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The End of the [Industrialized] World Has Been Postponed

[For a Millennium or so]

And, if that's not a sufficient shock to your media trained sensibilities, the source reporting this news likely will be.

Everything you've heard about fossil fuels may be wrong

The future of energy is not what you think it is

By Michael Lind The War Room, Slate

Are we living at the beginning of the Age of Fossil Fuels, not its final decades? The very thought goes against everything that politicians and the educated public have been taught to believe in the past generation. According to the conventional wisdom, the U.S. and other industrial nations must undertake a rapid and expensive transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy for three reasons: The imminent depletion of fossil fuels, national security and the danger of global warming.

What if the conventional wisdom about the energy future of America and the world has been completely wrong?

Technology has continued to progress.  Energy sources which were once beyond our reach or un-economical to recover are no longer so. 

As everyone who follows news about energy knows by now, in the last decade the technique of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking," long used in the oil industry, has evolved to permit energy companies to access reserves of previously-unrecoverable "shale gas" or unconventional natural gas. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, these advances mean there is at least six times as much recoverable natural gas today as there was a decade ago.

When taken with the growing viability of recovering oil from oil shale and oil sands, and the prospects of recovering "tight oil" deposits which were known but un-recoverable, our energy outlook has changed dramatically.  As a consequence, the outlook for "green" energy just became bleak.

So much for the specter of depletion, as a reason to adopt renewable energy technologies like solar power and wind power. Whatever may be the case with Peak Oil in particular, the date of Peak Fossil Fuels has been pushed indefinitely into the future. What about national security as a reason to switch to renewable energy?

The U.S., Canada and Mexico, it turns out, are sitting on oceans of recoverable natural gas. Shale gas is combined with recoverable oil in the Bakken "play" along the U.S.-Canadian border and the Eagle Ford play in Texas. The shale gas reserves of China turn out to be enormous, too. Other countries with now-accessible natural gas reserves, according to the U.S. government, include Australia, South Africa, Argentina, Chile, France, Poland and India.

A cynic, such as myself, would expect the greens watermelons to attempt to prevent the use of fracking my means fair and foul. 

Hat Tip: Ace of Spades


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Comments (9)

I'll fix that:The ... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

I'll fix that:

The very thought goes against everything that politicians and the [government indoctrinated] public have been taught to believe in the past generation.

Education has little to do with it.

Too bad that Barry and the ... (Below threshold)

Too bad that Barry and the rest of the 'progressives' still believe in the mythical unicorn fart as a viable energy source.

Don't worry. Barry will so... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Don't worry. Barry will soon outlaw the development not only of the natural gas fields but any technology that might enable that development.

They've already been workin... (Below threshold)

They've already been working against fracking for a while. It's what the 'documentary' Gasland was about. How is this news again?

No one who has studied ener... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

No one who has studied energy issues going back at least the last half-century should be in the least surprised.

In 1970, "proven oil reserves" were equal to only a 30-year year supply - assuming the rate of consumption only increased with economic growth. Over the next three decades consumption increased at more than double that rate, but at the end of that period when the Earth should have been "out of oil," known reserves had grown to twice the previous estimate.

The forecasts always fell short because they never allowed for the fact that technological advances enabled us to find reserves we could not before, and recover oil we could not extract before.

Whenever anyone mentions "Peak Oil," I instantly know I am talking to an idiot.

So "drill, baby, drill" sho... (Below threshold)
Sky Captain:

So "drill, baby, drill" should be replaced with "frack, baby, frack"?

D-Hoggs,You might ... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:


You might want to go read the whole article (at Slate). The author comes not to praise Green Energy, but to bury it. Then look again and realize that you are indeed reading Slate.

Jim Addison,

Count me among those not surprised by the ever growing proven reserves at this point. But again, read the whole article which deals with the whole gamut of energy related issues. There is even a reasonable side discussion of Nuclear Power. In Slate (but I repeat myself).

Sky Captain,

Drill and Frack, right here, right now. There is no reason beyond really stupid policy and regulation that the United States is NOT a NET EXPORTER of energy.

Anyone who thinks a limited... (Below threshold)

Anyone who thinks a limited energy resource will last humanity for a millennium is foolish beyond belief.

Given exponential growth, no fossil fuel will be enough to power the world for more than a hundred years from now.

Rodney, clearly you've misu... (Below threshold)

Rodney, clearly you've misunderstood me. I am all about fracking. And I know this was on Slate. My point was concerning you saying:

"A cynic, such as myself, would expect the greens watermelons to attempt to prevent the use of fracking my means fair and foul. "

They've been doing that for a long time already.






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