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There was almost a piece here rebutting Mr G. Monbiot’s recent Guardian piece, “We were wrong about peak oil - there’s enough to fry us all”.
It would have started with the usual sort of thing - sarcastic queries as to who this “We” were, given Mr Monbiot’s notoriously ill-informed appearance at Uncivilisation in Llangollen 2 years ago, where he told us that methane clathrates were going to solve it all, then tested Dougald’s stalwart politeness to the limit by making bemusing cracks about fur bikinis; the piece would then have moved on to pointing out that serious peak oil theorists had been explaining for some time how the peaking process and all the concomitant economic and political disruption would likely lead to more CO2 emissions in the medium term, not less.
Then I probably would have mentioned how the problem of peak oil was never about the simplistic question of when conventional crude topped out, but was really about peak EROEI, or rather about the intersection of peak EROEI with a world of growing population, deep-wired expectations of perpetually-increasing energy use amongst the majority of the that population, and a one-way ratcheted global economic system predicated on the assumption of infinite growth and primed to implode during any sustained interruption of that process.
But I didn’t do any of that, because I still had the rest of ‘Zatoichi and the One-Armed Swordsman’ to watch, and I figured someone else would write a less sarcastic and better-informed version instead.
And look! Not one, but 3 great responses, which I have gathered here for your entertainment and edification:
Sam Charles Norton responds directly to Mr M: http://elizaphanian.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/monbiot-wrong-on-peak-oil.html
Dave Summers’ critique of the report that Mr Monbiot found so convincing (seriously, G, the clue was when you typed “A report by the oil executive Leonardo Maugeri”…): http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2012-07-01/new-energy-report-harvard-makes-unsupportable-assumptions
An overview by the redoubtable Stoneleigh of Automatic Earth on why increasing unconventional oil production was both predicted and predictable, and ultimately looks a lot like just another speculative bubble: http://www.theautomaticearth.com/Energy/unconventional-oil-is-not-a-game-changer.html
And your bonus link, John Michael Greer’s dense but important piece on how a basic grasp of systems theory is necessary to understand why peak oil might produce such counter-intuitive phenomena in the first place - a piece published with eerie timing only a few days before that of Mr Monbiot:
A few more just came through:
Rob Hopkins adds a bit to the debate towards the end of this piece with some interesting thoughts on what we can do now: http://transitionculture.org/2012/07/04/transition-reflections-on-george-monbiots-announcement-that-we-were-wrong-on-peak-oil/
His piece also alerted me to the existence of this Sharon Astyk piece: http://scienceblogs.com/casaubonsbook/2012/07/03/treehugger-monbiot-and-is-peak-oil-over/
and this crunchy technical response to the Harvard report at the Oil Drum: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/9292
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