[ExI] Peak Oil -- Amory Lovins

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Thu May 31 07:56:07 UTC 2012

On Wed, May 30, 2012 at 10:32 AM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
> On Behalf Of Kelly Anderson
> Subject: [ExI] Peak Oil -- Amory Lovins
>>...Amory Lovins ...[predicted] we will indeed reach peak oil in 2016.
> However, the peak he is talking about is peak demand, not peak supply. His
> contention is that oil is becoming uncompetitive prior to becoming
> unavailable.  ...I have never heard this assertion before...-Kelly
> _______________________________________________
> Kelly I have been toying with this idea for a long time.  My own outlook
> might be colored by a daily commute to work I have been doing for the past
> 17 years.  Check on Google maps to get a picture of the following
> description.  State Road 237 is an eight lane road going along the bottom
> end of the SF Bay which connects a huge amount of residential areas in the
> east bay to a huge amount of office space, business headquarters, internet
> fly-by-nights etc in the west side of the valley.  Google is over there,
> Intel, Lockheed, Moffett Field, Yahoo, Cisco, AMD, IBM, a bunch of other
> alphabet soup companies and software biggies.

More telecommuting would really take a bite out of traffic. More
autonomous vehicles will make the roads seem emptier as well. Right
now, they are improving the main highway through Utah County, which I
drive all the time. It's a massive multi-million dollar improvement
that is designed to make traffic flow better for the next 40 years. It
would be kind of humorous if it ended up being practically empty in 15

> I have noticed over those 17 years that the daily traffic rises and falls,
> but it hasn't really increased over time.  I think it peaked right around
> 1999, when the Bay area seemed collectively convinced we were on the verge
> of the singularity, and therefore all geeks should all be found working in
> an office when the technocalypse happened, all the better to achieve
> techno-salvation.

Yeah, heady times 1999...

> Today there is still plenty of traffic on that corridor, but I think it is
> about 80-ish percent what it was then.  So here's where I would go with that
> argument: peak demand may be reached in the western world, but not in China
> and India.  Those guys each have over a billion people, who are getting
> internet and seeing how the west lives, and they want that too.  So I would
> disagree with Lovins if we take that critical factor into account.

Honestly, from what he said, he did take them into account. He was
talking about global peaks. We can disagree with him in our gut all we
want, but he's got the real numbers... and I would hate to bet against
him on this stuff.

> If the Chinese and Indians figure out a way to leapfrog our technology from
> the latter 20th century, then I would agree we may have seen peak demand for
> oil.  But it isn't clear that they will do that, in which case they will
> want their personal ape-haulers and will drive the wheels off of them, just
> as we did.  The demand on oil will be astonishing.

I don't know the basis for Lovin's claims precisely. I am pretty sure
he was talking globally though. If we do reach peak demand prior to
peak supply, that's good for all of us! Add one to the optimism
column... hopefully.


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