Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Peak oil and climate change: beliefs

The Oil Drum reader/contributor Nate Hagens has finished a three part series on peak oil and climate change, and how we humans think about and react to these event scenarios.

Here's an excerpt from part one of the series, "Peak Oil - Whom to Believe?".

Peak oil, as will be discussed below, has many definitions... It represents the general time frame when human demand for the energy services derived from oil will permanently diverge from our capacity to provide them.

Modern human culture, capitalism, globalization, food production, and essentially all aspects of life as we know it (unless *we* are Amish, 3rd world, or off-the-gridders), centers around oil, electricity and natural gas. Peak Strawberries or Peak Snapple obviously wouldn't be as big of deal.

Peak Oil is not a theory. It is a fact. Only the timing, magnitude, and implications are open to interpretation. How we interpret them should be a top priority for us individually and collectively. This post addresses why there are so many disparate opinions on this subject - many are concerned - many are unconcerned - many flip/flop from being concerned to unconcerned, etc. Why?

Now that you know where Nate is coming from, have a look at this article series and see if it makes sense. If you are very busy, you can scroll down to the end of parts one, two, and three for a "bottom line" summary.

Lots of information here on human psychology, sociology, and optimistic forecasting. The Oil Drum gang is doing its best to deflect the oft-repeated optimism of the many "bountiful oil" forecasts bandied about by CERA and the like.

Be sure to have a quick look at part one for Nate's "man in the street" interview with an energy broker friend to get a Wall Street point of view on the issue. To quote Gordon Gekko, "It's all about bucks kid...the rest is conversation".