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There are different noises going around about how big the ecological disaster is. Some tend to take a doctrinaire view (this is NECESSARILY the biggest disaster etc) which I am wary of.

But it may turn out to be a salutary disaster, in terms of the big picture. Deep-sea drilling and Antarctic drilling are supposed to prolong the Oil Age by a couple of decades. I have always been sceptical of this because of the extreme technical difficulty and high cost of extracting the oil. It now seems that both may disappear from the agenda, not particularly because of public opinion, but because they will turn out to be unprofitable (or of incalculable profitability, given the cost of disasters).

This would seem to lead to several favourable outcomes :

  1. As the wise heads that govern us will no longer be able to pretend that peak oil is decades away, renewable energy will be favoured
  2. The major oil companies are sitting on huge reserves of highly profitable oil. They invest in hugely expensive and hazardous offshore oil prospects to maintain their reserves, i.e. because they don't know what else to do with the money. If they stop these hugely wasteful investments (wasteful because unsustainable) and invest in sustainable energy infrastructure instead.... well, that would be nice.
  3. The deep-sea oil now seems much less likely to be extracted and consumed, which is very good news on the global warming front.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jun 17th, 2010 at 10:19:50 AM EST

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