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A Perpetually Pending Crisis

Which Perpetually Fails to Eventuate

Crises sell newspapers and provide political impetus. Thus both the press and the political class benefit from crises. One such has been the perpetual pending shortage of fossil fuels:

Awash in fossil fuels
By George F. Will
The Washington Post

...in 1901, a new well named for an East Texas hillock, Spindletop, began gushing more [oil] per day than all other U.S. wells combined.

Since then, America has exhausted its hydrocarbon supplies. Repeatedly.

Let that sink in for a bit..

In 1914, the Bureau of Mines said that U.S. oil reserves would be exhausted by 1924. In 1939, the Interior Department said that the world had 13 years' worth of petroleum reserves. Then a global war was fought, and the postwar boom was fueled. In 1951 Interior reported that the world had . . . 13 years of reserves. In 1970, the world's proven oil reserves were an estimated 612 billion barrels. By 2006, more than 767 billion barrels had been pumped, and proven reserves were 1.2 trillion barrels. In 1977, scold in chief Jimmy Carter predicted that mankind "could use up all the proven reserves of oil in the entire world by the end of the next decade." Since then the world has consumed three times more oil than was then in the world's proven reserves.

Just how many times do these doom sayers get to call the end of the world as we know it before they lose all credibility?

When added to the increasing evidence that AGW appears to have been a deliberate scientific fraud, and that elements of the Political Class have been milking the issue, it gives one pause to reflect...

  1. The Department of Energy was established during the Carter Administration to reduce American dependence on foreign supplies of energy. How has that worked out?
  2. Why is it so damn hard to build Nuclear Power Plants in the United States? They're the cheapest steady state generation facilities in existence.
  3. Why haven't we seriously upgraded and hardened our long line electrical transmission system?
  4. Why haven't we been building more Natural Gas and Oil Fired generation facilities?
  5. We haven't we been developing our own energy resources

The answer to all of the above, I submit, is politics. More specifically, politicians acting against our economic interests. Or, as Mister Will summarizes:

Today, there is a name for the political doctrine that rejoices in scarcity of everything except government. The name is environmentalism.

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Comments (6)

It's okay, nothing to fear.... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

It's okay, nothing to fear. After all, you listen to the trash being put out on TV, the world is going to end in 2012. The Aztec's foresaw all the problems we'd be having today. Odd, those same Aztec's couldn't foresee their own demise.

As I say every time I hear ... (Below threshold)
JSchuler:

As I say every time I hear a new doomsday prediction, whether based on scriptures or "scientific" projections: "I've already lived through the apocalypse a dozen times, what's one more?"

To listen to the Enviros on... (Below threshold)
Staylor:

To listen to the Enviros one can only get the conclusion that the world coming to an end because of global warming is not a good enough excuse to use for nuclear power.
I used to call my self an enviromentalist, I like the outdoors, wilderness, unimpeded views and wildlife. Then I realized that enviormentalism is cold blooded social agenda that tryies to use emotionally charged enviromental debates to force the advancemnt of socialism; any actual benefit accrued to the environment due to envionmentalists is incidental to the actual goal and many helpful, commonsence programs and solutions or often discarded for not reaching some level of ideological rigor. The global warming debate is symptomatic of this.
Today I now call myself a conservatonist. I still like the outdoors but reject all of the craziness that the enviros bring to the argument.

There are two main reasons ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

There are two main reasons why the U.S. hasn't developed it's energy resources. Namely NIMBYism and religious environmentalism. Every time someone wants to mine, drill or build a power plant, refinery, transmission line, or pipeline the NIMBY crowd and environmental extremists hold protests, call up politicians, and file law suits to stop progress.

That said, there is an absolute limit to how much oil and NG can be extracted and the closer we get to that limit the higher the cost of these fuels. If that cost increase happens steadily over a couple of decades then people have time to adjust their lifestyle to use less, and also, creates an opportunity for alternative energy sources, at least until environmental extremists find an objection to even putting solar panels on your roof.

There is a big push going o... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

There is a big push going on in south county right now to install about 100 windmills for electrical generation. Now the enviro's are screaming about 'visual pollution'. Another group wants to put photovoltaic collectors out in the desert (but don't mention how they'll get the "free" electricity to market). They're up against another group prattling about the collectors destroying lizard habitat.

So it goes.

This country is not running... (Below threshold)
JC Hammer:

This country is not running out of oil. The Bakken reservoir in ND is huge, and below that is another huge reservoir. The tree huggers are screwing this country up.

The BS about bats flying into the blades of wind power fans is a joke. The bats use radar waves and they don't run into objects. Maybe they should have open season on all the huggers.




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