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October 24, 2008 in Geology, News | 11 comments
OPEC Orders Cut in Oil Production.
James Robertson on October 24, 2008 at 7:43 am
These production cuts almost never work, because it ends up being a classic “prisoner’s dilemma” game for the producers. The ones that need revenue the most (Iran, Venezuela) are highly motivated to cheat. When that happens, other producers see little point in observing the limits.
Mike Warot on October 24, 2008 at 9:35 am
OPEC is going to cut production, regardless of the wishes of its members, as we have apparently passed “peak oil” somewhere around Thanksgiving of 2005, and it’s all downhill from there.
Anyone who talks about wanting to solve the energy problem and doesn’t talk about our 3rd world railroad network obviously needs a clue.
Our love affair with the car is just about over, she’s a whore with a price we can’t afford anymore.
James Robertson on October 24, 2008 at 11:13 am
Umm, lol. The oceans in general have barely been tapped, or even explored. There’s a limited amount of oil, but we have no idea what that limit is at the moment.
Doc Searls on October 24, 2008 at 11:15 am
Agreed, James. OPEC is not the unitary thing it once was.
Mike, I agree that the rail system needs an upgrade, desperately. I think we also need a fiber infrastructure that goes right to homes. For the cost of a flat screen per house, it could be done. (Writing a piece about that at the moment.)
But I don’t think the car is going away any time soon, even if we have passed the “peak oil” point. And that’s respecting the fact that oil is a fossil fuel and fossils are not produced overnight. We will run out of the stuff, and renewable substitutes (e.g. ethanol) have problems of their own. In the long run we’re in a pickle, and that run has already started. But there is much hay to make while the sun shines, even in a crappy economy.
Mike Warot on October 24, 2008 at 11:46 am
There will always be cars, but the idea that we all need to drive for an hour each way to work will rapidly come to be seen for the insane idea that it truly is.
The idea that we all need a suburban lot and lawn and garage just doesn’t work. It’s just nuts to tear up our food source to plant grass that we then have to hire a lawn service to care for.
The Brits came up with this idea of the landed Gentry after making fortunes off the backs of slaves… we re-implemented it off the stored energy reserves of the planet…
Cheap oil is over, and this unsustainable fantasy way of life is going to go with it… even if they say it’s Non-Negotiable.
We’re all going to either farm, or live in an urban area… it’s happening very soon, and it’ll be a painful transformation for those who try to fight it, rather than see it as an opportunity.
James Howard Kunstler is looking smarter with each passing crisis.
James Robertson on October 24, 2008 at 12:09 pm
As I said above, there are tons of places we haven’t looked. There’s also coal (hundreds of years worth of supply in the US alone), and nuclear (thousands and thousands of years worth of supply in the US alone). We have more than enough fuel for the energy needs we have, even before we look at anything down the technology pike. All of the conflicts over energy are political, not technical.
As to Kunstler – bear in mind that he predicted utter disaster for Y2K, and now he’s predicting utter disaster over energy. His track record sucks, and believing him is pretty “out there”.
Mike Warot on October 24, 2008 at 12:49 pm
We don’t have hundreds of years worth of coal… our current demand is about 1.1 Billion short tons/year… and the current working mines have 18.9 Billion short tons of recoverable reserves… which means we’re ok for the next 10 years or so. The long term picture isn’t quite so bad either….
Ok.. you win about coal. 😉
RBM on October 24, 2008 at 5:44 pm
I read theoildrum.com regularly.
Recently a poster – who is in the oil patch – Rockman, told the story of a group of environmentalists who had fought drilling in the Long Island area for many years. His point was that it was wasted effort. There was no oil there to find, cause of this thing called geology.
Geology determines oil locations.
Google Jeffrey Brown for background.
vanderleun on October 24, 2008 at 6:29 pm
Kunstler is a disaster chatterer who loves to sing “Poor Johnny One-Note.” Might get it right someday if he lives to be, say 350.
Sad to say, nothing beats blowing up gas in a can and nothing on the horizon looks likely to do so either.
Chester Escort on October 25, 2008 at 6:34 pm
In these times of potential hardship, caused by selfish and irresponsible decision makers of financial institutions and governments, I am not surprised OPEC has adopted a policy of trying to look after their own members and pockets.
There is no need for Government leaders to criticise OPEC’s behaviour. Governments have had years of opportunity to enforce more efficient motor vehicles and alternative energy.
If the UK government really cared about the rising cost of oil based products such as petrol and diesel to consumers, then why don’t they cut the huge unjustified tax revenue levied at the forecourt screwing the UK motorist for every penny they have. We live in a world governed by hypocrites.
RBM on October 25, 2008 at 9:33 pm
Where does that “unjustified tax revenue” go ? How is it unjustified ? I’m US based and quite ignorant as to UK tax structure and revenue use.
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