Richard Heinberg's Oil Depletion Protocol on the surface sounds reasonable but the algorithm doesn't hold up as anything unique on closer inspection. He tries to describe it in layman's terms:
How Would It Work?Maybe the math and long division tempts people to think it means more than it does. In fact, the premise looks utterly meaningless to me. In actuality, apart from what goes into storage vaults like the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the world already imports almost exactly the amount of petroleum that it exports. Reducing exports means reducing imports, however one wants to parse it.
The idea of the Protocol is inherently straightforward: oil importing nations would agree to reduce their imports by an agreed-upon yearly percentage (the World Oil Depletion Rate), while exporting countries would agree to reduce their rate of exports by their national Depletion Rate.
The concept of the Depletion Rate is perhaps the most challenging technical aspect of the Protocol, yet even it is easy to grasp given a little thought. Clearly, each country has a finite endowment of oil from nature; thus, when the first barrel has been extracted, there is accordingly one less left for the future. What is left for the future consists of two elements: first, how much remains in known oilfields, termed Remaining Reserves; and second, how much remains to be found in the future (termed Yet-to-Find). How much is Yet-to-Find may be reasonably estimated by extrapolating the discovery trend of the past. The Depletion Rate equals the total yet-to-produce divided by the yearly amount currently being extracted.
All this mumbo-jumbo that Heinberg tries to valiantly explain boils down to one thing -- of which I can explain clearly. CONSERVE, CONSERVE,