Extraction of Dignity
Michael Lynch works hard at his job of chief apologist for oil consumers everywhere. The racket he has run for the last few years at least involves convincing people that a much delayed peak will occur for oil production, leading to continued exuberance for the pigs at the trough. He tends to attack the oil depletion modelers with a vengeance, seemingly armed only with his political science degree from MIT.
Somehow, he accepted an invitation to carry on a conversation at PeakOil.com. Although he both uses a handle Spike and his real name, which makes his authenticity seem a bit suspect, I assume he wrote the following:
If tar sands is too expensive, why is production booming? And from before the recent price surge?Why, you ask. Because we live in an extractionist society and not a capitalist one. Try as you might, Mr. Lynch, in believing that the pure supply & demand economics rules the world, reality will eventually play you a cruel joke. We can sum it up in one concise quote by Stirling Newberry:
Extraction is when value can be generated much more easily than by any alternatives, but in a non-sustainable manner.From the Dominionists of the world to the busy ants at the Corps of Engineers, humans like to control things and keep occupied because idleness remains the devil's trademark. So if they can control by extracting to their hearts content, a little thing like lack of profit won't suppress their urges. I say a lack of profit on the whole because somebody makes money off of these enterprises -- the cleanup and death of extraction happens to land on the succeeding generations.
Newberry:That means that extraction can be of natural resources, but it can also be of human resources, or social capital. One example is to slash education to the bone, and save money, until the uneducated become adults. Or slashing public health. Looks great until the next epidemic. The 20th century was dominated by a series of struggles over the control over extraction.
I did a hit&run piece early in the PeakOil Lynch thread, so I haven't posted again to not look like a complete gloomster. But a poster named Doufus finally nailed it:
I've come to the conclusion that Lynch is another snake oil salesman-perhaps just misguided (and maybe all of the analysts in the debate are misguided in one way or another)- but equally vacuous.
He dismisses the Nth American gas experience with a wave instead of looking at the list of sources quoted in the Hirsch report and their unbridled optimism for gas production (all statments made in the early 2000 period). I'd cite them here but can't them out of the pdf.
Equally, he dismisses current gas prices as being due to raised demand, but the Hirch report identifies them as being due to dwindling supply.
Lynch, what a great game this is! What a bollocks of a discipline. If economics is a dismal science, this is a simple joke.
Do you and others make a living off this crap? No wonder prices bounce around. With data like this to inform markets and producers it's a wonder we have a market at all. NO_ONE can agree on production, resources, rates of explotation, exploration or anything else. There's always another explanation for something or other.
No, there wasn't dwindling production, it's just that the tankers changed size or the pipelines got more friction. Demand increased because of a surge in hamburger sales due to pizza production decline froma mozarella cheese blight across Europe.
ANYONE can say ANYTHING with this data!
I actually DO analyse real data for a living and publicly available oil data is a joke- biased, partial, missing, inflated, deflated, incorrect. And then overinterpreted to death when not a single agreed fact or figure is accepted by any kind of consensus.
In PO-speak, the sun both sets and rises at the same time, or not at all and people can be partially pregnant.
It's not worth our time subjecting the PO process to this rubbish yardstick and court jester logic.
I hope you make a decent living at it because it's an utterly vacuous, wasted existence. But better than flipping burgers I suppose.
POilers would be better off accepting its eventual reality and help the transition to a post carbon economy without concern for date. The available data is worse than an erratic clock- with that you actually begin to ignore it. With PO data people waste their lives on a fractured crystal ball using mud stained glasses.
The moderator, Aaron, tried to quash this impertinence, likely mainly to keep Lynch on the thread. Don't worry, Lynch has a thick skin, and ego to boost. Clearly, judging from his constant references to his busy schedule or to the fact that he has to get ready for a radio show, Lynch only thinks of extracting every last ounce of dignity from himself and his customers. After all, everyone has a price.