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Thursday, May 20, 2004

The Usual Suspects

This mailing-list site has an interesting post on the players in the great peak oil debate. The list poster provides both pro and con names in a logical grouping.

However he does make the apples and oranges mistake of comparing oil pessimists to extinction ecologists. Two main points to consider:

  1. Oil will never go extinct. It will only get harder and harder to find and less and less cost-effective to extract. OTOH, species can go extinct. For example, consider passenger pigeons and contrast to oil fields. Passenger pigeons once darkened the sky much like a gusher soaked everyone black. Now the pigeons are gone, but that gusher will trickle out goo as long as someone tries to suck on it.

  2. Some species can be kept going in zoos; via careful breeding they may exist indefinitely (therefore BOO to the extinction doomsayers!). OTOH, no one can breed oil into progeny.

Maybe a bit pedantic, but the argument needs this kind of framing.

For a good laugh click on the next message in that thread. The OP had indicated that oil just requires elastic demand; the sharp commenter challenged the OP to try that with his bank account.


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