Comment 27971

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted December 22, 2008 at 03:15:35

Volterwd, I never said the recent Cuban and Brazilian oil discoveries were huge, just that they were sizable. Furthermore, I am not arguing that they will double reserves, just that they will help on the margins, where Ryan tells us oil prices are determined.

Ryan, I think peak oil is a rational take on current conditions, but I just don't accept that humans will be restricted by external circumstances. If as you say, we are already hitting the ceiling on production, then save some huge increase in energy efficiency, increasing economic output should drive oil prices above $100 in short order. You have also mentioned that high oil prices are a major reason why the economy has faltered in recent months, therefore your argument implies that we will never grow our economies more than 1.5% again, at least until we switch off of oil.

That is the reason I don't believe in peak oil, because I know that the U.S. economy will grow at rates above 3% again. If the U.S. government can just stop running ever larger deficits (which is a choice and not an inevitable consequence of running out of oil), I guarantee you will see a return to good economic times. When this happens, peak oil will have to explain this.

As to your question about where I think the new oil will come from, I have absolutely no idea. I only know that we will likely hear about some new discovery, or some new technology that makes it easier to extract current fields, thereby once again pushing up the available capacity to keep prices at reasonable levels. If my argument sounds more a matter of faith than reason, then I can understand your opposition. But perhaps we can discuss this topic again when the scenario I have described takes place, since it will allow you to confront your rational/pessimistic view of the world and will maybe bring you around to a more optimistic outlook on life.

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