by Jerome a Paris
Fri Apr 21st, 2006 at 05:24:08 PM EST
The Economist has clearly chosen its side in the debate about peak oil, and their arguments are as follows:
- CERA says we're not running out of oil
- the Saudis say they are not running out of oil
- we'll "manufacture" oil (from gas, oil sands, and ethanol)
Their conclusion, in another article
Western oil firms are beginning to address their difficulty in finding oil by manufacturing fuel instead. Man-made fuels, such as ethanol derived from plants, or diesel conjured from coal and gas, hold out the promise of secure and almost unlimited supply.
Gee, it's alright, then.
The CERA numbers
Not everybody agrees... and more importantly, the most recent data shows that the announced production increases for 2005 did not happen:
The Saudi numbers
Yes, the blatant manipulation of reserve numbers by OPEC numbers is reassuring, right...
On oil sands:
Big oil getting desperate: Making oil with nuclear energy
Will Canadian oil sands save the USA?
Governor Schweitzer, I have a few questions for you
Answering Your Questions About Montana's Black Gold by Governor Brian Schweitzer
Dialogue with Gov. Schweitzer - words of thanks and of hope
but the most damning evidence of the Economist's shallowness comes from their own pages:
See the small print: GTL breaks even at 40$/bl if feedstock is lower than 2.50$/mbtu. And what's the feedstock? "G" as in gas, natural gas. and the price of natural gas?
Hasn't been below 6$/mbtu in the past year, and not below 4$/mbtu in the past 4 years... You'd think they'd take that into account in their estimates...
So. This is an intellectually dishonest piece. No arguments, beyond quoting a few partial or hardly disinterested sources of dubious value. No acknowledgement (or only of the very partial and limited kind) of the arguments of their opponents.The question is: why?
Is it a question of not panicking their readership? Is it that they really believe what they write, because it would go against too many of their unsaid assumptions? Is it denial? Is it incompetence?
I don't know, but it pisses me off to read this in the Economist. They are increasingly becoming hacks.