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Countdown to $100 oil (47) - Malthus, Mein Kampf and ostriches

by Jerome a Paris Sun Sep 16th, 2007 at 10:12:12 AM EST


Malthus and Mein Kampf come to Cork

For those who like their environmental gloom'n'doom spread with a thick dollop of Utopian totalitarianism and garnished with a slice of Galtonian pseudo-science, the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas holds its sixth annual conference in Ireland this coming week.

Present will be the usual motley of silk-suited Carbohypocrites - each avidly promoting their tax-eating, alternative-energy start-ups - a gang of anti-capitalist activists, a squawk of sensescent members of the poitical [sic] elite, and a whole Bronze Age roundhouse of associated Gaia worshippers.

Say what you will about their opinions, the writers of the Ludwig von Mises Institute Blog have a lively way with words.


As the person they further excoriate in that blog post, Nath Hagens (one of the speakers at the conference in Cork on peak oil which triggered that libertarian frothing at the mouth) is an editor of the Oil Drum, where I also write, I feel indirectly targetted by that onslaught and, in a way, flattered by the attention... (see more about the conference over at TOD)

Libertarians now feel the need to use the big guns (Malthus, which is traditional, and Mein Kampf, which is unsubtle and, coming from the Austrian school of economics, a bit osé) to confront peak oil, a sure sign in itself that the topic is reaching some sort of critical mass.

In fact, amongst the "silk-suited Carbohypocrites" "avidly promoting their tax-eating, alternative-energy start-ups", one can find the chairman of D1 Oils, a biodiesel company, Lord Oxburgh, who is interviewed by the Independent today:


Oil industry 'sleepwalking into crisis'

Lord Oxburgh (...) has issued a stark warning that the price of oil could hit $150 per barrel, with oil production peaking within the next 20 years.

He accused the industry of having its head "in the sand" about the depletion of supplies, and warned: "We may be sleepwalking into a problem which is actually going to be very serious and it may be too late to do anything about it by the time we are fully aware."

In an interview with The Independent on Sunday ahead of his address to the Association for the Study of Peak Oil in Ireland this week, Lord Oxburgh, one of the most respected names in the energy industry, said a rapid increase in the price of oil was inevitable as demand continued to outstrip supply. He said: "We can probably go on extracting oil from the ground for a very long time, but it is going to get very expensive indeed.

(...)

Commenting on whether "peak oil" - the point when global oil production goes into terminal decline - was likely to be reached in the near future, he said: "In a way it scarcely matters; what really matters is the gap between production and demand. I don't know whether there is going to be a peak in world oil production, whether it's going to plateau and then slowly come down.

"It could well plateau within the next 20 years, and I guess I would be surprised if it hadn't."

So, yet another "anti-capitalist" "Gaia worshipper" trying to sell his new scam to unsuspecting masses via fearmongering and utopian totalitarianism? Hmmm... Or you might have clicked on my link and noticed that the bit of text that I cut off in the first line is the fact that Lord Oxburgh is the former chairman of Shell...

Or you might have also heard about "libertarian Republican" Alan (Bubbles) Greenspan's acknowledgement that the Iraq war was about oil... He is certainly one of the "sensescent members of the poitical [sic] elite," but is he also a "carbohypocrite"?

It's hard to keep your stories straight when you're trying so hard to deny reality... the inconsistencies keep on catching up with you. I guess it IS easier to keep one's head in the sand.

:: ::

Earlier Countdown diaries:
Countdown to $100 oil (46) - what's a dollar worth?
Countdown to $100 oil (45) - time to bet again (eurotrib)
Countdown to $100 oil (45) - time to bet again (DailyKos)
Countdown to $100 oil (44) - oil industry admits it cannot save us
Countdown to $100 oil (43) - IEA boss denies and confirms peak oil in same breath
Countdown to $100 oil (42) - IEA predicts shortages within 5 years
Countdown to $100 oil (41) - oil more expensive than it appears
Countdown to $100 oil (40) - Undulating plateau
Countdown to $100 oil (39) - BigOil running out of oil
Countdown to $100 oil (38) - Who gets Champagne edition
Countdown to $100 oil (37) - OPEC says peak oil (and $100 oil) is near
Countdown to $100 oil (36) - Free game! win champagne! no risk! (eurotrib)
Countdown to $100 oil (36) - Free game! win champagne! no risk! (DailyKos)
Countdown to $100 oil (35) - peak oil: the last skeptics capitulate (CERA)
Countdown to $100 oil (34) - Oil major CEO calls for demand reduction
Countdown to $100 oil (33) - Below zero
Countdown to $100 oil (32) - peak oil is, like, so over. Not!
Countdown to $100 oil (31) - $15 oil? The cornucopians are fighting back
Countdown to $100 oil (30) - senior politico fears looming oil wars
Countdown to $100 oil (29) - Alaska joins axis of evil (unreliable oil suppliers)
Countdown to $100 oil (28) - New records suggest more to come
Countdown to $100 oil (27) - 'Mission Accomplished' - High oil prices are here to stay
Countdown to $100 oil (26) - Time to bet again (eurotrib)
Countdown to $100 oil (26) - Time to bet again (dKos)
Countdown to $100 oil (25) - Iran vows that oil prices will not go down
Countdown to $100 oil (24) - What markets are telling us about future energy prices
Countdown to $100 oil (23) - Running out of natural gas in North America
Countdown to 100$ oil (22) - gas shortages in the UK - 240$/boe
Countdown to $100 oil (21A) - The 4 biggest oil fields in the world are in decline *
Countdown to 100$ oil (21bis) - long term vs short term worries (dKos)
Countdown to 100$ oil (21) - 8-page extravaganza in the Independent: 'we're doomed'
Countdown to 100$ oil (20) - Meteor Blades is Da Man in 2005
Countdown to 100$ oil (19) - Your bets for 2006 (Eurotrib)
Countdown to 100$ oil (19) - Your bets for 2006 (DailyKos)
Countdown to 100$ oil (18) - OPEC happy with oil above 50$
Countdown to 100$ oil (17) - Does it matter politically? A naked appeal for your support
Countdown to 100$ oil (16) - We'll know on Monday
Countdown to 100$ oil (15) - the impact on your electricity bill
Countdown to 100$ oil (14) - Greenspan acknoweldges peak oil
Countdown to 100$ oil (13) - Katrina strikes / refinery crisis
Countdown to 100$ oil (12) - Al-Qaeda, oil and Asian financial centers
Countdown to 100$ oil (11) - it's Greenspan's fault!
Countdown to 100$ oil (10) - Simmons says 300$ soon - and more
Countdown to 100$ oil (9) - I am taking bets (eurotrib)
Countdown to 100$ oil (9) - I am taking bets (dKos)
Countdown to 100$ oil (8) - just raw data
Countdown to 100$ oil (7) - a smart solution: the bike
Countdown to 100$ oil (6) - and the loser is ... Africa
Countdown to 100$ oil (5) - OPEC inexorably raises floor price
Countdown to 100$ oil (4) - WSJ wingnuts vs China
Countdown to 100$ oil (3) - industry is beginning to suffer
Countdown to 100$ oil (2) - the views of the elites on peak oil
Countdown to 100$ oil (1) (eurotrib)
Countdown to 100$ oil (1) (dKos)
* added to the series after the fact

Display:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/9/16/93649/9232

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Sep 16th, 2007 at 10:13:41 AM EST
The Malthus reference is predictable, I suppose, but citing Mein Kampf way, way out there, even for this kind of rhetoric.

BTW, if I read the list right, shouldn't this be #47?

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Sep 16th, 2007 at 10:32:06 AM EST
Same Diary on both Dkos and ET, maybe.


Rien n'est gratuit en ce bas monde. Tout s'expie, le bien comme le mal, se paie tot ou tard. Le bien c'est beaucoup plus cher, forcement. Celine
by UnEstranAvecVueSurMer (holopherne ahem gmail) on Sun Sep 16th, 2007 at 10:35:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Forget what i said.

Rien n'est gratuit en ce bas monde. Tout s'expie, le bien comme le mal, se paie tot ou tard. Le bien c'est beaucoup plus cher, forcement. Celine
by UnEstranAvecVueSurMer (holopherne ahem gmail) on Sun Sep 16th, 2007 at 10:36:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And the combination of Mein Kampf and Gaia (as that of start-ups and Bronze Age) is quite entertaining.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Sep 16th, 2007 at 10:35:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think there is more to this than the mere existence of well-paid peak oil and climate change deniers. Obviously, a lot of their funding is coming out of the USA, but it doesn't make sense when their bilge is now so obviously bogus beyond contention.

If everybody accepts that peak oil is happening, if not now then within 15 years, isn't planning for it at least a little foresighted ? Certainly not worth deriding.

As for global warming, most oil companies have moved beyond frantically trying to deny the evidence and are moving into exploiting opportunities.

So why are they sneering ? Or rather, who's paying them to sneer ? And at whom specifically ?  Somebody amongst the "silk-suited" carbo-hypocrites represents a business threat to one of their clients. So they're going for smearing-by-association

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Sep 16th, 2007 at 11:31:40 AM EST
Someone has to fund Mises. It certainly isn't going to be paying its own way. ;)

But I think it's more that these are adolescents being told to clean their rooms and saying 'NOT GONNA!'

There may not be much more going on that.

Does anyone read the Mises blog?

Cato, maybe, but Mises looks like the economic equivalent of Freeperville.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Sep 16th, 2007 at 11:52:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As for global warming, most oil companies have moved beyond frantically trying to deny the evidence and are moving into exploiting opportunities.
I mean... haven't the goons at the von Mises Institute seen the ads? BP: Beyond Petroleum with a sunflower as logo?

Oye, vatos, dees English sink todos mi ships, chinga sus madres, so escuche: el fleet es ahora refloated, OK? — The War Nerd
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 23rd, 2007 at 05:26:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, this was discussed on ET with Kenya being the world leader in solar PV household penetration.


Joining for the extended panel session is Mary Graham, founder of Practical Small Projects (PSP) an organisation that facilitates micro-enterprise/finance projects for entrepreneurs whose businesses will help their country develop.

Working with energy poor countries, Graham has an understanding of the practical approaches can be used to mitigate the risk associated with reliance on oil and gas. Speaking before the conference she outlined a responses to this risk:


    The vast majority of West Africans have lived without electricity and plumbing in villages for the course of their lives. For these countries, access to electricity is primarily limited to cities and a significant portion of their capital and foreign exchange is spent on importing fuel and constructing large power plants and electrical distribution systems. Harnessing the power of the sun, Africa's most abundant and reliable natural resource, has great potential to ameliorate these problems, bring reliable energy to remote areas, alleviate burdens on the environment and reduce conflict.

    Solar energy serves as a tantalizing prospect to act as a catalyst to provide improved health, educational and income-generating opportunities in Africa. The implementation of solar lighting/electric projects, executed by local businesses such as Afriq Power, holds the promise of mitigating wide-spread problems such as access to decentralized energy and rapid urbanization in countries like Mali. Afriq Power makes the technology become indigenous as it is run by locals, manually assembles photovoltaic solar panels and installs lighting, pumping and electric systems in wells, schools and health clinics.

    Learn more about solar energy in West Africa and its practical applications that are bringing increased prosperity and hope to the one of the five poorest countries in the world. Consider how your organization can apply this approach with people in other countries and, thus, minimize the degree to which continued reliance upon oil and gas is perpetuated.


by Laurent GUERBY on Sun Sep 16th, 2007 at 05:09:54 PM EST
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5YsK3bwzPM
Over the years many of these reports have come forward yet few of the inventors live very long after their discoveries.
by Lasthorseman on Sun Sep 16th, 2007 at 08:34:20 PM EST
Actually if you can take the posters at the Oil Drum as some sort of proxy for ASPO, then slagging them off as vulgar Malthusians is actually appropriate, as anyone who has endured reading a Drumbeat will realize.

TOD drives me insane. I keep reading it because I like to see what Euan Mearns, Dave Cohen, Stuart Staniford, Robert Rapier, and Jerome have to say. But this gold is hidden in a mountain of stinking, US-centric, anti-Mexican 'it's all about population' tirades. ('It's all them brown people's done gone destroyed the world by breeding like rabbits, but they's gonna get it, 'cos only brown people die from environmental problems and that's the way it should be ... I's a headin' for the hills! Yee-HAH!') It's sad to say it, but anyone who stumbles upon the wrong thread at TOD by accident would be quite rational to dismiss them as a lot of complete nutters, and never return to the site again. Which is appalling, because it is undoubtedly the best Peak Oil site on the web. (Even one of the editors calls in with vocal support of such BS. Though everyone has a right to their opinion, it should be realized that some opinions should not be expressed, that is, if the aim is some sort of progress for the organization in the public eye.)

If you ask me whether TOD furthers awareness of Peak Oil, or actually retards it, I honestly would not care to guess.

by wing26 on Mon Sep 17th, 2007 at 08:49:52 AM EST
and respond that I don't often read the threads over at TOD, I simply do not have the time. There are indeed a number of nutters in there and what to do with them is a topic that crops up amongst editors with regularity... Community moderation is the likely route.

But the front page stories are usually definitely worth a read...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 17th, 2007 at 10:26:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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