· Jefferson Starship Home Page· CIA · Jefferson Starship Message Board Main ·

Posted by Ammianus Marcellinus on 03/20/02 - 10:36:59
IP: Browser: Mozilla/4.08 (Macintosh; I; 68K, Nav)

Message Body

"I read a few years ago that there are four different crude oil reserves on this planet.  The first is the proven reserves, which we are currently tapping.  Its estimated that there is about 100 years left to that supply."

AM: Not at the rate at which they are currently being consumed.  See below.

"The second is known reserves, which is estimated to be between 100 and 150 years of supply.  Then there is the probable and speculative reserves of crude oil. All total its estimated that we have between four and five hundred years of crude oil still untapped.  What prevents us from drilling for known, probable, and speculative oil reserves is the cost and undeveloped drilling technology."

AM: Mere unreferenced (oil-industry) claims, unaccompanied by a discussion of the rate of global oil _consumption_, which is today voraciously sucking the world dry.

See :

"The world now uses more than 26 billion barrels of oil a year, but new discoveries (not existing field additions) in recent years have been averaging less than seven billion barrels yearly. The peak of world oil discoveries was in the mid-1960's. Inevitably, the time of the peak of world oil production must follow, with most current estimates ranging from the year 2003 (Campbell, 1997) to 2020 (Edwards, 1997). Significantly, all estimates of production peak dates are within the lifetimes of most people living today."

Let's review.  There are two trends to understand when predicting the oil supply at any future date.  Both of these trends follow the shape of bell curves.  The first trend, chronologically-speaking, is the trend of oil discovery.  The second trend, occurring at a specific point later in oil production history, is the trend of oil production.  This is what underlay M. King Hubbert's (basically true) predictions about oil production in the lower 48 US states -- Hubbert predicted in 1956 that US oil production (excepting Alaska and Hawaii) would peak in 1970, and, sure enough, it did.  (Contrast this with the oil companies' basic argument: "they were wrong before and so they're wrong now".)

What this means, of course, is that it is now possible to predict the global Hubbert peak, given that the world is about 85% explored.  It should happen, as Youngquist says, in our lifetimes.

"Then we have the Environmental Idiot Movement that do not have a clue about the mechanics of the global industrial engine."

AM: The folks at are not members of any "Environmental Idiot Movement" (some of them, such as Kenneth Deffeyes, author of _Hubbert's Peak_, are great proponents of nuclear power), so much as they're _retired oil geologists_.  The ones currently shilling for the oil companies won't tell you the truth, since the oil companies themselves have an interest in fabricating actual figures for profit motives.  Check out, for instance, the statements of the current occupants of the White House, both of them (P and VP) longtime representatives of Big Oil.  Listen carefully to the extravagant claims about Alaskan oil, which (at best) will supply the world with three months' oil at current rates of demand.

"It will take between thirty to fifty years to retool the entire global economy to develop and utilize alternative energy sources.  We cannot just stop on June 1st, 2003 and say, OK its pollution free alternative energy only."

AM: Which is why it's important to start _now_ -- it will take oil to wean the world off of its dependency upon oil.

"There are a lot of people who work hard in this country and we don't need the guilt trip of the Crybaby Socialist who believes the government is Santa Clause, and are too lazy to get off their collective asses and work."

AM: Given the boringly repetitive appearance of this sort of complaint, regardless of its appropriateness to the discussion at hand, regular visitors to the JSMB should have a fair idea by now of who is the _real_ crybaby.

For Further Reading

Jefferson Starship Message Board Main