Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

Oil Peak: Fantasy or Already Here?

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A whistleblower has said that the IEA has purposefully overestimated the future availability of oil.  Furthermore, the US has played a major role in the effort.

My take: I wouldn’t be surprised if the whistleblower is correct.  New fields have come online and have produced longer than previous estimates due to technological advances.  But that won’t last forever.  The biggest problem: we’ve put every egg in the oil basket.  There are no other sources of energy that could take oil’s place tomorrow if oil ran out today.  That’s not to say that that situation can’t ever change – we’re taking small but steady steps to alleviate our over-dependence on the finite dirty energy sources we depend on.  But if we’re as close as this whistleblower and other credible sources say we are, the price shocks and resultant massive economic disruptions that we’re trying like mad to avoid could still occur sooner than anyone would like to admit.

We need to develop our renewable energy infrastructure today, for multiple reasons.  Catastrophic climate change is the most important reason, followed by basic energy security as it relates to geopolitical stability.

On a related tangent: if peak oil is staring us in the face, it really makes the Iraq invasion and occupation look stupid.  How many trillions of dollars will we have wasted to secure a resource that is ever-dwindling?


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