you pay attention. There's no "intermediary period", or definable "cutover period". It will be a gradual phase to alternatives over many years, not because some governmental body decides so. but because it becomes in the best economic interest.. Several energy technologies including carbon based may be in competition at the same time for decades
No, I think you're not looking at the situation.

You and GSwift are assertying that our current fuel systems will remain the same or dominant until oil is no longer cost effective.

What technology are you going to switch to? Biofuels? Electric generated through renewables? Nuclear? What will the cost point be, what will the maintenance look like, how fast can the items be produced?

These are all questions that you two gents leave up in the air because there is currently no idea what they'll be. So you're insisting there will be a gradual market based switch, but what will the switch be to?
BrianH
1 / 5 (1) Sep 10, 2010

...
These are all questions that you two gents leave up in the air because there is currently no idea what they'll be. So you're insisting there will be a gradual market based switch, but what will the switch be to?

Whatever works best for the least cost. The Invisible Hand will choose. Get used to it.
Noumenon
4.1 / 5 (59) Sep 10, 2010
@SH,
No one really knows for sure right now what future energy sources will be. I'm trying to explain to you that to a large extent such things will be determined 'on the fly' as the free market determines through competition of ideas.

Your question is like saying we need to figure out NOW ahead of time what computers "should" be like ten years from now. That's what communistic or socialistic governments have to do. It's social engineering mentality vrs free market capitalism, and we all know where modern technology has come from. All technological innovation which has increased the standard of living in modern times has come from competition and capitalism.
Noumenon
4.1 / 5 (59) Sep 10, 2010
,... when oil prices spike, there is a reaction in the market. If the spike is too long people change their behavior. OPEC knows this and are carful. You like science, yet cannot see that capitalism with the intrinsic motive force to better ones state, is a powerful natural force.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Sep 11, 2010
Your question is like saying we need to figure out NOW ahead of time what computers "should" be like ten years from now. That's what communistic or socialistic governments have to do. It's social engineering mentality vrs free market capitalism, and we all know where modern technology has come from. All technological innovation which has increased the standard of living in modern times has come from competition and capitalism.

No, I'm saying we need to head off the use of oil through dedicated research and development now. One way to do this is to stop subsidizing oil, which is what socialist governments do.

You free marketeers are brainless. Do you recognize that you're advocating the status quo while not actually looking at what it is?

If you want to apply free market principle to oil, let's drop the subsidies and start paying for each aspect of it, including the massive amount of military we have deployed throughout the world to control the shipping lanes.
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (1) Sep 11, 2010
The real price of gasoline would price the majority of us right off the road. Goods would skyrocket pricewise, and that's today, not 50 years from now.

Oil and other fossil fuels are heavily subsidized. The price of fuel is kept artificially low in the US. From what I've read, the true cost of gasoline today is about $15 per gallon. Do you think that's too expensive to be driving on? Do you want to impose your free market principle and pay $15 a gallon?
http://www.iags.o...oil.html
Noumenon
4.1 / 5 (58) Sep 11, 2010
Oil and other fossil fuels are heavily subsidized. The price of fuel is kept artificially low in the US. From what I've read, the true cost of gasoline today is about $15 per gallon. Do you think that's too expensive to be driving on? Do you want to impose your free nmarket principle and pay $15 a gallon?
Your just moving furniture around in the room. If the government reduced taxes by the equivalent amount, the difference would only be a numerical one since ultimately tax payers pay for it all in anycase. It would make little difference what numerical amount ones pays for gas, IF at the same time the equivalent difference in tax paid is given back. In other words it's just a matter of what category it is under.
Noumenon
4.2 / 5 (57) Sep 11, 2010
,.. if tomorrow a law is passed to double everyones income, it would accomplish zero effect except to devalue to dollar. If tomorrow a law was passed where the government got out of the education business (as it should), AND gave back that enormous amount paid in taxes, free market would fill that gap and through innovation and competition of quality, children would actually receive a decent education and the USA would be back on top where it should be. Private schools can't compete with a gov that overpays via unions and doesn't have to make a profit. Where there is no profit there is no motive force to ensure quality.
Noumenon
4.2 / 5 (57) Sep 11, 2010
...I'm all for becoming independent wrt energy. I'm all for tax payers paying for r&d and infastructure, but ultimately the free market has to adopt technologies, and so ultimately innovation becomes a matter of competition. It's already happening. It wasn't that long ago that electric hydrogen generators was invested , but now some are dropping out,.. evolving to the next possibility.
Noumenon
4.2 / 5 (57) Sep 11, 2010
From what I've read, the true cost of gasoline today is about $15 per gallon. Do you think that's too expensive to be driving on? Do you want to impose your free market principle and pay $15 a gallon?
Not to belabor the point, but if government was really good at accounting (obviously it isn't), and that's all dept of defense do is protect oil (false), yes gov could impose a tax on gas such that the amount per gallon was say the amount you estimate. It would make a rats-a$$ difference as long as the books are balanced, meaning the equivalent amount in taxes for defense is reduced.
Ronan
not rated yet Sep 11, 2010
Noumenon: Privatized schools? Yeesh...that's not something that I'd be comfortable with. I don't say that the current system is perfect (it's not, certainly) but with schools where success is determined by what schools parents choose to pay for, you're going to get very...variable education. The curricula of schools would end up being determined by what the parents thought was best for their children--leading to a much larger number of schools, say, that teach history that's massively skewed towards either a liberal or conservative viewpoint, or mangled and distorted science to align with the parents' religious/philosophical views, or leave children unexposed to entire branches of knowledge that their parents either dislike or don't consider important. I wouldn't like to live in a society that allows itself to pick and choose reality to such an extent.

...Which, um, has absolutely NOTHING to do with Peak Oil. I'm surprised at myself; I so rarely get political. Apologies, all.
perchecreek
5 / 5 (1) Sep 11, 2010
The rate of discoveries of oil in the US peaked in the 1930s. US production peaked in the 1970s. The US now produces 5-6 million barrels/day, whereas it was producing ~9 million barrels/day in 1970. Every technology imaginable has been thrown at changing this situation, to no avail. Oil and natural gas provide 65% of US energy. 90-95% of energy for transportation comes from liquid fuels.

It is also worth keeping in mind that though decline in barrels of oil is nearly exponential in mature areas, energy produced falls much more rapidly, because remaining mineral reserves tend to be more difficult to get to. For example, the US produces half as much oil from ~500,000 wells as Saudi Arabia does from ~1500 wells (these numbers are changing as Saudi oil fields mature).

The global rate of oil discoveries peaked in the 1960s.
Noumenon
4.2 / 5 (57) Sep 11, 2010
Privatized schools? Yeesh...that's not something that I'd be comfortable with. I don't say that the current system is perfect (it's not, certainly) but with schools where success is determined by what schools parents choose to pay for, you're going to get very...variable education
I invite you to examine the statistics comparing public scrools to private schools, they're resounding, kids from private schools score much higher.
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (1) Sep 11, 2010
Oil and other fossil fuels are heavily subsidized. The price of fuel is kept artificially low in the US. From what I've read, the true cost of gasoline today is about $15 per gallon. Do you think that's too expensive to be driving on? Do you want to impose your free nmarket principle and pay $15 a gallon?
Your just moving furniture around in the room. If the government reduced taxes by the equivalent amount, the difference would only be a numerical one since ultimately tax payers pay for it all in anycase. It would make little difference what numerical amount ones pays for gas

Problem you face here is disproportionate use. Not everyone drives and the effect would be greatly pronounced on your primary fuel burners, the transportation industries.

As for the private vs public shool debate, that's more a matter of the socio-economic background of the students, not the systems.
Noumenon
4.1 / 5 (59) Sep 11, 2010
It would be in proportion to amount of taxes paid,... people who pay more taxes tend to use more energy.

I didn't mean to start a private vrs public school debate, but there is going to be a difference between the socio-economic background of the students in any case. What is compared is do private schools teach better; answer yes by far. Perhaps you meant 'because those who can afford private schools are higher on the socio-economic scale in the first place'; Ok, I would concede that possibility, but your not going to tell me that public schools are on par with private schools in terms of quality.
Sancho
1 / 5 (2) Sep 12, 2010
The day that the federal gov't cuts the speed limit back to 55 MPH is the day I'll start taking "peak oil" seriously. "Peak oil" is a hoax; we can easily avert the event by rationalizing our use of oil. We waste a prodigious amount of oil getting from point A to point B "in style." We waste yet more on counterproductive military activities and war operations. Yet more oil is needlessly burned to import consumer products from Asia that we don't really need. When these blatantly wasteful behaviors are prohibited by gov't fiat, THEN I'll believe in "peak oil."
Noumenon
4.1 / 5 (59) Sep 12, 2010
You may have a problem enacting some of those ideas in a free society. Also, I'm not sure what 'not believing in peak oil' has do with your socialistic mind set, unless your suggestion that the reason gov's have not leaned toward socialism is because they don't accept peak oil as true. If fact it could be accepted as a real possibility and at the same time the slution is NOT to enact such social control, since the increase in gas price will serve to dampen it's use in a natural, non-engineered way. So that is a legitimate solution of it selve, no need to change the form of gov.
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (1) Sep 12, 2010
You may have a problem enacting some of those ideas in a free society. Also, I'm not sure what 'not believing in peak oil' has do with your socialistic mind set.

Of course the "socialist" mudslinging must come out but you're incorrect. Economists view peak oil rather warily, and that would be from capitalist and free market perspectives.

Give this article a read.
http://oilprice.c...ete.html
Noumenon
4.1 / 5 (58) Sep 12, 2010
You provide a link to one possibility, yet rate me a 1 for provinding a widely accepted possibility.'

I didn't have time to read the entire link, but the oil prices won't continuously increase (I never said that, see previousus post), as prices increase USE will decrease stabilizing the higher price somewhere high enough so that alternative's become the thing to develop.
marjon
1 / 5 (9) Sep 12, 2010
US bans of drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico and off its coasts weaken the argument for peak oil.
marjon
1.4 / 5 (10) Sep 12, 2010
what schools parents choose to pay for, you're going to get very...variable education.

Why?
Parents who will pay MORE, in addition to the taxes they are forced to pay for invariably bad public eduction, want their children to have a BAD education?
Most such parents want their children to enter exceptional universities, public and private, that demand objective test scores and transcripts from accredited schools.
People value what they voluntarily pay for.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Sep 12, 2010
You provide a link to one possibility, yet rate me a 1 for provinding a widely accepted possibility.'

I didn't have time to read the entire link, but the oil prices won't continuously increase (I never said that, see previousus post), as prices increase USE will decrease stabilizing the higher price somewhere high enough so that alternative's become the thing to develop.

You need to read the rest of the article. Use will decrease stabilizing the price in the short term. Over the long term the price will drop, however, there will be no alternative to move to due to the depression of the market over the rapidly fluxuating price of oil. Governments will reduce subsidy making oil products and any products that depend on oil or oil based transportation very expensive.

Your view of what will happen is myopic at best, which is why you were ranked thusly. Please do read the entire article, I look forward to your perspective on it.
marjon
1.3 / 5 (12) Sep 12, 2010
Governments will reduce subsidy making oil products and any products that depend on oil or oil based transportation very expensive.

More reason to end govt subsidy.
As sperm whale oil increased in price, Rockefeller created a cheaper replacement, kerosene, which was than replaced by the electric lamp.
If the govt stays out of the way, entrepreneurs find ways to meet the need.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Sep 12, 2010
Governments will reduce subsidy making oil products and any products that depend on oil or oil based transportation very expensive.

More reason to end govt subsidy.
As sperm whale oil increased in price, Rockefeller created a cheaper replacement, kerosene, which was than replaced by the electric lamp.
If the govt stays out of the way, entrepreneurs find ways to meet the need.

But you have to invest in those alternatives before you reduce the subsidy in order to ensure market penetration as opposed to economic contraction. If the replacement is immature you will merely increase the amount of time needed to recover from the economic costs of infrastructure upgrade.
marjon
1.4 / 5 (11) Sep 12, 2010
But you have to invest in those alternatives

Companies are sitting on piles of cash they could be investing R&D, factories, etc. but they do not know what the US socialists have in store for them in taxes and regulations in the next few months and years.
If the government eliminates incentives for capital investment, such money will go elsewhere.
MorituriMax
Sep 12, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Noumenon
4.1 / 5 (59) Sep 12, 2010
Shale Oil?


Massive amounts, just waiting for technology. Also Thermal Depolymerization is a possibility. As mentioned abiotic oil has not been proven false.

There is still enough traditional oil left on the planet to last another hundred years without even having to develop the oil sands, etc. One hundred years is a long time when considering the technological possibilities. Maybe harmful infared absorbing gases can be trapped some how, assuming Agw is real. Some estimate 50 or so years for fusion, no one knows ahead of time.
Noumenon
4.1 / 5 (58) Sep 12, 2010
,.. and no one wants to make massive economic and social changes on mere speculation, which is why AGW "crises" has amounted to nil.
CSharpner
5 / 5 (3) Sep 12, 2010
Reason for votes on this site:
To mark how /relevant/ a post is to the story.

You should NOT vote to:
Display your hatred, anger, nor even disagreement with posts.

It's clear there are two groups of voters in this thread:
Those that want to believe that oil is a fossil fuel and those that don't. Voting down those you disagree with, even though their arguments are on topic is a form of soft oppression and it should not be tolerated by either side.

Both sides are doing it, and yes, I catch myself doing it too, hence this post to remind myself too.
Sanescience
1.9 / 5 (9) Sep 13, 2010
The reality of our democratic system is not a whole lot can be done via centralized planing without a broad consensus, and this forum is an example that we don't seem to have it.

However, the big money people behind energy are not complete fools, and they are somewhat quietly stockpiling IP behind many of the alternative energy ventures. Which makes sense as almost anything today is as much a war of patents than product and business execution.

Especially of note are statements made by an investor I talked to at a press function. His comment was that the currents of money are pointing to production of renewable hydrocarbon fuels so that investments in existing transportation infrastructure can be leveraged, a strategy I suspected long ago.
Sanescience
2.3 / 5 (12) Sep 13, 2010
I also wanted to comment just a bit on "democracy", "communism", "socialism", "capitalism", "free markets", and economics in general:

First of all, ignore basic human psychology of individuals and groups at your peril. Communism and socialism do that. They have seductive theories about what is fair and how things should be valued, but ultimately can not hold together a consensus without resorting to a centralized authority that behaves badly.

Also beware of democracy, of which history does not show in a kind light. Usually it comes down to 51% alienating the other 49% and everyone feeling really mad all the time. Our founding leaders designed America to be a Republic, but bit by bit political interests are convincing everyone that a democracy is more "fair".

And finally, Capitalism doesn't mean how it mostly gets used. Free markets in essences is the best thing invented so far that has lifted mankind out of the mud, and ultimately everything is economics.