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Sunday, May 30, 2004

Thunder From Down Under

Whenever I see an intriguing report from ABC news on the internet, a good guess is that it emanates from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Case in point: Deputy PM confirms oil crisis. Lots of interesting discussion; my favorite interchange directed toward the Sydney-based journalist reporting the story:
(by commenter) Anthony Rizk: Just shut up will you.........for God sake.

The rest of the comments were evenly balanced. Someone mentioned to check out the Monbiot article titled Bottom of the Barrel for gaining a good understanding of our predicament. The other side was represented by a myth-buster referencing THE OIL RESERVE FALLACY web site; a site with much factual information, but completely irrelevant. Examples:
  • The magic number is 112 billion. That's how many barrels of oil experts say is oozing through Iraq's geology -- the second largest proven reserves of oil on the planet, just behind Saudi Arabias. -- New York Times -- Nov. 3, 2002
... So what? That is like 4 years worth of global oil consumption
  • The Middle East does not have two thirds of the world's oil -- it has 54 percent of identified reserves, or, if you look at ultimately recoverable reserves, 39 percent.
... Oooh scary, as if this is an order-of-magnitude effect
  • 1920 -- David White, chief geologist of USGS, estimates total oil remaining in the US at 6.7 billion barrels. "In making this estimate, which included both proved reserves and resources still remaining to be discovered, White conceded that it might well be in error by as much as 25 percent." (Pratt, p. 125).
... as if technical prognostications have never been wrong before this statement. Lots more irrelevant statements. I would really like to redline this entire web site to highlight irrelevant and speculative information.

In summary, some smart advice from CrazyHorse on a Googled discussion board: The market cannot create energy. ... The law of thermodynamics. Economists cannot overcome it.


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