[extropy-chat] Debate on Peak Oil
brian_a_lee at hotmail.com
Mon Apr 25 14:36:04 UTC 2005
>From: Samantha Atkins <sjatkins at mac.com>
>To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
>Subject: Re: [extropy-chat] Debate on Peak Oil
>Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2005 03:16:44 -0700
>>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.
Isn't it unlikely that the entire world is in denial? Wouldn't some
enterprising investor (including the Peak Oil proponents) slap a few million
down in order to get 300% returns in 5 years? It seems that if anyone
actually believed that oil would be at $200/barrel in 5 years that futures
prices would be edging up there to reflect a valid present cost.
While we should develop alternative energy, oil is still the cheapest,
cleanest form of energy available to us. Until it gets a lot more expensive
there is little motivation to develop other energy sources.
Once oil production actually peaks (as opposed to predicted peaks) we will
still have many years available to us as oil prices increase to develop
alternative energy. It should take many, many years to get from peak to
negligible production so I don't see an impending crisis.
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