"Ive been reading the Peak Oil Debunked website- he doesnt seem to have updated it since Nov 2009?!"
-So? He's an unpaid blogger, not the NY Times. Maybe he just got bored of arguing with people. Doesn't affect the fact that he has thoroughly smashed many of the Peakers with their own words and didn't-come-true predictions. I have an abandoned blog that I haven't had time to update in a year. Life happens...
"That could have come straight out of Transition Handbook. Cut back, save energy, remember the spirit of the Blitz. No challenge to Transition there!"
-Transition, at least on the surface, advocates more sane measures than many of the right-wing Peakers they quote and cite. JD has never commented on Transition Towns that I know of, so I don't see him as a "challenge" to them anyway, just the Peakers and Doomers that I think the Transition folks are hurting themselves by citing.
"Ditto. This is all entirely concomitant with Transition theory- business as usual is not an option; we had better get used to thinking about alternative arrangements such as rationing. Now go to your local politician (or anyone not conversant with PO) and ask them what they think about rationing. They just might think you're a doomer..."
-His point is that we are not necessarily "doomed" if oil becomes more rare. I don't see Transition people as being in the doomer camp, just in the peaker camp. I think the TT message is largely hopeful, and I'll give them credit for not trying to sell crap like RTE meals, underground bunkers, etc. Many of the Doomers have been very off in their statements on the percentage of oil that goes for things like food, when someone like JD is merely pointing out that much of the assumed use that will drive us to the peak is wasteful and can be reduced without destroying global civilization.
"So at the very least we need to start thinking hard about these rather difficult issues. I honestly cant see what he thinks he is debunking here."
-He is debunking those who think they know so much that they can predict specific years when oil and gas crises will occur. He has been tracking their predictions over the years and mocking them for their arrogance and doomerism. He is clearly not a "business as usual/bury head in sand" type and neither am I as I've made clear in this thread. He takes the USGS position that a peak is more likely around 2037 than 2015 ( (which was once 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, etc. if we believe the doomers.) , which appears to be a year Hopkins is settling on. JD is mocking doomerism more than he is the notion that oil will run out. Hell, read his disclaimer: "DISCLAIMER FOR IDIOTS: This site officially accepts that oil is finite, and will peak someday."
For example, let's take Matt Simmons 2003 prediction that we would have a natural gas crisis by 2005... which every well-known peaker bit on.http://peakoildebunked.blogspot.com/search?q=Matt+Simmons
JD: "For those who aren't up on the history: this is a case where the "peak oil community" has egg on its face about an inch thick. In Aug. 2003, Matt Simmons stated that natural gas armageddon for the US was a certainty within 2 years. Now, here we are 4 years later, swimming in veritable seas of the shit. Read the history, folks. The man is a stooge. While we're at it, let's also recall that the entire "peak oil community" bought into the "natural gas crisis" hook line and sinker:Matt Simmons, Dale Allen Pfeiffer, mobjectivist, Julian Darley, Culture Change, dieoff.org, LATOC, Post Carbon Institute, Energy Bulletin, The Oil Drum etc. etc.
And the crisis never came. In fact, the result was exactly the opposite of that predicted. This huge surge in NG supplies is very important, and very good news. As Robert Rapier says: "It also appears that we have enough natural gas available that civilization isn't going to end any time soon due to lack of energy supplies."
-And what happened back in "Reality Land"?
" The amount of natural gas available for production in the United States has soared 58% in the past four years, driven by a drilling boom and the dicovery of huge new gas fields in Texas, Louisiana and Pennsylvania, a new study says. The report, due to be released Thursday by the nonprofit Potential Gas Committee, concludes the U.S. has more than 2,000 trillion cubic feet of natural gas still in the ground, or nearly a century's worth of production at current rates. That's a 35.4% jump over the committee's last estimate, in 2007, of 1,532 trillion cubic feet, the biggest increase in the committee's 44-year history."
"Well it wont be utopia, but as any PO book or website will point out, from the point of view of the modern world, going back to coal is like going back to the Middle Ages."
-That isn't what the much-cited "Hirsch Report" is arguing. I would agree with you, though.
"I do take the point that many in PO- myself included- want to head for the hills and lead an agrarian lifestyle. There are a lot of negatives about this, it's a lifestyle choice more than anything."
-And one that is far more environmentally impacting than living in a city, unless you have no reason to commute, and are able to support oneself on the farm.
"What about the energy content of our food though? How will we feed the cities? I personally lead a pretty low-energy lifestyle by design; I could cut out the van and really powerdown and still be doing well, but how far can people cut back before there is civil strife? Isnt that already happening in parts of the world? Oops, Im slipping into doomer mode, but it's hard not to when you think these things through. We really are dependent on oil in a very unhealthy way."
-Totally agree. I'm all for ending dependence on oil. I have made that clear throughout. Energy content of food- important point, but one that can be mitigated by a redesigned transporation system. Fixing transportation so it is less fossil fuel dependent would mitigate the issues of oil being used for other things in life. As Deffeyes himself put it (he seems like a relatively sane peaker without the usual agenda), "oil is far too valuable to be burning for transport". I would agree with that.
"JD says: "Scratch the surface of the powerdowner philosophy, and you'll find Marxism dressed up in radical environmentalism."
-I would disagree with that statement by JD. I have found very few Marxists pushing Peak Oil or doomerism. But he is entitled to his opinion, most of which I agree with.
"Now that's odd because I can only think of one Marxist I have met in years of PO debates; while your whole thesis is that behind Transition and PO is extreme right-wing fascists with dodgy New Age beliefs and cults. In fact, your previous comment which I quoted about no need for us to be concerned with the "esoteric" timing of PO made me think that you were coming from a Marxist perspective Shakti. Help! Im confused!!"
-Not a Marxist, but probably to the Left of the Transition folks and certainly to the Left of Heinberg, Campbell, ASPO, Simmons, etc.
"I dont buy your idea that the Saudis, Halliburton, the oil companies etc are all in on the PO theory in order to gain support for more drilling."
-Then why was Halliburton giving funds to the ASPO? Matt Simmons is as tied to the oil industry as it gets. As for the Saudis, they talk out both sides of their mouths.
" The oil companies have all been denying oil shortages until very recently when they have started to admit there could be a problem. "
-The oil companies go back and forth on this. If their interest is maintaining the longterm validity of their industry, then there "is no problem". If they have a short-term political agenda of opening reserves, for example, then it's "oh, my god, we're running out!" For example, if the oil companies are saying "there is no problem", then why have they been pushing for the opening of ANWAR and why is there a GOP chant of "Drill, baby, drill!"?
Also, let us look at who sponsors ASPO. Or at least their convention in 2007:http://www.aspo-usa.com/aspousa3/Sponsors.cfm
"Pubco Corporation,Marvin Gottlieb, John S. Herold, Inc., Groppe, Long & Littell, Chesapeake Energy, The Mitchell Group, Inc.,
Simmons & Company International, Plains Exploration & Production Company, Austin Energy/Plug-in Partners Program,World Oil Magazine,
Oil and Gas Investor, Community Office for Resource Efficiency, Swift Energy Company, Stonegate Production, GSI Oil & Gas, Inc., Titan Oil Recovery,
Apex Resources, Inc., Post-Carbon Institute. "
-Aside from Plug-in Partners, who are selling hybrids, the Community Office for Resource Efficiency, and Heinberg's Post-Carbon Institute, EVERY SINGLE ONE of these "partners" is a company heavily invested in the gas and oil industry, particularly exploration and drilling! Every one.
" if this is all controlled by conspirators, why now is it high? Why was it cheap all through the 80s?"
-It's actually dropped by 100% in the past two years. During the 80s, it was cheap partly due to collusion between the West and the anti-Communist Saudis who wished to keep the price low to damage the Russians, a major producer. Which worked and did incredible damage to their economy. Or at least that is an opinion I've heard expressed that made sense to me. Check out this recent article on OPEC projections for this year. They are currently in a SURPLUS and trying to clear that off, but are worried about the slowdown of world demand.http://www.arabianbusiness.com/587978-opec-again-lifts-2010-oil-demand-growth-forecast
"OPEC raised its estimate for world oil demand growth in 2010 for a third successive month on Tuesday, but its figures showed economic recovery would not be sufficient to wipe out a surplus of supply this year."
"OPEC also said that members' production continued to rise in April, reducing compliance with their individual output targets.Members with output quotas, all except Iraq, met only 51 percent of the targeted 4.2 million bpd cuts in April, down from 52 percent in March, according to Reuters calculations based on the latest OPEC data."
-Note "surplus of supply". Countries are "out of compliance" with cuts. Meaning they are producing too much and not getting back in line with OPEC targets.
"Your views on PO as a New Age theory dont add up to me. Young New Agers are just as likely to reject the idea, preferring to believe in free energy machines suppressed by the CIA and Big Oil."
-It's not a "new age theory", but there are many New Agers on the bandwagon. And, yes, there are others as well who are into "free energy" and such. Not denying that. Your own posts have clearly shown the connection of New Age to Transition, which is closer to the topic at hand. And the presence of New Agers like Heinberg is undeniable.
"But JD at least does not seem to be disputing PO or even claiming the dates are way off- he is just being optimistic about the consequences."
-JD makes it clear that he considers the dates put forward by many of the Peakers as being "way off". He is not disputing the USGS claim of 2037. Campbell, Simmons, Heinberg are like spoiled milk at this point: past their date.
" The wonder is, it is still around $70 in the worst recession in a generation. How come? "
-Partly because OPEC doesn't want it to drop further than that and is pushing members to CUT production to mitigate the drop in world demand. If it drops too far, then interest in investment (ie Peak Oil fears) and more exploration and drilling decreases. If it goes too HIGH, then alternatives to oil become more viable which is also bad for OPEC. It is a delicate balance they have to walk. Read the article on OPEC above, it spells it out in fairly direct terms.