Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Another remake of an ageless prediction

Stop me if you've heard this before - the world is running out of oil. No, really! This time for sure! At least that's what the International Energy Agency is saying.

The world is heading for a catastrophic energy crunch that could cripple a global economic recovery because most of the major oil fields in the world have passed their peak production, a leading energy economist has warned.
Dr Birol said that the public and many governments appeared to be oblivious to the fact that the oil on which modern civilisation depends is running out far faster than previously predicted and that global production is likely to peak in about 10 years – at least a decade earlier than most governments had estimated.
Ah, yes! Nothing like a remake of a classic.

But Vulture! Aren't you concerned? I might be, except that, if one examines the history of these gloom and doom "We're out of oil! The sky is falling!" predictions, one tends to be a little more sanguine about them.

You see, I am a child of the 1970's. As such, I've seen the litany of doomsday predictions throughout the 70's, 80's, and 90's...and I've seen each one fall flat on its face. What's worse is that each "prediction" is nothing more than a recycling of the last one.
When projected crises failed to occur, doomsayers moved their predictions forward by a few years and published again in more visible and prestigious journals:

● In 1989, one expert forecast that world oil production would peak that very year and oil prices would reach $50 a barrel by 1994.

● In 1995, a respected geologist predicted in World Oil that petroleum production would peak in 1996, and after 1999 major increases in crude oil prices would have dire consequences. He warned that “[m]any of the world’s developed societies may look more like today’s Russia than the U.S.”

● A 1998 Scientific American article entitled “The End of Cheap Oil” predicted that world oil production would peak in 2002 and warned that “what our society does face, and soon, is the end of the abundant and cheap oil on which all industrial nations depend.”

Similar admonitions were published in the two most influential scientific journals in the world, Nature and Science. A 1998 article in Science was titled “The Next Oil Crisis Looms Large — and Perhaps Close.” A 1999 Nature article was subtitled “[A] permanent decline in global oil production rate is virtually certain to begin within 20 years.”
These predictions of doom and woe actually began WAAAAAY before the 70's.
O]il is a finite resource, and fear of running out has always haunted the petroleum industry. In the 1880's, John Archbold, who would succeed John D. Rockefeller as head of the Standard Oil Trust, began to sell his shares in the company because engineers told him that America's days as an oil producer were numbered.

After World War I, the American government's top oil expert predicted a coming "gasoline famine." One solution was to cobble together the three easternmost provinces of the defunct Ottoman Empire into a new country, called Iraq, believed to be rich in oil resources and safely under British control.

After World War II, fears of shortages spiked again, and the industry invented offshore drilling. (Today, 30 percent of America's crude oil comes from the Gulf of Mexico.) Reserves in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, discovered just before World War II, were rapidly developed.
So why are these predictions recycled again and again? Because the dishonest Big Media (the BM for short) won't call these asshats on their prior erroneous predictions. They simply parrot the doom and gloom because bad news sells. Had they any integrity whatsoever, they'd at least MENTION the history of laughable (and patently wrong) predictions along side the announcement of the newest one. But that runs the risk of individuals breaking from the collective and doesn't contribute to the coming One-World Socialist Utopia! We can't have that!

Since most people know only what they are told and have no working historical knowledge, they fall for this shinola time and time again.

Orwell was right - "He who controls the past, controls the future."