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Oil pique

Posted by Richard on April 13, 2005

A few days ago, David Aitken linked to a Kevin Drum post about Peak Oil. I’ll give Drum this much: he’s more restrained, cautious, and honest than Jane Bryant Quinn, whose breathless Newsweek/MSNBC column from last August apparently triggered Drum’s "short primer" (no link to her; she doesn’t deserve it).

Drum acknowledges that today’s chief proponent of the supposedly impending Hubbert peak, Colin Campbell, has "been making peak oil predictions for a long time, and his predictions are pretty much always the same: we will hit a peak in 3-4 years.

The problem with this theory, as with all "resource crisis" theories, is that it misunderstands the very nature of resources. Resources aren’t something that humans find and use up, we create them. As we advance our science and technology, we "discover" resources that we didn’t know existed or didn’t previously view as resources.

One of these days, I’ll write more on this topic. In the meantime, if this and other prophecies of doom and gloom bother you, there’s no better antidote than a Julian Simon book, and April is the right time to buy.  

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