Jonathan Maddox - Comments

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Will You Be Alive When We Run Out Of Oil?
8 years ago

These figures are based on reserves/consumption ratios. Have consumption rates remained constant in the past? No. Have reserve figures declined with consumption in the past? No.

Mineral reserve figures are adjusted frequently based on anticipated commodity prices, estimated extraction costs, technological development, the results of geological exploration, etc. Resource consumption rates increase, peak and decline in a complex relationship with the abundance of the resource and the desirability or otherwise of its benefits and disbenefits.

Don't expect the reserve figure for any of these fossil fuel resources ever to go to zero. Do expect our consumption rates to go to near-zero as we learn to do without them.

Will You Be Alive When We Run Out Of Oil?
8 years ago

The "peak oil" argument was more that eventually petroleum production must decline due to scarcity, and with it the fortunes of oil-dependent civilisation. We saw some of that in 2008, but we've recovered somewhat so we didn't actually reach the ultimate peak yet.

Peak oilers *never* said we would run out of oil altogether. The most fearful of them were/are insisting that peak oil would bring about the collapse of financial systems and of industrial civilisation in general. I'm much more optimistic, but only because I believe that technologies to replace petroleum are already mature enough to do so concurrently with the ultimate production decline when it comes.

Far, far more scary is what happens to fossil fuels *after* they're burned. We have plenty of alternatives for energy supply. We don't have even one viable alternative tech to replace what the biosphere does for us.


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