Peak Energy? What Peak Energy?

Willful economic illiteracy

Nice propaganda, shame about the truth.

Nice propaganda, shame about the truth.

One of the other lies told by Watermelons – when they’re not bleating about the fast-fading ‘crisis’ of “Man-Made Global Warming” – is that the earth is fast running out of scarce resources. “Even if AGW isn’t quite as true as we pretended it was a few years ago, that’s still no excuse for not taking radical action to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels,” they claim.

Isn’t it?

The Global Warming Policy Foundation (Happy anniversary, GWPF!) has collated several pieces which offer a helpful counter to this hackneyed, and too often unquestioned, eco-fascist narrative.

Here’s the New York Times: (And would Pravda lie to you about a story so very much counter to its preferred ecotard narrative?)

Just as it seemed that the world was running on fumes, giant oil fields were discovered off the coasts of Brazil and Africa, and Canadian oil sands projects expanded so fast, they now provide North America with more oil than Saudi Arabia. In addition, the United States has increased domestic oil production for the first time in a generation.

Meanwhile, another wave of natural gas drilling has taken off in shale rock fields across the United States, and more shale gas drilling is just beginning in Europe and Asia. Add to that an increase in liquefied natural gas export terminals around the world that connected gas, which once had to be flared off, to the world market, and gas prices have plummeted.

Energy experts now predict decades of residential and commercial power at reasonable prices. Simply put, the world of energy has once again been turned upside down.

Here’s CBS on the vast reserves of natural gas now being extracted from shale:

“In the last few years, we’ve discovered the equivalent of two Saudi Arabias of oil in the form of natural gas in the United States. Not one, but two,” Aubrey McClendon, the CEO of Chesapeake Energy, told “60 Minutes” correspondent Lesley Stahl.

“Wait, we have twice as much natural gas in this country, is that what you’re saying, than they have oil in Saudi Arabia?” Stahl asked. “I’m trying to very clearly say exactly that,” he replied.

Does any of this sound to you like evidence that the world is facing the kind of energy crisis which can only be solved by concerted government intervention?

Me neither. One of my many beefs with the green movement is its wilful economic illiteracy. I say “wilful” because I can see no other explanation – except, possibly, arrant stupidity – for the way it so determinedly avoids all the lessons of history which show how infinitely adaptable man is and always has been in the face of “scarce resources.”

Man did not stop building wooden ships because of a shortage of trees. He stopped because he had developed the technology to build ships made of steel instead.

Man did not stop using horse drawn transport because of a concerted government campaign to reduce the piles of steaming horse manure in our cities by introducing a special Equine Transport Tax. He did so because private entrepreneurs invented the internal combustion engine.

Yet the energy policy of statist buffoons including Britain’s very own Huhne the Ecoloon is predicated on precisely this wrong idea: that it is a government’s job to force free citizens kicking and screaming in the direction of inefficient “renewable energy” through such distorting mechanisms as the “feed-in tariffs” (tacked on, by government diktat onto your gas and electricity bills) which have already proved such a disaster in Spain and Germany.

So lets, recap: the reason your energy bills are getting more and more expensive on the verge of what is widely predicted to be yet another obscenely cold winter is 1. to deal with a problem that doesn’t exist (AGW) and 2. to deal with another problem that doesn’t exist (wholly imaginary fast-depleting resources that must urgently be preserved through government intervention).

Related posts:

  1. Peak oil really could destroy the economy – just not in the way greens think
  2. Wind Industry Big Lies no 1: fossil fuels are more ‘subsidised’ than renewables
  3. Climategate: peak oil, the CRU and the Oman connection
  4. Simon Singh’s for the joy of solar energy

Posted on 23rd November 2010Author jamesCategories Blog

10 thoughts on “Peak energy? What peak energy?”

  1. Groper says:24th November 2010 at 12:03 pmWow, what a poorly researched article. For starters Delingpole, peak oil is when demand outstrips supply. And there may be a lot oil left in the world, to last us 100s of years more, but the extraction methods are getting more and more expensive, to the point where it may not be cost effective. Next time, do a little research before pouring hate on a subject you don’t understand.
  2. barbarausa says:24th November 2010 at 2:01 pmgroper, if the extraction were more expensive than the product is worth, it wouldn’t be happening.

    Except, of course, with things like renewables–still really in their technological infancy–and subsidized out the wazoo for the sake of a worldwide state religion.

    Article in the Washington Post:

    Our country spent $2.9M of the multimillion “stimulus” (known fondly here as “porkulus”) to retrain people for “green jobs” that would magically appear…when the government created them through regulation and fiat.

    They seem to keep forgetting that “creating” a government job isn’t really job creation, it’s tax and debt creation.

    Read the article. There aren’t “green” jobs for the reeducated to plop into.

    Mr. Delingpole, I realize that Thanksgiving is an American holiday, but one of the things I shall be giving thanks for tomorrow (after I’m done cooking!–pumpkin pie in the oven, vegetables and sausage for the stuffing up next, then start the stock pot) is you, your work, and that of others like the fine Mr. Watts at WUWT, and so many more who work to explode the newest myth of fear and control.

    Please keep up the good work, and thank you.

  3. Groper says:24th November 2010 at 2:12 pmAre delingpole’s acolytes that backwards? Fossil subsdies worldwide is 10 times the amount to renewables. Governments spend a little on it and all of a sudden it’s a watermelon conspiracy. Where does Delingpole want take us? Back to the days of our heavily subsidised coal industry? Remember Scargill and miner’s strike?
  4. barbarausa says:24th November 2010 at 2:41 pmRemember when there were manufacturing jobs in England?

    We used to produce things here too.

    Government jobs are not jobs. Try and understand the concept: the government has no money except what it takes in taxes. For government to “create” jobs, they need to take more taxes, or go into debt to do the “creating”.

    What happens when everyone “works” for the government? Where will the money to make it happen come from?

    As I said, read the article–fine quote on page 4, about it being a great prgram, but hard to apply in the real world. Well, yes.

    Supply and demand is king, and when an open market is suppressed, a “black” market will spring up if the demand is there.

    Look at prostitution and drugs–they will never go away, because someone is going to fill that demand, legally or otherwise.

    With our illegal immigrant situation in the US, we even have had black market housing: single family homes, in districts not zoned for multifamily occupancy, have become flophouses with small areas cordoned off inside by hanging curtains, and a dozen or more laborers occupying small houses in a cubicle living situation.

    Zoning enforcement scrambles to catch up, but the problem moves from neighborhood to neighborhood.

    With the crash of our economy, it has abated somewhat, but of course we have lobbying groups who want to continue to provide services to those here illegally.

    And it all costs, something which government in general does not understand because they do not produce, they simply have a magical checkbook of taxation.

    Read the article groper. What does it cost to create a false demand through regulation, and facilitate it with squads of new government employees?

    Stay tuned.

    From over here, it looks remarkable like the early stages of what’s unfolding so unpleasantly throughout the EU.

  5. Groper says:24th November 2010 at 4:51 pmYour article makes no sense barbarausa. There’s nothing false about energy. It’s a very real demand.
  6. barbarausa says:25th November 2010 at 12:37 amYes, energy IS a very real demand.

    “Green energy jobs” is a false demand, as green energy is in its infancy of scalability.

    The government is attempting to create a demand by regulating existing market energy into an unaffordable state, thereby attempting to make gren energy “competitive”.

    There is no demand for the green energy workers being “created” with tax dollars to fill as yet nonexistent green energy jobs.

    It makes quite a bit of objective sense.

    But religion is subjective, isn’t it?

  7. Velocity says:25th November 2010 at 8:47 pmSpot on James.

    Grouper here is another monkey from the shrill green empty brigade thinking Gov’t intervention improves anything. Fed up to the back teeth with greenies gobbing off about ‘peak oil’ etc I spent a month researching and found energy of all types coming out of our ears.

    Guess what the problem was? Not the amount of energy and known reserves, but the amount of energy strangled (legislated) by Gov’ts from being exploited.

    Everything Gov’t touches turns to crap. Take a look at Spains green energy experiment, just another reason they’re so friggin bust.

    We should be having a massive pig out on cheap, cheap, cheap plentiful energy if the free competitive market was allowed to work.

    Instead we’re being legislatively strangled and taxed-to-death by Gov’ts and monopoly energy companies and the stiff-the-consumer Gov’t-Corp fascism of regulators.

  8. Groper says:25th November 2010 at 10:47 pmVelocity, as usual, your post makes no sense. Brigades? Govt Corp fascism yadayada!! Sure, there’s plenty of oil around, nobody disagrees, but its the cost of extraction that Delingpole and yourself fail to understand. The deeper you go, the more expensive it gets, and extracting oil from tar sands etc is very expensive in itself.
  9. Velocity says:26th November 2010 at 7:20 pmGrouper

    Yep, i’ve done the maths on extraction costs because i like to know what i’m talking about, unlike someone we know. So here’s what you don’t know:

    The Saudis stick a straw in the sand and just suck. Cost of extraction, about $1.50 per barrel.

    Those offshore rigs in deep water, its a lot more needing deep wading wellies. Cost $3.50 per barrel.

    As you can see anytime the Arabs want to lay waste to the deep water drilling (competition) they just dump oil on the market and watch everyone squeem. But right now at $80 a barrel they’re laughing all the way to the bank, especially as they’re pumping at only 50% of capacity.

    But mans technology always gets better and always reduces cost. Unless you’ve got Gov’t that just adds regulation and strangulation of which areas you can and can’t exploit. So while the Arabs will always have the edge on cost there’s plenty of room for everyone (at least until hyper-deflation hits our economies over the next 5 years and reduces oil to under $10 a barrel).

    The point is Grouper you don’t have a point. Like all lefties you’re talking outta your arse not knowing how markets operate or that extraction costs are not getting more expensive (the exact opposite of watching any market will teach you). Market price is not set by production cost (try to work than one out Einstein).

    Gordon Brown as Exchequer sold our British Gold at $220 Oz, right at the bottom of the market. 10 years later he got booted out by the British public as Gold hit a then all-time peak of $1,200 Oz. That’s an inditement of socialists and just how much that rotting Scottish turd knew about economics.

  10. barbarausa says:27th November 2010 at 12:53 amgroper, you sound like the old robot on “Lost in Space”: “…it…does…not…compute…”

    I imagine things do “make no sense” if you are only prepared to believe things that coincide with your script(ure).

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