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Saturday, August 21, 2004

The Peak Challenge

Members of the Washington Post finally admit to a risk aversion when it comes to presenting potentially promising prognostications:

From Common Wonders
Woodward, for instance, told Kurtz that the atmosphere at the paper in early 2003 was such that “it was risky for journalists to write anything that might look silly” – that is, forcefully present the other side of the story – “if weapons were ultimately found in Iraq.”

Now here is the new challenge: substitute "weapons in Iraq" for "vast new global reserves of oil". I can imagine it would look really silly if a paper like the WaPo incessantly ran stories on peak oil issues, when one day *poof* a Cairn-like company struck it rich in petroleum reserves in unimaginable ways.

The question is what the real driver to reticence (in contrast to an OJ or other news-story compulsion) in reporting and critically opining on peak oil turns out to be?
  1. Not getting it right

  2. The truth is too depressive

In the past, Woodward would never have shied away from #1, but #2 is enough to lower a newspaper's circulation if peak oil is repeated incessantly in daily pieces.

2 Comments:

Professor Blogger DarkSyde said...

Out of curiousity, what kind of shape are the fields of Iraq in?

8:31 PM  
Professor Blogger WHT said...

Don't know about the fields, but the pipelines are not doing too good.

Neither are the mosques and holy shrines, if the latest news is any indication.

6:01 PM  

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