How come you almost never hear about “peak oil” anymore?
Probably because it never arrived.
For decades, we heard about it incessantly. Oil was running low, soon to run out. It was urgent, therefore, that we use less – that we be forced to use less, as by federal fuel economy standards that pushed most large (and large-engined) cars off the roads by the mid-1980s and – for some 20 years, beginning in the ’70s – enforcement of the 55 MPH National Maximum Speed Limit, originally justified as a “fuel saving” rather than a “safety” measure.
And then we stopped hearing about “peak oil” altogether – and began hearing about something else.
The former happened when it became as embarrassing – in view of the contrary facts – to continue asserting that we were getting close to running out of oil as it is to continue asserting that “masks work.”
More oil was discovered.
And then more, again. So much oil came to light that gasoline – distilled from oil – became cheaper in inflation adjusted costs than it had been before the ululating began about how soon we were going to run out of oil.
In 1966, a gallon of gas cost about 30-33 cents. It cost about the same – adjusted for the devaluation of the buying power of money – in 2017.
Less, actually, when you take into account the cost of myriad federal regs that oil companies/refineries must comply with today that were nonexistent back in 1966. Take them out of the equation and we would probably have been paying about $1.50 (possibly a lot less) for a gallon of gas by the early Orange Man Era.
Much of the oil that was discovered was found here, too. The United States no longer needed to import oil from dirty, dangerous A-rabs – to make up for its lack, here. The United States was on the verge of having excess oil, beyond what it needed for domestic consumption. It was on the cups of becoming a net exporter of oil.
So much for “peak” oil.
But rather than admit they were wrong – and that all the pain and suffering imposed on the populace in the name of “conserving” that which there was more than enough of – they changed the excuse for imposing the pain and suffering.
So as to assure its continuation.
The “climate,” first of all, only “changes” over the very long haul. Many people make the mistake of confusing weather with climate. Weather changes daily, seasonally. But a colder-than-usual winter or a hotter-than-usual summer is not climate. Only over a very long period of time (longer than a human lifetime) does it become so. The assertions made about the “climate changing” are thus projections about a future that isn’t here yet. Projections that have so far all proved to be spurious.
Of a piece with those asserted about “peak oil.”
They did, of course – but not in the way most people thought they did. They did a bang-up job making people think what those pushing “masking” wanted people to think. It is the same as regards “peak oil” and “climate change.” In the case of the former and the latter, the object of the assertions was – and is – to get people to accept scarcity in the name of necessity. The oil was about to run out! Therefore, it was morally wrong to use more than necessary. Therefore, drive a smaller car slowly – in order to “save” gas by not using as much of it.
This was the chief justification for the federal government’s getting into the business of decreeing – via regulations – how many miles-per-gallon every new car built had to be able to go, else its manufacturer would be fined for not complying. The costs of these fines passed on to us, directly – in the form of higher new car prices. And – indirectly – in the winnowing of choices as regards the new cars available for us to buy. Instead of some fuel-efficient cars being available – many of them very inexpensive – we got more “efficient” cars that were also more expensive.
And, of course, we got mulcted – for almost 20 years – for driving at speeds that had previously been legal (as well as “safe,” one presumes) in order to “save” that which there was plenty of.
Now we are told we must “save” the planet – by not using the oil it turns out there’s plenty of. Because using it will “change” the “climate.” Therefore, we must accept paying a great deal more for electricity – and electric cars – and accept other costs and impositions as well.
All of these shibboleths have the same things in common: Posit something alarming, that’s looming. Present a palliative that must be adopted right now – before it’s too late!
The witch doctors of tribal antiquity have not disappeared. They have gone into politics. And the bureaucratic apparat, from within which they impose the regimes urged by their colleagues who hold elected office.
The sun will disappear unless . . .
And here we go, again.
. . .
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