Perhaps a great deal more.
Keep in mind (and assuming for the sake of discussion, benign motives) that the “peak oil” thesis that’s constantly trotted out to justify such things as government fuel-efficiency mandates (which oddly are never applied to government vehicles, such as 4 MPG presidential limos or the military, which consumes vastly more oil than all the civilian vehicles in private hands put together) was offered up in the late 1960s/early ’70s. It was premised on the then-available technology, with estimated reserves based on what was then-known (and then-accessible).
It was – at that time – impossible to know how much oil remained in areas currently accessible with today’s technology.
Let alone what may prove accessible tomorrow.
Hence, the “peak oil” premise is as fundamentally flawed as the belief that vinyl records were the apotheosis of music storage technology – or that the sound barrier was the inviolable limit imposed by nature on manned aircraft.
How much oil is there, for example, under Antarctica? This continent – a very large piece of real estate – is largely terra incognita, as unexplored (and hence, unknown) as North America was to Europeans circa 1491.
And there are many other as-yet untapped areas. What if there is another Ghawar out there? It’s entirely possible there are several such – and enough economically- viable-to-extract oil to last 100 years or more.
This is undeniable. It is arrogant – or foolish (or both) to insist all the available oil has been found and quantified.
Yet the “peak oilers” insist we accept the estimates of tappable oil made when Richard Nixon was president – and the Village People hadn’t yet sung YMCA.
In any event, the market has all the necessary mechanisms to balance supply and demand naturally and non-coercively. This is the much more relevant point that “peak oilers” often miss.
If oil is about to run out, the market will clearly signal this. Prices will rise in accordance with reduced supply. This is an inexorable – and natural – relationship. It works the same for petroleum as it does for any other commodity. It will not be necessary to impose fuel-efficiency requirements on the car industry. The naturally rising cost of oil – of gasoline – would impose the necessary (if it is necessary) corrective.
Government “action” that pre-empts the natural market mechanism is usually destructive because it is based on error. And – not infrequently – these “errors” are deliberate.
Remember: Government is just politicians. Office-seekers and bureaucrats. People whose livelihood depends on coercion, not persuasion. People who need to justify their use of coercion. If the justification disappears, so does the legitimacy of the coercion. Ponder this.
Very often, people who seek political power are people who crave power, who enjoy exercising coercion for the sake of the pleasure it gives them. “Power,” quipped the sociopath and mass-murderer Henry Kissinger, “is the ultimate aphrodisiac.” See also Madeleine Albright, Hillary Clinton – and of course, The Chimp. His successor, too.
These are are not nice people. Because nice people do not reflexively rely on violence, do not insist on “helping” you at gunpoint.
“Peak oil” is at best a dated nostrum. At worst, it is another convenient excuse to “protect” us against yet another manufactured bogeyman. Like the “war” on “terror.” (Consider: Who is more likely to “terrorize” you here in the Homeland? An ululating Muslim? Or the white American cop at the “safety” checkpoint up ahead?) If the oil were about to run out – or likely to, in the foreseeable future – wouldn’t major industrial operations that depend on a steady supply of economically recoverable oil be divesting themselves of anything petro-dependent like rats fleeing a sinking ship? And yet, the car industry continues to design new cars that burn gas, the airline industry expands, new oil rigs are built and deployed… and so on. It does not pass the smell test.
Of course, they – the peak oilers – have a fallback justification. Maybe there is enough oil to go around. But we dare not use it because AGW.
Some, of course, haven’t yet updated their lexicon. It’s climate change now. The terminology had to be changed because of all the embarrassing cooling we’ve been experiencing lately. Even the idiocracy masses are hard to gull when it’s -15 outside in the south in November.
Of course, climate does change. This is the kernel of truth from which many not-so-truthful things are extrapolated, per Dr. Goebbels. Such as the daisy-chain that climate changing = man changed the climate. This relies on immense ignorance of high school earth science, which government schools excellently provide.
The climate has been changing for as long as the Earth has existed. It is not static. It is a complex, evolving system that will continue to change, whether man is around or not. The Earth was once much warmer and wetter – before homo sapiens even existed. Millions of years before the first steam engine coughed to life.
And it has gone through cycles of glaciation, too.
And will do so again… and again.
The argument that man is the critical factor in “climate change” is a political assertion, not a scientific fact.
Just like “peak oil.”
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