[extropy-chat] Debate on Peak Oil

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Mon Apr 25 10:16:44 UTC 2005

On Apr 24, 2005, at 10:19 PM, Hal Finney wrote:

> Samantha writes:
>> I find the case for Peak Oil and quite soon compelling.  But whether 
>> we
>> are nearing the Peak rapidly or not is in a way irrelevant.   If most
>> of the major players believe we are nearing Peak Oil and act
>> accordingly then most of the Peak Oil scenarios will quickly follow.
>> My take is that a lot of the world's current events are much easier to
>> explain if it is assumed most of the players believe Peak Oil is fast
>> upon us.
> I see several things that don't make sense though.  Why would oil
> producing companies and countries be wasting such a valuable asset?
> If they really think that oil will be worth $100-200/bbl or even more 
> in
> a few years, why sell it for $25 last year or $50 this year?  The 
> logical
> thing would be to hold onto the oil, keep it in the ground and profit
> from the tremendous price appreciation predicted by Peak Oil believers.

That would be a great way to starve world economies and invite 
invasion.   There is an equilibrium point that I suspect is carefully 

> And why don't the futures markets reflect this phenomenon?  You can buy
> or sell oil right now for December 2010 delivery for less than $50/bbl.
> If close study of the situation provides strong evidence that the oil
> will be worth many times that, speculators stand to make enormous 
> profits
> on the price rise.  Yet no one is bidding the price up, and from what I
> have read even Peak Oil believers generally are not putting their money
> where their mouths are.

Because much of the world is still in denial as to the actual 
situation.  Soon denial will no longer be an option.  It will not be 
pretty.   It will be worse because its reality was denied for far too 
long.   Humans have a near endless ability to ignore unpleasant news.   
Look at the tech bubble as a case in point.

Rationally we should be building out alternative energy options 
including nuclear on even the reasoned suspicion of Peak Oil.  Alas, 
rationality is difficult to come by in this species.

- samantha

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